Bahá'í Library Online
. . . .
>>   Biographies Books
TAGS: Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Priceless Pearl (book); Shoghi Effendi, Life of (documents)
> add tags
An abridged and updated version of the author's biography Priceless Pearl.
See also Priceless Pearl.

This text is distributed in Ocean and is also online at and

The text included in Ocean was scanned and proofed independently of this version; to verify any possible errors in the copy below, consult Ocean's copy, khanum_guardian_bahai_faith_ocean.txt.

The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith

by Ruhiyyih (Mary Maxwell) Khanum

London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1988
single page chapter 1 next chapter

        Foreword, by David Hofman                       xiii
  I     Childhood and Youth                                1
  II    'Abdu'l-Bahá's Ascension and its Consequences     13
  III   Early Years of the Guardianship                   29
  IV    Martha Root and Queen Marie                       39
  V     A Many Splendoured Personality                    53
  VI    The Deepest Ties                                  65
  VII   The War Years                                     71
  VIII  The Writings of Shoghi Effendi                    83
  IX    Creation of a World Headquarters                  99
  X     The Heart and Nerve Centre                       121
  XI    The Rise of the Administrative Order             145
  XII   Fundamental Truths and Guidelines                169
  XIII  The Spiritual Conquest of the Globe              197
  XIV   A Unique Ministry                                229
        Index                                            241 

[page ix]


  'Abdu'l-Bahá's eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi          Frontispiece

  Birthplace of the Guardian                       Between pages 10-11
  The Priceless Pearl
  Shoghi Effendi and his sister
  That child is born
  The young scholar at his ease
  The map maker's work
  Study years in Beirut
  'Abdu'l-Bahá on the steps of His home

  The Master's secretary                                         34-35
  Shoghi Effendi in oriental robes
  Shoghi Effendi in his early twenties
  Shoghi Effendi before he became Guardian
  Shoghi Effendi with Harry Randall
  The samovar

  'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi                                50-51
  Some distinguished Bahá'ís with 'Abdu'l-Bahá
  Shoghi Effendi in Alexandria, Egypt
  Shoghi Effendi, 1920-1921
  Balliol College, Oxford University                             66-67
  Balliol College, Junior Common Room
  A gathering in Manchester, England
  The first flight? 

[page x]

  Shoghi Effendi with Dr. J.E. Esslemont                         82-83
  The Guardian after his return to Haifa
  'Abdu'l-Bahá's home
  The Tomb of the Bab

  The Tomb of the Bab on Mt. Carmel                              90-91
  The Guardian and Bahiyyih Khanum
  The Guardian's handwriting
  Shoghi Effendi in the early 1920's

  The young Guardian in Switzerland                            122-123
  Interlaken, Switzerland
  Shoghi Effendi in the Alps
  Rivers, mountains and glaciers
  The Guardian became a mountaineer
  The indomitable enthusiast
  The top of the mountain
  Shoghi Effendi and his guide

  Mountain hazards                                             154-155
  Shoghi Effendi walking in the Swiss Alps
  On top of the world
  Bicycling over snowy passes

  The mountaineer                                              162-163
  A photograph by Shoghi Effendi
  Victoria Falls, Rhodesia, 1929
  A ferry on the Nile

  African views                                                178-179
  A photograph by the Guardian
  The Guardian studies his gardens

[page xi]

  Two views of Mt. Carmel                                      194-195
  The Shrine on Mt. Carmel
  The Shrine of the Bab on Mt. Carmel
  The development of Mt. Carmel by Shoghi Effendi

  The transformation of Mt. Carmel                             210-211
  Buildings erected by Shoghi Effendi
  That Sacred Spot
  The Resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf
  The handwriting of Shoghi Effendi
  Aerial view of Bahji

  Bahá'u'lláh's Tomb in Bahji                                   234-235
  The Most Holy Tomb
  Facsimile of Shoghi Effendi's handwriting
  Facsimiles of Queen Marie's handwriting
  The Guardian
  The Funeral of Shoghi Effendi in London
  The Grave of the Guardian 

[page xiii]


Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, and appointed Expounder of the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, its Founder, is the one human being in all history, past, present or future, to exercise the greatest influence on the ultimate shape and modus operandi of the social order of the world. He is the one who understood the vision of his great-grandfather Bahá'u'lláh and his grandfather 'Abdu'l-Bahá — respectively the Revealer and the Interpreter of teachings destined to reshape the divisive society of the present world and usher in an era of universal peace — and applied Their doctrines in practical terms to the organization of such a future state of society. There cannot be, on this planet, a greater social or political unit than World Order. It is Shoghi Effendi who, while not the architect of that consummation, is certainly its chief builder and engineer. He laid the foundations of the Administrative Order of a Faith which, as it develops, will come — as he stated — "to be regarded not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order destined to embrace in the fullness of time the whole of mankind."

Only his widow, Ruhiyyih Rabbani, could have written this book. For twenty years she was his wife, and for sixteen of those years his personal secretary; she was his close companion and his representative on many occasions. In a cable to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, her homeland, he designated her as "my helpmate, my shield in warding off the darts of Covenant breakers and my tireless collaborator in the arduous tasks I shoulder." She shared in all the circumstances of his life and knew the pressures and restrictions both within and without the Bahá'í community which imposed themselves on his total dedication to his divinely-appointed task. She observed his deep love for his fellow Bahá'ís and his constant concern for their spiritual and material welfare.

[page xiv]

It is apparent that countless eulogies, evaluations, acclamations, biographies and panegyrics of the God-given genius of Shoghi Effendi will be added in future to the already proliferating number. The prime depository of source material for such works will forever be The Priceless Pearl, Ruhiyyih Rabbani's own version of her illustrious husband's life and mission, of which this sister volume constitutes a more compact presentation. We can offer the gratitude of posterity to Ruhiyyih Rabbani for this clear and authentic account of his life and endeavours. But for the present generations, and particularly those of us who served under the beloved Guardian, no expressions of thanks can be adequate for the personal glimpses of our "true brother" — as he was wont to sign his letters — in action and in his daily life. This book, dealing so intimately with the life of a man who in 36 years of ministry left an indelible imprint on the fortunes of mankind, will outwear the ravages of time as it continues to bear authentic witness to the life and personality of Shoghi Effendi.

    David Hofman

[page 1]

single page chapter 1 next chapter
Back to:   Biographies Books
Home Site Map Links Copyright About Contact
. .