A Critical Analysis of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Part 3

This is the final part of my detailed criticism of one of the foundational documents of the Baha’i Faith. The first part is here and the second is here.

As before, the actual text from that Will and Testament is in green bold and my responses will be mainly in orange italics.  My source for the document is:


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!

These passages, like some other parts of this Will and Testament, sound like prayers.  In particular they look like a type of prayer Baha’is commonly recite when facing “tests and difficulties”. One of the most noteworthy issues of the Baha’i community and its scriptures is that Baha’is almost never recite prayers they make up on the spot, thus making them honest and personal communications with God. Rather, they will be content to read prayers written by Baha’u’llah, the Bab, or Abdu’l-Baha. Entire books have been published containing collections of such prayers. This is in addition to the three Obligatory Prayers that Baha’is are expected to recite every day. To me, the practice of reciting blindly prayers from leaders of the Baha’i Faith instead of using your own words is spiritually worthless. Yes, I know Jesus revealed the Lord’s Prayer, but there is nothing in the Christian scriptures that says you MUST recite that prayer every day. I like authenticity in religious practices, and the way Baha’is usually pray doesn’t seem like such.

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.

Yet more self-pitying BLAH BLAH BLAH.

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.

I sometimes wonder if Abdu’l-Baha grew up watching cartoons featuring stories between holy heroes and satanic villains in which the good guys always win. Because that’s exactly what reading such lame passages as these makes me think of. GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!!!

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.

Didn’t we already read this warning in part two?

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.

(((No comment.)))

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.

The Glory of Glories rest upon you!

NOW we get to the point, which was actually also dealt with way back in part one! And the end of the third part of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, making this entire part ABSOLUTELY NEEDLESS TO WRITE!!!

Let’s focus on a couple of specific passages here. First:

It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi…..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.

So the Baha’is are responsible for the happiness of this guy who is to be their leader? He who kicked out all his closest relatives and treated them like garbage to be disposed of? Why did he not give a damn about THEIR happiness and instead make them feel WORTHLESS?!

I should note that:

  1. Baha’is believe in the oneness of mankind.
  2. Baha’is also believe in the oneness of religion.
  3. Therefore, Baha’is are permitted to marry non-Baha’is, as long as both partners have the consent of all living parents and a Baha’i ceremony is performed.
  4. There is NO requirement that Baha’is need the permission of the Head of the Faith to get married.

The reason I mention all these things is because of the following message that Shoghi Effendi sent to the Baha’is around the world about one of his own brothers.

Faithless brother Hussein, already abased through dishonorable conduct over period of years followed by association with Covenant-breakers in Holy Land and efforts to undermine Guardian’s position, recently further demeaned himself through marriage under obscure circumstances with lowborn Christian girl in Europe. This disgraceful alliance, following four successive marriages by sisters and cousins with three sons of Covenant-breaker denounced repeatedly by Abdu’l-Baha as His enemy, and daughter of notorious political agitator, brands them with infamy greater than any associated with marriages contracted by old Covenant-breakers whether belonging to family of Muhammad-Al or Badi’u’llah.

This incredible arrogance is shocking, to say the least. He doesn’t even bother to mention his new sister-in-law by name, and dismisses her as “lowborn” in addition to her not being a Baha’i. If this does not prove that the “Guardian” was a damned hypocrite who did not deserve to lead the Baha’i Faith, what would? He abused his power by kicking out of the Baha’i community and condemning in writing relatives for marrying others he personally disapproved of, even if those marriages had been done according to Baha’i law! Note that he did not mention if his parents, or those of the girl in question, opposed the marriage. If they had, then the condemnation would have been justified.

That’s horrible enough. But see what Shoghi Effendi wrote about people he despised in his Baha’i history book, God Passes By:

