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’

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