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
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)