BY KAMAR BAHA’I
GRANDDAUGHTER OF BAHA U’LLAH.
In its issue No.1353 dated the 6th June 1952, the evening Hebrew Newspaper “Ma’ariv” published a lengthy article by the well known writer N.Giladi on the Baha’i Movement and the history of its founder and its leaders in which he discusses the existing dissensions between the members of the family. I quote hereunder for information a verbatim translation of the article for the particular attention of the Baha’i family and thee Baha’is all over the world.
While I do not concur with all the views expressed in the article, I must point out that the writer pronounced the mere truth about the malevolence of Shoghi Rabbani, his usurpation of the spiritual leadership of the Baha’i movement and the harsh treatment and exile inflicted by him on its leaders. However I leave it to every reader of the article to form his own judgment.
Grand daughter of Baha’u’llah
THE BROTHERHOOD CELEBRATES ITS JUBILEE IN DISSENSION
The Bahai religion called Brotherhood religion, religion of light or Persian religion will celebrate shortly the centennial anniversary of its founder Baha’u’llah (the light of God) thanks to whose inspiration the centre of the fourth world religion has been instituted in Palestine.
This event is to be celebrated in the midst of a great schism besetting the Baha’i family whose sixty members oppose the self-imposed leadership of Shoghi Rabbani.
While the nature of the dispute within the sect is spiritual yet it has a material and social aspect as well.
While his antagonists contend that in the founder’s will his son, Abbas Effendi is nominated as successor to be followed by his second son Mohammed Ali Effendi, they claim that Shoghi Effendi violated the succession order and unjustly took the crown to himself.
The dissension in the Prophet’s family has been lately brought before the Law Courts. Only a fortnight ago the public cherished the hope that the Ministry of Religious Affairs might reconcile the opponents.
The community has property considered holy by all the adherents of this religion. In Northern Acre there exists the house where the founder lived and his tomb. The house has been turned to a Museum but is also been utilized as a shelter for pilgrims from overseas. This property, six sevenths of which is registered in the name of the Baha’i family opposing the leadership of Shoghi Rabbani forms a bone of contention which may be settled by litigation. But matters relating to spiritual values where principles of faith are involved cannot be solved or determinate by human judgment. For this reason the opponents had resort to the Law Courts when Shoghi Rabbani ordered the demolition of a part of the said property.
When the demolition was started the opponents obtained a Court’s order for the stoppage of work. Consequently the head of the community approached the Ministry of Religious Affairs in the matter and a notice served by the Deputy Minister declared the property to be considered as a hly place and accordingly the dispute fell outside the jurisdiction of Civil Courts. In the circumstances the opponents lodged a case in the High Court against the Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs on the basis that the declaration of the place as holy was made without their knowledge.
At this juncture when the Deputy Minister foresaw the serious developments that might arise began taking steps in order to reach reconciliation. The main argument of the opposition was that they were not permitted access to the property which although partially their own right yet was wholly theirs spiritually. Mediation bore fruit as Rabbani agreed to permit his opponents both to use the house where the founder lived and to visit the tomb.
The lifting of the prohibition has reverted the dispute to its initial point and fresh developments are expected to ensue.
The Baha’is are of Persian origin and do not form a large community. Their head derives his strength from his followers in the United States and Canada from amongst whom he married a beautiful wife. The Baha’i Community in the Unites States is estimated to Number one million from whom their source of wealth emanates. The Baha’is posses large estates in Haifa with big edifices and spacious gardens located in the Persian street, besides the beautiful Baha’i garden where improvements are being carried out in preparation for the centenary Jubilee this year. It is a not permitted to see the Community Head not even for his entourage. The affairs of the Community are attended to by his Canadian wife assisted by a few Americans.
The Baha’i religion was founded 100 years ago at the birth of Baha’u’llah. Tradition speaks of a precursor called “The Bab” who annunciated the impending appearance of the founder of a new religion. When Baha’u’llah grew up he began preaching the Religion of Brotherhood and Peace. He did not prescribe any functional rites but instructed his followers to live in light. The American Community calls itself “The National Spiritual Council” and falls under the leadership of Shoghi Rabbani who is in fact the third leader, the first being Baha’u’llah who died in 1892, the second Abbas Effendi who died in 1922 and the third Abbas’s Grandson on the mother’s side who violated the founder’s will.
In the Brotherhood Religion, brotherhood does not prevail in this jubilee year.
GRAND DAUGHTER OF BAHA’U’LLAH.