Bahá’ís of the entire world mark today as the Anniversary of the Ascension of `Abdu’l-Bahá. The passing of `Abdu’l-Bahá, the Centre of the Covenant, the Exemplar of the Faith, Son of the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith took place at about one o’clock in the morning on 28 November 1921; Bahá’ís commemorate that Event at about one o’clock in the morning and have been doing so since His passing in 1921.
The Passing of `Abdu’l-Bahá
The news of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing on November 28, 1921, was received by the Bahá’í world and the citizens of Haifa with profound distress and grief. The Holy Land–a land all too frequently convulsed by religious conflict– witnessed an unprecedented event of unity and collective emotion in the aftermath of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s death. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druzes, of all persuasions and denominations; Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Armenians, and other ethnic groups were drawn together in mourning His passing and in sharing their common loss.
The funeral of `Abdu’l-Bahá, “a funeral the like of which Palestine had never seen,” drew “no less than ten thousand people…representing every class, religion and race in that country.” “A great throng,” the British High Commissioner wrote, “had gathered together, sorrowing for His death, but rejoicing also for His life.” The Governor of Jerusalem at the time also wrote in describing the funeral: “I have never known a more united expression of regret and respect than was called forth by the utter simplicity of the ceremony.