Service to Others
Source: Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha
Service to God, to Baha’u’llah, to family, to friends and enemies, indeed to all mankind – this was the pattern of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s life. He wished only to be the Servant of God and man. To serve – rather than being demeaning and unfulfilling – was honour, joy and fulfilment. This motivated His entire day from dawn to after midnight. He used to say, ‘Nothing is too much trouble when one loves, and there is always time.’
‘Abdu’l-Baha said, ‘. . . all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer.’
‘Abdu’l-Baha counseled, “Until a being setteth his foot in the plane of sacrifice, he is bereft of every favour and grace; and this plane of sacrifice is the realm of dying to the self, that the radiance of the living God may then shine forth. …Do all ye can to become wholly weary of self, and bind yourselves to that Countenance of Splendours; and once ye have reached such heights of servitude, ye will find, gathered within your shadow, all created things. This is boundless grace; this is the highest sovereignty; this is the life that dieth not. All else save this is at the last but manifest perdition and great loss.