Unitarian Bahaism (Deleted Wikipedia article)

(Note: This is a copy of an entry on Wikipedia that was deleted by one of its admin after a determined effort to get it banned by Haifan Baha’is. This is an example of the thought control and censorship that is subjected to anyone who stands up to the bullies that run or serve the Baha’i Administrative Order.) 

Unitarian Bahaism is an interpretation of the Bahai religion characterized by a focus on individual freedom of conscience rather than the authority of Bahai leaders and institutions, not linked with the Haifa-based Baha’i Faith denomination.[1][self-published source?] Historically, it existed from the death of the Bahai prophet Bahá’u’lláh in 1892, when a schism occurred between two of his sons,[2] until at least 1937, when the second son Mirza Muhammad Ali died. Today, Unitarian Bahaism is being revived by the Unitarian Bahai Association, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization founded in March 2010.[3][self-published source?]

Unitarian Bahais consider the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh as inspired spiritual teachers. They consider `Abdu’l-Bahá and Mirza Muhammad Ali as the successors of Bahá’u’lláh.[4] They consider Shoghi Effendi‘s status as Guardian of the Bahai faith to be of questionable legitimacy, and they do not regard the Universal House of Justice seated in Haifa, Israel, as an authority that must be followed.[5][self-published source?]

Historical Unitarian Bahais

The first Unitarian Bahai was Mírzá Muhammad `Alí,[2] also known as Ghusn-i-Akbar (“the Greatest Branch”), the second son of Bahá’u’lláh.[6][self-published source?] Bahá’u’lláh’s will named `Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son, as his successor, and stated that Ghusn-i-Akbar’s status or rank was after that of `Abdu’l-Bahá. None of Bahá’u’lláh’s other children were mentioned by name in the will.[7] `Abdu’l-Bahá and Mirza Muhammad Ali disagreed about how much authority Bahá’u’lláh’s will conferred on `Abdu’l-Bahá, and their dispute became personal and turned into a family feud,[8] as has been described from various points of view including that of `Abdu’l-Bahá in his own will,[9][non-primary source needed] Mirza Muhammad Ali in a Unitarian Bahai magazine,[10][non-primary source needed] Shoghi Effendi (grandson and successor of `Abdu’l-Bahá) in his book God Passes By,[11] and William McElwee Miller, a Christian minister who wrote a book critical of the Bahai faith.[12]

Most of Bahá’u’lláh’s family supported Ghusn-i-Akbar’s side, including Baha’u’llah’s two surviving wives, Fatima and Gawhar, and all of their children. However Bahá’u’lláh’s daughter Bahiyyih Khánum, from his late first wife Ásíyih Khánum, and the vast majority of Bahá’ís supported `Abdu’l-Bahá’s side of the dispute. The supporters of Mirza Muhammad `Ali called themselves “Unitarians” because they emphasized the Islamic concept of tawhid, the Oneness of God and absolute prohibition of joining partners with God (known as Unitarianism among Christians).[13] They were excommunicated and declared Covenant-breakers by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for their refusal to obey him and accept his understanding of the religion.[14]

Ibrahim George Kheiralla, a Syrian Christian convert to the Bahá’í Faith, emigrated to the United States and founded the first American Bahá’í community.[15][16] Initially he was loyal to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, but he taught that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was the return of Christ, and when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá learned this was becoming the widespread understanding of the Bahá’ís in America he took pains to correct the mistake, according to Bahá’í author Peter Smith.[17] Later on, Kheiralla switched sides in the conflict between Bahá’u’lláh’s sons and supported Mirza Muhammad Ali. He formed the Society of Behaists, a religious denomination promoting Unitarian Bahaism in the U.S., which was led after his death by Shuaullah Behai, son of Mirza Muhammad Ali.[18]

Shuaullah Behai, the eldest grandson of Bahá’u’lláh, emigrated to the United States in June 1904 at the behest of his father, Mirza Muhammad Ali.[19]. He published a Unitarian Bahai magazine called Behai Quarterly for three years, 1934 to 1937, in the English language, which featured the writings of Ghusn-i-Akbar and various other Unitarian Bahais, including himself, Kheiralla, Mirza Majdeddin (nephew and son-in-law of Baha’u’llah), and several Americans. The Unitarian Bahaism of this period appears to have mostly died out after Ghusn-i-Akbar’s death, however, continuing to exist only among the descendants of Bahá’u’lláh through the later wives.[20]

Modern Unitarian Bahais

Nigar Bahai Amsalem, the great-granddaughter of Bahá’u’lláh and granddaughter of both Mirza Muhammad Ali (Ghusn-i-Akbar) and Bahá’u’lláh’s youngest son Badiullah, supports Unitarian Bahaism[citation needed] and was interviewed in the 2006 Israeli film mockumentary[21] Baha’is In My Backyard.[1] She has built a shrine at the tomb of her grandfather, Mirza Muhammad Ali, and opposes the Haifa-based denomination. She withheld information on her opposition during her interview for the film.[22]

