August 4, 2011

The Greatest Holy Leaf: A Reminiscence – by ‘Ali Nakhjavani

(Excerpts from an address presented during the World Centre seminar commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf, held in the reception concourse, permanent Seat of the Universal House of Justice, 17 July 1982.)

As we sit together in this gathering I am reminded of the fact that our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, speaks about the mystic bond that exists between the Greatest Holy Leaf and Baha'u'llah. Obviously this is so, for she was not only His daughter but was referred to by Him as the woman who has the highest rank among all women believers in the Baha'i dispensation, a station that none surpasses. Shoghi Effendi, basing himself on this statement, has named her the outstanding heroine of the Baha'i dispensation.

The Greatest Holy Leaf also had a mystic bond, as Shoghi Effendi describes the relationship, with her brother, 'Abdu'l-Baha, the Centre of the Covenant -- One Who not only knew her station and appointed her to be in total charge of His household, but Who entrusted her with the sacred remains of the Bab which were housed in her room for some ten years in the house of 'Abdu'llah Pasha, Who entrusted her with His last will and testament and Who realized that after His passing she would play a central role in the community, as He knew that Shoghi Effendi was not present at the time of His passing. We can be sure that 'Abdu'l-Baha passed away with His mind at rest, because He knew that Shoghi Effendi would soon be there, and that the Greatest Holy Leaf was there.

After the passing of 'Abdu'l-Baha the mystic bond between Shoghi Effendi and the Greatest Holy Leaf assumed far-reaching proportions. I am sure that future historians and other writers will write about the eleven years that passed from the night of the passing of 'Abdu'l-Baha to the night of the passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf.