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Title: The Will And Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Author: `Abdu'l-Bahá, 1844-1921
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Will And Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá


by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá



Edition 1, (September 2006)



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                                 CONTENTS


Baha’i Terms of Use
Part One
Part Two
Part Three



PART ONE


Herein Follow the Tablets and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

All-praise To Him Who, by the Shield of His Covenant, hath guarded the
Temple of His Cause from the darts of doubtfulness, Who by the Hosts of
His Testament hath preserved the Sanctuary of His most Beneficent Law and
protected His Straight and Luminous Path, staying thereby the onslaught of
the company of Covenant-breakers, that have threatened to subvert His
Divine Edifice; Who hath watched over His Mighty Stronghold and
All-Glorious Faith, through the aid of men whom the slander of the
slanderer affect not, whom no earthly calling, glory and power can turn
aside from the Covenant of God and His Testament, established firmly by
His clear and manifest words, writ and revealed by His All-Glorious Pen
and recorded in the Preserved Tablet.

Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of
the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and
flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees; the most wondrous, unique and
priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas; upon the
offshoots of the Tree of Holiness, the twigs of the Celestial Tree, they
that in the Day of the Great Dividing have stood fast and firm in the
Covenant; upon the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God that have diffused
widely the Divine Fragrances, declared His Proofs, proclaimed His Faith,
published abroad His Law, detached themselves from all things but Him,
stood for righteousness in this world, and kindled the Fire of the Love of
God in the very hearts and souls of His servants; upon them that have
believed, rested assured, stood steadfast in His Covenant and followed the
Light that after my passing shineth from the Dayspring of Divine
Guidance—for behold! he is the blest and sacred bough that hath branched
out from the Twin Holy Trees. Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter
of his shade that shadoweth all mankind.

O ye beloved of the Lord! The greatest of all things is the protection of
the True Faith of God, the preservation of His Law, the safeguarding of
His Cause and service unto His Word. Ten thousand souls have shed streams
of their sacred blood in this path, their precious lives they offered in
sacrifice unto Him, hastened wrapt in holy ecstasy unto the glorious field
of martyrdom, upraised the Standard of God’s Faith and writ with their
life-blood upon the Tablet of the world the verses of His Divine Unity.
The sacred breast of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be a
sacrifice unto Him), was made a target to many a dart of woe, and in
Mázindarán, the blessed feet of the Abhá Beauty (may my life be offered up
for His loved ones) were so grievously scourged as to bleed and be sore
wounded. His neck also was put into captive chains and His feet made fast
in the stocks. In every hour, for a period of fifty years, a new trial and
calamity befell Him and fresh afflictions and cares beset Him. One of
them: after having suffered intense vicissitudes, He was made homeless and
a wanderer and fell a victim to still new vexations and troubles. In
‘Iráq, the Day-Star of the world was so exposed to the wiles of the people
of malice as to be eclipsed in splendor. Later on He was sent an exile to
the Great City (Constantinople) and thence to the Land of Mystery
(Adrianople), whence, grievously wronged, He was eventually transferred to
the Most Great Prison (Akká). He Whom the world hath wronged (may my life
be offered up for His loved ones) was four times banished from city to
city, till at last, condemned to perpetual confinement, He was
incarcerated in this prison, the prison of highway robbers, of brigands
and of man-slayers. All this is but one of the trials that have afflicted
the Blessed Beauty, the rest being even as grievous as this.

And still another of His trials was the hostility, the flagrant injustice,
the iniquity and rebellion of Mírzá Yaḥyá. Although that Wronged One, that
Prisoner, had through His loving-kindness nurtured him in His own bosom
ever since his early years, had showered at every moment His tender care
upon him, exalted his name, shielded him from every misfortune, endeared
him to them of this world and the next, and despite the firm exhortations
and counsels of His Holiness, the Exalted One (the Báb) and His clear and
conclusive warning;—”Beware, beware, lest the Nineteen Letters of the
Living and that which hath been revealed in the Bayán veil thee!” yet
notwithstanding this, Mírzá Yaḥyá denied Him, dealt falsely with Him,
believed Him not, sowed the seeds of doubt, closed his eyes to His
manifest verses and turned aside therefrom. Would that he had been content
therewith! Nay, he even attempted to shed the sacred blood (of
Bahá’u’lláh) and then raised a great clamor and tumult around him,
attributing unto Bahá’u’lláh malevolence and cruelty towards himself. What
sedition he stirred up and what a storm of mischief he raised whilst in
the Land of Mystery (Adrianople)! At last, he wrought that which caused
the Day-Star of the world to be sent an exile to this, the Most Great
Prison, and sorely wronged, and in the West of this Great Prison He did
set.

