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Abdu'l-Bahá: The Exemplar of Bahá'í Life

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`Abdu’l-Bahá is the name by which Bahá’u’lláh’s son and appointed successor, Abbas Effendi, is commonly known. `Abdu’l-Bahá means “Servant of Baha.” In 1892 He was designated by Bahá’u’lláh as the “Center of the Covenant” toward whom all Bahá’ís should turn, the authorized interpreter of His father’s writings and the perfect example of how to live a Bahá’í life.

Born in Tehran, He and His family were alternately imprisoned and exiled during much of `Abdu’l-Bahá's life. By the age of 64 after forty years imprisonment `Abdu’l-Bahá was freed by the Young Turks and He and His family began to live in relative safety. His journeys to the West, and His “Tablets of the Divine Plan” spread the Bahá’í message beyond its middle-eastern roots, and His Will and Testament laid the foundation for the current Bahá’í administrative order.

Throughout the Occident and the Orient, `Abdu’l-Bahá was known as an ambassador of peace, a champion of justice, and the leading exponent of a new Faith. Through a series of epoch-making travels across North America and Europe, `Abdu’l-Bahá—by word and example—proclaimed with persuasiveness and force the essential principles of His Father’s religion. Affirming that “Love is the most great law” that is the foundation of “true civilization,” and that the “supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity” among all its peoples, `Abdu’l-Bahá reached out to leaders and the meek alike, to every soul who crossed His path.

During His visit to North America He visited many missions, churches, and groups, as well as having scores of meetings in Bahá’ís’ homes, and offering innumerable personal meetings with hundreds of people. During His talks He proclaimed Bahá’í principles such as the unity of God, unity of the religions, oneness of humanity, equality of women and men, world peace, and economic justice. He also insisted that all His meetings be open to all races. His visit and talks were the subject of hundreds of newspaper articles.

“Love gives life to the lifeless. Love lights a flame in the heart that is cold. Love brings hope to the hopeless and gladdens the hearts of the sorrowful. In the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love.”

— `Abdu’l-Bahá

Commemorations

Day of the Covenant (Nov 26)

Bahá’ís commemorate Bahá’u’lláh’s appointment of His eldest son, `Abdu’l-Bahá, as the Center of His Covenant.

 

Ascension of `Abdu’l-Bahá (Nov 28)

Bahá’ís observe the anniversary of the death of `Abdu’l-Bahá, son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor, on Nov 28, 1921 in Haifa, in what is now northern Israel.