Friday, May 22, 2009

The Twin Manifestations and twin manifestations

"I remember the time I was in the presence of Shoghi Effendi when he spoke about the significance of twin things in the Cause. In fact, he sent a cable about this to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the British Isles. In this cable, he told us about the significance of twin occurrences in this Cause. He told the Assembly that we have twin cities—holy cities—Akka and Haifa; twin houses—the House of Shiraz and the House of Baghdad; twin Manifestations—the Manifestation of the Bab and that of Baha’u’llah. He continued, telling us everything is twin: twin festivals—the birthday of the Bab and that of Baha’u’llah; twin monuments—of the brother and mother of Abdu’l-Baha. During this time I was in his presence, the beloved Guardian was so exhilarated and happy. It gave me the courage to mention to him that we have two gardens: the garden of Ridvan and the garden of Firdaws. Then, the beloved Shoghi Effendi smiled and said, “You’ve noted that, but you have forgotten to say twin vistas: the view of the sea and the view of the mountain.” After explaining these things, he paused and looked at me deeply and said, “In the Cause of God everything is twin.”’

(Hand of the Cause of God Dhikru’llah Khadem, The Vision of Shoghi Effendi, Proceedings of the Association for Baha’i Studies Ninth Annual Conference November 2-4, 1984, Ottawa, Canada, pp. 117-18)

Below is the cable message referred to above. Emphasis added in this passage and all the citations that follow.

“Greatly enhanced international endowments in Holy Land in twin cities of Acre and Haifa, now include twin Holy Shrines situated on plain of Acre and slope of Mount Carmel; twin Mansions of Bahji and Mazra'ih, twin historic Houses inhabited by Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha; twin International Archives adjoining the Bab's Sepulcher and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf; twin Pilgrim Houses, constructed for Oriental and Occidental pilgrims; twin Gardens of Ridvan and Firdaws, associated with the memory of the Author of the Bahá'í Dispensation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, From Cablegram of 2 March 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World -1950-1957, p. 8)

The concept of ‘twin’ is a recurrent thread in scriptural and textual designations throughout authoritative Baha’i works, and the word is used in creative ways. For instance, the Bab and Baha’u’llah are variously referred to as the “twin Founders,” “Twin Holy Trees,” “twin surging seas,” “twin Luminaries,” and the “Twin Manifestations.”
Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim are termed “twin resplendent lights,” “twin great lights,” “Twin Luminous Lights,” and “twin luminaries.” Identical or similar expressions are sometimes used in referring to uniquely different sets of people or things; for instance the martyred brothers in Isfahan—the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs—are called the “twin shining lights,” a name much like the names cited for the twin heralds just mentioned.

Another example is the image “twin pillars” which is used to refer to fasting and prayer; reward and punishment; the Covenants of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha; the mother and paternal uncle of the Greatest Holy Leaf; the institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House; the (at that time) National Spiritual Assembly of Central America and the National Spiritual Assembly of South America; and even the Sultanate and the Caliphate of Sunni Islam, the toppled twin pillars which had persecuted the Central Figures of the Baha’i Faith.

Care must be used in referencing “twin processes”—there are some twenty distinct occurrences of this expression in major Baha’i sources, (discounting many repetitions of the same quotes), referring to no less than five different sets of twin processes. The following is a scattered sampling from the hundreds of references to ‘twin’ in the writings of the Baha’i Faith. The headings in bold and the italics are not part of the original texts and have been added for this compilation.

Twin Duties (Recognition and Obedience)

“The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other.”

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, CLV, pp. 330-31)

Twin Pillars (Of Reward and Punishment)

“The structure of world stability and order hath been reared upon, and will continue to be sustained by, the twin pillars of reward and punishment.”

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 164)

Twin Guardians that Watch Over Men (Justice and Equity)

“Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.”

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 12)

Twin Qualities (Trustworthiness and Piety)
"Say: O bearer of My Name! Upon thee be My glory and My loving-kindness. Thou hast ever been adorned with the fair robe of trustworthiness and piety. These twin qualities are as two companions for thee in whom thou mayest find solace. They are as two sentinels who shall stand watch over thee, and two guardians that shall, by God's leave, keep thee from harm.

