" . . .them that have branched out from me (Afnán)"Bahá’u’lláh

There are those believers who are firmly convinced that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s use of the term "branch" in His Will and Testament refers solely to an Aghsán and who refuse to realize that this term has a spiritual meaning when, in referring to the Guardian’s choice of his successor in that sacred Document, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states that should the Guardian not choose his "first-born" son as his successor "then must he (the guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to suceed him." Believers holding the view that the Guardian has been restricted in his choice of a successor to an Aghsán can do nothing less than reconsider their stand in view of the quoted phrase appearing at the heading above with parenthesis significantly inserted by Shoghi Effendi which should preclude any misunderstanding. These Words of Bahá’u’lláh are to be found in one of His supplications in the book: PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS (translated by Shoghi Effendi). This significant phrase is included in the following passage quoted in its entirety below that appears on page 154 of that book:

"I beseech Thee, O Thou Who art my Governor and the Possessor of all names, to protect them that have branched out from me (Afnán), whom Thou hast caused to be related to Thyself, and to whom Thou hast, in this Revelation, shown Thy special favor, and whom Thou hast summoned to draw nigh unto Thee and to turn towards the horizon of Thy Revelation."

It is pertinent to point out once again that Shoghi Effendi has specifically identified the Aghsán only as Bahá’u’lláh’s sons on page 239 of GOD PASSES BY.

As the Afnán were the relatives of the Báb and in their physical relationship to Bahá’u’lláh are referred to as "Twigs" of His Tree, it should be clear that the relationship to which Bahá’u’lláh refers in the above passage is a spiritual one and it has been their fidelity to Him that has earned them the designation of spiritual branches. It is such spiritual relationships in the Faith that have taken precedence in the past and shall always take precedence in the future over physical relationships.



Joel Bray Marangella
Third Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith