A Critical Analysis of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Part 1

Just as I wrote a detailed criticism of the Kitab-i-Aqdas last year, so now I will proceed to deal with another issue of Baha’i history and dogma. Since the original document I am analyzing was written in three parts, so will this criticism. The original document will be in green bold and my responses will be mostly orange italics.  My source for the document is:

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/will-testament-abdul-baha/#r=wta_en-title

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.

 So right from the start Abdu’l-Baha states things that are falsehoods. My own investigations of the Baha’i Faith from the time of Abdu’l-Baha on to the present have shown that there is plenty of room for doubtfulness. Here is one example of what I discovered:

https://dalehusband.com/2008/09/07/the-fatal-flaw-in-bahai-authority/

So Abdu’l-Baha himself was largely to blame for the mess the Faith became!

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.

Just like his father before him, Abdu’l-Baha produces plenty of wordy passages that say a lot but have little real focus. This is a bad habit that the Universal House of Justice has also. But Abdu’l-Baha seems to be referring to a specific person here, so let us find out who.

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.

Baha’is have a massive “persecution complex”, with their propaganda full of stories of Baha’is and their Babi predecessors being violently killed by the Muslim authorities in the 19th Century and of even the Bab himself being martyred, an event commemorated every July 9th. Baha’u’llah spent most of his life as a prisoner and exile as well. From the 1980s onward, the continued mistreatment of Baha’is in Iran was used as a powerful recruitment tool; if people were willing to die for this Faith, it must be good, right? Never mind that in places like Nazi Germany, members of cults like the Watchtower’s Jehovah’s Witnesses were also executed…….yet many still reject its teachings. Not to mention the vast numbers of Germans who were willing to fight and die in the service of Hitler during World War II.

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.

I already addressed this embarrassing issue before, so I am content to merely repeat what I said:

Baha’u’llah and his brother became enemies during their time together in the Turkish city of Adrianople (now called Edirne), when Mirza Yahya rejected Baha’u’llah’s claims of being the one the Bab foretold, and insisted that he was the rightful leader of the Babis, having been appointed to that role by the Bab himself. But he proved to be so cowardly and incompetent that Baha’u’llah was able to win most of the Babis to his side, making them Baha’is, while the remaining Babis were renamed Azalis after Mirza Yahya’s title. You’d think it was obvious that the Bab had made a mistake with his appointment, but the hilarious thing about Manifestations of God like the Bab and Baha’u’llah is that THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE MISTAKEN ABOUT ANYTHING! So Baha’i history has been rewritten to whitewash this issue.

I should note that in this case I was to some degree taking what Baha’i propaganda said about Mirza Yahya at face value, and thus showing that even when you do, problems of credibility result.

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.

Returning once more to what I wrote before:

A generation later, Baha’u’llah stated in his will and testament that Abdu’l-Baha was to be the rightful leader of the Baha’i community, but also stated that Mirza Muhammad-Ali, Abdu’l-Baha’s own younger half-brother, would be the first son’s lieutenant and eventual successor. But Abdu’l-Baha decided to pull the same stunt against his brother that Baha’u’llah did against Mirza Yahya, denying him any place in the hierarchy of the Faith! Again, it could not be admitted that either Baha’u’llah had made an error or that Abdu’l-Baha had been treacherous, so Baha’i history was written to make it appear that the “betrayal” was all on Mirza Muhammad-Ali after Baha’u’llah’s death, depicting this wayward son as a horrible villain and Abdu’l-Baha as a virtuous hero in ridiculously cartoonish terms. Never mind that many of Baha’u’llah’s relatives actually sided with the younger brother in this case.

I must point out that both Mirza Yahya and Mirza Muhammad-Ali were prisoners and exiles just as Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha were. If being a victim of persecution did not make the former ones credible, why should the latter ones get a pass? And why indeed would anyone take seriously a religion that most of the descendants of its own Prophet-Founder were not faithful to?

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!

Mirza Badi’u’llah was a younger full brother of Mirza Muhammad Ali who had a brief falling out with the latter and went to join his half-brother Abdu’l-Baha, only to later turn back to Mirza Muhammad-Ali once more. Such disloyalty is hardly commendable, yet even after he rebelled against Abdu’l-Baha again, his statement condemning his full brother was used as propaganda. Seems Abdu’l-Baha was an opportunist too. Should we assume that Badi’u’llah was telling the truth? I wouldn’t!

Also…..wasn’t it Abdu’l-Baha who first stirred up trouble by claiming to be INFALLIBLE? Would Baha’u’llah have allowed that?

https://dalehusband.com/2017/08/29/a-critical-analysis-of-the-kitab-i-aqdas-part-three/

Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evilhearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in ‘Iráq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot. 

He Who is the Dawning-place of God’s Cause hath no partner in the Most Great Infallibility. He it is Who, in the kingdom of creation, is the Manifestation of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth.” God hath reserved this distinction unto His own Self, and ordained for none a share in so sublime and transcendent a station. This is the Decree of God, concealed ere now within the veil of impenetrable mystery. We have disclosed it in this Revelation, and have thereby rent asunder the veils of such as have failed to recognize that which the Book of God set forth and who were numbered with the heedless.

What deviation can be greater than claiming for yourself what only GOD and his MESSENGERS themselves could ever claim, according to the Kitab-i-Aqdas itself! So Abdu’l-Baha was engaging in the most massive case of PROJECTION I’ve ever seen!

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!

Well, at least the authorities of the Ottoman Empire conducted an investigation to check out the claims made against Abdu’l-Baha. I’d think if those claims were so blatantly false and malicious, Abdu’l-Baha would have welcomed the chance to clear his name and prove Mirza Muhammad Ali a liar. The fact that he was actually so worried about the matter means two things: His faith was weak and he was indeed up to something subversive.

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!

Official Baha’i propaganda depicts the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire as a despot, so if he was evil enough to have an innocent person like Abdu’l-Baha supposedly was executed for lies that were told of him, wouldn’t that justify rebellion against the Sultan? There is a critical failure of logic right here!

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 Shu‘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.

What a HYPOCRITE!!!! It was Baha’u’llah’s own words that condemned you, Abdu’l-Baha, not anything your brother said or wrote! How dare you put yourself above your own father!

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! 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.

(((No comment.)))

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!

Need I point out that the most despicable liars are those who insist they are telling the truth and their opponents are the ones lying? The ultimate judge of who is truthful would be empirical evidence and in the absence of that, credible documentation from various reliable sources…..including, in this case, the writings of Baha’u’llah. If you contradict those writings and claim to be a Baha’i, THAT is breaking his covenant, not merely disputing with the claimed absolute authority of Abdu’l-Baha while using the writings of Baha’ullah himself to justify that dispute. HELLO!!!!!

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!

(((No comment again.)))

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 “O Thou the Glory of Glories!” (Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá), 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.

Today, the Baha’i Faith is considered to be the second most widespread religion in the world. (Christianity is number one.) This is a direct result of the efforts called for in this passage above, but this achievement has come at a cost, because in no part of the world have Baha’is ever attained a majority. And without that, we cannot see how the Baha’i teachings can indeed be of benefit to an entire people. And at the dismal rate it seems to be growing, perhaps we will never find that out.

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!

One of the biggest outright lies Baha’is tell outsiders is that their Faith does not require them to proselytize. They do this by redefining that word to mean using coercion to force people to profess outwardly a religion, but in fact the proper definition of that word is:

to induce someone to convert to one’s faith

which is indeed what was done to me when the Baha’is in the Fort Worth area proceeded to TEACH me the Faith. Teaching and proselytism are one and the same.

Which means the Universal House of Justice, the current Supreme Body of the Baha’i Faith, lied when it claimed otherwise.

http://bahairants.com/teaching-vs-proselytizing-uhj-letter-614.html

Teaching vs. Proselytizing
It is true that Baha’u’llah lays on every Baha’i the duty to teach His Faith. At the same time, however, we are forbidden to proselytize, so it is important for all believers to understand the difference between teaching and proselytizing. It is a significant difference and, in some countries where teaching a religion is permitted, but proselytizing is forbidden, the distinction is made in the law of the land. Proselytizing implies bringing undue pressure to bear upon someone to change his Faith. It is also usually understood to imply the making of threats or the offering of material benefits as an inducement to conversion. In some countries mission schools or hospitals, for all the good they do, are regarded with suspicion and even aversion by the local authorities because they are considered to be material inducements to conversion and hence instruments of proselytization.

That is not a surprise considering that this same body claims to promote equality of the sexes while denying women the right to serve as members on it.

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!

