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Shoghi Effendi:

by Ugo Giachery

previous chapter chapter 16 start page single page

Chapter 17

[page 187]


[this page blank]


Early Descriptions of Shoghi Effendi


The first of the recently returned pilgrims to speak at the Feast of Ridvan, during the Fourteenth Annual Bahá'í Convention, 22 April 1922, Chicago, Illinois, as reported by Louis Gregory.[31]

    [31] SW vol. XIII p.68

... We met Shoghi Effendi, dressed entirely in black, a touching figure. Think of what he stands for today! All the complex problems of the great statesmen of the world are as child's play in comparison with the great problems of this youth, before whom are the problems of the entire world. He is a youth of twenty-six, left by the will of the Master as the Guardian of the Cause. No one can form any conception of his difficulties, which are overwhelming.

We received his joyous, hearty hand grasp and our meeting was short. A bouquet was sent to our room in the form of a young tree filled with nectarines or tangerines. It was brought by Mr. Fugeta. We awoke without any sense of sadness. That feeling was entirely gone. The Master is not gone. His Spirit is present with greater intensity and power, freed from bodily limitations. We can take it into our own hearts and reflect it in greater degrees. In the center of this radiation stands this youth, Shoghi Effendi. The Spirit streams forth from this young man. He is indeed young in face, form and manner, yet his heart is the center of the world today. The character and spirit divine scintillate from him today. He alone can today save the world and make true civilization. So humble, meek, selfless is he that it is touching to see him. His letters are a marvel. It is the great wisdom of God in granting us the countenance of this great central point of guidance to meet difficult problems. These problems, much like ours, come to him from all parts of the world. They are met and solved by him in the most informal way. Again it came to us with great force that the powers of the Universal House of Justice, when organized, would be limitless Its sole purpose would be to solve all human problems.

The great principles laid down by Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá now have their foundation in the external world of God's Kingdom on earth. This foundation is being laid, sure and certain, by Shoghi Effendi in Haifa today. Yet it is all futile unless throughout the world each one will make this foundation safe in his own heart and life. The House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause are given that his hands may be upheld and the Cause of God may be selflessly established. He wishes us to sense the largeness of these great things, avoid sectarianism and work for the deepening of the Cause of God before its expansion. Largeness of heart and spirit is his wish and will. As the will of Abdu'l-Bahá says, 'Universality is of God and limitations are of the earth'...

[page 190]


    * After his death in 1951, Shoghi Effendi accorded Mr. Wilhelm the rank of Hand of the Cause of God.

He had been summoned to Haifa with Mr. Mills, and was another speaker at this Feast of Ridvan (1922).[32] ...Abdu'l-Bahá says: 'God created the world; man worked out the boundaries.' No one in the world today, except the Bahá'í who has the universal, selfless mind, can see without prejudice. He has no interest save the happiness of all.

When one reaches Haifa and meets Shoghi Effendi and sees the workings of his mind and heart, his wonderful spirit and grasp of things, it is truly marvelous. Our world boundaries must fade!

    [32] SW vol. XIII p.69

From informal notes taken in Haifa in 1924. [33]

    [33] These notes were issued by Mrs. Maxwell as a booklet in duplicated form

... Shoghi Effendi discusses the affairs and conditions of the Cause with astonishing openness and frankness; he does not like secrecy and told us many times that this openness, frankness and truthfulness among the friends constitutes one of the great remedies for many of our difficulties, and he sets us the example of free and open consultation, with a modesty and simplicity which one must see in order to appreciate because it is foreign to our American temperament; he invites suggestions and consultation from the visiting friends and from those around him.

He listens to every suggestion with the utmost courtesy and seriousness and brings to bear upon it the light of his wonderful lucid mind, his clear all-comprehensive thought, his powerful and penetrative judgement.

The spirit of criticism is abhorrent to Shoghi Effendi ...

[page 191] ALAINE LOCKE, A. B., PH.D.

From 'Impressions of Haifa'.[34]

    [34] BW vol II pp.125-7

... It was a privilege to see and experience these things. But it was still more of a privilege to stand there with the Guardian of the Cause, and to feel that, accessible and inspiring as it was to all who can come and will come, there was available there for him a constant source of inspiration and vision from which to draw, in the accomplishment of his heavy burdens and responsibilities. That thought of communion with ideas and ideals without the mediation of symbols, seemed to me the most reassuring and novel feature. For after all the only enlightened symbol of a religious or moral principle is the figure of a personality endowed to perfection with its qualities and necessary attributes. Earnestly renewing this inheritance seemed the constant concern of this gifted personality, and the quiet but insistent lesson of his temperament.

Refreshingly human after this intense experience, was the relaxation of our walk and talk in the gardens. Here the evidences of love, devotion and service were as concrete and as practical and as human as inside the shrines they had been mystical and abstract and superhuman. Shoghi Effendi is a master of detail as well as of principle, of executive foresight as well as of projective vision. But I have never heard details so redeemed of their natural triviality as when talking to him of the plans for the beautifying and laying out of the terraces and gardens. They were important because they all were meant to dramatize the emotion of the place and quicken the soul even through the senses. It was night in the quick twilight of the East before we had finished the details of inspecting the gardens, and then, by the lantern light, the faithful gardener showed us to the austere retreat of the great Expounder of the teaching. It taught me with what purely simple and meager elements a master workman works. It is after all in Himself that He finds His message and it is Himself that He gives with it to the world ...

[page 192]


From 'Excerpts from My Diary', published in 1926.[35] The unique and outstanding figure in the world today is Shoghi Effendi. Unique, because the guardianship of this great Cause is in his hands and his humility, modesty, economy and self-effacement are monumental. Outstanding because he is the only person, we may safely say, who entrusted with the affairs of millions of souls, has but one thought and one mind - the speedy promulgation of peace and goodwill throughout the world. His personal life is absolutely and definitely sacrificed. The poorest boy in America struggling for an education would consider himself hardly used to have no more than those bare necessities which this young man voluntarily chooses for himself. The ladies of the household typify the Cause of Love and Faith. Shoghi Effendi adds to this the 'elan of the New Day - ACTION and Progress.

    [35] SW, vol. XVII, p. 259

So to comprehend and administer all the relationships in a huge organization that only satisfaction and illumination result; never to see anything smaller than the world-wide import of all our movements, no matter how parochial; to clarify with a word the most obscure situations; to release in countless souls the tides of energy that will sweep the cargoes of these glad-tidings round the world; to remain without one moment's cessation so poised in God as to be completely naturalized into His attributes - these are some of the characteristics that make of Shoghi Effendi the unique and outstanding figure of our time. And this without reference to his surpassing mental capacities that mark this spiritually superb person as a penetrating thinker and brilliant executive. The world, its politics, social relationships, economic situations, schemes, plans, aspirations, programs, defects, successes, lie under his scrutiny like infusoria beneath a microscope.

... Shoghi Effendi is the Commander-in-chief oft his great new army of faith and strength that is moving forth to vanquish the malevolent forces of life.

