A native of Sabzivár in what was, at the time, Iran's Khurásán, `Alí-Akbar Furútan was still a child when he witnessed the persecution of his family and others for their beliefs. Seeking safety, the family moved in 1914 from Sabzivár to Ashkhabad in Turkestan, which was then a part of Tsarist Russia. In 1926, nine years after the Russian Revolution, 21-year-old Furútan won a scholarship to the University of Moscow, where he studied education and child psychology. Within four years, as a result of his Bahá'í activities, he was expelled from the Soviet Union and, in 1930, returned to Iran.
Later, `Alí-Akbar Furútan was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran in 1934, serving as its secretary until 1957. In December 1951 he was appointed a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi. From 1959 to 1963 he served as one of the nine Custodians at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
Throughout his life, `Alí-Akbar Furútan taught Bahá'í classes for children and youth, and he published many works in the area of child spiritual and material education.
`Ali-Akbar Furútan died in Haifa five months before his 99th birthday.
- Bahá'í Education for Children (6 volumes; originally Kitab-i-Dars-i-Akhlagh ("Books for Moral Education"))
- Furútan, `Alí-Akbar (1980). Mothers, Fathers and Children: Practical Advice to Parents. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-095-0.
- Furútan, `Alí-Akbar (editor) (1986). Stories of Bahá'u'lláh. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-243-0.
- Furútan, `Alí-Akbar (1984) . The Story of My Heart. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-115-9.
- Several books in Persian.
- Harper, Barron. Lights of Fortitude. pp. 211–22. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
- "High-ranking member of the Baha'i Faith passes away". Bahá’í International Community. 2003-11-26.
- History of Bahá'í Educational Efforts in Iran.
- "Hand of the Cause Mr. `Alí-Akbar Furútan, 1905-2003", a biography at the Baha'i Library Online website.
- High-ranking member of the Baha'i Faith passes away