It is true that Bahá’u’lláh lays on every Bahá’í 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.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 513)
This quote, no more than 150 words, is sufficient to refute the supposed infallibility of the UHJ and therefore, dismiss the Faith altogether. I’m not making “molehills into mountains”. You claim that the UHJ is infallible and in fact, would excommunicate and shun any Baha’i who claims otherwise. So tell me, how on earth did the UHJ not lie about the meaning of “proselytizing”? How on earth did the UHJ not deceive millions of Baha’is that they’re not proselytizing because they don’t coerce?
Also see this video:
On May 14, 1948, the Arab village of al-Nuqayb, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had owned land and grown grain, was depopulated in the fighting which broke out after the U.N. General Assembly’s adoption on November 29, 1947 of the Partition Plan for Palestine.
The Master bought from time to time some land in various villages. Asfiya and Daliya, near Haifa–these two properties He bestowed upon Diya’u’llah and Badi’u’llah, the two younger half-brothers, at the request of Bahá’u’lláh.
In his book All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, the historian Walid Khalidi details the history of many of these Palestinian villages and how they were depopulated. For example, he notes that in the 1880s most of the village land of al-Nuqayb was purchased by Bahá’u’lláh, with the villagers continuing to farm as tenant farmers. In the 1920s, this land was sold by Shoghi Effendi to the Jewish National Fund.
Bahá’í Villages in The Chosen Highway chronicles in some detail how ‘Abdu’l-Bahá used the grain he had grown in these villages to supply the British Army during World War I.
We learned that when the British marched into Haifa there was some difficulty about the commissariat. The officer in command went to consult the Master.
“I have corn,” was the reply.
“But for the army?” said the astonished soldier.
“I have corn for the British Army,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
He truly walked the Mystic way with practical feet. [footnote: Lady Blomfield often recounted how the corn pits proved a safe hiding-place for the corn, during the occupation of the Turkish army. -Ed.]
Sir ‘Abbas Effendi ‘Abdu’l Baha had travelled extensively in Europe and America to expound his doctrines, and on the 4th December, 1919, was created by King George V a K.B.E. for valuable services rendered to the British Government in the early days of the Occupation.
THE following beautiful description of this event was written by Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi who was at that time in Haifa: “Among the kings and governments of the world who have become convinced that Abdul Bahá was the well-wisher and the lover of mankind are King George and his government. The King sent a medal to Abdul Bahá with the title, “Sir”, thus making him a member of his household. On the 27th of April, 1920, the Governor and high officials of Haifa, Palestine presented in a beautiful garden a most wonderful celebration for the knighting of Abdul Baha. Bahai pilgrims from Persia, America and all parts of the world were present. Mohammedan, Christian, Jewish leaders, clergymen, notables and local officials from Haifa, Acca and other towns attended. A tent was pitched in the center of the garden. English troops stood on both sides, from the gate of the garden to the center where Abdul Bahá was seated. The military music added wonderful melody to the rustling leaves of the beautiful trees. The breezes of the spring on that sunny afternoon imparted a remarkable vigor to the physical body just as the presence of Abdul Baha strengthened the souls. The Governor stood behind Abdul Bahá and, after a short speech, interpreted by Mr. Wadie Bistani, presented the medal. Then Abdul Baha, rising from his seat, gave a brief talk and a prayer for the British government.
On February 23, 1914, at the eve of World War I, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine.
On September 8, 1919, subsequent to the British occupation of Palestine, at a time when tens of thousands of Jewish settlers were arriving under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, an article in the “Star of the West” quoted ‘Abdu’l-Bahá praising the Zionist movement, proclaiming that “There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less” and that “A Jewish government might come later.”
At the time of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ‘s death, Shoghi Effendi was matriculated at Balliol College. In a letter to Marzieh Gail, Shoghi Effendi outlined his educational ambitions at Balliol College, specifically to study with eminent professors and Orientalists, noting alumni who were all Imperialists.
After ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ‘s death, Shoghi Effendi would continue to have close relations with the leading political administrators and prominent Zionist leaders. For example, on January 24, 1922, Shoghi Effendi received a letter from Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The receipt of the letter is mentioned in Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum‘s The Priceless Pearl. As High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, and his appointment was regarded by the Muslim-Christian Associations as the “first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people.” Herbert Samuel welcomed the arrival of Jewish settlers under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association and recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the Mandate territory.
