Rafed English

Rays of the Sun

Rays of the Sun by : Foundation of the Representation of the Office of Spiritual Leadership in Universities


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

With the demise of Imam Khomeini on June 3rd, 1989, the world lost a great revolutionary and an unparalleled leader who awakened the Muslims, revived Islam and restored it to its pristine grandeur through his honourable and dignified life.

The Imam was a shining light in the history of Islam that continues to shine years after his demise. Millions flocked to his funeral; millions more have since congregated in mourning ceremonies and processions all over the world to pray tribute to him.

Much has been written about Imam Khomeini as a political and spiritual leader of the Islamic Revolution. However, the aim of this book is to give the reader an insight into Imam Khomeini’s personal life, the man behind the scenes.

He was a perfect archetype of a complete Muslim in every facet of life. Indeed, this was a man who appealed to all levels of society and all backgrounds, especially the oppressed peoples of South Africa, Iraq and Palestine.

It is hoped, God Willing, that this compilation will be a great source of inspiration and benefit for readers from all creeds and backgrounds.

Translated by Abbas & Shaheen Merali
July 2005
Holy City of Qom
Observance of the rights of a wife
Imam always offered me the better place in the room. He would not start eating until I came to the dinner table. He would also tell the children: ‘Wait until Khanom comes.’ He maintained respect for me and was not even willing that I should work in the house. He would always tell me: ‘Don’t sweep.’ If I wanted to wash the children’s clothes at the pond1, he would come and say: “Get up, you shouldn’t be washing.”

On the whole, I have to say that Imam did not consider sweeping, washing dishes and even washing my children’s clothes as part of my responsibilities. If out of necessity I sometimes did these, he would get upset considering them as a type of unjust dealing towards me.

Even when I entered the room, he would never say: ‘Close the door behind you,’ but waited till I sat down and then would himself get up and shut the door.2[

The Imam’s Wife
60 years of living together and not one request for a glass of water
Imam had extraordinary respect for his wife. For example, I am not lying if I say that in the period of 60 years of living together, he did not even reach for food (on the dinner table) before his wife, nor did he have even the smallest expectation from her. I can even say that in the period of 60 years of living together, at no time did he even ask for a glass of water, but would always get it himself. If he was in such a position that he could not, he would say: ‘Is the water not here?’ He would never say: ‘Get up and bring me water.’ He behaved this way not only with his wife but also with all of us who were his daughters. If he ever wanted water we would all enthusiastically run to get it, but he never wanted us to bring and give him a glass of water in his hand.

During the difficult last days of his life, each time he would open his eyes, if he was capable of speaking, he would ask: ‘How is Khanom?’ We would reply: ‘She is good. Shall we tell her to come to you?’ He would answer: ‘No, her back is hurting. Let her rest.’3

Siddiqa Mustafavi (Imam’s daughter)
Blessed am I that I have such a wife
Imam was very attached to his wife and had special respect for her, so much so that he placed his wife on one side, and his children on the other.

I remember that once Imam’s wife had gone on a journey, and Imam was missing her very much. When he would frown, we would jokingly say to him: ‘When Khanom is here, Imam laughs, and when she is not here, Imam is upset and frowns.’

In short, however much we teased Imam, he would not stop frowning. Finally I said: ‘Blessed is Khanom that you like her so much.’ He said: ‘Blessed am I that I have such a wife. No one else has sacrificed as much in life as she has. If you too would be like Khanom, your husband would also like you this much.’ 4

Siddiqa Mustafavi (Imam’s daughter)
He would never pass on his work to anyone else
As far as possible, Imam was particular that he should not impose his work on others, but rather carry it out himself. In Najaf, it sometimes happened that from the roof 5, Imam would notice that the kitchen or bathroom light was left on.

In these cases, he would not tell his wife or anybody else who was also on the roof to go and switch off the light. Rather, he would himself make his way down three flights of stairs in the darkness, switch off the light and return.

Occasionally, he would also want a pen or paper that was upstairs. In this circumstance too, he would not tell anyone, not even his loved ones the children of Martyr Marhum Hajj Sayyid Mustafa (Imam’s son), to bring them for him. He would himself get up and go up the stairs to get what he needed and return.6

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Hamid Ruhani
Imam is not crying at all
It was around Dhuhr on the day that Marhum Hajj Agha Mustafa had passed away. Imam’s house was full of people who had come to offer their condolences. When everyone had left, the Adhaan of Dhuhr was heard. Imam got up and went to do wudu and said: “I am going to the mosque.” I said: “Oh, Agha is not leaving his habit of praying congregational prayers even today.” I then said to one of the servants: “Quickly go and let the caretaker of the mosque know.”

When the people realised that Imam was going to the mosque, crowds of people from all over also flocked there. When we reached the mosque with Agha, the people who were crying and wailing opened the way and the Imam entered the mosque. The people remarked to each other with surprise: “What is this? Imam is not crying at all.”7 Hujjatul Islam Furqani
I was scared that I would cry for other than Allah
On the night of the martyrdom of Marhum Hajj Agha Mustafa, a Fatiha majlis (a service of prayer and condolence) took place in the Hindi Mosque in Najaf, and Agha Sayyid Jawad Shabbar recited from the pulpit. He narrates:

In that majlis in which Imam was also present, I narrated the masaib of Hazrat Ali Akbar (as), and also mentioned it 7 times from the pulpit, connecting it to my lecture. Imam sat throughout the majlis with complete calm.

