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TAGS: Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Shoghi Effendi, Life of (documents); Shoghi Effendi, Passing of
LOCATIONS: Kampala; Uganda
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Notes of the moving tribute by Ruhiyyih Khanum to Shoghi Effendi immediately after his passing, given at the Kampala International Conference (Uganda), 26 January 1958
Notes found in Edinburgh Archives

Ruhiyyih Khanum's Tribute to Shoghi Effendi at the Kampala Conference (Uganda) 26 Jan 1958

by Ruhiyyih (Mary Maxwell) Khanum

edited by David Merrick
Latest/Printable Version
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These are the notes on Ruhiyyih Khanum's heart-felt talk just after the passing of Shoghi Effendi on his personality and life, given at the Intercontinental Conference in Kampala, January 1958.

As there are two versions, they are placed side-by-side for comparison.


All comments appreciated : David Merrick,


Bahai News, May 1958A Yazdani (Edinburgh Archives)

Introduction; About Shoghi Effendi

The last few days the words of St. Paul have been ringing in my ears - "Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels". I long to have a befitting tongue to speak on this subject.
Shoghi Effendi was the eldest Grandson of Abdu'l-Bahá. He was much loved by the Master. He was a frail child but he grew healthier and stronger as he grew up. Till the end of his life he had something of that frailty, not of stamina or character, but some of that inherent frailty all his life, or his heart would not have stopped.

Spiritual Power like a Dynamo

Everybody who had the great privilege of knowing the Guardian recognized in him tremendous power; he not only had great spiritual and mental power which radiated from him, he had an electric something in his nature which was like being in the presence of a very powerful dynamo. I have been in electric plants where dynamos have generated electrical power for a whole city; the whole building shook and vibrated with the force that was being created in those generators.Everybody who had the privilege of knowing the Guardian felt a power - spiritual power and mental power. There was an electric something in his nature something electric like a dynamo. I have been in an electric plant and felt the vibration of the great dynamo. There was something like that in Shoghi Effendi.
I have witnessed, myself, for twenty years, the strange force which emanated from Shoghi Effendi. This emanation from the Guardian was so strong that when he was not in the house, I felt less of it; when he was up on the mountain in the gardens of the Shrine, I would feel the force of it diminish; when he was in Bahji, I would feel still less of it; and if we were not in the same city, I would not feel it. It was a very extraordinary thing, and it was not my imagination.I have witnessed it for 20 years. When I was in the house this emanation from the Guardian was less when he left the house, when he was in the Shrine it diminished more, when on the mountain it was still less, and when he was in Bahji I could not feel it. It was an extraordinary thing - not imagination.

Sensitive Child, One to be Encouraged

Another thing about the Guardian, which I have sometimes wondered if those who were not closely associated with him ever realized, is that Shoghi Effendi was a very sensitive person. He was sensitive as a child. He was one of those children that, I believe in my long observation, should have always received encouragement.Another thing about the Guardian that only those closely associated with him realised. Shoghi Effendi was a very sensitive person. He was sensitive as a child. He was one of those children who should always be encouraged.
You know, there are children who don't need it; they are tough little plants. But there are other children who need to be told for everything they do, "My dear, you were sweet to think of it," "You are a wonderful person," "That was a wonderful idea," "How well you did it." The Guardian was like that -- he needed, not to mention what he deserved, to always be encouraged.
I am telling you this so that you can get a little idea of the nature of this being who became first Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.

Sorrow and Suffering

When I was in Haifa recently one of the Hands said "You should write the life of the Guardian". I said, "what pen could write such sorrow".
Shoghi Effendi suffered not only as Guardian: He suffered as a child: He suffered in school: He suffered in college because his nature was different from those around him. Probably his great destiny had already cast its shadow upon him.

Joyful Person

I would not have you think that the Guardian was a sad being; he had a peculiarly joyous and luminous heart.I wouldn't have you think of the Guardian as a sad person. He had a peculiarly joyous and luminous heart.