O ye that stand fast and firm in the Covenant! The Center of Sedition, the
Prime Mover of mischief, Mírzá Muḥammad ‘Alí, hath passed out from under
the shadow of the Cause, hath broken the Covenant, hath falsified the Holy
Text, hath inflicted a grievous loss upon the true Faith of God, hath
scattered His people, hath with bitter rancor endeavored to hurt
‘Abdu’l-Bahá and hath assailed with the utmost enmity this servant of the
Sacred Threshold. Every dart he seized and hurled to pierce the breast of
this wronged servant, no wound did he neglect to grievously inflict upon
me, no venom did he spare but he poisoned therewith the life of this
hapless one. I swear by the most holy Abhá Beauty and by the Light shining
from His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my soul be a sacrifice for Their
lowly servants), that because of this iniquity the dwellers in the
Pavilion of the Abhá Kingdom have bewailed, the Celestial Concourse is
lamenting, the Immortal Maids of Heaven in the All-Highest Paradise have
raised their plaintive cries and the angelic company sighed and uttered
their moanings. So grievous the deeds of this iniquitous person became
that he struck with his axe at the root of the Blessed Tree, dealt a heavy
blow at the Temple of the Cause of God, deluged with tears of blood the
eyes of the loved ones of the Blessed Beauty, cheered and encouraged the
enemies of the One True God, by his repudiation of the Covenant turned
many a seeker after Truth aside from the Cause of God, revived the
blighted hopes of Yaḥyá’s following, made himself detested, caused the
enemies of the Greatest Name to become audacious and arrogant, put aside
the firm and conclusive verses and sowed the seeds of doubt. Had not the
promised aid of the Ancient Beauty been graciously vouchsafed at every
moment to this one, unworthy though he be, he surely would have destroyed,
nay exterminated the Cause of God and utterly subverted the Divine
Edifice. But, praised be the Lord, the triumphant assistance of the Abhá
Kingdom was received, the hosts of the Realm above hastened to bestow
victory. The Cause of God was promoted far and wide, the call of the True
One was noised abroad, ears in all regions were inclined to the Word of
God, His standard was unfurled, the ensigns of Holiness gloriously waved
aloft and the verses celebrating His Divine Unity were chanted. Now, that
the true Faith of God may be shielded and protected, His Law guarded and
preserved and His Cause remain safe and secure, it is incumbent upon
everyone to hold fast unto the Text of the clear and firmly established
blessed verse, revealed about him. None other transgression greater than
his can be ever imagined. He (Bahá’u’lláh) sayeth, glorious and holy is
His Word:—”My foolish loved ones have regarded him even as my partner,
have kindled sedition in the land and they verily are of the
mischief-makers.” Consider, how foolish are the people! They that have
been in His (Bahá’u’lláh’s) Presence and beheld His Countenance, have
nevertheless noised abroad such idle talk, until, exalted be His explicit
words, He said:—”Should he for a moment pass out from under the shadow of
the Cause, he surely shall be brought to naught.” Reflect! What stress He
layeth upon one moment’s deviation: that is, were he to incline a hair’s
breadth to the right or to the left, his deviation would be clearly
established and his utter nothingness made manifest. And now ye are
witnessing how the wrath of God hath from all sides afflicted him and how
day by day he is speeding towards destruction. Ere long will ye behold him
and his associates, outwardly and inwardly, condemned to utter ruin.

What deviation can be greater than breaking the Covenant of God! What
deviation can be greater than interpolating and falsifying the words and
verses of the Sacred Text, even as testified and declared by Mírzá
Badí’u’lláh! What deviation can be greater than calumniating the Center of
the Covenant himself! What deviation can be more glaring than spreading
broadcast false and foolish reports touching the Temple of God’s
Testament! What deviation can be more grievous than decreeing the death of
the Center of the Covenant, supported by the holy verse:—”He that layeth a
claim ere the passing of a thousand years...,” whilst he (Muḥammad ‘Alí)
without shame in the days of the Blessed Beauty had advanced such a claim
as this and been confuted by Him in the aforementioned manner, the text of
his claim being still extant in his own handwriting and bearing his own
seal. What deviation can be more complete than falsely accusing the loved
ones of God! What deviation can be more evil than causing their
imprisonment and incarceration! What deviation can be more severe than
delivering into the hands of the government the Holy Writings and
Epistles, that haply they (the government) might arise intent upon the
death of this wronged one! What deviation can be more violent than
threatening the ruin of the Cause of God, forging and slanderously
falsifying letters and documents so that this might perturb and alarm the
government and lead to the shedding of the blood of this wronged one,—such
letters and documents being now in the possession of the government! What
deviation can be more odious than his iniquity and rebellion! What
deviation can be more shameful than dispersing the gathering of the people
of salvation! What deviation can be more infamous than the vain and feeble
interpretations of the people of doubt! What deviation can be more wicked
than joining hands with strangers and with the enemies of God!

A few months ago, in concert with others, he that hath broken the
Covenant, hath prepared a document teeming with calumny and slander
wherein, the Lord forbid, among many similar slanderous charges,
‘Abdu’l-Bahá is deemed a deadly enemy, the ill-wisher of the Crown. They
so perturbed the minds of the members of the Imperial Government that at
last a Committee of Investigation was sent from the seat of His Majesty’s
Government which, violating every rule of justice and equity that befit
His Imperial Majesty, nay, with the most glaring injustice, proceeded with
its investigations. The ill-wishers of the One True God surrounded them on
every side and explained and excessively enlarged upon the text of the
document whilst they (the members of the Committee) in their turn blindly
acquiesced. One of their many calumnies was that this servant had raised
aloft a banner in this city, had summoned the people together under it,
had established a new sovereignty for himself, had erected upon Mount
Carmel a mighty stronghold, had rallied around him all the peoples of the
land and made them obedient to him, had caused disruption in the Faith of
Islám, had covenanted with the following of Christ and, God forbid, had
purposed to cause the gravest breach in the mighty power of the Crown. May
the Lord protect us from such atrocious falsehoods!

According to the direct and sacred command of God we are forbidden to
utter slander, are commanded to show forth peace and amity, are exhorted
to rectitude of conduct, straightforwardness and harmony with all the
kindreds and peoples of the world. We must obey and be the well-wishers of
the governments of the land, regard disloyalty unto a just king as
disloyalty to God Himself and wishing evil to the government a
transgression of the Cause of God. With these final and decisive words,
how can it be that these imprisoned ones should indulge in such vain
fancies; incarcerated, how could they show forth such disloyalty! But
alas! The Committee of Investigation hath approved and confirmed these
calumnies of my brother and ill-wishers and submitted them to the presence
of His Majesty the Sovereign. Now at this moment a fierce storm is raging
around this prisoner who awaiteth, be it favorable or unfavorable, the
gracious will of His Majesty, may the Lord aid him by His grace to be
just. In whatsoever condition he may be, with absolute calm and quietness,
‘Abdu’l-Bahá is ready for self-sacrifice and is wholly resigned and
submitted to His Will. What transgression can be more abominable, more
odious, more wicked than this!

In like manner, the focal Center of Hate, hath purposed to put
‘Abdu’l-Bahá to death and this is supported by the testimony written by
Mírzá _Sh_u‘á’u’lláh himself and is here enclosed. It is evident and
indisputable that they are privily and with the utmost subtlety engaged in
conspiring against me. The following are his very words written by him in
this letter:—”I curse at every moment him that hath kindled this discord,
imprecate in these words ‘Lord! have no mercy upon him’ and I hope ere
long God will make manifest the one that shall have no pity on him, who
now weareth another garb and about whom I cannot any more explain.”
Reference he doth make by these words to the sacred verse that beginneth
as follows:—”He that layeth a claim ere the passing of a thousand
years...” Reflect! How intent they are upon the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!
Ponder in your hearts upon the phrase “I cannot any more explain” and
realize what schemes they are devising for this purpose. They fear lest,
too fully explained, the letter might fall into alien hands and their
schemes be foiled and frustrated. The phrase is only foretelling good
tidings to come, namely that regarding this all requisite arrangements
have been made.

O God, my God! Thou seest this wronged servant of Thine, held fast in the
talons of ferocious lions, of ravening wolves, of bloodthirsty beasts.
Graciously assist me, through my love for Thee, that I may drink deep of
the chalice that brimmeth over with faithfulness to Thee and is filled
with Thy bountiful Grace; so that, fallen upon the dust, I may sink
prostrate and senseless whilst my vesture is dyed crimson with my blood.
This is my wish, my heart’s desire, my hope, my pride, my glory. Grant, O
Lord my God, and my Refuge, that in my last hour, my end may even as musk
shed its fragrance of glory! Is there a bounty greater than this? Nay, by
Thy Glory! I call Thee to witness that no day passeth but that I quaff my
fill from this cup, so grievous are the misdeeds wrought by them that have
broken the Covenant, kindled discord, showed their malice, stirred
sedition in the land and dishonored Thee amidst Thy servants. Lord! Shield
Thou from these Covenant-breakers the mighty Stronghold of Thy Faith and
protect Thy secret Sanctuary from the onslaught of the ungodly. Thou art
in truth the Mighty, the Powerful, the Gracious, the Strong.

In short, O ye beloved of the Lord! The Center of Sedition, Mírzá Muḥammad
‘Alí, in accordance with the decisive words of God and by reason of his
boundless transgression, hath grievously fallen and been cut off from the
Holy Tree. Verily, we wronged them not, but they have wronged themselves!

O God, my God! Shield Thy trusted servants from the evils of self and
passion, protect them with the watchful eye of Thy loving kindness from
all rancor, hate and envy, shelter them in the impregnable stronghold of
Thy care and, safe from the darts of doubtfulness, make them the
manifestations of Thy glorious Signs, illumine their faces with the
effulgent rays shed from the Dayspring of Thy Divine Unity, gladden their
hearts with the verses revealed from Thy Holy Kingdom, strengthen their
loins by Thy all-swaying power that cometh from Thy Realm of Glory. Thou
art the All-Bountiful, the Protector, the Almighty, the Gracious!

O ye that stand fast in the Covenant! When the hour cometh that this
wronged and broken-winged bird will have taken its flight into the
Celestial Concourse, when it will have hastened to the Realm of the Unseen
and its mortal frame will have been either lost or hidden neath the dust,
it is incumbent upon the Afnán, that are steadfast in the Covenant of God
and have branched from the Tree of Holiness; the Hands, (pillars) of the
Cause of God (the glory of the Lord rest upon them), and all the friends
and loved ones, one and all to bestir themselves and arise with heart and
soul and in one accord, to diffuse the sweet savors of God, to teach His
Cause and to promote His Faith. It behooveth them not to rest for a
moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every
land, pass by every clime, and travel throughout all regions. Bestirred,
without rest, and steadfast to the end, they must raise in every land the
triumphal cry “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” (O Thou the Glory of Glories), must
achieve renown in the world wherever they go, must burn brightly even as a
candle in every meeting and must kindle the flame of Divine love in every
assembly; that the light of truth may rise resplendent in the midmost
heart of the world, that throughout the East and throughout the West a
vast concourse may gather under the shadow of the Word of God, that the
sweet savors of holiness may be diffused, that faces may shine radiantly,
hearts be filled with the Divine spirit and souls be made heavenly.

In these days, the most important of all things is the guidance of the
nations and peoples of the world. Teaching the Cause is of utmost
importance for it is the head corner-stone of the foundation itself. This
wronged servant has spent his days and nights in promoting the Cause and
urging the peoples to service. He rested not a moment, till the fame of
the Cause of God was noised abroad in the world and the celestial strains
from the Abhá Kingdom roused the East and the West. The beloved of God
must also follow the same example. This is the secret of faithfulness,
this is the requirement of servitude to the Threshold of Bahá!

The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook
all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion, and
with absolute detachment scattered far and wide and engaged in calling the
peoples of the world to the divine guidance; till at last they made the
world another world, illumined the surface of the earth, and even to their
last hour proved self-sacrificing in the pathway of that beloved One of
God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them
that are men of action follow in their footsteps!

O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is
incumbent upon the A_gh_sán (Branches), the Afnán (Twigs) of the Sacred
Lote-Tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God and the loved ones of
the Abhá Beauty to turn unto Shoghi Effendi—the youthful branch branched
from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-Trees and the fruit grown from the
union of the two offshoots of the Tree of Holiness,—as he is the sign of
God, the chosen branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all
the A_gh_sán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones
must turn. He is the Interpreter of the Word of God and after him will
succeed the first-born of his lineal descendents.

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 Abhá Beauty,
under the shelter and unerring guidance of 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! The mighty
stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who
is the Guardian of the Cause of God. It is incumbent upon the members of
the House of Justice, upon all the A_gh_sán, the Afnán, the Hands of the
Cause of God to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination
unto the Guardian of the Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly
before him. He that opposeth him hath opposed the True One, will make a
breach in the Cause of God, will subvert His Word and will become a
manifestation of the Center of Sedition. Beware, beware, lest the days
after the ascension (of Bahá’u’lláh) be repeated when the Center of
Sedition waxed haughty and rebellious and with Divine Unity for his excuse
deprived himself and perturbed and poisoned others. No doubt every
vainglorious one that purposeth dissension and discord will not openly
declare his evil purposes, nay rather, even as impure gold, will he seize
upon divers measures and various pretexts that he may separate the
gathering of the people of Bahá. My object is to show that the Hands of
the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone
beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God,
cast him out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise
accept any excuse from him. How often hath grievous error been disguised
in the garb of truth, that it might sow the seeds of doubt in the hearts
of men!

O ye beloved of the Lord! 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.

The Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own number nine
persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in
the work of the Guardian of the Cause of God. The election of these nine
must be carried either unanimously or by majority from the company of the
Hands of the Cause of God and these, whether unanimously or by a majority
vote, must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the Guardian of
the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor. This assent must be given
in such wise as the assenting and dissenting voices may not be
distinguished (i.e., secret ballot).

O friends! The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed
by the Guardian of the Cause of God. All must be under his shadow and obey
his command. Should any, within or without the company of the Hands of the
Cause of God disobey and seek division, the wrath of God and His vengeance
will be upon him, for he will have caused a breach in the true Faith of
God.

The obligations of the Hands of the Cause of God are to diffuse the Divine
Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the
character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions,
sanctified and detached from earthly things. They must manifest the fear
of God by their conduct, their manners, their deeds and their words.

This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the
Guardian of the Cause of God. He must continually urge them to strive and
endeavor to the utmost of their ability to diffuse the sweet savors of
God, and to guide all the peoples of the world, for it is the light of
Divine Guidance that causeth all the universe to be illumined. To
disregard, though it be for a moment, this absolute command which is
binding upon everyone, is in no wise permitted, that the existent world
may become even as the Abhá Paradise, that the surface of the earth may
become heavenly, that contention and conflict amidst peoples, kindreds,
nations and governments may disappear, that all the dwellers on earth may
become one people and one race, that the world may become even as one
home. Should differences arise, they shall be amicably and conclusively
settled by the Supreme Tribunal, that shall include members from all the
governments and peoples of the world.

