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Messages to the Bahá’í World: 1950–1957

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1971 edition
  • Pages:
  • 175
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Pages 40-45

Launching the World-Embracing Spiritual Crusade

Hail, with feelings of humble thankfulness and unbounded joy, opening of the Holy Year commemorating the centenary of the rise of the Orb of Bahá’u’lláh’s most sublime Revelation marking the consummation of the six thousand year cycle ushered in by Adam, glorified by all past prophets and sealed with the blood of the Author of the Bábí Dispensation. Evoke on this auspicious occasion the glorious memory and acclaim the immortal exploits of the Dawn-Breakers of the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation in the cradle of the Faith and the mighty feats of the champion builders 41 of its rising World Order in the Western Hemisphere as well as the multitude of valorous achievements of the past and present generations of their brethren in the European, Asiatic, African and Australian continents, whose combined accomplishments during the one hundred and nine years of its existence contributed to the survival of God’s struggling Faith, the reinforcement of its infant strength, the safeguarding of the unity of its supporters, the preservation of the integrity of its teachings, the enrichment of the lives of its followers, the rise of the institutions of its administrative order, the fashioning of the agencies for the systematic diffusion of its light and the broadening and the consolidation of its foundations. Moved to express the confident hope as the centenary celebrations now commencing, attain their climax during the approaching Riḍván period, that the plans formulated by the valiant members of the World Bahá’í Community in the five continents, may each and all, through their victorious consummation, add distinct fresh luster to the world-wide festivities constituting the collective tribute paid by the followers of the Most Great Name to the memory of the august Founder of their Faith in honor of the centenary of the birth of His Mission and the eternal glory of His embryonic, majestically unfolding World Order.
Feel hour propitious to proclaim to the entire Bahá’í world the projected launching on the occasion of the convocation of the approaching Intercontinental Conferences on the four continents of the globe the fate-laden, soul-stirring, decade-long, world-embracing Spiritual Crusade involving the simultaneous initiation of twelve national Ten Year Plans and the concerted participation of all National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’í world aiming at the immediate extension of Bahá’u’lláh’s spiritual dominion as well as the eventual establishment of the structure of His administrative order in all remaining Sovereign States, Principal Dependencies comprising Principalities, Sultanates, Emirates, Shaykhdoms, Protectorates, Trust Territories, and Crown Colonies scattered over the surface of the entire planet. The entire body of the avowed supporters of Bahá’u’lláh’s all-conquering Faith are now summoned to achieve in a single decade feats eclipsing in totality the achievements which in the course of the eleven preceding decades illuminated the annals of Bahá’í pioneering.
The four-fold objectives of the forthcoming Crusade, marking the third and last phase of the initial epoch of the evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan are destined to culminate in the world-wide 42 festivities commemorating the fast-approaching Most Great Jubilee. First, development of the institutions at the World Center of the Faith in the Holy Land. Second, consolidation, through carefully devised measures on the home front of the twelve territories destined to serve as administrative bases for the operations of the twelve National Plans. Third, consolidation of all territories already opened to the Faith. Fourth, the opening of the remaining chief virgin territories on the planet through specific allotments to each National Assembly functioning in the Bahá’í world.
The projected historic, spiritual venture, at once arduous, audacious, challenging, unprecedented in scope and character in the entire field of Bahá’í history, soon to be set in motion, involves:
Adoption of preliminary measures to the construction of Bahá’u’lláh’s Sepulcher in the Holy Land.
Doubling the number of countries within the pale of the Faith through planting its banner in the remaining Sovereign States of the planet as well as the remaining virgin Territories mentioned in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets of the Divine Plan, involving the opening of forty-one countries on the Asiatic, thirty-three on the African, thirty on the European, twenty-seven on the American continents. Over twofold increase in the number of languages into which Bahá’í literature is translated, printed or in process of translation—forty in Asia, thirty-one in Africa, ten each in Europe and America, to be allocated to the American, British, Indian and Australian Bahá’í communities, including for the most part those into which Gospels have been already translated. Doubling the number of Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, through the initiation of the construction of one on the Asiatic and the other on the European continent. The acquisition of the site of the future Mashriqu’l-Adhkár on Mount Carmel. The purchase of the land for eleven future Temples, three on the American, three on the African, two on the Asiatic, two on the European, one on the Australian continents. The erection of the first dependency of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Wilmette. The development of the functions of the institution of the Hands of the Cause. The establishment of a Bahá’í Court in the Holy Land, preliminary to the emergence of the Universal House of Justice.
