Future unbiased, sincere and spiritually minded scholars, initiating a study of the Faith may find it difficult to place their hands on those writings of Shoghi Effendi, the first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, in which he discusses at length the Bahá’í Administrative Order, much less find it possible to review the “historic” and “epoch making” messages that he dispatched to the Bahá’í world during the seven closing years of his ministry, for a careful review particularly of these messages of great import will glaringly reveal the extent to which they had been ignored, if not inexcusably forgotten, following the passing of Shoghi Effendi in November of 1957, by twenty six Hands of the Cause.  For these Hands, having ignored or forgotten the fact that the Guardian is explicitly enjoined under the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to appoint his successor “in his own life-time,” erroneously searched in vain for a conventional will and testament left by Shoghi Effendi, and upon not finding such a document, faithlessly and with undue haste, decided that the Guardianship of the Faith had forever ended. They then appointed an illegitimate body under the title of “Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith,” comprised of nine Hands, clearly outside of the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and relegated the International Bahá’í Council (the embryonic Universal House of Justice) that Shoghi Effendi had appointed in his Proclamation of 9 January 1951, prior to the appointment of their own institution, as the “first embryonic International Institution” to an insignificant role subordinate to this body. This body then illicitly and presumptuously took on the role of a collective pseudo-Guardianship of the Faith that blatantly assumed supreme administrative jurisdiction over national and local Bahá’í assemblies and the believers throughout the world for a period of some five years until the ill-gotten authority that they had seized was, in turn, passed on at Ridván 1963 to an elected. equally illegitimate, headless, and deformed body identified by them, notwithstanding this gross deformity, as the Universal House of Justice, in which the Guardian of the Faith did not preside, as its “sacred head,” as clearly required under the explicit terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

If these scholars were to be afforded the opportunity to study all of the writings of Shoghi Effendi they would inevitably gain a profound appreciation of the essentiality, sacredness and immortality of the divinely-conceived institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, as delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament and unquestionably perceive the continued vital importance and indispensability of the role exercised by the Guardian of the Faith as “the Center of the Cause” and the “sacred head” of the Universal House of Justice in that divinely-conceived Order. These writings would further reveal overwhelming, conclusive and indisputable evidence that the sacred provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were clearly designed to endure and remain unchanged as long as the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh itself endured. They would then definitely conclude and be indubitably convinced that the very last thing that Shoghi Effendi would have ever done is to fail to faithfully fulfill the most important provision of that sacred Testament that enjoined him to appoint his successor “in his own life-time.”

Fortunately, a small groups of believers had retained an unwavering faith in the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and in both the immortality and immutability of the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and, as a result, were receptive to, and welcomed with joy, the Proclamation issued by Shoghi Effendi’s successor, Mason Remey, in May of 1960 and learn from the clear explanation provided in this Proclamation of the manner in which Shoghi Effendi, who had obviously foreseen his early passing, had insured the continuance of the Guardianship, in such an unexpected manner that he had successfully veiled from the believers the terrible and unthinkable prospect of his early demise, with which they would have been unable to cope, had they, otherwise, been made aware of the imminence of his early passing. However, he certainly had reason to believe that the Hands of the Cause and the rest of the believers, as well, would, upon his passing, certainly recognize the one whom he had appointed as his successor, when the instructions contained in his message of 23 November 1951 were faithfully carried out, which called for the International Bahá’í Council—the embryonic Universal House of Justice—retained by him as an inactive body during his ministry (over which only the Guardian of the Faith permanently presides), to finally assume its rightful role as the supreme legislative body in the Bahá’í world and then as an actively functioning body under the Presidency of Mason Remey (whom he had appointed to this Office) assume, as Shoghi Effendi had indicated, direction of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’í world in the prosecution of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade. The Hands of the Cause did not permit this development, as discussed above, and even despicably deposed Mason Remey as the President of the International Bahá’í Council and compounded their treachery by incredibly declaring him a Covenant-breaker and casting him out of their now schismatic version of the Faith.

