Videos on Abdu’l Baha’s Life
Abdu’l Baha in the West
Quotes by Abdu’l Baha
Timeline of Abdu’l Baha’s Life
ʻAbdu’l-Bahá is born
May 23, 1844
Born ʻAbbás Effendi, the eldest son and third child of Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alí (later known as Bahá’u’lláh, “the Glory of God”) and His wife, Ásíyih Khánum. ʻAbdu’l-Baháserved as head of the Baháʼí Faith from 1892 until 1921.Read more
Abdu’l-Baha contracts tuberculosis. Though expected to die, he survives but would experience bouts of illness the rest of his life.
November 30, 1851
Bahá’u’lláh’s imprisonment in the Síyáh-Chál
August 1, 1852
At the age of eight, ʻAbdu’l-Bahá watched His Father, Bahá’u’lláh imprisoned and suffer in the Síyáh-Chál( Black Pit ). The Báb was executed in 1850 and nearly all the leading exponents of His religion were killed by fanatical clergy and government troops. Bahá’u’lláh was spared the fate of His companions but was falsely charged, in 1852, with complicity in an attempt on the life of the Shah. He was at the village of Afchih, near Tehran, when a warrant was issued for His arrest and detention. No food or drink was given to Bahá’u’lláh for three days and nights. There was also an attempt on Bahá’u’lláh’s life. In the Síyáh-Chál, God made known to Bahá’u’lláh His great Station. Wrapped in gloom, breathing the foulest of air, His feet in stocks, and His neck weighed down by a mighty chain, Bahá’u’lláh received the first stirrings of God’s Revelation within His soul. Under these dreadful circumstances, the “Most Great Spirit” revealed itself to Him, bidding…Read more
Exiled to Baghdad
December 20, 1852
Upon Bahá’u’lláh’s release from imprisonment, Bahá’u’lláh accompanied by His wife Navváb, (Who was six weeks from giving birth upon departure.) His eldest son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá , Bahíyyih Khánum and two of Baha’u’llah’s brothers, Mírzá Músá and Mírzá Muhammad-Qulí. Mírzá Mihdí , was very delicate and so was left behind with the grandmother of Àsíyih Khánum. They were escorted by an officer of the Persian…Read more
Bahá’u’lláh’s retreats into the mountains of Kurdistan
May 15, 1854
Just over a year after arriving in Baghdad, Bahá’u’lláh withdrew to the mountainous wilderness of Kurdistan, where He lived alone for two years. He spent His time reflecting on the implications of the divine purpose to which He had been called. The period is reminiscent of Moses’ withdrawal to Mount Sinai, Jesus’ 40 days and nights in the desert, and Muhammad’s retreat to the cave on Mount Hira. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá occupied His time reading and meditating upon the Writings of the Báb.Read more
Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh
April 22, 1863
Bahá’u’lláh had been in Baghdad for ten years. Fearing that His growing acclaim would re-ignite popular enthusiasm in Iran for the new religion, the regime of the Shah successfully pressed the Ottoman authorities to send Him farther away.
In April 1863, before leaving Baghdad for Constantinople (Istanbul)Bahá’u’lláh and His companions camped in a garden on the banks of the Tigris River for twelve days. On Bahá’u’lláh, wearing a tall táj as a symbol of His station, walked to the Najíbíyyih Garden, currently referred to the Garden of Ridván (Paradise). This garden was on an island in the Tigris River and belonged to the governor of Baghdad, Najib Pásha. The river has since changed its course and the island is now a park on the north bank of the Tigris. In the Garden of Ridván, Baha’u’llah declared His Mission to a few disciples. This initiated the holy day of the First Day of Ridván, marking the end of the dispensation of the Báb and of the first epoch of the Heroic or Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í dispensation.
Arrives in Constantinople
August 16, 1863
Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sand his family arrive in Constantinople on Sunday, 16 August 1863. They were to remain in the city for just four monthsRead more
Journey to Adrianople
October 12, 1863
The mid-winter journey from Constantinople to Adrianople (Edirne) lasted only 12 days but it was undertaken during the coldest winter in over 40 years. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who was 19 at the time, was to experience pain in his feet for the rest of his life from the frostbite suffered during this trip.Read more
Final Exile to Akka
August 31, 1868
In 1868 the Sultan further banished Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Holy Family to the Ottoman prison city of ‘Akká (Acre), a destination so remote that it was thought this was where His religion would surely die outRead more
Imprisoned in Akka Citadel
August 31, 1868
Bahá’u’lláh imprisoned in the citadel of ‘Akká. They were to stay here for more than two years. During Bahá’u’lláh’s final banishment to ‘Akká, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued to protect His Father, took care of His followers, tended to the sick and the poor in the city, and held His ground on matters of justice with callous jailers, brutal guards and hostile officials. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s generosity of spirit, selfless service and adherence to principle endeared Him to those who came to know Him and, in time, won over even the most hard-hearted of enemies.Read more
Baha’u’lláh requests `Abdu’l-Bahá to author “The Mysterious Forces of Civilization”
February 1, 1875
“The Mysterious Forces of Civilization”, a treatise on the establishment of a just, progressive and divinely-based government. It was lithographed in Bombay in 1882. It was first published in English under the title The Mysterious Forces of Civilization in London in 1910. It was re-issued in 1918 and later translated as The Secret of Divine Civilization by Marzieh Gail and published by the Bahá’í Publishing Trust in Wilmette in 1957Read more
Abdu’l-Bahá arranges Bahá’u’lláh’s move from the Citadel to private quarters
April 1, 1875
Abdu’l-Bahá rents a small garden near `Akká for Bahá’u’lláh’s use. Shortly after the death of the Purest Branch, authorities permitted Bahá’u’lláh and His family to move to other quarters – the House of ‘Údí Khammár – within the walled city of ‘Akká.
Although their living quarters changed, the exiles were still incarcerated in the prison city of ‘Akká. But it was now easier for people to visit Bahá’u’lláh.
This garden on the river Na`mayn was later named Ridván by Bahá’u’lláh.
The Ridván Garden, located outside the city of ‘Akká, was rented by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1875 and prepared for Bahá’u’lláh’s use. Bahá’u’lláh visited this garden many times during the latter part of His life.Read more
`Abdu’l-Bahá arranges move to Mazra`ih
June 1, 1877
`Abdu’l-Bahá rents the house of Mazra`ih for Bahá’u’lláh’s use. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and his sister, Bahíyyih Khánum, stayed back in the walled city of ‘Akká but visited Bahá’u’lláh frequentlyRead more
Bahá’u’lláh visit the Druze village of Yirkih (Yerka)
June 18, 1880
Bahá’u’lláh visitS the Druze village of Yirkih (Yerka). `Abdu’l-Bahá joins Him for the last four nights.Read more
“A Traveller’s Narrative”
January 12, 1886
‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes A Traveler’s Narrative, an account of Bábí history. It is first published anonymously in Persian in 1890. The English translation is prepared by Professor Edward G. Browne and first published by Cambridge University Press in 1891.Read more
Center of the Covenant
May 29, 1892
The Kitáb-i-‘Ahd is described by Shoghi Effendi as a “unique and epoch-making document.” Bahá’u’lláh Himself designates the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd as His “Most Great Tablet,” further refers to it as the “Crimson Book” in His Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Shoghi Effendi further states that no equivalent or parallel to the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd can be found in any of the previous Dispensations of the past, and includes the Báb’s Dispensation. There is no single document in the history of religion that so clearly establishes a Covenant of such inviolable authority, as that which Bahá’u’lláh institutes with the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd. In the ninth paragraph of the Book of the Covenant, Bahá’u’lláh clearly and unequivocally designates ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, known to all as “The Most Mighty Branch,” as His successor:
The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsán, the Afnán and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: “When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces towards Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-‘Ahd
The first objective is the establishment of the Bahá’í Faith in America.
The second is the building of the Bahá’í House of Worship in ‘Ishqábád.
The third is the building of the Shrine of the Báb.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá is released from imprisonment
August 1, 1908
In August 1908, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is released from imprisonment under the amnesty. After 55 years of imprisonment and exile, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is a free man, at the age of 64, for the first time since He was a child. The first thing ‘Abdu’l-Bahá does with His newly-gained freedom is to visit the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Bahjí. During the years of his renewed imprisonment, the hardest sacrifice for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been to not visit the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh. He would often say to pilgrims that He desired nothing more than the freedom to visit the Shrine and would ask them to visit on His behalf. As soon as He is free, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá resumes His joyful task of beautifying the area around the Shrine, week after week, fetching as many as sixty jars of water on Fridays and Sundays, even when officials would visit Him.Read more
Abdu’l-Baha journeys to Egypt, Europe and North America
September 1, 1910
Abdu’l-Baha goes on a three-year journey to Egypt, Europe and North America to spread the word of Baha’u’llah.Read more
First World War
September 14, 1914
Abdu’l-Baha helps feed the people of the Haifa area and is Knighted by the United Kingdom.Read more
November 28, 1921
Abdu’l-Baha passes to the Abha Kingdom. In His Will and Testament, he appoints his grandson Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith.Read more
More Quotes & Writings of Abdu’l Baha’
Prayer for JP Morgan Chase