The Shocking Appointment of Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi Rabbani was the son of Mirza Hadi Alban and Zia’iyya Khanum, eldest daughter of His Excellency ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Shoghi Effendi was appointed in the will of ‘Abdu’l-Baha as su­preme leader of the Baha’is, in defiance of the commands of the Great Baha’u’llah in his will entitled Kitab-i-‘Ahdi (i.e. the Book of My Cove­nant), wherein the second son of Baha’u’llah, Ghusn-i-Akbar, Moham­med Ali, is designated as successor to Ghusn-i-A‘zam, ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

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

It appears that the will of ‘Abdu’l-Baha was written when Shoghi Effendi was only ten or eleven years of age.

Many unfortunate events took place since Shoghi Effendi has presided over the Baha’i affairs. Dissatisfaction prevailed among the Baha’is everywhere, in the East as in the West. Numerous prominent Baha’i teachers severed their connections with the Baha’i centers. Baha’ism was suppressed by the governments of several countries, namely Iran, Turkey, and Germany.

Two Iranian Baha’i teachers, ‘Abdu’l-Husayn Avara  and Hasan

Nilcu,left the cause entirely. The former even changed his surname to Ayati, and both of them wrote several books and pamphlets against this movement, and flooded the Eastern Hemisphere with their antagonistic propaganda.

In the United States of America, the Reality magazine  was the first Baha’i publication that revolted against the supremacy of the Baha’i organization, and finally the dispute was ended with an unfortunate decision, namely the excommunication of the members of that publication.

Reference:- Extract taken from the book ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

The Baha’i Faith Under Shoghi Effendi Rabbani

By Shua Ullah Behai

This chapter is reproduced from a chapter in Shua Ullah Behai’s book manuscript called simply “Shoghi Effendi Rabbani.”

Shoghi Rabbani, usually called Shoghi Effendi by Baha’is, was the eldest grandson of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. He was born in 1897 and died in 1957, more than ten years after Shua Ullah Behai’s manuscript was written. Even though Mr. Rabbani’s leadership of the Baha’i faith continued for a considerable time beyond the scope of this chapter, the major themes of his “Guardianship” as perceived by the Unitarian Baha’is are all addressed: his appointment to the office in violation of Baha’u’llah’s appointment of Mohammed Ali Bahai to succeed ‘Abdu’l-Baha; the clash between, on the one hand, his loyal followers who created a more tightly regulated Baha’i organization, and on the other hand, various liberal Baha’is who resisted this development; his expulsion of all his relatives and numerous other Baha’is from the faith community; and his organization’s failed attempt to sue dissenting Baha’is into silence or submission.
Reference:- ‘A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith’

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Article by Giladi in Ma’ariv

In its issue No. 1353 dated June 6,1952, 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 the Baha’is all over the world.

Some Parts of the Article:-

The Baha’i religion, called religion of brotherhood, religion of light or Persian religion, will celebrate shortly the centennial anniversary of its founder Baha’u’llah (the Light of God).

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 Rabbani 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 [Baha’i] 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 into a museum but is also being 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 leader-ship 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 determined 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 [Baha’i] 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 holy place and accordingly the dispute fell outside the jurisdiction of civil courts. Under 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, [he] began taking steps in order to reach a reconciliation. The main argument of the opposition was that they were not permitted access to the property, which although partially their own by 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 his tomb.

The lifting of the prohibition has reverted the dispute to its initial point and fresh developments are expected to ensue. 

Courtesy:- “A Lost History Of The Baha’i Faith”

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Dispute Between The Baha’i Family

In the issue of May 23,1952, the daily newspaper El Youm published an article under the following heading: “The Ministry of Religious Af­fairs settles a dispute between the Baha’i Family.”

Some parts of this article:-

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 the legal successor to his brother in accordance with their father’s will, while Shoghi Rabbani had few supporters among his relatives.

           Mohammed Ali’s group were the true believers in Abbas Ef­fendi. In his time, remarkable advancement in the movement was made, because he carried on along the lines of his father’s teach­ings. Combined with his qualities, the most holy respect with which Easterners regard wills [means that] Abbas Effendi, whom they believed and trusted, could not possibly have entertained 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 set aside his experienced brother who bore great suffering and struggled hand- in-hand with him to advance the movement As a first 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 basic rights such as the right to pay their respects to their grandfather’s tomb [i.e. the Shrine of Baha’u’Uah]. He farther threatened his immediate followers and sympathizers, [ordering them] to discontinue any contact with the other group [i.e. the Unitarian Baha’is] and considered their presence in his [i.e. Baha’- u’llah’s] vicinity as disturbing to his divinity. He therefore dis­persed and banished them [from the Holy Land], thus causing a serious social and economic loss to his followers.

By now the reader 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 newspaper 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 teaching, and consider Shoghi Rabbani as a usurper, diverted from the policy originally laid down by the leaders of the movement.

By the time when Kamar Bahai was writing this letter, Shoghi Rabbani had expelled from the Baha’i community all descendants of Baha’u’llah who were still living, except himself.