I was not afraid of anything

Imam Khamenei's opinion about Martyr Soleimani’s unfinished book of memoirs


- What is your name?

- Qasem!

- Your surname?

- Soleimani!

- Aren't you studying?

- Yes sir, but I want to work too!

A few minutes later, they brought a tray of rice with some stew. It was the first time I was seeing this type of food. Later, I found out it was called ‘Qormeh Sabzi!’...” These are anecdotes from 14-year-old Qasem Soleimani’s life around the year 1973. This was when he left the village he had grown up in and went to the major city in the province to find a job and pay off his father's debt. Put yourself in the place of the people of Kerman in those days! Who was willing to give a job to a nomadic, rural teenager who had no experience and had not even seen Qormeh Sabzi or cars before?! Qasem, however, had promised himself that he would pay off his father's debt. He kept his promise.

Reading Haj Qasem's autobiography about the period of his childhood and adolescence helps his audience to understand one thing very well. To do great things, you do not necessarily need to be the child of a rich and famous family or to have numerous conveniences. It is enough to be a good servant of God.

At the times when you are aware of God's will, follow His path consciously. And at the times when you do not know what His will is, listen to your instinct’s pure voice and do not be afraid of anything. If you do this, God will open your chest (heart and mind). Then you will welcome great sorrows, and He will strengthen your shoulders so that you can carry His trust. You will become well-known as a great man because you are a guide on a great path. If this happens, your life in the fifth and sixth decades of your life will be a natural continuation of the pure path that you took when you were only twelve or thirteen years of age.

This took place in the middle of Kerman in the year 1977, and far from the support of pious, pure-hearted, nomadic parents who lived in a village and had lived a life without committing the smallest sins while always listening to their instinct’s pure voice.

Many of Haj Qasem's personality traits and characteristics in the following years and at the peak of his honor and glory can be traced back to the period of his childhood and adolescence. All human beings are like this. However, that which is a major achievement is for one to take good care of the pure seedling of their inner nature in the face of the whirlwinds of temptations and sins. This is the difference between Haj Qasem and many others. The pure seedling of his human nature was well nurtured. So well nurtured that years later it became a majestic, fruitful tree with the blessings of honor, glory, endurance and resistance, and of course, being a servant of God.

In this same style, Haj Qasem has narrated the story of his simple, pure, rural life, which was of course lived in poverty and deprivation, up until the middle of his revolutionary struggles. These include when he was a child in a nomad family, when he stepped into a larger society called the city of Kerman at the beginning of his adolescence, when in 1975 he heard slogans against the Shah - which in his own words were very valuable in his mind at that time - and when he eventually reached the fountainhead in 1978 due to a pilgrimage to Imam Reza’s (pbuh) shrine and the grace of that great Imam. This is the entire story of Qasem’s life.

He had said "no" to sins and temptations, thanks to his following his pure nature, and of course due to the pure, sincere upbringing he had received from his simple, nomadic, rural parents. And God supported him. He did not leave him alone and helpless in the midst of the waves of the events and seditions of the time. It was as if Qasem's whole life could be summed up in what a friend of many years later, Sayyid Shirazi, said, “Whoever is with God, God is with him.” In the Qur’an itself it is written, "We shall certainly guide those who strive hard for Our cause." Put in today’s language, God promises that He will open up the path of guidance for those who travel His path. And in the words of Attar Neyshabouri centuries ago, "Start on the path and do not ask anything. God will lead you on the way…”

From the very beginning, in the mountains and hills of Qanat-e-Malek and Rabor in Kerman, until the end of his life and ascension at the Baghdad Airport, Qasem was a perfect example of the above-mentioned descriptions.

Exactly one year before the Revolution, his acquaintance with Imam Khomeini changed the course of Qasem's life and multiplied the speed of his growth in servitude to God. Imam Khomeini became the catalyst for young Qasem’s life. He was the embodiment of the beliefs, customs and manners that his parents and his pure nature had guided him toward for years. This prompted him to promise himself that he would remain Imam Khomeini's soldier for the rest of his life. He kept his promise for the rest of his life. Have you heard that it is said, “He lost his head, but he did not forget his promise’?! This was literally true about Qasem.

“I feared nothing” is Haj Qasem’s autobiography, which he wrote with his injured hand. It is the autobiography of a man from a remote village in Kerman who has narrated some periods of his simple, fascinating life. This is the story of the formation of the personality of a man who rose from being a shepherd to reaching a place as high as the heavens.

The first copy of this book was presented to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the morning of Wednesday, December 16, 2020, at the end of a visit with the family of Martyr Soleimani. As the daughter of Martyr Soleimani has stated in the introduction of the book, “I offered him a gift on behalf of Haj Qasem. The gift was Haj Qasem’s autobiography, which we intended to publish on the occasion of the anniversary of his martyrdom. What I had was actually a first draft of the book.

After the visit ended, I presented it to the Leader of the Revolution. He asked some questions about it and kindly accepted this small gift.

Several days after this meeting, just before the book was finalized, I received a text from the Office of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution. He had been so kind as to write a note in memory of his "Loyal Soldier" before reading the book. This was a text full of loving-kindness and graciousness that enhanced this book like a soul-filling its skeletal body:

In the Name of the Most High

Anything that highlights the memory of our dear martyr soothes the eyes and the hearts. It is true that God bestowed the utmost prominence on his remembrance, thus giving him a worldly reward for his sincerity and righteous deeds. However, we each have a duty. I have not yet read this book, but apparently it can be a step forward in this direction.

May God bless us with what He blessed him from His bounty.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei

December 27, 2020