1935-08-11 Laws of Aqdas
Baha’i Procedure p2
(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada. Dated from LoG #1145)
In view of the importance of such a statement he feels it his duty to explain that the Laws revealed by Baha'u'llah in the Aqdas are, whenever practicable and not in direct conflict with the Civil Laws of the land, absolutely binding On every believer or Baha'i institution whether in the East or in the West. Certain laws, such as fasting, obligatory prayers, the consent of parents before marriage, avoidance of alcoholic drinks, monogamy, should be regarded by all believers as universally and vitally applicable at the present time. Others have been formulated in anticipation of a state of society destined to emerge from the chaotic conditions that prevail today. When the Aqdas is published this matter will be further explained and elucidated. What has not been formulated in the Aqdas, in addition to matters of detail and of secondary importance arising out of the application of the laws already formulated by Baha'u'llah, will have to be enacted by the Universal House of Justice. This body can supplement but never invalidate or modify in the least degree what has already been formulated by Baha'u'llah. Nor has the Guardian any right whatsoever to lessen the binding effect much less to abrogate the provisions of so fundamental and sacred a Book. Already in Egypt, Persia, India and Iraq, Assemblies, both local and national, are availing themselves of the opportunity which the autonomy granted to Eastern religious communities in matters of personal status has offered them, to press for the recognition by the civil authorities of such Laws of the Aqdas which they conscientiously feel they must uphold and enforce. They have even, under certain circumstances, preferred to suspend their activities and dissolve their institutions rather than follow the dictates of those officials who have tried to induce them to violate what has been expressly ordained by the Author of their Faith. The Guardian will, when the Aqdas is published, elaborate this fundamental principle of our Faith. This brief reference, he feels, is adequate for any reference you wish to make regarding this matter in the New Letter.