Scroll down to see brief descriptions of  characters in chronological order in the book.

 

Journey to a Mountain has original information about

1.      The dramatic rescue of the sacred remains of the Bab

2.      The perilous ride with the casket to Tehran

3.       The secret hiding places of the casket in Tehran 

4.      The mission  to carry the casket to the Holy Land

5.      The places the casket was concealed in the Holy Land

6.      The land purchases

7.      The design of the Shrine

8.      The materials used to build the Shrine

9.      The details of the building

10.    The sarcophagus and coffin

11.   The attempt to steal the casket

12.     The interment of the casket and its prelude

13.    The names of those at the interment

14.     The way the Shrine  escaped  destruction in World War 1

15.     The Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha

16.     The exact funeral route

17.    The interment of the Master’s casket

 

 

(Photo: Shrine of the Bab, 1909)

 Journey to a Mountain

The story of the Shrine of the Bab (1850-1921)

By Michael V. Day

George Ronald Publisher, 2016

 

Illustrations: Photographs (64), Drawings (3)

Original maps: (i)Route of the Bab's casket from Persia to Holy Land (ii) Route of 'Abdu'l-Baha's funeral cortege

References:  Extensive footnotes and lengthy bibliography

 

 THE GATE AND THE GLORY (18501892)

 

Chapters

 

1          The Retrieval

2          Momentous Events

3          Looking for a Safe Place

4          The Holy Land

5          The Casket on the Move

6          The Site for the Shrine

 

THE MISSION OF THE MASTER (18921921)

7          Setting His Strategy

8          Concealment and Transfer

9          The Sarcophagus

10        The Foundation

11        Crisis and Construction

12        Enemies Step Up Attacks

13        The Building

14        Release and Aftermath

15        Interment of the sacred remains

16        Gatherings at the Oriental Pilgrim House

17        War, Tyranny and Liberation

18        Post-war Gatherings at the Shrine of the Báb

19        The Western Pilgrim House

20        Terraces and Lights

21        The Shrine becomes the Tomb of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

 

Annexes[

1          The Báb

2          The Spiritual Significance of the Shrine of the Báb

3          The Holy Land and Mount Carmel

4          The Tablet of Carmel

5          Tablets of Visitation


From chapter 11

 

Just as good progress on the construction was being made, work came to an abrupt halt. The British Vice-Consul in Haifa, James Monahan, summed up what he saw: About the beginning of October [1900] the work of building was stopped when half-finished, and it seems probable that the Turkish government stopped it. However, it is said that it will now soon be resumed. The visit of the Vali (Governor) may perhaps not have been unconnected with this matter.

 What had happened, in fact, was that the Haifa authorities had stepped in and told ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that He needed a building permit. The deputy governor of Haifa, known as the Qá’im-Maqám, had ruled that the building was in an unsuitable position, too far from the town. Acting on that finding, the head of the Land Registry ordered construction to be stopped forthwith.

From chapter 10

 

At this tumultuous and perilous time, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had to decide upon the architectural design for the Shrine. He wanted it to be immensely solid so that it would last for centuries. He found His starting point locally. Shortly after their arrival in Haifa in 1868, the German Templers had built sturdy structures, using local stone for their own buildings and for those of others outside their community.  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was strategic and economical. It made sense for Him to adapt an existing design for His special purpose....


INDIVIDUALS IN "JOURNEY TO A MOUNTAIN"

Central figures of the Baha’i Faith

The Bab (1819-1850)

Born in Shiraz, The Bab (meaning the Gate) was the forerunner, or herald, who announced the imminent coming of the great divine messenger (Baha’u’llah) mentioned in the traditions and books of the great religions. A merchant, He was also a divine messenger. He was executed  by the authorities at the instigation of fanatical clerics in 1850 and His sacred remains were hidden in Persia (Iran) and brought to the Holy Land (now Israel). They were interred in a mausoleum known as the Shrine of the Bab, the holiest Shrine for Baha’is after that of Baha’u’llah. He was born Siyyid Ali Mohammad. Shirazi. Baha’is refer to Him as a “Manifestation of God”.

