Dear Dr. Muhlschlegel,
I am directed by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 29th, and to express his appreciation of your highly-valued efforts for the translation of the "Kitáb-i-'Ahd" into German. He hopes that copies of this precious tablet will soon be made available to all the friends, and that through its study their knowledge of the Teachings will be deepened, and their zeal for their spread stimulated and sustained.
The term "&afnan" means literally small branch, and refers to the relatives of the Báb, both men and women. As the Báb's only son died while in infancy, the former had no direct descendants. The "&afnan" are, therefore, all indirectly related to the Báb.
As to "&aghsan", it also means branch. But it is a bigger branch than "&afnan". It refers to Bahá'u'lláh's descendants.
The "Kitáb-i-'Ahd" is, as you know, Bahá'u'lláh's "Book of Covenant". It is entirely written in His own handwriting. And in the light of the objections raised by some of the believers concerning the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, it is highly significant to note that this Book of Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh bears neither signature, nor seal, nor any date. It was shown to the believers, and was read in their presence nine days after Bahá'u'lláh's ascension. The manuscript was in the possession of `Abdu'l-Bahá all through His ministry, and after His passing it was found enclosed in His own will. These two precious documents, namely the book of Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh and the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá have both been carefully preserved and are now in the possession of the Guardian....
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Dear and valued co-worker:
I greatly value these fresh evidences of your continued, your intelligent and most helpful labours for a better understanding and a wider diffusion of the essentials and fundamentals of our beloved Faith.
You are indeed a pillar of the Administrative Order, which, despite the storms and tests of recent years, is rearing its head in the heart of your beloved and promising country. Persevere, be happy and confident. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart.
Your true and grateful brother,