A brief description of some points is necessary:
1) Necessity of getting familiar with martyrs:
In a world that sometimes children do not refrain from every kind of rivalry, offense, menace, and even beating and foul language, to claim the properties left by their parents; in a world that sometimes, even in spite of having nice and darling children, spouses collapse their family; in an atmosphere that superiority and value is determined by effulgent house and luxurious car, more attractive decorations, and more modern facilities; in a talk/conversation that sometimes people get away from their culture and personal identity so much that compete and anticipate for escaping the country and take/seek refuge in foreign countries with different pretexts (education, recreation,…); in a society that compassion and generosity has gradually disappeared and everybody is going to save himself in every way possible even in expense of other’s defeat; in an environment that truthfulness, mental health and simple-living has been replaced by untrue culture, deceit, feign, deception, and luxury life, in this background, talking about generosity, devotion, truthfulness, simple-living ,spirituality and even getting sacrificed for others for God’s pleasure seems strange, and martyrdom culture remains obsolete and abandoned. We know martyrs with these characteristics: persons and specially youth who have ridiculed at pecuniary attractions and have been sunk in spiritual delights, people who limpidity, serenity, sincerity, and truthfulness billowed in their speech and behaviors, and others felt tranquility by their speech and actions; those who were not satisfied with rest, [variegated] food, easy life, and attractive lusts, and were so captivated in God and divine path that surges of spirituality could be found in looks and visages of [some of] them. Martyrs were those who not only were not intended to regain their mundane and pecuniary rights, but also were ready to sacrifice all their properties and the most precious of that, their life, to reclaim other’s individual and national and even international rights. Martyrs were those who ignored threats and epic verses of superpowers of time and made epopee against it. These men, who terrified the enemies, were source of mercy, affection, and compassion for their friends. Not only there were no trace of pride and refractoriness in their behaviors, but they were full of humility. They did not doubt even for a moment for defense their country and its culture, honor, and respect and compete on self-sacrifice.
So why should we say about them this much? Because if we do not smell the fragrance of martyr and martyrdom once in a while, if the society does not mention the memories of their self-sacrifice and ventures, if we do not hear about their devotion, truthfulness, and sincerity, not in stories and tales, but in the lives of the children of our country in the recent decades and about who lived with us, we may lose the way in a mundane atmosphere and in the world of deception and immorality and enjoyment. In a world with an atmosphere not much different form a jungle, in every side of which some people are tearing some others, we may go away from humane, divine, spiritual, and moral culture. Martyrs are like alerts that make us aware more often than not, revive divine spirit in us, taste us the pleasant flavor of altruism, and make us familiar with the fragrance of kindness, spirituality, empathy, and truthfulness. Certainly, much more than martyrs need us, we need martyrs and martyrdom culture, and we hold memorials not to be captured in roaring surges of threat, offence, deception, and … and to get reconciled with the world of sincerity, self-devotion, and spirituality.
2) Issues, questions, and theory
As death is our certain destiny, it could be asked/we may ask “why humans die”?? In response to this question we can say that because in a classification, the issue can be divided into two levels: natural death, and unnatural death, each of them has a different reason. In natural death, in a practical and biological point of view we should answer the question that why in all humans, after some decades, brain, cardiac, and other cells lose their former function.
In/from a philosophical point of view, natural death could be discussed in this way that if a person has a material approach (jahanbinye maddi), he could analyze the reason of death in this way: first, human is a part of [the] nature; second, the nature is always changing and the previous conditions are replaced with/by new ones and human are not an exception to this rule; So it is necessary that existing humans go and make the place available for new humans. But in Unitarian Approach death is recognized as a road that takes humans to another world, which is more extensive than the current world, as they have previously transferred from a smaller world (their mother’s womb) to this world. So if it is questioned that why humans die in natural death, the answer could be that because they have not been created to live forever at all, and they have to leave this world and go to a new world in order to experience higher and more developed stage. But in unnatural deaths, the question of “why we die?”? takes different answers in all of which humans are somehow involved. In operations which claim martyrdom or martyrdom-seeking death, the individual comes to action voluntarily and causes his death by putting himself in danger. Independent form being or not being a value, this is also the case in suicides, although with some striking differences, because here the person himself causes his death too. In other deaths, in international [system] or lower levels, tyrants, haughties, and dictators may collapse people’s house and kill them. It is evident that the cause of death of many youth is enemy, e.g. Israel in Palestine, and these deaths are [often] unnatural. In other cases, some careless nesses cause death, and it is clear that the man himself has caused his death in these cases. Delay in going to doctor may result in death for example, or building non-standard houses may bring about death of many people in an earthquake. In these instances, answer of the question of “why we die?”? would be “because we are careless, and do not use our mind/brain well”? such as riding a non-standard or broken car, etc.
The questionable and thinkable thing about death is that suicide and [shahadat talabi] are kinds of unnatural deaths and in other words, human in these kinds of death can chose surviving rather than dying, and continue to his life until his natural death comes/happen or die due to some adverse happenings; but the main question is that why humans some times decide to end their lives. After this question, some other pints should be investigated; for example, how esenseof suicide and martyrdom-seeking deaths differ? Are they analyzed in the same way with some slight differences, or they have no similarity at all and are fundamentally opposed? The answer to this question, which is the hypothesis of this passage, is “suicide is one of those kind of deaths which are known as a pathology in human society, but martyrdom-seeking not only is not so, but it is a value and is honored”?.
3) A speculation in kinds of death
To define key concepts of the discussion, it seems helpful to categorize different kinds of deaths. This categorization can make distinction between martyrdom seeking death and suicide. In a classification, death can be divided into two kinds: intentional and unintentional.
3-1) Unintentional death:
It is a death which is imposed to human and there is no way to evade it. It can be divided into these categories:
a) Natural death; which is explained by the theory that human has not been created to live for ever and all humans will dye some day. Therefore, if no accident takes place, the soul detaches from body and the body dies. This death is called “natural death”?
b) Unexpected death; such as death due to natural disasters like flood, storm, earthquake, accident, etc which happens suddenly.
3-2) Intentional death:
A kind of death in which human’s decision is involved. It has some subtypes:
a) Mystical [erfani] death: metaphorically interpreted as death, means killing of spirit of lasciviousness, when mystic reaches a stage in which he can overcome his self and instincts, as it is recommended: “kill yourself, before you are killed”?, and Molana says well that:
To kill is not the affair of Reason or rational
As the Lion of self is not haunted by the Rabbit of body
The lion is not who can break the line
But one who breaks himself
b) Suicide: Durkheim has defined it this way: every kind of death resulted directly or indirectly from the dead person’s action while he has been aware of that action”? (ÙƒÙŠÙˆÙŠÙƒØ§Ù…Ù¾Ù†Ù‡ÙˆØ¯ 1370Ùˆ 102). In this definition, two main characteristics of suicide are that first, the act is done by the victim/dead person himself; and second, he is aware of the result of that action.
c) Martyrdom-seeking death: it is defined in Almizaan as reaching to the object itself, or sense it with external or internal senses, as inward matters like knowledge, intention, and dislike are perceived, and it is used in Quran as a perception (Eshraagh, 1368:223).
A person who battles for God’s cause and kills or being killed, he is called “martyr”? and it is said that martyrdom is to end the natural life to defense values and other’s lives in society; or in other words, it is breaking the material cage of body and moving toward divine intuition place and honoring other human’s lives. However, martyrdom in Quran has often been used in “ghatala”?, “yaghteloo”?, and “ghoteloo”? paradigms (Pouramini, 1365:223, 224). Two main characteristics of Martyrdom-seeking death are involvement of person’s choice and will and also the state that the act is done only for God’s sake and his satisfication, because martyrdom is a worshipng action.
b) A speculation on suicide
In Iranian and Islamic culture, because suicide is interdicted and due to low variety of researches performed on it, suicide has not been subject to serious and independent speculation and the present argument is mainly based on ideas of western thinkers. Among western thinkers, Durkheim, the famous French sociologist, is the first thinker who has the most extensive attention and analysis on suicide (about 500 pages) and subsequent arguments have been formed somehow in interaction with his ideas. His viewpoint about suicide can be summarized in the following table on the basis of report (1370:50):
1- Suicide is more in Catholic and less in Protestant countries.
2- Nevertheless, the social-economical conditions in these countries are different; so to prevent misunderstanding about the role of religion in suicide, we should investigate these faiths in a single society.
3- When districts of a country (Germany) are compared with provinces of a district Bavaria, we observe that the rate of suicide is in direct correlation with protestant population and in reciprocal correlation with catholic population.
4- It seems that Norway and Sweden are exceptions to this rule; but the difference between Scandinavian and central-European is so much striking that Protestantism may not have the same effect on them. If we compare these two countries with other countries with the same level of development, such as Italy, we see that in these countries the rate of suicide is twice that of it in Italy, so these two exceptions approve the rule.
5- Jewish people commit suicide quite as much as or less than Catholics. Jews are in minority everywhere. Also in Protestant countries, Catholics are in minority. So being in minority may be a contributing factor in this regard.
6- Being in minority only expresses a part of effect of religion on suicide. In fact, Protestants who are in minority commit suicide more often than Catholics who are in majority.
7- We should seek for explanation to this difference in the nature of religious systems, not in their position or attitude against suicide, which is the same in all of them.
8- The only main difference is rational choice. While Catholicism is a monolithic faith, Protestantism gets freedom to the person in building his belief. Intellectual choice and free will pave the way for individualism and sectarianism.
9- Protestantism, which is made upon the ruins of ancient beliefs and gives more importance to personal reasoning, has less practical bases and religious duties, so it cannot make a nation united. Finally, this lack of unity is the main difference between Protestantism and Catholicism and explains the higher rate of suicide among Protestants.
Based on analysis of statistical data on the rate of suicide in Protestant and Catholic European countries, Durkheim concludes that the weaker the unity of religious, the stronger tendency to suicide will be. In fact, a united religion, such as Catholicism, protects its followers, who have more practical bases and religious duties, better against suicide, in comparison to a faith like Protestantism which has less unity and gives more value to free thinking and intellectual choice. This claim of Durkheim can be illustrated in the following chart.l
In addition to the suicide caused by “weak connections”?, which he names it “selfish suicide”?, he observes that reciprocally, a strong connection can bring about conditions conducive for suicide. For example, soldiers who sacrifice themselves for the honor of their companies or their country, or olds who commit suicide not to be a burden for their families anymore, which is named “altruistic suicide”?. Finally, Durkheim recognizes a third kind of suicide and names it “anomic suicide”? which arises from weak moral conscience and generally is accompanied by big social, economical, or political crises. When moral rules lose their role as valid customs to shape the behavior of individuals, their desires get unlimited and do not get satisfied with available sources. This imbalance between their wayward desires and their means for satisfaction inevitably results in severe inner conflicts which leads them toward suicide (ØŒ 1370:106Ùˆ 107).
With this description of Durkheim viewpoint, suicide is divided into these three classes: selfish, altruistic, and anomic (Durkheim ØŒ 1378:252Ùˆ 276)
“Selfish suicide”? is caused by downfall of social integration and two important factors involved in social integration are family and religion. In Durkheim’s view, the more integrated the religious society is, the less suicide happens. For example, bachelors commit suicide more than married persons do, and likewise, persons with fewer children commit suicide more than those with more children.
“Altruistic suicide”? is caused by strong social integration. For example, olds commit suicide to make the life of the other members of the family easier.
“Anomic suicide”? is a consequence of economical, social, and cultural crises, which collapses and seems inexcusable with transition from tradition, which justifies the class difference, and here, as desires get stronger, the probability of meeting them decreases, and this crisis and gap leads to suicide (8).
c) A speculation on martyrdom-seeking
1- It was mentioned that in Islamic culture, two main factors in martyrdom are “will”? and “nearness to God”? However, in a more general and common meaning, and in humane culture, every person who dies while defending his land or its respect and national interests is called “martyr”?.
And in this country the criterion of martyr and martyrdom from a legal point of view is the same commonly accepted one, which is personal will (however, in some cases, a soldier maybe sent to a mission against his will and die in that mission.)
But the second factor (nearness to God) cannot be tested, because it is a spiritual and inner thing and take meaning in connection of the person with God. Testing this factor needs soothsaying which is out of human capabilities.
2- In Quran culture the word “martyr”? is less often used with meaning of “a kind of death”?, than its more frequently used meaning, which is one who witnesses and testifies an event (Foselat, 47; Gh, 21; Nesae, 41; and Ale Emran, 98) and its plural form, “martyrs”?, is also used in the same meaning (Ale Emran, 99; Nour, 6).
But the verse in which exegetes believe that the word martyr points more clearly to some kind of death is from Nesae chapter in Quran, verse 69, which says: “Those who obey God and prophet will be among people who God honors them, and accompany prophets and martyrs and the benevolent , which are well companions”?.
Blessed Tabarsi has written in Majma’ol bayan commentary under the word “martyrs”?: those killed in the path of the God. Cause of denomination of this word is that he has testified to God with clear heart and called for its cause till he has been martyred) (Tabarsi, 1350-1360, vol. 5:p227).
However, about the above verse, Allame Tabatabai believes that “martyrs”? in Quran mean those who witness others’ actions and nowhere in Quran it is used for those killed in war, but it used for those who witness acts of people (Tabatabaii, 1363, vol. 4, p650). The element used in Quran to express being killed in the path of the God is “ghatala”? (Baghare, 154, 190, 244; Ale Emran, 169,...) which is often used in passive form. For example it is in Quran that:
“Do not call those killed [dar rahe khoda] dead; they are alive, but you do not know”? (Baghare 154). And “Do not consider those killed in the path of the God dead, they are alive and are fed by their God”?.
