Baha’u’llah has made it compulsory upon every believer Bahá’í to prepare and keep a will and testament (the most Holy Book, para 255) during his life time. He himself followed the same procedure, wrote a will and appointed a heir, so that his family and followers would not encounter any difficulty after him.
In the same way, Abdul–Baha considered it necessary to write a Will during one’s life. He himself performed the same, and inherited the valuable Will and Testament, which included his important notices and recommendations.
If a Bahá’í dies and has no will, all his belongings and properties should be divided among seven groups, according to the contents of the most holy Book, i.e., his spouse, children, father, mother, brother(s), sister(s) and teacher(s).
According to the Kitab Aqdas, if any of the above 7 categories were not alive, its share will be owned by the UHJ. Again, according to the Baha’i law, all the non-Bahá’ís, unbelievers, Covenant – breakers, and those who have been excommunicated from the Bahá’í Faith, are deprived from the Bahá’í inheritances.
Now I would like to draw your attention to an important and historical event in the Bahá’í community. As you are well aware, the Beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, passed away in London, in the summer of 1957, after a strange and unexpected disease, when he was there in order to purchase the necessary equipments and materials for the completion of the archives buildings. (The story of his ascension, and the next events and occurrences are a complete article, and should be reviewed separately.)
Unfortunately, after the ascension of the Beloved Guardian the disputes and quarrels about his successors, belongings and remnants began. Naturally, those properties of Shoghi Effendi that belonged to the Bahá’í Community, should have been rendered to his successor and the chairman of the first international Bahá’í Council, i.e. Mason Remey. But the Hands of the Cause, without considering the previous writings of the Guardian and other indications, under the pretense that they did not find any written will from Shoghi Effendi, acknowledged the discontinuing of the institution of the living Guarding of the Cause, according to a divine change of the previous determinism (Bada)!
By neglecting the succession of Mason Remey, and announcing the obstruction and cancellation of guardianship, it was necessary to divide the inheritance and remnants of Shoghi Effendi among the said seven groups in the holy Aqdas. But due to several reasons, including absence of the majority of the heirs, the Aqdas decree was thrown aside! (The parents of Shoghi Effendi had already ascended; his brothers and sisters had been excommunicated as Covenant- breakers; he had left no children; and no Bahá’í could claim to be from his teachers!)
Therefore, according to the rules of Aqdas, about 19% of the inheritance should have been given to his living wife, Ruhhiya Khaanum , and the rest of it – in the absence of the heirs and non-establishment of the U.H.J – should have been dedicated to the highest Bahá’í official of that time, i.e. the second Guardian; and the chair of the international Bahá’í Council (the embryonic UHJ) who was Mr. Mason Remey.
Some of the Iranian Hands, such as Zekrullah Khadem, Shoa’ullah Ala’ei, Ali A. Foroutan, Rahmatullah Mohajer, and Hassan A. Balyuzi, in cooperation with John Froby, Hadi Rahmani Shirazi, General A. Moqarrabi, Manouher Qaem Maqami and Habib Sabet, in order to not dedicate the rest properties to Mason Remey, and to own it as adventitious, found the solution to meet the excommunicated sisters and brothers of the Guardian and to make a deal with them on the Shoghi Effendi’s inheritance.
Since according to the Bahá’í writings the distribution of the inheritance with the Covenant-Breakers was not allowed, and in that way, the shares of inheritance of his parents, children and teachers would have been lost, so they decided to distribute the remnants and inheritance of Shoghi Effendi in Iran, and according to the Islamic law of inheritance. To achieve this, it was necessary to introduce the Guardian to the Iranian court as a Muslim person!
It was duly performed and by approval of Ruhiyya Khanum, the widow of the beloved Guardian and one of the Hands (who according to the Islamic law, as a non-Muslim spouse, became deprived of inheritance) the first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, was introduced as a Muslim, and his inheritance case was filed under No. 796/37/1 DD 1337/07/27 (# 1958) ,in Tehran county court, in Iran Ministry of Justice. Then by the award No.1464 of the court ,all the Shoghi Effendi’s inheritance was divided among his four excommunicated brothers and sisters i.e. Hussain, Riyaz, Rouhangiz, and Mehrangiz.
But according to the pre-arranged agreements Nos.47308 ,47734, 47947 and 47948 registered in the Notary Public office no.25 of Tehran, the said spiritually excommunicated and Covenant-Breakers, by receipt of some commissions (as their shares) agreed to transfer the ownership of those properties to M.A. Varqa, one of the Hands, and trustee of Huquq-Allah. The latter, in turn and in a scheduled plan, transferred those properties to the name of some famous Iranian Bahá’ís such as Habib Sabet and Bahereh Khamsi. After a while, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran established the “Omana” company and most of those properties were transferred to “Omana”; though some of them unlawfully remained in the ownership of those famous Iranian Bahá’ís!
