…answers to questions submitted by individual believers and institutions – posted in chronological order

July 12, 1972: Payment of Huququ’llah

Payment of Huququ'lláh has not yet been applied to the western world. It will undoubtedly be universal at some future time but at present the believers in the West are able to discharge their material obligations to the Cause by contribution to the Funds. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 12 July 1972; compilation on ‘Huququ’llah, The Right of God’, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice)

July 4, 1972: Breaking a tie vote in LSA election

Regarding your question about the breaking of tie votes, a balloting to break such a tie vote for members of a Spiritual Assembly may be held after the first day of Ridvan if necessary, but obviously the day of balloting should not be delayed too long. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated July 4, 1972, to a National Spiritual Assembly; Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

March 2, 1972 - Huququ'lláh is now offered through the Universal House of Justice

'Abdu'l-Bahá in one of His Tablets has stated: "Disposition of the Huquq, wholly or partly, is permissible, but this should be done by permission of the authority in the Cause to whom all must turn." The provision in His Will and Testament that the Huququ'lláh "is to be offered through the guardian of the Cause of God..." is clearly in accord with this principle. In another Tablet 'Abdu'l-Bahá referred to the Universal House of Justice as "the authority to whom all must turn" and it is clear that in the absence of the Guardian it is the supreme and central institution of the Cause. Moreover, before 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh had revealed the following: "There is a prescribed ruling for the Huququ'lláh. After the House of Justice hath come into being the law thereof will be made manifest, in conformity with the Will of God." In accordance with these explicit texts it is clearly within the jurisdiction of the Universal House of Justice to decide about the receipt and disbursement of Huququ'lláh at the present time. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 2 March 1972 to the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I)

February 9, 1972 - Local Assemblies cannot be formed in prisons

... the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land have shared with us a portion of the February 3rd letter of... referring to teaching in the prison in ...and to the formation of Local Assemblies in cell blocks, While this teaching work is commendable those who accept Bahá'u'lláh under these conditions cannot undertake administrative responsibilities, nor can Local Assemblies be formed in prisons. However, they may observe Nineteen Day Feasts, Bahá'í Holy Days, and other Bahá'í events. When they return to their own communities they may participate in administrative affairs as well." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated February 9, 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, : Extract from a letter written to another National Spiritual Assembly, June 11, 1964; compilations: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

February 8, 1972 - local Spiritual Assemblies – “nerve centres of the Bahá'í communities”

Great attention should be paid to the strengthening of local Spiritual Assemblies which must act as the nerve centres of the Bahá'í communities in the towns and villages, promote Bahá'í education of the youth and children, and increase cooperation and participation of the believers in Bahá'í community life. Travelling teachers and all who are actively engaged in spreading the Message should rededicate themselves to their vital work and set out with renewed enthusiasm. They should aim at assisting as large a number as possible of Bahá'í communities to stand on their own feet and become capable of carrying out the thrilling tasks which they are called upon to discharge in the Vineyard of God in this Day. 
- The Universal House of justice  (From a letter dated February 8, 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, February 8, 1972, section, "Visiting Teachers -- What They Are Supposed to Do"; (compilation: Lights of Guidance)

January 31, 1972 – conditions for imposing limited sanctions

Limited sanctions (i.e. restrictions on one's eligibility to serve on institutions or participate in community events) are usually imposed in cases where the individual disrupts the unity of the community, or is mentally unfit and unable to exercise judgment or behave responsibly. The Universal House of Justice has clearly indicated that a National Spiritual Assembly may debar an individual from serving on a Local Spiritual Assembly without removing his administrative rights. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (Letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, dated January 31, 1972; Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

January 31, 1972: Debarring an individual believer from serving on a Local Spiritual Assembly

It is also quite permissible for a National Spiritual Assembly to debar an individual believer from serving on a Local Spiritual Assembly without removing his or her voting rights and they may also debar a believer from attending the consultative part of a Nineteen Day Feast. You may also debar a believer from voting in elections without imposing all the other administrative sanctions involved in administrative expulsion. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 31 January 1972; Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

December 9, 1971: Use of leaflets in teaching projects

The details of such matters are within the discretion of each National Spiritual Assembly to decide in the light of certain fundamental principles and in the context of the situation in each country.

In deciding such matter you should bear in mind not only the effectiveness of the project from the teaching point of view, but also its bearing upon the dignity of the Faith. Any leaflet used in such a way should be brief, contain the minimum of quotations from the Sacred Writings, and be designed primarily to arouse the interest of the reader so that he will request more information and should not, at that stage, be intended to convince or convert the reader. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to National Spiritual Assembly of Australia, December 9, 1971; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

December 6, 1971: Care in maintaining purity and spiritual character of Baha’i elections

As you know very well, the method of Bahá'í elections is at complete variance with the methods and practices of elections in political systems. The beloved Guardian has pointed out to us that should we follow the method of the politicians in our Bahá'í elections, misunderstandings and differences will arise, chaos and confusion will ensue, mischief will abound and the confirmations of God will be cut off from that Bahá'í community. In view of these grave warnings, the utmost care must always be exercised so that the purity and spiritual character of Bahá'í elections are maintained and preserved. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 6 December 1971 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilation, Vol. III, Sanctity and Nature of Baha’i Elections)

December 6, 1971: Electioneering, either openly or secretly

When one sees some inexperienced or immature Bahá'ís indulge in electioneering, either openly or secretly, far from being tempted to imitate them, one should resolutely arise and through proper administrative channels and procedures assist in eradicating such tendencies and cleansing the Bahá'í community from such evil influences. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 6 December 1971 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilation, Vol. III, Sanctity and Nature of Baha’i Elections)

November 21, 1971: When to present the Baha’i point of view on issues under consideration by a government

