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Shoghí Effendí Rabbání (March 1, 1897 – November 4, 1957), better known as Shoghi Effendi, was the Guardian and appointed head of the Bahá’í Faith from 1921 until his death in 1957.

After the death of Abdu’l Baha in 1921, Shoghi Effendi was referred to as the Guardian of the faith by the Haifan Bahais. After his death, the Universal House of Justice took over both as the executive and legislative authority of the faith.

Subsequently, attempts were made to answer the question of, change of a century old tradition of, guardianship multiple times with varied explanations by the Universal House of Justice.

His Death.

Shoghi Effendi in his last and crucial moments was left alone by his wife Ruhiyya Maxwell Khanum who was attending to some business in the United Kingdom.

Although, it is widely believed within popular circles that he had a bout of the Avian flu which ultimately resulted into his passing away from this world, a look at the death certificate says otherwise. The death certificate explicitly illustrates the cause of death as coronary thrombosis. It may be observed that the cause of death on the certificate is endorsed by a County Coroner (of City of Marylebone – An area at the west end of London) after a thorough post mortem.

Significance of the death certificate and the record of death as observed in the records of 1957

In order to understand the significance of the death certificate, it would be apt to take a look at the procedures of death registration in the United Kingdom as illustrated in the following paragraphs.

Extracts from  :

3. When a death is reported to a coroner

A doctor may report the death to a coroner if the:

  • cause of death is unknown
  • death was violent or unnatural
  • death was sudden and unexplained
  • person who died was not visited by a medical practitioner during their final illness
  • medical certificate isn’t available
  • person who died wasn’t seen by the doctor who signed the medical certificate within 14 days before death or after they died
  • death occurred during an operation or before the person came out of anaesthetic
  • medical certificate suggests the death may have been caused by an industrial disease or industrial poisoning

The coroner may decide that the cause of death is clear. In this case:

  1. The doctor signs a medical certificate.
  2. You take the medical certificate to the registrar.
  3. The coroner issues a certificate to the registrar stating a post-mortem isn’t needed.


The coroner may decide a post-mortem is needed to find out how the person died. This can be done either in a hospital or mortuary.

You can’t object to a coroner’s post-mortem – but if you’ve asked the coroner must tell you (and the person’s GP) when and where the examination will take place.

Uncovering the circumstances of Shoghi Effendis Death

  • Post his death, a General Practitioner or GP (Doctor) was called in to certify his death as is the practice in most parts of the world. Upon initial examination and visual inspection, the GP decided to report the death to a coroner for further investigation and did not issue a death certificate since prima facie from the look of it; it seemed that his death was under very suspicious circumstances (refer extract from . So violent / unnatural state was the corpse in that medical personnel could not identify its gender, see para ahead). This is inferred from the extracts above as well as diary entries extracted from “findmypast” and that reporting of the death to the coroner itself casts a question as to the circumstances that preceded his death. Not only this, we can find references all over historical articles available on this subject that leads us to infer that the corpse was somehow heavily mutilated and Shoghi Effendi died a suspicious and mysterious death that was concealed at all points by all those most near to him.
  • The said diary entries of this death made by the authorities from GP reports as accessed in “find my past records service – UK” show the gender of Shoghi as “Unknown”. It is surprising that a doctor could not ascertain the gender of Shoghi Effendi upon initial examination and visual inspection. This clearly indicates that either his body was heavily mutilated or it indicated characteristics exhibited by eunuchs.
  • Thereafter, reaffirming these questions raised by the GP as to the nature of circumstances preceding the death, the coroner chose to perform an autopsy (or a post mortem). The report of this post mortem infers that Shoghi died of coronary thrombosis although the popular belief amongst members of Baha’i faith is that he died of Avian flu.
  • It is worth quoting a testimony of one of many eminent observers present at the time of demise of Shoghi Effendi viz. Mayson Reymey. He was not only present but has also made a mention of accounts of the state of the corpse as well as sheds some light on the circumstances surrounding his death. He says and I quote –

“But they separated the viscera of the body of the Guardian, and put it in the shroud for a few days; so, it was completely rotten and His holy body had become very dangerous and intolerable, so that no one could recognize him. It was then when we arrived in London. The Holy Corpse was then placed in a bronze and lead box to avoid further damage to it! While no one was aware of the events that had taken place, and the only report Ruhiyyih Khanum gave was during putting the Holy Corpse in the lead box, which was filled with flowers, and she stated that everything was fragrant.”

(Notes and Memories by Yadullah Thabit Rasikh – Nashebo Faraz, Chapter 5)

  • A glance at the death certificate issued by the city of Marylebone – London for Shoghi Effendi will be proof enough for anyone that he did indeed die of coronary thrombosis. Post his death, the body got into such a state before anyone attended to it that it required a postmortem before laws of the land permitted disposal of the same. Even so, the Baha’i Administration has gone overdrive in trying to cover this up by spreading rumours of the Avian flu. It seems that there is something associated with the death of Shoghi effendi that they are trying to hide although the pursuit of truth always prevails at the end.
  • One can observe the discrepancy of gender as mentioned in the diary entry (that says gender unknown) and the death certificate issued subsequently. This is simply because the find my past records rely on entries made by medical personell and authorities whereas the death certificate includes information supplied by the person applying for it (viz. his wife Ruhiyya Maxwell Khanum)
  • The death of this guardian Shoghi Effendi ended the chain of guardianship against the prophesies of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l Baha. All the above points intrigues the reader to investigate further into why so much mystery surrounds the death of this one person who is likely the last popular guardian before Baha’i Administration hijacked the faith? Most likely, all this point out to the forging of the will and testament that the master has beforementioned many a times to the benefit of the current day administration.

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