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Ali Nakhjavani : Shoghi Effendi The Range And Power Of His Pen
SHOGHI EFFENDI: THE RANGE AND POWER OF HIS PEN
‘Alí Nakhjávání
Introduction
The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
The Dawn Breakers
God Passes By
Bahá’í Administration
This Decisive Hour
The Advent of Divine Justice
The Promised Day is Come
Citadel of Faith
Messages to the Bahá’í World (1950–1957)
The Bahá’í World
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Bibliography
As to the question ye have asked me, know verily

that this is a well-guarded secret. It is even as a gem concealed

within its shell. That it will be revealed is predestined. The time

will come when its light will appear, when its evidences will be

made manifest, and its secrets unraveled
the Light that after

My passing shineth from the Dayspring of Divine Guidance

that primal branch
the blest and sacred bough the sign of God, the

chosen branch, the guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom

all . . . His loved ones must turn. He is the expounder of the

words of God
The sacred and youthful

Branch [is] . . . under the care and protection of the Abhá

Beauty, [and] under the shelter and unerring guidance of His

Holiness, the Exalted One . . . Whoso obeyeth him not

. . . hath not obeyed God . . . Whoso disbelieveth in him hath

disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and

turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself

and turned aside from God
Well is it with him that seeketh the

shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind searching eye

When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My

Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God

hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root

The object of this sacred verse is none other except

the Most Mighty Branch

When the Mystic Dove will have winged its flight from its Sanctuary of Praise and sought its far-off goal, its hidden habitation, refer ye whatsoever ye understand not in the Book to Him Who hath branched from

this mighty Stock
two Branches
two

A study of the provisions of these sacred documents will

reveal the close relationship that exists between them, as we ll as

the identity of purpose and method which they inculcate

The Priceless Pearl
Before His ascension into eternal Light

the blessed Manifestation reminded me that I too irrespective

of primogeniture or age must observe among my sons and

grandsons whom God would indicate for His office
We pray God to illumine the world through
Thy knowledge and wisdom Render thanks

unto God . . . for . . . through Him every mouldering bone is

quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God

. . .
interpreter expounder

A Traveller’s Narrative The Secret of Divine Civilization

[T]he

Guardian has been specifically endowed with such power as he

may need to reveal the purport and disclose the implications of

the utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
to take a

long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations

[H]e often senses a situation or condi-
tion without having any detailed knowledge of it
Some Answered Questions
Him round Whom all names revolve
The sacred and youthful branch,

the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal

House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are

both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the

shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One’
Some Answered Questions
fitting nor
worthy of God
Outline of contents
God Passes By

Q. How can we systematically and realistically increase our

love for Shoghi Effendi?
The Priceless Pearl

Q. The statement of Bahá’u’lláh regarding the two Branches

in His Tablet to ‘Alí-Muammad Varqá seems to provide

evidence that there will be no future Guardian after Shoghi

Effendi. In reading the letters of the Universal House of

Justice about this subject, I have not found any reference to

this Tablet. Is this the case and why? Was this reference

brought to the attention of Mason Remey when he was

consulting with the Custodians?

Q. When considering the beloved Guardian as the central

pivot of the Covenant, would you consider him to be the

pivot of the Lesser Covenant or of the Greater Covenant?

Q. What are your feelings about the period from 1957 to

1963, between the Guardian’s passing and the election of the

first Universal House of Justice?
We call upon all the believers

. . . to desist from all further speculation on the future develop-

ment of the institutions of the Faith speculation which can only

give rise to those very differences of interpretation forbidden by

Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and against which they repeatedly warned us

Q. What exactly did you mean when you said that the

interpretations of the Guardian are binding in terms of the ir

validity?
Q. Was Shoghi Effendi only infallible when he was

interpreting? Is it possible that statements he made about the

future will not be fulfilled? A fellow in my home comm unity

believes that the answer to these questions is yes in both

cases. What do you think?
Whatsoever they
decide is of God

Q. Can you please comment on the infallibility of Shoghi

Effendi in relation to the letter written on his behalf to a

believer dated 17 October 1944, saying ‘ The infallibility of the

Guardian is confined to matters which are related strictly to t he

Cause and interpretation of the teachings; he is not an

infallible authority on other subjects, such as economics,

science, etc. When he feels that a certain thing is essential for

the protection of the Cause, even if it is something that affects a

person personally, he must be obeyed, but when he gives

advice, such as that he gave you in a previous letter about y our

future, it is not binding; you are free to follow it or not as you

please ’ (MUHJ 546, n.1)?

Q. The Universal House of Justice clearly indicates that it is

not invested with the power of interpreting the Writings.

Why is it, then, that Bahá’ís write to the Supreme Institution

asking for interpretation?
Neither can,

nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of

the other
He is God! O My Shoghi, I have no time to

talk, leave me alone! You said “write” – I have written. What

else should be done? Now is not the time for you to read and

write, it is the time for jumping about and chanting “O My

God!”, therefore memorize the prayers of the Blessed Beauty

and chant them that I may hear them, because there is no time

for anything else
Now is not the time to write,

now is the time to play, you’ll write a lot in the future

Star of the West

A. Specimens of translations of Tablets revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Every imperfect soul is self-conceited and thinks of his own

good. But as his thoughts expand a little he will begin

to think of the welfare and comfort of his family. If his ideas

still more widen his concern will be the felicity of his fellow

citizens; and if still they widen he will be thinking of the

glory of his land and of his race. But when ideas and views

reach the utmost degree of expansion and attain the stage

of perfection then will he be interested in the exaltation of

humankind. He will be then the well-wisher of all men

and the seeker of the weal and prosperity of all lands. This

is indicative of perfection.

If the mass of women in Europe and all those in America had

been enfranchised throughout all the states, undoubtedly they

would not agree to war. At present this war has made

millions of children fatherless and millions of fathers and

mothers destitute of sons; this war has snatched from pitiable

sisters their brethren; this war has turned millions of women

widows and destitute of husbands; this war has made cities

desolate; this war has brought confusion and chaos in

millions of villages; this war has made the very foundations

of mankind quake and quiver.

My hope is that day by day thou mayest be more confirmed

and may serve to the best the world of humanity; that thou

mayest adore mankind and ignite in every heart the lamp of

guidance, may serve the world of morality so that human

realities may be freed from the gloom of the world of nature

which, in essence, is purely animal in character, and may be

illumined with the light of the divine realm.
B. A sampling of letters Shoghi Effendi wrote
C. Extracts from Shoghi Effendi’s Diary

Q. The Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá before the passing of

Bahá’u’lláh are regarded as authoritative and binding on the

Bahá’ís. Was this because of the station conferred on

‘Abdu’l-Bahá by the Súriy-i-Gh un and the Kitáb-i-Aqdas?

If so, why are the writings of Shoghi Effendi before the

passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá not regarded as binding, since the

station of Guardian was conferred on him by the Will and

Testament while he was still a very young child?
No Guardian

of the Faith, I feel it my solemn duty to place on record, can e ver

claim to be the perfect exemplar of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh

or the stainless mirror that reflects His light

Q. Did Shoghi Effendi contribute to translations prior to the

Guardianship, such as The Hidden Words published in Cairo

in 1921?
Star of the
West
The Hidden Words
The Secret of Divine Civilization A
Traveller’s Narrative
A. Early letters
Ladies of the Household

The terrible news has for some days so overwhelmed my

body, my mind and my soul that I was laid for a couple of

days in bed almost senseless, absent-minded and greatly

agitated. Gradually His power revived me and breathed in

me a confidence that I hope will henceforth guide me and

inspire me in my humble work of service. The day had to

come, but how sudden and unexpected. The fact however that

His Cause has created so many and such beautiful souls all

over the world is a sure guarantee that it will live and

prosper and ere long will compass the world! I am

immediately starting for Haifa to receive the instructions He

has left and have now made a supreme determination to

dedicate my life to His service and by His aid to carry out

His instructions all the days of my life.

. . . The stir which is now aroused in the Bahá’í world is

an impetus to this Cause and will awaken every faithful soul

to shoulder the responsibilities which the Master has now

placed upon every one of us.

The Holy Land will remain the focal centre of the Bahá’í

world; a new era will now come upon it. The Master in His

great vision has consolidated His work and His spirit assures

me that its results will soon be made manifest.
With prayer and faith in His

Cause, I am your well-wisher in His service, Shoghi

The shock has been too sudden and grievous for my youthful

age to enable me to be present at this gathering of the loved

ones of beloved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá . . . I venture to hope that we

his kindred and his family may by our deeds and words,

prove worthy of the glorious example he has set before us

and thereby earn your esteem and your affection. May His

everlasting spirit be with us all and knit us together for

evermore!
My perpetual request of His faithful friends

is that they should pray that I will remain steadfast in my

resolve so that, God

grant, this weak and worthless plant may acquire such

strength and worthiness as to enable it to bear fruit and, in

this way, bring joy and gladness to the hearts of the friends.

It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi

Effendi . . . that no dust of despondency and sorrow may

stain his radiant nature, that day by day he may wax greater

in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may grow to become

even as a fruitful tree.

Ours is the duty to strive by day and night to fulfill our own

obligations and then trust in His Guidance and never failing

Grace. Unity amongst the friends, selflessness in our labors

in His Path, detachment from all worldly things, the greatest

prudence and caution in every step we take, earnest endeavor

to carry out only what is His Holy Will and Pleasure, the

constant awareness of His Presence and of the example of

His Life, the absolute shunning of whomsoever we feel to be

an enemy of the Cause . . . these, and foremost among them is

the need for unity, appear to me as our most vital duties,

should we dedicate our lives for His service.
HOLY LEAVES COMFORTED BY AMERICAN
UNSWERVING LOYALTY AND NOBLE RESOLVE. DAY
OF STEADFASTNESS. ACCEPT MY LOVING CO-
OPERATION.

How intensely I feel the urgent need of a thorough

regeneration to be effected within me, of a powerful effusion

of strength, of confidence, of the Divine Spirit in my year ning

soul, before I rise to take my destined place in the forefront

of a Movement that advocates such glorious principles. I

know that He will not leave me to myself, I trust in His

guidance and believe in His wisdom, but what I crave is the

abiding conviction and assurance that He will not fail me.

The task is so overwhelmingly great, the realization of the

inadequacy of my efforts and myself so deep that I cannot but

give way and droop whenever I face my work . . .

Your . . . letter reached me in the very midst of my sorrows,

my cares and afflictions . . . the pain, nay the anguish of His

bereavement is so overwhelming, the burden of responsibility

He has placed on my feeble and my youthful shoulders is so

overwhelming . . . I am enclosing for you personally the copy

of the dear Master’s Testament, you will read it and see what

He has undergone at the hands of His kindred . . . you will

also see what a great responsibility He has placed on me

which nothing short of the creative power of His word can

help me to face . . .

Ah bitter remorse of having missed Him – in His Last Days –

on this earth, I shall take with me to the grave no matter what

I may do for Him in future, no matter to what extent my

studies in England will repay his wondrous love for me.

At this grave and momentous period through which the

Cause of God in conformity with the Divine Wisdom is

passing, it is the sacred duty of every one of us to endeavour

to realize the full significance of this Hour of Transition, and

then to make a supreme resolve to arise steadfastly for the

fulfilment of our sacred obligations.

How keenly I feel at this challenging hour in the history of

the Cause the need for a firm and definite determination to

subordinate all our personal likings, our local interests, to

the interests and requirements of the Cause of God! Now is

the time to set aside, nay, to forget altogether, minor con-

siderations regarding our internal relationships, and to

present a solid united front to the world animated by no other

desire but to serve and propagate His Cause.

Does not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wish us, as He looks down upon us

with loving expectation from His glorious Station, to

obliterate as much as possible all traces of censure, of

conflicting discussions, of cooling remarks, of petty

unnecessary observations that impede the onward march of

the Cause, that damp the zeal of the firm believer and detract

from the sublimity of the Bahá’í Cause in the eyes of the

inquirer?

This servant, after that grievous event and great calamity, the

ascension of His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the Abhá King-

dom, has been so stricken with grief and pain and so

entangled in the troubles (created) by the enemies of the

Cause of God, that I consider that my presence here, at suc h

a time and in such an atmosphere, is not in accordance with

the fulfilment of my important and sacred duties.

For this reason, unable to do otherwise, I have left for a

time the affairs of the Cause both at home and abroad, under

the supervision of the Holy Family and the headship of the

Greatest Holy Leaf until, by the Grace of God, having gained

health, strength, self-confidence and spiritual energy, and

having taken into my hands, in accordance with my aim and

desire, entirely and regularly the work of service I shall

attain to my utmost spiritual hope and aspiration.

May I at the very outset of this, my very first letter t o you,

convey to your hearts in words, however inadequate but

assuredly deeply felt and sincere, a measure of my burn-

ing impatience during my days of retirement to return

speedily and join hands with you in the great work of con-

solidation that awaits every earnest believer in the Cause of

Bahá’u’lláh. Now that happily I feel myself restored to

a position where I can take up with continuity and vigour

the threads of my manifold duties, the bitterness of every

disappointment felt time and again in the course of the past

weary months at my feeling of unpreparedness, have been

merged in the sweetness of the present hour when I real-

ise that spiritually and bodily I am better equipped

to shoulder the responsibilities of the Cause.

True, my task is immense, my responsibilities grave and

manifold, but the assurance which the words of the all-

wise Master give me in my work is my shield and support in

the career which is now unfolding itself to my eyes.

To have been unable, owing to unforeseen and unavoidable

circumstances, to correspond with you ever since you entered

upon your manifold and arduous duties is to me a cause of

deep regret and sad surprise . . . I am however assured and

sustained by the conviction, never dimmed in my mind, that

whatsoever comes to pass in the Cause of God, however

disquieting in its immediate effects, is fraught with infini te

Wisdom and tends ultimately to promote its interests in the

world.

Are we to be carried away by the flood of hollow and

conflicting ideas, or are we to stand, unsubdued and

unblemished, upon the everlasting rock of God’s Divine

Instructions? . . . [A]re we to believe that whatever befalls us

is divinely ordained, and in no wise the result of our faint-

heartedness and negligence?
at variance with the shadowy views, the

impotent doctrines, the crude theories, the idle imaginings,

the fashionable conceptions of a transient and troublous

age . . .

The time has come for the friends . . . to think not as to how

they should serve the Cause, but how the Cause should be

served.

B. Translation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament

Charter[s] of a future world civilization
The Document establishing that Order

, the Charter of a future world civilization, which may

be regarded in some of its features as supplementary to no

less weighty a Book than the Kitáb-i-Aqdas; signed and

sealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; entirely written with His own hand;

its first section composed during one of the darkest periods of

His incarceration in the prison-fortress of ‘Akká, proclaims,

categorically and unequivocally, the fundamental beliefs of

the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh; reveals, in

unmistakable language, the twofold character of the Mission

of the Báb; discloses the full station of the Author of the

Bahá’í Revelation; asserts that ‘all others are servants unto

Him and do His bidding’; stresses the importance of the

Kitáb-i-Aqdas; establishes the institution of the Guardianship

as a hereditary office and outlines its essential functions;

provides the measures for the election of the International

House of Justice, defines its scope and sets forth its

relationship to that Institution; prescribes the obligations,

and emphasizes the responsibilities, of the Hands of the

Cause of God; and extolls the virtues of the indestructible

Covenant established by Bahá’u’lláh. That Document,

furthermore, lauds the courage and constancy of the

supporters of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant; expatiates on the

sufferings endured by its appointed Center; recalls the

infamous conduct of Mírzá Yayá and his failure to heed the

warnings of the Báb; exposes, in a series of indictments, the

perfidy and rebellion of Mírzá Muammad-‘Alí, and the

complicity of his son Sh u‘á’u’lláh and of his brother Mírzá

Badí‘u’lláh; reaffirms their excommunication, and predicts

the frustration of all their hopes; summons the Afnán (the

Báb’s kindred), the Hands of the Cause and the entire

company of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh to arise unitedly to

propagate His Faith, to disperse far and wide, to labor

tirelessly and to follow the heroic example of the Apostles of

Jesus Christ; warns them against the dangers of association

with the Covenant-breakers, and bids them shield the Cause

from the assaults of the insincere and the hypocrite; and

counsels them to demonstrate by their conduct the

universality of the Faith they have espoused, and vindicate its

high principles. In that same Document its Author reveals the

significance and purpose of the uqúq’u’lláh (Right of God),

already instituted in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas; enjoins submission

and fidelity towards all monarchs who are just; expresses

His longing for martyrdom, and voices His prayers for

the repentance as well as the forgiveness of His enemies.

trust to

time, and the guidance of God’s Universal House of Justice, to

obtain a clearer and fuller understanding of
provisions and implications
After Him

, this authority shall pass to the Agh án, and after

them to the House of Justice should it be established in the

world by then

C. Preparing the text of The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The
Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Sitarih Khánum (Lady Blomfield)
Shoghi

Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá! (O Thou the Glory of Glories) I have

renounced the world and the people thereof, and am heart-

broken and sorely afflicted because of the unfaithful. In the

cage of this world, I flutter even as a frightened bird, and

yearn every day to take my flight unto Thy Kingdom.

Ya Bahá’u’l-Abhá! Make me to drink of the cup of

sacrifice and set me free. Relieve me from these woes and

trials, from these afflictions and troubles. Thou art He that

aideth, that succoureth, that protecteth, that stretcheth forth

the hand of help.
The Morning Post New York World
Times
will the Teachings of God be

firmly established upon the earth, and the Divine Light shall

flood the world from the East even unto the West. Then, on this

day, will the faithful rejoice

I am waiting, waiting, to hear the joyful tidings that the

believers are the very embodiment of sincerity and

truthfulness, the incarnation of love and amity, the living

symbols of unity and concord. Will they not gladden my

heart? Will they not satisfy my yearning? Will they not

manifest my wish? Will they not fulfil my heart’s desire? Will

they not give ear to my call? I am waiting. I am patiently

waiting.

Q. You have said that the House of Justice receives guid-

ance from the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Is it such that, when you

have the meeting, you feel something special, or is it

imperceptible?
Bahá’í Administration
They should

consider themselves as entering the Court of the presence o f

God, the Exalted, the Most High, and as beholding Him Who is

the Unseen
In short, whatsoever thing is

arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its

result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement pr evail

the result shall be darkness upon darkness . . . Should they

endeavor to fulfill these conditions the Grace of the Holy Spirit

shall be vouchsafed unto them, and that assembly shall become

the center of the Divine blessings, the hosts of Divine

confirmation shall come to their aid, and they shall day by day

receive a new effusion of Spirit
That which this body,

whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily

the truth and the purpose of God Himself. Whoso doth deviate

therefrom is verily of them that love discord, hath shown forth

malice, and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant

God will
verily inspire them

with whatsoever He willeth, and He verily is the Provider, the

Omniscient

should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result

shall be darkness upon darkness
The Assembly may make a mistake, but, as

the Master pointed out, if the Community does not abide by its

decisions, or the individual Bahá’í, the result is worse, as it

undermines the very institution which must be strengthened in

order to uphold the principles and laws of the Faith. He tells us

God will right the wrongs done

Q. ‘ The Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own

number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in t he

important services in the work of the guardian of the Cause of

God . . . and these, whether unanimously or by a majority v ote,

must give their assent to the choice of the one whom t he

guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor ’

(WTA 12). Why didn’t the Guardian call upon the Hands of

the Cause to create this body of nine? Was it because he

knew that he wasn’t going to have a successor?

Q. What was the prophecy of Daniel and why did Shoghi

Effendi refer to it so often in his writings?
Blessed is he

who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and

thirty-five days

The “hundred lunar years,” destined to immediately precede

that blissful consummation (1335 days), announced by Daniel in

that same chapter, had commenced
Now concerning the verses in

Daniel . . . these days must be reckoned as solar . . . years. For

according to this calculation a century will have elapsed from

the Dawn of the Sun of Truth, then will the teachings of God be

firmly established upon the earth, and the Divine Light shall

flood the world from the East even unto the West. Then, on this

day, will the faithful rejoice

Q. Soon after his appointment as Guardian, Shoghi Effendi

summoned many prominent believers to the World Centre to

consult on the formation of the Universal House of Justice.

What happened at that meeting? If he knew that he was not

going to form the House of Justice, what was the purpose of

the meeting?
.
Q. The Guardian has written that we should shun

whomsoever we feel to be an enemy of the Cause? How are

we to decide who is an enemy of the Cause. Aren’t we

supposed to associate with all people with love and kindness?

Q. ‘ Gradually His power revived me and breathed in me a

confidence that I hope will henceforth guide me and inspire me

in my humble work of service ’ (PP 40). Did Shoghi Effendi

write this before or after reading the Will and Testament?

Q. What was Shoghi Effendi’s relationship to the Greatest

Holy Leaf? How did it influence him?

Q. ‘ The time has come for the friends . . . to think not as to how

they should serve the Cause, but how the Cause should be

served ’ (1923, PP 74). Could you please elaborate on what the

Guardian was conveying here?
A. Role of Mr George Townshend
The Dawn-Breakers God
Passes By
The Hidden Words The Kitáb-i-Iqán Gleanings

from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh Prayers and Meditations

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
Miss Rosenberg and myself (I

wish you were with us also!) have carefully altered the text in t he

light of your suggestions and I trust that it
will soon be published in London

Had he had more time at his disposal he could have,

naturally, devoted more of it to putting the finishing touches on

his manuscript . . . [U]nfortunately . . . the work of the Cause i s

so great and so pressing that he lacks the advantages enjoyed by

most authors of being able to devote themselves whole-heartedly

and single-mindedly to their task
God Passes By
modus operandi

B. Translations of Sacred Texts – listed chronologically

1. The Hidden Words

outstanding contribution . . . to the world’s religious literature

position of unsurpassed pre-eminence among the

ethical Writings of the Author of the Bahá’í Dispensation

collection of gem-like utterances . . . with which Bahá’u’lláh

was inspired, as He paced, wrapped in His meditations, the

banks of the Tigris dynamic spiritual leaven cast into the

life of the world for the reorientation of the minds of men, the

edification of their souls and the rectification of their conduct

partly in Persian, partly

in Arabic, . . . originally designated the “Hidden Book of

Fáimih,” and . . . identified by its Author with the Book of that

same name, believed by Sh í’ah Islám to be in the possession of

the promised Qá’im, and to consist of words of consolation

addressed by the angel Gabriel, at God’s command, to Fáimih,

and dictated to the Imám ‘Alí, for the sole purpose of comforting

her in her hour of bitter anguish after the death of her illustriou s

Father
The Hidden
Words

translated by Shoghi Effendi, with the assistance of some

English friends
the inner essence revealed unto the
Prophets of old

the favor is complete, the argument fulfilled, the proof

manifest and the evidence established
Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá’í Faith
2. The Kitáb-i-Íqán
A

model of Persian prose, of a style at once original, chaste and

vigorous, and remarkably lucid, both cogent in argument and

matchless in its irresistible eloquence, this Book, setting for th in

outline the Grand Redemptive Scheme of God,

occupies a position unequalled by any work in the entire range

of Bahá’í literature, except the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá’u’lláh’s

Most Holy Book
unique repository of inestimable treasures’,

possessing an ‘unsurpassed pre-eminence among the doctrinal

Bahá’u’lláh gives the

keynote and explains some of the outstanding passages

hoping that the friends will continue to

study the Sacred Books by themselves and unfold the mysteries

found therein
The friends, and particularly those

who wish to become competent and useful teachers, should

indeed consider it to be their first duty to acquaint themselves, as

thoroughly as they can, with each and every detail contained in

this Holy Book , so that they may be able to

present the Message in a befitting manner. It is the Guardian’s

hope, therefore, that those among the believers who have thus far

and for some reason or another, failed to make a serious study of

this important work will be stimulated to do so, and will as a

result deepen their comprehension of the essentials of the Fait h

God Passes By

Within a compass of two hundred pages it proclaims

unequivocally the existence and oneness of a personal God,

unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation,

eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty; asserts the

relativity of religious truth and the continuity of Divine

Revelation; affirms the unity of the Prophets, the universali ty

of their Message, the identity of their fundamental teachings,

the sanctity of their scriptures, and the twofold character of

their stations; denounces the blindness and perversity of the

divines and doctors of every age; cites and elucidates the

allegorical passages of the New Testament, the abstruse

verses of the Qur’án, and the cryptic Muammadan tradi-

tions which have bred those age-long misunderstandings,

doubts and animosities that have sundered and kept apart the

followers of the world’s leading religious systems; enumer-

ates the essential prerequisites for the attainment by every

true seeker of the object of his quest; demonstrates the

validity, the sublimity and significance of the Báb’s

Revelation; acclaims the heroism and detachment of His

disciples; foreshadows, and prophesies the world-wide

triumph of the Revelation promised to the people of the

Bayán; upholds the purity and innocence of the Virgin Mary;

glorifies the Imáms of the Faith of Muammad; celebrates

the martyrdom, and lauds the spiritual sovereignty, of the

Imám usayn; unfolds the meaning of such symbolic terms

as ‘Return,’ ‘Resurrection,’ ‘Seal of the Prophets’ and ‘Day

of Judgment’; adumbrates and distinguishes between the

three stages of Divine Revelation; and expatiates, in glowing

terms, upon the glories and wonders of the ‘City of God,’

renewed, at fixed intervals, by the dispensation of Provi-

dence, for the guidance, the benefit and salvation of all

mankind. Well may it be claimed that of all the books

revealed by the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation, this Book

alone, by sweeping away the age-long barriers that have so

insurmountably separated the great religions of the world,

has laid down a broad and unassailable foundation for the

complete and permanent reconciliation of their followers.

3. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

to the believers a befitting and authoritative rendering of

the fundamental teachings of the Cause regarding God, soul,

creation, the nature of Divine Manifestations and similar sub-

jects
Gleanings
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4. Prayers and Meditations
Prayers and
Meditations
Prayers and Meditations
5. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
calls upon that rapacious priest to repent of his

acts, quotes some of the most characteristic and celebrated

passages of His own Writings, and adduces proofs establishing

the validity of His Cause
contribute further enlightenment

deeper understanding verities on which effective prosecution

teaching administrative undertakings ultimately depend

Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá’í Faith

before the face of thy Lord in the form of a tablet all

that which hath appeared in the world and is revealed in the

Holy Books and Scriptures

6. Translated passages selected from the Writings of the Cent ral

Figures of the Faith included in Shoghi Effendi’s letters and

other works
Advent of

Divine Justice The Promised Day is Come God Passes By

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
The Promised Day is Come
The Advent of
Divine Justice.

C. Comments on Shoghi Effendi’s genius in his translation

work
Star of the West
tongues like as of fire
The Chosen Highway
The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

is to be offered through the guardian of the Cause of

God, that it may be expended for
The Priceless Pearl

This is one more attempt to introduce to the West, in lang-

uage however inadequate, this book of unsurpassed pre-

eminence among the writings of the Author of the Bahá’í

Revelation. The hope is that it may assist others in their

efforts to approach what must always be regarded as the

unattainable goal – a befitting rendering of Bahá’u’lláh’s

matchless utterance.
O YE PEOPLES OF

THE WORLD! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity is

following you, and that grievous retribution awaiteth you.

The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through

the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Or der.

Mankind’s ordered life hath be revolutionized through the

agency of this unique, this wondrous System the like of which

mortal eyes have never witnessed
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
Gleanings He

Who is both the Beginning and the End, He Who is both Stillness

and Motion, is now manifest before your eyes. Behold how, in

this Day, the Beginning is reflected in the End, how out of

Stillness, Motion hath been engendered
Learn well this

Tablet, O Amad. Chant it during thy days . . . God hath

ordained for the one who chants it
Should one who is in affliction or grief read
this Tablet
reward of a hundred martyrs and a
service in both worlds
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
The All-

Merciful hath conferred upon man the faculty of vision . . . Some

have described him as the “lesser world,” when, in reality, he

should be regarded as the “greater world.” Prayers and

Meditations
Wishing to reveal Thyself, Thou didst call

into being the Greater and Lesser Worlds, and didst choose Man

above all Thy creatures, and didst make Him a sign of both of

these worlds . . .
Gleanings Prayers and Meditations
Gleanings
Prayers and
Meditations
Some Answered Questions

[T]his terrestrial globe at one time did not exist, and at its

beginning man did not appear upon it. But from the

beginning which has no beginning, to the end which has no

end, a Perfect Manifestation always exists. This Man of

Whom we speak is not every man; we mean the Perfect Man.

O SON OF MAN! Veiled in My immemorial being and in the

ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee;

therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and

revealed to thee My beauty
O King! I was but

a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of

the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the

knowledge of all that hath been . . . This is but a leaf which the

winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Prais ed, have

stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing?

Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They

move it as they list. The evanescent is as nothing before Him

Who is the Ever-Abiding . . . Look upon this Youth, O King, with

the eyes of justice; judge thou, then, with truth concerning w hat

hath befallen Him
sacred and youthful branch primal
branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree

Q. If knowledge is a light that God casts into the heart of

whomsoever He willeth, and we know that the Manifestation

has not undertaken any schooling, why is the gift of language

not conferred upon these suns and their moons?
omniscient at will
Thou knowest full well that We

perused not the books which men possess and We acquired not

the learning current amongst them, and yet whenever We desire

to quote the sayings of the learned and of the wise, presently

there will appear before the face of thy Lord in the form of a

tablet all that which hath appeared in the world and is revealed

in the Holy Books and Scriptures

Go thou to the people, and tell them: “Ask whatsoever ye

please. Powerful is He to do what He willeth. Nothing

whatsoever, be it of the past or of the future, can frustrate H is

Will.” Say: “O ye congregation of the divines! Choose any

matter ye desire, and ask your Lord, the God of Mercy, to reveal

it unto you. If He fulfil your wish, by virtue of His sovereig nty,

believe ye then in Him, and be not of those that reject His trut h”

Q. You said that the meaning of the Apostles speaking in

tongues has been misunderstood by many Christians. Where

is the reference for this interpretation?
Star of the West
shining stars
speak in every tongue

Q. Before the first translations of the Guardian, except for

The Hidden Words published in Cairo, were any of the

Writings of Bahá’u’lláh available to the friends of the West?

The Hidden Words
Star of the West
Star of the West

Q. The friends in the West had heard ‘Abdu’l-Bahá say

wonderful things about the Hidden Words, and they had

been translated previous to Shoghi Effendi’s edition. Were

the friends in the East equally aware of this station of the

Hidden Words?

Q. According to Shi’ih belief, there are other books in the

possession of the Imáms, as well as the Hidden Book of

Fáimih. Is there anything mentioned in the Bahá’í writings

concerning these books?

Q. The Hidden Book of Fáimih is said ‘ to consist of words of

consolation addressed by the angel Gabriel, at God’s

command, to Fáimih, and dictated to the ‘Imam ‘Alí, for the

sole purpose of comforting her in her hour of bitter angu ish

after the death of her illustrious Father ’ (GPB 140). Where is

the association between the Book of Fáimih and the Hidden

Words, since the latter consists of a code of ethical

behaviour? How does this correlate with words of

consolation? Is it our limited capacity that prevents us from

understanding the connection?
O

SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy

to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on

thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

Q. Several passages in Gleanings deal with the subject of the

transmutation of metals and the Divine Elixir. I find these

very difficult to understand, probably because I am

unfamiliar with the ancient art of alchemy. What is the

meaning of these statements?
These few have been endued with the Divine

Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of t he

world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible

remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men

The
Kitáb-i-Aqdas
To attempt to estimate its full

value, and grasp its exact significance after so short a time s ince

its inception would be premature and presumptuous on our part.

We must trust to time, and the guidance of God’s Universal

House of Justice, to obtain a clearer and fuller understanding of

its provisions and implications

Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963–1986

Q. Sometimes, for example in the Epistle to the Son of the

Wolf , Bahá’u’lláh Himself reveals a Tablet a second time.

Why is it that He sometimes changed a word or two? Is it

because He did not remember the original word and so He

put in a new word instead, or He was not satisfied with the

original?
Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
Gleanings
Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Q. Could you please elaborate on the significance of the word

‘chant’ used in the Tablet of Amad? Does this mean that w e

should always try to chant the Tablet, even if we are reading

it in a language other than Arabic or Persian?

Q. Who translated most of the prayers in our prayer books?

Q. Who is the author of A Concise Encyclopaedia of the

Bahá’í Faith ?

Q. You said that Professor Browne made some translations

of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings at a time when he was still well

disposed towards the Faith. What does this mean? Was there

a time that he was not well disposed towards the Faith?

A Year among the Persians
A Traveller’s Narrative

Q. Why did Bahá’u’lláh use a term such as ‘ choice wine ’ as

an analogy for His W ritings and for His laws?
God
intoxicated heroes

Q. Could possible translations in the future be made of tex ts

that Shoghi Effendi has already translated? Is that

recommended?
This is one more

attempt to introduce to the West, in language however

inadequate, this book of unsurpassed preeminence among the

writings of the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation. The hope is that

it may assist others in their efforts to approach what must al ways

be regarded as the unattainable goal – a befitting rendering of

Bahá’u’lláh’s matchless utterance
Q. How exactly was the Kitáb-i-Aqdas translated?
Gleanings
Epistle to the Son of
the Wolf
The
Promised Day Is Come
A Synopsis and Codification of
the Laws and Ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas

Q. Who put the questions to Bahá’u’lláh that we find

answered in ‘Questions and Answers’ included in the Ki táb-

i-Aqdas?

Q. Is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas somewhat incomplete because it d oes

not cover many of the issues of society that would require

legislation?
Should anyone

intentionally destroy a house by fire, him also shall ye burn

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas.

Q. The translations of the beloved Guardian serve as a basis

for further translations, particularly into other western

languages. To what degree is or should the original Persian

or Arabic text be consulted or taken into consideration for

these second translations?

Q. George Townshend became a Bahá’í in 1921, but only left

the Church years later. What was the Guardian’s response to

this and how can we learn from this example in dealing wit h

friends who are still strongly attached to the Church?

Such questions

as the withdrawal from Church membership . . . should not be

thrust upon the newcomer, but explained to him gradually, so

that he himself may be convinced of the truth underlying these

ordinances of the Cause

Q. Why has the Bayán not been fully translated yet?

The Dawn-Breakers
The Dawn Breakers
Background
The Dawn-Breakers
Poet-Laureate
T HE D AWN B REAKERS
The Dawn-Breakers
God Passes
By

carried off, by a ruse, the two satchels containing

most precious documents
A Traveller’s
Narrative
varied rich and authentic material constitutes

most effective weapon to meet challenge of a critical hour

translated from the original Persian and edited by

Shoghi Effendi
T HE D AWN B REAKERS

Before translating the Narrative, the text had to be

edited and corrected, and this task was undertaken by me

personally. Exaggerations and overstatements were eliminated.

The text as it stands will serve as a standard when future

histories of the Faith will be written.
the

translation of Nabíl’s Narrative and the reading of the books

(quoted in the footnotes) and arrangement of the notes have

taken a great deal of time and have entailed a considerable

amount of labour and effort. The work he is sending you is the

result of eight months of continuous labour and he hopes that the

efforts exerted will prove of service to the Cause in this critical

time
Contents of the book
The Dawn-Breakers
God Passes By
The Dawn-
Breakers

Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation

Bahá’í
Revelation
The Dawn-Breakers
The Bahá’í World
The Dawn-Breakers
Nabíl’s Narrative
God Passes By
Nabíl’s Narrative
The Dawn-Breakers
God
Passes By
To the Greatest Holy Leaf, the Last Survivor

of a Glorious and Heroic Age, I Dedicate This Work in Token of

a Great Debt of Gratitude and Love
T HE D AWN B REAKERS
Persia and the Persian Question
A
Traveller’s Narrative
Footnotes and Bibliography

What others have said about Nabíl’s Narrative, and what Shoghi

Effendi himself stated regarding the book
Rubaiyat
T HE D AWN B REAKERS
The Dawn-Breakers
FEEL IMPELLED APPEAL ENTIRE BODY AMERICAN
BELIEVERS HENCEFORTH REGARD NABÍL’S SOUL-
STIRRING NARRATIVE AS ESSENTIAL ADJUNCT TO
RECONSTRUCTED TEACHING PROGRAM, AS UN-
CHALLENGEABLE TEXTBOOK IN THEIR SUMMER
SCHOOLS, AS SOURCE OF INSPIRATION IN
ALL LITERARY ARTISTIC PURSUITS, AS AN
INVALUABLE COMPANION IN TIMES OF LEISURE, AS
INDISPENSIBLE PRELIMINARY TO FUTURE
PILGRIMAGE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NATIVE LAND AND AS
UNFAILING INSTRUMENT TO ALLAY DISTRESS AND
RESIST ATTACKS OF CRITICAL DISILLUSIONED
HUMANITY.
The Dawn-Breakers

The history of a people is always a source of inspiration to its

future generations. Nabíl’s Narrative will operate in the

same manner, and remain forever a stimulus to the Bahá’ís.

Shoghi Effendi found great pleasure and spiritual upliftment

while working on the translation of Nabíl’s Narrative. The

life of those who figure in it is so stirring that everyone w ho

reads those accounts is bound to be affected and impelled to

follow their footsteps of sacrifice in the path of Faith. The

Guardian believes, therefore, that it should be studied by the

friends, especially the youth who need some inspiration to

carry them through these troubled days.

The Guardian sincerely hopes and prays that the study of The

Dawn-Breakers will inspire the friends to greater activit y

and more exerted energy in serving the Cause and spreading

its message in that town. The life of those heroes of the Faith

should teach us what true sacrifice is, and to what extent we

should forego our personal and worldly interests while en-

deavouring to carry the divine message to the four corners of

the earth.
T HE D AWN B REAKERS

He was deeply gratified to learn that the reading of The

Dawn-Breakers has deepened your knowledge of the Cause

and has inflamed you with new courage and faith. The tale of

these immortal heroes of God, so well narrated by the

powerful pen of Nabíl, is, indeed, stimulating and spiritually

uplifting. It gives the reader a new vision of the Cause and

unfolds before his eyes the glory of this new Manifestation in

a manner hitherto unknown. Nabíl’s narrative is not merely a

narrative; it is a book of meditation. It does not only teach. It

actually inspires and incites to action. It quickens and

stimulates our dormant energies and makes us soar on a

higher plane. It is thus of an invaluable help to the historian

as well as to every teacher and expounder of the Cause.

Extracts

‘This Revelation, so suddenly and impetuously thrust upon

me, came as a thunderbolt which, for a time, seemed to have

benumbed my faculties. I was blinded by its dazzling

splendour and overwhelmed by its crushing force. Excite-

ment, joy, awe, and wonder stirred the depths of my soul.

Predominant among these emotions was a sense of gladness

and strength which seemed to have transfigured me. How

feeble and impotent, how dejected and timid, I had felt

previously! Then I could neither write nor walk, so tremulous

were my hands and feet. Now, however, the knowledge of His

Revelation had galvanised my being. I felt possessed of such

courage and power that were the world, all its peoples and

its potentates, to rise against me, I would, alone and

undaunted, withstand their onslaught. The universe seemed

but a handful of dust in my grasp. I seemed to be the Voice of

Gabriel personified, calling unto all mankind: “Awake, for

lo! the morning Light has broken. Arise, for His Cause is

made manifest. The portal of His grace is open wide; enter

therein, O peoples of the world! For He who is your

promised One is come!”’.

‘You have been called to this station; you will attain to it,

only if you arise to trample beneath your feet every earthly

desire, and endeavour to become those “honoured servants

of His who speak not till He hath spoken, and who do His

bidding.” You are the first Letters that have been generated

from the Primal Point, the first Springs that have welled out

from the Source of this Revelation. Beseech the Lord your

God to grant that no earthly entanglements, no worldly

affections, no ephemeral pursuits, may tarnish the purity, or

embitter the sweetness, of that grace which flows through

you. I am preparing you for the advent of a mighty Day.

Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I,

who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of

God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements.

The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can

neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of

that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this

time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall

surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished

divines of this age. Scatter throughout the length and breadth

of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified hearts,

prepare the way for His coming. Heed not your weaknesses

and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible power of the

Lord, your God, the Almighty. Has He not, in past days,

caused Abraham, in spite of His seeming helplessness, to

triumph over the forces of Nimrod? Has He not enabled

Moses, whose staff was His only companion, to vanquish

Pharaoh and his hosts? Has He not established the

ascendancy of Jesus, poor and lowly as He was in the eyes of

men, over the combined forces of the Jewish people? Has He

not subjected the barbarous and militant tribes of Arabia to

the holy and transforming discipline of Muammad, His

T HE D AWN B REAKERS

Prophet? Arise in His name, put your trust wholly in Him,

and be assured of ultimate victory.’

And yet who knows what achievements, greater than any that

the past and the present have witnessed, may not still be in

store for those into whose hands so precious a heritage has

been entrusted? . . . Who knows but that triumphs, unsur-

passed in splendour, are not in store for the mass of

Bahá’u’lláh’s toiling followers? Surely, we stand too near

the colossal edifice His hand has reared to be able, at the

present stage of the evolution of His Revelation, to claim to

be able even to conceive the full measure of its promised

glory. Its past history, stained by the blood of countless

martyrs, may well inspire us with the thought that, whatever

may yet befall this Cause, however formidable the forces that

may still assail it, however numerous the reverses it will

inevitably suffer, its onward march can never be stayed, and

that it will continue to advance until the very last promise,

enshrined within the words of Bahá’u’lláh, shall have been

completely redeemed.

Q. In Nabíl’s Narrative , Mullá usayn says that he seemed to

be the voice of the angel Gabriel personified. Does it mean

that he felt Gabriel spoke through him?

Q. Shoghi Effendi speaks about The Dawn-Breakers as a

book of inspiration. Why is it that the history of the earlies t

believers was needed most, above all other works that could

have been translated at that time?
T HE D AWN B REAKERS

Q. Quddús was endowed with special and divine powers.

áhirih as well occupies a very high rank in the Faith. What

was the nature of their tense dispute at Badash t?

Nabíl’s
Narrative
A
Traveller’s Narrative

Q. Why were some of the footnotes to The Dawn-Breakers

published in French?
The Dawn-Breakers
God Passes By
The Kitáb-i-Iqán

Q. Regarding what others have said about Nabíl’s Narrative ,

who stated that it reinvented the literature of East and W est?

T HE D AWN B REAKERS

Q. Shoghi Effendi in a cable said that Nabíl’s Narrative is

an indispensable preliminary to future pilgrimage to

Bahá’u’lláh’s native land. What does this mean?
.
Nabíl’s Narrative

Q. When the manuscript of Nabíl’s Narrative was sent to the

National Spiritual Assembly of the United States how much

time elapsed before it was first published?
T HE D AWN B REAKERS

Q. Ten thousand people witnessed the martyrdom of the Báb.

Many reports have been written about this event, including

some that are in discordance with the one recounted in

Nabíl’s Narrative . Do the majority of these reports indicate

that Nabíl’s statements were correct? Did Shoghi Effendi

take into consideration other versions of the story when

translating it?
Nabíl’s Narrative

Not until I have said to him all those things that I wish

to say can any earthly power silence Me
The day will

come when you will have recognized Me; that day I shall have

ceased to be with you

Q. The Dawn-Breakers was originally written by Nabíl, but

was recreated by Shoghi Effendi. Does the book have the

same validity as works written by Shoghi Effendi, such as

God Passes By ?

Q. What about the rest of Nabíl’s Narrative ? Will it ever be

finished? Is it being worked on at this time? How can

changes be made without having access to Bahá’u’lláh’s

correction? How did Shoghi Effendi know which corrections

needed to be made if the original corrections by Bahá’u’lláh

were not available?
T HE D AWN B REAKERS
Nabíl’s
Narrative

Q. The role of a traditional storyteller sees him or her tak ing

the story and reworking it in his or her own interpretation

and flavour. How do you see the storyteller’s tool of artistic

licence in the light of Bahá’u’lláh’s clear instruction to Nabíl,

to neither overstate nor understate, neither expand the

description of events nor reduce their importance? What

advice regarding artistic licence or individual artistic

interpretation would you give to a contemporary storyteller

who wished to retell stories from Bahá’í history?
God Passes By
Background
God Passes By a survey of the

outstanding events of the century that has seen this Spirit

burst forth upon the world
survey detailed history
a

review of the salient features of birth and rise, as

well as of the initial stages in the establishment of its

administrative institutions
survey
The Priceless Pearl
God Passes By
the revolution

of a hundred years . . . has unrolled before our eyes

G OD P ASSES B Y
indivisible, stupendous and sublime drama, whose

mystery no intellect can fathom, whose climax no eye can

even dimly perceive, whose conclusion no mind can
adequately foreshadow
to ignore . . . the swift interweaving of seeming

reverses with evident victories, out of which the hand of an

inscrutable Providence has chosen to form the pattern of the

Faith from its earliest days . . .
[T]he history of the first
hundred years of evolution
resolves itself into a series of internal

and external crises . . . devastating in their immediate effects, but

each mysteriously releasing a corresponding measure of divine

power, lending thereby a fresh impulse to its unfoldment

God
Passes By
The Priceless Pearl
God Passes By
G OD P ASSES B Y
God
Passes By
God Passes By
God Passes By
Summary
1. The Ministry of the Báb
G OD P ASSES B Y

In sheer dramatic power, in the rapidity with which events of

momentous importance succeeded each other, in the

holocaust which baptized its birth, in the miraculous

circumstances attending the martyrdom of the One Who had

ushered it in, in the potentialities with which it had been from

the outset so thoroughly impregnated, in the forces to which

it eventually gave birth, this nine-year period
may well rank as unique in the whole range of
man’s religious experience.

The heroes whose deeds shine upon the record of this fierce

spiritual contest, involving at once people, clergy, monarch

and government, were the Báb’s chosen disciples, the Letters

of the Living, and their companions, the trail-breakers of the

New Day, who to so much intrigue, ignorance, depravity,

cruelty, superstition and cowardice opposed a spirit exalted,

unquenchable and awe-inspiring, a knowledge surprisingly

profound, an eloquence sweeping in its force, a piety un-

excelled in fervor, a courage leonine in its fierceness, a self -

abnegation saintly in its purity, a resolve granite-like in its

firmness, a vision stupendous in its range, a veneration for

the Prophet and His Imáms disconcerting to

their adversaries, a power of persuasion alarming to their

antagonists, a standard of faith and a code of conduct that

challenged and revolutionized the lives of their countrymen.

2. The Ministry of Bahá’u’lláh
G OD P ASSES B Y
the Most Great
Prison
supplemented
divine judgement

[T]he Revelation identified with Bahá’u’lláh abrogates

unconditionally all the Dispensations gone before it, upholds

uncompromisingly the eternal verities they enshrine,

recognizes firmly and absolutely the Divine origin of their

Authors, preserves inviolate the sanctity of their authentic

Scriptures, disclaims any intention of lowering the status of

their Founders or of abating the spiritual ideals they

inculcate, clarifies and correlates their functions, reaffirms

their common, their unchangeable and fundamental purpose,

reconciles their seemingly divergent claims and doctrines,

readily and gratefully recognizes their respective

contributions to the gradual unfoldment of one Divine

Revelation, unhesitatingly acknowledges itself to be but one

link in the chain of continually progressive Revelations,

supplements their teachings with such laws and ordinances

as conform to the imperative needs, and are dictated by the

growing receptivity, of a fast evolving and constantly

changing society, and proclaims its readiness and ability to

fuse and incorporate the contending sects and factions into

which they have fallen into a universal Fellowship,

functioning within the framework, and in accordance with

the precepts, of a divinely conceived, a world-unifying, a

world-redeeming Order.
The writings of Bahá’u’lláh during this period,

as we survey the vast field which they embrace, seem to

fall into three distinct categories. The first comprises

those writings which constitute the sequel to the proc-

lamation of His Mission in Adrianople. The second

includes the laws and ordinances of His Dispensation, which,

for the most part, have been recorded in the Kitáb-i-

Aqdas, His Most Holy Book. To the third must be assigned

those Tablets which partly enunciate and partly reaffirm

G OD P ASSES B Y

the fundamental tenets and principles underlying that

Dispensation.

With the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh draws to a close a period

which, in many ways, is unparalleled in the world’s religious

history. The first century of the Bahá’í Era had by now run

half its course. An epoch, unsurpassed in its sublimity, its

fecundity and duration by any previous Dispensation, and

characterized, except for a short interval of three years, by

half a century of continuous and progressive Revelation, had

terminated. The Message proclaimed by the Báb had yielded

its golden fruit . . . God’s newborn Faith, the cynosure of all

past Dispensations, had been fully and unreservedly proc-

laimed. The prophecies announcing its advent had been

remarkably fulfilled. Its fundamental laws and cardinal

principles, the warp and woof of the fabric of its future

World Order, had been clearly enunciated . . . The Covenant

designed to safeguard the unity and integrity of its world-

embracing system had been irrevocably bequeathed to

posterity. The promise of the unification of the whole human

race, of the inauguration of the Most Great Peace, of the

unfoldment of a world civilization, had been incontestably

given . . .
3. The Ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

To direct and canalize these forces let loose by this Heaven-

sent process, and to insure their harmonious and continuous

operation after His ascension, an instrument divinely

G OD P ASSES B Y

ordained, invested with indisputable authority, organically

linked with the Author of the Revelation Himself, was clearly

indispensable. That instrument Bahá’u’lláh had expressly

provided through the institution of the Covenant, an

institution which He had firmly established prior to His

ascension.
During these travels ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

displayed a vitality, a courage, a single-mindedness, a

consecration to the task He had set Himself to achieve that

excited the wonder and admiration of those who had the

privilege of observing at close hand His daily acts . . .

[C]areless alike of His comfort and His health; expending

every ounce of His energy day after day from dawn till late at

night; consistently refusing any gifts or contributions

towards the expenses of His travels; unfailing in His

solicitude for the sick, the sorrowful and the down-trodden;

uncompromising in His championship of the underprivileged

races and classes; bountiful as the rain in His generosity to

the poor; contemptuous of the attacks launched against Him

by vigilant and fanatical exponents of orthodoxy and

sectarianism; . . . unequivocal in His glorification of

Bahá’u’lláh at all times and within the sanctuaries of divers

sects and denominations; adamant in His refusal, on several

occasions, to curry the favor of people of title and wealth

both in England and in the United States; and last but not

least incomparable in the spontaneity, the genuineness and

warmth of His sympathy and loving-kindness shown to friend

and stranger alike, believer and unbeliever, rich and poor,

high and low, whom He met . . . He, the incarnation of every

Bahá’í virtue and the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal,

continued . . . to trumpet to a world sunk in materialism and

already in the shadow of war, the healing, the God-given

truths enshrined in His Father’s Revelation.
4. The Inception of the Formative Age
G OD P ASSES B Y

The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh had been instituted solely

through the direct operation of His Will and purpose. The

Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, on the other hand, may

be regarded as the offspring resulting from that mystic

intercourse between Him Who had generated the forces of a

God-given Faith and the One Who had been made its sole

Interpreter and was recognized as its perfect Exemplar. The

creative energies unleashed by the Originator of the Law of

God in this age gave birth, through their impact upon the

mind of Him Who had been chosen as its unerring

Expounder, to that Instrument, the vast implications of which

the present generation, even after the lapse of twenty-three

years, is still incapable of fully apprehending.

The Administrative Order which this historic Document has

established, it should be noted, is, by virtue of its origin and

character, unique in the annals of the world’s religious

systems. No Prophet before Bahá’u’lláh, it can be confidently

asserted, not even Muammad Whose Book clearly lays

down the laws and ordinances of the Islamic Dispensation,

has established, authoritatively and in writing, anything

comparable to the Administrative Order which the author-

ized Interpreter of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings has instituted, an

Order which, by virtue of the administrative principles whic h

its Author has formulated, the institutions He has established,

and the right of interpretation with which He has invested its

Guardian, must and will, in a manner unparalleled in any

previous religion, safeguard from schism the Faith from

which it has sprung. Nor is the principle governing its

operation similar to that which underlies any system . . .

which the minds of men have devised for the government of

human institutions. Neither in theory nor in practice can the

Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh be said to

conform to any type of democratic government, to any system

of autocracy, to any purely aristocratic order, or to any of

the various theocracies . . . which mankind has witnessed in

the past. It incorporates within its structure certain elements

which are to be found in each of the three recognized forms

of secular government, is devoid of the defects which each of

them inherently possesses, and blends the salutary truths

which each undoubtedly contains without vitiating in any

way the integrity of the Divine verities on which it is

essentially founded.
5. Retrospect and Prospect
A

process, God-impelled, . . . mysterious in its workings, awf ul in

the retribution meted out to every one seeking to resist its op era-

tion, infinitely rich in its promise for the regeneration and re-

demption of human kind Despite
the blows levelled the wielders of temporal

and spiritual authority from without, or by black-hearted foes

from within

Indeed its history resolve[s] itself into a series

of pulsations, of alternating crises and triumphs, leading it e ver

nearer to its divinely appointed destiny

The tribulations attending the progressive unfoldment of the

Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have indeed been such as to exceed in

G OD P ASSES B Y

gravity those from which the religions of the past have

suffered. Unlike those religions, however, these tribulations

have failed utterly to impair its unity, or to create, even temp-

orarily, a breach in the ranks of its adherents. It has not only

survived these ordeals, but has emerged, purified and inviol-

ate, endowed with greater capacity to face and surmount any

crisis which its resistless march may engender in the future.

Mighty indeed have been the tasks accomplished and the

victories achieved by this sorely-tried yet undefeatable Faith

within the space of a century! Its unfinished tasks, its future

victories, as it stands on the threshold of the second Bahá’í

century, are greater still.

Whatever may befall this infant Faith of God in future

decades or in succeeding centuries, whatever the sorrows,

dangers and tribulations which the next stage in its world-

wide development may engender, from whatever quarter the

assaults to be launched by its present or future adversaries

may be unleashed against it, however great the reverses and

setbacks it may suffer, we, who have been privileged to

apprehend, to the degree our finite minds can fathom, the

significance of these marvelous phenomena associated with

its rise and establishment, can harbor no doubt that what it

has already achieved in the first hundred years of its life

provides sufficient guarantee that it will continue to forge

ahead, capturing loftier heights, tearing down every obstacle,

opening up new horizons and winning still mightier victories

until its glorious mission, stretching into the dim ranges of

time that lie ahead, is totally fulfilled.

Q. ‘ Neither in theory nor in practice can the Administrative

Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh be said to conform to any

type of democratic government, to any system of autocracy, to

any purely aristocratic order, or to any of the various

theocracies, whether Jewish, Christian or Islamic whic h

mankind has witnessed in the past ’ (GPB 326). What does he

mean by ‘ neither in theory nor in practice ’?
autocratic
democratic
aristocratic
inclination to democratic
methods in the administration of its affairs
G OD P ASSES B Y
the last refuge of a tottering civilization

Q. What were the commissions of inquiry into ‘Abdu’l-

Bahá’s activity and what did they find out?

Q. ‘ Nor were the British authorities slow to express their

appreciation of the rôle which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had played in

allaying the burden of suffering that had oppressed the

inhabitants of the Holy Land during the dark days of that

distressing conflict ’ (GPB 306). What did ‘Abdu’l-Bahá do

for the British?

Q. Shoghi Effendi has described the W ritings of Bahá’u’lláh

during the ‘Akká period as follows: ‘ The writings of

Bahá’u’lláh during this period, as we survey the vast fi eld

which they embrace, seem to fall into three distinct categ ories.

The first comprises those writings which constitute t he sequel

to the proclamation of His Mission in Adrianople ’ (GPB 205).

What are the Tablets which constitute this sequel?

G OD P ASSES B Y
A. Bahá’í Administration
Bahá’í Administration
shock . . . too terrible and sudden for us all to
recover from in so short a time
tests intellectual rather than physical

The Guardian would strongly urge each and every member

of the National Spiritual Assembly to carefully peruse, and to

quietly ponder upon the outer meaning and upon the inner

spirit as well, of all his communications on the subject of t he

origin, nature and present-day functioning of the

administrative order of the Faith. A compilation of these

letters has been lately published in the States under the title

‘Bahá’í Administration’, and a complete knowledge of that

book seems to be quite essential to the right handling of the

administrative problems facing your National Spiritual

Assembly at present . . .

Which of the blessings am I to recount, which in her unfailing

solicitude she showered upon me, in the most critical and

agitated hours of my life? To me, standing in so dire a need

of the vitalizing grace of God, she was the living symbol o f

many an attribute I had learned to admire in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

She was to me a continual reminder of His inspiring

personality, of His calm resignation, of His munificence and

magnanimity. To me she was an incarnation of His winsome

graciousness, of His all-encompassing tenderness and love.

Humanity, through suffering and turmoil, is swiftly moving

on towards its destiny; if we be loiterers, if we fail to play our

part surely others will be called upon to take up our task as

ministers to the crying needs of this afflicted world.

Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of

a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized

campaign of teaching – no matter how worldwide and

elaborate in its character – not even by the staunchness of

our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we

ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and

sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abhá Revelation. One

thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the

undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent

to which our own inner life and private character mirror

forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal

principles proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh.

But let us all remember, in this connection, that prior to

every conceivable measure destined to raise the efficiency of

our administrative activities, more vital than any scheme

which the most resourceful amongst us can devise, far above

the most elaborate structure which the concerted efforts of

organized Assemblies can hope to raise, is the realization

down in the innermost heart of every true believer of the

regenerating power, the supreme necessity, the unfailing

efficacy of the Message he bears. I assure you, dear friends,

that nothing short of such an immovable conviction could

have in days past enabled our beloved Cause to weather the

blackest storms in its history. Naught else can today vitalize

the manifold activities in which unnumbered disciples of the

Faith are engaged; naught else can provide that driving

force and sustaining power that are both so essential to the

success of vast and enduring achievements. It is this spirit

that above all else we should sedulously guard, and strive

with all our might to fortify and exemplify in all our

undertakings.

Not by merely imitating the excesses and laxity of the ext ra-

vagant age they live in; not by the idle neglect of the sacred

responsibilities it is their privilege to shoulder; not by the

silent compromise of the principles dearly cherished by

‘Abdu’l-Bahá; not by their fear of unpopularity or their

dread of censure can they hope to rouse society from its

spiritual lethargy, and serve as a model to a civilization the

foundations of which the corrosion of prejudice has well-nigh

undermined. By the sublimity of their principles, the warmth

of their love, the spotless purity of their character, and the

depth of their devoutness and piety, let them demonstrate to

their fellow-countrymen the ennobling reality of a power that

shall weld a disrupted world.
B. and C. ‘The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh’
the

chief depository wherein are enshrined those priceless eleme nts

of that Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the

primary mission of the Bahá’í Faith
insepar-
able parts of one complete unit
confirms, supple-
ments, and correlates the provisions of the Aqdas
to apply the principles, promulgate the laws,

protect the institutions, adapt loyally and intelligently the Fai th

to the requirements of progressive society, and consummate the

incorruptible inheritance which the Founders of the Faith have

bequeathed to the world
immut-

ability elasticity The first preserves the identity of His

Faith, and guards the integrity of His law. The second enables it,

even as a living organism, to expand and adapt itself to the needs

and requirements of an ever-changing society
in the ways, thoughts and manners
Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a

transformation in the whole character of mankind, a

transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and

inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external

conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed,

the futility of God’s universal Manifestation would be

apparent.

Bahá’u’lláh, we should readily recognize, has not only

imbued mankind with a new and regenerating Spirit. He has

not merely enunciated certain universal principles, or

propounded a particular philosophy, however potent, sound

and universal these may be. In addition to these He, as well

as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá after Him, has, unlike the Dispensations of

the past, clearly and specifically laid down a set of Laws,

established definite institutions, and provided for the

essentials of a Divine Economy. These are destined to be a

pattern for future society, a supreme instrument for the

establishment of the Most Great Peace, and the one agency

for the unification of the world, and the proclamation of the

reign of righteousness and justice upon the earth.

Leaders of religion, exponents of political theories, gover-

nors of human institutions, who at present are witnessing

with perplexity and dismay the bankruptcy of their ideas, and

the disintegration of their handiwork, would do well to turn

their gaze to the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, and to medi-

tate upon the World Order which, lying enshrined in His

teachings, is slowly and imperceptibly rising amid the welter

and chaos of present-day civilization. They need have no

doubt or anxiety regarding the nature, the origin or validity

of the institutions which the adherents of the Faith are

building up throughout the world. For these lie embedded in

the teachings themselves, unadulterated and unobscured by

unwarrantable inferences, or unauthorized interpretations of

His Word.

How pressing and sacred the responsibility that now

weighs upon those who are already acquainted with these

teachings! How glorious the task of those who are called

upon to vindicate their truth, and demonstrate their

practicability to an unbelieving world! Nothing short of an

immovable conviction in their divine origin, and their

uniqueness in the annals of religion; nothing short of an

unwavering purpose to execute and apply them to the

administrative machinery of the Cause, can be sufficient to

establish their reality, and insure their success. How vast is

the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh! How great the magnitude of

His blessings showered upon humanity in this day! And yet,

how poor, how inadequate our conception of their

significance and glory! This generation stands too close to so

colossal a Revelation to appreciate, in their full measure, the

infinite possibilities of His Faith, the unprecedented

character of His Cause, and the mysterious dispensations of

His Providence.
D. ‘The Goal of a New World Order’
Not even would the

very act of devising the machinery required for the political and

economic unification of the world . . . provide in itself the

antidote against the poison that is steadily undermining the vigor

of organized peoples and nations
internal disintegration
the failure of

those in whose hands the immediate destinies of peoples and

nations have been committed, to adjust their system of economic

and political institutions to the imperative needs of a rapidly

evolving age
reshape the machinery of

their respective governments according to those standards that

are implicit in Bahá’u’lláh’s supreme declaration of the Oneness

of Mankind
world
Super-State the fury of a capricious

and militant nationalism . . . into an abiding consciousness of

world citizenship
unity in diversity
repudiates excessive centralization on one

hand and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other

reawakening of the
spirit of brotherhood and good-will among men

It calls for . . . a world organically unified in all the

essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, it s spiritual

aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and yet

infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of it s

federated units
welded
mental physical agony

That the forces of a world catastrophe can alone precipitate

such a new phase of human thought is, alas, becoming

increasingly apparent. That nothing short of the fire of a

severe ordeal, unparalleled in its intensity, can fuse and weld

the discordant entities that constitute the elements of present-

day civilization, into the integral components of the world

commonwealth of the future, is a truth which future events

will increasingly demonstrate.
with undimmed vision and
unabated zeal

Concerning the general letter he has sent lately to the

Western friends, to which you refer . . . Shoghi Effendi thinks

that the friends should spread the message it conveys to the

public. It should undoubtedly be done in a very judicious way

lest the people think that we have entered the arena of

politics with rather drastic programmes of reform. But we

should at the same time show the lead that the teachings take

towards the realization of the international ideal. The

primary importance of the Cause among the existing

religions of the world is that, whereas the others have no

coherent programme upon which they are united, the

Movement is rich with the very spirit and teachings the world

needs for solving its present international problems. It is a

wonderful chance for the Cause to absorb the interest of the

intelligent elements in the public.

Ten years of unceasing turmoil, so laden with anguish, so

fraught with incalculable consequences to the future of

civilization, have brought the world to the verge of a

calamity too awful to contemplate. Sad indeed is the con-

trast between the manifestations of confident enthusiasm in

which the Plenipotentiaries at Versailles so freely indulged

and the cry of unconcealed distress which victors and

vanquished alike are now raising in the hour of bitter

delusion.

Never indeed have there been such widespread and basic

upheavals, whether in the social, economic or political

spheres of human activity as those now going on in different

parts of the world. Never have there been so many and varied

sources of danger as those that now threaten the structure of

society.

Are we, the privileged custodians of a priceless Faith, cal led

upon to witness a cataclysmical change, politically as

fundamental and spiritually as beneficent as that which

precipitated the fall of the Roman Empire in the West? Might

it not happen – every vigilant adherent of the Faith of

Bahá’u’lláh might well pause to reflect – that out of this

world eruption there may stream forces of such spiritual

energy as shall recall, nay eclipse, the splendor of those

signs and wonders that accompanied the establishment of the

Faith of Jesus Christ? Might there not emerge out of the

agony of a shaken world a religious revival of such scope

and power as to even transcend the potency of those world-

directing forces with which the Religions of the Past have, at

fixed intervals and according to an inscrutable Wisdom,

revived the fortunes of declining ages and peoples? Might

not the bankruptcy of this present, this highly-vaunted

materialistic civilization, in itself clear away the choking

weeds that now hinder the unfoldment and future
efflorescence of God’s struggling Faith?

The call of Bahá’u’lláh is primarily directed against all

forms of provincialism, all insularities and prejudices. If

long-cherished ideals and time-honored institutions, if

certain social assumptions and religious formulae have

ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind,

if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually

evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated

to the limbo of obsolescent and forgotten doctrines. Why

should these, in a world subject to the immutable law

of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration

that must needs overtake every human institution? For

legal standards, political and economic theories are

solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity

as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the

preservation of the integrity of any particular law or

doctrine.

Let there be no mistake. The principle of the Oneness of

Mankind – the pivot round which all the teachings of

Bahá’u’lláh revolve – is no mere outburst of ignorant

emtionalism or an expression of vague and pious hope. Its

appeal is not to be merely identified with a reawakening of

the spirit of brotherhood and good-will among men, nor does

it aim solely at the fostering of harmonious cooperation

among individual peoples and nations. Its implications are

deeper, its claims greater than any which the Prophets of old

were allowed to advance. Its message is applicable not only

to the individual, but concerns itself primarily with the nature

of those essential relationships that must bind all the states

and nations as members of one human family. It does not

constitute merely the enunciation of an ideal, but stands

inseparably associated with an institution adequate to

embody its truth, demonstrate its validity, and perpetuate its

influence. It implies an organic change in the structure of

present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet

experienced. It constitutes a challenge, at once bold and

universal, to outworn shibboleths of national creeds – creeds

that have had their day and which must, in the ordinary

course of events as shaped and controlled by Providence,

give way to a new gospel, fundamentally different from, and

infinitely superior to, what the world has already conceived.

It calls for no less than the reconstruction and the demili-

tarization of the whole civilized world – a world organically

unified in all the essential aspects of its life, its polit ical

machinery, its spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its

script and language, and yet infinite in the diversity of the

national characteristics of its federated units.
E. ‘The Golden Age of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh’
in the face of tremendous

obstacles, maintained its unity, resisted the malignant onslaught

of its ill-wishers, silenced its calumniators broadened the

basis of its far-flung administration

Where else, if not in the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh,

can the unbiased student of comparative religion cite instances

of a claim as stupendous as that which the Author of that Faith

advanced, foes as relentless as those which He faced, a devotion

more sublime than that which He kindled, a life as eventful and

as enthralling as that which He led?

That the Cause associated with the name of Bahá’u’lláh

feeds itself upon those hidden springs of celestial strength

which no force of human personality, whatever its glamour,

can replace; that its reliance is solely upon that mystic

Source with which no worldly advantage, be it wealth, fame,

or learning can compare; that it propagates itself by ways

mysterious and utterly at variance with the standards

accepted by the generality of mankind, will, if not already

apparent, become increasingly manifest as it forges ahead

towards fresh conquests in its struggle for the spiritual

regeneration of mankind.

Indeed, how could it, unsupported as it has ever been by

the counsels and the resources of the wise, the rich, and the

learned in the land of its birth, have succeeded in breaking

asunder the shackles that weighed upon it at the hour of its

birth, in emerging unscathed from the storms that agitated its

infancy, had not its animating breath been quickened by that

spirit which is born of God, and on which all success,

wherever and however it be sought, must ultimately depend?

Not by the material resources which the members of this

infant community can now summon to their aid; not by the

numerical strength of its present-day supporters; nor by any

direct tangible benefits its votaries can as yet confer upon the

multitude of the needy and the disconsolate among their

countrymen, should its potentialities be tested or its worth

determined. Nowhere but in the purity of its precepts, the

sublimity of its standards, the integrity of its laws, the

reasonableness of its claims, the comprehensiveness of its

scope, the universality of its program, the flexibility of its

institutions, the lives of its founders, the heroism of its

martyrs, and the transforming power of its influence, should

the unprejudiced observer seek to obtain the true criterion

that can enable him to fathom its mysteries or to estimate its

virtue.

Let them refrain from associating themselves, whether by

word or by deed, with the political pursuits of their

respective nations, with the policies of their governments and

the schemes and programs of parties and factions. In such

controversies they should assign no blame, take no side,

further no design, and identify themselves with no system

prejudicial to the best interests of that worldwide Fellowship

which it is their aim to guard and foster. Let them beware

lest they allow themselves to become the tools of

unscrupulous politicians, or to be entrapped by the

treacherous devices of the plotters and the perfidious among

their countrymen. Let them so shape their lives and regulate

their conduct that no charge of secrecy, of fraud, of bribery

or of intimidation may, however ill-founded, be brought

against them. Let them rise above all particularism and

partisanship, above the vain disputes, the petty calculations,

the transient passions that agitate the face, and engage the

attention, of a changing world. It is their duty to strive to

distinguish, as clearly as they possibly can, and if needed

with the aid of their elected representatives, such posts and

functions as are either diplomatic or political from those that

are purely administrative in character, and which under no

circumstances are affected by the changes and chances that

political activities and party government, in every land, must

necessarily involve. Let them affirm their unyielding

determination to stand, firmly and unreservedly, for the way

of Bahá’u’lláh, to avoid the entanglements and bickerings

inseparable from the pursuits of the politician, and to become

worthy agencies of that Divine Polity which incarnates God’s

immutable Purpose for all men.
F. This Decisive Hour
Messages to
America
Nabíl’s Narrative

champion-builders of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

the
head-cornerstone
consecrated Spot
God Passes By

The handling of this delicate and vital problem regarding

non-participation by Bahá’ís of East and West in political

affairs, calls for the utmost circumspection, tact, patience

and vigilance, on the part of those whose function and

privilege it is to guard, promote and administer the activities

of a worldwide, ever-advancing Cause. The misgivings and

apprehensions of individual Bahá’ís should be allayed and

eventually completely dispelled. Any misconception of the

sane and genuine patriotism that animates every Bahá’í

heart, if it ever obscures or perplexes the minds of

responsible government officials, should be instantly and

courageously dissipated. Any deliberate misrepresentation,

by the enemies of the Cause of God of the aims, the tenets

and methods of the administrators of the Faith of

Bahá’u’lláh should be vigorously faced and its fallacy

pitilessly exposed. The Cause, to which we belong, stands on

the threshold of an era of unprecedented expansion. Its

problems are many, divers and challenging. Our methods

and ways of approach must likewise be characterized by

unusual sagacity, consummate skill and wisdom. He will

surely never fail us in meeting the needs of a critical hour .

As I lift up my gaze beyond the strain and stresses which a

struggling Faith must necessarily experience, and view the

wider scene which the indomitable will of the American

Bahá’í community is steadily unfolding, I cannot but marvel

at the range which the driving force of their ceaseless labors

has acquired and the heights which the sublimity of their

faith has attained. The outposts of a Faith, already per-

secuted in both Europe and Asia, are in the American

continent steadily advancing, the visible symbols of its

undoubted sovereignty are receiving fresh luster every day

and its manifold institutions are driving their roots deeper

and deeper into its soil. Blest and honored as none among its

sister communities has been in recent years, preserved

through the inscrutable dispensations of Divine Providence

for a destiny which no mind can as yet imagine, such a

community cannot for a moment afford to be content with or

rest on the laurels it has so deservedly won. It must go on,

continually go on, exploring fresh fields, scaling nobler

heights, laying firmer foundations, shedding added splendor

and achieving added renown in the service and for the glory

of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. The Seven Year Plan, which it

has sponsored and with which its destiny is so closely inter-

woven, must at all costs be prosecuted with increasing force

and added consecration. All should arise and participate.

Upon the measure of such a participation will no doubt

depend the welfare and progress of those distant com-

munities which are now battling for their emancipation. To

such a priceless privilege the inheritors of the shining grac e

of Bahá’u’lláh cannot surely be indifferent. The American

believers must gird up the loins of endeavor and step into the

arena of service with such heroism as shall astound the

entire Bahá’í world. Let them be assured that my prayers will

continue to be offered on their behalf.

[I]t must be clearly understood, nor can it be sufficiently

emphasized, that the conjunction of the resting-place of the

Greatest Holy Leaf with those of her brother and mother

incalculably reinforces the spiritual potencies of that con-

secrated Spot which, under the wings of the Báb’s

overshadowing Sepulcher, and in the vicinity of the future

Mash riqu’l-Adh kár which will be reared on its flank, is

destined to evolve into the focal center of those world-

shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative

institutions, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh and anticipated by

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and which are to function in consonance with

the principles that govern the twin institutions of the

Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. Then, and

then only, will this momentous prophecy which illuminates

the concluding passages of the Tablet of Carmel be fulfilled:

‘Erelong will God sail His Ark upon thee (Carmel), and will

manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the

Book of Names.’

To attempt to visualize, even in its barest outline, the

glory that must envelop these institutions, to essay even a

tentative and partial description of their character or the

manner of their operation, or to trace however inadequately

the course of events leading to their rise and eventual

establishment is far beyond my own capacity and power.

Suffice it to say that at this troubled stage in world history

the association of these three incomparably precious souls

who, next to the three Central Figures of our Faith, tower in

rank above the vast multitude of the heroes, Letters, martyrs,

hands, teachers and administrators of the Cause of

Bahá’u’lláh, in such a potentially powerful spiritual and

administrative Center, is in itself an event which will releas e

forces that are bound to hasten the emergence in a land

which, geographically, spiritually and administratively,

constitutes the heart of the entire planet, of some of the

brightest gems of that World Order now shaping in the womb

of this travailing age.

Were anyone to imagine or expect that a Cause, comprising

within its orbit so vast a portion of the globe, so turbulent in

its history, so challenging in its claims, so diversified i n the

elements it has assimilated into its administrative structure,

should at all times be immune to any divergence of opinion,

or any defection on the part of its multitudinous followers,

would be sheer delusion, wholly unreasonable and un-

warranted, even in the face of the unprecedented evidences of

the miraculous power which its rise and progress have so

powerfully exhibited. That such a secession, however,

whether effected by those who apostatize their faith or

preach heretical doctrines, should have failed, after the lapse

of a century, to split in twain the entire body of the adherents

of the Faith, or to create a grave, a permanent and irremedi-

able breach in its organic structure, is a fact too eloquent for

even a casual observer of the internal processes of its

Administrative Order to either deny or ignore.

Therein every loyal and intelligent upholder of Bahá-

’u’lláh’s incomparable Covenant – a Covenant designed by

Him as the sole refuge against schism, disruption and

anarchy – will readily recognize the hallmark of His Faith,

and will acclaim it as the supreme gift conferred by Him Who

is the Lord of Revelation upon the present and future

generations who are destined, in this greatest of all Dispens-

ations, to flock, from every creed and religion, to the banner,

and espouse the Cause, of His Most Great Name.

From the record of its tumultuous history, almost every page

of which portrays a fresh crisis, is laden with the descripti on

of a new calamity, recounts the tale of a base betrayal, and is

stained with the account of unspeakable atrocities, there

emerges, clear and incontrovertible, the supreme truth that

with every fresh outbreak of hostility to the Faith, whether

from within or from without, a corresponding measure of

outpouring grace, sustaining its defenders and confounding

its adversaries, has been providentially released, communi-

cating a fresh impulse to the onward march of the Faith,

while this impetus, in its turn, would, through its manifest-

ations, provoke fresh hostility in quarters heretofore unaware

of its challenging implications – this increased hostility be ing

accompanied by a still more arresting revelation of Divine

Power and a more abundant effusion of celestial grace,

which, by enabling the upholders of that Faith to register still

more brilliant victories, would thereby generate issues of sti ll

more vital import and raise up still more formidable enemies

against a Cause that cannot but in the end resolve those

issues and crush the resistance of those enemies, through a

still more glorious unfoldment of its inherent power.

G. ‘America and the Most Great Peace’
an undisputed leadership among its sister
communities of East and West
vilest
imputations
an expiring creed
perverted
apostate an
unscrupulous plotter and usurper
stirrer of mischief and a notorious exponent of
expediency and fraud
a shallow attempt at uniformity
a vain belief in magic
a mere utopia
invading
forces of schism ruin
away from its cradle to
the shores of the American continent
standard-bearers of the Cause of Jesus Christ
His worldwide dominion on the ruins
potent energies

these notorious exponents of corruption and heresy in

protruding for a time their ugly features only to sink, as rapi dly

as they had risen, into the mire of an ignominious end

Will it be America, will it be one of the countries of Europ e,

who will arise to assume the leadership essential to the

shaping of the destinies of this troubled age? Will America

allow any of her sister communities in East or West to

achieve such ascendancy as shall deprive her of that spiritual

primacy with which she has been invested and which she has

thus far so nobly retained? Will she not rather contribute, by

a still further revelation of those inherent powers that motiv-

ate her life, to enhance the priceless heritage which the love

and wisdom of a departed Master have conferred upon her?

Her past has been a testimony to the inexhaustible vitality

of her faith. May not her future confirm it?

Contrast the sad plight of the nations of the earth, and in

particular this great Republic of the West, with the rising

fortunes of that handful of its citizens , whose

mission, if they be faithful to their trust, is to heal its wounds,

restore its confidence and revive its shattered hopes.

Contrast the dreadful convulsions, the internecine conflicts,

the petty disputes, the outworn controversies, the intermin-

able revolutions that agitate the masses, with the calm new

light of Peace and of Truth which envelops, guides and

sustains those valiant inheritors of the law and love of

Bahá’u’lláh. Compare the disintegrating institutions, the dis-

credited statesmanship, the exploded theories, the appalling

degradation, the follies and furies, the shifts, shams and com-

promises that characterize the present age, with the steady

consolidation, the holy discipline, the unity and cohesiveness,

the assured conviction, the uncompromising loyalty, the

heroic self-sacrifice that constitute the hallmark of these

faithful stewards and harbingers of the golden age of the

Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, so sudden in the circumstances

which caused it, so dramatic in its consequences, could

neither impede the operation of such a dynamic force nor

obscure its purpose. Those fervid appeals, embodied in the

Will and Testament of a departed Master, could not but

confirm its aim, define its character and reinforce the

promise of its ultimate success.
Out of the pangs of anguish which His bereaved

followers have suffered, amid the heat and dust which the

attacks launched by a sleepless enemy had precipitated, the

Administration of Bahá’u’lláh’s invincible Faith was born.

The potent energies released through the ascension of the

Center of His Covenant crystallized into this supreme, this

infallible Organ for the accomplishment of a Divine Purpose.

The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá unveiled its

character, reaffirmed its basis, supplemented its principles ,

asserted its indispensability, and enumerated its chief

institutions. With that self-same spontaneity which had

characterized her response to the Message proclaimed by

Bahá’u’lláh America had now arisen to espouse the cause of

the Administration which the Will and Testament of His Son

had unmistakably established. It was given to her, and to her

alone, in the turbulent years following the revelation of so

momentous a Document, to become the fearless champion of

that Administration, the pivot of its new-born institutions and

the leading promoter of its influence. To their Persian

brethren, who in the heroic age of the Faith had won the

crown of martyrdom, the American believers, forerunners of

its golden age, were now worthily succeeding, bearing in

their turn the palm of a hard-won victory. The unbroken

record of their illustrious deeds had established beyond the

shadow of a doubt their preponderating share in shaping the

destinies of their Faith. In a world writhing with pain and

declining into chaos this community – the vanguard of the

liberating forces of Bahá’u’lláh – succeeded in the years

following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing in raising high above the

institutions established by its sister communities in East and

West what may well constitute the chief pillar of that future

House – a House which posterity will regard as the last

refuge of a tottering civilization.
H. ‘The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh’
invaluable
supplement
supplements
The Priceless Pearl
Dispensation
lay special stress . . . upon certain

truths which lie at the basis of our Faith and the integrity of

which it is our first duty to safeguard. These verities, if val iantly

upheld and properly assimilated, will, I am convinced, power-

fully reinforce the vigor of our spiritual life, and greatly a ssist in

counteracting the machinations of an implacable and vigilant

enemy

Dominating the entire range of this fascinating spectacle

towers the

incomparable figure of Bahá’u’lláh, transcendental in His

majesty, serene, awe-inspiring, unapproachably glorious.

Allied, though subordinate in rank, and invested with the

authority of presiding with Him over the destinies of this

supreme Dispensation, there shines upon this mental picture

the youthful glory of the Báb, infinite in His tenderness,

irresistible in His charm, unsurpassed in His heroism,

matchless in the dramatic circumstances of His short yet

eventful life. And finally there emerges, though on a plane of

its own and in a category entirely apart from the one

occupied by the twin Figures that preceded Him, the vibrant,

the magnetic personality of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, reflecting to a

degree that no man, however exalted his station, can hope to

rival, the glory and power with which They who are the

Manifestations of God are alone endowed.
the sublimity of this unique Cycle in the
world’s religious history

[T]hat invisible yet rational God Who, however much we

extol the divinity of His Manifestations on earth, can in no

wise incarnate His infinite, His unknowable, His

incorruptible and all-embracing Reality in the concrete and

limited frame of a mortal being. Indeed, the God Who could

so incarnate His own reality would, in the light of the

teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, cease immediately to be God.

should never be obscured, and [its]

integrity . . . no one of His followers should allow to be

compromised

repudiates the claim to be regarded as the final revelation of

God’s will and purpose for mankind
Indeed the greatness of the Báb consists

primarily, not in His being the divinely-appointed Forerunner of

so transcendent a Revelation, but rather in His having been

invested with the powers inherent in the inaugurator of a

separate religious Dispensation, and in His wielding, to a degree

unrivalled by the Messengers gone before Him, the scepter of

independent Prophethood

It would be indeed difficult for us, who stand so close to such

a tremendous figure and are drawn by the mysterious power

of so magnetic a personality, to obtain a clear and exact

understanding of the rôle and character of One Who, not

only in the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh but in the entire field

of religious history, fulfills a unique function . . . He towers,

in conjunction with them , above

the destinies of this infant Faith of God from a level to which

no individual or body ministering to its needs after Him, and

for no less a period than a full thousand years, can ever hope

to rise.

This Administrative Order, as it expands and consolidates

itself, will no doubt manifest the potentialities and reveal the

full implications of this momentous Document
– this most remarkable expres-

sion of the Will of One of the most remarkable Figures of the

Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh. It will, as its component parts,

its organic institutions, begin to function with efficiency and

vigor, assert its claim and demonstrate its capacity to be

regarded not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the

New World Order destined to embrace in the fullness of time

the whole of mankind.
do we find any provisions establishing a

covenant, or providing for an administrative order, that can

compare in scope and authority with those that lie at the very

basis of the Bahá’í Dispensation
two fundamental organs of the Will of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Significant as are the origins of this mighty administrative

structure, and however unique its features, the happenings

that may be said to have heralded its birth and signalized the

initial stage of its evolution seem no less remarkable. How

striking, how edifying the contrast between the process of

slow and steady consolidation that characterizes the growth

of its infant strength and the devastating onrush of the forces

of disintegration that are assailing the outworn institutions,

both religious and secular, of present-day society!

The vitality which the organic institutions of this great,

this ever-expanding Order so strongly exhibit; the obstacles

which the high courage, the undaunted resolution of its

administrators have already surmounted; the fire of an

unquenchable enthusiasm that glows with undiminished

fervour in the hearts of its itinerant teachers; the heights of

self-sacrifice which its champion-builders are now attaining;

the breadth of vision, the confident hope, the creative joy, the

inward peace, the uncompromising integrity, the exemplary

discipline, the unyielding unity and solidarity which its

stalwart defenders manifest; the degree to which its moving

Spirit has shown itself capable of assimilating the diversif ied

elements within its pale, of cleansing them of all forms of

prejudice and of fusing them with its own structure – these

are evidences of a power which a disillusioned and sadly

shaken society can ill afford to ignore.

Compare these splendid manifestations of the spirit

animating this vibrant body of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh with

the cries and agony, the follies and vanities, the bitterness

and prejudices, the wickedness and divisions of an ailing and

chaotic world. Witness the fear that torments its leaders and

paralyzes the action of its blind and bewildered statesmen.

How fierce the hatreds, how false the ambitions, how petty

the pursuits, how deep-rooted the suspicions of its peoples!

How disquieting the lawlessness, the corruption, the unbelief

that are eating into the vitals of a tottering civilization!

Might not this process of steady deterioration which is

insidiously invading so many departments of human activity

and thought be regarded as a necessary accompaniment to

the rise of this almighty Arm of Bahá’u’lláh? Might we not

look upon the momentous happenings which, in the course of

the past twenty years, have so deeply agitated every continent

of the earth, as ominous signs simultaneously proclaiming

the agonies of a disintegrating civilization and the birth-

pangs of that World Order – that Ark of human salvation –

that must needs arise upon its ruins?
I. ‘The Unfoldment of World Civilization’
fair-minded observer
downfall of those powers and

principalities that have either ignored or opposed

mystic, all-
pervasive
hollow and outworn institutions
obsolescent doctrines and beliefs
moral and social gloom
coming of age
the forces of

irreligion, of a purely materialistic philosophy of

unconcealed paganism

a marked weakening of the Church and . . . a grave diminution

of its spiritual influence
the oneness of the whole

body of nations will be made the ruling principle of international

life
the oneness and wholeness
of human relationships
rigidly non-partisan

The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, whose supreme mission is

none other but the achievement of this organic and spiritual

unity of the whole body of nations, should, if we be faithful to

its implications, be regarded as signalizing through its

advent the coming of age of the entire human race. It should

be viewed not merely as yet another spiritual revival in the

ever-changing fortunes of mankind, not only as a further

stage in a chain of progressive Revelations, nor even as the

culmination of one of a series of recurrent prophetic cycles,

but rather as marking the last and highest stage in the

stupendous evolution of man’s collective life on this planet.

The emergence of a world community, the consciousness of

world citizenship, the founding of a world civilization and

culture – all of which must synchronize with the initial stages

in the unfoldment of the Golden Age of the Bahá’í Era –

should, by their very nature, be regarded, as far as this

planetary life is concerned, as the furthermost limits in t he

organization of human society, though man, as an individual,

will, nay must indeed as a result of such a consummation,

continue indefinitely to progress and develop.

Deep as is the gloom that already encircles the world, the

afflictive ordeals which that world is to suffer are still in

preparation, nor can their blackness be as yet imagined. We

stand on the threshold of an age whose convulsions proclaim

alike the death-pangs of the old order and the birth-pangs of

the new.

The recrudescence of religious intolerance, of racial animos-

ity, and of patriotic arrogance; the increasing evidences of

selfishness, of suspicion, of fear and of fraud; the spread of

terrorism, of lawlessness, of drunkenness and of crime; the

unquenchable thirst for, and the feverish pursuit after,

earthly vanities, riches and pleasures; the weakening of

family solidarity; the laxity in parental control; the lapse into

luxurious indulgence; the irresponsible attitude towards

marriage and the consequent rising tide of divorce; the

degeneracy of art and music, the infection of literature, and

the corruption of the press; the extension of the influence and

activities of those ‘prophets of decadence’ who advocate

companionate marriage, who preach the philosophy of

nudism, who call modesty an intellectual fiction, who refuse

to regard the procreation of children as the sacred and

primary purpose of marriage, who denounce religion as an

opiate of the people, who would, if given free rein, lead bac k

the human race to barbarism, chaos, and ultimate extinction

– these appear as the outstanding characteristics of a

decadent society, a society that must either be reborn or

perish.

Ceasing to designate to itself a movement, a fellowship and

the like – designations that did grave injustice to its ever-

unfolding system – dissociating itself from such appellations

as Bábí sect, Asiatic cult, and offshoot of Sh í’ih Islám, with

which the ignorant and the malicious were wont to describe

it, refusing to be labeled as a mere philosophy of life, or as

an eclectic code of ethical conduct, or even as a new

religion, the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is now visibly succeeding

in demonstrating its claim and title to be regarded as a

World Religion, destined to attain, in the fullness of time, t he

status of a world-embracing Commonwealth, which would be

at once the instrument and the guardian of the Most Great

Peace announced by its Author.

How can a Faith, it should moreover be borne in mind,

whose divinely-ordained institutions have been established

within the jurisdiction of no less than forty different

countries, the policies and interests of whose governments

are continually clashing and growing more complex and

confused every day – how can such a Faith, by allowing its

adherents, whether individually or through its organized

councils, to meddle in political activities, succeed in

preserving the integrity of its teachings and in safeguarding

the unity of its followers? How can it insure the vigorous, the

uninterrupted and peaceful development of its expanding

institutions? How can a Faith, whose ramifications have

brought it into contact with mutually incompatible religious

systems, sects and confessions, be in a position, if it perm its

its adherents to subscribe to obsolescent observances and

doctrines, to claim the unconditional allegiance of those

whom it is striving to incorporate into its divinely-appointed

system? How can it avoid the constant friction, the

misunderstandings and controversies which formal affili-

ation, as distinct from association, must inevitably engender?

The long ages of infancy and childhood, through which the

human race had to pass, have receded into the background.

Humanity is now experiencing the commotions invariably

associated with the most turbulent stage of its evolution, the

stage of adolescence, when the impetuosity of youth and its

vehemence reach their climax, and must gradually be

superseded by the calmness, the wisdom, and the maturity

that characterize the stage of manhood. Then will the human

race reach that stature of ripeness which will enable it to

acquire all the powers and capacities upon which its ultimate

development must depend.

The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh,

implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which

all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and

permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state

members and the personal freedom and initiative of the

individuals that comprise them are definitely and completely

safeguarded.

A world federal system, ruling the whole earth and exercising

unchallengeable authority over its unimaginably vast

resources, blending and embodying the ideals of both the

East and the West, liberated from the curse of war and its

miseries, and bent on the exploitation of all the available

sources of energy on the surface of the planet, a system in

which Force is made the servant of Justice, whose life is

sustained by its universal recognition of one God and by its

allegiance to one common Revelation – such is the goal

towards which humanity, impelled by the unifying forces of

life, is moving.
J. The Advent of Divine Justice
The Advent of Divine Justice
the impelling force of circumstances
a rectitude of conduct an
abiding sense of undeviating justice the
obligation of chastity and holiness a fraternity

freed from that cancerous growth of racial prejudice, which is

eating into the vitals of an already debilitated society

immersed in

a sea of materialism, a prey to one of the most virulent and long-

standing forms of racial prejudice, and notorious for its political

corruption, lawlessness and laxity in moral standards

racial
superiority
champion-builders
political corruption and
. . . moral license
rearing
can contribute so decisively to the virility, the

purity, and the driving force of the life of the Bahá’í community ,

and upon must depend the future orientation of its

destiny, and the complete unfoldment of the potentialities with

which God has endowed it
These recurrent crises which, with

ominous frequency and resistless force, are afflicting an ever-

increasing portion of the human race must of necessity continue,

however impermanently, to exercise, in a certain measure, the ir

baleful influence upon a world community which has spread its

ramifications to the uttermost ends of the earth
The opportunities which the turmoil of

the present age presents, with all the sorrows which it evoke s,

the fears which it excites, the disillusionment which it produces ,

the perplexities which it creates, the indignation which it

arouses, the revolt which it provokes, the grievances it

engenders, the spirit of restless search which it awakens, must, in

like manner, be exploited for the purpose of spreading far and

wide the knowledge of the redemptive power of the Faith of

Bahá’u’lláh, and for enlisting fresh recruits in the ever-swelli ng

army of His followers ‘[T]he synchronization of such

world-shaking crises with the progressive

unfoldment and fruition of their divinely appointed task is itself

the work of Providence . . . Such simultaneous processes of rise

and fall, of integration and of disintegration, of order and chaos,

with their continuous and reciprocal reactions on each other, are

but aspects of a greater Plan, one and indivisible, whose Source

is God, whose author is Bahá’u’lláh, the theater of whose

operations is the entire planet, and whose ultimate objectives

are the unity of the human race and the peace of all mankind

The light

of religion is dimmed and moral authority is disintegrating

The nations of the world have, for the

most part, fallen a prey to battling ideologies that threaten to

disrupt the very foundations of their dearly won political unity.

Agitated multitudes in these countries seethe with discontent, are

armed to the teeth, are stampeded with fear, and groan beneath

the yoke of tribulations engendered by political strife, racial

fanaticism, national hatreds, and religious animosities

A world, torn with conflicting passions, and perilously

disintegrating from within, finds itself confronted, at so

crucial an epoch in its history, by the rising fortunes of an

infant Faith, a Faith that, at times, seems to be drawn into its

controversies, entangled by its conflicts, eclipsed by its

gathering shadows, and overpowered by the mounting tide of

its passions. In its very heart, within its cradle, at the seat of

its first and venerable Temple, in one of its hitherto

flourishing and potentially powerful centres, the as-yet

unemancipated Faith of Bahá’u’lláh seems indeed to have

retreated before the onrushing forces of violence and dis-

order to which humanity is steadily falling a victim. The

strongholds of such a Faith, one by one and day after day,

are to outward seeming being successively isolated, as-

saulted and captured. As the lights of liberty flicker and go

out, as the din of discord grows louder and louder every day,

as the fires of fanaticism flame with increasing fierceness in

the breasts of men, as the chill of irreligion creeps rel ent-

lessly over the soul of mankind, the limbs and organs that

constitute the body of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh appear, in

varying measure, to have become afflicted with the crippling

influences that now hold in their grip the whole of the

civilized world.
opportunities which stand out preeminently, in

any attempt to survey the possibilities of the future : . . .

the multitudinous issues that must be faced, the obstacles that

must be overcome, and the responsibilities that must be

assumed, to enable a sore-tried Faith to pass through the

successive stages of unmitigated obscurity, of active repre s-

sion, and of complete emancipation, leading in turn to its

being acknowledged as an independent Faith, enjoying the

status of full equality with its sister religions, to be foll owed

by its establishment and recognition as a State religion,

which in turn must give way to its assumption of the rights

and prerogatives associated with the Bahá’í state, func-

tioning in the plenitude of its powers, a stage which must

ultimately culminate in the emergence of the worldwide

Bahá’í Commonwealth, animated wholly by the spirit, and

operating solely in direct conformity with the laws and

principles of Bahá’u’lláh.

Let not, however, the invincible army of Bahá’u’lláh, who in

the West, and at one of its potential storm-centers is to fight,

in His name and for His sake, one of its fiercest and most

glorious battles, be afraid of any criticism that might be

directed against it. Let it not be deterred by any condem-

nation with which the tongue of the slanderer may seek to

debase its motives. Let it not recoil before the threatening

advance of the forces of fanaticism, of orthodoxy, of

corruption, and of prejudice that may be leagued against it.

The voice of criticism is a voice that indirectly reinforces the

proclamation of its Cause. Unpopularity but serves to throw

into greater relief the contrast between it and its adversaries;

while ostracism is itself the magnetic power that must

eventually win over to its camp the most vociferous and

inveterate amongst its foes.

The field is indeed so immense, the period so critical, the

Cause so great, the workers so few, the time so short, the

privilege so priceless, that no follower of the Faith of

Bahá’u’lláh, worthy to bear His name, can afford a

moment’s hesitation. That God-born Force, irresistible in its

sweeping power, incalculable in its potency, unpredictable in

its course, mysterious in its workings, and awe-inspiring in

its manifestations – a Force which, as the Báb has written,

‘vibrates within the innermost being of all created things,’

and which, according to Bahá’u’lláh, has through its ‘vibrat-

ing influence,’ ‘upset the equilibrium of the world and revo-

lutionized its ordered life’ – such a Force, acting even as a

two-edged sword, is, under our very eyes, sundering, on the

one hand, the age-old ties which for centuries have held

together the fabric of civilized society, and is unloosing, on

the other, the bonds that still fetter the infant and as yet

unemancipated Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The opportunities which the turmoil of the present age

presents, with all the sorrows which it evokes, the fears

which it excites, the disillusionment which it produces, the

perplexities which it creates, the indignation which it

arouses, the revolt which it provokes, the grievances it

engenders, the spirit of restless search which it awakens,

must, in like manner, be exploited for the purpose of

spreading far and wide the knowledge of the redemptive

power of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and for enlisting fresh

recruits in the ever-swelling army of His followers. So

precious an opportunity, so rare a conjunction of favorable

circumstances, may never again recur. Now is the time, the

appointed time, for the American believers, the vanguard of

the hosts of the Most Great Name, to proclaim, through the

agencies and channels of a specially designed Administrative

Order, their capacity and readiness to rescue a fallen and

sore-tried generation, that has rebelled against its God and

ignored His warnings, and to offer it that complete security

which only the strongholds of their Faith can provide.