These future scholars will certainly find that the small band of faithful believers, who have temporarily identified themselves as Orthodox Bahá’ís, to emphasize their faithful adherence to every clause of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in which He has delineated the institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, have carefully preserved in numerous postings that may be viewed on their several internet web sites, the “historic” and “epoch-making“ messages that Shoghi Effendi had dispatched to the Bahá’í world during the last seven years of his ministry as he established “at long last” the International Institutions of the Faith at the World Center of the Faith, in their embryonic form, and had undeniably provided for the continuance of the Guardianship, such as found in his one and only Proclamation of 9 January 1951 and his messages of 2 March 1951, 23 November 1951, 30 June 1952 and 8 October 1952, to name but a few. These messages would glaringly reveal the fact that, following the passing of Shoghi Effendi, these messages had obviously been inexcusably and inexplicably overlooked, ignored or forgotten, by the Hands of the Cause and the tremendous import that they imparted had remained unperceived, as undeniably evidenced by the reprehensible decisions the Hands had made and the actions which they had tragically taken that included their tragic and inglorious decision to put an end forever to the Guardianship of the Cause of God and to convince their fellow-believers to accept this fact.

As these future scholars study the material that is to be found in the postings on the internet by the faithful believers under the Guardianship they will certainly note that, at least, the following statements from Shoghi Effendi’s writings are available and suffice to undeniably expose and clearly reveal the extent to which the divinely-conceived Bahá’í Administrative Order, delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was, upon the passing of Shoghi Effendi, treacherously corrupted and defiled by the former Hands of the Cause (with a single notable exception), who, in their incomprehensible and reprehensible loss of faith in the indestructible Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, substituted an illegitimate organization of their own making in place of that divinely-conceived Order:

Extracts from The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh — “The Administrative Order” (First printing in 1934)

“His Will and Testament should thus be regarded as the perpetual, the indissoluble link which the mind of Him Who is the Mystery of God has conceived to insure the continuity of the three ages that constitute the component parts of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

“The creative energies released by the Law of Bahá’u’lláh permeating and evolving within the mind of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have by their very impact and close interaction, given birth to an Instrument which may be viewed as the Charter of the New World Order which is at once the glory and the promise of this most great Dispensation. The Will may thus be acclaimed as the inevitable offspring resulting from that mystic intercourse between Him Who communicated the generating influence of His divine Purpose [Bahá’u’lláh] and the One Who was its vehicle and chosen recipient [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. Being the Child of the Covenant—the Heir of both the Originator and the Interpreter of the Law of God—the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá can no more divorced from Him [Bahá’u’lláh] Who supplied the original and motivating impulse than from the One Who ultimately conceived it.”

“This Administrative Order . . . should be regarded “not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order destined to embrace in the fullness of time the whole of mankind.”

“ . . . this Administrative Order is fundamentally different from anything that any Prophet has previously established, inasmuch as Bahá’u’lláh has Himself revealed its principles, established its institutions, appointed the person to interpret His Word and conferred the necessary authority on the body designed to supplement and apply His legislative ordinances.”

“No wonder that He Who through the operation of His Will has inaugurated so vast and unique an Order and Who is the Center of so mighty a Covenant should have written these words: ‘So firm and mighty is this Covenant that from the beginning of time until the present day no religious Dispensation hath produced its like.’”

To what else if not to the power and majesty which this Administrative Order—the rudiments of the all-enfolding Bahá’í Commonwealth—is destined to manifest can these utterances of Bahá’u’lláh allude: ‘The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.’”

“An attempt, I feel, should at the present juncture be made to explain the character and functions of the twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structurethe institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice”. . . .  To define with accuracy and minuteness the features and to analyze exhaustively the nature of the relationships which, on the one hand, bind together these two fundamental organs of the Will of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and connect, on the other, each of them to the Author of the Faith and the Center of His Covenant is a task which future generations will no doubt adequately fulfill.”

