Afnan as "branch"

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Afnan as "branch"

Postby Keyvan » Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:49 am

im wondering....Baha'u'llah said,

I beseech Thee, O Thou Who art my Governor and the Possessor of all names, to protect them that have branched out from me (Afnan), whom Thou hast caused to be related to Thyself, and to whom Thou hast, in this Revelation, shown Thy special favor, and whom Thou hast summoned to draw nigh unto Thee and to turn towards the horizon of Thy Revelation.

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 154)

O Afnan, O thou that hast branched from Mine ancient Stock! My glory and My loving-kindness rest upon thee. How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and will, erelong, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 92)

Shoghi Effendi wrote:

The term "afnan" means literally small branch, and refers to the relatives of the Báb, both men and women. As the Báb's only son died while in infancy, the former had no direct descendants. The "afnan" are, therefore, all directly related to the Báb.

As to "aghsan", it also means branch. But it is a bigger branch than "afnan". It refers to Bahá'u'lláh's descendants.

(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v I, p. 61)

and in The Will and Testamant, of course, Abdul Baha wrote,

O ye the faithful loved ones of 'Abdu'l-Bahá! It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath branched from and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote-Trees,

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 25)

should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 12)

now im not suggesting by any means that anyone outside the Sacred bloodlines could possibly have had anything to do with Guardianship, on the contrary....couldnt The Guardian have then chosen an Afnan to succeed Him, if they are also branches. i mean He defined them as branch nonetheless, though small...

ive read every article i could possibly find on Guardian successorship...and i still think Afnan could not have been ruled out....though there was no Will and no apparant heir...but does anyone know if in 1957 anyone raised the possibility that an Afnan could have been chosen if no Aghsan left?


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Postby brettz9 » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:23 am

I believe Bahá'u'lláh was speaking in a spiritual sense in those cases...

It has become clear during the past months that lack of knowledge of the meaning of the word "branch" as used in the Master's Will and Testament has led to great confusion in certain quarters in the West.
The word "Ghosn" (plural Aghsan is an Arabic word, meaning "branch".
Bahá'u'lláh used this word specifically to designate his own male descendants. It does not apply to any other category of people. He gave the title to 'Abdu'l-Bahá of "the Most Great Branch". His second son, Muhammad 'Ali was known as "the Greater Branch"; His third son, Midhi, "the Purest Branch", etc. The Guardian himself is designated in the Master's Will as "the Chosen Branch".
All the male relatives of the Bab. are invariably referred to as "Afnan", which means "twigs".
These two designations are not interchangeable.
Over and over in Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets these terms Aghsan and "Afnan" are specifically used in this sense.
For instance, in the Tablet of the Branch, the original word is "Ghosn" (i.e. branch), referring to 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
The ordinary English usage of the word "branch" has caused a great deal of confusion, whereas there is not a shadow of ambiguity in the Persian and Arabic texts.
Because of ignorance of the Arabic and Persian languages and the use of these two terms in our Sacred Texts, spurious arguments have been put forth by those making the false claim that Shoghi Effendi could have appointed a successor other than a blood descendant of Bahá'u'lláh.

(Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land, in a letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies, October 15, 1960, in Ministry of the Custodians, p. 231)

Also, for your reference, in the same document, on pp. 35-36 , there is the following:

The Aghsan (branches) one and all are either dead or have been declared violators of the Covenant by the Guardian for their faithlessness to the Master's Will and Testament and their hostility to him named first Guardian in that sacred document.

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Postby brettz9 » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:27 am

And, as you may already know, Shoghi Effendi can be correctly considered as a "twig" also (thus the reference as such in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá), because he is descended from the Báb as well as from Bahá'u'lláh (a "branch").


Postby Keyvan » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:40 pm

thank you. ive read those, but my question is not that.
if Shoghi Effendi said that Afnan is a small branch instead of a twig than He could have named some other Afnan the *something* Branch. he did not so it doesnt matter anyway, but he could have is what im saying.

its obvious that Shoghi Effendi could not have appointed someone NOT of the bloodline to the position of Guardian, the covenant breaker stance is to say that there are general alternatives to descendency of Baha'u'llah as branch

im not saying that at all. im just saying that Afnan could be. i havent found anything to say otherwise. why was "another branch"translated to that instead of being left as "another Aghsan" as Aghsan was used in its original form in other parts of the Will.

it just looks like so far that when Shoghi Effendi refered to Afnan, he refered to them as "branches" small branches, but branches nonetheless, and in the Will He references it as "another branch" instead of another Aghsan, i just cant see anything that says this didnt leave the door open for an Afnan being named a "Branch"

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Postby brettz9 » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:53 pm

The original is surely Aghsan. As mentioned, it is just a translation issue. Ask someone to find the original in Persian for you to confirm it for you.



Postby Keyvan » Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:54 am

hey. Branch has its own word in Persian though. Aghsan is Arabic.

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Postby brettz9 » Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:19 am

Aghsán is apparently either used in the text in these cases, or, as the Hands also seem to allow, the Persian uses a unique term to refer to Aghsán--one that is distinct from Afnán.


Postby Keyvan » Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:06 am

hmm...i think it will just take some more research.



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Postby majnun » Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:50 am

Dear Keyvvan:

a clear distinction is made by Baha'u'llah
while he use the two terms back to back
inside the same sentence, while answering the questioner,
in the preamble of the 7 valleys.



Postby Keyvan » Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:57 pm


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