Establishment of a Prayer Room in Shiraz University

Compiled by: Islamic Revolution Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2021-07-27


There was no place for us to pray in the university at noon; everyone stood on the grass, in the corner of the hallway or in the courtyard and prayed, or they did not pray at all, or pray with delay. I told the friends to talk to the authorities so that they would give us a place to pray. It could be a very dangerous suggestion; that is, if we talked to the officials, they would be aware that we are members of a religious group.

 I took the risk and went to the dean of the faculty of literature or his deputy and said, "Allocate a place to us to pray there!" With insists, requests, and after a while, we received a place that was far from the classrooms and had a small but abandoned office to make it a prayer room. We needed a rug and other praying tools; we had to provide them ourselves because we had taken the room by force. We talked to our friends. Everyone helped to equip it according to his financial ability. I told one of the students, Bahar Baharestani, who was one of the religious friends and did not get much involved in activities that to buy an ablution stone, and he did it.

After getting the room ready for prayer, we decided what should we do for the Imam of congregational prayer? We talked to our friends and acquaintances, they said that you should offer the congregational prayer yourself. If a clergyman entered the university environment, he would be ridiculed. The clergymen did not even dare to walk around the university because the girls would yell him and the boys would make fun of him. It was a very bad climate and it was not possible for a cleric to attend here. Everyone agreed that one of the friends should offer the congregational prayer and they chose me as the Imam of the congregational prayer. It was a dangerous thing to do because it could no longer deny that I hadn't offered the congregational prayer, I agreed to offer the congregational prayer.

Then, we were looking for those to come and pray in the new-established mosque. It was also very dangerous to do so; some religious friends said that because you occupied it by force, it is usurpation and it is not acceptable to pray there and they did not pray there. We knew that they did not come for the fear of the regime. Some believed that if we came there, we would be recognized and we would be arrested, imprisoned, and tortured.

At that time, Reza Kashani, Ahmad Tavakoli, Ahmad Jalali, Engineer Akbar Saberi, Hossein Olia, Hossein Tafreshiha and Ahmad Shadbakhti joined us and others gradually dared to join us as well. About 30 to 40 people came at noon and prayed behind me.

One day between the two prayers, someone behind me said that Fartoukzadeh who was a member of SAVAK was praying behind you. I turned and saw one of the famous and well-known SAVAK standing in line behind me to offer congregational prayers. He greeted me and said if I was arrested by SAVAK, I should not deny that he was praying in the congregation here. After a while, some military students, such as army scholarship holders, also came for congregational prayers. Eventually, this prayer room was established in the college under the efforts of the religious friends.

 

[1]. Azimi Goloujeh, S. (2015). Ardor: Memoirs of Dr. Mohammad Reza Fartoukzadeh. Cultural and Artistic Institute and Publications of the Islamic Revolution Documentation Center. Tehran. pp. 51-52. 



 
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