Forgiveness - Bahá’í Soldier

A Bahá’í who just returned from Iran told me the following story which apparently happened very recently in the city of Kerman (probably around March 1996). I am sure that someone will eventually record it properly and publish it along with other great stories from Iran . l have written it exactly as I heard it. The story really moved me and I hope that it will uplift everyone else as well. Feel free to distribute it to the friends.

One of the young Bahá’í of the city of Kerman in Iran had just started his mandatory military service in his town when one day he was approached by one of the mullás (priests) who are resident at Military Garrisons and provide "spiritual guidance" to the soldiers..

This mullá was referred to as Hájí and when he found out that this young man was a Bahá’í, he approached himand instructed him to publicly announce at next morning’s prayer assembly that he is a Bahá’í so that everyone would know. The young Bahá’í obeyed and agreed to comply with this instruction.. So the next morning when all the soldiers assembled for morning prayers and received the day’s instructions the young Bahá’í went in front of the crowd and he announced that he has been instructed by Hájí to tell everyone that he is a Bahá’í in case anyone would wish not to associate with him because of being a Bahá’í.

When he returned back to his duties, the Hájí approached him again and with great anger said, "I told you to only say that you are a Bahá’í. I didn’t ask you to give a lecture and tell them why, and now you have to be punished."

So the Hájí instructed the other men to throw the young Bahá’í into a toilet room and keep him locked there until further instructions. So they locked up the young Bahá’í in a washroom and except for giving him a little food everyday, kept him locked up. Almost two weeks had passed from his detention when one night this young Bahá’í soldier had a dream of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

In the dream ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed him with these words: "You have passed your test very well."

The next morning, some soldiers opened the door and in great hurry took him to meet the Hájí. When they entered the room, the Hájí seemed very shaken and upset and with a trembling voice said: "The reason I released you from detention is that last night I had a very vivid dream in which a turbaned Siyyid (a descendent of Muhammad) addressed me and said: ‘Why have you imprisoned my son? You only have three days to release him and ask for his forgiveness.’ "So I am releasing you," the Hájí said, "and I am begging for your forgiveness and will not go until you have forgiven me."

The young Bahá’í soldier said that he has forgiven him.

Exactly three days later the Hájí died and just before he died he had told the story to his wife and children and had said to them, "Follow the way and example of this youth for the rest of your lives."

Nili Moghaddam