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Title: The Unfolding Destiny of the British Bahá'í Community : the Messages from the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith to the Bahá'ís of the British Isles

Author: Effendi Shoghi

Release date: September 18, 2006 [eBook #19297]
Most recently updated: June 26, 2020

Language: English

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE UNFOLDING DESTINY OF THE BRITISH BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY : THE MESSAGES FROM THE GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH TO THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF THE BRITISH ISLES ***

Unfolding Destiny
Edition 1, (September 2006)

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Contents


The Messages from the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith to the Bahá’í Community of the British Isles


[Frontispiece]

“...this community can do no better than to gird up afresh its loins, turn its back upon the clamour of the age, its fears, confusion and strife, step resolutely forward on its chosen path, unshakably confident that with every step it takes, should it remain undeflected in its purpose and undimmed in its vision, a fresh outpouring of Divine grace will reinforce and guide its march on the highroad of its destiny.”

Shoghi

“...The annals of the British Bahá’í community, small in numbers, yet unconquerable in spirit, tenacious in belief, undeviating in purpose, alert and vigilant in the discharge of its manifold duties and responsibilities, have in consequence of its epoch-making achievements been vastly enriched.

“The process set in motion and greatly accelerated through the successive formulation of the Six Year Plan, the Two Year Plan and the Ten Year Plan, must continue unabated and unimpaired. Nay with every passing day it must gather momentum. Every individual believer must, henceforth, encouraged and inspired by all that has already been achieved, contribute to its future and speedy unfoldment.

“That the entire community may befittingly respond to the call of the present hour and bring to a final consummation the Mission with which it has been entrusted is the deepest yearning of my heart and the object of my unceasing prayers.”

Shoghi


THE SEEDS ARE TENDED
1922–1944


Letter of 5 March 1922

5 March 19221

Dear Fellow-workers in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh,

It is with words of regret and disappointment that I desire to open this letter because of my inability, in view of my manifold and pressing duties, to respond individually and in writing to the many messages of love and sympathy and of hope that you have so affectionately sent me since our Beloved’s passing from this World. I am sure I am voicing the sentiments of the bereaved ladies of the Household when I say that however desirous we may be to correspond separately with every one of you, the grave responsibilities and manifold duties now devolved upon us make it regrettably impossible to express in written messages to every friend what we constantly feel in our hearts, and pray for when visiting His sacred Shrine.

At this grave and momentous period through which the Cause of God in conformity with the Divine Wisdom is passing, it is the sacred duty of every one of us to endeavour to realise the full significance of this Hour of Transition, and then to make a supreme resolve to arise steadfastly for the fulfilment of our sacred obligations.

Great as is the love and paternal care which our beloved Master is extending to us from on High, and unique as is the Spirit that animates today His servants in the world, yet a great deal will depend upon the character and efforts of His loved ones on whom now rests the responsibility of carrying on His work gloriously after Him. How great is the need at this moment when the promised outpourings of His grace are ready to be extended to every soul, for us all to form a broad vision of the mission of the Cause to mankind, and to do all in our power to spread it throughout the world. The eyes of the world, now that the sublime Personality of the Master has been removed from this visible plane, are turned with eager anticipation to us who are named after His name, and on whom rests primarily the responsibility to keep burning the torch that He has lit in this world. How keenly I feel at this challenging hour in the history of the Cause the need for a firm and definite determination to subordinate all our personal likings, our local interests, to the interests and requirements of the Cause of God! Now is the time to set aside, nay, to forget altogether, minor considerations regarding our internal relationships, and to present a solid united front to the world animated by no other desire but to serve and propagate His Cause.

It is my firm conviction which I now express with all sincerity and candour, that the dignity and unity of the Cause urgently demands—particularly throughout the American continent—that the friends should in their words and conduct emphasise and give absolute prominence to the constructive dynamic principles of Bahá’u’lláh, rather than attach undue importance to His negative Teachings. With hearts cleansed from the least trace of suspicion and filled with hope and faith in what the spirit of love can achieve, we must one and all endeavour at this moment to forget past impressions, and with absolute goodwill and genuine co-operation unite in deepening and diffusing the spirit of love and service that the Cause has thus far so remarkably shown to the world. To this attitude of goodwill, of forebearance and genuine kindness to all, must be added, however, constant but unprovocative vigilance, lest unrestricted association with the peoples of the world should enable the very few who have been definitely pronounced by the Master as injurious to the body of the Cause, to make a breach in the Movement. Not until, however, an unmistakable evidence should appear, manifestly revealing the evil motives of a certain individual or groups of individuals, is it advisable to make the matter public; for an untimely declaration that shall give rise to open differences among the friends is far more detrimental than forbearing still further with those who are suspected of evil intentions. As the Master so fully and consistently did throughout His lifetime, we must all make a supreme effort to pour out a genuine spirit of kindness and hopeful love to peoples of various creeds and classes, and must abstain from all provocative language that may impede the effect of what true and continued kindness can produce.

Does not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wish us, as He looks down upon us with loving expectation from His glorious Station, to obliterate as much as possible all traces of censure, of conflicting discussions, of cooling remarks, of petty unnecessary observations that impede the onward march of the Cause, that damp the zeal of the firm believer and detract from the sublimity of the Bahá’í Cause in the eyes of the inquirer? In order, however, to insure fair and quick and vigorous action whenever such an evil activity is revealed and has been carefully ascertained, the best and only means would appear to be, for the careful observer, once he is assured of such an evil action, and has grown hopeless of the attitude of kindness and forbearance, to report it quietly to the Spiritual Assembly representative of the friends in that locality and submit the case to their earnest and full consideration. Should the majority of the members of that Assembly be conscientiously convinced of the case—and this being a national issue affecting the body of the friends in America—it should, only through the intermediary of that Assembly, be cautiously communicated to that greater body representing all the Assemblies in America, which will in its turn obtain all the available data from the local Assembly in question, study carefully the situation and reserve for itself the ultimate decision. It may, if it decides so, refer to the Holy Land for further consideration and consultation.

This clearly places heavy responsibilities on the local as well as national Assemblies, which in the course of time will evolve, with the Master’s power and guidance, into the local and national Houses of Justice. Hence the vital necessity of having a local Spiritual Assembly in every locality where the number of adult declared believers exceeds nine, and of making provision for the indirect election of a Body that shall adequately represent the interests of all the friends and Assemblies throughout the American Continent.

A perusal of some of the words of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on the duties and functions of the Spiritual Assemblies in every land (later to be designated as the local Houses of Justice), emphatically reveals the sacredness of their nature, the wide scope of their activity, and the grave responsibility which rests upon them.

Addressing the members of the Spiritual Assembly in Chicago, the Master reveals the following:—“Whenever ye enter the council-chamber, recite this prayer with a heart throbbing with the love of God and a tongue purified from all but His remembrance, that the All-powerful may graciously aid you to achieve supreme victory:—‘O God, my God! We are servants of Thine that have turned with devotion to Thy Holy Face, that have detached ourselves from all beside Thee in this glorious Day. We have gathered in this spiritual assembly, united in our views and thoughts, with our purposes harmonised to exalt Thy Word amidst mankind. O Lord, our God! Make us the signs of Thy Divine Guidance, the Standards of Thy exalted Faith amongst men, servants to Thy mighty Covenant. O Thou our Lord Most High! Manifestations of Thy Divine Unity in Thine Abhá Kingdom, and resplendent stars shining upon all regions. Lord! Aid us to become seas surging with the billows of Thy wondrous Grace, streams flowing from Thy all-glorious Heights, goodly fruits upon the Tree of Thy heavenly Cause, trees waving through the breezes of Thy Bounty in Thy celestial Vineyard. O God! Make our souls dependent upon the Verses of Thy Divine Unity, our hearts cheered with the outpourings of Thy Grace, that we may unite even as the waves of one sea and become merged together as the rays of Thine effulgent Light; that our thoughts, our views, our feelings may become as one reality, manifesting the spirit of union throughout the world. Thou art the Gracious, the Bountiful, the Bestower, the Almighty, the Merciful, the Compassionate.’”

In the Most Holy Book is revealed:—“The Lord hath ordained that in every city a House of Justice be established wherein shall gather counsellors to the number of Bahá, and should it exceed this number it does not matter. It behoveth them to be the trusted ones of the Merciful among men and to regard themselves as the guardians appointed of God for all that dwell on earth. It is incumbent upon them to take counsel together and to have regard for the interests of the servants of God, for His sake, even as they regard their own interests, and to choose that which is meet and seemly. Thus hath the Lord your God commanded you. Beware lest ye put away that which is clearly revealed in His Tablet. Fear God, O ye that perceive.”

Furthermore, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reveals the following:—“It is incumbent upon every one not to take any step without consulting the Spiritual Assembly, and they must assuredly obey with heart and soul its bidding and be submissive unto it, that things may be properly ordered and well arranged. Otherwise every person will act independently and after his own judgment, will follow his own desire, and do harm to the Cause.”

“The prime requisites for them that take counsel together are purity of motive, radiance of spirit, detachment from all else save God, attraction to His Divine Fragrances, humility and lowliness amongst His loved ones, patience and long-suffering in difficulties and servitude to His exalted Threshold. Should they be graciously aided to acquire these attributes, victory from the unseen Kingdom of Bahá shall be vouchsafed to them. In this day, assemblies of consultation are of the greatest importance and a vital necessity. Obedience unto them is essential and obligatory. The members thereof must take counsel together in such wise that no occasion for ill-feeling or discord may arise. This can be attained when every member expresseth with absolute freedom his own opinion and setteth forth his argument. Should any one oppose, he must on no account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the right way be revealed. The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions. If after discussion, a decision be carried unanimously well and good; but if, the Lord forbid, differences of opinion should arise, a majority of voices must prevail.”

Enumerating the obligations incumbent upon the members of consulting councils, the Beloved reveals the following:—“The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the assembly. They must be wholly free from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and that assembly be brought to naught. The second condition:—They must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one’s views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority. It is again not permitted that any one of the honoured members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously, though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced. In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness.... If this be so regarded, that Assembly shall be of God, but otherwise it shall lead to coolness and alienation that proceed from the Evil One. Discussions must all be confined to spiritual matters that pertain to the training of souls, the instruction of children, the relief of the poor, the help of the feeble throughout all classes in the world, kindness to all peoples, the diffusion of the fragrances of God and the exaltation of His Holy Word. Should they endeavour to fulfil these conditions the Grace of the Holy Spirit shall be vouchsafed unto them, and that assembly shall become the centre of the Divine blessings, the hosts of Divine confirmation shall come to their aid, and they shall day by day receive a new effusion of Spirit.”

So great is the importance and so supreme is the authority of these assemblies that once ‘Abdu’l-Bahá after having Himself and in His own handwriting corrected the translation made into Arabic of the Ishráqát (the Effulgences) by Shaykh Faraj, a Kurdish friend from Cairo, directed him in a Tablet to submit the above-named translation to the Spiritual Assembly of Cairo, that he may seek from them before publication their approval and consent. These are His very words in that Tablet:—“His honour, Shaykh Faraju’lláh, has here rendered into Arabic with greatest care the Ishráqát and yet I have told him that he must submit his version to the Spiritual Assembly of Egypt, and I have conditioned its publication upon the approval of the above-named Assembly. This is so that things may be arranged in an orderly manner, for should it not be so any one may translate a certain Tablet and print and circulate it on his own account. Even a non-believer might undertake such work, and thus cause confusion and disorder. If it be conditioned, however, upon the approval of the Spiritual Assembly, a translation prepared, printed and circulated by a non-believer will have no recognition whatever.”

This is indeed a clear indication of the Master’s express desire that nothing whatever should be given to the public by any individual among the friends, unless fully considered and approved by the Spiritual Assembly in his locality; and if this (as is undoubtedly the case) is a matter that pertains to the general interest of the Cause in that land, then it is incumbent upon the Spiritual Assembly to submit it to the consideration and approval of the national body representing all the various local assemblies. Not only with regard to publication, but all matters without any exception whatsoever, regarding the interests of the Cause in that locality, individually or collectively, should be referred exclusively to the Spiritual Assembly in that locality, which shall decide upon it, unless it be a matter of national interest, in which case it shall be referred to the national body. With this national body also will rest the decision whether a given question is of local or national interest. (By national affairs is not meant matters that are political in their character, for the friends of God the world over are strictly forbidden to meddle with political affairs in any way whatever, but rather things that affect the spiritual activities of the body of the friends in that land).

Full harmony, however, as well as co-operation among the various local assemblies and the members themselves, and particularly between each assembly and the national body, is of the utmost importance, for upon it depends the unity of the Cause of God, the solidarity of the friends, the full, speedy and efficient working of the spiritual activities of His loved ones.

Large issues in such spiritual activities that affect the Cause in general in that land, such as the management of the “Star of the West” and any periodical which the National Body may decide to be a Bahá’í organ, the matter of publication, or reprinting Bahá’í literature and its distribution among the various assemblies, the means whereby the teaching campaign may be stimulated and maintained, the work of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, the racial question in relation to the Cause, the matter of receiving Orientals and associating with them, the care and maintenance of the precious film exhibiting a phase of the Master’s sojourn in the United States of America as well as the original matrix and the records of His voice, and various other national spiritual activities, far from being under the exclusive jurisdiction of any local assembly or group of friends, must each be minutely and fully directed by a special board, elected by the National Body, constituted as a committee thereof, responsible to it and upon which the National Body shall exercise constant and general supervision.

The time is indeed ripe for the manifold activities, wherein the servants and handmaidens of Bahá’u’lláh are so devoutly and earnestly engaged, to be harmonised and conducted with unity, co-operation and efficiency, that the effect of such a combined and systematised effort, through which an All-powerful Spirit is steadily pouring, may transcend every other achievement of the past, however glorious it has been, and may stand, now that, to the eyes of the outside world the glorious Person of the Master is no more, a convincing testimony of the potency of His everliving Spirit.

Your brother and co-worker in His Cause,
Shoghi


Letter of 16 December 1922

16 December 1922

To my spiritual brethren and sisters in Great Britain.
Care of the members of the Spiritual Council.2

My dearest brethren and sisters in the faith of God!

May I at the very outset of this, my very first letter to you, convey to your hearts in words, however inadequate but assuredly deeply felt and sincere, a measure of my burning impatience, during my days of retirement, to return speedily and join hands with you in the great work of consolidation that awaits every earnest believer in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Now that happily I feel myself restored to a position where I can take up with continuity and vigour the threads of my manifold duties, the bitterness of every disappointment felt, time and again, in the course of the past weary months at my feeling of unpreparedness, have been merged in the sweetness of the present hour, when I realise that spiritually and bodily I am better equipped to shoulder the responsibilities of the Cause. The thought, so often comforting and sustaining, that in the counsels of my British co-workers of that land, I shall find spontaneous and undiminished support as well as wise and experienced assistance, is surely one of those forces which will hearten me in the midst of my future labours for the Cause.

That in every one of you our departed Master reposed His future and truest hopes for an able and convincing presentation of the Cause to the outside world, is abundantly revealed in His spoken and written words to you, as well as in His general references to the spirit of sincerity, of tenacity and devotion that animates His friends of that land.

The fierce tests that have raged over that island in the past; the calm and determination with which they have been so bravely faced and surmounted; the seeds of loving fellowship that the Beloved in person has more than once scattered in its soil; the rise, as its result, of a few but indeed capable, reliable, devoted and experienced followers and admirers of the Cause; the splendid and in many instances unique opportunities that are yours—these indeed are cherished thoughts for a land that illumines its past and should cheer its future.

I need hardly tell you how grateful and gratified I felt when I heard the news of the actual formation of a National Council whose main object is to guide, co-ordinate and harmonise the various activities of the friends, and when I learned of its satisfactory composition, its harmonious procedure and the splendid work it is achieving.

My earnest prayer is that the blessing of the Almighty may rest upon all its deliberations, that it may be divinely guided, inspired in its work, may smooth speedily and definitely all differences that may arise, may promote the all-important work of Teaching, may widen the sphere of its correspondence and exchange of news with the distant parts of the Bahá’í world, may secure through its publications a dignified and proper presentation of the Cause to the enlightened public, and may in every other respect prove itself capable of distinct and worthy achievements.

With abiding affection and renewed vigour I shall now await the joyful tidings of the progress of the Cause and the extension of your activities, and will spare no effort in sharing with the faithful, here and in other lands, the welcome news of the progressive march of the Cause and the unceasing labours of our British friends for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Your brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 23 December 1922

23 December 1922

To my beloved brethren and sisters throughout Great Britain.
Care of the members of the Bahá’í Council.

Dearest Friends,

I have during the last few days been waiting eagerly for the first written messages of my Western friends, sent to me since they have learned of my return to the Holy Land. How great was the joy when dear Miss Rosenberg’s letter—the very first that reached me from the West—was handed to me this evening, bearing the joyful news of the safety, the unity and the happiness of my British friends across the seas! I read it and re-read it with particular pleasure and felt a thrill of delight at the welcome news of the harmonious and efficient functioning of your Spiritual Assembly.

I very sincerely hope that now that I have fully re-entered upon my task, I may be enabled to offer my humble share of assistance and advice in the all-important work which is now before you. I fervently pray to God that the field of your activities may go on expanding, that your zeal and efforts may never diminish, and that new souls, active, able and sincere, may soon join with you in bearing aloft the Glorious Standard of the Cause in that land....

Ere long, an able and experienced teacher recently arrived from Persia will visit your shores and will, I trust, by his thorough knowledge of the Cause, his wide experience, his fluency, his ardour and his devotion, reanimate every drooping spirit and inspire the active worker to make fresh and determined efforts for the deepening as well as the spreading of the Movement in those regions. His forthcoming book, which he has patiently and laboriously written on the history of the Movement and which has been partly revised by the Pen of our Beloved Master is beyond any doubt the most graphic, the most reliable and comprehensive of its kind in all Bahá’í literature. I am sure he will considerably enrich the store of your knowledge of the various phases and stages of the Bahá’í Movement. Our beloved Dr. Esslemont will, I trust, be particularly pleased to meet him, as he is eminently qualified to offer him valuable help in connection with various aspects of his (Dr. Esslemont’s) book. I am enclosing various suggestions of Mr. Dreyfus-Barney and of Mr. Roy Wilhelm made by them at my request, during their last sojourn in the Holy Land. I submit them to Dr. Esslemont’s consideration as well as to that of the Spiritual Assembly. I very deeply regret my inability to give the attention I desire to this admirable work of his, but will assuredly do all in my power to aid him in the final stages of his work. I am certain however that the book as it now stands gives the finest and most effective presentation of the various aspects of the Cause to the mind of the Oriental as well as to that of the Westerner. May it arouse a genuine and widespread interest in the Cause throughout the world.

I am now starting correspondence with every Bahá’í local centre throughout the East and will not fail to instruct and urge the believers everywhere to send directly through their respective spiritual local Assemblies the joyful tidings of the progress of the Cause, in the form of regular detailed reports, to the various assemblies of their spiritual brethren and sisters in the West. England, I am confident, will regularly and consistently receive, directly, and indirectly through the “Star of the West” and the “Bahá’í News” of India, a large share of such tidings from Persia, Caucasus, Turkestan, India, Turkey and Mesopotamia, North Africa and Egypt. It would be most gratifying and encouraging to all earnest workers for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh if every now and then a report on the spiritual activities of the friends in Great Britain, as well as articles on spiritual matters, would be submitted for publication to the above-mentioned periodicals. It would, I feel very strongly, react very favourably on the Cause in England, and would serve to draw closer the ties that bind all spiritual centres together at the present time.

I would be pleased and grateful if the members of the Spiritual Assembly would at any time inform me of their needs, wants and desires, their plans and activities, that I may through my prayers and brotherly assistance contribute, however meagrely, to the success of their glorious mission in this world.

To my extreme regret, I feel unable in view of my manifold and pressing duties, and owing to the extraordinary extension of the Movement in recent times, to correspond with the friends individually and express to them in writing what I always feel in the depth of my heart of brotherly affection and abiding gratitude for their love and sympathy for me. I shall, however, await with eager expectation their individual letters and assure them of my readiness and wish to be of any service to them in their work for the Cause.

Remembering every one of you in these hallowed surroundings and fervently praying at the three sacred Thresholds that the blessings of the Lord may rest upon your individual and collective efforts,

I am as ever your devoted brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 17 February 1923

17 February 1923

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout London, Manchester and Bournemouth.
Care of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.3

Dearest brethren and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,

The letters that I have recently received from the friends in London and Manchester have been to me a source of great hope and encouragement, and have served to strengthen the ties that bind me to my dearly-beloved friends in that great country.

I am much pleased and gratified to hear of the wonderful progress of the work of our able and devoted brother, Jináb-i-‘Avárih, and my earnest hope and prayer is that he may, by his zeal, patience, experience and knowledge, set ablaze the fire that the Master has kindled in the heart of that land.

The supreme necessity, and the urgent need of the Cause of God at present, is the unity of the friends, and their sustained and wholehearted co-operation in their task of spreading the Divine Teachings throughout the world. It is the sacred duty of all believers to have implicit confidence in, and support heartily, every decision passed by their Spiritual Assemblies, whether local or central; and the members of these Assemblies must, on their part, set aside their own inclinations, personal interests, likes and dislikes, and regard only the welfare of the Cause and the well-being of the friends. This is surely the foundation which must be firmly laid in the hearts of all believers the world over, for upon this only can any constructive and permanent service be achieved, and the edifice of the Beloved’s last instructions, as revealed in His Will and Testament, be raised and established.

The all-conquering Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh cannot prove effective in this world of strife and turmoil, and cannot achieve its purpose for mankind, unless we, who are named after His Name, and who are the recipients of His Grace, endeavour, by our example, our daily life and our dealings with our fellow-men, to reveal that noble spirit of love and self-sacrifice of which the world stands in need at present.

I have been reading lately some of the oldest Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and am enclosing for your perusal the translation of various selections from His soul-stirring words, revealed some twenty-five years ago, during the darkest days of His incarceration in the prison city of Akká. You will realise as you read them the unshakable confidence of the Master in the future growth of the Movement, the significance of the Cause in this age, and the glorious privilege of the friends to labour for its spread in every land.

I am enclosing also my revised translation of the Hidden Words, both Persian and Arabic, a copy of which I have sent to the friends in the United States in response to their cable, requesting me to authorise circulation of my version among the friends in America.

I have recently received a message from our beloved brethren and sisters in Germany, who, in the midst of their sufferings and trials, yearn to receive a word of sympathy and comfort from their fellow-workers in France and England. I am sure you will gladly respond to their request, and cheer them with the glad-tidings of the wonderful progress of the Cause in your land and elsewhere.

I am always looking forward to receiving your letters and hear from you personally in all matters pertaining to the Cause. It is my earnest prayer whenever I visit the Sacred Shrines, that the friends in England may be always protected, guided and blessed in their work of service to the Cause, and may soon witness the fulfilment of the glorious promises of the Master regarding the future of that land and the spiritual re-awakening of its people.

Your brother and fellow-worker,
Shoghi


Letter of 24 February 1923

24 February 1923

Dear Spiritual Brother,

Your letter to Shoghi Effendi has been received and was read by him with keen delight and satisfaction for it bespoke of the new spirit of ardent devotion that has enkindled the hearts of the faithful followers of Bahá, and of their loyal and active endeavours in the path of service. Should the friends continue in their labours of love and service their activities will yield glorious results and they shall witness the realisation of the promises of the Beloved regarding the spiritual achievements of the friends in that land.

Shoghi Effendi is highly gratified and encouraged to know that the friends have carried out so efficiently his directions regarding the establishment of National and local Spiritual Assemblies; and he feels confident that the co-ordinated and unified efforts of its members, blessed by the unfailing assistance and guidance of the Beloved Master, will mark the dawn of a new era of spiritual activity and enlightenment.

He is very pleased to know that you are faithfully working for peace and harmony amongst the friends; and he prays that you may be blessed in your endeavours and be inspired and guided to clear all misunderstandings that may arise; and may help bring about that spirit of unity which is so essential to the life and growth of the Cause. There is no doubt that difficulties will always arise; but if met in the spirit of earnest and selfless devotion and purity of motive all problems will be solved and we shall emerge from every difficulty spiritually stronger and wiser.

Shoghi Effendi wishes to extend to you his thanks for your giving him the report of the activities of the friends there. He will soon write a letter to the Assembly based on their report. He wishes you to rest assured that his thoughts and prayers are with you wishing you all success in your labours for the promulgation of the Blessed Cause.

Although unable to write individual letters he will gladly welcome all letters that you will send him in the future...


Letter of 29 November 1923

29 November 1923

To the members of the English National Spiritual Assembly

My dearly-beloved fellow-workers in the Vineyard of God!

I am in receipt of your letter dated Nov. 17th 1923, and forwarded to me by our active and devoted brother, Mr. Simpson. I have read it with the utmost pleasure and satisfaction. I feel happy and encouraged to learn that those few, yet earnest and promising, servants of Bahá’u’lláh in that land are, despite the vicissitudes and obstacles that confront the rapid rise of the Movement, wholeheartedly striving and co-operating for the fulfilment of His divine Promise.

You, surely, have laid a firm foundation for the future development of the Cause in those regions, and my hope is that the National Assembly of Great Britain may, by full, frequent, and anxious consultation, protect the Cause, maintain and promote harmony amongst the friends, and initiate and execute ways and means for the diffusion of its spirit and the promotion of its principles.

I welcome with keen and genuine satisfaction the active participation of our beloved sister, Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper, in the affairs of the Cause, and feel confident that her wisdom, her experience, her influence, and her unparalleled opportunities for the service of the Movement will pave the way for the wholesome growth of the Cause in that land.

I am sure you all realise the seemingly unsurmountable difficulties in the way of individual correspondence with the ever-increasing multitude of Bahá’ís throughout the world, and I need hardly tell you how tremendously difficult it is, and how reluctant I feel, to discriminate at all between the many letters of varying importance which I daily receive from almost every corner of the globe. Realising however that direct and intimate individual correspondence, in some form or other, is most urgent and vital to the interests of the Cause, I am, I assure you, giving it these days again my careful and undivided attention, and pray God that to this problem may soon be found a satisfactory and feasible solution. In the meantime, I wish to emphasise the fact that I eagerly await, and would welcome, and would assuredly have time to peruse, most carefully and in person, every individual letter you may wish to send me, and my readiness and wish to attend, in the very best way I can, to every matter raised in those letters. No written message, however unimportant, will first be opened and read by any one save myself.

Regarding the proposed conference on “Living Religions within the British Empire”, I feel that such a great opportunity for the Movement should not be neglected, and I am glad to know that it has been seized by the members of the National Assembly, and is being closely examined by them. I would welcome further particulars as to who has conceived the idea, under whose auspices it will be conducted, and whether it is being supported by government authorities, and what conditions are imposed on its proceedings. I am discussing the matter with some of the Bahá’í representatives of India and America as to what friends would be most competent to represent the Cause at this conference. I shall communicate on this subject with the National Assemblies of India and America, and will inform you immediately I receive definite information from them.

As to the raising of funds to provide for the expenses of the Bahá’í representatives, I am sure the friends in England will find in the National Assemblies of India and America and in myself ready and generous supporters of a step that will undoubtedly prove of immediate and universal value for the ultimate recognition of the Cause by the world.

It is my ardent prayer that we may all be inspired to adopt the most effective measures for the successful achievement of this great undertaking.

I was much impressed by the charm and force of Major Moore’s article, published recently in T. P. Cassell’s weekly, and I would much desire to know whether his action was spontaneous, or whether he was urged or requested by someone to write it. I strongly urge the friends, and particularly the members of the National Assembly, to do all in their power to make of this able and highly-minded admirer of the Cause, a zealous and true Bahá’í. I am looking forward with keen anticipation to his spiritual development and his taking a more active part in the affairs of the Cause.

I am enclosing for the friends recent translations of the wonderful prophetic utterances of Bahá’u’lláh, and I trust you will find them of great value in your work of teaching and spreading the Cause.

Awaiting eagerly your letters, individually as well as collectively,

I am your brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 9 December 1923

9 December 1923

My dear Mr. Simpson,

Your short yet encouraging letter was gladly received by our dear Shoghi Effendi just yesterday evening. He felt very pleased indeed with that spirit of hopefulness which your letter conveyed, and he eagerly hopes that in the days to come nothing will mar the brightness and optimism of his English brethren and sisters over in the West.

Your references to the commemoration meeting held in London, brought back with all its painful sadness recollections of that one night. In a calm and quiet night, brightened by the silvery rays of the moon, gathered ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sorrow-stricken faithful ones, to commemorate the night of His last farewell. On the cistern by the Tomb sat His fervent servants; below them flickered the dying lights of Haifa, and above head shown in full magnificence the star bespangled heavens. It was in the mid-watches of such a night that with sorrow and fervour the servants turned unto their dear Master so near and yet so far away; and with a deep feeling of that bitter loss they supplicated help and guidance from their Lord. A word or two from Shoghi Effendi made them feel the Master nigh, and made them realise as never before that it was only in following in His steps, and in living the life that He had, that we can prove our faithfulness to our Master’s Cause. It was indeed a night of meditation and prayer and we missed you all so much.

We are receiving encouraging news from almost everywhere, such as Italy, Germany, China and Australia; and as you will have them more fully in the circulars of the Spiritual Assembly, I had hardly need make mention of them here.

Shoghi Effendi’s earnest hopes in England are very great, and I am sure that the sincere and true-hearted efforts of his fellow-workers, will spread the principles of this great Revelation as never before. Hard though it be to get access to the more intellectual circles in England, he firmly believes that through persistence, the obstacles will be soon overcome and they, with their own accord, will welcome you in their midst, turning a sympathetic ear to all that you have to share with them. May these high hopes be realised....

[From the Guardian:]

My beloved brother,

My deepest admiration for your indefatigable exertions for the success of the Cause. I will always remember you in my prayers and await eagerly your personal letters. I welcome any suggestions and further particulars regarding the conference on the Living Religions within the British Empire.

Your brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 6 January 1924

6 January 1924

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of Dec. 23rd furnishing necessary information concerning the Conference on Religions arrived and made our dear Guardian highly pleased and delighted.

As he has quite recently written to the friends in England, he has instructed me to answer your letter and inform you that he has written and directed the National Spiritual Assembly of America to have a comprehensive article written by the ablest pen among the American friends—to be excellent both in style and in representation.

After this essay is written, it will be sent to our dear Shoghi Effendi who will send it to your N.S. Assembly for your perusal and consideration. You will add your remarks and suggestions and return it to him for final approval.

Shoghi Effendi is also thinking of selecting someone among the Indian friends to represent India. This Conference and a worthy and dignified representation of the Holy Cause therein, are under his serious consideration. We hope that through his wise instruction and powerful prayers your activities in this respect will be crowned with glorious success and that it will be known to the public that the Cause is not a movement collateral with other movements such as the Brahma Somaj or A?madí movements.

Here at the Holy Shrine of our Beloved we remember all the dear friends in England and supplicate humbly for their happiness.

Shoghi Effendi is sending you his love and affection together with his deep appreciation towards your noble labours and sacrificial efforts in the service of the Holy Cause...

[From the Guardian:]

My dear friend,

I enclose a copy of my recent letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of America regarding the Conference as well as copies of my recent translation of some of the most remarkable and prophetic utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which might interest the friends in Great Britain. Pray convey my love to all of them.

Shoghi


Letter of 4 January 1924 (Enclosure)

4 January 1924 (Enclosure)

To the members of the American National Spiritual Assembly.

My dearest friends!

On Nov. 28th I received the following communication from the President of the National Spiritual Assembly of Great Britain!

“I have now to bring to your notice, though possibly you are already aware of it, a matter which is of the first importance in the opinion of the National Spiritual Assembly as you will see from one of the paragraphs of the enclosed minutes of its first meeting, which was held on October 13th. So far the programme of the conference on the ‘Living Religions within the British Empire’ is in a somewhat nebulous condition, but I have ascertained from Miss Sharples, the honorary secretary of the committee of organisation, that the conference has been approved by the authorities of the British Empire Exhibition, 1924 and will last for ten days, covering the last week of the month of September and the first three days of October. It is proposed that all religions taught and practised throughout the British Empire shall be represented at the conference, including the Christians, Muhammadans, Buddhists, Brahma Somaj, Theosophists and others, and that each one in turn shall have at its disposal a day or part of a day for a meeting to expound its principles and deal with its organisation and objects.”

In their last letter, the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Great Britain further inform me that the idea of the above-mentioned conference has originated with the Theosophical Society, but these having later dropped its management the organisation of the conference passed into the hands of the School of Oriental Studies and the Sociological Society. You will also note from the enclosed copy of a letter addressed by the same Miss Sharples to the President of the British National Spiritual Assembly that the time offered to the Bahá’í representatives will be very limited, and that most probably the allotted time will be just sufficient to read their papers or deliver their address and engage in the discussion that might arise after their formal presentation of the Cause.

As the British Empire Exhibition, of which this conference forms a part, is itself a semi-official undertaking, and receives actually the generous support and active participation of the government authorities throughout the British Empire, I feel that the opportunities now offered to the Bahá’í world should not be missed, as this chance, if properly utilised, might arouse and stimulate widespread interest among the enlightened public.

As so much will depend upon the nature and general presentation of the theme, rather than upon the personality of the reader or speaker, I feel that first and foremost our attention should be concentrated on the choice and thorough preparation of the subject matter as well as on the proper drafting and the form of the paper itself, which might possibly have to be submitted afterwards to the authorities of the conference.

I feel the necessity of entrusting this highly important and delicate task to a special committee, to be appointed most carefully by the National Spiritual Assembly of America, and consisting of those who by their knowledge of the Cause, their experience in matters of publicity, and particularly by their power of expression and beauty of style will be qualified to produce a befitting statement on the unique history of the Movement as well as its lofty principles.

I am enclosing an article on the Bahá’í Movement which I trust might serve as a basis and example of the paper in question. An account of the most salient features of the history of the Cause, a brief but impressive reference to its many heroes and martyrs, a convincing and comprehensive presentation of the basic principles, and a characteristic survey of the Master’s life, as well as a short but graphic description of the present position and influence of the Movement both in the East and the West, should, in my opinion, be included and combined into one conclusive argument. Its length should not surpass that of the enclosed article, and its general tone, expression and language should be at once dignified, sober and forceful.

The greatest care and caution must be exercised in choosing those who can best provide and fulfil the above-mentioned requisites and conditions.

I shall be most pleased to offer my views and suggestions once the paper has assumed its final shape, and wish you to obtain the assistance and advice of those whom you think able to judge amongst the friends in England and elsewhere.

Mr. Simpson, the President of the British National Spiritual Assembly, writes that Miss Grand from Canada has suggested the names of Dr. Watson and Mr. J. O. McCarthy of Toronto to represent the Canadian Bahá’ís. I would be pleased to receive your views as to who should represent Canada at the Conference. India is the only other country within the British Empire that can send a native Bahá’í representative to the conference, and it is rather unfortunate that the United States of America should have to be excluded, as the speakers at the conference must necessarily be subjects of the British Empire.

I am enclosing recent translations of the prophetic and most remarkable words of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which I trust you will all find of great value and interest in the great work you are doing for the Cause.

May this great project yield an abundant harvest for the Cause, and your efforts be richly blessed by the guiding Spirit of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Your fellow-worker,
Shoghi


Letter of 18 January 1924

18 January 1924

My dear Mr. Simpson,

Shoghi Effendi was glad to hear from you again and hopes that the activities of the friends in England are progressing day after day. There is really so much to be done in almost every country that the more the friends accomplish, the larger does the field of service become. As a matter of fact in many countries we can hardly claim to have fully represented the Cause and to have declared its strong and sublime principles to all classes of men. It is with a vision of greater accomplishments among higher and higher circles of society, that our Guardian wishes his fellow-workers to feel inspired; and in these dark and dismal days it is the proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh’s great Message for which the faithful servant must strive with heart and soul.

Concerning the sum which Shoghi Effendi has sent to the National Assembly as a personal gift; he would like to inform you that in case you feel in great need of funds for the activities of the Cause in England, you might take from the sum which he sent you, and at the time of the Exposition Shoghi Effendi might be able to help you in case you cannot collect the necessary expense. Shoghi Effendi attaches great hopes to the activities of the friends in London, and may they some day be realised.

The copies of the “Hidden Words” you had published were received and Shoghi Effendi thinks that they are quite well printed. He is glad that he can share these comforting thoughts from Bahá’u’lláh with his brothers and sisters in the West....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear fellow-worker,

I always look forward with keen anticipation to any news from England indicating the progress and advancement of the Cause so dear to our hearts. I pray ardently for every one of you and assure you personally of my affection, esteem and gratitude,

Your brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 6 February 1924

6 February 1924

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter to our dear Guardian and assure you that he is always most glad to hear from you in person and to know still more of the activities of his fellow-workers in that country. At a time when the whole work and administration of the Cause with all its overpowering intensity and extent has devolved upon the shoulders of our youthful Guardian, I am sure you quite well realise what every single expression of the progress of the Cause he stands for would mean to him as our leader and captain; and at a time when the varied questions and problems that the Bahá’í Movement, on its way to the spiritual reconquest of the world, is confronted with, seem endless in number, I hardly need mention what effect the personal assurance and the undying enthusiasm of his fellow-workers would bear upon the tender heart of Shoghi Effendi.

Concerning the passing away of Mr. Hall’s father, he wishes me to ask you to extend to him a full measure of his grief at the bereavement of such a radiant brother as Mr. Hall, although he briefly conveyed his sentiments to him through a short telegram. He was, however, quite pleased with Mr. Hall’s work and the measure of success which he has met with. He shared this good news with his friends here with a view to inspire all to action. You should assure Mr. Hall that the deep sense of love and gratitude that Shoghi Effendi feels toward him is perhaps too great for me to put into words, but I feel that the success which he has attained is an ample proof of Shoghi Effendi’s ardent prayers for him.

[From the Guardian:]

My esteemed brother:—

Just a word of appreciation on my part of your devoted and persistent efforts in the service of the Cause. Do please convey to our precious Mr. Hall my condolences and sentiments of undying affection as well as the assurance of my ardent prayers for the welfare and spiritual happiness of his dear family and the Manchester Bahá’í Group.

Shoghi


Letter of 11 June 1924

11 June 1924

To Mr. Simpson, President of the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of England.

My dear and revered Bahá’í Brother,

As I do not have your address with me I am writing and forwarding this to you through our dear brother, Mr. Asgarzadeh. Some time ago I received a letter addressed to our beloved Guardian from Miss Mabel M. Sharples, the Hon. Secretary of the Conference on Living Religions within the Empire, giving him some information concerning the time of the Conference, and conditions covering the submission of papers to be read at the Conference. I forwarded this letter to our beloved Shoghi Effendi.

Yesterday I received a letter from him instructing me to answer in his behalf Miss Sharples’ letter. Yesterday I answered her letter and told her that Shoghi Effendi hopes to be able to attend the Conference and deliver an address on the Cause in person and in case circumstances prevent him from doing so, a paper will be sent to the Conference through Mr. Simpson, the President of the Bahá’í Spiritual Assembly, to be read on that occasion. I told her also that we will appreciate any further information or suggestion she thinks necessary in regard to this matter. This information or suggestion will be communicated by her to your National Spiritual Assembly.

This morning a cablegram was communicated by the Greatest Holy Leaf to Mr. Roy Wilhelm in New York, instructing the committee in charge of the desired article to hasten its despatch. This article should be handed towards the end of July. The time is short. If the American friends have already sent that article, I mean if it is on the way, and we receive it in time, we shall immediately forward it to our dear Shoghi Effendi for his approval and then mail it to you. If it, however, arrives late, we will directly mail it to you so that you may modify it if necessary and hand it over to the Secretary of the Conference. In the latter case, it is not necessary to submit it to Shoghi Effendi for his approval, for he authorises you, the members of the National Spiritual Assembly to make any correction which you think advisable.

Shoghi Effendi has also instructed me to enclose a cheque for thirty pounds in this letter as contribution towards the Conference. If the English friends are to add something to this sum and offer it to the Conference, it will be highly appreciated by Shoghi Effendi.

The cheque is drawn by the Anglo-Palestine Bank at Haifa on the Jewish Colonial Trust, London, payable to your order. It is dated June 15th and No. F077834/34224. Today we received the answer to our cablegram to Mr. Wilhelm, stating that the article was mailed on the 11th, both to Haifa and England and that Mr. Mills would gladly act at the Conference.

As we understand Mr. Mountfort Mills may go from America to England at the time of the Conference. Shoghi Effendi will be very glad, if Mr. Mills read the Paper. This desire of Shoghi Effendi was also mentioned in to-day’s cablegram which was communicated to Mr. Wilhelm.

Through the many cablegrams and letters which have arrived from different centres of the Cause, promising the maintenance of harmony, union and love among the dear friends, the grief and sorrow of our beloved Guardian has been greatly lightened and so we have great hope that when the hot season of the Holy Land is over, we will have the pleasure and joy of his return.

The members of the Holy Family are all sending you and your dear co-workers their tender love and assure you of their ardent prayers at the Holy Shrines in your behalf. They are always awaiting heart-refreshing glad tidings from you. My humble greeting and warm love to yourself and the dear friends too.

Your humble brother and co-worker in His service,

(Enclosure)

Bahíyyih Khánum, Haifa

ARTICLE MAILED ELEVENTH BOTH HAIFA LONDON GLADLY ACT CONFERENCE.

MILLS


Letter of 16 July 1924

16 July 1924

My dear Bahá’í Brother,

...I have to write you and inform you that only yesterday I had the privilege of receiving a letter from our dear Guardian who is still away from Haifa ... he wishes me to write you, in answer to your letter to him, that he very much regrets to be unable to be present in London and represent a Cause to which he has ... dedicated his heart and soul. Were it at all possible for me to send you his short note, you would see for yourself with what a spirit he expresses his deep regret.... Although he realises your disappointment at his inability to go to London, he wishes me to assure every one of you that his eager prayers for you all is unfailing and that it is with a glad heart that he cherishes the fondest hopes in the effort that the proceedings of the religious Conference shall have on the audience. May I also add that this is a hope in which everybody shares especially the Greatest Holy Leaf and the members of the family.

I presume by now you have already received a copy of the address that is to be read...

You might be interested to know that the news of the progress of the Cause among the Kadiani sect in India is quite surprising and two of their chief leaders have not only become Bahá’ís, but have started an admirable little weekly, I think, through which they hope to bring many of their colleagues over. By the way, I believe the leader of the sect who is himself a young man is coming over to London to represent his sect at the Conference.

The confusion and disorder in Persia which had aroused so much apprehension on the part of the helpless Bahá’ís and had even led in one case to actual martyrdom, has apparently subsided for the moment.

Here in Haifa everybody is in good health. With heartfelt greetings to all the friends in London....


Letter of 23 September 1924

23 September 1924

MAY WEMBLEY (sic CONFERENCE) FULFIL YOUR FONDEST HOPES PRAY CONVEY AUTHORITIES MY SINCERE REGRET AT INABILITY TO BE PRESENT I WISH THEM FULL SUCCESS IN THEIR NOBLE ENDEAVOURS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 September 1924

24 September 19244

The beloved of the Lord and the hand-maids of the Merciful in Great Britain.

Care of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dear Friends,

I return to the Holy Land with an overpowering sense of the gravity of the spiritual state of the Cause in the world. Much as I deplore the disturbing effect of my forced and repeated withdrawals from the field of service, I can unhesitatingly assure you that my last and momentous step was taken with extreme reluctance and only after mature and anxious reflection as to the best way to safeguard the interests of a precious Cause.

My prolonged absence, my utter inaction should not, however, be solely attributed to certain external manifestations of unharmony, of discontent and disloyalty—however paralysing their effect has been upon the continuance of my work—but also to my own unworthiness and to my imperfections and frailties.

I venture to request you to join me in yet another prayer, this time more ardent and universal than before, supplicating with one voice the gracious Master to overlook our weaknesses and failings, to make us worthier and braver children of His own.

Humanity, through suffering and turmoil, is swiftly moving on towards its destiny; if we be loiterers, if we fail to play our part surely others will be called upon to take up our task as ministers to the crying needs of this afflicted world.

Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organised campaign of teaching—no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character—not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abhá Revelation. One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendour of those eternal principles proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh.

Looking back upon those sullen days of my retirement, bitter with feelings of anxiety and gloom, I can recall with appreciation and gratitude those unmistakable evidences of your affection and steadfast zeal which I have received from time to time, and which have served to relieve in no small measure the burden that weighed so heavily upon my heart.

I can well imagine the degree of uneasiness, nay of affliction, that must have agitated the mind and soul of every loving and loyal servant of the Beloved during these long months of suspense and distressing silence. But I assure you such remarkable solicitude as you have shown for the protection of His Cause, such tenacity of faith and unceasing activity as you have displayed for its promotion, cannot but in the end be abundantly rewarded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who from His station above is the sure witness of all that you have endured and suffered for Him.

And now as I look into the future, I hope to see the friends at all times, in every land, and of every shade of thought and character, voluntarily and joyously rallying round their local and in particular their national centres of activity, upholding and promoting their interests with complete unanimity and contentment, with perfect understanding, genuine enthusiasm, and sustained vigour. This indeed is the one joy and yearning of my life, for it is the fountain-head from which all future blessings will flow, the broad foundation upon which the security of the Divine Edifice must ultimately rest. May we not hope that now at last the dawn of a brighter day is breaking upon our beloved Cause?

Shoghi


Letter of 10 October 1924

10 October 1924

My dear good brother,

Your letter of Sept. 30th written to our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, arrived and rejoiced his dear heart with its very interesting contents.

Yesterday he instructed me to translate a great part of it into Persian so that it may be inserted in the circular of the Haifa Spiritual Assembly and also to convey to you his great affection for you and the dear English friends who so splendidly laboured towards the dignified representation of the Cause of God at the Conference on Religions.

We have already the reports given in “The Times” from the two sessions of the Conference allotted to the A?madíyyih people and to us. Both are very interesting indeed....

Shoghi Effendi prays for the success and confirmation of you and all the dear and noble English friends whose earnestness of efforts towards the welfare of the Cause of God he highly admires and appreciates with profound love....


Letter of 10 October 1924

10 October 1924

My dearly-beloved brother,

I am highly gratified with your splendid achievements and deeply appreciative of your painstaking efforts. More power to your elbow! You are rendering our precious Cause a splendid service in its hour of need! Lady Blomfield’s idea of a reception was undoubtedly inspired and was admirably executed. It has indeed rejoiced my heart. My love and my gratitude for her wise, patient and fruitful efforts.

Your brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 25 October 1924

25 October 1924

My dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your very interesting letter of Oct. 15th. written to our beloved Guardian together with the printed copy of the sermon of Dr. Walsh arrived the day before yesterday and imparted great joy to his dear heart. He cherishes great hopes for the bright future of the Cause in England. Of course his hopes are partly based on the intrinsic mighty power of the Cause of God and partly on the dignified way the dear friends in England are presenting the Cause of God to the public.

Yesterday afternoon he instructed me to write this informing you of the safe arrival of your letter and assure you that he appreciates with great love your distinguished services to the Cause of God. He prays at the Holy Shrines that fresh confirmations may reach you from the Abhá Kingdom day by day so that you may have material comfort and spiritual success. He is sure that the holy spirit of our beloved Lord, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is watching over you and guiding your steps in life.

The members of the Holy Family and the friends in Haifa are thinking of you and the other dear friends in England with love and admiration, joining all in prayers for your happiness.

[From the Guardian:]

My dearest friend,

I wish to add a few words of assurance and sympathy in view of the heavy burden of responsibility that rests on your shoulders in these difficult and trying times. My fervent and increasing prayer is that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá may show you the way that will enable you to continue your splendid pioneer work effectually, peacefully, free from every earthly care and anxiety. Dr. Walsh’s sermon is astonishingly good. I wish you would send me about 50 copies of the same. I pray unceasingly for my friends in England.

Shoghi


Letter of 4 November 1924

4 November 1924

My dear Mr. Simpson,

It is always a pleasure to acknowledge receipt of your letters to our dear Guardian, and he was deeply interested in the minutes of the last meeting of the N.S.A. which you were so kind as to enclose.

Your own letter, however, brought up a very interesting and vital question in regard to the future progress of the Cause in England, especially now that through the efforts of you all the spread of the Bahá’í Movement has been well placed on the road to our ultimate victory. Now is the time to take all necessary measures against a slacking in our pace and it is truly unfortunate that just when the individual endeavours of every single member is most needed and necessary, age and earthly cares deprive us of some of our experienced and able co-workers. It would, I believe, be a great service if just as few as possible could manage to deny themselves of the joy and enthusiasm of serving as noble a Cause.

I am sure it would interest you to know that Mr. and Mrs. Mills are now in Haifa and all that they have to say proves well the energy and efforts of the London friends. We already have about ten pilgrims and are expecting some more. I suppose Dr. Esslemont who would have much to tell us and whose arrival Shoghi Effendi is eagerly awaiting, is among those who will soon arrive....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear fellow-worker,

I trust that the prolonged visit of Dr. Esslemont will prove to be in future pregnant with far-reaching possibilities for the service of the Cause in England. To yourself I send my imperishable love and brotherly greetings.

Affectionately,
Shoghi


Letter of 22 November 1924

22 November 1924

My dear Mr. Simpson,

The letter you had sent through Dr. Esslemont to Shoghi Effendi has arrived and it gave him very great pleasure to read it. Although it is quite beyond me to express to you just what thoughts and sentiments your frank expressions of loyalty and love aroused in his heart, this I feel I can assure you that it made him hopeful of the future and added to his great confidence in you.

The Bahá’í Cause has a great mission to the people of England but the field of service though immensely vast presents innumerable difficulties, and it needs the able hand of a staunch and true Bahá’í primarily and the dexterity of a good supervisor, to overcome every confronting difficulty and to carry His Message to millions of people. This responsibility has been entrusted to you by the guided decision of the Bahá’ís in England and our Guardian finds great pleasure in confiding the same duty in you and in endorsing the happy decision of the friends there.

In regard to your contemplated withdrawal from the presidency of the N.S.A. and the London Assembly, it made him very happy to know that even the thought of it has totally vanished. The hopes that he cherished in you are far too many to permit you a more quiet part in Bahá’í activities in England, and the hopeful signs of progress in the past year has made the prospects of the coming year very bright and it all depends upon the efforts of the friends in England and the guidance of our Master from on high just how bright it shall turn out to be.

We still have Mr. Mills with us in Haifa and I assure you, we miss you very much. The photograph you had sent to Shoghi Effendi has been received and it shall be framed and placed in the Persian Pilgrim House...

...just of late we had the very sad news of the martyrdom of a Bahá’í woman expecting to be soon a mother, and although she was related to very influential officers in the army, nothing could make the criminals, who sought refuge in the house of one of the Mullas, arrested. Though such cases of untold carnage prove with much more force than mere words just what the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh infused into every such Bahá’í has been, and exactly what it means in Persia to try and become one, the horrors of such a murder are truly beyond words. All that we have to do is to seek His Grace and to beg and implore for God’s mercy.

May I also write a further assurance of Shoghi Effendi’s reliance upon you and with an expression of his heartfelt love for you....

[From the Guardian:]

My most precious fellow-worker,

But for your unremitting labours, your sound and selfless efforts, the burden that weighs upon me would prove well-nigh unbearable. I am sure your heart responds to the sentiments that surge in my heart. I have a profound admiration for the heroic manner in which you are rendering such pioneer service to the Cause in England. May the Master sustain you, comfort you and uphold you in your great task. Be assured of my brotherly, unfailing prayers.

I am your true and affectionate brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 24 November 1924

24 November 19245

To my dearly beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Care of the English National Spiritual Assembly.

Dearest friends!

The day is drawing near when for the third time we shall commemorate the world over the passing of our well-beloved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. May we not pause for a moment, and gather our thoughts? How has it fared with us, His little band of followers, since that day? Whither are we now marching, what has been our achievement?

We have but to turn our eyes to the world without to realise the fierceness and the magnitude of the forces of darkness that are struggling with the dawning light of the Abhá Revelation. Nations, though exhausted and disillusioned, have seemingly begun to cherish anew the spirit of revenge, of domination, and strife. Peoples, convulsed by economic upheavals, are slowly drifting into two great opposing camps with all their menace of social chaos, class hatreds, and world-wide ruin. Races, alienated more than ever before, are filled with mistrust, humiliation and fear, and seem to prepare themselves for a fresh and fateful encounter. Creeds and religions, caught in this whirlpool of conflict and passion, appear to gaze with impotence and despair at this spectacle of increasing turmoil.

Such is the plight of mankind three years after the passing of Him from Whose lips fell unceasingly the sure message of a fast-approaching Divine salvation. Are we by our thoughts, our words, our deeds, whether individually or collectively, preparing the way? Are we hastening the advent of the Day He so often foretold?

None can deny that the flame of faith and love which His mighty hand kindled in many hearts has, despite our bereavement, continued to burn as brightly and steadily as ever before. Who can question that His loved ones, both in the East and the West, notwithstanding the insidious strivings of the enemies of the Cause, have displayed a spirit of unshakable loyalty worthy of the highest praise? What greater perseverance and fortitude than that which His tried and trusted friends have shown in the face of untold calamities, intolerable oppression, and incredible restrictions? Such staunchness of faith, such an unsullied love, such magnificent loyalty, such heroic constancy, such noble courage, however unprecedented and laudable in themselves, cannot alone lead us to the final and complete triumph of such a great Cause. Not until the dynamic love we cherish for Him is sufficiently reflected in its power and purity in all our dealings with our fellowmen, however remotely connected and humble in origin, can we hope to exalt in the eyes of a self-seeking world the genuineness of the all-conquering love of God. Not until we live ourselves the life of a true Bahá’í can we hope to demonstrate the creative and transforming potency of the Faith we profess. Nothing but the abundance of our actions, nothing but the purity of our lives and the integrity of our character, can in the last resort establish our claim that the Bahá’í spirit is in this day the sole agency that can translate a long cherished ideal into an enduring achievement.

With this vision clearly set before us, and fortified by the knowledge of the gracious aid of Bahá’u’lláh and the repeated assurances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, let us first strive to live the life and then arise with one heart, one mind, one voice, to reinforce our numbers and achieve our end. Let us recall, and seek on this sad occasion the comfort of the last wishes of our departed yet ever watchful Master:

“It behoveth them not to rest for a moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every land, pass by every clime, and travel throughout all regions. Bestirred, without rest, and steadfast to the end, they must raise in every land the triumphal cry, Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá! (O Thou the Glory of Glories).... The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion, and with absolute detachment scattered far and wide and engaged in calling the peoples of the world to the divine guidance; till at last they made the world another world, illumined the surface of the earth, and even to their last hour proved self-sacrificing in the pathway of that beloved one of God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps!”

Having grasped the significance of these words, having obtained a clear understanding of the true character of our mission, the methods to adopt, the course to pursue, and having attained sufficiently that individual regeneration—the essential requisite of teaching—let us arise to teach His Cause with righteousness, conviction, understanding and vigour. Let this be the paramount and most urgent duty of every Bahá’í. Let us make it the dominating passion of our life. Let us scatter to the uttermost corners of the earth; sacrifice our personal interests, comforts, tastes and pleasures; mingle with the divers kindreds and peoples of the world; familiarise ourselves with their manners, traditions, thoughts and customs; arouse, stimulate and maintain universal interest in the Movement, and at the same time endeavour by all the means in our power, by concentrated and persistent attention, to enlist the unreserved allegiance and the active support of the more hopeful and receptive among our hearers. Let us too bear in mind the example which our beloved Master has clearly set before us. Wise and tactful in His approach, wakeful and attentive in His early intercourse, broad and liberal in all His public utterances, cautious and gradual in the unfolding of the essential verities of the Cause, passionate in His appeal yet sober in argument, confident in tone, unswerving in conviction, dignified in His manners—such were the distinguishing features of our Beloved’s noble presentation of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

If we all choose to tread faithfully His path, surely the day is not far distant when our beloved Cause will have emerged from the inevitable obscurity of a young and struggling Faith into the broad daylight of universal recognition. This is our duty, our first obligation. Therein lies the secret of the success of the Cause we love so well. Therein lies the hope, the salvation of mankind. Are we fully conscious of our responsibilities? Do we realise the urgency, the sacredness, the immensity, the glory of our task?

I entreat you, dear friends, to continue, nay, to redouble your efforts, to keep your vision clear, your hopes undimmed, your determination unshaken, so that the power of God within us may fill the world with all its glory.

In this fervent plea joins me the Greatest Holy Leaf. Though chagrined in the evening of her life at the sorrowful tales of repression in Persia, she still turns with the deepest longings of her heart to your land where freedom reigns, eager and expectant to behold, ere she is called away, the signs of the universal triumph of the Cause she loves so dearly.

Shoghi


Letter of 13 February 1925

13 February 1925

“I have read with the deepest pleasure the Minutes of the meeting of your National Assembly and am deeply gratified to note the constancy, devotion and thoroughness with which you are conducting your affairs.” (Copied from National Spiritual Assembly Minutes, 28 February 1925)


Letter of 26 March 1925

26 March 1925

My dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your interesting letter of March 12th written to our beloved Guardian together with the draft minutes of the 12th meeting of your National Spiritual Assembly has been received. The draft on Haifa for the sum of thirty-three pounds sterling which is the joint contribution of the English friends for the relief of their suffering brothers at Nayríz, and enclosed in your letter, has also been received. This sum has been added to contributions received from other centres and will be sent by next mail to the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia. From Persia they shall acknowledge the receipt of this sum directly and for the present, our Guardian acknowledges its receipt gratefully and wishes you to kindly convey his gratitude to all the dear friends who have so kindly and generously contributed.

Our dear brother, Dr. Esslemont, was not well for some time, but now I am glad to tell you that he is better and we are expecting him to come out of the hospital to-day.

We have nowadays the pleasure of having among us the first group of our beloved New Zealand and Australian believers. They are of great sincerity and devotion. From here they are intending to visit England where I am sure you will enjoy their acquaintance and company very much....

[From the Guardian:]

My precious fellow-worker,

The prompt and generous contribution of the British friends for the relief of the sufferers in Nayríz is deeply appreciated and I wish to offer through you to them all in the name of the victims of that great catastrophe my deep and grateful thanks. May the All-Bountiful reward and bless them a hundred fold! The sum of approximately 1000 pounds has been until now collected from various parts of the Bahá’í world and more is expected. What an admirable and convincing testimony of the reality of the Bahá’í bond that binds the East with the West. Regarding the historical compilation suggested by the Persian friends, I think your plan is suitable and correct. The English N.S.A. will I trust collect all the data and exercise its discretion and judgment in collating all the material received from the friends and assemblies throughout Great Britain, and, after having given it a definite and final shape, will forward it direct to Persia. I would welcome a copy of it myself. Assuring you of my gratitude and prayers,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 2 November 1925

2 November 1925

IRÁQ’S SUPREME COURT UNEXPECTEDLY PRONOUNCED VERDICT AGAINST US IN BAGHDÁD CASE STRONGLY ADVISE NATIONAL AND EVERY LOCAL ASSEMBLY COMMUNICATE BY CABLE AND LETTER WITH ‘IRÁQ HIGH COMMISSIONER APPEALING ARDENTLY FOR ACTION TO ENSURE THE SECURITY OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SACRED HOUSE.

SHOGHI.


Letter of 6 November 1925

6 November 19256

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the East and throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved friends:

The sad and sudden crisis that has arisen in connexion with the ownership of Bahá’u’lláh’s sacred house in Baghdád has sent a thrill of indignation and dismay throughout the whole of the Bahá’í world. Houses that have been occupied by Bahá’u’lláh for well nigh the whole period of His exile in ‘Iráq, ordained by Him as the chosen and sanctified object of Bahá’í pilgrimage in future, magnified and extolled in countless Tablets and Epistles as the sacred centre “round which shall circle all peoples and kindreds of the earth”—lie now, due to fierce intrigue and ceaseless fanatical opposition, at the mercy of the declared enemies of the Cause.

I have instantly communicated with every Bahá’í Centre in both East and West, and urgently requested the faithful followers of the Faith in every land to protest vehemently against this glaring perversion of justice, to assert firmly and courteously the spiritual rights of the Bahá’í community to the ownership of this venerated house, to plead for British fairness and justice, and to pledge their unswerving determination to ensure the security of this hallowed spot.

Conscious of the fact that this property has been occupied by Bahá’í authorised representatives for an uninterrupted period of not less than thirty years, and having successfully won their case at the Justice of Peace and the Court of First Instance, the Bahá’ís the world over cannot believe that the high sense of honour and fairness which inspired the British Administration of ‘Iráq will ever tolerate such grave miscarriage of justice. They confidently appeal to the public opinion of the world for the defence and protection of their legitimate rights now sorely trampled under the feet of relentless enemies.

Widespread and effective publicity along these lines, in well-conceived and carefully-worded terms, is strongly recommended for it will undoubtedly serve to facilitate the solution of this delicate and perplexing problem.

Having exerted ourselves to the utmost of our ability, let us rest assured in the power of the Lord, Who keepeth watch over His house, and Who will, no matter how dark present prospects appear, assure for generations yet unborn His cherished and holy edifice.

Your brother and fellow-worker,
Shoghi


Letter of 11 November 1925

11 November 1925

Dear Friends,

I have been asked to enclose for your kind attention the following papers:—

1. Circular letter concerning the residential house of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád.

2. Circular letter concerning the purchase of land around the Holy Shrines in Haifa.

3. The system of transliteration to be used in all Bahá’í references.

4. A plan of the immediate neighbourhood of the Shrines in Haifa showing in approximate proportions the different plots around it.

In view of the extreme importance of the aforementioned papers, Shoghi Effendi trusts that all necessary measures will be taken to insure their prompt distribution among all the different assemblies and among all such recognised Bahá’ís as your distinguished assembly deems fit and advisable....


Letter of 12 November 1925

12 November 1925

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Our dear Guardian was very glad to receive your letter of Nov. 4th through which you acquaint him with the steps you have already taken in carrying out his instruction concerning the Baghdád House.

He is highly pleased with what you have done. In other Bahá’í Centres also the friends have in a similar way followed promptly his telegraphic instruction. Up to this time we have received no further information regarding the actual situation of the House.

Shoghi Effendi will let you know of any fresh development as soon as he receives information. He sends you his warm affection and extends to you his appreciation for your noble services to the Cause of God. He prays for your health and success in service. He wishes you to kindly convey his loving greeting to all the dear friends in England....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear self-sacrificing brother,

The wise and prompt measures you have taken have given me the utmost satisfaction. I trust your devoted endeavours will be crowned with full success. I have sent you a few days ago various circulars, a list of transliterated terms and the plan of the surroundings of the Holy Shrine, copies of all of which I earnestly request you to place in the hands of every recognised believer.

Your grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 23 November 1925

23 November 1925

BELOVED ESSLEMONT PASSED AWAY, COMMUNICATE FRIENDS AND FAMILY DISTRESSING NEWS URGE BELIEVERS DEDICATE SPECIAL DAY FOR UNIVERSAL PRAYER AND REMEMBRANCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 27 November 1925

27 November 1925

My dear Bahá’í Brother,

I find it very hard to be able to express in adequate words our deep feelings and sorrow at the loss of our dearly-beloved brother Dr. Esslemont. Those of us who had known him only since his sojourn in Haifa, had even in that short period of time, learnt to admire and love him. How much more so those of you to whom he was an old friend and fellow-worker.

I have been ordered by Shoghi Effendi to relate in as simple words as possible for the information of his friends in England, the sufferings of his last days and yet words fail me in that painful task.

The chronic disease from which he had suffered in the past had very much undermined his weak constitution and his eagerness to serve the Cause he so dearly loved, despite all advice to the contrary, was a great tax upon his failing strength. His stay at the Black Forest in Germany all through the summer had improved his health, but upon his return to Haifa he felt rather weak and he was frequently in bed for a few days. Not until a fortnight ago was Dr. Esslemont seriously ill and even then the doctors thought that in spite of the fact that the trouble from which he had suffered in the past was now more active there was no reason for great anxiety. His health was slowly improving and everything was being done to give him the best medical advice obtainable here in Haifa, when suddenly and unexpectedly at about midnight of November 21st the doctor had a severe stroke of “cerebral embolus”. The next day a second stroke followed and he at last succumbed to the third which he had at about seven o’clock of the next evening. The attending doctors were both European—one Italian and the other German. Our two Bahá’í doctors Yúnís Khán and Mírzá Arastú, whom you must have met in London very gladly put themselves at his disposal.

Hard as it was for everyone who had known Dr. Esslemont to see him pass away and to realise what a great loss it means to the friends the world over, we can find no greater consolation than in the happy thought that he now lies in peace and his soul where it so loved to be. Beyond all earthly cares, all pains and sorrows his soul dwells forever.

The funeral service was both simple and touching. His body was washed by two of the friends, dressed and wrapped in white silk cloth and perfumed by attar of roses. On his finger Shoghi Effendi placed his own Bahá’í ring which he had worn for a good many years. Laid in a simple casket of walnut and placed in the hall of the Pilgrim House, the friends gathered together and said their funeral prayer over him. The casket was carried for a short distance by Shoghi Effendi and then placed in the Master’s carriage and accompanied by the sons-in-law of the Master it slowly wound its way, followed by eleven other cabs carrying the friends, to the foot of Mt. Carmel. There it was laid to rest in that beautifully-situated cemetery, and flowers from the garden of the Master’s home were scattered over his grave. Simple as he was in his life and character, equally simple was his funeral service. And yet just as in the simplicity of his character lay his many virtues, in like manner did the simplicity of that service sink into every heart and fill every eye with tears.

In case you think it would please them you are perfectly welcome to communicate to the family of Dr. Esslemont the particulars of his death and burial. Enclosed you will please find a letter from Shoghi Effendi addressed to the family and relations of the deceased. You will please have it read by his wife, who I believe is in London, and then sent over to his father and sister who are in Aberdeen.

Due to the reason that Shoghi Effendi hopes to build in the near future the grave of Dr. Esslemont on his behalf and on behalf of all the friends, our Guardian would like very much to have the design chosen by the family of the deceased. Of course you would let them know that through certain considerations it would be best to have the design devoid of any cross as that in this country would particularise it to the Christian faith. You would let the family know that the expense would be defrayed by the friends all over the world and by Shoghi Effendi himself.

Shoghi Effendi would also like you to send the picture of Dr. Esslemont to the countries where the friends have published magazines with a request to have it published. They are America, India, Germany and Australia. He wants you also to write a comprehensive biographical sketch of the life of Dr. Esslemont for “The Star” in America laying most stress on his life since he became a Bahá’í. This of course does not necessarily mean that you should write it yourself but anyone in London. You should also make mention of him in your circular letter in detail....


Letter of 30 November 1925

30 November 19257

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful in the East and in the West.

Dear fellow-workers,

It is with feelings of overwhelming sorrow that I communicate to you the news of yet another loss which the Almighty, in His inscrutable wisdom, has chosen to inflict upon our beloved Cause. On the 22nd of November, 1925—that memorable and sacred day in which the Bahá’ís of the Orient celebrated the twin Festivals of the Declaration of the Báb and the Birthday of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—Dr. John E. Esslemont passed on to the Abhá Kingdom. His end was as swift as it was unexpected. Suffering from the effects of a chronic and insidious disease, he fell at last a victim to the inevitable complications that ensued, the fatal course of which neither the efforts of vigilant physicians nor the devoted care of his many friends could possibly deflect.

He bore his sufferings with admirable fortitude, with calm resignation and courage. Though convinced that his ailments would never henceforth forsake him, yet many a time he revealed a burning desire that the friends residing in the Holy Land should, while visiting the Shrines, implore the All-Merciful to prolong his days that he may bring to a fuller completion his humble share of service to the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh. To this noble request all hearts warmly responded. But this was not to be. His close association with my work in Haifa, in which I had placed fondest hopes, was suddenly cut short. His book, however, an abiding monument to his pure intention, will, alone, inspire generations yet unborn to tread the path of truth and service as steadfastly and as unostentatiously as was trodden by its beloved author. The Cause he loved so well he served even unto his last day with exemplary faith and unstinted devotion. His tenacity of faith, his high integrity, his self-effacement, his industry and painstaking labours were traits of a character the noble qualities of which will live and live forever after him. To me personally he was the warmest of friends, a trusted counsellor, an indefatigable collaborator, a lovable companion.

With tearful eyes I supplicate at the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh—and request you all to join—in my ardent prayers, for the fuller unfolding in the realms beyond of a soul that has already achieved so high a spiritual standing in this world. For by the beauty of his character, by his knowledge of the Cause, by the conspicuous achievements of his book, he has immortalised his name, and by sheer merit deserved to rank as one of the Hands of the Cause of God.

He has been laid to rest in the heart of that beautifully situated Bahá’í burial ground at the foot of Carmel, close to the mortal remains of that venerable soul, ?ájí Mírzá Vakílu’d-Dawlih, the illustrious cousin of the Báb and chief builder of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of Ishqábád. Pilgrims visiting his grave from far and near will, with pride and gratitude, do honour to a name that adorned the annals of an immortal Cause.

May he eternally rest in peace. Shoghi


Letter of 5 December 1925

5 December 1925

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your two letters of Nov. 25 and 28th to Shoghi Effendi and to thank you on his behalf for all the trouble you have taken in communicating to the friends and to his family the sad news of the passing away of Dr. Esslemont. Shoghi Effendi cannot but appreciate the many evidences of your devotion and love.

We are very glad to know that Mr. Mills is as successful in his endeavours and we trust that it should end with a decisive victory on our part. Mr. Mills has kept us briefly in touch with what he has been doing in London but we still await more detailed news from him. He is probably too busy to write.

Shoghi Effendi has already heard from Miss Esslemont.

Everybody is well here. Shoghi Effendi and the family send you their heartfelt greetings....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear indefatigable co-worker,

Knowing what the urgency and multiplicity of pressing activities mean to a person who pursues his task almost single-handed, I can well understand, sympathise, and admire your noble endeavours and the splendid work you are doing for the Cause of God. I wish to renew the expression of my deep confidence in, and great appreciation of, the part you play at this highly-important and difficult stage of our work. Your communications regarding the houses in Baghdád have been highly satisfactory and I trust will yield the long-desired fruit. Regarding the position of ..., Azízu’lláh Khán Bahádur will immediately after my decision let you know on my behalf what I feel to be the most suitable way of meeting this difficult situation. I feel too overwhelmed with work to write more.

Shoghi


Letter of 9 December 1925

9 December 1925

URGE FRIENDS INQUIRE IN COURTEOUS TERMS BY CABLE AND LETTER FROM ‘IRÁQ HIGH COMMISSIONER RESULTS OF INVESTIGATIONS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 14 December 1925

14 December 1925

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I am sending you enclosed a copy of the pamphlet written by Dr. Esselmont.

Last year Dr. Esslemont sent you a similar copy of the pamphlet fully revised for you to publish. Shoghi Effendi would like very much to have a copy of his revised edition and is sending the enclosed only as a reminder of some of the corrections and revisions he had made in the copy he sent you. In case you have published copies of the revised edition, Shoghi Effendi would like to have a number of copies sent to him and in case you have not published it, he would like you to send him a correct copy of the revised form of the edition as you have it. He could have it published himself. In any case, however, he wishes you to send back to him the enclosed copy.

We received last night news that the keys of the houses in Baghdád have been given to the Shí’ites and they had made a regular demonstration on the occasion. We await to see what will be done at last....


Letter of 23 January 1926

23 January 1926

My dear Bahá’í Brother,

I take pleasure in thanking you on behalf of our dear Guardian for your letters of Dec. 9th and 13th and of Jan. 4th which he was very glad to receive. He appreciates immensely your many efforts and although so far away, you are to him, I assure you, a great and indispensable helper. It is always with confidence in its thoroughness that he refers to you anything of importance.

He is so glad to learn that the friends in England have in the different centres held memorial meetings for our departed brother. He was to us all a great friend and fellow-worker and to the Cause a faithful servant—his memory will help us to follow an equally righteous path.

The biographical sketch which you have written for the different Bahá’í magazines and a copy of which you had sent to our Guardian was received and read. He fully approves of it and feels sure that the different publications will welcome your article and will be glad to devote some of their pages to the memory of one whose name and writings were often to be seen in those same magazines.

With regard to the design of the grave of Dr. Esslemont, a picture of which you had sent enclosed, Shoghi Effendi wishes to inform you that although he himself liked the design and would have been glad to follow it altogether, up till the present the tombs of the Bahá’ís have been very simply built and the custom has been to have them as beautiful and at the same time as simple as possible. This general custom holds true even in the case of the tombs of the Master’s mother and brother. The graves are built of white marble stones but the designs have in every case been simple, and he wishes you very much to make the family of Dr. Esslemont understand that although Shoghi Effendi will not be able to follow the design strictly he will try to make the tomb as near it as possible, while keeping within the range of the customary simplicity. Even the tomb of the cousin of the Báb which is close to that of Dr. Esslemont and which Shoghi Effendi also intends to build will be very simple.

In connection with the leaflet of Dr. Esslemont, Shoghi Effendi feels that if you intend to publish a new edition you would do well to keep it until you are through with it, but if you already have many copies of the last issue and the Assembly does not intend to bring out a new edition in the near future, he wants you to send him the leaflet so as to be able to send it to America where he wants to have it translated into Hebrew and other languages. At any case he wants you to send him a copy of it or the original as soon as possible.

Our Guardian has been very glad to receive a wire of late from Baghdád telling him that everything was hopeful. As yet we do not have any particulars but we trust that we can soon regain our rights in the houses. It is perhaps very fortunate that the High Commissioner himself will be in Baghdád and will be able to help us very much....

P.S. With regard to the accent in the letter a in the transliteration of Persian names and words and the difficulty of the publishers in having a vertical mark, Shoghi Effendi feels that in case having the regular vertical mark means too much trouble and expense it would be justified to replace it by the horizontal dash on the a, but if the trouble and expense would not be much, for the sake of uniformity throughout transliterations everywhere, it would be best to have the regular vertical mark.

[From the Guardian:]

My dear fellow-worker,

I am sure you will understand, and explain my motive and reasons to dear Esslemont’s relatives in connexion with the design of the tomb. Much as I love and esteem my departed friend, I feel I must pay due consideration to the general practice prevailing in Haifa and Akká particularly as it is applied even to the resting places of the Master’s nearest relations. I will however follow the design as closely as it is consistent with simplicity, without altering in any way the shape and general outline presented by the architect. Please assure his relatives of my keen desire to do everything possible that will enhance and preserve the memory of such a staunch and precious friend.

Shoghi


Letter of 1 April 1926

1 April 1926

My dear Mr. Simpson,

Many thanks for your letter of Feb. 21, and I am so sorry I could not answer you earlier.

I am sending you enclosed the plan that you had sent and behind it I have marked the approximate prices of the plots. You realise that the exact price cannot be determined because they fluctuate and various causes bring about this change in price. For this reason I have given two figures one being the minimum and the other the maximum. There are no probabilities that under any conditions the maximum and the minimum will change. However, I have sent you the price for the so called region rather than the individual plots, the latter being due to many reasons quite impossible.

Shoghi Effendi is quite well though as usual very busy with an overwhelmingly vast correspondence. The family are all well and send you their love and best wishes....

[From the Guardian:]

My esteemed and valued friend:

I understand from your recent cable to me that Miss ... has at last complied with my request and written the London Assembly acknowledging their authority. I have immediately cabled you my heartfelt appreciation of her act. If that is the case I wish to urge you and the London Council to exercise the utmost care, consideration and vigilance that this new step taken in the right direction may gradually lead to a definite solution of this painful problem. I am as usual terribly overwhelmed with my unceasing work and this cable of yours has been a most welcome relief. I have received your letter dated Feb. 7. I am returning one of the leaflets for future publication in London. I wish to remind you of the necessity of close co-operation on the part of the English National Spiritual Assembly with ‘La nova Tago’ published in Hamburg.

Shoghi


Letter of 11 April 1926

11 April 1926

My dear Bahá’í Brother,

I thank you very much indeed on behalf of our dear Guardian for your kind letters of March 29th and 31st.

The news of the reconciliation of ... with the National Assembly has been the source of immeasurable joy to the heart of Shoghi Effendi and he appreciates the spirit of both parties in trying to forget all past misunderstandings and in starting anew with genuine love and goodwill. This has relieved Shoghi Effendi of a very heavy weight of thought and distress and this itself gives you as much satisfaction as it does to us all.

Shoghi Effendi has gladly received the names of the elected body for the London Assembly and he wishes them all success from the bottom of his heart. That they may all help to vindicate still more strongly the great claim of our dear Cause in England, that they may succeed to increase daily the numbers of earnest Bahá’í workers and that they may mirror forth the great spirit of our beloved Master, is the fondest hope and the fervent prayer of our dear Guardian.

As I write you these lines we are all sorely distressed with the ghastly news of the martyrdom of twelve Bahá’ís in one of the towns of southern Persia....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear and valued friend:

I have received with feelings of deep satisfaction the welcome news of ... compliance with my request. I wish to impress upon all those who come in contact with her the necessity of exercising forbearance, kindness and loving consideration while adhering closely to the established principles of the Cause. I will inform you if any action is necessary regarding the martyrdom in Jahrum in Southern Persia—a monstrous crime that has deeply afflicted us all. Concerning the membership of the Spiritual Assembly, I have already communicated with America to the effect that the members who are entitled to vote must be strictly limited to nine. Additional members may attend only in a consultative capacity. I realise fully the delicacy and difficulty of your position but it must be made clear to all that nine and only nine can vote. All other subsidiary matters are left to the Assemblies.

Lovingly,
Shoghi


Letter of 11 April 1926

11 April 19268

I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the sum of seventeen pounds from my dear friends the Bahá’ís of England as their much appreciated contribution for the purchase of land around the Holy Shrines on Mt. Carmel.

Shoghi


Letter of 22 April 1926

22 April 19269

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Fellow-labourers in the Divine Vineyard:

In the midst of the many vicissitudes which the creative Word of God is destined to encounter in the course of its onward march towards the redemption of the world, there breaks upon us the news of still another loss, more bewildering in its character, yet more inspiring in its challenge, than any of the gravest happenings of recent times. Once again the woeful tale of unabated persecution, involving this time the martyrdom of twelve of our long-suffering brethren in Jahrum, southern Persia, has reached our ears, and filled us with a gloom which all the joys and ennobling memories of Ridván have failed to dispel.

From the meagre reports which have thus far been received from that distracted country it appears that this shameful and atrocious act, though the outcome of a number of obscure and complex causes, has been chiefly instigated by that ever-present factor of fierce and relentless impulse of religious hostility. Persia—long-neglected and sorely-tried—continues, despite the revival of recent hopes, to be the down-trodden victim of unscrupulous personal rivalries and factious intrigue, of tribal revolt, political dissensions and religious animosities—all of which have in times past brought in their wake the shedding of the blood of so many of its innocent and choicest sons.

Fully alive to the gravity of the occasion, and realising the urgency of my sacred duty, I have, upon the receipt of the news, transmitted telegraphically through the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia a special message addressed in the name of the Bahá’ís in every land to the supreme Authority in the State, expressing our profound horror at this outrageous act as well as our earnest entreaty to inflict immediate punishment on the perpetrators of so abominable a crime. And as this sad event involved chiefly the welfare and security of the Bahá’í residents in Persia, I have specially requested all local Assemblies in that land to address a similar message to the highest authorities concerned appealing for full protection and justice. Should future developments necessitate direct and foreign intervention, I shall acquaint the national Bahá’í representatives in every land to take in cooperation with all local Assemblies such measures as will effectually conduce to a fuller recognition of the dynamic force latent in the Bahá’í Faith and ensure the betterment of the lot of the heroic supporters of our Cause.

Pending the opening of official and direct communication with recognised authorities whether in Persia or elsewhere, I strongly feel that the time has assuredly come when it is incumbent upon every conscientious promoter of the Cause to bestir himself and undertake in consultation with the friends in his locality such measures of publicity as will lead to the gradual awakening of the conscience of the civilised world to what is admittedly an ignominious manifestation of a decadent age.

I would specially request all National Assemblies to give their anxious and immediate consideration to this grave matter, and to devise ways and means that will secure the fullest publicity to our grievances. I would remind them that whatever is published should be couched in terms that are at once correct, forceful and inoffensive. I would particularly stress the importance of making every effort to secure the sympathy and hospitality of the leading journals and periodicals of the Western world, and of sending to the Holy Land any such references in papers that will arise to champion the cause of Righteousness and Justice. I greatly deplore the fact that owing to the remoteness and the unstable conditions in Persia, details and particulars regarding this ugly incident are not as yet available, but will be duly communicated to the various centres immediately upon their receipt. I would however ask the believers throughout the West to arise without any further delay and supplement the publication of the news conveyed in this message with an account of previous happenings of a similar character, combined with an adequate survey of the aim, the principles, and history of the Bahá’í Cause.

It is to you, dearly beloved friends of the West, who are the standard-bearers of the emancipation and triumph of the Bahá’í Faith, that our afflicted brethren of the East have turned their expectant eyes, confident that the day cannot be far-distant when, in accordance with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s explicit utterance, the West will “seize the Cause” from Persia’s fettered hands and lead it to glorious victory.

Though grief-stricken and horrified at this cruel blow, let us be on our guard lest we give way to despair, lest we forget that in the Almighty’s inscrutable Wisdom this sudden calamity may prove to be but a blessing in disguise. For what else can it do but to stir the inmost depths of our souls, set our faith ablaze, galvanise our efforts, dissolve our differences, and provide one of the chief instruments which the unhampered promoters of the Faith can utilise to attract the attention, enlist the sympathy, and eventually win the allegiance of all mankind?

Ours is this supreme opportunity; may we fulfil our trust.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 11 May 1926

11 May 192610

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!

Grave and manifold as are the problems confronting the struggling Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, none appear more significant nor seem more compelling in their urgency than the incredible sufferings borne so heroically by our down-trodden brethren of the East. Recent reports confirming the news which I have lately communicated to you have all emphasised the barbarous severity practised on the innocent followers of our Cause. They reveal the possibility of the extension of this agitation, partly instigated for political purposes and selfish motives, to neighbouring towns and provinces, and dwell upon the traditional slackness of the local authorities to inflict prompt and severe punishment upon all the perpetrators of such abominable crimes. It has been ascertained that in the town of Jahrum women have suffered martyrdom in a most atrocious manner, that the knife of the criminal has mercilessly cut to pieces the body of a child, that a number have been severely beaten and injured, their bodies mutilated, their homes pillaged, their property confiscated, and the homeless remnants of their family abandoned to the mercy of a shameless and tyrannical people. In other parts of Persia, and particularly in the province of Ádhirbayján, in the town of Marághih, the friends have been pitilessly denied the civic rights and privileges extended to every citizen of the land. They have been refused the use of the public bath, and been denied access to such shops as provide the necessities of life. They have been declared deprived of the benefit and protection of the law, and all association and dealing with them denounced as a direct violation of the precepts and principles of Islám. It has even been authoritatively stated that the decencies of public interment have been refused to their dead, and that in a particular case every effort to induce the Moslem undertaker to provide the wood for the construction of the coffin failed to secure the official support of the authorities concerned. Every appeal made by these harassed Bahá’ís on behalf of their brethren, whether living or dead, has been met with cold indifference, with vague promises, and not infrequently with severe rebuke and undeserved chastisement.

The tale of such outrageous conduct, such widespread suffering and loss, if properly expressed and broadcast, cannot fail in the end to arouse the conscience of civilised mankind, and thereby secure the much-needed relief for a long-suffering people. I would, therefore, renew my plea, and request you most earnestly to redouble your efforts in the wide field of publicity, to devise every possible means that will alleviate the fears and sorrows of the silent sufferers in that distracted country.

Surely these vile wrong-doers cannot long remain unpunished for their ferocious atrocities, and the day may not be far distant when we shall witness, as we have observed elsewhere, the promised signs of Divine Retribution avenging the blood of the slaughtered servants of Bahá’u’lláh.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 20 May 1926

20 May 1926

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I thank you on behalf of Shoghi Effendi for your letter of May 8th.

He was very glad indeed to learn the names of the newly elected London Spiritual Assembly and he wishes them success from the bottom of his heart. He earnestly trusts that throughout the coming year they will succeed to give a fresh impetus to the progress of the Cause in England and will not be satisfied with only mediocre efforts and endeavours.

With regard to the election of the Assemblies and your desire to have substitutes in order to ensure a steady and easy-to-obtain quorum for business, Shoghi Effendi would not like to give you any further special regulations but would prefer you to communicate with America and follow the method they have adopted. He has a keen desire that uniformity should exist in the regulations. I am sure you would gladly communicate with Mr. Horace Holley on the subject.

He is so gratified that the case of ... is settled permanently and he hopes that in future no such petty misunderstandings will come in the way of the steady growth of the Movement, which is of the utmost necessity not only in England but throughout the world.

Shoghi Effendi is well but as usual very busy. The recent atrocities in Persia have been a source of deep grief to his heart....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear fellow-worker,

In order to avoid misunderstandings and confusion and ensure uniformity of method and action I have requested you to conform to the principle adopted by the American friends and Mr. Holley will inform you of the method they pursue. I realise the special and peculiar difficulties that prevail in London and the nature of the obstacles with which they are confronted. I feel however that an earnest effort should be made to overcome them and that the members must arrange their affairs in such a way as to ensure their prompt attendance at 9 meetings which are held in the course of the year. This surely is not an insurmountable obstacle.

I will remember their needs and difficulties in my prayers at the Holy Shrines and will continue to supplicate for them Divine guidance and blessings.

Shoghi


Letter of 28 June 1926

28 June 1926

Dear Mr. Simpson,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated June 22nd, 1926. He is most appreciative of the many and continuous services you are rendering to the Cause in that land. Your efficiency, sincerity and untiring zeal are great assets for the friends in England....

Shoghi Effendi fully approves of your suggestion to put a royalty on the translations of Dr. Esslemont’s book equal to what he had arranged for the original. Not only is that a fair thing to do but also it is incumbent upon us to show our appreciation of Dr. Esslemont’s services to the Cause by safeguarding the interests of his family, especially as his wife is an invalid and in need of help. Shoghi Effendi specially wants me to ask you to show utmost consideration to her interests.

[From the Guardian:]

My dear fellow-worker,

I hope you will assure Mrs. Esslemont on my behalf and express to her my warm approval of your suggestion which would safeguard her interests and prove of some assistance to her....

Assuring you of my earnest prayers for your continued and unsparing efforts for the promotion of the Cause you serve so well,

I am your grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 16 July 1926

16 July 1926

Dear Mr. Simpson,

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to Shoghi Effendi dated June 20, 1926. He is very thankful for what you are trying to do for the friends in Persia. I hope the efforts of the whole western friends combined will alleviate this great burden which rests upon them, and at least give them the peace and comfort which they have been for so long desiring.

As to the translation or rather revision of the translation of the “Hidden Words”. A year ago, I believe, the American friends wrote to Shoghi Effendi and asked him to do it. Complying with their wish he revised his translation and they have published it both in paper and leather bound. Shoghi Effendi believes that another edition in England will be useless and perhaps will not find the necessary market. You could buy from America all the copies you need. Nevertheless, if you want to have a new English edition you can procure a copy from America. Shoghi Effendi does not believe it necessary to give it a still other revision....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear and able friend,

I am in correspondence with Rev. Townshend in connexion with various alterations in my rendering of the Hidden Words. I have just received his second letter containing suggestions which I greatly appreciate and value. I am hoping to revise it for a third time after my correspondence with Mr. T. is over. I feel you can postpone it for the present. I hope and pray you will succeed in giving wide and effective publicity to the atrocities perpetrated in Persia, in the British Press. It is so necessary and important. We must at all costs capture the heights and the British friends have in this connexion a unique and splendid opportunity in their own country and amid their own people. Difficult though it be we must persevere and not relax in our efforts. What Martha11 has achieved is a great incentive and example. Your own splendid efforts are deeply and lovingly appreciated by me.

Shoghi


Letter of 17 October 1926

17 October 192612

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!

In the course of the few months that have elapsed since my last communication to you regarding the appalling circumstances that have culminated in the martyrdom of our Persian brethren in Jahrum, events of the highest importance to the future welfare of our beloved Cause have transpired, and with startling suddenness conferred abiding solace upon those who still have to face the pains and terrors of unmitigated and shameless tyranny.

You have, most of you I presume, read with thrilling joy in one of the recent issues of the “Star of the West” that illuminating account given by our beloved sister, Miss Martha Root, wherein she tells with her characteristic directness and modesty the story of her moving interview with Her Majesty Queen Marie of Rumania and of the cordial and ready response which her gentle yet persuasive presentation of the principles of the Bahá’í Faith has evoked in the heart of that honoured Queen. One of the visible and potent effects which this historic interview proved capable of achieving was the remarkable appeal in the form of an open letter which Her Majesty freely and spontaneously caused to be published to the world at large testifying in a language of exquisite beauty to the power and sublimity of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh.

It was indeed a never-to-be-forgotten occasion when, on the eve of the day commemorating the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, a handful of us, His sorrowing servants, had gathered round His beloved Shrine supplicating relief and deliverance for the down-trodden in Persia, to receive in the midst of the silence of that distressing hour the glad-tiding of this notable triumph which the unbending energy and indomitable spirit of our beloved Martha has achieved for our sacred Cause.

With bowed heads and grateful hearts we recognise in this glowing tribute which Royalty has thus paid to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh an epoch-making pronouncement destined to herald those stirring events which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has prophesied, shall in the fullness of time signalise the triumph of God’s holy Faith. For who can doubt but that the deeds of those valiant pioneers of the Faith, unexampled though they have been in the abundance of their number and unexcelled in their sublime heroism, are but a faint glimmer of what, according to the Divine Promise, its steadfast followers are destined to perform? Those heroic exploits that have immortalised the names of its primitive adherents will continue to adorn and illuminate the pages of its blood-stained history; yet we cannot forget that the period of its full fruition with all its promise of world felicity and undreamt-of-achievements is yet to be realised, its golden Age yet to unfold. Indeed, how chastening to our pride, how challenging to our enthusiasm, if we but pause for a moment amidst the world’s many distractions and ponder in our hearts the vastness, the compelling urgency, the ineffable glory of what still remains unachieved.

But let us all remember, in this connexion, that prior to every conceivable measure destined to raise the efficiency of our administrative activities, more vital than any scheme which the most resourceful amongst us can devise, far above the most elaborate structure which the concerted efforts of organised Assemblies can hope to raise, is the realisation down in the innermost heart of every true believer of the regenerating power, the supreme necessity, the unfailing efficacy of the Message he bears. I assure you, dear friends, that nothing short of such an immovable conviction could have in days past enabled our beloved Cause to weather the blackest storms in its history. Naught else can today vitalise the manifold activities in which unnumbered disciples of the Faith are engaged; naught else can provide that driving force and sustaining power that are both so essential to the success of vast and enduring achievements. It is this spirit that above all else we should sedulously guard, and strive with all our might to fortify and exemplify in all our undertakings.

Moved by an irresistible impulse, I have addressed to Her Majesty in the name of the Bahá’ís of both the East and the West a written expression of our joyous admiration and gratitude for the queenly tribute which Her Majesty has paid to the beauty and nobility of the Bahá’í Teachings. I have, moreover, assured Her Majesty of the far-reaching effect which her superb testimony will inevitably produce, and of the welcome consolation it has already brought to the silent sufferers in that distracted country. To my message of appreciation and gratitude there has come lately a written response, penned by Her Majesty, profoundly touching, singularly outspoken, and highly significant in the testimony it bears, from this queenly tribute to a Divine Ideal I quote these penetrating words:

“Indeed a great light came to me with the Message of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. It came as all great messages come at an hour of dire grief and inner conflict and distress, so the seed sank deeply.... We pass on the Message from mouth to mouth and all those we give it to see a light suddenly lighting before them and much that was obscure and perplexing becomes simple, luminous and full of hope as never before. That my open letter was balm to those suffering for the Cause is indeed a great happiness to me, and I take it as a sign that God accepted my humble tribute.... With bowed head I recognise that I too am but an instrument in greater Hands and rejoice in the knowledge....”

Dear friends, with feelings of profound emotion we recall the glowing promises that have so often fallen from the lips of our departed Master, and with throbbing hearts rejoice in the gradual realisation of His most cherished desire.

And as we call to mind the circumstances that have led to such a notable advance, we are filled with admiration for that unique and great-hearted apostle of Bahá’u’lláh, our dearly-beloved Martha Root, who under trying circumstances and almost single-handed in her efforts, has so wonderfully paved the way for the universal recognition of the Cause of God. In her case we have verily witnessed in an unmistakable manner what the power of dauntless faith, when coupled with sublimity of character, can achieve, what forces it can release, to what heights it can rise.

Let such remarkable revelations of the reality and continuity of the Divine Purpose, made manifest from time to time to us His feeble children serve to fortify our faith in Him, to warm the chill which fleeting misfortunes may leave behind, and fill us with that Celestial potency which alone can enable us to withstand the storm and stress that lives dedicated to His service must needs encounter.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 23 October 1926

23 October 1926

My dear Mr. Simpson,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters dated October 3rd and 10th, 1926. He wishes me especially to mention how appreciative he is of your many services so efficiently and devotingly rendered. He will pray for you and for the other members of the London Group that through your combined efforts an unprecedented progress be made there and numerous persons attracted to the precepts of the Cause.

Concerning the attendance of certain individuals at the meeting of the Assemblies and at the invitation of that body. This, Shoghi Effendi considers, to be as expert advice which is absolutely necessary for good administration. The members of the Assembly are not supposed to know everything on every subject, so they can invite a person, versed in that question, to attend their meetings and explain his views. But naturally he will have no right to vote....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear and precious co-worker,

I am glad and grateful to feel that the joint efforts of Martha and Mountfort13 have given a fresh impetus to the promotion of the Cause in Great Britain. I trust that the collective and individual efforts of the members of the British Spiritual Assemblies will serve to consolidate the work already achieved. I should be pleased to receive if available full copies of any newspapers in Great Britain that may have published the appreciations broadcast by the Queen of Rumania. The entire issue of the papers—not clippings—will be of great significance to the friends in Persia. Ten copies of each would be sufficient. I wish also to request you to urge all the friends in Great Britain to subscribe to the “Messager Bahá’í” published by Mrs. Stannard in Geneva. It is essential and valuable.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 29 October 1926

29 October 192614

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dear fellow-workers in the Divine Vineyard!

It will gladden and rejoice every one of you to learn that from various quarters there has of late reached the Holy Land tidings of fresh developments that are a clear indication of those hidden and transforming influences which, from the source of Bahá’u’lláh’s mystic strength, continue to flow with ever-increasing vitality into the heart of this troubled world.

Both in the wider field of its spiritual conquests, where its indomitable spirit is forging ahead, capturing the heights, pervading the multitude; as well as in the gradual consolidation of the administrative structure which its avowed followers the world over are labouring to raise and fortify, the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, we can increasingly discern, bids fair to become that force which, though not as yet universally recognised, none can afford to belittle or ignore.

In the bold and repeated testimonies which Her Majesty, Queen Marie of Rumania, has chosen to give to the world—a copy of whose latest pronouncement I enclose—we truly recognise evidences of the irresistible power, the increasing vitality, the strange working of a Faith destined to regenerate the world. Her Majesty’s striking tribute paid to the illuminative power of the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is bound to effect an entire transformation in the attitude of many to a Faith the tenets of which have often been misunderstood and sorely neglected. It will serve as a fresh stimulus to the enlightened and cultured to investigate with an open mind the verities of its message, the source of its life-giving principles.

From Baghdád, moreover, where the sacred habitation of Bahá’u’lláh has been violated by a relentless enemy and converted into a rallying centre for the corrupt, the perverse, and the fanatical, there comes the news, highly reassuring to us all, of the satisfactory progress of the negotiations which, we are informed on high authority, will soon lead to the expropriation of the property by the State, culminating in the fullness of time in its occupation by the triumphant followers of God’s holy Faith. The case of the houses, so ably presented, so persistently pursued, above all reinforced by the vigilant and protecting power of our departed Master, will eventually triumph, and by its repercussions in Persia as in the world at large, will lend a powerful impetus to the liberation of those forces which will carry the Cause to its ultimate destiny. I will, when the occasion presents itself, inform the believers through their respective National Spiritual Assemblies to address messages of appreciation and gratitude to the Authorities concerned in view of their unrelaxing efforts for the triumph of Right and Justice.

For the present, we cannot but rejoice and feel profoundly thankful as we witness in so many directions the welcome signs of the gradual emancipation of the struggling Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, of the increasing recognition on the part of both the high and lowly of its universal principles—all so rich in their promise of ultimate victory.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 29 November 1926

29 November 1926

Dear Mr. Simpson,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated November 14th, 1926, together with the minutes of the 18th meeting of the National Assembly, held on October 23rd 1926. He has received the 200 copies of the 4th edition of the folder and desires to thank you for them.

The question of incorporating the National Assembly is very important for though at present there may not be any important business which necessitates that, one may arise at any time. There is also some advantage in being ready for any future developments. But naturally such a step should be taken after consultation with competent lawyers lest some defect may in the future cause some inconveniences.

What Shoghi Effendi desires to have are clippings of any article written by the Queen of Rumania on subjects referring to the Cause and published in England. He has received such declarations or open letters from America and wishes to know what she is doing along those lines in England which is her own native home. It is really wonderful how boldly she is advocating this Cause absolutely regardless of what others may say. This is a very good lesson for those who being Bahá’ís keep in the dark so as not to be criticised and perhaps ostracised by so called society people.

We are eagerly awaiting to meet Miss Rosenberg and Mrs. Slade to obtain a first hand information of the condition of the Cause in England and the extent to which Mr. Mills and Miss Root have succeeded to improve it.

[From the Guardian:]

My dearly-beloved co-worker:

I am hoping that our deliberations with our English Bahá’í visitors will assist and aid the work in which you are engaged and prove beneficial to the Cause in general. I feel that the opportunities now open to the friends are greater than ever before and I will pray that the measures they undertake will redound to the glory, the power and effectiveness of the Cause. The utterances of the Rumanian Queen should be given the fullest possible publicity and be fully utilised as I feel they are of great significance and value. More power to your elbow!

Shoghi


Letter of 29 January 1927

29 January 1927

Dear Bahá’í Friend, Mr. Simpson,

Thank you so very much for your clear good letter of Jan. 16th—Shoghi Effendi bids me say how much pleasure he always derives from the perusal of your letters—which are always expressed with such admirable clearness, and to the point. He has just now been discussing with me the various matters you mention.

He says that in one way we are not quite correct in the way we manage our elections for the National Assembly—Shoghi Effendi says that the intention is, that when once the 19 delegates have been elected by the friends of the respective centres in the proportions you mention, i.e. 12 delegates from among the London friends, five from the Manchester friends, and two from the Bournemouth group, that then, these 19 delegates assembled should choose by secret ballot from the whole body of the believers in Gt. Britain and Ireland, the nine friends they consider most suitable as members of the National Assembly. Heretofore, as I understand it, it has rather been our practice that the 12 London delegates elected six from the London friends—the Manchester five delegates elected two from Manchester and the Bournemouth delegates elected one from Bournemouth. But, Shoghi Effendi says, all the 19 delegates must clearly understand that they must select from the whole body of the believers in Gt. Britain and Ireland those 9 whom they consider the most fit and suitable members to constitute the National Assembly. Therefore it will be necessary to supply each of the 19 delegates with a complete list of all those believers in Gt. Britain and Ireland. From that complete list of course must be eliminated all those who from one cause or another are unable to serve on the National Assembly. Also—Shoghi Effendi says that those 19 elected delegates should if possible meet during the Feast of Ridván in London thus forming as it were a baby Convention! I had not realised before that the annual Bahá’í Convention in the U.S.A. consists solely of those delegates who had been chosen by their respective Centres in order that they may elect the 9 to form the National Assembly of that country. Did you understand this? I certainly did not. As Shoghi Effendi points out—it is quite possible that—e.g. in the future—7 members might be elected from the Manchester friends and only two from London! On the other hand—it is quite possible that all nine members chosen by the 19 delegates might be from the London group. Of course, on reflection one sees clearly that the proceedings must be as now described because in the future there may be 21 or 53 separate local Assemblies in Gt. Britain just as is now the case in the U.S.A.—and it would obviously be impossible for each of these Assemblies to elect one of their number to sit as their representative on the National Assembly. No doubt I ought to have understood this before—but I must confess I did not!...

It is very grievous that our dear Mrs. Cropper should have been so ill—we have all been praying for her recovery since we knew of it and I am thankful to hear she is now making steady progress.

Since writing to you I too have had a bad influenza cold that swept through our house. But I am now quite recovered I am glad to say.

With all best wishes to yourself.

Your sincere friend in His service,
Ethel Rosenberg

P.S. I have just remembered I have said nothing about the London area that should be included—Shoghi Effendi thinks it would save trouble if you drew your circle widely enough to include Mrs. Slade and her daughter! At first he inclined to agree with you that it would be best to take the middle one—the Postal Area—and make exceptions in favour of Mrs. Haybittel and her daughter. (Mrs. Ginman I hear from my brother has moved into town now) but it seemed to him that you might possibly have other friends residing or moving out to Surbiton etc., so that it might save you trouble in the future if you selected the widest area? This is merely a suggestion on his part—as it will no doubt be decided at the meeting of the London Assembly. But with regard to the choosing by the 19 delegates of the nine members of the National Assembly, his instructions are quite definite and must not be departed from—as these instructions are as laid down by the Master in the Testament and other Tablets. Shoghi Effendi says you can even now soon select the day for the 19 delegates to come to London during Ridván. By the way Ridván begins exactly 31 days after the New Year so it starts almost always on April 21st and lasts for 12 days. I have recorded my notes on list enclosed.

Yours ever,
E. Rosenberg

Shoghi15 Effendi emphatically urges that the 19 friends elected as delegates should meet together during Ridván—Shoghi Effendi has sent you three copies of the Bahá’í Year Book, one for London, one for Manchester and one for Bournemouth.

Read and approved. Shoghi

Editor’s Note:

From December 1926 to April 1927, while the secretary who was then helping with the English correspondence was away from Haifa, Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg (addressed in letters by the Guardian as “My dear Rosa”), was on pilgrimage and kept up a lengthy and repetitive correspondence with George P. Simpson. In these letters from Miss Rosenberg are many instructions from the Guardian to the British National Assembly. The letter reproduced in this compilation, dated January 29th, 1927 is important for many reasons:

1. It is the only one from Miss Rosenberg which carried the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi where he “Approved” what had been written.

2. It outlined the principle for the election of the National Spiritual Assembly by delegates which the British N.S.A. had not then appreciated from the earlier letters of the Guardian (of 1923, 1294, 1925, later published in “Bahá’í Administration”).

3. It insisted upon Convention being held in London during Ridván.

4. It clarified the need to have a recognised voting area for London but left the final decision to the local Spiritual Assembly of London.

As a result of this letter 13 delegates attended Convention and 4 voted by post; ten members were elected to the National Assembly (Guardian’s letter of May, 13th, 1927 refers), and the London area was defined as having a radius of 36 miles.


Letter of 12 February 1927

12 February 192716

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

The trend of various events, affecting directly and indirectly the interests of the Bahá’í Cause, have of late served to bring into further prominence the character as well as the significance of a Faith destined to regenerate the world.

Of all the diverse issues which today are gradually tending to consolidate and extend the bounds of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, the decision of Egypt’s religious Tribunal regarding the Bahá’ís under its jurisdiction appears at the present moment to be the most powerful in its challenge, the most startling in its character, and the most perplexing in the consequences it may entail. I have already alluded in my letter of January 10, 1926, addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, to a particular feature of this momentous verdict, which after mature deliberation has obtained the sanction of Egypt’s highest ecclesiastical authorities, has been communicated and printed, and is regarded as final and binding. I have stressed in my last reference to this far-reaching pronouncement the negative aspect of this document which condemns in most unequivocal and emphatic language the followers of Bahá’u’lláh as the believers in heresy, offensive and injurious to Islám, and wholly incompatible with the accepted doctrines and practice of its orthodox adherents.

A closer study of the text of the decision will, however, reveal the fact that coupled with this strong denunciation is the positive assertion of a truth which the recognised opponents of the Bahá’í Faith in other Muhammadan countries have up to the present time either sedulously ignored or maliciously endeavoured to disprove. Not content with this harsh and unjustifiable repudiation of the so-called menacing and heretical doctrines of the adherents of the Bahá’í Faith, they proceed in a formal manner to declare in the text of that very decision their belief, that the Bahá’í Faith is a “new religion”, “entirely independent” and, by reason of the magnitude of its claim and the character of its “laws, principles and beliefs,” worthy to be reckoned as one of the established religious systems of the world. Quoting various passages judiciously gleaned from a number of Bahá’í sacred Books as an evidence to their splendid testimony, they proceed in a notable statement to deduce the fact that henceforth it shall be regarded as impossible for the followers of such a Faith to be designated as Muslim, just as it would be incorrect and erroneous to call a Muhammadan either Christian or Jew.

It cannot be denied that in the course of the inevitable developments of this present situation the resident Bahá’ís of Egypt, originally belonging to the Muslim Faith, will be placed in a most humiliating and embarrassing position. They, however, cannot but rejoice in the knowledge that whereas in various Muhammadan countries and particularly in Persia the overwhelming majority of the leaders of Islám are utterly opposed to any form of declaration that would facilitate the universal recognition of the Cause, the authorised heads of their co-religionists in one of the most advanced communities in the Muhammadan world have, of their own initiative, published to the world a document that may justly be termed as the first charter of liberty emancipating the Bahá’í Faith from the fetters of orthodox Islám. And in order to insure the complete rupture of Bahá’í official relations with Muslim Courts they lay down in unmistakable terms the condition that under no circumstances can the marriage of those Bahá’ís who have been required to divorce their Muslim wives be renewed by the Muslim Court unless and until the husbands formally recant their faith by solemnly declaring that the Qur’án is the “last” Book of God revealed to man, that no law can abrogate the Prophet’s Law, no faith can succeed His Faith, no revelation can claim to fulfill His Revelation.

While unwavering in their belief in the Divine station of the Author of the Qur’án and profoundly convinced of the necessity and worldwide influence of His Divine mission, Bahá’ís in every land stand undeterred and unabashed in the face of the strong condemnation pronounced against their brethren in Egypt. Indeed, they together with their fellow-workers in all Muslim countries welcome with gladness and pride every opportunity for further emancipation that they may set forth in a truer light the sublime mission of Bahá’u’lláh.

In the face of such an outspoken and challenging declaration, the Bahá’ís of the West cannot but feel the deepest sympathy with their Egyptian brethren who, for the sake of our beloved Cause and its deliverance, have to face all the embarrassments and vexations which the severance of old-established ties must necessarily entail. They will, however, most certainly expect every staunch and loyal believer in the Faith who resides in that land to refrain in view of the grave warning uttered expressly by our opponents, from any practice that would in any manner constitute in the eyes of a critical and vigilant enemy a repudiation of the fundamental beliefs of the people of Bahá. They will most assuredly, whenever the moment is opportune, step forth with eager hearts to offer every support in their power to their fellow-workers who, with stout hearts and irreproachable loyalty, will continue to hold aloft the standard of God’s struggling Faith. They will not fail to come to the rescue of those who with joyous confidence will endure to the very end such vicissitudes as this New Day of God, now in its birth-throes, must needs suffer and surmount.

We cannot believe that as the Movement grows in strength, in authority and influence, the perplexities and the sufferings it has had to contend with in the past will correspondingly decrease and vanish. Nay, as it grows from strength to strength, the fanatical defendants of the strongholds of orthodoxy, whatever be their denomination, realising the penetrating influence of this growing Faith, will arise and strain every nerve to extinguish its light and discredit its name. For has not our beloved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sent forth His glowing prophecy from behind the prison walls of the citadel of Akká—words so significant in their forecast of the coming world turmoil, yet so rich in their promise of eventual victory:—

“How great, how very great is the Cause; how very fierce the onslaught of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth! Erelong shall the clamour of the multitude throughout Africa, throughout America, the cry of the European and of the Turk, the groaning of India and China be heard from far and near. One and all they shall arise with all their power to resist His Cause. Then shall the Knights of the Lord, assisted by grace from on high, strengthened by faith, aided by the power of understanding and reinforced by the legions of the Covenant, arise and make manifest the truth of the verse: ‘Behold the confusion that hath befallen the tribes of the defeated!’”

Dearly beloved friends, upon us devolves the supreme obligation to stand by His side, to fight His battles and to win His victory. May we prove ourselves worthy of this trust.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 26 February 1927

26 February 1927

...quite in order to utilise the Bahá’í Fund for the payment of at least half of the travelling expenses of the Friends who come to London from a distance, “one chief object of the Fund should be to help the Friends in these difficulties”.

(Quoted in National Spiritual Assembly Minutes)


Letter of 22 March 1927

22 March 1927

LOVING APPRECIATION AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 27 April 1927

27 April 192717

Dearly-beloved friends:

With feelings of horror and indignation I communicate to you the tale of yet another tragedy involving the shedding of the blood of a martyr of the Faith on Persia’s sacred soil. I have before me, as I pen these lines, the report of the local Spiritual Assembly of Ardibíl, a town on the north-east confines of the province of Ádhirbayján, not far distant from those hallowed spots where the Báb suffered His last confinement and martyrdom. Addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia, this report recounts in simple but moving language the circumstances that have led to the cowardly crime committed in the darkness of the night at the instigation of the fanatical clergy—the deadliest opponents of the Faith in that town.

Our martyred brother, Amínu’l-‘Ulamá by name had for some time past become notorious in the eyes of the Muslim inhabitants of Ardibíl for his tenacity of faith by openly refusing at every instance to vilify and renounce his most cherished convictions. In the latter part of Ramadán—the month associated with prayer, pious deeds and fasting—his use of the public bath—that long-established institution the amenities and privileges of which are as a rule accorded only to the adherents of the Muslim Faith—had served to inflame the mob, and to provide a scheming instigator with a pretext to terminate his life. In the market-place he was ridiculed and condemned as an apostate of the Faith of Islám, who, by boldly rejecting the repeated entreaties showered upon him to execrate the Bahá’í name, had lawfully incurred the penalty of immediate death at the hands of every pious upholder of the Muslim tradition.

In spite of the close surveillance exercised by a body of guards stationed around his house, in response to the intercession of his friends with the local authorities, the treacherous criminal found his way into his home, and on the night of the 22nd of Ramadán, corresponding with the 26th of March 1927, assailed him in a most atrocious and dastardly manner. Concealing within the folds of his garment his unsheathed dagger, he approached his victim and claiming the need of whispering a confidential message in his ears plunged the weapon hilt-deep into his vitals, cutting across his ribs and mutilating his body. Every attempt to secure immediate medical assistance seems to have been foiled by malicious devices on the part of the associates of this merciless criminal, and the helpless victim after a few hours of agonising pain surrendered his soul to his Beloved. His friends and fellow-believers, alarmed at the prospect of a fresh outbreak that would inevitably result were his mortal remains to be accorded the ordinary privileges of a decent burial, decided to inter his body in one of the two rooms that served as his own dwelling, seeking thereby to appease the fury of an unrelenting foe.

He leaves behind in desperate poverty a family of minors with no support but their mother, expectant to bring forth her child, and with no hope of relief from their non-Bahá’í relatives in whose eyes they deserve to be treated only with the meanest contempt.

It appears from the above-mentioned report that the merciless assailant has been arrested, waiting, however, as has been the case with similar incidents in southern Persia, to be sooner or later released under the pressure of bribery and intimidation sedulously exercised by an impenitent enemy.

Dearest friends! Any measure of publicity the concerted efforts of the Bahá’í Spiritual Assemblies of the West, on whom almighty Providence has conferred the inestimable benefits of religious toleration and freedom, can accord to this latest manifestation of unbridled barbarism in Persia will be most opportune and valuable. It will, I am certain, confer abiding solace to those disconsolate sufferers who with sublime heroism continue to uphold the traditions of their beloved Faith. Our one weapon lies in our prayerful efforts, intelligently and persistently pursued, to arouse by every means at our disposal the conscience of unheeding humanity, and to direct the attention of men of vision and authority to these incredibly odious acts which in their ferocity and frequency cannot but constitute in the eyes of every fair-minded observer the gravest challenge to all that is sacred and precious in our present day civilisation.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 29 April 1927

29 April 1927

MAY DELIBERATIONS FIRST BRITISH BAHÁ’Í CONVENTION BE DIVINELY GUIDED AND BLESSED.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 May 1927

13 May 1927

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I thank you on behalf of our dear Guardian for your welcome letter of the 2nd.

It was with unbounded joy and great hopes for the future that we learnt of the success of your first National Convention. May it prove to be the beginning of a new era of achievement and expansion in the field of service. Time was when individually we had to drink deep from the all-satisfying teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, and although this is far from being accomplished yet it is time for us to share with many others what we firmly believe....

Miss Rosenberg left only a few days ago and I suppose she will arrive back home earlier than this letter.

As she will have plenty of news to give you I hardly need add any....

[From the Guardian:]

My dear and valued co-worker:

Although I rejoice at your appointment as member of the National and local Assemblies, I fully sympathise with you in your arduous work and responsibilities, for all of which you are so distinctly equipped and qualified. I feel that next year, the number of members should be strictly confined to nine, and a second ballot is quite proper and justified.18 I trust that the choice of Rev. Biggs signifies his unreserved acceptance of the Faith in its entirety—a condition that we must increasingly stress in the years that come. Please assure the elected members of my love, my best wishes and of my ardent prayers for them all individually and collectively that the Beloved may guide them, and reinforce their efforts for the spread of our beloved Cause.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 22 May 1927

22 May 1927

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I thank you on behalf of Shoghi Effendi for your short letter of the 8th giving the name of the occupants of the various offices.

He is glad to see the well chosen members each undertaking his suitable task with the chairman shining amongst them. However he trusts that the coming year may be one of renewed activity and greater accomplishment. Let us not be loiterers in a fast-flying world especially when we know to what grave and universal ills this Cause is a divine remedy....

[From the Guardian:]

With loving greetings and apologies for inability to write more due to mental fatigue and strain.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 25 May 1927

25 May 1927

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AFFECTIONATELY REMEMBERED HOLY SHRINES

SHOGHI


Letters of 8 October 1927 and 17 October 1927

Referred to in Minutes; no text available.


Letter of 15 November 1927

15 November 1927

LOVING APPRECIATION REMEMBRANCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 November 1927

28 November 1927

LOVING APPRECIATION TENDEREST REMEMBRANCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 5 January 1928

5 January 1928

“...Nothing should be attempted that would, in the least and however indirectly, interfere with the unqualified freedom of local and national elections....”

(Quoted in National Spiritual Assembly Minutes)


Letter of 16 January 1928

16 January 1928

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I am instructed by our dear Shoghi Effendi to thank you for your letter of Dec. 31st with enclosures all of which he was very glad and interested to read.

With regard to Miss Pinchon’s book, Shoghi Effendi feels that if she herself and the Assembly in London feel that the arrangement with the London branch of Brentano’s is really to her advantage, he would then be glad to endorse it. The arguments you had brought were really very favourable and that might help the success of the book in America. Moreover, he would wish you to thank Asgarzadeh for his commitment in helping the Assembly to promise a sum of fifty pounds. Shoghi Effendi has liked the book immensely and trusts that it may render great services and fulfil all our hopes.

He has taken notice of your solicitor’s answer with regard to official recognition by the Board of Trade and thinks your view of the subject perfectly sound. Will the answer of the Board of Trade prove a stimulus to the friends in England and help to multiply their numbers and establish the Faith?...

[From the Guardian:]

My dear and valued co-worker:

I am so glad to have the opportunity of reaffirming in person my deep affection for, and unshaken confidence in, you as well as my growing appreciation of your ability and constancy in service. I am delighted at the prospect of the joint publication of Miss Pinchon’s admirable book in London and in New York, and I would leave all subsidiary matters in this connexion to the National Assembly and Miss Pinchon herself. I wish to order beforehand 50 copies of her book at whatever price the publishers will fix the rate of its sale, and will gladly send through you the amount whenever seems to you the most suitable time. Kindly assure the friends of my continued prayers at the Holy Shrines for their welfare and the success of their arduous yet noble task.

Affectionately,
Shoghi


Letter of 8 February 1928

8 February 1928

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I am instructed by our dear Guardian to thank you for your letter of Jan. 29th with the minutes of the regular meeting of the English N.S.A. enclosed.

He has read both your letter and the minutes with interest and pleasure. He trusts that your next list of electors will show marked progress and your weekly meetings at Lindsay Hall will attract new and enlightened people. It is strange that the English Bahá’ís have really contributed a great deal to the Cause, and in the form of books and publications given us works of real and permanent value—perhaps proportionately more than America, and yet it is such a Herculean affair to bring in new fellow-workers. Perhaps just that difficulty is a sign of their merit—staunch and unflinching adherence once they believe in something.

In connection with the form in which new electors are to be admitted into the Cause, our Guardian will personally append his suggestions if any. You would do well to see what the American system is.

Shoghi Effendi hopes very much that Miss Pinchon’s book will prove a “good-seller” in England also. Perhaps in being less scholarly it might prove more popular and widely read....

[From the Guardian:]

My very dear and valued co-worker:

Pressure of cares and anxieties, most of them sudden and unforeseen, has caused the delay in mailing this letter to you. Although immersed in an ocean of preoccupations and work, I can always find the time to turn my heart in prayer at the Holy Shrines and supplicate for you as well as for your fellow-workers in that land the Beloved’s unfailing Guidance, sustaining strength and imperishable blessings. May He assist you to persevere in your task, and enable you to achieve in the various fields of your activity your heart’s desire.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 22 March 1928

22 March 1928

LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 15 April 1928

15 April 1928

My dear and valued co-worker:

I am glad to learn of your sustained activity, your undiminished enthusiasm and vigour in the service of our beloved Cause. I will, on my part, continue to pray for you from the very depths of my heart, that the Beloved may guide you in every step you take, help you to remove misunderstandings and difficulties amongst the friends and grant you strength and long life to consolidate and extend the bounds of the splendid pioneer work you are engaged in at present.

Your true brother and well-wisher,
Shoghi


Letter of 24 April 1928

24 April 1928

BROTHERLY GREETING LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 May 1928

24 May 1928

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TENDERLY REMEMBERED HOLY SHRINES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 November 1928

13 November 1928

CONVEY NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 November 1928

29 November 1928

LOVING REMEMBRANCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 December 1928

6 December 192819

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,

Events of a startling character and of the utmost significance to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, have recently transpired throughout the Near and Middle East in such rapid succession, that I feel moved to write about them to those who, in distant lands and with eager hearts, are waiting to witness the fulfilment of the prophecies of Bahá’u’lláh. You will, I am certain, rejoice with me to learn that the quickening forces of internal reform are swiftly awakening from their age-long slumber of negligence those lands which, trodden by the feet of Bahá’u’lláh and wherein are enshrined the memorable scenes of His birth, His ministry, His exiles, His banishments, His suffering and His ascension, are destined in the fullness of time to play a pre-eminent rôle in the regeneration of the East—nay of all mankind.

From Persia, the cradle of our Faith and the object of our tenderest affections, there breaks upon us the news of the first stirrings of that social and political Reformation which, as we firmly believe, is but the direct and unavoidable consequence of that great spiritual Revival ushered in by the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. These social and political forces now released by the Source of such a tremendous Revival are bound in their turn to demolish one by one the barriers that have so long impeded its flow, sapped its vitality and obscured its radiance.

From a communication addressed to me recently by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia, as well as from reliable reports submitted by the local representatives of the Persian believers, and confirmed by the vivid narrative of visiting pilgrims, it is becoming increasingly manifest that the glowing promises so many times uttered by our departed Master are, with extraordinary exactitude and remarkable swiftness, being successively fulfilled. Reforms of a revolutionary character are, without bloodshed and with negligible resistance, gradually transforming the very basis and structure of Persia’s primitive society. The essentials of public security and order are being energetically provided throughout the length and breadth of the Sháh’s domain, and are hailed with particular gratification by that much harassed section of the population—our long-suffering brethren of that land. The rapidity, the incredible ease, with which the enlightened proposals of its government, in matters of education, trade and finance, means of transportation and travel, and the development of the country’s internal resources, are receiving the unqualified sanction of a hitherto reactionary Legislature, and are overcoming the resistance and apathy of the masses, have undoubtedly tended to hasten the emancipation of our Persian brethren from the remaining fetters of a once despotic and blood-stained regime. The severely repressive and humiliating measures undertaken on the initiative of progressive provincial Governors, and with the connivance of State officials in the Capital, aiming at the scattering and ultimate extinction of a rapidly waning clergy, such as degradation, detainment, deportation and in some cases pitiless execution, are paving the way for the entire removal of the shackles imposed by an ignorant and fanatical priesthood upon the administration of State affairs. In matters of dress; in the obligatory enforcement of a uniform style of national head-gear; in the strict limitation of the number, the rights and the prerogatives of high ecclesiastical officials; in the growing unpopularity of the veil among almost every section of society; in the marked distinction which unofficially and in various phases of public life is being made by an enlightened and pressing minority between the tottering forms of a discredited Ecclesiasticism and the civil rights and duties of civilised society; in the general laxity in religious observances and ceremonies; in the slow and hidden process of secularisation invading many a Government department under the courageous guidance of the Governors of outlying provinces—in all of these a discerning eye can easily discover the symptoms that augur well for a future that is sure to witness the formal and complete separation of Church and State.

To this uplifting movement, various external factors are being added that are tending to hasten and stimulate this process of internal regeneration so significant in the life of renascent Persia. The multiplicity and increasing facilities in the means of transportation and travel; the State visit of energetic and enlightened reformers to Persia’s capital; the forthcoming and widely-advertised journey of the Sháh himself to the progressive capitals of Western Europe; the repercussion of Turkey’s astounding reforms among an essentially sensitive and receptive people; the loud and persistent clamour of a revolting order in Russia against the evil domination and dark plottings of all forms of religious sectarianism; the relentless vigour with which Afghánistán’s ambitious Ruler, reinforced by the example of his gracious Consort, is pursuing his campaign of repression against a similar order of a corrupted clergy at home—all tend to lend their force in fostering and fashioning that public opinion which can alone provide an enduring basis for the reform Movement destined to usher in that golden Era craved for by the followers of the Faith in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land.

As a direct consequence of the birth of this new consciousness in the life of the nation, as evidenced by these early stirrings in the minds of the people, both high and low, meetings of an elaborate character, unprecedented in the number of their attendants, in the tone of the public addresses, in the undisturbed atmosphere of their proceedings, and the general impressiveness of their organisation, have been publicly held in ?ihrán, under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia. Particularly significant and impressive were those that were held in the Hazíratu’l-Quds, the administrative and spiritual centre of the Faith in the Capital, on the occasion of the twin Festivals commemorating the declaration of the Báb and the birth of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, at the chief of which no less than two thousand representative Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís, leaders of public opinion, State officials and foreign representatives were officially invited. The addresses stressing the universality of the Teachings of the Cause, the formal and ordered character of the proceedings so unusual a feature to a gathering of such proportions, the mingling of the Bahá’ís with the recognised representatives of progressive thought in the Capital who, by virtue of their high office and stately appearance, lent colour and weight to the concourse of attending believers, have all contributed to enhance the brilliance and spiritual significance of that gathering on that memorable occasion.

Moreover, reports of a highly encouraging nature are being continually received from local Assemblies and individual believers, giving the names and stating the numbers of influential Persians who, hitherto reluctant to declare openly their faith in Bahá’u’lláh, are as a result of this reassuring and promising state of affairs emerging from the obscurity of their concealment and enlisting under the erected banner of Bahá’u’lláh. This has served to embolden the followers of the Faith to take the necessary steps, under the direction of their local Assemblies, for the institution of Bahá’í schools, for the holding of public gatherings, for the establishment of Bahá’í hostels, libraries and public baths, for the construction of official headquarters for their administrative work, and for the gradual execution among themselves, within the limits imposed upon them by the State, of the laws and ordinances revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Words fail me to describe the feelings of those patiently suffering brethren of ours in that land, who, with eyes dim with tears and hearts overflowing with thanksgiving and praise, are witnessing on every side and with increasing force the unfoldment of a Faith which they have served so well and love so dearly. Accounts pathetic and inspiring in their tone are being received from that steadfast and cheerful band of exultant believers, and are being shared with the resident friends in the Holy Land who, having had the privilege of close and continued association with the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cannot but marvel at the range, the potency and accuracy of the prophecies of their departed Master.

From Turkey, on whose soil, for well nigh three score years and ten, were enacted some of the sublimest and most tragic scenes in the annals of the Cause; Turkey, under whose rule Bahá’u’lláh twice proclaimed Himself, was thrice exiled and banished, and finally ascended to the Abhá Kingdom, and where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spent more than fifty years of His Life, in incarceration and suffering; has of late been rudely awakened to a Call which it has so long obstinately despised and ignored. Following on the overthrow of that effete theocracy, resting on the twin institutions of the Caliphate and Sultanate—those two sinister forces that have combined to inflict the deadliest blows to our beloved Faith in the earliest stages of its infancy and growth—an uncompromising policy aiming at the secularisation of the State and the disestablishment of Islám was initiated and carried out with exemplary vigour. Religious institutions and monastic orders which under the guise of religious propaganda were converted into hotbeds of political intrigue and sedition were peremptorily closed, their adherents scattered and banished, their funds confiscated, their privileges and prerogatives abolished. None, save the little band of Bahá’u’lláh’s devoted followers, escaped the trenchant axe of the pitiless reformer; all, without fear or favour, had to submit to his searching investigations, his dictatorial edicts, his severe and irrevocable judgment. Lately, however, the Turkish Government, faithful to its policy of ceaseless vigilance, and fearful of the growing activities of the Bahá’ís under its rule, decided to order the Police in the town of Smyrna to conduct a close investigation into the purpose, the character and the effects of Bahá’í activity in that town. No sooner were the representative Bahá’ís in that locality arrested and conducted to the Law Courts for purposes of investigation, than the President of the Bahá’í Spiritual Assembly of Constantinople who, having read in the morning papers the report of the Smyrna incident, had resolved unsummoned to offer the necessary explanations to the authorities concerned, was in his turn arrested and taken to the Police Headquarters where he soon afterwards was joined by the other members of the Assembly. The official searching of their homes, the seizure of whatever Bahá’í literature they had in their possession, their twenty-four hours’ detention at the Police station, the searching severity of the cross-examination to which they were subjected—all proved powerless to alarm and shake the faith of those intrepid champions of the Cause, or to evince anything detrimental to the best interests of the State. On the contrary, they served to deeply impress upon the minds and hearts of the officials concerned the sublimity, the innocence, and the dynamic force of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. So much so that their books were returned, a genuine desire to deepen their knowledge of the Cause was expressed by their examiners, and widespread publicity, as reflected in the articles of about a dozen leading newspapers of Turkey, was accorded by the Government, proclaiming the innocence of the Cause and lifting up the ban that now so oppressively weighs upon religious institutions in Turkey.

From Constantinople in European Turkey to the eastern confines of Anatolia, on the banks of the river Euphrates, where a small and flourishing Bahá’í Community has been recently established, a wave of public interest, criticism and inquiry has been sweeping over the surface of the land, as witnessed by the character and number of the leading articles, the illustrations and caricatures that have appeared in the most prominent newspapers of the capital and the provincial towns of Asiatic Turkey. Not only Turkey, but its neighbouring countries of the East and the West, have lifted up their voice in the vindication of the Bahá’í truth. From information thus far gathered we learn that in Hungary, in ‘Iráq, Egypt and Syria, and as far west as France and England, newspapers have, of their own accord, with varying degree of accuracy, and in more or less detail, reported this incident in their columns, and have given, unasked and unaware, such publicity to our beloved Faith which no campaign of teaching, however elaborately organised by the believers themselves, could ever hope to achieve at the present time. Surely the invincible arm of Bahá’u’lláh, working through strange and mysterious ways, will continue to guard and uphold, to steer the course, to consolidate, and eventually to achieve the world-wide recognition and triumph of His holy Faith.

And while the East, through suffering and turmoil, is moving on in its slow and toilsome march towards the acceptance of God’s holy Faith, let us turn for a moment our gaze to the Western Hemisphere, and particularly to the American continent, and attempt to visualise the possibilities of the future spread of the Cause, and to estimate afresh those golden yet swiftly passing opportunities which Bahá’u’lláh in those far-away lands has accorded to His chosen people. I feel thoroughly convinced, and am moved to share this firm conviction within me with that great company of western believers, that in the speedy resumption of the sorely-neglected construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár at Wilmette lies our undoubted privilege, our primary obligation, our most vital opportunity to lend an unprecedented impetus to the advancement of the Cause, not only throughout the West but in every country of the world. I would not stress at this moment the prestige and good name of the Cause, much as they are involved in this most pressing issue, I would not dwell upon the eager expectancy with which the unnumbered followers of the Faith as well as the vast number of the non-believers in almost every section of society throughout the East are awaiting to behold that noble structure rear its head in the heart of that far-western continent; nor would I expatiate on the ineffable beauty of this holy Edifice, its towering glory, its artistic design, its unique character, or its functions in the organic life of the Bahá’í community of the future. But I would with all the strength of my conviction emphasise the immeasurable spiritual significance of an Edifice, so beauteous, so holy, erected solely by the concerted efforts, strained to the utmost degree of self-sacrifice, of the entire body of the believers who are fully conscious of the significance of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. In this vast endeavour, unparalleled in modern times, its world-wide range, its spontaneity, its heroic and holy character, the American believers, on the soil of whose country Bahá’u’lláh’s first universal House of Worship is to be built, must, if they be faithful to their trust, claim and fulfil a pre-eminent share in the collective contributions offered by the Bahá’ís of the world.

