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Abstract:
Includes formatted, proofread version (of pp. 1-478 only).
Notes:
See also In Memoriam.

The Bahá'í World:
Volume 13 (1954-1963)

compiled by Universal House of Justice.
published in Bahá'í World
Haifa, Israel: Baha'i World Centre, 1970

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The Bahá`í World, Vol. 13, partial

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PART ONE


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This Page is Intentionally Blank.

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THE BAHÁ'Í WORLD

I

AIMS AND PURPOSES OF THE
BAHÁ'Í FAITH


By HORACE HOLLEY


UPON
the spiritual foundation established by Bahá'u'lláh during the forty year period of His Mission (1853-1892), there stands to-day an independent religion represented by over twelve thousand local communities of believers. These communities geographically spread throughout all five continents. In point of race, class, nationality and religious origin, the followers of Bahá'u'lláh exemplify well-nigh the whole diversity of the modern world. They may be characterized as a true cross section of humanity, a microcosm which, for all its relative littleness, carries within it individual men and women typifying the macrocosm of mankind.

None of the historic causes of association served to create this world-wide spiritual community. Neither a common language, a common blood, a common civil government, a common tradition nor a mutual grievance acted upon Bahá'ís to supply a fixed center of interest or a goal of material advantage. On the contrary, membership in the Bahá'í community in the land of its birth even to this day has been a severe disability, and outside of Persia the motive animating believers has been in direct opposition to the most inveterate prejudices of their environment. The Cause of Bahá'u'lláh has moved forward without the reinforcement of wealth, social prestige or other means of public influence.

Every local Bahá'í community exists by the voluntary association of individuals who consciously overcome the fundamental sanctions evolved throughout the centuries to justify the separations and antagonisms of human society. In America, this association means that white believers accept the spiritual equality of their Negro fellows. In Europe, it means the reconciliation of Protestant and Catholic upon the basis of a new and larger faith. In the Orient, Christian, Jewish and Muhammadan believers must stand apart from the rigid exclusiveness into which they were born.

The central fact fact to be noted concerning the nature of the Bahá'í Faith is that it contains a power, fulfilled in the realm of conscience, which can reverse the principal momentum of modern civilization — the drive toward division and strife — and initiate its own momentum moving steadily in the direction of unity and accord. It is in this power, and not in any criterion upheld by the world, that the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh has special significance.

The forms of traditional opposition vested in nationality, race, class and creed are not the only social chasms which the Faith has bridged. These are even more implacable,if less visible differences between types and temperaments, such as flow inevitably from the contact of rational and emotional individuals, of active and passive dispositions, undermining capacity for co-operation in every organized society, which attain mutual understanding and harmony in the Bahá'í community. For personal congeniality, the selective principle elsewhere continually op-

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erative within the field of voluntary action, is an instinct which Bahá'ís must sacrifice to serve the principle of the oneness of mankind. A Bahá'í community, therefore, is a constant and active spiritual victory, an overcoming of tensions which elsewhere come to the point of strife. No mere passive creed nor philosophic gospel which need never be put to the test in daily life has produced this world fellowship devoted to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh.

The basis of self-sacrifice on which the Bahá'í community stands has created a religious society in which all human relations are transformed from social to spiritual problems. This fact is the door through which one must pass to arrive at insight of what the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh means to this age.

The social problems of the age are predominantly political and economic. They are problems because human society is divided into nations each of which claims to be an end and a law unto itself and into classes each of which has raised an economic theory to the level of a sovereign and exclusive principle. Nationality has become a condition which overrides the fundamental humanity of all the peoples concerned, asserting the superiority of political considerations over ethical and moral needs. Similarly, economic groups uphold and promote social systems without regard to the quality of human relationships experienced in terms of religion. Tensions and oppositions between different groups are organized for dominance and not for reconciliation. Each step toward more complete partisan organization increases the original tension and augments the separation of human beings; as the separation widens, the element of sympathy and fellowship on the human level is eventually denied.

In the Bahá'í community the same tensions and instinctive antagonisms exist, but the human separation has been made impossible. The same capacity for exclusive doctrines is present, but no doctrine representing one personality or one group can secure a hearing. All believers alike are subject to one spiritually supreme sovereignty in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Disaffected individuals may withdraw. The community remains. For the Bahá'í teachings are in themselves principles of life and they assert the supreme value of humanity without doctrines which correspond to any particular environment or condition. Thus members of the Bahá'í community realize their tensions and oppositions as ethical or spiritual problems, to be faced and overcome in mutual consultation.Their faith has convinced them that the "truth" or "right" of any possible situation is not derived from partisan victcry {sic} but from the needs of the community as an organic whole.

A Bahá'í community endures without disruption because only spiritual problems can be solved. When human relations are held to be political or social problems they are removed from the realm in which rational will has responsibility and influence. The ultimate result of this degradation of human relationships is the frenzy of desperate strife — the outbreak of inhuman war.

THE RENEWAL OF FAITH


"Therefore the Lord of Mankind has caused His holy, divine Manifestations to come into the world. He has revealed His heavenly books in order to establish spiritual brotherhood, and through the power of the Holy Spirit has made it possible for perfect fraternity to be realized among mankind."
— -`ABDU'L-BAHÁ


In stating that the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh is an independent religion, two essential facts are implied.

The first fact is that the Bahá'í Cause historically was not an offshoot of any prior social principle or community. The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are no artificial synthesis assembled from the modern library of international truth, which might be duplicated from the same sources. Bahá'u'lláh created a reality in the world of the soul which never before existed and could not exist apart from Him.

The second fact is that the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh is a religion, standing in the line of true religions: Christianity, Islám, Hinduism, Judaism, and other prophetic Faiths. Its existence, like that of early Christianity, marks the return of faith as a direct and personal experience of the will of God. Because the divine will itself has been revealed in terms of human reality, the followers of Bahá'u'lláh are confident that their personal limitations can be transformed to an inflow of spiritual reinforcement from the higher world. It is

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
VIEW OF BAHJÍ AT BEGINNING OF SHOGHI EFFENDI'S MINISTRY
Photograph shows Bahjí in the 1920's. Left to right: House occupied by the Covenant-breakers, Balcony of the Mansion, Entrance to Bahá'u'lláh's Tomb, Pilgrim House.


Caption of the Picture at the Bottom of the Page:

The same view thirty years later showing transformation made by Shoghi Effendi.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
SHRINE OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH IN BAHJÍ
The entrance to the Holy Tomb as it appeared after the passing of
`Abdu'l-Bahá.


Caption of the Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
The same view some years later, showing transformation made by the
Guardian. Other embellishments were added later.


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for the privilege of access to the source of reality that they forego reliance upon the darkened self within and the unbelieving society without.

The religious education of Bahá'ís revolutionizes their inherited attitude toward their own as well as other traditional religions.

To Bahá'ís, religion is the life and teachings of the prophet. By identifying religion with its founder, they exclude from its spiritual reality all those accretions of human definition, ceremony and ritualistic practice emanating from followers required from time to time to make compromise with an unbelieving world. Furthermore, in limiting religion to the prophet they are able to perceive the oneness of God in the spiritual oneness of all the prophets. The Bahá'í born into Christianity can wholeheartedly enter into fellowship with the Bahá'í born into Muhammadanism because both have come to understand that Christ and Muhammad reflected the light of the one God into the darkness of the world. If certain teachings of Christ differ from certain teachings of Moses or Muhammad, the Bahá'ís know that all prophetic teachings are divided into two parts: one, consisting of the essential and unalterable principles of love, peace, unity and cooperation, renewed as divine commands in every cycle; the other, consisting of external practices (such as diet, marriage and similar ordinances) conforming to the requirements of one time and place.

This Bahá'í teaching leads to a profounder analysis of the process of history. The followers of Bahá'u'lláh derive mental integrity from the realization made so clear and vivid by `Abdu'l-Bahá that true insight into history discloses the uninterrupted and irresistible working of a Providence not denied nor made vain by any measure of human ignorance and unfaith.

According to this insight, a cycle begins with the appearance of a prophet or manifestation of God, through whom the spirits of men are vivified and reborn. The rise of faith in God produces a religious community, whose power of enthusiasm and devotion releases the creative elements of a new and higher civilization. This civilization comes to its fruitful autumn in culture and mental achievement, to give way eventually to a barren winter of atheism, when strife and discord bring civilization to an end. Under the burden of immorality, dishonor and cruelty marking this phase of the cycle, humanity les helpless until te spiritual leader, the prophet, once more returns in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Such is the Bahá'í reading of the book of the past. Its reading of the present interprets these world troubles, this general chaos and confusion, as the hour when the renewal of religion is no longer a racial experience, a rebirth of one limited area of human society, but the destined unification of humanity itself in one faith and one order. It is by the parable of the vineyard that Bahá'ís of the Christian West behold their tradition and their present spiritual reality at last inseparably joined, their faith and their social outlook identified, their reverence for the power of God merged with intelligible grasp of their material environment. A human society which has substituted creeds for religion and armies for truth, even as all ancient prophets foretold, must needs come to abandon its instruments of violence and undergo purification until conscious, humble faith can be reborn.

THE BASIS OF UNITY


"The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee.

— -BAHÁ'U'LLÁH



Faith alone, no matter how wholehearted and sincere, affords no basis on which the organic unity of a religious fellowship can endure. The faith of the early Christians was complete, but its degree of inner conviction when projected outward upon the field of action soon disclosed a fatal lack of social principle. Whether the outer expression of love implied a democratic or an aristocratic order, a communal or individualistic society, raised fundamental questions after the crucifixion of the prophet which none had the authority to solve.

The Bahá'í teaching has this vital distinction, that it extends from the realm of conscience and faith to the realm of societal action. It confirms the substance of faith not merely as a source of individual development but as a definitely ordered relationship to the community. Those who inspect the Bahá'í Cause

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
PURIFICATION OF THE HARAM-I-AQDAS IN BAHJÍ
Appearance of the gardens adjacent to the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh at the time of Shoghi
Effendi's passing in November 1957. Beyond the screen of tall trees on the left is the
house occupied by enemies of the Faith since 1892.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
View after demolition of the house and and the completion of the same garden to the wall
surrounding the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh. On the right is the Holy Tomb. This picture
was taken in the spring of 1958.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
DEMOLITION OF THE HOUSE OF THE COVENANT-BREAKERS
On the right is the roof of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh, the
Holiest Spot in the Bahá'í world. The upper story of the
Mansion where He passed away is seen on the left.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
This building was demolished under the supervision of the Hands
of the Cause in December 1957. Shoghi Effendi had planned
to supervise this long-anticipated work personally.


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Two Pictures:

Caption Between the Two Pictures:

PURIFICATION OF THE HARAM-I-AQDAS
These two walls of the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí were situated buildings
formerly occupied by enemies of the Faith.
Above: Star design in garden created by Shoghi Effendi.
Below: Extension of the garden to meet northern wall of Mansion.


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superficially may deny its claim to be a religion for the reason that it lacks most of the visible marks by which religions are recognized. But in place of ritual or other formal worship it contains a social principle linking people to a community, the loyal observance of which makes spiritual faith co-terminous with life itself. The Bahá'ís, having no professional clergy, forbidden ever to have a clergy, understand that religion, in this age, consists in an "attitude toward God reflected in life." They are therefore conscious of no division between religious and secular actions.

The inherent nature of the community created by Bahá'u'lláh has great significance at this time, when the relative values of democracy, of constitutional monarchy, of aristocracy and of communism are everywhere in dispute.

Of the Bahá'í community it may be declared definitely that its character does not reflect the communist theory. The rights of the individual are fully safeguarded and the fundamental distinctions of personal endowment natural among all people are fully preserved. Individual rights, however, are interpreted in the light of the supreme law of brotherhood and not made a sanction for selfishness, oppression and indifference.

On the other hand, the Bahá'í order is not a democracy in the sense that it proceeds from the complete sovereignty of the people, whose representatives are limited to carrying out the popular will. Sovereignty, in the Bahá'í community, is attributed to the Divine prophet, and the elected representatives of the believers in their administrative function look to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh for their guidance, having faith that the application of His universal principles is the source of order throughout the community. Every Bahá'í administrative body feels itself a trustee, and in this capacity stands above the plane of dissension and is free of that pressure exerted by factional groups.

The local community on April 21 of each year elects by universal adult suffrage an administrative body of nine members called the Spiritual Assembly. This body, with reference to all Bahá'í matters, has sole power of decision. It represents the collective conscience of the community with respect to Bahá'í activities. Its capacity and power are supreme within certain definite limitations.

The various states and provinces unite, through delegates elected annually according to the principle of proportionate representation, in the formation of a National Spiritual Assembly for their country or natural geographical area. This National Spiritual Assembly, likewise composed of nine members, administers all national Bahá'í affairs and may assume jurisdiction of any local matter felt to be of more than local importance. Spiritual Assemblies, local and national, combine an executive, a legislative and a judicial function, all within the limits set by the Bahá'í teachings. They have no resemblance to religious bodies which can adopt articles of faith and regulate the processes of belief and worship. They are primarily responsible for the maintenance of unity within the Bahá'í community and for the release of its collective power in service to the Cause. Membership in the Bahá'í community is granted, on personal declaration of faith.

Since the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921 fifty-six National Spiritual Assemblies have come into being, the members of which will elect, in 1963, the Universal House of Justice, a consummation which will perfect the administrative order of the Faith and create, for the first time in history, an elected international authority representing a world-wide community united in a single Faith.

Bahá'ís maintain their contact with the source of inspiration and knowledge in the sacred writings of the Faith by continuous prayer, study and discussion. No believer can ever have a finished, static faith any more than he can arrive at the end of his capacity for being. The community has but one meeting ordained in the teachings — the general meeting held every nineteen days given in the new calendar established by the Báb.

This Nineteen Day Feast is conducted simply and informally under a program divided into three parts. The first part consists in reading of passages from writings of Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb and `Abdu'l-Bahá — a devotional meeting. Next follows general discussion of Bahá'í activities — the business meeting of the local community. After the consultation, the community breaks bread together and enjoys fellowship.

The experience which Bahá'ís receive through participation in their spiritual world order is unique and cannot be paralleled in

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any other society. Their status of perfect equality as voting members of a constitutional body called upon to deal with matters which reflect, even though in miniature, the whole gamut of human problems and activities; their intense realization of kinship with believers representing so wide a diversity of races, classes and creeds; their assurance that this unity is based upon the highest spiritual sanction and contributes a necessary ethical quality to the world in this age — all these opportunities for deeper and broader experience confer a privilege that is felt to be the fulfillment of life.

THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW DAY


"If man is left in his natural state, he will become lower than the animal and continue to grow more ignorant and imperfect. The savage tribes of Central Africa are evidence of this. Left in their natural condition, they have sunk to the lowest depths and degrees of barbarism, dimly groping in a world of mental and moral obscurity. . . . God has purposed that the darkness of the world of nature shall be dispelled and the imperfect attributes of the natal self be effaced in the effulgent reflection of the Sun of Truth."
— -`ABDU'L-BBAHÁ



The complete text of the Bahá'í sacred writings has not yet been translated into English, but the present generation of believers has the supreme privilege of possessing the fundamental teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, together with the interpretation and lucid commentary of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and more recently the exposition made by Shoghi Effendi of the teachings concerning the world order which Bahá'u'lláh came to establish. Of special isignificance to Bahá'ís of Europe and America is the fact that, unlike Christianity, the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh rests upon the Prophet's own words and not upon a necessarily incomplete rendering of oral tradition. Furthermore, the commentary and explanation of the Bahá'í gospel made by `Abdu'l-Bahá preserves the spiritual integrity and essential aim of the revealed text, without the inevitable alloy of human personality which historically served to corrupt the gospel of Jesus and Muhammad. The Bahá'í, moreover, has this distinctive advantage, that his approach to the teachings is personal and direct, without the veils interposed by any human intermediary.

The works which supply the Bahá'í teachings to English-reading believers are The Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude), in which Bahá'u'lláh revealed the oneness of the Prophets and the identical foundation of all true religions, the law of cycles according to which the Prophet returns at intervals of approximately one thousand years, and the nature of faith; Hidden Words , the essence of truths revealed by Prophets in the past; prayers to quicken the soul's life and draw individuals and groups nearer to God; Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh (Tarázát, Tablet of the World, Kalimát, Tajallíyát, Bishárát, Ishráqát), which establish social and spiritual principles for the new era; Three Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh (Tablet of the Branch, Kitáb-`Ahd, Lawh-i-Aqdas), the appointment of `Abdu'l-Bahá as the Interpreter of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings, the testament of Bahá'u'lláh, and His message to the Christians; Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, addressed to the son of a prominent Persian who had been a most ruthless oppressor of the believers, a Tablet which capitulates many teachings Bahá'u'lláh had revealed in earlier works. The significant Tablets addressed to rulers of Europe and the Orient, as well as to the heads of American Republics, about the year 1870, summoning them to undertake measures for the establishment of Universal Peace have been, in selected excerpts, incorporated by Shoghi Effendi in his book, The Promised Day is Come.

The largest and most authentic body of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings in the English language consists of the excerpts chosen and translated by Shoghi Effendi, and published under the title of Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

In Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi has similarly given to the Bahá'í Community in recent years a wider selection and a superb rendering of devotional passages revealed by Bahá'u'lláh.

The published writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá are: Some Answered Questions, dealing with the lives of the Prophets, the interpretation of Bible prophecies, the nature of man, the true principle of evolution and other philosophical subjects; Mysterious Forces of Civilization, a work addressed to the people of Persia about fifty years ago to show them the way to

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Two Pictures:
Caption of the Picture at the Top of the Page:
VIEW FROM THE BALCONY OF THE MANSION OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH, BAHJÍ
Photograph shows completion of Shoghi Effendi's plan, carried out
after his passing — upper right hand path is third terrace.


Caption of the Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
Extension of the original garden in area occupied by house of
enemies which was demolished.


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Two Pictures:

Caption Under the Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
GATES LEADING TO THE TERRACES AT BAHJÍ
The two gates at the beginning of the long path which runs from north to south.
The three gates and stairs mounting up to the third terrace completed after Shoghi
Effendi's passing.


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sound progress and true civilization; Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá, three volumes of excerpts from letters written to individual believers and Bahá'í communities, which illumine a vast range of subjects; Promulgation of Universal Peace, from stenographical records of the public addresses delivered by `Abdu'l-Bahá to audiences in Canada and the United States in the year 1912; The Wisdom of `Abdu'l-Bahá, a similar record of His addresses in Paris; `Abdu'l-Bahá in London; and reprints of an number of individual Tablets, especially that sent to the Committee for a Durable Peace, the Hague, Holland, in 1919, and the and the Tablet addressed to the late Dr. Forel of Switzerland. The Will and Testament left by `Abdu'l-Bahá has special significance, in that it provided for the future development of Bahá'í administrative institutions and the Guardianship.

The most comprehensive selection of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá now available in the English language is Bahá'í World Faith.

To these writings has now been added the book entitled Bahá'í Administration, consisting of the general letters written by Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Faith since the Master's death in 1921, which explain the details of the administrative order of the Faith, and his letters on World Order, which make clear the social principles embedded in Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation.

These latter letters were in 1938 published in a volume entitled The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. Here the Guardian defines the relation of the Faith to the current social crisis, and sums up the fundamental tenets of the Bahá'í Faith.

After laying the basis of the administrative order, and explaining the relations between the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and the current movement and events which transform the world, the Guardian has written books of more general Bahá'í import. In The Advent of Divine Justice, Shoghi Effendi expounded the significance of `Abdu'l-Bahá's teaching plan for North America against a background of ethical and social regeneration required for Bahá'í service today. The Promised Day Is Come examines the history of the Faith in its early days when the world repudiated the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh and inflicted supreme suffering upon them and their followers, and develops the thesis that war and revolution come as penalty for rejection of the Manifestation of God.

In 1944, the centenary year of the Faith, the Guardian produced in God Passes By the authentic historical survey of the evolution of the Faith from its origin.

The literature has also been enriched by Shoghi Effendi's translation of The Dawn-Breakers, Nabíl's Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Revelation, a vivid eyewitness account of the episodes which resulted from the announcement of the Báb on May 23, 1844.

When it is borne in mind that the term "religious literature" has come to represent a wide diversity of subject matter, ranging from cosmic philosophy to the psychology of personal experience, from efforts to understand the universe plumbed by telescope and microscope to efforts to discipline the passions and desires of disordered human hearts, it is clear that an attempt to summarize the Bahá'í teachings would indicate the limitations of the person making the summary rather than offer possession of a body of sacred literature touching the needs of man and society at every point. The study of Bahá'í writing does not lead to any simplified program either for the solution of social problems or for the development of human personality. Rather should it be likened to a clear light which illumines whatever is brought under its rays, or to spiritual nourishment which gives life to the spirit. The believer at first chiefly notes the passages which seem to confirm his own personal beliefs or treats subjects close to his own previous training. This natural but nevertheless unjustifiable over-simplification of the nature of the Faith must gradually subside and give way to a deeper realization that the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are as an ocean, and all personal capacity is but the vessel that must be refilled again and again. The sum and substance of the Faith of Bahá'ís is not a doctrine, not an organization, but their acceptance of Bahá'u'lláh as Manifestation of God. In this acceptance lies the

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mystery of a unity that is general, not particular, inclusive, not exclusive, and limited in its gradual extension by no boundaries drawn in the social world nor arbitrary limitations accepted by habits formed during generations lacking a true spiritual culture.

What the believer learns reverently to be grateful for is a source of wisdom to which he may turn for continuous mental and moral development — a source of truth revealing a universe in which man's life has valid purpose and and assured realization. Human history begins to reflect the the working of a benevolent Providence; the sharp outlines of material sciences gradually fade out in light of one fundamental science of life; a profounder sociology, connected with the inner life, little by little displaces the superficial economic and political beliefs which like waves dash high an instant only to subside into the moveless volume of the sea.

"The divine reality," `Abdu'l-Bahá has said, "is unthinkable, limitless, eternal, immortal and invisible. The world of creation is bound by natural law, finite and mortal. The infinite reality cannot be said to ascend or descend. It is beyond the understanding of man, and cannot be described in terms which apply to the phenomenal sphere of the created world. Man, then, is in extreme need of the only power by which he is able to receive help from the divine reality, that power alone bringing him into contact with the source of all life.

"An intermediary is needed to bring two extremes into relation with each other. Riches and poverty, plenty and need: without an intermediary there could be no relation between these pairs of opposites. So we can say that there must be a Mediator between God and man, and this is none other than the Holy Spirit, which brings the created earth into relation with the `Unthinkable One,' the divine reality. The divine reality may be likened to the sun and the Holy Spirit to the rays of the sun. As the rays of the sun bring the light and warmth of the sun to the earth, giving life to all created things, so do the Manifestations bring the power of the Holy Spirit from the divine Sun of Reality to give light and life to the souls of men."

In expounding the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh to public audiences in the West, `Abdu'l-Bahá frequently encouraged the attitude that, while the liberal religionist might well welcome and endorse such tenets, the Bahá'í teachings after all bring nothing new, since the principles of Christianity contain all the essentials of spiritual truth. The believer whose heart has been touched by the Faith so perfectly exemplified by `Abdu'l-Bahá feels no desire for controversy, but must needs point out the vital difference between a living faith and a passive formula or doctrine. What religion in its renewal brings is first of all an energy to translate belief into life. This impulse, received into the profoundest depths of consciousness, requires no startling "newness" of concept or theory to be appreciated as a gift from the divine world. It carries its own assurance as a renewal of life itself; it is as a candle that has been lighted, and in comparison with the miracle of light the discussion of religion as a form of belief becomes secondary in importance. Were the Bahá'í Faith no more than a true revitalization of the revealed truths of former religions, it would by that quickening quality of inner life, that returning to God, still assert itself as the supreme fact of human experience in this age.

For religion returns to earth in order to re-establish a standard of spiritual reality. It restores the quality of human existence, its active powers, when that reality has become overlaid with sterile rites and dogmas which substitute empty shadow for substance. In the person of the Manifestation it destroys all those imitations of religion gradually developed through the centuries and summons humanity to the path of sacrifice and devotion.

Revelation, moreover, is progressive as well as periodic. Christianity in its original essence not only reignited the candle of faith which, in the years since Moses, had become extinguished — it amplified the teachings of Moses with a new dimension which history has seen exemplified in spread of faith from tribe to nations and peoples. Bahá'u'lláh has given religion its world dimension, fulfilling the fundamental purpose of every previous Revelation. His Faith stands as the reality within Christianity, within Islám, within the religion of Moses, the spirit of each, but expressed in teachings which relate to all mankind.

The Bahá'í Faith, viewed from within, is religion extended from the individual to embrace humanity. It is religion universalized;

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Two Pictures:

Caption Under the Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
TWO VIEWS OF THE LONG PATH IN BAHJÍ
Above: From the new terrace, near the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, looking south.
Below: The gate at the other end of the same path, looking north.


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Picture with the Caption:
ENTRANCE TO THE HOLIEST BAHÁ'Í SHRINE IN THE WORLD
Shoghi Effendi greatly beautified the surroundings of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh in
Bahjí, near `Akká, during the last years of his life.
The new door of oak, with carved gilded rosettes, was made in Italy.


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is teaching for the individual, spiritually identical with the teaching of Christ, supplies the individual with an ethics, a sociology, an ideal of social order, for which humanity in its earlier stages of development was not prepared. Individual fulfillment has been given an objective social standard of reality, balancing the subjective ideal derived from religion in the past. Bahá'u'lláh has removed the false distinction between the "spiritual" and "material" aspects of life, due to which religion has become separate from science, and morality has been divorced from all social activities. The whole arena of human affairs has been brought within the realm of spiritual truth, in the light of the teaching that materialism is not a thing but a motive within the human heart.

The Bahá'í learns to perceive the universe as a divine creation in which man has his destiny to fulfill under a beneficent Providence whose aims for humanity are made known through Prophets who stand between man and the Creator. He learns his true relation to the degrees and orders of the visible universe: his true relation to God, to himself, to his fellow man, to mankind. The more he studies the Bahá'í teachings, the more he becomes imbued with the spirit of unity, the more vividly he perceives the law of unity working in the world today, indirectly manifest in the failure which has overtaken all efforts to organize the principle of separation and competition, directly manifest in the power which has brought together the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in East and West. He has the assurance that the world's turmoil conceals from worldly minds the blessings long foretold, now forgotten, in the sayings which prophesied the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Sacred Literature of the Bahá'í Faith conveys enlightenment. It inspires life. It frees the mind. It disciplines the heart. For believers, the World is not a philosophy to be learned, but the sustenance of being throughout the span of mortal existence.

"The Bahá'í Faith," Shoghi Effendi stated in a recent letter addressed to a public official, "recognizes the unity of God and of His Prophets, upholds the principle of an unfettered search for truth, condemns all forms of superstition and prejudice, teaches that the fundamental purpose of religion is to promote concord and harmony, that it must go hand-in-hand with science, and that it constitutes the sole and ultimate basis of a peaceful, an ordered and progressive society. It inculcates the principle of equal opportunity, rights and privileges for both sexes, advocates compulsory education, abolishes extremes of poverty and wealth, recommends the adoption of an auxiliary international language, and provides the necessary agencies for the establishment and safeguarding of a permanent and universal peace."

Those who, even courteously, would dismiss a Faith so firmly based, will have to admit that, whether or not by their test the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are "new", the world's present plight is unprecedented, some without warning save in the utterances of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá, and day by day discloses dangers which strike terror to the responsible student of current affairs. Humanity itself now seems to share the prison and exile which an unbelieving generation inflicted upon the Glory of God many years ago.

A BACKGROUND OF HEROIC SACRIFICE


"O My beloved friends! You are the bearers of the name of God in this Day. You have been chosen as the repository of His mystery. It behooves each one of you to manifest the attributes of God, and to exemplify by your deeds and words the signs of His righteousness, His power and glory. . . . Ponder the words of Jesus addressed to His disciples, as He sent them forth to propagate the Cause of God."
— -THE BÁB



The words of Bahá'u'lláh differ in the minds of believers from the words of philosophers because they have been given substance in the experience of life itself. The history of the Faith stands ever as a guide and commentary upon the meaning and influence of the written text.

This history, unfolded contemporaneously with the rise of science and technology in the West, reasserts the providential element of human existence as it was reasserted by the spiritual consecration and personal suffering of the prophets and disciples of former times.

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
Night view of the gardens surrounding the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí,
near `Akká, Israel.
There are ninety-six lamp standards in the gardens.


The world of Islám one hundred years ago lay in a darkness corresponding to the most degraded epoch of Europe's feudal age. Between the upper and nether ,millstones of an absolutist state and a materialistic church, the people of Persia were ground to a condition of extreme poverty and ignorance. The pomp of the civil and religious courts glittered above the general ruin like firedamp on a rotten log.

In that world, however, a few devoted souls stood firm in their conviction that the religion of Muhammad was to be purified by the rise of a spiritual hero whose coming was assured in their interpretation of His gospel.

This remnant of the faithful one by one became conscious that in `Alí-Muhammad, since known to history as the Báb (the "Gate"), their hopes had been realized, and under the Báb's inspiration scattered themselves as His apostles to arouse the people and prepare them for the restoration of Islám to its original integrity. Against the Báb and His followers the whole force of church and state combined to extinguish a fiery zeal which soon threatened to bring their structure of power to the ground.

The ministry of the Báb covered only the six years between 1844 and His martyrdom by a military firing squad in the public square at Tabríz on July 9, 1850.

In the Báb's own written message He interpreted His mission to be the fulfillment of past religions and the hheralding of a world educator and unifier, one who was to come to establish a new cycle. Most of the Báb's chosen disciples, and many thousands of followers, were publicly martyred in towns and villages throughout the country in those years. The seed, however, had been buried too deep in hearts to be extirpated by any physical instrument of oppression.

After the Báb's martyrdom, the weight of official wrath fell upon Husayn-`Alí, around whom the Bábís centered their hopes. Husayn-`Alí was imprisoned in Tihrán, exiled to

P 19


Baghdád, from Baghdád sent to Constantinople under the jurisdiction of the Sultán, by the Turkish government to Adrianople, and at length imprisoned in the desolate barracks at `Akká.

In 1863, while delayed outside of Baghdád for the preparation of the caravan to be dispatched to Constantinople, Husayn-`Alí established His Cause among the Bábís who insisted on sharing His exile. His declaration was the origin of the Bahá'í Faith in which the Báb's Cause was fulfilled. The Bábís who accepted Husayn-`Alí as Bahá'u'lláh (the Glory of God) were fully conscious that His mission was not a development of the Bábí movement but a new Cause for which the Báb had sacrificed His life as the first of those who recognized the Manifestation or Prophet of the new age.

During forty years of exile and imprisonment Bahá'u'lláh expounded a gospel which interpreted the spiritual meaning of ancient scriptures, renewed the reality of faith in God and established as the foundation of human society the principle of the oneness of mankind. This gospel came into being in the form of letters addressed to individual believers and to groups in response to questions, in books of religious laws and principles, and in communications transmitted to the kings and rulers calling upon them to establish universal peace.

This sacred literature has an authoritative commentary and interpretation in the text of `Abdu'l-Bahá's writings during the years between Bahá'u'lláh's ascension in 1892 and `Abdu'l-Bahá's departure in 1921, Bahá'u'lláh having left a testament naming `Abdu'l-Bahá (His eldest son) as the Interpreter of His Book and Center of His Covenant.

The imprisonment of the Bahá'í community at `Akká ended at last in 1908, when the Young Turks party overthrew the existing political régime.

For three years prior to the first World War, `Abdu'l-Bahá, then nearly seventy years of age, journeyed throughout Europe and America, and broadcast in public addresses and innumerable intimate gatherings the new spirit of brotherhood and world unity penetrating His very being as the consecrated Servant of Bahá. The significance of `Abdu'l-Bahá's commentary and explanation is that it makes mental and moral connection with the thoughts and social conditions of both East and West. Dealing with matters of religious, philosophical, ethical and sociological nature, `Abdu'l-Bahá expounded all questions in the light of His conviction of the oneness of God and the providential character of human life in this age.

The international Bahá'í community, grief-stricken and appalled by its loss of the wise and loving "Master" in 1921, learned with profound gratitude that `Abdu'l-Bahá in a will and testament had provided for the continuance and future development of the Faith. This testament made clear the nature of the Spiritual Assemblies established in the text of Bahá'u'lláh and and inaugurated a new center for the widespread community of believers in the appointment of His grandson, Shoghi Effendi, as Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.

During the years of general confusion since 1921, the Bahá'í community has carried forward the increasing work of internal consolidation and administrative order and has become conscious of its collective responsibility for the promotion of the gospel of Bahá'u'lláh. In addition to the task of establishing the structure of local and national Spiritual Assemblies, the believers have translated Bahá'í literature into many languages, have sent teachers into all parts of the world, and have completed Bahá'í Houses of Worship in Wilmette, Kampala, Sydney and Frankfurt.

In the general letters issued to the Bahá'í community by Shoghi Effendi in order to execute the provisions of `Abdu'l-Bahá's testament, believers have been given what they are confident is the most profound and accurate analysis of the prevailing social disorder and its true remedy in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.

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Picture with the Caption:
Night view showing illumination of the Shrine of the Báb, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel.


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II

EXCERPTS FROM THE
BAHÁ'Í SACRED WRITINGS



1.. WORDS OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH


From THE KITÁB-I-ÍQÁN


THESE are the melodies, sung by Jesus, Son of Mary, in accents of majestic power in the Ridván of the Gospel, revealing those signs that must needs herald the advent of the Manifestation after Him. In the first Gospel according to Matthew it is recorded: And when they asked Jesus concerning the signs of His coming, He said unto them: "Immediately after the oppression1 of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the earth shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angel with a great sound of a trumpet."2 Rendered into the Persian tongue,3 the purport of these words is as follows: When the oppression and afflictions that are to befall mankind will have come to pass, then shall the sun be withheld from shining, the moon from giving light, the stars of heaven shall fall upon the earth, and the pillars of the earth shall quake. At that time, the signs of the Son of man shall appear in heaven, that is, the promised Beauty and Substance of life shall, when these signs have appeared, step forth out of the realm of the invisible into the visible world. And He saith: at that time, all the peoples and kindreds that dwell on earth shall bewail and lament, and they shall see that divine Beauty coming from heaven, riding upon the clouds with power, grandeur, and magnificence, sending His angels with a great sound of a trumpet. Similarly, in the three other Gospels, according to Luke, Mark, and John, the same statements are recorded. . . .

Inasmuch as the Christian divines have failed to apprehend the meaning of these words, and did not recognize their object and purpose, and have clung to the literal interpretation of the words of Jesus, they therefore became deprived of the streaming grace of the Muhammadan Revelation and its showering bounties. The ignorant among the Christian community, following the example of the leaders of their faith, were likewise prevented from beholding the beauty of the King of glory, inasmuch as those signs which were to accompany the dawn of the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation did not actually come to pass. Thus, ages have passed and centuries rolled away, and that most pure Spirit hath repaired unto the retreats of its ancient sovereignty. Once more hath the eternal Spirit breathed into the mystic trumpet, and caused the dead to speed out of their sepulchres of heedlessness and error unto the realm of guidance and grace. And yet, that expectant community still crieth out: When shall these things be? When shall the promised One, the object of our expectation, be made manifest, that we may arise for the triumph of His Cause, that we may sacrifice our substance for His sake, that we may offer up our lives in His path? In like manner, have such false imaginings caused other communities to stray from the Kawthar of the infinite mercy of Providence, and to be busied with their own idle thoughts.

Besides this passage, there is yet another

________________________
1 The Greek word used (Thlipsis) has two meanings: pressure and oppression.
2 Matthew XXIV 29-31.
3 The passage is quoted by Bahá'u'lláh in Arabic and interpreted in Persian.


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verse in the Gospel wherein He saith: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away."4 Thus it is that the adherents of Jesus maintained that the law of the Gospel shall never be annulled, and that whensoever the promised Beauty is made manifest and all the signs are revealed, He must needs re-affirm and establish the law proclaimed in the Gospel, so that there may remain in the world no faith but His faith. This is their fundamental belief. And their conviction is such that were a person to be made manifest with all the promised signs and to promulgate that which is contrary to the letter of the law of the Gospel, they must assuredly renounce him, refuse to submit to his law, declare him an infidel, and laugh him to scorn. This is proved by that which came to pass when the sun of the Muhammadan Revelation was revealed. Had they sought with a humble mind from the Manifestations of God in every Dispensation the true meaning of these words revealed in the sacred books-˜words the misapprehension of which hath caused men to be deprived of the recognition of the Sadratu'l-Muntahá, the ultimate Purpose˜they surely would have been guided to the light of the Sun of Truth, and would have discovered the mysteries of divine knowledge and wisdom.

This servant will now share with thee a dewdrop out of the fathomless ocean of the truths treasured in these holy words, that haply discerning hearts may comprehend all the allusions and the implications of the utterances of the Manifestations of Holiness, so that the overpowering majesty of the Word of God may not prevent them from attaining unto the ocean of His names and attributes, nor deprive them of recognizing the Lamp of God which is the seat of the revelation of His glorified Essence.

As to the words˜"Immediately after the oppression of those days"˜they refer to the time when men shall become oppressed and afflicted, the time when the lingering traces of the Sun of Truth and the fruit of the Tree of knowledge and wisdom will have vanished from the midst of men, when the reins of mankind will have fallen into the grasp of the foolish and ignorant, when the portals of divine unity and understanding˜the essential and highest purpose in creation˜will have been closed, when certain knowledge will have given way to idle fancy, and corruption will have usurped the station of righteousness. Such a condition as this is witnessed in this day when the reins of every community have fallen into the grasp of foolish leaders, who lead after their own whims and desire. On their tongue the mention of God hath become an empty name; in their midst His holy Word a dead letter. Such is the sway of their desires, that the lamp of conscience and reason hath been quenched in their hearts, and this although the fingers of divine power have unlocked the portals of the knowledge of God, and the light of divine knowledge and heavenly grace hath illumined and inspired the essence of all created things, in such wise that in each and every thing a door of knowledge hath been opened, and within every atom traces of the sun hath been made manifest. And yet, in spite of all these manifold revelations of divine knowledge, which have encompassed the world, they still vainly imagine the door of knowledge to be closed, and the showers of mercy to be stilled Clinging unto idle fancy, they have strayed far from the 'Urvatu'l-Vuthqá of divine knowledge. Their hearts seem not to be inclined to knowledge and the door thereof, neither think they of its manifestations, inasmuch as in idle fancy they have found the door that leadeth unto earthly riches, whereas in the manifestation of the Revealer of knowledge they find naught but the call to self-sacrifice. They therefore naturally hold fast unto the former, and flee from the latter. Though they recognize in their hearts the Law of God to be one and the same, yet from every direction they issue a new command, and in every season proclaim a fresh decree. No two are found to agree on one and the same law, for they seek no God but their own desire, and tread no path but the path of error. In leadership they have recognized the ultimate object of their endeavor, and account pride and haughtiness as the highest attainments of their hearts' desire. They have placed their sordid machinations above the divine decree, have renounced resignation unto the will of God, busied themselves with selfish calculation, and walked in the way of the hypocrite. With all their power and strength they strive to secure themselves in their petty pursuits, fearful

__________________
4Luke XXI 33.

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Picture with the Caption:
Aerial view of the Báb's Shrine on Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel. The square building
with a dome is the Shrine; oblong building in centre is the International Archives.


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lest the least discredit undermine their authority or blemish the display of their magnificence. Were the eye to be anointed and illumined with the collyrium of the knowledge of God, it would surely discover that a number of voracious beasts have gathered and preyed upon the carrion of the souls of men.

What "oppression" is greater than that which hath been recounted? What "oppression" is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This "oppression" is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error. For this reason, in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been made unto these things, namely that iniquity shall cover the surface of the earth and darkness shall envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to are well known, and as the purpose of this servant is to be brief, He will refrain from quoting the text of these traditions.

Were this "oppression" (which literally meaneth pressure) to be interpreted that the earth is to become contracted, or were men's idle fancy to conceive similar calamities to befall mankind, it is clear and manifest that no such happenings can ever come to pass. They will assuredly protest that this pre-requisite of divine revelation hath not been made manifest. Such hath been and still is their contention. Whereas, by "oppression" is meant the want of capacity to acquire spiritual knowledge and apprehend the Word of God. By it is meant that when the Day-star of Truth hath set, and the mirrors that reflect His light have departed, mankind will become afflicted with "oppression" and hardship, knowing not whither to turn for guidance. Thus We instruct thee in the interpretation of the traditions, and reveal unto thee the mysteries of divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest comprehend the meaning thereof, and be of them that have quaffed the cup of divine knowledge and understanding.

And now, concerning His words˜"The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." By the terms "sun" and "moon", mentioned in the writings of the Prophets of God, is not meant solely the sun and moon of the visible universe. Nay rather, manifold are the meanings they have intended for these terms. In every instance they have attached to them a particular significance. Thus, by the "sun" in one sense is meant those Suns of Truth Who rise from the dayspring of ancient glory, and fill the world with a liberal effusion of grace from on high. These Suns of Truth are the universal Manifestations of God in the worlds of His attributes and names, even as the visible sun that assisteth, as decreed by God, the true One, the Adored, in the development of all earthly things, such as the trees, the fruits, and colours thereof, the minerals of the earth, and all that may be witnessed in the world of creation, so do the divine Luminaries, by their loving care and educative influence, cause the trees of divine unity, the fruits of His oneness, the leaves of detachment, the blossoms of knowledge and certitude, and the myrtles of wisdom and utterance, to exist and be made manifest. Thus it is that through the rise of these Luminaries of God the world is made new, the waters of everlasting life stream forth, the billows of loving-kindness surge, the clouds of grace are gathered, and the breeze of bounty bloweth upon all created things. It is the warmth that these Luminaries of God generate, and the undying fires they kindle, which cause the light of the love of God to burn fiercely in the heart of humanity. It is through the abundant grace of these Symbols of Detachment that the Spirit of life everlasting is breathed into the bodies of the dead. Assuredly the visible sun is but a sign of the splendour of that Day-star of Truth, that Sun Which can never have a peer, a likeness, or rival. Through Him all things live, move, and have their being. Through His grace they are made manifest, and unto Him they all return. From Him all things have sprung, and unto the treasuries of His revelation they all have repaired. From Him all created things did proceed, and to the depositories of His law they did revert.

. . . Even as Jesus said: "Ye must be born again."5 Again He saith: "Except a man be

_______________________
5 John III 7

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born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."6 The purport of these words is that whosoever in every dispensation is born of the Spirit and is quickened by the breath of the Manifestation of Holiness, he verily is of those that have attained unto "life" and "resurrection" and have entered into the "paradise" of the love of God. And whosoever is not of them, is condemned to "death" and "deprivation," to the "fire" of unbelief, and to the "wrath" of God. In all the scriptures, the books and chronicles, the sentence of death, of fire, of blindness, of want of understanding and hearing, hath been pronounced against those whose lips have tasted not the ethereal cup of true knowledge, and whose hearts have been deprived of the grace of the holy Spirit in their day. . . .

In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of the terms "life,""resurrection," and "judgment." If one will ponder but for a while this utterance of 'Alí in his heart, one will surely discover all mysteries hidden in the terms "grave," "tomb," "Sirát," "paradise" and "hell." But oh! how strange and pitiful! Behold, all the people are imprisoned within the tomb of self, and lie buried beneath the nethermost depths of worldly desire! Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality. Even as it hath been said: "He who is a true believer liveth both in this world and in the world to come." If by "life" be meant this earthly life, it is evident that death must needs overtake it.

From GLEANINGS FROM THE WRITINGS OF
BAHÁ'U'LLÁH


CX


The Great Being saith: O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. This is the straight Path, the fixed and immovable foundation. Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure. Our hope is that the world's religious leaders and the rulers thereof will unitedly arise for the reformation of this age and the rehabilitation of its fortunes. Let them, after meditating on its needs, take counsel together and, through anxious and full deliberation, administer to a diseased and sorely-afflicted world the remedy it requires.. . . It is incumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favorably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men.. . . Please God, the peoples of the world may be led, as the result of the high endeavors exerted by their rulers and the wise and learned amongst men, to recognize their best interests. How long will humanity persist in its waywardness? How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society? . . . The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divideth and afflicteth the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth

___________________
6 John III 5-6

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to be lamentably defective. I beseech God, exalted be His glory, that He may graciously awaken the peoples of the earth, may grant that the end of their conduct may be profitable unto them, and aid them to accomplish that which beseemeth their station.

CXII


Behold the disturbances which, for many a long year, have afflicted the earth, and the perturbation that hath seized its peoples. It hath either been ravaged by war, or tormented by sudden and unforeseen calamities. Though the world is encompassed with misery and distress, yet no man hath paused to reflect what the cause or source of that may be. Whenever the True Counsellor uttered a word in admonishment, lo, they all denounced Him as a mover of mischief and rejected His claim. How bewildering, how confusing is such behavior! No two men can be found who may be said to be outwardly and inwardly united. The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union. The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny.

CLXIII


Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation. He discerneth the truth in all things, through the guidance of Him Who is the All-Seeing. The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error. The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: "The Kingdom is God's, the Almighty, the All-Praised!"

LXI


The world is in travail, and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight, that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody.

LXXI


The peoples of the world are fast asleep. Were they to wake from their slumber, they would hasten with eagerness unto God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. They would cast away everything they possess, be it all the treasures of the earth, that their Lord may remember them to the extent of addressing to them but one word. Such is the instruction given you by Him Who holdeth the knowledge of things hidden, in a Tablet which the eye of creation hath not seen, and which is revealed to none except His own Self, the omnipotent protector of all worlds. So bewildered are they in the drunkenness of their evil desires, that they are powerless to recognize the Lord of all being, Whose voice calleth aloud from every direction: "There is none other God but Me, the Mighty, the All-Wise."

Say: Rejoice not in the things ye possess; tonight they are yours, tomorrow others will possess them. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. Say: Can ye claim that what ye own is lasting or secure? Nay! By Myself, the All-Merciful. The days of your life flee away as a breath of wind, and all your pomp and glory shall be folded up as were the pomp and glory of those gone before you. Reflect, O people! What hath become of your bygone days, your lost centuries? Happy the days that have been consecrated to the remembrance of God, and blessed the hours which have been spent in praise of Him Who is the All-Wise. By My life! Neither the pomp of the mighty, nor the wealth of the rich, nor even the ascendancy of the ungodly will endure. All will perish, at a word from Him. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling, the Almighty. What advantage is there in the earthly things which men possess? That which shall profit

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Two Pictures

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
THIS CIRCLE OF CYPRESS TREES EXISTED IN THE DAYS OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH
It was here that He indicated to His son, `Abdu'l-Bahá, that He should buy this land
and bring the remains of the Báb from Persia and bury them in
the spot where the Shrine now stands.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
The same trees, with the white roof of the Báb's Shrine showing on their left and the
new garden made by Shoghi Effendi in the first years of His Guardianship.


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them, they have utterly neglected. Erelong, they will awake from their slumber, and find themselves unable to obtain that which hath escaped them in the days of their Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised. Did they but know it, they would renounce their all, that their names may be mentioned before His throne. They, verily, are accounted among the dead.

LXX


The world's equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind's ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System — the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.

Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause — a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it — verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.

Say: This is the infallible Balance which the Hand of God is holding, in which all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth are weighed, and their fate determined, if ye be of them that believe and recognize this truth. Say: Through it the poor have been enriched, the learned enlightened, and the seekers enabled to ascend unto the presence of God. Beware, lest ye make it a cause of dissension amongst you. Be ye as firmly settled as the immovable mountain in the Cause of your Lord, the Mighty, the Loving.

CLV


They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples.. . .

O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures. Thus hath it been sent down from the heaven of the Will of your Lord, the Lord of Revelation. Were any man to taste the sweetness of the words which the lips of the All-Merciful have willed to utter, he would, though the treasures of the earth be in his possession, renounce them one and all, that he might vindicate the truth of even one of His commandments, shining above the day spring of His bountiful care and loving-kindness. . . .

Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight! . . .

CI


The purpose underlying the revelation of every heavenly Book, nay, of every divinely-revealed verse, is to endue all men with righteousness and understanding, so that peace and tranquillity may be firmly established amongst them. Whatsoever instilleth assurance into the hearts of men, whatsoever exalteth their station or promoteth their contentment, is acceptable in the sight of God. How lofty is the station which man, if he but choose to fulfill his high destiny, can attain! To what depths of degradation he can sink, depths which the meanest of creatures have never reached! Seize, O friends, the chance which this Day offereth you, and deprive not yourselves of the liberal effusions of His grace. I beseech God that He may graciously enable every one of you to adorn himself, in this blessed Day, with the ornament of pure and holy deeds. He, verily, doeth whatsoever He willeth.

IV


This is the Day in which God's most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive

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to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests. Happy are those whom the all-glorious Pen was moved to remember, and blessed are those men whose names, by virtue of Our inscrutable decree, We have preferred to conceal.

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that all men may be graciously assisted to fulfil that which is acceptable in Our sight. Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.

V


This is the Day whereon the Ocean of God's mercy hath been manifested unto men, the Day in which the Day star of His loving-kindness hath shed its radiance upon them, the Day in which the clouds of His bountiful favor have overshadowed the whole of mankind. Now is the time to cheer and refresh the down-cast through the invigorating breeze of love and fellowship, and the living waters of friendliness and charity.

They who are the beloved of God, in whatever place they gather and whomsoever they may meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God, and in the manner of their celebration of His praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of the dust beneath their feet may attest the depth of their devotion. The conversation carried by these holy souls should be informed with such power that these same atoms of dust will be thrilled by its influence. They should conduct themselves in such manner that the earth upon which they tread may never be allowed to address to them such words as these: "I am to be preferred above you. For witness, how patient I am in bearing the burden which the husbandman layeth upon me. I am the instrument that continually imparteth unto all beings the blessings with which He Who is the Source of all grace hath entrusted me. Notwithstanding the honor conferred upon me, and the unnumbered evidences of my wealth — a wealth that supplieth the needs of all creation — behold the measure of my humility, witness with what absolute submissiveness I allow myself to be trodden beneath the feet of men. . . ."

Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should any one among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and good-will. Help him to see and recognize the truth, without esteeming yourself to be, in the least, superior to him, or to be possessed of greater endowments.

The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle. The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man's hand, the portion of others might fill a cup, and of others even a gallon-measure.

Every eye, in this Day, should seek what will best promote the Cause of God. He, Who is the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness! Nothing whatever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. . . .

From EPISTLE TO THE SON OF THE WOLF


Know thou that he is truly learned who hath acknowledged My Revelation, and drunk from the Ocean of My knowledge, and soared in the atmosphere of My love, and cast away all else besides Me, and taken firm hold on that which hath been sent down from the Kingdom of My wondrous utterance. He, verily, is even as an eye unto mankind, and as the spirit of life unto the body of all creation. Glorified be the All-Merciful Who hath enlightened him, and caused him to arise and serve His great and mighty Cause. Verily, such a man is blessed by the Concourse on high, and by them who dwell within the Tabernacle of Grandeur, who have quaffed My sealed Wine in My Name, the Omnipotent, the All-Powerful. . . .

"O ye friends of God in His cities and His

P 30

loved ones in His lands! This Wronged One enjoineth on you honesty and piety. Blessed the city that shineth by their light. Through them man is exalted, and the door of security is unlocked before the face of all creation. Happy the man that cleaveth fast unto them, and recognizeth their virtue, and woe betide him that denieth their station."

And in another connection these words were revealed: "We enjoin the servants of God and His handmaidens to be pure and to fear God, that they may shake off the slumber of their corrupt desires, and turn toward God, the Maker of the heavens and of the earth. Thus have We commanded the faithful when the Day-Star of the world shone forth from the horizon of `Iráq. My imprisonment doeth Me no harm, neither the tribulations I suffer, nor the things that have befallen Me at the hands of My oppressors. That which harmeth Me is the conduct of those who, though they bear My name, yet commit that which maketh My heart and My pen to lament. They that spread disorder in the land, and lay hands on the property of others, and enter a house without leave of its owner, We, verily, are clear of them, unless they repent and return unto God, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful."

And in another connection: "O peoples of the earth! Haste ye to do the pleasure of God, and war ye valiantly, as it behooveth you to war, for the sake of proclaiming His resistless and immovable Cause. We have decreed that war shall be waged in the path of God with the armies of wisdom and utterance, and of a goodly character and praiseworthy deeds. Thus hath it been decided by Him Who is the All-Powerful, the Almighty. There is no glory for him that committeth disorder on the earth after it hath been made so good. Fear God, O people, and be not of them that act unjustly."

And again in another connection: "Revile ye not one another. We, verily, have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth. Unto this beareth witness what the ocean of Mine utterance hath revealed amongst men, and yet most of the people have gone astray. If anyone revile you, or trouble touch you, in the path of God, be patient, and put your trust in Him Who heareth, Who seeth. He, in truth, witnesseth, and perceiveth, and doeth what He pleaseth, through the power of His sovereignty. He, verily, is the Lord of strength, and of might. In the Book of God, the Mighty, the Great, ye have been forbidden to engage in contention and conflict. Lay fast hold on whatever will profit you, and profit the peoples of the world. Thus commandeth you the King of Eternity, Who is manifest in His Most Great Name. He, verily, is the Ordainer, the All-Wise."

And yet again in another connection: "Beware lest ye shed the blood of any one. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men's hearts. We have abolished the law to wage holy war against each other. God's mercy hath, verily, encompassed all created things, if ye do but understand."

And yet again in another connection: "O people! Spread not disorder in the land, and shed not the blood of any one, and consume not the substance of others wrongfully, neither follow every accursed prattler."

And still again in another connection: "The Sun of Divine Utterance can never set, neither can its radiance be extinguished. These sublime words have, in this day, been heard from the Lote-Tree beyond which there is no passing: `I belong to him that loveth Me, that holdeth fast My commandments, and casteth away the things forbidden him in My Book.' "

And still again in another connection: "This is the day to make mention of God, to celebrate His praise, and to serve Him; deprive not yourselves thereof. Ye are the letters of the words, and the words of the Book. Ye are the saplings which the hand of Loving-kindness hath planted in the soil of mercy, and which the showers of bounty have made to flourish. He hath protected you from the mighty winds of misbelief, and the tempestuous gales of impiety, and nurtured you with the hands of His loving providence. Now is the time for you to put forth your leaves, and yield your fruit. The fruits of the tree of man have ever been and are goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character. Withhold not these fruits from the heedless. If they be accepted, your end is attained, and the purpose of life achieved. If not, leave them in their pastime of vain disputes. Strive, O people of God, that haply the hearts of the

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Two Pictures:

Caption Beneath the Bottom Picture:
SHOGHI EFFENDI'S TRANSFORMATION OF MOUNT CARMEL
In 1909 `Abdu'l-Bahá completed the Shrine of the Báb shown as a low white building
in the top picture. The appearance of the mountain was very much the same when
He passed away in 1921. During the early years of his ministry Shoghi Effendi built
the first terraces in front of the Shrine and by 1953 he had completed its superstructure
as well as eight terraces shown in the lower picture.


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divers kindreds of the earth may, through the waters of your forbearance and loving-kindness, be cleansed and sanctified from animosity and hatred, and be made worthy and befitting recipients of the splendors of the Sun of Truth."

In the fourth Ishráq (splendor) of the Ishráqát (Tablet of Splendors) We have mentioned: "Every cause needeth a helper. In this Revelation the hosts which can render it victorious are the hosts of praiseworthy deeds and upright character. The leader and commander of these hosts hath ever been the fear of God, a fear that encompasseth all things, and reigneth over all things."

In the third Tajallí (effulgence) of the Book of Tajallíyát (Book of Effulgences) We have mentioned: "Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man's life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words. Great indeed is the claim of scientists and craftsmen on the peoples of the world. Unto this beareth witness the Mother Book in this conspicuous station."

In truth, knowledge is a veritable treasure for man, and a source of glory, of bounty, of joy, of exaltation, of cheer and gladness unto him. Happy the man that cleaveth unto it, and woe betide the heedless.

It is incumbent upon thee to summon the people, under all conditions, to whatever will cause them to show forth spiritual characteristics and goodly deeds, so that all may become aware of that which is the cause of human upliftment, and may, with the utmost endeavor, direct themselves towards the most sublime Station and the Pinnacle of Glory. The fear of God hath ever been the prime factor in the education of His creatures. Well is it with them that have attained thereunto!

The first word which the Abhá Pen hath revealed and inscribed on the first leaf of Paradise is this: "Verily I say: The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world. It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation. Indeed, there existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame. This, however, is confined to but a few; all have not possessed, and do not possess, it. It is incumbent upon the kings and the spiritual leaders of the world to lay fast hold on religion, inasmuch as through it the fear of God is instilled in all else but Him."

The second word We have recorded on the second leaf of Paradise is the following: "The Pen of the Divine Expounder exhorteth, at this moment, the manifestations of authority and the sources of power, namely the kings and rulers of the earth — may God assist them — and enjoineth them to uphold the cause of religion, and to cleave unto it. Religion is, verily, the chief instrument for the establishment of order in the world, and of tranquillity amongst its peoples. The weakening of the pillars of religion hath strengthened the foolish, and emboldened them, and made them more arrogant. Verily I say: The greater the decline of religion, the more grievous the waywardness of the ungodly. This cannot but lead in the end to chaos and confusion. Hear Me, O men of insight, and be warned, ye who are endued with discernment!"

It is Our hope that thou wilt hear with attentive ears the things We have mentioned unto thee, that perchance thou mayest turn men away from the things they possess to the things that God possesseth. We entreat God to deliver the light of equity and the sun of justice from the thick clouds of waywardness, and cause them to shine forth upon men. No light can compare with the light of justice. The establishment of order in the world and the tranquillity of the nations depend upon it.

In the Book of Utterance these exalted words have been written down and recorded: "Say, O friends! Strive that haply the tribulations suffered by this Wronged One and by you, in the path of God, may not prove to have been in vain. Cling ye to the hem of virtue, and hold fast to the cord of trustworthiness and piety. Concern yourselves with the things that benefit mankind, and not with your corrupt and selfish desires. O ye followers of this Wronged One! Ye are the shepherds of mankind; liberate ye your flocks from the

P 33

wolves of evil passions and desires, and adorn them with the ornament of the fear of God. This is the firm commandment which hath, at this moment, flowed out from the Pen of Him Who is the Ancient of Days. By the righteousness of God! The sword of a virtuous character and upright conduct is sharper than blades of steel. The voice of the true Faith calleth aloud, at this moment, and saith: O people! Verily, the Day is come, and My Lord hath made Me to shine forth with a light whose splendor hath eclipsed the suns of utterance. Fear ye the Merciful, and be not of them that have gone astray."

The third word we have recorded on the third leaf of Paradise is this: "O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee, and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself. Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the depths of wretchedness and degradation. Great is the Day, and mighty the Call! In one of Our Tablets We have revealed these exalted words: `Were the world of the spirit to be wholly converted into the sense of hearing, it could then claim to be worthy to hearken unto the Voice that calleth from the Supreme Horizon; for otherwise, these ears that are defiled with lying tales have never been, nor are they now, fit to hear it.' Well is it with them that hearken; and woe betide the wayward."

We pray God — exalted be His glory — and cherish the hope that He may graciously assist the manifestations of affluence and power and the daysprings of sovereignty and glory, the kings of the earth — may God aid them through His strengthening grace — to establish the Lesser Peace. This, indeed, is the greatest means for insuring the tranquillity of the nations. It is incumbent upon the Sovereigns of the world — may God assist them — unitedly to hold fast unto this Peace, which is the chief instrument for the protection of all mankind. It is Our hope that they will arise to achieve what will be conducive to the well-being of man. It is their duty to convene an all-inclusive assembly, which either they themselves or their ministers will attend, and to enforce whatever measures are required to establish unity and concord amongst men. They must put away the weapons of war, and turn to the instruments of universal reconstruction. Should one king rise up against another, all the other kings must arise to deter him. Arms and armaments will, then, be no more needed beyond that which is necessary to insure the internal security of their respective countries. If they attain unto this all-surpassing blessing, the people of each nation will pursue, with tranquillity and contentment, their own occupations, and the groanings and lamentations of most men would be silenced. We beseech God to aid them to do His will and pleasure. He, verily, is the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, and the Lord of this world and of the world to come. It would be preferable and more fitting that the highly honored kings themselves should attend such an assembly, and proclaim their edicts. Any king who will arise and carry out this task, he verily will, in the sight of God, become the cynosure of all kings. Happy is he, and great is his blessedness!

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2. WORDS OF THE BÁB

Compiled by BEATRICE ASHTON


SHOGHI EFFENDI, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, has mentioned in God Passes By, his history of the first hundred years of the Faith, certain Writings of the Báb, in particular, which came to be well known and had a profound effect on the scholars and officials of Persia, not only during the years of the Báb's ministry (1844-1950) but in succeeding years as well.

In order that "the people of the West" may become better acquainted with some of these Writings of the Báb, excerpts from them are presented here, chronologically, as they have been identified and made available in translations by Shoghi Effendi, together with historical information concerning them given by the Guardian in his books and by Nabíl in his narrative, The Dawn-Breakers.

Concerning the Writings of the Báb Shoghi Effendi states:

"Alike in the magnitude of the writings emanating from His pen, and in the diversity of the subjects treated in those writings, His Revelation stands wholly unparalleled in the annals of any previous religion. He Himself affirms, while confined in Máh-Kú, that up to that time His writings, embracing highly diversified subjects, had amounted to more than five hundred thousand verses. `The verses which have rained from this Cloud of Divine mercy,' is Bahá'u'lláh's testimony in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, `have been so abundant that none hath yet been able to estimate their number. A score of volumes are now available. How many still remain beyond our reach! How many have been plundered and have fallen into the hands of the enemy, the fate of which none knoweth!' No less arresting is the variety of themes presented by these voluminous writings, such as prayers, homilies, orations, Tablets of visitation, scientific treatises, doctrinal dissertations, exhortations, commentaries on the Qur'án and on various traditions, epistles to the highest religious and ecclesiastical dignitaries of the realm, and laws and ordinances for the consolidation of His Faith and the direction of its activities."1

____________________

1 God Passes By, pp. 22-23.

THE QAYYÚMU'L-ASMÁ'



The Qayyúmu'l-Asmá' (Commentary on the Qur'án Súrih of Joseph) was revealed in Arabic, in Shíráz. The first chapter was revealed "in its entirety" in the presence of Mullá Husayn on "that memorable night" when the Báb declared His Mission, May 23, 1844. It was characterized by Bahá'u'lláh in His Kitáb-i-Íqán as "the first, the greatest and mightiest of all books" in the Bábí Dispensation.2

Its "fundamental purpose was to forecast what the true Joseph (Bahá'u'lláh) would, in a succeeding Dispensation, endure at the hands of one who was at once His arch-enemy and blood brother. This work, comprising above nine thousand three hundred verses' and divided into one hundred and eleven chapters, each chapter a commentary on the above-mentioned súrih, opens with the Báb's clarion-call and dire warnings addressed to the `concourse of kings and of the sons of kings'; forecasts the doom of Muhammad Sháh; commands his Grand Vazír, Hájí Mírzá Áqásí, to abdicate his authority; admonishes the entire Muslim eccleastical order; cautions more specifically the members of the Shí'ah community; extolls the virtues, and anticipates the coming, of Bahá'u'lláh, the `Remnant of God,' the `Most Great Master'; and proclaims, in unequivocal language, the independence and universality of the Bábí Revelation, unveils

___________________
2 ibid., p. 23.

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Two Pictures:

Caption Beneath Bottom Picture:
SHOGHI EFFENDI'S TRANSFORMATION OF MOUNT CARMEL
Twice the solid rock was cut back to enlarge the Báb's Shrine.
Above: Excavation in 1948 to make place for the new superstructure.
Below: Path shows curve of mountainside already cut away to allow three more
rooms to be added after `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing. Note lighter stone of new rooms
on right.


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its import, and affirms the inevitable triumph of its Author. It, moreover, directs the `people of the West' to `issue forth from your cities and aid the Cause of God'; warns the peoples of the earth of the `terrible, the most grievous vengeance of God'; threatens the whole islamic world with `the Most Great Fire' were they to turn aside from the newly-revealed Law; foreshadows the Author's martyrdom; eulogizes the high station ordained for the people of Bahá, the `Companions of the crimson-colored ruby Ark'; prophesies the fading out and utter obliteration of some of the greatest luminaries in the firmament of the Bábí Dispensation; and even predicts `afflictive torment,' in both the `Day of Our Return' and in `the world which is to come,' for the usurpers of the Imamate, who `waged war against Husayn (Imám Husayn) in the Land of the Euphrates.'

"It was this Book which the Bábís universally regarded, during almost the entire ministry of the Báb, as the Qur'án of the people of the Bayán; whose first and most challenging chapter was revealed in the presence of Mullá Husayn, on the night of its Author's Declaration; some of whose pages were borne, by that same disciple, to Bahá'u'lláh, as the first fruits of a Revelation which instantly won His enthusiastic allegiance; whose entire text was translated into Persian by the brilliant and gifted Táhirih; whose passages inflamed the hostility of Husayn Khán [the governor of the province of Fárs] and precipitated the initial outbreak of persecution in Shíráz; a single page of which had captured the imagination and entranced the soul of Hujjat; and whose contents had set afire the intrepid defenders of the Fort of Shaykh Tabarsí and the heroes of Nayríz and Zanján."3 In this book,moreover, the Báb refers to His wife and to His little son.4

" `I am the Mystic Fane,' the Báb thus proclaims His station in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá', `which the Hand of Omnipotence hath reared. I am the Lamp which the Finger of God hath lit within its niche and caused to shine with deathless splendor. I am the Flame of that supernal Light that glowed upon Sinai in the gladsome Spot, and lay concealed in the midst of the Burning Bush.'

" `O Qurratu'l-`Ayn!' He, addressing Himself in that same commentary, exclaims, `I recognize in Thee none other except the "Great Announcement" — -the Announcement voiced by the Concourse on high. By this name, I bear witness, they that circle the Throne of Glory have ever known Thee.

"' `With each and every Prophet, Whom We have sent down in the past,' He further adds, `We have established a separate Covenant concerning the "Remembrance of God' and His Day. Manifest, in the realm of glory and through the power of truth, are the "Remembrance of God" and His Day before the eyes of the angels that circle His mercy-seat.'

" `Should it be Our wish,' He again affirms, `it is in Our power to compel, through the agency of but one letter of Our Revelation, the world and all that is therein to recognize, in less than the twinkling of an eye, the truth of Our Cause.' "5

In this commentary on the Súrih of Joseph "we read the following references to Bahá'u'lláh: `Out of utter nothingness, O great and omnipotent Master, Thou hast, through the celestial potency of Thy might, brought me forth and raised me up to proclaim this Revelation. I have made none other but Thee my trust; I have clung to no will but Thy will. . . . O Thou Remnant of God! I have sacrificed myself wholly for Thee; I have accepted curses for Thy sake, and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love. Sufficient witness unto me is God, the Exalted, the Protector, the Ancient of Days.' `And when the appointed hour hath struck,' He again addresses Bahá'u'lláh in that same commentary, `do Thou, by the leave of God, the All-Wise, reveal from the heights of the Most Lofty and Mystic Mount a faint, an infinitesimal glimmer of Thy impenetrable Mystery, that they who have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic Splendor may faint away and die as they catch a lightening glimpse of the fierce and crimson Light that envelops Thy Revelation.' "6

" `As to those who deny Him Who is the Sublime Gate of God,' the Báb, for His part,

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3 ibid., pp. 23-24.
4 Dawn-Breakers, p. 76, notes 3 and 4; p. 81, note 2.
5 World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, by Shoghi Effendi, p. 126.
6 ibid., p. 101.


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has affirmed in the Qayyúm-i-Asmá', `for them We have prepared, as justly decreed by God, a sore torment. And He, God, is the Mighty, the Wise.' And further, `O peoples of the earth! I swear by your Lord! Ye shall act as former generations have acted. Warn ye, then, yourselves of the terrible, the most grievous vengeance of God. For God is, verily, potent over all things.' And again: `By My glory! I will make the infidels to taste, with the hands of My power, retributions unknown of anyone except Me, and will waft over the faithful those musk-scented breaths which I have nursed in the midmost heart of My throne.' "7

In this same commentary the Báb " has issued this stirring call to the kings and princes of the earth:

" `O concourse of kings and of the sons of kings! Lay aside, one and all, your dominion which belongeth unto God . . . Vain indeed is your dominion, for God hath set aside earthly possessions for such as have denied Him . . . O concourse of kings! Deliver with truth and in all haste the verses sent down by Us to the peoples of Turkey and of India, and beyond them, with power and with truth, to lands in both the East and the West . . . By God! If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do well; and if ye deny God and His signs, We, in very truth, having God, can well dispense with all creatures and all earthly dominion.'

"And again: `Fear ye God, O concourse of kings, lest ye remain afar from Him Who is His Remembrance (the Báb), after the Truth hath come unto you with a Book and signs from God, as spoken through the wondrous tongue of Him Who is His Remembrance. Seek ye grace from God, for God hath ordained for you, after ye have believed in Him, a Garden the vastness of which is as the vastness of the whole of Paradise.' "8

Addressing Muhammad Sháh: "O King of Islám! Aid thou, with the truth, after having aided the Book, Him Who is Our Most Great Remembrance, for God hath, in very truth, destined for thee, and for such as circle round thee, on the Day of Judgment, a responsible position in His Path. I swear by God, O Sháh! If thou showest enmity unto Him Who is His Remembrance, God will, on the Day of Resurrection, condemn thee, before the kings, unto hellfire, and thou shalt not, in very truth, find on that Day any helper except God, the Exalted. Purge thou, O Sháh, the Sacred Land (Tihrán) 0 from such as have repudiated the Book, ere the day whereon the Remembrance of God cometh, terribly and of a sudden, with His potent Cause, by the leave of God, the Most High. God, verily, hath prescribed to thee to submit unto Him Who is His Remembrance, and unto His Cause, and to subdue, with the truth and by His leave, the countries, for in this world thou hast been mercifully invested with sovereignty, and will, in the next, dwell, nigh unto the Seat of Holiness, with the inmates of the Paradise of His good-pleasure. Let not thy sovereignty deceive thee, O Sháh, for `every soul shall taste of death,' and this, in very truth, hath been written down as a decree of God."9

To the Shí'ih clericals "who, as Bahá'u'lláh declared, had they not intervened, Persia would have been subdued by the power of God in hardly more than two years" the Báb addressed the following words: "O concourse of divines! Fear God from this day onwards in the views ye advance, for He Who is Our Remembrance in your midst, and Who cometh from Us, is, in very truth, the Judge and Witness. Turn away from that which ye lay hold of, and which the Book of God, the True One, hath not sanctioned, for on the Day of Resurrection ye shall, upon the Bridge, be, in very truth, held answerable for the position ye occupied."10

"O concourse of Shí'ihs! Fear ye God, and Our Cause, which concerneth Him Who is the Most Great Remembrance of God. For great is its fire, as decreed in the Mother-Book." "O people of the Qur'án! Ye are as nothing unless ye submit unto the Remembrance of God and unto this Book. If ye follow the Cause of God, We will forgive you your sins, and if ye turn aside from Our command, We will, in truth, condemn your souls in Our Book, unto the Most Great Fire. We, verily, do not deal unjustly with men, even to the extent of a speck on a date stone."10

"And finally, in that same Commentary, this startling prophecy is recorded: `Erelong We will, in very truth, torment such as waged

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7 The Promised Day Is Come, by Shoghi Effendi, p. 2.
8 ibid., p. 27.
9 ibid., p. 43.
10 ibid., p. 88.


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war against Husayn (Imám Husayn), in the Land of the Euphrates, with the most afflictive torment, and the most dire and exemplary punishment.' `Erelong,' He also, referring to that same people, in that same Book, has written, `will God wreak His vengeance upon them, at the time of Our Return, and He hath, in very truth, prepared for them, in the world to come, a severe torment.' "11

_________
11 ibid., p. 89.

THE SAHÍFIY-I-BAYNU'L-HARAMAYN



The "Epistle between the Two Shrines" was "revealed between Mecca and Medina, in answer to questions posed by Mírzá Muhít-i-Kirmání," a Shaykhí leader, who had presented many questions to the Báb while in Mecca.This Epistle was revealed in January, 1845."12

Shoghi Effendi states that the visit of the Báb to Hijáz "was marked by two episodes of particular importance. The first was the declaration of His mission and His open challenge to the haughty Mírzá Muhít-i-Kirmání, one of the most outstanding exponents of the Shaykhí school, who at times went so far as to assert his independence of the leadership of that school assumed after the death of Siyyid Kázim by Hájí Muhammad Karím Khán, a redoubtable enemy of the Bábí Faith. The second was the invitation, in the form of an Epistle, conveyed by Quddús, to the Sherif of Mecca, in which the custodian of the House of God was called upon to embrace the truth of the new Revelation."13

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12 God Passes By, p. 24; Dawn-Breakers, pp. 136-137, 140.
13 God Passes By, p. 9.


EPISTLE TO THE SHERIF OF MECCA



"No sooner had the Báb performed the last of the observances in connection with His pilgrimage to Mecca than he addressed an epistle to the Sherif of that holy city, wherein He set forth, in clear and unmistakable terms, the distinguishing features of His mission, and called upon him to arise and embrace His Cause. This epistle, together with selections from His other writings, He delivered to Quddús, and instructed him to present them to the Sherif. The latter, however, too absorbed in his own material pursuits to incline his ear to the words which had been addressed to him by the Báb, failed to respond to the call of the Divine Message."14 "Seven years later, when in the course of a conversation with a certain Hájí Níyáz-i-Baghdádí, this same Sherif was informed of the circumstances attending the mission and martyrdom of the Prophet of Shíráz, he listened attentively to the description of those events and expressed his indignation at the tragic fate that had overtaken Him."15

_________
14 Dawn-Breakers, p. 138.
15 God Passes By p. 9.


KITÁBU'R-RÚH



This work of the Báb, "comprising seven hundred súrihs,"16 was also revealed in the period before His banishment to the fortress prison of Máh-Kú.

KHASÁ'IL-I-SAB`IH



The Khasá'il-i-Sab`ih (meaning literally "The Seven Qualifications") "enjoined the alteration of the formula of the adhán" (the Muslim call to prayer). This was a treatise in which the Báb had "set forth the essential requirements for those who had attained

P 39

Two Pictures:

Caption Under the Bottom Picture:
TERRACE IN FRONT OF THE BáB'S SHRINE, MOUNT CARMEL, HAIFA
Above: The appearance of the gardens and southwest corner of the Báb's Shrine
in 1924.
Below: Transformation on completion of superstructure thirty years later.


P 40

to the knowledge of the new Revelation and had recognized its claim." A copy was entrusted by the Báb to Qudddús when he departed from Búshihr to Shíráz. Quddús, soon after arriving in Shíráz, gave it to Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání, and "stressed the importance of putting into effect immediately all its provisions." Mullá Sádiq,"among the first believers who identified themselves with the Message proclaimed by the Báb," "impelled by the injunction of the Báb in the Khasá'il-i-Sab`ih to alter the sacrosanct formula of the adhán, sounded it in its amended form before a scandalized congregation in Shíráz, was instantly arrested, reviled, stripped of his garments, and scourged with a thousand lashes."17

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17 ibid., pp. 24, 10-11; Dawn-Breakers, pp. 143-144.


RISÁLIY-I-FURÚ-I-`ADLÍYYIH



Written originally in Arabic, this work of the Báb was "rendered into Persian by Mullá Muhammad-Taqíy-i-Harátí" while the Báb was staying at the residence of the Imám-Jum`ih in Isfáhán.18

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18 God Passes By, p. 24; Dawn-Breakers, p. 208.

COMMENTARY ON THE SÚRIH OF
KAWTHAR



The Commentary on the Súrih of Kawthar (Qur'án, 108) was revealed by the Báb during the third interview held with Him by Siyyid Yahyáy-i-Dárábí, surnamed Vahíd, sent by Muhammad Sháh "to investigate and report to him the true situation" concerning the Báb's claims. Vahíd was "one of the most erudite, eloquent and influential" of the subjects of the Sháh."Broad-minded, highly imaginative, zealous by nature, intimately associated with the court, he, in the course of three interviews, was completely won over by the arguments and personality of the Báb. . . . During the third interview the circumstances attending the revelation of the Báb's commentary on the súrih of Kawthar, comprising no less than two thousand verses, so overpowered the delegate of the Sháh that he, contenting himself with a mere written report to the Court Chamberlain, arose forthwith to dedicate his entire life and resources to the service of a Faith that was to requite him with the crown of martyrdom during the Nayríz upheaval." The one in whose soul this commentary of the Báb's "effected such a transformation" was designated by Bahá'u'lláh in His Kitáb-i-Íqán "that unique and peerless figure of his age." He was "a man of immense erudition and the most pre-eminent figure to enlist under the banner of the new Faith." To his "talents and saintliness" and "high attainments in the realm of science and philosophy" the Báb tesatified in His Dalá'il-Sab`ih ("Seven Proofs").19

________________
19 God Passes By, pp. 11-12, 24, 50.

COMMENTARY ON THE SÚRIH OF
VA'L-`ASR



The Commentary on the Súrih of Va'l-`Asr (Qur'án, 103) was revealed by the Báb during the first forty days of His sojourn in Isfáhán when he was "the guest of Mírzá Siyyid Muhammad, the Sultánu'l-`Ulamá, the Imám-Jum`ih, one of the principal eccleastical dignitaries of the realm, in accordance with the instructions of the governor of the city, Manúchihr Khán, the Mu`tamidu'd-Dawlih, who had received from the Báb a letter requesting him to appoint the place where He should dwell."

This well-known commentary was revealed "one night, after supper " at the request of the Imám-Jum`ih. The Báb, "writing with astonishing rapidity . . . in a few hours, had devoted to the exposition of the significance of only the first letter of that súrih — a letter which Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsá'í had stressed, and which Bahá'u'lláh refers to in the Kitáb-i-

P 41

Aqdas — verses that equalled in number a third of the Qur'án, a feat that called forth such an outburst of reverent astonishment from those who witnessed it that they arose and kissed the hem of His robe."20

_________
20 God Passes By, pp. 14, 24; Dawn-Breakers, p. 201.

DISSERTATION ON THE SPECIFIC
MISSION OF MUHAMMAD



Written at the request of Manúchihr Khán, the governor of Isfáhán, "a Georgian by origin and a Christian by birth," the Dissertation on the Specific Mission of Muhammad was revealed also in the house of the Imám-Jum`ih. "Before a brilliant assemblage of the most accomplished divines" the Mu`tahid "requested the Báb to expound and demonstrate the truth of Muhammad's specific mission. To this request, which those present had felt compelled to decline, the Báb readily responded. In less than two hours, and in the space of fifty pages, He had not only revealed a minute, a vigorous and original dissertation on this noble theme, but had also linked it with both the coming of the Qá'im and the return of the Imám Husayn — an exposition that prompted Manúchihr Khán to declare before that gathering his faith in the Prophet of Islám, as well as his recognition of the supernatural gifts with which the Author of so convincing a treatise was endowed."21

As Shoghi Effendi points out, "The great bulk of the writings emanating from the Báb's prolific mind was, however, reserved for the period of His confinement in Máh-Kú and Chihríq. To this period must probably belong the unnumbered Epistles which, as attested by no less an authority than Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb specifically addressed to the divines of every city in Persia, as well as to those residing in Najaf and Kárbilá, wherein He set forth in detail the errors committed by each one of them. It was during His incarceration in the fortress of Máh-Kú that He, according to the testimony of Shaykh Hasan-i-Zunúzí, who transcribed during those nine months the verses dictated by the Báb to His amanuensis, revealed no less than nine commentaries on the whole of the Qur'án — commentaries whose fate, alas, is unknown, and one of which, at least the Author Himself affirmed, surpassed in some respects a book as deservedly famous as the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá."22

_________
21 God Passes By, pp. 14-15; Dawn-Breakers, pp. 202-204.
22 God Passes By, p. 24.


THE PERSIAN BAYÁN



"Within the walls of that same fortress [Máh-Kú] the Bayán (Exposition) — that monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation and the treasury enshrining most of the Báb's references and tributes to, as well as His warning regarding, `Him Whom God will make manifest' — was revealed. Peerless among the doctrinal works of the Founder of the Bábí Dispensation; consisting of nine Váhids (Unities) of nineteen chapters each, except the last Váhid, comprising only ten chapters; not to be confounded with the smaller and less weighty Arabic Bayán, revealed during the same period; fulfilling the Muhammadan prophecy that `a Youth from Bani-Háshim . . . will reveal a new Book and promulgate a new Law'; wholly safeguarded from the interpolation and corruption which has been the fate of so many of the Báb's lesser works, this Book, of about eight thousand verses, occupying a pivotal position in Bábí literature, should be regarded primarily as a eulogy of the Promised One rather than a code of laws and ordinances designed to be a permanent guide to future generations. This Book at once abrogated the laws and ceremonials enjoined by the Qur'án regarding prayer, fasting, marriage, divorce and inheritance, and upheld, in its integrity, the belief in the prophetic mission of Muhammad, even as the Prophet of Islám before Him had annulled the ordinances of the Gospel and yet recognized the Divine origin

P 42

of the Faith of Jesus Christ. It moreover interpreted in a masterly fashion the meaning of certain terms frequently occurring in the sacred Books of previous Dispensations, such as Paradise, Hell, Death, Resurrection, the Return, the Balance, the Hour, the Last Judgment, and the like. Designedly severe in the rules and regulations it imposed, revolutionizing in the principles it instilled, calculated to awaken from their age-long torpor the clergy and the people, and to administer a sudden and fatal blow to obsolete and corrupt institutions, it proclaimed, through its drastic provisions, the advent of the anticipated Day, the Day when `the Summoner shall summon to a stern business,' when He will `demolish whatever hath been before Him, even as the Apostle of God demolished the ways of those that preceded Him.'

". . . Unlike the Prophets gone before Him, Whose Covenants were shrouded in mystery, unlike Bahá'u'lláh, Whose clearly defined Covenant was incorporated in a specially written Testament, and designated by Him as `the Book of My Covenant,' the Báb chose to intersperse His Book of Laws, the Persian Bayán, with unnumbered passages, some designedly obscure, mostly indubitably clear and conclusive, in which He fixes the date of the promised Revelation, extols its virtues, asserts its pre-eminent character, assigns to it unlimited powers and prerogatives, and tears down every barrier that might be an obstacle to its recognition. `He, verily,' Bahá'u'lláh, referring to the Báb in His Kitáb-i-Badí', has stated, `hath not fallen short of His duty to exhort the people of the Bayán and to deliver unto them His Message. In no age or dispensation hath any Manifestation made mention, in such detail and in such explicit language, of the Manifestation destined to succeed Him.' "23
". . . in the third Váhid of this Book there occurs a passage which, alike in its explicit reference to the name of the Promised One, and in its anticipation of the Order which, in a later age, was to be identified with His Revelation, deserves to rank as one of the most significant statements recorded in any of the Báb's writings. `Well is it with him,' is His prophetic announcement, `who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and rendereth thanks unto his Lord. For He will assuredly be made manifest. God hath indeed irrevocably ordained it in the Bayán.' "24

"The germ that holds within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of all those who follow me." "Of all the tributes I have paid to Him Who is to come after Me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference to Him in My Book, the Bayán, do justice to His Cause."25 "The Bayán and whosoever is therein revolve round the saying of `Him Whom God shall make manifest,' even as the Alif (the Gospel) and whosoever was therein revolved round the saying of Muhammad, the Apostle of God." "A thousand perusals of the Bayán cannot equal the perusal of a single verse to be revealed by `Him Whom God shall make manifest.' . . . Today the Bayán is in the stage of seed: at the beginning of the manifestation of `Him Whom God shall make manifest' its ultimate perfection will become apparent. . . The Bayán and such as are believers therein yearn more ardently after Him than the yearning of any lover after his beloved . . . The Bayán deriveth all its glory from `Him Whom God shall make manifest.' All blessing be upon him who believeth in Him and woe betide him that rejecteth His truth."26

"It is clear and evident that the object of all preceding Dispensations hath been to pave the way for the advent of Muhammad, the Apostle of God. These, including the Muhammadan Dispensation, have had, in their turn, as their objective the Revelation proclaimed by the Qá'im. The purpose underlying this Revelation, as well as those that preceded it, has, in like manner, been to announce the advent of the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest. And this Faith — the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest — in its turn, together with all the Revelations gone before it, have as their object the Manifestation destined to succeed it. And the latter, no less than all the Revelations preceding it, prepare the way for the Revelation which is yet to follow.

_________
23 ibid., pp. 24-25, 28.
24 ibid., p. 25.
25 World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 100.
25 ibid., pp. 100-101.


P 43

Two Pictures:

Caption Beneath the Bottom Picture:
SHOGHI EFFENDI'S TRANSFORMATION OF MOUNT CARMEL
Above: Looking down towards the Báb's Shrine, only the small gardens immediately
surrounding it had been completed by 1936.
Below: Twenty years later, the superstructure of the Shrine completed, new Inter-
national Archives Building erected, and a vast area of barren mountain converted
to gardens have made this one of the most attractive beauty spots of the eastern
Mediterranean.


P 44

The process of the rise and setting of the Sun of Truth will thus indefinitely continue — a process that hath had no beginning and will have no end."27

"`The Bayán,' the Báb in that Book, referring to the Promised One, affirms, `is, from beginning to end, the repository of all of His attributes, and the treasury of both His fire and His light.' `If thou attainest unto His Revelation,' He, in another connection declares, `and obeyest Him, thou wilt have revealed the fruit of the Bayán; if not, thou art unworthy of mention before God.'

" `O people of the Bayán!' He, in that same Book, thus warns the entire company of His followers, `act not as the people of the Qur'án have acted, for if ye do so, the fruits of your night will come to naught.' `Suffer not the Bayán,' is His emphatic injunction, `and all that hath been revealed therein to withhold you from that Essence of Being and Lord of the visible and invisible.' " 28

"And finally is this, His moving invocation to God: `Bear Thou witness that, through this Book, I have covenanted with all created things concerning the mission of Him Whom Thou shalt make manifest, ere the covenant concerning My own mission had been established. Sufficient witness art Thou and they that have believed in Thy signs.' "29

" ``How veiled are ye, O My creatures,' He, speaking with the voice of God, has revealed in the Bayán, `. . . who, without any right, have consigned Him unto a mountain (Máh-Kú), not one of whose inhabitants is worthy of mention.. . . With Him, which is with Me, there is no one except him who is one of the Letters of the Living of My Book. In His presence, which is My Presence, there is not at night even a lighted lamp! And yet, in places (of worship) which in varying degrees reach out unto Him, unnumbered lamps are shining! All that is on earth hath been created for Him, and all partake with delight of His benefits, and yet they are so veiled from Him as to refuse Him even a lamp!' "30

_________
27 ibid., p. 117
28 God Passes By, p. 29.
29 ibid., p. 30.
30 The Promised Day Is Come, p. 7.


THE ARABIC BAYÁN



The "smaller and less weighty Arabic Bayán" was also revealed during the Báb's confinement in Máh-Kú.31

_________
31God Passes By, p. 25.

TABLETS TO MUHAMMAD SHÁH



The first Tablet of the Báb to Muhammad Sháh was written following the Commentary of the Súrih of Joseph, and the second Tablet some two years later, after the Báb's Dissertation on the Specific Mission of Muhammad, revealed in Isfáhán. In the second Tablet to Muhammad Sháh the Báb wrote "craving an audience in which to set forth the truths of the new Revelation, and dissipate his doubts."32

"The Báb was still in Máh-Kú when when He wrote the most detailed and illuminating of His Tablets to Muhammad Sháh. Prefaced by a laudatory reference to the unity of God, to His Apostles and to the twelve Imáms; unequivocal in its assertion of the divinity of its Author and of the supernatural powers with which His Revelation had been invested; precise in the verses and traditions it cites in confirmation of so audacious a claim; severe in its condemnation of some of the officials and representatives of the Sháh's administration, particularly of the `wicked and accursed' Husayn Khán; moving in its description of the humiliation and hardships to which its writer had been subjected, this historic document resembles, in many of its features, the Lawh-i-Sultán, the Tablet addressed, under similar circumstances, from the prison fortress of `Akká, by Bahá'u'lláh to Nasiri'd-Din Sháh, and constituting His

_________
32 ibid., p. 24.

P 45

lengthiest epistle to any single sovereign."33

The Báb was confined in the fortress of Máh-Kú for nine months, about July, 1847, to April, 1848.34 From this mountain fortress He thus addressed Muhammad Sháh:

"I am the Primal Point from which have been generated all created things. I am the Countenance of God Whose splendor can never be obscured, the Light of God Whose radiance can never fade . . . All the keys of heaven God hath chosen to place on My right hand, and all the keys of hell on My left . . . I am one of the sustaining pillars of the Primal Word of God. Whosoever hath recognized Me, hath known all that is true and right, and hath attained all that is good and seemly . . . The substance wherewith God hath created Me is not the clay out of which others have been formed. He hath conferred upon Me that which the worldly-wise can never comprehend, nor the faithful discover . . .

"By My life! But for the obligation to acknowledge the Cause of Him Who is the Testimony of God . . . I would not have announced this unto thee. . . . In that same year (year 60) I despatched a messenger and a book unto thee, that thou mightest act towards the Cause of Him Who is the Testimony of God as befitteth the station of thy sovereignty . . .

"I swear by the truth of God! Were he who hath been willing to treat Me in such a manner to know who it is whom he hath so treated, he, verily, would never in his life be happy. Nay — I, verily, acquaint thee with the truth of the matter — it is as if he hath imprisoned all the Prophets, and all the men of truth, and all the chosen ones . . . Woe betide him from whose hands floweth evil, and blessed the man from whose hands floweth good . . .

"I swear by God! I seek no earthly goods from thee, be it as much as a mustard seed . . . I swear by the truth of God! Wert thou to know that which I know, thou wouldst forego the sovereignty of the world and of the next, that thou mightest attain My good-pleasure, through thine obedience unto the True One . . . Wert thou to refuse, the Lord of the world would raise up one who will exalt His Cause, and the Command of God will, verily, be carried into effect."35

"I swear by God! Shouldst thou know the things which in the space of these four years have befallen Me at the hands of thy people and thine army, thou wouldst hold thy breath from fear of God . . . Alas, alas, for the things which have touched Me! I swear by the Most Great Lord! Wert thou to be told in what place I dwell, the first person to have mercy on Me would be thyself. In the heart of a mountain is a fortress (Máh-Kú) . . . the inmates of which are confined to two guards and four dogs. Picture, then, My plight.. . . In this mountain I have remained alone, and have come to such a pass that none of those gone before Me have suffered what I have suffered, nor any transgressor endured what I have endured!"36

_________
33ibid., p. 26.
34 ibid., pp. 17-19.
35The Promised Day Is Come, pp. 43-44.
36 ibid., pp. 6-7.


DALÁ'IL-I-SAB`IH (SEVEN PROOFS)37



"The most important of the polemical works of the Báb," the Dalá'il-i-Sab`ih was also revealed during the Báb's confinement in Máh-Kú. "Remarkably lucid, admirable in its precision, original in conception, unanswerable in its argument, this work, apart from the many and divers proofs of His mission which it adduces, is noteworthy for the blame it assigns to the `seven powerful sovereigns ruling the world' in His day, as well as for the manner in which it stresses the responsibilities, and censures the conduct, of the Christian divines of a former age who, had they recognized the truth of Muhammad's mission, He contends, would have been followed by the mass of their co-religionists."38

" `Gracious God!' writes the Báb with reference to the ``seven powerful sovereigns ruling the world' in His day, `None of them hath been informed of His (the Báb's) Manifestation, and if informed, none hath believed in Him. Who knoweth, they may leave this world below full of desire, and without having

_________
37 For the translation into the French, by A. L. M. Nicolas of excerpts from this Tablet, see The Bahá'í World, Vol. VIII, p. 205.
38 God Passes By, p. 26.


P 46

realized that the thing for which they were waiting had come to pass. This is what happened to the monarchs that held fast unto the Gospel. They awaited the coming of the Prophet of God (Muhammad), and when He did appear, they failed to recognize Him. Behold how great are the sums which these sovereigns expend without even the slightest thought of appointing an official charged with the task of acquainting them in their own realms with the Manifestation of God! They would thereby have fulfilled the purpose for which they have been created. All their desires have been and are still fixed upon leaving behind them traces of their names.'

"The Báb, moreover, in that same treatise, censuring the failure of the Christian divines to acknowledge the truth of Muhammad's mission, makes this illuminating statement: `The blame falleth upon their doctors, for if these had believed, they would have been followed by the mass of their countrymen. Behold, then, that which hath come to pass! The learned men of Christendom are held to be learned by virtue of their safeguarding the teaching of Christ, and yet consider how they themselves have been the cause of men's failure to accept the Faith and attain unto salvation!' "39

_________
39 The Promised Day Is Come, p. 17.

LAWH-I-BURÚFÁT (TABLET OF THE LETTERS)



"During the Báb's confinement in the fortress of Chihríq, where He spent almost the whole of the two remaining years of His life, the Lawh-i-Hurúfát (Tablet of the Letters) was revealed, in honor of Dayyán — a Tablet which, however misconstrued at first as an exposition of the science of divination, was later recognized to have unravelled, on the one hand, the mystery of the Mustagháth, and to have abstrusely alluded, on the other, to the nineteen years which must needs elapse between the Declaration of the Báb and that of Bahá'u'lláh . . .

"To this period of incarceration in the fortresses of Máh-Kú and Chihríq — a period of unsurpassed fecundity, yet bitter in its humiliations and ever-deepening sorrows — belong almost all the written references, whether in the form of warnings, appeals or exhortations, which the Báb, in anticipation of the approaching hour of His supreme affliction, felt it necessary to make to the Author of a Revelation that was soon to supersede His own."40

This Tablet was revealed for "a prominent official of high literary ability . . . later surnamed Dayyán by the Báb,"41 on whom "He conferred the title of `the third Letter to believe in Him Whom God shall make manifest,' "42

According to Nabíl, "The mystery of the Mustagháth [literally, "He Who is invoked"] had long baffled the most searching minds among the people of the Bayán and had proved an unsurmountable obstacle to their recognition of the promised One. The Báb had Himself in that Tablet unraveled that mystery; no one, however, was able to understand the explanation which He had given. It was left to Bahá'u'lláh to unveil it to the eyes of all men."43

Bahá'u'lláh, in His Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, cites a passage from the Tablet of the Báb to Dayyán, prefacing it with these words:
"Dayyán, who, according to the words of Him Who is the Point . . . is the repository of the trust of the one true God . . . and the treasury of the pearls of His knowledge, was made by them to suffer so cruel a martyrdom that the Concourse on high wept and lamented. He it is whom He (the Báb) had taught the hidden and preserved knowledge and entrusted him therewith, through His words: `O thou who art named Dayyán! This is a hidden and preserved Knowledge. We have entrusted it unto thee, and brought it to thee, as a mark of honor from God, inasmuch as the eye of thine heart is pure. Thou wilt appreciate its value, and wilt cherish its
_________
40 God Passes By, p. 27.
41 The Dawn-Breakers, p. 303.
42 God Passes By, p. 28.
43 The Dawn-Breakers, pp. 304-305.


P 47
excellence. God, verily, hath deigned to bestow upon the Point of the Bayán a hidden and preserved Knowledge, the like of which God hath not sent down prior to this Revelation. More precious is it than any other knowledge in the estimation of God — glorified be He! He, verily, hath made it His testimony, even as He hath made the verses to be His testimony.' "44

_________
44op. cit., p. 175.

DENUNCIATORY TABLET TO HÁJÍ
MÍRZÁ ÁQÁSÍ



"It was during these years — years darkened throughout by the rigors of the Báb's captivity, by the severe indignities inflicted upon Him, and by the news of the disasters that overtook the heroes of Mázindarán and Nayríz — that He revealed, soon after His return from Tabríz, His denunciatory Tablet to Hájí Mírzá Áqásí. Couched in bold and moving language, unsparing in its condemnation, this epistle was forwarded to the intrepid Hujjat who, as corroborated by Bahá'u'lláh, delivered it to that wicked minister"45 [Grand Vazír of Muhammad Sháh]. This Tablet was given the name of the Khutbiy-i-Qahríyyih (literally, "Sermon of Wrath").46
_________
45 God Passes By, p. 27.
46 The Dawn-Breakers, p. 323.


KITÁB-I-PANJ-SHA`N



"In the Kitáb-i-Panj-Sha`n, one of His last works, He had alluded to the fact that the sixth Naw-Rúz after the declaration of His mission would be the last He was destined to celebrate on earth."47 . . . to `Azím He divulged, in the Kitáb-i-Panj-Sha`n, the name, and announced the approaching advent, of Him Who was to consummate His own Revelation. . . . `Wait thou,' is His statement to `Azím, `until nine will have elapsed from the time of the Bayán. Then exclaim: "Blessed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of Makers!' ' ' "48

_________
47 God Passes By, p. 51.
48 ibid., pp. 28, 29.Mullá Shaykh `Alí, surnamed `Azim (literally, "great") by the Báb, was one of the "outstanding figures among the eccleastical leaders of Khurásán" (Dawn-Breakers, p. 125).


Picture at the Bottom of the Page with the Caption:
Ornamental peacocks in the Bahá'í Gardens.


P 48

Three Pictures:
Caption at the Bottom of the Page:
Ornamentation in the Bahá'í Gardens.


P 49

3.. WORDS OF `ABDU'L-BAHÁ

From TALK GIVEN IN PHILADELPHIA


JUNE 9, 1912


FROM the time of the creation of Adam to this day there have been two pathways in the world of humanity: one the natural or materialistic, the other the religious or spiritual. The pathway of nature is the pathway of the animal realm. The animal acts in accordance with the requirements of nature, follows its own instincts and desires. Whatever its impulses and proclivities may be it has the liberty to gratify them; yet it is a captive of nature. It cannot deviate in the least degree from the road nature has established. It is utterly minus spiritual susceptibilities, ignorant of divine religion and without knowledge of the Kingdom of God. The animal possesses no power of ideation or conscious intelligence; it is a captive of the senses and deprived of that which lies beyond them. It is subject to what the eye sees, the ear hears, the nostrils sense, the taste detects and touch reveals. These sensations are acceptable and sufficient for the animal. But that which is beyond the range of the senses, that realm of phenomena through which the conscious pathway to the Kingdom of God leads, the world of spiritual susceptibilities and divine religion — of these the animal is completely unaware, for in its highest station it is a captive of nature.

One of the strangest things witnessed is that the materialists of today are proud of their natural instincts and bondage. They state that nothing is entitled to belief and acceptance except that which is sensible or tangible. By their own statements they are captives of nature, unconscious of the spiritual world, uninformed of the divine kingdom and unaware of heavenly bestowals. If this be a virtue the animal has attained it to a superlative degree, for the animal is absolutely ignorant of the realm of spirit and out of touch with the inner world of conscious realization. The animal would agree with the materialist in denying the existence of that which transcends the senses. If we admit that being limited to the plane of the senses is a virtue, the animal is indeed more virtuous than man, for it is entirely bereft of that which lies beyond, absolutely oblivious of the Kingdom of God and its traces, whereas God has deposited within the human creature an illimitable power by which he can rule the world of nature.

Consider how all other phenomenal existence and beings are captives of nature. The sun, that colossal center of our solar system, the giant stars and planets, the towering mountains, the earth itself and its kingdoms of life lower than the human — all are captives of nature except man. No other created thing can deviate in the slightest degree from obedience to natural law. The sun in its glory and greatness millions of miles away is held prisoner in its orbit of universal revolution, captive of universal natural control. Man is the ruler of nature. According to natural law and limitation he should remain upon the earth, but behold how he violates this command and soars above the mountains in aeroplanes. He sails in ships upon the surface of the ocean and dives into its depths in submarines. Man makes nature his servant; he harnesses the mighty energy of electricity for instance and imprisons it in a small lamp for his uses and conveniences. He speaks from the East to the West through a wire. He is able to store and preserve his voice in a phonograph. Though he is a dweller upon earth he penetrates the mysteries of starry worlds inconceivably distant. He discovers latent realities within the bosom of the earth, uncovers treasures, penetrates secrets and mysteries of the phenomenal world and brings to light that which according to nature's jealous laws should remain hidden, unknown and unfathomable. Through

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an ideal inner power man brings these realities forth from the invisible plane to the visible. This is contrary to nature's law.

It is evident therefore that man is ruler over nature's sphere and province. Nature is inert, man is progressive. Nature has no consciousness, man is endowed with it. Nature is without volition and acts perforce whereas man possesses a mighty will. Nature is incapable of discovering mysteries or realities whereas man is especially fitted to do so. Nature is not in touch with the realm of God, man is attuned to its evidences. Nature is uninformed of God, man is conscious of Him. Man acquires divine virtues, nature is denied them. Man can voluntarily discontinue vices, nature has no power to modify the influence of its instincts. Altogether it is evident that man is more noble and superior; that in him there is an ideal power surpassing nature. He has consciousness, volition, memory, intelligent power, divine attributes and virtues of which nature is completely deprived, bereft and minus; therefore man is higher and nobler by reason of the ideal and heavenly force latent and manifest in him.

How strange then it seems that man, notwithstanding his endowment with this ideal power, will descend to a level beneath him and declare himself no greater than that which is manifestly inferior to his real station. God has created such a conscious spirit within him that he is the most wonderful of all contingent beings. In ignoring these virtues he descends to the material plane, considers matter the ruler of existence and denies that which lies beyond. Is this virtue? In its fullest sense this is animalistic, for the animal realizes nothing more. In fact from this standpoint the animal is the greater philosopher because it is completely ignorant of the Kingdom of God, possesses no spiritual susceptibilities and is uninformed of the heavenly world. In brief, this is a view of the pathway of nature.

The second pathway is that of religion, the road of the divine Kingdom. It involves the acquisition of praiseworthy attributes, heavenly illumination and righteous actions in the world of humanity. This pathway is conducive to the progress and uplift of the world. It is the source of human enlightenment, training and ethical improvement; the magnet which attracts the love of God because of the knowledge of God it bestows. This is the road of the holy Manifestations of God for They are in reality the foundation of the divine religion of oneness. There is no change or transformation in this pathway. It is the cause of human betterment, the acquisition of heavenly virtues and the illumination of mankind.

Alas! that humanity is completely submerged in imitations and unrealities notwithstanding that the truth of divine religion has ever remained the same. Superstitions have obscured the fundamental reality, the world is darkened and the light of religion is not apparent. This darkness is conducive to differences and dissensions; rites and dogmas are many and various; therefore discord has arisen among the religious systems whereas religion is for the unification of mankind. True religion is the source of love and agreement amongst men, the cause of the development of praiseworthy qualities; but the people are holding to the counterfeit and imitation, negligent of the reality which unifies; so they are bereft and deprived of the radiance of religion. They follow superstitions inherited from their fathers and ancestors. To such an extent has this prevailed that they have taken away the heavenly light of divine truth and sit in the darkness of imitations and imaginations. That which was meant to be conducive to life has become the cause of death; that which should have been an evidence of knowledge is now a proof of ignorance; that which was a factor in the sublimity of human nature has proved to be its degradation. Therefore the realm of the religionist has gradually narrowed and darkened and the sphere of the materialist has widened and advanced; for the religionist has held to imitation and counterfeit, neglecting and discarding holiness and the sacred reality of religion. When the sun sets it is the time for bats to fly. They come forth because they are creatures of the night. When the lights of religion become darkened the materialists appear. They are the bats of night. The decline of religion is their time of activity; they seek the shadows when the world is darkened and clouds have spread over it.

His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh has risen from the eastern horizon. Like the glory of the sun He has come into the world. He has

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Two Pictures:

Caption of the Picture at the Top of the Page:
Reinternment of the remains of the father of Bahá'u'lláh, September 4, 1959, `Iráq.
Hand of the Cause Tarázu'lláh Samandarí is shown third from the left.


Caption of the Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
GRAVE OF THE INFANT SON OF THE BÁB
The transfer of his remains to a befitting resting place in Shíráz was effected in 1955.


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reflected the reality of divine religion, dispelled the darkness of imitations, laid the foundation of new teachings and resuscitated the world
. . .

TALK GIVEN IN NEW YORK

JUNE 8, 1912



The body-politic today is greatly in need of a physician. It is similar to a human body afflicted with severe ailments. A doctor diagnoses the case and prescribes treatment. He does not prescribe, however, until he has made the diagnosis. The disease which afflicts the body-politic is lack of love and absence of altruism. In the hearts of men no real love is found and the condition is such that unless their susceptibilities are quickened by some power so that unity, love and accord may develop within them, there can be no healing, no agreement among mankind. Love and unity are the needs of the body-politic today. Without these there can be no progress or prosperity attained. Therefore the friends of God must adhere to the power which will create this love and unity in the hearts of the sons of men. Science cannot cure the illness of the body-politic. Science cannot create amity and fellowship in human hearts. Neither can patriotism nor racial allegiance effect a remedy. It must be accomplished solely through the divine bounties and spiritual bestowals which have descended from God in this day for that purpose. This is an exigency of the times and the divine remedy has been provided. The spiritual teachings of the religion of God can alone create this love, unity and accord in human hearts.

Therefore hold to these heavenly agencies which God has provided, so that through the love of God this soul bond may be established, this heart attachment realized and the light of the reality of unity be reflected from you throughout the universe. If we do not hold fast to these divine agencies and means, no result will be possible. Let us pray to God that he will exhilarate our spirits so we may behold the descent of His bounties, illumine our eyes to witness His great guidance and attune our ears to enjoy the celestial melodies of the heavenly Word. This is our greatest hope. This is our ultimate purpose.

From TALK GIVEN IN BOSTON, MASS.

MAY 25, 1912



In the estimation of historians this radiant century is equivalent to one hundred centuries of the past. If comparison be made with the sum total of all former human achievements it will be found that the discoveries, scientific advancement and material civilization of this present century have equaled, yea far exceeded the progress and outcome of one hundred former centuries. The production of books and compilations of literature alone bear witness that the output of the human mind in this century has been greater and more enlightening than all the past centuries together. It is evident therefore that this century is of paramount importance. Reflect upon the miracles of accomplishment which have already characterized it, the discoveries in every realm of human research, inventions, scientific knowledge, ethical reforms and regulations established for the welfare of humanity, mysteries of nature explored, invisible forces brought into visibility and subjection, a veritable wonder-world of new phenomena and conditions heretofore unknown to man now open to his uses and further investigation. The East and West can communicate instantly. A human being can soar in the skies or speed in submarine depths. The power of steam has linked the continents. Trains cross the deserts and pierce the barriers of mountains; ships find unerring pathways upon the trackless oceans. Day by day discoveries are increasing. What a wonderful century this is! It is an age of universal reformation. Laws and statutes of governments, civil and federal, are in process of change and transformation. Sciences and arts are being molded anew. Thoughts

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are metamorphosed. The foundations of human society are changing and strengthening. Today sciences of the past are useless. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy, numberless other systems and theories of scientific and philosophical explanation are discarded, known to be false and worthless. Ethical precedents and principles cannot be applied to the needs of the modern world. Thoughts and theories of past ages are fruitless now. Thrones and governments are crumbling and falling. All conditions and requisites of the past unfitted and inadequate for the present time, are undergoing radical reform.

It is evident therefore that counterfeit and spurious religious teaching, antiquated forms of belief and ancestral imitations which are at variance with the foundations of divine reality must also pass away and be re-formed. They must be abandoned and new conditions be recognized. The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solutions for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation. Just as the thoughts and hypotheses of past ages are fruitless today, likewise dogmas and codes of human invention are obsolete and barren of product in religion. Nay, it is true that they are the cause of enmity and conducive to strife in the world of humanity; war and bloodshed proceed from them and the oneness of mankind finds no recognition in their observance. Therefore it is our duty in this radiant century to investigate the essentials of divine religion, seek the realities underlying the oneness of the world of humanity and discover the source of fellowship and agreement which will unite mankind in the heavenly bond of love. This unity is the radiance of eternity, the divine spirituality, the effulgence of God and the bounty of the Kingdom. We must investigate the divine source of these heavenly bestowals and adhere unto them steadfastly. For if we remain fettered and restricted by human inventions and dogmas, day by day the world of mankind will be degraded, day by day warfare and strife will increase and satanic forces converge toward the destruction of the human race.

If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual; but if enmity and hatred exist within it destruction and dispersion are inevitable. This is likewise true of a city. If those who dwell within it manifest a spirit of accord and fellowship it will progress steadily and human conditions become brighter, whereas through enmity and strife it will be degraded and its inhabitants scattered. In the same way the people of a nation develop and advance toward civilization and enlightenment through love and accord, and are disintegrated by war and strife. Finally, this is true of humanity itself in the aggregate. When love is realized and the ideal spiritual bonds unite the hearts of men, the whole human race will be uplifted, the world will continually grow more spiritual and radiant and the happiness and tranquillity of mankind be immeasurably increased. Warfare and strife will be uprooted, disagreement and dissension pass away and universal peace unite the nations and peoples of the world. All mankind will dwell together as one family, blend as the waves of one sea, shine as stars of one firmament and appear as fruits of the same tree. This is the happiness and felicity of humankind.

From SOME ANSWERED QUESTIONS, Chap. III



. . . Now reflect that it is education that brings the East and the West under the authority of man; it is education that produces wonderful industries; it is education that spreads glorious sciences and arts; it is education that makes manifest new discoveries and laws. If there were no educator, there would be no such things as comforts, civilization, facilities, or humanity. If a man be left alone in a wilderness where he sees none of his own kind, he will undoubtedly become a mere brute; it is then clear that an educator is needed.

But education is of three kinds: material, human, and spiritual. Material education is concerned with the progress and development of the body, through gaining its sustenance, its material comfort and ease. This education is common to animals and man.

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Human education signifies civilization and progress: that is to say, government, administration, charitable works, trades, arts and handicrafts, sciences, great inventions and discoveries of physical laws, which are the activities essential to man as distinguished from the animal.

Divine education is that of the Kingdom of God: It consists in acquiring divine perfections, and this is true education; for in this state man becomes the center of divine appearance, the manifestation of the words, "Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness." This is the supreme goal of the world of humanity.

Now we need an educator who will be at the same time a material, human, and spiritual educator, and whose authority will be effective in all conditions. So if any one should say, "I possess perfect comprehension and intelligence, and I have no need of such an educator," he would be denying that which is clear and evident, as though a child should say, "I have no need of education; I will act according to my reason and intelligence, and so I shall attain the perfections of existence"; or as though the blind should say, "I am in no need of sight, because many other blind people exist without difficulty."

Then it is plain and evident that man needs an educator, and this educator must be unquestionably and indubitably perfect in all respects, and distinguished above all men. Otherwise he cannot be their educator. More particularly because he must be at the same time their material and human as well as their spiritual educator; that is to say, he will teach men to organize and carry out physical matters, and to regulate the form of society with regard to the establishing of help and assistance in life, so that material affairs may be organized and regulated for any circumstances that may occur. In the same way he will establish human education; that is to say, he must educate intelligence and thought in such a way that they may attain complete development, so that knowledge and science may increase, and the reality of things, the mysteries of beings, and the properties of existence may be discovered: that day by day, instructions, inventions, and laws may be improved; and from things perceptible to the senses conclusions as to intellectual things may be deduced.

He must also impart spiritual education, so that intelligence and comprehension may penetrate the metaphysical world, and may receive benefit from the sanctifying breeze of the Holy Spirit, and may enter into relationship with the Supreme Concourse. He must so educate the human reality that it may become the center of the divine appearance, to such a degree that the attributes and the names of God shall be resplendent in the mirror of the reality of man, and the holy verse "We will make man in Our image and likeness," will become true.

It is clear that human power is not able to fill such a great office, and that the reason alone could not undertake the responsibility of so great a mission. How can one solitary person without help and without support lay the foundations of such a noble construction? He must depend on the help of the spiritual and divine power to be able to undertake this mission. One Holy Soul gives life to the world of humanity, changes the aspect of the terrestrial globe, causes intelligence to progress, vivifies souls, lays the foundation of a new existence, establishes the basis of a marvelous creation, organizes the world, brings nations and religions under the shadow of one standard, delivers man from the world of imperfections and vices, and inspires him with the desire and need of natural and acquired perfections. Certainly nothing short of a divine power could accomplish so great a work. We ought to consider this with justice, for this is the office of justice.

A Cause which all the governments and peoples of the world, with all their powers and armies, cannot promulgate and spread, one Holy Soul can promote without help or support! Can this be done by human power? No, in the name of God! For example, Christ, alone and solitary, upraised the standard of spiritual peace and righteousness, a work which all the victorious governments with all their hosts are unable to accomplish.

Consider what was the fate of so many and diverse empires and peoples: the Roman Empire, France, Germany, Russia, England, etc.; all were gathered together under the same tent; that is to say, the appearance of Christ brought about a union among these diverse nations; some of whom, under the influence of Christianity, became so united that they sacrificed their lives and property

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for one another. After the time of Constantine, who was the protagonist of Christianity, divisions broke out among them. The point I wish to make is that Christ sustained a cause that all the kings of the earth could not establish! He united the various religions and modified ancient customs. Consider what great divergences existed between Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Israelites, and other peoples of Europe. Christ removed these divergences and became the cause of love between these communities. Although after some time empires destroyed this union, the work of Christ was accomplished.

Therefore, the universal educator must be at the same time not only a material, but also a human and spiritual educator, and he must possess a supernatural power so that he may hold the position of a divine teacher. If he does not show forth such a holy power, he will not be able to educate, for if he be imperfect, how can he give a perfect education?

If he be ignorant, how can he make others wise? If he be unjust, how can he make others just? If he be earthly, how can he make others heavenly?

Now we must consider justly: Did these Divine Manifestations who have appeared possess all these qualifications or not? If they had not these qualifications and these perfections, they were not real educators.

Therefore it must be our task to prove to the thoughtful, by reasonable arguments, the prophethood of Moses, of Christ, and of the other Divine Manifestations. And the proofs and evidences which we give must not be based on traditional but on rational arguments.

It has now been proved by rational arguments that the world of existence is in the utmost need of an educator, and that its education must be effected by a divine power. There is no doubt that this holy power is due to inspiration, and that the world must be educated through this power which is above human power.

TALK GIVEN IN BOSTON, MASS.

MAY 24, 1912



Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous. All things are subject to re-formation. This is a century of life and renewal. Sciences and arts, industry and invention have been reformed. Law and ethics have been reconstituted, reorganized. The world of thought has been regenerated. Sciences of former ages and philosophies of the past are useless today. Present exigencies demand new methods of solution; world problems are without precedent. Old ideas and modes of thought are fast becoming obsolete. Ancient laws and archaic ethical systems will not meet the requirements of modern conditions, for this is clearly the century of a new life, the century of the revelation of reality and therefore the greatest of all centuries. Consider how the scientific developments of fifty years have surpassed and eclipsed the knowledge and achievements of all the former ages combined. Would the announcements and theories of ancient astronomers explain our present knowledge of the sun-worlds and planetary systems? Would the mask of obscurity which beclouded medieval centuries meet the demand for clear-eyed vision and understanding which characterizes the world today? Will the despotism of former governments answer the call for freedom which has risen from the heart of humanity in this cycle of illumination? It is evident that no vital results are now forthcoming from the customs, institutions and standpoints of the past. In view of this, shall blind imitations of ancestral forms and theological interpretations continue to guide and control the religious life and spiritual development of humanity today? Shall man gifted with the power of reason unthinkingly follow and adhere to dogma, creeds and hereditary beliefs which will not bear the analysis of reason in this century of effulgent reality? Unquestionably

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this will not satisfy men of science, for when they find premise or conclusion contrary to present standards of proof and without real foundation, they reject that which has been formerly accepted as standard and correct and move forward from new foundations.

The divine prophets have revealed and founded religion. They have laid down certain laws and heavenly principles for the guidance of mankind. They have taught and promulgated the knowledge of God, established praiseworthy ethical ideals and inculcated the highest standards of virtues in the human world. Gradually these heavenly teachings and foundations of reality have been beclouded by human interpretations and dogmatic imitations of ancestral beliefs. The essential realities which the prophets labored so hard to establish in human hearts and minds while undergoing ordeals and suffering tortures of persecution, have now well nigh vanished. Some of these heavenly Messengers have been killed, some imprisoned; all of them despised and rejected while proclaiming the reality of Divinity. Soon after their departure from this world, the essential truth of their teachings was lost sight of and dogmatic imitations adhered to.

Inasmuch as human interpretations and blind imitations differ widely, religious strife and disagreement have arisen among mankind, the light of true religion has been extinguished and the unity of the world of humanity destroyed. The prophets of God voiced the spirit of unity and agreement. They have been the founders of divine reality. Therefore if the nations of the world forsake imitations and investigate the reality underlying the revealed Word of God they will agree and become reconciled. For reality is one and not multiple. The nations and religions are steeped in blind and bigoted imitations. A man is a Jew because his father was a Jew. The Muhammadan follows implicitly the footsteps of his ancestors in belief and observance. The Buddhist is true to his heredity as a Buddhist. That is to say they profess religious belief blindly and without investigation, making unity and agreement impossible. It is evident therefore that this condition will not be remedied without a re-formation in the world of religion. In other words the fundamental reality of the divine religions must be renewed, reformed, revoiced to mankind.

From the seed of reality, religion has grown into a tree which has put forth leaves and branches, blossoms and fruit. After a time this tree has fallen into a condition of decay. The leaves and blossoms have withered and perished; the tree has become stricken and fruitless. It is not reasonable that man should hold to the old tree, claiming that its life forces are undiminished, its fruit unequaled, its existence eternal. The seed of reality must be sown again in human hearts in order that a new tree may grow therefrom and new divine fruits refresh the world. By this means the nations and peoples now divergent in religion will be brought into unity, imitations will be forsaken and a universal brotherhood in the reality itself will be established. Warfare and strife will cease among mankind; all will be reconciled as servants of God. For all are sheltered beneath the tree of His providence and mercy. God is kind to all; He is the giver of bounty to all alike, even as His Holiness Jesus Christ has declared that God "sendeth rain on the jus and on the unjust"; that is to say, the mercy of God is universal. All humanity is under the protection of His love and favor, and unto all He has pointed the way of guidance and progress.

Progress is of two kinds, material and spiritual. The former is attained through observation of the surrounding existence and constitutes the foundation of civilization. Spiritual progress is through the breaths of the Holy Spirit and is the awakening of the conscious soul of man to perceive the reality of divinity. Material progress ensures the happiness of the human world. Spiritual progress insures the happiness and eternal continuance of the soul. The prophets of God have founded the laws of divine civilization. They have been the root and fundamental source of all knowledge. They have established the principles of human brotherhood or fraternity which is of various kinds, such as the fraternity of family, of race, of nation and of ethical motives. These forms of fraternity, these bonds of brotherhood are merely temporal and transient in association. They do not insure harmony and are usually productive of disagreement. They do not prevent warfare and strife; on the contrary they are selfish, restricted and fruitful causes of enmity and hatred among mankind. The spiritual brotherhood which is enkindled and

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established through the breaths of the Holy Spirit unites nations and removes the cause of warfare and strife. It transforms mankind into one great family and establishes the foundations of the oneness of humanity. It promulgates the spirit of international agreement and insures universal peace. Therefore we must investigate the foundation reality of this heavenly fraternity. We must forsake all imitations and promote the reality of the divine teachings.In accordance with these principles and actions and by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, both material and spiritual happiness shall become realized. Until all nations and peoples become united by the bonds of the Holy Spirit in this real fraternity, until national and international prejudices are effaced in the reality of this spiritual brotherhood, true progress, prosperity and lasting happiness will not be attained by man. This is the century of new and universal nationhood. Sciences have advanced, industries have progressed, politics have been reformed, liberty has been proclaimed, justice is awakening. This is the century of motion, divine stimulus and accomplishment; the century of human solidarity and altruistic service; the century of universal peace and the reality of the divine Kingdom.

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Picture with the Caption:
The last photograph of Shoghi Effendi taken a few months before he passed away.


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III

THE GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH


By AMATU'L-BAHÁ RÚHÍYYIH KHÁNUM
Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees; the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin Surging Seas.

LIKE a cloud-break in a stormy sky these words, even as a mighty shaft of sunlight, broke through the gloom and tempest of dangerous years and shone from on high upon a small boy, the grandson of a prisoner of the Sultán of Turkey, living in the prison-city of `Akká in the Turkish province of Syria. The words were written by `Abdu'l-Bahá in the first part of His Will and Testament and referred to His eldest grandchild, Shoghi Effendi. Although already appointed the hereditary successor of his grandfather, neither the child, nor the ever-swelling host of followers of Bahá'u'lláh throughout the world, were made aware of this fact. In the Orient, where the principle of lineal descent is well understood and accepted as the normal course of events, there was hope no doubt, that even as Bahá'u'lláh Himself had demonstrated the validity of this mysterious and great principle of primogeniture, so would `Abdu'l-Bahá, His son and successor, do likewise. Many years before His passing, in answer to a question from some Persian believers as to whether there would be one person to whom all would turn after His death, `Abdu'l-Bahá had written: " . . . Know verily that this is a well-guarded secret. It is even as a gem concealed within its shell. That it will be revealed is predestined. The time will come when its light will appear, when its evidences will be made manifest, and its secrets unravelled."

Until the Master passed away in November 1921, and His Will and Testament was found in His safe and opened and read, no one in the Bahá'í world knew that Shoghi Effendi was that "unique pearl", and just how unique and glorious a pearl that was that `Abdu'l-Bahá left behind Him no one really understood until in November 1957 it was recalled to the Seat from which it had been born.

On the 27th day of Ramadán, 1314 of the Muslim calendar, Shoghi Effendi was born. This was Sunday, March 1, 1897 of the Gregorian calendar.These dates have been found in one of Shoghi Effendi's notebooks which he kept during his boyhood, written in his own hand. He was the eldest grandchild and first grandson of `Abdu'l-Bahá, born of His oldest daughter, Díyá'íyyih, Khánum, and her husband Mírzá Hádí Shírází, one of the Afnáns and a relative of the Báb. He was invariably addressed by his grandfather as "Shoghi Effendi"; indeed, He gave instructions that he should at all times have the "Effendi" added and even told Shoghi Effendi's own father he must address him thus and not merely as "Shoghi". The word "Effendi" signifies "sir" or "mister" and is added as a term of respect; for the same reason "Khánum", which means "lady" or "madame", is added to a woman's name.

At the time of Shoghi Effendi's birth `Abdu'l-Bahá and His family were still prisoners of the Sultán of Turkey, `Abdu'l Hamíd; it was not until the revolution of the Young Turks, in 1908, and the consequent release of political prisoners, that they were freed from an exile and bondage that, for Him and His sister at least, had lasted for over forty years. In 1897 they were still living in a house known as that of Abdu'lláh Páshá, a stone's throw from the great Turkish military barracks where Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-

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Bahá, and the company of believers who were with them, had been incarcerated when they first landed in `Akká in 1868. It was in this home that the first group of pilgrims from the Western World visited the Master in the winter of 1898-99, and many more of the early believers of the West; travelling along the beach in an omnibus drawn by three horses, they would proceed from Haifa to `Akká, enter the fortified walls of the prison-city, and be welcomed as His guests for a few days in that house.It was from this home that `Abdu'l-Bahá left to reside in freedom in Haifa, twelve miles away on the other side of the Bay of `Akká. Entering through a passage across which the upper story of the building ran, one came upon a small enclosed garden where grew flowers, fruit trees, and a few tall palms, and in one corner of which a long stairway ran up to the upper floor and opened on an inner, unroofed court from which doors led to various rooms and to a long corridor giving access to other chambers.

To catch even a glimpse of what must have transpired in `Abdu'l-Bahá's heart when this first grandson was born to Him at the age of fifty-three, one must remember that He had already lost more than one son, the dearest and most perfect of them, Husayn, a beautiful and very dignified little boy, having passed away when only a few years old. Of the four surviving daughters of `Abdu'l-Bahá three were to bear Him thirteen grandchildren, but it was this oldest one who bore witness to the saying "the child is the secret essence of its sire", not to be taken to mean in this case the heritage of his own father, but rather that he was sired by the Prophets of God and inherited the nobility of his grandfather `Abdu'l-Bahá. The depths of `Abdu'l-Bahá's feelings at this time are reflected in His own words in which He clearly states that the name Shoghi — literally "the one who longs" — was conferred by God upon this grandson:

O God! This is a branch sprung from the tree of Thy mercy. Through Thy grace and bounty enable him to grow and through the showers of Thy generosity cause him to become a verdant, flourishing, blossoming and fruitful branch. Gladden the eyes of his parents, Thou Who giveth to whomsoever Thou willest, and bestow upon him the name Shoghi so that he may yearn for Thy Kingdom and soar into the realms of the unseen!

By the signs Shoghi Effendi showed from earliest childhood and by his unique nature, he twined himself ever more deeply into the roots of the Master's heart. How great must have been the struggle of the grandfather to keep within bounds His love for this child lest the very blaze of that love endanger his life through the hatred and envy of His many enemies, ever seeking an Achilles heel to bring about His downfall. Many times when Shoghi Effendi spoke of the past and of `Abdu'l-Bahá I felt not only how boundless and consuming had been his love for the Master, but that he had been aware of the fact that `Abdu'l-Bahá leashed and veiled the passion of His love for him in order to protect him and to safeguard the Cause of God from its enemies.

Shoghi Effendi was a small, sensitive, intensely active and mischievous child. He was not very strong in his early years and his mother often had cause to worry over his health. However, he grew up to have an iron constitution, which, coupled with the phenomenal force of his nature and will-power, enabled him in later years to overcome every obstacle in his path. The first photographs we have of him show a peaky little face, immense eyes and a firm, beautifully shaped chin which in his childhood gave a slightly elongated and heart-shaped appearance to his face. His eyes were of that deceptive hazel colour that sometimes led people who did not have the opportunity to look into them as often as I did to think they were brown or blue. The truth is they were a clear hazel which sometimes changed to a warm and luminous grey. I have never seen such an expressive face and eyes as those of the Guardian; every shade of feeling and thought was mirrored in his visage as light and shadow are reflected on water.

In the days of Shoghi Effendi's childhood it was the custom to rise about dawn and spend the first hour of the day in the Master's room, where prayers were said and the family all had breakfast with Him. The children sat on the floor, their legs folded under them, their arms folded across their breasts, in great respect; when asked, they would chant for `Abdu'l-Bahá; there was

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Picture with the Caption:
"The priceless pearl", Shoghi Effendi, `Abdu'l-Bahá's eldest grandson.


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Picture with the Caption:
Birthplace of the Guardian, in the prison-city of `Akká.


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no shouting or unseemly conduct. Breakfast consisted of tea, brewed on the bubbling Russian brass samovar and served in little crystal glasses, very hot and very sweet, pure wheat bread and goats' milk cheese. Dr. Zia Baghdádí, an intimate of the family, in his recollections of these days records that Shoghi Effendi was always the first to get up and be on time — after receiving one good chastisement from no other hand than that of his grandfather!

He also tells us the story of Shoghi Effendi's first Tablet from `Abdu'l-Bahá. Dr. Baghdádí states that when Shoghi Effendi was only five years old he was pestering the Master to write something for him, whereupon `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote this touching and revealing letter in His own hand:
He is God!

O My Shoghi, I have no time to talk, leave me alone! You said "write" — I have written.What else should be done? Now is not the time for you to read and write, it is the time for jumping about and chanting "O my God!", therefore memorize the prayers of the Blessed Beauty and and chant them that I may hear them, because there is no time for anything else.
& It seems that when this wonderful gift reached the child he set himself to memorize a number of Bahá'u'lláh's prayers and would chant them so loudly that the entire neighbourhood could hear his voice; when his parents and other members of the Master's family remonstrated with him, Shoghi Effendi replied, according to Dr. Baghdádí, "The Master wrote to me to chant that He may hear me! I am doing my best!" and he kept on chanting at the top of his voice for many hours every day. Finally his parents begged the Master to stop him, but He told them to let Shoghi Effendi alone. This was one aspect of the small boy's chanting. We are told there was another: he had memorized some touching passages written by `Abdu'l-Bahá after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh and when he chanted these the tears would roll down the earnest little face. From another source we are told that when the Master was requested by a western friend, at that time living in His home, to reveal a prayer for children He did so, and the first to memorize it and chant it was Shoghi Effendi who would also chant it in the meetings of the friends.

In his recollections of those early years one of the Bahá'ís has written that one day Shoghi Effendi entered the Master's room, took up His pen and tried to write. `Abdu'l-Bahá drew him to His side, taped him gently on the shoulder and said, "Now is not the time to write, now is the time to play, you will write a lot in the future." Nevertheless the desire of the child to learn led to the formation of classes in the Master's household for the children, taught by an old Persian believer. I know that at one time in his childhood, most likely while he was still living in `Akká, Shoghi Effendi and other grandchildren were taught by an Italian, who acted as governess or teacher; a grey-haired elderly lady, she came to call shortly after I was married.

Although these early years of Shoghi Effendi's life were spent in the prison-city of `Akká, enclosed within its moats and walls, its two gates guarded by sentries, this does not mean that he had no occasion to move about. He must have often gone to the homes of the Bahá'ís living outside the city, to the Khán where the pilgrims stayed, to the Garden of Ridván and to Bahjí. Many times he was the delighted companion of his grandfather on these excursions. We are told that sometimes he spent the night in Bahjí in the house now used as a pilgrim house; `Abdu'l-Bahá would Himself come and tuck him in bed, remarking, "I need him."

When `Abdu'l-Bahá first moved into the new home in Haifa (which was in use by members of His family in February 1907, if not earlier) the rooms were occupied by all the members of His family; eventually the families of two of His daughters moved to homes of their own near His, but the house was always crowded with relatives, children, servants, pilgrims and guests.

Shoghi Effendi entered the best school in Haifa, the Collège des Frères, conducted by the Jesuits. He told me he had been very unhappy there. Indeed, I gathered from him that he was never really happy in either school or university. In spite of his inately joyous nature, his sensitivity and his background — no different from that of others in every way — could not but set him apart and give rise to many a heart-ache; indeed, he was

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one of those people whose open and innocent hearts, keen minds and affectionate natures seem to combine to bring upon them more shocks and suffering in life than is the lot of most men. Because of his unhappiness in this school `Abdu'l-Bahá decided to send him to Beirut where he attended another Catholic school as a boarder, and where he was equally unhappy. Learning of this in Haifa the family sent a trusted Bahá'í woman to rent a home for Shoghi Effendi in Beirut abd take care of and wait on him. It was not long before she wrote to his father that he was very unhappy at school, would refuse to go to it sometimes for days, and was getting him thin and run down. His father showed this letter to `Abdu'l-Bahá Who then had arrangements made for Shoghi Effendi to enter the Syrian Protestant College, which had a school as well as a university, later known as the American College in Beirut, and which the Guardian entered when he finished what was then equivalent to the high school. Shoghi Effendi spent his vacations at home in Haifa, in the presence as often as possible of ghe grandfather he idolized and Whom it was the object of his life to serve. The entire course of Shoghi Effendi's studies was aimed by him at fitting himself to serve the Master, interpret for Him, and translsate His letters into English.

It is very difficult to trace the exact course of events in these years. All eyes were fixed on the grandfather and much as people loved and respected the eldest grandson, when the sun shines the lamp is ignored! Some pilgrims' accounts, like that of Thornton Chase, the first American believer, who visited the Master in 1907, mention meeting "Shoghi Afnán". Indeed Chase published a photograph showing Shoghi Effendi in what must have been his usual costume in those days, short pants, long dark stockings, a fez on his head, a jacket and a huge sailor's collar covering his shoulders. But there is not enough material available at present to fill in all the gaps. Even those who accompanied `Abdu'l-Bahá on His journeys to the West, and kept careful diaries, did not think to record very much about the comings and goings of a child who was only thirteen when `Abdu'l-Bahá set forth on His historic visits to Europe and America.

No sooner had `Abdu'l-Bahá been freed from His long imprisonment and taken up His permanent residence in Haifa, than He began to contemplate this journey. A report published in America in "Bahá'í News", 1910, states: "You have asked for an account of `Abdu'l-Bahá's departure for the land of Egypt. `Abdu'l-Bahá did not inform anyone that He was going to leave Haifa . . . within two days He summoned to His presence M.N., Shoghi Effendi and K., and this servant." One of the Bahá'ís recalls that a little before sunset, on that September afternoon when `Abdu'l-Bahá's ship set sail for Port Said in Egypt, Shoghi Effendi was seated on the steps of the Master's house, disconsolate and forlorn, and remarked: "The Master is now on board the ship. He has left me behind, but surely there is a wisdom in this!" or words to this effect. Well knowing what was passing in the heart of His grandson the loving Master no doubt sent for the child to soften the blow of this first, serious separation From Him; but more reference than this to that event has not been found. We know the Master stayed about a month in Port Said, later proceeding to Alexandria rather than to Europe, which was His original intention. and that Shoghi Effendi was with Him. As school opened in early October one presumes he returned to Syria. In April 1911, Shoghi Effendi was again with the Master, in Ramleh, a suburb of Alexandria, for a visiting Bahá'í from America, Louis Gregory, the first negro Hand of the Cause, mentions meeting, on April 16th, "Shoghi", a beautiful boy, a grandson of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and says he showed great affection for the pilgrims.

`Abdu'l-Bahá's thoughts, in spite of the arduous nature of His daily preoccupations during those exhausting months in America and and later in Europe, must have often gone to His beloved grandson. We find mention of Shoghi Effendi in three of the letters the Master wrote to His sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahíyyih Khánum, during His travels, showing His anxiety over Shoghi Effendi and revealing His great love for him: "Write to me at once about Shoghi Effendi's condition, informing me fully and hiding nothing; this is the best way."; "Kiss the light of the eyes of the company of spiritual souls, Shoghi Effendi"; "Kiss the fresh flower of the garden of sweetness, Shoghi Effendi". Such references clearly indicate His anxiety over a child who had not always been well and who, He well knew, missed Him terribly

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Picture with the Caption:
A little boy who became a spiritual king.


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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi, taken during his early school years.


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and suffered. We also have a Tablet of `Abdu'l-Bahá addressed to Shoghi Effendi, expressing His concern about his health, but what period it was written I do not know:

He is God!

Shoghi Effendi, upon him be the glory of the All-Glorious! O thou who art young in years and radiant of countenance, I understand you have been ill and obliged to rest; lever mind, from time to time rest is essential, otherwise, like unto `Abdu'l-Bahá from excessive toil you will become weak and powerless and unable to work. Therefore rest a few days, it does not matter. I hope that you will be under the care and protection of the Blessed Beauty.


Shoghi Effendi was always active in corresponding with Bahá'í friends through personal letters. We learn from one of these, addressed to "Syed Mustafa Roumie" in Burma, and dated "Caiffa, Syria, July 28, 1914", in which he says he is much pleased with the "glad tidings of the rapid progress of the Cause in the Far East", that he shared this letter with the Master and "a Holy tender smile ran over his radiant face and his heart overflowed with joy. I then came to know that the Master is in good health for I recollected his sayings which I quote now, `Whenever and wherever I hear the glad tidings of the Cause my physical health is bettered and ameliorated.' I therefore tell you that the Master is feeling very well and is happy. Convey this happy news to the Indian believers. I do hope that this will double their courage, their firmness, and their zeal in spreading the Cause."

Shoghi Effendi also played a dominant role in the activities of the Bahá'í students studying in Beirut, through which passed so many of the pilgrims from Persia and the Far East on their way to and from Haifa. He writes, in a letter from Beirut dated May 3, 1914: "Going back to our college activities our Bahá'í meetings, which I have spoken to you about, are recognized and only today we are sending letters, enclosing glad tidings of the Holy Land, to the Bahá'í Assemblies in various countries."

The war years, during most of which Shoghi Effendi was studying to obtain his Bachelor of Arts degree at the American University, must have often cast a deep shadow of anxiety on him, in spite of his naturally buoyant and joyous nature. They were years of ever-increasing danger for his beloved grandfather, years of dire starvation for most of the population, of privations shared by all, including his own family.

It was in 1918 that Shoghi Effendi received his Bachelor of Arts degree. In a letter to a friend in England dated November 19th of that year, he wrote: "I am so glad and privileged to be able to attend to my Beloved's services after completing my course of Arts and Sciences in the American University at Beirut. I am so anxious and expectant to hear from you and of your services to the Cause for by transmitting them to the Beloved I shall make him happy, glad and strong. The past four years have been years of untold calamity, of unprecedented oppression, of of indescribable misery, of severe famine and distress, of unparalleled bloodshed and strife, but now that the dove of peace has returned to its nest and abode a golden opportunity has arisen for the promulgation of the Word of God. This will be now promoted and the Message delivered in this liberated region without the least amount of restriction. This is indeed the Era of Service." Nothing could be more revealing of the character of the future Guardian than these lines, in which his devotion to the work of the Master, his consuming longing to make Him happy and well, his concise summary of where his own life now stands in relation to this service, his analysis of what the war's end signifies for the immediate future of Bahá'í work are all clearly shown. His nascent rhetorical style, still hampered by an imperfect command of the English language, but already showing the bare bones of his future greatness is reflected in passages such as this: "the friends . . . are all . . . large and small, old and young, healthy and and sick, at home and abroad, glad of the events that have recently transpired; they are all one soul in different bodies, united, agreed, serving and aiming to serve the oneness of humanity."

Shoghi Effendi was now twenty-one years old. His personal relationship to `Abdu'l-Bahá was made clear in some of these early letters, for the most part written in 1919, in which he refers to "my grandfather, `Abdu'l-Bahá" and signs himself "Shoghi Rabbani (grandson of `Abdu'l-Bahá)". One must remember that in the immediate months after the war ended,

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when contact was being re-established between the Master and the believers in so many countries which had been cut off from Him during the long years of hostilities, it was highly desirable that Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís alike should know who this "Shoghi Rabbani" was who was now acting as the Master's secretary and right-hand man. The Star of the West, in its issue of September 27, 1919, publishes a full length photograph of Shoghi Effendi, entitled, "Shoghi Rabbani, Grandson of `Abdu'l-Bahá" and states he is the translator of recent Tablets and his Diary Letters begin in this issue. Personally I believe, knowing from experience how completely Shoghi Effendi directed even minutiae at the World Centre, that it is probable the Master Himself directed him to make clear their family relationship.

The work of `Abdu'l-Bahá increased from day to day as floods of letters, reports, and eventually pilgrims poured into Haifa. This is reflected in Shoghi Effendi's personal letters to various Bahá'í friends: " . . . this interruption of correspondence with you on my part has been solely due to a great pressure of work in connection with the dictation and translation of Tablets . . . The whole afternoon has been spent on translating for him only the contents of a part of the supplications from London." He ends up by saying, "I enclose, out of my Bahá'í and particular affection for you, two photographs . . ."; "My head is in a whirl, so busy and so eventful was the day. No less than a score of callers from prince and pasha to a simple private soldier have sought interview with `Abdu'l-Bahá."; "The Beloved from morn till eve, even at midnight is engaged in revealing Tablets, in sending forth his constructive, dynamic thoughts of love and principles to a sad and disillusioned world."; "As I am writing these lines, I am again moved to present myself in his presence and take down his words in response to the recently arrived supplications." Every word reflects the boundless energy, devotion and enthusiasm of this princeling standing at the side of the old king, serving and supporting Him with all the vitality of his youth and the singular eagerness of his nature.

Shoghi Effendi frequently accompanied the Master to the steadily increasing number of official functions to which He was invited. This included visits to the British Military Governor of Haifa and interviews with the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Edmund Allenby, the General who had led the Allied forces in Palestine and who later became Lord Allenby and and was largely responsible for `Abdu'l-Bahá's receiving a knighthood from the British Government. Shoghi Effendi wrote: "This was the second time `Abdu'l-Bahá had called on the General and this time the conversation centered around the Cause and its progress . . . He is a very gentle, modest and striking figure, warm in affection, yet imposing in his manners." In these circles the grandson of `Abdu'l-Bahá was now becoming known. An official letter, from the Military Governor to `Abdu'l-Bahá, says: "Your Eminence: I have today received from your grandson the sum of ........." This was in response to Shoghi Effendi's having called upon him with a further contribution from the Master to the "Haifa Relief Fund". Shoghi Effendi also spent much time with the pilgrims, not only in the presence of `Abdu'l-Bahá, during which he eagerly obtained detailed information from them about the progress of Bahá'í activities in various countries.

Wherever `Abdu'l-Bahá went, as often as possible the beloved grandson went with Him. This constant companionship, which lasted for about two years, must have been a deep satisfaction to them both and have exerted a profound and decisive influence on Shoghi Effendi. During these years, when the star of `Abdu'l-Bahá's fame was rising locally, as well as internationally, Shoghi Effendi had the opportunity of observing how the Master dealt with high officials and the numerous men of distinction drawn to one Whom many regarded as little less than an oriental prophet and the greatest religious figure in Asia, as well as how the Master conducted Himself in the face of the ever-present envy and intrigue of His enemies and ill-wishers. The lessons learned were to be reflected in the thirty-six years of Shoghi Effendi's own ministry to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.

The decision of Shoghi Effendi to leave `Abdu'l-Bahá, after less than two years spent constantly in His service, and at a time when the Master's vast post-war correspondence was steadily increasing, was based on a number of factors: if he intended to pursue his studies the sooner he did so the better; `Abdu'l-Bahá now had a number of people

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Picture with the Caption:
The house of `Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa, as it appeared in His days.


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acting as His secretaries; Shoghi Effendi's eldest cousin had finished his studies in Beirut and was now at home; the Master's own condition and plans were propitious.

Very few of us, least of all when we are twenty-three years old, imagine our loved ones dying. So it is not surprising that Shoghi Effendi should have left `Abdu'l-Bahá, some time in the spring of 1920, with a tranquil conscience, fully believing he would return to His side better equipped to serve Him.

Oxford and Cambridge are still words to conjure with; in 1920 they shone in even more splendid academic isolation than they do in these days when universities and university education have become more prevalent. Balliol, to which Shoghi Effendi was admitted, had a very high standing, being one of Oxford's oldest colleges. I was conducted, years later, by the Guardian, to see the streets he had passed through, the Bodleian Library, the placid river in its greensward surroundings beyond the wrought iron gates, to thousand-year-old Christ Church with its vast kitchen and fairy web of Gothic arches, to Magdalen and its beauties and to the peaceful quad inside the walls of Balliol, which Shoghi Effendi crossed to his studies, to the dining hall where he ate, and to gaze on the narrow entrance that led to the room he had once lived in as a student.

The Guardian's own idea of why he was at Oxford was quite clear; fortunately we have an expression of this in a letter he wrote to an oriental believer on October 18, 1920: "My dear spiritual friend . . . God be praised, I am in good health and full of hope and trying to the best of my ability to equip myself for those things I shall require in my future service to the Cause. My hope is that I may speedily acquire the best that this country and this society have to offer and then return to my home and recast the truths of the Faith in a new form, and thus serve the Holy Threshold." There is no doubt he was referring to his future translation of the teachings into the perfect English for which he laid the foundation during his sojourn in England.

From his Beirut days until practically the end of his life Shoghi Effendi had the habit of writing vocabularies and typical English phrases in notebooks. Hundreds of words and sentences have been recorded and these clearly indicate the years of careful study he put into mastering a language he loved and revelled in.For him there was no second to English. He was a great reader of the King James version of the Bible, and of the historians Carlyle and Gibbon, whose styles he greatly admired, particularly that of Gibbon whose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Shoghi Effendi was so fond of that I never remember his not having a volume of it near him in his room and usually with him when he travelled.

* * *



The address of Major Tudor Pole, in London, was often used as the distributing point for cables and letters to the Bahá'ís. Shoghi Effendi himself, whenever he went up to London, usually called there. On November 29, 1921, at 9:30 in the morning the following cable reached that office:
Cyclometry London

His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá ascended Abhá Kingdom. Inform friends
Greatest Holy Leaf
In notes he made of this terrible event and its immediate repercussions Tudor Pole records that he immediately notified the friends by wire, telephone and letter. I believe he must have telephoned Shoghi Effendi, asking him to come at once to his office, but not conveying to him at that distance a piece of news which he well knew might prove too much of a shock. However this may be, at about noon Shoghi Effendi reached London, went to 61 St. James' Street (off Piccadilly and not far from Buckingham Palace) and was shown into the private office. Tudor Pole was not in the room at the moment but as Shoghi Effendi stood there his eye was caught by the name of `Abdu'l-Bahá on the open cablegram lying on the desk and he read it. When Tudor Pole entered the room a moment later he found Shoghi Effendi in a state of collapse, dazed and bewildered by this catastrophic news. He was taken to the home of Miss Grand, one of the London believers, and put to bed there for a few days.

Owing to passport difficulties Shoghi Effendi cabled Haifa he could not arrive until the end of the month. He sailed from England on December 16th, accompanied by Lady Blomfield and Rouhangeze, and arrived in Haifa by train at 5:20 p.m. on December 29th, from Egypt where his boat from England had

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docked. Many friends went to the station to bring him home; it is reported he was so overcome on his arrival that he had to be assisted up the steps. Awaiting him in the house was the only person who could in any measure assuage his suffering — his beloved great-aunt, the sister of `Abdu'l-Bahá. She had already — so frail. so quiet, so modest at all times — shown herself in these past weeks to be a strong rock to which the believers clung in the midst of the tempest that had so suddenly burst upon them. The calibre of her soul, her breeding, her station, fitted her for the role she played in the Cause and in Shoghi Effendi's life during this extremely difficult and dangerous period.

When `Abdu'l-Bahá so unexpectedly and quietly passed away, after no serious illness, the distracted members of His family searched His papers to see if by chance He had left any instructions as to where He should be buried. Finding none they entombed Him in the centre of the three rooms adjacent to the inner Shrine of the Báb. They discovered His Will — which consists of three Wills written at different times and forming one document — addressed to Shoghi Effendi. It now became the painful duty of Shoghi Effendi to hear what was in it; a few days after his arrival they read it to him.

There is no doubt that the Greatest Holy Leaf, and probably a selected few of the Master's family knew, before Shoghi Effendi reached Haifa, the gist at least of what was in the Will because it had been examined to see if He had made any provisions for His own burial. That this is so is borne out by cables sent to the Persian and to the American believers, by the Greatest Holy Leaf, on December 21, 1921. The one to America read as follows: "Memorial meeting world over January seven. Procure prayers for unity and steadfastness. Master left full instructions in His Will and Testament. Translation will be sent. Inform friends." But the provisions of the Will were not made known until it was first read to Shoghi Effendi and, indeed, until officially read on January 3, 1922.

It was befitting that the Greatest Holy Leaf, and not Shoghi Effendi himself, should announce to the Bahá'í world the provisions of the Master's Will. On January 7th she sent two cables to Persia as follows: "Memorial meetings all over the world have been held. The Lord of all the worlds in His Will and Testament has revealed His instructions. Copy will be sent. Inform believers." and "Will and Testament forwarded Shoghi Effendi Centre Cause." On January 16th she cabled: "In Will Shoghi Effendi appointed Guardian of Cause and Head of House of Justice. Inform American friends." In spite of the fact that from the very beginning Shoghi Effendi exhibited both a tactful and masterful hand in dealing with the problems that continually faced him, he leaned very heavily on the Greatest Holy Leaf, whose character, station and love for him made her at once his support and his refuge.

Immediately after these events Shoghi Effendi selected eight passages from the Will and circulated them among the Bahá'ís; only one of these referred to himself, was very brief and was quoted as follows: "O ye the faithful loved ones of `Abdu'l-Bahá! It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi . . . For he is, after `Abdu'l-Bahá, the guardian of the Cause of God, the Afnán, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn unto him." Of all the thundering and tremendous passages in the Will referring to himself, Shoghi Effendi chose the least astounding and provocative to first circulate among the Bahá'ís. Guided and guiding he was from the very beginning.

These early years of his Guardianship must be seen as a continual process of being floored and rising to his feet again, often staggering from the terrible blows he had received, but game to the core. It was his love for `Abdu'l-Bahá that always carried him through: "yet I believe," he cries out, "and firmly believe in His power, His guidance, His ever-living presence . . ." In a letter written in February 1922, to Nayyir Afnán, a nephew of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the agony of his soul is clearly reflected: "Your . . . letter reached me in the very midst of my sorrows, my cares and afflictions . . . the pain, nay the anguish of His bereavement is so overwhelming, the burden of responsibility He has placed on my feeble and my youthful shoulders is so overwhelming . . ." He goes on to say: "I am enclosing for you personally the copy of the dear Master's Testament, you will read it and see what He had undergone at the hands of His kindred . . . you will also see what a great responsibility

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He has placed on me which nothing short of the creative power of His word can help me face . . ." This letter is not only indicative of his feelings but in view of the fact that the one he wrote it to belonged to those who had been the enemies of the Master in the days after Bahá'u'lláh's ascension and were of that breed of kindred He had so strongly denounced in His Will, shows how courageously Shoghi Effendi holds up the mirror of the past and at the same time appeals for his support and loyalty in the new situation which exists.

His earliest letters reveal Shoghi Effendi's characteristic strength, wisdom and dignity. To one of the professors of the American University in Beirut he wrote, on March 19, 1922, clearly and unequivocally stating his own position: "Replying to your question as to whether I have been officially designated to represent the Bahá'í Community: `Abdu'l-Bahá in his testament has appointed me to be the head of the universal council which is to be duly elected by national councils representative of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in different countries . . ."

It must not be thought, however, that the act of promulgating the Master's Will solved all problems and ushered in a new era in the Cause with the greatest of ease. Far from it. Before Shoghi Effendi reached Haifa the Greatest Holy Leaf had been obliged to cable America on December 14th: "Now is period of great tests. The friends should be firm and united in defending the Cause. Nakeseens [Covenant-breakers] starting activities through press other channels all over world. Select committee of wise cool heads to handle press propaganda in America."

One of the oldest and most staunch of the American believers wrote to Shoghi Effendi on January 18, 1922, less than two weeks after the public announcement of the provisions of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Will: "As you know we are having great troubles and sorrows with violators of the Cause in America. This poison has penetrated deeply among the friends . . ." In many reports, in great detail, accusations and facts poured in upon the newly-made Guardian. There was, of course, another aspect. With touching pure-heartedness and trust the Bahá'ís of East and West rallied round their young leader and poured out avowals of their love and loyalty: "We long to assist the Guardian in every way and our hearts are responsive to the burdens upon his young shoulders . . ."; "Word has reached us here in Washington that our beloved Master has placed the guidance and protection of the Holy Cause in your hands and that He named you as the head of the House of Justice. I write you these few lines responding with all my heart to the sacred instructions of our Beloved Lord and assuring all the support and fidelity of which I am capable . . ."; "Beloved of our beloved," he was addressed by two pillars of the Faith in America, "how our hearts sang with joy at the news that the Master had not left us comfortless but had made you, His beloved, the centre of the unity of His Cause, so that the hearts of all the friends may find peace and certainty."; "Our lives have been in utter darkness until the blessed cablegram of the Greatest Holy Leaf arrived with the first ray of light, and that is your appointment by the Merciful Lord as our Guardian and our Head as well as the Guardian of the Cause of God and the Head of the House of Justice."; "Whatever the Guardian of the Cause wishes or advises these servants to do, that is likewise our desire and intention."

On January 16th the Guardian wrote his first letter to the Persian Bahá'ís, encouraging them to remain steadfast and protect the Faith and sharing with them in moving terms his grief at the passing of the beloved Master. On January 22nd Shoghi Effendi cabled the American Bahá'ís: "Holy Leaves comforted by Americans' unswerving loyalty and noble resolve. Day of steadfastness. Accept my loving cooperation." The day before he had written his first letter to them, beginning: "At this early hour when the morning light is just breaking upon the Holy Land, whilst the gloom of the dear Master's bereavement is still hanging thick upon the hearts, I feel as if my soul turns in yearning love and full of hope to that great company of His loved ones across the seas . . ." Already he has placed his hand on the tiller and sees the channels he must navigate clearly before him: "the broad and straight path of teaching", he phrased it, unity, selflessness, detachment, prudence, caution, earnest endeavour to carry out the Master's wishes, awareness of His presence, shunning of the enemies of the Cause — these must be the goal and

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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi in his childhood.


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Picture with the Caption:
The future Guardian, the grandson `Abdu'l-Bahá used to call "O My Shoghi!"


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animation of the believers. Four days later he is writing his first letter to the Japanese Bahá'ís: "Despondent and sorrowful though I be in these darksome days, yet whenever I call to mind the hopes our departed Master so confidently reposed in the friends in that Far-Eastern land, hope revives within me and drives away the gloom of His bereavement. As His attendant and secretary for well nigh two years after the termination of the Great War, I recall so vividly the radiant joy that transfigured His face whenever I opened before Him your supplications . . ."

While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá'ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated January 24, 1922:
Dear Mr. Rabbani,

I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16, and to thank you for the kind expression it contains.

It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir `Abdu'l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case.

I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement.

Should you be at any time in Jerusalem it would be a pleasure to me to see you here.
Yours sincerely,
Herbert Samuel
However friendly its tone, it demanded on the part of His Majesty's Government to be informed of what was going on. And this is not the least surprising in view of the activities of Muhammad `Alí. Shortly after `Abdu'l-Bahá's ascension, this disgruntled and perfidious half-brother had filed a claim, based on Islamic law (he who pretended he had still a right to be the successor of Bahá'u'lláh!) for a portion of the estate of `Abdu'l-Bahá which he now claimed a right to as His brother. He had sent for his son, who had been living in America and agitating his father's claims there, to join him in this new and direct attack on the Master and His family. Not content with this exhibition of his true nature he applied to the civil authorities to turn over the custodianship of Bahá'u'lláh's Shrine on the grounds that he was `Abdu'l-Bahá's lawful successor. The British authorities refused on the grounds that it appeared to be a religious issue; he then appealed to the Muslim religious head and asked the Muftí of `Akká to take formal charge of Bahá'u'lláh's Shrine; this dignitary, however, said he did not see how he could do this as the Bahá'í teachings were not in conformity with Sharí`ah law. All other avenues having failed he sent his younger brother, Badí`u'lláh, with some of their supporters, to visit the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh where, on Tuesday, January 30th, they forcibly seized the keys of the Holy Tomb from the Bahá'í caretaker, thus asserting Muhammad `Alí's right to be the lawful custodian of his Father's resting-place. This unprincipled act created such a commotion in the Bahá'í Community that the Governor of `Akká ordered the keys to be handed over to the authorities, posted guards at the Shrine, but went no further, refusing to return the keys to either party.

It does not require much imagination to conceive that this was another terrible shock to Shoghi Effendi, the news arriving after dark, by a panting and excited messenger, all the believes aroused and distressed beyond words at the thought that for the first time in decades the Most Sacred Remains had fallen into the hands of the inveterate enemy of the Centre of His Covenant.

The situation in which Shoghi Effendi now found himself was truly crushing. Although the body of the believers was loyal, the Cause was being attacked from all sides by enemies emboldened by and rejoicing over the death of `Abdu'l-Bahá.

The strain of this was more than he could bear. He appointed a body of nine people to act tentatively as an Assembly and we find that on April 7, 1922, this body enters in its records that a letter has been received from the greatest Holy Leaf in which she states that "the Guardian of the Cause of God, the chosen Branch, the Leader of the people of Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, under the weight of sorrows and boundless grief, has been forced to leave here for a while in order to rest and recuperate, and then return to the Holy Land to render his services and discharge his

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responsibilities." She goes on to say that in accordance with his letter, which she encloses, he has appointed her to administer, in consultation with the family of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and a chosen Assembly, all Bahá'í affairs during his absence. Shoghi Effendi had already left Haifa for Europe, on April 5th, accompanied by his eldest cousin.

On April 8th the Greatest Holy Leaf wrote a general letter to the friends. She first acknowledges the letters of allegiance they have sent and says Shoghi Effendi is counting upon their co-operation in spreading the Message; the Bahá'í world must from now on be linked through the Spiritual Assemblies and local questions must be referred to them. She then goes on to say: "Since the ascension of our Beloved `Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi has been moved so deeply . . . that he has sought the necessary quiet in which to meditate upon the vast task ahead of him, and it is to accomplish this that he has temporarily left these regions. During his absence he has appointed me as his representative, and while he is occupied in this great endeavour, the family of `Abdu'l-Bahá is assured that you will strive to advance triumphantly the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh . . ." The typewritten letter in English is signed in Persian "Bahá'íyyih" and sealed with her seal.

It all looked very calm on paper but behind it was a raging storm in the heart and mind of Shoghi Effendi. "He has gone", the Greatest Holy Leaf wrote, "on a trip to various countries". He left with his cousin and went to Germany to consult doctors. I remember he told me they found he had almost no reflexes, which they considered very serious. In the wilderness, however, he found for himself a partial healing, as so many others had found before him. Some years later, in 1926, to Hippolyte Dreyfus, who had known him from childhood and whom he evidently felt he could be open with as an intimate friend, he wrote that his letter had reached him "on my way to the Bernese Oberland which has become my second home. In the fastnesses and recesses of its alluring mountains I shall try to forget the atrocious vexations which have afflicted me for so long . . . It is a matter which I greatly deplore, that in my present state of health, I feel the least inclined to, and even incapable of, any serious discussion on these vital problems with which I am confronted and with which you are already familiar. The atmosphere in Haifa is intolerable and a radical change is impracticable. The transference of my work to any other centre is unthinkable, undesirable and in the opinion of many justly scandalous . . . I cannot express myself more adequately than I have for my memory has greatly suffered."

In the early years after `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing, though Shoghi Effendi often travelled about Europe with the restless interest of not only a young man but but a man haunted by the ever-present, towering giants of his work and his responsibility, he returned again and again to those wild, high mountains and their lofty solitude.

In spite of his withdrawal — for that is really what this first absence from the Holy Land amounted to — the forces Shoghi Effendi had set in motion were bearing fruit: One of the returning pilgrims informed the American Bahá'í Convention, held in April 1922, that: "our visit was at the summons of Shoghi Effendi. At Haifa we met Bahá'ís from Persia, India, Burma, Egypt, Italy, England and France . . . On arrival the impression that came strongly over me was that God is in His Heaven and all is well with the world . . . We met Shoghi Effendi, dressed entirely in black, a touching figure. Think of what he stands for today! All the complex problems of the great statesmen of the world are as child's play in comparison with the threat problems of this youth, before whom are the problems of the entire world . . . No one can form any conception of his difficulties, which are overwhelming . . . the Master is not gone. His Spirit is present with greater intensity and power . . . In the center of this radiation stands this youth, Shoghi Effendi. The Spirit streams forth from this young man. He is indeed young in face, form and manner, yet his heart is the center of the world today. The character and spirit divine scintillate from him today. He alone can . . . save the world and make true civilization. So humble, meek, selfless is he that it is touching to see him. His letters re a marvel. It is the great wisdom of God in granting us the countenance of this great central point of guidance to meet difficult problems. These problems, much like ours, come to him from all parts of the world. They are met and solved by him in the most informal way . . .

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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi as a young boy.


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The great principles laid down by Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá now have their foundation in the external world of God's Kingdom on earth. This foundation is being laid, sure and certain, by Shoghi Effendi in Haifa today."

Being by nature very methodical Shoghi Effendi in these early years kept fairly complete records and copies of letters sent; he lists 67 centres that he wrote to, East and West, during the months he was in the Holy Land in 1922. From December 16, 1922, to February 23, 1923 he records 132 places he wrote to, some more than once. In a letter dated December 16, 1922 he wrote: ". . . I shall now eagerly await the joyful tidings of the progress of the Cause and the extension of your activities and will spare no effort in sharing with the faithful, here and in other lands, the welcome news of the progressive march of the Cause." The correspondence of this period covers 21 countries and 67 cities, but he does not seem to have written to more than a score of individuals, many of whom were not Bahá'ís. The countries he corresponded with at the very outset of his ministry included Persia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Canada, Australia, Pacific Islands, Japan, India, Burma, Caucasus, Turkistán, Turkey, Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Egypt.

In his first letter to the newly-elected National Assembly of America he writes, on on December 23rd, that: "To have been unable, owing to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, to correspond with you ever since you entered upon your manifold and arduous duties is to me a cause of deep regret and sad surprise." These are the words of a man coming up from the depths of nightmare and reflect how deep had been the abyss of affliction into which he had fallen during the past year of his life. "I am however", he goes on to say, "assured and sustained by the conviction, never dimmed in my mind, that whatever comes to pass in the Cause of God, however disquieting in its immediate effects, is fraught with infinite Wisdom and tends ultimately to promote its interests in the world."

In these early letters he invites the Assemblies to write to him, and he asks them to inform him of their needs, wants and desires, their plans and their activities", so that he may "through my prayers and brotherly assistance contribute, however meagrely, to the success of their glorious mission in this world." He is deeply grateful for the manner in which "my humble suggestions" have been carried out, and assures the friends of his "never-failing brotherly assistance."

"I am now," Shoghi Effendi wrote to Tudor Pole in 1923, "fully restored to health and am intensely occupied with my work at present." Correspondence, however, was far from being his only activity; he was also"engaged in the service of the various pilgrims that visit in these days this sacred Spot." It was customary for him, in these early days of his ministry, to hold regular meetings in the home of `Abdu'l-Bahá. In December 1922, five days after his return, he writes: "I have shared fully your news with those loving pilgrims and resident friends in the Holy Land whom I meet regularly in what was the audience chamber of the Master."

These might be described as the more pleasant phases of his work in the discharge of his high office, though they exacted from him a great deal of time and energy. But what really burdened him beyond all endurance were the activities of the Covenant-breakers. It was, in Shoghi Effendi's own words, "amidst the heat and dust which the attacks launched by a sleepless enemy precipitated" that he had to carry on his work.

The position of the Faith necessitated the cultivation of careful relations with the Mandatory authorities. `Abdu'l-Bahá had been well-known and highly esteemed, though it is unlikely that anyone in Palestine had the faintest inkling of the vast implications of the "Movement", as it was so often referred to in the early days, of which they accepted Him as Head. On December 19, 1922 Shoghi Effendi had wired to the High Commissioner for Palestine in Jerusalem: "Pray accept my best wishes and kind regards on my return to Holy Land and resumption of my official duties." As there must have been a considerable buzz of gossip, ardently fed no doubt by the Covenant-breakers, about his eight months' withdrawal, this was a carefully calculated move on Shoghi Effendi's part as well as an act of courtesy.

The matter which concerned Shoghi Effendi most, however, was the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí. The keys of the inner Tomb were still held by the authorities; the right of

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access to other parts of the Shrine was accorded to Bahá'ís and Covenant-breakers alike; the Bahá'í custodian looked after it as before, and any decision seemed in a state of abeyance. Shoghi Effendi never rested until, through representations he made to the authorities, backed by insistent pressure from Bahá'ís all over the world, he succeeded in getting the custody of the Holy Tomb back into his own hands. On February 7, 1923 he wrote to Tudor Pole: "I have had a long talk with Col. Symes and have fully explained to him the exact state of affairs, the unmistakable and overwhelming voice of all the Bahá'í Community and their unshakable determination to stand by the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Recently he sent a message to Muhammad `Alí requiring from him the sum of £108 for the expenses of the policeman, contending that he being the aggressor is liable to this expense. So far he has not complied with this request and I await future developments with great anxiety."

The following day Shoghi Effendi received this cablegram from his cousin, who was in Jerusalem:
His Eminence Shoghi Effendi Rabbani,
Haifa

Letter received immediate steps taken the final decision by the High Commissioner in our favour the key is yours.
The letter referred to was one the `Akká Governor, Sir Gilbert Clayton, had written to the High Commissioner. Shoghi Effendi, in another letter to Tudor Pole, informed him that he was on very warm terms with the Governor of Haifa, Col. G. Stewart Symes and had met Sir Gilbert; it was no doubt due to these contacts that the authorities decided in favour of the Guardian and the key was finally returned to the legitimate Bahá'í keeper of the Shrine, from whom it had been wrested by force over a year before.

Though the safety of the Qiblih of the Bahá'í world was now assured once and for all time, the house Bahá'u'lláh had occupied in Baghdád was still in the hands of the Shí`ah enemies of the Faith, and continues to be so until the present day; the battle to get it back into Bahá'í custody was to worry and to exercise Shoghi Effendi for many years.

Every time one goes into the details of any particular period in the Guardian's life one is tempted to say, "this was the worst period", so fraught with strain, problems, unbearable pressures was his entire ministry. But there is a pattern, there are themes, higher and lower points were reached. The pattern of 1922, 1923 and 1924 reveals itself, insofar as his personal life is concerned, as an heroic attempt to come to grips with this leviathan — the Cause of God — he had been commanded to bestride.

With the passing of 1923 it could almost be said that the winged Guardian emerged from the chrysalis of youth, in a new being; the wings may not yet be fully stretched, but their beat gains steadily in sweep and assurance as the years go by until, in the end, they truly cast a shadow over all mankind. In his early writings one sees this mastery unfolding, in style, in thought, in power. Let us pick certain facts and quotations at random and see how clearly they substantiate this evolution that was taking place. From the very beginning he turned to the believers, with that inimitable trusting and confiding touch that won all hearts, and asked them to pray for him, that he might, in collaboration with them, achieve the "speedy triumph of the Cause of God" in every land. His questions are challenging, his thoughts incisive: "Are we to be carried away by the flood of hollow and conflicting ideas or are we to stand, unsubdued and unblemished, on the everlasting rock of God's Divine Instructions?"; ". . . are we to believe that whatever befalls us is divinely ordained, and in no wise the result of our faint-heartedness and negligence?" Already in 1923 he sees the world and the Cause as two distinct things, not to be mixed up in our minds into one sentimental and haphazard lump. The Will of God he asserts is "at variance with the shadowy views, the impotent doctrines, the crude theories, the idle imaginings, the fashionable conceptions of a transient and troublous age."

Shoghi Effendi's interest in the Pacific and his awareness of the future development of the Cause in that area is manifested in the first years of his Guardianship. He wrote to the Pacific Islands, in delightfully romantic terms, in January 1923, that "their very names evoke within us so high a sense of hope and admiration that the passing of time and vicissitudes of life can never weaken or remove"; and addressed a letter in January

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1924 "To the dearly-beloved ones of `Abdu'l-Bahá throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and the adjoining islands of the Pacific Friends and heralds of the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh! A fresh breeze laden with the perfume of your love and devotion to our beloved Cause was wafted again from your distant Southern shores to the Holy Land and has served to remind us one and all of that unquenchable spirit of service and self-sacrifice which the passing of our Beloved has in these days kindled in almost every corner of the world."

The words he wrote to one of the American Assemblies in December 1923 sound almost like a soliloguy: "The inscrutable wisdom of God has so decreed that we, who are the chosen bearers of the world's greatest Message to a suffering humanity, should toil and promote our work under the most trying conditions of life, amidst unhelpful surroundings, and in the face of unprecedented trials, and without means, influence or support, achieve, steadily and surely, the conquest and regeneration of human hearts." Many of these early letters to various Spiritual Assemblies have this quality, not of disquisition, but of voicing his own innermost considerations. That same month he wrote: ". . . True, the progress of our work, when compared to the sensational rise and development of an earthly cause, has been painful and slow, yet we firmly believe and shall never doubt that the great spiritual Revolution which the Almighty is causing to be accomplished, through us, in the hearts of men is destined to achieve, steadily and surely, the complete regeneration of all mankind."; "However great our tribulation may be, however unexpected the miseries of life, let us bear in mind the life He [the Master] has led before us, and, inspired and grateful, let us bear our burden with steadfastness and fortitude, that in the world to come, in the divine Presence of our loving Comforter, we may receive His true consolation and reward of our labours."; "Whatever may befall us, and however dark the prospect of the future may appear, if we but play our part we may rest confident that the Hand of the Unseen is at work, shaping and moulding the events and circumstances of the world and paving the way for the ultimate realization of our aims and hopes for mankind.";"Our primary duty is to create by our words and deeds, our conduct and example, the atmosphere in which the seeds of the words of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá cast so profusely during well-nigh eighty years, may germinate and give forth those fruits that alone can assure peace and prosperity to this distracted world."; ". . . let us arise to teach His Cause with righteousness, conviction, understanding and vigour . . . let us make it the dominating passion of our life. Let us scatter to the uttermost corners of the earth, sacrifice our personal interests, comforts, tastes and pleasures, mingle with the divers kindreds and peoples of the world; familiarize ourselves with their manners, traditions, thoughts and customs" The tone of some of these sounds like his great messages during the prosecution of the Divine Plan, but they were written in the winter of 1923-1924. He had set himself the task of seeing that the Faith emerged into "the broad daylight of universal recognition", a term he used that same year.

Steeped in the Teachings from his infancy, privileged to hear, read and write so many of the Master's words during his youth, Shoghi Effendi firmly guided the friends in East and West along their destined course. Already in March 1922, in one of his first letters to the American believers, he had stated: "the friends of God the world over are strictly forbidden to meddle with political affairs". He is using the term "pioneer", in his earliest letters, and in 1925 is keeping a list of Bahá'í centres throughout the world!

In spite of what he described as the "thorny path of my arduous duties", in spite of the "oppressive burden of responsibility and care which it is my lot and privilege to shoulder", he was clear in expressing and brilliant in understanding the needs of the Cause and the tasks facing the believers. He was equally clear in defining what relationship he wished the Bahá'ís to have with him and in what manner they should regard him. On February 6, 1922 he wrote to one of the Persian Bahá'ís: "I wish to be known, to realize myself however far I may proceed in future, as one and only one of the many workers in His Vineyards . . . whatever may betide I trust in His [`Abdu'l-Bahá's] wondrous love for me. May I in no wise by my deeds, thoughts or words, impede the stream of His sustaining Spirit which I sorely need

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Picture with the Caption:
The successor of the Master, a picture taken probably about the period when
`Abdu'l-Bahá began His great journeys to the western world.


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Picture in Upper Right Corner with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi, the grandchild who was
truly the secret essence of his grandfather
`Abdu'l-Bahá.


in facing the responsibilities He has placed on my youthful shoulders . . ." and on March 5th he added the following postscript to a letter to the American friends: "May I also express my heartfelt desire that the friends of God in every land regard me in no other light but that of a true brother, united with them in our common servitude to the Master's Sacred Threshold, and refer to me in their letters and verbal addresses always as Shoghi Effendi, for I desire to be known by no other name save the one our Beloved Master was wont to utter, a name which of all other designations is the most conducive to my spiritual growth and advancement." In 1924 he cabled India clearly and succinctly: "My birthday should not be commemorated". In 1930 his secretary wrote on his behalf: "Concerning Shoghi Effendi's station: he surely has none except what the Master confers upon him in His Will and that Will also states what Shoghi Effendi's station is. If anyone misinterprets one part of the Will he misinterprets all the Will." When Shoghi Effendi wrote the general letter known as The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh he made clear, once-for-all, his own position, disassociating himself categorically from the prerogatives and station Bahá'u'lláh had conferred upon `Abdu'l-Bahá: "In the light of this truth to pray to the Guardian of the Faith, to address him as lord and master, to designate him as his holiness, to seek his benediction, to celebrate his birthday, or to commemorate any event associated with his life would be tantamount to a departure from those established truths that are enshrined within our beloved Faith." In 1945 his secretary wrote on his behalf: ". . . he has never gone so far as to forbid the friends to have pictures of himself in their possession; he merely would rather they placed the emphasis on the beloved Master."

* * *



It is time to ask ourselves what manner of man this was who wrote such things about himself, what impression did he create, how did he appear to others?

From the diary of one of the American believers whom Shoghi Effendi called to Haifa, in March 1922, we have the following description: ". . . Shoghi Effendi appeared and greeted me most kindly and affectionately. I had not seen him for eight years and of course I was surprised at the change and development in him, for instead of the boy I had known there was now a man very young in years but premature in poise and depth of spirit and thought . . ." He goes on to describe his impressions of Shoghi Effendi: "As I used to sit at table looking at Shoghi Effendi, I was struck by his resemblance to the Master. In the shape and poise of his head, his shoulders, his walk and his general bearing. Then I felt the terrible weight and responsibility which had been placed upon that young boy. It seemed overwhelming that he, whose life was just starting, so to speak from the human worldly standpoint, should have had this great responsibility thrust upon him, a weight which would so consume him and place him aside by himself as to eliminate from his life the freedom and joy of the human side of life, which, though not eternal, has a certain call for each of us human beings."

In 1929 an Indian Bahá'í pilgrim wrote of Shoghi Effendi: "We must understand Shoghi Effendi in order to be able to help him to accomplish the stupendous task he has entrusted

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to us. He is so calm and yet so vibrant, so static and yet so dynamic." This is little short of a brilliant characterization of one aspect of the Guardian. The impression he created on the first American Bahá'í to be called to Haifa after the second World War, in 1947, reveals other aspects of his nature: "My first impression was of his warm, loving smile and handclasp, making me feel immediately at ease . . . In the course of these interviews, I was to become increasingly conscious of his many great qualities — his nobility, dignity, fire and enthusiasm — his ability to run the scale from sparkling humour to deepoutrage, but always, always, putting the Bahá'í Faith ahead of everything . . . In his practical, logical manner, Shoghi Effendi made me feel both a welcome guest and a needed helper, he outlined some of my duties which started the very next day! His advice, given me on that initial visit, was to overshadow all my efforts on his behalf; he said he wanted me to follow his instructions explicitly, if I was unsuccessful, or ran into difficulties, to report to him precisely and he would give me a new plan of action . . . For the Bahá'ís working at the International Center, during this period at least, there was no special day of rest. It was then that one learned that each moment belonged to the Faith . . ." She then tells of those evenings when Shoghi Effendi shared with us at the dinner table special plans, cables and messages he was sending out and occasionally precious documents in his possession: ". . . Sparkling with excitement and new plans, he would produce messages and letters from his pockets, oftentimes pushing his dinner plate away untouched, calling for paper and pencil and thrill us all with his new ideas and hopes for the Bahá'ís to carry out . . . The beloved Guardian disliked very much to have his picture taken, therefore any photographs extant do not reflect his true `image' . In the first place, the emotions flowed so rapidly over his features that one would need a series to catch his many moods. It was a delight to see and hear him laugh . . . he seemed to twinkle like a star when some plan had been successfully brought to a conclusion. His sense of humour was a joy! He was like a high mountain, strong, always there, but never conquered, filled with unexpected heights and depths . . . he was extremely thorough and taught us all a new sense of perfection and attention to detail . . . he was in close touch with the expenditure of all funds . . . He was enthusiastically concerned with Bahá'í statistics . . . We could never appreciate his grasp of all affairs connected with activities at the `grass roots' right up to the World Center . . ."

Professor Alaine Locke of Howard University in Washington, who was one of the Bahá'í pilgrims to visit Haifa during the first years of Shoghi Effendi's Guardianship, describes the impressions he received as he walked with Shoghi Effendi in the gardens of the Báb's Shrine: "Shoghi Effendi is a master of detail as well as of principle, of executive foresight as well as of projective vision. But I have never heard details so redeemed of their natural triviality as when talking to him of the plans for the beautifying and laying out of the terraces and gardens. They were important because they all were meant to dramatize the emotion of the place and quicken the soul even through the senses."

Shoghi Effendi continually added to these gardens and their fame increased steadily. By the end of his life as many as 90,000 people a year were visiting them and the Shrine of the Báb. What one visitor wrote to him in 1935 expressed in the simplest terms the impression such a visit creates on many people; had been "deeply impressed by the reticent beauty of the Shrines and by the happiness of the gardens."

It was his practice each year to enlarge the cultivated area around the Shrines of the Báb and `Abdu'l-Bahá. No doubt the very first impulse in this direction came from his ever-conscious desire to follow in every field the wishes of his departed Master. He knew `Abdu'l-Bahá had planned a series of terraces from the old German Colony up to the Báb's Sepulchre; indeed the Master had begun developing the first terrace. Shoghi Effendi set himself, over the years, to finish these and in the course of studying this plan he no doubt evolved a concept of his gardens around the Shrine — for gardens they are, not one garden. To understand and appreciate the extraordinarily beautiful effect Shoghi Effendi has created on Mt. Carmel and in Bahjí one must know his method.

Shoghi Effendi studied the surrounding barren mountain side and began to develop, piece by piece, year after year, separate

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sections. With the exception of the terraces it must be borne in mind that he never had an over-all plan. This is what gives the gardens on Mt. Carmel their unique character. As he walked about Shoghi Effendi would get an idea for a piece of garden that fitted the topography of the land. With no fuss, no advice and no help except the unskilled farmers who did duty as gardeners, he would make his plan for this "piece". If necessary he would have the spot surveyed and curves or long lines laid out, but very often he dispensed with this and did it all himself.

It is hard to understand why most people do things so slowly when Shoghi Effendi did them so fast. Just to twitter faithfully that he was "guided by God" does not seem to me a sufficient explanation. I believe great people see things in great dimensions, little people get tripped up by little details. Shoghi Effendi, being truly great, having clearly in mind what he wanted to do, saw no reason why a lot of puny details — such as that one usually gave instructions to subordinates and and let them go their own pace in carrying them out — should prevent him from getting the whole thing done, under his own eyes, in one operation. He organized it perfectly and it was accomplished immediately and perfectly; anything he could do himself was always done tworking a his way. The delays and frustrations usually occurred when he had to refer his work to others.

Shoghi Effendi had a faultless sense of proportion. It is the combination of this sense of proportion, and an originally unhampered tradition or too much information, that made his gardens so unique, so fascinating and beautiful. If he (so he claimed) lacked the power of visualizing a thing completed, he possessed to a strong degree the other creative faculty of the true artist, the capacity to let a thing shape up under his hands, to receive an inspiration in the middle of a plan and pursue the soaring course of that inspiration rather than be tied to the preconceived idea.

Shoghi Effendi — like the Master before him — was a great lover of light. He hated gloomy interiors. This love of bright light was so pronounced that I used to remonstrate with him for working with a powerful desk lamp practically shining in his eyes as I was afraid it was too much for them. His own room was always brilliantly lit, the Shrines were all full of lights, large and small, and one of his first acts as Guardian was to have placed over the door of the Báb's Shrine that faces the terraces and the straight avenue at the foot of the mountain that leads to the sea, a bright light.

Gradually the gardens in both Haifa and Bahjí were all illumined with beautiful four-branched wrought iron lamp posts, ninety-nine of them being erected in Bahjí alone. When the night came that these were lighted for the first time, on the occasion of the Ridván Feast in 1953, and we approached Bahjí by car the sky glowed as if we were approaching a small city! The Guardian told the Persian pilgrims that it had always been light, but now it was "light upon light". (in the original there is a beautiful play of words alluding to Bahá'u'lláh as light.) In addition to this the Shrine in Haifa was illumined at night by flood-lights, as were the resting places of the Greatest Holy Leaf, and those of the mother and brother of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and high-powered reflectors were ordered to illumine the International Archives Building.

Shoghi Effendi came to grips with the harsh fact he was to all intents and purposes alone and he placed increased reliance on himself. He set himself to do all the work and did it, using as secretaries various members of the Master's family, facing an ever-increasing spirit of disaffection on their part, resigning himself to the unending drudgery of of petty tasks as well as major ones, accepting his fate with resignation, often with despair, always with loyalty and fortitude. It can truly be said of him that single-handed he effected the world-wide establishment of the Faith of his Divine Forefathers and proved that he belonged to that same sovereign caste.

It was during these years, when Shoghi Effendi was trying so hard to gather about him a group of competent co-workers, that a crisis of unprecedented dimensions burst upon him. The sea of the Cause of God, whipped by the winds of both destiny and chance which blow upon it from the outside world, was now lashed into a storm whose waves beat remorselessly upon Shoghi Effendi's mind, his strength, his nerves and his resources. The blessed House occupied by Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád and ordained by Him, in Shoghi Effendi's words, as a "sacred, sanctified and cherished object of Bahá'í

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Picture in Upper Left Corner of Page with Caption:
Shoghi Effendi at the time of his
studies in Beirut.


pilgrimage and veneration" had already in the days of `Abdu'l-Bahá been seized by the Shí`ahs, after a series of nefarious manoeuvres, had been returned by the British authorities to its legitimate custodians. When news of `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing reached the inveterate enemies of the Faith, they once again renewed their attack and laid claim to the House; in 1922 the government had taken over the keys of the House in spite of the assurance of King Feisal that he would respect the claims of the Bahá'ís to a building that had been occupied by their representatives ever since Bahá'u'lláh's departure from Baghdád and who now, for political reasons, went back on his word; and in 1923 the keys had been most unjustly delivered again to the Shí`ahs. From shortly after the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá until November 1925 there had been a continuous struggle on the part of the Bahá'ís to protect the Most Holy House. The Shí`ahs had first taken the case to their own religious court from which it was speedily lifted out to the Peace court and then brought before the local Court of First Instance, which decided in favour of the rights of the Bahá'ís.This decision was then taken to the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of `Iráq, which gave its verdict in favour of the Shí'`ahs.

When the Guardian was informed of this flagrant miscarriage of justice he immediately mustered the Bahá'í world to take action: he sent nineteen cables to various individuals and national bodies comprising the believers in Persia, the Caucasus, Turkistán, `Iráq, Japan, Burma, China, Turkey, Moscow, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain and the Pacific Islands. His instructions were that the Bahá'ís should cable and write their protest at this decision to the British High Commissioner in `Iráq. Persia and North America — where the Bahá'í communities were numerically strong — were informed that in addition to every local Assembly voicing its protest directly, the National Assembly should not only contact the High Commissioner, but protest directly to both King Feisal of `Iráq and the British authorities in London. The Assembly of India and Burma was likewise to protest to the King himself, but not to London. In places where the Bahá'ís were few in number, such as France and China, Shoghi Effendi advised that the protest should go over the signature of individuals. All these instructions markedly display the strategist in Shoghi Effendi. In his cables to the Bahá'í world he stated the situation was "perilous" and the "consequences of the utmost gravity"; all must request "prompt action to safeguard spiritual claims of Bahá'ís to this dearly-beloved Spot", "this sanctified abode", "Bahá'u'lláh's Sacred House". He put the proper phrases into the mouths of those he advised, the eastern friends being told to "fervently and courteously", "in firm considerate language", earnestly appeal "for consideration of their spiritual claims to its possession" and to the "British sense of justice", while the western believers were informed that "effective prompt action urgently required . . . protesting vigorously against Court's glaring injustice, appealing for redress to British sense fairness, asserting spiritual claims of Bahá'ís . . . declaring their unfailing resolve to do their utmost to vindicate their legitimate and sacred rights." With his usual thoroughness Shoghi Effendi advised America that the messages sent by the local Assemblies "should not be identical in wording."

