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Chapter 5: The Departure

Grief Clothes

Sayyid Taqi, who recently rented a new house. woke up and got his breakfast hurriedly, then he spoke to his wife saying:

• We are not in Tabreez, you woman! We have no kinfolks here. We know no one and no

one knows us. Now tell me what do you want me to bring you? Quickly. 1 must hurry ..!

• What's wrong with you, Taqi'? We arrived only yesterday from Tabreez. don't you want

to have some rest'? Sooner or later you will reach the lesson in time.

• I will come back soon. Who said am going to the lesson? I’ve heard, this morning that

Sayyid is too sick, so I intended to visit him._!

• Then, don 't forget to bring some meat, onion and potatoes with you when you come back.

• Very well, good-bye.

• Bring some bread too.

• "Bread too", Sayyid Taqi answered.

Sayyid Taqi walked quickly through the alleys until he could arrive to Mirza Husayn's house:

• Peace he upon you.

• Peace be upon you too. How do you do, Sayyid Taqi?

• Thank God. By the way, how is the Sayyid? I've heard that he was not well.

• It happened in masjid A’dham Thursday night, when Falsafi was lecturing on the minbar (pulpit), Sayyid was not feeling very well. In the house. when Sayyid wanted to go upstairs, he felt that his heart was beating strongly. Anyhow, he was in a good state during the morning when be performed the prayer. Later on, he wanted to make vomit while he was performing wudhoo (ablution). Yes, Sayyid Taqi, while you were playing and enjoying your time in Tabeez, we were in emergency

here.

• What did the doctors say?

• Dr.Sabahi, Dr. Qaraghelzii (The director of Nikoo-i hospital in Qom), Dr.Nabawi and Dr. Qa’imi from Tehran , also Sayyid's private doctor (Mudarresi), all of them agreed that it is a severe coronary thrombosis.

• May Allah grant him complete health. Indeed he is our ship's captain.

• Allah is the best Healer. Last Friday the doctor came here and injected tonic into Sayyid, so he opened his eye a little and spoke to Sayyid Falfasi:"Did sheikh Muhammad Taqi Qommi travel to Egypt?

• "The diplomatic relations of the. two countries collided” Falsafi answered.

With weak voice, Sayyid murmured:

• I have struggled so much to improve the relation between the Muslims, and l was very hopeful about that. I will write a letter to sheikh Sheltoot asking him to do his best to meliorate the conditions.

Then Sayyid shut his eyes.

• What's the opinion of the doctor about Sayyid’s state? Did...

• God forbid! Allah alone knows that. Supplicate Sayyid, supplicate.

• l will go...Do you need anything?

• No, just tell my family not to wait lunch for me.

• Very well, good-bye.

Go To Bed

It was a little after midnight. Sayyid Muhammad Husayn ‘Alawi (Sayyid's son in law) sitting near the bed of Sayyid, and trying to avoid the attraction of the sleeping. The servant was sitting at the room comer looking at Sayyid’s face which was surrounded by a halo of light. The door was occasionally being opened, and some women appear asking about Sayyid’s situation.

Within that time., Sayyid opened his eyes:

• What’s the time now?

• It's twelve thirty.

• What are you waiting for? Go to your beds.

• You are not accustomed to sleep on bed, and we thought that maybe you will fall down. Therefore, we decided to remain here for a while.

Sayyid closed his eyes again. Pain was attacking his heart from time to time, and he was about to make vomit. So, the doctor, who was there injected analgesic into him, so he became a little better and went into a deep sleep.

After an hour, Sayyid opened his eyes again and murmured:

• Go to sleep now…

• There will be a lot of time for sleep, Sayyid.

• I said, go to sleep, all of you..

• “Very well, we will go to sleep". Sayyid’s son-1n·law said that and then he lay on a small rug.

Professor Maurice

On the 6tb of Farwadin1 before the noon. ten hours have passed on the heart attack. Many telegrams from all over the country inquired Sayyid's situation, hoping a long life for him, and Sayyid was answering them with great appreciation.

Professor Maurice, the significant master in the University of Paris, came personally to Tehran in order to supervise Sayyid’s state. He travelled to Qom immcdia1ely.

• "Professor Maurice has come from Paris especially to sec you, Sayyid", doctor Nabawi spoke to Sayyid with respect, "Do you permit him?

• I have no objection.

After a while, Sayyid's situation became worse and he was given first aid. Meanwhile, professor Maurice reached and got the permission to see Sayyid.

• No.. Don't let him enter.

• But why, Sayyid?!

• Don't you see, I am not in a situation to meet anyone. I represent Islam, so I don't want to look weak before him...

Sayyid was very nervous, but the attender were completely understanding the feelings of their marji', so they quickly began to prepare the room, and Sayyid put on his turban.

Professor then entered the room hurriedly and made accurate tests.

Then he declared that he recognized the state:

“Infection in the heart, a lung tumor, coronary occlusion”.

A quick cure was done, so there was no further vomit., and the heart beating became regular, and so, the general situation of Sayyid grew better. Thus, the first medical report was issued:

The general situation of Hazrat Ayatullah Boroojerdi is highly improving. He spent a good night. Today, thank God, the fever was greatly reduced.

In half past ten on the night of Tuesday, a meeting was held comprising professor Maurice, Dr. Nabawi, Dr. Mudarresi, Dr. Musawat (the director of public health department in Qom). and Dr. Musawi (the director of gendarmery health department). The meeting confirmed that Sayyid's situation is now very well and satisfactory.

The whole country became glad for this and lights were seen everywhere celebrating this occasion.

After two days, professor Maurice left Qom holding very valuable gifts.

Teista

In the afternoon of the 9th of Farwardin, the weather was warm, while Dr. Nobwai, Sayyid Mohammed Husayn and Sayyid Ahmad (sons of Boroojerdi), and Sayyid Mohammed Husayn the son-in-law were sitting in the room.

Dr. Nabawi, who was reading a newspaper, said:

Look what professor Maurice has declared to the reporter of Ittela’at, when he was asked about his impression on his visiting Iran: "I have lived unforgettable hours in Qom. I confess that I have been highly influenced by Boroojerdi. His high spirituality was filling my soul, since I have never held any person in awe like Boroojerdi. I am proud to be one of those who participated in curing him.

The telephone rang, and the holder said:

• Doctor, there is someone who wants to speak with you. He seems to be a foreigner.

• Hello! Yes please.

• Hello! I am Teista, the American newspaper reporter. I 've just come from Beirut and I hope to get an interview with Ayatullah Boroojerdi.

After few moments, the door was knocked, and a blonde young man appeared. He introduced himself again, saying·

• I'm Teista, a reporter of an American newspaper.

“The situation of Sayyid does not encourage anyone to meet him now”. Sayyid Muhammad Husayn said that, while he was welcoming the guest.

The reporter showed a smile and said:

• Then can anyone give answers to my questions?

• Why not?

• Can you tell me how is the normal life of Sayyid?

• He has a very regular style of life. He wakes up at two hours before the dawn. Then he performs the prayer and after that he goes to study some books until the Adhan of the dawn. Later on, he recites Holy Qur’an, and again be returns to the studying. After a while, he gets his breakfast, which normally consists bread and some cheese, then he continues his reading until ten o'clock. After that be prepares himself for the lectures. More than one thousand students attend his lectures. When the lectures conclude, he sits to meet those who come to visit him. until the Adhan of midday.

He then performs his prayer and after that he gets his lunch. Sayyid, then spare a part of his time to read the letters which arrives him daily. So, he reads about seventy to one hundred letters and make the necessary notice on each envelope. After that he takes some rest and meets some other people until the evening. Then he gets the supper after the evening prayer. Again, he passes over some letters until the midnight, then he goes to sleep for three hours only. He has appointed one day a week to reply the private letters and another day for answering the Fiqh issues.

• Where is he now?

• The house is divided into two parts: a part where he meets the people and practice his cultural activities, while the other part is specialized for his family.

• Is the other part, old and ruined like this part?

• It is maybe worse.

• Can I have a look over there?

• Yes, please come in.

Sayyid’s son-in-law led the reporter through the cellar to the other side.

• Where is Sayyid now?

• He is sleeping in his room.

• I beg you to let me have a look at him. even at the door.

• Come in please.

When the reporter had a look over the room, he said. with pity:

• Wonderful! How can a great man like him live in such a humble house? Have you ever been in Vatican? If you have been there, you would see the remarkable and luxurious castle in which the Pope of the Catholic Christians lived. Shi’a do not need any propaganda or missionary. Suffice it to say that such an honourable man lives in such old place. This will be enough to attract the world towards you!

It Is Too Early

Time: In the night, at half past eight.

Attenders: The Prime Minister's deputy, the governor, the general of the public security.

The above characters were in Sayyid's room. and when the formalities concluded, they asked the permission to leave. Sayyid murmured:

• Please have your supper first, then leave.

Here, Sayyid Alawi stood up and led the guests to another room. After a while, Sayyid opened his eyes and called his son-in-law, saying:

• Have you got your supper?

• Yes.

• What about the guests?

• Yes.

• Was there enough food?

• Thank God, the table-cloth was full of food.

• Thank God. Don’t leave them alone.

• The Sayyids are many, and the food is sufficient. Moreover, no one expects any formalities while you are in such a situation. It is enough for anyone to have a piece of bread as a bless.

• That is wrong. You arc living here and those people are your guests. Islam insists on honouring the guests whatever his position is.

After that, the guests left, and Sayyid shut his eyes and went in a deep sleep.

In 1hc midnight, Sayyid opened his eyes and asked about tomorrow, and one of his relatives answered:

• Thursday.

• “Thursday?", Sayyid asked with his voice trembling, "What's the time now?".

• It’s too early.

Sayyid then called his wife, and said: “Bring me my shroud!".

His wife brought him the shroud which he kept before for this occasion. She was drying her tears...staring at her dearest husband who began to search his shroud and smell the Turbat of Imam Husayn (‘a) which was spread throughout the shroud's foldings. He then returned the shroud to his wife saying:

• Put it somewhere near me. I may need it tomorrow morning!

Again, Sayyid went in a deep sleep, and hours passed. Adhan from the minaret of the Holy Shrine was heard.

One of Sayyid's kinfolks put his hand on Sayyid's hand, so Sayyid opened his eyes and heard Adhan submissively.

Sayyid Boroojerdi stood up for Tayammum. He then performed the morning prayer...Dr. Mudarresi, who remained all the night awake to watch Sayyid’s condition, entered.

Sayyid muttered:

• I have seen a dream, that I built a big house near Imamzadeh Ja’far in Boroojerd. A house which was bigger than all houses...!

He then continued:

• What is my food today?

• “1don't know. Shall I bring you some milk?”. one or the attenders answered.

• Why not?

Here, the doctor objected saying:

• Milk? No.. No. It will urge you to make vomit. A cup of tea is enough.

Sayyid had his tea, after drinking it, he fell that he wants to make vomit. Besides, his pains became severer...!

Immediately the doctors came and began to give him the needed first aid.

• “It is the death!", Sayyid with interrupted words said...!"Death is right...Leave me now, O Allah…La ilaha illa Allah… La ilaha illa Allah … La ilaha illa Allah …

Finally…The great heart stopped beating forever….!!!

Abul Majid

It was one o'clock in the afternoon of Thursday.

The pure corpse was lying motionless, after ninety years of continuous struggle.

