MR. HUGH CHANCE
THE SO CALLED UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
E. S. YAZDANI
APRIL 4, 1988
E. S. Yazdani
P. O. Box 126,
Jesmond NSW 2299
85 Sutton St.
Until 1/7/1987 then at
4 Lenaghan Cres.
Eleebana NSW 2280
Posted on 8.4.1988
Mr Hugh Chance
C/- P.O. Box 155
My dearly beloved friend, Mr. H. Chance, Allah’u’Abha
It was a great pleasure for me to meet you on the eve of the ninth day of Ridvan in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. It was a great night; we celebrated the anniversary of the Public Declaration of Baha’u’llah in the garden of Ridvan in 1863. I look forward to celebrating this occasion with the people of the world, when Baha’u’llah’s message is accepted by the people of the planet Earth.
I was transferred to Cootamundra to work at the District Office of the Public Works Department. I accidentally met Mr. Jim Crondal, an employee of the same office. During our conversation we both found out we are Bahá’ís. This made us very happy, for there are only a few believers in this area. He and his wife invited me to the meeting and I did not want to miss meeting you, so I accepted their kind invitation. We drove over 100 km to celebrate Ridvan together. In the meeting, I promised to send you a letter.
This letter was written at 85 Sutton Street., Cootamundra, NSW, in response to your comments made at the Ridvan meeting in Wagga Wagga, NSW, in May 1987 while I was transferred to work at District Office of Public Works Department of state of NSW from April 21 to July 1, 1987. It is a great pleasure to share with you the following thoughts.
From my childhood I remember how I was persecuted by Muslim people in my homeland Iran. Sometimes they attacked our family in Sarvestan when I was a child and forced them to migrate to Shiraz and settle 1 or 2 km away from the house of the Bab, sometimes forcing me out of school. Another time they fractured my head, and we endured other types of prosecutions that you already know are still going on against my family and other innocent people in Iran.
However, one type of hostility from this group deepened my understanding of the Beloved Faith and caused me to question the validity of the Faith and its institutions, and I thank them very much for this. As our beloved Guardian states:
“Such incidents we should regard as the interposition of Providence, designed to fortify our faith, to clarify our vision and to deepen our understanding of the essentials of His Divine Revelation.” Indeed, if we deepen ourselves and understand the principles and writings of the guardian and have faith in them, no one can deceive and influence us either by action or by manipulation of words.
However, I would like to touch on some of the points you mentioned in the meeting. You mentioned that a believer should teach the Faith, read materials written by non-Bahá’ís, pay Huquq’u’llah, and deepen himself or herself in the covenant of Baha’u’llah. You made strong emphasis to pay Huquq’u’llah and study the covenant, and you mentioned the covenant of Baha'u'llah. This caused the writings of Baha'u'llah, ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a, and Shoghi Effendi, such as the book of covenant, the Will and Testament, The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, and other materials related to the covenant the and the administrative order, to pass through my mind. I compared them with our thoughts as well as writings published and discussed in the meetings after the death of the beloved guardian Shoghi Effendi on 4 November 1957.
We say and encourage the believers to believe that Shoghi Effendi is the first and last guardian of the Faith, based on the fact that he did not have a physical son and all the branches were either dead or covenant breakers. Based on this we say Shoghi Effendi could not appoint any other person to succeed him. At the same time we do not bring to the attention of the believers the contents of the Will and Testament, The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, and other materials related to the continuation of guardianship mentioned in ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a and Shoghi Effendi’s writings. Let us review the related verses in connection to the guardianship, the institution that we have assumed is terminated. We say “There being no successor to Shoghi Effendi as guardian of the Cause of God…” The writings, however, do not support our claim.
As we already know, Baha'u'llah is the promised one of all ages. With his declaration, God fulfilled his promise to all mankind. After Baha'u'llah’s passing, the book of covenant was opened and in it ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a was appointed to succeed the blessed Beauty. ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a became the Centre of the Covenant and the true interpreter of the words revealed by Baha'u'llah.
The institution of the guardianship foretold by Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aghdas was fully described and established in ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a’s Will and Testament. The duties of the guardian were fully outlined in the Bahá’í Dispensation: he was appointed the permanent head of the Universal House of Justice (UHJ), sole interpreter of the Revealed words, and Recipient of Huquq'u'llah. The guardian was further directed in the Will and Testament to appoint his successor in his own lifetime.
“O ye beloved of the lord It is incumbent upon the guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing.[Underlining is added by the author] He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:–“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, the guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.”
