Dr. Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir-Hand of the Cause of God and a Knight of Baháʼu’lláh

Volumes could be written about the numerous guidance that the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir gave the community in Malaysia. It is beyond the scope of this story  to detail out each event and episode associated with his visits to Malaysia. This is a humble effort to place on record some salient aspects of the impactful role he played in guiding the Malaysian community in the early days.

Dr. Muhájir is fondly remembered as the “Architect of the Malaysian Bahá’í Community” for several arduous efforts he undertook to place the community on a new pedestal at the global stage. His first association with the Malayan Bahá’ís was at the first Bahá’í Convention held in Jakarta in Riḍván 1957 to elect the first Regional Spiritual Assembly of South East Asia. Since his appointment as Hand of the Cause in October 1957, he had been visiting the then  Malaya with the first Summer School held in Malacca in December 1957. His visits continued throughout the time he was alive. Although records show that 12 Hands of the Cause had visited this country, it was Dr. Muhájir who took on the lion’s share in guiding and nurturing the community.

Dr. Muhájir seated at extreme right, at the First Summer School in Malacca in December 1957.  That was his  first coming  to Malaya.


There were also several firsts that Dr. Muhájir gave the country of which a few are mentioned here. He emphasised the use of the Bahá’í greeting of ‘Alláh-u-Abhá’. It was through his encouragement that Yankee Leong undertook his first teaching trip to the Asli areas in the jungles of Perak state starting in 1958.

Dr. Muhájir was the prime mover of teaching activities in the entire Malaya. When Dr. Muhájir came to Malaya in 1957, he had made a personal request to Leong Tat Chee of Malacca and Yankee Leong of Seremban to travel around the country to teach the Cause which they did with much love and dedication. It was through his initiative that by January 1958, Miss Jeanne Frankel, a pioneer from America had produced a study guide based mainly on the book Paris Talks’.

Dr. Muhájir told the Bahá’ís not to spare any part of Malaya from receiving the redeeming message of Bahá’u’lláh. In June 1960 the first teaching trip ever was made to the east coast. Dr. Muhájir himself made trips to the east coast states in 1960. Since then, he had gone with Bahá’í s to many parts of the then Malaya, places less travelled by many local believers. To spur the teaching activities in the country he introduced the Pan-Malayan Teaching Conferences effective in 1960. Mrs. Shirin Fozdar has said, “These Teaching Conferences were bound to be considered historical in future when the history of the Cause in these areas would be recorded.” In 1960 he also took a few friends to visit the Asli villages in Simpang Bekok, where Dr. Muhájir spoke in simple Malay and won the hearts of the Asli people. The birth of the first Bahá’í magazine – ‘Bahá’í News’ ever in Malaya was the idea of Dr. Muhájir. The talented Malacca town Bahá’í community produced the first Bahá’í magazine in 1960. In his visit to Seremban in 1961, Dr. Muhájir created the first batch of home front pioneers with S. Satanam going to Jelebu and Sabapathy going to Kuala Pilah. In his visit in 1962, Dr. Muhájir made Krishnan Kandasamy, or ‘Postman Krishnan’, the first full-time travel teacher in the country. He was also the first ‘Asli Pioneer’ and had done wonderful work in bringing many aboriginal people into the Faith and translating Bahá’í materials into the Semai dialect of the aborigines.

Lunch Break at the First Pan- Malayan Teaching Conference.

Dr. Muhájir identified the talents and capacities of individuals and set them to specific tasks. To cite a point, in 1964, Satanam became an Asli teacher, heeding the request of Dr. Muhájir. At the behest of Dr. Muhájir in 1967, Lim Kok Hoon single-handedly completed the tribal translation goals under the Nine Year Plan. Certainly, some of the pioneers who left the country forever or for short terms were handpicked by him.

The first formal children’s class materials were introduced by Dr. Muhájir. In 1965, Dr. Muhájir gave some children’s class materials to Sathasivam, a schoolteacher at Masjid Tanah, who later devoted himself to the development of children’s classes in several areas in Malacca state. From 1965 to 1974, Sathasivam ensured children’s classes were regularly run in all the eighteen nearby estates, a high record, using the guidance that Dr. Muhájir provided. In 1966 his own book for children called ‘Book One’ was printed in Malaysia. In 1965 the first training institute was erected in Malacca with the idea emanating from the brilliant minds of Dr. Muhájir. It was the National Teaching Institute’ which was also the first of its kind in South East Asia.

In 1967 he further initiated the South Thailand Border Teaching Committee to get the Malaysian believers to open up the much-neglected and vast border area between Thailand and Peninsula Malaysia. Through this twinning programme    Dr. Muhájir created a working link between the two countries.

The proclamation of the Faith in Malaysia took a new dimension when the National Spiritual Assembly launched a five-year-long intensive proclamation of the Faith in Malaysia, from 1968 to 1973 and Dr. Muhájir was in the middle of things. The highly successful proclamation in Malaysia centred around a chart that Dr. Muhájir created and captioned ‘Pattern for Teaching and Proclamation’ containing various quotations from the writings of the beloved Guardian and the Supreme Body pertaining to the proclamation.

It was Dr. Muhájir who in the year 1968 first brought the concept of twinning Local Spiritual Assemblies in order to pool resources and achieve goals in a cooperative effort. The first event was a public talk given by Jeanne Frankel in Merlin Hotel, organised by the State Teaching Committee of Selangor state. Thereafter monthly meetings continued to be held in the conference room of Merlin Hotel. These public talks were given by different guest speakers, drawing larger audiences each month. These talks became part of the proclamation programme for Selangor state. A group of communities working together as a cluster is what we are witnessing today. But in 1968 itself Dr. Muhájir had planted the seed.

It needs to be mentioned that it was with the encouragement of Dr. Muhájir that the Bahá’í community of Sungei Petani purchased its first Bahá’í Centre in 1977.


No mention of Dr. Muhájir could be made without reference to the great plans that he introduced in this country. His gateway to Malaysia was through Malacca town which he visited in 1957. Having made Malacca the premier community, he visited other parts of the country where he meticulously and accurately identified the talents and strengths of several communities and individuals. On his first visit itself – the first Summer School in December 1957 that Dr. Muhájir launched the first Ten-Point program that decided the fate, destiny, and future direction of the community. And in all his subsequent visits too Dr. Muhájir introduced new plans, appointed committees, and selected individuals to achieve those plans.

Visit of Dr. Muhájir to Malacca, 1963 to urge them to spearhead the completion of the goals of the Ten Year Plan. He created Malacca town as the premier community in the country.

In stages he gradually widened his plans to a larger number of communities at conferences and summer schools, roping in the existing committees. After the election of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia in 1964, Dr. Muhájir consulted with the national institution and let them make decisions. The national institution, impressed with his mind-boggling plans lovingly adopted them and strategically implemented them. When introducing his well-thought-out plans, Dr. Muhájir made sure they were aligned with the plans given by the Supreme Body. He also never failed to remind friends to be obedient to the Universal House of Justice in arising to fulfill the goals given to them.

In almost all his visits to Malaysia, Dr. Muhájir followed a specific modus operandi. He always began his talks by inspiring the believers, by relating the success stories in other parts of the world or countries he visited last. Then he would say, “I am sure if they can do it, you Malaysians also could do the same, or even more…” and smile at the crowd. He would call on communities to emulate one another. And by this time the spirit of the friends would have soared to new heights and then he would come down to business and introduce his new plans for Malaysia. On each visit, he knew exactly what was discussed on his previous trip. He never carried notes or notebooks. He simply had an elephant’s memory. What surprised many was his uncanny ability in remembering even remote places in Malaysia, along with the names of almost all active believers in the country. When away from Malaysia he was always writing letters to the national institution to keep them focused on their plans and in the process also keep track of the activities being undertaken in this community, a community that he dearly loved.