The coffin was flowing over the heads of the people like a boat passing through the waves, towards the Holy Shrine, then to masjid A'dham, where he was buried.

Mirza Husayn who was among the crowd, whispered in his fellow's ear, saying;

He emitted his last breath at seven thirty. His pure corpse was washed in a small bathroom in his house. The ceremony of washing the corpse and putting on the shroud at eleven thirty. The government declared that day as an official holiday all over the country...I remembered Abul Majid the representative of Darul Taqreeb, in the Islamic conference, when he visited Sayyid (may Allah have mercy upon him) and recited some verses of poetry…

Pack up and leave towards the great leader
Quench your thirst, in his presence, from Kawthar
From his justice and truth altogether
I wish I could spend months with Imam for ever

Then be coded his poem saying:

Allah had honoured me to pilgrim Fatimah
Among who glorify and praise Allah

• Shah will be in peace from now on. He will do what be likes. Changing the items of the constitution, perform the Agrarian Reform. There will be no one who can object.

• Don't be bothered, fellow. We have Allah.

An Old Friend

Sayyid Habeebullah, who was drying his tears, said:

• May Allah have mercy upon him. He was matchless and unique_!

The Sayyid's son was staring at his father's bright mien, and his tears were dropping like pearls on bis grey beard. He asked:

• I heard my mother saying that Sayyid was contacting Sahib uz-Zaman(may Allah hasten

his glad advent)!!

• Yes, my son...There is no doubt in that.

• I myself witnessed that

• How?

• I was with a friend of mine called Hasan, maybe you know him.

• The long thin fellow?

• Exactly. We were going to Jamkeran together during the Fridays· nights, hoping that we

may meet our master Sahiibul Zaman (may Allah hasten his glad advent).

A year passed but we could not get that honour. One night, Hasan invited me and asked me to go to Jamkeran. but I refused, saying: I became disappointed from being able to meet our Imam (‘a). When he insisted, we went there afoot. During our walking, we met a man who seemed to be a peasant. I then felt as if this man is Sahib uz-Zaman.

So, I told my fellow: Go and ask him something...! Hasan went and the man gave him a coin. Then he turned to me saying: As for you, you can have your request from Sayyid Boroojerdi. When you return, go to Boroojerdi and tell him: Why are you heedless about the fellow In Egypt...?!

Then the man left us and went away, but we remained astonished. I looked at the coin but I didn’t find any engraving on it. except a mark like the letter (X)...

After three days I went to the Boroojerdi’s house. When he saw me, he commenced saying:"Where have you been?? I've been waiting you for a long time'. I made my apologies to
him, saying that I got many works to do.

He said: 'Your request is with me...You want to travel to Karbala to pilgrim Imam Husayn (‘a)' ...

Then he gave me some money which sufficed for the trip. Thereafter, I told him the message of lmam (‘a.). Then, I argued that I haven’t a passport. He said: You shall not be in need of it Just repeat this Du’a (supplication) - he taught me a supplication -, then he said: Allah will help you to cross the borders without any problems.

• “Have you then travelled to Karbala?", the son asked.

• Yes. I went and came back peacefully. The wonderful thing here, is that I arrived there before my fellows who got passports and were delayed near the borders.

The father, while looking compassionately to his son, continued:

• Very well son, you have an examination tomorrow, and you’ve got to study hard.

• I have geography tomorrow. I have read it three-time, father. and bought some breads as my mother wanted that.

• Now go son. By the way, do not forget to bring me an aspirin. I have a splitting headache.

The Choppy Sea

One week passed since Ayatullah Al-Udhma Sayyid Husayn Al-Boroojerdi has died. Sayyid ‘Imad Mir Husayni, who came from Tabreez to participate in the funeral ceremony, he is now preparing himself to get back. He spoke to Sayyid Taqi:

• Would God I had come to Qom and studied at the hands of him...What a pity! The choppy sea was here in Qom, while I was thirsty in Tabreez.