Shoghi Effendi had to appoint in his own lifetime his successor. The appointed guardian had to be his son or “another branch.” Shoghi Effendi had no physical son and in fact, he had no children. Let us study several verses of Baha'u'llah and ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a’s writings to understand the true meaning of “another branch” and see if “branch” is limited to physical relatives of Baha'u'llah, or if “another branch” refers to all believers in the Bahá’í faith.
Baha'u'llah defines the meaning of “branch” in a Tablet addressed to an individual. He states:
“Since the believers and the loved ones [of God] are like unto branches and leaves of this Holy Tree [Baha'u'llah] therefore whatever befalls upon the original Stock will also befall upon branches, twigs, and leaves"
"... و چون مومنین و محبین بمنزله اغصان و اوراق این شجره مبارکه هستند لهذا هر چه بر اصل شجره وارد گردد بر فرمع و اغصان و اوراق وارد آید ..."
(Baha’u’llah, Al'vah-i-moba'rakeh, 343)
In this verse Baha'u'llah states that all believers in him are branches and “branch” is not limited to blood relatives. ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a in several tables leaves no doubt that branch refers to all believers that are sincere believers in Baha'u'llah. In particular ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a explains that sonship is divided into two: physical and spiritual. The first is made of elements and the latter is of spirit. His words follow:
"The line of descendants is divided into two kinds. One is the physical descendants, and the other spiritual. One is born of water and earth, and the other is born of soul and heart."
" ... سلسله سلاله بدوقسم منقسم شود – یک سلاله عنصری و دیگری روحی یکی زاده آب و گل است و دیگری زاده جان و دل ..."
(‘Abdu’l-Bah’a, Ma’idiy-i-Asmani, Vol. 5, 161)
Regarding the same subject, the following verses may be meditated upon:
“The branches (aghsaan) are not limited to certain individuals, they have succession."
" ... اغصان محصور در اشخاص نه تسلسل دارد ... "
(Abdu’l-Bah’a, Ma'idiy-i-Asmani, Vol. 2, 76)
“Verily, God told Prophet Noah explicitly, “Indeed, he [your son] is not of your family; for his conduct is unrighteous."
"[Prophet Abraham asked God] of my descendants? [God] said, My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.”
“Truly, the material elements and the earthly natures are not taken into consideration nor they are related to it [spiritual descendants].
“Indeed, it is acknowledged in a goodly character not within the lineage...." He [God] brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living "and whosoever sets a limitation for God's grace and His glorious bounties, such a man is in error and transgression.”
“In truth, God is able to do the extraordinary things and reveal signs and wonders..." He selects for His mercy whom He wills.
... بانّ اللّه خاطب بوضوح نبی اللّه نوح "انّه ليس من اهلک انّه عمل غير صالح ... و من ذرّيتی قال لا ينال عهدی الظالمین ... لانّ العناصر الجسمانيّة و الطبائع الترابيّة لا عبرة فيها و لا معوّل عليها انّما العبرة فی الاخلاق ليس فی الاعراق ... يخرج الحيّ من الميّت و يخرج الميّت من الحيّ و من جعل للّه حداً فی فيوضاته الجليلة فهو علی ضلالة و غيّ ... و انّ للّه خرقاً فی العادات و اظهار الآيات باهرات ... يختصّ برحمته من يشاء
Maka'tib of ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a, Vol. 1, Page 6 – 11
“fear not if this branch be severed from this material world and cast its leaves; nay, the leaves thereof shall flourish, for this branch will grow after it is cut off from this world below, it shall reach the loftiest pinnacles of glory, and it shall bear such fruits as will perfume the world with their fragrance.”
Consider “The Divine Gardener cuts off the dry or weak branch from the good tree and grafts to it a branch from another tree. He both separates and unites.”
Consider this text of the New Testament: “The brothers of his holiness Christ, came to him and said: These are your brothers. He answered that his brothers were those who believed in God, and refused to associate with his own brothers.”
“Likewise Qurratu’l-Ayn… when she believed in God and was attracted to the Divine Breaths, she forsook her two eldest sons, although they were her two oldest children, because they did not become believers, and thereafter did not meet them. She said: ‘All the friends of God are my children, but these two are not. I will have nothing to do with them.” ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Bahá’í World Faith,
Shoghi Effendi, in the translation of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a, translates the term “another branch” in the ordinary English usage of the word “branch” and not in its capital form “Branch.” It is true that neither the Arabic nor Persian language contain any capital letters, but there are capitals in the English language. Shoghi Effendi, whom we all accept as the interpreter of the Holy writings, left no ambiguity that the term “another branch” does apply to any category of people. To our understanding, the translations of the Holy writings by the Guardian are indeed a form of interpretation. “Another branch” is not a proper noun; it is a common noun, is it not?