3- Taking the function into account, it is said that humanity is not indebted to nobody like martyrs, because all other serving groups are indebted to martyrs; but martyrs are not indebted to them, or are less indebted. A scientist for his science, a philosopher for his philosophy, inventor for his invention, and ethics teacher for his contribution to ethics, need a suitable and free atmosphere to do their services, but the martyr is the one who makes a suitable environment for others by his self-sacrifice and burning himself. He is like a candle, which serves others by burning and giving light, to let others see in his light and rest and do their services. Yes, martyrs are candles of humanity they burnt and illuminated it. If this hall had been left dark, no system could start or continue its duty (Motahari, 1367:76).
Martyr’s blood is never wasted. His blood does not pour on the ground. Every drop of his blood gives rise to hundreds, thousands, and even a sea of blood and enters the body of society. Martyrdom is a blood transfusion to society’s body. They are martyrs who cause new blood flow in the veins of the society, specially an anemic society (!!!).
The main function of martyr is his epic making. In nations whose epic spirit is dead, the main function of martyr is to revive it (Motahari, 104).
Talking about the effect of generosity culture and martyrdom-seeking on the society is not a theoretical claim only; as a case in point, in the 8-year imposed war between Iran and Iraq and all its local and international supporters, which extensively used several different kinds of armaments, the victory of Iran cannot be related to anything other than braveness of martyrs, because their self-sacrifices caused the enemy admit his defeat and shame.
According to official statistics, the number of martyrs on the imposed war is 218867, among which 13.7% (or 7.13%- -refer to page 6) were between 16-25 years (Faslnameye Negine Iran, 1384:155, 156). With this description it can be claimed that resistances, victories and epopees of the holly defense has mainly been the result of youth of this country, a majority of them were continuously present in fronts and other fields that finally dedicated their red blood to respect and honor of the Iran’s nation.
4- The author of this paper, in the “A speculation in sacrifice”?, has talked about four model personalities: first, those who neither defend their rights nor are worried about claiming others’ rights, and others’ needs is not important for them. Second, those who defend their rights with all of their abilities, but claim reclaiming other’s rights is not important for them, so they never prefer others’ needs to their own needs. Third, those who not only defend their rights, but also make use of others’ rights for themselves, even in expense of ruining others’ rights. Fourth, those who know their own rights and give importance to them, but intentionally and deliberately ignore them to advantage of other people (Mansournejad, shahrivar 1348:1).
According to this categorization, martyrs are undoubtedly examples of altruism and even in the highest rank among them, because one the basic rights of human is his life, which is prior to materialistic rights. The martyr is the person who relinquishes his most important right (his life) in the path of the God and for reviving divine faith and Islamic society and also defending other peoples’ security and rights. An action which needs extraordinary passion, perception, and courage, and not everybody can choose this direction. Therefore martyrs are epitomes and pioneers for altruism.
Based on the demand of this paper (pathology of suicide and honoring of martyrdom), although we can discuss about the mentioned two factors separately, considering the former parts, comparative investigation of these them would be more clear and expressive and more useful for testing the hypothesis.
Comparative analysis of martyrdom-seeking and suicide is performed based on different proofs: comparison of the results, conceptual and exemplar distinction, comparison of causes and factors, comparing the effects and functions,
1- Comparing the results:
The results of the two mentioned deaths can be compared in three levels:
First, in connection with the person himself: in this aspect, in both kinds of deaths, the person often has knowledge about himself and his needs and acts based on consciousness and thinking about himself; but he difference between these two deaths is that in suicide, when the person thinks about his life, he does not find it advantageous, does not find a clear goal, and finds his life futile and meaningless.
The author, in the book Aim and Meaning of Life in Nietche, Frankel and Islamic Viewpoint (1385), which is one of the selected articles presented articles in the 10th Hawzeh [hozeh] and Academy Conference (Azar 1376), has categorized humans based on purposefulness in this way: all humans are in one of these classes: they seek or do not seek for a final goal in life, and those who do that, are successful or not in interpreting it. To summarize it can be said that:
It is worth mentioning that pessimistic look has precedence in human history, while nihilistic looks, which tend to death and suicide has derived from them, are products of the modern time, in which human knows himself allowed to interfere in himself and nature; while martyr-seeking death is the outcome of action of those who are not successful in interpreting the goal and meaning of life.
To make it brief, the person who commits suicide finds all ways closed and has reached to a dead-end and the end of line, which may be caused by decrease or increase in social integration (as described formerly), or finding his wishes gone with wind.
But in martyr-seeking death, the person is ready to devote his life because he has defined a clear goal for himself and finds the life meaningful (10). In his viewpoint, he would be honored if he survives or not; but by devoting his life he would prepare a place and position in the everlasting world which could not be achieved in any other way, that is why he counts seconds and minutes for relinquishing his life. Here this question of Imam Ali (PBUH) can be perceived that he asked prophet: “when in Ohod war some were martyred and I got sad because I did not got martyred, you told me that “good news to you; you will get finally martyred”?”?, and prophet answered him “yes, it is true, but you tell me how you will wait till that time”?, Imam Ali said “O prophet, this is not a kind of awaiting, yet it is a case of reward and thankfulness”?
While in suicide there is a kind of pessimistic look into creation and man’s position in it, and this action is the result of hopelessness from everybody and everywhere, the a martyr-seeking person has a positive look and interpretation of the creation and he is full of hopes and wishes. So he closes his eyes on mundane desires of this world, because he wants to meet some superior wishes in the other world and hopes to reach them. Therefore, while death by suicide is bitter and painful, death by martyrdom is sweet and joyful. It is for this reason that is why in Ashoora day, the more Imam Hoseyn got closer to martyrdom, the more shiny his face got, and this is his final prayers, saying while he had put his face on burning soil of Karbala: “I’ll wait for Your will O God who is not any other god thanYou, You the happiness of the Needy, who there is no other god than You”?
Second, in connection with God:
The person who commits suicide, may have no belief in God, religion, and rekoning in doomsday, or may have belief, but he has got so much far from his God that religious recepts have got weak for him, and he may end his life while he knows that this is a sin and would bring about punishment for him in the other world.
But in a religious look, martyrdom is a prayer act which is done for getting nearness to God. The person welcomes the death because it is God’s command and will result in approaching to God. To meet him is the final goal (11). Resting beside his blessing is the aim (according to Nabavi, one of the seven features known for martyr is that he looks into the face of God - PourAmini, 1365:183) (12).
And that is why his sins are blessed: “they are but alive , albeit they do not feel”?, and that is why according to the text of Quran if somebody knows them dead, has not insight and does not understand: “They are alive but you do not feel”? (Baghare, 154); “They are alive and are fed beside their God”? (AleEmran, 169). The martyr welcomes martyrdom because as our prophet said, martyrdom is the greatest benevolence: “there are the hierarchy of benevolence till the being killed in the path of God and because it is in the path of the God, there is no other benevolence beyond that”? (PourAmini 1365:170)”?, and martyrdom is as a standard measure for benevolence, respectable and honored acts; for example the reward of a mother who was dying during her childbirth is interpretd in a Hadith from prophet as martyr who is rolling in his blood (Ameli, vol. 15:175); likewise, person who is dead when defending his properties is interpreted as martyr…
In conclusion, the martyr’s goals may be taking others into consideration, amelioration of them, movement in society, and promotion of friendships, and the act of martyrdom itself has social effects, functions, and roles, and results in leading, reviving, amelioration, and sympathy in the society. But the person who commits suicide, probably do not do that to serve others (except only one kind of suicide: altruistic), and the act of suicide may have some adverse social effects such as disagreement, misunderstanding, besides goals of the person himself.
While the act of martyrdom is a kind of positive culture making in the society and it is sacrifice and self-sacrifice, suicide has negative inductions on society and promotes the negative culture of giving-up, hopelessness, and ending the life in society. The martyrdom and the suicide, martyrdom and suicide, both have social functions and consequences, but these are positive for one of them (14) and negative for the other (15).
2- Conceptual and exemplar distinction
As Giddens has truly claimed, the distinction between selfish and anomic suicides, in the form presented by Durkheim, are not always clear. Because the society is the source of moral order, it can be supposed that those who are not assimilated enough into social groups find themselves in an anomic status. Durkheim has confirmed frequently in his book Suicide that these two kinds of suicide have some common social roots (Giddens 1363:41).
In the first publication of his book, Durkheim wrote that suicide is very rare in traditional societies, but he reconsidered and changed this statement after that, and omitted it in the next publishes. Anyway, he believed that suicides in more developed societies differ from suicides in less developed ones, and he tried to provide more evidences on this idea in Suicide. While in modern societies people commit suicide because they find the life meaningless, in traditional societies they do this for meaningfulness of life. There are some values in certain groups that make suicide an honorable and even a mandatory action (Durkheim 1378:252, 256).
For instance, in some societies women are obliged to kill themselves after their husband’s death (altruistic suicide). In this kind of suicide, the causes are group unity and merging the person into the society and its values, while selfish suicide is exactly derived form lack of these unities (Giddens 1363:41, 42).
With this description, these two kinds of suicides are clearly against the martyrdom-seeking death, but in case of altruistic suicide (which is caused by severe social unity) some thinkable points have been presented by Durkheim.
Durkheim knows suicide in soldiers who are full of sense of duty and sacrifice themselves for the honor of their company or country one of the examples of this kind of suicide (ØŒ 106:1370), and in his interpretation, these soldiers can undoubtedly be known as an example to this kind of suicide (Durkheim 1378, 265).
