Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Tomb of Firuzan (Abu-lolo) in Kashan Destroyed
A horrible thing has occurred in Iran. To the Iranian people, who are rightly proud of their past (pre-Islamic) and their culture's contributions to the world, this is probably akin to the world's loss of the Bamiyan Buddhas blown up by the barbarian Taliban. CAIS (The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies) issued a press release today: Mohammad-Ali E. from Isfahan LONDON, (CAIS) -- The tomb of Firuzan commonly known as Emāmādeh Abu-lolo (or Abu Lulu) in Kashahn, Isfahan province is being destroyed by the order of the Islamic Regime. A large crowd of Iranians have gathered outside the governor's office on Tuesday, June 26th, to voice their objection regarding the destruction of the Iranian heritage, and a shrine which was one of the symbols of Iranian resistance against the Arab invaders in 7th century CE, and to some, a Shia and a revered Sufi. Umar al-Khattab, the second Moslem Caliph was put to death by Firuzan in 645 CE. It is said that Firuzan was a POW captured after the fall of Ctesiphon in what is today known as Iraq, and sold as a slave. A parvenu Arab leader called Mughira ibn Shu’ba bought him and took him to Medina in Arabia for slavery work. Most probably Firuzan was a Zoroastrian (by some accounts he was a priest), as the majority of Iranian were at the time of Arab occupation of Iran in 7th century. “His [Firuzan] action was in response to atrocities that were committed by Arab-Muslim invaders in Iran, which resulted in massacre, rape, looting of our country – we Iranians never forgot nor forgive their crimes against us”, said one of the protestors. Some Arab, as well as committed Muslim historians, in order to undermine Firuzan’s bravery and heroism have claimed (ultimately all derived from Ibn Shihab account) that he murdered Umar, and an argument over the tax levy. During the Safavid era and the rise of Shia Islam to power, the dynasty named him Bābā Shojā ul-Din (the one who is brave in the cause of religion) and claimed that he was a devout Shia and a martyr. Another angry protester said: "they say he is not buried here - or some say he wasn't Muslim at all - so what? - as far as we concern this edifice represents him, our faith and resistance against the uncivilised invaders" - and another one added: "if Abu Lolo was an Arab, they would have erect a golden dome on top of his shrine, rather than destroying it - but no, no - they destroy his shrine, just because he was an Iranian - a noble Iranian - this is an insult to Iranian nation". Mohammad Salim Al'awa, the Secretary-General of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), who believes God have "created women for pregnancy and childbirth" purposes speaking to Al-Arabiat New-agency said: "the request for its destruction was delivered to Iran by a group of Arab representatives a few months ago, after the Doha assembly at the beginning of the year. At the assembly a large number of Sunni scholars asked Iran for the destruction of the tomb". "Imagine the Germans asking Britain to destroy the graves of the brains behind the British plan to kill Hitler [Operation Foxley] during WWII, sine it is considered an insult to Protestants - would the British accept that? - the murder of Omar by Firuz[an] wasn't to do with religion, it was simply removing a despot and a tyrant from the face of the earth - as the British wanted to do the same with Hitler", said N. one of the protestors outside the governor's office in Kashan. Firuzan mausoleum located on the road from Kashan to Fins consisted of a courtyard, porch and conical dome decorated with turquoise coloured tiles, and painted ceilings. The Original date of it's construction is unknown, but in second-half of fourteen century it was fully restored and a new tombstone was placed over his grave. There are what I believe to be "before" and "after" photos of the tomb at CAIS.