The unexpected arrival of Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Enoch Olinga to Kuala Lumpur was a pleasant surprise. In early 1971, Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Enoch Olinga, was in Singapore and right at the doorstep of Malaysia, but yet unsure of visiting this country.  It was the ardent prayers of the believers that made it possible for him to visit this country.  It is unfortunate that the beloved Hand of the Cause of God came to Malaysia only once, and that too on a lightning visit.  His visit was to Kuala Lumpur alone that not many of the Bahá’ís in other parts of the country could have met him at such a short notice.  

Mr. Olinga came to Malaysia some days after attending the Oceanic Conference of the South China Seas held in Singapore in early 1971. At the Oceanic Conference held in Singapore attended by 641 believers, the majority of who were Malaysian believers, were so moved by his majestic personality and radiating love that they urged him, some even begged him to visit this country. He kept smiling and not promising. Visa was not an issue for him to enter Malaysia. Why he did not respond positively to the invitations extended at the Oceanic Conference was not known. That he was very touched by the organisational ability of the National Spiritual Assembly in organising a flawless Oceanic Conference in Singapore was not something he could  deny. It was the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Malaysia that had organised the Oceanic Conference and many uplifting reports on the achievements of the goals of the Nine Year Plan (1964-1973) at midpoint of the plan period were also mentioned there. The message from the Supreme Body mentioned that the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia was to be responsible for the election of the first national institution for Singapore the following Riḍván in 1972. He was equally impressed with an exhibition displayed by Counsellor Dr. Chellie J. Sundram of Penang Island, of which he said, “I have not seen anything in the world to compare with it. I am sure the designer had been guided by the Holy Spirit to produce such a magnificent, dignified, and beautiful exhibition.” He was happy that when the call for pioneers was made, more than sixty believers came up the stage to volunteer as pioneers, including Luke Lee Sim Poi from Malaysia who was visibly impaired. The Hand was so touched with what he witnessed that he sent a personal message to the Supreme Body on the resounding success of the Conference. The performance of the Malaysian community on the resounding must have truly created a great impression in him.

A group photograph taken at the Oceanic Conference.

Malaysians and some believers from abroad  flocking the Hand of the Cause at the Oceanic Conference. L-R. Ganasamurthi Ramasamy, Choo Yeok Boon and Jami Subramaniam. To the right of Mr. Olinga is R. Krishnan.  At the left are Satanam with hands clasped and Yin Hong Shuen in a batik shirt.

Since the Hand of the Cause did not promise of coming to Malaysia, no believer was at the Subang International Airport in Kuala Lumpur to receive him. Unwilling to be a bother to anyone, Mr. Olinga took a taxi from the airport and checked into the Federal Hotel in the Bukit Bintang area in Kuala Lumpur. That was a prestigious hotel with the first revolving restaurant on its top.  He had been taken ill and was extremely tired and exhausted for a few days after his strenuous world tour lasting 14 months. Once he regained his strength, he telephoned the National Bahá’í Centre in Setapak, on Friday, 22 January 1971 to say that he was already in town and wanted to meet the community. Mr. Sandrakasan Rajoo, serving as a staff at the National Bahá’í Centre picked the receiver. Mr. Olinga spoke, “Alláh-u-Abhá. Is this the National Bahá’í Centre?” Sandrakasan answered “Yes, it is.” Mr. Olinga continued, “This is Enoch Olinga. I am in the Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. I wish to meet the community this evening. Please inform the National Spiritual Assembly. I also want someone to help me out with my air tickets.  Thank you very much.” Sandrakasan replied, “Sure Sir. Thank you.” And both of them hung up their receivers. Somehow it did not occur to Sandrakasan that it was Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Olinga who was at the other end of the line. Sandrakasan himself was among those who had been despatching letters to the community informing them of  Mr. Olinga representing the Universal House of Justice at the Oceanic Conference.  Sandrakasan never knew Mr.  Enoch Olinga as he did not attend the Oceanic Conference in Singapore that was concluded just three weeks ago. Mr. Inbum Chinniah, the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly had requested Sandrakasan to stay back at the National Office during the Oceanic Conference days to relay telegrams that were anticipated. And Sandrakasan relayed many cables for the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia to Mr. Inbum Chinniah in Singapore, as and when they were received. And so he did not have the privilege of meeting the Hand of the Cause in person in Singapore.  After hanging up the receiver, Sandrakasan inform Kanagaratnam, the Administrative Assistant of the phone call he received from one Mr. Enoch Olinga, who had checked into the Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and wanted to have his air tickets sorted out and wanted to meet the community. Hearing the name Enoch Olinga, Kanagaratnam jumped with joy, and said he was none other than the Hand of the Cause who was at the Oceanic Conference in Singapore. Sandrakasan too jumped with joy as he would be privileged to meet the ‘Father of Victories’ whom he could not meet in Singapore. At first the staff could not believe what they heard but once it was confirmed that Mr. Olinga was at the Federal Hotel they became overjoyed and quickly telephoned Mr. Inbum Chinniah, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly. Some quick decisions had to be made in that panicky situation, especially the logistics. The Bahá’ís in the Klang Valley and the Central Region had to be informed for a meeting with the beloved Hand the following evening, and the staff of the National Center were busy calling the communities and individuals. That was the time when very few had telephone facilities at their homes. Since it was a working day the friends were contacted in their offices as well. The parties receiving the calls were requested to quickly relay the glad tidings as widely and as quickly as possible. Those who had met Mr. Olinga  at the Oceanic Conference were certainly thrilled that he had heeded to their invitations at last to step on Malaysian soil. Those  who could not make it to the Oceanic Conference were very happy to see him in person especially after all the good reports they heard from those who went to the Conference.

There was already an air of excitement in Kuala Lumpur. A quick check was made to see who could be available to attend to this request. Sadly, since it was a Friday, most of the Bahá’ís were working. But Mr. N. Sivasathiyaseelan or popularly called N. S. S. Silan was contacted, and he was able to take some time off from the Inland Revenue Department where he worked and rushed to the Federal Hotel that morning  itself. Silan had met Mr. Olinga at the Oceanic Conference. As Silan arrived at the hotel room door, he saw that the door was kept slightly open. Then Mr. Olinga came out of the washroom and opened the door and gave a warm greeting of ‘Alláh-u-Abhá’. Mr. Olinga who looked so sick and exhausted handed over a pile of tickets to Silan who was very shocked to see the number of tickets that looked more like the pages of a textbook. Firstly, Silan went to the nearby air ticketing office and sorted out the ticket issues pertaining to his onward journey.  Once that was sorted out Silan met Mr. Olinga again in his hotel room. Mr. Olinga was very happy with the confirmation of his next flight out.  Mr. Olinga then expressed his desire to see some places in Kuala Lumpur as it was his first visit ever to Malaysia. Silan gladly took him to some important landmarks in the city in his blue coloured Volkswagen  with registration number BX 3434.  Mr. Olinga was very comfortable in that simple car, which Silan had driven to several parts of the country for teaching and consolidation when he was on the National Coordinating Unit. Now for the first time, Silan found it the greatest privilege to drive none other than a Hand of the Cause in his car.

Meanwhile, the staff of the Bahá’í Centre kept communicating over the phone with whoever was available in the central region. There was no time to be missed. Quickly the Bahá’í youth were taught a new Bahá’í song to honour the Hand of the Cause of God. A few Bahá’ís of the Kuala Lumpur community went into town to buy a beautiful gift for the Hand of the Cause. The youth got together and composed a song to welcome the Hand of the Cause. Silan drove Mr. Olinga from the Federal Hotel in his blue Volkswagen to the National Bahá’í Centre. By the time Mr. Olinga arrived in the evening, about 50 Bahá’ís from Kuala Lumpur, Kajang, Petaling Jaya and Seremban had gathered. Some  who were outside the Bahá’í Centre spotted the car that was approaching the National Bahá’í Center  with the yellow emergency lights  flashing brilliantly.  The children shouted, “He is coming, he is coming”. The crowd organised itself and lined up from the front of the Centre, right to the entrance.   When the car arrived, Inbum Chinniah opened the door and welcomed him. With Inbum Chinniah was Mr. Wong Kok Mee, a pillar of the Kuala Lumpur since April 1954 when he first accepted the Faith. He was also on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Kuala Lumpur. As Mr. Olinga walked he greeted each Bahá’í lining the walkway to the Centre. He paused at the entrance door of  the Bahá’í Centre, when a chorus of Bahá’í youth started to sing  the song they had composed for him-  ‘Father of Victories we welcome you! Beloved Hand  of God we welcome you! Father we welcome you. We, the people of Malaysia welcome you …”

After that he entered the Centre. As he entered, all the Bahá’ís greeted him by singing ‘Alláh-u-Abhá’. Before Mr. Olinga could respond, the Bahá’ís greeted him with, “Are you happy? ” The Hand together with all the friends laughed heartily as Mr. Olinga always began his speeches with his trademark question “Are you happy?”  As he spotted Sandrakasan, who was handicapped, Mr. Olinga hugged and carried him and greeted, “Alláh-u-Abhá. Are you happy?” Sandrakasan could not believe the special bounty that he alone received in the crowd.