Continuation of the guardianship in the Bahá’í Dispensation is supported by ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a and Shoghi Effendi in their writings. A study of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a, leads us to believe, that the line of guardians in the Bahá’í Faith cannot be broken. Shoghi Effendi states:
“It must be also clearly understood by every believer that the institution of the Guardianship does not under any circumstances abrogate, or even in the slightest degree detract from the power granted to the Universal House of Justice by Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aghdas, and repeatedly and solemnly confirmed by ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a in his Will. It does not constitute in any manner a contradiction to the Will and Writing of Baha'u'llah, nor does it nullify any of his revealed instructions. It enhances the prestige of that exalted assembly, stabilizes its supreme position, safeguards its unity, and assures the continuity of its labours, without presuming in the slightest to infringe upon the inviolability of its clearly-defined sphere of jurisdiction…” [Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah Selected Letters, Page 8]
Shoghi Effendi directed the believer to build the Seat of the Guardian (house) together with the Seat of the Universal House of Justice and the Seat of the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land a few years before he left this world forever. In a letter to the Eastern Bahá’ís in relation to the interpretation of the Tablet of Carmel, dated 111 of Bahá’í era, he writes:
"The Ark of the laws and its proceeding is referred to the Divine Court of Justice, that in reality, it is the Seat of Legislation [the Universal House of Justice], a division of the Bahá’í World Administrative Center on this Holy Mountain. It will be located in a special building in the vicinity of the International Archives that is now the time for its construction. Near to these two august, high ranking structures, another edifice is the Seat of the Guardianship, which is the Center of interpretation, elucidation, and explanation of the revealed laws [of Baha'u'llah]; also, it is an aid, complementary to the Legislative Body, and will gradually be established. Adjacent to these three structures will be added one more building, serving as a Teaching Center, and specified to be the Seat of the Hands of the Cause of God that in accordance with the explicit text of the Will and Testament are given the duties of the protection and propagation of the Cause of God and safeguarding the unity of Its adherents." Shoghi Effendi, Letter of 111 BE to Eastern Believers
"و این جریان سفینه احکام اشاره باستقرار دیوان عدل الهی که فی الحقیقه دارالتشریع است و شعبه ئی از مرکز جهانی اداری بهائیان در این جبل مقدس محسوب و در بنائی مخصوص در قرب دارالاثار بین المللی که حال وقت تاسیس آنست در نقطه ئی مشرف بر این دو بنیان رفیع البناء و این دو معهد قوی الارکان بنائی دیگر که دارالولایه و مرکز تبیین و تاویل و تفسیر احکام منصوصه است و موید و متمم هیئت تشریعیه است متدرجا مرتفع خواهد گشت و نیز بنائی دیگر منضم باین ابنیه ثلاثه خواهد شد که مرکز ترویج و دارالتبلیغ است و مقر استقرارایادی امرالله که بر حسب نص قاطع کتاب وصایا ماموربه محافظه و صیانت و حمایت امرالله و حفظ وحدت جامعه وانتشار دین الله وابلاغ کلمه الله اند"
شوقی افندی از توقیع 111 بدیع به احباء شرق
If the line of guardians was over, why would Shoghi Effendi ask the believers to build a home for him (future guardians)?
Keeping the above two points in mind: 1) that the line of Guardians in the Bahá’í Faith cannot be broken, and 2) “another branch” refers to all believers in Baha'u'llah in accordance and harmony with the Holy Writings, let us examine what Shoghi Effendi did in his own lifetime regarding his most important duty, the appointment of his successor.
Shoghi Effendi did not nominate in very clear language his successor, but the following facts are found in the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a and Shoghi Effendi.
The beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, in a November 1929 letter, announced that the appointment of the Hands of the Cause, the connection of the Bahá’í community to the world communities, formation of international conferences, etc., all depends on the formation of the Universal House of Justice. These are his words in the Persian language:
"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 Kitab-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. With that craves of the people of Baha will fulfil “Shoghi Effendi, letter of November 27, 1929
"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 اجراآتکلیه بهائیان است و معین و مرجع این عبد نا توان. بها تحقق آمال اهل بهاء"
شوقی افندی توقیع 27 نوامبر 1929
The first group of the Hand of the Cause was appointed on 24 December 1951. As he promised, it would be necessary for him to form the Universal House of Justice before the appointment of the Hands.
