Nooh ul-Din got a small room on the second floor of Sadr School, and it is opposite to the school gate.
Nooh ul-Din, with his white clothes, short hair, growing beard, immoderate fatness, and short of stature, was handling a cup of tea and staring at the yard of the school.
• I hope I can have more profit from Mirza Jahangeer Khan.”, he mused ''but how to do it?".
He was deeply sunk into thought, when suddenly the mien of one of his beloved appeared.
• What am I seeing? My cousin Husayn?! No that’s impossible.
He involuntarily stood up quickly. “Yes it's him, it's himself”. hen be shouted:
• Husayn, Husayn I am here!
He turned towards the clayey stairs. The two cousins finally embraced each other.
Nooh ul-Din astonishingly inquired with hot tears:
• Husayn Tabataba’i, what are you doing here? What has brought you to Isfahan?
• What are you talking about, cousin? You, master of Isfahan!
• How do you do and how is my uncle and aunt?
• All of them are well and sending their regards to you.
• My room is in the second floor. Let’s go...
Both cousins ran swiftly hopping on the stairs with unmatched happiness.
Nooh ul-Din poured a cup of tea for bis cousin and said:
• Hot tea removes the hardship of the travel and its toil.
He stopped talking for a short time. then he continued:
• “How happy I am for you coming”, he said after he has pored over his cousin. “I felt so gloomy that I didn't attend the lectures of Mirza Jahangeer Khan”.
Husayn started looking at the school yard. He noticed a man who wore a black clonk and a hat, surrounded with some of the students. All were going towards the school gate.
• "Who could that man be?' Husayn inquired.
• He is the philosophy master. Mirza Jahangeer Khan1.. Rather he is the most significant master of philosophy.
Husayn pondered for a while. then he said:
• What a wonderous face!
• He truly has a human dignity and solemnity...
• This is normal with the men of God. You will be more amazed when you know him better. Here under my room. another eminent master lives; mulla Muhammad Kashani.
• Why? Is he unmarried?
• Yes, he is a strange man. You will discover that soon. He continually looked as immersed in thought.
Continually looked as immersed in thought.
Nooh ul-Din remained silent for a while. Then he paid a look at Husayn’s bag.
• Well, tell me! Is that all what you have brought with you from Boroojerd?
• Oh, I was about to forget. I deposited some objects with a blacksmith near the Khan of caravans.
It was evening when Jaleel a friend or Nooh ul-Din, remembered his friend. So be crept along Nooh ul-Din's room and sat on a thick carpet which was put on a higher level than the usual ground, where the religious students used to sleep. Jaleel, when anyone sees him for the first time, is a kid tall man with a flowing beard. He is a 40 years old person.
Nooh ul-Din wanted to shatter the silence which reigned over the room, so he said, talking to his cousin:
• Husayn! Now, this is the honourable man whom I have told you about, before. A poet, a
man, or letters and a learned too.
Here, Jaleel hemmed before speaking, then he turned to Husayn saying:
• Your cousin is joking. He always tries to be mild with me. I am only a poor miserable man who, after all those years or studying, had realised that knowledge is the only way to Allah, provided that a man should continuously think about the aim of seeking knowledge. This thought of a man is very essential in improving his course in the life. Exactly like an astrolabe, which guides a ship in the high seas.
Jaleel then put his left-hand palm on his ear and began to chant quietly, saying the following:
O you who searches for evolution and completeness...
Through the school walls...
You study wisdom and geometry…
If there is no mention of God in your heart…
Then be sure that whatsoever you read is a mere whisper
Nooh ul-Din smiled while he was introducing a cup of tea to his friend:
• I haven’t seen you for a long time, friend!
Jaleel turned towards Husayn and said:
• Listen to your cousin's speech. He protects himself by blaming others. I have come today
to blame him and ask him: isn't there any place for Jaleel inside your memory?'. Are you forgetting your friends so easily. Am I in Mars? My house is only few meters from here, behind the masjid of sheikh Lutfullah2 .
Nooh ul-Din sipped his tea while he was looking at his friend with a smile:
• You are still repeating your previous words. First, I am sure that you are alive and being provided. Second, I have come to visit you before, but your neighbour Mashadi Kadhim told me that you have been absent from the quarter for a long time.
