Wisayaa (Will) Tablet of Abdul Baha and its Rejection
Baha’is, after the death of Abdul Baha, largely followed Shoghi Effendi, though some of them strongly opposed the ‘truthfulness’ of the will of Abbas Effendi wherein he had declared Shoghi Effendi as his successor. Most of the Baha’is who were close to Abbas Effendi and Shoghi Effendi believed that the book ‘Alwah Wisaya’ had been written by Abdul Baha much before his death and he was regretful for it afterwards and had already dismissed (dethroned) Shoghi Effendi later on in his life. Other Baha’is also claimed that the book, ‘Alwah Wisaya’ was a fake book. A Bahai, Frederick Glaysher, is in charge of the leadership of such Baha’is.

After the death of Abdul Baha, Ziya Khanam, mother of Shoghi Effendi and the daughter of Abdul Baha presented a copy bearing ‘the will’ of her father. She claimed that this book was found underground her father’s home. It bears the testimony that Abdul Baha had appointed Shoghi Effendi as his successor after him. Although some of the Baha’is believed that it was false where as some other like Fazlullah Subhi who was aware of the writing of Abdul Baha believed that it was not possible that Abdul Baha would have appointed Shoghi as his successor due to the bad attitude of Shoghi. Fazlullah Subhi has further written that when Abdul Baha was in his dominance in Usmani Government in Palestine, he feared that Abdul Hameed, ruler of Usmani Government may kill him. Therefore he wrote this will at that time in order to safeguard the Bahai religion after him in his progeny. Shoghi was three years old at that time . But after that when Usmani Government could no more hold power over Palestine and Shoghi also grew up, Abdul Baha regretted for his mistake and had already dethroned him in his life.
Ref: Khatraat Subhi by Fazlullah Subhi, Payam-e-Pidar by Fazlullah Subhi

After the domination of British government over Palestine, Abdul Baha migrated to Europe and America and he did not appoint explicitly or implicitly Shoghi Effendi as his successor after him. According to ‘Fazlullah Subhi’, if Abdul Baha had written such ‘will’ then there was no need for him to hide it underground since during the last stage of his life, he enjoyed power as a lordship and had freedom of expressing his religion and appointing his successor after him.
Ref: Payam-e-Pidar by Fazlullah Subhi

Finally, Shoghi, along with the support of his mother and other supporters of Abdul Baha, could overcome the opposition against him and could become the leader of Bahais. After gaining power he issued order to turn down opposition against him and he punished his opponents severely.
Ref: Payam-e-Pidar, Khatrat-e-Subhi, Musafir Subhi 8th book from the study of Bahai Religion

Now we come back to the discussion of book, Alwahe Wisaya. In short, it is the most important book among the Baha’is since it proves the successorship and the rulership of Shoghi Effendi after the death of Abdul Baha

In praise of this book, Shoghi Effendi writes, “Hazrat Bahaullah in his book, Aqdas, and Abdul Baha in ‘Alwahe Wisaya’ have explained all the basic tenets of Bahai’s faith in such a way that no one can reject it.”
Ref: Nazme-Jahani Bahai Pg 26

In order to raise the status of this book, He has written regarding it at many places, extolling the importance and the respect of this book. He said to the people that they could not understand the entire importance of this book at that time where as its importance would soon be revealed to the people of the world.
Ref: Nazme-Jahani Bahai Pg 15

Number of Successors of Bahaullah. Are the successors of Wali-e-Amr few or many?
In order to get the reply of this question let us refer the book “Mufawwezaat” which contains different sayings of Abdul Baha. Abdul Baha has described in detail regarding the successors of his father, the gist of which is presented below for the readers.

It is written in this book as follows. “The Third day would be the day of reappearance of ‘Jamale Mubarak’ (ie Yaumu’llah). That day, Allah would establish his spiritual kingship and would change the world and would instill spirit in people’s body. Killings, disputes and corruptions would be uplifted from the people and Allah would organize his affairs, i.e., the spiritual kingdom would be established and that is known as ‘Yaumullah’. Whatever days have been passed till now are known as day of Musa (Ayyame Musa) , day of Esa (Yaume Esa) ,day of Ibrahim (Ayyame’ Ibrahim) and similarly other days were named after different prophets but that day would be ‘Yaumullah’ .

