Three ways for Shoghi Effendi's followers to interpret Shoghi Effendi's unexpected death

Shoghi Effendi with Ruhi Afnan

1. Even though Shoghi Effendi appointed no successor, a successor must be found, because even if it is not clear who the legitimate successor is, it is more important for the institution of Guardianship to just continue. This is the position of the Orthodox Baha'is.

2. Shoghi Effendi appointed no successor so the institution of Guardianship must end. But we will go off and create the Universal House of Justice on our own, and give it powers which were previously under the domain of the Guardian (e.g. excommunication). This is the position of Haifan Baha'is.

3. Shoghi Effendi appointed no successor so the institution of Guardianship must end. But the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice were designed to complement each other - one cannot exist without the other - so the Baha'i Faith must continue with neither a Guardian nor a Universal House of Justice. No one supports this view for some reason.

Shoghi Effendi's writings certainly do not seem to support option (2):

It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions [Guardianship and the UHJ] of the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, coördinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction; each is equipped with its own attendant institutions—instruments designed for the effective discharge of its particular responsibilities and duties. Each exercises, within the limitations imposed upon it, its powers, its authority, its rights and prerogatives. These are neither contradictory, nor detract in the slightest degree from the position which each of these institutions occupies. Far from being incompatible or mutually destructive, they supplement each other’s authority and functions, and are permanently and fundamentally united in their aims.

Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. “In all the Divine Dispensations,” He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, “the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.” 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.

Severed from the no less essential institution of the Universal House of Justice this same System of the Will of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá would be paralyzed in its action and would be powerless to fill in those gaps which the Author of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas has deliberately left in the body of His legislative and administrative ordinances.

--Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha'u'llah

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews


Blog Archive