“And (do) not say for (the ones) who are slain in (the) way (of) God “(They are) dead Nay, (they are) alive [and] but you (do) not perceive.” –The Holy Qu’ran, 2:154
When one reflects on the lives of the martyrs, it would be impossible to forget the greatest martyr of them all, Imam Husayn (as). When once his calls for help were left unanswered, he now has millions that answer his call, chanting ‘Labayka ya Husayn…’ I question whether we would be willing to sacrifice the comforts of our homes, our families and our lives to ensure that true Islam prevails. These are the sacrifices that contemporary martyrs have made. They haven’t merely uttered the pledge to Husayn, they firmly stood with Imam al-Husayn (as). Without their bravery, true Islam would’ve perished long ago.
These are those who have moved on from this worldly life, to the ever lasting life:
Shaheed Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh
We visited the grave of Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh, a 13 year old Iranian youth who became an example of courage by sacrificing his life. By giving his life, subsequently he stopped the advancement of tanks led by Saddam’s aggression in the 80’s. The leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Ayatullah Khomeini (ra), praised his sacrifice by saying:
“Our leader is that 13-year-old child who threw himself with his little heart against the enemy. He is worth more than a hundred pens and a hundred tongues.”
He took dreams and the love of the world out of his heart and at such a young age saw something that men in their old age have not seen. He saw his responsibility and the great honor of death in the way of God.
Shaheed Mehrdad Azizollahi
Mehrdad Azizollahi was a 14-year-old Iranian youth fighting in the front lines of the Iran-Iraq war. When asked why he decided to fight, he first praised God for this honor. He continues to say he couldn’t stay behind while others fought, he wanted to help in the path of God, and that he has done nothing, he is but an instrument and it is all the work of God.
Shaheed Mahdi Mohammad Yaghi
Mahdi Mohammad Yaghi, originally of Lebanon, captivated those around him with his smile and humility. In the video of his will, you will witness the brightness of his eyes, the love he has for his family, and through his smile one can see the sorrow in his words. He addressed his family and loved ones asking them to have patience.
While fighting in Syria, Mahdi was martyred on July 31, 2013, which coincided with the martyrdom of Amirul Momineen Ali (as). He died with his eyes open and the familiar smile still on his face. When his mother heard the news she cried out chants of “Labayk Ya Zainab.” Subsequently, she covered his body with roses. When praised for her patience, she said with tears in her eyes: “I’m not patient…I am happy! Happy because he wanted that (martyrdom), happy because he is happy…victory requires blood, and if we did not sacrifice our blood then who would?!”
Syed Hassan Nasrallah while addressing the martyrs and their families has said:
“You have never been stingy of your blood, nor of your offspring, of your money of your patience, of your endurance, of your support. How can I make account of the beauty of your affliction?… it is through you that God brought us out of humiliation.”
Shaheed Mohsen Hojaji
In his final farewell to his family, Mohsen Hojeiji is seen hugging and kissing the feet of his mother and father. Mohsen was stationed in Damascus defending the shrine of Lady Zaynab (sa). Daesh ambushed his unit, killing everyone except Mohsen who was left wounded. Video surfaced of the moment he was captured showing his hands tied behind his back, a knife held to his side, yet his face had remained calm and eyes fearless. His wife Zahraa shared that her husband often prayed to be martyred as his master Imam Husayn (as) was. His sincere prayers were answered. Two days after his capture, a video was released of Shaheed Hojaji on the floor, his hands tied behind his back as he was ruthlessly beheaded.
Ayatullah Khamenei (ra) spoke about Martyr Mohsen Hojaji, having this to say:
“Peace be upon this proud martyr, who in the most sensitive and most crucial moments of his life, symbolized the victorious and obvious truth against the declining falsehood. God bless him, who glorified himself and his whole nation by his sincere jihad and brave martyrdom.”
Why should we remember our martyrs? Just as the scholar protects the principles of Islam through the ink of his pen, the martyr protects the sanctity of Islam through his blood. We should remember their names, their faces, their sacrifices, and try to live in such a way as to bring honor to their lives.
We praise and honor the families of the martyrs for they emulate the same patience and sacrifice that Lady Zaynab (sa) bore in Karbala.
God bless our martyrs and their families.