- Bahá'í history
Bahá'í history is often traced through a sequence of leaders, beginning with the
Báb's May 23 1844declaration in Shiraz, and ultimately resting on an administrative order established by the central figures of the religion. The religion had its background in two earlier movements in the nineteenth century, Shaykhismand Babism.cite encyclopedia |encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica |year= 1989 |article=Baha'i Faith | first = Dennis | last = MacEoin] Shaykism centred on theosophical doctrines and many Shaykhis expected the return of the hidden Twelfth Imam. Many Shaykhis joined the messianic Babi movement in the 1840s where the Bábproclaimed himself the return of the Imam. As the Babi movement spread in Iran, violence broke out between the ruling Shi'a Muslim government and the Babis, and ended when government troops massacred the Babis, and executed the Bab in 1850.
The Bab had spoken of another messianic figure,
He whom God shall make manifest. One of the followers of the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned by the Iranian government after the Bab's execution and then exiled to Iraq, and then to Constantinopleand Adrianoplein the Ottoman Empire. In 1863 in Baghdad, Bahá'u'lláh claimed to be the messianic figure expected by the Bab's writings. Bahá'ís consider the Baha'i religion to start from Bahá'u'lláh's statements in 1863.
At the time of Bahá'u'lláh's death the tradition was mostly confined to the Persian and Ottoman empires, at which time he had followers in thirteen countries of Asia and Africa.cite book |author= Taherzadeh, Adib |year= 1987 |title= The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 4: Mazra'ih & Bahji 1877–92 |pages=125 |publisher= George Ronald |location=Oxford, UK |id= ISBN 0853982708] Leadership of the religion then passed on to
`Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son, who was appointed by Bahá'u'lláh, and was accepted by almost all Bahá'ís. Under the leadership of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the religion gained a footing in Europe and America, and was consolidated in Iran, where it still suffers intense persecution.cite journal | last = Affolter | first = Friedrich W. | year = 2005 | month = Jan. | title = The Specter of Ideological Genocide: The Bahá'ís of Iran | journal = War Crimes, Genocide, & Crimes against Humanity | volume = 1 | issue = 1 | pages = pp. 75–114 | url =http://www.aa.psu.edu/journals/war-crimes/v1n1a3.pdf| accessdate = 2006-05-31 | format = Dead link|date=May 2008]
After the death of `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921, the leadership of the Bahá'í community was passed on to his grandson,
Shoghi Effendi, who was appointed in `Abdu'l-Bahá's will. The document appointed Shoghi Effendias the first Guardian, and called for the election of the Universal House of Justiceonce the Bahá'í Faith had spread sufficiently for such elections to be meaningful. During Shoghi Effendi's time as leader of the religion there was a great increase in the number of Baha'is, and he presided over the election of many National Spiritual Assemblies.
Shoghi Effendi died in 1957, and because he was childless he had found it impossible to appoint another Guardian after himself to succeed him. In 1963 the
Universal House of Justicewas elected. Since 1963 the Universal House of Justice has been elected every five years and remains the successor and leading institution of the religion.
Islam, the Mahdiis a messianic figure who is believed to be a descendant of Muhammadwho will return near the end of time to restore the world and the religion of God.cite encyclopedia | last = Aghaie | first = Kamran Scott | editor = Ed. Lindsay Jones | encyclopedia = Encyclopedia of Religion | title = Messianism: Messianism in the Muslim Tradition | edition = 2nd ed. | year = 2005 | publisher = Macmillan Reference USA | volume = 2 | location = Detroit | id = ISBN 0028657330 | pages = p. 5979-5983] While both Sunniand Shi'agroups believe in the Mahdi, the largest Shi'a group, the Twelvers, believe that the Mahdi is the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is believed to have gone into occultation since 874 CE.
