[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

In the Name of God

 

Honourable Ayatollah, Mojtahed Shabestari, The Friday Prayer Leader of Tabriz

With greetings,

I am Touraj Naimi, a Baha’i citizen. I would like to respectfully inform your excellency of some issues.

As you certainly will know, for two and half years now, Baha’is have not been given permission to bury their dead in the Vadi-e Rahamat of Tabriz.

Your honour is informed that a human being after passing must be buried because human beings are the noblest of creatures and the sign of God on earth and have great value. Just as living people are valued, so too the dead must be respected and the funeral performed with utmost dignity and glory, since the human body is the carrier of the soul and therefore is precious.

The funeral for the dead is a ritual that is practiced in all religions and even amongst those who apparently do not follow any religion. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, since Mordad 1390 [August 2011], the Baha’is of Tabriz have been deprived of this right, which is one of the fundamental rights of every human being and have not been allowed to bury their dead along with the coffin, (which is one of the Baha’i Faith’s required religious practices) and it has been ordered that funerals should take place in one of the cities of Urmia or Miandoab. However, this is completely against the Baha’i teachings because according to the Baha’i teachings the place of death should not be more than an hour from the place of burial. The burial should take place at the same place as the death.

As a Baha’i citizen, I would request that, you order as in the past, the burial of the dead in their coffins should be allowed, or that a burial place cemetery near Tabriz be considered for Baha’i burial, so that the Baha’is of Tabriz can easily hold their ceremonies.

I believe that your excellency, as an educated and high-ranking mojtahed[1], can lift the burden of the problems of the Baha’is. It is hoped that this will be done, with God’s grace and your efforts, and God will reward this good deed.

Respectfully,

Touraj Naimi

 

 

 

[1] [Mojtahed: clergyman practicing religious jurisprudence]