Bahā’u’llāh’s Orders and Writings

The laws legislated by Bahā’u’llāh are incomplete and address very few issues. To remedy this shortcoming, Bahā’u’llāh has put it up to the UHJ to fill in the gaps regarding the laws that he had not decreed:

It is incumbent upon the Trustees of the House of Justice to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book, and to enforce that which is agreeable to them. God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth.

Reference: Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahā’u’llāh (US Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1991 [first pocket-size edition]), p. 23.

For instance, the punishment for robbery has been declared to be:

Exile and imprisonment are decreed for the thief, and, on the third offence, place ye a mark upon his brow so that, thus identified, he may not be accepted in the cities of God and His countries.

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, pp. 35–36.

But nothing has been said about the conditions of the thief and the severity of his actions that lead to such punishments. The order given to Baha’is is:

All details concerning the nature of the mark, how the mark is to be applied, how long it must be worn, on what conditions it may be removed, as well as the seriousness of various degrees of theft have been left by Bahā’u’llāh for the Universal House of Justice to determine when the law is applied.

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, p. 198.

According to Shoghi Effendi, Bahā’u’llāh’s laws are incomplete:

Severed from the no less essential institution of the Universal House of Justice this same System of the Will of `Abdu’l-Bahā would be paralyzed in its action and would be powerless to fill in those gaps which the Author of the Kitāb-i-Aqdas has deliberately left in the body of His legislative and administrative ordinances.

Reference: Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahā’u’llāh, p. 148.

With Bahā’u’llāh’s laws and orders incomplete and limited to only a few subjects, the UHJ is the only body that remains that can have a meaningful effect on the everyday lives of Baha’is.

If the laws brought by this new creed are incomplete and must be completed by a group of people who are perfectly capable of committing mistakes, then what advantage does this religion have over ordinary legislative bodies in every country that consist of a number of fallible lawmakers? What problem has this creed solved?

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings


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