O ye beloved of the Lord! In this sacred Dispensation, conflict and
contention are in no wise permitted. Every aggressor deprives himself of
God’s grace. It is incumbent upon everyone to show the utmost love,
rectitude of conduct, straightforwardness and sincere kindliness unto all
the peoples and kindreds of the world, be they friends or strangers. So
intense must be the spirit of love and loving kindness, that the stranger
may find himself a friend, the enemy a true brother, no difference
whatsoever existing between them. For universality is of God and all
limitations earthly. Thus man must strive that his reality may manifest
virtues and perfections, the light whereof may shine upon everyone. The
light of the sun shineth upon all the world and the merciful showers of
Divine Providence fall upon all peoples. The vivifying breeze reviveth
every living creature and all beings endued with life obtain their share
and portion at His heavenly board. In like manner, the affections and
loving kindness of the servants of the One True God must be bountifully
and universally extended to all mankind. Regarding this, restrictions and
limitations are in no wise permitted.

Wherefore, O my loving friends! Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and
religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness,
faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness, that all the world
of being may be filled with the holy ecstasy of the grace of Bahá, that
ignorance, enmity, hate and rancor may vanish from the world and the
darkness of estrangement amidst the peoples and kindreds of the world may
give way to the Light of Unity. Should other peoples and nations be
unfaithful to you show your fidelity unto them, should they be unjust
toward you show justice towards them, should they keep aloof from you
attract them to yourselves, should they show their enmity be friendly
towards them, should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls, should
they inflict a wound upon you, be a salve to their sores. Such are the
attributes of the sincere! Such are the attributes of the truthful.

And now, concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the
source of all good and freed from all error, it must be elected by
universal suffrage, that is, by the believers. Its members must be
manifestations of the fear of God and daysprings of knowledge and
understanding, must be steadfast in God’s faith and the well-wishers of
all mankind. By this House is meant the Universal House of Justice, that
is, in all countries a secondary House of Justice must be instituted, and
these secondary Houses of Justice must elect the members of the Universal
one. Unto this body all things must be referred. It enacteth all
ordinances and regulations that are not to be found in the explicit Holy
Text. By this body all the difficult problems are to be resolved and the
Guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished
member for life of that body. Should he not attend in person its
deliberations, he must appoint one to represent him. Should any of the
members commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the Guardian of the
Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him, whereupon
the people must elect another one in his stead. This House of Justice
enacteth the laws and the government enforceth them. The legislative body
must reinforce the executive, the executive must aid and assist the
legislative body so that through the close union and harmony of these two
forces, the foundation of fairness and justice may become firm and strong,
that all the regions of the world may become even as Paradise itself.

O Lord, my God! Assist Thy loved ones to be firm in Thy Faith, to walk in
Thy ways, to be steadfast in Thy Cause. Give them Thy grace to withstand
the onslaught of self and passion, to follow the light of Divine Guidance.
Thou art the Powerful, the Gracious, the Self-Subsisting, the Bestower,
the Compassionate, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.

O friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! The Lord, as a sign of His infinite bounties,
hath graciously favored His servants by providing for a fixed money
offering (Ḥuqúq), to be dutifully presented unto Him, though He, the True
One and His servants have been at all times independent of all created
things, and God verily is the All-Possessing, exalted above the need of
any gift from His creatures. This fixed money offering, however, causeth
the people to become firm and steadfast and draweth Divine increase upon
them. It is to be offered through the Guardian of the Cause of God, that
it may be expended for the diffusion of the Fragrances of God and the
exaltation of His Word, for benevolent pursuits and for the common weal.

O ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon you to be submissive to all
monarchs that are just and to show your fidelity to every righteous king.
Serve ye the sovereigns of the world with utmost truthfulness and loyalty.
Show obedience unto them and be their well-wishers. Without their leave
and permission do not meddle with political affairs, for disloyalty to the
just sovereign is disloyalty to God Himself.

This is my counsel and the commandment of God unto you. Well is it with
them that act accordingly.

                                * * * * *


    (This written paper hath for a long time been preserved under
    ground, damp having affected it. When brought forth to the light
    it was observed that certain parts of it were injured by the damp,
    and the Holy Land being sorely agitated it was left untouched.)



PART TWO


He Is God

O My Lord, my heart’s Desire, Thou Whom I ever invoke, Thou Who art my
Aider and my Shelter, my Helper and my Refuge! Thou seest me submerged in
an ocean of calamities that overwhelm the soul, of afflictions that
oppress the heart, of woes that disperse Thy gathering, of ills and pains
that scatter Thy flock. Sore trials have compassed me round and perils
have from all sides beset me. Thou seest me immersed in a sea of
unsurpassed tribulation, sunk into a fathomless abyss, afflicted by mine
enemies and consumed with the flame of their hate, enkindled by my kinsmen
with whom Thou didst make Thy strong Covenant and Thy firm Testament,
wherein Thou biddest them turn their hearts to this wronged one, to keep
away from me the foolish, the unjust, and refer unto this lonely one all
that about which they differ in Thy Holy Book, so that the Truth may be
revealed unto them, their doubts may be dispelled and Thy manifest Signs
be spread abroad.

Yet now Thou seest them, O Lord, my God! with Thine eye that sleepeth not,
how that they have broken Thy Covenant and turned their backs thereon, how
with hate and rebelliousness they have erred from Thy Testament and have
arisen intent upon malice.

