It is stated in an interview with Javad Aligoli;

The Memories of War in the Month of Muharram; Mourning was Different in Year 1363(1684)

Interviewer: Mehdi Khanbanpoor
Compiled: Sara Rashad Zadeh
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Note: Fighting in the frontage of war in those days and nights included of special memoirs. In the meantime, some memories were created in special days and nights such as the days of mourning for the Master of Martyrs (Hussain ibn Ali) in frontage of war that it will never be forgotten over time. In an interview with oral history, Javad Aligoli who was a eulogist for household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and as a publicist for set of 27th Division of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during the Sacred Defense told about the climate of war in the month of Muharram in those years. 


Introduce yourself and tell us how old you were when you were sent to war!

 I'm Javad Aligoli, I was born in the Persian date 20th Shahrivar 1341 (September 1962). I was sent to war on 2th Azar 1361(December 1982), when I exactly was 20 years old and I continuously stayed there until 22th Shahrivar 1366 (September 1988). At the time, it was announced me that you should go to the Ideological−Political section OF army, but finally I was sent to the Public Relations one.


Which public relation section of battalions were you in? And what were you doing there?   

First we went to advertising unit of Battalion Salman Where there were some people attended in there such as martyr Akbar Hashemi, Ghasemi Dehqan, Mohammad Asghari Khah and Yaqub Valad Khani.  I remember that, some times before the beginning of Operation Valfajr, some preparations were established in 27th Division Prophet Muhammad  (PBUH) of Ammar brigade, when Mr. Fallah who was the director of advertising unit Battalion Salman, held me responsible for advertising unit of Ammar brigade. In those days, the commander of the brigade was martyr Akbar Hajipour and the deputy of the brigade was Bahman Najafi. In addition, some people also were with us there such as Ibrahim Ali Massoumi, as second deputy, and martyr Babai as the chief of staff.  


Javad Aligoli are eulogizing, the fortieth day after martyrdom of Ebrahim Hemmat


Did you take more the names of the divisions and subsets as well as secret words of operations from the name of Imams (the household of the prophets) or take these names from advertising units or someone else was responsible for names?

No, we didn’t. We chose the names in a different process.  For example, as the martyr Dastvareh has quoted, after establishing our divisions, Hajj Ahmed Motevaselian and martyr Hemmat were doing the Operation Prophet Muhammad  (PBUH) in west of Iran and around the area "Tavileh" in Iraq. Then, according to commander- in- chief of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, they moved towards frontage of war to organize and establish a division. They attended in the southern frontage of war in the Arabic date 27th Rajab; therefore, we named the division "27th Army of Prophet Muhammad (PBHM)". Surprisingly, this division is the only one had its own logo that it still has been remained. Determining other names were based on having a great love of religious, and they were selected by constituency of units and commanders.


What duties did the advertising unit of battalion and brigade have?

We had various duties in these advertising units. For example, one of our important occasions was the month of Muharram. As we had shown a great sensitivity to the month of Muharram, Iraqis thought we would do our operations in this month. This was very clear in Iraqis military line. But, most of the time, we didn’t do any operation in this month. On the other side, we should organize a plan to improve fighters' spirit and attending of forces in frontage of war. With the arrival of the month of Muharram, many forces decided to return to their cities to attend in mourning ceremonies. In those days, the commanders wanted us to have programs for mourning in the battalion to prevent of returning our forces and reduce the risk of Iraqi force's attack. 


Were Iraqis attacking in the month of Muharram?

Yes, they did. They were also attacking us in the sacred months such as Muharram. For example, movable defense of Iraq in 1365, in which case they occupied Mehran city in the sacred month.


What programs did you have for fighters in this month?

I remember, for instance, I sent a man, named Fazlullah Karimi and he was one of the members of advertising unit of our brigade, to Tehran. I said him to bring a eulogist in the frontage of war to hold a mourning ceremony in the battalion. He went and brought three eulogist in the frontage. Of course the famous eulogist, who were in the frontage, wanted to return their city, like other forces, in the month of Muharram. In this situation, we hadn’t any eulogist in the frontage of war.

