Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Suriy-i- 'Ibad (Tablet of the Servants) for Siyyid Mihdíy-i-Dahájí Ismu'lláh, who, at that time, was the custodian of the Most Great House in Baghdad.
In it the urges him to live a pious life, to cleanse his heart from the defilement of the world, and to become detached from his own self and all created things. Bahá'u'lláh extols His own Essence, and states that for many years He had revealed the Words of God in great profusion while hiding His glory behind many veils of concealment. When the appointed hour had struck, however, He unveiled His exalted station and shed an infinitesimal measure of the light of His countenance upon all created things. As a result of this outpouring, the Concourse on high and the chosen ones of God were awestruck and dumbfounded. [RoB2p274]
The title Ismu'lláhu'l-Mihdí (The Name of God, the Guide) had been conferred upon the siyyid by Bahá'u'lláh but after His passing he became a Covenant-breaker and became know as Takhthe-Kanah-si (Bedbug) because of his stubborn personality. [MMoB720]
"The Most Great Idol" was cast out of the community.
Mírzá Yahyá's henceman, Siyyíd Muhammad, convinced Yahyá to challenge Bahá'u'lláh to to face-to-face encounter in the mosque of Sultán Salím in a distant part of the city, believing that Bahá'u'lláh would not show. Bahá'u'lláh immediately set out to walk to the appointed mosque. Upon learning this Mírzá Yahyá postponed the interview for a day or two. Bahá'u'llah returned to His home and revealed a Tablet to be delivered to Siyyíd Muhammad when he produced a sealed note stating that should Mírzá Yahyá fail to appear at the trysting-place, he would produce a document refuting Yahyá's claims. Neither were forthcoming and the Tablet to Siyyid Muhammad remained undelivered.
Prior to this the community had been divided however this incident firmly established His ascendency. The Covenant of the Báb had prevailed [GPB168-170]
A period of prodigious activity ensued. Bahá'u'lláh later stated in the Lawh-i-Siraj, "In those days the equivalent of all that hath been sent down aforetime unto the Prophets hath been revealed." [GPB171]
E. G. Browne, the noted Orientalist, spent 12 months in Persia. An important purpose of his journey was to contact the Bábís. [BBR29]
For a list of his books and other works and his relationship with the Bahá'í Faith see BBR29–36.
Also see BBD47; Balyuzi, Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith and Momen, Selections From the Writings of E. G. Browne.
While sailing from Naples to New York 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave an account of Mírzá Yahyá and his followers and of the complaints they made to Edward G. Browne: "They tampered with the contents of the history of Hájí Mírzá Jání by removing some of its passages and inserting others. They sent it to the libraries of London and Paris and through such falsehood induced him [Browne] to translate and publish the document. In order to achieve his own selfish desires, he had it printed." [Mahmúd's Diary p21]
Close to the end of His life Bahá'u'lláh became displeased with Mírzá Àqá Ján and dismissed him from His service. He had served as His servant, with the title of Khádim (Servant) and later Khádimu'lláh (Servant of God) as well as His amanuensis and companion for almost forty years [CoB182; MBBA71]
During the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh Muhammad Ali made two trips to India for seditious purposes. With the help of Nazir, he plotted to prepare the way to become the leader of the Cause after the departure of Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh was well aware of these plans as is testified by many Tablets especially by the Revelation of the Book of His Covenant prior to His ascension. In this book, He clearly appointed 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the One to whom all, including the Branches, were to turn for light and guidance. [SUR247]
Bahá'u'lláh passed away at Bahjí in His seventy–fifth year. [AB47; BBRXXIX, 233; BKG420; CB148; GPB221; RB4:411]
"The news of His ascension was instantly communicated to Sultán 'Abdu'l-Hamíd by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in a telegram which began with the words "the Sun of Bahá has set". [GPB222; AB47; BKG420]
He cited these last words, two verses from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas:
“Say: Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.”
“Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you through the power of truth. We are truly almighty. Whoso hath recognized Me will arise and serve Me with such determination that the powers of earth and heaven shall be unable to defeat his purpose.” [GWB137]
For an account by Túbá Khánum see CH105–9.
Bahá'u'lláh had spent 23 years, 8 months and 29 (or 30) days in the Holy Land. [DH12]
He passed away eight hours after sunset. [GPB221; UD170]
Shortly after sunset, on the very day of His passing, Bahá'u'lláh was buried beneath the floor of the northermost room in the house adjacent to the mansion of Bahjí, the house which had served as a dwelling-place for His son-in-law, Háji Siyyid 'Ali Afnán. This became the Qiblih of the Bahá'í Faith. [AB47; BBD211; BKG427; GPB222]
See CB149 and RB4:149 for the effect of Bahá'u'lláh's ascension on`Abdu'l-Bahá.
See ARG71-72 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's account of His attempt to convince Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí to be faithful to the Covenant.
See CoC132-134; AB52–3, CB148–9, 152-153 and RB4:148–9 for the theft of Bahá'u'lláh's cases containing His seals, papers and other items. See as well An Epistle to the Bahá'í World
by Mirza Badi'u'llah, page 13, written during his short-life period of confession/redemption.
One of the documents in these cases was the original Long Obligatory Prayer that had been mentioned in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Bahá'u'lláh had revealed the text but did not release it in order to avoid provoking conflict with Muslims. [Prayer and Worship by John Walbridge]
The box also contained a valuable ring and a rosary. "The ring was sold by Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí in
the course of his journey in India and spent as travel money.
And Mírzá Badi`u’llah wasted the rosary." [MBBA214
See AB52–61, CB148–51 and RB4:148–54 for the Covenant-breaking activities of Bahá'u'lláh's family immediately following His death.
For 'Abdu'l-Bahá's description of His Father see BWF220-224.
See GPB222–3 for the mourning following the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh.
See BBR234–6 for a list of Europeans who had met Bahá'u'lláh.
Soon after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh the Covenant-breakers led by Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí, on the pretext that he had been unfaithful to Bahá'u'áh, plotted to murder Mírzá 'Aqá Ján. Their real motive however, was to gain control of his property. Mírzá 'Aqá Ján, upon hearing of the plot, went to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, begged for forgiveness for his misdeeds and took refuge in His house. [CoB184]
Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí sent letters with misleading statements and calumnies against `Abdu'l-Bahá, thus making widely known his Covenant-breaking activities. `Abdu'l-Bahá could no longer conceal his unfaithfulness. [CB151, 178 SDH128-129; MBBA77]
From the time of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, Abdu'l-Bahá endured significant family opposition to His authority and position as the Centre of the Covenant. For several years He had worked to contain the news of these defections and to prevent any word of them from reaching other Bahá'í communities. By 1896-7 the Bahá'ís of Egypt had heard enough of the details that when Mirza Habibu'llah Afnan was going on a pilgrimage, they asked him to learn as much as he could. To his great shock, the Afnan soon apprised that indeed Abdu'l-Bahá's brothers and the majority of his family had arisen against him in rebellion. They accused Him of claiming to be a manifestation Himself and for the mistreatment of the break-away part of the family. As instructed by 'Abdul-Bahá, he, on his return to Egypt, informed the Bahá'í community of the situation. Mirza Abu'l-Fadl found this hard to accept in view of Bahá'u'lláh instructions regarding the treatment of the Holy Family after His passing. Therefore, he wrote to Abdu'l-Bahá to confirm the truth of this news and received in response a lengthy tablet that has been called The First Thousand-Verse Tablet. [‘Abdu’l-Baha’s First Thousand-Verse Tablet: History and Provisional Translation by Ahang Rabbani and Khazeh Fananapazir]
In the Tablet He described how He had suffered from the activities of both "the waverers and the rebellious" from among the family and associates. They had deployed others to undermine the authority of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Persia (where Jamál-i- Burújirdí was foremost among the Covenant-breakers.) and in other lands and even used the name of steadfast believers to disseminate their messages to undermine His authority. Up until this time 'Abdu'l-Bahá had spent considerable effort in trying to contain the news of their activities and had amassed considerable debt in trying to appease their demands.
