April 20, 2022

The Guardian and the East – by Hand of the Cause Ali-Akbar Furutan

This servant twice had the bounty of going to the Holy Land, achieving his heart's desire by attaining the presence of the beloved Guardian of the Cause of God. This privilege has been and will ever be a source of great pride and joy for me in both this world and in the world to come.

After the passing of the beloved Master, the Mystery of God, the mantle of authority fell on Shoghi Effendi, who was the "most distinguished branch," "the Priceless Pearl," "the interpreter of the Word of God" and His "Sign on earth." It was he who was charged, through the provision of the Will and Testament of the Center of the Covenant of the Ancient Beauty with the leadership of the people of Baha in both the East and the West. It was he who, during thirty-six years of Guardianship took the Cause of God to such heights of ascendancy as to astonish all people.

In this essay, this servant wishes to describe briefly the conditions of the beloved friends in Iran and its neighboring countries, and to review the achievements of the Cause after the passing of 'Abdu'l-Baha, during the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi. Thus, it will become clearer to the reader what bounty, what felicity and honor there is in being under the protecting shade of the Center of the Covenant of the Almighty.

When Shoghi Effendi assumed the office of Guardianship in 1922, only one spiritual assembly, known as the "Spiritual Assembly of Tehran," existed in Iran, the cradle of the Cause of God, and that assembly had been founded at the instruction of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Fifteen notable believers of the capital and four Hands of the Cause God comprised its membership. In Russian Turkistan, in the cities of Ishqabad and Marv, and in the Caucasia in Badklibih there also existed a spiritual assembly that attended to the affairs of the friends there.