It was in the summer of 1891 that Bahá’u’lláh stood by a circle of cypress trees halfway up the barren north slope of Mount Carmel and pointed out to His son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the spot where a befitting mausoleum should be erected to receive the remains of the Báb. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá set about the arduous task of purchasing the land and erecting a modest, six-roomed mausoleum.
“Every stone of that building, every stone of the road leading to it, I have with infinite tears and at tremendous cost, raised and placed in position,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is recorded as having remarked. He envisaged that a Shrine would eventually be “constructed in the most exquisite fashion and will appear with the utmost beauty and magnificence. Terraces will be built from the bottom of the mountain to the top. Nine terraces from the bottom to the Shrine and nine terraces from the Shrine to the summit. Gardens with colourful flowers will be laid down on all these terraces.”
On 21 March 1909, the remains of the Báb—hidden for six decades following His execution and secretly transported from Iran to the Holy Land—were finally laid to rest. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s grandson Shoghi Effendi wrote, “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.”