Humility in Person, Strength for the Faith

The one characteristic of that heart was the most extraordinary and true humility I have ever seen. He had, of course, like any other human being, self respect. But he had no pride whatsoever -- no pride in his own person, no pride in his station; but when it came to this religion, then he had a fiery pride. He would never tolerate any insult or any slight that reflected on him as Guardian, nor on the Faith of Baha’u’llah. But in his own nature he was the quintessence of humility.He had an extraordinary humility. He was the most humble person I have ever seen. He had, like any proper human being, self-respect, but he had no pride. But as Guardian of the Faith, he would tolerate no slight to himself as Guardian or to the Faith, but in his own nature he was the quintessence of humility.

Studious Child, Plans as Translator

He always as a child had those qualities needed in a Guardian. He was studious, devoted to the teachings. He used to memorize them. He was passionately devoted to the Master.
Once the Master came into a room and found the Guardian alone memorizing tablets. The Master asked him what he was doing. The rest of the family was downstairs drinking coffee or tea and talking. 'Abdu'l-Bahá looked out of the window at them and said to Shoghi Effendi, "I don't want you to be like them".
Shoghi Effendi asked 'Abdu'l-Bahá if he might go and study in England. He had been serving the Master as interpreter and sometimes as Secretary. When he went to England with the Master's permission he never dreamed it would be the last time he would see his beloved Grandfather. The object of his going was to perfect his English so he could translate the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

Passing of Abdu'l-Bahá

While Shoghi Effendi was studying at Oxford, Abdu'l-Bahá went to some members of the family and asked them to cable Shoghi Effendi to return to Haifa at once. But as families often do, they probably thought this was too expensive, and seeing no reason for such haste decided to write to him instead. If they had cabled Shoghi Effendi he would have seen Abdu'l-Bahá alive.

Never Expected Guardianship

I have heard many times from the Guardian that he never dreamed that he would be made Guardian. He had no idea that there would be an Institution of the Guardianship and -- that he would be chosen to become the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. He said that his hope and ambition was to return to serve the Master, translate the Teachings into English, and that he thought that perhaps when 'Abdu'l-Bahá ascended, as he was the eldest grandson, it might fall to his lot to be requested by the Master, posthumously naturally, to open any documents of instruction and communicate them to the Bahá'ís.The Guardian often told me that he never dreamed he would be made Guardian. He never had any idea there would be an institution of Guardianship. He said his whole ambition was to serve the Master, to translate the teachings. He thought because he was the eldest grandson he might be required by the Master to open a document on His passing and communicate His instructions to the friends.

Terrible Blow at Abdu'l-Bahá's Passing

So, you see that this man, who was twenty-four years old and who had what I would call such an eager heart, so full of purity, enthusiasm, innocence, humility, and love for 'Abdu'l-Bahá, this pure heart of the Guardian received the first and most terrible blow through hearing of the ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He was anxious for news of the Master and went to Mr. Tudor Pole's office in London from Oxford. Tudor Pole had received a cable saying that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had ascended. Shoghi Effendi was left by the secretary of Tudor Pole in his private office for a moment, and without meaning to, his eyes fell on this cablegram, laid open on the comer of the table, saying that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had ascended. A few moments later, when Tudor Pole came into the room, he found Shoghi Effendi crumpled in a heap on the floor.This young man of 24, who had what I would call such a large heart, so full of humility and enthusiasm, of love for 'Abdu'l-Bahá, received such a terrible blow when he heard of the passing of Abdu'l-Bahá. He was called to the office of Tudor-Pole, the Secretary of the Assembly in London. Tudor-Pole was out of the Office when he arrived. He was shown into the office to wait his return. Without meaning to his eyes fell on a cable open on the table and he found that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had ascended. In a few minutes Tudor-Pole returned and found him crumpled in a heap on the floor.

Shock of Being Made Guardian

They brought the Guardian back to Haifa, practically ill; and when he arrived there, he received a second most terrible shock of his life because the Will and Testament was read to him, and he found that the burden which had rested first on the Bab, then on Bahá'u'lláh, and then on his beloved grandfather, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, had fallen with all its weight on his shoulders. He told me once, "The day they read me the Will and Testament I ceased to be a normal human being."They brought the Guardian back to Haifa practically ill from grief and shock, and he received the second most terrible blow of his life. He found the burden on the Báb, on Bahá'u'lláh, on Abdu'l-Bahá - had now fallen on him. He said to me, "The day they read the Will and Testament to me I ceased to be a normal human being."

How He Received Inspiration

We take too much for granted in this world, all of us. I took the Guardian for granted before I went to live in Haifa. I don't know what I thought, I must have thought that he just sat there and all the time heard 'Abdu'l-Bahá speaking into his ears, and that it was a lovely, peaceful experience.Before I went to Haifa, I don't know what I thought, but I suppose I thought, like many of the friends, that the Guardian just sat there and listened and Bahá'u'lláh spoke to him and it was a lovely experience.
My observations, naturally, are those of an ant looking at the sun. But nevertheless I did observe certain things, and I believe that the nature of divine inspiration is not like something that is written up that these great souls read constantly before their eyes. It is rather in the nature of intermittent pulsations -- flashes of lightning.Although my experience is something like an ant looking at the Sun, nevertheless I have made certain observations. I believe that the nature of divine inspiration is more like intermittent pulsations, flashes of lightning.
The Guardian was always guided and always protected, but that doesn't change the fact that he had agonizing moments of anxiety, of sorrow, of despair perhaps, over certain situations, and that he suffered terribly. Then came these tremendous impulses. He always said the right thing; he always did the right thing. God never abandoned him for a second. But it was not a constant process -- it was flashes, and in between those flashes, there was room for infinite suffering.The Guardian was always guided and always protected. That doesn't mean that he didn't suffer, that he didn't feel despair over certain situations - but he [was] always guided. He always did the right thing, he was always guided, but it was in flashes. In between there was time for infinite suffering.

On Becoming Guardian

Immediately when Shoghi Effendi returned to Haifa and learned that he was Guardian, the great quality of nobility and leadership which he displayed for 36 years became evident. As soon as he became Guardian he did two things; one in relation to the family of the Master, the other thing in relation to the world of non-Bahá'ís.

No Longer Went to Mosque

He refused to go to the Mosque. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had always attended the mosque. He felt it was wise at that time. The family were virtually prisoners and he felt it was wise not to offend the authorities in the Holy Land.
Everything in [the] Faith is new. The past is destroyed. It is a new age, new Faith, something new and glorious is born. It was all in the teachings but the veil had not been torn in the Holy Land. It was torn in Persia. Then Shoghi Effendi said, "I will not go to the Mosque" and the veil was torn.

Master's Family

In relation to the family of the Master; he showed a love and kindness to the family that I do not think Bahá'ís realise. He said "My family have already been raised so high by a member of it having been made Guardian that I must compensate to my aunts and uncles and cousins for what they have not received." He passed over his own mother and father and brothers and sisters and went to the home of his aunt and lived there; he made his uncle his representative, not his father; he made his cousins his secretaries, not his brothers. He would not even accept a drink from the hand of his mother - only from his aunt during those months when he was so prostrated after the passing of the Master.

Switzerland Retreat through Sorrow

Then came a time when his sorrow was so great that he fled to Switzerland and tried to come to grips with what God has strapped on his back.

International House of Justice

In the first years of the Guardianship some Bahá'ís from the West came to him [with] advice that now was the time to form the International House of Justice. He paid no attention to them. He knew you cannot place a dome on the earth, first you must have [a] foundation, then pillars before you can place the dome.

Covenant Breakers

I am not going to give a discourse on the subject of Covenant-Breaking, but everybody knows that in this world, where there is light, there is shadow, and the closer you are to the light itself, the darker is the shadow at the foot of the lantern. In the sky, where the sun shines, there is no shadow -- that is the world of God. But in this world, wherever there is brilliant light, at the foot of it is blackest shadow. The Guardian had a heart which was exactly like a source, a spring. It bubbled. Left alone, he had the happiest and most radiant heart of any being I have ever seen, and up until the very end of his life, in spite of the troubles and sorrows that had come to him one could see, sometimes, that heart bubble. Now, no doubt it is bubbling freely on high. But in those early years he suffered so terribly, it left its imprint on him for life.Practically from the beginning he began to suffer from that peculiar condition that affects the leaders of all religions - covenant breakers. In this world where there is a sun there is a shadow that is blackest at the foot of the lamp. In the heaven where the sun shines there is no shadow. That is the world of God. But in this world there is shadow. The Guardian had a heart that was like a source, a spring; it bubbled. Let alone he had the most joyous nature and sometimes even to the end of his life, there were times when his heart bubbled. Now, no doubt, it is bubbling freely on high. But in those early years he suffered so terribly - indeed all his life.

Going Away; Haggard; Consciencious

When my mother and I were in Haifa in 1922 or 1923 (I was a child) the Guardian was going away and he called us to his bedroom. He looked so absolutely haggard, with great circles under his eyes. He said "Mrs. Maxwell, I cannot stand it, I am going away." But of course, he came back in the Autumn and went on with his work.
He was so conscientious, so conscious of the burden that had been placed upon him,
When my mother and I were in Haifa (I was a child) he called us to his bedroom. He was in bed and looked so haggard. He said, "Mrs. Maxwell I cannot stand it, I am going away." He did, but he returned in the fall to his work. He was so conscientious, so conscious of the burden upon him.


that in the early years almost to the end of his life he denied himself practically everything. Although there were very few things that Shoghi Effendi liked or wanted (he had extremely simple tastes in food, in dress, in everything), he had a very beautiful characteristic -- what he liked, he liked all through and forever.He denied himself practically everything. He had extremely simple tastes in food and dress but he had a beautiful characteristic. What he liked, he liked all through and forever.
I don't think that the friends know, and especially up until perhaps ten years ago, how hard on himself he was -- in the sense of depriving himself, of living very simply.
He ate once every twenty-four hours. This had nothing either to do with economy or asceticism, he just did not feel hungry more often than that, and from his early childhood he did not seem to be able to eat more than once or twice a day. This was a life-long habit, to eat one meal a day. It worried me terribly, and I used to speak to the doctors about it. They said, "Don't worry, as long as he is healthy and does not feel that he wants to eat more than once a day, don't insist, leave him alone." At length I got used to it.He ate once only in 24 hours. It was a lifelong habit. I consulted doctors about it. They said not to worry - as long as he didn't feel the need of it, as long as he was healthy, to leave him alone.

Great Walker; Stamina

He was a great walker, had great stamina, great resistance to fatigue. I have never seen anything like it. He told me once (this was in his younger days) that his record was 22 miles in one day over three passes.

Simplicity of Living

I think that it encourages the friends to know, especially the poorer friends who have sacrificed so much to this Faith, that the Guardian, although he was so very careful of everything to do with his honor as Guardian, as a man and as an individual where he was not known, lived with the utmost simplicity.

Summer Retreat; Tiny Room

For many, many years, when he went away in the summer to rest, and I assure you friends, that the Guardian wouldn't have lasted for thirty-six years if he had not had a little rest in the summer, he lived very, very modestly. He had a room for about two and a half shillings, and it was so small that when one of his relatives came to see him in it, he could not stand up straight because his head banged on the slanting ceiling.When he went away in the summer to rest he had a room in Switzerland for a franc and a half. Once when a relative went to see the Guardian he couldn't stand up straight in the room, it was so small he banged his head against the ceiling.
Taking the Reins; Writing Method and Style
When the Guardian returned from retirement after the passing of the Master, he took the reins of the Cause firmly in hand. He began the series of first inspiring letters which he sent out to the East and the West.

Style of Writing

The Persian friends said there was a marked change in the configuration and style of his writing. They had letters written by him when he was the secretary of the Master.

Everything Written Out Loud

Everything the Guardian wrote he composed out loud. He would write and speak at the same time. He liked to have someone in the room when he was composing.
When he was chanting, not speaking, it sounded just like a nightingale behind the door.

Writings and Translations

Now I will speak of his writings and translations of the literature of the Faith. He said, "I have given the English speaking Bahá'ís all the essential teachings of the Faith".

