Sunday, 20 December 2015

Commentary on the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

The Role of the Will and Testament in the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh Paperback – May 27, 2010

by Joel B. Marangella

This Commentary by Joel B. Marangella sheds light on both the text and the tragic historic events surrounding this Sacred Document of the Bahá'í Faith. The book recounts the intrigue that took place at the Bahá'í World Center in 1957 that stifled the growth of this infant Faith, threatened to permanently diminish its prestige in the eyes of the world and destroyed the very safeguard built into the Faith that was to prevent it from falling into false leadership. Despite the darkness that has befallen this most recent revelation from God, this brilliant Commentary reveals the truth of what remains alive and well today, the true sign of God on earth who alone maintains the spirit and meaning of the Bahá'í teachings. The Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the vital and eternal link between Bahá'u'lláh and the sacred Administrative Order that is the true channel of the spirit. This new book by Mr. Marangella clearly illuminates important passages within it that have been misunderstood, overlooked or intentionally distorted. The question may well be asked, what is so threatening about this book that millions of Bahá'ís around the world won't be allowed by their leadership to read it? Surely, all Bahá'ís must recognize the fundamental principle of Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, to exercise their human right of an unfettered, independent investigation of truth. Mr. Marangella's book also includes the complete Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l- Bahá, which can be read along with the Commentary, as well as a Summary of the Bahá'í Faith by the author, recognized by Orthodox Bahá'ís as the third Guardian of Bahá'í Faith. This Summary gives the uninitiated an authoritative treatise on the history and teachings of the Bahá'í Faith.

Comments on the Book

1-The Introduction to the book "Commentary on the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha"

By *The current Guardian of the Baha'i Faith is Nosrat'u'llah Bahremand.

This Commentary on the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha is an authoritative interpretation of what is a vital part of the Holy Text of the Baha'i Faith. The Commentary includes a critical examination of the tragic, historic events aimed at destroying the meaning and significance of this Sacred Document. For the novice to follow this commentary, it is helpful to see the Covenant of Baha'u'llah—of which the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha comprises one of its most important written documents—in light of the greater Covenant of God in its biblical and prophetic meaning.

A covenant is an agreement between two parties, and the Covenant of God contains a promise of Divine Guidance from God and an obligation of recognition and obedience from the people. The Covenant of God with Abraham is also known as the Greater Covenant. This Covenant contains the promise that great nations would come from Abraham's seed. His lineal offspring through Sarah include Moses and Christ, and his lineal offspring through Hagar and Keturah include the founders of other great world religions. They include Buddha, Zoroaster, Mohammed and, in the mid nineteenth century, the twin Prophet Founders of the Baha'i Faith, the Bab and Baha'u'llah. These founders of the great religions of the world are the fulfillment of God's promise, or Covenant. Their lives, as well as the book that each brings, such as the Bible and the Koran, give divine guidance to mankind. The word 'nation' in the promise God made with Abraham can clearly be seen to mean a great religion, such as “the nation of Islam,” which means the followers of Mohammed, not a geographical location.

The special Covenant of Baha'u'llah, the Lesser Covenant, is essentially a continuation of the Greater Covenant of God. It, too, is a promise of continued Divine Guidance to mankind and is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy that tells us that this is “the day that shall not be followed by night.” Religions of the past have divided over interpretation and over who has the authority to interpret the scriptures. The Covenant of Baha'u'llah established the means for protecting His teachings and religion from schism by clearly appointing, in His own hand, His successor, the one He called “the Center of the Covenant,” the one invested with the power to infallibly interpret the Holy Text, His eldest son, Abdu'l-Baha.

But the guidance and protection does not end with Abdu'l-Baha. In His turn, Abdu'l-Baha set in writing the means for safeguarding the Faith of Baha'u'llah, the Baha'i Faith, from schism and misinterpretation. He did this in His most important document, His Will and Testament, which establishes the institution of the Guardianship, appoints Shoghi Effendi as the first Guardian, and explains how each guardian appoints his successor. The Orthodox Baha'i Faith recognizes Joel B. Marangella* as the third Guardian of the Baha'i Faith.

Joel B. Marangella's commentary on Abdu'l-Baha's Will and Testament enables the reader to clearly understand important passages within it that have been misunderstood, overlooked or intentionally distorted as well as to examine the tragic recent history surrounding this sacred document. In the end, Mr. Marangella's commentary enables us to discover the true sign of God on earth in our own lifetime.

2-A MUST-READ for all Baha'is

By Jeffrey on July 28, 2010

It is impossible to understand the significance of the Will & Testament of Abdu'l-Baha until you have read this insightful commentary. This book explains in a succinct and straight-forward manner both the meaning and context of the varied provisions of this Sacred Document. Even those who disagrees with the author will benefit from studying it because it will inspire and stimulate an interesting reevaluation of the importance and role of the Will and Testament.

3-Excellent gift for Baha'is!

ByMartin Lavallee on July 28, 2010

in every Baha'i's hands! It explains very well the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh and how the Guardian is the head of the Baha'i Faith. «Non-Baha'is» may find useful to read this book in understanding the concept of Center of the Cause, being now the 3rd Guardian, Joel Bray Marangella.

4-The Emphasis on spiritual relationships in Baha'i symbology.

ByBarbara Walsh on July 31, 2010

I loved learning about the Bab's use of the symbolic terms for the believers - a branch being a male believer, a leaf being a female believer and fruit being offspring and of course the Tree being the Bab Himself as the Holy Prophet. It is explained in this book the continued use of these terms by His Holiness Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha with references to the writings.

"Abdu'l-Baha, too, emphasises spiritual relationships in the matter of succession in past Dispensations. In "Some Answered Questions" He states: "Now Muhammad was the root and Ali the branch, like Moses and Joshua"

The footnote to this paragraph reads: In this quotation we observe that the term "branch" denotes a spiritual relationship as neither Ali (the first Iman) nor Joshua were Sons or lineal descendents of these Manifestations. They were spiritual sons or branches of these two Holy Trees."

This book is full of really interesting information.

5-The Charter for a New World Order

ByMichael Luten on October 14, 2014

"MUTILATED" is the adjective the first Guardian Shoghi Effendi uses in reference to a Baha'i Administrative Order devoid of the Guardianship "(Dispensation of Baha'u'llah). In the Baha'i lexicon, only a living Guardian has the authority to interpret Holy Text and Holy Writ (Will and Testament of Abdu'l Baha = Holy Text). Comparison and contrast of the commentary by Joel B. Marangella and David Hofman should only prove beneficial to all inquirers who have an interest in the document in which faithful Baha'is believe reposes "The Charter for a New World Order".


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