Raha’s Letter, 8th Oct. 2010 in prison

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Raha SabetRaha’s Letter
(This letter is written on 8th Oct. 2010 in prison)

Alluhuabha

Kindly some dearest friends have already asked me for several times to write them how I spend time in prison. At first, I would like to mention that my imprisonment assigned for 4 years that 3 years of it have been expired so for in isolation cell (individually prison).

in this 3 years, I have been in the house of detention of security office center of Fars province (shiraz), where there is any public prison and all who stay there are of security or politics accuser and live in isolation cell.

The isolation cell is just a small chamber where its ironic door is been closed all the time and there is not any window or trap- door to out side area and a lavatory set has been installed in this small room.

Every prisoner has been let to go out side for fresh air around 30 minutes every day. There is no tree, no grass; what you can see is only concrete floor (as wide as a volleyball field) and large wall which beyond them the beautiful blue sky can be seen.

When the weather is so hot or cold or it is rainy you can not go for open air. One time every week, I can call to my family and talk to them for 5 minutes and also once every week I can meet them behind a thick glass just for 5 minutes.

ShirazEvery day some dedicated jailers are responsible for bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner and also to lead prisoner to open air. All of them are men and I can not hide this fact that their behavior against me is quite respectful and polite and up to now they have not tormented or hurt me.

In my cell there are a heater, a cooler, a TV set and also there are 3 blankets that one of them is used as a carpet and 2 of them for sleeping. Another facilities that I have on my cell are consists of: a soap, a shampoo, a tooth brush , a tooth paste , a box of handkerchief, a nail trimmer, a box of detergent, a towel , a comb and one added clothes and nothing else. I should mention that once every 2 or 3 weeks, the jailers ask a list of shopping from each prisoner for buying him/her the necessary hygienic facilities or some fruits. So as there is any refrigerator in our cells, the prisoners can buy only 1 or 2 kind of fruit like apple or orange.

Some of you may think that living with some simple facilities is very difficult, but the important fact is that every body, after passing some times, can learn how to live with such facilities without any problem; it means no problem if you do not have a mirror, and so even if you do not have comfort bed or furniture or refrigerator.

There is very important that how you train your spirit and thought for thinking about the values of humanity and spirituality freedom of all belonging just for divine goals. In this way you are glad and thankful and enjoy the opportunity.

It took one week for me that learnt how should I managed myself and my time for praying, reading the books, exercising, walking in the cell and watching TV without falling in the routine life.

Little by little, I learned while I am reading books, I took notes and starting to write searching articles. Also for the time of praying I make a schedule. For example, I memorized prayers and also began to practicing and learning an art that is called “illumination”. It is an Iranian noble art.

A bulk of my time is spent for reading and writing them. By helping BIHE (Bahai Institute for Higher Education), I started to study the political sciences (politics). Another field of my study is Islamic Gnosticism, Iranian social history, sociology and literature. (I’ve been given permission to have a book for each week.) In addition to study, some of my time is spending for writing articles and remembrance of prison and stories for children and youth. (Up to now, I succeed to write 60 stories that they are the profits of my practical experiences with children and youths and my studies.)

So, my daily schedule consists: at 6:30 am the jailer brings me breakfast, at 8 am I walk around my cell for 30 minutes and at the same time I chant “is there remover…”after breakfast, I start to study, at 10 am, the jailer take me to open air for 30 minutes and contemporaneous, I chant by myself “is there remover..”. When I got back to my cell, again I study or write something, at 12, the jailer brings lunch and up to 2:30 pm I watch TV and then rest fore a while. After that, again I study or write something, at 5 pm, I exercise for 30 minutes and after that I walk around my cell for 2 hour and at the same time again chant “is there remover…” (I chant more than 1000 times this verse every day).

After prayer I take a bath then listen to news and have dinner the jailer brought me before, after that I practice illumination for 2 hours, about 10:30 pm, I watch a film and finally sleep at 11 or 12 pm.

Every 3 months I have been allowed to have a vacation for one or two weeks. This is a nice opportunity for meeting my family and friends and going to a short trip and also can go to library and get some books in trust (about 12 books for 3 months next). Most of all, I can meet my illumination professor and he corrects my practices and teaches me new lessons.

When I am out, I have a golden opportunity to type my writings and articles by helping my friends. Also I can call all Bahai prisoners’ families in other cities and seeking after them and their prisoners. Some times, I meet some of the authorities of the state or some of high ranking lawyers in the country and consult them about the human rights of the Bahai community in Iran.