On that day the sun would be shining. Those 24 successors who are sitting in the presence of Almighty Allah would descend and would prostrate in front of Allah and would thank him and would say, “Oh my Lord! You are powerful and will remain powerful forever since You have indeed taken the affairs of Your kingdom in Your hand”.

In every era, the number of successors of the prophets were 12. Hazrat Yaqub had 12 sons (as successors), Hazrat Musa had 12 chiefs of different tribes, Hazrat Esa had 12 ‘Hawari’, i.e., companions, Hazrat Mohammed had 12 Imams. However in this era there are 24 successors. This shows the importance of this ‘zahoor’ (reappearance). These 24 people are sitting up on their couches in front of Almighty Allah”.
Ref: Mufawwezaat Pg 44-46

Therefore Baha’is are waiting for those 24 people who are sitting on their couches in front of Almighty Allah. If we accept that Abdul Baha is the first successor of Bahaullah and Shoghi Effendi is the second successor from those celestial successors who are sitting in the presence of Almighty Allah, then we should wait for other 22 successors who would come one after another successively from the progeny of Shoghi Effendi as predicted by Abdul Baha in his book “Alwaha Wisaya” and they would take over leadership of Baha’is in their hand and would manage the affairs of the world. But unfortunately, none of these prophecies could be fulfilled as Shooghi Effendi did not have a son.

Formation of Baha’is Organisation
Shoghi Effendi gave different structure to organisation of Baha’is in his time. He asked his followers to set up their centre in all location (in every cities) and to select 9 person from amongst them to discharge the responsibilities of that city. He named these 9 people as “Mahfile Ruhanih Mahli”.

He then asked them to appoint 9 people in every country and named them as “Mahfile Mali Ruhani”. Management of the affairs of Baha’is within the country would be the responsibilities of the Mahfile Mali Ruhani of that country.
Ref: Nazme Adari Pg 23-24.

Shoghi Effendi then asked his people that the Mahfile Mali Ruhani of all countries should select 9 people from among them and these 9 people, along with Shoghi Effendi, would then play key role in forming the ‘Universal House of Justice’ (UHJ). Shoghi Effendi even decided to set up ‘Junini UHJ’, that is, after certain period of time there should be changes in UHJ. He appointed Mason Remey, who was one of his intimate friend to the position of leadership of ‘Jununi UHJ’. It means that Shoghi Effendi had not formed the real UHJ in his life which is existing now. Shoghi Effendi had planned for the next 10 years in 1952 so that all Baha’is, after following the instructions of that planning could form the “great” UHJ by 1963. On the basis of this planning, the members of ‘Mahfile Mali’ would reach to 50 all over the world in the next 10 years .Similarly he had even fixed the numbers of ‘Mahfile Mali’ for each every region in the next 10 years.
Ref: Qarn Anwar Pg 71, Tawqee’aat-e-Mubarkah Pg 3-15.

Shoghi Effendi had even given a special type of power to Wali-e-Amr. He had even given permission to his successor to punish anyone who follow against Baha’i’s faith or opposes the order of Wali-e-Amr in different way. He had divided punishment in two types.
1) Tarde Adari
2) Tarde Ruhani

‘Tarde Adari’ means that the convicted person would not be allowed to attend the meetings of Baha’is and would not be allowed to give his opinion in the selection of the members of ‘Mahfile Mali’. Actions such as hiding faith, having different wives, not fulfilling the rights of wife, divorcing Baha’i women, drinking alcohol, interfering in politics without the permission of Baha’i organisation are liable for the punishment of ‘Tarde Adari’. It is the right of ‘Mahfile Mali’ to execute this punishment.
Ref: Nazme Adari Pg 53.

‘Tarde Ruhani’ means everybody would cut off the relationship with that convicted person. Even family of that person is also not allowed to keep relationship with him and to talk to him. He is totally boycotted. This punishment is applicable when a person has opposed to the views of Wali-e-Amr or has acted against his order. This action could be anything. It could be a little distance which a person might have travelled but is against the will of Wali-e-Amr. As per Shoghi Effendi, It is the power of only Wali-e-Amr to execute the order of punishment of ‘Tarde Ruhani’.
Ref: Nizamaat-e-Bahai Pg 85.

Shoghi Effendi has written regarding this punishment, “To banish anyone from the divine religion (Baha’i) is in the power of Wali-e-Amrullah only”. Similarly Shoghi Effendi believed that the powers of granting forgiveness to convicted people are only in the hand of Wali-e-Amrullah.

Regarding this he writes, “If such person regrets and wants to seek pardon, he should turn to Wali-e-Amr and if he is found sincere then he would be forgiven by Wali-e-Amr.”
Ref: Translation of Tawqee Man’ee Mubarkah dated 11th April, 1949.

These punishment were such that if anyone is found keeping relationship with the convicted person or is found talking with such person, then he is also liable for that punishment.

Shoghi Effendi emphasised the position of ‘Wali-e-Amr’ of Allah
Some of the respected Baha’is such as Fazlullah Subhi did not accept the successorship of Shoghi Effendi after Abdul Baha and left the Bahai Faith. As soon as Shoghi Effendi got authority among Baha’is, he introduced two different proposals of Abdul Baha in a different manner in order to strengthen his position as a Wali-e-Amr of Allah. Till the end of his life he maintained the view that different branches of UHJ should be appointed at different places in the world by the Baha’is and that he would be incharge of all of them since in the teachings of Baha’is, it is established that Wali-e-Amr is the leader of UHJ. He, even before his death established ‘UHJ Junooni’ or ‘Muqaddemati’ and appointed ‘Charles Mason Remey’, one of the Baha’is of America and close friend of Shoghi, as the leader of them.

Shoghi Effendi, in his life, appointed 40 people as the members of Amru’llah (religious work of Bahais) and assigned important duties and responsibilities to them. He thrice appointed members for this group which was meant for doing religious work. He first appointed 12 members to this group in December 1951, then added 7 more people to it in February 1952, then added 8 more people to this group in October 1957. In this way the total number of members appointed by Shoghi reached 27. During the life of Shoghi, these numbers never increased. Whenever anyone died from this group, Shoghi used to replace them by the same number. In this way he appointed 40 individuals in his life, but the total number of members in the group never exceeded 27. Mason Remey who was the intimate friend of Shoghi Effendi was appointed by him as the most important member of this group. Similarly he appointed his American wife, Roohi Maqsool as an important member of this group.
Ref: Mawsiseh Ayadi Amrullah Pg 19-25

Shoghi Effendi expended several years in order to outline the duties of Wali-e-Amr of Allah giving different lectures in this respect. On one hand, this was to strengthen his position as Wali-e-Amr, and, on another hand he made it very clear to the people that the duties of Baha’is could be executed only through him.

Shoghi Effendi believed that the execution of the religious duties of Baha’is is the responsibility of ‘Universal House of Justice’ after the death of Bahaullah and the explanation or the preaching of the teachings of Bahaullah is the duty of Wali-e-Amr.
Ref: Tawqee’aat Mubarkah Pg 127, Tawqee Manee Pg 105, Nazar Ajmali Dar Dayanat Bahai Pg 75.

In a bid to elaborate the duties of Wali-e-Amr further, he believed that the tenets or the new laws of Baha’ism which is made by UHJ are supposed to be presented to Wali-e-Amr. He predicted that, in the absence of Wali-e-Amr, Baha’is would be inflicted with different types of calamities since Wali-e-Amr is the medium of grace between ‘the Haq’ (Allah) and the creation and introduced him as the guide for ‘UHJ’. Through this, on one hand he wanted to confine the authority of consultation with the followers of Baha’is for himself and on the other hand, he wanted to portray his rulership over Baha’is as a divinely Lord (man) who is related with the celestial world and he wanted to transfer this position and authority in his progeny in the form of inheritance.
Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 80.

He insisted on transferring the post of Wali-e-Amr in every era. Abdul Baha had emphasised in his book, ‘Alwahe Wisaya’, that every Wali-e-Amr should appoint his eldest son as his successor in his life. Shoghi Effendi interpreted this saying of Abdul Baha in his own way since he himself was not the eldest son of Abdul Baha.

Regarding this matter, Shoghi writes follows, “In his Tablet which Bahaullah had presented to one of his devotee in Iran, he said that in all the divinely laws he (Shoghi) has exceptional authority. He even has inheritance of prophets”
Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 79-80.

Shoghi believed in the following position of Wali-e-Amr :
1) Wali-e-Amr is a medium through which blessing and grace of ‘Hazrat Haq’ reaches the people.
2) Wali-e-Amr is a heavenly man who should be obeyed.
3) He is a guide for the members of ‘Universal House of Justice’ in making day to day laws.

