Faithfulness and Rebellion:
Whilst perusing (I love that word, lol) one of the other topics here about Baha'u'llahs photographs (http://bahai-library.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5010
) I came across this quote..
And now, one of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Covenant-breakers, for they will utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past.
(Bahá'í World Faith, p. 448)
As the Cause is God's chosen method of communication for today (and the next thousand years) how can mere mortals (whether they be covenant breakers or not) possibly destroy it?
Ibrahim Khayru'llah and the Early American Baha'is
The story of Ibrahim Khayru'llah is an example of the truth that the higher a person is raised in rank, the greater must become his humility—not only so that he is protected, but so that the spiritual reality of his rank may speak through him and elevate the world. Otherwise, the person may succumb to the promptings of self, and fall greatly; and few falls in religious history are as great, as that of Ibrahim Khayru'llah.
The man who brought the Baha'i Faith to America
Khayru'llah brought the Baha'i Faith to the West. He established the American Baha'i Community, bringing thousands of people into the fold, including the first generation of the greatest American believers. Khayru'llah and some of these early believers accompanied Phoebe Hearst on the first pilgrimage of believers from the West, in 1898, during the days of Abdu'l-Baha. On one of the days of his pilgrimage, he was given the astonishing honor of being invited by Abdu'l-Baha to accompany Him in the laying of the cornerstone of the Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel. Rather than being humbled by such honors and by the divine confirmations bringing this success; rather than turning with increasing humility and devotion to the Center of the Covenant, and directing all praise to Him; he chose to follow his own ego. Like every other Covenant-breaker, he threw so very much away, and ended up as nothing, and with nothing.http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com/2009 ... ahais.html
But upon his return to America after his Pilgrimage, Khayru'llah rebelled against Abdu'l-Baha. I have seen several motives suggested. One, that Khayru'llah had at first been the one to whom the believers had turned for spiritual advice. However, once they began to go on Pilgrimage, they met Abdu'l-Baha and began receiving Tablets from Him, and, following the Covenant of Baha'u'llah, turned to Him. Khayru'llah's jealousy was aroused; he had enjoyed leadership. It seems possible to me that another cause of this rebellion may be during his Pilgrimage he met Mirza Muhammad-Ali, the half-brother of Abdu'l-Baha, whose seething jealousy of Abdu'l-Baha knew no bounds. Mirza Muhammad-Ali would invite pilgrims to his residence, the Mansion of Bahji, which was the last residence of Baha'u'llah, and throw feasts in their honor. He would flatter them, indirectly criticize Abdu'l-Baha, and plant the seeds of rebellion. During these days, Abdu'l-Baha had not yet exposed the wiles of the Covenant-breakers to the Baha'i community; that came at a later date.
This is a very great admonition to anyone who would consider ever meeting with, or even reading the literature of, a Covenant-breaker. Imagine—although Khayru'llah had received so much from the hand of Abdu'l-Baha, and had tasted the sweetness of His love and spirit; he was turned away, by the poisonous atmosphere of the Arch-breaker of the Covenant. If such a person, who received so much from Abdu'l-Baha face-to-face, who knew His love, could be turned against Him; how much more should we heed the warnings Abdu'l-Baha gives in His Will and Testament about complete avoidance of Covenant-breakers.