Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16. On this date in 1961, the Hands of the Cause of God in the Holy Land addressed a letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies concerning the "punishment of deprivation of voting rights."



July 16. On this date in 1961, the Hands of the Cause of God in the Holy Land addressed a letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies concerning the "punishment of deprivation of voting rights."


To All National Spiritual Assemblies July 16,1961

As you know, the beloved Guardian for a number of years before his ascension permitted the various National Assemblies to apply the extreme punishment of deprivation of voting rights in cases where believers continued to disobey an important decision of a National Assembly, or in cases where the conduct of an individual continuously and flagrantly violated Bahá'í standards to a point where the good name of the Faith was placed in jeopardy. At various times the beloved Guardian sent communications to National Assemblies instructing them and guiding them in the application of this authority, which he felt should be invoked only as a last resort, and after repeated warnings to the individual concerned. In the belief that they will be helpful to all National Assemblies in carrying out the spirit as well as the letter of the beloved Guardian's instructions on this important subject, and because they contain such a clear exposition of the status of Bahá'ís deprived of their voting rights, we are sharing with you the following paragraphs from a communication sent by him to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States on May 18, 1948:

The Guardian considers there are three conditions, so to speak, in regard to Bahá'í status or lack of it: a member of the Bahá'í Faith, in good standing, possessed of all his administrative rights; a member of the Faith who is being severely punished-either because of flagrant disobedience of some very important injunction of the National Assembly, or because of conduct extremely detrimental to the good name of the Faith, which he has not rectified-through having his voting and administrative rights suspended; and a person who is excommunicated by the Guardian because of disloyalty and enmity to the Faith. "Deprivation of voting rights" and "deprivation of membership in the Bahá'í Community" are really the same thing.
No contribution should be accepted from a person deprived of his voting rights. He is not eligible for election to Bahá'í bodies, cannot attend the administrative gatherings such as elections or Nineteen Day Feasts. However he can attend Bahá'í meetings as he is not excommunicated.
In connection with the above two paragraphs the Guardian does not want them published in Bahá'í News or any statement whatsoever issued in connection with this matter. Your Assembly can take action as occasion demands. As he has already stated, he considers that National Assemblies must strongly guard against this marked tendency of laying down new rules and regulations all the time, which he considers unnecessary and injurious. In the end it will dampen the zeal and quench the spontaneity of the believers, and give the impression that the Bahá'í Faith is crystallizing into set forms. Principles there must be, but they must be applied with wisdom to each case that arises, not every case covered, before it arises, by a codified set of rules. This is the whole spirit of Bahá'u'lláh's system: rigid conformity to great essential laws, elasticity, and even a certain necessary element of diversity, in secondary matters.
The deprivation of a person's voting rights should only be re-sorted to when absolutely necessary, and a National Spiritual Assembly should always feel reluctant to impose this very heavy sanction which is a severe punishment. Of course sometimes, to protect the Cause, it must be done, but he feels that if the believer so deprived makes an effort to mend his ways, rectifies his mistake, or sincerely seeks forgiveness, every effort should be made to help him and enable him to re-establish himself in the Community as a member in good standing.
Please note carefully the Guardian's words indicating that he did not wish to have this material published in Bahá'í News, and his further instruction that no statement whatsoever should be made by the National Assembly in connection with this question. In other words, his wish was that each case be considered individually in the light of the general principles which he gave to the National Assembly for its guidance. With warm Bahá'í love, In the service of the beloved Guardian,

HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15. On this date in 2011, Peter Khan, former member of the Universal House of Justice, died. The son of Fazel "Frank" Khan and brother of Joy Vohradsky, both of whom served on the NSA of Australia, the Khans were the first Muslim family in Australia to convert to the Bahá'í Fatih, doing so in 1948. In 2000, Peter Khan gave a talk to New Zealand Bahá'ís about their reaction to Alison Marshall's excommunication, partially annotated here, which received a rebuttal by Juan Cole.





July 15. On this date in 2011, Peter Khan, former member of the Universal House of Justice, died. The son of Fazel "Frank" Khan and brother of Joy Vohradsky, both of whom served on the NSA of Australia, the Khans were the first Muslim family in Australia to convert to the Bahá'í Fatih, doing so in 1948. In 2000, Peter Khan gave a talk to New Zealand Bahá'ís about their reaction to Alison Marshall's excommunication, partially annotated here, which received a rebuttal by Juan Cole.

July 15. On this date in 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said “If a religion be the cause of hatred and disharmony, it would be better for it not to exist than to exist...Where a reformer comes out hating his opponent, one might as well distrust that reform from the start.”



July 15. On this date in 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said “If a religion be the cause of hatred and disharmony, it would be better for it not to exist than to exist...Where a reformer comes out hating his opponent, one might as well distrust that reform from the start.”

July 15. On this date in 1932, Bahíyyih Khánum died in Acre. She was the only daughter of Bahá'u'lláh and his first wife Ásíyih Khánum. She was born in 1846 with the given name Fatimih Sultan, and after the death of her mother in 1886, Bahá'u'lláh gave her the title of "Varaqiy-i-'Ulyá" or "Greatest Holy Leaf."





July 15. On this date in 1932, Bahíyyih Khánum died in Acre. She was the only daughter of Bahá'u'lláh and his first wife Ásíyih Khánum. She was born in 1846 with the given name Fatimih Sultan, and after the death of her mother in 1886, Bahá'u'lláh gave her the title of "Varaqiy-i-'Ulyá" or "Greatest Holy Leaf."

When Bahá'u'lláh died in 1892, she was the only surviving member of her family to choose to support her full brother, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in his power struggle with their half-brother Mírzá Muhammad 'Alí.

When, on April 5, 1922, some four months after returning to Haifa subsequent to the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi left Haifa with his eldest cousin and close friend Ruhi Afnan, who he would later declare a Covenant-breaker, for rest and relaxation in the Bernese Oberland in the Swiss Alps, Shoghi Effendi placed Bahíyyih Khánum as Head of the Cause, and later that month the "Star of the West" magazine would publish letters from Shoghi Effendi and Bahíyyih Khánum explaining the situation.

From "Star of the West" magazine, Volume 14, Issue 4...

