`Alí-Muhammad Varqá

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`Alí-Muhammad Varqá (Arabic: دكتور علي محمد ورقا‎;‎ 1911 – September 22, 2007) was a prominent adherent of the Bahá'í Faith. He was the longest surviving Hand of the Cause of God, an appointed position in the Bahá'í Faith whose main function is to propagate and protect the religion on the international level.

Varqá was born in 1911 in Tehran, Iran to a well-known Iranian Bahá'í family. His grandfather Mírzá `Alí-Muhammad Varqá, from whom he received his name, was an Apostle of Bahá'u'lláh, and his father, Valíyu'lláh Varqá, was also a Hand of the Cause.[1]

Varqá moved to Paris and studied at the Sorbonne, where he obtained a doctorate in 1950. He then returned to Iran and taught at the universities of Tehran and Tabriz. During this time, he also served in various administrative capacities in the Bahá'í community of Iran.[1]

After his father's death, Varqá was appointed as a Hand of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi on November 15, 1955.[2] He served in that capacity for 52 years until his death in 2007, and was the last surviving Hand of the Cause. As part of his role, he travelled to many countries, and attended the first Bahá'í national conventions of many countries including Belgium and Central African Republic. He also served as the trustee of Huqúqu'lláh since 1955, a role which his father also held.[1]

In 1979, he moved to Canada and later moved to Haifa, Israel where the Bahá'í World Centre is located. He died on September 22, 2007 in Haifa and was buried in the Bahá'í cemetery there.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Baha'i world loses most distinguished member". Baha'i World News Service. 2007-09-24. Retrieved 2007-09-24. 
  2. ^ Effendi, Shoghi (1971). Messages to the Baha'i World: 1950-1957. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-036-5. 

References[edit]

  • Taherzadeh, A. (2000). The Child of the Covenant. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-439-5. 
  • Harper, Barron (1997). Lights of Fortitude (Paperback ed.). Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-413-1.