Adversities have waxed still more severe as they rose with unbearable
cruelty to overpower and crush me, as they scattered far and wide their
scrolls of doubt and in utter falsehood hurled their calumnies upon me.
Not content with this, their chief, O my God, hath dared to interpolate
Thy Book, to fraudulently alter Thy decisive Holy Text and falsify that
which hath been revealed by Thy All-Glorious Pen. He did also maliciously
insert that which Thou didst reveal for the one that hath wrought the most
glaring cruelty upon Thee, disbelieved in Thee and denied Thy wondrous
Signs, into what Thou didst reveal for this servant of Thine that hath
been wronged in this world. All this he did that he might beguile the
souls of men and breathe his evil whisperings into the hearts of Thy
devoted ones. Thereunto did their second chief testify, confessing it in
his own handwriting, setting thereupon his seal and spreading it
throughout all regions. O my God! Could there be a more grievous injustice
than this? And still they rested not, but further strove with
stubbornness, falsehood and slander, with scorn and calumny to stir up
sedition in the midst of the government of this land and elsewhere,
causing them to deem me a sower of sedition and filling the minds with
things that the ear abhorreth to hear. The government was thus alarmed,
fear fell upon the sovereign, and the suspicion of the nobility was
aroused. Minds were troubled, affairs were upset, souls were perturbed,
the fire of anguish and sorrow was kindled within the breasts, the Holy
Leaves (of the Household) were convulsed and shaken, their eyes rained
with tears, their sighs and lamentations were raised and their hearts
burned within them as they bewailed this wronged servant of Thine, fallen
a victim into the hands of these, his kindred, nay, his very enemies!

Lord! Thou seest all things weeping over Me and My kindred rejoicing in My
woes. By Thy Glory, O my God! Even amongst mine enemies, some have
lamented my troubles and my distress, and of the envious ones a number
have shed tears because of my cares, my exile and my afflictions. They did
this because they found naught in me but affection and care and witnessed
naught but kindliness and mercy. As they saw me swept into the flood of
tribulation and adversity and exposed even as a target to the arrows of
fate, their hearts were moved with compassion, tears came to their eyes
and they testified declaring:—”The Lord is our witness; naught have we
seen from him but faithfulness, generosity and extreme compassion.” The
Covenant-breakers, foreboders of evil, however, waxed fiercer in their
rancor, rejoiced as I fell a victim to the most grievous ordeal, bestirred
themselves against me and made merry over the heartrending happenings
around me.

I call upon Thee, O Lord my God! with my tongue and with all my heart, not
to requite them for their cruelty and their wrong-doings, their craft and
their mischief, for they are foolish and ignoble and know not what they
do. They discern not good from evil, neither do they distinguish right
from wrong, nor justice from injustice. They follow their own desires and
walk in the footsteps of the most imperfect and foolish amongst them. O my
Lord! Have mercy upon them, shield them from all afflictions in these
troubled times and grant that all trials and hardships may be the lot of
this Thy servant that hath fallen into this darksome pit. Single me out
for every woe and make me a sacrifice for all Thy loved ones. O Lord, Most
High! May my soul, my life, my being, my spirit, my all be offered up for
them. O God, my God! Lowly, suppliant and fallen upon my face, I beseech
Thee with all the ardor of my invocation to pardon whosoever hath hurt me,
forgive him that hath conspired against me and offended me, and wash away
the misdeeds of them that have wrought injustice upon me. Vouchsafe unto
them Thy goodly gifts, give them joy, relieve them from sorrow, grant them
peace and prosperity, give them Thy bliss and pour upon them Thy bounty.

Thou art the Powerful, the Gracious, the Help in Peril, the
Self-Subsisting!

O dearly beloved friends! I am now in very great danger and the hope of
even an hour’s life is lost to me. I am thus constrained to write these
lines for the protection of the Cause of God, the preservation of His Law,
the safeguarding of His Word and the safety of His Teachings. By the
Ancient Beauty! This wronged one hath in no wise borne nor doth he bear a
grudge against any one; towards none doth he entertain any ill-feeling and
uttereth no word save for the good of the world. My supreme obligation,
however, of necessity, prompteth me to guard and preserve the Cause of
God. Thus, with the greatest regret, I counsel you saying: Guard ye the
Cause of God, protect His law and have the utmost fear of discord. This is
the foundation of the belief of the people of Bahá (may my life be offered
up for them): “His Holiness, the Exalted One (the Báb), is the
Manifestation of the Unity and Oneness of God and the Forerunner of the
Ancient Beauty. His Holiness the Abhá Beauty (may my life be a sacrifice
for His steadfast friends) is the Supreme Manifestation of God and the
Dayspring of His Most Divine Essence. All others are servants unto Him and
do His bidding.” Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that
is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House
of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously or by a majority
doth carry, that is verily the truth and the purpose of God Himself. Whoso
doth deviate therefrom is verily of them that love discord, hath shown
forth malice, and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant. By this House
is meant that Universal House of Justice which is to be elected from all
countries, that is from those parts in the East and West where the loved
ones are to be found, after the manner of the customary elections in
Western countries such as those of England.

