Thank You Abdu’l-Baha

Baha'i Abdu’l-Baha

Photo taken of Abdu’l-Baha in 1912, New Hampshire, United States (Courtesy: Baha’i Media Bank)

There are thousands of reasons we can all be thankful for as Baha’is, and as there are two significant days on the Baha’i calendar this week — the Day of the Covenant followed a couple of days later by the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha — something I’ve been personally reflecting on recently is the gratitude we owe Abdu’l-Baha for so many of the things which we perhaps take for granted relating to the Faith.

I’m sure we each have our own special relationship with Abdu’l-Baha, and as we continue to work towards understanding the special station of Abdu’l-Baha and the significant role He played in the course of Baha’i history and the covenant, I’m sure we could come up with a list of hundreds of reasons we all need to thank Him.

On that note, in honour of celebrating the Day of the Covenant, I thought it would be interesting to see how many things we could thank Abdu’l-Baha for, by asking you all to leave something in the ‘Comments’ section below. It can be anything which comes to mind such as a book you’re reading like Paris Talks, a prayer by Abdu’l-Baha which you particularly like, or something you’ve been reflecting on lately.

I’ll get things started in the ‘Comments’ section below, so please join me, and happy Day of the Covenant everyone!

[Please note that all comments are moderated and do not appear in immediately.]

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Discussion 41 Comments

  1. The Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Bahá is such an awesome document of which I am most grateful to Abdu’l-Bahá. Studying it over and over again reveals new things of the past and of the future and helps me to be firm in the Covenant.Thank you for asking Naysan!

  2. This I posted today on my facebook page for this Holy Day the Day of the Covenant, also I have recently used this in a English/Portuguese language lesson with a Brazilian friend, as it such a inspiring quote from Abdu`i – Baha

    My home is a home of peace.
    My home is a home of joy and delight.
    My home is the home of laughter and exultation.
    Whosoever enters through the portals of this home,
    Must go out with gladsome heart.
    This is the home of light: whosoever enters here must become illumined.
    This is the home of knowledge: the one who enters it must receive knowledge.
    This is the home of love: those who come in must learn the lessons of love;
    Thus may they know how to love each other.
    – Bahá’í Scripture, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

  3. A couple of days ago I heard something fall, so I started searching around the house to see what it was. A framed photo of ‘Abdu’l-Baha had “jumped” off the bookcase where it has been sitting for several years. It fell on the floor behind my husband’s chair. I thought, How Weird, and acknowledged that ‘Abu’l-Baha had certainly gotten my attention. I texted my husband about it.
    Later that day, I was away from home and my husband was home instead. He texted me “Did you pick up that picture of ‘Abdu’l-Baha?”.
    I said Yes, I’d put it back on the bookshelf. My husband then told me the picture of ‘Abdu’l-Baha was on the floor again, behind his chair!
    Nothing had changed on the shelf. We both were thankful for ‘Abdu’l-Baha getting our attention.

  4. Thank you for the Guardian. We didn’t deserve him, and we likely sent him to an early grave. But our “true brother” gave us a clarity of vision and unity of purpose that electrified our community and continues to light our way. Thank you.

  5. In times of any difficulty with another individual, I recite the inscription which Abdu’l-Bahá wrote in the copy of Seven Valleys when He presented it to Howard Colby Ives, then I visualize introducing the two of them to each other. I imagine them talking together about the difficult situation. Some of the results have been, figuratively, miraculous! Some I could not survived without Abdu’l-Bahá’s intervention!

    Take the inscription apart, word by word to get the full impact. Can you imagine, in any other scenerio, referring to someone who is behaving like a real scumbag, as “…this revered personage”? Changes the entire dynamics of the difficult situation! Think of the impact that must have on the troublemaker’s soul!

    Thank you, Abdu’l-Bahá!
    jeri

  6. O compassionate God!

    O compassionate God! Thanks be to Thee for Thou hast awakened and made me conscious. Thou hast given me a seeing eye and favored me with a hearing ear, hast led me to Thy kingdom and guided me to Thy path. Thou hast shown me the right way and caused me to enter the ark of deliverance. O God! Keep me steadfast and make me firm and staunch. Protect me from violent tests and preserve and shelter me in the strongly fortified fortress of Thy Covenant and Testament. Thou art the Powerful. Thou art the Seeing. Thou art the Hearing.

    O Thou the Compassionate God. Bestow upon me a heart which, like unto a glass, may be illumined with the light of Thy love, and confer upon me thoughts which may change this world into a rose garden through the outpourings of heavenly grace.

