[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


“He is the One Who has placed you as successors on earth and elevated some of you in rank over others, so He may test you with what He has given you. Surely your Lord is swift in punishment, but He is certainly All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”[1] (Al-An’am Sura, Verse 165)


The Esteemed Head of the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Isfahan

With respect, Your Highness is informed that I, Ali Tavangar Najafabadi, a retired teacher in the  Education Department, have finished my thirty years of service in the area of education in Tehran with utmost sincerity and piety, and have had no aim but to train the youth in human, moral and godly character. My work ethics and way of life could be verified by asking the thousands of students I have taught during my thirty years of teaching, none of whom were ever displeased with me or had any grievances against me.

The product of my lifetime of work is a house in Isfahan, which I bought by taking a bank loan, as well as some books, a number of which I inherited from my father, and others I bought as a result of my own interest in books and reading. I came to the United States one and a half year ago to visit my children, intending to return afterwards. However, after entering the United States and viewing the circumstances and considering the conditions of the world and my children’s requirements, I deemed it advisable to stay in the United States and to take care of and look after them until the end of their studies, which was not that far away. Therefore, I directed one of my relatives to allow some war refugees to live in my house so that it would be occupied until my return. Hence, two homeless families from Ahvaz were settled there.

Even though I did not receive the pension, I did not mind, as I thought it would be used for the benefit of the government and national budget during war, and my children could work while they studied here. I was recently informed that a number of armed revolutionary guards had gone to my house and after inspecting the home furnishings, had taken with them my small essential living appliances and my books, consisting of some commentaries on the Quran, a book of poems, literary and cultural books, dictionaries and other useful books, none of which were harmful or perverted. They had also evicted the war refugees who were living in the house and told them that the house had been confiscated.

I don’t know to what extent this news is accurate; nevertheless I wish to convey a few points, which you are well aware of, but in accordance with [the verse in Quran] “But ‘continue to’ remind. For certainly reminders benefit the believers.”[2], I would like to reiterate and ask for help from Your Esteemed Highness, who is devoted to seeking justice for the oppressed.

Firstly, the well-known Hadith[3] is a clear evidence that oppressive and tyrannical governments or any administration inclined to injustice will be overthrown. Now that, after much suffering, hardship and martyrdom, the Islamic Republic has been established in Iran, care must be taken that no one is treated unjustly, no matter how small. According to Saadi [Persian poem][4], God tolerates and overlooks every human behaviour and action except injustice. God has only cursed the oppressor. He has said “Surely Allah’s condemnation is upon the wrongdoers”[5]. Not observing, protecting or safeguarding the rights of people is considered oppression. Whoever has been a teacher for one day knows how much effort is needed to teach for thirty years. Seizing the product of thirty years of work is definitely an injustice. It is in the Quran: “Nor would We ever destroy a society unless its people persisted in wrongdoing”[6] (Al-Qasas Sura, Verse 60 [59]). The above Hadith confirms this, too.

Secondly, confiscation is for properties accumulated by theft and disloyalty, which must be seized and taken, but seizing properties obtained by hard work and goodly conduct is prohibited by religion and common law, and is against social order and human nature. It is called forcible entry and detainment.

I obtained this house on a mortgage, through my lifelong earnings of sixty years of righteous work and good conduct, as well as a loan from the bank. Throughout my life, no one has ever had any grievances against me, and I have never committed any crime. You can verify my history with people who have dealt with me, or with my neighbours. Please do not take any notice of the maligners and people of enmity and slander, who have never associated with me. One of the pure Imams was asked, “How can we distinguish good deeds?” He answered: [Arabic][7].

Thirdly, I remember that the Imam of the People, in one of His guidelines and speeches addressed to those in authority, referring to this holy Verse of the Quran said, “Do people think once they say, ‘We believe,’ that they will be left without being put to the test?”[8], [meaning] that for whoever expressed faith and claimed that he believed and came to power and dominated the life and properties of people, the matter is not finalized; he has to be tested through deeds, righteous deeds. In the Holy Quran, everywhere after “As for those who believe”[9] is written “do good”[10] and it is very easy to distinguish righteous deeds. One example is not seizing a property without its owner’s consent. It is well known how His Holiness, the Commander of the Faithful (PBUH) with utmost rage and anger, stopped someone who had seized a small ornament from a Jewish child.

Fourthly, as I had directed in my power of attorney, given to one of my relatives, to give my house to the deserving ones who were affected by the war, I now give my absolute consent again and authorize Bonyad e-Mostazafan Foundation to allow a deserving, righteous and devoted family of its choice to reside there, while protecting my belongings and books by placing them in one room so that they are not wasted or seized. The guardianship and care of my house and its furnishings is to be given to the person to whom I have given the power of attorney, or to a pious, devoted and responsible individual determined by the Foundation. Please send me the outcome of your charitable endeavours to the address below. May the days of might continue.

With prayers

Ali Tavangar [Signature]


[1] [Quran 6:165] https://quran.com/6

[2] [Quran 51:55] https://quran.com/51

[3] [The original text is as follows: “الملک یبقی مع‌الکفر و لایبقی مع‌الظلم]

[4] [Gulistan Saadi:  The original text is as follows: “در جهان اوّل اندکی بود هرکس بر آن مزید کرد تا بدین غایت رسید”]

[5] [Quran 11:18] https://quran.com/11

[6] [Quran 28:59] https://quran.com/28

[7] [The original text is as follows: “لا ترضوالاحد ما ﻻ ترضون ﻻنفسکم.”]

[8] [Quran 29:2] https://quran.com/29

[9] [Quran 19:96] https://quran.com/19

[10] [Quran 19:96] https://quran.com/19