Jacques Soghomonian’s Ridvan 1999 Letter to Haifan “UHJ”

 TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY IN HAIFA

    Whatever happens, the will of God will be established.

 Our intention is simply to explain why the Baha’i believers under Shoghi Effendi continue to believe in the succession of the Guardians, conforming to the Covenant of God.

 Shoghi Effendi was faithful in all aspects relating to the development of the Faith.  He took on his responsibilities as Guardian, realizing his objectives of translating the works of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’ from Arabic to Persian into English, and then into French.

 His labor (one should rather say life’s work…) and his Office were in fulfillment of the prophecies announced in the Bible “a little child will lead them.”

The installation of the administrative order structures and their operation, contribute to the development of the faith.

  This administrative order must not be a substitute for the spiritual values [in our Faith], but must rather be the vehicle for Baha‘i Thought – borne from the spirituality released from the teachings of Baha’u’llah in all their profundity, in all their loftiness. You have, and we have; supported in totality all that Shoghi Effendi has translated, written and given [to us] as counsels; commands and references.

   It is thus unthinkable, even impossible, that you could accept on the one hand Shoghi Effendi‘s handiwork, and roll back or cancel – making forbidden – everything that relates to the principle of the Guardianship and its succeeding lineage of Guardians.

Shoghi Effendi’s strategy was very clear, and it becomes forever clear once he openly proclaims, in 1951, the creation of the first embryonic International Council as “the most significant milestone in evolution of Administrative Order of the Faith of Baha’u’llah in course of last thirty years.”

Shoghi Effendi forwarded this proclamation by telegram to all the national spiritual assemblies of the Baha’i World.  You know perfectly well its contents… This body was to become developed in the future through the election of the Universal House of Justice.  He specified the principal structure of this body, by appointing its officers and its President.

    Shoghi Effendi was conscious of the necessity of preserving the Guardianship in conformity with God‘s Covenant and the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu‘l-Baha‘, translated by Shoghi himself.

  These documents (The Kitab-i-‘Ahd and the Will and Testament) were read and accepted by thousands of Baha’i believers.

  The circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Shoghi Effendi, and the consequences of the events which followed, have led you into ways that are contrary to the Faith…

  But in the name of blood lineage you have openly declared the Guardianship ended and forbidden…without taking into account the fact that when a Guardian is named by the living Guardian, he acquires the force and the strength, the spiritual edification, to uphold the Covenant.

   By doing this, you have became the first violators of the Baha’i Faith since the time of the Hands of the Cause.  You had the responsibility and the duty of following, through your work, the path prepared by Shoghi Effendi.

   As for you, Ruhiyyih Rabbani, although you served your Guardian in a dignified way, [and] wrote marvelous books about him, yet without any prerogative you went against the decisions of Shoghi Effendi.

 Shoghi Effendi’s position as Guardian – although there is no comparison of his station with [the supremely greater stations] of the three central figures of the faith – was a station of supremacy.  He was assisted by the power of the Covenant and his hands were not in the least bit chained.

 He transmitted to all the believers, which included the Hands of the Cause, who were supposed to be at his service, the essence of spiritual life.

  Under the terms presented – and it matters not the number of years since 1957-1960 – you have failed in your duty to protect the integrity of the Faith.  You are responsible for your actions.  NO ONE CAN GO AGAINST THE TESTAMENT AND COVENANT OF GOD DEFINED BY THE INVIOLABLE TEXTS.

        If you reject this letter today, know that:

 The establishment of the Baha’i World Charter, which rests on the two pillars, the guardianship and the Universal House of Justice (as defined in the Dispensation of Baha’u’llah by Shoghi Effendi) will be realized, not by my will, but by that of Baha’u’llah.

    In the days and years that pass, through the power of the Covenant, you will be rejected for your disobedience, like the foam along the edge of the shore that’s cast out by the sea, although you may be on Sacred Ground and benefit from the presence of the three Central Figures of the Faith, as well as from the spiritual essence radiated from Mount Carmel (that doesn‘t belong to you, but to the Bab, Baha’u’llah, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha‘), where the believers on pilgrimage receive the waves of true life.

 Reconsider your attitude when you gather together at the International Spiritual Assembly and take into account the non-conformity of the present situation.

   No matter what you decide and do, the truth will explode when the time arrives and the principle of the guardianship is established again.

        Reflect:  “An error multiplied does not become the truth…”

 Your present attitude has led the believers down a path inconsistent with the Covenant, and is not within the straight line taught by Shoghi Effendi.

However, you have nevertheless developed humane ways, and that is good.  But the World Charter of Baha’u’llah rests on the spiritual establishment of that which you have under-estimated, which are the spiritual essentials of the faith, provided for by the Guardianship.

  I leave you to your proper reflection.

     The Guardian of the Testament and the Covenant,

                Jacques Soghomonian

Note:

The Guardian’s letter above, addressed to the International Spiritual Assembly in Haifa, was translated from the French and edited by Brent Reed.

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