General, this is not Quran!

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The [Qom] seminary was the center of the gathering of religious students, especially because the occasion of 15th of Khordad (June 5) motivated some to participate in this gathering of religious students [in 1970], but they did not imagine that the school would be raided and some were arrested. As a result, it is possible that there were low-motivated or unmotivated people in this group, but naturally, those of us who were arrested and the thirty or so people who were with us were among the followers of the other Marjas or sources of emulation as well as the affiliates of Mr. Shariatmadari. Maybe, my motivation, which was to accompany the imam, did not exist for some of them, but in any case, we went to the seminary on that day, it was really crowded, and this spoke of the high number of detainees. They started interrogating us, implemented politics and tactics, in order to arrest more effective people with my monograph, which would have been possible if it wasn't God's help, like some who dragged the flood of revolutionaries behind them to SAVAK. I might also be in such a situation. At the beginning of the interrogations, maybe because the number of detainees was very high and there was a lot of reflection, their most important torture was solitary confinement. Today it is clear that solitary confinement itself is a torture. Throwing a person in a room with an area of one and a half meters by two meters and even smaller, in a situation where there was no meeting, no facilities, no light, no comfort, and sometimes, the noise of other prisoners through the loudspeaker were played in a way that there was not a moment of peace, all of them were big tortures. Moreover, for a young religious student and possibly devoid of revolutionary experiences, being alone in the cell was the most stressful. Usually, the Joint Anti-Sabotage Committee was the place for the regime's making confessions and tortures, which had not yet reached there. The interrogation was limited to finding out about the demonstration, who provoked you, with whom you were connected, why did you demonstrate? Why did you come to the seminary on such a day? They asked the same things...

After some time, when we were in Qom's SAVAK and did not know where it would lead finally, they moved us, which turned out they had plotted against us. We didn't know where we were going, we were most worried about being transferred to Tehran, but little by little, we heard from the accompanying officers that they were taking us to military service. However, we entered Shiraz and there they allowed us to pay a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Hazrat Ahmad Ibn-e Musa (PBUH). The bus with the armed agents stopped in front of the shrine door and we entered the shrine while we were completely surrounded by the agents. One of them said: Be careful, they have given us the right to shoot. During the pilgrimage of this noble shrine, I found myself in such a state that if I say that until today, that appeal and attention has been effective in my life, I have not exaggerated. I enjoyed a lot during half an hour or so that we were there, and as a result, the path ahead became clear to me, that is, the worry I had was no longer there after the pilgrimage. After the prayer and pilgrimage, which gave a lot of relief, and was a balm for the broken hearts, the bus started moving and the escort jeeps moved behind the bus. With a more open spirit and serious calmness, we travelled the rest of the way, until we entered the Kazeroon Barracks. At the height of the summer heat, the religious students who have been in the detention center for days, now had to enter the military environment. They brought us to the compound and explained in their own words, that you are soldiers, take off your clothes, hand them over and put on these military clothes, and training will start tomorrow. Of course, what they did was to divide us between the companies. If I remember correctly, there were four of us, including Jafar Ebrahiminejad, a student named Sabeti, who was from Kashan, the eldest son of Ayatollah Behjat, and another person, whose name I do not know now, I guess he was Sarabi and one of the Azeri students. We became members of the 1st company, the commander of which was a 1st lieutenant named "Nazari", known as "the executioner" who was very violent. If I say that this commander did his best to annoy us, I have not exaggerated. Other than the training hours and before the morning ceremony, there was a half-hour running program, which of course was very good for me, because I was interested in sports. It is very interesting that the barracks had a commander named Brigadier General Nekooei, maybe 65 or about 70 years old. But he ran in front of 1600 soldiers in the mornings and everyone ran. I found the principle of military service and the atmosphere of the barracks interesting and pleasant. We entered the training space of the barracks and a situation arose that was naturally not only tolerable but pleasant, and general Nekooei himself turned out to be a good and kind person. In several cases, for the religious students and a number of students who had come from the Pahlavi University of Shiraz, and Mr. Tavakoli, who is now a member of parliament and was among them, the general gave us speeches several times based on the order he had from the higher authorities. In one of the speeches that took place in the barracks amphitheater, he said: I had breakfast with His Highness last night. His Highness ordered that the gentlemen shave their beards. Then, with the same superficial religious attitude he had, he said: Thanks God, you are familiar with the Qur'an. God says in the Qur'an: "Al-Khairo fi ma waqah" which means "There is good in what happened". Then he continued that God says in the Qur'an: "Kan Allah, aza va jall; Al-khairo fi ma waqah" meaning the exalted God Almighty was, there is good in what happened. He said this in front of a handful of religious students, and then a burst of laughter rang out in the hall. I said, general, this is not Qur'an, it may not even be a hadith, it is a word that was said by a great person on the position of Reza. This remark offended him a bit, and especially the laughter of those present was like booing, which made him angry and said, "Anyway, according to His Majesty's order, the gentlemen should shave their beard, shave your beard and come to the military morning ceremony field from tomorrow". Well, what should be done, of course, cutting a beard was not an important thing, especially in those circumstances, but since it was a matter of struggle, we talked with our friends, especially with Mr. Mahmoud Salavati, who was one of the useful elements in Ayatollah Montazeri's office, and after the victory, translated Ayatollah Montazeri's book Velayat al-Faqih or guardianship of Islamist jurist. He was a talented and good-natured student, and of course other talented students were with us that day, such as Ayatollah Behjat's eldest son, Mr. Sarabi, Mr. Faqihi, and a religious student named Mr. Dastmalchi. And they had also arrested some people from the Pahlavi University of Shiraz on that day, and brought them to the same barracks. They were called as suspended students. In any case, it was decided that gentlemen should shave their beard, now no matter what was the ruling of shaving beard in terms of Islamic jurisprudence, but in any case, it was not something for which a person would put himself in danger, but since it was a struggle, the same way His Highness had decreed that the beard should be shaved, we also decreed that we should not shave the beard and the resistance started. On the first day, they gave us a warning, on the second day, they threatened us, on the third day, they took us four by four, made us stretch down and shaved our beards without using water or foam, and when we got up, all of our faces were covered in blood. This is how they started their work. Apparently, it was out of the control of Nekooei. In fact, everything was authorized by the same intelligence officer. There is no argumentation in the military environment, and according to the military hierarchy, it should be said yes sir! Of course, this project did not last long, because these bloody faces were very provocative, and in front of 1600 soldiers, and what a storm it could have been created. At any rate, if there was an iota of political sense in them, the very first day would have been enough, because this act was a start for all the soldiers, officers, and non-commissioned officers and military staff in the barracks, to find recognition of the newly arrived guests whom they did not know. However, the clumsy movement of the intelligence unit in the barracks made everyone understand that the newly arrived people who have come to the barracks have a political aspect to their military service and it is actually a form of exile and political punishment by the regime, which was applied against the opposition. For this reason, it did not continue for a few more days and it had a great awakening effect in the barracks, but in any case, the Shah's order cost dearly for the regime. In an opportunity that happened to some soldiers, I mentioned this verse from the holy Quran, "They destroyed their houses by their own hands and by the hands of the believers"! That is, they really ruined their own house and maybe they didn't believe what could happen. In particular, the same 1st lieutenant which I have no idea whether he is alive or dead, at exactly 3:00 pm, would take the 4 of us out of the sanatorium, and forced us to do goose stepping, squat jump, and crawling, that too under the scorching sun. They continued their unwise way, because they acted arbitrarily.


Source: Hamidzadeh Givi, Akbar, Revolutionary Scholar: Thoughts and Memoirs of Hojjatoleslam Valmoslemin Akbar Hamidzadeh Givi, The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini's Works, Orooj Publications, 1398 (2019), pp. 116-120.


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