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’

Message upon the Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

By Mohammed Ali Bahai

This circular letter by Mohammed Ali Bahai was written soon after the death of his elder half-brother Abbas Effendi in 1921 and was intend­ed to be read by all Baha’is. It is not known how many people actually read the letter, since the majority of Baha’is shunned Mr. Bahai as a “Covenant-breaker,” but presumably it was read by adherents of the Unitarian Baha’i tradition, which included most of Baha’u’llah’s family and some others. This document was included in a chapter of Shua Ul- lah Behai’s book manuscript in which he compiles several of his father’s writings in English translation.

TO THE BAHA’IS FAR AND NEAR:

I deeply regret to have to record the great and unspeakable bereave­ment we have recently sustained by the departure of the venerable Ghusn-i-A‘zam, Abbas Effendi, Sir ‘Abdu’l-Baha, who was the back­bone and support of his friends and the pride of his followers. Indeed I feel that the more I try to describe him and show my deep grief for his loss, the more I feel my utter inability by word or pen, to give an exact description of his personality. I pray God to grant us patience and to comfort us with His mercy and to follow the right course laid down by our Great Master Baha’u’llah, namely the unison of hearts and com­plete unanimity of opinion to act in accordance with what our Great Master wrote in the Book containing His last Will written in His own honorable autography, entitled the Book of My Covenant.

Ref:- A Lost History of the Baha’i Faith

Note:- This venerable son of Baha’u’llah (Mohammed Ali Bahai) was grossly misjudged, wronged and falsely accused by the Mainstream Baha’is—those who satisfied themselves with hearsay and passed judgment without investigation. His message to mankind, his will and autobiography, explain the events, and no one could be a better defender of his case than he himself. Abdul Baha has defamed Mohammed Ali on several occasions however see the beautiful words which Ghusn-i-Akbar Mohammed Ali uses for Abdul Baha.

An Interview with Ghusn-i-Akbar

By Shua Ullah Behai and Mohammed Ali Bahai

 This formal interview of Mohammed Ali Bahai by his son Shua Ullah, originally titled “My Interview with Ghusni Akbar Mohammed Ali Behai,  The Eldest Living Son of Beha ’U’llah,” was published in the United States in the First and Second Quarter 1937 issue of Behai Quarterly magazine. This is presumably a translation of the dialogue that took place, since the elder Mr. Bahai was not fluent in English. Some excerpts from this interview also appear in the younger Mr. Behai’s book manuscript.

In Behai Quarterly, Shua Ullah Behai appended to the transcript of the interview a letter he wrote to ‘Abdu’l-Baha in 1912 with the approval of his father, as evidence supporting Mohammed Ali Effendi’s statement that he attempted to seek dialogue to resolve the religious differences that had divided the sons of Baha’u’llah. This letter is omitted from this chapter but is reproduced in Chapter 30 of the book ‘A Lost History of The Baha’I Faith’ as part of Shua Ullah Behai’s memoirs, since that is where he included it in his book.

Mohammed Ali Effendi passed away only a few months after this interview. These are the last statements he made that were published for an English-speaking audience during his lifetime.

(Mohammed Ali’s surname was sometimes spelled “Behai.” The family now uses “Bahai” as the standard English spelling; only Shua Ullah’s name contin­ues to be spelled Behai, because this was his legally registered name as an American citizen.)

Q&A

Q: [Shua Ullah Behai]: I come from the United States of America bringing to your Excellency greetings, love and best wishes, from the members of the Society of Behaists,  and assuring you of their devotion to the teachings of our Great Master Baha’u’llah, and their steadfastness in his cause which you so nobly advocate.

Ans: [Mohammed Ali Effendi]: O confessors of the Oneness of God! Your sincere message which explains of your steadfastness in the cause of Baha’u’llah, Glory be to Him, and of your devotion to His teachings, brings me happiness….

Original scanned copy of Bahai Quarterly is available on the below link. Please visit:-

https://shuaullahbehaiblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/behai-quarterly/

 

 Q: [Shua Ullah Behai]: For the satisfaction of the past questioners, and the enlightenment of the readers of the Behai Quarterly, I have some important questions to ask your Excellency. Will you kindly grant my humble request?

A: [Mohammed Ali Effendi]: I am very happy to answer them, pro­ceed.

 

Q: A lengthy document has been printed and circulated in the United States of America entitled the “Will of Abdul Baha, Abbas,” your late brother; have you read the same?

A: I have read the copy in the original language.

 

Q: In the said will you are accused of unpardonable crimes, or hos­tilities against him, of interpolating and falsifying the words and verses of the [Baha’i scriptural] text?

