Posted by Kendal (188.8.131.52) on August 20, 2002 at 15:16:51:
In Reply to: Infallibility and protection of the Faith posted by Kendal on August 20, 2002 at 12:28:23:
I had to cut short my previous message because of time constraints. But my point was that at the time Shoghi Effendi was appointed Guardian, the authority he was given challenged all the natural lines of authority. Imagine your son or nephew is appointed head of your Faith and now you have to be obedient to him. That was one problem. The other is that, like the generation of Abdul Baha, members of the Holy Family, while they may have appreciated the nature of Baha'u'llah's claim with their own perspective, probably did not understand its vast implications for the world. They may, for instance, have seen the faith purely from an Islamic perspective, whereas both Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi had a much broader perspective. Thus, the prerogatives that Shoghi Effendi, then a young man, took to interpret the Faith within this broader context may have come into conflict with others' more provincial conceptions. Their efforts to assert their authority over his could have been very damaging to the Faith, so Shoghi Effendi could not be hesitant about this matter. While I am sure Shoghi Effendi personally only wanted to have unity, as Guardian, he had to protect the Faith. And protecting the Faith meant protecting the lines of authority that Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha had established, not those that previously existed based on familial and cultural patterns. These are the same problems that led Islam to schism at its very beginning. Ali was young and even though he was the legitimate successor to Muhammad, the early Muslim community instead followed the previous tribal pattern and Umar took over, causing untold difficulties in the long run.
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