July 29, 1935: To Baha’is of America

As the activities of the American Bahá’í community expand, and its world-wide prestige correspondingly increases, the institution of the National Fund, the bedrock on which all other institutions must necessarily rest and be established, acquires added importance, and should be increasingly supported by the entire body of the believers, both in their individual capacities, and through their collective efforts, whether organized as groups or as local Assemblies. The supply of funds, in support of the National Treasury, constitutes, at the present time, the life-blood of those nascent institutions which you are laboring to erect. Its importance cannot, surely, be overestimated. Untold blessings shall no doubt crown every effort directed to that end. I am eagerly and prayerfully awaiting the news of an unprecedented expansion in so vital an organ of the administrative Order of the Faith.

Shoghi Effendi
July 29, 1935
(Messages to America, p. 16)

November 18, 1933: To Baha’is of North America

Baha'i Communities East and West acclaim with one voice stupendous accomplishments those responsible for this latest manifestation of America's superb, sustained self -sacrifice. Supreme Concourse echo praises those whose shining deeds are shedding on Baha’i name a great, imperishable lustre. My heart swells with admiration (and) gratitude as I contemplate increasing evidences American believers' well-deserved, steadily advancing fame. Hour of victory is at hand. America's invincible heroism must and will achieve it.


Haifa, Palestine,
November 18, 1933
(Baha’i News, January 1934)

October 30, 1933: To Baha’is of North America

Keith’s precious life offered up in sacrifice to beloved Cause in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land. On Persian soil, for Persia’s sake, she encountered, challenged and fought the forces of darkness with high distinction, indomitable will, unswerving, exemplary loyalty. The mass of her helpless Persian brethren mourns the sudden loss of their valiant emancipator. American believers grateful and proud of the memory of their first and distinguished martyr. Sorrow stricken, I lament my earthly separation from an invaluable collaborator, an unfailing counselor, an esteemed and faithful friend. I urge the Local Assemblies befittingly to organize memorial gatherings in memory of one whose international services entitled her to an eminent rank among the Hands of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

[Cablegram] October 30, 1933
(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 3)

April 21, 1933: To Baha’is in American Continent

Fellow believers in the American continent!  Great indeed have been your past and present achievements! Immeasurably greater are the wonders which the future has in store for you! The Edifice your sacrifices have raised still remains to be clothed. The House (Universal House of Justice) which must needs be supported by the highest administrative institution your hands have reared, is as yet built. The provisions of the chief Repository of those laws that must govern its operation are thus far mostly undisclosed. The Standard (of the Most Great Peace) which, if 'Abdu’l-Baha’s wishes are to be fulfilled, must be raised in your own country has yet to be unfurled. The Unity of which that standard is to be the symbol is far from being yet established. The machinery which must needs incarnate and preserve that unity is not even created. Will it be America, will it be one of the countries of Europe, who will arise to assume the leadership essential to the shaping of the destinies of this troubled Age? Will America allow any of her sister communities in East or West to achieve such ascendency as shall deprive her of that spiritual Primacy with she has been invested and which she has thus far so nobly retained? Will she not rather contribute, by a still further revelation of those inherent powers that motivate her life, to enhance the priceless privilege which the love and wisdom of a departed Master have conferred upon her?
Shoghi Effendi
April 21, 1933.
(Baha’i News, November 1933)

October 27, 1932: To Baha’is of North America

I am deeply conscious of the many obstacles that stand in the path of the American believers in their stupendous endeavor to attain their goal -- a goal on which our dearly beloved Greatest Holy Leaf had set her fondest hopes. I cannot, however, overlook, much as I sympathize with them in their financial tribulations and anxieties, the mysterious power that resides in the united will and concerted action of all the members of that self-sacrificing community -- a community which, since the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, has put an impetus to the advancement of the Cause out of all proportion to its numerical strength, its youthfulness, and experience of the powers latent in this sacred Faith. What an untold wealth of blessings will flow out of a renewed, an irrevocable resolution, representing the combined will of all the steadfast lovers of the Cause of God in that land, to carry out in its entirety during the few remaining months a Plan on which so much that is vital to its world-wide interests depends! The American believers, the stout-hearted supporters of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, have already given too many evidences of their preponderating influence in the direction of its affairs to allow the slightest disappointment to mar the radiance of their past achievements. Their will to succeed must eventually triumph.

