ABN Bahá’í News – Ali Nakhjavani, former member of the Universal House of Justice, passed away in France. He was 100 years old.
Ali Nakhjavani, 1919–2019
Alí-Yulláh Nakhjavání (19 September 1919 – 11 October 2019) was an Azerbaijani-born Iranian Bahá’í Faith leader, who served as a member of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá’í Faith, between 1963 and 2003.
Ali Nakhjavani was born in 1919 in Baku, Azerbaijan to Ali-Akbar Nakhjavani and Fatimih Khanum, both Bahá’ís. After his father’s death circa 1921, when he was two, his family was advised by `Abdu’l-Bahá to move to Haifa, where he grew up.
In 1939 he received the Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut, and then in the early 1940s he returned to Iran, residing first in Tehran, then Tabriz and finally in Shiraz.
In 1950 he was elected to the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, the governing body of the Bahá’ís in that country, where he served until the following year.
In 1951, Ali Nakhjavání and his family moved to Uganda to assist with the development of the Bahá’í community in that country; while he was there he worked as a teacher and lecturer. During his early years there, Enoch Olinga joined the religion
and in 1953 Nakhjavání, and his wife along with Olinga and two other Bahá’ís travelled from Uganda to Cameroon to help spread the Bahá’í Faith in Cameroon.
From 1954-61 he was a member of the Auxiliary Board for the spread of the religion in Africa, and later from 1956 to 1961 he was elected to the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa, the Bahá’í governing body for the region.
In 1961, Nakhjavání was elected to the International Bahá’í Council — the forerunner to the Universal House of Justice, the worldwide governing body of the Bahá’ís — and thus moved to Haifa.
In 1963 he was elected to the Universal House of Justice during its inaugural convention, and served as a member of that body until 2003.
Nakhjavání has written many works that have been published in Bahá’í periodicals, as well as authoring three books:
Nakhjavání, Alí (2005). Towards World Order. Baha’i Publications Australia. ISBN 978-1-876322-93-9.
Nakhjavání, Alí (2006). Shoghi Effendi: Author of Teaching Plans (PDF). Casa Editrice Baha’i Italy. ISBN 978-88-7214-107-6.
Nakhjavání, Alí (2006). Shoghi Effendi: The Range and Power of His Pen. Casa Editrice Baha’i Italy. ISBN 978-88-7214-112-0.
He’s married to Violette Nakhjavani and they have two children Bahiyyih and Mehran.
The House of Justice sent the following message to all National Spiritual Assemblies .
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With sorrowing hearts we convey the news that in the early hours of this morning our deeply cherished, illumined, and illustrious former colleague ‘Alí Nakhjavání ascended to the worlds beyond.
We mourn the loss of an extraordinary figure who leaves behind a distinguished legacy of uninterrupted service to the Cause of God. In the course of a singularly remarkable life that began in the closing years of the Heroic Age and extended to the very fringes of the second century of the Formative Age, he shone in the firmament of selfless devotion to Bahá’u’lláh and was called upon to be involved in many a major development in the rise of the Administrative Order, whether as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, as an intrepid pioneer to Africa in the Ten Year Crusade, as a member of the African Auxiliary Board when it was first created, as a member of the Regional National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa at its inception, and as a member of the International Bahá’í Council when it was first elected, a prelude to his membership on the Universal House of Justice when it was established in 1963. He brought to his decades of monumental service absolute fidelity to his beloved Guardian, an exceptional depth of knowledge of the Cause, leonine commitment to the defence of the Covenant, intense ardour for the teaching work, rare spiritual acuity, and a radiant heart brimming with love for everyone who crossed his path. His was a life of profound spiritual attainment lived at the hinge of history. May his utter consecration, his adamantine faith, and his unswerving dedication to duty inspire generations to come.
We supplicate at the Sacred Threshold for the progress of his noble soul, that it may be richly rewarded, and that it may be united with his valiant pillar of support, his beloved wife Violette. Our condolences are extended to his dear daughter and son, Bahiyyih and Mehran, and to their families, and we pray that their grieving hearts may be solaced. The friends are called upon to hold memorial meetings in his honour, including befitting gatherings in all Houses of Worship throughout the world.
The Universal House of Justice
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