Balyuzi, Hasan Munaqqar (1908-1980). (Hand of the Cause of God.) A linguist, historian, author, and BBC Radio announcer by profession, he was born on 7 September 1908 in Shiraz, Iran, into a very distinguished Babi/Baha’i family (his parents were Mirza 'Ali Aqa and Munavvar Khanum). He was related to Shoghi Effendi through a common great-grandfather, Haji Mirza Abul-Qasim, and was therefore a member of the Afnan family. His superb mastery of the English language is perhaps due to the fact that he was brought up from the age of four in a diplomatic environment - his father being at one time the governor of the Gulf Ports and Islands. Two scholarly friends of his father tutored him in Persian, Arabic, and history.
When his father was exiled to India during World War I, he learned Urdu and pursued his studies of English in Bishop's College, Poona. After returning to Iran, where his father died in 1921, he was sent, at the age of 17, to the Preparatory School of the American University of Beirut, where he met Shoghi Effendi. Having taken a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in diplomatic history, he left Beirut to take his M.S. (in economics) at the London School of Economics (he achieved this in 1935, but the outbreak of World War II cut short his studies for a doctorate).