Unitarian Bahais today seek to revive Ghusn-i-Akbar’s school of thought, while also recognizing the positive contributions of `Abdu’l-Bahá to the Bahai religion.[6] Modern Unitarian Bahaism is an understanding that emphasizes the unity and transcendence of God, the humanity and limitations of all religious leaders including prophets, the importance of inclusion and tolerance among followers of Bahaullah and people of all faiths, and the responsibility of Bahais to engage with politics and social causes.[23]

Modern Unitarian Bahaism has a tolerant and welcoming view toward some types of people who are viewed with suspicion or rejected by the mainstream Baha’i Faith. This includes partnered and non-celibate lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, politically active people, all residents of Israel, all descendants of Baha’u’llah (including those who are regarded as Covenant-breakers by the other Bahai denominations), and people in Muslim countries who hide their religion and publicly practice Islam.[5] See Persecution of Bahá’ís and Egyptian identification card controversy especially for those Bahá’ís who don’t hide their religion.

Many Unitarian Bahais today are members or supporters of the Unitarian Universalist Association and participate in its congregations.[24][25]

See also

Bahá’í divisions

References

  1. ^ a b Admin, Unitarian Universalist Bahai Blog (March 27, 2010). “Not Interested”. Bahais Online. http://www.uubahai.com/2010/03/not-interested/. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Bjorling, Joel (1985). The Baha’i Faith: A Historical Bibliography (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, Vol 223). Scholarly Title. pp. 131-133. ISBN 978-0824089740. http://books.google.com/books?id=ra3gAAAAMAAJ.
  3. ^ McGlinn, Sen (March 27, 2010). “A Muhammad Ali revival?”. http://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/muhammad-ali/. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Mirza Majdeddin. “Brief Behai History” Behai Quarterly. Volume III, No. 1 & 2, 1936, p. 20. http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol8/32BQ20.gif
  5. ^ a b “Differences Between the Unitarian and Haifan Bahai Faith”. The Unitarian Bahai Association. http://www.unitarianbahai.org/differences.html. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  6. ^ a b “Ghusn-i-Akbar, the First Unitarian Bahai – Part 1: The Facts”. UU Bahai.com. March 30, 2010. http://www.uubahai.com/2010/03/ghusn-i-akbar-part-1-the-facts/. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  7. ^ Baha’u’llah. Kitab-i-Ahd. http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/tb/13.htmlhttp://bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/tb/13.html
  8. ^ Browne, Edward Granville. Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion. http://books.google.com/books?id=SuU8AAAAIAAJ
  9. ^ `Abdu’l-Bahá. Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá. http://bahai-library.com/file.php?file=abdulbaha_will_testament
  10. ^ Behai, Shuaullah. “My Interview with Ghusni Akbar Mohammed Ali Behai, The Eldest Living Son of Beha U’llah.” Behai Quarterly. Volume IV, No. 1 & 2, 1937, p. 17. http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol8/42BQ17.gif
  11. ^ Rabbani, Shoghi Effendi. God Passes By. http://bahai-library.com/file.php?file=shoghieffendi_god_passes_by
  12. ^ Miller, William McElwee (1974). The Baha’i Faith: Its History and Teachings. William Carey Library. ISBN 9780878081370. http://books.google.com/books?id=gc3_6HVvZzkC.
  13. ^ Baha’u’llah; Browne, Edward Granville (1898, 1918). Mirza Javad Qazvini, Risalih. (Epitome of Babi and Baha’i History). Cambridge University Press. p. 61. http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/diglib/books/A-E/B/browne/material/qazvini.htm. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  14. ^ Momen, Moojan. “The Covenant, and Covenant-breaker”. A Short Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith (draft). http://bahai-library.com/?file=momen_encyclopedia_covenant. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  15. ^ http://www.countyhistorian.com/cecilweb/index.php/Ibrahim_George_Kheiralla
  16. ^ Garlington, William (2005). The Baha’i Faith in America. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0742562349.
  17. ^ Smith, Peter (2004). “The Baha’i Faith in the West”. Bahá’ís in the West. Kalimat Press. pp. 4, 7. ISBN 9781890688110. http://books.google.com/books?id=x7wyJdyE60oC&lpg=PA13&ots=30IjH_BoUp&lr&pg=PA4#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  18. ^ Behai Quarterly. Digitally reprinted at http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol8/bq.htm. See Volume I, No. 1, p. 11: http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol8/11BQ11.gif. See Volume IV, No. 1 & 2, p. 23: http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol8/42BQ23.gif
  19. ^ Behai, Shu’a’ullah (1934-1937). “Documents on the Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’i Movements”. Behai Quarterly 8 (2). http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol8/bq.htm. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  20. ^ Bahá’í: Studies in Contemporary Religion, (Schisms Since the Bab, p64) by Margit Warburg ISBN 1-56085-169-4
  21. ^ Schory, Noemi. “Producer’s Statement”. Bahais in My Backyard, A Belfilms Production. firsthandfilms.com. http://www.firsthandfilms.com/index.php?film=1000184. Retrieved 04-13-2010.
  22. ^ Masumian, Abid; Moojan Momen (?). “The Truth about Baha’u’llah’s Great-Granddaughter, Nigar Bahai Amsalem”. ?. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17497747/Bahaullahs-Great-Grand-Daughter-Nigar-Bahai-Amsalem. Retrieved 04-13-2010.
  23. ^ “A liberal, all-inclusive worldwide Bahai faith community”. The Unitarian Bahai Association. http://www.unitarianbahai.org/. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  24. ^ “Unitarian And Bahai”. The Unitarian Bahai Association. http://www.unitarianbahai.org/teaching/uandb.html. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  25. ^ “A Fellowship within the Unitarian-Universalist Association”. Unitarian-Baha’is. http://unitarianbahai.angelfire.com/. Retrieved April 11, 2010.