K. The Promised Day is Come
The Promised Day is Come
retributive calamity
titanic upheaval
It

is at once a visitation from God and a cleansing process

for all mankind. Its fires punish the perversity of the human race,

and weld its component parts into one organic, indivisible,

world-embracing community
distressing glorious
the folly and

tumult of strife . . . blackened the annals of mankind

worldwide reconciliation
We are indeed living in an age which, if we

would correctly appraise it, should be regarded as one which is

witnessing a dual phenomenon. The first signalizes the death

pangs of an order, effete and godless, that has stubbornly

refused, despite the signs and portents of a century-old Reve-

lation, to attune its processes to the precepts and ideals which

that Heaven-sent Faith proffered it. The second proclaims the

birth pangs of an Order, divine and redemptive, that will

inevitably supplant the former, and within Whose administrative

structure an embryonic civilization, incomparable and world-

embracing, is imperceptibly maturing. The one is being rolled

up, and is crashing in oppression, bloodshed, and ruin. The

other opens up vistas of a justice, a unity, a peace, a cultur e,

such as no age has ever seen. The former has spent its force,

demonstrated its falsity and barrenness, lost irretrievably its

opportunity, and is hurrying to its doom. The latter, virile and

unconquerable, is plucking asunder its chains, and is vindicating

its title to be the one refuge within which a sore-tried humanity,

purged from its dross, can attain its destiny
the international scene
glorying in the pomp and pageantry of

a kingship as yet scarcely restricted by constitutional limit ations,

or entrenched within the strongholds of a seemingly inviolable

ecclesiastical power
the principle of kingship is eulogized, the

rank and conduct of just and fair-minded kings is extolled, the

rise of monarchs, ruling with justice and even professing Hi s

Faith, is envisaged, and the solemn duty to arise and ensure the

triumph of Bahá’í sovereigns is inculcated
hoisted the standard of revolt

inflamed the ignorant and subservient masses against

calamities that afflicted

This great retributive calamity, for which the world’s su-

preme leaders, both secular and religious, are to be regarded

as primarily answerable, as testified by Bahá’u’lláh, should

not, if we would correctly appraise it, be regarded solely as a

punishment meted out by God to a world that has, for a

hundred years, persisted in its refusal to embrace the truth of

the redemptive Message proffered to it by the supreme

Messenger of God in this day. It should be viewed also,

though to a lesser degree, in the light of a divine retribution

for the perversity of the human race in general, in casting

itself adrift from those elementary principles which must, at

all times, govern, and can alone safeguard, the life and

progress of mankind. Humanity has, alas, with increasing

insistence, preferred, instead of acknowledging and adoring

the Spirit of God as embodied in His religion in this day, to

worship those false idols, untruths and half-truths, which are

obscuring its religions, corrupting its spiritual life, con-

vulsing its political institutions, corroding its social fabric ,

and shattering its economic structure.

The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny

The interdependence of the peoples

and nations of the earth, whatever the leaders of the divisive

forces of the world may say or do, is already an accomplished

fact. Its unity in the economic sphere is now understood and

recognized. The welfare of the part means the welfare of the

whole, and the distress of the part brings distress to the whole

. . . The fires lit by this great ordeal are the consequences of

men’s failure to recognize

A tempest, unprecedented in its violence, unpredictable in its

course, catastrophic in its immediate effects, unimaginably

glorious in its ultimate consequences, is at present sweeping

the face of the earth. Its driving power is remorselessly gai n-

ing in range and momentum. Its cleansing force, however

much undetected, is increasing with every passing day.

Humanity, gripped in the clutches of its devastating power, is

smitten by the evidences of its resistless fury. It can neit her

perceive its origin, nor probe its significance, nor discern it s

outcome. Bewildered, agonized and helpless, it watches this

great and mighty wind of God invading the remotest and

fairest regions of the earth, rocking its foundations, derang-

ing its equilibrium, sundering its nations, disrupting the

homes of its peoples, wasting its cities, driving into e xile its

kings, pulling down its bulwarks, uprooting its institutions,

dimming its light, and harrowing up the souls of its

inhabitants.

Who is the ruler, may it not be confidently asked, whether of

the East or of the West, who, at any time since the dawn of s o

transcendent a Revelation, has been prompted to raise his

voice either in its praise or against those who persecuted it?

Which people has, in the course of so long a captivity, fel t

urged to arise and stem the tide of such tribulations? Who is

the sovereign, excepting a single woman, shining in solitary

glory, who has, in however small a measure, felt impelled to

respond to the poignant call of Bahá’u’lláh? Who amongst

the great ones of the earth was inclined to extend this infant

Faith of God the benefit of his recognition or support? Which

one of the multitudes of creeds, sects, races, parties and

classes and of the highly diversified schools of human

thought, considered it necessary to direct its gaze towards

the rising light of the Faith, to contemplate its unfolding

system, to ponder its hidden processes, to appraise its

weighty message, to acknowledge its regenerative power, to

embrace its salutary truth, or to proclaim its eternal verities ?

Who among the worldly wise and the so-called men of insight

and wisdom can justly claim, after the lapse of nearly a cen-

tury, to have disinterestedly approached its theme, to have

considered impartially its claims, to have taken sufficient

pains to delve into its literature, to have assiduously striven

to separate facts from fiction, or to have accorded its cause

the treatment it merits? Where are the preeminent exponents,

whether of the arts or sciences, with the exception of a few

isolated cases, who have lifted a finger, or whispered a word

of commendation, in either the defense or the praise of a

Faith that has conferred upon the world so priceless a bene-

fit, that has suffered so long and so grievously, and which

enshrines within its shell so enthralling a promise for a world

so woefully battered, so manifestly bankrupt?

God . . . does not only punish the wrongdoings of His

children. He chastises because He is just, and He chastens

because He loves. Having chastened them, He cannot, in His

great mercy, leave them to their fate. Indeed, by the very act

of chastening them He prepares them for the mission for

which He has created them . . .

God’s purpose is none other than to usher in, in ways He

alone can bring about, and the full significance of which He

alone can fathom, the Great, the Golden Age of a long-

divided, a long-afflicted humanity. Its present state, indeed

even its immediate future, is dark, distressingly dark. Its

distant future, however, is radiant, gloriously radiant – so

radiant that no eye can visualize it.
Then

will the coming of age of the entire human race be

proclaimed and celebrated by all the peoples and nations of

the earth. Then will the banner of the Most Great Peace be

hoisted. Then will the worldwide sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh

– the Establisher of the Kingdom of the Father foretold by

the Son, and anticipated by the Prophets of God before Him

and after Him – be recognized, acclaimed, and firmly estab-

lished. Then will a world civilization be born, flourish, and

perpetuate itself, a civilization with a fullness of life such as

the world has never seen nor can as yet conceive. Then will

the Everlasting Covenant be fulfilled in its completeness.

Then will the promise enshrined in all the Books of God be

redeemed, and all the prophecies uttered by the Prophets of

old come to pass, and the vision of seers and poets be

realized. Then will the planet, galvanized through the

universal belief of its dwellers in one God, and their

allegiance to one common Revelation, mirror, within the

limitations imposed upon it, the effulgent glories of the

sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh, shining in the plenitude of its

splendor in the Abhá Paradise, and be made the footstool of

His Throne on high, and acclaimed as the earthly heaven,

capable of fulfilling that ineffable destiny fixed for it, from

time immemorial, by the love and wisdom of its Creator.

Not ours, puny mortals that we are, to attempt, at so

critical a stage in the long and checkered history of mankind,

to arrive at a precise and satisfactory understanding of the

steps which must successively lead a bleeding humanity,

wretchedly oblivious of its God, and careless of Bahá’u’lláh,

from its calvary to its ultimate resurrection. Not ours, the

living witnesses of the all-subduing potency of His Faith, to

question, for a moment, and however dark the misery that

enshrouds the world, the ability of Bahá’u’lláh to forge, with

the hammer of His Will, and through the fire of tribulation,

upon the anvil of this travailing age, and in the particular

shape His mind has envisioned, these scattered and mutually

destructive fragments into which a perverse world has fallen,

into one single unit, solid and indivisible, able to execute His

design for the children of men.
Ours rather the duty, however confused the scene,

however dismal the present outlook, however circumscribed

the resources we dispose of, to labor serenely, confidently,

and unremittingly to lend our share of assistance, in which-

ever way circumstances may enable us, to the operation of

the forces which, as marshalled and directed by Bahá’u’lláh,

are leading humanity out of the valley of misery and shame

to the loftiest summits of power and glory.
L. Citadel of Faith
The Challenging Requirements of the
Present Hour
watchful

care and unfailing grace continue to sustain them,

individually and collectively

A continent , twice blessed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s suc-

cessive visits to its shores, and the scene of His first pub lic

appearance in the West; which has been the cradle of a

civilization to some of whose beneficent features the pen of

Bahá’u’lláh has paid significant tribute; on whose soil both

the Greek and Roman civilizations were born and flourished;

which has contributed so richly to the unfoldment of

American civilization; the fountainhead of American culture;

the mother of Christendom, and the scene of the greatest

exploits of the followers of Jesus Christ; in some of whose

outlying territories have been won some of the most

resplendent victories which ushered in the Golden Age of

Islám; which sustained, in its very heart, the violent impact of

the onrushing hosts of that Faith, intent on the subjugation of

its cities, but which refused to bend the knee to its invaders,

and succeeded in the end in repulsing their assault – such a

continent is now experiencing, at the hands of the little as yet

unnoticed band of pioneers sent forth by the enviable, the

privileged, the dynamic American Bahá’í Community, the

first stirrings of that spiritual revolution which must

culminate, in the Golden Age that is as yet unborn, in the

permanent establishment of Bahá’u’lláh’s Order throughout

that continent.

Indeed if we would read aright the signs of the times, and

appraise correctly the significances of contemporaneous

events that are impelling forward both the American Bahá’í

Community and the nation of which it forms a part on the

road leading them to their ultimate destiny, we cannot fail to

perceive the workings of two simultaneous processes,

generated as far back as the concluding years of the Heroic

Age of our Faith, each clearly defined, each distinctly

separate, yet closely related and destined to culminate, in the

fullness of time, in a single glorious consummation.

One of these processes is associated with the mission of

the American Bahá’í Community, the other with the destiny

of the American nation. The one serves directly the interests

of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, the

other promotes indirectly the institutions that are to be

associated with the establishment of His World Order. The

first process dates back to the revelation of those stupendous

Tablets constituting the Charter of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine

Plan. It was held in abeyance for well-nigh twenty years

while the fabric of an indispensable Administrative Order,

designed as a divinely appointed agency for the operation of

that Plan, was being constructed. It registered its initial

success with the triumphant conclusion of the first stage of it s

operation in the republics of the Western Hemisphere. It

signalized the opening of the second phase of its development

through the inauguration of the present teaching campaign in

the European continent. It must pass into the third stage of its

evolution with the initiation of the third Seven Year Plan,

designed to culminate in the establishment of the structure of

the Administrative Order in all the remaining sovereign

states and chief dependencies of the globe. It must reach the

end of the first epoch in its evolution with the fulfilment of the

prophecy mentioned by Daniel in the last chapter of His

Book, related to the year 1335, and associated by ‘Abdu’l-

Bahá with the world triumph of the Faith of His Father. It

will be consummated through the emergence of the Bahá’í

World Commonwealth in the Golden Age of the Bahá’í

Dispensation.

The other process dates back to the outbreak of the First

World War that threw the great republic of the West into the

vortex of the first stage of a world upheaval. It received i ts

initial impetus through the formulation of President Wilson’s

Fourteen Points, closely associating for the first time that

republic with the fortunes of the Old World. It suffered its

first setback through the dissociation of that republic from

the newly born League of Nations which that president had

labored to create. It acquired added momentum through the

outbreak of the second World War, inflicting unprecedented

suffering on that republic, and involving it still further in the

affairs of all the continents of the globe. It was further

reinforced through the declaration embodied in the Atlantic

Charter, as voiced by one of its chief progenitors, Franklin

D. Roosevelt. It assumed a definite outline through the birth

of the United Nations at the San Francisco Conference. It

acquired added significance through the choice of the City of

the Covenant itself as the seat of the newly born organiz-

ation, through the declaration recently made by the

American president related to his country’s commitments in

Greece and Turkey, as well as through the submission to the

General Assembly of the United Nations of the thorny and

challenging problem of the Holy Land, the spiritual as well

as the administrative center of the World Faith of Bahá-

’u’lláh. It must, however long and tortuous the way, lead,

through a series of victories and reverses, to the political

unification of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, to the

emergence of a world government and the establishment of

the Lesser Peace, as foretold by Bahá’u’lláh and

foreshadowed by the Prophet Isaiah. It must, in the end,

culminate in the unfurling of the banner of the Most Great

Peace, in the Golden Age of the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.

The champion builders of Bahá’u’lláh’s rising World Order

must scale nobler heights of heroism as humanity plunges

into greater depths of despair, degradation, dissension and

distress. Let them forge ahead into the future serenely

confident that the hour of their mightiest exertions and the

supreme opportunity for their greatest exploits must coincide

with the apocalyptic upheaval marking the lowest ebb in

mankind’s fast-declining fortunes.

As the threat of still more violent convulsions assailing a

travailing age increases, and the wings of yet another

conflict, destined to contribute a distinct, and perhaps a

decisive, share to the birth of the new Order which must

signalize the advent of the Lesser Peace, darken the

international horizon, the eyes of the divers communities,

comprising the body of the organized followers of

Bahá’u’lláh throughout the Eastern Hemisphere, are being

increasingly fixed upon the progressive unfoldment of the

tasks which the executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Mandate have

been summoned to undertake in the course of the second

stage of their world-girdling mission.

[N]othing short of the vitalizing influx of new blood

. . . can safeguard the prizes
. . .

This flow, moreover, will presage and hasten the advent

of the day which, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will

witness the entry by troops of peoples of divers nations and

races into the Bahá’í world – a day which, viewed in its

proper perspective, will be the prelude to that long-awaited

hour when a mass conversion on the part of these same

nations and races, and as a direct result of a chain of events,

momentous and possibly catastrophic in nature, and which

cannot as yet be even dimly visualized, will suddenly revo-

lutionize the fortunes of the Faith, derange the equilibrium of

the world, and reinforce a thousandfold the numerical

strength as well as the material power and the spiritual

authority of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The steady and alarming deterioration in the standard of

morality as exemplified by the appalling increase of crime ,

by political corruption in ever widening and ever higher

circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties of marriage, by the

inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by the

marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no

doubt the most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline

that has set in, and can be clearly perceived, in the fortunes

of the entire nation.

Parallel with this, and pervading all departments of life – an

evil which the nation, and indeed all those within the

capitalist system, though to a lesser degree, share with that

state and its satellites regarded as the sworn enemies of that

system – is the crass materialism, which lays excessive and

ever-increasing emphasis on material well-being, forgetful o f

those things of the spirit on which alone a sure and stable

foundation can be laid for human society. It is this same

cancerous materialism, born originally in Europe, carried to

excess in the North American continent, contaminating the

Asiatic peoples and nations, spreading its ominous tentacles

to the borders of Africa, and now invading its very heart,

which Bahá’u’lláh in unequivocal and emphatic language

denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring

flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the

dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that must necessarily

involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and

consternation in the hearts of men. Indeed a foretaste of the

devastation which this consuming fire will wreak upon the

world, and with which it will lay waste the cities of the

nations participating in this tragic world-engulfing contest,

has been afforded by the last World War, marking the second

stage in the global havoc which humanity, forgetful of its

God and heedless of the clear warnings uttered by His

appointed Messenger for this day, must, alas, inevitably

experience. It is this same all-pervasive, pernicious mat erial-

ism against which the voice of the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s

Covenant was raised, with pathetic persistence, from plat-

form and pulpit, in His addresses to the heedless multitudes,

which, on the morrow of His fateful visit to both Europe and

America, found themselves suddenly swept into the vortex of

a tempest which in its range and severity was unsurpassed in

the world’s history.

No less serious is the stress and strain imposed on the fabric

of American society through the fundamental and persistent

neglect, by the governed and governors alike, of the supreme,

the inescapable and urgent duty – so repeatedly and

graphically represented and stressed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His

arraignment of the basic weaknesses in the social fabric of

the nation – of remedying, while there is yet time, through a

revolutionary change in the concept and attitude of the

average white American toward his Negro fellow citizen, a

situation which, if allowed to drift, will, in the words of

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cause the streets of American cities to run

with blood, aggravating thereby the havoc which the fearful

weapons of destruction, raining from the air, and amassed by

a ruthless, a vigilant, a powerful and inveterate enemy, will

wreak upon those same cities.
This challenge , so

severe and insistent, and yet so glorious, faces no doubt

primarily the individual believer on whom, in the last resort,

depends the fate of the entire community. He it is who

constitutes the warp and woof on which the quality and

pattern of the whole fabric must depend. He it is who acts as

one of the countless links in the mighty chain that now

girdles the globe. He it is who serves as one of the multitude

of bricks which support the structure and insure the stability

of the administrative edifice now being raised in every part of

the world. Without his support, at once whole-hearted,

continuous and generous, every measure adopted, and every

plan formulated, by the body which acts as the national

representative of the community to which he belongs, is

foredoomed to failure. The World Center of the Faith itself is

paralyzed if such a support on the part of the rank and file of

the community is denied it. The Author of the Divine Plan

Himself is impeded in His purpose if the proper instrume nts

for the execution of His design are lacking. The sustaining

strength of Bahá’u’lláh Himself, the Founder of the Faith,

will be withheld from every and each individual who fails in

the long run to arise and play his part.
M. Messages to the Bahá’í World (1950–1957)
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No matter how long the period that separates them from

ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however for-

midable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the

days which mankind, perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its

hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which

they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted;

however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, a s

well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious

dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain

upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary

separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith

which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon

them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in

such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints

and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the

glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the

tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent,

so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a

shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet –

I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve

never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each

and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later

date, has been fully consummated.

It is indeed my fervent and constant prayer that the members

of this firmly-knit, intensely alive, world-embracing Com-

munity, spurred on by the triple impulse generated through

the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel by Bahá’u’lláh and the

Will and Testament as well as the Tablets of the Divine Plan

bequeathed by the Center of His Covenant – the three

Charters which have set in motion three distinct processes,

the first operating in the Holy Land for the development of

the institutions of the Faith at its World Center and the other

two, throughout the rest of the Bahá’í world, for its

propagation and the establishment of its Administrative

Order – may advance from strength to strength and victory to

victory. May they hasten, by their present exertions, the

advent of that blissful consummation when the shackles

hampering the growth of their beloved Faith will have been

finally burst asunder, when its independent status will have

been officially and universally recognized, when it will have

ascended the throne and wielded the scepter of spiritual and

temporal authority, when the brightness of its glory will have

illuminated the whole earth, and its dominion will have been

established over the entire planet.

Against the background of these afflictive disturbances – the

turmoil and tribulations of a travailing age – we may well

ponder the portentous prophecies uttered well-nigh fourscore

years ago, by the Author of our Faith, as well as the dire

predictions made by Him Who is the unerring Interpreter of

His teachings, all foreshadowing a universal commotion, of a

scope and intensity unparalleled in the annals of mankind.

The violent derangement of the world’s equilibrium; the

trembling that will seize the limbs of mankind; the radical

transformation of human society; the rolling up of the

present-day Order; the fundamental changes affecting the

structure of government; the weakening of the pillars of

religion; the rise of dictatorships; the spread of tyranny; the

fall of monarchies; the decline of ecclesiastical institutions ;

the increase of anarchy and chaos; the extension and con-

solidation of the Movement of the Left; the fanning into flame

of the smouldering fire of racial strife; the development of

infernal engines of war; the burning of cities; the

contamination of the atmosphere of the earth – these stand

out as the signs and portents that must either herald or

accompany the retributive calamity which, as decreed by

Him Who is the Judge and Redeemer of mankind, must,

sooner or later, afflict a society which, for the most part, an d

for over a century, has turned a deaf ear to the Voice of

God’s Messenger in this day – a calamity which must purge

the human race of the dross of its age-long corruptions, and

weld its component parts into a firmly-knit world-embracing

Fellowship – a Fellowship destined, in the fullness of time, t o

be incorporated in the framework, and to be galvanized by

the spiritualizing influences, of a mysteriously expanding,

divinely appointed Order, and to flower, in the course of

future Dispensations, into a Civilization, the like of which

mankind has, at no stage in its evolution, witnessed.

This present Crusade, on the threshold of which we now

stand, will, moreover, by virtue of the dynamic forces it will

release and its wide repercussions over the entire surface o f

the globe, contribute effectually to the acceleration of yet

another process of tremendous significance which will carry

the steadily evolving Faith of Bahá’u’lláh through its present

stages of obscurity, of repression, of emancipation and of

recognition – stages one or another of which Bahá’í national

communities in various parts of the world now find

themselves in – to the stage of establishment, the stage at

which the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh will be recognized by the civil

authorities as the state religion, similar to that which

Christianity entered in the years following the death of the

Emperor Constantine, a stage which must later be followed

by the emergence of the Bahá’í state itself, functioning, in all

religious and civil matters, in strict accordance with the laws

and ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy, the

Mother-Book of the Bahá’í Revelation, a stage which, in the

fullness of time, will culminate in the establishment of the

World Bahá’í Commonwealth, functioning in the plenitude of

its powers, and which will signalize the long-awaited advent

of the Christ-promised Kingdom of God on earth – the

Kingdom of Bahá’u’lláh – mirroring however faintly upon

this humble handful of dust the glories of the Abhá Kingdom.

This final and crowning stage in the evolution of the plan

wrought by God Himself for humanity will, in turn, prove to

be the signal for the birth of a world civilization, incom-

parable in its range, its character and potency, in the history

of mankind – a civilization which posterity will, with one

voice, acclaim as the fairest fruit of the Golden Age of the

Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, and whose rich harvest will be

garnered during future dispensations destined to succeed one

another in the course of the five thousand century Bahá’í

Cycle.

N. Sundry compilations of letters to divers national

communities
1. United Kingdom
Unfolding Destiny
The Unfolding Destiny of the
British Bahá’í Community
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signal victory shed lustre on the
opening years of the second Bahá’í century

I wish to congratulate in person the English believers, and

particularly the members of the youth group, on their

splendid achievements. The activities they have initiated, the

perseverance, zeal and fidelity they have increasingly

manifested, the plans they have conceived and the obstacles

they have already overcome, rejoice my heart and arouse

fresh hopes and expectations within me. I will continue to

pray for their success. Rest assured and persevere.

The marvellous zeal, unity, understanding and devotion

exemplified by the English believers in recent months,

individually as well as through their concentrated efforts,

constitute a landmark in the progressive development of the

Faith in that land. They who have risen to the height of their

present opportunities stand at the threshold of unprecedented

achievements. They must labour continually, exercise the

utmost vigilance, proclaim courageously, and cling tena-

ciously to the principles of their Faith, spiritual as well as

administrative, and resolve to endure every sacrifice and

hardship, however severe, for the vindication, the consolid-

ation and recognition of the Faith they profess and are now

so admirably serving.

The various and compelling evidences of the unquenchable

enthusiasm, the unbreakable resolution and the inflexible

purpose of the English believers, in these days of stress , of

turmoil and danger, have cheered my heart and fortified

me in the discharge of my arduous and multitudinous duties

and responsibilities. I feel truly proud of them all, and will,

with increasing gratitude and redoubled fervour, supplicate

the Beloved whose Cause they are so valiantly serving, to

bless, sustain, guide and protect them under all circum-

stances, and aid them to establish firmly the institutions of

His Faith throughout the length and breadth of their country.

The Bahá’í world, in its entirety, is struck with amazement at

the quality of the work performed, at the extent and number

of the victories achieved by this community. Its sister-

community in the great Republic of the West, already laden

with many and splendid trophies gathered in distant fields

and over a long period of time cannot regard this resurgence

of the Bahá’í spirit, this manifestation of Bahá’í solidarity,

these ennobling evidences of Bahá’í achievement, amidst so

conservative a people, within so short a time, under such

trying circumstances, and by so small a band of workers,

except with feelings compounded of envy, of admiration and

respect. Its sister-communities throughout the East, vener-

able by reason of their age, and the sacrifices they have

made, and fully aware of the long period of incubation this

community has undergone, recall, with feelings of delight,

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prediction, forecasting the germination, at

their appointed time, of the potent seeds His loving hands

have sown in the course of His twice-repeated visit to that

Island, and marvel at the rapidity with which its soil is now

manifesting the potentialities with which it has been en-

dowed. He Who blessed it with His footsteps, Who called into

being, and fostered the growth of, the community labouring

in that Island, hails, from His station on high, the exploits

which immortalise the small band of His present-day

consecrated and resolute followers, who are carrying on the

torch which He Himself had entrusted to their immediate

predecessors. Bahá’u’lláh Himself lauds the conspicuous

victories being won in His Name, in the dawning years of the

Second Bahá’í Century, at the very heart and centre of the

greatest Empire the world has ever seen, whose Sovereign

Monarch He Himself had addressed and whose deeds He,

with His Own pen, had commended.
On the success of this enterprise ,

unprecedented in its scope, unique in its character and

immense in its spiritual potentialities, must depend the

initiation, at a later period in the Formative Age of the Faith,

of undertakings embracing within their range all National

Assemblies functioning throughout the Bahá’í World,

undertakings constituting in themselves a prelude to the

launching of world-wide enterprises destined to be embarked

upon, in future epochs of that same Age, by the Universal

House of Justice, that will symbolise the unity and coordinate

and unify the activities of these National Assemblies.