To compound 'Abdu'l-Bahá's woes and difficulties, in addition to opposition from within the Faith, the Azalis were active, particularly in Persia. Opposition also came from the Ottoman government in Istanbul, the local authorities and from the Islam and possibly the Christian communities in Akka. iiiii
Sometime later, in 1315 AH (which commenced on 2 June 1897), a similar tablet of the same name was composed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for Mirza Jalíl Khu’í, a coppersmith who lived in the province of Adhirbayjan. He had been influenced by Jamál-i- Burújirdí and had been appointed as his agent in that country. Khu’í had also received correspondence from Muhammad-'Alí. The tablet was read to Khu’i but a copy not given to him at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s instruction. Scholars have labelled this as the Second Thousand-Verse Tablet. [Tablet of Splendors (Lawh-i-Ishráqát): Tablet study outline; CoBp148-9, 157, 158, 229]
See how this Tablet became the source of the undoing of Mírzá Muhammad-Ali and Majdu'd-Dín in their plot to deceive the governor of Syria in Damascus, Názim Páshá, into believing that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was planning an insurrection. [CoB226-230]
The Covenant-breakers living at Bahji, realized that Mírzá Àqá Ján would be useful to them in their plot to undermine the authority of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. They sent a letter to him purportedly from the Bahá'ís in Iran requesting that he assume leadership. Mírzá Àqá Ján arranged for a feast to be held at the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh on the fifth anniversary of His passing when he planned to announce his intention to the assembled followers. The Covenant-breakers, anticipating that his announcement would cause a disturbance, bribed a local official to have men on hand to take charge of the scene and to discredit 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the process. They had hope that He would be banished and they would be left in complete control of the Shrine. The disturbance did not happen as planned; the the result was that Mírzá Àqá Ján had openly thrown in his lot with the Covenant-breakers. They arranged for him to live in the Shrine until his death in 1901. During this time 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the faithful followers did not enter the Shrine but rather observed their devotions outside. [CoB184-189; MBBA84-90]
In a gathering in Akka, 'Abdu'l-Bahá informed the friends of the threats of Siyyid Jamalud-Din-i-Afghani, a sometimes collaborator with Sultán 'Abdu'l-Maníd and an inveterate enemy of the Faith. He had vision of a pan-Islamic Ottoman state with the Sultan as the head of all Muslims. A short time after `Abdu’l-Bahá had spoken about him, a small growth appeared on the Siyyid’s tongue. The Sultan’s special physician was sent to attend him. In a number of operations, his tongue was cut several times until none was left and, soon after, he died. This was the end of a person whose tongue had spoken presumptuously towards the Cause of God and had committed such slander and calumny against the Faith. He has been called the "Protagonist of Pan-Islamism".
MBBA158 says his death occurred in 1901 or a short time after. In fact he died in March 1897. Two Azalis who had been associated with him, Shaykh Ahmad and Mírzá Áqá Khan, were caught up in his intrigues to rid Persia of its monarchy and were executed in Tabriz on the 15th of July, 1896 by the then Crown Prince Muhammad-'Alí Mirzá. [EGB23-28]
Hájí Hasan-i-Khurásání, from 29 Nov 1900 to Aug 1901. [BFA2:35, 389]
Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání, from 29 Nov 1900 to 12 May 1902. [BFA2:VI, 35–43ff]
Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl, accompanied by the young poet and diplomat, Ali-Kuli Khan, from Aug 1901 to Dec 1904. [BFA2:XV-XVI, 80–7; BW9:855–60]
"...four chosen messengers of 'Abdu'l-Bahá who, in rapid succession, were dispatched by Him to pacify and reinvigorate that troubled community. ...were commissioned to undertake, the beginnings of that vast Administration, the corner-stone of which these messengers were instructed to lay... [WOB83-84; AY119]
See BFA1:177–8 for lists of believers who sided with Kheiralla, left the Faith or remained loyal to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
See SBBH1:98–101 for Kheiralla's teachings.
Note: GPB259 says that Kheiralla had returned from the Holy Land in December of 1899 but in fact it was in the month of May. [BFA1pxxix] iiiii
At a meeting in Kenosha, Kheiralla publicly announced his doubts about `Abdu'l-Bahá's leadership of the Bahá'í community. He also said that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was not the return of Christ has be had been teaching. [BFA1:XXIX; SBBH1:96; SBBH2:117; SBBH1p96]
He he had allied himself with Muhammad-`Alí. [SSBH1:96]
The Bahá'ís effectively divided into two camps. There had been two to three thousand believers in North America in 1900, by 1902, 1,700 had left the Faith leaving six or seven hundred of whom three hundred were "Behaists" and the rest "Abbasites" or "Behais" (followers of 'Abdu'l-Bahá). By 1906 the US Census of Religions reported that the number of Bahá'ís had risen to 1,280 and the "Behaists" numbered on forty. The Kenosha Behaists continued to exist until the early 1950s. [SSBH1:96-97; WOB82; SBBH14p7]
To counter the effects of this, Abdu'l-Baha, in 1900 and 1901,
sent teachers to America who were completely loyal to the Center
of the Covenant and well-informed on the teachings of Baha'u'llah.
They were Mirza Abu'l-Fad1 and Mirza Asad'u'llah. Mr. Chase wrote, with these teachers came the first opportunity for a correct and
intimate knowledge of the true Bahá'í teachings...rather than
psychic and occult experiments...Many persons who had conceived
views imbued with imaginations and superstitions fell away from
the Cause, but those who remained discovered such spiritual
light,...and power in the teachings, that they were deeply confirmed
in their belief, and clung to it.. ." [from a short paper
entitled 'A Brief History of the American Development of the Bahá'í
Movement,' printed in Star of the West, Volume V, number 17.]
For the changes to the Bahá'í community as a result of this schism see SSBH1:96–9 and SSBH2:117–20.
On the instructions of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Egyptian businessman Hájí `Abdu'l-Karím-i-Tihrání arrived in New York, the first Persian Bahá'í to visit North America. He had taught the Faith to Kheiralla in Egypt. His purpose was to try to bring Kheiralla back into the Faith and to explain the basic teachings of the Faith to the American believers. He was accompanied by Mirza Sinore Raffie, his translator. [BFA173–6; BFA2:17–29]
Muhammad-'Ali, having obtained Kheiralla's support, sent his son Shu'a'u'lláh to Kenosha to try to spread opposition to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [SBBH1p240]
`Abdu'l-Karím and Shu'a'u'lláh apparently met in Kenosha. The point that they disagreed on was Kheiralla's insistence that his teachings be regarded as authoritative. [SBBH!p240]
The Persian teachers Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání (1826-1930) and Hájí Hasan-i-Khurásání, a merchant from Cairo, arrived in America. Their task was to consolidate the American community and to address the effects of Kheiralla's disaffection. [BFA2p35–43]
'Abdu'l-Bahá provided them with two translators, Mírzá Husayn Rúhí, a young Persian Bahá'í who had learned English in Egypt, and Mírzá Burzurg.
They spent three weeks in New York then spent two days in Johnstown, NY then relocated to Chicago where he stayed for eighteen months.
Mírzá Asadu'lláh did not accompany 'Abdu'l-Bahá to America, however, shortly after His return, Mírzá Asadu'lláh and his son insisted on going to the West and did so against 'Abdu'l-Bahá's wishes. Both he and his son were expelled from the Faith. [APD143; AY119; SoW Vol 5 # 17 19 Jan 1915 pg 263; 265]
The four stayed in New York and then left for Chicago arriving on the 29th of November. Asadu'lláh stayed in Chicago until 12 May 1902, Khurásání, and Rúhí returned to Egypt in mid-July, 1901. [BFA2p38]
1901 (approx 4 yrs after ascension of Bahá'u'lláh)
'Aqá Jamál Burújirdí had been a member of the Islamic clergy in Burujerd and was widely known and revered across Iran as a gifted teacher of the Faith.
He was a proud and egotistical man but during the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh, he received much praise and various honorary titles such as Ismu'lláh'u'l-Jamál (The Name of God Jamál) due to his many services. During his visit to 'Akká following the passing of Bahá'u'lláh he made contact with Mírzá Muhammad-Alí with the goal of securing a prominent place in the administration of the faith under his leadership, all the while feigning loyalty to 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
In God Passes By p247-248 Shoghi Effendi says of Mírzá Muhammad-Alí and those who tried to assist him in his nefarious efforts, "Closely-knit by one common wish and purpose; indefatigable in their efforts; assured of the backing of the powerful and perfidious Jamál-i-Burújirdí and his henchmen, Ḥájí Ḥusayn-i-Káshí, Khalíl-i-Khú’í and Jalíl-i-Tabrízí who had espoused their cause; linked by a vast system of correspondence with every center and individual they could reach; seconded in their labours by emissaries whom they dispatched to Persia, ‘Iráq, India and Egypt; emboldened in their designs by the attitude of officials whom they bribed or seduced, these repudiators of a divinely-established Covenant arose, as one man, to launch a campaign of abuse and vilification which compared in virulence with the infamous accusations which Mírzá Yaḥyá and Siyyid Muḥammad had jointly levelled at Bahá’u’lláh."
He was publically unmasked after the Covenant-breakers printed letters with falsehoods and misleading statements. believed to be about four years after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. He became known in the Bahá'í community as "Hyena" or "Old Hyena" (pír-i-kaftár). He died in poverty and disgrace in Iran. The date of his death is not known. [M9YA6-7, 432, RoB2p118-9, 264-267, MMoB104-105, CB165-166, 209-15, Biographies of Jamal-i-Burujirdi]
Shogi Effendi described 'Aqá Jamál Burújirdí as being "Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí's tablet lieutenant in Persia, "all trey to a fatal an loathsome disease". ]GPB319]
He was the recipient of many tablets from both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, one of which can be found in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh p5-9 and a more complete provisional translation of the original tablet can be found here.
Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl-i-Gulpáygání arrived in North America. [BFA2:XV]
Laura Barney financed the visit of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl to the United States in 1901-04 in order to propagate the Faith and to help publish the translation of his Ḥojaj al-bahīya (Cairo, 1342/1925; tr. Ali-Kuli Khan as The Bahá'í Proofs, New York, 1902; 2nd ed., ed. J. R. I. Cole, Wilmette, Ill., 1983) [Wikipedia, Laura Clifford Barney.]
See BFA2:80–7 and BW9:855–860 for accounts of his visit.
Mirza Ahmad Sohrab was sent to assist him. Sohrab remained and worked at the Iranian Consulate until 1912 and during this time he translated much of the correspondence between 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Western believers. At the conclusion of the American tour he returned to the Holy Land. After the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá he rejected the authority of Shoghi Effendi and was expelled. [APD155]
[LDNW17] says he was accompanied by Ali-Kuli Kahn.
Also see CoB185 for more on the role played by Mírzá Husayn-'Alíy-i-Jahrumí in the plot by the Covenant-breakers to have Mírzá Áqá Ján incite an incident at the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh with a view to having those involved arrested and therefore discredited.
Mírzá Badí'u'lláh, the fourth surviving son of Bahá'u'lláh, wrote to the Bahá'ís announcing his break with Muhammad-`Alí and giving his loyalty to `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB102; GPB264]
His letter gave details of the plots of Muhammad-`Alí against `Abdu'l-Bahá. [GPB264]
With him came Covenant-breaker Siyyid 'Alí Afnan.
His letter entitled An Epistle to the Bahá'í World was translated by Ameen Fareed and published in Chicago by the Bahá'í Publishing Society in 1907. [Collins7.106]
The document is important because reference was made to it in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament.
"What deviation can be greater than breaking the Covenant of God! What deviation can be greater than interpolating and falsifying the words and verses of the Sacred Text, even as testified and declared by Badi'u'llah!"
"...Ye know well what the hands of the Center of Sedition, Mirza Muhammad `Ali, and his associates have wrought. Among his doings, one of them is the corruption of the Sacred Text whereof ye are all aware, the Lord be praised, and know that it is evident, proven and confirmed by the testimony of his brother, Mirza Badi'u'llah, whose confession is written in his own handwriting, beareth his seal, is printed and spread abroad..."
This reconciliation was short-lived. Badi'u'llah continued to plot unrepentantly against Abdu'l-Bahá and later, against Shoghi Effendi until his death in Israel 1950. [AB102] Again from the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá...
"Gracious God! After Mirza Badi'u'llah had declared in his own handwriting that this man (Muhammad `Ali) had broken the Covenant and had proclaimed his falsification of the Holy Text, he realized that to return to the True Faith and pay allegiance to the Covenant and Testament would in no wise promote his selfish desires. He thus repented and regretted the thing he had done and attempted privily to gather in his printed confessions, plotted darkly with the Center of Sedition against me and informed him daily of all the happenings within my household. He has even taken a leading part in the mischievous deeds that have of late been committed. Praise be to God affairs recovered their former stability and the loved ones obtained peace. but ever since the day he entered again into our midst, he began afresh to sow the seeds of sore sedition. Some of his machinations and intrigues will be recorded in a separate leaflet."
Through the year the Covenant-breakers plotted until the friendly governor of `Akká was replaced by one hostile to `Abdu'l-Bahá. Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí stirred up opposition in certain elements of the population. [AB111; CB232]
Newspapers in Egypt and in Syria wrote false reports about `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB111; CB232]
Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí drew up an official indictment against `Abdu'l-Bahá full of false accusations. [AB112; CB232; MBBA82-83]
These actions resulted in the arrival of the first Commission of Inquiry, sent by Sultán `Abdu'l-Hamíd. [AB112; CB233]
The Commission summoned `Abdu'l-Bahá to answer the accusations levelled against Him and upon receiving His replies, the inquiry collapsed. [AB113–14; CB233]
Muhammad-'Alí sent his eldest son Shu'á'u'lláh to North America as his representative. It would appear that he did not work with Kheiralla but rather aligned himself with the group of Behaists in Kenosha. [BFA1p180; GPB319]
He was the editor of the Behai Quarterly, a periodical published seven times from the Spring of 1934 to 1936 published from 7534 Twenty-sixth Ave in Kenosha. [BFA1p180; AB527n60]
When the Master visited Los Angeles in October of 1912 he was living in Pasadena and became a cause of grief for 'Abdu'l-Bahá through his machinations. [MD340-341]
It is believed that he stayed in North America until the 1930s or 1940s. [BFA1p180]
Following the dispatch of his eldest son Shu'áu'lláh to North America, Muhammad-'Ali sent Mírzá Ghulámu'lláh, son of Áqá Muhammad-Javád-i-Qazvíní, one of the most inveterate adversaries of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Enroute he Ghlámu'lláh visited Professor E G Browne at Cambridge. [AB86]
Áqá Muhammad-Javád-i-Qazvíní was with Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad and went to Adrianople some years later to be of service to Him. He was exiled to Akká and served by transcribing Writings. After the passing of Bahá'u'lláh he became an adversary of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and attacked him in his venomous writings. [CoB165; GPB319]
Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, the home of Howard MacNutt. [PUP218]
Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York. [PUP220]
On this occasion 'Abdu'l-Bahá assigned Howard the task of deepening a group of Chicago Bahá’ís on the importance of the Covenant and instructing them not to associate with Covenant-breakers. Howard failed to complete this task and continued correspondence with associates of Kheiralla. For more information see this date.
Shu'áu'lláh, who had been living in Pasadena at the time, had persuaded a newspaper editor to write two misleading articles in which he tried to show that because of his biological relationship he was bound to inherit the station of the Prophets. At a public meeting a reporter pressed 'Abdu'l-Bahá about him and His reply was to quote Christ when asked about His relationship with His brothers. [MD339-340, 490n325]
In the evening He gave an address on unity to a large crowd assembled in an auditorium. [MD341]
`Abdu'l-Bahá had instructed MacNutt to meet with a group of potential Covenant-breakers in Chicago and warn them of the danger. He also ordered MacNutt to break all communication with Ibrahim Kheiralla and other Covenant-breakers. He had failed to do as directed. They met in the Kenny's home for the first time since his trip, where `Abdu'l-Bahá advised him that he had violated the Covenant himself and commanded him to repent before a group of New York Bahá'ís gathered there, which he did, reluctantly. [DJT371; AY121]
With his final year of high school over, Shoghi Effendi hastened from Beirut to Ramleh to join the Master. He, the Greatest Holy Leaf and the eldest daughter of `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived in Egypt. [PG9 AB401]
During this period Tammaddun'ul-Mulk (who had been in London during `Abdu'l-Bahá first visit) attempted to divide the Bahá'ís of Tehran and Dr Amínu'llah Farid's increasingly erratic behaviour brought Him much suffering and sorrow. [AB402]
"Tamaddunu'l-Mulk caused mischief amongst the friends and perpetrated such disunity that the foundation of the divine Faith was nearly destroyed. On numerous occasions, he repented. And yet, after each contrition, he would cause further mischief. Eventually, I telegraphed that Tamaddun is expelled and association with him is not permissible."
[Tablet Concerning Covenant-Breakers: Excerpt by Abdu'l-Bahá translated by Ahang Rabbani]
In this Tablet 'Abdu'l-Bahá warned against association with Covenant-breakers because its harm will injure the Cause of God and will enable them to penetrate the community and to completely uproot the Faith from within. Association with Covenant-breakers is the same as a person nurturing a snake in his shirt or giving a home to a scorpion in his sleeve.
Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh, passed away in Cairo. [AB404; BBD67]
... learned apologist . .. (one of the) successive messengers despatched by 'Abdu'l-Bahá
(who) succeeded in rapidly dispelling the doubts, and in deepening the understanding of
the believers, in holding the community together, and in forming the nucleus of those
administrative insitutions which, two decades later, were to be formally inaugurated
through the explicit provisions of'Abdu'l-Bahá'ís Will and Testament. Shoghi Effendi
He became a believer in 1876. [RoB3p91-107]
He was named as an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh.
For biographical information see EM263–5; SDH113; RoB3p433-441; SBNB208-225
See BW17p625 for Highlights in the life of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl based on an article by R Mehrabkani
His resting place is now next to that of Lua Getsinger in the Bahá'í cemetery in Cairo. [BW9p87]
His numerous works include Fará'id (The Peerless Gems) 1898; The Brilliant Proof; 1912; Bahá'í Proofs, 1902; and Al-Duraru'l-Bahíyih (The Shining Pearls, published in English as Miracles and Metaphors), 1900. [BBD7]
See AY103, Star of the West, vol. IV, no. 19, pp. 316–7 and Bahá'í Proofs p17-18 for the story of how Ameen Fareed entered and secretly remained in Mírzá’s house, between the time of Mírzá’s death and his burial, and removed precious manuscripts which, slightly changed, he would spread among the believers in an attempt to undermine their unity at a later time.
The defection of Dr Amín Faríd, (b. 1882, d. 1953)`Abdu'l-Bahá's translator while in America, became known publicly. His mother was a sister of Munirih Khanum, wife of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB407]
For his activities against `Abdu'l-Bahá see AB230, 402, 407–9.
Dr. Aminu'lláh Faríd travelled to Europe in defiance of the wishes of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. In the absence of Lady Blomfield in London, a meeting at the Kingsway Hall had been arranged for him. Dr Lutfu'lláh prevented Dr Farid from speaking. Mason Remey and George Latimer were in London at the time. 'Abdu'l-Bahá also sent Dr Habibu'lláh Khudákhsh (later called Dr Mu'ayyad) and 'Azíz'lláh Bahádur to go to Europe to counter his activities. They were in Stuttgart when the war broke out. He recalled all four to the Holy Land (Sep-Oct). [AB407-409; Concerning Covenant-breakers: Excerpt by 'Abdu'l-Bahá translated by Ahang Rabbani] iiiii
Laura and Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney were dispatched to the United States where Mrs Chevalier had been acting as Dr Farid's emissary. [AB408]
Shoghi Effendi announced the defection of 'Abdu'l-Husayn Ávarih (Abd al-Hosayn Ayati). He had been a very successful teacher and the author of a book on the history of the Faith but opposed Shoghi Effendi's efforts to build the Administrative Order. He was insistent that the Universal House of Justice be formed at that time. He was denounced by the believers in Egypt and Iran. [SETPE1p149, BA137-139, Ruhi8.2-20, CoC294-296; MBW53; PP120; ; BKC118-120]
After his defection he became a Muslim and an opponent of the Bahá'í Faith. He returned to Tehran and spent the rest of his life as a secondary school teacher. During this period he wrote many works of poetry and prose, including Kashf al-Hial, a three volume work refuting the Bahá'í Faith. [Wikipedia]
"Muḥammad-‘Alí and Majdiddin [his cousin] has sent a message requesting us to repair the roof which may collapse at any time. He has been told emphatically that we shall not proceed with any repair unless and until they evacuate the entire building." [PP231]
A Covenant-breaker, Jamil Irani, tried to stir up trouble by implicating the Bahá'ís with Saláru'd-Dawlih, an ambitious brother of Muhammad-'Ali Sháh who had been deposed by the 1909 Revolution in Iran. The allegation was investigated by Lord Plummer, the British High Commissioner in Palestine who learned the truth of the matter. [SETPE1p151-152]
Ruth White, who had met 'Abdu'l-Bahá in New York in 1912 and who had been on pilgrimage in 1922, wrote to the High Commissioner of Palestine with a charge that the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá was a forgery. [SETPE1p157]
See AY103 for 'Abdu'l-Bahá's reaction to Ruth White in New York in 1912.
See FMH64-65 for the story of how her plans to convince Doris and Willard McKay of her theories were thwarted by the sudden arrival of their two dogs who had had a recent encounter with a skunk.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada forwarded a pamphlet published by Ruth White to Shoghi Effendi. His advice was to abstain from any provocation and to avoid hurting her feelings. [SETPET1p157, Bahá'í News p230, 298]
The New History Society was founded in New York by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s former secretary and interpreter Ahmad Sohrab along with Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler and his wife Julie as an indirect way of spreading the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. The New History Society gave rise in 1930 to the Caravan of East and West and the Chanler's New York house was henceforth called "Caravan House". This foundation was designed to prepare children and youth to join the New History Society. This group had a quarterly magazine called The Caravan. [BRRSM124, LDG2p134] iiiii
The New History Society came into conflict with the local Bahá’í Assembly. Sohrab refused to allow the New York Spiritual Assembly, to have oversight of the affairs of the New History Society. The Assembly saw the organization as a threat to the unity of the Bahá’í Faith. [BBRSM124]
Shoghi Effendi wrote to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada to make a definitive statement regarding that organization and the Cause.
The National Spiritual Assembly published a statement in the Bahá'í News entitled The Case of Ahmad Sohrab and the New History Society. Summarized, the article stated that the “New History Society was begun in New York early in 1929 by Sohrab and "one of its avowed purposes being to spread the Bahá'í teachings. Neither the local nor the National Assembly was consulted in the matter, and the meetings and activities of the New History Society have been maintained apart from the principles of consultation which today, under the Will and Testament of 'Abdu’l-Bahá, form the basis of Bahá'í unity and the protection of the Cause."
"Both the local and National Assembly on several occasions attempted, through oral and written communications, to bring about full and frank consultation with the leaders of the New History Society, but without success.
"Under these conditions it becomes the obvious responsibility of the National Spiritual Assembly to inform the friends that activities conducted by Ahmad Sohrab through the New History Society are to be considered as entirely independent of the Cause, as outside the jurisdiction of the local and National Assembly, and hence in no wise entitled to the cooperation of Bahá'ís."
This statement also quoted from a letter written on behalf of the Guardian by his Secretary to the National Spiritual Assembly on May 30, 1930: "To accept the Cause without the administration is like accepting the teachings without acknowledging the divine station of Bahá’u’lláh. To be a Bahá'í is to accept the Cause in its entirety...." "The administration is the social order of Bahá'u'lláh. Without it all the principles of the Cause will remain abortive. To take exception to this, therefore, is to take exception to the fabric that Bahá'u'lláh has prescribed, it is to disobey His law." [Ahmad Sohrab and the New History Society]
Ruth White wrote to the High Commissioner of Palestine stating that she had sent a photograph of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament to Dr Ainsworth Mitchell in England who had declared it a forgery. The High Commissioner requested she send that same evidence to him and he forwarded it to the Governor of Haifa who requested to meet with Shoghi Effendi and allow an expert to examine the original. The expert declared the Will authentic. [SETPET1p157]
See Mitchell's Mistake for a discussion of Mitchell's analysis of the handwriting of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Senn McGlinn.
