Inseparability of the Baha’i Institutions – by Brent Poirier

Shoghi Effendi emphasized the identity and inseparability of the institutions established in Abdu’l-Baha’s Will, with those set forth in the Most Holy Book of Baha’u’llah. This precise principle is expressed again by Shoghi Effendi in his letter “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah,” where he states that the institution of the Guardianship cannot be “divorced” from the will and intention of Baha’u’llah, the true Ordainer of that institution. It is often seen that Covenant-breakers — pretenders to the leadership of the Baha’i Faith — distort this passage, in an attempt to claim that it means that there must always be a living Guardian; it does not. Shoghi Effendi is again simply stating that the institutions set forth in the Will of Abdu’l-Baha are not an innovation, that the Guardianship cannot be separated from the institutions of the World Order established by Baha’u’llah Himself.

In the first of his World Order letters Shoghi Effendi has written:

To attempt to divorce the one from the other [the Most Holy Book of Baha’u’llah from the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha], to insinuate that the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh have not been upheld, in their entirety and with absolute integrity, by what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has revealed in His Will, is an unpardonable affront to the unswerving fidelity that has characterized the life and labors of our beloved Master. . . the system of Bahá’í administration is not an innovation imposed arbitrarily upon the Bahá’ís of the world since the Master’s passing, but derives its authority from the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, is specifically prescribed in unnumbered Tablets, and rests in some of its essential features upon the explicit provisions of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas . . . To dissociate the administrative principles of the Cause from the purely spiritual and humanitarian teachings would be tantamount to a mutilation of the body of the Cause…” (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 3, 5)

That is, to claim that the institution of the Guardianship is not rooted in the plan and intent of Baha’u’llah would be an attempt to divorce the institutions established in the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, from Baha’u’llah Himself, and would be tantamount to a mutiliation of the body of the Cause. Nonetheless, the claim of Covenant-breakers is that when Shoghi Effendi makes the same point using this same language of “divorced” and “mutilated” in his letter “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah,” it somehow supports the preposterous claim of a pretender to the hereditary office of the Guardianship—a claim which has been flatly and permanently rejected by the worldwide Baha’i community. Rather, the intent is simply to show that the institution of the Guardianship cannot be separated — divorced — from the World Order established by Baha’u’llah Himself, and the effort to do so is to mutilate His plan.

This subject is addressed in more detail here.


“Copyright Brent Poirier, used with permission” bahai-covenant.blogspot.com