‘Abdu’l-Baha the Servant of the servants

April 25, 2021
‘Abdu’l-Baha the Servant of the servants

Service to Others

‘Abdu’l-Baha the Servant of the servants

Impression by Howard Colby Ives

Source: Annamarie Honnold, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

‘Abdu’l-Baha, by sight, was a Middle-Eastern man of medium height, flowing white beard and long hair crowned by a turban or tarboosh, which was white also.
He was the perfect Exemplar of the Baha’i Teachings: He lived by prayer and wished only to be known as ‘Abdu’l-Baha the servant of the servants. His constant earnest request was,
“Do as I do. Be as I am,” a servant to all humanity.

Howard Colby Ives recalled, “one meal, at which ‘Abdu’l-Baha served me with His own hands most bountifully, urging me to ‘eat, eat, be happy.’ He Himself did not eat but paced regally around the table, talking, smiling, serving.” Later Ives wrote, “He has been known to go into the kitchen and prepare a meal for His guests. He never failed in such small attentions as seeing that the room where His visitors were entertained contained every possible comfort, though He paid no attention to His own comfort. His response when He was at one time asked to act as honorary chairman of a Baha’i Assembly was simply, ‘Abdu’l-Baha is a servant.'”


“My name is ‘Abdu’l-Baha. My qualification is ‘Abdu’l-Baha. My reality is ‘Abdu’l-Baha. My praise is ‘Abdu’l-Baha. Thraldom to the Blessed Perfection is my glorious and refulgent diadem, and servitude to all the human race my perpetual religion… No name, no title, no mention, no commendation have I, nor will ever have, except ‘Abdu’l-Baha. This is my longing. This is my greatest yearning. This is my eternal life. This is my everlasting glory.”

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