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Revised and expanded version of Dawn of a New Day.
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First posted in 2005 as uncorrected HTML; formatted in 2011 and re-posted as PDF. See also the proofread, formatted Word document.

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Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian Subcontinent:
1923-1957

by Shoghi Effendi

compiled by Írán Fúrútan Muhájir.
New Delhi: Bahá'í Publishing Trust of India, 1995
originally published as "Dawn of a New Day".
first written or published 1970

MESSAGES

OF

SHOGHI EFFENDI

TO THE

INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

1923-1957


[Blank page]


MESSAGES OF SHOGHI EFFENDI TO THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

1923-1957

Compiled and Edited

by Írán Fúrútan Muhájir

BAHÁ’I PUBLISHING TRUST

P.O. BOX 19, NEW DELHI -110 001

INDIA


(c) Copyright National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India

First Edition: 1970

Revised and Enlarged Edition: 1995

ISBN: 85-85091-87-0

Printed at Solar Print Process Pvt. Ltd, Tel.: 4640748/49


[Page I]

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

More than twenty years ago a compilation entitled Dawn of a New Day was published by the Bahá’í Publishing Trust of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, which contained some 200 letters and 70 cablegrams of Shoghi Effendi, to India and Burma.

Although all his letters were not available at the time, it was felt that extracts from the ones at hand would be of great interest to the Bahá’í World. That edition quickly sold out. Gradually more of his letters were collected by the Archives Department of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, to be published in an expanded edition. We rejoice in presenting available letters and cables of our beloved Guardian, his precious legacy, to the ever-expanding Bahá’í community of the Indian subcontinent in this volume.

We would like to express our sincere and grateful appreciation to Mrs. Muhájir, for her loving efforts in compiling and editing the “Dawn of a New Day” in 1970 in India and “Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian Subcontinent”, in 1994, at the Bahá’í World Centre.

We are grateful for the assistance of the Archives Office at the World Centre for providing many additional letters and cables, specially those addressed to Burma. We express our thanks to Mrs. Behnáz Bahrámí Furúghí and Mrs. Táhirih Ta?ríríhá Dánesh for research and proofreading. We are particularly indebted to Mr. Ármán Dánesh for executing the artistic and technical aspects in the publication of this collection.

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India

November 4, 1994


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[Page viii]

Preface

The sub-continent of India, favoured by special mention in the Qayyúmu’1-Asma’, on the Day of the Declaration of the Báb, is a land of the greatest spiritual potentialities. During the lifetime of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá a steady stream of teachers from the East and West arrived to establish the Faith, and at the time of His passing, there was a sizeable community of Bahá’ís in India. This was the community that grew into spiritual maturity, expanded and developed under the unerring guidance of our beloved Guardian who fostered its growth, ever beckoning it forward.

The Guardian summoned the believers to achieve great victories. Local movements and limited projects would not be commensurate with the greatness of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh; he led them to self-sacrifice, to big undertakings, and to bold ventures. Gradually, he brought to light the vastness of the realm of service, pointing out the many races and tribes that inhabited this land of ancient civilization and cradle of important world religions. He gave instructions and plans to this Community on how to plan and organize a comprehensive teaching plan.

As far back as 1933, the beloved Guardian summoned the Bahá’ís of India to teach among the masses, and to reach persons of capacity in every strata of society. He guided us in every accomplishment,

[Page ix]

pointing out the objectives, counselling and urging the completion of goals set for the Community.

The reader will find for himself what great victories still remain to be won and what great potentialities still remain hidden in India “a vast country and an excellent field of service”. This book is for those, anywhere in the world, who wish to raise individually and collectively to establish the world Order of Bahá’u’lláh and the Kingdom of God on earth.

Dr. R. Muhájir

New Delhi

9 March 1970


[Page x]

Foreword

The history of the Faith in the Indian sub-continent started when Shaykh Sa’íd Hindí, travelled to Írán to seek the light of the Promised Qá’im, and attained the bounty of becoming one of the Letters of the Living. During this time at least three other individuals in India independently recognized the Báb as the Promised One of all ages.

Some years later Bahá’u’lláh instructed a well known Persian Bahá’í scholar, Jamál Effendí, to visit India and Burma and to teach the new Faith to dignitaries and people of learning. Jamál Effendí arrived in Bombay in 1872 and was instrumental in attracting a large number of prominent people to the Faith, some of whom received Tablets from Bahá’u’lláh and were praised by Him. Among them was Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí, the recipient of many tablets from Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi. He was posthumously appointed a Hand of the Cause of God by the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith.

During the Ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, under his watchful guidance, the newly-born communities grew and strengthened. He showered his love and bounties upon them through more than 700 tablets.

The Local Spiritual Assembly of Bombay, the first to be formed in India, acted as the coordinating centre for Bahá’í activities throughout that land. In Burma, the Local Spiritual Assembly of Mandalay,

[Page xi]

under the guidance of Siyyid Mu??afá, served as the mother Assembly of that region.

With the passing of ‘Abdu’1-Bahá, the guidance that flowed from the pen of Shoghi Effendi, for thirty six years, united the separate elements existing in that community into one coherent, spiritually dynamic and organically expanding force and brought the fledgling community of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma under the banner of the worldwide Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Through Shoghi Effendi’s copious letters to India and Burma, we can glean his loving vision for the future of the masses in that vast region. To India he wrote in one of his earliest letters: “India, whether by virtue of its size and the ancient history of its civilization, or diversity of its beliefs, religions and races, and the receptivity of its inhabitants, is a ripe and vast field for the diffusion of the word of God and the hoisting of the banner of His Religion. Particularly, it was, in the latter years of the Centre of the Covenant, the recipient of His special favours and derived joy and hope from His divine promises.”[1] To Burma he said, “How sweet and glorious to remember in these days of strife and turmoil how the mighty hand of our beloved ‘Abdu’1-Bahá has gathered together peoples of divers tongues and distant climes and united their hearts in one common spirit of love and servitude to the sacred Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh.” This sense of love and encouragement persisted throughout his ministry.

Patiently and painstakingly, Shoghi Effendi established the framework of the Bahá’í Administration in India and Burma. He guided the newly-established National Spiritual Assembly to translate Bahá’í literature into several Indian and Burmese languages, assisted financially for their publication, instructed them to purchase Bahá’í Centres and establish Bahá’í Summer Schools, advised them to purchase the National ?azíratu’l-Quds and the Temple Land, contributed for the publication of Bahá’í magazines and periodicals, guided them in all details of hosting national and intercontinental conferences, defined the means and paths of community development encouraged and praised them for the successful completion of the Plans they had devised, which led to the active participation of the Bahá’ís of India in the world-embracing Ten Year Crusade. Throughout the years he emphasized the importance of spreading the Message

[Page xii]

of Bahá’u’lláh to the masses of the Indian Subcontinent and urged the friends to “forget their former and traditional prejudices whether religious, racial or social, and commune together on a common basis of equality, love and devotion to the Cause.” His heartfelt desire for the masses of India to respond to the Divine Message of Bahá’u’lláh was realized, shortly after his ascension to the Abhá Kingdom.

This massive expansion continues under the infallible guidance of the Universal House of Justice. Bahá’ís of India, who now number more than two million, will surely ponder the words of the beloved Guardian, in his letter of January 9th, 1923, to fulfil his wish to surpass all past records:

“True, that land seems now unhappily to be plunged in the darkness of prejudice, hate and mistrust, yet however dark the immediate prospect may appear, our confidence remains unshaken that ere long these mists shall clear away, the dawn of a New Day shall break upon that land and Rays of Divine Revelation shall make of India a spiritually-quickened, peaceful and united country.”

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India

April 1995


(Picture: Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, Haifa)


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgment .............................................................................................................................................................

I

Preface .............................................................................................................................................................................

viii

Foreword .........................................................................................................................................................................

x

1923 .................................................................................................................................................................................

1

“The dawn of a New Day shall break upon that land”

1924 .................................................................................................................................................................................

12

“He ardently prays at the Holy Shrines so that your confirmation may be more and more”

1925 .................................................................................................................................................................................

14

‘‘I pray that your newly constituted National Spiritual Assembly may grow from strength to strength”

1926 .................................................................................................................................................................................

24

“I am very pleased and gratified to learn of your persistent efforts in advancing and consolidating the Cause.”

1927 .................................................................................................................................................................................

34

“Perhaps India has not yet reached the high mark which our hopes have made us expect, but the time still remains”

1928 .................................................................................................................................................................................

41

“I heartily approve the project of a Bahá’í Convention”

1929 .................................................................................................................................................................................

51

“He is much gratified of your efforts in connection with an official recognition of the Faith and its laws by the government”

1930 .................................................................................................................................................................................

59

Miss Root will soon be with you and I trust her visit may lend a fresh impetus to your work of consolidation and spread of the Cause”

1931 .................................................................................................................................................................................

68

“What the Bahá’ís need is a group of well-educated and seriously-minded people who would spend a good deal of their time in lecturing before large audiences”

1932 .................................................................................................................................................................................

76

“How vast is the field and how small the number of competent teachers!”

1933 .................................................................................................................................................................................

92

“It is with the greatest of pleasure that I have learned of the completion of the translation into Burmese of the “New Era” and of the determination of the friends in Burma to ensure its prompt publication”

1934 .................................................................................................................................................................................

109

“He notes with deep satisfaction the important steps taken by your National Spiritual Assembly for intensifying the spread of the Cause”

1935 .................................................................................................................................................................................

123

“The striking evidences of renewed Bahá’í activity throughout India and Burma…rejoice my heart”

1936 .................................................................................................................................................................................

138

“The evidences of the rise, the consolidation, and expansion of the Administrative Order of our beloved Faith in India and Burma are highly significant and encouraging”

1937 .................................................................................................................................................................................

154

“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”

1938 .................................................................................................................................................................................

166

“The news of the projected holding of the first Indian Bahá’í Summer School in Simla has also considerably rejoiced the heart of our beloved Guardian”

1939 .................................................................................................................................................................................

174

“7 long to hear of the progress of your teaching work in those areas and provinces where the light of the Faith has not as yet shone forth”

1940 .................................................................................................................................................................................

186

“The time is indeed ripe and the minds and hearts of the suffering multitudes are being mysteriously prepared for the Great Message”

1941 .................................................................................................................................................................................

196

“May the all-powerful spirit that animates this Faith be your guide and sustenance in these days of ever-increasing peril and turmoil”

1942 .................................................................................................................................................................................

212

“I have been greatly heartened in my arduous task by the remarkable evidences of activity, devotion and perseverance which the believers in India have lately manifested”

1943 .................................................................................................................................................................................

229

“GREATLY CHEERED REMARKABLE EXPANSION TEACHING VALIANT PIONEERS”

1944 .................................................................................................................................................................................

243

“CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FACILITATE SETTLEMENT STILL GREATER NUMBER BELIEVERS VIRGIN AREAS”

1945 .................................................................................................................................................................................

255

“The steady expansion of the activities of the Indian Bahá’í community…constitutes a landmark in the early history of the Formative age of the Bahá’í Dispensation”

1946 .................................................................................................................................................................................

266

“The Plan conceived by your national elected representatives offers you a wide field in which to demonstrate your resourcefulness”

1947 .................................................................................................................................................................................

277

“However much these communities have already achieved, they cannot afford, for a moment, to rest content with the laurels they have won”

1948 .................................................................................................................................................................................

291

“NUMBER COUNTRIES OPENED FAITH BAHA’U’LLAH APPROACHING HUNDRED”

1949 .................................................................................................................................................................................

296

“The tremendous task facing the Bahá’í communities in India, Pakistan and Burma, constitutes a grave challenge to the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in these countries”

1950 .................................................................................................................................................................................

309

“The opportunity is glorious and will not recur in the lifetime of this generation”

1951 .................................................................................................................................................................................

318

“DEEPEST APPRECIATION SENTIMENTS BELOVED STEADFAST FRIENDS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA CEYLON MALAYA INDONESIA”

1952 .................................................................................................................................................................................

329

“The expansion of the activities initiated by the high-minded and resolute pioneers in Ceylon, Indonesia, Siam, Malaya and Sarawak, indeed merit the highest praise”

1953 .................................................................................................................................................................................

337

“ASSEMBLED DELEGATES…REMEMBERED SHRINES OCCASION MOST GREAT FESTIVAL HOLY YEAR COINCIDING LAUNCHING WORLD SPIRITUAL CRUSADE”

1954 .................................................................................................................................................................................

362

“URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS EXPEDITE PURCHASE TEMPLE LAND”

1955 .................................................................................................................................................................................

379

“SUPPLICATE SHRINES SUCCESS FRIENDS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA URGE REDOUBLE EFFORT ATTAINMENT GOALS”

1956 .................................................................................................................................................................................

393

“ASSURE DELEGATES FERVENT PRAYERS GREAT VICTORIES THIRD PHASE CRUSADE”

1957 .................................................................................................................................................................................

410

“The formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Pakistan is an event which I welcome with feelings of deep joy and satisfaction”

BIOGRAPHIES

Siyyid Mustafa Rumi .......................................................................................................................................................

430

Naraynrao Vakil ..............................................................................................................................................................

438

Professor Pritam Singh ....................................................................................................................................................

441

INDEX .............................................................................................................................................................................

445


(Picture: The Future Head of the Faith)


[Page 1]

1923

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout India and Burma, Care of the members of the Spiritual Assembly.

January 9, 1923

Beloved co-workers in the Vineyard of God!

It has been my great pleasure and privilege to send you, since my return to the Holy Land, first my general message of confidence and of love addressed to all believers throughout the East, and later another letter wherein I appeal in particular to those faithful lovers of His Cause in that vast and distant dominion to labour whole-heartedly and to the very end for the diffusion of His Light and the spread of His Cause. Remembering, however, the few among my friends in that land who are as yet unfamiliar with the Persian Tongue, I have thought of sending these few lines to them in particular and through them to the rest of my brethren and sisters in those regions who, despite the diversity of tongue, of race and custom are all united at heart and animated by one common desire to uplift humanity and carry out his Divine Purpose for this world.

What an alluring field of service India with all its possibilities unfolds to our eyes at the present time and how vast are the opportunities

[Page 2]

of sowing the seeds of unity and loving kindness in the hearts of its divers peoples!

True, that land seems now unhappily to be plunged in the darkness of prejudice, hate and mistrust, yet however dark the immediate prospect may appear, our confidence remains unshaken that ere long these mists shall clear away, the dawn of a New Day shall break upon that land and the Rays of this Divine Revelation shall make of India a spiritually-quickened, peaceful and united country.

The universal Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh if declared and propounded with wisdom and judgement, determination, selflessness and sincerity, and above all if exemplified in our lives and dealings with our fellow-men, cannot fail to inspire and stimulate the mind of the enlightened seeker and win the admiration and allegiance of all mankind. Ours then is the duty and privilege to bring to the attention of this distressed and war-weary world this Message of Eternal Salvation and help to establish the Era of Peace and Brotherhood as purposed and foretold by Bahá’u’lláh.

The welcome news of the progress of the Third All India Bahá’í Convention as well as the favourable comment made upon it by the Press of that country have been fully shared with the pilgrims and resident friends in the Holy Land and we have all admired and rejoiced at the efforts you are exerting for the consolidation of the Movement in that ancient land.

May your endeavours in every sphere of your spiritual activities be crowned with brilliant success, that His glorious Promise regarding the future of that land may be speedily fulfilled. It is my earnest hope that “The Bahá’í News”, the representative organ of the Bahá’í Community in India, may expand and develop, may widen the sphere of its correspondence, add to the number and quality of its articles in Persian as well as in English, report regularly in its columns the news of the spiritual activities of all Bahá’í centres in India and elsewhere, and in general provide for the full, correct and dignified presentation of the Cause to the general public.

Assuring every one of you of my constant prayers on your behalf and wishing you success in your noble task,

I am your brother and co-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout

[Page 3]

Burma. Care of Aga Seyed Mustapha, Mandalay, Burma.

February 5, 1923

Dearly beloved brethren and sisters in ‘Abdu’1-Bahá:

How sweet and glorious to remember in these days of strife and turmoil how the mighty hand of our beloved ‘Abdu’1-Bahá has gathered together peoples of divers tongues and distant climes and united their hearts in one common spirit of love and servitude to the sacred Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh. The Spirit that has achieved .so great a measure of reconciliation, is today the one Factor that can, amid the unceasing contentions of races, nations, creeds and classes, assure to this disillusioned world the reign of true felicity and peace.

How great is then our privilege to labour for the diffusion of this Spirit, and how vital and urgent our task to relieve mankind from its present state of uncertainty and peril!

True, the work to be achieved is immeasurably difficult, the obstacles to be surmounted innumerable, but our reliance is in His all-conquering Spirit which has effected such a change in the past, and is sure, according to his explicit promise, to effect a still greater change in future.

I would be most pleased and gratified to receive a detailed report of your spiritual activities, and a full description of the present position of the Cause in those regions and of the plans you contemplate for progress in future. I assure you that your welfare and happiness are the objects of my deepest care and concern, and I wish you to rely on my readiness to be of any service to you in your labours for the Cause.

I shall look forward from now on to the joyful tidings which my spiritual brethren and sisters in Burma, assisted by the efforts of our devoted and able Bahá’í sister, Mrs. Stannard, will send me in the near future. It is my earnest prayer, whenever I visit the Three Sacred Shrines, that the blessings of the Almighty may rest upon your efforts and make of that far-away region a radiant centre of spiritual activity and humanitarian achievements.

Your brother and co-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

[Page 4]

April 26, 1923

My Dear Spiritual Brother:

Shoghi Effendi was most pleased to receive your letter dated April 13th. He was specially delighted to hear of the great zeal Dr. Koshal is displaying in the spread of the movement. As you mentioned India is a vast country and an excellent field of service. If the younger Bahá’í generation, in whom Shoghi Effendi has great hopes, take the pain of studying the Cause deeply and thoroughly, read its history, find its underlying principles and become both well informed and energetic, they surely can achieve a great deal. It is upon their shoulders that the Master has laid the tremendous work of teaching. They are the ones to raise the call of the Kingdom and arouse the people from slumber. If they fail the Cause is doomed to stagnation. May we all hope and earnestly pray that through God’s infinite Grace, through the Master’s spiritual guidance and through Shoghi Effendi’s tender care we may do justice to this tremendous work and not fail to do the Master’s bidding.

As Shoghi Effendi has not yet taken up the tremendous work and responsibility of attending to the correspondence of the individual friends, he asked me to write you this note, acknowledge the receipt of your letter, and ask you to do the following things: 1 – Change the name of your Executive Committee to the “National Spiritual Assembly”, because the corresponding Assembly in England and America bear the same name, and uniformity in such matters is most advisable. 2 – He likes to receive regular and detailed reports of the position of the Cause as well as the activities of the friends in India drafted as well as sent by the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly, so as to be informed of the conditions there and administer to your needs. 3 – He wishes to have the postal as well as telegraphic address of the Secretary so as to send his communications to him.

Shoghi Effendi earnestly hopes and prays that the National Spiritual Assembly will be able to achieve a great deal and herald a new era of spiritual awakening in that land.

[Page 5]

To the beloved of the Lord, the members of the National Spiritual Assembly:

Mr. N.R. Vakil, Mr. M.U. Abasi, Mr. Hashmatu’llah, Hájí Ahmad, Mr. A. Bahram, Mr. M. Kodadad, Dr. Kaushal Kishore, Prof. Pritam Singh, Mr. I. Bakhtiar

Care of the Secretary, Dr. Kaushal Kishore, India.

June 1, 1923

Dear fellow-workers in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh!

Your long awaited letter, penned by our dear and devoted brother, Mr. N. R. Vakil, has been received, and read with profound interest. I note with deep satisfaction the vigour and earnestness with which you are conducting the affairs of the Movement throughout the length and breadth of that vast and distant land, and ardently pray that you may achieve, individually and collectively, the highest success in all your endeavours.

Regarding the “Bahá’í News”, I strongly urge those responsible for its publication, and in particular, our beloved friends. Prof. Pritam Singh, Mr. Vakil, Mr. Hashmatu’llah, Mr. M. U. Abasi, Mírzá Niku, Mr. Ardeshir Khodadad, and Hájí Ahmad, to do their utmost that this Bahá’í organ may increase in volume, widen in scope, broaden in its outlook, improve in style and general presentation, and reflect more extensively the activities of the friends in India, Burma and elsewhere. As a magazine that has been established in the days of our departed Master, and been the recipient of His special favours and blessings, it ought, and I have no doubt it will, with your active support and under your constant and general supervision, carry out the great plan it is destined to fulfil in this world.

With regard to Burma and its Bahá’í activities, I trust you realize that that province falls directly within the sphere of your activities, and although a Central Council for all Burma is in the process of establishment, that Council as well as all local Assemblies throughout Burma will have to be under the protection, care and direction of the All-India Spiritual Assembly.

I would indeed welcome regular, frequent and comprehensive reports from the National Assembly on the various branches of its manifold activities, and will spare no effort to contribute my humble share in consolidating and extending the Teaching Campaign throughout that vast Dominion.

[Page 6]

I would be pleased to receive the permanent postal and telegraphic address of the Secretary of the National Assembly, and am confident that by the grace of Bahá’u’lláh and under the guiding Hand of our beloved Master, we shall all carry triumphantly the noble task entrusted to our charge to a speedy and successful conclusion.

Your brother and fellow-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful in Rangoon, Care of the Members of the Spiritual Assembly.

June l, 1923

Dearly beloved brethren and sisters in ‘Abdu’1-Bahá!

Your most welcome letter has rejoiced my heart, and has redoubled my confidence and hope in that little band of earnest and ardent followers of the Bahá’í Faith who labour so devotedly for the diffusion of the Light of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the world.

The glowing account you give me of your recent efforts and activities to extend and consolidate the Campaign of Service in that land has been shared with the resident friends and pilgrims in the Holy Land, and incorporated in the circular letter which the Haifa Spiritual Assembly addresses to the Bahá’í world. It will send, I am sure, a thrill of enthusiasm and courage throughout the body of the friends the world over, and will serve to strengthen the ties that bind us all to you, our beloved co-workers in that far-eastern land!

I am looking forward with the greatest interest, to the time when your high hopes will have been fully realized, your plans fulfilled and your selfless efforts crowned with glorious success. It is my fervent hope and prayer that your endeavours to constitute a Central Council for all Burma, and establish a Bahá’í Magazine, exclusively devoted to the progress of the work in that province, will soon bear abundant fruit, and will stand a testimony to the efficiency, the energy and the zeal of the beloved Burmese friends.

May our loving and ever-watchful Master, guide and protect you in all the services you are so whole-heartedly tendering to His sacred Threshold, and may He enable you to contribute your full share in carrying out His Great Purpose for mankind! This is my prayer for you all whenever I visit the Three Holy Shrines, and I feel certain that

[Page 7]

He will not fail to answer it, if we but hold fast to those principles for which He lived, laboured and died.

Awaiting your joyful news, I am your devoted brother,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful in Mandalay, Daidanaw-Kalazoo, and Tanbingyanng. Care of Aqa Seyed Mustapha, Mandalay, Burma.

June 2, 1923

Dearly beloved brethren and sisters in ‘Abdu’1-Bahá!

The detailed report I have recently received from the tried and faithful servant of Bahá’u’lláh, Aqa Seyed Mustapha, regarding the progress of your labours in those remote regions of the world has filled my heart with hope and gladness, and has served to fortify the ties of loving fellowship that bind our hearts together in the service of His Cause.

I have read and re-read the account of your activities with profound interest, and have been deeply touched to realize how constantly and fervently you are carrying on the work entrusted to your charge. May His Spirit guide you, sustain you and protect you in all your endeavours, and make of you the vanguard of His Host that shall conquer the world.

I shall await the joyful news of the expansion of your work, the establishment of your Magazine, the consolidation of your Assemblies, the increase of your numbers, with keen interest, and wish to assure you again and again of my readiness and desire to help you and serve you in your efforts to promote the Cause in even the uttermost corners of the world.

By day and by night, in my hours of prayer and meditation, I tenderly remember every one of you, and pray from the bottom of my heart, for your spiritual happiness, material prosperity, and ultimate success in your sacred mission in this world.

I shall be most pleased to receive frequent and direct letters from every Bahá’í locality in Burma, and will not fail to do all I can to stimulate your work, and extend your activities throughout that distant province.

May the day be not far distant when the few and ardent followers

[Page 8]

of the Faith in that land, will have increased a hundred fold, and the promises of our beloved ‘Abdu’1-Bahá strikingly and speedily fulfilled.

Your brother and fellow-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

Mr. N.R. Vakil B.A. LL.B. Hawadia, Chakale, Surat, India.

June 20, 1923

My dear brother,

Your letter of June 6th, written to our dear Shoghi Effendi, with the enclosed letter of our dear brother, Mr. Hishmat’ullah, was received yesterday. Your previous letter to him was also received.

You mention in your previous letter that the friends in India are requesting him to send Áqá Mírzá Mahmúd Zarghání to India, because he is greatly needed in India to serve the Cause of God. Shoghi Effendi instructed me to tell you in this letter that he will gladly send Áqá Mírzá Mahmúd to India, but nowadays he is occupied in some special service. Later on he will be sent to them. Please extend this news to the dear friends, together with his tender love.

There is no doubt that our brother, Mírzá Mahmúd, is the qualified teacher for India. The beloved Master has testified to this. But I believe he will be here for at least three months more.

Our dear Shoghi Effendi, owing to the shock he received at the sudden news of the Ascension of our Master and owing to the great fatigue occasioned to him through the excess of work has become susceptible to malaria of which Haifa is a great centre. This summer is very hot too. He was troubled with malaria two days or three in every week. So the members of the Holy Family conjointly with the Haifa Spiritual Assembly repeatedly begged him to change his residence during these hot summer months to some cooler climate. At last he affectionately accepted our humble entreaty and left this morning for Egypt whence he’ll proceed to some summer resort as he considers suitable. He wishes all the friends to be more active in his absence.

[Page 9]

NOVEMBER 26, 1923

MAY PAINFUL REMEMBRANCE OF BELOVED’S PASSING INFLAME US WITH THE SPIRIT OF DEVOTION AND SERVICE TO HIS CAUSE.

SHOGHI

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout India, and Burma. Care of the National Spiritual Assembly.

December 5, 1923

My dearest friends:

It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to renew the bonds of fellowship and affection that have always united our hearts in the service of our beloved Master. I need not recall to your minds the warm and abiding place which that gifted Dominion has always occupied in our Beloved’s heart, and the high hopes He cherished for its future contribution towards the triumph of the Movement in those distant regions of the earth.

I am sure the hour has struck when those dearly-beloved pioneers of the Master’s Cause, scattered throughout the length and breadth of that vast and promising land, should unite, consolidate their forces, and effectively combine for the laying of a firm foundation for the future progress of their noble task. It is my earnest hope and my most cherished desire that at the forthcoming convention the vigour and enlightened efforts of the Bahá’í youth of India, coupled with the generous support and devotion of the old beloved Parsee friends, and reinforced by the vast numbers of the ardent followers of the Faith in Burma, may, by imparting power and brilliancy to its proceedings, herald an era of unprecedented activity for the ultimate recognition of the Cause by the peoples of that country.

I shall welcome with genuine satisfaction every effort which that talented and untiring servant of Bahá’u’lláh, our highly esteemed sister Mrs. Stannard, may exert in this connection, and would feel truly gratified to learn of her determination to play a conspicuous part in the presentation of the Cause in the eyes of the enlightened public. May the sustaining grace of God, the power of Bahá’u’lláh, and the loving counsels of our beloved ‘Abdu’1-Bahá guide you and aid you in your mighty endeavours for the accomplishment of your task.

I shall eagerly await any particulars you might wish to send me

[Page 10]

regarding your various activities in the service of the Cause, and I trust that during the interval between now and Ri?ván a complete and careful arrangement for the successful conduct of the coming Convention will have been drawn by all the friends and assemblies of India and Burma, and to which, I assure you, I shall be most pleased to contribute my humble share of cooperation and advice.

Hoping to hear from you, individually and collectively, and assuring you of my constant prayers on your behalf, I am your brother and fellow-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma. Care of the Secretary, Dr. Kaushal Kishore.

December 27, 1923

Beloved co-workers in the Cause!

I have received your letter dated December 6th, 1923, and am glad to learn of your activities, of your steadfastness and zeal in the path of service.

Regarding the position of the Bahá’í women in India and Burma, and their future collaboration with the men in the administrative work of the Cause, I feel that the time is now ripe that those women who have already conformed to the prevailing custom in India and Burma by discarding the veil should not only be given the right to vote for the election of their local and national representatives, but should themselves be eligible to the membership of all Bahá’í Assemblies throughout India and Burma, be they local or national.

This definite and most important step, however, should be taken with the greatest care and caution, prudence and thoughtfulness. Due regard must be paid to their actual capacity and present attainments, and only those who are best qualified for membership, be they men or women, and irrespective of social standing, should be elected to the extremely responsible position of a member of the Bahá’í Assembly.

This momentous decision, I trust, will prove to be a great incentive to the women Bahá’í’s throughout India and Burma who, I hope, will now bestir themselves and endeavour to the best of their ability to acquire a better and more profound knowledge of the Cause, to take a more active and systematic a pan in the general affairs of the

[Page 11]

Movement, and prove themselves in every way enlightened, responsible and efficient co-workers to their fellow-men m their common task for the advancement of the Cause throughout their country.

May they fully realize their high responsibilities ;n this day, may they do all in their power to justify the high hopes we cherish for their future, and may they prove themselves in every respect worthy of the noble mission which the Bahá’í world is now entrusting to their charge.

Your fellow-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine


[Page 12]

1924

OCTOBER 2, 1924

MY BIRTHDAY SHOULD NOT BE COMMEMORATED.

SHOGHI

Mr. N. R. Vakil Hawadia, Chakla, Surat, India.

Novembers, 1924

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your most spiritual letter of October 24th, addressed to our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, arrived yesterday and imparted real joy to his dear heart, for it indicates that the dear and loyal friends in India are whole-heartedly striving in spreading the heavenly Teachings in that blessed country.

This afternoon he instructed me to write this conveying to you his profound affection and assuring you that he ardently prays at the Holy Shrines so that your confirmation may be more and more day by day and the hopes of our beloved Master, ‘Abdu’1-Bahá for the illumination of the people of India may be speedily realized.

The members of the Holy Family are all well and happy and are

[Page 13]

always expecting glad tidings from the result of the sacrificial services of the dear Indian friends. They are sending you all their loving greetings.

Nowadays we have the pleasure of having with us many pilgrims from America, France, Germany and Persia. They have brought with them heart-refreshing news from the progress of the Cause of God in their respective countries.

My loyal and self-sacrificing brother:

I trust that the National Assembly of which you are the honoured and, esteemed President will distinguish itself by its unremitting labours, its profound wisdom, its distinct contributions to the deepening of the spirit of love, service, unity, understanding and confidence amongst the friends. It is the vital and urgent duty of the Secretary to keep in close and constant touch with Burma and the various other Bahá’í localities and distribute with efficiency and promptitude all the glad tidings it receives from the Holy Land and elsewhere. I assure you of my ardent loving prayer.

Shoghi

DECEMBER 4, 1924

BURMA’S PARTICIPATION EXTREMELY DESIRABLE FOR SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


[Page 14]

1925

To my honoured friends, the editors and publishers of “The Dawn.”

February 7, 1925

Loyal and steadfast workers in the Cause of God!

I have read the recent issues of “The Dawn” which you have been so kind as to send me with feelings of heartfelt admiration and gratitude. This valuable organ of the Bahá’í community in Burma has displayed magnificent efforts in the past, has earned the satisfaction and esteem of its readers, and is, steadily and determinedly, exerting itself to establish its claim of providing for a long-standing need and fulfilling a vital function.

Burma, that beloved and picturesque country, standing sentinel on the eastern confines of the Bahá’í world, with its vast number of modest yet ardent followers of the Faith, should pursue diligently its work of extending further and further into the very heart of the Far East the sphere of its healing mission in life.

While maintaining the closest and most cordial co-operation with the body of the friends in India, as a sign of the growing solidarity of the Cause of God, it should concentrate its energies on the consolidation of its work in her own particular field. It is the privilege of

[Page 15]

the Burmese friends to re-adjust and stimulate their own activities, lay down their own programme for an intensive and systematic campaign of Teaching, and, with an unshakable resolve, arise to carry it to a successful conclusion.

May your cherished and promising Journal eloquently recount the tale of your deeds; acquaint your fellow-labourers in distant fields with your hopes, your plans, and your achievements; reflect the spirit of your selfless endeavours, and stand as witness of the growing vitality of the noble work you are destined to achieve.

May He, Who loves you and watches over you, guide your steps, cheer your hearts, reinforce your efforts, and richly reward you for your loyalty, your perseverance and courage. I assure you of my affectionate sentiments, my deep appreciation, and my prayers for you all.

Your brother and fellow-worker,

Shoghi

Haifa, Palestine

[To N. R. Vakil]

March 5, 1925

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of February 20th addressed to our dear Guardian was very gladly received and he was very much pleased to note the measures you have taken to bring a better understanding between the friends in India and Burma. He was specially interested and pleased in the invitation accorded to you by the Arya Samaj. Nothing, I dare say, can be more encouraging and gladsome to Shoghi Effendi than the news of the activities of the friends in such a vast and promising field as India. In the last few years the harvest of the friends’ endeavours was not as rich and abundant as we all would wish and undoubtedly the political throes through which India has been passing and the general unrest which such conditions have brought about, account to a large measure for this comparative unfruitfulness in the self-sacrificing efforts of the Indian Bahá’ís. Yet nothing must damp our zeal and we cannot for a moment doubt the remarkable change that the Master said would take place in that country.

We have been all very much interested in the first-hand information which Mrs. Stannard has given us and we lament the formidable difficulties and obstacles with which the Bahá’ís must cope in their

[Page 16]

effort to imbue the individual with a new spirit and to bring new measures of reform in the social order. We shall, however, pray for you all and eagerly await every good news you have to share with us.

Assuring you all as always of our Guardian’s affection and prayers for each and every one of you.

My precious fellow worker:

I always eagerly await detailed and frequent reports from the National Assembly and desire strongly its members to meet as often as possible and actively, efficiently, and constantly direct, co-ordinate and reinforce the activities of the individuals and local Assemblies throughout India and Burma. I thirst for more specific information and urge its secretary to ensure that every communication from the Holy Land or from any other Bahá’í centre is promptly and widely distributed. I assure you of my loving prayers.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

April 1, 1925

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter dated March 13th to the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, was very gladly received and he read it with much interest.

A few weeks ago Shoghi Effendi wrote a long letter to the friends in India and Burma, and as I did not know that you wanted the letter to be sent to you in person, it was sent according to usage and custom to the secretary Dr. Kaushal Kishore. I clearly wrote him, however, in a letter which I sent him, that copies of Shoghi Effendi’s letter should be sent to all friends in India and Burma and thus make the friends know and understand just how our Guardian wishes them to feel towards each other and what should be their basis of cooperation. I hope he will not fail in sending out copies of that letter.

We were sorry to know of the state of tension that exists between India and Burma. Let us hope that Shoghi Effendi’s letter will draw both parties nearer together and so ease up the matter. It is very sad to see sections of such a continent, though closely connected together, unable to work in harmony. Let us pray and also try our best that all petty misunderstandings should be forgotten and that the

[Page 17]

work should start on a new basis firmer than before. In reply to your question as to the suspension of the publication of the “Bahá’í News”, Shoghi Effendi puts it all for you to decide and the National Assembly should see which is better and at the same time more practicable.

My able and loyal co-worker:

I do hope and pray that the Indians and the Burmese friends will once the new National Spiritual Assembly is re-elected support their representatives and whole-heartedly unite in promoting the work of the Cause. An earnest, capable, energetic, loyal and experienced soul must discharge the responsible and arduous duties of a National Secretary. So much depends upon him. You will have my fullest and unqualified support in impressing upon the friends the supreme necessity of establishing forthwith and maintaining to the best of their ability the institution of the National Fund. I will pray for you all and assure you personally of my great affection.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

May 12, 1925

Alláh-u-Abhá

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has asked me to thank you for your kind letter of 2nd April and to assure you that he is deeply appreciative of the sincerity and devotion of Mr. Hashmat’ulláh and the value of his services to our Beloved Cause.

By now the election of the new National Spiritual Assembly and of its office-bearers will probably be completed. The office of Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly is most important and the smooth and efficient working of the Bahá’í organization in India and Burma will depend to a large extent on him. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the new Secretary of the National Assembly will send him as soon as possible a full list of the members and office-bearers of the Assembly with his own postal address. He would like him also, as soon as possible, to procure from each of the Local Assemblies in India and Burma a full list of the members and office-bearers of the Local Spiritual Assembly with the address of the secretary, and to

[Page 18]

transmit a copy of that list to Shoghi Effendi. This is to be done every year immediately after the election of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Further it is desirable that each Local Assembly should have a register of the names and addresses of all declared Bahá’ís in their district and should be careful to keep the register up-to-date, promptly noting any changes in the address or number of the believers. It is also desirable that the National Secretary should have a list of all believers in India and Burma who are living in districts where there is no Local Spiritual Assembly, with full postal address in each case, so that these believers may be kept in touch with the body of believers by letters, literature etc. and travelling Bahá’ís visiting these districts may be put in touch with the believers there. Shoghi Effendi would like to have a copy of this list also.

The National Secretary should keep in as close touch as possible with the Local Spiritual Assemblies, and should urge the secretaries of these Local Assemblies to furnish regular reports of the progress of the Movement in their respective localities, and should, by means of circular letters etc. keep these Local Assemblies and isolated believers informed of all matters of importance affecting the Cause, remind them of the importance of contributing as regularly and generously as possible to the National Fund, and so on.

It is obvious that to carry out these manifold duties efficiently, thoroughly and tactfully is no easy task and Shoghi Effendi greatly hopes that some one may be found who will be able to devote the necessary ability, time and energy to carry them out satisfactorily.

A “Bahá’í Yearbook” is now in course of preparation and Shoghi Effendi wishes to include in this “Yearbook” a complete list of the Local Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world, with the address of the secretary in each case, also a complete list of those localities where there are resident Bahá’ís but where no Local Spiritual Assembly exists. It will probably be impracticable to include the addresses of all isolated believers, but these should be known to the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly in each country, so that they may be available on application to him.

Will you kindly communicate the contents of this letter to the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly and ask him to write to Shoghi Effendi as soon as possible.

Shoghi Effendi sends loving greetings to all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly and assures them of his heartfelt prayers

[Page 19]

that they may be guided and strengthened by the confirmations of the Spirit in the arduous and responsible duties to which they have been called.

With kindest regards and best wishes…

It will interest you to know that the Bahá’ís of Egypt have just elected their first National Spiritual Assembly.

My dearly-beloved brother in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

Your past and present efforts are indeed worthy of the deepest admiration and the highest praise. Concentrate as much as you can at present on the consolidation of the foundations of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma. This is the first and most essential step to further expansion in any direction. The institution of the National Fund is of vital importance and should be greatly stressed and emphasized in every circular or communication addressed to the friends. I will continue to pray for you from all my heart and assure you of my support and brotherly love.

Shoghi

[To Zaituneh Ma Gyi, Mandalay, Burma]

October 29, 1925

Alláh’u’Abhá

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your loving letter of 9th April brought joy to the heart of our Beloved Guardian. He was away in Europe for about four months and only returned to Haifa two weeks ago and that is the reason why the answer to your letter has been so long delayed. He assures you of his heartfelt prayers on behalf of your self, your husband Ma Shaffi, your two sons, Manng Ba Kin and Manng Ba Tin, with their families, your three daughters Miss Ma Ma, Miss Hla Hla, B.A., and Miss Mya Mya, your sister Ma Hline and brother Manng Ba, and all the dear friends of Mandalay and Burma. He rejoices to hear of the good progress which the Cause of God is making in that country and is profoundly grateful for the spirit of love and devotion that animates the friends there.

[Page 20]

Shoghi Effendi is in excellent health after his visit to Europe. The Greatest Holy Leaf is also well.

Our dear Guardian, the Greatest Holy Leaf, The Holy Mother and the other friends here join in prayers and good wishes that you may be confirmed and strengthened in the service of the Beloved and may be the means of widely diffusing the divine fragrances, and scattering the seeds of divine truth in the fertile soil of the hearts.

My dear spiritual sister:

I wish to assure you personally of my fervent and continued prayers for yourself, your beloved family and the dear unforgettable brothers and sisters in Burma. May our Beloved guide you, inspire and strengthen you and lead you to glorious victory. Your true brother and well-wisher

Shoghi

To the maid-servant of God Halimeh (Pali-Ama-Ma-Myaing) c/o S.M. Roumie, Bahá’í Assembly, 621- Gordon 83rd St., Mandalay

October 29, 1925

Alláh’u’Abhá

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Shoghi Effendi was much touched by the receipt of your kind letter of 7th October…

Our beloved Guardian returned only a fortnight ago in excellent health after a visit to Europe which lasted about four months. He is busy from early until late with the many duties that press upon him and the problems that demand his attention. The Blessed Cause is growing and spreading in nearly all parts of the world. That is a matter for great rejoicing, but Shoghi Effendi regrets that owing to this very growth it has become impossible for him to reply to the letters of individual believers as he should like to do. He feels that questions affecting whole groups of believers, the Spiritual Assemblies, specially the National Spiritual Assemblies, and matters of general importance for the whole Bahá’í world, have the first claim upon his time and attention.

He assures you, however, of his earnest and heartfelt prayers on your behalf and hopes that rich blessings may attend you and that you may ever be guided, strengthened and supported by the divine confirmations.

[Page 21]

OCTOBER 31, 1925

LOVING APPRECIATION. MAY INDIAN BURMESE NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES FULFIL OUR HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER 2, 1925

IRAQ’S COURT OF APPEAL UNEXPECTEDLY GAVE DECISION AGAINST US CONCERNING BAGHDAD HOUSE. SITUATION VERY GRAVE. REQUEST NATIONAL AND EVERY LOCAL ASSEMBLY INDIA BURMA COMMUNICATE BY CABLE AND LETTER WITH IRAQ HIGH COMMISSIONER AND KING OF IRAQ DECLARING IN FIRM CONSIDERATE LANGUAGE THEIR STRONG ATTACHMENT TO BAHA’U’LLAH’S SACRED HOUSE AND THEIR EARNEST APPEAL FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THEIR SPIRITUAL CLAIMS TO ITS POSSESSION.

SHOGHI

To The Honoured Members Of The National Spiritual Assembly Of India And Burma.

November 18, 1925

Dear Bahá’í Brothers,

Your letter of the 6th instant written to our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, has arrived and rejoiced his dear heart with the good news it contains.

Yesterday he ordered me to write a few words and acknowledge the receipt of your letter, conveying to you his love and greeting. He was much pleased to see that you have followed his telegraphic instructions concerning the Baghdad House promptly.

From other centres also telegraphic communications have been sent to both the High Commissioner and to His Majesty King Faisal. We are hoping for a desirable result. Up to this time no definite information has reached us. We shall keep you informed as soon as we receive any.

Our beloved Guardian is in excellent health and so the Holy Family and all the friends here are happy and well too…

[Page 22]

My dear friends:

The prompt and effective measures you have taken are worthy of the highest praise. I will inform you if further action is deemed necessary. I hope and pray your devoted efforts will yield abundant fruit in the near future. Your true brother,

Shoghi

NOVEMBER 24, 1925

ESSLEMONT UNEXPECTEDLY PASSED AWAY. CABLE CONDOLENCES FAMILY THROUGH SIMPSON. ADVISE BELIEVERS DEDICATE SPECIAL DAY FOR PRAYER AND REMEMBRANCE.

SHOGHI

[To N.R. Vakil]

November 24, 1925

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Our dear Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, has received your letter of October 27th which has rejoiced his dear heart with its contents relative to the mindfulness of the dear friends in India towards the welfare of the Cause of God in that country…

Shoghi Effendi prays for all of you and hopes that through your practical devotion, you will all attract divine assistance more and more, day by day, and so this coming year the Cause of God will make unprecedented progress in that country. He sends you and all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly his affectionate greeting and expects your good news regularly.

My dear fellow worker:

I pray that your newly constituted National Spiritual Assembly may grow from strength to strength, may coordinate and consolidate the ever-expanding activities of the friends in India and Burma and inaugurate a fresh campaign of teaching that will redound to the glory and power of the Most Great Name. May the projected Congress at Cawnpore attract

[Page 23]

widespread interest and stimulate the work undertaken by the friends in that promising country. I assure you of my best wishes for your success. Your true brother and fellow worker,

Shoghi


[Page 24]

1926

[To N.R. Vakil]

March 27, 1926

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated November 27th, December 11th, 18th and 24th 1925, and January 5th and February 28th to the dear Guardian was all received and read by him with the greatest interest.

It is always a source of immeasurable joy and encouragement to our dear Guardian to learn of your increasing activities in serving our dear Cause and also of the growing measure of success which you are meeting with in all your endeavours. The unity of the friends in India and Burma, the spread of the Cause in that vast country and specially among the real natives, intelligent connections with the universities and schools and the direction of the thoughts of the students to a proper understanding of the Cause and its great mission on earth, will not only be a real accomplishment on the part of our dear fellow-workers, but will relieve to a very large extent our dear Guardian of the stupendous task that he shoulders, and will give him the deepest joy and confidence. We earnestly trust that through the help of our dear Master from on high all your efforts will be crowned with

[Page 25]

success. Shoghi Effendi is always interested to hear from you on the work in India and to help you in every possible way.

You are, I am sure, in touch with Mr. Horace Holley in America and you would be interested to know that they are publishing soon a “Bahá’í Year Book” which will be of widespread interest not only to the Bahá’í’s but also to many interested men and women in our dear Cause.

Mrs. Stannard is very successful in her work in Geneva and she has already started a fine centre there. She is able to make many connections with influential men and learned people and this is in itself a great work.

Assuring you always of our Guardian’s deep interest in your work and of his prayers for your success.

My dear and valuable fellow-worker:

I am very pleased and gratified to learn of your persistent efforts in advancing and consolidating the Cause. The establishment of a central office in Delhi is a great step forward and I await very eagerly the first issue of the publication of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma. The Burmese friends are very satisfied and pleased with the consideration shown and the activity displayed by your Assembly and my prayer is that the relations of the National Body with the Local Assemblies will grow firmer everyday. I will specially remember the friends who are promoting the Cause among the Qádíyání community whenever I visit the Shrines. I wish them the fullest success. Your true brother,

Shoghi

To The Bahá’í Spiritual Assembly of Daidanaw-Kalazoo.

April 15, 1926

Dear Spiritual Brothers,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated March 29th 1926. He appreciates very much the kind offer you have made towards the securing of the lands around the Shrine, specially as it entailed a larger amount of sacrifice. He hopes that the spirit which the friends have shown in this field will manifest itself again in the other services they render.

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to assure you of his prayers and

[Page 26]

expresses his hope to see the small groups in India and Burma develop into important centres radiating their activities to all the country around and becoming the leaven of goodness in that extensive land.

My dearly beloved fellow-markers:

I am deeply touched by this further evidence of your unsparing devotion and self-sacrificing efforts for the protection and promotion of the interests of the Cause. The welfare, success and happiness of my unforgettable friends in Kunjangoon are the objects of my prayer at the Holy Shrines. They are close to my heart and I entertain the fondest hopes for their future expansion and service to the Cause. With great affection and loving sympathy. Your true brother,

Shoghi

May 17, 1926

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I write to thank you in behalf of Shoghi Effendi for your much appreciated letters of March 26th, and May 6th…

Shoghi Effendi trusts that your elections are over and that they were conducted in the proper manner. He earnestly hopes that the new National Spiritual Assembly will be able to accelerate the progress of the Cause in India and Burma and will bring in the dawning of a new day for the Bahá’í Movement in India. Both Shoghi Effendi and the friends have had to satisfy their eagerness with insufficient progress in the past, and although there are many difficulties to meet and overcome and in spite of the fact that no one is more alive to them than Shoghi Effendi himself, we hope and pray that the future may have great accomplishments in store for us.

My dear fellow-worker:

Though immersed in a multitude of activities and extremely over-burdened with anxieties and cares, I still find the time to remember you in my prayers and supplicate for you Divine Guidance and strength. Persevere in your labours and rest assured that I will continue to pray for you from the bottom of my heart.

Shoghi

[Page 27]

July 10, 1926

My dear Mr. Vakil:

Shoghi Effendi received your letter dated June 11th and was very glad to see the result of the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. He sincerely hopes that this year will witness a great change and progress for the Cause in India. As the friends are sincere in their love and devotion, the members of the Assembly strong in their faith and unfailing in their services, there is full assurance of an ultimate victory and final settlement of the existing difficulties. Shoghi Effendi has great hopes in you personally and trusts in your wise judgement, watchful attentiveness and absolute assurance in the Cause you serve. He wants me to assure you of his prayers.

He also hopes that the friends in India will do their very best to bring together the Hindus and Mohamedans. In such cases the friends can show their goodwill, devotion to humanity, and disinterestedness in the material result obtained. He will pray that Mr. Hishmatu’llah and Prof. Pritam Singh will be guided in this undertaking and ably represent the spirit of the Cause as well as its teachings. Being competent themselves and having the necessary divine blessing and guidance it is sure that they will achieve much. Maybe this will be a good chance for attracting the attention of some of the prominent leaders to the reality of the Cause.

My dear fellow worker:

I have written in person to the Bombay Assembly and urged them most emphatically to support morally and financially the National Assembly and the National Fund. Please assure Mr. Hishmatu’llah. We have to repeat and repeat over and over again until the truth, the necessity and the urgency of our Beloved’s instructions sink in the hearts and minds of the believers. I am sure you will continue to remind the friends of their primary obligations. Assuring you again of my prayers for your success in your high endeavours. I am your true and sincere brother,

Shoghi

[Page 28]

Mr .and Mrs. Pritam Singh, College of Commerce, Cawnpore.

July 16, 1926

My Dear Mr. And Mrs. Pritam Singh,

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated June 24th to Shoghi Effendi. He was very glad to see your news about the progress of the Cause in India. He hopes that the hopes the Master had for that vast country will soon be realized and give you and the other friends in India the satisfaction of having accomplished it…

He specially wants me to ask you both to concentrate your energy and spare time in serving the Cause and spreading the message…

The primary duty of Bahá’ís like you, who have the firm belief and faith combined with education and intellectual training is to see that the Cause is properly presented to the outside world and that it is daily gaining allegiance from that class of people who are in every respect the choicest in that land.

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to assure you of his prayers and he hopes that your heart’s desire in seeing the Cause prosper will soon be realized.

My dear and precious fellow workers:

I was delighted with your letter. Your earnest, patient and devoted efforts are deeply appreciated by me and I have the greatest hopes in your future contributions to the progress and triumph of our beloved Cause. I will ever remember you in my prayers and will not fail to supplicate for you from the bottom of my heart the Almighty’s imperishable blessings. Your true and affectionate brother,

Shoghi

September 7, 1926

Dear Mr. Vakil,

…‘Abdu’1-Bahá used often to say that the difference between a prophet and an ordinary person is that the latter looks only to the present. He does not try to imagine the future victories and thereby forget the present trivial obstructions. The prophet, however, having

[Page 29]

a deep insight in the future condition of things, sees his ultimate victory and does not get disheartened even though he sees a wholesale massacre of his followers.

As Bahá’ís we should follow the prophet’s method. We know that the Cause will ultimately conquer and its ranks be fully united. We know that the Master’s promises will ultimately be realized, therefore why be discouraged by trivial oppositions we see on our way. We should rather add to our zeal and persist in our prayers and endeavours… It always takes time for a people to change from one administration to another. Up to the present they have been accustomed to think of the Local Assemblies as next only to the Centre of the Cause, and it will take some time and training before they can admit another superior…

Shoghi Effendi is appreciative of all the odds the National Assembly in India is putting up with, and prays for their success and guidance. He wishes me specially to extend his greetings to you and assure you of his prayers.

My dearest brother:

I have cabled to Bombay and will soon confirm it by letter. I have urged them to support consistently and whole-heartedly the very essential and vital institutions of the National Fund and the National Assembly. It must be made clear to them all that continuous support to these twin institutions is the corner-stone of all future achievements, the mainspring from which all future blessings will flow. Persevere in your heroic effort and remember that the end is glorious and bright.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

September 12, 1926

Dear Spiritual Brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of both of your letters dated August 6th 1926. He was most grieved to learn of the great sorrow that has befallen Mrs. Vakil and yourself. A child is undoubtedly the most precious material object a person can possess, and to see it pass away is an irreparable loss to be deeply lamented. We should, however, remember the promises we are given of the

[Page 30]

world to come, and picturing to ourselves the greater spiritual development the departed ones obtain, comfort ourselves and patiently await our reunion there. Shoghi Effendi wishes me to express to both Mrs. Vakil and yourself, his heartfelt condolences and assure you of the share he bears of this sad loss.

Shoghi Effendi was rather comforted to hear of the favourable approach the Bombay friends have made. He hopes that this will be the first step towards a complete mutual understanding and a sincere and permanent assistance to the National Body in the many phases of its activities. The “Kaukab”, he believes, is of great importance and will gradually show its far-reaching influence in promoting the Cause in India. He wishes you to continue it, even though for the present, it has to be greatly subsidized.

My dear brother and co-worker:

I greatly appreciate the evidences of both your moral and material assistance in promoting the interests of our beloved Cause. I share with you the severe loss which you have sustained and my heart goes out to you in brotherly sympathy, trusting that the Divine Consoler will by His unfailing bounties relieve your sorrowful hearts and grant you both in the world to come the joy of eternal reunion with your dear and departed child. Your sympathizing brother,

Shoghi

The Honourable Members Of The National Spiritual Assembly Of India And Burma.

October 28, 1926

Dear Friends,

I take pleasure in thanking you on behalf of our dear Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, for your letter of September 11th, through your esteemed president Mr. N.R. Vakil.

As it announced the election of a new body to take up the responsible but lofty work of supervising and guiding the promulgation of the Bahá’í Cause throughout India and Burma, Shoghi Effendi wishes me to take this opportunity and assure each and every member of that distinguished body not only of his heartfelt congratulations and prayers, but also of the high hopes that he cherishes for

[Page 31]

you all. It is from you and through you that he expects to see emanating that glorious Spirit for which our departed Master gave his entire life; and with your earnest endeavours, your consummate wisdom and your unflinching faith he awaits to see you lead the humble workers of that great country to an ultimate victory.

May I also take this opportunity and express the great desire of Shoghi Effendi that the National Assembly should try to be in close communication with him. To him it is a joy beyond words to try to do all in his power to help you in the noble work you have undertaken.

My dearly beloved friends:

Now that the National Spiritual Assembly has been properly constituted and its officers duly appointed, it is incumbent upon each and all to introduce and promote such measures as will consolidate the work that you have so well begun. The institution of the National Fund, a “Bahá’í Bulletin” similar to the “News Letter” issued by the American rational Spiritual Assembly, a rigorous and well-conceived campaign of Teaching, a continuous and purposeful endeavour to coordinate the activities of the Local Assemblies and groups throughout India and Burma and the sending of detailed and frequent reports to the Holy Land are among the most primary and urgent requirements of the new day that has dawned upon India. I eagerly await your reports and assure you of my continued prayers for the success of your arduous labours.

Shoghi

NOVEMBER 16, 1926

EFFECTIVE CONTINUANCE OF “KAUKAB” ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. SENDING NINETEEN POUNDS AS MY HUMBLE CONTRIBUTION URGE FRIENDS.

SHOGHI

November 16, 1926

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated September 10th, October 1st and 18th 1926…

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In a letter which I have lately written to Seyed Jenabe Ali on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, I intimated his desire that a special committee of the National Spiritual Assembly should be created to undertake the management of everything pertaining to the “Kaukab”. Furthermore, if a certain sum is offered to the National Fund with the expressed desire that it should be spent for the “Kaukab”, i.e., if the offer is labelled, then the National Spiritual Assembly should take into consideration the wish of the giver and spend it only for that purpose. Though the friends are advised to give unlabelled contributions, they cannot in any way be prevented from using their choice in the way it should be spent.

Though the Local Assemblies should give the National Spiritual Assembly all the moral and financial support the latter needs, it is the duty of the National Spiritual Assembly to inspire the necessary confidence in keeping the management of its work as efficiently as possible.

In a cable recently sent to the National Spiritual Assembly, Shoghi Effendi recommended the publication of the “Kaukab”. He desires this paper to play an important role in drawing the attention of the more thoughtful and seeking people to the potency of this Divine Cause. I herein enclose a cheque for £19 which Shoghi Effendi desires to be spent for this all important organ of the Cause in India.

Shoghi Effendi as well as the other members of the family are well and send you and the members of your family their loving greetings.

My dearest co-worker:

I am enclosing a general message, clearly worded, emphatically expressed, and vitally important in all its bearings, conveyed through Mírzá Mahmood to the National Assembly for the information of all Bahá’ís in India and Burma. I am sure you. will promptly and effectively take all necessary measures for its dissemination throughout India and Burma. The “Kaukab” must, at all costs be continued, and I feel that its two editors, our Qádíyání friends are the most suitable to form a committee which will conduct its affairs under the direct supervision of the National Assembly. “Whatever is contributed to the National Assembly for a specific purpose should be expended for that purpose only, but I would encourage the friends to send unlabelled contributions in

[Page 33]

order not to tie the hands of the National Assembly although I do not in the least require them to do so. I will pray for your success from all my heart.

Shoghi

December 21, 1926

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated November 26th and December 9th, 1926.

It is most gratifying to him to hear that the difficulties that darkened the horizon of the Cause in India have vanished and the National as well as Local Assemblies are united to further the interests of the Cause. He hopes that “Kaukab” will become a Bahá’í organ administered even better than before.

Shoghi Effendi hopes that Aqa Mirza Moneer will cause another stir in India and draw many individuals into a full understanding of the Movement. His zeal as well as knowledge of the Cause stand to his credit and are sure to win him success wherever he goes. Please convey to him Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings and assure him of his prayers.

Shoghi Effendi wishes also to be remembered to Mrs. Vakil whom he will remember in his prayers.

My dear co-worker:

I hope to hear soon of the re-establishment and circulation of the “ Kaukab”. The matter of the publication of a “Bahá’í News Letter” issued by the National Assembly is also of utmost importance. May the support to the National Fund be such as to render it a truly worthy and representative Bahá’í periodical. Persevere in your splendid efforts and do not lose heart for I will continue to pray for you from the depth of my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi


(Picture: Birth Place of the Guardian)


(Picture: The Guardian of The Faith)


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1927

[To N. R. Vakil]

April 25, 1927

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I thank you so much in behalf of our dear Guardian for your letters of January 7th, February 25th and April 8th.

It is to him always a source of pleasure and encouragement to hear from a veteran and faithful Bahá’í worker as yourself, but still more it is the news of your endeavours, the degree of your zeal and earnestness, the amount of success achieved as the President of the National Assembly of India, that swells his heart with the warmest and fondest hopes.

With the opening of this new Bahá’í year, our Guardian trusts that it will be marked by a new and greater efforts, by a more intense cooperation among the friends in India and Burma and by an unsurpassed record of success.

Now that Mrs. Schopflocher has in many places broken the ground, it devolves upon the faithful workers in India to follow up the work, to seize every opportunity and to give to her hasty and in many places insufficient services a more permanent and lasting character.

[Page 35]

I express the hopes of our Guardian without disregard to your many problems and difficulties, but the field is so vast and the ground so fresh and fertile, that it cannot but evoke almost unreasonable expectations. This feeling and yearning, I am sure, is much more yours than ours could be.

My dear and esteemed fellow-worker:

I urge you to take every means at your disposal in consultation with Mr. Hishmatu’llah to follow up the work that has been so splendidly begun by Mrs .Schopflocker. I would also urge you to arrange for the preparation of an annual report by the National Assembly of the activities of the friends in India and Burma to be forwarded to the American National Spiritual Assembly for insertion in the next issue of the “Annual Bahá’í Year Book”. A representative group photograph of the Bahá’ís of divers races and creeds in that land would also greatly enhance the “Year Book”, if such a thing is possible. Your true brother,

Shoghi

May 5, 1927

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated April 22nd 1927… He hopes that by now the result of the elections have been obtained and a strong and capable Body chosen for the furtherance of the Cause in the coming year.

The reports we have received concerning Mirza Moneer’s services have all been most satisfying and encouraging. We hope that as a result of this visit many ardent souls will be attracted to the tenets of the Faith.

Shoghi Effendi as well as the other members of the family are all well and join in sending you and Mrs. Vakil their loving greetings.

My dear and valued co-worker:

I am touched by this fresh evidence of your self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of the Cause. Mrs. Schopplocher’s letters breathe a spirit of hope and triumph and I earnestly hope that next year her pioneer work will be followed up by the patient and enlightened efforts of an

[Page 36]

experienced Bahá’í Teacher from the West. I am considering this matter very carefully. I urge you to remind the friends to fulfil their sacred obligations in connexion with the annual renewal of their subscription to the leading periodicals of the Bahá’í world and particularly the “La Nova Tago” of Hamburg, the “Star of the West”, “The Messenger Bahá’í” and the “Herald of the South” as well as the “Khurshíd-i-Khávar” of Ishqábád and the “Dawn”. Your true brother,

Shoghi

May 24, 1927

My Dear Bahá’í Brother, Mr. Vakil,

I thank you in behalf of our dear Guardian for your letters of April 29th and the 13th instant, together with enclosures.

He is very glad to learn of the good work of Nabilzadeh and Mrs. Schopflocker and hopes that the friends will follow up their work in order to obtain some definite and permanent results. For a teacher to fly from one end of India to another is not sufficient, there must be somebody who can stay long enough in one place and start regular gatherings.

The latter function naturally falls upon the friends in India and he earnestly hopes that the new year may bring fresh and lasting achievements.

Shoghi Effendi awaits eagerly the result of the election of the National Spiritual Assembly and he should like to see that body accomplish something more than routine work. They should take new steps and carry out a regular campaign in India and Burma.

Assuring you always of our Guardian’s love and best wishes.

My dear and valued co-worker:

It is my hope and prayer that the newly-elected National and Local Assemblies may widen the scope of their activities, initiate new and valuable measures, extend the circle of their correspondence with foreign Bahá’í centres, and promote the independence and distinctiveness of the Bahá’í Faith. I would urge you to inform the Year Book Committee through Mr. Holley of the results of all elections in India and to send if

[Page 37]

possible an annual report to that Committee. Wishing you success and happiness.

Shoghi

July 14, 1927

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I take pleasure in thanking you in behalf of our dear Guardian Shoghi Effendi for your hopeful and encouraging letter of May 20th.

In the midst of his work and many responsibilities, it is a source of comfort for him to feel that the initiative and guidance of the Cause in India is in such able hands and he trusts to see in the near future greater and fuller results.

True, the minds of many are turned away from all that sounds religious, but it is only because they are ill-advised as to the meaning of true religion and it is just that mission that devolves upon us to give a new viewpoint, to revive fresh hopes and to guide by the sacred utterances the thoughts and actions of mankind.

Perhaps India has not yet reached the high mark which our hopes have made us expect, but the time still remains and the hopes of our Guardian are anxiously turned to the educated, sincere and zealous fellow-brothers he so much loves in India and Burma.

Assuring you always of his help and heartfelt prayers.

My dear and precious co-worker:

I have received lately your second letter dated June 10th, enclosing the list of the members of the newly-elected Indian Assemblies as well as the report of the receipts and expenditures of the National Fund. Your loyal and untiring attention to the pressing manifold requirements of our beloved and steadily expanding Cause is a thing never-to-be forgotten and worthy of unqualified praise. I trust you will continue to keep in touch with the American National Assembly whose Secretary is only too anxious to incorporate in the news letter and the “Year Book” every bit of news regarding the progress of the Faith in India and Burma. Your true brother,

Shoghi

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[To N. R. Vakil]

August 19, 1927

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters dated June 17th and July 8th as well as your two telegrams informing him of the results of the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. He is very glad indeed to hear of the interview of Mr. Nabilzadeh with the Governor of Burma. He will pray that the seeds he has sown will germinate in the course of time and will prove of great benefit to our beloved Cause.

Our Guardian hopes that henceforth the secretaries of all Local and National Assemblies will immediately upon their election inform the American National Assembly of their membership and the address, that the results may without delay be published in the “Bahá’í Year Book”.

Our Guardian will not cease to pray for you all that the Beloved may guide you to achieve that which will conduce to the consolidation and extension of the influence of the Cause.

My dear and faithful co-worker:

I trust the newly-elected Assembly will endeavour to follow the example of the American National Assembly in method, action, and procedure. The American news letter will indicate clearly the lines along which Bahá’í National Assemblies are to conduct their work in future and I earnestly urge you to encourage the friends to follow and adopt the method outlined in its columns. Wishing you success from all my heart,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

November 1, 1927

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Our Guardian has been pleased to receive your letter of September 30th and feels gratified above all at the final decision of your National Spiritual Assembly to establish a permanent office at Cal-

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cutta. He hopes that in time this may become an important all-India centre for the propagation and administration of the Movement.

For a country like India and also Burma where the Bahá’í communities are so much scattered and are of varied extraction, a common centre to coordinate the different efforts and to link up together both the Assemblies within India, and in the various parts of the world, is also lately necessary, and our Guardian hopes and trusts to see in time great results from this new measure. Of course much depends upon how well this organ functions.

Shoghi Effendi is in good health having taken a good rest during the summer. He awaits as much as ever the good news of the friends in India and above all news of real accomplishments.

My dear brother:

I hope that nothing has transpired of late that might have in any manner affected the expansion of the work in those regions. I fully realize your single-handedness in such a vast and varied field, but I assure you, dearest friend, that your reward is proportionately great, for He that watches over you is aware of the great devotion which animates you in the pursuit of your arduous and noble task. More power to your elbow

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

November 16, 1927

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I thank you on behalf of our dear Shoghi Effendi for your letter of November 4th which he was very glad to receive.

Your frequent communications keeping him in close touch with your activities and the work in India, are deeply appreciated, and he relies much upon your efforts to coordinate the work in India and to have more direct and material results than we have been accustomed to lately. When compared to some other countries and remembering the many years since the Cause was first known there, India, I am afraid, does not come up to expectations. Are we going to accept this secondary position or has the future a surprise in store? At any rate we patiently wait.

[Page 40]

My dear and precious co-worker:

I will send in a few days copies of a detailed and important letter addressed to the Bahá'ís of the East which I request you to circulate forthwith amongst the friends in India and Burma[2]. Will you send the signed copy to Bombay and dispose of the rest as you think best. I will pray for you and your dear wife that you may in the service of our beloved Master attain to your heart’s desire. I will particularly remember you at the night commemorating the ascension of our beloved Master. Your true brother,

Shoghi


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1928

January 17, 1928

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian has just received a letter from the Brahma Samaj Centenary Committee above the signature of H.C. Sarkar inviting him to attend their Centenary in Calcutta.

Naturally enough he can not attend in person as he is much too busy, but he would want you to make sure that you send your delegates, and thus keep up the most cordial relations between you and the Brahma Samaj. You will, he hopes, make all the necessary arrangements to send your duly authorized delegates in proper time.

The connections with them may prove lo be valuable and helpful, and Shoghi Effendi would be much interested to know what would be the outcome.

January 24, 1928

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am instructed by our dear Guardian to thank you for your

[Page 42]

letter of the 13th instant which he was very glad to receive.

He learns with extreme pleasure of your visit to the Calcutta friends and the bright outlook there…a thing that must be continued and made good of. He hopes that Dr. Simha will in time become an ardent and devoted friend and through him other people of capacity will be drawn in. Perhaps Calcutta will in future turn into a flourishing Bahá’í” Centre and a place from which can be directed the efforts and services of the friends throughout India and Burma. At any rate you must always be sure that you have Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and good wishes to help and strengthen you. Do please assure your dear wife, Miss Sushila and Miss Kapila of our Guardian’s many good wishes and the love of the entire family.

With best wishes and the assurance of my continued prayers for you. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

May 6, 1928

My Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our dear Guardian to thank you for your letters of January 26th, February 10th and April 18th.

He was greatly pleased with the news of the work of Prof. Pritam Singh in Karachi and Lahore and he read his well-worded lectures with interest. It gives him immense pleasure to keep in touch with his activities and he prays for the success of his efforts from the bottom of his heart. He is confident that when his plans are carried out and he does travel throughout the whole of India in the interests of the Cause, he will show a record of constant progress and will render valuable services to the Bahá’í Faith. Please assure him of our Guardian’s unfailing prayers and good wishes and also kindly convey to the Amritsar Bahá’ís the loving greetings of Shoghi Effendi.

Shoghi Effendi is grateful for your arrangements as regards the centenary of the Brahma Samaj. Of course if as you have intimated in your letter, you yourself might be one of the delegates, it would be splendid.

[Page 43]

I am sure it will interest you to know that we have had during the Ri?ván festivals the first Bahá’í pilgrim from Tunis. The representative of the Tunis Assembly is a young man full of hopes and schemes for the future…

The family all join in heartfelt Bahá’í greetings to you and Mrs. Vakil—two dear and devoted and valuable servants of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

My very dear co-worker:

I will specially supplicate, on behalf of my dear brethren in India and Burma, at the Beloved’s Shrine, that they may arise with heart and soul and in perfect harmony and understanding to extend the scope of their activities, to consolidate the foundations of their work, to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the Faith, and to carry out the Beloved’s explicit instructions for the establishment of Bahá’u’lláh’s undisputed sovereignty on this earth. May they be richly blessed and guided in their endeavours.

Shoghi

The Secretary, The National Assembly, India, Burma.

June 22, 1928

Dear Friend,

I am directed by our dear Guardian to thank you for the two copies of your circular letters which you had kindly sent him.

He was very glad to hear the news of your duly elected National Assembly for whose success, development and usefulness he cherishes the fondest hopes and prays continually.

He was also interested in the proposition that had been brought to the attention of your members. Among the subjects that the Guardian would expect your body to take are a coordination of the various efforts and endeavours throughout India and Burma, an acceleration and increase in the number of Bahá’ís and fellow-workers, ways and means to attract the attention of Indians from every class and creed to the message and vital dynamic spirit of the Bahá’í Faith and as a cumulative and culminating step the final recognition of the

[Page 44]

Bahá’í Community as a separate religious organization similar to what has been already achieved in America.

With the Guardian’s good wishes for the success of your labours.

August 21, 1928

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters both dated July 13th, 1928…

He was also glad to hear of your re-election to the National Assembly for the coming year, and hopes that this year, as previously, you would be guided in your activities in promoting the interests of the Movement.

The news that we obtain from the various pans of the world are most gratifying, for though there are some great problems to solve, yet no one can fail to see the constant realization of those ideals we cherish. May that day soon dawn when the source of this spiritual power, which is permeating the whole of society, will be appreciated and venerated.

Please convey to all the friends, specially the members of your family, Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings.

With the assurance of my continued prayers for the success of the Bahá’í representatives attending the Centenary Congress and with my appreciation of your unsparing efforts in that connexion. I am your true and grateful brother.

Shoghi

October 10, 1928

Dear Mr. Vakil,

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 7-9-28, reporting the events of the Brahma Samaj Centenary gathering to Shoghi Effendi. Such meetings are wonderful occasions for showing the spirit and teachings of the Cause… Shoghi Effendi’s hope is that at such Conventions and gatherings the friends would present the teachings to persons otherwise inaccessible for individual contact.

[Page 45]

Please convey to Mrs. Vakil and all the friends Shoghi Effendi’s hearty greetings.

My dear co-worker:

I heartily approve the project of a Bahá’í Convention and would leave the choice of the site and other arrangements to the National Assembly. The Cause in various countries is making a great headway and the reference of the case of the Baghdad Houses to the Mandate’s Commission of the League of Nations is a great step forward. Do not lose heart and persevere in your splendid labours. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

November 15, 1928

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by our Guardian to thank you for your letter of November 2nd with enclosures.

He was glad to hear from you and he has read with deep satisfaction the account of the good work of Seyed Ilmi in Burma. Shoghi Effendi has always wondered as to the reasons why despite so many years of effort and activity, the Cause has not spread more rapidly either in India or Burma, perhaps the latter can be more proud of its results. He would in fact appreciate your own personal opinion, although God’s ways are often hard to understand. We have lately had a remarkable illustration in Turkey where the Bahá’ís were an insignificant little group. Suddenly accused of constituting a secret political society the members of the National Spiritual Assembly in Constantinople and the Spiritual Assembly in Smyrna were dragged to the police and kept for one night pending the formation of the Board of Inquiry. The next day the court sat and the president of the National Spiritual Assembly was cross-examined for eight consecutive hours. The result was that they were all dismissed, with the members of the Court deeply influenced and impressed by the teachings and principles which the President boldly and eloquently described. They asked for literature and many of them carried from that session much food for thought. Furthermore every paper in Turkey filled its front pages with the incident and a repetition of the teachings and good many a

[Page 46]

Turk heard of the Cause in a way that Bahá’ís could never bring about.

Will India have a similar awakening and will it suddenly arise to the significance of the message?

My dear and precious co-worker:

I trust and pray that circumstances will be favourable and. the means provided for the holding of a Bahá’í Convention this year representative of India and Burma. A closer touch and more frequent interchange of thought among the Bahá’í centres in those lands are absolutely essential. I am sending you a copy of the recently issued “Bahá’í World”, and wish you to urge the National and Local Assemblies in India and Burma to order as many copies as they possibly can from America for distribution among the enlightened public as well as a means for the assistance and encouragement of the Bahá’í Publishing Committee in New York which is doing excellent service at the present time. Your true brother,

Shoghi

November 26, 1928

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated November 9th. He will always remember you and the other friends of India in his prayers, and implore for you Divine guidance and help. He hopes that the Convention for which you arc preparing will turn out to be a very important move in the history of the Cause in India and lead to great and wonderful results…

My dear and valued co-worker,

I am deeply touched by the repeated evidences of your self-sacrificing love for our beloved Cause. I will continue to supplicate our Beloved to bestow upon you His manifold and richest blessings that you may fulfil in every field of activity your most cherished desire. I trust that through the efforts of the National Assembly a great impetus may be given to the spread of the Cause this winter in India and Burma, and that the friends

[Page 47]

may increasingly realize the sacredness and pressing nature of their obligations and responsibilities.

Wishing you happiness and success from all my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

December 11, 1928

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your very kind letter dated November 30th 1928.

He will surely join in your prayers that the coming Convention may bear two principal fruits. First, that it may re-establish among the friends in India and Burma that sense of love and harmony which is the prerequisite for true service in the Cause. Without this internal unity and peace we cannot hope to preach the gospel of love among mankind. Then we all hope that the Convention will turn out to be a milestone m the history of the progress of the Cause as far as its teaching work is concerned. We have too few Bahá’ís in India, if we take into consideration the number of the inhabitants there, the number of years that the Bahá’í Movement has been existing there, and the freedom that its adepts have enjoyed. It is surely high time that a real move be made.

Shoghi Effendi would be very glad to welcome you and your family to Haifa. He hopes, however, that you would so arrange your trip as to be here the beginning or middle of May for after that the climate of Haifa becomes too hot and unhealthy. Moreover Shoghi Effendi would be here. As to the course of your trip here, perhaps you could find out yourself which way gets you here sooner. Maybe you could leave your trip to Persia on your way back.

My dear co-worker:

I am delighted with the prospect of your journey to the Holy Land as I have always cherished deep-felt sentiments of affection for you and your dear family. I will specially supplicate at the Sacred Threshold for the success of the forthcoming Bahá'í Convention, and I trust it will be fully and widely represented by the divers elements that constitute the

[Page 48]

Bahá’í community in India and Burma. May the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide and bless your deliberations and may unprecedented results be achieved by the assembled delegates. Your true brother,

Shoghi

December 19, 1928

My dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by our Guardian to thank you for your letter or December 7th.

Although I had never meant that my enquiry from you as to the reasons of lack of progress of the Cause in India, should be asked from every individual Bahá’í, yet I am sure, our Guardian will be interested to know the ideas and opinions of various sections of the friends both m India and Burma.

The expression of our views in written form sometimes helps us to think better and deeper and often brings various matters into proper perspective, enabling us thereby to disregard what is extraneous and unimportant. The answers to the question put forth, would, I feel, be extremely valuable to the National Spiritual Assembly in India, and with the proper backing, respect and support of the entire friends, they should not lose a minute in an endeavour to remedy and inspire what ought not and what should be done, in an effort to spread the Cause.

Good faith in Local and National Assemblies is something that the friends must learn everywhere, if they are to follow at all the teachings of the Master, but these Assemblies must also endeavour to inspire confidence and help remove misunderstandings.

Assuring you always of the Guardian’s good wishes and prayers and with greetings to your wife and children.

My dear co-worker:

I trust that the forthcoming Convention will remedy most if not all the present deficiencies in the Cause and lend an unprecedented impetus to the progress of the Faith. The Teaching work should he stressed as it is the Fountainhead from which all future blessings will flow. We must first and foremost add to our small numbers, and introduce fresh blood into

[Page 49]

the organic life of the community. I will specially supplicate this bounty for the representative delegates to be assembled at Convention this year. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 50]

(The Facsimile of the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi)


[Page 51]

1929

February 12, 1929

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated January 11th 1929.

He was very glad to hear of the success of the Convention. He hopes that such gatherings will become yearly and, like in other countries, lead to a better understanding among the friends. It is surely true that as the Cause progresses differences will more and more arise. So unless there be a meeting place where the different views are thrashed true unity of purpose and activity will not be obtained…

Shoghi Effendi wishes you to express his loving greetings to the members of your family as well as to the Bahá’ís. He hopes that when you come you will have some good news to bring with you.

My dear and precious co-worker:

Your subsequent letter dated January 24 has also reached me. I will specially remember our dear and valued co-worker Prof. Pritam Singh when I visit the sacred Shrine that the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh may inspire, guide and sustain him in his great task. Regarding your last Convention

[Page 52]

and the non-participation of the Burma delegates, I feel that the utmost effort must be exerted during the coming elections in April to elect those who are best fitted for this supreme and responsible position, and once elected, resignation is not to be accepted. The members must meet and consult in person. Persia is preparing for the holding of national elections, and for India and Burma to revert to a system that is being abandoned by the Persian believers mould he a decidedly retrograde step. We must at all costs maintain and strengthen the unity of the National Assembly. Everything must be subordinated to this end. I will supplicate our Beloved to enable you to achieve His purpose.

Shoghi

March 2, 1929

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your welcome letter of February 8th with enclosures, and he will be pleased to read the paper-clippings with pleasure.

It gives him much satisfaction to learn of your proposed journey with your family to Haifa this May, and he wishes me to assure you of his heartfelt welcome…

He sincerely trusts and prays that as a dear and devoted brother and fellow-worker, our beloved Master may always bless your efforts richly both spiritually and materially and may render you a great and growing asset to the progress of the Bahá’í Faith in India.

My dear and valued co-worker:

I trust that by now a better understanding and more substantial cooperation has been attained by the friends of India and Burma. It is for the delegates who are to be chosen by them this year, to elect those whom they think are best qualified for membership of the National Spiritual Assembly, and once elected, the unity and efficiency of this body must at any cost be maintained. I cannot but pray that they may be guided in this choice, and discharge honourably their functions. For yourself, I shall offer with a grateful heart my fervent prayers. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 53]

March 9, 1929

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of February 22nd with enclosures. He was much pleased with the letter of Prof. Pritam Singh and his valued endeavours at the Conference on Religions, and he wishes you please to convey to him the expression of his sincere gratitude and appreciation and the assurance of his prayers.

Shoghi Effendi is much pleased with the prospect of your visit with Mrs. Vakil and children this spring, and aside from the pleasure of renewing his personal friendship with you, he welcomes the opportunity of discussing with you the best means for the progress of the work in India.

My dear and precious co-worker:

Please assure our dear Pritam Singh of my heartfelt appreciation, profound affection and fervent prayers. His distinguished and constant services have endeared him to us all, and I pray that he may render still more distinguished services in the days to come. I will also supplicate for you that you may increasingly contribute, by your self-sacrificing labours, to the progress and consolidation of the Faith both in India and Burma. Your true brother,

Shoghi

March 12, 1929

My Dear Mr. Abbasally,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for the copy of your circular which you sent him.

He read it with pleasure and he wishes me to assure you as much as ever of his increasing interest in the permanent establishment and development of “Kaukab-i-Hind”, whose potential influence in the spread of the teachings in India and Burma, he feels he cannot overrate.

[Page 54]

As an evidence of his hopes for your journal, he is sending enclosed the sum of £9/- as his contribution towards its upkeep. With the expression of his warm appreciation of your efforts.

APRIL 4, 1929

CABLE FOLLOWING SECRETARY GENERAL LEAGUE OF NATIONS: ADHERENTS OF BAHA’I FAITH IN INDIA AND BURMA ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES WITH BAHA’IS WORLD OVER IN ACKNOWLEDGING THE RECOGNITION BY THE LEAGUE OF THE JUSTICE OF BAHA’I CASE IN IRAQ.

SHOGHI

June 20, 1929

My Dear Mr. Badri,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your communication of June 7th and to express his pleasure over the results of your National Assembly elections. It is his sincere hope and desire to see the newly-elected National Assembly, during its term of office, infuse a new and fresh spirit into every Bahá’í activity both in India and Burma, and while establishing perfect unity and harmony within its own ranks and the entire body of the believers, should take vigorous steps to teach the Cause and to establish a progressive and representative Bahá’í community in both countries.

Please assure them one and all of the Guardian’s affection and prayers.

With the assurance of my keen appreciation of your sustained and unsparing efforts for the spread of our beloved Cause, and of my continued prayers in your behalf.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 55]

July8, 1929

My Dear Mr. Badri,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of June 26th with enclosures.

He wishes me to express his satisfaction over the results of your election and of his appreciation of your endeavours to fulfil the various duties of the secretary despite lack of sufficient leisure and other difficulties.

With regard to your proposal that the National Spiritual Assembly should meet once in Burma and once in India, the Guardian wishes me to record his hearty approval and to even suggest that if it should be feasible they should meet even more often than that in both places.

It is his sincere hope that in this manner and through the individual effort of every member the misunderstandings existing between India and Burma will be wiped out altogether and that a fresh start will be made in a spirit of true and whole-hearted accord.

With the assurance of my keen appreciation of your efforts and of my fervent and continued prayers in your behalf. Your true brother,

Shoghi

August 20, 1929

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated July 18th 1929, and to assure you and the members of your family, of his earnest love and prayers.

He hopes that the new National Assembly will do its utmost to bring about unity in its group and among the friends. For, as he has often stated, the work of the Cause will remain cramped unless that unity is obtained. The petty differences that do exist are the result of misunderstandings and these can surely be eliminated.

We enjoyed meeting Dr. Kaushal and we hope that from now on he will play an active part in spreading the Cause. His training is surely a great asset. He has promised us much and we hope he will fulfil them…

[Page 56]

With the assurance of my brotherly love and constant prayers for you and your dear family. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To Mr. N. Badri]

September 19, 1929

My Dear Friend,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of August 15th and for copies of letters sent on August 10th.

Your frank expression of the situation in India and your energetic desire to see things moving after years of practical stagnation, is gladly welcomed by the Guardian, and he is refreshed to sec a feeling of dissatisfaction with present conditions and a desire for fresh endeavours along enlightened lines, evident among a good many of our friends in India and Burma.

It is specially gratifying to see you realize the fact that when the world has developed and been enlightened enough through the unseen Powers of the Almighty, to be led to the teachings and spirit of the Cause, it will be our shameful task to go round proclaiming such principles as we were taught so many years before and none of which we had lived up to.

Concerning ?uqúq, the Guardian wishes me to inform you that at present it is not obligatory for the friends to pay, but that they should be urged to contribute to the local and national funds.

With the assurance of my best wishes and prayers for you. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 57]

URGENT

The National Spiritual Assembly Of India And Burma.

December 15, 1929

Dear Friends,

I write in behalf of the Guardian to remind you that the next issue of the “Bahá’í World” will soon appear and its editors are already busy compiling material. He has been asked by the editors in America to request you please to make a special effort to contribute as much material as you possibly can in the form of photographs, reports, accounts, and individual articles; and to send them as soon as possible to America in order that a work which the Guardian considers our foremost Bahá’í publication in the world, may be as representative of the many countries and specially Eastern peoples as we would all wish it to be.

He would also want you to encourage contributions in the form of well-written and interesting articles by all those of the friends whom you think capable.

This work will be presented in the final form for the Guardian’s approval sometime next March, so he would wish your material to reach the Guardian a month before that date…

December 17, 1929

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your good letters of September 4th, November 12th and 29th with enclosures.

He was very glad that your National Spiritual Assembly meeting in Bombay was such a success and he is extremely happy of your decision to hold your next meeting in Burma, for he shares your hope that by meeting the friends in Burma and ventilating in a spirit of good will all past misunderstandings and problems, a new and enduring unity of purpose and effort may prevail and the Cause may make a fresh start. He sincerely hopes that the illness of Seyed Jenab Ali of which he has just heard by wire will not prevent him from attending your meetings.

He is much gratified of your efforts in connection with an official recognition of the Faith and its laws by the Government. When

[Page 58]

that is accomplished it will mark a great and material progress of the Cause in India and Burma.

Shoghi Effendi himself and the family all join in loving greetings to yourself, your wife and the children.

My dear and precious co-worker:

I trust and pray that your gathering in Rangoon may prove a landmark in the history of the Cause in India and Burma and may lend a fresh and unprecedented impetus to the onward march of the Cause in those lands. May the Beloved strengthen you and guide you and enable you to consolidate the foundations of His Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

The proposed Declaration of Trust and Bye-laws of the National Assembly of India and Burma should follow closely, in subject matter, arrangement and form, the text of the American Bahá’í Constitution. I urge you to examine it carefully before you draw your own

Shoghi

December 19, 1929

Dear Friend Mr. Badri,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of October 17th which he read with interest.

He was pleased with your many endeavours and activities and he hopes that they will lend to good results.

He corroborates your decision with regard to “Kaukab”.

It is not necessary for any National Spiritual Assembly to send a delegate to the Religion’s Peace Conference as Mr. Mills represents all the friends at their council.

With regard to the American teacher for Bombay, Shoghi Effendi will inform you when a suitable person is found…

With the assurance of my deep appreciation of your strenuous endeavours in the path of service and of my fervent prayers for your success and spiritual advancement. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 59]

1930

January 6, 1930

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of December 14th with enclosures.

He was very sorry to learn of the illness of Seyed Jenab Ali and since the receipt of your letter he has been extremely grieved to learn of his passing. His sudden departure throws a shadow of gloom upon all of us here and in India and while Burma loses a distinguished and truly earnest Bahá’í leader, it must be specially unfortunate to you that just at a time when you were considering and preparing the ground for Government Recognition and a temporary consideration of Bahá’í laws, you were deprived of his valued cooperation. The Cause in India is as yet in such a tender age that we can ill afford the loss of those few that keep the torch aflame.

The Guardian was much touched by your anxiety over the health of the family and also by your generous contribution. Everybody is happy and well and while Shoghi Effendi himself was kept in bed for about a month, he is quite recovered now and actively at work.

Please find enclosed receipt for your contribution.

[Page 60]

With Shoghi Effendi’s affectionate regards to you and your dear ones and with loving greetings from the family.

My dear co-worker:

The news of the-passing of our dear and able friend and collaborator Seyed Jenab Ali has brought profound sorrow to our hearts. He leaves a great gap behind him. I hope that the friends far from feeling disheartened and discouraged at such a great loss will arise and redouble their efforts in order to compensate for the loss which they have sustained. Kindly assure his relatives of my deep grief, and my prayers for his departed soul. Your affectionate brother,

Shoghi

March 1, 1930

My Dear Mr. Badri,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of February 19th with enclosures.

He was very glad to know of the work you had done and he appreciates your suggestions with regard to a permanent secretariat. Of course these are matters that should be mainly decided by the National Spiritual Assembly itself.

He was much grieved to know of the passing of your father in Shíráz some months ago and he wishes me to convey to you the expression of his deep-felt sympathy. It would naturally be unfortunate if upon your graduation you were to leave India and the work there, but he understands perfectly how necessary and urgent your return to Shíráz might be.

Miss Root is at present in Tihrán and she does not know just how long she will stay, but surely before leaving for India she would inform you of her plans in time.

It is such a pity that Mr. Vakil is unwell. He is a man we cannot spare just as the passing of Seyed Jenab Ali leaves a serious gap in Burma.

The Guardian is well and he wishes me to assure you of his affection and prayers.

[Page 61]

My dear co-worker:

Miss Root will soon be with you, and I trust her visit may lend a fresh impetus to your work of consolidation and spread of the Cause. I will continue to pray for your efforts and activities from the depths of my heart. Be not disheartened. Persevere in your labours, and rest assured that the Beloved will richly reward those who stand firm in the Faith, and those who persevere in their endeavours. Your true brother,

Shoghi

March 21, 1930

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of February 22nd with an article by Prof. Pritam Singh enclosed. He was very sorry indeed to learn that you had been unwell and he sincerely trusts that by now you have fully recovered and are again actively engaged in your highly valuable work.

Prof. Pritam Singh’s article is being sent forthwith to the editorial committee in America where all the material is collected…

With the assurance of Shoghi Effendi’s affection and prayers.

My dear and precious co-worker:

Your previous letter of January 4 has also reached me. I grieve to hear of your illness. I urge you to take the greatest care of yourself as the Cause can not spare such a devoted, energetic and enlightened worker as yourself! I will pray for your recovery from the depths of my heart. Miss Root will soon be with you. I urge you to do all you can to make her visit fruitful and profitable. She is a great soul. I pray that she may lend a fresh and much needed impetus to the devoted labours of the friends in India. May the Beloved guide you, bless you, cheer you, and sustain you in your great yet difficult task. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 62]

March 29, 1930

My dear Siyyid Mustafa,

I am directed by the Guardian to express his grateful appreciation for your letter of March 1st with the volume containing copies of the tablets revealed to friends in Burma by the Master and Bahá’u’lláh.

In accomplishing this task you have rendered a most valued and permanent service to the Cause in Burma and posterity will owe you a debt of gratitude very hard to repay.

Furthermore this compilation shall be of indispensable value and use to the Guardian and to all international bodies that may meet in Haifa whether in the distant or near future. You are quite aware, of course, with the fashion in which both Bahá’u’lláh and the Master gave some of their most important teachings as part of their tablets addressed to far-away friends. Hence the necessity of such compilations throughout the world.

Please convey to the Mandalay Spiritual Assembly under whose supervision and with whose assistance the work was undertaken, the expression of Shoghi Effendi’s gratitude. Also to its Secretary Miss Hla Hla who had countersigned the compilation. With the assurance of Shoghi Effendi’s affection and prayers for you all.

My dear and precious co-worker:

Your noble, continued and devoted endeavours are engraved upon my heart. I deeply appreciate this latest evidence of your painstaking endeavours. I will continue to pray for you and your dear spiritual children in Burma from the depths of my heart. You certainly occupy a warm and abiding place in my heart. May the Beloved grant you health and strength to consummate your historic labours for His Cause. Your affectionate brother,

Shoghi

April 26, 1930

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi was so glad to receive your letter of April 18th and to learn of your improved health and that you had gone to

[Page 63]

Mt. Abu for a vacation. You should take good care of yourself for the work that awaits you.

Miss Root has been delayed by the enthusiastic reception she has received in Persia, and she is now planning to visit southern and eastern Persia where she has not yet been. We hope her visit to India will prove of some value in attracting the attention of the intelligent classes among the non-Bahá’ís, but perhaps the political agitation will entirely defeat that purpose at the present time.

We have just celebrated Ri?ván and Shoghi Effendi sends you his warmest greetings.

With the assurance of my continued prayers for your good-health, happiness and success. Your affectionate brother,

Shoghi

May 6, 1930

My dear Siyyid Mustafa,

I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to acknowledge receipt of the pamphlet and reports which you were so kind as to send him.

He also wishes me to take this opportunity and assure you how much he appreciates and with what deep feelings of pleasure and gratitude he has always viewed your earnest and sustained endeavours for the progress of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh in Burma.

It has often happened in the history of the Cause that those who were once among the leaders and in the forefront of Bahá’í activity grew in their old age lukewarm and inactive not to say sceptical. It is rare to find people like yourself to keep a course steady with single-minded devotion and carry into your old age the faith and enthusiasm of youth tempered to be sure by the experience of years. Your presence in Burma has always been an asset to the Faith and the Guardian sincerely trusts and prays that with youthful optimism and openmindedness you will inspire your fellow-workers with the glory of your task so that after yourself you will leave a good work conscientiously and well done.

With the assurance of his affectionate regards.

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May 7, 1930

My dear Siyyid Mustafa,

I had the pleasure of writing you a letter last night and I am now directed again by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of April 14th with the comprehensive report of the Bahá’í census which you were so good as to send him.

He appreciates this work immensely and it will be a very valuable data for any consideration of the Cause in Burma. He hopes to make good use of it.

Regarding the most generous wish of your dear wife and yourself to leave some property after yourselves for the progress of the Faith and in the name of the Guardian, I will say nothing as I am sure he will wish to append a few words himself. But I am sure he wants me to express his grateful appreciation of the spirit that animates your offer. The life of both of you has been rich in service rendered to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh and what a happy blessing that even after you, you may leave your little share for the progress of the Faith.

With the assurance of his affection and prayers for your wife and yourself.

My dear and precious co-worker:

I deeply appreciate your noble sentiments, your self-sacrificing efforts, your pioneer services and your glorious steadfastness in the path. I wish to congratulate you on your union with the handmaid of God, Halimeh, who I trust will in close collaboration with you render inestimable services to the Faith. The packages you sent me have all arrived, and will be preserved in your name in the archives of the Holy Land. As to your desire to offer your property to the Cause and to transfer it to my name as a trust, I deeply appreciate your generous offer, but wish you and your dear wife to benefit from its rent so long as you are living and to transfer it in later years; I will supplicate for both of you from the depths of my heart at His Holy Shrine. Rest assured.

Shoghi

[Page 65]

July 4, 1930

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated June 14th 1930.

He was very glad to hear of the activities of Miss Martha Root in India and hopes that they will all bear some wonderful fruits for the progress of the Cause in India. It is sure that with the existence of the present political unrest in that country few are ready to pay any attention to religious matters, but among the very intelligent people there are undoubtedly people whose vision extends further than the present difficulties and desire a spiritual rebirth for that much divided and troubled nation. To these the Bahá’í teachings should undoubtedly present a much desired reform movement. Anyhow, Shoghi Effendi hopes that with the help of Miss Root you have been able to approach such eminent persons and have sown in their hearts the seed of faith.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and loving greetings, and please extend the same to the members of your family.

With the assurance of my continued prayers for the success of your persevering efforts and unsparing endeavours for the spread of our beloved Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

September 19, 1930

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 8th 1930 as well as the enclosed balance sheet of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Concerning the trip of Miss Martha Root, we have already heard about her activities from many sources. Shoghi Effendi sincerely hopes that the National Assembly will undertake such measures as would keep up the work and produce some tangible result from her visit. It is very important to follow up the work that she started, and keep in touch with the people she has been able to interest.

[Page 66]

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and extend his greetings to you and the members of your family.

With the assurance of my deep appreciation of your many and highly successful endeavours in connexion with the visit of Miss Root and of my fervent and loving prayers for your own happiness and spiritual advancement. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

September 20, 1930

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated July 21st, 1930. He is always appreciative of the services you render to the Cause in bringing in new souls and safeguarding its interests. From all his heart he will pray for your success and implore for you Divine guidance and help.

He sincerely hopes that through the constant efforts of you as well as of the other friends great successes will be achieved. India and Burma, lands of many languages and religions, where religious and racial prejudice are at their worst…are in great need for the unifying word of God. They need the pervading spirit of Bahá’u’lláh to be introduced into their millions of homes and bring them peace as well as social and spiritual upliftment.

This tremendous task is entrusted to the few Bahá’í’s that are resident in that land. May they unitedly rise for the fulfilment of their sacred duty and thereby gain Divine favour.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s loving greeting and ask you to express the same to all the friends…

Alias Pali Ama-Nia Niyasing c/o Seyed Mustafa [Burma]

September 20, 1930

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your very kind letter dated July 27th 1930. He hopes that, in fulfilment of

[Page 67]

your highest aspirations, you will become an active servant of the Cause and bring in turn many souls into an acceptance of the teachings.

Teaching the principles of the Movement is considered this day the most meritorious of acts for it helps to drive away the irreligion that at present pervades society and endangers its very life and existence.

Shoghi Effendi will surely remember you in his prayers and ask for you divine guidance and help.

With the assurance of my loving prayers for your happiness, your success, and spiritual advancement. Your true brother,

Shoghi

November 10, 1930

Dear Mr. Pritam Singh,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated October 8th 1930.

Concerning Bahá’í representation at the All-Asian Women’s Conference; this is undoubtedly a most commendable thing to do, specially as the Cause has so much concerning the position of women in society. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the National Assembly will do its best to win the admiration of all the assembled delegates for the teachings of the Cause along that line. We should always take such opportunities that present themselves. Maybe we would succeed to render some service to society and alleviate its ills.

Assuring you of Shoghi Effendi’s best wishes and loving greetings.

With the assurance of my deepest appreciation of your continued and much valued endeavours, and of my fervent prayers for your success and spiritual advancement. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 68]

1931

[To The Local Spiritual Assembly Of Mandalay]

January 3, 1931

Dear Friends,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your joint letter dated December 15th 1930 as well as the “Trust Deed” for the property you have transferred to his name. He is deeply appreciative of the services you have been constantly rendering to the Cause and the sacrifices you are offering in furthering its interests. May God in His infinite bounty fully repay your endeavours.

Shoghi Effendi is quite well and as usual busy in performing his many duties. The successes that are being constantly achieved in spreading the Cause and furthering its interests, however, are fully repaying his labours and promising wonderful results for the near future. In these days the place where the greatest amount of work is being achieved is Persia, where the government is liberal and accords to the friends all the freedom they desire to spread the message.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings and best wishes for the success of your work in serving the Faith.

[Page 69]

My dear precious co-worker:

The deed has reached safely the Holy Land and stands as a further evidence of your exemplary devotion to the Cause of God. I will continue to pray for you, your dear wife, and the precious friends in Burma from all my heart. You are often in my thoughts and your distinguished services, past and present, cheer and hearten me in my task. Rest assured and be happy, and always remember that my prayers will continue to be offered in your behalf at the Holy Shrines. Your true brother,

Shoghi

January 7, 1931

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated December 26th and 27th 1930 as well as the enclosed letter of Prof. Pritam Singh.

Shoghi Effendi hopes that with the combined efforts of the friends and the Master’s infinite mercy a great success will be achieved at both of the Conferences. While visiting the Blessed Shrines he will remember the delegates and ask for them divine guidance. If presented properly the position of women in the Bahá’í teachings will surely attract much attention, for it is not only legal but also spiritual and educational. Our ideals are so high and at the same time so practicable that all other views will fall short if compared to them. Shoghi Effendi hopes that many will be able to attend these conferences and render all the assistance they possibly can.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and best wishes for your success.

My dear co-worker:

I trust that the message sent on behalf of the Greatest Holy Leaf and myself has reached in time and been conveyed to the members of the conference. May the almighty Hand of Bahá’u’lláh guide your steps and sustain your efforts in the manifold services you are rendering to the Cause. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 70]

January 14, 1931

My Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of January 2nd.

He is pleased to hear of the receipt of his cablegram addressed to the Asian Women’s Conference through Prof. Pritam Singh and he sincerely hopes that the Bahá’í members attending will take an active share in its proceedings and will thereby be putting to active effect the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Various and innumerable contacts will naturally be made and the effort should be to take advantage of this unique opportunity…

With the assurance of my loving prayers for you and your dear family. Your true brother,

Shoghi

June 12, 1931

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated May 25th 1931 as well as the enclosed letter of the Kunjangoon Spiritual Assembly.

He was deeply grieved of the passing away of Jenabe Jamsheed Khodadad who was one of the true and experienced Bahá’ís, who during his life rendered many services to the Cause in Bombay.

He sincerely hopes that while we are losing these staunch and capable souls, others are coming forward to occupy their place and assume the responsibilities of this constantly developing Movement.

In his moments of prayer and meditation at the Shrines, Shoghi Effendi will think of the friends in India and ask for them divine guidance and help.

Please convey his greetings to the members of your family. He hopes that they are all well and that your children are developing in the footsteps of their father, and growing to be servants of the Cause.

[Page 71]

My dear and precious co-worker:

I have lately received packages of silk and other kinds of cloth which, as they have been mailed from Surat, I presume have been sent by you. I have used them partly as furnishings for the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh which we have recently restored and furnished and which now serves as both a shrine and a pilgrim house. Your continued and devoted endeavours and services in so many fields of Bahá’í activity are a. constant source of joy and inspiration to me in my work and my prayers will continue to be offered at the Holy Shrines for your welfare, your happiness, and spiritual advancement.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of 22/ 6/1931 was received and the Guardian charged me to extend to you his deepest thanks. He was very pleased to learn that your health had been improved and he fondly hopes that this recovery will give you the opportunity to continue your teaching activities as zealously as before.

The three parcels of cloth which you have kindly sent for the Guardian were duly received and he accepted your gift with great pleasure.

Shoghi Effendi is as usual extremely busy. But his health is in a very good condition and he is anxiously awaiting the news of further achievements for the spreading of the Cause. The conditions in India are now quite favourable, but what the Bahá’ís need is a group of well-educated and seriously-minded people who would spend a good deal of their time in lecturing before large audiences and in writing and distributing books and pamphlets—we are in need of such people—they are, as you know very well, very few in number and the Guardian hopes that you will do your utmost to organize or to encourage and assist the formation of such a group.

Assuring you of the Guardian’s best wishes for your family and for yourself.

[Page 72]

My dear and precious co-worker:

May I add a few words in person and assure you again of my deep-felt appreciation of your valuable gift, most of which I have utilized for Bahá’u’lláh’s newly restored Mansion at Bahjí. Your manifold, inspiring and devoted services are a source of the greatest inspiration to me in my work. I will continue to pray for you and yours from the depths of my heart. Rest assured and be always hopeful. The Master will surely bless your splendid work.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

August 29, 1931

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am charged by Shoghi Effendi to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your letter dated July 31st, 1931 and to extend to you his loving appreciation of your noble and heroic endeavours to promote and consolidate the interests of the Faith in your land.

The Guardian has also received the account of the National Fund of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma and he read it with careful attention and deep interest.

He was very pleased to learn with what self-sacrificing efforts our Indian brothers are toiling and he fervently prays that the Almighty may continually shower His blessings upon them that they may be able to spread the Cause in the most rapid and in the most efficient way.

Shoghi Effendi was particularly rejoiced at the perseverance with which our talented Bahá’í brother, Dr. Pritam Singh, is carrying on his work in connection with the publication of the “Bahá’í’ Weekly”, copies of which he has received and read with deepest interest.

You may have heard of the projected publication by the Bahá’í Publishing Committee of the book entitled “The Dawn-Breakers”, being Nabíl’s narrative of the early days of the Bahá’í revelation, recently translated by the Guardian. It is hoped that the Indian friends will order a few copies of this highly valuable book and that they will send a few others to some of the leading libraries in India and Burma.

[Page 73]

With the renewed assurance of the Guardian’s best wishes for your family and for yourself and of the continued and fervent prayers for your spiritual and material advance and success.

Dear and esteemed co-worker:

My prayers will continue to be offered on behalf of the loyal and self-sacrificing friends in India and Burma. Prof. Pritam Singh’s notable and ever-increasing share in the administrative, literary, and financial activities of the Faith in that land is a source of genuine and constant satisfaction. I would specially request your Assembly to prepare a comprehensive and detailed report on the activities and progress of the Faith in India and Burma during the last two years, 1930-32, for inclusion in the forthcoming issue of the “Bahá’í World”. Will you kindly forward the report to Mr. Horace Holley as soon as possible, as he has been charged to draw up a survey similar to the one published in the last volume. I would also urge the friends in India and Burma to order as many copies of the “Dawn-Breakers” as they possibly can as I regard its circulation of vital importance to the Cause. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

September 17, 1931

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your letter dated July 27th, 1931…

The Guardian was greatly rejoiced to hear of you again and to see with what enthusiasm and zeal you are consolidating the interests of the Faith in Burma.

I need not assure you of the brightest hopes he cherishes for your future work in that land. Your long and highly valuable efforts in the past are a sufficient witness to the bounties which God is continually showering upon you.

Regarding the series of your articles on the early beginnings of the Movement in India and Burma published in the “Bahá’í Magazine”, Shoghi Effendi strongly feels that they will constitute a valuable contribution to the history of the Cause in that land and he

[Page 74]

wishes me to urge you to persevere in this work.

You may have heard of the projected publication by the Publishing Committee of the National Assembly of the United States of a monumental and most authoritative history on the early beginnings of the Movement recently translated by our Guardian and it is hoped that the friends will not fail to purchase one copy of this history as it will assuredly serve to deepen their knowledge and to strengthen their faith in the Cause.

With Shoghi Effendi’s best wishes for yourself and for all the believers in Mandalay.

Dearly beloved co-worker:

I cannot refrain from adding a few words m person as a token of my lively admiration for your exemplary efforts in the service of the Cause. Your splendid record of unflinching service, animated by a faith and zeal that none can surpass, constitutes an asset that I greatly prize and value. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart that the Beloved may bless richly your work, may guide your steps, cheer your heart, and sustain your high and self-sacrificing endeavours. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

December 5, 1931

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated November 14th 1931 which accompanied a file on the Bahá’í feasts. As he is now compiling the fourth volume of the “Bahá’í World” and he will have to reconsider the correctness of the Calendar found there, the information you have sent him will be most valuable. You could refer to that book when out, to know his real decision on the subject. It is surely very important to have all the facts and bring to light all the Tablets that refer to the subject before the problems that revolve around the Bahá’í Calendar can be solved.

Shoghi Effendi wishes me also to extend to you his love and best wishes and express his hope that you are well and as usual active in teaching the Cause. These days that political and economic difficulties are reaching a climax, and millions of people are perishing

[Page 75]

through suffering, we should redouble our energy and work with even greater zeal. Western civilization will crumble down and destroy with it the already poverty-stricken East, if the message of Bahá’u’lláh is not established throughout the world and its divine remedy not applied to the sick body of society.

In his moments of prayer and meditation at the Blessed Shrines, Shoghi Effendi always thinks of the friends who are striving to teach the Cause throughout the world and ask for them divine guidance and help.

Dear and valued co-worker:

Your pioneer services so devotedly and conscientiously rendered constitute a shining page of Bahá’í history and will be gratefully remembered by future Bahá’í generations. Your exemplary services will continue to inspire future workers in the Cause and their memory will cheer their hearts and reinforce their endeavours. You have won for yourself a warm and abiding place in all hearts that throb with the love of Bahá’u’lláh. Be assured, and persevere in your glorious task. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 76]

1932

January 7, 1932

Dear Prof. Pritam Singh,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to drop you these few lines to draw your attention to a general principle he has laid down for all the Bahá’í periodicals, namely that they should be very careful in selecting the advertisements they accept to publish. It should be highly dignified, such as books for example, otherwise it would detract from the dignity of the periodical itself. This may cause certain difficulty in financially establishing the paper, but we should face the sacrifice and not endanger the prestige of our publications. He wishes you to take note of this general recommendation in accepting advertisements for the “Bahá’í Weekly”.

Furthermore, he wishes me to inform you, that he has decided to put your name among the editors of the “Bahá’í World”, as representing India and Burma. He thinks that you are best fitted to keep in touch with the Bahá’í World Committee, and supply them all the material that refers to India and Burma. Among the duties that will devolve upon you is to arrange a report covering the activities of the friends for the previous two years, the address of the different

[Page 77]

Assemblies, gathering of photographs of groups, and the name of any book published in India…whether English, Urdu, or otherwise. In short, you will have to find what can be contributed by India and Burma as material for any of the different sections of the “Bahá’í World”.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings and prayers and express his deep appreciation for the wonderful services you are rendering to the spread of the Cause.

February 11, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated January 29th 1932 as well as the two enclosed drafts. Please find enclosed a receipt for the same. He was very sad to hear that you have not been well, for it undoubtedly caused much anxiety to the members of your family and also kept you from your work. The Cause cannot afford seeing its fine servants ill and handicapped. Please take great care of yourself that the attack may not recur.

Mrs. Ransom Kehler has informed us of her trip to India. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the friends will give her all the necessary facilities to make of her tour a real success. The report of her work in Australia and New Zealand has been brilliant. There is no reason why she should not do the same in India and Burma if she is given the chance and be put in touch with really open-minded and interested people. In America she is considered among the first class national teachers and is well informed as to the progress of modern thought and the teachings of the Cause. Maybe she will be able to give a new impetus to the teaching work.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings and best wishes. He trusts that through the efforts of you and the other members of the National Assembly the Cause will take a real lead in uniting the different elements existing in India and turn the face of its people to the light of God shining through Bahá’u’lláh.

Dear and precious co-worker:

Your most welcome letter, interrupting a prolonged silence on your part, has brought joy and strength to my heart. I will most assuredly pray

[Page 78]

for your complete recovery, for in you the Cause in India has an invaluable asset which I, for my part, greatly value and prize. I trust and pray that Mrs. Kehler’s visit will lend a fresh impetus to the work which you are so ably conducting. I would certainly advise her to prolong her stay in your midst if it is practicable for her to do so. It is a splendid opportunity which the friends in India should utilize to the utmost possible extent. May the Beloved bless and reinforce your high endeavours, remove every obstacle from your path, and enable you at once to broaden and reinforce the foundations of the Faith in that troubled land. Your true and affectionate brother,

Shoghi

March 12, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated February 26th, 1932. He was very sorry to hear that you have been very ill and forced to take a leave from your work and have some rest. He sincerely hopes that this vacation will restore your strength and enable you to resume your work with even greater vigour and determination. In his moments of prayer at the Shrines he will think of you and ask God to help and guide you, to keep you both for your family and also for His blessed Cause. Shoghi Effendi was very glad to hear of the arrangements you have made for the trip of Mrs. Ransom Kehler to India. Being thoroughly familiar with the teachings, and a competent speaker, she should succeed to render wonderful services to the progress of the Movement in India. She could be easily ranked as a first class teacher among the Bahá’ís of America and has been the cause of guidance to innumerable souls. Guided and helped by Prof. Pritam Singh she should be able to awaken many souls to the spirit and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

Please extend to them both Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings and best wishes.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I wish to urge you to take as soon as you possibly can, the necessary and most effective steps to ensure the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Urdu and Gujrati. I have already expressed the desirability to have

[Page 79]

these translations to a number of pilgrims, but so far my hopes have not materialized. This book has already been translated and printed into eight different languages, the latest being Russian, Hebrew and Chinese. The Persian, the Albanian, the Bulgarian, the French and the Swedish versions will be printed this year. I wish you to do all in your power to ensure the speedy and correct translation of this book into these two languages, and if necessary to hire the services of a competent non-Bahá’í translator. I shall be only too pleased to assist financially both with regard to their translation and publication. May the Beloved guide and assist you in this vital and important task.

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

March 24, 1932

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

One of the interests of Shoghi Effendi at present is to have the book of Dr. Esslemont’s translated into as many different languages as possible. He already has had it translated and published into a dozen languages and others are forthcoming.

This deep interest is primarily due to the fact that the teachers are in many countries hampered in their work by the lack of proper literature to be handed to an earnest seeker. Neither they have the time nor the beginner has the patience for long discourses on the tenets of the Faith and there is in many countries no book to fill that gap.

Dr. Esslemont’s book is in many respects the best available. It is comprehensive in its scope and also clear and simple in its rendering. It has also been corrected partly by our beloved Master.

In short, Shoghi Effendi would be very thankful if you should arrange for its translation into the Burmese language. It should, however, be done by a person who is well versed in that language and also is thoroughly conversant with English. He also promises to send a contribution when it is ready for publication as he has been doing in the case of the other translations.

He believes very fervently that when that book will be out from |the press the teaching work will be stimulated and the task of the teachers infinitely facilitated.

In close may I express his loving greetings and best wishes and

[Page 80]

also his many thanks in advance for this work which he is sure you will take up immediately and with all your fervour and love.

March 28, 1932

Dear Mr. Rahman,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated March 14th 1932 informing him about the arrival of Mrs. Ransom Kehler to Calcutta. He was very glad to know that her visit was successful and that it has very much stimulated the teaching work in that city. He sincerely hopes that as a consequence a number of souls will enter the Cause and be inspired by its divine teachings and ennobling spirit.

Such teachers of the Cause who, with all sincerity and determination, undertake such long trips, should be very much helped by the resident believers if real progress is to be achieved. They ought to be assisted to reach important people, speak to intelligent and receptive audiences, and obtain interviews with persons whose heart is open to the light of God. Otherwise, during their short stay, they would, like a helpless man in a strange country, be impotent to achieve their purpose.

Shoghi Effendi is very glad the friends have taken the necessary step to assist Mrs. Ransom Kehler by appointing Professor Pritam Singh to accompany her in her trip through India. May God help her and help you in proclaiming the word of God through the length and breadth of that vast land.

Assuring you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and best wishes both for you and also for the members of the Spiritual Assembly and the other Bahá’ís of Calcutta.

With the assurance of my loving and fervent prayers at the Holy Shrines for your spiritual advancement and success in the service of our beloved Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 81]

April 5, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated March 11th and 25th 1932. He was very glad to learn of the plans you made for Mrs. Ransom Kehler. He sincerely hopes that in these meetings and public lectures delivered in so many cities, she has been able to attract some new souls to the Cause and confirm people who until now have been merely interested. We should admit, however, that the time at her disposal was too short to give her the chance of doing her best. A teacher ought to remain at least a few months in the same city if he wants to really confirm souls. Mere passing and giving a lecture or two is not sufficient unless there are resident Bahá’ís to continue the work that was merely started. Anyhow Mrs. Ransom Kehler is expected to reach Haifa in about 3 weeks and Shoghi Effendi will hear the report of her journey from herself.

The Guardian was very glad to learn of your quick response to his expressed desire in having Dr. Esslemont’s book translated into Urdu and Gujrati. As he comes to learn from one of the Parsee pilgrims here in Haifa, the book has already been translated by a competent Bahá’í in India into Gujrati. So there remains only Urdu. Shoghi Effendi wishes you to concentrate upon having the book translated only into Urdu.

He was very glad to hear that your health has very much improved. He sincerely hopes that your illness will gradually disappear and leave you again strong and fit to serve the Cause. We need workers and cannot spare any of the very few we have.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and best wishes and extend his hope that you as well as the members of your family will ever remain under God’s protection and loving care.

Dear and precious co-worker:

I wish you to concentrate your efforts on the completion of the Urdu. version of Dr. Esslemont’s book, and to take the necessary steps for its early publication. I shall be only too glad to assist financially in its printing as soon as its translation is completed. I also desire to stress the paramount importance of following up the valuable work accomplished by Mrs. Kehler, which I hope other international Bahá’í teachers will reinforce. How vast is the field and how small the number of competent

[Page 82]

teachers! Bahá’u’lláh will however bless and crown our efforts with sue cess if we persevere and labour with unabated confidence and vigour. Your self-sacrificing endeavours are worthy of the highest praise and I pray that the Almighty may continue to guide and sustain you in your great work for His Cause. Your true brother,

Shoghi

April 12, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated April 1st 1932 as well as the enclosed letter from Mrs. Keith Ransom Kehler.

He sincerely hopes that as a result of her trip the Cause will make a great progress in India and many souls will be drawn into the Cause. It was surely very nice and wise on the part of the National Assembly to appoint Mr. Pritam Singh to travel with her and help her make openings into intellectual circles. It is unfortunate, however, that she cannot stay long in every centre and make really confirmed believers such as she did in certain centres in Australia. But perhaps the National Assembly will attend to that task and keep in touch with persons she will interest, and gradually make them embrace the Faith and lend help towards its progress. We need teachers in every part of the world, and as those who are in active service are few we should create some from the material we have. It is the work of the National Spiritual Assembly to attend to such matters and develop some of our young Bahá’ís into competent teachers.

In a previous letter I informed you on behalf of Shoghi Effendi that as we already have a translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Gujrati, you concentrate your efforts on having it rendered only into Urdu, so that the work may soon be completed and published. Shoghi Effendi is sending the sum of $200 or £48 for that purpose, sent by Mrs. Esty of Buffalo. He was very glad to know that you are feeling better and that your health has very much improved. Please convey his greetings to all the friends specially the members of your family.

Assuring you of his prayers and best wishes.

[Page 83]

Dear co-worker:

I trust you. have by now taken the necessary steps for a prompt and careful translation of the book into Urdu. This service will, I am sure, be an added blessing to the masses of India, whom you are striving so devotedly and energetically to arouse and teach. May it prove a prelude to an intensive and fruitful teaching campaign that shall bring in its wake enlightenment, peace and hope to the distracted multitudes of that agitated country. I will continue to pray for you, your dear family and your devoted collaborators, from the depths of my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

May 31, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated April 8th, 15th, 30th and May 20th 1932. He was very glad to hear that Mr. Hishmatu’llah has undertaken to translate Dr. Esselmont’s book into Urdu for he is sure that he will exert himself to produce a first-class translation.

Even though we can refer to a non-Bahá’í when we have no one among the friends to undertake a proper work of translation, yet it is always preferable to have it accomplished by a person who is imbued with the spirit and is already familiar with the different expressions of Bahá’í conceptions unfamiliar to a non-Bahá’í. Shoghi Effendi wishes him success and will pray for his guidance.

He was also delighted to hear that Mr. Chatterji has rendered the book into Hindi. It is surely a wonderful service which will prove of great help among people who are familiar with that language. Shoghi Effendi is sending a check for £50 which I will enclose, as his contribution towards the publication of this book. In case there is a great difference between publishing five hundred copies and one thousand copies, and you do not find the need of so many books in that language, Shoghi Effendi would advise you to have only five hundred copies published. He would however leave the decision to you.

Mrs. Ransom Kehler is now in Haifa taking some rest before starting for Persia, where she expects to stay a few months. Shoghi Effendi was very glad to hear of her great success in India. He hopes that she will after Persia pay another visit to that country and resume

[Page 84]

the work she has started. She is surely a very competent teacher and well-versed in the Writings.

Assuring you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and best wishes.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I trust and pray that you will be enabled to start promptly the publication of the Hindi translation on one hand, and to ensure, on the other, the early completion of the Urdu version, both of which, I feel are indispensable preliminaries to an intensive teaching campaign among the great masses of the Indian people. I am confident that the publication of the Gujrati version together with these and the Burmese translations, will reinforce the impetus which the projected visit of Mrs. Kehler to India next autumn, will lend to the onward march of our beloved Cause in India. May the Almighty reinforce your labours and bless your high endeavours.

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

July 10, 1932

Beloved Bahá’í Pioneer,

Shoghi Effendi was very glad to receive your kind letter of June 13th, 1932 and he wishes me to thank you on his behalf and to extend to you his loving appreciation of your continued and precious services to our beloved Faith.

In regard to the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Burmese, Shoghi Effendi wishes you to persevere in your efforts and not be discouraged by the difficulties and obstacles that stand in your way. He sincerely trusts that through your devotion, wisdom and selfless endeavours the book will be soon translated and published.

I need not assure you how deeply appreciative the Guardian is of all that you have done and are still doing for the spread of the Cause, and he is confident that such splendid efforts on your part will lead to the future consolidation and extension of the Faith in your land. He will be always very glad to be in close touch with your activities and to give you whatever help and assistance you may need.

And in closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s continued prayers on your behalf and on behalf of all the friends in Mandalay.

[Page 85]

Dear and precious co-worker:

I am fully conscious of the difficulties that confront you as well as of your extreme desire to achieve the task I have requested you to perform. I will continue to pray that every obstacle may be soon removed from your path and that your unsparing and exemplary efforts, in this as well in all other branches of Bahá’í activity, may be crowned with signal success. Your loving brother,

Shoghi

JULY 14, 1932

GREATEST HOLY LEAF ASCENDED ABHA KINGDOM OUR GRIEF IMMENSE OUR LOSS IRREPARABLE INFORM LOCAL ASSEMBLIES COMMEMORATE BEFITTINGLY SACRED EXPERIENCES SO RICH SO SUBLIME SO EVENTFUL A LIFE. MAGNITUDE OF OUR SORROW DEMANDS COMPLETE SUSPENSION FOR 9 MONTHS THROUGHOUT BAHÁ’Í WORLD EVERY FORM RELIGIOUS FESTIVITY. HER MORTAL REMAINS LAID VICINITY HOLY SHRINES.

SHOGHI

JULY 27, 1932

RANGOON ASSEMBLY CARE VAKIL MY SORROW LADEN HEART RELIEVED YOUR VALUED SYMPATHY

SHOGHI

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

August 25, 1932

Beloved co-worker in the Faith,

Your message of condolence and sympathy dated July 18th, 1932…was received and its perusal greatly comforted the bleeding heart of the Guardian. He wishes me to thank you from the very depth of his heart and assure you of his abiding appreciation of your continued and precious services to the Faith.

The ascension of the Greatest Holy Leaf has grieved his heart beyond words and had it not been for his assurance that in this

[Page 86]

calamitous event the friends are experiencing a profound spiritual awakening he would have remained utterly disconsolate.

His thoughts, in this terrible hour, are with you who are toiling so faithfully for the greater extension and consolidation of the Faith. I need not assure you how deeply appreciative he is of your work and he hopes that you will be enabled to serve the Cause with still greater zeal and success.

The memory of the beloved Khánum will, assuredly, prove to be your great comfort in your moments of sufferings and anxiety and will guide your steps and strengthen your spiritual power and insight…

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

October 1, 1932

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has kindly read your letter of 29th August 1932 and is deeply thankful to God for having given him such devoted helpers who are always ready to arise and serve.

The Guardian would surely be most appreciative if you undertake to translate Dr. Esslemont’s book and then have some expert go over it and polish it. Perhaps this would be the most practical method of achieving that task.

In his moments of prayer at the Shrines, Shoghi Effendi will think of you and ask God to guide and assist you.

The Guardian is sending you under separate cover five copies of the Persian translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book. You might be interested to know that we will have five new translations of this book during this year.

We sincerely hope that this literature will be profitably used by the friends to attract new souls to the Cause of God…

October 12, 1932

Dear Mr. Pritam Singh,

The Guardian wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated September 14th 1932 expressing your words of sympathy for the passing away of the Greatest Holy Leaf.

[Page 87]

She was such a source of joy, hope and inspiration to those who met her that not only Shoghi Effendi but every single Bahá’í pilgrim will miss her terribly. To the lady pilgrims it was a real treat to go to have tea with her in the afternoons. She was always so radiantly hopeful and tried to persuade others that sorrows are passing and have to be disregarded. The only consolation of Shoghi Effendi is that she has been freed from the physical weakness that during these last years was confining her to her room for most of the time. He is sure that in the realm in which she now is she is thinking of her friends and asking for them divine guidance and help.

The Guardian was very sorry to hear that the financial burdens of the “Bahá’í Weekly” are pressing upon you, but as you say these are exceptionally hard times. We should be glad if we can just steer our boat and keep it floating. Conditions cannot remain as they are. Some material change has to come about if all the world is not to perish.

In his moments of prayer at the Shrines, Shoghi Effendi will think of you, the members of your family as well as your “pet child”, the “Bahá’í Weekly”. Do not lose hope or feel discouraged. Every undertaking has to pass through difficulties before it can prove to be really successful. Consider what stormy days the “Bahá’í Magazine” had to pass through before reaching its present status. I am sure that even now she feels great concern about her financial resources. The instructions of our Faith are based upon trust in God, and God I am sure will never fail us.

May the Beloved cheer, sustain and guide you in your valued and continued efforts despite almost unsurmountable obstacles to promote the interests of our beloved Faith and to diffuse its spirit throughout your native land. Your true brother,

Shoghi

October 19, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your four letters dated June 26th, August 12th, September 2nd and 16th 1932.

He is very glad to know that the different translations of Dr. Esslemont’s book, that you have undertaken to have made, are

[Page 88]

progressing rapidly. He sincerely hopes that before long they will be passed through the press and be ready for distribution.

Even though the book was written by a Christian and was meant to be for people of that Faith to read, yet it is a very fine presentation of the teachings as a whole and might prove interesting to other people as well. Shoghi Effendi surely hopes that before long the Cause may produce scholars that would write books which would be far deeper and more universal in scope, but for the present this is the best we possess to give a general idea as to the history and teachings of the Faith to new seekers. After reading this they get the necessary introduction to delve more deeply into the fundamental tenets such as are explained in the Íqán.

Shoghi Effendi hopes that these books will greatly stimulate the teaching work in India and become the cause of guidance to many sincere souls.

The Guardian wishes me also to thank you for your kind words of sympathy in connection with the passing away of the Greatest Holy Leaf. This great loss will be felt by every Bahá’í, but specially the pilgrims to whom she used to be such a source of inspiration and joy. All those who met her left her presence with a new spirit and a firm determination to serve the Cause for which she suffered so much and whose progress was near to her heart.

What the Guardian is glad about is that her passing is creating a new spirit among the friends and arousing them to greater effort. May her death do for the progress of the Faith as much as her life did.

Please extend Shoghi Effendi’s greetings to all the friends specially the members of your own family.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I wish to emphasize afresh the vital necessity of speeding up the work of the translation and publication of the Gujrati, the Urdu, and the Hindi versions of the “New Era”, a book that has already been published into fourteen different languages and is being translated into sixteen additional tongues. I am deeply appreciative of what you have already achieved, and wish to assure you of my continued prayers for the success of your painstaking efforts and the realization of your dearest wish in the service of our beloved Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 89]

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

October 26, 1932

Dear Bahá’í brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated October 10th 1932 regarding the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Burmese.

He was very glad to learn that the work is progressing gradually and surely, and that already a considerable amount of pages have been translated. He hopes that until the expiration of the time appointed the work will be completed. It is however very necessary that the reviewing committee go over the book very carefully, because a newcomer is generally not familiar with Bahá’í terminology or method of expression.

The Guardian hopes that the financial part of the work will also be solved. Such matters have never blocked the way of the friends or even retarded their progress. Let us have faith in God’s mighty hand and He will surely help us. Please convey Shoghi Effendi’s greetings to all the friends. He sincerely hopes that they will always be guided in their work of serving the Cause and that they will succeed to attract many souls into a full acceptance of Bahá’u’lláh and His divine message.

Assuring you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and best wishes.

Dear and valued brother:

Your welcome letter imparted joy and abiding consolation to my heavy-laden heart. I so deeply appreciate your inspiring efforts, as well as the diligent and self-sacrificing endeavours of your devoted co-workers Mandalay, Rangoon and Kunjangoon. I wish to associate myself with their high efforts and am enclosing the sum of £9 in order to assist and hasten the completion of the translation of the book into Burmese. Sixteen printed translations have been already gathered together and placed in the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí close to His Sacred Shrine, and the book is now being translated into sixteen additional languages including the Burmese. Persevere in your efforts, never feel disheartened and rest assured and confident. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 90]

November 19, 1932

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to communicate with you to inquire regarding the Hindi and Urdu translations of Dr. Esslemont’s book. It is some time that he has had no definite word as to the progress of that work which you have so kindly undertaken to supervise. He sincerely hopes that gradually that task will be successfully achieved and that they will be ready to be submitted to the printers and then to the readers who may be anxiously awaiting to study them and benefit from their contents.

This work once completed will become a great stimulus to the teaching activities of the friends, for books can do infinitely more work than teachers. Sitting in a chair in a solitary corner one is infinitely more receptive to truth than in a lecture hall or in a discussion group. The public has learned the habit of reading. It is through that channel therefore that we have to approach them.

Assuring you of the Guardian’s prayers and best wishes.

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

December 6, 1932

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated November 21st 1932, as well as an account of the contributions made towards the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Burmese.

He deeply appreciates these gifts and hopes that instead the contributors will see with their own eyes the service the book will render towards the spread of the Cause and its teachings in that land. With such literature at his disposal the teacher can render his work much more secure. He can make sure that the new-comer has some source for the information he needs, and to which he can refer.

Now, the Guardian wishes you to obtain an estimate as to the cost of the printing of that book once the translation is completed. He has helped in the publication of the other translations and he wishes to help in this case also.

[Page 91]

He was very glad to know that the work of the translation is proceeding. He wishes you to exert your efforts along that line and make sure that no unnecessary delay is incurred.

Please convey the greetings of Shoghi Effendi to all the Bahá’ís specially your wife. In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrines he will think of you all and ask God to guide and assist you in your endeavours to serve His Faith.


[Page 92]

1933

January 10, 1933

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated December 30th 1932. He was very glad to obtain some news regarding the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Urdu and Hindi, for he feels deeply interested in the work. He feels that it is only when such books are accessible to the public that the Cause will begin to spread and its followers increase in number.

He, therefore, wishes you to exert your effort along that line so that the task may be achieved properly and without any needless delay. Also please keep him informed regarding any new development or any progress made.

We do not now have any pilgrims, but the news we receive from different parts of the world show great progress achieved by the friends. Even though material conditions in some instances hamper their activities to an appreciable extent, yet their devotion and self-sacrifice are daily winning for them the admiration and sympathy of the world around them. Everyday a new group is formed and new souls attracted to the faith.

[Page 93]

Please convey the Guardian’s loving greetings to all the friends specially the members of your family.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I grieve to learn of the delay in the translation and publication of the various translations of Dr. Esslemont’s valuable book, and I urge you to do all you possibly can to hasten the realization of our cherished hopes—hopes which when fulfilled will no doubt lend a great and fresh impetus to the advancement of the Faith in that land. I am enclosing a copy of my recent letter concerning the Greatest Holy Leaf and the measures which, I feel, must be taken by the friends in Persia preliminary to the formation of the House of Justice. May the Almighty guide your steps, cheer your heart and fulfil your dearest wish. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

February 8, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated January 18th 1933 giving him the glad news of the sum collected for a meeting place in Calcutta.

He sincerely hopes that through God’s infinite blessings the necessary sum will be forthcoming and that in time a Centre worthy of the prestige and name of the Cause will be purchased or built.

Such institutions greatly help the spread of the Faith, for there will be a permanent place where the interested souls can go for information. It also operates as the centre of the different activities of the Spiritual Assembly of that locality.

In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrines, the Guardian will think of you as well as of the other friends in that locality and ask for you all divine guidance and help.

He was also delighted to hear that three new souls have accepted the Faith in Calcutta. He hopes that before long we will have large groups, comprising hundreds of earnest and seeking souls, enter the Cause and take part in spreading the Message. Please assure the three of them of Shoghi Effendi’s loving greetings.

[Page 94]

May the Beloved bless your constant and self-sacrificing endeavours for the promotion of His Cause and enable you and your devoted fellow-workers to fulfil your heart’s cherished desire. Your true brother

Shoghi

March 1, 1933

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to write you this short note to enclose a cheque for thirty pounds.

This is his contribution towards the publication of the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Burmese which has been made by Seyed Mustafa Rumi. Please Inform the latter about its receipt because he has asked the Guardian to send this contribution through you and he may be anxious to receive this news.

Assuring you of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers and best wishes.

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

March23, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian was very pleased ro read your letter of March 6th 1933, because it bore the very welcome news that the translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book has been completed and that it has been already submitted to the press. He sincerely hopes that that stage of the work will also soon come to a close and that the Burmese speaking people will be enabled to benefit from it.

Shoghi Effendi has great hopes that the publication of this book will start a new era in the history of the progress of the Faith in that land. Those who read it are bound to be impressed by the teaching it contains and become imbued with the spirit it manifests. The efforts of the teachers will become a hundred-fold more fruitful and those who are interested can be given the chance to deepen their knowledge.

In any case, Shoghi Effendi wishes me to express his deep appreciation for your labours and kind efforts along that line. The service the book shall render, will surely be a sufficient reward for your work.

[Page 95]

The Guardian feels that one thousand copies are sufficient. When this edition is sold out and a demand is created for them, then we could have a second and larger edition printed. In any case when the book is out please send fifty copies to the address of the Guardian. He wishes to place some copies in the different libraries he has instituted here in Haifa.

In closing may I express again Shoghi Effendi’s deep appreciation for your services and assure you of his prayers and best wishes.

Dear and valued co-worker:

It is with the greatest pleasure that I have learned of the completion of the translation into Burmese of the “New Era”, and of the determination of the friends in Burma to ensure its prompt publication. The circulation of this book will constitute a landmark in the history of the Cause in that land. May it be a prelude to an intensive campaign of teaching and concerted effort on the part of the friends in those regions and like a magnet, attract the abundant blessings of our departed Master. I will place most of the 50 copies you will send me in the library of the newly-restored Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí, a constant reminder of the self-sacrificing endeavours of my beloved Burmese brethren.

Shoghi

March 24, 1933

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian has directed me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of March 10th 1933.

He was very glad to learn that the Burmese translation has been completed and that it is now in the hands of the printers. As he has communicated with Sayed Mustafa Rumie, the Guardian thinks that one thousand copies are quite sufficient for the present. If these are circulated widely and further demand is created then we could consider the question of enlarging the second edition. Shoghi Effendi wishes also to have fifty copies sent to him for his use here in Haifa, whenever they are out of the press and ready for distribution.

Now the translation into Burmese and Gujrati have been completed and the latter is even printed and circulated. The Guardian feels we should concentrate upon the Hindi and Urdu translations. We

[Page 96]

should not permit so much unnecessary delay. If one way seems closed or difficult we could try another and strive for the speedy completion of those books. The more we see the crying need of the world for the spiritual teachings of our Faith the more restless we should feel in giving out the Message and improving the means of diffusing the precepts of the Cause.

In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrines the Guardian will think of you and ask God to guide and sustain your efforts. He knows fully how difficult it is these days to bring a task to a speedy and successful conclusion, but to a person who is determined and lays his trust in God nothing is impossible.

Dear and precious, co-worker:

I rejoice to bear of the steps that arc being taken for the printing of the Burmese edition of the “New Era” hut deplore the delay in the translation of the book into Hindi and Urdu. The Gujrati copies have already been placed in the library of the Mansion at Bahjí and I long with all my heart to witness these remaining translations in their final and printed form, side by side with the nineteen printed versions which have already been collected and distributed throughout the world. I would urge you to concentrate your energy on this important and essential preliminary to an intensive campaign of teaching among the masses in India. Persevere and rest assured that my prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf.

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

June 8, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your message of March 24th, 1933 addressed to our beloved Guardian was received and was deeply appreciated. The delay in answering was caused by the unusual amount of work which demanded Shoghi Effendi’s personal and immediate supervision during the last few months. He was very glad to receive the Gujrati translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book, and he hopes that through your efforts the Hindi and Urdu translation of it will soon be ready for publication.

[Page 97]

As you may know, this work has already been translated into nineteen different languages, and its rendering into eleven others will be soon completed. This is really encouraging.

Recently the Guardian received a letter from Mr. Habibo’llah M. Monji, one of our young Bombay friends, telling him of his intention of having the Hidden Words translated into Gujrati and Hindi. This is a splendid idea, provided Mr. Monji’s knowledge of these languages be sufficiently extensive. He seems to be a very devoted and enthusiastic Bahá’í. Shoghi Effendi would like you to find out whether he is really competent to undertake such an important work, and in case you find that he is really capable, he would strongly urge you to help him and encourage him to bring his work to successful completion.

In closing may I assure you of his best and kindest wishes for your family and for yourself. The memory of your visit to Haifa is still fresh in his mind. Your sincerity and devotion to the Cause he will always remember and greatly appreciate. He hopes that as years go by they will increasingly enrich the splendid record of your services to the Faith.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I long to hear from you, and of the progress of your devoted and incessant activities in the service of our beloved Faith. I am also eager to receive the good news of the completion of the translation and early publication of the Urdu and Hindi versions of the “New Era”. The utmost effort should be exerted to ensure the consummation of this work, which, I feel, must precede an intensive teaching campaign among the masses in India. I am arranging for Mrs. Kehler to visit southern Persia this autumn after which she is expecting to visit India, this winter. I trust you are keeping in good health and that your pioneer work is progressing satisfactorily. Your true, your affectionate and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To Prof. Pritam Singh]

June 13, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to inform you of the receipt of your letter dated May 25th, 1933 and to renew the expression of his

[Page 98]

heartfelt appreciation of your unforgettable services to the Cause in India.

He was particularly glad to learn that some of our Indian friends have encouraged you to start a fortnightly paper on the Cause. The idea is, undoubtedly, most genuine and meets with our Guardian’s wholehearted approval. He wishes you, however, not to act hurriedly, to take all the necessary steps which can ensure its safety and development. Such projects are not so easy to carry out, specially in these days when the economic crisis is getting so acute. At any rate, if you find that your financial conditions allow you to undertake such an important work, you should persevere in your efforts and try to make your paper an indispensable adjunct to the teaching activities of the friends.

The Guardian hopes that you will be more successful in this, your second attempt. The unexpected death of the “Bahá’í Weekly”, he feels, had badly affected the prestige of the Cause. It is hoped that your new fortnightly paper will enable all to appreciate more adequately the divine potency with which it is endowed. Mrs. Keith Ransom Kehler, who has been doing such a fine work in Persia, is planning to leave for India at the beginning of winter. Her presence among you will be certainly appreciated. She is such a wonderful soul, so devoted, so active and so capable. The Guardian hopes that you will make the utmost use of her stay in India. In closing may I assure you of his prayers on your behalf and on behalf of all the believers in Lahore.

P.S. Shoghi Effendi wishes also to express his special thanks to all those who have specially contributed their share for the resumption of the Magazine. Kindly convey to them all the expression of our Guardian’s deepest gratitude and lively appreciation.

Dear and valued co-worker:

Your unswerving loyalty and inflexible resolve to carry on the work you have so nobly initiated are indeed worthy of the highest-praise. I will pray for your success and the steady and uninterrupted progress of your activities whenever I lay my head on the sacred Threshold and will supplicate for you all the strength and guidance you need for the prosecution of your task. The friends in India and Burma should bestir themselves and, under the guidance and by the aid of the National

[Page 99]

Assembly prepare the way for the forthcoming visit of our able and brilliant international teacher Mrs. Kehler. May the Lord sustain and guide them in their endeavours and reward them for their acts of self-sacrifice in His Path.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

June 17, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has requested me to send you enclosed a rough copy of a memorandum he has recently addressed to the British High Commissioner in Jerusalem. He wants you to read it very carefully and then write immediately a strongly-worded petition on behalf of the National Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma to the High Commissioner in Palestine, emphasizing the fact that the Indian National Assembly is earnestly appealing to the High Commissioner to realize the gravity of the issues invoked in their petition.

The Guardian does not want you to follow too closely the text and form of the enclosed memorandum, but to be only guided by the facts that are set forth therein. He wishes you then to sign it, to seal it and then to forward it directly to Jerusalem. He is sending you enclosed the full address of the High Commissioner. He has also requested the Persian, the American, the British and the German Assemblies to address immediately a similar petition and mail it directly to Jerusalem. The crisis has been precipitated by the enemies of the Cause, who have contended that for legal purposes the Bahá’í community does not exist in Palestine… These petitions will be probably forwarded to the Colonial Office in London. The case will thereby acquire added significance and may well pave the way for an official recognition of the Bahá’í Faith by the British authorities as an independent religion in Palestine.

The Guardian feels that the document should be very carefully worded and should emphasize the importance and significance of the Shrine of the Báb, as one of the holiest spots in the Bahá’í world.

With the renewed assurance of his best wishes for the members of the National Assembly and for yourself.

[Page 100]

P.S. Will you kindly send him a copy of your petition as soon as you send it to Jerusalem.

Read and Approved.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

August 6, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Co-worker,

Your letters addressed to the Guardian and dated June 16th and 23rd, and July 7th and 8th, 1933 were duly received and were read with deepest care and appreciation. He was also very glad to receive a copy of your petition to His Excellency the High Commissioner and he feels confident that it will serve to impress upon the authorities in Jerusalem the urgency of our case.

As regards the Urdu translation of Dr. Esslemont’s book, Shoghi Effendi wishes you to make all the necessary effort to have it published as soon as possible.. He is fully aware of the difficulties that have caused an inevitable delay in the publication of this highly important work, but he feels certain that, through your perseverance Slid through the kind and invaluable assistance of Prof. Pritam Singh and Dr. Hishmatu’llah the translation will be soon completed and be ready for publication.

The Guardian would like you also to take all the necessary steps for the Hindi translation of this same work. It is hoped that no delay will be caused this time.

In closing let me ask you to extend to the members of your newly elected National Assembly the loving greetings of Shoghi Effendi. May Bahá’u’lláh increasingly help you to carry forward His Message and impart to your soul the strength and the peace of which you are all in such a great need in these days of storm and stress.

With his fervent prayers on your behalf and on behalf of every member of your family.

[Page 101]

Dear and prized co-worker:

Your petition to the High Commissioner is splendid, and to you, in particular, I wish to express my abiding and deep gratitude.

