Nov 7 2022
- Please introduce yourself and tell how you became a Shia
My name is Salman Haddadi, I was born in 1982 in Sanandaj city (the city in Iran). My father said to my mother: Give a religious name to our child. My mother, who was born in Syria and is of the Shia faith, and had and still has a lot of love for Amirul Momineen in her heart, named me Salman.
I grew up with this name while I hated my name and felt ashamed because I was exposed to a lot of poisoned advertisements from Shiites. And I felt very bad and it was a shame for me that my mother is a Shia. With my father’s encouragement in middle school, I started and continued to study seminary courses in addition to school lessons.
After finishing high school, I went to Zahedan and Makki Mosque for 3 years, and after becoming a Maulvi, I went to Raiwand, Pakistan for 4 months, to learn a full course on how to advertise and recruit. After returning from Pakistan, I took the entrance exam and was admitted to Kermanshah University in the field of mining. In Pakistan, they taught specially in 20 sessions how to attract a person to Wahhabism within 5 minutes.
I found a Shia friend there named Mehdi Rezaei. He was a very good-natured and trustworthy person. I always put my head on his head and said: Isn’t it a pity that you are a Shiite with your morals? He was also very greedy and sometimes upset, but he didn’t say anything. Sometimes in my answer he would say: It’s not a pity that you are a selfie!
4 years have passed since our friendship, and he often told me: Come and participate in majlis of Seyyed al-Shohada at least once. It was very difficult for me, who had a long beard and the appearance of Wahhabi Maulvis. I said to him: What is this blasphemy? He used to say: Now come and see closely. With a lot of insistence, he convinced me to go to the majlis assembly once.
I went with my friend to Imam Hussain’s (peace be upon him) majlis on Ashura night and I was forced to sit in a corner with anger. I saw a Seyyed go to the pulpit and during his speech he said: Which of you is willing to give your life for the sake of God and Islam and then be sure that your wife and children will be taken captive? At that time, what did Seyyed al-Shahda (peace be upon him) see when he came, his life was taken and his family and children were taken captive? Why did Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) do such a great thing?
Whatever I thought, I saw that among my favorite characters, there is no character like Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) who is willing to do such a great and dangerous thing for the sake of Islam! This was an important question that arose for me.
At the same time, I was very sad for Imam Hussain and his personality, why no one understood Imam Hussain and did not accompany him. That night they turned off the lights and mourned, I sat down and cried a lot for Seyyed al-Shohda. I was upset that our sect does not allow us to get to know Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) well, I was discouraged, I was also very upset with myself that why I did not know Seyyed al-Shohda (peace be upon him) until now? But since we were told since childhood that the Shiites are sophists and make the unjust appear to be right, I ran away from the Shiites. I was willing to become a Satan worshiper, not to become a Shia, I was willing to accept any religion except Shia.
For this reason, I seriously studied all Sunni religions from Hanafi to Hanbali, Maliki and Shafi’i. I saw that these are the same as before, there is no difference. I read Christianity and saw that Christianity has nothing to say either. I read Zoroastrianism; it didn’t convince me either. I even read satanist books but none of them satisfied me. Every religion that I read, I discussed with its scholars, I researched and checked the fact that the words of the books are real and there is no conflict between the writings in the books and the words of the scholars of that religion. In all the religions that I had studied, this I saw the conflicts (it took me 4 years to examine all the religions)
It passed and I very carefully examined the Shia sects until I left for Qom to get to know the Shia Twelver Imams better. I went to Ayatollah Behjat’s office and asked my questions and doubts there, and they answered me with patience and kindness.
After that, I asked them to introduce me to a book so that I could research more about Shia. They introduced me to the book of Al-Muraje’at and Peshawar Nights. I prepared those books and started reading them.
I was reading the contents of those two books in order to see whether the contents quoted from Sunni books are correct or not., its true. I had a question, why after all these years, these hadiths were far from our eyes and we didn’t see them? And if we saw such cases and asked the scholars, they would easily pass by them or They justified it, for example, they said: This is a virtue, not a vice. While it was the opposite.
I was very impressed when I read these. I studied these books for exactly 6 months and I thought to myself, are the Shiites who we excommunicated for years really still infidels and polytheists with these reasons they have from our books? Does that mean we were going the wrong way for twenty years?
I was struggling with myself that considering that Shia is really right, how should I accept it?! Sometimes I didn’t even sleep and I was examining the difficult ways that would be put on me after becoming a Shia. I had realized that Shia was right, but my prejudices did not allow me to accept it. Until I finally became a Shia, and after I became a Shia, I printed a booklet under the title “Is Shia right?” And in that, I brought proofs from Sunni books that proved that the Shia religion is the correct religion and distributed it. Someone took this notebook and gave it to my father. And he said: This was printed by your son.
