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TAGS: Bahaullah, Photographs of; Covenant-breakers; William Miller
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Abstract:
Baha'i scholars may, when needed, use books by Covenant Breakers, including William Miller's The Baha'i Faith.
Notes:
Also available as a nicely-formatted PDF, prepared by Romane Takkenberg.

Transmitted by email, posted with permission of recipient.


Covenant-breakers and other Enemies of the Faith, Writings of; Photographs of Baha'u'llah

by Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and Universal House of Justice

compiled on behalf of Universal House of Justice.
2000
I. From 'Abdu'l-Bahá

"As to Khayru'llah's book: The blessing of God will be cut off from the house in which a copy of it is found, inasmuch as it is sheer slander. Should one compare his first book with his second, one would readily discover to what extent their texts are contradictory and how much he has lied. In fact the motive behind his second book was but to deceive and mislead the people. Hence God uprooted him, humbled him to dust and reduced him to utter perdition."

    (From a letter dated 2 October 1906 to an individual believer)
II. From Shoghi Effendi

"It is better not to read books by Covenant Breakers because they are haters of the Light, sufferers from a spiritual leprosy, so to speak. But books by well meaning yet unenlightened enemies of the Cause can be read so as to refute their charges."

    (From a letter dated 19 March 1945 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer)
"Regarding the pamphlets of the Covenant-breakers received in Tihran the Guardian stated that these papers which are not worthy of any attention whatsoever were received in the Holy Land. Any further material sent in the future should be ignored, and no refutation or reply be given, because the material is regarded as baseless distortion of truth."
    (From a letter dated 16 November 1947 written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia - translated from the Persian)
III. From the Universal House of Justice

"To read the writings of Covenant-breakers is not forbidden to the believers and does not constitute in itself an act of Covenant-breaking. Indeed, some of the Bahá'ís have the unpleasant duty to read such literature as part of their responsibilities for protecting the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. However, the friends are warned in the strongest terms against reading such literature because Covenant-breaking is a spiritual poison and the calumnies and distortions of the truth which the Covenant-breakers give out are such that they can undermine the faith of the believer and plant the seeds of doubt unless he is forearmed with an unshakable belief in Bahá'u'lláh and His Covenant and a knowledge of the true facts."

    (From a letter dated 29 October 1974 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Switzerland)
"In reply to your letter of 16 March 1976 (regarding books by William Miller) the Universal House of Justice instructs us to say that it is to be expected that books will be written against the Faith attempting to distort its teachings, to denigrate its accomplishments, to vilify its Founders and leaders and to destroy its very foundations. The friends should not be unduly exercised when these books appear and certainly no issue should be made of them. There should be no attempt made to destroy or remove such books from libraries. On the other hand there is no need at all for the friends to acquire them, and indeed, the best plan is to ignore them entirely."
    (From a letter dated 30 March 1976 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Hong Kong)
"It is true that should a believer read the writings of Covenant-breakers or enemies of the Cause and permit these words to instill doubts about the truth of Bahá'u'lláh's Cause such a believer would then be considered as having been infected by the poison of Covenant-breaking. However, since you returned the book to your local library upon being informed of the true nature of its contents and told your District Teaching Committee and your National Spiritual Assembly about the matter, it is clear that you took the correct steps and should therefore, with complete confidence, turn to Bahá'u'lláh for protection and guidance, fully assured that His promise to assist those who turn to Him will be fulfilled."
    (From a letter dated 29 March 1977 to an individual believer)
"The House of Justice has instructed us to say that, as you are no doubt aware, it is not prohibited for Bahá'ís to read the writings of Covenant-breakers, but they are warned strongly of the dangers of doing so, as the misrepresentations and calumnies in such writings can erode one's faith."

    Excerpts from other letters

    "The picture on page 83 of William Miller's book is a portrait of Bahá'u'lláh, but different from the one displayed in the International Archives."
      Universal House of Justice to an individual 30 March 1980

    Letter Two:

    "We would like to point out to you that the National Spiritual Assembly has no documentation verifying the authenticity of the illustrations in Mr. William McElwee Miller's book, and as such they cannot be regarded as being of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab."
      Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States to an individual 6 February 1981
    [note: The Universal House of Justice has above and elsewhere confirmed the authenticity of the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh contained in this book. However, the illustration of the Bab is believed to be inauthentic. -J.W., 2001]
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