Once we made an association, named "Association of Eulogists Who Love Hussein (PBHM)" in the barracks Dokoohe, to gather all the eulogists there to use them in different battalions and troops for special times when we didn’t have any ones. Sometimes, there were about 25 battalions and about 18 deputies in our division, all of them needed eulogists in the month of Muharram. So, that's why I thought that we could increase the numbers of eulogists in this way.

In many of the months "Muharram", we welcomed the month and were already looking for preparations. In those days, there was no printed flag, and all of flag should be sewn and written by hand. Then we gave some flogs to each battalion, as a ration, to use in mourning ceremony. In one of the months of Muharram, I remember that General Behroz Sarvari provided some preparations such as flag, Alam (a metal emblem for Muharram) and Kettle (kind of metal flag) for the mourning in the month of Muharram, and brought them to the adverting unit of battalion. One night, we, with mourners of battalion, went to Shush and Danial city with these emblems and flags to continue mourning ceremony there.



Which one of mourning programs has been remained in your mind clearly?

At that time, Imam Khomeini always emphasized that young people hold the sacred defense in their pride; that is why, we would make all the effort to keep the troops in war.  One of the different works, as we did, was to use of flags that Mr. Esbati had brought from Syria and the shrine of Zeinab (PBHM) in mourning. According to the most of the fighting forces, the mourning of the year 1363 was better than other years. In that year and right after operation Kheibar, we opened (masque) Martyr Hemmat Hussainiya.  In those days, a situation was provided that fighting forces were mourning for a few hours, but some of the fighters were not able to mourn continuously; so, many of fighters were going to come back their own city and attend in their mourning ceremony. That's why, the martyrs Dastvareh and Karimi talked with me and insisted that we should not perpetuate this situation. Therefore, we gathered all the officials, besides giving the necessary equipment to them, and said them that mourning groups of all battalions, that they were about 5 or 6 thousand people, should move, with mourning, towards Martyr Hemmat Hussainiya in the barrack Dokoohe, and after few minute, listen to speech of present clergyman. In that year, Hajj Agha, as a current clergyman in Martyr Hemmat Hussainiya, made a speech to the mourners from pulpit. After speaking, I also eulogized for mourners and others followed me.

Every night, we invited an association to boost spirit of fighters and improve the condition. For instance, one night of the month Muharram, we invited fighters of Brigade 12 that consisted of people from Kashan city and were out of barrack Dokoohe, to have dinner and attend in the Hussainiya, and we wanted their eulogist to eulogize for us. Another night, we invited the forces of destruction. Other nights, we invited some persons such as Mohsen golestani and Hassan Sheikh Azari to eulogize for our group. As the matter of fact, the tape of this mourning is archived.

In that year, a few thousand cassettes of the mourning in battalion were prepared and copied, then we sold them to people at low price. But, there are some movies in 8 millimeter about mourning of that year. In those years, we held a ceremony to decorate the metal emblem (Alam) in martyr Hemmat Husseiniya. I remember that Reza Pourahmad eulogize in the last mourning, in thirteenth night, of the month Muharram.


Did you spent all the months of Muharram in barrack Dokoohe or in different area of the frontage?

No, we didn’t. We were attending in various places. For example, we spent two months of Muharram in the camp Kuzaran in where we provide a variety of programs. Kuzaran has special features. There are, for example, some floors in the barrack, and there are also several sections in one floor. In these places, we held the morning ceremony and tried to be gathered in a determined floor. Anyway, we were holding mourning ceremonies every night, and were trying to gather people in a certain class. All of us went to a high position where it was in front of preparation unit, and we were able to hold a good mourning ceremony.


Were votive foods also being cooked in mourning ceremony in the frontage of war?

Yes, they were.  Baking ceremony for votive foods was also being hold in war. For example, votive foods, named Qeymeh, were made for lunch on tenth day of Muharram (Ashura) and they were given to fighting forces. Every some persons sat around a large plate and ate foods. as martyr Mohammad Ebadian, who was one of people attended in the ceremony, gave all his strength and attention to hold the ceremony.