While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá’ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated 24 January 1922:
Dear Mr. Rabbani,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16., and to thank you for the kind expression it contains. It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case. I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá’í Movement. Should you be at any time in Jerusalem in would be a pleasure to me to see you here.
Note : Below is the Detail of the Family Members of Baha’u’llah. Interesting to note that many members of Bahaullah’s family were Ex-Communicated by Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi
Mirza Husayn Ali Commonly called “Baha” or “Baha’u’llah” was the founder and pro phet of the Bahá’í Faith. He was born in 1817 to Khadíjih Khánum and MírzáBuzurg of Nur (in the province of Mazandaran), a Persian man, and went on to be a follower of Islam than follower in the Bábí movement/Faith, and then established the Bahá’í Faith in 1863.
B. BiBi Fatima
A. Asiya surnamed Nawwaba (Highness)
Asiya is stated to have been surnamed the mother of the Universe. This is denied by the followers of Mirza Muhammad Ali and dismissed as devoid of historical foundation.
To his first wife (Asiya) he gave the title Nawwaba, because she was the daughter of Nawwab of Tehran (Al‐Kawakib‐al‐Durriyya by Awara, vol. II., p. 4; Materials,p. 62).
Ásíyih was “Bahá’u’llá h”’s first and best‐known wife. She was a daughter of a nobleman, Mirza Isma’il‐i‐Vazir. Her date of birth is not known. They married some time between 24 September and 22 October, 1835 in Tehran and she had seven of “Bahá’u’lláh”’s children, of whom only three made to adulthood. She was given the title Navváb by which she is best known within Bahá’í circles. She died in 1886 in `Akká.
She bore him:
2. Bahiyya or Sultan
3. Mírzá Mihdí
Navváb bore at l east three other children, but due to their early deaths little is known about them
• Sádiq who died aged 3‐4
• Alí Muhammad who died in Mázandarán at the age of 7
• Alí Muhammad who was born and died in Baghdad at the age of 2
Born in 1844 and died 1921 He was the oldest child of Ásíyih and “Bahá’u’ll á h”.He was variously referred to by “Bahá’u’lláh” as “Mystery of God”, “The Master”,”Perfect Exemplar” and “the Most Great Branch”. “Abdu’l‐Bahá” went on to be the Centre of the Covenant of the Bahá’í Faith after the death of His father.
During this time, he bore attacks from his half‐brother Muhammad `Alí, who was not given a leadership role or authority by “Bahá’u’lláh”. Muhammad `Alí claimed that “Abdu’l‐Bahá” was taking on too much authority; Bahá’ís refute this claim by citing “Bahá’u’lláh”’s Lawh‐i‐Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch) (National SpiritualAssembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States (ed.)  (1976). Bahá’í World
Faith: Selected Wri tings of Báha’u’lláh and Abdu’l‐Bahá, pp. 204‐207), Kitáb‐i‐Ahd (The Book of the Covenant) (Bahá’u’lláh [1873‐92] (1994). Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb‐i‐Aqdas, pp. 219‐223), and the Kitáb‐i‐Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) (Bahá’u’lláh  (1992). The Kitáb‐i‐Aqdas: The Most Holy Book, para. 121) as clear appointments of “Abdu’l‐Bahá” as his sole successor and interpreter of his writings. The struggle led to increasingly deteriorating prison conditions until “Abdu’l‐Bahá” was released after the Turkish Revolution.
During Bahá’u’lláh’s lifetime, he referred to his eldest son, Abbás, by terms such as “Sirru’lláh” (Mystery of God), or “Sarkár‐i‐Áqá” (the Master). After the passing of “Bahá’u’lláh”, he chose the title “Abdu’l‐Bahá” (Servant of Bahá).
2. Bahiyya or Sultan surnamed the Supreme Leaf (Waraqa‐i‐Ulya).
She died a spinster.
Born in 1846 she was called Bahíyyih Khánum and entitled the Greatest holy Leaf. She was particularly dear to her father and is seen within the Bahá’í Faith as one of the greatest women to have lived:
“Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed.” (Baha’u’llah, quoted in The Bahá’í World, vol. V, p.171)
She stood by and remained faithful to the Centers of the Covenant over years of infighting within the “Bahá’u’lláh”’s family that led to the expelling of many of them. Shoghi Effendi in particular felt her support during difficult times such as the passing of “Abdu’l‐Bahá”, and in the years afterwards when she was entrusted with the Faith when he was absent from the Bahá’í World Center in Haifa.
She died on 15 July 1932 was buried in the Bahá’í gardens below the Bahá’í Arc on Mount Carmel not far from her two brothers and mother. The shock to the administration meant that religious festivals were suspended for nine months.
3. Mírzá Mihdí
Mírzá Mihdí in 1868
Born in 1848 and entitled the Purest Branch, Mírzá Mihdí died on 23 June 1870.He was chanting Qasidiy‐i‐Varqa’iyyih (a poem written by “Bahá’u’lláh” in Kurdistan) (Bahá’u’lláh  (1992). The Kitáb‐i‐Aqdas: The Most Holy Book,
para. 121) when he fell through a skylight in the prison city of `Akká while pacing
back and forth in prayer and meditation. He was 22 at the time.
The death is significant as Bahá’ís believe that “Bahá’u’lláh” offered him the chance of being cured, however he chose to use his life as a sacrifice so that the prison gates would open and the pilgrims would be able to visit “Bahá’u’lláh” in prison. It reflected one of the toughest times for them, but restrictions on them did lift in the years to come with them eventually being allowed to live a short distance outside the prison city.
Mírzá Mihdí was eventually buried alongside his mother in the gardens below the
Bahá’í Arc on Mount Carmel in Haifa near his brother and sister.
B. BiBi Fatima surnamed the Supreme Cradle (Mahd‐i‐Ulya),
Fatima surnamed the Supreme Cradle (Mahd‐i‐Ulya) born in 1828 and generally known as Mahd‐i‐’Ulya, Fatimih was one of “Bahá’u’lláh”’s first cousins, and later become his second wife. They married in 1849 in Tehran and she had six of Bahá’u’lláh’s children, of whom only four survived to adulthood. She was said to have harbored great enmity towards “Abdu’l‐Bahá”. She died in 1904, BiBi Fatima and her four children were excommunicated by “Abbas Effendi”. To his second wife (BiBi Fatima) he gave the title ‘The Supreme Cradle’ [a title reserved for the Queen‐Mother in Iran, T.A p. 361] (al‐Kawakib, ibid, p.8; Materials,p.63)
She bore him:
4. Muhammad Ali
BiBi Fatima (Mahd‐i‐’Ulya) bore at least two other children:
• `Alí Muhammad who died at the age of 2 in Baghdad
• Sádhajiyya Khánim who was born in Baghdad and died at the age of 2 in
4. Muhammad Ali
Born in Baghdad in approximately 1852, his father called him the “Greater Branch”. When “Bahá’u’lláh” declared “Abdu’l‐Bahá” his successor, he set that Muhammad `Alí was next in rank after him. (Bahá’u’lláh [1873‐92] (1994). Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb‐i‐Aqdas, p. 221). When “Abdu’l‐Bahá” died, his Will went into great detail about how Muhammad `Alí had been unfaithful to the Covenant, labelling him a Covenant‐breaker (`Abdu’l‐Bahá [1901‐08] (1992). The Will And Testament of ‘Abdu’l‐Bahá, p. 5), and appointing Shoghi Effendi his successor instead.
Muhammad `Alí is often described as the “Arch‐Breaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant” (Shoghi Effendi (1944). God Passes By, p. 263 & p.317). He died in 1937.
5. Samadiyya, (married 37)
She was born at Baghdad. Married Majdu’d‐Din (son of “Bahá’u’lláh”’s faithful brother Aqay‐i‐Kalim also known as Mirzá Musa), who was one of “Abdu’l‐Bahá”’s greatest critics. Both were eventually declared Covenant‐breakers. She died at age 49 in 1904/5 and her husband died at over one‐hundred years of age in 1955.
Relatively little is known about Díyá’u’lláh (Ziyaullah), so it is difficult to piece
together an accurate account of his life, but we do know:• Born 15 August 1864 in Edirne (modern day Adrianople)
• Married Thurayya
• He swayed between the two sides in his brothers’ argument, and died before taking part in an act against “Abdu’l‐Bahá”, but has still been labelled a Covenant‐breaker
• He died in 30 October 1898 (without issue) and was buried in the room
next to where “Bahá’u’lláh” was buried
• His body was moved by relatives to a building covering the grave of his
brother Muhammad `Alí
• In 1965 the Universal House of Justice removed his body from the vicinity of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh as an act of purification. (Bahá’u’lláh [1873‐92] (1994). Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb‐i‐Aqdas, p. 221) .)
Gawhar was “Bahá’u’lláh”’s third wife. They are said to have married in Baghdad
some time before he declared his mission. When “Bahá’u’lláh” left Baghdad in
1863 she and her daughter stayed and lived with her brother Mirza Mihdiy‐i‐
Kashani. Later, on her way to join “Bahá’u’lláh” and the family she is reported to
have been taken captive along with other believers, and for some years she was
among the Bahá’í refugees in Mosul. She later went to Akká at “Bahá’u’lláh”’s
instruction. (Letter from Universal House of Justice: 1998, Apr 06,
Memorandum re Wives of Bahá’u’lláh)
Gawhar may have been a maid of the first wife of “Bahá’u’lláh” when he married
her. (Juan Cole. A Brief Biography of Baha’u’llah)
Both mother and daughter were declared Covenant‐breakers by Mirza Abbas
Effendi after the death of “Bahá’u’lláh”. Gawhar died during the ministry of
“Abdu’l‐Bahá”, thus between 1892 and 1921.
She bore him:
Relatively little is known about Furughiyyih so it is difficult to write a documented
account. What is known is:
• Until her mother moved to Akká, she was raised by her in the area
• She married Siyyid Ali (the son of the Báb’s brother‐in‐law) on 17 May
1886 and bore him two sons
• She, her husband and her children (in particular her eldest Nayyir), all
rebelled against “Abdu’l‐Bahá”’s authority as Centre of the Covenant,
and became Covenant‐breakers
• According to Shoghi Effendi she died of cancer (date unknown)
1. Abbas Married Munira, who bore him:
9. Hadi Afnan married Ziyaiyya (9) who bore him:
14. Ruh‐Angiz (married 25)
15. Mihr‐Angiz (married 28)
13 to 15 were surnamed Rabbani. Mirza Hadi Afnan and their children (14‐17)
were excommunicated by Shoghi Effendi (13), on whom the title of Effendi was
conferred by Mirza Abbas Effendi.
10. Muhsin Afnan married Tuba (10), who bore him:
18. Ruhi (married 23)
20. Thuraiyya (married 27)
Muhsin Afnan, Tuba and their children were excommunicated by Shoghi
11. Jalal Shahid married Ruha (11) who bore him:
23. Zahra (married 18)
Jalal Shahid, Ruha and their children were excommunicated by Shoghi Effendi.
12. Ahmad Yazdi married Munawwar (12).
No further detail found.
Ahmad Yazdi and Munawwar were excommunicated by Shoghi Effendi.
8. Sayyid Ali Afnan married Furughiyya (8) who bore him:
25. Nayyir (married 14)
26. Hasan (married 15)
27. Fawzi (married 20)
Sayyid Ali Afnan, and Furughiyya were excommunicated by Abbas Effendi.
Their children were excommunicated by Shoghi Effendi and Husayn
4. Muhammad Ali (4) married:
i) Masuma, who bore him:
ii) Hizariyya who bore him:
30. Musa (married 35)
Mirza Muhammad Ali, his wives and children were excommunicated by Abbas
5. Majd‐al‐Din Musa (38) married Samadiyya (5) who bore him:
Majd‐al‐Din Musa, Samadiyya and their children were excommunicated by
6. Ziyaullah (6) married Thuraiyya Samandar.
No further detail found.
