Prayers of Shoghi Effendi
11 December 1994
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
At the request of the Universal House of Justice, the Research Department has provided the enclosed response to your email message of 12 November 1994, in which you inquire about the reason that the prayers of the Guardian are not translated into English.
For Department of the Secretariat
The following two extracts from letters written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice provide information which pertains to Miss ...'s query:
Even though the beloved Guardian wrote some prayers in his letters to the eastern friends, he did not encourage their translation into the western languages. In a letter written on his behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States on 23 February 1957, his secretary stated:
He sees no necessity for translating prayers that he has written in Persian into English. The Bahá'ís have a great many wonderful prayers already translated, and he feels that now is not the time to spend money on these things.
In response to your Email message of 6 November 1986 regarding the possibility of publishing a selection of the prayers of Shoghi Effendi translated into English, the Universal House of Justice instructs us to advise that it does not feel that the time has come for this to be done. We are to convey its further comments.
There is no doubt that one day the general messages of the beloved Guardian addressed to the friends in the East, particularly to the friends in Iran and written in Arabic and Persian, will be translated for the benefit of the English-speaking world. In the context of such a project, the prayers of Shoghi Effendi, which usually form part of these communications, will of course be translated and made available to the friends.
Posting twoFrom The Bahá'í World, XVIII, 1979-1983, p. 35
He is God
O Mighty Lord! Thou seest what hath befallen Thy helpless lovers in this darkest of long nights; Thou knowest how, in all these years of separation from Thy Beauty, the confidants of Thy mysteries have ever been acquainted with burning grief.
O Powerful Master! Suffer not Thy wayfarers to be abased and brought low; succor this handful of feeble creatures with the potency of Thy might. Exalt Thy loved ones before the assemblage of man, and grant them strength. Allow those broken-winged beings to raise their heads and glory in the fulfilment of their hopes, that we in these brief days of life may gaze with our physical eyes on the elevation and exaltation of Thy Faith, and soar up to Thee with gladdened souls and blissful hearts.
Thou knowest that, since Thy ascension, we seek no name or fame, that in this swiftly passing world we wish henceforth no joy, no delight and no good fortune.
Then keep Thy word, and exhilarate once more the lives of these, Thy sick at heart. Bring light to our expectant eyes, balm to our stricken breasts. Lead Thou the caravans of the city of Thy love swiftly to their intended goal. Draw those who sorrow after Thee into the hight court of reunion with Thee. For in this world below we ask for nothing but the triumph of Thy Cause. And within the precincts of Thy boundless mercy we hope for nothing but Thy presence.
Thou art the Witness, the Haven, the Refuge; Thou art He who rendereth victorious this band of the innocent.
The Bahá'í World, XVIII, 1979-1983, p. 35
Posting threeThe following brief prayer is cited in Marcus Bach's Shoghi Effendi: An Appreciation:
O God! Thy nearness is my hope,
However, according to Bach, when the beloved Guardian heard that one of the friend's had translated it into English, he was not pleased. I suspect that it had something to do with his humility. Bach himself was a minister in the New Thought movement and was friendly toward the Faith.
There is also the following prayer by the Guardian to the Master. It is an excerpt from a longer prayer/apostrophe addressed to the Greatest Holy Leaf, shortly after her passing:
Intercede, O noble and well-favored scion of a heavenly Father, for me no less than for the toiling masses of Thy ardent lovers, who have sworn undying allegiance to Thy memory, whose souls have been nourished by the energies of Thy love, whose conduct has been moulded by the inspiring example of Thy life, and whose imaginations are fired by the imperishable evidences of Thy lively faith, thy unshakable constancy, Thy invincible heroism, Thy great renunciation.