"Those words uttered by the Luminaries of Truth must needs be pondered, and should their significance be not grasped, enlightenment should be sought from the Trustees of the depositories of Knowledge, that these may expound their meaning, and unravel their mystery. For it behooveth no man to interpret the holy words according to his own imperfect understanding, nor having found them to be contrary to his inclination and desires to reject and repudiate their truth. For such, today, is the manner of the divines and doctors of the age, who occupy the seats of knowledge and learning, and who have named ignorance knowledge, and called oppression justice."

Kitáb-i-Iqán (p.182)

Similarly to Muhammad Who, in referring to the Imams who were destined to succeed Him and be the sole interpreters of His word, stated in the Qu’ran: "Ask ye therefore, of them that have the custody of the Scriptures, if ye know it not." Bahá’u’lláh has likewise cautioned "no man to interpret the holy words according to his own imperfect understanding..." or "contrary to his inclination and desires..." and has enjoined those who do not grasp the significance of the revealed Word to seek enlightenment from the "Trustees of the depositories of Knowledge" (the depositories of Knowledge being their revealed Writings).

It is obvious that these Trustees (note the plurality) must be living to provide this sole source of interpretation as long as the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh endures. Is it not clear, therefore, that Bahá’u’lláh promised that there would be this continued source of interpretation following the Ascension of `Abdu’l-Bahá? And, therefore, `Abdu’l-Bahá provided for this continuing source of interpretation in the Institution of the Guardianship in His Will and Testament, a sacred Document that should actually be considered a part of the immutable explicit holy Text and nothing less than "Their Will" for, as Shoghi Effendi has explained in his work God Passes By : "This Instrument can, if we would correctly appraise it, no more be divorced from the One Who provided the motivating impulse for its creation than from Him Who directly conceived it."

Yet, in complete disregard of the foregoing, this divinely-conceived, co-authored, immutable and sacred Document has been shamefully and inexplicably repudiated by those who contend that the Guardianship of the Cause of God has come to and end only thirty-six years after the inception of the Administrative Order "fashioned by the hand of its perfect Architect" in which the Guardian has been designated both the Head of the Faith and the "sacred head for life" of its supreme legislative Organ.

Joel Bray Marangella

July, 2001