October 27, 1932
(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 2)

July 17, 1932: To Baha’is throughout the United States and Canada

The beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

Brethren and fellow-mourners in the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh:

A sorrow, reminiscent in its poignancy, of the devastating grief caused by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sudden removal from our midst, has stirred the Bahá’í world to its foundations. The Greatest Holy Leaf, the well-beloved and treasured Remnant of Bahá’u’lláh entrusted to our frail and unworthy hands by our departed Master, has passed to the Great Beyond, leaving a legacy that time can never dim.

The community of the Most Great Name, in its entirety and to its very core, feels the sting of this cruel loss. Inevitable though this calamitous event appeared to us all, however acute our apprehensions of its steady approach, the consciousness of its final consummation at this terrible hour leaves us, we whose souls have been impregnated by the energizing influence of her love, prostrated and disconsolate.

July 15, 1932: To Baha’is worldwide

Greatest Holy Leaf’s immortal spirit winged its flight Great Beyond. Countless lovers her saintly life in East and West seized with pangs of anguish. Plunged in utterable sorrow humanity shall ere long recognize its irreparable loss. Our beloved Faith, well nigh crushed by devastating blow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unexpected Ascension, now laments passing of last remnant of Bahá’u’lláh, its most exalted member. Holy Family cruelly divested of its most precious great Adorning. I for my part bewail sudden removal of my sole earthly sustainer, the joy and solace of my life. Remains will repose in the vicinity of the Holy Shrines. So grievous a bereavement necessitates suspension for nine months through Bahá’í world every manner religious festivity. Inform Local Assemblies and groups hold in befitting manner memorial gatherings to extol a life so laden with sacred experiences, so rich in imperishable memories. Advise holding additional Commemoration Service of strictly devotional character in the Auditorium of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.

[Cablegram] July 15, 1932
(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 1)

June 21, 1932: To Baha’is of North America

Feel impelled appeal entire body American believers to henceforth regard Nabíl’s soul-stirring Narrative as essential adjunct to reconstructed Teaching program, as unchallengeable textbook in their Summer Schools, as source of inspiration in all literary and artistic pursuits, as an invaluable companion in times of leisure, as indispensable preliminary to future pilgrimage to Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, and as unfailing instrument to allay distress and resist attacks of critical, disillusioned humanity.

[Cablegram] Shoghi
June 21, 1932.
(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 1)

March 21, 1932: To Baha’is of North America

Would to God that by the end of the spring of the year 1933 the multitudes who, from the remote corners of the globe, will throng the grounds of the Great Fair to be held in the neighborhood of that hallowed shrine [Chicago Temple] may, as the result of your sustained spirit of self-sacrifice, be privileged to gaze on the arrayed splendor of its dome – a dome that shall stand as a flaming beacon and a symbol of hope amidst the gloom of a despairing world.
March 21, 1932.
(Baha’i News, April 1933)

April 26, 1932: To Baha’is of Montreal

26 April 1932

To the Bahá’ís of Montreal

Dear Bahá’í brothers and sisters:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your joint letter dated March 21st, 1932. He trusts that, with the aid and blessings of the Master, you will succeed to realize your hopes and create a great impetus among the friends that will ultimately lead towards the completion of that noble and beautiful edifice. It is only through such a general sacrifice that we can bring that task to a successful completion.

Consider what a wonderful prestige we will create for the Cause in the eyes of the public! At a time when stupendous undertakings are being given up for lack of funds, when all the human institutions are crumbling down and failing to inspire hope in their followers, the world will see our Temple completed, not through the donations of wealthy people, but through the sacrifices of humble souls who have the love of God burning in their hearts.

March 21, 1932: To Baha’is throughout the United States and Canada

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

Friends and fellow-defenders of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh:

Significant as have been the changes that have lately overtaken a swiftly awakening humanity at this transitional phase of its checkered history, the steady consolidation of the institutions which the administrators of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh are, in every land, toiling to establish should appear no less remarkable to even those who are as yet imperfectly acquainted with the obstacles they have had to surmount or the meagre resources on which they could rely.

