The Bahá’í Faith

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From Messages to the Bahá’í World 1950-1957

A collection of the major communications penned by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’ís of the world during the last seven years of his life.

Messages to the Bahá’í World can be read in full at the Bahá’í Reference Library. Some extracts are shared below.

Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Bahá’í Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith already established in twin cities of ‘Akká and Haifa.

— Messages to the Bahá’í World, p. 7

Hour now ripe to take long inevitably deferred step in conformity with provisions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament…through appointment of first contingent of Hands of Cause of God, twelve in number, equally allocated Holy Land, Asiatic, American, European continents. Initial step now taken regarded as preparatory full development of institution provided in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will, paralleled preliminary measure formation International Council destined to culminate in emergence of Universal House of Justice. Nascent institution forging fresh links binding rising World Center of Faith to consolidating World Community of followers of Most Great Name, paving way to adoption supplementary measures calculated reinforce foundations structure of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.

— Messages to the Bahá’í World, p. 20

No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the days which mankind, perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been fully consummated.

— Messages to the Bahá’í World, pp. 38-39

Hail, with feelings of humble thankfulness and unbounded joy, opening of the Holy Year commemorating the centenary of the rise of the Orb of Bahá’u’lláh’s most sublime Revelation marking the consummation of the six thousand year cycle ushered in by Adam, glorified by all past prophets and sealed with the blood of the Author of the Bábí Dispensation. Evoke on this auspicious occasion the glorious memory and acclaim the immortal exploits of the Dawn-Breakers of the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation in the cradle of the Faith and the mighty feats of the champion builders of its rising World Order in the Western Hemisphere as well as the multitude of valorous achievements of the past and present generations of their brethren in the European, Asiatic, African and Australian continents, whose combined accomplishments during the one hundred and nine years of its existence contributed to the survival of God’s struggling Faith, the reinforcement of its infant strength, the safeguarding of the unity of its supporters, the preservation of the integrity of its teachings, the enrichment of the lives of its followers, the rise of the institutions of its administrative order, the fashioning of the agencies for the systematic diffusion of its light and the broadening and the consolidation of its foundations. Moved to express the confident hope as the centenary celebrations now commencing, attain their climax during the approaching Ridván period, that the plans formulated by the valiant members of the World Bahá’í Community in the five continents, may each and all, through their victorious consummation, add distinct fresh luster to the world-wide festivities constituting the collective tribute paid by the followers of the Most Great Name to the memory of the august Founder of their Faith in honor of the centenary of the birth of His Mission and the eternal glory of His embryonic, majestically unfolding World Order.

— Messages to the Bahá’í World, pp. 40-41

Let there be no mistake. The avowed, the primary aim of this Spiritual Crusade is none other than the conquest of the citadels of men’s hearts. The theater of its operations is the entire planet. Its duration a whole decade. Its commencement synchronizes with the centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission. Its culmination will coincide with the centenary of the declaration of that same Mission. The agencies assisting in its conduct are the nascent administrative institutions of a steadily evolving divinely appointed order. Its driving force is the energizing influence generated by the Revelation heralded by the Báb and proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh. Its Marshal is none other than the Author of the Divine Plan. Its standard-bearers are the Hands of the Cause of God appointed in every continent of the globe. Its generals are the twelve national spiritual assemblies participating in the execution of its design. Its vanguard is the chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s master plan, their allies and associates. Its legions are the rank and file of believers standing behind these same twelve national assemblies and sharing in the global task embracing the American, the European, the African, the Asiatic and Australian fronts. The charter directing its course is the immortal Tablets that have flowed from the pen of the Center of the Covenant Himself. The armor with which its onrushing hosts have been invested is the glad tidings of God’s own message in this day, the principles underlying the order proclaimed by His Messenger, and the laws and ordinances governing His Dispensation. …

So vast, so momentous and challenging a crusade that will, God willing, illuminate the annals of the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and immortalize the second decade of the second Bahá’í century, and the termination of which will mark the closing of the first epoch in the evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, will, in itself, pave the way for, and constitute the prelude to, the initiation of the laborious and tremendously long process of establishing in the course of subsequent crusades in all the newly opened sovereign states, dependencies and islands of the planet, as well as in all the remaining territories of the globe, the framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith, with all its attendant agencies, and of eventually erecting in these territories still more pillars to share in sustaining the weight and in broadening the foundation of the Universal House of Justice.

— Messages to the Bahá’í World, pp. 152-153