I have been reading a very interesting book about Ruhi Effendi Afnan, one of Shoghi Effendi Rabbani’s cousins, who was his personal secretary and a highly talented orator and writer.
The book is
“Abdul Baha’s Grandson: Story of a Twentieth Century Excommunication”
By Mirza Ahmad Sohrab
Ruhi Afnan was well respected as a teacher of the faith and its public representative in the media. He made trips around the world to promote the faith. It seems that he would have been an excellent choice for Shoghi’s successor, if he had appointed a second Guardian.
Instead, Shoghi excommunicated Ruhi, ostensibly because he disapproved of his marriage and he disapproved of Ruhi’s decision to visit the United States. However, these publicly stated reasons seem trivial and frankly ridiculous, so there must have been another reason. It could be that Shoghi felt that Ruhi had become such an effective, well-known and beloved Baha’i leader that he felt his absolute power threatened by him. Or, it could be that some of Ruhi’s writings sounded more liberal than Shoghi was willing to tolerate — this is the theory that Ahmad Sohrab favors.
In any case, I highly recommend Sohrab’s book on Ruhi Afnan and his tragic excommunication. It sheds a lot of light on a lot of things about Shoghi Effendi, his relatives, those who helped him in the Bahai movement during his ministry, and Shoghi’s tight control of the movement and ever-increasing authoritarian leadership style.