Monday, September 11, 2006

Egypt Today: More On The Baha'i Faith

The rest of the printed paper version of the publication on the Baha'i Faith which appeared in the September issue of Egypt Today is presented here for the purpose of completeness. As shown in the previous post, the full article is also available online at this link.

Interestingly, this article was titled "The Fourth Faith" as Egypt currently recognizes three religions only (Islam, Christianity and Judaism). It shows the picture of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the governing body and head of this worldwide religion. The House of Justice is an elected body of nine Baha'is. The elections are held every five years at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa where all Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies from around the world convene in a prayerful environment to elect the Supreme Body of the Baha'i Faith and without any electioneering or campaigning. The Universal House of Justice is the only infallible Institution in the Baha'i Administration for this age.

The third page shows three different photographs of Abdu'l-Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah who founded the Baha'i Faith. In His Will and Testament, Baha'u'llah appointed him as His successor and the Centre of His Covenant. Abdu'l-Baha served as the head of the Baha'i Faith and was the interpreter of the Baha'i Revelation. Before his passing, in his Will and Testament, he had appointed Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, his grandson as his successor, to serve as the Guardian and Head of the Baha'i Faith, who in turn was also the sole interpreter of the Baha'i Writings. After the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, and after an interim period of six years during which the Faith was headed by the Hands of the Cause of God (an Institution of learned believers who held a high station and were appointed by the Central Figures of the Baha'i Faith), the first Universal House of Justice was elected in 1963.

The Universal House of Justice, the now Head of the Baha'i Faith, is a legislative and administrative body. It can also rule on matters that could arise which were not specifically addressed in the Most Holy Book (al-Kitab al-Aqdas), the Book of Laws revealed by Baha'u'llah.

After the passing of the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, no person nor an Institution could interpret the revelation of Baha'u'llah--thus protecting the Faith from divisions, personal interpretations or alterations--until the appearance of another manifestation of God after a thousand years or so have elapsed.

The Covenant of the Baha'i Faith, passing on from its founder Baha'u'llah to His appointed successor Abdu'l-Baha, to its Guardian Shoghi Effendi, to its Supreme Body the Universal House of Justice, maintains the absolute unity and integrity of this world embracing Faith which promotes the unity of God, the unity of religions and the unity of mankind, all of which are proclaimed by a Faith that also maintains its own unity as an example for a world struggling with its unity and peace.

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