    Thou art the Compassionate, the Merciful. Thou art the Great Beneficent God.

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  7. My favorite prayer: “O God, refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers…” I am so grateful for this prayer. Thank you, Abdu’l-Baha.

  8. One of my favourite prayers is by Abdu’l-Bahá:

    O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

    O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

    Thank you for giving me this prayer during some very difficult times.

  9. I’m grateful to ‘Abdu’l-Baha for constantly being in my life as an example and point of reference for things that I do or say. I often ask myself “what would ‘Abdu’l-Baha do in this situation?” I think it helps me to be a better person.

  10. I am constantly thanking Abdu’l-Baha for the gentle and logical explanations he gives to questions we all have on matters relating to this world – as seen in Paris Talks and Some Answered Questions. I always hear myself saying “Yes! That makes so much sense!”. I feel his words are so easy to relate to, and I feel comfortable sharing them with friends who have never come across the Faith. So thank you Abdu’l-Baha for addressing us in such a manner.

  11. Iam always grateful to Abdu’l-Baha because of His Book on Some Answered Questions.Having declared into the Faith is not that easy coming from a christian background and in order for me to really know the Baha’i Faith I had to do a lot of study.Although I declared I still had so many doubts and confused on some issues and have questions in my mind.I really don’t know where to start.When I read Abdu’l-Baha’s Book on Some Answered Questions,it had really helped me and the kind of issues in my mind has all gone..Thank you Abdu’l-Baha if you were alive today it would have being so different……

  12. Jeri Corbin, what did ‘Abdu’l-Baha write to Howard Colby Ives. Is it stated in ‘Portals to Freedom’? I don’t recall it.

    I’m most grateful to ‘Abdu’l-Baha for the great sacrifices He made to travel through Europe and America. His talks on the nature of man, the soul, mind and spirit have been so transformative to me. I came into the Faith as a truly broken-winged bird…in no way imagining myself capable of a being a living soul with some power to take on virtues. I was brought up to believe, in my childhood and adolescence, that my spiritual future was based on some miraculous experience of being ‘saved’ from sin, an experience I had little ability to participate in.
    Although I have been studying these marvelous teachings for many years now, there is still much to contemplate and take on. It certainly is a ‘far-stretching path’, an adventurous journey, which has become ever more intriguing.

  13. I am thankful to ‘Abdu’l-Baha for constantly loving me, no matter what, even when I don’t love myself. His love is unconditional and I cannot express enough the gratitude I feel for this.

  14. Whenever I do something or go to do something I think to myself “What would Abdu’l-Baha have done ?” I am not the best of human beings but it has kept me from doing many silly things. When I reread the story of His life, I weep at how consistently kind, humble, wise and loving He was. To me as wonderful as Baha’u’llah was, His son is the human being I best relate to. I will be grateful to Abdu’l-Baha every day of my life for His example and His ability to make me feel like He is reachable no matter where I am or what I am doing. Thank you God for Abdu’l-Baha.

  15. Abd’ul-Baha’s writing on the education of children is just so good – it is practical & helpful. He has set us a wonderful example in so many ways.

  16. There are not enough words to describe how much I am grateful that You are Abdul Baha, The Perfect Exemplar. Whenever I make choices, bad times or good times, I look at your examples and beg Your assistance to be with me .

    “… I am with you always, whether living or dead. I am with you to the end.”

    Star of the West, vol XII, no.16.page 250

  17. I am grateful to ‘Abdu’l-Baha for the Shrine of the Bab.

    I love this quote from His wife, Munirih Khanum referring to the time when she was newly married.

    “You have known Him in recent years, but then , in the youth of His beauty and manly vigour, with His unfailing love, His kindness, His cheerfulness, His sense of humour, His untiring consideration for everybody, He was marvellous, without equal, surely in all the earth!”

    (Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees by Baharieh Rouhani Ma’ani. P. 320)

  18. Without a doubt, the Covenant was the weightiest document ever revealed for the unification of the planet and its peoples. Because of the unequivocal language of this document, no schisms are possible within the Faith – a fact which no other divinely-revealed religion can claim. But beyond this, He served His Father with tireless and truly selfless devotion, doing His utmost to protect Him from the evil machinations of the Covenant-Breakers, who tried for decades to destroy Him. And of course, I’m thankful for His travels to the West, where he tirelessly spread the teachings of the new Dispensation, even at the risk of His own health. He was the Perfect Exemplar of our Faith, and the most any of us can hope for is to attain even a modicum of His devotion. His life was (and still is) truly an inspiration.

