Báb - Internment

One of the greatest privileges we had during our visit was to be present when the Ashes of the Báb were moved to their final resting place on Mt. Carmel. It is beyond me to depict the beauty and solemnity of that scene. Our Lord was indescribably grand. We saw Him for the first time without His fez. (head-dress), His beautiful white hair falling in picturesque disorder upon His shoulders. He had thrown off His dark outer garment and was robed in a flowing garment of neutral blue. When the huge sarcophagus was finally placed in position our Lord with the men believers grouped about Him, made a picture never to be forgotten. One of the believers held aloft a lamp, the light of which fell like a radiance upon the beloved Master's form as He stood in the sarcophagus, and with tears streaming down His blessed Face, changed with His own Hands the Sacred Ashes from the casket which had held them many, many years, to the magnificent white marble sarcophagus which is a loving gift of the believers of India. When the marble cover was placed, our Lord threw Himself on the sarcophagus and wept aloud.

The believers who were with Him, as well as the ladies who were standing or kneeling about the entrance to the Tomb, wept with Him, and for Him too who made such a pathetic figure beside the Tomb of the One Who had proclaimed His Glorious Advent. Such a tumult of thoughts and emotions surged through our minds for it seemed as if all the miraculous happenings of the Cause from its earliest Dawn passed before our vision, flooding our souls with awe and wonder at the mighty works of God. When at last our dear Lord walked out of the Tomb He had an expression on His Face which is indescribable. The Power of the Spirit was so intense that we stood as if petrified until He had passed into another part of the building where a room was prepared for Him to rest in. In the meantime the believers who had been working with the Master came out and stood in groups speaking together in hushed tones while they waited to accompany ‘Abdu’l-Bahá back to Haifa. Such a wonderful picture they made, especially the white haired, saintly looking believers in their Oriental costumes. One believer had given up business and came and camped with his family near the Tomb for some weeks, during which time he had worked with pick and shovel to dig a hole in the foundation of the Tomb through which the sarcophagus had been passed. They could not employ skilled laborers for fear of drawing the attention of the Nakazeen.

Before we left that afternoon, mother and I had the privilege of drinking a cup of tea with our Lord, but as He was still very fatigued we soon excused ourselves and descended the mountain side with full hearts.

May Woodcock and A.M. Bryant, Letter to Mrs A.M. Bryant re interment of the remains of The Báb on Mt. Carmel

On the [day] of the first Naw-Rúz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands -- in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving - the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion.

When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr-Prophet of Shiraz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God's holy mountain, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotion.

"The most joyful tidings is this," He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, "that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb ... after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquillity has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel... By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Rúz, a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city ... and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar."

Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 276