Ustad ‘Ali Ashraf was a well-known architect, who designed and built most of the big governmental and national buildings (‘Qafqaziyyih’, 1867).
‘Abdu’l-Bahá named one of the exterior doors to the Shrine of Bab after Ustad ‘Ali Ashraf. Named Bab-i-Ashraf. Two doors, one facing north towards ‘Akka and the other on the eastern side of the Shrine. They are named for Ustad Aqa ‘Ali-Ashraf and Ustad Aqa Bala, sons of Mulla Abu-Talib. These two brothers were master-masons who went on pilgrimage from their native town of Baku, Russia, and with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’í permission remained for some time in the Holy Land. During this period, they devoted their efforts to the construction of the Shrine and offered financial contributions towards the project.
Smith, Peter. A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá’í Faith. Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land. The Bahá’í Faith 1844-1963 Information and Comparative.
Baha’i World Centre Archives