Biography of Martyr Mohsen Hojaji

Martyred like his Master, Defender of the Holy shrine, Mohsen Hojaji.

“Jihad is a door to paradise, but it is not open to all and sundry. Everyone is not worthy of it, everyone is not elected to become a Mujahid. Allah swt has opened this door for his chosen friends only.”
“Nahjal Balagha”

Jihad is an impenetrable armor of Allah. A Muslim community equipped with the spirit of Jihad cannot be vulnerable to the enemy’s assaults. Even in the early days of Islam, many Muslims had a special spirit, which maybe called the spirit of longing for Martyrdom. Imam Ali a.s was the most prominent of such people.

We always have Imam Ali’s name on our lips and claim to be devoted to him. But mere verbal professions cannot make us a better Shia; a true Shia requires following in his footsteps. Since the early days of Islam, every Muslim prayed to Allah for it. As it is evident, from the supplications which have come down to us from the Imams.

The commander of the faithful Imam Ali a.s used to say, “I prefer a thousand strokes of swords to dying in bed.”

Imam Hussain a.s on his way to Karbala used to recite certain lines of poetry. His father is also reported to have recited these verses occasionally….

“Though, worldly things are fine and charming. The recompense of the hereafter is far better….

If, all the possessions and wealth are to be left behind…

Why should one be stingy about them??

If our bodies are meant to die and decay,

Is it not better that they are cut to pieces in the way of Allah??”

Martyred like his Master Imam Hussain a.s Mohsen Hojaji immortalized himself in his own way. He was captured by the most evil people the world has ever seen, but the calmness on his face proved he had the heart of a Hussaini soldier. His Martyrdom created a fervor that enlightened the society, to revive it and to infuse fresh blood into its body. To defeat the enemy is not the only object of Martyrdom. It aims at creating fervor. The leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khameinei rightly says about Martyr Mohsen Hojaji, “Allah blessed the people of Iran through diligence of our dear Mohsen, and made him the symbol of the young revolutionary generation and the continuous miracle of the Islamic Revolution.”

From Saddam Hussain to ISIS, the U.S has been actively arming a proxy war against Iran that has left around a million Iranians widowed and orphaned.

“Mudafi’an-i-Haram” or “Defenders of the Holy shrine” is a phrase that Iran uses for their advisers and military personals, which are fighting in Iraq and Syria. The Iranian military advisers have played a decisive role in protection of the Holy Shrine against terrorism. Iran sees the survival of the Syrian government as being crucial to the longevity of its own regime. Its only consistent ally since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Syria provides a thoroughfare to Hezbollah, who it sees as the first line of defense against Israel.

Mohsen Hojaji, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC soldier was a member of the Iranian advisory team operating in Syria at the request of the legitimately elected government of Syria. Following the U.S strike against the Iraqi popular forces “Hashd-Al-Shaabi” the ISIS seized the opportunity to attack the Syrian troups and captured Hojaji near the Tanf border crossing in the south-east Syria, on August 7 and was beheaded 2 days later. What is interesting is that a few days prior, the U.S bombed the anti ISIS force known as the “Popular Mobilization Units of Iraq” near the Tanf region, which was recently secured by the Syrian Arab Army and their Allies. Under both Obama and Trump, the U.S has consistently targeted anti ISIS forces with precise , yet when it comes to America’s own efforts against ISIS, their strikes only seem to hit civilians and critical infrastructure. Given the track record of the U.S in supporting and arming terrorist groups, this is by design rather than out of foolishness and failing to learn the lessons of history.

The emergence of ISIS in the Middle East is no accident, nor is it a random band of marauding Takfiris who stumbled upon money and weapons. While the U.S invasion of Iraq certainly did empower Al-Qaeda, of which a part of them turned into the Islamic state of Iraq {ISIS}, that’s not the whole story…

Let’s go back to when Iraq was a friend of the United States. CIA files prove that America helped Saddam as he gassed Iran. According to the BBC documentary “Iran and the west” Saddam invaded Iran exactly one day after Iran had diplomatic talks with the west. This proves the two faced untrustworthy nature of the West. Such an invasion would have had to take much more than 24 hours to plan and execute.

Iran was the first country to pledge assistance to Iraq to combat ISIS. It has sent military equipment and provided field assistance. The Shiite Militias fighting ISIS in Iraq trained by Iran are an important support to the fragmented Iraqi Army. Iraqi leaders say that Tehran has often been faster than Washington to offer help in a crisis. “When Baghdad was threatened, the Iranians did not hesitate to help us, and did not hesitate to help the Kurds when Erbil was threatened,” Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider Al Abadi, said in a recent television interview here, referring to the Kurdish capital in the north.

Hojaji is yet another Martyr to add to the countless Iranians who return home in body bags for their wives and children to be widowed and orphaned respectively. Mohsen Hojaji from the Isfahan province in Iran was advising the Syrian military troops near the Iraqi border when his unit was struck by heavy artillery, resulting in his capture and the death of his comrades. Hojaji was then paraded around the Islamic states territory before being summarily beheaded by the terrorist group. Imagery of the decapitated body of Mohsen Hojaji, surfaced on Iranian social media. The video of his capture shared by ISIL went viral on the internet, while it is often the more gruesome ISIS videos that go viral; it was Hojaji’s picture at the moment he was captured that took off. The picture is particularly haunting and looks like something out of a film. Hojaji, dressed in military fatigues, is held by an ISIS fighter with a knife in his hand. In the background, black smoke rises from the overtaken camp. Many who saw it drew comparisons between the expressions of Hojaji and his captor. Hojaji, who likely knew his death was imminent, seems resigned to his fate. The ISIS fighter, with blood running down his cheeks appears almost anxious. Zahra Abbasi, Hojaji’s wife told the Iranian press, “Look into my husband’s eyes. There is no fear in these eyes. It is all bravery, courage. He is like a mountain.”

Iran’s Supreme leader and thousands of others mourned this young Revolutionary Guard solider, his killing has struck a nerve within the Islamic Republic as its forces continue to suffer casualties in Iraq and Syria.

Since his death, artists and others have memorialized Hojaji in videos and paintings. The slaying in Syria of 25-year-old Mohsen Hojaji captured the imagination of many in Iran, a Shiite ruled nation whose national religion considers acts of mourning and acknowledging sacrifices a sacred act. Religious interpretations of his picture became viral. One of the most popular versions came from graphic artist Hassan Rouholamini. His version suggested that Hojaji would be welcomed by the third Shiite saint, Imam Hussain, who was also beheaded in the seventh century. Ayatollah Mohammed Taghi Mesbah Yazadi, a hard-lined Iranian cleric, shared another artistically altered image of Hojaji. A wide range of Iranian politicians made statements on Hojaji’s death.

President Hassan Rouhani vice President of Iran said that his “innocent blood” will expedite the demise of terror group. Some of Iran’s top commanders personally visited the home of Hojaji’s parents to pay their respects, including IRGC commander Mohammed Ali Jafari and the head of the IRGC ground forces, Mohammed Pakpour.

In a message to Hojaji’s parents, wife and son, Quds Force Commander Qasem Solemani vowed revenge until the terrorists are eliminated from the Islamic world. Solemani promised that Iran was more determined than ever to fight ISIS and rid the region of the group.

Commander of the ground force of the Islamic Revolution Guard corps IRGC Brigadier General Mohammed Pakpour says, “Iran has expanded its operational fields, and its sphere of combat and defense has gone beyond the country’s borders.”
According to Farsi report by the Fars News Agency, the top general went to say that, “the enemy resorted to different plots after the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980’s to deal a blow to the Islamic Republic. It’s been several years we’ve been fighting terrorist backed by hegemonic powers and the wicked Al-Saud rulers in south east, west, North West, and south west of Iran. Iran has faced another front in Syria in recent years. Takfiris backed by hegemonic powers and Saudi Arabia attacked Iraq and Syria and if they hadn’t been stopped, they would have left no trace of Damascus, Karbala, Najaf and Shiites. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran got engaged in defending Holy Shrines by taking on an advisory role,” he said. “We assumed an advisory role in Syria and Iraq at the request of their governments, not like the Americans and others who entered those countries without permission,” he said.

The world was affected by this Iranian youth’s courage in countering the criminal enemy and the epic which could be seen in his eyes.

Following are remarkable points that send Martyr Hojaji’s message to the world, which hopefully will teach a lesson to the terrorist and their masters who have deprived the innocent people in the region of peace and security:

1. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a victim of terrorism in the past four decades, counters this evil phenomenon with full force and has made the enemies of peace and security upset. Iran has sent the world this message that the country and the axis of resistance are the forerunners in seeking peace by adopting the mentioned policy.

2. The hegemonic system led by the U.S and the Zionist regime of Israel has been making serious efforts to portray a violent image of Islam and Iran, but the public opinion has become aware that Iran is pursuing a peace-seeking policy based on the rights of people regardless of their ethnicity or religion. This approach detests the ideology of Takfirism.

3. The new generation has been educated by the divine teachings of Islam and is ready to help innocent people, something which has put Iran on the peak of the fight against the anti-human nature of the hegemonic system.

While ISIS tried to use Hojaji’s capture and subsequent beheading as propaganda, many saw it differently…

“With the likes of Iranian Martyr Mohsen Hojaji who was killed by the Daesh in Syria, the Takfiri terrorist must know that they will not come out victorious in any way.” Says an Analyst.

“Counter terrorism is not fought in the corridors of Washington with politicians making grandstanding statements; it is fought on the battle fields with people who actually have the stomach for their belief.” Catherine Shakdom told the Press T.V

“This Martyrdom of Hojaji will be a message of hope and resilience to other people and maybe a message to Daesh militants that there is no way that they could ever win.” The director of Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern studies said.

“Holy Shrine Defenders guarantee Iran’s security, dignity for Iranian people. Hojaji and his peers have brought about value for the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Majlisi [parliament] speaker Ali Larijani said.

Based on the cease fire deal between Hezbollah and ISIS the body of Martyr Mohsen Hojaji was returned to Hezbollah to be returned home. The transfer of Lebanon’s captured soldiers and two Martyrs as well as the body of Martyr Hojaji took place after the busses carrying ISIS militants and their families arrived in the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs province, according to media reports.

This year the beginning of Moharram coincided with the week of “Sacred Defense” and while the country was already commemorating the week of Sacred Defense, and Moharram they opened their arms and welcomed back the body of their own Martyr, Hojaji. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei prayed near Hojaji’s Iranian flag wrapped casket. Many current and former government officials including parliament speaker Ali Larijani and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended the funeral.

While on the street, soldiers with the paramilitary Guard mixed with men wearing black and women wearing long black chadors. Many were carrying drawn portrait of Martyr Hojaji. “We swear on the blood of Hojaji, we will not rest until destroying Israel,” cleric Ali Reza Panahian said from the podium. “Israel, we swear on the head of Hojaji that we will be heading your leaders. Guards! Prepare your missiles for annihilation of Israel.”

Hojaji’s body was first taken to Iran’s holy city of Mashhad for the blessing in the shrine of Imam Reza a.s, the eight Shiite Imam. He was interred in his home town of Najafabad, some 400km south of Tehran.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including ISIS. According to a report by the Syrian center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million and displaced nearly half of the countries pre war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders. In the mean time, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign backed militancy. Martyr Hojaji and many others like him are stunning examples of voluntary, conscious and selfless action. They are the true illuminators of our society, had they not shed their light, on the darkness of despotism and suppression, humanity would have made no progress.


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16. A few sentences from “Nahjul Balagha”

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