As the Master was born on the date of the Declaration of the Báb, He told the believers that this day was to be solely associated with the Báb and not to be celebrated as the anniversary of His birth. The Bahá’ís begged for a date to celebrate in His honour and He gave them November 26th, “to be observed as the day of the appointment of the Centre of the Covenant”.
The Day of the Covenant is more than the commemoration of a birth and this year I am speechlessly grateful. Until recently I had a vague notion of what the Covenant was and what it meant to my life. But once I started to study it, I was awed. The Covenant protects us from schism, ensures our unity, and provides for a never ending and indisputable source of authority and guidance. On this day we pay tribute to the Master and we pay tribute to the most remarkable and distinguishing feature of our Faith. In honour of Abdu’l-Bahá, I am reminded of the following quotation of Shoghi Effendi which describes His unique and unparalleled station:
He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u’lláh’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being “round Whom all names revolve,” the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation—styles and titles that are implicit and find their truest, their highest and fairest expression in the magic name ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He is, above and beyond these appellations, the “Mystery of God”—an expression by which Bahá’u’lláh Himself has chosen to designate Him, and which, while it does not by any means justify us to assign to Him the station of Prophethood, indicates how in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.
Abdu’l-Bahá: The Centre of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 523
The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 134