• Don't worry friend...His sciences shall remain immortal, and his students are doing their best to record his books and compilations.

Some of which have been published by his permission like Al-Badruzzahir Fi Salat Al-Jum’a Wal Musafir2 and Nihayatul Taqreer3.

• I heard that he got a unique method in teaching.

• You are right. His method was quite new. For example, when he was teaching Fiqh, he was relating traditions from both Shi'ite and Sunni sources. Thus, fiqh got a higher position, and more than one thousand students were attending his lectures4 who came from different places in Iran.

• “Would you please buy for me those books which you have mentioned and send them to me by mail to Tabreez", Sayyid ‘Imad requested, while he was standing up.

• Yes, of course, provided that you give my regards to the whole friends there.

• Good-bye.

• Good-bye.

Sayyid And Rulers

Sayyid Taqi, who was peeling a cucumber with a small knife, said:

• I was eager to visit you since a long time.

• “That's very kind of you, friend", Mirza Husayn said with a smile, "But why didn't you

bring the whole family so that we might have lunch together?".

• Actually, today we got some guests; my mother-in-law and her son, who came from Tehran. Her son told me that be attended the funeral ceremony held by Shah for Sayyid Husayn Al-Borojerdi, and heard that the orator has mentioned that there was a compact relation between Sayyid and Shah.

• Does your brother-in-law live in Tehran?

• Yes. He came with his mother during her return to Qom…

• You were witnessing, Sayyid Taqi, how much they harmed Boroojerdi when he was

alive, and when he died they pretended that there was a compact relation between them and Boroojerdi.

Sayyid Taqi commented:

• In fact, Sayyid was not aloof from the rulers!

• I didn't expect a student like you, who studied in the hands of Sayyid, saying that. You are quite heedless about what’s going on behind the curtains...Now, if you want to know the truth, know then that Shah, in the eyes of Sayyid, was a mere illiterate person. Shah himself once had told his Prime Minister that his father (namely Ridha’ Khan) was an illiterate, anyhow he was, to some extent, clever. But the son has got nothing at all.

Sayyid (may Allah have mercy upon him), was forced to flatter him. Many times, he refused to meet him. Once, Sayyid heard that Shah ordered the train officials to stop it in Qom, during his return from Khozestan, in order to visit Sayyid. When the late Sayyid knew that, he became very disturbed, and said: I think he wants to have some photographs with me in order to put them in the album which contains his and his wife's pictures!

Sayyid was aware of Shah's intentions, and he always opposed his policy strictly. I remember when Shah want ed to change the Persian letters into Latin characters, Sayyid resisted his project declaring that the only aim of that is to separate the Islamic nation from its culture. I won’t permit or agree with that as long as I am alive.

• But Sayyid, sometimes, was supporting Shah?

• When the public benefits require that. Sayyid was aware that Shah docs not seize all the affairs of the country in his own hand, since foreigners were ruling most of the sensitive positions, and were pressing severely to influence the government. Once, a letter was sent to Sayyid containing a picture of Shah and his wife who was unveiled, so Sayyid commented: It seems that the sender of this letter is heedless that I know all that, but what can one do since Shah is unable to face those pressures.

It is not good that the country be so weak. Russia is lurking, also the west, America, all those powers are aiming to have some benefits in Iran. So, if Shah felt that he became weak inside the country, and his throne is trembling. he would seek the help of the foreigners. Therefore. we must flatter to prevent him from relying on those foreigners. He is still young, and the young are usually conceited.

Moreover, we cannot do anything, as the nation is not united and still weak. Sometimes we protest, but carefully to avoid complete isolation between us and the government, because I am sure the people will not stand with us to the end.

• Wonderful! Was that the real thinking of Sayyid?

• Yes. He always supported the revolutionary movement Don't you remember how he opposed the court decision which said that Ayatullah Kashani should be prosecuted, when the complainants claimed the twelve thousand Tumans which Kashani was owing them. So, Sayyid interceded and sent 12500 Tumans.