[page 193]


Part of a letter written to Mr. Alfred E. Lunt. The Guardian is an example of how intellect can serve the spirit in a manner we of the West have never known. He is a perfectly controlled and mature personality. I have never heard him recite an incident in which he was the major figure, or say anything which would in any way give him a chance to excel. This may sound very naive; but the point is that Shoghi Effendi simply refutes all those theories with which our academies are surfeited, that every ego is trying merely to maximate itself:

Shoghi Effendi is very impersonal, and he speaks only of the Word and the Faith. His speech is rapid and his English is stunning. When he speaks the hours pass tirelessly. I should say that his most obvious characteristic is power, but there is nothing arbitrary or even personal about it. Again and again he seems to convey to one that the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh will reach its aim, and that we have only to be superlatively faithful and to be active and obedient. There is something about him that makes one believe that one can do anything if he requires it ...

[page 194]


    * Mr. Whitehead, an American Bahá'í and actor. Although not an 'early description' of Shoghi Effendi, this vivid account calls for inclusion.

Excerpt from an unpublished diary of his pilgrimage to the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith, January, 1955.

... At least fifteen minutes before dinner-time the members of the household and the pilgrims gathered in the sitting-room. Ruhiyyih Khanum wore a becoming white dress with a white shawl over her head. She did not seem conscious of her great beauty and enormous charm. After we had sat together for a short time, a sweet-looking Arabian maid came to the door and bowed to Ruhiyyih Khanum. The maid spoke softly. I could not hear what she said. Ruhiyyih Khanum said: 'The pilgrims go first.'

The staircase was very narrow. Only one could go down at a time. After I had reached the lower floor, I looked towards the dining-room. On the other side of the table from the door, the Guardian sat entirely still. If I had not known who he was, but had just seen him sitting somewhere else, I would have been greatly drawn to him. He had a greater magnetism than I had felt before in anyone. He had an indescribable attraction. I was not afraid to go near to him. On the contrary I could not get near to him soon enough.

Shoghi Effendi had on a black fez, a black suit and a black necktie. As we approached the dining-room, he stood up. I felt as if a light was all around him... The Guardian turned to me. I bent over and kissed him on the cheek. I felt that he filled the universe ... He showed the rest of us where to sit ... He had a warm and delightful smile. He held my entire attention ... I looked intently at his warm and deeply sensitive eyes that mirrored many different thoughts and that kept constantly changing expression. He turned a little in my direction and smiled. His eyes were like pools of light. I noticed his wonderfully expressive hands.

... After dinner was over, the Guardian sat with us for awhile, then rose from his chair. After he had left the room everyone was quiet. He had filled the room with a great energy that I had never felt before. He had given us some of his infinitely precious time. ... As on the previous evening, we waited in suspense for the maid to appear. I feel sure that none of us could bear to think that Shoghi Effendi might not be able to come for dinner that night. After a few moments our suspense grew stronger. There was very little conversation. The maid appeared at the doorway. We all hurried downstairs.

The Guardian had on an English polo coat. I thought he looked a little tired. He said with slight concern, 'I have a little cold6 ... He continued to speak in his unique and delightful accent of unsurpassed charm and at the same time made graceful gestures with his expressive hands. His face was as always lighted up with the beauty of clear and penetrating thought ... he spoke as if he could see vividly the many tortuous events that would take place over hundreds of years, but as if, too, he was reconciled to this inescapable fact ...

On the last night, the Guardian sat in his usual place across the table from the door. As soon as I had come into the room, he said: 'This is your last night, isn't it? I am glad to see that you do not look unhappy... you will return here.' He took a vial out of his pocket and handed it to me. 'First tell the believers in New York to disperse and then anoint them with this "attar of roses",' he said.

I was so moved by this gift that I could hardly say 'thank you, Shoghi Effendi'... I felt that the atmosphere in the room became even stronger than before and as if it had taken on the light of another world.

[page 195]


Letters to Angeline Giachery

Excerpts from letters addressed by the author to his wife immediately after his arrival in the Holy Land.

4 March 1952 - 7.30 a.m., Haifa, Israel

Yesterday the plane arrived at Lydda two hours late and I found a message from Ruhiyyih Khanum, to proceed on my own. I went to Tel Aviv and took a seat in a cab, arriving here around 3 p.m. Everyone is well; Milly[*] was truly happy to see me and so were the Revell sisters and Larry Hautz. Ruhiyyih Khanum came to see me; she was kind and friendly and regretted you could not be asked now. The Guardian is not too well - I have not seen him yet - he is burdened with a thousand cares and lots of sorrows. He has just appointed seven more Hands to make nineteen altogether: Corinne True, Musa Banani, Clara Dunn, Fred Schopflocher, Adelbert Muhlschlegel and two Persians (one thirty-three years old).[**] We got up at 4.30 a.m. and prayed together with the Revells. Here it is heavenly; there is such an air of purity and holiness in this house;[***] I am so happy and feel so well, I have a beautiful room and everything is comfortable and charming. I am waiting for the Guardian to call for me in a while.

    * Mrs. Amelia E. Collins, Hand of the Cause of God.
    ** General Shu'a'u'llah 'Ala'i and Mr. Dhikru'llah Khadem
    *** The Western Pilgrim House, on Persian Street, now the temporary seat of the Universal House of Justice.

[page 196] 4 March, a second letter written the same day:

Around 8 o'clock Ruhiyyih Khanum sent for me and I visited her in the Guardian's house which was 'Abbas Effendi's house. It is a lovely building with a very large central hall from which one can see the door of the room where 'Abdu'l-Bahá passed away. The door ... is closed and no one is allowed therein except on special occasions. I sat for awhile with Milly who came a little later - in the small sitting-room where the Guardian receives visitors. It is an oblong room with two windows; it has the type of furnishing prevalent some eighty years ago; of course all the rugs are beautiful and the atmosphere is one of great repose. One feels happy to enter this room because there is a spirit of great holiness that hovers around you. On the wall there is a picture of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and a few hangings; the ceiling, as in all the other rooms, is very high and the walls are painted a warm buff colour. From the windows one can see the garden which goes around the house and the peacocks strutting in a special pen at the end of the garden. After awhile Ruhiyyih Khanum came in and said that the Guardian felt better and that she was to take me to the gardens and the Shrine of the Báb. We drove in the Guardian's car to the gardens and arrived at the same time that some American tourists were arriving from the cruise ship Constitution, which will remain in port for three days. The gardens are beautiful beyond description; I have seen many gardens in many parts of the world, but these gardens are unique. The layout, the arrangements of the plants, shrubs and trees are so completely original that there cannot be anything like them anywhere. Ruhiyyih Khanum told me that some prominent personage sent word that he wanted to have the same gardener of the Persian Gardens to lay out his own garden! Of course you do know who the gardener is! The Shrine is truly beautiful, the word should be majestic or enchanting. It seems one of the fairy-tale dream castles made into reality. The Baveno columns glisten in the sunlight; the fresh clear spring air renders the sight of the bay and the great harbour even more brilliant. The green of the grass is like emerald and the geraniums are in bloom. The wife of Mansur, the custodian,[*] spread a carpet under the colonnade on the west side of the Shrine. We take our shoes off, and one after the other we enter the antechamber of the Báb's Tomb. Magnificent carpets are spread on the floor; my eyes are transfixed on the central spot of the central room, where a small rare rug marks the sacred spot above the real tomb. Three chandeliers give a brilliant light and there are flowers everywhere. We stop at the threshold which is covered by an embroidered white cloth, literally covered with flowers which the custodian places there fresh every morning. We prostrate ourselves on the floor with our faces upon the holy threshold and pray with all our hearts. I remained praying for a long time until I realized that Ruhiyyih Khanum and Milly were standing up. I got up, our faces were bathed with tears; one feels that he is unable to leave that Holy Place again! Ruhiyyih Khanum chanted then the Visitation Tablet in Persian, and left slowly, walking backwards. We left that room, going outside and entering the antechamber of the Tomb of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Here again we prostrated to the floor and prayed. This time, Dr. Hakim chanted a prayer. On leaving both Tombs I picked up one flower each time and shall keep them as a memory of my first visit here. Ruhiyyih Khanum also picked some flowers and gave them to me to bring to you personally, as a special gift because you could not be invited to come.

