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Hands of the Cause

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The Hands of the Cause of God, Hands of the Cause, or Hands (informally) were a select group of Bahá'ís, appointed for life, whose main function was to propagate and protect the Bahá'í Faith. Unlike the members of the elected institutions and other appointed institutions in the Bahá'í Faith, who serve in those offices, Hands are considered to have achieved a distinguished rank in service to the religion.[1]

According to The Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, they are to be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God and are to be under his direction and obey his command[2] and a quote of Bahá'u'lláh's is also used as a prayer for them.[3]

The title is no longer conferred. The last living Hand of the Cause was `Alí-Muhammad Varqá (1911–2007). The work of the Hands of the Cause is now carried out by the Continental Counsellors and the Auxiliary Boards.

There were fifty Hands of the Cause in all, four named by Bahá'u'lláh, four by `Abdu'l-Bahá and forty-two by Shoghi Effendi (including ten posthumously). Twenty-seven Hands were alive when Shoghi Effendi died in 1957.

The most complete list of the Hands available is from The Bahá'í World: Vol XIV. The Universal House of Justice has confirmed that this list may not be complete, and that a study of the letters and archives may reveal others named to this station.


Note: Orthography of some names below is not correct. Accented and underscored characters were not transcribed.

Appointed by Bahá'u'lláhEdit

Appointed posthumously by `Abdu'l-BaháEdit

Appointed posthumously by Shoghi EffendiEdit

Appointed individually by Shoghi Effendi [year of appointment]Edit

First contingent, appointed 24 December 1951 by Shoghi EffendiEdit

Second contingent, appointed 29 February 1952 by Shoghi EffendiEdit

  • Siegfried Schopflocher (1877–1953)
  • Shu'á'u'lláh `Alá'í (1889–1984)
  • Músá Banání (1886–1971)
  • Clara Dunn (1869–1960)
  • Dhikru'lláh Khádim (1904–1986)
  • Adelbert Mühlschlegel (1897–1980)
  • Corinne Knight True (1861–1961)

Last contingent, appointed 2 October 1957 by Shoghi EffendiEdit


During the period between the death of Shoghi Effendi and the election of the Universal House of Justice the Hands of the Cause held a convocation from which they constituted a body of nine from among their number to serve in the Holy Land and to act as Custodians of the Bahá’í Faith, a body which functioned without officers and with a quorum of five, whose duties included taking care of Bahá’í World Center properties and other assets; corresponding with and advising National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies; acting on behalf of the Bahá’í Faith for its protection; and maintaining close contact with the rest of the Hands, who would henceforth devote their time to the successful completion of the goals of the Ten Year Crusade. The Hands of the Cause maintained the number of Custodians, replacing those who died or were unable, for health or personal reasons, to remain at the Bahá’í World Center permanently.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (Hornby (1983), #1079, p. 322)
  2. ^ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1990). The Will And Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (reprint ed.). p. Part One p.12–13.
  3. ^ Bahá’u’lláh (1988). Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust. p. 83. ISBN 0-87743-174-4.

External linksEdit