[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

His Holiness Hojjatol-Islam and deputy imam Grand Ayatollah Mr. Haj Sheikh Bahaoddin [Mahallati], may his blessings continue,

With ultimate respect, since I have, for years, considered Your Holiness as the source of my imitation [in religious practices], with purity of intent and full dedication, in order to consolidate the foundations of my ideological belief, [I] would like to present the following and request your advice:

  1. In Shia Islam, no one recognizes any religion or sect as Babi or Baha’i. However, in a circular adorned with Your Highness’s signature, dated 4 Dey 1357 [25 December 1978] affixed on the walls concerning the violence and abuse against a minority religion in the [Province of] Fars, it is clear that currently only the political Baha’i sect is being targeted.  Does not His Holiness’s statement indicate the recognition of this sect as a religious minority?
  2. Have you permitted the sale of the Communist books (China that Fights; Materialism from a Linguistic Point of View; Marxist Ideology) in the mosques, particularly at the Vali-e Asr Mosque?  If this is contrary to Islam, what have you done to stop this action?
  3. On the days of the [Eid al-] Fitr[1] festival, Tasua[2], and other such days, some people joined congregational prayers in the street with their shoes on.  Is this action in agreement with the Islamic principles and jurisprudence, or not?  What steps did Your Excellency take to prevent such an obvious insult to the religion? 
  4. The closure of schools and universities, and preventing the acquisition of knowledge are against the clear decree of the Quranic verses and the statements of Prophet Mohammad—God’s blessings be upon Him and His descendants.  In your announcement of 4 Dey 1357 [25 December 1978] you supported such action and thanked the teachers for boycotting the classes. Kindly explain if continuation of this action is based on Quranic verses and prophetic traditions, so that the public can understand.

Seyyed Ahmad Hoseini al-Hashemi 



[1] The end of the month of Ramadan is celebrated by a three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr.

[2] Tasua and Ashura are ceremonies staging religious events during the month of Muharram.