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

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