The following excerpts are taken from the Haifa Notes of May Maxwell, who made these notes of Shoghi Effendi’s statements while accompanied by her daughter, Mary, later, as Shoghi Effendi’s wife, given the name Rúhíyyih Khánum, during their pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1937. Although most of the early believers were familiar with these Haifa Notes as they were widely circulated at the time, those who have embraced the Faith in more recent times will certainly never have read them. The following excerpts should prove to those Bahá’ís who were led to believe the living Guardianship came to an end with the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957 that nothing could be further from the truth. For the statements of Shoghi Effendi, as recorded in these notes, emphasize, as they also invariably did in his writings, that the Will and Testament is the very "Child of the Covenant" whose "Father" was Bahá’u’lláh and "Mother" ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and, as a result, actually considered, in a mystical sense, as spiritually conceived by Them as their "Child" and "their Will," (see p.22, WOB) with an ordained life-span promised by Them to endure at least a full thousand years. Therefore is it not crystal clear that this sacred "Child" born into life in 1921 upon the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has been destined to live more than a brief period of 36 years and certainly not condemned to a premature death with the passing of Shoghi Effendi, as fallaciously claimed by those who have abandoned the living Guardianship of the Cause of God?

Following are the words of Shoghi Effendi has recorded in these historic Notes:

The administration was conceived by Bahá’ulláh, but matured in the womb of the Master’s mind. Bahá’u’lláh is its Father; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, its Mother.

The World Order was anticipated and announced by the Báb, conceived by Bahá’u’lláh and formulated by the Master and is now being built by the Bahá’ís.

There was corruption in other revelations. There cannot be any in this one owing to the Administrative Order [as delineated in the Master’s Will].

The Guardianship and the International House of Justice are the two pillars that support the edifice of the Administrative Order . . . Each of these two pillars has its satellites. The International House of Justice has its local and national Houses of Justice. The Hands of the Cause are a corporate body, an organized body. These are the satellites of the Guardian.

The Bahá’í Revelation has administrative institutions established by Bahá’u’lláh and made clear in the Master’s Will and Testament. The Master’s Will appointed both the successor and interpreter [with His establishment of the institution of the guardianship]. No other Revelation has this.

Will and Testament, Part I, page 13, Referring to the Hands — they must report the delinquent member to the Guardian. He puts them out. There are three elements in the Will: the Guardian is the Interpreter; the International House of Justice, the Legislator; and the Hands propagate and teach the Cause — through research work and the example of their lives and conduct. The Administrative Order would be paralyzed if one of these institutions should cease to function.

In the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the words "irremovable and expounder" are found (Irremovable Head of the International House of Justice and expounder of the teachings). The Huquq is a fixed revenue for the Guardian, paid directly, and has nothing to do with the administrative funds, local, national, or international.

The Guardians are the equivalent in the Bahá’í Revelation to the Imams in the Muhammadan Revelation. It is the Guardian’s responsibility to prevent the International House of Justice from abrogating the laws of the Aqdas.

Peter’s position in relation to Christianity and Ali’s in relation to Islam is represented by two institutions in the Cause: the Guardianship and the International House of Justice.

The laws of the Aqdas can never be touched or changed by any International House of Justice. [applicable as well to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for as Shoghi Effendi has written: "they mutually confirm one another and are inseparable parts of one complete unit."]

Apart from certain distinctions and restrictions in the Teachings, men and women are indistinguishable. As far as the teachings are concerned, this is so. It is the immutable law of God and is not for us to question. The Imams, the 12 Disciples, the Prophets in the Mosaic dispensation, etc. were all men. The Guardians are all men.

The Friends should read and study the WILL AND TESTAMENT. We are too near it to see it in its proper light, It is like a huge edifice, we cannot yet see it in perspective. This and the Aqdas are the two Chief Depositories of the truths enshrined in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

The English King reigns, but the Guardian is active as the hereditary element in the Universal House of Justice.

Bahá’u’lláh purposely left a gap in the Aqdas which was filled by the Master’s Will and Testament with the Guardian. (The Huquq.)

There was a danger that the friends might misunderstand the Master’s Will and thus the "Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh" was written, Shoghi Effendi’s spiritual testament in detail. He has fixed in it the relations of things to each other. We cannot go beyond what he has defined. However, the second Guardian can interpret the "Dispensation" itself. The Guardian is the interpreter, expounder of the Cause and the protector of the Cause.

The Guardian can overrule a decision of the International House of Justice if he conscientiously feels it is not in accord with the teachings. This is the interpretive right... The second part of his work is participation in the legislative body.

He agrees that the institution of Guardianship takes precedence over the International House of Justice.

The words of the Guardian are [as] binding as the Words of the three key Figures. The stations are different. What he says about the Guardianship is binding on future Guardians. ([read the] "Dispensation") The Will of the Master is the third kind of Covenant.

His task is to watch very carefully [to see] that they [the Universal House of Justice] do not get out of their sphere of activity: legislation.

[In the development of the Faith] "The first stage of oppression and persecution is passing and we are now in the second stage of emancipation. The stage of recognition will be the third stage. . . . We are now in the second stage. When the Egyptian, Indian or Persian government accepts a Bahá’í Court, we will enter the third stage, recognition by the civil authorities. When the International House of Justice is established, the formative period will be over. 1.

Sadly, surprisingly and with tragic consequences, the above statements of Shoghi Effendi were either ignored, forgotten or, in effect, repudiated, however unwittingly, by his widow, Rúhíyyih Khánum, upon his passing in 1957, as evidenced by her incomprehensible abandonment of the Institution of the Guardianship, with her rejection of Shoghi Effendi's appointed successor, together with her fellow-Hands of the Cause (with a single notable exception), followed by their inexcusable and shameless corruption of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, in which they ignominiously usurped the role and functions of the Guardianship and established a substitute sans-Guardian, man-made and deformed replica in its place.

1. Obviously the Faith has not yet reached the third stage of its development — recognition, — as defined above by Shoghi Effendi. As the Faith is still in its formative stage, the establishment of the so-called Universal House of Justice in 1963 by the former Hands of the Cause was considerably premature and improper and obviously contrary to the appropriate time for its establishment as envisaged by Shoghi Effendi.

Joel Bray Marangella
Third Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

14 January, 2003


Note: Bold type has been used where considered desirable for emphasis.