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  • 10/31/2012

Manifestation of the Friend

With the People

part 6


Sentiments and Kindness

The old gardener

I remember I was small. One day an old man brought soil for our small garden. We were eating our food that he arrived. The Imam said that the old man had not taken lunch. Our food was not too much and so he took out a plate and put a few spoonful of his own food on the plate and told us that: “Come on each of you put a few spoonful of your own food on this plate so that it would be enough for one person.”‌ We who did not have any extra food on that day in this way arranged a plateful of food for the old man. In childhood, I loved this act infinitely.


Where do you come from?

After the return of the Imam (from prison and house arrest) to Qom in 1944, a flood of admirers and enthusiasts from all over the country went to greet him at his residence in Qom. One day we were with the Imam. A rural inhabitant from one of the small towns of Khorassan province had come to se the Imam. He was an ardent admirer and on seeing him he shed tears of joy.

When the Imam saw his condition, he warmly welcomed him by his side and expressed his affection for him. Then he ordered that a cup o f tea be brought for him and asked him cordially about his health and well-being in a most brotherly manner. He asked him where he came from and what his occupation was so that he felt at ease while we who were present there were greatly impressed and moved by his attitude.

Not even once did he say “no”‌

The Imam had a very refined spirit. Within him he had some exceptional ethical refinements that were not observed in others.

For several years after classes, I would usually go to the residence of the Imam from Salmasi Mosque and ask him questions which he would answer. In these several years the Imam never displayed an attitude that showed he was unwilling to answer my questions. Of course my work was not confined to just one or two days; rather on most days I would follow the Imam to his house whether it was in the first days of my participation in his lessons or whether it was the last days. Not even once did he show that he was not happy that I follow behind him to his house to seek answers to my questions.


It was as if he was talking to his old friends

One night a group of Muslim students from Europe had come to see the Imam at the blessed shrine of the Commander of the Faithful Hazrat Ali (A.S).  Their  external  appearances  in  our  opinion  were  an  undesirable appearance in the environment both in terms of outward facial appearance and clothing as well as from the viewpoint of way of speaking and public relations. But we witnessed that the Imam spoke with them in such a manner as if he was sitting and talking to his longtime friends. They were so mesmerized by the Imam that after a few minutes of talking they stood up and went away with a world of strength, faith and hope from beside him.


Do not put the people under pressure

In Najaf, once it was at the beginning of the year 1968, there were reports that a group had been sent from Iran on the orders of the Shah to assassinate the Imam. We felt it was a religious obligation to protect the Imam and thus seven or eight of the brethren decided to go to the shrine every night with the Imam and likewise, to go with him when he went to the seminary. On the first night when the Imam was coming towards the shrine, we too followed behind him. After walking a few steps, we reached the end of the lane. The Imam turned back and asked us to return. Of course on that night we held back ourselves and the Imam went to the shrine. But later we sent a message to the Imam that we felt we had a religious obligation and whether he liked it or not, we would follow him behind because we considered it a mandatory religious duty upon ourselves and continued to keep him guard. On the nights when the shrine was extremely crowded, the Iranians that would arrive there for pilgrimage would crowd round the Imam to kiss his hand and the Imam would feel under pressure of the crowd. We would be present there to keep the way open. It occurred many a time that the Imam would say in the midst of the crowd that: “Do not put the people under pressure”‌ and he would push us aside so that the people would be free and the people were not disrespected.


If there is a danger then why it should not be for me?

In Paris, for security reasons, I would first open the letters and then take them to the Imam for reading. Once when I was busy opening the letters in the kitchen, the Imam entered and said: “I am not acquiescence.”‌ I thought perhaps he was anxious that I should not read the letters. I said: “I swear by your ancestors that that I do not read the letters and only open them so that there is no problem.”‌ The Imam said: “I know; this is what I am saying too.

If there is a danger then why it should not be for me and it should be for you.”‌ I said: “O Imam, the people of Iran are waiting for you. He replied:

“But at least eight children are waiting for you back in Iran.”‌ I said: “Don’t worry, I have been trained and there is no danger.”‌ He then said: “Well, then set aside an hour to teach me how to open these letters so that if there is any danger, it is eliminated.”‌


The Book "Manifestation of the Friend: A collection of memoirs about Imam Khomeini (R.A)"

Other Links:

Manifestation of the Friend: With the People (part 1)

Manifestation of the Friend: With the People (part 2)

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