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Dear Friends, Family and Beloved Guests,

On Behalf of the Abdi and Peikari families I would like to welcome you to the
celebration of the life of a devoted Bahai, a Loving father and husband and a gentle
grandfather, Mr. Rashid Abdi, or Rashid Khan, as he was lovingly known to our
family, who passed away in the early hours of Wednesday, August 24 th. My name is
Pirouz Khodabakhsh and I will be facilitating the program this morning.
His name, Rashid, translates into Farsi as Brave, and, as his name suggests, he
was a gentle, loving and soft spoken man who had incredible fortitude and strength.
He was loved and respected by everyone, family and friends alike. Even until his
very last moments on this earth, he was involved with his family and often
remembered and thought of everyone. I was always astonished by how he could
remember the smallest details of every interaction and would ask about the welfare
of everyone around him.
As a Bahai living in Iran, he endured years of hardship and persecution until finally
reuniting with his family here in Dallas in 20 . He was a pillar to our family and he
will surely be missed!
With your permission, I would like to provide you with a short introduction of the
Bahai Faith and its views on life and death. The Bahai Faith was established by its
prophet founder, Bahaullah, in Persia in 1863. The basic principles of the Bahai
Faith are based on the belief that, throughout history, God has sent to humanity a
series of divine Educatorsknown as Manifestations of Godwhose teachings have
provided the basis for the advancement of civilization.
Bahullh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world
come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion
from God. The Bahai Faith affirms that the purpose of our lives is to know God and
to attain His presence. Our true identity is our rational soul, whose free will and
powers of understanding enable us to continually better ourselves and our society.
Walking a path of service to God and to humanity gives life meaning and prepares
us for the moment the soul separates from the body and continues on its eternal
journey towards its Maker. The life of the individual begins at conception, when the
soul associates itself with the embryo. When death occurs, the body returns to the
world of dust, while the soul continues to progress in the spiritual worlds of God.
To consider that after the death of the body the spirit perishes, Abdul-Bah, son
of Bahaullah, has said is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the
cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage.
Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the birdif the cage becomes broken,
the bird will continue and exist. Its feelings will be even more powerful, its
perceptions greater, and its happiness increased . Bahaullah, himself, refers to
death as the messenger of joy. He states: Thou art My dominion and My

dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and
My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My
glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be
outworn.
Todays program is a simple one. The only requirement for the Bahai funeral is the
recitation of the Prayer for the Departed at the grave site. While here, in this hall,
we will celebrate the life of Mr. Abdi with some prayers and stories from his family
before heading to the grave site for the recital of the prayer.