This year the beginning of Moharram coincided with the week of the Sacred Defense, or Defa’e Moqaddas. This was the name given to the war between Iran and Iraq.
Around Qom we saw banners of shaheed embraced by images of Karbala. Although sad, it was a beautiful reminder of all the men and women who were killed to preserve the honor and dignity of Iran.
And while the country was already commemorating the week of the Sacred Defense, and Moharram, they opened their arms and welcomed back the body of their own who was recently martyred in Syria by Daesh.
Shaheed Mohsen Hojaji was a mere 26 years old when he was captured by Daesh, tortured and beheaded while defending the shrine of Lady Zainab (sa). The horrific video of his capture and subsequent torture was blasted online, but the calmness on his face proved he had the heart of a Husayni soldier.
His will should be required reading for all of us. The beauty of his words, the way he remembers Imam Husayn (as) and his family, teaches us a great lesson in what it means to actually love the Holy Prophet and his family.
Below is a translation (of his will) to the best of my ability. I ask forgiveness for not doing it justice, as the Farsi is more eloquent.
(The will starts with a poem in honor of Lady Zainab, the sister of Imam Husayn. I will not translate it as it would lose its value, but if you know Farsi, please take the time to read it.)
In the name of God, the Light
May Allah’s peace and blessings be on Lady Fatima Zahra (sa)
“And do not perceive those who are killed in Allah’s way as dead, nay, they are alive and receiving sustenance from their Lord.”
(Here is one line written in poetic verse which I did not translate.)
No more than a few hours remain before leaving; as the time nears for leaving my heart gets more excited.
I don’t know what to write or how to explain how I’m feeling.
I don’t know how to explain my happiness or how or with what language to thank Allah for bringing me here.
As per my responsibility I’m writing a few lines as my will with my pen.
I don’t know what happened that I was destined to be on this course full of love… I don’t know what things caused this.
Without a doubt, my mother’s halal milk, my father’s halal sustenance, and my choice of a spouse, and many other things have had an effect.
It’s been a lifetime of my days and nights that I’ve been living by the love of shahadat (martyrdom), and I have and do always have faith that with martyrdom I will reach the highest level of a worshipper.
I tried very hard to reach this place myself, but I don’t know how much I have succeeded.
I just have hope from the mercy of Allah and the AhlulBayt (Holy Prophet and his family), and I’m hopeful that they accept this sinner and they shower their mercy on this servant full of faults.
That if this were to happen – praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds
If one day you hear the news of the martyrdom of this humble servant who was full of shortcomings; know that the reason for this is nothing except from the mercy of Allah.
That is because He forgave me and helped me..
My dear wife, Zahra
If one day you hear the news of my martyrdom, know that I achieved what I wished for as my real goal by marrying you, and have pride yourself that your husband was sacrificed for Lady Zainab.
Be tolerant, do not mourn, be patient, and think of yourself in the presence of Lady Zainab…
Lady Zainab saw far more problems than you.
My dear father
You were and are always my role model for my life and how to be a man. If one day you see the news of my martyrdom, that moment imagine Imam Husayn ibn Ali next to his dear son, Ali Akbar.
The pain of this separation is not greater than Aba Abdillah. Therefore be patient my father, I know it’s hard but it can be done.
My dear mother
Ummul Baneen (mother of Hadhrat Abbas) gave four sons in the way of Imam Husayn and Lady Zainab, and it didn’t sadden her.
Even that moment when they gave her the news of the shahadat of her sons, she still asked of Husayn (of how he is).
Therefore if one day you hear the news of my shahadat, be like Ummul Baneen, patient and full of pride and say you’ve sacrificed me for Husayn and Zainab, and do not make the heart of the enemy happy by being intolerant.
My dear brother
If one day you see me in the clothes of a shaheed, that moment remember that Aba Abdillah was there at the deathbed of Abbas ibn Ali, and the pain of separation broke his back.
Do not be unthankful, don’t doubt this gift that you have offered for Islam.
My good sisters
That moment I said goodbye to you and my mother and father, I remembered the time that the family of Hadhrat Ali Akbar sent him to the battlefield. So if I also become martyred, sacrifice your sadness and tears for Ali Akbar, and don’t think your pain is greater than that of the family of Imam Husayn.
My dear son, Ali
Forgive me if I don’t see you grow or become a man… Try to continue my legacy. Try to work in the way where your fate ends in martyrdom.
My dear mother and father-in-law
I always thought of you as my real parents and I’m happy that I was destined to be a part of your family.
To you I won’t ask for anything but patience and strength, always remember Ali Akbar was also a new groom of Karbala*. (*This may not literally mean that Ali Akbar was a new groom.)
From all of you I request that you forgive this sinner, if I trampled on the right of anyone, if I gossiped about anyone behind their back, if I displeased anyone, if I sinned, forgive me.
If I become martyred, until that where I am given permission, I will ask for your redemption.
A few notes:
Don’t be heedless of Wilayat Faqih, and know that I am certain that Imam Khamenei is the rightful representative of Imam Mahdi.
I ask all my dear sisters and women of the Ummat of the Holy Prophet to strengthen their hijab day by day. Do not let your hair cause a namahram be attracted to you. Do not let vanity attract others (namahram). Do not put your chador away.
Always make your role model Lady Zahra and the ladies of AhlulBayt.
That time when Lady Ruqaiya talked to her father, she said:
Don’t worry about my hijab Baba; my chador is burnt but it’s still on my head.
To all the men of the Ummat of the Holy Prophet I request that you not get fooled by Western culture. Always keep Ali ibne Abu Talib Amirul Momineen as your role model, and take lessons from the martyrs.
Be prepared to sacrifice for the appearance of Imam Mahdi, and be ready to fight with the unbelievers, especially Israel, because that day is very near.
Always serve Allah, so your end will be good.
(Shaheed Hojaji ends his will with a few debts that remained, and the dua for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi)
Editor’s note: The above translation of the will and short message prior to it was written by team columnist, Sr Samira Zaidi-Rizvi, a student in Qom, Iran. It was republished here with permission from a blog she maintains about life in Iran, Qom Life. You may find Sr Samira’s other articles under the “Raising Faith” series.