Swedish Summer School

I attended the Swedish Summer School in the small village of Lundsbrunn located in central Sweden. Over four days I enjoyed the opportunities to be stimulated by an exchange of ideas from the different speakers, reconnect with old friends and deepen new friendships, and drink from the cup of wisdom offered to us by former Universal House of Justice member, Ali Nakhjavani, whose presence and talks were the jewel of attraction that had beckoned me to traverse the Swedish landscape. When Mr. Nakhjavani first entered the main hall I was struck by how much he had aged from when I had I first met him during my first pilgrimage in 2000. Nevertheless, at the age of 89 he retained a youthful vigour in his tone complemented by his wit and humour.

In his first talk, Mr. Nakhjavani focused on the Covenant and the law of succession, specifically the succession of the Universal House of Justice to Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of Faith. He clarified the question that had perplexed so many Baha’is regarding the relationship between the guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, which was how could these two institutions not coexist if the Guardian had written that they were inseparable from each other. Mr. Nakhjavani directed us to find the answer revealed by Baha’u’llah in full detail in paragraph 42 of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, but under the guise of revealing the authority to whom endowments may be dedicated for the service of the Faith.

In his second talk, Mr. Nakhjavani deepened the participants on the dual processes of integration and disintegration that is carrying us to the goal of a new world order. His explanations offered insights that were invaluable to furthering the believer’s understanding of the World Order letters of Shoghi Effendi and to increasing his certitude in the Faith such that he will not be distracted by the crises and perils afflicting the world. Mr. Nakhjavani assured us that the processes of integration and disintegration will unfold in parallel such that the most triumphant victories of the Faith will coincide with the lowest point in the abyss of moral degradation.

In addition to the talks by Mr. Nakhjavani, there were talks by Dr. Stephen Phelps from the Research Department in Haifa on a systemic study of the Writings and Dr. Sepideh Taheri from Edinburgh on the rise and fall of civilizations. As the Swedish summer school drew to a close, I returned home with renewed energy and gladdened by the new insights I had gained.