This movement which was performed in a cooperation of some of the Hands and the Covenant-Breakers of the family of Shoghi Effendi, was extensively and frequently protested by some of the Friends,LSAs, and NSAs; but were mainly neglected, or were angrily responded through serious and threatening messages of the Hands and excommunication of the protesters, on the pretense of unity of the Bahá’í Community.
The protesters believed that the Guardian had prohibited any contact with the Covenant-Breakers, and had acknowledged it as a great sin; and the doer of such a crime would deserve the bitter punishment of being excommunicated himself. It was quite true about the close relatives of the Guardian, who always persecuted him. Ruhiyya Khanum, for example, has mentioned in her diary about the Guardian as below:
…These events are continuous. These fights, which first began with one of them, and later all of his family entered the disputes, is wearing him. Even now, his back is bent, his heart has become weak, and his body parts have shown to be worn out. His all relatives collected their force and tried their best to exhaust him, and kill his soul! … Then he added, “those relatives who were around the holy personality of Abdul-Baha, eventually murdered him, … And they will kill me either.” (Ruhiyyih Khanum, the Priceless Pearl, pp. 343 & 346)
The coalition with the serious enemies of the Bahá’í Cause, shook its foundations. Many of the believers left the Bahá’í community, and big questions appeared in the minds of the Friends, which are still available, and no one in the Bahá’í administration or current UHJ has given any satisfactorily explanations to them. They have always tried to conceal such realities from the Bahá’ís of the world. I can mention some of them as below:
1. While writing a will is compulsory on every Bahá’í, how can you claim that the Guardian, who has been the teacher and commentator of the holy words, has failed to write and leave a will?
2. By considering the next decisions and procedures taken by the Hands, why should not we assume the probability that some of them have had access to the private documents of the Guardian, and had found his will before others; and since its contents was not satisfying to them, they had taken it away or destroyed it?
3. Despite the fact that according to the Bahá’í Law, the Covenant-Breakers and non-Bahá’ís are deprived from the Bahá’í inheritance, then how and upon what presumption they could distribute the inheritance of the beloved Guardian among his excommunicated brothers and sisters, especially according to the Islamic law?
4. Who had permitted them that in order to satisfy their wishes, and to take the properties -that actually belonged to the Bahá’í Community- acknowledge the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith as a Muslim? It was contrary to the clear and direct words and teachings of the Guardian, and the Bahá’ís public view; a cheating and a fraud.
5. In the absence of the Guardian of the Cause, who would protect the multi – billion properties of the Bahá’í Community? Has the current (sans-Guardian) UHJ issued financial reports, bills of statement, or combined financial statements of the owned properties, assets, and the amounts received as donations and Huquq’ullah? Has the UHJ ever published a statement of its receipts and expenses?
Unfortunately, the Bahá’í administration asks all the questioners to be quiet under the pretext of unity in the community, the necessity of overall obedience to the UHJ, the possible increase of persecutions of the states, … In other cases, the protests and questions have been overlooked by the news and propaganda of the exaggerated progresses and glad tidings of the Bahá’í Cause in the world. On the other hand, the unforgettable point is disenrollment and excommunication of the questioners/protesters from the Bahá’í Community!
One may suppose that the activities of the Custodian Hands could be justified because they had good willing, and tried to protect the interest of the Bahá’í Faith. But we should know that the Guardian was always angry toward the Covenant-Breakers, and never made a deal with them.
Ruhiyya Khanum has written in her diary:
“Once the husband of one the close relatives of the Guardian had died. His widow came to our house, and requested the Guardian to accept his will, and a sum as donation. She was even ready to render to him some of the very valuable seals of Baha’ullah, that Abdul-Baha, at the time of his journey to America, had deposited to her.” But since she had relations with the Covenant-Breakers, the holy Guardian refused her donation and gift, and asked me to tell her:
“I will not accept them, even if they were millions of seals, or a donation the same size as the Carmel Mount; unless she would depart herself heartedly and spiritually, and forever, from the Covenant-Breakers!”
Although, those seals were very precious and priceless to the Guardian, and he needed them for the Archives, but looked at me and ordered me to tell her:
“The Guardian cannot do anything unless she could achieve the above order. Otherwise, she should take away the seals, the will, and other things.” (Ruhiyya Khanum., The Priceless Pearl, p. 349)
In short, a Bahá’í Community, when the Guardian is not at its top, and a selfish, sinful, and profit-seeker group govern it, will be declined and lost very soon.
It was for the same reason that Abdul-Baha wrote in his Will and Testament:
“It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause to appoint his successor and heir during his life time.”
Altogether, the important point in this subject is that, even if we do not see a written Will remained from Shoghi Effendi -as they claim- we believe that he had simply and indirectly introduced and appointed Mr. Mason Remey, as his successor, in several places; and Mr. Remey had a close and valuable position to Guardian, till the last seconds of his life. The Guardian regarded him as a trustable man, and entrusted him many important duties and responsibilities.
The warmest greetings