SCOTLAND, May 1, 1990


The first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, Shoghi Effendi, declared that the Most Holy Book revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, the AQDAS, and the WILL AND TESTAMENT of `Abdu’l-Bahá "mutually confirm one another, and are inseparable parts of one complete unit."

All Bahá’ís believe that the Laws of the AQDAS are sacred and immutable and, therefore, not subject to abrogation or alteration during the entire Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh. It is clear from the words of Shoghi Effendi quoted above that the sacredness and immutability of the AQDAS equally applies to the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá. Shoghi Effendi has further extolled this "immortal Document" as:

"His greatest legacy to posterity," "The brightest emanation of His mind," "The Charter of the New World Order," "The offspring resulting from the mystic intercourse between Him Who had generated the forces of a God-given Faith and the One Who had been made its sole interpreter and was recognized as its perfect Exemplar," "the fruit of this divine union thus becoming the "Child of the Covenant" and "Their Will."

Since the passing of Shoghi of Effendi you have repudiated the major provisions of this "Divine Charter" bequeathed by the "Architect of the Administrative Order" in declaring the following chief Institutions of the Administrative Order null and void:

  • The Guardianship of the Faith, thus removing the "Center of the Cause," "the Interpreter of the Word of God," and the "sacred head and the distinguished member for life" of the Universal House of Justice.
  • The Hands of the Cause of God who can only be appointed by the Guardian.

  • Towards the close of his ministry Shoghi Effendi acclaimed the culmination of his labors to erect the international institutions of the Faith at its World Center with the announcement that "at long last the machinery of its highest institutions has been erected." "These supreme organs of its unfolding Order" included the embryonic Universal House of Justice which he proclaimed on 9 January 1951 "as the greatest event shedding lustre upon the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation" and "the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order." He did not assume the Presidency of this body but retained it in an embryonic inactive state and appointed its embryonic head, Mason Remey. It was in this appointment that was to be found the key to the continuity of the Guardianship as Presidency of the Universal House of Justice and Guardianship are synonymous terms. For this reason Shoghi Effendi did not authorize the President of this embryonic institution to convene it into a functioning body during the remaining years of his ministry. To further preclude direct contact with this body he announced a "chosen liaison" between himself and this body symbolizing thereby an umbilical cord relationship with this embryonic body. This embryonic Universal House of Justice emerged into active and functioning life coincident with the passing of Shoghi Effendi, and its appointed head then became the fully functioning President of this body and none other than the second Guardian of the Faith.

    The Bahá’ís universally failed to perceive that Shoghi Effendi had appointed his successor in this way primarily due to the following:

  • The faulty assumption that Shoghi Effendi would appoint his successor in a traditional type testamentary document, whereas close examination of the terms of `Abdu’l Bahá’s Testament clearly indicates that the Guardian must appoint his successor "in his own lifetime."

  • The erroneous belief that only a son of the Guardian or a bloodline relative of Bahá’u’lláh was eligible to inherit the Guardianship based on the clause in the Will which requires the Guardian to choose "another branch" should his first-born son be found spiritually unqualified.
  • Re-examination of the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá reveal the primary importance placed by Them on spiritual relationships; for example, `Abdu’l-Bahá states:"Muhammad was the root, and Ali the branch like Moses and Joshua" (See S.A.Q.). In this Dispensation Bahá’u’lláh is "The Ancient Root," `Abdu’l-Bahá, "The Most Mighty Branch" – "The Primal Branch" – and the successive Guardians of the Faith the offshoots or spiritual twigs (or branches) of this Primal Branch of the Tree of the Covenant.

    Not finding a successor to Shoghi Effendi according to your preconceptions you lost faith in the Immutability and continued validity of every Clause of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament and consequently failed to recognize his duly appointed successor. As a result, the Faith is now faced with the greatest violation of the Covenant in its history and the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh is threatened with destruction – "this wondrous System – the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed."

    It is my fervent hope that you will, at long last, return to the Fold of the Covenant, rally to the support of the living Guardian of the Faith and join those fellow-believers who have labored so steadfastly these many years and with such exemplary fidelity to the Covenant to preserve the Bahá’í Administrative Order which "the masterhand of its perfect Architect" has fashioned in all of its divinely conceived perfection and glory.

    The Third Guardian
    of the Bahá’í Faith

    For further information write to:
    Orthodox Bahá’ís
    of the United States

    P.O. Box 3201
    Roswell, N . M. 88202-3201

    To contact the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith for more information send an email to or write to:
    Orthodox Bahá’í Faith P.O. Box 3201 Roswell, New Mexico,
    USA 88202-3201