Martyr Dastghaib Shirazi
It was another ordinary Friday in the holy city of Shiraz. The scholar and a few students were proceeding towards the mosque, where the scholar had been leading prayers for quite some time now. Suddenly, a powerful explosion shook the area. Debris went flying everywhere, screams were heard throughout the area, and smoke blinded everyone in the vicinity. When the dust settled, the people realized what had happened. For many days, sobs and shrieks echoed through the city of Shiraz, as the people recalled the ghastly sight of their beloved prayer leader’s body pieces ripped into pieces and splattered on the street and walls of that narrow alley in Shiraz.
Martyr Shirazi was born in the city of Dastghaib in the city of Shiraz in 1332 AH. He began his religious education at a very early age, and in his late teenage years, he was already leading prayers in Masjid Baqir Khan of Shiraz. In 1353 AH, he traveled to Najaf for higher religious education. In Najaf, he studied under the most prominent scholars of the time, including Sayyid Abul Hassan Isfehani, Sayyid Ali Qadhi Tabatabai, and Shaikh Diauddin al-Iraqi.
Upon completion of his education, Sayyid Dastghaib returned to Shiraz. The seminary of Shiraz had been in decline for several centuries now, and Sayyid Dastghaib began fundraising in order to revitalize the Masjid Aatiq. Along with a few other local scholars, he began teaching theology, jurisprudence, and exegesis in the mosque.
As the Shah went about creating a secular and autocratic state in Iran, the scholars of Qom responded. In Shiraz, Sayyid Dastghaib spoke openly in favor of Imam Khomeini and his revolutionary ideas. For his outspokenness, he was frequently arrested and put under house arrest. However, he continued to train the masses in order for them to be mentally and spiritually prepared for the Islamic Revolution. Therefore, although Sayyid Dastghaib penned several academic works, many of his books were written for ordinary believers. Several of these have been translated into English and are available online, including Greater Sins, Seeking Allah’s Protection from Satan, and A Commentary to Sura al-Yasin. In addition, he also wrote Qalbe Saleem, Salat al-Khashi’een, Nafs al-Mutmainna, and a biography of Lady Fatima and Lady Zainab (peace be upon them).
After the Islamic Revolution, Sayyid Dastghaib was elected as a member of the parliament by the people of Shiraz. He was also appointed Imam Khomeini’s representative in Shiraz, as well as the prayer leader of the Jame’ Masjid of Shiraz. A pious and humble man, Sayyid Dastghaib was greatly loved and respected by his entire congregation.
However, there were terrorist elements working on disestablishing the Islamic government of Iran. They had successfully assassinated several top leaders of the Revolution, including Sayyid Muhammad Beheshti, Sayyid Ali Qadhi Tabatabai, Sayyid Asadullah Madani, and Shaikh Murtadha Muhahhari. In 1402 AH, as Sayyid Dastghaib proceeded to lead the Friday prayers, a powerful explosion shook the city, and the beloved prayer leader of Shiraz was martyred. His body was collected piece by piece, and amid an outcry of grief, he was laid to rest in the city of Shiraz.