Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

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Read online at http://bahai-library.com/abdulbaha_will_testament



Quotations on the need for Bahá'ís to read the Will and Testament

"He feels, indeed, that the time has come for the German believers to acquire a thorough knowledge as well as a full understanding of such important Tablets as Bahá'u'lláh's "Book of My Covenant" and 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament, both of which constitute the very bedrock upon which the entire administrative system of the Faith has been raised and established. As to the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" it also constitutes an invaluable supplement to these afore-mentioned Tablets."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 10 January 1935, Pearls of Wisdom, p. 89)

"He has noted, in particular, with genuine satisfaction the recommendations issued by the National Youth Committee to the members of our Bahá'í youth to make a deeper study of the Master's Will and to ponder more carefully on its manifold and far-reaching implications. He hopes that the Regional Youth Conferences...have devoted all the time necessary for the study and discussion of this all-important subject, and have given it the full emphasis it deserves. He will pray that the results obtained may be such as to give all the attendants a clear and wider vision of the tasks, responsibilities and obligations they will be called upon to discharge during this year, and a renewed stimulus to contribute their full share to the success and complete fulfilment of the Seven-Year Plan."

"The Guardian would advise that in their studies of the Will and Testament the young believers should use the "Dispensation", which will undoubtedly help them considerably to grasp the full implications of that sacred and historic Document which he has described as the "Charter of the New World Order".

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Pearls of Wisdom, p. 93-94)

"A profound study of the Faith which they have espoused, its history, its spiritual as well as administrative principles; a thorough understanding of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh and of the Will of 'Abdu'l-Bahá...these constitute, I feel convinced, the urgent need of the members of this rapidly expanding community."

(Shoghi Effendi, Pearls of Wisdom, p. 58)

"Shoghi Effendi is especially delighted to know that the younger group are studying the Will and Testament as this document is indispensable for a complete understanding of the spirit, of the mission and of the future state of the Bahá'í Cause. It would be well to have a competent friend explain to them some of the passages."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Pearls of Wisdom, 68)

"Some of the younger believers, from letters and reports received here, seem to lack a firm grounding on such matters as the Will and Testament and the deeper spiritual teachings of the Faith. Whenever the grasp of these fundamentals is weak, the friends are almost sure to pay undue attention to secondary procedures, to quibble over details, to lose themselves in personalities, and to founder in a sea of unnecessary inharmony. This has nothing to do with their devotion, their loyalty, their zeal, their eagerness to serve. It is merely a question of not having received, perhaps through lack of sufficient teachers to carry on the all-important work of deepening the friends in their own faith, a strong enough education in the Covenant before the duties and responsibilities of the Administrative Order were thrust upon them."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Pearls of Wisdom, 119)

"He feels that in your contact with the believers and in teaching new souls, you should help them obtain a full knowledge and understanding of the Covenant and the Will and Testament. This will strengthen them to meet every test, and to understand the nature of the spiritual disease which afflicts those who turn against the Institutions of the Faith. These are, indeed, times of testing and of trial, for the whole world and for the believers, too."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Pearls of Wisdom, p. 103)

"As he has cabled the N.S.A. a few days ago, he feels that the difficulties which have arisen in Germany, and which called forth the letter you rightly felt was likely to cause more harm than good, are mainly due to the fact that the believers need to be deepened in their knowledge and appreciation of the Covenants of both Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. This is the stronghold of the Faith of every Baha'i, and that which enables him to withstand every test and the attacks of the enemies outside the Faith, and the far more dangerous, insidious, lukewarm people inside the Faith who have no real attachment to the Covenant, and consequently uphold the intellectual aspect of the teachings while at the same time undermining the spiritual foundation upon which the whole Cause of God rests.

"He feels you and your dear family should do all you can to teach the believers the Will and Testament to strengthen their understanding of its important provisions; for all the authority of the administrative bodies, as well as of the Guardian himself, is mainly derived from this tremendous document."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Light of Divine Guidance, vol.2, p. 84)

Todos for this section

  • Change references of "Pearls of Wisdom" to link to online primary publication "Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith" and add-subheadings where helpful.


Chief depository (along with the Kitáb-i-Aqdas) enshrining priceless elements of Divine Civilization

"...the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá...together with the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, constitutes the chief depository wherein are enshrined those priceless elements of that Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Bahá'í Faith"

(Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 3-4)

What aspects of the Will and Testament for new believers to study left up to the N.S.A., but to refer to certain items on the Central Figures and Administrative Order (read below)

"24 BAHÁ'ÍS--NEW (On Presenting the Master's Will to New Applicants)

"Concerning the best method of presenting the Master's Will to the newcomers, Shoghi Effendi is of the opinion that the N.S.A. should first make some suitable extracts from the Testament and to send these to all the local Assemblies for their use, so that there may be full unity in circulating the provisions of the Will among the new believers. The problem of choosing such excerpts is left entirely to the discretion of the N.S.A. The main thing, as it appears to the Guardian, is that the full station of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá be clearly explained and that the origin, nature and working of the Administrative Order of the Faith be clearly stated. The full implications of such a recognition are evidently beyond the comprehension of any new believer. Such a knowledge can be acquired gradually and only when the essentials of the Faith have been clearly recognized and adequately understood."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 38, no. 100)

Study Outlines

Paragraphs of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá included in part I of Bahá'í Administration are

(The paragraph numbering below is based on the version above.)

  • First section: 2, 3, 4, 9 (first 2 sentences), 11, 13-25, 26 (first 8 sentences), 29, 30 (out of 32)
  • Second section: 8 (beginning 4th sentence), 14, 15 (out of 15)
  • Third section: 11-14 (out of 14)

By verse

Part 1, par. 2:

"'The Hosts of His Testament' refers to those who are firm in the Will and Testament of Bahá'u'lláh and who defend and uphold it."
((On behalf of?) Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 38, no. 100)
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