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Picture at Top of the Page with the Caption:
This picture of Shoghi Effendi with Dr. J. E. Esslemont was taken when the Guardian
was visiting him at his sanatorium in Bournemouth, circa 1920-1921.


the exchange, during a two-month period, of well-nigh a hundred cables, in addition to a continual correspondence with various agents working to safeguard the Most Holy House, testify in bulk and substance to Shoghi Effendi's preoccupation with this problem. One of his first acts, on receiving the news of the decision of the Supreme Court, was to cable the High Commissioner in Baghdád that: "The Bahá'ís the world over view with surprise and consternation the Court's unexpected verdict regarding the ownership of Bahá'u'lláh's Sacred House. Mindful of their long-standing and continuous occupation of this property they refuse to believe that Your Excellency will ever countenance such manifest injustice. They solemnly pledge themselves to stand resolutely for the protection of their rights. They appeal to the high sense of honour and justice which they firmly believe animates your Administration. In the name of the family of Sir `Abdu'l-Bahá Abbás and the whole Bahá'í Community Shoghi Rabbani". On the same day he cabled the heart-broken Keeper of Bahá'u'lláh's House: "Grieve not. Case in God;s hand. Rest assured."

During the ensuing months many cables from Shoghi Effendi included such phrases as "House case should be strenuously pursued." He cabled a number of prominent non-Bahá'ís, and constantly co-ordinated the efforts of his lieutenants in different parts of the world. When over a month had passed Shoghi Effendi cabled various National Assemblies, instructing them to enquire in "courteous terms" from the High Commissioner "results of investigation" which the British authorities had promised to undertake. It was a losing battle, for the political and religious elements in `Iráq had common cause and refused to bow to the pressure brought upon them, including that of the British Government.

Shoghi Effendi, however, did not accept defeat so lightly and never rested until the case of the Holy House was brought before the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission, in November 1928; the Mandatory Power had upheld the right of the

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Bahá'ís to the possession of the House, and the Mandates Commission recommended to the Council of the League of Nations that it request the British Government to make representations to the `Iráqí Government to redress the denial of justice to the Bahá'ís in this case. The Bahá'ís continued to press the matter, from 1928 until 1933, but to no avail because the instruments for enforcing the decision were lacking and the power of the Shí`ahs inside `Iráq was such as to cause the entire question to be dropped by the `Iráqí Government, whenever that decision was pressed upon it.

A brief résumé of events such as these conveys none of the day-to-day suspense that attends them, the fluctuations between hope and despair, the good news and bad news that alternate with each other and wear away the heart and strength. The first impact of the Supreme Court's decision had scarcely been received when Dr. Esslemont suddenly died. Coming at such a time of crisis the loss of his friend was a doubly grievous blow to the Guardian.

So heavy was this burden that in February 1926 he wrote to one of the believers: "I am submerged in a sea of activities, anxieties and occupations. My mind is extremely tired and I feel I am becoming inefficient and slow due to this mental fatigue." This condition became so acute that he was forced to go away for a brief rest. "The overwhelming burden of pressing cares and responsibilities", he wrote towards the end of March, "necessitated my departure at a time when . . . I was most anxious to receive my friends and co-workers from various parts of the world." He must have been ill, indeed, to have absented himself from Haifa and his guests, but whatever his condition in February and March it was mild compared to that into which he was plunged by a wire from Persia, sent on April 11th, from Shíráz, which baldly stated: "Twelve friends in Jahrom martyred agitation may extend elsewhere," to which he replied the same day, " Horrified sudden calamity. Suspend activities. Appeal central authorities. Convey relatives tenderest sympathy". He also wired that same day to Tihrán a message so significant of the spirit of the Faith that its conjunction with the events in Jahrum cannot be ignored: "I earnestly request all believers Persia Turkistan Caucasus participate whole-heartedly in renewal Spiritual Assemblies election. No true Bahá'í can stand aside. Results should be promptly forwarded Holy Land through central Assemblies communicate immediately with every centre. Proceed cautiously. Imploring Divine assistance." The following day, having received a more detailed wire from Shíráz advising that the chief instigator of the agitation there had been arrested and giving certain suggestions, Shoghi Effendi telegraphed Tihrán: "Grief-stricken Jahrom martyrdom. Convey His Majesty on behalf of all Bahá'ís and myself our profound appreciation his prompt intervention and our earnest entreaty to inflict immediate punishment on perpetrators of such atrocious crime. Urge all Persian Assemblies send similar message." It is a slight, but significant indication of his mental state, that in the first cables he spells "Jahrom" phonetically, but later switches to the transliterated "Jahrum".

What all this meant to Shoghi Effendi is expressed by him in a letter to one of his co-workers, written on the 24th of April. After acknowledging receipt of his many letters, he explains that his delay in answering them has been due to "my unfortunate illness, amounting almost to a break-down, combined with the receipt of the most distressing news from Persia reporting the martyrdom of twelve of our friends in the town of Jahrum, south of Shíráz. I have wired for full particulars and will communicate them to the various Bahá'í centres immediately I receive detailed information. Political considerations and personal rivalries appear to have played no small part . . . I have transmitted a message to the Sháh through the Persian National Spiritual Assembly . . . I have also requested foreign Assemblies to give in an inoffensive language full publicity to these reports in their respective newspapers, but have thought it premature for them to get into direct relation with the Sháh . . ."

Yet in this state Shoghi Effendi managed to do what he thought could be done: "I feel that with patience, tact, courage and resource we can utilize this development to further the interests and extend the influence of the Cause." He had mustered the forces of the Bahá'í world in defense of the oppressed Persian Community, ensured that wide publicity in the foreign press be given to these

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Picture with the Caption:
The class of 1920, Balliol College, Oxford. Shoghi Effendi is standing behind the third man in the second row,
counting from the left (to the left of the man with the striped tie).


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martyrdoms, and constantly directed various National Assemblies in the action they should take in this respect as well as in the case of the Most Holy House.

Such is the tale of one period of the Guardian's life; how many blows rained on him in a little over six months, at a time when he was still struggling to get the load that had been placed on his shoulders at the time of the Master's passing properly balanced so that he could carry it!

* * *



Shoghi Effendi used to remark that out of his sufferings something always seemed to be born. He would go through these ordeals by fire — for indeed he seemed to fairly burn with suffering — and then some rain from heaven, in the form of good news, would shower upon him and help to revive him. I am afraid the mystery of sacrifice still remains a mystery to me, but certainly the Holy Ones of this world buy their victories dearly.

It was at this time, when affliction was literally engulfing the Guardian, that, on May 4th, the "Toronto Daily Star" published a highly appreciative statement made by Queen Marie of Rumania on the Bahá'í Faith, a statement followed by others during the course of her visit to the United States and Canada, which was printed in about two hundred newspapers and constituted some of the widest and most spectacular publicity the Faith has ever received. In a confidential letter written on May 29th the Guardian refers to this as "this most astonishing and highly significant event in the progress of the Cause".

The acceptance of Bahá'u'lláh's station by the Rumanian Queen — the first crowned head to accept the Faith — is a chapter in itself in the life of Shoghi Effendi and is inextricably bound up with the services of Martha Root, that "star-servant of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh", as Shoghi Effendi called her, and the part she played in his life — indeed no account of his life could ever be complete without mention of the relationship of this noble soul to him. Miss Martha Root was a journalist by profession and came of a distinguished American family. She met the Master during His visit to the United States and, fired by His Tablets of the Divine Plan, arose in 1919 and commenced her historic travels in the service of the Cause, not only travelling longer and farther than any single Bahá'í has ever done since its inception, but often, as the Guardian said, "in extremely perilous circumstances". It was her great teaching journeys — four of which took her entirely around the world — combined with her truly outstanding qualities, that so endeared her to Shoghi Effendi and led him to call her the "archetype of Bahá'í itinerant teachers". The services of no other believer ever afforded him the satisfaction that her singular victories brought him. Of her Shoghi Effendi wrote in October 1926: "In her case we have verily witnessed in an unmistakable manner what the power of dauntless faith, when coupled with sublimity of character, can achieve, what forces it can release, to what heights it can rise."

From the inception of Shoghi Effendi's ministry she not only turned her great loving heart to him but constantly sought his advice as to her plans. It would not be exaggerating to say that they had a partnership in all her undertakings, marked by a mutual love and confidence all too rare in the harassed life of the Guardian. They kept in close touch, a flow of letters and cables apprising him of her plans, her needs, her victories, her requests for guidance and his unfailing answers giving encouragement and advice. We find in his letters to her, whom he characterized, in 1923, as that "indomitable and zealous disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá", over and over again phrases such as these, in which he expresses the warmth of his feelings, that he has read her letters with "pride and gratitude", that they "have as usual gladdened my heart", that "It is always a joy to hear from you, beloved Martha." He wrote to her in July 1926, when she was making so many contacts with the royalty of Europe: ". . . write me fully and frequently for I yearn to hear of your activities and of every detail of your achievements. Assuring you of my boundless love for you . . .", and in August he says, "I hunger for every minute detail of your triumphal advance in the field of service . . . I am enclosing a copy of my letter to the Queen. Do not share its contents with anyone." But he had hastened to share it himself with her who had taught that Queen. In September he wrote, "I am glad to share with you the contents of the Queen of Rumania's answer to my letter. I think it is a remarkable letter, beyond our highest expectations. The change that has

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Picture at Top of the Page with the Caption:
The Centre of the Covenant and the future Guardian. Taken in Haifa on the steps of
the Master's house during the last years they were together.


been effected in her, her outspoken manner, her penetrating testimony and courageous stand are indeed eloquent and convincing proof of the all-conquering Spirit of God's living Faith and the magnificent services you are rendering to His Cause."

She turned to him at all times unhesitatingly making requests of him which she felt were in the interests of the Faith. The Guardian was well aware of both the purity of her motives and her good judgement and almost invariably acceded to these requests, which ranged from letters of encouragement to individuals to cabled messages to figures of great prominence.

On one occasion she cabled the Guardian: ". . . perhaps you will think wise and send me immediately greetings President Hoover", to which Shoghi Effendi replied by cable the following day: "Kindly convey President Hoover on behalf followers Bahá'u'lláh world over expression their fervent prayers for success his unsparing efforts in promoting cause of international brotherhood and peace — a cause for which they have steadfastly laboured well nigh a century". Exactly one year before, during a visit to Japan in November 1930, we find a similar exchange of cables taking place; Martha's said: "Love beautiful you cable me Greetings Emperor", to which Shoghi Effendi replied, the same day: "Kindly transmit his Imperial Majesty Emperor Japan on behalf myself and Bahá'ís world over expression of our deepest love as well as assurance our heartfelt prayers for his well-being and prosperity his ancient realm." Love begets love. Martha's great love for Shoghi Effendi called forth his love and his responses the way the capacity of a diamond to reflect light captures its rays and casts them back brilliantly.

In March of 1927, Shoghi Effendi wrote to Martha: ". . . I assure you, dearest Martha that wherever you be, in Scandinavia, Central Europe, Russia, Turkey or Persia, my fervent and continued prayers will accompany you and I trust that you may be protected, strengthened and guided to fulfil your unique and unprecedented mission as the exemplary advocate of the Bahá'í Faith."

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The years rolled by and Martha Root continued, white haired, frail and indomitable, her ceaseless journeys, until she was stricken by "a deadly and painful disease", as Shoghi Effendi wrote, and in Honolulu on September 28, 1939 she passed away. She had been on fire with pain during the last weeks of a tour of the Antipodes and, on her way back to America, to assist in the prosecution of the first Seven Year Plan, she literally dropped in her tracks, yielding up a life the Guardian said might well be regarded as the fairest fruit the Formative Age of the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh had yet produced.

I well remember the day the cable conveying the news of her death reached Shoghi Effendi. He himself was very ill with sand fly fever, had a high temperature (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and, alas, should never have had to receive such news in such a condition! But there was no way we could withhold it from him. He was the Guardian, it was Martha Root who had died. Against the strong remonstrances of his mother, his brother and myself, he pulled himself up to a sitting position in his bed, white, terribly weak, and very shaken by this sudden news, and dictated a cable to America announcing her death. He said what else could he do — the whole Bahá'í world was waiting to hear what he had to say. In that long message he said, amongst other things: "Martha's unnumbered admirers throughout Bahá'í world lament with me earthly extinction her heroic life . . . Posterity will establish her as foremost Hand . . . first Bahá'í Century . . . first finest fruit Formative Age Faith . . ." He said he was impelled to share the expenses of building her grave with the American National Assembly, the grave of one whose "acts shed imperishable lustre American Bahá'í Community."

Martha Root was firmly convinced that in her possession was the most priceless gem the world had ever seen — the Message of Bahá'u'lláh. She believed that in offering this gem and showing it to anyone, king or peasant, she was conferring the greatest bounty upon him he could ever receive. It was this proud conviction that enabled her, a woman of no wealth or social prestige, plain, dowdily dressed and neither a great scholar nor an outstanding intellectual, to meet more kings, queens, princes and princesses, presidents and men of distinction, fame and prominence and tell them about the Bahá'í Faith than any other Bahá'í in the history of this Cause has ever done.

Martha Root reported to Shoghi Effendi the account of the first of her eight interviews with Queen Marie of Rumania, which took place on January 30, 1926 in Controceni Palace in Bucharest, at the request of the Queen herself, after she had received Dr. Esslemont's book, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, sent to her by Martha. The Queen had evidently been attracted to the Teachings and when it was bruited about that she might visit North America, Shoghi Effendi wrote to the American National Spiritual Assembly the following instructions, conveyed in the writing of his secretary, on August 21, 1926: "We read in The Times that Queen Marie of Rumania is coming to America. She seems to have obtained a great interest in the Cause. So we must be on our guard lest we do an act which may prejudice her and set her back. Shoghi Effendi desires, that in case she takes this trip, the friends will behave with great reserve and wisdom, and that no initiative be taken on the part of the friends except after consulting the National Assembly."

It was during this visit that Her Majesty, her heart deeply stirred by the teachings of the Faith which she had been studying, testified, "in a language of exquisite beauty", as Shoghi Effendi put it, "to the power and sublimity of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, in open letters widely circulated in newspapers of both the United States and Canada". As a result of the first of these letters Shoghi Effendi was "moved by an irresistible impulse" to write to the Queen of the "joyous admiration and gratitude" of himself and the Bahá'ís of both the East and the West for her noble tribute to the Faith. On August 27, 1926 the Queen responded to this first communication from the Guardian and wrote to him, what he described as a "deeply touching letter":
Bran, August 27th, 1926
Dear Sir,

I was deeply moved on reception of your letter.

Indeed a great light came to me with the message of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá. It came as all great messages come at an hour of dire grief and inner conflict and distress, so the seed sank deeply.
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Picture with the Caption:
Facsimile of envelope addressed by Queen Marie of Rumania in her own handwriting
to Shoghi Effendi, and which contained her first letter to him written on
August 27, 1926, from Bran, her favourite residence.


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Picture with the Caption:
Facsimile of one of Her Majesty's written testimonials to the significance of the
Bahá'í teachings


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My youngest daughter finds also great strength and comfort in the teachings of the beloved masters.

We pass on the message from mouth to mouth and all those we give it to see a light suddenly lighting before them and much that was obscure and perplexing becomes simple, luminous and full of hope as never before.

That my open letter was balm to those suffering for the cause, is indeed a great happiness to me, and I take it as a sign that God accepted my humble tribute.

The occasion given me to be able to express myself publicly, was also His Work, for indeed it was a chain of circumstances of which each link led me one step further, till suddenly all was clear before my eyes and and I understood why it had been.

Thus does He lead us finally to our ultimate destiny.

Some of those of my caste wonder at and disaprove my courage to step forward pronouncing words not habitual for Crowned Heads to pronounce, but I advance by an inner urge I cannot resist.

With bowed head I recognize that I too am but an instrument in greater Hands and rejoice in the knowledge.

Little by little the veil is lifting, grief tore it in two. And grief was also a step leading me ever nearer truth, therefore do I not cry out against grief!

May you and those beneath your guidance be blessed and upheld by the sacred strength of those gone before you.
Marie
Among the things Queen Marie, who was not only a famous beauty, but an authoress and a woman of character and independence, wrote in her "open letters" published during 1926, on May 4th and September 28th, in the Toronto Daily Star and September 27th in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, were words such as these: "A woman brought me the other day a Book. I spell it with a capital letter because it is a glorious Book of love and goodness, strength and beauty . . . I commend it to you all. If ever the name of Bahá'u'lláh or `Abdu'l-Bahá comes to your attention, do not put their writings from you. Search out their Books, and let their glorious, peace-bringing, love-creating words and lessons sink into your hearts as they have into mine. One's busy day may seem too full for religion. Or one may have a religion that satisfies. But the teachings of these gentle, wise and kindly men are compatible with all religion, and with no religion. Seek them, and be the happier." "At first we all conceive of God as something or somebody apart from ourselves . . . This is not so. We cannot, with our earthly faculties entirely grasp His meaning — no more than we can really understand the meaning of eternity . . . God is all, Everything. He is the power behind all beginnings. He is the inexhaustible source of supply, of love, of good, of progress, of achievement. God is therefore Happiness. He is the voice within us that shows us good and evil. But mostly we ignore or misunderstand this voice. Therefore did He choose His Elect to come down amongst us upon earth to make clear His Word, His real meaning. Therefore the Prophets; therefore Christ, Muhammad, Bahá'u'lláh, for man needs from time to time a voice upon earth to bring God to him, to sharpen the realization of the existence of the true God. Those voices sent to us had to become flesh, so that with our earthly ears we should be able to hear and understand."

Shoghi Effendi wrote to Martha Root on May 29th, after he had just received from Canada a copy of the first of the Queen's "open letters", that this was "a well deserved and memorable testimony of your remarkable and exemplary endeavours for the spread of our beloved Cause. It has thrilled me and greatly reinforced my spirit and strength, yours is a memorable triumph, hardly surpassed in its significance in the annals of the Cause." In that same letter he asks her to ponder the advisability of approaching Her Majesty with the news of the Jahrum martyrdoms and possibly enlisting her sympathy in the cause of the Persian persecutions. That this consideration influenced the Queen in making her further courageous statements on the Faith there can be no doubt, as her letter to Shoghi Effendi indicates that this was the case. The news of this victory had reached Shoghi Effendi on the eve of the commemoration of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahjí, at a time when, as he described it in one of his general letters, ". . . His sorrowing servants, had gathered round His beloved Shrine supplicating relief and deliverance for the down-

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trodden in Persia" and Shoghi effendi goes on to say: "With bowed heads and grateful hearts we recognize in this glowing tribute which Royalty has paid to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh in an epoch-making announcement destined to herald those stirring events which, as `Abdu'l-Bahá has prophesied, shall in the fullness of time signalize the triumph of God's Holy Faith."

This marked the inception of a relationship not only with the Queen, but with other crowned heads and royalty in Europe on the part of Martha Root, and in a few instances Shoghi Effendi himself. He not only greatly encouraged and guided her in these relationships but, always staying within the bounds of dignity and good breeding, always sincere in the human relationship, he nevertheless used these contacts to serve the interests of the Cause through heightening its prestige in the eyes of the public and through seeing that they were pointedly brought to the attention of the enemies of the Faith.

Until the time of the Queen's death, in 1938, Martha Root kept in touch with her, keeping her informed of Bahá'í activities and receiving from her letters, written in her own hand that were both friendly and reflected her attachment to the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. There was also an exchange of letters and cables between Shoghi Effendi and the Queen; but often he sent her messages through Martha, which was a more intimate way of contacting her and less demanding of the high positions both he and the Queen occupied in their respective spheres. There was another factor that could not be lightly put aside and this was the constant pressure on the Queen, who occupied such an exalted rank in her nation — a nation so storm-tossed politically during her own reign and during her period as Dowager Queen, from both eccleastical and political factions — to keep silent about a religion that was not then widely known as it is today, which was viewed by the ignorant as Islamic in nature, and her open relationship of which they not only heartily disapproved but considered impolitic in the highest degree.

The Queen herself mentions, in her very first letter to the Guardian, that "Some of those of my caste wonder at and disaprove my courage to step forward pronouncing words not habitual to Crowned Heads to pronounce . . ." It required outstanding courage and deep sincerity for her to repeatedly write testimonials of her personal feelings on the subject of the Bahá'í Faith and grant permission for these to be made public — indeed Her Majesty wrote some of these deliberately for publication in The Bahá'í World. On January 1, 1934 she wrote to Martha, enclosing one of her precious tributes and giving personal news of herself and her family: "Will this do for Vol. V? The difficulty is to not repeat myself . . ."

In 1927, on October 25th, Shoghi Effendi wrote to Martha: "I am in receipt of your most welcome letters . . . and I am thrilled by the news they contained, particularly your remarkable and historic interview with the Queen and Princess. I am sending you a number of Bahá'í stones . . . to be presented by you on my behalf to the Queen, the Princess and any other members of the Royal family whom you think would appreciate and prize them . . . Please assure the Queen and Princess of our great love for them, of our prayers for their happiness and success and of our warm and cordial invitation to visit the Holy Land be received in the Beloved's home."

Behind this interview with the Queen, which Shoghi Effendi refers to in the above letter, undoubtedly by his own influence and the confirmations which flowed from his instruction to Martha in a letter written on June 29th of that same year in which he said: "I hope you will succeed in meeting not only the Rumanian Queen but her daughter the Queen of Serbia and King Boris of Bulgaria as well and I trust you will not hesitate to send me all particulars and details regarding your work in such an important field." That the Queen of Rumania received the gift of the ringstones and the invitation of the Guardian to visit Haifa is evidenced in her cable to him, sent from Sinai Palace on July 27, 1927:
Shoghi Effendi Haifa
Grateful thanks you and all yours with whom I feel spiritually so closely in touch.
Marie
Martha Root succeeded also in following the other instruction of Shoghi Effendi, for in May 1928 he writes to her: ". . . Your marvellous and historic interviews with mem-

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bers of the Rumanian and Serbian Royal Families have inspired and thrilled us all . . ."

Earlier, in April, Queen Marie and her daughter Ileana were on a visit to Cyprus and the Guardian says, in his letter to Martha Root, that the papers have published the news that the Queen intended to visit Haifa and he wonders "whether they had in mind such a visit and whether these premature disclosures deterred them from accomplishing their intended pilgrimage . . ." During the Queen's visit to Cyprus the Guardian cabled Sir Ronald Storrs, the Governor of Cyprus, with whom the royal party was staying, the following message: "Please convey to Her Majesty Queen of Rumania and her royal Highness Princess Ileana on behalf `Abdu'l-Bahá's family and friends our heartfelt appreciation of the noble tribute paid by them both to the ideals that animate the Bahá'í Faith. Pray assure them of our best wishes and profound gratitude." Sir Ronald transmitted the appreciative reply of the Queen and Princess to Shoghi Effendi.

The following draft, in the Guardian's own hand, of a long letter he wrote to the Queen is of historic interest:
Haifa, Palestine,
December 3, 1929
Her Majesty
The Dowager Queen Marie of Rumania
Bucarest
Your Majesty

I have received through the intermediary of my dear Bahá'í sister Miss Martha Root, the autograph portrait of Your Majesty, bearing in simple and moving terms, the message which Your Majesty has graciously been pleased to write in person. I shall treasure this most excellent portrait, and I assure you, that the Greatest Holy Leaf and the Family of `Abdu'l-Bahá share to the full my feelings of lively satisfaction at receiving so strikingly beautiful a photograph of a Queen whom we have learned to love and admire.

I have followed during the past few years with profound sympathy the disturbed course of various happenings in your beloved country, which I feel must have caused you much pain and concern. But whatever vicissitudes and perplexities which beset our Majesty's earthly path, I am certain that even in your saddest hours, you have received abundant sustenance and joy from the thought of having, through your glowing and historic utterances on the Bahá'í Faith as well as by your subsequent evidences of gracious solicitude for its welfare, brought abiding solace and strength to the multitude of its faithful and long suffering adherents throughout the East. Yours surely, dearly beloved Queen, is the station ordained by Bahá'u'lláh in the realms beyond to which the strivings of no earthly power can ever hope to attain.

I have immediately upon the publication of the second volume of the Bahá'í World, by the American Bahá'í Publishing Committee, forwarded directly to Bucharest, to the address of Your Majesty and that of Her Royal Highness Princess Ileana, copies of this most recent and comprehensive of Bahá'í publications. I will take the liberty of presenting in the course of the coming year the III Volume of this same publication which I trust will prove of interest to Your Majesty.

May I, in closing, reiterate the expression of profound appreciation and joy which the Family of `Abdu'l-Bahá and Bahá'ís in every land universally feel for the powerful impetus which Your Majesty's outspoken and noble words have lent to the forward march of their beloved Faith.

The Family also join me in extending to Your Majesty, as well as to Her Royal Highness Princess Ileana, a most cordial welcome should Your Majesty ever purpose to visit the Holy Land to `Abdu'l-Bahá's home in Haifa as well as to those scenes rendered so hallowed and memorable by the heroic lives and deeds of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá.
Shoghi
In 1930 Her Majesty visited Egypt with her daughter Ileana. Shoghi Effendi, having had the unfortunate experience of of indiscreet publicity during her visit to Cyprus, wired Alexandria on February 19th: "Advise Assembly in case Queen visits Egypt convey only written expression of welcome and appreciation on behalf Bahá'ís. Letter should be briefly carefully worded. No objection sending flowers. Individual communications should be strictly avoided. Inform Cairo."

In the hope that at last the Queen would

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Picture with the Caption:
The future head of the Faith, while still a student.


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be able to visit the Bahá'í Holy Places in Palestine the Guardian had had Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to her grandmother, Queen Victoria, copied in the Persian calligraphy, . and illuminated in Tihrán. On the 21st of February he cabled Tihrán: "Illuminated Tablet Queen Victoria should reach Haifa not later than March tenth on one or several pages." This was to be his gift to Her Majesty. Hearing no news of the Queen's plans once she had reached Egypt he wired to her direct on March 8th: "Her Majesty, the Dowager Queen Marie of Rumania, aboard Mayflower, Aswan. Family of `Abdu'l-Bahá join me in renewing the expression of our loving and heartfelt invitation to your gracious Majesty and Her Royal Highness Princess Ileana to visit His home in Haifa. Your Majesty's acceptance to visit Bahá'u'lláh's Shrine and prison-city of `Akká will apart from its historic significance be a source of immeasurable strength joy and hope to the silent sufferers of the Faith throughout the East. Our fondest love, prayers and best wishes for Your Majesty's happiness and welfare."

Receiving no reply to this communication Shoghi Effendi sent another wire on March 26th to the Queen at the Hotel Semiramis in Cairo: "Fearing my former letter and telegram in which Family of `Abdu'l-Bahá joined me in extending invitation to Your Majesty and Her Royal Highness Princess Ileana may have miscarried, we are pleased to express anew the pleasure it would give us all should Your Majesty find it feasible to visit Bahá'u'lláh's and `Abdu'l-Bahá's Shrines and the prison-city of `Akká. Deeply regret unauthorized publicity given by the Press." Two days later the Rumanian Minister in Cairo wired Shoghi Effendi: "Her Majesty regrets that not passing through Palestine she will not be able to visit you."

The cancellation of the visit of the Queen and her daughter to the Bahá'í Holy Places, which she had definitely set her heart upon, was a source of deep disappointment not only to the Guardian but also to the Queen herself. Behind the scenes there must have taken place a real struggle between the courageous and independent Queen and her advisers for, after a long silence, she wrote to Martha Root, in her own hand, describing at least a little of what had taken place. In a letter dated June 28, 1931, she stated: "Both Ileana and I were cruelly disappointed at having been prevented going to the holy shrines and of meeting Shoghi Effendi, but at that time were going through a cruel crisis and every movement I made was being turned against me and being politically exploited in an unkind way. It caused me a good deal of suffering and curtailed my liberty most unkindly. There are periods however when one must submit to persecution, nevertheless, however high-hearted one may be, it ever again fills one with pained astonishment when people are mean and spiteful. I had my child to defend at that time; she was going through a bitter experience and so I could not stand up and defie the world. But the beauty of truth remains and I cling to it through all the vicissitudes of a life become rather sad . . . I am glad to hear that your travelling has been so fruitful and I wish you continued success knowing what a beautiful message you are carrying from land to land." This letter ends with a sentence, after Her Majesty's signature, that was perhaps more significant of her attitude and character than anything else: "I enclose a few words which may be used in your Year Book."

The loyalty of this "royal convert", as Shoghi Effendi styled her, in the face of her increasing isolation, advancing age and the political trends in Europe which were gradually to engulf so many of her royal kin, deeply touched Shoghi Effendi. In 1934, on January 23rd, he wrote to her again:
Your Majesty,

I am deeply touched by the splendid appreciation Your Majesty has graciously penned for the Bahá'í World, and wish to offer my heartfelt and abiding gratitude for this striking evidence of Your Majesty's sustained interest in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.

I was moved to undertake its translation in person, and feel certain that the unnumbered followers of the Faith in both the East and the West will feel greatly stimulated in their unceasing labours for the eventual establishment of the Most Great Peace foretold by Bahá'u'lláh.

I am presenting to Your Majesty, through the care of Miss Martha Root, a precious manuscript in the handwriting of Bahá'u'lláh, illumined by a devoted follower of His Faith in Tihrán.
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May it serve as a token of my admiration for the spirit that has prompted Your Majesty to voice such noble sentiments for a struggling and persecuted Faith.

With the assurance of my prayers at the threshold of Bahá'u'lláh for Your Majesty's welfare and happiness,

I am yours very sincerely,
Shoghi
After sending the Queen a copy of his recently translated Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, and receiving from her a letter conveying her "most grateful thanks", which she ends by saying "May the Great Father, be with us in spirit, helping us to live and act as we should", Shoghi Effendi wrote to her as follows:
Haifa, Feb. 18, 1936
Your Majesty,

Miss Root has transmitted to me the original copy of the appreciation penned by Your Majesty for the forthcoming issue of Bahá'í World. I am deeply touched, and feel truly grateful for this further evidence of Your Majesty's sustained interest in and admiration for the Bahá'í Teachings.

Bahá'í Communities the world over will ever recall, with feelings of pride and gratitude, these beautiful, impressive and historic testimonies from the pen of Your Majesty — testimonies that will no doubt greatly inspire and hearten them in their continued labours for the spread of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.

I am so pleased and encouraged to learn that Your Majesty has derived much benefit from the reading of the Gleanings and I feel that my efforts in translating these extracts are fully rewarded.

I am presenting to Your Majesty through the kindness of Mrs. McNeill the latest photograph recently received from America showing the progress in the construction of the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette. May the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh ever bless and sustain Your Majesty in the noble support you are extending to His Cause.

With deepest affection and gratitude,
Shoghi
The Mrs. McNeill mentioned in this letter lived near `Akká in the Mansion at Mazra`ih once occupied by Bahá'u'lláh. She had known the Queen as a child in Malta and when she learned through the Guardian of the Queen's interest in the Faith she informed her of her own interest and the associations of the house she lived in. The Queen had written to her: "It was indeed nice to hear from you, and to think that you are of all things living near Haifa and are, as I am, a follower of the Bahá'í teachings . . . the house you live in. . . made precious by its associations with the Man we all venerate . . ."

Her Majesty's last published tribute to the Faith, in 1936, two years before she died, seemed to aptly describe what Bahá'u'lláh's Message had meant to her: "To those searching for light the Bahá'í Teachings offer a star which will lead them to deeper understanding, to assurance, peace and good will with all men." She had won for herself, Shoghi Effendi wrote, "imperishable renown . . . in the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh" through her "bold and epochal confession of faith in the Fatherhood of Bahá'u'lláh"; "this illustrious Queen may well deserve to rank as the first of those royal supporters of the Cause of God who are to arise in future, and each of whom, in the words of Bahá'u'lláh Himself, is to be acclaimed as `the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation, the fountain-head of blessings unto the whole world.' "

One sees from all this, which began early in 1926, that the severe crises which followed upon the inception of Shoghi Effendi's Guardianship, released, as ever, the spiritual forces inherent in the Faith and brought about such victories as the the conversion of the first Bahá'í Queen.

* * *


That Shoghi Effendi was stern in all matters affecting the protection of the Faith does not mean he could not be gentle and kind also. He was fundamentally a very tender-hearted person and when left sufficiently at peace within himself expressed this innate kindness and tenderness not only to those who surrounded him but to the believers personally in many ways. There are numerous examples of this in his cable files. Over and over, when disaster struck in some country where there were Bahá'ís, he would send an enquiry such as this one to Persia: "Wire safety friends. Anxious earthquake reports Persia Turkistan". Very often this would be followed by financial help for those who

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were in desperate need. When an American Bahá'í, stricken in Persia by infantile paralysis, was returning with his wife to the United States, Shoghi Effendi cabled the friends in Beirut, Alexandria and New York, requesting that they meet his boat and assist in every way they could. The Guardian sent seven wires, in a short space of time, in connection with a single Bahá'í who had serious difficulties in getting to Haifa and leaving after her pilgrimage was over.His thoroughness in such matters, as well as his consideration, are delightfully reflected in this telegram to Egypt: "Dewing New Zealand Bahá'í arriving tonight Cairo for one day.Urge meet him station. He wears helmet. If missed meet him next morning Cooks office nine o'clock. Extend utmost kindness." On another occasion we find Shoghi Effendi cabling, in connection with a Bahá'í who for some reason had not been able to land in Haifa, to "comfort him my behalf".

Sometimes the spirit animating a Bahá'í was such as to persuade Shoghi Effendi to change his own instructions. An instance of this is the case of Marion Jack, whom `Abdu'l-Bahá called "General Jack" and the Guardian called an "immortal heroine", saying she was a shining example to pioneers of present and future generations in both the East and the West, and that no one had surpassed her in "constancy, dedication, self-abnegation, fearlessnes" except the "incomparable Martha Root". Jackie — as she was called — lived in Sofia, Bulgaria and when war broke out Shoghi Effendi, concerned over her dangerous position, wired her "Advise return Canada wire whether financially stable". She replied, ". . . how about Switzerland" but assured him of her implicit obedience. Shoghi Effendi then wired, "Approve Switzerland" but she still did not want to leave her pioneer post and begged to be allowed to remain in Bulgaria, to which the Guardian replied: "Advise remain Sofia love."

There is a great mystery involved in the levels of service. Shoghi Effendi always advised the friends to pursue a moderate and wise course, but if they did not, and chose to rise to heights of heroism and self-sacrifice, he was immensely proud of them. After all, there is nothing either wise or moderate in being martyred — yet our crowning glory as a religion is that our first Prophet was martyred and twenty thousand people followed in His footsteps. I have tried to understand this mystery, moderation on one side and Bahá'u'lláh's words on the other: ". . . then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path. Sweeter indeed is this than all else . . ." and it seems to me that the best example is an aeroplane: when it trundles along on the ground on its wheels it is in the dimension of the ground, going along steadily on an earthly plane, but when it soars in the air and folds its wheels away and leaps forward at dazzling speeds, it is in a celestial realm and the values are different. When we are on the ground we get good sound earthly advice, but if we choose to spurn the soil and leap into the realms of higher service and sacrifice we do not get that kind of advice any more, we win immmortal fame and become heroes and heroines of God's Cause.

Shoghi Effendi worked through everything; everything that he encountered, individual, object or piece of l;and, that could be turned to an advantageous use for the Faith he seized upon and used. Although in general he worked through Assemblies and Committees, he also worked directly through individuals. An example of this is Victoria Bedekian, known as "Auntie Victoria". For years she wrote letters, widely circulated in the West and the East, and the Guardian encouraged her in this activity and even told her what she should emphasize in her communications.

He was not fussy about sources of information; by this I mean he did not always wait until official channels corroborated the arrival of a pioneer at his post or some other piece of good news which had been conveyed to him through a personal letter or by a pilgrim, but would incorporate this encouraging information in his messages. This latitude which Shoghi Effendi allowed himself meant that the whole work of the Faith was bowled forward at a far faster pace than if he had done otherwise. Like all great leaders he possessed something of the quality of a good press man who realizes that the time factor in conveying news is of great importance and that speed itself has an impact and stimulates the imagination. This practice of his should not, however, mislead us into thinking that he was not extraordinari-

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ly thorough. The exactitude with which he compiled statistics, sought out historic facts, worked on every minute detail of his maps and plans was astonishing.

he whole of Shoghi Effendi's life activity as Guardian, his mind and his feelings, his reactions and instructions, can be found reflected in miniature in his cables and telegrams; often they were more intimate, more powerful and revealing than the thousands of letters he wrote to individuals because in his letters his secretary usually dealt with details and thus the words are not the Guardian's own words, except for the postscripts which he wrote himself and which most of the time conveyed the assurance of his prayers, his encouragement and his statement of general principles.

Shoghi Effendi, like his grandfather and great-grandfather before him, had a delightful sense of humour which was ready to manifest itself if he were given any chance to be happy or enjoy a little peace of mind. His eyes would fairly dance with amusement, he would chuckle delightedly and sometimes break out into open laughter. Inside his family, with those he was familiar with, he liked to tease.

On one side so majestic, on the other so engagingly confiding, innocent-hearted and youthful, such was our Guardian! One of my tasks, once Shoghi Effendi knew I could paint a little, was to colour various things for him and one of these was a map showing the plots owned by the Bahá'í Community on Mt. Carmel. One day when I was adding colour to some newly-acquired areas Shoghi Effendi told me to paint them lighter. I asked why. Why, he said, to show they are a "recent acquisition". It was such a clear reflection of the joy these newly-purchased plots afforded him.

This recalls another aspect of Shoghi Effendi's richly endowed personality. He was very tenacious of his purposes, very determined, but never unreasonable. Although he never changed his objectives he sometimes changed the course he had planned to take to reach them.

All through the Guardian's ministry we see the light of Divine Guidance shining on his path, confirming his decisions, inspiring his choices. But there are always unforeseeable factors in every plan. Acts of God, and the sum of human endeavour, constantly change plans, little or big. This has always happened to the greatest as well as the smallest human beings, and the words of the Prophets themselves attest it. Shoghi Effendi was subject to such forces, but he also frequently modified his own plans. Examples of this are many and interesting: at one time he conceived the idea of placing the Mausoleum of Bahá'u'lláh on Mt. Carmel, but later gave this up entirely and fixed its permanent place in Bahjí; what became known as the World Crusade or Ten Year Plan was at first announced as a Seven Year Plan; one Temple to be built during this Plan became three Temples; the original eight European goal countries became ten; and so on. If outside forces over which the Guardian had no control frustrated some plan of his — as opposed to his modifying or expanding some plan of his own in the light of circumstances — he immediately compensated, so that the Cause, if a temporary defeat or humiliation was inflicted upon it, came out in the end with an augmented victory, a richer endowment.

Shoghi Effendi might be deflected from his course but he was never defeated in his purpose and his ingenuity was remarkable. A good example of this is the way he arranged for two of the three great new Continental Bahá'í Temples of the Ten Year Plan to be built. He extracted from the architect he had at hand the designs he felt were suitable for the Sydney and Kampala Houses of Worship. These were dignified, pleasing in proportion, conservative in sty;e and relatively modest in cost. Since the architect was not in a position to carry out the detailed drawings or supervise the actual construction, Shoghi Effendi, not making a great circumstance of what to a fussy and small-minded man would have imposed an insuperable obstacle, proceeded to instruct the two National Assemblies involved to get local architectural firms to carry out the details and erect the buildings. Shoghi Effendi himself modified the expensive suggestions these firms at first made and got both Temples built within what he considered a reasonable cost for the Cause to pay. Over and over his shrewdness and sound judgement saved the money of the Faith so that it could be spent on the many all-important tasks and not create temporary bankruptcy through the unwise prosecution of a single project.

Economy was a very rigid principle with

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Shoghi Effendi and he had very stern ideas on money matters. He more than once refused to permit an individual make the pilgrimage when he knew he was in debt, saying he must first pay his debts. I never saw the Guardian settle a bill he had not first carefully added up, whether it was for a meal or a payment of thousands of dollars! If there was an overcharge he pointed it out — and also if there was an undercharge. Many times I went to astonished people and called to their attention that their addition was wrong and they should do it again or they would be the losers. He also was a determined bargainer, never paying what he felt was too much for a thing. More than once, when a beautiful ornament for the Shrines, Archives, or gardens was too expensive, and the seller could not or would not meet the Gardian's price, he would not buy it even though wanted it and had the money. He just considered it wrong and would not do it. Although Shoghi Effendi for many years had had a private automobile and chauffeur (like `Abdu'l-Bahá before him), because spare parts were not procurable for it during the worst years of the war he had it sold and used taxis. I have no doubt that as with sufficient money one can usually buy anything he could have procured asnother car, but it never entered his mind. He was against extravagance, ostentation and luxury as such, denying himself and others many things because he felt they were either not justified or not appropriate.

Another of the strongly marked caracteristics of the Guardian was his openness. The believers were his confidants. Freely, majestically, aloof but with a most endearing and heart-captivating confidence, he would share with the pilgrims who were his guests not only his ideas and his interpretations of the Teachings, but his projects and plans. There were no privileged communicants who received his thought as of right. In spite of the fact that the National Assemblies were his channels through which he passed on his great Plans. and the bodies by which they were prosecuted, he was wont to share these Plans in almost full detail with those he met, to such an extent that many a returning pilgrim was in possession of nearly all the details that were soon to be communicated to the Bahá'í world officially. The same was true of his work at the World Centre. So complete was this frankness that he sometimes drew little sketches at the table to illustrate what he was doing in the gardens on Mt. Carmel, how the "arc" would be, what buildings might be reected on it, and so on.

Each new thing he was setting in motion, nationally or internationally, one might almost say folowed the same pattern as the dawn of a day: the first light, feelers of vision, would be discerned in his words to visiting pilgrims, or lie half-hidden in his communications to the Bahá'í world; then would come the glimmering of goals beginning to take shape as the sun of his concept rose higher and he focused the brilliant energy of his mind upon it; finally, in a clear burst of illumination, would come the whole idea in all its splendour — a Seven Year Plan, a Ten Year Plan, the warnings and promises in some new and wonderful general letter, the complete instructions regarding such major projects as the completion of the Shrine of the Báb, the International Archives,one of the gret new Houses of Worship, or the exposition of certain fundamental themes contained in such books as The Advent of Divine Justice and The Promised Day Is Come.

The relationship of Shoghi Effendi to the pilgrims, his courtesy as a host, his kindness shown to them in so many little ways, the things he so openly discussed with them, had a tremendous effect on the work the Bahá'ís were accomplishing in so many countries, for when these fortunate believers returned to their own communities they acted as a leaven, stimulating their fellow Bahá'ís to greater efforts, making the Guardian a more real person to those who had not been privileged to meet him face to face, creeating a sense of nearness both to him and to the World Centre that by any other method would have been hard to achieve.

But in spite of all he showered upon the pilgrims — from providing for their physical comfort as his guests to tearing th veils from heir eyes and educatng them in their Faith — whenever one of them would seek to express his or her deep gratitude for the honour of meeting him, he would instantly turn this aside, saying the purpose of the pilgrimage was to visit the Holy SAhrines.

The last year of the Guardian's life two Swiss pilgrims came to Haifa. Their presence stirred up all his memories of Switzerland and

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his love for their country poured out in a manner wholly unlike his usual reserve about his personal life and feelings. I had been ill in bed and not present at dinner in the Pilgrim House but when Shoghi Effendi came home he told me he had said everything, about the mountains he had climbed, the walks he had taken, the scenes he loved so much. It was very atypical of him, very rare and a clear index of something deep in his own heart.

He was moved to inform them that he wished Switzerland to have its own Temple site, which was to be situated near the capital city of Bern and have a clear view of the Bernese Alps, where he had spent so many months of his life walking and climbing. On August 12, 1957 he communicated to what was then the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Italy and Switzerland his wishes in this matter. His secretary wrote: "As he explained to — — — — -, he is very anxious for Switzerland to purchase a plot, however small in size, and modest a beginning it may be, for the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of that country. He feels this should be in the outskirts of Bern, overlooking the Berness Oberland, and he is very happy to be able to prewsent this land himself to the Swiss Community. No publicity whatsoever should be given to this matter lest an opposition resembling that which has asrisen in Germany should be provoked amongst the Orthodox element in Bern. Whenever the committee responsible for finding this land has located a suitable plot, he would like your Assembly to inform him of the details."

This was a gift of a unique nature, no other community in the Bahá'í world having been so honoured. The plot of land, almost 2,000 square metres in area, ob the outskirts of Bern, overlooks the Gürberthal and from it can be sen the famous Finsteraarhorn, Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau mountains, the scene of many of the Guardian's mountaineering exploits, the scene also of many of the most agonizing hours he passed after the ascension of his grandfather.

On one occasion a pilgrim from Canada had informed the Guardian that in teaching the Faith to the Eskimo people it was very difficult for them to understand the meaning of such similes as the nightingale and the rose because these things were entirely unknown to them. The reaction of Shoghi Effendi to this was typical. When he said good-bye to this friend he gave her a small vial of the Persian attar of rose, the quintessence of what a rose is, and told he to annoint the Eskmos with it, saying that perhaps in this way they would get an inkling of what Bahá'u'lláh meant when he wrote of the rose.

Another incident comes to my mind. Among the last pilgrims to leave Haifa before Shoghi Effendi himself left in June 1957, never to return, were two American negro believers. As long as I live I will never forget the look on the face of one of them as she sat opposite the Guardian at the Pilgrim House table. One could see that in meeting him — who met all men as the creation of God, with no other feeling than pleasure that they were as God had made them — the hurts and sorrows of a lifetime were melted away. She looked at him with a combination of the great loving heart of a mother and the reverence due him in his glorious station that I think must be the look on the faces of the angels in Paradise as they gaze upon their Lord. Those who had the privilege of being near the Guardian, no matter how much experience they had had or how w long they had been Bahá'ís — some, like myself from birth — were constantly having their concept of the greatness of this Cause expounded by Shoghi Effendi's words, his reactions and his example. I remember my surprise when, in his long Ridván Message to the Bahá'í world in 1957, he mentined (obviously with pride or he would not have included it) the "recently converted Bahá'í inmates" in Kitalya Prison in Uganda. It had never occurred to me that he would mention a Bahá'í being in prison without shame! But there he was proclaiming that we had a group of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in prison. He often referred to this in his talks to the pilgrims and as I pondered over this and the things he said about it I realized that as this Faith is for all men, the saints and the sinners, there were two principles involved. One was the fact that society must be governed by laws, protected by laws and men punished through laws; and the other was that belief in the Manifestation of God should be universal and include everyone, because the act of faith is the spark that sets the soul alight and gives it eternal awareness of its God, and

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this was something each soul had a right to, no matter what his sins might be. In more than one letter, at different times to different people, Shoghi Effendi encouraged the Bahá'ís to teach in prisons.

The sympathy which all the Prophets of God have shown towards the down-trodden, the meek, the poor and the outcast, singling them out for particular succour, protection and loving encouragement, was always manifested in the Guardian's acts and words. But we must not confuse this attitude with the fundamental truth that many groups of people who at present fall into these categories not only deserve to receive special attention but have within themselves reserves of power and spiritual greatness needed by the entire world. Take, for example, the Indians of the Western Hemisphere.`Abdu'l-Bahá had written: "You must attach great importance to the Indians, the original inhabitants of America. For these souls may be likened unto the ancient inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula., who, prior to the Revelation of Muhammad, were like savages. When the Muhammadan Light shone forth in their midst, they became so enkindled that they shed illumination upon the world. Likewise, should these Indians be educated and properly guided, there can be no doubt that through the Divine teachings they will become so enlightened that the whole earth will be illumined." Throughout his ministry Shoghi Effendi never forgot these words and repeatedly urged the believers throughout Canada and the Americas to enlist these souls under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh. Some of the last letters he wrote, in July 1957, to various National Assemblies in the Western Hemisphere, again forcibly stressed this subject and referred to the "long overdue conversion of the American Indians". I quote an excerpt from his instructions written by his secretary on his behalf:

"He was particularly happy to see that some of the Indian believers were present at the Convention. He attaches the greatest importance to teaching the original inhabitants of the Americas the Faith. `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself has stated how great are their potentialities, and it is their right, and the duty of the non-Indian Bahá'ís, to see that they receive the Message of God for this day. One of the most worthy objectives of your Assembly must be the establishment of all-Indian Spiritual Assemblies. Other minorities should likewise be especially sought out and taught. The friends should bear in mind that in our Faith, unlike every other society, the minority, to compensate for what might be treated as an inferior status, receives special attention, love and consideration . . ."

To a pilgrim belonging to the Mongolian race the Guardian stated that as the majority of the people in the world were not white there was no reason why the majority of Bahá'ís inside the Faith should be white; on the contrary, the Cause should reflect the situation existing in the world. To Shoghi Effendi differences were not something to be eliminated but rather the legitimate, necessary, indeed fascinating, ingredients that made the whole so much more beautiful and perfect.

Not only did Shoghi Effendi constantly inculcate in the Bahá'ís the respect due to people of different ethnic backgrounds, he also taught them what respect, and above all what reverence, as qualities needed to round out a noble human character, really are. Reverence for holy things is sadly lacking in the Western World today. In an age when the mistaken idea of quality seems to imply that every blade of grass must be exactly the same height, the Guardian's own profound respect for those above himself in rank was the best example one could find. The extreme reverence he showed to the Twin Manifestations of God and to `Abdu'l-Bahá, whether in his writings, his speech or the manner in which he approached their resting-places provides a permanent pattern for all Bahá'ís to follow. Whenever Shoghi Effendi was near one of the Shrines one could sense his awareness of this in his whole being. The way he walked as he neared it, the way he quietly and with great dignity and reverence approached the threshold, knelt and placed his forehead upon it, the way he never turned his back when inside the Shrine on that spot where one of these infinitely holy and precious beings was interred, the tone of his voice, his dignified lack of any levity on such occasions, all bore witness to the manner in which man should approach a holy of holies, going softly on sacred ground. It is really with the soul that man has to do in this life, for it is all he will take with him when he leaves it. It is this fundamental concept — so obscured

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and forgotten in present-day philosophies — that endows even the dust of boble beings with a mystic potency. So strong is the perfume of some roses that even years after they have withered and dried out one can still smell the rose in them. This is a feeble example of the power which remains in the very dust that has been associated with the towering spirits of divine souls when they were in this world.

This wonderful emotion of reverence — which seems when it sweeps over us to blow away so much of the dross in our immature natures — was a deep characteristic of the Guardian, who learned it in his childhood as he sat on his heels, arms crossed on breast, before his exalted grandfather. It is not a ritualistic thing that is at stake here. There are no rituals in the Bahá'í Faith. It is an attitude. Although the Guardian was wont to prostrate himself before the thresholds of the Holy Tombs, he was at pains to explain to the pilgrims that they were free to do so or not. He did it because it was a custom in the part of the East from which his ancestors came. But the reverence was another matter; one thing was a form of expression the individual could choose for himself, the other was the proper spirit that should dwell in the heart of a devotee as he approaches those things that are most sacred in his world.

No picture of Shoghi Effendi's personality would ever be complete that did not depict the truly extraordinary artistic sense he possessed. This does not mean he could have been a painter; he was a writer par excellance. But he certainly had a painter's and an architect's eye. This was coupled with that fundamental quality without which I cannot see how anyone can achieve greatness in any of the arts or the sciences — a perfect sense of proportion, a sense of proportion measured in millimetres rather than centimetres. It was he who fixed the style of the Shrine of the Báb through his instructions — mostly not in detail but in principle — to my father. It was he who set the design for the International Archives Building, to such an extent that the architect would invariably state it was Shoghi Effendi's design, not his. The Guardian, with no help and no advice, laid out his superb gardens in Bahjí and Haifa, every measurement being his own. But what people do not perhaps realize is that the appearance of the Shrine interiors, the Mansion of Bahá`u'lláh, the House of `Abbúd, the Mansion at Mazra'ih, was not created by anyone, however slight the detail, except the Guardian himself. He not only steadily added to the ornaments, photographs, lamps and furnishings that make these places so beautiful, but everything was placed where it was under his supervision. Not a picture hung on the walls that was not placed exactly where it was, to within a centimetre, by him. He not only created the effect of beauty that meets the eye as one enters those places, but he produced it all at a minimum cost, buying things not so much because of their style and period but because they were inexpensive and could achieve an effect regardless of their artistic worth. His visits to the Shrines and gardens were my only opportunities to have his room cleaned. How often I remember how, in spite of my efforts and the maid's to get the many objects on his desk back into their exact positions, he would enter his bedroom, in which he did all his work, go to his desk, cast an eye over it automatically, reach out his hand and give an almost infinitesimal twist to the different objects which he detected were slightly out of the position he liked them to be in, though I am sure the difference was practically invisible to any eye but his. Needless to say that all this went with a neatness and tidiness that was phenomenal.

Unhampered by tradition in matters of taste Shoghi Effendi was extremely original and ingenious in the way he achieved his effects. He did things no over-instructed authority on a series of do's and don't's would have have attempted. Take for instance the interior decoration of the Greek style Archives Building. In order to acquire more space as a single giant hall in which to exhibit the many objects, sacred or otherwise, with which he intended to furnish it, Shoghi Effendi had two narrow balconies built, running its full length on either side, which were protected by a purely renaissance, excellent in style, wooden balustrade. Most of the cabinets he chose to line the walls of the hall downstairs were Japanese lacquer or Chinese carved teak wood. The six great chandeliers suspended from the ceiling were of cut crystal and purely European in design. When I asked the Guardian what furniture he would place on the balconies he said he would use some of the cabinets from the previous Archives,

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Picture in Upper Right Corner of the Page with the Caption:
A photo of Shoghi Effendi taken probably during
the years immediately before he became Guardian.


which were really of no style at all but just modern veneer furniture such as people have in their homes these days. Yet this strange assortment of things representing different periods and different countries, including innumerable objects d'art, have combined to create an impression of beauty, of dignity, of richness and splendour it would be hard to equal anywhere.

* * *


However faithful and tender Shoghi Effendi's relationships were throughout his life with those closest to him, his supreme relationship was with the Greatest Holy Leaf. When she passed away in 1932 the news reached him in Interlaken, Switzerland. Although he was well aware of her condition, which he described in 1929 when he wrote that the Greatest Holy Leaf was "now in the evening of her life, with deepening shadows caused by failing eyesight and declining strength swiftly gathering about her"; although he had had a premonition of her swiftly approaching death, when he wrote in March 1932 to the American believers urging them to press on with the completion of the dome of "our beloved Temple" and said that "my voice is once more reinforced by the passionate, and perhaps, the last, entreaty, of the Greatest Holy Leaf, whose spirit, now hovering on the edge of the Great Beyond, longs to carry on its flight to the Abhá Kingdom . . . an assurance of the joyous consummation of an enterprise, the progress of which has so greatly brightened the closing days of her earthly life"; although she was now eighty-two years old — none of this softened the blow or mellowed the grief that overwhelmed the Guardian. On July 15th he cabled America announcing that her spirit had taken its flight to that Great Beyond, bewailing the "sudden removal of my sole earthly sustainer, the joy and solace of my life", and informing the friends that "So grievous a bereavement necessitates suspension for nine months throughout Bahá'í world every manner religious festivity"; memorial meetings were to be held everywhere, locally and nationally, for her, the "last remnant of Bahá'u'lláh".

But it was on July 17th that he wrote to the American and Canadian believers a letter that provides a glimpse of what was passing in the surging sea of his heart and in which eulogizes the life, station and deeds of `Abdu'l-Bahá's sister, pouring forth his love in an unforgettable torrent of words. Dearly-beloved Greatest Holy Leaf! Through the mist of tears that fill my eyes I can clearly see, as I pen these lines, thy noble figure before me, and can recognize the serenity of thy kindly face. I can still gaze, though the shadows of the grave separate us, into thy blue, love-deep eyes, and can feel, in its calm intensity, the immense love thou didst bear for the Cause of thine Almighty Father, the attachment that bound thee to the most lowly and insignificant among its followers, the warm affection thou didst cherish for me in thine heart. The memory of the ineffable beauty of thy smile shall ever continue to cheer and hearten me in the thorny path I am destined to pursue. The remembrance of the touch of thine hand shall spur me on to follow steadfastly in thy way. The sweet magic of thy voice shall remind me, when the hour of adversity is at its darkest, to hold fast to the rope thou didst seize so firmly all the days of thy life.

Bear thou this my message to `Abdu'l-Bahá, thine exalted and divinely-appointed Brother: If the Cause for which Bahá`u'lláh

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toiled and laboured, for which Thou didst suffer years of agonizing sorrow, for the sake of which streams of sacred blood have flowed, should, in the days to come, encounter storms more severe than those it has already weathered, do Thou continue to overshadow, with Thine all-encompassing care and wisdom, Thy frail, Thy unworthy appointed child.

What the Greratest Holy Leaf had done for Shoghi Effendi at the time of the Master's passing and in the years that followed is beyond calculation. She had played, as he said, a unique part throughout the tumultuous pages of Bahá'í history, not the least of which had been the establishment of Shoghi Effendi's own ministry after the death of `Abdu'l-Bahá. "Which of the blessings am I to recount," wrote Shoghi Effendi, "which in her unfailing solicitude she showered upon me, in the most critical and agitated hours of my life?" He says that to him she had been an incarnation of `Abdu'l-Bahá's all-encompassing tenderness and love. As her life had waned his had waxed. With what deep satisfaction she must have seen, as the tide of her own life receded from the shores of this world, that Shoghi Effendi was become strong in his Guardianship, able to face the incessant blows he received with the fortitude of a man now fully grown to his stupendous task.

So close was the communion between Shoghi Effendi and his great-aunt that over and over, in cables and other communications, particularly during the early years of his Guardianship, he included her with himself in such phrases as "assure us", "the Greatest Holy Leaf and I", "we", and so on. In a cable sent in 1931 he even signs it "Bahíyyih Shoghi". Nothing could be more revealing of this intense love he had for her than the fact that on the day we were married it was to her room, where everything is preserved as it was in her days, standing beside her bed, that the Guardian went to have the simple Bahá'í marriage ceremony of hand in hand performed and we each repeated the words in Arabic: "We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God."

This love the Guardian had for the Greatest Holy Leaf, who had watched over him for thirty-five years as far more than a mother, continued to be demonstrated for the remainder of his life. When the news of her death reached him in Switzerland his first act was to plan for her grave a suitable memorial which he hastened to Italy to order. No one could possibly call this exquisitely proportioned monument, built of shining white Carrara marble, anything but what it appears — a love temple, the embodiment of Shoghi Effendi's love. He had undoubtedly conceived its design from buildings of a similar style and, under his supervision, an artist now incorporated his concept in the monument he planned to erect on her resting-place. Shoghi Effendi used to compare the stages in the Administrative Order of the Faith to this monument, saying the platform of three steps was like the local Assemblies, the pillars like the National Assemblies, and the dome that crowned them and held them together like the Universal House of Justice, which could not be placed in position until the foundations and pillars were first firmly erected. After the Greatest Holy Leaf's monument had been completed in all its beauty he had a photograph of it sent to many different Assemblies, as well as to a special list of individuals to whom he wished to present so tender a memento.

In every act of his life he associated the Greatest Holy Leaf with his services to the Faith. When he entombed the remains of the mother and brother of Bahíyyih Khánum on Mt. Carmel he cabled: ". . . cherished wish Greatest Holy Leaf fulfilled", referring to her often expressed desire to be buried near them. On that momentous occasion he said he rejoiced at the privilege of pledging one thousand pounds as his contribution to the Bahíyyih Khánum Fund designed to inaugurate the final drive connected with the completion of the American Temple. He wrote that this transfer and reburial were events of "capital institutional significance". He said "the conjunction of the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf with those of her brother and mother incalculably reinforces the spiritual potencies of that consecrated Spot" which was "destined to evolve into the focal centre of those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing Administrative institutions, ordained by Bahá'u'lláh . . ."

When `Abdu'l-Bahá's mantle, as Head of the Faith, fell on Shoghi Effendi's shoulders

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a great change came over him. What the nature of that change was spiritually it is not for us — so infinitely remote in both station and stature — to either grasp or seek to define. Shoghi Effendi was never really intimate with anyone except the closest members of his family and, in the early days, those who acted as his help-mates and secretaries. As years went by and his burdens increased, even this intimacy grew less.

Surely the simplicity of the marriage of Shoghi Effendi — reminiscent of the simplicity of `Abdu'l-Bahá's own marriage in the prison-city of `Akká — should provide a thought-provoking example to the Bahá'ís everywhere. No one, with the exception of his parents, my parents and a brother and two sisters of his living in Haifa, knew it was to take place. He felt strongly urged to keep it a secret, knowing from past experience how much trouble any major event in the Cause invariably stirred up. It was therefore a stunning surprise to see both the servants and the local Bahá'ís when his chauffeur drove him off, with me beside him, to visit the Holy Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh on the afternoon of March 25, 1937. His heart drew him to that Most Sacred Spot on earth at such a moment in his life. I remember I was dressed entirely in black for this unique occasion. I wore a white lace blouse, but otherwise I was a typical example of the way oriental women dressed to go out into the streets in those days, the custom being to wear black. Although I was from the West Shoghi Effendi desired me to fit into the pattern of the life in his house — which was a very oriental one — naturally and inconspicuously as possible and I was only too happy to comply with his wishes in every way. When we arrived at Bahjí and entered the Shrine he requested me to give him his ring, which I was wearing concealed about my neck, and this he placed on the ring-finger of my right hand, the same finger that corresponded to the one of his own on which he himself had always worn it. This was the only gesture he made. He entered the inner Shrine, beneath the floor of which Bahá'u'lláh is interred, and gathered up in a handkerchief all the dried petals and flowers that the keeper of the Shrine used to take from the threshold and place in a silver receptacle at the feet of Bahá'u'lláh. After he had chanted the Tablet of Visitation we came back to Haifa. There was no celebration, no flowers, no elaborate ceremony, no wedding dress, no reception. His mother and father, in compliance with the laws of Bahá'u'lláh, signified their consent by signing our marriage certificates and then I went back to the Western Pilgrim House across the street and joined my parents (who had not been present at any of these events), and Shoghi Effendi went to attend to his own affairs. At dinner-time, quite as usual, the Guardian appeared, showering his love and congratulations on my mother and father. He took the handkerchief, full of such precious flowers, and with his inimitable smile gave them to my mother, saying he had brought them for her from the inner Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. My parents also signed the marriage certificate and after dinner and these events were over I walked home with Shoghi Effendi, my suitcases having been taken across the street by Fujita while we were at dinner. We visited for awhile with the Guardian's family and then went up to his two rooms which the Greatest Holy Leaf had had built for him so long ago.

The quietness, the simplicity, the reserve and dignity with which this marriage took place did not signify that the Guardian considered it an unimportant event — on the contrary. Over his mother's signature, but drafted by the Guardian, the following cable was sent to America: "Announce Assemblies celebration marriage beloved Guardian. Inestimable honour conferred upon handmaid of Bahá'u'lláh Rúhíyyih Khánum Miss Mary Maxwell. Union of East and West proclaimed by Bahá'í Faith cemented. Ziaíyyih mother of the Guardian." A telegram similar to this was sent to Persia. This news, so long aswaited, naturally produced great rejoicing amongst the Bahá'ís and messages flooded in to Shoghi Effendi from all parts of the world. To that received from the National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada Shoghi Effendi replied: "Deeply moved your message. Institution Guardianship, head cornerstone Administrative Order Cause Bahá'u'lláh, already ennobled through its organic connection with Persons of Twin Founders Bahá'í Faith, is now further reinforced through direct association with West and particularly with American believers, whose spiritual destiny is to usher in World Order Bahá'u'lláh. For my part desire congratulate community

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American believers on acquisition tie vitally binding them to so weighty an organ of their Faith." To innumerable other messages his practically universal answer was merely an expression of loving appreciation for their felicitations.

The most significant point, however, associated with the Guardian's marriage is the stress he laid on the fact that it had drawn the Occident and the Orient closer to each other. It had not only done this but other ties had been reinforced and established. In reply to an inquiry from the American Assembly: "Request advice policy concerning announcement marriage" Shoghi Effendi stated: "Approve public announcement. Emphasize significance institution Guardianship union East West and linking destinies Persia America. Allude honour conferred British peoples" — a direct allusion to my Scotch Canadian father.

All this had such an effect on the American community that its national body informed the Guardian that it was sending $19.00 from each of its seventy-one American Assemblies "for immediate strengthening new tie binding American Bahá'ís to institution Guardianship" — truly a most unusual, pure-hearted wedding gift to the Cause itself.

* * *


Shoghi Effendi was the keenest observer of political events and kept abreast of all happenings. His intelligence and analytical faculties did not permit him to lull himself into any false complacency, induced by the rather childish idea people sometimes have of what "faith" means. He well knew that to have faith in God does not mean one should not use one's mind, appraise dangers, anticipate moves, make the right decisions during a crisis:

Steeped in the Teachings from his childhood, the alert and observant companion of his beloved grandfather, Shoghi Effendi seems to have always been aware of what he called "the initial perturbations of the world-shaking catastrophe in store for an unbelieving humanity". Though he saw another war coming, he did not live in a constant state of false emergency. He reassured Martha Root, who in 1927 wrote to him from Europe about her fears: "As to the matter of an eventual war that may break out in Europe, do not feel the least concerned or worried.The prospect is very remote, the danger for the near future is non-existent" — even though that same year he had stated the inevitability of another deadly conflict was becoming increasingly manifest. Over and over he prepared the minds of the Bahá'ís to face the fact that a world conflagration was coming. In 1938 he wrote, "The twin processes of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated and every day are inexorably moving towards a climax. The rumblings that must precede the eruption of those forces that must cause `the limbs of humanity to quake' can already be heard. `The time of the end', `the latter years', as foretold in the Scriptures, are at long last upon us." And in The Advent of Divine Justice, which he wrote at the end of December 1938, he clearly anticipated the war: "Who knows", he asked, "but that these few remaining, fast-fleeting years, may not be pregnant with . . . conflicts more devastating than any which have preceded them." And in April 1939 he had written: "the sands of a moribund civilization are inexorably running out".

As the long shadow of war descended on Europe I remember well the almost tangible feeling of catastrophe that enveloped me when Shoghi Effendi wrote, from the very heart of that continent, the poetic and powerful words that opened his cable of August 30, 1939: "shades of night descending imperilled humanity inexorably deepening . . ." In July 1940 he had cabled that the fires of war ". . . now threaten devestation both Near East Far West respectively enshrining World Centre chief remaining citadel Faith Bahá'u'lláh . . ." It seems unbelievable that in the midst of so many anxieties the Guardian should have had the mental power and physical strength to sit down and write such a book as The Promised Day Is Come — a book in which he made it quite clear that the "retributory calamity" which had overtaken mankind, whatever its political and economic causes might be, was primarily due to its having ignored for a hundred years the Message of God for this day.

The dangers and problems which the war brought to us in Haifa and to the Bahá'í world in general were faced by Shoghi Effendi with remarkable calm.This does not mean he did not suffer from them. The burden of responsibility was always there, he could never lay it down for a single moment. I remember on one occasion, when I was frantic because

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he always had to have everything referred to him for decision, even when he was ill, he said that other leaders, even Prime Ministers, could delegate their powers for at least a short time ig they were forced to, but that he could not delegate his for a single moment as long as he was alive. No one else was divinely guided to fulfill his function and he could not delegate his guidance to someone else.

Although World War II did not actually reach the Holy Land, for years we lived in the imminent danger that it might do so at any time.

In November 1941, Shoghi Effendi, in a cabled message had forecast the future and characterized the years immediately before us: ". . . as fury destructiveness tremendous world ordeal attains most intensive pitch . . ." in spite of what lay ahead of the world we in Palestine had already, during 1941, passed through what for us were the most agonizing months of the entire war which had caused the Guardian intense anxiety. It was during that year that the abortive revolution of the anti-ally Rashíd `Alí took place in `Iráq; the British forces were persistently driven back by General Rommel in Libya and the Germans eventually (in 1942) reached the gates of Alexandria; the Nazi forces occupied Crete — a second springboard for teir contemplated conquest of the Middle East; and British and French forces invaded the Lebanon and ousted the regime controlled by the Vichy Government in that coulntry. In addition to these all too palpable dangers the Grand Muftí of Jerusalem, the enemy of both the Faith and the Guardian, was the firm ally of the Nazi Government. It does not require much imagination to picture what could have happened to Shoghi Effendi and the Shrines, the World Centre records and archive materials, if a victorious German army, accompanied by the scheming and vituperative Muftí, had taken Palestine. Many times Shoghi Effendi said that it was not so much a question of what the Germans would do but the fact that there were many local enemies who, combining with the Muftí, could completely poison the minds of the Germans against him and thus aggravate a situation already dangerous enough since our Bahá'í ideas were in many respects so inimical to the Nazi ideology.

Throughout the years of the war Shoghi Effendi was in a position to maintain his contact with the mass of the believers in those countries where some of the oldest and most populous Bahá'í communities existed, such as Persia, America, India and Great Britain, as well as the new and rapidly growing centres in Latin America. The relatively small communitties in Japan, the European countries, Burma, and for a time `Iráq, were the only ones cut off from him — a serevance that grieved him and caused him much concern for their fate. Because of this little-short-of-miraculous manner in which contact was maintained with the body of believers throughout the Bahá'í world Shoghi Effendi was able not only to send his directives to the various National Assemblies, but to indicate what this great war signified to us as Bahá'ís. In his epistle known as The Promised Day Is Come he stated that "God's purpose is none other than to usher in, in ways He alone can bring about, and the full significance of which He alone can fathom, the Great, the Golden Age of a long-divided, a long-afflicted humanity. Its present state, indeed even its immediate future, is dark, distressingly dark. Its distant future, however, is radiant, gloriously radiant — so radiant that no eye can visualize it . . . The ages of its infancy and childhood are past, never again to return, while the Great Age, the consummation of all ages, which nust signalize the coming of age of the entire human race, is yet to come. The convulsions of this transitional and most turbulent period in the annals of humanity are the essential prerequisites, and herald the inevitable approach, of that Age of Ages, `the time of the end', in which the folly and tumult of life that has, since the dawn of history, blackened the annals of mankind, will have been finally transmuted into the wisdom and the tranquility of an undisturbed, a universal, and lasting peace, in which the discord and separation of the children of men will have given way to the world-wide reconciliation, and the complete unification of the divers elements that constitute human society . . . It is this stage which humanity, willingly or unwillingly, is resistlessly approaching. It is for this stage that this vast, this fiery ordeal which humanity is experiencing is mysteriously paving the way."

So great was the relief and joy of the Guardian when the European phase of the war ended in May 1945 that he cabled

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America: "Followers Bahá'u'lláh throughout two continents unanimously rejoice partial emergence war torn humanity titanic upheaval" and expresed what lay so deeply in his heart: "gratefully acclaim signal evidence interposition divine Providence which during such perilous years enabled World Centre our Faith escape . . ." and went on to express an equal thanksgiving for the manner in which other communities had been miraculously preserved, recapitulating the truly extraordinary victories won for the Faith during and in spite of the war. On August 20, 1945 he again cabled: "Hearts uplifted thanksgiving complete cessation prolonged unprecedented world conflict" and urged the American believers to arise and cary on their work, hailing the removal of restrictions which would now enable them to launch the second stage of the Divine Plan. Nothing could provide a better example of the determination, the enthusiasm and the brilliant leadership of the Guardian than these messages sent on the morrow of the emergence of the world from the worst war in its entire history.

Whatever the state opf the rest of the world, the internal situation in Palestine continued to worsen in every respect. The holocaust that had engulfed European Jewry; the bitterness induced smongst the Palestine Jews by British policy in regard to Jewish immigration, which was strictly limited and controlled; the burning rsentment of the Arabs against that same policy — all served to increase local tensions and hatred. Many of the hardships from which other countries were beginning to slowly emerge, such as severe food rationing, we are now entering. Everything was difficult. We were no longer in danger of being invaded or bombed, but the outlook for this small but sacred country grew steadily blacker as we entered that period which was characterized by Shoghi Effendi as "the greatest turmoil rocking the Holy Land in modern times."

Shoghi Effendi was exhausted from the strain of the war years, years during which he had not only written The Promised Day Is Come and God Passes By, but during which he had prosecuted — for who can deny this was the ceaseless output of enthusiasm, encouragement and energy that galvanized the Bahá'ís into action? — five years of the first Seven Year Plan, during which he had comforted, inspired and held the Bahá'í world together, during which he had steadily enlarged the periphery of the Cause and deepened and expanded the life of its National communities, during which the unique project of building the superstructure of the Báb's Shrine had been initiated, and during which the family of `Abdu'l-Bahá, including his own family, had been hopelessly lost to him. He was now approaching fifty, his hair whitening at the temples, his shoulders bent from so much stooping over his desk, his heart not really saddened by all he had gone through but, I firmly believe, wearing out because of it.

As the British Mandate approached its end on May 14, 1948 the situation in Palestine grew steadily worse. The entire country boiled with apprehension and hatred and acts of terrorism increased steadily. The Arabs, the Jews and the British were all involved; all three of them were well aware of the complete aloofness of the Guardian from the political issues at stake at it is no exaggeration to say that he was universally respected — and let alone. This a fact of major importance for during the years, and particularly the months, preceding the end of the Mandate there was practically no neutral ground left; Jews paid for the defense of the Jewish community and Arabs paid for the defense of the Arab community. That the Guardian should have been able to steer the small Bahá'í community safely through the dangerous rapids of those days, that he himself should not have been approached for funds to support the cause of his fellow Orientals (who all knew he had been born and bred in the country), testify to the high reputation he had established as a man of unbending principle and iron determination.

Many times Shoghi Effendi referred to the miraculous protection the World Centre received during the disturbed and dangerous period of the end of the British Mandate and the firm establishment of the Jewish State. The very list of the dangers avoided and the achievements witnessed during this period — which are enumerated in a cable sent to the American Bahá'í Convention on April 25, 1949 — is sufficient to enable us to glimpse the keenness of the anxiety he had experienced and the gravity of the problems with which he had been faced. The published version of this cable pointed out how great had been the "evidences divine protection vouchsafed

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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi in oriental robes; before he went to study in England the Guardian
used to dress in this manner.


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World Centre Faith course third year second Seven Year Plan" and went on to say: "Prolonged hostilities ravaging Holy Land providentially terminated. Bahá'í Holy Places unlike those belonging other faiths miraculously safeguarded. Perils no less grave than those threatened World Centre Faith under `Abdu'l-Hamíd Jamál Páshá and through Hitler's intended capture Near East averted. Independent sovereign State within confines Holy Land established recognized marking termination twenty-century-long provincial status. Formal assurance protection Bahá'í holy sites continuation Bahá'í pilgrimage given by Prime Minister newly emerged State. Official invitation extended by its government historic occasion opening State's first parliament. Official record Bahá'í marriage endorsed Bahá'í endowments exempted responsible authorities same State. Best wishes future welfare Faith Bahá'u'lláh conveyed writing by newly elected Head State in reply congratulatory message addressed him assumption his office."

In the post-war years, as the victories the Bahá'ís were winning multiplied and the United Nations — the mightiest instrument for creating peace that men had ever devised — emerged, many of us no doubt hoped, and wishfully believed, that we had left the worst phase of humanity's long history of war behind us and that we could now discern the first light of that dawn we Bahá'ís are so firmly convinced lies ahead for the world. But the sober, guided mind of the Guardian did not see events in this light. Unil the end of his life he continued to make the same remark, based on Bahá'u'lláh's own words, that he had so often made before te war: "The distant future is very bright, but the immediate future is very dark."

Among the encouraging messages he so frequently sent to the Bahá'ís all over the world, his praises of the wonderful services they were rendering, his plans which he devised in such detail for them to prosecute, ever and anon the note of foreboding and warning would recur. In 1947 he stated that the Bahá'ís had been graciously aided to follow their course "undeflected by the cross-currents and the tempestuous winds which must of necessity increasingly agitate human society ere the hour of its ultimate redemption approaches . . ." In that communication, urging the American Community to press forward with the supremely important work of its second Seven Year Plan, he spoke of the future: "As the international situation worsens, as the fortunes of mankind sink to a stillower ebb . . . As the fabric of present-day society heaves and cracks under the strain and stress of portentuous events and calamities, as the fissures, accentuating the cleavage separating nation from nation, class from class, race from reace, and creed from creed, multiply . . ." Far from having rounded the corner and turned our backs forever on our unhappy past, there was "a steadily deepening crisis". In March 1948 he went still further in a conversation I recorded in my diary: "Tonight Shoghi Effendi told me some very interesting things: roughly, he said that to say that there was not going to be anoter war, in the light of present conditions, was foolish, and to say that if there was another war the Atom Bomb would not be used was also foolish. So we must believe that there probably will be a war and it will be used and there will be terrible destruction. But the Bahá'ís will, he felt, emerge to form the nucleus of the future world civilization. He said it was not right to say the good would perish with the bad because in a sense we all are bad, all humanity is to blame, for ignoring and repudiating Bahá'u'lláh after He has repeatedly trumpeted to everyone His Message. He said the saints in the monasteries and the sinners in the worst flesh pots of Europe are all wicked because they have rejected the Truth. He said it was wrong to think, as some of the Bahá'ís do, that the good woul;d perish with the evil, all men are evil because they have repudiated God in this day and turned from Him. He He said we can only believe that in some mysterious way, in spite of the terrible destruction, enough will be left over to build the future."

In November of that same year, again encouraging the American believers to persevere with their Plan, he wrote: "As the threat of still more violent convulsions assailing a travailing age increases, and the wings of yet another conflict, destined to contribute a distinct, and perhaps a decisive, share to the birth of the new Order which must signalize the advent of the Lesser Peace, darken the international horizon . . . Rumblings of catastrophes yet more dreadful agitate with increasing frequency a sorely stressed and

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chaotic world . . . so must every aggravation in the state of a world still harassed by the ravages of a devastating conflict, and now hovering on the brink of a yet more crucial struggle, be accompanied by a still more ennobling manifestation of the spirit of this second crusade . . ." In that same month he refered to "The deepening crisis ominously threatening further to derange the equilibrium of a politically convulsed, economically disrupted, socially subverted, morally decadent and spiritually moribund society". He went on to speak of the "premonitory rumblings of a third ordeal threatening to engulf the Eastern and Western Hemisphreres" and said, "the world outlook is steadily darkening." He urged the Bahá'ís to "forge ahead into the future serenely confident that the hour of their mightiest exertions, and the supreme opportunity for their greatest exploits, must coincide with the apocalyptic upheaval marking the lowest ebb in mankind's fast-declining forunes."


It went on and on.The victories we won, the praise, encouragement, joy of the Guardian — and the warnings. In 1950 he told the Bahá'ís they should be "undaunted" by the perils of a "progressively deteriorating international situation" and in 1951 informed the European Teaching Committee that the "perils" confronting that "sorely tried continent" were "steadily mounting". But it was really in a most grave and thought-provoking letter, written in 1954, that Shoghi Effendi expatiated on this subject of a future conflict, its causes, its course, its outcome. and its effect on America, in more detail and in a more forceful language than he had ever before used. He associates the "crass" and "cancerous materiaslism" prevalent in the world today with the warnings of Bahá'u'lláh and states He had compared it "to a devouring flsme" and regasrded it "as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and consternation in the hearts of men". Shoghi Effendi goes on to say: "Indeed a foretaste of the devestation which this continuing fire will wreak upon the world, and with which it will lay waste the cities of the nations participating in this tragic world-engulfing contest, has been afforded by the last World War, marking the second stage in the global havoc which humanity, forgetful of its God and heedless of the clear warnings uttered by His appointed Messenger for this day, must, alas, inevitably experience."

The letter in which these appalling predictions are expressed was addressed to the Amreican Bahá'ís and in it the Guardian points out that the general deterioration in the situation of a "distracted world" and the multiplication of increasingly destructive armaments, to which the two sides engaged in a world contest were contributing — "caught in a whirlpool of fear, suspicion and hatred" as they were — were ever-increasingly affecting their own country and were bound, if not remedied, "to involve the American nation in a catastrophe of undreamed-of dimensions and of untold consequences to the social structure, the standard and conception of the American people and government . . . The American nation . . . stands, indeed, from whichever angle one observes its immediate fortunes, in grave peril. The woes and tribulations which threaten it are partly avoidable, but mostly inevitable and God-sent . . ." He went on to point out the changes which these unavoidable afflictions must bring about in the "obsolescent doctrine of absolute sovereignty" to which its government and people still clung and which was so "manifestly at variance with the needs of a world already contracted into a neighbohood and crying out for unity" and through which this nation will find itself purged of its anachronistic conceptions and prepared to play the great role `Abdu'l-Bahá foretold for it in the establishment of the Lesser Peace. The "fiery tribulations" to come would not only "weld the American nation to its sister nations in both hemispheres" but would cleanse it of "the accumulated dross which ingrained racial prejudice, rampant materialism, widespread ungodliness and moral laxity have combined, in the course of successive generations, to produce, and which have prevented her thus far from assuming the role of world spiritual leadership forecast by `Abdu'l-Bahá's unerring pen — a role which she is bound to fulfill through travail and sorrow."

If we, the generation of the twilight before the sun of this new day rises, ask ourselves why such catastrophes should be facing us in these times, the answers all are there, made crystal clear by the Guardian in his great expositions of the meaning and implications of our teachings. Two factors, he taught us,

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are involved. The first is contained in those words of Bahá'u'lláh, "Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead." To tear off the time-honoured protective covering of innumerable societies, each embedded in its own customs, superstitions and prejudices, and apply to them a universal new frame of existence is an operation only Almighty God can perform and of necessity a very painful one. This is made even more painful by the state of men's souls and minds; some societies are the victims of "a flagrant secularism — the direct offspring of irreligion", some are in the grip of "a blatant materialism and racialism" which have, Shoghi Effendi stated, "usurped the rights of God Himself", but all — all the peoples of the earth — are guilty of having, for over a century, "refused to recognize the One Whose advent had been promised in all religions, and in Whose Faith alone, all nations can and must eventually, seek their true salvation." Fundamentally it was because of this new Faith, this "priceless gem of Divine Revelation enshrining the Spirit of God and incarnating His Purpose for all mankind in this age" as Shoghi Effendi described it, that the world was "undergoing such agonies". Bahá'u'lláh Himself had said: "The world's equilibrium has been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order." "The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing Order appeareth to be lamentably defective." "The world is in travail and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody." "After a time, all the governments on earth will change. Oppression will envelop the world. And following a universal convulsion, the sun of justice will rise from the horizon of the unseen realm."

So thrilling, however, is the vision of the future which Shoghi Effendi painted for us in his brilliant words, that it wipes away all fear and fills the heart of every Bahá'í with such confidence and joy that the prospect of any amount of suffering and deprivation cannot weaken his faith or crush his hopes. "The world is, in truth," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "moving on towards its destiny. The interdependence of the peoples and nations of the earth, whatever the leaders of the devisive forces of the world may say or do, is already an accomplished fact." The world commonwealth, "destined to emerge, sooner or later, out of the carnage, agony, and havoc of this great world convulsion" was the assured consummation of the working of these forces. First would come the Lesser Peace, which the nations of the earth, as yet unconscious of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation, would themselves establish; "This momentous and historic step, involving the reconstruction of mankind, as the result of the universal recognition of its oneness and wholeness, will bring in its wake the spiritualization of the masses, consequent to the recognition of the character, and the acknowledgement of the claims, of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh — the essential condition to that ultimate fusion of all races, creeds, classes, and nations which must signalize the emergence of His New World Order." He goes on to state: "Then will the coming of age of the entire human race be proclaimed and celebrated by all the peoples and nations of the earth. Then will the banner of the Most Great Peace be hoisted. Then will the worldwide sovereignty of Bahá'u'lláh . . . be recognized, acclaimed, and firmly established. Then will a world civilization be born, flourish, and perpetuate itself, a civilization with a fullness of life such as the world has never seen nor can as yet conceive . . . Then will the planet, galvanized through the universal belief of its dwellers in one God, and their allegiance to one common Revelation . . . be . . . acclaimed as the earthly heaven, capable of fulfilling that ineffable destiny fixed for it, from time immemorial, by the love and wisdom of its Creator."
* * *


In an age when people play football with words, kicking them right and left indiscriminately with no respect for either their meaning or correct usage, the style of Shoghi Effendi stands out in dazzling beauty. His joy in words was one of his strongest personal characteristics, whether he wrote in English — the language he had given his heart to — or in the mixture of Persian and Arabic he used in his general letters to the East. Although he was so simple in his personal tastes he had

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Picture in Upper Right Corner with the Caption:
`Abdu'l-Bahá's eldest grandson,Shoghi
Effendi, "Look at his eyes, they are like
clear water," said `Abdu'l-Bahá.


an innate love of richness which is manifest in the way he arranged and decorated various Bahá'í Holy Places, in the style of the Shrine of the Báb, in his preferences in architecture and in his choice and combination of words. Of him it could be said, in the words of another great writer, Macaulay, that "he wrote in language . . . precise and luminous." Unlike so many people Shoghi Effendi wrote what he meant and meant exactly what he wrote. It is impossible to eliminate any word from one of his sentences without sacrificing part of the meaning, so concise, so pithy is his style. A book like God Passes By is a veritable essence of essences; from this single hundred-year history, fifty books could easily be written and none of them would be superficial or lacking in material, so rich is the source provided by the Guardian, so condensed his treatment of it.

The language in which Shoghi Effendi wrote, whether for the Bahá'ís of the West or the East, has set a standard which should effectively prevent them from descending to the level of illiterate literates which often so sadly characterizes the present generation as far as the usage and appreciation of words is concerned. He never compromised with the ignorance of his readers but expected them, in their thirst for knowledge, to overcome their ignorance. Shoghi Effendi chose, to the best of his great ability, the right vehicle for his thought and it made no difference to him whether the average person was going to know the word he used or not. After all, what one does not know one can find out. Although he had such a brilliant command of language he frequently reinforced his knowledge by certainty through looking up the word he planned to use in Webster's big dictionary. In his translations of the Bahá'í writings, and above all in his own compositions, Shoghi Effendi set a standard that educates and raises the cultural level of the reader at the same time that it feeds his mind and soul with thoughts and truth.

I remember once Shoghi Effendi giving me an article to read from a British newspaper which called attention to the bureaucratic language which is developing, particularly in the United States, in which more and more words are used to convey less and less and merely produce confusion confounded. Shoghi Effendi heartily supported the article! Words were very precise instruments to him. I also recall a particularly beautiful distinction he made in speaking to some pilgrims in the Western Pilgrim House. He said: "we are orthodox, but not fanatical."

Many times the language of the Guardian soared to great poetic heights. Witness such messages as these that shine with the brilliance of cathedral glass: "We behold, as we survey the episodes of this first act of a sublime drama, the figure of its Master Hero, the Báb, arise meteor-like above the horizon of Shíráz, traverse the sombre sky of Persia from South to North, decline with tragic swiftness, and perish in a blaze of glory. We see His satellites, a galaxy of God-intoxicated heroes, mount above that same horizon, irradiate that same incandescent light, burn themselves out with that self-same swiftness, and impart in their turn an added impetus to the steadily gathering momentum of God's nascent Faith." He called the Báb "that youthful Prince of Glory" and describes the scene of His entombment on Mt. Carmel: "when all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr-Prophet of Shíráz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God's holy mountain, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about

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His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him." "The second period . . . derives its inspiration from the august figure of Bahá'u'lláh, pre-eminent in holiness, awesome in the majesty of His strength and power, unapproachable in the transcendent brightness of His glory." "Amidst the shadows that are increasingly gathering about us we can discern the glimmerings of Bahá'u'lláh's unearthly sovereignty appearing fitfully on the horizon of history." Or these words addressed to the Greatest Holy Leaf: "In the innermost recesses of our hearts, O Thou called Leaf of the Abhá Paradise, we have reared for thee a shining mansion that the hand of time can never undermine, a shrine which shall frame eternally the matchless beauty of thy countenance, an altar whereon the fire of thy consuming love shall burn for ever." Or these words painting a picture of the banishment of God in this day: "On the high seas, in the air, on land, in the forefront of battle, in the palaces of kings and the cottages of peasants, in the most hallowed sanctuaries, whether secular or religious, the evidences of God's retributive act and mysterious discipline are manifest. Its heavy toll is steadily mounting — a holocaust sparing neither prince nor peasant, neither man nor woman, neither young nor old." Or these words concerning the attitude of the true servants of the Cause: "Of such men and women it may be truly said that to them `every foreign land is a fatherland, and every fatherland a foreign land'. For their citizenship . . . is in the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh. Though willing to share to the utmost the temporal benefits and the fleeting joys which this earthly life cam confer, though eager to participate in whatever activity that conduces to the richness, the happiness and peace of that life, they can at no time forget that it constitutes no more than a transient, a very brief stage of their existence, that they who live it are but pilgrims and wayfarers whose goal is the Celestial City, and whose home the Country of never-failing joy and brightness."

There are so many aspects to Shoghi Effendi's literary life. I can name on one hand the books (other than his beloved Gibbon) he read for recreation during the twenty years I was with him, though he had read during his youth very extensively on many subjects. This is no doubt because of the fact that by 1937, when I took up my new life in Haifa, he was already overwhelmed by the ever-increasing amount of material he had to read in connection with his work, such as news-letters, National Assembly minutes, circulars and mail. By the end of his life if he did not read at least two or three books a day he could no longer keep up with his work at all; he read on planes, trains, in gsardens, at table when we were away from Haifa and in Haifa hour after hour at his desk, until he would get so tired he would go to bed and sit up reading there. He asiduously kept abreast of the political news and trends of the world.

The supreme importance of Shoghi Effendi's English translations and communications can never be sufficiently stressed because of his function as sole and authoritative interpreter of the Sacred Writings, appointed as such by `Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will. There are many instances when, owing to the looseness of construction in Persian sentences, there could be ambiguity in the mind of the reader regarding the meaning. Careful and correct English, not lending itself to ambiguity in the first place, became, when coupled with Shoghi Effendi's brilliant mind and his power as interpreter of the Holy Word, what we might well call the crystallizing vehicle of the teachings. Often by referring to Shoghi Effendi's translation into English the original meaning of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, or `Abdu'l-Bahá becomes clear and is thus safeguarded against misinterpretation in the future. He was meticulous in translating and made absolutely sure that the words he was using in English conveyed and did not depart from the original thought nor the original words. One would have to have a mastery of Persian and Arabic to correctly understand what he did. For instance in reading the original one finds that one word in Arabic was susceptible of being translated into two or more words in English; thus Shoghi Effendi, in the construction of his English sentences, might use "power", "strength" and "might" alternatively to replace this one word, choosing the exact nuance of meaning that would fit best, do away with reiteration, and lend most colour to his translation without sacrificing the true meaning, indeed, thereby enhancing the true meaning. Once — only once, alas, in our busy,

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harassed life — Shoghi Effendi said to me that I now knew enough Persian to understand the original and he read a paragraph of one of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets and said, "How can one translate that into English?" For about two hours we tried, that is he tried and I feebly followed him. When I would suggest a sentence, which did convey the meaning, Shoghi Effendi said "Ah, but that is not translation! You cannot change and leave out words in the original and just put what you think it means in English." He pointed out a translator must be absolutely faithful to his original text and that in some cases this meant that what came out in another language was ugly and even meaningless. As Bahá'u'lláh is always sublimely beautiful in His words this could not be done.

The Guardian was exceedingly cautious in everything that concerned the original Word and would never explain or comment on a text submitted to him in English (when it was not his own translation) until he had verified it with the original. He was very careful of the words he used in commenting on various events in the Faith, refusing, for instance, to designate a person a martyr — which is a station — just because they were slain, and sometimes designating as martyrs people who were not killed but the nature of whose death he associated with martyrdom.

