Note: the letter to Queen Victoria was written from Akká (Ottoman Syria), after the division from the Azalis. Earlier tablets to leaders were written in Adrianople (Edirne) after his declaration of He Whom God Shall Manifest.
Her reply to the letter is said to have stated:
|If this is of God, it will endure; if not, no harm will come of it.|
The one cause implies not just one faith but one administrative order. There would be National Spiritual Assemblies, as there are for the faith. The Universal House of Justice (UHJ) is the supreme democratic centralist body, meaning a system where each layer elects the next up, and the UHJ has total power downwards. It consists of nine men (and only men). It should have existed from the time of Baha'u'lláh to Victoria, but it only began in 1963. This was six years after the death of the first and last Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, who died in 1963. Shoghi Effendi (who was appointed by the Last Will and Testament of Abdul Baha, the Exemplar or Centre of the Covenant, who had been appointed by Baha'u'lláh, the Manifestation of God) did not leave a last Will and Testament so, with too many covenant breakers in the close family, the family guardianship failed. After a leadership crisis and competing claims, the UHJ finally came into being and it now runs the Administrative Order of the Faith.
(First three paragraphs after Momen, 1997, 121-122, from Baha'u'lláh, 1972, 31-5, my modernising; last paragraph after Perkins, Hainsworth, 1980, 27, from Baha'u'lláh, 1978, 254, my modernising)
|O Queen in London! Incline thine ear unto the voice of thy Lord, the Lord of all mankind, calling from the Divine Lote-Tree: Verily, no God is there but Me, the Almighty, the All-Wise! Cast away all that is on earth, and attire the head of thy kingdom with the crown of the remembrance of thy Lord, the All Glorious. He, in truth, hath come unto the world in His most great glory, and all that hath been mentioned in the Gospel hath been fulfilled...|
|We have been informed that thou hast forbidden the trading in slaves, both men and women. This, verily, is what God hath enjoined in this wondrous Revelation. God hath, truly, destined a reward for thee, because of this. He, verily, will pay the doer of good his due recompense, wert thou to follow what hath been sent unto thee by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. As to him who turneth aside, and swelleth with pride, after that the clear tokens have come unto him, from the Revealer of signs. his work shall God bring to naught...|
|We have also heard that thou hast entrusted the reins of counsel into the hands of the representatives of the people. Thou, indeed, hast done well, for thereby the foundations of the edifice of thine affairs will be strengthened, and the hearts of all that are beneath thy shadow, whether high or low, will be tranquillized. It behoveth them, however, to be trustworthy among His servants, and to regard themselves as the representatives of all that dwell on earth. This is what counselleth them, in this Tablet, He Who is the Ruler, the All-Wise . . . Blessed is he that entereth the assembly for the sake of God, and judgeth between men with pure justice...|
|That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise by [sic] achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician.|
|(Direct text not accessed, see Cole, nd)|
(First three paragraphs : Momen, 1997, 121-122, from Baha'u'lláh, 1972, 31-5, last paragraph: Perkins, Hainsworth, 1980, 27, from Baha'u'lláh, 1978, 254.)
Baha'u'lláh [Mirzá Husayn 'Ali] (1972), The Proclamation of Báha'u'lláh to the Kings and Leaders of the World, Haifa: Bahá'i World Centre, in Momen, M. (1997), A Short Introduction
Baha'u'lláh [Mirzá Husayn 'Ali] (1972), Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'lláh, UK: Bahá'i Publishing Trust.
Cole, J. R. I. (nd), Baha'u'llah's Tablets to the Rulers, [Online], World Wide Web, URL: http://bahai-library.com/encyclopedia/kings.html (last accessed: 23:12 11/10/04).
Momen, M. (1997), A Short Introduction to the Bahá'i Faith, Oxford: Oneworld.
Perkins, M., Hainsworth, P. (1980), The Bahá'i Faith, London: Ward Lock Educational.
About the Letter or Tablet (Extracts) of Baha'u'lláh to Queen Victoria
Pluralist - Liberal and Thoughtful