External links

Can There Be a Universal House of Justice?

The elected Baha’i leaders in Haifa call themselves “the Universal House of Justice.” But
do they really meet the definition of this Divine Institution?
“In all countries a secondary House of Justice must be instituted, and these
secondary Houses of Justice must elect the members of the Universal
one.” (Abd’ul-Baha. Will and Testament, p. 14.)

Currently, there are no secondary or national Houses of Justice anywhere in the world.
Only provisional institutions called “Spiritual Assemblies” are allowed to exist,
according to the decree of the global Baha’i leadership. These assemblies cannot be
considered secondary Houses of Justice operating under a different name, because they
are currently denied the authority to exercise many of the rights and powers ordained for
the true Bahai legislative bodies. How then can there be a Universal House of Justice
elected according to scriptural requirements?
Even if the secondary House of Justice were allowed to exist in each country of the
world, there still could not be a properly constituted Universal House of Justice, because
the Guardian is supposed to be part of this institution.
“The Guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished
member for life of that body [the Universal House of Justice]. Should he not
attend in person its deliberations, he must appoint one to represent
him.” (Abd’ul-Baha. Will and Testament, p. 14.)
“Though the Guardian of the faith has been made the permanent head of so
august a body [the Universal House of Justice] he can never, even temporarily,
assume the right of exclusive legislation. He cannot override the decision of the
majority of his fellow-members, but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by
them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning
and to depart from the spirit of Baha’ullah’s revealed utterances. He interprets
what has been specifically revealed, and cannot legislate except in his capacity as
member of the Universal House of Justice.” (Rabbani, Shoghi Effendi. The World
Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 150.)
Furthermore, the Guardian specifically stated that the Universal House of Justice is
inseparable from the Guardianship. In the absence of the Guardianship, the Baha’i
leaders could create any kind of provisional administrative institution, as long as they do
not call it the “Universal House of Justice” and claim the infallible authority of this
sacred body.
Considering these verses, do the Baha’i leaders have a right to demand that the Baha’is
regard them as the true Universal House of Justice, with all the weighty implications of
such a status?
“the inseparable institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of
Justice” (Rabbani, Shoghi Effendi. Citadel of Faith, p. 76.)
“Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions [the
Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice] administer its [the Faith’s]
affairs, coordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend
its subsidiary institutions.” (Rabbani, Shoghi Effendi. The World Order of
Baha’u’llah, p. 148.)

Courtesy:- http://www.bahai-faith.com/

 

 

The Difference between the two Branches Ghusne Akbar Vs Ghusne Azaam

Mohammed Ali Effendi (Ghusne Akbar) Abbas Effendi (Ghusne Azam)
He tried to save the faith by asking to have meeting with Abbas Effendi. He refused all sort of communication with his brothers.
He took care of entire family of Baha’u’llah, and stayed with them. He ex-communicated the entire family of Baha’u’llah and moved with his wife and children to palace of Baha’u’llah
He focused in teachings of his Father Baha’u’llah and spread the awareness of faith. He kept aside teachings of his Father and was busy in bragging about himself.
He took care of ailing Aghsan Ziya”u’llah Effendi as per instruction of his father “to take care of Aghsan.” He abandoned his ailing brother and not attended his burial ceremony even told his followers to celebrate the death.
When Abbas Effendi stopped there monthly expenses he took care of family and borrowed money from friends to feed the family of Baha’u’llah. He stopped their monthly expenses and kept all money and gift which was pouring from all over the world for himself and his children.
He was humbly meeting all the guest who use to visit tomb of Baha’u’llah. He use to asked the people not to meet his brothers, and used to uttered bad words about them.
He never uttered single bad words about Abbas Effendi. He called them Violator, covenant breaker, Mole, black ship.
He saved the widow of Zia’u’llah Effendi. He tried to abduct the widow of his late brother
He arranged livelihood and house for Khadimullah Mirza Agha Jaan a servant of Baha’u’llah. He beat him and threw him out of tomb of Baha’u’llah bare headed and bare footed.
He kept teachings and Tablet of Baha’u’llah intact. He modified and destroyed most of Tablets of Baha’u’llah.
He called himself as finger-post pointing towards Baha’u’llah. He declared himself as center of covenant, return of Jesus, interpreter and infallaible.
He respected the followers and helper of Baha’u’llah equally. He supported to only those who praised him and accepted his claims.
He never excommunicated anybody in his entire life. He excommunicated the entire family of Baha’u’llah.
He tried to resolve the issue through Lady Templeton, His Son Shua’u’llah, Qamar Behai, to sit and discussed the difference and have open debate in front of believers. He refused all such invitation since he was aware that he will lose.

