AhlulBayt News Agency: “He was a likable young man. One would really rejoice at watching him. I really loved him.” This was said by Haj Qasem Soleimani — the same Haj Qasem who himself is a hero and had the experience of eight years of Holy Defense and friendship with the martyred stars of those days. When he utters such words about someone, that person is definitely worth looking at and listening to.
The young man whom Haj Qasem loved so much is Mustafa Sadrzadeh. He was born in 1986 in Khuzestan, but his fate brought him and his family to Tehran province.
As per the words of his friends and family members, Mustafa was full of passion, energy, and desire to move as a teenager. He was restless, full of fresh thoughts, and waiting to jump high. In the Kohanz neighborhood, Shahriar, the Amir al-Momenin Mosque embraces this restless flame along with many other teenagers, gives him awareness and calm, and turns him into the same young man whom Haj Qasem rejoices at watching.
If we look for Mustafa in the published works about him, we will come across a slender and frail youth with a penetrating and masculine voice, whose vitality, agility, and humor were his distinctive features.
Since he was a teenager, wherever there was an opportunity to learn an art or a skill, he immediately went for it. He believed that the soldier of Imam Mahdi has to be familiar with all sciences and techniques. He had learned swimming, wrestling, chess, military training, and scuba diving, and he had certificates in most of these disciplines.
He was very interested in reading martyrs’ biographies, and among the martyrs, he was particularly fascinated by Martyr Ibrahim Hadi. Many times, he would buy several copies of the book Peace Be Upon Ibrahim and write on it, “endowed to be for circulation,” and then give it to the people around him.
Mustafa was a pioneer and an active person in political and social activities. He started working in Basij at the age of thirteen and became the base commander at the age of seventeen. His activities included being an active member of the Basij al-Ghadir base of Shahriar, working hard to build the Amir al-Momenin Mosque, rushing to help Bam earthquake victims and provide relief to them, and feeding the poor in deprived areas. At the age of twenty-one, he married Ms. Somayeh Ebrahimpour, who was also the commander of the Sisters’ Basij al-Ghadir base. Ms. Ebrahimpour’s memoirs of their shared life have been published under the book Your Name is Mustafa. She says about their first conversations on the proposal day:
“Mustafa said that day that ‘I am not just looking for a wife. If I wanted to look for a wife, I wouldn’t have been here. In addition to a wife, I want a comrade.’”
The spirits of the country’s youth, including Martyr Sadrzadeh, have been mentioned in the remarks of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution as follows: “a young Basiji near Tehran, such as Martyr Mustafa Sadrzadeh, is active and making an effort. A couple of books have been written about him that I have read. [In these books] you see how much he strived to work hard and move forward. We should see these things and move forward” (“Meeting”).
After marriage, this young man who was restless to work experienced various jobs such as shopkeeping, animal husbandry, and swimming pool management, but his main concern was doing cultural work suitable for the youth and teenagers, and he would always spend a significant part of his income on this path.
He himself established the teenage Basij base “Hazrat Imam Ruhollah” in the Kohanz neighborhood of Shahriar, where he combined Basij activities with games and entertainment such as darts, swimming, mountaineering, and playing football. This caused many teenagers to be attracted to his personality and to accompany him in his activities.
During the period when he managed a swimming pool, he would mix the job with his cultural ideas: On Mondays, the pool was free for Basijis. During the month of Ramadan, from Sahar [the time of morning call to prayer when the fast begins] to Iftar [sunset time when fasters break their fast], he’d place a table by the pool and invite one of his fellow seminary students to answer the teenagers’ religious questions.