(Baha’u’llah, Trustworthiness: A Cardinal Baha’i Virtue, Compilation of Compilations, Volume II, p. 331)

Twin Hallowed Spots (The ‘Most Great House’ of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad and the House of the Bab in Shiraz)
“Raise up and exalt the two Houses in the Twin Hallowed Spots, and the other sites wherein the throne of your Lord, the All-Merciful, hath been established.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 66)

Twin Days (The Birthdays of the Bab and Baha’u’llah)
“QUESTION: Concerning the Festival of the Twin Birthdays.

ANSWER: The Birth of the Abha Beauty was at the hour of dawn on the second day of the month of Muharram, [First month of the Islamic lunar calendar] the first day of which marketh the Birth of His Herald. These two days are accounted as one in the sight of God.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 105)

“All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 224)

Twin Streams (In the Garden of Ridvan, Near Akka)
‘On the morning of the blessed Friday we proceeded from the Mansion and entered the Garden. Every tree uttered a word, and every leaf sang a melody. The trees proclaimed: “Behold the evidences of God's Mercy” and the twin streams recited in the eloquent tongue the sacred verse “From us all things were made alive”. Glorified be God! Mysteries were voiced by them, which provoked wonderment. Methought: in which school were they educated, and from whose presence had they acquired their learning? Yea! This Wronged One knoweth and He saith: “From God, the All-Encompassing, the Self-Subsistent.”’

(Baha’u’llah, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Volume 4, p. 14)

Twin Ornaments of a King (Justice and Devotion to Baha’u’llah’s Faith)
‘In the Kitab-i-Aqdas He [Baha’u’llah] visualizes in these words the elevation to the throne of His native city, "the Mother of the World" and "the Dayspring of Light," of a king who will be adorned with the twin ornaments of justice and of devotion to His Faith: "Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards and extend his favors unto, the people of Baha. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God, and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His Revelation."’

(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 74)

Twin Resplendent Lights (Heralds)
“Likewise, there appeared on earth Ahmad and Kazim, [Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti] those twin resplendent lights—may God sanctify their resting-place!”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 65)

Twin Shining Lights (The King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs)
“The twin shining lights, Hasan and Husayn (The King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs) offered up spontaneously their lives in that city [Isfahan]. Neither fortune, nor wealth, nor glory, could deter them! God knoweth the things which befell them…”

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 72)

Twin Holy Trees/ Twin Surging Seas (The Bab and Baha’u’llah) in Shoghi Effendi’s Lineage
“Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees; the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas…”(Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 3)

Brothers Like Twins In Faith (Mashhadi Fattah and Haji Ali-Askar)
“Mashhadi Fattah was personified spirit. He was devotion itself. Brother to Haji Ali-'Askar—of the same pure lineage—through the latter he came into the Faith. Like the twins, Castor and Pollux, the two kept together in one spot, and both were illumined with the light of belief.

"In all things, the two were united as a pair; they shared the same certitude and faith, the same conscience, and made their way out of Adhirbayjan to Adrianople, emigrating at the same time. In every circumstance of their life, they lived as one individual; their disposition, their aims, their religion, character, behavior, faith, certitude, knowledge—all were one. Even in the Most Great Prison, they were constantly together.”

(Abdu'l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 48)

Twin Pillars of Loyalty (Navvab and Aqay-i-Kalim)
“Her [Bahiyyih Khanum’s] venerated mother, [Navvab, the ‘Most Exalted Leaf’] as well as her distinguished paternal uncle, Aqay-i-Kalim—the twin pillars who, all throughout the various stages of Baha'u'llah's exile from the Land of His Birth to the final place of His confinement, had demonstrated, unlike most of the members of His Family, the tenacity of their loyalty—had already passed behind the Veil.”

(Shoghi Effendi, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 36)

Twin Repositories (The Kitab-i-Aqdas and the Will & Testament of Abdu’l-Baha)
“I consider it my duty to warn every beginner in the faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Baha'i teachings foreshadow, can be revealed only in the fulness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of Abdu'l-Baha, as the twin repositories of the constituent elements of that Sovereignty, are too for-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 16)

Twin Pillars that Sustain the Law of God (Prayer and Fasting)
“For as Abdu'l-Baha says in His Writings—prayer and fasting are the twin pillars that sustain the Law of God.”(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual, April 25, 1937)

Twin Processes at Work in the World (Internal Disintegration and External Chaos)

"...Pregnant indeed are the years looming ahead of us all. The twin processes of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated and every day are inexorably moving towards a climax.”

(From a letter of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, July 5, 1938: Messages to America, 1932-1946, pp. 13-14)

Twin Processes (Dispersion and Enrolment of New Believers)

“This uninterrupted expansion, brought about by the twin processes of dispersion and enrolment of new believers, has brought the number of such centres in the Goal Countries of Europe to more than a hundred and forty; in Germany and Austria, to a hundred and forty-eight; in the British Isles to a hundred and fifty-one; in Australasia and in the Dominion of Canada, respectively, to nearly a hundred and sixty; in the Indian subcontinent to a hundred and eighty; in Latin America to nearly three hundred and forty; in the Pacific area to over five hundred; in Persia to more than one thousand and seventy; in the African continent to eleven hundred and forty; and in the United States of America to nearly fifteen hundred and seventy.”

(Custodians, Ridvan 1960, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 185)
Twin Processes (Expansion and Consolidation)
“Expansion and consolidation are twin processes that must go hand in hand.”

(The Universal House of Justice, 13 July 1964, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 33)

Twin Processes (Administrative Consolidation and Widespread Expansion)
“During the thirty-six years of his Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi fixed the pattern and laid the foundations of the Administrative Order of Baha'u'llah, set in motion the implementation of the Divine Plan of Abdu'l-Baha for the spread of the Faith throughout the world, and, as these twin processes of administrative consolidation and widespread expansion progressed, started to apply and enforce, gradually and according to the progress of the Cause, those laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas that in his estimation it was timely and practicable to apply and which were not in direct conflict with the civil law.”

(Universal House of Justice, Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 5)

Twin Processes at Work in the World (Growth of the Faith and Disintegration of Society)

“Without minimizing the serious situation facing a world heedless of Baha'u'llah's admonitions, it must be remembered that He also refers to the Golden Age of civilization to come. The House of Justice hopes that Baha'i teachers and parents will do their utmost to encourage the children to study the explanations of the beloved Guardian about the twin processes at work in the world—the steady growth of the Faith, and the devastating forces of disintegration assailing the outworn institutions of present-day society.”

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, December 29, 1981)

Twin Processes (Increasing Maturity of Administrative Institutions and the Faith’s Emergence from Protective Obscurity)

“The administrative institutions of this growing Cause of God had already begun to show signs of an increasing maturity, while at the same time emerging from the protective obscurity of their early days into the larger arena of public notice. These twin processes were signalized by a development of far-reaching consequence to the internal life of the Baha'i community and by an outward activity of a magnitude unprecedented in its entire history.”

(Ridvan 1987, The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 45)

Twin Institutions (The Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice)

"...They [the Bab and Baha’u’llah] have ... in unequivocal and emphatic language, appointed those twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship as their chosen Successors, destined to apply the principles, promulgate the laws, protect the institutions, adapt loyally and intelligently the Faith to the requirements of progressive society, and consummate the incorruptible inheritance which the Founders of the Faith have bequeathed to the world."

(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 19-20)

“Both in the administrative provisions of the Baha'i Dispensation, and in the matter of succession, as embodied in the twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship, the followers of Baha'u'llah can summon to their aid such irrefutable evidences of Divine Guidance that none can resist, that none can belittle or ignore.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 21-22)

“It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Baha'u'llah should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 147)

“…those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions, ordained by Baha'u'llah and anticipated by Abdu'l-Baha, and which are to function in consonance with the principles that govern the twin institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice.”

(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 32)

Twin Inseparable Aspects to Teaching (Expansion and Consolidation)

“Time and again the beloved Guardian emphasized that expansion and consolidation are twin and inseparable aspects to teaching that must proceed simultaneously yet one still hears believers discussing the virtues of one as against the other.”

(Letter from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 25 May 1975)

Twin Covenants (Of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha)
“...the paramount duty of deepening the spiritual life of these newly fledged, these precious and highly esteemed co-workers, and of enlightening their minds regarding the essential verities enshrined in their Faith and its fundamental institutions, its history and genesis—the twin Covenants of Baha'u'llah and of 'Abdu'l-Baha, the present Administrative Order, the Future World Order, the Laws of the Most Holy Book, the inseparable Institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice, the salient events of the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Faith, and its relationship with the Dispensations that have preceded it, its attitude towards the social and political organizations by which it is surrounded—must continue to constitute the most vital aspect of the great spiritual Crusade launched by the champions of the Faith from the shores of their native land among the peoples of their sister Republics in the South.”

(In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, August 18, 1949, appended to a letter written on his behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States. The Compilation of Compilations Volume I, pp. 209-10)

Twin Institutions (National Spiritual Assembly and National Fund)
“I am personally instructing the... Assembly, whose past services, moral as well as financial, to the Cause of Baha'u'llah in India and elsewhere are graven upon my heart, to concentrate their energies upon, and uphold with their resources the twin institutions of the National Spiritual Assembly and the National Fund. I trust that these may soon be enabled to shoulder the burden that is now weighing upon the self-sacrificing friends of...”

(Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated 25 March 1925 to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma)

“...I have urged them to support consistently and whole-heartedly the very essential and vital institutions of the National Fund and the National Assembly. It must be made clear to them all that continuous support to these twin institutions is the corner-stone of all future achievements, the mainspring from which all future blessings will flow.”

(In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to the above letter)

Twin Centenaries (Of the Birth and Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s Mission)
“The immensely fruitful period of world-wide expansion which has taken place between the twin Centenaries [1953 and 1963] of the Cause of God has witnessed not only the rise of its Administrative Order in Ceylon but the beginning of that rapid expansion in the field of teaching which our beloved Guardian so ardently hoped would characterize the latter half of his world-encircling Ten Year Plan.”

(Custodians, April 13, 1962, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 336)

Twin Festivals (According to the Lunar Calendar, the Declaration of the Bab and Birthday of Abdu’l-Baha)
“On the 22nd of November, 1925, that memorable and sacred day in which the Bahá'ís of the Orient celebrated the twin Festivals of the Declaration of the Bab and the birthday of Abdu'l-Baha, Dr. John E. Esslemont passed on to the Abha Kingdom.”

(Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, p. 97)

Twin Baha’i Educational Institutions (One for boys and one for girls, in Tihran, Persia)
American Teachers in Tihran
“The situation as I see it calls for the devoted efforts of one or two capable workers who, untrammelled and with independent means, can quietly, tenaciously and tactfully, pursue over a considerable length of time the meritorious work of fostering the cause of Baha'i education, for both boys and girls, in the swiftly changing capital of a promising country. It should be their primary duty to extend the scope and enhance the prestige of these twin Baha'i educational institutions, and to initiate by sound and well-considered methods such measures as will consolidate the work already achieved.”

(Shoghi Effendi, November 14, 1926, Baha'i Administration, p. 118)

Twin Pillars (National Assemblies in Latin America)
“To consolidate the victories won, and reinforce the foundations of the unnumbered institutions so diligently established, in the North American continent; to rear the twin pillars of the Universal House of Justice in Latin America, [at that time, the National Spiritual Assembly of Central America and the National Spiritual Assembly of South America] with their concomitant administrative agencies functioning in no less than twenty republics of Central and South America…”

(Shoghi Effendi, July 5, 1950, Citadel of Faith, p. 86)
Twin Evidences (A Teaching Crusade in Africa and the Birth of the First International Baha’i Council at the World Center)
“Acclaim simultaneous inauguration of crusade linking administrative machinery of four national assemblies of East and West within four continents and birth of first International Council at World Center of Faith, twin evidences of resistless unfoldment of embryonic, divinely appointed World Order of Baha'u'llah.”

(Shoghi Effendi, January 17, 1951, Citadel of Faith, p. 90)

Twin Holy Shrines,Twin Houses,Twin Archives,Twin Pilgrim Houses

                                              Photos © Baha’i International Community


“The recognition of the sacred nature of the twin holy Shrines, situated in the plain of Akka and on the slopes of Mount Carmel; the exemption from state and civic taxes, granted to the mansion of Bahji adjoining the Most Holy Shrine, to the twin houses, that of Baha'u'llah in Akka, and Abdu'l-Baha in Haifa, to the twin archives, adjoining the Shrine of the Bab and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, and the twin pilgrim houses constructed in the neighborhood of that Shrine…these establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the high status enjoyed by the international institutions of a world Faith, in the eyes of this newborn state.”

(Shoghi Effendi, March 29, 1951, Citadel of Faith, p. 93)

Twin Purposes

Cable Message to 1951 State Conventions
“Advise assembled friends to focus attention on vital, pressing, paramount needs of National Fund at this critical juncture. Hour is ripe to recall unnumbered tribulations, sacrifices heroically endured by the dawn-breakers, culminating in Baha'u'llah's afflictive imprisonment in Siyah Chal, Centennial of which is now approaching. Urge deepening realization of sacredness, preeminent importance of twin purposes which individual resolves serve. Appeal for immediate, unanimous, sustained, decisive response, safeguard thereby American Community's share in tribute to memory of Founder of Faith on occasion of forthcoming Jubilee of Birth of glorious Mission. Praying for befitting answer to heartfelt plea.”

(Shoghi Effendi, November 4, 1951, Citadel of Faith, p. 98)

Twin Historic Tasks

“Community believers Indian subcontinent Burma lovingly remembered historic occasion glorious centenary Bab's martyrdom may poignant memories His supreme sacrifice galvanize enable them rededicate themselves twin historic tasks within confines homeland adjacent territories win signal unprecedented victories – SHOGHI”

(Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, p. 221)

Twin Opposers (Sacerdotal Orders of Shi’ih and Sunni Islam)

“…a corresponding aggravation of hostility, represented by the united attacks launched by the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey, the two admittedly most powerful potentates of the East, as well as by the opposition of the twin sacerdotal orders of Shi’ih and Sunni Islam.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. xiv)

Twin Luminaries (The Bab and Baha’u’llah)

“I have in the preceding chapters endeavored to trace the rise and progress of the Faith associated with the Bab and Baha'u'llah during the first fifty years of its existence. If I have dwelt too long on the events connected with the life and mission of these twin Luminaries of the Baha'i Revelation, if I have at times indulged in too circumstantial a narrative of certain episodes related to their ministries, it is solely because these happenings proclaim the birth, and signalize the establishment, of an epoch which future historians will acclaim as the most heroic, the most tragic and the most momentous period in the Apostolic Age of the Baha'i Dispensation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 237)

Twin Founders
(The Bab and Baha’u’llah)
“Humanity itself, perverse and utterly heedless, had refused to lend a hearing ear to the insistent appeals and warnings sounded by the twin Founders of the Faith, and later voiced by the Center of the Covenant in His public discourses in the West. It had plunged into two desolating wars of unprecedented magnitude…”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 408)

“I would be failing to do justice to my theme were I to ignore, or even to dismiss briefly, those audacious, fate-laden apostrophes to individual monarchs who, whether as kings or emperors, have either viewed with cold indifference the tribulations, or rejected with contempt the warnings, of the twin Founders of our Faith.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 28)

Twin Crusades (In Latin America and Europe)
“Already the Baha'i community in the Great Republic of the West, the vanguard of the irresistibly marching army of Baha'u'llah, has launched its twin crusades in Latin America and the continent of Europe.”

(Shoghi Effendi, June 28, 1950, Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 86)

Twin Directing Principles (Worship of God & Service to One’s Fellow-Men)
“…the model Baha'i community—a community divinely ordained, organically united, clear-visioned, vibrant with life, and whose very purpose is regulated by the twin directing principles of the worship of God and of service to one's fellow-men.”

(Shoghi Effendi, July 4 1939, Messages to America, p. 24)

Twin Major Tasks
“I hail with particular satisfaction the consummation of the twin major tasks spontaneously undertaken and brilliantly discharged by the same community in both the administrative and missionary fields, constituting the greatest contribution ever made to the progress of the Faith by any corporate body at any time, in any continent, since the inception of the administrative order.”

(Shoghi Effendi, December 3, 1946, Messages to America, pp. 108-09)

Baha'i National Communities in North America (Canada and the USA)
“The eyes of its twin-sister community in the North American continent, which assisted it in achieving its independence, are fixed upon it, eager to behold, and ready to aid it in its march to glory.”

(Shoghi Effendi, November 4, 1948, Messages to Canada, p. 10)

“The eyes of the Baha'i World are expectantly turned towards this newly erected pillar, designed to sustain in conjunction with other National Assemblies the weight of the Supreme Legislative Body of the World Order of Baha'u'llah. Sister communities in both the East and the West, less privileged than it and deprived of the primacy with which the twin Baha'i national communities labouring in the North American continent have been invested by the unerring Pen of the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant, yet able to achieve, under circumstances no less challenging, a success wholly out of proportion to their numbers, are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this initial crusade embarked upon by this blessed, this envied community in conformity with the Mandate issued by Abdu'l-Baha in His immortal Tablets.”