Indeed the birth of this African enterprise, in the opening

decade of the second Bahá’í century, coinciding as it does

with the formation of the International Bahá’í Council,

should be acclaimed as an event of peculiar significance in

the evolution of our beloved Faith. Both events will, no

doubt, be hailed by posterity as simultaneous and compelling

evidences of the irresistible unfoldment of a divinely

appointed Administrative Order and of the development, on

an international scale, of its subsidiary agencies, heralding

the establishment of the Supreme Legislative Body designed

to crown the Administrative Edifice now being laboriously

erected by the privileged builders of a Divine Order, whose

features have been delineated by the Centre of the Covenant

in His Will and Testament, whose fundamental laws have

been revealed by the Founder of our Faith in His Kitáb-i-

Aqdas, and Whose advent has been foreshadowed by the

Herald of the Bahá’í Dispensation in the Bayán, His most

weighty Book.

That they may ascend from height to height, go forward from

victory to victory, is the fervent prayer of one who has

invariably followed the course of their exploits with undim-

inished confidence and admiration, who has cherished the

brightest hopes for the ultimate attainment of their Mission,

and whose love and esteem for them has correspondingly

increased with every revelation of the capacities and

energies with which they have discharged, and are constantly

discharging, their Mission.

Now, of a certainty, is not the time for the members of this

gallant band , so thinly

spread over the length and breadth of its island home, and

reaching out, so laboriously yet so determinedly to the

inhospitable islands fringing its northern and western coasts,

to dwell, however tentatively, on the nature of the tantalising

task awaiting them in the not distant future, or to seek to

probe into its mysterious, divinely guided operation. Theirs is

the duty to plod on, however tedious the nature of the work

demanding their immediate attention, however formidable

the obstacles involved in its proper execution, however

prolonged the effort which its success necessitates, until the

signs of its ultimate consummation, heralding the launching

of what is sure to be the most spectacular phase of their

Mission, are clearly discerned.
2. Indian subcontinent
Dawn of a
New Day
Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian
Subcontinent

You should concentrate your efforts at the present time on

whatever will, in your opinion reinforce the basis, and extend

the influence, of the administrative institutions and the

teaching activities of the Faith. The Cause will, no doubt,

surmount the obstacles that now hinder its growth, and will

establish its ascendency in the fulness of time and at the

appointed hour. We should persevere and never feel dis-

heartened.

The friends in India and Burma have made a splendid start.

They have laid a firm foundation within the framework of the

administrative order of our Faith. They have weathered

manifold and distressing difficulties and successfully sur-

mounted formidable obstacles. A new era is opening before

them. I have no doubt that they will rise to the height of the

occasion, and will prove themselves worthy of their high

destiny.

The progress of the teaching activities initiated by your

Assembly is highly gratifying. Inflexible determination is

required to carry it to a successful conclusion. The methods

adopted by the American Bahá’í community, the zeal, the

initiative, the efficiency, the fidelity with which they are

prosecuting their enterprise should be exemplified by indi-

viduals and Assemblies in India and Burma. The adminis-

trative machinery which the American believers have erected

and perfected has already had its counterpart in the

institutions you have so nobly reared in recent years. Your

teaching campaign, the supreme purpose for which this

machinery has been fashioned, should likewise be modelled

according to the plan which your sister community has

devised and is now developing so strenuously and
successfully.

I am delighted to learn of the work which is being steadily

and efficiently accomplished in so many spheres of Bahá’í

activity throughout India and Burma. My heart is filled with

gratitude as I witness the progress you have achieved, the

enterprises you have initiated, the method and measures you

have adopted, the plans you have conceived, and above all,

the spirit of exemplary loyalty and magnificent devotion that

impels you forward in the great mission you are destined to

fulfil.

Let them remember that a firm resolution on their part, an

absolute re-dedication of their resources, and an actual

attempt to translate into action their meritorious intentions,

coupled with perseverance in the discharge of their duties,

would suffice to ensure the success of the mission to which

they are now committed. The time is indeed ripe, and the

minds and hearts of the suffering multitudes are being

mysteriously prepared for the Great Message that can alone

redeem, exalt and regenerate a sore tried and bewildered

humanity. I will specially and fervently pray for the suc-

cess of any and every effort the dearly beloved friends in

India and Burma may arise to exert.

The vastness of the field, the smallness of your numbers, the

indifference of the masses, must neither discourage nor appal

you. You should at all times fix your gaze on the promise of

Bahá’u’lláh, put your whole trust in His creative Word, re-

call the past and manifold evidences of His all-encompassing

and resistless power, and arise to become worthy and

exemplary recipients of His all-sustaining grace and

blessings. I appeal to every Indian and Burmese believer,

however modest his position, however limited his knowledge,

however restricted his means, to rise to the height of this

great opportunity which if missed will not recur again. To

disperse, to settle, to teach by word and deed, to persevere

and sacrifice are the requirements of the present hour

The manner in which the friends have arisen to promote

the teaching work throughout their country merits the high-

est praise. By their enthusiasm, their self-abnegation, the

determination and vigour they display, they have lent a fresh

impetus to the onward march of the Faith and the expan-

sion of its institutions and the multiplication of its admin-

istrative centres. The perils of the present hour, the reper-

cussions of this tremendous world ordeal on their native

land, must, in no wise, alarm or discourage them. Their

purpose must never be deflected, their enthusiasm never

dimmed, their vision never obscured, their exertions never

discontinued. Adversity prepares the hearts of men, and

paves the way for a wholehearted and general acceptance

of the tenets and claims of our beloved Faith. Challenged

by the obstacles in their path, encouraged by work already

initiated, assured of the Divine Promise of Bahá’u’lláh, let

them forge ahead until their goal is attained.

Perseverance is the magnet that will, in these days, attract

the promised blessings of the almighty Author of our beloved

Faith. Unity and harmony constitute the basis on which the

structure of these activities can securely rest. Self-sacrifi ce,

audacity, undeviating adherence to the essentials of that

Faith, will reinforce that structure and accelerate its rise.

That the dear friends in India are increasingly demonstrating

the quality and depth of their faith and the character and

range of their accomplishments is a source of intense

satisfaction to me, and I will continue to supplicate our

Beloved to guide their steps, cheer their hearts, illumine

their understanding, and fulfil their highest and noblest

aspirations. He indeed is well-pleased with the record

of their past services, and will, if they redouble their

efforts, enable them to achieve a signal victory.

The call is urgent, the opportunities priceless, the need of t he

waiting masses desperate, the machinery for the execution of

the Divine Purpose already erected and vigorously

functioning, the promise of signal victory clear and definite.

A higher degree of administrative efficiency; a closer

collaboration between the various elements constituting the

organic Bahá’í community; a greater measure of self-

sacrifice; a still more intensified exertion aiming at the

consolidation and preservation of the newly constituted

Assemblies and the rapid conversion of the existing groups

into full-fledged Assemblies; a systematic, sustained and

nation-wide endeavour for the purpose of disseminating the

literature of the Faith, increasing its volume and adding to

its diversity, and lastly a more audacious and convincing

presentation of its tenets to the masses of the people, thes e

constitute the primary tasks facing now the Indian believers.

The hour is indeed propitious. The ordeals and tribulations

which the hungry, the dispossessed, the sick, as well as th e

disillusioned and restless multitudes, are now experiencing,

offer the bearers of the Message of the Most Great Name, an

opportunity which may never again recur. There is no time to

lose. Every warrior in the ever-advancing army of Bahá-

’u’lláh must arise and participate in this holy crusade. The

rewards and prizes to be won are inestimable. However

circumscribed its resources, however small its numbers,

however formidable the obstacles with which it is confronted,

the entire community of the believers in India, Burma, and

Pakistan, must arise as one man, and, pledging anew its

fidelity to its Faith, prove itself fully worthy of the Cau se it

has espoused and the high mission it has undertaken.

The Asiatic continent, the cradle of the principal religions of

mankind; the home of so many of the oldest and mightiest

civilizations which have flourished on this planet; the

crossways of so many kindreds and races; the battleground

of so many peoples and nations; above whose horizon, in

modern times, the suns of two independent Revelations – the

promise and consummation of a six thousand-year-old reli-

gious Cycle – have successively arisen; where the Authors of

both of these Revelations suffered banishment and died;

within whose confines the Centre of a divinely-appointed

Covenant was born, endured a forty-year incarceration and

passed away; on whose Western extremity the Qiblih of the

Bahá’í world has been definitely established; in whose heart

the City proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh as the ‘Mother of the

World’ (Tehran) is enshrined; within whose borders another

City regarded as the ‘Cynosure of an adoring world’

(Bagh dád) and the scene of the greatest and most glorious

Revelation the world has witnessed is embosomed; on whose

soil so many saints, heroes and martyrs, associated with both

of these Revelations, have lived, struggled and died – such a

continent, so privileged among its sister continents and yet so

long and so sadly tormented, now stands, at the hour of the

launching of a world-encompassing Crusade, on the thresh-

old of an era that may well recall, in its glory and ultimate

repercussions, the great periods of spiritual revival which ,

from the dawn of recorded history have, at various stages in

the revelation of God’s purpose for mankind, illuminated the

path of the human race.
3. Germany and Austria
generals

The time is sure to come and the signs are already apparent,

when the various and distant members of this great world

community will find their activities co-ordinated, their pur-

pose unified, their efforts re-inforced and the effect of thei r

combined efforts manifest throughout the world. May the

Power of Bahá’u’lláh breathe the dynamic spirit of Life into

the combined and systematized efforts of the friends the

world over and revive through them the body of stricken

humanity and give it the peace which it yearns for and which

the world cannot give.

Why fear and sorrow? Have we not the express promise of

the Master, uttered after the termination of the Great War,

that Germany, now humbled and weakened, will no doubt be

freed from its fetters and will develop, materially and

spiritually, and shall one day emerge from this sad turmoil

strong, united and prosperous, ready to take her place in the

great Family of the advanced nations of the world?

Let us then take heart, and endeavour to deepen in spirit, to

reinforce our numbers, so that, however depressing and

distracting the conditions around us may be, we may per-

severe, with clear vision, steadfast hope, and united effort to

achieve the triumph of the Bahá’í Revelation throughout the

world.

I am eagerly awaiting the news you may wish to send me,

for I thirst after the glad tidings of the progress of the C ause

in your mighty and promising land.

I wish to add a few words in person and assure you of my

keen and heartfelt appreciation of your high and painstaking

endeavours for the spread and consolidation of the Faith in

that land. The German believers have undergone tests of

unprecedented severity. They have weathered the storm in a

marvellous spirit and with fine and praiseworthy deter-

mination. These tests were God-sent, and will serve to

deepen the roots of the Faith in that promising country.

My heart rejoiced and my soul was refreshed at the receipt

of your most welcome message, signed by so great a number

of ardent and youthful co-workers in a land so rich in

promise, so blessed by our Beloved, and so severely tried

by the vicissitudes of war. You are, I assure you, often in my

thoughts and prayers, and I cherish the brightest hopes for

your future work. You are, I feel confident, destined to

achieve memorable victories, both in your native land and

on the continent of Europe, and you should diligently

and unitedly prepare yourselves for this glorious task.

Persevere, redouble your efforts, and rest assured that the

Beloved will bless and sustain you always.

The immediate past, with all its confused issues and

unpleasant memories must be entirely forgotten, if the task

that lies ahead is to be efficiently prosecuted. Personal

animosities, suspicions, accusations, wounded pride, contro-

versial issues must all be laid aside. Members of assemblies ,

national and local, must be the first to set a worthy example

to their fellow-believers. All thought and discussion must

henceforth centre around the measures required to stimulate

the growth of the Faith, to deepen and enrich the spiritual

life of its members, to familiarize them more intimately wi th

the character and workings of the Administrative Order, and

enable them to participate more actively in the prosecution of

the Plan to which they are committed.

I appeal to them, with all my heart, to close their ranks,

purge their hearts, broaden their vision, renew their deter-

mination, rededicate themselves to their glorious task, march

resolutely forward along the road traced for them by

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, beat down every barrier obstructing their

path, and press on, confidently, unitedly and uncompromis-

ingly, until their goal is attained, and the first stage in the

evolution of their collective task is brought to a victorious

conclusion.
Time is running out. The work they
have to accomplish is immense,

exacting, thrilling and inescapable. The hosts of the

Concourse on high will surely lead them onward and assure

them a resounding victory, if they but keep their vision

undimmed, if they refuse to faint or falter, if they persever e

and remain faithful to both the spiritual and the

administrative principles inculcated by their Faith.

Theirs is a responsibility which, at this historic and crucial

stage in the evolution of their precious and beloved Faith,

they can neither minimize nor neglect. Theirs is a God-sent

opportunity to demonstrate, at this grave hour through which

the overwhelming majority of their brethren are passing, the

incorruptible character of their faith, the indomitable spirit

which animates them, the sublimity of the principles which

motivate their action, providing thereby an abiding and

sorely needed consolation to the victims of the brutal, the

wide spread and repeated persecutions engulfing so many of

their co-religionists in the cradle of their Faith.

4. Australasia

The detailed report of the activities of the national assembly

– the furthermost pillar of the Universal House of Justice

which the high endeavours of the believers of Australia and

New-Zealand have reared – has filled my heart and soul with

immense joy and gratitude. The Beloved is surely watching

over and continually blessing your splendid accomplish-

ments, the plans you have conceived, the methods you have

devised, the efforts you are exerting, the services which you

have rendered. I will continue to pray for the consolidation

and uninterrupted expansion of your laudable activities in

the service of so glorious and mighty a Cause. Never relax

nor despair. The tender plant which your hands have raised

and nurtured shall grow and will ultimately gather beneath

its shadow the whole of that far-off and promising continent.

Effective measures, unprecedented in scope, should be care-

fully and immediately devised, proclaimed to the believers,

and, through sustained and organised effort, carried into

effect. There is no time to lose. The masses, greatly tried by

the calamities of the age, restless, disappointed, and eager to

obtain real and complete relief in their hour of trial, hunger

for the Message of the New Day, and will, if properly

approached and appealed to, embrace the great verities it

enshrines.

The limited resources at the disposal of the prosecutors of the

Plan, the vastness of the territory in which it must operate ,

the fewness of the numbers of those participating in its

execution, offer a mighty challenge which no loyal follower

of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh can either ignore or minimize.

Indeed the greater the challenge, the more bountiful the

blessings which will be vouchsafed from on high, and the

richer the reward to be won by its triumphant executors.

It is not for them, however, at the present stage of their

evolution, to probe into the future, and seek to evaluate the

range of their future achievements. They must concentrate

every ounce of their energy, and focus their entire attention,

on the tasks immediately ahead, resolved to work un-

remittingly and unflinchingly until the goals of the present

Plan are achieved.

Whatever the situation that may develop in the years to

come, however great the obstacles by which a nascent

community may yet be faced, no matter how arduous the task

now confronting its members, it must persevere until the

historic work is accomplished.

I will, from the depths of my heart, supplicate the Beloved

to reinforce the noble exertions of this community, guide its

steps, clarify its vision, deepen its understanding of the

requirements of the present hour, and aid it to extend

continually the scope of its meritorious achievements.

Every outward thrust into new fields, every multiplication of

Bahá’í institutions, must be paralleled by a deeper thrust of

the roots which sustain the spiritual life of the community

and ensure its sound development. From this vital, this ever-

present need, attention must at no time be diverted; nor must

it be, under any circumstances, neglected, or subordinated to

the no less vital and urgent task of ensuring the outer

expansion of Bahá’í administrative institutions. That this

community, so alive, so devoted, so strikingly and rapidly

developing, may maintain a proper balance between these

two essential aspects of its development, and march forward

with rapid strides and along sound lines toward the goal of

the Plan it has adopted, is the ardent hope of my heart and

my constant prayer.
5. Canada
Though its people be firmly

entrenched in their religious sectarianism and strongly attached

to their religious doctrines and traditions, yet who can doubt that

with courage and persistence, kindliness and wisdom, the all-

conquering words of Bahá’u’lláh can fail to break down all these

barriers of prejudice and religious exclusiveness and conquer

this long-standing stronghold of sectarian belief!


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twelve generals

It behoves us, now that the signs of that glorious and

promised Day are fast appearing, to arise, with utter

selflessness, unity and determination, to promote and

consolidate the Work which He has Himself established in

the heart of that vast Dominion , and prove

ourselves, by our wisdom, moderation, and constancy,

worthy of the many bestowals He has showered upon us in

the past. If we but follow in His Way, regard at all times t he

dignity of the Cause, guard sedulously its unity and vital

principles, and exercise the utmost endeavour to keep its

Spirit pure, effective and unobscured, then, and only then,

can we hope to achieve the immediate spread and triumph of

the Cause.

Obstacles, however formidable, will have to be determinedly

surmounted. Any reverses that sooner or later may be

suffered should be met with stoic fortitude, and speedily

offset by victories in other fields. The glorious vision now

unveiled to your eyes must never be dimmed. The

illuminating promises enshrined in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets

should not be forgotten for a moment. The quality of the

success already achieved by so small a number, over so

extensive a field, in so brief a period, at so precarious an

hour in the destinies of mankind, should spur on the elected

representatives of this now fully fledged community to

achieve in as short a period, over still more extensive an

area, and despite a severer crisis than any as yet

encountered, victories more abiding in their merit and more

conspicuous in their brilliance than any as yet won in the

service and for the glory of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

As the operation of the Plan gathers momentum the members

of this community must evince a still greater measure of

solidarity, rise to higher levels of heroism, demonstrate a

greater capacity for collective achievement, and attract still

more abundant blessings on the varied enterprises on which

they have embarked.

That this community will never relax in its high endeavours,

that the vision of its glorious mission will not be suffered to

be dimmed, that obstacles, however formidable, will neither

dampen its zeal or deflect it from its purpose, is my confide nt

hope and earnest prayer. He Who watches over its destinies,

from Whose pen testimonies so significant and soul thrilling

have flowed, will no doubt continue to direct its steps, to

shower upon it His loving bounties, to surround it with His

constant care, and to enable it to scale loftier heights on its

ascent towards the summit of its destiny.

With a heart brimful with gratitude for all that this

community has so far achieved, and throbbing with hope for

the future exploits that will distinguish its record of

stewardship to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, I pray that by its

acts, this community will prove itself worthy of the trust

confided to its care, and the station to which it has been

called.
It was a Canadian , of French extraction,

who through his vision and skill was instrumental in

conceiving the design, and delineating the features, of the

first Mash riqu’l-Adh kár of the West, marking the first

attempt, however rudimentary, to express the beauty which

Bahá’í art will, in its plenitude, unfold to the eyes of the

world. It was a Canadian woman , one of the

noblest in the ranks of Bahá’í pioneers, who alone and

single-handed, forsook her home, settled among an alien

people, braved with a leonine spirit the risks and dangers of

the world conflict that raged around her, and who now, at an

advanced age and suffering from infirmities, is still holding

the Fort and is setting an example, worthy of emulation by all

her fellow pioneers of both the East and the West. It was a

member
of that same community who

won the immortal distinction of being called upon to be my

helpmate, my shield in warding off the darts of Covenant-

breakers and my tireless collaborator in the arduous tasks I

shoulder. It was a Canadian subject , the

spiritual mother of that same community, who, though fully

aware of the risks of the voyage she was undertaking,

journeyed as far as the capital of Argentina to serve a Cause

that had honoured her so uniquely, and there laid down her

life and won the everlasting crown of martyrdom. It was,

moreover, a Canadian who

more recently achieved the immortal renown of designing the

exquisite shell destined to envelop, preserve and embellish

the holy and priceless structure enshrining the dust of the

Beloved Founder of our Faith.

The opportunity given to this Community is precious,

unutterably precious. The fate of this first historic Plan now

hangs in the balance. The present chance, if lost, cannot be

retrieved. The issues on which hinge the successful pro-

secution of the Plan are so weighty that none can assess them

at present. The needs of a sorely-stricken society, groping in

its distress for God’s redemptive Message, are growing mor e

acute with every passing hour. The Canadian Bahá’í

Community, newly emerged as an independent member of the

Bahá’í World Community, so richly blessed through its

elevation to the rank of a chosen prosecutor of a Divine Plan,

unique, in many respects, among its sister communities in

both Hemispheres in the manifold blessings bestowed upon

it, can neither afford to flinch for a moment or hesitate in the

discharge of its sacred duty. Every effort exerted by this

community, during these fate-laden months, every sacrifice

willingly endured by its members, will, if they but persev ere,

be richly blessed by Him Who brought it into being, Who

nursed it through His love, Who conferred upon it so

distinguished a Mission, Who made such magnificent

promises regarding its future, and Who will continue to

sustain it through His unfailing, His abounding grace and

favour.

Inspired by the example and the accomplishments of those of

its members who have distinguished themselves in the Holy

Land, on the European continent and in both the northern

and southern continents of the Western Hemisphere, this

community must forge on, with added determination, with

increasing dedication, with thanksgiving and redoubled zeal,

on the road leading it to a still more glorious destiny in the

years immediately ahead. That it may press forward, conquer

still greater heights, plumb greater depths of consecration ,

spread wider and wider the fame of the Cause of God is the

cherished desire of my heart and the object of my constant

supplication.

May this community march forward on its destined path with

renewed vigour, with undimmed vision, with complete unity,

with utter consecration, and be enabled to play an important

part in the execution of the great tasks ahead, and worthily

contribute to the prodigious efforts now being collectively

exerted by the followers of the Most Great Name, in every

continent of the globe, for the world-wide establishment and

ultimate triumph of a long-persecuted, divinely impelled,

world-redeeming Faith.

The duties incumbent upon this community, and particularly

its elected national representatives, multiply with every

passing day. Heavy is the burden they carry. Rich and

immense are the possibilities stretching before them. Price -

less are the rewards which a befitting discharge of their

multiple responsibilities must bring in its wake. Boundless

are the favours and bestowals which a loving and watchful

Providence is ready to confer upon those who will arise to

meet the challenge of the present hour.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prophetic words regarding the future of its

homeland, spiritually as well as materially – the

initial evidences of which are becoming more apparent every

day, must not be lost sight of for a moment, however exacting

and all-absorbing the strenuous task ahead, however

complex the problems its prosecution involves, however

burdensome the preoccupations which it must needs
engender.
6. New Zealand
Arohanui
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Your letters are always a source of inspiring joy and

stimulating encouragement to me. You are destined to

achieve great things for our beloved Cause and my constant

prayer is that your vision may be clear, your purpose

unshaken, your zeal undiminished, your hopes undimmed.

Let not obstacles and disappointments, which are inevit-

able, dishearten you and whenever you are faced with trials

recall our Beloved’s innumerable sufferings. You certainly

occupy a warm and abiding place in my heart.

When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says man breaks the laws of nature, He

means we shape nature to meet our own needs, as no animal

does. Animals adapt themselves to better fit in with and

benefit from their environment. But men both surmount and

change environment. Likewise when He says nature is devoid

of memory He means memory as we have it, not the strange

memory of inherited habits which animals so strikingly

possess.

May the outpourings of the Holy Spirit continue to energise

this small yet resolute forward marching, dedicated com-

munity, and may the outcome of the collective efforts of its

members contribute decisively to the triumphant consum-

mation of the World Crusade on which the entire body of the

followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have so confidently

embarked.

All must participate, whether young or old, veterans as wel l

as newly enrolled believers, all must contribute their share t o

the ultimate success of this mighty collective enterprise,

however limited their means, however modest their abilities,

however restricted the range of their previous experiences .

7. Alaska

I am thrilled by the news you give me. How proud I feel of

the spirit that so powerfully animates you. My prayers will, I

assure you, accompany you on your great and historic

adventure. Persevere no matter how great the obstacles in

your way. Future generations will glorify your deed and

emulate your example. The Concourse on high acclaims your

resolve and will richly bless your endeavours. Be happy and

confident.

Your letter cheered and heartened me in the conduct of my

arduous duties and responsibilities. I rejoice to learn of your

high endeavours in that distant field, and I will specially pray

with increasing fervour for your protection and success. How

great your privilege, how laborious your task, how noble

your mission! Do not feel disheartened. Persevere and be

confident always.

The endeavours which the highminded, youthful hearted,

deeply consecrated members of this community will exert

must be such as to excite the unqualified admiration of their

fellow believers in Bahá’í communities in both Hemispheres.

The sacrifices which must be made will, no doubt, if they rise

to this occasion, merit the applause of the Concourse on high

and draw forth a still fuller measure of the promised

blessings of the Author of the Divine Plan Himself.

