149 The Lord Hath Decreed That The Dead Should Be Interred In Coffins #128

In the Bayan, the Bab prescribed that the deceased should be interred in a

coffin made of crystal or polished stone. Shoghi Effendi, in a letter

written on his behalf, explained that the significance of this provision

was to show respect for the human body which was once exalted by the

immortal soul of man.

In brief, the Baha'i law for the burial of the dead states that it is

forbidden to carry the body for more than one hour's journey from the

place of death; that the body should be wrapped in a shroud of silk or

cotton, and on its finger should be placed a ring bearing the inscription

I came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached from all save Him,

holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate; and that the

coffin should be of crystal, stone or hard fine wood. A specific Prayer

for the Dead (see note 10) is ordained, to be said before interment. As

affirmed by 'Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian, this law precludes cremation of

the dead. The formal prayer and the ring are meant to be used for those

who have attained the age of maturity, i.e. 15 years of age (Q and A 70).

With regard to the material from which the coffin is to be made, the

spirit of the law is that coffins should be of as durable a material as

possible. Hence, the Universal House of Justice has explained that, in

addition to the materials specified in the Aqdas, there is no objection to

using the hardest wood available or concrete for the casket. For the

present, the Baha'is are left free to make their own choices in this


148 The First Hath Been Adorned With This Name Which Overshadoweth The Whole Of Creation #127 14: O Friends! Abandon Not The Everlasting Beauty For A Beauty facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail