January 27, 2010

The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice - by Ali Nakhjavani

(Transcript of a talk as part of six talks given during a week-long course in February of 2004 on the “World Order of Baha'u'llah”. The event was sponsored by the NSA of Italy. The notes also include questions raised by the participants and Mr. Nakhjavani’s answers. This text, excluding the quotations section, was published in 2005 under the title "Towards World Order". A chapter on “The Covenant” was added in the 2007 edition.)

On October 18th 1927, referring to the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the National Spiritual Assembly, Shoghi Effendi wrote the following addressing that National Assembly: "You can but faintly imagine how comforting a stimulant and how helpful a guide its publication and circulation will be to those patient and toiling workers in Eastern lands... You can hardly realise how substantially it would contribute to pave the way for the elaboration of the beginnings of the constitution of the worldwide Bahá'í Community that will form the permanent basis upon which the blest and sanctified edifice of the first International House of Justice will securely rest and flourish."- (BA p.143). In a letter referring to the same subject, addressed to the Bahá'ís in Iran, Shoghi Effendi referred to the need for the Persian National Assembly to have its own constitution, and pointed out that the constitution of National Assemblies is the Greater Law of God's Holy Faith, while the constitution of the Universal House of Justice is its Most Great Law. In 1934, when he wrote his "Dispensation", Shoghi Effendi once again referred to the future constitution of the Supreme Body of the Faith.

When the Universal House of Justice was formed in 1963, it was able to launch its first teaching and consolidation Plan in April 1964, which was the Nine-Year Plan. One of the goals of that Plan, set aside as an objective of the World Centre, was to draft the Constitution governing the operation of the House of Justice, as well as the affairs of the worldwide Bahá'í Community. In view of the mounting cares and responsibilities of the Universal House of Justice, and the meticulous concentration required to produce such a vitally important document, it took most of the nine years under this first Plan to bring this project to conclusion.

January 7, 2010

In the Days of the Guardian – a Talk by Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1958

Dearly beloved friends it’s a very great pleasure for Mrs. Ioas and myself to be in South Africa in the city of Johannesburg to meet the friends here and to have an opportunity to talk with them about the Bahá’í Faith, and particularly this evening about our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi.

If the establishment of the Bahá’í Faith in South Africa, in this difficult area, and it’s very difficult, the very fact that it is difficult will bring about great results in the future, and will produce great Bahá’í teachers and great Bahá’í workers.

Teaching the Cause is disseminating the power of the Holy Spirit, and when you become a teacher of the Cause you become a channel through which the Holy Spirit descends into the world and goes out to those to whom you teach. So actually, the teacher secures greater benefit than the one whom he teaches, because he is then in contact with the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the Holy Land where we, Mrs. Ioas and I, had the privilege of serving the beloved Guardian for six years, you learned a little bit of what it meant to be in contact with the Holy Spirit directly, because you were continuously in the presence of the beloved Guardian, and, as you know, he was like a generator of spiritual power. When you met the Guardian, you could just feel his spiritual power, this penetrating light through your very being, and to move continuously in that power, in that force, is not an easy thing. It was something to aspire to, but I don’t think very many of us actually achieved, very much in the way of nearness to his spirit. The power of the emanating guidance of God descended upon Shoghi Effendi at all times, and in all things he did, and in all of his ways and his actions and deeds, you could see the supreme guidance which he was receiving in the carrying on of Bahá’í work.