This is the reason we Unitarian Baha’is believe that Abbas Effendi failed in promoting the teachings of Baha’u’llah and created the hatreds and conflict in family and society, hence he was spiritually excommunicated and his brother Mohammed Ali Effendi became the leader of faith, as Baha’u’llah has predicted and nominated two of his Son as his successor, Abbas Effendi failed and Mohammed Ali Effendi succeeded.

For more details of his corruption reader can read following articles.

  1. Secret activities of Abdul Baha.
  2. Mohammed Ali Effendi Tried to save the faith.
  3. Calamities falling on servant of Baha’u’llah.
  4. Abbas Effendi Disobedient Son of Baha’u’llah.
  5. Peter of Baha Ibrahim George Khairullah.

 

Courtesy:- http://unitarianbahais.blogspot.com/

 

Shun Mohammed Ali Effendi – Command of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Here we bring forward the words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha from his will in which he Shuns his brother Mohammed Ali Effendi and his followers.

One of the greatest and most fundamental princi­ples of the Cause of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Cove­nant-breakers, for they will utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past….

[S]hould this man [Mohammed Ali] succeed in bringing dis­ruption into the Cause of God, he will utterly destroy and exter­minate it. Beware lest ye approach this man, for to approach him is worse than approaching fire!…

[I]t is incumbent upon the friends that are fast and firm in the Covenant and Testament to be ever wakeful lest after this wronged one is gone this alert and active worker of mis­chief may cause disruption, privily sow the seeds of doubt and se­dition and utterly root out the Cause of God. A thousand times shun his company. Take heed and be on your guard. Watch and examine; should anyone, openly or privily, have the least connec­tion with him, cast him out from your midst, for he will surely cause disruption and mischief.

[T]he beloved of the Lord must entirely shun them [i.e. the fol­lowers of Mohammed Ali], avoid them, foil their machinations and evil whisperings, guard the Law of God and His religion, en­gage one and all in diffusing widely the sweet savors of God and to the best of their endeavour proclaim His Teachings.

[Having given the reader reasons to believe that Mohammed Ali Effendi should not become the second successor of Baha’u’llah as envi­sioned in his will, the author of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha appoints Shoghi Effendi Rabbani to a position of “Guardianship” with supreme authority as the representative of God and chairman of the Universal House of Justice, and decrees that he should be succeeded by his lineal descendants:]

Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that pri­mal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree [i.e. Shoghi Ef­fendi], grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees [the Bab and Baha’u’llah]; the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas; … [and] upon them that have believed, rested as­sured, stood steadfast in His Covenant and followed the Light that after my passing shineth from the Dayspring of Divine Guid­ance—for behold! he [Shoghi Effendi] is the blest and sacred bough that hath branched out from the Twin Holy Trees. Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind…

O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsan (Branches) [i.e. sons of Baha’u’llah], the Afndn (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-Tree [i.e. rela­tives of the Bab], the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God [i.e. high­est appointed Baha’i leaders] and the loved ones of the Abha Beauty [i.e. followers of Baha’u’llah] to turn unto Shoghi Effendi… as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God… He is the Interpreter of the Word of God and after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendants.

The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty [Baha’u’llah], under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One [the Bab] (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not [i.e. the Guardian], neither obeyeth them [the House of Justice], hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieved! in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him! The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian of the Cause of God. It is incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice, upon all the Aghsan, the Afhan, the Hands of the Cause of God to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the Guardian of the Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly before him. He that opposeth him hath opposed the True One, will make a breach in the Cause of God, will subvert His Word and will become a manifestation of the Center of Sedi­tion. Beware, beware, lest the days after the ascension (of Baha’u’l­lah) be repeated when the Center of Sedition [Mohammed AH] waxed haughty and rebelhous and with Divine Unity for his ex­cuse deprived himself and perturbed and poisoned others….

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. …

[S]hould the first-born… not inherit of the spiritual within him… then must he (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch [i.e. male descendant of Baha’u’llah] to succeed him.

The Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own number nine persons… [who] must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the Guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor….

And now, concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from all error… the Guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distin­guished member for life of that body. … Should any of the mem­bers 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.

To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction. All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause [i.e. the Guardian] and the House of Jus­tice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in griev­ous error.

[The “Guardian” is empowered to appoint and oversee a body of Baha’i religious leaders called “Hands of the Cause of God,” who are given the power of excommunication:]

[T]he Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God, cast him out from the congregation of the people of Baha and in no wise accept any ex­cuse from him….

O friends! The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God. All must be under his shadow and obey his command. Should any, within or without the company of the Hands of the Cause of God disobey and seek division, the wrath of God and His vengeance will be upon him, for he will have caused a breach in the true Faith of God.

[Baha’is are instructed to donate 19% of their wealth to the Guard­ian of the faith:]

The Lord, as a sign of His infinite bounties, hath graciously favoured His servants by providing for a fixed money offering (Huquq), to be dutifully presented unto Him… It is to be offered through the Guardian of the Cause of God, that it may be ex­pended for the diffusion of the Fragrances of God and the exalta­tion of His Word, for benevolent pursuits and for the common weal.