In the Shi'a view the Twelfth Imam first went into a "Minor Occultation" between 874 and 941 CE where the Hidden Imam still communicated with the community through four official intermediaries. The "Greater Occultation" is then defined from the time when the Hidden Imam ceased to communicate regularly until the time when he returns to restore the world.cite encyclopedia |encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica |year= 1989 |article=GÚAYBA | first = Said Amir | last = Arjomand]
haykh Ahmad al-Ahsá'í
The Shaykhi movement was a school of theology within Twelver Shi'a Islam that was started through the teaching of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsá'í. Shaykh Ahmad's teachings included that the Imams were spiritual beings and thus, in contrast to the widespread Shi'a belief, that the Imams existed within spiritual bodies, and not material bodies.cite encyclopedia |last = Scholl | first = Steven | coauthors = Rizvi, Sajjad H. | editor = Ed. Lindsay Jones | encyclopedia = Encyclopedia of Religion | title = Shaykhīyah | edition = 2nd ed. | year = 2005 | publisher = Macmillan Reference USA | volume = 2 | location = Detroit | id = ISBN 0028657330 | pages = p. 8307-8309] He also taught that there must always exist the "Perfect Shi'a" who serves as an intermediary between the Imams and the believers, and is the one who can visualize the consciousness of the Hidden Imam.cite book | last = Amanat | first = Abbas | title = Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850 | publisher = Kalimat Press | year = 2005 | id = ISBN 1890688428 | pages = p. 54]
In 1822 he left Iran and went to Iraq due to the controversy that his teachings had brought. There he also found himself at the centre of debate, thus deciding to move to
Mecca, he died in 1826 on his way there.
Before the death of Shaykh Ahmad, he appointed Siyyid Kázim of Rasht to lead the Shaykhí movement, which he did until his death in 1843. Siyyid Kázim formulated many of the thoughts that were ambiguously expressed by Shaykh Ahmad including the doctrine of salvation history and the cycles of revelation. His teaching brought a sense of millenarian hope among the Shaykhis that the Hidden Imam may return. Siyyid Kazim did not leave a successor, but before his death in December, 1843, he had counselled his followers to leave their homes to seek the Mahdi, who according to his prophecies would soon appear.cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia=Encyclopedia of Islam | year = 1999 | article = Bāb | publisher = Koninklijke Brill NV | location = Leiden, The Netherlands | first = A.| last = Bausani]
Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad, who later took on the title the
Báb, was born on October 20 1819, in Shiraz to a merchantof the city; his father died while he was quite young and the boy was raised by his maternal uncle Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid `Alí, who was also a merchant.cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia=Encyclopedia of Islam | year = 1999 | article = Bāb | publisher = Koninklijke Brill NV | location = Leiden, The Netherlands | first = A.| last = Bausani] cite book |last = Balyuzi |first = H.M. |authorlink = Hasan M. Balyuzi |year = 1973 |title = The Báb: The Herald of the Day of Days |publisher = George Ronald |location = Oxford, UK |id = ISBN 0853980489 | pages = pp. 30-41]
In May 1844 the Báb proclaimed to
Mulla Husayn, one of the Shaykhis, to be the one whose coming was prophesized by Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim and the bearer of divine knowledge.cite encyclopedia |encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica |year= 1989 |article=Bāb, Sayyed `Ali Mohammad Sirazi | first = Dennis | last = MacEoin] Within five months, seventeen other disciples of Siyyid Káẓim had recognized the Báb as a Manifestation of God.cite web | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/print/religion/religions/bahai/history/bab2.shtml| title = The Time of the Bábpublisher = BBC| accessdate = 2006-07-02] cite book | chapter = Resurgence of Apocalyptic in Modern Islam | first = Abbas | last = Amanat | editor = Stein, Stephen J. | title = The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, vol. III: Apocalypticism in the Modern Period and the Contemporary Age. | location = New York | publisher = Continuum | year = 2000 | pages = 241-242 | id = ISBN 0826412556] These eighteen disciples were later to be known as the Letters of the Livingand were given the task of spreading the new faith across Iran and Iraq. The Báb initially attracted most of the followers of the Shaykhí movement, but soon his teachings went far beyond those roots and attracted prominent followers across Iran. His followers were known as Bábís.
After some time, preaching by the Letters of the Living led to opposition by the Islamic clergy, prompting the Governor of Shiraz to order the Báb's arrest. After being house arrest in Shiraz from June 1845 to September 1846, the Báb spent several months in Isfahan debating clergy, many who became sympathetic. [Amanat, "Resurrection and Renewal," 257.] He was then ordered by the Shah to Tehran in Junary 1847; after spending several months in a camp outside Tehran, the Prime Minister sent the Báb to
Tabrizin the northwestern corner of the country, where he was confined.