He used to say, “Small plans are good only for birds”. He suggested a series of gigantic tasks as never been attempted before by the Malaysian Bahá’í community. He advised that when an area is receptive for the Faith, believers should capitalize on the mood before resentment sets in. As he was the master planner of teaching plans, some of the local teaching plans were named after him. Such plans were implemented by the Area Teaching Committee of Selangor state and the Local Spiritual Assemblies. The communities where plans under his name were implemented were Kajang, Teluk Intan, Malacca, Nibong Tebal, and Kluang.

Every time Dr. Muhájir came, he made it a point to do two things – firstly, to launch a new plan, and secondly to reap the fruits of the earlier plan that he had launched on his previous visit. Dr. Muhájir’s plans became more and more challenging as the community grew in strength. Each time Dr. Muhájir came, he raised the challenges to a higher level – testing the stamina and strength of the believers. He would make plans for all segments of the Bahá’í community – adults, youth, children, women, ethnic groups, and so on. He also gave plans to the various national committees. His plans had many facets. He would suggest building up personal libraries as well as libraries at the Local Spiritual Assembly level to deepen the believers, increasing the number of believers, proclamation activities, firesides, and teaching trips, carpeting the main towns in the country with pamphlets in various languages, publishing of literature, conquering all the islands around Malaysia, 24-hour prayer vigil for the fulfillment of the goals, and assist other countries, to name a few. When goals were achieved, usually ahead of time, he would then suggest supplementary goals, which too were affectionately accomplished.

He made sure that the Malaysian Bahá’ís had a plan in their hands at any given moment and stressed that believers should never rest on their laurels, continually urging them on to new heights. Resting on the laurels of victories won and feeling of complacency to him was a disease that could stifle the spirit. Whenever goals were achieved he would get the Malaysians to ask the Supreme Body for supplementary goals. Dr. Muhájir was both a launcher and overseer of the plans. In return, he was always assured of full and rich harvests.

His plans were systematic and carefully conceived ones and in turn, they were then meticulously examined and rigorously pursued by the Malaysian believers. The Malaysian Bahá’ís were able to rise to the occasion to fulfill all the goals, often ahead of the deadlines he set for the plan, as Dr. Muhájir repeatedly and emphatically stressed to them the pressing character of these plans. He was always there to fortify their faith and inflame their zeal. At one of the meetings where Dr. Muhájir introduced a new plan, the believers asked him to give a name to the plan, and he quipped ‘Never At Home’. The believers burst into laughter, having caught how important it was for them to be away from home to win the goals of the plan. Poignantly, that sentiment also reflected the beloved Hand’s own life – away from home in constant service to the Faith and to the friends. He had the pulse of the community in his hand and therefore fully grasped their strengths and areas for development.

Dr. Muhájir not only gave his plans, but also prayed for the success of those plans. He was always punctual for gatherings held in Malaysia. At times he would arrive slightly late, and the reason was that he was reciting the Tablet of Ahmad or the Fire Tablet in his hotel room for the plans to be successful. Sometimes he hardly had any rest; everybody wanted to consult him, pester him and discuss with him.

The plans he devised for Malaysia were highly successful that he brought the same vision and spirit to some other countries, instructed them to do exactly what had been done in Malaysia.

Summer School of August 1960. Another launching platform for plans for the whole of Malaysia with formation of committees and assignment of individuals to execute the plans.


Somehow Dr. Muhájir had taken a deep liking for this country and all his thoughts seemed to be focussed on this community, perhaps they never shirked any tasks that he gave them.

In 1961 he wrote in his diary of the future of Malaysia, “This is just the first of the good news. This is just the beginning.” He had clearly been noising abroad, especially among his fellow Hands about the greatness of this blessed community. It was on the encouragement of Dr. Muhájir that Hand of the Cause Mr. Tarázu’lláh Samandarí first came to this country. He came to Malacca town in 1961 to witness for himself how a vibrant community was taking shape.

Visit of Dr. Muhájir and Tarázu’lláh Samandarí to Malacca in 1961. L-R: Tarázu’lláh Samandarí, Ahmad Samimi, Shirin Fozdar, Dr. Muhájir and Kishen Khemani.

In 1961, he made a tour of several Asian countries and made a country-by-country evaluation of the status of the Faith in those countries. As for Malaya, he noted, ‘Malaya is on the way to maturity and pretty soon will distinguish itself among the communities of the world. The Guardian’s instructions that we should concentrate our efforts in one place and gradually expand to other areas is what they are practising.’ Dr. Muhájir’s diary dated 13 February 1961 states the following about the strength and indomitable courage of the Malayan Bahá’í community, ‘Malaya has a well-developed community capable of managing all teaching campaigns.’ At a gathering in 1961 in Seremban Dr. Muhájir was happy and praised the enthusiasm and unity of the youth. “This is the start of great victories in Malaya,” he noted. In his 1963 visit to Malaya, he said that Malaya had the greatest facilities when compared to other countries in the region to work on a mass-teaching project, and that we should lose no more time. He gave practical solutions to the many teething problems in the community, especially those pertaining to issues touching ancient customs and traditions. As early as 1967 Dr. Muhájir had commented to Isaac DCruz on the future of the Asli community as well. “Watch and you will see one day how these down-trodden people grow into the Faith, and how their children’s children would become champions of the Cause”. How prophetic was the Hand of the Cause! In 2014, one Asli believer was elected onto the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia and in 2018 yet another was elected. In November 2020, Ms. Marijini Deraoh, was appointed a Counsellor. There is a very active Central Bahá’í Regional Council with its own buildings, including Central Bahá’í and training facilities.

During Riḍván 1967, when Dr. Muhájir was in Laos, he expressed that Malaysia had a very mature National Spiritual Assembly and that the Malaysian believers were destined to play a key role in the advancement of the Cause in the Bahá’í World. He stressed that the outside Iran, he saw the Malaysian community as the strongest with the Faith having strong roots, and its believers well deepened and its institutions well matured. He said Malaysia’s neighbouring countries had much to learn from them. In his detailed letter to the Supreme Body dated 17 November 1976, Dr. Muhájir praised the Malaysian community for its rapid growth and for fulfilling most of the important goals of its Plan. He stated that Malaysia had a unique position in the Faith because of its excellent administration. He added that the secret of its success was that every believer pulled their weight in teaching the Cause.

His love for the Malaysian believers is best described by his wife Írán Furútan Muhájir:

“Had Rahmat been asked to name a community which he considered a jewel amongst all others, he would certainly have named Malaysia. He frequently spoke of the Malaysian Bahá’ís and praised their unity, their absolute devotion to the Faith, their unwavering obedience to the instructions of the Universal House of Justice, their presence of mind and their understanding of the urgency of teaching and fulfilling the goals. He said that the potential of their community was so great that they could accomplish a hundred times more than they were then achieving. When he travelled to Malaysia, he went eagerly; he said that he could rest there, as he could not tell the friends anything they did not already know. His high regard for the friends in Malaysia encouraged him to undertake more with them than with any other community. He was never surprised with their victories. The more that was asked of them the more they achieved. He once told me that the Malaysian community was like a child who is always awarded A+ at school.


Having nurtured the local Bahá’í s from 1957, Dr. Muhájir felt the time was ripe to send out teachers from Malaysia to the Far East – Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau where manpower was always needed. In 1965, Leong Tat Chee, and Yankee Leong left as travel teachers for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to answer an urgent call for teaching assistance from these places. They were the first Bahá’ís of Malaysia to go travel-teaching out of the country. In 1967 he created the first pioneers – Kit Yin Kiang to Taiwan, S. Vasudevan to India and Lean Beng Liew to Solomon Islands. He also encouraged Sabapathy who was a travel teacher to Kuala Pilah to move out and he went to Thailand, India and finally to Mozambique. Laos was preparing to elect its first National Spiritual Assembly in Ridván 1967, and Muhájir sent Yankee Leong to Laos to assist them. He worked with other pioneers and local friends for the election of their first National Spiritual Assembly. In 1968 he requested the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia to assist the young National Spiritual Assembly of Brunei. That resulted in four members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia flying to Brunei in December 1968 to consult with the National Spiritual Assembly of Brunei. In 1969 he was instrumental in sending newly married couple – Raymond Peter and Joan Featherstone to pioneer to Ceylon.