He did, in fact, on 9 January 1951, before the appointment of the Hands, form the embryo of the Universal House of Justice. On the same day the following cablegram was sent to the Bahá’í world:
“Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch making decision of formation of first International Bahá’í Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Centre of Faith already established in twin cities of ‘Akk’a and Haifa. Fulfilment of prophecies uttered by Founder of Faith and Centre of His Covenant culminating in establishment of Jewish State, signalizing birth after lapse of two thousand years of an independent nation in the Holy Land, the swift unfoldment of historic undertaking associated with construction of superstructure of the Bab’s Sepulchre on Mount Carmel, the present adequate maturity of nine vigorously functioning national administrative institutions throughout the Bahá’í world, combine to induct me to arrive at this historic decision making most significant milestone in evolution of administrative order of the Faith of Baha'u'llah in course of last thirty years. Nascent Institution now created is invested with threefold function: first, to forge link with authorities of newly emerged State; second, to assist me to discharge responsibilities involved erection of mighty superstructure of the Bab’s Holy Shrine; third, to conduct negotiations related to matters of personal status with civil authorities. To these will be added further functions in course of evolution of this first embryonic International Institution, making its development into officially recognised Bahá’í Court, its transformation into duly elected body, its efflorescence into Universal House of Justice, and its final fruition through erection of manifold auxiliary institutions constituting the World Administrative Centre destined to arise and function and remain permanently established in close neighbourhood of Twin Holy Shrines. Hail with thankful, joyous heart at long last the constitution of International Council which history will acclaim as the greatest event shedding lustre upon second epoch of Formative Age of Bahá’í Dispensation potentially unsurpassed by any enterprise undertaken since inception of Administrative Order of Faith on morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a’s Ascension, ranking second only to glorious immortal events associated with ministries of the Three Central Figures of Faith in course of First Age of most glorious Dispensation of the five thousand century Bahá’í cycle. Advice publicise announcement through Public Relations Committee. Underlining added by author
On 2 March 1951, the Guardian sent another cablegram to the Bahá’í world. In this cablegram Shoghi Effendi appointed Charles Mason Remey as the President of the embryo of the Universal House of Justice. The cablegram reads:
“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 planet.”
‘Abdu’l-Bah’a in Some Answered Questions writes:
“… 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.” ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Bahá’í World Faith, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, page 313
The centre of Covenant in His Will and Testament states:
“By this body (Universal House of Justice) all problems are to be resolved and the guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body.”
Let us summarise the facts that I have outlined so far:
‘Abdu’l-Bah’a in his Will and Testament made it the duty of the guardian to appoint his successor
“another branch” was defined by Baha'u'llah to refer to all the believers in Him
Shoghi Effendi could appoint any believer to be his successor
Shoghi Effendi in 1929 promised the formation of the Universal House of Justice before the appointment of the Hands of the Cause
On 9 January 1951 the embryo of the Universal House of Justice was formed by Shoghi Effendi. It became “the greatest event . . . since inception of administrative order . . . ranking second only to glorious immortal events associated with Ministries of the Three Central figure of the Faith in Course of First Age of most glorious Dispensation of the five thousand century Bahá’í cycle…”
On 2 March 1951 C. M. Remey was appointed President of embryo of Universal House of Justice
‘Abdu’l-Bah’a in his Will and Testament states that the Guardian is the Head of the Universal House of Justice and the head of the Universal House of Justice is the Guardian.
In Ridvan 117 Bahá’í Era (April 1960), C. M. Remey sent his proclamation to the Bahá’ís of the United States of America. Based on his appointment as President of the embryonic Universal House of Justice, C. M. Remey in his proclamation states “…The line of the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith is unbroken for I have been the Guardian of the Faith since the death of the Beloved Shoghi Effendi…” (I received a “strange mail” several years ago. In the mail was a copy of the Proclamation. I did not send the “strange mail” to the NSA as the believers had been directed to do, without opening the mail}
Now! Has Shoghi Effendi appointed his successor in his own lifetime? Or has he left the Ark of the Cause of God on a stormy ocean without a Captain? Has he left this world without the Divine Judge? We should have answers for these questions.
How can we ignore all the above mentioned verses and at the same time be firm in His Covenant? How?
