A Reflection on the Personality of Haj Qassem: A Man for All
By Nour Rida
Haj Qassem changed and saved my life!
On a trip with the martyr Soleimani from Mehrabad Airport to Kerman, a young man approached Haj Qassem and said “I would very much like to see you closely and to talk together. Are you going to Kerman?”
Haj Qassem answered: “Yes.” Haj Qassem addressed me and said “take the flight ticket from this young man, and give him yours so that he can sit next to me.”
For an hour and a half, Haj Qassem and the young man were discussing different matters and issues throughout the flight. On January 3rd Haj Qassem was killed by US special ops and was martyred. In the afternoon the young man showed up at the ceremonies in the Kerman Husayniyeh. We were busy arranging for the funeral when I suddenly saw a young man approach me with tears in his eyes. He addressed me and said “Don’t you remember me?” I apologized and said I do not have presence of mind since I was busy and unfocused. He reminded me of that one and a half hour he got to spend with Haj Qassem when we exchanged flight itineraries. The young man said “Haj Qassem saved my life.”
He then took out a key from his pocket and said “This is the key to my house, my house is open to anyone who has come from a far place and has nowhere to stay and wants to participate in the funeral of Haj Qassem. This is what I can offer and I wish I could offer more. The words of Haj Qassem during that flight changed my life. He put some sense back into my head and showed me the right way and from that day on I was born again to become a good person.”
Told by former Head of the Foundation of Sacred Defense
In good times and bad times he was there…
When my father passed away, Haj Qassem with his hectic days and nights and all the responsibilities he had on his plate, did not forget to call me and pay condolences. For someone like General Soleimani who has barely time to rest or eat, it means a lot when he does such a thing. He was a humble person and was never proud with who he was and what he did. He never believed he was better than other people and cared about everyone around him.
The story does not stop here, he actually showed up at my father’s funeral the next day to take part in the ceremonies. Maybe another commander who is fighting terrorism and extremism represented by Daesh in an entire region would not take time to think about such issues, but he was present everywhere and he was a backbone to everyone.
His personality was extraordinary and he would communicate with everyone, young and old, poor and rich, famous and ordinary. He was there for all of us during the good and bad times.
There was this other incident when we were present at the wedding of my friend’s daughter. The last thing that would come to mind is that he show up in such a place while being busy fighting an existential threat to all people, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Secular, people from all faiths and walks of life.
He was honest and humble in his interaction with everyone around and he was always there for everyone to help and support. He was a man for everyone.
Told by Iranian Expert Dr. Masoud Asadollahi
A true father
The families of the martyrs loved Hajj Qassem. For instance, when he would go to visit the children of Martyr Maghfouri, who was one of the leaders of Tharallah battalion, they would feel like their father has come to visit them especially Fatima, Maghfouri’s daughter. He truly believed he was a father to them. One time Fatima’s child fell ill, and he needed surgery. Haj Qassem, the commander of the Quds Force was at war in Syria and Iraq helping defeat Daesh, the extremist groups that killed everyone and sabotaged everything. He must have been working day and night to fulfill his duties. When Haj Qassem knew, he took off and went to the hospital, and waited until the little kid underwent the surgery.
Fatima then told him, “Uncle Qassem, you should go, duty calls you and you are still sitting here.”
And this was Haj Qassem’s reaction: “Np, I have to sit here and wait until your child wakes up from surgery.” This was how he dealt with the sons of the martyrs, he contacted them weekly, brought them gifts, sent them letters from the front wars, and took care of them in person when needed.
Told by one of Haj Qassem’s Comrades