Mrs. Lily Chinniah, member of the Local Spiritual Assembly chaired the session. She had met Mr. Olinga at the First Bahá’í World Congress held in London in Riḍván 1963, and then at the recently concluded Oceanic Conference in Singapore. She was the only one in the crowd who  had been to the First Bahá’í World Congress. At the Oceanic Conference in Singapore, both Inbum Chinniah and Lily Chinniah arose to pioneer and the couple, and children  went on stage to greet him. He was so happy that they had risen as a family to pioneer. When Mr. Olinga came to Kuala Lumpur he had  already known Inbum Chinniah and Lily Chinniah well.

The Chinniah  family greeted by Mr. Olinga on the stage in Victoria Memorial Hall where the Oceanic Conference took place.

As everyone settled down, the meeting began with prayers. There was no special message that the Hand of the Cause of God had for that Bahá’í gathering, but what everyone received was the tremendous love he had for everyone. When addressing the community, he said that he had brought the love from all the Bahá’ís whom he had met in his recent world travels. In this gathering Mr. Olinga explained the background, spirit and the power of the prayer of Bahá’u’lláh, “God is sufficient unto me. He verily is the All-sufficing. In Him let the trusting trust.” He took the Bahá’ís on a journey through time right into the Síyáh-Chál prison where this prayer originated, in order to make the believers feel the power of this simple, and yet most potent prayer. The friends were thrilled to learn of the greatness of this prayer. All of them memorized that prayer on the spot!

Well, Mr. Olinga surprised everyone in Malaysia through this unexpected visit. Now it was Mr. Olinga’s turn to be pleasantly surprised. After the talks were over the Bahá’ís gave him their gift of love, which was a Batik shirt that was famous in Malaysia and Indonesia.  He was so happy and equally surprised. He mentioned that he himself was thinking of buying exactly the same Batik shirt from the hotel gallery when he was shopping that afternoon, but something told him to hold on, so he did not buy. But now he realized that the Bahá’ís had already bought the exact shirt that he himself had intended to buy. What a delightful coincidence!  When he came he was wearing a white coloured short sleeve shirt. When he was given this Batik shirt, he took it to the meeting room of the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly and changed into it. As he came out of the room everyone applauded as the Batik shirt, to the surprise of many fitted him very well. A few friends wanted to get him to sign an autograph. A staff of the National Center handed him a prayer book which autographed. Some had come with cameras,  and they took photos with him. A group photograph was then taken outside the National Bahá’í Centre.

The Hand of the Cause looks at the gift, with Mrs. Lily Chinniah on the right.

At the National Bahá’í Bookshop, wearing the Batik shirt. The Hand holds a baby monkey brought by teachers to the Asli villages. To the left is the son of the Gibsons.

By the time the  session with the Hand of the Cause was over, it was time for dinner. Some friends decided to take the Hand of the Cause for dinner, to honour the guest. But there was a big crowd and who to be invited and who to be left out became a problem. Silan and Auxiliary Board member Mrs. Betty Fernandez decided to invite some friends for the dinner and  the hat could be passed around to collect funds to cover the cost of the meal. Wong Kok Mee who overheard the conversation said, “Whoever wants to join the dinner can come. We should not worry about paying for the dinner.”  So, the friends were quietly invited. Some had to return to their homes while some stayed back for the dinner.

A group photo with Mr. Olinga, taken in front of the National Bahá’í Centre. Seated L-R: Wong Kok Mee, Mrs. Lily Chinniah, Mr. Olinga, Mrs. Betty Fernandez, Yin Hong Shuen and Isaac DCruz. To the left of Isaac is C. Kanagaratnam, the Administrative Assistant in the national office, carrying Soheil Chinniah. To the front of Kanagaratnam is S. Satanam. Squatting at the left are Jami Subramaniam,  Govindasamy Alagiri and N.S.S. Silan. Standing at the back of them is Sandrakasan and at his back is S.L. Thevar.