Codification of the laws and ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Mother Book of the Bahá’í Revelation. Establishment of six national Bahá’í Courts in the chief cities of the Islamic East—Ṭihrán, Cairo, Baghdád, New Delhi, Karachi, Kabul. Extension of international Bahá’í endowments in the Holy Land, on the plain of 43 ‘Akká and the slopes of Mount Carmel. Construction of international Bahá’í Archives in the neighborhood of the Báb’s Sepulcher. Construction of a tomb for the wife of the Báb in Shíráz. Identification of the resting places of the father of Bahá’u’lláh and the mother and cousin of the Báb for reburial in the Bahá’í cemetery in the vicinity of the Most Great House. Acquisition of the Garden of Riḍván in Baghdád, site of the Síyáh-Chál in Ṭihrán, site of the martyrdom of the Báb in Tabríz, and of His incarceration in Chihríq.
More than quadruple the number of National Spiritual Assemblies—twenty-one on the American, thirteen on the European, ten on the Asiatic, three on the African and one on the Australian continents. Multiply seven-fold national Hazíratu’l-Quds, their establishment in the capital cities of the chief Sovereign States and chief cities of the principal Dependencies of the planet—twenty-one in America, fifteen in Europe, nine in Asia, three in Africa, one in New Zealand. Framing national Bahá’í constitutions, and establishment of national Bahá’í endowments in same capitals and cities of same States and Dependencies.
More than quintuple the number of incorporated National Assemblies—twenty-one in America, thirteen in Europe, twelve in Asia, three in Africa, one in Australasia. The establishment of six national Bahá’í Publishing Trusts—two in America, two in Asia, one in Africa, one in Europe.
The participation of the women of Persia in the membership of national and local Assemblies. Establishment of seven Israel branches of National Spiritual Assemblies—two from Europe, two from Asia, one each from America, Africa and Australia. The establishment of a national Bahá’í printing press in Ṭihrán.
Reinforcement of the ties binding the Bahá’í World Community to the United Nations. Inclusion, circumstances permitting, of eleven Republics comprised within Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and two European Soviet-controlled States within the orbit of the Administrative Order of the Faith. Convocation of a World Bahá’í Congress in the vicinity of the Garden of Riḍván, Baghdád, third holiest city of Bahá’í world, on the occasion of the world-wide celebrations of the Most Great Jubilee, commemorating the Centenary of the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh to the Throne of His Sovereignty.
Current Bahá’í history must henceforth, as second decade of second Bahá’í century opens, move rapidly and majestically as it has never moved before since the inception of the Faith over a 44 century ago. Earthly symbols of Bahá’u’lláh’s unearthly Sovereignty must needs, ere the decade separating the two memorable Jubilees draws to a close, be raised as far north as Franklin beyond the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland Islands, marking the southern extremity of the western hemisphere, amidst the remote, lonely, inhospitable islands of the archipelagos of the South Pacific, the Indian and Atlantic oceans, the mountain fastnesses of Tibet, the jungles of Africa, the deserts of Arabia, the steppes of Russia, the Indian Reservations of North America, the wastelands of Siberia and Mongolia, amongst the Eskimos of Greenland and Alaska, the Negroes of Africa, Buddhist strongholds in the heart of Asia, amongst Lapps of Finland, the Polynesians of the South Sea Islands, Negritos of the archipelagos of the South Pacific Ocean.
The broad outlines of the world-encircling plan were divinely revealed. Its course was charted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s infallible Pen. Its shining goals have been set. The requisite administrative machinery has been created. Signal has been given by the Author of the Plan, its Supreme Commander. The Lord of Hosts, the King of Kings has pledged unfailing aid to every crusader battling for His Cause. Invisible battalions are mustered, rank upon rank, ready to pour forth reinforcements from on high. Bahá’u’lláh’s army of light is standing on the threshold of the Holy Year. Let them, as they enter it, vow with one voice, one heart, one soul, never to turn back in the entire course of the fateful decade ahead until each and every one will have contributed his share in laying on a world-wide scale an unassailable administrative foundation for Bahá’u’lláh’s Christ-promised Kingdom on earth, swelling thereby the chorus of universal jubilation wherein earth and heaven will join as prophesied by Daniel, echoed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “on that day will the faithful rejoice with exceeding gladness.”
Call upon fifteen Hands from five continents, by virtue of their supreme function as chosen instruments for the propagation of the Faith, to inaugurate historic mission through the appointment, during Riḍván 1954, of four auxiliary boards one each continent, of nine members each, who will, as their adjuncts, or deputies, and working in conjunction with the various National Assemblies functioning on each continent, assist, through periodic systematic visits to Bahá’í centers, in the efficient, prompt execution of the twelve projected National Plans. Moreover request communities observing Bahá’í Holy Days, solar calendar, celebrate with befitting solemnity 45 the approaching anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s Birthday, falling in the middle of the two month period during which, a hundred years ago, the Author of the Faith received the first intimation of His glorious Mission.
Advise American Bahá’í community commemorate occasion by special gathering in the Temple in Wilmette and urge attendance of as many believers as possible and invite Hands of the Cause in United States and Canada to participate as my representatives.
—Shoghi

[Cablegram, October 8, 1952]