Shoghi Effendi - Premonition of Death

And yet, as you know, when he passed away in England, I had many cables from him, many letters from him letting me know the things he wanted to be done, the things he wanted finished by the time he got back because of the things he wanted to do, and he said he can’t do, until other things were finished. He wanted me t to press the government, to press different sources in order to finish them. This is one thing which was very important, he considered one of the most important accomplishments of the past years, was the freeing of the Most Holy Place in the Bahá’í world, Bahji, and the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, freeing it from the poisonous and insidious influence of the covenant breakers, who lived right next to the Shrine, which I was working on. Finally, we got these people disposed, we got the people out of these buildings, we got title to the buildings, and I cabled to the Guardian, and I asked him if, because he had said that he wanted them destroyed immediately when they were out of the buildings , so I cabled him that we now had the title transferred to the American NSA, that is, their branch, and should we proceed with the destruction of these buildings? And he cabled back, and he said, no, wait until I return. I want to supervise the destruction of those buildings. Well, there was a direct statement that there were certain things that he wanted to do. Now certain other things that he wanted to do in Haifa, and certain other things that he wanted to do in Akka. He asked me to arrange the details for him so that he could just handle them when he got back.

It seems likely that if he had had knowledge that he was going to pass away, he would have given us some written instructions as to what should be done after his ascension.

In the Days of the Guardian – a Talk by Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1958

Now, people have asked, “Did the Guardian have any conception that he was going to pass away? Did he have fore-knowledge, being divinely guided, that he was going to pass away? Again, friends, the answer to the question is that we don’t know. The preponderance of evidence seems to be that he did not know, that he did not expect to pass away. But, I give you these incidences. They are very sad, but I think you should know and would want to know them.

One evening Shoghi Effendi came over, and he was rather, …, hadn’t been well. He was rather disturbed, badly disturbed, in fact. And he sat down, pushed his plate aside, and Rúhíyyih Khánum said, “Shoghi Effendi, won’t you eat? You haven’t eaten all day. You’re hungry. You’re getting weak. You should eat. And then you can talk to the friends later about your cablegram and the matters you want to talk about.” So he said, well, all right, and he pulled his plate back and the servant gave him some food. He ate one or two mouthfuls, and then he pushed it back and started to talk. Well, Shoghi Effendi, we who lived there got to knew if Shoghi Effendi was well or if he was happy, just your whole life was around that of Shoghi Effendi. And if he was well, you got up in the morning and everything was fine. If he was happy, everything was sunshine. Sometimes you got up in the morning and everything was wrong. Why was it wrong? You didn’t know, but you found out during the day that Shoghi Effendi wasn’t well. So this is when he pushed his plate aside, again without eating, and he started to talk. And he said, “You know, shortly before Bahá’u’lláh passed away, the Master went to see him in Bahji, and He went up to His room and He found His papers all over the floor. So the Master collected them, put them in a neat order, laid them on a divan, and said, Bahá’u’lláh, I collected your papers and put them in order, and I’ve put them out here so that you can have them. Bahá’u’lláh took them in His hands and threw them all over the floor again and said, “It doesn’t make any difference. It’s all done.” I don’t want to these papers any more. No more papers!” That was said before Bahá’u’lláh passed away. So, he said, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, shortly before ‘Abdu’l-Bahá passed away (‘Abdu’l-Bahá was always very meticulous in everything He did), and they found His papers scattered around in His room, and his secretaries collected them and put them in order for Him – put them together – and they took them to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá who took the papers and threw them and said, “I’m done with the papers. It doesn’t make any difference now. It’s all finished now. I don’t want any more papers.” And shortly after, He passed away.

He said, “I’m so tired of these papers, I don’t want them anymore. I just don’t want these papers any more. I don’t want them.” Well, we talked to Shoghi Effendi and said, “Don’t talk that way! How can you say these things! You are going to kill your friends here.” And I said to Shoghi Effendi, “Why don’t you give these papers to Rúhíyyih Khánum and myself. Give them to us. We’ll do something with them. We’ll handle them. We’ll digest them. We’ll give you an outline, and so all you have to do is give us the answers, so that if a person raises a question, we’ll give it to you, and all you have to do is say, “Tell him so-and-so. Tell him so-and-so.” And I said, “Shoghi Effendi, no Guardian of this Cause in the future is going to be able to do what you’re doing. No Guardian can receive all these people and give them personal audiences, give them personal contact and answer personal questions, and deal with the personal problems. I said, they have to in the future deal through the intermediaries. Why don’t you just set up now to have an audience with the pilgrims, one hour in the afternoon. Just one hour. Talk to everyone, have a general talk, and then it’s all finished and you can have a little time, so you can rest a little bit, so you won’t have so many burdens, and you’re not so pressed So I talked along that line and Shoghi Effendi said, “Well, it is not time for any change now.” And that was it.

In the Days of the Guardian – a Talk by Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1958

Sometime later, I usually had the privilege of walking home with the Guardian after he left the pilgrims, and very often he talked further about the subject which we had been discussing at dinner, and gave further amplification, which, of course, were very precious moments, and he gave very precious things. So, that evening he had been talking about spiritual matters. It was the most spiritual talk that I had ever heard the Guardian give all the time that I was in Haifa. It seemed like he was opening a door into Heaven and letting us look in for awhile. And of course I was hoping as we walked home that he was going to continue talking about this subject, and perhaps give some more elucidations. Well, we got half way home and he turned around and says, “Leroy, as you know, I’ve been Guardian of the Cause for thirty-six years. And the responsibilities and the worries are just weighting me down. In the days of the Báb, the Faith was established in two countries. In the days of Bahá’u’lláh, there were eleven countries. In the days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, there were thirty-one countries. Today, there are over two hundred and fifty countries and islands in the world. He said, “I have so many things weighting me down. I have to consider the future of the Cause. I have to consider the welfare of the Cause in every country. And I have all this burning correspondence, all of this work, all of the time. All of these things weighting me down, and I have got to have relief.” Then I said, Shoghi Effendi, why don’t you give me those papers? I can do a lot more work than I’m doing. I’ll have to have a lot of help in my office, and I’ve got to have more help doing the things I’m doing, but I can take those papers and I can quote those papers and I can digest them, I can tell you what the questions are, and I can let you know what they are, and all you have to do is let me know what the answer is.” I said, “That will give you some relief.” And he turned with tears in his eyes, and he said, “Only God can give me relief.”

Now, was he telling us that he would soon be leaving us? I don’t know. It never dawned on us for a moment that that’s what he was doing.

In the Days of the Guardian – a Talk by Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1958