Baha’u’llah (1817-1892)

The Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. Born in Persia, and a follower of the Bab, He was exiled in 1853 from Persia and, after time in Bagdad, Istanbul and Adrianople (Edirne), arrived in Acre (Akko), north of Haifa, in the Holy Land, now Israel. A divine messenger, He revealed the sacred scripture and laws of the Baha’i Faith, an independent world religion. His sacred remains were interred near the Mansion of Bahji outside Acre. The Shrine of Baha’u’llah is the holiest place on earth for the six million Baha’is in the world. Born Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri, He took the name Baha’u’llah, which means “Glory of God”. Baha’is refer to Him as a “Manifestation of God”.

‘Abdu’l-Baha (Abbas Effendi; the Master) (1844-1921)

The oldest son of Baha’u’llah, He was appointed in his father’s will to be head of the Faith, a role he fulfilled from1892-1921. At Baha’u’llah’s direction, he arranged for the sacred remains of the Bab to be taken to the Holy Land. He interred them in 1909 in a Shrine he built on Mount Carmel in Haifa, at a site ordained by Baha’u’llah for that purpose. ‘Abdu’l-Baha was the interpreter and exemplar of His father’s teachings, visited Egypt, Europe, the United States and Canada. He was knighted by the British for His services. His sacred remains were interred in the Shrine of the Bab in 1921. The name ‘Abdu’l-Baha means “servant of Baha’u’llah.

Shoghi Effendi (The Guardian)

The grandson of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, he was appointed in his grandfather’s will to be head of the Faith with the title “the Guardian”, a role he fulfilled from 1921-1957. He completed the Shrine with an arcade and a superstructure, topped with a golden dome. He also created beautiful gardens, was an authorand administrator,  and is widely known by Baha’is  as “the beloved Guardian”. He died in London in 1957, and his grave is there.

Individuals in approximate order as they appear in Journey to a Mountain   www.michaelvday.com

(Notes 1.  Hands of the Cause of God. A rank, no longer conferred, was given to a select group of Baha’isappointed for life, whose main function was to propagate and protect the Baha’i Faith. They were named as Hands of the Cause of God.)There is no clergy. 2. Mirza=Mr.  3. Haji= a title for those who had been pilgrims to Mecca when they were Muslims. 4. Khan= widespread surname 5. Names like Isfahani mean the person comes from Isfahan; Milani from Milan in Persia etc.6. Persia is now Iran. 7. The Holy Land is now Israel.)

Sulayman Khan: Brought the sacred remains from Tabriz to Tehran on the instructions of Baha’u’llah.

Mirza Muhammad-Ali-i-Zunuzi (Anis): A follower of the Bab who was executed with him.

Colonel Sam Khan: Military officer who refused to repeat his firing squad’s first unsuccessful attempt to execute the Bab

Midhi Khan: The mayor of Tabriz, and a friend of Sulayman Khan.

Mirza Musa: A brother of Baha’u’llah

 Nabil-i-A’ẓam [Nabil-i-Zarandi] (1831-1892): Eminent Baha’i historian

Husayn-i-Milani: One of those who rescued the sacred remains of the Bab

Haji Ahmad Milani: Owner of silk factory in which casket of the Bab was concealed.

Haji Akhund (1842-1910): A follower of the Bab and Baha’u’llah who concealed the sacred remains of the Bab in Persia. He was later appointed to the high rank of Hand of the Cause of God.

Jamal-i-Burujirdi: A follower of the Bab and Baha’u’llah who concealed the sacred remains of the Bab in Persia

Georg David Hardegg: A leader of the German Templer movement in Haifa. The Templers, who lived at the base of Mt Carmel, were a group of Christians awaiting the return of Jesus Christ.

Haji Shah Muhammad-i-Manshadi: Trustee of Baha’u’llah who helped in transfer of casket within Persia.

Mulla-Sadiq-i-Muqaddas: A Baha’is who assisted in the transfer of the casket within Persia.

Mirza Asadu'llah-i-Isfahani: He carried out the instructions of his brother-in-law, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, to lead the small group of Baha’is who carried the sacred remains of the Bab from Persia (now Iran) to the Holy Land (now Israel).

Mirza Husayn-Aliy-i-Isfahani;Aqa Husayn-Ali (Nur): A Baha’i who hid the sacred remains of the Bab in his house in Persia.

Wilhelm Deiss: A German Templer who sold his land on Mt Carmel to ‘Abdu’l-Baha.  It was behind the site of the future Shrine. He planted a circle of cypress trees there, some of them still surviving today.

Navvab: Wife of Baha’u’llah

Munirih Khanum (1848-1938): Wife of ‘Abdul-Baha

Sultan Abdul-Hamid II: Ruler of the Ottoman Empire, which included the Holy Land.

Muhammad Ali: Half-brother of ‘Abdu’l-Baha who rebelled against Him.

Elias Modavvar: Owner of site of Shrine who sold it to ‘Abdu’l-Baha in 1896.

Husayn Ruhi: Accompanied Mirza Asadu'llah, carrying casket of Bab from  Persia to the Holy Land.

Ustad Isma’il Ubudiyyat: Persian Baha’i who carried the casket of the Bab briefly at his home in Qom, and again in Haifa.

Mirza Asadu'llah Khan: Official in Isfahan known as the Vizier, who was a follower of the Bab and concealed the casket in his mansion, and assisted with the transfer out of Persia.

Mirza Ata’u’llah Nurbakhsh: Relation of Mirza Asadu'llah Khan and who helped with transfer of casket of the Bab out of Persia.

Haji Baqir: Owner of House in Persia where the casket of the Bab was concealed.

Zaynu’l-Muqarrabin: Amanuensis of ‘Abdul-Baha.

Husayn-i-Vakil: Looked after casket of the Bab in Bagdad.

Mirza Muhammad Mustafa Bagdadi: Concealed the casket of the Bab in his home in Beirut, and accompanied it to the Holy Land.

Dr Zia Bagdadi: The son of Mirza Muhammad Mustafa Bagdadi, and who later described the casket. Later a prominent Baha’i and author in the USA.

Nuri’d-Din Zayn: A secretary of ‘Abdul-Baha.

Bahiyyih Khanum, also known as “The Greatest Holy Leaf” (1846-92):The sister of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. She was the leader of the Baha’i community while ‘Abdu’l-Baha was away from the Holy Land (1910-13) on visits to Egypt, Europe and North America.

Mr Ali Nakhjavani: Born 1919. A former member of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Faith, he grew up in the Holy Land and knew Shoghi Effendi, the Greatest Holy Leaf and Munirih Khanum.

Siyyid Mustafa Rumi (1846-1945) : Organiser in Burma of the marble sarcophagus, along with colleagues. Haji Siyyid Mihdi and Siyyid Isma’il. He was posthumously appointed to the high rank of Hand of the Cause of God.

Haji Mirza Hasan-i-Khurasani: Assistant to ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Ali-Kuli Khan: Secretary to ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and later a Persian diplomat.

Yunis Khan (Youness Afroukhteh): Secretary to ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Ustad Aqa Ali-Ashraf, Ustad Aqa Bala, Ustad Abdu’l-Karim: stone masons who built the Shrine of the Bab. Doors of the Shrine are named after them.

Mulla Abu-Talib: Father of stone masons Ustad Aqa Ali-Ashraf, Ustad Aqa Bala

Ibrahim Khayru’llah: Lebanese Baha’i who accompanied ‘Abdul-Bah at the laying of the cornerstone of the Shrine of the Bab, taught the Faith in the USA and accompanied the first pilgrims to the Holy Land.

James Monahan: British vice-consul in Haifa.

Qa’im Maqam: Deputy Mayor of Haifa.

Sadiq Pasha: Business man who assisted ‘Abdul-Baha in negotiations for land.

Phoebe Hearst (1842-1919): A Baha’i honoured by ‘Abdul-Baha. Inherited great wealth and was a philanthropist. Accompanied the first Baha’i pilgrims to Acre.  The mother of United States newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.

Edward Getsinger (photographer): An early Baha’i from the United States who was among the first pilgrims to Acre along with his wife, Lua, also a prominent US Baha’i.

Rahmatu’llah Najaf-Abadi: Caretaker of the Shrine of the Bab.

Ali Ferruh Bey: Ambassador of Ottoman Empire in USA.

Majdi’d-Din: Cousin of ‘Abdu’l-Baha who rebelled against Him.

Haji Amin (Haji Abu’l-Hasan-Ardikani): Trustee of Baha’i funds. A door of Shrine is named after him

Haji Ghulam-Rida: Assistant and carer of Haji Amin in his infirm years.

Mirza Abu’l-Fadl (1844-1921): Great scholar of the Baha’i Faith. A door of the Shrine is named after him.

Florence Khan (nee Breed): Prominent early US Baha’i from Boston and wife of Ali-Kuli Khan.

Marzieh Gail (1908-1993): Eminent Baha’i author and historian. Daughter of Ali Kuli-Khan and Florence Khan

Corinne True (1861-1961): Prominent US Baha’i who was a chief organiser of the establishment of the Baha’i Temple in the United States (Wilmette, outside Chicago, Illinois). She met with ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and held the rank of Hand of the Cause of God.

Rhooah (Ruha) Khanum: A daughter of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Munirih Khanum

Thornton Chase: First US Baha’i and an early pilgrim to Acre.

Roy Wilhelm (1875-1951): An early Baha’i in the USA later appointed a Hand of the Cause of God. A coffee multi-millionaire from New York City.

Abbas-Quli: A custodian of the Shrine, and who owned the house next to it.

Yayha Unsi Isfahani: The first custodian of the Shrine.

Abdu’l-Karim gush borideh: A disloyal Baha’i involved in preparation for the interment of the sacred remains of the Bab.

Husayn Aschi: A cook for Baha’u’llah and a faithful assistant.

Mirza Munir Zayn: A Baha’is scribe who wrote about the interment of the sacred remains of the Bab

Lady Blomfield (1859-1939): An early British Baha’i, who hosted ‘Abdu’l-Baha on His visit to England. A member of the aristocracy, and one who alerted the British government to the dangerous conditions faced by ‘Abdul-Baha towards the end of World War I. She accompanied Shoghi Effendi to the Holy Land in 1921 after the death of 'Abdul –Baha. Author of a much-loved Baha’i history.

Mirza Ja’far Shirazi Rahmani: The Baha’is who contributed the funds and arranged the construction of the pilgrim house near the Shrine of the Bab.

Vakilu’d-Dawlid: A relation of the Bab who built the Baha’i Temple in Ishqabad, now Ashgabat (Turkmenistan).

Howard Struven: An early US Baha’i pilgrim.

Mirza Hadi: The father of Shoghi Effendi.

Isabella D. Brittingham: Early US Baha’i author.

Haji Mirza Hadyar-Ali: Devoted and much loved Baha’i, a heroic and humble teacher of the Faith, who often stayed near the Shrine of the Bab. He had met Baha’u’llah.

Jamal Pasha: Turkish Tyrant who was the ruler of the Holy Land during WW1

Dr Habib Mu’ayyad: Author of memoirs recording Baha’i events in the Holy Land.

Hasan Balyuzi (1908-1980): Eminent Baha’i historian, a hand of the Cause of God.

Dr John Esslemont (1874-1925) : Eminent British Baha’i who wrote a seminal book on the Faith “Baha’u’llah and the New Era”, approved by ‘Abdu’l-Baha. A dear friend of Shoghi Effendi and a Hand of the Cause.

Dr Lotfu'llah Hakim: A long-time Baha’i. A doctor, he was an inaugural member of the Universal House of Justice, elected in 1963.

Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney: The first French Baha’i. A multi-lingual scholar and advocate for the Faith.

Laura Dreyfus-Barney: The compiler of one of the most widely known Baha’i books: Some Answered Questions by ‘Abdul-Baha.

Badi Bushrui: Young Baha’i who learned the history of the Faith from ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and father ofeminent Baha’i author Professor Soheil Bushrui.

Ali Yazdi: A Baha’i youth in the time of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, who recounted his experiences into the 1980s and a Counsellor member of the Baha’i International Teaching Centre in Haifa.

Wellesley Tudor Pole: A British Baha’i, serving in the military, who assisted in arranging the protection of 'Abdul-Baha near the end of WW1

General Sir Edmund Allenby: Commander of allied forces in Egypt during WW1.

Brigadier General A. D’A King: Commander of Allied troops who liberated Haifa in 1917.

Sir Ronald Storrs: British official who knew and admired ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Professor Edward Granville Browne: Cambridge academic who had four meetings with Baha’u’llah and recorded his impressions

George Latimer: Early US Baha’i pilgrim.

Harry Randall: From Medford, Boston he donated funds for the Western pilgrim house.

Genevieve Coy: A US Baha’i author who wrote eloquent descriptions of her time at the Shrine of the Bab

Mirza Muhsin Afnan, Tuba Khanum: Son-in-law and daughter of 'Abdul –Baha.

Fujita: One of the first Japanese Baha’is and a long-time aide of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and later of Shoghi Effendi.

Cornelia Wortz; Gerhard Bubeck; Cara Klingeman: Members of the German Templer community in Haifa. Gerhard became a Baha’i.

Sir Patrick Geddes: Proponent of Terraces for the Shrine of the Bab.

Dr Assaf Ciffrin: Haifa city engineer who proposed terraces for the Shrine of the Bab.

Curtis Kelsey: US Baha’i who arranged lighting of the Shrine of the Bab.

Hasan Kharuba-i: Persian Baha’i and colleague of Curtis Kelsey.

Munavvar: A daughter of ‘Abdul-Baha.

Dr Habib: Doctor who attended “Abdul-Baha prior to His passing.

Dr Florian Krug: US Baha’i pilgrim in 1921, a medical doctor, who attended the Master after His passing.

Grace Krug: US pilgrim in 1921and wife of Dr Florian Krug.

Louise and John Bosch: US Baha’i pilgrims in 1921.

Johanna Hauf: German Baha’i pilgrim in 1921.

Charles Mason Remey: Prominent early US Baha’i, architect and author. Appointed a Hand of the Cause but who rebelled after the passing of Shoghi Effendi.

Winston Churchill: British secretary of State for the Colonies who expressed his condolences upon the death of ‘Abdul Baha.

Sir Herbert Samuel: High Commissioner for Palestine, who attended the funeral of ‘Abdul-Baha whom he had met several times.

Lieutenant- Colonel Stewart Symes: British governor of North Palestine district (Phoenicia) who admired ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Friedrich Lange: Leader of German Templers at time of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Clara Struve: German Templer youth.

Yusuf al-Khatib; Ibrahim Nassar; Muhammad Murad;Abdu’llah Mukhlis;Shayk Yunis al-Khatib; Bishop Bassilious; Wadi Bustani; Salomon Bouzaglo: Members of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities in Haifa. Delivered eulogies at the funeral of “Abdul-Baha.

Khadihih-Bagum: Widow of the Bab

Mulla Husayn: The one to whom the Bab first declared His mission.

Lord Curzon: British observer of Persia. Former Governor-General of India.

Dr William Cormick: Doctor who attended the Bab, and who later described Him and what He said.

Ali Khan: Jailer of the Bab.

Roger White (1929-1993): An eminent Baha’i poet from Canada.

Zikru'llah Khadem (1904-1986): Recorded historical events associated with the Shrine of the Bab. A Hand of the Cause.

 

 





Excerpts will change from time to time