`Abdu'l-Bahá

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Bahá'í Faith
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‘Abdu’l-Bahá (عبد البهاء‎) (23 May 1844 - 28 November 1921), born `Abbás Effendí, was the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh,[1] the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. In 1892, `Abdu'l-Bahá was appointed in his father's will to be his successor and head of the Bahá'í Faith.[2][3] `Abdu'l-Bahá was born in Tehran to an aristocratic family of the realm. At the age of eight his father was imprisoned and the family's possessions were looted, leaving them in virtual poverty. Along with his father, `Abdu'l-Bahá was exiled to Baghdad where the family lived for nine years. In 1863 Bahá'u'lláh was again exiled to Constantinople. During the 1860s the family was banished from Constantinople to Adrianople, and then finally to the penal-colony of Acre, Palestine when he was 24. During his youth he was "shaped" by his father and was regarded as an outstanding member of the Bahá’í exile community. As a teenager he was his father’s amanuensis and was regularly seen debating theological issues with the learned men of the area.

With his father's death in 1892, and his appointment as head of the Bahá’í faith, there was much opposition against him, including virtually all his family members. Notwithstanding this practically all of the worldwide Bahá’í community accepted his leadership. By the age of 64 after forty years imprisonment `Abdu’l-Bahá was freed by the Young Turks and he and his family began to live in relative safety. His journeys to the West, and his "Tablets of the Divine Plan" spread the Bahá'í message beyond its middle-eastern roots, and his Will and Testament laid the foundation for the current "Bahá'í administrative order. Many of his writings, prayers and letters are extant, and his "Discourses with the Western Bahá'ís" emphasize the growth of the faith by the late 1890s. `Abdu'l-Bahá's given name was `Abbás, but he preferred the title of `Abdu'l-Bahá (servant of the glory of God). He is commonly referred to in Bahá'í texts as "The Master", and received the title of KBE after his personal storage of grain was used to relieve famine in Palestine following World War I, but never used the title.

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