A Description by Mrs. Louise Waite

June 21, 2021
A Description by Mrs. Louise Waite

Impressions on ‘Abdu’l-Baha

A Description by Mrs. Louise Waite

Source: The Baha’i World 1934-1936


TO describe ‘Abdu’l-Baha so that the reader may form any mental picture of Him that would in any way do Him justice, …. yet, some idea can be gathered from them.

When I first saw ‘Abdu’l-Baha I was alone and I came face to face with Him all unexpectedly. He stood not even four feet from me. It was in the upper court, with the blue sky overhead and the sunlight shining down brightly upon Him, the hour being but a little after “high noon.” I might have thought Him any other member of His family, as His sons-in-law were often passing to and fro, but every atom of my being, my heart and soul cried out, “This is He.” The face of my dreams of Him stood before me with that same heavenly smile of welcome. The Light of Infinite Love was radiating from His countenance. Majestic, and yet sublimely tender, He was looking right into my eyes. I gave a start as if I had suddenly plunged into an ocean, then stood transfixed. It seemed as if I had come upon Him unawares and saw the “Glory of the Lord” shining forth around Him; and I know I must have felt as did Mary Magdalene when Christ revealed Himself to her in her vision after the crucifixion — “The Risen Lord.” He motioned me to pass on. I could not. A sense of my great unworthiness made me bow my head — then He passed by me. He was dressed all in white. His hair fell in soft waves about His shoulders and His head was crowned with a white turban bound around with a white cloth. His step was firm and kingly.

When He reached His door He turned and again motioned me to pass on. I came toward Him and when I reached His door I looked up into those marvelous eyes. I knew that every act, every thought of my life was known to Him. Yet, knowing this, I could look tearlessly, unwaveringly at Him realizing all my sins and weaknesses, yet knowing He understood me as I could never understand myself, and that He was indeed “Infinite Love Incarnate.” I could not pass until He turned and entered His room; then almost overcome by the vibrations which thrilled me through and through, I passed on. Later He came to greet us and I was fully confirmed — this was truly ‘Abdu’l-Baha, but a very different one, I felt, from the one I had first seen. As He firmly grasped my hand with that welcoming pressure that comes deep from the heart, a handshake that warms you through and through, I saw the Divinely human man, the personification of my highest ideal of an earthly father. I never again, while in ‘Akka, saw Him as I had in that first meeting. It was then as if I had seen the Reality of His being, with the shades of flesh all raised that the Light of Spirit might stream forth.

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