The Serbian and Hungarian versions of “The New Era” have been recently published through the efforts of Martha Root. The Rumanian translation has been undertaken and the Greek version will soon be started. I long to see the Urdu, the Hindi and the Burmese versions in print and circulated among the masses of the Indian people. Persevere and redouble your efforts. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

September 10, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

The Guardian has directed me to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your letter dated August 18th, 1933, together with the enclosed copy of the High Commissioner’s letter addressed to the President of our Indian National Spiritual Assembly in reply to your I petition concerning our case with the Dumits. The answer he has himself received is very promising and contains the High Commissioner’s replies to your Assembly, as well as to our other National Assemblies in various other lands. He hopes that the Authorities will keep their promise and will carefully and impartially consider the case when it will be put before them for final decision.

Shoghi Effendi was deeply gratified to learn of the important steps you have taken for the translation and publication of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Hindi. He has greatly appreciated the assistance of Dr. Kaushal Kishore, and sincerely trusts that through your combined efforts the work will be soon completed and will be ready for circulation. In a recent communication to the Guardian, our devoted friend Siyyid Mustafa Rumie, has given the news of the publication of this same book in Burmese. It is hoped that this will serve to encourage our Indian believers to follow his example.

In closing, may I assure you once more of our Guardian’s ardent prayers on your behalf and on behalf of each and every member of your family. He was so grieved to hear of your illness, and hopes that, by the time this letter reaches you, your health has been completely

[Page 102]

restored, and that you are fully able to resume your important work on behalf of the Cause.

With his loving greetings and best wishes for Mrs. Vakil, children and your dear self.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I am so pleased and grateful to you for your incessant efforts in connexion with the translation and publication of the “New Era”, and I am deeply gratified to learn of the progress already achieved. I will continue to pray for the speedy realization of your hopes, plans and wishes in the service of this glorious Faith. I grieve to learn however of your recent illness, and entreat you not to overtax your strength, and to rest as completely and as long as possible. The Cause stands in dire need of servants and promoters such as your dear self. I will pray for your complete recovery from the depths of my heart.

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

September 10, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

I have been requested by Shoghi Effendi to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 14th, 1933 and to renew the expression of his abiding appreciation of the pioneering services you have been, and are so increasingly rendering to the Faith in Mandalay. I wish to thank you particularly on his behalf for the admirable way in which you have carried out his wishes and instructions in connection with the translation and publication of Dr. Esslemont’s book into Burmese. Such a highly difficult task has, undoubtedly, cost you a good deal of self-sacrifice and of hard and continued effort. But you can be assured that the result obtained is of such a high significance and importance to the progress of the Cause in Mandalay that it will not only add a fresh lustre to the immense work that you have been doing for so many long years, but will constitute a challenge to every thoughtful and loyal believer to follow the example you have set before him. Our beloved Master is surely looking down upon you from the Realm above with eyes full of admiration and praise, and is

[Page 103]

looking still forward to see you more active and more ardent than ever in His Divine Covenant.

Assuring you once more of our Guardian’s best wishes and of his fervent prayers on your behalf, so that the Almighty may guide your Steps, cheer your heart and keep you firm and constant in His Faith.

With loving greetings and deepest Bahá’í love to you and to all the friends in Kunjangoon.

Dearly beloved co-worker:

What you have accomplished with such zeal, courage, ability and love fills me with joy, thankfulness and admiration for the sterling qualities that have characterized your long and distinguished career of service to the Cause of God. You have added fresh laurels to an already brilliant record of service. The fifty volumes you have sent will be placed on your behalf and in your name in the international Bahá'í library within the holy Mansion at Bahjí adjoining the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh. I will ever be reminded of your glorious and exemplary services to the Abhá Revelation. I will continue to pray for you from all my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

October 5, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

I have been requested by the Guardian to thank you for your letter dated September 2nd, 1933, and to express his heartfelt appreciation of your efforts in connection with the writing of the history of the Cause in India and Burma. Your valuable studies on the subject which have appeared in the form of a series of articles in the “Bahá’í Magazine” have greatly interested both the Bahá’ís and the non-Bahá’ís. It is hoped that the history you have been asked to write in Persian will produce similar results. You should try to make it as detailed as possible, giving all the facts you can gather, together with any document or photograph which can illustrate the work and give it a scholarly and scientific character.

In closing, let me assure you once more of Shoghi Effendi’s fervent prayers on your behalf and on behalf of alt our friends in Burma.

[Page 104]

Dear and most prized co-worker:

What you will place on record regarding the history of the Faith in India and Burma will acquire tremendous significance and influence in the days to come. It will serve to instruct, inspire, and cheer countless souls among the rising generation, and will add fresh laurels to those you have so deservedly won in the service of God’s immortal Faith. No words can adequately convey the gratitude I feel in my heart for your continued and inestimable services. Your true and affectionate brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

October 27, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Bother,

Your letter of September 13th, 1933, addressed to Shoghi Effendi…were all duly received… The continued and most timely assistance which our Indian believers have so kindly and so devotedly extended to their American brethren in their supreme effort for the resumption of the work on the Temple dome has been a fresh source of encouragement and of comfort to him, and he trusts that this truly Bahá’í spirit of cooperation between the East and West will continue to animate and to add a fresh lustre to their precious services to the Cause.

The Guardian was also very glad and deeply comforted to learn that your health is improving, and that gradually your energy is being restored. He wishes you to be very careful not to overtax your strength, and take all the necessary measures for your speedy and complete recovery. His prayers on your behalf will continue to be offered to Bahá’u’lláh, that He may strengthen you, and keep you as ever active in His Faith.

With best wishes for Mrs. Vakil, children and your dear self.

Dear and precious co-worker:

Your previous letter of August 25 has reached me and I rejoice to learn that the Burmese version of the “New Era” is being circulated. I long to hear of the completion and publication of the Hindi and Urdu versions. The utmost effort should be exerted in order to expedite this most important and urgent work. The situation in Bombay is confused, and I would request you to visit the friends if possible and endeavour to establish harmony and cooperation among the new and old elements that are striving to promote the Cause in that great and important city. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

November 26, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian was deeply gratified to receive your welcome letter of November 18th and to learn of the success of the meeting of our Indian National Spiritual Assembly held in Bombay. It is very regrettable that you could not attend the session in person for your presence is of such a valuable help to the friends, particularly in these stormy days when the Faith needs more than ever the whole-hearted assistance of its capable, loyal and active followers.

The sudden passing of that wholly consecrated and brilliant teacher and international promoter of the Cause Mrs. Keith Ransom Kehler, has plunged Shoghi Effendi into deepest sorrow for in her he has lost not only a valuable co-worker but a dear friend. After more than a year of intense teaching work in Persia, where she was entrusted by the Guardian with the mission of acquainting our Persian brethren with the basic principles of the Administration, and of liberating them from the appalling persecutions to which they have been lately subjected, our precious Keith left this world under so tragic circumstances that she was given by the Guardian the title of the first Western martyr on Persian soil, and was raised by him to the Station of one of the Hands of the Cause. Her deep-rooted and unshakable faith, her unqualified loyalty to the Cause of the Administration, and her profound knowledge of the Teachings, all these fully entitled her to occupy such an eminent rank among the faithful.

Our Indian friends, who have been so appreciative of her last visit to them, must have been particularly affected by such an irretrievable loss. May the memory of her services inspire them to follow in her footsteps, and to tread the path of service as firmly and as successfully as she did.

With the renewed assurance of our Guardian’s fervent prayers on your behalf and on behalf of Mrs. Vakil and children.

[Page 106]

Dear and precious co-worker;

I grieve to learn that you have not yet fully recovered and I urge you to abide by the doctor’s instructions and to take whatever measures are necessary for the complete and speedy restoration of your precious health. I am so eager to receive the news of the completion and publication of the Hindi and Urdu versions of the “New Era”, and it will please and encourage you to know that we have already twenty-five different printed versions of this precious book translated into Eastern and Western tongues. Your true and affectionate brother,

Shoghi

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

December 27, 1933

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

The Guardian was greatly pleased to read the minutes of the last meeting of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma and he wishes me to express his genuine appreciation of the important steps which your Assembly has taken for the further extension and consolidation of the administrative institutions of the Faith in that country. He would be very grateful if you send him regularly the minutes of the meetings of the National Spiritual Assembly, and he would be only too glad to offer any suggestion or advice which may help its members to better discharge their manifold and delicate functions. He sincerely hopes that your Assembly will meet as regularly and as frequently as possible in order to maintain the efficiency of its functioning and to raise the standard and to widen the scope of its activities.

The important decision of the National Spiritual Assembly relative to the registration of the Bombay Assembly as a recognized religious body is, in the Guardian’s opinion, a leading step towards the official recognition of the Cause as an independent religious organisation by the Government authorities both in India and Burma. He would strongly urge, however, that the constitution to be adopted should not only be based on that which the New York Assembly has adopted for its own registration but should reproduce it identically without any change whatsoever but with due consideration to all local and geographical differences.

The Guardian wishes also to stress the necessity of completing the Urdu and the Hindi translations of Dr. Esslemont’s “New Era”. He has already, in several communications addressed to Mr. N. R. Vakil, requested him to take all the necessary steps in this direction. May the decision of the National Spiritual Assembly on this point hasten and ensure the completion of this task to which the Guardian has so repeatedly drawn the attention of the friends.

In closing let me assure you, and through you each and every member of our Indian National Spiritual Assembly, of Shoghi Effendi’s fervent prayers for the development and success of your continued labours for the strengthening and the widening of the basis of the administrative institutions of the Cause in India and Burma…


[Page 108]

1934

[To Professor Pritam Singh]

January 2, 1934

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your welcome letter of December 21st has been duly received, and the Guardian was very pleased to learn of the progress made by the Indian National Spiritual Assembly in its efforts to consolidate, widen and maintain the scope of its national activities. The difficulties in your way are tremendous. The differences of language and of social and intellectual background do, undoubtedly, render the work somewhat difficult to carry out and may temporarily check the efficient and smooth working of the national administrative machinery of the Faith. They, nevertheless, impart to the deliberations of the National Assembly a universality which they would be otherwise lacking, and give to its members a breadth of view which is their duty to cultivate and foster. It is not uniformity which we should seek in the formation of any national or local Assembly. For the bedrock of the Bahá’í administrative order is the principle of unity in diversity, which has been so strongly and so repeatedly emphasized in the writings of the Cause. Differences which are not fundamental and contrary to the

[Page 109]

basic teachings of the Cause should be maintained, while the underlying unity of the administrative order should be at any cost preserved and insured. Unity, both of purpose and of means, is, indeed, indispensable to the safe and speedy working of every Assembly, whether local or national.

Another factor which, in the Guardian’s opinion, is essential to the development of your National Spiritual Assembly, is the holding of frequent meetings. Although the members are stationed at great distances from one another yet they can communicate through correspondence. It is not necessary that all the members should be present in all the sessions. Those, who for some reason or another, are unable to attend in person the meetings of the National Spiritual Assembly, can express their views in a written form and send them to the Assembly. The main point is that your national activities should not be let to suffer in any way, and its work be retarded and postponed because of such necessarily unimportant and secondary consideration.

In closing please extend the Guardian’s best wishes to each and every member of the National Spiritual Assembly and assure them of his ardent prayers on their behalf. May Bahá’u’lláh guide, strengthen and inspire you to persevere in your endeavours for the promotion of the Faith.

Dear co-worker:

I wish to assure you in person of my prayers for the removal of the difficulties, domestic and otherwise, that beset your path in these days. I will supplicate the Almighty to guide you in your manifold and valuable activities in the service of His Faith, to cheer your heart, and to deepen your understanding of the fundamentals of His Faith. 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 disheartened.

Shoghi

[Page 110]

[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

February 19, 1934

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

I wish to thank you most warmly on behalf of the Guardian for your letter of February 5th which was so full of the news of the progress of the Cause in Mandalay. He was particularly gratified to learn that through your efforts and through the assistance of some other friends the Bengali translation of the “New Era” is ready for publication. He hopes you will be soon able to send it to the press, as he feels that the circulation of this valuable book can highly stimulate the spread of the Cause.

Shoghi Effendi was also much pleased to learn that you have successfully completed your history of the rise and progress of the Cause in India and Burma. He trusts that the Indian National Spiritual Assembly will be pleased over it and will approve of its being sent to Tihran. This is undoubtedly a real and abiding contribution you have been able to make to the Faith. May it fully serve its purpose and become a means whereby our Indian friends can be strengthened and inspired in their labours for the promotion of the Cause.

In closing I wish to convey our Guardian’s best wishes and the assurance of his continued and ardent supplications for the further extension and consolidation of your pioneer work for the Cause in India and Burma.

Dear and precious co-worker:

The work you have recently accomplished is highly meritorious in the sight of God, and will no doubt attract fresh and still greater blessings from the throne of the Almighty. You have, in the evening of your life, added fresh laurels to the crown of immortal glory which your many services to the Faith have won for you and which future generations will gratefully and Joyfully remember. I will continue to pray for you, for your dear wife and your devoted collaborators in that land. Rest assured, be happy, and persevere in your high endeavours. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 111]

[To Professor Pritam Singh]

April 10, 1934

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of March 13th addressed to the Guardian has just been received through the kind care of our dear Mr. Vakil, and the realization of your inability to serve as Secretary to the National Spiritual Assembly has deeply grieved his heart. It is, indeed, a matter of deep regret that such an able, devoted and efficient worker like you should be forced to leave such an important post in the national Sphere of the administration. You should, therefore, make every possible sacrifice in order to continue serving the Cause in this field where you have already attained such a high distinction.

The Guardian, however, wishes by no means to force you to occupy a post which, in addition to the tremendous amount of work it demands, entails a responsibility which, for some reason or another, you may feel unable to assume. He would advise you, however, to submit your case to the National Spiritual Assembly at its next meeting at Delhi, that they may carefully consider the possibility of your resignation from the National Secretariat. They will surely consider the matter sympathetically and dispassionately and will give you ail the advice you need. The National Spiritual Assembly cannot refuse accepting a resignation when it is well Justified, and when it is done not with the purpose of shirking responsibility but with the intention of giving a chance to others to prove themselves worthy of occupying responsible posts in the administrative field.

Assuring you of the Guardian’s prayers on your behalf, and with, his best wishes for the development of your work for the Cause.

Dear and valued co-worker.

Your sustained and inspiring labours under such trying and difficult circumstances are indeed highly praiseworthy and meritorious. I will pray from the depths of my heart that you. will find it possible to lend your invaluable assistance to your collaborators in both the teaching and administrative fields of Bahá’í activity. Your competence, your loyalty, your experience and knowledge of the essentials of the Faith eminently

[Page 112]

qualify you to take an active and leading part in its manifold activities. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

April 11, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

I wish to thank you in the name of the Guardian for your letters dated March 4th and 30th, 1934, together with the enclosed copy of Bahá’í activities in India and Burma for the period 1933-1934, which has already been forwarded to Mr. H. Holley for incorporation in his general survey of current Bahá’í activities for the “Bahá’í World”. He has also received Prof. Pritam Singh’s letter and has given it his careful consideration. He is sorry to learn that he is not able to continue serving as National Secretary. But he feels that the matter should be referred to your National Assembly, that they may consider the advisability and the possibility of his leaving the office. Of course, in case Mr. Pritam Singh feels wholly unable to act as Secretary to the National Spiritual Assembly, there is no reason for that body to refuse complying with his wish in this respect…

Concerning the translation and publication of the “New Era” into Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali, Shoghi Effendi wishes you to continue pressing the friends that they may bring the work to successful completion. He is rather surprised that no acknowledgment has thus far been made of the copy of his last general epistle[3] to the friends which he sent over a month ago to your address. In case that copy has been lost, please inform him that he may send you some more . He is much relieved to learn of your improving physical condition, and he would strongly urge you to take the utmost care of your health which is such a real asset to the Cause in India. In view of that he sees no objection if you give up your journey to Delhi, specially if you have been advised by the physicians to avoid the. heat and the fatigue of the trip.

Dear and precious co-worker:

I am deeply sorry to hear of your continued ill-health and wish you to concentrate for the present on the ways and means that enable you to

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recover fully and speedily and resume your valued labours for the spread of the Cause. I will be very pleased and grateful if you could send me as soon as possible photographic reproductions of the Registration Certificate incorporating the National Assembly of India and Burma. I hope to receive them before the end of May for incorporation in the “Bahá’í World” Vol. V. Your National Constitution I feel should be identical with the American Declaration of Trust and by-laws as published in the ‘Bahá’í World”, Your true brother,

Shoghi

May 29, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated April 23rd and May 11th with enclosure, and to extend to you and to your collaborators in the National Spiritual Assembly his grateful appreciation of your ceaseless and ever-widening efforts for the consolidation of the Faith. The resolutions passed by your National Spiritual Assembly at its recent meeting at Delhi have given him sufficient evidence of the new spirit that has come to animate its members. It is his hope that through the continued development of that same spirit your Assembly will be enabled to do more effective work for the Cause.

The Guardian was also gratified to learn that your health is gradually improving, and that the change of climate has done you some good. He will continue to pray on your behalf that your physical condition be fully restored, and that you may soon be in a position to adequately resume your duties for the Cause.

With his best wishes for Mrs. Vakil and children and yourself.

Dear and valued co-worker:

The splendid resolutions passed by the National Assembly at Delhi are admirable and indicate the revival of the spirit of fellowship and determination to consolidate the administrative basis of the Faith in India and Burma. I am eagerly anticipating to hear the news that these resolutions have been duly carried out, particularly regarding the

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incorporation of the Bombay Assembly and the translation and publication of the “New Era” into Urdu and Sindhi. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

June 2, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi is mailing to your address a copy of Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet to the Greatest Holy Leaf, in His own handwriting, photographed in the States and illuminated in Tihran. He wishes you to present it to the National Spiritual Assembly, that they may place it in their archives. He has also sent copies of this same Tablet to our Various National Assemblies for that purpose.

With best wishes for yourself, your family and the friends in Surat…

P.S. A translation of this Tablet by the Guardian has already been published in the States, together with other Tablets, in the form of a pamphlet.

June 5, 1934

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

In reply to your kind letter of May 11th concerning the case submitted by the Bombay Assembly to the National Spiritual Assembly, I wish to inform you that I have submitted the matter to the Guardian for his consideration and advice.

He fully agrees with the Bombay Assembly that they are in need of an English-speaking secretary, in view of the increasingly large volume of correspondence they receive in English. But he feels that this emergency does not afford sufficient justification to any believer or Assembly to make the slightest departure from the recognized and duly established principles governing the election of the members of any Assembly, whether local or national. If the Bombay Assembly feels it necessary to have a secretary for the English correspondence they can appoint an assistant Secretary from outside the Assembly. It

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is only the body of Bahá’í electors who can bring about any change in the membership of the Assembly, and this during the Ri?ván feast which for all administrative purposes is the beginning of the Bahá’í year.

In view of that the Guardian wishes you as the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly to formally inform the Bombay Assembly of his suggestion that they should appoint an assistant Secretary, till the renewal of elections in the next Ri?ván…

July 11, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your letter of June 17th, with the enclosed report on the election, of the National Spiritual Assembly have been duly received and deeply appreciated by the Guardian. The news of the sudden passing of your father into the Kingdom has, however, deeply grieved his heart. He fully shares your sorrows at this great loss you have come to suffer, and wishes me to assure you of his fervent supplications on behalf of the departed, that the Almighty may open before him the doors of His grace and mercy and to enable his soul to progress still further in the other world.

May I also assure you once more of his prayers for the speedy and complete recovery of your health. It is such an asset to the welfare and safety of the Cause in India, that you should consider it to be your chief responsibility to do ail that you can in order to keep it in the best condition possible.

With best wishes and greetings to Mrs. Vakil and children.

Dear and most valued co-worker:

I wish to extend to you in person my deepest sympathy in the great loss you have sustained. I will specially supplicate on behalf of your dear departed father that he may be made the recipient of the richest blessings in the Abhá Kingdom. I urge you to take all the measures required for your complete recovery. Rest as much as you possibly can and rest assured that my prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf. Your true brother,

Shoghi

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[To N. R. Vakil]

August 13, 1934

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of the Guardian I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated July 23rd, together with the enclosed report on the election of the officers of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly. He hopes and fervently prays that this newly-elected body may be fully assisted and guided in the discharge of its manifold and heavy responsibilities and functions, and that it may succeed particularly in fostering and preserving among its own members, and in the general body of the believers as well, a greater measure of unity and of cooperation.

Shoghi Effendi wishes me also to assure you once more of his continued supplications on your behalf, and on behalf of all the members of your family. May Bahá’u’lláh keep, strengthen and guide each and all of you in the path of His service, that through your devoted and continued endeavours the interests of the Faith in India may be further promoted and more effectively preserved and insured.

Dear and precious co-worker:

I truly rejoice to learn that you have sufficiently recovered to resume your great work of service to our beloved Faith. I trust that this year will witness unprecedented triumphs for the Cause of God and will mark a milestone in the progress of the Faith in that land. Your true brother,

Shoghi

August 20, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am charged by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated July 27th, and to thank you for the enclosed copies of your financial reports on the National Spiritual Assembly’s fund.

It gives him real pleasure to witness the energetic and truly substantial part you are taking in administering the national affairs of the Cause in India, and this despite your physical disabilities and ailments. He is continually praying for your strength and guidance, that

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you may continue to play your part in consolidating the foundations of the Administration in your land.

Dear and precious co-worker:

How profoundly I appreciate, and how deeply I feel thankful for the share you have had in guiding, coordinating and consolidating the affairs of God’s struggling Faith in your land! The Beloved is well-pleased with the example you have set for the rising generation of your fellow-labourers in India and Burma. I will continue to pray for your good-health from all my heart. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

November 3, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your welcome letter of October 4th addressed to the Guardian is just at hand. He wishes me to thank you for it… He wishes me also to gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the group photograph of yourself, Mrs. Vakil and a few other believers.

He is, indeed, very happy and deeply comforted to learn of the rapid improvement in the condition of your general health, and feels particularly glad that you are now able to attend to your court work. He wishes me, nevertheless, to urge you to be extremely careful not to overburden yourself, and not to tax your energies to the point of exhaustion. Your health is, indeed, a real asset to the Cause in India, and the friends can ill-afford to lose it, specially now that new prospects for the development of the Faith throughout that country are appearing.

It is their, as well as your responsibility to take every measure which is necessary for the maintenance and continued expansion of your labours for the Cause.

With the assurance of the Guardian’s prayers on your behalf, and on behalf of Mrs. Vakil, Mrs. Bahera and Mrs. Tahira.

Dearest brother:

I am so glad to note a decided improvement in the administrative conduct of Bahá’í affairs in India, and I trust and pray that the teaching

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work will as a result receive afresh and unprecedented impetus. To teach the Cause is the ultimate purpose and the supreme objective of all Bahá’í institutions. These are but means to an end. May the Beloved grant you strength to enhance the splendid work you have already achieved. I am eagerly awaiting the news of the publication of the Urdu and the Sindhi editions of the “New Era”. With the assurance of my continued prayers for you and your dear family. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Addressed to an individual believer]

November 20, 1934

…He himself would have much liked to intervene in the matter and solve it in person for you… But the principles and laws of the Administration require him to let such local matters take their normal and due course through the Local to the National Assembly, the highest administrative institution in that land…

November 25, 1931

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your welcome letter of the 18th of this month is just at hand and it has received the careful attention and consideration of our beloved Guardian.

He notes with deep satisfaction the important steps taken by your National Spiritual Assembly for intensifying the spread of the Cause throughout India and Burma, and particularly values the encouragement and help which they have extended to dear Mr. Pritam Singh in his teaching tour in Northern India. He is praying from the depth of his heart for the success of this trip, as well as for the speedy and complete materialisation of the plans which you, in close collaboration with your fellow-members in the National Assembly, are initiating for the wider diffusion of the Teachings throughout your country.

He fully appreciates, indeed, the suggestions you have offered him in this connection. The lack of competent teachers is no doubt a serious obstacle facing the Indian believers at present. But it is by no means the most difficult problem with which they have to deal. The

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essential is that all the friends, without any exception whatever, should realise the full measure of the responsibility which Bahá’u’lláh has placed on them for teaching far and wide His Message. It is only through such an awakened consciousness of their heavy and sacred responsibilities and duties that the believers can hope to effectively promote and safeguard the interests of the Cause. The Bahá’í era is thus the age of individual responsibility—the age in which everyone is called to consider the spread of the Cause as his most sacred and vital obligation.

This is the point which the Guardian wishes your Assembly to emphasize in connection with the problem of teaching in India. He hopes that through their collective efforts a new zeal for teaching will come to animate the entire community of the believers throughout India and Burma.

Shoghi Effendi approves of your suggestion to utilize the £50 which he sent to you, for the publication of the Bengali translation of the “New Era”. He hopes that this work will soon be ready for distribution.

You will certainly be interested to know that the photograph you sent him sometime ago representing your family as well as Mr. Hishmatu’llah, has been placed by him in Bahá’u’lláh’s Mansion at Bahjí.

With his renewed greetings and prayers for you and all the members of your family.

P.S. Will you kindly mail to the Guardian’s address fifty copies of the Bengali “New Era” as soon as it will be ready.

With the renewed assurance of my loving prayers for you, for your dear family and collaborators in the service of the Cause, Your true brother,

Shoghi

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November 27, 1934

Dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to request you to kindly mail to his address five copies of the Urdu translation of the Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude).

With his loving greetings and thanks.

P.S. You will certainly be interested to know that the Íqán has already been translated and published into Russian, English, French, German, Chinese, Albanian, Urdu and Braille. Steps also have been taken for its rendering and publication into Arabic, Armenian, Swedish and Danish…

[Addressed To Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Ishaq]

December 9, 1934

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian was deeply interested and gratified to learn, through Mr. Rustam Khusrove of Poona, that you have recently embraced the Bahá’í Cause, and have openly and in the face of the malignant enemies of the Faith identified yourselves with it. He wishes me to hasten in conveying to you his warm and heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of your conversion to the principles and teachings of this Movement, and also to express the hope that you will befittingly and steadfastly arise to contribute your full share towards its wider penetration and establishment in your locality.

He is grieved beyond words at the severe opposition with which your non-Bahá’í relatives are trying to undermine your faith in the Cause. Nevertheless, he is confident that such attacks, however persistent and malicious, will eventually serve to intensify your zeal and to keep you firm and steadfast in the service of our beloved Cause.

The Guardian will specially pray on your behalf at the Holy Shrines, and will ask Bahá’u’lláh to guide and strengthen you in counteracting the evil machinations and designs of your enemies, and thus impress them with the invincible and divine character of this Revelation.

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[To Siyyid Mu??afá Rúmí]

December 17, 1934

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian wishes me to thank you for your deeply appreciated letter of December 4th with its enclosures, all of which he has carefully read and considered.

With reference to the Bengali translation of “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, he wishes me to convey to you, and to dear Mr. A. Islam as well, his hearty congratulations and grateful thanks for your splendid, sustained and successful efforts in this connection. He feels certain that nothing short of divine assistance, and of your painstaking and continued labours, could have brought this task to a successful consummation. He fully approves and deeply appreciates Mr. A. Islam’s wish to defray the expenses for the printing of the book, and sincerely hopes that in this he will receive the whole-hearted collaboration and encouragement of the National Spiritual Assembly. He wishes you to urge the National Assembly to return the manuscript as quickly as they can to Amiru’l Islam so as to expedite its publication.

The Guardian was also gratified to learn of the important Bahá’í publications which you have translated into Burmese. He advises you to keep these manuscripts, or, in case you wish, to send them to the National Spiritual Assembly for publication in the future.

As regards your account of the history of the Cause in India and Burma, he hopes that the National Spiritual Assembly will soon find a way for forwarding your manuscript to the Tihran Assembly. He feels that, in view of the fact that the entry of Bahá’í literature is banned in Persia, it would be safer to send the manuscript through the care of a reliable person, preferably a believer.

In connection with your chairmanship in the National Spiritual Assembly, Shoghi Effendi has no objection if you, for reason of health or for any other important consideration, feel it essential to present your resignation as chairman of the Assembly. He would request you, however, to retain your membership in that body at any cost, even though you may feel unable to attend the sessions of the Assembly. Your membership in the National Spiritual Assembly he considers as a unifying force which is of essential importance to its effective working and progress.

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With his renewed greetings and thanks and with his prayers for you, and for dear Mr. Amiru’l Islam.

Dearly beloved co-worker:

Your letter profoundly touched me. I grieve to learn of your increasing infirmities, and my heart is filled with inexpressible gratitude as I recall the long and distinguished record of service which will for ever remain associated with your dear self and name. I am asking the ‘National Assembly to relieve you of the Chairmanship of their Assembly and am sending a message of love and gratitude to dear Amiru’l Islam for his remarkable work and his generous offer. Rest assured that my thoughts and prayers are often with you and your dear wife and at the Holy Shrines I constantly remember you and pray for you. You belong to the heroic age of our Beloved Faith—an age to which you have so richly contributed. Rest assured and be happy.

Shoghi


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1935

[To Ahmad Safdar, Pakistan]

January 2, 1935

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has just been in receipt of a letter from Siyyid Mustafa Romie of Mandalay, informing him of the gratifying news of your conversion to the Bahá’í Faith, and of your eager desire to help in spreading its teachings in your centre.

He is, indeed, much pleased to learn that you are burning with the desire to teach the Cause in Chittagong and views with deep interest the activities in which you are now engaged for the attainment of this purpose. He advises you to work in close co-operation with dear Amiru’l-Islam, so that through united and combined effort you may be able to effectively spread the Teachings, and thus pave the way for the establishment of an Assembly in Chittagong.

Shoghi Effendi is ardently supplicating on your behalf at the Holy Shrines and is entreating Bahá’u’lláh to guide your steps, cheer your heart, and bless and continually enrich your endeavours for the Spread and establishment of His Faith in your centre.

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The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma.

January 20, 1935

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian has directed me to forward to your Assembly the enclosed translation of a letter he has recently received from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia regarding the grave situation that has arisen there, and the severe restrictions that have been imposed by the Persian government upon the community of believers in that land.

The persecutions from which the Persian friends are now suffering represent, indeed, the culmination in the long and nation-wide campaign which the authorities in that country have during the last two years launched against the Faith. In many of its aspects this campaign is reminiscent of the persecutions suffered by the early Bábís, with this difference, however, that the prime-movers and responsible authors of such acts are not primarily the members of the Shí’ah clergy, whose influence has greatly declined, but the members of the Sháh’s government. A group of unscrupulous and astute politicians, who are the determined enemies of the Faith in Persia, and are afraid of its growing influence, have succeeded at last in alienating the Shah and in arousing his suspicion. They have deliberately misrepresented all the facts to him, with the result that he has now lost absolute confidence in the friends, with the exception of those few who, due to their eminent services to the person of the Sháh, still enjoy in some measure his confidence.

The first incident which led to this outburst of fierce antagonism on the part of the government was in connection with the Tarbiat Schools in ?ihrán. The school authorities having, after due consultation with the National Spiritual Assembly and in strict conformity with the principle governing the observance of Bahá’í holidays, decided to close the schools on the occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of the Bib’s martyrdom, the authorities in the capital Immediately issued orders that the schools be permanently closed, and that also no public meetings of any kind be held by the believers. This has been done in spite of the fact that other religious communities, such as the Muslims and the Zoroastrians, are allowed to celebrate their own feasts, and as such enjoy full religious freedom. Similar orders were issued to the believers in all other parts of Persia,

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with the result that today the friends find their activities in Persia completely paralyzed. Their schools have all been definitely closed, their meetings suspended, their correspondence intercepted, and their assemblies and committees for the most part dissolved.

The situation, as it stands at present, is highly disconcerting. The friends, however, faithful to the injunctions of the Master regarding obedience to government in all administrative matters as distinguished from those affecting their conscience and loyalty to the Cause strictly adhere to the laws and orders of the government. Their sole hope is the assurance that in due time all these restrictions are bound to disappear…

In the meantime, the Guardian would urge all the friends to patiently and prayerfully wait until these sad happenings take their due course. For the history of the Cause, particularly in Persia, is a clear illustration of the truth that such persecutions invariably serve to strengthen the believers in their faith, by stimulating the spiritual powers latent in their hearts, and by awakening in them a new and deeper consciousness of their duties and responsibilities towards the Faith. Indeed, the mere progress of the Cause, by provoking the hatreds and jealousies of peoples and nations, creates for itself such difficulties and obstacles as only its divine spirit can overcome. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has emphatically stated that the enmity and opposition of the world will increase in direct proportion to the extension and progress of the Faith. The greater the zeal of the believers and the more striking the effect of their achievements, the fiercer will be the opposition of the enemy.

Many are the passages in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh wherein He foreshadows the persecutions awaiting His Faith. But side by side with such emphatic predictions is the assurance that out of these sufferings and trials His Cause will emerge triumphant and purified. May we not, therefore, gather strength from such an assurance, and with hearts tilled with confident and joyous hope arise to fulfil our part in the establishment of His Cause?

June 27, 1935

Dear Siyyid Mu??afá,

On behalf of the Guardian I wish to thank you most heartily for your welcome letter of the first instant with enclosures, all of which

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he has read with genuine interest and deepest appreciation.

The news of the success of the first all-Burma Bahá’í Convention held on April last in “ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Village” at Daidanaw has particularly rejoiced his heart, and imparted added strength and stimulus to his hopes concerning the future of the Cause in Burma. It is, indeed, quite splendid and fully indicative of the mysterious and all compelling power of the Faith that in the face of all the malignant opposition of the Muslim divines the friends in Burma should have succeeded in holding such an important and truly historic gathering. He hopes that now that the first step in that direction has been definitely taken it ´ill be easier for the believers to organize such conferences in the future, specially with the help and cooperation of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, which has contributed so much towards the success of this year’s Convention.

From the enclosed report prepared by your Secretary the Guardian has learned with deep appreciation of the emphasis laid by the friends at the Convention of the importance of organizing the Bahá’í school at Daidanaw. He trusts that the friends both in India and Burma will whole-heartedly respond to the Educational Committee’s appeal for raising the necessary funds for that purpose. He particularly values the financial assistance extended in this connection by the National Spiritual Assembly, and is confident that its example will be followed by the rest of the believers.

As to the name of the school, the Guardian would advise that this institution should be dedicated entirely to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s name, as it was during his days that the village was first established. The new section that you are planning to open very soon for the teaching of English, Arabic and Urdu will, no doubt, be of an invaluable addition to the school’s already rich record of service. The Guardian is specially praying on behalf of the new teacher of English that has been appointed to take charge of the new school by the name of Mohammad Iqbal Khan. He wishes him full success in this highly responsible task he has been appointed to perform.

With the assurance of his prayers on your behalf, and with his greetings to you and to all the friends in Mandalay and throughout Burma.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I am delighted with your recent achievements. At your advanced age you have truly performed a work which the Concourse on High will

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extol and magnify. I am enclosing the sum of £30 as my contribution for the school recently established. The friends in Burma have proved themselves worthy of the great love and blessings our departed Master has lavished upon them. I mil continue to pray for them from the depths of my grateful heart. To you, in particular, I feel greatly indebted. Kindly extend to all the friends in that far-away country my love, my congratulations and abiding gratitude for their magnificent efforts.

Shoghi

July 8, 1935

Dear Mr. Butt,

I am directed by the Guardian to inform you of the receipt of your letter dated June 13th written on behalf of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, and to convey to you his deepest thanks and appreciation for it.

He wishes me, in particular, to offer you his hearty congratulations for having been elected as Secretary of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly—a function which he hopes you will adequately discharge, and for which, he feels confident, you will be amply rewarded. It is, indeed, a grave and weighty responsibility that has been placed upon your shoulders. But with the assistance of Bahá’u’lláh you will, no doubt, succeed in discharging it satisfactorily. You should be confident, and also strive to do your best. In this way you can be certain of the success of your labours.

In the meantime the Guardian will specially supplicate for your guidance and assistance, and will ask Bahá’u’lláh to give you both the vision and the inspiration to promote and safeguard the interests of His Faith throughout India and Burma. With regard to the teaching outline you had enclosed, Shoghi Effendi has read it with interest and appreciation and wishes me to assure you of his whole-hearted approval. The method you have adopted for the training of Bahá’í teachers is, indeed, very similar to the one used by the American friends. It is very thorough, yet clear and highly effective. The Guardian trusts that the believers in India and Burma will make full use of your Assembly’s suggestions and directions, and in this way help in inaugurating a new and effective teaching campaign throughout India and Burma.

Assuring you again of the Guardian’s deepfelt appreciation of

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your labours, and with his cordial greetings and sincere good wishes to you and to your fellow members in the National Spiritual Assembly, as well as to all the friends in your centre.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I am deeply touched and feel truly grateful for the noble sentiments you have expressed in your letter, and welcome your appointment as national secretary to the representatives of the believers of India and. Burma. The splendid and encouraging report of your annual Convention I have read with care, admiration and gratitude. The utmost effort should he increasingly exerted in order to ensure the full arid uninterrupted execution of the decisions and resolutions arrived at by the national and elected representatives of the believers. I shall, from the depths of my heart, pray for their success. Persevere and never relax in your high and admirable endeavours. Your true and grateful brother.

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

August 12, 1935

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian wishes me to thank you for your letter dated July 18th written on behalf of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, and also for the enclosed papers and documents, all of which he has carefully read and considered.

He has been particularly pleased and encouraged to receive the copy of the Certificate of Registration of the Karachi Bahá’í Assembly, and is eagerly awaiting for the registration papers of the Delhi and Rangoon Spiritual Assemblies. He hopes that the National Spiritual Assembly will expedite the matter of legalizing all the Local Assemblies of India and Burma and la this way ensure the stability of the administrative institutions of the Cause in these two countries.

With regard to…petition to the National Spiritual Assembly…Shoghi Effendi wishes to urge once more your Assembly to give careful and sympathetic consideration to this case… The situation must be carefully studied, and all its aspects thoroughly investigated and a decision should be reached and fearlessly and immediately carried out. Too much delay does not only harm the interests of the petitioner

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but will, in addition, have the effect of distracting from the authority and prestige of your Assembly…

October 8, 1935

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian has directed me to thank you for your letter of the 13th of May last, and for the one dated September 23rd just received, both of which he has greatly enjoyed and appreciated reading.

He has been specially gratified to learn of the success of the last meeting of your National Spiritual Assembly, and of the important action that has been taken in connection with…case. He is confident that the satisfactory settlement of this difficult issue, and the complete and immediate enforcement of the decisions reached by your Assembly in this matter, will serve to consolidate the foundations of your National Spiritual Assembly, and to greatly enhance its prestige in the eyes of the believers and of the general non-Bahá’í public as well.

He is eagerly awaiting to read the National Secretary’s report regarding this issue, and concerning various other matters that have been considered by the National Spiritual Assembly in its last session. He is very pleased to learn that all the members have attended the meetings, with the exception of dear Mr. Hishmatu’llah who, he hopes, has by now fully recovered from his illness. Please convey to him his best wishes, and the assurance of his loving appreciation of his valuable work for the Cause in India.

May I also assure you of Shoghi Effendi’s continued prayers for your health, and for each and every member of your dear family.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I am so glad to learn of the action which the National Assembly has taken regarding the case of…and I trust that the matter will be definitely and satisfactorily settled and in a manner that would reinforce the prestige and authority of your Assembly. I will pray for the expansion and consolidation of the activities of its members and rejoice to learn that the improved state of your precious health will enable you to enrich and extend the scope of their labours. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

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[To N. R. Vakil]

October 14, 1935

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

I am charged by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated September 30th, and of the enclosed copy of the award given by the Indian National Spiritual Assembly in the matter of…and to thank you for them both.

He is, indeed, pleased to witness the careful consideration which this case has received from your National Spiritual Assembly, and feels specially gratified at the readiness with which the parties concerned have promised to abide by, and fully execute its decisions and Orders.

The settlement of this complicated and rather thorny issue constitutes a real triumph for your Assembly, for which it deserves to be fully and heartily congratulated. Shoghi Effendi trusts that this victory, by consolidating the foundations and heightening the prestige of the National Spiritual Assembly, will serve to pave the way for the wider and firmer establishment of the Administration throughout India and Burma.

With his renewed and most loving greetings to you and to your fellow members in the National Spiritual Assembly, and with the assurance of his continued prayers for the success and progress of your labours for the Cause.

Dear and valued co-worker,

I am deeply appreciative of the response and action of your Assembly and I trust that its members, ever watchful and solicitous for whatever safeguards and promotes the interests of the Faith, will never allow any future developments to react unfavourably upon the satisfactory settlement of the case. In this, as well as in all other cases that must inevitably arise in future, your Assembly I feel confident, will refuse to evade any of its responsibilities and will with courage, impartiality and firmness deliver its verdict and execute its decisions. Your true and. grateful brother,

Shoghi

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October 17, 1935

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian is in receipt of your letter of the 27th of September…

He is pleased to learn of the possibility of establishing an Assembly in Lahore m the near future. He would urge you, and through you your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly, to make a special effort to bring about such a formation as soon as conditions are found to be favourable. He hopes that the establishment of a Local Assembly in so important and central a town in India, will greatly help the expansion of the Faith, and will consolidate the foundations of its institutions throughout that country. He is fervently praying to Bahá’u’lláh that He may assist and crown with success your labours for the attainment of this objective.

Assuring you also of his supplications on your behalf, and on behalf of all the members of your family.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I deeply appreciate your constant and unfailing assistance to the International Fund as well as your generous and steady support of the national institutions of the Faith in your own country. May the Almighty, Whose Cause you strive to promote with such diligence, steadfastness and zeal, reward you a thousandfold for your self-sacrificing endeavours. May He assist you to fulfil your dearest hopes in His service. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

November 3, 1935

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to convey to you his thanks and appreciation for your message of the 21st of October last. He is, indeed, gratified to learn that the friends in Bombay have strictly observed the birthday of the Báb as a holiday, that they had closed their shops, and that, in full obedience to the explicit directions of the

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Master, they had refrained from every work. This fresh evidence of the zeal, unity and fervour with which the Bombay believers are working for the consolidation of the institutions of the Faith in their country is very encouraging and gratifying to him. He trusts that this same spirit of loyalty and attachment to the Cause will continue developing in their midst, enabling them thereby to further strengthen its foundations in their centre.

In closing please convey the Guardian’s loving greetings and his grateful thanks to all those friends who have specially contributed in making this Feast a happy and successful occasion for presenting the Cause to the general public, through both the press and the holding of public meetings.

May Bahá’u’lláh ever continue to strengthen and sustain you all by His grace.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I am truly grateful to you for your constant services to our beloved Faith. The improvement in your health will, I am sure, enable you to redouble your efforts in both the teaching and administrative fields of Bahá'í activity. I am fervently praying that such efforts as you will exert in the days to come will be crowned with the fullest success. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

November 15, 1935

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of October 28th with enclosure have been received and read with much appreciation by the Guardian. He wishes me to congratulate you, and through you your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly, for the steps you have taken for the registration of the Delhi, Calcutta, Rangoon and other Local Assemblies. He hopes that by the end of the year six out of the eight Assemblies will be duly registered. Needless to say that the obtention of such an official recognition from the authorities is an historic step in the development of the Administrative Order of the Faith throughout India and Burma, and one which shall greatly enhance its prestige, and

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consolidate its position in the eyes of the public. May Bahá’u’lláh continue to guide and assist your efforts for the fulfilment of this task.

The Guardian is also very much gratified to learn that the National Spiritual Assembly is considering the possibility of establishing a Local Assembly in Lucknow. He trusts that in Jaunpur too an Assembly will be formed very soon, and that through these two valuable additions to the list of local Bahá’í Assemblies, the administrative work of the Cause in India will make further and steady advancement.

In connection with the Teaching School which the National Spiritual Assembly is planning to start, the Guardian wishes me to express his approval, as well as his appreciation of this important action taken by your Assembly for the extension of their teaching work. He is also very pleased at the news of the teaching tour undertaken by Prof. Pritam Singh throughout Northern India and Bengal. He is praying for the success of this trip, and cherishes the hope that it may serve to bring into the Cause people of capacity and of true spiritual vision.

Regarding the use of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s photographs; Shoghi Effendi sees no objection to their circulation. He would, however, suggest that the Paris photograph be used, as well as the American reproduction of it, printed on yellow paper with a quotation from the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd at the bottom.

As to the copy of procedure for the conduct of Bahá’í Assemblies in India which the Master sent you some nineteen years ago; this was supposed to be a temporary procedure, and should now, therefore, be given up, and the American one used in its stead.

With warmest greetings from the Guardian to you and to your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dear and valued co-worker:

My heart swells with pride and gratitude as I witness, in rapid succession and with ever-increasing clearness, the evidences of the splendid initiative, the unwavering determination and solidarity which have characterized your accomplishments in recent months. The National Assembly of India and Burma may be said to have resuscitated our Cause and its institutions throughout the length and breadth of that land. A mighty power whose source is centred in Bahá’u’lláh Himself is copiously/lowing through and permeating the various organs of the Administrative Order of His Faith in both India and Burma. You and

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your collaborators stand on the threshold of unparalleled achievements. I cannot but congratulate you on the start you, have made and on your choice of the path, which, after so many trials and vicissitudes, you are so confidently treading. Persevere, and be happy and thankful to Bahá’u’lláh. Your true brother,

Shoghi

November 15, 1935

Dear Siyyid Mu??afá,

On behalf of the Guardian I wish to thank you for your letter of October 19th with enclosure, and to renew his appreciation of your self-sacrificing and sustained efforts for the consolidation of the Faith throughout Burma. He specially values the continued care and attention with which you are assisting in the development of the Bahá’í school at Daidanaw. He has read with much interest the report of the school’s progress which you had submitted to him under separate cover, and feels rejoiced at the realization of the active support which some of the Indian believers, and particularly the Poona Assembly, are extending to that institution. It is his hope that through the generous contributions and help of all individuals and assemblies in India and Burma the school’s fund will steadily increase, and will thus enable you to carry out in their entirety, your plans for the wider penetration of the message in Kunjangoon and its surroundings.

The Guardian wishes me also to convey to you his thanks and appreciation for your painstaking efforts in connection with the preparation of two manuscripts on the Cause in Urdu. He trusts that the National Spiritual Assembly will soon find the means for their publication.

With his renewed and cordial greetings to you and to all the friends in your centre.

May the Almighty, whose Cause you promote and safeguard with such tender solicitude, such firm constancy and magnificent devotion, reward you and your dear collaborators in Burma, and fulfil all your wishes in the service of His invincible Faith. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

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November 22, 1935

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian is in receipt of your detailed and welcome letter of the fourteenth instant, and feels truly delighted at the news of the splendid meetings that were held in Bombay in honour of the anniversary of the birthday of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh. This fresh evidence of the loyalty and devotion with which the Bombay friends are upholding the institutions of the Faith is highly gratifying and encouraging to him, indeed.

But he cannot but deplore the fact that some of the believers are reluctant to observe, as strictly as they should, the Feasts and anniversaries prescribed by the Cause. This attitude, which may be justified in certain exceptional circumstances, is fraught with incalculable dangers and harm to the community, and will, if allowed to persist, seriously endanger its influence and prestige in the public eye. Unity of action, in matters of so vital an importance as the observance of Bahá’í holidays, is essential. It is the responsibility of the National Spiritual Assembly to remind and urge the friends to faithfully carry out all such laws and precepts of the Cause, the enforcement of which does not constitute an open violation of the laws of their country.

Regarding the All Faiths Conference which the Theosophists are planning to hold in Madras on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Guardian fully approves of your National Spiritual Assembly’s cordial response to the invitation extended to it by Mr. Kumar for representation in that conference. He fully endorses your choice of Bahá’í representatives, as he feels confident that Dr. and Mrs. Fozdar are well qualified to represent the Cause in such an important gathering. He is ardently supplicating Bahá’u’lláh for their confirmation and guidance.

He is also praying for the success of Prof. Pritam Singh’s teaching tour throughout Northern India. May he also be assisted in his valuable labours for the spread of the Message, and may his example awaken in all the believers a deeper consciousness of their obligation for teaching the Cause.

With renewed and cordial greetings to you and family.

Dear and. prized co-worker:

The striking evidences of renewed Bahá’í activity throughout India

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and Burma, the recent manifestations of loyalty, solidarity and self-sacrifice on the part of individuals, groups and Assemblies in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í service, rejoice my heart and revive and enliven my hopes for the future of that land. 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 surmounted 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.

Shoghi


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1936

January 3, 1936

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Very many thanks from the Guardian for your letters dated November 25th and December 13th.

He feels greatly rejoiced at the important steps you have taken for giving the Cause a wide and effective publicity throughout India. He has read with much interest the newspaper clipping which you had enclosed, and sincerely hopes that your masterly sketch of (he history and teachings of the Cause will serve to attract leading personalities among the Indian public to the Faith.

Regarding the publication of the Hindi, Sindhi and Bengali translations of “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, the Guardian very much appreciates your National Spiritual Assembly’s response to his call for speeding up the printing of these works which, he hopes, will, when widely circulated throughout the country open a new era of unprecedented teaching activity, not only in India and Burma, but also in Ceylon and other neighbouring countries.

Wishing you continued success in your labours m this connection, and with heartiest greetings to you and family, and to all the friends.

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Dear and valued co-worker,

Your last letter dated December 30 has just reached me, and I am delighted with the news it contains. I am so glad to learn of the active part you are having in the work which has been inaugurated by the believers, and I will pray that Bahá’u’lláh may grant you all the strength, the wisdom, and the power you need for the effective and uninterrupted prosecution of your historic and glorious task. Affectionately,

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

March 10, 1936

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

Your communication dated March 2nd with the enclosed Annual Report issued by the Indian National Spiritual Assembly have been duly received and read with deepest interest by the Guardian.

He feels really proud of you and of your distinguished and able co-workers in the National Assembly for the unity, efficiency and zeal with which you are labouring for the consolidation of the Administration throughout India and Burma. He is convinced that your sustained and collective efforts in this connection will soon result in ushering in a new era in the history of the Cause in that country.

As regards the Annual Report, the Guardian fully approves of its publication in your “News Letter”, with the exception of the paragraph no. 11 on page seven, regarding correspondence with him. He feels that your statement on this matter is too strongly worded. The National Spiritual Assembly should, indeed, advise the believers to lessen their correspondence with the Guardian. But under no circumstances it can prevent them from writing to him. For this is a sacred right and a supreme privilege which every believer can rightly claim to possess, as through it alone he can get in direct touch with his Guardian. If individuals feel, after the advice of the National Spiritual Assembly to lessen correspondence, an inner urge to write to the Guardian they should not be prevented or discouraged.

Shoghi Effendi is delighted to learn that the Sindhi and the Bengali translations of the “New Era” have been already sent to the press. He hopes that the Hindi version will also be completed very soon. He

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is also very pleased that the National Spiritual Assembly is taking the necessary steps for presenting to the authorities the pamphlet regarding various laws and ordinances of the Cause on matters of personal Status. He sincerely hopes that the bill you are planning to submit to the government will be approved. He is eagerly awaiting to read the text himself.

The photostatic reproductions of the Certificates of Incorporation of the Calcutta, Rangoon and Mandalay Spiritual Assemblies have been duly received and will be incorporated in the manuscript of volume six of the “Bahá’í World”…

The Guardian is grieved to learn of the sad situation facing Mr… He would advise him, however, not to attach any importance to the calumnies directed against him by the enemies of the Cause, and to put his reliance entirely on God.

According to Bahá’u’lláh the soul retains its individuality and consciousness after death, and is able to commune with other souls, This communion, however, is purely spiritual in character, and is conditioned upon the disinterested and selfless love of the individuals for each other.

In closing may I convey to you Shoghi Effendi’s deepfelt appreciation of the sentiments you have conveyed to him in your letter, and to assure you that the remarkable services you are now rendering the Faith in India are, in God’s sight, equal to, and as meritorious as the glories of martyrdom which the early believers had so remarkably won for themselves. With his best wishes to you and to all the friends.

Dear and valued co-worker:

The evidences of the rise, the consolidation, and expansion of the Administrative Order of our beloved Faith in India and Burma are highly significant and most encouraging. The incorporation of severed. Local Assemblies is of historic importance. Reproduction of all the Certificates of Incorporation will adorn the pages of the forthcoming “Biennial”. Now that the basis, of Bahá’í institutions has been firmly laid, an unprecedented effort in the field of teaching is urgently required. Such an effort is of vital and paramount importance. May the Almighty sustain., inspire and guide you in this meritorious endeavour.

Shoghi

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[To The Bahá’í Youth of Karachi]

April 5, 1936

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your welcome and beautifully worded message of greetings and love has duly reached the Guardian and its perusal has immensely rejoiced his heart. He is very pleased indeed to learn of the success of the conference which you have recently held to celebrate the Feast of Naw Rúz, and he hopes that the outcome of your deliberations will be to stir up a new consciousness in the heart of all the attendants and to Stimulate them to a firm determination to work for the spread and consolidation of the Faith throughout India.

The responsibilities which you, and the Bahá’í youth the world ever are called upon to shoulder are surely tremendous, but are commensurate with the potentialities, both spiritual and material, with which every devoted follower of the Faith has been endowed by Bahá’u’lláh. His unfailing guidance and merciful grace will surely be with you, provided you conscientiously strive to play your part in the realization of His Divine Plan.

May His confirmations ever bless and keep you steadfast in the service of His Cause, and make you potent and effective instruments for the propagation of this message.

May the Beloved Whose Cause you serve with such ardour, diligence and devotion, reward you for your labours, sustain you in your efforts, guide you in the path of service, and enable you to establish a firm foundation on which the institutions of His ever-expanding Faith can rest and flourish- Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

May 1, 1936

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of the Guardian I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of April 12th with the enclosed newspaper clippings regarding Mrs. Shirin Fozdar’s teaching activities. He is truly rejoiced to learn of

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the remarkable success that has attended her efforts for the spread of the Message, and sincerely hopes that as a result some people of capacity will be led to embrace the Cause. Will you convey to her his deepest thanks and heartfelt appreciation for the precious services she is rendering the Faith in India. He is fervently praying at the Holy Shrines for her further confirmation and guidance.

The Guardian wishes me also to assure you of his prayers on behalf of all the members of your National Spiritual Assembly, specially Mr. N. R. Vakil and Miss Hla Hla who, he hopes, are now feeling stronger and more fit to carry on their activities for the Cause. With sincere good wishes and heartiest Ri?ván greetings.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I trust your activities are steadily expanding. I cherish bright hopes for them, and will continue to pray for you and for your collaborators from the depths of my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

To the Indian National Spiritual Assembly

May 31, 1936

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of May 25th written on behalf of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, and to assure you that he has read it, together with its enclosures, with sustained interest and profoundest appreciation.

The photostatic reproduction of the Certificate of Incorporation of the Delhi Spiritual Assembly has also reached him, and he has duly sent it to the United States for reproduction in the forthcoming issue of the “Bahá’í World”. He hopes to receive soon the Certificate of Incorporation of the Daidanaw Spiritual Assembly which he wishes to publish also in the next volume of the “Biennial”.

The Guardian has read with deepest satisfaction the enclosed report of this year’s Convention of the believers in India and Burma. His hope is that the success that has attended the deliberations and discussions of the friends at that national gathering will impart a fresh

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stimulus to each and every one of them to toil more actively for the spread of the Cause.

Regarding teaching; the Guardian immensely appreciates the splendid work accomplished by Mrs. Shirin Fozdar, and Messrs. Hishmat’u’llah and Ilmi, and wishes you to urge them to continue exerting themselves until some substantial results are achieved. He would also appeal to all the friends to lend full and continued support to the cause of teaching throughout India. He would suggest that those believers who have the means and the necessary physical requirements to settle in those localities where the light of the Cause has not yet penetrated, with the view of establishing a new group. This, he feels, is a very effective way of spreading the Cause in a vast and exceptionally varied country like India.

Regarding voting; it is not only the right but the sacred obligation of every member of any Bahá’í administrative body, whether permanent, or temporary like the Convention, to fully and freely exercise this function. Abstention from voting is, as a rule, not advisable, as it implies a shirking of responsibility which every loyal and conscientious believer should consider it a privilege to shoulder.

P.S. Regarding the properties of the Local Assemblies; the Guardian feels that as these Assemblies have been incorporated, steps should be taken to transfer these properties to their names. Properties of national importance and significance should be transferred to the National Spiritual Assembly. This body should decide which properties should be regarded as local and which should be recognized as national properties.

Dearly valued co-workers:

The work thus far achieved, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í service, is highly reassuring and truly meritorious in the sight of God. It is hut a beginning however. Much remains to be achieved. A systematic effort, aiming at the settlement of individual followers in those states and provinces of India where the banner of the Faith has not yet been hoisted, must be deliberately exerted and vigorously sustained. Southern India, particularly the Island of Ceylon and the outlying centres on the fringe of the Indian Empire as well as within its very heart should be won over, through your strenuous, constant and devoted labours, to the ever-advancing Cause of

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Bahá’u’lláh. To extend the outposts of our far-flung Faith should be your immediate objective. Persevere and be confident.

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

June 27, 1936

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Let me thank you for your very kind letter of May 31st, and specially for sending the Guardian a copy of the “Illustrated Weekly” of India. He deeply appreciates the efforts exerted by the Bombay Assembly and Dr. and Mrs. Shirin Fozdar to awaken the interest of the Editor in the Cause. These contacts are surely of immense help to the Spread of the Teachings, and the friends should therefore cultivate them as much as they can.

Regarding the Guardian’s general letter of March 11th; I have duly brought to his attention the reason you have given for the delay caused in informing him of the receipt of that letter. Please do not feel much concerned about this matter, and remain assured of the Guardian’s abiding appreciation of your untiring efforts in the service of our beloved Cause.

With his renewed thanks and most loving greetings.

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

July 10, 1936

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has been lately Informed of the fact that your National Spiritual Assembly is intending to discontinue your contributions to the School of ‘Abdu’1-Bahá at Daidanaw-Kalazoo, Burma.

Much as he realizes the heavy and ever-increasing expenses which your Assembly is incurring, particularly in these hard times, he feels nevertheless the urge to impress upon you the vital necessity for the Indian and Burmese believers to help in maintaining this Bahá’í school in Daidanaw which, in addition to the educational advantages it offers to the Bahá’ís, can be of great help in promoting the cause of teaching throughout Burma. In view of that the Guardian wishes you

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to lay this matter before the National Spiritual Assembly and to urge them to give if their careful consideration. He himself is sending, through the care of Siyyid Mustafa Roumie, thirty pounds as his contribution towards the upkeep of the school at Daidanaw.

July 16, 1936

Dear Siyyid Mu??afá,

Many thanks for your very kind letter of June 8th which I have just received, and also for the enclosed cash account of ‘Abdu’1-Bahá’s school at Daidanaw-Kalazoo, both of which I have, at your request, presented to our beloved Guardian for his information.

He is indeed sorry to learn of the financial difficulties facing that school, and he is fervently praying that you, as well as your devoted Co-workers in that institution, may be given the wisdom, energy and means you need to head for the furtherance of that institution.

He is enclosing a draft for thirty English Pounds as his contribution towards the expenses of the school. He is also impressing the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma with the necessity of maintaining their contributions to the School’s fund. He hopes that through their co-operation and through your energetic endeavours as well, the financial problem facing the Daidanaw school will be speedily and satisfactorily solved.

September 5, 1936

Dear Mr. Vakil,

It is with deepest pleasure that the Guardian has received your detailed and welcome communication of the 17th August, and he has read its contents, with profoundest interest and appreciation.

He regrets to learn that for reasons of health you have been unable to attend the National Spiritual Assembly sessions. He hopes, however, your physical condition will gradually improve and will permit you to participate more actively in the national activities of the Cause throughout India and Burma. I feel nevertheless the urge to bring to your attention his strong advice that you should under no Circumstances allow your activities for the Faith to develop to such an

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extent as to overtax your energies and injure your health which, as you know, constitutes a most valuable asset to the Cause in India.

With regard to the problems confronting the believers; these, the Guardian fully realizes, are by no means easy to solve. But the friends should be confident that the very progress of the Cause will enable them to find the necessary solution to the difficulties which appear now to so seriously puzzle their minds.

There are two main principles which the Guardian wishes the friends to always bear in mind and to conscientiously and faithfully follow. First is the principle of unqualified and whole-hearted loyalty to the revealed Word. The believers should be careful not to deviate, even a hair-breadth, from the Teachings. Their supreme consideration should be to safeguard the purity of the principles, tenets and laws of the Faith. It is only by this means that they can hope to maintain the organic unity of the Cause. There can and should be no liberals and conservatives, no moderates or extremists in the Cause. For they are all subject to the. one and the same law which is the law of God. This law transcends all differences, all personal or local tendencies, moods and aspirations.

Next is the principle of complete, and immediate obedience to the Assemblies, both local and national. It is the responsibility of these Bahá’í administrative bodies to enable the community to acquire, and increasingly deepen, in the knowledge and understanding of the Cause. Doctrinal unity and administrative unity, these are the two chief pillars that sustain the edifice of the Cause, and protect it from the storms of opposition which so severely rage against it.

With warmest greetings from the Guardian to you and all your dear family.

Dearest co-worker:

I continually pray that your precious health may so improve as to enable you to resume your leading and decisive part in the direction and promotion of the Cause. I feel proud of your past achievements, and hopeful and confident in your accomplishments in the days to come. Rest assured and persevere in your unique work.

Shoghi

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September 16, 1936

Dear Siyyid Mu??afá,

Our beloved Guardian wishes me to thank you for your very kind letter of August 27th, the contents of which he has deeply enjoyed reading. He is truly gratified to learn that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s School at Daidanaw is progressing satisfactorily, and that his small contribution to the school’s fund has been of some help to the friends in meeting the expenses incurred in connection with the maintenance of the English Section. His hope is that through the united cooperation of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly that institution will steadily grow and expand, and will attract the attention of all the non-Bahá’í neighbours in Daidanaw and its surroundings. The school should be maintained at any cost, and specially the new English Section which, if run properly, can be of immense teaching value to the Cause. No sacrifice is too great for this vital and highly-meritorious task.

The question of the School registration is obviously a very important one, and every effort should be exerted to have this step taken without the least possible delay.

Wishing you continued success and guidance in your efforts in this connection, and with heartfelt greetings and renewed thanks from the Guardian.

My well-beloved co-worker:

I rejoice to learn of your determination to prosecute, in collaboration with your devoted co-workers, the historic work which you have so gloriously initiated, extended and consolidated in the course of your magnificent career in the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. Future generations will glorify and extol your services rendered with such devotion, zeal and love. I feel extremely grateful to you, and am proud of your record of service. Affectionately,

Shoghi

September 25, 1936

Dear Mr. Abbas Ali Butt,

I am addressing you these few lines on behalf of our beloved Guardian to ask you to kindly inform your fellow-members in the

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Indian National Spiritual Assembly of the happy news of the projected visit of dear Mr. Siegfried Schopflocher to India, and to request you to take any step that your Assembly deems advisable in order to make his journey as fruitful and abundant in its results as possible.

Mr. Siegfried Schopflocher is not in need of any introduction, as his long and manifold services to the Cause in America, and particularly his generous and unfailing support of the local, national as well as international Bahá’í funds, have endeared him to all the friends, whether in the East or in the West.

For many years he has been a. member of the American National Spiritual Assembly, and he contributed no small part in the steady development and consolidation of the Administration ever since the early days of its establishment in the States. He is indeed an outstanding champion of the Administration not only in America but also in the West, and has proved in deeds his profound attachment and loyalty to all its principles, laws and institutions.

His name will be ever associated with the beloved Temple in Wilmette. Had it not been for the continued and whole-hearted support, both financial and moral, which he so generously extended to it, that Edifice could have never been reared so steadily and efficiently. The friends will always remember with deep gratitude the eminent services he has rendered the Faith in this connection.

In view of these labours so devotedly accomplished, the Guardian wishes your Assembly to urge the friends to draw full benefit from Mr. Schopflocher’s visit to India. He is confident that you will extend to him a most hearty welcome, and will, through association with him, draw fresh strength and inspiration in your arduous labours for the Cause.

September 30, 1936

Dear Siyyid Mustafa,

Your welcome letter of September 12th enclosing receipt for the contribution offered by our beloved Guardian to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s School at Daidanaw-Kalazoo has been duly received and read with appreciation.

He wishes me to thank you for the sentiments you have expressed and assure you once more of his prayers for your protection and guidance, and for the success of the efforts you are so

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devotedly exerting for the furtherance of the interests of the Bahá’í school at Daidanaw. May the Almighty bless and sustain you in your devoted labours.

Wishing you still greater success in your historic task and the exemplary efforts which you are so zealously and faithfully exerting for the consolidation of our glorious and invincible Faith. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

October 22, 1936

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Our beloved Guardian has read with intense interest and deepest satisfaction your most welcome letter of the fifth October conveying to him the joyful news of the teaching travels undertaken by Prof. Pritam Singh and Dr. G. Y. Chitnis throughout India. He wishes you to congratulate most warmly on his behalf these two distinguished friends upon their determination to carry the Message to those numerous and varied sections of the Indian population who have not received as yet the blessings which the knowledge of the Cause confers. He is deeply grateful to them, and to those who have, whether directly or indirectly, assisted them in the pursuit of this truly noble aim.

The Guardian wishes also to express his heartfelt thanks to the Indian National Spiritual Assembly for its splendid efforts for the extension of the teaching work throughout India. The evidences of its warm and effective response to his earnest appeal for the inauguration of a new systematized and nation-wide teaching campaign in that country are indeed such as to give him fresh hopes concerning the future expansion and consolidation of the Faith not only in India and Burma but in the neighbouring regions where the light of the Teachings has not yet penetrated. It is his sincere hope that the National Assembly will, faithful to its pledge, continue exerting its utmost for the furtherance of the cause of teaching in India, and particularly in Southern India and Ceylon where there are almost no centres at present. Nothing short of the unity, self-sacrifice and intelligent and

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systematized planning which the local and national Assemblies and also the individual believers may show forth throughout the coming years can enable them to attain this vital teaching goal.

With renewed thanks and appreciation from the Guardian to you and family, and to your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dearest co-worker:

I hasten to assure you in person of my personal and intense satisfaction and of my special and fervent prayers for these two stalwart pioneers who have arisen to accomplish so noble a task in such difficult circumstances. The hosts of the Abhá Kingdom will assuredly guide and sustain them, and will, if they persevere, crown their high endeavours with success. May their example be followed by an increasingly large number of their fellow-workers. Your true brother,

Shoghi

October 28, 1936

Dear Mr. Butt,

I have to apologize for being so late in acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 27th September. The delay has been unavoidable, owing to heavy correspondence received during last month.

The Certificate of Incorporation of Daidanaw Spiritual Assembly and the accompanying letter have both reached safely, and received with appreciation by our beloved Guardian. On his behalf I wish to thank you, and through you the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, for your kindness in forwarding to him this important document, the publication of which will be of deep interest and value to the friends.

November 7, 1936

[To Mr. A.A. Butt]

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of the Guardian I thank you most sincerely for your letter of the 12th October with the enclosed minutes of the National

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Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma which he has been pleased to read and consider…

Now, that the teaching work is making a steady headway, the friends should be on their guard lest they lose the opportunity they have of spreading the Message in every corner throughout India and Burma.

In this connection, he feels, he must congratulate most warmly the members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the valuable steps they have taken for the introduction of the Cause in central and southern India. He wishes you also to convey his special thanks to Mr. Ilmi, Prof. Pritam Singh, Mrs. Fozdar and Dr. Chitnis, for their splendid cooperation in carrying out the teaching program adopted by the National Spiritual Assembly. He wishes you all the fullest success in your endeavours, and is praying most ardently at the Shrines that your labours may yield lasting and abundant results.

Dear and valued co-workers:

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 Bábá’í community, the zeal, the initiative, the efficiency, the fidelity with which they are prosecuting their enterprise should be exemplified by individuals and Assemblies in India and Burma. The administrative 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.

Shoghi

November 9, 1936

Dear Siyyid Mu??afá,

Our beloved Guardian wishes me to thank you for your letter of the 31st October just received. Its contents, particularly the news of the completion of the publication of the Bengali version of “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, have greatly rejoiced his heart. On his

[Page 151]

behalf I wish to thank you, and also your able and dearly beloved collaborator Mr. Amiru’l-Islam of Chittagong, for your long and successful efforts for the publication of this volume, the circulation of which, he hopes, will further intensify the extension of the Cause throughout India and Burma. He is filled with gratitude to you both for the sacrifices you have so patiently endured for the sake of expediting the printing of the book. You should feel confident that your labours will be fully repaid as through them thousands of eager and ready souls who have been hitherto deprived of the blessing which the knowledge of the Cause confers, will he enabled to know and perhaps recognize and accept the Faith. You have left behind a historic work of immense value to the teaching work throughout India and Burma, and should therefore feel abidingly grateful to Bahá’u’lláh for having assisted you in its accomplishment.

The Guardian is fervently praying on your behalf and also on behalf of Mr. Amiru’l-Islam, that the Beloved may give you ever widening opportunities of service to the Faith. With his renewed and warmest thanks.

My well-beloved co-worker.

I have just received the copy of the Bengali version of the “New Era” beautifully bound and splendidly printed. My heart is filled with joy and gratitude. I eagerly await the fifty copies I have asked to be sent to be placed in the Mansion of Bahá’ u’lláh at Bahjí and in the various libraries established in the Holy Land. Kindly assure my dearly-beloved brother, Amiru’l-Islam, of my deep and abiding appreciation of this outstanding and unforgettable service to the Abhá Revelation. I will continue to pray for you both from the depths of my heart. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

December 7, 1936

Dear Siyyid Mu??afá,

Your letter of November 29th, has just arrived, and the news of your illness and that of Mrs. Roumie brought indescribable grief to the heart of our beloved Guardian. On his behalf I hasten to offer you both his sincere good wishes for your speedy and complete recovery,

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and wish also to assure you not to feel grieved over your inability to travel to Rangoon, in order to meet and welcome Mr. Schopflocher. Had he known of your severe indisposition he would have never asked you to undertake such a long and tiring journey, no matter how important and fruitful it may be in its results. For there is no consideration more vital at present than your own good health, and that of your dear wife. You should feel quite justified in curtailing some of your Bahá’í activities, in case you fee! that they interfere with your health, and tax unduly your physical energies and resources. Your paramount duty now is to keep yourself and your wife in as good physical condition as possible, even at the expense of some temporary suspension or retardation in your labours for the Cause.

The Guardian is, meanwhile earnestly supplicating at the Holy Shrines on your behalf and on behalf of Mrs. Roumie, that Bahá’u’lláh may continue to protect and sustain you in your services, and may completely and speedily restore your health which, as you know only too well, is a real asset to the Faith in India and Burma. He is specially entreating Him to disband and completely crush the forces which the enemies of the Faith in Mandalay and its surroundings are so bitterly arraying against you and your beloved and humble co-workers. Do persevere, therefore, with the utmost cheer and tenacity in your task, for victory is surely yours, since Bahá’u’lláh has promised it to everyone of His steadfast and loyal servants throughout the world.