Another highly important aspect of the divinely-conferred position Shoghi Effendi held of interpreter of the Teachings was that he not only protected the Sacred Word from being misconstrued but that he also carefully preserved the relationship and importance of different aspects of the Teachings to each other and safeguarded the rightful station of each of the three Central Figures of the Faith. An interesting example of this is reflected in a letter of A. L. M. Nicolas, the French scholar who translated the Bayán of the Báb into French and who might correctly be described as a Bábí. For many years he was under the impression that the Bahá'ís had ignored the greatness and belittled the station of the Báb. When he discovered that Shoghi Effendi in his writings exalted the Báb, perpetuated His memory through a book such as Nabíl's Narrative, and repeatedly translated His words into English, his attitude completely changed. In a letter to one of the old believers in France he wrote: "Now I can die quietly . . . Glory to Shoghi Effendi who has calmed my torment and my anxiety, glory to him who recognizes the worth of Siyyid `Alí Muhammad called the Báb. I am so content that I kiss your hands which traced my address on the envelope which brought me the message of Shoghi. Thank you Mademoiselle, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

One of the earliest acts of Shoghi Effendi's ministry was to begin circulating his translations of the holy Writings. One year and ten days after the reading of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Will we find him writing to the American National Assembly: "It is a great pleasure for me to share with you the translation of some of the prayers and Tablets of our beloved Master . . ." and he goes on to say that he trusts "that in the course of time I will be enabled to send you regularly correct and reliable translations . . . which unfold to your eyes a new vision of His Glorious Mission . . . and give you an insight into the character and meaning of His Divine Teachings."

The writing, translation and promulgation of Bahá'í books was one of the Guardian's major interests, one he never tired of and one he actively supported. The ideal situation is for local and national communities to pay for their own activities, but in this Formative Age of our Faith the Guardian fully realized this was not always possible and from the funds at his disposal he assisted substantially throughout the years in financing the translation and publication of Bahá'í literature. In periods of emergency, when the attainment of cherished goals was at stake, Shoghi Effendi would fill the breach.

Literature in all languages the Guardian collected in Haifa, placing books in his own library, in the two Pilgrim House libraries, in the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahjí, and in the International Archives. In this connection it is interesting to note how he placed them, for I never saw it done before: he would have, say, a lot of rather dull bindings, of some expensive edition, in grey and a lot more in blue or some other colour. With these he would fill his bookshelves in patterns, five red, two blue, five red and so on, using the variation in colour and number to add charm to the general effect of a book case that otherwise would have presented a monotonous and uninteresting appearance.

Facts and events are more or less useless unless seen in the proper perspective, unless

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vision is applied to their interpretation. One of the marked aspects of Shoghi Effendi's genius was the way he plucked the significance of an occurrence, an isolated phenomenon, from the welter of irrelevancies associated with the international development of the Cause and set it in its historical frame, focusing on it the light of his appraising mind and making is understand what was taking place and what it signified now and forever. This was not a static thing, a picture of shapes and forms, but rather a description of where a leviathan was moving in an ocean — the leviathan of the co-ordinated movements inside the Community of Bahá'u'lláh's followers moving in the ocean of His Dispensation. An Assembly was formed, someone died, a certificate was granted by some obscure governmental body — in themselves isolated facts and events — but to Shoghi Effendi's eyes they were part of a pattern and he made us see the pattern being woven before our eyes too. In the volumes of The Bahá'í World the Guardian did this not only for the believers, but for the public at large. He dramatized the progress of the Faith and a mass of scattered facts and unrelated photographs were made to testify to the reality of the claim of that Faith to be world-wide and all-inclusive.

It is interesting to note that the actual suggestion for a volume along the lines of The Bahá'í World came to Shoghi Effendi from Horrace Holley in a letter he wrote in February 1924 — though I have no doubt that it was the breadth of vision of the young Guardian and the shape he was already giving to the work of the Cause in his messages to the West that, working on Horrace's own creative mind, stimulated him to this concept. Shoghi Effendi seized on this idea and from then on Horace became Shoghi Effendi's primary instrument, as a gifted writer, and in his capacity as Secretary of the American National Spiritual Assembly, in making of The Bahá'í World the remarkable and unique book it became. Volume One, published in 1925 and called Bahá'í Year Book — which covered the period from April 1925 to April 1926 and comprised 174 pages — received its permanent title, in Volume Two, of The Bahá'í World, a Biennial International Record suggested by that National Assembly and approved by Shoghi Effendi. At the time of the Guardian's passing twelve volumes had appeared, the largest running over 1,000 pages. Although these were prepared under the supervision of the American National Assembly, published by its Publishing Committee, compiled by a staff of editors and dedicated to Shoghi Effendi, it would be more in conformity with the facts to call them Shoghi Effendi's Book. He himself acted as Editor-in-Chief; the tremendous amount of material comprised in each volume was sent to him by the American Assembly, with all photographs, before it appeared and his was the final decision as to what should go in and what be omitted. As six of these books were published during the period I was privileged to be with him I was able to observe how he edited them. With his infinite capacity for work Shoghi Effendi would go over the vast bundles of papers and photographs forwarded to him, eliminating the poorer and more irrelevant material; section by section, following the Table of Contents which he himself had arranged, would be prepared and set aside until the entire manuscript was ready to be mailed back to America for publication. He always deplored the fact that the material was not of a higher standard. It is due solely to his determination and perseverance that The Bahá'í World volumes are as brilliant and impressive as they are. The editors (some of whom he had nominated himself), struggling against the forces of inertia that beset any body trying to achieve its ends through correspondence with sources thousands of miles away, and seeking to work through often inexperienced and inefficient administrative organs, would never have been successful in assembling the material required without the drive and authority of the Guardian behind their efforts. An interesting side light on this work is that Shoghi Effendi, after the book was published, had all the original manuscripts returned to Haifa and stored at the World Centre.

As soon as one volume was published he began to himself collect material for the next one. In addition to the repeated reminders he sent to the American National Assembly to do likewise, he sent innumerable letters and cables to different Assemblies and individuals. In one day, for instance, he cabled three National Assemblies: "National Assembly photograph for Bahá'í World essential"; he cabled such an isolated and out-of-the-way outpost as Shanghai for material he wanted.

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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi in his early twenties.


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"Bahá'í World manuscript mailed. Advise speedy careful publication" was not an unusual type of message for the American Assembly to receive. It was Shoghi Effendi who arranged the order of the volume, had had typed in Haifa the entire Table of Contents, had all the photographs titled, chose all the frontispieces, decided on the colour of the binding on the volume to appear, and above all gave exact instructions, in long detailed letters, to Horace Holley, whom he himself had chosen as the most gifted and informed person to write the International Survey of Current Bahá'í Activities, to which he attached great importance.

What Shoghi Effendi himself thought of The Bahá'í World he put down in writing. As early as 1927, when only one volume had been published, he wrote to a non-Bahá'í: "I would strongly advise you to procure a copy of the Bahá'í Year Book . . . which will give you a clear and authoritative statement of the purpose, the claim and the influence of the Faith." In a general letter addressed, in 1928, "To the beloved of the Lord and the hand-maids of the Merciful throughout the East and West", and entirely devoted to the subject of The Bahá'í World, Shoghi Effendi informed them: "I have ever since its inception taken a keen and sustained interest in its development, have personally participated in the collection of its material, the arrangement of its contents, and the close scrutiny of whatever data it contains. I confidently and emphatically recommend it to every thoughtful and eager follower of the Faith, whether in the East or in the West . . ." He wrote that its material is readable, attractive, comprehensive and authoritative; its treatment of the fundamentals of the Cause concise and persuasive, and its illustrations thoroughly representative; it is unexcelled and unapproached by any other Bahá'í publication of its kind. This book Shoghi Effendi always visualized as being — indeed he designed it to be — eminently suitable for the public, for scholars, to place in libraries and is a means, as he put it, of "removing the malicious misrepresentations and unfortunate misunderstandings that have so long and so grievously clouded the luminous Faith of Bahá'u'lláh."

It was a book that he himself often gave as a gift to royalty, to statesmen, to professors, universities, newspaper editors and non-Bahá'ís in general, mailing it to them with his simple personal card "Shoghi Rabbani" enclosed.

It is difficult to realize, looking back upon Shoghi Effendi's achievements, that he actually wrote only one book of his own as such, and this was God Passes By published in 1944. Even The Promised Day Is Come, written in 1941, is a 136-page-long general letter to the Bahá'ís of the West. This fact alone is a profound indication of the deeply modest character of the man. He communicated with the Bahá'ís because he had something to say that was important, because he was appointed to guide them, because he was the Custodian of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh; he was impelled by forces stronger than himself over which he had no control.

Concurrent with the period when these first illuminating letters on such major subjects were streaming from the pen of Shoghi Effendi, he undertook the translation of two books. In a letter written on July 4, 1930, Shoghi Effendi says: "I feel exceedingly tired after a strenuous year of work, particularly as I have managed to add to my labours the translation of the Íqán, which I have already sent to America." This was the first of his major translations, Bahá'u'lláh's great exposition on the station and role of the Manifestations of God, more particularly in the light of Islamic teachings and prophecies, known as the Kitáb-i-Íqán or Book of Certitude. It was an invaluable adjunct to the Western Bahá'ís in their study of the Faith they had embraced and infinitely enriched their understanding of Divine Revelation.

During that same year the Guardian began work on the second book published during this period, a work that was neither a translation of Bahá'u'lláh's words nor one of Shoghi Effendi's general letters, but which must be considered a literary masterpiece and one of his most priceless gifts for all time. This was the translation of the first part of the narrative compiled by a contemporary follower of both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh known as Nabíl, which was published in 1932 under the title The Dawn-Breakers. If the critic and sceptic should be tempted to dismiss the literature of the Bahá'í Faith as typical of the better class of religious books designed for the initiate only, he could not for a moment so brush aside a volume of the quality of

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Nabíl's Narrative, which deserves to be counted as a classic among epic narratives in the English tongue. Although ostensibly a translation from the original Persian, Shoghi Effendi may be said to have recreated it in English, his translation being comparable to Fitzgerald's rendering of Omar Kayyam's Rubaiyat which gave to the world a poem in a foreign language that in many ways exceeded the merits of the original. The best and most descriptive comments on this masterpiece of the Guardian are to be found in the words of prominent non-Bahá'ís. The playwright Gordon Bottomley wrote: ". . . living with it has been one of the salient experiences of a lifetime; but beyond that it was a moving experience both in itself and through the psychological light it throws on the New Testament narrative." The well-known scholar and humanitarian, Dr. Alfred W. Martin of the Ethical Culture Society, in his letter of thanks to Shoghi Effendi for sending him Nabíl's Narrative wrote: "Your magnificent and monumental work . . . will be a classic and a standard for all time to come. I marvel beyond measure at your ability to prepare such a work for the press over and above all the activities which your regular professional position devolves upon you." One of his old professors, Bayard Dodge of the American University of Beirut, after receiving the gift of Nabíl's Narrative from the Guardian wrote to him: "I have profited by the leisure of the summer to read Nabíl's Narrative . . . Everyone interested in religion and also in history owes you a very great debt of gratitude for publishing such a fine piece of work. The deeper side of the work is also impressive, that it seems hardly fitting to compliment you upon some of the practical matters connected with the translation. However, I cannot refrain from telling you how much I appreciate your taking the time from a busy life to accomplish such a large task."

The letter which Sir E. Denison Ross, the well-known Orientalist, wrote him from the School of Oriental Studies of the University of London was the most highly prized tribute he received:
27th April, 1932
My dear Shoghi Effendi,

It was most kind of you to remember me and send me copies of your two latest works, which I am very proud to possess, especially as coming from such a quarter.

The Dawn-Breakers is really one of the most beautiful books I have seen for many years; the paper, printing, and illustrations are all exquisite, and as for your English style, it really could not be bettered, and never does it read like a translation. Allow me to convey my warmest congratulations on your most successful achievement of what you set out to do when you came to Oxford, namely, to attain a perfect command of our language.

Apart from all this, Nabíl's narrative will be of the utmost service to me in the lectures I deliver here every Session on the Bab and the Baha.

Trusting you are in good health,

I remain,

Yours very sincerely,

E. Denison Ross

Director
In 1935 Shoghi Effendi again presented the western Bahá'ís with a magnificent gift, published under the title Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, which the Guardian himself described as "consisting of a selection of the most characteristic and hitherto unpublished passages from the outstanding works of the Author of the Bahá'í Revelation." Remembering the scanty pages of the New Testament, the reputed words of Buddha, and the mere handful of sayings of some other Divine luminaries, which nevertheless have transfigured for centuries the lives of millions of men, the Gleanings alone seem to provide a source of guidance and inspiration sufficient for the spiritual Dispensation of any Prophet. The most treasured tribute to this book was that of Queen Marie of Rumania who told Martha Root: "even doubters would find a powerful strength in it, if they would read it alone, and would give their souls time to expand." To Shoghi Effendi himself the Queen wrote, in January 1936, after receiving from him a copy, "May I send you my most grateful thanks for the wonderful book, every word of which is precious to me, and doubly so in this time of anxiety and unrest."

This was followed by the translation in 1936-1937, of what might almost be termed a companion volume, comparable in richness and complimentary in material, namely, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh.

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Immediately after the publication of this diamond-mine of communion with God, unsurpassed in any religious literature of the world, Shoghi Effendi set to work on a longer general letter than he had ever before written, which appeared in 1939 under the title of The Advent of Divine Justice. With a kind but firm hand Shoghi Effendi held up before the face of the North American Community the mirror of the civilization by which they were surrounded and warned them, in terms that riveted the eye and chilled the heart, against its evils, pointing out to them a truth that few of them had ever pondered, namely, that the very evils of that civilization were the mystic reason for their homeland having been chosen by God as the cradle of His World Order in this day. As the warnings contained in The Advent of Divine Justice are an integral part of the vision and guidance Shoghi Effendi gave to the faithful throughout his ministry, they cannot be passed over in silence if we are to obtain any correct understanding of his own mission. In no uncertain terms he castigated the moral laxity, political corruption, racial prejudice and corrosive materialism of their society, contrasting it with the exalted standards inculcated by Bahá'u'lláh in His Teachings, and and enjoined by Him upon His followers. It warned them of the war so soon to come and admonished them to stand fast, in spite of every trial that might in future afflict them and their nations, and discharge their sacred trust by prosecuting to a triumphal outcome the Plan they had so recently inaugurated throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Another general letter — this time addressed to body of the Bahá'ís throughout the West — appeared in print in 1941. It was called The Promised Day Is Come and, together with The Advent of Divine Justice, sets forth the root-decay of the present-day world. In it, written during the second year of the war, Shoghi Effendi thunders his denunciations of the perversity and sinfulness of this generation, using as his missiles quotations from the lips of Bahá'u'lláh Himself: "The time for the destruction of the world and its peoples hath arrived"; "The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: `Taste ye what your hands have wrought!' "; "Soon shall the blasts of His chastisement beat upon you, and the dust of hell enshroud you."; "And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake."; "The day is approaching when its (civilization's) flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: `The Kingdom is God's, the Almighty, the All-Praised!' "; "The day will soon come whereon they will cry out for help and receive no answer."; "We have fixed a time for you, O people! If ye fail at the appointed hour, to turn towards God, He, verily, will lay violent hold on you, and will cause grievous afflictions to assail you from every direction. How severe indeed is the chastisement with which your Lord will then chastise you!"; "O ye peoples of the world! Know verily that an unforeseen calamity is following you and that grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not the deeds ye have committed have been blotted from My sight. By My Beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of xhrysolyte."
The Guardian paints a terrible, terrifying and majestic picture of the plight to which the human race has been reduced through its steadfast rejection of Bahá'u'lláh. The "world-afflicting ordeal that has laid its grip upon mankind" is, he wrote, "primarily a judgement of God pronounced against the peoples of the earth, who, for a century, have refused to recognize the One Whose advent had been promised to all religions". Shoghi Effendi recapitulates the sufferings, the persecution, the calumny and cruelty to which the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá were subjected and recounts the tale of Their blamelessness, Their patience and fortitude in the face of these trials and Their final weariness with this world as They gathered Their skirts about Them and repaired to the Celestial Realms of Their Creator. Shoghi Effendi enumerates the sins of mankind against these Sinless Ones and points the finger of blame at the leaders of mankind, at its kings, its highest ecclesiastical personages and rulers to whom the Twin Manifestations of God had directed the full force of Their Message and because of whose neglect of their supreme duty to pay heed to the Call of God, Bahá'u'lláh Himself stated: "From two ranks amongst men power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics."

Between these two so-called general letters —

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Picture with the Caption:
The inheritor of the burdens of `Abdu'l-Bahá.


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The Advent of Divine Justice and The Promised Day Is Come — Shoghi Effendi gave the western believers his fifth and last book of translations of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, undertaken during the winter of 1939-1940, at another of the most difficult and hazardous periods of his life. The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf was Bahá'u'lláh's last major work and contains a selection from His own Writings, made by Himself (surely a unique occurrence in religious history!) during the last two yeatrs of His life and has therefore a special position of its own in the literature of our Faith.

God Passes By, the most brilliant and wondrous tale of a century that has ever been told, is truly a "Mother" of future histories, a book wherein every word counts, every sentence burgeons with thought, every thought leads the way to a field of its own. Packed with salient facts it has the range and precision of snow flake crystals, each design perfect in itself, each theme brilliant in outline, co-ordinated, balanced, self-contained, a matrix for those who follow on and study, evaluate and elaborate the Message and Order of Bahá'u'lláh. It was one of the most concentrated and stupendous achievements of Shoghi Effendi's life.

The method of Shoghi Effendi in writing God Passes By was to sit down for a year and read every book of the Bahá'í Writings in Persian and English, and every book written about the Faith by Bahá'ís, whether in manuscript form or published, and everything written by non-Bahá'ís that contained significant references to it. I think, in all, this must have covered the equivalent of at least two hundred books. As he read he made notes and compiled and marshalled his facts. Anyone who has ever tackled a work of an historical nature knows how much research is involved, how often one has to decide, in the light of relevant material, between this date given in one place and that date given in another, how back-breaking the whole work is. How much more so then was such a work for the Guardian who had, at the same time, to prepare for the forthcoming Centenary of the Faith and make decisions regarding the design of the superstructure of the Báb's Shrine. When all the ingredients of his book had been assembled Shoghi Effendi commenced weaving them into the fabric of his picture of the significance of the first century of the Bahá'í Dispensation. It was not his purpose, he said, to write a detailed history of those hundred years, but rather to review the salient features of the birth and rise of the Faith, the establishment of its administrative institutions, and the series of crises which had propelled it forward in a mysterious manner, through the release of the Divine power within it, from victory to victory. He revealed to us the panorama of events which, he wrote, "the revolution of a hundred years . . . has unrolled before our eyes" and lifted the curtain on the opening acts of what he asserted was one "indivisible, stupendous and sublime drama, whose mystery no intellect can fathom, whose climax no eye can even dimly perceive, whose conclusion no mind can adequately foreshadow."

Not content with the hisstory he had just completed in English, Shoghi Effendi now turned his thoughts to the loving and loyal Community of Bahá'u'lláh's long-suffering and persecuted followers in His native land and began the composition of another memorial to the first hundred years of the Bahá'í Faith in Persia. This was a comparable, though shorter version of the same subject, different in nature but no less splendid in both the facts it presented and the brilliancy of its language.

For the next thirteen years Shoghi Effendi neither translated nor wrote any more books. It is our great loss that he no longer had the time to do so. The international community of the Faith he had been at such pains to build up since 1921 had now reached such proportions that it consumed his time and strength and left little of either for the intensely xreative work he was so richly endowed by nature to produce.

Until the end of his days Shoghi Effendi continued to inspire the Bahá'í world with his instructions and thoughts; words of great power and significance, equal in bulk to a number of volumes, flowed from his pen. But an epoch had ended with the close of the war and the increase in administrative activity all over the world. Although his driving power never left him, and the hours of work he spent on the Cause of God each day never diminished until he passed away, Shoghi Effendi was deeply tired.

The life work of Shoghi Effendi might well

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be divided into four major aspects: his translations of the Words of Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb, `Abdu'l-Bahá and Nabíl's narrative; his own writings such as the history of a century, published as God Passes By, as well as an uninterrupted stream of instructive communications from his pen which pointed out to the believers the significance, the time and the method of the building up of their administrative institutions; an unremitting programme to expand and consolidate the material assets of a world-wide Faith, which not only involved the completion, erection or beautification of the Bahá'í Holy Places at the World Centre, but the construction of Houses of Worship and the acquisition of national and local headquarters and endowments in various countries throughout the East and the West; and, above all, a masterly orientation of thought towards the concepts enshrined in the teachings of the Faith and the orderly clasification of those teachings into what might well be described as a vast panoramic view of the meaning, implications, destiny and purpose of the religion of Bahá'u'lláh, indeed of religious truth itself in its portrayal of man as the apogee of God's creation, evolving towards the consummation of his development — the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

* * *



The development of the World Centre of the Faith under the aegis of the Guardian represents one of the major achievements of his life and can only be compared in i8mportance to the spread and consolidation of the Cause itself throughout the entire globe. Of the unique significance of this Centre Shoghi Effendi wrote that it was: ". . . the Holy Land — the Qiblih of a world community, the heart from which the emerging influences of a vivifying Faith continually stram, and the seat and centre around which the diversified activities of a divinnely appointed Administrative Order revolve — ".

When in 1921 Sjoghi Effendi asumed the responsibilities conferred upon him in the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Bahá'í holdings in Haifa and `Akká consisted of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahjí, which was situated in a house belonging to the Afnán heirs of the daughter of Bahá'u'lláh, in whose home He had been interred after His ascension; the Shrine of the Báb on Mt. Carmel, surrounded by a few plots of land, purchased during the lifetime of `Abdu'l-Bahá, on one of which stood the Oriental Pilgrim House; the house of `Abbúd, where Bahá'u'lláh had resided for many years in `Akká and in which He revealed the Kitáb-i-Aqdas; and the house of `Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa. The Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh, adjoining His Shrine, was occuped by the Arch-Covenant-breaker Muhammad `Alí; and the title to almost all the Bahá'í properties was registered either in the names of various members of the family or those of a few Bahá'ís. So insecure was the entire legal popsition of the Faith and the properties that the work Shoghi Effendi accomplished during his minidtry in safeguarding and adding to these Holy Places, in extending the lands surrounding them, in registering these lands, in many instances in the names of locally incorporated Palestine Branches of various National Bahá'í Assemblies, and in securing exemption from municipal and national taxes for them, is little short of miraculous. When we remembe that his position in 1922 was so precarious that Muhammad `Alí was emboldened to seize the keys of Bahá'u'lláh's Holy Tomb, that many Muslim and Christian elements, jealous of the universal favour `Abdu'l-Bahá had enjoyed at the end of His life, were only too anxious to discredit His young successor in the eyes of the authorities, and that Shoghi Effendi himself had been immediately overwhelmed by grave problems of every conceivable nature, within and without the Cause, we cannot but marvel anew at the wisdom and statesmanship that characterized his conduct of afairs at the World Centre.

The Heroic Age of the Faith had passed. What Shoghi Effendi termed the Formative Age had dawned with his own ministry, and was shaped for all time by him. Fully realizing that neither his own station nor his capacities were the same as those of his beloved Master, Shoghi Effendi refused to imitate Him in any way, in dress, in habits, in manner. To do so would have been, he believed, completely lacking in both judgment and respect. A new day had come to the Cause, new methods were required. This was to be the era of emancipation of the Faith, of recognition of its independent status, of the establishment of its Order, of the up-building of its institutions. `Abdu'l-Bahá had come to the Holy Land a

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prisoner and exile; although He could proclaim, during His travels to the West and through His letters, the independent character of the Cause of His Father, locally He could not, at the end of His life, break through the chrysallis of common custom that had bound Him so long to the predominantly Muslim community; to do things ungracefully and hurtfully was no part of the Bahá'í Teachings. But Shoghi Effendi, returning from his studies in England, young, western in training and habit, was now in a position to do this. However much loved and esteemed `Abdu'l-Bahá had been, He was not viewed as the Head of an independent world religion but rather as the saintly protagonist of a great spiritual philosophy of univesal brotherhood, a distinguished notable among other notables in Palestine. By sheer force of personality He had dominated those around Him. But Shoghi Effendi knew he could never do this in the circumstances surrounding him at the outset f his Guardianship, neither had he any desire to do so. His function everywhere — particularly at the World Centre — was to win recognition for the Cause as a world religion entited to the same status and perogatives that other religions, such as Christianity, Islám and Judaism, enjoyed.

During the first two decades of his ministry Shoghi Effendi had more or less close personal contact with various High Commissioners and District Commissioners and through this he was able to win back the keys of Bahá'u'lláh's Tomb and assert his undisputed right to its custody, to obtain possession of the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh, to receive permission to bury `Abdu'l-Bahá's closest relatives in the vicinity of the Báb's Shrine, in the centre of a residential didtrict on Mt. Carmel, to have the Bahá'í Marriage Certificate accepted by the government on the same footing as that of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and above all, through his personal efforts, to succeed in impresing upon the British authorities the sacred nature of the Bahá'í holdings in Palestine and in winning from them the exemption from taxes, both municipal and national, which he sought.

Bahjí was always Shoghi Effendi's first preoccupation and he was determined to safeguard not only the Shrine where Bahá'u'lláh lay buried but the last home He had occupied in this world and the buildings and lands that adjoined it. Frtom the time Bahá'u'lláh passed away in 1892 until 1927 Muhammad `Alí and his relatives had been in possession of this home, known as the "Qasr" or "Palace" of `Údí Khammár, a building unique in Palestine for its majestic style of architecture and which had been purchased for Bahá'u'lláh towards the end of His life.

By April 1932 the pilgrims were privileged to sleep overnight in this historic and Sacred Spot and its doors were opened to non-Bahá'í visitors as well, who wandered through its beautiful rooms and gazed on the impressive array of testimonials to the world-wide nature of the Cause, on the innumerable photostatic copies of Bahá'í Assembly incorporations, marriage licenses and other historical material as well as photographs of the martyrs and pioneers of the Faith.

Ever mindful of what was to him the deepest trust of his Guardianship — to fulfill to the letter insofar as lay within his power every wish and instruction of his beloved Master — Shoghi Effendi's second greatest concern at the World Centre was the Shrine of the Báb. The work connected with this second holiest Shrine of the Bahá'í Faith had two aspects: the completion of the building itself and the protection and preservation of its surroundings. The first involved the construction of three additional rooms as well as a superstructure — an entire building in itself — which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful edifices on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and the second the gradual purchase, during a third of a century, of a great protective belt of land surrounding the Shrine and reaching from the top to the bottom of Mt. Carmel. This area of over fifty acres is best discerned at night, as it lies a huge unlighted "V" in the heart of the city, in whose centre seems pinned a golden brooch, the flood-lit Shrine of the Báb, resting majestically on the bosom of the mountain, set off on the velvety black space of its gardens and lands. For thirty-six years Shoghi Effendi devoted himself to the development of this Sacred Spot in the midst of God's Holy Mountain; so impressive, so unique and of such vast proportions was his work there that it seems to me some of his very essence must be incorporated in its stones and soil.

It took more than one hundred years for Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi

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to finally discharge the sacred trust which the Báb's remains represented for them, a trust which lasted from the day of His martyrdom in 1850 until the final completion of His Shrine in 1953. From the moment when He was apprised of the execution of the Báb until He ascended in 1892 Bahá'u'lláh had watched over that Sacred Dust, supervising its removal from one place of concealment to another. During a visit to Mt. Carmel He had pointed out to `Abdu'l-Bahá with His own hand where the Báb's body was to rest forever, instructing Him to purchase this piece of land and bring the hidden remains from Persia and inter them there. `Abdu'l-Bahá, Himself a prisoner, succeeded in having the small wooden box containing the remains of the Báb and His martyred companion conveyed, by caravan and boat, from Persia to `Akká. When the first group of western pilgrims visited the prison-city in the winter of 1898-1899, this precious casket was already concealed in the Master's home, its presence a carefully guarded secret.

One day in 1915, as `Abdu'l-Bahá stood on the steps of His home and looked up at the Báb's Tomb, He remarked to one of His companions: "The sublime Shrine has remained unbuilt. Ten-twenty thousand pounds are required. God willing it will be accomplished. We have carried its construction to this stage." To a pilgrim He had said: "The Shrine of the Báb will be built in the most beautiful and majestic style", and had even gone so far as to order a Turk in Haifa to make him a sketch of how it would appear when completed. But in spite of the clear concept He had of the nature of the Shrine He desired so much to build for the Forerunner of the Faith, the ultimate task was to fall to Shoghi Efffendi.

In everything Shoghi Effendi did he was guided by what he knew to be the desire of the Master. `Abdu'l-Bahá had succeeded, by 1907, in completing only six of the nine rooms which would compose a square, in the centre of which the Body of the Báb would repose, and already during that year meetings were held in the ones facing the sea. In 1909, with His own hands He had laid the remains of the Martyr-Herald of the Faith away in their final resting-place. The next year He set out on His western journeys, the war ensued and He passed away. He had, however, expresssed His concept of the finished structure; it should have an arcade surrounding the original nine rooms He had planned and be surmounted by a dome. The thought of this plan of the Master never left Shoghi Effendi but its realization seemed very indefinite. Where and when would he find the architect to design such a Shrine and the money to build it?

The answer came in a most unexpected way. In 1940 my mother died in Buenos Aires and my father was left entirely alone, as I was his only child. With that kindness of his which was incomparable Shoghi Effendi said to me one day that now my mother was dead, my father's place was with me. He invited him to join us and in spite of the war, whose arena was rapidly spreading, my father was able to do so. This marked the beginning of a beautiful partnership. I have never known two people who had such a perfect sense of proportion as Shoghi Effendi and my father and of the two the Guardian's was the finer. It seems to me, in looking back on Shoghi Effendi's life, that aside from the great sweep of the Faith, whose victories meant so much to him, Martha Root in one way and Sutherland Maxwell in another brought him more deep personal satisfaction than any other believers. They were very much alike in some ways, saintly and modest souls who adored Shoghi Effendi and gladly gave him the best they had in service and loyalty. Though Martha's services were far more important for the Cause, the talents of Sutherland became a medium through which Shoghi Effendi could express at last with ease the great creative and artistic side of his own nature and this gave them both satisfaction and happiness. Until the end of his life my father designed for him stairs, walls, pillars, lights and various entrances to the gardens on Mt. Carmel. In addition to being an experienced architect he drew and painted beautifully and could model and carve anything with his hands.

Having tried my father on various small projects and found him far from wanting, suddenly — I think it was towards the end of 1942 — Shoghi Effendi told him he wished him to make for him a design for the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb. The Builder had at last been given the vehicle whereby he could realize the plan of `Abdu'l-Bahá

In the Oriental Bahá'í Pilgrim House,

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during the afternoon meeting on May 23, 1944 when the Bahá'í men were gathered in the presence of the Guardian — including many visitors from neighbouring countries — to commemorate the dawn of the Faith a hundred years earlier, Shoghi Effendi had the model brought out and placed on a table for all to see. Two days later he cabled America: ". . . Announce friends joyful tidings hundredth anniversary Declaration Mission Martyred Herald Faith signalized by historic decision complete structure His sepulchre erected by `Abdu'l-Bahá site chosen by Bahá'u'lláh. Recently designed model dome unveiled presence assembled believers. Praying early removal obstacles consummation stupendous Plan conceived by Founder Faith and hopes cherished Centre His Covenant."

When this announcement was made the world was approaching the end of the most terrible war in history; the Bahá'ís of the Western Hemisphere had strained themselves to the utmost in order to win the goals of their first Seven Year Plan; the believers were affected by the general economic depletion prevailing in most countries. It was no doubt because of this, and because the Guardian made no effort to inaugurate a Shrine fund, that this project slipped relatively noiselessly into existence and no more was heard of it until on April 11, 1946 Shoghi Effendi instructed Mr. Maxwell to set plans in motion for building the first unit of the Shrine and later himself wrote to the municipal authorities:
Haifa,
Dec. 7th, 1947.
Haifa Local Building and
Town Planning Commission.
To the Chairman

Dear Sir:

In connection with the accompanying drawings and application for permission to build, I wish to add a word of explanation.

The Tomb of the Báb, and of `Abdu'l-Bahá, so well known to the people of Haifa as Abbas Effendi, is already in existence on Mt. Carmel in an incomplete form. In its present state, in spite of the extensive gardens surrounding it, it is a homely building with a fortress-like appearance.

It is my intention to now begin the completion of this building by preserving the original structure and at the same time embellishing it with a monumental building of great beauty, thus adding to the general improvement in the appearance of the slopes of Mt. Carmel.

The purpose of this building will, when completed, remain the same as at present. In other words it will be used exclusively as a Shrine entombing the remains of the Báb.

As you will see from the accompanying drawings the completed structure will comprise an arcade of twenty-four marble or other monolith columns surmounted by an ornamental balustrade, on the first floor or ground floor of the building. It is this part of the building that we wish to begin work on at once, leaving the intermediary section and the dome, which will surmount the whole edifice when completed, to be carried on in the future, if possible at an early date after the completion of the ground floor arcade.

The Architect of this monumental building is Mr.W. S. Maxwell, F.R.I.B.A., F.R.A.I.C., R.C.A., the well-known Canadian architect, whose firm built the Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec, the House of Parliament in Regina, the Art Gallery, Church of the Messiah, various Bank buildings, etc., in Montreal. I feel the beauty of his design for the completion of the Báb's Tomb will add greatly to the appearance of our city and be an added attraction for visitors.
Yours truly,
Shoghi Rabbani
The first historic steps had been taken but the obstacles in the way of the realization of this plan grew to what seemed insurmountable proportions. The British Mandate was nearing its end; Palestine was rocked by civil strife and was soon to be engulfed in a local war. Enquiries showed that the quarries from which suitable stone could be procured for the Shrine locally lay so near the Lebanese frontier that the owners could give no idea of when they could start deliveries. In addition to this the tremendous amount of carved material on the building would require a corps of expert workers and such labour was practically unavailable in the country. In view of this Shoghi Effendi came to another

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decision which was typical of his practical and audacious mind: he would see if part of the work could be done in Italy.

A letter, dated April 6, 1948, which I wrote on behalf of the Guardian to Dr. Ugo Giachery conveys very clearly the situation at that time: ". . . Mr. Maxwell . . . because of various difficulties . . . has not been able to place any contracts for the actual work to be carried out here in Palestine. However, he has been in touch with an Italian firm in Carrara about placing contracts for the granite columns which will surround the building on the first floor. He is now proceeding to Italy primarily to place the contract for these, and, if suitable stone, matching the Palestinian stone which will be used here can be found, to also place additional contracts for the capitals and certain pieces of the carved ornamentation . . . as Mr. Maxwell is now 74, though in the best of health, we hope you will take good care of him . . . Things are so acute here that it is extremely important that they get through with their business and return to Palestine . . ."

In such a storm yet another step in the unbelievably troubled history of the Báb's remains and the building of His Tomb was undertaken.

When the Shrine he had erected with so much love and care was completed, Shoghi Effendi, recognizing in it an essentially feminine quality of beauty and purity, called it the "Queen of Carmel". He described it as "enthroned on God's Holy Mountain, crowned with glowing gold, robed in shimmering white and girdled with emerald green, a sight enchanting every eye, whether viewed from the air, the sea, the plain or the hill."

There can be little doubt that upon reading the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá Shoghi Effendi's first thought was the speedy establishment of the Supreme Administrative Body of the Bahá'í Faith, the Universal House of Justice. One of his earliest acts, in 1922, had been to summon to Haifa old and key believers to discuss this matter with him. He repeatedly mentioned it in his communications — indeed in his first letter to Persia, written on January 16, 1922 he refers to it and states that he will announce to the friends later the preliminary arrangements for its election. There was never any question in his mind as to its function and significance; in March 1923 he had described it as "that Supreme Council that will guide, organize and unify the affairs of the Movement throughout the world". There can be no doubt that two forces were at work in the Guardian in those first days of him ministry; one was his youthful eagerness to speedily carry out all the instructions of his beloved Master, which included the establishment of the Universal House of Justice; and the other was the Divine guidance and protection promised him in the Will; the latter modified the former. Over and over again Shoghi Effendi essayed to put in motion at least the preliminaries for electing the Supreme Body — and over and over again the Hand of Providence manipulated events in such a way that premature action became impossible. At the consultations he held in 1922 it must have suddenly become apparent to him that however highly desirable even a preliminary stage in the formation of the Universal House of Justice might be, it was dangerous to take such a step at that time. The firm administrative foundation required to elect and support it was lacking as well as a sufficient reservoir of qualified and well-informed believers to draw from.

From an Indian pilgrim's notes in a letter to a friend, written in Haifa on June 15, 1929, we find the following: "Shoghi Effendi says . . . so long as the various National Assemblies do not have stabilized, well organized positions, it would be impossible to establish even an informal House of Justice. He wants us to at once draw up a constitution of the National Assembly on the lines of the American Trust and get it registered with the Government of India, if possible as a religious body, otherwise as a commercial body . . . Shoghi Effendi has urged in his recent letters to Eastern countries to have National Assemblies recognized as Religious Courts of Justice by local Governments . . ."

It is of interest to note that in a letter to Mrs. Stannard, who was in charge of the International Bahá'í Bureau in Geneva — an office designed to promote in Europe the affairs of the Faith as well as to stimulate its international functions throughout the world and which was constantly encouraged and directed by the Guardian in its work — Shoghi Effendi writes, in August 1926, that he wishes the Bahá'í Bulletin it publishes to be "in the

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Picture in Upper Right Corner with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi as he appeared in the days
when he acted as the Master's secretary,
circa 1919-1920.


three dominant languages in Europe, i.e., English, French and German . . .I have expressed in my cable to you my readiness to extend regular and financial assistance to you in order to ensure that the proposed circular will be published in the three recognized official languages of the western section of the Bahá'í world . . . Your Centre in Switzerland and the Bahá'í Esperanto Magazine published at Hamburg are both destined to shoulder some of the functions and responsibilities which will in future be undertaken by the International Bahá'í Assembly when formed."

In many such references, particularly in the first ten years of his ministry, Shoghi Effendi reveals that he is constantly anticipating the formation of some kind of International Secretariat or Council pending the election of the Universal House of Justice itself, the functions, significance and importance of which were growing in his mind.

From the very beginning Shoghi Effendi concentrated on multiplying and strengthening the "various Assemblies, local and National". As early as 1924, he stated they constituted "the bedrock upon the strength of which the Universal House is in future to be firmly established and raised." Almost invariably, in later years,when he called for the formation of new national bodies, the Guardian used phrases such as the following in his cable to the Fourth European Teaching Conference in 1951: " . . . Future edifice Universal House of Justice depending for its stability on sustaining strength pillars erected diversified communities East West, destined derive added power through emergence three National Assemblies . . . awaits rise establishment similar institutions European mainland . . ." In anticipation of the election of that august Body Shoghi Effendi made statements that, added to the words of its Founder, Bahá'u'lláh, and the clear and unmistakable powers and perogatives conferred on it by `Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will and Testament, cannot but buttress the strength and facilitate the tasks of that Universal House for at least a thousand years. Shoghi Effendi said the Universal House of Justice would be the "nucleus and forerunner" of the New World Order; he said "that future House" was a House "posterity will regard as the last refuge of a tottering civilization"; it would be "the last unit crowning the structure of the embryonic World Order of Bahá'u'lláh"; it was "the highest legislative body in the administrative hierarchy of the Faith" and its "supreme elective institution". The Guardian stated: "To the Trustees of the House of Justice" Bahá'u'lláh "assigns the duty of legislating on matters not expressly provided in His Writings. and promises that God will `inspire them with whatsoever He willeth,' " and wrote that ". . . the powers and perogatives of the Universal House of Justice, possessing the exclusive right to legislate on matters not explicitly revealed in the Most Holy Book; the ordinance exempting its members from any responsibility to those whom they represent, and from the obligation to conform to their views, convictions or sentiments; the specific provisions requiring the free and democratic election by the mass of the faithful of the Body that constitutes the sole legislative organ in the world-wide Bahá'í Community — these are among the features which combine to set apart the Order identified with the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh from any of the existing systems of human government."

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In November 1950 the Guardian sent cables inviting the first of that group who later became members of the International Bahá'í Council to come to Haifa. Like almost everything he did, first it began to dawn and later the sun of the finished concept rose above the horizon. When Lutfu'lláh Hakim (the first to arrive), Jessie and Ethel Revell, followed by Amelia Collins and Mason Remey were all gathered at table one day in the Western Pilgrim House, with Gladys Weeden and her husband Ben who were already living there, the Guardian announced to us his intention of constituting, out of that group, an International Council, we were all overcome by the unprecedented nature of this step he was taking and the infinite bounty it conferred upon those present as well as the entire Bahá'í world. It was not, however, until January 9, 1951 that he released this news through an historic cable: "Proclaim National Assemblies East West weighty epoch making decision formation first International Bahá'í Council forerunner supreme administrative institution destined emerge fullness time within precincts beneath shadow World Spiritual Centre Faith already established twin cities `Akká Haifa."

The fulfillment of the prophecies of both Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá, through the establishment of an independent Jewish State after the lapse of two thousand years, the unfoldment of the portentous historic undertaking associated with the construction of the superstructure of the Báb's Shrine, the now adequate maturity of the nine vigorously functioning National Assemblies, had all combined to induce him to make this historic decision, which was the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order during thirty years. In that cable Shoghi Effendi went on to say that this new institution had a three-fold function: to forge links with the authorities in the newly-emerged State; to assist him in building the Shrine (only the arcade of which had then been completed); and to conduct negotiations with the civil authorities as regards matters of personal status. Further functions would be added as this first "embryonic International Institution" developed into an officially recognized Bahá'í Court, was transformed into an elected body and reached its final efflorescence in the Universal House of Justice; this in turn would find its fruition in the erection of many auxiliary institutions, constituting the World Administrative Centre. This message, so thrilling in portent, burst upon the Bahá'í world like a clap of thunder. Like a skilled engineer, locking the component parts of his machine together, Shoghi Effendi had now buckled into place the frame that would eventually support the crowning unit — the Universal House of Justice.

Fourteen months later, on March 8, 1952, Shoghi Effendi, in a long cable to the Bahá'í world, announced the enlargement of the International Bahá'í Council: "Present membership now comprises Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih chosen liaison between me and Council, Hands Cause Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Ugo Giachery, Leroy Ioas, President, Vice-President, Member-at-Large, Secretary-General respectively, Jessie Revell, Ethel Revell, Lotfullah Hakim, Treasurer, Western and Eastern Assistant Secretaries." The original membership had been changed through the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Weeden, for reasons of health, the arrival of Mr. Ioas, who had offered his services to the Guardian, and the inclusion of Dr. Giachery, who continued to reside in Italy and supervise the construction of the Shrine — every single stone of which was quarried, cut, and carved in that country and then shipped to Haifa and the golden tiles of whose dome were ordered in Holland — and to act as the agent of Shoghi Effendi in ordering and purchasing many other things required in the Holy Land. In May 1955 the Guardian announced that he had raised the number of members of the International Bahá'í Council to nine through the appointment of Sylvia Ioas.

Between the first and second messages Shoghi Effendi sent informing the Bahá'í world of the formation and membership of the International Bahá'í Council, he took another fundamental step in the historic development of the World Centre of the Faith through the official announcement of the appointment, on December 24, 1951, of the first contingent of the Hands of the Cause of God, twelve in number, and equally allocated between the Holy Land and the Asiatic, American and European continents. The people raised by the Guardian at that time to this illustrious rank were Sutherland Maxwell, Mason Remey and Amelia Collins who

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who became Hands of the Cause of God in the Holy Land; Valíyu'lláh Varqá, Tarázu'lláh Samandarí and `Alí Akbar Furútan in Asia; Horace Holley, Dorothy Baker and Leroy Ioas in America; George Townshend, Hermann Grossmann and Ugo Giachery in Europe. Two months later, on February 29, 1952, Shoghi Effendi announced to the friends in East and West that he had raised the number of the Hands of the Cause of God to nineteen through nominating Fred Schlopflocher in Canada, Corinne True in the United States, Dhikru'lláh Khádem and Shu'á'u'lláh `Alá'í in Persia, Adelbert Mühlschlegel in Germany, Músá Banání in Africa and Clara Dunn in Australia. In making these two appointments of Hands of the Cause Shoghi Effendi said that the hour was now ripe for him to take this step in accordance with the provisions of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Testament and that it was paralleled by the preliminary measure of the formation of the International Bahá'í Council, destined to culminate in the emergence of the Universal House of Justice. He announced that the august body of the House was invested, in conformity with `Abdu'l-Bahá's Testament, with the two-fold sacred function of the propagation of the Faith and the preservation of its unity.

In Shoghi Effendi's last message to the Bahá'í world, dated October 1957, he announced he had designated "yet another contingent of the Hands of the Cause of God . . . The eight now elevated to this exalted rank are: Enoch Olinga, William Sears and John Robarts, in West and South Africa; Hasan Balyuzi and John Ferraby in the British Isles; Collis Featherstone and Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir, in the Pacific area; and Abú'l-Qázim Faizí in the Arabian Peninsula — a group chosen from four continents of the globe, and and representing the Afnán, as well as the black and white races and whose members are derived from Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Pagan backgrounds."

The Guardian, in a two-month period in 1952, created a body of one Váhid (Nineteen) of Hands of the Cause and he kept them at this number until 1957, when he added eight more, thus bringing them to three multiples of nine. Whenever one of the original nineteen passed away, Shoghi Effendi appointed another Hand. Two of the Hands thus appointed were raised to the position occupied by their fathers, thus the "mantle" of my father fell on my shoulders on March 26, 1952, after the death of Sutherland Maxwell; and `Alí Muhammad Varqá was appointed to succeed his father on November 15, 1955 and also became the Trustee of the Huqúq in his place. After Dorothy Baker was killed in an accident, Paul Haney was made a Hand of the Cause on March 19, 1954 and following the passing of Fred Schopflocher, Jalál Kházeh was elevated to the same rank on December 7, 1953; not long after George Townshend's death the Guardian appointed Agnes Alexander on March 27, 1957; thus the number of nineteen was maintained by him until the third contingent of Hands was nominated in his last great message at the midway point of the World Crusade.

Between January 9, 1951 and March 8, 1952, remarkable and far-reaching changes took place in the Administrative Order of the Faith at its World Centre, changes which, Shoghi Effendi wrote, at long last signalized the erection of "the machinery of its highest institutions", "the supreme Organs of its unfolding Order" which were now, in their "embryonic form" developing around the Holy Shrines. In his writings he had pointed out to the believers that the progress and unfoldment of Bahá'u'lláh's World Order was guided by the directives and the spiritual powers released through three mighty "charters", which he said had set in motion three distinct processes, the first given to us by Bahá'u'lláh Himself in the Tablet of Carmel, and the other two from the pen of the Master, namely, His Will and Testament and His Tablets of the Divine Plan. The first operated "in a land which", Shoghi Effendi stated, "geographically, spiritually and administratively, constitutes the heart of the entire planet", "the Holy Land, the Centre and Pivot round which the divinely appointed, fast multiplying institutions of a world-encircling, relentlessly marching Faith revolve", "the Holy Land, the Qiblih of a world community, the heart from which the organizing influences of a vivifying Faith continuously stream,and the seat and centre around which diversified activities of a divinely appointed Administrative Order revolve". The hub of this Tablet of Carmel was those words of Bahá'u'lláh that "ere long will God sail His Arc upon thee and will

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manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names"; the "people of Bahá", Shoghi Effendi explained, signified the members of the Universal House of Justice.

Whereas the Charter of the Will and Testament of the Master operated throughout the world through the erection of those administrative institutions He had so clearly defined in it, and the Charter of His Tablets of the Divine Plan was concerned with the spiritual conquest of the entire planet through the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh and likewise had the globe itself as its theatre of operations, the Tablet of Carmel cast its illumination and its bounties literally upon Mt. Carmel, upon "that consecrated Spot which," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "under the wings of the Báb's overshadowing Sepulchre . . . is destined to evolve into the focal Centre of those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions, ordained by Bahá'u'lláh and anticipated by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and which are to function in consonance with the principles that govern the twin institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice."

The significance of the "unfolding glory" of these institutions at the World Centre was reflected in many messages sent by Shoghi Effendi during the last years of his life, messages which stirred a man like George Townshend to write to him in a letter dated January 14, 1952, sent at the time he thanked the Guardian for the bounty of being made a Hand: "Permit me to pay you a humble tribute of the utmost admiration and gratitude for the nearing vision of the Victory of God which you almost by your sole might now have spread before the astonished Bahá'í world."

In the course of these messages Shoghi Effendi revealed both the station and some of the functions of this newly-created body of Hands. He hailed the unfoldment, during the "opening years" of the second epoch of the Formative Age of this Dispensation, of that "august institution" which Bahá'u'lláh Himself had not only foreshadowed but a few members of which He had already appointed during His own lifetime and which `Abdu'l-Bahá had formally established in His Will and Testament. In addition to the support the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land had already given him, through erecting the Báb's Shrine, reinforcing the ties with the State of Israel, extending the international endowments in the Holy Land, and initiating preliminary measures for the establishment of the Bahá'í World Administrative Centre, they had also taken part in the four great Intercontinental Teaching Conferences held during the Holy Year, from October 1952 to October 1953, at which they represented the Guardian of the Faith, and after which, at his request, they had travelled extensively in North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. This body, Shoghi Effendi said in April 1954, was now entering upon the second phase of its evolution, signalized by the forging of ties between it and the National Spiritual Assemblies engaged in the prosecution of the Ten Year Plan; the fifteen Hands who resided outside the Holy Land should, during the Ridván period, appoint in each continent separately, from among the believers of that continent, Auxiliary Boards whose members would act as "deputies", "assistants" and "advisers" to the Hands and increasingly assist in the promotion of the Ten Year Crusade. These Boards were to consist of nine members each in America, Europe and Africa, seven in Asia and two in Australasia. The Boards were responsible to the Hands of their respective continents; the Hands, on their part, were to keep in close contact with the National Assemblies in their areas and inform them of the activity of their Boards; they were also to keep in close touch with the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land, who were destined to act as the liaison between them and the Guardian. At this time Shoghi Effendi inaugurated Continental Bahá'í Funds for the work of the Hands, opening these Funds by himself contributing one thousand pounds to each.

A year later Shoghi Effendi nominated the thirteen Hands of the Cause he wished to attend as his representatives the thirteen conferences to be held in 1957 to elect new National Assemblies; from the time he formally appointed Hands of the Cause until his death he constantly used them for this purpose. In 1957, exactly four months before he passed away, Shoghi Effendi, in a lengthy cable, informed the believers that the "triumphant consummation series historic

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enterprises" and the "evidences increasing hostility without" and "persistent machinations within" foreshadowing "dire contests destined range Army Light forces darkness both secular religious" necessitated a closer association between the Hands in five continents and the National Assemblies to jointly investigate the "nefarious activities internal enemies adoption wise effective measures counteract their treacherous schemes" in order to protect the mass of the believers and to arrest the spread of the evil influence of these enemies. At the beginning of this cable Shoghi Effendi points out that the Hands, in addition to their newly-assumed responsibility of assisting the National Spiritual Assemblies in the prosecution of the World Spiritual Crusade, must now fulfil their "primary obligation" of watching over and protecting the Bahá'í World Community, in close collaboration with the National Assemblies. He ends this portentous message with these words: "Call upon Hands National Assemblies each continent separately establish henceforth direct contact deliberate whenever feasible frequently as possible exchange reports to be submitted by their respective Auxiliary Boards National Committees exercise unrelaxing vigilance carry out unflinchingly sacred inescapable duties. Security precious Faith preservation spiritual health Bahá'í Communities vitality faith its individual members proper functioning its laboriously erected institutions fruition its worldwide enterprises fulfillment its ultimate destiny all directly dependent befitting discharge weighty responsibilities now resting members these two institutions occupying with Universal House Justice next institution Guardianship foremost rank divinely ordained administrative hierarchy World Order Bahá'u'lláh."

The last great message of Shoghi Effendi's life — dated October, but actually conceived in August — again reinforced the significance and importance of the institution of the Hands of the Cause. In it Shoghi Effendi not only appointed his last contingent of Hands but took the highly significant step of inaugurating a further Auxiliary Board in each continent: "This latest addition to the band of the high-ranking officers of a fast-evolving World Administrative Order, involving a further expansion of the august institution of the Hands of the Cause of God, calls for, in view of the recent assumption by them of their sacred responsibility as protectors of the Faith, the appointment by these same Hands, in each continent separately, of an additional Auxiliary Board, equal in membership to the existing one, and charged with the specific duty of watching over the security of the Faith, thereby complimenting the function of the original Board, whose duty will henceforth be exclusively concerned with assisting the prosecution of the Ten Year Plan."

It is almost inconceivable to imagine what state the Bahá'í world would have been plunged into after Shoghi Effendi's death if he had not referred in these terms to the Hands of the Cause, and if he had not so clearly charged the National Assemblies to collaborate with the Hands in their primary function as protectors of the Faith. Can we not discern, in these last messages, a black cloud the size of a man's hand on the horizon?

It was the duty and right of Shoghi Effendi, explicitly stated in the Master's Will, to appoint the Hands of the Cause. With one exception he made only posthumous appointments during the first thirty years of his ministry. It was the highest honour he could confer on a believer, living or dead, and he so named many Bahá'ís, East and West, after their death; the most outstanding of these was Martha Root, whom he characterized as the foremost Hand raised up in the first century of the Faith since the inception of its Formative Age. The one exception was Amelia Collins. He cabled her on November 22, 1946: "Your magnificent international services exemplary devotion and now this signal service impel me inform you your elevation rank Hand Cause Bahá'u'lláh. You are first be told this honour in lifetime. As to time announcement leave it my discretion". It was the custom of Shoghi Effendi to inform each Hand of his elevation to this position at the time he made public his choice. Three of them, Fred Schopflocher and Músá Banání, who were in Haifa as pilgrims at the time he made his announcement, and myself, he informed to our faces. To try to describe with what feelings of stupefaction, of unworthiness and awe the news of this honour overwhelmed the recipients of it would be impossible. Each heart received it as a shaft that aroused

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an even greater love and loyalty to the Guardian than that heart had ever held before.

The long years of preparation — outside in the body of the Bahá'í world through the erection of the machinery of the Administrative Order, inside its heart through the erection of the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb and the general consolidation of the World Centre — had involved the creation of a Spot suitable to form the "focal centre", as Shoghi Effendi termed it, of the mightiest institutions of the Faith. This Spot was no less than the resting-places of the mother, sister and brother of `Abdu'l-Bahá, those "three incomparably precious souls", as he called them, "who, next to the three Central Figures of our Faith, tower in rank above the vast multitude of the heroes, Letters, martyrs, hands, teachers and administrators of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh."

It had long been the desire of the Greatest Holy Leaf to be near her mother, who was buried in `Akká, as was her brother, Mihdí. But when Bahíyyih Khánum passes away in 1932 she had been befittingly interred on Mt. Carmel near the Shrine of the Báb. Shoghi Effendi conceived the idea of transferring the remains of her mother and brother, so unsuitably buried in `Akká, to the vicinity of her resting-place and in 1939 he ordered in Italy twin marble monuments, similar in style to the one he had erected over her own grave.

The American Assembly, on December 5th, received the following cable from Shoghi Effendi: "Blessed remains Purest Branch and Master's mother safely transferred hallowed precincts Shrines Mount Carmel. Long inflicted humiliation wiped away. Machinations Covenant-breakers frustrate plan defeated. Cherished wish Greatest Holy Leaf fulfilled. Sister brother mother wife `Abdu'l-Bahá reunited one spot designed constitute focal centre Bahá'í Administrative Institutions at Faith's World Centre. Share joyful news entire body American believers. Shoghi Rabbani." The signing of the Guardian's full name was required as we were at war and all correspondence was censored.

The exquisite taste and sense of proportion, so characteristic of everything the Guardian created, is nowhere better reflected than in the marble monuments he erected over the four graves of these close relatives of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Designed in Italy according to Shoghi Effendi's own instructions and executed there in white Carrara marble, they were shipped to Haifa and placed, in the decade between 1932 and 1942, in their predestined positions, around which he constructed the beautiful gardens which are commonly referred to as the "Monument Gardens" and which he evolved into the fulcrum of that arc on Mt. Carmel about which are to cluster in future the International Institutions of the Faith.

At last Shoghi Effendi, so powerfully guided from on high, had succeeded in establishing this "focal Centre". But it was not until over fourteen years later that he was in a position to inform the Bahá'í world that he was now taking a step which would "usher in the establishment of the World Administrative Centre of the Faith on Mt. Carmel — the Arc referred to by Bahá'u'lláh in the closing passages of His Tablet of Carmel". This step was none other than the erection of an international Bahá'í Archives.

Shortly after the addition of three rooms to the Báb's Shrine, in the early thirties, Shoghi Effendi had established an Archives at the World Centre, housed temporarily in these quarters and and based on the precious relics of both Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá which were already in the possession of the Master's family and many of the old Bahá'ís living in Palestine.

As the Bahá'ís learned more about these Archives and the pilgrims visited them in increasing numbers and saw how safely historic and sacred material was preserved, how beautifully exhibited, how reverently displayed, they began to send from Persia truly priceless articles associated with the three Central Figures of the Faith as well as its martyrs and heroes. Amongst these most welcome additions were objects belonging to the Báb, contributed by the Afnáns, which greatly enriched the collection.

It was in 1954, during the first year of the World Crusade, that Shoghi Effendi decided to start on what he said was "the first of the major edifices destined to constitute the seat of the World Bahá'í Administrative Centre to be established on Mt. Carmel". His choice consisted of a building he considered both urgently needed and feasible, namely, one to house the sacred and historic relics collected in the Holy Land which were dispersed at that

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time throughout six rooms in two separate buildings. By Naw-Rúz 1954, the excavation for its foundations had begun. Shoghi Effendi was, in choosing his initial design for buildings of the importance he had in mind, guided by three things: it must be beautiful, it must be dignified, and it must have a lasting value and not reflect the transient (and to him for the most part very ugly) style of modern buildings being erected in an age of experimentation and groping after new forms. He was a great admirer of Greek architecture and considered the Parthenon in Athens one of the most beautiful buildings ever created; he chose the proportions of the Parthenon as his model, but changed the order of the capitals from Doric to Ionic. After his many suggestions had been incorporated in the final design Shoghi Effendi approved it and what he described as "this imposing and strikingly beautiful edifice" was completed in 1957. It had cost approximately a quarter of a million dollars and was, like the Shrine of the Báb, ordered in Italy, entirely carved and completed there, and shipped to Haifa for erection; not only was each separate stone numbered, but charts showing where each one went facilitated its being placed in its proper position. Except for the foundations and reinforced cement work of floor, walls and ceiling, it would not be incorrect to say it was a building fabricated almost entirely abroad and erected locally.

In his last Ridván Message to the Bahá'í World Shoghi Effendi/s satisfaction with the Archives building he had chosen and erected was clearly reflected; after announcing its completion he wrote that it is "contributing, to an unprecedented degree, through its colourfulness, its classic style and graceful proportions, and in conjunction with the stately, golden-crowned Mausoleum rising beyond it, to the unfolding glory of the central institutions of a World Faith resting in the heart of God's holy Mountain."

In a message addressed to the Bahá'í world on November 27, 1954 — linked once again by the Guardian to the anniversary of his beloved Master's passing — Shoghi Effendi dwelt on the significance of this building: "The raising of this Edifice will in turn," he goes on to day, "herald the construction, in the course of successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, of several other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause, and the Universal House of Justice.These Edifices will, in the shape of a far-flung arc, and following a harmonizing style of architecture, surround the resting-places of the Greatest Holy Leaf . . . of her brother . . . and of their mother . . ."

So great was the importance Shoghi Effendi attached to this "arc", the lines of which he had studied very carefully on the ground and which sweeps around on the mountain in the form of a gigantic bow, arched above the resting-places of `Abdu'l-Bahá's closest relatives, and on the right side of which now stands the Archives, that he announced its completion in his last Ridván Message in 1957: "the plan designed to insure the extension and completion of the arc serving as a base for the erection of future edifices constituting the World Bahá'í Administrative Centre, has been successfully carried out."
* * *


Underlying, reinforcing, and indeed often making possible such major undertakings as the erection of the superstructure of the Báb's Shrine, the construction of the Archives, the building of the terraces on Mt. Carmel, and many other activities,was the purchase of land, both in Haifa and Bahjí; it was a task to which the Guardian attached great importance and which he pursued throughout all the years of his ministry. Before he passed away he had succeeded in creating great protective rings of land around the holiest of all Shrines, Bahá'u'lláh's Tomb, and around the resting-places of the Báb, `Abdu'l-Bahá, His mother, sister and brother. In addition to this he had chosen and directed the purchase of the land on Mt. Carmel which would serve as the site of the future Bahá'í Temple to be erected in the Holy Land. If we consider that at the time of `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing the area of Bahá'í properties on Mt. Carmel probably did not exceed 10,000 square metres, and that Shoghi Effendi had, by 1957, raised this to 30.000 square metres, and that in Bahjí the comparable figures would be 1,000 square metres for 1921 and 257,000 square metres for 1957, we get an idea of his accomplishments in this one field alone. Through the generosity of individual Bahá'ís, through their bequests, through their response to his appeals in times of crisis, through the

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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi at the time he became Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith in 1921;
taken in the garden of `Abdu'l-Bahá's home in Haifa.


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use of funds he held at the World Centre, Shoghi Effendi succeeded in purchasing land on the scale reflected by these figures and thus metamorphosed the situation of the Faith at its World Centre.

In May 1931 Shoghi Effendi cabled the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada: "American Assembly incorporated as recognized religious body in Palestine entitled hold property as trustees American believers. Mailing title deed property already transferred their name. Prestige Faith greatly enhanced its foundations consolidated love". This was the first step in constituting Palestine Branches — which were later changed to Israel Branches — of various National Assemblies and registering in their names properties owned in the Holy Land. Although the power of disposing of these properties was entirely vested locally at the World Centre, the prestige of the Faith was greatly enhanced by this move, its Holy Places were buttressed and safeguarded, its world character emphasized in the eyes of the authorities, and national Bahá'í communities were encouraged and strengthened.

At the time of Shoghi Effendi's passing he had already established nine of these Branches, namely, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the British Isles, Írán, Pákistán, Alaska and that of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India and Burma.

When Shoghi Effendi had built the three additional rooms of the Shrine of the Báb and completed the restoration of the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh, thus producing local, tangible evidences of the strength of the Bahá'í Community, and demonstrated to the British authorities, through the victories won over the Covenant-breakers, that he had the solid backing of Bahá'ís all over the world, he set about procuring for the Bahá'í Holy Places exemption from both municipal and government taxes. It was not difficult to get a building, obviously a place of sacred association and visited by pilgrims, exempted from taxes as it was to secure similar exemption for the steadily increasing area of land owned by the Faith, most of which was registered in the names of individuals. Because of this the ultimate exemption from all forms of taxation, including customs duty, which Shoghi Effendi obtained for the Bahá'í buildings and holdings throughout the country, was truly a great achievement. The victories in this field were all won in the days of the British Mandate, the Israeli Government accepting the status achieved by the Bahá'ís before the new State was formed in 1948.

On May 10, 1934 Shoghi Effendi cabled America: "Prolonged negotiations Palestine authorities resulted exemption from taxation entire area surrounding dedicated Shrines Mount Carmel" and indicated that he considered this step tantamount to "securing indirect recognition sacredness Faith International Centre . . ."

By thus reading the pleasant tail end of events one does not get any idea of what Shoghi Effendi went through in connection with purchasing, exempting from taxes and safeguarding the properties at the World Centre. In a cable to the American National Assembly of March 28, 1935, one of the innumerable examples of what took place is given: "Contract for purchase and transfer to Palestine Branch American Assembly Dumits Property situated centre area dedicated to Shrines on Mount Carmel signed. Four year litigation involving Bahá'í World's petitions Palestine High Commissioner abandoned. Owners require four thousand pounds. Half sum available. Will American believers unitedly contribute one thousand pounds before end of May and remaining one thousand within nine months. Am compelled appeal entire body American Community subordinate national interests of Faith to its urgent paramount requirements at its World Centre," to which the American Assembly replied, two days later, that the American Bahá'í Community "will with one heart fulfil glorious privilege conferred upon it by beloved Guardian".

So many times Shoghi Effendi referred to the Holy Land as the "heart and nerve centre" of the Faith. To protect it, develop it, and noise abroad its glory was part of his function as its Guardian. In addition to his official contacts with government and municipal authorities he maintained courteous and friendly relations with many non-Bahá'ís, of prominence and otherwise. The catholicity of spirit which so strongly characterized the Guardian, his complete lack of any breath of prejudice or fanaticism, the sympathy and courtesy that distinguished him so strongly,

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are all reflected in his letters and messages to such people. He carried on a lengthy correspondence, during the earliest years of his ministry, with Grand Duke Alexander of Russia, whom it was obvious, from the tone of his letters, he liked. He addresses him as: "My true brother in the service of God!", "My dear brother in the love of God!" The Grand Duke was very interested in a movement called the "Unity of Souls" and Shoghi Effendi encouraged him: "I am more and more impressed", he writes, "by the striking similarity of our aims and principles and I beseech the Almighty to bless His servants in their service to the cause of suffering humanity." The Grand Duke in a letter to the Guardian writes: ". . . I must confess to you, my dear brother and fellow worker, that in my modest work occasionally I feel discouraged . . . the power of evil forces under the influence of which the majority of humanity is living, is appalling." Shoghi Effendi answers this most beautifully: ". . . I assure my dear fellow-worker in the service of God, that I too feel oftentimes overwhelmed by the rising wave of selfish, gross materialism that threatens to engulf the world, and I feel that however arduous be our common task we must persevere to the very end and pray continually and ardently that the ever-living spirit of God may so fill the souls of men as to cause them to arise with a new vision for the service and salvation of humanity. Prayer and individual persistent effort, I feel, must be given greater and wider prominence in these days of stress and gloom . . ."

Shoghi Effendi was in touch not only with Queen Marie of Rumania and a number of her relatives, but with other people of royal lineage, such as Princess Marina of Greece who later became Duchess of Kent, and Princess Marina of Egypt. To many of these, as well as to men of such prominence as Lord Lamington, a number of former High Commissioners for Palestine, orientalists, university professors, educators and others, Shoghi Effendi was wont to send copies of the latest Bahá'í World volumes or one of his own recently published translations, with his visiting card enclosed. He was always very meticulous — as long as the relationship was one of mutual courtesy and esteem — to send messages of condolence to acquaintances who had suffered a bereavement, expressing his "heartfelt sympathy" at that person's "great loss". Such messages, often sent as cables or wires, deeply touched those who received them and gave him a reputation among them which belied the picture of him the Covenant-breakers did their best to create. He also often congratulated people on the occasion of a marriage or a promotion.

In addition to these personal relationships Shoghi Effendi had far more contact with certain non-Bahá'í organizations than is commonly supposed. This was particularly true of the Esperantists,whose whole object was to bring about the fulfilment of the Bahá'í principle that a universal auxiliary language must be adopted in the interests of World Peace. We have copies of his personal messages to the Universal Congress of Esperantists held in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931, and he no doubt sent many messages of a similar nature at other times. Shoghi Effendi not only responded warmly when there was any overture made to him, but often took the initiative himself in sending Bahá'í representatives, chosen by him, to various conferences whose interests coincided with those of the Bahá'ís. We thus find him writing to the Universal Esperantist Association, in 1927, that Martha Root and Julia Goldman will attend their Danzig Congress as official Bahá'í representatives, and he trusts that this "will serve to strengthen the ties of fellowship that bind the Esperantists and the followers of Bahá'u'lláh, one of whose cardinal principles . . . is the adopting of an international auxiliary language for all humanity." In his letter addressed to the delegates and friends attending this nineteenth Universal Congress of Esperantists he writes:
My dear fellow workers in the service of humanity,

I take great pleasure in addressing you and wishing you . . . from all my heart the fullest success in the work you are doing for the promotion of the good of humanity.

It will interest you, I am sure, to learn that as the result of the repeated and emphatic admonitions of `Abdu'l-Bahá His many followers even in the most distant villages and hamlets of Persia, where the light of Western civilization has hardly penetrated as yet, as well as in other lands throughout the East, are strenuously and
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enthusiastically engaged in the study and teaching of Esperanto, for whose future they cherish the highest hopes
. . .
The Guardian himself was held in high esteem by many people working for ideals similar to those the Bahá'ís cherish. Sir Francis Younghusband, in 1926, wrote to him in connection with the "World Congress of Faiths": "Now I wish to ask a great favour of you. Once more I want to try and persuade you to come to England to attend the Congress. Your presence here would carry great influence and would be highly appreciated. And we would most willingly defray the expenses you might be put to." The Guardian declined this invitation, but arranged for a Bahá'í paper to be presented. His own plans and work precluded him, he felt, from opening such a door.

In 1925 the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem invited him to attend an event in connection with the establishment of a university there. Shoghi Effendi wired them, on April 1st: "Appreciate kind invitation regret inability to be present. Bahá'ís hope and pray the establishment of this seat of learning may contribute to the revival of a land of hallowed memories for us all and for which `Abdu'l-Bahá cherished the highest hopes." To this message they replied in cordial terms: "Zionist Executive much appreciate your friendly message and good wishes we trust that newly established university may contribute not only advancement of science and learning but also to better understanding between men which ideal is so well served by Bahá'ís." Twenty-five years later the tie established is still there: "The Hebrew University was very gratified indeed to receive your check for £100.- as the contribution from His Eminence Shoghi Effendi Rabbani towards the work of this institution . . . We were happy to know that His Eminence is aware of the important work that the University is doing and to receive this generous token of appreciation from him . . ."

A cable of Shoghi Effendi, sent to India in December 1930, is of particular interest because it shows how, up to the very end of her life, he would tenderly include the Greatest Holy Leaf in messages that seemed particularly suitable: "Convey to Indian Asian Women's Conference behalf Greatest Holy Leaf `Abdu'l-Bahá's sister and myself our genuine profound interest their deliberations. May Almighty guide bless their high endeavours".

Aside from this wide correspondence with prominent individuals as well as various societies, Shoghi Effendi was wont to receive in his home the visits of many distinguished people, such as Lord and Lady Samuel; Sir Ronald Storrs, another friend of `Abdu'l-Bahá; Moshe Sharett, later to become one of Israel's most loved and prominent officials; Professor Norman Bentwich and many writers, journalists and notables.

However important were such contacts and exchanges as these, undoubtedly the most important of all such relations was that which the Guardian had with officials at the World Centre, whether under British rule during the Mandate in Palestine or later after the War of Independence and the establishment of the State of Israel.

In all his relationships with both government and municipal officials Shoghi Effendi sought from the very beginning to impress upon them that the Faith was an independent religion, universal in character, and that its permanent World Spiritual and Administrative Centre was situated in the Holy Land. He spent thirty-six years winning from the authorities the recognition and rights that such a status entitled the Bahá'í Faith to enjoy, one aspect of which was that he himself should receive the treatment on official occasions which was his due as the hereditary Head of such a Faith.

The Guardian was on very friendly terms with Colonel Symes, who was none other than that Governor of Phenicia who spoke at the Master's funeral and attended the fortieth-day meeting in His home. It had been to Colonel Symes that Shoghi Effendi had written, on April 5, 1922, at the time of his withdrawal: "As I am compelled to leave Haifa for reasons of health, I have named as my representative during my absence, the sister of `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahíyyih Khánum." And goes on to say: "To assist her to conduct the affairs of the Bahá'í Movement in this country and elsewhere, I have also appointed a committee of the following Bahá'ís [eight men of the local community, three of them the sons-in-law of `Abdu'l-Bahá] . . . The Chairman of this Committee, to be soon elected by its members, with the signature of Bahíyyih Khánum has my authority to transact

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any affairs that may need to be considered and decided during my absence. I regret exceedingly to be unable to see you before my departure, that I may express more adequately the satisfaction that I feel to know that your sense of justice will safeguard the interests of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh whenever called upon to act."

The cordial relations between Symes and Shoghi Effendi and the esteem he evidently had for the character of the Governor are reflected in the letter he wrote to him upon his return: "It is my pleasant duty to inform you of my return to the Holy Land after a prolonged period of rest and meditation and of my assumption of my official functions", and goes on to say: "I had felt after the passing of my beloved Grandfather too exhausted, overwhelmed and sorrowful to be able to conduct efficiently the affairs of the Bahá'í Movement. Now that I feel again restored and refreshed and in a position to resume my arduous duties, I wish to express to you on this occasion my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the sympathetic consideration you have shown towards the Movement during my absence." The letter contains, in the next paragraph, an unusual warmth of feeling: "It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to be enabled to renew my acquaintance with you and Mrs. Symes which I am confident will in the course of time grow into warm and abiding friendship." Shoghi Effendi ended it with his "kind regards and best wishes" and simply signed it "Shoghi".The exchange of correspondence with Colonel Symes — who later was knighted, and became Governor-General of the Súdán before and during the second World War — went on for many years, even after his retirement.

Another official, whose position, though not so high, involved directly the affairs of the Bahá'í Community at its World Centre, was the District Commissioner. During those years when Shoghi Effendi was beginning to seek recognition for the Faith in tangible privileges, Edward Keith-Roach, O.B.E., held this office. Although a man of an entirely different calibre from Colonel Symes he was nevertheless friendly and helpful and seemed to be fond of Shoghi Effendi, whose correspondence with him runs from 1925 to 1939. Keith-Roach, undoubtedly because he knew the higher authorities would approve, was at times very co-operative not only in facilitating and expediting Shoghi Effendi's work, but in making suggestions which the Guardian sometimes carried out. The first copy we find of a letter from Shoghi Effendi to him is so simple and yet so typical of the warmth with which the Guardian invariably responded to other people's overtures when they were made in the right spirit, that I cannot refrain from quoting it. It was dated simply "Haifa, 25-12-25" and said: "My dear Mr. Keith-Roach: I am touched by your welcome message of good-will and greeting and I hasten to assure you that I fully reciprocate the sentiments expresssed in your letter With best wishes for a happy Christmas. I am yours very sincerely, Shoghi Rabbani".

Throughout Shoghi Effendi's correspondence with both Keith-Roach and Symes there are invitations for them to have tea with him in the gardens on Mt. Carmel, in Colonel Syme's case the invitation sometimes included Mrs. Symes. It was not only Shoghi Effendi's way of extending some hospitality to these officials, but served to show them, by bringing them into the midst of the Bahá'í property, the latest developments and the most recent extension of the gardens and, I have no doubt, he made use of their presence to point out to them his future plans and seek their sympathetic support.

Immediately upon his return to the Holy Land after the Master's passing, Shoghi Effendi pursued the policy of keeping the authorities informed, locally and particularly at the seat of Government in Jerusalem, not only of his plans, but his problems and various crises that arose, such as the seizure of the keys of Bahá'u'lláh's Shrine in Bahjí and His House in Baghdád, as well as the persecutions and injustices the Faith was suffering. Commencing with his first letter to the High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, the friend of `Abdu'l-Bahá, written on January 16, 1922, Shoghi Effendi maintained this contact with the government until the end of his life, first with the British and later with the Jewish representatives. When Shoghi Effendi left Palestine, so crushed and ill, in the spring of 1922, he had informed Sir Herbert of the measures he had taken to protect the Cause during his absence; after his return to Haifa on December 15th of that same year, he had wired Sir Herbert, on the

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19th: "Pray accept my best wishes and kind regards on my return to Holy Land and resumption of my official duties."

In May 1923 we find Shoghi Effendi keeping both the Governor of Haifa and the High commissioner informed of events, for in a letter to the former he writes that the "Haifa Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly" has been "officially constituted and will, in conjunction with me, direct all local affairs in this region . . . I have lately informed H.E. the High Commissioner of this matter . . ." The letter he referred to, dated April 21st, stated that he enclosed a copy of his recent circular letter to the Bahá'í communities in the West, similar to one written in Persian to the Bahá'í communities in the East, "As you had expressed in your last letter to me the desire to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement . . . I shall be only too glad to throw further light on any point which your Excellency might desire to raise in connection with the enclosed letter, or regarding any other matter bearing upon the interests of the Movement in general."

It is impossible to go into the details of the thirty-six years of Shoghi Effendi's relations with the authorities, first of Palestine and later of Israel. That he succeeded in winning and maintaining their good will, their co-operation in his various undertakings at the World Centre, and their recognition of that Centre as the historic heart of the Bahá'í Faith entitled to enjoy the same rights as other Faiths in the Holy Land — indeed, in some respects to enjoy greater rights — all this in the face of the continuous mischief stirred up by various enemies who, whether overtly or covertly, consistently opposed every step he took is a tribute to the extraordinary wisdom and patience that characterized Shoghi Effendi's leadership of the Cause of God.

When Sir Herbert Samuel's term of office was drawing to a close the Guardian sent to him, on June 15, 1925, one of those messages which so effectively forged links of good will with the government, expressing his own and the Bahá'ís abiding sense of gratitude and deep appreciation of the "kind and noble attitude which Your Excellency has taken towards the various problems that have beset them since the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá . . . the Bahá'ís . . . remembering the acts of sympathy and good will which the Palestine Administration under your guidance has shown them in the past, will confidently endeavour to contribute their full share to the material prosperity as well as the spiritual advancement of a land so sacred and precious to them all." Sir Herbert replied to this letter in the following terms: " . . . I have been happy during my five years of office to maintain very friendly relations with the Bahá'í Community in Palestine and much appreciate the good will which they have always shown towards the Administration and to myself."

When, in 1929, there was an outbreak of trouble in Palestine, we find the Guardian writing to the then High Commissioner, Sir John Chanallor, on September 10th a highly significant letter:
Your Excellency:

I have learned with profound regret of the lamentable occurrences in Palestine, and hasten, while away from home, to offer Your Excellency my heartfelt sympathy in the difficult task with which you are faced.

The Bahá'í Community of Palestine, who, by reason of their Faith, are deeply attached to its soil truly deplore these violent outbursts of religious fanaticism, and venture to hope that, as the influence of Bahá'í ideals extends and deepens, they may be enabled in the days to come to lend increasing assistance to your Administration for the promotion of the spirit of good will and toleration among the religious communities in the Holy Land.

I feel moved to offer Your Excellency in their behalf the enclosed sum as their contribution for the relief for the suffering and needy, irrespective of race or creed . . .
It was during that same year of 1929, that Shoghi Effendi, through the instrumentality of a formal petition to the government made by the Bahá'í Community of Haifa on May 4th, succeeded in obtaining for it permission to administer according to Bahá'í law the affairs of the Community in such matters of personal status as marriage, thus placing it, in this regard, on an equal footing with the Jewish, Muslim and Christian Communities in Palestine. Shoghi Effendi hailed this as "an act of tremendous sig-

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nificance and wholly unprecedented in the history of the Faith in any country". The Guardian's own exclusively Bahá'í marriage was registered and became legal as a result of this recognition he had won for the Faith.

One of the men who occupied the important office of High Commissioner during these years when the Cause was beginning to win in such tangible ways recognition for its independent status, was Sir Arthur Wauchope, a man who, like Colonel Symes, had a personal liking for Shoghi Effendi and who, one suspects, understood how heavy the burden was that rested on the shoulders of the young man who was the Head of the Bahá'í Faith. It was during the period of his administration — which partly coincided with the time that Keith-Roach was District Commissioner in Haifa — that some of the greatest victories in winning concessions from the authorities took place, the most important of these, next to the right of the Community to obey some of its own laws governing personal status, being the exemption from taxation of the entire area surrounding the Shrine of the Báb on Mt. Carmel. Unlike most High Commissioners, Sir Arthur seems to have met Shoghi Effendi personally as he refers to this in some of his letters.

In one of them, dated June 26, 1933, Sir Arthur states: "I have received your letter of the 21st June and I hasten to write to thank you for it and to assure you that when the cause you mention is referred to me for a decision under the Palestine (Holy Places) Order in Council, it will receive a most careful consideration. I have also received the `Bahá'í World' for 1930-32. I am most grateful to you for this extremely interesting book . . . I hope to have the pleasure of another visit to the beautiful Gardens on the hillside outside Haifa."

On March 13, 1934, Shoghi Effendi wrote to him: ". . . As the case recently referred to Your Excellency concerning the Bahá'í Shrines on Mt. Carmel has vital international importance, I have asked Mr. — — to come to Palestine to confer with me about it. I would greatly appreciate Your Excellency's kindly according him an interview in order to clarify one or two points which I do not quite understand and upon which my future action on this matter depends." On May 1st of that same year Shoghi Effendi again wrote to him: "I deeply appreciate the kind message of sympathy and support for the projected plan of the Bahá'í Community to beautify the slopes of Mt. Carmel which you sent to me through Mr. — — . It greatly encouraged me. unfortunately there are strong and influential interests that are seeking to obstruct the plan. These are in part merely real estate speculators who, in their short-sightedness, are doing their utmost to develop the northern slope of Mt. Carmel for their immediate benefit. More difficult and more dangerous for our plan however are those who definitely seek to frustrate the efforts of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in anything that they may undertake. We believe that these people were back of the case brought against us by the Domets [Dumit], for example, and it was for that reason that we felt justified in our endeavour to have it withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the courts and submitted to Your Excellency's personal consideration . . . With kind regards and renewed expression of my warm appreciation of Your Excellency's sympathy and support . . ." The case in question, which involved four years of litigation, was finally abandoned and in 1935 a contract for the purchase of the Dumit land was signed and Shoghi Effendi cabled the National Assembly in America that he was planning to register it in the name of their Palestine Branch. It is interesting to note that to the Bahá'ís he transliterated the name, but not to the High Commissioner.

Shoghi Effendi had been endeavoring for some time to obtain exemption from taxation on Bahá'í properties surrounding the Báb's Shrine and had finally received news this had been granted. Behind the formal lines of this letter to Sir Arthur, written on May 11, 1934, his inner jubilation over this victory can be sensed:
Your Excellency,

The gratifying news has just come to me from the District Commissioner of Haifa that the petition for exemption from taxation of the Bahá'í property holdings on Mt. Carmel has been granted by the Government.

I hasten to express to Your Excellency for the World Bahá'í Community and myself our deep appreciation of the sympathetic and effective interest which Your Excellency has taken in the matter and which I know must have contributed in
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large measure to this outcome. And I venture to hope for the continuation of Your Excellency's sympathetic support in out plan to gradually beautify this property for the use and enjoyment of the people of Haifa, for which this action of the Government now opens the way.
To this letter Sir Arthur replied in person, five days later:
Dear Shoghi Effendi,

Thank you for your letter of May 11th and the kind words it contains. I have always had great sympathy with your project for beautifying the slopes of Mt. Carmel and I hope this exemption will help you in carrying out your fine work.
Yours very sincerely,
Arthur Wauchope
In another letter the High Commissioner wrote: "I am most grateful to you for your kind present of the `Dawn-Breakers'. I shall read the book with much interest, for you know how the wonderful story stirred me when I first heard it in Persia. The book is charmingly produced and the illustrations and reproductions add to its attraction. Again with very many thanks for your kind thoughts and welcome gift . . ." There are similar letters thanking the Guardian for Gleanings and Bahá'í World. The last letter, written in February 1938, by this man, who through his high office assisted Shoghi Effendi in winning a major victory at the World Centre of the Faith, was typical of his courteous kindness: ". . . I had every intention of visiting you in Haifa, where I hoped to see the progress you had made with your garden and say good-bye in person. Unfortunately the many calls on my time . . . made this impossible, so I take this opportunity of bidding you farewell and expressing my best wishes to the Bahá'í Community." At the bottom of the letter he added by hand, "I hear your garden is growing more beautiful every year."

At the time when the Mandate drew to its close and the troubled people of Palestine were preparing to fight it out, the United Nations appointed a Special Committee on Palestine, headed by Justice Emil Sandstrom. On July 9th he wrote to Shoghi Effendi from Jerusalem, stating that under the terms of reference of this committee it was charged with giving most careful consideration to the religious interests in Palestine of Íslám, Judaism and Christianity, and goes on to say: "I should appreciate it if you would advise me whether you wish to submit evidence — in a written statement on the religious interests of your Community in Palestine." Because of the historic importance to Bahá'ís of Shoghi Effendi's reply to this letter, I quote it in full:
Mr. Justice Emil Sandstrom,
Chairman,
United Nations Special Committee on
Palestine.
Sir:

Your kind letter of July 9th reached me and I wish to thank you for affording me the opportunity of presenting to you and your esteemed colleagues a statement of the relationship which the Bahá'í Faith has to Palestine and your attitude towards any future changes in the status of this sacred and much disputed land.

I am enclosing with this letter, for your information, a brief sketch of the history, aims and significance of the Bahá'í Faith, as well as a small pamphlet setting forth its views towards the present state of the world and and the lines on which we hope and believe it must and will develop.

The position of the Bahá'ís in this country is in a certain measure unique: whereas Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Christiandom it is not the administrative center of either the Church of Rome or any other Christian denomination. Likewise although it is regarded by Moslems as the spot where one of its most sacred shrines is situated, the Holy Sites of the Muhammadan Faith, and the center of its pilgrimages, are to be found in Arabia, not in Palestine. The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Bahá'ís have for this country inasmuch as Jerusalem holds the remains of their Holy Temple and was the seat of both the religious and political institutions associated with their past history. But even their case differs in one respect from that of the Bahá'ís, for it is in the soil of Palestine that the three central Figures of our religion are buried, and it is not only the center of Bahá'í pilgrimages from all over the world but also the permanent seat of our Administrative Order, of which I have the honour to be the Head.
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The Bahá'í Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its peoples nor have we any statement t make or advise to give as to what the nature of the political nature of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of Jewish and Moslem extraction we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual benefit and for the good of the country.

What does concern us, however, in any decisions made affecting the future of Palestine, is that the fact be recognized by whoever exercises sovereignty over Haifa and Acre, that within this area exists the spiritual and administrative center of a World Faith, and that the independence of that Faith, its right to manage its international affairs from this source, the right of Bahá'ís from any and every country of the globe to visit it as pilgrims (enjoying the same privilege in this respect as Jews, Moslems and Christians do in regard to visiting Jerusalem), be acknowledged and permanently safeguarded.

The Sepulchre of the Báb on Mt. Carmel, the Tomb of `Abdu'l-Bahá in that same spot, the Pilgrim House for oriental Bahá'ís in its vicinity, the large gardens and terraces which surround these places (all of which are open to visits by the public of all denominations), the Pilgrim Hostel for western Bahá'ís at the foot of Mt. Carmel, the residence of the Head of the Community, various houses and gardens in Acre and its vicinity associated with Bahá'u'lláh's incarceration in that city, His Holy Tomb at Bahjí, near Acre, with His Mansion which is now preserved as a historic site and a Museum (both likewise accessible to the public of all denominations), as well as holdings in the plain of Acre — all these comprise the bulk of Bahá'í properties in the Holy Land. It should also be noted that practically all of these properties have been exempted from both Government and municipal taxes owing to their religious nature. Some of these extensive holdings are the property of the Palestine Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, incorporated as a religious society according to the laws of the country. In future various other Bahá'í National Assemblies will hold, through their Palestine Branches, part of the International Endowments of the Faith in the Holy Land.

In view of the above information I would request you and the members of your Committee to take into consideration the safeguarding of Bahá'í rights in any recommendation which you may make to the United Nations concerning the future of Palestine.

May I take this opportunity of assuring you of my deep appreciation of the spirit in which you and your colleagues have conducted your investigations into the troubled conditions of this Sacred Land. I trust and pray that the outcome of your deliberations will produce an equitable and speedy solution of the very thorny problems which have arisen in Palestine.
Yours faithfully,
Shoghi Rabbani
Haifa, Palestine
July 14, 1947
It must be remembered that the only oriental notable of any standing whatever, who had not fled from Palestine before the War of Independence, was Shoghi Effendi. This fact was not lost ipon the authorities of the new State. By acts such as this, the Guardian had succeeded in impressing upon non-Bahá'ís, who had no reason whatever to take him on faith alone, the sterling personal integrity and strict adherence to what he believed was the right course that characterized his leadership of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. Largely because of this, and a knowledge of what the Bahá'í Teachings represented, of which the avant garde of the Jewish Movement for independence were well aware, the new authorities were extremely co-operative in every way. One of their first acts, when the fighting was still going on, had been to place a notice on the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh
— much more isolated than the Shrines in Haifa — stating that it was a Lieu Sainte or "Holy Place", thus ensuring that it would be treated with respect by all Jews.

In January 1949 Mr. Ben Gurion, the Prime

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Minister of the Provisional Government, came to Haifa on his first official visit and the Mayor naturally invited Shoghi Effendi to attend the reception being given in his honour by the Municipality. The dilemma was acute, for if the Guardian did not go, it would, with every reason, be taken as an affront to the new Government, and if he did go he would inevitably be submerged in a sea of people where any pretence at protocol would be swept away (this was indeed the case, as my father, Shoghi Effendi's representative, reported after he returned from this reception). The Guardian therefore decided that as he would not be attending, but was more than willing to show courtesy to the Prime Minister of the new State, he would call upon him in person. With great difficulty this was arranged through the good offices of the Mayor of Haifa, Shabatay Levy, as Mr. Ben Gurion's time in Haifa was very short and it was only two days before the first general election in the new State.

The interview took place on Friday evening, January 21st, in the private home the Prime Minister was staying in on Mt. Carmel and lasted about fifteen minutes. Ben Gurion enquired about the Faith and Shoghi Effendi's relation to it and asked if there was a book he could read; Shoghi Effendi answered his questions and assured him he would send him a copy of his own book God Passes By — which he later did, and which was acknowledged with thanks.

Typical of the whole history of the Cause and the constant problems that beset it was a long article which appeared in the leading English-language newspaper on December 20, 1948, in which, in the most favourable terms, its teachings were set forth and the station of Shoghi Effendi as its World Head mentioned. On January 28, 1949, there appeared in the letter column of this paper a short and extraordinary statement, signed "Bahai U.N. Observer", which flatly refuted the article and asserted, "Mr. Rabbani is not the Guardian of the Bahai faith, nor its World Leader" and gave the New History Society in New York as a source of further information. As there was no such thing as a "Bahai U.N. Observer" this move was plainly inspired by the once-more hopeful band of old Covenant-breakers, who sought, at the outset of a new regime, to blacken Shoghi Effendi's reputation and divert attention from his station by referring to Ahmad Sohrab's rootless group in America. At a later date, when in 1952 the Covenant-breakers in Bahjí brought their case in the local courts against Shoghi Effendi for the demolition of an old building near the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh, Sohrab sought, unsuccessfully, to bring pressure on the Minister of Religious Affairs to discredit the Bahá'í claims. It was with attacks such as this, both open and covert, that the Guardian, on the threshold of a new phase in the development of the affairs of the Faith at its World Centre, once more had to contend.

It had long been the desire of Shoghi Effendi to obtain control of the Mansion at Mazra'ih, where Bahá'u'lláh had first lived when He quitted once-for-all the walls of the prison-city of `Akká. This property was a Muslim religious endowment and had now fallen vacant. It was planned by the government to turn it into a rest home for officials. All efforts, through the departments concerned, to procure this property were unavailing until Shoghi Effendi appealed directly to Ben Gurion, explaining its significance to the Bahá'ís and his desire to have it visited by pilgrims as a place so closely associated with Bahá'u'lláh. The Prime Minister himself then intervened in the matter and it was leased to the Bahá'ís as an historic site. Shoghi Effendi proudly informed the Bahá'í world,on December 16, 1950, that its keys had been delivered to us, by the Israeli authorities, after the lapse of more than fifty years.

