Muhammad Mustafá Sulaymán
Death: August 14, 1981
Place of Birth: Egypt
Location of Death: Cairo, Egypt
Burial Location: No cemetery details
Mustafa discovered the Bahá’í Faith when he heard of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá when was sixteen. He later visited a friend working at a telegraph office and saw he had a copy of Ten Days in the Light of Acca which another visitor saw prompting them to comment negatively on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Mustafa declared himself a Bahá’í in response. He married Farida Naimi which was the first Bahá’í marriage to take place in Egypt and his children were the first to be officially registered as Bahá’ís in the country.
Mustafa was serving on the National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt and Sudan as of 1929 and he served on the body for many years, often as secretary or chairman. He made several pilgrimages while serving on the Assembly during which he met with Shoghi Effendi and translated several important documents for him. He served on the body until at least 1936, and of 1940 he was no longer serving on the body.
When the Ten Year Crusade was launched in 1953 he volunteered to pioneer to Spanish Sahara departing Cairo and using his savings to travel to Benghazi where his son, Rowshan, was living. His son and a pioneer living in Benghazi raised money to assist Mustafa in continuing to his post and by chance he met two other pioneers traveling to Morocco on a ship to Tangier. He arrived in Cabo Juby in Spanish Sahara on October 4, 1953, and was able to teach for three weeks before being deported to Morocco and he then moved to Benghazi on the advice of Shoghi Effendi remaining there until July 1954.
In 1954 Mustafa left Benghazi moving to Tunisia and ultimately returning to Egypt however he was appointed an Auxiliary Board member that year and returned to Tunisia to serve in the role by helping prepare the community for the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of North West Africa. He remained in Tunisia until 1958 when he returned to Egypt after the Egyptian Government disbanded Bahá’í Institutions and he helped rally the community which caused him to be imprisoned in 1965 and 1972 although he was released after a short time on both occasions. In 1975 he was appointed as a Continental Counselor for Northern Africa by the Universal House of Justice and he served in the position until 1980 when the Continental Boards in Africa were merged into one body. He was appointed to the new Continental Board for Africa for a five year term in 1980 but passed away in Cairo in 1981 just one year into his term.