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.”
ABDU’L-BAHA – Servant of Glory is a special Baha’i Blog video made in honor of Abdu’l-Baha, the eldest son of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith.
As this year marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of Abdu’l-Baha, we wanted to create something special to honor this special year, a year which the Universal House of Justice wrote: “will undoubtedly prompt individuals and communities alike to contemplate the significance of that infinitely poignant moment when He Who was the Mystery of God departed from this world.”
Born in Persia in 1844 and named Abbas, Abdu’l-Baha was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. From the age of 8, He shared His Father’s exile and imprisonment for 58 years. Throughout His life He demonstrated praiseworthy qualities. Baha’u’llah referred to Him as “the Master”, “the Mystery of God” and “a shelter for all mankind.” He preferred to be called “Abdu’l-Baha”, meaning “the Servant of Baha”, in reference to His servitude to Baha’u’llah and His teachings. Abdu’l-Baha was known for His loving kindness, selfless spirit of service, and generosity, especially towards those in need. During the First World War, He organized extensive agricultural operations to feed the hungry and avert famine in the Holy Land. In Baha’u’llah’s will and testament, He instructed all to turn to Abdu’l-Baha as the authorized interpreter of the Baha’i Writings and also as the perfect exemplar of the Baha’i Faith’s spirit and teachings. When finally released from prison, Abdu’l-Baha traveled to Egypt, Europe, and North America, to promote the Baha’i teachings. He gave public talks and interviews, and met with people from all walks of life. Wellesley Tudor Pole wrote: “Abdu’l-Baha made an impression on all who met him by his dignity, friendliness, and his aura of spiritual authority. His blue-grey eyes radiated a luminosity of their own and his hands were beautiful in their grace and healing magnetism.” Lady Blomfield wrote: “He seemed an incarnation of loving understanding, of compassion and power, of wisdom and authority, of strength, and of a buoyant youthfulness, which somehow defied the burden of His years; and such years!” Abdu’l-Baha passed away in the Holy Land in 1921. He was 77. Thousands of people from various religions and backgrounds attended His funeral. 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.” He dedicated His life to promoting Baha’u’llah’s teachings on world peace, racial unity, and social justice. On the equality of women and men, Abdu’l-Baha said: “The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly.” On the abolishment of prejudice He counseled: “Love ye all religions and all races with a love that is true and sincere and show that love through deeds and not through the tongue…” And on peace, Abdu’l-Baha said: “When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.” When asked how He felt about being freed from prison, Abdu’l-Baha said: “Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition.” Baha’is reflect on the life of Abdu’l-Baha and try to follow His example. “To be a Baha’i simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.” -Abdu’l-Baha
Image credits: Baha’i Media Bank; Envato Elements; Dreamstime.
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.