At the dinner session a few tables were booked and there were lots of fun, laughter and singing as well. The owner of the restaurant and the waiters there had known Bahá’ís frequenting the restaurant. But this time around, they witnessed a new kind of atmosphere, with the presence of a guest from the black race to whom the believers flocked with lots of love.  The Hand enjoyed the evening very much with the singing going on as he himself was a great lover of music. At the dinner too the friends urged Mr. Olinga to come back to Malaysia for longer period of time. Mr. Olinga was scheduled to fly to Bangkok the following day. Meanwhile the organizers of the dinner went to the cashier’s counter to settle the bill, but they were informed that it had  already been settled. This came as an unexpected surprise to them. On pressing to identify the good Samaritan, the restaurant owner pointed to an elderly Chinese believer who was limping away in the distance. That was Wong Kok Mee, who did it again with his usual magnanimity! No wonder he had said earlier when the dinner was planned, “Whoever wants to join the dinner can come. We should not worry about paying for the dinner.”  It was this pillar of the community who had been financially blessed by the Blessed Beauty.  He was one of the few who had his own car to provide transport to the visitors, cleaned and swept the National Bahá’í Centre, settled the utilities bill and switched on the lights every evening. He did this until late 1965 when S. Vasudevan, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia moved into the Bahá’í Centre as a tenant.  So, when the dinner was over  that night Silan drove Mr. Olinga back to the Federal Hotel.


Dinner for Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Enoch Olinga seated in the centre, attired in a ‘Batik’ shirt. To his right is Wong Kok Mee. To the left of the  Hand of the Cause are Mrs. Lily Chinniah, Mrs. Elizabeth Gibson and Mr. Inbum Chinniah. Facing away from the camera on the left is S. Satanam from Seremban.

The following day a few Bahá’ís accompanied Mr. Olinga to the Subang International Airport  to send him off. As the car passed through the University Malaya campus, he was informed of an active University Malaya Bahá’í Society which had carried out landmark activities there. Mr. Olinga, prayed for the success of the teaching work being carried out by the Bahá’í students there. At the airport he checked in the check-in counter and kept conversing with the believers until the departure of his plane to Bangkok was announced. The Bahá’ís very reluctantly bid him goodbye. They kept looking at him until he disappeared through the entrance gate, never in the least imagining that he would never return to this country. That noon he flew off to Bangkok. That was his first and the only visit to Malaysia. Though his visit was short, it had a lasting effect that could be felt even today. His magical words of “Are you happy? Are you all really happy? This is the day of happiness as the Supreme Manifestation of God has appeared in this day!” will ever be ringing in the ears of those who heard them.

It did not take long before other distantly placed communities in Malaysia came to hear of this lightning visit of Mr. Olinga to Kuala Lumpur. They were happy and sad at the same time–happy that he had visited the country, and sad that he came at very short notice and could not visit other parts of the country. Although this was his only visit to Malaysia, some Malaysian believers had the privilege of meeting him abroad after the year 1971.  When a group of Malaysian believers went to  Africa at the end of 1972  to assist in the fulfillment of the remaining goals of the Nine Year Plan, some of them met Mr. Olinga there.  In early 1973, Kamachee met Mr. Olinga in Cameroon where she was serving and N.S. S. Silan met him in Nairobi, Kenya where he was serving.  Mr Olinga passed through Nairobi on his way to the International Convention to be held in Haifa. Even before Mr. Olinga came to Malaysia, he had met a few Malaysian believers abroad. A. Sabapathy, our Malaysian pioneer was in Bangalore, India serving the Cause. When he married Miss Qudsiah of the illustrious Yaganagi family in Bangalore on 15 December 1968, the ceremony WAS performed by Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Enoch Olinga. And S. Vasudevan, our first pioneer to India was there at the wedding.

Mr. Olinga gracing the wedding of Sabapathy and Qudsiah in Bangalore. Standing next to Mr Olinga is S. Vasudevan.

However, the Bahá’í community was plunged into sorrow when it received the shocking news of the unexpected passing of the beloved Hand of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga on 16 September 1979 at the hands of unknown gunmen in the war-torn country of Uganda.

When the news arrived in Malaysia through the National Spiritual Assembly and relayed to the communities by phone, the believers were totally devastated at his most tragic passing and the manner in which he  and his family were murdered. The believers wanted to know the manner in which he and his family were shot.  What became clear was that it was a shooting spree in  a war-torn country. The believers resigned to the Will of God and resorted to saying ardent prayers for the soul of this beloved Hand of the Cause of God, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh, and  Father of Victories to progress in the worlds beyond under the sheltering and loving care of the Blessed Beauty.

On 24 September, the “Father of Victories” was laid to rest in a burial plot near the House of Worship in Uganda, next to the burial site of Mr. Músá Banání, his fellow Hand of the Cause of God who was designated the “Spiritual Conqueror of Africa”. On 17 September, the Universal House of Justice sent out the following cable to all National Spiritual Assemblies:


This cable from the Baháʼí World Centre, in a way settled all speculations, which went around at that time when there was no fast means of communications.

The shocked Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Malaysia sent this cable to the Supreme Body:


Again, what a coincidence! Hand of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga passed away on 16 September 1979, and his fellow Hand of the Cause Dr. Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir passed away on 29 December 1979 in Ecuador.  It was too short a period in which the Bahá’í community was robbed of two Hands of the Cause. And Shoghi Effendi, our beloved Guardian had appointed these two, along with a few others in the  third contingent on 2 October 1957.  They were the youngest among those appointed in the third contingent.

In 1953, he became the first Baháʼí pioneer to British Cameroon and was given the title Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for that country.  Enoch Olinga was entitled ‘Abu’l-Futuh’, a Persian name meaning ‘Father of Victories’ by Shoghi Effendi.

The Malaysian believers were truly blessed by the visit Mr. Olinga made to this country, though the only one. Just one month before his visit to Malaysia, the local friends who met him at the Oceanic Conference of the South China Seas in early January 1971, earnestly requested him to visit the country. He could not answer in the affirmative. But when he came unannounced on a lightning visit, they were all thrilled. Today history has it that through that one visit, the beloved Hand of the Cause had blessed this country through the instrumentality of the mercy of the Blessed Beauty. Communities across Malaysia organised befitting memorial gatherings for him.

Final resting place of the Father of Victories in the premises of the House of Worship in Kampala, Uganda.

More on Mr. Olinga and eleven other Hands of the Cause who visited Malaysia could be read in the author’s soon to be published book of 800 pages:

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

A. Manisegaran

30 September 2023


You may leave your comments at: info@bahairecollections.com



  1. Mani,
    I was happy to read your article on beloved Hand of the Cause Mr. Enoch Olinga’s visit to Malaysia in early 1971. That was a well expressed and a moving story, touching the hearts of the Baha’is of Malaysia and the worldwide Baha’i community. Great job, as usual.

    This article carries so much love and respect the Malaysian believers had for this Hand of the Cause. His famous words “Are You happy?” have tremendous spiritual meaning and significance. Undeniably the happiest moment in one’s life is to have recognized the Manifestation of God for this age, also being the Promised One of All Religions. We have to feel this happiness once we have accepted Baha’u’llah, the Glory of God. It will be most important for all, be they of the younger generation of Bahais or the older ones to read and imbibe the spirit of Faith from the story of Enoch Olinga visiting our country of Malaysia. Posterity will benefit greatly from this historical story.

    Professor Dr. Ananthan Krishnan

  2. Dear Mani
    Thank you for penning the story on Hand of the Cause of God Mr Enoch Olinga, titled FATHER OF VICTORIES COMES TO TOWN
    It was a touching story indeed with so many interesting anecdotes and insights. I am glad your continuous writing is welcomed by the Bahai friends as not many can put such lovely words together. You are clearly guided to write such inspiring stories.

    With love to you and family.

    Rose Ong

  3. Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Enoch Olinga also visited New Zealand around that time. He was expected but did not arrive on schedule. Not sure now of the reason. And then he did suddenly arrive but would not disclose how he had flown in. I suspect he somehow secured a passage on a military aircraft providing he kept it secret. How thrilled we were!

    Helen Harrison
    New Zealand

  4. Dear Manisegaran,
    Thank you very much for writing such an inspiring article about the Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Enoch Olinga. It refreshed many unforgettable memories since I had the bounty of meeting him a few times, first at the Oceanic Conference in Singapore in 1971 and then at Bangkok, Thailand and once in New Delhi, India. Every time I was in his presence it was a very special moment in my life. He is known for radiant and heavenly smiles and always pouring out his love on his audience.

    Once when he was in New Delhi while his children were studying in India. I was on a short stopover in New Delhi and heard of the presence of Mr. Olinga was there. I called him over the phone. He was so gracious to invite me to go to see him. I went to his hotel. We greeted and exchanged hugs. I was not really that close to him and was trying to be humble. But he made me feel like I was an old friend. He had a box of Indian-flavored sweets and offered me to eat some as well. He mentioned that he liked visiting India where he saw similar spiritual characteristics between the Indian and African believers.

