19 Beautiful Quotations of Abdu’l-Baha on Instagram

On Baha’i Blog’s Instagram account, you’ll find photos, artwork and Baha’i quotations put to images. We love to share photos from others, whether it’s a stunning photo of a House of Worship at dawn, or a beautiful handmade prayer book cover. But we also share content of our own. In honor of the Ascension of Abdu’-Baha and the Day of the Covenant, we wanted to share 19 of our most beloved quotations of Abdu’l-Baha. While the quotations shared on the images are short, you’ll find larger extracts in the description or caption. And if you feel so moved, you can read the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha online here at the Baha’i Reference Library.

 

 

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“You must manifest complete love and affection toward all mankind. Do not exalt yourselves above others, but consider all as your equals, recognizing them as the servants of one God. Know that God is compassionate toward all; therefore, love all from the depths of your hearts, prefer all religionists before yourselves, be filled with love for every race, and be kind toward the people of all nationalities. Never speak disparagingly of others, but praise without distinction. Pollute not your tongues by speaking evil of another. Recognize your enemies as friends, and consider those who wish you evil as the wishers of good. You must not see evil as evil and then compromise with your opinion, for to treat in a smooth, kindly way one whom you consider evil or an enemy is hypocrisy, and this is not worthy or allowable. You must consider your enemies as your friends, look upon your evil-wishers as your well-wishers and treat them accordingly. Act in such a way that your heart may be free from hatred. Let not your heart be offended with anyone. If some one commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him. Do not complain of others. Refrain from reprimanding them, and if you wish to give admonition or advice, let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer. Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts. Beware! Beware! lest ye offend any heart. Assist the world of humanity as much as possible. Be the source of consolation to every sad one, assist every weak one, be helpful to every indigent one, care for every sick one, be the cause of glorification to every lowly one, and shelter those who are overshadowed by fear. In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity. Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity. Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá #bahai #bahaiwritings (Hat tip to @radiant_heart who featured this quote a few weeks ago!)

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This quote attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (relayed by one Mirza Ahmad Sohrab) is from Star of the West vol 9, page 141 (in the archives) The full passage is quite a marvellous read: . . . . “The darkness of this gloomy night shall pass away. Again the Sun of Reality will dawn from the horizon of the hearts. Have patience, wait but do not sit idle; work while you are waiting; smile when you are wearied with monotony; be firm while everything around you is being shaken; be joyous while the ugly face of despair grins at you; speak aloud while the malevolent forces of the nether world try to crush your mind; be valiant and courageous while men all around you are cringing with fear and cowardice. Do not yield to the overwhelming power of tyranny and despotism. Serve the cause of democracy and freedom. Continue your journey to the end. The bright day is coming. The nucleus of the new race is forming. The harbinger of the new ideals of international justice is appearing. The trees of hope will become verdant; the copper of scorn and derision will be transmuted into the gold of honor and praise; the arid desert of ignorance will be transformed into the luxuriant garden of knowledge; the threatening clouds shall be dispelled and the stars of faith and charity will again twinkle in the clear heaven of consciousness.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá #bahai #bahaiwritings

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From a Tablet written to the maid-servant Ta-er, of Tehran, Persia by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “O bird of the Rose-garden of Fidelity! Be of no cheerless heart; have no wing nor feather broken; sigh not, neither do thou wail, and sit not chilled in a corner. The little girl lamented is in the divine Rose-garden in the highest happiness, delight, cheerfulness and gratification. Why then art thou grieved, sorrowing with a bleeding heart? This is the day of rejoicing and the hour of ecstasy! This is the season of the dead arising from the graves and gathering together! And this is the promised time for the attainment of plenteous grace. Be calm, be strong, be grateful, and become a lamp full of light, that the darkness of sorrows be annihilated, and that the sun of everlasting joy arise from the dawning-place of heart and soul, shining brightly. Upon thee be the Glory of the Most-Glorious!” —‘Abdu’l-Bahá #bahai #bahaiwritings

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“Wherefore must the loved ones of God associate in affectionate fellowship with stranger and friend alike, showing forth to all the utmost loving-kindness, disregarding the degree of their capacity, never asking whether they deserve to be loved. In every instance let the friends be considerate and infinitely kind. Let them never be defeated by the malice of the people, by their aggression and their hate, no matter how intense. If others hurl their darts against you, offer them milk and honey in return; if they poison your lives, sweeten their souls; if they injure you, teach them how to be comforted; if they inflict a wound upon you, be a balm to their sores; if they sting you, hold to their lips a refreshing cup.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá #bahai #bahaiwritings

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“To most men who have not heard the message of this teaching, religion seems an outward form, a pretence, merely a seal of respectability. Some priests are in holy office for no other reason than to gain their living. They themselves do not believe in the religion they pretend to teach. Would these men lay down their lives for their faith? Ask a Christian of this kind to deny Christ in order to save his life, and he will do it. Ask a Bahá’í to deny any of the great Prophets, to deny his faith or to deny Moses, Muḥammad or Christ, and he will say: I would rather die. So a Muḥammadan Bahá’í is a better Christian than many so called Christians. A Bahá’í denies no religion; he accepts the Truth in all, and would die to uphold it. He loves all men as his brothers, of whatever class, of whatever race or nationality, of whatever creed or colour, whether good or bad, rich or poor, beautiful or hideous. He commits no violence; if he is struck he does not return the blow. He calls nothing bad, following the example of the Lord Bahá’u’lláh. As a safeguard against intemperance he does not drink wine or spirits. Bahá’u’lláh has said it is not good for a sane man to take that which will destroy his health and sense. The religion of God has two aspects in this world. The spiritual (the real) and the formal (the outward). The formal side changes, as man changes from age to age. The spiritual side which is the Truth, never changes. The Prophets and Manifestations of God bring always the same teaching; at first men cling to the Truth but after a time they disfigure it. The Truth is distorted by man-made outward forms and material laws. The veil of substance and worldliness is drawn across the reality of Truth.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá #bahai #bahaiwritings