For this reason do I feel impelled to direct my incessant plea in particular to the followers of the Faith in the United States and Canada to arise and play their part, while there is yet time, and not to allow their earnest strivings to be swamped and superseded by the self-sacrificing heroism of the multitude of their brethren in Persia. Again I feel the urge to remind you one and all of the necessity of keeping ever in mind this fundamental verity that the efficacy of the spiritual forces centering in, and radiating from, the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in the West will in a great measure depend upon the extent to which we, the pioneer workers in that land will with clear vision, unquenchable faith, and inflexible determination, resolve to voluntarily abnegate temporal advantages in our support of so meritorious an endeavour. The higher the degree of our renunciation and self-sacrifice, the wider the range of the contributing believers, the more apparent will become the vitalising forces that are to emanate from this unique and sacred Edifice; and the greater, in consequence, the stimulating effect it will exert upon the propagation of the Faith in the days to come. Not by the abundance of our donations, not even by the spontaneity of our efforts, but rather by the degree of self-abnegation which our contributions will entail, can we effectively promote the speedy realisation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s cherished desire. How great our responsibility, how immense our task, how priceless the advantages that we can reap!

I cannot refrain, however, from giving expression to my gratification and appreciation of the substantial and continued support already accorded, and in particular during the past year by the believers in the United States and Canada, under the wise and judicious direction of their elected national representatives, to the Plan of Unified Action, whose declared purpose is to insure, ere the present Bahá’í year comes to a close, the raising of the funds required for the building of the first Unit of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. The vigilance and fidelity with which the National Assembly of the United States and Canada has observed its pledge in connection with the limitation of the current administrative expenses of the Cause, and the zeal and ready response manifested by local Assemblies and individual believers to curtail their local and personal expenditures in order to concentrate on the Temple Fund, are worthy of the highest praise, and will deservedly attract the manifold blessings of a loving and bountiful Master. Much indeed has been accomplished during this past year of concentrated and consecrated self-sacrifice for so glorious a purpose. Much more still remains unachieved if we are to vindicate, in the eyes of an expectant world, the honourable name, the inexhaustible and miraculous vitality of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh.

In the mid-watches of the night, commemorating the passing of Him Who with His own hands laid the head-cornerstone of His Father’s House of Worship in that land, seated within the hallowed precincts of His shrine, and keeping vigil in the company of His closest companions, I have more than once in the midst of my devotions prayerfully remembered those chosen ones of God on whose shoulders has fallen so weighty a responsibility, whose destiny is to bring to full fruition so excellent a heritage. I have recalled on that peaceful and moonlit night, with much emotion and gratitude, the inestimable bounties He lavished while on earth upon you. I have revived in my memory the glowing promises that His unfailing guidance and gracious assistance would continue from His station on high to be showered upon you. I have pictured in my mind that beauteous vision of a Cause unfolded in all its glory which in His immortal writings He has revealed unto you. And with my head upon His threshold, I have prayed and prayed again that we may all prove ourselves worthy disciples of so gracious a Master, that we may, when called unto Him, transmit, undiminished and unimpaired, our share of the immeasurably precious heritage bequeathed by Him to us all.

And in closing, dearly-beloved friends, what more appropriate thought with which to conclude my fervent plea than these pregnant words fallen from the lips of Bahá’u’lláh: “O My friends! I bear witness that the Divine Bounty has been vouchsafed unto you, His Argument has been made manifest, His Proof has been revealed and His Guidance has shone forth upon you. Let it now be seen what your endeavours in the path of renunciation can reveal.”

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 6 December 1928

6 December 192820

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the East and West. Dear fellow-workers,

I desire to convey to you in a few words my impressions of the recently published “Bahá’í World”, copies of which I understand, have already, thanks to the assiduous care and indefatigable efforts displayed by the Publishing Committee of the American National Spiritual Assembly, been widely distributed among the Bahá’í countries of East and West.

This unique record of world-wide Bahá’í activity attempts to present to the general public, as well as to the student and scholar, those historical facts and fundamental principles that constitute the distinguishing features of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh to this age. I have ever since its inception taken a keen and sustained interest in its development, have personally participated in the collection of its material, the arrangement of its contents, and the close scrutiny of whatever data it contains.

I confidently and emphatically recommend it to every thoughtful and eager follower of the Faith, whether in the East or in the West, whose desire is to place in the hands of the critical and intelligent inquirer, of whatever class, creed or colour, a work that can truly witness to the high purpose, the moving history, the enduring achievements, the resistless march and infinite prospects of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. Eminently readable and attractive in its features, reliable and authoritative in the material it contains, up-to-date, comprehensive and accurate in the mass of information it gives, concise and persuasive in its treatment of the fundamental aspects of the Cause, thoroughly representative in the illustrations and photographs it reveals—it stands unexcelled and unapproached by any publication of its kind in the varied literature of our beloved Cause. It will, without the slightest doubt, if generously and vigorously supported, arouse unprecedented interest among all classes of civilised society.

I earnestly request you, dearly-beloved friends, to exert the utmost effort for the prompt and widespread circulation of a book that so faithfully and vividly portrays, in all its essential features, its far-reaching ramifications and most arresting aspects, the all-encompassing Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Whatever assistance, financial or moral, extended by Bahá’í Spiritual Assemblies and individual believers, to those who have been responsible for such a highly valuable and representative production will, it should be remembered, be directly utilised to advance the interests and reinforce the funds that are being raised in behalf of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, and will indirectly serve to exert a most powerful stimulus in removing the malicious misrepresentations and unfortunate misunderstandings that have so long and so grievously clouded the luminous Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 21 December 1928

21 December 192821

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!

With feelings of profound sorrow I am moved to address you these few lines mourning the loss which the Cause has undoubtedly sustained by the passing of one who, for many years and in circumstances of exceptional significance, rendered the sacred Threshold distinctive and inestimable services. The hand of Divine Decree has removed, by the death of our talented and dearly-beloved friend, Mr. Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, yet another outstanding figure in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, who, by his brilliant gifts of mind and heart as well as by the divers achievements of his life, has truly enriched the annals of God’s immortal Faith.

A pioneer of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh ever since its celestial light first warmed and illuminated the West, he has, by his close association with the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, by his contact with all sections of society, by his scholarly presentation of the history and fundamentals of the Faith, and lastly by his unforgettable share in the settlement of the complex and pressing issues that called for expert assistance in the days following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, achieved a standing which few have as yet attained.

The days of his spiritual communion with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His household within the walls of the prison-city of Akká, wherein he imbibed the principles which he later so ably expounded to the peoples of the West; his pre-eminent role on his return to Paris in kindling the torch which is destined to shed eternal illumination upon his native land and its people; the links of abiding fellowship which he forged with our Persian brethren in the course of the historic mission entrusted to his charge by our Beloved; the seeds which he scattered far and wide during his subsequent travels to the heart of Asia, throughout India, beyond the remotest villages of Burma and as far as the eastern confines of Indo-China; the able support he lent in its initial and intermediary stages to the case of Bahá’u’lláh’s house in Baghdád; his unhesitating intervention with State officials in paving the way for the ultimate emancipation of our Egyptian brethren from the yoke of orthodox Islám; the stimulating encouragement his visit caused to the Bahá’í community of Tunis on the northern shores of Africa; and last but not least the ability and diligence with which he applied himself to the solution of the delicate and vexing problems of the Holy Land in the critical years following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension—all stand out as memorable landmarks in a life that was as varied in its international aspects as it was rich in its spiritual experience.

His gifts of unfailing sympathy and penetrating insight, his wide knowledge and mature experience, all of which he utilised for the glory and propagation of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, will be gratefully remembered by future generations who, as the days go by, will better estimate the abiding value of the responsibilities he shouldered for the introduction and consolidation of the Bahá’í Faith in the Western world.

Suffering as he did in his last days from the effects of a slow and painful illness, he bore heroically his share of the afflictions of the world, and is now in the realms of blissful deliverance partaking his full share of the goodly reward which he certainly deserved. To me, and particularly amid the storm and stress that have agitated my life after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, he was a sustaining and comforting companion, a most valued counsellor, an intimate and trusted friend.

With much emotion and the deepest sense of gratitude I supplicate at the holy Threshold—and request you to join with me in my prayers—for the spiritual advancement in the realms above of a soul who by the sheer merit of the signal services he rendered already deserves to rank highly among the departed faithful.

May he forever rest in peace. Shoghi


Letter of 31 December 1928

31 December 1928

Not until harmony and concord are firmly established among the friends of London and Manchester will the Cause advance along sound and progressive lines.

May they be guided and inspired to do His Will and achieve His Purpose.

Shoghi


Letter of 29 August 1929

29 August 1929

My dear Mr. Simpson,

I write on behalf of the Guardian with reference to a subject that has lately been raised by the N.S.A. of America, and referred to him—the publication of a revised edition of the “Hidden Words” in England.

Shoghi Effendi has asked me to write to America that in view of the alterations that were lately introduced through the assistance of Miss Rosenberg and Canon Townshend, a new edition of the “Hidden Words” is fully justified and he approves of it. However he does advise that such a publication should not be taken up privately but wholly undertaken by the English N.S.A. and in view of the large stock which the American N.S.A. now holds of the present edition, he would urge that the new edition should be deferred until the American N.S.A. has sold off the bulk of its present stock. In general he would greatly desire and keenly advise better co-operation and co-ordination in the work of the American and English N.S.A. with regard to publication. London, despite its small group has done great work in Bahá’í publications but they must never forget that their market lies unfortunately mainly across the Atlantic....

...I hope you have been able to go to Geneva with Mr. Mills. Yours will be an Englishman’s sober and matter of fact talk....


Letter of 27 September 1929

27 September 192922

GUARDIAN WIRES DEEPLY REGRETS INABILITY PARTICIPATE PERSONALLY DEDICATION GATHERING OVERJOYED BRIGHT PROSPECTS LOVING GOOD WISHES, SHOGHI.

BAHÁ’ÍYYIH (taken from National Spiritual Assembly Minutes of 16 November.)


Letter of 29 November 1929

29 November 1929

My dear Mr. Simpson,

Thank you so much for your letter of Sept. 19th and for the copy of the “Hidden Words” you sent me later.

Evidently enough I kept them until our Guardian’s arrival and I now hasten to reply.

While he is well pleased with the booklet as it is now produced, Shoghi Effendi wishes me to express his regret that by appearing so soon, it has rendered the sale of a few thousand copies now in the hands of the American Publications Committee, extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Of course the Guardian appreciates your efforts and understands perfectly your desire to have a more correct and a better printed copy of the work on hand. It is with that view that he is sending enclosed a cheque to the value of £19 for which kindly send him leather bound copies exactly like the specimen you sent.

Shoghi Effendi has returned much refreshed and has again taken up his work with renewed strength. He is much hopeful of your new centre in Regent Street or thereabouts, and he trusts that it will mark a turning point in the history of the Cause in England—from happy tea-parties at individual homes, into a group of less personal but eager, active and thoughtful workers co-operating in a common service. It is a basis upon which healthy progress is possible....


Letter of 26 December 1929

26 December 1929

EARNESTLY APPEAL ENGLISH FRIENDS REINFORCE HEROIC EXERTIONS AMERICAN BRETHREN IN BEHALF MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR.

SHOGHI January 1930 (Circa) Through Mrs. Coles:—

“...I am delighted with your new centre, and will pray at the Holy Shrines from the depths of my heart for its progress. Kindly assure my dear English friends of my heartfelt appreciation of their staunchness, their renewed activity, their self-sacrificing endeavours. I will continue to pray for their individual, as well as their collective efforts, from the bottom of my heart.”

Shoghi Through Miss Challis:—

“I rejoice to hear of the new centre in London. I will pray for its extension and growth and for the success of your manifold activities....”

Shoghi Through his Secretary to Sister Challis:—

“Now that the London centre has been transferred to a better locality we hope it will attract more attention and add to the number of attendants at the meetings. We should however, bear in mind that no matter how important the hall may be—the talks given and the unity manifested are of far greater significance.”

“Shoghi Effendi has a special affection for the English friends, for he has been in their midst and knows most of them personally. He therefore wishes and prays fervently that their number may increase, and that they may render distinguished services to the Cause. Please assure them all of his prayers and extend to them his loving greetings.” (Taken from National Spiritual Assembly Minutes of 8 January 1930)


Letter of 31 January 1930

31 January 1930

With regard to change in the official title of the N.S.A. he is pleased that the matter has been definitely decided. (i.e.—“National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles.”)

In connection with the important question of collating and editing the Master’s Tablets to the friends in the British Isles ... Shoghi Effendi has already wired his reply. (i.e.—Cablegram Haifa February 3 1930—

“WELCOME TOWNSHEND’S SPLENDID SUGGESTION REGARDING COLLECTION TABLETS, ADVISE SEND ORIGINALS TO HIM FOR PRESENT.”)

Shoghi Effendi wants me to express his pleasure over such an undertaking, and he sincerely trusts that it will result into a splendid achievement for posterity—a mine of endless knowledge, illumination, and insight into Bahá’í teachings and outlook.

He wishes me to add that whereas he welcomes the work on the Tablets the friends have received from the Master he does not wish anything done on notes taken or personal accounts of visits.

The reason for this is the fear that a set of conflicting accounts of the same topic may crop up in various parts of the world from friends who have drawn largely from their memory, or have based their understanding of the Master’s opinion or words, upon the imperfect, not to say faulty, renderings of the interpreters of those days.

Such accounts are not only impossible to verify but may lead to much perplexity and constitute a set of traditions that may not prove healthy....


Letter of 29 April 1930

29 April 1930

CONVEY CONVENTION DELEGATES AND FRIENDS ASSEMBLED FEAST OF RIDVÁN LOVING APPRECIATION REMEMBRANCE HOLY SHRINES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 September 1930

20 September 1930

The work of collecting and publishing the Tablets is one of the most important tasks that this generation has undertaken, for upon it depends our true understanding of the Cause and its principles. The more we put it off, the more we are apt to lose some of the original writings. Yet important as this task may be, it is fraught with difficulties. The early translations are far from being accurate, no matter who the translator may be. Shoghi Effendi firmly believes that only Tablets with the Master’s signature and in the original tongue should be recognised. Any translations or copies of them fail from having real authority. This shows the importance of collecting the original Tablets that bear the Master’s signature. November 1930 (on the death of Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg, 17 November 1930)

DEEPLY GRIEVED PASSING ROSENBERG ENGLAND’S OUTSTANDING BAHÁ’Í PIONEER WORKER. MEMORY HER GLORIOUS SERVICE WILL NEVER DIE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S FAMILY JOIN ME IN EXPRESSING HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES HER BROTHER RELATIVES URGE FRIENDS HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL SERVICE.

SHOGHI Editor’s Note:

From the end of 1930 until early 1934 there are no records of cables or letters from the Guardian. Indeed there are very few references to the Guardian in the scanty Minutes of the National Assembly of that period. These brief Minutes indicate that only five or six short meetings were held each year.

At the meeting of the National Assembly on 12 June, 1932 it was reported that a reply had been received from Shoghi Effendi in answer to a request from a Mr Wren for some confirmation of the Lambeth Resolution on Peace. Another letter from the Guardian was read during the September 11 meeting and it was recorded that the Assembly endorsed Resolution 26 of the Lambeth Conference, 1930 “with the full sanction of Shoghi Effendi”.


Letter of 24 January 1934

24 January 193423

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

At the request of the Guardian I am sending you enclosed the programme of “The New Commonwealth”, a society for the promotion of international law and order, having its headquarters in London, and which seems to have a wide and well selected membership. The Guardian wishes the British N.S.A. to consider the possibility of their joining this organisation, and to carefully investigate whether any affiliation with that body involves any political allegiance or may indirectly and eventually lead to participation in any form of political activity. In the contrary case, he strongly advises the N.S.A. to join that organisation, as he feels that in this way the friends can give a wide and effective publicity to the teachings of the Cause. Membership in non-political organisations of this type is, indeed, the best method of teaching indirectly the Message by making useful and frequent contacts with well-known and influential persons who, if not completely won to the Faith, can at least become of some effective use to it.

Trusting that you are in the best of health, and with the assurance of Shoghi Effendi’s ardent prayers on your behalf and on behalf of all the friends in London.

Yours in His Service,


Letter of 11 February 1934

11 February 1934

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your letters dated Jan. 20th and Feb. 2nd, 1934, all of which he read with deep interest. He has also received the text of the High Commissioner’s reply to your petition.

With regard to the “New Commonwealth” society he would advise the N.S.A. to join it as soon as possible after having carefully ascertained that affiliation with such a body does not involve any political allegiance to any doctrine or group. As you have already stated this organisation is run on non-party lines. It would be, however, advisable that you should find out the real aims and objectives of the society and specially the methods it advocates for the carrying out of its ideals before definitely joining it.

The Guardian hopes that this will give the friends a further opportunity to make new contacts, and to draw more competent and sincere people to the Cause. He is fully alive to the difficulties facing the friends at the present time. But he would urge each and all to work harder than ever, and to persevere in order that the Faith may be better appreciated and understood by the public.

He will continue to supplicate on behalf of you all at the Holy Shrines, so that Bahá’u’lláh may sustain you in your efforts to spread His message.

With best wishes for Mr. Slade and yourself,
Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless richly your continued and self-sacrificing endeavours, restore your health, cheer your heart, and enable you to promote effectively the vital interests of our beloved Faith.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 5 May 1934

5 May 1934

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

I wish to thank you in the name of the Guardian for your deeply appreciated letter of April 24th, as well as for the article on Jerusalem which appeared in “Time and Tide”, all of which he greatly enjoyed reading.

In regard to Mr. Townshend’s book24 he wishes me to renew his request that your N.S.A. should seriously consider the ways and means for the speedy publication of this highly valuable work, the spread of which cannot but give an unprecedented publicity to the Faith. He values the efforts that have thus far been exerted to this end and particularly appreciates the careful attention you have given the matter and hopes that as a result of these combined efforts something truly substantial will be achieved.

Shoghi Effendi feels rather surprised that no acknowledgment has thus far been made of his last general letter, Feb. 8,25 to the believers of the West, a copy of which was forwarded to you as secretary of the N.S.A. Will you please be kind enough to inform him whether the said document has reached you safely.

With the renewed assurance of his best wishes and of his continued supplications for the speedy development of the Cause in your country.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

With the assurance of my continued prayers for the extension of the range of your splendid activities and for the success of your constant and high endeavours,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 15 May 1934

15 May 1934

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

The Guardian has received and deeply appreciated your message dated May 7th, and was gratified to learn of the results of your national Bahá’í elections. He wishes me to convey to you, and to the remaining officers of the N.S.A. his hearty greetings, and his best wishes for the success and continued expansion of your Bahá’í activities in this year. He is fervently praying for your guidance and assistance in all the various and historic steps you are taking for the spread and the consolidation of the Movement throughout Great Britain.

What the Guardian would strongly urge your National Assembly to do in the next few months is a renewed and decisive effort for the speedy publication of Mr. Townshend’s recent book on the Cause. Through the reading of such a challenging and scholarly work many will, undoubtedly, be awakened and stimulated, while others will be infuriated to the extent of virulently attacking the Faith. The unprecedented publicity which the Cause will be thus receiving will in itself constitute an important step towards a wider and fuller recognition of the Movement by distinguished personalities, in both intellectual and social circles. Mr. Townshend’s book is, indeed, very timely, and through it the friends and the non-believers will be given a new vision of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi is hoping that, as a result of his repeated requests, your N.S.A. will be stimulated to renew and persevere in their efforts in this vitally important matter.

With the renewed assurance of his prayers on your behalf and on behalf of the friends in London.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

I will fervently pray that the obstacles that stand in your way and which hinder the publication of Canon Townshend’s splendid work will be completely and speedily surmounted. I anticipate an outburst of interest and an unprecedented revival of activity as a direct result of the circulation of this notable work—a work which I trust will prove a landmark in the history of the Faith in your land.

Shoghi


Letter of 2 July 1934

2 July 1934

Dear Mrs. Slade,

Shoghi Effendi is pleased to learn, from your letters of June 11th and 16th, of the new possibilities for the publication of Canon Townshend’s book. Realising the number and force of the difficulties which have thus far stood in your way, he cannot indeed but feel gratified that you have at last been able to overcome some of them. He hopes that through your determination to have this valuable booklet published without any further delay some valuable and permanent result will be achieved, and that a few people of capacity and influence will be attracted to the Faith.

In case no publishing firm accepts your offer for the printing of the booklet, the Guardian approves that the N.S.A. should undertake the publication.

Hoping to hear very soon some more definite and encouraging news about this matter, and with the Guardian’s best wishes for you and for your collaborators in the N.S.A.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

With the renewed assurance of my loving and continued prayers for the success of your unsparing efforts for the spread of His Faith and the consolidation of its institutions,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 11 July 1934

11 July 1934

Dear Mrs. Slade,

On behalf of the Guardian I wish to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, and to assure you once more of his deepfelt appreciation of your highly-valued efforts for the publication of Canon Townshend’s booklet on the Cause. He hopes that the believers the world over will co-operate with your N.S.A. for giving the work the widest publicity possible, and by ordering as many copies as they can for distribution in their own communities. They will surely appreciate, and draw great benefit from, this original and beautifully-written essay of Mr. Townshend, and they will certainly do their best to make it known by the outside world.

Shoghi Effendi wishes you to send him, as soon as the book is published, 150 copies for his library. He will also place some of them in Bahá’u’lláh’s Mansion at Bahjí for the benefit of the Bahá’í as well as non-Bahá’í visitors.

With the renewed assurance of his best wishes and of his continued prayers on your behalf.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your incessant and meritorious endeavours and crown them with unprecedented success,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 2 September 1934

2 September 1934

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has received and read with much interest your letter of August 9th. It gives him pleasure to learn that the agreement for the publication of Canon Townshend’s book has already been signed, and he is looking forward to see the book out of the press within the next few weeks. He hopes that your communications with the American N.S.A. for bringing out an American edition of this same book are proceeding satisfactorily, as he has every reason to believe that the friends in America will do their best to secure for that important publication the widest demand and publicity possible.

Shoghi Effendi would advise that you should also communicate with the N.S.A. of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand, and with other English speaking Assemblies, groups and individuals, informing them of this new publication, and asking for their assistance in creating for it as wide a demand as possible.

With his renewed greetings and best wishes to you and to all the friends in London,

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

I have read your letter of May 22 and Aug. 9 with joy and thankfulness as both eloquently testify to your inflexible resolve to promote by every means in your power the best interests of our beloved Cause. I trust and pray that the effect of the publication of the “Promise” will be such as to gladden your heart and reinforce the constant efforts which you have so devotedly exerted in recent years for the propagation of the Faith. I will soon send the cheque for the books I have asked you to send me and which I will distribute as widely as I possibly can.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 30 September 1934

30 September 1934

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has directed me to thank you for your welcome letter dated September fifth. The news of the passing away of Mr. Simpson has deeply grieved his heart. He hopes and fervently prays that the Beloved may fully reward him for all the services which he has rendered the Faith in Great Britain, and particularly for the active part which he took during the early days of his association with the Movement, in establishing the Cause of the Administration in that land. May the Almighty enable his soul to progress spiritually in the other world, and may the memory of his earlier services to the Faith sustain and encourage the friends in their labours for the propagation of the Cause in Great Britain.

The Guardian has already written Mr. ... concerning Mr. ... gift to the Cause and has expressed his profound appreciation of the suggestion made by him to have his property registered in the name of your National Assembly. This step, he is convinced, would be of great help to your Assembly, in that it would assist in enabling it to obtain full legal recognition from the authorities and thus become an effective and powerful organ for the administration of Bahá’í affairs throughout the British Isles. But, if your Assembly feels that such a step would be premature, he suggests that you should have the property registered in the name of the Palestine Branch of the American N.S.A., until such time as your own Assembly would be in a position to acquire full legal recognition from the British authorities, and will be entitled to hold property in Palestine. In the meantime the American N.S.A. can issue a statement testifying that this property is registered only temporarily in their name, and that as soon as the incorporation is effected they will have it transferred to the name of the National Assembly of the British Isles.

Concerning the material which your Assembly has been requested to provide for the writing of a history of the Cause in England, the Guardian feels the advisability of making as few references to individuals as possible. He further suggests that emphasis be placed on two major events, the Master’s visit to England, and the publication of Dr. Esslemont’s “New Era” which, indeed, constitutes a real landmark in the history of the Faith in that country.

There is another point to which the Guardian wishes to draw the attention of your N.S.A. It is the importance which national Bahá’í summer schools are acquiring in the development and spread of the Cause. Two of these, as you know, have already been established and are now regularly functioning, that of America with its three branches in Green Acre, Lou-Helen Ranch and Geyserville, and that of Esslingen in Germany which in the last two years has considerably developed, and has attracted the attention of non-German believers throughout the Bahá’í world. The Guardian suggests that pending the establishment of a similar Bahá’í Summer School in England, your Assembly should take into consideration the most effective way in which it can co-operate with the German friends in furthering the interests of their summer school at Esslingen. Meanwhile an effort should be made by our English believers to take the necessary steps for the formation of a similar institution in Great Britain. Many Bahá’í travellers in Europe, mostly American, have had this summer the opportunity of attending meetings and classes of the friends in Esslingen. Mr. and Mrs. Greven, Mrs. Collins, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop representing the Bahá’í Bureau at Geneva. Bahá’ís from Austria and Persia attended. Miss Jack and Mrs. Gregory came specially from the Balkans, and gave detailed reports on the conditions of the Cause in the Balkans. In view of this international importance which the Esslingen summer school is thus acquiring, at least in Europe, the Guardian feels the advisability of your National Assembly being represented at these important gatherings.

In closing I wish to ask you to convey the Guardian’s greetings and love to Mr. Asgharzádeh who, as you write, seems to be suffering from ill-health. Will you kindly assure him of Shoghi Effendi’s prayers for his complete recovery, and express his appreciation of his continued labours for the Cause in London.

With warmest greetings to you and to all the friends, Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker:

The utmost effort, I feel, should be exerted to ensure the incorporation of the British National Assembly. Should the authorities require a document setting forth the laws and principles governing the activities of the community, the text of the Declaration of Trust and By-laws now operating in America and adopted by the National Assemblies of Egypt, India and ‘Iráq should be presented to them. The text is published in Vol. IV of the “Bahá’í World” and constitutes a pattern for all national Bahá’í constitutions. I would also greatly welcome close collaboration by the believers in England in the development of the very useful and promising summer school recently initiated in Esslingen and which has served this summer as a meeting place of teachers and representatives in Europe.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 22 November 1934

22 November 1934

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters dated September 21st and November 16th have been received and their contents carefully noted by the Guardian.

He has also received the one hundred and fifty copies of “The Promise of All Ages” and wishes me to thank you for them, and to renew his appreciation of your painstaking efforts for the publication of this most timely and singularly penetrating book on the Cause. He hopes and prays that your labours in this connexion may be abundantly rewarded. He has already sent Mr. Townshend a cheque of thirty-five pounds on account of the 150 copies of his book. He hopes the sum will reach him very soon. He would deeply appreciate if you kindly send him copies of the letters of acknowledgment which you receive from those to whom the book has been offered, as in this way he can more or less know of the reaction which the book has produced on the mind of the intellectual public in London and elsewhere.

With regard to Mr. Townshend’s suggestion to procure the copyright of the portraits of the Master taken in Paris, Shoghi Effendi fully approves the idea, and would advise you to write the Paris Assembly about it and to try to enlist their co-operation and help in this matter.

The Guardian also wishes to express his whole-hearted approval of the steps your National Assembly is taking for incorporating their Assembly as a duly recognised religious body in England and throughout the British Isles. He would suggest that in case the authorities refuse to recognise the N.S.A. as a religious society you should insist on having it temporarily registered as a commercial body or under any other designation. He requests you to send him copies of the registration documents as soon as they are ready, as he intends to take the necessary steps for the establishment of a Palestine Branch of your National Assembly similar to that which the American N.S.A. now possesses in Palestine.

With his fervent prayers and loving greetings to you and to all the friends in London,

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker:

The books you have sent me are being widely distributed and I am sure they will serve to stimulate genuine interest in the fundamentals of the Faith. A special and sustained effort, I feel, should be exerted by your National Assembly in order to ensure that copies of this brilliant production may reach most, if not all the Bahá’í centres throughout the East and West and may be made accessible to the most influential leaders and organisations in every continent of the Globe. The success it can achieve largely depends upon the publicity which the continued and organised endeavours of your Assembly can now accord it.

Praying for your success and protection.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 17 December 1934

17 December 1934

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has directed me to thank you for your welcome letter dated December 8th, and also for the undated one just received.

In regard to his money order for the 150 copies of the “Promise of All Ages”, he wishes you to offer the remaining sum to your National Assembly for the purposes of their national fund.

He is pleased to learn that the editor of “The Times’ Literary Supplement” has accepted to have Canon Townshend’s book reviewed in his paper. He trusts that the result will be such as to stimulate many people to buy this volume, and to carefully and seriously study and meditate upon its contents.

With reference to Mr. ... property on Mt. Carmel, the Guardian specially requests you to proceed quickly in the matter of your National Assembly’s incorporation so as to enable him to establish a branch of that Assembly in Palestine and thus make possible the registration of the land in question in the name of the British N.S.A. The land is completely safe-guarded at present.

He would deeply appreciate if you send him photostatic copies of the registration documents as soon as they will be ready.

In this connection, the Guardian wishes me to draw once more your attention to the importance of following, in the adoption of your Assembly’s constitution, complete and exact wording of the text of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the American N.S.A., with due consideration however to all local conditions which may necessitate some minor departure from the original American copy.

It will interest you to know that the N.S.A. of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma have carefully followed the constitutions adopted by the American believers, both in the local and the national sphere, and have succeeded in registering their National Assembly as a legal body empowered to administer the affairs of the Cause throughout India and Burma. The Guardian is now engaged in establishing a branch of the Indian N.S.A. in Palestine. The National Assemblies of Egypt, ‘Iráq and Persia have likewise adopted without any alteration whatever the text of the American constitution as a pattern for their local as well as national regulations and by-laws.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty enable you to surmount all the obstacles that stand in your path and accomplish the great project which you are initiating, and establish your manifold administrative activities on a sound, permanent and unassailable basis.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 27 December 1934

27 December 1934

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has directed me to send you enclosed a copy of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India and Burma.

You will find, after going carefully over the text, that except for Article VIII which is being amended, it is fully identical with the constitution adopted by the American N.S.A., and as such is in close conformity with the principles laid down by the Guardian concerning national Bahá’í constitutions throughout the world.

He feels it his duty, now that your N.S.A. is taking steps for its formal registration in the Government, to earnestly request you to adopt, in its entirety and without any alteration, the full text of the constitution of the American N.S.A. so as to maintain the necessary uniformity in the essential principles of the Administrative Order. Whatever is not specified in the text of this national constitution, the Guardian has already explained to the National Assemblies of America, India, Egypt, ‘Iráq and Persia, is to be left to the discretion of these Assemblies. He does not object if there be any differences in these secondary matters, but he feels that he should insist on uniformity in essentials. Diversity in unity—which is so vital and basic a principle of the Movement—would thereby be maintained.

With heartiest greetings to you and to all the friends, Yours in His Service,


Letter of 15 February 1935

15 February 1935

Dear Mrs. Slade,

I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letters of the fourth of January last and of the seventh of this month, all of which he has read with deepest interest.

He was, however, grieved to learn of the slight indisposition in your health, and particularly of the serious illness of Miss Elsie Lea. He is praying for you both at the Holy Shrines that you may be given the necessary strength to resume your work for the Cause in London.

With regard to the situation in Persia, it is pretty bad indeed. Conditions have not improved in the slightest degree, and the friends are still suffering from the intolerable burden of restrictions imposed upon them by the Authorities. The Guardian does not advise your Assembly to enter into detailed correspondence with any of the friends there, but sees no objection if you send them copies of your News Letters....

The friends will no doubt appreciate the possibilities which the admission of so distinguished a person as ... in their midst will have for the Cause. This new development should, indeed, encourage and stimulate them to persevere, nay to redouble their efforts for the extension of their teaching activities throughout Great Britain. The future of the Cause in that country is, indeed, bright. But the friends should also exert their utmost, lest through neglect and apathy its progress be impeded. Now that such a wonderful opportunity has presented itself to them, it is their responsibility to take their full chance and to make a renewed attempt to extend and further consolidate their teaching work in London and throughout the British Isles.

Shoghi Effendi is fervently praying that through the confirmations and blessings of Bahá’u’lláh you may all be assisted in effectively attaining this objective.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker:

I am so pleased to learn of the splendid response of ... to the call of our Faith, and would urge you to make a special effort, in conjunction with the friends and Assemblies in England, to aid him to deepen his faith and extend the scope of his valued activities. I will pray for the success of your efforts and the realisation of your highest hopes.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 7 April 1935

7 April 1935

Dear Mrs. Slade,

Shoghi Effendi has received your letters dated March 8th and April 1st, and wishes me to thank you for them.

With regard to the incorporation of the British N.S.A., he is sorry, indeed, that the authorities have definitely refused your application. He is, nevertheless, confident that your Assembly’s efforts in this connection will, in due time, bear fruit, and that the officials concerned will gradually come to alter their views regarding the nature and significance of the Movement.

In the meantime, the Guardian can have ... property on Mt. Carmel transferred to the name of the Palestine Branch of the American N.S.A.

With the renewed expression of Shoghi Effendi’s deepfelt appreciation of your services, and with his loving greetings and best wishes to you and to the friends in London....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-worker,

I grieve to learn of the refusal of the Board of Trade to incorporate the National Assembly, but I feel certain that the friends will not allow this setback to damp their zeal or to weaken their determination to prosecute the work they have so devotedly undertaken. It may indeed prove a blessing in disguise, and I would urge the friends to persevere and not to lose heart and to rest assured that our beloved Faith will ultimately conquer.

With my best wishes for all of you,
Shoghi


Letter of 9 December 1935

9 December 1935

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has just received letters from Sir Herbert Samuel and Sir Francis Younghusband inviting him to attend and present a paper on the subject: How to promote the spirit of World Fellowship through religion at the projected conference of the “World Fellowship Through Religion” to be held in London this coming July.

As he is unable to be present at this meeting, he has thought best to ask the British N.S.A. to act as his representatives, and to appoint someone to read this paper which he is asking Mr. Townshend to prepare for that occasion. He is specially writing Mr. Townshend about it, and urging him to have the statement ready by the end of January, when it has to be handed by your N.S.A. to Sir Francis Younghusband according to his request from the Guardian.

He also thinks it necessary for your Assembly to communicate as promptly as you can with Sir F. Younghusband, and to express your readiness and pleasure to participate in the activities and deliberations of the World Fellowship conference.

In view of the vital importance of this gathering, at which representatives of various religious organisations will be present, and specially as Sir Herbert Samuel has himself expressed the desire that the Cause should be authoritatively and adequately represented there, Shoghi Effendi would urge the British N.S.A. to make every effort to fully avail themselves of this splendid opportunity for giving the Faith in England a fresh and unprecedented impetus.

Wishing you complete success in your labours in this connection, and awaiting the news of the progress of the action that you will take in this matter,

Yours in His Service,


Letter of 26 December 1935

26 December 1935

Dear Mrs. Slade,

This letter is to confirm the one I wrote you nearly two weeks ago at the direction of the Guardian regarding the projected World Congress of Faiths to be held in London next summer.

As stated in that letter, the Guardian has whole-heartedly accepted the Committee’s invitation, as expressed through both Sir Herbert Samuel and Sir Francis Younghusband, to have the Cause authoritatively represented at the above-mentioned Congress.

He now wishes to urge again your N.S.A. to speed up the matter of preparing the address which he has requested Mr. Townshend to prepare for that occasion. He is also urging Mr. Townshend to have the address ready for presentation to the Committee towards the end of next January.

The Guardian hopes that the N.S.A. will do its very best to speed up this matter.

With his renewed thanks to you and to the friends, Yours in His Service,


Letter of 13 March 1936

13 March 1936

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has just sent you a cable asking you to send him, as soon as you can, two copies of the photograph of the N.S.A. of the British Isles of the year 1935–36 for publication in Volume Six of the “Bahá’í World”. He hopes there will be no delay in forwarding to him these photographs.

Thanking you in anticipation,
Yours in His Service,


Letter of 16 March 1936

16 March 1936

Dear Mrs. Slade,

The Guardian has been very pleased to learn, from the report you have submitted for the next issue of the “Bahá’í World” regarding the activities of the Cause in England, that the centre in London has been given by the authorities the status of a place of worship, and that the Movement has been registered as a definite religious community.

If there are any documents or any letters you have obtained from the Government in connection with such a registration will you kindly send him reproductions of them as promptly as you can for publication in the next issue of the “Bahá’í World” (Vol. VI).

With many thanks and warmest greetings, Yours in His Service,


Letter of April 1936

April 1936

The National Teaching Committee of the N.S.A. of the British Isles.

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian has read with profoundest interest the second number of the “Teaching Bulletin” issued by the N.S.A. of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles, and feels highly gratified at the steps your committee is taking for the inauguration of a new teaching campaign throughout England. This is surely a clear evidence of the new spirit animating the friends in that country, and a further revelation of their intense desire to give the cause of teaching a fresh and unprecedented stimulus. There is undoubtedly no higher call than that of bringing the Message to a world tormented and torn on every side by the forces of destructive materialism. It is for us to realise the full measure of responsibility that has been laid upon our shoulders in this matter, and having attained full consciousness of our responsibility to unitedly arise to contribute all that we can towards its discharge.

It is Shoghi Effendi’s hope that under the guidance and encouragement of the N.S.A. your committee’s work will steadily progress, and that the results achieved will be such as to create further confidence and arouse fresh hopes in your activities among all the friends throughout the British Isles. He is looking eagerly forward to learn more of your activities, and to witness further signs of the effectiveness, unity and power with which you are striving to diffuse the Teachings and principles of the Cause.

May the Almighty ever bless and sustain you in your labours....


Letter of 27 April 1936 (Convention)

27 April 1936 (Convention)

DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE FERVENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 3 May 1936

3 May 1936

The National Teaching Committee of the N.S.A. of the British Isles.

Dear friends and co-workers,

The Guardian has instructed me to convey to you his deep gratitude for your welcome message of April 21st. He has been made truly happy by its perusal and wishes me to express once more his genuine appreciation of the remarkable work which your committee is accomplishing for the spread of the Message throughout England. He wishes you full success in your labours, and is praying to Bahá’u’lláh to guide and assist you in every step you are taking for the dissemination of His Teachings and the establishment of His Faith in your country.

His chief advice to you is perseverance without which, he strongly feels, no success is attainable. The difficulties in your way are undoubtedly manifold and not always easy to overcome. But provided you persevere, and face with courage, full faith and confidence such obstacles you can be sure of attaining the goal you have set yourselves to achieve.

Now is the beginning of your work. And as in the beginning of every task you are bound to meet all sorts of difficulties. The more you strive to overcome these, the greater will be your reward, and the nearer you will get to that glorious success which, as repeatedly promised by Bahá’u’lláh, must needs crown the efforts of all those who, whole-heartedly and with pure detachment, strive to work for the spread and establishment of His Cause.

With cordial greetings and every good wish....

[From the Guardian:]

With the renewed assurance of my loving and constant prayers for the extension of your meritorious activities and services,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 9 May 1936

9 May 1936

Dear Mr. Hofman,

The Guardian has duly received your letter of April 29th written at the direction of the N.S.A. of the British Isles, and he wishes me to thank you for it.

He has learned with deep satisfaction of the result of your national elections, and has instructed me to convey to each and every member of your newly elected assembly his hearty congratulations and sincere good wishes. He hopes that the officers of the N.S.A. will be fully guided in the discharge of their manifold and heavy responsibilities, and that through their collective and sustained efforts the Cause will receive a fresh and unprecedented impetus throughout England. He is praying from the very depth of his heart on behalf of you all, entreating Bahá’u’lláh to ever bless, sustain and guide you in your labours.

The Guardian would deeply appreciate receiving the minutes of the N.S.A. meetings, and hopes that you will send these to him as regularly as you can.

With his renewed and most loving greetings, also to the members of the N.S.A....

[From the Guardian:]

Wishing you the fullest success in your high and deeply appreciated endeavours,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 3 September 1936

3 September 1936

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

Your welcome letter of August 7th together with the enclosed programme of the English Bahá’í Summer School and Mrs. Bishop’s notes on the Bahá’í session of the World Fellowship of Faiths Congress have all duly arrived and been read with sustained interest and deepest appreciation by our beloved Guardian.

He has been particularly pleased to read Mrs. Bishop’s report which is truly illuminating and highly encouraging. The Cause has no doubt been well represented at the Congress, and the attendants must have surely been deeply impressed by the manner in which the Message was introduced and presented by both the Bahá’í and non-Bahá’í speakers.

The Guardian feels particularly grateful for the share which your N.S.A., as well as your distinguished and able co-workers Mrs. Bishop and Madame Orlova have contributed towards the success of the Bahá’í meeting. May the noble efforts which you all have so unitedly and so successfully exerted in this connection serve to attract, even as a magnet, the blessings of God and His favours upon the entire community of the believers throughout the British Isles.

With every good wish and hearty greetings to you, and to your fellow-members in the N.S.A....

[From the Guardian:]

Dearest co-workers,

I rejoice to learn of the splendid work that has recently been achieved. Your accomplishments should spur you on to achieve still greater results in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í service. My prayers will be offered on your behalf. The work in which you are so devotedly engaged is near and dear to my heart. Persevere and never feel disheartened.

Affectionately,
Shoghi


Letter of 17 October 1936

17 October 1936

Dear Mr. Hofman,

I am directed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your letter dated August 25th with the enclosed minutes of the British N.S.A.’s last meeting. He has read them all with utmost care and profoundest appreciation.

Regarding your Summer School; he is indeed grateful to your Assembly for the great success that has attended your efforts for the formation of this institution, the teaching value of which for England cannot be overestimated. He wishes, in particular, to offer his most sincere thanks to the Bahá’í youth group in London for their remarkable share in making the school such an outstanding success this year. This has been certainly a bold undertaking, considering the limited number and resources of the believers in England. But the results obtained are highly encouraging and augur well for the future of this first English Bahá’í Summer School. The unity, courage and whole-hearted loyalty of the friends have enabled them to boldly face and successfully overcome the difficulties and obstacles which may have first appeared, to many at least, to be quite unsurmountable. The Guardian would, therefore, urge all the believers to persevere in their efforts for raising the standard, both intellectual and spiritual, of their Summer School and to heighten its prestige in the eyes of the friends, and of the general non-Bahá’í public outside. The institution of the Summer School constitutes a vital and inseparable part of any teaching campaign, and as such ought to be given the full importance it deserves in the teaching plans and activities of the believers. It should be organised in such a way as to attract the attention of the non-believers to the Cause and thus become an effective medium for teaching. Also it should afford the believers themselves an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Teachings, through lectures and discussions and by means of close and intense community life.

As regards the N.S.A.’s request concerning Mrs. Bishop’s teaching services in England, the Guardian wishes you to assure your fellow-members of his hearty approval of their suggestion that she should extend her stay in your country for another year. He is advising her to visit Geneva for a brief period and then return immediately back to England....

[From the Guardian:]

Dearest co-worker,

I wish to congratulate in person the English believers, and particularly the members of the youth group, on their splendid achievements. The activities they have initiated, the perseverance, zeal and fidelity they have increasingly manifested, the plans they have conceived and the obstacles they have already overcome, rejoice my heart and arouse fresh hopes and expectations within me. I will continue to pray for their success. Rest assured and persevere.

Affectionately,
Shoghi


Letter of 2 December 1936

2 December 1936

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

Your kind letter of November 22nd with enclosures have been read with deep interest and profound gratitude by our beloved Guardian, and their contents have imparted fresh encouragement to his heart. He has also received your communication of the 28th September with the accompanying minutes of the British N.S.A. and the report of your Summer School, and is indeed sorry for the long delay in thanking you for them.

Regarding Mr. Townshend, the Guardian is pleased to hear that he has written you, and offered a method whereby he could be freed to serve the Faith. He is confident that your N.S.A. will give this matter their most careful and sympathetic consideration, and fervently hopes that they will, as a result, be able to find some way that would relieve Mr. Townshend of his many domestic cares and troubles which, as you know only too well, seriously impede the progress and expansion of his activities for the Faith.

It is a matter of deep regret, indeed, that our dear friend’s material position is such as to make it quite impossible for him to devote his full time and energies to the Cause. The friends in Great Britain, who are in special need of his able assistance in their teaching work, should, therefore, consider it their responsibility to find some solution to this urgent problem facing one of their most distinguished and competent fellow-workers.

Any suggestion which your N.S.A. could offer would certainly be deeply appreciated by Mr. Townshend, and the Guardian would be only too pleased to assist your Assembly in insuring the success of any plan you may propose and decide upon in this matter.

Wishing you full and continued success in your work, and assuring you again of Shoghi Effendi’s fervent prayers on your behalf and on behalf of your fellow-members in the N.S.A....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and prized co-worker,

Your splendid collaboration with the English believers is, as I am gradually and increasingly realising it, infusing a new life and a fresh determination into individuals and assemblies which will prove of the utmost benefit to our beloved Cause. Persevere in your remarkable efforts and historic achievements. With the aid of Mrs. Bishop an unprecedented and most powerful impetus will I am sure be given to the onward march of the Cause of God. I am deeply grateful to you.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 10 January 1937

10 January 1937

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has instructed me to inform you of the receipt of your communications of the 6th and 24th December and of the 1st January, all of which he has read, together with their enclosures, with sustained interest. Kindly convey to your fellow-members in the N.S.A. his appreciation and gratitude for the truly valuable work they are accomplishing for the promotion of the Faith in Great Britain. He is continually and fervently praying for the guidance and success of the plans they have recently initiated for the extension of the teaching work and for the consolidation of the administrative institutions of the Cause in their land.

The Guardian is specially praying for the success of your N.S.A.’s project in connection with Mr. Townshend’s problem. Much as he realises the financial difficulties involved in such a plan, he is nevertheless convinced that if every individual believer, no matter how limited his resources, pledges himself to give it his whole-hearted and continued support it will eventually, though after considerable effort and self-sacrifice, become effective and successful. The opportunity has now come for the friends in Great Britain to demonstrate the measure of their devotion to the Cause, as well as their capacity to maintain, consolidate and extend its nascent administrative institutions in that land. The occasion calls for a tremendous amount of sacrifice, of perseverance and united labour on the part of the friends, and for the self-same devotion that characterised the nation-wide efforts of the American believers for the building up of their beloved Temple at Wilmette. May the friends in Great Britain, despite their limited numbers and resources, be guided and assisted to successfully meet this challenge. Their triumph will assuredly draw upon them the blessings and confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh, and may prove to be the signal for fresh conquests and unprecedented developments in the Cause throughout the British Isles.

Regarding the New Commonwealth Society, the Guardian does not wish the friends, whether individually or collectively, to affiliate themselves with this and other kindred organisations, in view of the fact that the aims and ideals upheld by such bodies do not entirely conform to the Teachings, and hence there is always the possibility of creating complications for the Cause by accepting membership in them.

However, as the New Commonwealth Society is nearer to the Cause than perhaps any other organisation of its kind, the Guardian would advise the friends to participate, occasionally and in an informal manner, in its activities, to attend some of its meetings, and to contribute articles to its publications. Association, as you certainly realise, is quite different from affiliation, and it is the latter which the Guardian wishes the friends to strictly avoid.

With his warmest greetings and sincere good wishes to you and your fellow-members in the N.S.A....

[From the Guardian:]

With the renewed assurance of my continued, my loving and ardent prayers for the expansion and the consolidation of the splendid work which the English believers are unitedly accomplishing for the furtherance of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 24 February 1937

24 February 1937

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

I am directed by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your welcome communications of the 19th January and the enclosed latest number of the “Bahá’í Journal” issued by the British N.S.A., and to transmit to you, and through you to your distinguished collaborators in that body, his admiration and gratitude for the quick action you have been prompted to take in connection with the formation of a Publishing Company under the direction of your National Assembly.

The plan you have conceived is certainly bold, knowing how limited are the number and resources of the believers in England. But it nevertheless offers great possibilities of development and success, provided your Assembly gives it full moral and financial support, and succeeds in stimulating the interest and obtaining the assistance of the believers outside Great Britain for its immediate and effective prosecution.

In this connection, he wishes you to assure the N.S.A. of his whole-hearted and full approval of their suggestion to solicit subscriptions from the Bahá’ís of those countries who normally order literature from them. He feels it, indeed, to be the duty of every believer who has the means, and has also the interest of the Cause at heart, to assist in any capacity, and to any extent he can, in carrying out the British N.S.A.’s project. Nothing can demonstrate more effectively the spirit of solidarity and self-sacrifice which should animate the friends than their response to this call. Aside from the fact that London is the heart of the British Empire, and as such commands an importance which few other centres in the world can equal and should consequently be raised to the status of one of the leading outposts of the Faith, it should be stated that now that the Administrative Order has at last been firmly established and is being increasingly consolidated in that centre, it is the supreme obligation of all the believers, both in Great Britain and other European countries, to assist by every means in hastening this internal development and growth. And it is quite evident that the formation of a Publishing Company along the lines suggested by the British N.S.A. is the greatest asset to such a development and expansion of the Cause in London and throughout England as a whole.

It is the Guardian’s hope that the response which the friends will make to this project will be such as to mark the inauguration of a new era of expansion of the Cause throughout the British Isles, and the rest of the far-flung British Empire. He would appeal to every believer to carefully ponder upon the responsibilities which he is called upon to shoulder in order to meet this supreme and vital obligation.


Letter of 5 March 1937

5 March 193726

Dear and prized co-worker,

Your subsequent letters dated Jan. 29th enclosing the minutes of the National Assembly meeting, and February 26th enclosing copy of the Bahá’í Journal No. 5 have also reached me and have filled my heart with joy and gratitude for the splendid services of your Assembly and the efforts they are systematically and vigorously exerting for the initiation, the expansion and consolidation of Bahá’í administrative activities and enterprises at this auspicious stage in the evolution of the Faith in your country. I fully approve the publication in your Journal of the passages quoted in your letter of February 26th. I am enclosing the sum of £50 as my contribution towards the Fund which is being raised for the establishment of the Publishing Company for the success of which I cherish the brightest hopes. I will especially pray for the removal of every obstacle that may impede its formation and development, and for the realisation of your highest hopes in this connection. Persevere in your great enterprise, and rest assured that the almighty power of Bahá’u’lláh will, if you remain steadfast in your purpose, enable you to attain your goal.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 25 March 1937

25 March 1937

ANNOUNCE ASSEMBLIES CELEBRATION MARRIAGE BELOVED GUARDIAN IMPERISHABLE HONOUR BESTOWED UPON HANDMAID OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH RÚHÍYYIH KHÁNUM MISS MARY MAXWELL.

(Sgd. ZÍÁÍYYIH, MOTHER OF THE GUARDIAN)


Letter of 2 April 1937

2 April 1937

GREATLY VALUE MESSAGE ABIDING LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 1 May 1937

1 May 1937

Dear Mr. Hofman,

I am charged by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of March 21st, 31st and of April 22nd with enclosures.

He has received and read with particular interest the latest issue of the Journal issued by the British N.S.A. and is indeed happy to realise that the teaching work, now so ably reinforced by the valuable support extended to it by dear Mrs. Bishop, is steadily progressing in England. He is most pleased over the progress of the Devonshire Group, and wishes you to assure its members, and particularly Mrs. Stevens, of his deep appreciation of their efforts for the propagation of the Message in that highly promising centre from which, he hopes, the light of the Cause will radiate throughout South Western England which has heretofore remained closed to the Faith. He would urge your N.S.A. to continue giving your attention to the problem of finding ways and means to further widen the interest that has been aroused, and is fervently praying that your efforts in this connection may bear the richest and most satisfactory results.

Concerning the N.S.A.’s Publishing Fund; the Guardian has learned with satisfaction that the friends are gradually awakening to the realisation that it constitutes an invaluable support to the extension of the teaching work throughout the British Isles. He hopes that the flow of contributions will steadily increase, so as to enable your Assembly to carry out its important project. He is rejoiced to hear that you have taken the necessary steps to have the Company legally established—which step, he hopes, will pave the way for the registration of the N.S.A. as an independent religious organisation....

[From the Guardian:]

With the assurance of my continued prayers for the realisation of your highest hopes, and for the uninterrupted progress and consolidation of your teaching and administrative activities,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 3 May 1937 (Convention)

3 May 1937 (Convention)

ASSURE DELEGATES FRIENDS LOVING APPRECIATION REMEMBRANCE HOLY SHRINES SUPPLICATING UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS TEACHING FIELD ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 July 1937

10 July 1937

Dear Mr. Hofman,

I am charged by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of May 3rd and 29th written on behalf of the British N.S.A.

The enclosed copy of the Annual Report, as well as the minutes of the N.S.A. meeting of the 13th May have also reached him and he has read their contents with deepest satisfaction.

With regard to your Assembly’s request for permission to publish in the “Bahá’í Journal” an extract from his letter of April 24th addressed to Miss Baxter, he wishes you to assure your fellow members of his approval of their request.

With his loving Bahá’í greetings and with his renewed and abiding appreciation of your labours for the Cause....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

Your letter of June 24th has also been received. I feel the urge to add these few words in person in order to assure you afresh of my deep appreciation of the remarkable spirit of constancy, devotion and loyalty which you and your fellow workers, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í service are ably and continually manifesting. My heart overflows with unspeakable gratitude. I will continue to pray for all of you from the depths of my heart.

Shoghi


Letter of 7 September 1937

7 September 1937

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of our beloved Guardian I acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your letter of the 17th August enclosing the minutes of the meeting of the British N.S.A. held at the Summer School on August 8th....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your persistent efforts and enable you to consolidate still further the manifold interests of the Faith of God.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 16 November 1937

16 November 1937

Beloved Bahá’í Brother,

I am charged by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of September 26th and November 6th with enclosures, all of which he has read with deepest interest and appreciation.

He very much regrets indeed the departure of Mrs. Bishop and Madame Orlova from England, as the services they rendered all through their stay in that country have been truly outstanding. The teaching force, in particular, will feel the loss of these two of its most capable and promising supporters. Every effort should now be exerted by the N.S.A. however, to carry on the teaching work through every means possible, and every believer should be made to realise that he has an added and most grave responsibility to shoulder in this matter.

The Guardian has also learned with deep regret of ... resignation from the membership of the N.S.A. and trusts that the new member who will be elected to replace her will be able to contribute as much as she did to the growth and further consolidations of the National Assembly.

He will continue to pray for the confirmation and guidance of all the members, that they may befittingly discharge their manifold and weighty obligations toward the Faith throughout the British Isles.

With his loving greetings and deepest appreciation of your efforts....

[From the Guardian:]

Wishing you the fullest success in the efforts which you are exerting in conjunction with the believers for the protection, the promotion, and the consolidation of the Cause of God.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 22 April 1938 (Convention)

22 April 1938 (Convention)

DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION FERVENT SUPPLICATION SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 April 1938 (Convention)

24 April 1938 (Convention)

DELIGHTED URGE INCOMING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PERSEVERANCE SUBORDINATE ALL ACTIVITIES TEACHING OBJECTIVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 April 1938

28 April 1938

BAHÁ’Í WORLD MOURNS LOSS HOLY MOTHER MUNIRIH KHÁNUM STOP RIDVÁN FESTIVITIES SUSPENDED. ADVISE ALL CENTRES HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS COMMEMORATE HER OUTSTANDING SERVICES RENDERED DURING ONE OF MOST CRITICAL STAGES IN EVOLUTION BELOVED FAITH.

SHOGHI


Letter of 17 May 1938

17 May 1938

Dear Mr. Hofman,

I am instructed to acknowledge the receipt of your communications addressed to our beloved Guardian dated December 24th, January 10th, February 13th and March 22nd together with the enclosed minutes of the meetings of the British N.S.A., as well as the copies of the “Bahá’í Journal”, all of which he has read with closest attention and keenest interest.

He has noted with gratification that the Teaching Conference held in Manchester during last December was successful, and that the meetings were all pervaded with a spirit of unity and of fellowship. He has read with deep satisfaction the report of the above Conference which you had sent, and indeed trusts that the decision and plans that have been adopted will, through their faithful application in the course of this year, serve to greatly accelerate the expansion of the teaching work throughout the British Isles....

P.S. Shoghi Effendi has just received your letter of May 16th and wishes your Assembly to make strenuous efforts in connection with the incorporation of the N.S.A. He would advise you to approach Lady Blomfield, Major Tudor-Pole and Lord Lamington.

The Guardian wishes me to inform you that you have been appointed by him a member of the International staff of editors of the “Bahá’í World”. He wishes you to start from now collecting the necessary material for the next edition and to send them gradually and directly to Mrs. French.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

I greatly welcome the determination of the English believers to concentrate their energies on the teaching work, and I pray from all my heart for the success of their high endeavours in this all-important field of Bahá’í service. Individuals as well as local Assemblies must arise and co-operate and persevere and refuse to allow any obstacle, however formidable, to dim their hopes or to deflect them from the course they have so spontaneously chosen to pursue. Kindly assure them of my constant prayers for their success.

Shoghi


Letter of 30 June 1938

30 June 1938

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated May 31st, enclosing two copies of the newly published booklet prepared by the British N.S.A. for teaching purposes, and also the latest issue of the “Bahá’í Journal”, and the report of the Convention proceedings for this year.

He has read with keenest interest and with deep gratification the Annual Report of your Assembly and has been very much impressed indeed by its comprehensiveness, and by your ability in presenting the facts in such a lucid and effective language. He has sent the text to Mr. Holley for reproduction in the next “Bahá’í World”, as an appendix to the International Survey of activities.

Although the range of Bahá’í activities throughout Great Britain during this past year has been considerably restricted as a result of the departure of many travelling and visiting Bahá’í teachers, yet the fact that the friends were, in spite of that and other handicaps, able to maintain the course of their activities constitutes a clear evidence that the English Bahá’í Community is at last able to stand on its own feet, and has sufficient resources, both moral and material, to enable it to carry on, without any external help, the heavy task that has been committed to its charge.

The Guardian wishes you to assure your fellow members on the N.S.A. and through them the friends throughout Great Britain, of his fervent prayers that throughout the course of this new year they may evince such a unity, zeal and renewed consecration to their task as to further demonstrate the strength of their position as a self-supporting and ever-growing national Bahá’í community....

[From the Guardian:]

Wishing you and your dear co-workers the utmost success in your high and meritorious endeavours,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi October 1938 (Third Summer School) ASSURE YOU PRAYERS HEARTILY RECIPROCATE GREETINGS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 October 1938

24 October 1938

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your communications written on behalf of the British N.S.A. and dated June 23rd, July 8th and September 15th with their enclosures have all been duly received and their contents noted with interest and satisfaction by our beloved Guardian.

Regarding the papers you had enclosed in your last letter relating to the N.S.A.’s application for incorporation, he has read these with the closest attention, and has already communicated to you his approval by cable, and wishes me now to urge your Assembly to proceed with this matter without delay and to make every effort to have the whole thing completed in the course of the next few months, preferably before the termination of your Assembly’s term of office next April....

The Guardian has read with considerable interest Mr. Balyuzi’s booklet on “Bahá’u’lláh”, and hopes that the two companion essays on the Báb and the Master on which he is working will be soon completed and ready for distribution, as he feels they can be of a valuable help to the friends in their teaching work.

With the renewed assurances of his prayers for the confirmation of your services, and reciprocating your greetings....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-worker,

The energy, loyalty and resourcefulness with which your Assembly is conducting and extending the manifold activities of the Faith in these days of stress and trial deserve the highest praise. Your achievements constitute indeed a landmark in the history of the Faith in that land. I urge you, with all earnestness and with feelings of abounding gratitude, to redouble your efforts and to persevere until your highest hopes and plans in both the spiritual and administrative spheres are realised and fulfilled. My prayers are always with you.

Shoghi


Letter of 27 November 1938

27 November 1938

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am directed by our beloved Guardian to express his thanks for your letter of the 2nd inst. written on behalf of the N.S.A.

He has noted your Assembly’s request for his advice as to what forms of national service friends may volunteer for in times of emergency. While the believers, he feels, should exert every effort to obtain from the authorities a permit exempting them from active military service in a combatant capacity, it is their duty at the same time, as loyal and devoted citizens, to offer their services to their country in any field of national service which is not specifically aggressive or directly military. Such forms of national work as air raid precaution service, ambulance corps, and other humanitarian work or activity of a non-combatant nature, are the most suitable types of service the friends can render, and which they should gladly volunteer for, since in addition to the fact that they do not involve any violation of the spirit or principle of the Teachings, they constitute a form of social and humanitarian service which the Cause holds sacred and emphatically enjoins.

The Guardian has noted with genuine satisfaction what you had written about your recent visit to ... and his earnest desire to become of increasing service to the Faith. We will certainly pray that he may fully avail himself of the manifold opportunities that now lie before him of spreading the knowledge of the Cause in hitherto closed and conservative circles, and of thus drawing to it the attention of thoughtful and responsible people throughout Britain.

With the renewed assurances of his prayers for you and for your dear fellow members of the N.S.A....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and trusted co-worker,

The marvellous zeal, unity, understanding and devotion exemplified by the English believers in recent months, individually as well as through their concentrated efforts, constitute a landmark in the progressive development of the Faith in that land. They who have risen to the height of their present opportunities stand at the threshold of unprecedented achievements. They must labour continually, exercise the utmost vigilance, proclaim courageously, and cling tenaciously to the principles of their Faith, spiritual as well as administrative, and resolve to endure every sacrifice and hardship, however severe, for the vindication, the consolidation and recognition of the Faith they profess and are now so admirably serving.

With a heart filled with pride and gratitude I pray continually for their triumph.

Shoghi


Letter of 29 November 1938

29 November 1938

RAHMATU’LLÁH ‘ALÁ’Í OUTSTANDING PROMOTER FAITH ÍRÁN SOON ARRIVING LONDON FOR TREATMENT EXTEND CORDIAL WELCOME EVERY POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 15 January 1939

15 January 1939

URGE ‘ALÁ’Í FOLLOW WHATEVER TREATMENT PRESCRIBED DOCTOR PRAYING.

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 February 1939

10 February 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

At the direction of our beloved Guardian I acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your communications dated November 28th, December 5th, January 5th and 14th written on behalf of the British N.S.A., all of which he has read, together with their enclosures, with earnest and fullest attention.

Regarding the matter of the N.S.A.’s incorporation, he has noted with real satisfaction that in spite of the difficulties raised by the officials in the Board of Trade in connection with your application, the contacts you have formed with these officials have been of such a friendly nature as to give your Assembly an opportunity to further press your case, and also to impress the authorities concerned with the true nature and significance of the Faith.

The Guardian would urge your Assembly to strain every nerve to bring this task to speedy completion, and wishes me to reassure you and your fellow-members that he will continually and most fervently pray that your renewed efforts in this connection may be crowned with full success.

He also wishes me to express his feelings of deep satisfaction at the efforts of your Assembly in connection with the publication of “New World Order”, which paper, he hopes, will prove of increasing value as a medium for the spread of the Cause throughout England.

In closing I feel I must also convey his loving thanks to your Assembly for the very cordial welcome and warm hospitality which you have, in response to his telegram, kindly extended to our well beloved and highly esteemed brother Mr. ‘Alá’í. The love and consideration he has been shown by the friends, and by the members of your Assembly in particular, will, he feels certain, help to a marked degree in counter-acting the painful effects of the insidious disease from which he is so severely, yet so uncomplainingly suffering. The spirit of courage and fortitude which he is displaying surely cannot but create a profound impression upon all those friends, doctors and patients who come in contact with him. May his presence in your midst, however temporary, serve as an opportunity of further spreading the knowledge of the Faith, and also be the means of encouragement and inspiration to the believers....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

I am delighted with the work which is being so energetically conducted, and so faithfully extended and consolidated by the English believers, and particularly by their national elected representatives whose magnificent efforts, courage and perseverance deserve the highest praise. A splendid beginning has been made. A firm foundation has been established. Perseverance is now required to bring these devoted, painstaking and concerted efforts to full and speedy fruition. The path you are treading is beset with formidable obstacles, but the invincible power of the Faith will, if you remain faithful and steadfast, enable you to surmount them. My prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf. May Bahá’u’lláh fulfil every hope you cherish in the service of His Faith.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 22 March 1939

22 March 1939

LOVING APPRECIATION PRAYING UNPRECEDENTED TRIUMPHS.

SHOGHI


Letter of March 1939

March 1939

“...Under no circumstances should any local Assembly be given the right to criticise and much less oppose, the policy duly adopted and approved by the N.S.A.”

(Bahá’í Journal 17—cited in an article).


Letter of 30 April 1939 (Convention)

30 April 1939 (Convention)

DELIGHTED NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS,27 GRATEFUL PRAYING RICHEST BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 31 May 1939

31 May 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

At our beloved Guardian’s direction I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of your communications dated February 19th, March 7th and 27th, May 3rd with enclosures, written on behalf of the British N.S.A.

He has noted with considerable satisfaction the report of the progress recently achieved in Bradford and Torquay where, he is most delighted to know, the friends, and particularly the newly enrolled young believers, are displaying great enthusiasm in their activities and have obtained many openings of presenting the Cause.

The news of the confirmation of Mr. Frank Hurst is specially gratifying and should prove of deep encouragement to all the friends who should indeed avail themselves of the opportunity of his presence in the community to give intensive publicity to the Faith.

Regarding the new prayer book which the N.S.A. is proposing to publish; the manuscript has already been returned to your address and the suggestions and recommendations of the Guardian on the matter duly conveyed to your Assembly in a recent letter. He would advise that on the inside cover mention should be made only of the British Reviewing Committee’s approval, as it is invariably done in the case of all official Bahá’í publications.

In connection with the problem of Bahá’í refugees, the Guardian feels this is a matter which concerns the N.S.A., who would be justified in taking any action they deem appropriate, provided the state of the National Fund permits it, and only after the particular case of each individual applicant has been thoroughly investigated, and his status as a believer duly ascertained.

With reference to your suggestion as to the advisability of your approaching Mr. Eden, and through him possibly Lord Halifax, with the view to obtaining from them statements for the “Bahá’í World”, Shoghi Effendi would approve of your seeing Mr. Eden only, and would leave it to the N.S.A.’s discretion whether you should approach him as his representative or as the representative of the British National Assembly.

Concerning Mrs. Basil Hall’s paper which she had prepared for last year’s Summer School; the N.S.A.’s approval sanctioning its publication would be sufficient. You need not, therefore, send the manuscript to Haifa. But as to the passages she had quoted from Myron Phelps’ book, the Guardian does not advise that these quotations be included in the pamphlet, as Phelps’ book is full of inaccuracies that are misleading, and for this reason should be ignored by the believers.

The Guardian is inexpressibly delighted at the news of the completion of the N.S.A.’s incorporation certificate, and would appreciate your sending him three photostat reproductions of the original, one of which he will arrange to be placed in the Mansion at Bahjí, and the second he will include in the next issue of “Bahá’í World”, and the third he will keep in his own files.

The Guardian wishes me in closing to urge your Assembly to make a special effort during this year to concentrate on furthering the teaching work in Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Brighton, Sheffield and Bournemouth, in view of the teaching opportunities that these centres, as indicated in your letter, seem to offer at present. He welcomes the recommendation made to this effect at the last Annual Convention and would urge the newly elected N.S.A. to give this task its continued and fullest attention. However stupendous the plan now confronting your Assembly may be, you should resolutely and relentlessly endeavour to carry it through, ever confident in the promised assistance and unfailing guidance of Bahá’u’lláh.

To you and your distinguished fellow-members I beg to convey the assurances of his profound and loving appreciation of your loyal and affectionate greetings....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The extension, along sound lines and with such memorable swiftness and harmony, of the activities in which the believers of the United Kingdom are so earnestly and devotedly engaged, merits the highest praise and is a source of constant encouragement and satisfaction to me in my arduous work. They are taking a momentous step forward and are launching enterprises that will no doubt shed fresh lustre on their beloved Faith and leave a distinct mark on Bahá’í history. I will continue to pray on their behalf, and feel certain that if they persevere the Beloved will richly bless their concentrated and highly meritorious efforts.

Shoghi


Letter of 4 June 1939

4 June 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am charged by our beloved Guardian to inform you of the receipt of your letter of May 9th written on behalf of the British N.S.A. on the subject of the Bahá’í attitude towards war.

His instructions on this matter, conveyed in a letter addressed to your Assembly during last November, were not intended for that particular occasion, but were meant for present conditions, and for any such emergency as may arise in the immediate future.

It is still his firm conviction that the believers, while expressing their readiness to unreservedly obey any directions that the authorities may issue concerning national service in time of war, should also, and while there is yet no outbreak of hostilities, appeal to the government for exemption from active military service in a combatant capacity, stressing the fact that in doing so they are not prompted by any selfish considerations but by the sole and supreme motive of upholding the Teachings of their Faith, which make it a moral obligation for them to desist from any act that would involve them in direct warfare with their fellow-humans of any other race or nation. The Bahá’í Teachings, indeed, condemn, emphatically and unequivocally, any form of physical violence, and warfare in the battlefield is obviously a form, and perhaps the worst form which such violence can assume.

There are many other avenues through which the believers can assist in times of war by enlisting in services of a non-combatant nature—services that do not involve the direct shedding of blood—such as ambulance work, anti-air raid precaution service, office and administrative works, and it is for such types of national service that they should volunteer.

It is immaterial whether such activities would still expose them to dangers, either at home or in the front, since their desire is not to protect their lives, but to desist from any acts of wilful murder.

The friends should consider it their conscientious duty, as loyal members of the Faith, to apply for such exemption, even though there may be slight prospect of their obtaining the consent and approval of the authorities to their petition. It is most essential that in times of such national excitement and emergency as those through which so many countries in the world are now passing that the believers should not allow themselves to be carried away by the passions agitating the masses, and act in a manner that would make them deviate from the path of wisdom and moderation, and lead them to violate, however reluctantly and indirectly, the spirit as well as the letter of the Teachings.

The N.S.A., in this and similar issues that may arise in future, should act with firmness and vigilance and with such wisdom and tact as would make them an example worthy of the confidence and admiration of all the believers....

[From the Guardian:]

May the beloved bless and guide you in collaboration with your fellow members, to uphold the integrity, vindicate the truth, demonstrate the power, and promote the spirit of the exalted teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 26 June 1939

26 June 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of our beloved Guardian I beg to acknowledge with grateful thanks the receipt of your Assembly’s communications of May 26th and June 1st, together with the accompanying copy of the minutes of your meeting held on May 20th-21st, and the latest issue of the “Bahá’í Journal” containing your Annual Report and the account of the Convention proceedings for this year.

He found the Annual Report published in the Journal so encouraging that he decided to have certain sections of it translated into Persian, and sent through the Haifa Assembly’s newsletter, to different Bahá’í centres throughout the East.

In response to your request for one copy of each of the printed translations of Dr. Esslemont’s book which the N.S.A. wishes to include as part of the Bahá’í exhibit at the forthcoming “Sunday Times” Book Exhibition to be held in London during next Autumn, the Guardian has directed me to mail to your address thirty-one printed translations of that book, which are the only ones available at present. There are a few more translations in process of publication, among which, it will surely interest the friends to know, is the Icelandic version which, it is hoped, will be off the press sometime in the course of this Summer. The new revised edition of the German translation, which is being published under the auspices of the International Bahá’í Bureau in Geneva, will be soon ready, and you can obtain a copy of that new edition by applying to Mrs. Lynch.

The Guardian does not want these books to be returned to Haifa after the closing of the Exhibition, but wishes you to accept them as his gift to the National Bahá’í Library at the Centre in London, and would suggest that you keep them for any future Bahá’í exhibit which the N.S.A. may propose to hold in other parts of England.

He wishes me, in this connection, to express the hope that the exhibition you have arranged for this coming Autumn will prove highly successful and a most useful and effective medium of teaching the Cause. The idea of a Bahá’í display, chiefly of publications, he feels, is indeed excellent, and he will specially pray therefore that the one you are now preparing will achieve such results as to encourage and stimulate the N.S.A. to arrange for similar exhibits in the future.

Regarding the originals of Tablets revealed in honour of the late Miss Rosenberg, there are only one or two of them, here in Haifa, and these were sent by Miss Rosenberg herself. The Guardian is keeping them for the present as they contain important references concerning the practice of monogamy in the Cause.

To you and your dear fellow-members I seize this opportunity of renewing the assurances of his abiding and loving gratitude, and of wishing you continued guidance for the further promotion of the Faith in England....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The determination of the English believers to extend rapidly and systematically the range of their teaching and administrative activities is a welcome evidence of the genuineness of their faith, the nobility of their purpose and the depth of their devotion. That such a determination may yield the richest fruit is my special and constant prayer. What they have already achieved fortifies my hopes and confidence in them. They have laid a firm and unassailable basis for their future work. Perseverance, co-ordination, fearlessness, vigour and wisdom will enable them to gradually rear on this basis the majestic structure of Bahá’u’lláh’s administrative order, which in the fulness of time must yield, on the soil of their country a harvest unexampled in its abundance and glory. May His Spirit guide and sustain them to hasten that hour and consummate that task.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 2 July 1939

2 July 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Enclosed please find a draft for fifteen English pounds issued in your name which the Guardian has directed me to forward to you with the request that you send him for that sum copies of Mr. Townshend’s “Heart of the Gospel”, which he understands will be off the press in the course of this month.

May I take this opportunity of expressing his hope that this little volume may fulfil the author’s purpose, namely to attract the attention of the orthodox Christian element in England to the Cause, and stimulate many thoughtful and spiritually minded individuals to seriously investigate the Teachings....


Letter of 26 July 1939 (Summer School)

26 July 1939 (Summer School)

CONGRATULATE ATTENDANTS NOTABLE PROGRESS GRATEFUL PRAYING FRESH ADVANCES DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 August 1939

7 August 1939

HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS OUTSTANDING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 November 1939

6 November 1939

OVERJOYED THANKFUL PERSEVERANCE ENGLISH BELIEVERS ATTESTED RECENT COMMUNICATIONS ASSURE THEM SPECIAL PRAYERS ABIDING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ28


Letter of 20 November 1939

20 November 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

On behalf of our beloved Guardian I beg to acknowledge with grateful thanks the receipt of your communications dated July 11th, 20th, August 14th (2 letters) and October 19th with enclosures written on behalf of the British N.S.A.

He also wishes me to inform you that the photostatic reproductions of the incorporation papers of your Assembly have safely reached him, and he has placed one copy in Bahá’u’lláh’s Mansion in Bahjí, and is keeping the other for inclusion in the next issue of the “Bahá’í World”.

The copies of Mr. Townshend’s latest book, “The Heart of the Gospel”, which you have forwarded at his request have likewise been received and a number of volumes distributed among the various Bahá’í libraries established in the Holy Land. He feels confident the N.S.A. is sparing no effort to bring this valuable production to the attention of leading personalities throughout the British Isles, and will pray that the interest aroused may be such as to lead to the full spiritual awakening and confirmation of a number of thoughtful individuals in various parts of the country.

As regards the projected prayer book; he does not know whether the N.S.A. has been able to proceed with the printing of this work. But in case it is published, he would like you to mail to him twenty copies, some of which he needs for distribution among various Bahá’í libraries here.

The Guardian feels most truly delighted to know that the outbreak of war has, in general, stimulated the friends to greater teaching effort, and that the newly established communities such as those of Bradford and Torquay are showing particular enthusiasm in carrying on the teaching work in their respective centres. He will earnestly supplicate the Almighty that He may bless and reinforce these steadfast and self-sacrificing exertions of the English believers, and that He may, in these days of storm and stress, vouchsafe unto them all an increasing measure of His unfailing protection and guidance....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

I wish to reaffirm clearly and emphatically my deep sense of gratification and gratitude for the recent and truly remarkable evidences of the devotion, courage and perseverance of the English Bahá’í community in the face of the perils that now confront it. Its members have abundantly demonstrated their profound attachment to their Cause, their unshakable resolution to uphold its truth and defend its interests, and their unfailing solicitude for whatever may promote and safeguard its institutions. However great and sinister the forces with which they may have to battle in future, I feel confident that they will befittingly uphold the torch of Divine Guidance that has been entrusted to their hands and will discharge their responsibilities with still greater tenacity, fidelity, vigour and devotion.

Shoghi


Letter of 5 December 1939

5 December 1939

REMAINS PUREST BRANCH AND ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S MOTHER PERMANENTLY LAID REST CLOSE NEIGHBOURHOOD SHRINE GREATEST HOLY LEAF HEARTS REJOICING.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 7 December 1939

7 December 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The Guardian has just received your letter of the 20th November last, and feels indeed deeply encouraged at the report of the teaching activities of our dear English believers. He is unspeakably grateful to you all, and in particular to the members of your Assembly, for the determination, resourcefulness and the spirit of absolute consecration with which you are prosecuting the teaching campaign throughout England, and he will ardently pray that, in spite of the smallness of your numbers and means, and notwithstanding the various obstacles you may encounter in the course of your future activities for the Faith, you may, individually and collectively, receive such confirmations from Bahá’u’lláh as would enable you each and all to befittingly and completely acquit yourselves of this high task you have undertaken to accomplish in service of His Faith.

In connection with your application for exemption from active military service, the Guardian trusts that the authorities will give careful consideration to this matter, and will find it possible to relieve the Bahá’í friends from the necessity of serving in the army in a combatant capacity. Should they, however, refuse to grant such exemption, the believers should unhesitatingly assure them of their unqualified obedience and of their readiness to join and serve in the army in whatever manner the government deems best.

Renewing to you and to all the friends his warmest good wishes and greetings....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The various and compelling evidences of the unquenchable enthusiasm, the unbreakable resolution and the inflexible purpose of the English believers, in these days of stress, of turmoil and danger, have cheered my heart and fortified me in the discharge of my arduous and multitudinous duties and responsibilities. I feel truly proud of them all, and will, with increasing gratitude and redoubled fervour, supplicate the Beloved whose Cause they are so valiantly serving, to bless, sustain, guide and protect them under all circumstances, and aid them to establish firmly the institutions of His Faith throughout the length and breadth of their country.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 29 December 1939

29 December 1939

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

I am instructed by our beloved Guardian to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your communication of the 19th December, sent through the care of our very dear brother Dr. ‘Alí, and of the twenty copies of the newly-published prayer book, as well as the last copy of the “Bahá’í Journal” and the Christmas number of “New World Order”.

He has also received and read with deep satisfaction the statement on ‘Bahá’ís and War’ recently issued by the N.S.A., together with the teaching report prepared by your Assembly, both of which he will consider for incorporation in the next issue of the “Bahá’í World”, the manuscript of which he hopes to receive in the course of January or February next....

The Guardian welcomes the plan suggested by Mr. Townshend to republish “The Promise of All Ages” under his own name, and trusts this will serve to attract wider publicity to the Cause, and in particular to fully awaken the church officials to the significance of such direct and vigorous presentation of the Faith by so well-known and long-standing a Christian divine.

Renewing to you and your dear fellow-members and to all the friends in London, the assurances of his prayers for your welfare and protection in these perilous days, and with his warmest greetings to you all....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The news of your persistent activities, your safety and protection, and above all of your unyielding resolve and undisturbed confidence in the face of the uncertainties and perils that face and surround you, have greatly cheered and heartened me in my duties and responsibilities which are now heavily pressing upon me. You are often in my thoughts and prayers at this grave hour. I cherish the brightest hopes for you, and will continue to supplicate the Almighty on your behalf.

Be assured, persevere and be happy, Shoghi


Letter of 1 January 1940

1 January 194029

PROFOUNDLY GRIEVE PASSING DEARLY BELOVED OUTSTANDING CO-WORKER SITÁRIH KHÁNUM MEMORY HER GLORIOUS SERVICES IMPERISHABLE ADVISE ENGLISH COMMUNITY HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERINGS ASSURE RELATIVES MY HEARTFELT SYMPATHY LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 2 January 1940 (Teaching Conference)

2 January 1940 (Teaching Conference)

WELCOME NOBLE RESOLVE PROSECUTE ENERGETICALLY TEACHING CAMPAIGN PRAYING ARDENTLY SIGNAL SUCCESS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 18 February 1940

18 February 1940

Dear Mr. Hofman,

The Guardian wishes me to write and thank you for your welcome communication of January 29th with its various enclosures, all of which he was indeed most gratified and encouraged to read.

As you have not mentioned having received his general letter of December 21st written in connection with the transfer of the sacred remains of the Purest Branch and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mother to Mt. Carmel, I am taking the liberty of sending you on his behalf another copy which, I trust, will reach you safely....

The Guardian welcomes your suggestions to send a memorial of the late Lady Blomfield for publication in the next issue of the “Bahá’í World”, Vol. VIII, and wishes you to send him in addition a good photograph of her for reproduction in the same volume.

Also he would appreciate your sending him a brief account of Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper’s Bahá’í life and services together with her photograph for publication in the same issue of the Biennial.

The passing away of these two long-standing believers has indeed robbed the Cause in England of two of its most distinguished members, and the English Bahá’í Community is certainly the poorer now that it has been deprived of their ready and invaluable support.

The departure of Sitárih Khánum in particular is to be deeply mourned, not only by the members of the Faith throughout England, but by so many of her fellow-believers abroad, and the Guardian himself feels most keenly the loss of so precious and faithful a co-worker, who, in the early days following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension, had proved of such invaluable assistance to him in the discharge of his heavy duties and responsibilities....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-workers,

I wish to reaffirm my deep sense of gratitude and admiration for the splendid manner in which the English believers are discharging their duties and responsibilities in these days of increasing peril, anxiety and stress. Their tenacity, courage, faith and noble exertions will as a magnet attract the undoubted and promised blessing of Bahá’u’lláh. They have, at a time when the basis of ordered society itself is rocking and trembling, laid an unassailable foundation for the Administrative Order of their Faith. Upon this basis the rising generation will erect a noble structure that will excite the admiration of their fellow countrymen. My prayers for them will continually be offered at the Holy Shrines.

Gratefully,
Shoghi


Letter of 27 March 1940

27 March 1940

Dear Mr. Hofman,

Your letter dated March 13th has safely reached our beloved Guardian together with the following enclosures:

In Memoriam: Lady Blomfield.

Minutes N.S.A. March 2nd and 3rd.

“Bahá’í Journal” No. 21.

Introduction to “The Chosen Highway”.

Preface to “The Chosen Highway”. He has also received by registered post the photographs of Lady Blomfield and Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper which you had kindly sent at his request for reproduction in the “Bahá’í World”....

The Guardian has noted with satisfaction that the arrangements for the publication of “The Chosen Highway” are complete, and hopes that by the time you receive this letter it will be well on the way to printing.

Concerning the question you have asked as to whether in elections for Spiritual Assemblies the electors should cast exactly nine votes, or may cast less than this number. Inasmuch as Spiritual Assembly membership, according to the principles of Bahá’í Administration, has been limited for the present to nine members, it follows that no electoral vote can be effective unless it is cast for exactly that number. It is, therefore, the sacred duty of every Bahá’í elector to cast nine votes, neither more nor less, except under special circumstances, so as to ensure that the results of the elections for the Spiritual Assembly will be effective and on as wide a basis of representation as possible....

P.S. The Guardian has noted with surprise in reading over the Minutes of your N.S.A. that the British Annual Convention is to be held this year on the 12th May. He wishes you from now on to hold that gathering on any day during the period of Ridván (21 April-2 May)

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, sustain and protect the English believers, who in these days of unprecedented turmoil, stress and danger, are holding aloft so courageously the banner of the Faith, and who will, in the days to come, contribute, through His grace and power, a notable share to its establishment and recognition in the West.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 12 May 1940 (Convention)

12 May 1940 (Convention)

GREATLY ADMIRE DEEPLY THANKFUL UNDAUNTED COURAGE INFLEXIBLE RESOLUTION ENGLISH BELIEVERS REPRESENTED CONVENTION INTENSIFY EFFORTS EXTEND ACTIVITIES NOTWITHSTANDING GRAVITY HOUR PRAYING ARDENTLY PROTECTION SUCCESS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 14 August 1940

14 August 1940

DELIGHTED NEWS SAFETY ENGLISH BELIEVERS PROGRESS TEACHING WORK ASSURE THEM EACH ALL LOVING CONTINUED PRAYERS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 10 October 1940

10 October 1940

Dear Mr. Hofman,

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of May 7th addressed to our beloved Guardian, and of the enclosed memoir of Lady Blomfield which you have condensed at his request for use in the “Bahá’í World”, Vol. VIII.

The size of the memoir in question makes it now quite suitable for reproduction in the Biennial, and it will be forwarded to the U.S.A. for incorporation in the manuscript, as the latter has been already mailed to America for printing.

The material regarding the Bahá’í wedding recently held in London has been also received and noted with interest and appreciation by our beloved Guardian. He is keeping it for possible use in the forthcoming or future editions of the “Bahá’í World”.

Renewing to you and your dear co-workers the assurances of his prayers, and of his deep gratitude for your painstaking and devoted exertions in service to the Cause in England, and with greetings....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

Our anxiety for the safety of the English believers is deepening every day, as it is fully realised how dangerous the situation has become in recent months, and how manifold and pressing are the problems that confront them in the faithful discharge of their sacred and vital responsibilities. The perusal of the reports, minutes and periodicals received lately from that country has served to deepen my sense of admiration and my feelings of gratitude for the wisdom, the staunchness and fidelity with which the elected representatives of the English believers are conducting in these critical times the activities of their Faith. My fervent and constant prayer is that Bahá’u’lláh may ever keep them safe and protected under the shadow of His wings and aid them to play a worthy and memorable part in these tragic days of the Formative Period of our beloved Cause.

Shoghi


Letter of 19 October 1940

19 October 1940

ANXIOUS WELFARE ENGLISH BELIEVERS PRAYING PROTECTION CABLE ASSURANCE DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 22 November 1940

22 November 1940

Dear Mr. Hofman,

On behalf of the Guardian I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your communications dated May 28th, June 20th, July 5th and August 30th with enclosures, written at the direction of the British N.S.A.

He has noted with satisfaction the results of the elections for the new N.S.A. and wishes you to convey to your fellow members the assurances of his prayers for the success of their work during this year. Notwithstanding the storm and stress raging around them, the friends in England should more than ever, firmly united behind their National Assembly, and strengthened by an unshakable conviction in the ultimate triumph of their Faith, earnestly and resolutely endeavour to foster the cause of teaching. The trials and tribulations facing them should but serve to steel their resolve to leave no stone unturned until their goal has been fully accomplished. The Guardian’s prayers are being ardently offered that whatever the immediate repercussions of the war may be on the British Bahá’í Community, its members may, through the Divine aid and protection of Bahá’u’lláh, receive such guidance and strength as would enable them to face confidently and courageously the sufferings and vicissitudes of the present hour, and to arise as one body for the promulgation and wider establishment of the Faith throughout Great Britain.

Concerning your Assembly’s request for lantern slides of the Shrines on Mt. Carmel which you propose to use in your teaching campaign, the Guardian much regrets that no such slides are at present available here.

As regards the question of what procedure the Bahá’í Assemblies should adopt when dissatisfied with the services of any of their officers, should such dissatisfaction involve the loyalty of an Assembly officer to the Faith, he should, following a majority vote be dismissed. But in case the dissatisfaction is due to the incompetence of a member, or simply to a neglect on his part to discharge his duties, this does not constitute sufficient justification to force his resignation or dismissal from the Assembly. He should be kept in office until new elections are held.

The Guardian fully approves that, in view of the National Secretary’s key position in the Cause at the present time, he should apply for complete exemption. He hopes that the representations the N.S.A. will make will meet with success.

In closing he wishes me to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of two copies of Lady Blomfield’s book presented to him by the N.S.A., one of which he has already placed in the Library of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mansion in Bahjí....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

I was greatly relieved to learn of the safety of the English believers and was filled with admiration through the assurance you have given me of their steadfastness, their unwavering determination to labour for the spread of our beloved Faith and the defence and protection of its interests in spite of the unprecedented calamities and confusion that now afflict their country. Bahá’u’lláh from His station on high is watching over them, is pleased with them, and will, I feel certain, guide their steps, cheer their hearts, bless their efforts, protect their lives, and fulfil the desire of their hearts.

Gratefully and affectionately,
Shoghi


Letter of 27 December 1940

27 December 1940

WIRE SAFETY LONDON MANCHESTER FRIENDS CONSTANTLY PRAYING LOVING ADMIRATION.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 24 February 1941

24 February 1941

LETTERS JUNE JULY AUGUST ENCLOSING MINUTES ARRIVED ANSWER MAILED NOVEMBER LETTER DECEMBER NINTH JUST RECEIVED ALSO BLOMFIELD’S BOOKS CABLING HUNDRED POUNDS MY CONTRIBUTION RELIEF BELIEVERS INCESSANTLY PRAYING DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 19 April 1941

19 April 1941

REJOICE SAFETY ADMIRE DAUNTLESS COURAGE MARVEL UNQUENCHABLE SPIRIT ENGLISH BELIEVERS SHARING JOYFUL NEWS NOBLE PERSEVERANCE WITH PILGRIMS ARRIVING IN INCREASING NUMBERS FROM NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST ALL PRAYING CONTINUED SAFETY EXTENSION ACTIVITIES SORE TRIED EXEMPLARY SERVANTS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH THROUGHOUT BRITISH ISLES URGE PERSISTENT EFFORTS UTILISE UTMOST LIMIT PRICELESS SPIRITUAL OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT HOUR.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 30 April 1941 (Convention)

30 April 1941 (Convention)

EXHILARATED RESOLUTION INTENSIFY TEACHING ADMIRATION HEIGHTENED PRAYING REDOUBLED FERVOUR.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 30 April 1941

30 April 194130

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to answer your letter to him of December 9th, 1940.

He was greatly relieved to hear from your letter and cables that all the dear friends in the British Isles are well and safe, as his thoughts have been so constantly with them during these dangerous and tragic days.

The extreme devotion to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh which the English friends are evincing at such a time of trial and suffering not only sets a truly heroic example to their fellow Bahá’ís the world over, but greatly cheers and encourages the Guardian himself, at a time when he has every reason to long to see the Bahá’ís stand out as luminous examples to their fellow-men—thus leading them out of the valley of spiritual death into the glorious plains of the future World Order of Mankind.

The recently received news of the Convention’s resolve to teach the Faith as never before in those islands, and to achieve new victories in this all-important field, meets not only with Shoghi Effendi’s whole-hearted approval, but also evokes his profound gratitude and admiration. His ardent and loving prayers continually surround you all and all the sorely tried Bahá’ís, who with you are toiling for the triumph of our Faith.

He was deeply touched at the spirit which impelled Lord Lamington to wish to place in the hands of the Guardian that ring which he had for so long treasured as a gift of the beloved Master. He feels that it is only befitting that this historic relic should be the property of the British Bahá’ís and wishes it to be kept in your National Archives. If you could send a copy of Lady Lamington’s letter the Guardian would very much like to have it. Assuring you of the Guardian’s ardent love and prayers....

[From the Guardian:]

Dearly beloved co-workers,

The message I have recently received, with the assurance it gives me and the spirit it conveys, merits indeed the highest praise. The English believers in these days of increasing peril and stress, are manifesting those qualities which only those who have deeply imbibed the transforming spirit and the ennobling principles of the Cause of God are able to reveal. They are by their very acts, their sufferings and exertions, and above all by the superb staunchness of their faith, laying a magnificent foundation for the spiritual edifice their hands are destined to raise in their native land. My prayers for them all will surround them wherever they labour and in every sphere of their meritorious activities.

Gratefully and affectionately,
Shoghi


Letter of 15 May 1941

15 May 194131

INFORMING MOTHER PRAYING HIS SOUL FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING PROTECTION DEVOTED MUCH LOVED ENGLISH BELIEVERS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 22 May 1941

22 May 1941

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Shoghi Effendi instructs me to answer your letter to him of March 10th, 1941 together with the minutes of your meeting held March 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and your Feb. “Bahá’í Journal” and the “World Congress of Faiths” programme, all of which he was very pleased indeed to receive.

I cannot adequately express to you all the warm love and profound admiration for the Bahá’ís of those islands which Shoghi Effendi feels. At such a time of personal danger and anguish the spirit of pure love and devotion to the Faith and Order of Bahá’u’lláh which they manifest, and which is so typified by the zeal and wisdom with which your National Spiritual Assembly is handling the affairs of the Cause in that country, is a source of great comfort to the Guardian himself.

Indeed he feels that the N.S.A. members are bearing their load of responsibility in a manner which lifts partially the weight of cares from his own shoulders, and sets a noble example to all Bahá’í administrative bodies.

In reference to your question contained in minute 20832 of the recent N.S.A. meeting: Shoghi Effendi feels that while all Bahá’ís should be encouraged to turn to their Assembly for the solution of their various problems, thus enabling the Spiritual Assembly to fulfil one of its most important functions, yet they are quite free to write to him if they feel the urge to do so....

He was also very pleased to note the teaching plans undertaken by your body at this time, particularly in respect to Manchester. He hopes the believers there are all well and safe, and will pray for the confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh in their contemplated teaching campaign.

Indeed, dear friends, his thoughts and prayers are constantly with you and the beloved flock of English believers over whom you are so faithfully watching through these dark days.

He wishes you at all times to turn to him for any advice or help you may need.

With assurances of his abiding love...

[From the Guardian:]

Dearly beloved co-workers,

As the dangers confronting the believers in the British Isles increase in number and gravity, my admiration, as well as the admiration of the Bahá’ís in East and West, for the spirit that animates those who face them, grows deeper and acquires added intensity and fervour. Though their numbers be small, and their activities restricted, and their trials and anxieties manifold and oppressive, yet their spiritual contribution through their fortitude, valour and self-sacrifice, to the progressive unfoldment of the Faith’s latent potentialities in the Western World is both notable and constantly increasing. As the clouds of war dissipate, and the horrors of this universal carnage fade away, it will become increasingly evident, to both the friends and foes of the Faith, how solid has been the foundation which their indomitable spirit has laid, and how rich the harvest which their incessant labours have yielded.

With a heart brimful with love and gratitude, I will, when visiting the Holy Shrines, recall their signal acts, and supplicate increasing blessings on the historic work, which, in their hour of trial, they are so magnificently achieving, for the glory, for the honour, the extension and the establishment of the invincible Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Shoghi


Letter of 30 May 1941

30 May 1941

PRAYING FERVENTLY GUIDANCE ASSEMBLY’S DELIBERATIONS PROTECTION BELIEVERS SUCCESS ACTIVITIES FAITH LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 9 July 1941

9 July 1941

ASSURE JOSEPHS APPROVAL PROFOUND APPRECIATION BUILDING SCHEME. THESE FURTHER EVIDENCES GROWING VITALITY CONTINUALLY AFFLICTED BELIEVERS BRITISH ISLES ENHANCE PRESTIGE CAUSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH HEIGHTEN ADMIRATION INCREASE DEBT GRATITUDE HIS FOLLOWERS OWE VALIANT BRITISH COMMUNITY PRAYING CONTINUALLY SAFETY INCREASING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 18 July 1941

18 July 1941

Dear Bahá’í co-worker,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letter to him of May 6th, and to acknowledge the receipt of the minutes of the N.S.A. meetings held on April 25th and 27th.

He was very happy to receive your letter, and his heart rejoiced at the good news which it conveyed. The holding of a successful Bahá’í Convention during days of such stress and strain as the English believers are passing through, he considers as a triumph of the spirit of their faith in Bahá’u’lláh. They are increasingly demonstrating their right to be called champions of the Cause of God, and manifesting their ability to follow in the footsteps of the early heroes of their religion. The Guardian feels truly proud of them.

In accordance with the request you made in connection with the generous proposal of ..., Shoghi Effendi cabled your Assembly his approval of their plan for establishing a building fund for a future Bahá’í property to be built in.... He feels that this demonstrates a most notable donation to the Cause of God on their parts, and wishes you to convey to them both the expression of his profound gratitude for this service they are rendering the Faith in England.

These evidences of growth, in spite of the universal destruction that is holding the planet in its grip at the present time, should greatly hearten the believers. They bear witness to the future harvests which their increasing labours are sure to reap, and demonstrate the great and God-given strength which flows and will flow ever more abundantly from the springs which Bahá’u’lláh has unsealed in these days.

Shoghi Effendi assures you all of his unceasing prayers on your behalf, that God may strengthen, bless, and guide you in your great work for His Faith.

He wishes you to please convey his love to all the British believers and to assure them of his prayers for their protection and for the triumph of their labours....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and prized co-workers,

I am thrilled by the recent evidences of the noble determination of the English believers to extend the range of their activities in these days of grave danger and widespread and ever deepening anxiety and stress. The report of your Convention sessions, of your teaching activities and of your Bahá’í publications, and other administrative undertakings, enhances my admiration and deepens my gratitude for the historic work you are achieving in these days. This feeling is shared by all those of your co-workers, both in the East and the West, who follow the progress of your work despite the formidable obstacles in your path. We all pray for your safety, for the realisation of all your hopes, and the fulfilment of the plans you have so boldly conceived and are so energetically carrying out.

Your true brother,
Shoghi 1941 (Summer School) OVERJOYED SUCCESS ATTENDING EVER EXPANDING INSTITUTIONS FAITH. CONTINUALLY SUPPLICATING UNFAILING PROTECTION EVER-INCREASING BLESSINGS ETERNAL GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 20 August 1941

20 August 1941

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters to him dated June 6th and 30th respectively, also the minutes of the N.S.A. meetings of May 24th and 25th and June 14th were safely received.

He is happy to see that, in spite of the great physical and nervous strain which the believers of England are at present being subjected to—especially in centres like London—they yet persevere with the work of the Cause and the attraction of new souls.

The Guardian does not feel that the friends should for a moment feel discouraged if they do not succeed in having large meetings or the public do not regularly attend, this is easily understandable in view of the severe ordeal which their present sufferings subject them to. However, the importance of broadcasting the seeds of the Cause far and wide can never be sufficiently stressed. It is the right and privilege of organised humanity to hear of the Faith and the Plan of Bahá’u’lláh in these days, and in this holy duty to their fellow men the Bahá’ís must not fail whatever may be the sadness of their personal plight, for they alone can truly see the future in the tragic present, and possess hope and strength to go on with the spiritual battle for the victory of the New Day.

Regarding the question you have put to the Guardian concerning minute No. 259, whatever is not laid down in “Bahá’í Administration” is left to the judgement of the National Spiritual Assembly to decide. These are purely secondary details and as the Guardian wishes to avoid introducing into the administration a labyrinth of rules and regulations he leaves the friends in authority to decide such matters as they arise.

He hopes the Summer School will be a success. In all your undertakings you may rest assured of his constant and most loving prayers, not only for the National Assembly members, but for each and every member of the flock they are watching over and guiding....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The report of your continued activities, conducted amid the turmoil that oppresses and afflicts the English believers, is a source of continual joy and inspiration to me, as well as those who, in distant parts of the Bahá’í world are made to realise the unwavering constancy with which you are all upholding the vital interests of the Faith of God. That the teaching work is speedily expanding, that the institutions of the Faith are functioning with vigour and in accordance with the principles of the Administrative Order, testify to the solidity of the foundations that have been established. On this foundation you will as the present hindrances are removed, and the tremendous reactions of this conflict are made apparent, rear an edifice worthy of the name, and attesting the glory of the Faith, of Bahá’u’lláh. Persevere in your present labours and be ever confident.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 3 November 1941

3 November 1941

RUHI AFNÁN’S SISTER MARRIED SECRETLY COVENANT BREAKER HER MOTHER AND BROTHERS ALL CONCURRED ALL MANNER COMMUNICATION WITH THEM ACCORDING MASTER’S WILL FORBIDDEN.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 29 December 1941

29 December 1941

SISTER MEHRANGIS FOLLOWED EXAMPLE RUHI’S SISTER JUSTICE DEMANDS ANNOUNCE BELIEVERS HER EXPULSION.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 28 February 1942

28 February 1942

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters dated June 30th, Aug. 20th, Sept. 5th, Oct. 20th and 28th (duplicates of both received) and December 23rd and to acknowledge the receipt of the various minutes, programmes, etc., which they enclosed.

Regarding ..., Shoghi Effendi is writing him direct, advising him to sever his membership in the Synagogue, but to continue to maintain friendly association with the members of its community.

The Guardian was very happy indeed to hear of the success of the Summer School and the enthusiasm that prevailed. He has received news of it from some of the friends, as well as the N.S.A., and feels that the English Bahá’ís have every reason to feel encouraged and proud of the way their tireless efforts are being rewarded.

The good news of the increase in Bahá’í membership is yet another evidence of the vitality of the community and the activity of the friends, in spite of the gloom of the times, which increasingly prevails. Indeed as material affairs go from bad to worse in the world, the confidence, optimism, love and hope of the believers will, by force of contrast, shine out as an ever brighter beacon, leading the people to the Path of Truth, the way laid down by God, which alone can guide them to the promise of the future.

Now that the British Isles have a respite from intense aerial warfare, no doubt the friends, especially in London and other cities, find themselves more refreshed and consequently better able to carry on the work of the Cause. They should not lose any time in consolidating the teaching work, reinforcing new centres, and enlarging their numbers.

The Guardian is urging the American friends, also, to redouble their efforts and not lose their precious opportunities. The value of work accomplished at present is inestimable, and opportunities lost are in a way quite irretrievable, as the agony of mankind moves forward to a climax....

The many activities undertaken by the English friends, their determined efforts to bring the Cause before a wider public and reach people of outstanding importance, their new centres and study groups, are all signs which should greatly encourage them and demonstrate to them that the Holy Spirit is ever ready to sustain and reinforce the believers in all work for the good of our precious Faith.

The Guardian assures the members of the National Assembly of his most loving prayers on their behalf and his deep and abiding appreciation of their tireless services. They are helping the friends to build an edifice which neither time nor tide shall undermine and which needs must become the sole refuge for their sorely tried countrymen....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

I wish to assure you again of my feelings of profound gratitude for the manner in which you are performing your sacred task and discharging, individually and collectively, your pressing and manifold responsibilities. I rejoice and am deeply thankful to learn that the trials and tribulations that so fiercely assailed you in the past have lessened and have failed to interfere with the progress of your activities. Bahá’u’lláh will no doubt continue to guide, sustain and protect you in the days to come and is well pleased with the marvellous evidences of your perseverance, unity, loyalty and devotion. I will continue to supplicate His abundant blessing for you all, that your numbers may steadily increase, your community life be continually enriched, your institutions flourish and multiply, and the foundation of your individual spiritual lives be strengthened. Persevere in your high labours.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 27 April 1942 (Convention)

27 April 1942 (Convention)

MAGNIFICENT SPIRIT ENGLISH BELIEVERS CHEERS STRENGTHENS ME ARDUOUS TASK THANKFUL THEIR MESSAGE ADMIRE THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS PRAYING THEIR PROTECTION CHERISH GREAT HOPES TRIUMPHANT ATTAINMENT THEIR GOAL.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 20 June 1942

20 June 1942

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters written on behalf of the National Assembly, and dated Feb. 6th, March 17th and April 6th, and to acknowledge the receipt of the minutes of the Jan. and March meetings of your Assembly together with other enclosures.

In pursuance of your request the Guardian wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Hill about the tragic and unexpected passing of their daughter. He also felt moved to cable them his condolences and the assurance of his prayers. This must have been for them a very grievous blow; but he feels sure the deep assurances concerning the future life, which have been given us by Bahá’u’lláh, have comforted and sustained them throughout.

He was pleased to read the sympathetic letter you received from ex-President Benes of Czechoslovakia, as well as that of Sir Ronald Storrs. Many men in high positions are aware now of the existence and aims of our Faith, but they do not yet reckon it to be a movement worthy of more profound interest on their part. As time goes by, however, we may rest assured their interest will grow.

That is perhaps what is most glorious about our present activities all over the world, that we, a band not large in numbers, not possessing financial backing or the prestige of great names, should, in the name of our beloved Faith, be forging ahead at such a pace, and demonstrating to future and present generations that it is the God-given qualities of our religion that are raising it up and not the transient support of worldly fame and power. All that will come later, when it has been made clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that what raised aloft the banner of Bahá’u’lláh was the love, sacrifice and devotion of His humble followers and the change that His teachings wrought in their hearts and lives.

It is just such exemplary devotion and perseverance that the British Bahá’ís are showing at present, and their reward cannot but be great and lasting. The laying of the foundation is a slow process, but the most important one in the erection of any structure. The Guardian feels that your Assembly, as well as the friends in England, have every reason to feel proud of, and encouraged by, the way the work is progressing there.

He hopes that your Summer School this year will be even more successful than last year, in spite of being held in two parts. You may be sure he will pray for its success.

He fully realises the difficulties you are undergoing enhanced by the war and its hardships, yet he sees, perhaps even more clearly than you yourselves can, that these very difficulties and the surmounting of them are deepening and strengthening the ties that bind you all to our beloved Faith, and enabling you to do a work which only future generations of your countrymen will be able to properly appreciate and assess.

Please convey to all the dear friends the assurances of his love and his prayers for their service in these days, and his high hopes for the future that awaits them in the days to come, when the Cause of God begins to emerge above the waves of the old order and shines forth in all its strength and beauty.

Assuring you and all your fellow-members of his deep appreciation of your tireless work and his ardent prayers for your guidance and strength....

[From the Guardian:]

Dearly beloved co-worker,

The steady progress and extension of Bahá’í activities in the British Isles is, no doubt, the direct consequence of the unswerving loyalty, the high courage, the incorruptible spirit and the exemplary devotion and steadfastness of the British believers, who have, simply and strikingly, demonstrated the quality of their faith and the soundness of their institutions in these days of unprecedented commotion, stress and peril. I feel proud of their record of service and of the evidence of their noble faith. The Beloved watches over them from the Abhá Kingdom. The Concourse on High extols their achievements and will reinforce their endeavours. They should confidently, gratefully, joyously and unitedly redouble their efforts, extend the range of their activities, rededicate themselves to their historic task and anticipate a renewed outpouring of Bahá’u’lláh’s promised blessings and favours.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 28 July 1942

28 July 1942

MAGNIFICENT SPIRIT ANIMATING STEADFAST ENGLISH BELIEVERS NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS TEACHING FIELD PROMPT ME CONTRIBUTE TWO HUNDRED POUNDS FURTHERANCE THEIR HISTORIC TEACHING ACTIVITIES URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS PRAYING SIGNAL VICTORIES LOVING GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 8 August 1942 (Summer School)

8 August 1942 (Summer School)

DELIGHTED SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL APPRECIATE SPIRIT BELIEVERS ASSURE ALL CONTINUED PRAYERS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 8 August 1942

8 August 1942

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters of May 14th and June 10th together with their enclosures reached the Guardian safely, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He has been very gratified to hear of the successful Summer School sessions, news of the Buxton one having just recently reached him in your latest cable. He feels that you must all be very encouraged that this new way of holding them in different places, which circumstances made imperative, has proved so successful in the end. It presages the day when the friends in England will see the institutions of their Faith rising from various flourishing centres.

Regarding minute No. 507, the Guardian feels that it would be better for either the mothers of Bahá’í children—or some committee your Assembly might delegate the task to—to choose excerpts from the Sacred Words to be used by the child rather than just something made up. Of course prayer can be purely spontaneous, but many of the sentences and thoughts combined in Bahá’í writings of a devotional nature are easy to grasp, and the revealed Word is endowed with a power of its own....

Shoghi Effendi fully realises the strain which those who are so actively bearing the weight of Bahá’í responsibility are subjected to in these days, when already, as private individuals, the events of the world are affecting their lives and drawing on their strength. It makes the quality of Bahá’í service so much finer, that it should entail on the part of all definite self-sacrifice.

Though the friends may not be fully aware of it, their staunch perseverance in carrying out their Bahá’í activities in the face of war conditions, is really in itself of historic importance. Convention, Summer Schools, meetings, all are not only demonstrating the calibre of their faith, but also evincing marked progress, all of which greatly cheers and delights the Guardian.

He assures you and your fellow-members of the National Spiritual Assembly, of his continued prayers on your behalf, that you may be guided, protected and sustained in your devoted services to the Faith....

P.S.—Shoghi Effendi is deeply interested in the plans you are developing to aid and attract more young people to the Faith. He feels this is both praiseworthy and a valuable method of teaching the Cause.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker,

The work so splendidly initiated by the English believers and so devotedly and energetically pursued and consolidated in these days of peril, uncertainty and turmoil, establishes beyond any doubt their right to claim to be the true upholders and custodians of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. They have, ever since the outbreak of this world wide conflict, abundantly demonstrated the high quality of their faith, the soundness of their institutions, the intensity of their devotion, and their capacity to defend and promote the interests of their beloved Cause. Impelled by admiration and gratitude for the work they have already accomplished, I have contributed a sum which I trust will enable them to extend the range of their teaching activities throughout the British Isles. May the Beloved graciously assist them to achieve such victories in this field as shall truly befit the conclusion of the first century of the Bahá’í Era.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 12 November 1942

12 November 1942

CABLING TWO HUNDRED POUNDS CARE COOKS THANKSGIVING PROTECTION COMMUNITY BELIEVERS BRITISH ISLES AND FURTHERANCE ALL-IMPORTANT TEACHING ACTIVITIES PRAYING CONTINUALLY EPOCH MAKING VICTORIES.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 13 January 1943

13 January 1943

CONVEY GLAD TIDINGS ENGLISH BELIEVERS COMPLETION EXTERIOR EDIFICE MOTHER TEMPLE WEST ADVISE CABLE CONGRATULATIONS REPRESENTATIVES AMERICAN BAHÁ’ÍS SUPERB ACHIEVEMENT AND WIDE PUBLICITY BRITISH PRESS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 20 January 1943

20 January 1943

ASSURE ATTENDANTS CONFERENCE LOVING APPRECIATION PRAYERS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 9 March 1943

9 March 1943

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters dated July 19th 1942, Aug. 20th 1942, Sept. 15th 1942, and Dec. 8th 1942 have all reached the Guardian safely, as well as their enclosures, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

This last year he has been greatly overburdened with work, and that is why he so frequently has to delay the answering of his many letters.

The good news you conveyed of the marked success of the various Summer Schools held last year pleased him greatly. When the English friends remember that it is not many years since they ventured on their first Summer School and now, during war time, they have managed to hold four successful ones, they should feel very encouraged and proud! It shows that when the determination is strong and the faith firm, the friends can work wonders and surprise even themselves!

He was also delighted to hear of the successful teaching work and public meetings undertaken in Bradford and Manchester, and that the advertisements and publicity which you are sponsoring are meeting with a certain amount of response from the public.

He hopes that some of the friends will find it possible to move, at least temporarily, to centres where sufficient believers, or interested enquirers exist to enable a Spiritual Assembly to be formed by 1944. If such work is feasible it is, indeed, of great importance and well worth the sacrifices involved. This policy of settlement has been fruitful in both India and the United States, and as soon as a determined and active Assembly is started it is, of course, much easier to teach and carry on the work of the Cause.

The burdens everyone has to bear these days are heavy, and the way often seems long and hard which we and our fellow-men in general, are called upon to tread; but we know where it leads and what our work is and what that work must ultimately mean to not only the Bahá’ís but the whole world. This knowledge strengthens us and enables us to go on with a faith and confidence which cannot but help and inspire others. We are Bahá’u’lláh’s army and we cannot fail, as He leads us on.

The Guardian assures you and all the N.S.A. members of his most loving prayers. The English friends are increasingly dear to him, and he has great hopes for their future achievements.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The evidences of renewed activity in the teaching field are most encouraging and the spirit which animates the English believers in these days of stress and peril is highly inspiring. As the first Bahá’í century draws to a close, a supreme effort should be exerted by the believers in order to consummate befittingly the task they have arisen to achieve. I will pray with all my heart that the hopes they cherish may be realised, and their continued labours be crowned with glorious success.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi

Naw-Rúz, 1943

APPRECIATE MESSAGE RECIPROCATE LOVING GREETINGS THANKFUL DIVINE PROTECTION PRAYING UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES LAST YEAR FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 21 April 1943 (Convention)

21 April 1943 (Convention)

APPEAL DELEGATES ASSEMBLED CONVENTION DELIBERATE PROMPT EFFECTUAL MEASURES ENSURE UNPRECEDENTED EXPANSION PIONEER TEACHING ACTIVITIES LAST YEAR CENTURY AND BEFITTING CELEBRATION MAY 1944 CENTENARY FAITH ADVISE PREPARE SURVEY OUTSTANDING EVENTS FORTY-FIVE YEAR HISTORY FAITH BRITISH ISLES ASSURE FRIENDS FERVENT CONTINUED PRAYERS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS SUCCESS TWO-FOLD TASK CABLING THREE HUNDRED POUNDS CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS FULFILMENT PROJECTED UNDERTAKINGS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 26 April 1943

26 April 1943

DELIGHTED RESPONSE HIGH RESOLVE ASSURE ASSEMBLY PRAYERS MAGNIFICENT VICTORIES.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 12 May 1943

12 May 1943

KINDLY AIR MAIL IMMEDIATELY FULL LIST NAMES ALL LOCALITIES BRITISH ISLES WHERE ONE OR MORE BELIEVERS RESIDE SPECIFYING THOSE POSSESSING SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 17 June 1943

17 June 1943

CABLING TWO HUNDRED POUNDS THROUGH COOKS CONTRIBUTION ASSIST YOUR ASSEMBLY CELEBRATE BEFITTINGLY CENTENARY BELOVED FAITH WRITING.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 17 June 1943

17 June 1943

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

ASSURE NEWLY DECLARED BELIEVERS WELCOME PRAYERS.

He was very pleased to hear that the publicity you are giving the Faith is meeting with a wider response than has hitherto been the case, and he hopes that the N.S.A. and local Assemblies will organise their efforts in such a way as to enable them to draw enquirers closer to the Cause and, if possible, meet with them and include them in suitable teaching classes.

Regarding the matter of Fuád Afnán’s grave, the Guardian has no objection to its being built.

He feels that Bahá’ís who, though still considering themselves believers, omit attending the 19 Day Feasts for long periods, should not be deprived of their voting rights; they should, however, be encouraged to attend these Feasts as often as possible.

In less than a year the Bahá’ís the world over will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of their Faith, and the Guardian is very anxious that the British believers should commemorate this historic occasion befittingly. He would, therefore, suggest that your Assembly take up the following points for deliberation as soon as possible:

1. The holding of a large and representative gathering, attended by the Bahá’ís and the public alike, in a hired hall in London on the 23rd May 1944. He feels that prominent friends and sympathisers of the Faith should be invited to speak on this occasion, as well as Bahá’ís, and that every effort should be made to make the gathering both festive and dignified, as befits so blessed and solemn an occasion.

2. The publication of a Centenary Pamphlet outlining the important events of the Faith, and with a special emphasis placed on the rise and development of the Cause in England, its early history in that country, the achievements of the friends in spreading the Teachings there and establishing the administration, the formation of the Publishing Trust, and so on.

3. He wishes your Assembly to call the annual Bahá’í Convention for days that will include the 22nd May, so that all the assembled friends may be present at a special Bahá’í meeting to be held at 2 hours and 11 minutes after sunset on May 22nd as this is the exact time at which the Báb made His first historic declaration of His mission to Mullá ?usayn.

In order to aid the dear English believers in their befitting celebration of so glorious an occasion the Guardian is forwarding to your Assembly the sum of two hundred pounds sterling to be used for the arrangements you deem fit to make, and the publication of the above mentioned pamphlet. The Bahá’í communities all over the world—wherever free to do so—will also be celebrating this memorable day, each according to its capacity, and he is very anxious that the British Bahá’ís should, as befits their increasingly prominent position in the Bahá’í World, demonstrate to the public and to their fellow believers, the vitality of their community and the marked advancement it has made of late. He leaves all details to the discretion of your Assembly.

Mr. Yool of Manchester was recently able to spend his leave in Haifa at the Western Pilgrim House, and the Guardian was so happy to welcome one of the English friends here. He hopes that after the war many will be able to make the pilgrimage. They will be most welcome.

Assuring you and all the members of the N.S.A. of his loving prayers and his ardent hopes for the success of this great celebration which you will now be planning....

P.S. The Guardian recently cabled asking you to forward a complete list of all Spiritual Assemblies in the British Isles and the name of every locality where one or more believers reside.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

I pray that the celebration of the Centenary of our beloved Faith by the English believers may be a remarkable success. The committee that will have to be appointed for this purpose must strain every nerve, explore every avenue, and lose no time in order to ensure the unqualified success of this undertaking. I will supplicate the Beloved to guide every step you take, to aid you to surmount all obstacles, and to inspire you to undertake the measures that are most conducive to the proper discharge of your noble task. The widest possible publicity should be given to the Faith by every means at your disposal.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 4 August 1943

4 August 1943

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters, written on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly and dated May 14th and June 6th have been received, together with the minutes of the April and May N.S.A. meetings, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was very encouraged to see the number of places where there are now one or two registered Bahá’ís residing, as these are beacons of the Faith—however lonely and however, as yet, feeble the light they are able to radiate.

The Guardian feels that it would be an excellent plan if some way could be found to raise Bournemouth and Torquay to Assembly status; either through some self-sacrificing souls moving to these places and thus giving them the required number, or through the efforts of the local and visiting teachers. With the Centenary of the Faith so rapidly approaching it seems a great pity that England should be deprived of these two Assemblies, when each one of them only requires one person to bring it to Assembly status.

Regarding the questions you asked in connection with the following minutes of the N.S.A. meetings: 753. The Guardian advises you to consult Canon Townshend, and if he considers it advisable to compile a pamphlet for distribution to the clergy you could get one out along the lines he might suggest as suitable. 754. He would not advise any special contact being made with the Swedenborgians as the Master’s reference is not sufficiently clear and emphatic to warrant it. 755. The Guardian does not believe you should ask the Russian Embassy for help in locating Mde. Grinevskaya’s play about the Báb, as he believes they could be of no help in the matter. You might ask the American N.S.A. if they have this material available.

The Guardian’s prayers are offered on behalf of the N.S.A. members, that you, one and all, may be aided and guided in your labours during the coming months, to prepare the way for a befitting and glorious Centenary celebration of our beloved Faith during May of 1944.

[From the Guardian:]

Dearly beloved friends,

I was so pleased and encouraged to witness the recent evidences of the determination of the English believers to arise, as never before, during this concluding year of the first Bahá’í century, and ensure the extension of the teaching activities of the Faith, the consolidation of its interests, and a better understanding and wider recognition of its aims, its principles, and accomplishments. The efforts they must exert during these remaining months must be unprecedented in their range and character. The blessings that will be vouchsafed to them, if they unitedly persevere and vigorously prosecute their urgent task, will alike be unprecedented. The preparation for a befitting celebration of the forthcoming Centenary must likewise be carefully and energetically carried out. May the Almighty sustain and guide them in their vast and meritorious endeavours.

Shoghi


Letter of 10 August 1943 (Summer School)

10 August 1943 (Summer School)

CONCENTRATION TEACHING AND CENTENARY PREPARATIONS MOST VITAL MATTERS FERVENTLY PRAY ALL MAY BECOME RADIANTLY ACTIVE GREETINGS DEEPLY APPRECIATED.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 25 October 1943

25 October 1943

ADVISE CONTACT HERBERT SAMUEL RONALD STORRS TUDOR POLE AND OTHER SYMPATHISERS WHICH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MAY SUGGEST VIGOROUS ACTION NECESSARY SAFEGUARD INTERESTS FAITH INSURE SUCCESS CELEBRATION.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 2 November 1943

2 November 1943

CABLING FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS TO BE EXPENDED DISCRETION YOUR ASSEMBLY FURTHERANCE TEACHING ACTIVITIES AND BAHÁ’Í PUBLICATIONS DEEPEST LOVE ASSURANCE CONTINUED PRAYERS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 5 January 1944

5 January 194433

KINDLY CABLE DATE FORMATION FIRST BAHÁ’Í NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 13 March 1944

13 March 1944

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters dated July 15th, Aug. 12th, Oct. 3rd, Nov. 1st and 10th and Dec. 5th together with various enclosures have been received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

Regarding the article by Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper, the Guardian does not place such material in the archives, but it might possibly be either stored with past documents or have been returned to the “Bahá’í World” Committee. He regrets his inability to forward it to you in time to be of any use in preparing the Centenary Pamphlet.

He would like you to assure Mr. St. Barbe Baker that the Bahá’ís would be happy to avail themselves of his connections in Africa and his assistance and advice in the future teaching work there. Tremendous tasks lie ahead of the believers during the opening years of the second Bahá’í century, and undoubtedly spreading the Faith in Africa will be one of them.

He considered the Diary gotten out by the Publishing Trust to be in excellent taste, and is very pleased it has proved a medium of spreading the news of the existence of our beloved Faith and its nature. He appreciated receiving the copies forwarded to him. He is also very pleased to hear that the publication of the Centenary Pamphlet is now assured.

He sees no objection to getting out a compilation of Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (as per minute No. 906) providing the source is authentic and the translations faithful and presentable.

He was very pleased to see that new and better headquarters for the Assembly and meetings in London have been found, and trusts this foreshadows the development of a national administrative headquarters there in England in the not too distant future.

In spite of the burden the Bahá’ís, in common with their countrymen, are bearing these days, they are showing marked progress in their activities, and he feels confident that the friends, so loyal and devoted to the beloved Faith, will arise unitedly, in so important a country as England—one of the first to receive the Divine Message in the West—and will ensure that the Centenary is befittingly celebrated in spite of the many difficulties to be overcome.

Assuring you one and all of his ardent prayers for the success of your work, for your strength and protection....

P.S. Your letter of Jan. 18th has been received and the Guardian wishes to state that in connection with the royalties on “Paris Talks” that, as Mrs. Hall and her sister wish to turn them over to the Cause, the Assembly should accept and the money in future go to the National Fund there in England....

Any royalties on the works of the Master, as one of the Central Figures of our Faith, are naturally the property of the Cause and not of His heirs.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

I am delighted to hear of the steps that have been taken by your Assembly in preparation for the forthcoming celebration of the centenary of our beloved Faith, and I pray that success may crown your devoted efforts. The English believers are in every field of Bahá’í activity and service demonstrating the quality of their faith and the keen sense of responsibility which animates them in their organised and concerted endeavours for the promotion of the vital interests of the Faith. I feel proud of their record of service, and will pray with increasing fervour for their protection and success.

Shoghi

Naw-Rúz, 1944

APPRECIATE GREETINGS PRAYING GREAT VICTORIES OPENING CENTURY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 22 April 1944

22 April 1944

CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS MY LOVING CONTRIBUTION FURTHER EXTENSION BAHÁ’Í PUBLISHING ACTIVITIES AND INITIATION ADDITIONAL MEASURES ENSURE BRILLIANT SUCCESS CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS PRAYING ARDENTLY SUCCESS BOTH FIELDS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 1 May 1944

1 May 1944

DELIGHTED PRAYING FERVENTLY SUCCESS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 3 May 1944

3 May 194434

ADVISE SHARE FOLLOWING FACTS WITH BELIEVERS AT CONVENTION CELEBRATING HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. BAHÁ’ÍS ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE SEVENTY EIGHT COUNTRIES FIFTY SIX OF WHICH ARE SOVEREIGN STATES. BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE TRANSLATED PUBLISHED FORTY ONE LANGUAGES. TRANSLATIONS UNDERTAKEN TWELVE ADDITIONAL LANGUAGES. THIRTY ONE RACES REPRESENTED BAHÁ’Í WORLD COMMUNITY. FIVE NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES AND SIXTY ONE LOCAL ASSEMBLIES BELONGING TEN COUNTRIES INCORPORATED LEGALLY EMPOWERED HOLD PROPERTY. BAHÁ’Í INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS HOLY LAND ESTIMATED HALF MILLION POUNDS. NATIONAL BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS UNITED STATES ESTIMATED ONE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. AREA LAND JORDAN VALLEY DEDICATED BAHÁ’Í SHRINES OVER FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY ACRES. SITE PURCHASED FUTURE BAHÁ’Í TEMPLE PERSIA COMPRISES THREE AND HALF MILLION SQUARE METERS. COST STRUCTURE FIRST BAHÁ’Í TEMPLE WEST ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. IN EVERY STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICA BAHÁ’Í ASSEMBLIES FUNCTIONING. IN THIRTEEN HUNDRED LOCALITIES UNITED STATES CANADA BAHÁ’ÍS RESIDING. BAHÁ’Í CENTRES ESTABLISHED EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA FIFTEEN OF WHICH POSSESS SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES. FAITH WESTERN HEMISPHERE NOW STRETCHES FROM ANCHORAGE ALASKA TO MAGALLANES WORLD’S SOUTHERN-MOST CITY. SIXTY TWO CENTRES ESTABLISHED INDIA TWENTY SEVEN WITH SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES. AMONG HISTORIC SITES PURCHASED PERSIA ?IHRÁN HOME BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BÁB’S SHOP BÚSHIHR BURIAL PLACE QUDDÚS PART VILLAGE CHIHRÍQ THREE GARDENS BADASHT PLACE CONFINEMENT TÁHIRIH. BAHÁ’Í NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS FOUNDED ?IHRÁN DELHI CAIRO BAGHDÁD WILMETTE SYDNEY. BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS HOLY LAND AND UNITED STATES EXEMPTED TAXES BY CIVIL AUTHORITIES. CIVIL RECOGNITION EXTENDED BAHÁ’Í ASSEMBLIES IN FIVE STATES UNITED STATES SOLEMNISE BAHÁ’Í MARRIAGES. SUGGEST UTILISE ABOVE INFORMATION PUBLICITY PURPOSES WHEREVER ADVISABLE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 22 May 1944

22 May 1944

REJOICE MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS VALIANT LOYAL BELOVED COMMUNITY ENGLISH BELIEVERS. CONVEY SIR RONALD STORRS LOVING APPRECIATION HIS NOBLE ACT. ASSURE ALL ATTENDANTS CONVENTION PARTICIPANTS CELEBRATION LOVING REMEMBRANCE FERVENT PRAYERS SHRINES BÁB ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ. CONFIDENT UNQUENCHABLE SPIRIT ANIMATING WELL-TRIED STOUT-HEARTED FIRMLY KNIT FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES WILL ENABLE THEM SURMOUNT ALL OBSTACLES SCALE NOBLER HEIGHTS ACHIEVE GREATER VICTORIES OPENING YEARS SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 23 May 1944

23 May 1944

ANNOUNCE FRIENDS JOYFUL TIDINGS HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY DECLARATION MISSION MARTYRED HERALD FAITH SIGNALISED BY HISTORIC DECISION COMPLETE STRUCTURE HIS SEPULCHRE ERECTED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ ON SITE CHOSEN BY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. RECENTLY DESIGNED MODEL DOME UNVEILED PRESENCE ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS. PRAYING EARLY REMOVAL OBSTACLES CONSUMMATION STUPENDOUS PLAN CONCEIVED BY FOUNDER FAITH AND HOPES CHERISHED BY CENTRE HIS COVENANT.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


“Their first collective enterprise”—THE SIX YEAR PLAN
1944–1950


Letter of 25 May 1944

25 May 194435

WELCOME SPONTANEOUS DECISION ADVISE FORMATION NINETEEN SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES SPREAD OVER ENGLAND WALES SCOTLAND NORTHERN IRELAND AND EIRE PRAYING SIGNAL VICTORY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 26 May 1944

26 May 1944

OVERJOYED SUCCESS CELEBRATIONS. PRAYING EVER INCREASING FLOW DIVINE OUTPOURINGS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 8 July 1944

8 July 1944

PREPARE CONDENSED REPORT NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY PAGES REGARDING ACTIVITIES ACHIEVEMENTS BAHÁ’Í FAITH DURING PAST FOUR YEARS. MAIL ONE COPY AMERICA ANOTHER HAIFA PROMPT ACTION NECESSARY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 11 August 1944

11 August 1944

APPRECIATE GREETINGS PRAYING BLESSINGS SUMMER SCHOOL AND TEACHING PLAN LOVE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 12 August 1944

12 August 1944

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters dated March 3rd and 25th, April 23rd, May 18th and July 6th together with their enclosures have all been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was most deeply gratified over the way the Centenary was conducted in London and feels that it has adequately demonstrated the vitality of the faith which animates the British Bahá’í community. They may well look upon this as their major achievement since the visits to their shores of the beloved Master. He was also very pleased to hear of the celebrations successfully held by the Manchester and Torquay Bahá’ís in their respective communities.

“The Centenary of a World Faith” he found most excellently gotten out and not only well written but calculated to arouse the interest of the reader and impress him with the true stature of our World Faith. He has distributed copies among the friends and placed some in the library of the Mansion, at Bahjí. He was also pleased with the programme of the London Meetings—so you can see that the patient efforts and sacrifices of the members of the N.S.A. and all those who contributed to the marked success of the Centenary celebrations in England, have met not only with his approval and admiration but brought happiness to his often heavily over-burdened heart!

Regarding your question concerning minute No. 1050; this is entirely a matter of conscience; if the individual feels for some reason justified in voting for himself, he is free to do so. Regarding your question of the proper time to celebrate or hold our meetings of commemoration, the time should be fixed by counting after sunset; the Master passed away one hour after midnight, which falls a certain number of hours after sunset; so His passing should be commemorated according to the sun and regardless of daylight saving time. The same applies to the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh who passed away about 8 hours after sunset.

