Universal House of Justice
It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Baháulláh [The Guardianship and Universal House of Justice} should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of out Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction; each is equipped with its own attendant institutions-instruments designed for the effective discharge of its particular responsibilities and duties. Each exercises, within the limitations imposed upon it, its power, its authority, its rights and prerogatives. These are neither contradictory, nor detract in the slightest degree from the position which each of these institutions occupies. Far from being incompatible or mutually destructive, they supplement each others authority and functions, and are permanently and fundamentally united in their aims.
The Mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian of the Cause of God.
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They [Baháulláh, Prophet for this age, and His Son, Abdul-Bahá, Center of the Covenant] have also, in unequivocal and emphatic language, appointed those twin institutions of the House of Justice [UHJ] and of the guardianship as their chosen Successors, destined to apply the principles, promulgate the laws, protect the institutions, adapt loyally and intelligently the Faith to the requirements of progressive society, and consummate the incorruptible inheritance which the Founders of the Faith have bequeathed to the world.
[N]either the Christian nor the Islamic Dispensations can offer a parallel either to the system of Divine Economy so thoroughly established by Bahaullah, or to the safeguards which He has provided for its preservation and advancement.
Both in the administrative provisions of the Baháí Dispensation, and in the matter of succession, as embodied in the twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship, the followers of Baháulláh can summon to their aid such irrefutable evidences of Divine Guidance that none can resist, that none can belittle or ignore. Therein lies the distinguishing feature of the Baháí Revelation. Therein lies the strength of the unity of the Faith. . .
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And now concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from all error, it must be elected by universal suffrage....and the guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body.
[The Guardianship] enhances the prestige of the exalted assembly [UHJ], stabilizes its supreme position, safeguards it unity, assures the continuity of its labors, without presuming in the slightest to infringe upon the inviolability of its clearly-defined sphere of jurisdiction.
Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baháulláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which....has been invariably upheld by the Law of God...Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.
Only those who come after us will be in a position to realize the value of the surprisingly strong emphasis that has been placed on the institution of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship.
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[I]t is the light of Divine Guidance that causeth all the universe to be illumined.
In this Dispensation, divine guidance flows on to us in this world after the Prophets ascension, through, first the Master, and then the Guardians.
It is incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice, Upon all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination Unto the guardian of the Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly before him.
He [the guardian of the Cause of God] cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow-members, but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Baháulláhs revealed utterances.
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Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, coordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions.
Baháulláh - Prophet founder of the Baháí Faith.
Abdul-Bahá - Son of Baháulláh and appointed Center of
Shoghi Effendi - appointed First Guardian.
Charles Mason Remey - appointed Second Guardian
Joel Bray Marangella - appointed Third Guardian.
1 - Shoghi Effendi - World Order of Baháulláh, p 148
2 -Abdul-Bahá - Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá, p 17
3 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 19
4 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 20
5 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 21
6 - Abdul-Bahá - Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá, p 25
7 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 8
8 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 148
9 - Shoghi Effendi - The World order of Baháulláh, p 8
10 - Abdul-Bahá - Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá. p 22
11 - Shoghi Effendi - Bahá'í References to Judaism, Christianity& Islám, p 159
12 - Abdul-Bahá - Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá,
13 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 150
14 - Shoghi Effendi - The World Order of Baháulláh, p 148
Compiled by K.J. Herman, July 1994,
under the direction of the
Mother Baháí Council of the U.S.
P.O. Box 1169, Roswell, New Mexico 88202
The Line of
As to the most great characteristic of the revelation of Baháulláh, a specific teaching not given by any of the Prophets of the past: It is the ordination and appointment of the Center of the Covenant. By this appointment and provision He has safeguarded and protected the religion of God against differences and schisms, making it impossible for anyone to create a new sect or faction of belief. To ensure unity and agreement He has entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world, including the interpreter and explainer of His teachings, so that no one may interpret or explain the religion of God according to his own view or opinion and thus create a sect founded upon his individual understanding of the divine Words.
CENTER OF THE COVENANT
When the Mystic Dove will have winged its flight from its Sanctuary of Praise and sought its far-off goal. its hidden habitation, refer ye whatsoever ye understand not in the Book to Him Who hath branched from this mighty Stock.
lt is incumbent upon the Aghsán [His sons], the Afnán [the Báb's kindred] and My kindred to turn, one and all, their faces toward the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root. The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch ('Abdu'l-Bahá). Thus have We graciously revealed unto you our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious. the All-Powerful.
SHOGHI EFFENDI AS
O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsán (Branches), the Afnán (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God and the loved ones of the Abhá Beauty to turn unto Shoghi Effendi-the youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-trees and the fruit grown from the union of the two offshoots of the Tree of Holiness,-as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all the Aghsán the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn. He is the expounder of the words of God and after him will succeed the first-born of this lineal descendents.
[S]hould the firstborn of the guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:- "The child is the secret essence of its sire," that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.
APPOINTS MASON REMEY
AS SECOND GUARDIAN
O ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon the guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing.
Proclaim National assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Bahá'í Council...this first embryonic International Institution, marking its development into officially recognized Baháí Court, its transformation into duly elected body, its efflorescence into Universal House of Justice...
Greatly welcome assistance of the newly-formed International Council, particularly its President, Mason Remey...
(This embryonic Universal House of Justice was retained in an inactive status during the ministry of Shoghi Effendi, but upon its emergence into active functioning life, as would be the case in its second stage as an International Court, would automatically be presided over by Shoghi Effendis appointee, Mason Remey. As Presidency of the Universal House of Justice (including presidency of its several preliminary and successive active states) and Guardianship are synonymous terms, according to the Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá, the person appointed to this supreme position by Shoghi Effendi could be no other than his chosen successor- the second Guardian of the Faith.)
MASON REMEY APPOINTS
JOEL B. MARANGELLA
AS THIRD GUARDIAN
December 5, 1961
This is to tell you to tell the Baháí World that I appoint you to be the third Guardian of the Baháí Faith according to the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá.
[Charles ] Mason [Remey],
Guardian of the Baháí Faith
(Mason Remey also appointed Joel, President of the second International Baháí Council)
Prophet-founder of the Baháí Faith.
1863 - 1892
Son of Baháulláh and appointed
Center of the Covenant.
1892 - 1921
Appointed First Guardian.
1921 - 1957
Charles Mason Remey
Appointed Second Guardian.
1957 - 1966
Joel Bray Marangella
Appointed Third Guardian.
1966 - present
Compiled by K. J. Herman, July 1994,
under the direction of the
Mother Baháí Council of the U.S.
P.O. Box 1169, Roswell, NM 88202