The day Fatemeh Toosi saw her son off to the Syrian war, on the quest for martyrdom, she did not cry.
At the door of their middle-class apartment, she held aloft a Quran as her son passed underneath, a traditional drill for true believers of the Islamic Republic bound for the front line. She kept her nerve but expected that she would never see her 20-year-old son, Muhammad Reza Dehghan Amiri, alive again.
He made it clear that he would not return and asked why there were no tears. “I told him, I am not sad at all because you have found the path of righteousness. You are going to a good place. Why should I cry?” recalls teary-eyed mother. “The moment he was leaving, if I had cried, that could have affected his morale and made him tremble, and he might not have volunteered,” “But at the same time, I can’t deny my motherly feelings and love. When he was in Syria, so many times I started crying.....”
- Fatemeh Toosi, mother of martyr Dehghan Amiri.
Dedicated to upholding Iran’s Islamic Revolution, the new generation knows that the Shia’s of Ali a.s have been constantly fighting during the last fourteen centuries, openly and secretly, with the contemporary tyrant and oppressive powers. Muhammad Reza’s sacrifice, who was born on 15th April 1995 in Tehran, is a proof that this ideological torch has passed from one generation to another. Martyr Dehghan Amiri’s story provides a rare glimpse into the world of Islamic Republic’s true believers. The Islamic Revolution of Iran inspired hopes in the hearts of the Muslims and the oppressed of the world and proved to them that without reliance on the east and the west, they can hold their dignity in their own hands. The history of the Revolution, since its inception up to the present time, can serve as an example for all the weakened and the oppressed and particularly for those whose destiny is in the hands of the world’s arrogance. Martyr Dehghan Amiri is a much-lionized example, which illustrates how the ideological torch of the 1979 Revolution passed successfully to his generation. The world is amazed by the active and progressive role of these young men whose religious piety and moral creed inspires the young generation to sacrifice their lives while standing for the defense of Islam and revolutionary ideals.
The Islamic Revolution saw women as prominent and determinant factor besides men. Positive presence of women in the role of mothers, spouses, and sisters in the Sacred Defense was effective in the spiritual, intellectual and moral transformation of children, husbands, and brothers; that led to the perpetuation and development of the revolutionary spirit in the family that served as a contributing factor in the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The spirit continues today, Fatemeh Toosi is a living example of such courageous mothers, wives, and sisters that provided greater motivation to the men to defend the nation and Islam.
The night Muhammad Reza Dehghan Amiri was martyred, his mother wept in loneliness; she was proud that she raised a son who was willing to sacrifice his life for a greater cause. “What I believe is that our children are Allah s.w.t trust to us- they are temporarily ours and will go back to their Lord.” She said.
The younger Iranian generations, according to their capacity have learnt their lessons from the previous generations. They have realized that Martyr’s act like the heart, which regularly provides healthy and motivating blood to the veins of the country. The present generation consists of Iranians who are Ayatollah Khomeini’s fresh breathing heroes and Martyr Muhammad Reza Dehghan is one of them who will go right into the front lines to tell the terrorists that, “they will never see Iran’s borders, not even in their dreams.”
Such fervent religious belief does not grow in a vacuum. For Dehghan Amiri, the values of the noble Shi'ite warrior and martyrdom for a noble cause and justice were imbibed like mother’s milk, in a family where role models include two uncles martyred in Iran-Iraq war. Even when he was a child, his mother would tell him stories of his uncle’s bravery. His elder uncle had graduated from a military academy and died as a Special Force officer at the age of 21, his younger uncle Muhammad Reza Toosi who shares the same name had volunteered to fight when he was 13. He falsified the date on his birth certificate to qualify without telling family members. Eventually, he was killed when he was 16 in an Iranian offensive in northern Iraq in the year 1987. Dehghan Amiri became obsessed with war stories, as his father was also a war veteran, his family made 17 visits to the former battlefield. Dehghan Amiri also volunteered several times to be a “servant of the martyrs” during such trips organized for students, called “Rahian-e-Noor”. In addition, he joined the “Basiji”, an ideological paramilitary force known for its religious training. He graduated from the high school of science and Islamic studies of Imam Sadiq a.s and was a third-year student of Islamic Jurisprudence in the school of Martyr Mutahhari. He had not witnessed the war, but he studied it so much that he knew intricate details about the Iran-Iraq war more than what his father knew, Ali Dehghan Amiri who is a retired police officer. Dehghan Amiri’s parents say that their young son had a three-fold target: “Supporting humanity” by fighting “iISIS”, “Defending the Shi'ite shrine of Sayyeda Zainab” granddaughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, near Damascus; and even repaying the debt to Assad, whose father, “Hafez” was the only Arab leader to side with Iran in the 1980’s.
Dehghan Amiri’s death prompted a “revolution” among his friends to begin training, to join the war in Syria. In his will he called upon his younger brother to embrace martyrdom and “fight on the path of God,” He quotes a Shiite’s saint saying that, if Islam required his death to survive, then “let the swords encircle me.”
He was determined to fight the so-called Islamic state because they “insult humanity”. It was astonishing to people that a person at such a young age volunteered for war, at the same time he looked like a very modern young person... stylish and up-to-date, His sincerity had captivated the minds of many people” quotes his mother. His parents were proud of the fact that their son living in this modern world had come to an understanding for his religious beliefs. There might be some people outside Iran, who wrongly believe that the new generation- because of the cultural invasion from the west are disappointed with the political system in Iran and the values of the revolution. However, Muhammad Reza Dehghan Amiri served as an example to disprove that, and that the new generations are sticking to those principles.
On 12 November 2015, he left for Syria as a commando of the “Basiji” that coincided with the last days of the month of Muharram, forty-eight days later Muhammad Dehghan’s dream came true. He was killed by rounds from 23mm anti-craft cannon by the Takfiri terrorists during the operations on the outskirts of Aleppo, with three others – now often called the “Four Martyrs of Aleppo” and joined the pantheon of Iranian martyrs who are held up by the revolutionary regime as heroes to be revered and followed. He was buried in the shrine of Ali Akbar Chizar. Muhammad Reza Dehghan Amiri tried his best to convey the message of true Islam to the young generations of his country. He was the “Defender of the holy shrine” in its true sense, he demonstrated zeal and commitment; by willing to fight until death and achieved a supreme and enviable achievement “Martyrdom”.