God Passes By

It took the Guardian two years to write God Passes By. He read 200 reference books; all the books written by Bahá'ís, by enemies, all the Tablets, everything. He typed the manuscript twice himself. He used to work 16 hours a day.

Read Every Letter, Checked Every Address

The Guardian read every word of every letter, dictated [the] answer to his secretary, wrote the postscript. He even checked the address the secretary had written with the address on the letter. This was the degree of his thoroughness and conscientiousness.

Signed Huquq Receipts

He used to sign the receipts for Huquq. He had to give this up. One day he signed 2,000 receipts. He kept it up until the war cut off Israel from Persia. Then he gave it up. It was his love that kept him doing it so long. He wanted the Persians in villages, some so poor, to have that word Shoghi, written by him, that meant so much.

Mixed Community in 1921, Made New; Discipline

At the time of the ascension of Abdu'l-Bahá I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that the community of Bahá'ís was made up of Christian Bahá'ís, Moslem Bahá'ís, Buddhist Bahá'ís, and so on. Everyone in the world has just so much force, just so much work they can do. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had given all his force and had accomplished all he could for the Faith. Then came the young Guardian. The Guardian has made us Bahá'ís. He separated us from the old roots. He saw to it that we put down roots firmly in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. A father is loving and patient with his children. When the elder brother takes over he has less paternal patience and much more brotherly discipline. We got this from Shoghi Effendi.

Three Things in Ministry

These things went on simultaneously in the ministry of the Guardian:
1. Building up World Order and its Institutes outside the Holy land.
2. Creation of International Centre. The sacredness of the resting places of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh were pointed out in the writings, but the establishment of the world centre at Haifa was the work of the Guardian.
3. The third process was protection of the Faith from covenant breaking.The thing that wears out the Holy Souls is the work of the Faith, but the thing that kills them and that crucifies them long before it kills them is covenant breaking.

Protecting the Faith and Suffering

While carrying out the building up of [the] World Order and the creation of the International Centre he was constantly suffering and sorrowing. When Shoghi Effendi became Guardian the enemies thought he was a young man and that they could deal with him. From the first day of his ministry he had trouble. He rose up, counter-attacked, purged the Faith and protected the Faith; but at great cost to himself. First there was the Armenian, then the one in Egypt, then the one in Persia, and so on.

Fearless and Uncompromising on Principles

The Guardian was absolutely fearless when it came to defending the Cause of God. He was like a lion. One of his strongest characteristics was an absolutely inflexible sense about compromise. Shoghi Effendi never compromised a hair's breadth. I could give you a hundred examples of this in his nature, but I will give you a few, because I think this is very, very important for all of us. It is important for every Baha’i, but it is particularly important for the teachers of the Faith, the pioneers and the national assembly members. I don't have to tell this to the Hands.The Guardian was absolutely fearless. When he defended the Faith he was like a lion. He never compromised a hair's breadth. I will give you some examples.

Effect of Compromise; Repentences Received

How many mosquitoes does it take to give you malaria or yellow fever? When we compromise our Faith, it is like taking a glass of pure water, and putting one drop of ink in it -- it does not become a glass of ink, but the purity of the water is gone. We all know that there is no compromise with people who were Covenant-Breakers, if they had not changed in their hearts, because the heart is the measure. When they were repentant in their hearts, Shoghi Effendi forgave them, and there are many people who were out of the Faith and are in it again because the Guardian inhaled one breath of sincerity from their hearts and accepted them.How many mosquitoes does it take to get Malaria? How many to get yellow fever? When we compromise our Faith it is like taking a glass of water and putting a drop of ink in it: the water does not become ink, but the purity of the water is gone.
When there was repentance in hearts the Guardian accepted those who had been covenant breakers into the Faith.

Refusal to take Large Sum of Money

One summer Mr. Maxwell was left in charge of affairs in Haifa while the Guardian was away. A person with whom the Guardian was displeased but who was a voting member and attended all meetings sent £54,000 sterling. Mr. Maxwell put it in the bank. When the Guardian returned Mr. Maxwell told him about it. Shoghi Effendi said, "Send the money back in the morning. I am displeased with him and I am not going to take his money."

