Courage and shame in Iran


Muna Mahmudnizhad, 17, was one of 10 Bahá’í women executed in Shiraz on 18 June 1983. The primary charge against her: teaching Bahá’í children’s classes. Reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community  at


“Let there be no compulsion in religion.”   Qur’án (2:256)


I beseech Thee, O my God, by the light of Thy countenance which impelled them who are nigh unto Thee to meet the darts of Thy decree, and such as are devoted to Thee to face the swords of Thine enemies in Thy path, to write down for me with Thy most exalted Pen what Thou hast written down for Thy trusted ones and Thy chosen ones. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.



June 18th may one day be a national holiday in Iran to honor religious freedom, courage, and devotion to God. Today, though, this is Iran’s national week of shame, the anniversary week of that date in 1983 when ten steadfast and courageous Bahá’í women were hung in Shiraz by the current regime for teaching children’s classes. It was but one episode of a waive of bloodletting against the Bahá’ís carried out by a fanatical clergy that had finally accomplished its long-cherished goal of establishing itself as the secular power in that country.  A clearer proof that those today in power in Iran have strayed very far from the Qur’an and the true purpose of religion can scarcely be imagined.

The Bahá’í youth of Shiraz have beautifully performed one of Bahá’u’lláh’s prayers, which can be viewed through the link below. This powerful prayer is chanted in the original Arabic with musical accompaniment, and with English translation shown in front of changing images.   It’s melodious and rhythmic pattern, together with its length (20 minutes) allows the viewer to relax and meditate and infuse one’s soul with the Lord’s matchless utterance. It is a fasting prayer, but its words and message, so beautifully rendered, are for any time of year. The passage quoted above is from that prayer.


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