|IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL|
In Bahaism, a very harsh and tormenting punishment exists for those Bahais that act against the decrees and teachings or orders of the Universal House of Justice. These individuals are labeled as covenant breakers. Their punishment is referred to as ?ard, meaning excommunication, shunning, or banishment. All of Bahaullah’s descendants have been shunned by Shoghi and Abdul Baha and not a single Bahai exists today that is related by blood to Bahaullah.
Abdul Baha gave the following order:
Bahais are ordered to deal with covenant breakers in the same way one deals with someone afflicted with a plague; such that the closest people to them, even their father, mother, children, and spouse, are strictly prohibited from speaking or having any contact with them.
In Bahaism there are two kinds of excommunication. One is administrative and the other is spiritual:
Administrative Excommunication: The punishment of administrative excommunication applies to a Bahai that acts against the Bahai rules and teachings and does not pay attention to the warnings of spiritual assemblies, and does not compensate for these actions. For example, they do not have an active presence in feasts and elections, or they do not act according to the Bahai teachings (such as the rules relating to marriage and divorce). Determining this is up to the local or national spiritual assemblies. An administrative covenant breaker that is excommunicated is excluded from administrative and social Bahai rights, such as taking part in elections, being a member of spiritual assemblies and administrative committees, attending feasts, and giving donations.
Spiritual Excommunication: If a Bahai violates the orders and prohibitions of the Universal House of Justice and dissents from the fundamental and certain tenets of Bahaism or turns his back to Bahaism, he will be subject to the punishment of spiritual excommunication. No Bahai, not even the closest members of their family such as their father, mother, and spouse, have the right to speak or socialize with a Bahai who has been spiritually excommunicated. Any Bahai who disobeys this order, will automatically be regarded as a covenant breaker and will be given the same treatment.
The order below, has been issued by Shoghi Effendi, and refers to both kinds of covenant breaking:
In some occasions, the order of spiritual covenant breaking was given for very trivial reasons. For example, if a Bahai wishes to go on a pilgrimage to visit the shrine of Bahaullah in Palestine, they should go in coordination and with the planning of Bahai organizations and the Universal House of Justice. They are not allowed to travel there without their consent and permission. If this matter is not heeded, the transgressing individual will become a spiritual covenant breaker. For instance, a Bahai by the name of ?adiq Ashchi visited Palestine without Shoghi’s permission. When Shoghi was informed, he issued a spiritual covenant breaking decree for Ashchi and ordered the swift implementation of this order. A part of this message is cited below:
Regarding the issue of Sadiq, the son of Aqa Muhammad Javad Ashchi, he ordered to write that "this ill-mannered and innately lowly person recently traveled to Palestine against the orders of this servant and entered the Holy Land. A telegraph regarding his excommunication and his banishment from the [Bahai] community has been sent to that assembly. Clearly tell and warn his father that communication with him is not permitted by any means and disobeying and opposing [this order] will have severe results."
Such cases are not rare. Here are two more examples:
In regards to Ruhi Ghani, who traveled from Mashhad to America without informing the assembly, he ordered me to write, "this individual, because of his dissent and deviation, is also excommunicated from the community and because he contacted the son of Dihqan in England and both traveled to America . . ." He also stated, "write that the spiritual excommunication of Nusrat-Allah Bahir-after I consulted his mother-is necessary and obligatory."
It is evident from what we quoted that Abdul Baha and Shoghi are advocates of shunning and excommunication. As usual their stance contradicts the words of Bahaullah:
Yet, Bahaullah is contradicting himself too:
How can someone who preaches the Oneness of Humanity justify excommunication? Abdul Baha’s words are even more disturbing:
If the communities punish and banish it is bad, but if the Bahais do it there is no problem in doing so?! He then claims that people must be educated so that crime may not occur:
The community, on the contrary, ought day and night to strive and endeavor with the utmost zeal and effort to accomplish the education of men, to cause them day by day to progress and to increase in science and knowledge, to acquire virtues, to gain good morals and to avoid vices, so that crimes may not occur. At the present time the contrary prevails; the community is always thinking of enforcing the penal laws, and of preparing means of punishment, instruments of death and chastisement, places for imprisonment and banishment; and they expect crimes to be committed. This has a demoralizing effect.
When the best form of education-being Bahaism-was given to its followers but many of them still got banished, how can Abdul Baha insist that education solves the problem and people should not be banished?
Banishing and excommunication reached such an extent that by the time of Shoghi almost every single direct descendant of Bahaullah had been labeled as being corrupt and been banished by either Shoghi or Abdul Baha. Why was it that most of Bahaullah’s branches and leaves-i.e. family and descendants-became corrupt and suffered this fate? The answer can be found in Bahaullah’s own words:
You are like a spring of water. When its source becomes corrupt so do the streams that separate from it. Fear God and be pious. Likewise, look at man. When his heart becomes corrupt so do all his limbs and organs. Likewise, if the root of a tree becomes corrupt so do its branches and twigs (aghsan and afnan) and its leaves and its fruit.
The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.
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