Samaneh Nik (to the left), 52, is a theologian in the holy city of Marshad, pictured here with one of her students. She wrote her dissertation on happiness in Islam, and she herself claims to be as happy as can be with her professional and family life. In addition to the jurisprudence, Koran description, and Islamic morality classes she gives at the university and at the Hosseini Nosrat seminary, of which she is acting director, Samaneh Nik holds a “family counsel” permanence every Wednesday afternoon at the mausoleum of the Imam Reza. She cannot stand the questioning of Iranian laws, such as was advocated by the only Nobel Prize Iran ever had. “Shirin Ebadi has her own ideas; good for her; but here we live by the Koran. We do not have any problems with our rights or our laws. Personally, I live, I am useful to society, I am an incredibly active woman. Why would I complain about the Koran? Problems arise only when the Koran is not 100% applied.”
20 million pilgrims come every year to the holy city of Mashad to visit the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the 8th Shia Imam and the one the Iranians feel the closest to.