‘Allāmah Tabātabā’ī had completed the various levels of Gnosis (‘Irfān) and wayfaring towards God and spiritual perfection. He was continuously occupied with remembrance of the Almighty (dhikr), supplication (du’ā), and intimate supplication (munājāt). When I would see him walking he would usually be reciting dhikr of Allah. When we were together during our sessions and the audience fell silent, it was apparent that his lips were moving with the dhikr of Allah.
During the last few months of his life, ‘Allāmah paid little attention to the matters of this world. He was unaware of worldly necessities and was wandering in another world. He had the remembrance of God on his tongue, and was removed from this world but attached to the next. In the last days of his life he even stopped paying attention to water and food. A few days before he passed away he informed one of his friends that
“I no longer have any desire to drink tea and I have told them to light the tea kettle for me in the hereafter. Nor do I have any desire for food and I don’t want to eat any more.”
Afterwards he neither ate nor talked to anyone, but stared at the corner of the room with a look of astonishment.
Ayatullah Ibrāhīm Amini
During one of his last nights [before ‘Allāmah left this world] I was at his service. He was sitting in his bed, and staring at the corner of the room with penetrating eyes, but had no ability to speak. I wanted to hear some words and some instruction from him so that I might have a final memory of him, so I said, “do you have any advice for increasing one’s concentration on God and presence of heart in prayer?”
He turned his attention towards me. His lips moved and with a barely audible whisper that could only be heard with difficulty, he said “attention in your relations with others (murāwadah), attention in attentive regard (murāqabah), attention in murāwadah”. He repeated this sentence more than ten times.
‘Allāmah related this sentence at a time when he was unaware of worldly matters but had great attention towards spiritual matters and the remembrance of God. He considered prayers, attentive regard, controlling his soul and purifying it a way to increase presence of heart and continuous attention towards the Almighty.
Ayatullah Ibrāhīm Amīnī
During the last days of ‘Allāmah’s life I used to go to his house in the afternoons to see if he needed anything, and to make him walk a little in his backyard. One day I said to him, “do you need anything?” He said to me a number of times, “I need…I need”.
I realized that perhaps ‘Allāmah’s intention is something else, and that he was traveling on a different horizon. Then I entered the living room. ‘Allāmah also entered the room, and in a state whereby his eyes were continually closed, he became occupied with remembrance of the Almighty (dhikr). I wasn’t able to distinguish which dhikr it was. The time of Maghrib arrived. I saw that ‘Allāmah, in that same state where his eyes were closed and without looking at the sky, became occupied with reciting the call to prayers (adhān) and afterwards he read his Maghrib prayers.
Days passed and his health worsened, and they moved ‘Allāmah to the Qum hospital. As he was leaving the house he said to his dear wife, “I will no longer return”.
One of the scholars of Qum
I was in Allama’s presence on the last night before which they took ‘Allāmah to the hospital. For some time he was unconscious. After an hour he came to consciousness and sat on his bed for approximately 45 minutes. In the same state as he was in before, he stared at the corner of the room and then fell asleep. After some time when he became woke up he moved from his position as if he wanted to get up. We asked him do you want to get up? He said “Those two individuals that I was waiting for have come”, and stared at the corner dazzled and astonished.
Ayatullah Ibrāhīm Amīnī