The affairs of the Bahá'í Community, in matters concerning its day-to-day dealings with the government in connection with work at the World Centre, had been placed under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Religious Affairs and was at first handled by the head of the Department that dealt with Muslim affairs. This Shoghi Effendi violently objected to as it implied the Faith was in some way identified with Islám. After much negotiation a letter was received from the Minister of Religious Affairs dated December 13, 1953, addressed to "His Eminence, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, World Head of the Bahá'í Faith" in which he said:

". . . I am pleased to inform you of my decision to establish in our Ministry a separate Department for the Bahá'í Faith. I hope that this department will be of assistance to you in matters concerning the Bahá'í Centre in our State.

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"In the name of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the State of Israel, I wish to assure Your Eminence that full protection will be given to the Holy Places as well as to the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith."

The victory was all the more welcome, following as it did the previously mentioned court case against Shoghi Effendi brought on a technicality by the Covenant-breakers in connection with the demolition of a house adjoining the Shrine and Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahjí. Never tired of seeking to publicly humiliate and discredit the Head of the Faith, be it `Abdu'l-Bahá or the Guardian, they had had the temerity to summon Shoghi Effendi to appear in court as a witness. Once more, greatly concerned for the honour of the Cause at its World Centre, Shoghi Effendi appealed direct to the Prime Minister, sending as his representatives the President, Secretary-General and Member-at-Large of the International Bahá'í Council (whom he had summoned from Italy for this purpose) to Jerusalem on more than one visit to press the strategy he himself had devised. These representations were successful and on the grounds of its being a purely religious issue it was removed by Government from the jurisdiction of the civil courts. As soon as the plaintiffs found their plan to humiliate Shoghi Effendi had been forestalled, they were willing to settle the case by negotiation. That the authorities and the Bahá'í Community were equally pleased by this conclusion of the matter is shown in those letters written to the Guardian by members of the Prime Minister's staff — two men to whom the Faith owed much for their sympathetic efforts on its behalf at that time:
PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE
Jerusalem, 19th May, 1952.
His Eminence Shoghi Rabbani,
World Head of the Bahá'í Faith,
Haifa.

Your Eminence,

I am instructed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 16th May addressed to the Prime Minister.

As you are no doubt aware, the dispute between yourself as the World Head of the Bahá'í Faith and members of the family of the founder of the Faith has found its solution and there is no need, therefore, to take any administrative action in order to solve the problem.

May I express to you our gratitude for your wise and benevolent attitude taken in the dispute which enabled us to impose a just and, we hope, a lasting solution on the dissident group?

The Prime Minister assures you of his personal esteem and sends you his best wishes.
Yours sincerely,
S. Eyanth
Legal Adviser
The second letter was from Walter Eytan, Director-General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and was written to Shoghi Effendi the following day. In it he says: ". . . Having done my best throughout to be of assistance to Your Eminence in the solution of these vexing problems, I heard with great satisfaction this morning that complete agreement had ben reached. I sincerely trust that this puts an end to a period of anxiety for Your Eminence and the members of the Bahá'í Faith, and that you will be able to proceed with your plans without further interference from any quarter."

It is significant to note that they address Shoghi Effendi as "His Eminence", a title which, though still far below what his position merited, was the one that had been introduced in the earliest days of his ministry, but never really used by any officials until the formation of the Jewish State.

The cordial nature of the relations established between the Guardian and the officials of the State of Israel encouraged Shoghi Effendi to ascertain if the President would care to visit the Bahá'í Shrine in Haifa; when word was received that he would accept such an invitation, Shoghi Effendi formally invited him to do so and arrangements were made for the morning of April 26, 1954, at which time, the Director of the President's Office wrote to Shoghi Effendi, the President would "be pleased to pay you an official visit". Accordingly the President and his wife strived at the home of the Master, attended by two officials, partook of light refreshment and were presented by the Guardian with a Persian album, painted with miniatures and bound in silver, containing some photographs of the

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Shrines, as a memento of their visit. The Presidential party, with Shoghi Effendi and those who accompanied him, then proceeded to the gardens on Mt. Carmel. It was the first time in the history of the Cause that the Head of an independent nation had ever made an official visit of this kind and it constituted another milestone in the development of the World Centre of the Faith. The President and his companions showed the greatest respect to the Shrine of the Báb, removing their shoes as we did, before entering it, the men keeping their hats on out of reverence as Jews for a holy place; it was a very moving moment to see President Ben Zvi standing beside Shoghi Effendi, the former with his European hat, the latter with his simple black fez, before the threshold. After a few words of explanation from Shoghi Effendi we all withdrew and walked about the gardens for a few minutes before saying good-bye in front of the Oriental Pilgrim House where the President's car was awaiting him.

On April 29th the President wrote personally to the Guardian: "I should like to express my thanks for your kind hospitality and for the interesting time I spent with you visiting the beautiful Gardens and remarkable Shrine . . . I do appreciate the friendship which the Bahá'í Community has for Israel and it is my sincere hope that we may all live to see the strengthening amity between all peoples on earth." On May 5th the Guardian replied to this letter in equally warm terms: ". . . It was a great pleasure to meet Your excellency and Mrs. Ben Zvi, and be able to show you one of our places of Bahá'í pilgrimage in Israel . . . If it suits your convenience, Mrs. Rabbani and I, accompanied by Mr. Ioas, would like to call upon Your Excellency and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem . . ." The time for this return call was set for the afternoon of May 26th and we had tea and a pleasant conversation with the President and his wife, in her own way as much a personality as her husband and equally nice. In the interim between these two visits Shoghi Effendi had sent to the President some Bahá'í books which he had promised him and these had been acknowledged with the thanks of the President and the assurance that he would read them with great interest. Ever meticulous in all matters, Shoghi Effendi wrote on June 3rd to the President: "I wish to thank you and Mrs. Ben Zvi for your kind hospitality. Mrs. Rabbani and I enjoyed our visit with you very much, and I feel sure this opportunity we have had of visiting with you our Bahá'í Holy Places and calling upon you in the capital of Israel have served to reinforce the bonds of affection and esteem which unite the Bahá'ís to the people and Government of Israel. With kind regards to you and Mrs. Ben Zvi . . ." Thus ended another memorable chapter in the process of winning recognition for the Faith at its World Centre.

Although the major affairs of the World centre had usually to be handled in Jerusalem with the highest officials, much of its work needed to be transacted with the help of the municipal officials in both `Akká and Haifa — particularly the latter. It is an interesting fact that of the many dealings with Haifa municipal engineers which the Bahá'í Community had over the years the first was in the days of `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself when a Dr. Ciffrin had submitted to Him his design for a monumental staircase and cypress avenue leading from the old Templar Colony at the foot of Mt. Carmel up to the Báb's Shrine. The Master had not only approved of this scheme but had granted land for its realization and headed the list of subscribers to the "Báb's Monumental Stairway", as the project was called, by contributing £100.

Aside from the struggle on Shoghi Effendi's part, carried on shrewdly and persistently, to win concessions from municipal officials as well as recognition of the unique status of the Bahá'í Faith in both Haifa and `Akká — the twin cities harbouring its World Centre — he maintained a friendly and co-operative relationship with the Mayor of Haifa in respect to many municipal undertakings, not the least of which was the support he gave the authorities — either the Municipality, or in the early days, the District Commissioner — when there was some special need for financial help in charitable work.

Nothing could better describe Shoghi Effendi's attitude and policy in such matters than the letter he wrote, on February 7, 1923, so early in his ministry, to Colonel Symes: "I have just heard of the Charity Ball which Mrs. Symes is organizing to aid the poor of Haifa. Realizing how their cause was consistently upheld by my beloved Grandfather, and it being my earnest endeavour to follow

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Two Pictures:
Caption of Top Picture:
The house of `Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa where Shoghi Effendi lived for half a century and
whence, for thirty-six years as Guardian he administered the affairs of the Bahá'í Faith.
The two rooms where the Guardian lived and worked were added on to the roof;
in 1937 three more were added.


Caption of Bottom Picture:
Entrance to the home of `Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa.


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his footsteps, I beg to enclose the sum of £20 — as a contribution to the fund . . . I trust you have had a very enjoyable time in Egypt, and hoping to meet you and Mrs. Symes in the near future . . ." The same sentiment is expressed with equal feeling two years later in another letter to Colonel Symes: "The perusal of your circular letter of February 16th, 1925 with reference to the establishment of the Haifa Charitable Fund has served to remind me of the keen interest `Abdu'l-Bahá took in charitable institutions. Animated by the same sentiment and desirous to walk in the footsteps of my beloved Grandfather, I hasten to enclose herewith the sum of £20 — towards the relief of the sufferings of the poor in Haifa."

Whenever calamity overtook the people, Shoghi Effendi responded warmly to the need. In April 1926 he wrote to the Commissioner of the Northern District: "Fully aware of the intense suffering caused by recent disturbances, and mindful of the loving-care bestowed by `Abdu'l-Bahá on the suffering and needy, I take great pleasure in enclosing the sum of £30 — as my contribution towards the relief of the poor and shelterless . . . I shall be grateful if you will let me know from time to time if any such need arises, in whatever place and on behalf of whatever denomination." In 1927 we find him again responding to disaster by sending the Secretariat of the Government in Jerusalem £100 as his contribution to the Earthquake Relief Fund. Over the years, in large or in small amounts, he followed in the ways of the Master who had been called "the Father of the Poor".

That these contributions to various causes were warmly received is self-evident; the District Commissioner for the Northern District thanks Shoghi Effendi, in 1934, for his "most generous contribution towards the relief of distress in Tiberias" and also for his "message of sympathy which I will convey to District Commissioner of Tiberias." In 1950 we find the Chairman of the Haifa Municipal Commission, the Mayor, thanking Shoghi Effendi for the £500 — "being your Eminence's generous contribution for the relief of the poor in Haifa, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Báb." Almost invariably, when forwarding such contributions, the Guardian would add that they were to "be distributed equally among the needy members of all communities, irrespective of their race or religion."

The general policy of the Faith in matters of charity was made abundantly clear by a letter he wrote to the Mayor of Haifa, on May 7, 1929, in which he acknowledges receiving his circular related to the prevention of mendicancy in the city of Haifa and states: "Fortunately, this is a problem which does not affect the Bahá'í Community, as under our laws begging is strictly prohibited. I appreciate, however, the importance and timeliness of the measure you are considering and take pleasure in enclosing a cheque to your order for £50 — in behalf of the Bahá'í Community in anticipation of any plan that the Municipality may devise for the alleviation of poverty and the help of the needy in Haifa. You may be assured that the Community will rigidly observe any regulations that may be put into effect."

In the years when the people of Palestine and, later, of Israel were undergoing great hardships, between 1940 and 1952 alone, the Guardian gave the Municipality of Haifa over ten thousands dollars for the poor of all denominations. In addition to such help given through government and municipal agencies he also responded to the appeals of many charities, gave individually to those he deemed worthy, and, even sometimes contributed money for some special purpose connected with the mosque in Haifa. Many times he gave contributions spontaneously, such as the £100 he donated to the Government Lunatic Asylum in `Akká — the former Turkish barracks — when the room occupied by Bahá'u'lláh was turned over to the custody of the Bahá'ís, and the sum he presented towards the construction of the Institute of Physics which the Weizmann National Memorial was undertaking.

But this was not the only way in which he demonstrated to the local authorities his good will. Whatever demands were made of him he usually found he was in a position to respond to them most cordially. An example of this is an exchange of correspondence with Aba Khoushy, the Mayor of Haifa, which took place in 1952. A country-wide Symposium on Problems of Illumination was to take place at the Hebrew Technical College in Haifa and would coincide with the Jewish Feast of Hanukka, the Feast of Lights. His

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Worship in a letter to Shoghi Effendi informed him of this and wrote that: "I should be grateful if you too could share in our efforts to make this conference a success and would kindly issue instructions to have the beautiful Shrine of your Faith, on the Carmel slopes, illuminated festively during the week Dec. 12-Dec. 19, 1952, inclusively." As usual, whenever he was approached courteously, Shoghi Effendi responded warmly. On December 7th he wrote to the Mayor:
Your Worship:

Your letter of November 30th has been received by me on my return from Bahjí, and I wish to assure you that the Bahá'í Community will be happy to co-operate in making the city of Haifa luminous an beautiful, in connection with the Symposium to be held at the Hebrew Technical College on Problems of Illumination, especially so as this Symposium will be held during Hauukka.

I will give instructions that the period of illumination of our Shrine should be extended during these days [the Shrine was always flood-lit every night at sunset for a short time], and also to extend through Your Worship an invitation to the delegates and visitors attending the Symposium to enter the Shrine and its gardens on one of the evenings when they will be touring our city, to enjoy the illumination. The necessary arrangements can be made to open the gates and Shrine for them, if we are informed in advance.
Yours sincerely,
Shoghi Rabbani
World Head of the Bahá'í Faith
Another significant example of the spirit in which Shoghi Effendi responded to worthy causes pressed upon his attention is the co-operation he gave the `Akká District Commissioner when in 1943 he wrote to him that he could find no place to house a children's school and would he consider leasing eight room in the house of `Abbúd (a large building and a place of Bahá'í pilgrimage) for this purpose? Shoghi Effendi permitted the school to use some of the rooms, but said he would not take any payment for them.
* * *


During the years when the Guardian was building up not only the material, tangible assets of the Faith at its World Centre but winning for it the recognition of both the government of the country in which that Centre is situated and the municipal authorities in whose city its chief institutions were to have their permanent headquarters, he was performing at the same time a similar function abroad. Years later he defined what this had been: a triple, world-wide effort to demonstrate the independent character of the Faith, to enlarge its limits and to swell the number of its supporters. In order, however, to accomplish this he had to have instruments and those instruments, so clearly provided for in the teachings, were the local and National Assemblies, the building blocks of its Administrative Order.

It is not surprising to find that Shoghi Effendi characterized the period of the Faith that was ushered in after `Abdu'l-Bahá's ascension as the "Iron Age", "the Age of Transition", "the Formative Period". It was the Age in which the institutions of the Cause, whether national, local or international were being created, institutions which, the Guardian said, constitute the embryonic pattern that needs must solve, during the Golden Age of the Bahá'í Dispensation, into a World Commonwealth. The principles governing the Administrative Order established in the Will and Testament were defined by him in the first years of his ministry in a flood of letters to the believers all over the world in which he made clear the functions of Assemblies, their fields of jurisdiction and — what was still more essential — the spirit that must animate them if they were to fulfil their purpose in the immediate future.

The administrative institutions may be likened to the veins and arteries of the body that carry in their network the vital flow of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings to all parts of the world; through their instrumentality a recreated society, "that Christ-promised Kingdom, that World Order whose generative impulse is none other than Bahá'u'lláh Himself, whose dominion is the entire planet, whose watchword is unity, whose animating power is the force of Justice, whose directive purpose is the reign of righteousness and truth, and whose supreme glory is the complete, the undisturbed and everlasting felicity of the whole of human kind", can be brought into being.

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After defining the purely mechanical technique of how Assemblies should be formed and conduct their business, the Guardian's early admonitions to them often dealt with the subject of unity; if the "watchword" of future society was going to be "unity" it was obviously essential it should be assiduously cultivated amongst the Bahá'ís themselves. In 1923 he wrote to one of the local Assemblies: "Full harmony and understanding among the friends, outside and within the Spiritual Assembly; implicit confidence on the part of the non-members in every decision passed by their elected representatives; and the determination of these to disregard their likes and dislikes and seek naught but the general interests of the Movement — these constitute the only and sure foundation upon which any constructive work can be built in future and prove serviceable to the interests of the Cause." His letters to National Assemblies were no less emphatic: "An active, united, and harmonious National Spiritual Assembly, properly and conscientiously elected, vigorously functioning, alert and conscious of its many and pressing responsibilities, in close and continuous contact with the international centre in the Holy Land, and keenly watchful of every development throughout the length and breadth of its ever-expanding field of work — is surely in this day of urgent necessity and paramount importance, for it is the cornerstone on which the edifice of Divine Administration must ultimately rest."

No sooner had Shoghi Effendi got national bodies properly elected and functioning — in those countries where such a step was possible — than he set about putting these bodies on an unequivocal, clear legal basis. Through his encouragement one of the great milestones in Bahá'í history was set up in 1927, five years after he had begun to function as Guardian of the Faith. That milestone was no less than "the drafting and adoption of a Bahá'í National constitution, first framed and promulgated by the elected representatives of the American Bahá'í Community". He has described this as the initial step in "the unification of the Bahá'í World Community and the consolidation of its Administrative Order".

This document became the "charter" for all National Assemblies, was translated into such major languages in use throughout the Bahá'í world as Persian, Arabic, French, German and Spanish, and its provisions — based on those guiding lines Shoghi Effendi himself had been providing in his interpretive writings on the teachings of the Faith and he, a he described it, "complete system of world administratration implicit in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh" — were summarized by him in the following words: "The text of this national constitution comprises a Declaration of Trust, whose articles set forth the character and objects of the national Bahá'í community, establish the functions, designate the central office, and describe the official seal, of the body of its elected representatives, as well as a set of by-laws which define the status, the mode of election, the powers and duties of both local and national Assemblies, describe the relation of the National Assembly to the International House of Justice as well as to local Assemblies and individual believers, outline the rights and obligations of the National Convention and its relation to the National Assembly, disclose the character of Bahá'í elections, and lay down the requirements of voting membership in all Bahá'í communities."

The drafting of the By-Laws of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the City of New York, in 1931, was likewise another great step forward in the evolution of the Administrative Order and was followed, a year later, by the legal incorporation of that Assembly in the State of New York. Of these by-laws Shoghi Effendi wrote that they would "serve as a pattern for every Bahá'í local Assembly in America and a model for every local community throughout the Bahá'í world."

The formulation of this prototype for all national Bahá'í constitutions, as well as the framing of by-laws suitable for any local Spiritual Assembly, laid a firm basis on which both national and local Bahá'í Assemblies could obtain incorporation or registration, according to the laws of the country in which they functioned, and thus hold legal title to such endowments of the Faith as land., national and local headquarters, historic sites, and in some asses Bahá'í Houses of Worship — steps to which Shoghi Effendi attached the utmost importance. During 1928 the Guardian began to urge oriental National Assemblies to form their national constitutions, patterned
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on the American one, and in addition to seek recognition as religious courts empowered to administer the Bahá'í laws on matters of personal status, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and so on, which in many Islamic countries do not come within the jurisdiction of the usual civil courts.

All this primarily involved the battle of an independent Faith to obtain full recognition of its position in history and to be treated on equal footing with other world religions. In the constant process of orienting the destinies of individual Bahá'í communities towards their common goal of becoming a completely unified international body, directed from a World Centre and labouring to achieve no less than the universal brotherhood of man, world peace and eventually a world commonwealth of nations, Shoghi Effendi seized upon the formation of the United Nations as a further means of hastening the attainment of his supreme objective.

As soon as it became apparent that the framework of this international body permitted non-governmental organizations to send their accredited representatives to various conferences convened under its auspices, Shoghi Effendi urged what was then the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada to apply for this status, which was obtained by that body in 1947. At the time it made its application it submitted a Bahá'í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights as well as a Bahá'í statement on the Rights of Women. A Bahá'í United Nations Committee was appointed and a Bahá'í observer attended United Nations sessions. As this status was very limited in scope ways and means were found br which it could be enlarged. This was achieved during the winter of 1947-1948 through seven National Spiritual Assemblies' authorizing the American national body to act on their behalf as their representative under the title Bahá'í International Community, duly recognized as an international organization accredited to the United Nations, a status that both enhanced the prestige of the Faith and increased the privileges of the official Bahá'í representatives who regularly attended and took part in various United Nations conferences of a type open to those enjoying such status. As new National Spiritual Assemblies were formed these too joined in and reinforced the organization representing the Bahá'í world.

The importance Shoghi Effendi attached to this tie linking the Cause with the greatest international instrument ever forged in human history is reflected in his own words: "it marks an important step forward in the struggle of our beloved Faith to receive in the eyes of the world its just due, and be recognized as an independent World Religion. Indeed, this step should have a favourable reaction on the progress of the Cause everywhere, especially in those parts of the world where it is still persecuted, belittled, or scorned, particularly in the East." At the time of the intense wave of persecution that swept over the Bahá'í Community of Persia in 1955 the carefully established and fostered relationship with the United Nations bore fruit; in consequence of the detailed documentation of the injuries and atrocities the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in His native land had been made to suffer, which was submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a omission was appointed by him, headed by the High Commissioner for Refugees, and instructed to contact the Persian Government and obtain formal assurance from it that the rights of the Bahá'í minority would be safeguarded. So much importance did the Guardian attach to this relationship that one of he twenty-seven listed objectives of the Ten Year International Teaching and Consolidation Plan — the World Crusade — was the "Reinforcement of the ties binding the Bahá'í World Community to the United Nations."

The history of the Cause, Shoghi Effendi wrote, "if read aright, may be said to resolve itself into a series of pulsations, of alternating crises and triumphs, leading it ever nearer to its divinely appointed destiny." Although the passing of the Central Figure of the Faith — whether it was the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh or `Abdu'l-Bahá — had inevitably precipitated a crisis, the majority of such shocks which impelled it forward were the result of the persecutions it suffered, usually, though not exclusively, at the hands of its inveterate enemies, the Muslim ecclesiastics. During the thirty-six years of Shoghi Effendi's ministry there were repeated and violent outbreaks, locally and on a national scale, of a most brutal and bloodthirsty nature, against the followers of the Faith in Persia;

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Its adherents in Turkey were suppressed, persecuted and falsely accused; its followers in Egypt were subjected to attacks upon their persons, their properties, their cemeteries and their legal rights; its adherents in Russia had their Assemblies dissolved, their Temple confiscated and were themselves, for the most part either deported or exiled; the Bahá'í Community in Germany was officially dissolved and its activities forbidden in June 1937, its national archives were confiscated, some of its members interrogated and even placed under arrest.

Such events caused the Guardian keen distress, took up a great deal of his time and added to the burdens of an already overburdened heart and mind. The major problem, however, was always in Persia, where a "long-abused, down-trodden, sorely tried community" perpetually struggled for its very existence in the face of continual persecution. This "dearly-beloved" Community — as he so lovingly and repeatedly referred to it — preoccupied him from the earliest to the latest days of his ministry. A steady flow of communications from him poured out to its members and to its elected national body, and in his communication to the Bahá'ís of the West it was the frequent subject of his solicitude, his appeals for assistance in defending it and his explanations of why this community — which he said had led the Heroic Age of the Faith — was so bitterly set upon by the people of its native land.

There was a time, as indicated in his letters, when Shoghi Effendi hoped the founder of the new Pahlavi dynasty — who was introducing many much needed reforms — would speedily usher in a new phase in the development of Bahá'u'lláh's Faith in that country. In 1929 Shoghi Effendi had written that the believers there were "tasting the first fruits of their long-dreamed emancipation". It was in view of this process of reform now taking place that he had advised the National Assembly to press for permission to print books and establish a Bahá'í Publishing Trust. This having been refused we find him cabling America in January 1932: "Urge transit promptly through Teheran Assembly two written communications Persian Government and Shah expressing behalf American believers lively appreciation recent beneficial internal reforms, emphasizing spiritual ties binding two countries and earnestly pleading removal ban entry Bahá'íliterature . . ." Shoghi Effendi's hopes, however, were short-lived; the reforms were not big enough to include a bitterly hated community and this request was refused.

In December 1934 Shoghi Effendi wired the Persian National Assembly: "Has Tarbiyat School been permanently closed enquire and wire". The background of this question is reflected in the answer of that Assembly to the Guardian: "Pursuant with your request on day Bab's Martyrdom both Tarbiyat Schools Teheran were closed therefore Ministry Education obliged close both schools and asked why we did not assimilate . . ." This case might be cited as a classic example of the struggle of the Persian Bahá'ís — constantly spurred on and guided by Shoghi Effendi to obtain at least a reasonable measure of liberty in following their own religion, which numerically was, after Islám, the largest in the country. The Tarbíyat boys and girls School, owned and managed entirely by the Bahá'ís, had been in existence for thirty-six years. Founded in 1898, in the days of `Abdu'l-Bahá, it had been a project dear to His heart; it had always had an excellent reputation, and although its pupils were mainly Bahá'í, children of all denominations attended it. The School had always closed on the nine Bahá'í Holy Days but now, on the flimsy pretext that the Bahá'ís belonged to a denomination not officially recognized in Persia, the Ministry of Education had suddenly required the School to remain open on these days. This meant a retreat instead of an advance in the battle for emancipation the Cause was struggling so desperately to win and Shoghi Effendi flatly refused, ordering the Assembly to close the School on the anniversary of the Báb's Martyrdom. As he was neither willing to advise the believers to dissimulate their Faith, nor to keep the School open on Bahá'í Holy Days, and the government refused to change its orders, the Tarbíyat School, one of the best in Persia, was closed and remains closed to the present day.

In announcing this bad news, the day after he received his answer from Tihrán, to the Bahá'ís in that land where they enjoyed the greatest degree of freedom throughout the entire world the anger of the Guardian is reflected in every word as he pours out the

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list of indignities and sufferings to which the Bahá'ís of Persia are being subjected: "Information just received indicates deliberate efforts undermine all Bahá'í institutions in Persia. Schools in Kashan, Qazvin, Sultanabad closed. In several leading centres including Qazvin Kirmanshah orders issued suspend teaching activities, prohibit gatherings, close Bahá'í Hall, deny right burial in Bahá'í cemeteries. Bahá'ís of Teheran compelled under penalty imprisonment register themselves Moslems in identity papers. Elated clergy inciting population. National Teheran Assembly's petitions to Shah undelivered rejected. Impress Persian Minister gravity intolerable situation".

In face of these wholly unwarranted blows received at a time when it could logically be expected that the more liberal policy affecting the entire country would be stretched to include the members of a Faith that since the days of Darius and his successors constituted that nation's only serious claim to fame — at such a time the Persian Bahá'ís were able to hold a convention whose delegates were sufficiently representative of the Bahá'í Community within that country to elect a National Assembly that Shoghi Effendi officially lists in his statistical pamphlets as having been formed in 1934.

The situation of the Bahá'ís in the East and particularly Persia is never really quiet, is always precariously balanced, ever ready to flare up into a violent and all-too-frequently bloody outbreak of persecution. Repeatedly there were isolated cases of Bahá'ís being killed — some of whom the Guardian mentioned as martyrs; constantly there was a temperature of persecution, sometimes hotter here and sometimes hotter there, but always present.To all the vicissitudes afflicting the Persian friends the Guardian responded with loving messages, with sums of money for relief, with instructions, usually to the American National Assembly, to intervene on their behalf and solicit justice in their cause.

The worst crisis, however, which the Persian Bahá'í Community experienced in the thirty-six years of the Guardian's ministry, arose in 1955, when, as he cabled, a sudden deterioration took place in the affairs of this largest community in the Bahá'í world. In a long cable, dated August 23rd, he reported to the Hands and National Assemblies what had been taking place: Following the seizure by the authorities of the National Headquarters of the Persian believers in Tihrán and the destruction of its large ornamental dome (a destruction during which one of the country's leading divines and a general of its army, themselves took up pickaxes and went to work), local Bahá'í administrative headquarters all over Persia were seized and occupied, the Parliament of the country outlawed the Faith, a virulent press and radio campaign was started, distorting its history, calumniating its Founders, misrepresenting its teachings, and obscuring its aims and purposes — following this a series of atrocities was perpetrated against the members of this sorely tried community throughout the entire country. In his summary of the terrible damage done and the "barbarous acts" committed, he cited such events as: the desecration of the House of the Báb in Shíráz, the foremost Shrine of the Faith in Persia, which had been severely damaged; the occupation of the ancestral home of Bahá'u'lláh; the pillaging of shops and farms owned by the believers and the looting of their homes, destruction of their livestock, burning of their crops and digging up and desecration of the Bahá'í dead in their cemeteries; adults were beaten; young women abducted and forced into marriage with Muslims; children were mocked, reviled and expelled from schools as well as being beaten; tradesmen boycotted Bahá'ís and refused to sell them food; a girl of fifteen was raped; an eleven month old baby was trampled underfoot; pressure was brought on believers to recant their Faith. More recently, he went on to say, a mob two thousand strong had hacked to pieces with spades and axes a family of seven — the oldest eighty and the youngest nineteen — to the sound of music and drums.

The Bahá'ís, at the instruction of their Guardian, had already, through the intermediary of telegrams and letters to the authorities in Persia from over one thousand groups and Assemblies throughout the world, protested against such unjust and lawless acts committed against their law-abiding brethren. In addition all National Assemblies had addressed letters to the Sháh, the Government and the Parliament protesting this unwarranted persecution of a harmless community

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on purely religious grounds. As all this brought forth no acknowledgement whatsoever from official quarters the Guardian instructed the International Bahá'í Community, accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization to the United Nations, to take the question to that body in Geneva, he himself nominating those whom he wished to act as representatives of the Community on this important occasion. Copies of the Bahá'í appeal were delivered to representatives of the member nations of the Social and Economic Council, the Director of the Human Rights Division, as well as to certain specialized agencies of Non-Governmental Organizations enjoying consultative status. The President of the United States was likewise appealed to by the American National Assembly and by all groups and local Assemblies in the country to intervene on behalf of their oppressed sister community in Persia.

This was the first time in history that an attacked Faith was able to fight back with weapons that possessed some strength to defend it. The significance of this was clearly brought out by Shoghi Effendi. Whatever the outcome of these "heart-rending" events might be, one fact had clearly emerged: God's infant Faith,which had during the twenty-five years following the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá provided itself with the machinery of its divinely appointed Administrative Order, and subsequently utilized its newly-born administrative agencies to systematically propagate that Faith through a series of national plans that had culminated in the World Crusade, was now, in the wake of this ordeal convulsing the overwhelming majority of its followers, emerging from obscurity. The world-wide reverberations of these events could be hailed by posterity as the "mighty blast of God's trumpet" which, through the instrumentality of the "oldest, most redoubtable, most vicious, most fanatical adversaries" of the Cause must awaken governments and heads of governments, in both East and West, to the existence and the implications of this Faith. So stormy were the circumstances surrounding these events in Persia and so impressive their repercussions abroad that the Guardian stated they were bound to pave the way for the emancipation of the Faith from the fetters of orthodoxy in Islamic countries as well as for the ultimate recognition in His own homeland of the independent character of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh.

In view of the great sufferings and pitiful condition of the Persian believers Shoghi Effendi inaugurated an "Aid the Persecuted" fund and opened it by himself contributing the equivalent of eighteen thousand dollars for "this noble purpose". Not content with this evidence of Bahá'í solidarity he called for the construction in Kampala, in the heart of Africa, of the "Mother Temple" of that continent as a "supreme +consolation" to the "oppressed masses" of our "valiant brethren" in the cradle of the Faith. He struck back at the forces of darkness swarming over the oldest bastion of that Faith in the world, with the greatest weapons at his disposal — the forces of creative progress, enlightenment and faith.

Turning to the question of the liquidation of the Faith in Russia we must remember that one of the earliest Bahá'í communinities in the world had existed there, in the Caucasus and Turkistán, from the end of the last century, where many Persians had found a welcome refuge from the persecutions to which they were so constantly subjected in their native land. They had established themselves in a number of towns, particularly in `Ishqábád, where they had erected the first Temple of the entire Bahá'í world and opened schools for the Bahá'í children which remained in existence for over thirty years. Their affairs were well organized. They had, in 1928, a number of Spiritual Assemblies (including one in Moscow) and two central Assemblies had, pending the holding of proper, representative national elections, administered their affairs, appearing on lists published in the United States as the National Assemblies of the Caucasus and of Turkistán. In a letter addressed in September 1927 to the Local Spiritual Assembly of `Ishqábád Shoghi Effendi instructed them to gradually prepare for delegates from all Assemblies in Turkistán to meet in `Ishqábád and hold the election of their National Assembly. On June 22, 1928, Shoghi Effendi received a cable from the `Ishqábád Assembly as follows: "In accordance general agreement 1917 Soviet Government has nationalized all Temples but under special conditions has provided free rental to respective religious communities regarding Mashriqu'l-Adhkár government has provided

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Picture at Top of the Page with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi surveying the newly-laid gardens in Bahjí.


same conditions agreement to Assembly supplicate guidance by telegram". The Guardian took immediate action, cabling the Moscow Assembly to "Intercede energetically authorities prevent expropriation Mashriqu'l-Adhkár. Enquire particulars `Ishqábád . . ." and to `Ishqábád to "refer Moscow Assembly address petition authorities behalf all Bahá'ís Russia. Act firmly assure you prayers".

In recalling the events which transpired in Russia a sharp distinction must be made — one which the Guardian himself recognized — between the hardships to which the Russian believers were subjected and the persecutions the Bahá'ís underwent in Persia. In Persia the believers were, and still are, singled out as victims of every form of injustice because they are the followers of Bahá'u'lláh; in Russia the situation was entirely different. The Bahá'ís were not discriminated against because they were Bahá'ís but suffered from a policy which the government pursued against all religious communities.

In all persecutions how much is exacerbated by the unwisdom of the persecuted themselves, interacting on the unwisdom of subordinates carrying out the instructions of superiors — who may or may not be ill disposed — is a mystery we are not likely ever to solve in this world. It does not seem unreasonable to suppose, however, that at least some of our misfortunes we amplify by our own acts.

What had transpired in Russia, Shoghi Effendi wrote in a long letter to the Bahá'ís of the West on January 1, 1929, was that the Russian Bahá'ís had at least been brought under the "rigid application of the principles already enunciated by the state authorities and universally enforced with regard to all other religious communities"; the Bahá'ís "as befits their position as loyal and law-abiding citizens" had obeyed the "measures which the State, in the free exercise of its legitimate rights, has chosen to enforce". The measures which the authorities had taken "faithful to their policy of expropriating in the interests of the State all edifices and monuments of a religious character" had led them to expropriate and assume the ownership and control over "that most cherished and universally prized Bahá'í possession, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of `Ishqábád." In addition to this "state orders, orally and in writing," had been officially communicated to the Bahá'í Assemblies and individual believers, suspend-

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ing all meetings . . . suppressing the committees of all Bahá'í local and national Spiritual Assemblies, prohibiting the raising of funds . . . requiring the right of full and frequent inspection of the deliberations . . . of the Bahá'í Assemblies . . . imposing a strict censorship on all correspondence to and from Bahá'í Assemblies . . . suspending all Bahá'í periodicals . . . and requiring the deportation of leading personalities in the Cause whether as public teachers and speakers or officers of Bahá'í Assemblies. To all these", Shoghi Effendi stated, "the followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh have with feelings of burning agony and heroic fortitude unanimously and unreservedly submitted, ever mindful of the guiding principles of Bahá'í conduct that in connection with their administrative activities, no matter how grievously interference with them might affect the course of the extension of the Movement, and the suspension of which does not constitute in itself a departure from the principle of loyalty to their Faith, the considered judgment and authoritative decrees issued by their responsible rulers must, if they be faithful to Bahá'u'lláh's and `Abdu'l-Bahá's express injunctions, be thoroughly respected and loyally obeyed." He went on to say that after the Bahá'ís in Turkistán and the Caucasus had unsuccessfully exhausted every legitimate means for the alleviation of the restrictions imposed upon them, they ad resolved to "conscientiously carry out the considered judgment of their recognized government" and "with a hope that no earthly power can dim . . . committed the interests of their Cause to the keeping of that vigilant, that all-powerful Divine Deliverer . . ."

Shoghi Effendi assured the Bahá'ís in this message that if he deemed it expedient to call upon the Bahá'í world to intervene at a later stage he would do so. In April 1930 he felt the time had come for this; the precious Temple, which the Bahá'ís had succeeded in renting from the authorities after its confiscation, was now placed in danger of passing once-for-all from their hands through a series of further and harsher measures imposed upon the friends. He therefore cabled the American National Assembly ". . . prompt action required. Stress international character Temple . . ." In his previous long letter he already outlined the approach that should be made, when and if the time came for the believers abroad to raise their voices in protest and explanation: national as well as local Assemblies, East and West, in a gesture of Bahá'í solidarity, would call the attention of the Russian officials not only to their refutation of any implication of a political design or ulterior motive which might have been falsely imputed to their brethren in that land, but to the "humanitarian and spiritual nature of the work in which Bahá'ís in every land and of every race are unitedly engaged" and to the international character of that Edifice which had the distinction of being Bahá'u'lláh's first Universal House of Worship, whose design `Abdu'l-Bahá had Himself conceived and which had been constructed under His direction and supported by the collective contribution of believers throughout the world.

But when the die was finally cast Shoghi Effendi cabled the `Ishqábád Assembly to "abide by decision State Authorities". A case such as this, involving the first of the two Bahá'í Temples erected under the aegis of `Abdu'l-Bahá, cannot but form a guiding pattern for Bahá'í Assemblies to follow throughout all time and a well of information to the individual believer on his duty towards his government, whatever the nature of that government may be.

Two other countries, Turkey and Egypt, formed with Russia, Persia and Germany the scene of various repressive and restrictive measures imposed on the Faith during the lifetime of the Guardian. In Turkey, which ever since the downfall of the Caliphate had been the subject, as Shoghi Effendi wrote, of "an uncompromising policy aiming at the secularization of the State and the disestablishment of Islám", great civil reforms had taken place, reforms with which incidentally the Bahá'ís were wholly in sympathy. The troubles which arose there were therefore not based on religious prejudice but were either brought about by the fact that the new regime had in the past discovered that so-called religious groups in Turkey had provided cover for political agitation when its agents found the Bahá'í Community was organized and was pursuing its activities openly, teaching and spreading the Faith, they became suspicious and alarmed, searched many of the believers' homes, seized any literature they found, severely cross-examined some of

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them and put a good number in prison. The case brought a great deal of publicity to the Faith, to some extent abroad, but mostly in the Turkish press, which reacted in favour of the Bahá'ís and ensured for them, when it came before the Criminal Tribunal on December 13, 1928, a full and impartial hearing. It marked a new departure in the unfoldment of the Cause: "never before in Bahá'í history", Shoghi Effendi wrote, "have the the followers of Bahá'u'lláh been called upon by the officials of a state . . . to unfold the history and principles of their Faith . . ."

It is interesting to note that in the papers seized by the authorities from the Assembly of Constantinople (the city now known as Istanbul), one of Queen Marie's tributes to the Faith was found and its implications were not lost upon the examining judges. The Chairman of the Constantinople Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly, in giving his testimony before the Court exposed in a most brilliant manner the tenets of the Faith and included this pointed quotation from Bahá'u'lláh's own words: "Before Justice, tell the Truth and fear nothing." The conclusion of this entire episode was that the Bahá'ís had to pay a fine for having infringed the law that all associations should be registered with the government and due authorizations to hold public meetings be obtained, but its results were of great significance to the Faith, not only locally but abroad. The verdict of the Court was summarized by Shoghi Effendi in a general letter to the Bahá'ís of the West, written on February 12, 1929: "As to the verdict . . . it is stated clearly that although the followers of Bahá'u'lláh, in their innocent conception of the spiritual character of their Faith, found it unnecessary to apply for leave for the conduct of their administrative activities and have thus been made liable to the payment of fine, yet they have, to the satisfaction of the legal representatives of the State, not only established the inculpability of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, but have also worthily acquitted themselves of the task of vindicating its independence, its Divine origin, and its suitability to the circumstances and requirements of the present age."

Although this was the first major episode involving the Bahá'ís with the new State that had evolved in Turkey after the downfall of the Caliphate, it was not to be the last. The secular powers were constantly on their guard against reactionary forces in the State and, as the official memory was short, in 1933 there was a recrudescence of of the same suspicions and accusations that had brought about the case in 1928. On January 27th we find Shoghi Effendi cabling the American National Assembly: "Bahá'ís Constantinople and Adana numbering about forty imprisoned charged subversive motives. Urge induce Turkish Minister Washington make immediate representations his government release law abiding followers non-political Faith. Advise also National Assembly cable authorities Angora and approach State Department". At the same time he wired the Persian National Assembly: "Urge immediate representations Turkish Ambassador behalf imprisoned Bahá'ís Stamboul and Adana charged political motives". The next day he wired a prominent Turk:
His Excellency Ismat Pasha
Ankara

As Head of Bahá'í Faith learned with amazement and grief imprisonment followers of Bahá'u'lláh in Stamboul and Adana. Respectfully appeal your Excellency's intervention on behalf followers of a Faith pledged loyalty to your Government for whose social reforms its adherents world over cherish abiding admiration.
The Bahá'ís, familiar with the whole situation through the detailed letters the Guardian had written at the time of the previous case, immediately took action and their representations to the Turkish authorities, as well, no doubt, as moves made in Turkey to cite the verdict the Criminal Court had given in the former case, secured, after many months of effort, the release and acquittal of the believers. On March 5th the Guardian informed the American Assembly: "Istanbul friends acquitted 53 still imprisoned Adana urge renew energetically reprsentations immediate release" and on April 4th he cabled them: "Adana friends released. Advise convey appreciation Turkish ambassador".

In spite of a regular recrudescence of suspicion on the part of the Turkish authorities the Guardian was able to lay, during his lifetime, sufficiently strong founda-

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tions in the Bahá'í community of that country for it to elect after his passing, in fulfilment of one of his goals of the Ten Year Plan, its own independent National Spiritual Assembly.

In Egypt, one of the earliest countries to receive, during His own days, the Light of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation, events transpired, three years before the first court case of the believers in Turkey took place, to which the Guardian attached supreme significance. Beginning by a fierce attack on a small band of Bahá'ís in an obscure village of Upper Egypt it ended in being the "first step", Shoghi Effendi said, in "the eventual universal acceptance of the Bahá'í Faith, as one of the recognized religious systems of the world". The laws of personal status in almost all Islamic countries are administered by religious courts; when the Bahá'ís of that village formed their Spiritual Assembly, the headman, inflamed by religious fanaticism, began to stir up feeling against three married men who had become Bahá'ís; through legal channels a demand was made that their Muhammadan wives divorce them on the grounds that they were now married to heretics. The case went to the Appelate religious court of Beba, which delivered its judgment on May 10, 1925, in which it strongly condemned the heretics for violating the laws and ordinances of Islám and annulled the marriages. This in itself was a significant move but what the Guardian attached the most importance to was that "It even went so far as to make the positive, the startling and indeed the historic assertion that the Faith embraced by these heretics is to be regarded as a distinct religion, wholly independent of the religious systems that have preceded it". In his résumé of that verdict Shoghi Effendi quoted the actual words of the Judgment, of such immense historic importance to the Bahá'ís.
The Bahá'í Faith is a new religion, entirely independent, with beliefs, principles and laws of its own, which differ from, and are utterly in conflict with, the beliefs, principles and laws of Islám. No Bahá'í, therefore, can be regarded a Muslim, or vice-versa, even as no Buddhist, Brahmin, or Christian can be regarded a Muslim or vice-versa.
Even if this verdict had remained an isolated phenomenon in an obscure local court of Egypt it would have been an invaluable weapon in the hands of the believers all over the world who were seking to assert just that independence so clearly enunciated in this Judgment. But it did not rest there; it was subsequently sanctioned and upheld by the highest ecclesiastcal authorities in Cairo, and printed and circulated by the Muslims themselves.

The Guardian, who was ever ready to seize upon the most insignificant and flimsy tools — from human beings to pieces of paper — and wield them as weapons in his battle to secure the recognition and emancipation of the Faith, grasped this sharp new sword placed in his hands by the enemies of the Faith themselves and went on striking with it until the end of his life. It was, he stated, the first Charter of the emancipation of the Cause from the fetters of Islám. In the East the Bahá'ís used it, under his astute guidance, as a lever to win for them a reluctant admission that the Faith was not a heresy inside Islám and in the West to assert its disavowal of that same accusation. It was It was even cited, at the time Shoghi Effendi made strong representations to the Israeli Minister for Religious Affairs, as a reason for his insistence that the affairs of the Bahá'í Community should not be handled by the same departmental head who was responsible for the Muslim Community in Israel, pointing out that this created the impression that we were a branch of Islám, and stating he preferred to have Bahá'í matters placed under the jurisdiction of the head of the Christian Department as in this way there could be no ambiguity as regards the independent status of the Bahá'í Faith. It was as a result of such arguments as these that the Ministry for Religious Affairs set up a Bahá'í Department with a head of its own.

With the powerful lever of the Beba Court's Judgment the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Egypt fought, over a period of years, to obtain for its Community at least a modicum of recognition of its independent religious status. To facilitate this the Assembly published a compilation of the Bahá'í laws related to matters of personal status and with the force of this document behind it, and using repeated incidents provoked by fanatical Muslims against the

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Bahá'ís, succeeded in obtaining from the Egyptian Government plots of land, officially granted to it in those cities where there was a relatively large group of believers, to be used as exclusively Bahá'í burial grounds.

This compilation of the laws regarding personal status was translated into Persian as well as English and used as a guide in the conduct of Bahá'í affairs in those countries which did not have civil laws covering such matters. Although certain concessions were won from the authorities in Muslim countries such as Egypt, Persia, Palestine and Imdia as a result of this, the fact remained that the legal situation of the Bahá'ís, particularly in Egypt and Persia, was highly ambiguous and they often found themselves with no rights at all in certain respects, living in a kind of legal no man's land. This was particularly true of their marriages and divorces which were registered with their Assemblies, took place according to Bahá'í law, but were viewed as non-existent in the eyes of the government of their country. The fact that large communities of believers accepted this hardship proudly, refusing to be humiliated in the eyes of their derisive fellow-countrymen, and continue to this day the struggle for recognition in such fundamental matters, is the highest possible tribute to the spirit of faith the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh have engendered in their hearts, and to the loyalty with which they carried out the instructions of their beloved Guardian not to mind "any wave of unpopularity, of distrust or cticism, which a strict adherence to their standards might provoke."

In his recapitulation of those events which must ultimately lead to the recognition and emancipation of the Faith Shoghi Effendi, in God Passes By, wrote these memorable words: "To all administrative regulations which the civil authorities have issued from time to time . . . the Bahá'í community, faithful to its sacred obligation towards its government, and conscious of its civic duties, has yielded, and will continue to yield implicit obedience . . . To such orders, however, as are tantamount to a recantation of their faith by its members, or constitute an act of disloyalty to its spiritual, its basic and God-given principles and precepts, it will stubbornly refuse to bow, preferring imprisonment, deportation and all manner of persecution, including death — as already suffered by the twenty thousand martyrs that have laid down their lives in the path of its Fopunders — rather than follow the dictates of a temporal authortity requiring it to renounce its allegiance to its cause."

In Shoghi Effendi's administration of the affairs of the Faith there was a quality of rigdity in essentials and fluidity in non-essentials that must always characterize a truly great leader. Whereas in matters that are fundamental there can be no compromise, there can and should be, in administering the affairs of a world-wide community, recognition of the fact that people are in different stages of evolution. An example of the wisdom and skill of Shoghi Effendi is the way he treated different communities differently, never permitting any community — be it one of the world's great and most sophisticated metropolises or in a village of illiterate peasants — to disregard the fundamental teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, but recognizing at the same time the fact that one does not require of a five-year-old child what one does of an adolescent or demand the same wisdom, obedience and experience in a young man of twenty-one what one expects from a peson who has passed through three score years and ten in the school of life.

No better example of this differentiation in the stages of development that characterize different Bahá'í communities at the prsent time could be found than in the last letter Shoghi Effendi addressed to one of the great African Regional Assemblies. Dated August 8, 1957 (less than three months before he died), and written at the instruction of the Guardian himself, his secretary pointed out the very essence of his thougts on such a supremely important subject at this stage in Bahá'í history: "We cannot expect people who are illiterate (which is no reflection on their mental abilities or capacities) to have studied the Teachings, especially when so little literature is available in their own language in the first place, and grasp all their ramifications, the way an African, say in London, is expectted to. The spirit of the person is the important thing, the recognition of Bahá'u'lláh and His position in the world in this day . . . The purpose of the new National Assemblies in Africa, and the purpose of any administrative body, is to carry the Message to the people and enlist the sincere under the banner

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of this Faith . . . Therefore, those responsible for accepting new enrollments must just be sure of one thing — that the heart of the applicant has been touched with the spirit of the Faith. Everything else can be built on this foundation gradually."

What Shoghi Effendi made us understand is that the great tree of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh when first planted is a tiny seed — belief in Him. Gradually it will grow, like any living thing, bigger and bigger and become more and more mature. Shoghi Effendi conceived it his major task, pursuant to `Abdu'l-Bahá's instructions in His Will, to promulgate the Faith throughout the entire planet and enlist under its banner all the peoples of the world; he realized the raw material must first be assembled from which could be shaped the future society of that world; although so many things were required to shape that future society and were admittedly essential prerequisites to its realization, the supreme fact remained that the masses must be first brought under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh before His World Order could emerge in all its glory.

In North America, the Cradle of the Administrative Order of the Faith, the Guardian spent sixteen years in laying a firm foundation and creating a pattern for all Bahá'í administrative institutions. In our modern terminology he built a launching pad from which he could send off his rockets — the great teaching Plans that occupied so much of his time during the last two decades of his life. That "the administration of the Cause is to be conceived as an instrument and not a substitute for the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, that it should be regarded as a channel through which His promised blessings may flow, that it should guard against such rigidity as would clog and fetter the liberating forces released by His Revelation . . ." Shoghi Effendi made absolutely clear.

Just as in a stellar galaxy there are many universes in different stages of evolution, so in the global galaxy of God's Cause different parts of the Bahá'í world were in different states of development. The communities of the Middle East were much farther advanced in applying the Bahá'í laws and ordinances in the lives of the believes that composed them, but they were neither emancipated, recognized nor free. The communities in the West, in the Americas, Europe and Australasia were free, but, because of their cultural past, and the fact that in their countries laws of personal status were administered by civil and not religious courts, were far behind the East in applying many of the laws of their Faith as well as in observing its ordinances. The new Bahá'ís in many of the world's more backward countries were free in the sense of not being, like their brethren in the East, the victims of fanatical governments whose state religion was Islám, but were not always able to apply the Bahá'í laws because of the tribal societies in which many of them lived, and were also handicapped, at least temporarily, by the fact that the historical backgrounds from which they had sprung were so different in many respects from those of the peoples of Jewish, Christian and Muhammadan antecedents, whose common background was that from which the Bahá'í Faith itself had come. Because of these factors Shoghi Effendi, like the conductor of a great orchestra, made sure that each community within the Bahá'í world was was playing its own notes in the symphony of the whole. Though the parts were different each one had to follow the notes he had been given. Unless we grasp this picture of what our Bahá'í world is like at this present stage of its development, we will never be able to properly understand just what Shoghi Effendi did create, did accomplish, during his ministry and how thrilling his achievements are.

These different examples indicate that although mankind is one and the Faith is one, although its Administrative Order is one and its World Order will be one, the enforcement of the laws, ordinances and administrative procedures of the Cause must perforce progress at different rates of speed in different places. Shoghi Effendii spent many years erecting, on the foundation already created by the Master, an organized system in which a Bahá'í was clearly differentiated from a non-Bahá'í
— through his beliefs, his privileges and his responsibilities — before he could take the step of devising a way to ensure that inside the Bahá'í communities the believers made reasonable effort to follow the Bahá'í teachings and that if they too flagrantly disregarded them there was a means of punishment — a sanction — at hand to ensure that they did not place in jeopardy the good name

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and independent character of the Faith and as a means of protecting the reputation of the community. This sanction was the removal of the administrative rights of a believer; it meant that he or she could no longer vote in Bahá'í elections, be elected to or appointed on Bahá'í Assemblies and committees, receive a Bahá'í marriage or divorce and attend those meetings where the Bahá'ís as a community were gathered. In the East, where many laws of personal status were administered by Assemblies, it involved a number of the provisions of the Aqdas; in the West, where a different situation existed, it involved obedience to those laws the Guardian considered the Bahá'ís must now follow, such as obtaining the consent of both parents to marriage, having a Bahá'í marriage ceremony, and following the Bahá'í divorce laws. This sanction was also invoked in cases where Bahá'ís, completely disregarding the teachings of their Faith, entered into political matters, or in cases of what he carefully termed "flagrant immorality" which brought the whole community into disrepute, or for other serious breaches of what he called those "directing and regulating principles of Bahá'í belief" which "the upholders of the Cause . . . feel bound, as their Administrative Order expands and consolidates itself, to assert and vigilantly apply." Shoghi Effendi made it clear that the removal of voting rights must never be used lightly and its use at all should be avoided as much as possible.

A procedure as fundamental as this was one which Shoghi Effendi universally applied to Bahá'ís everywhere in the world, no matter what type of society they were living in, and was part of his gradual implementation of the laws and principles ordained by Bahá'u'lláh "which constituted", he stated, "the warp and woof of the institutions upon which the structure of His World Order must ultimately rest".

This direction of a Faith from its World Centre, which necessitated rigidity and universality in fundamental matters and permitted and even encouraged fluidity in secondary matters, forms a fascinating subject for observation. Shoghi Effendi's ministry was a constant breaking of the various shackles binding the Bahá'ís to the past, to the societies in which they lived, and a building up of their knowledge of the Faith and of its administrative institutions.Like a skilled physician he gave general health rules to all and specific remedies in specific cases.

A typical example of the wonderful balance Shoghi Effendi expressed in all his views is that reflected in his attitude towards the subject of the funds of the Faith. Provisions for the support of the Cause of God had been made by Bahá'u'lláh Himself and mentioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá on many occasions; but it was not until 1923 that Shoghi Effendi began to lay the foundations of systematic financial support of the work.

On one hand it was apparent that under no circumstances could this world redeeming Order of Bahá'u'lláh be established without great financial expenditures and on the other there were two principles that Shoghi Effendi felt compelled to call to the attention of the Bahá'ís which, if not correctly understood and exposed in their proper light, could militate against the much-needed flow of contributions into the various Funds of the Faith.The first was that as the Bahá'ís had received the bounty of knowing of and accepting Bahá'u'lláh in this great new day, they were the ones to freely give back to their fellow men the benefits that this had brought them. Shoghi Effendi made this very clear as early as 1929: "we should, I feel, regard it as an axiom and guiding principle of Bahá'í administration that in the conduct of every specific Bahá'í activity . . . only those who have already identified themselves with the Faith and are regarded as its avowed and unreserved supporters should be invited to join and collaborate." Bahá'ís should only accept money from non-Bahá'ís for purely humanitarian purposes, such as charity to be expended for peoples of all racial and religious backgrounds and not just for Bahá'ís.

The second, and what he termed "the cardinal principle" in a message to the American National Assembly in 1926, was that all contributions to the Fund are to be purely and strictly voluntary in character. It should be made clear and evident to everyone that any form of compulsion, however slight and indirect, strikes at the very root of the principle underlying the formation of the Fund ever since its inception." This instruction was the logical concomitant of the attitude of the Bahá'í religion that the Message of the Manifestation of God in this day is His free

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gift to the peoples of the world; that all men have been called by Him to enter the Divine Fold and that in doing so not money but faith is required of them. Unlike so many churches there were no entrance fees, no obligatory dues to be paid, no seats in the Temple to be purchased, no forced contributions. The poor could find a refuge and the rich be welcomed on equal terms.

Shoghi Effendi made it clear that one of the duties and privileges of being a follower of Bahá'u'lláh was to support His work in this world. He also made it clear that it was the principle involved in giving that was more important than the sum involved; the penny for a poor man, which might for him and his family represent a real sacrifice, was as precious, as much needed and just as respectable a contribution as the hundreds or thousands of dollars a more well-to-do Bahá'í might be able to give. Over and over again he stressed these two things: universality in giving, the participation of all as a symbol of our common love for and solidarity in our Faith, and sacrifice in giving. At the time when the great Mother Temple of the West was in urgent need of contributions to raise its structure the Guardian wrote: "It cannot be denied that the emanations of spiritual power and inspiration destined to radiate from the central Edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár will to a very large extent depend on the range and variety of the contributing believers, as well as upon the nature and degree of self-abnegation which their unsolicited offerings will entail." It is hard for a wealthy person to sacrifice because he has so much; but for a poor person to sacrifice is easier because he has so little. Money given to the Cause as a sacrifice on the part of any giver carries a particular blessing with it.

Shoghi Effendi himself repeatedly supported various undertakings in different countries. Shortly after the Master's passing he began to contribute to the American Temple; in 1957 he announced he himself would defray one-third of the cost of erecting the three new Bahá'í Temples to be constructed during the World Crusade; he supported much of the translation and printing of Bahá'í books, contributed to Bahá'í cemeteries and the purchase of various Bahá'í headquarters, and innumerable other activities. In doing this he set an example to all believers and all Bahá'í institutions of giving, of participating with others in the joy of bringing to fruition plans of the Cause of God. His complete frankness in such matters, his avowal on some occasions that he did not have the money needed to do a certain thing he wanted to do for the Cause, the touching words with which he sent a small sum for the American Temple: "I beg to enclose my humble contribution of 19 pounds, as my share of the numerous donations that have reached the Temple Treasury in the past year", all provide not only an example but a very real encouragement to all believers rich or poor to follow in his footsteps, happy they have such footsteps to tread in.

In his constant encouragement of the Bahá'ís to arise and spread their Faith among the spiritually hungry multitudes of their fellow men the Guardian frequently recalled to them the injunction of Bahá'u'lláh Himself: "Centre your energies in the propagation of the Faith of God. Whoso is worthy of so high a calling, let him arise and promote it. Whoso is unable, it is his duty to appoint him who will, in his stead, proclaim this Revelation . . ." and said that those who were not able to go forth and establish themselves in those places where Bahá'ís were so urgently needed, should, mindful of these words of Bahá'u'lláh, "determine . . . to appoint a deputy who, on that believer's behalf, will arise and carry out so noble an enterprise." On more than one occasion he himself, through a National Assembly, deputized a number of Bahá'ís to fulfil specific goals.
* * *


A proper understanding of the evolution of the Cause of God cannot be achieved unless certain fundamental truths enshrined in it are made clear. `Abdu'l-Bahá stated one of these when He wrote: "From the beginning of time until the present day, the light of Divine Revelation hath risen in the East and shed its radiance upon the West. The illumination thus shed hath, however, acquired in the West an extraordinary brilliancy." This was the statement of a general principle common to the phenomenon of religion on this planet, but in this Bahá'í Dispensation the clear and specific working of this principle has been laid bare to our eves over a period of more than one hundred and twenty-five years.

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The combination of the love of the Father for the first-born, for the first nation in the West to respond to His Message, and the vitality of the New World itself, seems, in a mysterious and beautiful way, to have invested the Bahá'ís of North America with a station and powers unparalleled in history; Shoghi Effendi said they had been given "spiritual primacy" by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and were "the appointed, the chief trustees" of that "divinely conceived, world-encompassing" Divine Plan which conferred on them a world mission which was the "sacred birthright of the American followers of Bahá'u'lláh". In his observation of the fulfilment of the truths enshrined in the Teachings, Shoghi Effendi pointed out that there had been forces at work "which, through a remarkable swing of the pendulum, have caused the administrative centre of the Faith to gravitate away from its cradle, to the shores of the American Continent." "To their Persian brethren, who in the Heroic Age of the Faith had won the crown of Martyrdom, the American believers, forerunners of its Golden Age, were now worthily succeeding"; they had become the "spiritual descendants of the heroes of God's Cause". It was their destiny — the destiny of this "much-loved", "high-minded and valiant", "God-chosen" community — to be acclaimed as the creator and champion-builder of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh".

In one of his earliest letters as Guardian, addressed to the New York Spiritual Assembly in 1923, Shoghi Effendi states, in a few words his attitude towards America, an attitude that never altered until the end of his life: "Conscious of the clear and emphatic predictions of our beloved Master as to the predominant part the West is destined to play during the early stages in the universal triumph of the Movement, I have, ever since His departure, turned my eyes in hopeful expectation to the distant shores of that continent . . ."

A mutually trusting and tender relationship grew up between the young Guardian and those he called "the children of `Abdu'l-Bahá" from the very first moment they heard he had been named the Master's successor.

We must always bear in mind that it was this early partnership with America, inherent in the destiny of the Faith, that led to the establishment and growth of the Administrative Order all over the world. The matrix of that Order was perfected in America, though in an embryonic form it had existed already in the days of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Shoghi Effendi began to actively guide America, finding her eager and responsive, from the very outset of his ministry. To the 1923 Convention he cabled: "that this year's Convention may . . . inaugurate an unexampled campaign of teaching is indeed my ardent prayer. Let this be Ridván's Message: unite, deepen, arise." The captain had placed his hand on the helm.Through every storm, in calm waters, in years of trial and vicissitude, through war and peace, in youth, in middle age, at the end of his life, Shoghi Effendi never ceased to guide, turn to, love, admonish and hearten this "preeminent community of the Bahá'í world".

With few exceptions, for thirty-six years, the pattern in administrative matters, the great directives concerning teaching, the world-shaping concepts and plans conveyed in the general letters of the Guardian were addressed to, published by, or relayed through, this community. This does not mean the Guardian ignored Persia and other Bahá'í communities; far from it. He had an independent, intensely personal and loving relationship to each and every one of them,formed, with the older communities, at the same time as that with America, which neither flagged nor suffered neglect throughout the years, but rather grew in scope and intensity with the passage of time. He was always everyone's Guardian.

A born administrator, with a brain and temperament that was invariably orderly and tidy, Shoghi Effendi set about organizing the affairs of the Faith in a highly systematic manner. During the first two or three years he kept lists of his letters, before his correspondence, his problems, his fatigue and lack of proper helpers made it impossible for him to handle his mail in this manner. From these lists we gather he wrote to the following places: America, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mesopotamia, Caucasus, Persia, Turkistán, Turkey, Australia, Switzerland, India, Syria, Italy, Burma, Canada, Pacific Islands, Egypt, Palestine, Sweden and Europe. He also wrote to many individual centres, in America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle and Far East. He lists sixty-seven of these

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in the 1922-23 period, eighty-eight during the period 1923-24, and ninety-six in the 1924-25 period.

The vast majority of Bahá'ís still resided in Persia and neighbouring territories; there was a small but equally loyal and devoted community in North America, even smaller ones in Europe, Africa, the Indian sub-continent and the Pacific region. Most of these believers were anything but clear in their minds as to just what the Faith represented, had no idea of what form it was about to take, pursuant to the Master's instructions in His Will, and still less any real understanding of its Administrative Order. Although there were bodies called Spiritual Assemblies, they were often called by other names too, and their functioning and membership were frequently vague and bore small resemblance to what we now understand a Spiritual Assembly to be.

This dispersed, heterogeneous, unorganized but loyal mass of believers throughout the world had other handicaps to overcome. The Persian friends, though fully aware of the completely independent character of their Faith — an independence they had unstintingly sacrificed their lives to assert — nevertheless had not yet succeeded in cutting themselves off completely from certain national customs and evils at complete variance with the teachings of its Founder. There was still a twilight-land of over-lapping with the customs of Islám and the many abuses to which its gradual decline had given rise over the centuries. The principle of monogamy was neither strictly practised nor properly understood; the drinking of alcohol was still widespread; the categoric ban of Bahá'u'lláh on the use of narcotics had not been fully grasped in a land which was riddled through and through with the pernicious use of opium and other drugs. In the West, particularly in America where the largest group of its occidental followers was to be found, the Bahá'ís, however attached they might be to this new Faith they had accepted, were still entangled with church affiliations and membership in various societies, which only served to dissipate their extremely limited resources, squander their capacity for concerted and concentrated activity for the Cause of God, and weaken any claims they might make to its independent character. Neither in the East nor in the West were the Bahá'ís clear in their minds as to the degree they should shun all political afilliations and activities. Shoghi Effendi attacked this somewhat nebulous condition of the Bahá'í world in two ways. The first was to create a universal, consistent and coherent method of carrying on Bahá'í community life and organizing its affairs, based on the Teachings and the Master's elaboration of them, and the second was to educate the believers in an understanding of the objectives and implications of their religion and the truths enshrined in it.

Shoghi Effendi's genius for organization became increasingly manifest and a uniform system of national and local Assemblies was quickly and carefully built up by him throughout the world.

Some communities already had, in response to `Abdu'l-Bahá's encouragement, established committees. Correspondence in 1922 and 1923 between Shoghi Effendi and the American National Assembly shows that there were in existence such National Committees as Teaching, Publishing and Reviewing, Children's Education, Library, Star of the West, Race Amity, and National Archives. In going over the Guardian's early acts and communications it is both astonishing and fascinating to see how everything that was there at the end of his ministry was there at the beginning too. As the years went by he amplified his thoughts and elaborated his themes, himself matured, and the Cause matured with him, but it was all quite complete in embryo when he first started directing the affairs of the Faith.

The education of the Bahá'ís in the principles underlying Bahá'u'lláh's social system became. for many years, the paramount concern of the Guardian. They were used to believing in the Teachings, to trying to spread them amongst their fellow men, to at least a modicum of community life through feasts, meetings and commemoration of their Holy Days. They were not used to working in an organized manner as members of an organization in the truest sense of that word. They were also not used to keeping the system of communication within the Faith open. Shoghi Effendi realized from the outset that the work that lay before him required that he, in particular, should have a thorough knowledge of what was going on in the Bahá'í com-

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Picture at the top of the Page with the Caption:
Snapshot of Shoghi Effendi walking on Mount Carmel above the Shrine of the Báb.
This picture together with those on pages 158 and 178 are typical of him as he
surveyed his work and made plans for the future.


munities throughout the world and of the state of their activities and their response to the up-building of the administrative system of the Cause. This required a close correspondence with not only all the national bodies, but with all the local Assemblies; the national bodies were weak or practically non-existent, the local Assemblies usually even weaker. He felt it essential to be in contact with them all, East and West. His plan was not only to collect information at the World Centre but to stimulate and encourage the oppressed oriental communities through relaying to them glad-tidings from their sister communities in the West.

In their hearts the Bahá'ís, a sincere and loving group of people gathered about Bahá'u'lláh in belief and confidence, were deeply aware of their international bond of unity in faith. But this was not sufficient. The time had come for a dynamic, working, every-day consciousness of this to take place. In addition to creating a uniform system of Bahá'í elections and a flow of reports and correspondence to him and from him, Shoghi Effendi took steps to greatly reinforce and reinvigorate certain Bahá'í publications already in existence when he became Guardian and which had been encouraged and supported by `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself. The Star of the West, published in America, was the oldest and most famous of these. In addition there the Sun of Truth published in Germany, The Dawn published in Burma, The Bahá'í News of India published there, and the Khorshid-i-Khavar published in `Ishqábád. To all these Shoghi Effendi gave his enthusiastic support.

In addition to this Shoghi Effendi inaugurated a "circular letter which the Haifa Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly forwards every nineteen days to all Bahá'í centres throughout the East." This was in Persian. It had an English counterpart. "The Spiritual Assembly which has been established in Haifa", he wrote to the Swiss Bahá'ís in February 1923, "will from now on send you regularly the news from the Holy Land . . ." Measures such as these had the effect of a giant spoon by which he vigorously stirred the entire community of the faithful all over the world, blending, stimulating, challenging its component parts to greeter action, co-operation and understanding.

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But what, we should pause and ask, was this Administration the Guardian was so so tirelessly working to establish? As it evolved it would, he said, "at once incarnate, safeguard and foster" the spirit of this invincible Faith. It was unique in history, divinely-conceived, and different from any stystem which had existed in the religions of the past. Fundamentally it was the vehicle of a future World Order and World Civilization which would constitute no less than a World Commonwealth of all the nations on this planet.Though its entire structure of elected bodies was based on principles of universal suffrage and election by secret ballot, its ultimate workings were conceived of in a different light, for, unlike the paramount principle of democracy by which the elected are constantly responsible to the electors, Bahá'í bodies are responsible at all times to the Founder of their Faith and His teachings. Whereas in democracy the ruling factor at the top can go no higher than their own councils and their decisions are subject to the scrutiny and approval of those they represent, this ruling factor in the Cause of God is at once the servant of all the servants of God — in other words the body of the faithful — but responsible to a higher factor, divinely guided and inspired, the Guardian or sole interpreter, and the Universal House of Justice, the supreme, elected body, or sole legislator. It will be seen that in this system the people, divorced from the corrupt influences of nomination, political canvassing and the violence of those whims and dissatisfactions so easily engendered in the masses by the working of the democratic principle alone, are free to chose those they deem best qualified to direct their affairs and safeguard their rights on the one hand, and to protect and serve the interests of the Cause of God on the other.

The elected Bahá'í bodies might be likened to a great network of irrigation pipes, selected and put together by the people for their own benefit. But life-giving waters from on high flow through this system, independent of the people, independent of any will of the pipes, and this water is the divinely guided and inspired councils of the Guardian and the Supreme Body of the Cause, which they receive, in this Bahá'í Dispensation, from no less a source than the Twin Manifestations of God. The system of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi wrote, "cannot ever degenerate into any form of despotism, of oligarchy, or of demagogy which must sooner or later corrupt the machinery of all man-made and essentially defective political institutions." Already, in 1934, Shoghi Effendi was able to write of the workings of this system, which was so rapidly growing and spreading its roots steadily throughout the Bahá'í world, that it had evinced a power which a "disillusioned and sadly shaken society" could ill afford to ignore. The vitality of its institutions, the obstacles overcome by its administrators, the enthusiasm of its itinerant teachers, the heights of self-sacrifice attained by its champion-builders, the vision, hope, joy, inward peace, integrity, discipline, and unity that were manifested by its stalwart defenders, the manner in which diversified peoples were cleansed of their prejudices and fused into the structure of this system — all testified, Shoghi Effendi wrote, to the power of this ever-expanding Order of Bahá'u'lláh.

Shoghi Effendi had the qualities of true statesmanship. Unlike many of the Bahá'ís, who, alas, are prone like Icarus to take off on wings of wax, full of hope and faith alone, Shoghi Effendi forged his flying machine of airworthy materials, building it carefully, piece by piece.Within the first few years of his ministry he had created, uniformity in essential matters of Bahá'í Administration. He had established his bed-rock of local Assemblies and a national body, wherever the national communities were strong enough to support such an institution.

One of the most wonderful things about Shoghi Effendi was that he pushed the horizons of our minds ever further away. His vision of the Cause was seen from the Everest of of his all-embracing understanding of its implications. In thirty-six years nothing ever grew smaller, everything grew bigger and bigger. There was infinite room not only to breathe but to dream. Bahá'u'lláh was the Inaugurator of a five-hundred-thousand-year cycle. He was the culmination of a six-thousand-year cycle of prophesy beginning with Adam. Withal, His Revelation was but part of an infinite chain of Divine Guidance. The Guardian summed up this concept in his masterly statement submitted to the United Nations Special Palestine Committee: "The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'-

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lláh . . . is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that there functions are complimentary, that they differ only in the non-essential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society. The aim of Bahá'u'lláh . . . is not to destroy but to fulfil the Revelations of the past . . . His purpose . . .is to restate the basic truths which these teachings enshrine in a manner that would conform to the needs . . . of the age in which we live . . . Nor does Bahá'u'lláh claim finality for His own Revelation, but rather stipulates that a fuller measure of truth . . . must needs be disclosed at future stages in the constant and limitless evolution of mankind."

In that same statement he places the Administrative Order, in words of crystal clearness, in its proper relationship to this Revelation: "The Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh which is destined to evolve into the Bahá'í World Commonwealth . . .unlike the systems evolved after the death of the Founders of the various religions, is divine in origin . . . The Faith which this Order serves, safeguards and promotes, is, it should be noted in this connection, is essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that seeks to exalt any particular race, class or nation. It is free from any form of eccleasticism, has neither priesthood nor rituals, and is supported exclusively by voluntary contributions made by its avowed adherents."

What this concept would lead to was expressed on another occasion in one of the Guardian's communications to the Bahá'ís of the West: "A world federal system, ruling the whole earth . . . blending and embodying the ideals of both the East and the West, liberated from the curse of war . . . a system in which Force is made the servant of Justice, whose life is sustained by its universal recognition of one God and by its allegiance to one common Revelation — such is the goal towards which humanity, impelled by the unifying forces of life, is moving."

All this being so, something was very much the matter with the world. What it was Shoghi Effendi also made clear to us in The Promised Day Is Come: "For a whole century God has respited mankind, that it might acknowledge the Founder of such a Revelation, espouse His Cause, proclaim His greatness and establish His Order. In a hundred volumes . . . the Bearer of such a Message has proclaimed, as no Prophet before Him has done, the Mission with which God had entrusted Him . . . How — we may well ask ourselves — has the world, the object of such Divine solicitude, repaid Him Who sacrificed His all for its sake?" Bahá'u'lláh's Message met, Shoghi Effendi wrote, with unmitigated indifference from the elite, unrelenting hatred from the ecclesiastics, scorn from the people of Persia, utter contempt from most of the rulers addressed by Him, the envy and malice of those in foreign lands, all of which were evidences of the treatment such a Message received from "a generation sunk in self-content, careless of its God, and oblivious of the omens, warnings and admonitions revealed by His Messengers." Man was therefore to taste what his own hands had wrought. He had refused to take the direct road leading him to his great destiny, through acceptance of the Promised One for this Day, and had chosen the long road, bitter, blood-stained, dark, literally leading him through hell, before he once again could near the goal originally placed at his finger tips for him to seize.

From the very beginning of his ministry, steeped as he was in the Teachings, Shoghi Effendi foresaw the course events seemed inevitably to be taking. As early as January 1923, he painted the picture of the future in a letter to an American local Assembly: "Individuals and nations", he wrote, "are being swept by a whirlwind of insincerity and selfishness, which if not resisted may imperil, nay destroy civilization itself. It is our task and privilege to capture gradually and persistently the attention of the world by the sincerity of our motives, by the breadth of our outlook and the devotion and tenacity with which we pursue our work of service to mankind." He was not only clear as to the situation and the remedy, but sufficiently

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shrewd to doubt the possibility, after eighty years of neglect on the part of humanity, of averting universal catastrophe. "The world", he wrote in February 1923, was "apparently drifting further and further from the spirit of the Divine Teachings . . ." Many times, in both his writings and his words to visiting pilgrims, Shoghi Effendi reminded the Bahá'ís of the formidable warning of Bahá'u'lláh: "The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation . . . The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities."

From the outset Shoghi Effendi realized that there was a great cancer eating away at the vitals of men, a materialism reaching a state of development in the West unrivalled by the decadence it had invariably produced by past civilizations when their decline set in. As very many people do not know what materialism means it can do no harm to quote Webster who defines certain of its aspects as "the tendency to give undue importance to material interests; devotion to the material nature and its wants" and says another definition is the theory that human phenomena should be viewed and interpreted in terms of physical and material causes rather than spiritual and ethical causes. Shoghi Effendi's attitude towards this subject, the evils that produce it and the evils it in turn gives rise to, is reflected in innumerable passages of his writings, beginning in 1923 and going on to 1957. In 1923 he refers to "the confusion and the gross materialism in which mankind is now sunk . . ." A few years later he writes of "the apathy, the gross materialism and superficiality of society today". In 1927 he wrote to the American National Assembly: ". . . in the heart of society itself, where the ominous signs of increasing extravagance and profligacy are but lending fresh impetus to the forces of revolt and reaction that are growing more distinct every day . . ." In 1933, in a general letter to the American Bahá'ís, he speaks of the "follies and furies, the shifts, shams and compromises that characterize the present age". In 1934, in a general letter to the Bahá'ís throughout the West, he speaks of "the signs of an impending catastrophe, strongly reminiscent of the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West, which threatens to engulf the whole structure of present-day civilization . . ." In that same communication he says: "How disquieting the lawlessness, the corruption, the unbelief that are eating into the vitals of a tottering civilization!" In his general letter to the Bahá'ís of the West, in 1936, he says: "in whichever direction we turn our gaze . . . we cannot fail to be struck by the evidences of moral decadence which, in their individual lives no less than in their collective capacity, men and women around us exhibit . . . " In 1938 he warned of "the challenge of these times, so fraught with peril, so full of corruption . . ." and speaks of the root-evil of all: ". . . as the chill of irreligion creeps relentlessly over the limbs of mankind . . ." and of "A world, dimmed by the steadily dying-out light of religion", a world in which nationalism was blind and triumphant, in which racial and religious persecution was pitiless, a world in which false theories and doctrines threatened to supplant the worship of God, a world, in sum, "enervated by a rampant and and brutal materialism; disintegrating through the corrosive influence of moral and spiritual decadence".

In 1941 Shoghi Effendi castigated the prevalent trends of society in no uncertain terms: "the spread of laawlessness, of drunkenness, of gambling, and of crime; the inordinate love of pleasure, of riches, and other earthly vanities; the laxity in morals, revealing itself in the irresponsible attitude towards marriage, in the weakening of parental control, in the in the rising tide of divorce, in the deterioration in the standard of literature and of the press, and in the advocacy of theories that are the very negation of purity, of morality and chastity — these evidences of moral decadence, invading both the East and the West, permeating every stratum of society, and instilling their poison in its members of both sexes, young and old alike, blacken still further the scroll upon which are inscribed the manifold transgressions of an unrepentant humanity ." In 1948 he again stigmatizes modern society as being: "politically convulsed, economically disrupted, socially subverted, morally decadent and spiritually moribund . . ." By such oft-repeated words as these the Guardian sought

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to protect the Bahá'í communities and alert them to the dangers by which they were surrounded.

However, it was towards the end of his life that Shoghi Effendi dwelt more openly and frequently on this subject, pointing out that although Europe was the cradle of a "godless", a "highly-vaunted yet lamentably defective civilization", the foremost protagonist of that civilization was now the United States and that in that country, at the present time, its manifestations had led to a degree of unbridled materialism which now presented a danger to the entire world. In 1954, in a letter to the Bahá'ís of the United States, couched in terms he had never used before, he recapitulated the extraordinary privileges this community had enjoyed, the extraordinary victories it had won, but said it stood at a most critical juncture in its history, not only its own history but its nation's history — a nation he had described as "the shell that enshrines so precious a member of the world community of the followers" of Bahá'u'lláh. In this letter he pointed out that the country of which the American Bahá'ís formed a part "is passing through a crisis which, in its spiritual, moral, social and political aspects, is of extreme seriousness — a seriousness which to a superficial observer is liable to be dangerously underestimated.

"The steady and alarming deterioration in the standard of morality as exemplified by the appalling increase of crime, by political corruption in ever-widening and ever higher circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties of marriage, by the inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by the marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no doubt the most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline that has set in, and can be clearly perceived, in the fortunes of the entire nation.

"Parallel with this, and pervading all departments of life — an evil which the nation, and indeed all those within the capitalist system, though to a lesser degree, share with that state and its satellites regarded as the sworn enemies of that system — is the crass materialism, which lays excessive and ever-increasing emphasis on material well-being, forgetful of those things of the spirit on which alone a sure and stable foundation can be laid for human society. It is this same cancerous materialism, born originally in Europe, carried to excess in the North American continent, contaminating the Asiatic peoples and nations, spreading its ominous tentacles to the borders of Africa, and now invading its very heart, which Bahá'u'lláh in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and consternation in the hearts of men."

Shoghi Effendi reminded us that `Abdu'l-Bahá, during His visit to both Europe and America, had, from platform and pulpit raised His voice "with pathetic persistence" against this "all-pervasive, pernicious materialism" and pointed out that as "this ominous laxity in morals, this progressive stress laid on man's material pursuits and well-being" continued, the political horizon was also darkening "as witnessed by the widening of the gulf separating the protagonists of two antagonistic schools of thought which, however divergent in their ideologies, are to be commonly condemned by the upholders of the standard of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh for their materialistic philosophies and their neglect of those spiritual values and eternal verities on which alone a stable and flourishing civilization can be ultimately established."

The Guardian constantly called to our attention that the objectives, standards and practices of the present-day world were, for the most part, in opposition to or a corrupt form of what the Bahá'ís believe and seek to establish. The guidance he gave us in such matters was not confined to issues as blatant and burning as those cited in the above quotations. He educated us well — if we accept to be educated by him — in matters of good taste, sound judgment and good breeding. So often he would say: this is a religion of the golden mean, the middle of the way, neither this extreme nor that. What he meant by this was not compromise but the very essence of the thought conveyed in these words of Bahá'u'lláh Himself: "overstep not the bounds of moderation"; "whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation." We live in perhaps the most immoderate society the world has ever seen, shaking itself to pieces because it

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has turned its back on God and refused His Messenger.

Shoghi Effendi did not see this society with the eyes that we see it. Had he done so he would not have been our guide and our shield. Whereas the Manifestation of God appears from celestial realms and brings a new age with Him, the Guardian's station and function was entirely different.He was very much a man of the Twentieth Century. Far from being alien to the world in which he lived one might say he represented the best of it in his clear and logical mind, his unembarrassed, uninhibited appraisal of it. His understanding of the weaknesses of others, however, produced in him no compromise, no acceptance of wrong trends as evils to be condoned because they were universal. Too much stress cannot be laid on this point. We are prone to think that because a thing is general it is the right thing; because our leaders and scholars hold a view, it is the right view; because experts assure us that this, that or the other thing is proper and enduring they speak with the voice of authority. No such complacence afflicted Shoghi Effendi. He saw everything in the world today — in the realm of politics, morality, art, music, literature, medicine, social science — against the framework of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings. Did it fit into the guiding lines laid down by Bahá'u'lláh? It was a sound trend. Did it not? It was on a wrong and dangerous track.

Shoghi Effendi gave us, over the years, what I like to call "guiding lines", clarification of great principles, doctrines and thoughts in our religion. Only a few can be arbitrarily selected for a work of this scope, but they are ones which to me have a special significance in shaping our Bahá'í outlook in the world we live in today. One of the most fallacious modern doctrines, diametrically opposed to the teachings of all religions,. is that man is not responsible for his acts but is excused his wrongdoing because it is brought about by conditioning factors. This is a contention with which Shoghi Effendi had no patience, for it for it was not in accordance with the words of Bahá'u'lláh: "That which traineth the world is justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the source of life to the world." Individuals, nations, Bahá'í communities, the human race, are all accountable for their acts. Though there are many factors involved in all our decisions, the essence of Bahá'í belief is that God gives us the chance, the help, and the strength to make the right one and that for it we will be rewarded and failing it we will be punished. This concept is almost the opposite of the teachings of modern psychology.

The Guardian's relationship with the entire Bahá'í world, as well as individuals, officials,, and non-Bahá'ís, was based on this principle. He was immensely patient, but in the end punishment was swift and just; his rewards were swift too, and to me seemed always greater than deserved by those who received them.

The highest standards of literature and language are reflected, whether in Persian, Arabic or English, in the writings of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi. No debased coin of words was used by any of them. I remember once when a pilgrim, sincerely and modestly remonstrated with the Guardian about the difficulty ordinary people in America had in understanding his writings and suggested he make them a little bit easier. The Guardian pointed out, firmly, that this was not the answer; the answer was for people to raise their standard of English, adding, in his beautiful voice with its beautiful pronunciation — and a slight twinkle in his eye — that he himself wrote in English. The implication that a great deal of the writing on the other side of the Atlantic did not always fall in this category was quite clear! He urged Bahá'í magazines to use an "elevated and impressive style" and certainly set the example himself at all times.

When I was first married I was a little apprehensive of what the Guardian's attitude might be towards modern art. Loving the great periods of art in our own and other pictures I wondered what I would do if I found he admired modern trends in painting, sculpture and architecture. I need have had no fears. Occasionally we were able to visit famous European museums and art galleries together. I soon discovered, to my great relief, that his love for symmetry and beauty, of a mature style and a noble expression of real values, was deep and true. The blind search for a new style, however sincere and logical it may be, which has followed upon the general crumbling of the old order of things in the world, Shoghi Effendi never

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mistook for the evidence of a new, evolved expression of art, least of all a Bahá'í expression of anything. He knew history too well to make the lowest point of decay, the reflection of a decadent and moribund society, for the birth of a new style inspired by Bahá'u'lláh's World Order! He knew the fruit is the end product of the growth of the tree and not the first; he knew that a world system, drawing strength from world peace and unification, must come first and then be followed by the flowering, in the Golden Age, of a new, mature expression of art. Lest there be any doubt of this, look at the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb and the International Archives building which he built; look at the four designs of the Temples for Mt. Carmel, Tihrán, Sydney, and Kampala he himself chose. They were admittedly conservative, based on past experience; but they were also based on styles that had withstood the test of time and would continue to do so until a new and organically evolved style could be produced as the world evolved under the influence of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings. In letters he wrote in 1956 to two different National Assemblies about two different Temples, his secretary stated his views as follows: "He feels that, as this is the Mother temple . . . it has a very great importance; and must under all circumstances be dignified, and not represent an extremist point of view in architecture. No one knows how the styles of the present day may be judged two or three generations from now; but the Bahá'ís cannot afford to build a second Temple if the one they build at the present time should seem too extreme and unsuitable at a future date." "He was sorry to have to disappoint Mr. F — — - . . . However, there was no possible question of accepting something as extreme as this. The Guardian feels very strongly that, regardless of what the opinion of the largest school of architecture may be on the subject, the styles represented at present all over the world in architecture are not only very ugly, but completely lack the dignity and grace which must be at least partially present in a Bahá'í House of Worship. One must always bear in mind that the vast majority of human beings are not either very modern or very extreme in their tastes, and that what the advanced school may think is marvellous is often very distasteful indeed to just plain, simple people."

The same thoughts that moved the Guardian in regards to literature and art applied to his feelings about music, of which he had a great love.

What one gleans from the above is that the Guardian desired to safeguard the Cause, to maintain for it and its precious institutions a standard of dignity and beauty that would protect its Holy Name, the sacred nature of its institutions, its international character, its newness and promise, from the whims and caprices of an age in transition and from the undue influence of a corrupt, wholly western civilization.

How many Bahá'ís appreciate the fact that just as chastity, honesty and truthfulness are required of them, courtesy, dignity and reverence are qualities upheld in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh? One of Shoghi Effendi's early cables to America stresses this point: "Dignity of Cause requires restraint use Master's voice record." The sense of the holiness of things is one of the greatest benedictions for man. Many times the Guardian brought this to our attention in instructions such as these: "ensure no one photographs Báb's portrait during display." To gaze upon the reproduction of the face of the Manifestation of God, were it the Báb or Bahá'u'lláh, was a unique privilege, to be approached as such, not just as one more reproduction to be passed about from hand to hand.

The sharp distinction between the coalescence of Bahá'u'lláh's followers in a unified, spiritually-motivated world system and the disintegration, side-taking and hatred decimating the races, religions and political parties of the world, was constantly pointed out by the Guardian and the dangers involved if the Bahá'ís did not hold themselves strictly aloof from these dissensions repeatedly emphasized. In September 1938, as humanity drifted towards the precipice of a second world war, Shoghi Effendi cabled a stern warning and unambiguous instruction to the believers on this policy of strict neutrality: "Loyalty World Order Bahá'u'lláh security its basic institutions both imperatively demand all its avowed supporters particularly its champion-builders American continent in these days when sinister uncontrollable forces are deepening cleavage sundering peoples nations creeds classes resolve despite pressure fast crystallizing public opinion abstain individually

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collectively in word action informally as well in all official utterances publications from assigning blame taking sides however indirectly in recurring political crises now agitating ultimately engulfing human society. Grave apprehension lest cumulative effect such compromises disintegrate fabric clog channel grace that sustains system God's essentially supranational supernatural order so laboriously evolved so recently established."

The patriotism of Bahá'ís is not manifest in an allegiance to national prejudices and political systems but rather in two ways: to serve one's country by fostering its highest national interests and by implicit obedience to government, whatever that government may be. The Guardian pointed out, in 1932, that the extension of Bahá'í activities throughout the world and "the variety of the communities which labor under divers forms of government, so essentially different in their standards, policies and methods, make it absolutely essential for all . . . members of any one of these communities to avoid any action that might, by arousing the suspicion or exciting the antagonism of any one government, involve their brethren in fresh persecutions . . ." and went on to say: "How else, might I ask, could such a far-flung Faith, which transcends political and social boundaries, which includes within its pale so great a variety of races and nations, which will have to rely increasingly, as it forges ahead, on the good-will and support of the diversified and contending governments of the earth — how else could such a Faith succeed in preserving its unity, in safeguarding its interests, and in ensuring the steady and peaceful development of its institutions?" On another occasion Shoghi Effendi wrote: "Let them proclaim that in whatever country they reside, and however advanced their institutions, or profound their desire to enforce the laws, and apply the principles enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh, they will, unhesitatingly, subordinate the operation of such laws, and the application of such principles to the requirements of their respective governments. Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavouring to conduct and perfect the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate, under any circumstances, the provisions of their country's constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their Administration to supersede the government of their respective countries."

A telegram of the Guardian, sent in 1930 to one of the Near Eastern Assemblies, points very clearly to the correct Bahá'í attitude: "unless government objects formation Assembly essential" . The Bahá'ís, as Shoghi Effendi said so aptly, belong to no political party but to "God's party". They are the agents of His Divine Polity.

The freedom of a sovereign state to pursue its own policies — however detrimental they might be to Bahá'í interests — was upheld by Shoghi Effendi in 1929 when the Soviet Government expropriated the first Bahá'í Temple of the world. In spite of the sorrow this action caused the Guardian he wrote that because of the articles of its own constitution the authorities had acted "within their recognized and legitimate rights". When every appeal had failed of its purpose, he instructed the Bahá'ís in that country to obey the decrees of their Government, trusting that in time, as he wrote, God would "lift the veil that now obscures the vision of their rulers, and reveal the nobility of aim, the innocence of purpose, the rectitude of conduct, and the humanitarian ideals that characterize the as yet small but potentially powerful Bahá'í communities in every land and under any government."

It must not be thought that as this Faith grew in strength and passed from victory to victory there was a change in this fundamental policy enunciated by Shoghi Effendi only eight years after he became Guardian. Far from it. In 1955 he cabled a message to all National Assemblies, at a time when the number of countries enrolled under the banner of the Faith had almost doubled during two years, appealing to the believers who were engaged in the mightiest Crusade ever launched since the inception of the Faith "whether residing homelands overseas however repressive regimes under which they labour ponder anew full implications essential requirements their stewardship Cause Bahá'u'lláh . . . rise higher levels consecration vigilantly combat all forms misrepresentations eradicate suspicions dispel misgivings silence criticisms through still more compelling demonstration loyalty their respective governments win maintain strengthen confidence civil authorities their integrity sincerity reaffirm universality aims purposes Faith proclaim spiritual character its fundamental principles assert non-political character its Administrative institutions . . ."

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There are three factors involved in this question of loyalty to government yet complete aloofness from politics: one is obedience, another is wisdom and the third is the use of approved legal channels. Too often the factor of wisdom is overlooked, and yet the Guardian made it abundantly clear that it should always be considered. In a world where press and radio are hourly pouring out accusations, indictments and abuse upon the systems and policies of other nations, the Bahá'ís cannot be too wise.

In various countries he forbade the Bahá'ís to seek publicity and told them to shun all contact with certain sects and nationalities who, if they heard of the Faith or accepted it, could place the entire work of the pioneers in jeopardy. This was the essence of wisdom and every time it was ignored it led to disaster.

On the other hand, in different countries at different times, the Guardian strongly urged the Assemblies and the pioneers, wherever the way was open to do so, to protect the interests of the Faith through legal channels and through securing for it legal recognition, as well as through insuring the support of public opinion through the media of the press and radio.

In such matters of policy as these, however, which affect the international interests and well-being of the Faith, guidance and protection must come from the World Centre, which, by its very nature, is the sole authority in a position to use its judgment on such vital and delicate questions.

Another great guiding line of thought was the Guardian's exposition on what unity means in the Bahá'í teachings. Shoghi Effendi wrote that "the principle of unification which" the Cause "advocates and with which it stands identified" the enemies of the Faith "have misconceived as a shallow attempt at uniformity"; "Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Bahá'u'lláh . . . it repudiates excessive centralization on the one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity . . . " The principle of the Oneness of Mankind, Shoghi Effendi stated, though it aimed at creating "a world organically united in all the essential aspects of its life" was nevertheless to be a world "infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its federated units." He wrote of "the highly diversified Bahá'í society of the future" and, urging the Bahá'ís to pay special attention to winning the adherence to the Faith of different races, said, "A blending of these highly differentiated elements of the human race, harmoniously interwoven into the fabric of an all-embracing Bahá'í fraternity and assimilated through the processes of a divinely-appointed Administrative Order, and contributing each its share to the enrichment and glory of Bahá'í community life, is surely an achievement the contemplation of which must warm and thrill every Bahá'í heart."

This Faith, Shoghi Effendi wrote, "does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world."

In an age of proselytizing, when nations and blocks of nations, various societies and organizations are hammering away at people's minds day and night, seeking to make them over in their own image, seeking to force their political systems, their clothes, their way of living, their housing, their medical systems, their philosophy and moral and social codes on each other, it is surely of the greatest importance for Bahá'ís to ponder their own teachings and the illuminating interpretation of them given by their Guardian. The Western World today has a passion for uniformity. As fast as it can it is trying to make everyone alike. The result is that while much good is undoubtedly being spread, and material benefits are reaching an ever larger number of people, many things diametrically opposed to the methods and objectives of Bahá'u'lláh are also taking place.

One of the things our western materialism is rapidly spreading — in addition to irreligion, immorality and the worship of money and possessions — is a wave of despair, unrest, and a feeling of deep inferiority among the so-called backward peoples of the world. We might well pause to contrast the impact — so deadly — that this self-importance, self-satisfaction and wealth is having upon other peoples with where the Guardian placed the emphasis in his relation to such peoples Why did Shoghi Effendi keep and publish such exhaustive lists of the "races" and the "tribes" enlisted under the banner of the Faith? Did he perhaps collect them, each as a separate pearl, to

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weave into precious documents for the body of Bahá'u'lláh's Cause? Why did he hang on the walls of the Mansion in Bahjí a picture of the first Pygny Bahá'í, and the first descendant of the Inca Indians to accept the Faith? Surely it was not as curiosities or trophies but rather because the beloved Josephs of the world were come home to the tent of their Father. So well I remember when Shoghi Effendi discovered that one of his pilgrims was a descendant of the old royal family of Hawaiian kings. He seemed to radiate with a joy and delight that was almost tangible and this glow enveloped a man whose portion in life had been mostly compounded of scorn for his native blood! It must not be thought that such things were personal peculiarities of Shoghi Effendi or matters of policy. Far from it. It was the reflection of the very essence of the teachings that each division of the human race is endowed with gifts of its own needed to make the new Order of Bahá'u'lláh diversified, rich and perfect.

Not only did Shoghi Effendi preach this, but actively pursued it, through announcements, appeals and instructions to Bahá'í Assemblies: "First all red Indian Assembly consolidated Macy Nebraska" he cabled triumphantly in 1949. Constantly remembering `Abdu'l-Bahá's words in the Tablets of the Divine Plan to "give great importance to teaching the Indians, i.e., the aborigines of America" Shoghi Effendi pursued this objective until the last month of his life, when he wrote, in July 1957, to the Canadian National Assembly, that the "long overdue conversion" of the American Indians, the Eskimos and other minorities, should receive such an impetus "as to astonish and stimulate the members of all Bahá'í communities throughout the length and breadth of the Western Hemisphere."

A year before, in one of Shoghi Effendi's letters to the United States National Assembly, his secretary had written: "The beloved Guardian feels that sufficient attention is not being paid to the matter of contacting minorities in the United States . . . He feels your Assembly should appoint a special committee to survey the possibilities of this kind of work, and then instruct local Assemblies accordingly, and in the meantime encourage the Bahá'ís to be active in this field, which is one open to everybody, as the minorities are invariably lonely, and often respond to kindness much more quickly than the well-established majority of the population."

The natural outcome of this policy is the unique attitude the Bahá'í Faith has towards minorities, which was set forth so clearly by Shoghi Effendi in The Advent of Divine Justice: "To discriminate against any race, on the ground of its being socially backward, politically immature, and numerically in a minority, is a flagrant violation of the spirit that animates the Faith". Once a person accepts this Faith "every differentiation of class, creed, or colour must automatically be obliterated, and never be allowed, under any pretext, and however great the pressure of events or public opinion, to reassert itself." Shoghi Effendi then goes on to state a principle so at variance with the political thinking of the entire world that it deserves far more consideration than we usually give it: "If any discrimination at all is to be tolerated, it should be a discrimination not against, but rather in favour of the minority, be it racial or otherwise. Unlike the nations and peoples of the earth, be they of the East or of the West, democratic or authoritarian, communist or capitalist, whether belonging to the Old World or the New, who either ignore, trample upon, or extirpate, the racial, religious or political minorities within the sphere of their jurisdiction, every organized community,enlisted under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh should feel it to be its first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation within it. So great and vital is this principle that in such circumstances, as when an equal number of ballots has been cast in an election, or where the qualifications for any office are balanced as between the various races, faiths or nationalities within the community, priority should unhesitatingly be accorded the party representing the minority, and this for no other reason except to stimulate and encourage it, and afford it an opportunity to further the interests of the community." Shoghi Effendi once expressed the workings of this principle so succinctly and brilliantly that I wrote it down in his own words: "the minority of a majority is more important than the majority of a minority." In other words it is not the numerical strength or weakness in the nation

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Picture with the Caption:
Shoghi Effendi walking in the gardens in Bahjí.


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that is the index of a minority, but its numerical strength or weakness inside the Bahá'í community holding the election — so great is the protection of any minority. The Guardian used to say that when the day came that a Bahá'í state existed the rights of non-Bahá'í religious minorities would be vigorously protected by the Bahá'ís.

The Bahá'í Faith not only safeguards society as a whole and protects the rights of minorities, it upholds the rights of the individual, internationally the individual nation, and within the community, the individual human being. "The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá'u'lláh," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "implies the establishment of a world commonwealth . . . in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safegurded."

Staunchly as the Guardian upheld the authority of the Assemblies, he was also a defender of the individual believer and had a deep bond of love with the "rank and file" of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh. Scarcely an appeal was made to the Bahá'í world or to National communities that did not address the individual Bahá'í and did not only encourage his initiative, but point out that without it all plans must fail.

The humble have ever been singled out for unique blessings. In 1925 Shoghi Effendi wrote: "Not infrequently, nay oftentimes, the most lowly, untutored and inexperienced among the friends will, by sheer inspiring force of selfless and ardent devotion, contribute a distinct and memorable share to a highly involved discussion in any given Assembly." The Guardian was a passionate admirer of the meek and pure in heart and disliked aggressive and, particularly, ambitious individuals.His appeals for pioneers made his attitude quite plain: "all must participate, however humble their origin, however limited their experience, however restricted their means, however deficient their education, however pressing their cares and preoccupations, however unfavourable the environment in which they live . . . How often . . .have the lowliest adherents of the Faith, unschooled and utterly inexperienced, and with no standing whatever, and in some cases devoid of intelligence, been capable of winning victories for their Cause, before which the most brilliant achievements of the learned, the wise, and the experienced have paled."

Little minds instinctively seek to circumscribe the things around them, to pull in the walls to the size of their own small existence, to get everything squared off to their own scale so they can feel safe and snug. This process invariably means that a lot of the material used in their walls is from the last house they lived in, is very much what they were accustomed to before they moved, so to speak. Big minds, on the contrary, push the horizons farther away, create new frontiers, leave room for growth. It is not difficult, when one reads over the letters to and from the Guardian, to see how he kept a perfect balance between what was wise and essential for the present stage of the Faith, and what would unduly circumscribe its unfoldment and crystallize the living teachings into a premature form, too small, too national or provincial, too sectarian or racial, to expand into a World Order, with its attendant world government and world society.

From the earliest days of his ministry Shoghi Effendi set about creating order in what was then a very small Bahá'í world, barely existing in some of the thirty-five countries which had received at least a ray of illumination from the light of Bahá'u'lláh.

The great, guiding lines were clear in his mind as he grew older, and the community of believers grew and increased in experience, these lines became clearer and details were added. So often, as I listened to and observed Shoghi Effendi, I felt he was the only real Bahá'í in the world. Everyone else, claiming to be a Bahá'í, had a portion of the Faith, an angle on it, a concept, however large, tinctured by his own limitations, but the Guardian saw it as a whole, in all its greatness and perfect balance. He had not only the capacity to see but to analyse and express with brilliant clarity what he saw.

For instance take this epitome of what he felt the Bahá'í Faith is in the scheme of things: ". . . it should be stated that the Revelation identified with Bahá'u'lláh abrogates unconditionally all the Dispensations gone before it, upholds uncompromisingly the eternal verities they enshrine, recognizes firmly and absolutely the Divine origin of their Authors, preserves inviolate the sanctity

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of their authentic Scriptures, disclaims any intention of lowering the status of their Founders or of abating the spiritual ideals they inculcate, clarifies and correlates their functions, reaffirms their common, their unchangeable and fundamental purpose, reconciles their seemingly divergent claims and doctrines, readily and gratefully recognizes their respective contributions to the gradual unfoldment of one Divine Revelation, unhesitatingly acknowledges itself to be but one link in the chain of continually progressive Revelations, supplements their teachings with such laws and ordinances as conform to the imperative needs, and are dictated by the growing receptivity, of a fast evolving and constantly changing society, and proclaims its readiness and ability to fuse and incorporate the outstanding sects and factions into which they have fallen into a universal fellowship, functioning within the framework, and in accordance with the precepts, of a divinely conceived, a world-unifying, a world-redeeming Order." Immediately one sees where this "greatest religious Dispensation in the spiritual history of mankind." fits into the panorama of history.

This Faith,"at once the essence, the promise, the reconciler, and the unifier of all religions", had, as its "primary mission", the establishment of a Divine Civilization. I remember in the course of a conversation Shoghi Effendi had with a former teacher of his at the American University of Beirut, how beautifully he answered this man's question as to what was the purpose of life to a Bahá'í. The Guardian answered that the object of life to a Bahá'í was to promote the oneness of mankind. He then went on to point out that Bahá'u'lláh had appeared at a time when His Message could and should be directed to the whole world and not merely to individuals; that salvation today was through world salvation, world change, world reform of society and that the world civilization resulting from this would in turn reflect upon the individuals composing it and lead to their redemption and reformation. Over and over Shoghi Effendi made it clear in his writings and talks that the two processes must go on together — reform of society, reform of personal character. There was never any doubt that individual regeneration, as he wrote to a non-Bahá'í in 1926, was the "sure and enduring foundation on which a reconstructed society" would develop and prosper. But how could one create a pattern for future society, even a tiny embryo of the future World Commonwealth of Bahá'u'lláh, if all around its fringes it was still interwoven with the fabric of that society which was dying out, must die out, and make way for the new?

Shoghi Effendi took up his scalpel — the interpretation of the writings of the Faith — and began to cut. Although the reading aright of our doctrines showed that there was only one religion, that of God Almighty, all down the ages, and the Prophets were its exponents at various times in history, the fact remained, Shoghi Effendi made us understand, that the duty of man in each new Dispensation was to adhere to it in all its forms and cut one's self away from the outer forms and secondary laws of the previous religion. How could any honest Christian remain in the church and pray for the coming of the Father and His Kingdom while in his heart he very well knew that Bahá'u'lláh was the Father and the Kingdom was beginning to emerge through the establishment of His laws and system as reflected and embodied in the Administrative Order? The Bahá'ís — East and West — had vaguely understood this to a greater or lesser degree in different places, but now, through the communications of the Guardian, they began to see a sharp line where shadow and light met, with no comfortable twilight zone of compromise with family feelings, community opinion, personal convenience left. You were expected to either get in or get out. This had a purifying and stiffening effect on the entire body of believers the world over and made them, as never before, conscious of the fact that they were a world body of people, the people of the new Day, of the new Dispensation.

It is in the light of this process that we must see how the emphasis shifted, over the years, in relation to the acceptance of new Bahá'ís. During the first decade-and-a-half of Shoghi Effendi's ministry Bahá'í bodies, in the West in particular, were encouraged to be sure that those who became Bahá'ís were well aware of the greatness of the step they took. A clear break with the past was required of them. "Otherwise", Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1927, "those whose faith is still unripe may thereby remain indefinitely along the circumference and continue in their attitude of

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half-hearted allegiance to the teachings of the Cause in their entirety." During those years the Faith rose in fame and stature, won in many western lands recognition as an independent religion with laws and a system of its own, was greatly helped in this process by the ruling of a Muslim court in Egypt which stated we were not a part of Islám but as distinct from it as Christianity or Judaism, and became increasingly acknowledged as a Faith in its own right. Shoghi Effendi, however, constantly vigilant and unnaturally sensitive to whatever affected the life of the Cause, detected a trend amongst the administrative institutions to carry his original instruction in such matters (given in 1933) that the Assemblies should be "slow to accept" new believers, too far. A new rigidity was in danger of frustrating the main animating purpose of all Bahá'í institutions — to convert mankind to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. The Bahá'ís, in their eagerness to obey Shoghi Effendi's instructions, had gone to extremes and were so interested in screening applicants that it was getting difficult to become a Bahá'í at all. In 1938 Shoghi Effendi, therefore, found it necessary to instruct the American Assemblies "to desist from insisting too rigidly on the minor observations and beliefs, which might prove a stumbling block in the way of any sincere applicant" and pointed out the duty of Bahá'í communities was to nurse the new believers, subsequent to their acceptance of the Faith, into Bahá'í maturity.

As the Faith grew in inner cohesion and strength, as National Assembly after National Assembly was formed in East and West and began to function strongly and systematically, as the people of the world became increasingly aware of the existence of this new religion as an independent Revelation with a system of its own, the instructions of Shoghi Effendi changed. Particularly during the great Ten Year Plan of Teaching and Consolidation the whole emphasis in relation to the enrollment of new Bahá'ís was modified; now we were strong, now our foundations had been unassailably laid, now we could deal, at last, at last, with the masses of mankind in all the countries of the world. Fling open the doors and bring them into the ark of Bahá'u'lláh's salvation! The time had come to obey `Abdu'l-Bahá's injunction: "Summon the people in these countries, capitals, islands, assemblies and churches to enter the Abhá Kingdom." In other words having achieved his end Shoghi Effendi changed his tactic. He informed the American National Assembly that the fundamental and primary requisites a candidate should have were acceptance of the stations of the Báb, the Forerunner; Bahá'u'lláh, the Author; and `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Exemplar of the Faith; submission to whatever They had revealed; loyal and steadfast adherence to the provisions of the Will of the Master; and close association with the spirit and form of the world-wide Bahá'í Administration. These were the "principal factors" and any attempt to analyse and elucidate further, he said, would only lead to barren discussion and controversy and be detrimental to the growth of the Cause. He ended up his exposition on this delicate subject by urging the friends, unless some particular circumstance made it absolutely necessary, to "refrain from drawing rigidly the line of demarcation".

The Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi were the Great Teachers. Their ministries — each so different in character — were primarily devoted to the sublime aim of bringing all mankind under the tent of this healing, peace-giving, soul-generating Faith. Over and over again, insistently, for thirty-six years Shoghi Effendi rallied us to "the preeminent task of teaching the Faith to the multitudes . . . a task", he assured us in his last Ridván Message to the Bahá'í world, and ". . . at once so sacred, so fundamental, and so urgent; primarily involving and challenging every single individual; the bed-rock on which the solidity and the stability of the multiplying institutions of a rising Order must rest".

If one compiled what the Guardian has written on the subject of teaching it would be a good-sized book. But one sees throughout that the objective was clear, the duty fixed, the methods adaptable and fluid. Shoghi Effendi used so many words in connection with new Bahá'ís and their acceptance of Bahá'u'lláh: he called them "converts", "candidates", "avowed adherents", "new believers", "unreserved" supporters of the Faith and many other descriptive and satisfying names; he said they were "enrolled", "converted", declared their faith", "embraced the Faith", "enlisted" under Bahá'u'lláh's banner, "espoused His Cause", "joined the

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ranks" of the faithful and so on. In an age of banal, stereotyped clichés we might do well to remember this.

* * *


In making any attempt to give a coherent picture of what Shoghi Effendi called the first epoch in the evolution of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan — an epoch which he stated began in 1937 and would end in 1963, and comprised "three successive" crusades — one must go back and study his writings chronologically, for in them the clear reflection of his mind and the emergence of the scheduled pattern of his plans can be discerned. Ever since the passing of his beloved Master the whole object of the Guardian's existence was to fulfill His wishes and complete His works. The Divine Plan, conceived by Him, in one on {sic} the darkest periods in human history was, Shoghi Effendi stated, "`Abdu'l-Bahá's unique and grand design," embodied in His Tablets to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, with which the destinies of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in the North American continent would "for generations to come remain inextricably interwoven"; for twenty years it had been held in abeyance while the agencies of a slowly emerging Administrative Order were being created and perfected for "its efficient, systematic prosecution". How much importance the Guardian attached to this fundamental concept, often stressed by him, we are prone to forget, so let us turn to his actual words. During the opening years of the first Seven Year Plan, in 1939, he wrote to the American Community: "Through all the resources at their disposal, they are promoting the growth and consolidation of that pioneer movement for which the entire machinery of their Administrative Order has been primarily designed and erected." Eighteen years later Shoghi Effendi's view on this subject was the same, for he wrote to one of the European National Assemblies in August 1957, shortly before his passing: "Less substantial, however, has been the progress achieved in the all-important teaching field, and far inferior the acceleration in the vital process of individual conversion for which the entire machinery of the Administrative Order has been primarily and so laboriously erected."

If we view aright what happened in 1937 at the beginning of he first Seven Year Plan, we see that Shoghi Effendi, now in his fortieth year, stepped out as the general leading an army — the North American Bahá'ís — and marched off to the spiritual conquest of the Western Hemisphere. While other generals, famous in the eyes of the world, were leading vast armies to destruction all over the planet, fighting battles of unprecedented horror in Europe, Asia and Africa, this unknown general, unrecognized and unsung, was devising and prosecuting a campaign more vital and far-reaching than anything they could ever do. Their battles were inspired by national hates and ambitions, his by love and self-sacrifice. They fought for the preservation of dying concepts and values, for the past order of things. He fought for the future, with its radiant age of peace and unity, a world society and the Kingdom of God on earth. Their names and battles are slowly being forgotten, but Shoghi Effendi's name and fame is rising steadily, and his victories rise in greatness with him, never to be forgotten.

In reviewing the overwhelming volume of material on the subject of the Guardian's Plans, we must never forget that although the first organized implementation of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Spiritual Mandate to the American believers (and let us note that this term does not refer to the Bahá'ís of the United States alone but to the believers of North America) took place with the initiation of the first Seven Year Plan, a body of devoted American followers of the Faith, the majority of whom Shoghi Effendi pointed out were "women pioneers", had already arisen, in immediate response to the Tablets of the Divine Plan presented to the Eleventh Annual Bahá'í Convention in New York in 1919, and had proceeded to Australia, the norhernmost capitals of Europe, most of its Central States, the Balkan Peninsula, the fringes of Africa and Latin America, some countries in Asia and the island of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean. During thirty-six years Shoghi Effendi never forgot the services of these souls or ceased to name them. He made it clear, however, that such overseas teaching enterprises of the American Bahá'ís had been "tentative" and "intermittent". With the inauguration of the first Seven Year Plan a new epoch had begun.

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When the Divine Plan will come to an end we do not know. Its significance has been elaborated by the Guardian in innumerable messages. It was, he wrote, "the weightiest spiritual enterprise launched in recorded history"; "the most potent agency for the development of the World Administrative System"; "a primary factor in the birth and effloresence of the World Order itself in both the East and the West."

With Shoghi Effendi everything was clear: there was the Plan, and then there were plans and plans! There were, after the inauguration of the first Seven Year Plan, in the course of many years, and in various parts of the world, a Nineteen Month, Two Year, Three Year, Forty-five Month, Four-and-a-half Year, Five Year, Six Year and other plans; but whether given by him, or spontaneously initiated by the Bahá'ís themselves, he knew where to place them in the scheme of things. There was a God-given Mission, enshrined in a God-given Mandate, entrusted to the American believers; this Mission was their burthright, but they could only fulfill it by obeying the instructions given them in the Master's Tablets of the Divine Plan and winning every crusade they undertook; the other plans, Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1949, "are but supplements to the vast enterprise whose features have been delineated in those same Tablets and are to be regarded, by their very nature, as regional in scope, in contrast with the world-embracing character of the Mission entrusted to the community of the champion builders of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and the torch-bearers of the civilization which that Order must eventually establish."

If Shoghi Effendi was the general, undoubtedly his chief of staff was the American Assembly; it got its orders direct from him and the rapport was intimate and complete. But he never forgot that the glory of an army is its soldiers, the "rank and file", as he forthrightly called them. He never ceased to appeal to them, to inspire them, to love them and to inform them that every North American believer shared a direct responsibility for the success of the Plan. Knowing how prone human nature is to be diverted from any purpose, he constantly reiterated the tasks undertaken, the responsibility assumed, the immediate need. When the different crusades approached their end and the success of various aspects of the work seemed to hang in the balance, his appeals rose in a veritable crescendo and swept the Bahá'ís to victory.

The first Seven Year Plan had a "triple task": one, to complete the exterior ornamentation of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in the Western World; two, to establish one local Spiritual Assembly in every state of the United States and in every province of Canada; three, to create one centre in each Latin American Republic "for whose entry into the fellowship of Bahá'u'lláh," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "the Plan was primarily formulated." Every nation in the Western Hemisphere was to be "woven into the fabric of Bahá'u'lláh's triumphant Order" and he pointed out to us that there were twenty independent Latin American Republics "constituting approximately one-third of the entire number of the world's sovereign states" and that the Plan was no less than an "arduous twofold campaign undertaken simultaneously in the homeland and in Latin America."

A little over two years after the initiation of this historic teaching drive Europe went to war; another two years passed and the United States — and practically the whole planet — was at war. Its seven-year activity took place in the face of the greatest suffering and darkest threat the New World had ever experienced. The degree to which Shoghi Effendi watched over, encouraged and guided this first great Plan of the Divine Pan is unbelievable. Messages streamed from him to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada. He told them the "deepening gloom" of the Old World invested their labours with a "significance and urgency" that could not be over-estimated. The Latin American campaign was "one of the most glorious chapters in the international history of the Faith." It was the "opening scene of the First Act of that superb Drama whose theme is no less than the spiritual conquest of both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres."

After two years of the Plan had run their course, when exterior ornamentation of the Temple was satisfactorily progressing, and a series of ardent appeals from him had ensured that all the preliminary steps had been taken on the homefront, Shoghi Effendi waved his arm and directed the march of his forces down the coasts and over the islands of

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Central America, following, as he cabled, in a "methodical advance along the line traced pen `Abdu'l-Bahá". In spite of his ever-growing burdens and anxieties he informed the friends he wished to keep personally in contact with pioneers in North, Central and South America. What those letters of his meant to the pioneers "holding", as he said, "their lonely posts in widely scattered areas throughout the Americas", only those who received them can truly judge, but I myself wonder if this, or later crusades would ever have been won without this communion he had with the believers. His love, encouragement and understanding kept them anchored to their posts. Not a few are still where they are because of letters signed "Your true brother, Shoghi".

Looking back on those glorious and terrible years of the last war the success of the first Seven Year Plan seems truly miraculous. While humanity was being decimated in Europe and Asia, while the World Centre of the Faith was being threatened with unprecedented danger on four sides, while the United States and Canada were engaged in a world conflict, with its attendant anxieties, restrictions and terror, a handful of people, lacking in resources but rich in faith, lacking in prestige but rich in determination, succeeded not only in doubling the number of Bahá'í Assemblies in North America and ensuring the existence of at least one in every state of the Union and every province of Canada, but in completing the extremely costly exterior ornamentation of their Mother Temple sixteen months ahead of the scheduled time, and in establishing not only a strong Bahá'í group in each of the twenty Latin Republics, but in in addition fifteen Spiritual Assemblies throughout the entire area. In the last months of the Plan Shoghi Effendi fairly stormed the remaining unfinished tasks, with his valiant little army, too excited to feel the exhaustion of seven years constant struggle, hard at his heels. When the sun of the second Bahá'í Century rose, it rose on triumph. To his cohorts Shoghi Effendi said that he and the entire Bahá'í world owed them a debt of gratitude no one could "measure or describe".

For twenty years, under the guidance of Shoghi Effendi, to a design he provided, the Bahá'ís wove the tapestry of the three great Crusades of his ministry. Amidst the busy, multi-coloured scenes, depicting so much work in so many places, could be discerned three sumptuous golden wheels — the three great Centenaries, historic landmarks into which he drew the threads of his plans and out of which they emerged to form still more beautiful and powerful patterns. The first of these Centenaries took place on May 23, 1944. Providentially the vast majority of Bahá'í communities throughout the world had not been cut off from communication with the Guardian at the World Centre, nor, in spite of the dangers of an encroaching theatre of war, been swallowed up in its battles. Persia, `Iráq, Egypt, India, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the Western Hemisphere had been miraculously spared. These communities, each to the degree possible under the circumstances prevailing in its own land, proceeded to celebrate the glorious occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb, which was at once the inception of the Bahá'í cycle as well as the birthday of `Abdu'l-Bahá.

In spite of the fact that the Persian believers were not free to hold befitting nation-wide celebrations on the occasion of the first Centenary of the Faith which had dawned in their native land, this does not mean that worthy homage was not paid to the memory of the blessed Báb. The Guardian himself, full of tenderness for a community so perpetually afflicted, instructed its national body in detail regarding the manner in which this glorious event was to be commemorated.

For the North American Bahá'í Community a second anniversary occurred at the same time, as it was fifty years since the establishment of the Faith in the Western World, Shoghi Effendi, with his usual foresight and method, made quite clear to the American Bahá'ís in a series of messages during 1943 how he expected them to appropriately commemorate such an occasion and why he wanted them to do it on such a scale: in "its scope and magnificence" it was to "fully compensate for the disabilities which hinder so many communities in Europe and elsewhere, and even in Bahá'u'lláh's native land, from paying a befitting tribute to their beloved Faith at so glorious an hour in its history." The celebrations the Americans would hold, he said, would not only crown their own labours but those of the entire body of their

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fellow-workers in both the East and the West.

Similar, though less ostentatious gatherings were being held in other countries.The close of these international activities, Shoghi Effendi said, would mark the end of the first epoch of the Formative Age of the Faith which had lasted from 1921 to 1944.

The close of one century and the opening of another is a propitious moment to take stock of the Bahá'í world. Such a torrent of material presents itself to anyone trying to evaluate the labours of the Guardian that it is difficult indeed to know how to deal with his various achievements. He was not only a great creator of facts but an able and interested statistician and there was very little that he would not dramatize. But is it not that the very essence of living — to derive interest from what superficially seems perfunctory, obligatory and therefore boring?

In 1944 Shoghi Effendi published, in Haifa, a small pamphlet, twenty-six pages long, which bore the title The Bahá'í Faith, 1844-1944, and under this, modestly, "Information Statistical and Comparative"; in 1950, with much more exhaustive material provided by him, the Bahá'í Publishing Committee in the United States published a similar, larger pamphlet, thirty-five pages long, with a map; in it they put: "Compiled by Shoghi Effendi Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith". In 1952, again with material provided by him and at his instigation, both the British and American National Assemblies published the same pamphlet, with the same heading only this time twice as long and covering the period 1844-1952. Shoghi Effendi had now added a new sub-title "Ten Year International Teaching and Consolidation Plan".

It is impossible to go into details on a subject as vast as this one. On the other hand to ignore it completely would be unjust to a field of work that absorbed, for over thirteen years, a great deal of Shoghi Effendi's attention and time. One cannot argue with facts; one can disagree with ideas, poh-pooh claims, belittle historic beginnings, but when one is shown in cold print that such and such a thing is worth five-and-a-half-million dollars, or that seven National Bahá'í Assemblies have been incorporated, or that the Bahá'íMarriage Ceremony is entirely legal in fifteen states, or one reads the names of the African tribes who are represented in the Faith, the languages in which its teachings have been translated, one is forced to accept that this Faith exists in a very concrete way. Facts were part of Shoghi Effendi's ammunition with which he could defend the Faith against its enemies and through which he could not only encourage the Bahá'ís but stimulate them to greater effort.

One of his most cherished lists, the first and foremost, was that which reflected the spread of this glorious Cause entrusted to his care by `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921. Under "Countries open to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh" he had placed for the period of the B´b's Ministry: 2; Bahá'u'lláh's Ministry: 13; `Abdu'l-Bahá's Ministry: 20. From 1921-1932, 5 were added in 11 years; 1932-1944, 38 were added in 12 years; 1944-1950, 22 were added in 6 years; 1950-1951, 6 were added in one year; 1951-1952, 22 were added in one year; 1952-1953, no increase in number; 1953-1954, 100 were added in one year; 1954-1957, 26 more were added. When Shoghi Effendi became Guardian there were 35 countries, but when he passed away he had raised this number to 254 — 219 added by his vision, drive and determination working through and with a dedicated, spiritually inflamed world-wide group of believers.

The Guardian devoted particular attention, in addition to creating the structural basis of the Administrative Order and assuring the rapid spread of the Faith, to ensuring that Bahá'í literature be made available, in different languages, to the people of the world. In 1944 there were Bahá'í publications available in 41 languages; by 1957 there were 237.

He was not only eager to welcome as many different ethnic groups into the Faith as possible but constantly urged the Bahá'ís to reach people of different races so that within the communities that cardinal principle of unity in diversity might be exemplified. This was reflected in two of his statistics, the second one significantly emphasizing the great importance he attached to this aspect of our teachings; the headings of these statistics speak for themselves: "Races Represented in the Bahá'í World Community", which were listed by name. In 1944 there were 31 races; in 1955 there were about 40 races. "Minority Groups and Races with which

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contact has been established by Bahá'ís", likewise listed by name: in 1944 these were 9, but in 1952 they had risen to 15 — 12 of which were American Eskimo and Indian tribes. In 1952 a new caption was added, in spite of the insignificance of the figures involved: "African Tribes Represented in the Bahá'í Faith"; the names of 12 tribes were given — proudly. Periodically he continued to announce the increase in these figures: 1955, 90; 1956, 140; 1957, 197 — an addition of 185 in five years.

The growth of the institutions and endowments of the Faith, a strong wall to protect its maturing Administrative Order, was another of the things to which Shoghi Effendi paid particular attention. It is not a dream Bahá'u'lláh has come to the world to help us dream, but a reality He has given us the design to build. Incorporated bodies can hold property legally. It was and is essential that a growing Faith should own its own Temples, national and local headquarters, institutions, lands, schools, and so on. The figures in this regard speak eloquently of the progress made throughout the Guardian's ministry: in 1944 there were 5 incorporated National Assemblies and 63 locally incorporated ones in various countries; by 1957 there were over 200 incorporations of local Bahá'í Assemblies — 137 being added in 13 years. Whereas in 1944, at the beginning of the second Bahá'í Century, the legal right to perform a Bahá'í marriage existed in a very few places, by 1957 this right was enjoyed by Bahá'ís in over 30 places and Bahá'í Holy Days were acknowledged as grounds for the suspension of work or school attendance in 45 places, the definition of a place being either a country, a state, or a district. In 1952 the Bahá'ís owned only 8 national headquarters, but by 1957 they owned 48. National endowments had likewise multiplied to an unprecedented degree and that same year there were 50 of them in various capital cities of the world.

With each release of statistical data the tally of National Spiritual Assemblies grew. To bring these "Pillars" of the future Universal House of Justice into existence was a task Shoghi Effendi conceived as one of his primary duties. The oldest National Assembly in the Bahá'í world, that of the United States and Canada, had existed at the time of `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing under the name "Bahá'í Temple Unity". When the Guardian took the helm in 1921 he immediately set out to create uniformity in fundamental principles and from then on these future "Secondary Houses of Justice" were styled "National Spiritual Assemblies". By 1923 National Assemblies for the British, the German, the Indian and Burmese believers were already functioning and those of the Bahá'ís of Egypt and the Súdán, Persia, `Iráq and Australia and New Zealand soon followed. Much as the Guardian longed to see new "Pillars" erected he had to be sure a sufficiently strong community — and especially a sufficiently strong base of local Assemblies — existed before he could permit a national body to be elected. In 1948 he launched Canada on her independent administrative destiny, followed in 1951 by two other National Assemblies, one for Central and one for South America. There was in Shoghi Effendi's mind a very clear reason for this grouping of two or more countries under a single National Assembly, which he explained to an Indian Bahá'í pilgrim in 1929, who wrote down his words at that time: "He is against separation of Burma and India for he says we have very few workers and separation will dissipate our forces and energy while what we most need at the present time is consolidation of all our resources and forces . . ."

With the formation of these two giant Central and South American bodies, whose title was National Assembly but whose composition and function was regional in nature, a new phase in the administrative development of the Faith began. Shoghi Effendi was never intimidated by the magnitude or difficulty of a task, nor was he any respecter of current views or methods. For nine years he was to constitute nothing but these vast National "Regional" Assemblies — except in the case of the National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Italy and Switzerland, elected in 1953 — which were truly immense in scope. The two Latin American ones comprised 20 countries and the four African ones, formed in 1956, represented 57 territories. This meant that the people, often residing in countries over a thousand miles apart, had to consult and administer the affairs of scattered, mostly young and inexperienced Assemblies and communities,

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spread over hundreds of thousands of square miles.

There was now a choice corps of experienced Bahá'í pioneers, administrators, and teachers in Latin America and in Africa, but they were not sufficient in number for the work of 20 independent administrative bodies in Central and South America and far, far from sufficient to provide experienced Bahá'ís for 57 territories in Africa. The answer was these interim National Assemblies which were to be broken down into ever smaller units pending the day when each nation had a sufficiently strong network of local Assemblies, of more mature believers, deepened in the teachings they had so recently embraced, who could assume responsibility for the administration and advancement of the Cause in their own territories. The remarkable feats achieved by these Regional Assemblies, constantly urged on and encouraged by Shoghi Effendi in the discharge of their historic tasks, fully justified his method.

In his selection of the countries he associated under one national body the Guardian amply demonstrated the fact that the Bahá'ís are far more than international, they are supra-national — above nation — in their beliefs and policy. No consideration of national prejudices, political animosities, or religious differences influenced his choice of those who were to work together under one Assembly. For him such worldly considerations were not allowed to weigh, albeit he was a keen student of current affairs and never blind to facts. It was those Divine forces within the Faith that he utilized — a Faith which, as he so beautifully expressed it, "feeds itself upon . . . hidden springs of celestial strength" and "propagates itself by ways mysterious and utterly at variance with the standards accepted by the generality of mankind".

It was not until 1957 that he resumed the formation of purely National Assemblies; in April of that year Alaska, Pákistán and New Zealand elected their own permanent Bahá'í bodies. It was an historic occasion in the evolution of the Administrative Order for no less than eleven new National Assemblies came into existence that year at one time, the others being Regional Assemblies for North East Asia, South East Asia, the Benelux Countries, Arabia, the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia and Finland, the Antilles, and the northern countries of South America which formed a new body. What had hitherto been one National Assembly for South America and one for Central America now became two smaller Regional ones in South America while Central America was partially pared away and its island republics joined in electing an Assembly of their own. Ere Shoghi Effendi's last great Crusade drew to a close every republic of Latin America had its own independent national body, as he himself had planned when, in his statistical pamphlet published on the eve of the Centenary of 1953, he had included within the "Ten Year International Bahá'í Teaching and Consolidation Plan" as one of its most thrilling and challenging provisions the task of more than quadrupling the existing National Assemblies through raising their number to over fifty.

The example set through the achievements of the first Seven Year Plan inspired other communities to dare greatly. The increasing awareness of the glorious possibilities of service opening before the Bahá'í world in the second century of its own era was constantly fanned into flame by the Guardian's messages to various National Assemblies. He frequently quoted Bahá'u'lláh's admonition: "Vie ye with each other in the service of God and of His Cause", and openly encouraged a competitive spirit in its noblest form. His use of statistics was one example of the way he did this, his own words another: "Spiritual competition", he cabled America in in 1941 "galvanizing organized followers Bahá'u'lláh East West waxes keener as first Bahá'í Century speeds to its close."

The news of the victories being won during the first Seven Year Plan, passed on by the Guardian in a steady flow of inspiring messages to the believers of Persia, was, Shoghi Effendi cabled in 1943, "thrilling Eastern communities Bahá'í world with delight admiration and wonder . . . Ninety-five Persian families emulating example American trail-blazers Faith" had left their homes and were on their way to hoist its banner in Afghánistán, Balúchistán, Sulaymáníyyih, Hijáz and Bahrayn. India and Egypt were stirring and the `Iráqí Bahá'ís were hastening their own plans to crown the end of the first century with local victories. The Bahá'ís of both the East and the West were writing the last glorious pages in their

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Picture with the Caption:
Snapshot showing Shoghi Effendi in 1956, standing in the garden gate of the
Master's house. He was directing the placing of the coffin of an old servant in the
funeral cortège that was about to leave for the Bahá'í Cemetery.


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own chapters of the first century of their Faith.

Three months after the May 1944 celebrations were ended, the Guardian informed the North American Community: "A memorable chapter in the history of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the West has been closed. A new chapter is now opening, a chapter which, ere its termination, must eclipse the most shining victories won so heroically by those who have so fearlessly launched the first stage of the Great Plan conceived by `Abdu'l-Bahá for the American believers."

When a "war-ravaged, disillusioned and bankrupt society" paused in its bloody battles after six years and began, with the cessation of European hostilities in the summer of 1945, to lick its wounds, Shoghi Effendi told the American Bahá'ís that the prosecutors of the Divine Plan must "gird up their loins, muster their resources" and prepare themselves for the next step in their destiny. The appeals he made, during the months that preceded the launching of the second Seven Year Plan, to the minds and the feelings of the American believers were profound. He told these "ambassadors of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh" that the "sorrow-stricken, war-lacerated, sorely bewildered nations and peoples" of Europe were waiting in their turn for the healing influence of the Faith to be extended to them as it had been extended to the peoples throughout the Americas. News he received of the plight of the believers in Germany and Burma — two old and tried communities — greatly touched him and was so distressing that he hastened to appeal to "their fellow workers in lands which have providentially been spared the horrors of invasion and all the evils and miseries attendant upon it" to take immediate and collective action to mitigate their plight. He appealed particularly to the American Community, which "of all its sister communities in East and West, enjoyed the greatest immunity" during the war, and in addition been privileged to successfully prosecute so great a Plan, to do all in its power to help financially and by any other means at its disposal.

The official inception of the second Seven Year Plan, the "second collective enterprise undertaken in American Bahá'í history," took place at the 1946 Convention. It would seem as if all the work so successfully undertaken since 1921 had been designed to create in the Western Hemisphere a vast homefront from which the New World could launch a well-organized attack on the Old World — on Europe, its parent continent. The child of one Hemisphere, now a fully-grown young giant, was ready to return, vital and fresh, destined, as Shoghi Effendi wrote "through successive decades, to achieve the spiritual conquest of the continent unconquered by Islám, rightly regarded as the mother of Christendom, the fountain-head of American culture, the mainspring of Western civilization . . ."
Again we see the design in Shoghi Effendi's great tapestry drawn into another blazing wheel of glory — this time the second great Centenary of the Faith in 1953 which would, he informed us, commemorate the Year Nine marking the mystic birth of Bahá'u'lláh's prophetic mission as He lay in the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán.

The objectives of this new Plan, of which of which Europe was the "preeminent" goal, and which came to be known as the European Campaign, were as follows: consolidation of work throughout the Americas; completion of the exterior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West in time for the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary in 1953; erection of three pillars of the future Universal House of Justice through the election of the Canadian, the Central and the South American National Assemblies; a systematic teaching campaign in Europe aimed at the establishment of Spiritual Assemblies in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium), the Scandinavian states (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), and Italy. He ended his message by saying that he himself was pledging ten thousand dollars as his initial contribution for the "manifold purposes glorious Crusade surpassing every enterprise undertaken by followers Faith Bahá'u'lláh course first Bahá'í Century."

Six weeks later a cable from Shoghi Effendi informed the American National Assembly that "nine competent pioneers" should be promptly dispatched to Europe to as many countries as possible, that the Duchy of Luxembourg should be added to the Low Countries and Switzerland also included. With these two, and the previous eight, the "Ten Goal Countries" came into existence in our Bahá'í vocabulary. Some time later, in view

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of the marked progress being made in the north of Europe, Finland was also added to the scope of the Plan. Although, in addition to Britain and Germany there were still Bahá'ís living in France, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and perhaps other places, they were for the most part too isolated or too suppressed to undertake large-scale teaching activities. The opening of this systematic well-organized Plan in "war-torn, spiritually famished" Europe meant that the American Community now found itself "launched in both hemispheres on a second, incomparably more glorious stage, of the systematic Crusade designed to culminate, in the fullness of time, in the spiritual conquest of the entire planet." It meant that the American Community was to be engaged in strenuous work in thirty countries, in addition to ensuring that proper foundations were laid for the election, in 1948, of the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, whose essential local Assemblies in various provinces were in most cases new and weak.

The continent of Europe was "turbulent, politically convulsed, economically disrupted and spiritually depleted." But it was the arena where the American Community must now carry out the "first stage of its transatlantic missionary enterprise", "amidst a people so disillusioned, so varied in race, language, and outlook, so impoverished spiritually, so paralyzed with fear, so confused in thought, so abased in their moral standards, so rent by internal schisms . . ."

When these "trail blazers" of the second Seven Year Plan began their mission there were only two European Bahá'í communities worthy of the name, those of the British Isles and Germany, both long-standing and both of which had had active National Assemblies before the war; the first had never ceased to function; the second, dissolved by the Nazi authorities in 1937 when all Bahá'í activity was officially suspended, was now reconstituted and heroically gathering its war-torn flock about it. With these the European Teaching Committee of the American National Assembly and the ever swelling group of pioneers in the Ten Goal Countries closely co-operated. This great European undertaking truly fired the imagination of the Bahá'ís all over the world, including the new communities of Latin America — who were even able to send some of their own pioneers to assist in this new Crusade.

During these difficult years the numerically much smaller Canadian Community — co-partner with the American Community in the execution of the Divine Plan — was so preoccupied with the Five Year Plan the Guardian had instructed it to initiate when the independent stage of its development was reached in 1948, that it was in no position to offer much assistance to the main body of believers in the United States, and the formation in 1951 of two more National Assemblies, one in Central and one in South America, made further demands on their tenacity, resources and courage. Yet with all their burdens their triumphs during the last years of the second Seven Year Plan continued to multiply.

The winning of so many victories by the Bahá'ís of the United States as well as Canada — to which had been added in the closing years of the Crusade services in the African continent never contemplated in the original Plan — far exceeding in substance the misty prizes which had loomed, beckoning but vague, in the fog surrounding the world at the end of the war, now encouraged the Guardian to add another offering on the altar of Bahá'u'lláh, one he termed the "fairest fruit" of the mighty European project. In 1952 he cabled that "ere culmination American Community's second Seven Year Plan" the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Italy and Switzerland should be formed, and added: "Advise European Teaching Committee upon termination glorious enterprise issue formal invitation their spiritual offspring newly emerged National Assembly participate together with sister National Assemblies United States, British Isles, Germany Intercontinental Conference August same year capital city Sweden". He explained he was planning to entrust this youngest Assembly of the Bahá'í world with a specific plan of its own as part of the Global Crusade to be embarked upon between the second and third Century celebrations. It had become an established procedure of the Guardian for these new National Bahá'í babies to be born with a plan in their mouths!

It may well be imagined how excited, how heartened, all the followers of Bahá'u'lláh

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were by news so thrilling as this. They saw what seemed to them little short of miracles taking place, and their loving "true brother", in his humility, his praises and kindness, led them to believe such miracles were all theirs. That Italy should have, from a vacuum, succeeded in one decade in building up a foundation of local Assemblies strong enough, with its Swiss companion, to bear the weight of an independent National Assembly was a feat far beyond anyone's fairest dreams.

In order to grasp, in however dim a way, why the third Seven Year Plan — which the Guardian had repeatedly referred to since the end of the first Bahá'í Century — became a Ten Year Plan instead, we must understand a fundamental teaching of our Faith. A just and loving God does not require of any soul what He will not give it the strength to accomplish. Privileges involve responsibilities, for peoples, nations, individuals. To the degree to which they arise to meet their responsibilities they are blessed and sustained; to the degree they fail they are automatically deprived and punished. Shoghi Effendi had written at the beginning of the first Seven Year Plan that "failure to exploit these golden opportunities would . . . signify the loss of the rarest privilege conferred by Providence upon the American Bahá'í Community." ""The Kingdom of God", `Abdu'l-Bahá had said, "is possessed of limitless potency. Audacious must be the army of life if the confirming aid of that Kingdom is to be repeatedly vouchsafed to it . . ." It was in pursuance of the operation of this great law that the followers of Bahá'u'lláh who had been entrusted with the Divine Plan, rising to meet their challenge, pulling down from on high through their services an ever-greater measure of celestial aid, discharging their sacred responsibility in so noble a fashion, found destiny hastening to meet them, a step in advance. A victorious army, having swept all barriers before it, is often so exhilarated by its exploits it needs no respite. It is ready to march on, fired by its victories. This was the mood of the Bahá'í world as 1953 approached and it was about to enter the Holy Year. Their Commander-in-Chief was a general who needed very little encouragement to induce him to go on and who never rested. So it was inevitable that given the hour, the mood and the man the Bahá'ís should find themselves with no "three year respite" but rather twelve completely evolved plans — one for each National Assembly — ready to be put into operation the moment the trumpet sounded the reveille in Ridván 1953.

Wonderful as had been the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the inception of the Bahá'í Faith, in 1944, by Bahá'í communities living in the shadow of the worst war the world had ever known, it was dwarfed by the events associated with the hundredth anniversary of the revelation Bahá'u'lláh received in the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán. Pregnantly, in the months preceding the commemoration of that event, the Guardian recalled to the Bahá'í world the tidal wave of persecution and martyrdom which had swept so many disciples of the Báb, so many heroes, so many innocent women and even children, from the scene a century before and had culminated in casting the Supreme Manifestation of God into a loathsome subterranean dungeon immediately following the abortive attempt on the life of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh on August 15, 1852. The Guardian chose as the commencement of the Holy Year — the celebration of the Anniversary of the "Year Nine" — the middle of October 1952. A veritable fever of anticipation swept over the believers East and West, now free in every part of the globe to give their hearts to unreserved rejoicing. Perhaps for the first time in their history the Bahá'ís had a throbbing sense of their true oneness as a world community. What had always been a matter of doctrine, taught and firmly believed in, was now sensed by every individual as a great and glorious reality. The plans for the future, set in motion by a series of dynamic messages from Shoghi Effendi, served to inflame this new awareness.

At the end of November 1951, in a cable addressing all National Assemblies of the Bahá'í world, Shoghi Effendi informed us that the long anticipated intercontinental stage in the administrative evolution of our Faith was now at hand. We had, he pointed out, passed through the phases of local, regional, national and international activity and were emerging, at such an auspicious moment, into a new kind of Bahá'í world, one in which we began to think in terms of the entire planet with its continents in relation to our teaching strategy. Shoghi Effendi took the Centenary — this great golden wheel in his tapestry — and

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fashioned in such a way that two entirely different things were made to react on each other and at the same time blend into each other in one great creative centre of force. One was the past, the commemoration of such soul-shaking events as the martyrdoms, the imprisonment of Bahá'u'lláh, His mystic experience of His own station in the Síyáh-Chál, His exile and all that these events signified for the progress of man in his journey towards his Creator; the other was the marshalling, this time of all the organized Bahá'í communities of the planet, in a vast Plan, the next step in the unfoldment of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan.

It was beginning to take shape in his mind long before its detailed provisions were released through the publication in 1952 of his pamphlet, The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1952, with its supplement "Ten Year International Teaching and Consolidation Plan", which was made public at the inception of the Holy Year. Previously he had requested different National Assemblies to provide him with the names of territories and major islands of the five continents where Bahá'í activity was in progress, thus supplementing his own exhaustive list, which included the countries mentioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, and which he had carefully compiled with the aid of atlases and works of reference.

The highlights of the Holy Year were four great Intercontinental Teaching Conferences which were announced in that same November 1951 cable and were to be held in four continents: the first in Africa, in Kampala, Uganda in the spring of 1953; the second in Chicago, in the United States during Ridván; the third in Stockholm, Sweden during the summer and the fourth in New Delhi, India in Autumn. The pattern of these great Conferences — which were announced the year before the new Plan itself was disclosed — became clear as the hour approached for them to take place. All Hands of the Cause were invited to attend as many of them as possible; to each one the Guardian would send as his own special representative one of the Hands "honoured direct association newly-initiated enterprises World Centre". In chronological order, these were Leroy Ioas, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Ugo Giachery and Mason Remey; these emissaries would fulfil a four-fold mission: they would bear a reproduction of a miniature portrait of the Báb to show to the friends gathered on such an historic occasion; they would deliver the Guardian's own message to the assembled attendants; they would elucidate the character and purposes of the Spiritual World Crusade; they would rally the participants to an energetic, sustained, enthusiastic prosecution of the colossal tasks that lay ahead.

Before going into more detail it would be well to recall that although, in his November 1951 message announcing these Conferences to be held during the Holy Year, Shoghi Effendi had given a faint hint of things to come when he stated they would initiate a new stage of intercontinental activity and would reflect a degree of Bahá'í solidarity of unprecedented scope and intensity, still, as far as the Bahá'í world knew, they were designed as great jubilee gatherings to commemorate the Year Nine, to to celebrate the end of the victorious second Seven Year Plan, and many regional ones as well. Indeed, only a week before the cable announcing those Conferences reached the Bahá'í world the Guardian had, in another message, still been referring to a "third Seven Year Plan" so that there was in 1951 no association in the minds of the Bahá'ís of the commencement of a new crusade with these festival gatherings. The extraordinary success the Bahá'ís were meeting with all over the world, the enthusiasm of National Assemblies such as America and Britain, who had been winning remarkable victories in Europe and in Africa respectively, swung the compass on a new course, a course that in reality started three years before the inauguration of the Ten Year Plan. So vast is the range covered by the provisions of this Plan, so numerous the communications from Shoghi Effendi on this subject — his lists, his announcements and his statistics, beginning in 1952 and carried on until his death in November 1957 — that to give more than a brief outline of them here is impossible. On the other hand this Crusade crowned his ministry and his life's work, was a source of deep happiness to him, and its unfolding victories a comfort to his often sad and over-burdened heart. Therefore it must be dealt with, however inadequately.

No words can better sum up the very essence of this supreme Plan conceived and organ-

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ized by him than his own definition of it: "Let there be no mistake. The avowed, the primary aim of this Spiritual Crusade is none other than the conquest of the citadel of men's hearts. The theatre of its operations is the entire planet. Its duration a whole decade. Its commencement synchronizes with the Centenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Mission. Its culmination will coincide with the Centenary of the Declaration of that same mission."

Although all believers were welcome to be present at the four great Conferences of the Holy Year, a special category was singled out and invited to attend by Shoghi Effendi, namely, representatives of those National Assemblies and communities who were intimately concerned with the work which was to go forward in each of the four continents. If we begin with the first Conference held in February, in Africa, and maybe what the most crucial phase of the entire Crusade involved there — the opening of new territories and the consolidation of the work in those already opened — we will get an idea of the shattering impact these historic gatherings had on Bahá'í history: 57 territories were to be the subject of concentrated teaching activities for which six national bodies would be responsible, namely, the National Spiritual Assemblies of the British, the American, the Persian, the Egyptian and Súdánese, the `Iráqí and the Indian, Pákistání and Burmese believers, who were to open 33 new territories and consolidate the work already begun in 24. The tasks allotted the whole Western Hemisphere community, through its four National Assemblies, those of the United States, Canada, Central America and South America, were equally staggering: 56 territories, 27 to be opened and 29 to be consolidated, involving such widely separated and difficult goals as the Yukon and Kewatin in the north and the Falkland Islands in the south. The Asian goals were even more formidable: 84 territories in all, 41 to be opened and 43 to be consolidated, ranging from countries in the Himalayas to dots in the Pacific Ocean; these were divided between the nine National Assemblies of Persia; India, Pákistán and Burma; `Iráq; Australia and New Zealand; the United States; Canada; Central America; South America and the British Isles. At the European Conference five National Assemblies received 52 territories as their share of the Plan, 30 to be opened and 22 to be consolidated. Seated amongst its elders, the National Assemblies of the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Germany and Austria, was the baby national body of the Bahá'í world — that of Italy and Switzerland, barely three months old — which was given by the Guardian territories all its own, 7 in number.

At these historic gatherings, more than 3,400 believers were present, representing, Shoghi Effendi announced, not only all the principal races of mankind, but more than 80 countries. Each of the Conferences had some special distinction of its own: the first, the African one, attended by no less than ten Hands of the Cause, friends from 19 countries and representatives of over 30 tribes and races, being particularly blessed by having over 100 of the new African believers present as the personal guests of the Guardian himself, a mark of consideration on his part that clearly showed his deep attachment to the new African Bahá'ís. Indeed, in his highly significant message to the first Conference of the Holy Year he was at pains to quote the words of Bahá'u'lláh Who had compared the coloured people to the "black pupil of the eye" through which "the light of the spirit shineth forth." Shoghi Effendi not only praised the African race, he praised the African continent, a continent that had "remained uncontaminated by the evils of a gross, a rampant and cancerous materialism undermining the fabric of human society alike in the East and the West, eating into the vitals of the conflicting peoples and races inhabiting the American, the European, and the Asiatic continents, and, alas, threatening to engulf in one common catastrophic convulsion the generality of mankind." Should such a warning, given at such an historic juncture in the fortunes of Africa, not be remembered more insistently by the band of Bahá'u'lláh's followers labouring there to establish a spiritually based World Order?

The second, "without doubt," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "the most distinguished of the four Intercontinental Teaching Conferences commemorating the Centenary of the inception of the Mission of Bahá'u'lláh" and marking the launching of that "epochal, global, spiritual decade-long Crusade", took place in the middle of the Holy Year and

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constituted the central feature of that year's celebrations and the highest point of its activities. This great all-America Conference was held in the heart of North America, in Chicago, the very city where sixty years before Bahá'u'lláh's name had first been mentioned in the Western World during a session of the World Parliament of Religions held in connection with the World's Columbian Exposition which opened on May 1, 1893. Its sessions were preceded by the consummation of a fifty-year-old enterprise — the dedication to public worship, on May 2nd, of the Mother Temple of the West, which was, Shoghi Effendi assured us, not only "the holiest House of Worship ever to be reared to the glory of the Most Great Name" but that no House of Worship would "ever possess the immeasurable potentialities with which it has been endowed" and that the "role it is destined to play in hastening the emergence of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh" could not as yet be fathomed.

The unveiling of the model of the future Bahá'í Temple to be erected on Mt. Carmel at the World Centre of the Faith was another event which Shoghi Effendi himself had planned to take place in conjunction with that Conference — a Conference which he said will "go down in history as the most momentous gathering held since the close of the Heroic Age of the Faith, and will be regarded as the most potent agency in paving the way for the launching of one of the most brilliant phases of the grandest crusade ever undertaken by the followers of Bahá'íh since the inception of His Faith . . ."

The lion's share of this new crusade in prosecution of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan had been given by Shoghi Effendi to those he so lovingly said were not only "ever ready to bear the brunt of responsibility" but were, indeed, that Plan's "appointed" and "chief trustees". They had performed in the past "unflagging and herculean labours", now, through their two national bodies, that of the United States and of Canada, in competition with ten other National Assemblies, each of which had received a goodly portion of goals, this Community would indeed have to struggle hard to maintain its lead and win the new victories expected of it. There were 131 virgin territories throughout the world to be opened to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in ten years and 118 territories already opened but still requiring a great deal of consolidation. Of these 249 places, most of them large, independent nations, the United States and Canada received 69, or 28 percent of the total; 48 new National Assemblies were to be formed before 1963, 36 of them by the United States alone. The first dependency ever to be erected in the vicinity of a Bahá'í Temple was likewise to be undertaken by this Community; in addition, it was to purchase two sites for future Houses of Worship, one in Toronto, Canada, and one in Panama City, Panama; translate and publish Bahá'í literature in 10 Western Hemisphere Indian languages, and achieve many other goals besides.

In the presence of the twelve Hands of the Cause attending this Conference — to which Bahá'ís from over 33 countries had come — well over 100 believers arose and offered themselves as pioneers to set in motion the accomplishment of the great tasks the Guardian had made so dazzlingly clear in his message.

The opening of the doors of the Mother Temple to public worship, the public meetings addressed by prominent Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís alike during the jubilee celebrations attracted thousands of people and received enthusiastic nation-wide publicity in the press, on television and over the radio. During the Holy Year the light of the Faith truly shone most brightly in the Great Republic of the West, the chosen cradle of its Administrative Order.


The third Intercontinental Bahá'í Teaching Conference, which convened in Stockholm during July, was honoured by having the largest attendance of Hands of the Cause of any of the others, fourteen being present, the five Persian Hands and one African Hand having just come from extensive travels in the Western Hemisphere, undertaken at the instruction of the Guardian, immediately following the launching of the Crusade in Chicago. It would not be inaccurate to characterize this third gathering as the "executive conference". Though numerically much smaller than the American one, circumstances permitted a hard core of the most dedicated and active National Assembly members, teachers, administrators and pioneers to be present from all over Europe, including 110 believers from the Ten Goal Countries. The

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attendants, from thirty countries, devoted themselves during six days not only to the solemn yet joyous capitulation of those events which had transpired a century before and which the Holy Year commemorated, but to a studious analysis of the work their beloved Guardian had entrusted to the three European National Assemblies and that of the United States, the only other national body involved in the European work being that of Canada, which had been given Iceland as a consolidation goal.

In his message on this historic occasion Shoghi Effendi recalled not only the history of the Bahá'í Faith in relation to Europe — "a continent which, in the course of the last two thousand years, has exercised on the destiny of the human race a pervasive influence unequalled by that of any other continent of the globe" — but the effect both Christianity and Islám had had upon the unfoldment of its fortunes. In recapitulating the advances made and victories won since the end of the last World War the Guardian pointed out that these had been largely due to "the dynamic impact of a series of national Plans preparatory to the launching of a World Spiritual Crusade". Those Plans had been the second Seven Year Plan, conducted by the North American believers, a Six Year Plan and a Two Year Plan launched by the British Bahá'ís, and a Five Year Plan prosecuted by the German and Austrian Bahá'í Communities. The result of these well-organized labours had been the establishment of local Assemblies in Eire, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in each of the capitals of the Ten Goal Countries, a large increase in the number of Assemblies, centres and believers throughout Europe, the election of yet another independent national body, and the acquisition of a national Bahá'í headquarters in Frankfurt. The hour was now ripe, Shoghi Effendi wrote, for them "to initiate befittingly and prosecute energetically the European campaign of a Global Crusade" which would not only broaden the foundations of the Faith in Europe but would "diffuse its light over the neighbouring islands" and would "God-willing, carry its radiance to the Eastern territories of that continent, and beyond them as far as the heart of Asia".

Words such as these fired the attendants to take immediate action and there were not only 63 offers from among those present to pioneer to European goals, but, what was much more unusual, various national bodies and committees, whose members were present in numbers, immediately took up these offers and before the Conference ended pioneers had been allocated to every goal given the European believers with the exception of those territories within the Soviet orbit. The thrilling objective of the erection of one of the two Bahá'í Temples called for in the original outline of the "Ten Year Teaching and Consolidation Plan" — the Mother Temple of Europe to be built in Germany — received substantial financial pledges, as did three other European projects involving large sums of money, namely, the purchase of the National Hazíratu'l-Quds of the British Bahá'ís and the sites for two future Bahá'í Temples, one in Stockholm and one in Rome. The convocation of such a Conference met with wide and favourable publicity and the public meeting held in conjunction with it attracted one of the largest audiences gathered under Bahá'í auspices that had yet been seen on the continent.

Twelve months after the beginning of the Holy Year, ushered in during mid-October 1952, the great Asian Intercontinental Teaching Conference took place in New Delhi, India. Though the logical place for such a gathering would have been Persia, or failing this, `Iráq, the temperature of the fanatical populations of these countries and the constant and unchanging animosity of the Muslim clergy made the choice of either place impossible. It was therefore highly befitting that the great sister country to the east — opened in the earliest days of Bahá'u'lláh's Ministry — should receive this honour. To it flocked hundreds of His followers from all over the world from places as far apart as Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, many countries in the Western Hemisphere, and particularly Persia, as well as all five Asiatic Hands, who had already attended, at the request of the Guardian, the African, American and European Conferences. There were also present six other Hands of the Cause from the Holy Land, Europe, America, Africa and Australia. In his message to this last of the great Teaching Conferences Shoghi Effendi, after greeting the attendants "with high hopes and a joyful heart", pointed out

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the unique circumstances and significance of the work in Asia: in this "world girdling crusade" the "triple Campaign, embracing the Asiatic mainland, the Australian Continent and the islands of the Pacific Ocean" might "well be regarded as the most extensive, the most arduous and the most momentous of all the Campaigns". Its scope was "unparalleled in the history of the Faith in the Eastern Hemisphere"; it was to take place in a continent on whose soil "more than a century ago, so much sacred blood was shed", a continent enjoying an unrivalled position in the Bahá'í world, a continent where the overwhelming majority of Bahá'u'lláh's followers resided, a continent that was "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 had successively risen; and within whose boundaries such holy places as the Qiblih of our Faith (Bahjí), the "Mother of the World" (Tihrán), and the "Cyncosure of an adoring world" (Baghdád) are embosomed. The Guardian ended his message with an expression of assurance as well as a sad foreboding of what might lie ahead: "May this Crusade, launched simultaneously on the Asiatic mainland, its neighbouring islands and the Antipodes . . . provide, as i {sic} 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 everlasting imprint on the fortunes of the peoples and nations dwelling within its borders."

No less enthusiasm for the tasks ahead — the most staggering of which was work in 84 territories, half of them virgin areas — filled the hearts of the Bahá'ís gathered in New Delhi than had characterized the reaction of their brothers and sisters attending the three previous Conferences.This enthusiasm was further heightened when a cable was received from the Guardian giving the glad-tidings that his own personal hope — expressed before the festivities of the Holy Year began — had been attained through the completion of the superstructure of the Báb's Holy Sepulchre. The Bahá'ís rallied strongly to meet their given goals: offers to pioneer were received from over 70 people, 25 of whom proceeded to their posts shortly after the Conference ended; funds were lavishly contributed towards the purchase of the three sites for future Bahá'í Temples — Baghdád, Sydney and Delhi, 9 acres of land for the latter being acquired before the Conference rose; substantial donations were received for that most precious and longed-for Temple to be erected in Bahá'u'lláh's native city, the capital of Persia, which was one of the two Temples originally scheduled to be built during the World Crusade; public meetings and a reception for over a thousand guests were held at which many important figures were present; India's President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, as well as her famous Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, received delegations from the Conference and the publicity was wide and friendly. At the end of the Conference Shoghi Effendi instructed the Hands attending it to disperse on trips lasting some months, himself providing both assistance and directions as to their itineraries.

In addition to what might be called his routine work, already consuming daily an alarming amount of his time, for over two years Shoghi Effendi not only worked on and fully elaborated the details of this global crusade but made the exhaustive plans necessary for these great jubilee celebrations and constantly directed the Hands of the Cause and the National Assemblies who were to implement their programnmes. One might have thought that a lull in his creative output would ensue, but such was not the case. Cables and letters streamed from him at the end of each of the Conferences like missiles towards targets. For four years he never let the white hot heat he had engendered wane. A typical example of this is the tone in which, immediately after the American Conference ended, when the bemused Bahá'í world had scarcely begun to recover from the first glorious revelation of the new Plan, he cabled the Persian National Assembly: "Announce friends no less 128 believers offered pioneer services during celebrations Wilmette including offer pioneer leper colony. Appeal friends not allow themselves surpassed western brethren. Hundreds must arise. Enumerated

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goals at home abroad must promptly be filled. Upon response progress protection victory entire community depends. Eagerly awaiting evidence action." Such oft-repeated appeals had such an effect on a community which had lived its entire existence in a wretched cage of prejudice and persecution that the Persian believers, seeing, unbelievably, a door open before them, began to pour forth to the four corners of the world in ever-swelling numbers; without their assistance, their strong financial support and their constant readiness to sacrifice, the Crusade could never have been won on the scale that marked its triumphal conclusion in 1963.

But let us return to the newly inaugurated fate-laden, soul-stirring, decade-long, world-embracing Spiritual Crusade . . ." with its four objectives: development of the institutions at the World Centre of the Faith; consolidation of the homefronts of the twelve territories serving as the administrative bases of the twelve Plans which were component parts of The Plan; consolidation of all the territories already opened to the Faith; opening of the remaining chief virgin territories of the planet. Although the administration of the Crusade had been entrusted to the twelve National Assemblies, nevertheless every single believer, irrespective of his race, nation, class, colour, age or sex, was to lend his particular assistance to the accomplishment this "gigantic enterprise". In a colourful passage of scintillating prose Shoghi Effendi lifted the curtain on the arena of the new Plan: Where? Why, everywhere — in the Arctic Circle, in the deserts, the jungles, the isles of the cold North Sea and the torrid climes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. To whom? Why, to all peoples — to the tribes of Africa, the Eskimos of Canada and Greenland, the Lapps of the far north, the Polynesians, the Australian aborigines, the red Indians of the Americas. Under what circumstances? Not only in the wilderness, but in the cities, "immersed in crass materialism", where people breathed the fetid air of "aggressive racialism", bound by the chains of "haughty intellectualism", surrounded by "blind and militant nationalism", immersed in "narrow and intolerant eccleasticism". What strongholds must Bahá'u'lláh's soldiers storm? The strongholds of Hinduism, the monasteries of Buddhism, the jungles of the Amazon, the mountains of Tibet, the steppes of Russia, the wastes of Siberia, the the interior of China, Mongolia, Japan, with their teeming multitudes — nor should they forget to sit with the leper and consort with the outcast in their penal colonies. "I direct my impassioned appeal", he wrote, "to obey, as befits His warriors, the summons of the Lord of Hosts and prepare for that Day of Days, when His victorious battalions will, to the accompaniment of hosannas from the invisible angels in the Abhá Kingdom, celebrate the hour of final victory."

It is clear that the Guardian envisaged this Ten Year undertaking as no more and no less than a battle, the battle of the "world-wide, loyal, unbreachable army" of " Bahá'u'lláh's warriors", His "army of light", against the entrenched battalions of darkness holding the globe. Its "Supreme Commander" was `Abdu'l-Bahá; behind Him stood His Father, the "King of Kings", His aid pledged "to every crusader battling for His Cause"."Invisible battalions" were mustered "rank upon rank, ready to pour forth reinforcements from on high". And so the little band of God's heroes assembled, ready to go forth and "emblazon on their shields the emblems of new victories", ready to implant the "earthly symbols of Bahá'u'lláh's unearthly sovereignty" in every country of the world, ready to lay the unassailable administrative foundation of His Christ-promised Kingdom of God upon earth.

Nine months after the opening of the Crusade the Guardian could announce that almost ninety territories had been opened, three-quarters of the total number, exclusive of those within the Soviet orbit, and in his Ridván Message of 1954 he was able to give the glad-tidings that they had reached 100. Having seized these 100 new prizes the army of Bahá'u'lláh was now engaged in depth. Shoghi Effendi, his mind more or less at rest about the progress of the front lines, immediately set about digging in. The second phase of the Plan, now opening, was primarily concerned with consolidation. In that same Message the Guardian listed 13 points which were to be concentrated upon during the coming two years: prosecution of the all-important teaching work; preservation of all prizes won; maintenance of all local

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Assemblies; multiplication of groups and centres — all to hasten the emergence of the 48 National Assemblies scheduled to be formed during the Crusade; purchase of Temple sites; initiation of special funds for purchase of the specified National Hazíratu'l-Quds; speedy fulfilment of various language tasks; acquisition of historic Bahá'í sites in Persia; measures for the erection of the Tihrán and Frankfurt Temples; establishment of the Wilmette Temple dependency; inauguration of national endowments; incorporation of local Assemblies; establishment of the new Publishing Trusts. He directed his "fervent plea" to accomplish such monumental labours as these to the 108 people constituting the 12 National Assemblies of the Bahá'í world, out of the teeming millions of human beings on the planet!

The miracle was that such an appeal, to what in the eyes of the sophisticated could not but appear to be pitifully weak instruments, should have had such an effect. All over the Bahá'í world the leaders and the rank and file redoubled their efforts and sweeping victories were won. In 1955 Shoghi Effendi informed the believers in his annual Ridván Message, which was his main instrument for conveying news of the progress of the Faith, that the Plan was "forging ahead, gaining momentum with every passing day, tearing down barriers in all climes and amidst divers peoples and races, widening irresistibly the scope of its beneficent operations, and revealing ever more compelling signs of its inherent strength as it marches towards the spiritual conquest of the entire planet."

It was during this second phase of the World Crusade that the Bahá'ís accomplished such feats as purchasing 10 of the 11 Temple sites enumerated as goals of their Ten Year Plan, at a cost of over $100,000, of acquiring 30 out of the 51 national endowments at an estimated $100,000, and of buying 43 of the 49 national Bahá'í headquarters, for over half-a-million dollars in various continents of the globe — the latter being a feat which Shoghi Effendi cryptically and significantly stated was "simply compensating for the seizure and occupation of the National Administrative Headquarters of the Faith and the demolition of its dome by the military authorities in the Persian capital."

There were many brilliant victories during these early years of the Crusade: the Síyáh-Chál, scene of the first intimation of Bahá'u'lláh's Prophetic Mission, was purchased; His banner was implanted in Islám's very heart through the establishment of a Spiritual Assembly in Mecca; the particularly welcome news reached the Guardian that there were Bahá'ís — remnants of the former communities in the Caucasus and Turkistán — in some of the Soviet states listed at the inception of the Crusade as unopened, but which now might be regarded as open, however faint and feeble the solitary candles burning there; 98 islands throughout the world now had Bahá'ís; work on the erection of the International Archives Building at the World Centre was begun.

It was in a period of victories such as these that Shoghi Effendi took the momentous decision to erect not two but three Houses of Worship during the Ten Year Plan. The significance given in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá to these Mashriqu'l-Adhkárs (dawning places of the mention of God) is very great: they are erected, Shoghi Effendi said, for "the worship of the one true God, and to the glory of His Manifestation for this Day." They are strongly linked to both the spiritual life of the individual and and the communal life of the believers.

At the inception of the Crusade the Guardian turned his attention to the problem of erecting the first Bahá'í Temple in Bahá'u'lláh's native land. He decided on a conservative concept, worked out with his personal approval in Haifa, and which he said, "incorporates a dome reminiscent of that of the Báb's Holy Sepulchre". Already the enthusiastic Persian believers had started a five year plan to raise twelve million tumans for its construction and the Guardian himself had had its design unveiled at the meeting in Bahjí on the first day of Ridván, 1953. It was a project to which Shoghi Effendi attached the greatest importance and the outlawing of all Bahá'í activity in Persia in 1955 came as a severe blow to him for he realized that the situation there, far from improving in the quarter of a century of his ministry, had again deteriorated to such a point that there was little hope of such a building being erected before the end of the Ten Year Plan. In spite of the fact that the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Europe — the second Temple of the Plan — could still be

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built, he immediately struck back at the enemies of the Faith through a cable sent in November 1955: "Historic decision arrived at raise Mother Temple Africa in City Kampala situated its heart and constituting supreme consolation masses oppressed valiant brethren cradle Faith. Every continent globe except Australasia will thereby pride itself on derive direct spiritual benefit its own Mashriqu'l-Adhkár. Befitting recognition will moreover have been accorded marvelous expansion Faith amazing multiplication administrative institutions throughout continent . . ." Thus the African believers received what he characterized as "the stupendous, the momentous and unique project of the construction of Africa's Mother Temple."

Whereas Tihrán was to have the third great Temple of the Bahá'í world and Germany the fourth, in reality the European one became third in priority and Africa the fourth. The design for the African Temple was made under Shoghi Effendi's supervision in Haifa and met with his full approval. The situation as regards the German one was different: he himself had chosen a design and sent it to the National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria, but there was already so much strong church-aroused opposition to the erection of a Bahá'í House of Worship that the National Assembly had informed him they felt the conservative nature of the design he had chosen would, in a land favouring at the moment extremely modern-style buildings, complicate its erection, as a building permit might be refused on this pretext. Shoghi Effendi therefore permitted them to hold a competition and of the designs sent him he favoured the one which was later built. Frankfurt was in the heart of Germany, Germany was in the heart of Europe. It was the logical place for the European Temple.

Still thoroughly aroused by the persecution of the main body of the faithful who resided in Bahá'u'lláh's native land, Shoghi Effendi quietly set a new plan in motion. He had chosen a third Temple design and instructed the National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Australia and New Zealand to make enquiries, confidentially, as to how much such a building would cost if erected in Sydney. When he received an estimate which felt would not add too heavily to the financial burden the Crusade was already carrying, he made his thrilling announcement, in his Ridván Message of 1957, of the launching of an "ambitious three-fold enterprise, designed to compensate for the disabilities suffered by the sorely-tried Community of the followers of His Faith in the land of His birth, aiming at the erection in localities as far apart as Frankfurt, Sydney and Kampala, of the Mother Temples of the European, the Australian and the African continents, at a cost of approximately one million dollars, complementing the Temples already constructed in the Asiatic and American continents." This announcement meant that the loss to the Persian believers of their first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár would be compensated for by the erection in the Pacific of what the Guardian called "The Mother Temple of the Antipodes. and indeed of the whole Pacific area" and the construction in the heart of the African continent of another House of Worship which he said was "destined to enormously influence the onward march of the Cause of God the world over, to consolidate to a marked degree the rising institutions of a divinely appointed Order and noise abroad its fame in every continent of the globe." The Guardian also announced in his Ridván Message that the designs for all three of these "monumental edifices, each designed to serve as a house for the indwelling Spirit of God and a tabernacle for the glorification of His appointed Messenger in this day" would be shown to "the assembled delegates at the thirteen historic Bahá'í National Conventions being held for the first time during this year's Ridván Festival."

It was during this second phase of the World Crusade that the American National Assembly purchased the land for its first Temple dependency. The Guardian had advised that Assembly that he did not consider a library — the first proposal — sufficiently demonstrative of the purpose and significance of the institution of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Bahá'í society and it was therefore decided to build a Home for the Aged. One of his last letters was to urge that Assembly to commence work on the Home, as it would impress on the public that one of the chief functions of our Faith is to serve humanity, regardless of creed, race or denomination, and be sure to attract attention and publicity.
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Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind.
`ABDU'L-BAHÁ
The Guardian had fused in the alembic of his creative mind all the elements of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh into one great indivisible whole; he had created an organized community of His followers which was the receptacle of His teachings, His laws, and His Administrative Order; the teachings of the Twin Manifestations of God and the Perfect Exemplar had been woven into a shining cloak that would clothe and protect man for a thousand years, a cloak on which the fingers of Shoghi Effendi had picked out the patterns, knitted the seams, fashioned the brilliant protective clasps of his interpretations of the Sacred Texts, never to be sundered, never to be torn away until that day when a new Law-giver comes into the world and once again wraps His creature man in yet another divine garment.

The Master's grandson had been sublimed by the forces released in His Testament into the Guardian of the Faith; belonging to the sovereign caste of his divine Forefathers, he was himself a sovereign. To the primacy conferred by ties of consanguinity had been added the powers of infallible guidance with which the operation of God's Covenant had invested him. Shoghi Effendi's divine and indefeasible right to assume the helm of the Cause of God had been fully vindicated through thirty-six years of unremitting, heartbreaking toil. It would be hard indeed to find a comparable figure in history who, in a little over a third of a century, set so many different operations in motion, who found the time to devote his attention to minute details on one hand and on the other to cover the range of an entire planet with his plans, his instructions, his guidance and his leadership. He had laid the foundations of that future society Bahá'u'lláh had fathered upon the mind of the Master, and which He in turn had gestated to a point of perfection, passing it upon His death into the safe hands of His successor.

Patiently, as a master jeweller works at his designs, picking out from his stock of gems some kingly stone, setting it amidst smaller but equally precious stones, so would Shoghi Effendi choose a theme from the Teachings, pluck it out, study it, polish its facets, and set it amidst his brilliant commentaries, where it would flash and catch our eye as never before when it had lain buried beneath a heap of other jewels. It would be no exaggeration to say that we Bahá'ís now live in a room entirely surrounded by these glorious, blazing motifs Shoghi Effendi created. It is as if he had caught the sunlight of this Revelation in a prism and enabled us to appreciate the number of colours and rays that make up the blinding light of Bahá'u'lláh's words.

Things we knew all our lives suddenly, startlingly, took on a new and added significance. We were challenged, rebuked, stimulated. We found ourselves arising to serve, to pioneer, to sacrifice. We grew under his aegis and the Faith grew with us into something vastly different from what had existed before. Let us take a few of these master jewels, these themes Shoghi Effendi set before us in such a brilliant manner. One day Bahá'u'lláh rested on Mt. Carmel. He pointed out a spot to `Abdu'l-Bahá and said buy this land and bring the body of the Báb and inter Him here.The Master brought the Precious Trust and placed it in the heart of the mountain and covered it with the building he erected with so many tears. The Guardian completed the sacred Edifice, and now the glorious Shrine of the Forerunner of the Faith rests in queenly splendour on Mt. Carmel, the cynosure of all eyes.

The Master sent a handful of precious Tablets, written during dark and dangerous days, to America after the war and a pleasant ceremony was held called the "unveiling of the Divine Plan" at which pairs of children and young people (myself included) pulled strings and one of the Tablets duly appeared on the draped background of the platform. `Abdu'l-Bahá had sent a king's ransom to the North American believers, who rejoiced but did not understand. Shoghi Effendi, never losing sight of this gleaming board that had been deposited on the other side of the world, set about working his way to it. It took him almost two decades, but at last, having painfully and feverishly erected the machinery of the Administrative Order, he was in a position to take up those jewels and set them. The North was conquered, the South was conquered, the East and the West alike began

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to glow and blaze in all their parts with the light of new Bahá'í centres and Assemblies, more than 4,200 throughout the world. Into the various territories of the globe — 251 in number — which Shoghi Effendi had ensured should either be awakened or reanimated by the breezes of the Divine Plan, he had spilled the river of the translations of the literature of the Faith in 230 languages. For twenty years, since he first set in motion the power `Abdu'l-Bahá had concealed in those Tablets, Shoghi Effendi never ceased to wave forward an army of pioneers, battalion after battalion marching forth to conquer at his bidding the whole planet and implant, wherever it conquered, the Banner of Bahá'u'lláh.

Grasping the hidden import of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet of Carmel the Guardian entombed the Greatest Holy Leaf near the Shrine of the Báb, brought her mother and brother to rest beside her, designated this spot as the heart of a world-wide administration, drew an arc above it on the mountain side which he associated with Bahá'u'lláh's words: "the seat of God's Throne", built the first of the great edifices that will rise about that arc, and in innumerable passages pointed out the picture of the progress that must pour out from this great spiritual hub to all the peoples and nations of the world, a progress based on the teachings of a Faith that is "essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that seeks to exalt any particular race, class or station"; a Faith whose "followers view mankind as one entity, and profoundly attached to its vital interests, will not hesitate to subordinate every particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the over-riding interests of the generality of mankind, knowing full well that in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole"; a Faith the embryo of which, Shoghi Effendi explained, had developed during the Heroic Age, whose child, the social Order contained in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh would grow during the Formative Age, whose adolescence would witness the establishment of the World Order, and whose maturity in the distant reaches of the Golden Age would flower in a world civilization, a global civilization without precedent, which would mark "the furthermost limits in the organization of human society", which would never decline, in which mankind would continue to progress indefinitely and ascend to ever greater heights of spiritual power.

He divided the events that had taken place, and were taking place in the Cause of God, into sections, relating each to the whole evolution of the Faith, creating a map in relief that enabled us to see at a glance where our present labours fitted in, how much the achievement of an immediate objective would pave the way for the next inevitable step we must take in our service to Bahá'u'lláh's Cause. The definitions and divisions he employed were not arbitrary, but implicit in the teachings and in the course of events transpiring within the Faith. The Prophetic Cycle — which began with Adam and culminated with Muhammed — in the school of whose Prophets man had been educated and prepared for the age of his maturity, had given way to the Cycle of Fulfilment, inaugurated by Bahá'u'lláh. The unity of the planet, which science had made possible, would enable, nay, oblige man to create a new society in which a world at peace would devote itself exclusively to the material and spiritual unfoldment of man. Because of the very greatness of this transformation Bahá'u'lláh's shadow would be cast over the planet for five thousand centuries, the first ten of which would be governed by the laws, ordinances, teachings and principles He had laid down.

This thousand-year-long Dispensation Shoghi Effendi divided into great Ages. The first, commencing with the Declaration of the Báb and ending with the ascension of the Master, lasted seventy-seven years and was styled by the Guardian the Apostolic or Heroic Age of the Faith because of the nature of the events that transpired within it and the blood-bath that had characterized its inception and swept away 20,000 souls, including the Báb Himself. This Age was divided into three epochs by the Guardian, associated with the Ministry of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá, respectively. The second Age, which Shoghi Effendi called the Formative Age, the Age of Transition, the Iron Age of the Faith, was that period during which its Administrative Order — the very hall-mark of this Age — must evolve, reach perfection

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and efflorescence into the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. The first epoch of this Age spanned the period from the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921 until the Centenary of the inception of the Faith in 1944 and the events immediately following upon it, and the second epoch was consummated by the termination of the World Crusade in 1963, coinciding with the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh. Although the Guardian never stated exactly how many epochs would characterize this Formative Age, he implied that others, equally vital, equally thrilling, would take place as the Faith steadily advanced towards what he called its Golden Age, which, on more than one occasion, he intimated would probably arise in the later centuries of the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh.

Shoghi Effendi said the Cause of God would pass from obscurity and persecution into the light of recognition as a world religion; it would achieve full emancipation from the shackles of the past, become a state religion and eventually the Bahá'í state itself would emerge, a new and unique creation in the world's religious history. When the Formative Age passed and man entered the Golden Age, he would have entered that Age foretold in the Bible in Habakkuk, 2:14: "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

The historic implementation of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan by Shoghi Effendi was likewise divided into epochs by him and these in turn subdivided into specific phases, a device that enabled the Bahá'ís to follow closely the course of their own activities and to concentrate on specific goals. The first epoch of the Divine Plan passed through three phases, the first Seven Year Plan, the second Seven Year Plan and the Ten Year Teaching and Consolidation Plan which we came to term the World Crusade. This Crusade itself Shoghi Effendi divided into a series of phases: the first of these lasted one year, 1953-1954; during it, Shoghi Effendi said, the vital objective of the Plan had been virtually attained through the addition of no less than 100 new countries enlisted under the Banner of Bahá'u'lláh; the second phase, from 1954-1956, was marked by a unique measure of consolidation as well as expansion, which not only paved the way for the election of the forty-eight new national bodies which was scheduled to take place before the Plan was consummated, but was characterized by unprecedented expenditures through the purchase of National Hazíratu'l-Quds and Temple sites as well as the formation of Bahá'í Publishing Trusts; "the third and what promises to be the most brilliant phase of a world spiritual Crusade" he wrote, would take place between 1956-1958, and was to be distinguished by an unparalleled multiplication of Bahá'í centres throughout the entire world as well as the formation of sixteen new National Assemblies. Before he passed away the Guardian indicated that the fourth phase of his mighty Plan, which would stretch from 1958 to 1963, must be distinguished not only by an unprecedented increase in the number of believers and centres all over the world but by progress in the erection of the three Temples which now formed part of the goals of the Ten Year Plan.

But for us, the end of this great leadership, that had given us such concepts as these, that had fulfilled in so brilliant a manner the work begun by `Abdu'l-Bahá, that had so worthily implemented not only His own instructions but the supreme guidance of the Manifestation of God Himself, was at hand. No one could know, no one could bear to know, that when the Bahá'í world received the message dated October 1957, it would be the last message of Shoghi Effendi. It was a happy and victorious message, full of hope, full of new plans, a last precious gift from the man who as he wrote it was in reality laying down his pen and turning away his face from the world and its sorrows for all time. Soon, Shoghi Effendi informed us, the Global Spiritual Crusade would reach its midway point. That point was to be marked by the convocation of a series of five Intercontinental Conferences to be held in January, March, May, July and September of 1958, in Africa, the Antipodes, America, Europe and Asia, respectively. Following a pattern similar to the one he employed at the time of the convocation of the first four Intercontinental Conferences held during the Holy Year at the inception of the Crusade, Shoghi Effendi specified the five bodies under whose auspices these great gatherings would be held and whose chairmen would act as convenors. The Central and East African Regional Assembly was

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made responsible for the first Conference (surely it is not by chance that Africa, twice in a period of five years, led the way in the series by holding the first Conference?); the National Assembly of Australia for the second; the National Assembly of the United States for the third; the National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria for the fourth; and the Regional Assembly of South-East Asia the final one. "They are to be convened", Shoghi Effendi wrote, ". . . for the five-fold purpose of offering humble thanksgiving to the Divine Author of our Faith, Who has graciously enabled His followers, during a period of deepening anxiety and amidst the confusion and uncertainties of a critical phase in the fortunes of mankind, to prosecute uninterruptedly the Ten Year Plan formulated for the execution of the Grand Design conceived by `Abdu'l-Bahá; of reviewing and celebrating the series of signal victories won so rapidly in the course of each of the campaigns of this world-encircling Crusade; of deliberating on ways and means that will ensure its triumphant consummation; and of lending simultaneously a powerful impetus, the world over, to the vital process of individual conversion — the pre-eminent purpose underlying the Plan in all its ramifications — and to the construction and completion of the three Mother Temples to be built in the European, the African, and Australian continents."

Shoghi Effendi informed us that, "The phenomenal advances made since the inception of this globe-girdling Crusade, in the brief space of less than five years, eclipse . . . in both the number and quality of the feats achieved by its prosecutors, any previous collective enterprise undertaken . . . since the close of . . . the Heroic Age . . ." With evident joy, he recapitulated these feats and enumerated the victories won, characterizing them as "so marvellous a progress, embracing so vast a field, achieved in so short a time, by so small a band of heroic souls".

It was in this message that the Guardian appointed his last contingent of Hands of the Cause God — eight more individuals to join this "august institution" — thus raising the total number of "high-ranking officers of a fast evolving World Administrative Order" to twenty-seven, an act which, in view of their recent assumption "of their sacred responsibility as protectors of the Faith", called for the formation of another Auxiliary Board, equal to the previous one in number, which would be "charged with the specific duty of watching over the security of the Faith". The five Hands who had been chosen by Shoghi Effendi to work at the World Centre were to attend these five Intercontinental Conferences as his special representatives. Two of them would place in the foundations of the Mother Temples being built in Kampala and Sydney "a portion of the blessed earth from the inmost Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh"; another portion of the sacred soil would be delivered in Frankfurt to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria, pending the time when it could be placed in the foundations of the first European Mashriqu'l-Adhkár. A reproduction of the portrait of Bahá'u'lláh and a lock of His precious hair would not only be shown to the attendants at the European, Australian and African Conferences, but deposited with the national bodies in those areas as these great Houses of Worship were being erected, as a permanent and loving gift of their Guardian. The Guardian would send with the Hand who was to attend the Conference in Asia another reproduction of the portrait of Bahá'u'lláh for the assembled believers to view, but this was to be brought back for safe keeping to the Holy Land. At the Conference to be convened in Chicago Shoghi Effendi's representative would exhibit to the believers the portraits of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb which he had previously entrusted to the care of the American National Assembly. These were the final gestures of love Shoghi Effendi was able to shower on the believers, that host of the faithful over whom he had watched, who had followed him so willingly, for so many history-making years.

When thousands of Bahá'ís from innumerable lands gathered during 1958, in fulfilment of Shoghi Effendi's plan and wish, at these five great Intercontinental Conferences, it was not only with awe tat they gazed on the sacred portrait of the Founder of their Faith, but with grief-filled hearts and tear-filled eyes. Why had He, before Whose glory they bowed themselves, Whose teachings they had espoused, into the depths of Whose deep and all-knowing eyes they were now gazing, seen fit to remove His scion from their midst? They not only cried out for their Guardian,

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they asked where was the Guardianship itself? It was the supreme test of faith; God had given, and God had taken back, and "He doth what He pleaseth. He chooseth; and none may question His choice." When the Báb was martyred Bahá'u'lláh had remained; when Bahá'u'lláh ascended `Abdu'l-Bahá had remained; when `Abdu'l-Bahá passed away Shoghi Effendi had remained. But now it was as if a procession of kings — albeit each different, vastly different in station from the other — had gone into a room of their own and closed the door. We Bahá'ís looked at the door and wept asking, like children whose parents have been killed in an earthquake and disappeared, why had it been closed?

Perhaps at no point in its history will the deepness of the root of belief that binds the Bahá'ís to their religion be again laid as bare as it was in the year after the passing of Shoghi Effendi. They bowed their heads in the agony of the grief that swept them, but they held. Had not the Guardian provided these five great rallying points at which the believers could come together in such large numbers, console each other and receive guidance from the Hands of the Cause who had arisen to complete the Guardian's Plan and ensure the election of the divinely-guided Universal House of Justice. It is hard to imagine how greatly affected the body of the Faith might have been by the sudden and totally unexpected death of its beloved Head. The fact that the friends were actively engaged in a Plan, the fact that the attention of the Bahá'í world was now focused on its midway point, the fact that at these Conferences five specific themes were to be given special attention, and the fact that they repeatedly received messages of love, faith and encouragement from the Hands of the Cause — all exerted a binding and unifying influence upon the Bahá'ís of the world. The very calamity itself brought to their hearts, cleansed by the rushing freshets of their grief, a new fortitude and called forth a deeper love. They were not going to fail Shoghi Effendi. He had told them to consider ways and means of ensuring the triumphal conclusion of the Plan — very well, they would do so, they would see it crowned befittingly in 1963 with a success that would have thrilled his heart and brought from his pen one of those rushes of praise and gratitude so dearly prized by them.

No testimony to the truth and strength of the Cause could have been greater than the triumphal conclusion of the Guardian's World Crusade which the believers achieved. It had been a hard, an overwhelming task to begin with. That the Bahá'ís achieved it, that for over five years they worked and sacrificed to a greater degree than ever before in their history without his leadership, without those appeals, those reports, those marvellous word-pictures he painted for them in his languages, without the knowledge that he was there at the helm, their so dearly-loved captain steering them to victory and safety, is little short of a miracle and testifies not only to how well he builded, but to those words of the Master: "there is a mysterious power in this Cause, far far above the ken of men and angels."

Life and death are so closely allied that they are the two halves of one heartbeat and yet death never seems very real to us in the normal course of events — who therefore awaited Shoghi Effendi's death! He had been in very good health that last summer, better than for a long time, a fact that he not only mentioned himself but which his doctor commented upon at the time he examined him some weeks prior to his passing. No one dreamed that the time clock inside that heart was reaching the end of its allotted span. Many times people have asked me if I did not notice indications that the end was near. My answer is a hesitant no. If a terrible storm comes suddenly into the midst of a perfect day one can later imagine one saw straws floating by on the wind and pretend they had been portents. I do remember a very few things that might have been significant, but certainly they meant nothing to me at the time. I could never have survived the slightest foreknowledge of the Guardian's death, and only survived it in the end because I could not abandon him and his precious work, which had killed him long before any one believed his life would end.

