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’