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“Abdu’l-Bahá’s interest in women’s work and progress is well known, and among the notable leaders who came to see him, may be mentioned Mrs. Annie Besant, President of the Theosophical Society, the organizers of various suffrage bodies, civic and philanthropic workers, the principals of several woman’s colleges and lady doctors. A spirited conversation due to the visit of an ardent suffragist will be long remembered by those who had the privilege of being present. The room was full of men and women, many Persians being seated in their familiar respectful attitude on the floor. After contrasting the general position of the Eastern and the Western women, and then describing how in many respects the Eastern woman has the advantage of her Western sister, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá turned and said to the visitor: “Give me your reasons for believing that woman today should have the vote?” Answer: “I believe that humanity is a divine humanity and that it must rise higher and higher; but it cannot soar with only one wing.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá expressed his pleasure at this answer, and smiling, replied: “But what will you do if one wing is stronger than the other?” Answer: “Then we must strengthen the weaker wing, otherwise the flight will always be hampered.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá smiled and asked: “What will you say if I prove to you that the woman is the stronger wing?” The answer came in the same bright vein: “You will earn my eternal gratitude!” at which all the company made merry. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá then continued more seriously: “The woman is indeed of the greater importance to the race. She has the greater burden and the greater work. Look at the vegetable and the animal worlds. The palm which carries the fruit is the tree most prized by the date grower. The Arab knows that for a long journey the mare has the longest wind. For her greater strength and fierceness, the lioness is more feared by the hunter than the lion. The mere size of the brain has been proved to be no measure of superiority. The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis. If necessary she can become a warrior.” — Abdu’l-Bahá in London #bahai

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Happy International Women’s Day! 🙌 “Therefore, strive to show in the human world that women are most capable and efficient, that their hearts are more tender and susceptible than the hearts of men, that they are more philanthropic and responsive toward the needy and suffering, that they are inflexibly opposed to war and are lovers of peace. Strive that the ideal of international peace may become realized through the efforts of womankind, for man is more inclined to war than woman, and a real evidence of woman’s superiority will be her service and efficiency in the establishment of universal peace.” — (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 284) #bahai #pressforprogress

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“You must manifest complete love and affection toward all mankind. Do not exalt yourselves above others, but consider all as your equals, recognizing them as the servants of one God. Know that God is compassionate toward all; therefore, love all from the depths of your hearts, prefer all religionists before yourselves, be filled with love for every race, and be kind toward the people of all nationalities. Never speak disparagingly of others, but praise without distinction. Pollute not your tongues by speaking evil of another. Recognize your enemies as friends, and consider those who wish you evil as the wishers of good. You must not see evil as evil and then compromise with your opinion, for to treat in a smooth, kindly way one whom you consider evil or an enemy is hypocrisy, and this is not worthy or allowable. You must consider your enemies as your friends, look upon your evil-wishers as your well-wishers and treat them accordingly. Act in such a way that your heart may be free from hatred. Let not your heart be offended with anyone. If some one commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him. Do not complain of others. Refrain from reprimanding them, and if you wish to give admonition or advice, let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer. Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts. Beware! Beware! lest ye offend any heart. Assist the world of humanity as much as possible. Be the source of consolation to every sad one, assist every weak one, be helpful to every indigent one, care for every sick one, be the cause of glorification to every lowly one, and shelter those who are overshadowed by fear. In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity. Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity. Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá #bahai #bahaiwritings

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“Tests are benefits from God, for which we should thank Him. Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting… Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit. The labourer cuts up the earth with his plough, and from that earth comes the rich and plentiful harvest. The more a man is chastened, the greater is the harvest of spiritual virtues shown forth by him. A soldier is no good General until he has been in the front of the fiercest battle and has received the deepest wounds.” [Paris Talks Pages 50-51] #bahai #bahaiwritings

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“All who stand up in the cause of God will be persecuted and misunderstood. It hath ever been so, and will ever be. Let neither enemy nor friend disturb your composure, destroy your happiness, deter your accomplishment. Rely wholly upon God. Then will persecution and slander make you the more radiant. The designs of your enemies will rebound upon them. They, not you, will suffer. Oppression is the wind that doth fan the fire of the Love of God. Welcome persecution and bitterness. A soldier may bear arms, but until he hath faced the enemy in battle he hath not earned his place in the king’s army. Let nothing defeat you. God is your helper. God is invincible. Be firm in the Heavenly Covenant. Pray for strength. It will be given to you, no matter how difficult the conditions.” (`Abdu’l-Bahá, in “Star of the West”, vol. 4, no. 5 (5 June 1913), p. 88 — revised translation) #bahai #bahaiwritings

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“…ye must conduct yourselves in such a manner that ye may stand out distinguished and brilliant as the sun among other souls. Should any one of you enter a city, he should become a centre of attraction by reason of his sincerity, his faithfulness and love, his honesty and fidelity, his truthfulness and loving-kindness towards all the peoples of the world, so that the people of that city may cry out and say: ‘This man is unquestionably a Bahá’í, for his manners, his behaviour, his conduct, his morals, his nature, and disposition reflect the attributes of the Bahá’ís.’ — (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 70) #bahai #bahaiwritings

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About the Author

Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a mother, a wife and a bookworm but professionally she is a museologist and a library technician. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

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Discussion 2 Comments

  1. Hi Friends,
    These beautiful quotes, some of which I wasn’t familiar with, moved me very much. Thank you for also supplying the context from which they came.
    My favorite blog!

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