The National Assembly published a detailed supplementary statement in the Bahá’í News, quoting passages from the Aqdas, from the Master's Will and Testament, and from the Guardian's letters published in Bahá’í Administration followed by a reprint of the exchange of correspondence and cables with Mrs. Chanler, and with the Guardian, including the Guardian's cable to New York believers: "True unity can only be preserved by maintenance paramount position National Spiritual Assembly," and his cable approving the statement published in August, 1930, Bahá'í News.
Further, in a letter from Haifa to the Yonkers Assembly, “The Guardian pointed out the difference between the freedom defined by Bahá'u'lláh ("To have liberty is to observe My commandments") and that advocated by Sohrab ("The other kind of freedom which is in defiance of law He (Bahá'u'lláh) considers to be animal, and far from being of any good to man"). [Ahmad Sohrab and the New History Society]
The administration in Palestine wrote to Ruth White advising her that they would take no further action with respect to her claim that the will of 'Abdu'l-Bahá was a forgery.
"All Mrs White ever achieved was to stir up a temporary and insignificant cloud of dust". [PP119]
Mrs White wrote letters to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada as well as to some believers objecting to the directives of Shoghi Effendi and to the administration of the Cause through local and national assemblies. One of her converts was Dr Wilhelm Herrigel, one of the founding members of the German community. Later, Dr Herrigel became conscious of the mistake he had made. [SETPE1p158]
Likewise, Ruth White's husband was repentant, was offered a path back into the Faith but failed to take it. [SETPE1p158] iiiii
See WOB4 for Shoghi Effendi's thoughts on such an action as taken by Ruth White.
The writing of Episodes in the History of the Covenant by Shoghi Effendi originally written as "Waqáy-i-Tárikhiyyih dar 'Ahd wa Mitháq-i-Iláhi" for the friends in Iran. In 1997 it was translated by Khazeh Fananapazir and edited by Mehdi Wolf. [Episodes in the History of the Covenant]
Muhammad-‘Alí, half-brother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Arch-breaker of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, died. [CB355; GPB320; MA11]
During Bahá’u’lláh's ministry, Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí was known by the title
Ghusn-i-Akbar (the Greater Branch). After he broke the Covenant, believers referred
to him as the Naqid-i-Akbar (the Arch-Covenant-breaker).
"The Hand of Omnipotence has removed the archbreaker of Bahá'u'lláh's
Covenant, his hopes shattered, his plottings frustrated, the society of his
fellow-conspirators extinguished. God's triumphant Faith forges on, its unity
unimpaired, its purpose unsullied, its stability unshaken. Such a death calls
for neither exultation nor recrimination, but evokes overwhelming pity at so
tragic a downfall unparalleled in religious history." [Cablegram December 20, 1937 MA11)
This perfidious man, consumed by a “soul festering jealousy” toward Abdu’l-Baha, behaved in a way that “…agitated the minds and hearts of a vast proportion of the faithful throughout the East, eclipsed, for a time, the Orb of the Covenant, created an irreparable breach within the ranks of Bahá’u’lláh’s own kindred, sealed ultimately the fate of the great majority of the members of His family, and gravely damaged the prestige, though it never succeeded in causing a permanent cleavage in the structure, of the Faith itself.” [GPB246]
He had changed the text of at least one tablet of Bahá'u'lláh to make it appear that Bahá'u'lláh was condemning the wicked deeds of'Abdu’l-Bahá. He plotted to murder 'Abdu’l-Bahá. He made repeated false allegations about 'Abdu’l-Bahá to the Ottoman authorities so that the Master came perilously closed to being exiled to a remote part of the Libyan desert. In addition, from 1892 to 1929, Muhammad Ali and his relatives occupied the mansion of Bahji, where Bahá'u'lláh’s tomb was located, and it was not until 1952 that the property surrounding the Shrine was finally owned, without hindrance, by the Bahá'í community. [CoB153; PP231-233]
He “was stricken with paralysis which crippled half his body; lay bedridden in pain for months before he died; and was buried according to Muslim rites, in the immediate vicinity of a local Muslim shrine, his grave remaining until the present day (1944) devoid of even a tombstone—a pitiful reminder of the hollowness of the claims he had advanced, of the depths of infamy to which he had sunk, and of the severity of the retribution his acts had so richly merited.” [GPB319-320]
For details of his death and funeral see DH117 and GPB320.
Shoghi Effendi sent two cables the the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada. The first was to announce that Thrayyá Afnán, the daughter of 'Abdul-Bahá's fifth daughter, Tubá Khnum, had married Faydí Afnan, a known Covenant-breaker and son of Siyyid 'Alí who had supported Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí.
The second concerned the family of Ruhi Afnán, Shoghi Effendi's younger cousin. He had also married into a family of Covenant-breakers and had failed to get the Guardian's approval for his second trip to North America and for a trip to England. Shoghi Effendi had concealed Ruhi's activities for some time prior. [BN No 149 December, 1941 p1-3]
In a message to Canada dated 21 May 1953 Shoghi Effendi warned of the nefarious activities of Ruhi Afnan, someone who had been corresponding with Ahmad Sohrab, had had contact with the Covenant-breakers, along with his family had sold some property that had been purchased by Bahá'u'lláh, was now claiming to be an exponent of the Faith and was misrepresenting the Teachings. [CBN No 43 August, 1953 p1] iiiii
Some members of the National Spiritual Assembly filed suit against Sohrab to try to stop him from using the name Bahá'í. He had opened a Bahá'í bookshop in New York in 1939. This suit was filed in the Supreme Court of New York County. The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that "the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion..." The judge mentioned that the complaint could be further amended and the NSA appealed but the Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the lower court.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada distributed a mimeographed statement concerning the New History Society entitled The Basis of the Bahá’í Community, which explained the purpose and outcome of the lawsuit entered against the founders of the New History Society to prevent their misuse of the name "Bahá’í” on which the National Spiritual Assembly had obtained a trademark patent.
[The Basis of the Bahá'í Community: A Statement Concerning the New History Society]
During the second World War the New History Society put forth an alleged passage from 'Abdu'l-Bahá which would justify citizens in refusing to obey their governments when drafted into the military forces. The National Spiritual Assembly was obliged to explain the true Bahá'í position to the federal authorities as set forth by the Guardian.
The excommunication of Shoghi Effendi's sister, Mehrangíz Rabbáni with this message.
"Sister Mehrangis [Mehrangiz] followed example Ruhi's sister. Justice demands announce believers her expulsion."(UD149)
The reason for her being declared a Covenant-breaker was that she followed the example of Ruhi's sister by marrying to one of his cousins (Feyzi) without the Guardian's consent. Mehrangiz married to Hassan Afnan, the son of Furughiyyih Khanum, a daughter of Bahá'u'lláh by his third wife Gawhar. [BN No 149 December 1941 p1]
The passing of Sydney Sprague (b. Oshkosh WI in 1875) in Los Angeles. He was buried in Inglewood Cemetery. His grave is beside that of Tom Collins, husband of Amelia Collins, and lies just across the road from the grave of Thornton Chase, "First Bahá'í of America." [BW9p633-635]
During a pilgrimage in late 1904 'Abdu'l-Bahá suggested he visit the Bahá'ís of the East. He toured India and Burma from December 1904 until the summer of 1905 becoming the first Western Bahá'í of go to the far Orient fulfilling Bahá'u'lláh's prophecy the "The East and West shall embrace as lovers". [YBIB6] iiiii
See YBIB55-60 For the story of Kai Khosroe, the Zoroastrian Bahá'í from Bombay who gave his life while nursing Sprague in Lahore when he was deathly ill with typhoid fever.
In 1908 he became a resident of Tehran, first teaching in the Bahá'í school and, when he returned the following year, he became principal.
He married a niece of 'Abdul'-Bahá and became a brother-in-law of Ameen Fareed. When Fareed was expelled from the Faith in 1914 Sprague and his wife as well as his father-in-law followed. Fareed's father was Mírzá Asadu'lláh-i-Isfahání, the emissary who had taken the remains of the Báb from Iran to the Holy Land [Efforts to preserve the remains of the Bab]. Sprague applied to be reinstated in 1931 (or 1937) and was finally accepted in 1941, two years before his passing. [BW9p633-635]
He married Farahangiz Khanum on the 20th of July, 1910, a day selected by 'Abdu'l-Bahá so that Stanwood Cobb could attend. The Bahá'í wedding was performed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the legal ceremony was conducted by a mullá four days later. [BN Vol 1 No 12 October 1910 p 7]
He made a teaching trip to South America and died soon after his return to the United States. [AB409]
He was the author of The Story of the Bahai Movement published in London in 1907 and A Year with the Bahá'ís of India and Burma in May of 1908. [YBIBxi] iiiii
Shoghi Effendi sent the cable below to the Bahá'í world: "Monib Shahid, grandson of both `Abdu'l-Bahá and the King of Martyrs, married according to the Moslem rites the daughter of a political exile who is nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. This treacherous act of alliance with enemies of the Faith merits condemnation of entire Bahá'í world." [Bahá'í News, December, 1944 No. 172]
Shoghi Effendi sent the following cable to the Bahá'í world: "My faithless brother Husayn, after long period of dishonourable conduct, has abandoned the Master's home to consort with his sister and other Covenant-breakers". [Bahá'í News, No. 174, p.2; This Decisive Hour #141]
Shoghi Effendi sent a further cable regarding his brother: "Faithless brother Hussein, already abased through dishonorable conduct over period (of) years followed by association with Covenant-breakers (in) Holy Land and efforts (to) undermine Guardian's position, recently further demeaned himself through marriage under obscure circumstances with lowborn Christian girl (in) Europe". [Bahá'í News, No. 229, p.1; Bahá'í News, No. 236, p.4; CoB 362; BN No 229 March 1956 p1]
He had been a believer since 1906 and by 1909 he had made two pilgrimages to 'Akká as well as a third in early 1921.
In 1922 he and Roy Wilhelm were invited to Haifa to discuss the possibility of calling for the formation of the Universal House of Justice.
He was the first chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada when it first formed in 1922 and was elected to that body seven times between 1922 and 1937 and was responsible for the final draft of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws adopted in 1927.
One of his most outstanding achievements was his role in the case of the appeal for possession of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. He made two trips to Baghdad and had audiences with King Feisal. During one of these trips he was brutally assaulted and suffered the effects for many years.
He met with Professor E. G. Browne and, after hearing Mr. Mills explanation of the evolution of the Faith and of the Covenant, Mr. Browne realized he had been veiled by conflicting claims and disturbances following the martyrdom of the Báb and expressed a desire to translate later Bahá'í works but died before this contribution could be made. [BW11p509-511]
Mírzá Badí‘u’lláh, the youngest son of Bahá’u’lláh, (b.1867 in Adrianople) described by Shoghi Effendi as the ‘chief lieutenant’ of the ‘archbreaker’ of the ‘divine Covenant’ died. [CB340, 355–6; CF89, BIC162, MSBR63, BBR460, RoB3pg230, CH209, SoB92, CoB340, 355-6, CoF89]
A close companion of Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí. [CoB165]
He opposed both 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi. [CoB165] As an example, in 1939 when Shoghi Effendi proposed to relocate the remains of Mirza Mihdí and Ásíyih Khánum from 'Akka to Haifa, it was Mírzá Badí‘u’lláh who led the dissenting faction claiming that as he was more closely related to Mirza Mihdí, it was he, under Moslem law, who had the right to decide as to the disposal of the remains. [BBR460-461]
Shoghi Effendi's brother Riáz Rabbáni was the last of his siblings to become a Covenant-Breaker.
"With feeling profound concern, grief, indignation, am compelled disclose Bahá'í world recent developments Holy Land furnishing further incontestable proof relationship established old and new Covenant-breakers demonstrating increasing boldness, marked, tragic decline in character and spiritual condition grandchildren `Abdu'l-Bahá. Their shameful attitude and conduct receiving approbation their elders. Evidences multiplying attesting Ruhi's increasing rebelliousness, efforts exerted my eldest sister pave way fourth alliance members family Siyyid Ali involving marriage his granddaughter with Ruha's son and personal contact recently established my own treacherous, despicable brother Riaz with Majdi'd-Din, redoubtable enemy Faith, former henchman Muhammad-'Ali, Archbreaker Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant. Convey information all National Assemblies." [MBW16, CoB358, 362, 364]
Over those nine years, 1900 to 1909, Jináb-i-Khán (the title by which Dr. Yúnis Afrukhtih was honoured by 'Abdu'l-Bahá) served the Master in Akká as secretary, translator, envoy and physician. These were difficult years when the Master was imprisoned in the city of Akká, His every move subject to misrepresentation by the Arch-breaker of the Covenant and his associates, and even His life was in danger. At the same time the period saw the victories of the construction of the Shrine of the Báb and the House of Worship in Ishqábád, as well as the rise of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh in the West.
The case brought against Shoghi Effendi by the Covenant-breakers in connection with the demolition of a house adjoining the Shrine and Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí was removed from the civil courts by the government of Israel. [CB330; GBF138–9; PP233–4, 290]
For the history of this case and the outcome see BW12:384–7.
In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian by the Assistant Secretary, the National Spiritual Assembly was informed that Ahmad Sohrab had cabled the Israeli Minister of Religion to influence the court case brought by the Covenant-breakers, against the Guardian, and which resulted in complete vindication of the Guardian's control of the Bahá'í Shrines and properties. Sohrab's cable identified the Caravan with the Covenant-breakers and stated that the organization was not under the authority of Shoghi Effendi. In a letter dated May 25, 1941, the Guardian wrote through his Secretary that Sohrab "is no doubt the most subtle, resourceful and indefatigable enemy the Faith has had in America."
A plot of land of slightly less than half an acre (1,300 metres) owned by Farah Sprague (Farahangiz Khanum), a Covenant-breaker, was purchased (after expropriation by the Finance Minister of the state of Israel on the recommendation of the mayor of Haifa), overcoming the final obstacle to beginning the construction of the International Bahá’í Archives. This concluded a thirty-year struggle in the acquisition of land on the Arc for the Guardian. [LI210-211; DH169; MBW73–4; CBN No 60 January 1955 p1]
He said, in a letter dated the 27th of November 1955...
"The truculence, greed and obstinacy,
of this breaker of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh,
demonstrated by her persistent
refusal to sell and by the exorbitant
price subsequently demanded, raised,
during more than thirty years, an almost
insurmountable obstacle to the acquisition
of an area, which, however
circumscribed, occupies a central position
amidst the extensive Baha'i domains
in the heart of God's holy Mountain, is
situated in the vicinity of the Báb's
Sepulchre, overlooks the Tomb of the
Greatest Holy Leaf, and adjoins the
resting-places of the Brother and the
Mother of Abdu'l-Bahá, and which,
through deliberate neglect, has. been
allowed to become an eyesore to all
those who throng the embellished precincts
of a Mausoleum rightly regarded
as the second holiest Shrine in the Bahá'í world.
The ownership of this plot will now
enable us to locate the site, excavate the
foundations, and erect the structure, of
the International Bahá'í Archives, designed
by the Hand of the Cause, Mason
Remey, President of the International
Bahá'í Council, which will serve as the
permanent and befitting repository for
the priceless and numerous relics associated
with the Twin Founders of the
Faith, with the Perfect Exemplar of its
teachings and with its heroes, saints
and martyrs, and the building of which
constitutes one of the foremost objectives
of the Ten-Year Plan. [CBN No 60 January 1955 p1]
Shoghi Effendi announced the death of Avarih in Iran, "CONDEMNED POSTERITY MOST SHAMELESS, VICIOUS, RELENTLESS APOSTATE ANNALS FAITH, WHO THROUGH CEASELESS VITRIOLIC ATTACKS RECORDED VOLUMINOUS WRITINGS CLOSE ALLIANCE ITS TRADITIONAL ENEMIES, ASSIDUOUSLY SCHEMED BLACKEN ITS NAME SUBVERT FOUNDATIONS ITS INSTITUTIONS.