The Guardian has already cabled you regarding your Six Year Teaching Plan, and he hopes that events in the future will be more favourable to carrying it out than they are at present. He often thinks of and prays for the English friends during these days of ordeal they are again passing through and he feels confident Bahá’u’lláh will strengthen their work and bless their efforts for this Holy Cause....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The Six Year Plan which the national elected representatives of the English believers have spontaneously launched is a further evidence of their unquenchable faith and noble and unyielding determination to prosecute energetically the teaching work in the British Isles and to exploit to the full the notable advantages derived from the successful celebrations of the Bahá’í Centenary in London. Attention should be focussed in the course of the opening year of the second Bahá’í Century on the needs and requirements of this Plan. The multiplication of Bahá’í centres and the dissemination of Bahá’í literature should be regarded as the chief objectives of the prosecutors of the Plan. Every sacrifice should be made, every effort should be exerted and every avenue should be explored to ensure the success of the Plan. The English believers stand identified with this Plan. The immediate destinies of the entire community depend upon it. I will pray for its success, will watch its progress and pledge every assistance within my power for its promotion. May the Beloved bless all those who have embarked upon it and crown their enterprise with brilliant and total victory.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 14 August 1944

14 August 1944

ANXIOUS SAFETY LONDON BELIEVERS KINDLY CABLE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 5 January 1945

5 January 1945

APPRECIATE VERBATIM REPORTS ADDRESSES DELIVERED OPENING CENTENARY EXHIBITION AND PUBLIC MEETING DENISON HOUSE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 27 January 1945

27 January 1945

KINDLY CABLE ADDRESS TUDOR-POLE MAIL THREE COPIES EVERY PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN CENTENARY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 27 March 1945

27 March 1945

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters, written on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly, and dated Aug. 2nd, 21st and 31st (airgraph) and Oct. 9th, Nov. 16th (airgraph) and Nov. 23rd (duplicate copy also received), Dec. 19th (duplicate copy also received) all of 1944, and Jan. 25th 1945 (duplicate copy also received) have arrived safely with any enclosures they contained, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them.

He fully realises the many handicaps the English Bahá’ís are labouring under, and appreciates all the more deeply their perseverance and devotion shown in such activities as the National Centenary in London and local exhibitions and meetings held elsewhere, as well as the successful Summer School, the various printing undertakings and the renewed efforts to establish new centres and strengthen older ones. In this connection he would like you to please convey to Miss Young36 and all other pioneers the expression of his loving appreciation of this historic service they have arisen to render the Faith in England.

The tasks facing the believers everywhere are great, for they see only too clearly that the only permanent remedy for the many afflictions the world is suffering from, is a change of heart and a new pattern of not only thought but personal conduct. The impetus that has been given by the Manifestation of God for this Age is the sole one that can regenerate humanity, and as we Bahá’ís are the only ones yet aware of this new force in the world, our obligation towards our fellow men is tremendous and inescapable! Therefore he hopes that many more of the friends there will arise to do pioneering work and help achieve the important goals set by the Six Year Plan. When once a few bold, self-sacrificing individuals have arisen to serve, their example will no doubt encourage other timid would-be pioneers to follow in their footsteps. The history of our Faith is full of records of the remarkable things achieved by really very simple, insignificant individuals, who became veritable beacons and towers of strength through having placed their trust in God, having arisen to proclaim His Message. The stamina and fortitude shown by the people at large during all these hard and bitter years of war should surely find a nobler example in the deeds of the Bahá’ís who are connected with the Divine Source! He urges your Assembly to do all in its power, through financial and moral assistance, to get more pioneers into the field.

Mr. Hofman has just written him about his meeting with the Paris believers, and he feels that as most of the friends there are elderly people and have suffered many privations, the British N.S.A. should keep in close touch with them and help and inspire them all it can....

Also concerning your question about the prayers and changing the pronouns: This cannot be done, even in the long Obligatory Prayer or the healing prayers. Either we must ignore this mere detail or say a prayer that applies to our sex or number....

You may be sure that you, and your fellow members of the N.S.A., are very often in his thoughts and prayers. He deeply appreciates your steadfast and persevering labours and hopes that the believers of England will arise to fulfil their high duties and discharge the debts they owe their countrymen through the privilege of being the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in these dark yet historic days....

P.S. The following is a copy of the cable the Guardian sent you in answer to your request for his advice as to the Six Year Plan the British believers resolved to undertake:

“WELCOME SPONTANEOUS DECISION. ADVISE FORMATION NINETEEN BAHÁ’Í SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES SPREAD OVER ENGLAND WALES SCOTLAND NORTHERN IRELAND AND EIRE. PRAYING SIGNAL VICTORY.”

He will, you may be sure, do everything in his power to assist the friends to achieve this objective.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The Six Year Plan which the English believers have conceived and are now energetically prosecuting constitutes a landmark in the history of the Faith in the British Isles. It is the first collective enterprise undertaken by them for the spread of the Faith and the consolidation of its divinely appointed institutions. The national elected representatives of the Bahá’í community in those islands must watch carefully every phase in its development, provide whatever is required for its systematic and steady extension, encourage the believers to disperse, to settle, to persevere, and to appeal more directly and effectively to the masses who are waiting for this Divine Message, and on whose ultimate response the triumph of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh must depend. Obstacles, however formidable, should be surmounted. Setbacks, however discouraging at first, must not, under any circumstances, cause them to deviate from the path they are so devotedly and determinedly pursuing. That glorious success may eventually crown their concerted and historic endeavours is my fervent and constant prayer at the Holy Shrines. May the Beloved aid them to achieve their noble end.

Shoghi


Letter of 11 April 1945

11 April 1945

BAHÁ’Í PERSIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY EXPELLED ... FAMILY OWING REPUDIATION VITAL PROVISIONS MASTER’S WILL AND LONG-STANDING DISOBEDIENCE. POSITION ANY MEMBER THIS FAMILY IN LONDON SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY ASCERTAINED BY YOUR ASSEMBLY. CABLE RESULTS. UTMOST FIRMNESS VIGILANCE REQUIRED OTHERWISE CONTACT BREAKERS COVENANT WILL ENDANGER FAITH.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 25 April 1945

25 April 1945

APPRECIATE CABLE RECEIVED FROM.... FEEL HOWEVER OWING DEFECTION HIS ENTIRE FAMILY NECESSITY FORMAL ASSURANCE BEFORE YOUR ASSEMBLY HIS DETERMINATION CEASE COMMUNICATION WITH HIS FAMILY AWAITING ASSEMBLY’S REPLY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 1 May 1945

1 May 1945

LOVING APPRECIATION CONVENTION MESSAGE. ENGLISH BELIEVERS LOVINGLY REMEMBERED SHRINES FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING SUCCESS SIX YEAR PLAN URGE REDOUBLED EFFORTS CABLING FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS MY CONTRIBUTION PLAN.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 3 May 1945

3 May 1945

ASSURE ... APPRECIATE RESPONSE. CONCERNING MEDIUM DO NOT ADVISE ACCEPTANCE MEMBERSHIP.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 9 May 1945

9 May 194537

FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH THROUGHOUT FIVE CONTINENTS UNANIMOUSLY REJOICE PARTIAL EMERGENCE WAR TORN HUMANITY FROM TITANIC UPHEAVAL UNERRINGLY PREDICTED SEVENTY YEARS AGO BY PEN AUTHOR THEIR FAITH. CESSATION HOSTILITIES EUROPEAN CONTINENT SIGNALISES CLOSING YET ANOTHER CHAPTER TRAGIC TALE FIERY TRIALS PROVIDENTIALLY DECREED BY INSCRUTABLE WISDOM DESIGNED ULTIMATELY WELD MUTUALLY ANTAGONISTIC ELEMENTS HUMAN SOCIETY INTO SINGLE ORGANICALLY UNITED UNSHATTERABLE WORLD COMMONWEALTH. GRATEFULLY ACCLAIM SIGNAL EVIDENCE INTERPOSITION DIVINE PROVIDENCE WHICH DURING SUCH PERILOUS YEARS ENABLED WORLD CENTRE FAITH ESCAPE WHAT POSTERITY WILL RECOGNISE AS ONE OF GRAVEST DANGERS EVER CONFRONTED NERVE CENTRE ITS INSTITUTIONS. PROFOUNDLY AWARE BOUNTIFUL GRACE VOUCHSAFED BY SAME PROVIDENCE ENSURING UNLIKE PREVIOUS WORLD CONFLICT UNINTERRUPTED INTERCOURSE BETWEEN SPIRITUAL CENTRE AND VAST MAJORITY COMMUNITIES FUNCTIONING WITHIN ORBIT FAR FLUNG FAITH. IMMEASURABLY THANKFUL MIRACULOUS PRESERVATION INDIAN PERSIAN EGYPTIAN BRITISH IRÁQÍ COMMUNITIES LONG THREATENED DIRE PERILS OWING PROXIMITY THEATRE MILITARY OPERATIONS. DEEPLY CONSCIOUS PROGRESS ACHIEVED DESPITE SIX TEMPESTUOUS YEARS IN BOTH EASTERN WESTERN HEMISPHERES THROUGH COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISES LAUNCHED BY THESE COMMUNITIES OUTSHINES SUM TOTAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS SINCE INCEPTION FORMATIVE AGE FAITH. SEVEN YEAR PLAN INAUGURATED BY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY UNDER LOWERING CLOUDS APPROACHING CONFLICT VICTORIOUSLY COMPLETED EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION MOTHER TEMPLE WEST ESTABLISHED STRUCTURAL BASIS FAITH EVERY STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT AND HOISTED ITS BANNER EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA. INDIAN BELIEVERS SIX YEAR PLAN LAUNCHED EVE HOSTILITIES MORE THAN QUADRUPLED CENTRES FUNCTIONING WITHIN PALE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER. EDIFICES CONSECRATED ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS EVER ADVANCING CAUSE INVOLVING EXPENDITURE OVER HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ERECTED PURCHASED OR COMPLETED CAPITAL CITIES INDIA ‘IRÁQ EGYPT AS WELL AS SYDNEY AUSTRALIA. ACQUISITION NUMEROUS PROPERTIES BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NATIVE LAND MT. CARMEL AND JORDAN VALLEY AS WELL AS PURCHASE SEVERAL IMPORTANT HISTORIC SITES ASSOCIATED LIVES BOTH HERALD AUTHOR FAITH SWELLED UNPRECEDENTED DEGREE BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS. PRELIMINARY STEPS COMPLETION BÁB’S SEPULCHRE AND ESTABLISHMENT WORLD ADMINISTRATIVE CENTRE THROUGH REMOVAL REMAINS BROTHER MOTHER ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ UNDERTAKEN. TERMINATION FIRST CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA SYNCHRONISING CLIMAX RAGING STORM PUBLICLY BEFITTINGLY CELEBRATED DESPITE MULTIPLICATION RESTRICTIONS. ABOVE ALL UNITY INTEGRITY INCORRUPTIBLE WORLD COMMUNITY CONSISTENTLY SAFEGUARDED IN FACE INSIDIOUS OPPOSITION AVOWED ENEMIES WITHOUT AND COVENANT BREAKERS WITHIN. SUCH SPLENDID VICTORIES OVER SO VAST FIELD AMIDST SUCH TRIBULATIONS DURING SO PROLONGED ORDEAL AUGUR WELL COLOSSAL TASK DESTINED BE ACCOMPLISHED COURSE PEACEFUL YEARS AHEAD BY BUILDERS EMBRYONIC WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AMIDST WRECKAGE DISTRACTED DISRUPTED DISILLUSIONED SOCIETY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 May 1945

10 May 1945

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to forward you the enclosed copy of his message38 to the Bahá’ís of East and West on the happy occasion of the termination of the European war.

He would appreciate your sharing it not only with all the British friends but with the Paris believers too.

Please inform him of the safe receipt of this message as soon as it reaches you.

We all send you our loving greetings and are greatly relieved to know your lives will now assume a more normal course after all these years of suffering....


Letter of 9 August 1945

9 August 1945

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters dated March 8th and 12th, April 17th, May 10th and 18th and July 8th and June 9th have been received, as well as the various enclosures you mention in them, and the photographs, sent under the separate cover. The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He was very pleased to hear you are now in touch with the French believers and able to help them morally, and also with some physical assistance too! It is only right that England, the first country whose Bahá’í community is in a position to reach out a helping hand to its sister communities in Europe, should do so, and should have this privilege and honour.

He realises the many difficulties that stand in the way of the British Bahá’ís in regard to fulfilling the important Six Year Teaching Plan they have undertaken. But he hopes that now the European war is over, and conditions are returning to a more normal way of life, that the friends, conscious of their very great spiritual responsibility, will arise and, in spite of everything, accomplish the work they have chosen for themselves and which is of such great spiritual importance to their countrymen.

The more we study the present condition of the world, the more deeply we become convinced that there just cannot be any way out of its problems except the way of God, as given by Him, through Bahá’u’lláh. The early Persian Bahá’ís gave their lives for the Cause; the Western believers have been spared this necessity, but their comfort, to some extent, they must sacrifice if they are going to discharge their moral obligation to tortured humanity, and bring to it the message of the Father. Once the friends start out to win the goals set in their Plan, they will find the Divine confirmation sustaining them and hastening its consummation. This is what happened in the American Seven Year Plan and the Indian Six Year Plan, and the same spiritual assistance will certainly be vouchsafed the English believers, once they arise with faith and confidence, to do their work.

In regard to the question you raise in your letter of June 9th about the “Paris Talks”, the Guardian does not advise your putting the suggested footnote, as we cannot be absolutely sure, unless we see the Persian text, that what you propose is really what the Master means. The present translation cannot be considered accurate in all its details, obviously, and as at the moment the Persian text is not available, he suggests you either put no footnote at all, or one stating that the meaning is obscure and future re-translation will clear up such passages.

You may be sure that his ardent prayers will be offered on behalf of all the British Bahá’ís, that Bahá’u’lláh may aid them to fulfil His work and may open the doors of servitude and guide them on their way. He will also pray for you and your fellow N.S.A. members, for your strength, protection and guidance in fulfilling your many important tasks.

P.S. Regarding Mr. ... financial affairs; there is naturally no objection to his receiving his own money, but he should have no communication with his family, and should arrange for your N.S.A. to receive his money and deliver it to him. The Guardian is very pleased that he has taken the right, courageous, Bahá’í course of action in his life, and will certainly pray for his happiness and protection.

There is no ambiguity about the Master’s attitude towards psychic forces; He very strongly warned the believers against using them.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

I grieve to learn of the slow progress of the Six Year Plan which the English believers have so nobly conceived, and which, I pray and hope, will be triumphantly consummated. The Plan constitutes a direct and grave challenge to the English Bahá’í community in its entirety. It should be regarded as the greatest collective enterprise ever launched by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles. It is thus far one of the most significant undertakings embarked upon by the members of Bahá’í National Assemblies during the opening years of the second Bahá’í century. To it, as already observed, the immediate destinies of the community of the English believers are linked, and on it must depend the future orientation and evolution of the institutions which the members of that community are labouring to erect for the diffusion of the principles and the establishment of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in their country. It must not, it cannot, fail. The attention of the entire body of the believers must be continually focussed upon it. No sacrifice can be deemed too great for its successful prosecution. All must arise harmoniously, co-operate and lend their share of assistance. May the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh enable them to achieve signal success.

Shoghi


Letter of 18 December 1945

18 December 1945

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters dated Aug. 11th and Nov. 9th and to answer them on his behalf. Their enclosures were also received....

He was very pleased to hear that you have had eight new Bahá’ís since Convention and hopes that this is only a foretaste of the conversion of souls in far greater numbers in the years lying ahead of us.

The Six Year Plan is of the utmost importance, and he urges your Assembly to continually keep reminding the friends of the necessity for sustaining their efforts through arising personally to serve and through giving generously that others may serve in their place.

In this connection he hopes you will use the services of Marion Holley, now Mrs. David Hofman, to the full. She is a gifted speaker and writer, and has had invaluable experience in America as a member of the National Teaching Committee, during the Seven Year Plan. Both she and Mr. Hofman are wholly dedicated to the service of the Cause, and eager to do all in their power to help accomplish the goals of your Six Year Plan.

He was happy to hear that the Summer School was held successfully. Now that the war is over, and conditions gradually returning to normal, he hopes that the British believers will exert their utmost in serving the Cause and spreading its message. Although from time to time they will receive the help of outside Bahá’ís, the major responsibility is theirs, and the lion’s share of the work will naturally fall to them as both their privilege and their duty.

He assures you one and all that his ardent prayers sustain you in your labours for the Faith and he feels sure that with sufficient effort on the part of all, and the Power of God which inevitably sustains self-sacrificing service in His Path, the goals can be gloriously achieved....

P.S. He was delighted to hear of the welfare of the German believers. Reports of a similar nature had already reached him, but no figures had been given.

[From the Guardian:]

Dearly beloved co-workers,

I am anxiously waiting for the news of the progress of the Six Year Plan, upon which the future orientation of the collective activities of the English believers depends, and with which the immediate destinies of their Faith are interwoven. No sacrifice is too great to ensure its success. The utmost effort, vigilance, perseverance and self-sacrifice are required to carry it to a successful conclusion. If the friends, individually and collectively, play their part and exert their utmost, the abundant blessings of Bahá’u’lláh will be fully vouchsafed, and the strength of the Plan will mark a glorious chapter in the history of the Faith. I appeal to the entire community to dedicate itself to this sacred and urgent task, the greatest collective enterprise ever undertaken by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 21 February 1946

21 February 1946

ASSEMBLY SHOULD EXPLAIN TO ... OWING HIS BROTHER’S SECESSION FAITH ADHERENCE ISLÁM PARTICIPATION POLITICS AND ASSOCIATION WITH HIS OTHER BROTHERS AND MOTHER WHO HAVE FLAGRANTLY DISOBEYED MASTER’S WILL COMMUNICATION WITH HIM AND THEM FORBIDDEN. ASSEMBLY SHOULD EXERCISE UTMOST VIGILANCE THIS VITAL MATTER OTHERWISE AS MASTER REPEATEDLY WARNED CONTAMINATING INFLUENCE WILL SPREAD AND IMPERIL STRUCTURE FAITH. CABLE HIS RESPONSE SHOW UTMOST FIRMNESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 5 March 1946

5 March 1946

OVERJOYED RECENT DECISIONS TEACHING CONFERENCE ARDENTLY PRAYING SPEEDY REALISATION CHERISHED HOPES URGE SUPREME UNITED CONTINUOUS EFFORT CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FURTHERANCE NOBLE AIMS SIX YEAR PLAN DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 March 1946

12 March 1946

INFORM ... APPRECIATE HIS ASSURANCE PRAYING STEADFASTNESS BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 March 1946

22 March 1946

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letters dated Sep. 6th and Nov. 6th 1945 and Jan. 2nd, Feb. 8th and 19th 1946, have been received together with their enclosures, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He has been delighted to see, through your letter and reports sent by other Bahá’ís, that the Teaching Conference in Manchester was such a success, and he feels this marks a turning point in your Six Year Plan. Now that goal towns have been chosen, the friends must concentrate all their forces and resources on establishing Assemblies in them as soon as possible. He feels sure that once the signs of success become evident all the believers, tired and depressed after so many years of war and privation, will become vitalised with optimism and enthusiasm and drive forward unitedly towards the complete victory of their plans.

He was delighted to hear that Miss Townshend and Mr. Lee have arisen as pioneers, and he wishes you to please assure them of his special prayers for the success of their devoted labours.

He was also very happy to hear you have found a place to hold your Summer School; this is such an important Bahá’í activity that even if the expenses are such as to necessitate its being subsidised by the National Fund it does not matter.

He advises you to send half of the Russian books in your possession to the Bahá’í Bureau in Geneva. Mrs. Lynch can distribute them from there, as required, to other centres.

He feels it would be an excellent means of serving the Cause and enhancing the prestige of the British Bahá’ís if you can send a delegate to the Spiritual World Congress to be held in Brussels.

We are sending ... the Haifa News Letter direct from here; thank you for sending his address. The Guardian suggests if you have not already done so, that you send the address of the Dutch Bahá’í to Mrs. Lynch, so that travelling believers can be put in touch with him.

He is eagerly awaiting more good news of the progress of your Six Year Plan, and assures you all that he will ardently pray for its speedy and complete success in the Holy Shrines.

Your Assembly’s labours are very deeply appreciated....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The enterprise launched by the English Bahá’í community in the opening years of the second Bahá’í Century is of tremendous significance, and will, if successful, mark not only the inception of a glorious chapter in the history of the Faith in the British Isles, but will constitute a landmark in the spiritual awakening of its people. The forces which such a consummation will release none can estimate sufficiently at present. The task is colossal, but the reinforcing power of Bahá’u’lláh, who is watching over it and is ready to bless and sustain it if its prosecutors arise to play their part, is likewise immeasurable. The recent Teaching Conference is but the initial stage in this mighty, this collective, and indeed historic undertaking. The goal towns which have been selected should be regarded as the chief objectives requiring the immediate and concentrated attention of its zealous promoters. Every consideration should be subordinated to the paramount need of establishing at any cost and by every means possible, vigorously functioning assemblies at these centres. No effort should be wasted, all must arise to lend their assistance; no sacrifice is too great to ensure the completion of the first stage of this noble enterprise. Unity, perseverance, self-sacrifice, will guarantee its success. Obstacles may arise, set-backs will no doubt occur, but the unconquerable spirit animating the English believers must ultimately triumph.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 24 April 1946

24 April 1946

ADVISE NOT PURCHASE AT PRESENT. RENT IF POSSIBLE BEFITTING ROOMS CENTRAL POSITION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 April 1946

24 April 1946

KINDLY AIRMAIL TWO PHOTOGRAPHS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR “BAHÁ’Í WORLD”.

SHOGHI


Letter of 26 April 1946

26 April 1946

URGE FOCUS ATTENTION SIX YEAR PLAN SUBORDINATE EVERY ACTIVITY PARAMOUNT ISSUE TEACHING FACING ENGLISH BELIEVERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 30 April 1946 (Convention)

30 April 1946 (Convention)

DEARLY BELOVED ENGLISH BELIEVERS REMEMBERED SHRINES PRAYING ARDENTLY SUCCESS DELIBERATIONS CONVENTION SUPREME CONTINUOUS EFFORT REQUIRED ENSURE SUCCESS PLAN CONCENTRATION ATTENTION RESOURCES ENTIRE COMMUNITY PROMOTION PARAMOUNT AIM INDISPENSABLE GREATER SACRIFICES DEMANDED ENSURE ULTIMATE VICTORY EAGERLY AWAITING NEWS PROGRESS HISTORIC ENTERPRISE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 May 1946

8 May 1946

WHATEVER NOT SPECIFIED ARTICLES ASSOCIATION LEFT DISCRETION NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.39

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 May 1946

10 May 1946

APPRECIATE MAIL HAIFA PHOTOGRAPH ALL MEMBERS LAST YEAR’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR BAHÁ’Í WORLD.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 May 1946

22 May 1946

APPROVE DROP CARDIFF SUBSTITUTE ANY TOWN DEEMED ADVISABLE PRAYING SPEEDY SUCCESS URGE PERSEVERANCE LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 May 1946

29 May 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters (and those previously written by Mrs. Ferraby as secretary) dated March 19th and 21st; April 12th and 23rd; and May 2nd and 11th, as well as their enclosures, have all been received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

Regarding the various points which have been raised in these letters.

As he already informed you by cable, he sees no objection to substituting some other town for Cardiff if that has proved too unpromising....

People who for years have ceased to either attend meetings or show the slightest interest in the Cause can be dropped from the voting list; but any who are unable to attend meetings, but still consider themselves to be Bahá’ís and are desirous of keeping up their contact with the Faith, should naturally be kept on the voting list.

He feels at the present stage of the Cause’s development in England it is perhaps wiser not to make any hard and fast rules about the boundaries of towns for assembly purposes. However, you should bear in mind that in the future some proper delineation will be necessary.

As to the question of the Publishing Trust about quoting excerpts from some of the Meditations; there is no objection to this at all.

He hopes you will be able to find some suitable quarters in London for your Bahá’í Centre; he considers that at the present time, with the heavy and essential teaching programme you have undertaken, it is out of the question to purchase headquarters.

The Guardian takes the keenest interest in your Six Year Plan, and he wishes me to point out to you certain things in this connection: if the important goals of new Assemblies are to be achieved, he feels you will have to organise the work on a new basis. England now stands, one might say, on the brink of a new phase of its Bahá’í life; the long years of war are over, the friends are not only awakened to a sense of their responsibilities, but have increased in numbers, in zeal, and in unity; there is a growing number of people who are anxious to do pioneer work. What is needed is a planned and consistent form of teaching and administrative support of the activities your Assembly is inaugurating.

He feels the time has come when the British Bahá’ís’ resources are sufficient to enable them to embark on their teaching campaign in a manner similar to that already followed by the American and Indian Bahá’ís. In other words pioneers who volunteer for work, if they are not able to support themselves, should be supported by the National Fund until they either find work or their task is completed.

Likewise travelling teachers should be assisted financially to carry out the “projects” assigned to them. The friends should not for a moment confuse this type of support with the creation of a paid clergy. Any Bahá’í can, at the discretion of the N.S.A., receive this necessary assistance and it is clearly understood it is temporary and only to carry out a specific plan. Bahá’u’lláh Himself has not only enjoined on everyone the duty of teaching His Faith, but stated if you cannot go yourself, to send someone in your stead. The National Assembly, through and with its Teaching Committee, should take immediate steps to get pioneers out into the goal towns and teachers circulating about, to not only support and inaugurate the new work, but to stimulate the existing Assemblies and groups, and help them to expand.

He hopes that your Assembly, unitedly and with complete dedication to the great work that lies ahead of you, will concentrate all your forces on the teaching work. You may be sure he will pray for your success in the Holy Shrines, and that all the British Bahá’ís may realise to the full their historic responsibilities and arise to discharge them....

P.S. Your letter of May 29th has since been received and the extra photos of N.S.A. members will be forwarded to America.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The activities of the English Bahá’í community in pursuance of the Plan, which in its scope and potentialities is wholly unprecedented in the history of the Faith in the British Isles, are now approaching a critical stage, and will, if not relentlessly expanded and consolidated, fall far short of their ultimate objective. They have now entered the third year of their Plan, and the work that still remains unaccomplished is considerable, but not beyond what their united and sustained endeavours can accomplish. The utmost support, if the Plan is to yield its promise, should be continually and increasingly extended to every pioneer, both moral and financial, who will arise to contribute his or her share to its success. All the institutions of the Faith so laboriously erected since the inception of the Formative Age, most of the financial resources of the community that have been accumulated, the deliberations of the elected representatives of the entire body of the believers, both local and national, should henceforth be dedicated to the vital requirements and noble aims of an enterprise which, if successful, will pave the way, and provide the necessary agencies, for the proclamation of the Faith to the masses throughout the British Isles.

The Faith is too circumscribed at present, its resources too limited, its range too restricted, and the number of its active supporters too few, to allow a systematic and nation-wide campaign designed to awaken the masses, to be effectively inaugurated. The present Plan is but a stepping stone that must lead eventually the English believers to execute so tremendous and meritorious an undertaking. The duties and responsibilities now facing them must, however, be fully discharged. No time or effort should be wasted. All, young and old, must be aroused to a new consciousness of their collective responsibilities. A greater measure of self-sacrifice, a greater audacity, a greater reliance on the sustaining grace of Bahá’u’lláh, are required to lend the necessary impetus to the progressive unfoldment and ultimate fruition of this dynamic process which the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, labouring in the heart of a world encircling empire, have set in motion. May signal success crown their historic labours.

Shoghi


Letter of 7 June 1946

7 June 1946

National Youth Committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letter dated May 16th and written on behalf of the National Youth Committee, was received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He is very happy to see that the Bahá’í Youth of the British Isles are now organised and working with enthusiasm for the spread of the Faith there. He feels that they have a great and important rôle to play during the next few years in fulfilling the objectives of the Six Year Plan.

Young people, being, for the most part, freer than the older believers, are in a position to arise as pioneers and move to new towns as settlers. A great number of the pioneers in America, who left their native cities, and often their native land, in order to fulfil the Seven Year Plan, were young people—some of them so young that the Spiritual Assemblies they helped to establish they were themselves not yet old enough to be elected to!

The Guardian has enjoyed very much meeting Capt. Philip Hainsworth, who had the unique privilege of being in Haifa for over a month, and he feels sure that upon his return to England he will lend great impetus to both the Youth and teaching work.

He heartily approves of your “Youth Bulletin” project and urges you to place special emphasis on articles that are of pertinent interest to young people, such as those dealing with the economic, social and moral aspects of society.

Assuring you, and all the members of your Committee, of his loving prayers for the success of your labours....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your meritorious endeavours, guide every step you take in the path of service, aid you to extend the range of your activities, and enable you to promote, by every means in your power, and in a most effective manner, the vital interests of a Plan with which the immediate destinies of the members of the English Bahá’í Community, both young and old, are so inextricably interwoven.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 18 June 1946

18 June 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to send you the following copy of a cable he sent the N.S.A. on the 7th of this month: “DELIGHTED LATEST REPORT TEACHING ACTIVITIES. PRESENT YEAR CRUCIAL FORTUNES PLAN. CONCENTRATE 5 MOST PROMISING GOAL TOWNS, ALSO EXERT UTMOST RE-ESTABLISH TORQUAY, BOURNEMOUTH ASSEMBLIES. SUCCESS IMMEDIATE PLAN WILL NECESSITATE INCREASE CONVENTION DELEGATES BRITISH ISLES TO TWICE 19. UPON CONSUMMATION ENTIRE PLAN FURTHER INCREASE TO THREE TIMES 19 WILL BECOME ESSENTIAL. CABLING FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS FOR TRAVEL SETTLEMENT PIONEERS. PROSPECTS BRIGHT, REDOUBLED EFFORTS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL, EXERTION YOUTH VITAL. FORTHCOMING GATHERING SUMMER SCHOOL SHOULD DEVOTE SPECIAL ATTENTION REQUIREMENTS PLAN. ARDENTLY PRAYING TRIUMPHANT SUCCESS FIRST STAGE COLLECTIVE EFFORT DEARLY BELOVED ENGLISH BELIEVERS”.

In the first draft of this cable sent you a word was left out, namely “twice” before the “19” in reference to the first increase of the number of convention delegates. This was corrected the same day by cable.

The Guardian has so far received no acknowledgment of the receipt of this long cable and he is anxious to know if it reached you safely? Also the five hundred pounds which was forwarded by cable, through Barclays Bank, to your name?

Assuring you of his loving prayers on your behalf....

P.S. He was very happy to hear that the N.S.A. is now united, and that sources of misunderstanding and uneasiness have been entirely cleared up.


Letter of 6 July 1946

6 July 1946

DELIGHTED BRIGHT PROSPECTS ACHIEVEMENT THIS YEAR’S GOAL WILL CONSTITUTE TURNING POINT FORTUNES PLAN LANDMARK BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY SUSTAINED CONCENTRATION ESSENTIAL CONVEY PIONEERS TRAVELLING TEACHERS ASSURANCE LOVING APPRECIATION ABIDING GRATITUDE NOBLE RESPONSE URGE EXERT SIMULTANEOUSLY EFFORTS ESTABLISH THIS PIVOTAL YEAR NUCLEUS FUTURE ASSEMBLY BOTH SCOTLAND IRELAND PRAYING CONTINUALLY INCREASING EVIDENCES NATION-WIDE EXPANSION PROGRESSIVE CONSOLIDATION DEARLY BELOVED ENGLISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 2 August 1946 (Summer School)

2 August 1946 (Summer School)

OVERJOYED PRAYING EVER INCREASING SUCCESS DEEPEST APPRECIATION HIGH ENDEAVOURS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 August 1946

25 August 1946

DELIGHTED URGE UTMOST SACRIFICE PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS GOAL TOWNS PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 October 1946

12 October 1946

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated June 1st and 26th and July 20th and 25th, together with their enclosures, have been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

Regarding the various points you raised.

Unless the Russian “New Era” is hopelessly bad, the Guardian advises it nevertheless be made use of, as it will be some time before the funds of the Cause can be used for a new edition. If the mistakes are mostly in the nature of mistranslations of certain important terms it might be possible for you, in conjunction with Mrs. Lynch, to have printed or mimeographed a list of errata, and stick it in the book, in this way Russian-speaking people will not be denied some literature on the Faith, however inadequate.

The attitude of the friends towards orientals should be one of great caution, according to the Master’s own often-repeated and explicit instructions and warnings. Any believer in good standing would not leave his home community without a letter of credential, and certainly no Persians, claiming to be Bahá’ís, but lacking credentials, should be accepted until the Persian N.S.A. has clarified their status. They can, naturally, attend public meetings, but should not be permitted to come to the 19- Day Feasts; the friends may associate with them, but should be very cautious, bearing in mind that many orientals, who scorned or were even actively against the Cause while living in the East, now find it convenient to pose as believers or friends of the Faith in a Western community where they are strangers.

As regards your question about Bahá’í procedure; the present statement can certainly be amplified to include the United Nations Organisation.

He feels that your Assembly should constantly, through its communications to the friends and its committees, and in every way possible, stir the British Bahá’í community to a sense of the great urgency of their pioneer activities; and the need for more pioneers. They now have a golden opportunity to arise and fulfil their own cherished plans before it is too late. In the future we may well look back upon these present days and see that in them lay our greatest chance to build for the future and to call people to the Faith while they were still deeply impressed with the tragedy and futility of war; and before they become too engulfed in post war problems, or too bitterly disillusioned by the trend of world affairs to even seek a solution. More believers must arise, and, putting their trust in Bahá’u’lláh, do their duty to the Faith they believe in and love so dearly. The youth in particular should be encouraged to enter this field of service, for the spread of the Cause is their only hope for a stable world in which to live and establish families of their own.

His loving prayers are with you all in your many services to the Cause of God, and he is greatly encouraged by the way the work is going forward in England....40

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The evidences of intensified activity and of notable progress on the part of the English believers in recent months have rejoiced my heart and deepened my feelings of admiration and gratitude for the manner in which they are discharging, individually and collectively, their high responsibilities. I long to hear of the steady progress of their Plan, and will continue to pray for the removal of every obstacle in their path. However considerable their recent achievements, they are still in the initial stage of their great unfolding mission, and are not even capable as yet of visualising the possibilities or of estimating the consequences of their present-day labours. The consummation of their present task will mark the opening of a new era in the development of their community and will signalise the inauguration of a great epoch in the history of the Faith in their land—an epoch that must witness the universal recognition of their Cause and the proclamation of its truths, its claims and tenets, to the masses of their countrymen throughout the British Isles. The Plan they are now prosecuting will provide the machinery and establish the basic structure that will enable them to arouse the people, among all sections of the population, and aid them, systematically and gradually, to recognise Bahá’u’lláh, and support the nascent institutions of this World Order. Now it is their duty to lay an unassailable foundation for the great work that is to be undertaken in the future. There is no time to lose. Theirs is a priceless opportunity and a great privilege. They must neither vacillate nor falter. They must determinedly persevere until their immediate and distant goals have been attained.

Shoghi


Letter of 15 November 1946

15 November 1946

OVERJOYED MARVEL MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS URGE AFTER ATTAINMENT THIS YEAR’S GOAL CONCENTRATION IRELAND SCOTLAND WALES LONGING FORMATION NUCLEI THESE VIRGIN TERRITORIES ARDENTLY PRAYING LOVING ADMIRATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 21 November 1946

21 November 194641

APPROVE LOVING APPRECIATION PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 26 December 1946

26 December 1946

National Youth Committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letter of September 19th was received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf, and to congratulate you and the other members of your committee on the excellent first issue of your Bahá’í Youth Bulletin.

This is an important new undertaking, and must be established as a firm innovation on the part of the British Bahá’í community. He hopes it will gradually become the means of interesting and attracting many new souls to the Faith.

In fact the Youth work everywhere in the Bahá’í World is dear to his heart, and he attaches great importance to it. The young people, who will inevitably grow up to shoulder all the work of the Cause, are really its hope, and should be one of the most active factors in its propagation. Through their courageous adherence to the high moral and ethical standards set out by Bahá’u’lláh, and through gaining a mastery of His many, diversified, and profound teachings, they can shape, to a great extent, the development and aid in the rapid expansion of their beloved Faith in the various countries in which they labour. They should be made to realise their responsibility is heavy and their privilege very precious.

He wishes to assure you and all the other members of the National Youth Committee, of his most loving prayers for your progress, and for the success of the work you have so enthusiastically and devotedly undertaken....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless abundantly the work which your Committee has so nobly initiated, remove all obstacles from your path, aid you to realise every hope you cherish, and carry out every plan you conceive, for the furtherance of the interests of our beloved Faith and of its God-given institutions.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 30 December 1946

30 December 1946

PRAYING FERVENTLY REMOVAL ALL OBSTACLES IMPEDING PROGRESS PLAN AND RECOVERY. SUPPLICATING RICHEST BLESSINGS TEACHING CONFERENCE DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 1 January 1947

1 January 194742

REJOICE SUCCESS PRAYING RICHEST BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 January 1947 (To Teaching Conference)

12 January 1947 (To Teaching Conference)

PROFOUNDLY MOVED MESSAGE. GREATLY APPRECIATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS PRAYING DEPTHS GRATEFUL HEART CONTINUED SUCCESS MAGNIFICENT COLLECTIVE EFFORTS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 January 1947

20 January 1947

CONSULTATION BETWEEN DELEGATES COMMUNITY ADVISABLE PRESENTATION COMMUNITY VIEWS TO CONVENTION ADVISABLE MANNER CONSULTATION LEFT DISCRETION N.S.A. DOUBLING NUMBER DELEGATES CONDITIONED ACHIEVEMENT NINE GOAL TOWNS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 January 1947

29 January 1947

ASSURE JOAN GIDDINGS DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 February 1947

8 February 1947

DELIGHTED PROGRESS NOTTINGHAM BIRMINGHAM RESPONSE MCKINLEYS URGE SUPREME EFFORT AS CRUCIAL YEAR DRAWS CLOSE ENSURE ATTAINMENT OBJECTIVE LOVING ARDENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 26 February 1947

26 February 1947

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your communications dated Sept. 12, Oct. 4th and 17th, Nov. 19th, 18th and 21st and Dec. 29th 1946 have all been received together with their enclosures and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf....

He was very happy to see the marked success of your Summer School this past year and also to receive very encouraging reports of the Manchester Teaching Conference; a great change has come over the work in England during the past year and one which must certainly rejoice the hearts of the older Bahá’ís in particular as they compare the present state of the Cause with the decades that passed when it had two or three spiritual Assemblies and seemed to be practically standing still! It seems, indeed, as if an important corner had been turned and that the Faith in the British Isles is at last showing its true stature and casting a portentous shadow of future events before it!

He is particularly happy to see the way the Bahá’í young people are arising and serving in the pioneer field with such courage, determination and success.

Regarding the question you asked him about the sentence from the “Aqdas” for the marriage certificate: he feels that the following is a suitable translation of this passage: “Enter into wedlock, O people, that ye may bring forth one who will make mention of me.”

The very good news of Nottingham and Birmingham achieving Assembly status was most welcome and he hopes the friends will redouble their efforts in connection with the remaining goal towns. Likewise the establishment of pioneers in both Eire and Scotland is of historic importance and they should receive every assistance from the National Teaching Committee and from your Assembly.

Now that the British believers see tangible results of their labours and perseverance taking shape, they should feel encouraged to make new sacrifices; a little effort on our part is so richly blessed by Bahá’u’lláh—we can only wonder what the rewards would be for a great, concerted, truly inspired effort by all members of the community.

He assures you all of his most loving prayers for your guidance and the success of your historic enterprises....

P.S. Shoghi Effendi would like your Assembly to make every effort to help Dr. Lotfullah Hakim to come to England from Persia; he wishes to continue his study of massage etc. and he could be of great help in the teaching work as he is a devoted and fine Bahá’í. Shoghi Effendi suggested he might investigate the possibility of carrying out his studies in Edinburgh or some other goal town and thus help with the Six Year Plan at the same time.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The present crucial year, now drawing to a close, may well be regarded as one of the most memorable in the annals of British Bahá’í history. The magnificent, spontaneous and collective response of almost the entire community of the English believers to the imperative call of teaching; the support lent by individuals, groups and Assemblies to the Plan set in motion by its national elected representatives; the success attending the Teaching Conference; the multiplication of Bahá’í centres in England; the initial steps taken to establish the structure of the Administrative Order of the Faith, in Ireland, Scotland and Wales—all these have combined to raise the stature of the community, and to prepare it for the still greater tasks that must be faced by its members after the successful prosecution of the present Plan.

The Bahá’ís of the British Isles are now, slowly, laboriously and in strict accordance with the principles of a steadily expanding, divinely appointed Administrative Order, building up the essential and primary institutions which are destined to act as the chief and most powerful instruments for the proclamation of the Faith to the masses of their countrymen, at a subsequent stage in the development of the Faith in their land. As these institutions expand and are consolidated, the community will find itself equipped, not only to carry the Message of the New Day to the multitudes throughout the length and breadth of its homeland, but prepared and fortified to initiate teaching campaigns beyond the shores of its native land, and in distant territories and various parts of the Empire of which that land is the heart and centre.

Theirs is the duty, during these coming years, to lay patiently, assiduously and unitedly the foundation on which the structure of their future international services to their beloved Faith can be firmly and unassailably established. Upon the success of the Plan they are now so diligently and devotedly prosecuting, must depend the scope and effectiveness of their two-fold task of proclaiming the verities of their Faith to their fellow countrymen at home, and of implanting its banner abroad amidst the peoples and races of a far-flung Empire.

That they may carry out, in a befitting manner and by the appointed time, the preliminary steps so essential for the fulfilment of their high destiny is my dearest wish and constant prayer.

Shoghi


Letter of 20 March 1947 (To First Regional Youth Conference)

20 March 1947 (To First Regional Youth Conference)

PROFOUNDLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE CONFERENCE URGE CONCENTRATE NEEDS PLAN PRAYING GREAT VICTORIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 21 March 1947

21 March 1947

OVERJOYED PROSPECTS PRAYING ARDENTLY CONSUMMATION CHERISHED HOPES APPEAL ENTIRE COMMUNITY EXERT SUPREME EFFORT ENSURE TOTAL SUCCESS MIGHTY ENTERPRISE DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION ABIDING GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 March 1947

28 March 1947

ADVISE APPORTION DELEGATES COMING CONVENTION IN STRICT ACCORDANCE NUMBER BELIEVERS ACTUALLY RESIDING IN FOUR COMMUNITIES MENTIONED LETTER FEBRUARY 24TH.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 April 1947

7 April 1947

National Youth Committee

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letters dated August 10th (from the secretary) and December 19th and March 18th (from the Business Manager of the Editorial Committee) were received, and as our beloved Guardian is greatly overburdened by his steadily expanding correspondence, he has instructed me to answer these communications all in one.

He was very pleased to receive copies of “Youth Bulletin,” which he thinks is starting out in the right direction; he would like to receive this publication regularly.

The work you are doing is very important, and the British Bahá’í Youth should feel very encouraged to see the way some of their members have arisen and gone forth to pioneer. He hopes others will follow this example in order to ensure the success of the Six Year Plan.

You may be sure his loving prayers are offered for you all in the Holy Shrines....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh sustain, bless and guide you in your notable, meritorious, and deeply appreciated activities, aid you to extend the range of your services, and lend a great impetus to the progress of the Plan which the English believers are so devotedly and assiduously prosecuting.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 16 April 1947

16 April 1947

OVERJOYED HISTORIC SUCCESS APPROVED MINUTE 590 PRAYING STILL GREATER VICTORIES HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS ABIDING GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 April 1947

29 April 1947

ACCLAIM PRIDE GRATITUDE VICTORY ACHIEVED REVITALISED TRIUMPHANT DEARLY BELOVED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY MARVELLOUS CONSUMMATION ARDUOUS TASK CRUCIAL YEAR HISTORIC PLAN UNPRECEDENTED ANNALS FIFTY YEARS BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY SISTER COMMUNITIES EAST WEST NORTH SOUTH HAIL SIGNIFICANT VICTORY WON NOTWITHSTANDING PROLONGED STRAIN FORMIDABLE OBSTACLES SMALLNESS NUMBERS DIVERSITY TRIALS CONFIDENT ALL MEMBERS COMMUNITY YOUNG OLD TEACHERS PIONEERS ADMINISTRATORS WILL RESOLUTELY SAFEGUARD PRIZES WON FORGE AHEAD UNDIMINISHED ZEAL ATTAIN GOALS WITHIN REACH CABLING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS PROMOTION GREAT TASKS AHEAD TOKEN MY ABIDING GRATITUDE SIGNAL SERVICE RENDERED FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 May 1947

8 May 1947

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated Jan. 19th and 23rd; Feb. 16th, 27th and 28th; March 8th and 25th; and April 4th, 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 1947, have all been received, together with their enclosures and the material sent under separate cover, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

Regarding the various questions you have raised.

He has already informed the American N.S.A. that he feels Mr. Townshend’s services to the Faith can best be rendered by his writing about it, as he obviously has an outstanding ability in this direction, combined with knowledge and zeal, and can render a very valuable service this way; he also feels that Mr. Townshend, now that his church association seems about to be broken, could be used as part of the pioneer force in Eire. It is his own land, he knows his own people, and the need for workers there is very particularly great this year....

If Mr. Townshend has not as yet been registered as a voting believer he certainly should be immediately. Everyone knows he has been a most devoted Bahá’í for many years and his contributions should certainly be considered those of a voting Bahá’í.

He would appreciate receiving, for the files here in Haifa, a copy of the revised Articles of Association.

Regarding the prayer translated by Dr. Khán and his daughter: although he has not taken time to compare it with the original, he assumes it is a faithful translation. Unfortunately it is not a style which in our language can convey the richness and power of the original, and he would not recommend that this version of it be printed. There is no objection, however, to its circulation among the friends if they want it.

As to certain of your voting members who have long been inactive, and whose conduct you disapprove of, he suggests you make an effort to find out if they still believe in the Faith, and if they do, and wish to be members of it, then they should be helped to mend their ways. If this patient and loving method does not prove successful and they refuse to identify themselves with the Faith, they should be removed from the voting list.

Miss ... should be advised, for the sake of better serving the Cause she loves so dearly, to take care of her health; also she should be made to realise that a pessimistic and critical approach (although perhaps fully justified by the situation) produces no results. We, having the power of the Faith to draw on, must always be constructive in our efforts, as this will produce results and attract Divine blessings upon them.

Concerning the membership of ... in the synagogue: as this concerns his non-Bahá’í Jewish wife and means a great deal to her—even involving the place of her burial—the Guardian does not feel it is right to request him to take a step which would deprive her of her own religious rights. On the other hand, he sees no reason why ... should not write a letter to the appropriate authority in this synagogue, explaining that he is a practising Bahá’í but is keeping his synagogue membership for the benefit of his wife and children. Some similar action should be taken by ..., or he should give up his synagogue membership.

He realises the difficult position of the London community, but the goals of the Plan, and its success, justify any temporary weakening of the work in the capital, which in the end will be greatly strengthened by the national spread of the Faith. He certainly will specially pray for this work in London.

The achievement of all goals during this crucial year has been very great, and brought him a conviction that the Cause in the British Isles is now operating on an entirely new footing, and that the community of believers there has thrown off once and for all time a certain lethargy which seemed to have retarded its progress in the past. Although so much still remains to be accomplished, the combination of the new zest for work and the determination of the friends to succeed, and the unfailing assistance of Bahá’u’lláh, promised to all who arise and put their faith in Him, will surely mow down all obstacles and carry the British believers through to victory.

He feels that the way your assembly is working, with its many and active committees, and the plans you have outlined in your report, are excellent. Any suggestions he has to make, as the work unfolds, he will communicate to you.

The Summer School, he feels, is of great importance, and he hopes gradually believers from the continent will visit it and be helped and inspired by their contact with the now active and flourishing British Bahá’í community!

You may be sure in the prayers he offers in the Holy Shrines you and your assembly’s work are often remembered....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The success that has crowned the strenuous efforts exerted by the entire British Bahá’í community in the course of this crucial year, has raised immensely its prestige in the estimation of its sister communities in East and West, and has demonstrated in a very striking manner, the vitality, resourcefulness and determination of its members, and merits the praise and blessings of the concourse on high, and particularly of our beloved Master, who in the course of two successive visits showered His loving kindness on the English believers, and chose the capital city of their country as the scene of His first public appearance before a western audience. This remarkable exploit, unparelleled since the inception of the administrative order in that land, and unsurpassed by any achievement associated with the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles since the introduction of His Faith into their country, augurs well for the successful termination of the Initial Phase of the Plan, and fills me with hope that total victory will ultimately be achieved, at the appointed time, by the prosecutors of this bold, this historic and far-reaching enterprise.

The Plan itself when consummated will signalise the opening of a new epoch in British Bahá’í history, an epoch which must witness, simultaneously with the vigorous initiation of subsequent Plans designed to broaden the basis, and multiply the institutions, of a steadily evolving administrative order, the inauguration of systematic undertakings, jointly launched by the English, the Scottish, the Irish and Welsh believers, and aiming, on the one hand, at the proclamation of the Divine Message to the masses of their respective countrymen, and, on the other, at the establishment of the structural basis of a divinely appointed Administrative Order throughout the far-flung dependencies of the British Crown.

For the present, however, and as an essential preliminary to the vast and challenging tasks that await them beyond the shores of their homeland, the eyes of the prosecutors of the present Plan must be focused on the vital and urgent requirements in England, and particularly Scotland, Wales and Ireland, wherein the nuclei that have been recently formed, should, ere the expiry of the present year, be converted into full-fledged assemblies. The erection of the administrative institutions of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in these virgin territories will no doubt befittingly mark the termination of the initial phase of the Plan, and proclaim to the entire Bahá’í world the resolution, as well as the ability, of its valiant promoters to create the indispensable agencies required for an intensive propagation of the Faith at home, and the planting of its banner overseas.

Theirs is an unspeakably thrilling task, an awe-inspiring obligation, a priceless opportunity. Their recent victories inspire a confident hope that a no less outstanding success will mark their future endeavours.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 14 May 1947

14 May 1947

DEEPLY APPRECIATIVE PLEDGE PRAYING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 May 1947

24 May 1947

TOWNSHEND’S RESIGNATION IMPERATIVE. ALLOCATION FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS FROM NATIONAL FUND EXCESSIVE. ADVISE USE PART RELIEF FUND THIS PURPOSE PRAYING SOLUTION PROBLEM.

SHOGHI


Letter of 18 June 1947

18 June 1947

OVERJOYED TOWNSHEND’S MEMORABLE DECISION NOBLE EXAMPLE COMMENDABLE DETERMINATION SETTLE DUBLIN ARDENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS PROTECTION REMOVAL DIFFICULTIES DELIGHTED STAHLER’S PIONEERING SUPPLICATING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS CHERISH BRIGHT HOPES FRUITION ASSEMBLY’S HISTORIC TASK DEEPEST LOVE APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 June 1947

28 June 1947

National Youth committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister,

Your letter, with enclosures, to our Beloved Guardian, on behalf of the National Youth Committee, and dated February 26th, was received and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf. He did not reply sooner because he is so very busy and overworked, and feels sure you understand the reason for the delay.

The services which the Bahá’í young people are rendering the Cause, not only in England but in Scotland and in Eire, please him greatly, as the Youth are the ones who perforce, in the near future, will find themselves carrying on the administrative and teaching work of the Faith, and the sooner they prepare themselves for this heavy responsibility through actual experience in the pioneer field, the better.

He is delighted to see the steady progress of your activities and the way your Bulletin is progressing, and he assures you all of his loving prayers for the success of all your undertakings....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless continually your meritorious efforts, guide and sustain you in your activities, and aid you to fulfil your heart’s desire in the service of His glorious Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 19 July 1947

19 July 1947

ADVISE TOWNSHEND TRANSFER RESIDENCE OUTSIDE IRELAND IF NECESSARY APPROVE PROVISION COAL AMERICAN BELIEVERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 August 1947

20 August 1947

OVERJOYED MAGNIFICENT PROGRESS SUMMER SCHOOL ASSURE ATTENDANTS LOVING PRAYERS GRATEFUL ADMIRATION CONGRATULATE ENTIRE BRITISH COMMUNITY ASTOUNDING ACHIEVEMENTS BAHÁ’ÍS WORLD PROUD UNFORGETTABLE VICTORIES BRITISH ISLES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 September 1947

12 September 1947

DELIGHTED TOWNSHEND SETTLEMENT MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS SUMMER SCHOOL BELOVED MASTER ABHÁ KINGDOM WELL PLEASED CONSTRUCTIVE HISTORIC MANIFOLD ACHIEVEMENTS VIRILE BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY PRAYING INCREASING FERVOUR DIVINE GUIDANCE SURMOUNT OBSTACLES RESOLVE PROBLEMS WIN STILL GREATER VICTORIES HEARTFELT GRATITUDE ABIDING LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 September 1947

25 September 1947

The National Bahá’í Youth Committee of the British Isles

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter to our beloved Guardian, dated August 21st, as well as the note of your Secretary, Miss Howes, dated August 29th, have been received, together with the copy of your Youth Letter, and I have been instructed to answer you on his behalf.

He is very happy to hear of the formation of the new Youth Groups you mention, as this will not only greatly stimulate the Bahá’í Youth and enable them to attract new young people to the Faith, but will also do the general work of the Cause in these cities a great deal of good. He urges your Committee to make every effort to establish youth groups wherever there are Spiritual Assemblies, and circumstances permit. He would like to receive five copies of your Youth Letter if this is convenient.

Your services are very deeply valued, and he assures you all of his loving prayers for the success and expansion of your activities....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The activities initiated and diligently pursued by the members of your committee deserve the highest praise. The devotion, the perseverance, the loyalty, the assiduous care with which you are striving to promote the interests of the Bahá’í Youth throughout the British Isles rejoice my heart, and will no doubt act as a magnet that will attract the blessings of the Almighty. Persevere in your historic labours, and rest assured that the Beloved is well pleased with your splendid accomplishments. I will continue to pray from the depths of my heart for the extension of your valued activities.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 9 October 1947

9 October 1947

Assembly Development Committee Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter to our beloved Guardian dated Aug. 4th, has been received and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He is very pleased to see the work your Committee is undertaking and feel that it is of the greatest importance. The unity, love, harmony and proper understanding of the administration of the Cause which exists in a community are the measure of its progress, and on them depend directly the expansion of the Faith.

He wishes you every success, and assures you of his prayers in support of your labours....

P.S. He has received your bi-monthly news letter and thinks it is very well written and excellent in every way.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless continually your valued activities, aid you to overcome all obstacles in your path, promote effectively the vital interests of our beloved Faith, and contribute, in a notable manner, to the multiplication of its nascent institutions.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 9 October 1947

9 October 1947

Child Education Committee

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter to our beloved Guardian, dated Sept. 1st, has been received by him, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He was very pleased to see the enthusiasm and devotion with which you have entered into this important branch of Bahá’í activity, and he hopes your labours will be richly rewarded with success.

He would suggest that wherever classes for Bahá’í children are held, liberal minded parents be invited to send their children too, so that their minds may receive the broad, basic and tolerant doctrines of our glorious Faith.

He assures you of his loving prayers for the success of your activities.

With warmest greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide and sustain you in your highly important and vital undertaking, enable you to extend continually the range of your meritorious activities, and lend a great impetus to the consolidation of the institutions of our glorious Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 10 October 1947

10 October 1947

HIGHLY APPROVE ARRANGE MARION HOFMAN RESUME SECRETARYSHIP TEACHING COMMITTEE URGE ENTIRE COMMUNITY PERSEVERE UNITED STRENUOUS EFFORTS ENSURE TRIUMPHANT TERMINATION PRESENT PHASE PLAN STATUS NEWLY FORMED ASSEMBLIES MUST BE MAINTAINED AT ALL COSTS ATTENTION SHOULD MOREOVER BE FOCUSED ESTABLISHMENT FIRM FOUNDATION HISTORIC ASSEMBLIES SCOTLAND WALES EIRE ERE TERMINATION CURRENT YEAR CABLING FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS ASSIST ASSEMBLY VIGOROUS PROSECUTION MIGHTY ENTERPRISES CONFERRING IMPERISHABLE LUSTRE DIVINELY SUSTAINED VICTORIOUSLY ADVANCING DEARLY BELOVED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 16 October 1947

16 October 1947

DELIGHTED EVIDENCES PROGRESS EDINBURGH DUBLIN BLACKPOOL HEARTFELT ABIDING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 October 1947

24 October 1947

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters to our beloved Guardian, dated May 18th and 27th; June 4th, 9th and 16th; July 5th, 8th (two of this date), 12th and 14th; August 9th and September 15th, 20th and 29th; and October 6th and 13th, have all been received, as well as their enclosures, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf....

He received a letter direct from the World Congress of Faiths, and wrote them offering full Bahá’í co-operation, and informing them he was ready to appoint a Bahá’í representative to attend any conference they may hold.

The discovery of the Master’s letter to Andrew Carnegie is very interesting, in spite of the very poor translation of this Tablet, and he will be very pleased to receive a photostat of the original, or at least a faithful copy of the text in Persian.

He would be pleased to continue receiving the reports of the Assembly Development Committee.

Regarding the question you asked him: he feels that in the case of a believer who will be 21 years old on April 22nd, there is no objection, at this time, when the work of the Cause is so urgent and the workers so few, in permitting him to vote on April 21st.

The conduct of ... is an excellent example of why he, (and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá before him), feels it so necessary to be very strict about the admission of Orientals into the communities of the Western world. The British people, being shrewd by nature and having had considerable experience with Orientals and peoples of all races, are far less vulnerable to the insidious influence of the insincere than are the more naive and less experienced Americans. People such as this young man, Bahá’í in name whenever it suits their convenience to be so, caring really nothing about the Faith at heart, and ready to abandon it at a moment’s notice if the pleasures to be gained outweigh the humiliation of ostracism, are a real menace to the Cause, especially to the faith of young and untried believers. It is to protect the Cause against such individuals that the Guardian is at present so strict about not permitting Persians to visit America at this time.

In regard to your question about qualifications of delegates and assembly members: the qualifications which he outlined are really applicable to anyone we elect to a Bahá’í office, whatever its nature. But those are only an indication, they do not mean people who don’t fulfil them cannot be elected to office. We must aim as high as we can. He does not feel the friends should attach so much importance to limitations—such as people perhaps not being able to attend assembly or convention meetings, because if they do, then the fundamental concept of everyone being willing to do Bahá’í service on administrative bodies will be weakened, and the friends may be tempted to vote for those who, because of independent means or circumstances in their lives, are freer to come and go but less qualified to serve.

Regarding “‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London”. Nothing can be considered scripture for which we do not have an original text. A verbatim record in Persian of His talks would of course be more reliable than one in English because He was not always accurately interpreted. However such a book is of value, and certainly has its place in our literature.

He assures you all of the deep appreciation of your valiant labours and his loving prayers on your behalf....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The gigantic task, now being so energetically and successfully carried out by the consecrated and firmly knit British Bahá’í community, constitutes a glorious landmark in recent Bahá’í history, and will, when viewed in proper perspective, deserve to be regarded as one of the most outstanding enterprises launched by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the opening years of the second Bahá’í century. Alike in its magnitude and significance, this momentous undertaking is unprecedented in the annals of the Faith in the British Isles, and deserves to rank as one of the most compelling evidences of the creative power of its Author, marking the rise and establishment of His institutions on the European continent. It is yet too early to assess the potentialities of this present Plan and those destined to follow it, or estimate their future benefits. The blessings they will confer, as the forces latent within them are progressively revealed, on the people dwelling within those Islands, and subsequently, as their sphere is enlarged and their implications are fully disclosed, on the diversified peoples and races inhabiting the widely scattered dependencies of a far-flung empire, in both the East and the West, are unimaginably glorious.

A staggering responsibility rests on the shoulders of those who have been called upon to assist in the operation of the initial stages of this heroic colossal enterprise, and to participate in the privilege of directing its course, and nursing its infant strength. Setbacks and reverses are inevitable as this mighty Plan progresses and expands. Critical stages in its unfoldment must be encountered with unswerving resolution and confident hope. Whatever hardships and sacrifices its future prosecution may involve must be borne with courage, pride and thankfulness. To insure its speedy advancement every issue must be subordinated to its vital requirements, and every individual effort co-ordinated with the agencies designed for its execution.

Its present and pressing needs in the virgin territories of Eire, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland must be met with concentrated attention, continuous, systematic effort and the utmost self-sacrifice. The goals to be achieved in the capitals and chief cities of these newly opened territories must be relentlessly pursued, no matter how hard and stony the path that must be trodden. The prizes already won in other towns in those islands must at all costs be preserved and subsequently further enriched by fresh spiritual conquests in neighbouring counties and farther afield. Indeed the steps preliminary to the formation of a Bahá’í administrative centre in every county throughout the British Isles, must sooner or later be taken, as an essential prelude to the effective proclamation of the Faith to the masses. That the English Bahá’ís, aided and reinforced gradually by fresh recruits from among their Irish, Welsh and Scottish countrymen, may hasten the advent of such a glorious day in British Bahá’í history is the dearest wish of my heart and the object of my constant supplication at the Threshold of Bahá’u’lláh.

Shoghi


Letter of 10 December 1947

10 December 1947

DEEPLY TOUCHED ASSEMBLY’S SOLICITUDE ALL SAFE HEARTFELT APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 January 1948

7 January 1948

FERVENTLY PRAYING SIGNAL SUCCESS TEACHING CONFERENCE URGE CONCENTRATED UNRELAXING EFFORT ENSURE GLORIOUS TERMINATION INITIAL PHASE HISTORIC PLAN DELIGHTED SETTLEMENT CARDIFF DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 January 1948

20 January 1948

CHEERED HEARTENED MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS TEACHING CONFERENCE. GREATLY WELCOME VALUABLE ASSISTANCE EXTENDED DISTINGUISHED TEACHER DOROTHY BAKER. INITIAL PHASE PLAN DRAWING TRIUMPHANT CLOSE. SIGNAL SERVICES RENDERED SOUND BLESSED FIRMLY KNIT WIDE AWAKE BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY EVOKING ADMIRATION SISTER COMMUNITIES EAST WEST SETTING STIRRING EXAMPLE RISING GENERATION CONFERRING INESTIMABLE BLESSINGS POSTERITY MERITING APPLAUSE CONCOURSE ON HIGH AUGMENTING MY DEBT GRATITUDE. PRAYING ARDENTLY SUCCESS NEWLY LAUNCHED CO-ORDINATED TEACHING PLAN SUPPLICATING RICHEST BLESSINGS NEWLY ARISEN PIONEERS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 February 1948

6 February 1948

DEPLORE LOSS VALIANT SOUL JOHN MARSHALL PRAYING FOR HIM. PRAYING CONTINUALLY EVER INCREASING SUCCESS GREATLY ADMIRED DEEPLY LOVED HIGH SPIRITED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 February 1948

25 February 1948

INCREASINGLY ADMIRE DEEPLY THANKFUL PROGRESS HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS BLESSED COMMUNITY DELIGHTED RESPONSE EDINBURGH ASSURE OLGA MILLS BEST WISHES LOVING APPRECIATION PRAYING REMOVAL DIFFICULTIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 3 March 1948

3 March 1948

ASSURE YOU PRAYERS SUMMER SCHOOL DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 April 1948

4 April 1948

KINDLY AIR MAIL AFTER APRIL ELECTIONS SEPARATE UP TO DATE ALPHABETICAL LISTS ASSEMBLIES GROUPS ISOLATED BELIEVERS BRITISH ISLES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 April 1948

4 April 194843

ASSURE DEARLY LOVED ALFRED SUGAR FERVENT PRAYERS RECOVERY HEARTILY WELCOME NEW BELIEVERS EDINBURGH DUBLIN GREATLY APPRECIATE SUPPORT NEW PIONEERS ADDRESS LAST MINUTE APPEAL VALIANT BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY INTENSIFY EFFORT FILL REMAINING GAPS ENSURE TOTAL VICTORY INITIAL PHASE MOMENTOUS PLAN ARDENTLY PRAYING FULFILMENT DEAREST HOPES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 April 1948

25 April 1948

ACCLAIM TRIUMPHANT CONCLUSION INITIAL STAGE EPOCH MAKING PLAN INITIATED BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY BRITISH ISLES OPENING YEAR SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY SUSTAINED PRODIGIOUS EFFORT CULMINATING LAYING STRUCTURAL BASIS RISING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER LEADING CITIES EIRE SCOTLAND WALES UNPRECEDENTED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY CONSTITUTES LANDMARK ANNALS WORLD BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY SIGNALISES COMMENCEMENT SIGNIFICANT PHASE SPIRITUAL HISTORY IRISH SCOTTISH WELSH PEOPLES POTENT SEEDS SOWN ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S TWICE REPEATED VISITS UNITED KINGDOM LONG LAST GERMINATING CONCOURSE ON HIGH APPLAUDS BRILLIANT FEAT UNITEDLY ACHIEVED BRITISH FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SISTER COMMUNITIES EAST WEST MARVEL VICTORY WON SUCH MAGNITUDE SO SHORT PERIOD BY COMMUNITY SO SORELY AFFLICTED SO SMALL NUMERICALLY SO CIRCUMSCRIBED IN RESOURCES YET SO ALIVE SO SOUND SO RESOLUTE PLEAD URGE VALIANT PROMOTERS SO MOMENTOUS PLAN GUARD AGAINST DISSIPATION RESOURCES RELAXATION EFFORT DISTRACTION ATTENTION FORFEITURE HARDWON PRIZES APPEAL FURTHER SACRIFICES NOBLER DEDICATION GREATER INTENSIFICATION LABOURS UNTIL LAST ACT FINAL PHASE DIVINELY SUSTAINED PLAN GLORIOUSLY CONSUMMATED.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 April 1948

29 April 1948

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters to our beloved Guardian, written on behalf of the British N.S.A., and dated as follows: Oct 20th, 22nd, 24th and 29th, Nov. 10th and 17th, Dec. 1st and 15th of 1947, and Jan. 13th, Feb. 8th, 9th, 13th, and 27th, and March 1st and 4th of 1948 and April 5th, 1948, together with various enclosures, have been received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

A number of matters referred to in them have been answered by cable, so I will not go into them again.

