My words are addressed to you — you who see yourself as the noblest of creation, you who take pride in your status of being called human. My words are addressed to you, who call yourself Iranian, who are an inheritor of a rich and exalted culture. My words are addressed to you, who are proud to believe in the holy Faith of Islam, who follow the Holy Prophet Mohammad. My words are addressed to you, regardless of where you reside on this earth, who observe a variety of beliefs and insist on your system of belief.
I am also a human, of your kind; I am Iranian, your fellow-countryman. I also believe in the One True God, as do you. I also respect that which is held sacred in this world, as you do.
I am a Baha’i; I do not see myself as different. I believe in my human rights, although for years I have been deprived of them (the right to education, the right to work, the right to peace and comfort, the right to express my views, the right to defend myself against false accusations, the right to…).
I am steadfast in my beliefs, and for this steadfastness I have tasted numerous acts of unkindness; sometimes imprisonment, at times banishment, sometimes loss of dear ones and at times exposure to innumerable acts of cruelty. But now I want to share with you about life’s unkindness; acts that the mere mention of which oppress the heart and rush a lump to my throat — perchance you will be a soothing balm to my wounds and a healer of my woes. Now I write about the ugly face of prejudice which so clouds the eyes of men that it even ignores the white hair, the wrinkled face, the weak body of old age, and striking with the hand of tyranny against this disabled old man; a kind old man who for years lived in one of the unknown villages of this land, who always bestowed on his fellow countrymen the gifts of kindness, honesty and trustworthiness. An old man, who despite his advanced age, weak eye-sight and inability in many areas still preferred living in his fatherland to leaving for other lands and living in comfort and peace — not even to be a guest to his children in far-off lands. He considered staying to be a sign of fidelity and faithfulness to this holy land and its people. His name is Muhammad Hossein Nakha’i. He has lived close to 24 years in Khosf, near Birjand. Other than serving his fellow man, he has thought of nothing. In spite of the challenges of his old age, he has been caring for his disabled wife, who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease; one disabled caring for another, as the saying goes.
Please tell, for what sin should his home, his abode of peace and security, be invaded, his belongings seized, his heart broken and his love reciprocated with enmity, his fidelity with faithlessness? How can this 85 year old man be thrown in jail without regard for his physical condition, his need for medicine and his 88 year old disabled wife’s need for his love and care? How can his loved ones be kept in the dark completely, during the past few days?
How is it that those who believe in the Holy Faith of Islam do not act in accordance with the dictates of their belief? Have they not heard what His Holiness the Prophet said?
‘ The aged are the source of good fortune and abundance. Their existence among you and among their families is like a prophet among the believers’ (a prophetic hadith)
Do they not believe what His Holiness Ali, upon Him be the blessings of God, has said:
‘ The knower is to be respected for his knowledge, and the aged for his age’ (from Ghurar al-Hikam)
If we believe that we are all human beings, we should remember that as descendents of Adam we are all members of one body, and we can not be indifferent about each other.
If we believe that we have an ancient culture, we should remember that love and kindness, wishing well and being human are among the attributes of that culture.
And if we believe that we are Muslims, we should remember that the Commander of the Faithful has said:
‘ Treat the believers with equity, and others with justice’ (from Ghurar al-Hikam)
If the Baha’is are among the ‘others’, then it is not too much to expect justice. Verily, the best of all is justice in the court of God.”O God,… Bestow justice upon the rulers, and fairness upon the divines.” (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 104) ”