In the same message he announced the death of Ameen Fareed in North America; "HISTORY WILL RECOGNIZE ONE MOST PERFIDIOUS AMONG KINSMEN INTERPRETERS CENTER COVENANT, WHO, DRIVEN BY UNGOVERNABLE CUPIDITY COMMITTED ACTS CAUSING AGONIES GRIEF DESTRESS BELOVED MASTER CULMINATING OPEN ASSOCIATION BREAKERS BAHA'U'LLAH'S COVENANT HOLY LAND."
Likewise he announced the death of Falah in Turkey; "CHIEFLY REMEMBERED PRIDE, OBSTINACY INSATIABLE AMBITION IMPELLING HIM VIOLATE SPIRITUAL ADMINISTRATIVE PRECEPTS FAITH."
Ne'matullah Falah had left Iran at the time of Baha'u'llah's exile and had finally settled in Iskenderun, Turkey, where he had become a successful businessman. He had been appointed Honorary Iranian Consul in that city, a post he had taken upon the explicit encouragement of the Master, 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Upon his accession to the Guardianship Shoghi Effendi had considered that it would serve the Cause better if Baha'is refrained from all political activities. He therefore asked Falah to resign his post. This Falah refused to do, especially as he had a letter from the Master urging him to take the post. This resulted in the expulsion of Falah and his family from the Cause.
Shoghi Effendi announced to all National Assemblies that Majdi'd-Din, "the most redoubtable enemy of 'Abdu'l-Baha" and "the incarnation of Satan", someone who played a leading role in the kindling of the hostility of 'Abdu'l-Hamíd and Jamál Páshá and who was the instigator of Covenant-breaking and archbreaker of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant, died at the age of one hundred after being struck with paralysis affecting his limbs and his tongue. [MBW87-88, 94]
He was the son of Bahá'u'lláh's only full brother Mírzá Músá, also know as Áqáy-i-Kalím. He was married to Samadiyyih, Bahá’u’lláh's daughter from his second wife Fatimih Khanum making him brother-in-law to Mírzá Muhammad `Alí.
Both Majdi'd-Dín and Samadiyyih were eventually declared Covenant-breakers for supporting Mírzá Muhammad `Alí. Majdi'd-Din was a scribe for Bahá'u'lláh. It was he who on June 6th or 7th, 1892, read the Kitáb-i-'Ahd to a large crowd in front of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh in which Bahá'u'lláh appointed 'Abdu'l-Bahá as his successor. [CBN No69 Oct 1955 p2]
Shoghi Effendi announced that the remaining 22 pillars of the International Bahá'í Archives had been erected and that the last half of the 900 tons of marble from Italy had been delivered. Forty-four tons of glazed green tiles from Utrecht had been placed in position. [MBW108]
He also announced that:
the dilapidated house located near the Mansion had been restored,
Negotiations were underway with the Development Authority of the State of Israel for the acquisition of two plots to the north and south of the Shrine.
the destruction of a row of sheds near the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh,
that an expropriation order had been published in the Israel Official Gazette related to the buildings enclosed within the Haram-i-Aqdas regarding the occupancy of these buildings of the Covenant-breakers. [MBW108-109]
The publication in the Official Gazette of the government of Israel of the issue of an expropriation order against the Covenant-Breakers in possession of the holy Shrines at Bahji. This order was immediately appealed by the Covenant-Breakers to the Supreme Court.
Shoghi Effendi announced that the Treasury Department of Israel had issued an expropriation order for the remaining property held by Covenant-breakers at Bahjí, mainly the dilapidated building north of the mansion. [MBW109]
The titles to the Shrine of the Báb, the Mansion of Bahjí, and all other buildings and lands which the Covenant-Breakers had owned were transferred to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States.
The Hands of the Cause announced the destruction of the long, two-storey house previously occupied by Covenant-breakers which was located near the garden wall of the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh and of which Shoghi Effendi had acquired legal possession shortly before his passing. [MC11, 51]
The rubble was used to complete the terraces begun by Shoghi Effendi north of the mansion and forcompleting the northern gardens planned by him. iiiii
In the late 1950s a meeting that was held in Famagusta at which representatives of all three main generations of Bahá'ís were present including: Jalal Azal representing the followers of Mirza Yahya (Bayanic), `Ismat and others represented the followers of Mirza Muhammad `Ali (Unitarian Baha'is), and Ahmad Sohrab represented those opposed to any form of administration. One of the aims of this conference was to build a mausoleum over the grave of Mirza Yahya. [The Cyprus Exiles p102 by Moojan Momen]
Twenty–four national spiritual assemblies and five national conventions sent messages of support to the Custodians, repudiating the claim made by Charles Mason Remey to be the second Guardian. [MC199–202]
The National Spiritual Assembly of France voted to recognize Remey's claim. [MC203]
Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qásim Faizí was sent by the Custodians to France to meet with the National Spiritual Assembly and Bahá’ís of France. He was accompanied by Auxiliary Board Member Dr Aziz Navidi. [MC197]
Initially eight of the nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly accepted the claim of Mason Remey.
After consultation, five members of the assembly continued to support Charles Mason Remey in his claim to be the second Guardian and resigned from the assembly. The five members who sided with Remey were: Joel Marangella, Bernard Fillon, Donald Harvey, Monir Derakhchan and Jaques Soghomonian. The four that remained true to the Covenant were A-M Barafroukhteh, Alain Tamenne, Sara Kenny, and Henriette Samimy. Even though some or maybe all of this group had voted to accept Remey they changed their vote after the meeting with Mr. Faizi. The national assembly was dissolved. [MC203]
See SETPE2P236-244 for an account of Mason Remey's defection and ultimate end.
In a letter addressed to all National Assemblies in the Western Hemisphere and to the Auxiliary Boards, the Hands of the Faith Corrine True, Hermann Grossmann, and William Sears provided an update on the activities of Charles Mason Remey. Some salient points were:
Of all the National Spiritual Assemblies only France failed to reject Remey's claims. Hand of the Cause Faizi made a visit to investigate and, with the co-operation of the European Hands, arranged for a new election.
Remey had sent two letters calling for support and in the second he deemed the remaining twenty-six Hands of the Cause "violators".
It was made known that for the previous two years Remey had been trying to convince his fellow Hands to appoint a Guardian. Until the previous Ridván he hadn't disclosed that it was he, himself, that he had in mind. Remey was aware and had been shown a letter from the Guardian clearly stating that the Hands did not have the authority to appoint a Guardian, only to ratify the choice. He had made his claim notwithstanding the vow that he had taken along with the other Hands in November, 1957 at Bahjí, and re-affirmed in 1958 with their signatures, to complete the Plan and elect the Universal House of Justice at Ridván, 1963. The question of the Guardianship would be referred to the Universal House of Justice.
The Hands had spent two years trying to convince Remey of the impossibility of appointing a Guardian. Up to this point they had taken no action other than to warn the friends of his intentions and to ask them to refrain from associating with him.
Cable from the Hands of the Cause of God announcing the expulsion as Covenant Breakers of John Carre, Barnard Fillon, Moneer Darakhshan, Joel Marangella, Jaques Soghomonian, Donald Harvey, John Byers and Mary Wilkin. [MoC223]
Following full investigation and consultation on certain information concerning the activities of Rex (Reginald) King who has resided in various localities in Central California in recent years, it became necessary for the National Spiritual Assembly at its September meeting to deprive Mr. King of his Bahá'í membership and voting rights. Mr. King is not to be invited to Nineteen-Day Feasts or to participate in any other Bahá'í activities. [US Supplement No 57 November 1962 p2]
Reginald (“Rex”) King, who had been elected secretary of the short-lived New Mexico “National Assembly”, dissolved by Remey in 1964. Unhappy about Remey’s resistance to his leadership role in the United States, King eventually went to Italy where Remey was living, and had an apparently acrimonious meeting with him. Following this encounter, on 13 September 1969 Remey issued a letter denouncing King: “his station to be ever and eternally that of Satan for evermore”. King switched his allegiance to Marangella when the latter advanced his own claims two months later.
