[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Date:] 20 Sha‘aban 1363, [19 Mordad 1323], [10 August 1944]

 

His Honour Hojjatol-Islam Ayatollah, Aqa Mir Seyyed Mohammad Behbahani, may the blessings of God be always with you,

 

With reverential greetings and sincere prayers, I humbly come to submit to your blessed person the following:

 

For close to one year, a group of adventure-seeking Baha’is in Shahroud have been busy propagating their religion, have established their Spiritual Assembly, and are arising against Islam. Recently their boldness has passed the limits, to the extent that they have complained of Muslims and even have dishonoured the sacred principle of the religion and the great figures of Islam. During all this time, the Muslims have kept their peace and have only [resorted] to the government to prevent the incitement of these corrupt elements, have complained to the relevant authorities in the capital, and have informed the Governorate and the local police force. As a result of repeated complaints, the new governor, Mr. Ehteshami, has invited some [high ranking] clerics, businessmen, and distinguished people of the town for the approach of mid-Shaaban[1] celebrations, and in consultation with the heads of the government offices and the invitees, it was decided [unanimously] in that meeting to expel the Baha’i migrants from the town. In this case, the governor has written to the police force, but I do not know what has happened that the mentioned decision was not enforced and no action has been taken in this regard.

 

This lack of attention has become the cause of the Baha’is’ [becoming emboldened] and daring to expand their activities and causing disturbance and sedition in this town. They have invited some of their armed co-religionists from Sangsar, looking for excuses, and they have even engaged in beating some of the Muslims, where the local police force is well aware of the incident. The Muslims, in order to keep the good relationship, did not pursue the matter to reach their goal, which would have revived the riot and insurrection. On the eighteenth of Sha‘aban, 17 Mordad 1323 [8 August 1944], while Muslims were busy with their occupations in their shops, a number of Baha’is, together with some Baha’i migrants from Sangsar, attacked and severely beat some of them, to the degree that one of is close to death. Then the bazaar shut down and serious fighting began between the Muslims and armed Baha’is to the extent that the gunshots were heard from every corner of the town, resulting in the killing of three Baha’is. With the intervention of the people and the help of the commander of the police force, the riot was brought under control.

 

In order not to allow these adventure-seekers to present the incident contrary to what [actually] happened, by using illegitimate means and dishonest connections, and consequently [to prevent them from] giving the wrong impression to the government officials, I am submitting here the exact occurrence to your honour, so that this town will not become the cause of commotion and these aggrieved Muslims will not suffer any longer, and the case of these adventure-seekers, who attacked the Muslims without warning,will be pursued.

 

Dear honourable Ayatollah, for the safety of the lives and the honour of the Muslims, for the sake of a number of blameless and wronged victims, for the protection of the sacredness of the religion, for the calmness and security of the citizens, we plead with your esteemed being to meet with the prime minister and the respected head of the parliament, and not to let this case be misrepresented to the esteemed authorities of the government to the detriment of the Muslims. If there is any doubt about these adventure-seeking and corrupt elements who have caused this revolution, please dispatch your brother, the esteemed representative of the parliament, and another fair and impartial representative on behalf of the prime minister to this locality to analyse the situation, to become fully informed of the real perpetrators of the riot. If the case is not handled immediately, it is possible the wicked intentions of the adversaries of the sacred religion of Islam will act for the detriment of the innocent Muslims and the Muslim community, leading the town again to another riot. We plead for urgent attention.

 

Religious Council of Shahroud

 

[Signatures:] humble Jaafar-al Hoseini-al Shahroudi-al Najafi, humble Abdollah Mahdavi, humble Abbas Rouhani, humble Mohammad-Ali Jalali, humble Bahaoddin Elmi, humble Asadollah Gharavi, humble Mehdi Mahdavi

 

[Handwritten Note:]I had personally written a description to your honour, yet, because these gentlemen brought this letter, I restrain myself [from prolongation] and offer my dedication together with my plea for your kind attention. [This humble] known as Aqabozorg

 

 

[1] [Occasion of celebrating the birth of Imam Zaman]