Baha'i Library Online

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COLLECTIONSBahá'í Writings, Book excerpts
TITLEGuidance for Today and Tomorrow: Excerpts
AUTHOR 1 Shoghi Effendi
PUB_THISBahá'í Publishing Trust
ABSTRACTA compilation of letters from Shoghi Effendi, all but one published in other volumes. This version of the book contains only the one letter not online elsewhere.
NOTES Full book also available in Microsoft Word format and PDF from Word, both prepared by Mike Thomas (2023).
TAGS* Shoghi Effendi, Writings of
Note: Since all but one of the excerpts included in the print version of this publication are already available elsewhere at this site (see the List of Sources), only the items not available elsewhere online have been provided below: the Table of Contents, the Preface, and one quotation of Shoghi Effendi, originally from the European Teaching Committee Manual (1948), p. 11 — here included under a subsection of "The Administrative Order" titled The Universal Bahá'í Organism.
1. Table of Contents
2. Preface
3. The Universal Bahá'í Organism (this book's one quotation not available elsewhere)
4. List of Sources
(see Note, above: this table of contents is provided for reference only, so no links are included


PREFACE (see below) ix


1. This Stupendous Revelation 11
2. The Station of Bahá'u'lláh 11
3. The Significance of His Revelation 22

1. His Twofold Station 24
2. Actors in the Drama 26
3. Comparison with Jesus Christ 28
4. His Place in Religious History 30

1. The Station of 'Abdu'l-Bahá 35
2. Some Incidents and Memories 43
3. Outcome of His Ministry 49

1. Covenant of the Báb 53
2. Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh 55

1. The Greatest Holy Leaf 58
2. The Purest Branch and Navváb 71

1. The Basis of the Administrative Order 77
2. Attacks on the Administrative Order 95
3. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh 96
4. Contrast with Ecclesiastical Organizations 105
5. The Universal Bahá'í Organism (see below) 110
6. Politics and the Bahá'í Faith 111
7. Safeguarding the Faith 115

1. Attitude to Other Religions 118
2. Evolution of World Unity 123
3. The Need for a Fresh Revelation 127
4. Progressive Revelation 128
5. Purity of the Faith Maintained 135
6. Estimating the Virtue of the Faith 137

1. A Twofold Process 138
2. Fusion of the Nations 152
3. A Judgment of God 154
4. The Desecrated Temple of Mankind 157
5. Signs of Moral Downfall 161
6. The Impotence of Statesmanship 163

1. The Goal 166
2. The Oneness of Mankind 172

1. Wielders of Absolute Authority 176
2. The Vengeance of God 178
3. The Station of Kingship 189

1. The Means of Triumph 194
2. Spiritual Prerequisites of Success 194
3. The Duty of Teaching 219
4. The Art of Teaching 221
5. Need to Vary Approach 232
6. Twofold Method of Teaching 233
7. The Spirit of Enterprise 237
8. The Need for Consultation 238


1. Universal and Transcending Love 245
2. The First Century of the Bahá'í Era 246
3. Future Tasks 253

LIST OF SOURCES (see below) 257

p. vii


THIS work gives a selection from the writings of Shoghi Effendi, appointed Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith in the Will of the last of its Three Central Figures, 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He occupies a unique position in Bahá'í history. Since assuming office in 1921 he has guided the world-wide Bahá'í Community through the early stages of establishing the Administrative Order which is destined in due course to form the pattern and nucleus of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. The Universal House of Justice, ordained to support this World Order as a twin pillar to the Guardianship, has not yet come into being. Shoghi Effendi has had to guide and nurse alone the infant National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í World which will, when more fully developed, elect and support the Universal House of Justice. Although the Guardianship is not a legislative institution, he has had to evolve the basic principles of Bahá'í Administration for use throughout the Bahá'í World.

Bahá'ís believe the writings of the writings of the Guardian to be inspired. They do not constitute Revelation, as do the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb; they are not regarded as holy in the way that the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá are holy. Nevertheless, it is an essential part of Bahá'í that the Guardian receives guidance from God through the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh when he is interpreting Bahá'í Scripture. This book is therefore authoritative on the implications of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh for the various subjects it treats.

p. ix

Every word of the passages contained in it is significant. There are no loose phrases, no vague evasions of crucial issues. The style is one which renders it possible to state basic truths in parentheses and to list in one sentence the chief events of a lifetime. Such writing needs, and is worthy of, study, for the implications of its phrases are almost as important as the explicit statements made.

The Guardian's writings are both eternal and particularly suited to the moment. Eternal, because they expound fundamental principles which for ever guide mankind; suited to the moment because the principles are expounded with reference to the present state of the world and of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. They are not passing essays to be read once and laid aside; they are life-lines of the future, a source of guidance to unborn generations.