That the members of this community may neither falter

nor fail, that they may set an example worthy of emulation of

their fellow-workers in all continents of the globe, that they

may achieve such feats, in the course of the attainment of

their high objectives, as shall eclipse the past achievements

of their spiritual brethren in the North American continent

and throughout Latin America, is the object of my constant

prayer for them in the Holy Shrines as well as my heart’s

most cherished desire.
8. Japan
Japan Will Turn Ablaze
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Now if ever is the time for you and for us to show, by our

unity, service, steadfastness and courage, the spirit that

the Master has throughout His lifetime so laboriously, so

persistently kindled in our hearts. Now is the time for us to

prove ourselves worthy of His love for us, His trust in us

and His hopes for us. Japan, He said, will turn ablaze. Let

us not, in any way, whatsoever, retard the realization of

His promise. Nay, let us hasten, through our service, coope-

ration and efforts the advent of this glorious day.

Your letters have gladdened my heart and fortified me in my

task. I will continue to supplicate for you at His Shrine, that

He may graciously assist you to make of those who are

merely interested, active supporters of the Faith, recogni zing

fully the significance and station of Bahá’u’lláh, and who

will form a nucleus of believers who will carry on the work,

loyally and effectively after you and in your absence. This is

my fervent prayer for you.

Your past and present services are engraved upon my heart.

The Beloved is well-pleased with your constancy, your zeal

and exemplary devotion. I am proud of the spirit that so

powerfully animates you in His service. I will continue to

pray for your success from the bottom of my heart. Rest

assured and persevere.

Bahá’u’lláh wrote, many, many years ago: ‘The vitality of

men’s belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short

of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion

of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what

else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and

revive it?’

This is the ebb of the tide. The Bahá’ís know that the tide

will turn and come in, after mankind has suffered, with

mighty waves of faith and devotion. The people will enter the

Cause of God in troops, and the whole condition will change.

The Bahá’ís see this new condition which will take place, as

one on the mountain-top sees the first glimpse of the dawn,

before others are aware of it; and it is toward this that the

Bahá’ís must work.

. . . The emergence of a new Regional Spiritual Assembly in

the North Pacific Area
. . . may be said to

have, at long last, established a spiritual axis, extending from

the Antipodes to the northern islands of the Pacific Ocean –

an axis whose northern and southern poles will act as power-

ful magnets, endowed with exceptional spiritual potency, and

towards which younger and less experienced communities

will tend for some time to gravitate.

A responsibility, at once weighty and inescapable, must rest

on the communities which occupy so privileged a position in

so vast and turbulent an area of the globe. However great the

distance that separates them; however much they differ in

race, language, custom, and religion; however active the

political forces which tend to keep them apart and foster

racial and political antagonisms, the close and continued

association of these communities . . . is a matter of vital and

urgent importance, which should receive on the part of the

elected representatives of their communities, a most earnest

and prayerful consideration . . .

O. Letters written on behalf of the Guardian by his

secretaries
The servant of His Threshold
Shoghi .
Your sincere co-worker in His Cause
Your brother and co-worker in His Cause
Your brother and co-worker
I am, as ever, you brother in His Service
I am your devoted brother
I am your brother and fellow-worker
Your brother in His Service
I am your brother and co-worker
Your brother
Your true
brother
Your true and grateful brother
Concerning letters from Haifa.

Whatever letters are sent in my behalf from Haifa are all read

and approved by me before mailing. There is no exception

whatever to this rule
Q. Will all people become Bahá’ís in the future?

Q. How can we explain sensitively to a seeker that the futu re

World Order will have international institutions, which wil l

govern the whole world in a just and fair way, but whose

members will be only Bahá’ís? How can we then explain that

the Faith accepts and embraces all religions?

Such a state will have to include within its orbit an

International Executive adequate to enforce supreme and

unchallengeable authority on every recalcitrant member of the

commonwealth; a World Parliament whose members shall be

elected by the people in their respective countries and whose

election shall be confirmed by their respective governments; and

a Supreme Tribunal whose judgment will have a binding effect

even in such cases where the parties concerned did not volun-

tarily agree to submit their case to its consideration

This common-

wealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a worl d

legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of

mankind, ultimately control the entire resources of all the

component nations, and will enact such laws as shall be required

to regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust the relationshi ps

of all races and peoples. A world executive, backed by an

international Force, will carry out the decisions arrived at, and

apply the laws enacted by, this world legislature, and will

safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth. A world

tribunal will adjudicate and deliver its compulsory and final

verdict in all and any disputes that may arise between the

various elements constituting this universal system

supreme organ of the Bahá’í
Commonwealth

Q. Could you please clarify what was going to be the function

of the Bahá’í Court in the Holy Land that was to be

established as one of the objectives of the Ten Year Crusad e?

Do you think that such a Court will be created in the futu re,

if conditions permit?
The Ministry of the Custodians 1957–1963
The Bahá’í World

Q. What is the role of the nine Israel Branches of National

Spiritual Assemblies?

Q. Today the Universal House of Justice is the Head of the

Faith, and fulfils legislative, executive and judicial funct ions.

When the stage of the Bahá’í World Commonwealth is

attained, what will be the function of the Universal House of

Justice? What is it that will protect this unique Order f rom

degenerating into any form of despotism, oligarchy or

demagogy?
All matters of State should
be referred to the House of Justice
[T]his unique Order, however long it may endure

and however extensive its ramifications, cannot ever degenerate

into any form of despotism, of oligarchy, or of demagogy which

must sooner or later corrupt the machinery of all man-made and

essentially defective political institutions
The Covenant designed to safeguard the

unity and integrity of its world-embracing system had been

irrevocably bequeathed to posterity
the Day which shall not be followed by night

Q. ‘ Will America allow any of her sister communities in Eas t

or West to achieve such ascendancy as shall deprive her of that

spiritual primacy with which she has been invested and wh ich

she has thus far so nobly retained? ’ (WOB 94). Is this just

rhetoric? Do you think that Shoghi Effendi really considered

the possibility that one of the European communities would

surpass the United States? What about the other countries in

the world, such as India, Colombia, Iran, etc.?
Great indeed have been your

past and present achievements! Immeasurably greater are the

wonders which the future has in store for you!

Q. ‘ To attempt to visualize, even in its barest outline, the g lory

that must envelop these institutions, to essay even a t entative

and partial description of their character or the manner of

their operation, or to trace however inadequately the course of

events leading to their rise and eventual establishment is far

beyond my own capacity and power ’ (TDH 46). Is this just

rhetoric? Are we to honestly believe that Shoghi Effendi, the

sign of God, didn’t have the power to tell us about these

things?
these institutions
to take a long, an
uninterrupted view over a series of generations
those world-

shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative insti-

tutions, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh and anticipated by ‘Abdu’l-

Bahá, and which are to function in consonance with the

principles that govern the twin institutions of the Guardianship

and the Universal House of Justice
The

world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating

influence of this most great, this new World Order

this

wondrous System the like of which mortal eyes have never

witnessed

Q. Bahá’ís are allowed to vote in certain elections, for

example, those which do not require them to identify them-

selves with a political party. How should we view an election

where you cannot, technically, give your vote to an

individual, only to a political party? Would it make any

difference if each party had only one candidate (e.g. for

President), so that by voting for a particular party one is, in

effect, voting for a particular individual?

Let them refrain from associating themselves, whether

by word or by deed, with the political pursuits of their resp ective

nations, with the policies of their governments and the schemes

and programs of parties and factions I am firmly convinced,

their first and sacred obligation to abstain from any word or

deed that might be construed as a violation of this vital

principle

Q. Could you elaborate a little on the fall of Shi’ah Islam, of

the Qájár dynasty and of the Sunni Caliphs in

Constantinople, and on the rampant rise of secularism in the

East?
The Promised Day is Come
God Passes By

[T]his process of disintegration, associated with the

declining fortunes of a superannuated, though divinely revealed

Law, . . . is destined to culminate in the secularization of the

Muslim states, and in the universal recognition of the Law of

Bahá’u’lláh by all the nations, and its enthronement in the hearts

of all the peoples, of the Muslim world

Q. As I understand it, Muammad established in Medina the

precedent of the modern state, with a triple separation of

powers: executive, legislative and judicial. Yet, we read in

many history books that the modern state has its origins in

the traditional monarchies of fifteenth-century Europe. What

is the relationship between the state, as conceived by

Muammad, and the modern state?
Love of one’s country is
an element of the Faith of God
The conception of nationality, the

attainment to the state of nationhood, may, therefore, be said to

be the distinguishing characteristics of the Muammadan

Dispensation, in the course of which the nations and races of the

world, and particularly in Europe and America, were unified and

achieved political independence
Century of Light

Q. Do you think that there will be crisis and victory in the

Golden Age?

Q. Could you please tell us a little bit more about the

secretaries of the Guardian? How many of them remained

loyal?
Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era
´

Q. What did the Nazis do to the Bahá’ís in Germany and

Austria? What was their motivation for this?
Q. What is meant by the City of the Covenant?
Century of Light

Q. I can see the integrative process in the world today, for

example, the way in which the principles of Bahá’u’lláh are

gaining greater acceptance among all kinds of people. This is

speeding up day by day. However, the disintegrative process

doesn’t seem to be progressing. Did it not reach its peak

during the lifetime of the Guardian? Aren’t things a lot

better now than before, generally speaking?

Q. ‘ Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent

in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world,

growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize t he

oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish

once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this

fundamental principle of its life ’ (WOB 202). The number of

nations in the world has rapidly increased since the time

Shoghi Effendi wrote this, especially in Eastern Europe and

Africa. Many other countries are on the verge of splitting up.

How should we view this process in the light of the above

quotation?
Let there be no

misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of

Bahá’u’lláh . . . Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a s ane

and intelligent patriotism in men’s hearts, nor to abolish the

system of national autonomy

Q. In The Promised Day is Come the Guardian explains the

high station of just kings and monarchs. Was he only

speaking about the hereditary kind of monarchs as there

were at that time, or could he also have meant presidents, as

we have today, or elected monarchs, for example?
All matters

of State should be referred to the House of Justice

Q. ‘ This judgment of God . . . is both a retributory calamity a nd

an act of holy and supreme discipline. It is at once a visi tation

from God and a cleansing process for all mankind. Its fires

punish the perversity of the human race, and weld its

component parts into one organic, indivisible, world-embracing

community ’ (PDC 5–6). Is the line of disintegration a part of

the Major Plan of God? Are the calamities the result of

mankind’s own behaviour? What is meant by the ‘judgment

of God’?

God . . . does not only punish the wrongdoings of His children.

He chastises because He is just, and He chastens because He

loves. Having chastened them, He cannot, in His great mercy,

leave them to their fate. Indeed, by the very act of chast ening

them He prepares them for the mission for which He has created

them

Q. ‘ Who is the sovereign, excepting a single woman, shinin g in

solitary glory, who has, in however small a measure, felt

impelled to respond to the poignant call of Bahá’u’lláh? ’ (PDC

20–1). Who is the single woman mentioned in this quotation?

Q. How can we understand the statement made by

Bahá’u’lláh, ‘ In truth the station of this Revelation

transcendeth the station of whatever hath been manifested in

the past or will be made manifest in the future ’ (TB 74–5).

Does this mean there will never again be a Revelation equal

to or higher than Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation?
Future

Prophets will bring us new laws suitable to our state of

development and continue to educate us on this planet, but they

will be under the shadow of Bahá’u’lláh for five thousand

centuries

Q. You stated that only the Head of the Faith can identify

Covenant-breakers, but with the passing of the Guardian

there was on the one hand the International Bahá’í Council

and on the other the Hands of the Cause. Who was then the

official Head of the Cause and therefore who had the

authority to identify Mason Remey’s secession?
one of the cardinal and pivotal institutions
the Chief Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s
embryonic World Commonwealth dual

function of guarding over the security, and of insuring the

propagation
My object is

to show that the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever

watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose

and protest against the guardian of the Cause of God, cast him

out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise

accept any excuse from him . . . Should any, within or without the

company of the Hands of the Cause of God disobey and seek

division, the wrath of God and His vengeance will be upon him

Endowments dedicated to charity revert to God,

the Revealer of Signs. None hath the right to dispose of them

without leave from Him Who is the Dawning-place of Revelation.

After Him, this authority shall pass to the Agh án, and after them

to the House of Justice – should it be established in the world by

then – that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the

Places which have been exalted in this Cause, and for

whatsoever hath been enjoined upon them by Him Who is the

God of might and power. Otherwise, the endowments shall revert

to the people of Bahá who speak not except by His leave and

judge not save in accordance with what God hath decreed in this

Tablet
people of Bahá who speak not except by His leave

Q. Regarding: ‘ those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-

directing administrative institutions, ordained by Bahá’u’l láh

and anticipated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and which are to function in

consonance with the principles that govern the twin inst itutions

of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice ’ (TDH

46). What are the principles that govern the Guardianship

and the Universal House of Justice?
The Lord hath ordained that in every city a House

of Justice be established wherein shall gather counselors to the

number of Bahá, and should it exceed this number it doth not

matter

Q. What is a pantheistic mindset? Does the present worship

of industrial objects, such as cars, have anything to do with

it? What is an anthropomorphic conception of God?
So crude and fantastic a theory of

Divine incarnation is as removed from, and incompatible with,

the essentials of Bahá’í belief as are the no less inadmissible

pantheistic and anthropomorphic conceptions of God

Some Answered Questions
God Passes By
1. The Universal House of Justice
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2. Local and National Spiritual Assemblies
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3. Teaching and the advancement of the Cause
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Oh phoenix of that Immortal Flame
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
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4. Opposition to the Faith
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5. Importance of historical sites and relics
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6. Historic developments
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8. Clarification of certain laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and issues

related to the Most Holy Book
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9. Miscellaneous matters
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1. eyes are now directed towards His

grieved and afflicted ones. From His exalted station, He is

addressing the people of Bahá in this world of dust, and

conveying to them these exhortations:

‘O my loved ones. Be not grieved and disturbed. Be not

listless, nor lose hope and feel distressed. I am with you. I am

guarding you in the stronghold of My protection, and at

every moment I send you a fresh measure of assistance and

confirmation. Be ye faithful to His Cause, and like unto this

Servant, be constant till your very last breath, in service to

this Faith and in thraldom at His Threshold. Exert your

utmost and vie ye with each other.

‘Be not saddened by My passing, nor afraid and unsettled

by reason of the changes and chances of this world and its

ever-checkered conditions. Do not waver in the Cause of

God. Ye are His hosts. Ye are the people of Bahá who are to

face the storm of this ordeal, to evince meekness and

tenacity, and be adorned with goodly deeds and the

ornaments of purity and rectitude of conduct before the eyes

of all men.
‘Arise to champion the Faith of God and lead this

sombre, this afflicted and agitated world to the climax of

eternal glory, under the shadow of the Cause of God, and the

canopy of divine Salvation.

‘O my beloved friends. O staunch ones who have arisen

to follow Me! Be not lax or negligent after Me, and do not

forfeit your precious chance, otherwise you will find

yourselves in utter loss and disappointment, deprived of the

supreme blessing of everlasting felicity. Do not think that

stillness and silence on the part of any of the believers wi ll

lead to any harm. Nay, by God! God will raise up heroes for

His Cause, who will win the day in His holy Name.

‘Strive ye, therefore, and exert your high endeavours. I

am with you, and in the sublime presence of the Exalted One

and the Blessed Beauty, I will aid your efforts and guide your

steps with a mighty confirmation. You should all arise in

utmost unity and attain this exalted station. Otherwise you

will not see Me, nor enter His sacred presence in the

heavenly Realms. O beloved ones of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. This is

what will impart joy and happiness to My heart in the Abhá

Kingdom.’

2. O spiritual brothers and sisters! I call on you to reflect

and immerse yourselves in the Sacred Texts. Some fifty years

ago, there poured down as copious rain from the tongue of

the Mighty Founder of our Faith, our Lord, the All-Knowing,

the All-Informed, admonitory Tablets, stern warnings, joyful

tidings, and wrathful apostrophes addressed to the Kings and

Rulers of the East and the West . . .

Ere long, when the appointed time has come, the Rulers

and Presidents of the Republics of the world will step

forward and follow the example of the active supporters and

helpers of God’s Holy Cause. They will cast away their

crowns upon the dust, will adorn their heads with the

begemmed diadem of total, absolute and unconditional

servitude, will join the front ranks of the leaders and

proclaimers of His Cause and with their substance, their very

souls, and with whatsoever their Lord has bestowed upon

them, will engage in spreading the tidings of God’s Faith and

ensuring its triumph.

And after completing their mission, they will hasten to

reach the shores of the Holy Land, will be privileged to

circumambulate the Holy Shrines in a spirit of humility,

submissiveness and lowliness, will raise their voices to the

heavens in praise, in glorification and celebration of their

blessings, and will convincingly demonstrate to the entire

world the validity and majesty of this Mighty Cause.

This is a standing promise, unfailing, unchanging and

immutable, as decreed by God, as it is irrevocably recorded

in His preserved Tablet.

3. Be well assured that, as the enemies of the Cause of God

will strive to oppose the Faith, its flame will be intensi fied

and its warmth and brightness will increase. The erudite and

intellectuals, who are carefully watching the progress of this

Cause and are investigating its aims, will never be influenced

or waver in their resolve, as a result of false reports and

futile, unfounded and conflicting accounts originating from

that land. They will never give up their search after truth,

nay, indeed they will only be led to deepen their study and

examination of the purposes of our Faith, its teachings and

principles so that they become fully aware of the essence of

the Cause of God. They will, as circumstances may indicate

and as guided by our All-Knowing and All-Powerful Lord,

arise to defend the Faith of God and ensure its triumph. They

will overcome the hosts of vain fancies and imaginings, will

destroy and uproot the edifice of falsehood and untruth and

will demonstrate, with sound evidence before the eyes of the

world, the purity, loftiness, power and reality of God’s

invincible Cause.

4. He is God! O mighty Lord! Thou seest what hath befallen

Thy helpless lovers in this darkest of long nights; Thou

knowest how, in all these years of separation from Thy

Beauty, the confidants of Thy mysteries have ever been

acquainted with burning grief.
O Powerful Master! Suffer not Thy wayfarers to be

abased and brought low; succour this handful of feeble

creatures with the potency of Thy might. Exalt Thy loved

ones before the assemblage of man, and grant them strength.

Allow those broken-winged beings to raise their heads and

glory in the fulfilment of their hopes, that we in these brief

days of life may gaze with our physical eyes on the elevati on

and exaltation of Thy Faith, and soar up to Thee with

gladdened souls and blissful hearts.

Thou knowest that, since Thy ascension, we seek no name

or fame, that in this swiftly passing world we wish hencefort h

no joy, no delight and no good fortune.

Then keep Thy word, and exhilarate once more the lives

of these, Thy sick at heart. Bring light to our expectant ey es,

balm to our stricken breasts. Lead Thou the caravans of the

city of Thy love swiftly to their intended goal. Draw those

who sorrow after Thee into the high court of reunion with

Thee. For in this world below we ask for nothing but the

triumph of Thy Cause. And within the precincts of Thy

boundless mercy we hope for nothing but Thy presence.

Thou art the Witness, the Haven, the Refuge; Thou art He

Who rendereth victorious this band of the innocent.

5. O people of Bahá! Raise your call addressing the people of

wisdom, cry out betwixt heaven and earth and say: O people

of the world! O perpetrators of tyranny and oppression!

Know ye of a certainty that we, the people of Bahá, bought

our Faith with our own blood, and have tasted the sweetness

of sacrifice in the path of His love. We are living in the hop e

of attaining His Presence. We are detached from all else but

Him. We will help and support His Cause to our very last

breath, and are contented and grateful in the face of trials

and tribulations.

O people of the earth! Be well-assured, and give ye

assurance to every hesitant doubter that whatsoever has been

revealed by the Pen of the Most High will come to pass and

shall eventually be made manifest, as clear as the sun in its

midday glory. In this snow-white spot, as well as in other

lands, through the direct and celestial operation of the Will

of the One Who spread the earth and upraised the Heavens,

the fondest desires of His lovers will be realized and will

emerge from behind seventy thousand veils.
Then will the longing of the people of Bahá be

consummated fully, impeccably and to perfection. This is

what our Lord has promised us, both implicitly and openly,

and this is a pledge which will not prove untrue. Arise,

therefore, and tell the unbelieving world: ‘Die ye in your

wrath! Ere long shall the ensigns of God’s Holy Cause be

raised in every city, and shed its radiance upon all regions.’

6. The Lord of Hosts, the King of The throne of divine

Majesty, is calling from His Exalted Realm during this

spiritual spring time, this Riván period, the supporters of

His Most Great Name, and addresses them with these words:

‘O ye My ardent lovers! O ye who have arisen to help My

Cause! O ye bearers of My trust among My creatures.

Hearken unto My call. I am Ever-living in My Realm of

Glory! O My friends, be ye aware of My presence.

‘You were quickened for the triumph of My Cause. I

chose you for Mine Own Self. I singled you out that ye may

attain true understanding. I reared you for the exaltation of

My Word. I raised you up for the proclamation of My Sove-

reignty. I made you spiritual leaders among My servants, and

heirs of My heritage.

‘Be patient, O My lovers, I will unveil to your eyes My

Signs, will strengthen you with My confirmations, and will

fulfil all that I have promised in My Tablets. I will aid you to

subdue My enemies and will realize your aspirations through

the potency of My Might and My Dominion over all the

worlds.

‘Help Me on My earth, that I may render you victorious

in My Kingdom – a Kingdom lofty, exalted, luminous,

wondrous and sublime.

‘O ye who are the treasuries of the hidden and heavenly

secrets enfolded in My Cause, the repositories of the

matchless tokens of My wisdom, and the mysteries of My Law

– a Law which has manifestly emerged from behind the veils,

and whose light will shed its radiance upon all regions with a

brilliance that past centuries have not witnessed. Then will

the sanctified and angelic dwellers in the Concourse on High

sing songs of glory and praise, and beyond them shall rejoice

God’s Messengers and Prophets in the highest Heaven. Then

shall ye clearly witness the gems and tokens that the hands of

Our grace, wisdom and might had concealed from the eyes of

men, in this bewildering, this challenging and irresistible

Cause.’

7. Praise be to God, the One, the Single, the Eternal, the

Ever-Abiding, the Supreme life-imparting Reality, the Being

whose bounties embrace all things, He Who is the Invisible,

Inaccessible, the Hidden Treasure, the Source of all grace,

the Causer of Causes, He who has sent the Messengers, and

set down the laws and commandments, Who has no peer or

partner in His realm, no equal in the entire creation. All are

His servants, and all abide by His bidding, move according

to His Purpose and are in need of His tender mercies. All

have their origin in Him, and all return unto Him. Exalted,

immensely exalted is He above any description of His Pro-

phets or any praise uttered by those endowed with wisdom.

Salutation and praise be upon the Most Resplendent

Light that shone from the Dayspring of Glory, the Ancient

Beauty, the Most Great Name, the Adorned Symbol, He, the

Glory of God, unapproachably eminent and singularly

splendorous, the Inmost Reality of all truth, the Essence of

Essences, the Source of all Light, the Concealed Name, the

Impenetrable Mystery, the Ancient Root, the Most Great

Announcement, God’s Universal Manifestation, He round

Whom all Messengers circle, the Promised One mentioned in

the Scriptures of the Messengers and Prophets of the past,

the Lord of Hosts, the Speaker of Sinai, Who built the

Temple, Who is the Healer of the ills, and is seated upon the

throne of David, Who is the Heavenly Father, the Alpha and

the Omega, the King of Kings, the Lord of the Kingdom, the

Lord of the Day of Reckoning, the Author of the Covenant,

the Lord of the Covenant, the Day-star of the world, He Who

is the All-compelling, Whom God shall make manifest, the

Remnant of God, the Most Sublime Vision for His creatures

mentioned in God’s glorious Book, He Whom the world has

wronged, the Quickener of mouldering bones, the Establisher

of the Most Great Peace amongst all nations, Who unsealed

the choice, the mystic and sealed wine, through Whom God

proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers

and Prophets, through Whose advent the day of Resurrection

did open, the second woe occurred, and the second blast on

God’s trump was heard, the earth shone forth with the light

of its Lord, whereupon the earth told out its tiding, and cast

forth its burden. How great, how very great is His might, His

glory, His grandeur, His loftiness, His sovereignty, His

power, and His transcendent authority.

Blessing and glory be upon His peerless Herald, the

Solace of the eyes of the Prophets of the past, the Gate of

God, His Most Great Gate, His Most Lofty and Supreme

Remembrance, His Mighty Testimony unto all people, His

choice Pearl of great price, the Exalted, the Most Exalted

One, the Primal Point, He Who manifested the signs and

tokens of all the Prophets of former Dispensations, He Who

was God’s Countenance that cannot wane, and His Light that

cannot fade, He who arose as prophesied, the Morn of truth,

the Lord of the Age, the King of Messengers, through Whose

appearance the time of the end came to pass, the Hour did

strike, the earth was rent in twain, the heavens were cleft

asunder, the mountains were set in motion, the contingent

world swooned away, the Straight Path was laid, the Balance

was appointed, the Fire was made to blaze, every expectant

mother cast her burden, the Dawn of Guidance did break, the

Great Glad-tiding was announced, and the Hour drew nigh

for the sun of Bahá to shed His radiance upon the entire

creation.

