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Selections from the Writings of His Holiness ‘Abdu'l-Bahá'

by Abdu'l-Bahá

translated by Khazah Fananapazir.
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Chapter 4

On Servitude

Dar Ma’níy-i-‘Ubudiyyat

O thou that dost serve at the divine Threshold![1] This service of thine is higher than the sovereignty of the world. This servitude thou dost offer is better than if thou didst rule over all. For earthly power is as vapour in deserted wildernesses, nay worse: it is as deadly venom. But the service thou dost render gives thee lasting sway; it is the rule of high heaven. Well hath it been said:
These are slaves but kings shall be their thralls,
And the universe would fain become their servant.[2]
Know thou, that this garment of servitude is a robe of everlasting glory on thy shoulders and this dust is a diadem worthy of princes in the Realm of eternity.

It is for this same reason that the treasured crown of this lowly one is to be a servant at the threshold of the Abhá Beauty and my greatest glory is to attain this station of thraldom. O my God! Strengthen me in this purpose and enable me to realise this hope. Thou art verily the Confirmer, the All-Powerful.

  1. The recipient of this Persian Tablet was Janáb-i-Mírzá ‘Alí, Khádem-i-Haram. The Tablet is in several other collections of ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets (KF’s note, slightly modified by MW).
  2. The Master quotes these two Arabic lines, but their source is unknown. They seem to be epigrams or axioms. (KF’s note, modified by MW).
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