(Shoghi Effendi, October 30, 1951, Messages to Canada, p. 25)

Twin Cities of Akka and Haifa
“Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Baha'i Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith already established in twin cities of Akka and Haifa.”

(Shoghi Effendi, January 9, 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 7)

Twin Celebrations (In 1953, of the Dedication of the Temple in the USA and the Centenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah’s Mission)
“The interior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West is virtually completed, paving the way for the provision of accessories and landscaping in preparation of its public dedication destined to coincide with the twin celebrations of the consummation of the fifty year old enterprise and the Birth of Baha'u'llah's prophetic mission.”

(Shoghi Effendi, April 25, 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 11)

Twin Historic Assemblages (In Luxemburg and Florence)
“The process of multiplication of Baha'i local Assemblies in the ten goal countries of Europe, and particularly in Italy and Switzerland, and the preparatory measures required to ensure the success of the twin historic assemblages destined to commemorate the last year of the Seven Year enterprise launched in the European continent—the European Teaching Conference in Luxemburg and the Italo-Swiss Convention in Florence—must be pushed forward with extreme care, vigilance and vigor.”

(Shoghi Effendi, June 30,1952, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 32)

Twin Joyful Tidings (Of Progress On Mount Carmel)
Twofold Victory in Holy Land
“On occasion of Naw-Ruz of Holy Year convey twin joyful tidings to National Assemblies of the Baha'i world. Building operations of the final unit of the Bab's Sepulcher commenced…[and] International endowments surrounding the tomb of the Prophet-Herald of the Faith on the bosom of God's Holy Mountain are considerably extended through the acquisition, after thirty years' effort, of a wooded area of over twenty-three thousand square meters… Heart filled with humble gratitude at the double victory of the Faith…”

(Shoghi Effendi, March 23, 1953, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 47)

Twin Charters (For National Spiritual Assembly and Local Spiritual Assembly)
'What other community can to its eternal credit claim to have been the first to frame its national and local constitutions, thereby laying down the fundamental lines of the twin charters ["Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States” and “By-Laws of a Local Spiritual Assembly”] designed to regulate the activities, define the functions, and safeguard the rights, of its institutions?'

(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 9)

Twin and Sorely Needed Principles (Divine Justice and Order)
“Theirs will be the duty and privilege, in their capacity first as the establishers of one of the most powerful pillars sustaining the edifice of the Universal House of Justice, and then as the champion-builders of that New World Order of which that House is to be the nucleus and forerunner, to inculcate, demonstrate, and apply those twin and sorely needed principles of Divine justice and order—principles to which the political corruption and the moral license, increasingly staining the society to which they belong, offer so sad and striking a contrast.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 19)

Twin Revelations
“How often has that venerable soul, Shaykh Ahmad, recited those verses of the Qur'an already referred to! What stress he laid upon their significance as foreshadowing the advent of those twin Revelations which are to follow each other in rapid succession, and each of which is destined to suffuse the world with all its glory!”

(Siyyid Kazim, quoted in The Dawn-Breakers, p. 42)

Twin Great Lights (Quddus and Tahirih)
“In the easternmost province of Persia, the Almighty had, through the hand of Quddus, lit a fire that glowed with the hottest flame in the breasts of the people of Khurasan. And in Karbila, beyond the western confines of that land, He had kindled the light of Tahirih, a light that was destined to shed its radiance upon the whole of Persia. From the east and from the west of that country, the voice of the Unseen summoned those twin great lights to hasten to the land of Ta, the day-spring of glory, the home of Baha'u'llah. He bade them each seek the presence, and revolve round the person of that Day-Star of Truth, to seek His advice, to reinforce His efforts, and to prepare the way for His coming Revelation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 268-69)

Twin Immortals (Mulla Husayn and Quddus)
“With the advent of Muharram in the year 1266 A.H.,[1] the Bab again resumed the work He had been compelled to interrupt. The first page He wrote was dedicated to the memory of Mulla Husayn. In the visiting Tablet revealed in his honour, He extolled, in moving terms, the unswerving fidelity with which he served Quddus throughout the siege of the fort of Tabarsi. He lavished His eulogies on his magnanimous conduct, recounted his exploits, and asserted his undoubted reunion in the world beyond with the leader whom he had so nobly served. He too, He wrote, would soon join those twin immortals, each of whom had, by his life and death, shed imperishable lustre on the Faith of God. For one whole week the Bab continued to write His praises of Quddus, of Mulla Husayn, and of His other companions who had gained the crown of martyrdom at Tabarsi.”
[1] November 17-December 17, 1849 A.D.

