The 337th Session of ‘Night of Memorials’ - 5

“Closed Door Period”

By Sepideh Kholousian
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian

2023-4-25


The 337th session of ‘Night of Memorials’ was held on Thursday, July 28, 2022, entitled ‘Closed Door Period’, in the Soureh Hall of the Hozeh Honari, performed by Davoud Salehi.  "Haj Seyed Ali Akbar Abutorabi" and witnesses of the Operation Mersad attended this event.

 

Introducing Saeid Ohadi as the final narrator of ‘Night of Memorials’, the host said: “He was born in 1957 in Borujerd. He got his diploma in 1975 from Hashtroudi High School in Tehran and then went to America to continue his studies. He stayed there for several years. With two semesters left before the end of his studies, he returned to visit his family. Arriving in Iran coincided with the beginning of the imposed war, so the desire to go to the front made him stay and go to the front. On February 07, 1982, in the preliminary Operation Wal-Fajr, when his brother Masoud was martyred, he was also captured and spent 8 years in captivity. Until the lifetime of the late Abutorabi, he was his representative in POWs’ affairs.”

At the beginning of his speech, Saeid Ohadi said: “Today, It is our responsibility to protect the trust of our martyrs and prisoners whose bodies were left behind outside the country. I tell a short introduction, regarding the movement of Hazrat Seyyed Al-Shohada, and then relate some memories. All the phenomena of the world, whether material or spiritual phenomena have an outward and an inward. When you look at a raging ocean and see its outward, I mean its turbulent and heavy waves, you may be afraid to enter it, but if an oceanographer sees that ocean, he may see the huge treasures in its depths. We may pass through a desert where we see nothing but heat and mountains, but a geologist who knows about geological phenomena may discover great treasures and mines.

Imam Baqir said: "The book of God has an outward and an inward" [1] All the phenomena of the world have an outward and an inward. We observe the outward with our eyes, like that ocean, but the inward should be perceived by heart and insight. Tonight, in “Night of Memorial” event, we want to get to the root of the facts from the outward of these memories we heard or will be related. The movement of Seyyed Al-Shohada also had an outward and an inward. Outwardly, Hazrat Seyyed Al-Shohada moved from Madinah to Karbala, and that heavy and great crime of human history took place there. But it is the inward and the essence of the movement of Hazrat Seyyed Al-Shohada that has become the secret of its lasting throughout the history of mankind until the Day of Resurrection.

Researchers and historians have written many books and expressed different thoughts regarding the view of those who saw the movement of Seyyed al-Shohada, outwardly. Someone commented that he went to rule. Another one commented that he went to be a martyr. Of course, all these people had their reasons, but the outward and essence of the movement of Hazrat Seyyed Al-Shohada, which should be analyzed with heart, was the character of Seyyed Al-Shohada. Leaving Madinah, he said: “I have risen only to reform the Islamic society.” He moved to destroy the heresies that arose in religion after the Prophet, Amir Al-Mu'minin, and Hazrat Mojtaba, and to stop the distortion that has been emphasized many times by the Supreme Leader.

If today, after 1400 years, the Supreme Leader talks about the Jihad of Tabyin[1] in relation to the war and the revolution; the intention is to understand the root of the phenomena and values caused by the blood of martyrs, the gifting of the body parts of dear veterans, and the resistance of our prisoners in captivity. Captivity also has an outward and an inward. Everyone knows the outward of captivity, and if you ask anyone in the world to define a captive, it is defined as an oppressed, handcuffed, deprived creature. IT is the first definition of a captive, outwardly. But what does the heart say? Consider this poem: “نظر را نغز کن تا نغز بینی / گذر از پوست کن تا مغز بینی / نظر گر برنداری از ظواهر / کجا گردی ز ارباب سرائر؟”[2] The narrator added: "Tonight, if we look at the memories inwardly, we should learn what happened that he became "Seyyed Azadegan"[2] in captivity, considering the memories told by Nasser Qarabaghi about the captives and "Seyyed Azadegan", the late Abutorabi. Did he have power? He was a captive. Did he have a government order to lead the camp? That wasn't it either. Was he older than everyone else? No. We also had sixty and seventy-year-old prisoners. Or was it one of the great war commanders to find such power? It was not like that at all. Mr. Abutorabi was proud that he was Basiji. But what happened that he became “Seyyed Azadegan”? Regarding the prisoners, the Supreme Leader said: "Prisoners of war are the great reserves of this revolution and divine wealth for the society." The view of the Supreme Leader is not outwardly, but inwardly, the captives are huge capitals and treasures. In general, the philosophy of human growth and perfection is the distance between the outward and inward of the phenomena. He said: "The captivity days are the shortened centuries that turned these unique people, and they have become like a shining diamond." The most resistant element in the world is diamond, formed in the most difficult conditions. Look how beautifully the Supreme Leader used this expression.

The narrator went on and said: “It was 1993 or 1994. I went to Amir Mosque to visit Mr. Abutorabi, and to perform evening prayer. It was autumn, and it was drizzling. My heart is heavy. Finishing our prayer, we left the mosque and got into the car. Mr. Abutorabi was next to me. Raindrops were flowing on the windshield. I wanted to start the car, but I pulled my hand back. He was surprised. I said: "Sir, sometimes thoughts come to mind that we feel we have committed a sin." The late Abutorabi had a different manner. When he wanted to calm someone like me, the first thing he did was to take your hand, smile, and then squeeze your hand.  It was as if all the peace of the world was transferred to you. ‘What thoughts come into your head’ He asked, ‘that make you feel guilty?’ I replied: ‘Sometimes we face problems that make us wish we had never been freed. I know that people prayed, and we were freed. So, it is a sin to disbelieve blessings.’ He took my hand again, and said: "You do not blaspheme blessings. You pray. In my opinion, captivity is part of paradise on earth. You are praying for that heaven from which you have been driven.’ How much difference there is! The captivity will be paradise?

The paradise of captivity means the paradise of goodness, the paradise of spirituality, the paradise of unity, the paradise of unity, the paradise of resistance and the paradise of loyalty to the values of the revolution, the paradise of loyalty to the welayah [guardianship]. From this point of view, captivity was paradise. Perhaps what has been overlooked about Mr. Abutorabi regarding captivity is how Seyyed Azadegan became the starting point of the topic of morality in captivity.

I remember that the late Abutorabi had two great qualities: one was his morals, and the other was that he believed with all his heart that humans are God's successor on earth. About the position of the Prophet of Islam, there is a good verse at the end of Surah At-Tawbah: ‘There has certainly come to you an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress; he has a deep concern for you, and is most kind and merciful to the faithful.’ The word ‘Aziz’ in Arabic means the one who loves you more than themselves. The moral character of the Prophet of Islam was that when he noticed others suffering, he became very sad, and sympathized with them. What is missing in our society today is morality. It is morality that is being targeted today in this very heavy soft war against our people and our leader so that the values are distorted. If the embankments were clear those days and the borders of the fronts were determined, today the aggressors have targeted our homes, hearts, and minds, and our children.

In captivity, once a captive decided to suicide due to the problems of captivity, but it did not happen. The late Abutorabi fasted for three days. He took a vow of silence and did not talk to anyone for three days.  After three days, when they finally convinced him to talk, he said: ‘Look for and see what mistake we have committed that this dear prisoner, who was in the same camp with us, did such a thing.’ In the camp of Tikrit, we were with the late Abutorabi. We witnessed that as soon as the late Abutorabi heard that one of the prisoners was not well, he became very upset and filled with grief; so he followed up enough until the problem was solved.

[1]: Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 89, p. 90

[2]: A poem from Divan-e Shams-e Maghrebi, in relation to outward and inward looking.

 


[1].  Pointing to the recent emphasis laid on the concept of the Jihad of Tabyin (literally meaning the [ethical and spiritual] "struggle to explain/clarify [unknown facts]") by Ayatollah Khamenei.

[2]. It means:  The representative of the Supreme Leader in Azadegan (released war captives) Affairs Headquarters.



 
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