Baha'i Administration - by Shoghi Effendi

From the inside-cover of the 1968 edition

Shoghi Effendi was the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith for thirty-six years until his passing in 1957, the interpreter of its teachings, delineator of its goals, and "true brother" to every devoted Baha'i throughout the world. This book consists primarily of his messages to the Baha'is of America, or to their National Spiritual Assembly, during the years when that National Assembly and several others were formed. Herein he outlines the fundamental principles upon which the institutions of the Faith are to be established, based upon the Revelation of Baha'u'llah and the Will and Testament of His Son, 'Abdu'l-Baha.

Shoghi Effendi was a young man, still a student at Oxford University, when the call to Guardianship came to him in 1921 through his appointment in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, his beloved Grandfather. His realization of the enormity of this task and of the station of Guardianship is poignantly reflected in his early letters in this volume. As the months and years of Shoghi Effendi's Guardianship progressed and the actual instruments of the administrative order began to evolve under his guidance, the wisdom of that appointment became consummately manifest to the community of Baha'is throughout the world.

While these messages contain the guiding principles that have raised the edifice of Baha'i administration throughout the world, they are much more than a pattern or a set of rules. Through them the Baha'is have come to understand both the spirit and the substance out of which a new world order would be brought into being and that in becoming the instruments of its creation they can translate their faith and their love for their fellow believers of all races and nations into concrete action. In this way the structure of Baha'i administration has been erected, beginning with the first few Local Spiritual Assemblies, the first National Spiritual Assemblies, until 1963 when the fifty-six National Assemblies existing at that time elected the first Universal House of Justice, the supreme administrative body of the Baha'i Faith, located at its World Center in Haifa, Israel.

Here is a beloved, inspired leader at work, who signs his letters as "brother and co-worker," who shares his cares, his joys and victories with his fellow workers. Tragedy there was in the severe repressions and persecutions suffered in the lands where the Prophet of God Himself lived or sojourned, but which served to draw ever more closely the bonds of love among His followers. Victory is the dominant theme, in the developing plans for the institutions of the Faith, among them being the erection of the first Baha'i House of Worship in the West, itself the Central Edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar with its surrounding dependencies, a visible manifestation of a new spirit permeating the world of mankind.

‘Baha’i Administration’ is not just for the members of Assemblies and Committees. It is, in the words of Shoghi Effendi, not possible "to dissociate the administrative principles of the Cause from the purely spiritual and humanitarian teachings," for they are "indissolubly bound with the essential verities of the Faith."

Baha’i Publishing Trust
Wilmette, Illinois

Excerpts from the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha
Letters from Shoghi Effendi
List of topics covered in 1968 edition
The Holy Family:
The Passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf, p. 187

Baha’i Administration:
Local and National Spiritual Assemblies, p.18
Committees of the National Assembly, p. 23
Election of Local Assemblies, p. 37
Duties of Spiritual Assemblies, p. 37
National Assemblies, pp. 38, 45
Annual Election of Assemblies, p. 40
Reports of Activities, p. 46
Committees of the National Assembly, p. 55
The Annual Convention, p. 52
The New World Order, p. 62
The Duties of Elected Representatives, p. 63
Foundation of the House of Justice, p. 63
Election of Delegates, p. 64
The National Convention, p. 78
National Spiritual Assembly, pp. 79, 86
Title of Assemblies, p.82
Representation at Convention, p.82
Election of National Assembly, p. 84
Membership Roll, p. 84
Purpose of Convention, p.86
Jurisdiction of a Local Assembly, p. 95
Voting Rights of National Assembly Members, p. 96
National Convention, p. 90
Purpose of Bahá'í Administration, p. 102
Guiding Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 107
International Secretariat, p. 115
World Unity Conferences, p. 116
Plan of Unified Action, pp. 107, 115, 153
Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, p. 134
Spirit and Method of Bahá'í Elections, p. 135
Relations of Committees to Assembly, p. 141
By-Laws of National Assembly, p. 142
First National Convention of Persian Bahá'ís, p. 143

Shrines, Mashriqu'l-Adhkars and other Baha’i Properties:
Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, p. 46
Green Acre, pp. 54, and 95
Temple Meetings, p.77
The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, pp. 53, 71, 82, and 94
International Bahá'í Shrine, p.94
Shrine at Baghdad, pp. 99 and 114
Green Acre -- a Testing Ground, p. 131
Bahá'u'lláh's House at Baghdad, p. 163
Purpose of Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, p. 184
Gift from Tomb of Baha’u’llah, p. 180

Baha’i Magazines, Periodicals, Newsletters:
Star of the West Magazine, p. 30
Transliteration of Bahá'í Terms, p. 43
Star of the West Magazine, p.71
Bahá'í Year Book, p. 74, 91
Bahá'í Periodicals, p. 76
News Letter, pp. 76, 82
The Bahá'í World, p. 156

The Baha’i Funds:
The Bahá'í Fund, p. 40
Central Fund, p. 48
National Fund, pp. 100, 198

General Teachings & the Growth of the Cause:
The Mission of the Cause, p.17
Our Common Servitude, p. 25
Condition of the World, p.34
Responsibility of Bahá'ís, p. 34
The Most Essential Obligation, p. 42
The Cause of Human Suffering, p. 49
Divine Destiny and Human Frailty, p. 60
The Plight of Mankind, p. 60
Our Inner Life, p. 65
Dawn of a Brighter Day, p. 66
Menace of Social Chaos, p. 67
Paramount Duty of Every Bahá'í, p.68
History of the Cause, p.75
The Cornerstone of Service, p. 88
Qualifications of a Believer, p. 89
Response of Queen Marie, p. 110
The Regenerating Power, p. 111
American Teachers in Tihran, p. 118
Bahá'í Cause Recognized as Independent Religion, p. 120
Twofold Teaching Method, p. 124
The Spirit of Enterprise, p. 127
Inter-racial Amity, p. 129
Concentration of Resources, p. 139
The Trend of World Events, p. 145
The Promises of Our Departed Master, p. 147
Regeneration of Persia, p. 148
Bahá'í Faith Vindicated in Turkey, p. 150
Our Most Vital Opportunity, p. 152
'Abdu'l-Bahá's Cherished Desire, p. 153
Guiding Principle of Conduct, p. 161
Decision of League of Nations, p. 175
Decline of Islam, p. 169
Progress in Persia, p. 170
Non-Participation in Political Affairs, p. 197
Personalities Subordinated, p. 197
The Voting Right, p. 198

Persecution of Persian Bahá'ís, p. 93
Judgment of Egyptian Religious Court, p. 100
Bahá'í Martyrdoms in Persia, p. 103
Persecutions in Jahrum, p. 106
Appeal to the Shah of Persia, p. 117
Decision of Egyptian Tribunal, p. 120
Worldwide Attacks Foretold, p. 122
Assassination of Persian Believer, p. 132
Persecutions in Russia, p. 159
Trial of Turkish Believers, p. 166

Distinguished Believers:
Mr. Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, p. 157