THE GREAT PROPHET OF IRAN 

A Zoroastrian priest performing prayer rituals at Atash Bahram (Fire Temple)

  Zarathustra , also known as Zarathustra Spitama or Ashu Zarathustra is the charismatic ancient prophet of Iran. It is believed that he was born into a humble peasant family at eastern Iran and lived between 1500 BCE to 500 BC. He underwent priestly training at the age of seven and was ordained as priest at the age of fifteen. It was predestined that Zarathustra would bring divine order into the Persia. When Zarathustra was thirty years old , he saw a vision while taking ritual bath of purification at river. He saw the sky opened up and a luminous being called Vohu Mana (an angel) revealed to him about Ahura Mazda , the Supreme Being (the God).

 This vision changed his worldview forever. He began to preach to the lay people about Ahura Mazda , the Supreme Being , the only one worthy of worship. He established the doctrine of Oneness of God. At that time , the Persians worshipped a pantheon of gods and goddesses. Zarathustra thus changed the practice polytheism to monotheism , shifting their focus on one God. He also challenged the oppressive caste system , causing uproar from the priestly order. Zarathustra was then a prophet of God and a social reformer.

    He received further revelations from Ahura Mazda about the virtue of living a righteous life. His teachings consist of three core tenets : good thoughts , good speech and good acts. He proposed that human beings has inbuilt freewill to choose good and a discerning power between Asha (truth) and Druj(falsehood). At these crucial time , there were certain people whom worshipped the Hostile Spirit known as Angra Mainyu. They also consumed intoxicating drinks which led them to immorality. Zarathustra forbade them from taking intoxicant. He admonished the worship of daevas (deities) , revealing that they’re none other than evil spirits thirty for war and strife.

Bazeh Khur , the oldest Fire Temple at Khorasan

 

THE PRECURSOR


Zarathustra the ancient prophet of Iran

Zarathustra’s teachings are compiled into Holy Scriptures called Yasna and Gathas , written in Avestan language. It became the first divinely revealed religion on earth. His teachings is the precursor of three great monotheistic religions ; Judaism , Christianity and Islam. Zarathustra preached righteousness as the way towards salvation. He taught those whom choose the good are in the way of God , and therefore they would be in heaven after parting with their bodies at death (resurrection). Those whom ignored the rule of God and did evil would face judgement. 

The Zoroastrian religion molded the Persian society. From there rose great righteous kings , the King Cyrus and King Darius. A pertinent clash happened between early Judaism and the Zoroastrians when the Hebrews were freed from captivity in Babylon by King Cyrus. His successor , King Darius sent back the Hebrew refugees and funded the rebuilding of Jerusalem temple. The Hebrew prophets , Nehemiah and Ezra renewed the religious order of Judaism consistent with the Zoroastrian doctrines of monotheism.

    An old Pahlavi book consist of a Zoroastrian story of Arta Viraf whom went into trance and travelled to one world to another , accompanied by an angel named Sarosh. There Arta met Ormazd , the great Being and the happy residents of heaven. Ormazd commanded Arta and his people to pray five times a day. This story has parallel with hadith which details the travels of prophet Muhammad on the steed of buraq and his meeting with Almighty Creator.  Islamic prayer timings are similar to those observed by Zoroastrians. The Zoroastrians are required to perform five times prayers a day ; Havaan at dawn , Rapithwan at afternoon , Uziren at noon , Aiwisuthrem at evening and Ushaen at night. Before prayers , they must wash their hands and feet. They worship at Atash Bahram , facing the Holy Fire as how Muslims face the Qiblah during prayers.


THE GREAT PROPHECY
 

  The Old Testament contains Biblical theology ingrained by a messianic figure in Zoroastrian prophecies , called Sashoyant , the Saviour. Sashoyant would save the human race from the darkness on the dissolution of the world. Sashoyant would defeat Ahriman in the end. Zarathustra prophesied that there would be end time battle between good and evil , between Ahura Mazda (the God) and Ahriman (the Satan). The Book of Revelation written by apostle John is a vivid apocalypse in close semblance of Zoroastrian prophecies as testified by Dead Sea Scrolls. 

  

Zoroastrian worship facing the Holy Fire

  We are endlessly debating what is the true religion of God or who is truly worshipping the God in reality. There are debates on how to establish and safeguard religious doctrines from the violations from followers of another faith. But do we realise how much we have in common? Do we have to launch warfare to defend our religion? Should the human beings slaughter each other in the name of religion?


References :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2010/jul/13/abrahamic-religion-zoroastrian-judaism

http://www.mythicistmilwaukee.com/mythicistmilwaukeeblog/2014/12/11/islam-zoroastrianism-parallels

THE LOST INNOCENCE

Nujood Ali , a Yemeni young bride married off at the tender age of nine. She ran away from her abusive husband and was divorced at age of ten.

  She took the world by storm when she , as a child sought divorce at court and obtained her “freedom” at the age of 10. She is Nujood Ali , the youngest person to be divorced constitutionally. Married off at the age of nine , she was abused and raped by her husband until oneday she mustered enough courage to seek divorce at courtroom. Today , she is a no  longer Nujood (the Hidden) but Nujoom (the Star). Her autobiography , titled ” I am Nujood , Age 10 and divorced” , was translated into 30 languages.

  Millions of girls and boys around the world the being robbed of their childhood and education. In Iran , the legislation amended to lower the minimum age of marriage of girls to 9 and boys to 15. In certain parts of U.S. , the 14 years old teenage girls can be married off legally. In Malaysia , the rapists can marry their underage victim , legally! At South Sudan , families force young girls into marriage , eager to receive lump sum of dowry. In extreme cases , girls are kidnapped and forced into sexual act , so they will have to stay with the perpetrators for the rest of their lives.

IT’S A VIOLATION

 Prepubescent girls are married off to men twice their age

      The Human Rights activists at Yemen were outraged at the death of 8-year old prepubescent girl named Raman on her wedding night. Her husband who was aged 55 at that time “forced” himself on the the girl ferociously until her genitals were ruptured. Her vulva had massive tear and she suffered severe bleeding before taking her last breath on the first night of her wedding. This is a monstrous act that could be done to an eight years old child!

Bibi Aisha as featured on cover of Time magazine on 2010

  Bibi Aisha , a young Afghan teenager drew international attention when her mutilated face was featured on the Time magazine cover on 2010. Her story shed light on how she suffered as the wife of a Taliban militant. She recounts the painful ordeal of failed attempt to flee her home when her husband captured her and turned against her. The Taliban council ordered her husband to punish her for the disobedience. Her nose was sliced off , disfiguring her horribly. She was a brave survivor of abuse and torture. She didn’t let her violent husband to maim her for life. At United States , she underwent numerous reconstructive surgeries and lives as independent woman today. 

THE DOUBLE STANDARD

   The international community fought to overturn the death sentence meted out against Razieh Ebrahimi on 2011. She was 21-year old young woman waiting for death row in Iranian prison. She was a victim of domestic violence. Her father forced her into marriage with her neighbour’s son when she was 14.The marriage turned bitter when her husband verbally and physically abused her. She gave birth to a child when she was 15. 

Razieh Ebrahimi was a young wife at 14 and bore a child when she was a child herself.

   Razieh sustained the abuse from her husband until one night she decided to put an end to it. While her husband was sleeping on that fateful night , she took his gun , shot him dead and buried his body at garden. Her own father assisted the police to arrest her. Although she explained to the authorities about the abuse she endured , she couldn’t evade the judgement. She couldn’t possibly have understood life. She was not given the right to make decisions for her life. She couldn’t defend herself from abuse. Her life ended even before it could begin. 

    Forced marriages are prevalent in countries like Afghanistan, Egypt , India , Pakistan , Somalia and Bangladesh. The young woman has no say when it comes to marriage. The in-laws are often abusive , causing trauma to the young wives. They would face social ostracism if they seek divorce. Or worse still , the young widows faces stigma from conservative society if they choose to remarry. 


CREATING AWARENESS

    Sanatan Murmu , now aged 20 is outspoken activist , advocating family planning , contraception and enlightening the small community in her remote village in west Bengal on the evils of child marriage. She is youngest person in India to be invited to speak at United Nations. According to her , early childbearing had caused her numerous health problems. She has witnessed girls in adolescence die from complications during labor. These drove her to be an activist at the age of 15 , literally a child activist working to save young girls from early marriage.

  Sanatan Murmu considered of completing her education while visiting United States.

   At Bihar , India , girls are longing to study at school but their families are anxious to marry them off even before they reach their teens. The girls are told by their mothers that there is no need for girls to study when she would only do the domestic chores , work in the field and bear children for her husband. Books and school life are robbed from them. They’re wives even before they know what are the marital duties. The husbands are usually alcoholics and often threaten the young wives with violence.

A young bride from India

THE PERMANENT DAMAGES

  The girls’ bodies are not fully equipped for sexual relationship and maternity. The young brides suffers from various health issues as they are more prone to STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and HIV. It is often reported that teenage pregnancies ends with miscarriages , stillborn babies and maternal deaths. The girls often develope obstetric fistulas in the womb and cervical cancer. Young girls are vulnerable to domestic violence abuse and are unaware of their civil rights. Most of the abused victims are without any refuge or aid from the authorities , exposing them to further psychological damage.

  The psychological impairment couldn’t be undermined when prepubescent girls are sold of to much older paedophiles. They undergo tremendous amount of stress , trauma and emotional numbness when they’re mistreated and degraded. Emotional blackmailing often entails low self-esteem.Unable to complete their schooling , the young widows are threatened by poverty.They are not allowed to mature and develop into reasoning adults. It will become a vicious cycle of economic slump and gender inequality which would bring down the stability and peace in a country in the long term.

 Child marriage is nothing more than a thinly veiled sickened form of paedophilia. It “kills” a child sexually even before they develop a natural desire for it.  Why can’t we let the child to be a child and do what a child supposed to do? Why are we inheriting the poverty to our next generation? How could we let age old traditions and religious mold to ruin our children’s lives? Who are we to withhold the education they deserve? Who gave the right to sell our daughters to strangers? Why do YOU strip the innocence and freedom of your little girls?? GIRLS ARE NOT BRIDES! SAVE THE CHILDREN!


Sources:
https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/09/child-marriage/

http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/child-bride

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/child-brides/gorney-text

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nujood_Ali

http://archive-old.theoslotimes.com/end-widespread-child-marriage-in-south-sudan/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/04/05/malaysian-lawmaker-says-victims-could-marry-their-rapists-even-if-they-are-children/

http://www.mamamia.com.au/8-year-old-child-bride-dies-after-forced-marriage/
http://unicef.in/Story/1132/Child-marriage-in-Bihar-Three-girls-tell-their-own-stories

http://hriran.com/en/women-human-rights/68-women-rights/4713-iranian-child-bride-faces-execution-for-killing-the-man-she-was-forced-to-marry.html

http://www.thebetterindia.com/68827/this-child-marriage-victim-propels-change-gets-an-invite-to-united-nation/

The Visions of King Amanullah

  

King Amanullah with his wife , Queen Soraya

   Against the backdrop of tribal feuds and religious fundamentalism , King Amanullah Khan (1 June 1892 – 25 April 1960) envisioned the modern Afghanistan. His revolutionary ideas met with resistance from conservative Afghan tribal leaders. However , those ideas are contagious , never lost its appeal on the minds of Afghans until today. 

  King Amanullah was heavily influenced by the modernization of Turkey under Mostapha Kamel Attatork. He witnessed firsthand how education could uplift the society . He marvelled at the scientific progress which propelled a country forward and was convinced that only a secular ,  liberal society can withstand the demands of the challenges of civilization.

