Breaking the covenant


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Posted by Martin on November 13, 2101 at 12:26:04:

In Reply to: Re: Breaking the covenant posted by PatK on July 23, 2101 at 22:28:51:

Dear Pat,

Thanks for your reply. Covenant Breaker are those who oppose the Center of the Covenant, and `Abdu'l-Baha indeed was the Center of the Covenant. It might be interesting to note that even the Hands of the Cause recognized the Guardian as Center of the Covenant:

"A Covenant-breaker, as you know, is one who disobeys and turns away from the Center of the Covenant. Until such time as they repent of this sincerely, and express their willingness to work under the Center of the Covenant, their status must be considered the same..." --19 April 1953 (Light of Divine Guidance, Vol. 2, p. 109)
[Ed. Note: Lest the words "Center of the Covenant" in the above statement be taken to mean ╬Abdu'l-Bahá, it should be pointed out that the concept of willingly working under the Center of the Covenant relates to the one who was then the Center of the Cause--the Guardian of the Faith. Even the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land in 1960, following the Proclamation of Mason Remey, held that Shoghi Effendi became the Center of the Covenant subsequent to ╬Abdu'l-Bahá. In a letter written on 15 October 1960 to all NSA's, those Hands wrote: "╬Abdu'l-Bahá in His turn, in His Own handwriting created the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, as the Centre of His Covenant and specified the conditions of future Guardianship."]


THE COVENANT from Baha'u'llah to the year 2000


PK: Being expelled as a Covenant Breaker by the Hands of the Cause, as you describe, is one way. Certainly Muhammad Ali was declared a Covenant Breaker for opposing the leadership of the day - 'Abdu'l Baha, rather than the Guardian.

Dear Pat, this point - the assent of the Hands - is very important.

First of all, it is imperative that everyone realize what Shoghi Effendi said on page one of the American "Bahá'í News" of February 1955, under the title "Passage on Will and Testament":

"The statement in the Will of `Abdu'l-Bahá does not imply that the Hands of the Cause of God have been given the authority to overrule the Guardian. `Abdu'l-Bahá could not have provided for a conflict of authority in the Faith. This is obvious, in view of His own words, which you will find on page 13 (p. 11 of 1944 U.S. edition) of the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá. 'The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the guardian of the Cause of God. It is incumbent upon...the Hands of
the Cause of God to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the guardian of the Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly before him. He that opposeth him hath opposed the True One,' etc."

This interpretation of Shoghi Effendi's is the Orthodox Baha'i position.

The Hands of the Cause do not have the authority to overturn the Guardian's appointment-- neither before nor after the Guardian's passing, for as is stated by Shoghi Effendi "'Abdu'l-Baha could not have provided for a conflict of authority in the Faith."

In addition to the above statement of Shoghi Effendi's, I refer you to a statement written on Shoghi Effendi's behalf and sent to an individual on March 25, 1930. The statement reads:

"The contents of the Will of the Master is far too much for the present generation to comprehend. It needs at least a century of actual working before the treasures of wisdom hidden in it can be revealed."

I would suggest that we have not yet had "at least a century" of the Will being in actual operation. Consequently, the "treasures of wisdom" that Shoghi Effendi said are "hidden in it," are beyond the comprehension of the "present generation."

It is clear that during Shoghi Effendi's ministry the Hands of the Cause never fulfilled the clause in the Will which states: "The Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in the work of the guardian of the Cause of God." The fact that this election did not occur, though, does not mean that the Hands--through an act either of commission or omission--could overrule the Guardian in the matter of his appointing his successor. Simply put, the election did not take place for that body of nine Hands and thus the
assent of that body of nine was never accomplished either. But then, Shoghi Effendi appointed Mason Remey as the President of the embryonic Universal House of Justice before there were any Hands of the Cause. The first contingent of Hands of the Cause was not appointed until months had passed from the time when he formed the International Baha'i Council and established that Mason Remey was the head of that embryonic Universal House of Justice.

It should be clear, I think, that it does not matter how many Hands of the Faith went on record in 1960 to state that Mason Remey was not the second Guardian. If Mason Remey was appointed as Shoghi Effendi's successor, as Orthodox Baha'is believe he was, then the rejection by any Hands or by all the Hands has no bearing on the issue, for as Shoghi Effendi said, the Hands were not given the authority to overrule the Guardian.

The Hands and the Haifa Universal House of Justice would have people believe that because there was no assent given by an elected body of nine Hands or because the total body of Hands refused to accept Mason Remey as Guardian it meant that Mason Remey couldn't be the Guardian. Such a position is simply not compatible with Shoghi Effendi's February 1955 statement.

Now, if members of the Haifa Baha'i organization are going to contend that there was no successor identified by Shoghi Effendi because, according to their view, the Will says that the assent of the Hands is mandatory, then to be logical they need also to recognize that the Will does not provide for a Universal House of Justice that is minus the Guardian of the Faith as its head. `Abdu'l-Baha's statement in the Will is unequivocal about that:

"By this body [the Universal House of Justice] all the difficult problems are to be resolved and the guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body. Should he not attend in person its deliberations, he must appoint one to represent him. Should any of the members commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the guardian of the Cause of god hath at his own discretion the right to expel him..."

If you are going to hold that because the Hands did not provide their
assent--even though at the time of the appointment of Mason Remey as head of the embryonic Universal House of Justice there were no Hands of the Cause to give their assent--then it seems to me that you must also hold that any Universal House of Justice which is formed minus "its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body" is NOT the body called for in the Master's Will. It is an undisputed fact that the Haifa Universal House of Justice has no Guardian serving as its head. Furthermore, insofar as that organization's records show, the Haifa UHJ does not have anyone attending its deliberations who was appointed by the Guardian of the Faith to represent him. Therefore, to be in keeping with the Will of `Abdu'l-Baha, the supreme institution for the Haifa organization should NOT be considered as the Universal House of Justice that `Abdu'l-Baha called for in His Will and Testament.

The Orthodox Baha'i perspective on the assent issue by employing provisions of the Will and Testament that were not operational at the time the Guardian appointed the head of the embryonic Universal House of Justice is perhaps wrong. I am available to discuss with the Baha'i community, if shunning stops. For me to turn around and argue that your organization is in compliance with the Will and Testament even though it has formed a Universal House of Justice without a Guardian as its sacred head would be very difficult. Again I may be wrong and I am ready to study more on this.

Ruhiyyih Khanum was right when, in 1948, she wrote on page 23 of "Twenty-Five Years of the Guardianship":

"The principle of successorship, endowed with the right of Divine
interpretation, is the very hub of the Cause into which its Doctrines and Laws fit like the spokes of a wheel -tear out the hub and you have to throw away the whole thing."


PK: Those who claimed the Guardianship w/o being appointed to it IAW the "Will and Testament" of 'Abdu'l Baha, also exposed themselves to expulsion by the same Hands who would assent to an appointment of a successor.

Shoghi Effendi created the International Baha'i Council, the embryo of the Universal House of Justice, with Mason Remey as its Head. I welcome any meeting with Baha'is and their administration on this topic. As you know, it is very difficult to even have a witness during a meeting with an auxiliary board member for protection. Since my expulsion, I have no news from her.

PK: The Universal House of Justice was deprived of a Guardian by death. Shoghi Effendi died w/o appointing a successor IAW every clause of the "Will and Testament". It may be hard for some to accept, but that was the expert opinion of Mason Remey, among the other Hands of the Cause at the time. After more than 40 years, I hope you can accept this.

I certainly could if I could study more the Covenant and not being deprived of going to Covenant or Ruhi Study Circles.

Sincerely,

Martin




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