Naw Ruz Lunch, 1967. L-R: Wong Kok Mee, Lee Wai Kok, Kit Yin Kiang, Dr. Muhájir. Lim Kok Hoon, Vasudevan and Appu Raman.

With the strong encouragement of Dr. Muhájir at the National Convention of 1971 Yin Hong Shuen of Kuala Lumpur, Teh Teik Hoe of Alor Star, and Lee Tiew Kiang (T. K. Lee) of Petaling Jaya arose to serve in Hong Kong and they returned after making Malaysia and Dr. Muhájir proud in their posts.


Dr. Muhájir giving away the Rose of Ridvan trophies to the representatives of the winning Local Bahai Youth committees at the National Convention of 1971. At left is Teh Teik Cheow of Alor Star, and at right is Nathesan Sellappan of Glendale Estate.

Dr. Muhájir paid a visit to Tamil Nadu in 1972. When the local believers were planning to organise teaching activities in many parts of the country, Dr. Muhájir gave an elaborate plan. From his guidance was born ‘Operation Locomotive’ by which the believers were to travel by train whenever and wherever possible to keep the cost down, especially avoiding accommodation costs in hotels. After two months of intensive teaching Operation Locomotive came to a successful end on 18 February 1974 with resounding success to be appreciated by the institutions.

In 1972 some countries in Africa needed assistance in fulfilling the unfinished goals of the Nine-Year Plan and Dr. Muhájir knew where to look for the right manpower. After consulting with the Supreme Body, he flew to Malaysia where he was able to get six believers to various parts of Africa, and that marked a new stage in the maturity of the Malaysian Bahá’í community.

Inbum Chinniah, N. S. S. Silan, and S. Bhaskaran from the national institution, Mr. Ravichandran Sinnathamby and Mr. Thanabalan Thambipillai from the National Teaching Committee, and Miss Kamachee serving as an administrative assistant for the National Teaching Committee arose to serve in Africa. Dr. Muhájir was most joyful that the challenge he threw to the community was met immediately by the valiant members of this community. They flew to Africa in August 1972. Miss Nargis Astani from Indonesia too joined them. Inbum Chinniah was assigned Tanzania; Thanabalan, Bhaskaran, and Kamachee were assigned Cameroon; Ravichandran was assigned Swaziland while Silan and Nargis were assigned Kenya. When Dr. Muhájir visited Africa, he mentioned that Bahá’ís must learn from the Malaysian believers on how to be fully dedicated and become all-rounders in the field. Of the six travel teachers to Africa, Kamachee is the only one to have settled for good in that vast continent (Lesotho). Bhaskaran returned to Malaysia in 1973 and took along his entire family to join him in Africa for a few years more. With that his family became the first as a family to pioneer, credit goes to Dr. Muhájir. Ravichandran who had arrived with a six month visa as a travel teacher converted his status to that of pioneer by extending his stay. Those who went travel teaching to Africa won the love and admiration of the Hand of the Cause Dr. Muhájir, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís Malaysia and the National Spiritual Assembly of the host countries, and the Universal House of Justice itself. Their services were much praised at the Bahá’í International Conference held in Paris in August 1976, graced by a few Hands of the Cause of God.

In 1977 some countries in Africa still needed assistance from their sister communities. Based on the good track record of Malaysians assisting some African countries during the last year of the Nine-Year Plan in 1972, Dr. Muhájir once again turned to the Malaysian Bahá’ís to undertake a similar colossal task. Earlier, at the South East Asia Bahá’í Regional Conference held in Port Dickson in December 1976 over 200 arose to pioneer and travel teach, five of whom were members of the National Spiritual Assembly. His face was beaming with so much radiance. Perhaps he found the conference producing his desired results.

For those who arose to pioneer to African countries, Dr. Muhájir had a one-to-one conversation with some of them. With that G. Appala Naidu, Isaac DCruz, Sathia Narayan, R. Ganasamurthi, Sam Appalasami and Remala went to Africa in 1977. Appala Naidu went to Tanzania, Malawi and Seychelles, while Isaac was in Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroons and Seychelles before returning through Sri Lanka. Sathia Narayan was in Nigeria till 1985. Ganasa Murthi was in Tanzania. Sam Appalasami and Remala were in Tanzania till 1980. They were all well praised by the receiving countries for their services.

In 1977 Dr. Muhájir initiated the historical South India Teaching Project, with manpower coming from the Tamil speaking believers of Malaysia. Universal House of Justice granted its blessings by contributing US$10,000. Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum gave a personal contribution of another US$10,000. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Malaysia and the International Pioneering and Goals Committee pooled their resources to ensure the success of this ambitious project. The community was informed that the South India / Sri Lanka Teaching Project would involve a two-year period commencing. A place called Sulur near Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu was used as a base. Dr. Muhájir himself visited India on two occasions to encourage the teachers. The South India teaching project that started off in the Sulur area of Tamil Nadu was extended to the other three states of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, as well as Sri Lanka. In his visit to Malaysia in 1978 Dr. Muhájir was praising the great works the Bahá’ís of Malaysia were doing in the South India Teaching Project.

Dr. Muhájir visiting the teachers in Kanyakumari, South Tamil Nadu, 1979. On his left is Dr. Sree Ganesh, the Project Manager of the South India Teaching Project.

Earlier in 1976 Dr. Muhájir encouraged William Lai Kai Ban of East Malaysia to pioneer and it came to fruition in 1984 when he pioneered to Marshall Islands from March 1984 to December 1990.

Dr. Muhájir not only sent out pioneers but made it a point to go to the remote corners looking for them not only to give encouragement, but also to give them additional and practical teaching plans suited to the local conditions.The countries that received these pioneers extolled them as some of the best pioneers. Such praise even came from several of Dr. Muhájir’s fellow Hands, prominently Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum.

Many Malaysian Bahá’ís had a great admiration and love for Dr. Muhájir. One great Malaysian soul who surrendered himself entirely to the will of Dr. Muhájir was Leong Tat Chee. To Leong Tat Chee, the Faith was everything for him. Another one was Inbum Chinniah, who was so attached to Dr. Muhájir that he himself passed away a month after the passing of Dr. Muhájir as the passing the latter had taken a toll on Inbum Chinniah. Dr. Muhájir worked so closely with the Malaysian Bahá’ís and remembered many of them by name.


Whenever something good was done for the Cause, Dr. Muhájir would remark “Good, good” with a warm smile. From the early days till his last visit, he always appreciated the believers for anything good they had done. Although not all could be listed here suffice to quote a few incidences. In 1964, Tushar Kanti-Paul and Bhaskaran in Malacca town had produced a booklet called ‘Manual for Pioneers’, which also contained extracts from ‘The Advent of Divine Justice’. Dr. Muhájir, who was profoundly impressed by this effort, urged them to send two copies to the Universal House of Justice, as he felt the Universal House of Justice should have a record of all publications.

During the South East Asian Bahá’í Conference held in 1967 he was so impressed with a booklet produced by the National Bahá’í Youth Council of Malaysia called ‘Accent on Youth’ containing a plan of five years for the youth, that Dr. Muhájir requested for 40 copies to be shared around the world.


In the early 1960s, whenever Dr. Muhájir came to Seremban, he used to stay in a modest local hotel in the town, or in the government rest house. He had also spent nights at the home of Yankee Leong at 333, Rahang Road, which was used as a Bahá’í Centre, especially when he had many teaching plans to discuss with Yankee Leong. He felt very much at home staying with Yankee Leong. When he visited Alor Star for the first time in 1964, he spent a night in the residence of S. Nagaratnam on a Chinese foldable canvas bed, with both his legs dangling at the far end of the bed. There are moments when he had taken short nap in the home of Inbum Chinniah.

His care for a fellow human being was so sincere and real. In his visits to the Holy Shrines, he used to pray for individuals facing stormy tests, and would inform them that he did pray for them. He was one person to whom anyone could open his heart. He was the greatest balm to the wounded heart.

