A Letter to his Daughter by Shaheed Qasem Soleimani
The following is the published letter of martyred Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the late commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, to his daughter Fatima about the philosophy of life, jihad, and the desire for martyrdom in defense of the oppressed and terrified children of the world.
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful:
Is this my last journey or is my fate something else? Whatever it is, I am satisfied with it. On this trip, I am writing to you so that it will be a way for you to remember me when you are missing me. Maybe you will find something useful in it and it comes in handy.
Every time I start a journey, I feel like I won’t see you again. Many times, along the way, I see each and every one of your loving faces in front of my eyes, and many times, I have shed tears missing you. I miss you; I left you all to Allah. Although I have had less opportunity to express my love and I could not convey my inner love to you, but my dear, have you ever seen someone look in front of his mirror and tell his eyes, “I love you.” This does not happen, but his eyes are the most precious to him. You are my eyes. Whether I say it or not, you are dear to me. I have been worrying about you for more than twenty years, and Allah has planned for this life not to end right now, and, thus, you will have nightmares [while I live]. My daughter, however much I think – and I have been thinking – that I could to do something else to worry you less, I saw that I could not; and it was not and is not because of my interest in military service. It was not and will not be because of the job. It was not and is not due to coercion or insistence of anyone. No, my daughter, I am never willing to worry you even for a moment because of work, responsibility, insistence, or compulsion, let alone leave you alone or make you cry.
I saw that everyone in this world has chosen a path for themselves, one learns a science and the other teaches a science. One trades, the other cultivates, and there are millions of ways, or better to say, there is one way for every human being, and everyone has chosen a way for themselves. I saw what path I must choose. I thought to myself and reviewed several issues and asked myself, firstly, how long is this road, where does it end, how much time do I have. And basically, what is my destination. I saw that in this life, I am temporary, and everyone else is also temporary. We stay for some time [in this world] and leave. Some for a few years, some for ten years, and very few reach a hundred years. But everyone leaves, and everyone is temporary. I saw that if I do business, the result is some shiny coins and some houses and some cars. But these things will not affect my fate [if I take] on this path. I thought that I would live for you, I saw that you are very important and precious to me, so much that if pain comes to you, pain will take over my whole being. If something happens to you, I will find myself amid flames. If you leave me one day, the shackles of my being will collapse. But I saw how I can solve my fears and worries. I saw that I must connect with someone who can cure me of this problem [of wanting to protect you], and He is none other than Allah. You [children] are the flowers of my existence, and this value and treasure cannot be preserved with wealth and power. Otherwise, the rich and powerful would prevent themselves from dying, or their wealth and power would prevent their incurable diseases and prevent them from becoming bedridden. I have chosen Allah and His way. This is the first time I admit this sentence; I never wanted to be a soldier, I never liked being drafted. I don’t prefer any position over the beautiful word “Qasem” that came out of the pure mouth of that Basiji Pasdar martyr. I have liked and still like to be just “Qasem” without any suffix or prefix. Therefore, I have requested that only “Soldier Qasem” be written on my grave, and not even Qasem Soleimani, which carries a connotation of pride and weighs down the saddlebag.
My dear, I asked Allah to fill all the arteries of my being and all my capillaries with love for Himself. [I asked Allah] to fill me with His love. I didn’t choose this way to kill people, you know I can’t even see a chicken get slaughtered. If I have taken up arms, it is to stand against murderers, not to kill people. I see myself as a soldier for the home of every Muslim who is in danger, and I would like Allah to give me the strength to defend all the oppressed in the world. I will not give my life just for this dear religion of Islam, which my life is not worthy of, not just for the oppressed Shia, who is more worthy than me, no, no… but for that frightened and homeless child who has no shelter, for that woman clutching the child to her chest in fear, and for that homeless who is escaping and being chased after, who have left a trail of blood behind.
My dear, I belong to that army that does not sleep and should not sleep, so that others may sleep in peace. Let my peace be sacrificed for their peace and their sleep. My dear daughter, you live safely and with honor in my house. What should I do for that helpless girl who has nothing to cry out for, and [what should I do for] that crying child who has nothing and has lost everything? So, make me your sacrifice and give this sacrifice to Him. Let me go, let me go, let me go. How can I stay while all my caravan [fellow brothers in arms] have been martyred and I am left behind.
My daughter, I am very tired. I haven’t slept in thirty years, but I don’t want to sleep anymore. I pour salt in my eyes so that my eyelids don’t dare to come together so that they (oppressors) don’t chop off the head of that helpless child in my negligence. What do you expect from me when I think that those afraid girls could be [my daughters] Narjes or Zaynab, or that young man lying in the slaughterhouse who is being beheaded are [my sons] Husayn and Reza? [Do you expect me] to be a spectator, to be indifferent, to be a businessman? No, I can’t live like this.
May peace and God’s mercy be upon you.