Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh

The Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh were nineteen eminent early followers of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. The apostles were designated as such by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, and the list was included in The Bahá'í World, Vol. III (pp. 80-81).

These individuals played a vital role in the development of Bahá'u'lláh's Faith, consolidating its adherents and bringing its teachings around the world. To Bahá'ís, they filled a similar role as the sons of Jacob, the apostles of Jesus, Muhammad's companions, or the Báb's Letters of the Living.


Many of the stories of the Apostles are well known to Bahá'ís. Prominent among them are:

  • Badí‘ - The 17 year old who delivered Bahá'u'lláh's tablet to Nassiru'd-Din Shah and was subsequently martyred.
  • Sultánu'sh-Shuhada' - The 'King of Martyrs' of Isfahan who was beheaded with his brother.
  • Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl - The famous scholar who travelled as far as America and wrote several notable books about the Bahá'í Faith.
  • Varqá - The father of Rúhu'lláh. The two were killed at the same time for their adherence.
  • Nabíl-i-Akbar - Famous teacher, and recipient of several tablets from Bahá'u'lláh.
  • Nabíl-i-A`zam - The author of the historical narrative called The Dawn-breakers.
  • Mishkín-Qalam - Noteworthy calligrapher of his time and designer of The Greatest Name.
  • Zaynu'l-Muqarrabín - Doctor of Islamic law. He is the one who submitted questions to Bahá'u'lláh regarding the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Bahá'í book of laws, which have been published in an appendix to the book.

Tablets of the Divine Plan

`Abdu'l-Bahá addresses the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada in the Tablets of the Divine Plan with the phrase: "O ye Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh!" He goes on to encourage them to "strive ye with heart and soul so that ye may reach this lofty and exalted position".

He outlines certain conditions for this attainment, namely firmness in the Covenant of God, fellowship and love amongst the believers, and continually travelling to all parts of the continent, "nay, rather, to all parts of the world".

Shoghi Effendi referred to Martha Root as "that unique and great-hearted apostle of Bahá'u'lláh", but she is not considered one of the nineteen Apostles designated as such by Shoghi Effendi. (Baha'i Administration, p. 112)


This picture of the Apostles was taken from Balyuzi's book on pg. 262. Individual photos can be seen on each respective biographical page, links to them are in the side box on the right-hand side of this page.

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