THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN MAGAZINE
April 26-27 1986


AN APPEAL TO THE
HETERODOX BAHÁ’ÍS


The first beloved Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, declared that the Most Holy Book revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, the AQDAS, and the WILL AND TESTAMENT of `Abdu’l-Bahá "mutually confirm one another, and are inseparable parts of one complete unit".

All Bahá’ís believe that the Laws of the AQDAS are immutable and, therefore, are not subject to abrogation or any alteration throughout the entire Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh which is promised to endure for at least a full thousand years.

It is crystal clear from the words of Shoghi Effendi that the immutability and sacredness that applies to the AQDAS equally applies to the WILL AND TESTAMENT of `Abdu’l-Bahá. Shoghi Effendi further extolled this "immortal Document" in the following words:

"His greatest legacy to posterity."

"The brightest emanation of His mind."

"The Charter of the New World Order."

"The offspring resulting from the mystic intercourse between Him Who had generated the forces of a God given Faith and the One Who had been made its sole Interpreter and was recognised at its perfect Exemplar," the fruit of this divine union thus becoming the "Child of the Covenant" and "their Will".

In disregard of the sacred and immutable provisions of this "Divine Charter" bequeathed to the Bahá’ís by the Centre of the Covenant and the inspired "Architect of the Administrative Order" you have, since the passing of Shoghi Effendi, permitted major provisions of this "immortal Document" to be repudiated and abrogated. For the following chief institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order delineated in `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will have been abolished only thirty-six years after the inception of that Order.

The Guardianship of the Faith, thus removing the "Centre of the Cause" and "the expounder of the Words of God" and the one under the terms of His Will to whom all must "turn unto" and from whom all " must seek guidance".

The Presidency of the Universal House of Justice, an Office that can only be held by the Guardian of the Faith.

The Hands of the Cause (who can only be appointed by the Guardian of the Faith).

The embryonic Universal House of Justice established by Shoghi Effendi, as you have, by ending the Guardianship, decapitated the Head of "the first embryonic International Institution" whose constitution was acclaimed by Shoghi Effendi in the one and only Proclamation issued by him during his ministry on 9 January 1961 "as the greatest event shedding luster upon the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í "Dispensation" and "the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order . . ."(i.e. since the Ascension of `Abdu’l-Bahá).

In place of this embryonic Universal House of Justice constituted by Shoghi Effendi which, as described in `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will, only functions as a complete and divinely protected Institution when the living Guardian is presiding as its "sacred head and distinguished member for life", you have been deluded into accepting a substitute headless body (i.e. sans-Guardian) which, nevertheless, is claimed to be endowed with the same authority and infallibility as the one prescribed by `Abdu’l-Bahá. More than this, its functions have been enlarged to usurp even those rightfully exercised only by the Guardian of the Faith.

Having been led to so flagrantly violate `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Charter whose major provisions have been made null and void how can you claim or profess continued fidelity to the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and to the Centre of the Covenant – `Abdu’l-Bahá?

I entreat all Bahá’ís who desire to return to the Fold of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh to do the following:

  • Carefully restudy the writings of Shoghi Effendi concerning the Administrative Order and his messages to the Bahá’í world (1950-57) noting the essentiality of the Guardianship to the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh and his references to the continuity of the Guardianship even as his life drew to a close.

  • Resolve, henceforth, to courageously uphold the sacredness and continued validity of every clause of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s immortal Will and Testament.

  • Permit themselves to be shown (if not discovered by their own research) the manner in which Shoghi Effendi, having no issue of his own, clearly exercised the other option provided him under the, terms of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and, in a veiled, yet publicly announced way, appointed "another branch" or spiritual son to succeed him, thus faithfully discharging this binding provision of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Charter. Shoghi Effendi’s appointment of his successor in this way should not have been difficult to accept if the Bahá’ís had been free of preconceived ideas on the matter of succession. For Bahá’u’lláh, Himself, has emphasised the paramount importance of spiritual over blood-line relationships. One need refer only to His reference in several instances in the IQAN to Sadiq, the sixth Imam, as "The Son of Muhammad" thus indicating that all of the Imams, who, although of higher station than the Guardians, and representing the closest parallel in religious history to the Guardians of the Faith, were as His successors, the spiritual sons of Muhammad. `Abdu’l-Bahá, too, gives us examples in His SOME ANSWERED QUESTIONS (p. 57) of the spiritual relationship between "the root," (the Prophet) and "the branch" (their successors). These examples should reveal the fallacy of the belief held by all too many that only a blood relative of Bahá’u’lláh or of Shoghi Effendi could inherit the Guardianship.

  • Rally, at long last, to the support of the Guardianship and to the appointed third Guardian of the Faith who stands ready to joyfully embrace you together with those fellow Bahá’ís who have labored so steadfastly and with such exemplary fidelity, since the passing of Shoghi Effendi to support and defend the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, to safeguard "the Child of the Covenant" and to preserve the Bahá’í Administrative Order intact and in all of its divinely conceived perfection and glory for both present and future Bahá’í generations.



The Third Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith