what is the position of the Guardian in the Bahai faith?
Abdul-Baha has stated in the Will and Testament, p.11:
“He (the Guardian) is the sign of God, and the selected branch, the divide deputy, a reference for all the branches, Afnans , the hands of the cause, and the friends of god, and the interpreter of the divine verses; and the same are his elder sons in every coming generation.”
In p.13 of the above text, Abdul-Baha includes: “Beware, o’ friends of God! That the Guardian should appoint and acknowledge the next Guardian, during his life time, so as to avoid any dispute and division(s). The appointed person should be symbol of divine sanctity, purity, chastity, Knowledge, qualities, and perfection. Therefore, if the elder son of Guardian would not have the qualities and virtues of his father … then the Guardian should appoint another son…
Now compare the above mentioned text with the following phrase:
Abdul-Baha in his explanation about the revelations of John (in the New Testament), “and those 24 old people who are sitting on their thrones, in the presence of God…..” has stated:
“In the circle of every prophet, his appointed deputies are 12. During the time of Jacob, they were 12 sons. And at the time of Moses, they were 12 leaders of the tribes.
And during the time of Jesus Christ, they were 12 companions. And at the time of the holly Muhammad (p.b.u.h) they were 12 Imams. But in the current great dispensation they are 24!! They have been doubles. The dignity of the current dispensation requires so. The said 24 Guardians have been sitting in their thrones, in the presence of God, i.e. they have eternal governance….
Unfortunately, his interpretation about those 24 old people, and his prediction about the successors of Shoghi were mistakes. Shoghi was barren, and the Baha’is encountered a serious challenge about the legitimacy of the UHJ.