That a Faith which, ten years ago, was severely shaken by the sudden removal of an incomparable Master should have, in the face of tremendous obstacles, maintained its unity, resisted the malignant onslaught of its ill-wishers, silenced its calumniators, broadened the basis of its far-flung administration, and raised upon it institutions symbolizing its ideals of worship and service, should be deemed sufficient evidence of the invincible power with which the Almighty has chosen to invest it from the moment of its inception.

December 20, 1931: To North American Baha’is

I deeply appreciate the continued and self-sacrificing endeavors of the American believers in the face of the grave financial and economic depression into which their country and the whole world is now plunged. That the Temple edifice should arise under such circumstances, that at its elaborate and exquisite ornamentation should be carried out, through the efforts of a mere handful of Baha’i followers despite the gloom, the uncertainty and the dangers which surrounded them is but another evidence of the mysterious, all-compelling power of Baha’u’llah whose blessings will be bountifully vouchsafed to all who arise to carry out His purpose. The Cause is entering upon a period of unprecedented achievements. The full measure of its glory and power will be gradually manifested, if we, on our part, execute in their entirety the instructions and bequests bequeathed to us by our beloved Master. The American believers have made a splendid beginning. Let them bring to a speedy and successful termination a task which they have so nobly initiated and which they alone are destined to accomplish."

December 20, 1931.
(Baha’i News, September 1932)

November 28, 1931: To Baha'is Worldwide

Fellow-believers in the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh:

The inexorable march of recent events has carried humanity so near to the goal foreshadowed by Bahá’u’lláh that no responsible follower of His Faith, viewing on all sides the distressing evidences of the world’s travail, can remain unmoved at the thought of its approaching deliverance.

It would not seem inappropriate, at a time when we are commemorating the world over the termination of the first decade since ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sudden removal from our midst, to ponder, in the light of the teachings bequeathed by Him to the world, such events as have tended to hasten the gradual emergence of the World Order anticipated by Bahá’u’lláh.

Ten years ago, this very day, there flashed upon the world the news of the passing of Him Who alone, through the ennobling influence of His love, strength and wisdom, could have proved its stay and solace in the many afflictions it was destined to suffer.

March 21, 1930: To Baha'is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

Amid the reports that have of late reached the Holy Land, most of which witness to the triumphant march of the Cause, a few seem to betray a certain apprehension regarding the validity of the institutions which stand inseparably associated with the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. These expressed misgivings appear to be actuated by certain whisperings which have emanated from quarters which are either wholly misinformed regarding the fundamentals of the Bahá’í Revelation, or which deliberately contrive to sow the seeds of dissension in the hearts of the faithful.

January 12, 1930: To Bahá'ís of Tokyo

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge receipt of your joint letter enclosed in Miss Alexander's note. Shoghi Effendi hopes that through the combined efforts of the Bahá'ís of Tokyo, the Cause will establish a strong center in that city and then begin and radiate its spiritual light to neighboring localities. Now that Miss Root is with you, you should endeavor to awaken new competent souls and then when she is gone strive to ground them firmly in the teachings.

(signed by Ruhi Afnan)
(January 12, 1930) 

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Assuring you of my fervent prayers for you all at the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. Your true brother,
(Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 62)

October 25, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the United States and Canada

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada.

My well-beloved friends:

Ever since that remarkable manifestation of Bahá’í solidarity and self-sacrifice which has signalized the proceedings of last year’s memorable Convention, I have been expectantly awaiting the news of a steady and continuous support of the Plan which can alone insure, ere the present year draws to its close, the resumption of building operations on our beloved Temple.