How can we reject all of the above divine verses and yet accept the following? “Prior to his passing in 1957 Shoghi Effendi appointed twenty-seven Hands of the Cause of God charged with the propagation and protection of the Faith. Through their efforts with the election of the first Universal House of Justice was called in April 1963. . . in accordance with the provision of Writings of Baha’u’llah.” We say that we have the Infallible Universal House of Justice and this body is the judge for the people of the world. We also know that the Hands of the Cause are fallible and are subject to human emotion. The questions are: How can the fallible Hands of the Cause create an infallible Universal House of Justice? How can the creation be better than its creator? How can the painting be better than the painter? How? How appropriate is the Persian Poem:
ذات نا یافته از هستی بخش
کی تواند که شود هستی بخش
خشک ابری که بود زآب تهی
ناید از وی صفت آب دهی
"Given unto thee no creative essence!
How can thou become creative in essence?
A dry air which lacks water!
Worthy not of bringing forth water"
We have read the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bah’a regarding the infallibility of the Universal House of Justice. In Some Answered Questions he explains that there are three kinds of infallibilities (as I can understand and/or comprehend it): Supreme infallibility, Acquired infallibility and Conferred infallibility. Baha'u'llah possesses Supreme infallibility. The second form of infallibility refers to Guardians of the Faith and the last refers to the Universal House of Justice. In accordance with the Will and Testament, the Guardian is the permanent head of the Universal House of Justice. Because of this, the Universal House of Justice becomes infallible. Shoghi Effendi left no doubt of this fact. He states in the Persian language:
”The believers will erect the mighty stronghold of the Universal House of Justice before the eye of the people despite of the opposition by the relentless enemies of the Faith. When they [the believers] successfully achieve this objective, the greatest wish of our Lord will be fulfilled. Any institution that is not established in accordance with the Divine Order, not in conformity with the principles and the conditions recorded in the Holy Writings, as it is required for this august institution, consequently such an institution is void of credential, deprived of spiritual station, and forbidden to have any right to legislate and enact laws and ordinances which are not explicitly recorded in the Holy Writings. It also lacks the essential qualities and the Divine confirmation." (Underline is author’s) Shoghi Effendi, from letter of dated Summer of 1925
"قصر مشید بیت عدل عمومی را علی رؤس الاشهاد رغما لکل عدو لدود و معاند جسور مرتفع سازند و بر اجرای اعظم نوایای مقدسه رب عزیز موفق و فائز گردند و هر هیا تی که به نظام الهی و بر حسب تعلیمات و اصول و شرایط سماویه که در صحف الهیه مشروحا مثبوت و مسطور است کا ملا کما ینبغی ویلیق لهذا المقا م الرفیع ولمرکز المنیع انتخاب و تشکیل نشود ان هیات از اعتبار اصلی و رتبه روحانی ساقط و از حق تشریع ووضع احکا م و سنن و قوانین غیر منصوصه ممنوع و از شرف اسنی و قوه مطلقه علیا محروم."
(اشاره به بیت العدل اعظم الهی که تنها هیات قانون گذار بین المللی است)
شوقی افندی از توقیع مورخ تموز 1925 خطاب به محفل مقدس روحانی حیفا
Dear Mr. Hugh Chance, if we build up our present administration to absolute perfection, we will have a body without a soul. The Guardian writes:
“Should we build up the administrative order to a point of absolute perfection but at the same time allow it to be hampered or disconnected from the Channels within through which channels the Holy Spirit of the Cause pours forth, we would have nothing more than a perfect body out of touch with and cut off from the finer promptings of the soul or spirit.”
Rejecting the continuation of the line of Guardians, we have nothing but a body without a soul.
Another point you mentioned in the meeting was the payment of Huqquq’u’llah by the believers. In fact in the last few years the believers have been educated to pay their Huqquq’u’llah. The recent booklet in Persian on Huqquq’u’llah is a compilation of writing on the subject. Unfortunately the administration failed to quote an important verse of the Will and Testament that says: “It is to be offered (Huqquq’u’llah) through the Guardian of the Cause of God. . . .” The Guardian according to the Will and Testament is the sole recipient of Huqquq’u’llah and nobody else is given the right to receive it.
As the name suggests, Huqquq’u’llah is the right of God. It is given to his representative who is the Guardian. When we assume the termination of Guardianship, how can we change the writing and try to get what does not belong to us? It is given solely to the Guardian and he is given the right to use it as he wishes. When we know Huqquq’u’llah is referred to the Guardian of the Cause, how can we change the verse of the Will and Testament to “Further, there devolve upon it (Universal House of Justice) the duties of directing the work of the Hands of the Cause… and of providing for the receipt and disbursement of Huqquq’u’llah?”
