Muhajir was born in 1923 in Kashan, Iran, as the son of Hafizu'llah Khan and Ismat
dedicated Bahá'ís with a family history of service to the Faith. He had
two brothers and five sisters and was brought up in a household that
often was the center of the community Bahá'í activities. Even as a child, Rahmatu'llah (Rahmat) was an effective teacher, often
bringing school mates or even the corner shopkeeper to fireside meetings. He was a member
of the local Bahá'í Youth Committee and often spent his summer vacation traveling through
Iran and visiting the
holy places. At the age of nine, his family was forced to move to Tehran because of
the fanatical Muslim adversaries inciting the Islamic clerics to disavow them of the
After graduating from High School, he pioneered for two years in the province of
Adhirbayjan. There, he organized children and youth activities, and gave deepening
classes. He then returned to Tehran and attended medical school, often interrupting his
studies to devote time for assisting in the accomplishment of the goals of the forty-five
Month Plan of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran. He became the Secretary of the
National Pioneering Committee. After the plan was completed, he returned to his medical
studies and graduated with honors in 1952.
Just a few months prior to his graduation, he married Iran Furutan; the wedding was on
October 15, 1951 After Rahmat graduated from Medical school, he wanted to pioneer to
Arabia, but was advised by the Guardian to wait on account of his wife's poor health. Thus
he became a practicing physician in
Later that same year, Rahmát and his wife were able to go on pilgrimage, and he was
privileged to speak with the Guardian on several occasions about the Pacific Islands and
Malaysia. The pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines gave him the
desire to once again pioneer.
The need for a physician in the Mentawai Island
was announced at the 1953 Asian Conference in New Delhi by the National Spiritual Assembly
of Australia and New Zealand for fulfilling its goal. Rahmát and his wife sold all their
worldly belongings and set out as pioneers and arrived at the Island of Muara
Sibert in February, 1954. The Guardian declared them Knights of Bahá'u'lláh.
was employed by the Indonesian Ministry
of Health, given a permanent residence visa; and, by some kind of miracle, he was
assigned to Mentawai Island.
The native inhabitants of Mentawai Island had no previous medical care and practically
all of them were suffering from tropical diseases Rahmát's field of specialty being
preventive medicine, he set out to develop a systematic method of eradicating malaria and
other diseases. He not only was teaching the Faith, but improving the physical lives
of the inhabitants. He loved those tattooed natives as though they were his dearest
kin. He often participated in their native healer's ceremonies, being careful not to
interfere with their practices. He even wore the ritual paint on his face before
examining a patient. He taught them basic hygiene and soon, they sought his advice
and guidance in every kind of matter. The number of native Bahá'ís increased and he
helped them build new villages to include his newly introduced sanitation concepts and a
Bahá'í Center. The native burial rituals gave way to those of the
Rahmát often would travel into the interior jungle on foot or along streams, waist deep
in the water and mud, enduring blood-sucking leaches, traveling for days and sleeping on a
mat on the ground. He contracted the most severe strain of tropical malaria.
The only communications with the outside world was a government mail-boat every six to
eight weeks. If he received a letter from the Guardian, he would become enthralled
and his spirits sustained for the next two months. His greatest joy was when a few
of the natives residing in the villages he visited became Bahá'ís.
Rahmát was the recipient of many of the Guardian's prayers and profound appreciation,
being described as `a true pioneer. He undertook a trip to Djakarta to assist in the
purchase of the National Haziratu'l-Quds. During October, 1957, he was appointed to the
rank of Hand
of the Cause of God, among the last contingent.
He was on a teaching trip to the villages of Java when the telegram announcing the
passing of the beloved Guardian was received. The affairs of the Faith were at a critical
point and despite his desire to stay at his pioneering post, necessitated that he leave
the islands. The Hands of the Cause
in the Holy Land spent a month in persuasion and prayer before they could convince
Rahmát to leave behind the people he had loved and served so much.
During the four years he served on Mentawai Island, the number of
Bahá'ís had increased
to more than four thousand; thirty-three Local Spiritual Assemblies, three incorporated,
were formed. Bahá'í schools had been established; an endowment land had been purchased to
become one of eight in the world.* A Bahá'í pamphlet had been translated and printed
in the Mentawai language, making it the first time in history that this language had been
recorded in written form.
During the years between 1958 and 1979, he visited all the Bahá'í National Centers
several times and traveled to the interiors of remote countries, teaching the faith to
entire villages. His travels around the world were extensive, maintaining his theory
that the population of an entire village should become Bahá'ís, while stating: `it avoids
future problems by establishing a Bahá'í lifestyle'.
Rahmát traveled to the Philippines in 1960 and the mass teaching work was well
underway. He visited the different Bahá'í communities numerous times, assisting in
deepening and consolidation work.
In India, the same thing was going on; in 1961, there were 850 Bahá'í and in 1963,
65,000. He reported in the November 1979 issue of Bahá'í News the purchase of
village Haziratu'l-Quds and the establishment of Bahá'í schools for the education of
children; this included the founding of the Rabbani School. His efforts also lead to
the establishment of the Faizi
Institute near Indore.
In 1971, he arrived a few days early for the first West Asia Youth Conference and asked
the youth to disperse to colleges and universities and proclaim and teach the Faith,
resulting in 700 new declarations. He encouraged the Publishing Trust to produce low
priced books in all Indian as well as other languages for use in the mass teaching area.
He conceived the `information folder', a method that proved successful all over the world.
He appeared on television and gave radio broadcasts and had an audience with His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa. He participated
in the four International Conventions between 1963 and 1978 as well as the
Intercontinental Teaching Conferences of 1978.**
Despite extreme fatigue, Rahmát traveled to Ecuador
to participate in a special teaching conference arranged by the Continental Board of
Counselors in South America, held in Quito.
During the second day of the conference, he suffered a heart attack.
Counselor Ma'sud Khamsi, his life long friend and frequent travel companion was with him
when God called him forth. His last words were heard to be: `Ya Baha'u'l-Abha'. He
held, clutched in his right hand a silk purse containing a few strands of
Bahá'u'lláh's precious hair that he always carried near his heart.
The Hand of the Cause of God Rahmatu'llah Muhajir's earthly remains were laid to rest
near Quito, the jewel-like white city in the Andes Mountains.
* Amelia Collins donated funds toward the
purchase of nineteen supplementary Temple sites.
** Rahmatu'llah Muhajir visited Reno, Nevada on February 12, 1977, my
home Bahá'í community. Unfortunately, I was away, working near Battle Mountain,
Nevada, on a geophysical project at that time and returned two days later.
However, in 1978, I was finally given the honor of meeting him during the Intercontinental
Teaching Conference at Merida, Mexico, along with Hands of the Cause of God, Paul Haney and Enoch Olinga