[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Date 16 Mehr 2535 [8 October 1976]

 

To the Esteemed Governor General of Fars Province

With utmost respect, we draw Your Excellency’s attention to the existence of a House in the Shamshirgaran locality in Shiraz, which is a place of pilgrimage for the Baha’is of the East and the West, because it is the place of the Declaration of the Bab. Members of the Baha’i community from every nationality, race and tribe, in more than three hundred countries around the world, look toward this cherished House and travel from all over the world to Iran at various intervals throughout the year, with the intention of pilgrimage, but in a prudent manner so as not to attract attention or provoke religious intolerance, and they circumambulate this House in the blessed City of Shiraz and return to their own countries with a heart filled with a sense of spirituality, devotion, sacredness and respect toward this soil, and they will be silent propagators of the glorification of the sacred country of Iran throughout the world.

As Your Excellency is aware―and it is easily searched in the records of the Office of the Provincial Governor General―the opponents of the Baha’i Faith and those who intend to create commotion in Shiraz have many times set out to demolish this House or attack the area surrounding it and to create trouble for the pilgrims. To provoke the inhabitants, they have even organized mob attacks and disturbed security in a way that has troubled the local and national authorities. Now that a similar undertaking with the same intentions is about to begin in that locality, this Assembly considers it its moral, national and civil duty to inform Your Excellency about this matter.

In brief, opposite the mentioned House, the building of an apparent private residence has begun and is progressing with utmost rapidity. A permit [for it] has been issued in the name of Mr. Seyyed Ahmad Pishva. Considering the demonstrations carried out and local arrangements made, [it is obvious that] the main aim of the building is to become a place of religious congregation, entitled Husayniiyyih [1].

This Assembly, representing the Baha’is of Iran, and considering the utmost belief, conviction and devotion of the Baha’is towards the great benevolent station of Seyyed al-Shohada[2], would in no wise dare, may God forbid, to oppose the establishment of Husayniiyyih; however, it should be evident to Your Excellency that this remote and hard-to-reach location, considering its narrow passage and unsuitable transport conditions, and the contrast between the newly erected building and the old part of the town, and the ensuing difficulties from population density, do not in any way [make it appropriate for] the building of Husayniiyyeh. Therefore, [it is apparent that] the main intention for allocating such a place for the establishment of Husayniiyyih is to violate and attack the mentioned House, which is a sanctified place of reverence, pilgrimage and circumambulation for the Baha’is around the world; to instigate the inhabitants’ fanaticism, by infusing and distorting the minds, with the intention of attacking the Baha’is; and to utilize the resulting emotions and excitement to facilitate creation of commotions and uproars, the reflection of which would cause similar events in the City of Shiraz and the country of Iran, and, taking into account the diverse nationality of the pilgrims, may God forbid, [cause them to] leave the country and spread to the east and the west of the Earth. None of these events are pleasing to the Baha’is, who not only seek and wish for the good name of Iran and its good reputation worldwide, but consider themselves its promoters and advocates.

In view of the above, if this Assembly did not convey this report to Your Excellency, it would have neglected its duty in respect to municipal and national interests and in safeguarding the security of the state and country, and would have therefore considered itself worthy of blame. We seriously and emphatically, and with utmost respect, hereby request Your Excellency to make arrangements to transfer the establishment of Husayniiyyih from this remote location to a suitable site in the City of Shiraz; so that, firstly, its place of establishment will be worthy of the high significance of Khames Aal-e Aba[3] and the revered Islamic religious hymns, without tainting the purity and devotion of spiritual ceremonies by instigating the thoughts and distorting the minds against the Baha’is; and secondly, that the fear of disturbing the city’s security as a result of possible future events, early signs of which have appeared in the areas surrounding this building, will be eliminated.

Respectfully

On behalf of the Baha’i community of Iran

 

 

[1] [Husayniiyyih:  Place of congregation for Shia ritual ceremonies, especially remembrance of the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn]

[2] [Seyyed al-Shohada: Title of Imam Husayn (PBUH)]

[3] [Khames Aal-e Aba also known as Ahl al-Kisa, or the People of the Cloak, are the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad; his daughter, Fatimah; his cousin and son-in-law Ali; and his two grandsons Hassan and Husayn]