Refusal to See Famous Reporter

A very famous reporter from an important United States syndicate came and wanted to see the Guardian. Ruhiyyih Khanum begged the Guardian to see him. He said, "I didn't see so and so from the xxx paper in Tel Aviv last week, why should I see this man now?"

Marriage Disallowed in Church

In Spain a number of years ago Bahá'ís wanted to marry. The only way people could get married was in the Church. Ruhiyyih Khanum said, "Isn't there some way it can be done? What if these believers leave the Faith?" The Guardian said, "Let them, Let everybody in Europe leave the Cause. I am not going to compromise with the principles of the Faith."

Declaring Faith

The Guardian insisted that we always declare our Faith. This is difficult in Persia where there is so much persecution. The Guardian would not tolerate a Bahá'í saying that he was anything else.

Baha Street

Another example was when the municipality wanted to rename a street near the home of the Guardian "Baha Street". Maybe they intended it as a compliment or maybe this was instigated by the covenant breakers - I don't know. The sign was put up for one day. "If that sign isn't down by tomorrow, I will tear it down with my own hands, and if they put me in jail I don't care."

Many Facets

You see, the Guardian had so many sides to his nature, and you have seen how strong he was when it came to defending the Faith. He never compromised on principle.The Guardian had so many sides.

Love and Loyalty

Now, I would like to show you another aspect of his nature. He had a tremendous capacity for love and for loyalty for those whom he loved, but when they became Covenant-Breakers it evaporated, they ceased to exist and the bounties ceased to flow.Now I would like to show to you another side of his nature. He had a tremendous capacity for love and for loyalty to those he loved. This depended on worthiness. If worthiness ceased, bounties ceased to flow.

Weeps for Zia Baghdadi

I remember when Dr. Zia Baghdadi died and the news reached him. I don't know exactly when it was, but it was a very, very short time after my marriage with the Guardian. Perhaps in the first month, or maybe even less time than that. News came saying that Zia Baghdadi had died and the Guardian cried for almost an hour that night.When Dr. Zia Baghdadi died, the Guardian cried for almost an hour that night.

Impervious to Emotional Influences

The Guardian was not emotional, he was absolutely impervious to influence. I think that the friends don't realize that the Central Figures of our Faith had an untarnished, steely quality in their nature that was never influenced by their emotions and that whatever they considered right they did in spite of everything.The Guardian was not emotional. He was absolutely unreachable. Therefore it is most significant of his nature that he should weep for those he loved who had served the Cause greatly.

Expelling Household Members

I don't think the friends realize what went behind those cables putting the different members of the Master's family out of the Cause. Years of suffering, years of crushing his heart, years of hurt and insult –- he kept silent and bore and bore and bore and bore, until it reached the point where it was bad for the Cause -- then he took action. But what they did to him personally he always endured.He had an exquisitely loving nature. Years of suffering went before each of those cables putting the members of the Master's family out of the Cause. What they did to him personally he always endured.

Suffering from Covenant Breakers and the Sufferings of Bahá'ís

He used to suffer very much from two things, and one of them was, of course, the actions of people who were either Covenant-Breakers or in process of becoming Covenant-Breakers, and the other was from the suffering of the Bahá'ís.He suffered from the activities of the covenant breakers and from sufferings of Bahá'ís.
He would wrap himself up in his quilt and not even take a sip of water for 24 hours or sometimes even for 48 hours. He would sometimes loose 2 or 3 kilos weight in those times.
If you have an idea of these sufferings you can understand why his heart stopped suddenly.

Sense of Humour; With Pilgrims; Bed

Shoghi Effendi had a delightful sense of humour. He walked with the Persian pilgrims, ate his one meal of the day with the western pilgrims, went home to bed, usually exhausted.

Asked for Marriage Permission

One young man, a pilgrim, wanted to marry. He wanted to ask the Guardian's permission. Of course, this wasn't necessary - but he wanted to do it. He never did ask the Guardian directly - later on he asked through me. The first night he arrived, his hand trembled violently as he raised a glass of water to his lips. With great difficulty he took a sip and managed to set the glass back down on the table. The Guardian followed the progress of this glass carefully with his eyes. The moment this young man put his glass down the Guardian got up and went home. He said, "Did you see that young man's hand. I thought if I stayed another minute he'd have apoplexy, and as we've had two deaths this summer I thought that was enough."

Audacity, Ingenuity and Economy

There are three other qualities in the Guardian's nature which I think the friends would like to hear about, and which are very important ones for us to remember now as we go forward into the next five years of the Plan. The first of these is audacity; the second is ingenuity, and the third is economy. The Guardian had all these qualities to a pronounced degree.Three other qualities in the Guardian's character were audacity, ingenuity and economy. He had all these qualities to a pronounced degree.
The Guardian was never prevented from accomplishing anything because there were obstacles in the way. He charged them full on, he never tried to avoid them or go around them -- he flew at them.The Guardian never failed to do something because there were obstacles in the way. He charged them full on.
His ingenuity in accomplishing the work in Haifa particularly, was phenomenal. He devised ways of doing things which he himself had never seen done, and had never heard of being done.His ingenuity in accomplishing the work in Haifa was phenomenal.

Greening the Terraces and Gardens

For instance, he used to build terraces and gardens. People would come to him and they would say "A tree can't grow in one meter of soil -- a tree can't grow on top of a roof of a cistern -- you cannot plant a tree in the ground and pile up earth all around up to its crown, it will die," and so on. He did all of those things, he planted trees on tops of cisterns and nothing happened to them, he covered trees up to the crown and it looked as if three beautiful trees would grow out of the soil instead of one. He was not intimidated by the opinions of other people.He devised ways to build terraces and gardens. He did things that had never been done before, things experts said could not be done, he was not intimidated by the opinions of' other peoples.
Be courageous in the way you tackle problems, ingenious in the way you carry them out and do them at low cost.

Acted Most Economically

The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith watched the expenditure of every penny that he was responsible for in the Holy Land, and indeed all over the world, to a degree which I think the Bahá'ís have no idea about whatsoever.The Guardian watched the expenditure of every penny for the Cause at Haifa, and all over the world.
I have no time to go into details, but I can assure you that there was never any work carried out in Haifa that was not greatly economized by the Guardian -- in the building of the Shrine, the building of the gardens, the development of the entrances, the gates, the paths, the pedestals supporting the ornaments -- the Guardian made very sure that he was doing the thing in the most economical manner.In all the work on the Shrine, paths, gardens, the Guardian made sure the work was being done in the most economical manner.
No matter what the thing was, if he considered that the price was exorbitant, he would not pay it, whether it was required, or very important, or needed for part of a scheme; if the price was exorbitant he just would not pay that price. The basis of this religion is sacrifice, conscientious, tireless, wholehearted, endless sacrifice -- that is what we saw in our Guardian for 36 years.He would not pay exorbitant prices. This is why the Guardian was able to accomplish so much, why he could build the Shrines, Archives Building, help complete the Temple in Wilmette, and assist in teaching needs. We have a sacred obligation to follow his example. The basis of the work today is whole-hearted conscientious, continuous sacrifice. This is what we saw in our Guardian for 36 years.

Life-Sacrifice, No Time, Haste and Urgency

The degree to which Shoghi Effendi sacrificed himself in every human sense is unbelievable -- he had no life of his own, no time of his own, practically no joys of his own, very little happiness in all of his life. He hurried all the time, he had a sense of haste and pressure, and I think all those who worked with him in Haifa and the friends all over the world, when receiving his messages, and when they felt the vibrations of this power within him, realized this sense of urgency -- hurry, hurry, hurry, all the time, to get it done quickly before something happened.The degree in which Shoghi Effendi sacrificed himself is unbelievable. He had no life of his own. He had very little happiness in all his life. He hurried all the time. He had a sense of haste and pressure, sense of urgency.

