A STATEMENT ON THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE BAHA’I FAMILY
BY KAMAR BEHAI
GRAND-DAUGHTER OF BAHA’U’LLAH
In its issue of the 23rd May 1952 the daily newspaper “EL-YUM” published an article under the following heading: “THE MINISTRY OF RELIGION AFFAIRS SETTLES A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE BAHA’I FAMILY” This article is a gross misrepresentation of facts. In order, therefore, to do justice to History and proclaim the truth of the matter, I requested the newspaper “EL YUM” to publish the following statement but, taking a stand inimical to the principles of freedom of the press and for some other reasons, the said newspaper refused to accept to my request.
The dispute between the Baha’i Family is deep-rooted and cannot be settled as easily as may be inferred from the published article.
The Baha’i movement was born amidst vicissitudes and worn out traditions. Its leaders started in all sincerity a relentless social revolution against the shabby set-up then existing in Persia for the purpose of achieving social justice and general reform. In the initial stages of the movement they sacrificed worthy position for the sake of maintaining their strife and spreading their principles. When overwhelmed, they were banished to Acre where they were imprisoned in the citadel and severely tortured. At the head of these leaders were Bahaullah and his entourage.
Prior to his death Baha’u’llah nominated his eldest son Abbas Effendi, called “The Greatest Branch” to succeed him and to be followed by his second son, Mohammed Ali Effendi, “The Mightiest Branch”.
The followers loved Abbas Effendi, obeyed his orders willingly and faithfully as a result of which, the movement attained its zenith during his life time, spread widely both in spirit and truth. Abbas Effendi, was also respected by the Moslem community, was fulfilling his Moslem duty prayers in the Jreneh Mosque at Haifa uninterruptedly, was distributing alms to the Moslem, Christians as well as to the other denominations who may have stood in need, was convening Moslem religious personalities, who highly esteemed him, to discuss with them the interpretation of the Holy Koran.
Abbas Effendi, was fulfilling the commandments of his father “El Baha” to the letter and was faithful and trustworthy in his mission. His followers were conscious of his sympathetic regard towards them which he translated by elevating their educational and social standards, sending their children to Universities foe higher studies, and further extended his financial help to those of his own community who were in need. For all these humanitarian acts, Abbas Effendi, was greatly beloved and adhered to by his followers who carried out his wishes conscientiously.
Following the death of Abbas Effendi, Shoghi Rabbani, who was then still young, claimed that he was holding a WILL, from his grandfather, on his mother’s side, As Abbas Effendi, did not beget any male children. In accordance with this Will, which is counterfeit, Shoghi Rabbani was nominated successor. The Baha’is subsequently split among themselves, of them there were adherents of Mohammed Ali Effendi, the son of Baha’u’llah who was to be legal Successor to his brother in accordance with his father Will, while Shoghi Rabbani had few supporters amongst his relatives.
Mohammed Ali’s group were the true believers in Abbas Effendi, from his time remarkable advancement in the movement was made, because with his qualities, the most holy respect with which easterners regard will, Abbas Effendi, whom they believed and trusted could not possibly entertain the Idea of the non-fulfillment of his father’s Will.
It is therefore illogical that Abbas Effendi, should have committed the blunder of Appointing his young grandson as his successor and get aside his experienced brother who bore great suffering and struggled hand in hand with him to advance the movement.
As a final step to safeguard himself against the Baha’i Family, Shoghi Rabbani excommunicated the adherents of Mohammed Ali Effendi by introducing a reign of terror which deprived them of their rudimentary right such as the one of paying their respect to their grandfather’s tomb. He further threatened his immediate followers and sympathizers to discontinue any contact with the other group and considered their presence in his surrounding as disturbing to his divinity. He therefore dispersed and banished them, this causing a serious social and economic loss to his followers.
By Now the render would have realized how deep rooted lies the dispute between the Baha’is and how far it is from easy solution, for how could a settlement be achieved when such settlement should begin by deposing the world Baha’i Leader – as the news paper called Shoghi Rabbani.
Shoghi Rabbani is not the Grandson of EL Baha nor is he the legal heir of the Baha’i Movement, he does not represent the Baha’i Family or sect, the men of the movement and the members of the Baha’i Family are separated from him, In America there are thousands of followers of El Baha who hold dignified positions, own newspapers, publish books maintain their propaganda and consider Shoghi Rabbani as a usurper, diverted from the policy originally laid down by the leader of the movements.
Shoghi Rabbani, would have declined to accede to the wishes of the Ministry of Religious Affairs as to permit Mohammed Ali Effendi’s followers to visit their holy places- a visit prohibited to them for the last thirty years – had he not feared to be brought before to be the Israeli Courts where justice is delivered in an ideal measure and had he not anticipated the emergence of other serious complications, the settlement of which would have been impossible.
Although I feel in what critical position Shoghi Rabbani is placed and know that the permission to visit the holy places was extorted from him, his agreement to it disparages his position and dignity among his followers, yet on the other hand, Shoghi Rabbani, was unscrupulously called us towards the afflictions of his followers when he was ordering their banishment and dispersion.
It had not been my intention to raise the matter up to courts in order to stop the demolition of two small rooms situated at the entrance of El Baha grave except for the following two reasons:
- To preserve of the historical aspect of the building.
- To Apprise Shoghi Rabbani of the necessity of consulting His partners in the Estate when he proposes to undertake any constructional change.
I fail to understand how Shoghi Rabbani denounces a group as heretics and sets out to demolish their property by force without sanction; in the circumstances, I had no alternative but to lay the matter for adjudication before, the public through the medium of newspapers and to resort to litigation if necessary.
GRANDDAUGHTER OF BAHA-U-LLAH