MOHAMMAD ALI EFFENDI
The record of history instructs about the world-wide social movements and about the intrigues that centered on earnest reformers; they also bring to light conspiracies which were hatched by consummate plotters for no other reason than considerable personal benefit.
Is it were possible for me to mention here instances of such intrigues as accompanied the social movements referred to above, I would have done so, but considering. If interested, the dear reader could turn over the pages of history and discover for himself innumerable instances of the existence of such intrigues.
The Baha’i Movement itself did not form an exception to the rule. The basest form of intrigue was minutely would up around the Movement and to a large extent succeeded in achieving its vicious aim and, in my opinion, not without besmirching the reputation of loyal and good leaders. The intriguers acting jointly to create a chasm in the Baha’i family, aimed at separating the two brothers, Abdul Baha Abbas and Mohammad Ali Effendi, the legitimate leaders of the Baha’i Movement. They sowed the seeds of discord between them by magnifying trifling incidents in such a way as to affect adversely the hearts of the two brothers and increase the misunderstanding between them. They succeeded in their dark purpose for the misunderstanding which they planted grew as the years went by.
To complete their wickedness those same intrigues prevented Mohammad Ali Effendi from seeing his dying brother, Abbas Effendi pretending that the letter did not wish to be distributed by his own brother from paying his last respects to his dying brother!!! And need there be a clearest manifestation of Mohammad Ali’s noble character when he submitted to the intriguer’s will and desisted from seeing his dying brother in order to prevent further dissension in the Movement.
As I am how presented to the reader a picture of the life of the Baha’i Leaders, I feel bound to put on record a short paragraph on the life’s work of the Second Son of Baha’u’llah, Mohammad Ali Effendi, – this son who was usurped of his right, whose good heart and noble character, followed the principles of Baha’ism to the letter, whose humanity was boundless, this man of peace whose very virtues enabled the intriguers to take full advantage of his adherence to Baha’ism in order to destroy the last bridge that linked him with what they called the followers of Abbas Effendi who were in fact the intriguers themselves and a few of their supporters.
I would like to quote extracts from the then local Arabic, English and Hebrew newspapers when they mourned Mohammad Ali Effendi’s death, In this connection it is noteworthy to mention that even the famous review “Great Britain and the East” which is regarded as the mouthpiece of the British Government in matters of foreign policy, published an article on the occasion of his death bearing the heading : “Baha’i Leader Dead”. The kind reader will now read the quotations taken from “El Difah”. Palastine, “Jammeh el Eslamiye”, “Post News”, “Palestine Post”, Haboker, “Haaretz” and “Davar”.
“The picture of the deceased Mohammad Ali Effendi, the renowned and noble leader of Baha’ism, son of the great Baha’u’llah, the founder of Baha’ism. Mohammad Ali Effendi whose father Baha’u’llah entitled him; “The Mightiest Branch” was born in Teheran the Capital of Iran in the year 1853. Accompanied his father to Baghdad and then to the Capital of the Caliphs and finally to Acre where the founder of Baha’ism established his permanent residence.
His father educated him so profoundly that for all controversial matters regarding Baha’ism and other religious, he was consulted as an authority. Moreover he edited books and wrote messages. As shown by his father’s letters and messages, Baha’u’llah specially favored him and so much so that he nominated him to the leadership of the Movement to follow his elder brother, the late Abbas Effendi, entitled “The Greatest Branch”.
Mohammad Ali Effendi was a personality with a noble character, lofty heart and soul, a man of peace and shove petty family quarrels, he instructed his followers to remain peaceful and quiet. He was the inseparable secretary and confident of his father.”
Truly he was his father’s confident for his father during his lifetime instructed him with the mission of preaching Baha’ism in India and Egypt. He was the only son, among Baha’u’llah’s sons to have been honored with such a responsible and weighty mission while the Movement was still in its infancy and needed strong and imposing men. He succeeded in his mission and achieving the aims set out by Baha’u’llah, his father.
The fact that the founder of Baha’ism assigned the weighty responsibility of carrying out the mission to his son, Mohammad Ali Effendi among others, clearly proves, that he had great confidence in his abilities to carry out such a mission.
It is not an exaggeration to say that with all his inherent qualities Mohammad Ali Effendi would have been an ideal leader to succeed his brother, Abdul Baha Abbas.
This symbolic picture of the ideal leader, this noble heart, this wonderful character and elevated soul, this leader, who loved Baha’ism and devoted his whole life to its service, his care for the edifice he had helped to set up, his earnestness to prevent it from cracking and crumbling all these obliged him to swallow in silence the great lie regarding the forged will which the malicious intriguers had fabricated and who made use of the alleged misunderstanding which they themselves invented in order to misled public opinion and achieve their vicious ends. Consequently they tarnished the reputation of Abdul Baha Abbas and succeeded in discarding Mohammad Ali Effendi from the leadership and entrusted it to a boy whom they were able to handle as they pleased – on account of his youth.
GRAND DAUGHTER OF BAHA’U’LLAH