Agha Sayyid Jawad Shabbar had wanted to make the Imam cry with these narrations so that his heart would become light, but he wasn’t successful despite the fact that it (the death of his son) was a major calamity. A number of people who witnessed the Imam’s state thought that Imam was not crying because he was in a state of shock from the heavy calamity. Therefore, after the majlis they went to the Imam who had returned home and asked: “Agha, you didn’t cry at the masaib today?” He replied: “When he was reciting the masaib he was looking at me, and I was scared that if I cry it would be for other than Allah, i.e. it would be for the tragedy of my son, and not for the pleasure of Allah.”8

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Murtaza Musawi Ardabili Abarkuhi
Why is Hassan dishevelled like this?
Imam acted exactly according to all the instructions that he gave from the start, and in actuality, was an embodiment of those very instructions. He himself was the book ‘Forty Hadith’ that he had written in his youth. Suppose he spoke about riya (performing any action for the purpose of other than the pleasure of Allah) and reproached it, he himself would stay away from it with intensity.

I remember one day my son entered the house wearing trousers which I had patched up at one knee. Imam asked: “Why is Hassan dishevelled like this?” I jokingly replied: “It’s the life of poor people, Agha.”

Immediately, his face became drawn, and he said: “You don’t want to do riya.” I said: “No, why riya?” He said: “Be careful. Not paying attention to outward physical appearances has value. However, if you want to show (people) that I am such and such, it is riya.”

Imam said this sentence to me with the same intensity with which he had, at the age of 30 years, written in his book!9 Fatema Tabatabai (Imam’s daughter-in-law)
I have come to wash the dishes
One day, as it so happened, there were many guests at Imam’s house. After the meal, I collected the dishes and took them to the kitchen. Along with Zahra, the daughter of Agha Ishraqi, we prepared to wash the dishes. However we saw that Imam himself had immediately come to the kitchen.

I asked Zahra: “Why has Hajj Agha come to the kitchen?” I had a right to be surprised because it wasn’t time to perform wudu. Imam rolled up his sleeves and said: “Because there are many dishes today, I have come to help you.” My body started to tremble. My Lord! What am I seeing! I said to Zahra: “I swear by you to Allah, please request Imam to leave. We will wash the dishes ourselves.” This was really unexpected for me10

Marzieh Hadide Chi (Dabagh)
A piece of advice to solve family issues
One of Imam’s daughters narrates: “At the start of my marriage, I went to Hajj Agha so that he could give me some advice. He said: “If your husband is upset, or if he says something to you for whatever reason, or acts badly, at that time don’t say anything, even if you are in the right. Leave it until he has calmed down, and then say what you have to.” He also gave the exact same advice to my husband.

In the beginning I didn’t give this advice much importance. Later upon reflection, I saw that indeed the root of many of the family disputes came back to this very issue. Therefore, from then on, every time somebody has wanted advice about family issues, I have given them this very same advice of the Imam.11

Hujjatul Islam Muhammad Hassan Murtadhavi Langarudi
Worn away bricks
The simplicity of Imam’s house in Qom during his life was an indication of his contentment.

It is well known that the bricks of the courtyard stairs were worn away. A builder had advised: “Get a number of bricks made so that these worn away ones can be replaced.” Imam responded: “Turn these worn away bricks around and let them be.”12 Ayatullah Bani Fadhl
1. A lot of Iranian houses have a pond in the courtyard, which they use to wash clothes, etc.

2. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 50-51

3. Paa be Paye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 92

4. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 92

5. During hot summers, Iranians tend to sleep on the roof of the house

6. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 173-174

7. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 249

8. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 3, Pg. 223

9. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 3, Pg. 259

10. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 315

11. Paa be Paaye Aaftab, Vol 4, Pg. 140

12. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 2, Pg. 313
I want to kiss your forehead
During the days when Imam would go to the Madressa Alavi, people would come to meet him in groups (men in the morning and women in the afternoon). There would often be a lot of crowding and usually a number of people would become unwell and would need to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Once, I was in the presence of Imam in the midst of this crowding. Imam’s eyes fell on a boy of 10 years who appeared to be in danger. He was also crying and struggling to move forward.

In that very situation, Imam indicated for the child to be brought forward. The child was brought to the Imam. He was drenched in sweat and was crying out of delight. When Imam showed him love, he said to the Imam: “I want to kiss your face.” Imam brought his face down and he kissed a cheek. He then said: “I want to kiss that side too.” Imam gave him permission. He lastly requested: “I also want to kiss your forehead.” Imam again humbly bent forward and he kissed the blessed forehead of the Imam.1

Hujjatul Islam Mahdi Karubi
Utmost respect for children
Imam really liked young children. He had such an attachment to them that he said:

“In Najaf, when we would return from the shrine, I used to like the children very much despite their rough appearance.” The children would follow the Imam until he reached home.

Imam used to tell my daughter who used to complain about the mischievousness of her child: “I am ready to exchange the reward that you get by bearing the mischievousness of Husayn, with the reward of my worship.” He believed that children should be free until they became older, and then limits should be set for them.

On the subject of raising children, he used to say: “Be truthful with your children so that they too are truthful. The role-models of children are their fathers and mothers. If you behave correctly with your children, they will be brought up correctly. Whatever you tell your children, act on that.”2

Farida Mustafavi (Imam’s daughter)
1. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 199

2. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 107
His advice to guard hijab
The Imam believed that the covering of a woman should be such that it should not incite evil and should not show the contours of the body. The colours of clothes should also be dark, i.e. it is possible that a bright red colour could incite mischief.

Imam also believed that one’s tone (of voice) and looks should also be pure. In the work place, he didn’t think laughing loudly or speaking out of turn was at all suitable. On the whole, his advice was to always observe chastity and guard hijab.

On the whole, he thought the chador (a long piece of black cloth that is normally worn by Iranian women over their clothes) was better and believed that it was more becoming. Imam considered the chador to be the symbol of the Revolution. When he used to see women in poor hijab, he would get very upset at the person who had acted contrary to the Islamic laws, and it would be evident from his expression. If at dinner, our hand would come out more than allowable from our sleeves, he would remind us.1

Raising a child cannot be accomplished by a man
Imam believed the role of the mother to be very determining and gave a lot of importance to the upbringing of children. Sometimes when we would joke and say that a woman must always stay at home, he would say: “Don’t think little of the home; the upbringing of children is no small matter. If somebody is able to raise one person (properly), she has done a great service to society.

He believed that the upbringing of a child could not be accomplished by a man. This was a job specifically designed for a woman because a woman is kinder and the order of a family also had to be based on kindness and love.2

Fatema Tabatabai (Imam’s daughter-in-law)
The women have removed the Shah
It was the 15th of the Iranian month of Bahman, the 3rd day of meeting Imam Khomeini that woman came to meet the Imam. That night, we received statistics from the emergency (area) [first aid station] that we had established in the madressa that on that day approximately 817 women had fainted.

When they fainted, we had no choice but to place them on a stretcher and be careful that their hair, hands, or legs did not show. We related this to the Imam and suggested: “Give us permission that women should not be allowed to come and meet you.”

When Imam heard this sentence, he said: “Do you think that my announcements or your speeches have removed the Shah?! It is these very women that have removed the Shah. Treat them with honour.”3

Agha Muhsin Rafiq Doost
Young ladies should cover themselves more
Imam always used to tell us: “It is correct that they said that the face and palms (can) be visible; however, it is better that youth cover up a little bit more”. He also emphasised a lot that no type of perfume should be used out of the house.

I remember on one of the Eids, Imam gifted his grandchild (of one of his other daughters) perfume and gave me something else and said: “Because you haven’t married yet, therefore you don’t have the need to perfume.”4

Atife Ishraqi
1. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 177

2. Wijhe Name Ruznameye Ithila’at, 14/3/69

3. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 140-141

4. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 1, Pg. 285
The importance of youth
It was at the end of the Iranian year 1367, the beginning of Sha’ban, that I went to see the Imam. The Mafatih was in his hand and he wanted to read the specific supplications for the month of Sha’ban. When I went to kiss his hand and get permission to leave, he said: “Whatever work you want to do, do it in your youth. In old age, you will only sleep and moan.”1

Hujjatul Islam Masih Burujurdi (Imam’s grandson)
Service to the people in youth
Sometimes when we went to see the Imam, we asked him: “If it’s possible please give us advice.” Usually Imam would give us this advice:

“As much as possible, serve the people in every way (and) perform all acts of worship in your youth. Know the value of youth because once you reach my age, you will not be able to do any thing. Like me who cannot do anything.”2

Imam Bahauddini az A’zaaye bayte
Youth and effort in Salaat-ul-Layl
In the days that I was with the Imam and had the opportunity of serving him, he never left Salaat-ul-Layl. Those who were with him before, even those who were his peers and room mates, narrate that the Imam endeavoured in Salaat-ul-Layl from the beginning of his youth when he was busy in studies.3

Ayatullah Ghulamridha Ridhwani
Whilst you are young
In the year 1965, one night in the days that Imam had recently been dismissed from the hospital, I was sleeping next to the Imam. He still had the state of a convalescent; despite all this he got up for Salaat-ul-Layl. Whilst doing wudu, because he couldn’t perform masah (wiping) of the feet as it was difficult for him, he leant on my shoulder and said: “So-and-so.” I said: “Yes.” He said: “Worship Allah whilst you are young. When you become old, you will not be able to, like me.”4

Hujjatul Islam Tawassuli
Have some recreation
When Imam would see that I was busy studying on holidays, he would say: “You will not get anywhere, because at the time of recreation, you must be at leisure.”

He used to emphasize this to my son. This narration is the promise of Imam himself, which in my presence he repeatedly told my son: “I did not substitute one hour of recreation for studies, nor one hour of studies for recreation.”

He set aside time for specific things. Imam advised my son to set aside time for recreation. If you don’t have recreation, you cannot prepare yourself for studying.5

Zahra Mustafavi (Imam's granddaughter)
We arranged social meetings
Imam did not neglect social gatherings with friends, and considered a social gathering to be the source of a type of help and training of the mind and preparation of it. One day, he himself said:

“During my youth, no Thursday or Friday would pass except that we would arrange social gatherings with friends. We would leave Qom and mostly head towards Jamkaran6. When it snowed or rained, we busied ourselves with social programs in my room and when we would hear the sounds of the mu’adhin, all of us used to stand for prayers.7

Hujjatul Islam Ja’far Subhani
1. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 1, Pg. 56

2. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 1, Pg. 331

3. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 130

4. Fasalnameye Hawze, No. 45

5. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 1, Pg. 60

6. Area just outside of Qom

7. Faslnameye Hawze, No. 32
A shortened ziyarat and serving others
A scholar has narrated: One summer, we went for ziyarat to Mashad with Imam and several other scholars. There we hired a house.

Our timetable was such that in the afternoons, after one or two hours rest, we would wake up and would head for the shrine together. After ziyarat, prayers and supplication, we would return to the house and in the pleasant setting of the veranda, we would sit and drink tea.

Imam’s timetable was that he would come with everyone to the shrine; however he would shorten his ziyarat and supplication and return to the house alone. He would sweep and wash the veranda, spread a rug, switch on the samovar (apparatus for making tea) and prepare the tea. When we returned from the shrine, he would serve everyone tea.

