O THOU GLORY OF THE MOST GLORIOUS
Office of Fifth Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith
To the Believers in Baha’u’llah in the East and the West all to note:
The present Guardian of the Bahá’i Faith announces that the elective members of the Universal House of Justice are not limited to persons having male sex organs. The alteration made by the erring ex-Hands of the Faith in the evolution of the embryo of the Universal House of Justice, formed by the First Guardian in early January 1951 was one of the blunders the group of the then ex-Hands of the Faith committed following the death of Shoghi Effendi in early November 1957.
Subsequent to the death of Shoghi Effendi, First Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, the management of the worldwide Bahá’í community was taken by unauthorized members of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause after November 4, 1957, in Haifa, Israel, the Holy Land. The Hands of the Cause repudiated the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha; rejected the authority of the Second Guardian of the Faith, Mason Remey; destroyed the embryo of the Universal House of Justice; and removed the head of the first International Bahá’i Council, transforming the International Bahá’i
Council into an elected body without the evolution needed to turn that august body into an “officially recognized Bahá’i court.”1 Claiming successorship to Shoghi Effendi and a self-given authority to interpret the Words spoken by Baha’u’llah and His appointed successor, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Hands of the Cause falsely accused sincere believers of being Covenant Breakers and fabricated the allegation that Shoghi Effendi failed to appoint his successor. Their alteration and
misrepresentation of the Holy Writings denied the continuation of the line of guardians in the Bahá’i dispensation. The formation of a false Universal House of Justice in the Holy Land, without its sacred Head or Guardian; the false possession of Bahá’i properties in the Holy Land and in Persia; the failure to complete the Ten Year Crusade; and the lies told to the believers turned the Cause of Baha’u’llah into a sect and broke the Covenant of Baha’u’llah. The Hands created their own covenant instead of adhering to the divinely established Covenant as revealed in the Book of the Covenant and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament. They denied the election of women to the membership of their own created so-called Universal House of Justice, which was one among many egregious decisions made by the erring ex-Hands of the Faith.
That is why the present Guardian of the Bahá’i Faith announces that the elective members of the authentic Universal House of Justice will include women, and the elective members will not be limited to persons having male sex organs.
The Arabic رجال, “rejál,” is plural for Arabic رجل, “rajol.” The Há’ím dictionary defines/translates these words as “man, men, distinguished, personage and dignitaries.” These words are used by ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Baha’u’llah in Their Writings. When these words are used to refer to the members of the Universal House of Justice, they take on a symbolic meaning. Males in the animal kingdom and in the world of humanity are physically stronger than females. The use of the word “لاجر” or “men,” is figurative and illustrative in the sense that the elective members of the
Universal House of Justice must be strong. ‘Abdu’l-Baha in His Will and Testament revealed that the elective members of the Universal House of Justice “must be manifestations of the fear of God and daysprings of knowledge and understanding, must be steadfast in God’s faith and the well- wishers of all mankind.”2 Further, ‘Abdu’l-Baha in another passage states the following:
The body of man [human being], which is composed of the elements, is the most perfect form of composition and combination, the soundest arrangement, the noblest composition, and the most perfect of all existing things. It grows and develops through the animal spirit. This perfect body can be compared to a mirror, and the human spirit to the sun. . . . This spirit is the discovering power that encompasses all things. All the wondrous signs, all the crafts and discoveries, all the mighty undertakings and momentous historical events of which you are aware, have been discovered by this spirit and brought forth from the invisible realm into the visible plane through its spiritual power. . . . But this human spirit has two aspects: one divine and one satanic— that is, it is capable of both the greatest perfection and the greatest deficiency. Should it acquire virtues, it is the noblest of all things; and should it acquire vices, it becomes the
most vile [vilest].3
Thus, gender, male or female, is not a factor to be considered for membership of the Universal House of Justice. Consider the life of Tahirih and her degree of knowledge and faithfulness in the Cause of God; certainly, if she was alive today, Tahirih would be eligible to be one of the elective members of the Universal House of Justice if this exalted institution of the World Order of Baha’u’llah was in existence today. Shoghi Effendi appointed several women as members of the embryo Universal House of Justice when he formed that exalted Institution. ‘Abdu’l-Baha in one of His tablet states, “… the embryo possesses from the first all perfection, such as the spirit, the mind, the sight, the smell, the taste—in one word, all the powers—but they are not visible, and become so
only by degrees.”4 The International Bahá’i Council formed by the First Guardian of the Faith was
in fact the Universal House of Justice based on the conditions set forth by Shoghi Effendi as early as 1929. Shoghi Effendi in his letter of November 27, 1929, to the believers in the East, states:
"ای احبای الهی تعیین ایادی امرالله و تنفیذ احکام مقدسه شریعت الله و تشریع قوانین متفرعه از منصوصات کتاب الله و انعقاد موتمر بین المللی پیروان امر حضرت بهاءالله و ارتباط جامعه بهائی بانجمنهای متفرقه علمیه ادبیه و دینیه و اجتماعیه کل بتشکیل و استقرار بیت عدل اعظم الهی در ارض اقدس در جوار بقاع مرتفعه منوره علیا منوط و معلق. زیرا این معهد اعلی سر چشمه اقدامات و اجراآت کلیه بهائیان است و معین و مرجع این عبد نا توان. بها تحقق آمال اهل بهاء."
O ye beloved of the Lord! Appointment of the Hands of the Cause, authorization and enforcement of the sacred revealed laws of the Faith, enactment of the secondary laws which are not explicitly recorded in God's Book [The Kitáb-i-Aqdas], convocation of the International Baha'i Conference, linking the Baha'i Community to various societies such as, scientific, cultural, religious, and of human welfare; all are dependent and conditioned by the establishment of the Universal House of Justice in the neighbourhood of the sacred Shrines, in the Holy Land. For this exalted body is the source of all activities and execution of the affairs of the Baha'is. Also, it is an aid and
the focal point that this humble servant [Shoghi Effendi] needs to turn to. With that craves of the people of Baha will fulfil. 6
It is recorded that the first group of Hands were appointed in late 1951, and the embryo Universal House of Justice was formed on January 9, 1951. The members of that august body were Mason Remey, President; Amelia Collins, Vice-President; Ugo Giachery, member at large; Leroy Ioas, Secretary General; Jessie Revell, treasurer; and Ethel Revell and Lotfullah Hakim, Western and Eastern Assistant Secretaries, respectively. Ruhiyyah Khanum served as the liaison between Shoghi Effendi and the Council. Clearly, Shoghi Effendi appointed several women to be members of the
potential Universal House.7
To deny the membership of women in the future Universal House of justice is pure injustice to half the world’s population and a source of contention among the people of planet earth. The idea that has been postulated by the erring Hands of the Faith is wrong and not in the spirit of the Bahá’i Faith, which teaches peace and harmony amongst the human race and does not deem the male population to be more qualified than the female population of the world. The events of late November 1957 generated by the then ex-Hands of the Faith show that men and women were equally guilty of the aforementioned events. Most of the members of the Institution of the Hands of the Faith were male, however, and they bear pronounced responsibility for turning the Cause of Baha’u’llah into a man-made sect and institution.
How is it possible to allow women to elect members and to be elected into membership of National Houses of Justice but prevent them elected membership into the Universal House of Justice? What would be the solution if all members of the National Houses of Justice were elected from the female population? How can a person convince women such German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former United Kingdom prime minister Margaret Thatcher and many other distinguished women in science and technology, management, arts and social sciences, the military, and other fields of human activities that they should be denied membership in the future Universal House of Justice? If Tahirih, one of the Letters of Living, was alive today, could anyone suggest or deny such a distinguished woman membership in the Universal House of Justice? ‘Abdu’l-Baha, when describing Tahirih in His book, Tadhakurul-Vafaتذکرۃ الوفا, uses the title of “jenáb” or “جناب” for
Tahirih, a title typically reserved for men.8
The blunder and presumption made by the ex-Hands of the Faith must be corrected: the female population of the future Bahá’i World Commonwealth is allowed to elect and to be elected to the membership of the Universal House of Justice. The number of elected men and women of the Universal House of Justice is to be decided by the future Universal House of Justice when the foundation of this auspicious institution of the World Order of Baha’u’llah is again founded in the world of existence under the direction and guidance of the living guardian of the Cause of Baha’u’llah.
The believers need to note that the members of the Universal House of Justice are not infallible. ‘Abdu’l-Baha revealed the following in His Will and Testament: “Should any of the members [of the Universal House of Justice] commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him, whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead.” The infallibility comes from the guardian of the Cause of God. The
Universal House of Justice has “conferred infallibility” only—in the words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, ""معصومیت موهوب" “ma’soomeeyat-i-mouhoob”—due to presence of the guardian of the Faith as its sacred permanent head.”9
O Thou My God! Thou art witness that this servant of thy threshold desire nought but thy pleasure and relies upon thy assurance: “Should a man, all alone, arise for the triumph of Our Cause, him will God render victorious though tens of thousands of enemies be leagued against him.” O my heart companion and consort in my loneliness, assist this servant to fulfil thy recorded Will and observe thy desire. O My God! Guard thy Cause from all odds and brighten their hearts to see thy great Cause and sweeten their tastes by the sweetness of thy Words. O My God gather thy mislead friend under the shadow of thy Covenant and the sign of thy speaking proof. Help this servant O My Lord! Thou art the All-Mighty, the All-Powerful.
The Glory of God be upon you all.
E S Yazdani,
Fifth Guardian of the Bahá’i Faith
P O Box 563, Hornsby, NSW, 1630, AUSTRALIA
Sydney-Australia September 26, 2020
Shoghi Effendi, Messages To The Bahá’i World, Bahá’i Publishing Trust, 1958, Page 7 and 8.
‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, Bahá’i Publishing Trust, 1944, Page 14.
‘Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Question, Baha’i Publishing Trust, India Print, 1973, page 164.
‘Abdu’l-Baha, Bahá’i World Faith, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1956, page 313.
5. شوقی افندی از توقیع 27 نوامبر 1929 باحبای شرق
Shoghi Effendi, from letter of November 27, 1929 to the Eastern Believers.
Shoghi Effendi, Messages To The Bahá’i World, Bahá’i Publishing Trust, 1958, Page 22.
8. عبدالبهاء، تذکرۃ الوفا
9. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, SAQ, Bahá’i Publishing Trust, India Print, 1973, page 199. This to be read in conjunction with the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha.