Applications now open: Social Transformation Certificate Program--deadline 8 January, 2024

Varqá and Rúhu’lláh: 101 Stories of Bravery on the Move

Dec 30, 2020
section of book cover showing Varqa and Ruhu'llah sitting together

Last month faculty member Boris Handal shared with us news that his book Varqá and Rúhu’lláh: 101 Stories of Bravery on the Move is now available online in print and e-book versions.

Book Description

Varqá and Rúhu’lláh: 101 Stories of Bravery on the Move is the extraordinary story of a father and a son that arose in the 19th century to spread the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh throughout Iran with indomitable strength and resilience. Varqá the father, a physician and a talented poet, and his gifted adolescent son Rúhu’lláh, both of penetrating spiritual insight, took the New Gospel with zeal and courage to a generation blind in the most dire fanaticism. Operating in the midst of a country sunk in corruption and bigotry, Varqá and Rúhu’lláh were able to teach both the rich and the poor, the prince and the commoner, the scholar and the illiterate, the believer and the laic, in freedom or in prison. Their saga ended with their tragic martyrdom in the royal prison of Tehran in 1896 but has continued to live like a legend inspiring Bahá’ís around the world to serve. Varqá’s legacy of service and consecration was continued by Valíyu’lláh Varqá and Dr ‘Alí-Muḥammad Varqá, his son and grandson, respectively, all three of whom were designated as Hands of the Cause of God.


Boris Handal’s marvelous narration about the lives of Hand of the Cause Varqá, his family, and their descendants, combines meticulous research, marvelous photographs, delightful anecdotes, with useful documentation for scholars and remarkable details about Bahá’í history that I have found nowhere else. For me, this most readable work is indeed a treasureJohn Hatcher, Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

One of the most heart-rending yet inspiring stories in Bahá’í history comes vividly to life in this well-researched book. We accompany the poet Varqá and his son, Rúhu’lláh, to meet Bahá’u’lláh, and later witness their gruesome but glorious martyrdom in 1896. A bonus is biographies of their descendants, two beloved Hands of the Cause” —Michael V. Day, Author of Journey to a Mountain

Where to get the book

Amazon (US), Amazon (UK and Europe), Amazon (Australia)


More info on Varqá and Rúhu’lláh

Bahá’í Chronicles


Boris Handal, EdD

Professor of Education, University of Notre Dame Australia

Dr Boris Handal is a Professor of Education at the University of Notre Dame Australia. His publications comprise over 100 conference and journal papers, books and book chapters published in Australia, the United States of America, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Dr Handal has also published several books in the field of 19th Century Persian history and culture.See Faculty Bio


Up Next...