He was specially pleased to receive the copies of the Tablet of the Master to Andrew Carnegie, as this is yet another authentic and interesting Bahá’í document.

He was, likewise, very pleased to receive the statement of Sir A. Ramaswami Mudaliar testifying to his appreciation of the Faith, and he will use it in the appropriate section of “Bahá’í World” in the forthcoming edition.

The instruction he gave to the effect that committees should elect their own officers, he feels, is universal in scope and should, therefore, apply to Great Britain as well....

Regarding the matter of the budget of the N.S.A. he feels that both wisdom and courage is required in this matter. You should not fix a budget which is too heavy for the community to meet, even with sacrifice. Both the pressing needs of the Cause and your Plan, as well as the foreseeable possibilities of your income should guide you.

He has no objection to extracts from his letters to ... being published. He feels that in the future it is not necessary to ask his permission to publish such extracts. As long as the person who has received a letter, such as he would wish to share with others, from the Guardian, has no objection to its publication, he has no objection either. Anything confidential he always specifies as being such.

He feels that the question of Mrs. Hofman giving up the secretaryship of the National Teaching Committee, and who is to be chairman of it, etc. is something to be decided there by those responsible for the work.

In one of your letters you mentioned some ... who have visited the London Centre and their attitude: great patience must be used in dealing with the child-like members of some of these primitive races. They are innocent in heart and have certainly had a very bad example, in many Christians, of a purely mercenary approach to religion, but if their hearts and minds once become illumined with the Faith they could make very fine believers.

Regarding the matter of believers who have been deprived of their voting rights: just as no one should ever be deprived of his voting right lightly, it should likewise be realised that to be deprived of it is a grave matter, and involves heavy penalties spiritually. People who have been so deprived should not be permitted to attend any meetings involving the administration of the Cause, such as an election or a 19 Day Feast. They can attend the 9 Holy Days, however; they should not be married by Bahá’í law, no money should be accepted from them, they should not be given credentials (which imply a member of the community in good standing) nor should they be used officially as teachers or speakers.

He has no objection to your getting out a book on Bahá’í Procedure similar to the synopsis you enclosed for his information. He wishes you, however, to stick to essentials and, as far as possible, avoid—not only in the book but in your Assembly’s decisions—binding the friends by a lot of procedure on minor matters which he always urges should be, as much as possible, dealt with according to each case that comes up. He wishes to keep the administration of the Cause as flexible as possible and not impede the work by a codified set of rules.

As to the attitude of the Bahá’ís in the British Isles towards the World Government Movement: he thinks that as this Movement, so far, seems to be working for what we believe in, and not for anything we do not subscribe to, the Bahá’ís should by all means support it, vote for the representatives to be sent to its constituent Assembly in 1950, and stand for election if they wish to. However, he feels your Assembly should keep a careful watch on this Movement, and if it becomes in any way imperialistic, anti-Russian, or in any other field starts sponsoring attitudes partizan or political in nature, the believers should be advised to withdraw their support and help. He does not think your Assembly should take any initiative in this Movement outside of its jurisdiction, such as in the Middle East, through asking the friends to send in non-Bahá’í names, etc.

He does not advise you to try and create more than one Assembly, i.e. the present one, in the London area.

The work being accomplished in the British Isles is not only a source of pride to him, but is increasingly being recognised and admired by the Bahá’í communities throughout the World, and is greatly encouraging them in their own struggles. For people are prone to thinking that the American Bahá’ís accomplish so much solely because of the great advantages they enjoy in their very fortunate country, whereas now the friends, knowing full well how much England suffered during the war, and is still suffering, are forced to acknowledge that it is spirit, determination, faith and devotion which bring victories into being, one after another, in Britain, and not luxury and leisure. Your achievements are heartening the friends in many places where their numbers are few, and the obstacles to be overcome great! In fact the American Bahá’ís who have visited England feel there is much to be copied at home in your spirit and methods.

He, therefore, urges you all to persevere courageously, knowing what you are accomplishing is infinitely precious and great. You are witnessing with your own eyes the fruition of your plans, the nearing of the moment when your hopes will be fully realised.

He assures you all of his very loving prayers on your behalf, and for the speedy progress of your work.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The successful conclusion of the Initial Phase of the first collective enterprise launched by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles during the first year of the second Bahá’í century constitutes a milestone of the utmost significance on the road leading the British Bahá’í community to the glorious destiny ordained for them by Divine Providence. The efforts exerted, the magnitude of the success which has been achieved, the spirit of consecration that has been demonstrated, the solidarity, determination and perseverance evinced by individuals, groups and assemblies during the opening years of this century are indeed unprecedented in British Bahá’í history, and may be regarded next to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s twice repeated visit to the British Isles, as the most potent period in the annals of the British Bahá’í community.

The establishment of the structural basis of the Administrative Order of the Faith in Scotland, Wales and Eire—an accomplishment of tremendous spiritual significance in itself—has greatly enhanced the momentous character of this period, and will lend a mighty impetus to the evolution of the Faith in the days to come.

The Final Phase of the Plan must now be carried forward with still greater energy, with still nobler self-sacrifice, with a clearer vision of the historic import of the work which is to be accomplished, with a mightier determination to bring it to a successful conclusion. The resources at the disposal of the community must, as a result of its expansion, be continually augmented and carefully extended. The prizes so painstakingly won must, at all costs, be safeguarded and consolidated. The newly enrolled believers must be constantly encouraged to assume an increasing share of the responsibilities and of the administrative functions devolving upon the members of the community. The pioneer activities undertaken by its members must, however great the sacrifices involved, be increasingly developed, systematised and accelerated. The needs of the Faith in the newly opened territories in the west, in the north, and in the south, must, while the specific goals of the Plan are being pursued, be given special attention, in order to enrich the life of the entire community, to increase the diversity of its constituent elements, to demonstrate the welding and assimilative power of the Faith, and to stimulate the processes now set in motion for the spiritual regeneration of all the ethnic elements within the British Isles.

In token of my gratitude for the work already accomplished, as a recognition of the status achieved by the British Bahá’í community in the Western Hemisphere, in anticipation of the tasks that still remain to be undertaken, I feel moved to initiate, as soon as the situation here permits, measures that will enable me, through the institution of a Palestine Branch of the British Bahá’í National Assembly, to register in the name of the body of the elected representatives of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the British Isles, a portion of Bahá’í international endowments dedicated to the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. May this step, associating it with its sister national assemblies in the United States and India in the possession of so sacred a trust, lend its share to the consolidation and distinction of the central institution of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles.

Shoghi


Letter of 2 May 1948

2 May 1948

HAPPILY TRANSMIT REJOICING NEWS BELOVED GUARDIAN’S SAFETY HAIFA.

BAHABUREAU


Letter of 5 May 1948

5 May 1948

GREATLY WELCOME DEEPLY APPRECIATE CONVENTION’S RESPONSE SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION INITIAL PHASE PLAN ENCOURAGES ME INITIATE AS SOON AS CIRCUMSTANCES PERMIT MEASURES ESTABLISH HOLY LAND PALESTINE BRANCH BRITISH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ENABLE IT LEGALLY OWN PORTION BAHÁ’Í INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS MT. CARMEL TOKEN MY ABIDING GRATITUDE SHINING ACHIEVEMENTS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 9 May 1948

9 May 1948

KINDLY CABLE NUMBER ASSEMBLIES GROUPS ISOLATED BELIEVERS BRITISH ISLES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 May 1948

13 May 1948

LOULIE MATHEWS PROCEEDING SOUTH AFRICA THIS SUMMER ADVISE SEND HER CARE HORACE HOLLEY ADDRESSES CONTACTS AFRICA ALSO INTRODUCTION FROM BARBE BAKER PRAYING ARDENTLY SUCCESS NEWLY ELECTED NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TEACHING COMMITTEE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 June 1948

10 June 1948

ASSURE GRACE CHALLIS ARDENT PRAYERS DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION SERVICES ALSO PRAYING ... SUCCESS HOFMAN’S VISIT DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 July 1948

7 July 1948

PRAYING REMOVAL DIFFICULTIES URGE STEADFASTNESS INCREASING SELFSACRIFICE ALSO WISDOM EXPENDITURE PRIZES PAINSTAKINGLY WON MUST AT ALL COSTS BE SAFEGUARDED WORK INITIATED GOAL TOWNS ENERGETICALLY PURSUED DEEPEST LOVE APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 September 1948 (Summer School)

7 September 1948 (Summer School)

ASSURE ATTENDANTS SUMMER SCHOOL LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS SUCCESS SESSIONS DEEPER UNDERSTANDING DISTINGUISHING FEATURES FAITH CLOSER ASSOCIATION MEMBERS VICTORIOUSLY ADVANCING STEADILY CONSOLIDATING COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 2 October 1948

2 October 194844

ASSURE THREE NEW SETTLERS FERVENT PRAYERS DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION DELIGHTED WELSH PUBLICATION EAGERLY AWAITING COPIES SUPPLICATING ALMIGHTY’S BLESSING FORTHCOMING REGIONAL MEETINGS. CABLE WHETHER FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS ARRANGE BE SENT YOU FROM ?IHRÁN REACHED YOU.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 27 October 1948

27 October 1948

DR. YÚNIS AFRÚKHTEH STAUNCH DISTINGUISHED SERVANT FAITH PROCEEDING ENGLAND MEDICAL TREATMENT EXTEND ASSISTANCE ADVISED HIM HELP TEACHING WORK BRITAIN.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 29 October 1948

29 October 1948

ASSURE MILLS BACKWELL LOVING APPRECIATION GRIEVE PASSING CHALLIS PRAYING PROGRESS SOUL SERVICES FAITH GRATEFULLY REMEMBERED.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 5 November 1948

5 November 1948

APPROVE TOWNSHEND’S ADMIRABLE STATEMENT CONVEY CONGRATULATIONS PRAYING SIGNAL SUCCESS APPROVE APPEAL FUNDS OVERSEAS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 5 November 1948

5 November 1948

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters to our beloved Guardian, dated July 14th and of July 20th, August 6th and 30th and September 11th and October 8th, have been received, as well as various enclosures forwarded, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

...There are always bound to be some human complications cropping up in the work, but with love and patience these can usually be smoothed out, and he feels your assembly invariably shows these qualities in helping the friends to overcome their problems.

He believes that people such as ... have no real idea of what the New History Society stands for, and can therefore be taught the Faith, and converted to it, by the right handling. All the friends must do in such cases is to make quite sure that the person in question is sincere and grasps the Will and Testament. There are, of course, some individuals in whom the subversive spirit of Sohrab has taken root, and these should be carefully guarded against, but they are more the exception than the rule.

He feels that the local Assemblies should be encouraged to realise that the National Committees are constituted to serve their needs, not to dictate arbitrarily to them, and to unify the work of the Cause which is now spreading so rapidly in the British Isles. The committees in question should be very tactful in dealing with a young assembly which is beginning to “feel its oats”, as this spirit of independence, if properly handled, can lead it to be strong and independent rather than weak and always relying on other bodies to carry it forward. Assemblies, however, should certainly co-operate with National Committees and not refuse their assistance.

Dr. Yúnís Khán Afrúkhteh is planning to go to England for medical treatment, and the Guardian would appreciate your Assembly’s giving him every assistance possible. He has been ill for some time, and Shoghi Effendi hopes he will recover his health, as he is a wonderful believer, full of wisdom and devotion, and his services are much needed in the Cause. He has advised him to assist you in your teaching work as soon as his health permits this exertion.

He also hopes dear Dr. Lotfulláh Hakím will be of valuable assistance in your teaching work.

He has recently asked Mr. Varqá, his representative, to transfer to your Assembly five hundred pounds to assist you in your manifold activities connected with your Six Year Plan. Unfortunately it is not possible to send any money out of Palestine at present, even from Persia it is difficult to transfer funds, but he trusts this sum will be of assistance to you.

The Guardian feels that the assemblies of Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh must receive sustained support, as they are the three most important assemblies formed under the Plan, and must be built into strong and flourishing communities, free from any danger of relapse.

He is very happy about the general progress of the work in the British Isles, and the remarkable, sustained, and self-sacrificing work the believers are doing, guided and assisted by the devoted efforts of your Assembly.

You may be sure you are all remembered in his prayers in the Holy Shrines, and he eagerly awaits news of fresh victories in the teaching field.

[From the Guardian:]

Dearly-beloved friends and co-workers,

The opening of the Final Phase of the First Collective Enterprise undertaken in the history of the British Bahá’í community marks the closing of a stage of tremendous historic significance in the evolution of that community and, indeed, in the spiritual history of the British Isles. Well nigh fifty years after the inception of that community, almost a quarter of a century after the birth of the Administrative Order, and on the morrow of the world-wide celebrations of the centenary of the Faith, a Plan, ambitious in its scope and endowed with vast potentialities, was nobly and spontaneously conceived by the small band of its devoted adherents in those islands. An effort, extending over a period of no less than four years, nation-wide in its range, sustained, systematic, prodigious has been exerted. A victory unparalleled in British Bahá’í annals has been achieved. Towards its consummation newly won recruits to the ranks of this growing community, representative of the English, the Scottish, the Irish and Welsh races have notably contributed. The seeds sown, with such lavish hands by the Founder of that community in the course of two successive visits to the United Kingdom, have at last germinated. The machinery of the Administrative Order, slowly and laboriously taking shape, on the morrow of His ascension, has, as destined by Him who delineated its features in His Will and Testament, been put to the service of this newly conceived Plan, and is now yielding its first fruits. Born at the turn of the last century, its nucleus formed in the heart and nerve centre of a far-flung Empire, gestating for over a decade whilst confined to the narrow limits of the English territory whence it first sprang, energised, after having lain dormant for no less than ten years, through the twice repeated journeys of the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant to both the English and Scottish capitals, shaped and trained through the processes of a divinely conceived, slowly evolving Administrative Order, propelled along the broad highroad of its destiny in direct consequence of the initial operation of the First Plan set in operation for its further unfoldment, emerging as a truly representative and firmly-knit community, at the conclusion of the Initial Phase of that Plan through the spread of its ramifications among the peoples of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the organised band of the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the British Isles, within sight of the conclusion of the Final Phase of the Six Year Plan, stands on the threshold of a door which when opened will disclose to the eyes of its members a vista of vast dimensions, of majestic beauty, of infinite promise.

Theirs is the unrivalled opportunity, should they bestir themselves, to carry forward to a triumphant conclusion this first corporate effort to which they have consecrated themselves and their nascent institutions, to embark, in the course of subsequent Plans, on enterprises destined to safeguard and consolidate, in all parts of the motherland, the achievements so hardly won, to proclaim, unequivocally, systematically and effectively, to the masses throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles the verities enshrined in their Faith, to initiate the establishment of a befitting National Hazíratu’l-Quds in either the capital of the United Kingdom or further north in the very heart of the British Isles, to inaugurate national and local endowments, to incorporate the newly constituted assemblies, to undertake the preliminary measures for the erection of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in the British Empire, and to launch crusades designed to implant the banner of the Faith and lay the structural basis of its Administrative Order throughout the diversified, the numerous and widely scattered colonies of the British Crown.

Not theirs, however, while the present tasks remain as yet unaccomplished, to dwell upon, or even visualise, however dimly, the course which the progress of their subsequent labours must assume in a world whose stability is so lamentably shaken, and whose immediate future is so dark. Theirs is the duty to derive from this fleeting glimpse of the glories which their future destiny holds in store for them fresh inspiration and added stimulus for a befitting performance of the work that lies immediately ahead.

Two brief years separate them from the hour destined to witness the total triumph of their first organised, nation-wide collective enterprise. Every minute of this interval is infinitely precious. The gloom overhanging the entire planet is deepening ominously every day. The American followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, through the ever-swelling army of their pioneers and settlers, on the northern, the western and southern fringes of the European Continent, as well as the newly resuscitated German and Austrian Bahá’í communities labouring in its very heart, have nobly arisen, and are doing their part in paving the way for the spiritual awakening and the ultimate redemption of the teeming millions of its war-torn, discordant, fear-stricken and spiritually famished inhabitants.

They who man the North-Western outpost of the Faith in Europe must, whilst pursuing their chartered course, play a distinctive part in this threefold crusade launched, almost simultaneously, from three directions, in conformity with specifically laid out plans, at so critical an hour, in so vast a field, amidst such diversified and conflicting races and nations of what may well be regarded as the cradle of a civilisation, and the mother of a Faith, whose fate now hangs so perilously in the balance.

That the valiant community of the British followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh may assume an ever-increasing share in this gloriously unfolding, this herculean, this Divinely propelled enterprise is the dearest wish of my heart and the object of my constant prayers.

Shoghi


Letter of 25 November 1948

25 November 1948

ASSURE ADA WILLIAMS ... DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION DELIGHTED ENROLMENT NEW BELIEVERS PRAYING REMOVAL DIFFICULTIES NOTTINGHAM DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 22 December 1948

22 December 1948

ASSURE HOFMANS BOB CHEEK LOVING ARDENT PRAYERS SUCCESS MERITORIOUS EFFORTS SUPPLICATING SATISFACTORY SOLUTION SECRETARIAT PROBLEM DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION ASSEMBLY’S NOBLE EXERTIONS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 2 January 1949

2 January 1949

APPEAL BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY FOCUS ATTENTION CRITICAL STAGE PIONEER ACTIVITY SO ESSENTIAL STEADY UNFOLDMENT PLAN ATTAINMENT GOALS. PLEAD PARTICULARLY NUMERICALLY LARGER COMMUNITIES ARISE PLAY DECISIVE RÔLE VITAL URGENT TASK SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE NUMBER ACTIVE PIONEERS DEDICATED MERITORIOUS LABOUR AIMED SAFEGUARDING MULTIPLICATION PRIZES WON SO LABORIOUSLY OVER SO SHORT PERIOD DESPITE FORMIDABLE OBSTACLES BY MEMBERS SO VALIANT RESOLUTE HIGH SPIRITED COMMUNITY URGE APPROACHING CONFERENCE DELIBERATE VITAL ISSUE ROUSE PIONEER SPIRIT INDISPENSABLE SUCCESS PLAN INVOKING ALMIGHTY’S BLESSINGS ANXIOUSLY AWAITING BEFITTING RESPONSE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 12 January 1949

12 January 1949

DELIGHTED IMMEDIATE ACTION INITIAL RESPONSE PIONEERS ARDENTLY PRAYING TEACHING CONFERENCE MAY LEND POWERFUL DECISIVE IMPETUS PARAMOUNT VITAL URGENT PIONEER UNDERTAKING CONSTITUTING SUPREME CHALLENGE CONFRONTING STEADILY CONSOLIDATING IRRESISTIBLY ADVANCING BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 19 January 1949

19 January 1949

APPEAL ALL MEMBERS COMMUNITY RESOLUTELY ARISE ATTAIN GREATER HEIGHTS HEROISM THROUGH DEMONSTRATION FURTHER MEASURE SELF-SACRIFICE IN SUPPORT PIONEER FUND URGE NEWLY ENROLLED BELIEVERS PARTICULARLY AS SIGN GRATITUDE INESTIMABLE BENEFITS NEWLY CONFERRED BAHÁ’Í MEMBERSHIP AND EVIDENCE SOLIDARITY RAPIDLY EXPANDING COMMUNITY EXTEND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FULLEST MEASURE POSSIBLE PIONEER ACTIVITIES ON WHICH HINGE FORTUNES PLAN SUPPLICATING DIVINE OUTPOURINGS MUCH NEEDED MERITORIOUS ENDEAVOURS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 20 February 1949

20 February 194945

APPROVE DRASTIC MEASURES PRAYING ARDENTLY SUCCESS.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 1 April 1949

1 April 194946

ASSURE NEWLY DECLARED BELIEVERS WELCOME PRAYERS. CONVEY NEW PIONEERS DEEPEST LOVING ADMIRATION PRAYING RICHEST BLESSINGS ASSEMBLY’S STRENUOUS ENDEAVOURS. APPEAL FURTHER SACRIFICE CONTINUED RESPONSE CALL PIONEERS... DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 9 April 1949

9 April 1949

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters to our beloved Guardian, with their various enclosures, and dated October 4, 20; November 2, 7, 17, 18, 27; December 19, 22, 25, 28; of 1948, and January 4, 19; February 3, 17; and March 1, 1949, have been received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf....

Please assure Mr. Walter Wilkins that the Guardian was aware of his pioneer labours through various reports forwarded to him, and that he deeply appreciates them and is praying for his success.

He considers that Final Phase day must be April 21st, and not in July.

He feels that, although precedence must be given to the new goal assemblies, this does not mean the older assemblies like Bournemouth can afford to be neglected. They must be maintained, but the first call on pioneers must be from the critical goal assemblies who—at least theoretically—need help more urgently! He has just cabled you about this.

He sees no objection to your printing excerpts from his “Dispensation” and “God Passes By” in your compilation on the Covenant. Although he strongly feels that the Master’s writings, the revealed Word of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, and his own writings should, out of respect for the difference in their relative stations, be published whenever possible in separate volumes, this must not be fanatically adhered to where an educative compilation on a certain subject is conceived.

A vacancy can be recognised, under the circumstances you outlined in your letter of December 22, 1948, and a new assembly member be elected. But of course this in no way implies the retiring member of the Assembly is not a full voting believer, and a member of the community in good standing.

He deeply sympathises with the struggles of the British Bahá’ís at present to perform their task, now reaching the crucial stage, in spite of financial difficulties and shortage of pioneers. It would seem as if all our tasks, all over the world, including here at the World Centre, are becoming increasingly more of a challenge to us. As the time approaches for the ending of the various Plans, Six Year ones, Seven Year, Five Year, etc., the obstacles seem to become greater, and the friends are made to realise that very real, hard, often back-breaking effort and sacrifice is involved! The The American Bahá’ís here-to-fore so relatively easily victorious(!), are now feeling a very real squeeze on their resources and determination. The same is true of India, Persia, and the other countries with goals to accomplish within a fixed and rapidly diminishing period! He himself, having undertaken at such a disturbed time to raise at least the first story or arcade of the new part of the Báb’s Shrine, finds himself beset with worries, problems and complications which have not only doubled his work, but exhaust and harass him all the time. So at least, let the British friends know that when they struggle and feel hard beset, they are not struggling and worrying alone! Far from it!!

We must expect these things: It is becoming evident that the world is not yet through with its labour, the New Age not yet fully born, real Peace not yet right around the corner. We must have no illusions about how much depends on us and our success or failure. All humanity is disturbed and suffering and confused; we cannot expect to not be disturbed and not to suffer—but we don’t have to be confused. On the contrary, confidence and assurance, hope and optimism are our prerogative. The successful carrying out of our various Plans is the greatest sign we can give of our faith and inner assurance, and the best way we can help our fellow-men out of their confusion and difficulties.

He assures you he feels that the British Bahá’ís have got what it takes (to be a trifle slangy) to be successful and accomplish their goals. Let them therefore demonstrate it to the rest of the Bahá’í World....

P.S.—Your letter of April 4th has just been received. The Guardian is too busy to undertake at present the revision of Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet to the Christians, but he has no objection to a committee doing it.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers:

The British Bahá’í community, now embarked on the final phase of the first historic collective enterprise undertaken in British Bahá’í history, stands at the parting of the ways. Only a brief interval separates it from the fateful date when its first experiment in a collective nation-wide effort to achieve a definite goal in the path of service to its beloved Faith will have ended. Five years of stupendous effort, of magnificent self-sacrifice, of marvellous dedication and of splendid cooperation have marked the progressive evolution of the Plan to its present stage. What has been achieved during this short span of years, despite the smallness of numbers, the paucity of resources and the exhaustion resulting from a prolonged and severely devastating conflict, has, beyond the shadow of a doubt, eclipsed the brightest achievements recorded in the course of more than half a century in the annals of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in that country.

The Bahá’í world, in its entirety, is struck with amazement at the quality of the work performed, at the extent and number of the victories achieved by this community. Its sister-community in the great Republic of the West, already laden with many and splendid trophies gathered in distant fields and over a long period of time cannot regard this resurgence of the Bahá’í spirit, this manifestation of Bahá’í solidarity, these ennobling evidences of Bahá’í achievement, amidst so conservative a people, within so short a time, under such trying circumstances, and by so small a band of workers, except with feelings compounded of envy, of admiration and respect. Its sister-communities throughout the East, venerable by reason of their age, and the sacrifices they have made, and fully aware of the long period of incubation this community has undergone, recall, with feelings of delight, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prediction, forecasting the germination, at their appointed time, of the potent seeds His loving hands have sown in the course of His twice-repeated visit to that Island, and marvel at the rapidity with which its soil is now manifesting the potentialities with which it has been endowed. He Who blessed it with His footsteps, Who called into being, and fostered the growth of, the community labouring in that Island, hails, from His station on high, the exploits which immortalise the small band of His present-day consecrated and resolute followers, who are carrying on the torch which He Himself had entrusted to their immediate predecessors. Bahá’u’lláh Himself lauds the conspicuous victories being won in His Name, in the dawning years of the Second Bahá’í Century, at the very heart and centre of the greatest Empire the world has ever seen, whose Sovereign Monarch He Himself had addressed and whose deeds He, with His Own pen, had commended.

The one remaining year, ere the present Plan of this blessed, this radiant and spiritually potent community, is scheduled to draw to a close, cannot, must not, be allowed to jeopardise the prizes so painstakingly won during five memorable years of British Bahá’í history. The newly-enrolled believers, on whom the mantle of the first generation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s British disciples has now fallen, and are now summoned to participate in a Plan, whose scope and potency their predecessors could have never visualised and whose initial success must thrill and rejoice their souls in the Abhá Kingdom, have a distinct, a sacred, a peculiar and urgent responsibility to discharge in ensuring the consummation of this mighty enterprise. Through active and constant participation with their veteran co-workers, in filling swiftly the still remaining gaps in the pattern of the Plan, now in its concluding stage; in displaying systematic and sustained activity in the pioneer field now stretching before them; in sacrificing, in as great a measure as possible, their resources, to facilitate the attainment of all its goals, they can best discharge their immense debt of gratitude to the Cause of the Most Great Name, Who has singled them out, at so critical an hour, and from among such a vast multitude of their slumbering countrymen, to serve and glorify His Faith.

I entreat them, and plead as well with their older brethren who have set so momentous a Plan in motion, to arise as one soul, to exert one more superhuman effort, to fix steadily their gaze on the pinnacle they are visibly approaching and to disencumber themselves of any burden impeding their arduous climb, in a last and determined attempt to scale and conquer the summit, from which alone they can catch a glimpse of the future glory of their destiny.

Shoghi


Letter of 15 April 1949

15 April 1949

Bahá’í Public Relations, Mr. Richard Backwell, sec.

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

Our Guardian thanks you very kindly for the excellent piece of publicity you forwarded to him with your letter of March 31. It should bring the Cause to the attention of many, and is sober, and very encouraging, in tone.

He hopes your committee will have many more triumphs along this line!...

P.S. Please convey to Mr. George Marshall a cordial welcome into the service of our beloved Faith from our Guardian.

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for the success of your constant and meritorious efforts in the service of our beloved Faith, and for the realisation of your heart’s desire in its service,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 18 April 1949

18 April 1949

APPROVE ELECTION LOCAL ASSEMBLIES BEFORE APRIL.

SHOGHI


Letter of 19 April 1949

19 April 1949

BE NOT DISTRESSED REDOUBLE EXERTIONS PERSEVERANCE WILL ENABLE PROSECUTORS PLAN ATTAIN GOAL ARRANGING CONTRIBUTION TERMINATION PLAN APRIL ASSEMBLIES MAY BE FORMED DURING YEAR ARDENTLY PRAYING REALISATION DEAREST HOPES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 27 April 1949

27 April 1949

ACCLAIM HISTORIC OCCASION PARTICIPATION DOUBLE NUMBER DELEGATES BRITISH BAHÁ’Í CONVENTION TESTIFYING RAPID UNPRECEDENTED HIGHLY PROMISING EXPANSION DEARLY BELOVED COMMUNITY FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES THOUGH IMMEDIATE GOALS UNATTAINED AMOUNT WORK ACHIEVED STANDARD EFFORT EXERTED RANGE TASK PERFORMED QUALITY SPIRIT DEMONSTRATED SINCE INCEPTION PLAN HAVE CONTRIBUTED RAISING STATURE ENTIRE COMMUNITY ENHANCING ITS PRESTIGE PROCLAIMING ITS FAME DEMONSTRATING ITS VIRILITY ESTABLISHING BEYOND SHADOW DOUBT ITS RIGHT OCCUPY FRONT RANK ONWARD MARCHING ARMY FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH APPEAL ASSEMBLED DELEGATES AROUSE ENTIRE COMMUNITY EXERT REMAINING TWELVE MONTHS EFFORT SURPASSING NOBLEST ENDEAVOURS AS YET MADE SERVICE PLAN VICTORY WITHIN SIGHT INTERVENING PERIOD RAPIDLY SHRINKING RESPONSIBILITY EVERY SINGLE MEMBER COMMUNITY GROWING GRAVER HOURLY MY PRAYERS LONGING TOTAL SUCCESS LIKEWISE INCREASING INTENSITY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SUSTAINING UNFAILING GRACE MORE EFFICACIOUS READIER BLESS LAST ATTEMPTS MADE SAVE FORTUNES PLAN SO INEXTRICABLY INTERWOVEN DESTINY BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 July 1949

8 July 1949

HIGHLY APPROVE ASSEMBLY’S PROGRAMME ACTION DELIGHTED ENERGETIC HOPEFUL MEASURES AS CONCLUDING YEAR FINAL PHASE SIX YEAR PLAN RAPIDLY EBBS AWAY ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY ALREADY FULLY AROUSED ACTION HIGHLY CONSCIOUS GLORIOUS OPPORTUNITY UNFLINCHINGLY DETERMINED ATTAIN GOAL SHOULD BE UNWAVERINGLY FOCUSSED ENERGIES MUSTERED ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES MOBILISED ONE LAST FORWARD CHARGE ENABLING THEM ERE FINAL HOUR STRIKES SEIZE LAURELS VICTORY HANGING WITHIN THEIR REACH CONCERTED EFFORT SUSTAINED CONSECRATED NATION WIDE SCOPE TRANSCENDING INTENSITY MIGHTY EFFORTS ALREADY EXERTED PAST FIVE YEARS BY COMMUNITY WILL UNFAILINGLY ENSURE WORTHY CONSUMMATION INITIAL MEMORABLE STAGE FIRST HISTORIC CRUSADE LAUNCHED BY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SPIRITUAL BATTALIONS LENGTH BREADTH BRITISH ISLES PLEAD AFRESH DIRECTING PARTICULAR APPEAL FEW REMAINING INACTIVE PARTICIPANTS WHO THROUGH INEXPERIENCE TIMIDITY OR OVER-BURDENING CIRCUMSTANCES STILL HESITATE FLING THEMSELVES ARENA WHEREIN STRUGGLING COMMUNITY BEING CALLED UPON THIS FATEFUL HOUR DISPLAY BEFORE EYES BAHÁ’Í WORLD ITS PROWESS DEMONSTRATE THE INTRINSIC WORTH ITS STEWARDSHIP FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH IMPELLED IN RECOGNITION BRILLIANT RECORD PAST SERVICES AND TOKEN CONFIDENCE INSPIRED LATEST EXPLOITS FIELD SERVICE PLEDGE THOUSAND POUNDS FURTHERANCE SACRED TASK NOW MOST ACUTE PHASE STEADILY APPROACHING CULMINATION INTENSE PRAYERS ASCENDING FROM LONGING HEART THRONE LORD HOSTS SUPPLICATING VICTORY WHICH WILL BEFITTINGLY CROWN STRENUOUS EXERTIONS WHOLLY UNPARALLELED ANNALS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 9 July 1949

9 July 1949

CENTENARY MARTYRDOM SHOULD HAVE NO PUBLIC COMMEMORATION NON-BAHÁ’ÍS MAY PARTICIPATE PUBLICITY PRESS PERMISSIBLE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 19 July 1949

19 July 1949

ADVISE SHOW UTMOST CONSIDERATION TUDOR-POLE INVITE HIM SUMMER SCHOOL PARTICIPATION OTHER ACTIVITIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 July 1949

24 July 1949

DELIGHTED NEWS OXFORD ASSURE JENKERSON FAMILY LOVING PRAYERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 September 1949

6 September 1949

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

Your letters dated April 8, 22, 27; May 13, 17, 24; June 7, 10, 23 (two of this date), 25, 28; July 19, 22, and 30: and August 10th, together with various enclosures, have been received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.

He has already informed you by cable of his views regarding.... He realises that, of course, it is very difficult for him to renounce his plan of educating his son ... in England, and the Guardian hopes that the boy can find a way, either through doing agricultural work or gaining a scholarship, or through the help his father might himself obtain from Persia for him, to go on with his studies. But it is obviously out of the question for your Assembly to shoulder this financial burden.

He already cabled you about the appropriate manner for commemorating the Centenary of the Báb’s martyrdom, so I will not go into the subject again here.

The fine spirit of co-operation shown by ... pleased him immensely. He has since received from her a letter full of joy and devotion to the Cause, which pleased him greatly....

Now that the Cause is spreading so rapidly throughout the world, the National Assemblies must be vigilant, and do all they can to protect and assert its independent status, and to give assistance to isolated or repressed Assemblies, when they are turned to for help or advice.

He has recently received enthusiastic letters from Mrs. Preston in Kenya and informed her that when she needs advice or assistance she should turn to your Assembly, while, of course, keeping in close contact with him as well.

He realises that your Assembly, and all the British Bahá’ís, are facing the most difficult and critical months of your Plan. The friends must be made to realise that the urgency of the task during these few months which lie ahead, is not only acute but temporary. Once they make this final effort, and clamber to the top of their goal, they can rest. The opportunity for achievement is absolutely unique, for this is their first Plan, and consequently the most historic one of the many they will, no doubt, carry out in future decades. To fail, so near to victory, would indeed be sad, and he cannot but suppose, would be a severe blow to that stubborn British pride which is so famous for its tenacity of purpose! However he himself is not thinking in terms of their failure, but rather believes they can, by one last determined drive, be successful, even if they feel some exhaustion at the end of their race against time. They must, likewise, at this crucial hour, remember that failure or success are never confined to the immediate community concerned, but have wide repercussions. Their success will not only greatly enhance their prestige in the Bahá’í World, but will inspire the often flagging efforts of the believers in the East, who have so many obstacles to overcome, and are by nature and experience more prone to become disheartened in the execution of fixed tasks.

It was the success of America’s first Seven Year Plan which so stimulated the British community that it, in its turn, was determined to have a Plan and a victory of its own. Now it really cannot lose; it has gone too far, laboured too brilliantly, shown too much courage and high sacrifice, to let, at the last minute, the prize fall from its grasp!

His prayers and thoughts are with you all, constantly, and with all the believers, toiling so devotedly all over the British Isles....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

As the Plan, to which the entire British community has pledged its support, approaches its end, my heart turns with increasing longing and expectation, towards those who so spontaneously initiated it, so enthusiastically set it in motion, so valiantly overthrew the barriers that confronted them in the initial stage of its unfoldment, who so unitedly consecrated their efforts to its subsequent development, and who are now within sight of its final consummation. I cannot believe that a community which, motivated by so noble an impulse, capable of such prodigious efforts, dedicated so whole-heartedly to so gigantic a task, blessed by so many evidences of Divine assistance and guidance, enriched by the first fruits garnered in the course of the execution of a splendidly conceived enterprise, will allow, at the very moment when final victory is, at long last, within sight, through a momentary relaxation of effort, the magnificent prize of total success, to slip from its grasp, and the fortunes of such a potentially powerful undertaking to be marred by any feelings of impotence or exhaustion which might well, at the eleventh hour, assail those who have for so long and in such a great measure, expended their energies for the prosecution of so weighty and far-reaching a Plan.

The required number of pioneers who must arise, while there is yet time, and stop the dangerous breaches which a fate-laden Plan, now in the last stages of its development, reveals to the eyes of its prosecutors must, however costly the sacrifice, be instantly found, and rushed without delay to the scene of action. The funds, which must enable these last minute pioneers to adjust their affairs and settle down wherever most needed, must, under no circumstances, and particularly on the part of the well-to-do, be withheld, as the present critical situation moves towards its climax.

Great and overpowering as these sacrifices may now appear, they will, when viewed in their proper perspective, be adjudged as inconsiderable, and pale into insignificance when balanced against the inestimable advantages which must accrue to a community that has achieved total and complete victory for a Plan so epoch-making in character, and so charged with undreamt of potentialities. The sacrifices which this fateful hour calls for, are by their very nature, individual; the loss or inconvenience they entail are at most transitory in their effect, and might well be fully compensated for in the days ahead, whereas the blessings that must irresistibly flow out, as the result of the integral success of a nation-wide, historically unprecedented Plan, will enrich and ennoble the life of an entire community, exert an abiding influence on its fortunes, and empower it to launch still mightier crusades in the course of subsequent stages in its organic spiritual development. How bountiful, moreover, will be the rewards which He who watches from on high the varying fortunes of the Plan and presides over its destinies, must either in this world or in the next—and it may well be in both—choose to confer upon those, who, at the hour of the Plan’s greatest need, will fly to its succour, exhibit the rarest evidences of courage and heroism, and choose to subordinate their personal interests to the immediate needs and future glory of the community to which they belong.

The interval during which a decision so momentous, so rich in promise, must be taken is steadily and inexorably shrinking. The golden opportunity which such a decision offers will never again recur. The issues hinging on such a decision can neither be over-estimated nor visualised while the fate of the First Plan embarked upon by the British Bahá’í community still hangs in the balance. The invisible hosts of the Kingdom are ready and eager to rush forth to the assistance of such as will have the courage to weigh the issues involved and to take the decision commensurate with these issues. To such as take it, while there is yet time, the present generation as well as those who will succeed it will be eternally grateful, for theirs will have been the privilege of sealing on the one hand, the fate of the First Historic Plan in British Bahá’í annals, and on the other of paving the way for the initiation of the successive enterprises that must follow in its wake.

To reach such a decision, to face willingly and cheerfully its consequences, will, above all, earn the good-pleasure and commendation of the One Who, well nigh a hundred years ago, so gloriously made the supreme sacrifice of laying down His life that the Cause for which the present prosecutors of the Plan have so wholly dedicated themselves might live, prosper and bear, in the fullness of time, its fairest fruit in both the East and the West.

Dear friends! As the tale of the woes and trials He endured is called to mind, during the months preceding the centenary of His martyrdom, and destined to witness the conclusion of the Six Year Plan sponsored by the British Bahá’í community, a resolution, born of the love and admiration which the memory of His heroic life and tragic death must evoke in every Bahá’í heart, should seize, and galvanise into action, the little band of His lovers and followers, who, of their own accord, and at the dawn of the second Bahá’í century, have risen to launch the first collective enterprise in British Bahá’í history, and chosen to associate its consummation with the centenary of the death of the martyr Prophet and co-founder of their Faith. The centenary of the inception of His Mission has witnessed the initiation of so praiseworthy, so vast and potent an enterprise, extending its ramifications over the entire territory of the British Isles. The observances, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the last act of His life, must, as pledged by its initiators, synchronise with the successful termination and glorious triumph of that same enterprise throughout the length and breadth of that same territory.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 29 September 1949

29 September 1949

DEARLY BELOVED DISTINGUISHED CO-WORKER AMELIA COLLINS ARRIVING LONDON EN ROUTE POLAND SHOW GREAT CONSIDERATION PRAYING UTMOST BENEFIT VISIT.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 September 1949

29 September 1949

OVERJOYED SUCCESS SUMMER SCHOOL ASSURE NEWLY ENROLLED NEWCASTLE LIVERPOOL LOVING WELCOME PRAYERS SURROUNDING ENTIRE COMMUNITY ACCELERATION MOMENTUM CARRYING IT ATTAINMENT GOALS APPOINTED TIME.

SHOGHI


Letter of 5 November 1949

5 November 1949

Summer School Committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister:

Your letter of October 9 was received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very glad to hear the School was such a success this year, and that—a very important factor—it placed no extra burden on the National Fund at this critical juncture.

Next year your School will be held after the end of your Plan, he hopes the victorious end! It would be suitable to hold some kind of review of how the goals were won and to remember the many sacrifices that have been made, for they have been very real and taxed to the uttermost the strength of the servants of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles.

Also he feels it would be good to have some course on the Covenant, the force that binds and strengthens the Bahá’í community and holds it together, when so many man-made institutions are disintegrating and going on the rocks of discord and lack of faith.

Likewise, discussion of the future needs of the community should be held. By next Summer you will know better what these are, and can formulate your points to be taken up and considered.

He will pray that a suitable place may be found for the friends to gather.

Every year your school is more representative and successful than the year before, and he feels sure this will continue to be so until that happy day comes when Summer School develops at last into a seat of Bahá’í learning....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your meritorious efforts, guide and sustain you in your activities, enable you to extend continually their range, and contribute to the consolidation of the newly-born institutions of the Faith.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 25 November 1949

25 November 1949

DELIGHTED VICTORY OXFORD ASSURE PIONEERS DEEPEST APPRECIATION MERITORIOUS ACTION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 December 1949

4 December 1949

National Youth Committee of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Guardian approves of the policy your committee is pursuing, as outlined in your letter to him of October 27th, of devoting all the energies of the British Youth, active in the Cause, to assisting in the achievement of the goals of the Plan.

He was very happy to hear your part of the programme at Summer School was more successful than ever before, and that the Bulletin is being maintained and at the same time costing less.

Your determination, and the work you are doing, are admirable, and he is very pleased with you all....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless continually your high endeavours, aid you to extend the range of your meritorious labours, and win great and memorable victories in this vital sphere of Bahá’í activity in that promising country.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 12 December 1949

12 December 1949

ADVISE HOLD 1950 CONVENTION DURING RIDVÁN PERIOD.

SHOGHI RABBÁNÍ


Letter of 21 December 1949

21 December 1949

KINDLY MAIL FIFTY COPIES “GLAD TIDINGS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH” WISDOM EAST SERIES. PRAYING FERVENTLY SUCCESS FORTHCOMING CONFERENCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 23 December 1949

23 December 1949

APPROVE SUBSTITUTION47 .

SHOGHI


Letter of 27 December 1949

27 December 1949

DELIVER SIXTY POUNDS HAINSWORTH FROM NATIONAL FUND FOR PUBLICATION SWAHILI CHINYANZA LANGUAGES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 December 1949 (Teaching Conference)

29 December 1949 (Teaching Conference)

FEEL MOVED ADDRESS THIS ELEVENTH HOUR MY LAST FERVENT APPEAL ASSEMBLED REPRESENTATIVES BRITISH COMMUNITY SEIZE OPPORTUNITY TEACHING CONFERENCE AROUSE ENTIRE BODY FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES SAVE FORTUNES PLAN NOW HANGING BALANCE ENTREAT ONCE AGAIN ALL BELIEVERS ENGLAND WALES SCOTLAND IRELAND WHETHER YOUNG OLD MEN WOMEN NATIVE-BORN VISITORS OVERSEAS NEWLY-ENROLLED VETERANS BRACE THEMSELVES AS HOUR CENTENARY BÁB’S NOBLEST ACT SACRIFICE APPROACHES ONE LAST SUPREME SACRIFICIAL SUSTAINED EFFORT DESIGNED ENSURE TOTAL VICTORY NOW WITHIN REACH CONSTITUTING BEFITTING CULMINATION FINAL PHASE SIX YEARS HEROIC ENDEAVOUR AND WORTHY TRIBUTE COLLECTIVELY PAID BY BRITISH UPHOLDERS CAUSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH IMMORTAL MEMORY DEARLY BELOVED MARTYR PROPHET THEIR FAITH ARRANGING TRANSMISSION £500 FURTHER CONTRIBUTION CONSUMMATION ENTERPRISE UNPRECEDENTED IN SCOPE SPIRITUAL POTENTIALITIES HALF CENTURY BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 January 1950

4 January 1950

GREATLY HEARTENED NEWS CONFERENCE PRAYERS CONTINUALLY ASCENDING THRONE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH TOTAL SUCCESS PLAN.

SHOGHI


Letter of 19 January 1950

19 January 1950

GREATLY HEARTENED ASSURE PIONEERS FERVENT LOVING PRAYERS ACCOMPANYING THEM. PARVINE HEARTFELT SYMPATHY LOVING PRAYERS CONTINUALLY OFFERED HER BEHALF.

SHOGHI


Letter of 31 January 1950

31 January 195048

ADVISE DISREGARD PROCEDURE SUGGESTED LETTER JANUARY TWENTIETH....

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 February 1950

25 February 1950

ASSURE PIONEERS HEARTFELT APPRECIATION CONVEY CONGRATULATIONS STOCKPORT NEWCASTLE PRAYING SOLUTION DIFFICULTIES CENTRE LONDON ENTREAT ENTIRE COMMUNITY SEIZE FIRMLY PRIZE FINGERTIPS CROWN EVERLASTING GLORY MIGHTIEST TASK UNDERTAKEN BRITISH FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 March 1950—National Teaching Committee

20 March 1950—National Teaching Committee

PRAYING FERVENTLY SUCCESS FORTHCOMING WEEKEND SCHOOL. DEEPLY APPRECIATE UNCEASING EFFORTS. RENEW THROUGH YOU IMPASSIONED PLEA ENTIRE COMMUNITY EXERT FLEETING FATEFUL DAYS AHEAD CONCERTED STRENUOUS UNRELAXING EFFORTS ENSURE NEEDED NUMBER PIONEERS FILL REMAINING GAPS IN NOBLY CONCEIVED LABORIOUSLY PROSECUTED HISTORICALLY UNIQUE SPIRITUALLY MOMENTOUS PLAN.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 March 1950

28 March 1950

National Bahá’í Teaching Committee, England

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of January 12th, written by Mr. Hainsworth, was received, as well as the material enclosed, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was glad to learn the Manchester Conference was such a success, and appreciated the very generous offer of Mr. Leach. If the believers all over the world were animated by such a spirit, there would scarcely be any necessity for “Plans”.

These days, as Ridván approaches, his anxious thoughts are with not only the British community, but other Bahá’í communities in different parts of the world. He longs to see them fully achieve their goals; for to do something for God 100 per cent has an attractive power, and brings future Divine confirmations.

His ardent prayers are with you all, you may be sure....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh sustain and guide you in your historic labours, aid you to extend the range of your splendid achievements, consolidate the victories you have won, and lend a still greater impetus to the progress and expansion of your unforgettable accomplishments.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 30 March 1950

30 March 1950

DEEPLY APPRECIATE PARTICIPATION JOHN ROBARTS SPLENDID ACTION SCOTT AND OTHER PIONEERS APPEAL FURTHER SACRIFICE GREATER HEROISM FIRMER RESOLVE NOBLER CONSECRATION ENSURE TOTAL SUCCESS PLAN NOW HANGING BALANCE FOR MY PART UTMOST CAN DO IS STRETCH PERIOD PLAN TO JULY NINTH DATE COMMEMORATION MARTYRDOM LAST REMAINING CHANCE OFFERED HARDLY PRESSED YET GLORIOUSLY STRIVING COMMUNITY SHOULD BE INSTANTLY SEIZED ERE IT IS IRRETRIEVABLY LOST.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 April 1950

4 April 1950

DELIGHTED NEWS PRAYING ADDED FERVOUR TOTAL SUCCESS DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 11 April 1950

11 April 195049

REJOICE EVIDENCES APPROACHING VICTORY PRAYING INCREASING FERVOUR.

SHOGHI


Letter of 19 April 1950

19 April 195050

OVERJOYED DEEPLY GRATEFUL IMMENSELY PROUD SIGNAL VICTORY ACHIEVED BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY BRITISH ISLES SHEDDING LUSTRE OPENING YEARS SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY AIRMAIL LIST ASSEMBLIES GROUPS ISOLATED BELIEVERS ALSO MAP BRITISH ISLES SHOWING SAME.

SHOGHI


Letter of 21 April 1950

21 April 195051

SHARE JOY RECIPROCATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS HEARTILY CONGRATULATE NATIONAL ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TRIUMPHANT COMMUNITY INDEFATIGABLE NATIONAL TEACHING COMMITTEE ALL SUBSIDIARY AGENCIES PARTICULARLY SELF-SACRIFICING PIONEERS WHO SO OUTSTANDINGLY CONTRIBUTED SIGNAL VICTORY REVERBERATING BAHÁ’Í WORLD.

SHOGHI


“The threshold of a new and glorious epoch”—THE AFRICA PLAN
1950–1953

Convention 1950

HEART FLOODED JOY STRIKING EVIDENCE BOUNTIFUL GRACE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH ENABLING VALOROUS DEARLY LOVED BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY BRITISH ISLES TRIUMPHANTLY CONCLUDE FIRST HISTORIC PLAN HALF CENTURY BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY. HERALD AUTHOR FAITH CENTRE COVENANT CONCOURSE ON HIGH ACCLAIM SUPERB COLLECTIVE ACHIEVEMENT IMMORTALISING OPENING DECADE SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY UNPRECEDENTED HISTORY FAITH BRITISH ISLES UNRIVALLED ANNALS ANY BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY EUROPEAN CONTINENT UNPARALLELED PERCENTAGE MEMBERS COMMUNITY RESPONDING PIONEER CALL THROUGHOUT BAHÁ’Í WORLD SINCE TERMINATION APOSTOLIC AGE BAHÁ’Í DISPENSATION. HISTORIC PLEDGE BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY NOBLY REDEEMED. TRIBUTE MEMORY MARTYR PROPHET FAITH WORTHILY PAID. SPIRITUAL POTENTIALITIES PROSECUTE SUBSEQUENT STAGE UNFOLDING MISSION FULLY ACQUIRED. TRIUMPHANT COMMUNITY NOW STANDING THRESHOLD CATCHING FIRST GLIMPSE STILL DIMLY OUTLINED FUTURE ENTERPRISES OVERSEAS. HOUR PROPITIOUS GALVANISED FIRMLY KNIT BODY BELIEVERS BRACE ITSELF EMBARK AFTER ONE YEAR RESPITE YET ANOTHER HISTORIC UNDERTAKING MARKING FORMAL INAUGURATION TWO YEAR PLAN CONSTITUTING PRELUDE INITIATION SYSTEMATIC CAMPAIGN DESIGNED CARRY TORCH FAITH TERRITORIES DARK CONTINENT WHOSE NORTHERN SOUTHERN FRINGES WERE SUCCESSIVELY ILLUMINATED COURSE MINISTRIES BAHÁ’U’LLÁH ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ. HOUR STRUCK UNDERTAKE PRELIMINARY STEPS IMPLANT BANNER FAITH AMIDST AFRICAN TRIBES MENTIONED TABLET CENTRE COVENANT SIGNALISING ASSOCIATION VICTORIOUS BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WITH SISTER COMMUNITIES UNITED STATES EGYPT DESIGNED LAY STRUCTURAL BASIS BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER SCALE COMPARABLE FOUNDATION ALREADY ESTABLISHED NORTH SOUTH AMERICAN EUROPEAN AUSTRALIAN CONTINENTS. PROJECTED PLAN ITSELF PRELUDE DOUBLE TASK TO BE UNDERTAKEN COURSE FUTURE PLANS DESTINED SIMULTANEOUSLY BROADEN BASE OPERATIONS HOME FRONT AND PROSECUTE SYSTEMATIC CAMPAIGN DEPENDENCIES BRITISH ISLES. FIRST OBJECTIVE TWO YEAR PLAN CONSOLIDATION NINETEEN ASSEMBLIES PAINSTAKINGLY ESTABLISHED ENGLAND SCOTLAND WALES NORTH IRELAND EIRE. SECOND OBJECTIVE FORMATION NUCLEI THREE DEPENDENCIES BRITISH CROWN EITHER EAST WEST AFRICA. THIRD OBJECTIVE TRANSLATION PUBLICATION DISSEMINATION BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE THROUGH PUBLISHING TRUST THREE AFRICAN LANGUAGES ADDITION THREE ALREADY UNDERTAKEN COURSE FIRST PLAN. SUCCESSFUL PROSECUTION CONTEMPLATED PLAN WILL PAVE WAY LARGE SCALE OPERATIONS CALCULATED LAY FOUNDATION PROMISED KINGDOM EARTH THROUGH ESTABLISHMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER INFINITELY MORE GLORIOUS EMPIRE BUILT RULERS BRITISH ISLES THROUGHOUT THAT CONTINENT AND WILL ENABLE BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY SHARE HONOUR SISTER COMMUNITY ACROSS ATLANTIC PROSECUTING SUCCESSFULLY TWO SUCCESSIVE PLANS REGISTERING DOUBLE VICTORY LAYING TWICE REPEATED SACRIFICE ALTAR FAITH ANTICIPATION APPROACHING CELEBRATIONS COMMEMORATING CENTENARY BIRTH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S PROPHETIC MISSION. CONTRIBUTING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FIRST CONTRIBUTION FURTHERANCE NOBLE PURPOSE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 1 May 1950

1 May 1950

GRIEVE PASSING DEAR DISTINGUISHED PROMOTER FAITH52 HER SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE PRAYING PROGRESS SOUL ABHÁ KINGDOM.

SHOGHI


Letter of 3 May 1950

3 May 1950

DELIGHTED SUCCESS SESSIONS PRAYING MIGHTY VICTORIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 9 June 1950

9 June 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

At the instruction of our beloved Guardian I am forwarding you the enclosed material for possible use in connection with the centenary of the Báb’s martyrdom.

In America they are going to get out a pamphlet with this and other material, more complete, which the Guardian has asked them to forward you copies of as soon as printed.

He regrets the delay in answering your Assembly’s letters. My father has been desperately ill for over 8 weeks and the worry involved and doctors, nurses etc. has been so distressing to us all that it has been temporarily impossible to attend to his mail. However, now he is improving, the Guardian hopes to shortly be able to get his letters answered....


Letter of 15 June 1950

15 June 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your many communications dated August 20, 26; September 30; October 6, 7, 10, 26; November 7, 9, 14, 23, 25; December 8, 18, 22, 23 (two of this date), 24, all of 1949, and January 4, 20, 30; February 2, 22; March 1, 6, 18, 29 (two of this date); April 7, 18, 19 (two of this date), 24, 27; and May 2, 4, 8, 16 (three of this date) of 1950, have been received as well as their enclosures and other material, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He regrets very much the long delay in not only answering your Assembly’s letters but those of other N.S.A.s’ as well. The past winter, owing to the fact that large excavations had to be carried out behind the Shrine in order to permit construction to continue, was a particularly busy gruelling one for him. On top of this, at the beginning of April, Mr. Maxwell became dangerously ill and the constant worry and preoccupation of us all with doctors, nurses, etc., forced the Guardian to put aside his letters entirely for the time being. Thanks to the mercy of God Mr. Maxwell is now recovering slowly; but the past months were very difficult ones for everyone.

To now take up the various matters referred to in your letters.

The Guardian does not feel that a quorum of delegates is necessary in any sense for the convention. Under unusual circumstances National bodies can be elected by mailed votes of all the delegates; the primary function of the delegates is to elect the N.S.A. Suggestions from the Convention floor can be made by a majority of those present.

The Guardian is very pleased to see that Peter Esslemont is growing closer to the Faith. A friendly contact with him should always be maintained.

Regarding his cable concerning Hussein: he has been very surprised to note that the terms “low-born Christian girl” and “disgraceful alliance” should arouse any question: it seems to him that the friends should realise it is not befitting for the Guardian’s own brother, the grandchild of the Master, an Afnán and Aghsán mentioned in the Will and Testament of the Master, and of whom so much was expected because of his relation to the Family of the Prophet, to marry an unknown girl, according to goodness knows what rite, who is not a believer at all. Surely, every Bahá’í must realise that the terms low-born and Christian are definitions of a situation and in no way imply any condemnation of a person’s birth or the religion they belong to as such. We have no snobbery and no religious prejudice in our Faith. But the members of the Master’s family have contracted marriages which cannot be considered in any other light than disgraceful, in view of what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wished for them.

Recently the Court of First Instance, in Kárkúk, ‘Iráq, has accepted to register a Bahá’í marriage certificate. This is the first time in the East (except for the British Mandate authorities and the Israeli Government), that a Bahá’í marriage has been recognised as being legal. The Guardian feels that this can form a very important precedent for the other Oriental countries, and he suggests you inform the Egyptian N.S.A. of his view and urge them to press for due recognition in Egypt, using this precedent as a lever.

There is nothing in our teachings about Freud and his method. Psychiatric treatment in general is no doubt an important contribution to medicine, but we must believe it is still a growing rather than a perfected science. As Bahá’u’lláh has urged us to avail ourselves of the help of good physicians Bahá’ís are certainly not only free to turn to psychiatry for assistance but should, when available, do so. This does not mean psychiatrists are always wise or always right, it means we are free to avail ourselves of the best medicine has to offer us.

The Guardian thanks you and the friends for your eagerness to contribute to the cost of the Shrine through the special edition of “Prescription for Living”; also he thanks the friends at Convention for the copy they sent him.

I need not tell you how immensely relieved, proud and gratified the beloved Guardian was when he knew the British community had achieved their Plan so successfully. During the last year he was often anxious as he shared with your Assembly and the National Teaching Committee the news of how acute the position was, and how great the obstacles still remaining to be overcome.

From the beginning, however, he felt confident that this dedicated and courageous community could and would drive through to victory, and his joy was very great when it did. He firmly believes this will exert a great influence on the future of the Bahá’í community there, and indirectly on the history of that country in the days to come. It is not possible, at close range, to understand the implications of what we do; but when we see things in historical perspective, we realise that what seemed small at the time was really a turning point in destiny.

The Guardian was delighted to receive the Welsh pamphlet, also the map you sent him. He is planning to have the map published in the next edition of “Bahá’í World”, and he placed the pamphlet in the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh.

He approves of the Investment Scheme of the Publishing Trust, and he trusts that the members of the community will respond and thus enable your Assembly to expand its publishing activities. He leaves the question of approaching Bahá’ís overseas, should the Trust be in need of further capital, to your Assembly’s discretion.

The Guardian does not approve of your placing a condition upon recognition of local assemblies (mentioned in your letter of January 20); and he wishes in this connection to emphasise the fact that every possible care should be taken not to add to existing rules and regulations in the form of statements or otherwise. He has already advised the American and other National Assemblies to beware of adding more rules and regulations.

The death of Mrs. Hall, such a faithful and devoted servant of the Faith, is a great loss to the British community. The Guardian appreciated receiving a copy of her Will, which mirrors her solicitude for the interests of the Cause in England. He trusts that a Bahá’í Ceremony could take place at the graveside, which certainly would have been her own wish.

Regarding ..., if the financial response of the friends to the needs of the Faith there is not sufficient for your Assembly to continue to defray his expenses as a teacher and pioneer, then it seems inevitable that he will have to make some other plans. His services have been of real value, and his intimate knowledge of the teachings and steadfastness in the Covenant have enabled him to contribute much to the understanding of the friends.

The Guardian approves your resolution to keep Mr. Ferraby as paid secretary of the Assembly. He deeply appreciates Mr. Ferraby’s devoted services.

The Guardian wishes to assure you, one and all, of his prayers for the success of the new work your Assembly will be undertaking, and for the consolidation of all the recent goals achieved.

P.S. Also just received are a receipt for the Guardian’s contribution, dated May 15th and your letter, with enclosure, of May 28th and May 24th. A photo of the Shrine will be mailed you very soon.

P.P.S. The Guardian will certainly pray for the progress and happiness of the soul of Mr. Manton. No doubt the selfless services his son has rendered the Cause of God, in an hour of great need, will be accepted and enable him to influence the state of his father through his own prayers.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

On the occasion of the victorious consummation of the first historic Plan undertaken by the British Bahá’í community, I feel moved to reaffirm my feelings of exultation, joy and gratitude for the superb triumph that marks such a great turning point in British Bahá’í history. No single event, in the course of its half-a-century existence, with the exception of the twice repeated visit of the Centre of the Covenant to the British Isles, has proved as significant and momentous as this unique collective achievement, which may, in a sense, be regarded as the first and long-awaited fruit of that intimate and personal contact, established both in private and in public, by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with its members as well as with various representatives of the country to which it belongs.

So magnificent an achievement has, no doubt, endowed the entire community, now representative of the peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, with tremendous potentialities, empowering it to launch on the first stage of its historic overseas mission destined to bring that community into closer and more concrete association with its sister communities in North America and Egypt, for the purpose of promoting the Faith in the vast virgin territories where its banner is still unraised and which constitute an integral part of the territories of the British Crown beyond the confines of that community’s homeland.

To the races and tribes inhabiting these territories throughout the vast African Continent ‘Abdu’l-Bahá when His life was in imminent danger, specifically referred in a Tablet, addressed by Him to the cousin of the Báb and chief builder of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Bahá’í world, in which He predicts, in moving terms, the awakening of the peoples of that dark continent and the ultimate triumph of His Father’s Faith among its backward peoples as well as among the great masses inhabiting China and India.

To the accomplishment of the initial stages of this colossal task, envisaged by our beloved Master, the Bahá’í community of the British Isles, now greatly reinforced, resting on a far broader foundation, galvanised into action, qualified through its initial signal victory in its homeland—the base of its future operations overseas, is now summoned to direct its attention and its energies.

While, in the current and two succeeding years which separate us from the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic mission, close and sustained attention should be directed by the elected representatives, as well as by the rank and file, of that community towards the safeguarding of the prizes won throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles, and the consolidation of the newly born institutions, the preliminary steps, constituting the prelude to this prodigious systemic labour and soul-thrilling enterprise, destined to extend its ramifications, in the years that lie ahead, to the fringe and within the very heart of a vast continent, must be carefully and prayerfully taken.

Though the members of this community are still restricted in number, though its resources are as yet meagre, though its recent victories are as yet unconsolidated, though it has hardly recuperated from its recent labours, undertaken during a period of great national exhaustion and severe austerity, the mere act of launching upon so glorious, so fateful an enterprise, will, of necessity, create at this propitious hour the receptivity which will enable a swiftly marching, stout-hearted, virile community, now standing on the threshold of its mission beyond the seas, to attract a fresh measure of celestial potency adequate to its growing needs and its ever expanding responsibilities. The miracle its members have performed over so vast a territory, in so short a time, and under such adverse circumstances, cannot but augur well for the initial success of an enterprise infinitely more meritorious, of far greater promise, and endowed with vastly superior spiritual potentialities.

How great the honour with which the Bahá’í pioneers of the present generation of the subjects of the British Crown will be invested in the eyes of posterity within their island home and abroad! How great the debt of gratitude of those who will labour after them and garner the fruit of their present day assiduous exertions to those whose privilege is to blaze the trail and break the soil in the virgin territories destined, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to acclaim the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and establish the institutions of His embryonic World Order!

This community, laden with the trophies of so recent and splendid a victory, and summoned to brace itself for another exertion, so fate-laden in its consequences, stands too near the structure which its hands are now rearing to visualise the dimensions of its task, appraise its value, and appreciate its future glory. Alive to its inherent capacity, conscious of its high responsibility, aware of the sacredness of its mission, emboldened by its recent exploits, trusting fully in that reinforcing Power that guided and sustained it unfailingly in the past, this community can do no better than to gird up afresh its loins, turn its back upon the clamour of the age, its fears, confusion and strife, step resolutely forward on its chosen path, unshakably confident that with every step it takes, should it remain undeflected in its purpose and undimmed in its vision, a fresh outpouring of Divine grace will reinforce and guide its march on the highroad of its destiny.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 28 June 1950

28 June 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated June 6th and two of June 13th have just reached the Guardian, with their enclosures, and he wishes you to please regard this as a sort of postscript to the detailed letter to your Assembly which was mailed a short time ago. He thanks you for the copies of correspondence with the Official Solicitor, and trusts this matter is now satisfactorily settled.

