Ali Motahhari

Born: 1936, Kerman

Executed by firing squad in Yazd on 8th September 1980


Ali Motahhari was born into a Muslim family.  His father and mother declared their belief in Bahá’u’lláh, when he was a child; and to propagate the Baha’i Faith his family moved to Anar, a village in Yazd.  His parents could not afford to send him to school; instead he worked from the age of five and was taught by his friends.  His family was persecuted greatly because of their adherence to the Baha’i Faith.  Finally the intense pressure and persecution forced them to return to Yazd where he was able to work in a carpet repair shop.  A few months before the Islamic Revolution, he was elected on the Local Spiritual Assembly[1] of the Baha’is of Yazd.

On the eve of 18 June 1980, Ali Motahhari was arrested at his home along with other members of the Local Spiritual Assembly.  They were imprisoned in the militia prison.  Ali and six other Baha’is were executed by firing squad on 8 September 1980. They were Jalal Mostaghim, Azizollah Zabihian, Feraydoun Faridani, Nourollah Akhtar-Khavari, Abdol-Vahhab Kazemi-Manshadi and Mahmoud Hasanzadeh.  Mahmoud Hasanzadeh was his brother-in-law.  The details of their execution are unknown, it is rumoured that they were killed in a garden outside the city by a guard who conducted the executions while each of them insisted to be to be killed first.  Their bodies were buried on barren land outside the city in the presence of their families and some 200 Baha’is.


(This brief biographical note is based on the best available information. If you find any inaccuracies, or any important facts omitted, please email us through the Contact page.)






[1] Local Spiritual Assembly: a nine-member administrative body elected annually by the Baha’is of a particular area, tasked with overseeing the affairs of the Baha’i community of that area.