Dearest co-worker:

Do not feel disturbed, for I well realize your difficulties and the obstacles that stand in your way. For your own dear and precious self, as well as for your dear wife I will specially pray at the Holy Shrines. My heart overflows with gratitude for all that you have achieved in His path. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 153]

1937

January 7, 1937

Dear Mr. Vakil,

On behalf of the Guardian I thank you sincerely for your letters of the 14th October and of January 2nd, and wish to renew his gratitude to you for your manifold and increasing accomplishments for our beloved Faith in India. He wishes me now to express in particular to you, and to your distinguished fellow-members in the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, his most loving appreciation and thanks for the cordial welcome you have extended to our dearly-beloved friend, Mr. Siegfried Schopflocher, during his visit to India and Burma. He is confident that the steps you have taken to render his trip successful will greatly help in giving the Faith a wide and long needed publicity. The opportunity that has been offered you has been truly splendid, and you certainly deserve to be heartily congratulated for having fully availed yourselves of it. May the Beloved reward you a thousandfold for your ceaseless and devoted endeavours in His Path.

Regarding your attendance at the National Spiritual Assembly meetings; the Guardian feels you are quite justified in not attending regularly all the sessions, in view of the fact that the doctors have

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repeatedly urged you nor to overtax your physical forces which must have certainly been considerably weakened after your last attack of influenza. The Guardian would even advise that you curtail most of your local activities, and to concentrate only on the most vital and urgent pan. of your work in the national sphere.

His prayers for your speedy and complete recovery are being continually offered at the Holy Shrines. Remain assured and confident.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I am continually praying for your good-health, happiness and success. I am well aware of your eagerness to serve the Cause and its interests, and I feel proud of your past achievements. My hope and prayers is that you. may be graciously assisted in the clays to come to add fresh lustre to the noble record of your past achievements. May your family reinforce your historic work and aid you effectively in your meritorious labours. Your true brother,

Shoghi

February 28, 1937

Dear Mr. Butt,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to thank you for your letters of January 25th and February 1st with the enclosed report, and newspaper cuttings regarding Mr. Schopflocher’s visit to the Bahá’í centres in India and Burma. The National Spiritual Assembly’s report is most interesting and Illuminating indeed, and it would be splendid to have it published, either wholly or in part, in your “Bahá’í Newsletter” for the benefit of the believers outside India.

With regard to the Theosophists and their activities; although they obviously try to copy and claim as their own some of the principles of the Cause, yet the Guardian feels that it would be of no advantage to oppose them and to refute their arguments. The best attitude for the friends to adopt in such cases at the present time is to totally disregard and even neglect their opponents. This has invariably been his advice to the friends, whether in the East or in the West.

Regarding the sale of tea and other refreshments in a cinema under non-Bahá’í ownership; those friends who have hired from the owner of the cinema a stall for the sale of such refreshments should

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make every effort to obtain permission to close on Bahá’í holidays. In case, however, the non-Bahá’í owner or partner refuses to grant their request their only alternative is to obey.

The case is different with a bread bakery owned by a believer. In this case there can be no excuse whatever why the shop should not be closed during Bahá’í holidays, as there are always non-Bahá’í bakers from whom the public can buy. Concerning the Local Spiritual Assembly’s right to suspend one of its members from Assembly membership; the Assembly can, by a majority vote, take such an action, even though the suspension may be for a long period.

In connection with the problem raised by the Simla Bahá’ís relative to the formation of an Assembly in their centre during next April; The Guardian prefers to leave this matter to the consideration of your National Spiritual Assembly, as it is essentially a local problem which he feels he should not decide upon.

As regards your question whether the President of the National. Spiritual Assembly is entitled to give any ruling during the period of his tenure; the Guardian wishes me to state that no such ruling can be valid unless approved by the other members of the National Assembly. The President has no special legislative capacity, except as a member of the Assembly.

Regarding the Guardian’s instructions contained in his letters to individual believers; the publication of all such Instructions is a matter which is left to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly.

As to the question of removing a believer from the voting list, although every duly constituted Local Assembly has the right to take such an action against any individual believer in the community, nevertheless, the Guardian feels the advisability for the Local Assemblies to seek the advice and approval of the National Spiritual Assembly in this most delicate and vital matter, as it is one fraught with grave and far-reaching responsibilities.

Before closing I wish to express to you, and through you to your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly, how happy the Guardian feels to learn of the strong preparations your Assembly has made for the holding of the next Annual Convention of the friends in Karachi. He is the more rejoiced that the main item of the discussions will be the problem of teaching. He is fervently praying that the program upon which the delegates and the National Spiritual Assembly will decide will mark the inauguration of an unprecedented teaching campaign throughout India and Burma.

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Dear and beloved co-workers:

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. My prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf. Rest assured and persevere. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

April 27, 1937

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 19th April with enclosures, and to ask you to convey to your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly the assurance of his deep appreciation of the message they have been moved to address to him on the occasion of his marriage. He indeed deeply values the sentiments they have expressed through you, and is fervently praying that their hopes and good wishes for the continuation of this union may be completely fulfilled.

The Guardian has read with considerable interest the teaching report of Mrs. Shirin Fozdar, and wishes you to extend to her, and also to Dr. S. H. Ali and the Rangoon Spiritual Assembly the expression of his heartfelt gratitude for the valuable and continued support they are extending to the teaching work throughout India and Burma. He cherishes the hope that their example will stimulate the young believers to arise and help in spreading the knowledge of the Cause by every means in their power. In this connection, he wishes me to assure the National Spiritual Assembly of his hearty approval of their suggestion to establish a Bahá’í Summer School in India, which step, he is certain, will lend an unprecedented impetus to the development of the teaching work. He would urge the Assembly to be elected by the delegates at the forthcoming Convention in Karachi to give this

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matter their most careful consideration, and to take the necessary steps for the furtherance of this truly vital cause.

Regarding Mr. Muhammad Ishaq’s request for instruction concerning the three daily obligatory prayers. The friends are free to choose any one of these three prayers, but have to follow the instructions revealed by Bahá’u’lláh concerning them. The long prayer should be recited once in every 24 hours, and is accompanied by certain physical acts. The short prayer, consisting of one verse, should be recited once a day at noon; while the medium prayer should be said three times a day; in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The believer is entirely free to choose any one of these three prayers for daily use.

While praying it would be better to turn one’s thoughts to the Manifestation as He continues, in the other world, to be our means of contact with the Almighty. We can, however, pray directly to God Himself.

May the Beloved, Whose Cause you serve with such diligence, I devotion, and zeal, reward you a thousandfold for your eminent services, and enable you and your distinguished fellow-workers in the National Assembly to extend the range and consolidate the foundations of your I noble accomplishments. Your true brother,

Shoghi

JUNE 25, 1937

EARNESTLY URGE EVERY LOYAL BELIEVER PARTICULARLY LOCAL ASSEMBLIES INDIA BURMA DEMONSTRATE THEIR EVER-READY EAGERNESS RALLY ROUND ELECTED BODY RATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES BY STIMULATING FLOW THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO NATIONAL FUND THE BEDROCK UPON WHICH SECURITY EXPANSION THEIR NEW-BORN INSTITUTIONS MUST ULTIMATELY REST.

SHOGHI

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July 12, 1937

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your letter of the 20th of June addressed to our beloved Guardian was most welcome indeed, and its contents have greatly refreshed his heart.

Above all he is happy to know that your health has sufficiently improved to permit you to resume your work. He wishes me, however, to urge you again not to over-tax your forces, and to attend only to the most urgent part of your task. He is continually praying that your life may be ever protected and prolonged, and be further enriched and ennobled through a series of mighty services to the Cause.

The reports of the progress of the teaching work in India and Burma are most gratifying, and all indicate the high measure of devotion and zeal which the friends are putting at the service of this most noble and sacred task. Dr. Ali of Rangoon is specially active working through the press, and has already succeeded in giving a very wide publicity to the Faith in many circles, both native and foreign. He is certainly the most promising teacher we have in Rangoon, and the National Spiritual Assembly would do well to encourage him, and to give him every possible assistance with the view of further extending the scope of his teaching activities throughout Burma.

The Guardian is also most gratified to learn of Mr. Bakhtiari’s teaching trip to Kashmir, and wishes him every success in his tour through that part of India. May Bahá’u’lláh graciously aid him to attract and confirm many souls, and thus fulfil this dear wish of his heart.

In closing I wish to tell you how deeply the Guardian feels appreciative of the message you have addressed to him on your behalf and on behalf of your family on the occasion of his marriage. To you and to your dear ones he wishes me to convey the assurances of his loving and heartfelt gratitude.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I am so glad to learn, on the one hand, of the improvement in your health, and on the other of the progress of the teaching work in India and Burma, I pray that Martha’s forthcoming visit to your shores may greatly stimulate the splendid work which has been so nobly initiated and is

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being so painstakingly continued. I will continue to pray for you and particularly for the members of your dear family from the depths of my heart.

Shoghi

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

July 17, 1937

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of the Guardian I acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your detailed and welcome communication of June 7th, written in the name of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma.

I wish, in particular, to express his gratification at the success that has attended your Annual Convention this year, and at the recommendations and decisions taken by the National Spiritual Assembly with the view of intensifying the teaching campaign throughout India and Burma. He would strongly urge your Assembly to maintain the standard of the teaching work, and to appeal to the friends to rise up to the call of the hour and to be ready to undergo any sacrifice that their sacred task requires. Above all he wishes through you to reiterate his wish, already expressed in his recent cable to the National Spiritual Assembly, that the National Fund, which undoubtedly constitutes the bedrock upon which all the activities of the Cause ultimately rest, ‘should receive the continued and whole-hearted support of all the believers. Both the Local Assemblies and the individual believers Should realize that unless they contribute regularly and generously to that Fund the progress of the Faith in India and Burma will not only be considerably retarded, but will inevitably come to a standstill. There Should be a continual flow of funds to the national treasury of the National Spiritual Assembly, if that body wishes to properly administer the manifold and ever-increasing activities of the Faith. Every Baha’i no matter how poor, must realize what a grave responsibility he has to shoulder in this connection, and should have confidence that his spiritual progress as a believer in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh will largely depend upon the measure in which he proves, in deeds, his readiness to support materially the divine institutions of His Faith…

Concerning resolution #14 of your National Spiritual Assembly proposing the founding of a Chair at Dr. Tagore’s Shantiniketan; the

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Guardian does not think it advisable to lay down at present any general rule regarding such matters. He would preferably leave them to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly.

With reference to your question in connection with. the observance of the Bahá’í Holy Days; the Bahá’í day begins and ends at sunset. The night preceding a Holy Day is therefore included in the day, and consequently work during that period is forbidden.

The Guardian is most delighted to learn of the activities initiated recently by various Local Assemblies in India, and wishes you to convey to these dear friends, and particularly to Prof. ‘Abdu’l-‘Aziz of Hyderabad and the members of his teaching group, the expression of his keenest appreciation of their labours for the spread of the Cause. He would urge them each and all to lend every effort to assist your National Spiritual Assembly in its nation-wide teaching endeavours, and is most ardently praying that they may be assisted and guided by the confirmations from On High.

Let me assure you in closing of his special prayers on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly members, and of all those dear friends who are closely cooperating with them in the discharge of their sacred and manifold responsibilities and obligations.

Dear and valued co-workers:

I am deeply touched by the varied and compelling evidences of the vigour and loyalty which characterise the National Assembly’s conduct of Bahá’í affairs in both India and Burma. The Cause, as a result of their self-sacrificing endeavours and inflexible resolve, is being firmly consolidated and widely propagated in those regions. Perseverance will enable you to attain your goal and to lay an unassailable foundation for your future work in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í service. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

AUGUST 31, 1957

MARTHA ROOT ARRIVING BOMBAY SEPTEMBER SIXTEENTH URGE INDIVIDUALS LOCAL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES VIGOROUSLY PARTICIPATE ENSURE TRIUMPHANT SUCCESS HER EXTENDED STAY ACCORD MAGNIFICENT WELCOME BEST BELOVED STAR SERVANT BAHA’U’LLAH.

SHOGHI

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[To The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma and To The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Bombay]

November 4, 1937

Beloved Friends,

Your joint and welcome message of October 18th, written on the occasion of our beloved sister Miss Martha Root’s arrival in Bombay, has duly reached the Guardian and his heart is filled with gratitude to you for the very warm and befitting welcome you have so kindly extended to that well-beloved star servant of the Cause. This is truly in keeping with the tradition of warm hospitality for which our Indian believers have already won such a high reputation. The cordiality you have shown this distinguished international teacher on her previous visits to India could have hardly been surpassed, and there is every reason to believe, therefore, that on this trip, which will be probably the most extended one she has ever been able to undertake throughout that continent, she will be the object of the same devotion and love manifested towards her on previous occasion.

May the presence of such an exemplary servant of the Cause in your midst stimulate you all afresh in your noble efforts for the extension of the Faith throughout India and Burma.

May the Almighty bless you for the magnificent welcome accorded such an outstanding champion of the Cause, and may He enable you, in conjunction with her, to lend a mighty impetus to the progress of the Faith and the extension of its institutions.

Shoghi

November 7, 1937

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Shoghi Effendi has been most pleased to receive your letter of October 25th, and to learn of the very warm reception you have accorded Miss Martha L. Root upon her arrival in India. He has every reason to hope that with the programme the National Spiritual Assembly has so carefully arranged for her she will be able to do an extensive Intensive teaching work, and to contact as many classes and sections

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of the population as her time and energies permit.

The Guardian would call upon you specially to make every effort possible to render Miss Root’s teaching trip successful in every way, and wishes you to continually urge the friends to make her visit an occasion for giving the Faith a widespread publicity throughout India and Burma…

With the renewed assurances of his prayers for the continued improvement of your health, and with his loving greetings to you and your dear ones at home.

Dearly-beloved co-worker:

I am so glad to hear of the plans that have been conceived and the activity that is being displayed by the friends in connexion with dear Martha’s visit to India. I trust and pray that your health will enable you to play a leading fart in these nation-wide activities. Your contribution I deeply appreciate, and will pray from all my heart for the complete realization of your dearest hopes. Affectionately,

Shoghi

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

December 6, 1937

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

Your Assembly’s communication of November 21st has been duly received and its contents read with care and deep appreciation by our beloved Guardian.

Regarding the pamphlet on Bahá’í Laws on matters of Personal Status; the copy of the English translation of that pamphlet you had enclosed has been looked over carefully by the Guardian, who feels that the rendering is not of a sufficiently high standard to justify publication. He would recommend that a new translation be made by one who is well-versed in Muslim Law and jurisprudence, and who has a good mastery of the English language, so that the many legal terms contained in the text may be translated accurately and in good style. No doubt this is a work which requires considerable effort, and the Guardian wishes therefore your Assembly to proceed in this matter with the utmost care, patience and thoroughness. He himself is absolutely

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unable to undertake a work of this nature, in view of his manifold and ever-increasing occupations in the Holy Land.

In this connection he wishes you to kindly draw the National Spiritual Assembly’s attention to the necessity of hastening the publication of both the Hindi and the Sindhi translations of “Bahá’u’lláh id the New Era”. He hopes that in the course of this year these two books will be ready for distribution.

May I again, in closing, express the Guardian’s best wishes for the success of Miss Martha Root’s teaching work in India and Burma. ;is his heart’s ardent prayer that this historic visit may signalize the beginning of a new epoch of unprecedented expansion in the history of the Faith throughout that land.

Kindly convey the assurances of his prayers to Siyyid Abdu’l-Rahman Adib and to Sivyid Abu’l Abbas Razvi who have recently accepted the Cause, and please also extend his loving greetings to our fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly.

May the Beloved reinforce the endeavours you are so nobly exerting, consolidate the foundations of the institutions you are so vigorously attending and bless increasingly the nation-wide campaign which, in conjunction with our dearly beloved Indian and Burmese brethren, you re so loyally and splendidly organizing for the spread and proclamation four most holy Cause. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To Daidanaw Local Spiritual Assembly]

December 7, 1937

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian was deeply rejoiced to receive your Assembly’s message of November 21st, and to know of the very cordial reception you have arranged in honour of Miss Martha Root. The warm welcome you have so lovingly extended to that well-beloved servant of Bahá’u’lláh is certainly in keeping with the tradition of hospitality which the Daidanaw believers have set on previous occasions and which has won them the sympathy and admiration of the entire Bahá’í world.

The Guardian has also learned with profoundest satisfaction of

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the public meeting you had organized in honour of Miss Root, and in which several notables of the Kunjangoon village had accepted to participate. He sincerely hopes and ardently prays that the publicity which the Cause has received as a result will be further stimulated through the organized and energetic efforts of your Assembly.

Assuring you also of his supplications on behalf of each and all the friends at the Holy Shrines, and with cordial greetings.

Dearly-beloved friends:

My heart is filled with joy and gratitude whenever I recall yow exemplary devotion to the Cause of God and your steadfastness in His path. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart, that you may each and all be graciously assisted to mirror the glory and splendour of this Divine and most holy Revelation. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Community Of Calcutta]

December 13, 1937

Beloved Bahá’í Brothers And Sisters,

Your very cordial message of the 28th November has just reached the Guardian, and its perusal has imparted the profoundest joy and satisfaction to his heart.

He is deeply rejoiced to know of the very cordial welcome you have extended to dear Miss Martha Root, and of the warm hospitality you have shown her during her stay in Calcutta. He cherishes the hope that as a result of her visit the teachings of the Cause in that region will receive a renewed stimulus, and a number of enlightened and capable souls will be led to join the Faith.

The Guardian will pray from all his heart that this year may be signalized all through by a series of fresh conquests in the teaching field throughout Calcutta and in the neighboring districts. He would appeal to each and every one of Bahá’u’lláh’s devoted friends in that locality to gird the loins of endeavour in His path, and to work with ceaseless enthusiasm and undivided attention for the furtherance of the teaching work.

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Dear friends:

I wish to assure you in person of my deepest appreciation of your noble efforts for the promotion of our beloved Faith and of my continued Prayers for the complete realization of your highest hopes. Rest assured and persevere,

Shoghi


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1938

March 20, 1938

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your welcome letter of the 14th instant, as well as your previous communication of 14th November, have both been duly received, and their contents have greatly gratified and refreshed the heart, of our beloved Guardian.

He was particularly delighted to know of the warm hospitality and whole-hearted assistance which the friends have so kindly extended to dear Miss Root all through her travels throughout India and Burma.

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, and specially to you and to Dr. and Mrs. Fozdar and also to our beloved and distinguished friend Mr. Isfandiar Bakhtiari he feels particularly grateful for all that you have done to make her journey comfortable and pleasant and so successful in its result.

This truly memorable visit of Miss Root to the friends in that vast continent is indeed a God-sent opportunity, of which the believers should fully avail themselves in order to give the Faith the widest possible publicity, and also to attract to it the attention and sympathy of responsible leaders throughout India and Burma.

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The Guardian will continue to pray that ere the termination of this year the results of this historic teaching trip undertaken by our beloved Miss Root may prove to be such as to ensure for many years to come the uninterrupted extension of the teaching work in all parts of India.

In closing may I take this opportunity to convey to you and to the members of your family, the Guardian’s hearty greetings and best wishes for a happy Naw-Rúz. He dearly hopes that this new Bahá’í year will bring you all every blessing, and will witness the fulfilment of your heart’s highest aspirations in service to our beloved Cause.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I wish to assure you of my deepest appreciation of the welcome and assistance you. have extended to our beloved Martha. I grieve however to learn that your health is not yet fully recovered, and I will pray that you may speedily and completely regain your strength and vitality and thus enhance the noble share you have had in promoting the Faith and in. assisting its institutions. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Group, Bombay]

April 23, 1938

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your secretary’s letter of the 3rd instant, giving the account of the celebration of the “Third Annual World Bahá’í Youth Symposium” by the Bahá’í youth of Bombay.

He has noted with deep gratification the enclosures you had sent, and is rejoiced to know that the occasion was used by your group to give a fresh publicity to the Cause through the local press.

The Guardian has also read with much interest the copies of the lectures delivered on that occasion by Mr. Monji and Dr. Irani, as well as the copy of the talk given by Mr. Mehta, all of which clearly attest the new spirit of fervour, of devoted, loyal and intelligent service that .animates our young Bahá’ís in Bombay.

On the occasion of the feast of Ri?ván , he wishes one first to convey to all of you his warmest greetings, and further to assure you

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of his prayers for the success and extension of your activities throughout this new Bahá’í administrative year.

Again with many thanks for your message, and with his sincere congratulations to you all.

May the Almighty bless your efforts, enable you to extend the scope of your activities, and inspire you in your meritorious and devoted endeavours.

Shoghi

APRIL 28, 1958

RIDVAN FESTIVAL CLOUDED BY PASSING HOLY MOTHER MUNIRIH KHANUM. WITH SADDENED HEARTS BAHÁ’ÍS EAST AND WEST CALL TO MIND INVALUABLE SERVICES WHICH HER HIGH STATION EMPOWERED HER RENDER DURING STORMIEST DAYS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S LIFE. ADVISE ALL CENTRES BEFITTINGLY COMMEMORATE HER PASSING.

SHOGHI

[To The Local Spiritual Assembly of Poona]

April 30, 1938

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

I am directed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st instant written on behalf of the Spiritual Assembly of Poona conveying to him your greetings on the occasion of the Feast of Ri?ván .

He wishes me to transmit to you and to your fellow-members in that Assembly the expression of his sincere thanks for the message of love and loyalty you have addressed to him, and to ask you to kindly convey also to all the friends in Poona his deep appreciation of the contribution they have offered to the International Fund of the Cause.

With the renewed assurances of his prayers for the guidance and steady growth of your Community, and reciprocating your kind greetings and best wishes.

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Dear and prized co-workers:

May the Almighty reward you a thousandfold, bless and sustain you in your incessant labours, and aid you to surmount all obstacles in your path of service to His glorious Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

June 22, 1938

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian wishes me to convey to you his deep appreciation of the message of sympathy, dated June 9th, which you have kindly written him, expressing on your behalf and on behalf of your family your heartfelt condolences, in the passing away of the Holy Mother.

He is indeed moved by your thoughtfulness in remembering him in this truly sad event, and wishes me to take this opportunity of assuring you afresh of his prayers for you and your dear ones, that you may all ever remain steadfast and loyal in your services to our beloved Cause.

With his best wishes also for your health, and with greetings.

May the Beloved of our hearts. Whom you serve with such devotion and zeal, reward you a thousandfold for your magnificent services, which future generations will extol and gratefully remember, and may He enable you to extend continually their scope and deepen their influence. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To ‘Abbás ‘Alí Butt]

July 4, 1938

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

I am directed by the Guardian to express his deepest thanks for your letters dated May 30th, June 2nd, and also for your communications of the 13th December last received long time ago.

He also wishes me to express his appreciation of your promptness in sending him the photostatic reproductions of the Certificate

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of Incorporation of the Bombay and Poona Spiritual Assemblies for which he had asked, and these he has duly forwarded to the States for incorporation in the forthcoming issue of the “Bahá’í World”.

Concerning his telegram to your National Spiritual Assembly conveying the very sad news of the passing away of the Holy Mother, the Guardian is very much surprised to hear that it had not reached you. Immediately after her passing a telegram was sent to your postal address in Simla, and it is a matter of deep regret indeed that for some reason or another the message has not been delivered to you so far. The Guardian would now advise that memorial gatherings be held by the friends throughout India and Burma, the date to be fixed by the National Spiritual Assembly.

It will surely please and interest the believers to know that the Holy Mother’s remains have been laid to rest in a spot in the vicinity of, and overshadowed by, the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf on Mt. Carmel.

The Guardian was delighted to hear of the formation of a Spiritual Assembly in Simla, and wishes that body to apply soon for official registration. He would very much appreciate receiving two copies of the Certificate of Incorporation of the Assembly, as soon as they are obtained from the authorities.

The news of the projected holding of the first Indian Bahá’í Summer School in Simla has also considerably rejoiced the heart of our beloved Guardian. He will pray that this excellent and indeed historic project may be satisfactorily carried out, and receive the whole-hearted, generous and sustained support of the entire body of the believers throughout India and Burma.

The Six Year Plan which your National Spiritual Assembly has resolved to initiate with the purpose of furthering the teaching work has met with the full approval of the Guardian. He wishes your Assembly every success in this remarkable and nation-wide undertakings which you have decided to launch.

In closing may I renew his plea in connection with the publication of the Hindi and Sindhi versions of the “New Era”, which work, he hopes and shall pray, will be completed in the course of this year.

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Dear and prized co-worker:

Your letter of June 19, enclosing reports of great interest and value, has also reached me and I am filled with a sense of happiness and gratitude for these incessant evidences of your ‘zeal and united endeavours. I am truly impressed by the sound progress and expansion of the activities in which the believers of India and Burma are so earnestly and devotedly engaged. The institutions you have recently initiated, the Plan of teaching you have launched, the degree of unity, of consecration and solidarity you have attained, the measures for internal consolidation you have devised, the support you have consistently and cordially extended to our dear Martha, all proclaim the depth of your devotion and attest the nobility and staunchness of your faith. The utmost care is now required to nurse, foster, multiply and coordinate these nascent institutions and activities. Every nerve should be strained, every sacrifice should be made to enable them to fructify and prosper.

I will continue to pray for the removal of every and any obstacle that may impede your march towards the goal you are destined to attain. Persevere and be confident.

Shoghi

July 7, 1938

Beloved Siyyid Mustafa,

The expression of loving sympathy conveyed in your letter of June 20th addressed to the Guardian on the occasion of the ascension of the Holy Mother has been very deeply appreciated by him, and he indeed wishes me to assure you, and through you the believers throughout Burma, of his profoundest thanks for the condolences you have been moved to express to him in his very sad bereavement.

Grief-stricken as the believers throughout the world must certainly feel at this heavy and indeed cruel loss, yet they should derive comfort at the thought that she is now re-united with her Lord, and is enjoying the blissfulness and peace which the great World Beyond alone can confer.

Her mortal remains, the friends will surely be pleased to know, have been laid to rest in a spot over-shadowed by the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf on Mt. Carmel.

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In closing I wish to renew to you the Guardian’s loving and abiding gratitude for your painstaking and devoted labours for the Faith in Burma. He will continue to pray, that despite your advancing age and the attending difficulties and obstacles of your life, you may be given many more years of active service in the Cause.

With loving Bahá’í greetings to all the believers in Mandalay, including your own dear self.

Dear and prized co-worker:

It is always such a joy and comfort to hear from you. You are, I assure you, often in my thoughts and prayers. I long to hear of the fruits which your incessant labours are yielding. You have set an inspiring and unforgettable example to the rising generation. The Concourse on high is proud of and extols your splendid achievements. Be happy and comforted. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

SEPTEMBER 22, 1938

ASSURE, FIRST SUMMER SCHOOL SIGNALIZED PRESENCE BELOVED MARTHA FERVENT PRAYERS SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS.

SHOGHI

[To Abbás ‘Alí Butt]

December 1, 1938

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your communication dated October 17th, together with the enclosed report on the first Indian Bahá’í Summer School held in Simla during last September.

This report, in view of its interest and import to the believers throughout the world, will be published in both the Persian and English newsletters of the Haifa Spiritual Assembly…as to the photographs of the Summer School you had submitted under separate cover, these will be placed in the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bah)f, and will also appear in the “Bahá’í World” Vol. VIII.

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The Guardian wishes me in this connection to express his profound satisfaction at the success that has attended the National Spiritual Assembly’s efforts for the formation of this first Bahá’í Summer School in India…a step which, he strongly feels, is bound to accelerate the extension of the teaching activities of the believers in at land.

He is truly delighted to know that the attendance at the school ,s been satisfactory, and that the young believers, in particular, have ‘en most enthusiastic about it. What he feels now is most essential is r the National Spiritual Assembly to make arrangements to have is school held regularly every year, so that it may develop into an effective, and increasingly vital, instrument for the propagation of the Faith, and also for the education and training of Bahá’í teachers.

It is the Guardian’s fervent hope that as this Institution expands, id fulfils the high hopes you all set upon it, it will be felt advisable by e National Spiritual Assembly to consider the possibilities of establishing, in due time, one or two more of such schools, thus permitting those friends, who in view of their limited means are not in a position ‘ travel over large distances, to avail themselves of the benefits derived from these nascent Bahá’í institutions of learning.

In connection with the copy of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas published in Haifa by one of the Qádíyání missionaries; the Guardian feels that the best attitude would be to ignore altogether their action. The Cause surely towers above all such petty opposition, and the friends need have no fear whatsoever therefore.

Dear and valued co-worker:

The Six Year Plan, initiated by the National Assembly of India and Burma with such spontaneous devotion, admirable zeal and unflinching solve, marks a milestone on the road of progress trodden by them and their fellow-workers in both of those countries. The task is immense, the vie is short, the hour critical but the faith that animates and sustains them strong enough to surmount all obstacles, however formidable, that ay stand in their way. That they may persevere, redouble their efforts id win signal success in their mighty enterprise is the dearest wish of my heart and the object of my constant and earnest prayers. Your true brother,

Shoghi


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1939

January 25, 1939

Dear Mr. Vakil,

The Guardian was most pleased to receive your letter of the 3rd instant and has noted with genuine satisfaction the farewell meeting which the National Spiritual Assembly had arranged in Bombay in honour of our indefatigable and distinguished Bahá’í sister Miss Martha L. Root on the occasion of her departure to Australia.

The feelings of unbounded joy with which you all unanimously acclaimed her arrival in India, and the expressions of deep and sorrowful regret which your National Assembly, as the official mouthpiece of all the Indian and Burmese believers, had been moved to convey to her upon her leaving your shores, all attest the high value which the friends have attached to her presence in India and the splendid work accomplished by her throughout her travels in that country. The cooperation she had received from the Assemblies and individual believers in every centre she visited, and the effective support, both moral and material, so lovingly and continually extended to her by the National Spiritual Assembly in the execution of her teaching plans, have contributed to a marked degree to the success of

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her journey, which has been indeed the longest and most fruitful she had ever undertaken to your shores.

The Guardian hopes that the friends, and in particular the National Spiritual Assembly, will now endeavour to follow up, with united and unflinching resolve, the splendid work accomplished by Miss Root. The contacts she has formed with leading personalities in social, religious and university circles should be maintained, nay extended and consolidated, and every effort exerted in order to speed up the progress of the teaching work which has received such a fresh impetus as a result of her uninterrupted teaching activity during this past year.

Before closing I wish to assure you once more of his prayers on your behalf and on behalf of Mrs. Vakil and children, and all of you, he hopes, will continue to be protected under the sheltering shadow of Bahá’u’lláh’s love and guidance.

Dear and valued co-worker:

It is indeed a very long time since I have received from you any direct news about your well-being and activities. I am glad to hear that you are well and I wish to express my keen sense of appreciation of all that you have done for our beloved Martha in the course of her journeys in India. She is deeply grateful to you and proud of your work. I too feel .equally proud of the spirit that animates you, as, well as of the services you .render. I will specially pray for your health and for your dear family. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

February 13, 1939

…The principle involved in this particular case seems to be that of-non-membership in religious organizations other than the Cause, which obviously implies the total absconding of such religious ceremonies and customs as are strictly associated with, and form a necessary part of any of the ecclesiastical organizations of the past.

It is for your Assembly to carefully ascertain whether the ceremony of “Sadra and Kusti” falls under this category, and after thorough and dispassionate investigation of all the facts involved, to

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pronounce and inform the parties concerned of your final and considered judgement…

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

February 17, 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of our beloved Guardian I acknowledge with grateful thanks the receipt of your welcome communication of January 27th with enclosures, written at the direction of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, the contents of which he has read with very keen interest, and with feelings of utmost satisfaction.

He has noted with profound appreciation, in particular, the account of the farewell meeting held in Bombay under the auspices of your Assembly on the occasion of the departure of our indefatigable and highly esteemed Bahá’í sister Miss Martha Root from India. No more eloquent tribute could have been paid indeed to the historic work accomplished by that well-beloved star-servant of the Cause during her stay of one full year in that country than that beautiful and impressive gathering which had met to bid her a last farewell upon her leaving your shores. The warmth and spontaneity of your love must have profoundly impressed and moved her heart, and given her an added proof of the unbounded gratitude which you all surely cherish for her, after these many months of ceaseless teaching activity she has spent in your midst.

The Guardian wishes to express his own gratitude to the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, and through them to the community of believers throughout India and Burma for the hospitality and loving assistance you have all, individually as well as collectively, continually extended to Miss Root all through her stay in your country. The essential now, he feels, is for each one of the friends, and particularly the local Assemblies, to arise and with unflinching resolve to endeavour to follow up the splendid work she has so ably, yet so unostentatiously, accomplished. They would be certainly failing in their debt of gratitude to her, if they allow the seeds she has faithfully and painstakingly scattered, during these months of arduous and uninterrupted effort, to get lost. Rather, they should spare no effort to water these seeds and enable them to germinate and yield in due time most abundant and lasting results.

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With regard to the formation of Bahá’í Youth groups; the Guardian is most pleased to hear of the satisfactory progress that has been accomplished along this line, and of the extensive programme I you have arranged for the development of Bahá’í Youth activity during the coming year. He wishes me to express, in particular, his appreciation of the very warm response made by six of these youth groups to the suggestion of the National Youth Committee of America regarding the holding of special youth meetings on the 26th of this month. He wishes you to assure them of his special prayers for the success and confirmation of their efforts.

In connection with the Six Year Plan initiated by your National Spiritual Assembly; the Guardian cannot too highly praise this undertaking of unprecedented magnitude which your Assembly has resolved to carry out. One year has already elapsed since that Plan was first launched, and the task that will have to be accomplished during the remaining five years is indeed immense, and calls for no less than a combined and tremendous sacrificial effort by every Assembly, group and individual believer throughout India and Burma.

But the friends should derive much encouragement at the realization that their efforts for the prosecution of this Plan are, in a way, far more meritorious than those which their fellow-believers in the American Continent are exerting in connection with the Seven-Year Plan of the American National Spiritual Assembly.

Whereas this latter Plan, which, it should be fairly admitted, is the largest enterprise of its kind ever undertaken by any national Bahá’í Community, has been conceived and formulated directly by the Guardian himself, the Six Year Plan adopted by the Indian ^National Spiritual Assembly has been initiated solely through the efforts of the elected body of the national representatives of the Indian and Burmese believers, and represents therefore the spontaneous undertaking of the Indian Bahá’í Community itself, and as such is endowed with a special merit and a unique spiritual potency. When successfully completed this Plan will constitute indeed an abiding monument to the resourceful energy, the unstinted devotion, and the unquenchable enthusiasm of the Indian Bahá’ís, from which future generations of believers in that land will derive endless inspiration and guidance.

In view of the paramount importance of this Six Year Plan, and the urgency which the friends must undoubtedly feel to carry it out as speedily and efficiently as possible during the remaining five years,

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the Guardian would advise that in the next Annual Convention, meeting in Calcutta, a special session be devoted to the findings and consideration by all the delegates and the friends present of such policies and means as, in their considered opinion, can best insure the speedy and timely completion of this glorious undertaking.

The Guardian would particularly suggest that special stress be laid on the necessity for pioneer teaching in those states and provinces in India and Burma, where the Cause has not yet been introduced. Those believers who have the means, and also the capacity to teach, should be encouraged, no matter how great the sacrifice involved, to settle in these virgin territories, until such time as a Local Assembly has been constituted, or at least a group of firm believers formed that can safely and gradually evolve into a firmly-organized and properly-functioning Local Assembly. This policy of teaching by settlement which the Guardian has also advised and indeed urged the American believers to adopt has been proved by experience to be the most effective way of establishing the Faith in new territories, and he therefore confidently recommends it for adoption by your Assembly.

As regards the Indian Summer School; its importance, the Guardian feels, cannot be overstressed, specially in view of its recognized teaching value, both as a centre for the training of Bahá’í teachers, and also for the attraction of outsiders to the Cause. The wide popularity which this newly-established yet highly-promising institution is already enjoying, truly attests its high value as one of those vital institutions of the Faith in this formative age of its development.

The Guardian wishes me to stress the importance for your Assembly to start collecting from now detailed reports, articles and any other material for use in the next issue of the “Bahá’í World”. He Would advise that you mail directly any materials you gather to the address of Mrs. A. French, 390 Grove Street, Pasadena, California.

Regarding the questions which our dear Bahá’í brother Mr. Samadani of Delhi had asked the National Spiritual Assembly to submit to the Guardian for his explanations; he wishes me to answer them in the order in which they have been asked:

1. The David referred to by the Báb, and stated by Him to have preceded Moses, is not the same one as King David, the father of King Solomon, who lived in the tenth century B.C. and who obviously lived many years, and indeed many centuries after Moses. ‘Abdu’1-Bahá has explained this in a Tablet.

2. Although in the Questions and Answers, Bahá’u’lláh has

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specifically stated that non-Bahá’ís have no right to inherit from their Bahá’í’ parents or relatives, yet this restriction applies only to such cases when a Bahá’í dies without leaving a will and when, therefore, i property will have to be divided in accordance with the rules set forth in the Aqdas. Otherwise, a Bahá’í is free to bequeath his property to any person, irrespective of religion, provided however he leaves a will, specifying his wishes. As you see therefore it is always possible for a Bahá’í to provide for his non-Bahá’í wife, children or relatives by leaving a will. And it is only fair that he should do so.

3. The severe laws and injunctions revealed by the Báb can be properly appreciated and understood only when interpreted in the ht of His own statements regarding the nature, purpose and character of His own Dispensation. As these statements clearly reveal, the Bábí Dispensation was essentially in the nature of a religious and deed social revolution, and its duration had therefore to be short, it full of tragic events, of sweeping and drastic reforms. These drastic measures enforced by the Báb and His followers were taken with the view of undermining the very foundations of Shí’ah orthodoxy, and thus paving the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh. To assert the independence of the new Dispensation, and to prepare also the ground for the approaching Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb had therefore to reveal very severe laws, even though most of them were ;ver enforced. But the mere fact that He revealed them was in itself a proof of the independent character of His Dispensation and was sufficient to create such widespread agitation, and excite such opposition i the part of the clergy that led them to cause His eventual martyrdom.

4. The Báb specified that the Bayán is not completed and that “He Whom God would manifest” (Bahá’u’lláh) would complete it, though not in its actual form, but only spiritually in the form of another book. The Íqán is believed to be its continuation.

With the assurances of the Guardian’s prayers on your behalf id on behalf of your distinguished fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly and with greetings.

Dearly beloved co-workers:

I feel increasingly gratified and elated as I witness the evidences of your constancy, vigilance, and devotion to the manifold and pressing needs of the Faith in both India and Burma. You are indeed laying a in and unassailable foundation on which future Bahá’í generations can

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successfully build. Your splendid initiative is truly remarkable, your courage in the face of the formidable obstacles that confront you magnificent, and your fidelity in ushering in the spiritual and administrative principles of the Administrative Order exemplary. Persevere and rest assured that the Beloved will crown your noble endeavours with the success they deserve.

Shoghi

March 2, 1939

My dear Mr. Vakil,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your welcome letter of February 8th, with enclosures, and he was pleased to read the paper clippings with pleasure.

It gives him much satisfaction to learn of your proposed journey with your family to Haifa this May, and he wishes me to assure you of his heartfelt welcome.

Please find enclosed the receipt for your contribution which he deeply appreciates.

He sincerely trusts and prays that as a dear and devoted brother and fellow-worker, our beloved Master may always bless your efforts richly both spiritually and materially and may render you a great and growing asset to the progress of the Bahá’í Faith in India.

My dear and valued co-worker:

I trust that by now a better understanding and more substantial cooperation has been attained by the friends of India and Burma. It is for the delegates who are to be chosen by them this year, to elect those whom they think are best qualified for membership of the National Spiritual Assembly, and once elected, the unity and efficiency of this body must at any cost be maintained. I cannot but pray that they may be guided in their choice and discharge honourably their functions. For yourself, I shall offer with a grateful heart my fervent prayers. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 181]

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

July 2, 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge with deep appreciation the receipt of your welcome communication dated June 5th with enclosures, all of which he was indeed profoundly interested and much pleased to read.

He is truly delighted to know that your Annual Convention this year has been most united, and highly constructive and fruitful in its results, and trusts that the important discussions and deliberations held by the delegates at various Convention sessions will have the result of stimulating afresh the progressive and systematic penetration of the teaching work throughout India and Burma. The Six Year Plan of teaching inaugurated last year by your National Spiritual Assembly, the Guardian feels, however, cannot succeed unless it receives the continued moral and material support of the entire body of the Indian and Burmese believers, and it is this fact which the National Assembly should continually endeavour to impress upon them all, through frequent appeals destined at once to encourage and provide the facilities required for all those friends who are qualified to work in the field of pioneer teaching. The Guardian would particularly recommend that the National Spiritual Assembly should make every possible effort to open up to the Cause those Indian provinces which still remain deprived of the light of the Teachings, and to this end would suggest that those believers who can arrange to settle in those virgin territories should at once be urged to do so, and the necessary facilities extended to them by the National Spiritual Assembly, with the view of enabling them to prolong their stay until some definite results are accomplished. Also, he feels, your Assembly should endeavour to strengthen the weak areas which have been recently I opened, and also launch a wide and systematic campaign for the dissemination of Bahá’í literature throughout the whole country.

In connection with resolution #15 recorded in the minutes of your National Spiritual Assembly; the Guardian wishes you to make clear to all the believers that membership in a Bahá’í Assembly or Committee is a sacred obligation which should be gladly and confidently accepted by every loyal and conscientious member of the Community, no matter how humble and inexperienced. Once elected

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to serve in a given Assembly a believer’s duty is to do his utmost to attend all Assembly meetings, and cooperate with his fellow-members, unless, however, he is prevented from doing so by some major reason such as illness, and even then he should notify the Assembly to this effect. The National Spiritual Assembly’s duty is to urge, and also facilitate attendance at Assembly meetings. If a member has no valid reason to justify his repeated absence from Assembly meetings, he should be advised, and even warned, and if such warning is deliberately ignored by him, the Assembly will then have the right to suspend his rights as a voting member of the Community. Such administrative Sanction would seem to be absolutely imperative and necessary, and while not tantamount to a complete expulsion of such member from the Cause, deprives him of any real participation in its administrative functions and affairs, and is thus a most effective corrective measure which the Assembly can use against all such half-hearted and irresponsible individuals in the Community.

Now concerning Mr. Muhamad Ishaq’s questions; first concerning the meaning of “Resurrection” although this term is often used by Bahá’u’lláh in His Writings, as in the passage quoted in your letter, its meaning is figurative. The tomb mentioned is also allegorical, i.e. the tomb of unbelief. The Day of Resurrection, according to Bahá’í interpretation, is the Judgement Day, the Day when unbelievers will be called upon to give account of their actions, and whether the world has prevented them from acknowledging the new Revelation.

The passage in Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet in which Pie explains the Súra of “The Sun” should not be interpreted literally. It does not mean that after the Day of Resurrection praise and peace will cease to be vouchsafed to the Prophet. Rather it means to the end of time, i.e. indefinitely and for all times.

The intercession spoken of by Bahá’u’lláh in one of His prayers which you have quoted is a purely spiritual act and is applicable to Muhammad as well as to all Prophets. This passage, however, refers more particularly to that kind of intercession in which Muslims believe, though the manner and circumstances of it, according to Bahá’í belief, are mysterious and unknowable.

With the renewed assurances of his continued prayers on your behalf, and on behalf of your fellow-members in the National Spiritual Assembly.

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Dearly valued co-workers:

I long to hear of the progress of your teaching work in those areas and provinces where the light of the Faith has not as yet shone forth. Teaching is the paramount task that urgently demands the concentrated attention and the complete consecration of the united and persistent efforts of the believers of India and Burma at the present stage of the Six Year Plan which they of their own accord have so magnificently initiated,. No dissipation of efforts, no delay in the initiation and execution of the necessary measures for its success should be allowed. All assemblies, all committees and individuals should regard the teaching work as the most essential factor in the discharge of their obligations to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and as the supreme purpose of the machinery of the Administrative Order which they have lately so laboriously and faithfully erected. I will from all my heart pray that the high aim they pursue may be reached, that their hopes may be fulfilled, and that their individual and corporate lives may equally reflect the noble principles that animate their Cause. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

November 26, 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge with grateful thanks the receipt of your communication of August 22nd last, written on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, and to also express his regret at the considerable, though quite unavoidable delay caused in informing you of its arrival.

What you had written him regarding the various steps taken by the National Spiritual Assembly to further the Six Year Plan of Teaching has immeasurably rejoiced his heart, and he too joins with your Assembly in humbly supplicating Bahá’u’lláh to vouchsafe to all those dear friends who have offered to undertake pioneer teaching in various parts of India such measure of His guidance and blessings as would enable them to effectively further the interests of this Plan. He would urge you all to persevere in your self-sacrificing exertions, and, notwithstanding the various handicaps under which you may be compelled to labour, to confidently strive to achieve this high teaching objective.

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The copy of the English translation of the compilation on “Bahá’í Laws on Matters of Personal Status” which you had submitted for the Guardian’s consideration has safely reached him, and while he does not advise that your Assembly should proceed with the publication of the English text at present, he has no objection to its being translated and published in Urdu and Burmese, As to the Iranian translation of the same; the friends in Iran have already completed this work, and the Guardian would therefore advise that you consult the Iranian National Spiritual Assembly on the subject before deciding to publish the text of the Iranian translation.

Assuring you and your dear fellow-members of his continued prayers for the confirmation of your services.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The energetic prosecution of the Six Year Plan, despite the perils, the uncertainties and gravity of the present hour, is the paramount task facing the believers of India and Burma. All projects and activities, however desirable and urgent, must henceforth be subordinated to this most pressing and vital issue, inasmuch as it is the fountainhead from which all future blessings will flow and the one and only instrument which can at the present time, most effectively establish and consolidate the Administrative Order of the Faith throughout the Indian Peninsula. My prayers for your signal success in such a mighty and glorious enterprise will continue to be offered, with increasing fervour, at the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh. Persevere and be confident.

Shoghi

DECEMBER 5, 1939

IMPART HEART STIRRING NEWS TRANSFER SACRED REMAINS PUREST BRANCH AND ‘ABDU’L-BAHA’S MOTHER SPOT CONSECRATED RESTING PLACE GREATEST HOLY LEAF AND DESIGNED FUTURE CENTRE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS BELOVED FAITH.

SHOGHI

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December 8, 1939

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your very kind message of the 30th November expressing your profound sorrow and sympathy at the passing away of our beloved sister Miss Martha Root has just reached our dear Guardian, and he feels indeed most deeply touched by the very thoughtful words which you had been moved to convey to him. The loss which the entire Bahá’í world has come to sustain through her untimely departure from this world is indeed enormous, and can be compensated only partially by the self-sacrificing efforts which our dear Bahá’í teachers in East and West are now exerting in their respective fields of teaching.

The Guardian’s hope, however, is that, spurred by the noble example of Martha’s life and character, the friends in every land will make a supreme and united effort to carry onward the great teaching task which she had so untiringly been endeavouring to accomplish during all these years, and thus bring eternal joy and impart infinite hope and solace to her heart in the other world.

Assuring you and yours of his continued prayers for your physical welfare and protection, and your guidance and spiritual advancement in the Cause.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I deeply appreciate, and am greatly touched by, the noble sentiments you have expressed. The passing of dearest Martha, that distinguished hero of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, is indeed a great loss to those who labour for His Cause, both in the East and West. May her glorious example continue to inspire the friends in India and Burma to tread in her footsteps, and to extend the work she so nobly initiated. Assuring you of my special prayers for yourself and your dear ones. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi


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1940

MARCH 21, 1940

LOVING REMEMBRANCE PRAYING SIGNAL SUCCESS TEACHING PLAN.

SHOGHI

May 14, 1940

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your eagerly-awaited message has safely reached our beloved Guardian, and he was indeed thrilled by the perusal of the contents.

It greatly pleased and encouraged him to know that the Annual Convention held this year in Poona has proved such a high success, and that the important decisions taken by the delegates with the view of intensifying the teaching campaign in India and Burma are being effectively implemented by the offer made by so many of the friends to teach and travel in virgin territories. He wishes these dear believers, who have so heroically responded to the call of the hour, every blessing and success in their respective fields of teaching, and will pray most earnestly for the confirmation of their labours in the pursuit of their high and sacred task.

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The Guardian feels also rejoiced over the result of the nation elections this year, and wishes the newly-elected National Spiritual Assembly full success and guidance in the discharge of its heavy duties and responsibilities in these crucial times.

Assuring you in particular of his continued prayers for your health, and with his renewed greetings to you and yours.

Dearly valued co-worker:

I was so glad to hear from you after such a long silence, as your letters invariably serve to remind me of the effective yet unassuming manner in which you are, day and night, promoting the manifold interests of the Faith. I will continue to pray for you and for your dear ones from the depths of my heart. You are, I assure you, often in my thoughts and prayers. Persevere, be confident, happy and grateful. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

October 15, 1940

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your letters dated June 2nd and 5th have safely reached our beloved Guardian together with the enclosed statement on the Cause made by Col. Raya Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh of Nepal.

The very appreciative remarks on the Faith contained in that statement make it indeed most suitable for use in the “Bahá’í World”, and the Guardian wishes me to assure you that he is keeping it for reproduction in Vol. IX, as the manuscript of Vol. VIII covering the period 1938-1940 has already been mailed to the States for publication.

The report of your teaching work in Mysore and Bangalore, and of your meeting with Prof. Shastri and His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore, who had been gracious enough to accord you an audience, has been noted with feelings of highest satisfaction and gratitude by the Guardian. He wishes me to express to you his heart’s warmest congratulations upon the success of your efforts in contacting such eminent personalities who, if closely drawn and attracted to the Faith, can lend invaluable support to the spread and wider recognition throughout India.

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Shoghi Effendi would indeed urge that you follow up these important contacts by every means you can, so that you may obtain some more tangible results in the way of confirming some important personalities in these high social and intellectual Indian circles.

Renewing to you and yours the assurances of his prayers for your continued protection, safety and guidance, in these trying and indeed distressing times and reciprocating your greetings.

Dear and prized co-worker:

Though late, I will make every effort to include the appreciation you have sent me in Vol. VIII of the “Bahá’í’ World”, as I consider it valuable and significant. How deeply I appreciate your constant and eminent services to the Faith, and I pray that despite the dangers, obstacles and anxieties of these critical times you may be given the strength and guidance required for the effective prosecution of the magnificent work you are achieving for our beloved Faith. I am so glad that you are fully restored physically, and I will always await eagerly the news of the progress of your splendid activities. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To R.K. Vedady, Secretary of the Youth Group]

October 15, 1940

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter dated April 27th enclosing copy of the annual report of the Bahá’í Youth Group in Bombay, and also copies of poems composed by Mrs. Shirin Fozdar and Dr. K. M. Irani, has been duly received by our beloved Guardian, and its contents noted with deepest satisfaction.

He was indeed highly pleased and encouraged to note from the contents of your annual report how alive the members of the Bahá’í youth group in Bombay are to their responsibilities and. duties towards the Cause, and he will assuredly pray on their behalf that in spite of the perils, the uncertainties and dangers of the present hour their activities for the Faith may steadily gain in scope and in effectiveness, and that they may each and all receive such confirmations from On High as would enable them to forge ahead, and to attain their high destiny in service to our beloved Cause.

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May the Beloved keep you and your co-workers beneath the shade’s. of His wings, prosper you in your valued and constant activities, increase your unity, deepen your understanding, extend your influence, and did i you to render signal services to His Cause and its institutions. Your true brother,

Shoghi

November 15, 1940

Dear Mr. Vakil,

Your letter of the 2nd instant has just reached our beloved Guardian, and he indeed feels most profoundly grieved of the news of the passing away of your elder brother in Navsari on the 14th of October last. He wishes me to hasten in conveying to you and relatives heartfelt condolences on this truly heavy loss you have so cruelly sustained, and specially to assure you of his special prayers on behalf of the deceased, that in the Realms Beyond he may be guided to the recognition and acceptance of the Cause, and thereby progress and advance spiritually. May the Beloved deal mercifully with his soul, and enable it attain to highest spiritual destiny, and may He also protect his bereaved family, and impart abiding solace to their sorrow laden hearts.

As regards your two younger brothers, the Guardian will also pray for them, that they may become spiritually awakened, and may ;be gradually led to embrace, unreservedly and wholeheartedly, the Faith.

Renewing to you also the assurances of his supplications for your health and protection, and for the welfare and spiritual advancement of your daughters, and with his cordial greetings to both you and dear Mrs. Vakil.

Assuring you of my deep felt and brotherly sympathy in the sudden loss you have so sadly experienced, and of my special prayers at the Holy Shrines for his spiritual advancement in the Abhá’ Kingdom. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

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[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

November 28, 1940

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated September 10th, and November 14th written on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, the contents of which he has read with feelings of deepest satisfaction.

The slow yet steady extension of the teaching campaign throughout India is a matter which greatly rejoices his heart, and for which he feels moved to convey his warmest congratulations to the National Spiritual Assembly. Considering the well-nigh insufferable obstacles in your way, and the difficult conditions created by the war, the progress so far achieved, though small, has been remarkable in many ways, and augurs well for the future of the Six Year Plan which your Assembly is so energetically carrying out.

The signal success which the able and untiring efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Bakhtiari, Mr. M. H. Ilmi and Dr .M. A. Samadani have won for the Cause in Kashmir deserves particular mention; and it is to be hoped that the group already established in that centre will steadily develop and soon attain the status of a Spiritual Assembly. To these dear teachers who have so successfully accomplished such high teaching mission, as well as to our new Bahá’í brother Moulvi Abdu’llah of Kashmir who, notwithstanding the violent opposition and criticisms of the Qádíyánís has firmly stood by the Cause, the Guardian wishes you to convey his warmest appreciation and gratitude.

In connection with your teaching campaign, the Guardian wishes you to inform the National Spiritual Assembly that although there exists in the Cause no such institution as that of paid teachers, the National Spiritual Assembly, nevertheless should, in view of the urgent and pressing requirements of the Six Year Plan, extend, though only temporarily, any financial assistance in its power to those believers who offer to undertake pioneer work throughout India and Burma. Also, those believers who are not themselves able to offer their services as pioneers, and who wish to directly and effectively participate in the campaign of teaching can instead offer to defray, through the National Fund, the expenses of any believer they choose to deputize for that purpose. Such deputy teachers, however, should

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for all other purposes be responsible to the National Spiritual Assembly and the teaching bodies concerned.

Regarding Ahmad Sohrab’s publications; these should be disregarded by the friends and those persons and Assemblies that receive my such tracts, pamphlets or books, either from Ahmad Sohrab himself or his associates in the New History Society should return them at once to the sender.

Also in regard to the Qádiánís; the friends should not feel unduly disturbed by the unfounded and shallow criticisms and the malicious attacks of these enemies of the Cause. Should they ever carry out their intention of publishing the Aqdas in Urdu, the believers should not actively oppose them . The time, however, is not yet ripe for the believers themselves to undertake the publication of this work, either in the original Arabic, or in any translation.

Regarding your question as to the English equivalent weight of a “nakhud”; the Guardian would advise that you communicate on the subject with the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, and adopt, for the present, the system enforced by the Iranian believers.

As to the distinction between “town” and “village”; this is a technical matter which devolves on civil and municipal authorities to fine. Whatever is specified by them should be adopted by the friends.

In closing may I ask you to convey the Guardian’s appreciation to dear Siyyid Mahmud, our highly-esteemed brother and pioneer worker in Delhi, for the message of love and greetings he had transmitted through you. Kindly assure him of his special prayers on his behalf at the Holy Shrines, and assuring you too of his supplications for the guidance of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dear valued co-workers:

I regret that owing to present circumstances arising from the war and its grave repercussions, the activities, particularly in the teaching field, connected with the Six Year Plan, so spontaneously initiated by your Assembly, have had to be curtailed. I wish to appeal, however, to all its members, and through them to the general body of the devoted friends in India and Burma, to make a united and supreme endeavour to overcome, while there is yet time, the obstacles that stand in their way, and to refuse to allow the perils, the uncertainties and anxieties that face and afflict their country to deter them from carrying out the original plan they have so nobly conceived. Let them remember that a firm resolution

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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 success of any and every effort the dearly beloved friends in India and Burma may arise to exert. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

December 14, 1940

Dear Bahá’í’ Brother,

Tour communication of the 1st instant has just been received by our beloved Guardian, and its contents noted by him with closest care and attention.

Regarding his instruction to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran to the effect that Bahá’u’lláh’s writings in Arabic should not be translated into Persian; this applies to the translation of the revealed words into Persian only. Your Assembly, therefore, may proceed with its plan for the rendering of the Tablet of Ahmad, the three daily obligatory prayers and other Tablets, into Urdu.

With reference to the Poona Assembly’s question whether it is permissible for the Bahá’ís to see pictures; there is nothing in the Teachings that would forbid such a practice.

Also with regard to the practice of circumcision; the Teachings bear no reference to this matter, and it is therefore not enjoined upon the believers.

The question of the training and education of children in case one of the parents is a non-Bahá’í is one which solely concerns the parents themselves, who should decide about it in the way they find best and most conducive to the maintenance of the unity of their family, and to the future welfare of their children. Once the child comes of age, however, he should be given full freedom to choose his religion, irrespective of the wishes and desires of his parents…

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As regards the membership of the International House of Justice, ‘Abdu’1-Bahá states in a Tablet that it is confined to men, and that the wisdom of it will be revealed as manifest as the sun in the future. In any case the believer should know that, as ‘Abdu’1-Bahá Himself has explicitly stated, that sexes are equal except in some cases, the exclusion of women from the International House of Justice should not be surprising. From the fact that there is no equality of functions between the sexes one should not, however, infer that either sex is inherently superior or inferior to the other, or that they are unequal in their rights.

Concerning the appearance of two Davids; there is a Tablet from Abdu’1-Bahá in which He says that just as there have been two Ishmaels, one the son of Abraham, and the other one of the Prophets of Israel, there have appeared two Davids, one the author of the Psalms and father of Solomon, and the other before Moses.

In closing, the Guardian wishes me once again to stress the all-importance of the teaching campaign throughout India and Burma. Much as he is aware of the obstacles that stand in the way of the expansion of pioneer teaching…obstacles which your sister Assembly in the U.S.A. are far in a better position to overcome, owing to the larger resources at their disposal and to their longer and wider experience in matters of teaching…he nevertheless strongly feels that, through the united, determined and passionate resolve of your National Spiritual Assembly, of all the local Assemblies, groups and individuals, much can be accomplished in that direction, and firm foundations laid down for future expansion and consolidation. The greater your handicaps the firmer your determination should wax, and the more abundant will assuredly be the blessings and confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh. May His love and guidance lead you and our dearly beloved friends in that land to still greater heights of selfless accomplishment in His path, and thereby crown with success the Six Year Plan so ably devised and so energetically pursued by the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dear co-workers:

I wish to reassure you in person of my fervent and continued prayers for the protection, the success, and the spiritual advancement of the community of the Indian and Burmese believers who, under your direction, and stimulated by the initiative and example, of their national elected representatives, are arising, in these days of wide-spread confusion,

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turmoil and danger, to carry out the Plan they are pledged to fulfil. No sacrifice can be regarded as too great for the attainment of so great and splendid an objective. They should persevere in their task, undaunted by the rising tide of calamity and despair which afflicts the world, and which is mysteriously paving the way for its unification and ultimate redemption. May the Beloved guide every step you take, and bless every endeavour you exert in His path. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 195]

1941

[TO DELHI]

FEBRUARY 24, 1941

PRAYING FERVENTLY SIGNAL SUCCESS SYMPOSIUM. LOVE

SHOGHI

[TO SURAT]

FEBRUARY 24, 1941

ASSURE PRAYERS SUCCESS SYMPOSIUM.

SHOGHI

[To N.R. Vakil]

April 19, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to answer your letters to him dated February 25th and March 21st and 23rd 1941.

He was happy to receive your news and to learn that a number of

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the dear friends have arisen to actively promulgate the teachings in new fields in India.

He was also very pleased to hear that now Mr. Mani Mehta is feeling better and is on the road to recovery; he will continue to pray for both his health and for his services to the Holy Faith.

Whenever the Guardian receives news of the spread of the Cause it brings him such hope and helps to lighten his heavy burden. This is the greatest need of the present hour in India: More teachers in new fields! His prayers are always being offered for the advancement of this all-important work and the fulfilment of the Six Year Plan.

Shoghi Effendi deeply values your untiring efforts for the welfare and spread of the Cause, and he is happy to hear that your daughters are increasingly able to aid you in this noble work. You and your dear family are remembered in his prayers at the Holy Shrines.

Please convey his loving appreciation of the services that our dear Bahá’í brother Prof. Pritam Singh, Mr. Abdu’llah Vakil, and Mr. Qulam Muhammad Sani are rendering through their travels and lectures.

The Cause in India year by year grows stronger, and as the Indian Bahá’ís have the great advantage of being free to spread the Message, they should work night and day to establish it in every part of that great land. Today so many of the Bahá’ís in different parts of the world are unable to teach, and thus the responsibility is greater for those remaining Bahá’í Communities which are still able to openly spread the Faith. His prayers are with you all.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I wish to add a few words and reaffirm my deep sense of gratitude for all that you have done and are now accomplishing for the spread and administration of the glorious Faith. The seeds you have so patiently been sowing will no doubt germinate and yield an abundant harvest. Persevere in your great work. I pray that your dear daughters may be blessed and aided to reinforce and carry on the work you are so energetically and devotedly advancing. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

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[To: Bombay Bahá’í Service Committee]

April 30, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to answer your letter to him of April 21st, 1941.

He was very pleased to receive the annual report of your committee’s work, and to witness how active the Bombay Bahá’ís have I been during the past year.

He hopes that during the coming Bahá’í year your committee, in cooperation with the Bombay Assembly, will accomplish even more in the service of the Holy Faith.

He has noted those friends who passed away during the last Bahá’í year, and he will remember them in his prayers.

He will also pray for you and all the members of the service committee, that you may reader the Cause great services during the coming year.

May the Almighty bless you and your co-workers, guide and sustain atoll times your deliberations, remove every obstacle from your path, deepen your understanding of the fundamental verities of His Faith, and aid you to proclaim them far and wide. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Group of Bombay]

June 6, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, together with your annual report, dated May 5th, 1941.

He was very pleased to note how active your group has been during the past year, and he hopes and prays that during the coming year, at a time when the world is convulsed with suffering, the Bahá’í Youth of Bombay will arise to greater heights of service than ever before and become an example to their fellow-youth, wherever they may be.

The responsibility of young believers is very great, as they must not only fit themselves to inherit the work of the older Bahá’ís and

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carry on the affairs of the Cause in general, but the world which lies ahead of them—as promised by Bahá’u’lláh—will be a world chastened by its sufferings, ready to listen to His divine Message at last, and consequently a very high character will be expected of the exponents of such a religion. To deepen their knowledge, to perfect themselves in the Bahá’í standards of virtue and upright conduct, should be the paramount duty of every young Bahá’í.

They should also undertake as much teaching work as possible, both local and of a pioneer nature, and thus hasten the fulfilment of India’s Six Year Teaching Plan.

The Guardian assures you of his most loving and ardent prayers for your success and welfare.

May the all-powerful spirit that animates this Faith be your guide and sustenance in these days of ever-increasing peril and turmoil, and enable you to hold aloft the banner of its principles and teachings and proclaim befittingly its truths and distinguishing features. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Committee of India]

June 19, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to thank you for your greeting sent to him on the occasion of your annual Bahá’í Youth Symposium for 1940.

He has been most encouraged by the increasing evidences of the activity of the Bahá’í youths of India, and their determination to play their part in the great teaching campaign which the believers of that country have undertaken. The responsibility of the Bahá’í youth is very great indeed, as they constitute the generation of Bahá’ís who will be called upon to help re-construct the world after this devastating war is over. They should devote their lives to the supreme objective of perfecting themselves as members in Bahá’u’lláh’s divine World Order. The Guardian hopes that during the coming year an ever-increasing number of young believers will devote themselves to teaching the Cause and helping the Six Year Plan to be fulfilled.

The Guardian will offer his ardent prayers on your behalf in the

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Holy Shrines, that Bahá’u’lláh may bless your work and enable you each and all to render the Faith great services.

May the blessings of Bahá’u’lláh be constantly showered on your labours, and may His all-powerful spirit inspire, stimulate, and guide your newly initiated undertaking and enable it to expand, and fulfil its high-purpose. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Committee Of India]

June 19, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to answer your letter to him of June 5th, and to acknowledge the receipt of the five greetings sent him by the Bahá’í Youth Symposium, held in various Indian cities, as well as the general letter and information circulated by your Youth Committee.

He was very happy to see that the work of the Bahá’í Youth Committee of India is progressing so well, and that each year a greater number of Bahá’í young people are taking an active part in the teaching work of that vast country.

The Guardian feels that the role of Bahá’í Youth in these days is becoming increasingly important, and that your committee, as well as all local youth Committees, should do all in your power to encourage the Bahá’í young people to a greater activity and sense of responsibility. In the field of teaching, in pioneer service and settlement, in the administration of the Cause, they must increasingly take an active part, as upon these same youth will devolve the many and heavy responsibilities of the future when the Bahá’ís will be called upon to demonstrate to their fellow-men the perfection of Bahá’u’lláh’s laws and world order in such a manner that bewildered humanity will turn to them as their only refuge.

He will continue to offer his ardent prayers on your behalf and for the success of your Committee’s undertakings throughout that coming year.

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Dear and valued co-workers:

I was greatly cheered and heartened by the expression of devotion, determination, loyalty conveyed in the welcome message enclosed in your letter, attesting the magnificent spirit that animates the Bahá’í Youth of India. They are indeed the object of my unfailing solicitude and of my ardent and constant prayers. I feel proud of the work which they are so strenuously promoting. Bahá’u’lláh is indeed well pleased with them, and our beloved Master will no doubt reinforce their labours. May their work prosper, and their numbers increase and their influence extend; and their highest hopes be fulfilled. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil’s Daughters]

June 19, 1941

Dear Bahá’í’ Friends,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to write and thank you for your greeting sent to him on the occasion of the Bahá’í Youth Symposium for 1940.

Though as yet your youth group is small in number he hopes that through your efforts during the coming year it will grow and become a strong and vital one and play an important part in helping the youth of India to better serve the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

The field of work open to Bahá’í young people is very great, and they must increasingly bear their share of the all-important teaching campaign which the Indian Bahá’ís have embarked upon.

Assuring you of the prayers of the Guardian for your work, and of his loving remembrance in the Holy Shrines.

May the almighty spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide and sustain you both, and enable you to lay a firm foundation for future Bahá’í youth activity, and fulfil the hopes and wishes of your dear parents for your future service in the Divine Vineyard. Your true brother,

Shoghi

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JUNE 25, 1941

DEPLORE LULL PROSECUTION TEACHING ENTERPRISE SIX YEAR PLAN, OPPORTUNITY PRICELESS TIME SHORT FIELD IMMENSE RIPE. SISTER COMMUNITIES EUROPE IRAN EGYPT IRAQ HOLY LAND IMPERILLED RESTRICTED CONTRASTING FREEDOM SECURITY INDIAN BELIEVERS. APPEAL ASSEMBLIES INDIVIDUALS COORDINATE EFFORTS EXPLORE FULLY POSSIBILITIES PRESENT GOLDEN HOURS. CABLING TWO HUNDRED POUNDS NUCLEUS SPECIAL TEACHING FUND DEDICATED INTENSIFICATION CAMPAIGN DESIGNED INITIATION PIONEER SETTLEMENT MULTIPLICATION BAHA’I CENTRES. ARDENTLY PRAYING ABHA BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI

[To ‘Abbás ‘Alí Butt]

June 29, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to acknowledge the receipt of your welcome letter to him of June 5th, together with the enclosed financial reports, as well as the report of the 13th annual Bahá’í Convention and the National Spiritual Assembly’s report presented to the delegates at the Convention.

He was very happy to note the spirit of true and profound dedication to their holy task of spreading the Faith in India and Burma which the members of the National Spiritual Assembly manifest, and he feels sure that, if they exert the utmost effort, they will, through the confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh, succeed in fulfilling what is required of them under the Six Year Plan. He regrets very much that circumstances have prevented any active furtherance of the teaching work during the past Bahá’í year. Because of this the Guardian felt impelled, after reading your Assembly’s letter, to transmit by cable the sum of two hundred pounds sterling to be set aside by your Assembly as the nucleus of a special fund to be established for the specific purpose of furthering the all-India teaching campaign of the Six Year Plan. He trusts that this will stimulate the body of Indian Bahá’ís to also contribute to this fund generously and by providing the necessary means to enable them to speedily fulfil the task they have vowed to carry out.

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Concerning the methods to be adopted for the realization of your urgent task, Shoghi Effendi approves of the suggestion that some business firms open branches in new districts and thus provide Bahá’í settlement by this means. However, he feels that this will not be enough, and that all the Spiritual Assemblies, as well as each individual believer, should rally to this great opportunity which, indeed, may not again be presented to them, of spreading the Faith through the length and breadth of India while they-are still in a position to do so. The world is day by day becoming increasingly involved in this cataclysmic struggle, but so far the Bahá’ís of India, Australia, New Zealand and the American continents have not felt either the dangers or the restrictions imposed on less fortunate communities which find themselves either over-run and temporarily eclipsed, or in the actual theatre of war. Therefore the believers of India should not allow these truly priceless days to slip by without exerting themselves to the utmost and sacrificing comfort, home, and money, to the great duty of giving the Divine Message to the people of their vast country.

Smallness of numbers, lack of skilled teachers, and modesty of means should not discourage or deter them. They must remember the glorious history of the Cause, which, both in East and West, was established by dedicated souls who, for the most part, were neither rich, famous, nor well-educated, but whose devotion, zeal and self-sacrifice overcame every obstacle and won miraculous victories for the Faith of God. Such spiritual victories can now be won for India and Burma by the friends. Let them dedicate themselves…young and old, men and women alike…and go forth and settle in new districts, travel, and teach in spite of lack of experience, and be assured that Bahá’u’lláh has promised to aid all those who arise in His Name. His strength will sustain them; their own weakness is unimportant.

In reading your annual Convention report the Guardian has noted the request made that the National Spiritual Assembly should lay down certain rules of procedure. He has already informed the American National Spiritual Assembly that they should henceforth refrain from laying down any further rules and regulations, as these would tend to rigidity the affairs of the Cause and ultimately obscure its spirit and retard its growth. He feels that your Assembly should exercise the same care, and avoid introducing any rules of procedure not already in existence. Every case coming before the Assembly should be judged on its own merits, and be decided individually without any recourse to new rulings. The Guardian will constantly pray

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for the success of all your undertakings, as well as for the welfare and progress of all the dear believers in India and Burma. Particularly will he remember in his prayers the members of the National Assembly who are called upon to direct, coordinate, and carry out the Indian Bahá’ís’ great and noble teaching enterprise.

