Abdol-Majid Motahhar

Born: 1919, Shahreza, Isfahan

Died in prison in Isfahan on 15th December 1983


Abdol-Majid Motahhar was born into a Baha’i family.  After high school he joined the Army.  Although a few years later, he concluded that the values of the military were incompatible with his ideals.  He therefore resigned and entered the field of education.  He then married and in order to propagate the Baha’i faith, pioneered to a remote village in the province of Isfahan.  After some time he was able to obtain a permit to open primary schools in villages that did not have them, and to upgrade existing primary schools to high schools.  Then in 1961, after approximately 14 years of pioneering, he and his family moved to Isfahan.  He was elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly[1] of Isfahan.  Later he transferred to Shahinshahr, a suburb of Isfahan and was elected as a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly there.

On 4 December 1983, five armed Pasdars raided Abdol-Majid Motahhar’s home and arrested him and one of his sons who was visiting him.  His son was released a day later.  Abdol-Majid was imprisoned in the detention centre of the Sepah-e-Pasdaran and then transferred to the Ḥaziratul-Quds which was transformed to a prison.  He was not permitted any visitors for 4 months.  In prison, he was denied his necessary medication and became very ill.  He was finally taken to the infirmary and the attending doctors recommended that he remain hospitalised, however the authorities did not allow this and his condition continued to deteriorate.  A prisoner, who was incarcerated for theft and murder mentioned to the Baha’i prisoners that the Pasdars had told him that if he killed Abdol-Majid in a quiet manner his prison sentence would be reduced.  Following this, the Baha’i prisoners watched Abdol-Majid carefully.  The day after the transfer of the last fellow Baha’i prisoner, he was discovered dead in the prison toilet.  According to a prisoner he had been strangled to death.  This claim was never confirmed; his death certificate stated that the cause of death was leukaemia and its complications. His body was laid to rest in Najafabad on 19 December 1983, in accordance with Baha’i law.


(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.