“It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complimentary in their aim and purpose . . . Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, coordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction.” . . . (emphasis added)

“Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God . . . Without such an institution, the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered . . . and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn . . . ‘He is the interpreter of the Word of God’, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asserts . . .”

“The mighty stronghold,” ‘He further explains’ shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian of the Cause of God.”

“Inasmuch as the House of Justice,” is His [‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s] explicit statement in His Will, hath power to enact laws that re not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same.” (emphasis added)

“Though the Guardian of the Faith has been made the permanent head of so august a body [the Universal House of Justice] he can never, even temporarily, assume the right of exclusive legislation . . . but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh’s revealed utterances.”

“ . . . this [Administrative] Order constitutes the very pattern of that divine civilization which the almighty Law of Bahá’u’lláh is designed to establish upon earth. . . .The Bahá’í Commonwealth of the future of which this vast Administrative Order is the sole framework, is, both in theory and practice, not only unique in the entire history of political institutions, but can find no parallel in any of the annals of the recognized religious systems.”

“The bedrock on which this Administrative Order is founded is God’s immutable purpose for mankind in this day.”

Extracts from The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

“ . . . the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, which together with the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, constitutes the chief depository wherein are enshrined those precious elements of that Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Bahá’í Faith.  A study of the provisions of these sacred documents will reveal the close relationship that exists between them. . . every fair-minded inquirer will readily admit that they are not only complementary but that they mutually confirm one another, and are inseparable parts of one complete unit.” (emphasis added)

“ . . . the institution of Guardianship . . . enhances the prestige of that exalted assembly [the Universal House of Justice], stabilizes its supreme position, safeguards its unity, assures the continuity of its labors, without presuming in the slightest to infringe upon the inviobility of its clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction.”

“Only future generations can comprehend the value and the significance attached to this Divine Masterpiece [The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá], which the hand of the Master-builder of the world has designed for the unification and triumph of the world-wide Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.”

“Both in the administrative provisions of the Bahá’í Dispensation and in the matter of succession, as embodied in the twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh can summon to their aid such irrefutable evidences of Divine Guidfance, that none can resist, that none can belittle or ignore. Therein lies the distinguishing feature of the Bahá’í Revelation . . . This is why such an emphasis has been placed in their Will and Testament upon the powers and prerogatives of the ministers of their Faith.”

“For nothing short of the explicit directions of their Book and the surprisingly emphatic language with which they have clothed the provisions of their Will could possibly safeguard the Faith for which they have gloriously labored all their lives.”

Extracts from God Passes By (written by Shoghi Effendi and stated to be his spiritual testament)

“The Charter which called into being, outlined its features and set in motion the processes of, this Administrative Order is none other than the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, His greatest legacy to posterity, the brightest emanation of His mind and the mightiest instrument forged to insure the continuity of the three ages which constitute the component parts of His Father’s Dispensation.”

“The Will and Testament, on the other hand, may be regarded as the offspring resulting from the mystic intercourse between Him [Bahá’u’lláh] Who had generated the forces of a God-given Faith and the one [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] Who had been made its sole Interpreter and was recognized as its perfect Exemplar. . . .This Instrument can, if we would correctly appraise it, no more be divorced from the One [Bahá’u’lláh] Who provided the motivating impulse for its creation than from Him [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] Who directly conceived it.”

“The Document [Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá] establishing that [Administrative] Order, the Charter of a future world civilization, which may be regarded in some of its features as supplementary to no less a weighty a Book than the Kitáb-i-Aqdas . . . .”

The current illegitimate organization with its seat in Haifa will certainly not prevail against the indestructible Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and the divinely-conceived and sacred Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, for as Bahá’u’lláh has revealed: “Naught can resist Thy will, nor frustrate what Thou has purposed by Thy power.”

Joel Bray Marangella

Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

November 2007