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  • 11/16/2012

Manifestation of the Friend

Subtle Spirit

part 8

11

 

I don’t want a car

One of the devoted Iranian followers of Imam Khomeini from Germany brought a car as gift for him so that the Imam would avail of it when going to the shrine of the Commander of the Faithful Hazrat Ali (A.S) and for visiting the shrine of the Doyen of the Martyrs Imam Hussein (A.S) in Karbala. The Imam stated that he did not want a car and that he intended to sell it and use its proceeds for the seminary students. That person insisted that he had brought the car for him but the Imam did not accept until finally he agreed to the wishes of the Imam.

 

Gentlemen, do not indulge in excesses!

At one stage during the period of struggle and rule of the evil “Taghut”‌ regime, about 20 theologians including myself, were exiled for a period of three years each. After the three years had passed and they released the gentlemen, three of them returned to Qom and changed into more luxurious houses. When the Imam came to know of this, he sent a message from Najaf asking that the gentlemen not indulge in excesses and by their actions, not make the people skeptical of their virtuous ancestry.

He reminded them that when the renowned Sheikh Ansari departed for his heavenly abode he had a sum of just seven tomans (about a dollar) worth of assets and so they should not indulge in excesses and give a bad name to their virtuous ancestry.

 

He would sit on the bare floor

Ayatollah Khomeini was a person whose call to arise would be heeded by millions of Iranians that would pour out from their homes onto the streets within minutes of his call. Despite this one could easily be received in his presence either in his workplace or his place of residence and find him sitting on the bare floor with a small table placed in front of him. This was all the furniture and fixtures of his workplace.

True piety

I saw true piety in the life of the Imam with my own eyes. On the day of migration from Iraq to Kuwait, the Imam stated: “Ahmad, give me my clothes.”‌ When the suitcase of the Imam was opened I did not see anything other than a single robe and cloak, a shirt, an undergarment and a towel. It was there and then that I realized that this leader and renowned religious authority who although would pay every month large sums of money in Iran and Iraq to the seminary students had nothing except this insignificant amount of clothing. This is a great lesson for the men of religion and morals as well as the authorities that it was with these outstanding traits that the Imam went to war against infidels and global arrogance and emerged victorious.

 

Do they want to welcome Cyrus to Iran?

The innocent martyr Beheshti called to say that for the arrival reception of the Imam from Paris to Tehran the following arrangements had been made:

1. The welcoming is to be extremely great and extensive and that Mehrabad airport was to be carpeted wall-to-wall.

2. The city is to be covered with lights and decorated

3. The Imam is to be taken by a helicopter from the airport to the Behesht-e-Zahra burial ground because the massive crowd would make it dangerous to cover the distance with an automobile…

When I mentioned these arrangements to the Imam he stated: “Go and call Iran and tell the gentlemen that are they making arrangements to bring Cyrus to Iran! A clergyman had departed from Iran and that same clergyman is returning to Iran. I will not go to Behesht-e-Zahra by helicopter.”‌

The subject was relayed back to Iran but Martyr Beheshti was anxious that for instance the sheer size of the crowd did not God forbid cause any harm to the Imam and… again the report was communicated to the Imam and he stated: “I must be like the rest of the people even if I am crushed in a stampede…”‌

 

He would tidy his own room

When the Imam arrived in Paris, he himself took upon the chore of tidying his own room and however much we would plead with him to allow others to do the job, he refused to allow. During his stay at Neauphle le-Chateau, like always he lived a simple and unpretentious life. Despite the fact that journalists from the most widely-circulated newspapers of the world had a tough competition with one another and would publish the photo of the Imam on their first pages, yet the Imam made no changes in his living style and continued to shun protocol.

 

Simplicity of the Imam attracted me to him

More than anything else it was the simplicity of the Imam that attracted me to him. In Paris the Imam lived in a small house that had just two rooms, one of which was the bedroom and the other his office room where he received people. In his living, one saw no evidence of rugs and valuable items. His eating habits were also very simple meaning that it included some amount of rice and milk. The tent in which he held the congregation prayers was also very simple.

 

The only furniture in the house was a small table

When the Imam is not busy working in the Fayziyyah theological School or not receiving guests, he goes to the home of his relative located on #16, Yakhchal Qadi Street. This is a white single-storied mud and straw house that was perhaps built a hundred years ago. This house is located in a narrow street in the center of the city of Qom and consists of a courtyard with a small pool. The walls of the house are covered with grapevines. The only piece of furniture of note in his house is a wooden table that he had used for years.

 

Will he come without any prearrangement?

After the Revolution, a woman journalist from London arrived in Qom and because she knew me from the time I was in London, she came to our house and asked me to arrange an interview for her with the Imam. I spoke on the telephone with the late Mr. Ishraqi and told him that this lady had many questions to ask and wants to ask certain questions from the Imam. He did not agree. One night the Imam came to my house and by sheer coincidence, the journalist was also present. When the Imam entered, all her problems were resolved and she said: “I am surprised that he came here on his own! I agreed and said that he even went to the houses of the seminary students without any formality. She said: “That same person who has created so much controversy got up and came here without protocol?”‌ She who had seen the protocol of the royalty before became a great fan of the Imam.

 

We will journey with this same car

When he was in Qom, many nights he would visit the homes of the families of martyrs and theologians of the seminary. One night we planned to visit the home of one of clergymen whose house was located in a narrow lane in which big and ordinary cars could not enter. Beforehand we inspected the lane and concluded that except for a small car like the “Jyan”‌, no other car could enter that narrow lane. Thus we arranged for a small “Jyan”‌ car and

started off with the Imam. In a subsequent visit we again sat in the same car and came out of that narrow lane. One of the brothers had arranged for a ‘Paykan”‌ car and the Imam was asked to sit in the other car because the small car was not in good condition and the weather also was hot. The Imam stated: “This car is moving and there is nothing wrong with it. We will journey with this car.”‌

 

On the same level as the living standard of the lower strata of society

The living standard of the Imam from the point of view of food, housing, use of personal means and other affairs of living was lower than the standard of living of the lower strata. Although he was leader of a regime and a political and global figure, yet he was not prepared to take even the smallest step towards increasing his personal wealth. In procuring the necessities of living for the Imam, we were constantly worried lest we procure an item that was expensive and he would find fault and be displeased. Many times it occurred that the Imam would take us to task because of certain issues such as painting his house, excessive consumption of water and electricity or improper utilization of household appliances.

 

Do not use decorations

Although the Husseiniyyah of Jamaran was not too much his personal domain and all changes made to it ultimately was in the name of Imam Hussein (A.S), yet the Imam did not permit changes be made to it in order to beautify and renovate it. Even when Mr. Imam Jamarani wanted to whitewash the place the Imam stated: “If you want me to stay here, don’t renovate and beautify it.”‌ Once the Imam came to know that they wanted to decorate it with traditional tiles. He got angry and stated: “I will leave this place.”‌ For this reason the Husseiniyyah remained as it was until the end.”‌

 

These houses were rented

The office of the Imam was about three or four square meters in which all meetings  with  both  foreigners  and  locals  would  take  place””and  the presidents also came to this room. In other words, the Imam was showing how he lived. Until the Imam departed to his heavenly abode, these houses were rented and the Imam paid their rent.


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 ١)

Manifestation of the Friend: Subtle Spirit (part ٢)

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