Three citations (?) from Shoghi Effendi
This is a query I sent to the Bahai World Centre in 2009, about some words the Universal House of Justice has attributed to Shoghi Effendi.
I began by looking for the source of the words attributed to Shoghi Effendi without quotation marks, in letters from the Universal House of Justice, and realised that these add up to a more general question: are these translations, quotations, paraphrases, or something else?
The first instance is the words attributed to Shoghi Effendi here:
“The Nineteen Day Feast represents the new stage in this enlightened age to which the basic expression of community life has evolved. Shoghi Effendi has described it as the foundation of the new World Order, …” (The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 68)
I have used Ocean and enquired on the Tarikh discussion list, and am reasonably confident this is not in any readily accessible English source.
However I am aware that there is a considerable volume of unpublished letters from the Guardian in English, and an enormous volume of letters from him in Persian.
“Shoghi Effendi’s explanation of Bahá’u'lláh’s vision of the future Baha’i World Commonwealth that will unite spiritual and civil authority…” (The Universal House of Justice, 1999 Apr 07, Issues Related to the Study of the Baha’i Faith)
“Shoghi Effendi, for his part, referred to the Fund as the lifeblood of the Cause.” (The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 94)
As for the last of these, there is something very similar in a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Hands of the Cause of God, June 7, 1954: “the Funds are the life-blood of the Community,” and from Shoghi Effendi himself in Messages to America 1932-1946 p 5: “The supply of funds, [is] the life-blood of these nascent institutions …” But in the case of the first two references, I am unable to find anything resembling them.
In all three cases, the words appear as references to statements, rather than as direct citations. My question is first of all whether there are specific sources for these references. The more general question is whether, when the Universal House of Justice refers to topics in the Bahai Writings in this indirect way, they are in fact giving a direct quotation but refrain from using quotation marks (for instance because the source is unpublished or there is no official translation), or is the House of Justice paraphrasing, or drawing on the members’ personal recollection of Shoghi Effendi’s words, or on pilgrim’s notes?
With best wishes
And the answer:
Dear Mr. McGlinn,
Your email letter of 30 April 2009 regarding phrases attributed to Shoghi Effendi in letters of the Universal House of Justice has been received at the Bahá́í World Centre and referred to our Office for response. With respect to your questions, you may be assured that the House of Justice does not attribute to the Guardian anything that is not authentic.
Office of Public Information
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