About Fatimah Bahíyyih, the Greatest Holy Leaf.
Bahiyyih Khánu (1846 – July 15, 1932) the only daughter of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, and Ásíyih Khánum. She was born in 1846 with the given name Fatimih Sultan, and was entitled "Varaqiy-i-'Ulyá" or "Greatest Holy Leaf". Bahá’ís believe that Bahíyyih Khánum is the outstanding heroine of the Bahá’í dispensation.
Brought up through the trying times her family lived through, in adulthood she served the interests of the religion and was even occasionally trusted with running the affairs of the religion and is seen within the Bahá'í Faith as one of the greatest women to have lived.
Bahíyyih was born in Tehran, initially to great privilege. In 1852, when she was aged 6, her father was arrested and imprisoned, the family's home pillaged and Bahíyyih and her family were forced to live in poverty. Later the same year the family were exiled to Baghdad. As a young girl she opted to remain single, and instead served her parents, especially her mother. During the 1860s a succession of exiles followed including Constantinople and Adrianople. By the time she was 21, Bahíyyih had spent all of her adult life a prisoner and arrived at her final destination, the penal-colony of Acre, Israel.
With the death of her father in 1892, Bahíyyih was one of the few family members of
Abdu'l-Bahá to accept his leadership, and she became his staunch companion. It was also during this time that she assumed leadership over the religion in the 1910s and later in the 1920s. After the death of her brother, she supported the young Shoghi Effendi in his endeavours. Her death in 1932 at the age of 86 devastated the worldwide Bahá’í community. She was beloved and greatly respected by the Bahá’ís and the community went into a period of deep mourning for nine months. According to Bahá’ís, every dispensation has one particular holy woman or "immortal heroine". In the time of Jesus it was the Virgin Mary, the time of Muhammad it was his daughter Fatima Zahra and during the Báb’s dispensation it was Táhirih. Read Full Article