‘Abdu’l-Bahá certainly revolved around a “Center” vastly different from the ego-centeredness of mankind. He, while outwardly clothed in man’s habiliments, inwardly was palpably clothed with the “characteristics of God.” So plainly was He free from “all the laws of the world of nature” and liberated from captivity to “human susceptibilities” that one could not be in the same room with Him and not feel the atmosphere of a higher, calmer, nobler world radiating from Him … He was a successful business man and was often consulted by other men, not believers by the way, as to the conduct of their businesses. One of His outstanding characteristics was a calm judgment in all material affairs; a poise in dealing with men and occasions of all kinds unrivaled by the most astute of captains of industry. 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.
(Howard Colby Ives, Portals to Freedom, p. 240)
His head he wore a tarboosh, or fez, of the same color, beneath which His long white hair fell almost to His shoulders. Most impressive of all His impressive aspects were His eyes. Blue they were but so changing with His mood! Now gentle and appealing, now commanding, now flashing with hidden fires, now holding a deep, tranquil lambent repose as though gazing upon scenes of glory far removed.
(Howard Colby Ives, Portals to Freedom, p. 96)
Look at me, follow me, be as I am; take no thought for yourselves or your lives, whether ye eat or whether ye sleep, whether ye are comfortable, whether ye are well or ill, whether ye are with friends or foes, whether ye receive praise or blame; for all these things ye must care not at all. Look at me and be as I am; ye must die to yourselves and to the world, so ye shall be born again and enter the kingdom of heaven. Behold the candle, how it gives light. It weeps its life away drop by drop in order to give forth its flame of light.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 502)
My name is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, my identity is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, my qualification is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, my reality is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, my praise is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Thraldom to the Blessed Perfection is my glorious refulgent diadem; and servitude to all the human race is my perpetual religion.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 429)
Suddenly the light caught a form that at first seemed a vision of mist and light. It was the Master which the candle-light had revealed to us. His white robe, and silver, flowing hair, and shining blue eyes gave the impression of a spirit, rather than of a human being. We tried to tell Him how deeply grateful we were at His receiving us. ‘No,’ He answered, ‘you are kind to come …’
(H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 69)
The Manifestation of God gives birth to the religion of God as a mother gives birth to her child. One may observe that if the mother of a child becomes aware that she is going to die, she will entrust her infant to the care of a trustworthy nurse or other reliable person, to look after and protect him until he becomes older and able to stand on his own feet and become self-supporting. This is what Bahá’u’lláh did when He wrote the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd and appointed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to assume responsibility for the Cause of God which, in the terms of the above analogy, was passing through the stages of infancy and childhood, and needed to be nurtured and cared for. Had it not been for the divine protection vouchsafed to it in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, left on its own, would have been like an orphaned infant without a nurse, and it would have suffered the same fate as older religions did when schisms occurred and the followers divided it into many sects.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 381)
We have met together to bid farewell to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and to thank God for his example and teaching, and for the power of his prayers to bring Light into confused thought, Hope into the place of dread, Faith where doubt was, and into troubled hearts, the Love which overmasters self-seeking and fear.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 34)