It is incumbent upon these members (of the Universal House of Justice) to
gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have
caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not
expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect
as the Text itself. Inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact
laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily
transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same. Thus for example,
the House of Justice enacteth today a certain law and enforceth it, and a
hundred years hence, circumstances having profoundly changed and the
conditions having altered, another House of Justice will then have power,
according to the exigencies of the time, to alter that law. This it can do
because these laws form no part of the divine explicit Text. The House of
Justice is both the initiator and the abrogator of its own laws.

And now, one of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause
of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Covenant-breakers, for they will
utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no
account all efforts exerted in the past. O friends! It behooveth you to
call to mind with tenderness the trials of His Holiness, the Exalted One,
and show your fidelity to the Ever-Blest Beauty. The utmost endeavor must
be exerted lest all these woes, trials and afflictions, all this pure and
sacred blood that hath been shed so profusely in the Path of God, may
prove to be in vain. Ye know well what the hands of the Center of
Sedition, Mírzá Muḥammad ‘Alí, and his associates have wrought. Among his
doings, one of them is the corruption of the Sacred Text whereof ye are
all aware, the Lord be praised, and know that it is evident, proven and
confirmed by the testimony of his brother, Mírzá Badí’u’lláh, whose
confession is written in his own handwriting, beareth his seal, is printed
and spread abroad. This is but one of his misdeeds. Can a transgression be
imagined more glaring than this, the interpolation of the Holy Text? Nay,
by the righteousness of the Lord! His transgressions are writ and recorded
in a leaflet by itself. Please God, ye will peruse it.

In short, according to the explicit Divine Text the least transgression
shall make of this man a fallen creature, and what transgression is more
grievous than attempting to destroy the Divine Edifice, breaking the
Covenant, erring from the Testament, falsifying the Holy Text, sowing the
seeds of doubt, calumniating ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, advancing claims for which God
hath sent down no warrant, kindling mischief and striving to shed the very
blood of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and many other things whereof ye are all aware! It
is thus evident that should this man succeed in bringing disruption into
the Cause of God, he will utterly destroy and exterminate it. Beware lest
ye approach this man, for to approach him is worse than approaching fire!

Gracious God! After Mírzá Badí’u’lláh had declared in his own handwriting
that this man (Muḥammad ‘Alí) had broken the Covenant and had proclaimed
his falsification of the Holy Text, he realized that to return to the True
Faith and pay allegiance to the Covenant and Testament would in no wise
promote his selfish desires. He thus repented and regretted the thing he
had done and attempted privily to gather in his printed confessions,
plotted darkly with the Center of Sedition against me and informed him
daily of all the happenings within my household. He has even taken a
leading part in the mischievous deeds that have of late been committed.
Praise be to God affairs recovered their former stability and the loved
ones obtained partial peace. But ever since the day he entered again into
our midst, he began afresh to sow the seeds of sore sedition. Some of his
machinations and intrigues will be recorded in a separate leaflet.

My purpose is, however, to show that it is incumbent upon the friends that
are fast and firm in the Covenant and Testament to be ever wakeful lest
after this wronged one is gone this alert and active worker of mischief
may cause disruption, privily sow the seeds of doubt and sedition and
utterly root out the Cause of God. A thousand times shun his company. Take
heed and be on your guard. Watch and examine; should anyone, openly or
privily, have the least connection with him, cast him out from your midst,
for he will surely cause disruption and mischief.

O ye beloved of the Lord! Strive with all your heart to shield the Cause
of God from the onslaught of the insincere, for souls such as these cause
the straight to become crooked and all benevolent efforts to produce
contrary results.

O God, my God! I call Thee, Thy Prophets and Thy Messengers, Thy Saints
and Thy Holy Ones, to witness that I have declared conclusively Thy Proofs
unto Thy loved ones and set forth clearly all things unto them, that they
may watch over Thy Faith, guard Thy Straight Path and protect Thy
Resplendent Law. Thou art, verily, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise!



PART THREE


He Is the Witness, the All-Sufficing

O My God! my Beloved, my heart’s Desire! Thou knowest, Thou seest that
which hath befallen this servant of Thine, that hath humbled himself at
Thy Door, and Thou knowest the sins committed against him by the people of
malice, they that have broken Thy Covenant and turned their backs on Thy
Testament. In the day-time they afflicted me with the arrows of hate and
in the night-season they privily conspired to hurt me. At dawn they
committed that which the Celestial Concourse did lament and at eventide
they unsheathed against me the sword of tyranny and hurled in the presence
of the ungodly their darts of calumny upon me. Notwithstanding their
misdeeds, this lowly servant of Thine was patient and did endure every
affliction and trial at their hands, though by Thy power and might he
could have destroyed their words, quenched their fire and stayed the flame
of their rebelliousness.

Thou seest, O my God! how my long-suffering, my forbearance and silence
have increased their cruelty, their arrogance and their pride. By Thy
Glory, O Beloved One! They have misbelieved in Thee and rebelled against
Thee in such wise that they left me not a moment of rest and quiet, that I
might arise as it is meet and seemly, to exalt Thy Word amidst mankind,
and might serve at Thy Threshold of Holiness with a heart that overfloweth
with the joy of the dwellers of the Abhá Kingdom.

Lord! My cup of woe runneth over, and from all sides blows are fiercely
raging upon me. The darts of affliction have compassed me round and the
arrows of distress have rained upon me. Thus tribulation overwhelmed me
and my strength, because of the onslaught of the foemen, became weakness
within me, while I stood alone and forsaken in the midst of my woes. Lord!
Have mercy upon me, lift me up unto Thyself and make me to drink from the
Chalice of Martyrdom, for the wide world with all its vastness can no
longer contain me.

Thou art, verily, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Gracious, the
All-Bountiful!

O ye the true, the sincere, the faithful friends of this wronged one!
Everyone knoweth and believeth what calamities and afflictions have
befallen this wronged one, this prisoner, at the hands of those who have
broken the Covenant at the time when, after the setting of the Day-Star of
the world, his heart was consumed with the flame of His bereavement.

When, in all parts of the earth, the enemies of God profiting by the
passing away of the Sun of Truth, suddenly and with all their might
launched their attack; at such a time and in the midst of so great a
calamity, the Covenant-breakers arose with the utmost cruelty, intent upon
harm and the stirring up of the spirit of enmity. At every moment a
misdeed they did commit and bestirred themselves to sow the seeds of
grievous sedition, and to ruin the edifice of the Covenant. But this
wronged one, this prisoner, did his utmost to hide and veil their doings,
that haply they might regret and repent. His long-suffering and
forbearance of these evil deeds, however, made the rebellious ones still
more arrogant and daring; until, through leaflets written with their own
hands, they sowed the seeds of doubt, printing these leaflets and
scattering them broadcast throughout the world, believing that such
foolish doings would bring to naught the Covenant and the Testament.

Thereupon the loved ones of the Lord arose, inspired with the greatest
confidence and constancy and aided by the power of the Kingdom, by Divine
Strength, by heavenly Grace, by the unfailing help and Celestial Bounty,
they withstood the enemies of the Covenant in well-nigh three score and
ten treatises and supported by conclusive proofs, unmistakable evidences
and clear texts from the Holy Writ, they refuted their scrolls of doubt
and mischief-kindling leaflets. The Center of Sedition was thus confounded
in his craftiness, afflicted by the wrath of God, sunk into a degradation
and infamy that shall be lasting until the Day of Doom. Base and wretched
is the plight of the people of evil deeds, they that are in grievous loss!

And as they lost their cause, grew hopeless in their efforts against the
loved ones of God, saw the Standard of His Testament waving throughout all
regions and witnessed the power of the Covenant of the Merciful One, the
flame of envy so blazed within them as to be beyond recounting. With the
utmost vigor, exertion, rancor and enmity, they followed another path,
walked in another way, devised another plan: that of kindling the flame of
sedition in the heart of the very government itself, and thus cause this
wronged one, this prisoner to appear as a mover of strife, inimical to the
government and a hater and opponent of the Crown. Perchance ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
may be put to death and his name be made to perish whereby an arena may be
opened unto the enemies of the Covenant wherein they may advance and spur
on their charger, inflict a grievous loss upon everyone and subvert the
very foundations of the edifice of the Cause of God. For so grievous is
the conduct and behavior of this false people that they are become even as
an axe striking at the very root of the Blessed Tree. Should they be
suffered to continue they would, in but a few days’ time, exterminate the
Cause of God, His Word, and themselves.

Hence, the beloved of the Lord must entirely shun them, avoid them, foil
their machinations and evil whisperings, guard the Law of God and His
religion, engage one and all in diffusing widely the sweet savors of God
and to the best of their endeavor proclaim His Teachings.

Whosoever and whatsoever meeting becometh a hindrance to the diffusion of
the Light of Faith, let the loved ones give them counsel and say: “Of all
the gifts of God the greatest is the gift of Teaching. It draweth unto us
the Grace of God and is our first obligation. Of such a gift how can we
deprive ourselves? Nay, our lives, our goods, our comforts, our rest, we
offer them all as a sacrifice for the Abhá Beauty and teach the Cause of
God.” Caution and prudence, however, must be observed even as recorded in
the Book. The veil must in no wise be suddenly rent asunder. The Glory of
Glories rest upon you.

O ye the faithful loved ones of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! It is incumbent upon you to
take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath branched from
and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote-Trees, that
no dust of despondency and sorrow may stain his radiant nature, that day
by day he may wax greater in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may
grow to become even as a fruitful tree.

For he is, after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Guardian of the Cause of God, the
Afnán, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must
obey him and turn unto him. 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. Beware lest anyone falsely
interpret these words, and like unto them that have broken the Covenant
after the Day of Ascension (of Bahá’u’lláh) advance a pretext, raise the
standard of revolt, wax stubborn and open wide the door of false
interpretation. To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or
express his particular conviction. 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.





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