He approves of the advice your Assembly has given.... However, he does not approve of ... going to Canada or South America. He has been forced, owing to the very unfortunate influence of certain so-called Bahá’ís from Persia, to lay down a general rule that no Persians for the present proceed to North or South America. As many sincere souls have, through obedience to his instructions, given up trips to those territories, he feels he cannot permit any exceptions to be made, not even for so important a purpose as pioneering. This would be a manifest injustice to those who have obeyed him with an exemplary spirit. He feels sure ... will understand and accept this. There are a great many places where they can serve the Faith in the East, in Europe, or in Africa.

Whatever form of co-operation will get the best results your Assembly is free to decide upon in regard to the Egyptian and American N.S.A.s’ extension teaching in Africa. He feels, however, that simultaneous activity is more practicable at present.

There are no specific tribes listed in the Master’s Tablets; the pioneering should be directed at present towards the most feasible possibilities.

The Guardian feels that Kenya, as it already has a Bahá’í, should be excluded from your Plan. Uganda and Tanganyika would be much more suitable in conjunction with any other territory, but not Nigeria, which already has some Bahá’ís. However, it must not necessarily be these two.

Entirely aside from any additional literature it might be possible to get out in Hausa and Swahili he feels your objective must be to print at least a pamphlet in three languages other than those Philip Hainsworth has tackled. It must be borne in mind that printing in new languages kills two birds with one stone—not only does it enable the Faith to reach new elements, but it also enriches our literature and is excellent as a means of calling the attention of the public to the universality of our Cause and the extent of our world-wide activities!

He will be delighted to receive the reports regarding the progress of the British Bahá’ís’ first overseas mission.

P.S. Regarding expenditures: the Guardian feels that the greatest effort should be made to curtail everything that is not essential; this is the primary responsibility of the N.S.A. The Guardian will be very pleased to receive copies of the reports of the Africa and Consolidation Committees and was pleased to read the first two reports.


Letter of 24 July 1950

24 July 1950

GOLD COAST ELIGIBLE DELIGHTED GRATEFUL PUBLICITY OCCASION CENTENARY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 August 1950 (Summer School)

12 August 1950 (Summer School)

DELIGHTED SUCCESS WELCOME NOBLE RESOLVE ASSURANCE LOYALTY BELIEVERS URGE CONCENTRATION PERSEVERANCE COMPLETE DEDICATION NEWLY ASSIGNED EPOCH MAKING TASKS MARKING OPENING NEW CHAPTER WORLD WIDE EXPANSION FAITH SUPPLICATING BOUNTIFUL BLESSING PRIVILEGED PARTICIPANTS GLORIOUS ENTERPRISE URGING AMERICAN PERSIAN COMMUNITIES ARISE LEND ASSISTANCE ITS PROSECUTION DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 September 1950

6 September 1950

WARN BELIEVERS AVOID PERDU OWING HIS CONTACT SOHRAB.

SHOGHI


Letter of 11 September 1950

11 September 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

Under separate cover the Guardian is mailing two enlargements of the Shrine. He would like these to be shown as widely as possible to the friends and then hung in the London Bahá’í Centre.

He has sent to America the negative of one of these enlargements with instructions that the friends can order copies for themselves. This applies to the British friends too, and if copies are desired you can enquire from the American N.S.A. what they cost etc.

He feels sure all the believers will be happy to see how beautiful the finished arcade is....

P.S. Please cable when you receive these two photos.


Letter of 15 September 1950

15 September 1950

APPROVE SENDING PIONEERS AFRICA IMMEDIATELY ALSO SEEK ASSISTANCE PERSIA AMERICA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 2 November 1950

2 November 1950

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Some time ago I wrote you on behalf of the Guardian giving you the following information, but as I have heard a letter to Mr. Holley posted at the same time has not been received, I fear yours too may have been lost.

The beloved Guardian has sent each of the National Assemblies under separate cover, a couple of enlarged photos of the finished arcade of the Báb’s Shrine. These are a little gift from him. He would like as many of the believers as possible to see them, and for them to then be hung wherever they would then be seen most, in some countries this would be the National Hazira.

He has sent two negatives to the American N.S.A., and instructed prints be made available for sale to the friends desiring copies. You can no doubt order some if desired.

Please cable the Guardian acknowledging receipt of these photos as soon as they reach you....


Letter of 14 November 1950

14 November 1950

KINDLY ARRANGE DEPARTURE LUTFU’LLÁH HAKÍM HAIFA FOR NECESSARY SERVICE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 14 November 1950

14 November 1950

GRIEVE PASSING DISTINGUISHED INDEFATIGABLE PROMOTER FAITH53 ARDENTLY SUPPLICATING PROGRESS SOUL ABHÁ KINGDOM HER NOTABLE MERITORIOUS SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 November 1950

22 November 1950

URGE UTMOST ECONOMY APPEAL ENTIRE COMMUNITY ENDEAVOUR REDUCE DEFICIT FUND CONTRIBUTING FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 December 1950

22 December 1950

ASSURE CLAIRE GUNG FERVENT LOVING PRAYERS SURROUNDING HER MERITORIOUS HISTORIC JOURNEY SUPPLICATING BLESSINGS FORTHCOMING CONFERENCE DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 January 1951 (Teaching Conference)

10 January 1951 (Teaching Conference)

ASSURE ATTENDANTS SUPPLICATING ALMIGHTY BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS MAY CONFERENCE LEND TREMENDOUS IMPETUS PROCESS CONSOLIDATION HOMELAND INITIATION PIONEER ACTIVITIES AFRICAN CONTINENT.

SHOGHI


Letter of 16 January 1951

16 January 1951

(Copy of a cable from the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States dated 16 January 1951, sent also to the British National Spiritual Assembly.) ASSISTANCE AFRICA PROJECT THROUGH FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION PARTICIPATION PIONEERS WHITE COLOURED CLOSE CONSULTATION CO-OPERATION BRITISH ASSEMBLY NECESSARY INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN NOT INTENDED FERVENTLY PRAYING PARTICIPATION BRITISH AMERICAN PERSIAN EGYPTIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES UNIQUE EPOCHMAKING ENTERPRISE AFRICAN CONTINENT MAY PROVE PRELUDE CONVOCATION FIRST AFRICAN TEACHING CONFERENCE LEADING EVENTUALLY INITIATION UNDERTAKINGS INVOLVING COLLABORATION ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES BAHÁ’Í WORLD THEREBY PAVING WAY ULTIMATE ORGANIC UNION THESE ASSEMBLIES THROUGH FORMATION INTERNATIONAL HOUSE JUSTICE DESTINED LAUNCH ENTERPRISES EMBRACING WHOLE BAHÁ’Í WORLD ACCLAIM SIMULTANEOUS INAUGURATION CRUSADE LINKING ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY FOUR NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES EAST WEST WITHIN FOUR CONTINENTS AND BIRTH FIRST INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL WORLD CENTRE FAITH TWIN COMPELLING EVIDENCES RESISTLESS UNFOLDMENT EMBRYONIC DIVINELY APPOINTED WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

SHOGHI


Letter of 17 January 1951

17 January 1951

INFORM MÚSÁ BANÁNÍ HIGHLY APPROVE PIONEERING AFRICA WITH NAKHJAVÁNÍ FERVENTLY PRAYING FOR HIS SUCCESS AND ENTIRE FAMILY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 January 1951

25 January 195154

APPRECIATE SENTIMENTS BELOVED FRIENDS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 February 1951

25 February 1951

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters of June 19th, June 22nd, July 18th, July 21st, July 26th, August 17th, August 29th, August 30th, September 6th, September 8th, September 27th (2 letters), October 3rd (2 letters), October 5th, October 17th, October 26th, October 30th (2 letters), October 31st, November 13th, November 24th (2 letters), December 10th, December 22nd, 1950, and January 2nd, January 25th and February 2nd, 20th, 1951, together with enclosures as well as photographs, have been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. (A postscript dated March 18th adds: “Your letters (two) dated March 8th have also been received with enclosures.”)

He regrets that, due to pressure of work, he is not able to write more frequently, but feels that the cable communications between himself and your assembly attend to the essential work in between letters....

Regarding your question about the communication with the King, as mentioned in Minutes 292 and 344, he feels that both contemplated approaches should be dropped for the present. By undertaking such action we call attention to ourselves in a very conspicuous manner, and investigation of who the senders are of such petitions would only expose the weakness of our numbers and detract from the prestige which the Cause is slowly beginning to acquire in the eyes of the world.

He thanks you very much for the map, showing the British Bahá’í community at the end of the Six Year Plan. He has placed it on a wall of the Mansion of Bahjí, where visitors and believers can enjoy it. It certainly marks the scene of one of the most historic victories of the Faith.

In regard to the question of the African campaign, the Guardian is immensely pleased with the way your assembly and the special committee you have appointed, have seized this project and are vigorously prosecuting it. He admires the evidences of careful planning and staunch determination which all the data regarding this important campaign, which you have forwarded to him, bear witness to.

He was very happy to receive the Chinyanza pamphlets which you sent to him, and also likes very much the “Africa News” which the committee is getting out and which is so alive with plans and news.

He is also delighted to see that the Persian National Assembly is vigorously co-operating with your Assembly and facilitating settlement of some devoted Persian pioneer there who no doubt will be of great help to the work....

He feels that, although it is preferable that the three pioneers to each virgin country should be in one town or at least as near each other as possible, it should not be considered the essential point at this juncture.

The most important thing of all is to get the pioneers out there and established if possible in some self-supporting work. Once this has been done, the work within the country itself can be gradually organised and plans made to consolidate it in a more practical manner.

He used the word “tribes” loosely to mean the peoples of Africa and not necessarily individuals still living under tribal system.

The Guardian does not feel that it is necessary to specify any particular prayer to be said for the Africa work. The main thing is that the Bahá’ís should pray for its success.

He approves of your getting out the edition of the “New Era” which you now have in the press; but feels very strongly that any future editions should strictly conform to the 1937 American edition, in order to preserve uniformity in this very important Bahá’í publication.

Regarding your question about military service, the Guardian sees no reason why the Bahá’í in question should not bring a test case, and press the matter. It is now, since he has become a follower of Bahá’u’lláh, against his conscience to kill his fellow-men; and he should have the right to explain his position and ask to be exempted from combatant service. During the hearing of such cases the Bahá’ís should make it absolutely clear that we do not fear being placed in danger, and are not asking to be given a safe berth in hours of national crisis—quite the contrary—any dangerous service the Bahá’ís can render their fellow-men during the agonies of war, they should be anxious to accept.

The work that the British Bahá’ís are accomplishing is very dear to his heart; and he wishes your Assembly to constantly encourage the friends (as of course they are doing) to go on with all phases of their Bahá’í work and maintain the tempo they achieved during the past few years. They have distinguished themselves so much that now their fellow Bahá’ís in other lands expect them to lead the way in new fields, and to continue being the pace setters for at least the British Empire, if not other countries as well! Success brings burdens; and the British Bahá’ís who were so miraculously successful at the last moment of their Six Year Plan, now find themselves in the sometimes difficult position of being a cynosure for all eyes.

He assures you, one and all, of his loving prayers for the work you are so faithfully carrying out on behalf of the believers in the British Isles....

P.S.—I wish to call your attention to certain things in “Principles of Bahá’í Administration” which has just reached the Guardian; although the material is good, he feels that the complete lack of quotation marks is very misleading. His own words, the words of his various secretaries, even the Words of Bahá’u’lláh Himself, are all lumped together as one text. This is not only not reverent in the case of Bahá’u’lláh’s Words, but misleading. Although the secretaries of the Guardian convey his thoughts and instructions and these messages are authoritative, their words are in no sense the same as his, their style certainly not the same, and their authority less, for they use their own terms and not his exact words in conveying his messages. He feels that in any future edition this fault should be remedied, any quotations from Bahá’u’lláh or the Master plainly attributed to them, and the words of the Guardian clearly differentiated from those of his secretaries.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The magnificent spirit of devotion and the initiative and resourcefulness demonstrated in recent months by a triumphant community, in its eagerness to launch, ahead of the appointed time, the enterprise destined to carry the fame of its members and establish its outposts as far afield as the African Continent, merit the highest praise. By their organising ability, by their zeal in enlisting the collaboration of their sister communities in the African, the American and Asiatic continents for the effective prosecution of this epoch-making enterprise; by the tenacity, sagacity and fidelity which they have displayed in the course of its opening phase; by their utter consecration and their complete reliance on the One Who watches over their destiny, they have set an example worthy of emulation by the members of Bahá’í communities in both the East and the West.

The despatch of the first pioneer to Tanganyika, signalising the inauguration of the African campaign, following so closely upon the successful termination of the Six Year Plan, will be recognised by posterity as the initial move in an undertaking designed to supplement and enrich the record of signal collective services rendered by the members of this community within the confines and throughout the length and breadth of its homeland. On it, however great the support it will receive from its sister communities in the days to come, will devolve the chief responsibility of guiding the destinies, of supplying the motive power, and of contributing to the resources of a crusade which, for the first time in Bahá’í history, involves the collaboration, and affects the fortunes, of no less than four National Assemblies, in both Hemispheres and within four continents of the globe.

On the success of this enterprise, unprecedented in its scope, unique in its character and immense in its spiritual potentialities, must depend the initiation, at a later period in the Formative Age of the Faith, of undertakings embracing within their range all National Assemblies functioning throughout the Bahá’í World, undertakings constituting in themselves a prelude to the launching of world-wide enterprises destined to be embarked upon, in future epochs of that same Age, by the Universal House of Justice, that will symbolise the unity and coordinate and unify the activities of these National Assemblies.

Indeed the birth of this African enterprise, in the opening decade of the second Bahá’í century, coinciding as it does with the formation of the International Bahá’í Council, should be acclaimed as an event of peculiar significance in the evolution of our beloved Faith. Both events will, no doubt, be hailed by posterity as simultaneous and compelling evidences of the irresistible unfoldment of a divinely appointed Administrative Order and of the development, on an international scale, of its subsidiary agencies, heralding the establishment of the Supreme Legislative Body designed to crown the Administrative Edifice now being laboriously erected by the privileged builders of a Divine Order, whose features have been delineated by the Centre of the Covenant in His Will and Testament, whose fundamental laws have been revealed by the Founder of our Faith in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and Whose advent has been foreshadowed by the Herald of the Bahá’í Dispensation in the Bayán, His most weighty Book.

To be singled out as the chief agency in the prosecution of a task of such dimensions, such significance, and the harbinger of events so glorious, is indeed at once an inestimable blessing and a staggering responsibility with which the British Bahá’í community, emerging triumphantly and in rapid succession from the ordeal of a world war and the struggles involved in the prosecution of an historic Plan, has been honoured at so critical and challenging an hour in the fortunes of mankind.

To labour assiduously for the despatch, in the coming year marking the official opening of the Two Year Plan, of pioneers to the chosen Territories of the African Continent; to ensure that its three sister National Assemblies will steadily reinforce its work through financial assistance as well as through the increase in the number of pioneers; to expedite the translation, publication and dissemination of Bahá’í literature in the three selected languages throughout these Territories; to enlarge the scope of the contacts established with representatives of the African peoples and with institutions designed to foster their interests; to cultivate cordial relations with, and secure the goodwill and support of, the civil authorities in the goal countries where the pioneers will reside; to maintain steady correspondence with, fan the zeal, seek the counsel and secure the assistance of the budding and scattered communities in the North, the South and the Heart of that vast, that promising and slowly awakening continent; to prepare for the eventual convocation, under its own auspices and following the example set, and the procedure adopted, by its sister American Assembly on the European Continent, of the First African Teaching Conference, representative of both the white and black races, constituting an epoch-making landmark in the evolution of the Faith among the African races and possibly synchronising with the centenary celebrations of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission, and adding another victor’s crown to the laurels already won by the British followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in their own homeland—these stand out as the paramount and inescapable duties confronting the British National Spiritual Assembly as it stands on the threshold of a new and glorious epoch in British Bahá’í history.

Though the prospect of this new venture is indeed enthralling, though it demands careful planning, the allocation of substantial sums for its prosecution, and the exertion of strenuous efforts for its systematic development, the prizes so laboriously won at home must under no circumstances be jeopardised. The twofold obligation of preserving the status of the newly-fledged Assemblies in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and of propagating the Faith among the people dwelling in the British Isles through active teaching and the wide circulation of Bahá’í literature must be faithfully discharged. The necessary foundation for the proclamation of the Faith, at a later stage in the development of the British Bahá’í community, amidst the British people and in the very heart of the British Empire must be carefully laid. Whatever measures will facilitate the future recognition of the Faith by the civil authorities in the localities where its followers reside, and eventually by the central government in Westminster, must, within the means at their disposal, and however tentatively, be adopted.

Then and only then will this community, carrying out faithfully the twofold duty incumbent upon it, both at home and abroad, be vouchsafed by Bahá’u’lláh the full measure of His grace which will enable it to traverse, speedily and successfully, the present stage in its evolution, and acquire still greater potentialities for the revelation of a still brighter aspect of its mission designed to illuminate with the light of Divine Guidance and in the course of the Formative and Golden Ages of the Faith all the Dependencies of the British Crown, and erect the administrative structure within these Territories, of an Order, incomparably mightier and more enduring than any which that Crown has ever established.

Shoghi


Letter of 23 April 1951

23 April 1951

DEEPEST APPRECIATION GREETINGS LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES DELIGHTED SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 April 1951 (Convention)

25 April 1951 (Convention)

REJOICE THANKFUL PROUD STERLING QUALITIES FIDELITY TENACITY INTREPIDITY BRITISH FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH CONSPICUOUSLY DEMONSTRATED COURSE INTERVAL SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION SIX YEAR FORMAL INAUGURATION TWO YEAR PLAN. HEARTILY CONGRATULATE DELEGATES ASSEMBLED OCCASION HISTORIC NUMERICALLY ENLARGED EPOCH MAKING CONVENTION. ONE YEAR RESPITE REGARDED BREATHING SPELL DESIGNED ENABLE TOILING TRIUMPHANT VALOROUS HIGH MINDED COMMUNITY RECRUIT FORCES WITNESSED UNEXPECTED DISPLAY VIGOROUS ACTIVITY RESULTING FIRST VICTORIES AFRICAN FIELD PRESERVATION LABORIOUSLY ESTABLISHED ASSEMBLIES LENGTH BREADTH BRITISH ISLES. TWO YEAR PLAN NOW OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED DEMANDS CONTINUOUS UNSTINTED SYSTEMATIC SUPPORT NATIONAL ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ALL LOCAL ASSEMBLIES RANK FILE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. AUSPICIOUS RAYS GOD’S DAWNING REVELATION WHICH FIRST STRUCK CORNER VAST DARK SPIRITUALLY DECADENT CONTINENT COURSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S MINISTRY WHICH WARMED ILLUMINATED ITS NORTHERN SOUTHERN FRINGES CONCLUDING YEARS HEROIC AGE FAITH MUST NOW PENETRATE ITS HEART BRIGHTEN ITS JUNGLE FASTNESSES ENVELOP IT WITH SPLENDOUR THEIR RADIANCE COURSE PRESENT SUCCEEDING EPOCHS FORMATIVE AGE BAHÁ’Í DISPENSATION. CONFIDENT BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WILL ARISE BEFITTINGLY MEET CHALLENGE NOW CONFRONTING IT ACHIEVE THREEFOLD PURPOSE PLAN. PRAYING ENERGETIC COLLABORATION PROSECUTORS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S DIVINE PLAN WITH COMMUNITY BELIEVERS BELONGING NATION WHOSE DESTINY BEEN LINKED FORTUNES WORLD’S BACKWARD RACES REINFORCED ASSISTANCE SISTER COMMUNITY CRADLE FAITH NATIONAL ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES LEADING COMMUNITY AFRICAN CONTINENT MAY ENSURE SUCCESS CRUSADE CONSTITUTING SPIRITUAL LANDMARK PROCESS AWAKENING AFRICAN PEOPLES MARKING OPENING GLORIOUS CHAPTER EVOLUTION WORLD FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SIGNALISING INITIAL PHASE UNFOLDMENT MISSION COMMUNITY HIS FOLLOWERS BRITISH ISLES MIDST DOMINIONS COLONIES PROTECTORATES BRITISH CROWN. MAY PROJECTED CENTENARY BIRTH PROPHETIC MISSION BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BEFITTINGLY CELEBRATED CONVOCATION FIRST ALL AFRICAN TEACHING CONFERENCE REPRESENTATIVE BLACK WHITE RACES EMBRACING SEVENTEEN AFRICAN TERRITORIES NOW INCLUDED PALE FAITH. ARRANGING TRANSMISSION ONE THOUSAND POUNDS CONTRIBUTION FURTHERANCE GLORIOUS OBJECTIVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 2 May 1951

2 May 1951

DEEPLY APPRECIATE GREETINGS HIGH RESOLVE ATTENDANTS CONVENTION DELIGHTED SUCCESS SESSIONS PRAYING SIGNAL VICTORIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 May 1951

4 May 1951

OWING RECENT INSTRUCTIONS PERSIAN EGYPTIAN ASSEMBLIES TO DESPATCH PIONEERS FIVE ADDITIONAL AFRICAN TERRITORIES ADVISE UNDERTAKE TRANSLATION SMALL PAMPHLETS INTO ACOLI ADANWE EWE FANTA MENDE YORUBA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 5 May 1951

5 May 1951

ADD SOMALI TO LANGUAGES ALREADY CABLED.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 June 1951

22 June 1951

NEWLY LAUNCHED HIGHLY MOMENTOUS AFRICAN CAMPAIGN CHIEF AUXILIARY MANIFOLD AGENCIES OPERATING FURTHERANCE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S PLAN AMERICAN EUROPEAN CONTINENTS IRRESISTIBLY UNFOLDING GATHERING MOMENTUM THROUGH ADDED PARTICIPATION INDIAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENTARY FUNCTIONS PERSIAN EGYPTIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES CONTEMPLATED TRANSLATION BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE ADDITIONAL AFRICAN LANGUAGES MULTIPLICATION TERRITORIES NORTHERN EASTERN WESTERN FRINGES VAST AWAKENING CONTINENT. BRIEF SPAN TWO YEARS DESTINED WITNESS FIRST FRUITS HISTORIC CONTINENT-WIDE CRUSADE WILL ERELONG TERMINATE. VALOROUS BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CENTRAL PIVOT MACHINERY NOW SET MOTION CHIEF AGENCY PROSECUTION MIGHTY DIVINELY PROPELLED ENTERPRISE MUST AWARE URGENCY TASK ACT SPEEDILY RESOLUTELY DESPATCH WITHOUT DELAY VOLUNTEERS, SETTLE PIONEERS DISSEMINATE LITERATURE INITIATE TEACHING ACTIVITIES ESTABLISH FRUITFUL CONTACTS ENSURE STEADY ENROLMENT FRESH RECRUITS AMONGST TRIBES RACES FARFLUNG VIRGIN TERRITORIES. TRANSMITTING ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTION THOUSAND POUNDS ENSURE VIGOROUS PROSECUTION COLOSSAL SACRED TASK ENABLING WELL TRIED FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES WRITE WORTHILY FIRST PAGE HISTORY MEMORABLE UNDERTAKING CONSTITUTING OPENING PHASE THEIR GLORIOUS SPIRITUAL MISSION OVERSEAS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 June 1951

22 June 195155

ASSURE DEPARTED PIONEERS FERVENT LOVING PRAYERS SURROUNDING THEM.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 July 1951

4 July 1951

WORK NEWLY ASSIGNED EGYPT INDIA PERSIA SUPPLEMENTARY ANY ASSISTANCE EXTENDED THEM YOUR ASSEMBLY DEEPLY APPRECIATED. TWO FUNDS ESTABLISHED WORLD CENTRE SETTLEMENT BANÁNÍ NAKHJAVÁNÍ LEFT DISCRETION YOUR ASSEMBLY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 15 July 1951

15 July 1951

APPROVE IBO OR DAGBANE INSTEAD OF FANTA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 July 1951

20 July 1951

ASSURE SABRIS LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS ACCOMPANYING THEM. GRIEVE PASSING PRESTON ASSURE WIFE LOVING PRAYERS APPROVE REINFORCE KENYA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 21 August 1951

21 August 195156

OVERJOYED INITIAL VICTORY LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 26 August 1951

26 August 1951

CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS RIDVÁN. TEACHING CONFERENCE MAY BE HELD ANY TIME BETWEEN JANUARY AND MARCH 1953 SUBSTITUTE ANOTHER LANGUAGE FOR SOMALI.

SHOGHI


Letter of 2 September 1951

2 September 1951

ASSURE ATTENDANTS SCHOOL ABIDING APPRECIATION NOBLE RESOLVE FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 19 September 1951

19 September 195157

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of August 27th has been received, and the beloved Guardian is sending you herein his receipt for the contribution of the British Bahá’ís to the Shrine. He noted with interest and appreciation that the Bank raised no objections to the transfer of this sum for such a purpose, and feels this indicates the slowly growing recognition of the Faith’s nature and importance. Your own ever devoted services to the Cause are greatly appreciated by him, you may be sure....

[From the Guardian:]

I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the sum of three hundred pounds from the Bahá’ís of the British Isles, to be expended for the construction of the Shrine of the Báb on Mt. Carmel.

Shoghi


Letter of 16 October 1951

16 October 1951

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters dated March 26th (two); April 4th (three), 11th, 17th, 8th, 7th and 24th; May 1st, 4th, 12th and 24th; June 1st, 4th, 19th (two), 12th, 23rd and 27th; July 4th, 6th, 21st (two), 25th and 31st; August 8th, 9th and 15th; September 15th, 18th and 19th; have all been received, as well as their enclosures, and the photographs sent and material under separate cover, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

It will no doubt make you happy to hear that the Guardian has really had a little rest this summer, much needed after the tremendous strain of last year’s worries and burdens. He can now turn to his important N.S.A. letters somewhat refreshed.

To take up certain matters raised in your letters:

There are two Funds, that of the Shrine of the Báb and the International Fund; but at present it is more important for the friends to concentrate on completing the work in progress on the Shrine, which, thanks to the response of the believers from all over the world, is going forward uninterruptedly, in spite of the very difficult situation in the Holy Land which makes all kinds of building work frightfully complicated.

The Guardian would very much like to receive five copies of every publication brought out in England for the Bahá’í libraries in Haifa and at Bahjí and in Acre. He thanks you for the diaries you sent....

For your information the Guardian does not want any believers to migrate at present to this country. It will not meet with his approval under any circumstances. The local problems, with a small group of Covenant-Breakers more or less active in stirring up trouble; the efforts, at present successful, which he is making to establish the most cordial relations with the Government; the upbuilding of the international institutions of the Faith; the consolidation of the International Bahá’í Council—all require that no complications arise and no further strain be added to the burden of work at the World Centre of the Faith.

Now we come to the part of your activities nearest to his heart at present—Africa Campaign. By all means any translation at present into Somali should be given up, as the advice of experts prove it both unnecessary and very expensive.

The Guardian feels that, in view of the fact that funds for sending out pioneers are limited, and that a good number of pioneers are available, it is better to choose those most qualified and not, for the time being at least, accept every offer, however devoted the spirit behind it.

He fully appreciates the fact that Somaliland is going to be somewhat difficult. In view of its peculiar status your Assembly should bear in mind the possibility of sending there a British subject, if this should prove feasible, and pending a time when the Persians can go there and make arrangements for someone to represent them.

The Guardian considers that your Assembly is the consultative body for all African territories, and that the other National Assemblies should keep in close touch with you. This does not mean, however, that the initiative for the places allotted to them by the Guardian does not lie in their own hands. Likewise, the planning of the African Conference should be handled by you, in close co-operation with the other N.S.A.s. He does not feel it is feasible for the other N.S.A.s to pool their finances for the African work and put it in your Fund.

The unfortunate crisis in Persia may hold up, for a time, their services in Africa, and he hopes you will do all you can to offset this most unfortunate setback to their work. The Persian believers, have, for over a hundred years, borne the brunt of persecution and are still doing so, being the unhappy victims of their country and their race. They merit the ardent sympathy of their fellow Bahá’ís the world over.

The Guardian is very anxious to know how the work is going in the British Isles: he feels that the Africa Campaign has been launched in a way far exceeding his hopes, is being visibly blessed from on high, and, with the same amount of perseverance shown so far, is assured of great and speedy victories. But the goals, so hard won and at such cost of sacrifice at home, must not be lost. He urges all the friends to not allow the dazzling prospect overseas to take their attention away from the steady work of consolidation still required at home! The work abroad rests on the foundation laid so well and so painfully at home; if one suffers, so will the other.

The British Bahá’ís have distinguished themselves in recent years to a degree which has given them great prominence in the entire Bahá’í World and inspired others to follow their example. They cannot and must not lose this hard-won prominence, but, on the contrary, must demonstrate that it was not a spurt of speed but the evidence of deep and hardy roots bearing their first fruits, after years of quiet growth.

He remembers all the members of your Assembly in his prayers, and prays that the community of believers you serve so devotedly may go on rising to ever greater heights and shoulder all their tasks with increasing vigour, faith and devotion....

P.S. Regarding the forthcoming Centenary celebrations: the Guardian feels both national and local celebrations should be held very much as were those of the 1944 Centenary, but on a larger scale, with more publicity, if possible.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The auspicious launching of the first teaching Crusade undertaken by the British Bahá’í community beyond the borders of its homeland, marks yet another stage in the evolution of the Bahá’í Administrative Order in the British Isles, and signalises the opening of an epoch of the utmost significance in the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation. Though the operation of the Plan is of short duration, yet it constitutes a prelude to a series of successive campaigns which a firmly knit, vigorously functioning, clear visioned, intensely alive national community is destined to initiate, direct and control from its newly consolidated administrative headquarters in the heart of the British Isles, not only throughout the Dependencies of the British Crown within the African Continent, but eventually in the widely scattered Territories of an Empire whose ramifications extend into every continent of the globe.

A little over half-a-century ago, this community, now invested with a mandate of the utmost significance both at home and overseas, was called into being in the course of the opening years of the third and last epoch of the Heroic Age of the Faith. A decade later, the Appointed Centre of a Covenant, through the creative and potent energies of which so important a member of a steadily rising world community was conceived and nurtured, chose to infuse into that infant community through the impact of His personality in the course of a twice repeated visit to the heart and centre of that Empire, a measure of His own mysterious power, which, as He Himself prophesied, was destined to unfold its potentialities in the course of a later age. On the morrow of His passing, the earliest evidences of the unfailing promise He had made revealed themselves through the first stirrings of an Administrative Order—the Child of the Covenant, the Shield of that community and the divinely appointed Agency for the execution of the mandate with which that community was to be invested in the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation. A little over two decades later, that community, armed and equipped with the mighty, divinely conceived agencies of a laboriously erected, unassailably established Administrative Order, embarked upon a six-year enterprise that culminated in the erection of the institutions of that Order in the very heart and capital cities of its island home—the essential prerequisite for the inauguration of yet another stage in its unfoldment. On the morrow of the triumphant termination of the first collective enterprise launched by that community in British Bahá’í history, its jubilant members braced themselves, during a one-year interval, for the initial onslaught, which they were preparing to launch, unitedly and determinedly, far beyond the shores of their homeland amid alien, widely diversified, politically restless, economically backward, spiritually famished tribes and peoples, and in the course of one of the most critical periods in human history. On the morrow of the centenary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Herald of its Faith, this same community had already formulated its plans, initiated its programme of publications in various African languages, despatched its first pioneer to the heart of that continent, forged the necessary links with its allied sister communities participating in various enterprises in that same continent, and established its first essential contact with divers government agencies capable of giving their advice and assistance in the prosecution of its historic and arduous task.

This community, so young in experience, so richly endowed by the love and care of a departed all-powerful Master, so firmly entrenched in the stronghold of its Administrative Order, already so rich in prizes won in the course of the first collective enterprise undertaken in its history, so promising in the vigour, the zeal and devotion which it is now displaying, is faced, at the present hour, with a grave, a sacred and inescapable responsibility—a responsibility that will increase as the brief eighteen-month interval separating it from the termination of its Two Year Plan speeds to a close.

Upon the discharge of this weighty responsibility now resting upon it must depend the inauguration of yet another Plan, of longer duration, of greater scope, of a still more challenging character, and of greater consequence in the effect it must have on that community’s destiny.

Time is running short. The present hour in the fortunes of mankind is critical. The centenary of the birth of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh is fast approaching. The British Bahá’í community must gird up its loins, redouble its exertions, undertake further sacrifices, demonstrate greater solidarity and rise to still greater heights of consecrated devotion.

The flow of pioneers to the African Continent must be noticeably accelerated. The provision of Bahá’í literature in all the selected African languages must be speeded up. The ties binding the community with its cooperating sister communities must be steadily reinforced. The prizes already garnered as a result of the operation of the Six-Year Plan in England, Wales, Scotland, Eire and Northern Ireland, must, at all costs, be safeguarded. The preparations for the forthcoming first African Teaching Conference must be carefully planned and meticulously carried out. Above all, the zeal kindled in the breasts of administrators, pioneers, teachers and supporters, jointly contributing to the success of this meritorious enterprise, must burn ever more brightly and be reflected in still more remarkable exploits.

Then, and only then, will this community be enabled to contribute its share of tribute to the memory of the Founder of its Faith, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of His Prophetic Mission, in as befitting a manner as the share it already contributed, through the consummation of its first historic Plan, to the world-wide celebrations which commemorated the hundredth anniversary of the founding of its Faith. Then, and only then, will it be qualified to embark upon yet another Crusade, whose scope will transcend the limits of the vast African Continent, and the culmination of which might well coincide with the Most Great Jubilee that will commemorate the centenary of the formal assumption by Bahá’u’lláh of His prophetic office, a jubilee envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Tablets, and prophesied more than two thousand years ago, by Daniel in His Book.

So glorious a vision, now unfolded before the eyes of the British followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, cannot but galvanise them into action, at once swift, resolute and unrelaxing, and fire their souls with a spirit so consuming as to melt every obstacle that may intervene between them and the achievement of their present goal.

May they, one and all, prove themselves, in the crucial months immediately ahead, worthy of the blessings vouchsafed to them in the past, and of the high destiny which it lies in their power to achieve in the future.

Shoghi


Letter of 28 October 1951

28 October 195158

ASSURE STEPHENS LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS ACCOMPANYING HER.

SHOGHI


Letter of 11 November 1951

11 November 1951

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

As I just recently sent you a long letter on behalf of the beloved Guardian to which he appended at some length, he wishes you to consider this reply to your letters of October 17th (three in number) as a postscript to the other.

As regards the questions you raised:

The ideal thing would be to have at least one Bahá’í from every territory in Africa attend the African Conference. This is the goal to be worked for, and attained if possible, as it will greatly stimulate the work and especially the inexperienced and isolated believers.

The solar calendar should, by all means, be adhered to in Africa.

He feels that your Assembly is responsible for the time being for the work in territories not under the charge of other N.S.A.s (Tunis, Sudan and Ethiopia are under Egyptian care).

You are not directly responsible for any work done in territories which have been allotted to other N.S.A.s. But you should correspond with them, and give them any help and advice you can, both the N.S.A.s and their African Committees. In the case of Eric Manton, though he will be under Persia’s jurisdiction you can keep him informed of your work, so as to cheer him up.

Only the five participating National Assemblies are responsible directly for financing the African work. No invitations should be extended to other bodies or individuals to contribute. Naturally if any one wants to, they no doubt will, but it would be, he feels, very inappropriate to broadcast any appeal. The Africa work is not an international undertaking but an interassembly one, confined to five national Bodies.

He is very pleased over the way the work is progressing, and sends you all his loving greetings....

P.S. He thanks you for the Quarterly Report enclosed. He reads with great interest everything related to the African work.


Letter of 23 November 1951

23 November 195159

CONFERENCE SHOULD BE HELD UGANDA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 December 1951

6 December 1951

Africa Committee

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

Your letters of November 5th and 22nd (enclosures were also received) have been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was pleased to hear that Sir Ronald Storrs keeps up a friendly interest in the Faith.

Regarding ... it is obvious that people like this, who have had in some cases a smattering of Bahá’í teaching are not fully aware of the implications of the Faith. However, this does not mean that we should not help them and hold on to them, in the hope of being able, as time and circumstances permit, to deepen them and produce from them really fine believers. This has happened on many occasions in the past, and the Guardian hopes that, through correspondence with him, your committee—and perhaps the Groups in Africa—will be able to accomplish this.

In response to his requests for money, you should point out to him that as we finance entirely our own activities as our gift to mankind, we have to harbour our resources and concentrate on the most important expenditures. You will know what these are; and they certainly don’t include a headquarters in Nigeria. You might also encourage him to make an effort to attend the Africa Conference.

The Guardian also hopes that you will give ... every encouragement. She is a fine soul, and no doubt, if she had time devoted to her, would soon develop into an assured and active believer. You should encourage her also to make every effort to be present at the Africa Conference, and in the meantime to correspond with believers abroad, and do her best to teach the Cause there in spite of her handicaps.

The Guardian feels that the next step in Bahá’í literature might well be the publication of a more comprehensive work in Luganda and Swahili. However, he would like the Africa Committee to undertake pamphlets in other languages as well; let him know what languages the committee proposes.

He attaches, as you know, the greatest importance to the work of your committee and is tremendously impressed by the progress being made in Africa, and by the capacity, tenacity and enthusiasm the British Africa Committee is showing in handling its share of this extremely important campaign. His prayers are frequently offered on your behalf.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty whose Cause you serve with such devotion, ability and faithfulness, reward you abundantly for your labours, guide you and sustain you and assist you to enrich continually the record of your meritorious service.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 19 December 1951

19 December 195160

DELIGHTED ASSURE THEM FERVENT PRAYERS HEARTY WELCOME BAHÁ’Í FOLD.

SHOGHI


Letter of 30 December 1951

30 December 1951

APPROVE PLAN CELEBRATION CENTENARY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 January 1952 (Teaching Conference)

8 January 1952 (Teaching Conference)

ASSURE ATTENDANTS TEACHING CONFERENCE DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION ASSURANCE LOYALTY. APPEAL FERVENTLY ARISE DETERMINEDLY STIMULATE PIONEER ACTIVITY SAFEGUARD HARD-WON PRIZES CONSOLIDATE HOME FRONT REINFORCE AGENCIES ADMINISTRATIVE BASE ON WHICH SUCCESS AFRICAN CAMPAIGN INAUGURATION FUTURE PLANS EMBRACING BRITISH TERRITORIES OTHER CONTINENTS ULTIMATELY DEPEND SUPPLICATING ABUNDANT BLESSING.

SHOGHI


Letter of 16 January 1952

16 January 195261

DELIGHTED APPROVE TALKS HANDS LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 February 1952

13 February 1952

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Our beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you the following:

He wishes the British National Assembly to please do all they can to watch over the two young sons of our dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. ..., in view of the fact that the youngest boy is little more than a child, he needs particularly to have his spiritual welfare safeguarded through as much contact as possible with believers.

The wonderful services this devoted and self-sacrificing father and mother are rendering the Faith have forced them to be separated from their children, and hence the Guardian requests your Assembly to please take special care of the boys.

We are all very happy to have ... here, and they have brought most heartening reports of the progress of the work in Africa with them....


Letter of 20 February 1952

20 February 195262

GRIEVE TRAGIC LOSS PRAYING FERVENTLY BEHALF DEPARTED.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 February 1952

29 February 1952

...ADVISE BUILD UP KENYA. URGE FORMATION ASSEMBLIES KAMPALA DAR-ES-SALAAM. APPROVE SPECIAL SESSIONS FOR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY REPRESENTATIVES OUTSIDE CONFERENCE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 March 1952

4 March 1952

Africa Committee of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

Your letter of the 18th of February, with enclosures, has reached the beloved Guardian; and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is very pleased over the progress being made, particularly in Uganda; and the recent pilgrimage of the dear Banánís, he feels sure, will add a great impetus to the work there.

Regarding the matters of policy you raised in your letter, he sees no objection to the Persian Bahá’ís,—as long as there are so many of them, and it is unwise to concentrate too many applicants on one country at one time as you point out,—going to countries under the jurisdiction of other National Spiritual Assemblies, such as Egypt and India.

He considers that it is of the greatest importance that pioneers should have upright characters, as well as some considerable knowledge of the Teachings. We cannot expect that every pioneer will be a person of importance; but we must hope that each one will be a person of worth, in his own character. This should be pointed out to the Indian friends.

India should likewise make an effort to send pioneers primarily to the territories embraced in its own part of the Plan; but if they can make available to your committee for British territory, some qualified Indian Bahá’ís, who for some reason cannot go to one of the Indian National Assembly’s assignments, then there is no objection.

The Guardian thinks that it is wise not to influence ... by sending him material which he does not at present wish to receive. He is, judging from his letter, a sincere but immature believer....

P.S. Your National Assembly is not responsible for Eritrea but you may encourage any believers there.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your high endeavours, guide and sustain you continually, and aid you to win great victories in the service of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 8 March 1952

8 March 195263

APPROVE SHOMAIS DEPARTURE AFRICA. ABBÁS RETURN PERSIA APPRECIATE DEEPLY SELF-SACRIFICE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 March 1952

12 March 1952

OWING RAPID PROGRESS AFRICAN CAMPAIGN ADVISE CONCENTRATION CONSOLIDATION HOME FRONT APPEAL UNITED RENEWED VIGOROUS EFFORT PRAYING FERVENTLY SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 18 March 1952

18 March 1952

GOAL FULFILLED ANY PART SOMALILAND.

SHOGHI


Letter of 16 April 1952

16 April 195264

OVERJOYED PRAYING SUCCESS BLACKPOOL LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 April 1952

22 April 195265

DELIGHTED APPRECIATE SERVICES PIONEERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 April 1952

29 April 1952

DEEPLY TOUCHED PLEDGE BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CONGRATULATE VALIANT MEMBERS MARVELLOUS PROGRESS AFRICAN CAMPAIGN CONSOLIDATION HOME FRONT OWING ATTAINMENT OBJECTIVES ADVISE CONCENTRATE NAIROBI AIMING ESTABLISHMENT ASSEMBLY LEADING PROMISING CENTRE BRITISH TERRITORIES HEART EAST AFRICAN CONTINENT FERVENTLY PRAYING STILL GREATER VICTORIES LOVING GRATITUDE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 May 1952

4 May 1952

National Bahá’í Youth Committee

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Your letter of April 9, 1952, has been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was most happy to see that so many of the Bahá’í youth and their friends had gathered together for the Youth Conference; and trusts that, from this consultation, a greater activity amongst the Bahá’í youth of the British Isles will result.

All over the Bahá’í world, we see that not an inconsiderable proportion of the most active and devoted pioneers are young people. This is only right and proper, because they are freer, usually, to migrate to distant lands, embark on new projects, and withstand the trials and hardships, than older people, who have built up family ties and professional ties.

He will pray for all of you, for your success and the deepening of your capacities in the service of Bahá’u’lláh.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless and sustain you in your meritorious activities and aid you to achieve great victories in the service of His Faith,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 3 June 1952

3 June 1952

I gratefully acknowledge receipt of the sum of £200 Sterling from my dear Bahá’í co-workers, British Bahá’í community to be expended for the promotion of the international interests of the Bahá’í Faith.

Shoghi


Letter of 3 June 1952

3 June 1952

I gratefully acknowledge receipt of the sum of £300 Sterling from my dear Bahá’í co-workers, British Bahá’í community to be expended for the construction of the Shrine of the Báb.

Shoghi


Letter of 4 June 1952

4 June 1952

Africa Committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister:

Your letter of May 16th has been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He has read with great interest the reports which your committee sends him regularly, because as you know the work in Africa is to him one of the most important activities going on in the Bahá’í world, and very close to his heart.

He was very sorry to hear from the recent cable sent him that there is a question about the Kampala Conference, and whether arrangements can be made for it to be held there. Undoubtedly there is an increasingly negative attitude toward our work growing up amongst the officials, probably due to the lack of racial discrimination they are coming to realise is one of our fundamental teachings, a teaching carried into action, and not merely a pious hope.... He wishes you to keep him informed about this and the progress being made.

Your suggested souvenir booklet sounds interesting, and he urges you to consider the wisdom of including a photograph of Mr. Gregory, First Negro Hand of the Cause, in addition to the others.

As regards the latest progress photo of the Shrine Mr. Ted Cardell took a great many pictures here, which the Guardian told him he could share with the Bahá’ís anywhere in the world; and it seems as if, exclusive of the work on the drum, which will begin showing distinctly in about two months’ time, the best possible photograph you can obtain of the Shrine at present would be one of Ted’s. You should therefore apply to him for one.

The Guardian is very anxious that, during the coming months, the Africa Committee and the Bahá’ís should concentrate their efforts on establishing an Assembly in Kenya, and hopes that you will be able to direct pioneers to Nairobi as soon as possible.

The Guardian considers that it is premature at this time to answer your question about consultation at the Africa Conference, between people from territories which will come under the jurisdiction of the East and Central Africa National Spiritual Assembly. He is so overworked and tired at the moment that he has not been able to go into the entire question of the Inter-Continental Conferences, the countries which will come under the jurisdiction of various future national bodies, etc. He hopes that he will be able, during the coming months, to do this, and if he feels it wise, will advise you by cable concerning a consultation such as you suggest, at the Conference.

He assures all the members of your committee of his deep appreciation of the work they are doing, and of his loving prayers for their success....

P.S. Your personal letter of May 17th was received, and he assures you not only of how deeply he admires the spirit you and your husband have, and the work you accomplish, but of his loving prayers that you may be given strength to carry out this work.

Mr. ... evidently is very immature and has no real concept of the Faith; this does not mean, however, that we should abandon him as a contact or let him become the prey of the New History Society. We should keep in friendly touch until someone can see him.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty Whose Cause you and your co-workers are serving with such an exemplary spirit of devotion, fidelity and perseverance, reward you for your meritorious labours, remove all obstacles from your path and enable you to win great victories in the days to come,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 12 June 1952

12 June 1952

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

The beloved Guardian has received your letters of October 3, October 27 (4), November 5, 9, 22 (2), 24 and 29, December 6, 19 (4) and 21, 1951, and January 1, 2, 7, 11, 16, 17, 20 and 29 (3), February 1, 16, 20 (3), 27 (2) and February 29, March 5 and 14, April 3, 15 and 24, May 5, 13, 19 (2), 27 and 31, and June 6th, 10th and June 12, 1952, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He also has received the various enclosures which you sent with these letters....

The book you sent from the friends in Bahrein was received, and pleased the beloved Guardian very much, as the lines are written in the handwriting of Bahá’u’lláh at the beginning of the book. (This answers your question in your letter of June 6th.)

It brought great joy to his heart to see that you were able to maintain all assemblies in spite of the heavy odds against you. It demonstrates to him once more the tenacity and devotion of the British Bahá’ís, which is rapidly becoming one of the great assets of the Faith in its process of international expansion....

The wonderful spirit shown by Dr. Afnán and his wife is certainly an example to all pioneers. He hopes that Mrs. Afnán will settle herself successfully in Africa, and soon be able to have her husband join her.

He was very happy to hear that the Teaching Conference has been so successful. Undoubtedly the dedication of the friends to their tasks at that time facilitated the achievement of their goals in April....

The Guardian would like to assure your Assembly of his loving prayers for dear Mr. Sam Scott, who pioneered at such a ripe age, and who is surely receiving his reward in the Abhá Kingdom.66

He considers it advisable that all believers living in Africa, even those who did so before the beginning of the Plan, should have some form of credentials....

Your suggestion of inaugurating the Holy Year next Ridván and continuing on until October, 1953, with celebrations, meets with his approval.

As regards the Africa campaign: this enterprise, so enthusiastically carried on, has been throughout this past year the greatest source of joy to the heart of the beloved Guardian. The visits of the dear Banánís and Ted Cardell, the news they brought and the general progress of the work, have made Africa seem right next door to Haifa! The formation of the Dar-es-Salaam and Kampala Assemblies was also a great satisfaction to him.

He urges you to now concentrate on an Assembly for Nairobi by next April. This should not be too difficult of achievement in view of the devoted efforts of Mr. Cardell and the pioneers eager to go there.

As regards your question about Somaliland: any one of the three Somalilands may be chosen as a goal territory.

In this connection, he feels that Persian pioneers should be accepted for any and all territories; they are arising in large numbers to offer their services, and it is a great pity that these dedicated and eager friends are so restricted as regards settlement. Your Assembly should do all in its power to facilitate placing them.

The Guardian feels that although the Conference planned for Kampala is primarily a Conference and in no sense a Convention (having no delegates), there is no objection to the representatives of various N.S.A.s who may attend meeting in separate sessions for more special and concentrated consultation. Any Hands of the Cause attending could also be included in this private discussion.

He feels that now more than ever the British friends have every reason to feel proud of their accomplishments and happy over the very evident bestowals from the Throne on High. They have found, after half a century of development, scope for their abilities, and a field large enough to distinguish themselves in, and they are certainly taking advantage of it, much to the delight of the Guardian and their fellow-Bahá’ís.

You may be sure that he remembers you all in his prayers, and also the body of the faithful believers you serve to such good purpose.

He would like you to please thank, on his behalf, the friends who so devotedly contribute to the construction of the Holy Shrine....

P.S. As regards Bahá’í divorce as mentioned in your letters of June 12th: Bahá’ís (whether one party or both are believers) should follow the Bahá’í law of divorce, i.e. one year of waiting, and not neglect this divinely given law. Whether they were Bahá’ís when they married or not has nothing to do with it.

In connection with the budget, mentioned in your letter of June 10th, he feels, in the future, you should not set a budget which the resources of the community are unable to meet; however, owing to the crucial Africa work and the forthcoming Conference, he realises you had at this time no other choice. He is going to arrange for one thousand pounds to be sent to your Assembly in order to meet the needs of the Conference and the literature in African languages still to be published. The remaining translations should be pressed forward in order to be ready for the Conference next year.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The Two Year Plan on which the British Bahá’í community has embarked bids fair, as it approaches its conclusion, to eclipse, however short its duration, the exploits of that community throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles, in the course of the prosecution of the first collective enterprise undertaken in British Bahá’í history. This second historic undertaking marks the inauguration of the Mission entrusted to this community for the purpose of diffusing the Message of Bahá’u’lláh and of implanting its banner through successive stages, and in collaboration with its sister communities, not only in the territories of the British Crown in the African Continent, but throughout the dependencies of a widely scattered Empire in the remaining continents of the globe. It may well be regarded as a befitting prelude to the official participation of this community in the Ten Year, world-encircling Crusade, designed to signalise the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission, involving the systematic co-operation of no less than twelve National Assemblies throughout the Bahá’í world, and destined to culminate in the Most Great Jubilee that will, God willing, witness the introduction of the Faith into all the Sovereign States, the Chief Dependencies and Islands of the entire planet.

In the conduct of this world-encompassing task, so vast in scope, so thrilling in its possibilities, so formidable in its potentialities, the British Bahá’í community will be called upon to play a preponderating rôle, in conjunction with the American Bahá’í community, acting as the Chief Custodians of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Master Plan, and seconded by its sister communities in the British Dominions in both hemispheres, in awakening the peoples, races and nations comprising the British Commonwealth and Empire to the redemptive Message of Bahá’u’lláh, and in establishing, on an unassailable foundation, the structural basis of His World Order.

The diversity of functions which the assumption of this task will involve; the privileges and bounties it will, of a certainty, confer on its prosecutors; the degree of dedication, the amount of preparation it will require for its proper discharge; the severe strain it must necessarily impose on all those who will shoulder its burdens; the gravity of the manifold problems it will raise; the severe challenge with which they who will arise to carry it out will be confronted—as witnessed by the delicate and complicated situation that has already arisen in the initial stage of this historic Mission in the heart of Africa, in connection with the holding of the projected inter-continental conference—all these must be carefully pondered in preparation for the launching, at its appointed time, of an undertaking that will constitute, not only a milestone of the utmost significance in the history of the Faith in the British Isles, but will also be hailed by posterity as a landmark of peculiar significance in British history.

Whilst the small band of wholly dedicated, patiently labouring, much admired, greatly promising followers and supporters of the Faith, in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, contemplate, from their respective homelands, the grandeur of their future task, dwell on its sacred character, and meditate on the wide range of its problems, possibilities, perils and glories, let them devote particular and sustained attention to the imperative needs, the urgent requirements of their no less important and vital mission at home, in their boroughs and counties, amidst their own people, and strain every nerve to reinforce, through a rapid increase in their numbers, through a steady multiplication of their administrative institutions, through a systematic consolidation of the structure of the edifice they are raising within the borders of their native land, their respective communities, which must be regarded as the base for the future operations that will be conducted by the members of these communities, under the guidance of their elected representatives, for the spiritual conquest and the ultimate redemption of the nations, tribes and races owing allegiance to the British Crown.

With every forward step taken by this stalwart community in the path of service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, with every signal victory achieved for the promulgation of His Faith, a new revelation of the glorious Mission which this community is privileged to undertake is unfolded before the eyes of its members and a wider vista of the future range of its operations, both at home and overseas, opens before it. With every complication that arises in the course of its unfolding Mission, with even every seeming reverse it meets with, as its destiny unfolds, a clearer understanding of the character of its stewardship to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is vouchsafed to its members, a greater measure of His sustaining grace is poured forth from on high, a more compelling evidence of His all-conquering power is evinced, and a more majestic assertion of His mysterious purpose is demonstrated.

The potent seeds a loving and vigilant Master sowed with His Own hands, in the course of a twice repeated visit to the homeland of this community, are now, after having lain dormant for almost a quarter of a century, at long last, sprouting throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles, and are even revealing the potency of their regenerative power, through the instrumentality of those valiant pioneers, who, faithful to His Call and dedicated to His service, are leaving the shores of those islands to settle in the territories of a far-away and backward continent. Amidst their arduous labours, in their contact with the heterogeneous tribes and races dwelling in that continent, in their dealings with the civil authorities of divers countries and states within whose jurisdiction they will labour, in their struggle with an inhospitable climate, in the hazards to which they will be inevitably exposed, in the adventures they may experience, in the reverses they may temporarily suffer, in the opposition they will meet with, in the tests and trials they will undergo, His unfailing guidance will be vouchsafed to them in direct proportion to the degree of their consecration to their task, and the perseverance, the courage and fidelity they will display as they discharge their duties.

The remarkable success that has attended their high endeavours since the initiation of their first collective enterprise within the confines of their native land, the still more notable evidence of God’s sustaining grace that has accompanied the opening of the first stage of their Mission overseas, are sufficient proof of the tremendous potency of the forces at work for the purpose of ensuring the unrestricted expansion of their future activities within and beyond the frontiers of their island home, and the ultimate consummation of their magnificent enterprise.

In the months immediately ahead, the strongholds of the Faith erected, in the form of local assemblies, and already established in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, must be maintained at all costs in their present strength; the groups and isolated centres already brought into being must, under no circumstances, be allowed to decrease in number or be lost to the Faith; the translation and publication of pamphlets in the languages already selected must be vigorously pushed forward and completed; the centre in the capital of Kenya must be assiduously expanded; the preparations for the projected inter-continental Conference must be carefully carried out; the effective participation of the representatives of the British Bahá’í community in the Stockholm inter-continental Conference must be ensured; and all the preparatory steps, required for the effectual collaboration of the members of this community in the global crusade, destined to be launched on the morrow of the world-wide celebrations of the approaching Holy Year, should, to whatever extent possible, be undertaken.

There is no time to lose. The issues at stake call for immediate action, demand unrelaxing vigilance, undivided attention, and a consecration unexampled in the annals of the Faith in the British Isles. Though the number of those summoned to shoulder so immense a task be dishearteningly small, though the resources at their disposal be meagre, though the cares and preoccupations of the peoples amidst whom they live are such as to often blind them to the Faith and its healing message, yet the position they occupy and the responsibilities devolving upon them in the heart and centre of a world-wide empire, the manifold tokens of esteem and loving-kindness showered upon them during the infancy of this community by the Centre of God’s Covenant; the inherent qualities of tenacity of purpose, of exemplary fidelity, of perspicacity that distinguishes the race to which they belong, must inspire hope and confidence in their future, and fully entitles them to play a leading role in the future proclamation of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh to the multitudes that live beneath the shadow of the British Crown.

That they may become increasingly conscious of the sublimity of their task; that they may address themselves to it with their characteristic zeal, ability, intelligence and fervour; that they may speedily acquire the spiritual potentialities for the initiation of a still more momentous stage in the unfoldment of their historic Mission; that they may earn increasingly, through their superb feats, the unqualified admiration of their brethren in every continent of the globe and prove themselves worthy of the bounties already received and those which, we may well believe, are held in store for them, is my cherished hope and constant prayer.

Shoghi


Letter of 15 June 1952

15 June 195267

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you in his behalf, to request that information relating to the British Isles and their activities, contained in the booklet “The Bahá’í Faith” ‘Information Statistical and Comparative’ be brought up to date as of May 1 1952, and sent to him here by the first possible air mail post.

One of the features of the Holy Year will be the re-issuance of this important book; inasmuch as the Holy Year is fast approaching the Guardian wishes the information as quickly as possible.

Briefly, the information which your N.S.A. is to provide, brought up to date of May 1, 1952, is as follows:

Incorporated local spiritual assemblies in the British Isles.

Bahá’í Centres in the British Isles, showing, if possible, the division between local spiritual assemblies, Groups and Isolated Believers.

Any information not immediately available should be handled by telegraph, but such information as is available should not be delayed for any one or two delinquents. You can appreciate that if the booklet is to be published early in the Holy Year, the information should reach the Guardian at a very early date.

The Guardian sends his loving greetings to the National Assembly and its devoted members....


Letter of 29 August 1952

29 August 195268

DEEPLY TOUCHED PROFOUNDLY APPRECIATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS PRAYING FULFILMENT HIGH DESTINY DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 15 October 1952

15 October 195269

PROFOUNDLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE ARDENTLY PRAYING BRITISH COMMUNITY MAY ARISE BEFITTINGLY DISCHARGE GREAT TASKS AHEAD.

SHOGHI


Letter of 20 November 1952

20 November 195270

DELIGHTED LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 December 1952

28 December 1952

MAINTENANCE GROUPS ISOLATED CENTRES ADVISABLE THOUGH NOT ESSENTIAL PART PLAN.

SHOGHI

To Entire Bahá’í World, 5 January 1953

REJOICE SHARE BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES EAST WEST THRILLING REPORTS FEATS ACHIEVED HEROIC BAND BAHÁ’Í PIONEERS LABOURING DIVERS WIDELY-SCATTERED AFRICAN TERRITORIES PARTICULARLY UGANDA HEART CONTINENT REMINISCENT ALIKE EPISODES RELATED BOOK ACTS RAPID DRAMATIC PROPAGATION FAITH INSTRUMENTALITY DAWN-BREAKERS HEROIC AGE BAHÁ’Í DISPENSATION MARVELLOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS SIGNALISING RISE ESTABLISHMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER FAITH LATIN AMERICA ECLIPSED EXPLOITS IMMORTALISING RECENTLY LAUNCHED CRUSADE EUROPEAN CONTINENT SURPASSED GOAL SEVEN-MONTH PLAN INITIATED KAMPALA ASSEMBLY AIMING DOUBLING TWELVE ENROLLED BELIEVERS OUT-STRIPPED NUMBER AFRICANS CONVERTED COURSE LAST FIFTEEN MONTHS RESIDING KAMPALA OUTLYING DISTRICTS PROTESTANT CATHOLIC PAGAN BACKGROUNDS LETTERED UNLETTERED BOTH SEXES REPRESENTATIVE NO LESS SIXTEEN TRIBES PASSED TWO HUNDRED MARK.

EFFULGENT RAYS GOD’S TRIUMPHANT CAUSE RADIATING FOCAL CENTRE FAST AWAKENING CONTINENT PENETRATING ACCELERATING RATE ISOLATED REGIONS UNFREQUENTED WHITE MEN ENVELOPING THEIR RADIANCE SOULS HITHERTO INDIFFERENT PERSISTENT HUMANITARIAN ACTIVITIES CHRISTIAN MISSIONS CIVILISING INFLUENCE CIVIL AUTHORITIES NO LESS NINE LOCALITIES QUALIFIED ATTAIN COMING RIDVÁN ASSEMBLY STATUS WITHIN SINGLE TERRITORY LONG-SLUMBERING CONTINENT.

ZANZIBAR MADAGASCAR FRENCH MOROCCO SOUTH RHODESIA ITALIAN SOMALILAND ALREADY OR SOON BE OPENED FAITH.

DESIRE PAY SPECIAL TRIBUTE STRENUOUS EFFORTS EXERTED ‘ALÍ NAKHJAVÁNÍ SETTING EXAMPLE DEDICATION FREEDOM PREJUDICE FELLOW PIONEERS LABOURING INHOSPITABLE SURROUNDINGS CONFRONTED MANIFOLD FORMIDABLE OBSTACLES.

PLANNING ENTRUST SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE DELEGATED ATTEND APPROACHING KAMPALA CONFERENCE PORTRAIT HOLY BÁB REPLICA ONE DEPOSITED BENEATH DOME MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR WILMETTE TO BE EXHIBITED ASSEMBLED ATTENDANTS HISTORIC OCCASION CONFIDENT UNVEILING MAY DRAW NEWLY RECRUITED VANGUARD EVER-SWELLING HOST BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AS WELL AS ALL PARTICIPATING VISITORS ITINERANT TEACHERS SETTLERS CLOSER SPIRIT MARTYR-PROPHET FAITH BESTOW EVERLASTING BENEDICTION ALL GATHERED MEMORABLE SESSIONS EPOCH-MAKING INTER-CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE DEDICATED PROSECUTION LATEST MOST GLORIOUS CRUSADE LAUNCHED COURSE ELEVEN DECADES BAHÁ’Í HISTORY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 January 1953 (Teaching Conference)

8 January 1953 (Teaching Conference)

MOVED PLACE RECORD EXPRESSION ABIDING APPRECIATION NOTABLE CONTRIBUTION BRITISH BAHÁ’Í PIONEERS MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS HISTORIC ENTERPRISE LAUNCHED AFRICAN CONTINENT COURSE TWO YEAR PLAN FORMULATED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY. GOALS FIRST EPOCH-MAKING STAGE GLORIOUS OVERSEAS MISSION FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRITISH ISLES NOBLY ACHIEVED. APPEAL ATTENDANTS CONFERENCE FOCUS ATTENTION FLEETING MONTHS AHEAD CONSOLIDATION HOMEFRONT CONSTITUTING NO LESS VITAL PHASE SECOND COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISE BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY. URGE PARTICIPANTS RESOLVE UPON RETURN RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES EXERT UTMOST FAN FLAME PIONEERING SPIRIT UTILISE EVERY AVAILABLE MEANS ENSURE ALL ASPECTS TRIUMPHANT CONSUMMATION PLAN. TOTAL SUCCESS INTERNAL EXTERNAL PHASES PRESENT UNDERTAKING WILL CONSTITUTE BEFITTING CONTRIBUTION STEADFASTLY LABOURING HIGHLY ESTEEMED TENACIOUSLY LOYAL BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WORLD WIDE CELEBRATIONS HOLY YEAR PAVE WAY EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION ITS MEMBERS IMPENDING TEN YEAR CRUSADE MARKING OPENING THIRD COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISE INAUGURATED SINCE INCEPTION FAITH BRITISH ISLES SIGNALISING SECOND MEMORABLE STAGE THEIR UNFOLDING MISSION FOREIGN FIELDS DESTINED EMBRACE TERRITORIES BRITISH CROWN BOTH AFRICAN EUROPEAN CONTINENTS. PRAYING FERVENTLY ATTAINMENT OBJECTIVES ULTIMATE ACHIEVEMENT DISTANT GOALS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 15 January 1953 (Teaching Conference)

15 January 1953 (Teaching Conference)

DEEPLY TOUCHED MESSAGE APPRECIATE REDEDICATION PRAYING GLORIOUS SUCCESS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 January 1953

28 January 1953

ADVISE MODIFY LIST LANGUAGES. KINDLY AIRMAIL IMMEDIATELY EXPLANATION AMERICAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR MODIFICATION THEIR MANUSCRIPT.

SHOGHI


Letter of 1 February 1953

1 February 1953

ADVISE ASSEMBLY’S REPRESENTATIVES ATTENDING KAMPALA CONFERENCE ENSURE NO ONE PHOTOGRAPHS BÁB’S PORTRAIT DURING DISPLAY. SENDING COLOUR FILM SHRINES ARRANGE PROVIDE PROJECTOR SIXTEEN MILLIMETRES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 March 1953

13 March 1953

ASSURE YOU LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 25 March 1953

25 March 1953

YOUR ASSEMBLY HENCEFORTH CONSULTATIVE BODY ONLY FOR BRITISH TERRITORIES IN AFRICA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 3 April 1953

3 April 1953

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

Enclosed please find the Guardian’s Convention Message.

As there are a great many African languages enumerated, and the spelling is very involved, the Guardian has decided to Air Mail you this message, rather than have it cabled, which was his original intention.