  Back in Afghanistan , the King adopted the first constitution based on the rule of law , while Sharia law remained as residue. The economic system undergone drastic reform under King Amanullah’s administration. He founded the first national budget and established the first national bank. He fought to eradicate corruption , forced labor and slavery and revived the tribal council. The new currency , Aghani was introduced together with new tax structure.

  The new Afghan army was founded together with modern artillery. The King through new foreign policy , increased trade between Europe and Asia. King Amanullah successfully established political buffer against the British and the Soviet by military conquest , establishing Afghanistan as sovereign country free from intervention.

The Afghan students conducting experiments at chemistry laboratory

 

 He implemented a Western educational system , emphasizing education of the girls and women. The Afghan women began to enjoy various civil rights under the lead of King Amanullah’s wife , Queen Soraya. Young women came out of seclusion and participated in every economic opportunities offered. The nomadic villagers were educated through adult literacy classes , reaching even far end of rural areas. 

 The Afghan civilians relish those rare moments of glory , economic stability and liberal life throughout King Amanullah administration for short term. He was a visionary and reformer , true leader every country should aspire for.

References :

http://www.khaama.com/king-amanullah-and-the-struggle-of-modernity-in-afghanistan-01725

http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2016/08/18/king-amanullah-and-the-struggle-of-modernity-in-afghanistan.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reforms_of_Amānullāh_Khān_and_civil_war

The Fallujah Curse

The U.S. Troop deployed depleted Uranium against Iraqi revolt on 2003

   The newborns of Fallujah , Iraq are besieged by horror of physical deformities. Babies are born into hideous form , much to the grief of the mothers. It has been 14 years since U.S. invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein’s administration but the future generations of Iraq are still paying hefty price for the unscrupulous war crimes against them.
 The infant mortality and deformities is caused by irradiation borne by the Iraqi civilians. The U.S. Troop launched depleted uranium shells , literally a radioactive agents to fight the insurgents , which sent debris to adjacent areas once the buildings had blasted off. Iraqi cities like Fallujah and Basra records the highest cancer rates and birth defects , caused by unusually toxic environment. The tissue samples from men and women from those cities revealed a high density of lead , mercury , titanium and magnesium . These heavy metals are direct cause of cancer. The U.S. forces deployed the forbidden white phosphorus bomb against the Iraqi insurgents , which sent many into the graveyard in an instance. Others are incinerated alive.

An Iraqi doctor caring for newborn babies without limbs

    The babies are reported to be born without head or with two heads , a single eye in the forehead , scaly bodies or missing limbs. Some babies are having the internal organs formed outside of the body , sending shivers of anguish to the doctors. Men and women are diagnosed with leukemia at staggering high rate. Genetic disorders , caused by mutations of the genome (radioactive particles destroy the genes) are similar to those observed from the survivors of Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear carnage.
  What has happened to Fallujah is a crime against humanity , it is a war crime. Do you think nuclear weapons could bring peace and democracy to the Middle East ? How is it possible that you can create a new world order when half of its inhabitants are wiped out by mass extinction , albeit via genetically impaired humans facing certain death? How much more injustice should they face if they are to be “liberated” by the West???
SOURCES :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4440664.stm

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/10/13/fall-o13.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/oct/13/world-health-organisation-iraq-war-depleted-uranium

https://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/20/ten_years_later_us_has_left

THE INVISIBLE DAUGHTERS OF AFGHANISTAN

  

  They’re nameless , faceless. Their face should remain hidden , uncovered face is a disgrace. Men loathe the females , they hate their presence. But they have obliged to keep them as their wives so that they would bear them children. The birth of sons are celebrated with huge gusto while the birth of daughters strikes the heart of the fathers with grief.

  They are young and old , child , sister and mother whom has no glimpse of what lies beyond their houses. The colours and contours of the world had been grayed by the filter on their eyes and the sound of the earth muted forever by the heavy fabric on their head. It’s like being inside hot oven on hot day , when the Sun is unforgiving. This is the kind of life faced by women in rural and impoverished areas of Afghanistan.

  In a poor family , a girl is seen as burden since she has no “economical” value as she is forbidden to work and earn a living. Therefore child marriage is rampant , the preteen girls are married off to much older men within their tribe for a meagre amount of dowry. This has endangered many girls for their bodies are not prepared for the consummation of the marriage and pregnancy , resulting in the rupture of vulva , maternal deaths , stillborn babies and miscarriages.

    They are locked and put away inside a household , buried alive within the confines of four walls. If they dare to venture out of the home unaccompanied by a male of their household , they would face certain death. They are the prisoner of the past , present and future. They are seen , not heard. Women who are accused of adultery are stoned to death without any solid evidence. School and books are unimaginable part of their lives , next to impossible! Independence from tight grip patriarchal society remains a dreams , never to materialize.

  The females toil in the kitchen day long to provide the best meal for their families. It seems to men that women are there to be their unpaid servants , managing all the household chores without any assistance. If they dare to question anything , the husbands would batter them until they learnt their lessons of obedience. After all , obedience to the husband is the obedience to God , so goes the religious blackmailing. The wives lives in constant fear and insecurity , unable to return to their families once they’re married.The women whom had enough of domestic violence have no place to turn to , and therefore succumb self-immolation. 

  They should never expect to love and to be loved in return. Why would a daughter of Afghanistan risk her life dreaming of marrying the man she love when her family would be happy to slaughter her to preserve the family’s honor? Why would she risk to step into the threshold of school and university when she would be given away in marriage and condemned to be a man’s slave for the rest of her life? 

References :
https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/shabnam-nasimi/devastating-truth-of-women’s-rights-in-afghanistan

http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2016/08/26/more-than-5000-cases-of-violence-against-afghan-women-recorded-in-six-months.html

Beyond Tomorrow

   The clutter of rationality blocks much of my ability to tap into the serene inner world within me. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of what it is to be without the normal thinking mind. Those are rare moments , where my intuition works the best. I rise above the din created by logical reasoning and submerge deep into the sea of subconscious. It is the mother of creative insights , a safeguard against overflowing train of thought.
  Most of the time , it is necessary to dive into my subconscious to restore my sanity. I discovered there is an inbuilt defense system deep into my mind to ensure my survival. Perhaps it is the gift from God to human race , ingrained deep inside of ourselves to preserve us. It is perplexing that day to day , more and more individuals are succumbing to schizophrenic existence. Have they messed up the God-given natural defense against irrationality?

 What lies beyond the conscious mind is unfathomable. I don’t exist as a separate entity from my environment , but I am the environment! It is the alternate reality which is surreal! The elements in the “reality” is pliable. I can go against the gravity. I can bend solid objects without sweat. The water escapes the glass as droplets into the air! It seems that in that newfound alternate “reality” , I can defy the laws of physics!

 It is a wonder and awe at complex mechanism by which my reality lies upon. It is the perception of energy , electrical stimuli inside my brain. Time runs slower as I dive deeper into my subconscious. It seems I could dictate the alternate “world” at my will. Would I be able to engineer my future by redesigning my mind? Would the resistance fall away as I break more and more laws of physics in that alternate “world” ? I can’t wait to rediscover my destiny….

Beneath My Breath

I am neither alive nor dead 

I’m being robbed of my conscience 

My soul is sickened beneath this voluptuous flesh

Marred by untold shame 
I’m a tool for this repugnant trade

For those who think women are instruments of sensual pleasure

To be used and discarded in every way they desire

I’m a meal to the vultures 

Gratifying their senses 

Satisfying their carnal cravings

Dumping me for few insignificant exchange
They have made sculptures of us , not to glorify us 

But to treat us as inanimate objects ,

Devoid of love and passion

Unfeeling statues which can be trampled underfoot!

They have wind out the human in me

Their words sting my heart 
And yet , I’m afraid 

Afraid whether I’ll pull myself whole again

For I’ve gone deeper into this sinkhole