Note:-  1) Shoghi Effendi died without leaving a will.

2) Shoghi did not have any successor nor did he appoint one.

3) The so called Universal House of Justice is operating without a guardian.

4) UHJ collects money from mainstream Baha’is in the name of Huququ’llah while this is the right of the Guardian.

‘Abdu’l-Baha went against Baha’u’llah’s teachings and His will. Shoghi Effendi went against ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s teachings and will.  They both have played a political game for their personal motives and have kept the followers away from ‘Independent Investigation Of Truth’.

Shoghi Effendi – The Fake guardian

Three years after ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s death, his grandson Shoghi Effendi Rabbani allowed the leaders of the North American Baha’i com­munity to distribute to the members a document purported to be the last will and testament of the deceased successor of Baha’u’llah, forbid­ding them from publishing any part of it or disseminating it to non­believers:

I feel that the conditions are now favourable for the circulation of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha only in manuscript form and among recognized believers in America. Every such believer should be trusted with a single copy with the express understand­ing that no duplicate copies or extracts of it be made or published anywhere.

The will was issued in accordance with the conditions laid down by Shoghi Effendi, by the National Spiritual Assembly, in February, 1925. The following are excerpts from the will, which was eventually made available to the general public:

[The document contains serious charges and a statement of excom­munication pronounced against Mohammed Ali Efendi, the eldest surviving son of Baha’u’llah]

O ye that stand fast and firm in the Covenant! The Center of Sedition, the Prime Mover of mischief, Mirza Muhammad ‘Ali, hath passed out from under the shadow of the Cause, hath broken the Covenant, hath falsified the Holy Text, hath inflicted a griev­ous loss upon the true Faith of God, hath scattered His people, hath with bitter rancour endeavoured to hurt ‘Abdul Baha and hath assailed with the utmost enmity this servant of the Sacred Thresh­old. Every dart he seized and hurled to pierce the breast of this wronged servant, no wound did he neglect to grievously inflict upon me, no venom did he spare but he poisoned therewith the life of this hapless one…. It is incumbent upon everyone to hold fast unto the Text of the clear and firmly established blessed verse, revealed about him. None other transgression greater than his can be ever imagined.

He (Baha’u’llah) sayeth, glorious and holy is His Word:—“My foolish loved ones have regarded him even as my partner, have kindled sedition in the land and they verily are of the mischief-makers…. Should he for a moment pass out from un­der the shadow of the Cause, he surely shall be brought to naught.”

… Ere long will ye behold him and his associates, outwardly and inwardly, condemned to utter ruin.

What deviation can be greater than breaking the Covenant of God!… What deviation can be greater than calumniating the Cen­ter of the Covenant [‘Abdu’l-Baha] himself! What deviation can be more glaring than spreading broadcast false and foolish reports touching the Temple of God’s Testament! What deviation can be more grievous than decreeing the death of the Center of the Cov­enant, supported by the holy verse:—“He that layeth a claim ere the passing of a thousand years…,” whilst he (Mohammed Ali) without shame in the days of the Blessed Beauty [Baha’u’llah] had advanced such a claim as this and been confuted by Him in the aforementioned manner, the text of his claim being still extant in his own handwriting and bearing his own seal….

In concert with others, he that hath broken the Covenant, hath prepared a document teeming with calumny and slander wherein, the Lord forbid, among many similar slanderous charges, ‘Abdu’l-Baha is deemed a deadly enemy, the ill-wisher of the Crown. They so perturbed the minds of the members of the Im­perial Government that at last a Committee of Investigation was sent from the seat of His Majesty’s Government which, violating every rule of justice and equity that befit His Imperial Majesty, nay, with the most glaring injustice, proceeded with its investigations.

… One of their many calumnies was that this servant had raised aloft a banner in this city, had summoned the people together un­der it, had established a new sovereignty for himself, had erected upon Mount Carmel a mighty stronghold, had rallied around him all the peoples of the land and made them obedient to him, had caused disruption in the Faith of Islam, had covenanted with the following of Christ and, God forbid, had purposed to cause the gravest breach in the mighty power of the Crown. May the Lord protect us from such atrocious falsehoods!…

Ref:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

Crimes Committed by Abdul Baha

The purported will of Abbas Effendi contrasts sharply with his pub­lic demeanor and rhetoric and the principles he taught Americans and Europeans who were interested in the Baha’i movement. Abdu’l-Baha was known to his Western admirers for his mild manner and high- minded teachings of peace, love, kindness, forgiveness, religious toler­ance and reconciliation; but in the document considered to be his will, he rails against schismatic rivals led by his half-brother Mohammed Ali Effendi, whom he calls “The Center of Sedition” and whose goal, he says, is to “utterly destroy and exterminate” the Baha’i cause. He ac­cuses him of having broken the “Covenant” of Baha’u’llah by opposing Abdu’l-Baha, who was appointed as the leader of the faith in Baha’u’llah’s will, and declares that this “grievously fallen” brother has thus been “cut off’ from the Baha’i faith, i.e. excommunicated.

Laying out the case against Mohammed Ali Bahai, the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha makes several specific accusations: that he once claimed to write verses with equal authority as the writings of Baha’u’llah—ironically, something that Abbas Effendi himself did throughout his ministry after Baha’u’llah’s passing—and that he com­mitted terrible acts of fraud and betrayal, such as tampering with Baha’u’llah’s writings, submitting libellous reports about his activities to the Ottoman government, and conspiring with Shua Ullah Behai and unnamed others in a plot to have him killed.

Embracing the possi­bility of assassination or execution, he asks God to “make me to drink from the Chalice of Martyrdom, for the wide world with all its vastness can no longer contain me”; and he envisions his excommunicated brother as “afflicted by the wrath of God, sunk into a degradation and infamy that shall be lasting until the Day of Doom.” The author thus casts himself in the heroic role of innocent victim and defender of the faith in the face of the sinister machinations of those he believed to be enemies—the Unitarian Baha’is, whom he calls “Covenant-breakers”— who are cast as the embodiment of utmost evil.

 

Also in the will, ‘Abdu’l-Baha appoints his grandson, Shoghi Ef­fendi Rabbani, to a lofty station of infallible leadership as the “Guardian of the Cause of God.” He asserts that anyone who opposes or disputes with Mr. Rabbani has “opposed God” and should be expelled from the Baha’i community, and calls for “the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God [to] rest upon him!” much the same as his stance toward the Unitarian Baha’is. Surprisingly, he even goes so far as to say that “To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction.”

The overall tenor of the document makes it difficult to believe that it could really have been a celebrated progressive religious leader’s last message to the world—especially when juxtaposed with some of the other well-known writings, speeches and sayings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha that Shua Ullah Behai presents in this chapter. Mr. Behai suggests the pos­sibility of forgery, seemingly unwilling to accept that his uncle could have written a will laced with fierce accusations of moral and spiritual corruption against his father and himself, and criticizes the appoint­ment of a “Guardian” for the Baha’i faith, which he likens to a “little pope.”

Ref:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

Forged Will Of Abdul Baha

This beloved religious leader who called himself ‘Abdu’l-Baha— meaning the servant of Baha’u’llah, his father—who was led by his fa­ther’s personality in darkness and guided in solving problems; this leader who carried out his father’s teachings almost literally without originating anything new himself or misconstruing; do you believe, dear reader, that this servant of Baha’u’llah, this honest and good man could in any way deviate from the path his master drew for him for the advancement and leadership of the Baha’i movement?

Certain persons looking after their own private material benefit originated what they called a will and attributed its issue to Abbas Effendi, in which he was supposed to have nominated his grandson [Shoghi Effendi Rabbani] to the spiritual leadership of the movement. This grandson who was at that time a young boy and therefore unable to realize the extent of the great responsibility that was being entrusted to him by those persons, is, in my opinion—and I have undeniable ev­idence to this effect—unable to realize it up to the present moment.

Those persons, whether they intended or not, have certainly com­mitted an unforgivable sin against Abbas Effendi. A will contradicting his father’s Will! This is to Shame, Shame itself, especially as the sacred nature of a will is respected not only by the Easterners but also by the nations of the world. Moreover is it believable that Abbas Effendi should have tampered with [i.e. contradicted] his father’s Will so long as he knew that he had no right whatever to change any-thing in it, especially as his father had limited the succession, in case of death, to his brother, Mohammed Ali Effendi?

Those persons who originated the will and pretended to venerate Abbas Effendi attached to him a disgrace which the commonest of peo­ple would have resented; so how much more with him, the great reli­gious leader, for they have pictured him as a disobedient boy violating his father’s Will, the same Will which gave him the right to the leader­ship. His brothers respected the holiness of their father’s Will and ac­cepted it and extended their help in the struggle for the propagation of the movement.

On Friday the 25th of November, 1921, Abdu’l-Baha Abbas as usual attended Friday prayers and personally distributed alms to the poor and needy and returned to his residence. Three days later, on the 28th of November, he died, leaving according to his father’s Will the spiritual leadership of the movement to his brother, Mohammed Ali Effendi.

Note:-

1) Part One of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha—in which the author appoints Shoghi Effendi to the position of “Guardian of the Cause of God”—is generally believed to have been written sometime between 1904 and 1907, when he was anywhere from seven to ten years old.

2) ‘Abdu’l-Baha attended weekly Islamic worship services throughout his life.

3) ‘Abdu’l-Baha certainly did not do so—the brothers had been feuding for years—although in the absence of an authentic will contradicting the Will and Testament of Baha’u’llah, the leadership of the Baha’i faith would have passed to the younger brother automatically according to Baha’u’llah’s instructions.

Reference:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

A Tribute to ‘Abdu’l-Baha (Abbas Effendi)

By Kamar Bahai -Granddaughter of Baha’u’llah

This short essay is a circular letter or pamphlet that Kamar Bahai wrote in early 1953 called “Abdul Baha Abbas.”

Mrs. Bahai praises ‘Abdu’l-Baha effusively and does not mention his long-term unresolved feud with Mohammed Ali Effendi. She al­leges that the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha was forged and ex­presses concern that the content of the will, if accepted as his own, would undermine his reputation. In light of the conflict between her uncles which she ignores in this essay, her rejection of the purported testamentary document seems motivated in part by a desire to protect ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s image and that of the Baha’i faith, since he was a much- admired public figure who spoke for the new religion.

