Infallibility and protection of the Faith

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Posted by Kendal ( on August 20, 2002 at 12:28:23:

Dear friends, I noted with some interest the discussion below regarding the issue of infallibility and the similar issue of the events surrounding the expulsion of Shoghi Effendi's family. I just wanted to offer my two cents. It would be extremely difficult for us to make an objective judgement on the Shoghi Effendi's decision given our historical distance. Clearly, the appointment of a young man in his 20's to be head of the Faith was a great challenge to the believers, and particularly the family. The natural inclination would be to follow the inherited patterns of authority within the family. Shoghi Effendi may then have been seen as a figurehead, while the older members of the family held the real authority. You can only imagine the dynamics. I personally do not believe that the family members were guilty of horrible wrongs- but they were short-sighted. They failed to appreciate the implications of the Will. When Shoghi Effendi actually began to assert the authority that was given him, the natural lines of authority would have been subverted with hurt feelings..etc. Family members would have naturally tended to act according to the patterns they had become accustomed too. From that perspecitive, we may be concerned over why this happened, but we shouldn't be surprised.
The other dynamic involved here is the fact that the family members, though they may have been well-intentioned in some respects, probably still saw the Faith in a very limited way. At that time, the Faith was still a small marginalized religion in a very tender stage of development (it still is by the way). Shoghi Effendi had the brilliance to bring out its true potential and implications. In this however, he was alone. The family members probably had a very limited perspective. Kendal

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