At some gatherings the tone of his speech was very moving, and his face turned red as he spoke with so much emotion. The believers who saw the depth of his love for them that they could not control the tears that kept flowing down their cheeks as Dr. Muhájir continued speaking. He walked into the Asli jungles, walked on the laterite roads leading to rubber estates. When visiting families in the estates where there was no benches, tables, or chairs, he would sit on the floor naturally without the least hesitation and carry on a conversation with the family members. Dr. Muhájir always accepted readily whatever drinks or food served. The parents of these Bahá’ís came to know the spirit of the Faith. Many of these parents became stoutest defenders of the Cause. Although he was occupying an eminent position as a Hand of the Cause of God, he never demanded observance of protocol. Yet he was always conscious that he was a Hand of the Cause. He knew he had the duty to diffuse divine fragrances and edify the souls of men through his chastely talks, thoughts and actions.

Ponnusamy, one of the thousands of believers who had attained the presence of Dr. Muhájir.

On many occasions, Dr. Muhájir used to land in Malaysia without notifying anyone. Only when he telephoned the National Centre on the following morning the staff would know that Dr. Muhájir is in town. Traveling by public bus on a hot afternoon and sweating profusely and eating very simple food are no issues for him. There were some early believers who used to smoke in the presence of Dr. Muhájir. Dr. Muhájir never rebuked those talented believers. He was only interested in they getting the work done for the Cause. There had been several instances where Dr. Muhájir proved to be the embodiment of humility. Once, after visiting some villages in Malacca town area, Dr. Muhájir had made arrangements to meet the youth at 3:00 in the afternoon. Dr. Muhájir arrived at the house of Leong Tat Chee at 1:30 in the afternoon to have a short rest. As Leong Tat Chee himself was resting inside the house, Dr. Muhájir did not wish to disturb him. So, Dr. Muhájir sat on the veranda outside for two hours, under the scorching heat of the afternoon sun, and wrote a letter to his wife, while waiting for Leong Tat Chee to wake up on his own. It was only years later that Leong Tat Chee learnt of this and felt so sad. But to Dr. Muhájir this was nothing. That was how Dr. Muhájir led a life of humility and taught others by example. It was in such loving ways that he always moved the Bahá’ís to action.

Dr. Muhájir worked very closely with institutions and members of the institutions, especially the Counsellors. Among the resident Counsellors with whom he worked on many projects for the furtherance of the Cause were Dr. C. J.Sundram, Inbum Chinniah and Yankee Leong. He also moved closely with the Board members serving during his time.

Dr Muhájir meets some members of the institutions in Malaysia in May 1978. (L-R) member of the National Spiritual Assembly Isaac D’Cruz, Board member Theresa Chee, Board member Dr Sreenivasan, Counsellor Yankee Leong, Dr Muhájir, Counsellor Inbum Chinniah, Board member Shantha Sundram, Board member R. Ganasa Murthi, members of the National Spiritual Assembly S. Nagaratnam and S. Balasekaran.

He used to bring his coat but seldom wore it and preferred to be simple in his attire. One meeting of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia where Dr. Muhájir was present dragged past teatime. One member of the national institution who had a great urge for tea remarked why tea had been delayed. Dr. Muhájir slowly walked out of the meeting and the members thought he was going to the washroom. A few minutes later, he came back with a tray with a teapot and cups for the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. Dr. Muhájir was fully familiar with the facilities of the National Bahá’í Centre, and he knew where the kitchen was located. He himself had prepared the tea for all the members of the national institution. The members of the National Spiritual Assembly were most touched, and the meeting stopped for a moment, not only for tea, but to reflect on the utter humility of Dr. Muhájir.


Dr. Muhájir moved the hearts of the believers in several ways. Three among the most significant factors were his exemplary life, his great plans, and his soul-penetrating talks. Lives of many believers were transformed his talks. Dr. Muhájir had a rare gift of driving home strong messages in the most loving way. His constant advice was to use wisdom in all his actions and to resort to continuous prayers for guidance and protection. It was the love with which he motivated individuals, institutions, and the community. There was one talk on the opposition that he delivered in Port Dickson in April 1977, which has been recorded and is now available all over the world. Believers who heard that talk were amazed to learn of the so many positive outcomes of opposition for the Faith. Dr. Muhájir’s parting statement was “Let’s pray the opposition comes early”. That day the fear of opposition vanished from the hearts of those who attended his talk.

Among the memorable pieces of advice, he gave the Malaysians were: …One must sacrifice personal interests for the Cause… Sincerity means serving without any motive. Only such sincerity will attract the bounty of God… For the Faith to spread around the world, the greatest power was the power of movement, i.e., action… Only when we are a part of this movement would the bounty of Bahá’u’lláh be with us… Praying is important but sitting at home and praying yields no result… We must pray and then move… Sincerity and action are the two qualities that are needed for success in promoting the Faith… When one is sincere and makes a mistake, the mistake will be corrected… But when one is insincere and makes a mistake, then he has to face punishment… The greatest bounty in this world is teaching the Faith and showing love for mankind… The greatest bounty in the next world is attaining the presence of Bahá’u’lláh… Sincerity means to work with no axe to grind… It is such type of sincerity that will surely draw forth the bounty of God… It is a sin to hurt others, but the greater sin is to feel hurt… When two Bahá’ís have a misunderstanding, it has to be patched up immediately. Otherwise, this will in stages spread to other places and split the community… What can be achieved tomorrow can be achieved today… Do not read the books by the Covenant-Breakers even for the purpose of protecting the Faith; we have to protect our own souls first… When two Bahá’ís are involved in a quarrel, both are in the wrong… Position in the Faith is temporary, as positions come, and positions go. Only one thing is permanent, and that is ‘service’… A few believers, however talented, should not dominate in the work for the Faith… There should be ‘spiritual generosity’ where work is shared and distributed so that there is universal participation, and it is through universal participation that we get the best results… Bahá’ís should not get the feeling of complacency. The secret of service is continuous struggle… The Bahá’í community should avoid the fear of success when a few Bahá’ís are able to bring great achievements for the Cause. Instead, the Bahá’í community should support the successful Bahá’ís… Lack of prejudice should be the distinguishing feature of the Bahá’ís. In order to be free of prejudice, every Bahá’í must first review his own self, identify the set of prejudice he has developed, and must gradually remove them one by one… We must stop thinking of ourselves along racial lines such as Chinese Bahá’ís, Indian Bahá’ís, Christian Bahá’ís, etc., and always remember that we are Bahá’ís more than anything else. That is the way of building up a Bahá’í civilization… We should teach all groups. We should not teach only one group at the expense of another. The Faith needs all groups… We should immediately involve those whom we bring into the Faith in the Bahá’í Administration… Our plans should be to make universal participation possible for all Bahá’ís… We should learn to receive from each other ideas, plans, and strength to serve… We should learn to see everything through the eyes of Bahá’u’lláh; otherwise, we may tend to doubt His teachings. These days we should learn to see everything through the eyes of the Universal House of Justice… When you want to undertake any work for the first time, do not wait for perfection. Just start your work, perfection will follow sometime in the future… It is alright to have different opinions on some matters, but those differences should not lead to conflicts and contention. But there cannot be opinions on the teachings and principles… The lesser the fault we find with others the more will be our own spiritual growth.

In one of his talks he said, “When you go teaching that is the start of every good thing to come. In the first place you will get divine confirmations from the Blessed Beauty. And we have assurance from the Writings that the angels of God would surround you and accompany you in the teaching field. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says you will get assistance when you go for teaching, which will be stopped when you stop teaching. You will see the power of Bahá’u’lláh in the teaching field, as He has promised He will come to your help when you take the first step. As you teach the Faith you also get deepened in the course. Then, you will get more believers coming into the Faith. When you have more people coming into the Faith you will get more contribution to the funds with which you can serve the Cause in manifold areas, such as purchasing property and sending out pioneers. With new believers coming in you get people with new ideas to serve the Cause; and you will have additional manpower and new blood to serve the Cause through institutions. With more believers coming into the Faith, you get more people to serve on the institutions.”

In many of the meetings, Dr. Muhájir kept repeating that there is a power latent within this Cause, to help the believers understand apprehend the greatness and the stupendous glory of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation. He used to say the Faith is contagious as divine outpourings are tremendous in this age, and whosoever comes across them will contract these spiritual outpourings. With that everyone on this planet, he would say, is receptive to the Faith.


Dr. Muhájir developed the Malaysian Bahá’í community gradually with his guidance and love. The Malaysian Bahá’ís loved Dr. Muhájir as much as he loved this community. The Malaysian Bahá’í community always held the admiration of Dr. Muhájir, on account of them achieving what they pledged to undertake for the Cause. Several times Dr. Muhájir made it known that he made a point to re-route his trips to Malaysia for “spiritual relaxation”. Spiritual relaxation for him meant listening to the success stories of the Bahá’ís in winning victories for the Cause. Such news always served to flood his soul with joy. However, he kept demanding for more victories. That simply meant sustained work for the believers. As the Malaysian Bahá’ís cherished his love and confidence, they were ready to rise to perform sacrificial service for the Cause.

A radiant Dr. Muhájir at the Summer School held in Kuantan in July 1978.

The Malaysian Bahá’í community had always been in the heart and soul of Dr. Muhájir. He used to quote the names of many Malaysian Bahá’ís in his visits to other countries, and always kept a close eye on this community that was an apple of his eye. His last mention of Malaysia in his diary was dated 18 April 1979. On several pages of his diary, Dr. Muhájir had listed names of Bahá’ís and areas in Malaysia as well as notes proposing certain people who should be asked to help in the teaching work. Dr. Muhájir passed away on Saturday, 29 December 1979. His earthy remains were laid to rest near Quito, Ecuador, the jewel-like white city in the Andes Mountains. When this news was broken by a visibly shaken Counsellor Inbum Chinniah at a large gathering in Jaya Puri Hotel in Petaling Jaya, the believers were totally stunned, benumbed, and shocked that the meeting was adjourned for a later time. Uncontrollable sobbing was seen everywhere. The community just refused to come to terms with this cruel news!

Many Malaysian believers had rich memories of him, far too many to be mentioned here. It was Dr. Muhájir who trained and nursed this community to become the most active Bahá’í community, sending pioneers all over the world. He was the spiritual father and advisor to many in Malaysia. His love and encouragement were boundless.

Dr. Muhájir, a Hand of the Cause of God and a Knight of Baháʼu’lláh is no more among us. Every individual, believer or otherwise who had attained his presence or listened to his talks have some stories to relate. Their lives were certainly transformed through his majestic personality and talks that had penetrative influence.  With the passing of the beloved Guardian in 1957, the appointment of Hands of the Cause has ceased. We are left with very few believers of the early days who had attained the presence of the Hands of the Cause. The time will come soon first-hand accounts of meeting them would also cease.  Dr. Muhájir and the other Hands who had visited this country shall be fondly remembered and forever missed by the Malaysian believers.  The pages of the Malaysian Bahá’í history shall forever be decorated with the great contributions of those much-loved Hands of the Cause.


More on Dr. Muhájir and eleven other Hands of the Cause who visited Malaysia could be read in the author’s forthcoming book of 0ver 800 pages:

An Account of the Hands of the Cause of God Who Visited Malaysia


A. Manisegaran

31 August, 2023

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27 thoughts on “THE ARCHITECT

  1. Dear Mani,

    I have seen Dr. Mujahir , the beloved Hand of the Cause of God at the South East Asian Regional Conference held in Port Dickson in December 1976. Two other Hands were also there- Mr Collis Featherstone and Mr A.Q. Faizi. The words and the way he spoke was awe-inspiring, went deep into our souls and moved our spirit . I can never forget his stories about the blood of the martyrs. One story was so moving with so much sacrifice that we were all spellbound and the desire to serve the Cause mounted to greater heights . He was the spiritual father to so many Malaysian Bahais. Dr. Muhajir was truly the architect of the Bahaicommunity of Malaysia. He was guiding the community through his visits from the very year he was appointed Hand of the Cause – 1957. And he kept coming until he passed away in 1979 – more than two decades.

    Posterity will no doubt benefit tremendously from up this superb record of the history. Looking forward for your great voluminous book of the Hands who have visited Malaysia.

    Thank you.
    Professor Dr. Ananthan Krishnan

  2. I have read the story in full. I have to add that I had so much to learn from his sincere and humble services rendered to the Malaysian Baháʼí community. I am encouraging all our friends to read this story to gain so much knowledge and inspiration generated therein.

    I was not directly acquainted with Dr Muhajir during those days. But I can see that he has really moved the hearts of the believers in this country to undertake so much work for the Cause. He has truly moved the entire Malaysian Baháʼí community to rise to greater heights of service. The history of the Faith can never be written without adequate mention of Dr. Muhajir.

    Arumugam Thanapah

  3. Thank you dearest for your rendition of the life of Hand of the Cause of God Dr Muhajir, a great soul. There will never be another like him. Sad he passed away at a young age. He already had an attack in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. It was a high altitude city and it was from there that he ascended to an even higher altitude to serve His Supreme Lord. Only Faith was greater than himself.

    V. Theenathayalu
    Shah Alam

  4. Manisegaran,

    That was a good record and well researched write up on the late Dr Muhajir’s influence and impact on the growth of the Malaysian Bahai Community. While I have had the bounty of being present in many of his talks during his visits to Malaysia, I never really had any personal encounters with him. During the call for pioneers at the South East Asia Conference held in Port Dickson in December 1976, I hesitated and that is one of my regrets in life.

    R. Kanthakumar
    Ampang Jaya

  5. Dear Mani

    Thank you so much for this most inspiring story on the Hand of the Cause Dr. Muhajir. That was so detailed. This story and the other stories published in the blog are so inspiring. It is always a joy to read your stories as they connect me to the almost forgotten past.

    I was just a new Bahai when I met Dr Muhajir at the South East Asia Regional Conference in Port Dickson in December 1976. Three Hands were there. I enjoyed the talks by all the three. I remember Yin Hong Shuen calling for pioneers and I think about 200 went up the stage. Dr Muhajir was so happy to see the positive response. The National Spiritual Assembly then sent out them to different parts of the world. I could not go immediately as I thought I must be well prepared.

    Later I became active in the Cause. It was while I was serving in Taiwan in late 1979 that I heard of the passing of Dr Muhajir. I was shocked. Before I could recover from that shocking news another news came of the passing of yet one more soul in Malaysia – Counsellor Inbum Chinniah. The passing of these two really robbed me of my heart. They have done their very utmost for the Cause. Never in my life I had felt so much for these such consecrated souls – in all honesty, I never felt that kind of loss even at the passing of my family members. The scar is still deep in me.

    Koh Kuang Wang
    Port Dickson
    Negeri Sembilan

  6. This article brought so many memories of the past.
    I am fully aware of the many ways in which Dr Muhajir guided and nurtured the community of the Greatest Name in Malaysia. He had shared so many wonderful words of the community in Malaysia and has even mentioned names of several souls who placed the Cause above their personal interests.
    My own memories of the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Muhajir are so enriching. He was a man loved and cherished by everyone who came into contact with him. He touched the hearts of thousands that were convinced to follow his footsteps in the promotion of the Cause. He set examples of the life of service. He had no other goal of life in his mind other than motivating the believers to move into the arena of action. He possessed an attracting quality to encourage people to arise for the fulfillment of the goals of the Plans set by the Universal House of Justice. I have known quite a number of people who followed his advice and postponed their personal plans of going to prestigious universities for higher education. They instead gladly pioneered to any suggested country regardless of how remote and under-developed they were to teach and serve the Cause- all on the encouragement of Dr Muhajir. Yet they did not regret as they were all rewarded in manifold ways.

    With his loving attitude and guidance conquered the hearts of thousands in Malaysia and nurtured them and the community to maturity. Through his encouragement Malaysia sent out many teachers and pioneers to many countries of the world. He saw teaching the Faith as the highest priority. He felt everyone could participate and pioneer when needed, regardless of whether he or she was an active member of the community.
    We were saddened by his early departure to Abha Kingdom.