My dearly beloved friend Mr. Hugh Chance, you mentioned in the meeting to study the writings and become firm in the Covenant. How can we become firm in the Covenant while we ignore the above firm and inarguable verses? How can we invite the believers to be firm in the Covenant while we say the Guardianship is ended with the death of Shoghi Effendi? Were we not told by Shoghi Effendi that a true believer should recognise “the station of the forerunner, the Author and the True Exemplar of the Bahá’í cause, as set in ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Testament, unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their pen; loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved’s Sacred
Will. . . . ”? How can we have double standards? How? How can we satisfy our conscience?
If we follow the Hands’ version of the Covenant, we are considered to be firm in the Covenant and everybody pays his or her respect. If someone starts to study the Covenant and learns the contents of the Will and Testament, The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, and other material related to the Administration Order, he is picked up by the informers in our community. He is reported to higher levels of the Administration and new types of persecutions start; that is psychological persecutions. The first thing is to discredit him in the community and accuse him of being an enemy of the Faith, a Covenant breaker, etc. It does not take very long before he finds himself without relatives and friends to turn to. This type of persecution is carried out against him without him realising what is happening to him. He is never given a chance to defend himself; suffering in silence is the result for the victim.
We have declared many believers to be Covenant breakers. We did so without having the slightest right to do so. The Guardian states it is the sole right of the Guardian of the Faith to declare a person a Covenant Breaker. In Persian he states:
"Expulsion and excommunication of the individuals from the Cause of God ... are part of the authorities of the Guardian namely the spiritual head of the Bahá’í Community.”
"اخراج و طرد افراد از شریعت الهیه ... جزء اختیارات خاصه ولی امرالله یعنی رئیس عالیه روحانیه جامعه میباشد." Neza'mat-e-Bahá’í, 85
“Reinstatement of the former Covenant breakers is also one of the duties of the Guardian of the Faith.” Akh'bar-e-Am’ri, No. 106
و همچنین " ... اعاده نفوس مطروده بجامعه بهائی نیز مختص ولی امرالله است ... "
اخبار امری شماره 106
How can we be so unjust to declare a person to be a violator of the covenant without having the right to do so? How? How can we be so cruel? Is this not the same as the Muslim people do against our dear friends in Iran?
At the present time, the believers in the Bahá’í Faith are divided into two separate groups. One group, which is the majority, follows the Hands of the Faith doctrine that there is no Guardian after Shoghi Effendi. The other group, which is the minority, follows C. M. Remey as their second Guardian. They say the line of Guardians is not broken and it will continue in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah until the next manifestation of God appears after at least one thousand years has elapsed. It seems to me that the Bahá’í Faith is already divided into different sects and I pray to God He forgives us if we failed to see the Truth.
If those who believe in the continuation of the line of Guardians are right, and indeed C. M. Remey was the second Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, we have committed an unforgivable mistake. This means that the Hands of the Faith have failed to recognise the Truth. They dragged themselves and other believers into waywardness. They have created the foundation for further religious persecution, as the Bahá’í Faith will be divided into different sects and it will not accomplish its main purpose, which is the unity of mankind. New generations will remember us as the most unfaithful ones that have betrayed Baha'u'llah.
My dear friend, please read the above in the Mansion of Baha'u'llah and meditate upon it and remember Baha'u'llah’s statement in the Kitáb-i-Iqan:
“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 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. Thus hath S’adiq, son of Muhammad, spoken “God verily will test them and sift them. This is the divine standard; this is the Touchstone of God wherewith He proveth His servants. None apprehendeth the meaning of these utterances except them whose hearts are assured, whose souls have found favour with God, and whose minds are detached from all else but Him. In such utterances, the literal meaning, as generally understood by the people, is not what hath been intended.” (Underlining is author’s)
To end this letter I leave you with these verses from Hidden Words:
“O friends that the favour is complete, the argument fulfilled, the proof manifest and the evidence established. Let it now be seen what your endeavours in the path of detachment will reveal . . .” Dear friend BE JUST. As Baha'u'llah says, “The best beloved of all things in My sight is justice; turn not away there from if thou desirest Me . . .”
I hope this letter finds you well and happy. I am looking forward to receiving your reply.
With Bahá’í love,
Your very true friend
This letter was posted on 8 April 1988. Mr. H. Chance acknowledged its receipt.
This letter is retyped of the original with inserted translation of the Persian quotations in this retyped text were missing in the original letter to Mr. Hugh Chance.