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Bahá'í Faith
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Central figures

The Báb · `Abdu'l-Bahá

Key scripture
Kitáb-i-Aqdas · Kitáb-i-Íqán

The Hidden Words
The Seven Valleys


Administrative Order
The Guardianship
Universal House of Justice
Spiritual Assemblies


Bahá'í history · Timeline
Bábís · Shaykh Ahmad

Notable individuals

Shoghi Effendi
Martha Root · Táhirih
Badí‘ · Apostles
Hands of the Cause

See also

Symbols · Laws
Teachings · Texts
Calendar · Divisions
Pilgrimage · Prayer

Index of Bahá'í Articles

The Hands of the Cause of God, Hands of the Cause, or Hands (informally) were a select group of Bahá'ís, appointed for life, whose main function was to propagate and protect the Bahá'í Faith. Unlike the members of the elected institutions and other appointed institutions in the Bahá'í Faith, who serve in those offices, Hands are considered to have achieved a distinguished rank in service to the religion (Hornby (1983), #1079, p. 322).

According to The Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, they are to be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God and are to be under his direction and obey his command.(pp. 12,13)

The title is no longer given out. The last living Hand of the Cause was `Alí-Muhammad Varqá (1911-2007). The work of the Hands of the Cause is now carried out by the Institution of the Counsellors and the Auxiliary Boards.

There were fifty Hands of the Cause in all, four named by Bahá'u'lláh, four by `Abdu'l-Bahá and forty-two by Shoghi Effendi (including ten posthumously). Twenty-seven Hands were alive when Shoghi Effendi died in 1957.

The most complete list of the Hands available is from "The Bahá'í World: Vol XIV". The Universal House of Justice has confirmed that this list may not be complete, and that a study of the letters and archives may reveal others named to this station.


Note: Orthography of some names below is not correct. Accented and underscored characters were not transcribed.

Appointed by Bahá'u'lláh

  • Hají Mullá `Alí-Akbar (1842-1910), known as Hají Ákhúnd
  • Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí (d.1917), known as Ibn-i-Abhar
  • Mírzá Muhammad-Hasan (1848-1919), known as Adíb
  • Mírzá `Ali-Muhammad (d.1928), known as Ibn-i-Asdaq

Appointed by `Abdu'l-Bahá

  • Aqa Muhammad-i-Qa'ini (1829-1892), known as Nabíl-i-Akbar
  • Mirza 'Alí-Muhammad Varqá (d. 1896), the father of Rúhu'lláh
  • Mulla Sadiq-i-Muqaddas, entitled Ismu'llahu'l-Asdaq
  • Shaykh Muhammad-Riday-i-Yazdi

Appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi

  • John Ebenezer Esslemont (1874-1925)
  • Hájí Amín (1831–1928)
  • Keith Ransom-Kehler (1876-1933)
  • Martha Root (1872-1939)
  • John Henry Hyde Dunn (1855-1941)
  • Siyyid Mustafá Rúmí (d. 1942)
  • Abdu'l-Jalil Bey Sa'd (d. 1942)
  • Muhammed Taqiy-i-Isfahani (d. 1946)
  • Roy C. Wilhelm (1875-1951)
  • Louis George Gregory (1874-1951)

First contingent, appointed 24 December 1951 by Shoghi Effendi

Hands of the Cause at their plenary meeting, April 1963.

  • Dorothy Beecher Baker (1898-1954)
  • Amelia Engelder Collins (1873-1962)
  • `Alí-Akbar Furútan (1905-2003)
  • Ugo Giachery (1896-1989)
  • Hermann Grossmann (1899-1968)
  • Horace Hotchkiss Holley (1887-1960)
  • Leroy C. Ioas (1896-1965)
  • William Sutherland Maxwell (1874-1952)
  • Taráz'u'lláh Samandarí (1874-1968)
  • Valíyu'lláh Varqá (1884-1955)
  • George Townshend (1876-1957)
  • Charles Mason Remey (1874-1974)

Second contingent, appointed 29 February 1952 by Shoghi Effendi

  • Siegfried Schopflocher (1877-1953)
  • Shu'á'u'lláh `Alá'í (1889-1984)
  • Músá Banání (1886-1971)
  • Clara Dunn (1869-1960)
  • Dhikru'lláh Khádim (1904-1986)
  • Adelbert Mühlschlegel (1897-1980)
  • Corinne Knight True (1861-1961)

Appointed by Shoghi Effendi [year of appointment]

  • Amatu'l-Bahá Rúḥíyyih Khánum (1910-2000) [1952]
  • Jalál Kháih (1897-1990) [1953] (also transliterated Jalal Khazeh)
  • Paul Edmond Haney (1909-1982) [1954]
  • `Alí-Muhammad Varqá (1911-2007) [1955]
  • Agnes Baldwin Alexander (1875-1971) [1957]

Last contingent, appointed 2 October 1957 by Shoghi Effendi

  • Hasan Muvaqqar Balyúzí (1908-1980)
  • Abu'l-Qásim Faizi (1906-1980)
  • John Graham Ferraby (1914-1973)
  • Harold Collis Featherstone (1913-1990)
  • Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir (1923-1979)
  • Enoch Olinga (1926-1979)
  • John Aldham Robarts (1901-1991)
  • William Sears (1911-1992)

See also

  • Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh
  • Disciples of `Abdu'l-Bahá
  • Institution of the Counsellors
  • Letters of the Living


External links