Shaykh Káẓim-i-Samandar (Persian: كاظم السمندر ; died 1918), known as Samandar, was an eminent follower of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He was born to a prominent Bahá'í family of Qazvin of Bábí and Shaykhi background. Favored by Bahá'u'lláh, he was identified as one of his nineteen Apostles.
Samandar was born Muhammad Kázim Qazvíní in February 1844 in Qazvin, the eldest surviving son of Shaykh Muhammad Qazvíní. Shaykh Muhammad was an early Bábí and later Bahá’í. His father was bastioned in Qazvín and attained the presence of the Báb who was then imprisoned in Máh-Kú. Later Shaykh Muhammad was entitled Nabil by Bahá’u’lláh. He was named after Siyyid Kázim whom his family had close connections with. His mother was a disciple of Táhirih. Samandar was of a wealthy mercantile family, and Shaykh Muhammad Qazvini had made a success of the business. From an early age he was a devout Bahá’í, and clearly remembered the days of persecution as a little boy.
Samandar was living in Qazvin when a group of very active Azali’s begun disputing Bahá’u’lláh and his claims. Samandar studied the writings of both Azali and Bahá’u’lláh. He subsequently became a staunch believer in Bahá’u’lláh, and wrote a pamphlet denouncing the Azali’s and stating they based their claims on nothing. The document was read widely, and reduced influence of the Azali's in Qazvin.
Bahá’u’lláh then renamed Muhammad Kázim Qazvíní as Samandar a Persian word meaning phoenix. Bahá’u’lláh also sent Samandar numerous tablets and prayers in his honour, much of which is still extant. The most famous is perhaps Lawh-i-Fu'ád (tablet of Fu’ád) which was addressed to Samandar. He worked tirelessly teaching the faith in Persia. He traveled all around Iran teaching people of the Bahá’í Faith and its principles. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá also kept in regular correspondence with him.
He had many children; a mixture of boys and girls of whom all married into prominent Bahá’í families of Persia. His most famous child is possibly Taráz’u’lláh Samandarí, a Hand of the Cause of God. In Acre Samandar’s daughter Thurayyá Khánum was married to Bahá’u’lláh’s younger son Mírzá Díyá’u’lláh. She later became a covenant breaker devastating Samandar. He made two pilgrimages to ‘Akká to visit Bahá’u’lláh and the Bahá’í holy family (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Ásíyih Khánum, Bahíyyih Khánum and Munírih Khánum).
Samanadar died February 5th, 1918. Shoghi Effendi described him a “flame of the love of God” and identified him as one of the Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh. His memoirs Tárikh-i-Samandar was regularly referred to and seen a source of valuable Bahá’í history. His relatives are known by the surname Samandarí.
- Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3, p. 87
- H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah — The King of Glory, p. 214
- H.M. Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá'ís in the time of Bahá'u'lláh p. 192
- Taherzadeh p. 88
- Peter Smith, A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’í Faith p. 303
- Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3, p. 89
- Amanat, Resurrection and Renewal p. 130
- Samandar, Tárikh-i-Samandar