According to him, in every era, it is necessary that there should be a representative of God in the world who should be a link between the heaven and the earth and should be a guide for the people. He claimed such type of position for Wali-e-Amr so that in case, members of UHJ make a mistake or make any law which goes against the spiritual teaching of Baha’is, he could force them to change it.

He writes as follows in his book, Daur-e-Baha’I, “Wali Amr should check the rules made by members of UHJ so that if any ruling is against the teaching of Baha’i faith, he should ask them for a change”.
Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 83.

Therefore , in the view of Shoghi Effendi, there were chances of mistakes by the UHJ and it is the responsibility of Wali-e-Amr who is the divine representative and is having link with the celestial world that he protect the member of UHJ from committing mistakes and if necessary should insist them for a change.

Insistence of Shoghi Effendi in making his position lower than Abbas Effendi
Shoghi Effendi considered his position lower than Bahaullah and that of Abdul Baha. In his writings he emphasised on the different aspects of duties of Wali-e-Amr, thereby introducing himself as the one who is lower in position than his predecessors, Bahaullah and Abbas Effendi.
He writes as follows in his book Daur-e-Baha’i as follows: Wali-e-Amr, though is having a lot of responsibilities, is not greater than Bahaullah. Inspite of having a lot of duties and work, none should think that he is superior than Bahaullah or Abdul Baha.
(Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 84)

Shoghi Effendi proclaimed that whoever would be Wali-e-Amr after him should not consider himself equal to the position of Abdul Baha.
In the view of Shoghi Effendi, every Wali-e-Amr should always explain to their next generation that they should never claim those positions which were possessed by his ancestors.
He writes as follows, Wali-e-Amr should adopt such style of living that they should serve as a model to his progeny such that none of them should claim the position of their predecessors.
(Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 86)

Shoghi Effendi tried to root out the differences between UHJ and ‘Wali-e-Amr’:
Shoghi Effendi predicted that differences between ‘UHJ’ and ‘Wali-e-Amr’ are likely to occur in future .Hence he decided to root out the chances of differences between them forever. He allotted duties and responsibilities to ‘Wali-e-Amr’ and ‘UHJ’ which were quite different from each other. He assigned the duties of teaching the preachings of Bab, Bahaullah and Abdul Baha to Wali-e-Amr and designated the UHJ with the responsibilities of making new laws which would be useful in day today life. While selecting different duties he tried his best to keep his own superiority and his own position over them as a successor and as a Wali-e-Amr .He fixed different punishment for convicted person. He granted permission of keeping all the money of Bahai’yat at the disposal of ‘Wali-e-Amr’ .

He repeatedly referred to this fact in his writings as well as in his speech that these two, UHJ and Wali-e-Amr should never stand in the way of each other and that none of them had the rights of interfering in other’s affair. He writes in his book, Daure Baha’i, as follows:
“Power and the rights and the responsibilities of UHJ and Wali-e-Amr are not contradictory to each other and from any aspects are not less than each other .Their powers and responsibilities are different from each other but are not conflicting”.
Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 79.

He writes further in the same book as follows:
“None of them should cross the rights of others and should lay hand on the duties of others which have been assigned to them by Almighty Allah”.
In this way , Shoqi Afandi, tried his best to preserve his position of successorship .He had even fixed the members of UHJ so that people would understand his position as a Wali-e-Amr and as a successor and in this way he also wanted to retain this practice of allocating the members of UHJ in his progeny.

Similarly he had written at different instances that “These two, UHJ and Wali-e-Amr, are the basic pillars of all Bahai’s”. In case of absence of a single pillar, management of the affairs of Baha’is is not possible. These two, together would run the affairs of Baha’is.

He believed that:
“These two systems, UHJ and Wali-e-Amr are from the side of Almighty Allah and their duties are separated from each other and together they work for the development of Baha’i faith”.
Ref: Daure Bahai Pg 79.

View of Ahmed Yazdani regarding Organisation of Bahai and the position of Wali-e-Amr
Ahmed Yazdani is one of the most effective preacher of Baha’i faith. He has written a book about Baha’i Faith named “Nazre Ajmali dar Diyinat Bahai”. It was first published in 1329 AH. Shoghi Effendi went through this book and praised it, and approved it for publishing. Regarding this book, Shoghi Effendi said, This book, Nazre Ajmali dar Diyinat Bahai, which has been penned by Mirza Ahmed Yazdani is very effective and is ought to be published.
Ref: Tawqee’aat-e-Mubarkah Pg 79.

Since this book was praised, accepted and approved for publishing by Shoghi Effendi, it holds much importance amongst the Baha’is. After the death of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, the printing press of Bahais of Iran published this book with some alteration. Some of the important parts of this book which deal with the position of the Wali-e-Amr and his position before the Baha’is has been removed. Therefore It is to be noted that whatever has been mentioned in this part has been taken from the 1st to 3rd edition of this book. Since this book was approved by Shoghi and was published thrice during his time, it is acceptable by Baha’is and and is held in high esteem by them. However, those parts of the book which was written by Ahmed Yazdani regarding the organisation of Baha’is such as modern structure of UHJ, position of Wali-e-Amr and his powers and the relation between Wali-e-Amr and UHJ which were exactly as per the wishes of Baha’is were retained by them and the other part of the book which were not liked by them were removed from this book in subsequent editions.

Here are the points, which as per the belief of Baha’is , are the reasons why there are no differences among the Baha’is
1. According to Baha’is, clear text of Bahaullah is available for the appointment of Abdul Baha as his successor .Similarly clear text of Abdul Baha is also available which talks about the appointment of Shoghi Effendi as his successor after him and so on, the appointment of Wali–e-Amr by Shoghi Effendi and similarly other text are also available which assert that everyone including UHJ would be under the influence of Wali-e-Amr. According to them all these are so clearly mentioned that there is no way of differences among Baha’is where as it is not so in all the previous religions due to which there are disputes and sects found in other religions.
Ref: Nazr-e-Ajmali Pg 30-31.

It should be noted that preachers like Ahmed Yazdani whose book was approved by Shoghi Effendi claimed that the appointment of the successor and the clear text of previous leaders about his successors are available in the Bahai Faith and it is so much effective that there could never be any type of differences in the Faith. Ignoring the fact how their claim could be correct, we understand that the absence of differences among them is that one of the responsibility of Wali-e-Amr is to appoint his successor. Due to this, differences and disputes are uprooted from them and this is one of the causes of the supremacy of Baha’i religion over others religions.

Ahmed Yazdani believed that the main reason for discrimination and differences among the followers of previous prophets was that they did not clearly appoint their successor. But the Baha’i religion has a special grace due to which they are safe from such type of disagreement among them. Since Allah had got the experience that the followers of other religions had disputed with each other after the passing away of their prophets because they did not clearly mention the name of their successor, therefore this time Almighty has removed all chances of mistakes.

Ahmed Yazdani, in another part of his book, provides the solution of removing the problems of not understanding some of the teachings of their leaders by laying the responsibility of it’s explanation on the shoulder of ‘Wali-e-Amr’. He writes, All the belief and the spiritual duties are from the book and from the available text of Baha’is leaders and in the case of not understating its concept regarding any person or regarding ‘Mahfile Ruhani’, one should refer to ‘Wali-e-Amrullah’ and the explanation of Wali-e-Amr is away from all types of doubts and it is necessary to be accepted” .
Ref: Nazre Ajmali Pg 31.

Ahmed Yazdani, in other part of his book, regarding the structure of the Baha’i organisation and the position of Wali-e-Amr and UHJ before all Baha’is writes, “the Tablet of Abdul Baha, ‘Alwah Wisaya’ appointed Shoghi Effendi as Wali-e-Amr and the master of Baha’is and the chief of ‘UHJ’ and these two, i.e. UHJ and Wali-e-Amr are the ‘Maraje’ of Baha’is (Baha’is are supposed to refer to them in case of difficulty) and these two are the remover of their spiritual, social, and economical problems and they are the real pillars of Baha’i faith. Therefore structures of Baha’i are of three types:
a) Mahli
b) Mali
c) Bainul Malali or Umumi
Ref: Nazre Ajmali Dar Dayanat Bahai Pg 53.

Ahmed Yazdani explained these structure as follows:
i) Structure of Mahli would work under the supervision of Mali.
ii) Mali would work under the supervision of ‘Bainul Mali’.

It is possible that there may be differences of opinion between them. That is, it is quite possible that Mali may not agree with the view of Mahli and vice versa. In this situation he said that Mahli should refer to Wali-e-Amr to get their problem resolved and he is the only one who can remove their dispute. Ahmed Yazdani writes, “Mahli would be working under the Mali and would carry out their order and in case of disagreement should refer to Wali-e-Amr.”
Ref: Nazre Ajmali Dar Dayanat Bahai Pg 56

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