Jamilah’s Blog: My Bahá’í Pilgrimage

Sitting on a bench in the Ridván Garden with my parents, my older brother, Iman, and my younger brother, Jaydan.

Last month, my school was off for summer break, and my family planned to go to Haifa, Israel, on a pilgrimage . . . which, for my brothers and I, was our first time. I've never felt more connected to God, and particularly to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

My favorite part of this pilgrimage was visiting the Shrines. In the afternoon and evening, we would visit the Shrines on our own, with friends or as a family. I felt as though I was entering the presence of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the first time in my life. Entering the Shrines leaves a powerful impact on the people who pray there. During one of the presentations, a Universal House of Justice member told us that Bahá’u’lláh said, “No greater love is shown towards a close friend or family member than saying a prayer for them in the Shrines.”

 

Jamilah (center) and her brothers Iman (left) and Jaydan (below)

I enjoyed seeing Bahá’í holy places with my brothers.


During this magnificent visit to the Holy Land, I made many new friends and met many of my parents’ old friends from their last visits in Haifa. The group my family was in was an English-speaking group. Our tour guide was amazing and humble. We spent so much time with our group members that they became like family to us. We spent our days in ‘Akká and Haifa, learning and being inspired by the history of the Bahá'í Faith.
 

The visit to the International Archives building was so spectacular. We saw what the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and many more people during this time wore, possessed, and wrote. In the Archives, the photos of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb were beautiful and inspiring. While we sat in the breezy, cool Archives building, praying right next to the photos of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, I was touched deep down in my heart.
 

No gardens around the world can look so much more beautiful than the gardens surrounding the Shrines, especially at Bahjí. Everything in the garden was so perfect that walking through it made me want to work in these gardens . . . to do service for Bahá’u’lláh.
 

Our family on a terrace below the Shrine of the Báb.

 

We visited the prison-city of ‘Akká, and where Bahá’u’lláh stayed in the prison cell for those dreadful years. We should look up to Bahá’u’lláh as a pure example of how we should act in our daily lives. He must have struggled in the cell, and we, facing minor difficulties and problems in our lives, should learn to overcome them.

After our many joyful and inspiring days of pilgrimage, the last day arrived (to me, really quickly). Pilgrimage was the most spiritual experience of my life that I will never forget. I am most definitely looking forward to going back to Haifa, either for my year of service or for another pilgrimage experience.

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