    * Mansur Irani, extremely devoted to Shoghi Effendi; he died a few weeks after the Guardian's passing.

[page 197] Haifa, 9 March 1952

Dearest Angeline: I am taking advantage of the stop in Rome of three Iranian pilgrims, to send this letter to you. The love and consideration showered upon me by the Guardian cannot be fully and adequately described. Our meeting was something preordained by God; he waited for me alone, in the dining-room, and said: 'At last you are here, Ugo!' and hugged and kissed me three times and tears were in his eyes. During the dinner he praised me with every word he uttered, and when I said, 'Angeline, my wife, has shared in all this work,' he answered 'I know that.' He has appointed me member at large of the International Council and will name the last remaining door of the Shrine of the Báb after me. 'Your full station is not yet revealed,' he said, 'but I shall see that it is.' His eyes poured love upon me, and his tender attentions have rent my heart. He has called me here because he wants to consult about some work for Bahji, the preliminary steps for the construction of the Sepulchre of Bahá'u'lláh, and for the establishment of a joint National Spiritual Assembly for Switzerland and Italy... planning for next year the Convention to elect the third European National Assembly. 'Another great pillar to support the dome of the Bahá'í Administration,' the Guardian said. 'I want you to be independent and original, and I know that the Italians and the Swiss are capable of striving for achievements.' He is pleased with our work (mine and yours) in a tremendous measure and attaches great importance to Rome, as Rome will take the leading place in all of Europe.

[page 198] Haifa, 29 June 1952

Dearest Angeline: Yesterday I received a letter from ..., giving news of you and of your activity. He tells me that you are well and very busy; that, I have imagined all the time. Between visitors and meetings, you must be busy from early morning to late evening. The Guardian knows this and he appreciates it immensely. He told me that he has written you a letter; I am sure it must have made you very happy. Life here is a continuous sacrifice; one has to let away many ideas and be remissive, obedient and extremely active. The life the Guardian leads is an example of what he expects from every one. He gets up at 4. a.m. and goes to bed at midnight, and often eats only once a day. Really I cannot yet understand how he can carry on his work which would normally require about twenty persons to do it. Only the mail would bewilder anyone; he opens and reads everything - that is the mail addressed to him - and arranges for the answer. To this you must add all the reports of the eleven National Assemblies, the work of the Council, the construction of the Shrine, the extension of the terraces, the beautification of Bahji and the general planning ahead for the development of the Faith. The assistance we can render him is infinitesimal, and this worries me very much. I cannot tell you yet when I will be back, but it will be sometime around the first ten days in July.

[page 199]


The Writings of Shoghi Effendi


1938 The Advent of Divine Justice. (Published 1939)

1941 The Promised Day is Come

1944 God Passes By


1923 Prayer of Bahá'u'lláh; Prayers and Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá (Booklet)

1923 Words of Wisdom, revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. Star of the West, vol. XIV, pp. 99-100. Reprinted in Bahá'í World Faith pp. 140-2

1923 Tablet revealed by Abdu'l-Bahá to Dr. Auguste Forel, 21 Sept. 1921. Star of the West, vol. XIV, pp. 101-9. Reprinted in The Bahá'í Revelation (London 1955) pp. 220-31, and Bahá'í World Faith pp. 336-48 (except for two introductory paragraphs and one line to close)

1925 The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh. (Revised 1932)

1931 Kitáb-i-Iqan (The Book of Certitude), by Bahá'u'lláh

1932 The Dawn-Breakers: Nabil's Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Revelation

1933 Tablets Revealed in Honor of the Greatest Holy Leaf, by Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá. With Introduction by Shoghi Effendi

1935 Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh

1938 Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh

1941 Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, by Bahá'u'lláh


21 Jan. 1922 - 27 November 1924. Letters from Shoghi Effendi (Published 1925, and included in the next collection.)

21 Jan. 1922 - 17 July 1932. Bahá'í Administration. Letters addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada and to the Bahá'ís of the North American Bahá'í Community as a whole. (First published 1928; revised ed. 1945)

27 Feb. 1929-11 March 1936. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh

Letters addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, and to the Bahá'ís of the West. (Published 1938.) These letters were first published individually under the following titles:

27 Feb. 1929. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.

21 Mar. 1930. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh: Further Considerations.

28 Nov. 1931. The Goal of a New World Order.

21 Mar. 1932. The Golden Age of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.

21 Apr. 1933. America and the Most Great Peace.
8 Feb. 1934. The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh.

11 Mar. 1936. The Unfoldment of World Civilization.

21 June 1932-21 July 1940. Messages from the Guardian. Letters and cablegrams received by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada. (The actual text of the cablegrams is given, interpolations made for clarity being noted.)

21 June 1932-3 December 1946. Messages to America. Letters and cablegrams addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, to Annual Bahá'í Conventions and to the North American Bahá'í Community. Two of the longer messages, 'The Spiritual Potencies of That Consecrated Spot' and

'A God-Given Mandate', were separately published in 1940 and 1946

15 June 1946-8 March 1952. World Order Unfolds. Letters and cablegrams

to the American Bahá'í Community. (The actual text of the

cablegrams is given, interpolations being noted.)

25 Apr. 1950-October 1957. Messages to the Bahá'í World 1950-1957

Major communications addressed to the Bahá'í world.

(published 1958; revised edition 1971.)

20 Jan. 1947-21 September 1957. Citadel of Faith. Messages to America.

(Published 1965.) The long letter entitled 'The Challenging Requirements of the Present Hour' was published as a booklet in 1947 and the message of 8 November 1948 was also separately published.

2 Jan. 1923-18 July 1957. Messages to Canada. Apart from the first letter, the messages were sent between 1948 and 1957, when the Canadian Bahá'ís had established their own National Spiritual Assembly and independent Bahá'í Community. (Published 1965.)

2 Dec. 1923-19 July 1957. Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand 1923-1957. Apart from the first letter, these are messages addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly, which was formed in 1934. (Published 1970.)

9 Jan. 1923-6 March 1957. Dawn of a New Day. (Messages to India 1923-1957)

Messages addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly, to the Bahá'í youth of India, and to individual Bahá'ís in India and Burma. (Published 1970.)


1944 A World Survey: The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1944 (24 pp.)

1950 The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1950: Information Statist. & Comparative (36 pp.)

1953 The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1952: Information Statistical and Comparative; supplement entitled 'Ten Year International Bahá'í Teaching and Consolidation Plan 1953-1963' (80 pp. and map.)


    * References are abbreviated as: BA (Bahá'í Administration), BN (U.S. Bahá'í News), CF (Citadel of Faith), MA (Messages to America), MBW (Messages to the Bahá'í World, 1971 ed.)
VOLUME II - 1926 - 1928: 7 October 1926

'To the Bahá'ís of the West', citing words of Queen Marie of Rumania (pp. 173-4).

VOLUME III - 1928 - 1930 : 25 October 1929

'The Spiritual Significance of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar'

(pp. 315-63) (repeated in vols. X, XI, XII; also in BA,180-7.)

VOLUME V - 1932 - 1934 : 17 July 1932

'A Tribute to Bahiyyih Khanum, the Most Exalted Leaf' (pp. 174-9; see also BA, pp. 187-96)
VOLUME VIII-1938-1940

These messages are in pp. 245-53 and 344-57, and are included in Messages to America, except as noted.

1938: 5 July, 10 September, 24 September, 27 November (BN, Jan. 1939, p.2)

1939: 28 January, 17 April, 22 May, 28 May, 4 July, 28 July, 5 December

(BN, Jan. 1940, p.1),

21 December, 26 December (BN, Feb. 1940, p.9), 30 December

1940: 15 April (repeated in vol. IX, pp. 315-17)
VOLUME IX-1940-1944

These messages are included in a section entitled
'Messages from the Guardian', pp. 315-36

and are published in Messages to America, except as noted.

1940: 15 May, 13 June, 29 October, 3 December.
1941: 25 May, 12 August, 22 November.

1942: 15 January, 9 February (BN, Feb. 1942, p.1), 14 March (BN, April 1942, p.1), 26 April, 26 May, 14 July (BN, Aug. 1942, p.1), 15 August, 3 October (BN, Annual Reports, 1942-3, p. 7), 30 November.

1943: 8 January, 18 January, 15 March (BN, April 1943, p.1), 28 March, 14 April, 27 May, 8 August, 5 October, 16 November.

1944: 4 January, 15 April (repeated in vol. X, pp. 288-9)

VOLUME X - 1944-1946

These messages are included in a section entitled 'Important Messages from Shoghi Effendi to the American Believers 1944-1946', pp. 286-96, and are published in Messages to America, except as noted.

1944: 9 May, 15 May, 25 May (BN, July 1944, p. 3), 18 August, 21 November, 24 December.

1945: 29 March, 8 May, 12 May, 10 August, 20 August

VOLUME XI - 1946-1950

These messages are included in a section entitled 'Messages from Shoghi Effendi to the American Believers 1946-1950', pp. 181-206; the first four are published in Messages to America and the others in Citadel of Faith.

1946: 25 April, 5 June, 20 July, 3 December.

1947: 28 April, 25 October, 15 December.

1948: 16 April (last paragraph), 26 April, 18 May, 3 November, 8 November.

1949: 25 April, 18 August.
VOLUME XII - 1950-1954

These messages are included under seven headings, as follows: 'The Centenary Celebrations of the Birth of the Mission of Bahá'u'lláh, 1953' (pp. 115-19); 'The African Intercontinental Teaching Conference Held in Kampala, Uganda, February 1953' (pp. 121-4);

'Important Messages from Shoghi Effendi 1950-1954' (pp. 337-73);

'Appointment of the Hands of the Cause of God' (pp. 374-8);

'Formation of the International Bahá'í Council'(pp. 378-9);

'The All-America Intercontinental Teaching Conference Held in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., April 29-May 6, 1953' (pp. 133-41);

'The Completion of the Construction of the Sepulchre of the Báb in the Holy Land, 1953' (pp. 23 8-9.) Most of the messages are published in Messages to America, Messages to the Bahá'í World, and Citadel of Faith, except as noted.

1946: 15 June (excerpt, MA).

1950: 21 March (CF), 25 April (MBW), 4 July (CF), 5 July (CF), 20 July (BN, Oct. 1950, p.1)

1951: 9 January (MBW), 29 March (CF), 25 April (MBW), 7 August (BN, Nov. 1951, P.3), 23 November (CF), 23 November (through his secretary, BN, Feb. 1952, p. 2), 30 November (MBW), 24 December (MBW).

1952: 29 February (MBW), 8 March (MBW; corrections BN, June 1952, p. 2), 26 March (BN, May 1952, p. 4), 23 April (MBW; corrections BN, July 1952, p. 4, and August 1952, p. 7), 11 June (MBW), 30 June (MBW), 23 August (BN, Nov. 1952, p. 1), 8 October (MBW; corrections, BN, Dec. 1952, pp. 2-3), 12 November (MBW; corrections, BN, March 1953, p. 5), 15 December (MBW).

1953: February (to the African Intercontinental Conference, MBW), 29 April (CF), 30 April (MBW), 3 and 4 May (to the All-America Intercontinental Conference, MBW), July (to the European Intercontinental Conference, MBW), 18 July (CF), October (to the Asian Intercontinental Conference, MBW), 7 December (MBW).

1954: 19 March (MBW), 6 April (MBW).

[page 204]


References are to Star of the West or the American Bahá'í News, abbreviated as Star and BN.

6 December 1922. On his return to Haifa after a long absence. (Star, vol. XIII, p. 265.)

December 1923. Concerning The Universal House of Justice. (BN, July 1963, pp. 5-6.)

October 1924. ibid.

3 March 1922. Persecutions in Persia. (BN, May-June 1925, Insert.) 24 and 30 April, 2 May 1928. Cablegrams to Annual Bahá'í Convention. (BN, June 1928, p. 1.)

25 and 28-29 April 1929. Greetings to Annual Convention and gift to Bahá'í Temple of silk carpet. (BN, May 1929, pp. 1, 3.)

30 May 1930. The New History Society. (BN, August 1930, p.3) April 1931. Greetings to Annual Bahá'í Convention. (BN, May 1931, p 1)

July 1947. 'The Faith of Bahá'u'lláh: A World Religion'. Statement prepared for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. (Published in World Order, A Bahá'í Magazine, October 1947, and as a separate pamphlet.)

April 1953. To First Italo-Swiss Convention. (BN, June 1953, p 3)

5 June 1953. Final stages in erecting the Báb's Shrine. (BN, July 1953, p.1; corrections BN, September 1953, p 6)

20 September 1953 . Pioneer Roll of Honour (No. 1). (Corrections BN, February 1954, p. 2, to message included in Messages to the Bahá'í World, p. 51.)

