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  • 11/10/2012

Manifestation of the Friend

With the People

part 18



I will not give loan

It was 1973 that we went together with Haj Ahmad Aqa and our son Haj Hassan Aqa who was barely one or two years old to Najaf. It was natural that in those times of exile and alienation, our presence resulted in the Imam and his honorable spouse to feel happy. We were supposed to stay in Najaf for two  months  and  then  return  to  Iran.  In  those  days,  the  Endowment Organization of the evil ‘Taghuti’ regime was responsible for Haj pilgrimage affairs and so many people including Haj Sayyid Ahmad Aqa did not accept to perform Haj under those circumstances from Iran. Therefore the most appropriate moment for undertaking this pilgrimage was to travel from Iraq which enjoyed certain advantages including that it was undertaken outside the jurisdiction of the Endowment Organization. Moreover, the expenses of travel was much lower from there and also the spouse of the Imam who was very keen to perform the pilgrimage could accompany her son Haj Ahmad Aqa; and perhaps more important than all else was that our period of stay in Najaf would last for about seven to eight months which itself could be an extremely attractive situation for the Imam and his spouse in that period.

When the topic of traveling came up, the only problem was the lack of money to pay for the expenses of travel. Haj Khanom proposed that we borrow from the Imam””something that neither me nor Haj Ahmad Aqa were willing to do. One day we were sitting together that Khanom told the Imam that Haj Ahmad and his wife wanted to go to Mecca. The Imam stated: “Well, they can go.”‌ Khanom added that going to Mecca required money to which the Imam replied: “Every person that wants to go to Mecca needs money; if they have money they go and if they don’t have, they don’t go.”‌ Khanom then asked the Imam to give them a loan. The Imam replied: I do not give loan.”‌ This sentence was repeated once or two and finally Khanom asked the Imam why he did not give loan to which the Imam responded saying that: “The money does not belong to me. I give loan to a person that I know will return the money; from where will they return the money?”‌ Again, Khanom said that they would return it. The Imam asked, “From where”‌? Khanom replied that if he paid Fatemeh’s dowry, they can go. Frankly, this conversation especially the last sentence was extremely difficult for me to digest especially when the Imam stated: “Does she demand her dowry? Well, if it must be paid on demand that is another matter.”‌ Finally I intervened and said that this was not the issue at all; the question is that if going to Haj is obligatory for us then this is the best opportunity. (I wanted to enter the debate from the angle of the obligatory status of the Haj pilgrimage). The Imam replied that: “If you don’t have money and the means then it is not compulsory for you.”‌ I agreed and the matter was settled there. Two or three days later, Haj Ahmad Aqa told his mother that they wanted to return and that she prepare the preliminaries for their journey. Khanom relied with discomfort that it was no problem. To perform the preliminaries of our return journey and the necessary tasks, we handed our passports to Sheikh Abdul Ali Qarahi. The next day Khanom said with discomfort that: “This is the last week that they are staying here; from next week our loneliness will begin once again.”‌ The Imam stated: “Why, they will be here.”‌ With discomfort and surprise Khanom told the Imam that since he was not willing to give them a loan, they had handed their passports to Sheikh Qarahi that.

The Imam stated with a smile that: “I told Haj Sheikh to wait.”‌ We understood that the Imam had repented but the reason was not clear but I remember that Haj Ahmad Aqa narrated to me that the Imam had said that: If I trust that you will repay your loan, I have no objection in giving you a loan.”‌

Well now how do we repay the loan? I suggested that as soon as we return to Iran, I will sell my gold ornaments and repay the Imam’s loan through Mr. Pasandideh. Anyway, we took the money and along with Haj Khanom went to Mecca. What we went through in our journey is a long story but as soon we returned to Qom, I sold off my gold ornaments and repaid the loan of the Imam to Mr. Pasandideh.


Even if Stalin is in power

One night I was at a meeting with the Imam in Najaf that one of the seminary students present asked him whether one could pay two rials for a postage stamp costing eight rials and avoid payment of the balance. In reply the Imam stated: “This is not legitimate,”‌ and added, “even if Stalin is in power. Safeguarding the system is a priority.”‌


Why did you enter illegally!

Because I was prohibited from leaving Iran, I crossed the border to Najaf illegally and faced a lot of difficulties on the way. It was noon when I went to see the Imam. I opened the door to the room and greeted him and he responded stating: “Did you also come illegally?”‌ I answered in the affirmative and the Imam said: “Don’t come next time.”‌ I answered in agreement saying that I would not come again. He stated: “I mean don’t come illegally. Why do you put yourself in danger and come illegally? Don’t do such a thing again. If you can come with a passport, it is alright but don’t come illegally.”‌ This insistence was because he wanted to compel me to observe regulations.


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 16)

Manifestation of the Friend: With the People (part 17)

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