Important Letters from Shoghi Effendi and Bahaeyeh Khanum, the Greatest Holy Leaf
Photograph of the original letter written by Shoghi Effendi and translation of some, sent to the STAR OF THE WEST by his honor Mirza Hadi Shirazi, the noble father of Shoghi Effendi, through Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi. This photograph and the following original letter (from the Greatest Holy Leaf) reached this country after the same recently sent out by the National Spirtual Assembly to the Assemblies throughout America:
He Is God!
This servant, after that grievous event and great calamity—the ascension of His Holiness Abdul-Baha to the Abha Kingdom—has been so stricken with grief and pain and so entangled in the troubles (created) by the enemies of the Cause of God, that I consider my presence here, at such a time and in such an atmosphere, is not in accordance with the fulfillment of my important and sacred duties.
For this reason, unable to do otherwise, I have left for a time the affairs of the Cause, both at home and abroad, under the supervision of the Holy Family and the headship of the Greatest Holy Leaf—may my soul be a sacrifice to her—until, by the Grace of God, having gained health, strength, self-confidence and spiritual energy, and having taken into my hands, in accordance with my aim and desire, entirely and regularly the work of service, I shall attain to my utmost spiritual and aspiration.
The servant of His Threshold, (April, 22) (Signed) SHOGHI
Letter from the Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahaeyeh Khawwm, sent to the Editors of the STAR OF THE WEST:
He Is God!
To the servants of the Blessed Beauty and the dear friends of His Holiness Abdul-Baha!
Although the hearts of the people of Bahá are intensely burning on account of the great calamity (of the ascension of Abdul-Baha), and the sobbing and sighing of the friends have reached the ears of the Supreme Concourse and the Hosts of Holiness in the Abha (Most Glorious) Paradise, yet, because this day is the day of service and this hour is the hour of diffusing the fragrances, the friends of God must, like a bright flame, arise in service to the Cause of God and surpass one another (in service). They should be like penetrating meteors, expelling every disloyal covenant-breaker, in order that in the Preserved Tablet of God, they may be recorded with the group who has fulfilled the Covenant and Testament of God.
His Holiness, the Guardian of the Cause of God, the Primal Branch, the joy of the people of Baha—Shoghi Effendi—because of this great calamity, most painful event, infinite sorrow and the severity of the effect upon himself—has desired to travel for several days, that he may regain his health and have rest. Then he will return to the Holy Threshold, arise in service to the Cause of God and perform his duties.
According to a letter written by his own hand, which is enclosed, he has appointed this prisoner to supervise and manage the affairs of the Cause, through consultation with the Holy Family, during his absence. Therefore, this perishable one, temporarily, has organized an assembly to act according to the advice of the souls who were appointed and nominated by him—His Holiness Shoghi Effendi.
I am hopeful, that during the period of his absence, the friends of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful may show forth great efforts in the progress of the Cause of God, and the Cause of God may spread rapidly.
Verily, He is Compassionate and Merciful to His Servants.
(Signature and seal) BAHAEYEH.
(Month of Shaban, 1340—April 1922. Translated by Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi, Chicago, May, 1922.)
The cablegrams concerning the declaration of Ruhi Afnan a Covenant-breaker include one from December 13, 1951 titled "Old and New Covenant-Breakers" where Shoghi Effendi says, "Evidences multiplying attesting Ruhi's increasing rebelliousness, efforts exerted my eldest sister pave way fourth alliance members family Siyyid `Alí involving marriage his granddaughter with Ruha's son and personal contact recently established my own treacherous, despicable brother Riaz with Majdi'd-Din, redoubtable enemy Faith, former henchman Muhammad-'Ali, Archbreaker Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant. Another cablegram sent May 17, 1953, titled "Treacherous Ruhi Afnan", stated "Treacherous Ruhi Afnan, not content with previous disobedience, correspondence with Ahmad Sohrab, contact with old Covenant-breakers, sale, in conjunction with other members of family, of sacred property purchased by Founder of Faith, and allowing his sister to marry son of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's enemy, is now openly lecturing on Bahá'í movement, claiming to be its exponent and is misrepresenting the teachings and deliberately causing confusion in minds of authorities and the local population. Inform National Assemblies."

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14. On this date in 1947, Shoghi Effendi addressed a letter to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, wherein he stated "The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Baha’is have for this country" and that "The Baha’i Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its peoples nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be."




July 14. On this date in 1947, Shoghi Effendi addressed a letter to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, wherein he stated "The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Baha’is have for this country" and that "The Baha’i Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its peoples nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be."
July 14, 1947
Mr. Justice Emil Sandstrom, Chairman United Nations Special Committee on Palestine
Sir:
Your kind letter of July 9th reached me and I wish to thank you for affording me the opportunity of presenting to you and your esteemed colleagues a statement of the relationship which the Baha’i Faith has to Palestine and our attitude towards any future changes in the status of this sacred and much disputed land.
I am enclosing with this letter, for your information, a brief sketch of the history, aims and significance of the Baha’i Faith, as well as a small pamphlet setting forth its views towards the present state of the world and the lines on which we hope and believe it must and will develop.
The position of the Baha’is in this country is in a certain measure unique; whereas Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Christendom it is not the administrative center of either the Church of Rome or any other Christian denomination. Likewise although it is regarded by Moslems as the spot where one of its most sacred shrines is situated, the Holy Sites of the Mohamedam Faith, and the center of its pilgrimages, are to be found in Arabia, not in Palestine. The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Baha’is have for this country inasmuch as Jerusalem holds the remains of their Holy Temple and was the seat of both the religious and political institutions associated with their past history. But even their case differs in one respect from that of the Baha’is, for it is in the soil of Palestine that the three central figures of our religion are buried, and it is not only the center of Baha’i pilgrimages from all over the world but also the permanent seat of our Administrative Order, of which I have the honor to be the Head.
The Baha’i Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its peoples nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of Jewish and Moslem extraction we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual benefit and for the good of the country.
What does concern us, however, in any decisions made affecting the future of Palestine, is that the fact be recognized by whoever exercises sovereignty over Haifa and Acre, that within this area exists the spiritual and administrative center of a world Faith, and that the independence of that Faith, its right to manage its international affairs from their source, the right of Baha’is from any and every country of the globe to visit it as pilgrims (enjoying the same privilege in this respect as Jews, Moslems and Christians do in regard to visiting Jerusalem) be acknowledged and permanently safeguarded.
The Sepulchre of the Bab on Mt. Carmel, the Tomb of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in that same spot, the Pilgrim Hostel for oriental Baha’is in its vicinity, the large gardens and terraces which surround these places (all of which are open to visits by the public of all denominations), the Pilgrim Hostel for western Baha’is at the foot of Mt. Carmel, the residence of the Head of the Community, various houses and gardens in Acre and its vicinity associated with Baha’u’llah’s incarceration in that city. His Holy Tomb at Bahji, near Acre, with His Mansion which is now preserved as a historic site and a museum (both likewise accessible to the public of all denominations), as well as holdings in the plain of Acre - all these comprise the bulk of Baha’i properties in the Holy Land. It should also be noted that practically all of these properties have been exempted from both Government and Municipal taxes owing to their religious nature. Some of these extensive holdings are the property of the Palestine Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, incorporated as a religious society according to the laws of the country. In future various other Baha’i National Assemblies will hold, through their Palestine Branches, parts of the International Endowments of the Faith in the Holy Land.
In view of the above information I would request you and the members of your Committee to take into consideration the safeguarding of Baha’i rights in any recommendation which you may make to the United Nations concerning the future of Palestine.
May I take this opportunity of assuring you of my deep appreciation of the spirit in which you and your colleagues have conducted your investigations into the troubled conditions of this Sacred Land. I trust and pray that the outcome of your deliberations will produce an equitable and speedy solution of the very thorny problems which have arisen in Palestine.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed) Shoghi Rabbani
Haifa, Palestine
In fact, on February 23, 1914, at the eve of World War I, 'Abdu'l-Bahá hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine.

Subsequent to the British occupation of Palestine, at a time when tens of thousands of Jewish settlers were arriving under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, 'Abdu'l-Bahá praised the Zionist movement, proclaiming that "There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less" and that "A Jewish government might come later."

On January 24, 1922, Shoghi Effendi received a letter from Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The receipt of the letter is mentioned in Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's The Priceless Pearl. As High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, and his appointment was regarded by the Muslim-Christian Associations as the "first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people." Herbert Samuel welcomed the arrival of Jewish settlers under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association and recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the Mandate territory.

While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá'ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated 24 January 1922:
Dear Mr. Rabbani,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16., and to thank you for the kind expression it contains. It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case. I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement. Should you be at any time in Jerusalem in would be a pleasure to me to see you here.
Yours sincerely,
Herbert Samuel
On June 15, 1925, Shoghi effendi addressed a message to Sir Herbert Samuel, as described by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum in The Heart and Nerve Centre in her book The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
When Sir Herbert Samuel's term of office was drawing to a close the Guardian sent to him, on June 15, 1925, one of those messages that so effectively forged links of good will with the government, expressing his own and the Bahá'ís abiding sense of gratitude and deep appreciation of the "kind and noble attitude which Your Excellency has taken towards the various problems that have beset them since the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá ... The Bahá'ís ... remembering the acts of sympathy and good will which the Palestine Administration under your guidance has shown them in the past, will confidently endeavour to contribute their full share to the material prosperity as well as the spiritual advancement of a land so sacred and precious to them all."

Friday, July 13, 2018

July 13. On this date in 1910, 'Abdu’l-Bahá addressed a tablet to the "Believers of God in Persia," which was published in "Star of the West" magazine.



July 13. On this date in 1910, 'Abdu’l-Bahá addressed a tablet to the "Believers of God in Persia," which was published in "Star of the West" magazine.