    When he went to Bangkok after he visited Baha’i friends in Kuala Lumpur in January 1971 Mr. Nasser Jafari, a pioneer in Thailand and I went to his hotel to see him. Although he looked tired and not too well, he still received us warmly and told us many interesting stories about what he had experienced in his traveling in Southeast Asia. For example, he said that he happened to sit on the plane next to an American who told him it was difficult to end the Vietnam War because it was hard to recognize who were their friends or enemies. In response Mr. Olinga told him about the Baha’i perspectives on World Peace. He also said he admired the Persian youth pioneers when he visited Iran. While in Iran he met their parents including the parents of the three Persian students who were martyred in the Philippines and consoled them.

    Mr. Olinga was humorous and liked the Persian jokes and laughter. His radiant soul is much remembered in many hearts.

    Kind regards,
    Dr. Firaydun Mithaq
    Chieng Mai

  5. The story on Hand of the Cause Mr Olinga brought my fondest memories of him.
    My three siblings and I had the privilege of attending the great New Era High School in Panchgani, Pune in India. At that time the 4 children of the Hand Of the Cause, Mr. Enoch Olinga: Grace, Florence, Godwin and Badie Olinga, we were all friends, in particular the youngest son , Mr. Badie who was the same age as mine. We made the finest and happiest memories as young men.

    Abbas Paksima
    San Diego

  6. Dear Mani,

    Your account of the Hand of the Cause Of God Mr. Enoch Olinga’s
    lightning visit to Kuala Lumpur was like a burst of sunshine brightening
    the spirits of the dear local friends. The 50 believers who were blessed with meeting the Father of Victories were truly deserving ones, especially, this was the only visit the Hand had made to our land. What a treasured gem of occurrence in the history of the development of the Faith in Malaysia.

    I first heard of Mr. Enoch Olinga in mid 1970s in Melbourne, Australia when fellow Hand Of the Cause of God Mr. John Robarts was telling us how much Mr. Olinga loved the Holy Land. He would join the gardeners to pick snails which were eating the plants and flowers at the beautifully landscaped compound of the Shrine of Baha’u’llah. He would continue to bend down and look for the snails long after every worker had retired for the day. Such was the dedication and love the Hand had evinced in all his works for the Faith.

    Thanks again Mani for another wonderful and inspiring story.

    Hua Keng Tong

  7. I never had the pleasure of actually meeting this wonderful man, but I was living in Zambia at the time of his death. I was at a meeting of the National Assembly when we received the announcement from the Universal House of Justice. We were shocked if course! To lose such a dedicated servant of Baha’u’llah in such tragic circumstances was a profound loss. He and his dear family will be remembered forever for their sacrifice! God bless their souls!

    Jackie Carter



  8. This write up about Mr. Enoch Olinga, Hand of the Cause, by Mr Manisegaran has touched my heart in several ways.

    The style of narrating the first surprise visit of Mr. Olinga to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia made me feel like I too travelled and took part in that meeting in person. It was to that extent that I was immersed in the story.

    The Hand of the Cause was clearly a very simple person and very humble as well. I was surprised to learn that upon arrival at the Airport in Malaysia, he himself arranged a taxi and found his way to the hotel, not willing to be a burden to anyone. Occupying a high rank as a Hand of the Cause, all that was needed was only one notification to the national institution in Malaysia and transportation would have been arranged for him. This is a lesson of humility that all of us have to learn from Mr. Olinga.

    There is also mention of Kamachee in the story. I have come to know her through online meetings. I understood from the story that she met Mr Olinga in Cameroon, but not at the meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

    I was also touched to learn of the several friends who quickly organised themselves to welcome the Hand of the Cause of God, such as Mr Inbum Chinniah his wife Lilly, Wong Kok Mee and all the other Bahais had worked together for a grand welcome of Mr. Olinga. How not to appreciate the generosity of that Chinese believer who settled the bills for the dinner thrown in honour of Mr. Olinga! The reverence and respect the believers in Kuala Lumpur showed towards Mr. Olinga are well evident.

    Mr. N.S. S. Silan who was his chauffeur in Kuala Lumpur seems to have spent most time with Mr. Olinga. Their next meeting, as I gathered from the story was two years later in Nairobi when Silan was serving there as a travel teacher. The narration by Mr. Olinga on the background to the origin of the prayer “God is sufficient unto me…” is so moving that I too have memorized as I read this story.

    I too was very shocked when I read the whole family was shot by some gunmen. We do not know the wisdom of Mr. Olinga passing away in this manner. But in everything that happens there is a wisdom.

    I wish to congratulate and thank the writer Mr. Manisegaran for penning this moving story with suitable photo illustrations.

    Tamil Nadu

  9. Dear Mr. Manisegaran,

    I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the captivating write-up detailing the Hand of the Cause of God, Mr. Enoch Olinga, and his awe-inspiring visit. Although I’ve never had the privilege of meeting him in person, as I wasn’t born at the time of his earthly presence, each encounter with his life story and photos evokes a unique connection.

    There’s a personal incident I’d like to share, one that is deeply connected to the remarkable Mr. Olinga. While I was working in Africa, I had the incredible opportunity to serve at the Mother Temple of Africa, situated on the scenic Kikaya Hill, just outside of Kampala. This House of Worship, set on a 50-acre property, includes not only the temple itself but also extensive gardens, a guest house, and an administrative center.

    My stay was made all the more special by the warm welcome extended to me by the friendly Director from Eritrea Mr. Mehari Woldu and his kindly wife, Mercy, who generously accommodated me at the temple site. Every day, as I went about my duties, I passed by the administrative center, which directly overlooked the Bahá’í burial site on the lower ground. Evenings were marked by delightful dinners with the Director and his family, and we would engage in discussions on a wide range of topics, often stretching late into the night. It was a comforting routine that I cherished. One particular evening, as the Director explained the significance of the temple and its surroundings, he extended an invitation that left a lasting impact. He invited me to visit and recite prayers at the graves of both Mr. Enoch Olinga and Mr. Músá Banání, two distinguished Hands of the Cause of God. The “Father of Victories” was laid to rest alongside his fellow Hand of the Cause of God, Mr. Músá Banání, who was designated the “Spiritual Conqueror of Africa.” It was at that moment that I truly realized the significance of these two remarkable souls, and I regretted not paying my respects at their graves upon my arrival at the temple site.

    The following morning, I made it a priority to visit their resting place before heading to the House of Worship. Yet, as I stood at the gravesite of Mr. Enoch Olinga, an inexplicable surge of energy coursed through me, jolting me with a sensation that left me shaken and fearful. A feverish feeling overcame me, prompting a hasty departure from the site. I rushed back to the Director’s house to regain my composure, but I couldn’t bring myself to share the incident with anyone.

    As I resumed my duties at the temple, I prayed fervently for strength and protection, seeking solace in my faith. That evening, I recounted the unsettling experience to the Director. He responded with a hearty laugh, offering words of reassurance. He encouraged me to return to the gravesite and have a conversation with Mr. Olinga and Mr. Banani, seeking their spiritual support to serve the Faith effectively at the temple. To my astonishment, this was precisely what I had done during my prayers that very morning.

    Suddenly, my heart found peace, and a profound sense of contentment washed over me. My fear had dissipated, leaving no trace. From that day onwards, as I passed by their graves, I lowered my head as a gesture of deep love and respect. My service at the Mother Temple of Africa was an unforgettable experience. I actively participated in various proclamation activities, deepening classes, and dawn prayers. More importantly, I had the privilege of meeting countless new friends and inspirational teachers of the Faith.

    Finally, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúḥíyyih Khánum’s heartbreaking poem, written shortly after Mr. Olinga’s brutal murder, perhaps most aptly captures the grief and devastation felt throughout the world:

    The sunlight is black
    The sunlight is black
    What raven wing
    Covered my sun at noonday?
    In my mouth is the salt of tears
    I cannot swallow so much salt . . .
    Blood is so beautiful
    Blood is so pure
    Why do the people let blood
    Run in the street?
    So long it took
    To make this man
    Noble and good
    His mind and his soul
    Expanded like sunlight
    At noonday.
    Why did you kill him?
    Are you pleased at this riddled shell,
    This mangle of bone and flesh?
    Did you think your deed in the dark
    Was a bright light?
    Everything is pulsing,
    Throbbing and throbbing!
    There is no answer
    And the sunlight is black.
    Go Enoch go!
    Go to Musa on the hill
    Go to your Master
    Go to your Guardian
    Go to the Kingdom of Light!
    But ask not of us
    Nor of your people
    Who have plucked a sin
    Big enough and dark enough
    To blot out the noonday sun!
    Woe to Africa!
    Weep as you have not wept before,
    Weep on your knees,
    Weep your eyes blind,
    You have murdered Abu’l-Futuh,
    The Father of Victories is dead
    At your hand, at your hand!
    Your jewelled crown
    Placed by God on your head
    Is rolled into the grave-
    Weep, weep, weep your heart away.

    With warm and loving Bahá’í greetings,

    Velayutham Gopal
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  10. Dear Mani,
    Thank you for writing on the only visit to Malaysia in 1971. That visit is forever etched in the innermost corner of my soul. When the Oceanic Conference of the South China Seas took place in Singapore, where the Hand of the Cause Mr Enoch Olinga was to represent the Supreme Body, we were all very excited, as it was an opportunity to meet him for the first time in person. While all preparations were on going, I was requested at the last moment to stay back in the National Bahai Centre in Kuala Lumpur where I was serving as a staff, all to receive cables received at the National Office and forward them to Mr Inbum Chinniah, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia who was in Singapore. I was indeed very sad. Everyone left for the Conference. Some of the other staff were sad that I had to stay back in Kuala Lumpur. But sacrifice is always part of the Bahai life.

    The blessings came upon me in manifold ways when Mr Enoch Olinga came to Kuala Lumpur. As soon as he saw me, for reasons I could not understand, he hugged me and carried me and asked me “Are you happy?” Till this day I do not know why Mr Olinga had to carry me alone, of all the other believers there, including children. After he had left the meeting that evening, some friends remarked that I received special love from Mr Olinga. I tend to agree with them. His words, “are you happy?” keep on ringing in my ears till this day. When news came to me that he was shot in Uganda, I was deeply devastated and plunged into deep sorrow.

    Sandrakasan Rajoo
    Sungei Buloh

  11. Dear Manisegaran,

    l always read the stories you write in your blog. Yet this story on Hand of the Cause Mr. Enoch Olinga is very special to me. I was one among those who went to the Oceanic Conference in Singapore by a chartered bus. I also remember meeting you arriving by another chartered bus that started its journey from Alor Star in the north.

    I consider myself very lucky and privileged to meet Hand of the Cause Mr Enoch Olinga, a great person at the Oceanic Conference in Singapore and to hear his famous words “ARE YOU ALL HAPPY?” Each time he came up the stage to address the audience he would ask not once, but a few times, and then mention that we should all be happy because we have accepted Baháʼu’lláh as the Supreme Manifestation of God for today and that we are living during the King of the days!

    Then his coming to Kuala Lumpur was another spiritual treat for those in the Central part of the country. Gone are those golden days- days that shall never repeat! I lived at a time when the Hands of the Cause were moving across the world and moving the hearts of the believers. These are sad days when we do not have that bounty, since all the Hands have passed away. And with the passing of the Guardian, the appointment of the Hands of the Cause too ceased.

    Thank you for your good work and do keep up what you are doing- to record for posterity historical events.

    With much Baháʼi love,
    Mona Kanagaratnam

  12. My beloved Baha’i brother, Mr. Manisegaran,

    I am very much delighted to go through this fantastic and well written story on Mr. Enoch Olinga, Hand of the Cause of God. Every story that you publish gives me a new lesson for me to know several new things, which very much serve as guidance in my life

    I have known Mr. Olinga through Baha’i literature as well as from the famous Baha’i speakers. He led a very simple and humble life, but was one of the Chosen Ones of God.

    Thank you my dear brother for writing one more great historical story on Mr. Enoch Olinga. When I read the story of his coming to Kuala Lumpur, I felt I was transported to that meeting. It was a graphic presentation of his presence in that Kuala Lumpur meeting.

    I do hope, you will bring out more and more such interesting and great stories on beloved Hands of the Cause of God and Baha’i pioneers.

    Thank you once again, brother for giving me the opportunity to be one of the readers of all your greatest stories.

    Jaya Raju Thota
    Greater Visakhapatnam
    Andhra Pradesh

  13. Dear Mr. Mani,
    The story of Hand of the Cause Mr. Enoch Olinga is highly inspiring and an eye opener to those who will go through this unique episode.

    Who can forget the Oceanic Conference held in Singapore in 1971.I was eager to attend but was unable to go and meet Mr.Olinga at the conference as I was only a student at that time. Buses were chartered for the conference from my area. The friends who returned from the conference brought with them so many exiting stories.

    It is exiting to know the accounts of his short stay in Kuala Lumpur. The soul-stirring and heart throbbing words he always uttered “Are you all happy” is a trademark for this Hand of the Cause. He saying that we should always be happy because we have accepted the Supreme Manifestation of God for this day is very apt . We are truly the chosen ones. What a great bounty and privilege. In 1979, Mr. Afshin came on a visit to Malaysia. That was his first trip. It was during the course of his talk that this tragic news of the assassination of the Hand of the Cause reached the gathering. That was so painful a news to bear.

    His life story is so touching, ever to be remain deeply in the hearts and minds of generations to come.

    Thank you so much.

    Pitamboro KN
    Puncak Alam
    Kuala Selangor

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