Dear and valued co- workers:

The Six Year Plan, which you have so nobly conceived and so enthusiastically initiated, must, during these crucial years, when the first century of the Bahá’í Era is drawing to a close, be prosecuted with unremitting energy, and unshaken determination. 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, recall 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. May the Almighty, Whose Cause you are labouring to advance, endow you and your fellow-workers with all the wisdom, the strength, and guidance that you need to acquit yourselves worthily of this task.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil]

July 3, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to answer your letter to him of June 21st.

He was very sorry indeed to learn that you are in such poor health, and he wishes to assure you that he will pray most ardently for your complete recovery. He feels that for the present time you should devote yourself entirely to taking care of yourself and regaining the

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balance of your health. For this purpose you should give up both your professional activities and your Bahá’í work, if necessary, and place the regaining of your health above all else.

Your services are greatly needed in the Cause at this time—the Guardian is fully aware of this—but he believes the best way you can at present serve it is to take care of yourself, so that you may all the sooner resume your valuable services to the Faith in India.

He will also remember in his prayers your dear family, and hopes that they will hasten the recovery of your health and assist all they can in the teaching work.

With the assurance of his loving thoughts and prayers.

P.S. The Guardian trusts that the detailed wire he sent to Abbas Ally Butt, through your address, has reached you safely. He has cabled the sum of two hundred pounds direct to Abbas Ally Butt as a nucleus for a special teaching fund to be used for the furtherance of the teaching activities of the Indian and Burmese believers under the Six Year Plan. He will specially pray for you all from the depths of his heart.

Dear and prized co-worker;

I grieve to learn of your illness, and I have hastened to assure you in my wire of my special prayers for your recovery. You should subordinate everything to this primary issue, even your activities for the Faith. I will continue to supplicate the Beloved to enable you to render still greater services in the days to come, and to preserve you and your dear family, and extend to you always His protection. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil’s Daughters]

August 1, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letter to him of July 13th, which he was happy to receive.

The great devotion which you two sisters have for our beloved Faith pleases the Guardian very much. You must seek to follow in the

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footsteps of your dear father and to become outstanding maidservants in the Cause of God in India.

To study Persian is excellent, and next to this make every effort to master the English language, as it will enable you to speak to people of all races and to read the wide literature on the Faith and allied subjects which is available in that tongue.

He would also advise you to aid in the advancement of the Bahá'í youth activities as much as possible; to write, lecture, hold meetings, and prepare yourselves and others for future responsibilities.

Kindly assure your dear father of the Guardian’s continued prayers on his behalf. He hopes he is daily improving in health. You must take the best care of him.

He will pray for you both, that Bahá’u’lláh may bless and guide you and lead you to render great services to His Faith.

With the renewed assurance of my constant prayers for your spiritual and material advancement under the shadow, and through the power, of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil]

Octobers, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters to him dated June 27th, July 8th, and September 18th.

The Guardian was very happy to see from your last letter that your health is sufficiently improved for you to resume your work. He would advise you, however, to not overdo and to continue to act in accordance with the advice of your doctor. He himself will continue to pray for you, that Bahá’u’lláh may give you strength to render His Cause many outstanding services in the years to come. Shoghi Effendi was also very happy to hear from you that you consider the Faith is making substantial progress in India, due to the tireless and devoted efforts of our Bahá’í brothers and sisters in that land. He would, however, urge the friends to follow the example of the American believers by sending out more pioneers to work in territories where there are no Bahá’ís. This is in accordance with the idea

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expressed by the beloved Master in the Divine Plan Tablets, and should be followed by all Bahá’ís.

The Guardian will pray for the success of the Summer School to be held in Surat. He is delighted that the Indian friends are so well organised and are, year by year, strengthening the administrative Institutions of their Faith.

In closing he assures you of his loving prayers for yourself, your wife, and daughters, that God may bless you all and aid you to render His Faith great and historic services.

Dear and prized co-worker:

I am eagerly and hopefully awaiting to witness fresh evidences of the renewed. determination of the believers throughout India and Burma, to carry aloft and into virgin, territories the torch of Divine Guidance, despite the dark clouds that threaten on the horizon. In these days of stress and peril, every effort expended, every victory achieved, every sacrifice made, will be rewarded a hundredfold. I will pray earnestly and continually that the friends may evince such zeal and perseverance as to ensure the complete success of the Six Year Plan which they, of their own accord, have so splendidly initiated. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To an individual believer]

Octobers, 1941

…Many are the souls who, in this Holy Cause, without either worldly means or knowledge, have set ablaze the hearts of others with the divine love and rendered the Faith imperishable services…

DECEMBER 12, 1941

WIRE NEWS SAFETY FRIENDS RANGOON MANDALAY PARTICULARLY DISTINGUISHED BELOVED SIYYID MUSTAFA ASSURE THEM FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

[Page 207]

[To N. R. Vakil]

December 16, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of October 27th was recently received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He was very happy to receive so much good news of the progress of the Bahá’í teaching work in India, as well as the success of the Summer School.

The fact that the friends of India, and also of Iran, are now finding themselves in a position where they can arise and teach the Cause far and wide, greatly cheers the Guardian’s heart. He hopes that the Bahá’ís of India, in spite of the fact that the war is now so close to their native land, with all its attendant dangers and problems, will allow nothing to deter them in their prosecution of their Six-Year Teaching Plan for India and Burma.

Now is the time of true test and trial—the time when the friends must follow in the footsteps of the first Persian believers, who, heedless of comfort and even life itself, raised the Banner of Bahá’u’lláh’s Faith aloft, for all the world to see and follow.

He feels confident that the believers, led by their National Spiritual Assembly, and aided and inspired by their Local Spiritual Assemblies, will arise to new heights of service, and distinguish themselves in the eyes of the Bahá’í world. His constant prayers will be offered on their behalf, and he will remember them in the Shrines with love and yearning for their success.

He wishes to assure you he will continue to pray for your health and strength and that you may render the Cause even greater services in the future than those you have already rendered in the past. He will also pray for Mr. Fozdar and his teaching work, as well as for all the other dear teachers and friends you mention in your letter.

With his loving greetings to you, your wife, and daughters, for whom he will also pray.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I wish to add a few words in person and appeal to you, and through you to the dear friends in Burma and India, not to allow, despite the increasing gravity of the international situation and the dangers that threaten the East, the work, which has been so enthusiastically initiated, to suffer through any relaxation of effort, or any deflection of purpose, on

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the part of any individual or Assembly. These perils, sufferings and commotions are blessings in disguise, which pave the way and prepare the hearts of those who face and sustain them for a deeper realization and an earlier and fuller acceptance of the Divine Message of Bahá’u’lláh. The opportunities are manifold and priceless. Every effort should be exerted, every sacrifice should be made, every obstacle should be surmounted.

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Group Of Delhi]

December 27, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of July 25th has just recently been received by the Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is very happy to hear that the Bahá’í Youth Group of Delhi are so intent on preparing themselves to face the hard days ahead of them, and ahead of the whole world, in the true Bahá’í spirit of dedication to their great task of laying the spiritual foundation for the glorious future awaiting mankind after the days of its ordeal are past.

He hopes that, in view of the increased range of the war, you will face your task of self-preparation with even greater seriousness and devoutness than you have already done.

The young Bahá’ís of India must take part in all the work of the Indian Bahá’í Community, whether it be in teaching the Cause, pioneering in new territory, attending the Summer School, or aiding in the administrative work of the Faith. Only in this way can they prepare and train themselves for all that they will have to do in the future.

Rest assured that the Guardian takes the deepest interest in your development, and that he often prays for you in the Holy Shrines.

May the almighty Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide, sustain, and protect you, and enable you, together with your fellow youth in India and Burma, to promote the interests, and prepare yourselves for an effective furtherance of the Faith in the days to come. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 209]

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

December27, 1941

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated August 17th, and December 1st, as well as their enclosures.

He read with great interest the report of the progress of the teaching work in Kashmir, as well as the wonderful news of the departure of Mr. Yaganagi and family for Bangalore…

It rejoices his heart to see that the Indian believers are now rising to such noble heights of self-sacrifice and utter devotion to the Faith of God, and that they are, despite the great difficulty of these war times we are living through, determined to fulfil their Six Year Plan of teaching the Bahá’í Cause in India and Burma, and complete the spread of its divine and healing message to her peoples before the end of the first Bahá’í century.

He was very sad to hear of the persecution of the Bahá’í’s of Kadwai by the fanatical Muslim population. Please convey to the friends ere the assurance of his most loving prayers for their protection, and tell them that, though they are suffering for their Faith, this very persecution is a blessing to the believers of India, as we know that wherever the Cause has suffered it has always grown stronger and created more attention and more adherents.

He was also very pleased to hear of the success of the Summer School this year. The Indian Bahá’ís have every reason to feel encouraged by the marked progress of their activities in all fields.

Regarding your question as to the use of A‘rábs on the Arabic texts of the Tablets; The Guardian feels that this is a matter which concerns the entire Bahá’í world, and requires to be worked out by a highly specialized group of qualified people at some future date. He, therefore, wishes you not to print the A‘rábs on the Holy Tablets except on rare occasions where it is absolutely necessary in order to distinguish the word from some other word just like it.

In regard to the numbered questions in your August 17 letter:

# 1, 2, 3. ‘Abdu’1-Bahá is the one who has interpreted the reference of the Báb concerning David, by saying that there were two Davids, one of them was the author of the Psalms. The Tablet in which the Master states this is absolutely authentic, but at the

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moment the original is not available.

# 4. The Báb said that whenever “He whom God will make manifest” appears, accept Him. He never said don’t accept Him until after the lapse of 1000 years. Also Bahá’u’lláh says that in the year 9 of the Bábí Dispensation the time was ripe for the Revelation of “He whom God will make manifest”. As the Báb was not only a Manifestation but a Herald of this Bahá’í Faith, the interval between His Revelation and that of Bahá’u’lláh was of shorter duration. His Dispensation in a sense will last as long as Bahá’u’lláh’s lasts.

# 5. There are no doubtful verses in the Holy Book, the Aqdas. The reason it is not circulated amongst all the Bahá’ís is, first, because the Cause is not yet ready or sufficiently matured to put all the provisions of the Aqdas into effect and, second, because it is a book which requires to be supplemented by detailed explanations and to be translated into other languages by a competent body of experts. The provisions of the Aqdas are gradually, according to the progress of the Cause, being put into effect already, both in the East and the West…

# 6. No vowel points, as A‘rábs, should be published with any part of the text of the Aqdas. Certain of the Tablets may be translated in Urdu, but not the Aqdas itself, for the reasons mentioned above…

# 10. The books of the Báb have not as yet been printed in the original. Except for the Bayán, the Seven Proofs, and Commentary on the Súrih of Joseph, we cannot be sure of the authenticity of most of His other works as the text has been corrupted by the unfaithful.

# 11. Nabíl refers to the works of Shaykh Ah.mad and Siyyid Kázim in his book.

# 12. The Universal House of Justice is elected by the members of the National Houses of Justice. At this time when the National Assemblies in the Cause are not yet functioning sufficiently or fully representative of all the various important elements within it, and when some of the Bahá’ís are not even free to practice their faith, despite their numbers, it is quite impracticable to seek to establish the Universal House of Justice. Whenever conditions permit, it will be established…

The Guardian wishes the members of your Assembly to persevere, in spite of the dangers of the war now raging near to India, in the all-important task of fulfilling the Six Year Plan.

He is confident that the friends of India and Burma like their Bahá’í brothers and sisters of other lands, will surmount every obstacle, overcome every difficulty, and emerge victorious at the end of the

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first Bahá’í Century.

He assures you all of his loving and ardent prayers for the progress of your work, your protection, and guidance in these difficult and momentous days.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The news conveyed by your latest communication has rejoiced my heart. The manner in which the friends have arisen to promote the teaching work throughout their country merits the highest 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 expansion of its institutions and the multiplication of its administrative centres. The perils of the present hour, the repercussions 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. My prayers will ever surround them.

Shoghi

DECEMBER 29, 1941

IRRESPONSIBLE SISTER MEHRANGIZ FOLLOWED EXAMPLE MUHSIN’S DAUGHTER HER EXPULSION INEVITABLE INFORM FRIENDS.

SHOGHI


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1942

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

January 10, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters of August 28th and December 18th, and to explain that pressure of work has, of late, necessitated his postponing answering his letters.

He has been greatly encouraged by the work the Indian believers are doing in the pioneer teaching field. It makes him proud to behold the way this great Eastern nation is arising, through its enlightened Bahá’ís, to serve the Cause of God, and is fast pushing to the forefront of Bahá’í service, and becoming an example and an inspiration to the other Bahá’í communities in the Orient and Far East.

The noble response the Indian friends are making to his appeals has encouraged him to send them further donations for their teaching work, and he trusts that, under the indefatigable leadership of the National Spiritual Assembly, they will redouble their efforts, and push on to the full and glorious completion of the Six Year Plan they laid down for themselves with such courage and devotion.

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Realizing the delicate situation in Hyderabad the Guardian answered Sir Amin Jung’s letter at once and encouraged him and the other Bahá’ís there to persevere in serving the Faith, using, however, tact and wisdom.

The establishment of the Hyderabad Assembly and that of Bangalore are great steps forward, and the Guardian is waiting hopefully to receive the good news of more new spiritual Assemblies in this coming Bahá’í year. He was also very pleased to hear that the Summer School is becoming an institution of national importance, and that the friends are increasingly attending it and realizing its great value in the life of the entire Community of believers. In a country such as India it might grow to be the first permanent institution of Bahá’í learning if the believers support it sufficiently and carry out their teaching campaign with whole-hearted devotion and zeal; for, with the influx of many new Bahá’ís into the Cause in that country, it should not be difficult to evolve it into a Bahá’í university as time goes by.

The Guardian wishes to convey, through you, his loving appreciation of their noble services to all the dear Indian believers who have gone out as pioneers and teachers in these momentous days. He will remember them, and all the Indian friends, in his prayers in the Holy Shrines, and supplicate for them a victorious conclusion for their Six Year Plan by 1944.

He assures you, and all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, of his deep appreciation of your unsparing and devoted services, and his loving prayers for your guidance and protection.

Dear and valued co-workers:

I have been greatly heartened in my arduous task by the remarkable evidences of activity, devotion, and perseverance which the believers in India have lately manifested, and by the manner in which they have arisen to promote the cause of our Beloved, and extend the range of its institutions. I admire their spirit, and feel truly proud of their achievements. The field is indeed vast, and the problems manifold, but the spirit they have demonstrated will, if kept alive, enable them to surmount every obstacle. My prayers will continue to be offered on their behalf, and particularly for those who are planting the banner of the Faith in virgin territories. How glorious their task, how meritorious their accomplishments. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

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FEBRUARY 22, 1942

WIRE SAFETY FRIENDS MANDALAY ASSURE THEM CONTINUED PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

FEBRUARY 22, 1942

ASSURE BAHÁ’Í YOUTH DEEPEST APPRECIATION PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

[To N. R. Vakil]

February 23,1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your two letters of December 13th and January 2nd were safely received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very relieved to hear from Mr. Butt that the Burmese Bahá’ís were all safe, and he trusts that, in spite of the grave dangers now so near them, God will continue to overshadow them, and protect them in His mercy and wisdom.

We Bahá’ís are indeed most blessed in that we know that, however dark the days immediately ahead of the human race, the future is blessed and glorious. It is for this future that the believers must labour day and night, heedless of the state of the world and the dangers threatening.

The Guardian will continuously pray that Bahá’u’lláh will strengthen and guide the Indian friends to succeed in their teaching plans, and to persevere in their efforts until they have completed the Six Year Plan.

He was very happy to hear that your health was improving, and he will continue to pray for you and your dear family. May God bless and protect you all.

Dear and valued co-worker:

In these days when perils are fast gathering about India and Burma my heart and my thoughts turn increasingly towards the friends, and

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particularly those who are vigorously and devotedly promoting the interests of the Six Year Plan. I will specially and fervently pray for them all, that their vision may not be obscured, that their efforts may not diminish, that their courage may remain undaunted, and their steadfastness and loyalty unshaken. The greater their problems and anxieties and the more formidable the obstacles in their way, the more glorious and abundant will be the recompense and blessings that will be bestowed upon them by their all-seeing, their all-bountiful, all-powerful Master. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To the Local Spiritual Assembly of Karachi]

March 15, 1942

Dear Bahá’í friends:

The letter of your Assembly, dated January 2nd, has been received by the Guardian, together with the enclosed copy of the deed of “Happy Home”, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very pleased to learn of this endowment, now registered in the name of your Spiritual Assembly, and most generously contributed to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh by the dear Bahá’í friends Mr. and Mrs. Bakhtiari.

This is, indeed, a great asset to your local Bahá’í Community, and the Guardian wishes you to please convey his personal appreciation of the eminent services they have rendered to the Cause to Mr. Bakhtiari and his wife.

It is of the utmost importance that gradually, as the Communities grow stronger, they should acquire endowments to be used for the benefit of all the Bahá’ís. This not only reinforces the sense of community life, but enhances the prestige of the Faith in the eyes of their fellow-citizens.

The Guardian will pray that this new “home” may indeed be happy and blessed in every way. He will also pray that the dear believers of Karachi may be protected and guided in these dark and difficult days, and that they may render the Cause many noble and exemplary services.

Assuring the members of your Assembly of his loving prayers for them, and with Bahá’í greetings,

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Dear and valued co-workers:

I wish to assure you in person of my loving appreciation of your constancy in service and your exemplary devotion to the Faith. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart. Persevere, and rest assured.

Shoghi

[To N.R. Vakil’s Daughters]

March 20, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter to the Guardian dated March 12th, and informing him of your father’s illness, was received last night, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He immediately sent a telegram to your dear father assuring him of his prayers for his recovery. He hopes that he received it safely.

Your father has rendered the Cause of God many noble and devoted services, and the Guardian hopes and prays he will be able to render many more in the days to come.

He trusts that you are doing all in your power to take care of your father and nurse him to a speedy recovery; also that you, both young and full of devotion for the faith, are learning to serve it, and thus find ways and means of helping your father to perform his important duties in connection with the Cause and its work.

He assures you both of his most loving and fervent prayers being continued for your father, also he will pray for you, that you may grow to render the Cause distinguished services and thus follow in his footsteps.

Please convey his loving greetings to both your father and your mother.

Assuring you of my special prayers for the complete and speedy recovery of your dear and highly valued father, whose services have truly enriched the annals of God’s Faith in India, and with the assurance of my prayers for your protection and spiritual advancement. Your true brother,

Shoghi

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MARCH 26, 1942

ANXIOUS NEWS MANDALAY FRIENDS. ASSURE THEM CONSTANT REMEMBRANCE FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

APRIL 22, 1942

LOVING APPRECIATION INDIAN BELIEVERS MESSAGE. ASSURE THEM PRAYING REDOUBLED FERVOUR THEIR PROTECTION UNITY REALIZATION HIGHEST ASPIRATIONS SERVICE FAITH.

SHOGHI

[To an individual believer]

May 8, 1942

…He assures you that in these dark times, his prayers are frequently offered for the Bahá’ís of India, that God may strengthen their faith, guide them, and protect them.

There is no refuge in the world today except the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. The believers must rest assured that, having the Faith, they have everything. They must place their lives in the Hand of God; and, confident of His Mercy and Protection, go on teaching the Cause and serving it, no matter what happens…

[To an individual believer]

May 16, 1942

…Now is the time for the believers everywhere to demonstrate the quality of their faith—for these are times of danger and difficulty, and a deed done in His Name today is worth much labour under ordinary conditions of peace and comfort…

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[To Abbás ‘Alí Butt]

June 27, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of February 19th, has been received only a few-days ago, together with its enclosures, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf…

The most welcome news of the establishment of the new Assembly in Hyderabad made him very happy, and he is. replying to their letter at once…

The friends of India, he feels, must endeavour to obtain a degree of spiritual maturity which will enable them, under all circumstances, to concentrate on the broad, essential tasks, and not dissipate their energies in controversy over administrative details, personalities, etc.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I wish to assure you in person, in this letter addressed to you. personally, of my warm, my abiding, and ever-increasing admiration for the spirit you have consistently shown in the discharge of your arduous task and heavy responsibilities. I feel truly proud of the work you have accomplished, and cherish high hopes for your future services to the Sacred Threshold. I will also pray for the speedy solution of the problems which confront you and for the realization of every hope you cherish in His Service. Do not feel disheartened. Persevere, be happy, and assured. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To Abbás ‘Alí Butt]

June 27, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters of February 2nd, February 19th, May 25th, June 4th (addressed to Bombay Assembly), and to acknowledge the receipts of your minutes of the annual National Spiritual Assembly meeting and other enclosures.

The photograph you mention having sent of the Hyderabad

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friends have not been received, and the Guardian would like you to send him another to place in the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh; also he would suggest that you send one to the National Spiritual Assembly of America for publication in “Bahá’í News”.

The Guardian has written the new Hyderabad Assembly, and he will indeed pray for their protection and blessing. They are an important group in an important State, and he hopes that your Assembly will render them every assistance and help possible, in order to deepen them in the knowledge of the teachings and in Faith…

The increased activity in the teaching field in India, greatly pleased the Guardian, and he feels sure that the more they work the more abundantly will Bahá’u’lláh bless and confirm their efforts. This is in consonance with a great spiritual law, that when we arise and sacrifice and labour for the Faith, the Divine energies are released, and aid us far beyond our own limited powers of achievement.

The establishment of the Assembly of Kotah, no less than that of Hyderabad, must be viewed in the light of another milestone in the forward march of the Faith in India. The Guardian would like you to convey to all the dear pioneers and teachers whom you have enumerated in your letters, the expression of his deep gratitude for, and appreciation of the wonderful work they are doing. The believers of India, though few in numbers in relation to the millions that form their nation, are performing a service to their fellow-countrymen which in the future will be seen in its true magnitude. Let them rest assured and toil ceaselessly for the establishment of the Faith which they serve, and which alone can ultimately heal the ills of the sorely tried mankind…

Concerning the number of delegates and the annual Convention: In view of the tact that the Burmese Bahá’ís are now completely cut off from their brethren in India, and as long as this state of affairs continues, the Guardian wishes you to re-apportion the 19 delegates amongst the existing Spiritual Assemblies in India. In closing he wishes me to assure each and every one of you of his deep gratitude for your devoted services, and his ardent and loving prayers for your historic work in this dark period we are all passing through.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The pioneer activities in which the friends in India, are so steadfastly, so energetically and so devotedly engaged, in spite of the perils, the

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uncertainties and the stress of the present hour, are a marvellous evidence of the indomitable spirit that animates them in the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. 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-sacrifice, 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. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Committee]

June 27, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of May the 25th, together with the newspaper clippings you forwarded and the greetings from the Bahá’í youth of various cities, were received a few days ago by the Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is greatly pleased to note the progress which the young Bahá’ís of India are making. Year by year he sees them growing stronger in faith, more conscious of their duties and privileges as Bahá’ís, more anxious to develop their knowledge of the Teachings and their capacity to serve in the administration.

He strongly feels that now is the time for them to arise and follow the example of their American brothers and sisters, and begin, wherever possible, to undertake pioneer teaching work. The services rendered in this field by some of the American youth have been little short of astounding, and he sees no reason why the young believers of India should not win for themselves similar laurels in the path of Bahá’u’lláh.

Their beginning has been excellent, and he hopes that their future will be even more outstanding and praiseworthy. He was very pleased with the publicity they received on the occasion of the annual

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Youth Symposium, and feels sure that such speeches and activity cannot but win the admiration of young and old alike among their fellow-countrymen.

Kindly assure all the Bahá’í youth of India of his prayers on their behalf and of the high hopes he cherishes for their future work in the Cause of God.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I will, in the course of these coming days, answer separately the letter written by the Bahá’í youth in various centres in India. I wish now to express to them, through you, my abiding sense of appreciation and gratitude for the spirit they are manifesting/or their perseverance and great accomplishments. I will remember them all in my prayers at the Holy Shrines. May the Beloved protect, inspire and sustain them in these days of peril and stress and aid them to further effectively the interests of a Faith so dear to their hearts. Your true brother,

Shoghi

JUNE 26, 1942

BAHA’I WORLD DEPLORES LOSS DISTINGUISHED PROMOTER FAITH ABDU’L JALIL SAAD. HIS EMINENT SERVICES AS CHAMPION CAUSE IN EGYPT AS TEACHER AUTHOR ADMINISTRATOR UNFORGETTABLE. INFORM FRIENDS HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS HIS HONOUR.

SHOGHI

[To The Bahá’í Youth Of Karachi]

July 3, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of greetings of February 22nd, has reached the Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very happy to see how successful the annual Bahá’í Youth Symposium was everywhere in India, and, judging by the newspaper clippings forwarded to him, particularly in Karachi.

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That at such a time the young believers should be so busy, both studying the Teachings and spreading them, is an eloquent testimony to the character of their Faith and the devotion it inspires in its adherents. The Guardian hopes that in these days of universal danger and suffering, the young Bahá’ís of Karachi will play an ever-increasing part in the spread and consolidation of the Faith in that city and nearby centres, and arise and help lighten the load of the older believers who have so patiently and tirelessly served the Cause in that land.

He will pray for you all in the Holy Shrines, that Bahá’u’lláh may bless and guide your work.

May the Beloved of our hearts sustain and strengthen you to accomplish His will, and further the best interests of His gracious Faith.

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Of Surat, Care Of N.R. Vakil’s Daughters]

July 3, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Sisters,

The Guardian was very happy to receive your letter sent on the occasion of the Bahá’í Youth Symposium, of February 22nd, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

Your exemplary perseverance in holding this day, and the devotion to our beloved Faith which it bears witness to, greatly touched him. He feels sure that your efforts cannot but ultimately result in the spread of the Faith, in that city, to your fellow youth.

The Cause everywhere in India seems to be making remarkable progress, and the young Bahá’ís are evidently actively preparing themselves to ever-increasingly play their part in its spread.

The Guardian hopes that you two sisters will, as time goes by, take your place in the forefront of the Faith in India, and thus gladden the heart of your father who has rendered it so many notable and devoted services.

He assures you both of his loving prayers for your services to the Cause of God.

May the Beloved bless your efforts, and graciously assist you to establish in the days to come a prosperous centre of Bahá’í youth

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activities, which will lend an impetus to the progress of the Faith in that neighbourhood. Your true brother,

Shoghi

JULY 6, 1942

NOTABLE PROGRESS ACHIEVED DEAR INDIAN BELIEVERS TEACHING FAITH BAHA’U’LLAH IMPELS ME CONTRIBUTE TWO HUNDRED POUNDS TEACHING FUND. APPEAL INTENSIFICATION EFFORTS WIDER DISPERSION INCREASE NUMBER VOLUNTEERS MULTIPLICATION GROUPS ASSEMBLIES. PRAYING CONSPICUOUS VICTORIES.

SHOGHI

[To N.R. Vakil]

July 27, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters of March 7th and 23rd, April 25th, May 6th, June 27th, July 8th and 11th have all been safely received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer you and thank you for all the painstaking care with which you attend to the matters he refers to you and transmit them to the other National Spiritual Assembly members. He has himself been very busy, or he would have written to you sooner.

The news that your health is steadily improving pleased him very much, as he feels your services are required even more today than they have been in the past. He hopes you will continue to follow your doctor’s advice, and thus fully regain your strength. Also the extremely good news of the way the Bahá’ís of India are arising and serving in new fields in spite of the war conditions prevailing, and the formation of the new Assemblies of Hyderabad and Kotah, the work in Kashmir and various other centres, has all greatly cheered his heart, and impelled him to contribute the sum he forwarded through you to help carry out the many teaching enterprises now underway. The rate at which the Indian believers are advancing is increasingly entitling them to a position in the foremost ranks of the Faith, and will no doubt greatly inspire and encourage other Bahá’ís of the East to follow their example. Such prizes are to be won in these days of universal trial and suffering, and it makes the Guardian very happy to feel that

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some of them are evidently going to be merited by the Indian believers!

It is a great deprivation that the friends should be cut off from their devoted fellow-Bahá’ís in Burma. We can only hope and pray that Bahá’u’lláh will protect and watch over them until the ordeal of these times is past, and the faithful believers the world over can again join hands and work together for the peace and progress of the entire world.

The passing of Abdu’l-Jalil Beg Saad was a great loss to the Faith in Egypt, and the Guardian was pleased to hear that his co-workers in India held memorial meetings for him. Such occasions constitute eloquent testimonials to the profound love that binds Bahá’ís to each other, whoever and wherever they may be.

The Guardian was pleased to hear your daughter has passed her matriculation examinations, and he hopes she and her sister will increasingly feel inspired to serve the Faith in ever wider fields.

He assures you of his continued loving prayers on your behalf and your family and all the dear friends in India.

Dear and valued co-worker:

I wish to reaffirm my deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude for the sustained, the painstaking and fruitful efforts exerted so far by the Indian believers for the promotion of the Six Year Plan. The limits of the Faith have been enlarged, the centres and groups have multiplied, and the determination and zeal of the prosecutors of the Plan are visibly increasing. I am greatly cheered and encouraged, and will, with redoubled fervour, pray at the Holy Shrines, for the victorious conclusion of the campaign initiated with such devotion, energy, and resolution. May the Beloved sustain them in their noble task. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

July 29, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters of July 2nd and 6th, have been safely received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

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The marked, and extremely encouraging, progress which the Cause is making in India has so pleased the Guardian and cheered his over-burdened heart that he felt impelled to forward to your Assembly the sum of two hundred pounds to be expended for the further promotion of the teaching work.

That at such a time, when dangers threaten on every side and the whole planet is plunged in war and confusion, the Indian believers should, so steadily and patiently, with such devotion and enthusiasm, pursue their tasks of teaching under the Six Year Plan, is, indeed, a cause for universal acclaim and rejoicing on the part of their fellow-Bahá’ís. They are ever-increasingly arising to take their place as one of the foremost Bahá’í Communities, and their spirit and their accomplishments are arousing the envy and the admiration of their fellow-workers in Eastern lands…

All the letters you enumerate in your latest communications, as well as the cable concerning the memorial gatherings for our dear departed brother, Abdu’l-Jalil Beg Saad, have been safely received.

Regarding the questions in your letter: The cutting of the hair mentioned in the Aqdas refers to men only.

The placing of the burial stone on the dead has no other significance than to emphasize our profound conviction that our souls come from our Creator and to Him they return, and in Him we believe and trust.

Kindly assure the dear and faithful servant Maulvi Muhammad Abdu’llah, of the Guardian’s prayers on his behalf, that he may be strengthened to render the Faith many future and memorable services. Also assure him of his prayers for his son’s awakening in the Faith. Express also to Mr. Fazil and Mr. Samadani the Guardian’s appreciation of their fine and tireless services.

He assures you, and your fellow National Assembly members of his profound gratitude for your ceaseless labours, and he will continue to pray for you in the Holy Shrines.

Dear and valued co-workers,

The accomplishments of the believers of India, in virgin fields and in furtherance of the interests of the Six Year Plan, merit the highest praise. Prompted by their achievements, and as a token of my keen appreciation of their notable services, and in order to facilitate further expansion and consolidation of their teaching activities, I have forwarded to you a contribution which I trust will serve as a nucleus for a

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Fund designed to promote the vital and urgent interests of the nationwide teaching enterprise in which you. have embarked, and which constitutes the greatest single organized undertaking launched in the service of Bahá’u’lláh in that country. Perseverance, coupled with a spirit of complete dedication to the cause of teaching, will, I feel confident, ensure the triumphant conclusion of your labours. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart. Redouble your efforts and be confident. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[To the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bombay]

July 29, 1942

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of June 24th has been received, together with the various documents and reports you enclosed, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf…

The. Guardian has been very pleased to note the progress the Bombay friends have been making in their various activities. He would, however, urge the Bombay Assembly and community to redouble their efforts in the field of teaching; to send forth new souls into the pioneer field, and to devote as much time as possible to fostering the spread of the Cause in nearby centres.

He hopes that the contemplated celebration of the anniversary of the Birthday of Bahá’u’lláh will prove to be a great success, and he sees no objection to the friends helping nearby centres to hold a similar public meeting to attract new souls and teach the Faith.

In ail matters of national importance, or which in anyway transcend the purely local jurisdiction of the Assembly, the Guardian would urge your Assembly to consult with, and seek the advice of the National Spiritual Assembly, as only in this way can administrative authority be upheld, and the work of the Cause progress swiftly… Just as the individual believers are bound to support and sustain their Local Assembly, for the preservation of the unity of the Faith and the strengthening of its as yet embryonic World Order, so must the Local Assemblies obey and sustain their national representatives. The closer the cooperation between local and national Assemblies, the greater will be the power and radiance which can and must stream forth from these institutions to the suffering ranks of humanity.

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The Guardian assures you, and all the members of the Bombay Assembly, of his continued loving prayers for the success of your labours in the Path of God.

Dear co-worker:

The activities of the Indian believers in the teaching field, in these days of uncertainty and peril, deserve the highest praise. I will specially pray at the Holy Shrines for the expansion of the activities to which I attach the utmost importance in these concluding years of the first Bahá’í’ century. What the Bombay believers have accomplished in this respect is noteworthy and I trust and pray that the Beloved may aid, sustain and guide them to achieve great victories in the teaching field in the days [to come].

Shoghi

[To N. R. Vakil’s Daughter]

July 29, 1942

Dear Bahá’í sister,

Your letter of March 21st was received some time ago by the Guardian, but he was too busy to answer it at the moment, and he has now instructed me to reply on his behalf.

He has first written to your dear father expressing his gratification at the news, conveyed in his letters, of the marked improvement in his health. He hopes you and your sister do all in your power to help him and lighten his work, as his services are of great value to the Faith in India.

The Guardian was pleased to see that you and your sister so faithfully observe the International Youth Day of the Young Bahá’ís, and he hopes you will succeed in interesting and confirming in the Faith other young people in Surat.

Assure your father of the Guardian’s continued loving prayers on his behalf, and for you and your mother arid sister as well.

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Wishing you all success in your services to the Faith, and with the renewed assurance of my continued prayers for your father, whose past and present services I will ever remember with loving gratitude. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 229]

1943

JANUARY 2, 1943

GREATLY CHEERED REMARKABLE EXPANSION TEACHING ACTIVITIES VALIANT PIONEERS URGE PERSEVERANCE CABLING THREE HUNDRED POUNDS FACILITATE BAHA’I SETTLEMENT VIRGIN STATES. PRAYING MAGNIFICENT VICTORIES RESOUNDING SUCCESS HISTORIC TASK.

SHOGHI

JANUARY 13, 1943

INFORM ALL BELIEVERS COMPLETION EXTERIORS EDIFICE FIRST BAHA’I HOUSE WORSHIP WESTERN WORLD INITIATED THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO. ADVISE CABLE CONGRATULATIONS BEHALF INDIAN BELIEVERS EXECUTORS HISTORIC ENTERPRISE RANKING AMONGST FOREMOST ACHIEVEMENTS FIRST BAHA’I CENTURY. URGE THROUGHOUT INDIA WIDEST PUBLICITY HISTORIC EVENT.

SHOGHI

[Page 230]

JANUARY 13, 1943

COMPLETION TEMPLE BY AMERICAN BELIEVERS NECESSITATES DIRECT ATTENTION ESTABLISHMENT ADMINISTRATIVE CENTRE FOR FAITH IN INDIA. ENQUIRE WHETHER PURCHASE SUITABLE HOUSE IN DELHI AS TEMPORARY CENTRE PENDING CONSTRUCTION SPECIAL EDIFICE IN FUTURE POSSIBLE. WIRE AFTER PROMPT CONSULTATION WITH MEMBERS ASSEMBLY RESULT INQUIRIES REGARDING SITE PRICES. PRAYING ITS EARLY ESTABLISHMENT ERE CONCLUSION FIRST BAHA’I CENTURY.

SHOGHI

[To the National Spiritual Assembly

January 14, 1943

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

In perusing the minutes of the meeting of the National Spiritual Assembly the Guardian noted that the book of Mr. Myron Phelps has been translated into Urdu. He has instructed me to write and tell you that he does not advise publishing this book in any language as it is full of inaccuracies. In America they have also ceased to republish it or circulate it for the same reason.

He regrets very much that so much trouble has been taken in the matter already, only to prove fruitless in the end.

He would also like you to forward to him the copy of the book you have in English for his reference libraries here, as it is, in spite of its inaccuracies, of historic interest. Assuring you of his loving prayers on your behalf in the Holy Shrines.

[To N. R. Vakil]

January 28, 1943

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I wish to acknowledge, on behalf of the beloved Guardian, the receipt of your letters dated July 31st, August 13th, and November the 15th, (Both written by your daughter on your behalf), October 30th, December 12th, August 21st (which was only received in

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January!), and January 15th, 1943, all of which the Guardian has instructed me to answer on his behalf.

As he has often been in communication with you by cable he has delayed answering your letters owing to the extreme pressure of his work, which he has to attend to constantly.

He was very sorry to learn from your last letter that you are again confined to bed. Your services are so needed at present, and you must rest assured that he will ardently supplicate on your behalf in the Holy Shrines, that Bahá’u’lláh may shower his bounties upon you. It is, however, very good training for your two daughters in the service of the Cause to now do all in their power to help you, and thus learn more efficiently the plans and administration of our beloved Faith.

Regarding the translation of “Badaie-ul-Assar”, by Mirza Mahmud, into English; the Guardian feels that at present an English version of this book is not urgently required but that if Prof. Pritam Singh cares to translate it into Urdu it would be of great service to the Faith in India.

Concerning his recent cable to the National Spiritual Assembly: The Guardian feels that, if feasible, it is highly desirable and necessary that the rapidly growing and strengthening Indian Bahá’í Community should have a proper administrative Headquarters, situated in the capital, Delhi, and suitable for the next few years at least. He wishes the National Spiritual Assembly to find a building or house which will suit their requirements in every way, and inform him at once of the price required. He considers that it is premature at present to think of purchasing a site for a future Bahá’í Temple. The thing for the friends to concentrate on at present is the ?a?íratu’l-Quds.

He has been greatly encouraged of late to witness the marked increase of activity shown by the Bahá’í Communities everywhere in India. They are demonstrating their right to a place in the foremost ranks of the Bahá’í World, and he is very pleased with them, and eager that they should forge ahead in every field of Bahá’í life.

He assures you he will pray for all of those dear teachers and pioneers whom you mention in your letter of December 12th, as well as for the success of your daughters’ studies and you and Mrs. Vakil.

May the Almighty graciously assist the Indian believers to establish, ere the close of the first Baha’i century, their administrative headquarters in the capital city of India, and thus befittingly crown their meritorious teaching activities.

Shoghi

FEBRUARY 27, 1943

URGE EXPEDITE CHOICE SUITABLE BUILDING. WIRE FULLY RESULTS INQUIRIES TO SAVE TIME.

SHOGHI

MARCH 1, 1943

ASSURE BAHA’I YOUTH SPECIAL PRAYERS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS JOINT EFFORTS DELIBERATIONS.

SHOGHI

MARCH 2, 1943

WIRE PRICES DEMANDED PURCHASE SUITABLE BUILDING.

SHOGHI

MARCH 12, 1943

OWING EXORBITANT PRICE ADVISE RENT SUITABLE HOUSE.

SHOGHI

APRIL 21, 1943

DESIRE ADDRESS PLEA REPRESENTATIVES INDIAN BELIEVERS ASSEMBLED CONVENTION LAST YEAR FIRST BAHA’I CENTURY DELIBERATE NECESSARY MEASURES PROMPT ESTABLISHMENT MUCH NEEDED BAHA’I NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS CAPITAL CITY INDIA. CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS CONTRIBUTION FUND DEDICATED MERITORIOUS PURPOSE. ADVISE CONSIDER WAYS MEANS ENSURE BEFITTING CELEBRATION MAY 1944 CENTENARY FAITH AND PUBLICATION SURVEY HISTORY FAITH SINCE INCEPTION INDIA. URGE UNRELAXING VIGILANCE REDOUBLED EFFORTS ENSURE SUCCESS SIX YEAR PLAN. PRAYING ALMIGHTY’S BLESSINGS GUIDANCE MIGHTY UNDERTAKINGS. HEROIC SELF-SACRIFICE IMPERATIVE.

SHOGHI

MAY 1, 1943

REJOICE MULTIPLICATION CENTRES URGE ENSURE UNITY HARMONY BELIEVERS INDISPENSABLE CONDITION FURTHER PROGRESS FAITH. ADVISE RENEWED EFFORTS EARLY ESTABLISHMENT BAHA’I ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS.

SHOGHI

[To The Bahá’í Spiritual Assembly of Poona]

May 4, 1943

Dear Bahá’í’ Friends,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letter dated April 6th, 1943, and also to enclose the two receipts for the loving contributions you forwarded to him.

He is very pleased with the progress the believers of India have made in the past year, and he hopes that, during this last year of the First Bahá’í Century, they will achieve many victories in the teaching field, and also establish their national Bahá’í administrative Headquarters in Delhi.

His constant prayer is that the friends will exert ever greater efforts for the spread of the Faith in that country, and that the greatest unity and love will prevail amongst them, as without these characteristics they cannot hope to attract souls to the Cause.

He will pray for all of you and for the progress of the Faith in Poona.

May the Beloved protect, guide, and sustain you and enable you to promote efficiently the best interests of the Faith and its institutions.

Shoghi

[To Tahera and Sushila Vakil]

May 5, 1943

Dear Bahá’í Sisters,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer your two letters dated March 4th (from Tahera), and March 7th, (from Sushila). Early this morning he instructed me to reply to your letters and those of your dear father—but before I had a chance to do so the telegram arrived conveying the very sad news of his passing!

This grieved the Guardian very much as he loved and admired your father for his steadfast devotion to the Cause of God, his tireless services and wisdom and ability.

He wishes you both to convey to your dear mother his heartfelt sympathy on so great a loss, and he feels sure you will both do all in your power to lighten her sorrow.

For those who remain behind, death is a hard blow indeed, but for such a soul as your father it is only a step into a new and glorious life, a life of freedom to be near the Eternal Beloved and to serve the Cause of God in those realms of height he has passed to.

Your father’s constant prayer was that you both should serve the Cause of God, and the Guardian is confident that you will carry out his wishes and thus bring joy to his spirit. He will surely be always watching over you now, closer even than he was in life, and seeking to guide and help you. You could find no better path in life than to follow in his footsteps and live up to his example.

The Guardian’s most ardent prayers will be offered for you and your mother in the Holy Shrines, as well as for the exaltation and joy of your father’s spirit in the world beyond. With most loving sympathy.

Dear co-workers:

I have just heard the very sad news of the passing of your dearly-loved father. This is a great loss to the Bahá’í community in that land and indeed to the Bahá’í world. His exemplary devotion, his indefatigable efforts, his shining faith, his unswerving fidelity, his zeal, his magnificent achievements, in both the administrative and teaching spheres of Bahá’í activity have enriched the annals of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. I personally greatly loved and admired him. The Beloved, I assure you, was

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pleased with him, and will now bless his soul in the Great Beyond. I will pray for him from the depths of my heart. Your true brother,

Shoghi

MAY 5, 1943

SHARE FULLY POIGNANT GRIEF INDIAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY PASSING ITS DISTINGUISHED CHAMPION FIRM PILLAR ABLE TEACHER ADMINISTRATOR BELOVED VAKIL. CONCOURSE ON HIGH ACCLAIM HIS PIONEER HISTORIC SERVICES. ADVISE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERINGS RECOGNITION TRIBUTE HIS HIGH STATION.

SHOGHI

MAY 6, 1943

[REGARDING THE PASSING OF N.R. VAKIL]

BAKTIARI BUTT CORNER HOUSE PREEDY ROAD CAMP KARACHI

HEARTS SORROWFUL GRIEVOUS LOSS PASSING ABHA KINGDOM OUTSTANDING INDEFATIGABLE EXEMPLARY MUCH LOVED SERVANT BAHA’U’LLAH. REWARD HIS MANIFOLD LONG STANDING NOTABLE SERVICES ASSURED. EXTEND DEEPEST SYMPATHY MY BEHALF HIS FAMILY ASSURE THEM FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

MAY 8, 1943

ASSURE YOUTH CONFERENCE DELEGATES MEMBERS LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES. URGE CONTINUED ENDEAVOURS SAFEGUARD CONSOLIDATE UNITY. EXERT IMMEDIATE EFFORTS WIDER DISPERSION TEACHING VIRGIN TERRITORIES ESTABLISH URGENTLY REQUIRED ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS MARKING CONSUMMATION RECENT NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS DEAR INDIAN BELIEVERS IN TEACHING FIELD. WIRE PERMANENT STREET ADDRESS FOR FUTURE USE.

SHOGHI

[Page 236]

MAY 11, 1943

SEND IMMEDIATELY AIRMAIL COMPLETE LIST NAMES ALL LOCALITIES WHERE ONE OR MORE BELIEVERS RESIDE SPECIFYING THOSE POSSESSING SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES.

SHOGHI

JUNE 3, 1943

EAGERLY AWAITING GLAD TIDINGS INAUGURATION ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS SOURCE FUTURE BLESSINGS ACTIVITIES INDIAN BELIEVERS.

SHOGHI

[To ‘Abbás ‘Alí Butt]

June 22, 1943

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated February 11th, two of May 7th, and May 18th and 24th, have all been received, together with their enclosures, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was very sad to hear of the passing of our dear and esteemed brother, Mr. Vakil. His loss will be much felt by the Indian believers, and the many services he rendered the Cause will never be forgotten. It is too bad that he was denied the burial he himself longed for, but no doubt his spirit is now rejoicing in the Abhá Kingdom after its long and faithful labours in this world.

Regarding the future residence of Mrs. Vakil and her daughters: The Guardian already cabled advising that they take up their residence in Karachi. He leaves them entirely free of course, but he felt that would be a good place for them in every way. He wishes the National Spiritual Assembly to extend them every assistance and advice.

Regarding your question concerning the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly: There cannot be any permanently elected secretary who would year after year hold office, as this would be contrary to the principles of the administration; however, the Guardian feels that the National Spiritual Assembly should supply the secretary with a paid helper in order to enable him to carry on his duties properly and at the same time pursue his own profession, if that is necessary for him. In other words the Secretary of the National

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Spiritual Assembly can have a full-time secretary under him if the work requires it…

The Guardian has notified the friends in other countries that, in view of the fact that this is the hundredth year of the Faith and we are going to celebrate our Centenary next May, Spiritual Assemblies may be constituted or elected anytime before next April, wherever there are 9 or more believers. He has done this in order to encourage the friends and stimulate the work everywhere. He would like you to impress this fact on the believers in India so that they may redouble their efforts and have a truly impressive number of Assemblies by next May.

He is sorry to hear that you have not as yet been able to find a suitable house for the National Administrative Headquarters. The establishment of this Headquarters will greatly enhance the prestige of the Indian Bahá’í community and stimulate the growth and work of the Cause. He hopes you will soon meet with success, and cable him the glad news he is eagerly waiting to receive.

Mr. Mani Mehta forwarded to the Guardian a copy of the National Spiritual Assembly’s decision informing him that he must either give up his connection with the War Comforts Fund or his Bahá’í administrative work. The Guardian feels that there is no objection to a Bahá’í undertaking work of a philanthropic or humanitarian nature and at the same time being on elected Bahá’í bodies or holding office in them. The War Comforts Fund is in no way contrary to our principles, and there can be no objection to Mr. Mehta’s work in this connection. He hopes that the National Spiritual Assembly will clarify this matter and remove any misunderstandings that have arisen.

The friends in India are, after years of labour and devotion, beginning to find their number greatly increased, their Assemblies multiplied; their Faith increasingly well-known to the public; they are about to initiate their first National Headquarters, and in a few months will be celebrating the glorious occasion of the hundredth anniversary of their Faith, at such a critical time. They should, one and all, devote their energies to achieving their objectives and impressing upon the public the nobility and beauty of their teachings, divinely-inspired, and of such vast import to the entire world, and cast aside, once for all, any differences of opinion or personal viewpoints or prejudices that may hinder the success of their plans and cast a blight on the wonderful achievements they have earned out and are about to crown with still greater victories.

[Page 238]

The Guardian feels that the National Spiritual Assembly must from now on coordinate its plans and set in motion us preparations for the Centenary Celebration. The believers must hold gatherings for the Bahá’ís at exactly 2 hours and 11 minutes after sunset on May 22nd 1944, as this is the exact time when the Báb declared His Mission to Mullá Hussayn. They should also arrange to hold public gatherings on May 23rd and enlist the support of prominent friends of the Faith as speakers, together with Bahá’í speakers, on that occasion. They should, as far as possible, hold festive gatherings at this time, give banquets at which friends of the Cause and believers are present, obtain as much space in the press of India as possible, and in general devise ways and means of making this a glorious and memorable celebration. He would also like to have the National Spiritual Assembly publish, in conjunction with the Centenary, a pamphlet giving a brief outline of the Faith’s origin and teachings and major events in India, since its establishment there, and a detailed outline of the accomplishments of the Indian Bahá’í Community, its early history, its development, etc.

He has been greatly encouraged by the progress made by the Indian Bahá’í Community in recent years, and he longs to see them shine still brighter amidst its fellow communities the world over.

You may be sure that his loving prayers will be offered on your behalf and on behalf of other National Spiritual Assembly members, that you may speedily find a suitable Hazi’ram’1-Quds, that the Cause may go on to still greater triumphs during this last year of the Century, and that the unity of the friends may be increased everywhere, as befits our Holy Faith.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The celebration of the Centenary of our glorious Faith by the friends in India, should, under your direction, and with your encouragement and the assistance of individuals and Local Assemblies throughout India, constitute a befitting conclusion to the magnificent labours and accomplishments that have marked your stewardship in the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh in recent years. A special fund should be initiated, a strong committee should be set up, the utmost care should be taken, the most diligent efforts should be exerted and every sacrifice should be made to ensure the unqualified success of this great undertaking. I will pray for your success from the depths of my heart. There is no time to lose. The

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Beloved will, no doubt, crown your exertions with signal victory if you arise and persevere.

Shoghi

JULY 8, 1943

URGE ATTENDANCE ALL MEMBERS JULY MEETING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN DELHI INSTEAD KARACHI CONCENTRATE ATTENTION PURCHASE HEADQUARTERS. PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

JULY 27, 1943

PRAYING SUCCESS CONCENTRATE PURCHASE BUILDING AND PROMOTION TEACHING ACTIVITIES.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 5, 1943

ADVISE UNDERTAKE PROMPT MEASURES TRANSLATION PUBLICATION ESSLEMONT’S BOOK INTO MARATHI TAMIL AND THREE OTHER LANGUAGES SELECTED BY NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. MULTIPLICATION ASSEMBLIES ESTABLISHMENT ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS MUST BE SPEEDILY SUPPLEMENTED BY MEASURES AIMING MUCH NEEDED PUBLICITY. PRAYING STILL GREATER VICTORIES. CABLING THREE HUNDRED POUNDS THIS MERITORIOUS PURPOSE.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 29, 1943

FOR UJJAIN BAHA’I ASSEMBLY. VERY GRATEFUL GLORIOUS EVENT PRAYING FOR BLESSINGS AND GUIDANCE UJJAIN FRIENDS.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 7, 1943

WIRE PRICE PURCHASED HAZIRA ALSO WHETHER ANY SURPLUS FUNDS LEFT.

SHOGHI

[Page 240]

OCTOBER 15, 1943

CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS NUCLEUS FORMATION SPECIAL FUND FOR TRANSLATION PRINTING WIDESPREAD DISSEMINATION BAHA’I LITERATURE. AUSTRALIAN BELIEVERS ARISING ESTABLISH NATIONAL BAHA’I HEADQUARTERS SYDNEY. ADVISE CABLE TOKEN CONTRIBUTION INDIAN BELIEVERS…

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

October 26, 1943

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated June 11th, July 2nd and September 5th (2 under this date in one envelope), as well as the enclosures you forwarded have been received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was very pleased to hear that the Convention was so well attended, and the believers enthusiastic and united. One of the most paramount needs of the Cause in India is that the friends should unite, should become really keenly conscious of the fact that they are one spiritual family, held together by bonds more sacred and eternal than those physical ties which make people of the same family. If the friends will forget all personal differences and open their hearts to a great love for each other for the sake of Bahá’u’lláh, they will find that their powers are vastly increased; they will attract the heart of the public, and will witness a rapid growth of the Holy Faith in India. The National Spiritual Assembly should do all in its power to foster unity among the believers, and to educate them in the administration, as this is the channel through which their community life must flow, and which, when properly understood and practised, will enable the work of the Cause to go ahead by leaps and bounds.

The excellent news you conveyed of the progress of the Faith in so many hitherto virgin territories of India, greatly rejoiced the Guardian’s heart, and he is proud to witness the manner in which the Indian believers are arising, teaching, and sacrificing for the Faith of God. The friends themselves must be astonished at the rapidity with which the devoted pioneers have succeeded in establishing new spiritual Assemblies; and he hopes that many more souls will, thrilled by these

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achievements, follow in their footsteps, and thus ensure a truly glorious celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the Cause next May.

The eyes of the Bahá’í world are being increasingly attracted by the achievements of the Indian friends, and they have the opportunity of crowning their Centenary celebrations with a victory outstanding in the records of the Bahá’ís of the East. The Guardian hopes that in this connection many more Bahá’í young people will arise and serve. They have the advantages of health and freedom from family responsibilities which are not always enjoyed by older people, and they should cooperate to the full with more experienced believers in carrying on the pioneer work of the Cause.

He is most anxious that now that the National Administrative Headquarters of the Faith has been successfully established—a tremendous step forward for the Faith there—you should give special attention to getting out the Esslemont book in three additional languages as soon as possible.

The Guardian assures you and all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of his most loving prayers for the success of your arduous labours. Also please convey to all the dear pioneers, and the new believers in virgin territories, his best wishes for the success of their devoted services to the beloved Cause.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The achievements of the Indian believers in recent months have been truly stupendous. The Six Year Plan has progressed magnificently; the dissemination of Bahá’í literature has been stimulated, the national administrative headquarters, to be henceforth designated as the ?a?íratu’l-Quds, has been established; a new spirit stirs in the hearts of the believers, teachers, pioneers as well as administrators; the evidences of a fast developing community life are evident everywhere. The impetus lent to these activities must be continually reinforced in these concluding months of the first Bahá’í century. The Indian believers have amply demonstrated the vitality of the faith they profess. they must win fresh laurels. they cannot rest on their oars. They must scale still loftier heights. they must persevere till the end. they must sacrifice to the utmost. they must unite as never before. they must prove themselves worthy of the task they have so nobly initiated and are now so energetically prosecuting. I will, with redoubled fervour, pray for its consummation. rest assured. your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

[Page 242]

NOVEMBER 11, 1943

ASSURE KAUSHAL LOVING SYMPATHY APPRECIATION HISTORIC PERFORMANCE BAHA’I RITES. PRAYING SUCCESS SUMMER SCHOOL.

SHOGHI

DECEMBER 3, 1943

ASSURE BARODA ASSEMBLY LOVING PRAYERS EXPANSION ACTIVITIES. GREATLY PLEASED PURCHASE BOMBAY HAZIRA…

SHOGHI

DECEMBER 24, 1943

REJOICE REMARKABLE MULTIPLICATION BAHA’I ASSEMBLIES PRAYING STILL MORE NOTABLE VICTORIES LOVING APPRECIATION INVOKING BLESSINGS KOLHAPUR ASSEMBLY.

SHOGHI

DECEMBER 26, 1943

WIRE NAMES ALL INCORPORATED ASSEMBLIES IN INDIA AND BURMA.

SHOGHI


[Page 243]

1944

JANUARY 4, 1944

ACCLAIM MAGNIFICENT ACTIVITIES INDIAN BELIEVERS PRAYING CONSOLIDATION BELGAUM ASSEMBLY SUCCESS CENTRES ALYPORE MADRAS.

SHOGHI

JANUARY 12, 1944

APPRECIATE WALL MAP SHOWING ALL CENTRES WHERE BAHA’IS RESIDE. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES SHOULD BE INDICATED BY SPECIAL MARK DISTINGUISHING THEM FROM OTHER CENTRES.

SHOGHI

JANUARY 13, 1944

CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FACILITATE SETTLEMENT STILL GREATER NUMBER BELIEVERS VIRGIN AREAS WIDER DISPERSION GREATER INTENSIFICATION PIONEER

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ACTIVITIES. HEART FILLED GRATITUDE MAGNIFICENT SERVICES ALREADY RENDERED.

SHOGHI

JANUARY 19, 1944

DELIGHTED FORMATION ASSEMBLY ANDHERI. PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

JANUARY 22, 1944

AIRMAIL UP TO DATE LIST LOCALITIES WHERE BAHA’IS RESIDE. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES SHOULD BE INDICATED.

SHOGHI

FEBRUARY 15, 1944

OVERJOYED MAGNIFICENT SUCCESSES. PRAYING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS THREE NEWLY FORMED ASSEMBLIES. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES SHOULD BE ELECTED AS USUAL DURING Ri?ván . ANNUAL CONVENTION SHOULD BE HELD SAME WEEK AS CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS. ADVISE FIX NUMBER CONVENTION DELEGATES AT 57 OR THREE TIMES NINETEEN. CHOICE PLACE CELEBRATIONS LEFT DISCRETION NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

SHOGHI

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

March 19, 1944

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated December 5th 1943 and January 24th (two of the same date), and January 31st 1944, together with their enclosures, have been received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

Please convey to Dr. Bharghava the assurance of the Guardian’s prayers on behalf of his departed wife, and tell him that his courageous stand in having his wife buried according to Bahá’í law is highly commendable, and cannot but hasten the emancipation of our

[Page 245]

beloved Faith. Also convey to dear Mrs. Vakil his appreciation of her devotion to the Cause and her steadfastness. He has already written her daughter that he is praying for the establishment of an Assembly there, in Surat. He approves of the plans for holding the Centenary, and wishes the annual Bahá’í Convention to be held in conjunction with it (as already confirmed by cable to you). All Bahá’í Communities free to convene Conventions will be also meeting this year during the Centenary celebrations. This will both facilitate the work of the Cause, stimulate the friends, and be of added interest to the public.

The truly remarkable work accomplished by the pioneers and teachers in India during this last year has greatly pleased, and even astonished the Guardian, and he hopes that the friends, newly enlisted under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh, will study the Teachings deeply, help to promote unity and concord among the believers, and greatly aid in spreading the Divine Message among the people of India.

In regard to your question about voting by mail; all such details, which are not laid down in the by-laws, are left to the National Spiritual Assembly to decide.

With the assurance of his ardent prayers for a most glorious and successful celebration of our Centenary in May, and his loving greetings to all the National Spiritual Assembly members.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The truly splendid and indeed historic achievements of the Indian believers during the concluding months of the first Bahá’í century deserve the highest praise. The repeated and striking evidences of their high accomplishments invigorate, encourage, and excite the admiration of their sister communities in East and West. They are holding aloft the standard, of Divine guidance in a manner that cannot but evoke the unstinted praise and the unqualified gratitude of their brethren throughout the Bahá’í world. The Beloved is well-pleased with their magnificent record of service. I feel truly proud of their stewardship of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, of the spirit which animates them, and of the steadfastness with which they pursue their manifold and ever-expanding activities in the service of this glorious Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

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MARCH 21, 1944

CABLING THREE HUNDRED POUNDS MY CONTRIBUTION CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS AND BANQUET MY BEHALF FOR DELEGATES FRIENDS GATHERED COMMEMORATE HISTORIC OCCASION. DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

MARCH 24, 1944

PRAYING SUCCESS SECUNDARABAD RAJKOT ASSEMBLIES. AIRMAIL PHOTOSTAT INCORPORATION.

SHOGHI

MARCH 31, 1944

PRAYING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS BAHA’I YOUTH ACTIVITIES. WIRE NAMES FOUR LANGUAGES INTO WHICH ESSLEMONT’S IS TO BE TRANSLATED.

SHOGHI

APRIL 1, 1944

OVERJOYED PRAYING BLESSINGS SURAT HYDERABAD ASSEMBLIES.

SHOGHI

APRIL 19, 1944

SUPPLICATING CONFIRMATIONS ALIGARH ASSEMBLY. AIR MAIL THREE PHOTOSTAT COPIES INCORPORATION CERTIFICATES BANGALORE VELLORE AHMEDABAD SERAMPQRE ANDHERI BARODA ASSEMBLIES ALSO THOSE PROCESS INCORPORATION.

SHOGHI

APRIL 22, 1944

APPRECIATE Ri?ván GREETINGS LOVING REMEMBRANCE. EXTRAORDINARY PROGRESS BAHA’I TEACHING ACTIVITIES INITIATED BY INDIAN BELIEVERS NECESSITATES CORRESPONDING EXPANSION FIELD BAHA’I LITERATURE. CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FOR THIS MERITORIOUS

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PURPOSE AS WELL AS FURTHER MULTIPLICATION BAHA’I CENTRES. PRAYING CONTINUALLY ABUNDANT BLESSINGS. ADVISE UNDERTAKE IMMEDIATELY TRANSLATION ESSLEMONT’S INTO RAJASTHANI.

SHOGHI

APRIL 25, 1944

AIRMAILED FIRST INSTALMENT SURVEY EVENTS FIRST BAHA’I CENTENARY IN PERSIAN. WILL MAIL REST GRADUALLY. CABLE RECEIPT EACH INSTALMENT.

SHOGHI

MAY 5, 1944

ASSURE SIWAN MADRAS ASSEMBLIES PRAYERS CONSOLIDATION ACHIEVEMENTS.

SHOGHI

MAY 20, 1944

DEEPLY APPRECIATE HEARTILY RECIPROCATE CENTENARY GREETINGS BELOVED VALIANT VICTORIOUS COMMUNITY INDIAN BELIEVERS. TRIUMPHANT CONCLUSION SIX YEAR PLAN SHEDS IMPERISHABLE LUSTRE RECORD COMMUNITY’S SERVICES FAITH BAHA’U’LLAH COURSE FIRST BAHA’I CENTURY AND AUGURS WELL STILL GREATER VICTORIES OPENING YEARS SECOND CENTURY. WITH GRATEFUL HEART SUPPLICATE THIS GLORIOUS OCCASION UNPRECEDENTED BLESSINGS HISTORIC TASK SO VAST FIELD IN BOTH TEACHING ADMINISTRATIVE SPHERES BAHA’I ACTIVITY.

SHOGHI

MAY 23, 1944

ANNOUNCE FRIENDS JOYFUL TIDINGS HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY DECLARATION MISSION MARTYRED HERALD FAITH SIGNALIZED BY HISTORIC DECISION COMPLETE STRUCTURE HIS SEPULCHRE ERECTED BY ABDU’L-BAHÁ ON SITE CHOSEN BY BAHA’U’LLAH. RECENTLY DESIGNED MODEL DOME UNVEILED PRESENCE ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS. PRAYING EARLY REMOVAL OBSTACLES CONSUMMATION

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STUPENDOUS PLAN CONCEIVED BY FOUNDER FAITH AND HOPES CHERISHED BY CENTRE HIS COVENANT.

SHOGHI

JUNE 15, 1944

AIRMAIL IMMEDIATELY ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ALL LOCALITIES IN INDIA WHERE BAHA’IS RESIDE WITH ADDRESS FOR EACH LOCALITY. LOCALITIES WITH ASSEMBLIES SHOULD BE MARKED. SPECIFY ALSO STATE WHICH EACH LOCALITY BELONGS. PROMPT ACTION NECESSARY.

SHOGHI

JUNE 18, 1944

AIR MAIL IMMEDIATELY THREE PHOTOSTAT COPIES OF CERTIFICATE INCORPORATION OF EACH FOLLOWING ASSEMBLIES SECUNDERABAD SERAMPORE AND VELLORE.

SHOGHI

JULY 8, 1944

PREPARE CONDENSED REPORT NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY PAGES REGARDING ACTIVITIES ACHIEVEMENTS BAHA’I FAITH DURING PAST FOUR YEARS. MAIL ONE COPY AMERICA ANOTHER HAIFA PROMPT ACTION NECESSARY.

SHOGHI

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

August 12, 1944

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated January 6th, March 25th, April the 6th, 19th and 24th (three of that date). May 3rd and 23rd, June the 19th, 21st, 22nd, 24th and 28th(two of that date), July 1st, 4th, 7th, 11th, 12th and 21st have all been received, together with the enclosures forwarded with them, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

Regarding the question of paid teachers: As we have no clergy or priests there is no paid career open to Bahá’í teachers. This, however,

[Page 249]

does not mean that teachers going out to spread the Faith, and unable to support themselves, should not receive money from the National Spiritual Assembly or a Local Assembly. At present it would be quite impossible to spread the Cause if those who arise to serve it as teachers or pioneers were not given financial assistance. All must realize, however, that the moneys they receive are only to enable them to fulfil their objectives, and that they cannot consider themselves permanently entitled to be supported by the Cause. In America the pioneers have made every effort to establish themselves in some position in the place they have gone to settle in, and thus be freed from the necessity of drawing further upon Bahá’í funds.

Concerning Mr…election to the National Spiritual Assembly. He considers this quite constitutional as Mr…had returned to India to reside there and it is obvious he is a registered, qualified Bahá’í even if his name had not yet been re-included in the register of Indian believers.

The beloved Guardian was delighted to hear the Centenary event went off so well, and he is anxiously awaiting detailed reports and also any films that were taken of the celebrations.

The truly astonishing increase in the number of Bahá’í Assemblies in India has been a source of pride to the Bahá’ís the world over, and he feels your Assembly should guard these new administrative bodies with the greatest of care, so that they may not disintegrate for lack of support. Teachers should be sent to strengthen them and enlarge their work and also, whenever necessary, pioneers. He is also very anxious that the Esslemont book should be printed as soon as possible in the languages already chosen by the National Spiritual Assembly, as this is our most valuable Bahá’í” book at present to arouse the interest of the public and present the Faith in its correct light.

He hopes the dear Indian Bahá’ís will carry on, with renewed determination, their noble labours for our beloved Cause and, in the greatest love and unity, arise to teach its healing message to the masses in their great country.

His prayers will often be offered for each and every one of you, and he most deeply values your self-sacrificing labours.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The magnificent work achieved by the Indian believers merits the highest praise. The Six Year Plan has been crowned with brilliant

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victory. An unassailable foundation has been laid for the institutions of our glorious Faith. Upon this foundation a noble and enduring structure must be reared in the course of the opening years of the second Bahá’í century. The Assemblies that have been organized must be maintained, however great the sacrifices required. The life of the newly functioning community must be continually safeguarded, and enriched through correspondence, visiting teachers, expansion of literature, summer schools, conferences, publicity measures, and other kindred methods. No sacrifice can be deemed too great in order to preserve the benefits and advantages derived from the vigorous prosecution of the Plan. No relaxation of effort should bf allowed to blight the fruits that have been so painstakingly garnered. All must cooperate, all must support every measure conceived, every plan set in motion by the national elected representatives of the Indian believers. My fervent prayers for your success, guidance and spiritual advancement will be continually offered at the Holy Shrines. Persevere, be confident and happy. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

JULY 28, 1944

URGE HASTEN TRANSLATION PUBLICATION NEW ERA LANGUAGES RECENTLY CHOSEN. KINDLY MAIL HUNDRED COPIES EACH AS SOON AS PUBLISHED.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 23, 1944

INTENSIFICATION TEACHING ACTIVITY AND EXTENSION RANGE BAHA’I LITERATURE AS NECESSARY PRELUDE INAUGURATION SYSTEMATIC TEACHING CAMPAIGNS NEIGHBOURING TERRITORIES COURSE OPENING YEARS SECOND BAHA’I CENTURY IMPERATIVE. URGE UNDERTAKE IMMEDIATE MEASURES TRANSLATION ESSLEMONT’S NEW ERA INTO NEPALI ASSAMESE CHIN LANGUAGES. CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS PROMOTION TWO FOLD PURPOSE PRAYING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES.

SHOGHI

[Page 265]

OCTOBER 30 1944

URGE EXPEDITE TRANSLATION PUBLICATION NEW ERA THIRTEEN LANGUAGES ALREADY CHOSEN. REDOUBLE EFFORTS URGENTLY REQUIRED NECESSARY PRELUDE MIGHTY TASKS AHEAD. PRAYING SUCCESS. WIRE PROGRESS MERITORIOUS ENTERPRISE.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER 6, 1944

ADVISE TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS OBTAIN ENTRANCE PERMIT FOR DOCTOR YOUNES AFROUKHTEH TO VISIT BAHA’I CENTRES INDIA SUCH VISIT HIGHLY BENEFICIAL.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER25, 1944

OVERJOYED MAGNIFICENT EXTENSION PUBLICATION ACTIVITIES. URGE SIMILAR EXERTION NO LESS VITAL TASKS PARTICULARLY CONVERSION EXISTING GROUPS INTO LOCAL ASSEMBLIES. MAIL WHENEVER READY HUNDRED COPIES EACH ESSLEMONT TRANSLATION AND FIFTY EACH OTHER PUBLICATIONS. PRAYING EVER INCREASING SUCCESS. ABIDING GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI

[To an Individual believer]

December 1, 1944

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters dated September 3rd and 8th, 1943, February 7th and 27th, March 27th, May 4th and June 28th, 1944, as well as to acknowledge receipt of the various reports of the Baroda Assembly which you enclosed. He also wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters dated October 26th and November 8th, forwarded to him by the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly, and to answer the questions contained in them.

[Page 252]

Concerning the Esslemont book in languages read by Hindus; The text of the book can in no way be changed, but two things can be done to make it more suitable for teaching Hindus; a footnote can be added informing the reader that the book was written by a Scotchman who was anxious to present to the Christians the Bahá’í Faith in relation to their own religion, and hence he used many Biblical quotations with Bahá’í interpretations given; secondly an appendix may be added which will include quotations from the Bahá’í Writings suitable to the Hindu mind and interests.

Regarding Bahá’í women using facial make-up: Individuals are entirely free to do as they please in such purely personal matters. As Bahá’ís are enjoined to use moderation in all things, and to seek the Golden mean, the National Spiritual Assembly can, if it deems it necessary or advisable, counsel the believers to use moderation in this respect also.

Concerning your question as to whether a person may sign a registration card and then request his declaration co not be made public: All such administrative details must be referred to the National Spiritual Assembly for decision and their instructions followed…

Assuring you of my prayers for your protection and spiritual advancement.

Shoghi

DECEMBER 14, 1944

HUNDRED COPIES KENARESE RECEIVED. LOVING APPRECIATION. ADVISE MAIL FIVE COPIES EACH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ALSO FUTURE VERSIONS. WIRE DATE PUBLICATION TAMIL TELUGU URGE EXPEDITE TRANSLATION REVIEWING PUBLICATION REMAINING LANGUAGES.

SHOGHI

[To the National Spiritual Assemble]

December 20, 1944

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge the receipt of your various communications dated July 25th, August 3rd

[Page 253]

and 7th, four letters dated September 1st, two dated September 6th,two dated September 7th, and also those of September 8th, 14th, 5th, 19th and 22nd, October 5th, 6th, 19th, 28th and 30th, and November 14th, 17th and 22nd. He has also received the various enclosures forwarded with these letters and thanks you for the same. A few days ago the Kenarese volumes reached him and he was very happy to see them; he has placed most of them in the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh and the others he has distributed to various Assemblies and Bahá’í libraries. He is eagerly awaiting copies of the various other translations your Assembly has undertaken, and in this connection he urges you again to persevere in your efforts to overcome every obstacle and get these further additions to your Bahá’í literature in India speedily out and in the hands of the newly attracted souls.

The Guardian wishes to once again stress the immediate tasks which face your Assembly: The important…and almost miraculous work achieved during the closing years of our first Bahá’í Century in forming so many Assemblies, most of them in virgin territory, should be carefully consolidated through travelling teachers, additional pioneers (if necessary), extension of financial help, etc., so that none of them will be weakened and forced to revert to group status, also the newly formed groups should be given every assistance to enable them to become Assemblies and take pan in the administrative order of the Cause in India. He urges you to concentrate on these three things: The publication and distribution of the newly translated books; the firm consolidation of the new Assemblies; and the development of existing groups, that they may speedily achieve Assembly status.

Important as new teaching undertakings are, they should not be given precedence at the present time until these other objectives are yell on the way to being realized.

The obituary of our dear Bahá’í brother, Mr. Vakil, together with his photograph, has been forwarded to America for publication in the “Bahá’í World”.

In closing let me assure you that the beloved Guardian cherishes the brightest hopes for the future development of the Cause there, and expects great things of the Indian believers in view of the truly remarkable tasks they have been accomplishing these last few years with such a spirit of zeal and devotion. His loving prayers are offered on your behalf and for your fellow-members of the National Spiritual Assembly that you may be blessed and guided always.

[Page 254]

Dearly beloved friends:

The achievements of the Indian Bahá’í Community during the closing years of the first Bahá’í Century have shed a great lustre on the record of their imperishable services ever since the inception of the Faith in their vast and promising country. Both in the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity they have assiduously laboured, nobly persevered, generously given of their resources, consistently collaborated, achieved mighty victories, and raised to a new level the standard of Bahá’í stewardship. The field now stretching before them during the opening year of the second Bahá’í Century is vast and highly promising. The call is urgent, the opportunities priceless, the need of the 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, these constitute the primary tasks facing now the Indian believers. That they may achieve their high destiny is my constant hope and fervent prayer.

Shoghi


[Page 255]

1945

FEBRUARY 15, 1945

WIRE DATE DESPATCH HUNDRED COPIES TAMIL TELUGU VERSIONS NEW ERA ALSO WIRE PROGRESS TRANSLATION PUBLICATION OTHER LANGUAGES PRAYING SPEEDY SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

March 28, 1945

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated November 10th, December 16th and 28th (this refers to a statement of policy on Bahá’í publications), of 1944, and those dated January 3rd and 10th, February 6th, and three dated February 7th, February 19th and 21st, and March 2nd and 7th, together with their enclosures, have all been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He fully appreciates the many difficulties during war time when printing is undertaken; however, all obstacles must be overcome

[Page 256]

through perseverance and confidence that the Beloved will aid us to achieve tasks for the promotion of His Cause. As he already informed you by cable he wishes to receive copies of new publications and not re-prints of former ones. The translation and publication work at the present time being carried on by your Assembly is of the utmost importance, and constitutes a great contribution to the progress of the Faith in India and to the literature of the Cause in general.

Regarding your question concerning Bahá’ís printing and circulating matter on the Faith: Whether the person writes it openly, as a Bahá’í, or gives the impression he is not a Bahá’í…if he is a voting member of our Faith he should submit the material to the National Spiritual Assembly, or its appointed committee, to be passed upon as to its accuracy and acceptability. Naturally non-Bahá’í material, the individual is free to do as he likes about. The National Assembly should deal efficiently with such matters and thus encourage the friends to follow the correct procedure. The whole object in Bahá’í Administration is not only to manage the affairs of the Cause, but to stimulate the believers to work for it and to teach it to the masses. When the National Spiritual Assembly provides competent and quick service, in its own work and that of its Committees, it will see a far greater manifestation of enthusiasm and enterprise on the part of the believers.

The beloved Guardian is very pleased with the way the Cause has been progressing in India during the last few years, and he feels that the National Spiritual Assembly and the Bahá’ís have every reason to feel proud about and happy over their joint achievements. He urges you to persevere steadfastly in all your important undertakings, and to encourage and stimulate the friends to go out and pioneer, teach, consolidate their previous work and raise the banner of the Cause all over India.

His loving prayers are offered on your behalf and for your fellow-members as well as for all the believers in that great and promising land.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The steady expansion of the activities of the Indian Bahá’í community, in accordance with the fundamental administrative principles of the Faith, constitutes a landmark in the early history of the Formative age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, and augurs well for the ultimate triumph and official recognition of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh in the course of the second

[Page 257]

Bahá’í century. The concerted endeavours of the Indian believers during the closing years of the first century have been crowned with signal success. A solid foundation has been laid. The machinery for the systematic and efficient development of the institutions of the Faith in the capital and in the provinces is now functioning. Its literature is being widely disseminated. Its pioneers are labouring in distant fields. What is now required is an intensification of effort to establish direct contact with the masses, proclaim audaciously the verities of the Faith to consolidate the work already achieved and to lend further impetus to the settlement of pioneers in areas where the light of the Faith has not as yet penetrated. A greater measure of self-sacrifice, closer cooperation, and a higher degree of consecration to the tasks facing them are required of the believers of India in the course of the second year of the second Bahá’í century. May the beloved sustain and bless their concerted and meritorious endeavours.

Shoghi

MARCH 11, 1945

URGE RENEWED EXERTION EXPEDITE TRANSLATION PUBLICATION NEW ERA.

SHOGHI

APRIL 2, 1945

URGE TRANSLATION PUBLICATION REMAINING LANGUAGES PUNJABI RAJASTANI NEPALI CHIN. PRAYING REMOVAL OBSTACLES PERSEVERE.

SHOGHI

[To The Bahá’í Youth Of: Panchgani, Srinagar, Kolhapur, Poona, Calcutta, Karachi, Bombay, Quetta]

April 12, 1945

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving message of greeting and devotion, sent to the beloved Guardian on February 26th, reached him, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf, and to assure all those who signed the letter, sent from the above named centres, of his joy at receiving news of them.

[Page 258]

It pleased him greatly to see that there are so many active Bahá’í youth groups in India, and his heart was particularly rejoiced to receive messages from such far-off centres as Kashmir and Baluchistan, where, a few years ago, there were practically no Bahá’ís at all!

He hopes that in the years that lie ahead of us…years of unrest, of trouble, of transition for the whole world…that the Bahá’í youth will increasingly rise to meet the challenge of the times, and to carry the Message of Bahá’u’lláh through both teaching and example, all over India and, indeed, Asia.

You who are at present in your teens, or twenties, must realize that tomorrow, to a large extent, the burden of the Cause will rest on your shoulders; you will have to be the administrators and teachers and scholars of the Faith. Now is the time to prepare yourselves for your future duties.

He hopes you will study the Teachings deeply, their spiritual, moral, and administrative precepts, and at the same time take as active a part as possible in the life of your respective Bahá’í communities.

His prayers are offered for you all, that Bahá’u’lláh may strengthen, guide, and protect you in His service.

Dear and valued co-workers:

Your message has deeply touched me and brought joy to my heart. I greatly value the sentiments expressed therein and I wish to assure you all of my deep appreciation of the spirit that animates you all so powerfully in the service of the Faith. I will fervently pray that your concerted efforts may be richly and continually blessed, that the range of your meritorious activities may be further extended, and that your highest hopes and aspirations may be fulfilled. Your true brother,

Shoghi

APRIL 29, 1945

CONVEY DELEGATES SIXTEENTH BAHA’I CONVENTION DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION MESSAGE ASSURANCE REMEMBRANCE SHRINES. SECOND YEAR SECOND BAHA’I CENTURY MUST WITNESS ALIKE STEADY CONSOLIDATION NEWLY PLEDGED ASSEMBLIES, MULTIPLICATION GROUPS UNPRECEDENTED EXPANSION TEACHING ACTIVITIES NATIONWIDE DISSEMINATION BAHA’I LITERATURE. INCOMING ASSEMBLY’S PARAMOUNT DUTY INITIATE

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SOUND MEASURES ENSURE EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION URGENT TASKS.

SHOGHI

MAY 4, 1945

ANXIOUS NEWS DEARLY BELOVED BAHA’I FRIENDS MANDALAY RANGOON PARTICULARLY SEYYED MUSTAFA.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 26, 1945

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you and point out certain things in connection with the work in India to the National Spiritual Assembly.

First let me say that he was very pleased to receive your cable telling him the Bahá’ís in at least a part of Burma have survived. His thoughts and prayers have often been with them during these terrible years of war.

He wishes to urge the National Spiritual Assembly to concentrate above all on re-instating any Spiritual Assemblies which were disbanded last Bahá’í year owing to insufficient numbers. This must always be the first consideration, so that the hardly won prizes of these new Assemblies may not be lost.

Also he wishes to point out that the power to put a person outside the Faith administratively must be solely, for the present time, in the hands of the National Spiritual Assembly. This applies only to the cases where believers are deprived of their voting rights. Such extremely important and dramatic measures should never be resorted to unless absolutely necessary, and should certainly never be left in the hands of Local Assemblies, where personal feelings might colour the Assembly’s decision. On the other hand, the right to enroll believers has always been given to the Local Assemblies. But they should be strongly urged to make sure the applicant is sincere and fully understands and accepts the fundamentals of the Faith.

He also feels that now that you have so much literature on hand in various languages you should endeavour to teach a wider range of

[Page 260]

Indian races; specially the Hindus and Moslims as they form the preponderating mass of the people. Also Hindu and Moslim believers should be encouraged to teach, pioneer, lecture, and be appointed on Committees, and elected to Assemblies, so that our true inter-racial, inter-religious character may be incontestably demonstrated to the world.

Assuring you of his ardent prayers for you and your fellow-members of the National Spiritual Assembly.

P.S. The Guardian does not feel that it is necessary to wait one whole year before an applicant is admitted into the Faith. The Assemblies must not be too strict, but should make every effort to increase the membership for their communities.

JULY 14, 1945

HEARTS GRIEF STRICKEN PASSING SUPREME CONCOURSE DISTINGUISHED PIONEER FAITH BAHA’U’LLAH DEARLY BELOVED STAUNCH HIGH MINDED NOBLE SOUL SIYYID MUSTAFA. LONG RECORD HIS SUPERB SERVICES BOTH TEACHING ADMINISTRATIVE FIELDS SHED LUSTRE ON BOTH HEROIC AND FORMATIVE AGES BAHA’I DISPENSATION. HIS MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENTS FULLY ENTITLE HIM JOIN RANKS HANDS CAUSE BAHA’U’LLAH. HIS RESTING PLACE SHOULD BE REGARDED FOREMOST SHRINE COMMUNITY BURMESE BELIEVERS. ADVISE HOLDING MEMORIAL GATHERINGS THROUGHOUT INDIA HONOUR HIS IMPERISHABLE MEMORY. URGE INDIAN BURMESE BAHA’IS PARTICIPATE CONSTRUCTION TOMB. CABLING THREE HUNDRED POUNDS MY PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION SO PRAISEWORTHY PURPOSE.

SHOGHI

[To Yaganagi Family]

July 29, 1945

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter dated July 18th has been received, and the beloved

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Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf. I am also enclosing a receipt for your loving contribution to the Faith at its World Centre.

He will pray that your services as a family may grow and increase in the Cause of God, and that Bahá’u’lláh may bless and guide you all.

There is much work to be done in India, and the believers must strive, with love and unity, to teach the Cause and quicken the hearts of the people.

May the Beloved bless your meritorious efforts, guide your steps in the path of service, and enable you to promote the vital interests of His Faith and its new-born institutions.

Shoghi

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

August 9, 1945

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer your various communications dated as follows: March 9th and 10th, April 6th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 21st and 28th, May 19rh and 21st, June 1st, 9th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 27th and 29th, and July 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 13th and 16th and 31st, and to acknowledge the receipt of the various enclosures you forwarded with them and under separate cover.

He was deeply grieved to hear of the death of our very dear and esteemed Bahá’í brother, Siyyid Mustafa. He was truly an example of steadfast devotion and one of the outstanding pioneers the Faith produced during the first century of its existence. He was also very sad to hear of the ruin of the Bahá’í ?a?íratu’l-Quds and the plight of the Bahá’ís in general. He wishes your Assembly to exert its utmost in alleviating the suffering of the Burmese friends, and assisting them in every way possible. Convey to them all the assurance of his ardent and loving prayers on their behalf, and for the speedy re-establishment of the Faith and its institutions in Burma…

As at present a Bahá’í marriage is not yet legally recognized by the authorities, the friends should also have the civil marriage in addition. We have no objection to it at all, as it is non-sectarian and in no way affects our Bahá’í status.

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As long as both the Bahá’í and the other religious (whatever it may be) ceremony are both performed prior to the consummation of the marriage, we do not mind which ceremony is performed first. It should be left to the individuals concerned to decide among themselves…

The Guardian agrees with your Assembly that no one can voluntarily resign his voting rights as it is a form of sanction imposed by administrative bodies… He feels that the National Spiritual Assembly should endeavour to unite the friends, and to show them a more loving forbearance in its handling of their problems. Naturally it must not tolerate acts harmful to the Cause; but as the friends are spiritually immature, and many new believers are also entering the Faith, patience is required in dealing with them and their difficulties. The most important thing, as the Master pointed out over and over again, is love and unity among the believers. They must forget themselves, the faults and weaknesses they see in each other, and arise to spread this glorious Message in mankind’s hour of greatest darkness and trial.

He wishes to urge your Assembly to redouble its efforts in getting the various translations of the Esslemont Book printed and in circulation. He himself is anxiously awaiting the receipt of further editions for the libraries here and at Bahjí.

Your Assembly’s responsibilities are very great, and you have much work to accomplish. He will pray for your guidance and protection, and that the mass of Indian believers may arise to new heights of sacrifice, of victory, and of fame.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The task facing the members of the Indian Bahá’í community in these days of stress and trial, is urgent, vast and sacred. The responsibilities they shoulder are growing in number and complexity. The obstacles in their path are numerous and seemingly insurmountable. The victories, however, which they have won during the concluding years of the first Bahá’í century, augur well for the future, and constitute only a preliminary stage in the great work they are destined to accomplish in the years that lie ahead. A unity that is truly unshakable, a consecration to their task which no trial or test can impair, a resolve that no force, however inimical, can shake; a united and systematic endeavour to proclaim and firmly establish their Faith which enemies neither from within nor from without can undermine—all these are vitally required to enable them to

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achieve their high destiny. To you. as their national elected representatives I desire to appeal in particular to exercise the utmost forbearance, care and vigilance, to exert the utmost endeavour, to deliberate, cooperate and carry out with exemplary vigour the necessary measures which the urgency of the task and the criticalness of the hour imperatively demand. That their glorious mission may be crowned with signal success is the object of my constant and fervent prayers at the Holy Shrines.

Shoghi

AUGUST 13, 1945

DISAPPOINTED DELAY TRANSLATION PUBLICATION VERSIONS NEW ERA URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER7, 1945

GREATLY DEPLORE TRIBULATIONS AFFECTING DEARLY BELOVED BURMESE FRIENDS. PROFOUNDLY MOVED CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING ASSASSINATION HEROIC APOSTLE BAHA’U’LLAH SEYYED MUSTAFA AND ASSOCIATES. ADMIRE UNQUENCHABLE SPIRIT ANIMATING LONG SUFFERING BRETHREN RANGOON MANDALAY DAIDANAW ASSURE THEM ADMIRATION GRATITUDE STRONG ATTACHMENT. FERVENT PRAYERS REVIVAL ACTIVITIES. SOON TRANSMITTING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS MY CONTRIBUTION RELIEF, REBUILDING INSTITUTIONS PROMOTION TEACHING ACTIVITIES. URGE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEVOTE IMMEDIATE CONCENTRATED CONTINUAL ATTENTION PROMOTION VITAL INTERESTS BURMESE COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

December 18, 1945

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters of August 21st, September 14th and two of September 24th, and October 2nd, together with the enclosures you forwarded with them, have been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

[Page 264]

He was very sad to read of the sufferings of the beloved Burmese friends, of the death of that bright star of the Faith, Siyyid Mustafa, and of the murder of many other of the friends! At the same time his heart swelled with pride when he saw that already the believers have re-assembled, elected an Assembly, and started their school again. This shows how deep their faith is, and presages a glorious future for the Cause there.

As you already know he has sent you a sum to be devoted to rebuilding the Bahá’í institutions, teaching the Faith, and assisting the friends who are in desperate need. He has also invited other National Assemblies to contribute to this fund, and thus assist your Assembly to carry out this very important task of re-establishing a flourishing Community in Burma.

The Indian believers are finding themselves increasingly called upon to shoulder heavy responsibilities; they are becoming more numerous, have spread to many new centres, undertaken a large publishing programme, increased the number of their institutions, and are gradually becoming known to their fellow-Indians as followers of a new and glorious Faith. In view of this he feels your Assembly should constantly exhort the friends to be more conscious of their duties, and to be very careful of having differences of opinion which are so strong as to lead to disputes and thus humiliate our beloved Faith in the eyes of non-Bahá’ís. The public is beginning to observe them, and they must therefore conduct themselves at ail times as befits those who bear the glorious Name of Bahá. They must be forgetful of self, but ever mindful of the Cause of God!

He assures you all his loving prayers are offered for the National Spiritual Assembly, for the successful execution of its many duties, and the love and unity of its dear members.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The rehabilitation of the community of the sore-stricken believers throughout Burma constitutes the most urgent task of the Indian believers, and is a direct challenge which they cannot ignore or neglect. The reconstitution of dissolved Assemblies, the extension of relief to the needy, the promotion of the teaching work, the dissemination of Bahá’í literature, the construction of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds, the re-establishment of schools and committees are all vitally urgent, and should be carried out fully, systematically, and with the utmost speed. I long to hear of the progress of your labours in this important field, upon which the future

[Page 265]

welfare of the Burmese community depends, and with which the destinies of the Indian believers are closely interwoven. I will pray from the depths of my heart that your meritorious efforts may soon be crowned with magnificent success. Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi


[Page 266]

1946

JANUARY 6, 1946

ADMIRE INITIATIVE OVERJOYED MAGNIFICENT SPONTANEOUS DECISION NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES INDIAN BELIEVERS INAUGURATE PLAN DESIGNED CONSOLIDATE EXTEND RANGE SPLENDID ACHIEVEMENTS ASSOCIATED TERMINATION FIRST BAHA’I CENTURY. FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING OUTPOURINGS OF BAHA’U’LLAH’S BLESSINGS MIGHTY UNDERTAKING. PLEDGING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FURTHERANCE MERITORIOUS PURPOSE.

SHOGHI

JANUARY 7, 1946

GERMAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY EMERGING TEN YEARS TRIALS BITTEREST ENDURED BY FOLLOWERS FAITH THROUGHOUT WEST. URGE INDIAN BELIEVERS TRANSMIT CONTRIBUTION TOKEN BAHA’I SOLIDARITY THROUGH VALIOLLAH VARQA TRUSTEE FUND.

SHOGHI

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JANUARY 8, 1946

CONTRIBUTION BURMA DELAYED SOON FORWARDING FERVENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS NEW PLAN.

SHOGHI

FEBRUARY 24, 1946

DELIGHTED INITIAL SUCCESS CONGRATULATE BURMESE FRIENDS PARTICIPATION PRAYING VICTORY.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

March 20, 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters written on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly, and dated August 3rd, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 27th, 28th and 30th; September 1st, 5th and 21st; October 5th, 6th, 8th (two), 11th, 13th (two), 23rd, 30th and 31st; November 6th (two), 21st, 30th and 17th, December 10th, 11th (three), 18th and 26th, of 1945, and January 7th, 12th (two), 21st (two), and 23rd; February 4th, 16th and 23rd; and March 7th 1946, have all been received, together with their enclosures; the books and other things forwarded under separate cover have, likewise, reached him safely, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very pleased to get the “Esslemonts” in various languages, which you sent him, and he has distributed them amongst the various Bahá’í libraries here. He is looking forward eagerly to receiving the other volumes in process of being translated and printed as soon as possible. The Indian friends should feel very proud of this important work they are carrying on, and do every thing to expedite the appearance of new editions, in still other languages, when the present work has been successfully completed.

He was very sorry to learn of the death of yet another Burmese believer—Mr. Tawanggyi. Our brethren have indeed suffered grievously there, and every aid should be given them by their fortunate brothers and sisters in India who were spared the horrors of invasion and bombing. He was very encouraged to see that such men as Prof. K.T. Shah, (whose book you sent him), are becoming favourably

[Page 268]

impressed with the Cause and befriending it publicly.

He is making the Power of Attorney out in your name, and will forward it to you, as soon as possible, in order to enable your Assembly to take the necessary steps to secure compensation for the Bahá’í properties in Burma.

There is no objection to permitting the name of a Bahá’í, or his relative, to be placed on a stone incorporated in some Bahá’í building he has donated to the Faith.

He is delighted with the progress your work is making in every field, and he urges you all to continually stimulate and inspire the friends to make ever greater effort and sacrifice in the service of their beloved Faith. The opportunity is unique and the rewards of Bahá’u’lláh inestimably glorious.

Assuring you all of his loving prayers on your behalf and for the speedy success of your important tasks.

P.S. The statement you sent on Bahá’í marriage and divorce, received from Iran, I am forwarding under separate cover. The Guardian wishes the Bahá’ís to adhere to these rules throughout India wherever they will not conflict with the local legal requirements in such matters…

Dear and valued co-workers:

My heart swells with joy, pride, and gratitude as I contemplate the range of the services rendered in recent years by the Indian believers to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. I particularly rejoice at the splendid initiative, the magnificent zeal, the unconquerable spirit that have characterized their recent understanding associated with the new Plan which they have audaciously conceived, and which, I feel confident, they will prosecute with exemplary vigour and constancy. Simultaneous with the united efforts that must be strenuously exerted to ensure its success, a systematic endeavour must be made to proclaim the verities of our glorious Faith to the masses, and to disseminate far and wide its literature. This threefold task requires the concentrated and sustained attention of the rank and file of the believers, the subordination of every consideration to its paramount interests, the extension of generous financial assistance to the agencies designed for its promotion. The believers in India have set an inspiring example to their fellow-believers throughout the East, and even to the great mass of their co-religionists in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, and

[Page 269]

have abundantly demonstrated to them all what organized activity, boldly conceived and soundly and energetically conducted, can achieve when directed and animated by the ennobling influences and the generative spirit of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Their exploits are indeed unsurpassed by those of any community throughout the Bahá’í world except those which stand associated with the community that may well claim to be the standard-bearer of the Cause of God in the West. That these exploits may be the forerunners of still mightier and nobler achievements is my fervent hope and prayer. Your true brother,

Shoghi

MARCH 22, 1946

ASSURE DEARLY BELOVED BELIEVERS INDIA BURMA REMEMBRANCE SHRINES.

SHOGHI

[To An Individual Believer]

March24, 1946

Your question about whether Bahá’ís can accept grants-in-aid and free plots from Government…

There is no objection, the beloved Guardian says, to the Bahá’ís receiving this type of help from the Government and civic authorities…

[Bahá’í Youth Of: Bombay, Quetta, Bangalore, Sholapur, Kolhapur, Srinagar, Kashmir, Karachi, Lahore, Poona]

April 8, 1946

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letters of greeting, sent to the beloved Guardian from your Youth Symposium meetings, reached him, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was delighted to see that in so many centres the Bahá’í young people are active and exerting themselves in the service of our beloved Faith.

The Bahá’ís of India have embarked upon an ambitious and

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important teaching Plan, destined to culminate in the Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Blessed Báb, and the Guardian hopes that the young believers will do their utmost to ensure its complete success, and to support the work of their National and Local Assemblies. As pioneers, as assistant teachers, through studying deeply our Bahá’í literature, through learning to lecture on and teach the Cause—in all these ways they can help this important Plan to be brought to a triumphal conclusion.

You may be sure he will pray for you all in the Holy Shrines, that God may strengthen you in His service, and aid you to mirror-forth in your characters, and through your deeds, the beauty of His Revelation.

Dear co-workers:

I was deeply touched by your messages, and I greatly value the sentiments you have expressed, and your determination to promote the interests of our beloved Faith. The Plan conceived by your national elected representatives offers you a wide field in which to demonstrate your resourcefulness, your energy, your perseverance, and your devotion to the vital interests of the Cause and its nascent institutions. May the Beloved Whose Cause you are so eager to serve, bless your activities, increase your numbers, guide your steps, and enable you to contribute a notable share to the advancement of its institutions.

Shoghi

[To The Youth Of India]

April 8, 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of March 27th reached our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf. I am also forwarding herewith his reply to the loving messages sent him by the various Bahá’í Youth Symposiums; please see that his answer reaches all the dear friends who wrote him.

He feels that, in the important teaching plans now being undertaken by the Indian Bahá’ís, the youth have an ever-increasingly significant part to play; they are standing at the threshold of active Bahá’í service in both the pioneer and administrative fields, and they

[Page 271]

must prepare themselves for the future and follow at the same time, the example of American Bahá’í young people, so many of whom have entered the field as pioneers during the last ten years, and not only rendered the Cause great services but prepared themselves, through this experience, for their future tasks as administrators and teachers of the Faith.

He assures you he will pray for the success of your services to the Cause of God.

Assuring you of my loving prayers for your spiritual advancement and the success of your efforts for the furtherance of our beloved Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

APRIL 24, 1946

URGE EXPEDITE PUBLICATION TRANSLATIONS NEW ERA CONCERNED DELAY.

SHOGHI

APRIL 24, 1946

ADVISE EXERCISE MODERATION REGARDING REMOVAL BELIEVERS VOTING LIST…AVOID HASTE SEVERITY IN DEPRIVING FRIENDS VOTING RIGHTS.

SHOGHI

APRIL 30, 1946

ARDENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS CONVENTION. APPEAL DELEGATES REDEDICATE THEMSELVES TASKS CONFRONTING INDIAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY RESOLVE AS NEVER BEFORE. SAFEGUARD REINFORCE UNITY ITS MEMBERS PROSECUTE VIGOROUSLY TEACHING ACTIVITIES, EXPEDITE PUBLICATIONS, STIMULATE REHABILITATION BURMESE COMMUNITY, ENSURE STEADY MULTIPLICATION GROUPS ASSEMBLIES, PROCLAIM VERITIES FAITH MASSES. LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES.

SHOGHI

[Page 272]

MAY 21, 1946

LOVING APPRECIATION GREETINGS FRIENDS INDIA BURMA. PRAYING SUCCESS NEWLY FORMED ASSEMBLIES. RETENTION OFFICE PERMISSIBLE. SUPPLICATING BLESSINGS ALMIGHTY.

SHOGHI

JUNE 7, 1946

URGE EXPEDITE RAJASTHANI POSHTOO ASSAMESE SINGALESE PRINTING NEW ERA ALSO TRANSLATION CHIN PUNJABI AND KASHMIRI SHOULD BE PROMPTLY UNDERTAKEN CABLE PROGRESS REPORT.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

August 2, 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated March 16th and 23rd, April 3rd, 6th, 18th (two), 20th (two), 24th, 26th and 29th, May 27th (two), and 31st (two), June 3rd, 15th, 17th, 21st, 26th and 27th, and July 8th and 16th, together with their various enclosures, have all been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was very happy indeed to hear there is now such an active and devoted group of Bahá’ís in Kapran, and he hopes you will extend to them all his loving greetings, and specially to their dear teacher, Mr. Vakil, and assure them he is praying for their success and that they may next year have an Assembly.

Regarding your questions; he sees no objection to Mr…resigning, as he seems to feel unable to devote the necessary time to travelling back and forth to the meetings.

He thinks it is better for Bahá’í doctors not to work on our 9 Holy Days—but, of course, that does not mean they should not attend to very sick people and emergencies on these days.

He received the various books you sent, and was very happy to be able to add them to the long list of other books, in different languages, in the libraries here. He fully realizes the many obstacles in your path, but urges you to persevere and keep on pushing the matter

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constantly, so that the Book in other languages may speedily be translated and printed.

As he already told you in a previous communication, he feels that your Assembly should not deprive people of their voting rights unless the matter is really very grave; this is a very heavy sanction, and can embitter the heart if lightly imposed, and also make people think we unduly resort to pressure of a strong nature. The friends must be nursed and assisted, for they are still mostly immature spiritually, and their “sins” are those of immaturity! Their hearts are loyal to the Cause, and this is the most important thing.

He is anxiously awaiting good news of the progress of the Plan, and hopes your Assembly is encouraging the friends to arise and, forgetful of self, serve the Faith in these tremendous days the world is passing through.

His ardent prayers are offered for you all, and for your guidance and success.

P.S. The re-establishment of the Burma Community on a sound footing, the extension of financial aid to them, the dispatch of teachers to help them there, is one of the prime duties of your Assembly, and he hopes you are exerting your utmost to assist the Burmese Bahá’ís in these ways. Please assure the friends there of his loving prayers on their behalf.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The responsibilities confronting the Indian and Burmese Bahá’í communities, in these days of stress and turmoil, are immense and inescapable. The task facing them is urgent, complex and rich in possibilities. The Plan which they are now striving to carry out demands the utmost vigilance, care, vigour and perseverance. All must arise to lend their assistance, and ensure its unqualified success in all its aspects. An intensification of effort aimed at increasing the number of pioneers who are labouring throughout the length and breadth of that land; a more vigorous and systematic endeavour to ensure the speedy publication of Bahá’í literature in all the languages that have already been determined upon and its immediate dissemination as an adjunct to the all-important teaching work; the elimination of every trace of inharmony, misunderstanding and ill-will, so detrimental, at this juncture, to the interests of the Plan; the initiation of measures designed to give greater publicity to

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the aims and purposes of the Faith and its fundamental teachings, through the press and radio; the adoption and enforcement of whatever measures are required to increase the number of Indian and Muslim converts to the Faith, on whom its ultimate triumph and recognition must depend, the steady consolidation and expansion of newly-established institutions, such as the Summer School, the hostel and the local ?a?íratu’l-Quds; a more liberal and widespread contribution of funds to the National Treasury for the support of these institutions, and for the promotion of the general interests of the Faith—these stand out as the primary duties and obligations of both the participants of the Plan and of those who conduct its operation.

A special effort must simultaneously be exerted to provide whatever is required to reestablish the long-suffering and dearly loved Burmese Community on a secure foundation. The despatch of competent teachers and visitors, to that sorely-tried land; the extension of the necessary relief to those who are still in need; the reconstruction of the administrative headquarters and the re-establishment of the Bahá’í school; the construction of the memorial to the beloved and unforgettable pioneer and martyr Siyyid Mustafa; the formation of Assemblies and Groups in as many localities as possible—these constitute the immediate tasks confronting your Assembly in addition to the responsibilities you are called upon to discharge under the new Plan.

No sacrifice can be deemed too great for the achievement of this dual purpose, no effort should be spared in order to carry out in its entirety this twofold objective. May the Beloved grant you the strength you require for the accomplishment of your historic task. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The National Spiritual Assembly] October 12, 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated May 27th, July 25th and 29th, and August 12th, 16th, 22nd and 26th (three of this date), and 31st, together with their enclosures, have been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf. Regarding the various matters you have referred to him:

He sees no reason why your Assembly should not protest to the Persian government against the atrocities, committed against our

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brethren in Iran, but advises you to first ask the Persian National Spiritual Assembly if such a step is wise and desirable or not.

Concerning Mr…divorce: He has no right to demand from his wife a refund of the marriage expenses he incurred. In the Aqdas it is quite clear that the husband must not only give the dowry but must support his wife until the time when the divorce is completed. In view of this she is not required to repay expenses of the marriage, etc.

The paying of the ?uqúq is a spiritual obligation; the friends must not be obliged by the Assemblies to pay it, but they should be encouraged to fulfil this spiritual obligation laid upon them in the Aqdas. He is very pleased to note the list of literature the publishing committee is forwarding to him, and urges you to persevere in pressing the translation and publishing of the “New Era” in the important languages already chosen for this purpose, as he attaches the greatest importance to this work.

He was also delighted to see that the Srinagar Assembly held its elections. These new Assemblies must receive every aid and encouragement from your Assembly and every effort must be made to carry the Faith to new centres, and to stimulate pioneering amongst the friends.

The Indian believers have a great opportunity to compete with both the American and British Bahá’ís in pioneer services; they already have a record to be proud of, and are first among the countries of the East in the record they hold of achievements in this field. He hopes they will go on from victory to victory, and vindicate the high hopes he cherishes for their future.

If the National Assembly is sure that it was Sivyid Mustafa Rumi’s wish to be buried next to his wife in Mandalay, then you should, by all means, arrange for the interment of his remains there. A befitting memorial can then be erected over the vault. The spirit of this great and valiant teacher surely watches over the land of his adoption, and will aid the Burmese believers in their efforts to rebuild their centres and promulgate the Cause of God there.

As we see the confusion in the world spreading, and the hatreds that divide men augmenting steadily, we, as the trustees of our Lord’s glorious Faith, must rise to higher levels of self-sacrifice and devotion. He prays that the Indian believers may achieve wonderful victories for Bahá’u’lláh in the months that lie ahead, and prove themselves worthy of the great destiny that beckons to them.

His loving prayers surround you and your fellow-members of

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the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The perseverance, the tenacity, the unstinted devotion displayed, consistently by the Indian Bahá’í community, so clearly demonstrated, the reports recently received by their national elected representatives, are truly exhilarating and augur well for the future of the Plan. The members of this community, however, must not be content with the standard already achieved, but must exert themselves ever more determinedly and unitedly to fulfil the high hopes cherished for the success of their collect enterprise. The Burmese Bahá’í community, which they are so devotedly striving to rehabilitate, must, likewise participate without reserve, in the glorious task that confronts them, and demonstrate, thereby, its virility and resilience in the face of the trials and obstacles which it has had to struggle against in the past. The establishment of new centres in Burma, the consolidation of the reinstated Assemblies, are both equally vital and urgent. The verities of the Faith must be proclaimed, its literature must be disseminated and its institutions reinforced and multiplied throughout that land. Both communities must collaborate and through sustained, vigorous and systematic effort and mutual assistance lend an unprecedented impetus to the onward march of the Faith in India and Burma. The greater the effort, and self-sacrifice, the richer the benefits that will accrue, and the more potent the blessings that will be vouchsafed from on high. The goals are clearly defined. The prizes to be won are within reach and inexpressibly glorious. Time is running out and the opportunity is priceless. The promise of Divine unfailing assistance is assured. All are challenged to arise, to toil and to persevere, until their solemn pledge under the Plan is completely and totally fulfilled. That they may prove themselves worthy of their high mission is my fervent hope and constant prayer.

Shoghi


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1947

JANUARY 14, 1947

DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION NOBLE SENTIMENT DEARLY BELOVED COWORKERS INDIA BURMA PROUD THEIR HISTORIC EXEMPLARY ACHIEVEMENTS PRAYING EVER INCREASING SUCCESS MIGHTY ENDEAVOURS.

SHOGHI

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

March 13, 1947

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters addressed to our beloved Guardian on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma and dated as follows: September 19th, October 15th, 22nd, 28th and 30th, and November 8th, 16th, 19th, 20th, 23rd and two of the 28th, 30th, and December 3rd, 9th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and two of the 23rd, 24th and 28th, all of 1946, and January 6th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 24th and 28th 1947, have been received with their enclosures, as well as the

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material, photographs and books you forwarded under separate cover, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He has been very encouraged to see the way the Indian, and now the Burmese, friends have responded to his repeated call for greater sacrifice and for more pioneers to go forth into the teaching field. Your country is so vast that less valiant hearts than those possessed by the indomitable Bahá’ís might well have quailed before the tasks to be undertaken. But, on the contrary, the Indian and Burmese friends have arisen and demonstrated the calibre of their faith and courage in a manner which excites the admiration of their fellow Bahá’ís East and West.

Now is not the time to rest on their oars, but rather to redouble their efforts and go on from victory to victory, and to add new fame to their exploits, conscious that the eyes of their fellow-believers are focused upon them to see what they will achieve next.

He was particularly happy to see how active the beloved Burmese friends are, and that through the efforts of some members of their Community and Indian friends, they have now established a new centre in Kyigone, where a Spiritual Assembly can exist. This is a great step forward, and he hopes many new Bahá’í Assemblies will be developed in Burma during the coming Bahá’í year.

He was also very pleased to hear of the book exhibit held in Kolhapur, and of the interest shown in our Bahá’í literature by persons of standing in the Community. Such exhibitions offer a great opportunity to show the public what the Cause is doing and what it stands for, and every advantage of them should be taken.

Although your Assembly has succeeded in getting out a number of new language publications, you should not relax for a moment in your efforts to translate and publish the “New Era” in the remaining languages chosen, as this work is of the utmost importance, enables you to teach new language groups the Faith, and adds to the prestige of the Cause not only in India but abroad. Although you have many obstacles to overcome, the results in the future will be great. He cannot impress too strongly upon the friends the need for action; they must arise in still greater numbers to pioneer; those who cannot go themselves should remember the admonition of Bahá’u’lláh and send, through the National Spiritual Assembly, someone in their stead; the young people should learn to teach and go forth in the field in the days of their youth and receive this great blessing; more qualified teachers should arise, and circulate among the new and weak Assemblies in order to consolidate them.

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He was very sorry to hear of the untimely death of Mr. Mani Mehta; though relatively young in the Faith, he arose to serve it with exemplary devotion and enthusiasm; let others arise to fill his place, and manifest the great zeal he showed in his services to the Cause of God!

You may be sure that the loving prayers of the Guardian surround you and your fellow members of the National Spiritual Assembly the discharge of your arduous duties, performed so conscientiously.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The rich and varied material which you have been forwarding during recent months to the Holy Land proclaim and demonstrate, beyond the shadow of a doubt the assiduous care, the magnificent devotion, the exemplary fidelity, the increased efficiency with which you are conducting the affairs, and consolidating the activities of a steadily growing community. My heart swells with gratitude as I witness, in so many fields, the striking evidences of the growth, the multiplication and establishment of highly diversified communities throughout the length and breadth of India, and Burma, the expansion of B aha’{literature, the rise of new institutions, the growing consciousness and solidarity of the teachers and administrators of the Faith, and of the contact that is being established between them and the great masses of their countrymen, at so critical a period in their history.

However much these communities have already achieved, they cannot afford, for a moment, to rest content with the laurels that they have won. Spurred on by these initial and superb victories—victories unprecedented in the annals of their Faith in that land—they must press on, more diligently than ever, to reinforce their unity, to deepen their understanding of the spiritual verities of their Faith and of the administrative principles underlying its new world order, to multiply its nascent institutions, to broadcast its Message, to disseminate its literature, to exemplify its spirit, to proclaim its truths, and to swell the ranks of its unreserved supporters. The greater the effort they exert along these lines, the more abundant the measure of celestial grace that will be vouchsafed to them from on high. That they may go from strength to strength, that they may add still more glorious chapters to the distinguished record of their immortal services to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh is my constant prayer and the most cherished desire of my heart.

Shoghi

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APRIL 3, 1947

CABLE NUMBER LOCAL ASSEMBLIES GROUPS AND ISOLATED BELIEVERS INDIA AND BURMA SEPARATELY. CABLE APPROXIMATE VALUE BAHA’I ENDOWMENTS LOCAL AND NATIONAL IN MAY 1944 AND AT PRESENT. CABLE PRESENT STATUS TRANSLATIONS PUBLICATION NEW ERA. URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS EARLY COMPLETION THIS VITAL TASK.

SHOGHI

APRIL 5, 1947

CABLE HOW MUCH MONEY HAS BEEN SET ASIDE FOR FUTURE NATIONAL HAZIRATU’L-QUDS CABLE ALSO PRESENT APPROXIMATE VALUE DELHI HAZIRATU’L-QUDS.

SHOGHI

APRIL 11, 1947

ADVISE TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS PURCHASE DELHI BEFITTING BUILDING FOR NATIONAL HAZIRATU’L-QUDS UTILIZE FUNDS RESERVED THIS PURPOSE ALSO PROCEEDS SALE PRESENT DELHI STRUCTURE. OWING OVERRIDING IMPORTANCE SUITABLE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS ADVISE DIVERT TEMPORARILY SUM RAISED PANCHGANI SCHOOL THIS MERITORIOUS PURPOSE. CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS MY CONTRIBUTION. URGE FRIENDS ARISE UNITEDLY CONTRIBUTE GENEROUSLY MEET VITAL URGENT NEED FAITH PRESENT HOUR.

SHOGHI

APRIL 23, 1947

DEEPLY APPRECIATE GREETINGS INDIAN BURMESE BAHA’IS FERVENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS THEIR ACTIVITIES URGE PROMPT ACTION PURCHASE VITALLY NEEDED HAZIRA DELHI FULFIL WITHOUT DELAY URGENT NATIONAL NEED FAITH.

SHOGHI

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APRIL27, 1947

DELIGHTED MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENTS. PRAYING STILL NOBLER VICTORIES INDIA BURMA. BELOVED WELL PLEASED FIDELITY DEVOTION LABOURS PERSEVERANCE INDIAN BURMESE BELIEVERS. REJOICE REDOUBLE EFFORTS.

SHOGHI

APRIL 29, 1947

DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE CONVENTION DELEGATES. HEARTILY CONGRATULATE COMMUNITY INDIA BURMA MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENTS. OPENING PHASE HISTORIC PLAN VICTORIOUSLY CONCLUDED. APPEAL ALL MEMBERS BOTH COMMUNITIES DEMONSTRATE GREATER SOLIDARITY HIGH RESOLVE NOBLER SELF-SACRIFICE KEENER UNDERSTANDING FULLER DEDICATION IN WIDER FIELDS PERSEVERANCE MORE GLORIOUS VICTORIES. VALIANT PROSECUTORS PLAN LOVINGLY REMEMBERED HOLY SHRINES OCCASION MOST GREAT FESTIVAL.

SHOGHI

[To The Youth Committees Of The Spiritual Assemblies Of: Bombay, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Serampore and Calcutta, Sholapur, Kolhapur, Karachi, Poona, Lahore, Panchgani, Quetta]

May 2, 1947

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

During this happy Ri?ván period our beloved Guardian received your letters, written to him on Bahá’í Youth Day, February 23rd, 1947, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was very happy to see so many names appended to the letters of the Local Youth Committees, as the work of the Bahá’í young people is very dear to his heart. The Indian believers, in spite of the troubled condition of their country, its vastness, and the relative fewness of their numbers, are really demonstrating a remarkable tenacity of purpose in carrying out their pioneer teaching plan and in organizing and supporting their Bahá’í activities. He is therefore very pleased with them, and wishes the young people to take part more and more in the work of the Cause in India.

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He urges you all to attend Summer School, deepen yourselves in the Teachings of the Faith, go forth as pioneers, perfect yourselves as teachers and public speakers…these are ways in which you can learn and serve!

He assures you one and all, that he will pray in the Holy Shrines far your progress and the success of your Bahá’í services.

May the Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh sustain you in your high endeavours, Mess your manifold activities, aid you to extend the scope of your meritorious enterprises, and to acquire a deeper understanding of the essentials and requirements of His Faith, enable you to lend a tremendous and unprecedented impetus to the progress of the Plan, and to fulfil every desire you cherish for the promotion of our Glorious Faith and its nascent institutions. Your true brother,

Shoghi

MAY 4, 1947

PRAYING FOR NEWLY ELECTED ASSEMBLY. MAY IT SET INSPIRING EXAMPLE ENTIRE COMMUNITY UNITY SOLIDARITY VIGOUR CONSTANCY FIDELITY SELF SACRIFICE.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

May 8, 1947

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters to our beloved Guardian dated August 8, 9 (two of this date), 19 and 21; September 7, 10, 11 (two of this date), 12 and 26, October 1, 3, and 10; December 23 (two of this date), and 22, 1946; January 10, 20, and 30; February 1, 8, 11, 18 (two of this date), 20 (two of this date), 21, 22 and 24; March 4 (two of this date), 7, 10, 11, 18, 22 (three of this date), 24 and 26; April 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 12 (two of this date), 15, 16, 17 (two of this date), 23, 24 (two of this date), and 26th, 1947, together with their numerous enclosures, have been received and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf. The material books, photographs, etc., sent under separate cover, have also all arrived safely, including the book “The Story of Orchestral Music and

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its Times”, which it was very thoughtful of you to forward, as it adds to the collection here of books in which the Cause is mentioned, however briefly… Concerning certain matters you raised in your letters:

He advises you to make every effort to have the Esslemont book translated into Karen at present, and to persevere in your attempts to find someone to translate it into Chin in the future. He urges you to make a supreme effort to complete these translations and publication. of the Esslemont book in the remaining chosen languages…

You may not perhaps know that in connection with all National Assemblies the Guardian is advising that rules and regulations should not be multiplied and new statements on “procedure” issued; we should be elastic in details and rigid in principles; consequently he does not want your Assembly to issue statements of a binding nature unless absolutely necessary. In this connection he will answer your questions about sanctions… It is only those who have been spiritually ex-communicated by the Guardian with whom the believers are forbidden to associate, and not a person who is being punished by being deprived of his voting rights. As contributions to Bahá’í Funds are used to support the administration of the Faith, they should not have accepted from those who are deprived of their voting rights; but such believers should not be prevented from being buried in a Bahá’í Cemetery or receiving charity—which we even give to non-Bahá’ís—if in dire need.

As the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia is, it would seem, unable to send pioneers to Bahrayn or Afghanistan, he fully approves of your Assembly doing so, if some of the dear Indian believers are willing to assume this added responsibility and perform this valuable service, highly meritorious in the sight of God.

He suggests the word “capacity” be substituted for “wants’” in the paragraph about strikes, as this conveys the thought of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá when He used the word “?? ?[4].

The recent news conveyed to him by you of the achievement of the immediate goals that lay before the Indian and Burmese Bahá’ís, pleased him greatly. He feels that the Community of believers there, as they see their own Plan developing and their own labours bearing fruit, their fame spreading amongst their sister Communities and their star rising in the heaven of the Bahá’í World, are now acquiring a

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new zest for teaching, and are ever more ready to sacrifice themselves in order to win complete victory for their Plan! This pleases him greatly and encourages him to believe the future of the dear Indian and Burmese believers is very bright.

He was also delighted and relieved to hear that unity was achieved at Convention amongst the friends, and that ail of them have resolved to put away childish differences, unworthy of them as servants and custodians of our Glorious Faith in that great country, and unitedly strive for the good of the Cause and the successful completion of their sacred tasks.

He assures you all, and through you, all the Bahá’ís of India and Burma, of his loving prayers for your success and for the rapid spread of the Faith.

P.S. He wishes once more to impress upon your Assembly the great importance of immediately finding and purchasing, and moving into, a befitting ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Delhi. This will bring upon the entire community great confirmations.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The perusal of your Annual Report and the messages conveyed by the elected representatives of the Indian and Burmese Bahá’í communities, assembled at Convention, have served to deepen my sense of admiration for the work collectively achieved by the members of these communities, and of my gratitude for the magnificent qualities they display, and for the spirit which so powerfully animates them in their stewardship to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

They now stand on the threshold of a new epoch in the history of the evolution of the Administrative Order in their land. The transfer of the central institution of that Order to the capital of India; the wide measure of centralization which this historic step must needs involve; the purchase of a befitting seat for the ever-expanding activities and multiplying agencies of that institution in that same capital, the progressive transfer of the national committees to the national ?a?íratu’l-Quds…all these must synchronize with a remarkable, and indeed unprecedented, intensification of effort in the pioneer field of Bahá'í activity, as well as in the sphere of public teaching, designed to arouse the masses and proclaim the verities of the Faith throughout the length and breadth of that subcontinent and its adjoining territory of Burma.

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In this twofold activity, supporting directly and indirectly the interests of the Plan, committed to your charge, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Burmese and Zoroastrian believers must jointly, unitedly, and effectively participate. The minority elements in these ever-expanding communities must be continually stimulated, encouraged, trained, and in some cases, as when an equal number of ballots have been cast in an election, given priority, in order to reinforce the representative character of Bahá’í institutions, demonstrate the distinction of these institutions from all other man-made agencies, and win, to an ever-increasing degree, the sympathy and support of the teeming masses of Hindu and Muslim extraction, on whose adherence to the Faith, the ultimate progress, establishment, and triumph of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh must chiefly depend.

Courage, goodwill, resolution, self-abnegation, are imperatively required, at this momentous stage in the evolution of these nascent communities, who, having reared, with assiduous care, the machinery of their Administrative Order, and launched the Plan which the institutions of that Order are now so efficiently promoting, have arisen to initiate a crusade which, as it gathers momentum, must embrace all the diversified races, classes and creeds of that vast country, and its adjoining territories. May the impelling power of the Faith which they champion enable them to surmount every obstacle, and reach their destined goal. Your true brother,

Shoghi

MAY 28, 1947

APPROVE BORROW FOR PURCHASE SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND STRUCTURE.

SHOGHI

JUNE 4.1947

URGE ALL ASSEMBLIES GROUPS INDIVIDUAL BELIEVERS ARISE UNITEDLY CONTRIBUTE GENEROUSLY REDEEM PROMPTLY DEBT INCURRED PURCHASE HAZIRA FOCUS ALL NATIONAL ACTIVITIES POWERFUL MAGNET DIVINE BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI

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JULY 2, 1947

DELIGHTED MAGNIFICENT RESPONSE BELIEVERS APPEAL FUNDS PURCHASE HAZIRA. PRAYING COMPLETE SUCCESS. CONGRATULATE NATIONAL ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES COMMUNITY HOLDING HARMONIOUS HISTORIC SESSION INDIA’S CAPITAL. CONVEY FRIENDS DECISION CELEBRATE THIS OCCASION THROUGH INITIATION NEGOTIATIONS BY ME WITH AUTHORITIES HOLY LAND AIMED SECURE AUTHORIZATION TRANSFER PORTION BAHA’I INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS PRECINCTS SHRINE MOUNT CARMEL TO PALESTINE BRANCH INDIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ALREADY INCORPORATED AS RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION PALESTINE. PRAYING SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME ENTITLING INDIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY UNIQUE DISTINCTION THROUGHOUT BAHA’I WORLD OF SHARING WITH SISTER ASSEMBLY AMERICA HONOUR OWNERSHIP PROPERTY PERMANENTLY DEDICATED BAB’S HOLY SHRINE.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 6, 1947

ADVISE REGISTER HAZIRA NAMES TWO OR THREE INDIVIDUALS IF REGISTRATION ASSEMBLY’S NAME ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE.

SHOGHI

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

October 24, 1947

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters written to our beloved Guardian, on behalf of the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, and dated May 7th (two), 10th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 20th, and 21st (two), and 31st;June 2nd, 6th (two), 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 16th, 19th and 20th (two); July 5th, 7ih, 8th, 12th, 19th (two), 21st and 31st; August 4th, 7th (two), 8ih, 17th and 19th, and September 15th, were all received with their enclosures, and the printed matter you sent was likewise safely received.

During the great period of transition that vast land has been, and still is, going through, his thoughts have been very frequently with

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you all, and his anxiety for the safety of the beloved friends there is very keen.

He fully appreciates the fact that the Bahá’ís, in spite of their total lack of religious or other prejudice, and their strict political neutrality, are nevertheless placed in danger sometimes by the passions and unrest of their countrymen. His ardent prayers are offered for their protection, and he urges them to, at ail times, set the highest example of tolerance, freedom from any form of partisanship in the present troubles and disputes going on, and sympathy with the deep sufferings of all classes and creeds.

The work of your Assembly is even more onerous and delicate than before. Now that India, Burma and Pakistan no longer form one unit, in the sense of being under one regime, you will, no doubt, have many new problems to meet. But he feels assured that the experience the Community of believers has gained during recent years, the increased awareness of the glory of this Cause, and the greater dedication to its service which unites the hearts of all the Bahá’ís out there, will now manifest themselves in the Community’s wholehearted cooperation with the National Spiritual Assembly, and in a renewed determination to achieve its Plan.

The believers must realize that they, in fulfilling the immediate goals of this Plan, are hastening the day when India, Pakistan and Burma can respectively have each its own National Spiritual Assembly, which, in due time, will become one of the pillars of the International House of Justice. Although three National Spiritual Assemblies and not one must be envisaged in the future, how appropriate it is that, at present, when political division has taken place and animosities are fanned into flame, the believers in the Cause of God are united under one Spiritual Assembly, guiding and aiding all believers with love and understanding!

Regarding the question you asked him about the quotation of the Master’s words: As this particular quotation is in the nature of pilgrim’s notes (no original text being available), he feels it should not be given prominence at all.

Please particularly assure the Serampur Bahá’ís of his lowing prayers, and that he is proud of their devotion to the Faith.

He also wishes to assure you of his prayers for the progress of all the work your Assembly is doing, and specially for the solution of the problems involved in the National Headquarters’ purchase. He attributes great importance to this undertaking, and is delighted to

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see the determined and self-sacrificing manner in which the believers are supporting it.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The strife and bloodshed, with their attendant misery, sorrow and confusion, that have afflicted the entire sub-continent of India, in recent months, have caused me the gravest concern. The disorders, following in the wake of this great crisis in the life of its people, constitute a challenge, which the Community of the steadfast followers of Bahá’u’lláh in that land must resolutely face, and demonstrate in meeting it the quality of their faith, the depth of their devotion, the strength of their unity, the solidity of their institutions and the heroic character of their resolve. They must neither feel alarmed, nor falter or hesitate in the execution of their Plan. Shielded by the institutions which their hands have reared, abiding securely in the stronghold of their love for Bahá’u’lláh and their devotion to His Faith, pursuing with unrelaxing vigilance and singleness of purpose the course set by the Plan they themselves have inaugurated, heartened by the initial success already achieved since that Plan was set in motion, they, however much baffled by present circumstances, and no matter how perilous the path they now tread, must press forward, unafraid of persecution, scorn or calumny, towards the shining goals they have set themselves to attain.

The newly-fledged Assemblies, constituted with so much labour and sacrifice, must above all, be thoroughly safeguarded. The administrative nuclei formed throughout the length and breadth of that land, must, however great the effort demanded, be preserved and continually fostered, and enabled to develop into groups destined in time to evolve into firmly knit Assemblies. The obstacles that have arisen in connexion with the purchase and registration of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Delhi must be resolutely overcome, and all the subsidiary issues connected with it definitely and speedily settled, enabling thereby the attention of your Assembly to be focused on the vital requirements of the teaching work on which the prosperity of the community and its rapid growth must ultimately depend. Attention, moreover, should be directed to the completion of the tasks undertaken in connexion with the translation and publication of the ^New Era” in the few remaining languages selected for that purpose. The dissemination of Bahá’í literature should, likewise, be simultaneously carried out with increasing vigour. Whatever measures are required to ensure a more systematic and extensive propagation of the Teachings of the Faith among the masses must be promptly and unhesitatingly adopted.

[Page 289]

The how is indeed propitious. The ordeals and tribulations which the hungry, the dispossessed, the sick, as well as the 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 he 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 Cause it has espoused and the high mission it has undertaken. Your true brother,

Shoghi

OCTOBER 26, 1947

HEARTFELT APPRECIATION GREETINGS INDIAN BURMESE FRIENDS LOVINGLY REMEMBERED PRAYING CONTINUALLY PROTECTION UNITY TRIUMPH REMOVAL OBSTACLES TRANSFER POSSESSION HAZIRATU’L-QUDS. DEEPEST LOVE ABIDING GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER 10, 1947

PROFOUNDLY REGRET COMPLICATIONS URGE VIGILANT STRENUOUS UNRELAXING EFFORT ARDENTLY SUPPLICATING REMOVAL DIFFICULTIES ENSURE LEGAL TRANSFER EARLY OCCUPATION HAZIRA.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER 20, 1947

…ADVISE POSTPONE REPRESENTATIONS BY NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES. IF AFTER LAPSE YEAR PROMISE UNFULFILLED REPRESENTATIONS ADVISABLE. URGE CONTINUED EFFORTS YOUR ASSEMBLY ENSURE EARLY RELEASE. SUPPLICATING FERVENTLY SUCCESS ENDEAVOURS PROTECTION DEARLY BELOVED FRIENDS.

SHOGHI

[Page 290]

DECEMBER 19, 1947

ANNOUNCE BELIEVERS SUCCESSFUL PURCHASE TRANSFER NAME INCORPORATED PALESTINE BRANCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY INDIA PAKISTAN AND BURMA PROPERTY ESTIMATED SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS VICINITY BAB’S SHRINE OVERLOOKING RESTING PLACE GREATEST HOLY LEAF. TITLE DEED WILL SHORTLY BE FORWARDED. ANTICIPATING ADDITIONAL TRANSFER SACRED PROPERTY NEIGHBOURHOOD BAHA’U’LLAH SHRINE. REJOICE SIGNAL HONOUR CONFERRED COMMUNITY INDIAN BURMESE BELIEVERS ENTITLING THEM SHARE AND OWNERSHIP BAHA’I INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS BOTH PLAIN AKKA MOUNT CARMEL.

SHOGHI

DECEMBER 27, 1947

REJOICE REGISTRATION HAZIRA ASSEMBLY’S NAME PRAYING SUCCESS REPRESENTATIONS AUTHORITIES LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


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1948

APRIL 1, 1948

MAIL IMMEDIATELY TWENTY COPIES PUSHTO VERSION NEW ERA IF NOT MORE AVAILABLE ALSO WIRE PROGRESS PUNJABI SINGALESE ASSAMESE CHIN KASHMIRI KARIN VERSIONS ALSO WIRE WHETHER ANY BAHA’I RESIDES CEYLON.

SHOGHI

APRIL 19, 1948

GRIEVE PASSING NOTABLE PROMOTER FAITH MOULVI VAKIL. ARDENTLY PRAYING PROGRESS HIS SOUL. URGE KASHMIR FRIENDS PERSEVERE MERITORIOUS LABOURS.

SHOGHI

APRIL 26, 1948

INDIAN BURMESE FRIENDS LOVINGLY REMEMBERED SHRINES RIDVAN FESTIVAL. PRAYING UNITY COOPERATION STEADFASTNESS SIGNAL SUCCESS. ADVISE IMMEDIATE STEPS ESTABLISH OUTPOST FAITH CEYLON. PLEAD ONE NOBLE SOUL ARISE PERFORM HISTORIC TASK.

SHOGHI

[Page 292]

MAY 4, 1948

NUMBER COUNTRIES OPENED FAITH BAHA’U’LLAH APPROACHING HUNDRED. PROMPT RESPONSE VALIANT INDIAN BELIEVERS REGARDING CEYLON PROMPTS ME APPEAL DISPATCH VOLUNTEERS SIAM INDONESIA THEREBY HASTENING GLORIOUS CONSUMMATION ABHA REWARD INESTIMABLE.

SHOGHI

[The National Spiritual Assembly Of The Bahá’ís Of India, Pakistan And Burma]

May 8, 1948

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Our beloved Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge receipt of your communications dated as follows: September 11th and 26th; November 7th, 10th and 20th (two of this date); December 5th, 12th, 29th and 30th (two of this date), all of 1947; January 2nd (two of this date), 6th, 7th, 14th and 15th (two of this date); February 6th, 10th, 13th and 23rd; April 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th, of 1948. Photos and other material have likewise been received as well as the book “Iran” which he has placed in the library of the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh in Bahjí…

He has already informed you through cabled instructions that he approves of the suggestion your Assembly made as to the method of forwarding ?uqúq to him, and also that he considered it essential to hold your annual Convention this year.

In regard to the matter of Bahá’ís speaking on a politically sponsored platform: He considers that what the American National Spiritual Assembly wrote you is correct and can be followed by your Assembly also.

Excommunication is a spiritual thing and up until now the Guardian has always been the one who exerted this power, and he feels for the present he must continue to be. Only actual enemies of the Cause are excommunicated. On the other hand, those who conspicuously disgrace the Faith or refuse to abide by its laws can be deprived, as a punishment, of their voting rights; this in itself is a severe action, and he therefore always urges all National Assemblies (who can take such action) to first warn and repeatedly warn the evil-doer before taking the step of depriving him of his voting rights. He

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feels your Assembly must act with the greatest wisdom in such matters, and only impose this sanction if a believer is seriously injuring the Faith in the eyes of the public through his conduct or flagrantly breaching the laws of God. If such a sanction were lightly used the friends would come to attach no importance to it, or to feel the National Spiritual Assembly used it every time they got angry with some individual’s disobedience to them. We must always remember that, sad and often childish, as it seems, some of those who make the worst nuisances of themselves to their National Bodies are often very loyal believers, who think they are protecting the true interests of their Faith by attacking National Spiritual Assembly’s decisions!

The Guardian feels very strongly that everywhere, throughout the entire Bahá’í world, the believers have got to master and follow the principles of their divinely laid down Administrative Order. They will never solve their problems by departing from the correct procedure… Likewise, he does not approve of the Iranian, or any other members of the National Spiritual Assembly resigning from it, except if one is leaving the country permanently, or for a long period, or is really too ill to attend the sessions of this body. The Bahá’ís have got to learn to live up to the laws of Bahá’u’lláh which are infinitely higher, more exacting and more perfect than those the world is at present familiar with. Running away, fighting with each other, fostering dissension, is not going to advance the Indian or any other Community; all it is going to do is to bring Bahá’u’lláh’s plans and work to a standstill until such time as the believers unite to serve Him, or new and more dedicated souls arise to take their place.

He also feels very strongly…that the Bahá’ís must be mature and realize that, whether they are conscious of it or not, the intense feelings of hatred, suspicion and jealousy which are flaming up everywhere in India and Pakistan, are tinging the attitudes of the believers themselves. At such a time, seeing this colossal example before them of the very essence of everything we are seeking to purify the world from, the Hindu, Muslim and Zoroastrian Bahá’ís should determine to show a love for each other and an inner spiritual solidarity so great as to forcibly attract the attention of their countrymen and impress them with the fact that Bahá’u’lláh’s Message is, indeed, the only remedy for the ills afflicting the great multitudes of the Far East…

The Guardian assures you all, and through you, the believers of India, Pakistan and Burma, that he will supplicate in the Holy Shrines that the labours you have all achieved together may be preserved from

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blemish, and that you may go on together to fulfil your plan and raise still higher the name of your fame.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The work now engaging the attention of the members of the Bahá’í Communities in India, Pakistan and Burma, as it develops and is further consolidated, acquires momentous importance, and should be pursued with added zeal, ever-deepening consecration, firmer unity, closer collaboration, greater vigilance and nobler self-sacrifice. The sufferings and trials they have recently experienced, the disappointments and anxieties they have borne, the obstacles and setbacks they have encountered in their path, should, far from causing them to flinch in their determination or to relax in their efforts, act as a stimulant and challenge, to scale loftier heights, and win mightier victories in their strenuous. labours for the propagation of their beloved Faith.

Though they are pressed by the multitudinous demands’ of an ever-growing task, though overburdened by the manifold responsibilities of an ever-expanding administration, I have, in my desire, to enable them to enrich the splendid record of their stewardship to the Faith in recent years, and enhance the prestige of all three communities, urged them to push still further the outposts of the Faith, both southward and eastward of the present field of their joint labours. In the Island of Ceylon, the Republic of Indonesia and the sovereign State of Siam, which due to their proximity must, sooner or later be opened up to the Faith by these Communities, an effort, however tentative, must be made to establish a nucleus, through the settlement of one or two pioneers which will, as Plans are initiated in the years to come, develop into full-fledged communities capable of illuminating the eastern and southern fringes of the continent of Asia.

Through the successful conclusion of this added task to be shouldered by these communities, the believers in these three communities will have contributed, to a marked degree, to the raising to one hundred of the number of countries included within the pale of the ever-advancing Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. They will be emulating the example of their American, Canadian and Persian brethren, who, through their respective plans, are hastening this glorious consummation, by initiating Bahá’í activities in Latin America, in Greenland and Newfoundland and the territories of the Arabian Peninsula.

Their solid achievements in recent years, the marvellous multiplication

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of Bahá’í Centres, the establishment of befitting national head quarters, the remarkable impetus lent to the translation, publication and dissemination of Bahá’í Literature, embolden me to appeal to them, to undertake fresh enterprises, ere the termination of the present Plan, and on however small a scale, beyond the confines of India and Burma.

The greater the range of their collective enterprises, the mightier the effusion of the Abhá Grace from on High, a Grace that will sustain, protect, guide and cheer them as they tread the stormy yet glorious path of service for the furtherance of their beloved Cause.

Let them, at this momentous stage of their historic labours, eliminate, once and for all, every trace of inharmony from their midst, purge their hearts from every lingering suspicion, prejudice and animosity, acquire a clearer vision of the greatness of their Faith and the significance of their mission, give heed to the urgent and tragic needs of the vast multitudes of their disillusioned and sore-tried countrymen, now hungering for the Bread of Life, and arise, as one man, to discharge their sacred and inescapable responsibilities. The hour is propitious, the situation critical, the Cause infinitely precious, the prize within reach and inexpressibly glorious!

Shoghi

JUNE 18, 1948

SHRINES SAFE APPRECIATE PROGRESS NEW ERA PUBLICATIONS URGE TRANSLATION CHIN LAST REMAINING VERSION.

SHOGHI


(Picture: Shrine of the Báb)


(Picture: Shoghi Effendi views the Shrine of the Báb from the top of Mount Carmel)


[Page 296]

1949

JANUARY 7, 1949

DELIGHTED PROGRESS TRANSLATION NEW ERA. GREATLY HEARTENED RESPONSE PIONEERS ASSURE THEM FERVENT PRAYERS HIGHLY MERITORIOUS MISSION EAGER NEWS THEIR SETTLEMENT URGE PERSEVERANCE. ANNOUNCE FRIENDS DESPITE TURMOIL HOLY LAND FOUNDATION ARCADE BAB’S SEPULCHRE DESIGNED SAFEGUARD STRUCTURE RAISED HANDS BELOVED MASTER COMPLETED. OF TOTAL SIX HUNDRED TONS MATERIAL ONE THIRD ALREADY RECEIVED. CONTEMPLATING COMMENCEMENT BUILDING OPERATIONS DESTINED CULMINATE ERECTION DOME ENVISAGED BY CENTRE COVENANT.

SHOGHI

MARCH 22, 1949

DEARLY BELOVED FRIENDS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA REMEMBERED SHRINES SUPPLICATING MANIFOLD BLESSINGS DIVERSIFIED ACTIVITIES TOTAL SUCCESS PLAN. ANNOUNCE BELIEVERS COMMENCEMENT BUILDING OPERATIONS

[Page 297]

ARCADE BAB’S SHRINE COINCIDING FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY PLACING SACRED REMAINS BY CENTRE COVENANT IN SARCOPHAGUS PRESENTED BY VALIANT BURMESE BELIEVERS. DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

APRIL 8, 1949

DESPATCH PIONEERS SIAM CEYLON INDONESIA URGENT IMPERATIVE. APPEAL IMMEDIATE RESPONSE HEROIC SELF SACRIFICE. SUPPLICATING BAHA’U’LLAH’S SUSTAINING GRACE.

SHOGH1

[To The National Spiritual Assembly Of The Bahá’ís Of India, Burma and Pakistan]

April 9, 1949

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters, with enclosures, dated April 3, 19; May 19, 24, 25; June 3, 5; and December 21 , all of 1948, have at long last been received by our beloved Guardian, and he was very happy to resume direct contact with your Assembly, and through you, with all the dear believers in that part of the world.

The news that from Calcutta two souls have volunteered to go forth as pioneers to Siam and Indonesia greatly pleased him. Likewise, he was rejoiced to hear a pioneer for Ceylon has been found.

The Burmese, Indian and Pakistan Bahá’ís, forming as they do a relatively old and tried Community of believers, have heavy responsibilities to discharge. They cannot be looked upon as children or youngsters in this great Cause, but rather must be considered more in the light of elders, and consequently their Bahá’í brothers and sisters expect great things of them, and look to them for signs of leadership in that part of the world! Therefore, the fulfilment of their Plan, and the sending forth of their pioneers to neighbouring Asiatic countries, is of crucial importance in maintaining their leadership in this field and their prestige in the Bahá’í World.

He was very glad to see your Assembly has not relaxed its efforts |in the matter of translating and publishing the Esselmont book. As

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you know, he considers this a vital service being rendered by your Community to not only the peoples of that part of the world, but to the Faith as a world-wide movement. He has begun to receive lately Some of your publications, and trusts, now the mails are again running, to receive safely all the material you are sending.

The Foundation of the Arcade of the Shrine has now been laid and all the heavy threshold stones placed in position. More than half of the stone work ordered in Italy for this first unit of the beautiful shell, which will enclose and protect for all-time the sacred building built by the beloved Master Himself, has now been received on the Shrine property, and plans are being made for the next stage of construction to go ahead.

This glorious work, so cheering to all our hearts, is, however, greatly increasing the burden our beloved Guardian /bears, and he hopes the friends will understand this when they find letters to him can no longer be answered promptly. At such a time, when this country has passed through so much danger and difficulty, it is little short of miraculous the way this work on the Shrine has been facilitated and protected and gone ahead steadily! It is greatly enhancing the prestige of the Faith here, and the authorities have been cooperative and helpful…

Our beloved Guardian urges all the believers to work together with the greatest love and harmony to achieve their Plan, nay if possible to excel their goals! His loving prayers will be offered for them all and for the speedy advancement of their work.

He will also pray for you, and all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, that God may strengthen and bless you in your work for His Faith.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The communications addressed to me several months ago by your Assembly have, after considerable delay in transmission, reached the Holy Land, and, together with the reports and minutes accompanying them, were read with deep and sustained interest.

