Administrative Order

The Administrative Order of the Cause, though first established in America, copied as a model by other national Bahá’í communities, is not an American production, but is a universal system based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. It is not simply by coincidence however that it was first initiated and perfected by the American believers.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 1

The administrative order which lies embedded in the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, and which the American believers have championed and are now establishing, should, under no circumstances, be identify with the principles underlying present - day democracies, Nor is it identical with any purely aristocratic or autocratic form of government. The objectionable features inherent in each of these political systems are entirely avoided. It blends, as no system of human polity has as yet achieved, those salutary truths and beneficial elements which constitute the valuable contributions which each of these forms of government have made to society in the past.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 1

The fundamental laid down in the Bahá’í Administration must, of course, be adhered to, but there is a tendency for Assemblies to constantly issue detailed procedures and rules to the friends, and He considers this hampers the work of the Cause, and is entirely premature. As far as is possible cases which come up should be dealt with and settled as they arise, and not a blanket ruling be laid down to cover all possible similar cases. This preserves the elasticity of the Administrative Order and prevents red tape from developing and hampering the work of the Cause... Uniformity in fundamentals is essential but not in every detail. On the contrary, diversity, the solving of the local situation in the right way, is important.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 37