Jaleel laughed, and said:
• I was only joking with you. Indeed, I have been in Sabzewar3. or in fact in a village of Sabzewar looking for a learned.
Nooh ul-Din asked surprisingly:
• Arc you serious?
• "Yes". Jaleel answered.
• So, have you met him?
• Well, when I reached there, he was dead.
• So, your trip went in vain.
• Don 't be cruel my friend. The trip itself has a use. Now tell me about your cousin Hussein. Once you have told me about him, but...
Nooh ul-Din interrupted him saying:
• Yes. Briefly, he is Sayyid Husayn Tabataba’i, from Boroojerd. A clever and active
youngster. It is said that he has never been seen without a book, never. He and the book are two intimate friends, even when we were making trips to the orchards to spend a nice time and some relax. His father, my friend, who had studied in Isfahan, is one of the learned, and was memorizing the Holy Qur'an during his additional time. I heard that he loved philosophy and gnosticism very much. He is a punctilious reader and researcher.
Here, Jaleel, clapped his hands and said:
• Bravo...Bravo. What a happy man I am tonight. Tell me Hussein!
With whom you have studied Usool?
• With Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Durji4
• Wonderful! l have read his series of books regarding Usool.
Then he spoke to Nooh ul-Din:
• My friend Nooh ul-Din, 1 see that your cousin will be man of high rank.
Again Jaleel started chanting. saying:
O you who are walking in the side road…
Don’t look at the dust with misery...
One day they may convert to a bracelet.
Nooh ul-Din smiled and said:
• Provided that he listen to his cousin’s advice.
• And what advice shall you introduce for him?!
• Not to be solitary like me, and be brave enough to ask others if a problem happened.
Otherwise. he will be indefinite and unknown.
• What are you saying Nooh ul-Din? The satisfaction of Allah is the real aim, and to live as a solitary is not indecent attribute. But rather it is a favor. sometimes. Reputation, high position, ranks… All those are lethal poisons without the satisfaction of Allah.
He stopped talking for a while. then be continued:
• Remember, Nooh ul-Din, Hajj 'Ali the literature master (may Allah have Mercy upon him). He was an expert teacher. He had an idea regarding poetry which says: "The sweetness of poetry lies in its words and letters. While the best of it, is that which includes no labial sounds, as the poetry must come out of the mouth avoiding letters which are made by the lips".
• Yet, he was skilled master.
• I have visited him lately before he dies in his clayey ‘fallen down upon its turrets’ room empty of anything called decoration or even furniture. He was, besides, alone. Now imagine, how can a blind old man, whose wife has died a long time ago, live alone? When I was there with him, I saw him dashing some hard bread into pieces, dipping them into n sour yoghurt, and when saluted him, he asked me, with a low voice: 'who are you?’ I said: I am your student, Jaleel. He said: The very one who, with the company of Nooh ul-Din were representing the two covers of one book? I impressively answered: Yes.
Then he said with a sad voice: I wonder whether this food will urge your appetite to share me eating it. It is too difficult for anyone to accustom the hardship of the life. Anyhow Jaleel, I have accustomed on that.
• May Allah have mercy upon him.
• Yes, may Allah have mercy upon him.
A sorrowful silence overwhelmed the place…Jaleel, in an attempt to break that horrible silence, said:
• Husayn, your cousin Nooh ul-Din is nearer to my heart than my brother. We lived together for more than twenty-five years. Now I beg your permission to leave. May Allah protect you. Don't forget to pay us a visit, Husayn.
• I won't forget.
• See you again.
The lecture of Fiqh concluded. and Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Durji sat aside, answering the students' questions. Later on, silence conquered again, when all the students began to leave the class.
The master stood up and walked towards the gate. Meanwhile, the voice of Adhan filled the city sphere, calling the people to the prayer.
Husayn was still gathering his things as to prepare himself to leave the place. Here, the master spoke to him saying:
• Has the matter been solved?
• Yes sir.
• I don't mean the lesson, but your cursed whisper!
• Actually, I am still suffering from it. The damned Satan causes me to fall in the traps suspicion. I still suspect myself when I perform wudhu (ablution), so I become forced to repeal it many times.
