Following the establishment of the state of Israel, the government proceeded to identify the holy places of all of the religions in the Holy Land, and to officially recognize them. The Shrine of Baha’u’llah was one of these officially-designated Holy Places. I heard, though I do not recall from whom, that Mr. Ioas learned that the government of Israel had passed a law prohibiting residential dwellings within a certain number of meters from a designated holy place. He informed Shoghi Effendi of this, and stated that perhaps the Covenant-breaker dwelling could be removed. The Guardian asked, (paraphrasing, not his exact words), “Leroy, do you really think you could do this?” Mr. Ioas answered that he could not; however, he knew that God assisted everything Shoghi Effendi wanted done, and if Shoghi Effendi told Mr. Ioas to do it, he knew that it could be accomplished. Shoghi Effendi then told him to proceed, and said that it would be a miracle to get the Covenant-breakers out.
“When Leroy was given this assignment, the Guardian said to him, ‘Everything you have done up to now, including your work on the Shrine of the Bab, is as silver, whereas removing the Covenant-breakers from Bahji, and securing the buildings and lands for the Faith, will be as gold.‘ (Leroy Ioas, p. 194)
|Building on the Right Side. Click to enlarge.|
This photograph, taken on the occasion of the believers praying at the Shrine of Baha’u’llah following the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha, clearly shows the building under discussion. On the right is the Shrine of Baha’u’llah. Behind it, not visible in this picture, is the Mansion of Bahji. In the center of the photograph is the apartment house that was occupied by the Covenant-breakers. It was this dwelling that was finally brought into the hands of the Faith in 1957 through the confirmations of God that attended the efforts of Mr. Ioas; and which was destroyed by the Hands of the Cause following their first conclave in December, 1957.
This was not merely removal of an ugly building from otherwise beautiful gardens, nor merely the eviction of undesirables. This represented the death-blow to the violators of the Covenant. Their violation of the Ark of the Testament — the Will and Testament of Baha’u’llah establishing His Covenant– was prophesied in the Bible, as explained by Abdu’l-Baha here….
The joy of Shoghi Effendi at the successful accomplishment of this is evident in his message to the Baha’i world:
“With feelings of profound joy, exultation and thankfulness, announce on morrow of sixty-fifth Anniversary of Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, signal, epoch-making victory won over the ignoble band of breakers of His Covenant which, in the course of over six decades, has entrenched itself in the precincts of the Most Holy Shrine of the Bahá’í world…”
Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Baha’i World – 1950-1957, p. 120)
Later in November 1965 the UHJ desecrated the grave of Abdul Baha’s brother (who was accused of Covenant Breaking) and thus declared the Baha’i World :