Moved by an impulse that I could not resist, I have felt impelled to forego what may be regarded as the most valuable and sacred possession in the Holy Land for the furthering of that noble enterprise which you have set your hearts to achieve. With the hearty concurrence of our dear Bahá’í brother, Zíáoulláh Asgarzadeh, who years ago donated it to the Most Holy Shrine, this precious ornament of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh has been already shipped to your shores, with our fondest hope that the proceeds from its sale may at once ennoble and reinforce the unnumbered offerings of the American believers already accumulated on the altar of Bahá’í sacrifice. I have longed ever since to witness such evidences of spontaneous and generous response on your part as would tend to fortify within me a confidence that has never wavered in the inexhaustible vitality of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in that land.

March 20, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

With a heart overflowing with thankfulness and joy I take my pen to share with you tidings that eloquently testify to the triumphant majesty and unconquerable spirit of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. From Geneva, the seat of the League of Nations, there comes the news that the fervent plea addressed by the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq to the world’s supreme Tribunal regarding an issue that for a time has stirred the Bahá’í world to its foundation has at last met with a noble and most gratifying response.

You will recall the references made in my previous communications, dated November 6, 1925, October 29, 1926, and January 1, 1929, to the forcible seizure of Bahá’u’lláh’s sacred house by the Shí’ah of Baghdád, to the appeals which from almost every quarter of the globe have showered upon the authorities of ‘Iráq for its restitution, to the long and unsuccessful legal proceedings to which the representatives of the Faith in that land have resorted, and lastly to the petition which they have addressed to the League’s Permanent Mandates Commission setting forth the history of the case and appealing for the intervention of the Council in their behalf. I am now informed that after mature deliberation the conclusion arrived at by the Mandates Commission, urging that prompt action be taken to redress the wrong suffered by the Bahá’ís, has been duly communicated to, and adopted by, the Council of the League, which in turn will formally communicate the recommendations of its Commission to the Mandatory Power.

February 12, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Fellow-laborers in the Divine Vineyard:

I feel impelled by the force of various circumstances to share with you the news of recent happenings in those countries of the Near and Middle East which, by the ruling of Providence, are in these days undergoing a transformation which is as startling in its features as it is significant in its bearings upon the interests of our beloved Faith.

I have already in my previous communication briefly referred to the nature and effects of that momentous Revolution which has, with surprising swiftness, substituted a westernized and rejuvenated Turkey for the primitive and decrepit Ottoman Empire. I have also attempted to describe the first stages of that recent and moving episode which has served in a manner that is truly providential to thrust the Bahá’í community in Turkey out of the obscurity of oppressive neglect into the broad daylight of official and public attention.

January 1, 1929: To Baha’is throughout the West

The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved co-workers:

Whilst the Bahá’ís of Persia, constituting the overwhelming majority of the adherents of the Bahá’í Faith in eastern lands, are tasting the first-fruits of their long-dreamed emancipation, a not inconsiderable section of Bahá’u’lláh’s following in the East, inhabiting the provinces of Caucasus and Turkistan, are being subjected to trials and tribulations not very dissimilar, though inferior in intensity, to the afflictions borne so long and so heroically by their Persian brethren.

In my last communication to you I have attempted to depict the nature and swiftness of those liberating forces which today are being released in Persia by an enlightened regime determined to shake off with unconcealed contempt the odious fetters of a long standing tyranny. And I feel that a description of the very perplexing situation with which our brethren in Russia find themselves confronted at present will serve to complete the picture which responsible believers in the West must bear in mind of the critical and swiftly moving changes that are transforming the face of the East.

December 21, 1928: To Baha’is throughout the West

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.

Dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!

With feelings of profound sorrow I am moved to address you these few lines mourning the loss which the Cause has undoubtedly sustained by the passing of one who, for many years and in circumstances of exceptional significance, rendered the sacred Threshold distinctive and inestimable services. The hand of Divine Decree has removed, by the death of our talented and dearly-beloved friend, Mr. Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, yet another outstanding figure in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, who, by his brilliant gifts of mind and heart as well as by the divers achievements of his life, has truly enriched the annals of God’s immortal Faith.

A pioneer of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh ever since its celestial light first warmed and illuminated the West, he has, by his close association with the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, by his contact with all sections of society, by his scholarly presentation of the history and fundamentals of the Faith, and lastly by his unforgettable share in the settlement of the complex and pressing issues that called for expert assistance in the days following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, achieved a standing which few have as yet attained.