The tremendous task facing the Bahá’í communities in India, Pakistan and Burma, constitutes a grave challenge to the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in these countries, and must he faced and met with courage, determination and a spirit of complete dedication to His Cause. The disturbances that have so gravely shaken the peoples of these countries, on the morrow of a world-convulsing international conflict; the

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fortunate and sudden cessation of communications between these countries and the World Centre of the Faith in the Holy Land during the past year; the fears and anxieties engendered by a steadily deteriorating international situation which cannot but dismay the stoutest hearts, have no doubt contributed, in varying degrees, and in no small measure, to a slowing down of the progress of the collective enterprise, so nobly, so enthusiastically and so energetically initiated by the upholders of the Faith throughout the sub-continent of India and Burma.

The reverses they have suffered, with their attendant disappointments, confusion and relaxation of effort, must never be allowed, however short the period remaining before the termination of their Plan, to jeopardize the chance of a success which is still in their power to achieve. They must close their ranks, gird up their loins, rededicate their souls and spirits to the unfinished tasks which face them, purge themselves of every taint of communal prejudice, detach themselves from every thought of self-interest, and arise, while there is yet time, to attain the goals they have pledged themselves to attain.

The final phase of the Plan with which they stand identified, and on which their immediate destiny depends, coincides with the hundredth anniversary of the most bloody, tragic and turbulent period in the history of their Faith…a period immortalized by the noblest evidences of Bahá’í self-sacrifice, marked by acts of sublime heroism, and ennobled by a spirit of dedication and determination unsurpassed at any subsequent stage in Bahá’í history. Now, if ever, is the time to emulate the example of these heroes, saints and martyrs. Now is the time to pour out one’s substance as copiously and as readily, as the Dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age of the Faith have shed their life-blood in the path of this most precious Cause. No more befitting tribute can be paid to the memory of these luminous souls, by those who carry the torch of Divine Guidance after them, than by a corresponding manifestation of solidarity, self-abnegation, zeal and devotion, which will impel them to forsake their homes, sacrifice their treasure, brave every danger, endure every hardship, expend every ounce of energy, that the Plan which they have spontaneously and unitedly sponsored may, through its triumphant termination, carry them a stage further along the broad highway of their destiny.

The multiplication of Bahá’í Assemblies, at any cost and with the utmost speed; the reconstitution of dissolved Assemblies, however great the effort required, the completion of the translation into, and the printing of the “New Era”, in the few remaining languages, within the shortest

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possible time, the despatch of no more than one pioneer, to the neighbouring Island of Ceylon, to Siam and to Indonesia, ere the termination of the closing year of the Plan…these stand out as the immediate requirements of the present challenging hour…requirements that the prosecutors of the Plan must meet. The eyes of their fellow-workers in East and West, are fixed upon them. The Concourse on high watches their actions, and stands ready to Mess and reinforce their labours. The Centre of the Covenant Himself is eagerly waiting to witness the evidences of their victory, and will no doubt intercede, on their behalf, before the throne of Bahá’u’lláh, if they but arise resolutely and spur their chargers into the arena of service.

The sands are indeed running out. The task that remains to be accomplished is indeed colossal. The distractions, temptations, and pitfalls that might interfere with its consummation are many and varied. The resources however spiritual and material still at the disposal of the members of these communities are still adequate, if they but resolve to utilize them, to. the needs of the present hour. The blessings from on high, ready to be showered upon them, are more than adequate to ensure their complete and total victory. So much hangs on the fortunes of the present Plan! So much must necessarily depend on the manner and the spirit in which they discharge their terrific responsibilities, during the few fleeting months still allotted them ere the expiry of the Plan!

I entreat them, with all the fervour of my soul, not to allow this golden opportunity to slip from their grasp. They have, in the past, proved themselves capable, in times of crisis, of overleaping the most formidable barriers, and of wresting victory from the jaws of impending defeat. Theirs is the opportunity, now if ever, to demonstrate a similar resolution, a no less spectacular outburst of enthusiasm, an even nobler heroism and self-sacrifice than they have ever shown in the past.

Then, and only then, will the next stage in the evolution of their common destiny be unveiled to their eyes. Then, and only then, will the call summoning them to press forward to yet another landmark in their history be sounded. Then, and only then, will a still fuller measure of heavenly prizes be laid up for them in reward for their inestimable and arduous services in the treasuries of the Abhá Kingdom by Him who alone knows how to re-ignite His faithful servants.

Shoghi

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MAY 7, 1949

ASSURE ELECTED NATIONAL ASSEMBLY NEWLY FORMED LOCAL ASSEMBLIES FERVENT PRAYERS. WELCOME RESOLVE ENSURE SUCCESS PLAN.

SHOGHI

MAY 17, 1949

DELIGHTED LUKMANI’S ARRIVAL, CONSTANT SUPPORT ENCOURAGEMENT NECESSARY, PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

MAY 28, 1949

KARACHI CONTRIBUTION RECEIVED CONVEY LOVING APPRECIATION ASSURE THEM DEVOTING SUM CONSTRUCTION ARCADE SHRINE.

SHOGHI

JUNE 4, 1949

CABLE WHETHER DETAILED LETTER APRIL NINTH RECEIVED.

SHOGHI

JUNE 9, 1949

ASSEMBLY’S CONTRIBUTION JUST RECEIVED DEEPEST APPRECIATION WILL LIKEWISE EXPEND IT FOR CONSTRUCTION ARCADE SHRINE.

SHOGHI

JULY 2, 1949

GRIEVE PASSING DEAR DEVOTED CAPABLE SERVANT FAITH SULTAN GHAZI ARDENTLY PRAYING PROGRESS SOUL ABHA KINGDOM ASSURE RELATIVES FRIENDS DEEPFELT SYMPATHY. ADVISE DEFER ACTION BY NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES REGARDING HAZIRA MEANWHILE APPROACH AUTHORITIES OFFICIALLY INDIRECTLY ENDEAVOUR OBTAIN PROMISE

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FIXED DATE RELEASE DEPLORE DELAY PRAYING ARDENTLY SUCCESS RENEWED EFFORTS. BE NOT HOPELESS. PERSEVERE.

SHOGHI

JULY 27, 1949

ELECTIONS AND CONVENTION SHOULD BE HELD USUAL DATES.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 11, S949

ANXIOUS SAFETY RANGOON BELIEVERS CABLE NEWS. PRAYING DIVINE PROTECTION.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 15, 1949

ADVISE CABLE PARTICULARS REGARDING HAZIRA AMERICAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR PRESENTATION PRIME MINISTER IF FEASIBLE MYSELF ALSO CABLING ASSEMBLY. PRAYING SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

November 6, 1949

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dared May 7, June 7, 13;July 1, 5, 11; August 18 (two of this date); September 4 (five of this date), 13, 17, 22, 26, 27; and October 3, 6 (two of this date), as well as their enclosures and other material, have been received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very happy to see that Hyderabad has been registered efficiently; this marks another step forward in the steady consolidation of the Cause in the area under the jurisdiction of your Assembly. In regard to the “brain tonic” supposedly recommended by the beloved Master: As this is not in His writing nor signed or sealed, and cannot, from what you have at hand, be authenticated, he feels the

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friends should not risk using it unless some qualified medical man should consider it sound and in no way injurious to the health.

The local elections, and the National Convention, should be held in 1950 on the usual dates and no exception be made.

He would like you to please thank on his behalf those friends who have forwarded ?uqúq to him and contributions for the building the Super-structure of the Báb’s Shrine.

This building is now beginning to take shape and promises to be very beautiful, befitting and dignified. It is the realization of the fond hope of the beloved Master, who stated to Badí‘ Bushrú’í one day, as He looked up at the building He Himself had already completed: “The Shrine is as yet unbuilt. God willing, it will be built. We have brought it up to this stage.”

The friends should be told this, as many of them do not realize it was the Master’s own plan to go much further, and erect a dome over the Resting Place of the Báb.

A few days ago the Guardian received a most radiant letter from one of the people dear Dr. Lukmani has won over to the Faith in Ceylon. This made him very happy, as it shows that God truly assists all His servants who arise in His Path to carry out His work. The success of this dear Bahá’í brother should make the believers on the mainland truly proud, and encourage them to go forth, even as he has, and spread the Glad Tidings in virgin territory.

The Guardian was, likewise, very pleased to receive the new versions of “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era” which are a great addition to our Bahá’í literature, and yet another achievement on the part of your Assembly… With the end of your Plan rapidly approaching your Assembly should encourage everyone who is a possible pioneer to take immediate action, and go forth into the arena of service at once, while there is yet time…

There is not a moment of precious time to waste on the problems of conflicting personalities—which, alas, exist everywhere, due to the frailty and immaturity of the believers—every day is important to the fulfilment of your goals, and the friends should be made to realize they must dwell on the bright side, and on the great assistance Bahá’u’lláh has promised His servants, if they but turn to Him, and forget self, and teach the Faith.

The Guardian desires your Assembly to keep in close touch with your pioneers abroad and give them strong moral, as well as financial, support. It will please you to know two Dutch Bahá’ís are going out

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to Indonesia, and he has asked them to communicate with your Assembly and cooperate with you in spreading the faith there and in having at least a pamphlet, to begin with, translated into the most needed native language.

His heart has been very anxious over the fate of the believers in Burma, and it relieved him greatly to hear that you received news they were safe. Please assure them his loving prayers are with them and offered for their protection.

He trusts that the American National Spiritual Assembly will find it possible to contact the Prime Minister and remind him of the ease of your national ?a?íratu’l-Quds. Although you have not been treated properly by the authorities he feels it is wiser not to antagonize them, but to patiently persevere in your efforts to receive justice in this matter.

His ardent prayers are offered for you and all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, and he urges you to never lose heart, but persevere in your tasks, realizing that the big things are permanent, and the petty troubles, inharmony, and problems are only on the surface and will fade away eventually, leaving the beauty of the achievements of the believers unblemished and permanent in the annals of the Faith.

Dear and valued co-workers:

As the end of the Plan to which your community stands committed inexorably approaches my anxious thoughts increasingly turn towards you and your fellow workers, on whose shoulders a staggering responsibility—grave as well as inescapable—is weighing so heavily in these days. I am fully aware of the character of the manifold and unexpected trials this community has been called upon to face in India, Pakistan and Burma since its inception. The ordeal of internal disorder and of civil strife; the dislocation of the machinery of internal administration, the inevitable consequence of the vast political changes that have been effected in these countries; the reverses suffered by this same community through the temporary seizure of its newly acquired administrative headquarters and the loss of some of its precious assets in both India and Burma; the hardships endured by the pioneers of this community as well as its administrators as a consequence of severely imposed restrictions, outbursts of fanaticism and civil riots—have been such as to dismay the stoutest heart and tax to the uttermost the determination of the most resolute.

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And yet, in spite of these successive afflictions the members, of this community have forged ahead, valiantly, unitedly and determinedly, and have even extended the original range of their Plan by embarking on fresh and historical enterprises beyond the confines of these territories, through the despatch of pioneers to the neighbouring Dominion of Ceylon and the adjacent Kingdom of Siam and the Republic of Indonesia. Whatever the fate of the Plan which they are now seeking to bring to its consummation, this striking evidence of the indomitable spirit of faith that animates the rank and file of this community, and which has prompted it to seek fresh laurels in virgin territories beyond the frontiers of its homeland, will, without the slightest doubt, redound eternally to its credit, and be abundantly rewarded by a vigilant and all-Bountiful Master.

To enhance the value of so rich a prize won, in so short a period, by a community so burdened by cares and anxieties, in territories for the most part overshadowed by discord and internal revolution, through the triumphant conclusion of the major task entrusted to its hands, and the successful conclusion of the second collective enterprise embarked upon by its indefatigable and resolute members, on the morrow of a world-encircling conflict, must now be the paramount and all-absorbing purpose of all who are privileged to participate in this mighty endeavour. Time is short. Every week is precious. The resources of the community, financial, moral and spiritual are, I firmly believe, adequate to meet the needs of this critical hour. So golden an opportunity, if missed, will not. recur for who knows how extensive a period. The launching of subsequent enterprises destined to culminate in the triumph and ascendancy of a struggling Faith in the sub-continent of India, as well as in the establishment of its institutions in South-East Asia, will be inevitably and indefinitely postponed.

Undaunted by the setbacks it has experienced; heartened by the settlement and the initial victory won by its pioneers in the newly opened virgin territories in the North the South and the East; fully conscious of its ability to perform adequately its task and discharge befittingly its responsibility; relying on the unfailing Grace of an all-Powerful, ever-Solicitous, continually watching Providence; deriving fresh inspiration and confidence from the amazing feat achieved, by the small band of its brethren, in the West, and in a continent more devastated by the ravages of war than any other continent of the Globe; let this community, while time still remains, gird up its loins, sink its differences, rededicate itself to its urgent task, sweep away every barrier that confronts it, and rise, with

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an upsurge of unprecedented enthusiasm and determination, to those heights to which its spiritual destiny is now beckoning it.

With a heart, aglow with gratitude for what this community has in the initial stage of its administrative development accomplished, filled with confidence in the potentialities with which our beloved Master has endowed it in the years of His earthly ministry, and overflowing with love for those who, through their incessant labours and heroic self-sacrifice, have achieved unforgettable victories in recent years, I will continue to supplicate for all its members, at home and abroad, in their administrative spheres of activity as well as in the teaching field such blessings as will enable them to crown their concerted efforts with a success that will resound throughout the Bahá’í world. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The Bahá’í Youth Of Quetta, Poona, Sholapur, Panchgani, Rangoon, Hyderabad (Sind), Karachi, Bombay, Lahore, Bangalore]

November 21, 1949

Dear Bahá’í” Friends,

Your letters to our beloved Guardian, dated February 13, 1949, reached him at last, after considerable months delay, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He has often thought of you and your work during the last year, when communications between India and the Holy Land were practically suspended, and been anxious to hear of your labours for the spread of our glorious Faith.

He urges you all to arise with dedication and determination during these coming months before the end of your Plan, and serve as teachers, pioneers, or helpers, in any way you can, so that the believers may not fail in accomplishing their historic task.

His loving prayers are offered for you all and for your success, specially for the Burmese friends and their protection.

May the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide, sustain and protect you, at all times and under all circumstances, aid you to reflect, in your lives and activities, the ennobling principles of His Faith, remove every obstacle that hinders the progress of your valued work in the service of His Faith,

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and enable you to proclaim its verities, extend its range, multiply its institutions, and consolidate its foundations. Your true brother,

Shoghi

NOVEMBER25, 1949

DELIGHTED RISING HOPES BRIGHTER PROSPECTS SUCCESS PLAN ENTREAT ENTIRE COMMUNITY STEADFASTLY PURSUE HIGH OBJECTIVES RISE HIGHER LEVEL ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT VIGOROUS PROSECUTION THEIR FATEFUL HOUR HISTORIC PLAN. ADVISE COMMEMORATE ALL CENTRES LOCAL NATIONAL COMMEMORATE CENTENARY THROUGH PUBLIC MEETINGS PRESS RADIO INVITATION PARTICIPATION NOTABLES.

SHOGHI

[To The Spiritual Assembly Of The Bahá’ís Of Kolhapur]

December 19, 1949

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The letter of your Assembly, written by your Secretary, and dated December 7, 1949, was received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He admires very much the devoted manner in which the Kolhapur Bahá’ís have built up the Spiritual Assembly there and caused that community to be one of the most active in Southern India. You must not now become discouraged because some of your teachers have left and gone to serve the Cause elsewhere. This gives you the opportunity of learning to do more of the work yourselves, and of also putting your reliance on Bahá’u’lláh and realizing that He will assist all those who arise to serve Him.

The Guardian assures you he will pray in the Holy Shrines for your protection and that God may assist you in your work, aid you to be united and show the greatest love, one for another, and bless your work.

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May the Almighty guide every step you take in the path of service, and enable you to proclaim the verities of His Faith, and contribute effectively to the consolidation of its newly-born institutions. Your true brother,

Shoghi


[Page 309]

1950

JANUARY 15, 1950

ASSURE CONTRIBUTORS SUM LOVING APPRECIATION. PRAYING BLESSINGS NEWLY ARRIVED DUTCH BAHA’IS URGE EXTEND MOST ENCOURAGEMENT.

SHOGHI

APRIL 6, 1950

CABLE NUMBER INCORPORATIONS NAMES ANY NEW LANGUAGES ESSLEMONT’S BOOK TRANSLATED SINCE APRIL 1949 ALSO PREPARE PROMPTLY AIRMAIL HAIFA UPDATE MAP SHOWING ASSEMBLIES GROUPS ISOLATED CENTRES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA.

SHOGHI

APRIL 19, 1950

ASSURE FRIENDS RECENT SUCCESS VIRGIN TERRITORIES BEYOND CONFINES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA AND PUBLISHING FIELD COMPENSATES INCOMPLETE VICTORY HOMEFRONT. AIRMAIL UP TO DATE LIST ASSEMBLIES GROUPS

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ISOLATED BELIEVERS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA. URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

MAY 7, 1950

APPROVE SUPPORT WORLD GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION PROVIDED SCOPE UNIVERSAL NEUTRAL REGARDING EAST WEST.

SHOGHI

MAY 8, 1950

WELCOME NOBLE RESOLVE DELEGATES. MAY NEWLY ELECTED ASSEMBLY AND COMMUNITY WIN MEMORABLE VICTORIES BOTH FIELDS. GRIEVE AFFLICTIONS LONG SUFFERING DEARLY BELOVED COMMUNITY DAIDANAW. SUPPLICATING DIVINE PROTECTION URGE EXTEND EVERY POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE.

SHOGHI

MAY 30.1950

ADVISE YOU ACQUAINT ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES SITUATION URGE MAKE REPRESENTATIONS FOLLOW WHATEVER PROCEDURE YOUR ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDS ALSO APPROVE REPRESENTATION PARLIAMENT PRAYING FERVENTLY SUCCESS BE NOT DISCOURAGED.

SHOGHI

Mr. Rustam Sabit, Secretary, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma

June 28, 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your communications addressed to our beloved and dated June 10, 17; September 9 (two); October 18, 22, 24; November 3, 4, 9, 11, 15, 18; December 3, 14 (three), 24, of 1949; and January 6, 11 (two), 18, 19, 29; February 2, 8, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 29; March 2, 8, 20, 22, 24; April 3, 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20; May 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19 (two), 22, 24,

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27; and June 5, of 1950, have been received, as well as their enclosures including photographs, clippings and certificates of registration, and the other material sent under separate cover. He has, likewise, received the many books forwarded, and placed copies in the various Bahá’í libraries here, and also the map arrived safely, and will be reproduced in the next edition of “Bahá’í World”. He thanks your Assembly for sending these many evidences of the devoted labours of the believers in that part of the world.

The past winter and spring have been very arduous months for our beloved Guardian and very anxious ones. As you know, he has been pressing the work on the Arcade of the Shrine of the Báb in order to have it completed by the Centenary of His martyrdom. As the Arcade which fits about and protects the Holy Tomb, built by our beloved Master, is considerably larger than the original edifice, it has been necessary to excavate the mountain immediately behind the Shrine, and this very difficult work was carried out under the close and constant supervision of the Guardian himself in order to ensure it was accomplished safely, quickly and economically. This absorbed, for many months, his precious time and energies. When this was accomplished he looked forward to turning his attention to the various National Assembly letters piled up, but, unfortunately, Mr. Maxwell, the architect of the Shrine, became dangerously ill at the beginning of April, and is still in Hospital. His condition was so grave that for weeks our Guardian and household were prevented from concentrating on the many tasks waiting to be attended to owing to the constant anxiety, the coming and going of doctors, etc. He feels you should be informed of these facts as an explanation of the long delay in hearing from him. Mr. Maxwell, thanks to the mercy of God and the determination of the Guardian, is now recovering, and we hope will live to continue his work on the Shrine.

The contributions sent by the Indian believers for the Holy Shrine were very much appreciated. Ever since the Burmese friends contributed the Sarcophagus for the Holy Remains, the friends in that part of the world have been linked with this sacred enterprise. Their joy will be great when, once the pilgrimage can be resumed, their eyes fall upon the beauty of this Shrine.

There is no objection to the Bahá’ís associating with such organizations as the World Government Organization. The instructions he gave to the British Bahá’ís may be followed. However, great care

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should be taken to make sure these organizations are absolutely non-partisan in their political views and lean neither to East or West.

A Bahá’í cannot at the same time be a Theosophist; many Theosophists have become believers and very enlightened ones, but as we do not believe in reincarnation we obviously cannot be active as Theosophists and Bahá’ís at the same time.

The noble spirit shown by Mrs. Yaganagi, in pioneering after the death of her dear husband, is an example to all. The Guardian will pray for her success and for the happiness and progress of Mr. Yaganegi’s soul.

The tragic killing of a believer in Kamarhatti grieved the Guardian very much. If you are in touch with any of the relatives please convey his sympathy to them, and assure them of his prayers. Terrible as persecution is, we must always remember that it waters the tree of Religion, and that from such deeds as this the believers—far from being cowed and silenced—must derive inspiration and courage. The success of the devoted labours of dear Dr. Lukmani in Ceylon, the teaching trip of Mr. Sabit to Siam, the departure of Dr. Fozdar for Singapore, the other pioneer labours being carried out in the name of the believers of India, Pakistan and Burma, are such as to compensate for the deficiencies in the home field. The friends, seeing their fame and prestige growing through the endeavours of their courageous pioneers and teachers, must follow this example in droves, both by becoming more active at home and strengthening new centres through settlement, and going forth to distant fields to establish Assemblies such as the one now thriving in Colombo. He was pleased to hear your Assembly is in touch with the Dutch believers in Indonesia, and he urges you to devise ways and means of sending forth more pioneers from India to this, and the neighbouring countries and islands.

In regard to your question the Guardian feels that, if a delegate is elected to represent an Assembly (or community having Assembly status) during the administrative year in which the Assembly existed he is properly qualified, even if at Ri?ván that community falls back to group status. A community, however, which reverts to group status at Ri?ván cannot have a delegate to the following year’s Convention.

The Guardian feels that in spite of the difficulties involved, the Pakistan Bahá’ís must, for the present, continue to form an integral part of the community under your Assembly’s jurisdiction. To

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remove it would greatly weaken the Cause in that part of the world. Austria and Germany have been faced with similar problems; but these conditions are temporary, and the believers must be patient and work together in spite of the political situation.

The Guardian greatly appreciates the efforts you and the other National Spiritual Assembly members are making to carry on the work of the Cause, in spite of so many problems. You must never lose hope, or become discouraged, for you have succeeded in many of your undertakings, and no doubt will continue, if you persevere, to add laurels to the crown already won.

Assuring you all of his loving prayers.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The severe restrictions to which the dearly-loved, highly devoted, long struggling Bahá’í communities of India, Pakistan and Burma have been subjected, the repeated setbacks they have suffered, the grave disturbances in the wake of which their manifold and meritorious activities have been caught, evoke my heartfelt sympathy and arouse my deep concern. The spirit which, despite adversities, delays and dislocations, they have consistently manifested in recent years is, however, worthy of the highest praise, and will, no doubt, triumph over every obstacle, and will enable them to weather every storm and win ultimate victory.

Though the course of the Plan they spontaneously undertook has, of necessity, been affected by these constant vicissitudes and unexpected developments, their achievements, beyond the confines of their homelands, as well as in the publishing field, have ennobled the record of their service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, and constitute a memorable chapter in the history of the Faith in the sub-continent of India.

The translation and publication of the “New Era” in more than twenty languages in recent years, the planting of the banner of the Faith in the Island of Ceylon, the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of Siam…though not originally an integral part of their Plan…has signalized the opening of a new epoch in the evolution of the Faith in South Eastern Asia, and has marked the formal association of the Indian, the Pakistani and Burmese believers with their brethren in Europe, America, Egypt and Persia, in carrying the torch of the Faith beyond the confines of their respective continents and countries, and in executing the last wishes of the Centre of the Covenant so movingly expressed in His Will and Testament.

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Whatever these communities, so valiantly labouring in that disturbed and strife-ridden corner of the Asiatic continent, undertake to perform within the confines of their homelands in the years ahead, this double process of extending the range of the literature of the Faith and of propagating its Message within the virgin territories, lying to the North and South East of their native lands, must continue with undiminished momentum, and must receive the undivided attention of the elected representatives of these communities.

Consolidation at home, and the provision of the necessary measures to ensure the speedy and effective extension of the influence of the Faith abroad, constitute the dual, the immediate and inescapable responsibilities of all the members of these communities, who are labouring, at so critical a period, with such steadfast zeal and devotion, amidst the masses of their fearful and harassed countrymen, for so lofty an ideal and so precious a Faith.

Firmly united in their purpose, banishing, once and for all, every trace of estrangement and prejudice from their midst, assured of the all-compelling, ever-sustaining Power of Bahá’u’lláh, deriving fresh inspiration from the triumphs collectively achieved by their brethren in all continents of the Globe, undetected in their resolve by any setback, opposition or injustice, let them, with so notable a record of service behind them, march resistlessly forward, entering still wider fields, scaling nobler heights, plumbing still greater depths of heroism and self-sacrifice.

As the Centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic mission approaches, these sorely tried, much loved, indefatigable communities, must brace themselves, however challenging future circumstances may prove to be, however arduous the tasks they are called upon to discharge, to contribute, in whatever way possible, in whatever field they may find it practicable, a memorable share to the collective tribute which the followers of the Most Great Name are now arising to pay, through action in the field of service, to the Founder of their Faith on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the inception of His Revelation.

The hour is indeed both precious and propitious. The opportunity is glorious and will not recur in the lifetime of this generation. No effort is too great to ensure the success of so historic a commemoration. Time is short for an adequate preparation for the celebration, through collective and sound achievement, of so great a jubilee. All must arise and contribute a share worthy of the name they bear and of the privilege bestowed upon them.

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That all three communities may rise to this occasion, may rededicate themselves with renewed resolve and fresh vigour, is my ardent and constant prayer.

Shoghi

JULY 12, 1950

COMMUNITY BELIEVERS INDIAN SUBCONTINENT BURMA LOVINGLY REMEMBERED HISTORIC OCCASION GLORIOUS CENTENARY BAB’S MARTYRDOM. MAY POIGNANT MEMORIES HIS SUPREME SACRIFICE GALVANIZE ENABLE THEM REDEDICATE THEMSELVES TWIN HISTORIC TASKS WITHIN CONFINES HOMELAND ADJACENT TERRITORIES WIN SIGNAL UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES.

SHOGHI

[To The Local Spiritual Assembly Of The Bahá’ís Of Trivandrum]

July 25, 1950

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of April 21 has been received and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was most happy to learn of the formation of your Assembly in South India, and he feels this is an important link in the chain of Bahá’í centres stretching from north to south, from Tabriz to Ceylon, and soon, we hope, to be reinforced by Assemblies in the Malay Peninsula.

He urges you all to serve our glorious Faith in the utmost unity, and to light in your minds the fire of the love of Bahá’u’lláh which consumes all limitations and must eventually set the world ablaze.

He will ardently pray for your success and the rapid growth of your community.

May the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide and sustain you in your highly meritorious activities, reward you abundantly for your splendid achievements, remove all obstacles from your path, and graciously assist you to lay a strong foundation for His Cause in that far-away centre. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[Page 316]

AUGUST 1, 1950

PLEASED FORMATION ADDITIONAL ASSEMBLIES PRAYING FERVENTLY UNITY SUCCESS BELIEVERS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA TWOFOLD TASK HOMEFRONT NEIGHBOURHOOD TERRITORIES.

SHOGHI

[To an Individual Bahá’í]

September 9, 1950

…The Guardian fully understands how you feel, but you must not break the law of Bahá’u’lláh by marrying without the consent of the parents of the young lady. Perhaps when they see your strict desire to obey the laws of your Faith, and your respect for their wishes by not marrying their daughter without their approval, their hearts will be melted and they will consent. The Guardian will pray that this may be so. But no marriage can be happy which begins by breaking the law of God.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

September 11, 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Under separate cover the beloved Guardian is mailing to you two enlargements of the finished Arcade of the Shrine of the Bab. He wishes you to cable him receipt of these as soon as they reach you.

Please have these pictures shared as widely as possible with the believers, and then hang them in the National Headquarters so the friends and visitors may enjoy them.

The film of one of these views have been sent to the American National Spiritual Assembly and the friends may order copies from there; please notify them of this in your “Bahá’í Bulletin”.

[Page 317]

[To The Local Spiritual Assembly of Kothapur]

September 30, 1950

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of June 7, from the Assembly’s Secretary Mr. J. A. Shaiki, has been received and read with great pleasure by our beloved Guardian.

He was delighted to learn of the formation of a new Assembly in Ichalkaranji thanks to the devoted efforts of your Assembly, and the pioneers who left your community to accomplish this important service for the Faith.

He will certainly pray that this new centre may thrive and grow strong, and he urges you to give it all the assistance you can and to urge the Assembly there, in particular, to promote at all times love, unity, and understanding amongst the friends, as this is their greatest protection and will attract the hearts of others.

May the Almighty bless your efforts, guide and sustain you in your activities, and enable you to promote, at all times, the vital interests of His Faith and its divinely appointed institutions. Your true brother,

Shoghi

NOVEMBER 7, 1950

DO NOT ADVISE PRINT AQDAS.

SHOGHI

NOVEMBER 12, 1950

HIGHLY APPRECIATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS LOYALTY STEADFA5T COMMUNITY BELIEVERS.

SHOGHI

DECEMBER17, 1950

DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION COMMUNITY’S CONTRIBUTION.

SHOGHI


[Page 318]

1951

JANUARY 11, 1951

ADVISE 95 DELEGATES.

SHOGHI

MARCH 4, 1951

APPROVE ELECTION DELEGATES EARLIER THAN NAWRUZ.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly Of The Bahá’ís Of India, Pakistan And Burma, Mr. Abbas Ali Butt, Secretary]

March 10, 1951

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of our beloved Guardian, I have been instructed to acknowledge receipt of your letters dated May 12, July 8, 10, 28 and 29, 1948, April 13 and 18, June 11 and September 9, 1949, June 10, 12, 16 and 23, July 1, 4, 6, 10, 13, 14, 18, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, August 8, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22 (two letters), 29 and 30. September 7,

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8, 14, 19, 21, 25, 26 and 29, October 4, 13, 14 and 17, November 3, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 25 and 28, December 4, 5, 11, 13, 15 and 16, 1950, January 2, 3, 4, 13, 15(two letters), 26, 29, February 8, 16, 19 and 20, March 1, 1951, together with their enclosures.

It should be noted that some of these were signed by Mr. Rustam Sabit, previous Secretary, as well as Mr. Akhtare Khaveri, acting as Secretary Pro. Tem.

As our beloved Guardian has been increasingly overburdened with the work of the Cause here at its International Centre, specially in view of the fact that he is now continuing the work on the Tomb of the Báb, it has been very difficult for him to attend to his mail; hence the delay in replying to your communications.

Regarding the various matters your Assembly has raised: He was very pleased to see that the policy of holding inter-Assembly conferences has been adopted and is meeting with success; and he urges your Assembly to encourage the believers to hold more of such gatherings. It cannot but have a stimulating effect upon the teaching work, and inspire the friends to make greater efforts in their respective communities.

The news of the formation of an Assembly in Moulmein pleased him very much; and he wishes you to assure the believers there that he will pray for them in the Holy Shrines. The devotion and loyalty of the Burmese believers, in the face of so much turmoil in their native land, has aroused his admiration and increased his affection for this long-standing Bahá’í Community, so persevering and so attached to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

In connection with your publications, he would like to say that he found your “Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Báb” pamphlet excellent in every way, and was delighted to see that the Indian Bahá’ís had shown so much initiative in getting out this memorial pamphlet. He does not require any more books in Poshtu. The various publications you have sent have all been safely received and distributed amongst the Bahá’í libraries here and in ‘Akká and Bahjí.

The Guardian was very sorry to learn of the death, under such tragic circumstances, of our Bahá’í brother of Kamarhatti. It is a great tragedy to think that the people of the world are still so fanatical and so blind, spiritually. Surely their punishment is at hand.

In connection with the persecution of the believers in Persia: The Guardian does not consider that agitation in this matter will

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produce any favourable results… We must be patient, knowing that the end is with God, and victory assured for the Faith.

The increase in the number of delegates to 95 is an important milestone in the history of the Cause in those parts; and he feels that the friends, proud of the progress they have made, should determine that the coming Convention will be distinguished as one of the most harmonious and constructive ever held.

The Guardian is very anxious that pioneer activities should be carried forward in Siam; and he urges your Assembly to push this matter further, and either secure another visa for Mr. Sabet, or try and send some other pioneer there.

It is most unfortunate that your Assembly has not been able to get back your ?a?íratu’l-Quds from the Government. You should go on—knocking on the door so to speak; and surely you will eventually meet with success.

The teaching activities of Mr. Yazdani in India have no doubt been much appreciated by all the friends; and he hopes that others will follow his example and dedicate some of their time to this all-important service.

The Guardian hopes that wherever you have a strongly established Spiritual Assembly, you will make every effort to register it legally, as he attaches great importance to the registration and incorporation of Spiritual Assemblies, and hopes that you will make every effort to add to their number in areas under your jurisdiction.

The contributions sent by the believers for the construction of the Tomb of the Báb have been deeply appreciated by our beloved Guardian. It is only right that this old Bahá’í Community, so tried in the fire of tests, and having been in existence from practically the days of the beloved Báb Himself, should play a part in building his Sepulchre. The Guardian is now undertaking the second phase of the construction work, which involves raising the Edifice above the level of the original Tomb…

The Guardian does not consider it advisable for Bahá’ís to become Free Masons.

…generally speaking. Local Spiritual Assemblies are not empowered to review material which is for national circulation. The Guardian thinks that your Assembly, or the Committee that you delegate such authority to, should review the pamphlet m question; and if it is in accordance with the Teachings, there is certainly no reason why it should not be circulated; but in the future, the Spiritual Assemblies

[Page 321]

should be more careful about publishing literature which is for more than local use.

In closing, he would like to urge the members of your Assembly to redouble your efforts to assist pioneers to go forth to Indonesia and Siam. The extraordinary success the promulgation of the Faith has met with in Ceylon should be sufficient evidence for all concerned of the way in which God strengthens the endeavours of His servants, and blesses their seed-sowing, and brings it to harvest. He hopes that many of the believers, not only in India, but in Pakistan and Burma as well, will volunteer to go forth as pioneers, and will make every effort to do so.

The success of your past endeavours should encourage you all and the Community whom you represent, to forge ahead, unmindful of obstacles, and forgetful of personal differences of opinion in one united and unanimous effort to carry out all the work you have set for yourselves and achieve all your goals.

The Guardian assures you that he will pray for the success of your labours, during his visits to the Holy Shrine.

Dear co-workers:

The communications received in recent months from your Assembly testify to the perseverance and devotion with which the Bahá’í Communities of India, Pakistan and Burma have pursued the course of their activities in the face of manifold obstacles and trials and despite the severity of the problems which have confronted them since the outbreak of the political disturbances that have agitated the Indian sub-continent. Though suffering from various reverses, though afflicted with disappointment, though sustaining repeated losses they have persevered in their labours, widened the scope of their task, pushed further the outposts of the Faith, and won their initial victories beyond the confines of their respective homelands.

In the field of Bahá’í publications, in the publicity given to the Bahá’í teachings, in their negotiations with the civil authorities under whose jurisdiction they function, in their constant encouragement and support of the pioneers labouring both at home and abroad, the national elected representatives of these communities have, likewise, demonstrated a spirit of dedication, a zeal and fidelity worthy of the highest praise.

The great historic enterprise launched by them in recent years in the neighbouring territories of Ceylon, Siam, Indonesia and the Malayan Peninsula—a vast and highly meritorious undertaking still in its initial

[Page 322]

stage of development, and conferring a great and imperishable lustre on its valiant initiators—must be energetically prosecuted notwithstanding the unsettled political situation prevailing in those territories, and however threatening the clouds gathering on the international horizon. The movement and settlement of pioneers throughout India, Pakistan and Burma must, moreover, continue unabated and must be paralleled by a steady multiplication of Bahá’í centres and the consolidation of nascent institutions, the negotiations with the civil authorities, however disillusioning and unfruitful they have been so far in their results, must continue to be conducted with extreme vigilance and unrelaxing vigour. The highly commendable task of completing the translation and publication of the “New Era” in the languages already chosen should be promptly and befittingly consummated. The efforts exerted to publicize the Faith, disseminate its teachings and spread its fame, should be redoubled by all administrative agencies concerned with this vital sphere of Bahá’í activity. The sacred duty of deepening and enriching the spiritual life of the newly enrolled believers should be faithfully discharged by both the local and national elected representatives of these communities. The added responsibility of contributing to the raising of the superstructure of the Báb’s Holy Sepulchre, now entering upon the second phase of its construction, and of speeding its consummation in view of the increasingly critical world condition, should be valiantly faced and nobly discharged. Above all, the inescapable obligation of guarding the integrity of the Faith, of preserving the unity of its followers, and of reinforcing its spiritual and administrative foundations, must be continually borne in mind not only by the representatives of these communities but by every individual believer labouring for the good name and the glorification of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

The Bahá’í communities of the Indian sub-continent and of Burma, constituting the largest entity throughout the Orient, next to the body of believers residing in the Cradle of the Faith, and enjoying, unlike their Eastern sister communities in Persia, Egypt and ‘Iráq, the blessings of relative freedom from repression or persecution, and including within their fold a greater variety of races, creeds and tongues than any of their sister communities throughout the world, are faced with both a peculiar challenge and. a unique opportunity. The resources at their disposal, the privileges they possess, the facilities they enjoy should, with clear vision, with confident hearts and inflexible resolve, be consecrated to the noble objectives which it is their mission to pursue. Conscious of their high calling, aware of the potentialities with which their homelands have been

[Page 323]

endowed, these communities, placing their reliance on the all-conquering power of Bahá’u’lláh must unitedly arise, however numerous the barriers imposed between them, to achieve their destiny, and contribute collectively and effectively, to the world-wide propagation, the universal recognition and ultimate world triumph of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

May His Spirit overshadow them in their heroic struggle for so great a prize, so noble a victory.

Shoghi

MARCH 21, 1951

ASSURE MEMBERS COMMUNITIES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA CEYLON LOVING APPRECIATION GREETINGS REMEMBRANCE HOLY SHRINES PRAYING SUCCESS HIGH ENDEAVOURS.

SHOGHI

APRIL24, 1951

DEEPEST APPRECIATION SENTIMENTS BELOVED STEADFAST FRIENDS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA CEYLON MALAYA INDONESIA. FERVENT PRAYERS OFFERED SUCCESS HIGH ENDEAVOURS OCCASION FESTIVAL.

SHOGHI

APRIL 29, 1951

DEEPLY APPRECIATE SENTIMENTS ASSEMBLED DELEGATES. URGE REDEDICATE THEMSELVES MANIFOLD TASKS CONFRONTING THEM. CONSOLIDATION MULTIPLICATION INSTITUTIONS LABORIOUSLY ESTABLISHED HOMELAND TRANSLATION PUBLICATION NEW ERA REMAINING LANGUAGES VIGOROUS PROSECUTION ENTERPRISES LAUNCHED CEYLON EXPANSION ACTIVITIES INDONESIA MALAYA SIAM INITIATION EXTENSION WORK INDOCHINA PARTICIPATION ERECTION SUPERSTRUCTURE BAB’S HOLY SEPULCHRE OUTSTANDING INESCAPABLE RESPONSIBILITIES PRESENT HOUR. SUPPLICATING UNPRECEDENTED BLESSINGS HISTORIC LABOURS LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES.

SHOGHI

[Page 324]

MAY 6, 1951

APPEAL COMMUNITY VALIANT FOLLOWERS FAITH INDIAN SUBCONTINENT ARISE LEND ASSISTANCE VAST MOMENTOUS NEWLY LAUNCHED HISTORIC AFRICAN ENTERPRISE INVOLVING PARTICIPATION BRITISH AMERICAN PERSIAN EGYPTIAN BAHA’I NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES. NUMBER TERRITORIES AFRICAN CONTINENT ALREADY SETTLED COURSE SETTLEMENT OVER TWENTY. BAHA’I LITERATURE TRANSLATED PROCESS TRANSLATION TWELVE AFRICAN LANGUAGES. URGE DESPATCH PIONEERS VIRGIN TERRITORIES PREFERABLY ZANZIBAR MADAGASCAR. PRAYING GREAT VICTORIES EXPANSION INTERNATIONAL TASKS ALREADY INITIATED DEARLY BELOVED SELF-SACRIFICING INDIAN FRIENDS SOUTH EAST ASIA.

SHOGHI

May 6, 1951

ASSURE NEWLY ELECTED ASSEMBLY FERVENT PRAYERS BEFITTING DISCHARGE MANIFOLD GROWING RESPONSIBILITIES HOMEFRONT SOUTH EAST ASIA AFRICA SUPPLICATING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 30, 1951

OVERJOYED MOMENTOUS HIGHLY MERITORIOUS NINETEEN MONTHS PLAN SPONTANEOUSLY INITIATED VALIANT REPRESENTATIVES BAHA’I COMMUNITIES INDIAN SUBCONTINENT BURMA. SIGNAL ACT DISTINGUISHES INDIAN PAKISTANI BURMESE BELIEVERS AS SOLE COMMUNITY BAHA’I WORLD ABLE BOAST INAUGURATION THREE SUCCESSIVE PLANS SINCE INCEPTION OPENING EPOCH EVOLUTION ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S DIVINE PLAN. HEARTILY APPROVE CHOSEN OBJECTIVES. ADVISE FIX DATE TERMINATION Ri?ván NINETEEN FIFTY THREE SAME AS PLANS OTHER SISTER ASSEMBLIES. FERVENT PRAYERS ASCENDING THRONE

[Page 325]

BAHA’U’LLAH SUPPLICATING TRIUMPHANT CONCLUSION ENTERPRISE EXERCISING DIRECT INFLUENCE IMMEDIATE SPIRITUAL DESTINIES FAITH PACIFIC ISLANDS ASIATIC AFRICAN CONTINENTS. CONTRIBUTING THOUSAND POUNDS FURTHERANCE INTERESTS MAGNIFICENT PLAN.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

October 16, 1951

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated February 7, 23; March 12; April 5, 10, 19; May 14 (two), 28; June 8, 11; July 3, 6, 12; August 2, 3; and September 6, have been received, as well as their enclosures and photos and material sent under separate cover, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The beloved Guardian was very sorry to hear of the passing of some of the oldest and most devoted Bahá’ís in India. He hopes the younger generation will arise and follow in their footsteps so that their loss will not be felt too much. He was also very sad to hear of the brutal murder of our dear brother Mr. Bahram Jamshidi. Such an act only proves how terribly the world is in need of the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and of the peace and unity His Revelation can and will bring. Please assure the relatives of this young man, as well as those of the other dear friends who have passed on, of the Guardian’s ardent prayers for them, and for those they have lost.

The wonderful news of the increase of believers in the Benares area, thanks largely to the heroic determination and great faith of Mr. Badi-uz-Zaman, brought great happiness to the Guardian. Please assure this devoted soul that the Guardian is very pleased about the wonderful services he is rendering the Cause of God, and that he is praying for him to be richly blessed by Bahá’u’lláh. He has suffered from the enemies of the Cause, but his reward will be very great!

The Guardian was very pleased to hear that through the generosity and efforts of Mr. Rosebehiyan, the Lahore Bahá’í Cemetery is better kept; such things impress the non-Bahá’ís very much and are a worthy service to the Faith…

It brought great joy to the Guardian’s heart to see there are so many believers now in the area of South East Asia. This marks a new

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epoch in the unfoldment of our Faith and an important one. Just as Celyon, at one time empty of believers, has now developed an active and devoted community of Bahá’ís, so now, in these far-flung territories, Assemblies and groups must be built up. Singapore, thanks to the pioneer spirit of the Fozdar family, now has a firm nucleus, and the Guardian hopes that similar groups can be built up in Indonesia. He urges the younger believers, who are less held down by family ties, to make an effort to migrate there and seek employment.

He was delighted over the formulation of your Assembly’s 19 Month Plan. This spirit of initiative shown by you is highly commendable, and he hopes that all the Bahá’ís, whether of Indian or Persian origin, will arise to unitedly see it achieve its goals. Determination, courage, faith and perseverance are necessary if the Plan is to be a success, but he feels sure the friends will not hesitate to demonstrate their capacity to meet the challenge it presents.

He, likewise, wishes to call special attention to the work in Africa which is very promising and which is going ahead very well. Your Assembly must do all it can to speedily get pioneers settled in the two countries allotted to you as your portion in this historic campaign. Also, you should keep in close touch with the British National Spiritual Assembly as they are the coordinators of this work, and well situated in order to give advice as English experts, having had such a long contact with Africa, its peoples and problems, are available in London and elsewhere for consultation with the British Africa Committee.

He assures you and all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of his most loving prayers for your success, your guidance, your unity as a body, and your strength as individuals to carry on your vital work for the Cause of God.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The initiation of the 19 Month Plan by the elected representatives of the Bahá’í Communities of the sub-continent of India and of Burma—the third of its kind undertaken by them since the inception of the Epoch marking the commencement of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation—evokes my deepest admiration. Through this spontaneous act, momentous in its consequences, and eloquently testifying to the initiative, the zeal and the valour of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in India, Pakistan and Burma, the body of their elected national representatives can well boast of the distinction it has achieved, throughout the Bahá’í

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world through the successive formulation of no less than three far-reaching Plans since the inauguration of the First Epoch in the history of the systematic prosecution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan. This striking demonstration of their resourcefulness and dedication to the interests of the Faith is, indeed, highly praiseworthy, extremely encouraging, and augurs well for the future of the Mission which it is theirs to carry out, in the years to come, not only in that sub-continent and the adjoining territories and neighbouring islands, but in South Asia as well.

They cannot, however, ensure the success of the Plan they have devised, unless the unity and solidarity of those who are participating in its execution, and above all the harmony of the body directing its operation, are safeguarded, maintained and consolidated. Time is pressing. The issues involved are momentous. The centenary celebrations of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission will soon be upon us. The inauguration of the first organized Crusade, in which several Bahá’í National Spiritual Assemblies, in no less than four continents of the globe will be intimately associated, for the purpose of proclaiming the Message of Bahá’u’lláh in the South Pacific Islands as well as in South Eastern Asia, must directly depend upon the successful conclusion of the Plan now envisaged. The obligations involved in, and the privileges conferred by, such an association…an association that will find its parallel in the collective and organized effort now being exerted in the African Continent, as well as in the joint campaign destined to be launched, by other Bahá’í communities, in both Northern and North Eastern Asia…are at once sacred and unique. Their significance, at this early stage, cannot be fully apprehended. It is not for them, however, to attempt at the present time, to assess their value. Theirs, rather, is the duty, to avoid any action or thought that might delay the unfoldment of so glorious a Plan or damage so splendid a destiny.

The members of all the communities participating in this Nineteen-Month Plan, which may be regarded as a prelude to the mighty and historic Crusade, of still vaster dimensions and nobler scope, that is to be launched in the future, irrespective of race, creed, or class, of either sex and of every age, must rise as one man to the occasion that now presents itself.

No trace of bickering, no consciousness of racial distinction, no petty jealousies, must be allowed, under any circumstances, to darken the glorious prospect opening before them. They must neither flinch, nor hesitate nor lose sight, however briefly, of the distant and shining goal. An all-powerful, all-loving, all-bountiful Master, watching their exertions

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from on high, will, surely, bless their effort, will intercede on their behalf before the throne of His all-glorious Father, and will, if they persevere in their high endeavours, render them victorious.

I, for my part, will, with a prayerful heart, follow the course of their activities, and will continue to lend them whatever assistance that lies in my power, for the complete discharge of their inescapable duty and the total fulfilment of their united pledge to the Author of their Faith.

Shoghi

NOVEMBER 25, 1951

CABLE WHETHER WEATHER NOT TOO HOT IN NEW DELHI DURING OCTOBER FOR HOLDING CONFERENCE NOW BEING PLANNED FOR 1953.

SHOGHI


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1952

JANUARY 10, 1952

APPRECIATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS URGE PREPARE CAREFULLY LIST UNOPENED STATES DEPENDENCIES ISLANDS AIRMAIL HOLY LAND. CONSULT AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

SHOGHI

APRIL 28, 1952

ASSURE DELEGATES LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS OFFERED SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS. URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS REINFORCE UNITY REDEDICATE HEARTS URGENT SACRED MANIFOLD TASKS CONFRONTING BELIEVERS AT HOME ABROAD PREPARATION GLORIOUS FUTURE MISSION AFRICA SOUTH EAST ASIA.

SHOGHI

[Page 330]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 15, 1952

Dear Bahá’í friends,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you in his behalf, to request that the information relating to India, Pakistan and Burma and their activities, contained in the booklet “The Bahá’í Faith, Information, Statistical and Comparative”, be brought up to date as of May 1, 1952, and sent to him here by the first possible air mail post.

One of the features of the Holy Year will be the re-issuance of this important book; inasmuch as the Holy Year is fast approaching, the Guardian wishes the information as quickly as possible.

Briefly, the information which your National Spiritual Assembly is to provide, brought up to date of May 1, 1952, is as follows:

Incorporated Local Spiritual Assemblies in India, Pakistan and Burma, showing each country with its Local Assemblies separated.

Bahá’í Centres in India, Pakistan and Burma, showing if possible the division between Local Spiritual Assemblies, Groups and Isolated Believers.

Any information not immediately available, should be handled by telegraph, but such information as is available should not be delayed for any one or two delinquents. You can appreciate that if the booklet is to be published early in the Holy Year, the information should reach the Guardian at a very early date.

The Guardian sends his loving greetings to the National Assembly and its devoted members.

P.S. The Guardian will appreciate your sending him a list of the Princely States which have been dissolved and have been incorporated in the various countries of India, Pakistan and Burma. He understands there is quite a large number, and he wishes to include this information m the new issue of this important book.

[Page 331]

[To Mr. Abbas Ali Butt, Secretary, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma]

June 30, 1952

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters of August 23, September 25 and 29, October 3 and 8, November 13 and December 3, 1951 and January 3, 7, 9, 16, February 8 (2), February 15, March 14 and 15, April 9, 17, 18, 23 and May 16, and June 6, 1952, have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. Your letter of May 21st has likewise come to hand.

It has been a great pleasure to the beloved Guardian to welcome recently in Haifa the first pilgrims from India; their love and devotion to the Faith have brought their brethren in that far-off land very close, and he hopes that they, in turn, will carry back to the friends there a new sense of nearness to the World Centre at Haifa and thus serve to create greater unity and dedication amongst the believers.

The Guardian attaches the greatest possible importance to the forthcoming Inter-continental Conference to be held. during the Holy Year in New Delhi; as the National Assemblies of Persia, United States, Canada, Central and South America, ‘Iraq, Australia and New Zealand, as well as your own body, are to send representatives to it, it will, through having eight National Spiritual Assemblies pooling their thoughts and suggestions, be, no doubt, the most important of the four Inter-continental Conferences to be held. Also, aside from the numerical importance of the participating bodies, the vast field their plans must embrace is truly awe-inspiring. In view of this he feels that the members of your Assembly have very heavy responsibilities to discharge during the coming months, and that all petty details and misunderstandings must be put aside, once and for all, in order to ensure a brilliant success, a success whose repercussions must be felt during ten years of Bahá’í history between this coming great Jubilee and the Most Great Jubilee which will take place in 1963.

As convenor of this great Conference you must lay your plans very carefully to ensure that the representatives of the various National Spiritual Assemblies, the visiting Hands of the Cause, the many Bahá’ís attending, are properly accommodated, the sessions of the Conference held in an efficient manner, and suitable publicity

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given to this event. The Guardian also suggests that one or two private sessions could be held at which the National Spiritual Assembly representatives and the Hands of the Cause could meet to better and more effectively suggest plans for the future campaign. There will, naturally, be no delegates to the Conference as it is in no sense a convention, but more concentrated consultation can be obtained through a smaller number being present. No doubt you will also, without sacrificing the interests of the Conference, make good use of any visiting teachers and lecturers.

The Guardian was very sorry to hear of the wicked attack on Mr. Joshi, and will certainly pray for his complete recovery. He will also pray for the progress and happiness of the souls of the dear pioneers, Mrs. Daulat Saroosh Najmi, and Mr. Jamshid Z. A. Mahallati. As regards the matters you raised in your letter:

In the teachings there is nothing against dancing, but the friends should remember that the standard of Bahá’u’lláh is modesty and chastity. The atmosphere of modern dance halls, where so much smoking and drinking and promiscuity goes on, is very bad, but decent dances are not harmful in themselves. There is certainly no harm in classical dancing or learning dancing in school. There is also no harm in taking part in dramas. Likewise in cinema acting. The harmful thing, nowadays, is not the art itself but the unfortunate corruption which often surrounds these arts. As Bahá’ís we need avoid none of the arts, but acts and the atmosphere that sometimes go with these professions we should avoid.

He urges all the believers to concentrate at this time on consolidating their groups and Assemblies, on carrying out the goals of their Plan and on promoting unity and love within the communities, in this way they will befittingly prepare the way for the great honour they are shortly to have: Namely the holding of the historic Conference in New Delhi, and, with it, the welcoming of so many distinguished believers from foreign countries.

He assures you all of his loving prayers for your unity, your success and that you may suitably uphold the Banner of the Faith before the eyes of the Bahá’í World.

P,S. As regards the question you asked about minorities: Because the Hindu believers are a minority at present in the Faith in India, preference should be given to them in India, where the majority of the population is Hindu. A special effort should be made to convert

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them, so that our enemies may have no excuse for stating that the Cause has scarcely affected the largest elements in the country. There is also an added reason for encouraging the Hindu Bahá’ís because within the Faith in India they are a minority. In every country throughout the Bahá’í” World the Bahá’ís must make a special effort to attract to the Faith the element which constitutes the majority, whether religious or national.

He will particularly remember in his prayers the valiant and exemplary pioneer, Mr. Badi-uz-Zaman! His services will never be forgotten, and his soul no doubt reaps a rich reward in the Abhá Kingdom for all he accomplished in this life for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The multiplicity of the vital issues that have of late confronted me at the World Centre of the Faith, the opening of the door of pilgrimage, and the unexpected problems which, by their urgency, have required my immediate and close attention have, to my extreme regret, prevented me from acknowledging, as promptly as I would have wished the communications which various Bahá’í National Assemblies have addressed we tit recent months. I have followed, however, with admiration and keen interest the progress of the activities initiated under the 19 Month Plan by the valiant Bahá’í Communities of India, Pakistan and Burma, The generous, unceasing contributions made by them for the completion of the Báb’s holy Sepulchre proclaim, in unmistakable terms, their devotion to the Cause for which He laid down so heroically His life. The expansion of the activities initiated by the high-minded and resolute pioneers in Ceylon, Indonesia, Siam, Malaya and Sarawak, indeed merit the highest praise. The efforts exerted for the multiplication of the institutions of the Faith and their consolidation both in the sub-continent of India and beyond its confines augur well for the future of the plan, the third of its kind embarked upon by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, who are destined to play a predominant part in the unfoldment of His World Order throughout the territories of South East Asia. The steady endeavours made for the translation, publication and dissemination of the literature of the Faith by your Assembly have greatly enriched and ennobled the record of the services you have rendered it in recent years.

Great as have been the victories already won in its service, the work that still remains to be accomplished under this same Plan during the fleeting months that lie ahead is still formidable, and demands unrelaxing vigilance, heroic self-sacrifice, and inflexible resolve on the part of not

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only the elected representatives of these communities but of all their members as well. The uninterrupted and rapid multiplication of Bahá’í administrative centres; the conversion of groups into assemblies; the development of isolated centres into groups; a marked increase in the number of incorporated Local Assemblies; the early completion of the highly important task assumed in connexion with the translation and publication of the “New Era” in the remaining languages already selected for that purpose; the despatch, without further delay, of no more than one pioneer for the present to Nepal and Indo-China, as well as to Zanzibar and Madagascar, in pursuance of the Plan initiated in both Africa and South East Asia; the maintenance, at any cost, of the present status of the newly formed Assemblies; the concentration of effort for the promotion of unity and cooperation among the divers elements that constitute the warp and woof of these communities…these stand out as the predominating obligations facing the entire body of the followers of the Faith in the subcontinent of India and its neighbouring territories.

Nor must the privileged members of these communities, and particularly their elected representatives, neglect, for a moment, the paramount duty, of preparing, by every means at their disposal, for the historic and in some respects, the most vital. Conference to be held in the course of the Holy Year which the entire Bahá’í world will soon be fittingly celebrate. As the Convenor of such a fate-laden Conference, whose task is to facilitate the execution of the most far-reaching, the most challenging, and the most dramatic of all the enterprises destined to be launched by the followers of the Faith throughout the whole planet, your Assembly assumes a responsibility at once immense, soul-stirring and inescapable. In providing adequate facilities for the accommodation of the Hands of the Cause and of the official representatives of no less than eight National Spiritual Assemblies and of the large number of visitors who will participate in its proceedings; in ensuring wide publicity through the press and radio for such a unique gathering; in exerting their utmost for the maintenance of harmony and for full consultation on the weighty issues that will face its attendants; in fostering the spirit of heroic adventure and noble resolve on the part of the members of the communities that are to act as hosts to the honoured participants of such an epoch-making assemblage, which will. God willing, enable them to play a notable role in the Crusade destined to embrace the continents of Asia and Australasia and of the Pacific Islands, in all these the members of your Assembly, supported by the rank and file of the faithful, must display a determination, a valour and consecration that will excite the admiration of

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the entire Bahá’í world.

The work that calls for unswerving fidelity, urgent attention and continuous vigilance, during the swiftly passing months ahead, is immense, truly sacred and infinitely meritorious. The consummation of the plan already initiated would constitute the best preparation for the assumption of the still greater functions, and the discharge of still weightier responsibilities, that await the patiently labouring, the steadfast, the loyal and devoted followers of the Most Great Name in India, Pakistan and Burma. That they may victoriously discharge their present responsibilities, that they may befittingly embark on the glorious Mission that lies ahead of them, that they may distinguish themselves through their collective contribution to the success of the World Crusade soon to be inaugurated by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in both the East and the West, is the object of my constant prayer and one of the most cherished desires of my heart.

Shoghi

JUNE 30, 1952

APPROVE ELECTION PRAYING HARMONY SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 4, 1952

ADVISE ARRANGE SMALLER PUBLICATION KACHIN IN INDIA. CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THOSE DEPRIVED VOTING RIGHTS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 12, 1952

DELIGHTED URGE DESPATCH PIONEERS ZANZIBAR MADAGASCAR DELAY WILL MAR NOBLE RECORD SERVICES.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 17, 1952

DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE. PRAYING GREAT VICTORIES.

SHOGHI

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OCTOBER 17, 1952

ASSURE SUMMER SCHOOL PARTICIPANTS LOVING PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 18, 1952

APPRECIATE MESSAGE PRAYING GREAT VICTORIES.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 18, 1952

APPROVE PERSIAN ASSISTANCE FOR PIONEERING.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 21, 1952

APPRECIATE GREETINGS PRAYING MIGHTY VICTORIES. REMOVAL APPROVED PROVIDED JOURNEY NOT EXCEEDING ONE HOUR.

SHOGHI

DECEMBER 28, 1952

PRAYING BLESSINGS PANCHGANI INSTITUTION.

SHOGHI


(Picture: The Facsimile of the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi)


(Picture: Shoghi Effendi at the Gardens of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh)


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1953

MARCH 22, 1953

LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES ASSEMBLY COMMUNITIES.

SHOGHI

MARCH27, 1953

URGE INDIVIDUALS ASSEMBLIES ARISE EXERT SUPREME EFFORT WIPE OUT DEBTS INCURRED REMOVE STAIN NOBLE RECORD HISTORIC SERVICES ALREADY RENDERED STEADFAST VALIANT EVER ADVANCING COMMUNITIES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA CEYLON.

SHOGHI

APRIL, 1953

ASSEMBLED DELEGATES COMMUNITIES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA LOVINGLY REMEMBERED SHRINES OCCASION MOST GREAT FESTIVAL HOLY YEAR COINCIDING LAUNCHING WORLD SPIRITUAL CRUSADE DESIGNED DIFFUSE LIGHT BAHA’U’LLAH’S REVELATION ENTIRE PLANET. MEMBERS ALL THREE COMMUNITIES CONSTITUTING NEXT CRADLE FAITH

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SECOND STRONGHOLD ITS INSTITUTIONS ASIATIC CONTINENT DISTINGUISHED RECORD SERVICES HIS CAUSE EXTENDING THREE QUARTERS CENTURY CALLED UPON ENRICH CONSIDERABLY COMING DECADE ANNALS FAITH INDIAN SUBCONTINENT BURMA. TEN YEAR PLAN FOURTH SERIES PLANS UNDERTAKEN THESE COMMUNITIES DESIGNED CARRY STAGE FURTHER COLLECTIVE ACHIEVEMENTS WITHIN BEYOND BORDERS HOMELANDS INVOLVES FIRST OPENING FOLLOWING VIRGIN TERRITORIES ELEVEN ASIA ANDAMAN ISLANDS BHUTAN DAMAN DIU GOA RARIKAL MAHE MARIANA ISLANDS NICOBAR ISLANDS PONDICHERRY SIKKIM FIVE AFRICA COMORO ISLANDS FRENCH CAMEROONS GAMBIA RUANDA URUNDI SOCOTRA ISLAND SECOND CONSOLIDATION FAITH FOLLOWING TERRITORIES ELEVEN ASIA BALUCHISTAN BORNEO BURMA CEYLON INDO-CHINA INDONESIA MALAYA NEPAL PAKISTAN SARAWAK SIAM THREE AFRICA MADAGASCAR MOZAMBIQUE ZANZIBAR THIRD ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES PAKISTAN BURMA CEYLON SOUTH EAST ASIA FOURTH INCORPORATION EACH AFOREMENTIONED NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES FIFTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS SAME ASSEMBLIES SIXTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL HAZIRATU’L-QUDS KARACHI RANGOON COLOMBO JAKARTA SEVENTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL BAHA’I COURT NEW DELHI EIGHTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL BAHA’I COURT KARACHI NINTH PURCHASE LAND NEW DELHI ANTICIPATION FIRST MASHRIQU’L-ADKAR INDIA TENTH TRANSLATION BAHA’I LITERATURE FORTY LANGUAGES COLLABORATION NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY AUSTRALASIA ABOR MIRI ANEITYUM ANNAMESE BALOCHAI BENTUNI BINANDERE CHEREMISS CHUNGCHIA GEORGIAN HOUAILOU JAVANESE KADO KAILI KOPU KUSAIE LEPCHA LIFU MANCHU MANIPURI MANUS ISLAND MARQUESAS MENTAWEI MONGOLIAN MORDOFF MWALA NA-HSI NICOBARESE NIUE OSSETE OSTIAK PALI PANJABI PASHTO PERM PETATS SAMOAN THO TIBETAN TONGA VOGUL ELEVENTH DOUBLING NUMBER SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES LOCALITIES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA TWELFTH DOUBLING NUMBER INCORPORATED SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA THIRTEENTH ESTABLISHMENT BAHA’I PUBLISHING TRUST NEW DELHI FOURTEENTH EXPANSION PANCHGANI SCHOOL FIFTEENTH FORMATION ASIAN TEACHING COMMITTEE DESIGNED STIMULATE

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COORDINATE TEACHING ACTIVITIES PLAN. MAY VALIANT FOLLOWERS FAITH REPRESENTATIVES FOUR PRINCIPAL RELIGIONS MANKIND RECRUITED HIGHLY DIVERSIFIED CLASSES RACES BOASTING ALREADY NOTEWORTHY SHARE UNFOLDMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER BAHA’U’LLAH ARISE ENNOBLE PAST ACHIEVEMENTS BE ENABLED THROUGH FUTURE VICTORIES PAY BEFITTING TRIBUTE HIS MEMORY OCCASION HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY DECLARATION HIS MISSION.

SHOGHI

[To The National Bahá’í Youth Committee]

April 7, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of December 26th was received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is very happy to hear that the Bahá’ís are going out to pioneer in Africa, which is of the greatest importance, as the mission of India is very glorious during the coming 10 years, and requires that the youth make great efforts in order to realize its fulfilment.

The Guardian will pray for your assistance and guidance.

May the Almighty bless your meritorious endeavours, guide your steps, and enable you to promote, at all times, the best interests of His Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

APRIL 22, 1953

BE NOT DISHEARTENED. PRAYING MAGNIFICENT VICTORIES NEWLY LAUNCHED CRUSADE LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES.

SHOGHI

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[To The Local Spiritual Assembly Of The Bahá’ís of Bangalore]

April 30, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving letter of Jalál 14, 110, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has asked me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The Guardian will pray that the newly elected Spiritual Assembly will be guided and confirmed in all of their undertakings.

The magnet which attracts divine confirmations is teaching the Cause of God. Now that the Ten Year Crusade has been so auspiciously launched, and the power of the Holy spirit is reaching those who arise to serve the Faith in such torrents, the Guardian sincerely hopes the friends will treble their efforts to teach the Faith in Bangalore and the surrounding area.

The Guardian greatly values the services of the friends in Bangalore, and sends his loving greetings to each and every one.

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you, and aid you to promote at all times, the best interests of His Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

MAY 2, 1953

URGE ASSEMBLY INITIATE PROMPTLY EFFECTIVE MEASURES ENSURE EXECUTION PLAN ITS ENTIRETY. IMMEDIATE DESTINY DEPENDS ATTAINMENT ALL GOALS. DATE LAUNCHING RIDVAN. ASSURE ARDENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

[To The Bahá’í Youth Of: Karachi, Bombay, Poona, Hyderabad (Sind), Sholapur, Surat, Panchgani]

May 28, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian has received your loving message, and he has instructed me to write you on his behalf, and to assure you of his

[Page 341]

prayers for the abundant success of all your labours for our beloved Faith.

The Guardian urges as many of the Bahá’í youth of India, Pakistan and Burma as possible to attend the historic Conference to be held in New Delhi, in October. At that Conference, plans will be made for the carrying of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, during the coming ten years, far beyond the borders of their homeland; and it will be the youth who will shoulder a great part of this and the other tasks that will be given to your Community. In fact, the settling of these virgin fields both close to your own lands, and in far-off areas, is the very first responsibility of the believers, in this Ten Year World Crusade. Therefore, each one of you should think now seriously what you are going to do about it, and start making your plans accordingly. The sooner the virgin fields are settled, the sooner will be witnessed the tremendous power that is released in this day; and the bounties that await those who go forth to pioneer in these lands, are great indeed.

By their zeal, their perseverance and their united efforts, the Guardian feels assured, the dear Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma will achieve complete victory in their very important part of the great World Crusade which has now been launched.

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you always, and aid you to win great victories in the service of his Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

MAY 31, 1953

URGE PROMPT DESPATCH PIONEERS DAMAN DIU GOA KARIKAL MAHE PONDICHERY AWAITING NEWS SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

[To Mr. Khodadad H. Irani]

June 6, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of May 27th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

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He Is most happy that you have taken up your residence in Zanzibar, and that there you will soon be joined by Mr. Soli Rowhani. He “was also very happy to know that you are busily engaged in the teaching work in that important centre, and assures you of his prayers for the abundant success of all your devoted efforts,

He is hopeful that soon there will be a group established there, and that the native people of Zanzibar will be represented in that group of dedicated Bahá’ís.

He sends his loving greetings to you and to Mr. Rowhani.

May the Almighty bless your meritorious services, guide and sustain you always, and enable you to consolidate the work you have so devotedly initiated in the service of His Faith.

Shoghi

[To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India]

June 8, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Our beloved Guardian has been greatly encouraged by reports reaching him from all parts of the Bahá’í world; of the victories already gained, and the plans being laid for the prosecution of the Ten Year Crusade.

They have evoked his awe-inspiring, and soul-stirring cablegram of May 28th, calling for the immediate settlement of all the 131 virgin areas of the Plan, just as quickly as possible. He is convinced, that the friends will arise and translate their enthusiasm into action, because the keynote of the Crusade, must be Action, Action, Action!

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write your Assembly to amplify some of the aspects of his dynamic message.

The settlement of these virgin areas is of such an emergency nature, that he feels pioneering in one of them takes precedence over every other type of Bahá’í service…whether it be in the teaching or administrative fields of the Faith. So important is it that the National Assembly may delay initiation of steps to fulfil other phases of the Plan, until all these areas are conquered for the Faith. Nothing, absolutely nothing, must be allowed to interfere with the placing of pioneers in each of the 131 goal countries.

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In America some 150 people have volunteered for pioneer service, and some of them already are preparing to leave for their posts. The beloved Guardian fully expects the dear friends in India, Pakistan and Burma to follow this example, and quickly settle the areas allotted to them.

Because of it being the Chief Executor of the Divine Plan, and having so many pioneers available, the Guardian has given permission to the United Stares to send pioneers into any area of the Globe regardless of whom it may be assigned to. Thus pioneers from the United States may ask permission to settle in one of the areas assigned to your Assembly. If this is done, you should assist them in. every way possible.

There are some general observations which the Guardian shares with you, and then some specific suggestions which are enumerated below:

1. Every individual who has offered to pioneer, must be encouraged in every way by the National Assembly.

2. The National Assembly should assist each pioneer, so they may be placed in their post just as quickly as possible.

3. The handling of each application for pioneering service, must be expedited, and not allowed to be bogged down for any reason, or in the hands of Committees.

4. The National Assembly should make it their first order of business to follow up actively this most important task. They must make it the first order of business at each Assembly meeting, to see that each application is being progressed rapidly. This does not mean the special committees should not handle the details; but it does mean the Assembly itself, must review each application at each meeting; and see that the pioneer gets into the field as soon as possible.

5. A large number of pioneers should not be sent to any one country. One, or even two, will be sufficient for the time being. Later on, if supplementary assistance is needed, that of course can be taken care of. The all important thing now, is to get at least one pioneer in each of the 131 virgin areas.

6. The National Assembly may exercise its prerogatives and suggest to applicants where their services are most needed. This, of course, applies particularly to pioneers, where a large number wish to go to the same place.

The specific suggestions of the Guardian, are:

a. Areas close at hand and easy of settlement should be filled

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first. Then the areas more difficult, and finally, those which will be difficult.

b. Whenever a pioneer enters a new territory, a cable should be sent at once to the Guardian, giving the name, place, and any pertinent information.

c. A monthly report of progress is to be sent by your Assembly to the Secretary-General of the International Bahá’í Council. Special matters of report nature, for the Guardian, in connection with the plan of settling these 131 areas, should be sent to the Secretary-General of the Council also.

