The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Page 5
Briefly, this is the wisdom of referring the laws of society to the House of Justice. In the religion of Islám, similarly, not every ordinance was explicitly revealed; nay not a tenth part of a tenth part was included in the Text; although all matters of major importance were specifically referred to, there were undoubtedly thousands of laws which were unspecified. These were devised by the divines of a later age according to the laws of Islamic jurisprudence, and individual divines made conflicting deductions from the original revealed ordinances. All these were enforced. Today this process of deduction is the right of the body of the House of Justice, and the deductions and conclusions of individual learned men have no authority, unless they are endorsed by the House of Justice. The difference is precisely this, that from the conclusions and endorsements of the body of the House of Justice whose members are elected by and known to the worldwide Bahá'í community, no differences will arise; whereas the conclusions of individual divines and scholars would definitely lead to differences, and result in schism, division, and dispersion. The oneness of the Word would be destroyed, the unity of the Faith would disappear, and the edifice of the Faith of God would be shaken.
Although the Universal House of Justice is explicitly authorized to change or repeal its own legislation as conditions change, thus providing Bahá'í law with an essential element of flexibility, it cannot abrogate or change any of the laws which are explicitly laid down in the sacred Text.
The society for which certain of the laws of the Aqdas are designed will come only gradually into being, and Bahá'u'lláh has provided for the progressive application of Bahá'í law: