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Transcriptions of talks given by Shoghi Effendi by May Maxwell and Ruhiyyih Khanum, taken during their pilgrimage in 1937.
Any errors from original retained. Scanned from a first-generation copy originally from Jamshid Fozdar via David Piff.

This is a "Pilgrim's note," an individual's recollection of statements and actions of the Central figures. They are subjective and not authoritative. See an overview of Pilgrim's Notes. However, it also should be noted that some of these notes were taken by Shoghi Effendi's wife and frequent secretary, and are thus more reliable than others.

Haifa Notes of Shoghi Effendi's Word:
Volumes 1 and 2

by May Maxwell and Ruhiyyih (Mary Maxwell) Khanum

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  1. Introduction and letter from May Maxwell
  2. Volume One
  3. Volume Two

Maxwell-Baldwin letter 1939
Maxwell "Haifa Talks", Vol 1
Explanatory note by Robert Stauffer: The first set of notes are the Maxwell notes "Haifa Talks" of 1937. There are two parts or volumes of "Haifa Talks". I am working with a direct photocopy of the original typed notes I received years ago via Jamshid Fozdar and they are too grey and messing to scan. I've also attached as a preface to the notes a letter from May Maxwell to Ms. Baldwin in Honolulu which was not part of the original notes, but relates directly to them, and suggests they were circulated somewhat widely by May Maxwell. The original of this was done on a typewriter, presumably by May Maxwell herself. The headings it contains were supplied by her. I have kept all the misspellings. In email format it was impractical to keep the accents in words such as Bahá'í, Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab, so those are not retained. Capitalization and extra spaces are given as in the original. The notes were privately published without the benefit of an editor and typesetter. [-R.S.]

(Extract from a letter from May Maxwell to Katherine Baldwin, Honolulu. February 1939)

You already know of the wonderful "notes" of the Guardian which Ruhiyyih Khanum took at the table by his side during the winter of 1937, how she transcribed them later at his request in two little books and sent them to me in time to have a few copies made before the Convention..

Never have I seen anyone work as hard as Shoghi Effendi, and it must be very trying to him with his universal creative energy, his world horizon, his soaring ideals, to say nothing of the unfathomable depths of knowledge and wisdom which flow like undulated waves through his sacred entity at all times, it must be a cruel restraint that he has not a greater vehicle or channel through which to pour all this power throughout the world...

These "notes" will rejoice and inspire you and show you once more, as all his writings reveal to us all, the sublime promise of the future, the world-sweeping cataclysm destined to reduce the present system to ashes, out of which will be born a new humanity, the promised Kingdom, the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.

Mankind has sunk so low, has so utterly forgotten the source from which he sprang, has wandered from divine guidance following his will-o'-the-wisp of the feeble leadership in every country today even, as the Guardian says, "World leadership has failed," and only as we are directed back into the path of God is there any hope for this lost world...

Now is the spring of our life on this earth today the only living link and direct channel to the Supreme Being, concealed from our view, yet manifest as the sun in heaven in all the surging power and transformation of the world.

As I wrote Shoghi Effendi, she (Ruhiyyih Khanum) was transported almost in a breath from the world of humanity to the very threshold of God, and often I have felt left behind in her flight. Her life was cut off as by a sword and only God can do these things, and only He can sustain us and recreate us for that higher rarified air she now breathes.

In this last visit to Haifa I came to understand as never before something of the agony our Guardian has endured. He spoke of it very simply one night and his uplifted gaze, the white purity and beauty of his face are forever graven on my heart. Nothing is too great to suffer for him, no daily discipline, effort or sacrifice, no surrender of all that is upon this earth can even touch the hem of his sacred suffering, the depths of the cup from which he has drunk. With all my heart and soul I thank the Beloved that He gave us such a daughter for him, who is, in the words of the Master, "The apple of His eye and the jewel of His heart."

May Maxwell

[Editor's note: The following Prefatory Note and Volume 1 were originally hand-typed by Robert Stauffer. Now they have been edited and reconciled to a good quality photocopy of original typing. Spelling, underlining and line centering are as in original, except tabs. Tables on pages 6 and 25 are in number-10 font and use standard half-inch tab spacing instead of custom tab spacing. -ed]

[Prefatory Note]
1548 Pine Avenue
Montreal, P.Q., Canada

Beloved Friends,

It is a great privilege to share these notes with those Bahá'ís who have asked for them both for themselves and to share with other Bahá'í friends. It will greatly simplify our understanding of their status if we bear in mind that they are not the official statements of our blessed Guardian, that he has not sent them through the Administrative, official channel, but that inasmuch as he sanctions both their recording in his presence and subsequent sharing with fellow Bahá'ís, they are of priceless value being his free and spontaneous utterances to those Bahá'ís who are actually in his beloved presence. These notes taken by Ruhiyyih Khanum (then Miss Mary Maxwell) have the same status, in a vast field of subjects, as the notes of all others.

Lovingly yours,

[signed] May Maxwell

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