    Dr. Firaydun Mithaq
    Chieng Mai

  7. Dr Muhajir and his wife Iran Furutan are great Baha’i heroes. On the behest of Shoghi Effendi, as newlyweds they went pioneering in 1954 to Mentawai Island without knowing what awaited them there. If we have been to any of these remote parts of such countries, we would be in a state of awe as well as shocked. No running water from the pipes; the only water was from the well for all their needs. Their stay there is still remembered till today and their Mentawai house they stayed in is still used as a medical facility and a home for the doctor who is serving there.

    Those early ones who have met Dr Muhajir would tell us his boundless inspiration and zeal on his part for the Cause of God. He was simply matchless and unparalleled. His relentless services continued till his last breath in Ecuador. The likes of him are rare in these days.

    Meric Merican

  8. Thank you for this wonderful presentation on Dr Muhajir and the amazing story of his work with the Malaysian Baha’i community. A number of things came to my mind while reading this.

    Dr Muhajir modeled the manner in which the Baha’i communities must develop. He had a receptive community. He provided constant love and attention, keeping up constant communications with them as he encouraged them to outdo themselves in reaching the goals that were set. These were the elements that showed us the way into the future.

    I could not help but see the contrast to the conditions in Fiji where I have lived for over 50 years coming as a pioneer in the 9 year plan. Fiji had the distinction of being the first country to achieve all its goals for that nine year plan and the first Pacific islander to become a Counsellor, although she lived and worked in New Zealand and served other Pacific countries in her role as counselor. One of the outstanding indigenous Baha’i teachers stated that there was no love in Fiji and on that score he was right. .There has never been a resident Counsellor. I served as an ABM for one term and the Counsellor I reported to did not speak English very well, never visited and never corresponded with the ABMs in Fiji. At the beginning of my service one of the other Counsellors took me aside and said he would tell me what I needed to do and that would most likely be all I would get. At another time, when I was serving on the NSA the assigned Counsellor came to Fiji after one of their meetings to ask what was happening as he had no idea and was unable to report on Fiji at that counselors’ meeting.

    There have been many pioneers to Fiji as it is an ‘easy’ Pacific nation to get work with its university and business activities. However most pioneers were stuck in Suva, the capital city where their work was located. The local assembly of Suva and the National Assembly have been dominated by pioneers until fairly recently when.we are beginning to see capable, mature indigenous people, many of whom grew up in Baha’i families, coming on to serve on these institutions.

    There has been very little sharing of news or accomplishments through newsletters and only recently has the National Assembly given out Feast letters mostly reminding us of the letters from the Universal House of Justice.

    “He will assuredly rear HIs head in the midmost heart of the ocean and, raising His voice, proclaim: ‘I am the life-giver of the world”
    Baha’u’llah (World order of Baha’u’llah p 94 – 119)

    On an island half way to Tonga in the Fiji group is an island named Mose meaning asleep or goodbye. So great has the Faith developed there that before long theat whole island will be in the Faith. The people from there have settled in other parts of Fiji having left for education and never returned or gone out to find work. Those Baha’is have served the wider Fiji community.

    Fiji needs to find the love that Dr Muhajir demonstrated in developing Malaysia. – Communicate, share stories and encourage each other.

    Verona Lucas


  9. My beloved Baha’i brother,

    I just completed going through your precious story on Dr. Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir-Hand of the Cause of God and a Knight of Baháʼu’lláh. I am an ardent reader of all your postings.

    This particular story on the role of Dr Muhajir in guiding the Malaysian Bahai community from its nascent days is indeed inspiring. It is news to me that he had devoted so much time and effort and energy, laden with love for the community in Malaysia. He was a worldwide traveller and had so many countries to care for and yet he has had so much love for Malaysia. It only shows how obedient the Malaysian Bahais must have been to deserve the love of this lovable Hand of the Cause. This story was full of new lessons for me, especially the excerpts of his talks delivered in Malaysia.

    Dr. Muhájir’s life itself is a wonderful lesson for all of us. It is not very easy to serve relentlessly like him, overcoming all the challenges, and sacrificing so much. I do strongly believe that his life is an example for all of us to serve.

    I do not know him in person but have heard of him and listened to his recorded talks. This story that you have posted provides in a compact form the kind of human gem he has been. That I have never met him in person shall be a life- long loss for me- a true loss indeed.

    Thank you once again, my dear brother for bringing out another great historical story.

    Jaya Raju Thota
    Greater Visakhapatnam
    Andhra Pradesh

  10. Dear Mani,
    I woke up to be greeted by your posting. I look forward for your postings each month, and this month it is about Dr. Muahjir whom I was blessed to meet a few times.

    My heartfelt thanks to for this impeccable account of the work of the Architect of the Malaysian Bahai community – Dr. Rahmatullah Mahajir, Hand of the Cause of God, in bringing the glorious period of the development of Faith of Baha”u”llah in Malaysia.

    Many indeed were the valiant souls who had responded to the call and executed with selfless devotion the successive plans formulated by the Chief Architect of the Malaysian Bahai Community. The life stories and service records of these heroes and heroines would be lost for good if not for you who had painstakingly researched and put in writing for the benefit of the present and future generations to emulate and admire. I am sure in the future when the Faith is widely accepted in Malaysia, many believers would like to know the history of the growth of the Faith in our country. Where can they turn to for answers? Obviously none but your work with your postings in your famous Baha’i Recollections Historical Blog and the books you have written and still continue to write.

    The success of the teaching works and the victories won were aptly testified by Dr Muhajir himself. Having built up a strong community which went into a self-sustaining momentum Dr. Muhajir had every reason to visit Malaysia for his ‘spiritual relaxation. ‘ He must be very happy and satisfied with the results of the teaching plans.

    My own spiritual relaxation is to take pride in that this great community is well admired at the international level for its maturity and in rushing forth to fulfill the goals given to us by the Supreme Body.

    No greater testimony to the success of teaching works during this period than the words of the Universal House Of Justice as published in ‘Century Of Light’ — Page 105, Malaysian Edition 2001, by Baha’i Publishing Trust of Malaysia.

    “During these same years, the Asian Continent also saw the sudden emergence of the Malaysian Baha’i community as an engine of the expansion work, winning its own goals with stunning speed and dispatching pioneers and travelling teachers to neighbouring lands. A development that made this dramatic advance possible was the bonds of spiritual partnership that had woven between believers of Chinese and Indian backgrounds, Visitors to Malaysia spoke, with something approaching awe, of the way in which the Malaysian community, although working under many constraints and disabilities, seemed to be the very embodiment of the military metaphors with which Shoghi Effendi’s writings seek to capture the spirit of Baha’i teaching efforts.”

    We pay tribute to the mature institutions that have guided and helped in shaping this community into what it is today.

    Hua Keng Tong

  11. Dear Mani,

    I read your story on Dr Muhajir, Hand of the Cause. It is very inspiring to read about beloved Hand of the Cause. I had the rare privilege of meeting him a number of times when I was working as an Administrative Assistant in the national Bahai Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He was such a humble person and never imposed on anybody. He used to take a public transport and appear suddenly in the Bahai centre, looking for Counsellor Inbum and the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. He used to stay in the Hotel Merlin, now called the Concorde Hotel. There were times when he used to meet the key believers in his hotel room where some of his great plans were devised. He was very thrifty in that way.

    This story of yours is very well written. Practically you have immortalized Dr. Muhajir. I remember being told that Dr. Muhajir went abroad to serve the Cause without seeing the birth of his daughter Gisu and he was away for a number of years without having the time to see his daughter grow up. Every time I reflect on this episode in his life, tears well in my eyes. Such a sacrifice surpasses many others and stand out as very outstanding!

    Yong Siew Kang
    Port Dickson

  12. Thank you very much for this wonderful story on Dr Muhajir and his contribution to the development of the Cause in Malaysia.

    I remember in July 1978, the firs Summer School for the East coast was held in Kuantan town. That was where I first met Hand of Cause Dr. Muhajir. I was not a Bahai at that time. My late husband was working in the hotel there and he booked a room in the same place. He took some pictures of Dr. Muhajir. Later I become a Baha’i.

    Radha Jeyabalan

  13. The author has thoroughly researched his contributions and given a new light and insight into the Hands of the Cause for the youths of today. Truly a historic presentation of the Hand of the Cause of God Dr Muhajir

    Having read the biography of Hand of the Cause Dr. Muhajir, by several authors including his wife Iran Muhajir, one is never satisfied with his devotion and dedication and the magnanimity in serving the Cause of Baha’u’llah. His whole life is that of a true believer, who was detached from young. Such a dynamic example to follow.

    Those who have met him will testify to his strict adherence to the goals of the Universal House of Justice. The minute he visited any country, he had nothing else but inviting pioneers to the goal areas without hesitation. Whatever excuses any believer gave him, it did not stop him from lifting them up and within days, they packed their bags and set on their journey of their souls. Seniors, youths, single, married – he did not leave those capable of fulfilling the goals by the House. He was a task master who is divinely guided. Through his efforts, many virgin areas to the Faith were set on fire. Today, those who were raised up spiritually sing praises of his relentless spirit. He is such a giant who is a true example of service to the Cause.

    Panjawarnam Ganesan
    Subang Jaya

  14. I read your long story on Dr Muhajir. You have rightly named him the Architect of the Malaysian Bahai community as he truly was! He had developed friendship with the Malaysian Bahais first at the Regional Spiritual Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1957. When he was appointed Hand of the Cause later that year, he started to visit Malaysia. I first heard of him whenever I visited my mother, father and sisters in Seremban. When I became a Bahai, I had some opportunities to meet him.

    He was very much loved and the Bahais simply obeyed him. He told my father Yankee Leong to visit the Asli areas which he did. Sad he left us at a young age

    Rose Ong

  15. Your story on Dr Muhajir brought cheers to my heart, and tears to my eyes. When will we be blessed again with such luminaries who occupy a special place in Bahai history and repose in the hearts of all who had been touched by him?

    Dr Muhajir, as you rightly pointed out is the Architect of the Malaysian Bahai community. I met him for the first time just three days I accepted the Faith at the first Bahai Summer School in Malacca. That was on 27 December 1957. That was also the first time Dr Muhajir, as a Hand of the Cause of God came to the then Malaya through Malacca town as the entry point into the country and into the hearts of all of us. From then onwards he was constantly coming to the country. Before the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly, he was pushing all to achieve the broad goals of the Ten Year Crusade ie opening new localities for the Faith and forming new local spiritual assemblies. He deepened the friends on the Faith at a time when not much literature was available. After the election of the National Spiritual Assembly, he pushed the community to achieve the goals given to the national institution by the Supreme Body. He also introduced his own plans with the approval of the national institution.

    Dr Muhajir knew what he wanted from Malaysia. He somehow knew the tremendous capacity of the community as a whole and several individuals. He appointed some as Auxiliary Board members and others he sent out as pioneers and travel teachers. Whenever manpower was needed in other parts of the world, he relied on a few countries including Malaysia. He pushed them to achieve as much as possible and when the goals were achieved he gave new and even tougher goals, which were again achieved. He was a master strategist. He got everyone to move. As for those who really could not move to teach, he urged them to pray for those who were moving around.

    Dr Muhajir came at a time when very few of us had own transport. Cars and even motor cycles were rarely owned by Bahais. We went on bicycles or even walked or took public buses to teach. And Dr Muhajir too joined us on buses and walked to Asli areas. He set the pace and example for us. There was a mystic spirit and vigour in those days that Dr Muhajir brought to the community, which simply did not let us rest for a moment.

    Dr. Muhajir saw to the development of the community and saw that development flourishing during his own lifetime. Many of the victories won and accolades earned were based on the script that Dr Muhajir wrote for us. We are thankful that Dr Muhajir and the National Spiritual Assembly and the appointed institutions worked as one soul in different bodies. Many old timers were shocked when he passed away unexpectedly. These are days to remember his days and reflect on his great legacy.

    True, volumes could be written on Dr Muhajir, the first Hand of the Cause I met and the first to steal my heart! Dr Muhajir, along with Inbum Chinniah were to a large extent embodiment of these words of Bahá’u’lláh: Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.

    Thank you Mani for taking me to the glorious past.

    Anthony C. Louis
    Malacca Town

  16. It has been 43 years since Dr Muhajir passed on, but the memories he left in our minds will be there forever. He encouraged friends to go pioneering to Africa, some of whom where members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia.

    It is sad the present generation did not have the bounty of meeting him. Still remember the day in December 1979 when the news of his passing came. We were gathered in the then Jayapuri Hotel in Petaling Jaya to study the Kitab-i-Iqan with Syed Khadivian. Upon hearing the message the mood not only turned sombre but some friends burst out crying including Syed Khadivian himself.

    I am sure Dr Muhajir is still with the Malaysian believers in spirit and praying for us just as we pray for him.

    P. Ramasamy

  17. Dear brother Manisegaran,

    At the end of each month I always look forward to your well researched stories with historical perspectives. Dr Muhajir is very dear to my heart. We all shall miss him forever.

    It was during one of the gatherings held at the NUBE building in Port Dickson in about 1974 that I met the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Muhajir for the second time. I vividly remember two episodes.

    First was Dr Muhajir calling for pioneers. I arose to pioneer to Sarawak state to teach the indigenous people there since I had some
    experience teaching the aboriginal people in West. The second was he telling us to teach to the point of saturation in the towns and
    estates. He gave an analogy what saturation means. If we pour lots sugar in a glass of water and you stir, it will dissolve to a certain extend and no more. That is the meaning of saturation in teaching work – that is teaching until there is nobody left in a residential area.

    Keep up with your endeavor in writing such historical stories so that Baha’is at large will benefit.
    God bless you.

    Mari Yariah

  18. From the article ” The Architect” written by Mr. A. Manisegaran on Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Muhajir, it is very clear that the growth and development of the Malaysian Bahai Community was very much assisted Dr. Muhajir.

    Dr. Muhajir was a true spiritual guide who provided the inspiration, encouragement, and motivation for the community to keep moving forward from the time he started to come to this country effective the first summer school held in Malacca in 1957. Malaysia received the blessings of Baha’u’llah through this great soul , Dr. Muhajir who transformed the hearts and minds of the early followers of the Bahai Faith in the country. Through his continuous visits to the country for two decades Dr. Muhajir was instrumental in effecting a spiritual change in the community.

    Dr. Muhajir, I would say was a great Human Resource expert who was able to identify and select the right people for the right tasks. He had inspired all by sharing the essence of what Baha’u’llah had breathed to mankind during His declaration in 1963. Dr. Muhajir had released the energy waves he had tapped from the teachings of Baha’u’llah throughout the entire country – to the town folks and also the indigenous population.

    It was among these ways that Dr Muhajir was able to energize the early souls who all elevated the Malaysian Baha’i community to what it is today.

    Thanks for your excellent work, Mani.

    Kuala Lumpur

  19. This story on Dr Mahajir’s influence and impact on the Malaysian Baha’is during his visits to this country brought much inspiration and excitement for the early followers.

    I was a four year old Baha’i who had a first glimpse of him during his participation in the Bahai Summer School held in Kuantan town in 1978. Since I did not know the station of the institution of Hands of the Cause, I was simply curious to know why the old time Baha’is showed such reverence to Dr Muhajir. It did not take long before I was able to slowly learn an understanding of role the Hands of the Cause of God played in the unfolding of the Faith’s progress in this country. Dr Muhajir’s simple but soul-stirring talks inspired many souls to travel teach and pioneer. He has inspired and motivated hundreds who are still steadfast in the Faith they profess.

    Mani’s narrative and glimpses that he presented through his intensive research on the untiring services rendered by the beloved Dr Muhajir in this country is highly informative and very pleasant to read.


  20. I first met Hand of the Cause Dr Muhajir during the South East Asia Regional Conference held in NUBE Building, Port Dickson. I just cannot forget till today the subject which he spoke about. It was on the “Blood of the Martyrs”, which really touched me. Imagine he said we Baha’is are the products of the blood shed by the early martyrs.