He was then transferred to the fortress of Máh-Kú in the province of Azarbaijan close to the Turkish border. During his incarceration there, the Báb began his most important work, the
Persian Bayán, which he never finished. He was then transferred to the fortress of Chihríqin April 1848. In that place as well, the Báb's popularity grew and his jailors relaxed restrictions on him. Hence the Prime Minister ordered the Báb back to Tabriz where the government called on religious authorities to put the Báb on trial for blasphemy and apostasy. Bábismwas also spreading across the country, and the Islamic government saw it as a threat to state religion and several military confrontations took place between government and Bábí forces.
In mid 1850 a new prime-minister,
Amir Kabir,cite book |first=Effendi |last=Shoghi |authorlink=Shoghi Effendi |year=1944 |title=God Passes By |publisher=Bahá'í Publishing Trust |location=Wilmette, Illinois, USA |id=ISBN 0877430209 |url=http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/GPB/gpb-5.html#pg52
pages=p. 52] ordered the execution of the Báb, probably because various Bábí insurrections had been defeated and the movement's popularity appeared to be waning. The Báb was brought back to Tabríz from Chihríq, so that he could be shot by a firing squad. On the morning of
July 9, 1850, the Báb was taken to the courtyard of the barracks in which he was being held, where thousands of people had gathered to watch. The Báb and a companion were suspended on a wall and a large firing squad prepared to shoot. After the order was given to shoot and the smoke cleared, the Báb was no longer in the courtyard and his companion stood there unharmed; the bullets apparently had not harmed either man, but had cut the rope suspending them from the wall. [Numerous eye-witness reports, including those of Western diplomats, recount the result. Sir Justin Shiel, Queen Victoria's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Tehran, wrote to Lord Palmerston, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on July 22, 1850 regarding the execution. The letter, can be found in its original form as document F.O. 60/152/88 in the archives of the Foreign Office at the Public Records Office in London.] [Some accounts say Anís was killed on the first volley; one says that the Bab was dispatched by a sword. See Firuz Kazemzadeh, Kazem Kazemzadeh, and Howard Garey, "The Báb: Accounts of His Martyrdom," in "World Order," vol. 8, no. 1 (Fall, 1973), 32. All accounts, even the Muslim ones, concur that the Báb survived the first volley.] The soldiers subsequently found the Báb in another part of the barracks, completely unharmed. He was tied up for execution a second time, a second firing squad was ranged in front of them, and a second order to fire was given. This time, the Báb and his companion were killed. Their remains were dumped outside the gates of the town to be eaten by animals.
The remains, however, were rescued by a handful of Bábis and were hidden. Over time the remains were secretly transported by way of Isfahan, Kirmansháh,
Baghdadand Damascus, to Beirutand thence by sea to Acre, Israelon the plain below Mount Carmelin 1899.cite book |first=Effendi |last=Shoghi |authorlink=Shoghi Effendi |year=1944 |title=God Passes By |publisher=Bahá'í Publishing Trust |location=Wilmette, Illinois, USA |id=ISBN 0877430209 |url=http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/GPB/gpb-19.html | pages=pp. 273-289] In 1909, the remains were then interred in a special tomb, erected for this purpose by `Abdu'l-Bahá, on Mount Carmel in the Bahá'í Holy Land in Haifaand remains an important place of pilgrimage for Bahá'ís.
While the Báb claimed a station of revelation, he also claimed no finality for his revelation.cite book | url = http://bahai-library.org/articles/babism.browne.html | title = Bábism | first = Edward G. | last = Browne | authorlink = E.G. Browne | year = 1889] A constant theme in his works, especially the Persian Bayan was that of the great Promised One, the next embodiment of the Primal Will, whom the Báb termed
He whom God shall make manifest, promised in the sacred writings of previous religions would soon establish the Kingdom of God on the Earth.cite book | title = Islam: Beliefs and Observances | first = Caesar E. |last= Farah |location= Woodbury, NY | publisher= Barron's Educational Series |year = 1970 | url = http://bahai-library.com/?file=farah_islam_beliefs_observances] In the books written by the Báb he constantly entreats his believers to follow He whom God shall make manifest when he arrives.
Before his death, the Báb had been in correspondence with two brothers,
Bahá'u'lláhand Subh-i-Azalwho, after the death of many prominent disciples, emerged as the mostly likely leaders.cite encyclopedia |encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica |year= 1989 |article=Baha'-allah | first = Juan | last = Cole] In a letter sent to Subh-i-Azal, then aged around nineteen, the Báb appears to have indicated a high station or leadership position. The letter also orders Subh-i-Azal to obey the Promised One when he appears;cite journal | journal = Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies | volume = 7 | issue = 2 | month = September | year = 2004 | title = The Primal Point’s Will and Testament | first = Sepehr | last = Manuchehri | url = http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/notes/vol7/BABWILL.htm] in practise, Subh-i-Azal, however, seems to have had little widespread legitimacy and authority. Bahá'u'lláh in the meantime, while in private hinted at his own high station, in public kept his messianic secret from most and supported Subh-i-Azal in the interest of unity. In 1863 in Baghdad, he made his first public declaration and eventually was recognized by the vast majority of Bábís as "He whom God shall make manifest" and his followers began calling themselves Bahá'ís.cite web | title = A Brief Biography of Baha'u'llah | last = Cole| first = Juan| accessdate=2006-06-22 | url=http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahabio.htm ]
Bahá'u'lláh was born on
November 12, 1817, in Tehran. Bahá'u'lláh's father, Mírzá Buzurg, served as vizierto Imám-Virdi Mírzá, the twelfth son of Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar. Mírzá Buzurg was later appointed governor of Burujird and Lorestan,cite book |first=Hasan |last=Balyuzi |year=2000 |title=Bahá'u'lláh, King of Glory ] a position that he was stripped of during a government purge when Muhammad Shah came to power. After his father died, Bahá'u'lláh was asked to take a government post by the new vizier Haji Mirza Aqasi, but he declined the position.
At the age of 28, Bahá'u'lláh received a messenger,
Mullá Husayn, telling him of the Báb, whose message he accepted, becoming a Bábí. Bahá'u'lláh began to spread the new cause, especially in his native province of Núr, becoming recognized as one of its most influential believers. The accompanying government suppression of the Báb's religion resulted in Bahá'u'lláh's being imprisoned twice and enduring bastinadotorture once Bahá'u'lláh also attended the conference of Badasht, where 81 prominent Babis met for 22 days; at that conference where there was a discussion between those Babis who wanted to maintain Islamic law and those who believed that the Báb's message began a new dispenation, Bahá'u'lláh took the pro-change side, which eventually won out.
In 1852, two years after the execution of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh met briefly with a couple radical Babi leaders and learnt of an assassination plan against the Shah,
Nasser-al-Din Shah, in retaliation for the Báb's execution. Bahá'u'lláh condemned the plan, but on August 15, 1852Babis attempted the assassination of the Shah and failed. Notwithstanding the assassins' claim that they were working alone, the entire Bábí community was blamed, and a slaughter of several thousand Bábís followed. Many of the Bábís who were not killed, including Bahá'u'lláh, were imprisoned in the Síyáh-Chál(Black Pit), an underground dungeon of Tehran.cite encyclopedia| last = Hutter | first = Manfred | editor = Ed. Lindsay Jones | encyclopedia = Encyclopedia of Religion | title = Bahā'īs | edition = 2nd ed. | year = 2005 | publisher = Macmillan Reference USA | volume = 2 | location = Detroit | id = ISBN 0028657330 | pages = p737-740] According to Bahá'u'lláh, it was during his imprisonment in the Síyáh-Chál that he had several mystical experiences, and that he received a vision of a Maiden from God, through whom he received his mission as a Messenger of God and as the One whose coming the Báb had prophesied.
The government later found Bahá'u'lláh innocent of complicity in the assassination plot, and he was released from the Síyáh-Chál, but the government exiled him from Iran. Bahá'u'lláh chose to go to Iraq in the
Ottoman Empireand arrived in Baghdadin early 1853. A small number of Babis, including his half-brother Subh-i-Azal, followed Bahá'u'lláh to Baghdad. An increasing number of Bábís considered Baghdad the new centre for leadership of the Bábí religion, and a flow of pilgrims started coming there from Persia. In Baghdad people began to look to Subh-i-Azal for leadership less and less due to his policy of remaining hidden, and instead saw Bahá'u'lláh as their leader.cite journal | first = Bijan | last = Ma'sumian | title = Baha'u'llah's Seclusion in Kurdistan |volume = 1 | number = 1 | pages = pp. 18–26 | journal = Deepen Magazine| date = 1993 Fall | url = http://bahai-library.com/?file=masumian_bahaullah_kurdistan] Subh-i-Azal started to try to discredit Bahá'u'lláh and further divided the community. The actions of Subh-i-Azal drove many people away from the religion and allowed its enemies to continue their persecution.
