Saturday, June 21, 2008

Detour via Akka

One of the beauties of a blog is that you do not have to be sequential or ordered.
So I am taking advantage of the fact that we have just returned from a Bahá’í pilgrimage to the Haifa/Akka area of Israel, to exploit a tenuous connection between Robert Bruce (the father of the King) and Akka, (medieval Acre) where he is alleged to have participated in the 9th Crusade.
I “penned” this post whilst sitting in a restaurant on Ben Gurion Ave. looking towards the Bahá’í terraces on Mount Carmel, but due to internet issues was not able to post at the time
. (See picture below)

The Bahá’í Faith is the newest of the world religions, who’s world centre is located in Haifa.

The Shrine of the Bab and the Bahá’í terraces

So what is the connection?

Bahá’u’lláh, is the latest of the Messengers of God, who brought new spiritual and social teachings for our time. His essential message is of unity. He taught the oneness of God, the oneness of the human family, and the oneness of religion

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”

Bahá’u’lláh was born in Iran in 1817, and was destined to suffer imprisonment and exile for the majority of his life, because of his teachings. His coming was announced by the Bab (The Gate), who was martyred in Iran and whose remains rest in the shrine pictured above. Bahá’u’lláh was initially exiled to Bagdad, and subsequently to Constantinople (Istanbul), Adrianople (Edirne), and finally to the prison city of Akka, which is located across the bay from Haifa. Bahá’u’lláh and his family arrived in Akka after an arduous
journey on the 31st of August 1868, only to be confined, in the citadel, under appalling conditions. Akka like everywhere in the middle east , has a long and varied history, and in recent years the remains of Knights Hospitaller building buried under the cell block levels where Bahá’u’lláh and his family were confined, have been excavated and work is on going to preseve and present them.
The Knights Hospitaller Courtyard viewed fom the enterance to Bahá’u’lláh's cell block

The outside of Bahá’u’lláh's cell block

Bahá’u’lláh was finally allowed more freedom and spent his remaining years in more comfortable circumstances, in Akka, and later at the mansion of Bahji, where he passed away on 29th of May 1892. Since his passing the Faith has been lead by his Son, Great-Grandson, and now the Universal House of Justice, and has spread Bahá’u’lláh’s healing message throughout the world.

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth"

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah)

1 comment:

Aniela said...

What a facinating segway. . . do you have any other pictures of the excavation you speak of?