Appointed One Who is the Center
Covenant of Baha’u’llah
Appointed One Who is the Center
The Baha’i Faith began with the mission entrusted by God to two Divine Messengers—the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Today, the distinctive unity of the Faith They founded stems from explicit instructions given by Baha’u’llah that have assured the continuity of guidance following His passing. This line of succession, referred to as the Covenant, went from Baha’u’llah to His Son, ‘Abdu’l-Baha—the Centre of the Covenant.
Source: The Promulgation of Universal Peace
Talk at Home of Mrs. Corinne True, Chicago, Illinois
16 September 1912
Inasmuch as great differences and divergences of denominational belief had arisen throughout the past, every man with a new idea attributing it to God, Baha’u’llah desired that there should not be any ground or reason for disagreement among the Baha’is.
Therefore, with His own pen He wrote the Book of His Covenant, addressing His relations and all people of the world, saying, “Verily, I have appointed One Who is the Center of My Covenant. All must obey Him; all must turn to Him; He is the Expounder of My Book, and He is informed of My purpose. All must turn to Him. Whatsoever He says is correct, for, verily, He knoweth the texts of My Book. Other than He, no one doth know My Book.”
The purpose of this statement is that there should never be discord and divergence among the Baha’is but that they should always be unified and agreed.
… In all His Tablets, among which is the Tablet of the Branch, He has mentioned and explained the attributes and qualities of the Personage to Whom He referred in the Book of His Covenant. He has fully expounded the function and potency of that Personage, so that no one shall say, “I understand this from the writings of Baha’u’llah,” for He has appointed the Center, or Expounder, of the Book.
He said, “Verily, He is the appointed one; other than He, there is none,” intending that no sects or prejudices should be formed, and preventing every man here and there with a new thought from creating dissension and variance. It is as though a king should appoint a governor-general. Whosoever obeys him, obeys the king. Whosoever violates and disobeys him, violates the king. Therefore, whosoever obeys the Center of the Covenant appointed by Baha’u’llah has obeyed Baha’u’llah, and whosoever disobeys Him has disobeyed Baha’u’llah. It has nothing to do with Him (`Abdu’l-Baha) at all–precisely as the governor-general appointed by the king–whosoever obeys the governor-general obeys the king; whosoever disobeys the governor-general disobeys the king.
Therefore, you must read the Tablets of Baha’u’llah. You must read the Tablet of the Branch and regard that which He has so clearly stated. Beware! Beware! lest anyone should speak from the authority of his own thoughts or create a new thing out of himself.
Beware! Beware! According to the explicit Covenant of Baha’u’llah you should care nothing at all for such a person. Baha’u’llah shuns such souls. I have expounded these things for you, for the conservation and protection of the teachings of Baha’u’llah, in order that you may be informed, lest any souls shall deceive you and lest any souls shall cause suspicion among you.
You must love all people, and yet if any souls put you in doubt, you must know that Baha’u’llah is severed from them. Whosoever works for unity and fellowship is a servant of Baha’u’llah, and Baha’u’llah is his assistant and helper. I ask God that He may cause you to be the very means of agreement and unity, that He may make you radiant, merciful, heavenly children of the divine Kingdom; that you may advance day by day; that you may become as bright as these lamps, bestowing light upon all humanity.