Kamar Bahai claims that “certain persons looking after their own private material benefit” wrote the will attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Baha, but she does not identify these persons. According to her daughter Negar Bahai Emsallem, the story passed down in their family is that the ap­pointment of Shoghi Effendi Rabbani to a position of “Guardianship” was the idea of his grandmother, Munirih Khanum, the wife of ‘Abdu’l- Baha. It is conceivable that she, perhaps along with her daughter Ziaiyya Khanum (the mother of Shoghi Effendi) or other close relatives, could have forged all or part of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha with the intention to become powers behind the throne in Shoghi Effendi’s ministry, sinca as Kamar Bahai points out, he was just a boy when the will was written.

The Life of Abbas Effendi

‘Abdu’l-Baha Abbas was born at midnight on the 23rd of May, 1844, in Tehran, the same year that “The Bab” proclaimed his mission to the world.

When Abbas Effendi was scarcely nine years old, his father was ar­rested and imprisoned in Tehran. The mob attacked his house and looted it; the family was stripped of its property and left to suffer the sting of hardship and poverty.

Abdu’l-Baha Abbas was so attached to his father that he almost ap­peared to act as his bodyguard. Being constantly around him, his father educated him as he wished and brought him up as he saw fit, sowed in him the seeds of his principles, built in him a strong personality, im­bibed him with the spirit of humanitarianism, and taught him that those who serve humanity achieve victory in the end. He told him that to be a good Baha’i, he should love the world and humanity in general and try to serve it and labor for universal peace and brotherhood.

Abdu’l-Baha Abbas graduated from his father’s school a strong spiritual personality; he was wise and generous, a father to the needy and a guide to those who went astray. He drew his sublime principles and humanitarian ideals from the school of life and the hardships of experience.

The despotic rule of Abdul Hamid having terminated in 1908 and the then young Turkey having extended a general amnesty for all pris­oners, ‘Abdu’l-Baha Abbas was released [in his mid or late 60s] from the prison which he had entered as a boy.

At that age Abbas Effendi took upon himself the responsibility to propagate his father’s mission, proceeded to Egypt, Switzerland, France, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain, the United States of Amer­ica, and Canada, and there preached his father’s principles and. hu­manitarian ideals which were deeply rooted in him. In the course of his visits to those countries, thousands of people heard him preach the principles of his father, in churches and in every type of religious insti­tution, and millions of people read about the teachings of Baha’u’llah in the local newspapers; and so in virtue of his magnetic personality he was able to attract men and women of every belief and religion.

His followers loved him greatly and he reciprocated their love, he lifted their standards morally, spiritually, and materially to the limit of his capacities, and he endeavored with all his might to come to the res­cue of those who were materially in need as well as to those who sought moral assistance.

The Young Turk Revolution overthrew Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who had im­prisoned many people in the Ottoman Empire who were regarded as political and social reformists. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, along with the rest of Baha’u’llah’s family, had been confined for decades to the vicinity of Acre in present-day Israel (then under Ottoman control), and at times in the prison-fortress in that city. The age of ‘Abdu’l-Baha when he was released is either 64 or anywhere from 67 to 69, depending on which of several purported years of birth is accurate.

Ref:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

Ghusn-i-Akbar – The Successor of Abdul Baha (Abbas Effendi)

Ghusn-i-Akbar, the Mightiest Branch, Mohammed Ali Effendi— The second son of Baha’u’llah, who was appointed in his Will entitled Kitab-i-‘Ahdi, i.e. The Book of My Covenant, successor to Ghusn-i- A’zam, Abbas Effendi, ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Baha’u’llah says, “Verily God hath ordained the station of the Mightiest Branch (Ghusn-i-Akbar) after the station of the former [Ghusn-i-A‘zam]; verily He is the Ordainer, the Wise. We have surely chosen the Mightiest (Alcbar) after the Greatest (A’zam), as a Com­mand from the All-Knowing, the Omniscient.”

This venerable son of Baha’u’llah was grossly misjudged, wronged, abused, and falsely accused by the so-called Baha’is—those who satis­fied themselves with hearsay and passed judgment without investiga­tion. His message to mankind, his will and autobiography which follow, explain the events, and no one could be a better defender of his case than himself.

He was born in Baghdad, Iraq, December 16,1853, and passed unto Eternity at Haifa, Palestine, December 10,1937.

He was a chosen branch and was favored with numerous tablets by the Supreme Pen of Baha’u’llah. The following is a translation of one of them:

THE GREATEST, THE MOST GLORIOUS.

O my God! Verily this is a Branch who hath branched from the lofty tree of Thy Singleness and the Sadra (Lote Tree) of Thy Oneness. Thou seest him, O my God, looking unto Thee and holding fast to the rope of Thy benevolence. Therefore keep him in the vicinity of Thy mercy. Thou knowest, O my God, that I desire him not save because Thou hast desired him; and I have chosen him not save because Thou hast chosen him. Assist him with the hosts of Thy earth and heaven, and help, O my God, whosoever helpeth him, then choose Thou whosoever chooseth him, and forsake whosoever denieth him and desireth him not. O my Lord! Thou seest that at the time of elucidation my pen moveth and my limbs tremble. I ask Thee by my perplexity in Thy Love and my longing to reveal Thy Cause, to ordain for him whatsoever Thou hast des­tined for Thy Messengers and the faithful to Thy divine inspira­tions; verily Thou art God, the Almighty, the All-Powerful.