The main characteristic of martyrdom in Islamic [Shiite] culture is that it is for getting nearness to God. If only this condition is no met, and the motivation of the person is something other (disregarding how much his intention socially favorable and important is), and to the extent that social unity is high, and he admits this death, he certainly cannot be named “martyr”?, and his act cannot be named “martyrdom”? from a religious point of view.
The other point presented by Durkheim about altruistic death can be speculated in Islamic [Shiite] culture. He knows weakness in individuality (when the person gives little importance to himself) and merging in group two main specialties of this kind of death (Durkheim 1378:256); while from a Quranic viewpoint, this is not a precondition for martyr and martyrdom. Therefore, from Islamic viewpoint, if somebody is not part of a group and oppose to current conditions of country and for getting nearness to God fight with enemies to revive the religion, he is considered martyr (such as Imam Hussein). So human is respected in Islamic culture and Quran: “And we respect human”? (Esrae, 70). This respect is given to human by God and is achieved by moving in his path.
3- Comparison of causes and factors:
With respect to causes and factors, martyrdom and suicide have not any similarity also. As a case in point, causes of suicide in one of Iran’s provinces are written here:
In one of Iran’s provinces, the three main reasons of successful suicides have been addiction of the suicider, spouse, or children (15.2%), poverty (13.9 %), and mental disorders such as depression (12%). In case of unsuccessful suicides they have been poverty and unemployment (25%), frustration of youth (16.7%), and mental disorders (6.7%) (Asgari 1376:39).
In addition, we read about causes of suicide among teenagers:
“Teenagers who commit suicide usually have a long history of incompatibility in their families. They fell so much strangeness to their parents that cannot communicate with or get help from them. They have often tried to get close to others and get emotional support from them, but these relations have not been stable and have resulted in hopelessness and isolation of them.”? (Biabangard 1376:270).
But as described before, martyrdom-seeking behavior is not related to an atmosphere in which the person could not bear himself anymore. A Godly person acts with a strong morale and self confidence which is given to him by his Unitarian view (16) and with a will change and revolution (not necessarily being killed). He stands against rascality, hopelessness, badness,… and his motivation is performing his divine duty, and he fights evilness in this way as much as he can, and it may charges him his life, but with a spiritual interpretation knowing that he is leaving this world and going to another extensive everlasting world.
4- Suicide product of strangeness to God, and martyrdom product of accepting Him
The existing point in Durkheim’s look about suicide was that with a rise in protestant interpretation of religion in which the factor of free will is invigorated and the fatalistic attitudes diminished vis a vis a catholic interpretation , the statistics of suicide among the Christians have been escalated( the more free will, the more suicide).
It is quite debatable that if the will of man is emphasized regarding the religious insight, there will be a higher rate of suicide. If this hypothesis was testable, in Islamic culture in the past centuries there was a sect, Motazele who even believed that there was no relationship between God and the man and that man was absolutely free of God’s presence. Thus there must be suicide occurring among the rhetoricians, while the phenomenon of suicide in its plurality of form is a product of the modern world and has no relation to the kind of belief of the man in will or fatalism. The crux of the matter is where in the discourse of the modernity the new man reached to a view of himself and universe as a result of which not only did his individuality improved but also it led to his separation from the god and distantiation from spirituality. The real factor of increased number of suicide was the weakening of God seeking and man’s interaction with Him which makes it possible for man to act as God’s surrogate and make decisions for his life and existence, while from a religious point of view, there is not such a right for man. In the culture of martyrdom-seeking, God grants man permission to be killed and hence, man is capable of dangerous escapades in the field of fight which has the possibility of being killed. Also, giving one’s life in the path of God is the nearest possible way of approaching God.
5) Comparing functions and effects
To the extent that suicide has negative effects, martyrdom and martyr have the positive and constructive capabilities. Though martyrs have been helpful in defending of borders of the country, the Revolution, guaranteeing the national security and public health and interests in those circumstances, yet it is not that all the potentials of the martyrdom have been exploited. In other words, martyrdom and martyrs (their graves, name, memorabilia and other related objects to them) can be exploited to making the culture of spiritualism. As the first witness to the point, if the claimants of the Islamic society have different measures than other political systems, so to what extent the life of Rajaii will have a potential of being used in management field and this martyr has been ignored in terms of his capabilities of presenting patterns of leading figures in crises? He, on the one hand, was an epitome of a fighter against the previous despotic regime of Shah, resistance to tortures and the cruelties of SAVAK and , on the other hand, after the revolution, when was elected to the presidency, during such a critical days of the War, he acted in such a way that can be teaching to everyone. For example, though an MA in terms of education, Rajaii was never a snob and did not show off himself in his behavior and hi, in presidency, only received the salary of a teacher. He once said to the hardliners in war front: ‘when I was among the fighters in war, I immediately forgot my past prison days and forgiving my life in Shah’s regime’. As a martyr among many martyrs of the holy defense, a guerilla as well as a professor, Chamran can be a complete pattern due to his multidimensional character for the new generation. On the other hand, he had accomplished the high scientific positions and enjoyed having a good name even in accredited and renown universities and on the other hand, he felt responsibility (as a devout Shiite Muslim ) and concern toward the condition of Muslim world. So instead of being attracted to the academic atmosphere of the US, he went to Lebanese fronts to help Muslims and eventually gave his blood in the Imam Khomeini’s way of thinking in founding Islamic Republic state.
