Heavenly Attributes: The Character of ‘Abdu’l-Baha By Mona Khademi

Mona Khademi’s book is a short collection of reminiscences of four early Baha’is who each spent a period of their lives in the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. The memories are from different points in the life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and have been selected by the author to illustrate different virtues as exemplified by the person known to Baha’is as the Master. Together, they also illuminate various parts of his personality and overall character. The four early Baha’is are two easterners and two westerners: Mirza Badi Bushrui, Dr. Habib Moayyad, Lady Sara Blomfield, and Howard Colby Ives.

The book is well-organized and easy to read. An introduction gives general information and details the purpose of the book and how the recollections were collected. A short section on ‘Abdu’l-Baha follows, which includes a basic chronology of his life. The main body of the book is comprised of a short section about each of the four memoirists (including information about how and when they spent time with ‘Abdu’l-Baha). Each informational section is followed by the individual’s memories, introduced and held together by segments written by Ms.Khademi which introduce the memories and the attributes they illustrate.

In addition to the stories and the writing, one of the things that makes this book a pleasure to read is the variety of pictures included. In addition to pictures of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and those of the author of each set of recollections, there are also photos of historical sites connected to “Abdu’l-Baha, pictured in the past and as they appear today. The book presents both visual and written descriptions that add to the reader’s knowledge of the Baha’i Faith in the time of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and also add to our understanding of who ‘Abdu’l-Baha was as seen by those who knew him personally.

From the book:

The most effective way to share the healing message of Baha’u’llah is by following the example of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Perfect Exemplar. He was filled with joy and his life was dedicated to service. It is hoped that, as a result of the perusal of these memoirs, ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s life will become a source of inspiration to the reader and that a deeper understanding of the teachings of the Baha’i Faith through the example of ‘Abdu’l-Baha may be attained.

There are several copies of this lovely compilation available the Baha’i Center of Washtenaw County Bookstore.