• I myself will cure you. Now let's go and perform wudhu together, then, we shall go to the mosque.
• But you will be late for the jama’at (congregational) prayer. I mean the people will be waiting for you.
• Don't mention it I want to watch your wudhu.
Both of them walked towards the pool in the center of the vast yard. Soon they performed ablution. Husayn became astonished when he saw himself performing wudhu only once, this time.
Accomplishing the prayer, the master turned to Husayn saying:
• Try to avoid suspicion, and do not ever perform your prayer in your room. 1 will also ask Nooh ul-Din to observe you during the prayer. On the other hand, I will watch you carefully while you are performing wudhu. It seems that is the best way to remove your useless whisper.
During the of afternoon, when Husayn was coming from the philosophy lecture, he, as usual. directed to his room ignoring the crowd of the students at the room of Meer ‘Imad. Anyhow, he was perfectly seen by Nooh ul-Din who screamed:
• Where are you going? Did you attend the lecture of Abul Ma’ali, Husayn?
• He was sick and apologized for being absent. By the way. What’s all the noise for'/
• Meer ‘Imad is still astonished because of what he has last night. When he opened his eyes, he saw mulla Muhammad Kashani prostrating and mumbling: 'All-glorious, All-holy, the Lord of angels and the Holy Spirit', and the walls were repeating the same words after him. When Meer 'Imad inquired about that, mulla told him that it is not strange that every thing gives glory to Allah. but the strange is that how you heard that tasbeeh (glorification)?
• That’s really very interesting. I will go there to hear more details.
Husayn who was folding the table-cloth up. said to bis cousin Nooh ul-Din:
• I intend to go to Boroojerd, do you need anything?
• Boroojerd? What for?
• I received a letter from my father this morning, maybe he will arrange my travel to Najaf.
• Najaf? Have you satisfied your appetite with Isfahan? Aren't four years enough for you, cousin?
• Najaf embraces the 'Gate of the city of Knowledge’5. There exists the Center of Light.
• So. when you shall leave to Boroojerd?
• There is a caravan which shall start going towards there after tomorrow, by the will of Allah.
• You always were rash. Now, when shall I be able to write a letter to my father? Anyhow, I will write it tomorrow. By the way, please don't forget to ask Isma’il Godrezi whether he has received the book (Zadul Ma'ad) which I have sent it to him. Also remember to give everybody my best regards and compliments.
Husayn hurried off along the alleys of Borojerd towards his home, filled with eager. Everything is as it was four years ago; Noor Bakhsh school, the store of Hajj Husayn Quli, the house of mulla Muhammad Ridha’.
He murmured to himself:
• Everything remained as it was. They didn't change. Only people are changing; children grow up and old people become older.
Husayn was diving in bis obsessions. suddenly he found himself in front of the door of his home. He pushed it quietly and then entered.
• May I come in?
His mother came out of the cellar, and soon tears gathered in her eyes when she saw her son. She embraced her returned son with great pleasure. His father too, hurried towards his son and kissed each other warmly:
• How are you son?
• Fine, father.
• Come on, you have just arrived in the most appropriate time.
Leading his son to the room, the father continued:
• Indeed, you have a nice and good mother-in-law.
Husayn’s mother, who was holding the tray of tea and some cookies, commented:
• She is really so, because she takes good care of our son Husayn better than me.
Husayn, in fact, was astonished with his parents' speech so he asked wondering about that;
• What's going on. Father? I am hearing strange words!
Here, someone knocked the door, then Husayn’s uncle came in saying:
• May we come in?
• Don't follow etiquette brother, make yourself at home.
Husayn’s uncle. accompanied with his wife, entered the house, and Husayn quickly jumped to clasp his uncle in the arms and saluted bis uncle's wife.
The uncle seemed very happy when he said:
• What happened to you Husayn? Have you forgotten your uncle in those four years? Have you ever inquired whether your uncle is dead or alive?
• God forbid, uncle. I always search about your news.
• When the boys told me that you arrived, I was in home, so I told my wife to pay you a visit since I was very anxious to see you, son.
Husayn's mother who then began to pour the tea, said:
• We are unable, indeed to recompense you for you increasing favours.
The uncle commented:
• My wife urged me so much to go to Isfahan. She always remembers you when she calls her son Nooh ul-Din to mind I can declare that she loves you more than her son.