It is possible that in such a short introduction Chamran may only be known as an academician or a victorious guerilla, but his high spirits resided with its spiritual and figurative delicacies and his prayers presented his burning inside which was full of love of the God.
Really, to what extent Chamran has enjoyed the fame which he deserved among the youth? Do not we need to represent him via film, books, novels, poetry and etc., to society so that in the field of science, the youth using his guiding figure, do not be lost in the maze of alienation and reject their true identity. It is good to conclude this paper with a beautiful poem by Eqbal Lahoori, by which he has eulogized Imam Hosien in his long elegy, explaining Imam Hosien’s role, with this opening line;
One who had contract with God.
Once Caliphate separated from Quran
Liberality was poisoned for all
Rose who was the manifestation of the best of the folk
His steps as a cloud
Rained to the land of Karbala
He cultivated Rose in the wastelands
To doom’s cut the despotism
His blood grew the grass
For the God he has lied in blood
So he is a base for La Elah
His blood was interpretation of the secrets
Awoke the unknowing
We learned the Quran secrets from Hosien
And got blazes from his flame
O zephyr, o the messenger of the forlorn
Carry our tears to his honorable soil. (Javid: 1991; 57-58)
1) From a discursive point of view death has been categorized by the titles ‘inevitable fate’ and ‘absolute fate’. According to Almizan, in the definition of the called fate, it is read that it is the same as the inevitable fate that has been given in the ‘ grand bood’and the absolute fate is the fate that has been recorded in the famous scripture. The absolute fate is of incomplete causality, but the inevitable fate has perfect causality. Absolute fate is not determinate and factual; that is if any barring in the way, it may not be realized. But the inevitable fate is determinate and factual and is the same as the fate which is happening whatever. These fates are different in a number of cases, but in others they are the same. But the one which happens is inevitable fate. Also in the discussion of absolute fate, it is the matter of capability of a fate and in inevitable fate; it is the matter of a fate that arise from some cases. For more information, refer to Salari; 1369; 92-94 and also Motahhari’s Man and Fate gives an interesting discussion about the inevitability and non-inevitability of man’s fate including death.
2) One can find a credible link between the spiritual death and martyrdom-seeking death. Because the martyr is who, in fight against the self, accepts spiritual death and because he is a victorious one in this regard, has gained experiences, he is capable of seeing God, his beloved. Among martyrs of Karbala, the story of Hor bin Yazid Riahi who, at the first place, who is a common man like others (a number of Karbala martyrs are among the prophets households) and in the second, during his life up to this point, has been in the evil front (unlike most of the Karbala martyrs who has lived a life of preservation, persistence and cleanliness of the spirit, despite not being among the prophets households) is such. He suddenly decided to test his spiritual death, conflicted with his self, abandoned lordship and because he was successful in this fight, he was capable of seeing God and martyrdom and for all history, he was adorned by this saying of Imam Hosien: ‘ Thou werest a libertine whilst born and willst be libertine in two worlds’. For more information refer to Mansournejad,1386, Youth, the Young and Ashoora Culture
3) A point of some reflection is that in the text the martyrdom has been considered from Shiite interpretive sources. It is obvious that martyrdom is capable of exegesis in other Unitarian and non-Unitarian faiths and ideologies. But the common feature of all faiths and nations is that when one choses to sacrifice himself, has clear objectives and he sees life as true and intentionally accepts this kind of death.
4) For narrations of the face of martyrs when becoming a martyr and his blood, refer to Pouramini, 1365: 177-184 and the verses related to martyrs Ibid: 224-277
5) Late Mohaghegh, the author of Sharia has categorized the Mokalefin as this: in deeds of the mokalefif the intention is approach to God or not. If so, it will be prayer and if not, the verbal saying is necessary or not; if not, they are commands and if so, the verbal saying needs 2 or one party. The 2 party verbal saying is called the contract and one party is called ‘Iqaa’. A brief description of the Feqhh chapters in terms of classification Sharaya can be found in Motahari, An introduction t Islamic Sciences, chapter on Feqhh.