It is perfectly in order for Bahá'í institutions to present the Bahá'í view or recommendations on any subject of vital interest to the Faith which is under the consideration of a government, if the governmental authority itself invites such a submission, or if it is open to receive recommendations. The Bahá'í Assemblies should, however, refrain from bringing pressure to bear on the authorities in such matters, either separately or in concert with others. The Bahá'ís will submit their views, if permissible, expressing them as cogently and forcefully as the occasion warrants, but will not go beyond this to the stage of pressing the authorities to adopt these views. Moreover, when considering whether or not it is wise to make such a submission on any particular matter, the Bahá'í Assembly concerned must take care that it will not diffuse the energies of the Community or divert its resources by making submissions unless the interests of Faith demand it. Likewise the Assembly must ensure that it does not, by any minute and detailed analysis of a situation, "needlessly alienate or estrange any government or people", or involve the Faith in "the base clamourings and contentions of warring sects, factions and nations." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 21 November 1971 to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations vol. II, Teaching Prominent People)

November 18, 1971: Restoration of voting rights when only civil ceremony was performed

We have your letter of October 9, 1971 informing us of your action to deprive... of his voting rights for violation of Bahá'í marriage law in that he married without having consent of all living parents. It is noted at he has a civil ceremony and a Catholic ceremony. The question you have asked deals with possible restoration of his voting rights.

In cases involving only the civil ceremony, voting rights may be restored if the Assembly feels that the believer is truly repentant and wishes to comply with the Bahá'í law previously broken. The civil marriage ceremony itself is not contrary to Bahá'í law, and therefore the dissolution of the civil marriage is not a pre- requisite to restoration of voting rights. In such cases the Bahá'í marriage ceremony may take place if the parents now give their consent to the marriage and the Assembly is satisfied that the consent has been genuinely and freely given and is not conditioned by the fact that the parties have already had a civil ceremony on the condition that it be performed.

Should ... apply for restoration of his voting rights, and should your Assembly feel that he is truly repentant, you should offer assistance in arranging the other details including helping him to obtain the consent of parents. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 18 November 1971 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

October 28, 1971: In high latitudes permissible to go by the clock – for Feasts, Holy Days, Fast

As to whether the celebrating of the Feasts, Holy Days and the Fast should follow the rising and the setting of sun, in the high latitudes it is permissible to go by the clock. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From letter dated 28 October 1971 to the National Teaching Committee of Iceland, published in Australian Bahá'í Bulletin, No. 213, May 1972; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

October 28, 1971: Time for holding the Nineteen Day Feast

We have your letter of October 12, 1971 concerning the date for the holding of the Nineteen Day Feast. It is preferable that Nineteen Day Feasts be held on the first day of the Bahá'í month, but if it should be difficult to do so, it is permissible to hold it on a succeeding day of the Bahá'í month. The matter is left to the discretion of the Local Spiritual Assembly. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 28 October, 1971 to the National Teaching Committee of Ireland, included in Australian Bahá'í Bulletin, No. 213, May 1972; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

September 17, 1971: Inscription on a headstone

Concerning the questions you ask in postscript, there is no specific ruling regarding the type of headstone that may be used at a grave site. However, regarding the inscription on a headstone, the beloved Guardian asked the believers not to use any form of the Greatest Name but a nine-pointed star may be used. Or, you may wish to have an appropriate text from the Sacred Writings inscribed on the headstone. The position of the body in the grave should be with the feet pointing toward the Qiblih, which is Bahji in 'Akká.  
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated September 17, 1971 to an individual believer; Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

September 6, 1971: Avoid reading long, wordy letters at Nineteen Day Feasts

We note from reading your minutes that the enthusiasm of some of the new believers is being tested by the reading of long, wordy letters at Nineteen Day Feasts, and we think that something should be done about this. While it is important that the believers be informed about important messages from the Holy Land and other important items, it is true that the reading of messages at Nineteen Day Feasts can become a very boring and trying experience particularly for new believers not acquainted with many aspects of Bahá'í administration. We think you should consider other ways and means by which believers could be informed of vital and necessary information, such as through bulletins, institutes and other meetings. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 6 September 1971 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Nineteen Day Feast)

August 30, 1971: Temporary structure could be raised on endowment land

Endowment land cannot, at the same time, be used as another Bahá'í institution such as Haziratu'l-Quds or a Teaching Institute. There is no objection to erecting a temporary structure on endowment land for the convenience of friends who may visit it or have gatherings there provided that if its used becomes of a permanent nature it would be necessary to acquire a new Endowment." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter to a National Spiritual Assembly, August 30, 1971; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

August 29, 1971: Status of children under the age of 15 years who wish to become Bahá'ís

We have your letter of 18th August 1971 concerning the status of children under the age of 15 years who wish to become Bahá'ís. We share with you an extract of a letter on the subject written on behalf of the beloved Guardian by his secretary:

Up to the age of 15 years, children are under the direction of their parents. At the age of 15, they may declare their Faith as a conviction, and be registered as Bahá'í youth, whether the parents are Bahá'ís or not. Children under the age of 15, of Bahá'í parents who wish to attend meeting and associate with the friends as Bahá'ís may do so. If non-Bahá'í parents permit a child of less than 15 to attend Bahá'í meetings, and in fact, to be a Bahá'í, this is likewise permissible. (To the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, dated July 23, 1954)
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 29 August, 1971 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia; compilation: 'Lights of Guidance')

August 2, 1971: Enlisting in Armed Forces

Bahá'ís cannot voluntarily enlist in any branch of the Armed Forces where they would be subject to orders to engage in the taking of human life. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From the letter dated 2 August, 1971 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Fiji Islands; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)