After the preparation for Operation Khayber, all the commanders were taken to Mashhad to perform the Ziyarat of Imam Reza (a.s). I did not get the chance to go with Agha Mahdi on this trip.
On his return, he brought me a prayer mat, some salt and some sugar from Imam Reza’s shrine. He said, “I have brought this for you, add the salt to your food.”
We were in the barracks and it was near sunset. I asked Agha Mahdi, “Agha Mahdi! May your Ziyarat be accepted. Why did you bring all those gifts and souvenirs? Thank you so much”. He said, “You deserve more”. I asked him, “Can I ask you a question? When you went for Ziyarat, what did you ask the Imam for?…… The victory of our troops? The Imam’s health and safety? The destruction of the enemies?” He remained silent and didn’t answer. I asked him once again, “For God’s sake, please say something. For the sake of the Imam, please tell me what you asked the Imam for?” He answered straight away saying, “Martyrdom….. I asked him for martyrdom.” This was the first time I had heard Agha Mahdi talk about martyrdom or about getting martyred. Before that conversation, he had never expressed his desire for becoming shahid.
I replied, “God forbid! inshaAllah the war will end and we will go to Karbala safely”. He said, “I am going to Karbala.. But you cannot.” At that moment, I didn’t understand what he meant by that. It was only when we received the news of Agha Mahdi’s martyrdom that I understood… it was he who had truly joined the martyrs of Karbala.
This was a story from the life of Shahid… Mahdi Bakeri. A young leader who served the people for Allah’s sake, and finally gave his life away, for Allah’s sake.