[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

20 Khordad 1393 [10 June 2014]

 

In the name of God

The respected and honourable Ayatollah Haj Alavi Gorgani

I, Mehri Vahdat-Hagh, daughter of Seyyed Mohammad, respectfully convey the following.  My late father and some of my blood relatives and in-laws are buried in the Baha’i cemetery in Shiraz, where the land has been endowed to be exclusively used as a cemetery by a benevolent person named Poustchi.  At the beginning of the Revolution, this place was burnt down; its buildings (the prayer hall, funeral home, etc.) were destroyed, the grave stones broken and confiscated by the government.  For some time, however, by the payment of fees, permission for burial was obtained.  For a while, this place was also used for cutting and selling stones; we did not have permission to enter and say prayers for our loved ones.

Dear esteemed leader, despite all the sufferings and persecutions that the Baha’i community has endured, (execution, imprisonment, expulsion from offices, confiscation of properties, denial of higher education, and even denial of permission to operate businesses), we have always been, and are, obedient to the government and the constitution, and thank God, there has not been the slightest act of disobedience to the Islamic laws on our part.

Honourable Ataollah, in the Quran, God says, “And to every nation We appointed acts of devotion that they may mention the name of Allah” [22.34], Surah Al-Hajj, Verse 36[1].  I swear by God that we also believe in the oneness of God and all of His Messengers, and believe in all the Holy Books; however, it is unknown why we (dead or alive) have to be tormented.  The children and brothers of this humble servant have served in the military, and we pay our taxes; we are considered Iranians for these matters; but even our deceased have no peace.  We have been labelled as either spies of Zionism, servants of the United States, or being against Islám.  Please, by the grace of God, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Holy Imams, stop this blatant oppression with your fatwa.  Exhuming bodies is neither religious, nor humane, nor socially acceptable, and no one in any religion will accept that.  I hope that by giving a fatwa, like other great religious leaders, you will leave a good name for yourself and your family, so that we will be indebted to you for your kindness and generosity forever.

With utmost respect,

Vahdat-Ḥagh [signature]

Home telephone number in Shiraz: [redacted]

Mobile: [redacted]

 

[The following is the opinion of Ayatollah Haj Alavi Gorgani]

In the Name of God,

We do not consider Bahá’ís Muslim, and do not apply the Islamic laws to them.

[Official stamp:  The office of the Honourable Ayatollah Alavi Gorgani

Istifta’at[2] Section]

 

[Official stamp on top of the letter:]

The office of the Honourable Ayatollah Alavi Gorgani

Entry Date:  21 Khordad 1393 [11 June 2014]

Exit Date:  21 Khordad 1393 [11 June 2014]

Registration Number:  9378

 

 

[1] [It seems that the number of the verse should read 34.]

[2] [Istifta’at: answers to religious inquiries]