Ziyaullah and his wife were excommunicated by Abbas Effendi
7. Badiullah married Aliya, who bore him:
35. Ghamar married
37. Ismat (married Jalal Azal)
Badiullah, Aliya and their children were excommunicated by Abbas Effendi.
Baha’s full brother Musa surnamed Kalim (Interlocutor) because he talked with
38. Majd‐al Din (married 5)
40. Jalal / Jaleh
41. Hizaiyya (married 4)
One of “Bahá’u’lláh”’s titles is Sadratu’l‐Muntahá, which translates from Arabic
as the tree beyond which there is no passing. In this connection, “Bahá’u’lláh”
entitled his descendants as follows:
His male descendants were given the title of Aghsán (Arabic for “Branches”)
which in singular form is “Ghusn”. In particular, three of his sons were given
specific “branch” titles • `Abdu’l‐Bahá (given name, Abbás): Ghuṣn‐i‐A`ẓam (Arabic) “The Most
• Mírzá Muhammad `Alí: Ghus
n‐i‐Akbar, (Arabic) “The Greater Branch”)
• Mírzá Mihdí: Ghus
n‐i‐Áthár, (Arabic) “The Purest Branch”).
His daughters were given the title of Afnán (translated from Arabic as “Leaves”).
This title should not be confused with the Afnán title given by “Bahá’u’lláh” to
the maternal relatives of the “Báb”, which is translated as “twigs”, and was
adopted by their descendants as a surname. Thus “Bahá’u’lláh”’s eldest
daughter, Bahíyyih (given name, Fatimih), was given the title of the Greatest Holy
Ghusn‐i‐A‘ẓam and Ghusn‐i‐Akbar can both be translated as “the gr eat branch,
“the greater branch” or “the most great branch”. A‘ẓam carries a higher status in
Arabic, so Bahá’í authors and others translate `Abdu’l‐Bahá’s title as “Most
Great” and Muhammad `Alí’s title as “Greater” (Taherzadeh, 2000, p. 256.).
Some authors have reversed the English translations (Maulana, 1933, p.56).
However the designations of Ghusn‐i‐A‘ẓam and Ghusn‐i‐Akbar are clear.
(Browne, 1918, p. 61, & p. 85)
Baha’i Temples: Living proof that Baha’i activities are based on promoting Baha’ism and not humanitarian issues.Posted: February 28, 2018
The Baha’i temples, in theory, were supposed to be centers with these humanitarian facilities:
‘Abdu’l-Bahá also referred to the dependencies to be established as part of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár complex, including a hospital, a drug dispensary for the poor, a travelers’ hospice, a school for orphans, a home for the infirm and disabled, a university for advanced studies, and “other philanthropic buildings” open to people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. These dependencies were later described by Shoghi Effendi, in general terms, as “institutions of social service” that relieve suffering, sustain the poor, and provide shelter, solace, and education (http://www.bahai-encyclopedia-project.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70:mashriqul-adhkar&catid=36:administrationinstitutions)
None of these facilities exist in any Baha’i temple, instead millions of dollars are wasted on some superstructure designed to gain interest in Baha’ism and subsequent proselytization.
The fact that Baha’i temples are built to generate interest in the religion among the public at large is made abundantly clear in numerous writings.
For example, on June 13, 1956, a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand stated “Repercussions of the Chicago Temple are felt everywhere, and the same is becoming increasingly true of the Shrine. One single edifice, raised to the glory of Bahá’u’lláh, shines like a beacon and attracts the hearts of the people; no doubt many seeds are sown just through the act of people visiting these edifices – seeds which in the future will germinate. It is because of this that he is very eager to have the Australian one commenced as soon as circumstances permit.”
