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Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
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Pages 49-51

Letter of 22 April 1926

22 April 1926 1
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 Riḍván have failed to dispel. 50
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 51 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,
1. Printed also in “Bahá’í Administration.”   [ Back To Reference]