Mr. Aziz Yazdi, who passed away on 19th April 2004 at the age of 95, was one of the greatest examples I have encountered of a loving human being.
I was honoured with meeting him in Haifa on a Baha’i youth pilgrimage in 1987 and then very briefly in Manchester a little while later during a conference and the love that issued forth from his eyes and face left an enduring mark of faith upon me and confirmed for me that human beings could truly reach toward the example laid out so clearly by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in many of his texts.
“In every dispensation, there hath been the commandment of fellowship and love, but it was a commandment limited to the community of those in mutual agreement, not to the dissident foe. In this wondrous age, however, praised be God, the commandments of God are not delimited, not restricted to any one group of people, rather have all the friends been commanded to show forth fellowship and love, consideration and generosity and loving-kindness to every community on earth. Now must the lovers of God arise to carry out these instructions of His: let them be kindly fathers to the children of the human race, and compassionate brothers to the youth, and self-denying offspring to those bent with years. The meaning of this is that ye must show forth tenderness and love to every human being, even to your enemies, and welcome them all with unalloyed friendship, good cheer, and loving-kindness. When ye meet with cruelty and persecution at another’s hands, keep faith with him; when malevolence is directed your way, respond with a friendly heart. To the spears and arrows rained upon you, expose your breasts for a target mirror-bright; and in return for curses, taunts and wounding words, show forth abounding love. Thus will all peoples witness the power of the Most Great Name, and every nation acknowledge the might of the Ancient Beauty, and see how He hath toppled down the walls of discord, and how surely He hath guided all the peoples of the earth to oneness; how He hath lit man’s world, and made this earth of dust to send forth streams of light.”
(From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)