And finally, he who, from the moment the Divine Covenant was born until the end of his life, showed a hatred more unrelenting than that which animated the afore-mentioned adversaries of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who plotted more energetically than any one of them against Him, and afflicted his Father’s Faith with a shame more grievous than any which its external enemies had inflicted upon it—such a man, together with the infamous crew of Covenant-breakers whom he had misled and instigated, was condemned to witness, in a growing measure, as had been the case with Mírzá Yaḥyá and his henchmen, the frustration of his evil designs, the evaporation of all his hopes, the exposition of his true motives and the complete extinction of his erstwhile honor and glory. His brother, Mírzá Ḍíya’u’lláh, died prematurely; Mírzá Áqá Ján, his dupe, followed that same brother, three years later, to the grave; and Mírzá Badí’u’lláh, his chief accomplice, betrayed his cause, published a signed denunciation of his evil acts, but rejoined him again, only to be alienated from him in consequence of the scandalous behavior of his own daughter. Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí’s half-sister, Furúghíyyih, died of cancer, whilst her husband, Siyyid ‘Alí, passed away from a heart attack before his sons could reach him, the eldest being subsequently stricken in the prime of life, by the same malady. Muḥammad-Javád-i-Qazvíní, a notorious Covenant-breaker, perished miserably. Shu‘á’u’lláh who, as witnessed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will, had counted on the murder of the Center of the Covenant, and who had been despatched to the United States by his father to join forces with Ibráhím Khayru’lláh, returned crestfallen and empty-handed from his inglorious mission. Jamál-i-Burújirdí, Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí’s ablest lieutenant in Persia, fell a prey to a fatal and loathsome disease; Siyyid Mihdíy-i-Dahájí, who, betraying ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, joined the Covenant-breakers, died in obscurity and poverty, followed by his wife and his two sons; Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alíy-i-Jahrúmí, Mírzá Ḥusayn-i-Shírázíy-i-Khurṭúmí and Ḥájí Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Káshání, who represented the arch-breaker of the Covenant in Persia, India and Egypt, failed utterly in their missions; whilst the greedy and conceited Ibráhím-i-Khayru’lláh, who had chosen to uphold the banner of his rebellion in America for no less than twenty years, and who had the temerity to denounce, in writing, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, His “false teachings, His misrepresentations of Bahaism, His dissimulation,” and to stigmatize His visit to America as “a death-blow” to the “Cause of God,” met his death soon after he had uttered these denunciations, utterly abandoned and despised by the entire body of the members of a community, whose founders he himself had converted to the Faith, and in the very land that bore witness to the multiplying evidences of the established ascendancy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Whose authority he had, in his later years, vowed to uproot.
As to those who had openly espoused the cause of this arch-breaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, or who had secretly sympathized with him, whilst outwardly supporting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, some eventually repented and were forgiven; others became disillusioned and lost their faith entirely; a few apostatized, whilst the rest dwindled away, leaving him in the end, except for a handful of his relatives, alone and unsupported. Surviving ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by almost twenty years, he who had so audaciously affirmed to His face that he had no assurance he might outlive Him, lived long enough to witness the utter bankruptcy of his cause, leading meanwhile a wretched existence within the walls of a Mansion that had once housed a crowd of his supporters; was denied by the civil authorities, as a result of the crisis he had after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing foolishly precipitated, the official custody of his Father’s Tomb; was compelled, a few years later, to vacate that same Mansion, which, through his flagrant neglect, had fallen into a dilapidated condition; was stricken with paralysis which crippled half his body; lay bedridden in pain for months before he died; and was buried according to Muslim rites, in the immediate vicinity of a local Muslim shrine, his grave remaining until the present day devoid of even a tombstone—a pitiful reminder of the hollowness of the claims he had advanced, of the depths of infamy to which he had sunk, and of the severity of the retribution his acts had so richly merited.

Shoghi Effendi CHOSE to not only immerse himself in extreme hatred and bigotry, but sought through his venomous writings to inject those same attitudes in his followers! You cannot expect the believers to keep him happy under such circumstances.

And the most ironic thing of all was how he himself died. He too seems to have been struck down suddenly by God under the worst circumstances imaginable. Maybe he also broke the Baha’i Covenant?

Oh, and the second thing:

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.

If a Baha’i ever claims to you that his Faith is not a cult, point to that passage as damning proof otherwise, because that is indeed the very essence of what cultlike attitudes are.

The end!


2 thoughts on “A Critical Analysis of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Part 3

  1. Another example of a marriage that Shoghi Effendi disapproved of is described here:

    {{{Munib Shahid (1908-1973) was Chairman of Hematology and Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine of the American University of Beirut.[1][2] He built the hematology laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine, a development that increased research output significantly.[3] The Dr. Munib Shahid Award is presented annually at the American University of Beirut to the fourth year medical student demonstrating the best performance in internal medicine and a mature character.[4]

    Munib Shahid was born in 1908 in Acre, Palestine to a prominent Bahá’í lineage. His parents were Mírzá Jalal, an Afnán, and Rúḥá Khánum. His paternal grandfather was Mírzá Muhammad-Hasan, titled “King of the Martyrs,” while his maternal grandparents were `Abdu’l-Bahá, the successor to the Bahá’í founder-prophet Bahá’u’lláh, and Munirih Khánum. As a prominent member of the Bahá’í Faith, Munib Shahid worked diligently to promote his faith. As a medical student at the American University of Beirut, his friends included such prominent Bahá’ís as future Hand of the Cause of God Abu’l-Qásim Faizi. After graduating from medical school, Munib Shahid would continue to promote the Bahá’í Faith, and in 1937 he visited Bahá’í communities in Europe.[5]

    In 1944, Munib Shahid married Serene Husseini, the daughter of Jamal al-Husayni. Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith and Munib’s cousin through `Abdu’l-Bahá’s eldest daughter Ḍíyá’íyyih Khánum, labeled this marriage a “treacherous act” and excommunicated Munib Shahid as a Covenant-breaker. Shoghi Effendi sent the following cable to the Bahá’í world in November 1944:

    {{ Monib Shahid, grandson of both `Abdu’l-Bahá and the King of Martyrs, married according to the Moslem rites the daughter of a political exile who is nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. This treacherous act of alliance with enemies of the Faith merits condemnation of entire Bahá’í world.”[6] (Bahá’í News, No. 172)}}

    Munib and Serene Husseini continued to live in Beirut, where he pursued his academic career, and she promoted cottage industries among Palestinian refugees. Serene Shahid wrote a critically acclaimed autobiography of her childhood, titled, Jerusalem Memories.[7] The couple had three daughters, including Leila Shahid.

    Munib Shahid died in 1973.}}}

    Shoghi Effendi was an arrogant bastard!

  2. Pingback: A Critical Analysis of the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd (Book of the Covenant) | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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