[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:] Official Website of Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani

[Date:] 2 Mehr 1394 [24 September 2015]

 

News: Let Us Join Hands with Affection

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Iranians, in relation to their neighbours and in their historical background, have no antecedents of enmity, murder and human rights violations with their ethnic brothers, and we may see, time and again, their uniformity and solidarity from ancient times to the present, which has saved this land from human disasters such as corruption and oppression through hope and trustworthy efforts, benefiting from the abundance of faith. There was also a time when in this land, different faiths, sects, religions, beliefs and various ideologies in social interactions and peaceful coexistence, walked the path of their growth and efforts and brought to each other a life-giving benefit that caused the humanity of human beings to flourish in their society.

… This  feeble one has learned from the Torah: “Love your neighbour as yourself” [1]; I learned from the Bible: “Love thy neighbour as thy own self and to your enemy and thy curser also do good and pray for his/her wellbeing” [2], and I learned from the Holy Quran: “With anyone who has not fought or wronged you, do good and treat him with justice” and also: “The most esteemed amongst you in the sight of God is your most pious (most human)” [3], and I learned from the rich and ancient Iranian culture: “Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul. … If you have no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain.” [4]

… Therefore, in another practical and symbolic action to retell and remind [people] of respect for humanity, peaceful coexistence, cooperation and empathy and avoidance of hatred, tension and blind religious prejudices, based on the feeling of the need, I calligraphized and gilded a verse from the “Kitab-i-Aqdas” the Holy Book of the Baha’is, as a symbolic and enduring document of respect for the inherent dignity of man, of altruism, and of peaceful coexistence, regardless of religious attachment, creed, or belief. Considering this valuable symbolic work, I offer it on the eve of the beginning of the solar year 1393 [2014] on my own behalf and that of all my free-thinker compatriots who respect man for his humanity—not because of his religion or type of worship—to all Baha’is of the world, especially my fellow Baha’i compatriots, who have been harmed in various ways by blind religious prejudices in order to appease and sympathize.

Although I sincerely wanted to calligraphize and gild the “Kitab-i-Aqdas” like other books such as the Holy Quran, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and Ezra, unfortunately, my physical and financial ability would not allow it. I hope that this small but valuable spiritual work—which will be kept in the [office of the] Universal House of Justice—will be a reminder of the rich and ancient culture of the kindness and coexistence of Iranians, and that the many flaws of my art will be overlooked.

… This feeble one, wholeheartedly believes that the practical and widespread movements can eliminate the ground of hostile culture from our society and raise the love, compassion and solidarity that is the growing need of a society immersed in the darkness of discrimination and hatred.

And peace be upon him who follows guidance.

Tehran

… Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani

[1]- The Book of Leviticus - Chapter 13- Verse 18

[2]- The Gospel of Matthew - Chapter 5- Verses 44 to 47; Chapter 22 - Verses 36 to 40

[3]- Al-Mumtahanah - Verse 8 - verse 13 - Al-Hujurat - Verse 13

[4]- Golestan Saadi - Chapter One[1]

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulistan_(book)