Maybe you think that being in the prison is so hard but if you believe that patience and perseverance in misfortunes is the cause of spiritual progress and elevation of individual and community, it gives you pleasure. In spite of the fact that some days being in prison was hard for me, but whenever I think about the 3 years that have been passed so far, it gives me the feeling of spiritual joys. The days of prison has given me many important lessons and it has made me ready for giving more services to the human world.

For ever, I am very thankful for this grace and talent that is given to me without worthy of it by Bahaullah, and I pray from bottom of my heart for my dearest and more devoted father and mother that have given me the present of the opportunity of living and asking mercy, forgiveness and success for them in the sight of God.

I have written of all my experiences and memoires during my imprisonment. Maybe I changed it to a book when I will be released. But I pay respect for those who asking me to do this job  until then this brief comment may be suffice, and I hope for the day  that can steps with all of you for sending the message of peace and unity of Bahaullah to all mankind especially my dear Iranian fellow countryman until disappearing all of prejudices  and ignorance from the world s face.

Your honor and happiness is all my wish.

Assuring you of my highest esteem

Raha sabet

(This letter is written on 8th Oct. 2010 in prison)

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14 Responses

  1. Reza

    November 8, 2010 9:21 pm

    Wow ! I am humbled and amazed at this letter. That even in the dark night of ignorance one can see the Light of Justice, and turn horrible Injustice into a great Spiritual Journey, with such magnificent fruits, is a testament to the noble spirit of these Youthm, specially Raha. May God Bless Her, and keep her. She is a credit to her Country, even though her Country may not deserve her.
    Amazing story…..

    Reply
  2. Luiz Henrique de Andrade

    November 9, 2010 2:50 am

    I’m surprised by your optimism, congratulations. I will pray for your freedom and the freedom of all injustly imprisoned bahá’ís. Thank you.

    Luiz Henrique, Brazil

    Reply
  3. IMH

    November 9, 2010 5:43 pm

    What incredible focus, dedication, spiritual strength and humility. It’s very humbling to read her letter.

    Reply
  4. Dr,Sirus Homayun

    November 10, 2010 4:43 am

    This moving letter touches the heart,elevat the soul and teach us the lesson of sacrifice ,sincerity,spiritual strength and the power to resist unimaginable condition of being controled under harsh and unhuman circumstances. These Heros of the Faith engraved their name for eternity and never forgotten. we certainly love them and we are sure that the blessing of Abha Beauty is their companion.In anticipation of freedom and liberty of beloved captive friends in Iran. With our deepest prayers for their immediate release and returning to thei r dear families and friends.

    Reply
  5. Jim Price

    November 10, 2010 1:47 pm

    This is a touching letter. Sadly for my ignorance, it makes no mention of why she’s in prison, but contextually, I have to assume it’s a matter of religious intolerance.

    As for the preceding observation that this letter “could be censored and inaccurate,” so could every other post here, and everywhere else, too. Ockham’s Razor instructs me to assume otherwise in the absence contrary evidence.

    Her letter reminds me of my own spiritual learnings. I’ve counseled other men to follow their paths behind bars & continue their journeys under such conditions. Fortunately, I’ve never been forced to do so myself, but that doesn’t make me cold toward cases where others have. I recall carrying gum & magazines into one place for one man who survived his stay in excellent spirits despite the circumstance. It was a tribute to his spiritual grounding then, just as it it a tribute to this woman’s now. May God warm her heart wherever she goes.

    Reply
  6. AndrewB

    November 10, 2010 5:01 pm

    Bless this child of God. She is a reminder of what constitutes real sacrifice. How blessed we are in the West that, so far, intolerance hasn’t (yet) led to discrimination and prejudice, linked to persecution. God willing it will not happen. Clearly, reading her amazing account of her “life” in prison is causing my own reevaluation of my life as a Baha’i. My immediate goal is to plead for God’s grace to relieve Raha and the other Baha’i youth from their not inconsiderable incarceration. It’s difficult to believe, yet me must, that this sacrifice will feed the growth of human understanding and fellowship in the future. We owe undying gratitude for God’s gifts such as Raha.

    Reply
  7. John in Rhode Island, USA

    November 30, 2010 4:30 am

    i will begin praying for you to be released early, dear Raha. i am a Christian who loves Jesus MORE THAN i love the entire world! And when i pray to the Holy Father –Almighty God in Heaven– i do it in Jesus’s Name. The thing i love and admire most about Baha’u’llah is the manner in which he praises God. The only thing i have seen that compares to his worship of God the Father is from the Biblical Book of Psalms and the Biblical Epistles of the Apostle Paul.

    i feel very strongly that you and your Baha’i Brethren will be released from your sentence before May of 2011.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Hugs }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    john, your Brother in the LORD!

    : )

    Reply

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