This relationship, however, also soon broke down. King decided that Marangella had made “a number of faulty ‘interpretations’ of the Writings” and declared that Marangella “had ceased to fulfill the requirements of the office of guardian”. He argued, indeed, that “neither Mason Remey nor Joel Marangella had in truth ever been guardians … because of the lack of lineal descendancy” (i.e., from Bahá’u’lláh). What Remey had actually been, King said, was “a regent”, and King came to the “realization” that he himself “was in actuality the Second Regent….” [Mason Remey and Those Who Followed Him]
Followers of Charles Mason Remey filed suit in the United States District Court for Northern Illinois against the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, claiming they were the rightful owners of all Bahá’í properties and funds in the United States. [BW14:95]
The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States filed a counter-claim asking the court to restrain the Covenant-breakers from using Bahá’í names and symbols protected by trademark. [BW14:95]
The Universal House of Justice announced that the ‘final step’ in the ‘process’ of the ‘purification’ of the Bahá’í properties in Bahjí had been taken with the removal of the remains of the Covenant-breaker Mírzá Díyá’u’lláh from the immediate precincts of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW14:82–3; Mess63-86p66]
Díyá'u'lláh (15 August 1864 - 30 October 1898) was the second son of Bahá'u'lláh's second wife Fatimih (also known as Mahd-i-'Ulya). He was born in Edirne and died on 30 October 1898 in Haifa. See The Child of the Covenant p150-151 for a description of the vacillating behaviour of Díyá’u’lláh.
The second suit brought against the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States by the followers of Charles Mason Remey, who claimed to he the lawful owners of all Bahá’í properties and funds in the United States, was dismissed. [BW14:95]
The counter-claim of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States against the followers of Charles Mason Remey restraining them from using Bahá’í names and symbols, was upheld when the Covenant-breakers failed to appear at the trial. [BW14:95]
The Universal House of Justice wrote all National Spiritual Assemblies, Continental Counsellors, and the International Teaching Centre about "advertisements...placed by the Covenant-breaker Joel Bray Marangella, seeking to revive his claim to be the "third Guardian of the Faith." [Reddit post]
Gerrard Sluter-Schlutius— German-born, former U-boat captain, enrolled in November of 1932 and was a member of the Montreal Bahá’í youth group. He moved to Toronto in March 1935 and to Guatemala in 1939 as the second overseas pioneer. [OBCC97, 104-105]
He also pioneered to Honduras and later to Colombia. In the middle of 1940's Gerrard Sluter was removed from the rolls by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Shoghi Effendi later declared him a Covenant-breaker for his persistent political involvement. Later Sluter appealed to the judicial courts of Colombia to demand the cancellation of the legal status of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bogota. He failed in all his lawsuits against the Assembly. [BNVol2p315]
In a cable from the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land it was announced that Mason Remey had been expelled from the Faith. [CBN No 128 September 1960 p1; MoC223]
In a subsequent message dated the 5th of August the names of eight others who had followed him were also made public. Five were members of the French National Assembly. [CBN No 128 September 1960 p1; MoC223-224]
26 of the 27 existing National/Regional Assemblies had advised the Hands in the Holy Land that they had repudiate his claim to the Guardianship.
Bahá'í Schism Battles It out in Court, by Manya A. Brachear, in Chicago Tribune (2009-05-30). Short article touching on a lawsuit to prevent covenant-breakers from using the word "Bahá'í" and "The Greatest Name." [about]
Aghsan, The, by Grover Gonzales (2021). The article gives a new, different view of the development of the Bahai Covenant, the end of the Guardianship, overview of the meanings of aghsán ("branches"), the sons of Bahá'u'lláh, the expulsion of Abdu'l-Bahá's seven grandsons, and succession. [about]
Apostasía en al Marco Jurídico Bahá'í, La, by Badi Villar Cardenas, in La Pluma del Conocimiento, 1 (2001). Este ensayo constituye uno de los primeros esfuerzos por construir una marco jurídico para los procesos de apostasía y expulsión en la comunidad bahá'í. [about]
Covenant, The: An Analysis, by George Townshend (1950). A study guide in outline form on the idea of a covenant, Messengers and their missions, the covenant between the Messenger and the faithful, and covenant-breaking. Includes an appendix, compilation on the covenant. [about]
Election and Infallibility of the Universal House of Justice, by Universal House of Justice, in Messages from the Universal House of Justice: 1963-1986: The Third Epoch of the Formative Age (1996). Answers to three questions: Why were steps taken to elect a Universal House of Justice with the foreknowledge that there would be no Guardian? Was the time ripe for such an action? Could not the International Bahá'í Council have carried on the work? [about]
Epistle to the Bahá'í World, An, by Mirza Badi'u'llah (1907). Letter from the half-brother of `Abdu'l-Bahá about Badi'u'llah's exit from, return to, and then exit again from the Bahá'í Faith. [about]
Fifteen Years of Failed Prophecy: Coping with cognitive dissonance in a Bahá'í sect, by Robert W. Balch and John Domitrovich, in Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements, ed. Thomas Robbins and Susan J. Palmer (1997). An academic article about the prophetic expectations of a covenant-breaker group, Baha’is Under the Provisions of the Covenant. Followed by "The End is Nearish," Chase's predictions satirized by Harper's.[about]
Light of the World: Selected Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by Abdu'l-Bahá (2021). Tablets of ‘Abdul-Bahá describing aspects of the life of Bahá’u’lláh including the tribulations He suffered, events in His homeland, the purpose and greatness of His Cause, and the nature and significance of His Covenant. [about]
Mason Remey and Those Who Followed Him, by Universal House of Justice (1997). Letter from the US NSA on the importance of commitment to the covenant, a letter from the UHJ on covenant-breaking, and the history "Mason Remey and Those Who Followed Him." [about]
Memories of Nine Years in Akka, by Youness Khan Afroukhteh (1952/2003). Translation of Khatirát-i-Nuh-Saliy-i-‘Akká, the memoirs of Dr. Yúnis Afrukhtih, who served ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as secretary and interpreter from 1900-1909. Includes discussion of the history of Covenant-breaking. [about]
Power and the Bahá'í community, by Moojan Momen, in Lights of Irfan, 19 (2018). While Bahá'í social teachings may have sounded new and exciting a century ago, that is no longer the case today. The problem the world faces is not in the principles that would lead to a better society, but in their application. [about]
Prayer for Fathers, by Abdu'l-Bahá, in Star of the West, 2:19 (1921). Tablet revealed for Albert Windust, first American publisher of the Bahá'í Writings and founder of Star of the West, on the occasion of his father's passing. [about]
Reflections on the First Century of the Formative Age, by Universal House of Justice (2023-11-28). Overview of the Faith's developments and activities during the previous century, including the Guardianship, global expansion, community building and development, participation in societal discourse, and construction of the Bahá'í World Centre. [about]
Tablet Concerning Covenant-Breakers: Excerpt, by Abdu'l-Bahá (1998). Translation, posted to email list, of a portion of a Tablet revealed on the occasion of the expulsion of Tamaddunu'l-Mulk, who had caused dissension in Tehran around 1913. [about]
Unity Principle, The: Ideas of Social Concord and Discord in the Bahá'í Faith, by Robert Stockman, in Research in Human Social Conflict, Volume 2, ed. Joseph Gittler, (2001). The concept of unity pervades Bahá’í thought, expressed both in the functioning of Bahá’í administration and the Bahá’í community and in the avoidance of political partisanship in the relationship of Bahá’ís to the wider world. [about]
Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá, by Abdu'l-Bahá (1992). 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament consists of three parts - all three written in His own hand. The first one was revealed around 1905 and the second and third sometime around 1907. [about]
Yahyá, Mírzá, by Moojan Momen, in The Bahá'í Encyclopedia (2009). On the younger half-brother of Bahá’u’lláh, later his opponent, known as Subh-i-Azal, described by Shoghi Effendi as "the arch-breaker of the Covenant of the Báb." [about]