October 1953. To New Delhi Intercontinental Conference, including Pioneer Roll of Honour (No. 2). (BN, November 1953, pp. 2-4; corrections February 1954, p.3)

October 1953. Message to the Hands of the Cause at Intercontinental Teaching Conference, New Delhi. (BN, November 1953 p.4; corrections February 1954, p.3)

1 October 1954. 'A succession of victories' and Pioneer Roll of Honour (No. 7). (Corrections BN, February 1955, p. 3, to message included in Messages to the Bahá'í World, pp.69-73)

15 August 1955. To the AlI-France Conference, announcing the National Convention for 1958. (BN, October 1955, excerpt p.8)

April 1956. To four African Regional Conventions. (BN, August 1956 p.1)

The author is deeply grateful to Mrs. Beatrice Owens Ashton, whose compilation of the Guardian's writings has provided the material for this Appendix.

[page 205]


Genealogy of Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi Rabbani was born in Acre ('Akka), Palestine, in the year 1314 A.H. (1 March 1897).[*]

    * After the erection of the Guardian's sepulchre, Amatu'l Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum found in one of Shoghi Effendi's boyhood notebooks a notation in his own hand stating that he was born on 1 March 1897. This accounts for the discrepancy with the date shown on the column of the monument.

His great-great-grandfather was Mirza Buzurg-i-Nuri, a nobleman of 'one of the most ancient and renowned families of Mazindaran', who was closely associated with the court of Fath-'Ali Shah, and descended from Yazdigird III, the last king of the Sasaniyan dynasty (A.D. 226-651) who was reigning at the time of the Prophet Muhammad's birth.[*]

    * Yazdigird III died c. A.D. 651; his daughter Shahrbanu married the Imam Husayn and was known as 'The Mother of Nine Imams'.

His Great-Grandfather was Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri (Bahá'u'lláh), who was born in Tihran the second day of Muharram 1233 A.H. (12 November 1817).

His Grandfather was Abbas Effendi ('Abdu'l-Bahá), who was born in Tihran the 5th day of Jamadiyu'l-Avval, 1260 A.H. (23 May 1844).

His father was Mirza Hadi Shirazi Afnan, a relative of the Báb, who was born in Shiraz, Persia, in the year A.D. 1864.[**]

    ** See sub-section entitled 'The Family of the Báb', first paragraph.

His mother was Diya'iyyih Khanum, daughter of Abbas Effendi ('Abdu'l-Bahá), and born in Palestine.

His Great-Grandfather and Grandfather were exiled to the prison-city of 'Akka, Palestine, in 1868 and the family continued to make its home in Palestine after their deaths in 1892 and 1921, respectively.

In March 1937 Shoghi Effendi contracted marriage with Miss Mary Maxwell of Montreal, Canada.

[page 206]

The Family of the Báb [+]

    + The information was gleaned from Shoghi Effendi's Genealogy of the Báb in Nabil's The Dawn-Breakers, his book God Passes By, and his translation of Bahá'u'lláh's Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (abbreviated as DB, GPB and ESW, respectively).

His wife was Khadijih-Bagum, daughter of Haji Mirza Ali of Shiraz (the paternal uncle of the Báb's mother), and a descendant of Imam Husayn. She was surpassed only by Tahirih in devotion to the Báb, Who gave her a special prayer to recite 'ere you go to sleep . (See DB, pp. 191 - 2). She died in 1299 A.H. (October 1882). Her brothers were Haji Mirza Siyyid Hasan (whose son, Mirza Muhsin married Tuba Khanum, daughter of Abdu'l-Bahá), and Haji Mirza Abu'l-Qasim (whose grandson, Mirza Hadi, married Diya'iyyih, eldest daughter of 'Abdu'l-Bahá; their eldest son was Shoghi Effendi).

His mother was Fatimih-Bagum, granddaughter of Mirza Abid of Shiraz, who was a descendant of Imam Husayn. She did not realize the significance of the Báb's Mission until after His death (DB, p. 191). She died in 1882.

His father was Mirza Muhammad Rida descendant of Imam Husayn, who died when the Báb was very young.

His maternal uncles (brothers of his mother) were: Haji Mirza Siyyid 'Ali (surnamed Khal-i-A'zam), who reared the Báb after His father's death, and was one of the Seven Martyrs of Tihran. His only child, Mirza Javad, died at the age of nineteen.

Haji Mirza Siyyid Muhammad (surnamed Khal-i-Akbar), to whom Bahá'u'lláh addressed the Kitáb-i-Iqan (GPB, p. 138).

His children were:

Haji Mirza Muhammad 'Ali. (The identification of his grave with the transfer of his remains, was a goal of the World Crusade, 1953-63.) He had one son, Mirza Aqa.

Haji Mirza Muhammad Taqi, 'Vakilu'd-Dawlih', chief builder of the Temple in Ishqabad. He is buried in the Bahá'í Cemetery at the foot of Mt. Carmel. (GPB, p. 300.)

Haji Mirza Buzurg, who had no children. Bibi-Jan-Jan-Bagum, wife of Haji Mirza Siyyid Hasan (the Great Afnan), and mother of Mirza Muhsin (nephew of the Báb's wife).

Khadijih-Sultan Bagum.

Haji Mirza Hasan-'Ali (surnamed Khal-i-Asghar), whose children were:

Haji Mirza Aqa, who had five sons.
Haji Siyyid Mihdi, who had six children.
Haji Siyyid Ja'far, who had one child.
Haji Siyyid Husayn, who had four children.

Bibi-Zahra-Bagum, wife of Haji Mirza Muhammad Taqi, 'Vakilu'd-Dawlih'.

A paternal cousin, Mirza 'Ali-Akbar, was assassinated in Baghdad

when Bahá'u'lláh was absent from that city. (See GPB, p. 165,

and ESW, P. 176.)

The descendants of the two brothers of the wife of the Báb and of the three brothers of His mother are known as the Afnan (the Twigs).

[page 208]


The War in Africa [36]

    [36] From The Alexander Memoirs: 1940-1945, ed. John North. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1962, pp. 10 and 34

Mr.Churchill to General Alexander,[*] Commander in Chief in the Middle East

    * Later Field-Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis. This directive was written with his own hand by Mr. Churchill. It was fulfilled on 13 May 1943
British Embassy, Cairo.
Most Secret

1. Your prime and main duty will be to take or destroy at the earliest opportunity the German-Italian Army commanded by Field-Marshal Rommel together with all its supplies and establishments in Egypt and Libya.

2. You will discharge or cause to be discharged such other duties as pertain to your command without prejudice to the task described in paragraph 1, which must be considered paramount in His Majesty's interests.


General Alexander to Prime Minister. Sir, - The orders you gave me on August 15,[*] 1942, have been fulfilled. His Majesty's enemies together with their impedimenta have been completely eliminated from Egypt, Cyrenaica, Libya and Tripolitania. I now await your further instructions.

    * The date should have been the 10th, not the 15th

Commenting on the developments of the African campaign, in his handbook The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1952, Shoghi Effendi states:

'The invading Forces of Field Marshal Rommel, whose threat to Alexandria constituted the gravest danger to the Holy Land, and whose victory would have precipitated the direst crisis in the fortunes of the Faith and its World Centre, and imperiled its institutions, were routed from the continent of Africa and the peril of a regime inimical to the Faith removed forever'. (p 24)

[page 209]


The Tablet of Carmel

The Tablet of Carmel, which appears as section XI of the editions in English of Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh (translated by Shoghi Effendi), represents the 'Charter of the World Spiritual and Administrative Centres of the Faith on that mountain.'[37] The reader should take the time to study this Tablet with diligence and passion, because it is very revealing and affords much assurance to the heart and tranquillity to the mind.

    [37] MBW p.63

Since ancient times Mt. Carmel has been considered the Garden of God, the literal translation from both Hebrew and Arabic being the 'Vineyard of God'. Numerous references have been made to it in the Old Testament; a poignant one, indicating its destiny, occurs in the Book of Amos. Bahá'u'lláh Himself designates this mountain as the seat of God's Throne.

Even before I met Shoghi Effendi in person he had sent word to me, by a visitor coming to Rome from Haifa, that it would be important for me to become well acquainted with this Tablet. After I reached the Holy Land some time later, and came into the presence of the Guardian and learned from him the details of the projected development of the surroundings of the Báb's Shrine, I was able to understand the greatness destined for that Holy Spot, as well as the eagerness of the Guardian to carry out the magnificent plan for its beautification and the prestige of the Faith.

In Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Bahá'u'lláh, after citing the prophetic references made in the Psalms and the Books of Isaiah and Amos, concerning Zion, Jerusalem, Palestine and Akka, states:

'Carmel, in the Book of God, hath been designated as the Hill of God, and His Vineyard. It is here that, by the grace of the Lord of Revelation, the Tabernacle of Glory hath been raised. Happy are they that attain thereunto; happy they that set their faces towards it. And likewise He saith: "Our God will come, and He will not be silent."'[38]

    [38] ESW p.145

This Epistle, the last outstanding Tablet revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, was penned about a year before His death. There is a vital connection between the passage just cited and the Tablet of Carmel, which was revealed under extraordinary circumstances on that mountain. Shoghi Effendi, in God Passes By (p. 194), refers to the visit of Bahá'u'lláh to Mt. Carmel when He pitched His tent, the 'Tabernacle of Glory', in the vicinity of the Carmelite Monastery, Stella Maris, near the cave of Elijah. One evening when I was in Haifa, Shoghi Effendi related that it was in the course of this visit that Bahá'u'lláh revealed His Tablet addressed to that holy mountain, to which, according to Isaiah, 'all nations shall flow'. Shoghi Effendi said that Bahá'u'lláh chanted the Words of that Tablet with supreme majesty and power; that 'the forceful tone of His exalted language sounded all around, so that even the monks, within the walls of the monastery, heard every word uttered by Him. Such was the commotion created on that historical occasion,' the Guardian said, that 'the earth seemed to shake, while all those present were overpowered by His mighty and wondrous spirit.'

He, the true 'Lord of the Vineyard', had consecrated the earth and that land to become the seat of the Spiritual and Administrative Centres of His Mighty Revelation.

'Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee ...'

'...Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation. Well is it with him that circleth around thee, that proclaimeth the revelation of thy glory, and recounteth that which the bounty of the Lord thy God hath showered upon thee...'

'Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come! His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendour is revealed. Beware lest thou hesitate or halt. Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favoured of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels ...'

Towards the end of the Tablet, He unveiled future events, some of which have already materialized under the Ministry of the Master, Abdu'l-Bahá, and some under the stewardship of Shoghi Effendi. These and yet others will 'resistlessly' continue to be developed and to flourish, under the guidance of the Universal House of Justice. 'Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Baha who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.' The 'Ark' sailing upon that holy mountain, Shoghi Effendi has explained, is a reference to the 'establishment of the World Administrative Centre of the Faith on Mt. Carmel',[39] and the 'people of Bahá'í are the members of the Universal House of Justice.

    [39] MBW p.64

Thus, with the Sepulchre of the Báb - 'the Spot round which the Concourse on high circle in adoration' - established permanently on that holy mountain, near the cave of Elijah, facing the white city of 'Akka, with the Most Holy Tomb, the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, in its vicinity, and with the International Archives, the gardens and the Bahá'í endowments in their neighbourhood, there is no doubt that the Spiritual and Administrative Centres of the Faith have been gloriously established on the Mountain of God for ages to come.

Most of Israel is situated along the thirty-third northern parallel, the same latitude as that of southern California. It has been reported that when Abdu'l-Bahá visited that part of America in 1912 he marvelled at the great physical similarity of those two parts of the world, both being located near two vast deserts. The flora, too, is much alike, and the climate almost identical. Date palms, citrus trees, cactus plants and the 'casuarina' so often mentioned in the Old Testament are common to both regions.

Mt. Carmel is about twenty-two miles[*] long and stretches from east to west, coming to an abrupt end on reaching the Bay of Haifa where it presents a steep rampart, falling away to sea level. On the summit of the western end of this rampart the newly-created religious order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel built, in the twelfth century, the monastery Stella Maris, on land granted by King Baldwin of Jerusalem after the conquest of that city in 1099. He was the brother of Godfrey of Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusade. There is no doubt that during all the intervening centuries the voices of those pious monks were raised daily in songs to the Glory of God, invoking the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. Seven centuries were to elapse before the realization of mankind's hope, with the appearance of Bahá'u'lláh, the Redeemer, on that spot and the establishment of the 'throne' of God on that holy mountain.

    * Approximately thirty-five kilometres.

It may also be noted here that in the years to come, on the ridge of that same mountain and very near the monastery, the great Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Bahá'í Faith will be erected, on land consecrated by the footsteps of the Blessed Beauty, Bahá'u'lláh, land that came into Bahá'í possession through the wise and timely purchase by Shoghi Effendi in 1955, with the munificent assistance of the much-loved and distinguished Hand of the Cause of God and vice-president of the Bahá'í International Council, Mrs. Amelia E. Collins. In the future that holy Temple will be filled with the joyous chants of pilgrims of every race, coming from every continent and from all the lands of the world, singing praise and thanksgiving to the Glory of God.

[page 212]


Guido M. Fabbricotti, the Marble Firm

The firm was founded in Carrara in 1800 by Bernardo Fabbricotti. He was a man of deep culture and skill, who started a marble trade with the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom. He was a generous patron of the arts and established three annual prizes for students at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, of Carrara, for excellence in sculpture, architecture, and ornamentation. Many monuments throughout the world were executed by this firm. A son, Guido Murray Fabbricotti, established the firm of Guido M. Fabbricotti, Successori, calling into partnership, in 1918, his son Andrea, and later his sons-in-law, D. Orlando, A. Lazzareschi and A. Bufalini. Colonel Bufalini, a former officer in the Royal Carabinieri, was the one who dealt personally with Mr. Maxwell and later with Dr. Giachery in the work on the Sepulchre of the Báb. He passed away after a brief illness on 10 September 1949, and was succeeded in the firm by his two adult sons, Enrico and Maurizio. In the last few moments of his life, speaking to his sons at his bedside, he said:

'Take good care of the work for the Shrine of the Báb; do your best, as this is the greatest work of our lives.'