    Further, his contributions to uplift our spiritual knowledge are indispensable for the progress and betterment of the Baha’i community. He was a great inspiration when it comes to educate and empower the believers. He has dedicated his entire life fostering a culture of continuous learning of intellectual and spiritual growth for all who met him and heard his talk.

    G.K. Balan
    Kuala Lumpur

  21. Dear Mani,
    Many thanks once again for sharing a remarkable story on Dr Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir-Hand of the Cause of God and a Knight of Baháʼu’lláh. He was like the jewel among the many Hands of the Cause of God in pioneering and offering his steadfast selfless service to teach the Cause.

    Your article and insights on how Dr Muhajir was the prime mover for the teaching activities in the then Malaya and later Malaysia and helping many other countries to receive the message of Bahá’u’lláh was truly amazing. It gave us first hand in-depth knowledge on how this wonderful soul transformed the lives of the early believers and pioneers in moving populations and nations towards the redeeming message of Bahá’u’lláh.

    Glad to know how he personally handpicked the pioneers and identified people of capacity to complete specific tasks in fulfilling the goals of the Nine Year Plan and other plans released by the Supreme Body. He was undoubtedly a man of action, conceiving meticulous plans, ensuring it’s been done in alignment with the plans given by the Supreme Body and reminding friends to be obedient to the Universal House of Justice at all times.

    Dr Muhajir’s life of humility, loving character, exemplary and sacrificial services were prominently praised by fellow Hands and especially from Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. It will truly be an example for all believers to emulate.

    Best regards

    Dr. Leong Yow Peng
    Subang Jaya

  22. I read the article about the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Muhajir. That was a very interesting article to read. Truly I have not met him in person but did hear some lovely stories of his coming to Malaysia and the way he activated the community.

    But it is in this well detailed article that I have got so much information about Dr. Muhajir.

    Dorai Vedhanayagam

  23. Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Muhajir was a symbol of inspiration for the Baha’is of Malaysia and other parts of the world too. His mere presence would invoke feelings of awe . His advice, suggestions and recommendations would be taken with great reverence.

    I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Muhajir a few times at conferences in Malaysia. It is simply a joy that cannot be described.

    I also had another opportunity to meet beloved Dr.Muhajir in South India where I was serving in Kanyakumari as a travel teacher under the South India Teaching Project (1977-1979). Dr. Muhajir and Dr. Sree Ganesh (Project Manager of the South India Teaching Project) visited some of the teaching areas and met with some of the believers there. He was very happy to see us in active service.

    On another occasion there was a meeting of travel teachers and local believers with Dr. Muhajir at Trivandrum city in Kerala. That was another blessed opportunity with Hand of the Cause of God Dr Muhajir

    Selvam Ellumalai
    Johor Bahru

  24. AS for Dr Muhajir, I want to write a little on his insistence on consolidation while engaged in the work of teaching. I think he has taken every line from the letters of the Guardian and the House of Justice deeply into his heart and mind. Not only that but he made it a point to share important points in his own talks and conversation with the friends.

    I was pioneering in the Cameroons since the end of 1972. Towards the end of the Nine Year Plan teachers were running from village to village in the Cameroons in a frenzy to complete the goals that were set. Dr Muhajir paid visits to the Cameroons to encourage and guide the teachers. At one of his talks, he introduced a key strategy of staying on and teach everyone in one family and not to enrol until the whole family accepted the Faith. Though slow this will secure internal consolidation and ensure quick progress in all villages along the route taken. He wished to see a centre established in each village with a prominent signboard visible from the road.

    S. Bhaskaran
    Shah Alam

  25. I was maybe 13 or 14 and my late father Inbum Chinniah who was the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia was always happy whenever Dr Muhajir came to Malaysia. I remember my father bringing me with some other Bahais to meet Dr Muhajir at the Merlin hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Kanagaratnam who was working as Administrative Assistant in the National Bahai Centre was one of them as I remember. Dr Muhajir speaks slowly and clearly and I was sitting on the floor listening.

    The adults would sit around the bed in Dr Muhajir’s room and listen to him discussing the plans for Malaysia. Every Bahai in the room just listened and no one interrupted when he spoke. This would go on 2 to 3 days. All were attentive and immersed in his words. After meeting until about 2 hours in the afternoon all will head home. My father I remembered was always deep in thought after the meeting and would drop me back and head to the National Center to work.

    Nabil Chinniah

  26. The Architect is such a well-written feature of Dr Muhajir, a pleasure to read , a giant in the Faith reminding me of a fragrant perfume. One that all Malaysian Bahá’ís will do well to diffuse this perfume every morning as its fragrance will indeed attract the wearer and those that come in the path.

    I wished i had read it much earlier while in service with the aboriginal people as it would had provided a sense of history.

    Thank you Manisegaran for using your God-given talents to spread history of great figures.

    On Eng Eng

  27. Dear Mr.Mani

    The story of Dr. Muhájir and his attachment to the Malaysian Bahá’í community is indeed so awe-inspiring and informative, and has already infused a renewed zeal and enthusiasm into my own soul, and perhaps to other stalwarts as well as our younger generation of Bahá’ís.

    Although Dr. Muhájir had come to this country of Malaysia several times, sadly I did not any opportunity to see him here. He came to my place Jeram Padang estate near Bahau town in about 1967, but I was about 13 years old, and did not feel the need of attending his meeting. Looking back it is a regret forever!

    Later in 1978 while I was in my pioneering field in Odisha, India I had missed him once again. He was told by the Counsellors and National Assembly members in New Delhi that Odisha had launched a Tribal Teaching Project. Hearing this he and Dr. Vasudevan came to Bhubaneswar, Odisha specially to meet the friends and to instill further inspiration. My colleague Nirmal and I missed the occasion as we were far away in the teaching field,in the interiors of the Eastern Ghats bordering Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Dr. Vasudevan and Mr. Subaya saw us in Bhawanipatna and had proclamation programmes. But later I was briefed about Dr. Muhájir’s arrival. I was happy that Dr. Mogblepour had recorded his talk. I said to myself how is that I have been unlucky in that I was always missing his precious presence . Later God answered my prayers. I was in his presence in 1979 during the launching of the 7 Year Plan in New Delhi, India. In that conference my attention was on his smiling face and his inspiring talks. The chairman announced the arrival of Dr. Muhájir. He went up the stage and all stood up paying our reverence. The first word he uttered was Allah-u-abha. He then mentioned that he had just flewn from Malaysia. He says that, it is a small and beautiful country and that the Bahá’ís there are so loving and involved in wonderful activities. He then said, “The country is so small that I can just pick it up and put it into my pocket”. Everyone laughed! But he said that it was so small but superbly dynamic!. Coming from Malaysia I was very proud for the nice words coming from Dr. Muhájir and I was naturally emotional and in tears!

    One mindful and thought -provoking idea that emanated from him still remains in my head. He said in the same conference, if you suggested something to the institutions and the institutions do not accept it we should never be upset, because time may not be right, and some day it will be accepted.

    Some of his talks recorded in CD’s and cassettes are always a source of inspiration to me. Once in Malaysia he was talking about opposition and said, “Do you think that the blood of the Martyrs is wasted? I don’t think so” He pointed his fingers to the audience and said we are the blood of the Martyrs . It is in you, and it is in every believer.”

    He also quoted ‘Abdu’l-Bahá saying in Persian, “Goftegoo sababe jostojoo and Jostojoo is sababhi Iman” which when translated reads “the movement of the Bahá’ís will be the cause awakening the waiting souls to accept the Religion.”

    Dr. Muhájir always stressed that Bahá’u’lláh had said that Teaching the Cause of God is the most meritorious of all deeds. The Hand of the Cause of Dr. Muhájir further spearheaded Mass Teaching to a greater height and dimension during his days, in many parts of the world.
    Dr. Muhájir’s soul still inspires me to walk the path of service in this spiritual enterprise of teaching the Cause.
    Once again thanks for the heart touching and memorable story.

    Pitamboro KN
    Puncak Alam

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