Wife of Late Bahai Leader Dies

Wife of Late Bahai Leader Dies

16:51EST

By LAURIE COPANS
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Madame Ruhiyyih Rabbani, wife of a late Bahai leader and a senior figure in the faith, died Wednesday in the Israeli city of Haifa after a long illness. She was 90.

Originally from Montreal, where she was called Mary Sutherland Maxwell, Mrs. Rabbani married then-world head of the Bahai faith, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, in 1937.

Mrs. Rabbani held several senior positions and played a major role in increasing the Bahai faith to 5 million followers worldwide, said a release from the faith's headquarters in Haifa.

Following her husband's death in 1957, she helped establish the nine-member Universal House of Justice that Rabbani had said should replace him.

Mrs. Rabbani traveled to 185 countries and territories as part of her quest to integrate millions of Bahai followers into a unified global community, the statement said.

She also wrote books on religion and on her husband, including "The Priceless Pearl" and "Prescription for Living."

There was no immediate information on survivors. Mrs. Rabbani will be buried on Sunday in Haifa.

The faith is based on the belief that the will of one God is progressively revealed through the prophets of the great religions. The founder, Baha'u'llah, established the religion in 19th-century Persia, now Iran, which consequently expelled him.

Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, more than 200 Bahai followers have been put to death in Iran.


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