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:
In an earlier letter dated September 26, 2020, I addressed the issue of membership and the participation of women in the authentic Universal House of Justice. Given the concerns made by a few, I have added the following notes to further clarify this issue.
First and foremost it should be made clear that there is a need for the believers supporting the so-called universal house of justice and followers of the sect of Maránjelá-i-yah, مارانجلائیه ,
similar to the sect ‘Ismá’l-i-yah, اسماعیلیه in the Islamic Dispensation, to grasp the fact that
the chain of guardians in the Bahá’i Dispensation is not accountable to them and need not justify any actions or statements they make. It is completely between the guardians’ conscience and their comprehension of the revealed Words spoken by Baha’u’llah and the Writings of the Center of the Covenant, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and the Almighty God. It is evident from the text of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha that the believers are directed to give unconditional support to the Guardian of the Faith at any point in the course of the Bahá’í Dispensation. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states,
The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the guardian of the Cause of God.1
This does not mean that the believers are expected to blindly obey the Guardian of the Faith. On the contrary, they are expected to investigate and grasp the true meanings of the revealed Words and present their questions, in pertinent cases, to the Guardian of the Faith. After the judgment made by the Guardian on the interpretation of the Manifestation’s Words and the Writings of the Center of His Covenant, all are expected to obey the Guardian’s direction unconditionally.
Having said that, Shoghi Effendi, First Guardian of the Faith, appointed his successor by the formation of the embryonic Universal House of Justice on January 9, 1951. He, indeed, formed the Universal House of Justice in his lifetime by his letter dated November 27, 1929, where he conditioned the appointment of the Hands of the Cause after the formation of the Universal House of Justice. He stated,
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 Bahá’í Conference, linking the Bahá’í
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 neighborhood 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 Bahá’ís. Also, it is an aid and the focal point that this humble servant [Shoghi Effendi] needs to turn to 2 (emphasis mine).
In the cablegram dated March 2, 1951, Shoghi Effendi announced the following:
Greatly welcome assistance of the newly formed International Council, particularly its president, Mason Remey, and its Vice President, Amelia Collins, through contact with authorities designed to spread the fame, consolidate the foundation and widen the scope of influence emanating from the twin spiritual, administrative World Centres permanently fixed in the Holy Land constituting the midmost heart of the entire planet3 (emphasis mine).
In cablegram dated March 8, 1952, the First Guardian stated,
Second Announcement: The enlargement of the International Bahá’í Council. Present membership now comprises: Amatu’l-bahá Rúhíyyih, chosen liaison between me and the Council. Hands of the Cause, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Ugo Giachery, Leroy Ioas, President, Vice-President, member at large, Secretary-General, respectively. Jessie Revell, Ethel Revell, Lotfullah Hakim, Treasurer, Western and Eastern assistant Secretaries4 (emphasis mine).
It became necessary for Shoghi Effendi to appoint the company of the Hands of the Cause following the formation of the Universal House of Justice in accordance with his announcement of November 27, 1929. (See above.) In fact, in the above-referenced quotation, five of the Hands of the Cause were nominated after the formation of the Universal House of Justice on December 24, 1951, and on March 26, 1952.5
‘Abdul’-Bahá in one of His tablets 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.6
The appointed members of the embryonic Universal House of Justice consisted of three females and five males. As the embryo contains all perfection but in degrees, whatever qualities existed within the embryo by necessity still exist when the embryo attains its full development. A seed contains its needed root system, trunk, branches, leaves, blossoms, and fruit; potentially, all that is needed is contained within the seed. When the wise gardener plants a seed, it will develop into a tree with all the essential qualities. Development, or evolvement, is part of a natural process. It is impossible for a characteristic to exist within an embryo but be absent when the degree of perfection is reached. “All beings,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states, “whether large or small, were created perfect and complete from the first, but their
perfections appear in them by degrees. The organization of God is one: the evolution of existence is one: the divine system is one. Whether they be small or great beings, all are subject to one law and system.”7
The proof and reason for the continuation of the Guardianship as stated in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh and the foundation for C. M. Remey’s Guardianship are both based on the fact that Mason Remey was appointed head of the embryonic Universal House of Justice by Shoghi Effendi, and he did this for the reason that the President of the Universal House of Justice is the Guardian of the Faith, and the Guardian of the Faith is the president of the Universal House of Justice; these two offices are one office. Mason Remey was potentially the Second Guardian of the Cause before the ascension of Shoghi Effendi. Likewise, membership of women on the nascent Universal House of Justice is a potential quality concealed within the embryo. This concealed quality manifests itself when the embryo attains its perfection.
Thus, it is a female’s right to elect and be elected to the membership of the Universal House of Justice. If women are not allowed to be elected as members of the Universal House Justice,
likewise C. M. Remey’s Proclamation of Ridvan 1960 is under question. Because this scenario is IMPOSSIBLE, women need to be elected to the membership of the Universal House of Justice. In the natural world, the female of the species is typically physically weaker than the male. Using the words “man” or “men” in the Writings symbolizes the need for believers to be learned, firm in the Covenant, strong in leadership, informed in science and the social sciences, and sound in judgment. Ms. Mary S. Maxwell, the former ‘Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, the ex-Hand of the Faith and arch-violator of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Faith, was a very capable woman of her time. Unfortunately and sadly, she used her talent, strength, and abilities negatively, creating division in the ranks of the faithful ones. She was able to draw the direction of the other ex-Hands of the Faith to her own ungodly one. If she could have handed over the affairs of the Cause to Mason Remey, the head of the embryonic Universal House of Justice, she would have always been remembered by the people of Bahá as “the first lady” and been compared in trustworthiness to Bahá’íyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s faithful sister, who handed her brother’s divinely perceived Will and Testament to Shoghi Effendi without interference..
Following the death of Shoghi Effendi, the ex-Hands of the Faith “arose and firmly seized”8 management over the Bahá’í world, usurped the authority of the embryo of the Universal House of Justice and Mason Remey’s jurisdiction as the head of that embryo, namely the Second Guardian of the Faith. They followed this act by their repudiation of the Will and Testament, a formation of their own version of Bahá’u’lláh’s covenant, and the establishment of a false universal house of justice in the Holy Land, void of elected officers and women as members. In contrast, the International Bahá’í Council, precursor to the Universal House of Justice, included a President, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer, Secretary for the East, and Secretary for the West. The ex-Hands of the Faith, in their Conclave Message of 1961, released the following communication:
After long and conscientious consideration of the needs of the present hour and the writings of our dearly-loved Guardian, the following decision has been reached: All male voting members throughout the Bahá’í world are eligible for election to the Universal House of Justice. The Hands of the Cause do not limit the freedom of the electors. However, as they have been given the explicit duties of guarding over the security and ensuring the propagation of the Faith, they ask the electors to leave them [Hands of the Cause] free at this time to discharge their duties. When that supreme
and infallible Body has been elected it will decide on all matters concerning its own membership.9
In the same message, the ex-Hands of the Faith declare,
Owing to conditions affecting the Cause which still prevail in the Middle East, it has become evident that it is not possible to hold the World Congress in Baghdád [one of the aims of the Ten Year Plan] in 1963, on the occasion of the world-wide celebrations of the “Most Great Jubilee”, the Centenary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden of Ridván. Prolonged investigations have shown us that to make plans at this time for it to take place there is out of the question. We have therefore decided that this first World Congress, the last of the great gatherings of the Bahá’ís to be summoned by Shoghi Effendi, which constitutes the joyous consummation of ten years of unprecedented work and achievement, shall be held in London, the city which enshrines his infinitely precious remains . . . In taking this decision we have been comforted by the knowledge that he himself, in view of the situation in this part of the world, expressed towards the end of his life, serious
doubts as to whether it would be possible to hold the Congress in Baghdád.10
The ex-Hands of the Cause in their Conclave Message of 1959 state,
As the Chief Stewards of the Faith are wholly occupied with specific tasks assigned them by the beloved Guardian and perforce assumed since his passing, they should not be considered for election to this Council.11 [Note, there were five Hands of the Cause appointed to the membership of the embryonic Universal House of Justice.]
Further, in the same message, the ex-Hands of the Faith declare,
We wish to assure the believers that every effort will be made to establish a Bahá’í Court [one of the objectives of the Ten Year Plan and a preliminary requirement in the development of the embryonic Universal House of Justice. Also note use of “a” instead of “the” in this message] in the Holy Land prior to the date set for this election. We should however bear in mind that the Guardian himself clearly indicated
this goal, due to the strong trend towards the secularization of Religious Courts in this part of the world, might not be achieved.12
Furthermore, the ex-Hands of the Faith in their letter of July 27, 1962, state,
We have just completed a detailed review of the few remaining unfinished goals of the Beloved Guardian’s Crusade, and have written the National Assemblies concerned, urging them to exert every effort to complete these vital tasks. Aside from which our Beloved himself felt were doubtful of accomplishment, such as
establishment of the Bahá’í courts in Islamic countries [another one of the objectives of the Ten Year Crusade], the chief ones still to be won …13 [Establishment of six Bahá’í Courts in six Islamic countries was not important to the ex-Hands of the Faith! What a blunder.]
A fair-minded reader would certainly acknowledge that the ex-Hands of the Faith committed many blunders after the death of the First Guardian of the Cause, including the rejection of women members in their creation of a universal house of justice, propagation of false statements made on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, who is no longer in the contingent world, abandonment of the Ten Year Crusade, and destruction of the embryo of the Universal House of Justice, to name a few. It is sufficient to quote Shoghi Effendi’s words, published prior to launching the Ten Year Crusade, as evidence of the ex-Hands’ errors made during the so-called “Ministry of the Custodians in the Holy Land.” The reader is strongly invited to meditate upon the words of Shoghi Effendi in relation to achieving the objectives of the Ten Year Crusade:
No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the days which mankind, perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the glorious sacrifice of the Prophet- Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been fully
consummated”14 (emphasis mine).
Following the publication of a paper presented at the New Zealand Bahá’í Studies conference on the membership of women in the Universal House of Justice, the so-called universal house of justice responded in a letter dated May 31, 1988:
We have been informed of a paper presented at a recent New Zealand Bahá’í Studies conference, which raises the possibility that the ineligibility of women for membership on the Universal House of Justice may be a temporary provision subject to change through a process of progressive unfoldment of the divine purpose. We present the following points as a means of increasing the friends’ understanding of
this established provision of the Order of Bahá’u’lláh that membership of the Universal House of Justice is confined to men.15
In this letter the false universal house of justice quotes the following Tablet from the Writings:
According to the ordinances of the Faith of God, women are the equals of men in all rights save only that of membership on the Universal House of Justice, for as hath been stated in the text of the Book, both the head and the members of the House of Justice are men. However, in all other bodies, such as the Temple Construction Committee, the Teaching Committee, the Spiritual Assembly, and in charitable and scientific associations, women share equally in all rights with men (from a newly
The house, however, does not provide a proper reference to the above-quoted material but simply claims it is from a “newly translated Tablet.” They, the so-called universal house of justice, continue:
As regards your question concerning the membership of the Universal House of Justice: there is a Tablet from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in which He definitely states that the membership of the Universal House is confined to men, and that the wisdom of it will be fully revealed and appreciated in the future. In the local as well as the National Houses of Justice, however, women have the full right of membership. It is, therefore, only to the International House that they cannot be elected (28 July
Again, the house does not come up with a proper reference to the above-quoted material but simply claims “28 July 1936.” However, the house continues to write,
And in one of His Tablets He had already written:
At whatever time all the beloved of God in each country appoint their delegates, and these in turn elect their representatives, and these representatives elect a body, that body shall be regarded as the Supreme House of Justice.15
In the following passage, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá referred to membership of the “House of Justice” being restricted to men, without a specific designation of the level or levels of the institution to which this provision applied:
The House of Justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of God, is confined to men; this for a wisdom of the Lord God’s, which will erelong be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l- Bahá, p. 80).15
Here, the words “man” or “men” are symbolic. These words refer to people of the world in general and to the believers of the Bahá’í Faith in particular. These words do not mean that
females are excluded from membership on the Universal House of Justice. And the expression in the quotation “will erelong be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon” does not mean women will be incapacitated and barred from membership on the Universal House of Justice by the development of an undesired illness. In truth, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is stating that women will progress to a high level of advancement and work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts in this age of Bahá’u’lláh. The duty of the elected members of the Universal House of Justice, with the Guardian of the Cause as president, is the legislation of laws and regulations not explicitly found in the Writings. The female members of legislative bodies throughout the world have already proven their ability to accomplish their duties with their male counterparts in the utmost harmony. It appears to me that the advisories of peace and harmony, that is people opposing the membership of women on the Universal House of
Justice, creating discord to “divide and rule,” had already made up their mind to reject women membership on the Universal House of Justice.16
The following question must be asked: Why is the so-called universal house of justice in harmony with the Freemasons, whose “constitutions of the Premier Grand Lodge of England appeared to bar them [women] from the Craft forever.”17 What is the link between these two man-made organizations? What is the connecting ring? Do they take orders from an unknown, secretive, uncommunicative body? On what grounds did the so-called universal
house of justice make it a law that no record or documentation, in line with the decision made by the ex-Hands of the Faith in their conclaves, be maintained? Article v.6 of their constitution states, “The Universal House of Justice shall provide for the recording and verification of its decisions in such manner as it shall, from time to time, judge necessary.”18 From time to time judge necessary? What is the reason for the so-called universal house of justice ruling not to leave traces of their activities? Is this alleged universal house of justice a secretive organization that must hide their activities? On what grounds does this bogus house make such a ruling that present and future generations are denied the facts of history? What a blunder! In the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, which is the Charter of World Civilization, its author did not make any reference to excluding women from membership on
the Universal House of Justice. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá uses the word اعضاء (Á’dá, the “d” is pronounced as “z”) for members on the Universal House of Justice. It is plural for the word عضو member. This word does not exclude women as members of the Universal House of Justice. In the Writings, there are many references to “man” or “men.” Note the following Words revealed by Bahá’u’lláh:
We desire but the good of the world, and the happiness of the nations. … That all nations should become one in faith, and all men as brothers; that the bond of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened. … These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the Most Great Peace shall come. … Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind (Words of Bahá’u’lláh made to Edward Brown when he visited Bahá’u’lláh in prison in Acre, the Holy Land.]19
Has Bahá’u’lláh excluded mothers and daughters from the people of the world? Did He not desire goodness and happiness for all the population of planet earth?
It should be also noted that the cultural conditions in the East in general, and in Persia in particular, were such that the rights of women were totally withdrawn by men. Women did not have the right to express themselves in society. They were confined to their homes— better to write prisons—and when they were allowed to leave these dwellings they had to be
accompanied by their partners, covered with veils and chadors from head to toe. Women had to lodge a marble in their mouth to weaken their true voice when speaking to a strange man. Even today, women are not allowed to travel in Iran without written permission from their husband. The weight of their witness in a court of law is half that of a man. Women are expected to veil themselves in the cities of Iran as we speak. Opposition to women’s rights is lessening, but women still face inordinate resistance to achieving their human rights. Let me remind the reader of these notes on the conditions surrounding Táhirih in the conference of Badasht prior to martyrdom of the Báb:
Shaykh Abú-Turáb, one of the best-informed as to the nature of the developments in Badasht, is reported to have related the following incident: “Illness, one day, confined Bahá’u’lláh to His bed. Quddús, as soon as he heard of His indisposition, hastened to visit Him. He seated himself, when ushered into His presence, on the right hand of Bahá’u’lláh. The rest of the companions were gradually admitted to His presence, and grouped themselves around Him. No sooner had they assembled than Muhammad-Hasan-i-Qazvíní, the messenger of Táhirih, upon whom the name of Fata’l-Qazvíní had been newly conferred, suddenly came in and conveyed to Quddús a pressing invitation from Táhirih to visit her in her own garden. ‘I have severed myself entirely from her,’ he boldly and decisively replied. ‘I refuse to meet her. The messenger retired immediately, and soon returned, reiterating the same message and appealing to him to heed her urgent call. ‘She insists on your visit,’ were his words. ‘If you persist in your refusal, she herself will come to you.’ Perceiving his unyielding attitude, the messenger unsheathed his sword, laid it at the feet of Quddús, and said: ‘I refuse to go without you. Either choose to accompany me to the presence of Táhirih or cut off my head with this sword.’ ‘I have already declared my intention not to visit Táhirih,’ Quddús angrily retorted. ‘I am willing to comply with the alternative which you have chosen to put before me.’
“Muhammad-Hasan, who had seated himself at the feet of Quddús, had stretched forth his neck to receive the fatal blow, when suddenly the figure of Táhirih, adorned and unveiled, appeared before the eyes of the assembled companions. Consternation immediately seized the entire gathering. All stood aghast before this sudden and most unexpected apparition. To behold her face unveiled was to them inconceivable. Even to gaze at her shadow was a thing which they deemed improper, inasmuch as they regarded her as the very incarnation of Fátimih, the noblest emblem of chastity in their eyes.
“Quietly, silently, and with the utmost dignity, Táhirih stepped forward and, advancing towards Quddús, seated herself on his right-hand side. Her unruffled serenity sharply contrasted with the affrighted countenances of those who were gazing upon her face. Fear, anger, and bewilderment stirred the depths of their souls. That sudden revelation seemed to have stunned their faculties. ‘Abdu’l-Kháliq-i- Isfahání was so gravely shaken that he cut his throat with his own hands. Covered with blood and shrieking with excitement, he fled away from the face of Táhirih. A few, following his example, abandoned their companions and forsook their Faith. A number were seen standing speechless before her, confounded with wonder. Quddús, meanwhile, had remained seated in his place, holding the unsheathed sword in his
hand, his face betraying a feeling of inexpressible anger. It seemed as if he were waiting for the moment when he could strike his fatal blow at Táhirih.
“His threatening attitude failed, however, to move her. Her countenance displayed that same dignity and confidence which she had evinced at the first moment of her appearance before the assembled believers. A feeling of joy and triumph had now illumined her face. She rose from her seat and, undeterred by the tumult that she had raised in the hearts of her companions, began to address the remnant of that assembly. Without the least premeditation, and in language which bore a striking resemblance to that of the Qur’án, she delivered her appeal with matchless eloquence and profound fervour. She concluded her address with this verse of the Qur’án: ‘Verily, amid gardens and rivers shall the pious dwell in the seat of truth, in the presence of the potent King.’ As she uttered these words, she cast a furtive glance towards both Bahá’u’lláh and Quddús in such a manner that those who were watching her were unable to tell to which of the two she was alluding. Immediately after, she declared: ‘I am the Word which the Qá’im is to utter, the Word which shall put to flight the chiefs and nobles of the earth!’
“She then turned her face towards Quddús and rebuked him for having failed to perform in Khurásán those things which she deemed essential to the welfare of the Faith. ‘I am free to follow the promptings of my own conscience,’ retorted Quddús. ‘I am not subject to the will and pleasure of my fellow-disciples.’ Turning away her eyes from him, Táhirih invited those who were present to celebrate befittingly this great occasion. ‘This day is the day of festivity and universal rejoicing,’ she added, ‘the day on which the fetters of the past are burst asunder. Let those who have shared
in this great achievement arise and embrace each other.20
After the conference of Badash change did not take place immediately. Even in the early unfoldment of the Bahá’í Administration of the Faith in Persia, the membership on the local and national assemblies was confined to men. I have several photos from the 1920s and 30s in my possession showing no women in the photos as members. “The participation of the women of Persia in the membership of national and local Assemblies” became an aim of the Ten Year Crusade announced by Shoghi Effendi in his cablegram, October 8, 1952.21 After the elapse of 109 years from the establishment of the Bábi Dispensation, participation of women into national and local assemblies became part of the Ten Year Crusade.
Know thou, O handmaid, that in the sight of Bahá, women are accounted the same as men, and God hath created all humankind in His own image, and after His own likeness. That is, men and women alike are the revealers of His names and attributes, and from the spiritual viewpoint there is no difference between them. Whosoever draweth nearer to God, that one is the most favoured, whether man or woman. How many a handmaid, ardent and devoted, hath, within the sheltering shade of Bahá, proved superior to the men, and surpassed the famous of the earth.
The House of Justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of God, is confined to men; this for a wisdom of the Lord God's, which will erelong be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon.22
In this statement of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, note the true meaning of the first paragraph. In this paragraph He does not distinguish one gender as superior to the other. In the second paragraph, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is reflecting the word men, rejal, used in the Kitáb-i-Aghdas to soften men’s opposition towards women’s right. This is the reality behind “wisdom of the Lord God's, which will erelong be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon.” In his Will and Testament, he has carefully chosen the word اعضاء for members, to leave no ambiguity in women’s right to membership on the Universal House of Justice. Further, “The House of Justice” includes local, national, and international “houses of Justice.” Similar argument has been advanced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Some Answered Questions in responding to the question of the Birth of the Christ. Refer to ‘Abdu’-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, India, 1973, 99. I have already explained the truth of “will erelong be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon” in the above pages.
Furthermore, note the following statement by Shoghi Effendi:
As regards your question concerning the membership of the Universal House of Justice, there is a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Baha in which He definitely states that the membership of the Universal House is confined to men and that the wisdom of it will be fully revealed in the future. In the local, as well as the National Houses of Justice, however, women have the full right of membership. It is therefore, only to the International House that they cannot be elected. The Baha’is should accept this statement of the Master in a spirit of deep faith, confident that there is a divine guidance and wisdom behind it, which will be gradually unfolded to the eyes of the world.
Regarding your question, the Master said the wisdom of having no women on the International House of Justice, would become manifest in the future. We have no other indication than this.
At present there are women on the International Council, and this will continue as long as it exists, but when the International House of Justice is elected, there will only be men on it, as this is the law of the Aqdas.23
Shoghi Effendi in his statement is reflecting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s assertion, which was earlier quoted, and I commented accordingly. Shoghi Effendi was aware of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s wisdom, and in accordance with his letter of November 27, 1929, he formed the Universal House of Justice and included women in the membership of the embryonic Universal House of Justice. He has not contradicted his actions with the directions recorded in the Writings. The word “men” in the last paragraph of the quotation is a general word comprising the population of the world.
I have quoted the above resources, footnotes 22 and 23, believing they are authentic and are the true words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. I do not have the access and means to prove their authenticity or otherwise. It has been proven that the ex-Hands of the Faith and the bogus universal house of justice did not have the integrity to save the Writings from misinterpretations and alterations, to draw the attention of the believers to their intentions. Therefore, the published publications of the Writings by the so-called universal house of justice published after the ascension of Shoghi Effendi must be considered with caution.
There is evidence that the Writings regarding the Covenant and the Institutions highlighted in the Will and Testament were removed, altered, or changed to reflect the ex-Hands of the Faith and the alleged universal house of justice’s point of view. In 1960s and 70s, the believers in Iran were encouraged by the Haifa Group to pass any original correspondence they had received or had in their possession from Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdul-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’í World Center. Mr. N. Chehrehnegar, one of the believers of the Faith and a true Bahá’í, revealed to me that he had sent several original writings to Haifa and never received them back. Shoghi Effendi always returned the original to its owner.
We must not confine our understanding and limit our comprehension to literal interpretations. We need to meditate upon the revealed Words to grasp the true meanings of the Words of the Revelation.
Bahá’u’lláh in The Kitáb-i-Íqán reveals,
It is evident unto thee that the Birds of Heaven and Doves of Eternity speak a twofold language. One language, the outward language, is devoid of allusions, is unconcealed and unveiled; that it may be a guiding lamp and a beaconing light whereby wayfarers may attain the heights of holiness, and seekers may advance into the realm of eternal reunion. Such are the unveiled traditions and the evident verses already mentioned. The other language is veiled and concealed, so that whatever lieth hidden in the heart of the malevolent may be made manifest and their innermost being be disclosed.24
Further, Bahá’u’lláh reveals the following in The Hidden Words: O Ye People that Have Minds to Know and Ears to Hear!
The first call of the Beloved is this: O mystic nightingale! Abide not but in the rose garden of the spirit. O messenger of the Solomon of love! Seek thou no shelter except in the Sheba of the well-beloved and O immortal phoenix! dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness. Therein is thy habitation, if on the wings of thy soul thou soarest to the realm of the infinite and seekest to attain thy goal.25
The System of the Bahá’í Administration Order is not a static order, inflexible and rigid. Rather, Bahá’u’lláh’s World Order is a dynamic and flexible system designed to adjust itself to the requirement of the age, and its pivot point around which all its activities rotate is the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Its flexibility is due to the presence of the Guardian of the Faith as the head of the Universal House of Justice. The guardian solely and the Universal House of Justice with the guardian at its head are infallible and under the protection of the Almighty God. “The sacred and youthful branch, the guardian of the Cause of God,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá expresses, “as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established [under direction and supervision of the guardian of the Cause], are both under
the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One.”26 Subject to the approval of the Universal House of Justice, yet to be established, the elective members of the Universal House of Justice, an even number, are to consist of genders equally divided to serve justice.
O Son of Spirit!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.27
My dear friends! Let us remove all causes of conflict and bitterness among the family of mankind living on this planet earth. Human beings have suffered too long with hardship and cruelties imposed by oppressors, tyrants, and ignorant people.
With Loving Bahá’í Greetings for each one of you,
5th Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, July 20, 2021
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1944, 11.
Shoghi Effendi, Letter of November 27, 1929, Tawqí’at-i-mubárakih, 1927–1939, 134.
Shoghi Effendi, Message to the Bahá’í World, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 8.
Shoghi Effendi, Message to the Bahá’í World, 22.
In The Ministry of the Custodians, 1957-1963, p xxii-xxiv.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1976, 313.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, 312.
The Ministry of the Custodians, 1957-1963: An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause,
With an Introduction by Mary S. Maxwell, Haifa: Bahai World Centre, 1992, 1.
The Ministry of the Custodians, 321.
The Ministry of the Custodians, 322,
The Ministry of the Custodians, 168.
The Ministry of the Custodians, 168-169.
The Ministry of the Custodians, 364.
Shoghi Effendi, Message to the Bahá’í World, 19, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1971, 38-39.
The so called Universal House of Justice, Letter of May 31, 1988 to New Zealand NSA
The ex-Hands of the Faith violated the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and replaced it with one of their own creation, which a) denied the continuation of the institution of Guardianship and b) the guardian as the head of the Faith and the Universal House of Justice, c) stated that they are not essential, and d) decided to terminate them for all times.
Hugh Chance, Hushmand Fatheazam, Amoz E. Gibson, David Hofman, H. Borrah Kavelin, Ali Nakhjavani, David S. Ruhe, Ian C. Semple, Charles Wolcott, The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í World Centre, 1972, 13. Copy in my possession.
Star of the West, Volume II, No. 5, June 5, 1911, Soft copy in my possession.
Shoghi Effendi, Dawn-Breaker, Bahá’í, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1994, 293-296.
Shoghi Effendi, Message to the Bahá’í World, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 43
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from The Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Publishing,1978, 73.
Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, Arcee Press, undated, 72.
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1961, 162.
Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Persian Section, part 1.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Will and Testament, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1944, 11.
Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Arabic Section, part 2.