BAHAI NEWS

Vol. 1 Chicago, (July 13, 1910) Kalamat No. 7
TABLET FROM ABDUL-BAHA TO THE
BELIEVERS OF GOD IN PERSIA.
Upon them be the Glory of God, the Most Glorious! HE IS GOD!
O God! O God! Verily, verily the reality of Thy Oneness is sanctified above ascent or descent, and the Sun of Thy Singleness is holy above appearance or disappearance. Thou hast been in the mystery of Thine Identity and the eternality of Thine Existence; moving in the exaltation of Thy Sanctity and the loftiness of Thy Purity. The souls who penetrate through the facts of life cannot know Thee, and the minds which are imbued with the subtleties of the universe do not apprehend Thee. Far from the spiders of imagination to weave the web of their weak thoughts in the imperial palaces of Thy Knowledge, and far from the birds of understanding to attempt soaring with their broken wings toward the golden apex of Thine Explanation! Verily, all the wings of effort are broken and will not reach the glorious heaven of Thy Singleness. The intellects are bewildered and if they cannot comprehend one verse of the verses of Thine Omnipotence, how then can they perceive Thy Reality which surrounds all things and is not surrounded! Thy Holy and Sanctified Identity is beyond the knowledge of the wisest and mightiest in the world of emanation!
O Lord! O Lord! Deliver the souls from the superstitions, that they may not imagine any disappearance for Thy Lights, any setting for Thy Luminary, any descent for Thy Reality, and any ascent for Thy Identity. For verily Thou art above all these qualifications and beyond all these attributes. Thou hast been and forever shalt be in Thine Inaccessible Station and Thine Unattainable Position. The road is barred and the path is closed. Thy Proof is Thy Verses and Thy Path is Thy Dominion.
1-7-2
BAHAI NEWS

O Lord! O Lord! These souls are righteous, their hearts attracted, their minds enkindled, their ears opened, their eyes seeing, their spirits rejoiced, their breasts dilated, their realities contented, their identities satisfied, and their hearts attentive. They are supplicating toward Thee, turning their faces to Thee, and begging for Thy Mercy.
O Lord! 0 Lord! Enkindle their lamps, ignite their torches, uplift their waves and open to them the Door of Bounty.
O Lord! Adorn their gardens, beautify their orchards, illumine their faces, confirm their words, hoist their ensigns, commemorate their names, perfect their morals, cleanse their hearts, purify their breasts and glorify their countenances; so that the manifest light may be seen upon their brow, and the Bloom of Paradise in their faces. Verily, Thou art the Merciful, Thou art the Clement, the Compassionate and the Ancient!
O ye friends of God! The waves of confirmations are successive and the hosts of assistance are drawn in battle array. The armies of the Kingdom of ABHA, like unto the waves of the Supreme Concourse, are tumultuous, and the Breezes of Providence wafting from the direction of Grace, rejuvenate with new life every faded and withered soul. The trees of the Garden of the Covenant are stirred into the utmost cheerfulness and the fruits of the Orchard of the Testament have reached the stage of perfection, sweetness and delicacy. The Majestic Palm produces luscious dates, and the Luminous Star shines with infinite brightness. The Zephyrs of the City of God bestow eternal life, and the Divine Wisdom grants spiritual insight. The Bounties of God are perfected on every side, and the Favors of the Most High have encircled all. Blessed are you! — and again, blessed are you! — for you have become the object of the Bestowals of the Beauty of ABHA and the Center of the Revelations of the Mysteries of the Supreme Concourse.
His honor Ameen* has given the utmost praise
Note: Ameen is one of the old, venerable, sanctified teachers of Persia. — Translator.
1-7-3
BAHAI NEWS
and commendation on behalf of all, saying that — Praise be to God! — all the friends in all parts of Persia are firm in the Covenant, have taken hold of the Testament of His Highness the Merciful: their minds are full of acclamations, their faces illumined, their hearts aspiring and their spirits soaring toward the Realm of Truth, their souls full of glad-tidings and their consciences in infinite happiness. Day and night they are engaged in spreading the fragrances, and morning and evening they deliver the Word of God. They are the Signs of Oneness and the Tokens of the Bounties of the Glorious Lord. They are the bright lamps and incontrovertible proofs. They are the horizons of knowledge and the hosts of the Supreme Concourse. In reality he has given the greatest praise and glorification. On account of this news great happiness was produced in the hearts of the believers, and all are expressing their most wonderful glad-tidings.
I beg of God, that day by day this Fire may consume the world, and this Flame enkindle the earth; this Favor become all-surrounding and this Path straight. Cast ye into oblivion all signs of attachment and impurity so that all the regions may become sanctified and purified and all the dawning-places shining and illumined. Then the Paradise of ABHA will be established in the East and in the West, the glorious outpouring of the Majestic Lord, become universal, the principles of the Cause produce results and the structure of the Revelation of Truth reach to the Mansions of the Supreme Heights.
Upon ye be Glory!
(SIGNED) ABDUL-BAHA ABBAS.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 12. On this date in 1960, Hand of the Cause of God Horace Holley died in Haifa.