6) Durkheim’s book on the issue is accessible in Persian translation by Nader Salarzade Amini, Allame Tabatabii University Press.
7) The existing point in Durkheim’s look about suicide was that with a rise in protestant interpretation of religion in which the factor of free will is invigorated and the fatalistic attitudes diminished vis a vis a catholic interpretation , the statistics of suicide among the Christians have been escalated( the more free will, the more suicide).
8) For Durkheim’s views on suicide, refer to Kevi and Compebhood; 1370:39-42, 1382:102-107, Giddens, 1363: third chapter: sociological method and its application on suicide. However Durkheim’s view of suicide is a sociological. This discussion has been analyzed by psychologists. For example, from this perspective it has been regarded as the result of psychosis caused by a sense of guilt. For more information in this filed, see also Biabangard, 1376: 268-270
9) In this regard a collection of documents entitled ‘we confess’ has been collected which is about the global acknowledgements of the intrusiveness of Iraqi regime, using chemical weapons and western political , propagandist ,economic, logistic and armorial helps to Iraq and also accepting Iran’s victory which is quite interesting(Safari 1370)
10) For further study in the meaning therapy, see also Frankle: 1374, Manteghi: 1372, chapter 16, Dejkam 1366: last chapter
11) In the ending discourse, Imam Hosein has addressed his supporters in the way from Mecca to Karbala as the following: ‘among you who wants to sacrifice his life and martyrdom and visiting God, be ready to move, as I will move this morning’ (Najmi 1362: 63)
12) In an explanation by Imam Khomeini about this Hadith, we read: we ourselves are the covering between ourselves and Allah and one who tore this covering in the path of Him… in a quotation from Kafi martyrs have been accredited with being in parity with prophets. So God shows Himself to martyrs as well.
13) One of the objections to martyrdom is that one who is ready to be killed also is ready to kill and so the upholding of the culture of martyrdom may lead to the outbreak of violence. If this objection is a social reality, generalizing an example of a concept is to mix the example with concept. Every positive concept may be misused. It is not a good solution not to use the positive issue, but we must make things clear and search for the desired effect. Martyrdom is not the business of every selfish and narcissist person, but it is the business of who have accomplished delicacies of the spirit which is not penned up to earthly matters so any violent behavior toward friends, kin, fellow religious brothers and fellow compatriots is impossible to think about martyrs. On the one hand, martyrs goal is to sacrifice his body for the sake of others, not claiming the life of others for themselves. So both those who using the pretext for martyrdom spread violence are strayed and those who makes martyrdom equal to violence.
14) Of course martyrs and martyrdom is dangerous but to the enemy, to the despotism, especially because in the time of the Absence of the Imam of the Time, in an offensive and defensive fight against enemies becomes martyr. So the martyr’s functions are beneficial to the political system a society as well.
15) About the Hosieni Crusade, this objection sometimes come to the surface that is not Hosien’s act of losing his family and followers in Karbala as an example of suicide. Sometimes one verse of Quran is quoted for the proof which reads ‘do not torment yourselves by your hands’ (ale emran: 192) on the issue of the correspondence of Imam Hosein’s act with the above verse from Quran, refer to Dastgheib (Bita): 168,203 and for the righteousness of Imam Hosein’s act from the beginning to the end (from Medina to Karbala) refer to Mansournejad, ‘reason as the barring and generalizing element in Hoseini Crusade’ (1377). The added point to the discussion is that one of the indicators of suicide is that a killed and a killer must exist and the other indicator is that the act must be done intentionally. Neither of these indicators is true about Ashoora. It is obvious that the first criterion is not true; but the second criterion is debatable. For example, in the Ashoora mid day while Omare Saad men attached and were ready to kill, Imam postponed the act of killing and the Ashoora did not begin with the killing, but Imam Hosien using the psychological factor of the enemy and asking why they would kill him, arising the religious and humane feelings tried to save them from doing such an onslaught and when only rendered on his will by the enemy to choose from death and shame, accepted death. Here Imam Hosein replied valiantly: ‘Beware of shame!’
16) In a depiction of the Unitarian versus non Unitarian ontology, it has been suggested that ‘Unitarian ontology is supported by logic and deduction and gives life, spirit and meaning, for it puts man in the path of perfection which is unending. It is only forward moving. It has attractiveness and gives man freshness and hope. It has sublime goals and makes man altruist’ (Motahari, 1374:15)
17) For more information, refer to Abedi, ‘Rajaii the President’; Asgari rad, The Secrets of Permanence; Raii Goluje, the political biography of Rajaii; Rajaii, ways of Martyr Rajaii
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Translator: none of the translations of the poems in the text is claimed to be literary.