Centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing: Publications recall life of extraordinary figure

BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTRE — Countless people and communities throughout the world are profoundly reflecting on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life of service to humanity as they prepare to commemorate the centenary of His passing this November.

In doing so, they have been inspired to produce a vast number of new publications of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s writings and talks on themes relevant to the well-being and progress of humanity, including the equality of women and men, the elimination of racial prejudice, the harmony of science and religion, the oneness of religion, and universal peace. Recent weeks have also seen publications of prayers that He composed, historical accounts of His life, and articles about efforts of Bahá’í communities around the world, especially during this special period, to contribute to social transformation.

The above collage provides only a glimpse of the vast number of publications that have been created in recent weeks and months in countries throughout the world to mark this historic occasion.

In Romania, a new translation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament has been made available. In Indonesia, a prayer book illuminated with paintings of flowers has been published in Bahasa. In Egypt, Haiti, Rwanda, and Turkey, new publications present stories of the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

In Japan, a new collection of essays explores ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s vision of the spiritual future of that country. In Bermuda, Jordan, and the Netherlands, newspaper articles have looked at the contributions of these Bahá’í communities to their societies.

In Brazil, Canada, Oman, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States, storybooks for children have been published that acquaint young people with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s extraordinary character and His service to humanity.

Recent months have also seen new selections of the Bahá’í writings made available for the first time in languages including Armenian, Greek, Hindi and 13 other languages spoken in the Indian subcontinent, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Kurdish (both Kurmanji and Sorani), Mongolian, Nepali, Spanish, Tetum, and Tshiluba, to name a few.

New translations of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prayers and talks have also been made into indigenous languages. A booklet of stories about His life has been created in Chilunda and was shared widely among the Lunda people, whose population spans areas of Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. In Brazil, a booklet of prayers and writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has been produced in Dzubukuá, spoken among the Karirí-Xocó, as part of efforts to revitalize that endangered language. This same booklet will also be made available in Yatê, the language spoken by the Fulniô people of Brazil. In South Africa, stories from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life have been translated into Sepedi and Zulu.

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