Figures in 1921 and then in 1957

At Master's passingAt Shoghi Effendi's passing
Countries and territories opened.35 countries
5 Islands.
254 countries.
100 Islands.
Assemblies.200 - 4001,000
(2,500 in 1953)
N.S. A.'S.2.26

Two Plans

The Guardian said to some of the pilgrims, during the last year and a half or two years, something very strange. He said there are two Plans.There are two plans in operation at the present time.

Plan for Mankind - Progressive Revelation

The long-term eternal Plan of Almighty God for mankind on this planet; that is the Plan that has the Prophets of God, the Adamic Cycle and all of the Great Manifestations of God, like Christ and Mohammed, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Moses and so on, bringing us to this day with the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh. This is the Mighty Plan of God, educating humanity and bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth on this planet. He said this is the plan of God, it goes forward in mysterious ways, we do not always understand its workings.One is the long time plan of the Almighty God for man on this planet. This is progressive religion – Adam to Bahá'u'lláh. Its purpose is to educate man for his life on this planet. This is the plan of God; it goes forward in mysterious ways. We do not always understand its workings.

Divine Plan - Bahá'í Era

Then, he said, we have the Divine Plan, which is being carried forward by the Bahá'ís in the form as we know it, first, the two Seven-Year Plans, and then this Ten-Year Plan -- the World Crusade which we are now engaged upon and part of which has passed.The second is the Divine Plan, which is being carried forward by the Bahá'ís in the Seven Year Plans and in the Ten year crusade.

Intimates His Passing

The Guardian said, who knows, maybe this great Plan of God will interfere in the other Plan. We always thought, at least I always thought, that this meant the war which we have reason to believe we may not be able to avert, was probably the thing. I could never dream that this trial that could cut across the Plan, the Ten-Year Plan that we are working on now, would be the ascension of our Guardian.Who knows may be this great plan of God will interfere with the lesser plan.
We always thought this would be war. I could never dream that this scythe that would cut across the Crusade, would be the ascension of our Beloved Guardian.

Living Martyrdom; Passing

The beloved Guardian sacrificed himself for this Cause as completely as anyone who was ever martyred in the physical sense. He burned away until there was nothing left, and suddenly God took his spirit in the twinkling of an eye because he had evidently finished his task in this world.The Guardian sacrificed for this Cause as completely as anyone physically martyred has done - and suddenly his task was finished and God took his spirit from this world.
The Guardian was in better health this summer than he had been for years. His own physician said so; he had good doctors when he had the Asiatic flu in London, and he was examined thoroughly and there was nothing in the world for anyone to believe that he could possibly pass away.The Guardian was in better health this summer than he had been for years. His own doctor said so. He had a good doctor in London when he had Asiatic flu. There was nothing in the world to indicate that he would pass away.

Submission to God's Will at His Passing

We can only bow our heads before the Will of God, believing and knowing that Bahá'u'lláh has His Own Plan, that He will guard and protect this Faith and that nothing can thwart His Will.We can only bow our heads in humility, knowing that Bahá'u'lláh has His own plan and that He will protect his Faith - that nothing can thwart His Will.

The Work Ahead a Monument for Shoghi Effendi

But He did not leave us empty handed, we have His work to carry on and the greatest monument that we can build in our love and our sorrow for Shoghi Effendi is the monument of our work in this world-encircling Plan.The Guardian did not leave us empty-handed. We have this plan. The best monument we can leave for Shoghi Effendi is the monument of the work of this world-encircling plan.

As ye have Faith, so shall your powers and blessings be

There are some words of Abdu'l-Bahá which I should like to quote:
He said "As you have faith, so shall your powers and blessings be, this is the balance, this is the balance, this is the balance.""As ye have Faith, so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance, this is the balance, this is the balance." ('Abdu'l-Bahá).

In the Name of Shoghi Effendi, Press On in Unity

So, in the name of Shoghi Effendi, I appeal to you all to carry on his work as one soul in many bodies.In the name of Shoghi Effendi, in the memory of Shoghi Effendi, I beg of you to carry on his work as one soul in many bodies.
A. Yazdani,Glasgow, 28th July, 1958.
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