[page 213]


Giacomo Barozzi, the Architect Vignola

Giacomo Barozzi (1507-73) was a great architect of the Italian Renaissance, contemporary with Michelangelo, whom he succeeded as the architect of St. Peter's in Rome. He became known, and passed into history, as Vignola, the name of his birthplace, a small town some twenty miles west of Bologna. He was a champion of the neo-classic school of architecture and became famous for his handbook, The Five Orders of Architecture, which describes the orders (styles) of columns. It has exerted considerable influence on the work of many succeeding generations of architects. The Vignola column is not a complete cylindroid, as are the Greek and Roman columns; it tapers upward from about three-quarters of its length, like a hand-dipped candle.

[page 214]


Names of the Doors of the Shrine of the Báb[*]

    * The Chart at the end of this Appendix gives the locations of the doors.

Names given by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the five doors of the original Shrine


The door leading to the antechamber of the Báb's Tomb from the western side of the Shrine. Haji Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardakani, more commonly known as Haji Amin, was, in the days of Bahá'u'lláh, the second Trustee of Huququ'llah. He had assisted Haji Shah Muhammad Manshadi, the first Trustee, until the latter's death, when Bahá'u'lláh appointed him as Trustee, a service which he discharged with exemplary loyalty and enthusiasm during the latter part of the ministry of Bahá'u'lláh, throughout the ministry of Abdu'l-Bahá and up to the early years of the Guardianship.


The door leading to the antechamber of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, also on the western side of the Shrine, named for Mirza Abu'l-Fadl of Gulpaygan, Persia, the most erudite teacher of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, who served the Faith in his native land, in Russia up to the borders of China, in India, Turkey, Europe, America and the Middle East. He was the author of many books in which he gave with courage and clarity the most logical proofs of the advent of the Manifestation of God. He was persecuted and imprisoned many times, and was infinitely loved by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master, whom he assisted both in the Holy Land and in Egypt. He was born in 1844 and passed away in Cairo in 1914 amidst the grief of all those who knew and loved him.

Bab-i-Ashraf and Bab-i-Bala

Two doors, one facing north towards 'Akka and the other on the eastern side of the Shrine. They are named for Ustad Aqa 'Ali-Ashraf and Ustad Aqa Bala, sons of Mulla Abu-Talib. These two brothers were master-masons who went on pilgrimage from their native town of Baku, Russia, and with 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í permission remained for some time in the Holy Land. During this period, they devoted their efforts to the construction of the Shrine and offered financial contributions towards the project.


The door on the eastern side leading to the antechamber of the Tomb of Abdu'l-Bahá is named for Ustad 'Abdu'l-Karim from Persia, who was also a mason and served in the construction of the Shrine.

Names given by Shoghi Effendi to the three doors of The rooms which he added, and to the octagon door:


A door on the eastern side, named for Haji Mahmud Qassabchi of Iraq, donor of the contributions to build the three additional rooms.[*]

    * See page 61

The central door on the south side of the Shrine is named for Hand of the Cause William Sutherland Maxwell of Montreal, Canada, architect of the superstructure of the Shrine.[**]

** See chapter VI.

This door on the western side is named for Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery, appointed by the Guardian as his representative in Italy to supervise the purchase, cutting, carving and shipment of all the marble needed to erect the superstructure of the Shrine.[+]

    + See page 8

The octagon door, located on the south side of the first storey of the Shrine, is named for Hand of the Cause Leroy Ioas of the United States of America who, from March 1952, supervised the construction and completion of the Shrine. He was secretary general of the International Bahá'í Council.[++]

++ See pages 106-7

[page 216]

Shrine of the Báb on Mt. Carmel

____________/____________ Names given by Abdu'l-Bahá to

| | | | five of the doors of the Shrine

/ | 7 |

8 | | 6 / 1. Bab-i-Bala

| | | | 2. Bab-i-Karim

|--------------------------| 3. Bab-i-Ashraf

| | | | 4. Bab-i-Fadl

/ | | 5. Bab-i-Amin

1 | A | 5 /

| | | | Names given by Shoghi Effendi to the

|--------------------------| doors of rooms and octagon, which he

| | | | added after the passing of Abdu'l-Bahá

/ | |

2 | B | 4 / 6. Bab-i-Giachery

|_______|___ ____|_______ | 7. Bab-i-Maxwell

/ 8. Bab-i-Qassabchi
9. Bab-i-Ioas (Octagon)
COLONNADE A: Tomb of the BAB
(Ground Structure) B: Tomb of Abdu'l-Bahá

______/______ towards the mountain

/ 9 ,

/ /

/ |

| | |


| | towards the towards

| | Hills of | the Cave

/ Galilee | of Elija

/ |
/ /
______________/ '

(first Storey) towards Akka

[page 217]


Andrea Palladio, Founder of Neo-Classic Architecture

Palladio, the most famous architect of the sixteenth century 1518-80, originated a neo-classicism in architecture which inflamed the fantasy of European architects of his age and the British in particular. Born in Vicenza, he lived between that city and Venice, built many magnificent villas for the wealthy merchants of Venice and produced four books on architecture which were later translated into English, reaching England at the beginning of the eighteenth century.[*] The Earl of Burlington, who had returned from Italy at that time, was determined to rebuild Burlington House in the Palladian style. Colen Campbell became its architect and, when his fame spread, the Hon. John Fane commissioned him to design Mereworth Castle in Kent, which was almost an exact copy of the Villa Almerico of Vicenza, known as 'La Rotonda' This building, considered the most beautiful and important work by Palladio, is famous for its circular salon, of exquisite design and the true expression of grandeur and architectural symmetry. The balustrade in question is on the balcony of the upper floor of this central hall.

    * Inigo Jones had already in the seventeenth century introduced the Palladian style to England.


Plants Used by Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi used a wide variety of highly decorative and beautiful trees and plants to embellish the Most Holy Places of the Bahá'í Faith on Mount Carmel and at Bahji. Many of the plants were native to Palestine, while others came from the Mediterranean, Africa, America and Australia, including some from the islands of the Pacific. Although the writer does not presume that the following list is complete, for many other plants may have escaped his observation, the purpose in adding this Appendix is to make the reader aware of the fertile imagination of Shoghi Effendi in choosing this wide range of trees and plants to develop the Bahá'í gardens.

The genus is given only if it differs from the name of the plant.


Araucaria (Pine family)
Palm - including the Date palm
Carob (Cerandonia siliqua) - its fruit is sometimes called Locust
Palmetto (Chamaerops humilis)
Pine (Pinus) - of several species
Casuarina - of several species
Frangipani (Plumeria alba)
Eucalyptus - of many species; known also as the Gum tree
Tamarisk (Tamarix) - incl.the Manna tree; manna is exudation of T.Gallica
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Flamboyante (Poinciana regia)

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) - including the Tangerine

Olive (Olea europaea)

Orange (Citrus aurantium - bitter, and C. Sinensis - sweet)

Mimosa - of several species
Bougainvillaea - a woody vine in several colours
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Yucca (Lily family)

Syringa (Philadelphus) and Lilac (Syringa) - a Persian species of Lilac used for hedges and pompoms

Jasmine (Jasminum) - several varieties and colours of other genera, such as Gelsemium sempervirens (yellow jasmine) and Gardenia jasminoides (Cape jasmine)


Anemone Pelargonium - commonly known as Geranium, although it is a different genus

Broom (Genista)
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Rose (Rosa) - of many species.
Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) - used for low hedges
Lupine (Lupinus)

Grasses (Agrostis and Eragrostis) - the grass used by the Guardian came first from the Jordan Valley, then from Turkey, and from 1953 to 1957 it was purchased in Italy

(Crassulaceous and Cactaceous)

By using these plants, Shoghi Effendi developed admirable and artistic plots of land quite close to the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh and in the vicinity of the Shrine of the Báb.

Agave (Agave americana)-known as American Aloe

Cereus (Selenicereus grandiflorus) - Night Blooming cactus

Opuntia - Prickly Pear
Echinocactus - Barrel cactus
Saguaro (Cereus giganteus) - Giant cactus
Gasteria (Lily family)
Mammillaria - Pincushion cactus
Sansevieria - Snake plant

It is also important to mention the great contribution made by Shoghi Effendi in improving the gardens of Ridvan, near Akka, and of Mazra'ih. He also created, in a few days, the small garden in front of the Master's house in Haifa.

[page 220]

Glossary of Architectural and Building Terms used in this book

Some plural forms are given in brackets.

Acroterion (a) A pedestal or ornament at the top or side angle of a pediment.

Amphora (ae) A two-handled jar or vase for holding liquids (used by the Greeks and Romans); a garden ornament.

Antefix (es, a) an ornament concealing the ends of roofing tiles.

Anthemion (a) the so-called honeysuckle ornament in ancient art, a conventionalized plant-form more like a palmetto.

Abacus (i) a level tablet on the capital of a column, supporting the entablature.

Architrave the lowest division of the entablature resting immediately on the abacus of the column.

Baluster the small pillar supporting a parapet coping.

Balustrade a row of balusters surmounted by a rail or coping.

Bas-relief sculpture in which the figures do not stand far out from the ground on which they are formed.

Capital the head or top part of a column or pillar.

Cavetto a hollowed moulding whose curvature is a quarter of a circle, used chiefly in cornices.

Cella the body of the temple, as distinguished from the portico.

Clerestory the upper storey or part with its own row of windows; also known as the drum.

Colonnade a range of columns placed at regular intervals.

Conge a type of concave moulding.

Coping the uppermost course of masonry or brickwork in a wall, usually of a sloping form to throw off rain.

Corbel a projection from the face of a wall, supporting a weight.

Corinthian adj. the lightest and most ornate of the three Grecian orders, having a bell-shaped capital adorned with rows of acanthus leaves, giving rise to graceful volutes. See Ionic.

Cornice the uppermost member of the entablature, surmounting the frieze; a projecting moulding along the top of a building, window, etc.

Corniche (Fr.) a cornice.

Dowel-pin a headless pin, peg or bolt of wood, metal, etc. serving to fasten together two pieces of wood, stone, etc., by penetrating into the substance of both pieces.

Drum an upright part of a cupola; a cylinder, used alternatively with clerestory.

Entablature in classic architecture,the part which surmounts the columns and rests upon the capitals, including the architrave, frieze and the cornice.

Facade the exterior, front or face of a building.

Faience glazed coloured earthenware.

Fascia any long flat surface of wood, stone, or marble, esp. in the Ionic and Corinthian orders; each of the three surfaces which make up the architrave.

Finial an ornament placed upon the apex of a roof, pediment, or gable, or upon each corner of a tower etc.

Frieze the part of the entablature between the architrave and cornice, often ornamented with figures.

Ionic, adj. name of one of the three orders of Grecian architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian), characterized by the two lateral volutes of the capital.

Lamina (ae) a thin plate, scale, layer, or flake (of metal, etc.).

Motif, motive a distinctive feature or element of a design or composition

Moulding an ornamental edging or band projecting from a wall or other surface.

Octagon a plane figure of eight sides and eight angles; hence, applied to material objects of this form.

Ogee a moulding consisting of a continuous double curve, convex above and concave below; in cross section, its outline is a sort of S shape. Hence, an ogee arch is a pointed arch having on each side a reversed curve near the apex.

Order one of the different ways in which the column and its entablature with their various parts are mould ed and related to each other.

Parapet a low wall or barrier, placed at the edge of a platform, balcony, roof, etc.

Pedestal the support of a column, statue, vase, etc.

Pedimen a triangular structure crowning the front of a Greek building; a similar structure over a portico, door, or window.

Pilaster a square column, partly built into, partly projecting from, a wall.

Plinth the square block under the base of a column; a block serving as a pedestal; a flat-faced projecting band at the bottom of a wall.

Podium a continuous projecting base or pedestal.

Portico (s, es) an ambulatory consisting of a roof supported by columns placed at regular intervals, usually attached as a porch to a building; a colonnade.

Socle a low plain block or plinth serving as a pedestal to a statue, column, vase, etc., also a plain plinth forming a foundation for a wall.

Spiracle a small opening by which a confined space has communication with the outer air; esp. an air-hole or air-shaft.

Stereotomy the art of cutting stone or other solid bodies into measured forms as in masonry.

Torus a large convex moulding, of semicircular or similar section, used especially at the base of a column.

Trabeation an entablature: a combination of horizontal beams in a structure.

Tympanum (a) the vertical recessed face of a pediment, often adorned with sculpture.

Vestibule a forecourt: an entrance hall.

Volute a spiral scroll used especially in Ionic capitals; a spiral conformation; a thing or part having such a shape.

The author has been greatly assisted, in compiling these definitions, by permission to quote from The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed., 1967) and Chamber's Twentieth Century Dictionary (new ed., 1964 and 1970), kindly granted by the Clarendon Press, Oxford, and W. & R. Chambers Ltd, Edinburgh and London, respectively.

[page 223]


Abbreviations for references cited (BPT = Bahá'í Publishing Trust USA)

BA Bahá'í Administration Shoghi. Effendi BPT 1945

BN Bahá'í News. Published monthly by the NSA USA

BW The Bahá'í World. An International Record

Vol II 1926-1928 Bahá'í Publishing Committee New York 1928

VOL XII 1950-1954 BPT 1956

CF Citadel of Faith, Shoghi Effendi. Messages to America, 1947-1957 BPT 1965

DB The Dawn-Breakers, Nabil-i-Azam. BPT 1953

ESW Epistle to the Son of the Wolf; Bahá'u'lláh. BPT 1953

GPB God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi. BPT 1965

KI Kitáb-i-Iqan, Bahá'u'lláh. The Book of Certitude. BPT 1961

MA Messages to America, 1932-1946, Shoghi Effendi. BPT 1947

MBW Messages to the Bahá'í World, 1950-1957, Shoghi Effendi. BPT 1971

SW Star of the West. The Bahá'í Magazine. Published from 1910 to 1933 from Chicago and Washington, D.C., by official Bahá'í agencies.

Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas. Vol II. Chicago: BPT 1919

TN A Traveller's Narrative, Edward Granville Browne (ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1891.

WOB The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi. BPT 1965

The author acknowledges with warm thanks permission to quote from the copyrighted publications of the Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette,Illinois. These include Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh (1935; repr. 1969), from which extracts from the Tablet of Carmel are quoted in Appendix VI.

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