One of the goals of the Ten Year Plan associated with the World Centre, a goal the Guardian had allotted to himself, was what he termed the "codification of the laws and ordinances of the Litán-i-Aqdas, the Mother Book of the Bahá'í Revelation." Any work involving a book of this magnitude, which Shoghi Effendi had stated was, together with

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the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, "the chief depository wherein are enshrined those priceless elements of that Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Bahá'í Faith", would certainly be unsuitable for any one but the Head of the Faith to undertake. Shoghi Effendi worked on this for about three weeks or so in the spring of 1957 prior to his departure from Haifa. As I often sat in the room with him while he worked, reading out loud and making notes, I realized from what he told me that he was not planning at that time a legal codification of the provisions in the Aqdas but rather a compilation, placing subject with subject, which would enable the Bahá'ís to comprehend the nature of the laws and ordinances given by Bahá'u'lláh to His followers. It was at this time that Shoghi Effendi remarked more than once that he did not feel he could ever finish this task he had undertaken. I attached no particular importance to this, as he sometimes fretted under the terrible load of his ever-increasing work, and attributed it to his great fatigue at the end of the long, exhausting, unbroken stretch of labour he had passed through during his months at home. After his death I remembered and wondered.

That last summer he went back to visit many of his favourite scenes in the mountains and I wondered about this too, when the blow fell, but at the time I was only happy to see him happy, forgetting, for a few fleeting moments, the burdens and sorrows of his life. In 1958 his grave was built of the same dazzling white Carrara marble he had himself chosen for the monuments of his illustrious relatives in Haifa, a simple grave as he would have wished it to be. A single marble column, crowned by a Corinthian capital is surmounted by a globe, the map of Africa facing forward — for had not the victories won in Africa brought him the greatest joy during that last year of his life? — and on this globe is a large gilded bronze eagle, a reproduction of a beautiful Japanese sculpture of an eagle which he greatly admired and which he had placed in his own room. No better emblem than this symbol of victory could be found for the resting-place of him who had won so many victories as he led the hosts of Bahá'u'lláh's followers on their ceaseless conquests throughout the five continents of the world. Having, with adamantine fortitude in the face of every trial, accomplished "the toilsome task of fixing the pattern, of laying the foundations, of erecting the machinery, and of setting in operation the Administrative Order" to use the Guardian's own words; having effected the world-wide spread and establishment of the Cause of God through the implementation of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan; having, through that rare spirit of his so admirably compounded of audacity and sobriety, guided the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh to heights it had never before reached; having carried the work of his Lord entrusted to him as far forward as his failing strength would permit; bearing the scars of innumerable personal attacks made upon him during the course of his ministry, Shoghi Effendi departed from the scene of his labours. The man had been "called by sorrow and a strange desolation of hopes into quietness". The Guardian, he who was named in the Master's Will the "primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree ", and who, through the provisions of that Will, had been so firmly planted in the soil of the believers' hearts after `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing, remained forever, and well indeed will it be with "him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind."

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Picture with the caption:
The eagle surmounting Shoghi Effendi's grave.


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IV

THE PASSING OF SHOGHI EFFENDI


By AMATU'L-BAHÁ RÚHÍYYIH KHÁNUM


ALLthose who were privileged to know the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi from the time of his childhood until his passing remember him as being incarnate with life; a dynamic, almost electric force seemed to radiate from him. He was always busy, restless, driving on to whatever goal he had set before his eyes. He was intense in all aspects of his nature: his phenomenal powers of concentration, his deep feelings of passionate attachment to `Abdu'l-Bahá, his burning conscientiousness in carrying out his duties to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh as its appointed Guardian — these were all facets of the same wonderful nature which God endowed with those special qualities He wished to be uppermost in the one who was firmly to lay the administrative foundations of His Faith all over the world, and to plant the first ensigns of its victory in the four corners of the earth.

That the Cause of God has reached the point where it stands today is due to the self-sacrificing, constant, unsparing, truly herculean labours of its Guardian. That his heart should have stopped, with no warning, at the early age of sixty-one, is not so much due to his ceaseless, tireless work, but to the sorrows and afflictions which he endured, for the most part in reserved silence, from the stirrers-up of dissension and the Covenant-breakers, old and new. The early pilgrims, after the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá, remember standing at Shoghi Effendi's bedside, where he had called them to say goodbye, and looking at his face, so full of sorrow and despair, his eyes deep-sunken and heavily shadowed, and hearing him say he was going away, that it was too much for him, he could not bear it. He left the Holy Land, fought his inner battle, returned, took the helm of this Blessed Barque and steered it for over one-third of a century through every storm and shoal. But the valiant heart and frail body were receiving blows which left their mark, and in the end took their toll.

The friends of God are well aware of the achievements of their beloved Guardian; what they do not realize fully is that by doing so many things personalty over a period of so many years, he, and he alone, made it possible for the big victories to take place. The fact that he did every single thing himself saved the Cause tremendous sums of money; with what he thus saved he was able to go on and commence a new enterprise. For thirty-six years he held in his hands,with power of decision vested solely in him, the funds of the Faith at its World centre; no expenditures were authorized, no bills were paid that had not been submitted to him. From the beginning of his ministry until about 1940, he saw in person the engineers, the architects, the lawyers, who were carrying out his instructions, as well as many high government officials; it was he who negotiated with them, supervised their work, kept down expenses with an ingenuity and insight truly inspired by God; it was he who instructed where every step should be built, the height of every wall, the spans between every planted tree, the diameter of every flower bed — even the colours of the flowers. It was Shoghi Effendi who, entirely aside from the glorious spiritual leadership manifested in his letters, his books, and his words to the pilgrims, so harboured the financial resources of the Faith that in his lifetime the Temple in Chicago, the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel, and the International Archives Building could be completed, as well as the extensive endowments of the Faith acquired in Haifa and `Akká; he made the plans and paved the way for the Temples now being built; he was responsible for the purchase of the Temple sites, the National Hazíratu'l-Quds and endowments, as well as many other things

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
Chapel in the cemetery where the funeral service for Shoghi Effendi
took place on November 9, 1957.


during these last five years; all these accomplishments were made possible by his vigilance and wisdom.

As the Faith grew and the years went by, the beloved Guardian received more able support from believers of capacity, serving him in the Holy Land and abroad, but his personal supervision of expenses, his personal decision as to what was befitting for the Bahá'í Holy Places at the World Centre, was never laid aside. He delegated to others interviews and negotiations locally, but the management, the ordering of objects and furniture for the Gardens and Holy Places, the arrangement of these, the designs and plans for extending them, he kept solely in his own hands, practising the same economy and showing the same genius as had characterized all his other services to the Faith entrusted to him by the Master in His Will.

On October 20th, 1957, the beloved Guardian arrived in London, accompanied by Rúhíyyih Khánum, for the purpose of ordering some furniture and objects for for the interior of the International Archives Building and the Gardens above it. He chose London because it is an international centre where objects from every country can be found at much cheaper prices than probably in any other one city of the world. He planned to remain a few days and then proceed to Haifa. As was the invariable custom of the beloved Guardian during his absence from Haifa, no contact was made with any Bahá'í. Rúhíyyih Khánum attended to his mail and carried out his orders as she always did.

On Sunday afternoon, October 27th, Shoghi Effendi told Rúhíyyih Khánum that he had a pain across his knuckles in both hands; she asked him if he had any other pains, and he said no, that just his fingers pained him and were stiff. He added: "I feel so tired, so tired." She begged him to rest, saying that if he did not wish to go to bed, at least he should rest quietly because the possibility was that he was getting the influenza which was sweeping through Europe and indeed all over the world. (She herself had been in bed with fever since Thursday night.) That night he had a fever and by the following

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day his temperature had risen to thirty-nine degrees.1 Rúhíyyih Khánum succeeded in finding an excellent doctor who had taken over the practice of a well-known Harley Street physician who had retired. This doctor was contacted and immediately prescribed medicine for the beloved Guardian, and came to see him early in the evening when he was able to get away from his hospital. He examined his patient very carefully; heart, chest, temperature, pulse, etc., and said that he considered that both the Guardian and Rúhíyyih Khánum had cases of Asiatic influenza, the beloved Guardian's case being the more severe.

The constant stress of work, sorrows and anxieties to which Shoghi Effendi had been subjected had brought about a condition of high blood-pressure, which he had for a number of years; he mentioned this himself sometimes to members of the International Bahá'í Council, but he was so strong and healthy, had such tremendous powers of endurance and vitality, that it was difficult to persuade him to devote time to caring for himself. However, for the past ten years he had been under the supervision of an excellent doctor, who saw him at least twice a year, and he had consented to rake some special cures which were good for his general health and calculated to reduce his blood-pressure. His doctor often urged him not to overdo things when he returned to Haifa, to get more exercise and more rest. But the doctor could not visualize the Guardian's life in Haifa, the nature of his responsibility; could not know that he had to read letters, reports, journals, and so on for between three to eight hours a day, just to keep abreast of his work; that he spent about four hours most afternoons and evenings, after being up and busy from early morning, giving out what strength he had left to the pilgrims, eastern and western; that he stood sometimes for hours, in all weathers, directing the work he had planned on Mount Carmel or at Bahjí; that when he was deeply distressed by some situation he would not feel able to eat and would lose much weight in a few days. About six weeks before the Guardian passed away, he was examined by this doctor who found him in good health and his blood-pressure lower than in years. The doctor who took care of him in London likewise examined his blood-pressure and found it satisfactory and not high.

During the week of the beloved Guardian's illness — and indeed a number of times during the weeks before his illness — he complained that he had no appetite. He said: "I don't know what has happened to me. I have completely lost my appetite. I don't eat for twenty-four hours, but I still have absolutely no appetite whatever. It is now weeks that I have been like this. The same thing is happening to me that happened to Bahá'u'lláh when He lost His appetite after the death of Navváb."

On Tuesday, Rúhíyyih Khánum had recovered sufficiently for the doctor to allow her to go out on an important errand. As she had bronchitis following the `flu, he would check on her condition when he had finished his visit to the beloved Guardian, and in this way she was able to find out from him exactly how he felt Shoghi Effendi was progressing. This same day a very heavy mail had been received, and as Shoghi Effendi's temperature was still high she persuaded him not to look at it; but the next morning he called for his mail and insisted on going over it personally, as he always did. A great many cables were received and answered by the beloved Guardian during the last week of his life. He said to Rúhíyyih Khánum toward the end of the week: "Do you realize that we have done nothing but work this week?"

He was anxious to leave London and carry out his original plan of returning to Haifa; however, the doctor was very severe on this point and told him frankly that he was quite free to call in another doctor if he wished to, but that as long as he was taking care of him he could not give his consent to his departure until a week after his temperature had fallen. The Guardian accepted this.

The doctor was very careful of the beloved Guardian. When he came every day, instead of being in a hurry like some doctors, he would sit with the Guardian, examine him thoroughly, and stay usually a half-hour, and one evening he remained an hour to chat with his patient. He invariably found him sitting in bed reading, surrounded by papers, his brief case beside him, and one evening he asked Rúhíyyih Khánum, privately, what

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Two Pictures:

Caption of the Picture at the Top of the Page:
Hearse arriving at the chapel, followed by the car of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum,
accompanied by Amelia Collins.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
The coffin carrying the remains of the beloved Guardian is carried into the chapel.


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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:

Bahá'ís enter the chapel for the funeral service.


was the Guardian's work? She replied that he was a religious leader and had many responsibilities. The doctor obviously liked his patient, and after he had been coming for three or four days, told Rúhíyyih Khánum, after leaving the beloved Guardian's room, that "he was smiling tonight"; that beautiful smile had affected him too. The doctor told the Guardian that on Friday he could get up and sit in his arm-chair as a change from bed, and in order to get his strength back; but Shoghi Effendi did not want to do this, and he continued his work sitting in bed and resting every now and then. However, all during his illness, the Guardian had gotten up to wash, to get papers from his desk and so on. There was no time when he was too weak or ill to get out of bed, not even the days when he had high fever.

On Saturday morning, the beloved Guardian told Rúhíyyih Khánum that he wanted a large table placed in his room, big enough so that he could lay on it the map of the world on which he had been working. He had prepared one of those beautiful maps he used to make showing the progress of the work, and this one he called The Half-Way Point of the Ten-Year Crusade, in other words, the progress made, and the victories won, during five years.He had already worked a great deal on this map; indeed it seems a strange coincidence that the first time and the last time he worked on it should both have been occasions on which he was ill, symbolic of the great sacrifice of his life and strength that went into the conception and prosecution of the World Crusade. About two months before he passed away, the beloved Guardian had had a cold, with a temperature the first night; the next day he had no fever, but it was understood he would remain in bed and rest. It was that day he worked on this map for the first time, for about ten hours, and it was on Saturday, November 2nd, that he worked on it for the last time. He told Rúhíyyih Khánum that he wanted her to check over carefully with him the figures and said that except for adding a few extra details and making sure that what was on the map agreed with his various lists, the work was finished. She remonstrated with him and begged him not to work, saying that in a few days he would be stronger and could then complete it, but he said: "No, I must finish it; it is worrying me. There is nothing left to do but check it. I have one or two names to add

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Two Pictures:

Caption of the Picture at the Top of the Page:
A hushed and sorrowing throng filled the chapel to over-flowing.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
One of the believers reading from the Sacred Writings. The coffin of Shoghi Effendi was
placed in front of the bank of flowers shown on the right.


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that I have found in this mail, and I will finish it to-day." In the early afternoon he stood in front of the table and worked for about three hours. The table was strewn with pencils and files of papers which constituted the Guardian's lists of languages, tribes, countries, Temples, Hazíratu'l-Quds, work completed, work being carried out, and a tremendous amount of data. At one time, while Rúhíyyih Khánum was checking over with him the various lists and totals, he said to her, as he had said many, many times during the last year: "This work is killing me! How can I go on with this? I shall have to stop it. It is too much. Look at the number of places I have to write down. Look how exact I have to be!"

The beloved Guardian looked tired after working on his map that day. He went back to bed and continued reading the many reports he had received. He had only had a mouthful to eat at lunch-time, and he refused to eat any dinner at all. That evening he spoke with great depression. He had made many plans for his winter's work in Haifa, and many times he discussed those with Rúhíyyih Khánum, outlining to her some of the work he was going to do on Mount Carmel in the gardens above the Archives, how he was going to finish the International Archives Building itself with the things that had been ordered, and that upon his arrival his first act would be to go over to Bahjí and himself give instructions for the demolition of the buildings inhabited for so many years by the Arch-breakers of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant who had caused the beloved Master so much sorrow. He talked about the disposition he he intended to make of the stones and rubble of these houses and his ideas for extending the Garden at Bahjí. Many times during the past months he had spoken with enthusiasm of these plans he was going to carry out, but this evening he said to her: "Who is going to go back and do all these things? I hove no strength left. I am like a broken reed. I can't do anything more. I have no spirit left to do anything more. Now we will be going back — who is going to go up that mountain and make all those plans and stand for hours and supervise the work? I can't do it. And I am not going to do anything about the houses in Bahjí. Let them stay like that until I see how I feel. And I am not going to furnish the inside of the Archives this winter. It can wait another year, until everything that is needed to furnish it is collected. I shall just see the pilgrims and stay in my bed and rest and do the few things that I have to do. I am not even going to take the telegrams back from Jessie and make copies of them and keep all the receipts the way I have done all these years. She did this in the summer, she can go on doing it in the winter. I am too tired." He was very, very sad and depressed, and spoke words such as these for a long time. It was not the first time that Rúhíyyih Khánum had heard him speak in this vein, but it was with far greater intensity and in more specific detail than she had ever heard before, and it distressed her very deeply.

That evening when the doctor came he was satisfied with the Guardian's condition and said he could certainly leave on Tuesday morning. He told him he could go ou {sic} if he wanted to and get some fresh air. He also told the Guardian that he had heard over the radio that well over two hundred people had died of influenza during the week, and they discussed this a little together. When the doctor left that night, after staying quite a while, the Guardian said: "I like him very much. He is a fine man, and a good doctor."

The next day the Guardian appended a few lines to all the English letters that had been written for him, and went over other matters reguarding his work, dictating to Rúhíyyih Khánum some instructions to be mailed, and telling her to write two other letters herself that afternoon. He did not wish to get up, preferring to remain in his room, mostly reading his papers in bed, or attending to things on his desk. He later read over the letters that she had written and appended something to one of them. In one of the reports, he read something that caused him intense indignation, and he spoke to her about it. He had also been upset during these past few days by some news given him concerning the activities of some of the Covenant-breakers, and referred to it more than once. Such things always distressed him.

As Sunday was the doctor's day of rest, the Guardian had said the day before that he did not think it was necessary for him to come; however, the doctor telephoned that evening to inquire how Shoghi Effendi was and expressed his willingness to come if he was needed. Rúhíyyih Khánum, who was speaking

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
The coffin being borne from the chapel.


on the telephone beside the Guardian's bed, conveyed this message to him. But he said he felt better, and that there was no need for the doctor to come. It was then agreed that he would make his last call the following afternoon. Rúhíyyih Khánum sat in the room with the Guardian and they talked for a while about everyday things. At half-past nine she asked him if he would not like to go to sleep, as she was sure he was tired. He asked her: "What time is it?" and she said, "Nine-thirty". He said: "It is too early to go to sleep now; if I go to sleep now I shall wake up early and then I won't be able to go to sleep again. Stay a little while longer and talk." At about ten o'clock she again asked him if he did not wish to go to sleep, and he said yes. She did the last few things to make him comfortable before retiring, and after saying goodnight, left the room, asking him before she went to be sure to call her in the night if he needed anything.

Both Saturday and Sunday nights Rúhíyyih Khánum did not sleep well, lying awake in the middle of the night for long hours. It would not be correct to say that she had the slightest premonition of what was to come, but she did not sleep well, and her heart was heavy and sad.

On the morning of Monday, November 4th, she went to the door of the Guardian's room, knocked gently, and when she received no answer, entered the room. The curtains were drawn over the windows and the room was in twilight. She saw the beloved Guardian lying on his left side facing her, with his left hand folded over towards his right shoulder and his right arm over his left one, in a most relaxed and comfortable position. His eyes were three-quarters open and she thought he was drowsy — in that state when people wake up and lie comfortably beginning to think of their day's work. She asked him how he had slept, and if he felt better. When he neither moved nor replied, and he seemed unnaturally still, a wave of agonizing terror swept over her; she leaned over him and seized his hand. He was ice-cold and absolutely rigid; as the window was not open and the room was very warm, he must have ascended several hours earlier. In spite of her own condition, within two minutes she had

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
Entrance to the Great Northern London Cemetery in Barnet where the Guardian of the
Bahá'í Faith is buried.


reached his doctor by phone at the hospital, and told him that she was afraid that his patient had passed away, and begged him to come instantly, in case there was something that could still be done. The doctor arrived shortly. In order to calm Rúhíyyih Khánum he gave heart injections to the beloved Guardian and massaged his heart, but of course it was absolutely useless. A few minutes later a second physician arrived and confirmed that there was nothing to be done. The diagnosis was "Death caused by coronary thrombosis". Nothing in the world could have saved the beloved Guardian's life. If the best physicians had been standing beside him, they could not have prevented his passing away from the clot of blood that suddenly entered into one of the heart-vessels.

The beloved friends, heart-broken, desolate and orphaned as they are, must be grateful that this Shoghi Effendi of ours, this sacred and so-dearly-loved Trust left us by `Abdu'l-Bahá, passed away with no illness or pain; indeed it was clear from his position and the expression in his eyes that he had not even had a spasm. His eyes bore no look of surprise, although they were open. They say such deaths are reserved for the just.

It devolved upon Rúhíyyih Khánum, half-mad herself with grief, to think of a way of conveying this terrible and agonizing news to the Bahá'ís. She thought of the two British Hands of the Cause, so recently elevated to this high rank in the last Message from the beloved Guardian. She first turned to Hasan Balyuzi, an Afnán cousin of his. Within about an hour he was able to join her and he telephoned John Ferraby, enjoining him to silence and telling him to come quickly. A telephone call was then put through to the Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery in Rome, and he said he would take the next plane for London. He arrived that same night about eight o'clock. Another call was put in for the Hand of the Cause Leroy Ioas in Haifa, and he was reached late in the afternoon. Already, earlier in the afternoon, Rúhíyyih Khánum had cabled the following message to Haifa, "Beloved Guardian desperately ill Asiatic flu tell Leroy inform all National Assemblies inform all believers supplicate prayers divine protection Faith." She could not bear to deal

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the naked blow to the hearts of the Bahá'ís which she herself had received and had been forced to inflict on three of the Hands, so she sent the above message, in the hope of preparing the Guardian's lovers, the ill, the old, and the feeble, to receive the full news. In spite of this effort to protect the friends from the full shock of this cataclysm that had overtaken them, her first cable did not reach Haifa before her telephone message, and the news reached many Bahá'ís in different parts of the world over the radio. A second cable was sent later in the day to Haifa with the request that it be cabled to all National Assemblies, as she felt that the announcement of his passing could go out officially from the World Centre of the Faith. The text was as follows:

SHOGHI EFFENDI BELOVED OF ALL HEARTS SACRED TRUST GIVEN BELIEVERS BY MASTER PASSED AWAY SUDDEN HEART ATTACK IN SLEEP FOLLOWING ASIATIC FLU STOP URGE BELIEVERS REMAIN STEADFAST CLING INSTITUTION HANDS LOVINGLY REARED RECENTLY REINFORCED EMPHASIZED BY BELOVED GUARDIAN STOP ONLY ONENESS HEART ONENESS PURPOSE CAN BEFITTINGLY TESTIFY LOYALTY ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES BELIEVERS DEPARTED GUARDIAN WHO SACRIFICED HIMSELF UTTERLY FOR SERVICE FAITH.
RÚHÍYYIH
The customs in the West are different from the customs in the East, and the ascension of the blessed Guardian in such a vast city as London posed many problems. Very careful instructions were given to the undertaker by Rúhíyyih Khánum, explaining that in our religion we have no embalmment, that no injections of any kind to preserve the body must be given, and that nobody must be allowed to wash it, as provision would be made for this by us according to our Faith. He fully understood this, as London is a great world metropolis, where people of many religious customs live and die. The friends must bear in mind that in all the arrangements made after the passing of the beloved Guardian, the Laws of the Aqdas, which he himself had so repeatedly stressed and constantly upheld, had to be obeyed. The size of London, and the fact that the only suitable burial grounds lie in its outskirts, had to be constantly remembered, so that no mistake would be made in transporting his precious remains more than an hour's journey. It was the longing of the four Hands, who from the very day of his ascension became responsible for all the pressing matters that had to be attended to in such a short space of time, to have him transported to the National Hazíratu'l-Quds where the friends could gather and pray, until the funeral took place. Investigation, however, showed that the journey from the part of London where the beloved Guardian had passed away to the National Hazíratu'l-Quds, and from there back again in the same general direction to the burial place, would take more than an hour, and the plan had to be abandoned.

On Tuesday morning a telephone call was put through to the Hand of the Cause Adelbert Mühlschlegel, as Rúhíyyih Khánum decided that he, a physician, one of the Guardian's own appointed Hands, and a man known for his spirituality, would not only be able to endure the sorrow of performing the last service for the beloved Guardian of washing his blessed body, but would do it in the spirit of consecration and prayer called for on such a sacred occasion. He accepted immediately, with deepest gratitude for this inestimable privilege, and arrived, accompanied by the other German Hand of the Cause Hermann Grossmann, on Tuesday night at the Hazíratu'l-Quds in London. It was decided that because of the Laws of our Faith which are against embalming, the funeral should be held as soon as possible, preferably on Friday. Investigation and consultation, however, showed that this would not allow enough time to settle the formalities involved in purchasing a site for the grave and constructing a suitable vault. The time was therefore set for noon on Saturday, 9 November, and the following cable was sent from London to all National Assemblies:

BELOVED ALL HEARTS PRECIOUS GUARDIAN CAUSE GOD PASSED PEACEFULLY AWAY YESTERDAY AFTER ASIATIC FLU STOP APPEAL HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES AUXILIARY BOARDS SHELTER BELIEVERS ASSIST MEET HEARTRENDING SUPREME TEST STOP FUNERAL OUR BELOVED GUARDIAN SATURDAY LONDON HANDS ASSEMBLY BOARD MEMBERS INVITED ATTEND ANY PRESS RELEASE SHOULD STATE MEETING HANDS SHORTLY HAIFA WILL MAKE ANNOUNCEMENT TO BÁHÁ'Í

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
Led by his widow, the Hands of the Cause follow Shoghi Effendi to the grave.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
Many hundreds of Bahá'ís, from the British Isles and all over the world, attended the funeral.


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WORLD REGARDING FUTURE PLANS STOP URGE HOLD MEMORIAL MEETINGS SATURDAY.
RÚHÍYYIH


The first thought of those concerned with making arrangements for a befitting burial of the beloved Guardian's remains had been to secure a piece of land especially for this purpose; however, this proved an impossibility. An appointment with the Home Office had been fixed to discuss this with John Ferraby, but it was soon found to be impracticable because of laws restricting the use of land near London for burials. On Tuesday afternoon, Rúhíyyih Khánum, Hasan Balyuzi, and Ugo Giachery were taken out to inspect possible sites for the grave in cemeteries within an hour's journey from London. It was raining, and the first cemetery visited had only one plot remotely suitable for the purpose available, which was opposite the massive, depressing vault of a family of the British nobility, and prohibitively expensive, in addition to being very near the entrance gate. Although in the eyes of the world this cemetery must have importance, to the Hands present it was unbefitting and out of the question in every way, and their hearts sank with fear lest they should not find a proper place for their so-dearly-loved Guardian. God had other plans however, for on motoring in the twilight to inspect the second cemetery, they entered a beautiful, peaceful spot on a hill, surrounded by rolling country, where birds sang in the trees and which had an entirely different atmosphere from the pomp and worldliness of the first. The Superintendent escorted them to the best piece of land he had, on the highest part, and in the centre of the cemetery. It adjoined one of the roads and was bounded by three great trees which cast their shade over it. The peaceful woods of the countryside, where birds still make their nests in spring, lay close to it on one side. It was over thirty metres square, and Rúhíyyih Khánum made arrangements to purchase it immediately, instructions being given to build a strong, deep vault. The Hands then proceeded to the undertaker's, to choose a suitable casket for the precious remains of the beloved Guardian. After much deliberation it was decided that for the present, as well as the future, the wisest course would be to have a lead coffin which could be hermetically sealed, that this should be placed in a beautiful bronze casket, the most dignified, costly and enduring that could be found. By doing this the Hands were assured that in the future, when the means of transport become so rapid that the journey from London to Haifa can be accomplished in an hour, it would be possible to convey the sacred remains of the Guardian to the Holy Land.

On Tuesday night the Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins, who had only arrived in Haifa on Sunday, having made a special effort to get home in time to greet the Guardian when he returned, joined Rúhíyyih Khánum in London and was able to give her at this grievous time her much-needed, warm, motherly love and support. Already all European Hands of the Cause were in London. On Wednesday the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles communicated to all the believers the heart-breaking news, and invited them, as members of the community in which this great calamity had occurred, to be present at the funeral of the beloved Guardian, which was to take place on their soil. That afternoon, Rúhíyyih Khánum, accompanied by Amelia Collins, drove out to the cemetery and made arrangements with a florist in the neighbourhood for the decoration of the Chapel, and for the sheath of flowers which was to cover the coffin. On Thursday at two o'clock Rúhíyyih Khánum and Adelbert Mühlschlegel drove to the place where the body of the blessed Guardian was to be washed. She had already purchased nine yards of the heaviest and finest white silk available and nine yards of a slightly lighter weight for the first shroud, as well as towels and cloths and soap to wash the body. These she delivered to Dr. Mühlschlegel, keeping the second shroud with her. She waited in an ante-room while he washed the precious remains and wrapped them in the first shroud, anointing the body with attar-of-rose which the Guardian himself had given to Ugo Giachery, who had brought it from Italy with him. It was over an hour-and-a-half before Adelbert Mühlschlegel came to call Rúhíyyih Khánum, and to inform her that he had completed his sacred task. Let him say in his own words — as he afterwards wrote them to her — what he felt during that time:
"Something new happened to me in that
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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
Stunned by their great loss, men, women and children follow the hearse to the grave.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
Front of the hearse at the graveside Rúhíyyih Khánum speaks to her fellow Hands.


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hour that I cannot, even after a few days, speak of, but I can mention the wisdom and love that I felt pour over me. In that room — which to worldly eyes would have appeared so different — there was a tremendous spiritual force which I have only felt in my life in the holy Shrines. My first impression was the contrast between the body left behind and the majestic, transfigured face, a soul-stirring picture of the joyous victory of the eternal over the transient. My second impression, as I prayed and thought and carefully did what I had to do, was that in this degree of consecration to the work of God I should work all my life, and mankind should work a thousand years, in order to construct "the Kingdom" on earth; and my third thought was, as I washed every member of his body and anointed it, that I thanked those beloved hands which had worked and written to establish the Covenant, those feet that had walked for us, that mouth that had spoken to us, that head that had thought for us, and I prayed and meditated and supplicated that in the short time left to me, the members of my body might hasten to follow in his path of service; and my last thought was of my own distress because I felt how unworthy my hands were to anoint that blessed brow with attar-of-rose as the Masters of old were wont to do to their pupils; and yet what privileges, what duties fall to us, the living, to watch over what is past and mortal, be it ever so exalted. A great deal of mercy, love, and wisdom were hidden in this hour."
Rúhíyyih Khánum asked to be alone with the beloved Guardian to say her own last farewell. Bahá'u'lláh says: "At this point the pen broke and the ink gave forth nothing but blackness." So a veil must be drawn over her feelings alone with her Lord for the last time. But she did tell the friends afterwards:
"He was our Guardian, king of the world. We know he was noble because he was our Guardian. We know that God gave him peace in the end. But as I looked at him all I could think of was — how beautiful he is, how beautiful! A celestial beauty seemed to be poured over him and to rest on him and stream from him like a mighty benediction from on high. And the wonderful hands, so like the hands of Bahá'u'lláh, lay softly by his side; it seemed impossible the life had gone from them — or from that radiant face."
After a little while she called Adelbert Mühlschlegel back into the room; the coffin, padded with soft white silk, was brought; she arranged the second shroud in it and the beloved Guardian was laid inside. The flowers from the threshold of the Báb's Shrine, which Amelia Collins had brought from Haifa, she spread over that treasured form, covering it from feet to chin, a sacred carpet of love, and the last shroud she folded gently about him, closing away for all time from men's eyes the face on which the Bahá'ís had gazed with so much love.

The coffin was then closed, a pall of purple and gold was spread over it, and a bouquet of flowers Rúhíyyih Khánum had brought with her was placed on the top.

All the next day, in a room full of flowers, the various Hands of the Cause from Persia, Europe, Africa, and America kept vigil and prayed over the mortal remains of their Beloved.

On Friday evening, Rúhíyyih Khánum and Amelia Collins drove out to the cemetery to inspect the Chapel and the grave. The florist was following his instructions very carefully and making every effort to create an atmosphere of beauty worthy of this sacred occasion. Indeed, all the non-Bahá'ís concerned with the death of and the funeral arrangements made for this stranger who had passed away in their country so suddenly, seemed deeply touched and stirred by the great reverence and love that accompanied the still form of God's great Guardian as he passed from life to the grave. They outdid themselves in showing sympathy and co-operation. At the four corners of the grave the florist had already planted four beautiful small cyprus trees which Rúhíyyih Khánum had ordered in memory of the hundreds of cypress trees that the beloved Guardian had planted, during his lifetime, around the Holy Places in Bahjí and Haifa. At the top of the Chapel, which was entirely non-denominational and used for services of all religions, was an arched alcove filled with a bank of chrysanthemums and asters, beginning with

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
Grief-stricken farewells take place as the Bahá'ís file past the coffin of their Guardian
at the foot of his open grave.


deep shades of purple and running up through violet, lavender and orchid tones to white at the top. Like two arms reaching out, garlands of lavender chrysanthemums ran under a cornice which framed the raised upper part of the Chapel. Above this, from wall to wall, was a beam of wood, in the centre of which a framed Greatest Name was hung. Beneath this, in front of the alcove of flowers, the coffin was to rest on a low catafalque covered by a rich green velvet pall, the colour to which the descendants of Muhammad are entitled by their illustrious lineage, and which the Guardian, as a Siyyid himself, through his kinship to the Báb, had every right to bear with him to the grave. Seating arrangements were made for the following day, placing the Hands of the Cause on the right and on the left side of the coffin, facing it. A hundred more chairs had to be ordered as the Chapel normally could only seat about eighty people.

That evening all the Hands of the Cause who were in London, now numbering thirteen, met to discuss appropriate readings for the funeral the next day. The Israeli authorities instructed the Chargé d'Affaires at the Israeli Embassy in London, Mr. Gershon Avner, to attend the funeral on behalf of the Government (the Ambassador being absent from his post). It had been decided that, owing to the great mourning of the Bahá'í world, the short time available, and the restricted space of the cemetery Chapel, the funeral should be entirely private. The spontaneous gesture of esteem, however, which the Israeli Government had made, by requesting its representative to attend the funeral officially, could not be turned aside. The presence of this non-Bahá'í had therefore to be taken into consideration in connection with suitable readings, and the moving of the beloved Guardian's coffin. As this weighed almost half-a-ton it was considered that, in permitting the Bahá'ís to have the honour of taking turns in carrying it, a very grave risk would be run of its being jostled, tipped, or even slipping from their hands. Special bearers were therefore chosen who carried out their task with the utmost dignity.

While these events were taking place, the National Headquarters of the Bahá'ís in London was becoming the focal centre of many agonized hearts, seeking information, asking details, receiving what comfort other broken hearts could give and being directed

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as to how they could reach the cemetery upon their arrival in London. The telephone at the Hazíratu'l-Quds rang almost all day without stopping, and John Ferraby, Secretary of the British National Spiritual Assembly, with the constant help of his wife, also a member of that body, attended to telephone calls from such distant spots as Djakarta, Bombay, Kuwait, Israel, the United States and several European countries, to the ceaseless flow of cables and letters that poured in and out, as well as to Press releases and interviews. It began to be clear that the funeral would be attended by many more of the friends than had been thought could possibly get to London in time. Not only were the British Bahá'ís attending practically en masse, but Hands of the Cause, various National Spiritual Assembly members and Auxiliary Board members, as well as individuals, were pouring from overseas. As the Bahá'ís arrived in ever-increasing numbers, a great flood-tide of love and sorrow was rising about the silent figure of the Sign of God on earth, preparing to bear his sacred remains befittingly to the grave.

Arrangements had been made to have the funeral cortège asemble about ten o'clock before the Hazíratu'l-Quds, at 27 Rutland Gate, opposite Hyde Park; from there; those believers who were not going direct to the cemetery could be driven by special cars which would follow the hearse. More than sixty automobiles, accommodating over three hundred and sixty people, moved off in solemn file at 10.40 and journeyed to the place where they were joined by the hearse bearing the coffin of the revered Guardian. This was preceded by a floral hearse and followed by the car in which rode Rúhíyyih Khánum accompanied by Amelia Collins; cars bearing the other Hands, National Spiritual Assembly members, Auxiliary Board members and believers followed behind. It was probably the largest column of vehicles seen in London for many years in attendance on a funeral of any denomination. The journey to the Great Northern Cemetery at New Southgate, where the sacred remains of Shoghi Effendi are now interred, was accomplished in under one hour's time, the laws of the Aqdas being thus fulfilled.

Through Leroy Ioas having promptly informed the Israeli authorities in a befitting manner of the sudden passing of the Head of the Faith, conditions at its World Centre were calm, and he decided it would be safe for him to leave the Holy Land over the weekend, and attend the funeral of the beloved Guardian. This was very fortunate, because it made it possible for him to bring with him, at the request of Rúhíyyih Khánum, a small rug from the innermost Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí, with which to carpet the floor of the vault, and a covering, which had rested likewise in that inner Shrine, for the coffin itself. He also brought a bouquet of white jasmine and a box of flowers gathered from the Gardens at Bahjí, the Ridván, Mazra'ih and Haifa.




PROGRAMME OF PRAYERS AND
READINGS


  1. Prayer for the Departed (chanted in Arabic)
    ....................................Bahá'u'lláh
  2. The Hidden Words, Nos. 32 and 11 (Read in English). Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, page 345, beginning Death proffereth unto every ardent believer . .. to . . . of all worlds (read in English) ...................... ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... ........... ...............Bahá'u'lláh

  3. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, page 341, beginning All praise be to God . . . to . . . the All-Compelling, the Almighty. And beginning The fierce gales . . . to . . . is based (Read in English) ............... ............... ............... ......Bahá'u'lláh

  4. The Hidden Words, Nos. 12, 14, 32 (chanted in Arabic ............... ............... .......... ............Bahá'u'lláh

  5. Prayers and Meditations, CXLV page 234 (Read in English) ............... ............... ............... . . .Bahá'u'lláh

  6. Prayers and Meditations, XCII page 155 (Read in English) ............... ............... ............... . . . . . . Bahá'u'lláh

  7. The Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, first two paragraphs (Read in English) ...............`Abdu'l-Bahá


  8. AT THE GRAVESIDE
  9. Prayer of Shoghi Effendi; Dar in Layliyi Layla (Chanted in Persian)................ ............... . . Shoghi Effendi

  10. Prayer Glory be to Thee, O God, for Thy manifestation of love to mankind

  11. (Read in English) ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... . . . . . . . . . . Bahá'u'lláh





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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
Embowered in flowers the beloved of so many
faithful hearts is laid to rest.



Already a great crowd of believers was waiting at the door of the Chapel when the funeral cortège drove up; on every face was written its own measure of heart-break and many sobs were heard. The casket was gently handed down, on it a beautiful sheath of deep-red roses with fragrant white gardenias, lily of the valley and fuchsias, in the centre, and a simple card with the inscription "From Rúhíyyih and all your loved ones and lovers all over the world whose hearts are broken".

The Great Guardian was carried in and laid on the soft green covering of the catafalique. The Chapel was crowded to the doors, and many had to remain outside. All stood while the wonderful prayer ordained by Bahá'u'lláh for the dead, was chanted in Arabic. Six other prayers and excerpts from the Teachings were then read by friends with beautiful voices, some in English, some in Persian, an representatives of Bahá'ís from Europe, Africa, America, Asia — Negro, Jew, and Aryan.

In solemn file the friends followed the casket as it was borne out, placed in the hearse again, and slowly driven the few hundred yards to the graveside. There it was gently deposited at the head of the grave, so that when the beloved Guardian's remains were lowered into it, he would face east to the Qiblih of the Faith. The flowers were removed from the casket, revealing an engraved Tablet on which was written:
Shoghi Effendi Rabbani
First Guardian
of the Bahá'í Faith
March 3rd, 1896-November 4th, 1957
As all stood, silently waiting for the coffin to be lowered into the grave, Rúhíyyih Khánum felt the agony of the hearts around

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Picture with the Caption:
An ocean of flowers lapped the newly-made grave after the funeral service was over.


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her penetrate into her own great grief. He was their Guardian. He was going forever from their eyes, suddenly snatched from them by the immutable decree of God, Whose Will no man dare question. They had not seen him, had not been able to draw near him. She decided to ask for it to be announced that before the coffin was placed in the grave, the friends who wished might pass by it and pay their respects. For over two hours the believers, eastern and western, filed by. For the most part they knelt and kissed the edge or the handle of the casket. Rarely indeed in history can such a demonstration of love and grief have been seen. Children bowed their little heads beside their mothers, old men wept, the iron reserve of the Anglo-Saxon — the tradition never to show feelings in public — melted before the white-hot sorrow in the heart. The morning had been sunny and fair; now a gentle shower started and sprinkled a few drops on the coffin, as if nature herself was suddenly moved to tears. Some placed little flasks of Persian attar-of-rose at the head; one hesitatingly laid a rose on the casket, symbol no doubt of the owner's heart; one could not bear the few drops of rain above that blessed, hidden face, and timidly wiped them off as he knelt; others with convulsed fingers carried away a little of the earth near the casket. Tears, tears and kisses, and solemn inner vows were poured out at the head of one who had always called himself their "true brother". When the last believers in this grief-stricken procession hod filed by, Rúhíyyih Khánum approached the casket, kissed it and knelt in prayer for a moment. She then had the green [pall spread over it, laid the blue-and-gold brocade from the innermost Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh on top of it and arranged the still-fragrant jasmine flowers over all its length. Then the mortal remains of him whom `Abdu'l-Bahá designated "the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin Surging Seas" were slowly lowered into the vault, amid walls covered with evergreen boughs and studded with flowers, to rest upon the rug from the Holy Tomb at Bahjí. A prayer was then chanted in Persian, and the Afnán Hand of the Cause, Hasan Balyuzi, read the closing prayer in English.

All this time — a service that had lasted almost four hours — the representative of the Israeli Government, obviously deeply moved, had been in attendance, himself stepping beside the coffin and, with bowed head, paying his solemn respects. He and the majority of the mourners now left, the Hands of the Cause, the National Spiritual Assemblies and Auxiliary Board members remaining behind by previous arrangement to see the vault sealed.

Prayers were then said in many foreign languages and by friends from distant countries, and the orange and olive leaves brought from the Garden of the Ridván in Baghdád Tarázulláh Samandarí — the only living Hand of the Cause who was privileged to enter the presence of Bahá'u'lláh — were placed on the grave, as well as the flowers brought by Leroy Ioas from the Bahá'í Gardens in the Holy Land; these were sufficient for each person present himself to put some on the Guardian's resting-place. Over the tomb, at his feet, like a shield of crimson and blue, lay the fragrant sheath of blooms which had covered the casket, and heaped about was a rich carpet of exquisite flowers, symbols of the love, the suffering, of so many hearts, and no doubt the silent bearers of vows to make the Spirit of the Guardian happy now, to fulfil his plans, carry on his work, be worthy at last of the love and inspired self-sacrificing leadership he gave them for thirty-six years of his life.


Rúhíyyih

in collaboration with John Ferraby

Haifa
December 9th, 1957

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Picture with the Caption:
Completed monument showing the Greek Corinthian style capital so much admired by
the Guardian. Note the beautiful Portland stone balustrading enclosing the grave.


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V

SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS
OF SHOGHI EFFENDI
The two essays selected to represent Shoghi Effendi's voluminous writings present in the one instance his evaluation of world conditions and tendencies in relationship to the principles and laws revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, and in the other his portrayal of a momentous event in the unfoldment of the Bahá'í Faith. The former, written in 1931, is the first of his "World Order" letters; the latter is Chapter Nine of his stupendous history of the Faith, God Passes By, completed in 1944.

THE GOAL OF A NEW WORLD ORDER


Fellow-believers in the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh: THE inexorable march of recent events has carried humanity so near to the goal foreshadowed by Bahá'u'lláh that no responsible follower of His Faith, viewing on all sides the distressing evidences of the world's travail, can remain unmoved at the thought of its approaching deliverance.

It would not seem inappropriate, at a time when we are commemorating the world over the termination of the first decade since `Abdu'l-Bahá's sudden removal* from our midst, to ponder, in the light of the teachings bequeathed by Him to the world, such events as have tended to hasten the gradual emergence of the World Order anticipated by Bahá'u'lláh.

Ten years ago, this very day, there flashed upon the world the news of the passing of Him Who alone, through the ennobling influence of His love, strength and wisdom, could have proved its stay and solace in the many afflictions it was destined to suffer.

How well we, the little band of His avowed supporters who lay claim to have recognized the Light that shone within Him, can still remember His repeated allusions, in the evening of His earthly life, to the tribulation and turmoil with which an unregenerate humanity was to be increasingly afflicted. How poignantly some of us can recall His pregnant remarks, in the presence of the pilgrims and visitors who thronged His doors on the morrow of the jubilant celebrations that greeted the termination of the World War — a war, which by the horrors it evoked, the losses it entailed and the complications it engendered, was destined to exert so far-reaching an influence on the fortunes of mankind. How serenely, yet how powerfully, He stressed the cruel deception which a Pact, hailed by peoples and nations as the embodiment of triumphant justice and the unfailing instrument of an abiding peace, held in store for an unrepentant humanity. "Peace, Peace," how often we heard Him remark, "the lips of potentates and peoples unceasingly proclaim, whereas the fire of unquenched hatreds still smoulders in their hearts." How often we heard Him raise His voice, whilst the tumult of triumphant enthusiasm was still at its height and long before the faintest misgivings could have been felt or expressed, confidently declaring that the Document, extolled as the Charter of a liberated humanity, contained within itself seeds of such bitter deception as would further enslave the world. How abundant are now the evidences that attest the perspicacity of His unerring judgment!

Ten years of unceasing turmoil, so laden with anguish, so fraught with incalculable consequences to the future of civilization, have brought the world to the verge of a calamity too awful to contemplate. Sad indeed is the contrast between the manifestations of confident enthusiasm in which the Plenipotentiaries at Versailles so freely indulged and the cry of unconcealed distress which victors and vanquished alike are now raising in the hour of bitter delusion.

_________
* November 28, 1921.

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Neither the force which the framers and guarantors of the Peace Treaties have mustered, nor the lofty ideals which originally animated the author of the Covenant of the League of Nations, have proved a sufficient bulwark against the forces of internal disruption with which a structure so laboriously contrived had been consistently assailed. Neither the provisions of the so-called Settlement which the victorious Powers have sought to impose, nor the machinery of an institution which America's illustrious and far-seeing President had conceived, have proved, either in conception or practice, adequate instruments to ensure the integrity of the Order they had striven to establish. "The ills from which the world now suffers," wrote `Abdu'l-Bahá in January, 1920, "will multiply; the gloom which envelops it will deepen. The Balkans will remain discontented. Its restlessness will increase. The vanquished Powers will continue to agitate. They will resort to every measure that may rekindle the flame of war. Movements, newly-born and world-wide in their range, will exert their utmost effort for the advancement of their designs. The Movement of the Left will acquire great importance. Its influence will spread."

Economic distress, since those words were written, together with political confusion, financial upheavals, religious restlessness and racial animosities, seem to have conspired to add immeasurably to the burdens under which an impoverished, a war-weary world is groaning. Such has been the cumulative effect of these successive crises, following one another with such bewildering rapidity, that the very foundations of society are trembling. The world, to whichever continent we turn our gaze, to however remote a region our survey may extend, is everywhere assailed by forces it can neither explain nor control.

Europe, hitherto regarded as the cradle of a highly-vaunted civilization, as the torch-bearer of liberty and the mainspring of the forces of world industry and commerce, stands bewildered and paralyzed at the sight of so tremendous an upheaval. Long-cherished ideals in the political no less than in the economic sphere of human activity are being severely tested under the pressure of reactionary forces on one hand and of an insidious and persistent radicalism on the other. From the heart of Asia distant rumblings, ominous and insistent, portend the steady onslaught of a creed which, by its negation of God, His Laws and Principles, threatens to disrupt the foundations of human society. The clamor of a nascent nationalism, coupled with a recrudescence of skepticism and unbelief, come as added misfortunes to a continent hitherto regarded as the symbol of age-long stability and undisturbed resignation. From darkest Africa the first stirrings of a conscious and determined revolt against the aims and methods of political and economic imperialism can be increasingly discerned, adding their share to the growing vicissitudes of a troubled age. Not even America, which until very recently prided itself on its traditional policy of aloofness and the self-contained character of its economy, the invulnerability of its institutions and the evidences of its growing prosperity and prestige, has been able to resist the impelling forces that have swept her into the vortex of an economic hurricane that now threatens to impair the basis of her own industrial and economic life. Even far-away Australia, which, owing to its remoteness from the storm-centers of Europe, would have been expected to be immune from the trials and torments of an ailing continent, has been caught in this whirlpool of passion and strife, impotent to extricate herself from their ensnaring influence.

Never indeed have there been such widespread and basic upheavals, whether in the social, economic or political spheres of human activity as those now going on in different parts of the world. Never have there been so many and varied sources of danger as those that now threaten the structure of society. The following words of Bahá'u'lláh are indeed significant as we pause to reflect upon the present state of a strangely disordered world: "How long will humanity persist in its waywardness? How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society? The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divides and afflicts the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appears to be lamentably defective."

The disquieting influence of over thirty million souls living under minority conditions

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throughout the continent of Europe; the vast and ever-swelling army of the unemployed with its crushing burden and demoralizing influence on governments and peoples; the wicked, unbridled race of armaments swallowing an ever-increasing share of the substance of already impoverished nations; the utter demoralization from which the international financial markets are now increasingly suffering; the onslaught of secularism invading what has hitherto been regarded as the impregnable strongholds of Christian and Muslim orthodoxy — these stand out as the gravest symptoms that bode ill for the future stability of the structure of modern civilization. Little wonder if one of Europe's preeminent thinkers, honored for his wisdom and restraint, should have been forced to make so bold an assertion: "The world is passing through the gravest crisis in the history of civilization." "We stand," writes another, "before either a world catastrophe, or perhaps before the dawn of a greater era of truth and wisdom." "It is in such times," he adds, "that religions have perished and are born."

Might we not already discern, as we scan the political horizon, the alignment of those forces that are dividing afresh the continent of Europe into camps of potential combatants, determined upon a contest that may mark, unlike the last war, the end of an epoch, a vast epoch, in the history of human evolution? Are we, the privileged custodians of a priceless Faith, called upon to witness a cataclysmical change, politically as fundamental and spiritually as beneficent as that which precipitated the fall of the Roman Empire in the West? Might it not happen — every vigilant adherent of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh might well pause to reflect — that out of this world eruption there may stream forces of such spiritual energy as shall recall, nay eclipse, the splendor of those signs and wonders that accompanied the establishment of the Faith of Jesus Christ? Might there not emerge out of the agony of a shaken world a religious revival of such scope and power as to even transcend the potency of those world-directing forces with which the Religions of the Past have, at fixed intervals and according to an inscrutable Wisdom, revived the fortunes of declining ages and peoples? Might not the bankruptcy of this present, this highly-vaunted materialistic civilization, in itself clear away the choking weeds that now hinder the unfoldment and future efflorescence of God's struggling Faith? Let Bahá'u'lláh Himself shed the illumination of His words upon our path as we steer our course amid the pitfalls and miseries of this troubled age. More than fifty years ago, in a world far removed from the ills and trials that now torment it, there flowed from His Pen these prophetic words: "The world is in travail and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then and only then will the Divine Standard be unfurled and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody."

Dearly-beloved friends! Humanity, whether viewed in the light of man's individual conduct or in the existing relationships between organized communities and nations, has, alas, strayed too far and suffered too great a decline to be redeemed through the unaided efforts of the best among its recognized rulers and statesmen — however disinterested their motives, however concerted their action, however unsparing in their zeal and devotion to its cause. No scheme which the calculations of the highest statesmanship may yet devise; no doctrine which the most distinguished exponents of economic theory may hope to advance; no principle which the most ardent of moralists may strive to inculcate, can provide, in the last resort, adequate foundations upon which the future of a distracted world can be built.

No appeal for mutual tolerance which the worldly-wise might raise, however compelling and insistent, can calm its passions or help restore its vigor. Nor would any general scheme of mere organized international cöoperation, in whatever sphere of human activity, however ingenious in conception, or extensive in scope, succeed in removing the root cause of the evil that has so rudely upset the equilibrium of present-day society. Not even, I venture to assert, would the very act of devising the machinery required for the political and economic unification of the world — a principle that has been increasingly advocated in recent times — provide in itself

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the antidote against the poison that is steadily undermining the vigor of organized peoples and nations.

What else, might we not confidently affirm, but the unreserved acceptance of the Divine Program enunciated, with such simplicity and force as far back as sixty years ago, by Bahá'u'lláh, embodying in its essentials God's divinely appointed scheme for the unification of mankind in this age, coupled with an indomitable conviction in the unfailing efficacy of each and all of its provisions, is eventually capable of withstanding the forces of internal disintegration which, if unchecked, must needs continue to eat into the vitals of a despairing society. It is towards this goal — the goal of a new World Order, Divine in origin, all-embracing in scope, equitable in principle, challenging in its features — that a harassed humanity must strive.

To claim to have grasped all the implications of Bahá'u'lláh's prodigious scheme for world-wide human solidarity, or to have fathomed its import, would be presumptuous on the part of even the declared supporters of His Faith. To attempt to visualize it in all its possibilities, to estimate its future benefits, to picture its glory, would be premature at even so advanced a stage in the evolution of mankind.

All we can reasonably venture to attempt is to strive to obtain a glimpse of the first streaks of the promised Dawn that must, in the fullness of time, chase away the gloom that has encircled humanity. All we can do is to point out, in their broadest outlines, what appear to us to be the guiding principles underlying the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, as amplified and enunciated by `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Center of His Covenant with all mankind and the appointed Interpreter and Expounder of His Word.

That the unrest and suffering afflicting the mass of mankind are in no small measure the direct consequences of the World War and are attributable to the unwisdom and shortsightedness of the framers of the Peace Treaties only a biased mind can refuse to admit. That the financial obligations contracted in the course of the war, as well as the imposition of a staggering burden of reparations upon the vanquished, have, to a very great extent, been responsible for the maldistribution and consequent shortage of the world's monetary gold supply, which in turn has, to a very great measure, accentuated the phenomenal fall in prices and thereby relentlessly increased the burdens of impoverished countries, no impartial mind would question. That inter-governmental debts have imposed a severe strain on the masses of the people in Europe, have upset the equilibrium of national budgets, have crippled national industries, and led to an increase in the number of the unemployed, is no less apparent to an unprejudiced observer. That the spirit of vindictiveness, of suspicion, of fear and rivalry, engendered by the war, and which the provisions of the Peace Treaties have served to perpetuate and foster, has led to an enormous increase of national competitive armaments, involving during the last year the aggregate expenditure of no less than a thousand million pounds, which in turn has accentuated the effects of the world-wide depression, is a truth that even the most superficial observer will readily admit. That a narrow and brutal nationalism, which the post-war theory of self-determination has served to reinforce, has been chiefly responsible for the policy of high and prohibitive tariffs, so injurious to the healthy flow of international trade and to the mechanism of international finance, is a fact which few would venture to dispute.

It would be idle, however, to contend that the war, with all the losses it involved, the passions it aroused and the grievances it left behind, has solely been responsible for the unprecedented confusion into which almost every section of the civilized world is plunged at present. Is it not a fact — and this is the central idea I desire to emphasize — that the fundamental cause of this world unrest is attributable, not so much to the consequences of what must sooner or later come to be regarded as a transitory dislocation in the affairs of a continually changing world, but rather to the failure of those into whose hands the immediate destinies of peoples and nations have been committed, to adjust their system of economic and political institutions to the imperative needs of a rapidly evolving age? Are not these intermittent crises that convulse present-day society due primarily to the lamentable inability of the world's recognized leaders to read aright the signs of the times, to rid themselves once for all of

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their preconceived ideas and fettering creeds, and to reshape the machinery of their respective governments according to those standards that are implicit in Bahá'u'lláh's supreme declaration of the Oneness of Mankind — the chief and distinguishing feature of the Faith He proclaimed? For the principle of the Oneness of Mankind, the cornerstone of Bahá'u'lláh's world-embracing dominion, implies nothing more nor less than the enforcement of His scheme for the unification of the world — the scheme to which we have already referred. "In every Dispensation," writes `Abdu'l-Bahá, "the light of Divine Guidance has been focused upon one central theme.. . . In this wondrous Revelation, this glorious century, the foundation of the Faith of God and the distinguishing feature of His Law is the consciousness of the Oneness of Mankind."
How pathetic indeed are the efforts of those leaders of human institutions who, in utter disregard of the spirit of the age, are striving to adjust national processes, suited to the ancient days of self-contained nations, to an age which must either achieve the unity of the world, as adumbrated by Bahá'u'lláh, or perish. At so critical an hour in the history of civilization it behooves the leaders of all the nations of the world, great and small, whether in the East or in the West, whether victors or vanquished, to give heed to the clarion call of Bahá'u'lláh and, thoroughly imbued with a sense of world solidarity, the sine quà non of loyalty to His Cause, arise manfully to carry out in its entirety the one remedial scheme He, the Divine Physician, has prescribed for an ailing humanity. Let them discard, once for all, every preconceived idea, every national prejudice, and give heed to the sublime counsel of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the authorized Expounder of His teachings." You can best serve your country," was `Abdu'l-Bahá's rejoinder to a high official in the service of the federal government of the United States of America, who had questioned Him as to the best manner in which he could promote the interests of his government and people, "if you strive, in your capacity as a citizen of the world, to assist in the eventual application of the principle of federalism underlying the government of your own country to the relationships now existing between the peoples and nations of the world." In "The Secret of Divine Civilization" `Abdu'l-Bahá's outstanding contribution to the future reorganization of the world, we read the following:

"True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of the world whenever a certain number of its distinguished and high-minded sovereigns — the shining exemplars of devotion and determination — shall, for the good and happiness of all mankind, arise, with firm resolve and clear vision, to establish the Cause of Universal Peace. They must make the Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world. They must conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite. They must proclaim it to all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race. This supreme and noble undertaking — the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world — should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth. All the forces of humanity must be mobilized to ensure the stability and permanence of this Most Great Covenant. In this all-embracing Pact the limits and frontiers of each and every nation should be clearly fixed, the principles underlying the relations of governments towards one another definitely laid down, and all international agreements and obligations ascertained. In like manner, the size of the armaments of every government should be strictly limited, for if the preparations for war and the military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will arouse the suspicion of others. The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government. Should this greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure."

"A few," He further adds, "unaware of the power latent in human endeavor, consider this matter as highly impracticable, nay even beyond the scope of man's utmost efforts. Such is not the case, however. On the contrary, thanks to the unfailing grace of God, the loving-kindness of His favored ones, the unrivaled endeavors of wise and capable souls, and the thoughts and

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ideas of the peerless leaders of this age, nothing whatsoever can be regarded as unattainable. Endeavor, ceaseless endeavor, is required. Nothing short of an indomitable determination can possibly achieve it. Many a cause which past ages have regarded as purely visionary, yet in this day has become most easy and practicable. Why should this most great and lofty Cause — the day-star of the firmament of true civilization and the cause of the glory, the advancement, the well-being and the success of all humanity — be regarded as impossible of achievement? Surely the day will come when its beauteous light shall shed illumination upon the assemblage of man."

In one of His Tablets `Abdu'l-Bahá, elucidating further His noble theme, reveals the following:

"In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to the absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved. Continents remained widely divided, nay even among the peoples of one and the same continent association and interchange of thought were well nigh impossible. Consequently intercourse, understanding and unity amongst all the peoples and kindreds of the earth were unattainable. In this day, however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents of the earth have virtually merged into one.... In like manner all the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century. Of this past ages have been deprived, for this century — the century of light — has been endowed with unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination. Hence the miraculous unfolding of a fresh marvel every day. Eventually it will be seen how bright its candles will burn in the assemblage of man.

"Behold how its light is now dawning upon the world's darkened horizon. The first candle is unity in the political realm, the early glimmerings of which can now be discerned. The second candle is unity of thought in world undertakings, the consummation of which will ere long be witnessed. The third candle is unity in freedom which will surely come to pass. The fourth candle is unity in religion which is the corner-stone of the foundation itself, and which, by the power of God, will be revealed in all its splendor. The fifth candle is the unity of nations — a unity which in this century will be securely established, causing all the peoples of the world to regard themselves as citizens of one common fatherland. The sixth candle is unity of races, making of all that dwell on earth peoples and kindreds of one race. The seventh candle is unity of language, i.e., the choice of a universal tongue in which all peoples will be instructed and converse. Each and every one of these will inevitably come to pass, inasmuch as the power of the Kingdom of God will aid and assist in their realization.
"

Over sixty years ago, in His Tablet to Queen Victoria, Bahá'u'lláh, addressing "the concourse of the rulers of the earth," revealed the following:
"Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof. . .. Regard the world as the human body which, though created whole and perfect, has been afflicted, through divers causes, with grave ills and maladies. Not for one day did it rest, nay its sicknesses waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of unskilled physicians who have spurred on the steed of their worldly desires and have erred grievously. And if at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before. Thus informeth you the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.... That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This verily is the truth, and all else naught but error."

In a further passage Bahá'u'lláh adds these words:

"We see you adding every year unto your expenditures and laying the burden thereof on the people whom ye rule; this verily is naught but grievous injustice. Fear the sighs and tears of this Wronged One, and burden not your peoples beyond that which they can endure. . .. Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need

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armaments no more save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. Be united, O concourse of the sovereigns of the world, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you and your peoples find rest. Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice."

"What else could these weighty words signify if they did not point to the inevitable curtailment of unfettered national sovereignty as an indispensable preliminary to the formation of the future Commonwealth of all the nations of the world? Some form of a world super-state must needs be evolved, in whose favor all the nations of the world will have willingly ceded every claim to make war, certain rights to impose taxation and all rights to maintain armaments, except for purposes of maintaining internal order within their respective dominions. Such a state will have to include within its orbit an international executive adequate to enforce supreme and unchallengeable authority on every recalcitrant member of the commonwealth; a world parliament whose members shall be elected by the people in their respective countries and whose election shall be confirmed by their respective governments; and a supreme tribunal whose judgment will have a binding effect even in such cases where the parties concerned did not voluntarily agree to submit their case to its consideration. A world community in which all economic barriers will have been permanently demolished and the interdependence of Capital and Labor definitely recognized; in which the clamor of religious fanaticism and strife will have been forever stilled; in which the flame of racial animosity will have been finally extinguished; in which a single code of international law — the product of the considered judgment of the world's federated representatives — shall have as its sanction the instant and coercive intervention of the combined forces of the federated units; and finally a world community in which the fury of a capricious and militant nationalism will have been transmuted into an abiding consciousness of world citizenship — such indeed, appears, in its broadest outline, the Order anticipated by Bahá'u'lláh, an Order that shall come to be regarded as the fairest fruit of a slowly maturing age.

""The Tabernacle of Unity," Bahá'u'lláh proclaims in His message to all mankind, "has been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. . . Of one tree are all ye the fruit and of one bough the leaves. . . The world is but one country and mankind its citizens . . . Let not a man glory in that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind."

"Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Bahá'u'lláh. Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men's hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided. It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity such as `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself has explained: "Consider the flowers of a garden. Though differing in kind, color, form and shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their charm and addeth unto their beauty. How unpleasing to the eye if all the flowers and plants, the leaves and blossoms, the fruit, the branches and the trees of that garden were all of the same shape and color! Diversity of hues, form and shape enricheth and adorneth the garden, and heighteneth the effect thereof. In like manner, when divers shades of thought, temperament and character, are brought together under the power and influence of one central agency, the beauty and glory of human perfection will be revealed and made manifest. Naught but the celestial

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potency of the Word of God, which ruleth and transcendeth the realities of all things, is capable of harmonizing the divergent thoughts, sentiments, ideas and convictions of the children of men."

The call of Bahá'u'lláh is primarily directed against all forms of provincialism, all insularities and prejudices. If long-cherished ideals and time-honored institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolescent and forgotten doctrines. Why should these, in a world subject to the immutable law of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration that must needs overtake every human institution? For legal standards, political and economic theories are solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the preservation of the integrity of any particular law or doctrine.

Let there be no mistake. The principle of the Oneness of Mankind — the pivot round which all the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh revolve — is no mere outburst of ignorant emotionalism or an expression of vague and pious hope. Its appeal is not to be merely identified with a reawakening of the spirit of brotherhood and good-will among men, nor does it aim solely at the fostering of harmonious cöoperation among individual peoples and nations. Its implications are deeper, its claims greater than any which the Prophets of old were allowed to advance. Its message is applicable not only to the individual, but concerns itself primarily with the nature of those essential relationships that must bind all the states and nations as members of one human family. It does not constitute merely the enunciation of an ideal, but stands inseparably associated with an institution adequate to embody its truth, demonstrate its validity, and perpetuate its influence. It implies an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced. It constitutes a challenge, at once bold and universal, to outworn shibboleths of national creeds — creeds that have had their day and which must, in the ordinary course of events as shaped and controlled by Providence, give way to a new gospel, fundamentally different from, and infinitely superior to, what the world has already conceived. It calls for no less than the reconstruction and the demilitarization of the whole civilized world — a world organically unified in all the essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, its spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and yet infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its federated units.

It represents the consummation of human evolution — an evolution that has had its earliest beginnings in the birth of family life, its subsequent development in the achievement of tribal solidarity, leading in turn to the constitution of the city-state, and expanding later into the institution of independent and sovereign nations.

The principle of the Oneness of Mankind, as proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh, carries with it no more and no less than a solemn assertion that attainment to this final stage in this stupendous evolution is not only necessary but inevitable, that its realization is fast approaching, and that nothing short of a power that is born of God can succeed in establishing it.

So marvellous a conception finds its earliest manifestations in the efforts consciously exerted and the modest beginnings already achieved by the declared adherents of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh who, conscious of the sublimity of their calling and initiated into the ennobling principles of His Administration, are forging ahead to establish His Kingdom on this earth. It has its indirect manifestations in the gradual diffusion of the spirit of world solidarity which is spontaneously arising out of the welter of a disorganized society.

It would be stimulating to follow the history of the growth and development of this lofty conception which must increasingly engage the attention of the responsible custodians of the destinies of peoples and nations. To the states and principalities just emerging from the welter of the great Napoleonic upheaval, whose chief preoccupation was either to recover their rights to an independent existence or to achieve their national unity, the conception of world solidarity seemed not only remote but inconceivable. It was not until the forces of nationalism had succeeded in overthrowing the foundations of the Holy Alliance

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that had sought to curb their rising power, that the possibility of a world order, transcending in its range the political institutions these nations had established, came to be seriously entertained. It was not until after the World War that these exponents of arrogant nationalism came to regard such an order as the object of a pernicious doctrine tending to sap that essential loyalty upon which the continued existence of their national life depended. With a vigor that recalled the energy with which the members of the Holy Alliance sought to stifle the spirit of a rising nationalism among the peoples liberated from the Napoleonic yoke, these champions of an unfettered national sovereignty, in their turn, have labored and are still laboring to discredit principles upon which their own salvation must ultimately depend.

The fierce opposition which greeted the abortive scheme of the Geneva Protocol; the ridicule poured upon the proposal for a United States of Europe which was subsequently advanced, and the failure of the general scheme for the economic union of Europe, may appear as setbacks to the efforts which a handful of foresighted people are earnestly exerting to advance this noble ideal. And yet, are we not justified in deriving fresh encouragement when we observe that the very consideration of such proposals is in itself an evidence of their steady growth in the minds and hearts of men? In the organized attempts that are being made to discredit so exalted a conception are we not witnessing the repetition, on a larger scale, of those stirring struggles and fierce controversies that preceded the birth, and assisted in the reconstruction, of the unified nations of the West?

To take but one instance. How confident were the assertions made in the days preceding the unification of the states of the North American continent regarding the insuperable barriers that stood in the way of their ultimate federation! Was it not widely and emphatically declared that the conflicting interests, the mutual distrust, the differences of government and habit that divided the states were such as no force, whether spiritual or temporal, could ever hope to harmonize or control? And yet how different were the conditions prevailing a hundred and fifty years ago from those that characterize present-day society! It would indeed be no exaggeration to say that the absence of those facilities which modern scientific progress has placed at the service of humanity in our time made of the problem of welding the American states into a single federation, similar though they were in certain traditions, a task infinitely more complex than that which confronts a divided humanity in its efforts to achieve the unification of all mankind.

Who knows that for so exalted a conception to take shape a suffering more intense than any it has yet experienced will have to be inflicted upon humanity? Could anything less than the fire of a civil war with all its violence and vicissitudes — a war that nearly rent the great American Republic — have welded the states, not only into a Union of independent units, but into a Nation, in spite of all the ethnic differences that characterized its component parts? That so fundamental a revolution, involving such far-reaching changes in the structure of society, can be achieved through the ordinary processes of diplomacy and education seems highly improbable. We have but to turn our gaze to humanity's blood-stained history to realize that nothing short of intense mental as well as physical agony has been able to precipitate those epoch-making changes that constitute the greatest landmarks in the history of human civilization

Great and far-reaching as have been those changes in the past, they cannot appear, when viewed in their proper perspective, except as subsidiary adjustments preluding that transformation of unparalleled majesty and scope which humanity is in this age bound to undergo. That the forces of a world catastrophe can alone precipitate such a new phase of human thought is, alas, becoming increasingly apparent. That nothing short of the fire of a severe ordeal, unparalleled in its intensity, can fuse and weld the discordant entities that constitute the elements of present-day civilization, into the integral components of the world commonwealth of the future, is a truth which future events will increasingly demonstrate.

The prophetic voice of Bahá'u'lláh warning, in the concluding passages of the Hidden Words, "the peoples of the world" that "an unforeseen calamity is following them and that grievous retribution awaiteth them" throws indeed a lurid light upon the immediate fortunes of sorrowing humanity. Nothing but

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a fiery ordeal, out of which humanity will emerge, chastened and prepared, can succeed in implanting that sense of responsibility which the leaders of a new-born age must arise to shoulder.

I would again direct your attention to those ominous words of Bahá'u'lláh which I have already quoted: "And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake."

Has not `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself asserted in unequivocal language that "another war, fiercer than the last, will assuredly break out"?

Upon the consummation of this colossal, this unspeakably glorious enterprise — an enterprise that baffled the resources of Roman statesmanship and which Napoleon's desperate efforts failed to achieve — will depend the ultimate realization of that millennium of which poets of all ages have sung and seers have long dreamed. Upon it will depend the fulfillment of the prophecies uttered by the Prophets of old when swords shall be beaten into ploughshares and the lion and the lamb lie down together. It alone can usher in the Kingdom of the Heavenly Father as anticipated by the Faith of Jesus Christ. It alone can lay the foundation for the New World Order visualized by Bahá'u'lláh — a World Order that shall reflect, however dimly, upon this earthly plane, the ineffable splendors of the Abhá Kingdom.

One word more in conclusion. The proclamation of the Oneness of Mankind — the head corner-stone of Bahá'u'lláh's all-embracing dominion — can under no circumstances be compared with such expressions of pious hope as have been uttered in the past. His is not merely a call which He raised, alone and unaided, in the face of the relentless and combined opposition of two of the most powerful Oriental potentates of His day — while Himself an exile and prisoner in their hands. It implies at once a warning and a promise — a warning that in it lies the sole means for the salvation of a greatly suffering world, a promise that its realization is at hand.

Uttered at a time when its possibility had not yet been seriously envisaged in any part of the world, it has, by virtue of that celestial potency which the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh has breathed into it, come at last to be regarded, by an increasing number of thoughtful men, not only as an approaching possibility, but as the necessary outcome of the forces now operating in the world.

Surely the world, contracted and transformed into a single highly complex organism by the marvellous progress achieved in the realm of physical science, by the world-wide expansion of commerce and industry, and struggling, under the pressure of world economic forces, amidst the pitfalls of a materialistic civilization, stands in dire need of a restatement of the Truth underlying all the Revelations of the past in a language suited to its essential requirements. And what voice other than that of Bahá'u'lláh — the Mouthpiece of God for this age — is capable of effecting a transformation of society as radical as that which He has already accomplished in the hearts of those men and women, so diversified and seemingly irreconcilable, who constitute the body of His declared followers throughout the world?

That such a mighty conception is fast budding out in the minds of men, that voices are being raised in its support, that its salient features must fast crystallize in the consciousness of those who are in authority, few indeed can doubt. That its modest beginnings have already taken shape in the world-wide Administration with which the adherents of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh stand associated only those whose hearts are tainted by prejudice can fail to perceive.

Ours, dearly-beloved co-workers, is the paramount duty to continue, with undimmed vision and unabated zeal, to assist in the final erection of that Edifice the foundations of which Bahá'u'lláh has laid in our hearts, to derive added hope and strength from the general trend of recent events, however dark their immediate effects, and to pray with unremitting fervor that He may hasten the approach of the realization of that Wondrous Vision which constitutes the brightest emanation of His Mind and the fairest fruit of the fairest civilization the world has yet seen.

Might not the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration* of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh mark the inauguration of so vast an era in human history?

Haifa, Palestine,
November 28, 1931

_________
* 1863.

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THE DECLARATION OF BAHá'U'LLÁ'S MISSION AND
JJOURNEY TO CONSTANTINOPLE


The following essay is Chapter IX of Shoghi Effendi's book, God Passes By.


THE arrival of Bahá'u'lláh in the Najíbíyyih Garden, subsequently designated by His followers the Garden of Ridván, signalizes the commencement of what has come to be recognized as the holiest and most significant of all Bahá'í festivals, the festival commemorating the Declaration of His Mission to His companions. So momentous a Declaration may well be regarded both as the logical consummation of that revolutionizing process which was initiated by Himself upon His return from Sulaymáníyyih, and as a prelude to the final proclamation of that same Mission to the world and its rulers from Adrianople.

Through that solemn act the "delay," of no less than a decade, divinely interposed between the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation in the Síyáh-Chál and its announcement to the Báb's disciples, was at long last terminated. The "set time of concealment," during which as He Himself has borne witness, the "signs and tokens of a divinely-appointed Revelation" were being showered upon Him, was fulfilled. The "myriad veils of light," within which His glory had been wrapped, were, at that historic hour, partially lifted, vouchsafing to mankind "an infinitesimal glimmer" of the effulgence of His "peerless, His most sacred and exalted Countenance." The "thousand two hundred and ninety days," fixed by Daniel in the last chapter of His Book, as the duration of the "abomination that maketh desolate" had now elapsed. The "hundred lunar years," destined to immediately precede that blissful consummation (1335 days), announced by Daniel in that same chapter, had commenced. The nineteen years, constituting the first "Vahíd," preordained in the Persian Bayán by the pen of the Báb, had been completed. The Lord of the Kingdom, Jesus Christ returned in the glory of the Father, was about to ascend His throne, and assume the sceptre of a world-embracing, indestructible sovereignty. The community of the Most Great Name, the "companions of the Crimson Colored Ark," lauded in glowing terms in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá, had visibly emerged. The Báb's own prophecy regarding the "Ridván," the scene of the unveiling of Bahá'u'lláh's transcendent glory, had been literally fulfilled.

Undaunted by the prospect of the appalling adversities which, as predicted by Himself, were soon to overtake Him; on the eve of a second banishment which would be fraught with many hazards and perils, and would bring Him still farther from His native land, the cradle of His Faith, to a country alien in race, in language and in culture; acutely conscious of the extension of the circle of His adversaries, among whom were soon to be numbered a monarch more despotic than Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, and ministers no less unyielding in their hostility than either Hájí Mírzá Aqásí or the Amír-Nizám; undeterred by the perpetual interruptions occasioned by the influx of a host of visitors who thronged His tent, Bahá'u'lláh chose in that critical and seemingly unpropitious hour to advance so challenging a claim, to lay bare the mystery surrounding His person, and to assume, in their plenitude, the power and the authority which were the exclusive privileges of the One Whose advent the Báb had prophesied.
Already the shadow of that great oncoming event had fallen upon the colony of exiles, who awaited expectantly its consummation. As the year "eighty" steadily and inexorably approached, He Who had become the real leader of that community increasingly experienced, and progressively communicated to His future followers, the onrushing influences of its informing force. The festive, the soul-entrancing odes which He revealed almost every day; the Tablets, replete with hints, which streamed from His pen; the allusions which, in private converse and public discourse, He made to the approaching hour; the exaltation which in moments of joy and sadness alike flooded His soul; the ecstasy which filled His lovers, already enraptured by the multiplying evidences of His rising greatness and glory; the perceptible change noted in His demeanor; and finally, His adoption of the táj (tall felt head-dress), on the day of His departure from His Most Holy House — -

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all proclaimed unmistakably His imminent assumption of the prophetic office and of His open leadership of the community of the Báb's followers.

"Many a night," writes Nabíl, depicting the tumult that had seized the hearts of Bahá'u'lláh's companions, in the days prior to the declaration of His mission, "would Mírzá áqá Ján gather them together in his room, close the door, light numerous camphorated candles, and chant aloud to them the newly revealed odes and Tablets in his possession. Wholly oblivious of this contingent world, completely immersed in the realms of the spirit, forgetful of the necessity for food, sleep or drink, they would suddenly discover that night had become day, and that the sun was approaching its zenith."

Of the exact circumstances attending that epoch-making Declaration we, alas, are but scantily informed. The words Bahá'u'lláh actually uttered on that occasion, the manner of His Declaration, the reaction it produced, its impact on Mírzá Yahyá, the identity of those who were privileged to hear Him, are shrouded in an obscurity which future historians will find it difficult to penetrate. The fragmentary description left to posterity by His chronicler Nabíl is one of the very few authentic records we possess of the memorable days He spent in that garden. "Every day," Nabíl has related, "ere the hour of dawn, the gardeners would pick the roses which lined the four avenues of the garden, and would pile them in the center of the floor of His blessed tent. So great would be the heap that when His companions gathered to drink their morning tea in His presence, they would be unable to see each other across it. All these roses Bahá'u'lláh would, with His own hands, entrust to those whom He dismissed from His presence every morning to be delivered, on His behalf, to His Arab and Persian friends in the city." "One night," he continues, "the ninth night of the waxing moon, I happened to be one of those who watched beside His blessed tent. As the hour of midnight approached, I saw Him issue from His tent, pass by the places where some of His companions were sleeping, and begin to pace up and down the moonlit, flower-bordered avenues of the garden. So loud was the singing of the nightingales on every side that only those who were near Him could hear distinctly His voice. He continued to walk until, pausing in the midst of one of these avenues, He observed: `Consider these nightingales. So great is their love for these roses, that sleepless from dusk till dawn, they warble their melodies and commune with burning passion with the object of their adoration. How then can those who claim to be afire with the rose-like beauty of the Beloved choose to sleep?' For three successive nights I watched and circled round His blessed tent. Every time I passed by the couch whereon He lay, I would find Him wakeful, and every day, from morn till eventide, I would see Him ceaselessly engaged in conversing with the stream of visitors who kept flowing in from Baghdád. Not once could I discover in the words He spoke any trace of dissimulation."

As to the significance of that Declaration let Bahá'u'lláh Himself reveal to us its import. Acclaiming that historic occasion as the "Most Great Festival," the "King of Festivals," the "Festival of God," He has, in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, characterized it as the Day whereon "all created things were immersed in the sea of purification," whilst in one of His specific Tablets, He has referred to it as the Day whereon "the breezes of forgiveness were wafted over the entire creation." "Rejoice, with exceeding gladness, O people of Bahá!", He, in another Tablet, has written, "as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken, as He departed from His House proceeding to the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of His Name, the All-Merciful. . . Were We to reveal the hidden secrets of that Day, all that dwell on earth and in the heavens would swoon away and die, except such as will be preserved by God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Such is the inebriating effect of the words of God upon the Revealer of His undoubted proofs that His pen can move no longer." And again: "The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. . .. The Day-Star of Blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our Name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the Kingdom of the Name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the Name of Thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens . . .. Take heed lest anything deter Thee from extolling the greatness of this Day — -the Day whereon

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the Finger of Majesty and Power hath opened the seal of the Wine of Reunion, and called all who are in the heavens and all who are on earth . . . . This is the Day whereon the unseen world crieth out: `Great is thy blessedness, O earth, for thou hast been made the footstool of thy God, and been chosen as the seat of His mighty throne' . . . Say . . . He it is Who hath laid bare before you the hidden and treasured Gem, were ye to seek it. He it is who is the One Beloved of all things, whether of the past or of the future." And yet again: "Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridván and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the Garden of Delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise . . . Within this Paradise, and from the heights of its loftiest chambers, the Maids of Heaven have cried out and shouted: `Rejoice, ye dwellers of the realms above, for the fingers of Him Who is the Ancient of Days are ringing, in the name of the All-Glorious, the Most Great Bell, in the midmost heart of the heavens. The hands of bounty have borne round the cups of everlasting life. Approach, and quaff your fill.'" And finally: "Forget the world of creation, O Pen, and turn Thou towards the face of Thy Lord, the Lord of all names. Adorn, then, the world with the ornament of the favors of Thy Lord, the King of everlasting days. For We perceive the fragrance of the Day whereon He Who is the Desire of all nations hath shed upon the kingdoms of the unseen and of the seen the splendors of the light of His most excellent names, and enveloped them with the radiance of the luminaries of His most gracious favors, favors which none can reckon except Him Who is the Omnipotent Protector of the entire creation."

The departure of Bahá'u'lláh from the Garden of Ridván, at noon, on the 14th of Dhi'l-Qádih 1279 A.H. (May 3, 1863), witnessed scenes of tumultuous enthusiasm no less spectacular, and even more touching, than those which greeted Him when leaving His Most Great House in Baghdád. "The great tumult," wrote an eyewitness, "associated in our minds with the Day of Gathering, the Day of Judgment, we beheld on that occasion. Believers and unbelievers alike sobbed and lamented. The chiefs and notables who had congregated were struck with wonder. Emotions were stirred to such depths as no tongue can describe, nor could any observer escape their contagion."

Mounted on His steed, a red roan stallion of the finest breed, the best His lovers could purchase for Him, and leaving behind Him a bowing multitude of fervent admirers, He rode forth on the first stage of a journey that was to carry Him to the city of Constantinople. "Numerous were the heads," Nabíl himself a witness of that memorable scene, recounts, "which, on every side, bowed to the dust at the feet of His horse, and kissed its hoofs, and countless were those who pressed forward to embrace His stirrups." "How great the number of those embodiments of fidelity," testifies a fellow-traveler, "who, casting themselves before that charger, preferred death to separation from their Beloved! Methinks, that blessed steed trod upon the bodies of those pure-hearted souls." "He (God) it was," Bahá'u'lláh Himself declares, "Who enabled Me to depart out of the city (Baghdád), clothed with such majesty as none, except the denier and the malicious, can fail to acknowledge." These marks of homage and devotion continued to surround Him until He was installed in Constantinople. Mírzá Yahyá, while hurrying on foot, by his own choice, behind Bahá'u'lláh's carriage, on the day of His arrival in that city, was overheard by Nabíl to remark to Siyyid Muhammad: "Had I not chosen to hide myself, had I revealed my identity, the honor accorded Him (Bahá'u'lláh) on this day would have been mine too."

The same tokens of devotion shown Bahá'u'lláh at the time of His departure from His House, and later from the Garden of Ridván, were repeated when, on the 20th of Dhi'l-Qádih (May 9, 1863), accompanied by members of His family and twenty-six of His disciples, He left Firayját, His first stopping-place in the course of that journey. A caravan, consisting of fifty mules, a mounted guard of ten soldiers with their officer, and seven pairs of howdahs, each pair surmounted by four parasols, was formed, and wended its way, by easy stages, and in the space of no less than a hundred and ten days, across the uplands, and through the defiles, the woods, valleys and pastures, comprising the picturesque scenery of eastern Anatolia, to the port of Sámsun, on the Black Sea. At times on horseback, at times resting in the howdah reserved for His use, and which was oftentimes

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surrounded by His companions, most of whom were on foot, He, by virtue of the written order of Námiq Páshá, was accorded, as He traveled northward, in the path of spring, an enthusiastic reception by the valís, the mutisárrifs, the qá'im-maqáms, the mudírs, the shaykhs, the muftís and qádís, the government officials and notables belonging to the districts through which He passed. In Kárkúk, in Irbíl, in Mosul, where He tarried three days, in Nisíbín, in Mardín, in Díyár-Bakr, where a halt of a couple of days was made, in Khárpút, in Sívas, as well as in other villages and hamlets, He would be met by a delegation immediately before His arrival, and would be accompanied, for some distance, by a similar delegation upon His departure. The festivities which, at some stations, were held in His honor, the food the villagers prepared and brought for His acceptance, the eagerness which time and again they exhibited in providing the means for His comfort, recalled the reverence which the people of Baghdád had shown Him on so many occasions.

As we passed that morning through the town of Mardín," that same fellow-traveler relates, "we were preceded by a mounted escort of government soldiers, carrying their banners, and beating their drums in welcome. The mutisárrif, together with officials and notables, accompanied us, while men, women and children, crowding the housetops and filling the streets, awaited our arrival. With dignity and pomp we traversed that town, and resumed our journey, the mutisárrif and those with him escorting us for a considerable distance." "According to the unanimous testimony of those we met in the course of that journey," Nabíl has recorded in his narrative, "never before had they witnessed along this route, over which governors and mushírs continually passed back and forth between Constantinople and Baghdád, any one travel in such state, dispense such hospitality to all, and accord to each so great a share of his bounty." Sighting from His howdah the Black Sea, as He approached the port of Sámsún, Bahá'u'lláh, at the request of Mírzá áqá Ján, revealed a Tablet, designated Lawh-i-Hawdaj (Tablet of the Howdah), which by such allusions as the "Divine Touchstone," "the grievous and tormenting Mischief," reaffirmed and supplemented the dire predictions recorded in the recently revealed Tablet of the Holy Mariner. In Sámsun the Chief Inspector of the entire province, extending from Baghdád to Constantinople, accompanied by several páshás, called on Him, showed Him the utmost respect, and was entertained by Him at luncheon. But seven days after His arrival, He, as foreshadowed in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, was put on board a Turkish steamer and three days later was disembarked, at noon, together with His fellow-exiles, at the port of Constantinople, on the first of Rabí'u'l-Avval 1280 A.H. (August 16, 1863). In two special carriages, which awaited Him at the landing-stage He and His family drove to the house of Shamsí Big, the official who had been appointed by the government to entertain its guests, and who lived in the vicinity of the Khirqiy-i-Sharíf mosque. Later they were transferred to the more commodious house of Vísí Páshá, in the neighborhood of the mosque of Sultán Muhammad.

With the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh at Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and seat of the Caliphate (acclaimed by the Muhammadans as "the Dome of Islam," but stigmatized by Him as the spot whereon the "throne of tyranny" had been established) the grimmest and most calamitous and yet the most glorious chapter in the history of the first Bahá'í century may be said to have opened. A period in which untold privations and unprecedented trials were mingled with the noblest spiritual triumphs was now commencing. The day-star of Bahá'u'lláh's ministry was about to reach its zenith. The most momentous years of the Heroic Age of His Dispensation were at hand. The catastrophic process, foreshadowed as far back as the year sixty by His Forerunner in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá, was beginning to be set in motion.

Exactly two decades earlier the Bábí Revelation had been born in darkest Persia, in the city of Shíráz. Despite the cruel captivity to which its Author had been subjected, the stupendous claims He had voiced had been proclaimed by Him before a distinguished assemblage in Tabríz, the capital of Ádhirbayján. In the hamlet of Badasht the Dispensation which His Faith had ushered in had been fearlessly inaugurated by the champions of His Cause. In the midst of the hopelessness

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and agony of the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán, nine years later, that Revelation had, swiftly and mysteriously been brought to sudden fruition. The process of rapid deterioration in the fortunes of that Faith, which had gradually set in, and was alarmingly accelerated during the years of Bahá'u'lláh's withdrawal to Kurdistán, had, in a masterly fashion after His return from Sulaymáníyyih, been arrested and reversed. The ethical, the moral and doctrinal foundations of a nascent community had been subsequently, in the course of His sojourn in Baghdád, unassailably established. And finally, in the Garden of Ridván, on the eve of His banishment to Constantinople, the ten-year delay, ordained by an inscrutable Providence, had been terminated through the Declaration of His Mission and the visible emergence of what was to become the nucleus of a world-embracing Fellowship. What now remained to be achieved was the proclamation, in the city of Adrianople, of that same Mission to the world's secular and ecclesiastical leaders, to be followed, in successive decades, by a further unfoldment, in the prison-fortress of Akká, of the principles and precepts constituting the bedrock of that Faith, by the formulation of the laws and ordinances designed to safeguard its integrity, by the establishment, immediately after His ascension, of the Covenant designed to preserve its unity and perpetuate its influence, by the prodigious and world-wide extension of its activities, under the guidance of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the Center of that Covenant, and lastly, by the rise, in the Formative Age of that Faith, of its Administrative Order, the harbinger of its Golden Age and future glory.

This historic Proclamation was made at a time when the Faith was in the throes of a crisis of extreme violence, and it was in the main addressed to the kings of the earth, and to the Christian and Muslim ecclesiastical leaders who, by virtue of their immense prestige, ascendancy and authority, assumed an appalling and inescapable responsibility for the immediate destinies of their subjects and followers.

The initial phase of that Proclamation may be said to have opened in Constantinople with the communication (the text of which we, alas, do not possess) addressed by Bahá'u'lláh to Sultán `Abdu'l-`Azíz himself, the self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islám and the absolute ruler of a mighty empire. So potent, so august a personage was the first among the sovereigns of the world to receive the Divine Summons, and the first among Oriental monarchs to sustain the impact of God's retributive justice. The occasion for this communication was provided by the infamous edict the Sultán had promulgated, less than four months after the arrival of the exiles in his capital, banishing them, suddenly and without any justification whatsoever, in the depth of winter, and in the most humiliating circumstances, to Adrianople, situated on the extremities of his empire. That fateful and ignominious decision, arrived at by the Sultán and his chief ministers, `Alí Páshá and Fu'ád Páshá, was in no small degree attributable to the persistent intrigues of the Mushíru'd-Dawlih, Mírzá Husayn Khán, the Persian Ambassador to the Sublime Porte, denounced by Bahá'u'lláh as His "calumniator," who awaited the first opportunity to strike at Him and the Cause of which He was now the avowed and recognized leader. This Ambassador was pressed continually by his government to persist in the policy of arousing against Bahá'u'lláh the hostility of the Turkish authorities. He was encouraged by the refusal of Bahá'u'lláh to follow the invariable practice of government guests, however highly placed, of calling in person, upon their arrival at the capital, on the Shaykhu'l-Islám, on the Sadr-i-A'zam, and on the Foreign Minister — Bahá'u'lláh did not even return the calls paid Him by several ministers, by Kamál Páshá and by a former Turkish envoy to the court of Persia. He was not deterred by Bahá'u'lláh's upright and independent attitude which contrasted so sharply with the mercenariness of the Persian princes who were wont, on their arrival, to "solicit at every door such allowances and gifts as they might obtain." He resented Bahá'u'lláh's unwillingness to present Himself at the Persian Embassy, and to repay the visit of its representative; and, being seconded, in his efforts, by his accomplice, Hájí Mírzá Hasan-i-Safá, whom he instructed to circulate unfounded reports about Him, he succeeded through his official influence, as well as through his private intercourse with ecclesiastics, notables and government officials, in representing Bahá'u'lláh as a proud and arrogant person, Who regarded Himself as subject to no law, Who entertained designs inimical to all established

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authority, and Whose forwardness had precipitated the grave differences that had arisen between Himself and the Persian Government. Nor was he the only one who indulged in these nefarious schemes. Others, according to `Abdu'l-Bahá, "condemned and vilified" the exiles, as "a mischief to all the world," as "destructive of treaties and covenants," as "baleful to all lands" and as "deserving of every chastisement and punishment."

No less a personage than the highly-respected brother-in-law of the Sadr-i-A'zam was commissioned to apprize the Captive of the edict pronounced against Him — an edict which evinced a virtual coalition of the Turkish and Persian imperial governments against a common adversary, and which in the end brought such tragic consequences upon the Sultanate, the Caliphate and the Qájár dynasty. Refused an audience by Bahá'u'lláh that envoy had to content himself with a presentation of his puerile observations and trivial arguments to `Abdu'l-Bahá and Aqáy-i-Kalím, who were delegated to see him, and whom he informed that, after three days, he would return to receive the answer to the order he had been bidden to transmit.