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 430)

Twin Martyrs (Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali and Mirza Qurban-'Ali)
‘Conducted to the block and waiting for the moment of his execution, he [Haji Mulla Isma'il-i-Qumi] turned his gaze towards those twin martyrs [Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali and Mirza Qurban-'Ali] who had preceded him and who still lay entwined in each other's embrace. "Well done, beloved companions!" he cried, as he fixed his gaze upon their gory heads. "You have turned Tihran into a paradise! Would that I had preceded you!"’

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 454)

Twin Emblems of the Bab’s Lineage
“Deprived of His turban and sash, the twin emblems of His noble lineage, the Bab, together with Siyyid Husayn, His amanuensis, was driven to yet another confinement which He well knew was but a step further on the way leading Him to the goal He had set Himself to attain.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 507)

Twin Oppressors of the Faith of Baha’u’llah (The Sultanate and Caliphate)
“Never would he [Nabil-i-Azam] have believed that the highest institutions of Sunni Islam, the Sultanate and the Caliphate, those twin oppressors of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, would have been swept away so ruthlessly by the very hands of the professing adherents of the Faith of Islam.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 666-67)

“How inspiring the conduct of those Muslim followers of Baha'u'llah who view, not with regret or apathy, but with feelings of unconcealed satisfaction, the deserved chastisement which the Almighty has inflicted upon those twin institutions of the Sultanate and the Caliphate, those engines of despotism and sworn enemies of the Cause of God!”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 57)

Twin Imperial Persecutors (Shah of Persia and Sultan of Turkey)
“Neither the perils which were fast closing in upon Him, nor the formidable power with which the doctrine of absolute sovereignty invested, at that time, the emperors of the West and the potentates of the East, could restrain the Exile and Prisoner of Adrianople from communicating the full blast of His Message to His twin imperial persecutors as well as to the rest of their fellow-sovereigns.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 44)

Twin Communities (Germany and Austria)
“By virtue of the important position they occupy in the heart of the European continent; singled out for special favours by the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant among their sister communities in that same continent; distinguished through the appointment to two Hands of the Cause from among their members; entrusted the first Baha'i House of Worship on European soil; displaying, on the morrow of the ordeals which have for so long and so cruelly afflicted them, a virility, a courage, a fidelity worthy of emulation by their sister communities not only in neighbouring lands but throughout the Baha'i world, these twin communities, destined through their common language, racial characteristics and traditions to play a notable and distinct part in the world-wide progress of the Faith in both the European and Asiatic continents, must continue to forge ahead, with inflexible resolve, unshakable faith, undimmed vision, and unabated vigour, along the road leading them to the fulfilment of their high destiny.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance, Volume I, p. 236)

Twin Repositories (The Aqdas and the Will of Abdu’l-Baha)
“I consider it my duty to warn every beginner in the Faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Bahá'í teachings foreshadow, can be revealed only in the fullness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of Abdu'l-Baha, as the twin repositories of the constituent elements of that Sovereignty, are too far-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 16)

Twin Figures (The Bab and Baha’u’llah)
“And finally there emerges, though on a plane of its own and in a category entirely apart from the one occupied by the twin Figures that preceded Him, the vibrant, the magnetic personality of Abdu'l-Baha, reflecting to a degree that no man, however exalted his station, can hope to rival, the glory and power with which They who are the Manifestations of God are alone endowed.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 97-98)

Twin Pillars of the Administrative Structure
“An attempt, I feel, should at the present juncture be made to explain the character and functions of the twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structure—the institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 147)

“The pillars that sustain its [the Administrative Order’s] authority and buttress its structure are the twin institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 156)

Twin Tendencies (Disintegration of the Old Order and Consolidation of the New World Order of Baha’u’llah)
“The observable acceleration, during the past decade, of the two processes described by our beloved Guardian, the disintegration of the old order and the progress and consolidation of the new World Order of Baha'u'llah, may well come to be regarded by future historians as one of the most remarkable features of this period. The recent increase in this very acceleration is even more remarkable. Both within and without the Cause of God, powerful forces are operating to bring to a climax the twin tendencies of this portentous century.”

