The illegal Yaran

On August 29, 1983, the government of Iran banned the Bahá'í Administrative Order, preventing formation of Local Spiritual Assemblies and the participation of individual Bahá'ís in administrative activities. Unlike the previous ban in the USSR, which was fully followed, the ban in Iran has been circumvented in a number of ways, such as the use of the Yaran as an alternative administrative structure.

It always surprised me that in the community that I was a member of, there were Persian Bahá’ís who would regularly travel to Iran during their summer holidays to visit family. When I would ask them how that was possible, their response was always along the lines that the arrested Bahá’ís were those who were administratively and politically active, almost to the point of referring to them as "troublemakers." The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses these news stories of alleged persecution very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term "Bahá’í" shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest.

The Universal House of Justice on 13 September 1983 communicated this information to the Bahá`í world by cable in these words:

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"Love your enemies" - What a joke!

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(Matthew 5:43-48)

In 1921, soon after the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, this is what Mírzá Muhammad 'Alí wrote about the man who rivalled against him for nearly 30 years:
Mirza Muhammad Ali
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.
(A Lost History of the Baha'i Faith, p. 167)

In contrast, Shoghi Effendi gloated over the misfortunes of his enemies after their deaths.
His brother, Mírzá Ḍíya'u'lláh, died prematurely; Mírzá Áqá Ján, his dupe, followed that same brother, three years later, to the grave; and Mírzá Badí'u'lláh, his chief accomplice, betrayed his cause, published a signed denunciation of his evil acts, but rejoined him again, only to be alienated from him in consequence of the scandalous behavior of his own daughter. Mírzá Muḥammad-'Alí’s half-sister, Furúghíyyih, died of cancer, whilst her husband, Siyyid 'Alí, passed away from a heart attack before his sons could reach him, the eldest being subsequently stricken in the prime of life, by the same malady. Muḥammad-Javád-i-Qazvíní, a notorious Covenant-breaker, perished miserably. Shu'á'u'lláh who, as witnessed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will, had counted on the murder of the Center of the Covenant, and who had been despatched to the United States by his father to join forces with Ibráhím Khayru’lláh, returned crestfallen and empty-handed from his inglorious mission. Jamál-i-Burújirdí, Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí’s ablest lieutenant in Persia, fell a prey to a fatal and loathsome disease; Siyyid Mihdíy-i-Dahájí, who, betraying 'Abdu'l-Bahá, joined the Covenant-breakers, died in obscurity and poverty, followed by his wife and his two sons;
(God Passes By, p. 319)

Independent Investigation of Truth in the Baha'i Faith !!!!!!!!?

Baha'ism and Christianity

Left - Mirza Hossein Ali Nuri who gave himself the title of "Glory of God"
Right - William Sears, the follower of so called "Baha'u'llah"

Baha'i figures have said different things at different times regarding Jesus.

For example, on June 24, 1947, Shoghi Effendi stated (also here) "The churches are waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ; we believe He has come again in the Glory of the Father. The churches teach doctrines--various ones in various creeds--which we as Bahá'ís do not accept; such as the bodily Resurrection, confession, or, in some creeds, the denial of the Immaculate Conception."
Bahá'ís Must Have No Affiliation with Churches
"...we, as Bahá'ís, must not have any affiliations with churches or political parties. But he feels certain that when you meditate on this matter you yourselves will see the wisdom of it. We, as Bahá'ís, can never be known as hypocrites or as people insincere in their protestations and because of this we cannot subscribe to both the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and ordinary church dogma. The churches are waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ; we believe He has come again in the Glory of the Father. The churches teach doctrines--various ones in various creeds--which we as Bahá'ís do not accept; such as the bodily Resurrection, confession, or, in some creeds, the denial of the Immaculate Conception. In other words, there is no Christian church today whose dogmas we, as Bahá'ís, can truthfully say we accept in their entirety--therefore to remain a member of the Church is not proper for us, for we do so under false pretences. We should, therefore, withdraw from our churches but continue to associate, if we wish to, with the church members and ministers.
"Our belief in Christ, as Bahá'ís, is so firm, so unshakeable and so exalted in nature that very few Christians are to be found now-a-days who love Him and reverence Him and have the faith in Him that we have. It is only from the dogmas and creeds of the churches that we dissociate ourselves; not from the spirit of Christianity."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of Vienna, June 24, 1947)

On May 28, 1984, the Universal House of Justice addressed a letter stating "From a Bahá'í point of view the belief that the Resurrection was the return to life of a body of flesh and blood, which later rose from the earth into the sky is not reasonable, nor is it necessary to the essential truth of the disciples' experience, which is that Jesus did not cease to exist when He was crucified (as would have the belief of many Jews of that period), but that His Spirit, released from the body, ascended to the presence of God and continued to inspire and guide His followers and preside over the destinies of His Dispensation."

Concerning the Resurrection of Christ you quote the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, where the account stresses the reality of the appearance of Jesus to His disciples who, the Gospel states, at first took Him to be a ghost. From a Bahá'í point of view the belief that the Resurrection was the return to life of a body of flesh and blood, which later rose from the earth into the sky is not reasonable, nor is it necessary to the essential truth of the disciples' experience, which is that Jesus did not cease to exist when He was crucified (as would have the belief of many Jews of that period), but that His Spirit, released from the body, ascended to the presence of God and continued to inspire and guide His followers and preside over the destinies of His Dispensation (from a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 28 May 1984).

