[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]

 

[Adopted from website:] HRANA

[Date:] 18 Farvardin 1393 [7 April 2014]

 

A Shi’ite Cleric Appeases the Baha’is by Presenting a Work of Art

HRANA News Agency – Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi Tehrani consoled the Baha’is of the world by presenting to them a work of art.

According to reporters from HRANA, the news agency of the Iranian human rights activists, Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi Tehrani consoled the Baha’is of the world by presenting a work of art in the form of a framed piece of calligraphy and gilded painting.

This work of art, which took approximately six months [to make], was produced by Ayatollah Masoumi himself and dedicated to the House of Justice of the Baha’is.

This Shi’ite cleric writes in a letter:

“Thus, feeling the need for another practical and symbolic act, in order to remember and honour the humanity of human beings, peaceful coexistence, cooperation, empathy, and avoidance of malice, tension and blind religious prejudices, I made this calligraphy and gilded a verse from the “Kitab-i-Aqdas”, [The Most Holy Book] of the Baha’is in the form of a painting, to be a symbolic and enduring document of respect for the inherent dignity of human beings, altruism and peaceful coexistence regardless of religious affiliation, creed or belief.

“On the eve of the beginning of the solar year 1393 [2014], on my own behalf and [that of] all my freethinker compatriots who respect the human being for his humanity—and not because of his religion or form of worship— I present this valuable symbolic work, to all Baha’is of the world, especially my Baha’i compatriots, who have been injured by blind religious prejudice in various ways, to appease and console them.

“Although I sincerely wanted to calligraph and gild the [entire] Kitab-i Aqdas like the books of the Holy Qur’an, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and Ezra, unfortunately my physical ability and finances did not allow it.

“I hope that this small but valuable spiritual work—which will be kept in the [seat of the] Universal House of Justice—will be a reminder of the rich and ancient culture of compassion and coexistence of Iranians, and that the many flaws of [my] art will be overlooked.”