The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses news stories of Mashriqu’l-Adhkár very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term “Bahá’í” shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest
13 June 1956 [National Spiritual Assembly] Dear Bahá’í Brother: Your letters of November 17, and December 12 and 31, 1955, and January 6, February 22, April 24, and May 27, (two), with enclosures have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He was happy to receive the pamphlets which you have had translated and forwarded to him, and which is certainly a welcome addition to the teaching work in the Pacific area. He was also pleased to see that you have found a friendly architect [John Brogan] , who will cooperate in submitting plans for the future Temple in Sydney. He is eagerly looking forward to receiving them. Since writing this, they have been received. He was also glad to hear that another site had been procured. Repercussions of the Chicago Temple are felt everywhere, and the same is becoming increasingly true of the Shrine. One single edifice, raised to the glory of Bahá’u’lláh, shines like a beacon and attracts the hearts of the people; no doubt many seeds are sown just through the act of people visiting these edifices – seeds which in the future will germinate. It is because of this that he is very eager to have the Australian one commenced as soon as circumstances permit. As regards the question the Auckland Assembly has asked about vivisection, there is nothing on this subject in the Bahá’í teachings. At a future date such matters will no doubt be taken up by the International House of Justice. He is very anxious to have as many Local Assemblies incorporated as possible; and was hence very pleased to hear that your Assembly is energetically prosecuting this part of the Ten Year Plan in both Australia and New Zealand. The visits of the Australian friends to different centers in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Mr. Featherstone‘s trip to some of the Pacific Islands, have been much appreciated, and he feels sure that marked results will be forthcoming. Although you who labour in that distant continent may often feel that your work is progressing but slowly, the Guardian, from the prospective that he has here at the World Center, is well pleased with the perseverance, the devotion and the achievements of the Australian and New Zealand friends; and he is proud of their spirit, and feels sure that they will accomplish their goals. He was very happy to hear that Mr. Marques has obtained permission to remain in Timor. His background makes him a very important pioneer for that area; and he is happy that your Assembly was able to make it possible for him to remain. The matter of the areas under the jurisdiction of a Local Spiritual Assembly is one which the National Assembly must study, and apply the principles laid down by the Guardian; namely, that within a municipal area, where the people resident in the area pay taxes and vote, the Assembly can be elected, and holds jurisdiction. Anyone living outside of that area is not a member of that Community, and cannot enjoy the administrative privileges of that Community. Although this will effect your Assembly roll, it will place the work of the Faith on a much sounder basis, and increase the number of Centers where Bahá’ís reside throughout Australia, which is an important phase of the work in any case. It will challenge the friends to work harder to create new Assemblies and make up for those dissolved; and he feels sure that in the near future the Bahá’ís will be very proud of the results they have achieved through this change. He is delighted to hear that the New Zealand friends are so eagerly carrying on their work in preparation for their National Assembly next year. Their coming of age, so to speak, will be a source of pride to all their fellow National Assemblies, and they will form a welcome addition to the pillars which must ultimately sustain the International House of Justice. Regarding the question of capital punishment, provision is made for it in the Aqdas, but this is not the time to go into details. When the Aqdas is promulgated and the House of Justice comes into being will be the time to go into these matters in greater detail. For the present they should be given no publicity. Assuring you all of his loving prayers for the success of the work you are doing. With warmest greetings, R. Rabbani.
Dear and valued co-workers: My heart overflows with gratitude, and my admiration is heightened, as I contemplate the range and quality of the achievements of the devoted and valiant adherents of the Faith in the Antipodes, who have in recent years so greatly embellished the record of their services and contributed so remarkably to the progress of the institutions of a divinely appointed Administrative order in that far-away continent. The entire Bahá’í World beholds with pride and admiration the great victories won by the Australian and New Zealand communities, both in their homelands and in so many islands of the Pacific Ocean, and shares my confidence that their historic accomplishments, particularly since the inception of the Ten-Year Plan, are but a prelude to still nobler exploits and still mightier victories. Their exemplary loyalty to the Faith they have so eagerly embraced, their keen enthusiasm, their persistent endeavours, their willingness to sacrifice, their inflexible resolve to surmount every obstacle, their unity and solidarity, their optimism and courage, are assets which I greatly value, and for which I cannot but feel deeply grateful. Much indeed has been achieved by these stalwart defenders and promoters of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh! To an extent which they themselves cannot estimate their individual and collective achievements, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, have compensated for the enforced inactivity and the disabilities suffered by their sorely tried brethren in Persia. The first and second phases of the Ten-Year Plan owe, to a very notable degree, their success to the impetus which the splendid initiative and remarkable resourcefulness displayed by the members of these communities has lent to the onward march of the Faith in that continent.. In more than one way these communities, through their consecrated efforts and the tangible results they have achieved, have set an inspiring example to their sister communities in both the East and the West. The Author of the Divine Plan, Himself, who during the closing years of His ministry, witnessed the awakening of that vast continent, rejoices over and applauds the rapidity with which the light of His Father’s Faith has spread over and enveloped that continent and its neighbouring islands. Much, however still remains to be achieved before the laurels of total and complete victory are claimed. The precarious situation in some of the newly opened territories allotted to your Assembly must be given first consideration and should be speedily remedied. Any, and every nucleus formed in those islands must be vigilantly safeguarded, and, if possible, constantly enlarged and consolidated. Special attention, during the opening year of the third phase of the Plan, must be prayerfully accorded to the extension and consolidation of the homefront, with particular emphasis on the rapid increase in the number of the adherents of the Faith, and the multiplication of isolated centres, groups and Assemblies. The process of incorporation, so long held in abeyance, must be accelerated by every means possible. A supreme effort must be made, in the course of the current year, in conjunction with the Indian National Spiritual Assembly, to bring to an early and successful conclusion the translation of Bahá’í literature into the languages listed in the Plan, thereby assuring the attainment of one of its vital objectives. Particular attention should be devoted to the urgent needs of the New Zealand Bahá’í community, through the formulation of a plan which will enable it to swell the number of its administrative institutions, enlarging and reinforcing thereby the foundations on which its forthcoming National Assembly must ultimately rest. The goals which both communities are called upon, at this crucial hour in the evolution of the Plan, to achieve have been clearly defined and repeatedly emphasised. The task, however, is vast and arduous. The effort that must needs be exerted by the rank and file of the believers is immense. The challenge that must needs be met is severe. The promise of eventual victory, if the army of Bahá’u’lláh’s Crusaders persevere in their mission, is clear and unmistakable. The need of the present hour, as these communities enter upon the third, and, what promises to be, the most brilliant phase of a World Spiritual Crusade, is a still greater consecration to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh in all its aspects, and a renewed dedication in all the divers fields of Bahá’í activity. That the members of the Australian and New Zealand communities will unanimously rise to the present occasion, that they will not allow any consideration whatever to deflect them from their high purpose in the days to come, that they will expend every ounce of energy for the attainment of these shining goals, is the deepest longing of my heart and the object of my ardent prayers. Shoghi.
As an aside, the same letter, written by Shoghi Effendi’s wife Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, also states “Regarding the question of capital punishment, provision is made for it in the Aqdas, but this is not the time to go into details. When the Aqdas is promulgated and the House of Justice comes into being will be the time to go into these matters in greater detail. For the present they should be given no publicity.
In 1973 a “Synopsis and Codification” of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the central book of the Bahá’í Faith written by Bahá’u’lláh, was published in English by the Universal House of Justice, with 21 passages of the Aqdas that had already been translated into English by Shoghi Effendi with additional terse lists of laws and ordinances contained in the book outside of any contextual prose.
The Aqdas was only officially translated into English in 1992, by which time other translations, such as one by the Royal Asiatic Society published in 1961, were becoming increasingly available through dissemination via the internet. My personal opinion is that the material in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is so objectionable that the Bahá’í authorities wished to shield Western believers from its contents, as they do from Bahá’u’lláh’s other works by not providing translations.
I was introduced to the Baha’i faith during my first year in college, by my next-door neighbor in my dorm. I decided to attend a Baha’i meeting because it sounded interesting. I had always been very interested in various religions and philosophies ever since I was old enough to begin exploring these things for myself. The Baha’is I met at the meeting seemed like nice people, and they held an idealistic view of human potential, emphasizing ideas such as world peace, racial reconciliation, and respect for all major religions. I would say that two things attracted me most to the Baha’is and their religion: the people themselves and their optimistic spirit about the future of humanity.
I decided to believe in Baha’ism and join the organized Baha’i Faith after a few months of studying the religion and socializing with Baha’is. Looking back, I would say that there were many details of Baha’i beliefs and practices that I wasn’t aware of when I joined, which if I had known about might have prevented me from joining their religious organization. It was the overall spirit of the Baha’is and their faith – the big picture view – that drew me in, and at that time I probably would not have even wanted to know anything about the Baha’i Faith that would have turned me off from it!
