Answered by Eric S.
I don't think it was known to have existed before his death. If it was, then at least the part appointing Shoghi Effendi as "Guardian" was unknown, because even Shoghi himself wrote that he had no idea before Abdul-Baha died that he would be given any position in the faith except possibly the ceremonial convener of the Universal House of Justice.
Bahiyyih Khanum played a big role in persuading Bahais to accept the will and its appointment of Shoghi Effendi to Guardianship. In fact, for a couple of years after Abdul-Baha died, Bahiyyih was running the faith and seen as its temporary head (at least among those who had rejected Mirza Muhammad Ali). She was the biggest champion of the appointment of Shoghi, and remained highly influential even after he returned to the Holy Land to assume the mantle of Guardianship following his years of vacationing in Switzerland after his nervous breakdown.
If the will was forged, I suppose one would have to consider Bahiyyih Khanum as one of the logical suspects for who might have done the forging -- as shocking as that thought may be -- since she actually was leading the (non-Unitarian) Bahais at the time of Abdul-Baha's death and continued to do so for a long time.
She had the power and thus the opportunity.
Picture Source : http://bahai-library.com/books/bahiyyih.khanum/
The basic problem of authority in the Baha’i Faith, with its false claim that those authorities are infallible, really becomes obvious when you consider the issue of the Guardianship, which Shoghi Effendi held from 1921 until his death in 1957. He was appointed to that position by his grandfather, Abdu’l-Baha.
O ye the faithful loved ones of Abdu’l-Baha! it is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi… For he is, after Abdu’l-Baha, the Guardian of the Cause of God… He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One… All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error.
(`Abdu’l-Baha: Will and Testament, pages 25-26)
Later, Shoghi Effendi himself wrote:
Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baha’u'llah would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as Abdu’l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. …Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha’u'llah, page 148 )
It stands to reason that if Shoghi Effendi must be obeyed absolutely as the representative of God’s will, then he himself must obey the Baha’i commandments that came before him. If he was disobedient to Baha’i laws, then no one should obey him.
Baha’ullah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, stated in his book of laws, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 109, “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will.”
Likewise, Abdul-Baha, son of Baha’u'llah, in the very Will and Testament by which he appointed Shoghi Effendi to the Guardianship, stated: “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. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:—“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.” (Abd’ul-Baha. Will and Testament, p. 12.)
Shoghi Effendi did none of these things. He had no children, and in fact he expelled from the Faith as “Covenant-breakers” every other descendant of his own grandfather, thus betraying the Faith. When he died in 1957, he left no will and had appointed no successor, thus failing to obey the very Covenant he was expected to uphold.
With no further guidance from the Guardian, the Hands of the Cause of God that he had appointed to assist him did the only thing they could to keep the Baha’i Faith alive: They took over the Faith and arranged for the eventual election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963. But without a Guardian to preside over that body, it would never be in accordance with the very writings that established its authority. And the only ones who could be Guardian were the male descendants of Baha’ullah, all of whom were excluded from the Faith by the first Guardian!
Indeed, the simple fact that Shoghi Effendi disobeyed both Bahau’llah and Abd’ul-Baha by not leaving a will, by expelling all his own relatives from the Faith, and not appointing in his lifetime one of his brothers or male cousins as his sucessor to the Guardianship should be enough to demonstrate that there is NO “true” Baha’i Faith existing today. Its authority is meaningless by the testimony of its own history!
And perhaps this was inevitable, since Baha’ullah himself warned his successors in the Faith not to exceed the proper bounds of their authority. Referring again to the Kitab-i-Aqdas, we find this as paragraph 37:
“Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evil-hearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in ‘Iráq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot.” (Emphasis mine)
Since any Baha’i would affirm that Abdu’l-Baha is inferior in rank to Baha’u'llah, we have to apply consistent logic to the Baha’i Writings; and when we do…..
“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, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, 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 disbelieveth 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!” (Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Page 11 [Emphasis mine] )
There is no way that passage can be reconciled with the one of Baha’u'llah denying that anyone can recieve direct revelation from God before the passage of 1000 years. And that might explain why Shoghi Effendi died without issue at the relatively young age of 60, in the midst of the Ten Year World Crusade he was leading. He was probably struck down by God himself just as Baha’u'llah would have predicted. And despite the desperate efforts made ever since to teach and proclaim the Baha’i Faith under the Universal House of Justice, it remains to this day a small, cultlike body scattered over the world, with no potential to make any real difference in the world at large.
To all readers, I implore you to be fair in your judgement and search your feelings. The Baha’i Faith is a failure and you need not be bound by laws, authorities, or institutions that are not based on truth. If you belong to the mainstream Baha’i Faith that follows the Guardianship-less Universal House of Justice, or one of the splinter groups that rejected the authority of that body, the fact remains that you follow a spirtually dead faith and are totally wasting your time. The Baha’i Faith in its present form will never become the great religion of the world Baha’ullah and Abdu’l-Baha envisioned it to be, because Shoghi Effendi ruined it with his blind assumption of his own infallibility. His own relatives questioned his decisions and were expelled for doing that. If you cannot question authority, it can destroy you. Or, in this case, the credibility of the authority is destroyed and opposing it becomes a moral obligation. Let it be so!
Picture Source : http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1472&Itemid=2
Thursday 14 November 2002
Accodring to the website Darichih, fifteen active members of the misguided Baha'i cult (majority picked from the 3-member teams) from district 5 in the Mazandaran province are currently undergoing a training course known as "Ruhi" in the United Arab Emirates. The training is delivered by one of the former "Ruhi" students in this country.
In February 2001 a group of adherents to the misguided Baha'i cult were hand-picked by the National Assembly of Iran and sent to the United Arab Emirates to attend the 20-day course. Accodring to statements from the cult members this training better known as the "Ruhi Institute" has been running in more than 30 countries worldwide. After completing the course, these participants were dispatched to other provinces in order to train selected personnel from across the country.
The person responsible for the training of the fifteen nominated individuals from the Baha'i district 5 of the country (covering eastern and central Mazandaran) is a former member of the Baha'i Administration in Mazandaran who was relocated to Tehran last year.
It is agreed that each person who completes the training with this individual will in turn be responsible for training another fifteen. A number of the administrators and leaders of the Baha'i cult regard the arrangements in line with decision of the Central Administration of the cult (Iranian National Assembly) to decentralise the administration in the provinces and a return to the old administration system (governed by 9-member assemblies).
About this Institute the following has been stated: "training efficient, active, ready and able resources for teaching is high on the agenda of the Administration and one of the Baha'i principles. On the other hand, the situation in Iran will not remain the same. Once the social conditions are improved and the right time for teaching is facilitated, we will have ready personnel at our disposal for teaching."
Dear Bahai Friend,
Is it fair that the two members of the currently fairly elected National Assembly of Pakistan have been suspended by the Universal House of Justice? These were the members who received maximum number of votes from the delegates. The other seven members are retained.
Not only this but even the office bearers of the NSA has been removed and instead other appointed in their place. This clearly indicates that the so called infallible UHJ has not done justice. In fact they have humiliated and insulted the members of the NSA, the delegates and the Bahais who have elected these delegates.
With this interference of the House, the sanctity of Bahai elections are lost and it is a pointer that the House of Justice is interested in some members to work as Secretary and the Treasurer.
Coincidentally the suspended members are Pakistani it looks that the Universal House of Justice wants only Persian members to serve on the NSA.
In this episode the axis of evil are Prof. Mehrdad, Mr. Farsheed and Mr. Shamsheer. These three are the beneficiaries of this dissolution. Mr. Mehrdad did not get a single vote for the secretaryship and Mr. Farsheed the master manipulator while giving treasurer report was hiding some important facts and he spended beyond the budget. Mr. Shamsheer is expert in destroying the peace and calmness of Bahai families by interfering in their internal affairs. Constructive suggestions by sincere Bahais are considered as criticism.
This is a very serious problem which needs to be known by every Bahai of Pakistan. Ignoring this matter will only increase the courage of this axis of evil. Protection of Bahai institutions and the community at large should be the concern of each and every Bahai.
With loving Bahai greetings
Please forward it to different friends
“Let us recall His explicit and often-repeated assurances that every Assembly elected in that rarefied atmosphere of selflessness and detachment is, in truth, appointed of God, that its verdict is truly inspired, that one and all should submit to its decision unreservedly and with cheerfulness.”
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