Commemoration of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá
In 2021, Bahá’ís and friends around the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
The Life of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá
Through ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as Center of the Covenant, Bahá’u’lláh diffused His message of hope and universal peace to every corner of the world. This Covenant was the instrument that ensured the unity of the Bahá’í community and preserved the integrity of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings. Without Abdu’l-Bahá as its Centre, the enormous creative power of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation could not have been transmitted to humanity, nor its importance fully comprehended.
The Significance of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá
This momentous year was celebrated by individuals and communities all over the world. Many did not passively observe this anniversary but used it as a period to galvanize the ongoing efforts of community building already underway throughout the World. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was the chief promoter of unity, the fundamental principle of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Baha’is and their friends continue to follow the pattern of service He exemplified as the Faith’s spirit and the embodiment of His Father’s Teachings. Bahá’í community activities—prayer gatherings, study groups, activities for children and teens—are open to all and take place in homes and neighborhoods across the islands of Hawaiʻi.
One hundred years ago, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh and the perfect example of His teachings, passed from this world.
Exemplar follows the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the profound effect He had on people both past and present. A sense of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unique function as a shelter, a shield, a stronghold for all humanity is captured in vignettes of some of the souls whose lives were transformed for the betterment of society through their association with Him. The film reflects a few of the universal principles embodied, both in word and deed, by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—principles that animate a global movement of individuals, communities and institutions striving to emulate His example in service to humanity.
In 1921, at the time of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a relatively small Bahá’í community, though grieving, looked to the future with faith and courage, focused on the instructions that had been left by Him, the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá had provided clear guidance for how the Bahá’í community was to grow, develop and increasingly serve humanity. Since that time, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh have been striving, with unimaginable sacrifice, to implement that guidance, reaching the farthest corners of the globe. This film provides glimpses into a hundred years of endeavour and learning, carried out by a burgeoning Bahá’í community, and outlines the journey that has led to the community’s current efforts to contribute to the emergence of a world based on the principle of the oneness of humanity.
“Consider the flowers of a garden. Though differing in kind, color, form, and shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their charm, and addeth unto their beauty. How unpleasing to the eye if all the flowers and plants, the leaves and blossoms, the fruits, the branches and the trees of that garden were all of the same shape and color!
Diversity of hues, form and shape, enricheth and adorneth the garden, and heighteneth the effect thereof. In like manner, when divers shades of thought, temperament and character, are brought together under the power and influence of one central agency, the beauty and glory of human perfection will be revealed and made manifest. Naught but the celestial potency of the Word of God, which ruleth and transcendeth the realities of all things, is capable of harmonizing the divergent thoughts, sentiments, ideas, and convictions of the children of men.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá