Celebrating the appointment of ‘Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of the Covenant
Hello and Welcome to the Celebration of the Day of Covenant.
Every year in November, Baha’is around the world honour unity on the Day of the Covenant. This special Baha’i Holy Day recognizes and celebrates the appointment of Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of the Covenant, to whom the Baha’is turned to after Baha’u’llah’s passing.
The Covenant is a fascinating and deeply important concept. It represents a promise from God to humanity that we will never be left alone and without guidance. Throughout the history of mankind, God has guided humanity by sending them Manifestations to reveal great spiritual truths. In this Dispensation, we are also protected by the unquestionable covenant which Baha’u’llah established by directly appointing Abdu’l-Baha as His successor to guide the community of early believers.
Because of that Covenant, the Baha’i Faith has survived for more than a century and a half without sects, or denominations. That means that Baha’is all over the world, from every race and culture and class and former religion and nation, believe in and adhere to a single unified Faith.
Throughout His life, Abdu’l-Baha demonstrated Divine love and what true freedom from prejudice in action looks like. Abdu’l-Baha was renowned around the world for his humility, his knowledge, his service to humanity and his advocacy of global peace and unity.
We will continue to celebrate this day with a short devotional program with a couple of stories about the life of Abdu’l-Baha.
The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its people. That through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity. – Baha’u’llah
A Covenant in the religious sense is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behaviour in return for which He guarantees certain blessings, or whereby He gives man certain bounties in return for which He takes from those who accept them an undertaking to behave in a certain way. There is, for example, the Greater Covenant which every Manifestation of God makes with His followers, promising that in the fulness of time a new Manifestation will be sent, and taking from them the undertaking to accept Him when this occurs. There is also the Lesser Covenant that a Manifestation of God makes with His followers that they will accept His appointed successor after Him. If they do so, the Faith can remain united and pure. If not, the Faith becomes divided and its force spent. It is a Covenant of this kind that Baha’u’llah made with His followers regarding Abdu’l-Baha and that Abdu’l-Baha perpetuated through the Administrative Order… – From a letter written by The Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 23 March 1975
It should be noted that Abdu’l-Baha made urgent efforts to promote peace in the years preceding the war and the relevance of his call for peace today.
During his tour of Europe and North America from 1911 to 1913, Abdu’l-Baha often described Europe as on the brink of war. “The time is two years hence, when only a spark will set aflame the whole of Europe,” He said in an October 1912 talk. “By 1917 kingdoms will fall and cataclysms will rock the earth.”
Newspaper reports of His talks highlighted His warnings to humanity of an impending war and the urgent need to unify.
In July of 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the Great War began.
… in the person of Abdu’l-Baha the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized. – Shoghi Effendi
Other Day of the Covenant Programs