April 10 1854Bahá'u'lláh, left Baghdad in order to distance himself from Subh-i-Azal and as to avoid becoming the source of disagreement within the Babi community; he left with one companion to the mountains of Kurdistan, north-east of Baghdad, near the city Sulaymaniyah. For two years Bahá'u'lláh lived alone in the mountains of Kurdistan living the life of a Sufi dervish. At one point someone noticed his remarkable penmanship, which brought the curiosity of the instructors of the local Sufi orders. During his time in Kurdistan he wrote many notable books including the Four Valleys. In Baghdad, given the lack of firm and public leadership by Subh-i-Azal, the Babi community had fallen into disarray. Some Babis, including Bahá'u'lláh's family, thus searched for Bahá'u'lláh, and pleaded with him to come back to Baghdad, which he did in 1856.
Bahá'u'lláh remained in Baghdád for seven more years. During this time, while keeping his perceived station as the
Manifestation of Godhidden, he taught the Báb's teachings. He published many books and verses including the Book of Certitude and the Hidden Words. Bahá'u'lláh's gatherings attracted many notables, both locals and Iranian pilgrims, giving him greater influence in Baghdad and in Iran. His rising influence in the city, and the revival of the Persian Bábí community gained the attention of his enemies in Islamicclergy and the Persian government.cite encyclopedia | year = 1988 | title = The Bahá'í Faith | encyclopedia = Britannica Book of the Year | publisher = Encyclopaedia Britannica | location = Chicago | id = ISBN 0852294867] They were eventually successful in having the Ottoman government call Bahá'u'lláh from Baghdad to Constantinople.
Before he left Baghdad on the way to Constantinople, Bahá'u'lláh camped for twelve days in the Garden of Ridván near Baghdad starting on
April 22 1863. During his stay in the garden a large number of friends came to see him before he left. It was during his time in the Garden of Ridván that Bahá'u'lláh declared to his companions his perceived mission and station as a Messenger of God. Today Bahá'ís celebrate the twelve days that Bahá'u'lláh was in the Garden of Ridván as the festival of Ridván.
After travelling for four-month over land, Bahá'u'lláh arrived in the capital of the Ottoman Empire,
Constantinople(now Istanbul). Although not a formal prisoner yet, the forced exile from Baghdadwas the beginning of a long process which would gradually move him into further exiles and eventually the penal colony of Akká, Palestine (now Acre, Israel). Bahá'u'lláh and his family, along with a small group of Bábís, stayed in Constantinople for only four months. Due to his refusal to build alliances with the Ottoman politicians, Bahá'u'lláh had no means of resisting pressure from the Iranian ambassador to exile him further away, and Sultan Abdülâzizbanished Bahá'u'lláh to Adrianople(current-day Edirne), which was a site for the exile of political prisoners.
During the month of December 1863, Bahá'u'lláh and his family embarked on a twelve-day journey to Adrianople. Bahá'u'lláh stayed in Adrianople for four and a half years. In Adrianople Bahá'u'lláh made his claim to be
Him whom God shall make manifestmore public through letters and tablets. Bahá'u'lláh's assertion as an independent Manifestation of God made Subh-i-Azal's leadership position irrelevant; Subh-i-Azal, upon hearing Bahá'u'lláh's words in a tablet read to him, challenging him to accept Bahá'u'lláh's revelation, refused and challenged Bahá'u'lláh to a test of divine will at a local mosque, but he lost face when he did not appear. This caused a break within the Bábí community, and the followers of Bahá'u'lláh became known as Bahá'ís, while the followers of Subh-i-Azal became known as Azalis.
Starting in 1866, while in Adrianople, Bahá'u'lláh started writing a series of letters to world rulers, proclaiming his station as the promised one of all religions. His letters also asked them to renounce their material possessions, work together to settle disputes, and endeavour towards the betterment of the world and its peoples. Some of these leaders written to in the coming years include Pope Pius IX,
Napoleon III of France, Czar Alexander II of Russia, Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland, Násiri’d-Dín Sháh of the Persian Empire and the rulers of America.
The disagreements between the Bahá'ís and the Azalís allowed the Ottoman and Persian authorities to exile Bahá'u'lláh once again. Bahá'u'lláh and his family left Adrianople on
August 12 1868and after a journey by land and sea arrived in Acre on August 31. The first years in Acre imposed very harsh conditions on, and held very trying times for, Bahá'u'lláh. Mirzá Mihdí, Bahá'u'lláh's son, was suddenly killed at the age of twenty-two when he fell through a skylight while pacing back and forth in prayer and meditation. After some time, the people and officials began to trust and respect Bahá'u'lláh, and thus the conditions of the imprisonment were eased and eventually, after Sultan `Abdu'l-`Aziz's death, he was allowed to leave the city and visit nearby places. From 1877 until 1879 Bahá'u'lláh lived in the house of Mazra'ih.
