Re: Authority of Afnan and Aghsan

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Posted by Brett Zamir on September 03, 2101 at 06:19:22:

In Reply to: Authority of Afnan and Aghsan posted by anon on July 17, 2101 at 12:05:45:

As to the legitimacy of any descendents of Baha'u'llah claiming authority in the future (or after Shoghi Effendi), I'd recommend looking at the wonderful article by Brent Poirier, the Flow of Divine Authority for a rejection of the basis of any such possible past, present or future claims. (See for an on-site version and do a search of "Aghsan" to get to the relevant section.)

The following passage not only indicates the love and respect which should be shown toward both the Aghsan and Afnan, but also perhaps gives further evidence, by indicating that the Aghsan have no "right to the property of others", that the endowments referred to in the Kitab-i-Aqdas refer to the line of Guardians and not the Aghsan as a body. So, presumably, I would say, any descendents of Baha'u'llah affirming loyalty to the Faith in the future should be given the due mentioned below (and of course only that).

"It is enjoined upon everyone to manifest love towards the Aghsan, but God hath not granted them any right to the property of others.
O ye My Aghsan, My Afnan and My Kindred! We exhort you to fear God, to perform praiseworthy deeds and to do that which is meet and seemly and serveth to exalt your station. Verily I say, fear of God is the greatest commander that can render the Cause of God victorious, and the hosts which best befit this commander have ever been and are an upright character and pure and goodly deeds.
It is incumbent upon everyone to show courtesy to, and have regard for the Aghsan, that thereby the Cause of God may be glorified and His Word exalted. This injunction hath time and again been mentioned and recorded in the Holy Writ. Well is it with him who is enabled to achieve that which the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days hath prescribed for him. Ye are bidden moreover to respect the members of the Holy Household, the Afnan and the kindred. We further admonish you to serve all nations and to strive for the betterment of the world."
(Baha'u'llah: Tablets of Baha'u'llah, Pages: 222-223)

Also from the Kitab-i-Aqdas itself (though I'm not sure how "kindred" should be interpreted):

"God hath bidden you to show forth kindliness towards My kindred, but He hath granted them no right to the property of others. He, verily, is self-sufficient, above any need of His creatures."
(Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Page: 41)

By the urgency of the appeal of 'Abdu'l-Baha to take care of Shoghi Effendi, I would say that we might say that this foreshadows the great opposition he was to face, but I think it need not show any indefinite opposition by Baha'u'llah's descendents.

As far as proving being an Aghsan, maybe the Universal House of Justice has information as to the status of Baha'u'llah's descendents.

These are somewhat amateur answers, but I hope they are on the mark.


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