Having eulogized in frontage of Badr operation in canal, could you tell that story?

We wanted to go to the front line of the war with photographers. The front line of Badr was a strange line. We had to move about 12 to 13 kilometers through Hur al-Azim to cross from South Island to the front line named the river Tigris. Those days were named days of Fatmeh (PBHM). When I was going to the front line, I saw Mohammad Taheri. "Do you have any poem to give me?" I said him. So, He gave me a few lines of poem to get it to front line. Anyway, in the front line, it was much possible for us to retreat while no one was capable to swim for 12 to 13 kilometers through the water of Hur al-Azim. In that time, Comeile battalion arrived there as a protect force, and when we were moving forward, we faced to Iraqis forces. There was a water canal, where was dried, near the Iraqi forces and it was within in rifle range of them. We were forced to lay down on the floor of canal. Then the friends said me: "whereas we have to stay here, eulogize for us here!" So, I took out the paper of the poem and began to read and eulogize there. In that place, the friends cried very much and a strange climate was made in the canal.


Mourning of Islam's fighters in Martyr Hajj Hemmat Hussainiya, Dokoohe, Mehr 1363(October 1984)


What did you do in mourning ceremony? Did you eulogize there too?

I started to eulogize in 1357, and I also very often eulogize in the frontage of war. In this mourning, when I was going to eulogize, there were two persons, martyr Javad Saraf and seyed Muhammad Mojtahedi, as leaders of mourning to sit the fighters and motivate them to mourn. Therefore, it caused mourners to help for holding mourning, and caused everyone to mourn as much as possible. In my opinion, Imam Husain (PBHM) was main factor to win in the war, and it improved the power and sprit of our fighters. When martyr Hemmat and Akbar Zajaji were martyred, we separated some fighters to go funeral in Kashan and Isfahan. Others went to mosque to hold the funeral of martyr Hemmat after forty days. In this funeral, I eulogized there. I attended in the war all months of Muharram, except one in 1366 when I had to return to Tehran.


Why did you come back from the war?

In 1364(1986), my head was injured by a bullet. After two years, it was to be placed an artificial bone, by a surgery, on the injured part.  That's why I decided to come back for treatment in my city.  Before this event, I was injured on 28th Esfand 1364(19th march 1986) and I hospitalized in Imam Khomeini hospital for one month. Then I also rested at home for one month, and it was coincident with the month of Ramadan. Finally, when I had not been cured yet, I returned to the frontage of war.


What was difference between eulogizing in the frontages of war and cities?

In frontages of the war, it was tried to eulogize with epic poems, and it came from heart.  For example, a speaker was playing a eulogy, before preliminary Operation Valfajr and in the village of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), that it was very epic one in as much as it shacked the bodies. 


Tell about martyr Mohammed Ebadian more!

In some operations such as Valfajr 8 (Faw), He was so serious and active in preparation unit as he was giving warm and fresh foods to fighters) at noon. I remember that, during the liberation of Mehran city in the month of Tir (July) the weather was very hot and all of fighters were thirsty, suddenly we saw a car (Toyota) coming from a distance. It was loaded up the car with ices and lemonades. Furthermore, carrying the foods by motorcycle was one of his strategies to feed the fighters.


Did you have any memoir about martyr Avini?  

Yes, I have. As we were in the advertising unit, martyr Avini and other war correspondents tried to see us in the frontage of war came, if we attended in there. In 1363, For example, martyr Amir Alexander Yeke Taz was with us for a while. Another example, Ebrahim Hatami Kia and Hussain Ghadami were also cooperating with us.  At the time, some films are made about us. For example, a movie named "The Garden of Fire" which was filmed by Masoud Asadi, Mehdi Falahat. To tell story so that the Operation Karbala 5 was done and film makers wanted to make a film in this area. They came to our trench and said that the announcement of Khātam al-Anbiyā Camp (s) was shown on TV, we hadn't any program to show on TV news tonight. We were filmed and shown on television many times. Then it was developed by martyr Avini and shown by the name "Garden of Fire" on TV show "the Narration of victory".

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