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  • 11/15/2012

Manifestation of the Friend

Subtle Spirit

part 6

5

Aversion to Luxury and Protocol

Please go away!

From the beginning, the Imam would attempt to avoid doing anything that smacked of seeking fame and ambition. For instance, he would not allow anybody to walk behind him. If a protégé wanted to ask a question and would meet him on the way, he would stop, answer the question and then say politely: “Please go away!”‌

 

He would not walk in the company of friends and acquaintances

The Imam would always pay visits alone. He would not go in a group and hated to wait for companions and indulge in nepotism and favoritism. Sheikh Hassan Sani‘i narrates that one day in Qom; the Imam wished to visit one of the theologians but did not have his address and asked him for the address. He narrates that however much he urged to accompany to the house of the theologian as a guide, the Imam did not accept.

 

He would walk down the lanes

After lessons, the seminary students would walk behind the Imam and the Imam in order that people would not say how large a number of protégés he had would change his route and would walk through the lanes and by lanes in order to avoid walking down the streets. Sometimes we would come out of the mosque and go towards the shrine of Her Holiness Fatimah Masoomeh. He would walk down the lanes and we would think he was returning home but later we would see him reemerge near the shrine. It became apparent that he was changing his route so that the seminary students did not follow behind him.

 

Do you have a question to ask?

Many times it occurred that on the route to the residence of the Imam, we would walk behind him and pursue him and he would turn back and say: “Do you have a question to ask?”‌

In other words, it implied that ‘don’t follow me if you don’t have a question to ask’ meaning that he did not like a bunch of seminary students to walk in pursuit of him.

Gentlemen please leave!

One of the behavioral traits of the Imam was that he never liked to appear in public places surrounded by a coterie of admirers and companions. To the extent possible, he would answer the questions of the seminary students in his house. When he would come out of the lecture room, he would choose a route that passed through quiet lanes that led to his residence. Many times it occurred that after classes a group of gentlemen who wanted to accompany the Imam would pursue him but when the Imam become aware of their presence, he would stop and say: “Gentlemen, please leave!”‌

The simplicity of the Imam attracted everybody In former times, once the Imam traveled to Mashhad by bus. In that same year I too intended to travel to Mashhad with the same bus. Of course at that time I was a young seminary student but I knew the Imam. He was extremely simple. For instance, when we reached Semnan city on the way and the bus halted, he ate food over there, then performed ablutions, removed his robe, sat down and relaxed right there. Imagine a brilliant seminary professor and religious authority of the Theological School behaves like the rest of the passengers that included all sorts of individuals. It was evident that he worked for the cause of God. Later when the bus stopped at Khwajah Rabi‘, I saw he too get down and pay his respects at the mausoleum of that sage and returned. His simplicity was truly interesting for all of us. We thought that since the Imam wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Mashhad, perhaps there would be a lot of protocol. But we were mistaken.


Source:

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


Other Links:

Manifestation of the Friend: Subtle Spirit (part 7)

Manifestation of the Friend: Subtle Spirit (part 8)

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