Bahai's in the West have historically argued that their religion is the fulfillment of Christian prophecy, particularly based on Seventh-day Adventist literature and the teachings of Baptist preacher William Miller. William Sears, named a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi in 1957, was a popular radio and television personality, who wrote a best-selling book, Thief in the Night. William Miller, a Baptist preacher, predicted that on October 22, 1844, Christ would return to the Earth. Although the prophecy was not fulfilled, leading to what was called the Great Disappointment, the Millerites would go on to form the various Adventist churches.

Thief in the Night, argues that Miller's interpretation of biblical prophecies for the signs and dates of the coming of Jesus were correct and fulfilled by the Báb who declared that he was the "Promised One" on May 23, 1844, and began openly teaching in Iran in October 1844. In 2016, a Baha'i movie came out loosely based on these events called The Miller Prediction.

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The word "vibrant" is not one, I think, most Bahá'ís would use to describe their Bahá'í experience of community.

Former member of the UHJ, Hooper Dunbar admits that the growth of the Baha'i community in the west has slowed down.

August 9. On this date in 2002, Ismael Velasco wrote the Universal House of Justice asking "what our attitude should be, as believers in Western lands, to the prolonged and sustained absence of growth for already two decades"?

To the cherished Universal House of Justice. ... I write to supplicate clarification of matters that I have come to believe have become sources of perplexity and weakness among the lovers of the Abha Beauty in the West. ... My question concerns what our attitude should be, as believers in Western lands, to the prolonged and sustained absence of growth for already two decades. In my own personal studies, I ascertained that the British Bahá'í community, for instance, had remained static and even slightly reduced in numbers since the year 1975. Without having conducted research on the subject, I understand anecdotally that many communities in Western Europe share this pattern of low or negative growth, such as France, Switzerland, etc. In the United States, according to Robert Stockman (, The community in the period 1979-1998 grew from 77,396 (48,357 confirmed addresses) to 138,168. Of these 138,000 however, roughly half are mail returns and address unknown. This has led Juan Cole to estimate a Bahai population of c.60,000. In addition, Margit Warburg, in her book I Bahá'í, estimated that 10-20% of Bahá'ís were "inactive" in Denmark, and suggested the same might be the case more widely.

Whatever the exact numbers, beloved source of guidance, it appears that for an entire generation of Bahá'ís, particularly those that entered the Faith in a period of high expansion in the 1960's and 1970's and also their children, have experienced constant disappointment, frustration and powerlessness in the teaching work. This has coincided with a growing emphasis on Entry by Troops, and universal expansion, and the combination of high expectations and constant apparent failure, have resulted in the discouragement of large sections of the community, and, just as sadly, in the life-giving task of teaching the faith becoming associated with feelings of pain and inadequacy.

This perspective seems also validated by the analysis in Century of Light, that explains that the seeming impasse reflected unrealistic expectations and triggered a period of learning and change. Unfortunately, many in these communities have yet to see meaning or purpose in this seeming impasse, and consider themselves to be the inhabitants of spiritually barren lands, or the very points of incapacity, or the members of altogether dysfunctional local and national, and sometimes even international Bahá'í communities.

I have seen personally diverse manifestations of such discouragement. I see them in desperate exhortations to teach the Faith in which the sense of urgency is accompanied by an element of despondency or resentment. I see them in strong, faithful Bahá'ís who choose to become inactive in the community on account of their perceptions of dysfunctionality. I see them in steadfast perseverance in the teaching work accompanied by an inner hopelessness and lack of expectation. And I see it in frequent manifestations of disunity as we seek the answer to this question in the abilities and deeds of one another. More recently, these perspectives have coalesced into systematic critiques of the community in internet fora and academic publications.

This is not to say that this is the prevailing spirit of Western communities. I do not know the relative prevalence of such attitudes in relation to the burgeoning of study circles and training institutes, the arts, etc. But I do get the feeling that a culture or at least subculture of discouragement has come to characterise significant segments of the communities in the West. I cannot help but associate the dearth of financial contributions in many national communities to this general discouragement, at least as much as to the general economic slowdown. The word "vibrant" is not one, I think, most Bahá'ís would use to describe their Bahá'í experience of community. ...

With deep submission and unfailing gratitude, Ismael Velasco, August 9 2002

Are the publications of Moshe Sharon a reliable source?

Prof. Moshe Sharon (left) and Eliahu Ben-On: "Independent Action in Iran - National Suicide". (Photo: PR)
I would not trust Moshe Sharon's writings because he lacks basic credibility and is a bigot par excellence.