It took Christianity over 300 years to take over the Roman Empire, which was one part of the world back then. How long might it take for the Baha’i Faith to take over the entire world? Somehow, the cartoon show Pinky and the Brain comes to mind.

O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghṣán (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 Aghṣán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn. He is the expounder of the words of God and after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendents.

So FINALLY after all the long-winded bashing of his enemies and the calling of Baha’is to conquer the world, we get to the actual point of the Will and Testament, appointing Abdu’l-Baha’s successor as head of the Baha’i Faith. It is to be Shoghi Effendi, his grandson. Note that at the end of this paragraph it reads “after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendents.” That seems like a prophecy, doesn’t it?

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 Aghṣán, 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!

After Shoghi Effendi took over as Guardian, one of his bitterest opponents was Ruth White, who had converted to the Faith under Abdu’l-Baha. Not only did she deny Shoghi Effendi’s authority, she even went so far as to claim that his grandfather’s Will and Testament was a forgery, that Abdu’l-Baha never intended for the Faith to be made so organized as the Guardian was beginning to do. Personally, I have never taken Ruth White’s claim seriously, but I do understand why it was made: The assertion in that Will and Testament that the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice would have the exact same authority as God is not only a contradiction of what Baha’u’llah wrote in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, I would consider it to be outright BLASPHEMY in any case! Perhaps Mrs. White was simply in denial that Abdu’l-Baha, the man she had so loved, would be such a liar and backstabber of the principles of faithfulness to Baha’u’llah’s teachings themselves. But he clearly was!

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.

Shoghi Effendi failed to obey that passage above, and while you can excuse the fact that he had no children, the fact also was that he expelled from the Baha’i community ALL of his brothers, sisters, aunts and cousins, leaving no remaining descendant of Baha’u’llah for him to appoint as his successor. And that was indeed his own fault! When you have so many of your own relatives who seem disobedient to you, what is happening? It seems clear that those who were closest to him must have seen evidence of some kind of mental sickness in him making him unfit to be a leader. Otherwise, their supposed rebellion against their own brother/cousin/nephew makes absolutely no sense at all.

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.

After Shoghi Effendi died in 1957, the Hands of the Cause of God decided to follow this provision of the Will and Testament, despite there being no one appointed as the second Guardian. Nine of their number were thus elected to be “Custodians of the Baha’i Faith”, including Charles Mason Remey. Then in 1960, Remey tried to take over the Faith for himself by claiming to be the second Guardian, despite NO indication from Shoghi Effendi that this was ever intended. Remey and those who sided with him were expelled from the Baha’i community as a result.

Since Shoghi Effendi did not obey Abdul-Baha, as I showed, that may have justified in Remey’s mind his attempt to claim the Guardianship despite not being a descendant of Baha’ullah. In this case, he simply lost a popularity contest.

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.

This gives more details about the Hands of the Cause of God and their duties.

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.

This after all those harsh words about Abdu’l-Baha’s own brother Mirza Muhammad-Ali, his uncle Mirza Yahya, and even the government of the Ottoman Empire. As far as I am concerned, Abdu’l-Baha could take these lofty exhortations of his and shove them up his @$$! They are pointless since he did not even pretend to obey them himself!

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.

More of the same idealistic rhetoric.

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.

Shoghi Effendi did not allow the Universal House of Justice to be established while he was alive and since he did not appoint a successor, no Guardian has served as the lifelong head of that body to this day.  That means this entire paragraph is being constantly broken by that body!

Not only that, but the secondary and local “Houses of Justice” are actually referred to as National Spiritual Assemblies and Local Spiritual Assemblies. I myself served as a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of North Richland Hills for several years. Why aren’t the lesser bodies also called Houses of Justice to this day? Because then women would be barred from serving on them, just as they are barred from membership of the Universal House of Justice!

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. 

(((No comment yet again.)))

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.

So without a Guardian, even payments of Ḥuqúqu’lláh (a unique fund taken from 19% of one’s savings) cannot be offered, right?

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 passage above has been used ever since by Baha’is to explain why they never join political parties that might be in opposition to a government. And also why they seem to favor monarchies, despite that system of government being as outdated as it gets now.

And thus ends the first part of my critique.

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Critical Analysis of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Part 1

  1. Pingback: A Critical Analysis of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Part 2 | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

  2. Pingback: A Critical Analysis of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Part 3 | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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