(Ridvan 140 B. E. [1983] The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 3)

Twin Arms (The Rulers and the Learned – National Spiritual Assemblies and the Counselors)
“Paralleling these outstanding events has been a remarkable unfoldment of organic growth in the maturity of the institutions of the Cause. The development of capacity and responsibility on their part and the devolution upon them of continually greater autonomy have been fostered by the encouragement of ever closer co-operation between the twin arms of the Administrative Order. This process now takes a large stride forward as the National Spiritual Assemblies and Counselors consult together to formulate, for the first time, the national goals of an international teaching plan. Together they must carry them out; together they must implement the world objectives of the Six Year Plan as they apply in each country.”

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1986, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 43-44)

Twin Functions (Of Protection and Propagation)

(The Universal House of Justice, 4 June 1997, "Covenant-Breaking and the Hands")

“The International Teaching Centre will be the seat of that institution which is specifically invested with the twin functions of the protection and propagation of the Cause of God.”

(The Universal House of Justice, August 31, 1987, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 51-52)

Twin Anniversaries (Of the 1992 Centenary)
“The friends everywhere must now orient themselves to the significances of these twin anniversaries [the 1992 centenary of Baha’u’llah’s passing and the inauguration of His Covenant]. They must be spiritually prepared through prayer and study of the Teachings to obtain a deeper appreciation of the station and purpose of Bahá'u'lláh and of the basic meaning of His mighty Covenant.”

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1990, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 77)

Twin Foci (A Campaign of Teaching and Training and the Completion of the Construction Projects on Mount Carmel)
“Even though the establishment of the Lesser Peace is not dependent on any Baha'i plan or action, and although it will not represent the ultimate goal humanity is destined to reach in the Golden Age, our community has a responsibility to lend spiritual impetus to the processes towards that peace. The need at this exact time is to so intensify our efforts in building the Baha'i System that we will attract the confirmations of Baha'u'llah and thus invoke a spiritual atmosphere that will accrue to the quickening of these processes. Two main challenges face us: one is to mount a campaign of teaching in which the broad membership of our community is enthusiastically, systematically and personally engaged, and in which the activation of an extensive training programme will ensure the development of a mass of human resources; the other is to complete the construction projects on Mount Carmel towards which every sacrifice must be made to provide a liberal outpouring of material means. These twin foci, if resolutely pursued, will foster conditions towards the release of pent-up forces that will forge a change in the direction of human affairs throughout the planet.”

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 153, 1996)

Twin Objectives of the Nine Year Plan (Expansion and Universal Participation)
"Expansion and universal participation are the twin objectives of this initial phase of the second epoch of the Divine Plan, and all the goals assigned to the sixty-nine national communities are contributory to them.”

(April 1964, Launching of the Nine Year Plan, The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 25)

“We announce with joyful and thankful hearts the completion in overwhelming victory of the world-encircling Nine Year Plan. The Army of Light has won its second global campaign; it has surpassed the goals set for expansion and has achieved a truly impressive degree of universal participation, the twin objectives of the Plan.”

(Ridvan 1973, The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 236)

Twin Conferences (In 1970 In Bolivia and Mauritius)
"Our hearts turn with eager expectancy to the twin Conferences now in session in the southern hemisphere. Their convocation so shortly after the world-wide commemoration of the Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Purest Branch, calls to mind that the promotion and establishment of the Faith of God have always been through sacrifice and dedicated service."

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 170)

Twin Marble Monuments (For the Sepulchers of Navvab and Mirza Mihdi)

“It had long been the desire of the Greatest Holy Leaf to lie near her mother, who was buried in Akka, as was her brother, Midhi. But when Bahiyyih Khanum passed away in 1932 she had been befittingly interred on Mt. Carmel near the Shrine of the Bab. Shoghi Effendi conceived the idea of transferring the remains of her mother and brother, so unsuitably buried in Akka, to the vicinity of her resting-place and in 1939 he ordered in Italy twin marble monuments, similar in style to the one he had erected over her own grave.”
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, p. 116)

Twin Goals (Of Disarmament and Development)

"The unity of the human race needs to be understood, promoted, explained and dramatized so that our interdependence will be seen as a necessary first step in the pursuit of the twin goals of disarmament and development."
(Baha'i International Community, 24 August 1987, "Relationship Between Disarmament and Development")