The uncle's wife. while she was preparing her chador6 replied:
• What can I do, man? They are both as my heart beats. Sometimes I become afraid that I may die before seeing them.
• "God forbid, my uncle's wife", Husayn commented.
Husayn's uncle then said:
• We recall you every day, son.
• It is then my fault, uncle. I really was very eager to see you again. I was ignoring that eager tortures the hearts.
While Husayn's father was nipping a piece of cookie, said:
• It is not only eager which urged me to write you a letter, but also the sense of
-"As soon as 1 received the letter", said Husayn, “I collected my luggage. I yearned for you very much, albeit my yearn and strong desire for Najaf.
• Aren't you intending to send me to Najaf, father?
• What are you talking about son? I only was speaking to your uncle saying that Husayn became a man and so we must find him a suitable wife in order to make a blessed family.
With obvious disturbance, Husayn murmured saying:
• Have you called me for this reason? Didn't you think about my study likewise?
• Are you angry, son?
• I am only thinking about study and research, and I don 't have any intention to marry. Marriage means that I must stop studying. No, no father, I won't accept that at least for the time being.
Husayn’s uncle put his cup down in the tray, and said:
• Now, try to realise your father's feelings, dear. You are now a complete young man and
your thinking about study is very natural, but
pay attention to the fatherly sense. Fathers do not think but about their children's future. Anyhow. who said that marriage is an obstacle on the way of study?
• If this is my father's desire, I won't object on condition that everything must be done
quickly so that I can go back to my study.
The uncle with a loud laughter and speaking to his brother, said:
- I told you that be is in a hurry too!
Husayn's uncle's wife, who was then extremely happy, commented:
• Be not afraid of those who make noise, but of those who are bowing their heads in
Everyone there laughed with great happiness and the tea tray was roving among them, carrying the cups which were full of tea, and the whole room sphere was full of the aroma of cardamom.
Nooh ul-Din was sitting near the pool, washing his clothes. Suddenly, his cousin appeared in front of him. He quickly shook the clothes off his hands, and said with mocking words:
• What happened? Have you returned from Najaf?
• As you see I came back, but this time not to your room.
• What do you mean? Did you become weary of me so soon?
• Celibacy has gone away and forever...!
• Have you got married? What a foxy youngster you are! Why you didn't tell me'/
• How should 1 know? I myself heard tb news very lately.
• Congratulation, cousin...I also wished today to have some cakes and tea mixed with
cardamom, and I was surprising why?
• So, the calamity of some are blessings with others.
• Tell me, how did that happen so swiftly?
• Actually, I found everything prepared there, and it seemed that they were in need of me
in the last moment.
• Hal ha!
• Laugh as you like, but as for me, I don't know what to accept and what to refuse. I have
to go back quickly!
• You became really a paterfamilias. Oh, I was about to forget, many have asked me about
you. Have you promised to teach them Al-Qawaneen7?
• I met them yesterday, and agreed to gather each Wednesday, an hour before the evening Adhan.
• Where are you going? Wait a minute. I will hang the clothing and talk for a while.
• No cousin, I have no time for talking from now on. I became responsible for a family and
such a man must always return back early.
It was springtime. 'The weather became more beautiful in the eyes of Nooh ul-Din and his friend Jaleel who were walking hastily towards the house of Husayn, passing through the narrow alleys. It was Friday morning
Husayn was fully immersed in studying when he heard the knock of his companions at the door. He then hurried towards the door. Opening it, he was saluted:
• Pence be upon you.
• Please come in. Welcome, men of God. Come in, make yourselves at home.
Jaleel observed the clayey room which was empty except of some old normal rugs. Yet he felt that everything was diving in love. The pure love mixed with the deep human faith.
Then Husayn came in holding the tea tray, meanwhile he was repeating his greetings for the guests.
Nooh ul-Din smiled, saying:
• We always recall you, so why don't you recall us as we are doing.
With affectionate voice, Husayn replied:
• Life is full of difficulties. I was in Boroojerd, and when I returned. I was busy in finding a house.
• Nooh ul-Din while he was sipping his tea, commented:
Life is full of difficulties. Its roads are not covered with flowers and roses.
• I suffer because it takes a lot of my time. I always attempt to give the main of my time for studying.
Husayn then became silent for a moment and continued:
• Sometimes I think about myself, that if I was rich. I would spare all my time only to study. Then I come to my sense and say: Wealth may change my thought of study, as it may pull me to other directions, other than studying,
He smiled and added:
• When I receive the money which my father sends to me every month, I feel quite sure that it will not suffice me even for two complete weeks, while l feel that I can study more and more in the other two weeks, and make a clear progress.
Moving his head as to agree with Husayn' s speech, Jaleel commented:
• Yes, that’s right It seems that poverty urges one's efforts.
Nooh ul-Din who was still silent, smiled and said:
• Yes, and a student becomes a skilled master overnight A master whose lecture in Qawaneen is attended by nearly one hundred students.
• I've heard many, eulogizing his lecture and style of teaching.
Then he turned towards Nooh ul-Din saying:
• We must go now.
• "Where to?". Husayn inquired. "Must you leave so soon?".
• We thought to visit mulla Muhammad Kashani. Besides. we may delay you from your study. Goodbye.
• Goodbye, may Allah protect you.
• You too.
While the night was passing over. Husstin's wife was busy in gathering the luggage:
• Only few things remained to be collected… When shall we travel?
Husayn who was then reading, lifted his head. looked at his wife and said:
• After tomorrow, by the will of Allah. I bade farewell to everybody. I have got nothing here, in Isfahan. We shall stay in Boroojerd for a while, and then prepare ourselves to travel to Najaf
• Really? My brother Isma'il wants to travel to Najaf too. It is better to wait for him.
• We shall stay in Boroojerd for sometime. ‘To join what God has commanded shall be joined’ elongates lives and bring means of living.
• I feel sleepy. Aren't you going to bed?
• I will read some other pages. You sleep.
• There is a hard and tiresome travel in front of you. Come to bed early, at least tonight.
• There is a lot of time for sleeping. Besides, life is full of travels.
The sun was still shining from behind the hills to the west.
Husayn who arrived Najaf, was speaking quietly to the only apothecary in his small quarter, the hakeem (druggist) Mirza Yahya, saying:
• It is the moisture, Sayyid Husayn, the moisture! The drug must not reach the water along that time. I will bring you some mustard oil10 to be rubbed on your feet before sleeping.
Meanwhile, Al-Aakhond Al-Khorasani11 was passing by, surrounded with some of his students. Sayyid Husayn said goodbye to Mirza Yahya and hurried to join the crowd of his master. He whispered to Sheikh Mohsin Yazdi, saying:
• Where are you going, by the will of Allah?
• To the house of an 'Alim who arrived Najaf recently. It's near. Come and join us.
The guests took their place inside the small room. and silence reigned the room. Sayyid Husayn pulled out a paper and submitted it to bis master. Al-·Khonsari went over the paper.
Sheikh Mohsin, who was sitting beside Sayyid Husayn, inquired about the paper. the latter replied:
• Nothing. Only a question about today's lecture. I couldn't ask my master then.
• "A good remark” Al-Aakhond commented, "We shall talk about it tomorrow, by the will of Allah.
The students then were listening to the conversation occurred between the two learned, until the Adhan for the evening was heard. So, the whole stood up and went towards the Holy Shrine of Amir ul-Mu’minin Ali (‘a).
The 'Alawi Holy Shrine was immersed in the sublime heroism of the immortal brave Ali bin Abi Talib (‘a), and whispers of more than one thousand two hundred religious scholars were being heard, mixed with the performers of prayers' supplication, and the invocation of the pilgrims. All were waiting for the master.
Sayyid Husayn rose and handed a paper over to his master Al-Aakhond Al-Khorasani.
Al-Aakhond Al-Khorasani., with his soft voice said:
• Some or our friends have argued with the subject lectured yesterday. I ask Sayyid Husayn, himself to set tbc crux of the matter forth. I request all gentlemen to pay attention to that.
Sayyid Husayn Tabataba’i rose to introduce his issues. Everyone realized that a new learned is about to emerge during those moments. The admiration of Aakhond for this genius student was only the beginning of the same student’s way towards the acme of sublimity.
Sayyid Husayn Al-Boroojerdi concluded the lesson of Al-Fosul, so nearly two hundred students began to leave the place. one after another and deliberately.
• "What's the name of your master". An old man asked one of the students.
• He is Sayyid Husayn Al-·Boroojerdi.
• And what he teaches?
• I haven't seen him before!
He came recently from Iran. He could draw the attention of Al-Khorasani. Rather, when Al-Aakhon discusses a matter, he looks at him to pick up whether he agrees with him or not, and when the master finishes the lesson, Al-·Boroojerdi repeats the same lesson to whom he missed some or the whole points in the lesson.
Then, he is no doubt, a learned?
• Excuse me. I have to go, or I will miss tbc lecture.
It’s just eight years (today) since Sayyid Husayn arrived here, in AI-Najaf Al-Ashraf.
He sat in one of the Holy Shrine's comers, with his brilliant face covered with gloomy outlook. The prominent characters he met in the city of Ali (‘a) were passing by him one after another; Muhammad Kadhim Al-Yazdi12 and other beloved persons.
He opened a book which was with him, and noticed a paper written by sheikh ul-Shari’a Al-Isfahani13 confirming his being a mujtahid and showing clearly his high rank.
• I wonder why my father wants me to return back to Iran? Is it maybe because my mother is sick, or?
• "Why you are look sad, Sayyid?", sheikh Mohsin, who was passing in front of him, cried, “Have you lost your ships in the high seas?".
• My father sent a letter asking me to go back. I dare not to leave whom 1 have loved here in Najaf.
• When will you depart?
• After tomorrow, by the will of Allah.
• Namely Wednesday. So, there is a lot of time to see your friends. Let's go to the house of Mirza Muhammad Husayn Al-Tabreezi. I heard that be is ill in the past two days.
Therefore, Sayyid Husayn rose and left the Holy Shrine intending to visit the sick friend.
- 1. He was born in a village of (Dahaqan) in Isfahan circa 1224., and died 1328 A.H. He spent most of his life as a farmer, but when he became 40 years old, he had much inclination to knowledge and study until he became one of the most prominent leaned of his time within a typical period. He became very well-known in philosophy all over Iran. He used to put on his traditional uniform except during prayers where he puts a small turban. Jahangeer Khan spent 40 years of his life on teaching philosophy, Fiqh, Usool and maths. He composed a lot of poems about philosophy and explanations of Nahjul Balagha.
- 2. The said masjid is one of the most remarkable tourist places in Isfahan. It is considered to be the highest level of Islamic architectural art.
- 3. A City in the province of Khurasan.
- 4. A great Faqih who died round 1342 A.H. and was buried in Isfahan. Many writings were compiled by him. Of those: Hasiyeh ‘Alal Makasib - (an annotation on Makasib - a book written by sheikh Murtadha Ansari).
- 5. That is to say Imam Ali (as), according to the Prophetic tradition which says: “I am the city of Knowledge and All is its gate”. Uyun Akhbar Al-Ridha, hadith 299.
- 6. A cloak worn by Iranian women, and other Oriental people.
- 7. Qawaneen ul-Usool, a book written by the famous learned Mirza al-Qummi, which deals mainly with the sources of Fiqh.
- 8. Plant with blue flowers and hairy leaves which are used in medical treatments and curing.
- 9. Plant with flat leaves and small aromatic flowers.
- 10. Plant with yellow flowers and (black and white) sharp-tasting seeds in long thin pods used to cure cough, icterus, worms and arthritis.
- 11. Al-Aakhond Al-Khorasani, (1255-1329 A.H.), one of the famous faqihs of Shi’ites. Born in Mashhad and died in Najaf. He was considered one of the renowned marji’. Kifayatul Usool is one of his well-known written books in Fiqh which is still being studied in the various religious schools.
- 12. Muhammad Kadhim Al-Yazdi (1256 - 1327 A.H.), great 'Alim of his time. Born in In Yazd (Iran). The well-known compilation title ‘Al-Urwatul Wuthqaa’ in fiqh, is one of his books.
- 13. Al-Isfahani (1266- 1339 A.H.) a very prominent and remarkable ‘Alim of Shi’ites. Born in Isfahan. He was faqih, wise. Literate and mathematician.