Two questions on Guardianship

Aug 2012
united states
Guardianship is living Institution

There is one point that I do not think has yet been mentioned.

The Guardianship is indeed a living, breathing institution that actually still functions to this day. This is because the writings of our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, are limitless and timeless in their breadth and scope.

In fact, the UHJ and indeed the entire administrative Baha'i Order is constantly referring back to the Guardian and his writings. We are still learning how to develop the World Order of Baha'u'llah and the Administrative systems based on the foundations provided by the beloved Guardian.

In this way, the Guardianship is actually still functioning and in a way Shoghi Effendi is at the head of the UHJ as the Supreme Body turns to the 'expounder' of the words of Baha'u'llah in some way, shape, or form for just about everything that they do!

The fact that there is no physical Guardian with us on this earthly plane, does not mean there is no Guardianship that is indeed still guarding over the Faith
Mar 2015
Bend area, Oregon
In response to post #10:

Another thought is the title of Guardian.

In life if we look at the role of a Guardian, they are used and needed until those they look after reach Maturity to undertake their own decicsions.

Regards Tony

As an alternative to what is suggested, I will offer for consideration Ruhiyyah Khanum’s (wife of Shoghi Effendi) explanation of the of the meaning of the word “Guardian” as it applies to Shoghi Effendi’s role as the Guardian of the Cause of God. “ . . . Guardian is a very weak English equivalent for what the original Arabic `Valiyy-i-Amru'llah' means, Defender of the Faith, Leader, Commander-in-Chief . . . “ (The Priceless Pearl, London: Bahai Publishing Trust, 1969, p. 410).

Some additional understandings of the meaning(s) of the role of the “Guardian” come from the words of Shoghi Effendi himself where he states that the “institution of the Guardianship (is) the pivot of ‘Abdu’-Baha’s Will and Testament” (Letter dated May 4, 1953; printed in Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950 – 1957, p. 149); and where he wrote that the "Institution of Guardianship," is the "head cornerstone of the Administrative Order of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh," (printed in Messages to America: Selected Letters and Cablegrams Addressed to the Baha’is of North America 1932 – 1946, p. 8)

Shoghi Effendi emphasized more the significance of the institution of the Guardianship rather than giving too much focus to himself as the Guardian of the Cause of God. To Shoghi Effendi, it is the institutions that are of significant importance rather than the individuals who serve on them, whether it be the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause of God, the International Baha’i Counsel, the Universal House of Justice , or the National and Local Houses of Justice.

In addition to the suggestion in the quote above (that the Faith had attained to a state of “Maturity” at the time of the Guardian’s passing), I will offer for consideration that throughout Shoghi Effendi’s 36 years as Guardian, he repeatedly stated in his writings from beginning to end that the maturity of the Faith and its Administrative Order would be attained “in the fullness of time”. Throughout those years, he referred over and again to the Faith and the Administrative Order as being in an embryonic form or in a state of infancy. To provide a couple of examples; in the words of Shoghi Effendi, written barely seven months before his passing, he referred to “the institutions of the embryonic Baha’i World Order” (Letter of April, 1957, printed in Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950 – 1957, p. 104). In Shoghi Effendi’s last known letter (October, 1957), he announced “yet another step in the progressive unfoldment” and a “further expansion” of the institution of the Hands of the Cause of God. He referred to them as “the Chief Stewards of Baha’u’llah’s embryonic World Commonwealth” and as “high ranking officers of a fast evolving World Administrative Order “. . . (Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950 -1957, p. 127).

Shoghi Effendi’s words do not appear to indicate anywhere, whether in his last letter, or in any prior letter, an attainment to a “Maturity” of the Cause of God. It is unlikely that his numerous references to “in the fullness time” meant that the institutions of the Faith would evolve from an embryonic form to the state of maturity within the few months or days before his passing.