From that precise moment when he opened his eyes at birth, when his father whispered the words of Allah into his ears and sweetened his tongue with sugar, Mustafa Rahman, the only son of a Sadr Al-Ulama, was destined to lead a life of devotion to the Shi'a religion and mysticism. Instead, twenty five years later, he became an atheist.
The life journey of this man is a fascinating tale of rebellion against the fabrics of the Shi'a religion and its celestial dominion over our lives. It is the triumph of human conscience over sanctimonious authority. It is the tale of a conscience that redefined one’s faith and reshaped destiny. His was a captive conscience broken free, a conscience that refused to be content with the luxuries afforded to him by a bankrupt religion wrapped inside the falsehood of infallibility. And by the saving grace of God, I was fortunate enough to hear the PG version of that tale time and again straight from the horse’s mouth. The R-rated account of the events came years later:
As the curtains open and the events unfold, skipping forward through the details of his disciplined childhood and intense training, we find him in the theological seminary of Qom before his twenty-fifth birthday. Everything is going according to the grand plan until on a fateful day, Mustafa Rahman decides to surprise his ailing mother with an unannounced visit. On the way to his father’s estate, he detours through Qom’s crowded bazaar to purchase the sweet of sacred Qom, Sohan, and two matching prayer rugs for his parents, a few handmade shawls for his sisters, and a new Tasbih for the live-in servant.
En route, he felt giddy and elated partly for skipping school but mostly for the longing and memorable scent of home. The lengthy trip in time lands him at the old neighborhood and the familiar alley. As he enters through the front gate, the derelict courtyard, the green, stagnant body of water in the rectangular pool at the center of the property, and muffled sounds of scream greet the young Talabe (Knowledge Seeker). But his family is no where in sight. Emotionally distraught but still calm and collected, he begins searching through the house and eventually finds his mother in a dark room surrounded by her daughters. The bed-ridden woman is fighting death, yearning to set eyes on her husband and only son for the last time. But, a few doors down the hall, the infallible Sadr Al-Ulama is laboring to consummate his latest matrimony to a nine year old girl.
The new, frightened bride, however, is fighting off the groom with all her might. As Mustafa Rahman enters the room, the little girl breaks free from the nude Sadr Al-Ulama, throws herself at the young man's feet, and pleads with him for help, appealing not to his God, his religion, his humanity, or his honor, but only to his conscience. Confronted with the horror reflected at him through a pair of angelic eyes, Mustafa Rahman wraps the child in his overcoat and commands his father to dress immediately.
“Haj Khanom is waiting to say her last good-byes,” he summons up the strength to speak. “She is dying. Go to her! This marriage is annulled. From this day forward, the child and her family are under my protection. Stay away from them and me.”
In the years that followed, the young Talabe questioned and in due course denounced Sharia laws that legalize pedophilia and atrocities towards women. At the end, he gave it all up to cleanse himself, to seek redemption, to find absolution. Although friend and foe alike paid homage to his honor and integrity and sought his counsel, Mustafa Rahman never again subscribed to any organized religion nor participated in any such activities for the rest of his life.
Once the virtuous, pious Sadr Al-Ulama beckoned his son for the last time, Mustafa Rahman refused to engage him in yet another long-drawn feud and instead sent word: “Go to your God. Go with peace. Go to find out the price of whoring your conscience to Shi'a. I have been silent for too long.”
On the last day of 2008, in reaction to Aghamoon Delbare video featured on iranian.com, I was obliged to speak out to honor Mustafa Rahman, to commemorate his unwavering struggle against a religion that hides itself behind glorified images of subjugation, a religion that uses and abuses women in any shape or form possible. The sexy, velvety female voice of the singer attracted many viewers and stirred numerous emotions in the hearts of listeners. It even inspired me to write a song of my own to expose Aghamoon and his legacy. A lot was said and much was left unanswered.
A devout Muslim on that thread called Imam Hussian a sacred man and asked, “So what are you going to do with me? And the millions like me but with variations of understanding and thought?” This question weighed heavy on my mind, forcing me to leave it unanswered for the moment… Even then, I realized that a long overdue reply was owed to him and other Shi'a believers:
I am not foolish to presume to know the religious or political affiliation of every Shi'a faithful. Nonetheless, I wish them peace with their faith, with themselves, and with their God to answer for the blood on their hands. Oh, yes! There is blood on their hands. Whether they are Muslim extremists or moderate followers, whether they are IRI supporters or left-wing apologists, whether they dream of Khatami’s grass-root movement to rehabilitate a murderous regime or subscribe to mullah-less religion of Mojahedin-e Khalq, whether they have participated in the most recent round of Shi'a atrocities or not, when they choose to raise their voices in the defense of Shi'a, there is much to answer for:
The Shi'a faithful must answer for the cries of untouched maidens as they are raped by Shi'a men who will hang them at the gallows afterwards with a clear conscience. Shi'a must answer for the howls of prisoners in Evin as they try to flee out of the path of incoming bulldozers driven by the believers who will go home shortly to perform their daily ritual cleansing to face Mecca at dusk. Shi'a must answer to Kurdish Iranians as they are slaughtered in the name of God. Shi'a must answer for the wounds, the bruises, the broken bones of prisoners tortured at the hands of the believers who pause only to read a fatwā ensuring themselves of their righteous path.
Shi'a must answer for the unmarked graves of our fallen in the cemetery of infidels. Shi'a must answer to the mother of a child whose flesh was torn apart as he ran through the minefields wearing around his neck a fake key to the paradise. The Shi'a faithful must answer to themselves, to their children, to their countrymen, to the world, to the history, but most of all to their conscience as they comfort themselves with the infamous excuse of “this is not my Shi'a.”
This is your Shi'a in the nude…
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