Prelude to the Guardianship
As World War I drew to its close, Shoghi Effendi, a young graduate of the American University of Beirut, returned home to Haifa in the Holy Land to be of service to his beloved grandfather, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the head of the Bahá’í Faith. From late 1918 to mid-1920 Shoghi Effendi became the chief secretary and translator of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s voluminous correspondence with Bahá’ís in Western countries as well as India and Japan, and accompanied ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in his meetings in Haifa and ‘Akká with officials, enquirers and pilgrims. All this prepared him for directing the growth and development of the Bahá’í Faith as its Guardian – a responsibility that would be bestowed upon him on the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Shoghi Effendi himself was unaware of this future event. He longed to perfect his command of the English language that he might be of better service to his beloved grandfather, and to fulfil this purpose he applied and was admitted to Balliol College at Oxford University, one of the greatest centres of learning in the world. His studies at the University, and his visits to the Bahá’í communities in England, are described in this book.