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Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Australia, 1971 reprint
  • Pages:
  • 140
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Pages 41-43

Letter of December 26th, 1941

Haifa, December 26th, 1941.
Dear Bahá’í Sister:
The Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters dated Sep. 23rd. and Oct. 1st, and to acknowledge the receipt of the manuscript you sent for “Bahá’í World” vol. IX, also the photographs of Father Dunn’s home and his own picture.
Regarding the questions you asked in your letter:
No. 1. Confucius was not a Prophet. It is quite correct to say he is the founder of a moral system and a great reformer.
No. 2. The Buddha was a Manifestation of God, like Christ, but his followers do not possess his authentic writings.
No. 3. Zoroaster was not Abraham; the Muslims, some of them, contend that they were the same, but we believe they were two distinct Prophets. There is a misunderstanding in the reference in “Bahá’í Proofs” to this matter.
No. 4. There are no Prophets, so far, in the same category as Bahá’u’lláh, as He culminates a great cycle begun with Adam.
No. 5. The Greatest Name is the Name of Bahá’u’lláh. “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá” is an invocation meaning: “O Thou Glory of Glories”! “Alláh-u-Abhá” is a greeting which means: “God the All-Glorious”. Both refer to Bahá’u’lláh. By Greatest Name is meant that Bahá’u’lláh has appeared in God’s Greatest Name, in other words, that He is the Supreme Manifestation of God.
No. 6. Revelations 3.12, refers to the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh.
No. 7. References in the Bible to “Mt. Paran” and “Paraclete” refer to Muhammad’s Revelation. Deuteronomy 33.2; Genesis 21.21.; Numbers 12.16; Numbers 13.3.; Genesis 17.20 refers to the twelve Imams and in the Revelation of St. John, Chap. 11.; where it mentions two witnesses, it refers to Muhammad and ‘Alí.
No. 8. The statement in the “Gleanings”, p. 64–65, “who out of utter nothingness..” etc., should be taken in a symbolic and not literal sense. It is only to demonstrate the power and greatness of God.
No. 9. The Guardian considers that the gist of what Mrs. Hanford Ford reported can be considered quite correct.
No. 10. The figures 1290 date from the declaration of Muhammad, ten years before His flight to Medina. 42
No. 11. The intercalary days are specially set aside for hospitality, the giving of gifts, etc. Bahá’u’lláh Himself specified that they be used this way, but gave no explanation for it.
No. 12. The Bahá’í Summer-Schools were originated in America to meet the requirements of the friends. They have been adopted by other Bahá’í communities the world-over, but there is no reason why they should be called “Summer Schools”. There is nothing rigid about the term, it is purely descriptive. The Guardian feels that although you can have the immediate affairs of your Summer-Schools managed by a convenient local assembly, they should remain under the direct supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly as they are national in character and not purely local.
A few days ago Mr. Jim Heggie came to see the Guardian. He was able to visit all the shrines and archives as well. Shoghi Effendi was delighted with him, he found him devoted, full of faith and zeal, and very well read in the teachings. He feels that if this is a sample of the Bahá’í youth of Australia, there is, indeed, a wonderful future ahead of that country!
He will be very pleased to receive the picture of Father Dunn’s grave as soon as it is available.
The Guardian assures you and the members of the National Spiritual Assembly that his prayers are constantly being offered on your behalf. He is so very pleased with the good news he receives of your activities and the spread of the Cause in those distant lands.
Only yesterday he was reading a most heartening and enthusiastic report of the work in Tasmania, which greatly cheered him.
Dark as these days are he feels confident that the Australian and New-Zealand Bahá’ís will continue with unabated devotion to carry on their excellent and exemplary services to the Faith.
His prayers are with them all, and his loving gratitude goes out to you who lead and co-ordinate their activities.
With warm Bahá’í greetings
Yours in the service of the beloved Faith,
R. Rabbani. 43
[From the Guardian:]
Dearly-beloved co-workers:
In these days when perils are increasingly threatening that far-off continent, the most distant outpost of our beloved Faith, my thoughts turn with deepening anxiety, solicitude, and love to those who are so valiantly holding aloft the banner of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. I appeal to every one of them, and particularly to the members of the assemblies who safeguard their interests, not to allow any disturbance, suffering, or anxiety to dim the splendour of their faith, to deflect them from their high purpose, to cause any division in their ranks, to interfere with the steady consolidation and expansion of their activities and institutions. I will specially pray that the work they have magnificently initiated, and so marvellously and soundly developed may suffer no setback, but rather continue to develop and yield its destined fruit. Persevere and rest assured.
Your true and grateful brother,