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1932-02-XX Master’s photo, #9

USBN #61 - April 1932 - page 3

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to Mrs. Corinne True

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated

January 28, 1932, together with the enclosed photograph of the Master.

Concerning the number nine: the Baha'is reverence this for two reasons,

first because it is considered by those who are interested in numbers as the sign

of perfection. The second consideration, which is the more important one, is that

it is the numerical value of the word "Baha." (B equals 2, h equals 5, a equals 1,

and there is an accent at the end of the word which also equals 1; the "a" after

the "B" is not written in Persian so it does not count). In the Semitic languages,

both Arabic and Hebrew, every letter of the alphabet has a numerical value, so

instead of using figures to denote numbers they used letters and compounds of

letters. Thus every letter had both a literal meaning and also a numerical value.

This practice is no more in use but during the time of Baha'u'llah and the Bab it

was quite in vogue among the educated classes, and we find it very much used in

the Bahan. As the word Baha also stood for the number nine it could be used

interchangeably with it.

Besides these two significances the number nine has no other meaning. It is,

however, enough to make the Baha'is use it when an arbitrary number is to be


Ruhi Afnan.

Dear and precious co-worker:

The news of the splendid results of the completion of the Temple

superstructure is a source of great joy and satisfaction and greatly heartens me

in my arduous work. I would urge you to do all in your power to arouse the

believers, far and near, to continue in their heroic efforts for the completion of

their great enterprise. You should regard it as your first and most sacred

obligation to stimulate the friends to maintain, nay to raise, if possible, the

already high standard of their self-sacrifice. You will thereby be ennobling and

enriching the record of your manifold and unforgettable services to the Cause in

that land.

Your true brother,


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