Ali Kuli “Nabilu'd-dawlih” Khan

Ali Kuli “Nabilu'd-dawlih” Khan

Esfahan, Iran
Death 7 Apr 1966 (aged 86–87)
District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Plot R11, Lot 216
Memorial ID 112730158 · View Source
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From the Encyclopedia Iranica:

NABIL-AL-DAWLA, ʿALIQOLI (Ali Kuli) KHAN (b. Kashan, ca. 1879; d. Washington, D.C., April 1966; , Iranian diplomat and translator of Bahá'í scriptures. His father, Mirzā ʿAbd-al-Raḥim Khan (d. ca. 1894), a member of the notable Żarrābi family of Kashan, had become a Bābi in 1866 and later a Bahá'í.

In later years:

Frustrated in his attempts to bring about reforms and increasingly attacked by the clerics for being a Bahá'í, ʿAliqoli Khan took up the offer of becoming Persian minister to the five republics of the Caucasus at Tbilisi, where he observed the early stages of communism during 1923-24. In 1924, after a stay with the new Bahá'í leader Shoghi Effendi in Haifa, the family traveled on to the United States and settled in New York. Here, ʿAliqoli Khan, no longer in Persian government service and having few financial resources, supported himself by lecturing and running a gallery of Persian art in Rockefeller Center. He turned increasingly to serving the Bahá'í community. He lectured on Bahá'í subjects frequently throughout the United States and was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í of the USA in 1925-26.

His most important service as a Bahá'í, however, was translations of Bahá'í scriptures, since there were only a few good translations available at that time to the American Bahá'í community. He sometimes wrote under his pen-name Ishtael-ebn-Kalenter.

The story of Ali-Kuli Khan is told in the book Summon Up Remembrance, written by his daughter, Marzieh Gail:

The fascinating story of a pleasure-seeking Persian boy who became one of 'Abdu'l-Baha's leading English translators and united East and West in the first Persian-American Bahá'í marriage. Here is the colourful story of Ali-Kuli Khan, the first to translate into English such important works as the 'Seven Valleys', the 'Kitab-i-Iqan', and the Glad-Tidings. Told by his daughter, herself a well-known author and translator, Khan's story is based on his memoirs and personal papers. Through them we are given a unique and detailed picture of life in Persia at the end of the century, complete with an explanation of that oft-met protocol 'ta'aruf'.

We follow the young Khan, dressed as a dervish, on his adventurous walk to 'Akka and note his transformation from a frivolous youth to a skilled translator for 'Abdu'l-Baha. In his nearly two years as a member of 'Abdu'l-Baha's household, Khan both translated for those first groups of American pilgrims to visit the Holy Land and rendered 'Abdu'l-Baha's Tablets into English.

In 1901 Khan was sent to America to assist Mirza Abu'l-Fadl and to translate the great teacher's book, The Bahá'í Proofs, into English. It was in America that Khan met and fell in love with a Boston society girl, Florence Breed. Their Victorian romance unfolds in the delicate love-letters written by Florence to Khan. Their marriage, the first between a Persian and an American Baha'i, not only symbolized but portrayed the unity between East and West taught by the Bahá'í Faith. 'Summon Up Remembrance' is peopled with such familiar figures as Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, Laura Barney, Edward and Lua Getsinger, Mary Hanford Ford and the Atabak. But this is a book dedicated to 'Abdu'l-Baha, and it is His wisdom and teaching that characterizes it. A unique feature is the inclusion of the Tablet of Cremation revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha, here published for the first time in English in a new translation by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice. The story continues in Arches of the Years.

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  • Created by: Candace Hill
  • Added: 22 Jun 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 112730158
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ali Kuli “Nabilu'd-dawlih” Khan (1879–7 Apr 1966), Find a Grave Memorial no. 112730158, citing Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Candace Hill (contributor 47629018) .