April 16, 2015

The Shrine of the Báb – “High, immeasurably high is this Shrine, the lofty, the most great, the most wondrous”

This magnificent Edifice [the Shrine of the Bab] stands facing Baha'u'llah's Most Great Prison, extolled by the Pen of Glory as the "Heaven of heavens," and looks toward the Qiblih of the people of Baha, that Spot within the Vale of Security and Peace, the Plain of 'Akka, round which circle in adoration the Concourse on high. To her right are the hills of Galilee in which nestles the childhood home of the beautiful Christ, and the locality by the banks of the Jordan River where He who is the Spirit [Jesus] was called to prophethood; and on her left, on the crest of Carmel, are to be found the Cave of Elijah and the exalted Spot which was blessed by the footsteps of the Most Holy Abha Beauty and was ennobled through the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel from the treasury of the Pen of Glory. Behind her stand the twin Mounts of Zion and Olivet and the holy and ancient city of Jerusalem, within whose walls lie the site of the martyrdom and the burial place of Jesus Christ, the seat of the Throne of David, the glorious Temple of Solomon and the Aqsa Mosque, which ranks third among the shrines of the Islamic world. Beyond these there rises Mount Sinai, the cradle of the Jewish Faith, that Sacred Mount, the Paran of light, that holy land where He Who conversed with God heard the Voice from the Blessed Tree. And further beyond lies the Arabian Peninsula, the land of Hijaz, the cradle of the Muhammadan Dispensation, with the two cities of Batha and Yathrib, the noble Mecca and the bright Medina, one enshrining the Qiblih of Islam and the other the resting-place of Him Who is the Lord of mankind [Muhammad] - upon Him be countless salutations and praise.

High, immeasurably high is this Shrine, the lofty, the most great, the most wondrous. Exalted, immeasurably exalted is this Resting-place, the fragrant, the pure, the luminous, the transcendent. Glorified, immeasurably glorified is this Spot, the most august, the most holy, the most blessed, the most sublime. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (from a letter dated Naw-Ruz 1955, translated by the Universal House of Justice; quoted by Hand of the Cause Zikrullah Khadem in ‘Carmel: The Mountain of God and the Tablet of Carmel’ published in ‘Zikrullah Khadem, The Itinerant Hand of the Cause of God’, by Javidukht Khadem)