Thursday, October 8, 2015


Have you ever annotated any of the Writings?

I mean, have you ever added little notes explaining for yourself what phrases or seeming asides are referring to?

Just the other day I picked up "The World Order of Baha'u'llah" again, and began re-reading it for the umpteenth time. As usual, I found myself wondering what some of the references the Guardian made were. Fortunately, at some point in the past, I made notes, and this has made my read of it a lot easier.

One example, is his reference in the very first sentence to "the doubts that have been publicly expressed, by one who is wholly misinformed as to the true precepts of the Cause". This, of course, is a reference to Ruth White, and what has to have been the most ridiculous attack on the Faith, what with her claim that the Master's Will was a forgery. I mean, she couldn't read Persian, had no knowledge of His impeccable handwriting, and no basis for recognizing His particular cadence and style of writing. Given this complete lack of information, and ignoring the fact that not even the avowed enemies of the Faith, including His half-brother, who were in a position to make such an assessment never for a moment dreamed of making such a ludicrous claim, she has my vote as the most absurd Covenant-breaker of all time.

Later on, he speaks of World Unity (the magazine), the abortive scheme of the Geneva Protocol, the proposal for a United States of Europe, and so on. These are all things that people of the day would have known, but some of which I did not. With just a bit of research, and a few notes, I made my reading of this text, as well as many others, a lot easier to understand. I also now find it a lot easier to relate these writings to current events.


  1. Hi! This may not be the best place to post this question/ask the comment, and I'm sorry if you've addressed this elsewhere and I missed it. I read you mentioning the writings of Shoghí Effendí in one of your other posts and how you think they're good/appropriate/beneficial reading for new Baha'is. Are there any pieces you would specifically reccomend for a new Baha'i like myself?

    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Natashalh,

      First of all, let me welcome you to the Baha'i community. It's always wonderful to read of new Baha'is, and especially hear their stories of what attracted them in the first place.

      As to your question about Shoghi Effendi's writings, there are so many, as I'm sure you know. First and foremost, let me say Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, which was recommended to me by Javiduhkt Khadem, the late widow of the Hand of the Cause. She said that the Hands considered it the Guardian's Will and Testament. It put into a proper perspective for me the various stations of Baha'u'llah, the Bab, and 'Abdu'l-Baha, as well as the functions of both the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice.

      In addition to that, I would also highly recommend the World Order of Baha'u'llah, a collection of letters from the Guardian, one of which is the previously mentioned Dispensation letter.

      The next two on my list are The Advent of Divine Justice, and The Promised Day is Come. The first of these talks about the spiritual weapons, to use his terms, we have in this spiritual battle in which we are engaged. The second puts into a very clear perspective the problems we are facing, as a human race, even today.

      That's just a start.

      The other piece of advice I have is to learn how to read the Guardian's writings. And what I mean by that is that it is generally over the head of most people, like myself, and far more confusing than we are used to. I had to really study his sentences, underline the main phrases, and re-read the underlines to be able to figure out what he was saying. If you have any questions about that, please let me know, although I'm sure you'll do far better than I did, and I'll put an example here on the blog.

      Thanks for asking, and have a ton of fun! I can't wait to read what you get out of it.