  19. Abdu’l-Baha; the perfect example of what a perfectly lived life looks like. He encourages us to strive to become better Baha’is ‘little by little, day by day’. He is the perfect ‘coach’, not running the race for us, but cheering us on every step of the way. His guidance, along with our sincere efforts, leads to all that is good, true and holy.

  20. I thank ‘Abdu’l-Baha for his sense of humor.
    There are sometimes when nothing seems bright, there are so many awful things going on in the world. I remember that ‘Abdu’l-Baha told us that we must be happy and told us that in Akka the family was happy together and would laugh…..in that awful prison they would laugh?

    Well then there must be something bright to make me laugh, or at least be happy. I usually find it when I look. Thank you ‘Abdu’l-Baha, for reminding me to look through the bounty of Baha’i insight.

    Unfortunately I do not remember where I read this.

  21. He is the saviour of my life. I always think of the sacrifices He had for us and went through so much to bring us together. I am thankful to Him for all His loving kindness.

  22. Abdu’l-Baha helps me to see the beauty in all things, life, and would never leave a problem unattended to! Thank you the “Center of the Covenant”

  23. I thank Abdu’l-Baha for letting me be a better person. Whenever I’m in a sticky situation, and don’t know what to do, I always remember all the beautiful stories of Abdu’l-Baha I grew up reading, and somehow it all becomes clear. Abdu’l-Baha makes me a better person every single day, and I am so thankful for that.

  24. Abdu’L-Bahá makes the message of Bahá’ú´lláh reachable for me. So all my thanks ang gratitude.
    Marie-Pierre From France

  25. I’m thankful because He shows us that ANYthing is possible. The reason why I try to be better is because of everything that He demonstrated for us. I’m thankful for the way He lived His life and sacrificed for everyone. I’m thankful that we can learn every action from Him.

  26. Without Shoghi Effendi the Cause would never have developed as it should. It would have been shredded by the believers with their own ideas. Thank you Abdu’l Baha for Shoghi Effendi’s Guardianship.

  27. I am so grateful that we have the Perfect Exemplar to refer to in every situation. He was human but He was divine. He helps us to put things in perspective all the time. How can we be sad when He was always so happy, even in prison. The story of Lea Getzinger trying to follow in Her Master’s footsteps always makes me laugh, and reminds me that nothing I can experience can ever be bad enough to grieve over!

  28. We need Abdu’l Baha here today to re unify people. My husband is severely disabled owing to an accident 22 years ago. Don has been left with an inability to write and only has a few words of speech yet has never lost his Faith no matter how frustrating his life is. He loves the photos of Abdu’l Baha on his wall and looks at them when feeling a need for help. We are so blessed to have photos and stories of Him. As a previous comment said we just think what Abdu’l Baha would say about someone before going off the deep end!!. Don indicates in his own way that Abdu’l Baha is within and near him all the time which helps keep him happy. So thank you Abdu’l Baha for everything.

  29. Bahá’u’lláh, like the Sun, was “unapproachable in the transcendent brightness of His glory”, “preeminent in holiness, awesome in the majesty of His strength and power.” He graciously gave us the Moon, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to gaze and to somewhat comprehend without getting blind and befuddled, and to emulate in whatever humble way we can. His was a “vibrant personality”, “mysterious in His essence, unique in His station, astoundingly potent in both the charm and strength of His character.”

    Thank you Bahá’u’lláh for your beloved Firstborn!

  30. I’m thankful for his interpretations of Baha’u’llah’s writings. As well as the way he set the example everyone should live by.

  31. thanks so much for this post . we are all grateful to our blessed Master Abdul Baha many thanks for his presence in our daily life through his prayer & explanation of principles of Bahai faith greeting .
    Dr basma moussa

  32. Every time I think of my baby niece I recall to mind how much the Beloved Master loves children and I pray Him to kindly watch over her, protect her, guide her… and all the kids here and there.
    What a priceless gift of God the Master is!

  33. THANK YOU NAYSAN FOR GIVING THIS WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY. TO BE TRUTHFUL NOTHING ISOLATED COMES TO THE MIND BCOZ EVERY DAY I THANK ABDUL BAHA FOR EVERY THING HE HAS GIVEN TO ME IN THIS LIFE, IF IT WAS NOT FOR ABDUL BAHA I THINK I WOULD HAVE NEVER HAD THE BOUNTY TO RECEIVE THIS MIGHTY FAITH OF BAHAULLAH. ONE THING I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO THANK ABDUL BAHA FROM ALL MY HEART IS FOR THE WONDERFUL IMAGES (PHOTOGRAPHS) WHICH HE HAS LEFT BEHIND FOR US. iT’S THE SOURCE OF GREATEST INSPIRATION FOR ME, EVERY TIME I LOOK AT IT, IT REMINDS ME A LOT AND BRINGS ABOUT UNBELIEVABLE TRANSFORMATION (CHANGES) WITH IN ME. .

  34. I am thankful to Abdu’l-Baha for His infinite love to every human being. When I think of Abdu’l-Baha all I feel is love.

    I also thank Abdu’l-Baha for His effect on children, they can connect with Him so easily and know He is special, without one having to emphasize it. None of the children in my children’s class are Baha’is, yet from the very first time I told them a story of Abdu’l-Baha they immediately memorised His name and would always ask me if the following stories were also about Him as well. Likewise, when my grandfather passed away and we had to explain it to my 4 year old nephew, I was wondering how you explain the next world to a child. My sister-in-law just told my nephew that he is with Abdu’l-Baha now. It certainly satisfied my nephew, but I cannot express the gladness that image brought to my mind!

  35. I am very grateful that ‘Abdu’l-Baha is our exemplar and I am thankful for the rich legacy of stories that tell us about Him. They are a balm in times of difficulty, they provide guidance for our growth and lessons for our children, they give us perspective, and they make us smile and laugh.

  36. The purpose is to emphasize the statement that consultation must have for its object the investigation of truth. He who expresses an opinion should not voice it as correct and right but set it forth as a contribution to the consensus of opinion, for the light of reality becomes apparent when two opinions coincide. A spark is produced when flint and steel come together. Man should weigh his opinions with the utmost serenity, calmness and composure. Before expressing his own views he should carefully consider the views already advanced by others. If he finds that a previously expressed opinion is more true and worthy, he should accept it immediately and not willfully hold to an opinion of his own. By this excellent method he endeavors to arrive at unity and truth. Opposition and division are deplorable. It is better then to have the opinion of a wise, sagacious man; otherwise, contradiction and altercation, in which varied and divergent views are presented, will make it necessary for a judicial body to render decision upon the question. Even a majority opinion or consensus may be incorrect. A thousand people may hold to one view and be mistaken, whereas one sagacious person may be right. Therefore, true consultation is spiritual conference in the attitude and atmosphere of love. Members must love each other in the spirit of fellowship in order that good results may be forthcoming. Love and fellowship are the foundation.

    The most memorable instance of spiritual consultation was the meeting of the disciples of Jesus Christ upon the mount after His ascension. They said, “Jesus Christ has been crucified, and we have no longer association and intercourse with Him in His physical body; therefore, we must be loyal and faithful to Him, we must be grateful and appreciate Him, for He has raised us from the dead, He made us wise, He has given us eternal life. What shall we do to be faithful to Him?” And so they held council. One of them said, “We must detach ourselves from the chains and fetters of the world; otherwise, we cannot be faithful.” The others replied, “That is so.” Another said, “Either we must be married and faithful to our wives and children or serve our Lord free from these ties. We cannot be occupied with the care and provision for families and at the same time herald the Kingdom in the wilderness. Therefore, let those who are unmarried remain so, and those who have married provide means of sustenance and comfort for their families and then go forth to spread the message of glad-tidings.” There were no dissenting voices; all agreed, saying, “That is right.” A third disciple said, “To perform worthy deeds in the Kingdom we must be further self-sacrificing. From now on we should forego ease and bodily comfort, accept every difficulty, forget self and teach the Cause of God.” This found acceptance and approval by all the others. Finally a fourth disciple said, “There is still another aspect to our faith and unity. For Jesus’ sake we shall be beaten, imprisoned and exiled. They may kill us. Let us receive this lesson now. Let us realize and resolve that though we are beaten, banished, cursed, spat upon and led forth to be killed, we shall accept all this joyfully, loving those who hate and wound us.” All the disciples replied, “Surely we will — it is agreed; this is right.” Then they descended from the summit of the mountain, and each went forth in a different direction upon his divine mission.

    This was true consultation. This was spiritual consultation and not the mere voicing of personal views in parliamentary opposition and debate.

    (“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, 2nd ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982), pp. 72-73)

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