July 12. On this date in 1960, Hand of the Cause of God Horace Holley died in Haifa. Horace Holley, as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly and the New York Spiritual Assembly, had attempted to gain control of the "New History Society," which Ahmad Sohrab had founded in 1929 with Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler and his wife Julie, in order to propagate the Bahá'í Faith. The conflict resulted in Ahmad Sohrab and the Chanlers' being declared Covenant-breakers around 1939.

Ahmad Sohrab had served as 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary and interpreter from 1912 to 1919, and in 1929, with Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler and his wife Julie, formed the "New History Society" in order to propagate the Bahá'í Faith. Conflict arose when Horace Holley, member of the National Spiritual Assembly, and the New York Spiritual Assembly attempted to gain control of the "New History Society," ultimately resulting in Ahmad Sohrab and the Chanlers' being declared Covenant-breakers around 1939.

On March 31, 1941, the New York Supreme Court dismissed a court case brought by National Spiritual Assembly and Trustees of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for the use of the word "Bahá'í." The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that "the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion..."

On March 10, 1958, four months after Shoghi Effendi's death, the Hands of the Cause of God resident in Haifa addressed a letter "To the Hand of the Cause, Mr. Horace Holley" feeling "it necessary to urge that the statement 'A New Bahá'í Era' be withdrawn from circulation.
To the Hand of the Cause, Mr. Horace Holley
March 10, 1958
Revered Bahá'í Brother:
The Hands in the Holy Land are sending a detailed answer to the questions raised in the letter of February 24, 1958 addressed to us by the American Hands and the National Spiritual Assembly.
We believe that the points covered in our letter also meet the request made in your separate communication of February 25 to your fellow Hands in Haifa.
Here, as you know, we receive letters from all parts of the world which reflect the approach of the believers of diverse backgrounds to the problems created by the beloved Guardian's passing. As a result, the Custodians have been made very conscious of the necessity to strive for unity in the approach to fundamental matters affecting the structure and future development of the Cause. The Custodians from East and West are aware of the wisdom of avoiding statements or points of view on basic issues which cannot be accepted equally by East and West, and indeed by all of the Bahá'í world, especially in this period, so soon after the ascension of the beloved Guardian, when we are still unable to grasp the full implications of the present situation.
It would have been a great help if you yourself could have served here in these early and critical months, and given us the benefit of your experience and clarity of thought on the many pressing issues with which we have had to cope.
You will now, we feel sure, understand our delicate position and the reasons why we felt it necessary to urge that the statement "A New Bahá'í Era" be withdrawn from circulation. Your fellow-Hands serving here are confident you will place this whole question and its world-wide implications before the members of your National Assembly in such a way that they will fully understand the reasons underlying the actions taken here.
No doubt when the entire body of the Hands gather at our next meeting later this year we will have many things to discuss, and each one win have a greater contribution to make in view of this tragic year's experiences.
We all send you our devoted love and assure you that you are often remembered in our prayers.
Yours in the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND