August 21, 2010

Twenty-five Years of the Guardianship – by Ruhiyyih Khanum, 1946

Twenty-five years ago the Baha'i world was shaken by a great earthquake, 'Abdu'l-Baha, the Center of the Covenant, the greatest Mystery of God, had suddenly passed away, with no premonitory illness to prepare his friends and followers for this tragic shock. Stunned, the Baha'is of East and West tried to rally their faculties. We knew great tasks lay ahead of us; we believed in this new Faith and in its Manifestation and in the World Order that He had come to establish, but we felt terribly alone and the responsibility for the future lay heavily upon our already grief-filled hearts. Where was the shepherd? The familiar voice, that had spoken with an authority vested in it by the Prophet of God Himself, was stilled. We had the teachings; like a wonderful laboratory, equipped for every purpose, they were there -- our priceless treasure. But where was the alchemist who transmuted base metals into gold? Where was the listener who answered our questions and guided us in the use of all that great laboratory possessed?

Then came the reading of the Master's Will, and with an infinite sense of relief we realized that, though the seas of tribulation and separation had risen about us, 'Abdu'l-Baha had not left us alone, He had given us the mighty Ark of His own Covenant which we could enter into in peace secure. With what grateful hearts we turned to the youthful figure that had suddenly been revealed to us in that Will as our priceless legacy, described by 'Abdu'l-Baha as the fruit of the Twin Lote Trees, the pearl of the Twin Surging Seas, this new creation, vested with a unique function, the hereditary office of Interpreter and Protector of the Faith and life-head of the International House of Justice.