My father said to me: Salman, have you become a Shia? I did not dare to say: yes. I didn’t even know how to hide.
I said: If God accepts.
He said: No, they tricked you.
I said. I have been telling people for a lifetime not to be fooled by Shia, now you are telling me that you have been fooled?
I sat down and started arguing with my father. And with the help of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) with the presence of a sufficient mind, I was able to give the answer using Sahih Bukhari and Muslim. Some of my father’s friends came and I discussed with them and they were also condemned.
I said: I was in Kurdistan and I am in Sanandaj, I did not go to the Shiites to get training. These contents are all from your own books, not Shia books. In 6 months, I talked and debated with 18 people with the help of Ahl al-Bayt, and many of them became Shia.
I only read narrations from their authentic books and never used weak narrations. When they had nothing to say, they either cursed or slandered. I used to laugh that they had taught us for years that whenever you are shortchanged, answer the other side with slander and insults and don’t let them win over you, now they themselves used this method against me.
When they saw that they could not answer me like this, my father comforted me and said to me: Salman, what is the car under your feet? I said: Xantia. He said: Leave it aside, I will buy you a Maxima on the condition that you don’t mention any more Shia names. (Be Shia, do whatever you want, but don’t advertise for Shia)
I laughed and said: I don’t want Maxima. Isn’t it still the middle century because at that time (heaven and hell were bought and sold and I don’t want to buy hell).
For 6 months, they humiliated and harassed me and I had no choice but to tolerate them. And life became very difficult for me (I met my wife in Kurdistan when she became a Shia – she was a normal Sunni. My wife was pregnant. And life was putting pressure on me. I told my wife that I can’t live like this, I’m going to Tehran. To find a job, I will rent a house and then I will follow you to leave here.
I went out of the house. I saw my father standing on the street with some people. They seemed to understand that I wanted to leave. My wife said I will come with you to the end of the street.
I said: No, stay here. But she insisted and came with me.
I went to them.
They blocked my passage
5,6 people fell on me and one of them hit me hard with a hand stick in his hand and I fell there due to that blow and I didn’t understand anything anymore and because of that blow I stuttered.
My wife, who was going to defend me, came forward to stop them, and one of them kicked her, and as a result of that blow, she miscarried her 4-month-old baby, but thank God, I did not see that scene.
People called the police and the police came and then the emergency…
I immediately remember Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) who beat his wife in front of his eyes, but he could not defend her. I don’t know what he did in that scene? He is really the first oppressed in the world.
When I was unconscious for two or three days in the hospital, when I woke up, they told me that your wife had miscarried her child and I was stuttering because of the blow on my head and I can hardly speak.
We ran away from the hospital at night and with difficulty made it to the city of Urmia, to one of my friends. I explained the situation to him and said: We left everything we had there and came to you. Help us and get us a house. (I explained to him the process of becoming a Shia).
It was interesting that he didn’t know anything about Sunni religion, he didn’t know Umar and Abu Bakr, he didn’t know Amirul Momineen, he didn’t have any practical commitment to his religion, and he didn’t even know how many rak’ahs the prayer is. He told me: No; If you had committed a thousand murders or committed any other crime, I would have helped you, but since you became a Shia, I can’t help you!
It was there that I left his house and for the first time in my life, we slept on the street with my sick wife who had aborted her child.
With the amount of money, we had, we reached Qom and because we didn’t know anyone in Qom and had no place to stay, we stayed in Jamkaran for 45 days. We were starving, but when I remembered the hunger, displacement and bare feet of the Ahl al-Bayt of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him), it became easier for us to bear it.
While we were in Jamkaran, it was in 2006, we didn’t even have shoes, we didn’t even have money to buy a car, in short, we found a piece of paper and wrote a letter to Imam Zaman saying, I am very stuck and because of you, I left everything and came.
It was thanks to the grace of Imam Zaman (a.s) that one-time meal was prepared for us anyway. Now it was either an offering, or a majlis would come and give dinner, or in some other way, our food would come.
I used to sleep on the cardboard at night. After a long time passed, one of Jamkaran’s servants, who had been watching us for a few days, came and said: “Let me see your ID card!” who are you?
We showed him the ID card. When he saw the name of Sanandaj, he said: What are you doing here?
With a severe stuttering caused by the blow to my head, we told him: We have become Shiites.
He said: You have not done anything wrong. Do you have a place in Qom?
I was embarrassed to say no, we said we have a place. He left and returned 20 minutes later and said: Is 30 thousand tomans enough for you to return to your city?
I said: I don’t want money!
He said: We Shias are not so unzealous that we are indifferent to sleeping in the street.
He gave me the money and after two months I was able to go to the bathroom and cut my hair with that money.
We went to the shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh. We begged Bibi a lot and said: We came because of you and your ancestors. We don’t know any place. We don’t know anything; we only know you.
We divided that money and every day we bought and ate a very little thing. One day, we said to one of the servants of the shrine: Sir, we are not beggars, but we are your guests anyway, and I asked him for help. I said we became Shia but we don’t know what to do?!
He said: Go down this street to the office of any Marja to, they will help you.
We reached the office of Marja. A man was sitting there. When I came to tell the story, my wife started crying and I told the story
When he saw our situation, he loved us a lot and said: If you want to stay in Qom, I will find a place for you.
I said: No, we want to go back to Urmia and find a job in the schools there.
He said: OK and gave us some money and we left.
When we came out, I said to my wife: since we have come here and we have money, let’s go to visit Imam Reza (peace be upon him), then we will return to Urmia to find work.
We went to Mashhad. I cried a lot there.
It is interesting to know that our stay in Mashhad lasted for about 3-4 years. During this time, my wife had lost 14 kilos due to the hardships and discomforts she had endured and suffered from depression.
The process passed and I unofficially became a student of seminary of Mashhad. I started reading Shia textbooks. a year passed. We then went to Qom and got a house there with the help of friends.
- What is your sweetest memory of becoming a Shia?
My most memorable and sweetest memory was the 30,000 Tomans they gave me in Jamkaran, and even now, no matter how much I search and look in photos, etc. to find that servant, I still haven’t found him (those 30,000 Tomans I was very blessed and I did not miss it at all)
Another memory I have is that in 2010, during the Eid ceremony of Hazrat Zahra (PBUH), I asked for two things, one was a child and the other was a visit to Karbala.
The following week, someone saw me and said: I dreamed last night that you and your wife were pouring tea for the mourners of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) in Hosseiniyeh. He interpreted his dream like this: I have to send you and your wife to Karbala. He found a sponsor and sent us to Karbala. After the trip to Karbala, we found out that we have a baby on the way. At first, we couldn’t believe it, years had passed since the blow to my wife’s side, and we didn’t think she would get pregnant again.
- How did you look at Amirul Momineen Ali (peace be upon him) before becoming a Shia?
Before I became a Shia, Imam Ali’s face was a normal person in my eyes, and in my opinion, he was someone who made a big mistake by fighting with Ayesha or Muawiya. After becoming a Shia, the face of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) in my eyes is that whatever good things are said about him, even if the evidence is weak, I accept it and I love him so much that I accept every word from him.
- If you want to describe Amir al-Mumenin in one sentence, what would you say?
It is very difficult to describe Hazrat in one sentence. And it doesn’t work at all. Is it possible to sum up an ocean in one sentence?
The best thing that is possible in the world and the best refuge and shelter in this world is Hazrat Zahra (peace be upon her). Whoever has any problem, if we swear by Hazrat Ali on the right of his lady Hazrat Zahra, the problem will definitely be solved. I didn’t ask for anything about myself and my problem, I always asked God for the health of Imam Zaman.
- Don’t you think that the cry you cried on the night of Ashura for Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) while you were a Wahhabi saved you?
That cry was really a special cry, it was a favor, I cried so much that night that my whole clothes got wet. Being the ship of salvation of Hazrat Seyyed al-Shahada left its own impression on me that night.
I think that the 4 years that I read and studied and it took was for my foundations to be strong to defeat everyone in any debate that when a Christian comes and tells me something, I don’t laugh at him and have no doubts and it will never happen to me.
I consider Shia and its foundation so high and strong that I will not surrender to any religion.
- Have you heard anything in the Sunni books of the virtues of Amir al -Mu’minin and Hazrat Zahra (peace be upon her) before the Shiite religion?!
Overall, with my research, there are almost twenty-nine narratives that the narrator is the Amirul-Momineen and a narrative whose narrator is Zahra (peace be upon him).
The Sunni scholars hid the situations of these imams from us and read so much in our ears, and we had trusted them that we would not allow ourselves to adapt their words to the books and examine their documentation.
- How many brothers and sisters do you have? Did they become Shiites too?
We are 4 sisters and 4 brothers. One of my brothers and one of my sisters is also Converted to shia and now they are in Tehran and we have nothing to do with anyone else. All of us who became Shiites are completely rejected from home and family.
- What was the strongest reason to attract you to Shiite?!
I read all religions, but no religion has the spirit that exists in Ali (a.s) and his children. There is no contradiction.
The love in Hussein in the incident of Karbala and the captives – the love in Hazrat Zahra (s.a) is not in any religion.
- What is your plan for the future?!
I’m just trying to be useful to the Shiites. Do not do anything for anyone other than the Ahlul -Bayt (a.s). I have a job with the Fourteen infallibles, what is our duty to the Fourteen infallibles? My plan is to be in the way of Amir al -Mu’minin, Imam Zaman and Ahl al -Bayt (a.s).