Greeting and glorification be upon the Messengers and

the Prophets of God, the Emblems of divine unity, the

Embodiments of detachment, the Manifestations of God, the

Pure Mirrors reflecting His light, the Perfect Words

emanating from Him, They Who are the Sacred Souls chosen

by Him, Who represent Him amongst men, Who are the

Exponents of His Revelation, the Symbols of His radiant

Beauty, the Daysprings of His Cause, the Repositories of H is

mysteries, the Revealers of His attributes, the Sources of His

wisdom, the Fountainheads of His inspiration, the Treasuries

of His knowledge, the Mouthpieces of His Utterance, the

Standards of His might, the Lamps of His guidance, the

Tokens of His love, the Bearers of His truth, and the

Dawning-places of His behest. Through Them God

announced His Cause, revealed His Law, advanced His

Proofs, transmitted His Message, foretold the Day when His

divine Presence would be attained – the Day of Reckoning,

the Promised Day, the Day of Gathering, the dreadful Day of

the Lord, and the Day when mankind shall stand before the

Lord of the worlds.
Salutations and peace be upon the Centre of God’s

Covenant, His Most Great Branch, His immutable and

glorious Mystery, the Gulf that branched out of His Ancient

Ocean, the Exemplar of His teachings, the Being round

Whom all names revolve, He Whom God has purposed, the

Apple of the eye of Bahá, His trust amongst His people, t he

Interpreter of His Revelation, the Stronghold and Shield of

His Cause, the Promoter of His Law, the Repository of His

hidden secrets, the Expounder of the principles of His Order,

the Standard of His victory, and He Who attired His head

with the crown of thraldom in servitude to God’s Holy

Cause.

Joy and light be upon God’s Holy ones, His Chosen ones,

Successors and the Arch-Promoters of His Cause, His

Testimonies, His Witnesses, the Chief guides of His com-

munity – they who were appointed by the Messengers and the

Prophets to execute Their laws, to interpret Their utterances,

to consolidate the foundations of God’s Faith, to render it

victorious, to exalt His Name, to spread His message, to

demonstrate His might, to demand and establish the rights of

His Cause and to neutralize the evil designs of His enemies

and opponents.

Remembrances and praise be upon the people of Bahá,

they that hold aloft the banner of His Faith, and dwell in His

Crimson Ark, upon His kindred, the Leaves and Off-shoots of

the Tree of Holiness, the Letters of His Book, the Hands of

His Cause, the summoners of the people to His Call, they

who are firm in His Covenant, hold fast unto the Cord of His

love, long to shed their blood in His path, spread the divine

fragrances and are the builders of the foundations of His

New World Order – an Order which is the child of His Law

and the fruit of a Divine Covenant which is eminently

glorious, exalted, holy, unassailable and unique.

8. He is God! O our Lord, the Most Exalted! We entreat

Thee, by the righteousness of Thy blood which was shed upon

the dust, to heed our petition, to shield us within the

stronghold of Thy care and protection, to rain down upon us

out of the clouds of Thy bounty and loving kindness, to

enable us to walk in Thy Path, through Thy gracious help

and confirmation, to lay fast hold on the cord of Thy grace,

to demonstrate the truth of Thy Testimony, to spread abroad

Thy Holy Writings, to dispel the wickedness of Thine

enemies, to become imbued with Thy saintly character and to

proclaim the Cause of Thy Best-Beloved, the Lord of Glory –

He for whose sake Thou didst sacrifice Thine Own Being,

and yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of His

love. Help us, we beseech Thee, O our Best-Beloved, the

Most Exalted One. Strengthen our loins, make firm our steps,

wash away our sins, cancel our evil doings, unloose our

tongues to yield praise and thanksgiving unto Thee, adorn

our deeds and efforts with the garlands of Thy accept-

ance and good-pleasure, and grant that our last days may

prove as the ones Thou hast destined for the sincere among

Thy servants. Shelter us within the court of Thy gracious

favour, and cause us to be admitted into the effulgent realm

of Thy nearness. Make us come together with such of Thy

chosen ones as are nigh unto Thee, and destine for us to

attain Thy holy Presence. Suffer us to be intoxicated with the

immortal draught of reunion with Thee, and let us gain

admission into the meads of Thy holiness, and provide us

with the best of what Thou hast fore-ordained for Thy

heavenly kingdom, O Thou Who art invoked by all man-

kind.

9. This beautiful and majestic path, which extends from the

Shrine of the Báb to the City of Haifa in line with the greatest

avenue of that blessed city, which is adorned with trees and

verdant plants and illumined with bright lights, which is the

object of the admiration of the people of this region and a

source of joy and pride to the authorities in this land, will

subsequently be converted, as foreshadowed by the Centre of

the Covenant, into the Pathway of the Kings and Rulers of

the World.
These mighty embodiments of kingly power, humble

pilgrims to the Sanctuary of the Lord, will, upon their arrival

in the Holy Land, first proceed to the Plain of ‘Akká, there t o

visit and circumambulate the Qiblih of the People of Bahá,

the Point around which circle in adoration the Concourse on

High. They will then make their way to this august and

venerated city, and climb the slopes of Mount Carmel. With

the utmost rapture, ardour and devotion, they will hasten

towards this Sacred Spot and, with reverence and sub-

missiveness, humility and lowliness, ascend these terraces to

approach the luminous precincts of the sanctified and holy

Shrine. Reaching the threshold of the Sanctuary of Grandeur,

they will cast their crowns upon the ground, prostrate

themselves to kiss its fragrant earth and, circling around its

hallowed arcade, call out ‘Here am I, here am I, O Thou

Who art the Exalted, the Most Exalted One!’ and recite in

tones of fervent supplication the perspicuous Verses of the

Tablet of Carmel.

Thereafter they will walk over the spacious lawns and

through the wondrous gardens of this sublime and holy spot,

this garden of the Exalted Paradise, will inhale its fragrant

scents and taste of its choice and luscious fruits. They will,

with tearful eyes and burning hearts, call to mind the pain

and suffering, each affliction and calamity, the duress,

imprisonment and martyrdom which befell that Wronged One

of the world, will behold, with their own eyes, on every hand

in this exalted Spot, the glory of Carmel and the evidences of

the compelling might and greatness, the invincibility, the all-

encompassing dominion of the Conqueror of the worlds, and

will praise and glorify the Lord of Carmel.

10. Unto thee, O Queen of Carmel, be the purest and most

tender salutations, and upon thee rest the fairest and most

gracious blessings! Glorified be He Who has ordained the

place of thy Seat and honoured it with His footsteps, and has

made mention of thee in His Holy Writ. How great is the

potency of thy might, a might which has bewildered the souls

of the favoured ones of God and His Messengers!
I behold thee as in a dream, established upon thy

glorious throne, robed in white, crowned in gold, resplendent

with the lights shining within thee and around thee, calling

aloud in ringing tones and lifting up thy voice between earth

and heaven.

I see the souls of the holy ones and of the dwellers of the

realms above hastening towards thee with utmost devotion,

love and attraction, pointing to thee, circling around thee,

inhaling the fragrance of thy blossoms and flowers, seeking

blessing from the earth of thy precincts, and bowing their

foreheads to the ground in recognition of the majesty and

glory which surround the Trust of God reposing in thy heart,

and the Pearl that lies enshrined within thy bosom.

Blessed, immeasurably blessed is the one who visits thee

and circles around thee, who serves at thy threshold, waters

thy flowers, inhales the fragrance of holiness from thy roses ,

celebrates thy praise and magnifies thy station for the love of

God, He Who has created thee in this most hallowed and

luminous, this most exalted, august and wondrous age.

11. This magnificent edifice (the Shrine of the Báb) stands

facing Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Great Prison, extolled by the Pen

of Glory as the ‘Heaven of heavens’, and looks toward the

Qiblih of the people of Bahá, that Spot within the vale of

security and peace, the plain of ‘Akká, round which circle in

adoration the Concourse on high. To her right are the hills of

Galilee in which nestles the childhood home of the beautiful

Christ, and the locality by the banks of the Jordan River

where He Who is the Spirit (Jesus Christ) was called to

prophethood; and on her left, on the crest of Carmel, are to

be found the Cave of Elijah and the exalted Spot which was

blessed by the footsteps of the Most Holy Abhá Beauty and

was ennobled through the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel

from the treasury of the Pen of Glory. Behind her stand the

twin Mounts of Zion and Olives and the holy and ancient city

of Jerusalem, within whose walls lie the site of the martyr -

dom and the burial place of Jesus Christ, the seat of the

Throne of David, the glorious Temple of Solomon and the

Aqsa Mosque which ranks third among the shrines of the

Islamic world. Beyond these there rises Mount Sinai, the

cradle of the Jewish Faith, that Sacred Mount, the Paran of

light, that holy land where He Who conversed with God

(Moses) heard the Voice from the Blessed Tree. And further

beyond lies the Arabian Peninsula, the land of Hijaz, the

cradle of the Muammadan Dispensation, with the two cities

of Batha and Yathrib, the noble Mecca and the bright

Medina, one enshrining the Qiblih of Islam and the other

the Resting-place of Him Who is the Lord of mankind

(Muammad) – upon Him be countless salutations and
praise.

High, immeasurably high, is this Shrine, the lofty, the

most great, the most wondrous. Exalted, immeasurably

exalted, is this Resting-place, the fragrant, the pure, the

luminous, the transcendent. Glorified, immeasurably glori-

fied, is this Spot, the most august, the most holy, the mos t

blessed, the most sublime.

12. How often the beloved Master was heard to say: Should

each one of the friends take upon himself to carry out, in all

its integrity and implications, only one of the teachings of the

Faith, with devotion, detachment, constancy and persev-

erance and exemplify it in all his deeds and pursuits of life,

the world would become another world and the face of the

earth would mirror forth the splendours of the Abhá Para-

dise. Consider what marvellous changes would be effected if

the beloved of the Merciful conducted themselves, both in

their individual and collective capacities, in accordance with

the counsels and exhortations which have streamed from the

Pen of Glory.

13. One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine

love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of

men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer

unless he makes a daily effort to gain them . . .

14. The chosen ones of God . . . should not look at the

depraved condition of the society in which they live, nor at

the evidences of moral degradation and frivolous conduct

which the people around them display. They should not

content themselves merely with relative distinction and

excellence. Rather they should fix their gaze upon nobler

heights by setting the counsels and exhortations of the Pen of

Glory as their supreme goal. Then it will be readily realized

how numerous are the stages that still remain to be traversed

and how far off the desired goal lies – a goal which is none

other than exemplifying heavenly morals and virtues.

15. [P]raise be to God that the Pen of Glory has done away

with the unyielding and dictatorial views of the learned

and the wise, dismissed the assertions of individuals as an

authoritative criterion, even though they were recognized as

the most accomplished and learned among men and ordained

that all matters be referred to authorized centers and

specified Assemblies. Even so, no Assembly has been invested

with the absolute authority to deal with such general matters

as affect the interests of nations. Nay rather, He has brough t

all the assemblies together under the shadow of one House

of Justice, one divinely-appointed Center, so that there would

be only one Center and all the rest integrated into a single

body, revolving around one expressly-designated Pivot, thus

making them all proof against schism and division.

God
Passes By
The Priceless Pearl
par excellence
Q. What were the predictions of Amad-i-Asá’í?
Nabíl’s Narrative
Citadel of Faith God Passes By
The

mystery of this Cause must needs be made manifest, and the

secret of this Message must needs be divulged. I can say no

more. I can appoint no time. His Cause will be made known after

ín (68)
Behold, the “mystery of the

Great Reversal in the Sign of the Sovereign” hath now been

made manifest
But many that are
first shall be last; and the last first
How many the outwardly pious

who have turned away, and how many the wayward who have

drawn nigh

Q. What is the meaning of the ‘ nine concentric circles ’? Is

this a fulfilment of a prophecy or is it a symbol?

nine concentric circles

Q. What does the Crimson Ark refer to in the Writings?

Q. ‘ These mighty embodiments of kingly power, humble

pilgrims to the Sanctuary of the Lord, will, upon their arrival in

the Holy Land, first proceed to the Plain of ‘Akká, there to visit

and circumambulate the Qiblih of the People of Bahá . . . ’

(Naw-Rúz 1952). When is this going to happen?

Q. Mount Carmel is ordained to be the spot for the

emergence of three central institutions of the Faith of

Bahá’u’lláh: the Báb’s Shrine, the Dayspring of Lights; the

Mash riqu’l-Adh kár, the Dawning Place of His praise; and

the World Administrative Seat of the Bahá’í world

community, the Pivotal Centre to which all much turn. Why

is so much weight given to Mount Carmel? Why isn’t the

Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh the spot for the emergence of these

institutions? Why is not the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh the cen tre

of the nine concentric circles?

Q. Why did the International Bahá’í Council have women on

it, if the Guardian envisioned it as the precursor to the H ouse

of Justice? Will future Manifestations of God change the

laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and allow women to sit on the

Universal House of Justice?
The House of

Justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of

God, is confined to men; this for a wisdom of the Lord God’s,

which will ere long be made manifest as clearly as the sun at

high noon
Q. What is or was the Nawnahálán Company?
God Passes By
the children’s Savings Bank

Q. You have said that, in his Persian writings, Shoghi Effendi

described the Shrine of the Báb as the head cornerstone of

the Universal House of Justice. Why is not the Shrine of

Bahá’u’lláh the head cornerstone?
celestial Kaaba .
Ark
The people of Bahá
The Bahá’í World
A. Writing style in English
The Priceless Pearl
Decline
and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Hidden Words
Time pressing opportunity priceless potent aid
providentially promised unfailing.

How can my lonely pen, so utterly inadequate to glorify so

exalted a station, so impotent to portray the experiences of so

sublime a life, so disqualified to recount the blessings she

showered upon me since my earliest childhood – how can

such a pen repay the great debt of gratitude and love that I

owe her whom I regarded as my chief sustainer, my most

affectionate comforter, the joy and inspiration of my life? My

grief is too immense, my remorse too profound, to be able to

give full vent at this moment to the feelings that surge within

me.

Dearly-beloved Greatest Holy Leaf! Through the mist of

tears that fill my eyes I can clearly see, as I pen these l ines,

thy noble figure before me, and can recognize the serenity of

thy kindly face. I can still gaze, though the shadow of the

grave separate us, into thy blue, love-deep eyes, and can feel,

in its calm intensity, the immense love thou didst bear for the

Cause of thine Almighty Father, the attachment that bound

thee to the most lowly and insignificant among its followers,

the warm affection thou didst cherish for me in thine heart.

The memory of the ineffable beauty of thy smile shall ever

continue to cheer and hearten me in the thorny path I am

destined to pursue. The remembrance of the touch of thine

hand shall spur me on to follow steadfastly in thy way. The

sweet magic of thy voice shall remind me, when the hour of

adversity is at its darkest, to hold fast to the rope thou didst

seize so firmly all the days of thy life.

Bear thou this my message to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, thine exalted

and divinely-appointed Brother: If the Cause for which

Bahá’u’lláh toiled and labored, for which Thou didst suffer

years of agonizing sorrow, for the sake of which streams of

sacred blood have flowed, should, in the days to come,

encounter storms more severe than those it has already

weathered, do Thou continue to overshadow, with Thine all-

encompassing care and wisdom, Thy frail, Thy unworthy

appointed child.

Intercede, O noble and well-favoured scion of a heavenly

Father, for me no less than for the toiling masses of Thy

ardent lovers, who have sworn undying allegiance to Thy

memory, whose souls have been nourished by the energies of

Thy love, whose conduct has been moulded by the inspir-

ing example of Thy life, and whose imaginations are fired

by the imperishable evidences of Thy lively faith, Thy

unshakable constancy, Thy invincible heroism, Thy great

renunciation.

Whatever betide us, however distressing the vicissitudes

which the nascent Faith of God may yet experience, we

pledge ourselves, before the mercy-seat of thy glorious

Father, to hand on, unimpaired and undivided, to

generations yet unborn, the glory of that tradition of which

thou hast been its most brilliant exemplar.

In the innermost recesses of our hearts, O thou exalted

Leaf of the Abhá Paradise, we have reared for thee a shining

mansion that the hand of time can never undermine, a shrine

which shall frame eternally the matchless beauty of thy

countenance, an altar whereon the fire of thy consuming love

shall burn forever.
Nabíl’s Narrative
Bahá’í News
B. Comparison of his English and Persian writings
God Passes By
To the beloved of the Lord
and the handmaids of the Merciful, throughout

O ye the oppressed ones in the path of the Lord, who

have remained steadfast in His Covenant and who are

builders of the pillars of His luminous and excellent Order.

O burning torches of love and affection! I send you my

salutations from this sacred, luminous and radiant Spot. Your

loving memory is always on my mind, filled as I am with joy

as I receive your glad tidings. I rejoice at the vastness of

your services, remember you in my prayers, and seek for

every one of you perpetual confirmations from the Kingdom

of Lights.
God Passes
By

Q. Why is it that, for over 80 years now, the writings of

Shoghi Effendi and of the Universal House of Justice have

conveyed a constant feeling of urgency? Is every day really a

critical moment in the life of the Faith?

Q. Shoghi Effendi, when writing to the Bahá’ís of the East,

sometimes expresses thoughts in a form of prayer, or by

saying that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is now addressing the people of

Bahá. How should we consider these? Are these prayers?

Can we say that the Guardian wrote prayers?
We can

dimly picture to ourselves the wishes that must have welled fr om

His eager heart as He bade His last farewell to that promisi ng

country. An inscrutable Wisdom, we can well imagine Him

remark to His disciples on the eve of His departure, has, in H is

infinite bounty

Q. ‘ In the innermost recesses of our hearts, O thou exalted

Leaf of the Abhá Paradise, we have reared for thee a shining

mansion that the hand of time can never undermine, a shri ne

which shall frame eternally the matchless beauty of thy

countenance, an altar whereon the fire of thy consuming lov e

shall burn forever ’ (BA 194). Is this mansion purely symbolic,

or is it also a reference to the monument Shoghi Effendi bu ilt

over the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf?

Q. The Guardian insisted that Spiritual Assemblies have a

constitution and by-laws. What does this mean for Local and

National Assemblies in this day?
The Bahá’í World
The Bahá’í World
The Bahá’í World

Q. You said that Shoghi Effendi invariably omitted the

closing greetings in his cables. Was this for financial reasons,

since every word had to be paid for?
Your
true brother

Q. Why was Shoghi Effendi so reserved about writing to the

Persian believers about his vision of the future World Ord er

of Bahá’u’lláh?
The path to guidance is one of

love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been

God’s method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future!

Some Answered
Questions
To you be your Way, and to me mine Let
there be no compulsion in Religion

A. Brief statements introducing the Faith, its history, basic

principles and administrative structures
The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh
The Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh A World Religion

The Revelation proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh, His followers

believe, is divine in origin, all embracing in scope, broad in i ts

outlook, scientific in its method, humanitarian in its principles

and dynamic in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of

men
scientific in its method
religious truth
is not absolute, but relative

This final stage in this stupendous evolution, they

assert, is not only necessary but inevitable, that it is

gradually approaching, and that nothing short of the

celestial potency with which a divinely ordained Message

can claim to be endowed can succeed in establishing it.

non-essential aspects
the Promised One in the end of time
Day of Judgment
not to destroy, but

to fulfill the Revelations of the past to reconcile rather

than accentuate the divergences
unfettered search after
truth primary duty
essentially supernatural,

supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and

diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that

seeks to exalt any particular race, class or nation

subordinate every

particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the

over-riding interests of the generality of mankind

the advantage of the part is best to be
reached by the advantage of the whole
B. Statistical surveys
A World Survey:
The Bahá’í Faith, 1844–1944
The Bahá’í Faith, 1844–1950 – Information
Statistical and Comparative
The Bahá’í Faith, 1844–1952

Information Statistical and Comparative, including supplement:

Ten Year International Bahá’í Teaching and Consolidation Plan

1953–1963
C. The Bahá’í World volumes
extremely valuable and
timely
The Bahá’í
World
The Priceless Pearl
The Bahá’í World
The Bahá’í World
I

would strongly advise you to procure a copy of the Bahá’í

Year Book . . . which will give you a clear and authoritative

statement of the purpose, the claim and the influence of the

Faith. To the beloved

of the Lord and the hand-maids of the Merciful throughout

the East and West The
Bahá’í World I have ever

since its inception taken a keen and sustained interest in its

development, have personally participated in the collection

of its material, the arrangement of its contents, and the close

scrutiny of whatever data it contains. I confidently and

emphatically recommend it to every thoughtful and eager

follower of the Faith, whether in the East or in the West . . .

removing the

malicious misrepresentations and unfortunate misunder-

standings that have so long and so grievously clouded the

luminous Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
No
words
can adequately express my pleasure at the receipt

of your letter enclosing the precious appreciation which will

constitute a valuable and outstanding contribution to the

forthcoming issue of the Bahá’í World.
Bahá’í World
The Bahá’í World

Q. What happened to the descendants of Queen Marie of

Romania? Was not her daughter also a Bahá’í? What is the

relationship of the family to the Faith now?

Q. What does the beloved Guardian mean when he states

that religious truth is relative, not absolute? What impact

should the statement have on our teaching work?

Q. What are the social and material teachings of a religion?

The
Dawn Breakers God Passes By
little child lead
The Priceless Pearl

O Maidservant of God! Verily, that child is born and is alive

and from him will appear wondrous things that thou wilt

hear of in the future. Thou shalt behold him endowed with

the most perfect appearance, supreme capacity, absolute

perfection, consummate power and unsurpassed might. His

face will shine with a radiance that illumines all the horizons

of the world; therefore forget this not as long as thou dost

live inasmuch as ages and centuries will bear traces of him.

supreme capacity
consummate power and unsurpassed
might
all the horizons of the world
ages and centuries
traces of him
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Centre of the Covenant
The Advent of Divine Justice

Arohanui: Letters from Shoghi Effendi to New Zealand

Áth ár-i-Qalam-i-A‘lá
Bahá’í Administration
Blessings Beyond Measure
Compilation of Compilations
A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá’í Faith
Citadel of Faith

The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice

The Dawn-Breakers
The Faith of Bahá’u’lláh
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
God Passes By
George Townshend
High Endeavours: Messages to Alaska
The Hidden Words
Japan Will Turn Ablaze
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
The Kitáb-i-Íqán
Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New
Zealand
The Light of Divine Guidance
Messages to the Bahá’í World 1950–1957
Messages to Canada
The Ministry of the Custodians

Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian Subcontinent

Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963–

1986
The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Principles of Bahá’í Administration
The Promised Day is Come
Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh
The Priceless Pearl
Some Answered Questions
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Shoghi Effendi in Oxford.
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts
Star of the West
Selections from the Writings of the Báb
Studying the Writings of Shoghi Effendi
Tawqí‘át-i-Mubárakih

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-

Aqdas
A Traveler’s Narrative
This Decisive Hour
Unfolding Destiny
The Vision of Shoghi Effendi
The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.
The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Some Answered Questions
A Traveler’s Narrative
The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Selections from the Writings of the Báb
Áth ár-i-Qalam-i-A‘lá
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
The Hidden Words
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
The Kitáb-i-Íqán
Prayers and Meditations
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Centre of the Covenant
Studying the Writings of Shoghi Effendi.
Compilation of Compilations
.
.
George Townshend
Shoghi Effendi in Oxford.
The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the
Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation
Ma‘árif-i-Bahá’í
The Qur’an
The Priceless Pearl
The Advent of Divine Justice
Arohanui: Shoghi Effendi’s Letters to New Zealand
Bahá’í Administration
The World Order of
Bahá’u’lláh
Citadel of Faith
The Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
God Passes By
High Endeavours: Messages to Alaska
Japan Will Turn Ablaze.

Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand

Messages to the Bahá’í World 1950–1957
The Light of Divine Guidance

Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian Subcontinent

The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Principles of Bahá’í Administration
The Promised Day is Come
Shoghi Effendi’s Messages to Canada
Tawqí‘át-i-Mubárakih.
This Decisive Hour
Unfolding Destiny
The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh
A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá’í Faith
Star of the West
The Constitution of the
Universal House of Justice

Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963–1986

The Vision of Shoghi Effendi
Blessings Beyond Measure
Finito di stampare nel mese di ……. 2006
per conto della Casa Editrice Bahá’í
nella tipografia ……………
Via …………………….
……………….., Italia

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