The final years of Bahá'u'lláh's life were spent in the
Mansion of Bahjí, just outside Acre, even though he was still formally a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire. During his years in Acre and Bahjí, Bahá'u'lláh produced many volumes of work including the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. On May 9 1892Bahá'u'lláh contracted a slight fever which grew steadily over the following days, abated, and then finally took his life on May 29 1892. He was buried in a Shrine located next to the Mansion of Bahjí.
Bahá'u'lláh was succeeded by his eldest son, `Abdu'l-Bahá. Designated as the "Center of the Covenant" and Head of the Faith, Bahá'u'lláh designated him in his will as the sole authoritative interpreter of Bahá'u'lláh's writings. [http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/TB/tb-16.html#gr1]
`Abdu'l-Bahá had shared his father's long exile and imprisonment. This imprisonment continued until `Abdu'l-Bahá's own release as a result of the "
Young Turk" revolution in 1908.
Following his release he led a life of travelling, speaking, and maintaining correspondence with communities of believers and individuals, expounding the principles of the Bahá'í Faith. `Abdu'l-Bahá died in
Haifaon November 28, 1921and is now buried in one of the front rooms in the Shrine of the Báb.
`Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament [http://bahai-library.com/?file=abdulbaha_will_testament.html] is the charter of the Bahá'í administrative order. In this document `Abdu'l-Bahá established the institutions of the appointed Guardianship and the elected
Universal House of Justice. In that same document he appointed his eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi, as the first Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
Shoghi Effendi throughout his lifetime translated the sacred writings of the Faith; developed global plans for the expansion of the Bahá'í community; developed the
Bahá'í World Centre; carried on a voluminous correspondence with communities and individuals around the world; and built the administrative structure of the Faith, preparing the community for the election of the Universal House of Justice.
With the unexpected passing of
Shoghi Effendiin 1957, the faith was left without a clear candidate for Guardian. The Hands of the Cause, appointed by Shoghi Effendi, took the necessary administrative roles at the Bahá'í World Centre, and organized the election of the Universal House of Justice, from which they excluded themselves from membership.
Universal House of Justice
After the election of the
Universal House of Justicein 1963, it then ruled that given the unique situation and the provisions of the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, it was not possible to appoint another Guardian. The Universal House of Justice today remains the supreme governing body of the Bahá'í Faith, and its nine members are elected every five years.
last = Balyuzi
first = H.M.
authorlink = Hasan M. Balyuzi
year = 2001
title = `Abdu'l-Bahá: The Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh
edition = Paperback
publisher = George Ronald
location = Oxford, UK
id = ISBN 0853980438
last = Balyuzi
first = H.M.
authorlink = Hasan M. Balyuzi
year = 1973
title = The Báb: The Herald of the Day of Days
publisher = George Ronald
location = Oxford, UK
id = ISBN 0853980489
last = Balyuzi
first = H.M.
authorlink = Hasan M. Balyuzi
year = 2000
title = Bahá'u'lláh, King of Glory
publisher = George Ronald
location = Oxford, UK
id = ISBN 0853983283
author = Cameron, G.
coauthors = & Momen, W.
year = 1996
title = A Basic Bahá'í Chronology
publisher = George Ronald
location = Oxford, UK
id = ISBN 0853984022
author= Hatcher, William S. and Martin, J. Douglas
title=The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion
publisher=Bahá'í Publishing Trust
location=Wilmette, Illinois, USA
id= ISBN 0877432643
last = Momen
first = M. (editor)
year = 1981
title = The Bábí and Bahá'í Religions, 1844-1944 - Some Contemporary Western Accounts
publisher = George Ronald
location = Oxford, UK
id = ISBN 0853981027
author= Rabbani, Ruhiyyih (Ed.)
title= The Ministry of the Custodians 1957-1963
publisher= Bahá'í World Centre
id= ISBN 085398350X
author= Taherzadeh, Adib
authorlink= Adib Taherzadeh
title= The Covenant of Baha'u'llah
publisher= George Ronald
id= ISBN 0853983445
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