In His Will, Baha’u’llah instructed all to turn to His eldest Son, Abdu’l-Baha, not only as the authorized interpreter of the Baha’i Writings but also as the perfect exemplar of the Baha’i Faith’s spirit and teachings. Every year Baha’is celebrate Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of Baha’u’llah Covenant.
Abdu’l-Baha was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah who referred to Him as “the Mystery of God” and “a shelter for all mankind”, however Abdu’l-Baha preferred to be called “Abdu’l-Baha” which means “the Servant of Baha” in reference to His servitude to Baha’u’llah. When Abdu’l-Baha passed away on 28 November 1921, He was eulogized as One who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” as a “pillar of peace” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”
This video, created and produced by filmmaker Flavio Azm Rassekh, is called “Abdu’l-Baha – Walking the Chosen Highway”. It features historical photographs of Abdu’l-Baha, as well as contemporary photographs of Baha’i community building activities from all over the world.
The quotations depicted are the following:
“I am walking in my chosen highway; I know the destination. Hundreds of storms and tempests may rage furiously around my head; hundreds of Titanics may sink to the bottom of the sea, the mad waves may rise to the roof of heaven; all these will not change my purpose, will not disturb me in the least; I will not look either to the right or to the left; I am looking ahead, far, far. Piercing through the impenetrable darkness of the night, the howling winds, the raging storms, I see the glorious Light beckoning me forward, forward. The balmy weather is coming, and the voyager shall land safely.”
– Abdu’l-Baha, quoted in Star of the West, Volume IV, No. 12
“Never lose thy trust in God… be thou not hopeless under any circumstances…”
– Abdu’l-Baha, from Selections of the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha
Flavio shared with us the following:
“The idea for the video came right at the beginning of the pandemic when it was hitting really hard a few countries in Europe and the eastern part of the US. I kept thinking, ‘What would Abdu’l-Baha encourage us to do in a situation like this?’ When I found this quote the whole edit of the film came to me as if it was ready, along with a Ludovico Eunadi song, and all the images of the friends around the world engaged in service. Once it was ready and we sent it out over Whatsapp it went viral very quickly and we got requests to post it on YouTube and other platforms. Since the soundtrack was copyrighted, we had to find someone to compose the new music — that’s when Eric Harper joined us with this fantastic track. This version of the video is a bit different from the first one but still delivers the same message.
We hope viewers share the video with friends and maybe consider consulting about the last messages of the House of Justice on what individuals and communities can do to alleviate the sufferings of their fellow citizens. Above all, my understanding of the message of the Master is that we should never lose hope, even in the most difficult times, when trials come from every direction and we might think that our lives have no purpose or meaning.”
He also created ‘Breaking the Chains: The Story of the Girls Schools in Iran’, an animation about the historical role Baha’is played in bringing education to girls in 1900s Iran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buow34lQiEs
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.