A: All the accusations in the said will and by other individuals to­wards me are hearsay, gross misrepresentation, and without founda­tion. I have always lived in accordance with the commands of Baha’u’l- lah, Glory be to Him, and thus fulfilled my duties. I devoted my entire life to the service of the cause and the promulgation of His teachings. I have faced my enemies with a smile, hardships and calamities with en­durance, and for those who wronged, misjudged, and accused me falsely, I bear no feeling of animosity, but sincerely pray that God may forgive and guide them to the truth; He is the Merciful, the Forgiver.

 

Q: Mrs. Ruth White, a rebel member of [the Baha’i organization led by] the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Can­ada, in her published book entitled The Bahai Religion and Its Enemy, the Bahai Organization, emphatically denies the authenticity of the Will of Abdu’l-Baha, and with firm conviction states that your Excel­lency assisted Shoghi Effendi in fabricating the said will?

A: Shoghi has never been in my presence, and I do not know him personally. Mrs. Ruth White’s accusations are untrue. It is indeed sur­prising to observe that progressive Occidentals satisfied themselves with hearsay, and passed judgment without investigation.

 

Q: It is evident that a dissension existed between you and ‘Abdu’l-Baha after the departure of Baha’u’llah. What was the cause, material or spiritual?

A: The cause of our misunderstanding was on account of the prin­ciples of our religion, and not for earthly possessions. It grieves me to state that ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s teachings are not in accordance with the com­mands of Baha’u’llah, Glory be to Him, and by comparing his writings with the utterances of Baha’u’llah you will agree with me.

 

Q: After the misunderstanding occurred, did your Excellency endeavor to eliminate the cause by private or public conferences?

A: I regret that my numerous requests met with resistance. I pleaded with him time after time, for a conference to discuss our differ­ences, and to solve the problems in accordance with the teachings of Baha’u’llah, as we are commanded, but unfortunately my requests were not granted and my pleadings were in vain.

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

Abdul Baha Conceals Part of Baha’u’llah’s Will

Ninth day after the ascension of Baha’u’llah, when Ghusn-i-A‘zam (‘Abdu’l-Baha) authorized Mirza Mustafa to go to the city of Acre and bring with him a small box which contained “The Book of My Covenant,” the will of Baha’u’llah. Ghusn- i-A‘zam invited several of the believers to my private reception room that he was occupying while staying here, and asked Aqa Riza Shirazi to chant the will.

After the said followers heard the will and left, Ghusn-i-A‘zam sent for me from where I was sitting in the adjoining room and then for the first time I read the will of our Great Father Baha’u’llah. I observed the last part of the will was covered with a dark paper so that no one could read it. But as I raised the will to read it, which was written on two pages, the dark paper which was not stuck slipped. Ghusn-i-A‘zam said, “It shall not be a secret from you, only I do not wish as yet that the believers should read it and know its contents [i.e. the hidden part].” I read it all, and it (i.e. the part covered) was regarding Khadim and his services, and at the end addressed both Ghusn-i-A‘zam and the Kha­dim enjoining them to be faithful to Him.

 Zia Ullah Effendi also read the will. Afterwards Ghusn-i-A’zam asked Aqa Mirza Majdeddin to chant the will to the members of the household and to the believers. Then a copy was sent to Bombay, India, where Aqa Mirza Muhsin Afhan wrote it in his handwriting and printed the same in the Naseri Press and spread it abroad.

The hiding of the last part of the Book of My Covenant caused me uneasiness and great surprise, as a will is written for being spread and for carrying out its contents, and hiding it is contrary to the intention for which it is written. But under the circumstances I kept silent and did not raise an objection, hoping that later on it (i.e. the entire will) would be produced and the station of Khadim ordained in the will be made known, so that Baha’u’llah’s wish in this respect be known to eve­ryone, and that all may know that none shall be deprived of the recom­pense of their services, and the forty years service of Khadim be not lost and considered as vain.

(Mr. Bahai claims that the hidden portion of the will included two points: special recognition of the service of Baha’u’llah’s chief secretary, Mirza Aqa Jan Kashani (Khadim), and an enjoinder to Abbas Effendi and Khadim to continued faithfulness. The latter point is very significant, since it would imply that Baha’u’llah did not intend for the Baha’is to regard his successor as perfect or infallible, as Baha’is today believe about ‘Abdu’l-Baha. Instead, calling for him to be faithful—together with such a call to another important figure in the cause—presupposes the possibility that, in Baha’u’llah’s view, ‘Abdu’l-Baha could err in his practice of Baha’i faith, like anyone else. ‘Abdu’l-Baha excommunicated Khadim, and as a result, his long career of service to Baha’u’llah and role in the Baha’i faith have been downplayed in mainstream Baha’i histories.)

Ref:- ‘A Lost History of the Baha’i Faith’ Ch. 16- Autobiography – By Mohammed Ali Bahai