There was a park in Kohanz that had become a haven for drug addicts and thugs. With massive follow-ups, he made preparations for the burial of two unknown martyrs there. And then, with the financial aid collected from the officials as well as his personal savings, he started the brothers’ and sisters’ Basij bases in that area. Such actions of Martyr Sadrzadeh were also noticed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and he mentioned them as follows:
Today, we have thousands of resistance cells in mosques and religious assemblies across the country. From these resistance cells, young people arise as the Defenders of the Holy Shrines [in Syria and Iraq], young people arise as defenders of security, young people arise as the Student Basij. ... a spiritual person, an enlightened, luminous individual arises from a small village, like Mustafa Sadrzadeh, a self-sacrificing, luminous young man who came from a village near [the town of] Shahriar. We have plenty of people like Mustafa Sadrzadeh all across the country, we have thousands of them. These are all promising points. (“Speech”)
Mustafa would bring hope everywhere — wherever he felt his presence could be effective. In the sedition after the 2009 election, he was present as a Basiji patrolling in Tehran and was injured in the clashes of those days. In 2013, when the war in Syria escalated, he decided that he needed to be there. It was difficult to be sent to Syria those days, but Mustafa was a master of difficult tasks anyway. First, he worked at a kitchen in the Hazrat Ruqayyah shrine to help in cooking for the Defenders of the Shrines. After the end of the mission, he was still looking for a way to be in Syria as a Defender of the Shrines. He managed to find a way to connect himself to the Iraqi forces and was sent to the region several times with them. In those missions, he chose the name “Sayyid Ibrahim” as his jihadi name.
A little later, he met the Afghan mujahids in Damascus. He asked them to enroll him as a member of the Fatemiyoun Brigade. Abu Hamed, the commander of the Afghan forces, initially opposed it, but because of Mustafa’s insistence, he agreed on some conditions.
He spent 70 days with the Fatemiyoun in the region and then returned to Iran. When he decided to return to Syria again, he faced a problem. However, by learning Afghan and obtaining an Afghan ID card and passport, he managed to be sent there two months later.
Haj Qasem Soleimani said about him: “Because we did not allow this young man in, he enrolled as an Afghan in the Fatemiyoun. That is a clever person, not the one who seeks to collect money and deceive people. A clever and bright person is one who grasps the opportunities like this and gets the most from them. That is a bright person.”
Mustafa Sadrzadeh, who, as he himself said, went to Syria “with one set of clothes and one pair of slippers,” soon became a battalion commander in the Fatemiyoun Brigade due to his personality traits. He had a close relationship with the Afghan fighters and believed: “The Fatemiyoun comrades are very neglected and special, yet they are very much cared for by Hazrat Zahra.” In the book Your Name is Mustafa, his wife recalls that he was injured eight times during his two and a half years in Syria, and the only thing that made him leave the war and come home was those injuries:
“When I arrived at the hospital, I saw you ... you had turned yellow. I removed the sheet from your leg. It was in a splint. I happily said: Thank God, you will be my guest for at least a few days! You said: If I knew you would be so happy about my injury, I would have gotten injured sooner!”
When he was a child, his mother had vowed to fulfill a nazr [a covenant with God in which a person makes it obligatory for him/herself to do some good actions or abandons what is bad for the sake of God, if God fulfills a need of him/her] to Hazrat Abbas over him. When he was three years old, an accident happened to him on the day of Tasua, and his mother vowed to Hazrat Abbas to make him a soldier of Qamar Bani Hashem if her young son survived that incident. In the morning of Tasua in 2015, the mother’s vow was fulfilled and the 29-year-old Mustafa was martyred by a bullet during the operation to liberate Aleppo.
In his Ramadan meeting with young students, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution described young people like Mustafa as the driving force of the country and a role model for all young people:
Since the beginning of the Revolution and continuing up until today, it has been the young people who are doing the greatest work in different fields and areas and who are taking on responsibilities and making progress. ... This chain has continued up until today, the contemporary period that you are in. There have been Martyr Hojaji, Mustafa Sadrzadeh, Arman Aliverdi, and Ruhollah Ajamian. They are outstanding individuals. They truly are outstanding figures. There are thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of young, responsible Iranians today. They are the driving force. They are the propelling force of the country and the government’s movement, each in a different field. That is how each and every one of you should be. (“Meeting”)
Significant works have been created and published about the personality and life of Martyr Sadrzadeh, including the books Your Name is Mustafa, Resting of the Restless, and Soldier of Day 9, as well as the documentaries Abedan e Kohanz (The Devotees of Kohanz) and The Beginning of Love.
Sayyid Ali Khamenei. “Meeting with university students and representatives of student associations.” Khamenei.ir, 18 April 2023, https://english.khamenei.ir/news/9708/Ideal-university-student-brings-change-in-thinking-and-reality. Speech.
Sayyid Ali Khamenei. “Speech delivered on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s demise.” Khamenei.ir, 4 June 2023, https://english.khamenei.ir/news/9837/Palestine-became-top-issue-in-Islamic-world-due-to-Imam-Khomeini. Speech.