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TAGS: Haji Akhund (Mulla Ali-Akbar-i-Shahmirzadi); Hands of the Cause
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Very brief article, short enough to qualify as "fair use."

Alí Akbar Shahmírzádí (Hájjí Akhund)

by Moojan Momen

published in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 1
New York: Columbia University, 1985
ʿALĪ AKBAR ŠAHMĪRZĀDĪ, ḤĀJJĪ MOLLĀ known as Ḥāǰǰ Āḵund, a prominent Iranian Bahāʾī. Born in Šahmīrzād in 1258/1842, he was the son of Mollā ʿAbbās; he pursued a formal religious education in Mašhad, where he was converted to the Bahāʾī faith. His open expression of his new beliefs caused his expulsion from Mašhad and subsequently from Šahmīrzād. Thenceforth he lived in Tehran where he is said to have become so well known as a Bahāʾī that whenever there was any trouble, he would put on his ʿabā and turban and sit awaiting the arrival of guards to take him away. He was arrested many times and imprisoned on at least the following occasions: in about 1285/1868 on the orders of Mollā ʿAlī Kanī; in 1289/1872 for seven months and in 1300/1882 for two years by Nāʾeb-al-salṭana; in 1305/1887-88; in 1308/1891 for two years, when he was imprisoned with Ḥāǰǰī Amīn and several political activists, though the Bahāʾīs had not been active politically. He visited ʿAkkā three times: in about 1290/1873, about 1306/1888-89, and 1312/1894-95. Bahāʾallāh appointed him one of four Hands of the Cause (Ayādī-e Amr Allāh), and he was entrusted with many important tasks such as the custodianship and transport of the remains of the Bāb and organizing and administering the Bahāʾīs of Iran. He died in Tehran on 21 Rabīʿ I 1328/4 March 1910.

Bibliography : Abu’l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, tr. M. Gail, Wilmette, Ill., 1971, pp. 9-12. ʿAbd-al-ʿAlī ʿAlāʾī, Moʾassasa-ye Ayādī-e Amr Allāh, Tehran, 130 Badīʿ/1973, pp. 371-401, including a biographical account by Š. Rāseḵ and the Persian text of Memorials of the Faithful. Fāżel Māzandarānī, Ẓohūr al-ḥaqq VI (Ms. in private hands), fols. 394-98; VIII, part 1, Tehran, 131 Badīʿ/1974, pp. 327-29. S. K. Samandar, Tārīḵ-eSamandar va molḥaqāt, Tehran, 1975, pp. 233-36.

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