  • Credibility - Moshe Sharon is interviewed in the 2007 Israeli documentary film, "Bahais in My Backyard." In the interview he states that the only Bahá'í academic chair in the world is in Israel due to his efforts in convincing Hebrew University to establish one and his efforts in finding a benefactor to fund the position. He also says that there are no descendants of Bahá'u'lláh in Israel. Despite Sharon's denial of the existence of such relatives, there are, in fact, dozens, and one of Bahá'u'lláh's great-granddaughters is featured in the film. Furthermore, even at the time of the interview, there were other Bahá'í academic chairs in existence, such as the ones established at Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, a state university in Madhya Pradesh in 1991 and at the University of Maryland in 1993. A 1999 article in The Jerusalem Post was titled "Bahá'í Studies chair dedicated in Jerusalem," stating "Prof. Moshe Sharon, the first incumbent of the world's first academic chair in Bahá'í studies...He added that before he began his research in the field, the last academic work on Bahá'í had been done 80 years ago." A 2001 article in The Jerusalem Post covered the "first celebration in Jerusalem of Naw-Ruz, the Baha'i new year," attended by such notable figures as Chair in Bahá'í Studies at Hebrew University Moshe Sharon, Baha'i International Community secretary-general Albert Lincoln and his wife, Joan, Jerusalem Baha'i representative Kern Wisman and his wife, Barbara, and Murray Smith, BIC deputy secretary-general and his wife, Miette. The 2001 article notes "DUE TO his absence abroad, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was unable to attend the first celebration in Jerusalem of Naw-Ruz, the Baha'i new year. Even though Sharon couldn't make it, Moshe Sharon, the incumbent of the Baha'i chair of studies at the Hebrew University, was there, as were numerous representatives of the HU, which was the first and thus far only university in the world to establish a chair in Baha'i studies. Sharon welcomed the presence of yet another monotheistic faith in this part of the world, noting that it is largely composed of the best of the other monotheistic beliefs."
  • Bigot - Moshe Sharon believes that Western leaders fail to understand Islam. He says that "There is no fundamental Islam. There is only Islam full stop." Citing the conflict in Yugoslavia, Sharon continues that "Wherever you have Islam, you will have war. It grows out of the attitude of Islamic civilization." He furthermore argues that not only is there "open war, but there's also war by infiltration." Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Moshe Sharon has said that there is "no possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians whatsoever, for ever" and that peace agreements with Arabs are "pieces of paper, parts of tactics, strategies...with no meaning." He opposed the Oslo peace accords and believes the dismantling the Israeli settlements, which he terms "expulsions," serve to "increase the appetite of the other side and only achieve the killing of Jews."

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Video : Gender Equality in the Baha'i Faith

Did the Baha'is in the Ottoman Empire and the following British Mandate cooperate with the Zionist movement?

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with Baha'i architect Fariborz Sahba

To give a brief timeline, the Bahá'ís, including Bahá'u'lláh and his family, arrived in Acre on August 31, 1868. Bahá'u'lláh lived in Acre until 1877, when he moved to a mansion in Mazra'a where he lived for two years. From 1879 until his death in 1892, he lived at the Mansion of Bahjí.

The First Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland, from August 29 to August 31, 1897. The British conquered Palestine from the Ottomans during World War I in a series of campaigns lasting from March through November of 1917. It was only after the British occupation of Palestine that mass immigration of Jewish settlers occurred. Looking at census data for Palestine, for example, in 1922 there were 83,290 Jews and by 1946 that number had risen to 608,225.

On February 23, 1914, at the eve of World War I, 'Abdu'l-Bahá hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine. This event was reported in "Star of the West" magazine.

On September 8, 1919, subsequent to the British occupation of Palestine, at a time when tens of thousands of Jewish settlers were arriving under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, an article in the "Star of the West" quoted 'Abdu'l-Bahá praising the Zionist movement, proclaiming that "There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less" and that "A Jewish government might come later."

On January 24, 1922, Shoghi Effendi received a letter from Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The receipt of the letter is mentioned in Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's The Priceless Pearl. As High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, and his appointment was regarded by the Muslim-Christian Associations as the "first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people." Herbert Samuel welcomed the arrival of Jewish settlers under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association and recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the Mandate territory.

While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá'ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated 24 January 1922:

Dear Mr. Rabbani,

I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16., and to thank you for the kind expression it contains. It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case. I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement. Should you be at any time in Jerusalem in would be a pleasure to me to see you here.

Yours sincerely,

Herbert Samuel

On December 16, 1950, a little over a year after the international recognition of the State of Israel, the mansion at Mazra'a was leased from the Israeli government by the Bahá'í Administrative Order. Bahá'u'lláh lived there from 1877 until 1879, before moving to the Mansion at Bahjí.

The transaction is described in Baha'i News, no. 244, June 1951, p. 4

Masra'ih is a Moslem religious endowment, and it is consequently impossible, under existing laws in this country, for it to be sold. However, as the friends are aware, the Ministry of Religions, due to the direct intervention of the Minister himself, Rabbi Maimon, consented, in the face of considerable opposition, to deliver Masra'ih to the Baha'is as a Holy Place to be visited by Baha'i pilgrims. This means that we rent it from the Department of Moslem and Druze affairs in the Ministry of Religions. The head of this Department is also a Rabbi, Dr. Hirschberg. Recently he, his wife and party, visited all the Baha'i properties in Haifa and 'Akka, following upon a very pleasant tea party in the Western Pilgrim House with the members of the International Baha'i Council.

The mansion at Mazra'a would later be purchased by the Bahá'í Administrative Order from the Israeli government as reported in Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, published 1976; Ridván Message 1973, p. 119

The Mansion of Mazra'ih, often referred to by the beloved Guardian as one of the "twin mansions" in which the Blessed Beauty resided after nine years within the walled prison-city of 'Akká, and dear to the hearts of the believers by reason of its associations with their Lord, has at last been purchased together with 24,000 square meters of land extending into the plain on its eastward side.

On November 12, 1952, a cablegram sent by Shoghi Effendi announced the "acquisition of vitally-needed property" of the Mansion of Bahji and the area around it from "the Development Authority of the State of Israel...The exchange of said property, including land and houses, was made possible by the precipitate flight of the former Arab owners."

Acquisition of Vitally-Needed Property

Announce to Bahá'í communities, East and West, on the joyous occasion of the hundred and thirty-fifth Anniversary of Bahá'u'lláh's Birthday, the successful termination of the protracted negotiations, initiated two years ago and culminating in the signature to the contract providing the eventual, formal transfer by the Development Authority of the State of Israel to the Palestine Branch of the American National Spiritual Assembly of the extensive, long-desired, vitally-needed property surrounding and safeguarding for posterity the Most Holy Tomb of the Founder of the Faith, as well as the adjoining Mansion.

The acquired area, raising Bahá'í holdings on the holy plain of &Akka from four thousand to one hundred and fifty-five thousand square meters, was exchanged against property donated by children of Zikrullah, grandchildren of Mírzá Muhammad Quli, Bahá'u'lláh's faithful half-brother and companion in exile.

This spontaneous offer contrasts with the shameful action of the family in the sale to non-Baha'is of the property in the neighborhood of the Jordan valley purchased through the instrumentality of `Abdu'l-Bahá during Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime, pursuant to His instructions and alluded to in His writings.

The forty acre property acquired in this single transaction almost equals the entire Bahá'í international endowments purchased in the course of sixty years in the vicinity of the Báb's Sepulcher on the slope of Mount Carmel.

The exchange of said property, including land and houses, was made possible by the precipitate flight of the former Arab owners, traditional supporters of the old Covenant-breakers and descendants of the notorious enemy of `Abdu'l-Bahá who placed his residence at the disposal of the Committee of Investigation.

The signature to the agreement signalized the commencement of large-scale landscaping, aiming at the beautification of the immediate precincts of the holiest spot in the entire Bahá'í world, itself the prelude to the eventual erection, as happened in the case of the Báb's Sepulcher, of a befitting Mausoleum enshrining the precious Dust of the Most Great Name.

Desire to acknowledge the indefatigable efforts exerted by both Larry Hautz and Leroy Ioas enabling the consummation of the initial stage of the enterprise destined to eclipse in its final phase the splendor and magnificence of the Báb's resting-place on Mount Carmel.


[Cablegram, November 12, 1952]

On January 21, 1949, Shoghi Effendi met with David Ben Gurion. In the chapter titled The Heart and Nerve Centre in her book The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum describes this meeting...

In January 1949 Mr. Ben Gurion, the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, came to Haifa on his first official visit and the Mayor naturally invited Shoghi Effendi to attend the reception being given in his honour by the Municipality. The dilemma was acute, for if the Guardian did not go, it would, with every reason, be taken as an affront to the new Government, and if he did go he would inevitably be submerged in a sea of people where any pretence at protocol would be swept away (this was indeed the case, as my father, Shoghi Effendi's representative, reported after he returned from this reception). The Guardian therefore decided that as he would not be attending, but was more than willing to show courtesy to the Prime Minister of the new State, he would call upon him in person. With great difficulty this was arranged through the good offices of the Mayor of Haifa, Shabatay Levy, as Mr. Ben Gurion's time in Haifa was very short and it was only two days before the first general election in the new State.

The interview took place on Friday evening, January 21st, in the private home the Prime Minister was staying in on Mt. Carmel and lasted about fifteen minutes. Ben Gurion enquired about the Faith and Shoghi Effendi's relation to it and asked if there was a book he could read; Shoghi Effendi answered his questions and assured him he would send him a copy of his own book God Passes By — which he later did, and which was acknowledged with thanks. Typical of the whole history of the Cause and the constant problems that beset it was a long article which appeared in the leading English-language newspaper on December 20, 1948, in which, in the most favourable terms, its teachings were set forth and the station of Shoghi Effendi as its World Head mentioned. On January 28, 1949, there appeared in the letter column of this paper a short and extraordinary statement, signed "Bahai U.N. Observer", which flatly refuted the article and asserted, "Mr. Rabbani is not the Guardian of the Bahai faith, nor its World Leader" and gave the New History Society in New York as a source of further information

As there was no such thing as a "Bahai U.N. Observer" this move was plainly inspired by the once-more hopeful band of old Covenant-breakers, who sought, at the outset of a new regime, to blacken Shoghi Effendi's reputation and divert attention from his station by referring to Ahmad Sohrab's rootless group in America. At a later date, when in 1952 the Covenant-breakers in Bahji brought their case in the local courts against Shoghi Effendi for the demolition of an old building near the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh, Sohrab sought, unsuccessfully, to bring pressure on the Minister of Religious Affairs to discredit the Bahá'í claims. It was with attacks such as this, both open and covert, that the Guardian, on the threshold of a new phase in the development of the affairs of the Faith at its World Centre, once more had to content.

It had long been the desire of Shoghi Effendi to obtain control of the Mansion at Mazra'ih, where Bahá'u'lláh had first lived when He quitted once-for-all the walls of the prison-city of 'Akka. This property was a Muslim religious endowment and had now fallen vacant. It was planned by the government to turn it into a rest home for officials. All efforts, through the departments concerned, to procure this property were unavailing until Shoghi Effendi appealed directly to Ben Gurion, explaining its significance to the Bahá'ís and his desire to have it visited by pilgrims as a place so closely associated with Bahá'u'lláh. The Prime Minister himself then intervened in the matter and it was leased to the Bahá'ís as an historic site. Shoghi Effendi proudly informed the Bahá'í world, on December 16, 1950, that its keys had been delivered to us, by the Israeli authorities, after the lapse of more than fifty years.

The affairs of the Bahá'í Community, in matters concerning its day-to-day dealings with the government in connection with the work at the World Centre, had been placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and was at first handled by the head of the Department that dealt with Muslim affairs. This Shoghi Effendi violently objected to as it implied the Faith was in some way identified with Islam. After much negotiation a letter was received from the Minister of Religious Affairs, dated December 13, 1953, addressed to "His Eminence, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, World Head of the Bahá'í Faith" in which he said:

"...I am pleased to inform you of my decision to establish in our Ministry a separate Department for the Bahá'í Faith. I hope that this department will be of assistance to you in matters concerning the Bahá'í Centre in our State. In the name of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the State of Israel, I wish to assure Your Eminence that full protection will be given to the Holy Places as well as to the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith."

The victory was all the more welcome, following as it did the previously mentioned court case against Shoghi Effendi brought on a technicality by the Covenant-breakers in connection with the demolition of a house adjoining the Shrine and Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahji. Never tired of seeking to publicly humiliate and discredit the Head of the Faith, be it 'Abdu'l-Bahá or the Guardian, they had had the temerity to summon Shoghi Effendi to appear in court as a witness. Once more, greatly concerned for the honour of the Cause at its World Centre, Shoghi Effendi appealed direct to the Prime Minister, sending as his representatives the President, Secretary-General and Member-at-Large of the International Bahá'í Council (whom he had summoned from Italy for this purpose) to Jerusalem on more than one visit to press the strategy he himself had devised. These representations were successful and on the grounds of its being a purely religious issue it was removed by Government from the jurisdiction of the civil courts. As soon as the plaintiffs found their plan to humiliate Shoghi Effendi had been forestalled, they were willing to settle the case by negotiation. That the authorities and the Bahá'í Community were equally pleased by this conclusion of the matter is shown in these letters written to the Guardian by members of the Prime Minister's staff — two men to whom the Faith owed much for their sympathetic efforts on its behalf at that time:

PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE Jerusalem, 19th May, 1952. His Eminence Shoghi Rabbani, World Head of the Bahá'í Faith, Haifa. Your Eminence, I am instructed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 16th May addressed to the Prime Minister. As you are no doubt aware, the dispute between yourself as the World head of the Bahá'í Faith and members of the family of the founder of the Faith has found its solution and there is no need, therefore, to take any administrative action in order to solve the problem. May I express to you our gratitude for your wise and benevolent attitude taken in the dispute which enabled us to impose a just and, as we hope, a lasting solution on the dissident group? The Prime Minister assures you of his personal esteem and sends you his best wishes.
Yours sincerely, S. Eynath Legal Adviser

It is significant to note that they address Shoghi Effendi as "His Eminence", a title which, though still far below what his position merited, was the one that had been introduced in the earliest days of his ministry, but never really used by any officials until the formation of the Jewish State.

The cordial nature of the relations established between the Guardian and the officials of the State of Israel encouraged Shoghi Effendi to ascertain if the President would care to visit the Bahá'í Shrine in Haifa; when word was received that he would accept such an invitation, Shoghi Effendi formally invited him to do so and arrangements were made for the morning of April 26, 1954, at which time, the Director of the President's Office wrote to Shoghi Effendi, the President would "be pleased to pay you an official visit". Accordingly the President and his wife arrived at the home of the Master, attended by two officials, partook of light refreshment and were presented by the Guardian with a Persian album, painted with miniatures and bound in silver, containing some photographs of the Shrines, as a memento of their visit. The Presidential party, with Shoghi Effendi and those who accompanied him, then proceeded to the gardens on Mt. Carmel. It was the first time in the history of the Cause that the Head of an independent nation had ever made an official visit of this kind and it constituted another milestone in the development of the World Centre of the Faith. The President and his companions showed the greatest respect to the Shrine of the Bab, removing their shoes as we did, before entering it, the men keeping their hats on out of reverence as Jews for a holy place; it was a very moving moment to see President Ben Zvi standing beside Shoghi Effendi, the former with his European hat, the latter with his simple black fez, before the threshold. After a few words of explanation from Shoghi Effendi we all withdrew and walked about he gardens for a few minutes before saying good-bye in front of the Oriental Pilgrim House where the President's car was awaiting him.

On April 29th the President wrote personally to the Guardian: "I should like to express my thanks for your kind hospitality and for the interesting time I spent with you visiting the beautiful Gardens and remarkable Shrine... I do appreciate the friendship which the Bahá'í Community has for Israel and it is my sincere hope that we may all live to see the strengthening of amity between all peoples on earth." On May 5th the Guardian replied to this letter in equally warm terms: "...It was a great pleasure to meet Your Excellency and Mrs. Ben Zvi, and be able to show you one of our places of Bahá'í pilgrimage in Israel... If it suits your convenience, Mrs. Rabbani and I, accompanied by Mr. Ioas, would like to call upon Your Excellency and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem..." The time for this return call was set for the afternoon of May 26th and we had tea and a pleasant conversation with the President and his wife, in her own way as much a personality as her husband and equally nice. In the interim between these two visits Shoghi Effendi had sent to the President some Bahá'í books which he had promised him and these had been acknowledged with the thanks of the President and the assurance that he would read them with great interest. Ever meticulous in all matters, Shoghi Effendi wrote on June 3rd to the President: "I wish to thank you and Mrs. Ben Zvi for your kind hospitality. Mrs. Rabbani and I enjoyed our visit with you very much, and I feel sure that this opportunity we have had of visiting with you our Bahá'í Holy Places and calling upon you in the capital of Israel has served to reinforce the bonds of affection and esteem which unite the Bahá'ís to the people and Government of Israel. With kind regards to you and Mrs. Ben Zvi..." Thus ended another memorable chapter in the process of winning recognition for the Faith at its World Centre.

Examining Bijan Masumian's article 'Baha'u'llah's Seclusion in Kurdistan'

By Interlocutor110

Bijan Masumian

These are my comments to the article, Baha'u'llah's Seclusion in Kurdistan, by Bijan Ma'sumian.

The square brackets are my addition to the quote below.
Although He [Baha'u'llah] condemned the actions of these radicals [of the assassination attempt], He realized that He might be sought by the government officials as a Bábí leader and He chose to surrender Himself to the authorities. He was taken to a prison where He remained for four months (the Siyyah Chál, or "Black Pit").
So Baha'u'llah imprisoned Himself for four months even though He did nothing wrong and all because of a suspicion that He might have been arrested anyways? Is it just me or was He, in fact, one of those radicals?
Among them was His half-brother Mírzá Yahya, otherwise known as Subh-i-Azal ("Morn of Eternity"), whom the Báb had appointed to head the Bábí movement after His death.
Remember folks that being appointed by a Manifestation of God as the head of His movement does not make you His successor.
Bahá'í accounts claim that the Báb's appointment of Azal (who was thirteen years younger than Bahá'u'lláh) was only nominal, as he was only in his teens at that time.
In The Dawn-Breakers, p. liii, the ninth, tenth, and twelfth Imams are listed as having been inaugurated at the ages of 8, 7, and 5, respectively.
The square bracket is my addition to the quote below.
The purpose behind this [ie. appointment of Mirza Yahya] was to divert the attention of the opposition from Bahá'u'lláh, the Promised One of the Bábí dispensation, Whose rising prominence was endangering His life.
The arrangement was suggested by Bahá'u'lláh to the Báb, Who approved it. Beside Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, only two other individuals, Mírzá Musá (Aqáy-i-Kalím), Bahá'u'lláh's full brother, and a certain Mullá Abdu'l-Karím-í-Qazvíní, who was later martyred in Tehrán, were aware of this arrangement. However, following the Báb's martyrdom, the question of succession came to cause much disturbance among the faithful. It ultimately came to result in a permanent rift between Bahá'u'lláh and Azal.
I suppose that this must have been some sort of cruel joke.
While future historians may need to further clarify the exact nature of Azal's nomination, there is little doubt at this time that, following the Báb's execution in 1850, the generality of Bábís came to regard Azal as the Báb's successor.
Go figure.
The events transpiring in Baghdád during the next few years indicate that Azal was not a particularly effective leader.
The remainder of this article makes it clear that populism is what bought Baha'u'llah His ticket to successorship.
Bahá'u'lláh and Azal were of significantly different temperaments and abilities. As a consequence, they had sharply contrasting leadership styles which soon became evident. Whereas Azal was normally withdrawn and retiring, Bahá'u'lláh was energetic and active. Understandably, those who came to support them had opposing views of the other leader's attributes. What Bahá'ís regarded as Azal's cowardice was to Azalis his caution as the surviving head of the movement, and what the latter considered Bahá'u'lláh's ambition was to Bahá'ís His love and concern for a community that, because the martyrdom of the Báb, was demoralized and disintegrating.
Sounds like an impartial attempt to describe the differences between the two. Well done.
On the morning of April 10th, 1854, to their utmost surprise, Bahá'u'lláh's household awoke to find Him gone. He had left Baghdad for the mountains of Sulaymáníyyih in the heart of Kurdish Iraq.
If my father pulled this shit, I would never forgive him.
In one of His later writings, He thus explained His reason for leaving Baghdad:
The one object of Our retirement was to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions, the means of injury to any soul, or the cause of sorrow to any heart.
The cause of sorrow to any heart? How about the hearts of those nearest to Him?
Our grief was intense when my father left us. He told none of us either where he was going or when he would return. He took no luggage, only a little rice, and some coarse bread. So we, my mother, my brother `Abbas and I, clung together in our sorrow and anxiety.
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 51)
The author continues...
Azal's supporters, true to form, offered a different interpretation of the events that led to Bahá'u'lláh's return, trying to convince others that Bahá'u'lláh left Sulaymáníyyíh in 1856 at the command of Azal. They also maintained that Bahá'u'lláh considered Himself to be under Azal's authority.
Sounds more plausible.

Cousins, NGOs, and Cousin NGOs: Unity Foundation, OSED, FUNDAEC, Ruhi Institute, BIC, ISGP, Paul Arbab, Farzam Arbab, Haleh Arbab, Bita Correa, and Gustavo Correa.

Farzam Arbab
The Arbab-Correas

Unity Foundation, which works with Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "a network of local development agencies assisting them in their efforts to build capacity amongst populations to take charge of their own social and economic development" is "governed by a board of directors which regularly meets to consult on the strategic direction of the organization. The day-to-day work is being carried out by the office team. Our external consultancy body, the Office of Social and Economic Development (OSED) in Haifa, Israel connects us to grass-root development agencies which have the capacity to work with external funding organization. OSED and the [Luxembourg] Ministry of Foreign Affairs act as two filters ensuring the quality and integrity of our projects."

The Administrator of Unity Foundation is Paul Arbab. "Born in the US, Paul grew up in Colombia. He holds an MBA and joined the board of Unity Foundation in January 2007. Since then he has been able to provide valuable input to the strategic direction of the Foundation. He is a proud father of two toddlers and strongly believes in the power of education."

Paul Arbab is the son of Farzam Arbab. Initially elected in 1993 to the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing institution of the Bahá'í Faith, Farzam Arbab retired from that body in 2013. Before his election to the Universal House of Justice, in 1988, he was appointed to the International Teaching Center. The International Teaching Centre, whose seat is at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, is composed of nine Counsellors appointed by the Universal House of Justice and tasked with duties to stimulate and coordinate the Continental Board of Counselors and assist the Universal House of Justice in matters relating to the teaching and protection of the faith. All of the current members of the Universal House of Justice previously served as members of the International Teaching Centre. In 1980 he was appointed to the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith in the Americas, on which he served for eight years. From 1970 until 1980 he served as the Chairman for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Colombia.

While in Colombia, Farzam Arbab was one of the founders of FUNDAEC (Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences). He served as its Director from 1974 through 1988 and continues to serve on its board. FUNDAEC was established in 1974 by a group in Colombia who were looking for new strategies to develop the capacities of people and to generate knowledge in isolated regions of the country. The model, known as SAT (for "Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial, Spanish for "System for Tutorial Learning") started in 1980 and centers on the use of interactive workbooks facilitated by a tutor. In Colombia, these tutors are trained at the Center for Rural Education.

The SAT techniques Arbab helped develop at FUNDAEC have been applied to the Bahá'í community in the form of the Ruhi Institute, which was named after Arbab's father. Centered on Bahá'í study circles, the goal of the Ruhi Institute courses is to "evoke a transformative learning experience through a learner-centered, experiential, and collaborative approach facilitated by a tutor rather than an instructor, a teacher, or an expert." Among the principles of the Ruhi curriculum is the utilization of service projects to implement learning into tangible action. The Universal House of Justice has encouraged the emulation of the Ruhi model throughout the global Bahá'í community. According to one researcher, the Ruhi Institute's method has resulted in "nonhierarchical, self-initiated, self-organized small groups engaged in study, teaching, and action" and is "becoming the core of Bahá’í community life worldwide as the outcome of a process that has sought to nurture the spiritual life of individuals and families and to establish social foundations for the vision and practice of religious world citizenship." Paul Lample, another member of the Universal Hose of Justice, has stated "Doubtless the institute and its curriculum will continue to evolve, both in content and form, to a level of greater complexity in regions and nations within the framework of the administrative order throughout the various stages of the Divine Plan in the second century of the Formative Age."

FUNDAEC's current Director is Bita Correa. Aside from being FUNDAEC's current program director, Bita Correa participated as a member of the Bahá'í International Community’s delegation to the 55th United Nations Commission for Social Development. A recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Bita Correa is the daughter of Haleh Arbab, Farzam Arbab's sister, and Gustavo Correa.

Haleh Arbab, is currently director of the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, a non-profit educational and research organization "dedicated to building capacity in individuals, groups and institutions to contribute to prevalent discourses concerned with the betterment of society" through "working in collaboration with the Bahá'í International Community." Born in Iran and educated in the United States, Haleh Arbab previously lived in Colombia from 1982 to 2005 where she worked with the FUNDAEC.

Haleh Arbab's husband and Bita Correa's father is Gustavo Correa. Since 2008, Gustavo Correa has been a member of the Universal House of Justice. Before his election to the Universal House of Justice, in 2005, he was appointed to the International Teaching Centre. Along with his brother-in-law, Farzam Arbab, Gustavo Correa was one of the founders of FUNDAEC and later served as its Director, the position currently held by his daughter, Bita Correa.

For a number of years now, Unity Foundation has collaborated with FUNDAEC and "since June 2013, Unity Foundation has renewed its collaboration with FUNDAEC."

Research : A35821361

A braindead (Ruhiized) Baha'i gets answer from a devouted Bayani

Scott Hakala (Baha'i) gets a reply from Sarai Mills (Bayani)

Scott, Wikipedia is not at all a reliable source, so I am going to disregard your referencing it. There are absolutely no accurate statements of Azal supporting the idea that he vacillated his claims. This is absolutely ridiculous and hypocritical, because Baha constantly changed his claims, going back in forth between whatever suited him at the particular time.

Baha very clearly attempted to kill Subh-i-Azal, and he also ordered the murder of Dayyan as well as many others. This is attested to by both Bayani sources (Hasht Bihisht and Tanbihun Naimin), Christian sources (Wilson and Miller), Gobineau, etc. There are numerous other assassination attempts perpetrated by Baha’is supported by Baha which you can read about. As you can see Baha and Abbas Effendi condoned the murders of Bayanis in Acre (Assassinations by Baha's Men).

Azal himself was also persecuted and exiled for his religion, so that point is void.

Azal gives his testimony that Baha stole books from him to E.G. Browne, and this fact is supported by numerous Bayani sources. It is immovable fact since Baha’is themselves mention the instance of them accidentally publishing his works in the Baha’i publication, Payam-i-Baha’i.

Your statements about the number of Bayanis and people abandoning Azal are null, void, and a non-argument, not addressing the actual theological positions of the Bayani community.

The accounts of the proposed “divine showdown” between Baha and Azal in the mosque are contradictory and cannot be taken as fact (Baha'i Allegations Against Subh-i Azal).

All of Subh-i-Azal’s books in our possession are freely available on the internet in their original language on Most of his works are lengthy books, comparable to the Qur’an, while most of Baha’s tablets, especially those later in his life, constitute short tablets. Subh-i-Azal retained his vigour and was able to produce fantastic works from his time as a teenager and young man all the way to the end of his life.

It is very doubtful that the Iqan was actually fully the work of Baha and many accounts testify to the fact that it was largely plagiarized from Azal. Nonetheless, the Kitab-i-Iqan does not come close to the wisdom of such men as Ibn Arabi, Mulla Sadra, or Rumi who Baha constantly plagiarized from (Compare his Seven Valleys and Four Valleys with Sadra’s Four Journeys), and they in no regard can touch the level of knowledge in Subh-i-Azal’s work. Baha in every page of his books demonstrates his basic level of knowledge of theology and at times directly contradicts the Bayan (He does this in his Lawh-i-Salman which is in direct contradiction with Persian Bayan 4:4), and he lacks knowledge of the most basic esoteric concepts, not to mention his even more basic comprehension of the Bayan. Subh-i-Azal in all his works is well-demonstrated as being extremely well-versed in the Bayan and esotericism, as befitting of the successor of such a wonderful mystic as the Primal Point.

Now, as for the updates to your question.

The nine years passages do not mention He Whom God shall make manifest. The truth about those passages is explained here (The Primal Point’s Tablet For Azim)

The only connection Baha has to the next set of passages is the word Baha and nothing else. Neither the title of Baha or Baha’u’llah were conferred on him by the Point, but rather the title of Baha’u’llah belongs to Qurrat al-Ayn (Baha's Grounds of Pretension).

So many of these common Baha’i “proofs” from Bayan have long been debunked by Bayanis. You would see so if you took the time to investigate the truth fully. I have yet to see a unique Baha’i argument derived from the verses of the Bayan to support the claim that Baha was He Whom God shall make manifest.

Baha’s role at the Conference of Badasht was largely insignificant. This is yet another way in which the Baha’is have distorted history; and he did not attain the holy remains of the Primal Point. These were forwarded to Subh-i-Azal who buried them with his own hands, and this fact is corroborated by multiple sources and evidence. The Baha’is have yet to prove that the corpse in their possession is actually the Primal Point.

And the Primal Point instructed Mulla Husayn himself to practice taqiyya:

“"It is incumbent upon you not to divulge, either to your companions or to any other soul, that which you have seen and heard. Be engaged in the Masjid-i-Ilkhani in prayer and in teaching. I, too, will there join you in congregational prayer. Beware lest your attitude towards Me betray the secret of your faith. You should continue in this occupation and maintain this attitude until our departure for Hijaz” (The Dawn-Breakers, p. 63). This is a Baha’i history which all Baha’is are required to take as Gospel. It is not a Bayani source.

Bayanis are not seeking to produce as many martyrs as possible which seems to be what the UHJ is trying to do with Baha’is in Iran, revoking them of Baha’i membership if they lie in order to leave the country. As the Prophet Muhammad stated, the ink of the scribe is more sacred than the blood of the martyr. This is a clear distinction between Bayanis and Baha’is. While we have dedicated ourselves to preserving and promulgating the Bayan, being scribes, Baha’is have made themselves into a cult of martyrs. They have even taken martyrs from other religions and appropriated them as their own, which is completely disrespectful to their memory!

It was also said by a renowned Muslim scholar (paraphrasing): “It is easy to die the death of a martyr, but it is not easy to live the life of a martyr.” The latter is what Bayanis have been doing, who have been much nobler than Baha and his followers.

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