One day, when Shoghi Effendi was a young child, he picked up his grandfather’s pen to write. His grandfather, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, gently said, “Now is not the time to write, now is the time to play, you will write a lot in the future.” Shoghi Effendi did grow up to write thousands of pages—as leader of the worldwide Bahá’í community.
Shoghi Effendi was born in ‘Akká, Israel, in 1897. He was a joyful child with boundless energy, and he deeply loved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. As a young man, Shoghi Effendi served as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s secretary, translating his letters and helping with other tasks. He then attended Oxford University in England and perfected his English. He always wanted to learn so he could better serve the Bahá’í Faith.
When his beloved grandfather passed away in 1921, Shoghi Effendi was devastated. He got another shock when he learned that he was named as the Faith’s leader, or Guardian, in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s will. Shoghi Effendi was only 24 years old—a very young age for such a monumental job. But he accepted the responsibility to guide Bahá’ís around the world.
As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had predicted, Shoghi Effendi wrote continuously. He translated many writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá into English. He wrote a book about the history of the Bahá’í Faith, as well as about 26,000 letters.
For 36 years, Shoghi Effendi led the Bahá’í Faith with dedication and enthusiasm. He encouraged Bahá’ís to share the teachings of world peace and unity. He also began building a beautiful World Center for the Bahá’í Faith on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.
Shoghi Effendi passed away in 1957. Today, the Bahá’í world community is led by an elected body called the Universal House of Justice. Bahá’ís continue to find inspiration from Shoghi Effendi’s life of service and words of encouragement. He wrote, “A glorious future awaits you all, more brilliant than any you can imagine.”Bahá’í Faith318 Shoghi Effendi22 ’Akká22 Israel39 Biography21