One day I asked him: ‘What is this? You shorten you ziyarat and supplications and return home in a hurry in order to make tea for your friends?’ Imam replied: ‘I don’t consider the reward of this act to be less than that of the ziyarat and supplications.’1

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Hamid Ruhani
It is the nafs that is inviting me
When we were in Najaf, I remember hearing from some people that Imam was not being very friendly with them. I relayed this to Marhum Hajj Agha Mustafa and asked him to tell Imam to be friendlier with these people. He said: “We have told him many times and Imam says:

‘This is from deceptions and plots of shaytan, i.e. in reality, it is my nafs that is inviting me to be friendlier to these people so that the number of people who like me increase. However, so that this command becomes likeable to me, shaytan says: ‘This is for Allah and Islam!’ Therefore I cannot do this.’’”2

Hujjatul Islam Muwahidi Kirmani
Imam’s best moments
At the time Imam returned to Iran, the people were overtaken with fervour and joy. He himself also had an interesting interpretation of that moment. After the speech in Behesht-e-Zahra (as), Imam expressed a desire to go into the crowd. There is a picture of the Imam where he doesn’t have a turban, nor a robe, and is caught in the middle of the crowd. Imam had said:

“I felt that my soul was being seized.” The interpretation of the Imam was that: “My best moments were that very time that I was dying under the hands and feet of the people.” 3

Hujjatul Islam Imam Jamaaraani
He used to live like everyone
On the occasion that Allah had given this slave (the narrator) the opportunity to kiss the hand of the Imam, he was sitting on an old chair on the small porch of his house, in the fierce cold. This troubling weather of Jamaaraan had almost changed the colour of his face and hands from red to dark blue.

I asked the reason for why something to make the Imam warm had not been placed near him in such fierce cold and open space? I heard the reply that Imam wanted to share in the pain of the people.

They indicated another example of this equality: When Imam’s clothes had been given to the house for a wash, but hadn’t been washed, they asked why. They got the reply that: “As yet, the turn to receive the washing powder coupon has not reached the house, and once it is received, the clothes will be washed.”4

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Mohammed Baqir-e-Hujjat
I will not move from here
During the war, there were many very threatening and dangerous incidents. Sometimes, Imam’s neighbourhood was also hit by missiles. At all these times, he did not demonstrate any reaction that indicated worry or agitation.

On one particularly threatening night during which the area was under attack, it was said to the Imam: “At least come to the area which has been secured.” Imam said: “I will not move from here.” They asked: “Why?” He said: “There is no difference between me and the sentry who is now at the top of the street guarding his post. He has a life, and I have a life. If his life is precious, my life is precious.” He then said: “By Allah, I don’t believe in any difference in my getting killed and the sentry at the top of the street getting killed.”5

Hujjatul Islam Imam Jamaaraani
Until a missile hits my forehead
One afternoon, at about 7 or 8pm, a missile hit the area of Jamaaraan. I went to the Imam and asked him: “If one time, one of our missiles hit Saddam’s palace once and Saddam was wounded or killed, how happy would we be? And if a missile hits near here and the ceiling falls down and you get wounded or killed, then what?”

Imam in his reply said: “By Allah, I don’t believe in any distinction or difference between myself and that sentry that is on the T-junction near the house. By Allah, if I get killed, or he gets killed, it makes no difference to me.” I said: “We know that you are this way; however, it makes a difference for the people.”

Imam said: “No, the people should know that if I go to a place where a bomb kills the sentries near the house and doesn’t kill me, then I will no longer be of any use to the people as their leader. I can only serve the people until that time that my life is like that of the life of the people. If the people, or the sentries, or any one who is in this area, are killed, allow this slave (of Allah) to also get killed so that the people understand that we are all with each other.”

I asked: “So until when will you sit here?” He pointed to his blessed forehead and said: “Until that time that a missile hits here.”6]]

Hajj Ahmad Agha Khomeini (Imam’s son)
A heart as wide as this universe
One day I was with Hujjatul Islam Salimi. He had come from the Imam’s house to the Southern war front to strengthen the spirits and meet the soldiers of Islam. The topic of Imam’s characteristics came up. He said:

“A few days ago in the presence of the Imam, on the topic of the boldness and insolence of Shaikh Ali Tehrani aired on Baghdad radio, someone told the Imam that that malicious man has taken a lot of liberties with you. When our conversation ended, Imam said:

“As it so happens, a few days ago I remembered him and prayed for him.” Even with regards to the guidance of opponents and enemies, Imam used to feel so much pity (and affection).7

Ghulamali Raja’i
1. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 169

2. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 3, Pg. 227

3. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 2, Pg. 240

4. Wizhenameye Ruznameye Jumhuri Islami, Khordad 70

5. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 2, Pg. 252-253

6. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 86

7. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 211
There are 10 minutes left until dinner time
Some brothers had brought a film about the events of the Revolution to France, and suggested that we ask Imam to watch this film after dinner. I went and asked Imam: “Dinner is ready, shall I bring it?” Imam looked at his watch and said: “There are 10 minutes left until dinner time.”

The hours of Imam’s day and night had been divided in such a way that without seeing him, we could say that right now, he is busy in what work.1

Marzieh Hadide Chi (Dabagh)
A strange order
The order in the arrangement of Imam’s life in Paris even had an effect on the work and timetable of the French police. From inside Imam’s house, I once saw from one of the room windows that the door of Imam’s house had still not opened yet, but they (the police) had gotten out of their car to see the Imam off (knowing the Imam would leave the house at this time).

The police mentioned several times to some brothers that if their watches were sometimes behind or in front, they could get the correct time from the punctuality with which Imam said his prayers; this was very strange for them.2

Marzieh Hadide Chi (Dabagh)
Christmas Day in Paris
On Christmas day, Imam gave a message to all the Christians of the world that the news agents broadcast. As well as this message, he told us to distribute gifts to the residents of Neauphel-le Chateau. These were usually Gaz (a type of confectionary), Aajeel (dried nuts or seeds or fruits) and Shireeni (sweet items) that some brothers had brought from Iran. We carried this out and next to each package, we placed a flower stem.

In the places we went to, we sensed that many in the West were not familiar with this kindness and love, even between fathers and their children, They felt it very strange that the night of the birth of the Prophet of the Christians, a non-Christian Iranian leader was so close to them and felt love for them. For example there was a woman who, when she took the Imam’s gift, was so overcome that tears rolled down her face.3

Hujjatul Islam Ali Akber Muhtashami
Respect towards the1000 year old ceremonies and customs of Muslims
The love and attachment of the Imam towards the Imams (as) was of a specific characteristic of his. The 9th day of Muharram (Islamic month in which the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn (as) is commemorated), Agha Ishraqi came to me and said: “Imam has said that you should prepare to recite masaib when he comes out an hour before Dhuhr.” Then Imam gave the following message: “Tell so-and-so I want this very masaib and this very masaib should be recited.”

From this I sensed that firstly, the attachment that Imam has for the Imams (as) is not subject to conditions. Secondly, that he respects the environment, country and ceremonies of the country that he is fighting for, as well as the ceremonies and customs that are part of Islam and that the Muslims have lived with for more than 1000 years. He is seeking those very ceremonies even though he is in Paris and the heart of the Western land.

On that day, there was a large crowd. Many reporters had also come to prepare their news reports. Imam, who was very sorrowful, came at 11 o’clock in the morning. I sat next to him. He indicated to me to recite the masaib and I started. For those people who had come to see the Imam from all over the world and for those from Western countries, this was very unexpected.

Although Imam had the Shah and America against him, on the 9th day of Muharram, he sat and cried for Imam Husayn (as). Nobody can ever fully comprehend this.4

Hujjatul Islam Muhtashami
But do they want to make Cyrus enter Iran?
One day in Paris, there was a phone call from the Welcoming Committee from Tehran. I was in charge of the office and telephone of the Imam. It was Martyr Dr. Beheshti, who said: “For the entrance of Imam we have arranged a programme; tell the Imam that we will carpet the airport, decorate it with lights, we will go between the airport to Behesht-e-Zahra (as) by helicopter and …”

When I told the Imam this, he, according to his habit of always of listening carefully to the person who is speaking and then replying, after listening to me carefully, with his particular decisiveness and clearness said:

“Go and tell the men that do they want to make Cyrus5 enter Iran? This is not necessary at all! A student has left Iran and that same student is returning to Iran. I want to be among my people and go with them, even if I get trampled upon.”6

Hujjatul Islam Firdosi Pur
1. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 9

2. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 37

3. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 204-205

4. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 2, Pg. 146-147

5. Cyrus was a previous king of Iran, who ruled approximately 2,500 years ago

6. Ruznameye Kaihan, 14/4/1368
Exceptional joy
The night of the 21st of the Iranian month of Bahman1 (February 10th, 1979), Imam was sitting with his head down listening to the radio. I was also sitting by his side. It was announced that the radio and television stations had fallen from the government’s control.

Imam clapped two hands together and stood up without thinking. I have only seen him clap his hands that once. He was very happy and this happiness was apparent on his face.

At that very time, he said: “Now it’s finished, now it’s finished.” I did not understand then what this sentence meant! Afterwards I understood that when the radio fell into the hands of the nation, the world would understand that the regime had fallen out of power. Perhaps I can say that I have at no other time seen the happiness of that day on his face.2

Farida Mustafavi (Imam’s daughter)
A bag of Aajeel (dried nuts, seeds or fruits)
If we helped the Revolution, Imam would become very happy. During the war, the residents of Jamaaraan would gather at Imam’s house and at the house of our brother to help from behind the war front. Imam would come and always express happiness and satisfaction when he would see that we were all sitting working, one stitching a quilt, another pouring Aajeel into a nylon bag, and another doing something else.

I even said one time: “Give us permission to write on the back of this bag of Aajeel that it has been filled by the Imam himself and sent for the war front so that the soldier that receives this Aajeel becomes happy.” However, Imam did not accept this.3

Farida Mustafavi (Imam’s daughter)
Attachment to the families of martyrs
Imam who stood firm and solid against oppressors and the forces of shaytan, was very humble with the child and mother of a martyr.

As an example, a mother of a martyr had come from Ahwaaz to meet the Imam. She had also written him a letter but was not successful in meeting him. She stayed for 2 or 3 days in the same area, and then returned to Ahwaaz. There she wrote a letter along the following lines: “Hazrat Imam! I came to Tehran but was not successful in meeting you.” Imam had written on the top of this letter: “Until you bring this martyr’s mother to meet me, I will not go to meet anyone.”

Another time I also remember that we had gone to meet him. Imam had finished his Dhuhr prayers. I entered and said that a number of the families of martyrs want to come and kiss your hand. Imam came and sat. The people who were there lined up so that they could kiss the Imam’s hand.

In this state, they were crying and would not pass after seeing the Imam. We were really ashamed that this inconvenience had been created for him, and that there was an interruption between his prayers. Upset, we finally decided to tell them to pass through. At one point, Imam turned to me cheerfully and said: “How are you? No, allow them to be.”4

Hujjatul Islam Karubi
His special attention to Ayatullah Khamenei
As per his extreme order and discipline in his work, after the summary of the news, Imam appointed 8 o’clock in the morning for office work and stamping bills. He never changed this timetable.

Even on those days that occasionally, because of slight illness or intense cold weather and frost, that he didn’t come to his work room, we were authorised to go to his room, so that no matter what, the work of the office and businesses did not get delayed or suspended. So that order and timing did not clash, if he foresaw a certain issue that would prevent him being on time, he would inform us the day before.

After the completion of this portion of his work, he carried out the programme of reciting aqd (marriage contracts for couples) and then hand-kissing, and after that, if a private meeting for heads or various persons had been arranged beforehand, they were carried out. Despite all these scheduled programmes, exceptions also occurred whereby Imam ordered the schedule to be suspended.

One of these exceptions related to Ayatullah Khamenei. When Imam became aware that he was present in the office at the start, i.e. at 8 o’clock in the morning, he instructed us: “All of you leave your work until later.” In this manner, against the norm, first the meeting with Ayatullah Khamanei was carried out and then we got busy in our work.

At that time, we did not understand the distinction and special attention given by Imam to Ayatullah Khamenei, but it wasn’t long, that with the passing of time, another example of the foresight and deep thinking of the Imam became apparent.5

Hujjatul Islam Rahimian
1. The 22nd of Bahman was the Day of the Victory of the Revolution

2. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 114

3. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 117

4. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Bol 4, Pg. 109-110

5. Majalleye Paasdaar Islam, No. 214, Pg. 41
It is not advisable that I take this money from you
One of the events that I can 100% attest to is that during the time when the tyrannical government (of Iran) followed anyone who went to Najaf and to visit Imam, an Iranian businessman took a large sum of money with him to Najaf, to give Sehm-e-Imam money (half of the khums) to him.

The government were also aware that this person had taken a large sum of money with him and wanted to give Sehm-e-Imam. The businessman reached the Imam and said: “This money is for Sehm-e-Imam and I have brought it from Iran to present it to you for use for the Islamic seminary.” Imam did not accept it. The businessman said: “Agha! I have brought this money from far, it is Sehm-e-Imam and it is especially for you.”

Imam said: “It is not advisable for you that I take this money. Go give it to one of the other marja and get a receipt from him as well.” Basically, no matter how much the businessman insisted, he did not have an effect on the Imam and so he took the money to the house of another marja and got a receipt.

On his way back, the businessman was arrested at the border and they said to him: “You went to Imam Khomeini in Najaf and also took a large sum of money with you there. We are aware of all your actions.” Then they began the procedure to imprison him for at least a few years.

The businessman in his reply said: “I have not given him even one Shahy (Iranian currency at that time). I gave the money for Sehm-e-Imam to another person.” He then took out the receipt from his pocket and showed it to them.

He saw such a day the likes of which Imam had told him at that time: “It is not advisable for you to give me this money.” If he had given Imam the money and taken a receipt from him, he might have been in a corner of a prison until the last days of his life, and would definitely have been tortured. This is yet another (demonstration) of Imam’s greatness.1 Ayatullah Shahid Saduqi
Imam was aware of the affair:
In those days, getting money into Iraq was very difficult. One of the scholars of Isfahan narrates:

I brought a sum of money to Sham, and from Sham I entered Baghdad. However I saw at the airport that they (the Ba’thi police) were going around everywhere. I became very agitated and upset. To help me in this entanglement, I sought intercession from the 7th Imam, Imam Musa Kadhim (as). I said: “Agha! I have this sum of money and I am bringing it for your son. Come to my rescue.”

During this time, one of the officials of the Iraqi government came near, called me, and let me leave. When I entered Najaf, I went to the Imam. I sat down and greeted him. Imam smiled and said: “You had a problem at the airport and sought intercession from Imam Musa Kadhim (as).” I understood that Imam was aware of the affair.2

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Muhammed Sajjadi Isfahani
1. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 303

2. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 231
At the beck and call of Imam Mahdi’s orders
An old sheikh from Mazandaran used to be negative about the Imam for no apparent reason, and even said to some people: “Don’t go to Imam’s classes.”

Imam used to go to class every day at a quarter past ten. In order that Imam would not be alone, I used to come in a hurry in order to go to class with him. One day, I saw that the old Sheikh was kissing the outer door of Imam’s house and crying. With surprise I looked at him. When the Sheikh saw me he said:
الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ
“All praise is due to Allah who guided us to this, and we would not have found the way had it not been that Allah had guided us.”1
I asked: “What’s happened?” He said: “Are you going to class? Is Agha coming to class?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “I will also come to the mosque for class.” At that moment the door opened and Imam came out. We both set off to the mosque with Imam, but out of embarrassment, the Sheikh came to the mosque from another street.

I was sitting at the door of the mosque and Imam was busy giving a lesson. The Sheikh came and sat next to me and said: “You know that I used to be negative towards the Imam, but one night I saw in my dream that I was in the presence of Imam Ali (as) and a number of people were sitting in a circle in order. I looked at them one by one and saw that the physiognomy of each one was according to their age. They said the 12th one was Imam Mahdi (aj); holy light (Nur) was shining from him and he was very beautiful and spiritual and was sitting at the end of the line.

Then scholars from the past came out of the holy grave of Ardabili2one by one. When each one of these scholars entered, the 12 people honoured them. I suddenly saw that Imam Khomeini entered from the door and you also were behind him. When the 12th person saw Imam, he stood up, then the 11th also stood up, then I saw that all of them stood up. Thereafter all of them sat but the 12th remained standing and said:

“Ruhullah (Spirit of Allah)!” Imam Khomeini gathered his robe together and said: “Yes.” Agha said: “Come forward.” Imam Khomeini came forward quickly. When he reached Imam Mahdi (aj), I saw that for 15 minutes his ear was near the mouth of Imam Mahdi (aj) and orders were being given and the Imam said: “Yes, I have done that, or inshallah I will do that.” For exactly 15 minutes Imam spoke quickly into the ear of Imam Khomeini. When this finished, Imam Khomeini moved slightly away and Imam Mahdi (aj) went to sit. Imam Khomeini waved his hand and the 11 people bowed down and Imam Khomeini walked out backwards (i.e. did not turn his back on them) and did not go to the shrine. I asked: “Why didn’t Imam Khomeini go to the shrine?” They said: “Imam Ali (as) is sitting here, where should he go?” ”3

Ne’matullah Jazairiye Husayni
Hazrat Baqiyatullah has commanded so:
One day I was at the house of Agha Fadhl Lankarani, one of the teachers of the Islamic Seminary in Qom. He narrated from one of his friends that:

“We were with the Imam in the holy city of Najaf and the conversation turned to Iran. I said: “What is your command about removing the Shah from Iran? One cannot remove a tenant from his house, and you want to want to remove the Shah of the nation?”

Imam sat silent. I thought maybe he hadn’t heard me. I repeated my words. Imam got upset and said: “So-and-so! What are you saying? Would Hazrat Baqiyatullah Imam Mahdi (aj) tell me anything wrong? The Shah must go.”4

Hujjatul Islam Kausari
1. Sura A’raf, Verse 43

2. The grave is in Najaf, in the shrine of Imam Ali (as)

3. Mardan Ilm dar Maidan Amal, Pg. 387-388

4. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 4, Pg. 125
He was reciting ziyarat from on the roof:
I have seen very few people who have perceived and put into action all the aspects of Islam. Imam however, had this characteristic. In the same way that he was superiorly skilled and talented in politics, in affairs of worship also, he was not negligent. In matters of worship he was so precise and full of struggle, that even among those who practice strict self-discipline on the path of gnosticism, there are few like him.

I remember that after the coup d’etat in Iraq, military government had been enacted all over the country. One day, the brother of Martyr Marhum Hajj Agha Mustafa said:

“I saw that Agha was not in his room. We said: “(God forbid that) Agha has gone to the shrine! Where has he gone?” We went looking everywhere, and finally saw that he had gone to the roof and was standing in such a way that the dome of the shrine was apparent, and he was in the process of reciting ziyarat in the direction of the shrine.1

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Hamid Ruhani
Recite Ziyarat-e-Rajabiye:
In one of his speeches in Najaf given in the form of a sermon, Imam recommended: “Recite Ziyarat-e-Rajabiye, 2 because this ziyarat mentions the status of the Infallibles of Allah, such as: ‘There is no difference between you (Allah) and them except that they are your slaves.’”

Imam emphasised this and said: “Only their being a slave causes the difference between them and Allah. Otherwise all the strengths of Allah are in their hands as well.”

He then said: “Recite this ziyarat so that if anything of the status of the Infallibes of Allah has been narrated for you, you consider it probable and do not reject it.”

Ayatullah Mu’min
Ziyarat-e-Ashura while walking
Imam used all his time for studying and writing or other forms of worships that have been mentioned. If one were to study just those works that have been recorded and published and assign them to his blessed life, they will well understand how he used his hours and even minutes of his life and benefited greatly from them, despite the fact that he was not a writer by nature.

He even used his half-hour walks in the morning and afternoon, which he especially used to do near the end of his life at the advice of doctors. Imam had specific supplications and dhikrs for that time so that he could carry out worship and work even while walking, and when he recited Ziyarat-e-Ashura, he would usually recite the 100 curses and 100 Salaams while walking.3

Hujjatul Islam Rasuliye Mahallati
Imam’s Mafatih was bound every few months
Imam was so familiar with (his) Mafatih, that every few months his Mafatih would tear and we had to bind it, or else we were always finding another one for him.4

Hajj Ahmad Agha Khomeini (Imam’s son)
He requested a Mafatih while in Turkey
When Imam was exiled from Iran to Turkey, in his first letter that he wrote from Turkey to Iran he requested a Mafatihul Jinan and Saheefe Sajjadiya. This was an indicator of his superior and worshipping spirit, along side his attention to political and social affairs. Imam distanced himself from all types of narrow thinking (i.e. looking at things from one perspective only).5

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Hamid Ruhani
I understood why Imam was upset
At the end of the Iranian year 1367, one day I entered Imam’s room and I saw that the Imam was very upset. Seeing that he was upset, I sat silent for a while. Agha said to me: “Give me that Mafatih.” I got up and brought the Mafatih. He had a glove on and turning pages was also hard for him. Because he was upset, he kept turning pages but could not find what he was looking for.

There was one hour left till Maghrib; he said to me: “Until now I thought that today is the last day of Rajab, and until now I have been carrying out the recommended acts and supplications of the last day of Rajab. Now I have realised that it is the 1st of Sha’ban and I really don’t know what to do.

I then understood that his distress was because from morning till now, he had been doing the recommended acts and reciting and supplications of the month of Rajab, and now that newspaper had come, he had realised that it was the 1st of Sha’ban and that Rajab was 29 days and not 30. Agha kept turning pages until he found (what he was looking for) and said to me: “Read this Munajaat of Sha’baniya6, there are many excellent things in it.” And then he got ready to read it.7

Hujjatul Islam Masihe Burujurdi
Order in ziyarat
The days when we were in Najaf, we used to set our clocks by Imam’s actions; for example, when he carried out a certain action, we knew what time it was.

Two and a half hours after Maghrib, Imam would come out of the house, and when three hours of the night had passed, no earlier nor later, he would go to the shrine. In his final days (in Najaf) when the police were watching over him, they were at ease (at this time). When the Imam entered the shrine, they went to carry out their own work because they knew what time Imam will come out, and they would return at that very time.8 Hujjatul Islam Naasiri
1. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 3, Pg. 165

2. Mafatihul-Jinan, Supplications for every day of Rajab

3. Fasalnameye Hawze, No. 37-38

4. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 3, Pg. 108

5. Ruznameye Jumhuriye Islami, 26/4/68

6. Supplication especially for the month of Sha’ban

7. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 3, Pg. 104

8. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 2, Pg. 25
He used to perform wudu facing Qibla
Whenever Imam used to peform wudu, he would carry out all the actions of wudu facing the Qibla. Even if the bathroom was not facing the Qibla, every time after taking a palmful of water, he would close the tap and put the water on his face or hand while facing the Qibla.1

Dr. Burujurdi
You are going towards the mercy of Allah
Imam greatly stressed the secrets of prayers. I particularly remember that he paid great attention to Martyr Thani’s book ‘Aadab-e-Prayers’ (Manners of Prayers) and used to say: “It is better if we say (call it) secrets of prayers.”

Imam paid attention to the (inner) meaning of praying from the beginning of performing wudu, i.e. from the time when a person goes towards water to perform wudu, until the end of prayers.

He used to say this tradition many times, which I think is from Misbah Al-Sharee’e, that one of Imams has said: “When you go towards water to perform wudu, you are really going towards the mercy of Allah.” Imam used to emphasise this statement a lot.2

Ayatullah Eezadi Najaf Abaadi
Prayers first
Imam gave a lot of importance to prayers and emphasised it very much; he always used to say: “Don’t be negligent in your prayers.” He used to say to us: “When you say, first I will do this and then I will pray, this is wrong, don’t say this. Give your prayers importance. Prayers come first.” In short, he used to emphasise (the importance of) prayers very much.3

Farida Mustafavi (Imam’s daughter)
He prayed Salaat-ul-Layl despite breathing tubes
During the days when Imam was in hospital, he was under treatment and surgeries and breathing tubes were placed in his windpipe. When these pipes are in the breathing passage, a person cannot speak.

However, despite the fact that tubes had been inserted into his windpipe, Imam prayed that day’s Dhuhr and Asr in this very state, and did not even leave his Salaat-ul-Layl.4

Dr. Eeraj Fadhil
1. Bardashthayi az Seereye Imam Khomeini, Vol 3, Pg. 90

2. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 2, Pg. 290

3. Paa be Paaye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 118

4. Ruznameye Ithila’at, 28/3/68
Oh Allah, make us turn to you
An interesting memory that I have of Imam’s lessons is his first sentence in his first lesson in Najaf. After a period of exile in Turkey, and after several journeys back and forth, Imam Khomeini began giving lessons.

In the Shaikh Ansari Mosque that was filled with people, he sat on a pulpit of two small stairs and then began speaking. Everyone was waiting and eager to hear his words. They wanted to see what the Imam would say after the exiles and imprisonments affairs in Iran.

After beginning with the Name of Allah, Imam said: “Oh Allah, make us turn to you! Oh Allah, make us turn away from anything that is other than you!” At that moment, it occurred to me that this supplication has been granted for the Imam himself.1

Ayatullah Qadeeri
The issue is nearing the grave
In his first speech to students after entering Najaf, Imam said: “Be thinking from now, be thinking from youth, every step you take now is towards the grave. Every minute you spend from your noble life, you are getting a little closer to the grave and the place where you will be questioned.

Think about this. The issue is nearing the grave and nobody has given you a deed that will allow you to live for 120 years. It is possible that one dies at 25 years, it is possible that one dies at this very moment, God forbid. You don’t have a deed in your hands; you must pay attention and refine your ethics.2

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Hamid Ruhani
The best advice
I remember one day in Najaf, I wrote a letter to the Imam along these lines: “Please give us some advice; however it should be a general and complete piece of advice.”

In his reply, he said: “The best advice is that which Allah has stated in the Qur’an:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُم بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَن تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ
“Say: I exhort you only to one thing, that (you) rise up for Allah's sake.” 34
Ayatullah Mu’min
Try to send knowledge to your heart
The advice of the Imam was this: “After you have brought knowledge in line with your intellect, try and give it to your heart; when it goes to the heart, it will be the promoter of affairs (i.e. affect your actions). This will be the knowledge that moves you.

When you don’t send knowledge to your heart and just learn it, it becomes a box that you have stored memories in, like a library, and this knowledge itself will become a veil.”5

Fatema Tabatabai (Imam’s daughter-in-law)
Shaytan comes to a person this way
Hajj Ahmad (Imam’s son) relates: Once I requested some brothers from the sentries who were at the house of Imam to erect a hand-rail at the front of the veranda of the house. When they were doing this, Imam entered and said: “Ahmad! What are you doing?” I told Imam that to protect Ali (my son) that God Forbid he should not fall down, I have requested the brothers to erect a hand rail at the front of the veranda, and this is normal (custom) everywhere.

Imam said: “Shaytan comes to a person through this very way; first he tells them that your house needs a hand-rail, then he says it needs to be painted, and afterwards he says that your house is small and is below your dignity, and he wants a bigger house, and slowly slowly, the person falls into the grip of shaytan.”6

Note: Imam’s point was not that measures should not be taken to protect children, rather that it should not be a means of Shaytan leading one astray

Hujjatul Islam Muhammad Ali Ansari Karmani
Don’t back-bite
Imam’s wife narrates: One night after prayers, Agha was sitting and I was also with him. Our maid Fatema Khanom brought tea and placed it in front of us. Another maid was also busy gathering (things) in the corner. I said to Agha that Fatema Khanom is a very good maid.

Imam said: “Don’t backbite.” I said: “Agha, but I didn’t backbite. I said that she is very good.” He said: “What you said is good (enough to be backbiting) because the other maid can hear and it seems that you want to say that she is not good, and this is backbiting.”7

Ali Saqafi
Do you know how much sin backbiting has?
One time, Imam called his family and said: “I had the intention to tell you something at a time when you are altogether.” Then he said: “Do you know how much sin backbiting has?” We said: “Yes.” Then he said: “Do you know how much sin killing a person has?” We said: “Yes.” He said: “Backbiting has more (sin)!” He then said: “Do you know how much sin unlawful acts and acting against chastity (i.e. adultery) is?” We said: “Yes.” He said: “Backbiting has more (sin).”8

Zahra Mustafavi (Imam's granddaughter)
Luxurious clothes
Every time Imam saw something that was against the dignity of a person, he would object; for example, one member of our family had worn something that was black on the outside, but that seemed luxurious to the Imam. It was the day of Eid and we were at Imam’s house. Imam said: “These clothes are not suitable, don’t wear them.” She said: “It’s black.” He s

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