The Covenant of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – Feedback

1. Why did Shoghi Effendi not appoint a second Guardian?

“There is no doubt at all that in the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi was the authority designated to appoint his successor; but he had no children and all the surviving Aghsán had broken the Covenant. Thus, as the Hands of the Cause stated in 1957, it is clear that there was no one he could have appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Will. To have made an appointment outside the clear and specific provisions of the Master’s Will and Testament would obviously have been an impossible and unthinkable course of action. . . .” —Wellspring of Guidance 81-82

2. Was a break in the line of guardians foreseen in the Writings?

“One of the most striking passages which envisage the possibility of such a break . . . is in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas itself: “The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After Him the decision rests with the Aghsán (Branches), and after them with the House of Justice—should it be established in the world by then. . . . “The passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957 precipitated the very situation provided for . . . in that the line of Aghsán ended before the House of Justice had been elected. Although . . . the ending of the line of Aghsán . . . was provided for, we must never underestimate the grievous loss that the Faith has suffered.” —Messages of the Universal House of Justice 41

3. What was the role of the Hands of the Cause after the Guardian’s death?

“. . . The international administration of the Faith was carried on by the Hands of the Cause of God with the complete agreement and loyalty of the national spiritual assemblies and the body of the believers. This was in accordance with the Guardian’s designation of the Hands as the ‘Chief Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth.’ “From the very outset of their custodianship . . . the Hands realized that since they had no certainty of Divine guidance such as is incontrovertibly assured to the Guardian and to the Universal House of Justice, their one safe course was to follow with undeviating firmness the instructions and policies of Shoghi Effendi. The entire history of religion shows no comparable record of such strict self-discipline, such absolute loyalty. . . .” —Wellspring of Guidance 45

4. Why were steps taken to elect the Universal House of Justice in 1963?

“[First] this situation, in which the Guardian died without being able to appoint a successor, presented an obscure question not covered by the explicit Holy Text, and had to be referred to the Universal House of Justice. . . . Before the election of the Universal House of Justice there was no knowledge that there would be no Guardian. . . . “The Guardian had given the Bahá’í world explicit and detailed plans covering the period until Rid.ván 1963, the end of the Ten Year Crusade. From that point onward, unless the Faith were to be endangered, further Divine guidance was essential. This was the second pressing reason for the calling of the election of the Universal House of Justice. The rightness of the time was further confirmed by references in Shoghi Effendi’s letters to the Ten Year Crusade’s being followed by other plans under the direction of the Universal House of Justice. . . . ” —Wellspring of Guidance 45-46

5. Can the Universal House of Justice function properly without a Guardian?

“. . . Shoghi Effendi repeatedly stressed the inseparability of these two institutions. Whereas he obviously envisaged their functioning together, it cannot logically be deduced from this that one is unable to function in the absence of the other. During the whole thirty-six years of his Guardianship Shoghi Effendi functioned without the Universal House of Justice. Now the Universal House of Justice must function without the Guardian, but the principle of inseparability remains. The Guardianship does not lose its significance nor position in the Order of Bahá’u’lláh merely because there is no living Guardian.” —Wellspring of Guidance 86-87

6. Has the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh been damaged or altered?

“God’s purpose for mankind remains unchanged, however, and the mighty Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh remains impregnable. Has not Bahá’u’lláh stated categorically, ‘The Hand of Omnipotence hath established His Revelation upon an unassailable, an enduring foundation.’ While ‘Abdu’l-Bahá confirms: ‘Verily, God effecteth that which He pleaseth; naught can annul His Covenant; naught can obstruct His favor nor oppose His Cause!’ ‘Everything is subject to corruption; but the Covenant of thy Lord shall continue to pervade all regions. . . .’” —Messages of the Universal House of Justice 41-42

7. What is the duty of the believers?

“It is His Cause. He has promised that its light will not fail. Our part is to cling tenaciously to the revealed Word and to the institutions that He has created to preserve His Covenant. . . .” —Wellspring of Guidance 87

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