That same day a Tablet, severely condemnatory in tone, was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, was entrusted by Him, in a sealed envelope, on the following morning, to Shamsí Big, who was instructed to deliver it into the hands of `Alí Páshá, and to say that it was sent down from God. "I know not what that letter contained," Shamsí Big subsequently informed Aqáy-i-Kalím, "for no sooner had the Grand Vizir perused it than he turned the color of a corpse, and remarked: `It is as if the King of Kings were issuing his behest to his humblest vassal king and regulating his conduct.' So grievous was his condition that I backed out of his presence." "Whatever action," Bahá'u'lláh, commenting on the effect that Tablet had produced, is reported to have stated, "the ministers of the Sultán took against Us, after having become acquainted with its contents, cannot be regarded as unjustifiable. The acts they committed before its perusal, however, can have no justification."

That Tablet, according to Nabíl, was of considerable length, opened with words directed to the sovereign himself, severely censured his ministers, exposed their immaturity and incompetence, and included passages in which the ministers themselves were addressed, in which they were boldly challenged, and sternly admonished not to pride themselves on their worldly possessions, nor foolishly seek the riches of which time would inexorably rob them.

Bahá'u'lláh was on the eve of His departure, which followed almost immediately upon the promulgation of the edict of His banishment, when, in a last and memorable interview with the aforementioned Hájí Mírzá Hasan-i-Safá, He sent the following message to the Persian Ambassador: "What did it profit thee, and such as are like thee, to slay, year after year, so many of the oppressed, and to inflict upon them manifold afflictions, when they have increased a hundredfold, and ye find yourselves in complete bewilderment, knowing not how to relieve your minds of this oppressive thought. ...His Cause transcends any and every plan ye devise. Know this much: Were all the governments on earth to unite and take My life and the lives of all who bear this Name, this Divine Fire would never be quenched. His Cause will rather encompass all the kings of the earth, nay all that hath been created from water and clay.... Whatever may yet befall Us, great shall be our gain, and manifest the loss wherewith they shall be afflicted."

Pursuant to the peremptory orders issued for the immediate departure of the already twice banished exiles, Bahá'u'lláh, His family, and His companions, some riding in wagons, others mounted on pack animals, with their belongings piled in carts drawn by oxen, set out, accompanied by Turkish officers, on a cold December morning, amidst the weeping of the friends they were leaving behind, on their twelve-day journey, across a bleak and windswept country, to a city characterized by Bahá'u'lláh as "the place which none entereth except such as have rebelled against the authority of the sovereign." "They expelled Us," is His own testimony in the Súriy-i-Mulúk, "from thy city (Constantinople) with an abasement with which no abasement on earth can compare." "Neither My family, nor those who accompanied Me," He further states, "had the necessary raiment to protect them from the cold in that freezing weather." And again: "The eyes of Our enemies wept over Us, and beyond them those of every discerning person." "A banishment," laments Nabíl, "endured with such meekness that the pen

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sheddeth tears when recounting it, and the page is ashamed to bear its description." "A cold of such intensity," that same chronicler records, "prevailed that year, that nonagenarians could not recall its like. In some regions, in both Turkey and Persia, animals succumbed to its severity and perished in the snows. The upper reaches of the Euphrates, in Ma'dan-Nuqrih, were covered with ice for several days — an unprecedented phenomenon — while in Díyár-Bakr the river froze over for no less than forty days." "To obtain water from the springs," one of the exiles of Adrianople recounts, "a great fire had to be lighted in their immediate neighborhood, and kept burning for a couple of hours before they thawed out."

Traveling through rain and storm, at times even making night marches, the weary travelers, after brief halts at Kúchík-Chakmáchih, Buyuk-Chakmáchih, Salvárí, Birkás, and Bábá-Iskí, arrived at their destination, on the first of Rajab 1280 A.H. (December 12, 1863), and were lodged in the Khán-i-`Arab, a two-story caravanserai, near the house of `Izzat-Áqá. Three days later, Bahá'u'lláh and His family were consigned to a house suitable only for summer habitation, in the Murádíyyih quarter, near the Takyíy-i-Mawlaví, and were moved gain, after a week, to another house, in the vicinity of a mosque in that same neighborhood. About six months later they transferred to more commodious quarters, known as the house of Amru'lláh (House of God's command) situated on the northern side of the mosque of Sultán Salím.

Thus closes the opening scene of one of the most dramatic episodes in the ministry of Bahá'u'lláh. The curtain now rises on what is admittedly the most turbulent and critical period of the first Bahá'í century — a period that was destined to precede the most glorious phase of that ministry, the proclamation of His Message to the world and its rulers.

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Picture with the Caption:
BAHÁ'Í SHRINE
The Maxwell Home (the building on the left), where `Abdu'l-Bahá was a guest in 1912, was presented to the
Canadian Bahá'ís in 1953. Hands of the Cause Amelia Collins (left) and Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih
Khánum (right) are shown in front of the building.


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VI

AN INTERNATIONAL SURVEY OF
CURRENT BAHÁ'Í ACTIVITIES


"Soon will the present day order be rolled up,
and a new one spread out in its stead."
Bahá'u'lláh


THIS brief and factual account of the great World Crusade, launched by the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith in 1953 is derived from the detailed survey of the first six years of that Crusade, made by Marion Hofman at the request of the Hands of the Cause, and from information about the last four years available at the World Centre of the Faith.

1953-1963
To reflect on the decade bounded by these years must truly astonish us. man's powers seem illimitable; his mind has penetrated what nature concealed in all past ages; his body has conquered barriers hitherto insurmountable. The universe in an atom lies open to him, and reveals a reservoir of energy ready, at his choice, to serve or destroy. In a few years, our way of life is transformed, while the future, when these and other scientific marvels will be brought to their apex of usefulness or destruction, can scarcely be visualized.

For the Bahá'ís, also, this ten-year period staggers the imagination. Their religion which, for over a century since its birth in Persia in 1844, had grown up in obscurity, painfully and slowly widening its influence in the world, in one year in 1953-54 overleapt its bounds. Displaying the most splendid qualities of daring, endurance and self-sacrifice, Bahá'í crusaders came forth from their homes and formal occupations to claim for their Faith the most difficult and remote countries and islands of the planet. The banner they carried was the Message of Bahá'u'lláh — the best and happiest t news ever to break on human ears. Responding to the call of a beloved and divinely-guided leader, Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Cause of God, this dauntless army of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh, small in numbers as the world counts, swept past all obstacles and boundaries, and in one year, reached a hundred fresh territories. Joined by others at later stages of the Ten-Year Plan, the number of countries, islands and dependencies opened to the Faith was more than doubled, resulting in a total of 259 by Ridván, 1963.

Alone in his jungle or desert, on his island, mountain, or ice-packed waste, the pioneer — for such we call all those who forsake their homes to build in a new spot some small part of the Kingdom of God on earth — scarcely paused for rest, but began at once to share his news, to gather those whose hearts responded to it, and to erect with them Divine institutions in these new lands. Working thus together in eager devotion and love, brothers and sisters who but days or months before were strangers to each other, began to win victories for the Cause beyond their expectations, even beyond their dreams. As supporters increased, Spiritual Assemblies came into being, first in cities, towns and villages which, accumuulating in number, formed the formed the solid base for nation-wide institutions .All told, from 1954 to 1963, forty-four National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies came into being, to add to the existing twelve. These in their turn seized the reins and by the end of the crusade they had so far consolidated their work as to have acquired, in varying degrees, legal entity, national and local headquarters, endowments, schools, burial grounds, recognition for marriages and Holy Days, sites for future Temples, and literature in their native tongues. Indeed, so far had they come that by September, 1961, on hilltops near Kampala and Sydney, the Mother Temples of Africa

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and the Antipodes had already been dedicated to the glory of Bahá'u'lláh, and a third, the Mother Temple of Europe, was rapidly rising near Frankfurt, its exterior being completed by Ridván 1963.

But the story of these years is not only one of triumph, of overcoming difficulty, or of a crescendo of thrilling victories for the followers of Bahá'u'lláh. Alas, when least expected, great calamity befell mankind. The shield, centre, guide and light of our Faith on earth — mainspring and pivot of God's unfolding Commonwealth — was struck down. Every horizon darkened, every knowing heart quailed and walked alone in grief. With the passing of Shoghi Effendi on November 4, 1957, there began a time of interregnum of Divine guidance not once foreshadowed or imagined in any way.

The initial despair, however, was gradually dispelled as the friends, warmed to their still unfinished tasks by a light of new understanding, came to realize the tremendous legacy left by the beloved Guardian in the laying of the firm foundation for the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, in the development of the World Centre, in the volumes of translations of Bahá'í sacred literature, as well as his own interpretations of that same literature, and in appointing the Hands of the Cause of God. More than this, building on the foundation of the Master's Divine Plan, he created the World Crusade which delineated the work until 1963 when the Universal House of Justice was elected.

THE WORLD CRUSADE
1953-1963



This is the story of a world enterprise — perhaps the first truly universal enterprise on which mankind has ever embarked. It is mankind that is here involved, represented in all the diversity and richness of its life, through the members of a world-wide community called into being by Bahá'u'lláh.

It is a story of world co-operation — the harbinger of what is to come, when the qualities and powers which endow the human race are awakened to serve a common ideal and a common task. It is made up of hundreds upon hundreds of projects of infinite variety, pursued in every corner of the globe, each project making a small part of a vast design — the Ten-Year World Crusade delineated by Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.

Throughout the course of his ministry, for over thirty years, Shoghi Effendi had prepared for this Crusade. Slowly but firmly and without deviation, he had reared the Administrative Order. For sixteen years the energies of Bahá'ís in every part of the world had been focused on the development of local and national institutions. For another sixteen years these institutions had been directed, as instruments of co-ordination and energy, to the planned expansion, by stages, of the structure of the Faith.

It was at the dawn of the Holy Year in October, 1952, the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's Mission in the foul pit of the Siyáh-Chál, that the Guardian issued the first announcement of the World Crusade.
"Feel hour propitious proclaim entire Bahá'í world projected launching . . . fate-laden, soul-stirring, decade-long, world-embracing Spiritual Crusade involving . . . concerted participation all National Spiritual Assemblies Bahá'í world aiming immediate extension Bahá'u'lláh's spiritual dominion as well as eventual establishment structure His administrative order all remaining Sovereign States, Principal Dependencies comprising Principalities, Sultanates, Emirates, Shaykhdoms, Protectorates, Trust Territories, Crown Colonies scattered surface entire planet. Entire body avowed supporters Bahá'u'lláh's all-conquering Faith now summoned achieve single decade feats eclipsing totality achievements which course eleven preceding decades illuminated annals Bahá'í pioneering."
Shoghi Effendi had alluded to this vast project the year before: he had spoken of the "inauguration" of the "long-anticipated intercontinental stage" when announcing, in November, 1951, the four Intercontinental Teaching Conferences to be convened during the festivities of the Holy Year; in March, 1952, he had given "the global crusade" its name; in April, 1952, he had revealed its background — the impending world crusade which the world community . . . is preparing to launch, amidst the deepening shadows of world crisis . . ." In June, 1952, he reminded

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the believers that "the radiance of God's infant light shining within the walls of that pestilential Pit" signalized "the commencement of a ten-year long crisis" in the ministry of Bahá'u'lláh, and he called upon them "to issue forth, as a ransom for so much suffering, and in thanksgiving for such priceless benefits conferred upon mankind, their substance, exert themselves to the utmost, scale the limits of self-sacrifice . . . and through a concerted, determined, consecrated ten-year-long effort, achieve their greatest victories in honour of the Founder of their Faith." "To all," he wrote in burning words, I feel moved . . . to address my plea, with all the fervour that my soul can command and all the love that my heart contains, to rededicate themselves, collectively, and individually, to the task that lies ahead of them."

Thus, little by little, did Shoghi Effendi arouse and steel the Bahá'í world community for the decade to come. Yet when he revealed the magnitude of the tasks, in all their immensity and scope — first in his announcement of October, 1952, and later in the detailed plans he unfolded to the four Intercontinental Conferences of 1953, as well as to each of the twelve National Spiritual Assemblies existing at Ridván, 1953 — the Bahá'ís of the world were benumbed and dazzled by the enormity of the work entrusted to their hands.

The primary objectives of the Crusade were twenty-seven in number. They included doubling the number of countries within the pale of the Faith, quadrupling the number of National Spiritual Assemblies, providing national headquarters and endowments for each National Assembly not already so bulwarked, framing national Bahá'í constitutions and incorporating the National Spiritual Assemblies of the world, increasing over two-fold the number of languages with Bahá'í literature, building two Bahá'í Temples (later increased to three) and purchasing sites for eleven more, establishing six Publishing Trusts, and many other goals, including ten objectives to be achieved at the World Centre. In addition, the Guardian called upon all National Assemblies to consolidate and expand the communities under their care.

This tremendous work passed through four phases, described by the Guardian at the mid-point of the Crusade, in his last message of October, 1957, to the Bahá'í world.

"The first phase, covering the initial twelve months of this stupendous enterprise, will be forever be associated with the carrying of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh to no less than a hundred countries of the globe. The second phase, lasting twice as long as the first, witnessed the acquisition of a remarkably large number of national Hazíratu'l-Quds, and the establishment, in numerous countries, of Bahá'í national endowments, complementing, through the process of administrative consolidation, the striking enlargement of the orbit of the Faith . . .

The third phase, equal in duration to the preceding phase, has been made memorable by the striking multiplication of Bahá'í centres, and by the formation of no less than sixteen Regional and National Spiritual Assemblies. The fourth phase must be immortalized, on the one hand, by an unprecedented increase in the number of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of every race, clime, creed and colour, and from every stratum of present-day society, coupled with a corresponding increase in the number of Bahá'í centres, and, on the other, by a swift progress in the erection of the Mother Temples of Africa and Australia, as well as by the initiation of the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Europe."

Well might the Guardian, in surveying "this mighty Plan, devised for the systematic execution of the Design conceived" by `Abdu'l-Bahá, characterize it as "matchless in its vastness, unsurpassed in its potentialities in the spiritual annals of mankind . . ."

Yet nothing of this would have been accomplished had it not been for Shoghi Effendi. The Ten-Year Crusade was his Crusade, a vast, planetary campaign conceived, launched and sustained by him, the first of a long series of world enterprises which would implement he Divine Plan of `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself. Having set the plan in motion, the Guardian, through continuous messages flowing from Haifa, infused such a dynamic spirit into the followers of Bahá'u'lláh that they were able, by 1963, to win almost every goal he had set them. Had it not been for this active support and the ever-unfolding vision of the glorious future which he unveiled to our eyes, nothing would have been accomplished.

P 248

Even in the years after his passing, it was still the dynamic influence of his words which continued to focus the thoughts and aspirations of the Bahá'ís unwaveringly on the objectives of his great plan.

THE WORLD CENTRE



The Ten-Year Plan included goals which were the primary concern of the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith. These were: (1) Adoption of preliminary measures for the construction of Bahá'u'lláh's Sepulchre; (2) Acquisition of a site for the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár on Mt. Carmel; (3) Development of the functions of the institution of the Hands of the Cause; (4) Establishment of a Bahá'í Court in the Holy Land, as a preliminary to the emergence of the Universal House of Justice; (5) Codification of the Litáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh's Book of Laws; (6) Extension of the International Bahá'í Endowments in the Holy Land; (7) Construction of the International Bahá'í Archives; (8) Establishment of seven Israel branches of National Spiritual Assemblies; (9) Reinforcement of the ties binding the Bahá'í World Community to the United Nations; and (10) Convocation of a World Bahá'í Congress in the vicinity of the Garden of Ridván, Baghdád, on the occasion of the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration in 1863.

THE SHRINE OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH



In 1952, at the inception of the Holy Year commemorating the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Miss ion in the Siyáh-Chál prison of Tihrán, the Guardian initiated the landscaping, illumination, and embellishment of an extensive area, which he designated the Haram-i-Aqdas, surrounding the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh. This work — a "striking enhancement of the beauty and stateliness of the Most Holy Spot in the Bahá'í World" — paved the way for the "construction in future decades" of a befitting Shrine for God's Manifestation on earth.

At Ridván, 1953 Shoghi Effendi announced the inauguration of a special fund and further notable developments ensued. The gardens of the Haram-i-Aqdas were enlarged still more to form, the International Bahá'í Council reported in May, 1955 "practically a semi-circle around the Shrine with a radius of one-hundred-and-ten metres. Thus approximately thirty-five thousand square metres (nine acres) of land is now developed." In the following year a ruined house south of the Mansion of Bahjí, known as the Master's Tea House where `Abdu'l-Bahá had often received His friends, including the first party of Western pilgrims in 1898, was bought; its restoration was reported at Ridván, 1957. Negotiations were also initiated by the Guardian for two plots to the north and south of the Shrine, to safeguard its precincts from the rapid spread of new settlements on the plain of `Akká. Yet further improvement was the destruction of "a row of ruinous sheds", by order of the Municipal Authorities of `Akká, which had been under the control of Covenant-breakers. Meanwhile, the Shrine itself received the addition of a massive, beautifully-carved and gilded oak door.

These improvements were but a prelude to the monumental victory which crowned the beloved Guardian's life and filled his heart with "profound joy, exaltation and thankfulness . . ." From the dawn of `Abdu'l-Bahá's ministry, an ignoble band of Covenant-breakers had "entrenched itself in the precincts of the Most Holy Shrine of the Bahá'í world . . ." In earlier days this group had denied `Abdu'l-Bahá access to the Mansion of Bahjí, where Bahá'u'lláh spent the last twelve years of His life. For more than six decades they had hampered every step taken by Him and the Guardian to preserve and ennoble these sacred environs.

In April, 1957 Shoghi Effendi announced to the Bahá'í world that an expropriation order relating to the "entire property owned by Covenant-breakers within the Haram-i-Aqdas" had been issued by the Treasury Department of the Government of Israel and published in the Israel Official Gazette. Behinds this lay a hard and protracted struggle, waged in the Guardian's name by Leroy Ioas, Hand of the Cause in Haifa and Secretary-General of the International Bahá'í Council. An appeal against the appropriation order was made by the Covenant=breakers to Israel's

P 249

Supreme Court, but on June 3, 1957 Shoghi Effendi cabled the triumphant news that the order had been upheld, "enabling the civil authorities to enforce the original decision and proceed with the eviction of the wretched remnants of the once redoubtable adversaries . . ." On September 6, 1957 a further cable announced their "complete evacuation . . . and the purification . . . of the Haram-i-Aqdas from every trace of their contamination." At long last the Qiblih of the Bahá'í world had been cleansed and the way opened to fulfill, in future decades, the Guardian's vision for the construction of a "stately and befitting Mausoleum designed to enshrine the holiest Dust the earth ever received into its bosom."

It had been Shoghi Effendi's wish to direct in person the razing of the buildings evacuated by the enemies of the Cause, but this was not to be, and it fell to the Hands of the Cause in Haifa to carry out this task. It was their first endeavour, and by December, 1957 no trace of the buildings was left. They then proceeded to enlarge the gardens of the Haram-i-Aqdas according to the Guardian's plan, covering the site of the buildings entirely, and raising the third terrace he had planned toward the east, above the two he himself had completed. To the east of the Mansion a long strip of garden was planted, comprising four thousand square metres, also part of the Guardian's plan.

The Hands succeeded, moreover, in effecting the Guardian's purpose to transfer the title deeds of this evacuated property "to the triumphant Bahá'í community." In a deed of sale from the State of Israel, thirteen separate titles for the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, the Mansion of Bahjí, and all the newly-acquired properties were transferred to the name of the Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States.

Thus did the Sign of God on earth achieve ascendancy in his last hours, glorifying his ministry, and fulfilling one stage of his own promise for the World Centre of the Faith: "Resistlessly will this Divine institution flourish and expand, however fierce the animosity which its future enemies may evince, until the full measure of its splendour will have been disclosed before the eyes of all mankind."

TEMPLE ON MT. CARMEL



The Guardian's Convention message of April, 1954 announced the selection of a site for the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the Holy Land, one of the Crusade goals at the World Centre, "at the head of the Mountain of God, in close proximity to the Spot hallowed by the footsteps of Bahá'u'lláh, near the time-honoured Cave of Elijah, and associated with the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel, the Charter of the World Spiritual and Administrative Centres of the Faith on that mountain."

"The land is truly in an imposing position," wrote the International Bahá'í Council in May, 1955. "West, the sun sinks into the Mediterranean; south are the rolling hills, the Valley of Askalon and the coast line; north, across the bay, lies historic `Akká, and Mt. Hermon, often crowned with snow, is clearly visible; east lies Haifa City, the port, and, daintily outlined, the dome and pinnacles of the Báb's Shrine are silhouetted against the sky half-way up the Mountain. We may now truly say we own the head and heart of Carmel."

By April, 1955 a contract had been signed with the Israeli Authorities to acquire this area of thirty-six thousand square metres, at a cost of one-hundred-and-eight thousand dollars. The entire sum, the Guardian reported, had been "donated by Amelia Collins. Hand of the Cause and outstanding benefactress of the Faith." Although the negotiations for purchase were fraught with innumerable implications, the Guardian was able to inform the Bahá'í world in April, 1957 that the necessary formalities were completed.

A part of the Guardian's plan for the site, which had not been completed by 1963, was the erection there of an obelisk, made in Italy of Travertine stone, to mark the site of the future Temple.

THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD



Since the institution of the Hands of the Cause of God is dealt with in detail elsewhere in this volume,1 only the salient facts concerning the Hands of the Cause need be mentioned here.

On November 15, 1955 the beloved Guard-

_________
1 see page 333.

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
HANDS OF THE CAUSE MEET WITH PRESIDENT BEN ZVI OF ISRAEL
Some of the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land during one of their official calls
on the Head of the State in Jerusalem, 1959. Left to right: Leroy Ioas, Amatu'l-Bahá
Rúhíyyih Khánum, President Ben Zvi, Mrs. Ben Zvi, Amelia Collins, `Alí Akbar
Furútan, Abú'l-Qásim Faizí and Government officials.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
PRESIDENT TUBMAN OF LIBERIA VISITS THE BAHÁ'Í SHRINES IN HAIFA
The Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land received President and Mrs. Tubman on
the occasion of their official visit to Israel. Left to right: Paul Haney, Mrs. Tubman,
President Tubman, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and the Mayor of Haifa,
Mr. Aba Khoushy, Haifa, June 28, 1962.


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ian appointed `Alí Muhammad Varqá to succeed his honoured father as a Hand of the Cause and on March 27, 1957 Agnes Alexander was called upon to take the place left vacant by the death of George Townshend. The Hands appointed by the beloved Guardian in the last contingent announced on 27 October, 1957 were Enoch Olinga, William Sears, John A. Robarts, Hasan Balyuzi, John Ferraby, Collis Featherstone, Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir and Abú'l-Qásim Faizí.

On June 4, 1957 Shoghi Effendi announced a new phase in the unfoldment of the sacred mission of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause. He said: "To its newly-assumed responsibility to assist National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í world in the specific purpose of effectively prosecuting the World Spiritual Crusade, the primary obligation to watch over and ensure protection to the Bahá'í world community, in close association with these same National Assemblies, is now added." He further stated: "Call upon Hands and National Assemblies, each continent separately, to establish henceforth direct contact and deliberate, whenever feasible, as frequently as possible, to exchange reports to be submitted by their respective Auxiliary Boards and national committees, to exercise unrelaxing vigilance and carry out unflinchingly their sacred, inescapable duties."

Following the assumption of their new duties as protectors of the Faith, the Hands were called upon, in October of that same year, to appoint in each continent "an additional Auxiliary Board, equal in membership to the existing one, and charged with the specific duty of watching over the security of the Faith, thereby complementing the function of the original Board, whose duty will henceforth be exclusively concerned with assisting the prosecution of the Ten-Year Plan." In his final communication to the Bahá'ís Shoghi Effendi had designated the Hands as "Chief Stewards of Bahá'u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth." Little was it realized then how soon the Hands would be called upon to carry the full burden that designation implied. Scarcely a month was to pass ere, in the midst of deepest sorrow following the passing of the beloved of all hearts, the Hands found it necessary to announce:
"In our capacity as Chief Stewards of the embryonic World Commonwealth of Bahá'u'lláh, we Hands of the Cause have constituted a body of nine Hands to serve at the Bahá'í World Centre."
This body of Hands residing in the Holy Land was empowered to deal with problems of protecting the Faith, correspond with continental Hands and National Assemblies, and to assist National Assemblies in administrative matters "by citing those passages of the Bahá'í sacred literature which direct the Assemblies to a sound solution." Meanwhile the entire body of the Hands deliberated on ways in which the International Bahá'í Council was "to evolve through the successive stages outlined by the Guardian, culminating in the call to election of the Universal House of Justice . . ."

The record of their stewardship, recounted elsewhere in these pages, earned the Hands of the Cause of God the undying gratitude of the Bahá'í world. The Universal House of Justice, in its first public statement paid them this tribute:
" . . . they share the victory with their beloved commander, he who raised them up and appointed them. They kept the ship on its course and brought it safe to port. The Universal House of Justice, with pride and love, recalls on this supreme occasion its profound admiration for the heroic work which they have accomplished. We do not wish to dwell on the appalling dangers which faced the infant Cause when it was suddenly deprived of our beloved Shoghi Effendi, but rather to acknowledge with all the love and gratitude of our hearts the reality of the sacrifice, the labour, the self-discipline, the superb stewardship of the Hands of the Cause of God."


ESTABLISHMENT OF A BAHÁ'Í COURT
IN THE HOLY LAND



Following the passing of the beloved Guardian, the Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land made a further study of the possibility of establishing a Bahá'í Court in Israel, and in November, 1959 announced:

P 252
"We wish to assure the believers that every effort will be made to establish a Bahá'í Court in the Holy Land prior to the date set for this election.* We should however bear in mind that the Guardian himself clearly indicated this goal, due to the strong trend towards the secularization of religious courts in this part of the world, might not be achieved."
The International Bahá'í Council made a further study of the possibility of establishing a Bahá'í Court in the Holy Land. It was found that circumstances existing in the State of Israel made it impossible to attain this goal of the Crusade in the manner stipulated by Shoghi Effendi. The Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land confirmed this finding.

CODIFICATION OF THE
KITÁB-I_AQDAS



"The promulgation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas," the Guardian has said, "May well rank as the most signal act" of Bahá'u'lláh's ministry. It is His "Most Holy Book." the "Mother-Book of the Bahá'í Revelation." Its provisions "must remain inviolate for not less than a thousand years," and its "system will embrace the entire planet . . ." In it are contained "the fundamental laws of His Dispensation."

In the light of these words, one may judge the importance of the steps announced by Shoghi Effendi in April, 1955, "for the preparation of a Synopsis, and for the Codification of the Laws" of the Aqdas. These steps, he said, were the "essential prelude to the eventual translation and publication of its entire text." (When the Universal House of Justice was elected the beloved Guardian's notes for the preparation of a Synopsis and for Codification of the Laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas were delivered to it.)

EXTENSION OF INTERNATIONAL
BAHÁ'Í ENDOWMENTS



One of the most enduring works of the Guardian was the preparation of a secure foundation for the support of the World Spiritual and Administrative Centres of the Faith in the Holy Land. The acquisition of properties situated in the heart of Mt. Carmel and in the plain of `Akká was essential to this purpose and was vigorously pressed by Shoghi Effendi throughout his ministry.

The decade of the fifties saw a marked acceleration of this process and notable victories were won. Foremost was the cleansing of the area immediately surrounding the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh from Covenant-breakers and the acquisition of their properties, which were expropriated by the Government of Israel and transferred to the Faith. The purchase of land for the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár on Mt. Carmel was another milestone at the World Centre, as was the addition of the plot on Mt. Carmel, formerly owned by the sister of a "notorious enemy" of `Abdu'l-Bahá. which opened the way to the building of the International Bahá'í Archives. Other significant purchases provided the land needed for the development on Mt. Carmel of extensive new gardens containing the "arc", about which, in future, the various buildings of the World Administrative Centre will be built. Another important step was the purchase of five houses at the foot of Mt. Carmel, part of the German colony settled before 1870 by the Templars, in anticipation of the coming of the Lord of Hosts. The precincts of Bahá'u'lláh's Shrine were protected by further additions of land, and a house near Bahjí which had been used by `Abdu'l-Bahá was acquired.

In April, 1954 the Guardian announced that "the vast area of Bahá'í holdings permanently dedicated the the Shrines of the Founder of the Faith and to its Herald" exceeded three-hundred-and-fifty thousand square metres. Within two years these endowments had been increased to over four-hundred-thousand square metres, and they were further extended before 1959. In 1954 their value had been about four million dollars. In his last message, October, 1957, Shoghi Effendi estimated the value of these International Bahá'í endowments at over five-and-a-half million dollars.

BAHÁ'Í INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES



One of the foremost objectives of the World Crusade, Shoghi Effendi announced in 1954, was the erection on Mt. Carmel of the Bahá'í

_________
* of the Universal House of Justice.

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International Archives, designed to serve as "the permanent and befitting repository for the priceless and numerous relics associated with the Twin Founders of the Faith, with the perfect Exemplar of its teachings and with its heroes, saints and martyrs . . ."

The story of its design and construction is detailed in another article in this volume.2 Suffice it to say here that by April, 1957 a beautiful edifice of classical Greek style, costing over a quarter-of-a-million dollars, and completed on Mt. Carmel. In the last year of his life Shoghi Effendi chose and purchased the entrance gate and many furnishings, including the exquisitely carved and inlaid Japanese and Chinese cabinets in which the sacred relics were placed with loving care by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum.

ISRAEL BRANCHES



The Palestine Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the United States and Canada and of India, Pákistán and Burma had been organized as religious societies in 1930 and 1934 respectively and were legally empowered to hold unrestricted title to movable and immovable property in the Holy Land, a status which was continued with the founding of the State of Israel. The beloved Guardian set as a goal of the Ten-Year Plan the establishment of seven additional Israel Branches of National Spiritual Assemblies, and in his Ridván Message in 1954 he was able to announce the formation of those of the National Assemblies of the British Isles, Persia, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand. By November, 1957 separate Branches were established for the National Assemblies of New Zealand, Alaska and Pákistán, bringing the total number of Israel Branches to eleven.

After the passing of Shoghi Effendi the Government of the State of Israel recognized the status of the Custodians elected by the Hands of the Cause and took legal recognizance of the Custodians as new managers for the several Israel or Palestine Branches of National Spiritual Assemblies.

As circumstances permitted, properties were registered in the names of the various Israel Branches. These included the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, the Mansion of Bahjí, the properties of the Haram-i-Aqdas which were evacuated by the Covenant-breakers, and many properties on Mt. Carmel.

RELATIONS WITH THE STATE OF
ISRAEL



The State of Israel has invariably accorded a high status to the international institutions of the Faith, and "this process of recognition" has constituted "an historic landmark in the evolution of the World Centre . . ." One of the first responsibilities of the International Council was to foster this relationship. "Contacts are maintained with Departments of Government as well as the City Authorities in Haifa, `Akká, and many Cabinet officials." (Report of International Council, May 2, 1955.)

The official visit of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Izhak Ben Zvi, and Mrs. Ben Zvi, to the Guardian in April, 1954 led to a most cordial relationship between them, and Shoghi Effendi later called upon the President and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem. On December 6, 1955 the Mayor of Haifa, Aba Khoushy, visited the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, and was received by Mrs. Amelia Collins, Vice-President of the International Bahá'í Council and Mr. Horace Holley, Secretary of the American National Spiritual Assembly.

The establishment of a Bahá'í Department under the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the official acceptance of Bahá'í marriage and the excusing of Bahá'í children from school attendance on Bahá'í Holy Days, the exemption of Bahá'í properties from taxation and customs duties are all evidences of the official recognition accorded by the State of Israel to the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith. The passing of the Guardian gave indubitable proof of the stature which the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh had attained in Israel. "A great wave of sincere, shocked and deeply-felt sympathy poured out to the Bahá'í Community from the officials of the State of Israel and its peoples," wrote the Hands in Haifa in their Convention message, 1958; "from the President, Prime Minister and Cabinet members down to the simplest citizens, tributes and condolences poured in; at every point the Government of this State responded to

_________

2 see page 402.

P 254

Picture with the Caption:
State of Israel, District Commissioner of Haifa, acknowledges the change of
management in the Israel Branches of various Bahá'í National Spiritual Assemblies
previously under the management of Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.


P 255

our requests, and co-operated with us in protecting the interests of the Faith at the International Centre."

RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED
NATIONS



In the submission of proposals for the revision of the Charter of the United Nations, in the close co-operation and effective assistance extended to the Bahá'í World Community during the Persian persecutions of 1955 and 1956, in the support given to the Genocide Convention, in the participation by Bahá'í delegates in conferences of various branches of United Nations organizations and in local participation in United Nations activities throughout the world the goal of "reinforcement of ties binding the Bahá'í World Community to the United Nations" was pursued during the Crusade.

An account of these activities appears elsewhere in this volume.3

THE BAHÁ'Í WORLD CONGRESS



The text of the Message released by the Hands of the Cause of God from their Conclave at Bahjí in November, 1961 read as follows:
"Owing to conditions affecting the Cause which still prevail in the Middle East, it has become evident that it is not possible to hold the World Congress in Baghdád in 1963, on the occasion of the world-wide celebration of the `Most Great Jubilee', the Centenary of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in the Garden of Ridván. Prolonged investigations have shown us that to make plans at this time for it to take place there is out of the question. We have therefore decided that this first World Congress, the last of the great gatherings of the Bahá'ís to be summoned by Shoghi Effendi, which constitutes the joyous consummation of ten years of unprecedented work and achievement, shall be held in London, the city which enshrines his infinitely precious remains, on April 28, 29, 30 and May 1 and 2, 1963, a period which includes the ninth and twelfth days of Ridván."
In the same Message they called for "a convention in the Holy Land for the election of the Universal House of Justice on the first, second, and third days of Ridván, 1963."

THE INTERCONTINENTAL
CONFERENCES



Shoghi Effendi's genius as shepherd and guide of the increasingly varied Bahá'í world community was never more apparent than in his calling nine Intercontinental Conferences, four to launch, and five to invigorate at its mid-way point the vast and intricate evolution of his World Spiritual Crusade. In his last message to the Bahá'í World, in October, 1957 he announced his plan for the conferences to be held between January and September 1958 "marking the half-way point of the greatest Crusade ever embarked upon for the propagation of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh," and signalizing "the opening of the fourth phase of the Ten-Year Plan." Their purpose would be five-fold: to offer "humble thanksgiving" to Bahá'u'lláh; to review and celebrate "the series of signal victories won so rapidly"; to consult on ways and means to ensure "triumphant consummation" of the Plan; to lend "a powerful impetus, the world over, to the vital process of individual conversion"; and to give impetus to the construction of the three Mother Temples of Europe, Africa, and Australia.

The sites chosen for these five conferences were Kampala, Sydney, Wilmette, Frankfurt, and Djkarta. National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies chosen to sponsor the Conferences were those of Central and East Africa, Australia, the United States, Germany and Austria, and South East Asia. The The Chairmen of these five Assemblies were invited to convene them. Five Hands of the Cause, "who, in their capacity as members of the International Bahá'í Council, are closely associated with the rise and development of the institutions of the Faith at its World Centre," were honoured by the Guardian "to act as my special representatives . . ."

To Kampala, Sydney, and Frankfurt the Guardian sent, in the care of his representatives, "a portion of the blessed earth from the inmost Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, a lock of His precious Hair, and a reproduction of His

_________
3 see page 785.

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
NEW INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES BUILDING
The Greek-style building erected on Mount Carmel, Haifa containing Bahá'í Archives
of historical interest.


Portrait," instructing that the sacred earth be deposited in the foundations of the Temples then being erected in Africa and Australia. (This was also done in Europe at a later date.)By the Guardian's wish the Portrait of Bahá'u'lláh was exhibited to the friends in all the Conferences, and, in Wilmette, that of the Báb, as well.

In the closing words of his historic message Shoghi Effendi called "upon the entire body of the believers," to ensure "the total and resounding success of these Conferences, dedicated to the glorification of His Name, and expressly convened for the purpose of accelerating the march of the institutions of His world-redeeming Order, and of hastening the establishment of His Kingdom in the hearts of men." In the event, the Conferences served yet another purpose, for they solaced and rallied the World Bahá'í Community after the shattering and wholly unexpected loss of him who had led them for thirty-six years to the very threshold of supreme victory.

P 257

THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE



The evolution of the Faith in the Western Hemisphere during the decade of the World Crusade from four National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies to twenty-four, and from 1390 centres to 2924 is a dramatic story heightened in interest and significance by the beginning of mass conversion among the indigenous peoples of Bolivia and Panama.

At the beginning of the Crusade in Ridván, 1953 only the National Assemblies of Canada and the United States and the Regional National Assemblies of South America and of Central America and the Antilles were in existence. At the victorious conclusion of the Ten-Year Plan all twenty-four National Assemblies called for in the Western Hemisphere by Shoghi Effendi had been established, plus one in Jamaica.

LATIN AMERICA



The Guardian, in his 1953 Convention messages, called on the members of the highly promising communities of Latin America to take up their full share of the Global Crusade, entrusting to each National Assembly there, ten far-reaching goals, and to the Regional National Assembly of South America the added task of establishing a Bahá'í Publishing Trust in Rio de Janeiro. So swift had been the evolution of the Latin American communities before the launching of the Ten-Year Crusade that he chose as their primary goal the establishment, with the assistance of the United States, of twenty National Spiritual Assemblies in twenty republics of Central and South America and the Antilles.

By June, 1954 all thirteen virgin territories to be opened during the Plan had been settled, and in the settlement of the Falkland Islands the Faith reached the southernmost point of its diffusion.

The establishment of Hazíratu'l-Quds and the purchase of endowments and Temple sites in the twenty Republics was accomplished, funds being supplied through generous gifts from the Guardian himself and from Mrs. Amelia Collins, supplemented by allocations from the United States. Significantly, the first of these victories was in Panama, that point of destiny wherein, as `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote, "the Teachings, once established . . . will unite the East and the West, the North and the South." Here on April 21, 1954 a site for the Mother Temple of Panama was purchased — five acres of hilltop and commanding a view of Panama City and the Pacific Ocean.

Four Regional Assemblies Formed



The simultaneous convocation at Ridván, of four Conventions in Latin America for the purpose of forming four new Regional National Assemblies was an occasion of joy and thanksgiving made possible by the successful pioneering and teaching projects carried out during the first three years of the Crusade.

The Guardian's personal representatives to those Conventions and the representatives of the United States National Assembly were as follows:
Mexico and the Republics of Central America held at Panama City, Panama: Hand of the Cause Dhikru'lláh Khádem representing the Guardian, and Mr. Robert McLaughlin representing the National Assembly of the United States.

The Greater Antilles held at Kingston, Jamaica: Hand of the Cause Corinne True representing the Guardian, and Dr. Katherine True representing the National Assembly of the United States.

The Republics of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela held at Lima, Peru: Horace Holley representing the Guardian and the National Assembly of the United States.

The Republics of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia held at Buenos Aires, Argentina: Hand of the Cause `Alí Muhammad Varqá representing the Guardian, and Mrs. Margery McCormick representing the National Assembly of the United States.
P 258


In each case the representative of the National Assembly of the United States called the Convention to order and acted as the temporary chairman until the Convention officers ere elected. The Guardian's representative brought to the Convention the Message of the Guardian calling for four subsidiary six-year plans involving an increase in the number of believers, Local Assemblies, groups and isolated centres; the extension of legal recognition of Assemblies and of Bahá'í marriage and Holy Days; the consolidation of virgin territories; the increase of Bahá'í literature and of summer schools; wider acceptance of the Faith among the Negroes and American Indians and their participation in administrative affairs; and the acquisition of Temple sites in each of the Republics.

Twenty-one National Spiritual Assemblies
Formed



During Ridván, 1961 twenty-one new National Spiritual Assemblies came into being in fulfillment of the beloved Guardian's goals. The Hands of the Cause officially attending on behalf of the body of the Hands are as follows:

Argentina |
Chile | Hermann Grossmann
Bolivia |
Paraguay | Rahmatu'lláh Muhájír
Brazil |
Uruguay | `Alí Akbar Furútan
Colombia |
Jamaica | Shu'á`u'lláh `Alá'í
Costa Rica |
Panama | Dhikru'lláh Khádem
Cuba |
Dominican Republic | Enoch Olinga
Ecuador |
Peru | Hasan Balyuzí
El Salvador |
Guatemala | William Sears
Haiti |
Venezuela | Ugo Giachery
Honduras |
Nicaragua | Collis Featherstone
|
Mexico | Paul Haney


Some of the thrilling events which led to the final victories of the Crusade are now recounted.

Teaching the Indians



Ever mindful of the words of the beloved Master in the Tablets of the Divine Plan that "You must give great importance to teaching the Indians, i.e., the aborigines of America . . . should these Indians and aborigines be educated and obtain guidance, there is no doubt that through the Divine Teachings they will become so enlightened as in turn to shed light to all regions . . ."
special efforts were made in this important field, and signal victories won, throughout the entire period of the Crusade. No less than eighty-nine different Indian tribes became represented within the pale of the Faith — thirty-eight in Latin America, thirty-five in the United States, eleven in Canada and five in Alaska. The major portion of the believers in Latin America are Indian, and it is estimated that one-fourth of the Canadian Bahá'í Community is composed of Indian believers.

The attraction of the Bolivian Indians to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh is a most enthralling saga. It was in April, 1956 that Andrés Jachacollo, Mayor of the estrancia of Vilacollo, Canton Huañuni, when walking in La Paz, noted the Bahá'í Centre and stopped to inquire. Later he related how he had been searching for years, and now at last had found the Word of God and knew that his fellows sought it too.

That encounter led with incredible speed to the foundation of a Bahá'í community in the village of Vilacollo situated at an elevation of over twelve thousand feet, 250 kilometres from La Paz. Here at Ridván, 1957 the first Indian Spiritual Assembly was formed.

The Ridván 1960 report of the Western

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Argentina, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Bolivia, 1962-1963.
(One member not shown in the photograph.)


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Brazil, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Chile, 1961-1962.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Colombia, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Costa Rica, 1961-1962.
Hand of the Cause Dhikru'lláh Khádem seated third from the left.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Cuba, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Dominican Republic, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ecuador, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of El Salvador, 1961-1962.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Guatemala, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Haiti, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Honduras, 1961-1962.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Jamaica, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Mexico, 1961-1962.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Nicaragua, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Panama, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Paraguay, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Peru, 1962-1963.


Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Uruguay, 1961-1962.


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Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Venezuela, 1962-1963.


Hemisphere Teaching Committee of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States stated:
"The most spectacular development has been the phenomenal spread of the Faith among the Indians of Bolivia. Starting with two brothers who found the Faith in 1956, there are now over 900 Indian believers in that country . . . There are more than twenty localities with more than nine Bahá'ís. But they are coming in faster than they can be taught."
The first Indian Congress of Bolivia was held in Oruro on February 21-25, 1961 with 116 Indians participating. They came from different localities. By the end of the Crusade there were 98 Local Spiritual Assemblies in Bolivia, 275 groups and 162 isolated centres, and an estimated 8,000 believers.

During the closing years of the Crusade the teaching work among the Guaymi and Kuna of the San Blas Islands began to show great promise. At Ridván, 1962 it was reported that the Panama friends had more than quadrupled their numbers in a year, ending with a total of 377 new believers of whom 342 were Indians. A few months later, during the final year of the Ten-Year Plan, Panama reported that 24 islands in the San Blas group had been opened to the Faith and that 103 believers had entered the Cause in three-and-a-half months. In January. 1963 it was reported that a total of 1,471 enrollments had been recorded to that time; there were 17 Local Spiritual Assemblies and expectation of 30 by Ridván. The first indigenous Bahá'í school, on December 9-22, 1962, drew nine Kuna and ten Guaymi Indians from Chiriquí Province for intensive study of the Teachings.

Adding five new Local Assemblies during the last year of the Crusade, Brazil more than doubled the number called for by the Guardian. Six had been called for in the Ten-Year Plan; thirteen were established, including the first all-Indian Assembly formed in the Kiriri Indian Community of Lagoa Grande in the State of Bahia on August 19, 1962.

During the final year of the Ten-Year Plan Haiti more than doubled the number of believers and Assemblies. Volunteer teachers undertook an intensive course of study in a seminar held in Port-au-Prince, and afterwards took the Teachings to villages such as Pinson, Duvallon, Haut-St. Marc, Berart and Montrouis. In most of these places Assemblies were established before Ridván, 1963 to form a total of 10 Local Assemblies.

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THE UNITED STATES



Nearly fifty years ago in announcing the Divine Plan, `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote:
"The moment this Divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America and is propagated through the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific, this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion. Then will all the peoples of the world witness that this community is spiritually illumined and divrely guided. hen will the whole earth resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness."
The implementation of the conditions of this promise began during the beloved Guardian's Ten-Year Crusade. Pioneers arose by the hundreds to carry the Message of Bahá'u'lláh to every corner of the world. During the first year one-hundred-and=fifty-seven pioneers, including five members of the United States National Spiritual Assembly went forth, while during the second a further one-hundred-and twenty-five settled in various goals allotted to the American Bahá'í Community. This process continued until all accessible goals were settled.

Never in the history of the Cause had there been such a pouring out of material resources for the purchase of endowments, Temple sites and Hazíratu'l-Quds as well as for the financing of pioneer projects, and as contributions toward administrative budgets in the areas for which the United States was primarily responsible.

So great were the efforts and sacrifices of this community that the Guardian of the Faith conferred on them the illustrious titles of "chief executors of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan, and champion-builders of the Administrative Order."

Shortly before his passing, Shoghi Effendi said of the American Bahá'í community:
"A prodigious expenditure of effort, a stupendous flow of material resources, an unprecedented dispersal of pioneers, embracing so vast a section of the globe, and bringing in their wake the rise, the multiplication and consolidation of so many institutions, so diverse in character, so potent and full of promise, already stand to their credit, and augur well foe a befitting consummation of a decade-long task in the years immediately ahead."
The homefront tasks, too, were completed and the National Spiritual Assembly was able to joyfully announce that all the homefront requirements had been met and exceeded: "Rather than 300 Local Assemblies, 331 were established at Ridván; not just 100 but 111 Assemblies were incorporated in continental U.S.A. and two in Hawaii. The number of enrollments more than doubled compared to the previous year, bringing the total of Bahá'í centers to over 1700. Eighty-three school districts in twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia recognize Bahá'í Holy Days; two entire states — Louisiana and Rhode Island — grant this recognition."

They also reported that at Ridván, 1963 there were still 388 adult American pioneers in foreign fields who would continue at their posts as long as there was need.

ALASKA



The only National Spiritual Assembly to be formed in the Western Hemisphere outside Latin America in the decade was singular in another respect — it was the first time that a political subdivision of a single national community was called upon to form a "National" Spiritual Assembly and it was elected during the same year as were the four Regional Spiritual Assemblies in Latin America (1957). Hand of the Cause Paul Haney represented both both the beloved Guardian and the National Assembly of the United States at the first Convention, to which the Guardian addressed these words:
"I welcome, with joy, pride and thankfulness, the convocation . . . of the first Alaskan Bahá'í Convention. So auspicious an event constitutes an important milestone in the progressive unfoldment of the Bahá'í World Spiritual Crusade, and represents the fruition of the valiant efforts exerted, in the course of several decades, by the American Bahá'í Community . . ."
Starting in 1953 with a total of thirteen localities which included two Local Assemblies and three groups, that far northern community had expanded by the time of the Most Great Jubilee, to forty-one localities,

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, 1961-1962.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Alaska, 1962-1963.


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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, 1961-1962.


comprised of thirteen Local Assemblies, fourteen groups and fourteen isolated centres. In addition there were Local Assemblies at Sitka and Kodiak under the jurisdiction of the Canadian and United States National Assemblies respectively, and a group at Unlaska far out on the Aleutian chain of islands also under the jurisdiction of the United States.

CANADA



Sharing the destiny of America foretold by the Master in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, Canada was assigned her full share of the goals of the Crusade. That community was to establish outposts of the Faith not only in the northern, eastern and western sections of its own country, but in places as widely separated as Iceland in the North Atlantic and the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. In all, thirteen virgin territories were to be opened to the Faith while at the same time the strength of the homefront was to be doubled. All but one of these territories were opened during the first year.

By Ridván, 1963 the homefront had been expanded from 90 localities to 255; from 30 Local Spiritual Assemblies to 64, and in addition to a Local Assembly in Mackenzie, three in Yukon Territory and one on Branof Island (U.S.) had been formed. Nineteen groups and thirteen isolated believers were located in the territories outside the Canadian homefront for which Canada was responsible. Only one such territory was vacant at the end of the Crusade. The Faith reached its northernmost point of diffusion at Franklin in September, 1953.

Added to the purchase of endowments, Temple land and a new Hazíratu'l-Quds, was the acquisition by gift from Amatu'l-BaháRúhíyyih Khánum of her parents' home, which Shoghi Effendi said was "uniquely associated with `Abdu'l-Bahá's historic visit . . . and destined to be regarded as the foremost Bahá'í Shrine throughout that Dominion." his, in turn, was the source of another victory when on February 24, 1958, the Superior Court in Montreal, in the predominantly Roman Catholic Province of Quebec, awarded the plaintiff, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, a favourable verdict by exempting this house from property taxes on the grounds that it belonged to a body forming part of a World Religion. Taxes paid were refunded by the city of Montreal.

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EUROPE



The European Intercontinental Conference held in Stockholm in July, 1953 set in motion a highly significant campaign of the World Crusade, which the Guardian said was destined to mark "a great turning-point" in Europe and the "opening of a phase of a . . . spiritual revival that bids fair to eclipse any period in its spiritual history."

At that time Europe could count only three National Spiritual Assemblies — those of Germany and the British Isles being among the oldest in the Bahá'í world — and the newly-formed Regional Spiritual Assembly of Italy and Switzerland. These Assemblies together with those of Canada and the United States were now called upon to launch a "massive and collective enterprise", not only in the twenty-two countries already opened to the Faith, but in thirty unopened territories and islands as well.

The Guardian's initial plan for Europe encompassed the rearing and legal incorporation of thirteen National Spiritual Assemblies, the multiplication of Local Assemblies and localities (in most instances quadrupling and trebling the number), the acquisition of fourteen national Hazíratu'l-Quds and a greater number of national endowments, the purchase of Temple sites in Stockholm and Rome, the translation of Bahá'í literature into ten additional languages, the formation of a German Publishing Trust, the establishment of summer schools, the incorporation of some fifty Local Assemblies, and the winning to the Faith of members of the Basque and Gypsy races. But the most enthralling task was entrusted to Germany, the building near Frankfurt, in the heart of the European continent of the first European Mashriqu'l-Adhkár.

The continent of Europe, Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1957, has exerted . . . a far-reaching influence" upon the destinies of mankind. Now Europe was called upon to raise not less than one-quarter of the pillars on which the first Universal House of Justice would rest, and thus give evidence that Europe was able to rise to the full measure of the Guardian's promise, and "play a decisive roll in the ultimate unification of the human race".

With the purchase of the national Hazíratu'l-Quds in Luxembourg-Ville on November 1, 1957, the goal of acquiring fourteen national Hazíratu'l-Quds was completed; the national endowments called for in the Ten-Year Plan were all acquired by June, 1958; and in that same year the goal of translating Bahá'í literature into ten new European languages was likewise achieved.

To Europe, Shoghi Effendi gave a final blessing in his gift of land for the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Switzerland. At the end of his life the attachment he felt for a country which held many memories for him, was evinced in this unique way; he even told the two Swiss pilgrims, whom he received with joy as his guests in April 1957, where the land should be situated, overshadowed by the Bernese Oberland, and the Alps he had climbed and grown to love.

BRITISH ISLES



The fourteen Crusade tasks which the Guardian bestowed on the British Bahá'í Community greatly advanced the "two-fold process" of Britain's unfolding mission. At home, "the base" for all "future operations" was greatly expanded and strengthened. Abroad, the Africa Project would be brought to fruition through the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Central and East Africa, while the opening of four virgin territories and the consolidation of the Faith in nine African countries would contribute mightily to the spiritual development of that continent. Finally, the penetration of unopened islands in the Mediterranean, North Sea and English Channel, and the consolidation of the Faith in Hong Kong would signalize the widening scope of British tasks abroad.

The beloved Guardian's last annual Message to the British Bahá'ís was full of praise and encouragement; it revealed the glorious vista of their future work and inspired them to plod on, however tedious the work . . . however formidable the obstacles . . ."; it gave them firm guidance as to those "rock bottom requirements which alone can guaran-

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tee the opening and hasten the advent of that blissful era which every British Bahá'í heart eagerly anticipates . . ."

It was in London, on November 4, 1957 that the precious Sign of God on earth, the Guardian of the Cause of God, took leave of this earthly life. To the funeral came the Hands of the Cause, National Spiritual Assembly members and believers from every part of the world. It would be premature to estimate the influence of this mysterious event on the souls and fortunes of the British Bahá'í Community, but his resting-place in London, since that day, has become a point of pilgrimage for believers from many lands.

In their November. 1961 message, the Hands of the Cause announced from their conclave at Bahjí that London had been selected as the site of the World Congress — the focal point to which Bahá'ís of the world would turn at Ridván, 1963 to celebrate the Most great Jubilee marking the one hundredth anniversary of Bahá'u'lláh's Declaration. And the British Bahá'í Community responded to the challenge and set about the task of preparing for this conspicuous event which several thousand believers from all over the world were expected to attend.

When the friends gathered at the Royal Albert Hall on that historic Ridván, the British Bahá'í Community joined in the victory celebrations with its sister communities. It had achieved its goals abroad and had consolidated its homefront, ending the Crusade with no less than 49 Local Spiritual Assemblies, 19 of which were incorporated; it had maintained its enviable record of raising the largest number of pioneers per capita of any Bahá'í community in the world, and had become financially independent.

Regional Spiritual Assemblies



The formation of thirteen independent National Spiritual Assemblies in Europe was to be accomplished in two stages. First would come the formation, at Ridván, 1957 of three Regional Spiritual Assemblies, for Scandinavia and Finland, the Benelux countries, and the Iberian Peninsula. Thereafter, as the countries were ready for their own National Assemblies, one would be formed in each. Shoghi Effendi himself set 1958 as the date for the formation of the National Assembly of France and 1959 as the date for Austria to achieve this goal.

In his Message to the Bahá'í world at Ridván, 1955 the Guardian designated the capital cities of Stockholm, Brussels and Madrid as the sites for the first Conventions of the Regional Assemblies and named the following Hands of the Cause as his personal representatives:
Stockholm Hermann Grossmann
and Adelbert Mühlschlegel
Brussels George Townshend
Madrid Ugo Giachery



The Conventions were opened by members of the sponsoring United States National Assembly — Edna True in Stockholm, Borrah Kavelin in Brussels and Charles Volcott in Madrid. To each of the three new Regional Assemblies Shoghi Effendi gave a subsidiary Six-Year Plan for the propagation and consolidation of the Faith on their respective homefronts.

FRANCE



The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States in collaboration with the Paris Assembly, began, in 1953, to organize and consolidate the work which would result in the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly of France with its own national headquarters, endowment and incorporation. France was to quadruple the number of Local Spiritual Assemblies and treble the number of localities in which Bahá'ís resided. The gift of the Hazíratu'l-Quds at 11 rue de la Pompe in Paris in April, 1953 achieved the first goal. An endowment was acquired four years later, in 1957.

France entered the last year before the election of her National Spiritual Assembly with five Local Spiritual Assemblies, and seven of the goal cities named by the Guardian had been settled.

The first National Convention met in Paris at Ridván, 1957; two Hands of the Cause were present, Hermann Grossmann and William Sears, the former as official representative of the Institution of the Hands. Miss Edna True represented the sponsoring

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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Austria, 1961-1962.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Belgium, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Denmark, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Finland, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Italy, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Luxembourg, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Holland, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Norway, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Portugal, 1962-1963.


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Two Pictures:

 Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Spain, 1962-1963.


Caption of Picture at the Bottom of the Page:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Sweden, 1962-1963.


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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Switzerland, 1962-1963.


United States National Spiritual Assembly. In spite of many difficulties, France was able to wear the palm of victory in 1963, counting 7 Local Spiritual Assemblies, 14 groups and 18 isolated centres.

AUSTRIA



Although the Guardian did not live to witness it, he had recorded in his notebook that 1959 was the year for the formation of the Austrian National Spiritual Assembly. During the preceding year, the German ahá'í Community made special efforts to strengthen the teaching work in Austria, a tangible result of which was the formation of that country's fifth Local Assembly at Linz.

The first Convention was held in the Hazíratu'l-Quds in Vienna on April 25-26, 1959. Hand of the Cause John Ferraby, officially representing the Hands, as well as four members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany which had been responsible for the formation of this sister National Assembly, were present. The delegates consulted on the Four-Year Plan proposed by the Hands of the Cause. Within it were Austria's only unfulfilled goals of the Crusade, the incorporation of the National and Local Assemblies. The site of Austria's future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, a supplementary achievement, needed only to be registered in the name of the newly-elected National Assembly.

By 1963, six Local Assemblies had been formed, and in addition, there were one group and four isolated centres.

Eleven National Spiritual Assemblies



With the consolidation of the homefront in Europe came the announcement from the Hands of the Cause that eleven new National Spiritual Assemblies would be formed at Ridván, 1962, resulting in the dissolution of the Regional Spiritual Assemblies which had been established as an interim measure in 1957. To each of these first Conventions the Institution of the Hands of the Cause sent the following representatives:

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Belgium |
Luxembourg | `Alí Muhammad Varqá
Denmark |
Netherlands | Hasan Balyuzi
Finland |
Sweden | Adelbert Mühlschlegel
Italy |
Switzerland | Ugo Giachery
Norway John Ferraby
Portugal |
Spain | Paul Haney


_____


AFRICA



The two-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the ten-Year Crusade was occupied by the Africa Project, the first international undertaking of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh involving the co-operation of five National Spiritual Assemblies. It was carried forward under the leadership of the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles. It witnessed the opening of twelve designated goal territories as well as four others — sixteen in all, bringing to twenty-five the total number of African countries and islands opened to the Faith. Overshadowing this entire project was the spiritual influence of Hand of the Cause Músá Banání, the first, and at that time the only Hand of the Cause in that continent, called by the Guardian the Father of Africa. Pioneers had achieved the formation of 17 Local Spiritual Assemblies, 13 in Uganda, and one each in Tanganyika, Kenya, Libya and Liberia. They had won over 200 followers in 24 African tribes and had translated Bahá'í literature into 13 African languages. In addition, the Bahá'í Community of Egypt and Sudán, whose National Assembly was at the time the first and only pillar, in that continent, of the future Universal House of Justice, had extended to 30 centres, including 9 Local Spiritual Assemblies.

Goals of the Ten-Year Crusade



The Africa Project was but a prelude to a vast campaign to propagate and consolidate the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in every corner of the continent — no matter how remote, backward, or physically dangerous. Remarkable as the progress had already been, the pace increased a hundredfold with the launching of the Ten-Year Crusade. Years ago the Master had written: "the hearts of the Africans are as a blank scroll of paper upon which thou canst write any phrase; but thou must have patience and a heart as firm as a mountain, owing to the innumerable hardships that may intervene . . ." and He testified that Bahá'u'lláh Himself had "compared the coloured people to the black pupil of the eye" through which "the light of the spirit shineth forth."

Now, with the Guardian's call to open thirty-three virgin territories, pioneers from Britain, America, Persia, India, `Iráq and Egypt began to converge on this huge continent and to take up their posts. African believers themselves arose from Uganda to carry the faith to Ruanda-Urundi, Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa and the British Cameroons as well as to extend the centres in Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika, thus setting the "glorious example" for which the Guardian had appealed. Already the words of `Abdu'l-Bahá were manifest in their heroic exploits, and their unrecorded deeds of valour will shine in God's sight forever.

During the first year of the Crusade every one of the virgin areas of Africa was settled except Spanish Guinea, Comoro Islands and St. Thomas Island. Nearly eighty Knights

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of Bahá'u'lláh took part in this mighty surge to victory.

In December, 1953 the Guardian called upon all National Assemblies — especially those of Egypt, Britain and the United States — to participate in the opening of three funds for the early purchase of temple sites in Cairo, Kampala and Johannesburg. He himself contributed three thousand pounds sterling. In less than a year all three sites were acquired.

The Second Phase
1954-1956



The progress of the Faith in Africa during the second year of the Crusade was given extraordinary momentum by two actions of the beloved Guardian. The first was the call for the appointment, by Hand of the Cause Músá Banání, of an Auxiliary Board of nine members to assist him in his work. The second was to announce the formation of Regional National Assemblies.

Because of the "phenomenal progress of the African Campaign, alike in teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá'í activity," the Guardian wrote in October, 1954, "I feel the hour is now ripe for the adoption of preliminary measures designed to pave the way for the simultaneous erection during Ridván of 1956 of three pillars of the future Universal House of Justice in the North, the South and the very heart of this long dormant continent." He called upon the British, the United States and the Egyptian National Assemblies respectively, to arrange for the convocation of "three epoch-making Conventions" in Kampala, Johannesburg and Tunis and asked Hand of the Cause Músá Banání to act as his personal representative at each of them.

Because only Local Spiritual Assemblies duly constituted during Ridván, 1955 would be qualified to elect delegates, Shoghi Effendi urged "all groups established throughout the African continent as well as in the islands ... already four score in number — to seize their present golden opportunity during the fast-fleeting months . . . and exert every effort to attain Assembly status . . ."

The new Regional National Assemblies were to be:
Central and East Africa with its seat in Kampala, comprising Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Ruanda-Urundi, Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, Zanzibar, Comoro Islands and Seychelles Islands. The National Assembly of the British Isles was assigned responsibility for the formation of this new National Assembly, its incorporation, and the acquisition of a Temple site, a national endowment and a national Hazíratu'l-Quds.
South and West Africa with its seat in Johannesburg, comprising the Union of South Africa, Basutoland, Zululand, Swaziland, Bechuanaland, South West Africa, Angola, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Mozambique, Madagascar, Réunion Island, Mauritius, and St. Helena Island. The National Assembly of the United States was given responsibility for the formation and incorporation of the new National Assembly and for the acquisition of a Temple site, national endowment and national Hazíratu'l-Quds.
North West Africa with its seat in Tunis, comprising Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco (International Zone), Spanish Morocco, French Morocco, Rio de Oro, Spanish Sahara, French West Africa, Gambia, Portuguese Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gold Coast, Ashanti Protectorate, Northern Territories Protectorate, British Togoland, French Togoland, Nigeria, British Cameroons, French Cameroons, Spanish Guinea, St. Thomas Island, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands and Madeira. The National Assembly of Egypt and Sudán was assigned responsibility for the formation of this new National Spiritual Assembly and for the acquisition of a national endowment and a national Hazíratu'l-Quds.
In addition, the territory under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly of Egypt and Sudán was to be expanded and that Assembly would thereafter be known as the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North East Africa. In this area the number of Local Spiritual Assemblies and centres was to be doubled and other goals were to be attained. The new territory included:
Egypt, Libya, Sudán, Eritrea, French Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, Ethiopia and Socotra Island.
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believers throughout Africa greeted these announcements with joyous enthusiasm. One could feel the irrepressible vigour of the continent when it was announced at the next Ridván: "As the sun set on April 21, 1955 . . . twenty-five groups burst into Assemblies throughout the length and breadth of this continent and its neighbouring islands . . ."

The most remarkable progress continued to be in Central and East Africa where 31 new Local Assemblies were formed, covering every territory and island except Comoro, which had just been opened that year. Uganda alone formed 17 new Assemblies, increased its African believers to nearly 900 and its centres to over one hundred. Kenya formed 8 new Assemblies, Tanganyika 2, and the first Local Assemblies were organized in the Belgian Congo, Ruanda-Urundi, Zanzibar and the Seychelles Islands.

The British Cameroons, first settled in October, 1953, scored the thrilling total of eight new Assemblies, making nine in all. First Local Assemblies were formed in Ashanti, French Cameroons and the Canary Islands.

There were other memorable victories: Spanish Guinea, Comoro Islands and St. Thomas Islands were opened, and all Africa — fifty-eight territories and islands — lay open to the Faith. In April, 1955 over one-hundred-and-twenty Local Spiritual Assemblies were functioning; more than thirteen hundred African believers from over ninety tribes were enrolled; Bahá'í literature had been translated into more than fifty languages and there were more than three hundred localities in Africa where Bahá'ís resided. Small wonder that Shoghi Effendi cabled Mr. Banání in April 26th of that year:
"Rejoice greatly, admire deeply, grateful magnificent achievements valiant friends, coloured white pioneers, teachers, administrators, four areas African continent. Loving fervent prayers surrounding them."
In his cable of August 23, 1955 the Guardian unexpectedly announced:
". . . Historic decision arrived at raise Mother Temple Africa city Kampala situated its heart constituting supreme consolation masses oppressed valiant brethren cradle Faith. Every continent globe except Australasia will thereby pride itself derive direct spiritual benefits its own Músá Banání. Befitting recognition will moreover have been accorded marvelous expansion Faith amazing multiplication its administrative institutions throughout this continent, a continent fully deserving a House Worship, complementing four national Hazíratu'l-Quds already established, wherein spirit unconquerable Faith can dwell within whose walls African adherents Faith Bahá'u'lláh can congregate, from which anthems praise glorifying Most Great Name can ascend Concourse Abhá Kingdom . . ."
Thus, at this early stage of their growth, the African believers found themselves with additional responsibilities which they had not anticipated and which made heavy, but glorious, claims upon them.

At Ridván. 1956 Hand of the Cause Músá Banání was able to attend all four African Conventions as the personal representative of the Guardian. In addition, the following representatives of the sponsoring National Assemblies were in attendance and presided at the opening of the sessions:
Kampala Hasan Balyuzi, Chairman of the British National Assembly.
Johannesburg Paul Haney, Hand of the Cause and Chairman of the United States National Assembly.
Tunis `Abdu'l-Rahím Yazdí, Chairman of the Egyptian National Assembly.
The Convention in Cairo was the largest of the four African Conventions, and for the first time the sessions were open to believers rather than delegates. That year the Guardian deemed it wise to grant permission for women to serve as delegates and two were elected.

Consolidation and Expansion
1956-1963



The story of the final seven years of the Crusade in Africa is one of rapid advance and can best be told region by region:

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Central and East Africa, 1962-1963.


CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICA


This region, which the Guardian said is "so promising and privileged . . ." and whose countries are "among the first of the Negro-inhabited territories to be warmed and illuminated by the rays of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh. . ." is one of the earth's greatest and most richly-endowed areas. Geographically it is one quarter of the great continent of Africa and extends from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. It covers all manner of terrain, from the desert country around Lake Chad to the densely forested area of the Congo basin. It contains high mountain ranges, plateaus, highlands and humid tropical coastlines as well as picturesque islands off its east and west coasts.

Influencing these regions are the British, the French, the Belgian, the German, the Indian and Arab cultures; the Roman Catholic, the Protestant and Muslim religions.

When the Regional Spiritual Assembly was formed in 1956, it inherited not only an area rich in promise, but a Bahá'í community already proven in sincerity and love. It also succeeded to valuable Bahá'í properties, including the Hazíratu'l-Quds in Kampala, the 13 acre property on Kikaya hill which was to become the site of the Mother Temple of Africa, and other holdings.

Together with their fellow African communities, the Bahá'ís of Central and East Africa were charged by the Guardian with responsibilities under a supplementary Seven-Year Plan. Foremost among these was the erection of the Temple. As Shoghi Effendi launched his trusted co-workers on their formidable tasks, he assured them in a message dated July 6, 1956, that:
"I will, from the depths of my heart supplicate the Almighty to to enable them to discharge these heavy responsibilities in such a manner that will serve to heighten the keen admiration already so widely felt throughout the Bahá'í world . . . May they rise to the occasion that now presents itself, and contribute, individually as well as collectively, to the enrichment of their spiritual heritage . . .
A multitude of problems faced the new National Assembly as it took up its tasks: critical shortages of money and trained

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people; huge distances separating communities; a dearth of Bahá'í literature in vernacular languages; a large proportion of believers who could neither read nor write, but who longed to know more about the Faith; proper definition of Local Assembly areas; orientation of tribal customs, such as those concerning marriage, to the laws of Bahá'u'lláh; and religious opposition in such places as Zanzibar and French Equatorial Africa.

But these challenges were met and off-set with resounding victories for the Cause. Bahá'íliterature was translated and produced in many languages; Bahá'í Holy Days were recognized throughout Tanganyika; recognition was accorded at H. M. Kitalya Prison Farm in Uganda where a lone Bahá'í had brought twenty-five prisoners into the Cause; thousands accepted the Faith, hundreds of new centres were opened and new Local Spiritual Assemblies formed; and finally, steps were taken leading to the construction and completion of the Temple by the time of its dedication in January, 1961. (The story of the Temple is recounted elsewhere in this volume.)

By the end of the Crusade, it was estimated that more than 40,000 believers had been enrolled, of whom approximately half were in the Congo. The Faith had been established in more than 2,000 centres and a total of 861 Local Spiritual Assemblies was elected at Ridván, 1963; 554 of these were in Uganda 143 in the Congo, 118 in Kenya, and 41 in Tanganyika. Others were formed in Ruanda-Urundi, French Equatorial Africa and the Seychelles Islands.

These stupendous victories, rivalled in sheer number of believers only in the Indian subcontinent, captured the admiration and imagination of Bahá'ís everywhere. What greater tribute to lay at the feet of Shoghi Effendi than such victories in a continent which he loved so much.

NORTH EAST AFRICA



In the first year of the Crusade every virgin territory assigned to the Bahá'ís of Egypt and Sudán received the Message of the New Day. The next two years (1954-1956) the chief goals of the second phase were attained — the acquisition of the Hazíratu'l-Quds and endowment in Tunis and the purchase of the Temple site in Cairo. Other victories included the incorporation of the Local Assembly in Addis Ababa — the first African Assembly to achieve this status — and the establishment of a Bahá'í burial ground in Tripoli, Libya.

On April 10, 1957, the new Regional National Assembly was incorporated. When, in 1960, difficulties made it impossible to directly administer the Faith in territories outside Egypt, a regional administrative committee was formed. This, in turn, was replaced at the following Ridván by a new National Spiritual Assembly with its headquarters in Addis Ababa. This newly-formed Regional National Assembly was duly registered at the High Court of Addis Ababa on July 10, 1961. At the close of the Crusade in 1963, this Region, most of whose territories were Muslim, could count no less than 88 Bahá'í centres of which twenty-five had achieved Local Spiritual Assembly status.

NORTH WEST AFRICA



The enormous area assigned to the Regional Spiritual Assembly of North West Africa, comprising twenty-five territories, island groups, sovereign nations, dependencies and protectorates, showed great growth and development during the Ten-Year Crusade. In 1953, when the beloved Guardian announced his plan to the Bahá'í world, only seven of the territories of North West Africa had been opened to the Faith — three of them during the Africa Project — and Local Spiritual Assemblies existed only in Tunis and Monrovia. There could have been but a handful of Bahá'ís in the whole Region at the time.

The next three years witnessed a startling unfoldment and such an arising of African pioneers as to bring infinite joy to the heart of Shoghi Effendi. When the Regional Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1956, there was a total of 101 localities opened to the Faith, 38 of which had elected Local Spiritual Assemblies, and there were nearly 1,000 believers. All territories were occupied except four. The national Hazíratu'l-Quds had been acquired in Tunis, and an endowment had been acquired in Bomi Hills.

By the end of the Crusade only Rio de Oro,

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North East Africa, 1962-1963.


Spanish Guinea and St. Thomas Island, owing to the forced departure of their pioneers, were scant, and there had been organized a total of 115 Local Spiritual Assemblies. In addition, there were 137 localities where Bahá'ís were residing.

THE CAMEROONS



Foremost among the territories of North West Africa was the British Cameroons, opened to the Faith in 1953 when Enoch Olinga crossed its borders after a formidable journey across Central Africa. By Ridván, 1954 an Assembly had been formed in Victoria. A year later, eight more Assemblies were elected, and in 1956 the first all-African teaching Conference was held.

Early in 1957, Mr. Olinga made the pilgrimage to Haifa, becoming the first to satisfy the Guardian's longing to receive an African Bahá'í at the World Centre. Shoghi Effendi called him Abu'l-Futúh (Father of Victories), and one of the last acts of the Guardian of the Faith was to elevate Mr. Olinga to the rank of Hand of the Cause. By June, 1957 the first Hazíratu'l-Quds of the Cameroons was acquired, the Guardian himself contributing five hundred pounds towards its purchase.

Many hundreds of believers were enrolled in the British Cameroons and at the victorious conclusion of the Crusade, 54 Local Spiritual Assemblies — nearly half of those existing in North West Africa — had been established there.

Other Areas



The growth of the Faith in other African territories also showed much promise. There were 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies formed in Gambia at Ridván, 1963; 11 in Nigeria; 8 in French Morocco; and 5 each in Liberia and Northern Territories Protectorate.

THE MOROCCAN PERSECUTIONS



In January, 1963 the Hands in the Holy Land announced:

"For the second time in the course of this glorious Ten-Year Crusade, the enemies of

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South and West Africa, 1962-1963.
Hand of the Cause John Robarts seated in the centre.


the Cause of God have raised a commotion which is resounding the ears of all mankind. The `water' with which they thought to extinguish the light of the Faith in an obscure district of Morocco has indeed been transmuted by the Hand of God into a `fuel' which has caused the world to blaze . . .

"The first event of this extraordinary sequence was the arrest in Nador, on April 12, 1962, of four believers of that city. Immediately afterwards, four believers from Tetuan, hearing of this, went to Nador and were themselves arrested, and finally the number of imprisoned Bahá'ís reached a total of fourteen . . . At last on October 31, after more than six months of imprisonment, the fourteen accused were arraigned before the Regional Court of Nador which reviewed the accusations and committed the prisoners for trial before the Criminal Court of the same town on the charges of (1) rebellion and disorder, (2) attacks on public security, (3) constitution of an association of criminals, (4) constitution of an association and (5) attacks on religious faith.

Contrary to expectations of the enemies of the Faith, the reaction of the general public at the initial hearing, having at first been indifferent, became steadily more favourable to the accused and more and more indignant at the nature of the trial."

Finally, on December 10, 1962, the trial in the Criminal Court proceeded, and despite the fact that the prosecution made no attempt to prove the five charges, nine of them were found guilty — three were sentenced to death, five to imprisonment for life and one to imprisonment for fifteen years. The verdict and the sentences were appealed to the Supreme Court and the force of world public opinion, favourable to the Bahá'ís, was focused on Morocco, making the authorities aware that they could not hide injustice.5

SOUTH AND WEST AFRICA



The pioneers who opened this area to the Faith were, as the Guardian testified, "a singularly distinguished and devoted group of pioneers" and more than most, they needed heroic qualities and wisdom to deal with the manifold problems confronting them in this part of the world. One day their story will be told freely, and their glorious deeds will be cherished by generations to come.

_________
5 see page 794.

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Only one Local Spiritual Assembly had been won by Ridván 1954, but in the two years preceding the election of the Regional Spiritual Assembly, 25 additional Assemblies were added, an acceleration which Shoghi Effendi said "has been such as to evoke feelings of profound admiration, joy and thankfulness in the hearts of the followers of the Faith not only in the African continent, but throughout the entire Bahá'í world."

There were many milestones in the development of the Region, among them the following:
Legal incorporation of the Salisbury Assembly on May 6, 1957. Acquisition of the Hazíratu'l-Quds in Salisbury in November, 1958. Exemption of five Local Assemblies from registration in Northern Rhodesia (1958). Recognition of the Faith by the Paramount Chief's Council in Swaziland (1958).
There were hardships to be endured. For example, in Mozambique the first Persian pioneer had been imprisoned and then sent away; others tried to enter, but met with failure. But perseverance finally brought success and and a few pioneers settled in the country; and in 1955, Lourenço Marques achieved its Assembly and soon there were over thirty Bahá'ís there, two of whom succeeded in carrying the Faith to Angola.

One of the most inspiring sagas took place in Mauritius, the island off the east coast of Madagascar, which won in the Guardian's last Convention message a "special tribute" for surpassing "to an unbelievable extent the goals set" for it.Opened by a lone woman believer in November, 1953, progress was, at first, very slow. The first to accept the Faith was a young Chinese Mauritian in February, 1955. Soon the visit of a Persian teacher accelerated the work, and nearly a score of people became Bahá'ís. In 1956, the first three Local Assemblies were formed. By the end of the Crusade, there were 35 Bahá'í centres in Mauritius, 16 of which had Local Spiritual Assemblies.

The final victory tally in South and West Africa showed that there were nearly 350 localities in which Bahá'ís resided and of these, 93 had elected their Local Spiritual Assemblies. South Africa led the way with a total of 22 Assemblies, followed by Mauritius with 16, Northern Rhodesia with 15, Swaziland with 13 and Southern Rhodesia with 9.

And so Africa — that vast continent which, except for Egypt and the Sudán and a few others in South Africa, could hardly have been said to be opened to the Faith in 1951 — had now outstripped all but one other continent in vying for the honour of having the largest number of believers and centres. In 1963 there were no less than 1,076 Local Assemblies and 2,655 centres where the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh was firmly established.

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ASIA


In 1953, the World Crusade came to Asia, to all the earth.

"The hour has now struck," the Guardian said, "for this continent, on whose soil, more than a century ago, so much sacred blood was shed, . . . to contribute, in association with its sister continents, to the progress and ultimate triumph of this global Crusade . . ." It would be a "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 . . ." The hope he held was that it would "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 that it would "re-enact those scenes of spiritual heroism which . . . have left their everlasting imprint on the fortunes of the peoples and nations dwelling within its borders."

The story of the victorious consummation of this challenge can now be told.

PERSIA



The contributions of the believers in the Cradle of the Faith to the glorious conclusion of the global Crusade are legion. Hundreds of pioneers arose to serve the Cause, not only in goals assigned to Persia, but in other places as well. Before the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, they had settled every one of the thirteen virgin areas assigned to them in Asia

Picture at the Bottom of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Írán, 1958.


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and Africa except the Chagos Islands and Angolia, and Chagos was soon to be claimed; they had seen the first Local Assemblies formed in such far-off spots as Brunei and Solomon Islands; they had contributed, with `Iráq, to the raising in Arabia of another pillar of the future Universal House of Justice, and had acquired for this community and for Turkey their national Hazíratu'l-Quds and endowments. By 1959, they were also able to help with the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of Turkey, and they had achieved their goal of establishing a Bahá'í Publishing Trust.

But there was one prize which, by Divine Will, they could not attain — a long-anticipated enterprise, long-promised, and long-prepared for — the raising of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Persia. Just as the design for the Temple had been chosen and announced by Shoghi Effendi, just at the hour of exuberant hope, the blow fell. A barbarous attack on the Faith broke out, once more to overwhelm this patient and long-suffering community. Realizing the impossibility of building the Temple at such a time, the Guardian decided to raise the Mother Temple of Africa in its stead. Its erection, he affirmed, would be a "worthy answer to the challenge flung down by its bitterest, most powerful and inveterate enemies." "Africa . . . is, at this very hour," he wrote, "being called upon to redress the scales so weighted down through the ferocious and ignoble acts of bloodthirsty eccleastical oppressors."

The persecution of the believers began during the month of Ramadán — the month of fasting in the Muslim world — in the year 1955. Day after day, as was their custom, the Muslims gathered in the mosques at noon to pray and to listen to the exhortations of their religious leaders. In the Kuys Mosque in Tihrán there was but one speaker throughout that month, Shaykh Muhammad Taqí, known as Falsafí, who with ever bolder tone, called upon his hearers to arise against "false" religions, unjustly accusing th Bahá'í Faith of being the enemy of Islám. His speeches were broadcast by Government radio throughout the country, and as no one prevented him, his words grew in vehemence and force. They stirred in the breasts of his hearers an uncontrollable fire of suspicion and hate against the followers of Bahá'u'lláh.

On the twelfth day of Ridván, police locked the National Bahá'í Headquarters, preventing the Bahá'ís from consummating the final day of their annual Convention, and on May 7, 1955, the Hazíratu'l-Quds was taken over by the Army. On May 17, the minister of the Interior announced in the Majlis (Íránian Parliament) that the Government had issued orders for the suppression of the " Bahá'í sect".

This was followed by an orgy of senseless murder, rape, pillage and destruction the like of which has not been recorded in modern times. The dome of the Hazíratu'l-Quds in Tihrán was demolished; the House of the Báb was twice desecrated and severely damaged; Bahá'u'lláh's ancestral home at Tákur was occupied; the house of the Báb's uncle was razed to the ground; shops and farms were plundered; crops burned; livestock destroyed; bodies of Bahá'ís disinterred in the cemeteries and mutilated; private homes broken into, damaged and looted; adults execrated and beaten; young women abducted and forced to marry Muslims; children mocked, reviled, beaten and expelled from schools; boycott by butchers and bakers was imposed on hapless villagers; young girls were raped; families murdered; Government employees dismissed and all manner of pressure brought upon the believers to recant their Faith.

Yet, despite a thousand provocations and acts of medieval barbarism, the Bahá'ís held firm, and by their firmness opened the way for remarkable progress in teaching the Cause and opening the doors of public knowledge of the Faith.

That this is a world-wide Cause, and that the Persian Bahá'í Community did not stand alone was soon made evident to the Persian Government and to those who instigated the campaign. The opponents of the Faith did not expect to be opposed or overcome, but they had reckoned without Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith. Swiftly he rallied the Bahá'í world, uniting it in one tremendous wave of protest, expressing itself in cables from National and Local Spiritual Assemblies and groups directed to His Majesty the Sháh, the Prime Minister and the Majlis. For the first time in the history of the Faith in Persia, prominent figures fully realized this was not a "local sect" but a world-wide, tightly-knit,

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Three Pictures:

Caption of Picture at the Top of the Page:
NATIONAL HAZ&ÍRATU'L-QUDS OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF PERSIA
View of the dome before its demolition in 1955 by order of the Íránian government
as the climax of a long campaign directed by the Muslim clergy against the
Bahá'í Faith.


Caption of Picture in Lower Left Corner of the Page:
Demolition of the dome in progress
before it was completely razed.


Caption of Picture in the Lower Right Corner of the Page:
Mull^aacute; Falsafí takes a pick-axe to the
floor.


P 294

Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
PERSECUTION OF THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH IN ÍRÁN
High-ranking Persian Army officers personally assist in destroying the Bahá'í National
Spiritual Headquarters in Tihrán, August 1955. Major General Botmongolitch,
Chief of Staff, takes a pick-axe to the dome.


independent religious community. They were bombarded by cables with names of cities and towns of whose geographic whereabouts they were profoundly ignorant and this produced a deep impression, as Shoghi Effendi had been well aware it would. An appeal to the United Nations was also vigorously launched.

By mounting a "wide-spread campaign of publicity . . . in expectation that its repercussions would exert a restraining influence on the perpetrators of these monstrous acts," the Guardian unleashed the most powerful force, the weight of world-wide public opinion. Írán was a member of the United Nations; she had signed the Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights; these persecutions were a violation of her pledges, and the concern of the whole of mankind.

By August, 1955 Persian authorities knew that the offensive cruelties instigated by the clergy must be stopped and at least a pretense of justice shown the Bahá'ís. Before many months, orders began to reach the Governors of provinces and chiefs of police to restore the local Hazíratu'l-Quds to their Bahá'í custodians, and to give protection to the Faith.
Unfortunately, it is easier to initiate than to curb violence, and those whose minds have been poisoned by falsehood do not easily forget. Although the central Government took early action to redress the situation, the clergy continued to protest, the population remained hostile, and provincial authorities were slow, unhappily slow to act. Assurances which the Íránian Foreign Minister had given to the Secretary-General of the United Nations were not being carried out, and it was necessary, in June 1956, for the Bahá'í International Community to renew its appeal to the United Nations.

Although the Persian National Convention was unable to meet in 1957 as restrictions on assemblage were still continuing, nevertheless the battle had been won. It was announced

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Two Pictures:

Caption Underneath Bottom Picture:
BAHÁ'Í PERSECUTIONS IN ÍRÁN
Following nation-wide incitement of the population by the Muslim clergy, the holiest
Bahá'í Shrine in Persia, the House of the Báb in Shíráz, was twice desecrated
and damaged by fanatical mobs in August 1955.
Above: The room where the Báb made His historic declaration on May 23, 1844.
Below: The courtyard of the Báb's home.


P 296

that all but a few of the local administrative headquarters had been returned and that an order had been issued for the return of the national Hazíratu'l-Quds. The most joyful news was of the restoration of the House of the Báb in Shíráz and of His shop in Búshir.

The trials and ordeals of these two fateful years, climaxed by the passing of the Guardian, to whom they were so profoundly attached, served to increase the devotion of the believers and to heighten their eagerness to serve the Cause. A larger number of pioneers than ever before arose to win their own goals in Europe, as well as others in every continent of the globe, and the whole community responded to the appeal to support the Joint Deputization Fund which was established in the closing years of the Crusade, not only to enable pioneers to stay at their posts, but also to send urgently needed reinforcements.

Although hampered at every step by continuing persecutions, the Persian Bahá'í Community, long ago having established itself in every province of its homeland, moved steadily toward its goal of doubling the number of its Spiritual Assemblies, and by the end of the Crusade, this too was accomplished. This heroic, undefeated community had successfully met the challenge of the hour and befittingly discharged its noble mission.

Picture at the Bottom of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Arabia, 1958.


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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Turkey, 1962-1963.
Hand of the Cause Tarázu'lláh Samandarí is seated in the centre.


`IRÁQ


Many difficulties in `Iráq prevented the friends from achieving a number of the goals assigned to them. But they were able to win one of the most difficult and significant victories of the Crusade. In July, 1957 the sacred remains of Mírzá Buzurg, the father of Bahá'u'lláh, were identified and removed to a Bahá'í cemetery. On July 27 of that year, Hands of the Cause `Alí Akbar Furútan, Shu'á`u'lláh `Alá'í and `Alí Muhammad Varqá arrived from Tihrán to join Hand of the Cause Tarázu'lláh Samandarí in paying homage, on behalf of the Guardian, to the memory of that "blessed and highly revered personage."

At the end of the Crusade the National Spiritual Assembly, one of the oldest in the Bahá'í world, had under its jurisdiction 16 Local Spiritual Assemblies, 7 groups and 2 isolated centres, and also possessed a fine national Hazíratu'l-Quds, a guest house, a burial ground and a national endowment.

TURKEY



The propagation of the Faith in Turkey has never been easy, and during the Ten-Year Crusade, the Turkish Bahá'ís were confronted with many difficulties. Nevertheless, they were able, with the help of pioneers from Persia and `Iráq, to end the Crusade with their National Spiritual Assembly elected, 12 Local Assemblies, 9 groups and 5 isolated centres. Seven of the centres were in localities blessed by the presence of Bahá'u'lláh during His journey from Baghdád to the Holy Land.

Before the beginning of the Crusade, in 1952, the Guardian announced that the historic site of a house occupied by Bahá'u'lláh in Istanbul had been partly purchased. On this site the national Hazíratu'l-Quds was established, thus achieving one of the goals of the Crusade.

Next to be purchased was the house of Ridá Big in which Bahá'u'lláh lived for a year during the drawn-out and painful crisis with His half-brother, a period named by Bahá'u'lláh as the "Days of Stress" (Ayyám-i-Shidád).

A third historic site was purchased in the city of Adrianople on the European mainland during the second phase of the Crusade. It was a garden where a house had once stood in which Bahá'u'lláh had lived for most of the first six months of His stay in Edirne.

Election of the first National Assembly of Turkey had to be carried out by mailed ballots because difficulties visited upon the Faith in that country prevented the holding of the Convention. Hand of the Cause Dhikru'lláh Khádem, officially representing the Hands of the Cause, was able to visit Turkey fir the

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Picture at the Top of the Page with the Caption:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India, 1962-1963.
Hand of the Cause Shu'á`u'lláh `Alá'í is seated in the centre.


occasion, as did Professor Manúchihr Hakím, representing the National Assembly of Persia.

INDIA



India was given many goals in the Crusade. During the first year of the Ten-Year Plan, pioneers arose to open Daman, Goa, Pondicherry, Sikkim, Karikal, Mahé, Diu Island and Bhutan. In 1954, the Guardian asked India to aid in the opening of Tibet and this was accomplished by 1956. India had a share in the consolidation work which led to the formation of the four Regional National Assemblies of Africa: Socotra Island in the North East; Zanzibar, Ruanda-Urundi and the Comoro Islands in Central and East Africa; Madagascar and Mozambique in the South and West; and Gambia and the French Cameroons in North West Africa — these remain as legacies of the Indian Bahá'í Community to that vast and richly-endowed continent.

India also played a preponderating role in the introduction and consolidation of the Faith in South East Asia, leading to the formation of the Regional National Assembly in 1957.

During the Crusade India acquired a site for its future Mashriqu'l-Adhkár near New Delhi, established its Publishing Trust, and, during the last two years of the Ten-Year Plan, electrified the Bahá'í world with news of mass teaching.

The Message of the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land to the National Conventions of the Bahá'í world at Ridván, 1962 contained the following poignant paragraph:
"India, one of the first countries in the world to receive the light of a newly-born Revelation has, during the past year, witnessed a tide of mass conversion not only wholly unprecedented in that country but without parallel anywhere in the entire world during the last one hundred years of Bahá'í history. Since Ridván 1961 well over thirteen thousand new believers have come into the Faith as a result of the mass teaching campaign carried out in the villages of India by the members of what
P 299
was previously a relatively small national community."
This astounding progress started with a conference in a remote village of Samgimanda in the State of Madhya Pradesh in Central India in January 1961. The Faith had already been established there. When it was learned that Hand of the Cause Rahmatu'lláh Muhájír had arrived in Bombay, a teaching project was organized and a group of teachers, in company with Dr. Muhájír, set out for Madhya Pradesh. Upon learning that Dr. Muhájír desired to hold a conference, word was sent to the Spiritual Assembly of Samgimanda. The report of the Secretary of the National Assembly of India described the events as follows:
"When the Bahá'ís started for Samgimanda on foot and in bullock carts, they did not know what was awaiting them. The approach to the mud huts of the village was decorated with single coloured papers. A number of villagers came out several families to receive their guests. By firing gunshots they proclaimed in their traditional way that important and respected guests were coming to the village. Women, in groups, were chanting welcome songs and hymns. Amid the beating of drums, booming of guns and devotional songs, cries of 1Alláh-u-Abhá' and `Bahá'u'lláh Jai' were heard. Children of the Bahá'í School, over sixty in number, lined up to receive the Hand of the Cause.
"The conference was publicized within a few hours and and attracted over 300 people. In spite of severe cold, this congregation continued well past midnight. It was cold, dark and midnight, but nobody wanted to leave. The Message of God was so attractive, soul-stirring and inspiring that they sat spellbound. Representatives from neighbouring villages did not leave the place until they were assured by the Bahá'ís that they would send somebody to theist places to give to the people the reassuring and hope-fostering Message of God."
During the next two years, over 210,000 copies of books and booklets about the Faith were distributed in India and, in addition, many heard of Bahá'u'lláh through simple picture post cards depicting the Teachings — over 332,000 of them were given out. Hundreds of meetings were held, and everywhere the glad tidings were warmly received. What happened in India was a literal fulfillment of the Guardian's prediction that the last phase of the Crusade would witness "an upsurge of enthusiasm and consecration before which every single as well as collective exploit, associated with any of the three previous phases, will pale.

Many stories of love, devotion and steadfastness could be told about those two glorious years when the star of India rose so high, shedding so promising a light on the future. But nothing more eloquently tells the story than the following statistics:

February, 1961 Fe