The 322nd of Night of Memorials-2

Memories of Purification Unit

Iranian Oral History Website
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


The 322nd ‘Night of Memorials’ was held both in person and online on Instagram on February 25, 2021. Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Hossein Naqibpour, Hojjatoleslam Hassani, Hojjatoleslam Taherloui and Ms. Rahmani Nejad shared their memories in meeting. This session which was for jihadist students of seminary, Davoud Salehi had participated as a presenter.

The second speaker was Ms. Rahmani Nejad, who first pointed that, “I got Covid-19 in March 2020. I was contacted by the seminary’s service department in April 2021 and was offered to participate in supervising Behesht Zahra's purification unit. After getting permission from my husband, I accepted. On the first day, entering the purification unit, I came across a jihadist group of art students. So, from the very first moment, I had to wash and purify the dead along with them, instead of supervising. After a while, I tried to make friends with them and asked about their names and fields of study. When they found out that I was a student of seminary, one of them said sarcastically to me, "So you’re the one who bathes the body!"

I didn’t answer at that time. They didn’t recognize me during lunch and prayer times, because had seen me in uniform and masks at the first moment. I addressed that person by first name and said God bless you! That student didn’t know me and asked who am I? “I’m the one who bathes the body!” Ms. Rahmani Nejad continued: “We always read in the hadiths that the dead don’t like to stay in the world for long. Jihadi groups worked in the emergency unit of Behesht Zahra. When the corpses, those who had died of Covid-19, were brought there to be washed and purified, it took them long time to be ready for burial due to bleeding or other problems. On one of these days, the mother of a martyr was brought for purification. Interestingly, she was prepared very soon, perhaps in less than a quarter. When she was taken away, we all cried and envied her.” She added: “Each of these people who were brought there was a lesson for us and had an effect on our spirit.”

The student of seminary continued her speech with another memory and said: “Sometimes I pulled a stunt to make people to laugh. One day, at the end of working hours, I noticed that a group of students is a little bored and moody. So, I asked them to shroud me. We did it with jokes and laughter in the emergency unit, and then they put me in a corpse carrier and took to the main hall. When the authorities found out that there was another corpse, were surprised and looked for the entry form. After a while, when I realized it was about to cause a mess, I burst into laughter and shook myself. Some of the women staff laughed too, but others were scared.

The narrator ended her speech with “Covid-19 didn’t bring only hardships and difficulties; it also had many good and instructive tips that we learned. Best of all, I made a lot of good friends and learned a lot from them, and all the hardships turned into goodness with them.”


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