This does not mean that any administrative matters in connection with the settlement of pioneers should be handled with the Council. These should continue to be handled with the Guardian direct. The Council is simply to coordinate reports, consolidate them, keep maps up to date, etc. for the Guardian, and your reports will enable them to do this.

d. The Guardian feels the following areas should be easily settled, and he would appreciate your early cable advice of such new victories:

Bhutan, Daman, Diu, Goa, Karikal, Mahe, Pondicherry, Sikkim, as pointed out in his cable to your Assembly of May 30th, 1953. These have first precedence. The beloved Guardian feels the friends living in large Bahá’í Centres, could easily move into these territories, which are a part of India itself.

As his dramatic cable indicates, the Guardian will have prepared an illuminated “Roll of Honour” on which will be inscribed the names of the “Knights of Bahá’u’lláh”, who first enter these 131 virgin areas. This “Roll of Honour” will be placed inside the entrance door of The Inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh.

From time to time, the Guardian will announce to the Bahá’í World, the names of those Holy Souls who arise under the conditions outlined in his message, and settle these areas and conquer them for Bahá’u’lláh.

Now is the time for the Bahá’ís of the world to demonstrate the spiritual vitality of the Faith, and to arise as one soul to spread the Glory of the Lord, over the face of the earth. The Guardian is sure, that the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma who have served and sacrificed so long for the Faith, will continue their glorious record by winning many new victories for the Faith.

The Guardian will pray fervently for the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma, and for the success of their efforts.

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The Guardian will pray for the members of the Assembly, whose sacrificial efforts he greatly values.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 8, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Brother.

The beloved Guardian has asked me to write to you following my letter of June 8, 1953, in connection with the great importance of settling the one hundred and thirty-one virgin areas, during the next few months.

Naturally it will be difficult for the Faith to be established in the new territories or amongst the new tribes if they do not have at least a pamphlet for distribution to the new contacts.

He therefore feels that along with the sending of pioneers into the virgin areas, the translation of literature into the languages assigned to the Indian National Assembly should take place.

The Guardian feels that one of the existing pamphlets would be satisfactory, or a new one, which you may feel it desirable to prepare. At this time it is not necessary to enter into the question of translation of Bahá’í books, simply a pamphlet, which can be used for teaching purposes.

The Guardian wishes you to budget the necessary funds to cover this work, and to see that it is actively pursued, so that the literature will be available at an early date.

He wishes you to send current reports of activities in connection with this matter to the Secretary-General of the International Bahá’í Council, so that the data may be assembled with all the necessary information in connection with the Ten Year Crusade, for the Guardian.

He sends his loving greetings to you.

JUNE 19, 1953

URGE PROMPT SETTLEMENT VIRGIN TERRITORIES PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

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[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 21, 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letters of June 14, 26, July 12 (2), August 28, September 18, 19, 25, November 3, 7, 1952, and January 11 (2), 16, February 10, 18, March 6, April 5, 19, May 8 and May 11, 1953 have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He has also received the various enclosures, and the material which was mailed to him separately. Your letters of June 1 (2) and June 3 (2) have also been received.

It is becoming increasingly impossible for him to keep abreast of his mail, and even the National Assemblies must wait, many many months, for an answer…all of them. As regards various matters raised in your letters, and which he has not answered by cable, your Assembly, through its Asian Teaching Committee, must assist and stimulate the work in Ceylon, Malaya, Indonesia and Sarawak etc., but they are not, strictly speaking, under your jurisdiction in the same sense as the Pakistan, Burmese and Indian communities.

There is certainly no objection to your Assembly using Iranian pioneers in some of the Indian goal countries, if it is feasible.

Regarding attacks on the Faith published by hostile authors, there is no harm in refuting such statements publicly and through wide-spread teaching of the Faith, but he does not think that legal action would do any good. It might involve you in a long drawn-out case which you perhaps would not win in the end. It is not essential for your Assembly to send representatives to all United Nations conferences. It is highly desirable, but the success of the New Delhi Conference and the sending forth of pioneers to virgin areas is much more important at this time.

There is no age limit whatsoever for serving the Cause in administrative capacities after one has reached, twenty-one years. Indeed we are supposed to serve the Cause to our last breath.

Your Assembly has no administrative jurisdiction over either Hong Kong or the Philippines…

The Guardian was very happy to hear that Mr. Payman is now working on a translation of “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era” into Indonesian. He should have it reviewed by an Indonesian with some degree of literary standing. He hopes this will soon be followed by

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the Malayan translation mentioned. The pamphlets in Indonesian were received. Please thank Mr. Payman for this service he has rendered the Faith.

He was also very happy to hear that a Ceylonese Bahá’í has gone to Japan. Ceylon, the child of the Indian Bahá’ís, is proving to be very precocious in the service of the Faith, which delights the Guardian and no doubt makes your Assembly very proud and happy.

As regards the question of accepting contributions from people whose voting rights are suspended, the Guardian says this is not permissible.

Please assure dear Mr. Ouskouli that his devotion and his services are deeply appreciated, and the Guardian attaches the greatest importance to his remaining in Shanghai. He strongly advises him, however, to be very discreet and to have as little as possible to do with the Government or the Authorities, lest he jeopardize his position there as a Bahá’í.

In regard to the questions you asked the Guardian in your letter of June 3:

1. Your Assembly should formulate all the details not specified already by the Guardian in connection with the execution of your Ten Year Plan.

2. The National Spiritual Assemblies of Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon and South East Asia will be formed much later in the Plan; he will inform you about this as time goes on. The essential thing is now to multiply the centres which must form the foundation for the new National Spiritual Assemblies.

3. Local ?a?íratu’l-Quds may be converted to National ones; this is premature at present.

4. The recognition of our Laws of Personal Status must naturally precede formation of Bahá’í courts; as long as your translation is correct, his approval is not needed.

5. You should start a Temple Fund; the site need not exceed two or three acres, and should be inside Delhi or near the city limits.

6. You will be able to consult with the members of Australian National Spiritual Assembly at the time of the Conference in New Delhi about literature; they will certainly assist your Assembly with the publications.

7. Bahá’ís from India, Pakistan and Burma are eligible for your Asian Teaching Committee.

8. Consolidation can mean the establishment of the institutions

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you enumerate, but it is not essential at present; to increase the Assemblies and groups, and bring in new believers, is the most important part of consolidation; as the Plan unfolds, he will have to see what other things are really essential and call your attention to them.

He urges you to concentrate on making the forthcoming Conference a great success; your Assembly in consultation with members of the other National Spiritual Assemblies attending, should carefully discuss ways and means of coordinating your activities and sharing information, etc.; you will probably never have a better opportunity to do this than at the Conference.

Dear and valued co-workers:

The splendid efforts, so devotedly exerted by the members of the Bahá’í communities in India, Pakistan and Burma, extending over more them a decade, in connexion with the launching and prosecution of no less than three successive Plans, formulated for the promotion of the interests of the Faith in South East Asia, have raised their prestige in the eyes of the Bahá’í World, and have fitted them to undertake, at this auspicious hour in the evolution of its institutions in the Indian subcontinent and its neighbouring territories and islands, yet another collective enterprise, of still vaster dimensions^ of far greater possibilities, requiring the utmost exertion and consecration for a period of no less than ten years, and culminating in the Most Great Jubilee, designed to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of the Mission of the Founder of their Faith.

The task they now assume involves the consolidation of the manifold institutions which, through the operation of three successive Plans, have been patiently and laboriously established, as well as the erection of the administrative structure of the Faith in the virgin territories along the shores, and in the vicinity, of the Indian sub-continent, in the Islands of the Indian Ocean, in African Dependencies, and as far as the Islands of the South Pacific Ocean.

Through the prosecution of the Plans initiated by your Assembly these communities have acquired the training and experience that have qualified them to embark upon so extensive and momentous an undertaking…an undertaking which if victoriously consummated will eclipse all the joint efforts and enterprises which have illuminated the pages of Indian Bahá’í history since the inception of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation. The first and most sacred obligation confronting them, on the morrow of the launching of their Ten Year Plan, is the

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despatch and settlement, during the current year and the one succeeding it, of pioneers in the sixteen virgin territories and islands, assigned to your Assembly according to the provisions of the aforementioned Plan. The opening of the six dependencies along the eastern and western coasts of the Indian sub-continent must be given careful attention, and must be carried out with promptitude and vigour. The despatch and definite settlement of no more than one or two pioneers in each of these territories and islands is a task not only of great urgency but of infinite merit, and constitutes the most important feature of the initial phase of the Plan.

Next in importance and of no less urgency is the selection and purchase, either within or in the outskirts of the capital city of India in which the Administrative Headquarters of the Faith has already been established of the site of the First Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Indian sub-continent, covering an area of approximately one or two acres at least, which can gradually be enlarged in the course of the coming years.

Collateral with this vital project is the preparation in conjunction with the Australian National Assembly of a suitable pamphlet by your Assembly, and the adoption of energetic measures for its translation into the languages allocated to the Australian and Indian National Assemblies.

While this threefold objective is being assiduously pursued, the process of the multiplication of Local Assemblies, of groups and isolated centres must he maintained, nay accelerated, for upon it will depend the early formation of independent National Spiritual Assemblies in India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon and South East Asia.

The responsibilities devolving upon your Assembly in the course of the opening stage of the Plan are enormous, sacred and pressing. All Bahá’í communities participating in this glorious enterprise must lend every effort, and sacrifice to the utmost of their power to ensure the unqualified success of the great work that lies immediately ahead.

There is no time to lose. The newly launched Plan demands a vigilance, an expenditure of effort and resources on a scale unprecedented in Indian Bahá’í history. Bahá’í communities in East and West, embarked on a similar Crusade, are vying with one another and with your Assembly in the world-wide field of Bahá’í pioneering. The glory of the prizes to be won, the benefits that will accrue to all participants, are unimaginable.

I direct my appeal to your Assembly and, through its members, to all communities participating in this unprecedented enterprise, to arise to this great and unique occasion that now presents itself, at this critical

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hour in the fortunes of mankind and at so significant a stage in the evolution of the Faith, and to resolve, with inflexible determination, to consummate, at the appointed time, this fate-laden enterprise on which all our hearts are set and upon which the immediate destinies of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh so largely depend.

In my hours of prayer and meditation in the Holy Shrines I will supplicate on behalf of your Assembly, as well as on behalf of the communities you represent, that Divine Guidance-may direct your steps, that God’s sustaining grace may aid you to overcome every obstacle, that His strength may be poured out upon you, that His providence and love may enfold you, and that the inspiration of the Dawn-breakers, who proclaimed the birth of His Cause, may carry you to ultimate and total victory.

Shoghi

JUNE 24.1953

ASSURE KURLAWALA FERVENT PRAYERS URGE PROMPT SETTLEMENT OTHER VIRGIN TERRITORIES.

SHOGHI

JULY 6, 1953

ASSURE PIONEERS GOA LOVING APPRECIATION URGE FRIENDS FOLLOW EXAMPLE.

SHOGHI

JULY 27, 1953

LOVING PRAYERS RECORD RESOLUTIONS URGE ASSEMBLY HASTEN SETTLEMENT DIU MAHE KARIKAL.

SHOGHI

JULY 30, 1953

CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PREFERABLE.

SHOGHI

[Page 351]

AUGUST 7, 1953

ASSURE PIONEERS ABIDING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI

AUGUST 31.1953

GIFTS FROM NON BELIEVERS NOT ACCEPTABLE AT PRESENT.

SHOGHI

SEPTEMBER 5, 1953

BELOVED GUARDIAN ASSURES PIONEERS KARIKAL LOVING PRAYERS.

SEPTEMBER 29, 1953

ENTRUSTING BOLTON COLOUR CINEMA FILMS COMPLETED SHRINE. ARRANGE IMMEDIATE PROCESSING FOR EXHIBITION CONFERENCE. ARRIVING KARACHI FOURTH FLIGHT NUMBER 502.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 3, 1953

MASON REMEY PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE ENTRUSTED BAB’S PORTRAIT ACCOMPANIED BOLTONS ARRIVING KARACHI FOURTH. ADVISE FRIENDS MEET THEM AIRPORT. PORTRAIT MUST REMAIN HIS POSSESSION. ASSEMBLY SHOULD ENSURE NO COPY TAKEN DAY EXHIBITION.

SHOGHI

[Message To The Inter-Continental Conference, New Delhi]

[Page 352]

To the Hands of the Cause, the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies, the pioneers, the resident believers and visitors attending the Asian Intercontinental Teaching Conference in New Delhi, India

October, 1953

Well-beloved friends:

With high hopes and a joyful heart I acclaim the convocation, in the leading city of the Indian sub-continent, of the fourth and last of the Intercontinental Teaching Conferences of a memorable Holy Year commemorating the centenary of the birth of the prophetic Mission of Bahá’u’lláh.

On this historic occasion, when the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’í’s of the United States of America, of the Dominion of Canada, of Central and of South America, of Persia, of the Indian sub-continent and of Burma, of ‘Iráq and of Australasia, as well as representatives of the sovereign states and dependencies of the Asiatic continent, of the Republics of North, Central and South America, and of Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania are assembled, and are to deliberate on the needs and requirements of the recently launched triple Campaign embracing the Asiatic mainland, the Australian continent and the islands of the Pacific Ocean—a campaign which may well be regarded as the most extensive, the most arduous and the most momentous of all the campaigns of a world-girdling Crusade, and which, in its scope, is unparalleled in the history of the Faith in the entire eastern Hemisphere…my thoughts, on such an occasion, go back to the early dawn of our faith, to those unforgettable scenes of matchless heroism, of dark tragedy, of imperishable glory which heralded its birth, and accompanied the spread, of its infant Light, in the heart of the Asiatic continent.

I vividly recall the meteoric rise of the Faith of the Báb in the provinces of Persia and the stirring episodes associated with His cruel incarceration in the mountain-fastnesses of Ádhirbáyján, with the revelation of the laws of His Dispensation, with the proclamation of the independence of His Faith, with the peerless heroism of His disciples, with the fiendish cruelty of His foes—the Chief Magistrate, the civil authorities, the ecclesiastical dignitaries and the masses of the people, of His native-land—with the humiliation, the spoliation, the dispersal, the eventual massacre of a vast number of His followers, and, above all, with His own execution in the City of Tabriz.

With a throb of wonder I call to mind the early and sudden fruition

[Page 353]

of His Dispensation in the capital city of that land, and the dramatic circumstances attending the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation culminating His precipitate banishment to ‘Iráq.

I am reminded, moreover, of the initial spread of the light of this Revelation, in consequence of the banishment of Bahá’u’lláh, to the adjoining territories of ‘Iráq, and, as far as the western fringes of that continent, to Turkey and the neighbouring territories of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and, at a later stage, to the Indian sub-continent and China, situated on the southern and eastern extremities of that continent as well as to the Caucasus and Russian Turkistan.

Nor can I fail to remember the series of alternating crises and victories—each constituting a landmark in the evolution of the Faith—which it has experienced in some of these territories, associated with the distressful withdrawal of its Author to the mountains of Sulaymáníyyih; with the glorious Declaration of His Mission in Baghdad; with His second and third banishments to Constantinople and Adrianople; with the grievous rebellion of His half-brother; with the proclamation of His Mission; with His fourth banishment to the desolate and far-off penal colony of ‘Akká in Syria; with the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, His Most Holy Book; with His ascension in the Holy Land; with the establishment of His Covenant and the inauguration of the Ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, His son and the Exemplar and authorized interpreter of His teachings.

These opening stages in the evolution of His Faith in the Asiatic continent were followed, while the first and Apostolic Age of His Dispensation was drawing to a close, by the opening of the Islands situated in the Pacific Ocean, Japan in the north, and the Australian continent in the South. To these memorable chapters of Asian Bahá’í history another was soon added, on the morrow of the ascension of the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, and during the initial epoch of the Formative Age of the Faith, distinguished by the rise of the Administrative Order and the erection of its pillars in the cradle of that Faith, in ‘Iraq, in India, Pakistan and Burma and in the Antipodes. This memorable episode in its development in that vast continent was succeeded by the initiation, during the second Epoch of that same Age, of a series of Plans, in those same territories in support of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan and as a prelude to the opening of the recently launched world-embracing Spiritual Crusade.

The hour has now struck for this continent, on whose soil, more than a century ago, so much sacred blood was shed, in whose very heart

[Page 354]

deeds of such tragic heroism were performed, and in many of whose territories such brilliant victories have been won, to contribute, in association with its sister continents, to the progress and ultimate triumph of this global Crusade, in a manner befitting its unrivalled position in the entire Bahá’í world.

The various Bahá’í Communities dwelling within the borders of this continent and those situated to the south of its shores in the Antipodes, which include the oldest and most venerable among all the communities of the Bahá’í world, and whose members in their aggregate constitute the overwhelming majority of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, are called upon, in close association with four other Bahá’í communities in the Western Hemisphere, to undertake in the course of the coming decade: First, the construction of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, in the City of Tihrán, surnamed by Bahá’u’lláh “Mother of the World”. Second, the purchase of land for the future construction of three Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, one in the City of Baghdad, enshrining the “Most Great House”, the third holiest city of the Bahá’í world, one in New Delhi, the leading city of the Indian sub-continent, and the third in Sydney, the oldest and foremost Bahá’í Centre in the Antipodes. Third, the formation of no less than eleven National Spiritual Assemblies, one each in Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma; one in Turkey and one in Afghanistan, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; one in Japan, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; one in New Zealand, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand, as well as four regional National Spiritual Assemblies, one in the Arabian Peninsula, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; one in South East Asia, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma; a third in the South Pacific, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; and a fourth in the Near East, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iraq. Fourth the opening of the following forty-one virgin territories and islands: Andaman Islands, Bhutan, Daman, Din, Goa, Karikal, Mahe, Mariana Islands, Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry, Sikkim, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma; Caroline Islands, Dutch New Guinea, Hainan Island, Kazakstan, Macao Island, Sakhalin

[Page 355]

Island, Tibet, Tonga Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; Brunei, Chagos Archipelago, Kirgizia, Mongolia, Solomon Islands, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; Admiralty Islands, Cocos Island, Loyalty Islands, Mentawei Islands, New Hebrides Islands, Portuguese Timor, Society Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand; Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Marshall Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Central America; Hadhramaut, Kuria-Muria Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iraq; Marquesas Islands, Samoa Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; Cook Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of South America. Fifth, the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature in the following forty languages, to be undertaken by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma, in association with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand: Abor Miri, Aneityum, Annamese, Balochi, Bentuni, Binandere, Cheremiss, Chungchia, Georgian, Houailou, Javanese, Kado, Kaili, Kopu, Kusaie, Lepcha, Lifu, Manchu, Manipuri, Manus Island, Marquesas, Mentawei, Mongolian, Mordoff, Mwala, Na-Hsi, Nicobarese, Niue, Ossete, Ostiak, Pali, Panjabi, Pashto, Perm, Petats, Samoan, Tho, Tibetan, Tonga, Vogul. Sixth, the consolidation of Aden Protectorate, Ádhirbáyján, Afghanistan, A?sa, Armenia, Ba?rayn Island, Georgia, ?ijáz, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Yemen, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; of Baluchistan, Borneo, Burma, Ceylon, Indo-China, Indonesia, Malaya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sarawak, Siam, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pakistan and Burma; of China, Formosa, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Philippine Islands, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; of Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria, Trucial Sheikhs, Umman, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq; of Bismarck Archipelago, Fiji, New Caledonia, Australian New Guinea, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand; of Hong Kong, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles. Seventh, the incorporation of the eleven above-mentioned National Spiritual Assemblies, as well as those of Persia and ‘Iraq. Eighth, the establishment by these above-mentioned

[Page 356]

eleven National Spiritual Assemblies of national Bahá’í endowments. Ninth, the establishment of a national ?a?íratu’l-Quds in the capital cities of each of the countries where National Spiritual Assemblies are to be established, as well as one in Suva, one in Jakarta, one in Ba?rayn and one in Beirut. Tenth, the establishment of a national Bahá’í Court in the capital cities of Persia, of ‘Iráq, of Pakistan and of Afghanistan—the leading Muslim centres in the Asiatic continent. Eleventh, the establishment of two National Bahá’í Publishing Trusts, one in ?ihrán and one in New Delhi. Twelfth, the formation of Israel Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of Persia, of ‘Iráq and of Australia; authorized to hold on behalf of their parent institutions property dedicated to the holy Shrines at the World Centre of the Faith in the State of Israel. Thirteenth, the appointment, during Ridván 1954, by the Hands of the Cause in Asia and in Australia of an auxiliary Board of nine members who will, in conjunction with the eight National Spiritual Assemblies participating in the Asiatic and Australian campaigns, assist, through periodic and systematic visits to Bahá’í centres, in the efficient and prompt execution of the Plans formulated for the prosecution of the teaching campaigns in the continent of Asia and in the Antipodes.

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 religious 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” is enshrined; within whose borders another City regarded as the “Cynosure of an adoring world” 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 threshold 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

[Page 357]

history have, at various stages in the revelation of God’s purpose for mankind, illuminated the path of the human race.

May this Crusade, launched simultaneously on the Asiatic mainland, its neighbouring islands and the Antipodes, under the direction of eight National Spiritual Assemblies, and through the operation of eight systematic Teaching Plans, and the concerted efforts of Bahá’í communities in both the East and the West, provide, as it unfolds, an effective antidote to the baneful forces of atheism, nationalism, secularism and materialism that are tearing at the vitals of this turbulent continent, and may it re-enact those scenes of spiritual heroism which, more than any of the secular revolutions which have agitated its face, have left their ever lasting imprint on the fortunes of the peoples and nations dwelling within its borders.

Shoghi

OCTOBER 8, 1955

OCCASION CONCLUSION HOLY YEAR OVERJOYED SHARE FOLLOWING TRIPLE ANNOUNCEMENT ATTENDANTS FOURTH FINAL INTERCONTINENTAL TEACHING CONFERENCE MARKING TERMINATION FESTIVITIES ASSOCIATED CENTENARY BIRTH BAHA’U’LLAHS PROPHETIC MISSION. FIVE YEAR OLD THREE QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR ENTERPRISE CONSTITUTING FINAL STAGE INITIAL EPOCH EVOLUTION PROCESS INITIATED OVER SIXTY YEARS AGO FOUNDER FAITH HEART MOUNTAIN GOD CONSUMMATED. FINISHING TOUCHES INSTALLATION STAINED GLASS WINDOWS DRUM OCTAGON REMOVAL SCAFFOLDING EXTERIOR INTERIOR EDIFICE INTERIOR CALCIMINING DOME DRUM OCTAGON TUCKPOINTING CLEANING FLOODLIGHTING ENTIRE STRUCTURE COMPLETED SYNCHRONIZING CLOSING WEEKS GLORIOUS TWELVE MONTH ANNALS HOLY FAITH. STEADILY SWELLING THRONG VISITORS FAR NEAR MANY DAYS EXCEEDING THOUSAND FLOCKING GATES LEADING INNER SANCTUARY MAJESTIC MAUSOLEUM PAYING HOMAGE QUEEN CARMEL ENTHRONED GOD’S MOUNTAIN CROWNED GLOWING GOLD ROBED SHIMMERING WHITE GIRDLED EMERALD GREEN ENCHANTING EVERY EYE FROM AIR SEA PLAIN HILL. MOVED REQUEST ATTENDANTS CONFERENCE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERING PAY TRIBUTE HAND CAUSE SUTHERLAND MAXWELL IMMORTAL ARCHITECT ARCADE SUPERSTRUCTURE SHRINE. FEEL MOREOVER

[Page 358]

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BE MADE SAME GATHERING UNFLAGGING LABOURS VIGILANCE HAND CAUSE UGO GIACHERY NEGOTIATING CONTRACTS INSPECTING DESPATCHING ALL MATERIALS REQUIRED CONSTRUCTION EDIFICE AS WELL AS ASSIDUOUS CONSTANT CARE HAND CAUSE LEROY IOAS SUPERVISING CONSTRUCTION BOTH DRUM DOME TO TWO DOORS SHRINE RECENTLY NAMED AFTER FIRST TWO AFOREMENTIONED HANDS OCTAGON DOOR NOW ADDED HENCEFORTH ASSOCIATED THIRD HAND WHO CONTRIBUTED RAISING STATELY SACRED STRUCTURE. SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT WORLDWIDE PROCESS SETTLEMENT VIRGIN AREAS GLOBE ACCELERATED ARRIVAL FOLLOWING PIONEERS RESPECTIVE POSTS CORA OLIVER BRITISH HONDURAS CAROLE DWIGHT ALLEN GREECE MR MRS XAVIER RODRIQUES PORTUGUESE GUINEA BRIGITTE HASSELBLATT SHETLANDS ELIZABETH HOPPER ADA SCHOTT SARA KENNY MRS. DUFFIELD MADEIRA H SNIDER KEY WEST HUGH MCKINLEY AND MOTHER CYPRUS MAX KENYEREZI FRENCH EQUATORIAL AFRICA ELSA GROSSMAN FRISIAN ISLANDS HELEN ROBINSON BARANOF MR. MRS. TED ANDERSON YUKON TABANDEH PAYMAN SAN-MARINO ROLF HAUG CRETE UNA TOWNSHEND MALTA SWELLING ROLL HONOUR RAISING NUMBER TERRITORIES PALE FAITH HUNDRED SIXTY SEVEN. TWO ADDITIONAL PIONEERS PROCEEDING LEPER COLONIES PUERTO RICO FRENCH GUINEA. TWO VALIANT PIONEERS INDIA AMERICA PREPARING ENTRY TIBET. TWO MORE MEMBERS UNITED STATES NATIONAL ASSEMBLY VOLUNTEERED PIONEER RAISING NUMBER FIVE. UNITED STATES PIONEERS DEPARTING TWENTY FOUR VIRGIN TERRITORIES ERE CONCLUSION HOLY YEAR. TOTAL UNITED STATES PIONEER APPLICATIONS TWO HUNDRED FORTY NINE. FEAST NAMES CELEBRATED LAST AUGUST TWO STALWART CRUSADERS WEATHER STATION BUCHANAN BAY DESOLATE ELLESMERE ISLAND SEVENTY NINE LATITUDE LESS SEVEN HUNDRED MILES NORTH POLE. IRRESISTIBLY UNFOLDING CRUSADE SANCTIFIED DEATH HEROIC EIGHTY EIGHT YEAR OLD ELLA BAILEY ELEVATING HER RANK MARTYRS FAITH SHEDDING FURTHER LUSTRE AMERICAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY CONSECRATING SOIL FAST AWAKENING AFRICAN CONTINENT. THIRD ANNOUNCEMENT PRELIMINARY STEPS TAKEN AIMING ACQUISITION EXTENSIVE AREA HEAD HOLY MOUNTAIN SCENE REVELATION TABLET CARMEL PREPARATORY PURCHASE SITE FUTURE MOTHER MASHRIQU’L-ADHKAR

[Page 359]

HOLY LAND MADE POSSIBLE MUNIFICENT HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR DONATION HAND CAUSE AMELIA COLLINS SIGNALIZING OPENING SECOND STAGE UNFOLDMENT MIGHTY PROCESS SET MOTION AUTHOR FAITH. TRIPLE BOUNTY VOUCHSAFED COMMUNITY MOST GREAT NAME SCATTERED FACE PLANET CALLS FOR TREMENDOUS IMMEDIATE CONCERTED EXERTION ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS ADEQUATELY DISCHARGE TRIPLE RESPONSIBILITY. FIRST REDOUBLED CONSECRATION PIONEERING TASK PARTICULARLY PACIFIC AREA EMPHASIZED TABLETS DIVINE PLAN RAISING THEREBY ERE ADJOURNMENT CONFERENCE NUMBER TERRITORIES OPENED FAITH OR ASSIGNED PIONEERS IMMEDIATE SETTLEMENT ABOVE TWO HUNDRED. SECOND DEMONSTRATION INCREASING SELF-SACRIFICE THROUGH INAUGURATION FUNDS PURCHASE LAND FUTURE TEMPLES ASIATIC CONTINENT ANTIPODES BAGHDAD NEW DELHI SYDNEY. CONTRIBUTING THREE THOUSAND POUNDS FURTHERANCE MERITORIOUS ENTERPRISES. THIRD EARNEST CONSULTATION REPRESENTATIVES PERSIAN IRAQI NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES DIRECTLY CONCERNED HOLY TASK WITH ASSEMBLED HANDS CAUSE WAYS MEANS CONDUCT THOROUGH INVESTIGATION ENSURE PURCHASE HOLY PLACES PARTICULARLY SITE SIYAH CHAL CRADLE REVELATION AUTHOR FAITH AS WELL AS IDENTIFICATION TRANSFER BAHA’I CEMETERIES RELATIVES BAB BAHA’U’LLAH CONSTITUTING VITAL OBJECTIVES TEN YEAR PLAN. ARDENTLY HOPING FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING EPOCHAL CONFERENCE SETTING SEAL CELEBRATION SECOND BAHA’I JUBILEE CONTRIBUTE UNPRECEDENTED DEGREE THROUGH CHARACTER ITS DELIBERATIONS SOLIDITY ACHIEVEMENTS SCOPE ACCOMPLISHMENTS ULTIMATE ATTAINMENT SHINING GOALS WORLD CRUSADE DESTINED CULMINATE NOT FAR DISTANT MOST GREAT JUBILEE ASSOCIATED HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY ASSUMPTION BAHA’U’LLAH HIS PROPHETIC OFFICE.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 12, 1953

EVE CONCLUSION FESTIVITIES COMMEMORATING CENTENARY BIRTH BAHA’U’LLAH’S MINISTRY MOVED DIRECT FOLLOWING SPECIFIC MESSAGE HANDS ASSEMBLED CONFERENCE IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION MULTIPLE

[Page 360]

BOUNTIES SHOWERED RAPID SUCCESSION ARMY LORD HOSTS COURSE HOLY YEAR AUSPICIOUSLY USHERED THROUGH PROCLAMATION OBJECTIVES WORLD CRUSADE WHOSE OPENING MONTHS WITNESSED CONVOCATION HEART AFRICAN CONTINENT FIRST INTERCONTINENTAL TEACHING CONFERENCE WHOSE CLIMAX SIGNALIZED SIMULTANEOUS HOLDING HEART NORTH AMERICA INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCE WESTERN HEMISPHERE DEDICATION MOTHER TEMPLE WEST LAUNCHING TEN YEAR PLAN WHOSE RECORD BEEN ENNOBLED TWO ADDITIONAL INTERCONTINENTAL GATHERINGS SUCCESSIVELY CONVENED EUROPEAN ASIATIC CONTINENTS ALL ELEVEN HANDS CALLED UPON ARISE ENHANCE ABIDING VALUE STRENUOUS EXEMPLARY LABOURS LAST TWELVE MONTHS CONSTITUTING INITIAL CHAPTER THEIR STEADILY UNFOLDING WORLD MISSION. HOUR PROPITIOUS MORROW LAST INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCE GIRD LOINS YET ANOTHER STILL WIDER DISPERSAL EXTENDING ONE OR TWO MONTHS EMBRACING ASIA AFRICA AUSTRALASIA PURPOSE ESTABLISHING CLOSE CONTACT NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES ADVISING ASSISTING LOCAL ASSEMBLIES INDIVIDUALS ATTAIN GOALS GLOBE GIRDLING PLAN ADOPTION FOLLOWING ITINERARY RECOMMENDED. MASON REMEY DOROTHY BAKER HORACE HOLLEY INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA CEYLON UGO GIACHERY PERSIA VALIULLAH VARQA SHUAULLAH ALAI IRAQ TURKEY EGYPT CLARA DUNN ALI AKBAR FURUTAN AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND ZIKRULLAH KHADEM MALAYA JAPAN SAMANDARI MUSA BANANI ARABIAN PENINSULA. CONTRIBUTING THREE THOUSAND POUNDS ASSISTANCE EXECUTION MERITORIOUS ENTERPRISE. URGE PERSIAN INDIAN AUSTRALIAN EGYPTIAN IRAQI NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES EXTEND UTMOST ASSISTANCE ARRANGE SCHEDULES PUBLICIZE FAITH WHEREVER ADVISABLE DIRECT LOCAL ASSEMBLIES UTILIZE EVERY MEANS THEIR POWER ADD MOMENTUM MOST AMBITIOUS UNDERTAKING EMBARKED FOLLOWERS BAHA’U’LLAH HUNDRED TEN YEARS BAHA’I HISTORY.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 15, 1953

AS HOLY YEAR EXPIRES OVERJOYED ANNOUNCE ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS NO LESS THIRTEEN ADDITIONS ROLL

[Page 361]

HONOUR SINCE TRANSMISSION LAST MESSAGE CONFERENCE WEEK AGO. CLAIRE GUNG SOUTHERN RHODESIA URSULA VON BRUNN FRISIAN ISLANDS RICHARD NOLEN FAMILY AZORES KATHERINE MEYER MARGARITA ISLAND GERALDINE CRANEY HEBRIDES FAWZI ZEINOLABEDIN FAMILY SPANISH MOROCCO MANOUCHIHR HEZARI MOROCCO INTERNATIONAL ZONE CHICAGO BELIEVER ST. THOMAS ISLAND TED CARDELL SOUTH WEST AFRICA WILLIAM DANJON ANDORRA FRED JEAN ALLEN CAPE BRETON ISLAND FREDERICK ELIZABETH EAWS BASUTOLAND AMIN BATT RIO DE ORO. TOTAL NUMBER VIRGIN AREAS INSCRIBED SCROLL WITH NAMES CONQUERORS SINCE LAUNCHING WORLD CRUSADE LAST Ri?ván MOUNTED FIFTY. NUMBER TERRITORIES INCLUDED ORBIT FAITH RAISED WITHIN UNBELIEVABLY SHORT TIME HUNDRED SEVENTYEIGHT MARKING INCREASE HUNDRED COUNTRIES SINCE CELEBRATION FIRST JUBILEE NINE YEARS AGO. IN ADDITION SIXTY UNOPENED AREAS BESPOKEN INCLUDING UKRAINE ALBANIA. NO MORE EIGHT VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED BE DESPATCHED ASHANTI PROTECTORATE BECHUANALAND CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO COMORO ISLANDS MARQUESAS ISLANDS MARSHALL ISLANDS SPANISH SAHARA TONGA ISLANDS IN ORDER ENSURE ATTAINMENT PREEMINENT GOAL GLOBAL CRUSADE EXCLUDING SOCIALIST REPUBLICS SATELLITE COUNTRIES. MOMENT ARRIVED LAST DAY YEAR FOREVER SANCTIFIED MEMORY FUTURE GENERATIONS OWING ITS SACRED ASSOCIATIONS BE LINKED CLOSING ALREADY NARROW GAP SEPARATING VANGUARD ARMY CRUSADERS VICTORY MOST GLORIOUS PHASE GRANDEST COLLECTIVE SPIRITUAL ENTERPRISE EMBARKED ORGANIZED FIRMLY KNIT COMMUNITIES MOST GREAT NAME SCATTERED PLANET.

SHOGHI

OCTOBER 30, 1953

DISAPPROVE DEPARTURE PIONEERS IF DISSOLUTION ASSEMBLY INVOLVED…

SHOGHI


[Page 362]

1954

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

February 10, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian was very happy indeed to receive the copies of the Registration Certificate of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Djakarta, Indonesia.

This is a distinct victory for the Faith, in the South Pacific. The Guardian is having one copy framed, and will place it in the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí.

The Guardian sends his love and appreciation to the members of the Djakarta Assembly and Community. He will continue to pray for the success of their efforts.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

March 1, 1954

Dearly Beloved Friends,

The beloved Guardian is greatly encouraged over the reports that are being received from all pans of the world in connection with the

[Page 363]

development of the Ten Year Crusade. At the present time, over 90 virgin areas have been settled. As I have written you previously, the Guardian hopes all of the virgin areas outside of the Iron Curtain countries will be settled by Ri?ván . In the meantime we hope at least 10 more countries will be settled by Naw-Rúz, so that within the first 11 months of the Ten Year Crusade, at least 100 of the virgin areas will be settled.

The Guardian likewise is greatly enthused over the manner in which the friends are undertaking some of the other activities of the Crusade.

The Guardian wishes your Assembly to know that he attaches great importance to the purchase of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds for the future National Assemblies to be formed under your direction. He thinks the time is ripe for active consideration to be given to these important projects. He feels that the purchase of a small piece of property in the city which is to become the seat of the National Assembly, is important, and can be inaugurated at the present time. In other words, the Guardian feels that the purchase of the future ?a?íratu’l-Quds can be accomplished before the National Assembly is formed. Therefore your Assembly should take steps at this time to inaugurate the programme, so that when a suitable location is available, the friends in the goal cities may proceed with plans for its purchase. It should be clear that the Guardian is not directing the purchase of a large piece of land, but rather has directed the purchase of a small property. He feels if a small building can be purchased, that would be better than buying land and then building one to our own specifications. It would serve temporarily as a ?a?íratu’l-Quds for the Local Assembly, and then become the National ?a?íratu’l-Quds when the National Assembly is formed.

MARCH 9, 1954

CABLE NAMES LANGUAGES ALREADY TRANSLATED UNDER TEN YEAR PLAN SPECIFY ALSO WHICH LANGUAGES PROCESS TRANSLATION. CABLE WHICH ASSEMBLIES INCORPORATED SINCE APRIL.

SHOGHI

[Page 364]

MARCH 11, 1954

EXTEND IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SEYCHELLES.

SHOGHI

MARCH 16, 1954

ASSURE MAHE PIONEERS PRAYERS SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

MARCH 21, 1954

ASSURE PRAYERS SUCCESS. ASSURE GOA PIONEERS LOVING PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

MARCH 26, 1954

URGE IMMEDIATE EFFORT ENSURE ARRIVAL RAHMAN CHAGOS BEFORE RIDVAN FOR GREAT VICTORY.

SHOGHI

MARCH 27, 1954

EXERT UTMOST DESPATCH PIONEER TIBET BHUTAN HAINAN SOCOTRA.

SHOGHI

MARCH 28, 1954

ASSURE REGIONAL CONVENTIONS FERVENT PRAYERS SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS. RAHMAN MUST REMAIN SEYCHELLES IF UNABLE PROCEED CHAGOS.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

April 1, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you in connection

[Page 365]

with the development of the Faith in areas where it has been introduced, but in which countries it has not developed very rapidly.

He feels that as soon as the initial impact of settling all of the virgin areas is concluded, the National Assembly should then turn their attention to the consolidation work in the countries where there have been Bahá’í’s, but where the work has not gone ahead. He mentioned particularly: Northern Rhodesia, Zululand, Mozambique, Zanzibar, Madagascar, British Somaliland and Nyasaland.

If you are able to send pioneers to these particular countries to carry on the teaching work actively, it will bring great happiness to the beloved Guardian.

He assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and in behalf of the pioneers who might arise to carry on the consolidation work in these important countries in and about Africa.

APRIL 13, 1954

BELOVED GUARDIAN FEELS UTMOST IMPORTANCE ALL VIRGIN AREAS SUSCEPTIBLE BE SETTLED BEFORE END Ri?ván . 98 AREAS SETTLED. TEN OF REMAINING 18 OUTSIDE IRON CURTAIN CAN SHOULD BE SETTLED DURING FIRST YEAR CRUSADE GUARDIAN URGES YOU. CONSIDER SETTLEMENT FOLLOWING AREAS MOST IMPORTANT TASK NEXT THREE WEEKS ADMIRALTY ANTICOSTI CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO COCOS COMORO HAINAN LOYALTY MARIANA MARSHALL PORTUGUESE TIMOR. IN ORDER ASSURE SPIRITUAL VICTORY GUARDIAN EXTENDING SETTLEMENT PERIOD TO END Ri?ván . THIS EMERGENCY SHOULD BE FOLLOWED VIGOROUSLY DAILY BY ASSEMBLY IN CONJUNCTION APPROPRIATE TEACHING COMMITTEE. CABLE PROGRESS FULFILMENT STRATEGIC GOALS THIS CABLE SENT NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES AMERICA CANADA AUSTRALIA INDIA.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

April 24, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write to you concerning the establishment of the Faith in Tibet.

He is hoping it will be possible for a pioneer to get into this

[Page 366]

country in the near future. It would be a great victory for the Faith.

The Guardian suggests, that instead of trying to enter the capital of Tibet, or one of the important large cities, it would be better for our pioneer to endeavour to settle in some small city or even village, just across the border in Tibet. He thinks this would be simpler. He will appreciate word from you with regard to this important matter, which he hopes you will be able to win for the Faith, in the near future.

APRIL 28, 1954

ASSURE DELEGATES FERVENT PRAYERS BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS EXPEDITE PURCHASE TEMPLE LAND TRANSLATION LITERATURE MULTIPLICATION CENTRES ATTAINMENT OTHER OBJECTIVES ALL IMPORTANT PLAN.

SHOGHI

[To All National Spiritual Assemblies]

May 3, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian is very anxious to receive your reports of the results of the teaching activities during the first year of the Ten Year Crusade. He would like you to send him an up-to-date list of the communities in which the Bahá’í Faith is established in your country, divided between isolated Bahá’ís, Groups and Assemblies. A second statement should be submitted showing the same information with regard to the territories of the Ten Year Crusade which are under your jurisdiction, whether they be virgin areas or consolidation areas.

To illustrate what I mean, for the United States the Guardian would like information as to the centres in the United States. In the second statement he would like the same information for the consolidation areas under their jurisdiction, such as the Ten Goal Countries of Europe, France, etc. Also from the United States Assembly, a statement showing the same information for the virgin areas which it has been their responsibility to open.

The Guardian would appreciate your sending this information just as quickly as possible, in order to permit me to consolidate the matter for him…

[Page 367]

MAY 4, 1954

URGE NEW ASSEMBLY UNITEDLY DETERMINEDLY ARISE EXPEDITE PURCHASE TEMPLE LAND FULFIL OTHER OBJECTIVES PLAN. PRAYING FERVENTLY.

SHOGHI

May 27, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving letter of May 17th has come to hand, with regard to the question of ?a?íratu’l-Quds for future National Assemblies, and my letter of May 6th, instructing that there be no diversion of activities from the objectives of the Ten Year Crusade.

No confusion is intended between my letter of March 1st which deals with the purchase of ?a?íratu’l-Quds for future National. Assemblies, and my letter of May 6th, dealing with the question of local ?a?íratu’l-Quds.

The Guardian feels it is satisfactory now for the various National Communities to begin fulfilling the obligations of the Ten Year Crusade, and that where National Assemblies are to be formed during the Crusade, steps may be taken now to procure the future ?a?íratu’l-Quds. Until the National Assembly is formed, the ?a?íratu’l-Quds will serve as the ?a?íratu’l-Quds for the Local Assembly. As for instance, has been done in Kampala. The future ?a?íratu’l-Quds of the National Assembly has been purchased—and until the National Assembly is formed, it will serve the Local Assembly.

On the other hand, the Guardian is quite insistent that no new tasks be undertaken; but that all our energies be concentrated on the goals of the Crusade—and this certainly refers to the purchase of local ?a?íratu’l-Quds, etc. In other words, no local ?a?íratu’l-Quds maybe purchased or established.

The Guardian is pleased to learn that the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Rangoon and Karachi are suitable for the future National Assemblies for Burma and Pakistan. He assumes you will see that proper repairs are made to the building in Rangoon…

P.S. I presume it is clear, that the ?a?íratu’l-Quds to be procured in Djakarta, as well as Ceylon and Singapore, are not local ?a?íratu’l-Quds

[Page 368]

but are ?a?íratu’l-Quds for the future National Assembly to be established, whose national headquarters will be in those cities.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

May 28, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friend:

The beloved Guardian was very happy to learn of the efforts being made to establish Mr. R. Baram in Tibet. Your letter indicates the very thorough and efficient manner in which you and Mr. Baram have undertaken his entry into Tibet. The Guardian is hoping you will be very successful in your efforts, which should be very actively continued. He will pray that every obstacle will be removed from your path, so that you may achieve complete victory.

The Guardian attaches the utmost importance to the settlement of Tibet, and therefore feels that you should not limit your activities, due to financial reasons. In other words, if there is any question about funds to be furnished by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, then your National Spiritual Assembly should advance the funds, and I will, on behalf of the Guardian, straighten the matter out.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 8, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

The beloved Guardian has been greatly pleased with the achievements of the friends throughout the world during the first year of the Ten Year Crusade. Victories were won in all pans of the world, and on many fronts. The Faith was established in 101 countries of the world, bringing the light of guidance to 229 countries and islands.

We now enter the second phase of the Ten Year Crusade. The Guardian’s message to the Conventions has outlined the goals to be achieved during this second phase.

One of the important items was the purchase of ?a?íratu’l-Quds for future National Spiritual Assemblies. The Guardian feels that immediate steps should be taken to fulfil a part of this project. In all, there are 49 ?a?íratu’l-Quds to be purchased—4 already are

[Page 369]

owned. The Guardian feels that during the second year of the Crusade, 17 additional ?a?íratu’l-Quds should be purchased. These should not be elaborate structures, but modest houses which can serve at the present time as local ?a?íratu’l-Quds, but which will be converted into National ?a?íratu’l-Quds as soon as the National Assemblies are formed.

Of the countries requiring ?a?íratu’l-Quds assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, Pakistan and Burma, the beloved Guardian feels that steps should be taken immediately to purchase the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in the following countries: Colombo, Ceylon, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Guardian feels you should, if you have not done so, include in your budget for the current year an item to cover the purchase of these two ?a?íratu’l-Quds.

The Guardian calls attention to the fact that the ?a?íratu’l-Quds cannot be a rented place. It must be a property owned by the Bahá’í Community. It need not be an elaborate structure, but a small modest house will suffice. Until such time as the National Assembly is formed and incorporated, it can be held in the name of the local Assembly, if it is incorporated, and if not, in the name of an individual.

The Guardian will appreciate advice from you as quickly as possible of the steps being taken to fulfil this important task of the second phase of the Ten Year Plan. He feels both of these properties should be purchased during the current year.

P.S. The Guardian requests that you inform ail the friends that their most important duty at the present time is the fulfilment of the tasks of the Ten Year Crusade. This calls for the sacrifice of local activities in order that the national and international development of the Faith may go forward uninterruptedly. No local institutions should be started. The National Assembly should see that money is not spent on local centres at this time, and the friends should be encouraged to concentrate on the national and international activities of the Faith.

[Page 370]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 11, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving letters of May 28th and 31st, with regard to the translation of a Bahá’í pamphlet into Pali, and the publication of the same pamphlet into Punjabi, have been received. This is excellent news, and will bring great happiness to our beloved Guardian.

He feels that during the second year of the Ten Year Crusade, great progress should be made in the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature, and he is therefore very happy to learn of the completion of these two tasks.

As soon as the pamphlet is printed in Pali, will you please send me a copy Air Mail for the Guardian?

JULY 5, 1954

GUARDIAN ASSURES BHUTAN PIONEERS ARDENT PRAYERS SURROUNDING THEM. LOVING GREETINGS.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

July 11, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Co-workers,

Your loving letter of June 28th has been received and its contents presented to the beloved Guardian.

He is greatly delighted to learn of the translation now being carried out by your Assembly through Mr. M. S. Mihaeloff, of Bradford, England. The Guardian wishes you to convey his deep appreciation to Mr. Mihaeloff for the historic and outstanding work he is doing in connection with these translations.

Your plan of teaching in various countries by means of the pamphlet translated into Georgian is highly meritorious.

Our records have been corrected to show the names and ages of the children who are pioneering in Pondicherry.

With regard to the details of the Temple site, your original letter of May 28th was held by me awaiting the receipt of the map, which you said was being sent under separate cover. As soon as the map

[Page 371]

arrived the entire subject was presented to our beloved Guardian.

You may be interested to know that those of us here at the World Centre are doing everything we can to save the time and the labours of our beloved Guardian. When anything is presented to him, he wishes it presented fully and completely, so that he may make a decision, and then the matter be closed. He does not wish to read a letter, and then find an important map, which is necessary to complete the information, is not available. On the other hand, he does not wish a partial report of anything; he wishes a final report, so that the matter can come to him and be decided.

Thus you will understand why I did not present to the Guardian your letter of May 28th until the map and full data was available.

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

July 11, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian was greatly pleased to receive information concerning the settlement of pioneers in Bhutan.

He sincerely hopes they will be able to remain permanently in Bhutan, so that the Cause might become firmly established there, and in turn they become the spiritual conquerors of that important country. The Guardian asks that you assure them of his prayers in their behalf. The Guardian likewise wishes you to assure the pioneers to Socotra of his prayers. He hopes the obstacle may be removed, so that they may be able to establish the faith firmly in Socotra in due course. In the meantime he understands the pioneers are remaining in Mokalla, Hadhramut…

The beloved Guardian appreciates the manner in which your Assembly Is carrying forward the work of the Ten Year Crusade in the teaching field and the translation field and he hopes during the next year, in the development of the Faith throughout India, Pakistan and Burma, where the goal is the establishment of more Assemblies, more Groups and more isolated Centres.

[Page 372]

July 22, 1954

Dear Bahá’í co-workers,

Your loving letter of May 28th, giving the details concerning the land which you propose to purchase for the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár near New Delhi has been presented to our beloved Guardian, together with the maps which you later sent, showing its location.

The beloved Guardian approves the purchase of the particular piece of land which you have in mind.

He feels there is no longer any necessity for you to send in further reports concerning the matter, but that you should proceed with its purchase at the earliest possible moment. In other words, the next report which he receives from you concerning this important matter he hopes will convey the good news that the land has been purchased.

He sends you his loving greetings, and assures you of his prayers in your behalf.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

July 23, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Referring to your letter of June 26th, advising that one of the Iranian friends from Poona wishes to pioneer in Central America, the beloved Guardian feels that no Bahá’ís from India should pioneer in the Western Hemisphere. He feels that the responsibilities of the Indian Bahá’ís are very heavy, and he does not wish any pioneers to go from India to settle in any western countries, whether the pioneer be a Persian or an Indian.

There has been no change in the Guardian’s instructions with regard to Iranian believers going to the Americas; and this matter should be handled directly by the National Assembly, without referring the instances to the Guardian.

The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.

[Page 373]

[To the National Spiritual Assembly]

August 8, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Co-workers,

Referring to your loving letter of July 15th, file 680/77, in which you inform me that one of the dear friends of Kashmir wishes to offer a beautiful chandelier for one of the Shrines, the beloved Guardian greatly values the spirit of devotion which animates this dear brother, and he wishes you to convey to him his personal and warm appreciation.

He feels, however, that we have a sufficient number of chandeliers in the Shrines at the present time; and that therefore the Cause would be better served if this friend sold the chandelier and contributed the proceeds to one of the Bahá’í funds, for the carrying out of the Ten Year Crusade. In other words, the Shrines are well taken care of now with suitable illumination.

What is needed more than anything else now is financial assistance for the various activities etc. of the Crusade, and if our dear friend sold the chandelier and contributed the money toward the funds, it would be highly meritorious.

Please inform this dear friend of the Guardian’s assurance of his prayers in his behalf, and of his loving greetings.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

August 15, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Will you please refer to my letter of July 22nd, with regard to the purchase of land for the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár near New Delhi.

The beloved Guardian is very anxious that this land be purchased as quickly as possible; and therefore would welcome advice from you at an early date that you have been able to conclude arrangements to own the property for this very important project of the Ten Year Crusade.

[Page 374]

[To Mr. K.H. Irani]

August 15, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your loving letter of August 9th, has just come to hand, giving the joyous news of the confirmation of additional Bahá’ís in Zanzibar. The Guardian has been overjoyed on learning of the victories which your noble efforts are now achieving in that important centre…

The purpose of a pioneer going to Zanzibar is to teach the cause, and you apparently have been eminently successful in this work, having already confirmed three new believers…

He therefore hopes that every obstacle may be removed from your path, so that you may be able to establish the Faith even more strongly in that important country…

He sends you his loving greetings.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

September 25, 1954

Dearly Beloved Co-workers

On behalf of the beloved Guardian, I cabled you today, as follows:

“BELOVED GUARDIAN HIGHLY PLEASED, DEEPLY GRATEFUL SACRIFICIAL EFFORTS ASSEMBLY, FRIENDS, GLORIOUS VICTORY PURCHASE TEMPLE LAND.”

It is needless to comment on how highly pleased the beloved Guardian was to receive this glorious news. He has attached the utmost importance to this goal of the Ten Year Crusade. It is fitting that it should come during the second year of the Crusade, marking a new achievement of the Indian Friends, and distinguishing the opening of the second phase of the Crusade. May you be confirmed and guided in your efforts to continue in the path of service so as to ever win new victories for the Faith, and raise its banner ever higher in the fertile country of India and Pakistan.

The Guardian feels your Assembly should now consider the feasibility of purchasing sites for the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Jakarta, and Colombo, which in time will become the administrative centres of the National Assemblies to be established in those countries. The purchase

[Page 375]

now of those sites, would hasten the advent of the glorious day when the National Assemblies can be formed; which, of course, are further responsibilities as well as goals of the Indian Assembly.

These buildings should be located in the cities of Colombo and Jakarta. They need not be formidable structures, nor with large surrounding grounds; just something simple. They cannot be rented places, but must be a centre owned by the Bahá’ís exclusively.

The beloved Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf; that every obstacle may be removed from your path, and you be enabled to both spread the Glad Tidings throughout India and Pakistan, as well as the areas placed under your jurisdiction; but also to establish its institutions on a broad and lasting basis.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

October 4, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

It has come to my attention that our dear Bahá’í brother Khodadad H. Irani, serving in Zanzibar, has been able to confirm some three or four souls in the Faith.

The Guardian feels it is of the utmost importance that a strong Assembly be established in that city and country, and has therefore urged Mr. Irani to remain in Zanzibar, although he has many difficulties in doing so…

The Guardian feels there is nothing more important than the teaching work of the Cause; and therefore urges your Assembly to handle all teaching matters very promptly indeed. In the case of new Bahá’ís in new territories, the Guardian feels that any applications which are made for membership should be handled promptly; and if accepted by the Assembly, advice should be given at once to the individual or to the pioneer, with a warm expression of welcome into the Bahá’í fold.

As I wrote you previously, the beloved Guardian wishes Mr. Irani to stay in Zanzibar…

[Page 376]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

October 6, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving letter of September 24th has just come to hand, giving the glorious news of the purchase of the Temple land for India, in New Delhi. This is a great victory for the Faith, and should mark a new step in the spiritual unfoldment of the Faith in that vast continent. As each new goal of the Ten Year Crusade is achieved, it releases more divine power, and raises the standard and extent of service of all the friends.

The Guardian feels sure that if all of the believers in India, Pakistan and Burma will arise with renewed effort, they will be surprised at the great number of people they will bring to the Cause. The spirit of the day is for the teaching of the Faith, and every effort which is put forth in this field will surely yield an abundant harvest.

The beloved Guardian is greatly delighted now that the Bahá’ís own the site for the future Temple in India. He is deeply grateful to your Assembly and to all of the friends who took such an active part in this most important undertaking.

He assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends you his loving greetings.

[To Mr. Khodadad Irani]

December 6, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The contents of your letter of recent date was submitted to our beloved Guardian. He was delighted to learn of the progress of the Faith in Zanzibar, and of the additional individuals who are being confirmed in the Faith.

The Guardian is very happy indeed that you feel sure there will be an Assembly in Zanzibar by the coming Ri?ván.

There is no objection whatsoever to anyone declaring themselves a Bahá’í, regardless of their age. Therefore the African youth who wishes to become a Bahá’í should be permitted to do so, by all means. However, he cannot vote in elections etc. until he becomes 21 years of age, as the age for voting in Bahá’í elections is 21. However the age

[Page 377]

of spiritual maturity of an individual is 15; and therefore any youth of 18 should surely be permitted to declare his faith in Bahá’u’lláh.

The Guardian approves of the desire of Mr. Mohamed Ahmad to pioneer in the Belgian Congo if he can arrange the necessary entry there.

The Guardian not only approves, but will be appreciative of the settlement of Pemba by our dear brother, Mr. John C. Grenville. Such a service on his part will further enrich the great services rendered by his remarkable father and himself.

The Guardian assures you and all of the friends of his loving appreciation of their devoted services. He assures all of you of his prayers in your behalf, particularly Mr. Grenville and Mr. Ahmad, who are planning to further extend the victories of the Faith.

DECEMBER 12, 1954

DELAY PURCHASE HAZIRAS COLOMBO JAKARTA HARMFUL FAITH ANXIOUS NEWS.

SHOGHI

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

December 13, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write in connection with the purchase of a national ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Jakarta and one in Colombo, for the National Spiritual Assemblies which are to be created during the Ten Year Crusade.

You will recall that the goal set by the Guardian for the second year of the Crusade contemplated the purchase of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in these two localities during the present Bahá’í year.

The beloved Guardian asks that your Assembly take this matter very actively in hand. He hopes you will be able to send him through me word shortly of progress which has been achieved in connection with this important goal.

[Page 378]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

December 31, 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian has been following with great interest the activities of the Assembly and the believers in India, in connection with the Ten Year Crusade.

He urges your Assembly and all the believers to redouble, or even treble their efforts, so that they may gain great victories at this time, when the divine confirmations are descending in such torrents. He feels the confirmations of the spirit are descending now to such a degree that every single effort will be rewarded with the greatest results.

He hopes to have reports from your Assembly in the near future of the wide dispersion of the believers; of an increase in the number of centres and of an increase in the number of Assemblies.

He noted from your report sent recently that actually the number of Bahá’í Assemblies and Centres in India has decreased rather than increased, which was a source of concern to him.

The Guardian wishes it explicitly understood that no funds must be used for any project outside of the immediate goals of the Ten Year Crusade. He wishes you to notify the Local Assemblies and Groups that they must not spend money for local projects of any type, or for any Bahá’í institution or service which does not come directly under the goals of the Ten Year Crusade. Even the projects of the Crusade should be handled just as economically as possible.

For instance, he noted quite a considerable budget set up for the Panchgani School, to provide an eating place for the students. He was wondering why any structure was necessary for this purpose, inasmuch as the students have been eating up to this time.

Thus you will see that no expansion of present facilities should be undertaken unless it is absolutely vital, and then such expansion must be on the most economic basis.


[Page 379]

1955

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

January 5, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of December 19th has been received, and its contents were presented to the beloved Guardian.

As his cables point out, the Guardian attaches the utmost importance to the projects of purchasing Hazíratu’l-Quds in Jakarta and Colombo; and he sincerely hopes your Assembly will be able to win these victories by Ridván, 1955.

The Cause is moving ahead on all fronts, which indicates that divine confirmations are descending on those who arise to serve and work for the goals of the Crusade. Thus he feels sure if your Assembly redouble their efforts in this connection, they will be able to achieve great victories.

JANUARY 27, 1955

EAGERLY AWAITING CONCLUSION PURCHASE COLOMBO JAKARTA CONSTRUCTION RANGOON HAZIRAS CABLE NEWS CONCERNED DELAY.

SHOGHI

[Page 380]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

February 10, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving letter of January 22nd, was presented to the beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to answer on his behalf.

The Guardian feels it would be unwise at this time to attempt to secure legal recognition for the Faith in Ruanda-Urundi or the Belgian Congo. He feels the friends should intensify their teaching efforts along the lines they have employed thus far, and which have produced such fine results.

In a letter received today from Mr. and Mrs. Collison, they point out that they have found there is no objection on the part of the Authorities in Ruanda-Urundi to the Faith, and therefore, they would now seem to feel that legal recognition is not necessary.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

February 12, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brothers and Sisters,

The beloved Guardian has directed me to inform you that he has just received cable advice from the American National Assembly that the ?a?íratu’l-Quds has been purchased, in Suva, Fiji Islands. This is another victory for the Faith, which has given the Guardian great pleasure.

I have presented to him the information contained in your letter of February 4th, and the attached copies of correspondence with regard to the ?a?íratu’l-Quds for Jakarta and Colombo. He is very anxious that these two projects be concluded at an early date and he hopes your strenuous handling with the Spiritual Assembly of Jakarta, and Mr. Amreliwala’s visit to Colombo, will bring about the desired results and achieve these most important goals.

[Page 381]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

February 20, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Co-workers,

The beloved Guardian would appreciate your advising, just as quickly as possible, what the present status is of the translation of Bahá’í literature into the following languages, which he understood your Assembly had undertaken quite some time ago:

Shans

Karin

Kachin

Malay

If this work is not well underway, the Guardian would urge you to arrange for suitable translation into these languages, and their publication.

The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.

[To Mr. K.H. Irani]

February 22, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian was more than delighted when I gave him the information contained in your recent letters, telling of the very rapid expansion of the Faith in Zanzibar, at the present time.

The Guardian asks that you convey to each of the new Bahá’ís his loving greetings, and express to them a warm welcome into the Bahá’í Faith. He sincerely hopes each and every one of them will be guided and confirmed in their service. They should of course continue their studies of the divine teachings, so that they may be able to share them effectively with others.

There is one thought which I might share with you; and that is that every individual should be encouraged to very carefully study the teachings before they become Bahá’ís, so that they may not only understand the teachings but their implications, and come to the point where they wish to become active supporters of the Cause of God.

The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.

[Page 382]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

February 23, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

I cabled you on February 14th as follows:

“GUARDIAN APPROVES HAZIRA DJAKARTA EVEN THOUGH TENANT CANNOT MOVE NOW ALSO FIFTY THOUSAND RUPEES SUFFICIENT COLOMBO URGES PROMPT CONCLUSION BOTH PURCHASES.” …

The Guardian agrees with you that the ?a?íratu’l-Quds at Jakarta should be purchased, even if the tenant in the building will not release it at the present time. The important thing is that we procure the ?a?íratu’l-Quds at once.

The Guardian likewise approves your thought that no more than 50,000 rupees should be spent for the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Colombo.

The question of these ?a?íratu’l-Quds has run along for some time. The Guardian is very anxious indeed that this land be purchased at the earliest possible date. He feels that the Cause will be hurt if the transactions are not concluded promptly.

He asks that your Assembly treat this as a special item of great importance. Please cable as soon as either transaction is concluded.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

February 27, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of February 17th, attaching copies of the pamphlet “Bahá’í Faith, A Faith For Unity”, printed in the Indonesian language, was duly received and presented to the beloved Guardian.

He is greatly delighted with this pamphlet, and expresses to you and the members of the Assembly his deep appreciation of their loving services in connection with the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature.

P.S. The Guardian wishes your Assembly to thank on his behalf any of the Friends in Indo-China who assisted in this work.

[Page 383]

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

March 1, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The contents of your letter of February 8th, file 2232/77 was presented to the beloved Guardian.

According to the Guardian’s record, Perm is a language which has been assigned to the Indian National Spiritual Assembly.

The Guardian feels it will be satisfactory for you to select one of the Perm dialects and translate the literature into that one dialect, rather than the two dialects.

He would appreciate information from your Assembly as to Which dialect you finally choose.

The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

March 1 1955

Dear Bahá’í Co-workers,

The contents of your letter of February 8th, file 2231/77 with regard to the National ?a?íratu’l-Quds, was presented to the beloved Guardian.

He feels it is proper for you to pursue this matter, in order to? secure the return of the property to your Body. He feels it will be satisfactory to handle the matter in a legal way, if you find that necessary.

The Guardian will pray for the success of your efforts in this matter.

MARCH 20, 1955

SUPPLICATING SHRINES SUCCESS FRIENDS INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS ATTAINMENT GOALS.

SHOGHI

[Page 384]

MARCH 25, 1955

BELOVED GUARDIAN DEEPLY APPRECIATIVE JOYOUS NAWRUZ GREETINGS. HE SENDS LOVING GREETINGS ASSURES PRAYERS.

APRIL 15, 1955

BELOVED GUARDIAN ASSURES PIONEER UDAYNARAIN DEEP APPRECIATION FERVENT PRAYERS. THOUGH TASK DIFFICULT GUARDIAN URGES PERSEVERANCE. SENDS LOVING GREETINGS.

APRIL 20, 1955

FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING BLESSINGS ASSEMBLIES URGE INDIVIDUALS REDEDICATE THEMSELVES CONCENTRATE ENERGIES ATTAINMENT GOALS PLAN.

SHOGHI

APRIL 26, 1955

CABLE IMMEDIATELY NAMES NEW ASSEMBLIES INDIA PAKISTAN BURMA.

SHOGHI

APRIL 29, 1955

URGE DELEGATES ROUSE ALL COMMUNITIES CONCENTRATE OBJECTIVES PLAN PARTICULARLY INTENSIFICATION TEACHING ACTIVITIES DISPERSAL MULTIPLICATION CENTRES ASSEMBLIES HOMEFRONT CONSOLIDATION CENTRES ALLOTTED NEWLY OPENED TERRITORIES. NEGLECT SACRED DUTIES HARMFUL INTERESTS FAITH IMMEDIATE SUSTAINED RESPONSE ESSENTIAL.

SHOGHI

APRIL 30, 1955

HEAVY VAST SACRED RESPONSIBILITIES RESTS NEW ASSEMBLY PRAYING BEFITTING DISCHARGE.

SHOGHI

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[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

May 15, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your loving letter of May 5th, has just been received, giving the wonderful news of the purchase of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Ceylon. The Guardian had received this information by cable and was greatly delighted. The pictures indicate a very attractive building, and one which should be a great asset to the Cause.

The Guardian was likewise pleased to learn that the purchase of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds in Jakarta may be finalized at any time.

The Guardian greatly appreciates the services of the friends in Ceylon and Jakarta, as well as the members of the Indian National Assembly. These are two very important victories for the Faith, and he wishes you to know how much he appreciates their being accomplished.

I have submitted to the Guardian that part of your letter which deals with amendment to the By-laws for the purpose of publishing and publicity as a necessary preliminary action to the establishment of the Publishing Trust.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

May 22, 1955

Dearly Beloved Brother,

Your letter of May 12th came duly to hand, likewise your other communications which deal with the terrible persecutions of our Bahá’í co-workers in Persia.

The beloved Guardian is greatly distressed over this serious attack in the Cradle of the Faith.

You no doubt have received cables from the American National Spiritual Assembly of the plans which have been worked out for the friends to take in order to assist in overcoming the negative forces at work in Persia. Of course all the friends are urged to pray continuously that the sufferings may be alleviated, the difficulties overcome, and out of the turmoil, new victories be won for the Faith.

This is the hour when the friends everywhere must redouble their efforts, because the minds of the people are now centred on these persecutions in Persia through the press and the radio notices of

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what has been done. If the Faith should spread rapidly in all countries, then the suffering of the Persian Bahá’ís at this time will not be in vain.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

June 10, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Co-workers,

The report which you have sent of the activities during May in connection with the winning of the goals of the Ten Year Crusade is very deeply appreciated. In a very concise and brief manner you have given all the information concerning the progress of the Ten Year Crusade. The Guardian was very appreciative of the concise manner in which the information was presented to him.

The Guardian assures each and every one of you of his prayers in your behalf. He sincerely hopes that all of the friends will treble their efforts so as to offset the apparent harm which has been done the Cause by the completely unwarranted persecutions in Persia. The Guardian feels sure that ultimately these persecutions will redound favourably to the Faith; and be the means of not only spreading but assisting the Faith in the establishment of the institutions of the Cause in Iran.

At this particular hour when our Persian brothers are suffering, it is for the rest of the world to arise and carry the torch of the Cause higher, winning new victories on all fronts.

Mr. A. C. Joshi Mr. Isphandiar Bakhtiari Mr. S. Hishmatullah Koreshi

August 7, 1955

Dear Bahá’í’ Friends:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of July 3rd, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was indeed happy to learn that you, together with Mr. Abdur Rahman Chowdhry, representing the Public Relations Committee of the Bahá’ís of All-Pakistan, are endeavouring to secure formal recognition for the Bahá’ís of Pakistan as a non-Muslim Minority Community in that country.

He urges you to exercise the greatest wisdom in this undertaking,

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and not to become discouraged, but to persevere until you have achieved your goal. This is a highly meritorious service you are rendering the Faith; and he assures you he will ardently supplicate that your efforts may be crowned with complete success.

He will also remember in his loving prayers the Bahá’ís of All-Pákistán.

May the Beloved bless your highly meritorious efforts, guide your steps, and graciously assist you to lend a tremendous impetus to the spread and consolidation of our glorious Faith. Your true brother,

Shoghi

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

September 2, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your loving letter of August 24th has come duly to hand, telling of the outstanding work which your Assembly is doing in connection with the terrible persecutions of the Bahá’ís in Persia.

Needless to say, the Guardian has been extremely distressed during this entire period, and has done everything possible to alleviate their sufferings.

From word that we have received, it appears the appeals made by the followers over the world, and specially the appeals made by such countries as India, the United States, England etc. have had great effect in causing the Government of Persia to restrain the prejudiced, bigoted mullahs, and the fanatical people. Our appeal to the United Nations has had great effect.

So far we have not received reports of any serious difficulties during the month of Muharram; and now that the first 10 days have passed, it appears the friends in Persia may be spared from physical persecution.

We have received word however that instructions have been issued that all Government employees who are Bahá’ís should be dismissed; which of course will entail untold economic difficulty.

I am sure the Guardian will be greatly appreciative of the photograph of the Intercontinental Conference held in New Delhi, when it is received.

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[To Mr. Khodadad H. Irani]

September 2, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you in connection with your loving letter of July 27th, telling of the difficulties being experienced by the friends in Zanzibar, and their determination to serve the Faith under all circumstances…

The Guardian assures each and every one of the friends of his prayers for their guidance and confirmation. He admires their devotion to the Faith, and greatly values their consecration to its divine principles.

The Guardian was happy to learn through a cable from the Indian National Spiritual Assembly that a pioneer had left for Pemba. He assures this dear friend of his prayers in his behalf.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

September 23, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your loving letter of September 15th, together with photographs of the Spiritual Assemblies at Jakarta and Kuching; Certificate of Registration of the Gwalior Assembly; and photos of the ?a?íratu’l-Quds at Jakarta, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The beloved Guardian was greatly pleased to receive these photographs and Certificate of Registration. It is his plan to have all of them framed, and placed in the Mansion at Bahjí.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

October 25, 1955

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your loving letter of September 16th was received and submitted to the beloved Guardian.

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The beloved Guardian has indicated that we can not compromise in anyway in connection with political matters, and that it is impossible for a Bahá’í to be active in politics.

He therefore instructs that if…does not give up all political activities of every type, he must be deprived of his voting rights entirely.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]

October 2 5, 1955

Dearly Beloved Co-workers,

Your loving letter of September 28th came duly to hand, and was submitted to our beloved Guardian.

The beloved Guardian advises that the piece of land in Karachi which was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bakhtiari some years ago, can be considered as the endowment for Karachi. It is not necessary to buy an additional piece of land; and the One Thousand Dollars already donated by Mrs. Collins will be utilized under the Guardian’s directions for some other purpose.

The beloved Guardian greatly values the manner in which the National Assembly is undertaking the activities of the Ten Year Crusade. He sends you his loving greetings.

[To The National Spiritual Assembly]