HE IS THE GREATEST:

O my God! Assist Thou Ghusn al-Akbar (the Mightiest Branch) to Thy remembrance and Thy praise, then cause to flow from his pen the marvels of Thy sciences and secrets. My Lord! Verily he hath hastened unto Thy pleasure and hath fasted for the love of Thyself, and in obedience to Thine order. Destine for him every good revealed in Thy Book; verily Thou art the All-Powerful, the Omnipotent.

Blessed is he who hath rested in the shelter of the Branch of God, his Lord, Lord of the Throne and Lord of the Worlds.

O My Branch! Be thou the cloud of the Spring of My Gener­osity; then rain upon the things in My Name, the New.

O My Branch! We have chosen thee because the Chosen One hath chosen thee; say: praise be unto Thee, O God of all the worlds.

O Ghusn-i-Akbar! (Mightiest Branch) Verily We have chosen thee for the help of My Cause; rise thou in a marvelous assistance.

Conquer thou the cities (strongholds) of the names in My Name, the Ruler over all that He wisheth.

O Sea! wave in My Name, the Rising, the Great!

Verily every action dependeth on thy love; blessed is he that winneth that which hath been desired by his Lord, the All-Know­ing.

Blessed is he that hath heard thy call and hath come forward unto thee for the love of God, the Lord of the worlds.

Reference:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

 

The Station of Ghusn-i-Akbar Mohammed Ali Bahai

By Shua Ullah Behai

This is the first part of a chapter of Shua Ullah Behai’s book manu­script in which he introduces his father and reproduces several of his writings in English translation. It includes Mr. Behai’s translation of a tablet written by Baha’u’llah in which he praises Mohammed Ali Effendi, who was entitled Ghusn-i-Akbar (the Greatest or Mightiest Branch).

The word akbar means “Greatest” in Arabic, being the superlative of kabir, “great,” and in a religious context it can be taken as a reference to the almighty greatness of God (e.g. the Islamic affirmation Allahu Akbar, meaning that God is the Most Great or the Almighty). However, Baha’u’llah called Abbas Effendi by the title Ghusn-i-A‘zam, which also means the Greatest Branch. To avoid confusion, Unitarian Baha’is usu­ally translated Mohammed Ali Effendi’s title as “the Mightiest Branch,” reserving the title “the Greatest Branch” for ‘Abdu’l-Baha, acknowledg­ing the fact that Abbas Effendi was given the first position of leadership according to Baha’u’llah’s will.

The meaning and significance of the tablet of Baha’u’llah repro­duced in this chapter was a matter of dispute between the followers of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Mohammed Ali Bahai. Mr. Bahai and his supporters sometimes called it the “Holy Tablet” or “Sacred Tablet” and considered it an important proof text for the station of the younger son of Baha’u’l- lah as one of the Baha’i prophet’s intended successors. They believed that the entire tablet was about him, Ghusn-i-Akbar, who is mentioned by name in the document. Abdu’l-Baha, on the other hand, reportedly argued that the first part of the tablet was about him, not Mr. Bahai, or that both brothers shared in that part of the tablet. One prominent Unitarian Baha’i accused ‘Abdu’l-Baha of rejecting the tablet com­pletely perhaps because it had become a source of sectarian ten­sion—and in fact, it is generally unknown among Baha’is today.

In this editor’s opinion, ‘Abdu’l-Baha was likely correct in his belief that the tablet was about Baha’u’llah’s successorship as a whole, begin­ning with Abbas Effendi and then continuing to Mohammed Ali Effendi, rather than referring only to the latter individual. The arrange­ment of the verses in the illuminated manuscript shown on page 146 is suggestive of two successors being identified and praised by Baha’u’llah. Most of the verses in the tablet would logically be applicable to any chosen “branch” appointed by Baha’u’llah to succeed him—and he is known to have appointed his two eldest sons in his will, first Ghusn-i- A’zam, then Ghusn-i-Akbar, rather than only one or the other. The tab­let’s ambiguity about the identity of the “branch” being referred to, in all but a few verses, is problematic. However, both the Unitarian Baha’is and the mainstream Baha’is have taken extreme positions in response to this confusion: the former insisting, despite some reasonable argu­ments to the contrary, that the tablet referred only to their own pre­ferred leader; and the latter allowing this significant tablet to fade away into obscurity, having largely forgotten about its existence, presumably because some verses clearly praise and honor a man whom they con­sider the worst of heretics.

(In the mainstream Baha’i tradition, ‘Abdu’l-Baha is called either the “Most Great Branch” or “Most Mighty Branch,” while Mohammed Ali Bahai is called the “Greater Branch.” Both traditions thus indicate the primacy of the first son over the second son, though using a different nomenclature.)

Reference:- ‘A Lost History Of the Baha’i Faith’