عجب محرم شد امسال
شهيد بي سرم برگشته
“It was an odd Moharram this year
My Shaheed without a head returned…”
-Hajj Mahmoud Karimi
This year the beginning of Moharram coincided with the week of the Sacred Defense, or Defa’e Moqaddas. This was the name given to the war between Iran and Iraq.
Around Qom we saw banners of shaheed embraced by images of Karbala. Although sad, it was a beautiful reminder of all the men and women who were killed to preserve the honor and dignity of Iran.
And while the country was already commemorating the week of the Sacred Defense, and Moharram, they opened their arms and welcomed back the body of their own who was recently martyred in Syria by Daesh.
Shaheed Mohsen Hojaji was a mere 26 years old when he was captured by Daesh, tortured and beheaded while defending the shrine of Lady Zainab (sa). The horrific video of his capture and subsequent torture was blasted online, but the calmness on his face proved he had the heart of a Hussaini soldier.
His will should be required reading for all of us. The beauty of his words, the way he remembers Imam Hussain (as) and his family, teaches us a great lesson in what it means to actually love the Holy Prophet and his family.
Below is a translation to the best of my ability. I ask forgiveness for not doing it justice, as the Farsi is more eloquent.
(The will starts with a poem in honor of Lady Zainab, the sister of Imam Hussain. I will not translate it as it would lose its value, but if you know Farsi, please take the time to read it.)
In the name of God, the Light
May Allah’s peace and blessings be on Lady Fatima Zahra (sa)
“And do not perceive those who are killed in Allah’s way as dead, nay, they are alive and receiving sustenance from their Lord.”
(Here is one line written in poetic verse which I did not translate.)
No more than a few hours remain before leaving; as the time nears for leaving my heart gets more excited.
I don’t know what to write or how to explain how I’m feeling.
I don’t know how to explain my happiness or how or with what language to thank Allah for bringing me here.
As per my responsibility I’m writing a few lines as my will with my pen.
I don’t know what happened that I was destined to be on this course full of love… I don’t know what things caused this.
Without a doubt, my mother’s halal milk, my father’s halal sustenance, and my choice of a spouse, and many other things have had an effect.
It’s been a lifetime of my days and nights that I’ve been living by the love of shahadat (martyrdom), and I have and do always have faith that with shahadat I will reach the highest level of a worshipper.
I tried very hard to reach this place myself, but I don’t know how much I have succeeded.
I just have hope from the mercy of Allah and the Ahle Bait (Holy Prophet and his family), and I’m hopeful that they accept this sinner and they shower their mercy on this servant full of faults.
That if this were to happen – praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds
If one day you hear the news of the shahadat of this humble servant who was full of shortcomings; know that the reason for this is nothing except from the mercy of Allah.
That is because He forgave me and helped me..
My dear wife, Zahra
If one day you hear the news of my shahadat, know that I achieved what I wished for as my real goal by marrying you, and have pride yourself that your husband was sacrificed for Lady Zainab.
Be tolerant, do not mourn, be patient, and think of yourself in the presence of Lady Zainab… Lady Zainab saw far more problems than you.
My dear father
You were and are always my role model for my life and how to be a man. If one day you see the news of my shahadat, that moment imagine Imam Hussain ibne Ali next to his dear son, Ali Akbar.
The pain of this separation is not greater than Aba Abdillah. Therefore be patient my father, I know it’s hard but it can be done.
My dear mother
Ummul Baneen (mother of Hazrat Abbas) gave four sons in the way of Imam Hussain and Lady Zainab, and it didn’t sadden her.
Even that moment when they gave her the news of the shahadat of her sons, she didn’t care because they were given in the way of Hussain.
Therefore if one day you hear the news of my shahadat, be like Ummul Baneen, patient and full of pride and say you’ve sacrificed me for Hussain and Zainab, and do not make the heart of the enemy happy by being intolerant.
My dear brother
If one day you see me in the clothes of a shaheed, that moment remember that Aba Abdillah was there at the deathbed of Abbas ibne Ali, and the pain of separation broke his back.
Do not be unthankful, don’t doubt this gift that you have offered for Islam.
My good sisters
That moment I said goodbye to you and my mother and father, I remembered the time that the family of Hazrat Ali Akbar sent him to the battlefield. So if I also become shaheed, sacrifice your sadness and tears for Ali Akbar, and don’t think your pain is greater than that of the family of Imam Hussain.
My dear son, Ali
Forgive me if I don’t see you grow or become a man… Try to continue my legacy. Try to work in the way where your fate ends in shahadat.
My dear mother and father-in-law
I always thought of you as my real parents and I’m happy that I was destined to be a part of your family.
To you I won’t ask for anything but patience and strength, always remember Ali Akbar was also a new groom of Karbala*. (*This may not literally mean that Ali Akbar was a new groom. InshAllah will update after some research.)
From all of you I request that you forgive this sinner, if I trampled on the right of anyone, if I gossiped about anyone behind their back, if I displeased anyone, if I sinned, forgive me.
If I become shaheed, until that where I am given permission, I will ask for your redemption.
A few notes:
Don’t be heedless of Wilayat Faqih, and know that I am certain that Imam Khamenei is the rightful representative of Imam Mahdi.
I ask all my dear sisters and women of the Ummat of the Holy Prophet to strengthen their hijab day by day. Do not let a namahram be attracted to your beauty. Do not let vanity attract others (namahram). Do not put your chador away.
Always make your role model Lady Zahra and the ladies of Ahle Bait.
That time when Lady Ruqaiya talked to her father, she said:
Don’t worry about my hijab Baba; my chador is burnt but it’s still on my head.
To all the men of the Ummat of the Holy Prophet I request that you not get fooled by Western culture. Always keep Ali ibne Talib Amirul Momineen as your role model, and take lessons from the Shohada.
Be ready to sacrifice for the appearance of Imam Mahdi, and be ready to fight with the unbelievers, especially Israel, because that day is very near.
Always serve Allah, so your end will be good.
(Shaheed Hojaji ends his will with a few debts that remained, and the dua for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi)
In Islam we learn that to sacrifice ourselves for this religion is the ultimate honor. We always relate martyrdom to our Imams and the way they lived. But what does it mean when a 26-year-old of this generation is also living this way? Shaheed Hojaji was a normal young man. He went to school, married, had a son… yet in his short time on Earth he learned the way to live the best life.
Shaheed Hojaji was not an extremist. He passionately sought martyrdom as the honorable end to his life. He loved Lady Zainab and wished to defend her shrine in Syria. Everyone has to die, why not with purpose? Mohsen Hojaji went to Mashhad and prayed and pleaded to Imam Reza (as) to permit him to be martyred.
As one of the fortunate ones in this world, his prayer was answered. Not only was he martyred, but in the same fashion as his leader, Aba Abdillah Hussain (as).
May we all learn from this young shaheed, and others like him, who gave their lives and died for Islam. Who died with purpose and dignity.
All shohada are an inspiration for us. May Allah give us the tawfeeq, or opportunity to follow in your footsteps and turn our hearts into that of a Hussaini soldier.