[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Adapted from website:] Islamic Revolution Document Center
[Date:] 16 Esfand 1396 [7 March 2018]
A Page From the Record of Ayatollah Rabbani’s Struggles in Shiraz
Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi’s Struggles With the Baha’i Sect in Fars Province / Story of Ayatollah Rabbani’s Debates With the Baha’is
Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi faced a large Baha’i organization in Shiraz. At the age of 20, he launched a fierce struggle against Baha’i elements and targeted the centres where Baha’is were active.
Islamic Revolution Document Center website – Ayatollah Abdul Rahim Rabbani Shirazi was a militant cleric and fighter who had a history of being arrested and imprisoned in the Pahlavi regime. During the Islamic Movement, he was one of the main pillars of the struggle in Shiraz, and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he continued to serve the people as a member of the Assembly of Experts for the constitution and a member of the Guardian Council.
On 17 Esfand 1360 [8 March 1982], he died in a car accident while traveling from Shiraz to Tehran.
Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi’s political and propaganda activities began after he entered the Shiraz religious seminary. At this time, the perverse Baha’i sect was very active; therefore, Ayatollah Rabbani travelled at every opportunity to the cities of Abadeh, Sarvestan, etc., acquainting the people with what is behind Baha’ism.
The book “Oral History of the Life and Struggles of Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi”, which was published by the Cultural and Artistic Institute of the Islamic Revolution Document Center, describes Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi’s efforts with the Baha’i sect: Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi faced a large Baha’i organization in Shiraz. At the age of 20, he launched a fierce campaign against the Baha’i elements and targeted the centres where Baha’is were active.
In 1327 , for the purpose of preaching, Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi travelled to Sarvestan, one of the Baha’i bases in the Fars region, which was a communication point between the Baha’i elements of Shiraz and other regions. The first work of Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi was to inform the people that these people [the Baha’is] have false thoughts, ideas and deeds, and that they should not go to the wrong side and support them. For this reason, from the beginning, he invited the Baha’is for discussion [between Baha’is and Muslims].
Following this invitation, in one or two sessions, they discussed, deliberated and expressed their superstitions. He had previously read the Baha’i books and, in a letter, wrote that his purpose for keeping Baha’i books was to acquaint himself with their beliefs in order to condemn them in discussion, and clarify the invalidity of this perverse sect for the people so that there remains no doubt for anyone.
In this region, he preached and enlightened people for about two consecutive months. Then, in the month of Safar 1327 [December 1948], he organized a discussion panel with Habib Najjar. In these debates, he condemned him by asking questions. Habib Najjar failed to attend the next meetings, where he was supposed to answer those questions (he attended for two or three meetings and after a heavy defeat he did not attend the next meetings). In any case, the truth became clear to the people and his opponents stirred up some kind of commotion against him.
In his mission to Sarvestan, Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi did not limit himself to holding discussion panels, but also held religious ceremonies.
It is important to note that no ritual chest-beating or marching ceremony was held in Sarvestan, Shiraz, but on 28 Safar 1327 [30 December 1949], he set up a mourning and ritual chest-beating delegation and decided to lead the delegation to the Bid-e-Oliya neighbourhood, the Baha’i quarter, which was the residing place of the Baha’is and Habib Najjar as the leader of the Baha’is.
In this regard, Mohammad-Ali Rabbani Shirazi said, “A man named Kakajan, in the front of the mourning procession, explained to us that the Baha’is had a large fort where they had dug a trench above the fort, collected a lot of stones and started to throw stones. As soon as the Baha’is attacked, the people resisted, the late Rabbani Shirazi and Seyyed Mansour called on the people to resist, and Rabbani himself fought in front of everyone.”
This incident took place on the anniversary of the death of the Holy Prophet of Islam, and the Muslim people also knew that on such a day, when the Prophet was walking in an alley in front of the polytheists, a stone struck and fractured his blessed head, and blood flowed. At the same time, a stone hit Rabbani Shirazi’s head and blood flowed from his head, evoking that scene in people’s minds. And this incident caused people to feel a special courage.
The zealous young people brought a ladder and climbed the fort and attacked the Baha’i headquarters, during which Habib Najjar was killed. Following the murder of Habib Najjar, the Fars gendarmerie issued the arrest warrant for Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi, along with 30 other Muslims. He was arrested and transferred to prison, which was his first arrest by the gendarmerie.
After his arrest, people reported to the late Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Noureddin Hosseini Shirazi and Grand Ayatollah Mahallati that Mr. Rabbani had been arrested and reported the whole case. Since the political power of the province was in the hands of the late Ayatollah Agha Seyyed Noureddin, he had told the gendarmerie to release him [Mohammad-Ali Rabbani Shirazi] on his [Ayatollah Seyyed Noureddin Hosseini Shirazi’s] bail, and the Grand Ayatollah Mahallati also did the same for his release.
After he was freed, Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi decided to leave Shiraz for Qom. He lived in Qom for a while, and after the passage of time, he returned to Shiraz.