Yet their author is but a man. He has not, and definitely denies having, any higher order of spirit than other men. The guidance he gives comes from the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh. Shoghi Effendi is the Guardian, not the Revealer, of the Message sent by God to lead mankind to its high destiny. He is the channel of God's mercy fulfilling Bahá'u'lláh's promise "This is the day which shall not be followed by night." Future generations alone can appreciate the contribution he has made to saving mankind from the deadening slough of spiritual degradation into which it has sunk.

Principles of Selection

Extracts from letters of the Guardian enumerating the principles of Bahá'í administration are contained in an-

p. x

other compilation.* This selection consists of more general statements.

In order to present as comprehensive a collection as possible in a brief space, two leading principles have been applied. When the Guardian has given similar guidance about a subject on more than one occasion, the shorter of the two versions has been chosen. Consequently the book contains a rather high proportion of passages in which much guidance is concentrated in few words.

Further, an attempt has been made to avoid passages containing more quotation from Bahá'í Scripture than original writing. As the interpreter of Bahá'í Holy Writings, Shoghi Effendi often quotes a number of scriptural passages to illustrate and confirm his interpretation. Some of the extracts in this book omit a few of these or close before the original quotations are completed.

* "Principles of Bahá'í Administration", Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1950.

p. 110



Should we build up the administrative world order to a point of absolute perfection but at the same time allow it to be hampered or disconnected from the channels within, through which channels the Holy Spirit of the Cause pours forth, we would have nothing more than a perfected body out of touch with and cut off from the finer promptings of the soul or spirit. If, on the other hand, the influxes and goings forth of the spirit are scattered, diffused, and subjected wholly to the more or less imperfect guidance and interpretation of individual believers, lacking both the wisdom secured through consultation and also the lights of real unity which shine through consultative action and obedience thereto –­ a disordered and disorganized activity would be witnessed which would but dimly reflect the divine purpose for this age, which is no less than the establishment of the reign of divine love, justice, and wisdom in the world, under and in conformity to the Divine Law.

In the body of man, which is the true divine example or parallel, the spirit, when in ideal control of all the lesser parts of the organism, finds the utmost harmony throughout the whole body –­ each part is in perfect reciprocity with the other parts. The commands and impulses of the spirit are obeyed by the body and the body in turn in its actions and functions identifies and determines the expression the spiritual impulses shall take. This is divine unity–­and this law being universal and found in every created object in the universe, has full application to the universal Bahá'í organism made up of

p. 111

believers everywhere, which has been established by the Manifestation of God.

I.      The Faith of Bahá'u'lláh
II.      1. Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 8
     2. God Passes By, p. 93
     3. Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 11
III.     1. Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 33
     2. God Passes By, p. 4
     3. God Passes By, p. 56
     4. God Passes By, p. 57
IV.     1. Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 41
     2. God Passes By, p. 290
     3. God Passes By, p. 314
V.     1. God Passes By, p. 27
     2. God Passes By, p. 237
VI.     1. Bahá'í Administration, p. 176
     2. Heart of the Entire Planet
          [note: this passage is also in Messages to America 1932-1946, pp. 32-36]
VII.      1. Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 53
     2. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 15
     3. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 3
     4. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 20
     5. European Teaching Committee Manual (1948), p. 11
          [note: the preceding passage is quoted above]

     6. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 64
     7. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 198
VIII.      1. Promised Day is Come, p. 112
     2. Promised Day is Come, p. 124
     3. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 60
     4. Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 24
     5. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 56
     6. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 54
IX.     1. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 161
     2. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 193
     3. Promised Day is Come, p. 2
     4. Promised Day is Come, p. 116
     5. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 186
     6. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 33
X.     1. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 202
     2. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 41
XI.     1. Promised Day is Come, p. 18
     2. God Passes By, p. 224
     3. Promised Day is Come, p. 73
XII.     1. Bahá'í Administration, p. 57
     2. Advent of Divine Justice, p. 18
     3. Bahá'í Administration, p. 59
     4. Advent of Divine Justice, p. 37
     5. Challenging Requirements of the Present Hour, p. 23
          [note: this preceding essay is also published in Citadel of Faith pp. 25-26]
     6. Bahá'í Administration, p. 114
     7. Bahá'í Administration, p. 118
     8. Bahá'í Administration, p. 130
XIII.      God Passes By, p. 253
XIV.      1. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 197
     2. God Passes By, p. xiii
     3. God Passes By, p. 410

NOTE: All references are to the American editions current in 1953, except that "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" refers to the British edition then current.

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