Throughout my college years, I was an active and serious Baha’i. I participated in local Baha’i community meetings and Baha’i college club meetings. I followed the religion’s rituals of daily prayer and the annual period of fasting. I enthusiastically tried to share my Baha’i faith with other people, because Baha’is place a great emphasis on “teaching” the faith (trying to educate people about the existence of the Baha’i faith and encourage them to study it and join). I even went on two Baha’i “teaching trips” to a rural, impoverished area where we attempted to befriend and evangelize Native Americans and other people living in poverty. I also wrote a draft of an introductory book presenting the Baha’i faith for a Christian audience (but I left the faith before seeking a publisher).
Posted from Reddit.com
There was a post made here a while back asking about if this translation of the Bahá’í The Most Holy Book — perhaps the most honest and relibable translation — was available online or if someone could upload it. I looked, and I was unable to find this entire translation online with the introduction and all the notes. I was only able to find assorted quotations and analyses, and I also found this which is a multilinear translation of the Aqdas with the authorized Haifan Bahá’í translation, Haddad’s translation, and the Elder & Miller translation. The E & M translation however wasn’t available as a full document, so I took the liberty tonight of pasting each passage and organizing them all into a PDF for convenience’s sake.
You can view it here:
I hope this is useful for you all.
The differences between it and the authorized translation I read when I was a Bahá’í were quite shocking.
When/If I get my hands on the physical copy of this translation, I’ll post one with the introduction and the notes.
Please point out any mistakes I made in my transcription, and I will fix them as soon as I can.
What I particularly like about the Elder & Miller translation is that it uses contemporary English. The 1992 translation commissioned by Universal House of Justice unnecessarily uses words like “hath,” “heareth,” “thy,” and “ye” in an attempt to mimic the tone of the King James Version of the Bible.
How do the Bahá’ís reckon that two differing translations of the same text can be authoritative lol? Thank you for sharing this.
Selections from the Writings of the Báb was compiled and published in 1976 by the Universal House of Justice, sixteen years before the Universal House of Justice published the full Kitáb-i-Aqdas in 1992.
The use of alternate wording is likely the result of a new committee with new authority.
What is further odd is that for a definitive, religious text, the translation to other languages was conducted through the English version and not the original Arabic. This is a practice justified with some dubious reasoning.
Speaking of SWB I noticed this very interesting passage when I was copying this translation:
These are the stipulations of God. Do not transgress them because of your own passions. Follow what you are commanded to do by the Rising-place of Explanation (al- Bayan)
From this is it is clear that Bahá did not abrogate Bayán and that with whatever he did not specifically override of Bayán it is incumbent for Bahá’ís to follow the Bayán where Bahá is unspecific. This is further demonstrated by the fact that Bahá’s laws are essentially a rehash of the Bayán, and he also states in a 1862 letter:
I swear by God that if any one of the People of the Bayan were to mention that the Book [i.e. Bayan] is abrogated, may God smash the mouth of the speaker and the calumniator, and by him who holds my soul and myself in his hands one letter from the Bayan is the most loved with me than all that are in the heavens and on the earth
In a letter to Sayyid Ibrahim he says:
Consider bygone ages and reflect upon what god had inflicted on their peoples for having contended amongst themselves, for having turned aside from His Countenance, for having strayed away from His path, for having done wrong to His Cause, and for having associated any creature with the Sovereign of His Unity, for which they were of the perished. Have you ever heard religion of god to exist before it is confirmed, or commandment of god to be abrogated before it becomes manifest? ….. Nay, by my lord, the lord of heavens, no one can abrogate one letter from that which has been revealed in the Bayan …..
Bahá’í translations neglect often to shed light on the original Arabic/Persian that is in the texts. In the authorized translation it reads, concealing the meaning:
These, verily, are the Laws of God; transgress them not at the prompting of your base and selfish desires. Observe ye the injunctions laid upon you by Him Who is the Dawning-place of Utterance
How then can Bahá’ís follow what their leader told them to follow, the Bayán, if it is not available for them in other languages such as English, except in “selections” which don’t even encompass all the laws revealed in it?!