After the death of the Shoghi Effendi, the Baha’i leaders A.K.A. Hands of the Cause decided that the authority designated for the Guardian in the Baha’i scriptures should be shifted to them, and eventually to the Universal House of Justice, which would exercise all the powers. They persuaded the vast majority of Baha’is to accept this as legitimate.
An alternative prospect would have been to declare that the powers of the Guardian had become void in the absence of the Guardianship.
At present, the UHJ of the Baha’i World Faith exercises various significant powers that were formerly supposed to be in the exclusive domain of the Guardian: interpretation of the scripture, collection and expenditure of Huquq’ullah, expulsion of people from the faith, declaring “Covenant-breakers,” and impeachment of members of the Universal House of Justice.
There is no verse in the Baha’i holy writings suggesting that the Universal House of Justice can exercise those powers. In fact, some verses clearly designate the Guardianship as the only institution holding certain powers.
- “He [the Guardian] is the Interpreter of the Word of God and after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendants.” Abdu’l Baha (Will and Testament, p. 11.)
- “The Lord, as a sign of His infinite bounties, hath graciously favoured His servants by providing for a fixed money offering (Huquq), to be dutifully presented unto Him… It is to be offered through the Guardian of the Cause of God, that it may be expended for the diffusion of the fragrances of God and the exaltation of His Word, for benevolent pursuits and for the common weal.” Abdu’l Baha (Will and Testament, p. 15.)
- “Should any of the members [of the Universal House of Justice] commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the Guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him, whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead.” Abdu’l Baha (Will and Testament, p. 14.)