Please cable immediately you receive this letter, acknowledging it, so that the Guardian will know his Convention Message is in your hands. Otherwise he will of course have to cable it from here.

He is eagerly awaiting the report of the African Conference, which he has not received to date....

P.S. Your letter regarding a rug supposedly owned by Bahá’u’lláh coming up for sale, has just been received, and the Guardian feels that he cannot possibly authenticate this rug as having belonged at any time to Bahá’u’lláh. It may of course be quite true that it did. He leaves it to the discretion of your Assembly to decide whether you wish to purchase it or not.


Letter of 8 April 1953

8 April 1953

APPEAL ENTIRE COMMUNITY EXERT SUPREME EFFORT ELEVENTH HOUR SEAL SUCCESS PLAN ASSURE LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 18 April 1953

18 April 1953

HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


“World wide mission entrusted British Bahá’í Community”—THE BRITISH RÔLE IN THE TEN YEAR CRUSADE
1953–1957


1953 (Convention)

1953 (Convention)

WARMLY CONGRATULATE ASSEMBLED DELEGATES BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY BRITISH ISLES CELEBRATING MOST GREAT FESTIVAL HOLY YEAR ON MAGNIFICENT VICTORIES ACHIEVED AFRICAN CONTINENT EXCEEDING HIGHEST HOPES PLAN FORMULATED TWO YEARS AGO ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED MERE PRELUDE AFRICAN CAMPAIGN ASSUMED SUCH PROPORTIONS YIELDED SUCH FRUIT DESERVE BE REGARDED DISTINCT STAGE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY BEYOND BORDERS HOMELAND SIX YEAR PLAN FIRST COLLECTIVE UNDERTAKING BRITISH BAHÁ’Í HISTORY LAID BROADENED FOUNDATIONS ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS DESTINED DIRECT OPERATION FUTURE OVERSEAS ENTERPRISES BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY TWO YEAR PLAN INAUGURATED WITHIN AFRICAN CONTINENT GLORIOUS MISSION SAME COMMUNITY CALLED UPON ACCOMPLISH THROUGHOUT BRITISH DEPENDENCIES EASTERN WESTERN HEMISPHERES HOUR PROPITIOUS TRIUMPHANT RICHLY BLESSED BRITISH NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY PARTICIPATE ELEVEN SISTER NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES EAST WEST IMPENDING WORLD SPIRITUAL CRUSADE THROUGH LAUNCHING TEN YEAR PLAN EMBRACING THREE CONTINENTS GLOBE CALCULATED CARRY STAGE FURTHER THEIR OWN PARTICULAR CRUSADE THROUGHOUT NUMEROUS WIDELY SCATTERED HIGHLY DIVERSIFIED COLONIES PROTECTORATES BRITISH EMPIRE HASTEN DAY BE ABLE ASSUME PREPONDERATING SHARE SUCH VAST HIGHLY MERITORIOUS PIONEERING ENTERPRISE.

MOMENTOUS PLAN WHICH COURSE COMING DECADE SEPARATING THEM MOST GREAT JUBILEE WILL DEMAND COMPLETE SUSTAINED CONSECRATION TWOFOLD TASK CONSOLIDATION FAITH ENGLAND SCOTLAND WALES IRELAND ITS PROPAGATION BEYOND ISLAND HOME INVOLVES

FIRST OPENING FOLLOWING VIRGIN TERRITORIES: SEVEN EUROPE—CHANNEL ISLANDS, CYPRUS, FAROE ISLANDS, HEBRIDES ISLANDS, MALTA, ORKNEY ISLANDS, SHETLAND ISLANDS; FOUR AFRICA—BRITISH CAMEROONS, BRITISH TOGOLAND, MADEIRA, SOUTH WEST AFRICA.

SECOND CONSOLIDATION FAITH FOLLOWING TERRITORIES: NINE AFRICA—ANGOLA, BELGIAN CONGO, GOLD COAST, KENYA, NIGERIA, SIERRA LEONE, TANGANYIKA, UGANDA, ZULULAND; EUROPE—EIRE; ASIA—HONG-KONG.

THIRD ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY BAHÁ’ÍS CENTRAL EAST AFRICA.

FOURTH PURCHASE LAND ANTICIPATION CONSTRUCTION MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR KAMPALA.

FIFTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL HAZÍRATU’L-QUDS LONDON.

SIXTH CONVERSION INTO NATIONAL INSTITUTION LOCAL HAZÍRATU’L-QUDS KAMPALA.

SEVENTH INCORPORATION NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY BAHÁ’ÍS CENTRAL EAST AFRICA.

EIGHTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS BRITISH ISLES.

NINTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS BY NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY BAHÁ’ÍS CENTRAL EAST AFRICA.

TENTH TRANSLATION BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE THIRTY-ONE AFRICAN LANGUAGES: ACCRA, AFRIKAANS, ALADIAN, ASHANTI, BANU, BEMBA, BUA, CHUANA, GIO, GU, JIENG, JOLOF, KUANYAMA, KRONGO, KROO, LIUMBI, MALAGASY, NUBIAN, PEDI, POPO, RONGA, SENA, SHILHA, SHONA, SOBO, SUTO, WONGO, XOSA, YALUNKA, YAO, ZULU.

ELEVENTH DOUBLING NUMBER SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES LOCALITIES BRITISH ISLES.

TWELFTH INCORPORATION NINETEEN ASSEMBLIES ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES, IRELAND.

THIRTEENTH ESTABLISHMENT ISRAEL BRANCH NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY BRITISH ISLES.

FOURTEENTH FORMATION EUROPEAN, ASIAN TEACHING COMMITTEES, DESIGNED STIMULATE, CO-ORDINATE TEACHING ACTIVITIES PLAN.

ARDENTLY PRAYING DECADE LONG CRUSADE CULMINATING HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY DECLARATION FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH MAY WITNESS BOTH ADMINISTRATIVE TEACHING FIELDS HOME FRONT AS WELL AS BEYOND CONFINES BRITISH ISLES FRUITION SEEDS HAND CENTRE COVENANT SO LOVINGLY PATIENTLY SOWED COURSE TWICE REPEATED VISIT HEART BRITISH EMPIRE. MAY IT LIKEWISE CARRY TRIUMPHANT CONCLUSION INITIAL EPOCH UNFOLDMENT WORLD-WIDE MISSION ENTRUSTED BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY AMIDST PEOPLES RACES DWELLING DEPENDENCIES BRITISH CROWN SCATTERED THROUGHOUT FIVE CONTINENTS GLOBE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 28 April 1953 (Convention)

28 April 1953 (Convention)

GREATLY VALUE NOBLE SENTIMENTS HAND CAUSE DELEGATES FRIENDS FERVENTLY PRAYING SHRINES VALIANT BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY PLAY MEMORABLE PART WORLD CRUSADE FULFIL HISTORIC MISSION. DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 May 1953

13 May 1953

URGE FULL FLEDGED BAHÁ’Í ASSEMBLIES BRITISH TERRITORIES UGANDA TANGANYIKA KENYA NOW REGARDED MOST POWERFUL PILLARS SWIFTLY EMERGING STEADILY CONSOLIDATING HIGHLY PROMISING AFRICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY SET GLORIOUS EXAMPLE THROUGH PROMPT MEASURES INITIATION EXTENSION WORK THROUGH DESPATCH SURPLUS MEMBERS LOCAL COMMUNITIES INCLUDING AFRICANS NEIGHBOURING TERRITORIES FRENCH SOMALILAND RUANDA URUNDI MADAGASCAR FRENCH BELGIAN CONGO COMORO ISLANDS EVEN ALGERIA MOROCCO ACCELERATING THEREBY PROCESS FORMATION LOCAL ASSEMBLIES ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CENTRAL EAST AFRICA ADDING FRESH LAURELS CROWN ALREADY WON PIONEERING FIELD AFRICAN CONTINENT.

SHOGHI


Letter of 17 May 1953

17 May 1953

MAIL FIFTY COPIES STATISTICAL PAMPHLET.

SHOGHI


Letter of 1 June 1953

1 June 1953

URGE IMMEDIATE STEPS PUBLICATION PAMPHLETS AFRICAN LANGUAGES. APPROVE APPROACH NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. MYSELF CONTRIBUTING THOUSAND POUNDS MERITORIOUS PURPOSE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 June 1953

4 June 1953

Africa Committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister:

Your letters of June 27, August 4, August 18, September 19, October 9 and November 27, 1952, with enclosures, have been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

Your letter of May 25th has also been received. He of course meant French Equatorial Africa, but condensed it for the sake of the cable. The Belgian Congo is naturally separate.

As many of your questions and reports dealt with pre-Conference complications, which, thanks to the grace of Bahá’u’lláh, were all satisfactorily removed, I will not touch upon them in this letter.

The Guardian was immensely pleased and relieved when it became clear that the Bahá’ís had obtained visas for Uganda, and were attending in large numbers, and that hotel accommodation was available.

From the report he has received from Mr. Ioas and pilgrims, the Conference was undoubtedly a tremendous success, and befittingly inaugurated the round of celebrations during this Holy Year.

It is a great pity that there should have been so much unfavourable publicity connected with the public meeting associated with the Conference, and its attendance. One cannot, however, help but feel that such an attitude was inevitable sooner or later, because there is no doubt that the missionaries are beginning to feel the keenest resentment and a certain degree of alarm, due to the success of our teaching methods in Africa.

Your committee will no doubt face, in the days to come, many grave problems; but the Guardian feels sure that, whatever happens, and whatever attacks are made upon the Faith and its pioneers, the net result cannot but be good for us in the long run, and can only serve to hasten the spread of the Cause.

He feels that your committee has every right to feel immensely proud, and grateful to God, for the success of your unremitting labours over such a long period of time.

He was most happy to hear that Mr. Dudley Smith Kutendele is planning to go and teach the Faith in Nyasaland, and will pray that his efforts may meet with success in the end.

Your understanding of the treatment of polygamist converts to the Faith is quite correct, but of course if anyone who is a Bahá’í wishes to marry more than one wife, he cannot do so. If they should disobey this law, then the cases must be handled in the same way as the Persians do, which is that these persons who become polygamists, break the laws of marriage.

As regards your question about the proper designation for the huts which will be used by the believers in villages, as Bahá’í Centres, he thinks that, for the time being, until a more dignified structure can be erected, they should be called “Bahá’í Centre”, and not Hazíratu’l-Quds—the correct name is Hazíratu’l-Quds and not Hazírá.

He was immensely pleased over the example shown by Enos Epyeru, in withdrawing from political affiliation, and feels that some of the African friends are showing a most exemplary spirit of devotion and loyalty. He feels that a great potential strength lies in these new African believers.

No doubt your committee will be faced with problems, due to the inexperience of some of these people in administrative matters, but, through loving guidance, and the wisdom of those who are associated with them on the spot, these minor things can be satisfactorily taken care of, and the main thing, the establishment of assemblies and groups, be carried out successfully.

The Guardian was indeed delighted over ‘Alí Nakhjavání’s trip to the Teso district. The purity of his spirit, the intensity of his devotion, and the longing in his heart to bring the Faith to his African brothers, all of which he so clearly showed forth in his actions, were no doubt the great factors which enkindled the first fires in the hearts of the believers in that land, and which have spread so swiftly and have been the cause of such joy to our beloved Guardian.

The Guardian considers that the settling of all the virgin territories all over the world is the most important of the goals given to any of the National Assemblies, and that it should be given precedence. Indeed, he is hoping that the one hundred and thirty territories still unopened may all be settled by pioneers this year, if possible.

It is not necessary for a National Assembly to confine itself to the placing of pioneers from its own community in its goal areas—it may draw on other Bahá’í communities for pioneers for its goal territories, as well, and vice versa. In other words, pioneers from the British Isles may be sent to territories under the administrative jurisdiction of other National Bodies than the British National Assembly, and pioneers may be accepted for British posts who are not members of the British community. The important thing is to achieve the goals.

The Guardian is urging the bodies associated with the work in Africa to disperse their forces, and not endeavour to build up large communities. Otherwise, there will be a large number of pioneers in one place, while other goal countries may be left entirely without a pioneer.

As regards the translations for Africa, he has urged the American National Spiritual Assembly, in connection with the printing of Bahá’í literature in the languages allotted to that continent, to give you any help it can.

The Guardian feels confident that, by proper concentration of effort and exchange of information between the committees responsible for getting the pioneers out to Africa, the ways and means will be forthcoming to achieve our objectives this year.

You may rest assured that his prayers will continue to be offered for the work you are performing, and that he most deeply appreciates the conscientious and tireless devotion of all the members of your committee, a devotion which has enabled the Conference to take place with such success.

With loving Bahá’í greetings....

P.S. In reading over this letter, I see that I have not done justice to the deep feeling of appreciation our beloved Guardian has for the wonderful spirit shown by Mr. Banání and his wife, as well as by Philip Hainsworth and Mr. and Mrs. Collison. The services of all of those friends cannot be overestimated, nor those of the devoted pioneers in Kenya and Tanganyika.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, sustain and guide you in your highly meritorious endeavours, remove all obstacles from your path, and enable you to lend a great impetus to the historic work being achieved in the African Continent.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 5 June 1953

5 June 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Our Beloved Guardian has been greatly encouraged by reports reaching him from all parts of the Bahá’í World, of victories, already gained, and plans being laid for the prosecution of the Ten Year Crusade. He was particularly pleased to learn that some 150 people have offered to pioneer in virgin overseas areas at the American Convention.

These reports have evoked his awe-inspiring and soul-stirring cablegram of May 28th,71 calling for the immediate settlement of all the 131 virgin areas of the Plan, just as quickly as possible. He is convinced the Friends will arise and translate their enthusiasm into Action, because the Keynote of the Crusade, must be Action, Action, Action.

The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write your Assembly to amplify some of the aspects of his dynamic message.

The settlement of these virgin areas is of such an emergency nature, that he feels pioneering in one of them takes precedence over every other type of Bahá’í service—whether it be in the teaching or administrative fields of the Faith. So important is it that the National Assembly may delay initiation of steps to fulfil other phases of the Plan, until all these areas are conquered for the Faith. Nothing, absolutely nothing, must be allowed to interfere with the placing of pioneers in each of the 131 goal countries.

There are some general observations which the Guardian shares with you, and then some specific suggestions which are enumerated below:

1. Every individual who has offered to pioneer, must be encouraged in every way by the National Assembly.

2. The National Assembly should assist each pioneer, so they may be placed in their post just as quickly as possible.

3. The handling of each application for pioneering service must be expedited, and not allowed to be bogged down for any reason, or in the hands of committees.

4. The National Assembly should make it their first order of business to follow up actively this most important task. They must make it the first order of business at each Assembly meeting to see that each application is being progressed rapidly. This does not mean the special committees should not handle the details, but it does mean the Assembly itself must review each application at each meeting and see that the pioneer gets into the field as soon as possible.

5. A large number of pioneers should not be sent to any one country. One, or even two, will be sufficient for the time being. Later on, if supplementary assistance is needed, that of course can be taken care of. The all important thing now is to get at least one pioneer in each of the 131 virgin areas.

6. The National Assembly may exercise its prerogatives and suggest to applicants where their services are most needed. This, of course, applies particularly to pioneers who might wish to settle in one area.

7. Because there have been so many applicants in America, the Guardian has written them that they may place their pioneers in any virgin area in the world. His objective now is to fill these lands yet unconquered by the Hosts of Heaven and he feels the initial impact must be made now. Thus, from whatever sources they come, they should be placed in the field at the earliest possible moment. Furthermore, as the Chief Executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, He expects the Americans to bear the brunt of the load everywhere. He has instructed the American N.S.A. to communicate with your Assembly with regard to pioneers to be settled in territories coming under your assignment, as well as territories not under your assignment, but where your Assembly can aid them in settling, particularly in areas of the Commonwealth which are not under your assignment.

The specific suggestions of the Guardian are:

(a) Areas close at hand and easy of settlement should be filled first. Then the areas more difficult, and finally those which will be quite difficult.

(b) Whenever a pioneer enters a new territory, a cable should be sent at once to the Guardian, giving the name, place, and any pertinent information.

(c) A monthly report of progress is to be sent by your Assembly to the Secretary-General of the International Bahá’í Council. Special matters of report nature, for the Guardian, in connection with the plan should be sent to the Secretary-General of the Council also.

This does not mean that any administrative matters in connection with the settlement of pioneers, etc., should be handled with the Council. Such matters should continue to be handled with the Guardian direct. The Council is simply to co-ordinate reports, consolidate them, keep maps up to date, etc., for the Guardian, and your reports will enable them to do this.

(d) The Guardian feels the following areas are not difficult to settle, and he thinks you should arrange for their settlement at once; and he will appreciate cable advice of each settlement as they take place.

Channel Islands
Malta
Hebrides Islands
Cyprus
Shetland Islands

(e) The Guardian has cabled you, and at his direction I have written the Friends in Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika of the importance of their spreading out, and if possible sending pioneers into the surrounding areas in Africa, such as Belgian Congo, Ruanda Urundi, Somaliland, and even South West Africa. He wishes you to follow up this matter closely. The Guardian attached great importance to the Ashanti Protectorate, and if any of the Friends can go there, particularly any Persians you may be assisting in getting located, he will appreciate it.

As the Guardian’s dramatic cable indicates, an illuminated “Roll of Honour” on which will be inscribed the names of the “Knights of Bahá’u’lláh” who first enter these 131 virgin areas, will be placed inside the entrance door of the Inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh. From time to time, the Guardian will announce to the Bahá’í World the names of those Holy Souls who arise under the conditions outlined in his message, and settle these areas and conquer them for Bahá’u’lláh.

Now is the Hour for the Friends everywhere to demonstrate the spiritual vitality of the Faith, and of their devotion. There is no time after this moment, to settle the unconquered areas. The Guardian is sure the Friends throughout the world, and particularly the staunch Bahá’ís in the British Isles, will arise as one soul in many bodies, and surging ahead, cover the face of the Earth with the Glory of the Lord.

The Guardian will pray fervently for the Bahá’ís of the British Isles for the success of their efforts.

The Guardian will pray for the members of your Assembly, whose sacrificial efforts he greatly values....


Letter of 8 June 1953

8 June 1953

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

The beloved Guardian has asked me to write to you following my letter of June 5th in connection with the great importance of settling one hundred and thirty-one virgin areas, during the next few months.

Naturally it will be difficult for the Faith to be established in the new territories or amongst the new tribes if they do not have at least a pamphlet for distribution to the new contacts.

He therefore feels that along with the sending of pioneers into the virgin areas, the translation of literature into the languages assigned to the British National Assembly should take place. He has cabled you direct concerning this very important matter, and has informed you in his cable that he is arranging for a gift of 1,000 Pounds to assist you in this most important work.

The Guardian feels that one of the existing pamphlets would be satisfactory, or a new one, which you may feel it desirable to prepare. At this time, it is not necessary to enter into the question of translation of Bahá’í books, simply a pamphlet, which can be used for teaching purposes.

The Guardian wishes you to budget the necessary funds to cover this work and to see that it is actively pursued, so that the literature will be available at an early date.

He wishes you to send current reports of activities in connection with this matter to the Secretary-General of the International Bahá’í Council, so that the data may be assembled with all the necessary information in connection with the Ten Year Crusade, for the Guardian.

He sends his loving greetings to you.


Letter of 25 June 1953

25 June 1953

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letters of July 8, 12 and 16, August 5 and 13, September 16, 20 and 26, October 13, 14 and 26, December 12 (3) and 17, 1952, and January 4, 6, 13, 15, 20, 27 (2) and 29, February 3 and 6, March 12, 17, 22, 23 and 26, April 1, 17, 20, 24 and 29, May 5, 11, 14, 15 (2), 28 and 30, 1953, with their enclosures, have been received by the beloved Guardian, as well as material sent under separate cover, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

As you are all aware, the pressure of work is constantly increasing all over the Bahá’í world, and of course the heaviest load falls upon the Guardian. That is why he is finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with his letters, not only to individuals, but also to national bodies, important as they are. He regrets this delay, but sees no remedy for it.

It was a source of great pride to him that the British Bahá’ís succeeded with their Plan, in spite of the fact that it was a long, hard struggle, and in some instances the odds seemed very much against them. He feels sure that their qualities of tenacity of purpose, fidelity and initiative will carry them on to even greater distinction during the coming ten years, as they execute their portion of the Global Crusade, an important portion.

It was very nice to have dear Dr. Mitchell here; the Guardian hopes that gradually more British Bahá’ís will be able to make the pilgrimage.

He was very relieved to hear that dear Mr. Townshend has recovered his health to such an extent that he will be attending the Stockholm Conference, where his presence will be welcomed by all the other Hands attending, and the believers as well....

The letters which your Assembly wrote at the request of the ... Bahá’ís to certain officials there, he thought were excellent. What he did not think was excellent was the almost insulting reply you received as regards ... from the authorities in London and signed by.... The letter was a mass of contradictions, and the excuses transparent, to say the least. It shows that there is no doubt going to be a stiffening opposition from certain colonial governments, as the Bahá’í work progresses.

Your Assembly will undoubtedly continue to press the matter as best you can with the authorities, without causing too much opposition....

The question of impressing upon the Africans who are seeking enrolment the necessity of not drinking is a delicate one. When enrolling new believers, we must be wise and gentle, and not place so many obstacles in their way that they feel it impossible to accept the Faith. On the other hand, once accorded membership in the community of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, it must be brought home to them that they are expected to live up to His teachings, and to show forth the signs of a noble character in conformity with His laws. This can often be done gradually, after the new believer is enrolled.

Now that the African work has entered upon an entirely new phase, indeed the work all over the world, the position your Assembly held as the more or less co-ordinating body for the work in Africa has been changed. However, the closest co-operation will be necessary between all the National Assemblies concerned with the Africa teaching work, if the Plan is to go ahead swiftly; and exchange of information, especially as regards pioneer possibilities and posts, is essential, in order to get the believers out to the goal countries during this year, which is the Guardian’s ardent hope, and to which he attaches the greatest possible importance. There is no objection to British pioneers going into the territories of other Assemblies, or believers under other jurisdiction being used by your Assembly. The most important thing is to open up the virgin countries; and of course whoever works in a country under the jurisdiction of a specific Assembly, no matter where their origin may have been, would be under the orders of that Assembly.

As he has cabled, he considers that, at this stage in the development of the Faith in Africa, it is not necessary for so many people to congregate in one centre, such as Kampala, when there is such a tremendous need in neighbouring territories for pioneers, whether native or European.

He considers that the formation of a school at this time is premature. It would involve us in heavy responsibilities which for the sake of public opinion would have to be discharged efficiently and in an exemplary manner, and he does not consider that we have the resources or the facilities at present to embark on such a project. There is no reason why the subject cannot be reconsidered at a future date.

He considers that the attitude of your Assembly regarding police service which might be required of the Bahá’ís in Kenya at this time is correct, and that it is not war, so far. As it seems that ... situation with his employer, for the present at least, prevented him from having to do police duty, the subject does not arise for the moment. He does not think that any general rule can be laid down in such matters. Events must be watched, and, when situations such as these arise, fresh consultation with him will be necessary....

As he has already informed you, and the National Spiritual Assembly of America as well, there is no objection to your receiving co-operation from them and financial assistance which they might be able to give you in publishing some of the literature in the African languages.

He thinks your Assembly’s decision regarding spiritual healing being demonstrated at a Bahá’í meeting was quite sound. We should try not to have the Faith identified with such things in the eyes of the public, officially. What the believers do privately, which in no way contravenes the Teachings, is their own affair.

As regards the Obligatory Prayers, the friends in the West should continue to use them exactly as they have been doing, and as is set forth in the remarks in parentheses which accompany the prayers in the book “Prayers and Meditations”. The Guardian himself will, whenever he sees fit, and considers the time is ripe, inform the friends in such matters in greater detail.

Of all the work being undertaken by the believers, East and West, at the present time, undoubtedly the most urgent is that of getting the pioneers out to the goal countries during this year, if possible. Not only will spiritual strength accrue from this settlement of so many new lands, but the prestige it gives us in the eyes of the non-Bahá’ís is great. He fully realises heavy burdens have been placed upon the shoulders of all the Bahá’ís, and particularly upon the members of the twelve N.S.A.s directing this great crusade. But who else except the believers can do the work of Bahá’u’lláh? And short of accomplishing His work, where else lies hope for this confused and sorely-tried world?

In spite of your many problems, he feels confident that you will find amongst the valiant members of the British Bahá’í community sufficient volunteers to enable you to fill your virgin territories and islands with at least one pioneer per place. As he has already pointed out, there can be exchange; in other words, one Assembly can make use of volunteers for its goals from amongst believers under the jurisdiction of another N.S.A. if such are available.

In spite of your financial position and the work that lies ahead, the Guardian has felt it wise and necessary for you to take steps to purchase a national headquarters. When we remember that England is one of the oldest Bahá’í countries, so to speak, in the West, and that in spite of her distinction she is still without a suitable seat for her national Bahá’í administration, we see how important it is for her, on the eve of this great period of expansion, to have a National Centre. France, without any N.S.A. as yet, now has one, and it is high time England had one too. You will receive aid from others in this undertaking, as well as from the Guardian. He was pleased that Mr. Joseph took the first step in enabling you to fulfil this objective.

His loving thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you, as you face your great responsibilities and rise to meet your priceless opportunities....

P.S. The Guardian wishes your Assembly to express to Mr. Albert Joseph his deep appreciation of the assistance he is giving you in connection with the purchase of a National Headquarters.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The successive victories won, in recent years, by the British Bahá’í community, proclaiming, on the one hand, the triumphant conclusion of the first collective enterprise undertaken in British Bahá’í history on the morrow of the centenary celebrations of the Founding of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and on the other, the successful termination of the Two Year Plan, marking the inauguration of the community’s historic Mission beyond the confines of its homeland, have immensely enhanced its prestige throughout the entire Bahá’í world, have won for it the abiding gratitude and profound admiration of all who labour for our beloved Faith, and entitled it to assume a prominent share in the conduct of the world spiritual Crusade launched amidst the festivities signalising the climax of the celebrations of this Holy Year commemorating the centenary of the birth of the Mission of the Author of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

Much has been achieved in the course of the past nine years, both within the borders of this community’s island home, and throughout the widely scattered Dependencies of the British Crown, on the shores as well as within the heart of the vast and far-off African Continent, to merit the pride that fills the hearts of its staunch and stalwart members, to deserve the applause of the Concourse on High, to evoke the fondest hopes for the steady unfoldment and ultimate consummation of the historic Mission entrusted to the care of the British followers of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, and to befittingly usher in a new Era in British Bahá’í history—an Era that will for ever remain associated with the systematic introduction of God’s triumphant Faith, through the concerted efforts of the heroic band of Bahá’í pioneers, dwelling within the British Isles, into the Chief Dependencies of the British Crown scattered throughout the European and Asiatic continents and the islands and archipelagos of the Seven Seas.

The entire community, now firmly entrenched within the Administrative strongholds, recently and so laboriously established in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, must rise as one man to the occasion that now presents itself. With hearts brimming with the love of Bahá’u’lláh, with souls entirely dedicated to His Cause, with minds attuned to the laws and precepts underlying His teachings, steeled with an inflexible determination to utilise, to the fullest extent, the administrative agencies which their hands have fashioned since the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and deriving fresh hope and sustenance from the rapid and remarkable victories won in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, both at home and abroad, the members of this high-minded, tenacious and spiritually alive community must gird up their loins, intensify their efforts a hundredfold and, through their combined and sustained efforts, write yet another chapter in British Bahá’í history that will illuminate the annals of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and eclipse the splendour of the feats already accomplished in the past fifty years by the adherents of His Cause in their native land.

The twofold process, already set in motion, which has been attended by such conspicuous success, must, in the course of the coming decade, be not only fully maintained but steadily accelerated. While the structure of the Administrative Order of the Faith within the British Isles is being steadily reinforced and enlarged, through the multiplication of the administrative institutions of the Faith in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and the consolidation of the newly-fledged assemblies already established, an effort, unprecedented in scope and intensity, must be continually and determinedly exerted to lay the administrative basis of this Order not only in the islands bordering the British Isles, but in the Dependencies of the British Crown in the Mediterranean, and in the African and Asiatic Continents.

This vital aspect of the Mission committed to the care of the British Bahá’í community, must, in the course of the Crusade upon which it has embarked, receive a tremendous impetus, and gather such momentum as to justify the trust ‘Abdu’l-Bahá so confidently placed in this community and the distinctive functions with which its members have been invested since His passing. The development of the institutions of the Faith on the home front must be supplemented by, and afford a constant stimulus to, the rise of similar institutions, first in the limited number of territories and islands assigned to the elected representatives of this community, and eventually throughout the colonies and protectorates comprising the British Empire.

The opening phase of the Ten Year Plan so auspiciously inaugurated on the morrow of the memorable victories already achieved, covering a period of no less than two years, must be distinguished by the opening, in rapid succession, of the eleven virgin territories in Europe and Africa and the laying of a firm foundation for the future erection of a rapidly rising Administrative Order whose ramifications are destined to encircle within the coming ten years the entire planet.

The exertions required to consummate the first stage of this Ten Year Plan are admittedly arduous, and demand the utmost attentiveness, and a degree of sacrifice and consecration unequalled in the entire course of British Bahá’í history. In spite of the smallness of their numbers, and the limited resources at their disposal, the members of the community living in the British Isles, including administrators and teachers, as well as the band of self-sacrificing pioneers who have already forsaken their homes and are labouring in distant fields in the African Continent, must, at whatever cost, disperse more widely and direct their footsteps to the virgin territories and islands assigned to their National Assembly, contributing thereby, directly and effectively, to the speedy and successful termination of the initial phase of a Crusade on which the immediate destinies of the entire community so largely depend.

While this supreme effort is being exerted special and immediate attention must, likewise, be directed to two other objectives which constitute a vital part of the work now confronting the members of this community. The selection of the site of the Hazíratu’l-Quds in the city of London, the heart of the British Empire, and the national administrative seat of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles, and the adoption of effective measures for its immediate purchase, as well as the preparation of a suitable pamphlet and its prompt translation and publication in the thirty-one languages assigned to the British Bahá’í National Assembly, are matters of such urgency as to be given precedence, during the coming two years, over all the other objectives of the Ten Year Plan.

The Plan on which the British Bahá’í community has embarked, unique in its significance, unprecedented in its scope, so vast in its potentialities, so meritorious in its objectives, so challenging in its features, will, if consummated, at the appointed time, open a further vista, before the eyes of its victorious prosecutors, of such transcendent glory as none of them can as yet even dimly imagine. The path leading to the discovery of this brilliant yet at present distant goal, at which a triumphant community will be enabled to catch a glimpse of its ultimate destiny, revealed in the plenitude of its splendour, is long, steep and thorny. The prizes to be won by those who must tread this path, in the years immediately ahead, are not to be easily secured. The challenge will be prolonged and severe. The opportunities they now have to scale loftier heights of heroism, and achieve still mightier victories during the interval separating the Great and Most Great Jubilees, will if missed never again recur.

He Who, in His infinite love and mercy, called into being this community, more than fifty years ago, at the time of the inception of His Father’s Faith in the West, Who tenderly and vigilantly nursed it and guided its footsteps in the early years of its infancy, Who twice conferred upon it the inestimable blessings of personal contact with its members, Who sustained, from His station on high, its development in the course of no less than two decades, within the framework of a rising Administrative Order, Who enabled it to expand and consolidate itself within its island home, Who launched it, subsequently, on its mission overseas, will, if its members prove themselves worthy of His trust, continue to shower His manifold blessings upon them, at this hour of their greatest need, and will enable them to traverse, speedily and successfully, the second and momentous stage in the progressive unfoldment of that same Mission.

That they may, guided and assisted by the vigilance, the wisdom and devotion of their elected national representatives, forge ahead with undiminished vigour, with exemplary fidelity, and with inflexible determination, along the path of their high destiny, overcome every obstacle that stands in their way, achieve signal success in the course of the opening phase of this world-girdling Crusade, and crown eventually their Ten Year Plan with a victory unexampled in the annals of the Faith in the British Isles, is my cherished hope for them and my fervent and constant prayer.

Shoghi


Letter of 28 June 1953

28 June 1953

ADVISE PROMPT MEASURES OUTRIGHT PURCHASE HAZÍRÁ LONDON CONTRIBUTING TWO THOUSAND POUNDS ENCOURAGING NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 30 June 1953

30 June 1953

GUARDIAN URGES PROMPT HANDLING VOLUNTEERS KAMPALA NAIROBI DAR-ES-SALAAM FOR IMMEDIATE SETTLEMENT....

IOAS


Letter of 9 July 1953

9 July 195372

ADVISE FREEHOLD PURCHASE. SHOGHI


Letter of 18 July 1953

18 July 195373

IF LESS EXPENSIVE NOT AVAILABLE APPROVE. SHOGHI


Letter of 21 July 1953

21 July 1953

To the Hands of the Cause, the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies, the pioneers, the resident believers and visitors attending the European Intercontinental Teaching Conference in Stockholm, Sweden (July 21/26, 1953). Well-beloved Friends,

With a glad and grateful heart I welcome the convocation, in the capital city of Sweden, of the third of a series of Intercontinental Teaching Conferences associated with the world-wide festivities commemorating the Centenary of the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh and destined to exert a profound and lasting influence on the immediate fortunes of His Faith in all continents of the globe.

I look back with feelings of wonder, thankfulness and joy upon the chain of memorable circumstances which, a little over a century ago, accompanied the introduction of the Faith into, and marked the inception of its nascent institutions within a continent which, in the course of the last two thousand years, has exercised on the destiny of the human race a pervasive influence unequalled by that of any other continent of the globe.

I feel impelled on this historic occasion, when the members of the American, the British, the German and the newly formed Italo-Swiss National Spiritual Assemblies, as well as representatives of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom, of Eire, of Germany, of Austria, of the Scandinavian and Benelux countries, of the Iberian Peninsula, of Italy, of Switzerland, of France and of Finland are assembled, to pay a warm tribute to the valiant labours of the early British and French Bahá’í pioneers, who at the very dawn of the Faith in Europe, strove with such diligence, consecration and resolution to fan into flame that holy Fire which the hand of the appointed Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant had kindled in the north-west extremity of that continent on the morrow of His Father’s ascension. I recall the slow eastward spread of that infant Light which led to the gradual emergence of the German and Austrian Bahá’í communities, during the darkest period of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s incarceration in the prison-fortress of Akká. I am reminded of His subsequent epoch-making visit, soon after His providential release from His forty-year confinement in the Most Great Prison, to these newly-fledged struggling communities, of His patient seed-sowing destined to yield at a later age its first fruits, and constituting a landmark of the utmost significance in the rise and establishment of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in that continent.

I, moreover, call to mind, on this occasion, the successive episodes which, on the morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension, in the course of the initial Epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, signalised the emergence of those administrative institutions, both local and national, which proclaimed the germination of those potent seeds which had lain dormant for more than a decade in these newly-opened European territories, and which culminated in the construction of the framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and the erection of the first two pillars destined to sustain in that continent the weight of the final unit of that Order.

Nor can I fail to acclaim, as a further milestone in the irresistible evolution of that Faith, the launching, following the creation of the administrative agencies designed to provide the effectual instruments for its propagation, of the Six Year Plan of the British Bahá’í community followed successively by the European Teaching Campaign, inaugurated in accordance with the provisions of the second Seven Year Plan of the American Bahá’í community, the Five Year Plan conceived by the German and Austrian Bahá’í communities and the Two Year Plan later initiated by the British Bahá’í community—Plans which, within less than a decade, succeeded in laying the structural basis of the Administrative Order of the Faith in Wales, in Scotland, in Northern Ireland and in Eire, in multiplying and consolidating Bahá’í institutions throughout the British Isles, in broadening and strengthening the foundations of that same Order in Germany and Austria, in erecting the National Administrative Headquarters of the Faith in the city of Frankfurt, in establishing Spiritual Assemblies in the capital cities of no less than ten sovereign states in Europe, in reinforcing the administrative foundations of that Faith in those territories, in providing the means for the convocation of four European, and a series of regional, Teaching Conferences, and above all, in the convocation of the historic Convention in Florence, culminating in the emergence of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland, the third in a series of institutions destined to play their part in the eventual establishment of the Supreme Legislative Body of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The hour is now ripe for these communities, whether new or old, local or national, already functioning on the northern, the western and the southern fringes of that continent, as well as those situated in its very heart, to initiate befittingly and prosecute energetically the European Campaign of a global Crusade which will not only contribute, to an unprecedented degree, to the broadening and the consolidation of the foundations of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh on the continent of Europe, but will also diffuse its light over the neighbouring islands, and will, God willing, carry its radiance to the eastern territories of that continent, and beyond them as far as the heart of Asia.

The privileged prosecutors of so revolutionising, so gigantic, so sacred and beneficent a campaign are, on the morrow of its launching, and at such a crucial hour in the destinies of the European continent, summoned to undertake: First, the formation, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, of one National Spiritual Assembly in each of the Scandinavian and Benelux countries, and those of the Iberian Peninsula, and one in Finland, as well as the establishment, in collaboration with the Paris Spiritual Assembly, of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of France, the establishment under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany and Austria, of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Austria, and the establishment, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, and in association with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland, of independent National Spiritual Assemblies in Italy and Switzerland. Second, the construction of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of Europe in the city of Frankfurt, the heart of Germany, which occupies such a central position in the continent of Europe. Third, the purchase of land for the future construction of two Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, one in the north in the city of Stockholm, and one in the south in the city of Rome, the seat and stronghold of the most powerful Church in Christendom. Fourth, the opening of the following thirty virgin territories and islands: Albania, Crete, Estonia, Finno-Karelia, Frisian Islands, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Rumania, White Russia, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany and Austria; Channel Islands, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Hebrides Islands, Malta, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles; Andorra, Azores, Balearic Islands, Lofoten Islands, Spitzbergen, Ukraine, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; Liechtenstein, Monaco, Rhodes, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland. Fifth, the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature in the following ten languages to be undertaken by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America, through its European Teaching Committee: Basque, Estonian, Flemish, Lapp, Maltese, Piedmontese, Romani, Romansch, Yiddish, Ziryen. Sixth, the consolidation of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; of Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russian S.F.S., Yugoslavia, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany and Austria; of Eire, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles; of Iceland, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; and of Corsica, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland. Seventh, the incorporation of the thirteen above-mentioned National Spiritual Assemblies. Eighth, the establishment by these same National Spiritual Assemblies of national Bahá’í endowments. Ninth, the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the capital city of each of the countries where the National Spiritual Assemblies are to be established, as well as one in London and one in Paris. Tenth, the formation of a National Bahá’í Publishing Trust in Frankfurt, Germany. Eleventh, the formation of Israel Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles and of Germany and Austria, authorised to hold, on behalf of their parent institutions, property dedicated to the Holy Shrines at the World Centre of the Faith in the State of Israel. Twelfth, the conversion to the Faith of representatives of the Basque and Gypsy races. Thirteenth, the appointment during Ridván 1954, by the Hands of the Cause in Europe, of an auxiliary board of nine members who will, in conjunction with the four National Spiritual Assemblies participating in the European campaign, assist, through periodic and systematic visits to Bahá’í centres, in the efficient and prompt execution of the Plans formulated for the prosecution of the teaching campaign in the European continent.

A continent occupying such a central and strategic position on the entire planet; so rich and eventful in its history; so diversified in its culture; from whose soil sprang both the Hellenic and Roman civilisations; the mainspring of a civilisation to some of whose features Bahá’u’lláh Himself paid tribute; on whose southern shores Christendom first established its home; along whose eastern marches the mighty forces of the Cross and the Crescent so frequently clashed; on whose south-western extremity a fast evolving Islamic culture yielded its fairest fruit; in whose heart the light of the Reformation shone so brightly, shedding its rays as far as the outlying regions of the globe; the well-spring of American culture; whose northern and western fringes were first warmed and illuminated, less than a century ago, by the dawning light of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh; in whose heart a community, so rich in promise, was subsequently established; whose soil was later sanctified by the twice-repeated visit of the appointed Centre of His Covenant; which witnessed, in consequence of the rise and establishment of the Administrative Order of His Faith, the erection of two of the foremost pillars of the future Universal House of Justice; which, in recent years, sustained the dynamic impact of a series of national Plans preparatory to the launching of a world spiritual crusade—such a continent has at last at this critical hour, this great turning-point in its fortunes, entered upon what may well be regarded as the opening phase of a great spiritual revival that bids fair to eclipse any period in its spiritual history.

May the elected representatives of the National Bahá’í communities entrusted with the conduct of this momentous undertaking launched on the soil of this continent, aided by the Hands of the Cause and their auxiliary boards, reinforced by the local communities, the groups and isolated believers sharing in this massive and collective enterprise, and supported by the subsidiary agencies to be appointed for its efficient prosecution, be graciously assisted by the Lord of Hosts to contribute, in the years immediately ahead, through their concerted efforts and collective achievements, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, to the success of this glorious Crusade, and lend a tremendous impetus to the conversion, the reconciliation and the ultimate unification of the divers and conflicting peoples, races and classes dwelling within the borders of a travailing, a sorely-agitated and spiritually-famished continent.

May all the privileged participators, enlisting under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh for the promotion of so pre-eminent and meritorious a Cause, be they from the Eastern or Western hemisphere, of either sex, white or coloured, young or old, neophyte or veteran, whether serving in their capacity as expounders of the teachings, or administrators, of His Faith, as settlers or itinerant teachers, distinguish themselves by such deeds of heroism as will rival, nay outshine, the feats accomplished nineteen hundred years ago by that little band of God-intoxicated disciples who, fearlessly preaching the Gospel of a newly-arisen Messiah, contributed so decisively to the illumination, the regeneration and the advancement of the entire European continent.

Shoghi


Letter of 22 July 1953

22 July 1953

ADVISE FERRABYS REMAIN ENGLAND MORE MERITORIOUS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 23 July 1953

23 July 1953

APPROVE SUBSTITUTION LINGALA LUBA MBUNDO TONGA FOR BUA WONGO LUIMBI SENA RESPECTIVELY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 23 August 1953

23 August 1953

ASSURE VAKÍL PRAYERS APPRECIATION. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Cyprus.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 30 August 1953

30 August 1953

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter of 5th August has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The contributions made by the British Bahá’í community to the Shrine of the Báb Fund and to the Bahá’í International Fund are greatly appreciated. Receipts are enclosed herewith.74

The beloved Guardian deeply values the unique and outstanding services of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles. Through their devotion and sacrifice, they are setting an example for posterity.

He wishes me to assure you that he prays fervently for the spiritual confirmation of all of the friends of the British Isles; for their material and spiritual welfare, and that every obstacle may be removed from their paths of service, particularly during the Global Crusade.

The Shrine of the Báb is rapidly nearing completion. Its beauty and splendour are difficult to portray. Certainly the Guardian very aptly described the octagon, the drum and the dome as the triple crowns on the Shrine of the Báb. Now that the glory and splendour of the golden dome is revealed by the removal of all of the scaffolding, it is truly a golden crown for the Shrine, and each time one looks at it, one becomes more and more impressed that it is a symbol of the manner in which the Bahá’ís of the world, led by the beloved Guardian, are crowning the Bahá’í activities of the past one hundred years by spreading the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord throughout the world.

The Guardian sends his loving greetings to you all....


Letter of 31 August 1953

31 August 1953

APPROVE RETAIN YAZDIS BENNETT GUNG. FIVE THOUSAND WORD PAMPHLET ADVISABLE INFORM AMERICA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 31 August 1953

31 August 1953

ASSURE LJUNGBERG DEEPEST APPRECIATION PRAYERS. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Faroe Islands.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 6 September 1953

6 September 1953

ASSURE ASGHARZÁDIH LOVING APPRECIATION FERVENT PRAYERS. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Channel Islands.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 8 September 1953

8 September 1953

ASSURE BAXTER LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Channel Islands.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 11 September 1953

11 September 1953

ASSURE DUNNING DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Orkney Islands.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 22 September 1953

22 September 1953

ASSURE HASSELBLATT DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Shetland Islands.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 4 October 1953

4 October 1953

ADVISE TAKE NO RISK OWING POSSIBILITY HIGHER OUTLAY. URGE SEARCH OTHER PLACES AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE.75 APPROVE HAINSWORTH SIX MONTHS LEAVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 October 1953

7 October 1953

ASSURE UNA LOVING PRAYERS. (Una Townshend, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Malta.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 10th October 1953

10th October 1953 ASSURE CRANEY LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to Hebrides.)

SHOGHI


Letter of 10 October 1953

10 October 1953

ADVISE ASSIST EGYPT BY PIONEER BRITISH SOMALILAND.

SHOGHI


Letter of 16 October 1953

16 October 1953

APPROVE SHOMAIS DEPARTURE ETHIOPIA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 16 October 1953

16 October 1953

ASSURE BATTAH LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 9 November 1953

9 November 1953

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

In your recent News Letter the beloved Guardian noted some quotations from the pilgrims notes of ..., and he wishes me to tell you that he feels it is wiser, in such official organs as our News Letters, not to publish such notes as, unfortunately, they often contain errors. He has recently had occasion to call the American N.S.A.’s attention to this too....

His loving thoughts and prayers are often with you all.


Letter of 21 November 1953

21 November 1953

APPROVE SUBSTITUTION LANGUAGES REFERRED LETTER DATED NOVEMBER THIRTEEN SENDING SECOND PIONEER HAS NO GREATER PRIORITY. REGRET OWING INCREASING EXPENSES UNABLE EXTEND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXERCISE STRICT ECONOMY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 November 1953

29 November 1953

DISAPPROVE CIRCULATION STATEMENT MARRIAGE OWING GENERAL PRINCIPLE ALREADY ESTABLISHED.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 January 1954

12 January 1954

TRANSMITTING FIVE HUNDRED NATIONAL FUND SENT THROUGH LANGDON-DAVIES RUG FROM BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SHRINE AND PHOTOS FOR NATIONAL HAZÍRÁ LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 12 January 1954 (Teaching Conference)

12 January 1954 (Teaching Conference)

DEEPLY APPRECIATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS DEDICATION ATTENDANTS CONFERENCE. ARDENTLY SUPPLICATING FULFILMENT HOPES ACHIEVEMENT UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES. DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 9 March 1954

9 March 1954

CABLE NAMES LANGUAGES ALREADY TRANSLATED UNDER TEN YEAR PLAN SPECIFY ALSO WHICH LANGUAGES PROCESS TRANSLATION.

SHOGHI


Letter of 24 March 1954

24 March 1954

ADVISE SEND PIONEERS PROMPTLY BRITISH TOGOLAND FRENCH TOGOLAND FRENCH CAMEROONS. ORME SQUARE TOO EXPENSIVE. ADVISE TOWNSHENDS ABANDON PLAN MALTA. EXPENDITURE HUNDRED POUNDS SOMALILAND INADVISABLE. PURCHASE SITE INSIDE KAMPALA OR WITHIN THREE MILES.

SHOGHI


Letter of 7 April 1954

7 April 1954

FOLLOW LAWYER’S ADVICE REGARDING TEMPLE LAND OUTSIDE KAMPALA.

SHOGHI


Letter of 13 April 1954

13 April 1954

ASSURE PRAYERS BLACKBURN NOTTINGHAM.

SHOGHI


Letter of 17 April 1954

17 April 195476

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

At the instruction of our beloved Guardian, I am forwarding you herewith his Convention Message.

He wishes you to have it read aloud to the assembled delegates, and then published and circulated among the believers....


Letter of 20 April 1954

20 April 195477

HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS GREAT VICTORY.

SHOGHI


Letter of 21 April 1954

21 April 195478

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

I am forwarding you herewith a copy of the Guardian’s Convention Message which was mailed you a short time ago. As there is a pilgrim leaving, he is taking the precaution of having this mailed in Europe.

I hope it reaches you in time for the Convention....


Letter of 24 April 1954

24 April 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning the Island of Malta. He attaches great importance to this Island, and wishes your Assembly to see that the teaching work there progresses as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

At the present time, it has again become virgin, according to our records. Do you know if Miss Townshend intends to return? If not, your Assembly should undertake to fill the post just as quickly as possible, with someone else.

As you have become aware through the Guardian’s Convention Message, he is very happy with the result of the first year of the Ten-Year Crusade. He is hoping that the second year will witness even more glorious victories, and this time on the home front, as well as in foreign fields.

He would appreciate a report of the plans for Malta, as soon as possible. In order to save him work, it is suggested it be sent to me. (Mr. L. Ioas)

The Guardian sends you his loving greetings....


Letter of 25 April 1954 (Convention)

25 April 1954 (Convention)

ASSURE ASSEMBLED DELEGATES ARDENT PRAYERS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS PROUD RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS BRITISH BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CHERISH GREAT HOPES FUTURE HISTORIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI


Letter of 29 April 1954

29 April 1954

WELCOME PLEDGE DELEGATES PRAYING SUCCESS ATTAINMENT GOALS.

SHOGHI


Letter of 3 May 1954

3 May 1954

European and Asian Committee

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

Your letter of the 9th of Nur, 110, was received by the beloved Guardian.

As he has been tremendously busy during this Holy Year—and indeed his work is increasing all the time—and there was nothing urgent that required an immediate reply—he has delayed in answering you until he had more time.

He hopes that your committee will be able to gradually assist in the work allotted to the British National Spiritual Assembly during the Plan.

The most important thing of course is to get the believers out into wholly virgin areas, and keep them there. So far, England has done nobly, and he is proud of their efforts.

The Pacific area is also of great importance. If there is any possibility of British subjects going out to territories that are under the jurisdiction of other National Bodies, but difficult to get into, he feels that they should be referred to the committees concerned, or the National Spiritual Assemblies concerned, because of the importance of achieving all the goals of the Plan, regardless of which Assembly has certain goals under its immediate jurisdiction.

He assures you he will pray for the success of your devoted labours, in the Holy Shrine.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your meritorious activities, guide and sustain you always, and enable you to lend a great impetus to the splendid work now being accomplished in Europe and in Asia.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 6 May 1954

6 May 1954

Dear Bahá’í Brother:

Your loving letter of April 30th has just come to hand, calling attention to the fact that Olga Mills, one of the pioneers in Malta, is serving there very actively. The beloved Guardian had been informed by someone that she had left.

However, the intent of the letter of April 24th still remains—that no pioneer should leave their goal unless for very urgent reasons. In the case of Malta, this is a country which can only be settled by English Bahá’ís, and therefore the Guardian feels it of great importance that any pioneer who goes there should remain. It is hoped that it may be possible for Una Townshend to return in due course, to carry on her work there.

The Guardian asks that you convey to Olga Mills his loving appreciation of her devoted services, and assure her of his prayers in her behalf.

If Una Townshend finds it impossible to return to Malta, then the Guardian hopes you can send some other pioneer to that important post....


Letter of 16 May 1954

16 May 1954

I am enclosing, at the instruction of our beloved Guardian, the original title-deed of one-quarter of an acre of land recently purchased near the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf on Mount Carmel; and registered in the name of the Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles.

The cost of this property was six thousand dollars.

He feels sure that the British Bahá’ís will rejoice to know that they now have a part of the International Bahá’í Endowments in the name of their own special Israel Branch....


Letter of 4 June 1954

4 June 1954

British Africa Committee

Dear Bahá’í Sister:

The various letters of your committee dated June 8 and 25, July 6, August 13, September 23, October 8, November 25 and December 31, 1953, and January 27 (3), March 6 and 30 and April 20, 1954, with their enclosures, have been received by the beloved Guardian and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. As he has been in constant cable communication with you during the past year, I will not go into many of the matters which have already been attended to.

Of all the places in the world where the Bahá’í Faith exists and is spreading, the Guardian is definitely most pleased with Africa, and most proud of Uganda. He feels that the spirit shown by white and negro pioneers alike in that continent, presents a challenge to the Bahá’ís everywhere in the world, and that old and staid communities may well learn from, and emulate the example of, the believers of Africa, many of them scarcely a year old in the Cause of God!

He feels that your committee and the British N.S.A. have every reason to be proud of the work you have accomplished, and grateful for the blessings you have received from on High.

It has particularly rejoiced his heart to see the way almost every goal was attained at the last minute, before the end of the first year of the Ten Year Crusade, many of these goals through the immediate whole-hearted response of some of these new African Bahá’ís, themselves the spiritual children of other African Bahá’ís—young in the Faith, but old in their understanding of it.

The main task, now that the back of the pioneer settlement work has been broken, so to speak, is the consolidation of these territories and the maintaining of the pioneers at their posts. He is constantly urging all National Assemblies to impress upon those who have gone forth to settle virgin territories, the importance of staying there, and of only abandoning their posts if they are forced to do so by the Government in question, and not for some other reason. The friends have had such difficulty in gaining access to some of these countries,—visas, housing, expenses have all been such a problem—that once they get there, they should really move heaven and earth to remain.

He is very happy that two of the Temple sites on the African continent have been purchased, and feels that this will release a tremendous spiritual impetus. He hopes that the Egyptian Bahá’ís will soon decide on a site, and that will complete the chain for the time being.

Concerning the various questions you have raised regarding literature and translations, he thinks that it is perhaps better to have a proper introductory pamphlet on the Faith translated into ... and not give any wide publicity for the time being, than to spend money translating a lopsided presentation of the Teachings. However, he believes that, with sufficient effort and good judgment, a pamphlet could be gotten out that would neither stress too strongly the racial teachings, nor minimise them too much, and could discreetly be used for teaching purposes in...

He has spoken very strongly to some of the pilgrims here about the teaching work in that country, and impressed upon them that the whole object of the pioneers in going forth to Africa, is to teach the coloured people, and not the white people. This does not mean that they must refuse to teach the white people, which would be a foolish attitude. It does, however, mean that they should constantly bear in mind that it is to the native African that they are now carrying the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, in his own country, and not to people from abroad who have migrated there permanently or temporarily and are a minority, and many of them, judging by their acts, a very unsavoury minority.

He hopes that every effort will be made to get out a pamphlet in each of the languages chosen, or those that you have substituted for a chosen language. He fully realises that, in many cases, the people who speak the language are illiterate, and, strictly speaking, do not require a printed pamphlet in their own tongue. He considers however the psychological values of having something translated into their own language, the compliment implicit in it, so to speak, of great importance, sufficient to offset the time, effort and expense involved.

He would like your committee to convey to all the pioneers, most particularly the negro ones, the expression of his deep admiration of the wonderful spirit that animates them, his feeling of affection for them, and the assurance of his ardent prayers for their success.

Africa is truly awakening and finding herself, and she undoubtedly has a great message to give, and a great contribution to make to the advancement of world civilisation. To the degree to which her peoples accept Bahá’u’lláh, will they be blessed, strengthened and protected.

He hopes that, whilst concentrating on the consolidation of the work under your jurisdiction, you will give every assistance within your power to the other National Assemblies who have difficult places to settle. The Portuguese and Spanish territories seem to be the hardest of all to gain access to. Any help your committee can give along this line would certainly be rendering a great service to the Cause.

He deeply appreciates the work you have done, and your committee achievements, during the past year, and assures each and all of you of his loving prayers on your behalf....

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving and constant prayers for the success of the efforts you are so devotedly exerting for the promotion of our beloved Faith and its institutions,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


Letter of 6 June 1954

6 June 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

The beloved Guardian has been greatly pleased with the reports he has received of the progress of the teaching work in Oxford. He feels the friends in that city have undertaken their responsibility diligently and successfully.

It is his feeling that the Faith should be firmly established in Cambridge, which is also one of the great centres of learning in the British Isles. He understands that Cambridge is a goal city of the Crusade, and he feels that the time has now arrived for the opening of that city and the expansion of the teaching work there.

He would appreciate a report from you as to the progress of the Faith in that important city. This report should be addressed to me, and I will inform him of its contents....


Letter of 11 June 1954

11 June 1954

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you in connection with the purchase of the Hazíratu’l-Quds for the city of London. The Guardian is very hopeful that your Assembly will be able to complete this important matter in the near future.

In connection with the purchase of Hazíratu’l-Quds, under the Ten Year Crusade there are a total of 49 to be procured. 4 of them were procured during the first year of the Crusade.

At the Guardian’s direction, I have written the National Assemblies involved, calling for the purchase of 17 Hazíratu’l-Quds of the 45, during this year. One of these 17 Hazíratu’l-Quds is the one in London.

The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to the fulfilment of this aspect of the Ten Year Crusade; and sincerely hopes your Assembly will concentrate on the purchase of the Hazíratu’l-Quds for London, so that it may be consummated as soon as possible....


Letter of 17 June 1954

17 June 1954

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your Assembly’s letters dated June 10 (2), 17, 22 and 26, July 3, 7, 8, 9 (2), 16 and 24, August 17, 19 (2) and 24, September 17, 21, 24 and 25, October 1, 8, 12, 22 and 28, November 13 (4) and 18 (2), December 10 (2), 12 and 23, 1953, and January 7, 20 (2), 21 and 22, February 17 (3), 19 (3), 21, 23 (2) and 25, March 1, 23, 24 and 25 (3), April 13 and 28, May 12, 21 and 25, June 1 (4) and 15, 1954, with enclosures, have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He regrets very much the long delays in answering the National Spiritual Assemblies, but is finding it increasingly difficult to keep abreast of his work. He feels sometimes that he will soon be forced to give up correspondence with individuals, although he is reluctant to do so, because so many of the new believers brought in during the present teaching activities in Africa and other far goals are writing to him. However, he has attended to a great many of your questions by cable, and the visits of a number of English pilgrims have enabled him to send you messages and to keep the British community in contact with the work in the Holy Land.

He greatly appreciated the desire of John and Dorothy Ferraby to go out as pioneers, but considered that it would weaken the work of the National Assembly altogether too much. Important as the pioneer field is, if all the most able workers go out, the campaigns carried on from different national bases will become absolutely unwieldy for lack of adequate able management.

The expression of condolences which your Assembly conveyed to him at the time of the passing of Fred Schopflocher and Dorothy Baker, two dear and trusted Hands of the Cause who could ill be spared from their work at this time, touched him very much. Others must now arise, and through their services seek to fill the gaps which such valuable workers have left in the vanguard of the Bahá’í host.

He would like you to express to the British pioneers on the home front, whose names you forwarded to him, his sincere thanks. Their arising to protect the goals which have been won by other pioneers at a cost of such sacrifice and effort was noble and highly meritorious.

Speaking of pioneers, he was very pleased to hear recently that Mrs. Shomais Afnán had succeeded in gaining entry into Ethiopia. Her perseverance in the face of a great deal of opposition is certainly exemplary.

As he already cabled you, he did not approve of the statements you had prepared for circulation amongst the Assemblies regarding Bahá’í marriage. Some of the remarks were incorrect in the first place, and in the second place he is strongly against Statements! He wishes the friends to keep as elastic as possible in administering the affairs of the Faith, while at the same time adhering to fundamentals. He knows that at times this inconveniences the National Bodies and makes their work more detailed, but believes it to be the lesser, so to speak, of two evils.

He was very sorry to learn that dear Mr. Townshend’s health is in such a precarious state, and necessitated the return of his daughter from Malta. His devotion is so single-hearted and touching, and his determination to carry on at all costs is exemplary, and should inspire the young people to follow in his footsteps.

When compiling the list of African languages into which the Bahá’í Message should be translated, the Guardian realised that certain changes would probably be necessary—naturally the fewer the better. In this connection, if you feel it advisable and not otherwise, he would like you to convey to Dr. Berry, of the African Department of the School of Oriental and African studies, his personal thanks for the valuable advice he has given your Assembly, and his friendly co-operation. You might also, at your discretion, extend his thanks to any other members of the Staff who have assisted you.

He is very pleased that the Temple land has been bought in Kampala. Mr. and Mrs. Elston are visiting here at the present time; and he has told them he feels that at present the Temple land should merely be held in trust, and all meetings continue in the Hazíratu’l-Quds building. Should this eventually prove too small, enlarging one of the rooms to accommodate more of the people at the meetings might be considered as a possibility; but any work carried out must be of a very economical nature, and he does not think it is pressing at present, anyway.

I need not tell you that the work in Africa, and more particularly in Uganda, is very dear to his heart. The progress made there during the last year has borne him up and encouraged him greatly when he was often weighed down with work. He feels that this country and its peoples, in the very heart of Africa, are a most precious trust. Their receptivity to the Teachings, their great desire to serve their new Faith, the number of them who have arisen to go out as pioneers, mark them as a people apart in the Bahá’í world, at least for the time being. May many others in neighbouring countries prove as worthy, and follow their example.

In dealing with people who are still backward in relation to our civilised standards, and in many cases guided by a tribal system which has strong orders of its own, he feels that you should be both tactful and forbearing. There is no specific minimum age mentioned in the Bahá’í teachings at which girls may marry. In the future, this and other questions unspecified will be dealt with by the International House of Justice. In the meantime, we must not be too strict in enforcing our opinions on peoples still living in primitive social orders.

The difficulty of getting a Bahá’í into ... has now been temporarily solved. The Guardian does not see why Bahá’ís should have to state to any Government that the reason for their visit to a country is for the purposes of teaching the Bahá’í Faith. Most of the time, though not perhaps invariably, this is calculated to arouse suspicion and opposition. One has to deal with cases as they arise. A blanket rule could never apply over so wide a field as that in which Bahá’í pioneers are working.

Although the children of Bahá’í parents are considered to be Bahá’ís, there is no objection at the present time, for purposes of keeping a correct census, and also ascertaining whether the young people are, sincerely, believers, and willing to do their share in service to the Faith, to asking them to make a declaration of their intention at the age of fifteen or so. Originally, the Guardian understands, this was adopted in America to enable young Bahá’í men to make certain arrangements in connection with their application for non-combatant status upon their attaining the age of military service. There is really nothing about it in the Teachings or in the Administration. Your Assembly is free to do as it pleases in this matter.

Regarding the publication of a pamphlet on the Bahá’í Teachings on Monarchy, funds and circumstances permitting, the Guardian sees no objection to this whatsoever. It might appeal to a certain type of British mind very much, though he fears there are other minds to which it may not appeal! However, considering Bahá’u’lláh has taught these things, there is no reason why we should not share them with those interested in the subject.

He is very sorry that it has not been possible to purchase the National Hazíratu’l-Quds yet. In spite of the fact that he attaches great importance to this, he does not think that the cost should become exorbitant merely in order to accomplish a goal before a certain date. The Bahá’ís, not only in England, but all over the world, have embarked upon a Plan which will involve over a period of years a very heavy expenditure. Undoubtedly they will have to help each other; but they will scarcely have the financial strength to help each other to the tune of extremely expensive buildings, Temple sites, etc., in different parts of the world. He has given instructions to Canada, Germany, Rome, etc., to cut down on the proposals they made to him, because the price of these things in different parts of the world, when added up, would be well beyond the means of the Faith to meet at present. He feels sure that, however painful and toilsome the process may be, you will eventually find a suitable spot in London, and one that your Assembly, with the help of the British believers and other possible contributions from outside as well, can afford.

The remarkable achievements in the pioneer field, a field in which your own Assembly has been far from backward, are a source of great encouragement to all the believers as well as to him. The addition of one hundred countries during one year is certainly history-making.

Now that the back of the foreign pioneering work has been broken, so to speak, a greater measure of attention must be paid to the home fronts. The consolidation work, though far less spectacular, constitutes a very weighty task, and will require a constant measure of sacrificial effort if the goals are to be fulfilled. He thinks that during the coming year greater attention should be paid to the home front, while at the same time maintaining the pioneer posts at their present standard, at least.

The principle is, and it should be impressed on the minds of all pioneers, to hold their territory at any cost. Just because they have left their homes, and gone out and carried the Faith to one of these virgin areas, does not mean that the task is accomplished. On the contrary, nothing could be sadder than that these newly-won territories should be lost after a few months’ effort. He hopes that in your correspondence with the pioneers you will impress this fact upon them and make them realise that to be a “Knight of Bahá’u’lláh” is not only a very high and pleasant position, but involves a truly tremendous responsibility. To remain at one’s post, to undergo sacrifice and hardship, loneliness and, if necessary, persecution, in order to hold aloft the torch of Bahá’u’lláh, is the true function of every pioneer.

Let them remember Marion Jack, who for over twenty years, in a country the language of which she never mastered; during war and bombardment; evacuation and poverty; and at length, serious illness, stuck to her post, and has now blessed the soil of the land she had chosen to serve at such cost with her precious remains, every atom of which was dedicated to Bahá’u’lláh. Perhaps the friends are not aware that the Guardian, himself, during the war on more more than one occasion urged her to seek safety in Switzerland rather than remain behind enemy lines and be entirely cut off. Lovingly she pleaded that he would not require her to leave her post, and he acquiesced to her request. Surely the standard of Marion Jack should be borne in mind by every pioneer!

Regarding your question about including the Tablet of the Virgin in a compilation of “Bahá’í Scriptures” which you wish to publish—the old translation is very poor and has many inaccuracies. However, the Guardian has no time at all to retranslate it or correct it himself.

He leaves it to the discretion of your Assembly a