Sayyid was moving according to the benefit of Islam. For example, to marry a woman from the People of the Book is legal in the opinion of Sayyid, but when he heard that Shah wants to marry an Italian woman, be issued fatwa forbidding that marriage, that if the leader of the country married a foreigner, that will certainly injure the nation's benefits. The text of that fatwa was as follows:

Forbidding marrying a woman from the People the books, is common among the Faqihs of Shi’a Imamiyyeh.

• So, this must be clarified and declared for the people, so that they may not be deceived

by the tricks of the government.

• This is the duty of everyone. The nation must certainly be awakened to be able to face

challenges. Sometimes, I become sure that we lack a leader who can organize us, who can point to the right path…

One day Sayyid heard that someone intends to publish a book which contains the Fiqhi issues as poems. He commented saying: 'Publishing such a book is illegal'. When he was asked about the reason, he said; 'I have read some insulting words in the foreword of that book, related to some caliphs. So, the Islamic unity will receive a severe blow because of that boot'. In another occasion, Sayyid heard an orator, who was talking about the caliphate of Imam Ali (‘a), assaulting on the first, the second and the third caliphs. So, Sayyid became angry and said: 'What is the meaning of inflaming the war between Shi'a and Sunni, while Israel is attacking the Muslims and committing carnages every day.

Thus Was Al-Boroojerdi

• When he travels, he takes nothing with him except what suffices him in his trip in spite of the huge sums of money he receives. One day, some barefooted came to him, so he immediately ordered his men to give them some money, and present offerings to them. In the same day, when Sayyid sat to have his lunch, be found some meat on the table-cloth. He asked about its source. and he was answered that it was taken from those offerings given to the barefooted. So he refused to eat it, and ordered them to give it to the poor.

• In Tehran, it is said that marji’s and 'Ulama are having a luxurious living exactly like the rulers. These are, of course rumors which are being distributed by the colonists in order to urge the people to disgrace the religious scholars.

Mirza Husayn murmured, saying:

• Maybe you want to know how Sayyid and his family were living! Sayyid was eating the worst kind of bread. Some of his kinfolks have recommended the baker to improve his bread. But the baker said: 'What can I do. It is because of the flour which they bring from Boroojerd. So, if you want better bread, then give me better flour'. They told Sayyid about that, but he refused to support this plan.

How Do Rulers Live?

Do you like to know the manners and behaviours of his sons. Know then, that once, one of them came to Sayyid requesting some money to buy a book. Sayyid commented: It is not a good idea that Ahmad buys the book (Mandhoomatul Sabzewari) at twenty-five Tumans. Now, how can I afford that sum?

Is this a luxurious living which the hypocrites pretend?

In another occasion, I witnessed someone who called one of Sayyid’s sons as (the son of Ayatullah), and when Sayyid heard that. he became angry and said: 'Muhammad Hassan is still a student, and he must not be called (son of Ayaatullah). Moreover, he spends twelve Tumans, while I myself spend only fourteen in spite of my expenditure'.

Mirza Husayn said with regret:

• I’m sorry, I was attracted by the conversation and forgot to bring you a cup of tea…

• “By the way!”, Mirza Husayn continued, while he was standing, “I want to tell you that I am going to Tabreez tomorrow.

Finally, Sayyid Taqi sipped his tea deliberately, and bade farewell to his friend, then he went out with evident happiness.

  • 1. The first month of the Persian calendar.
  • 2. By Ayatullah Muntadheri
  • 3. By Ayatullah Fadhil Lankarani.
  • 4. Some of his students were: Martyr Muthhari, Beheshti, Rabbani, Fadhil Lankarani, Subhani, Makarim Shirazi, Safi Gulpaigani, Akran, Penah, Setoodeh, Al-Ameeni, Al-Muhseni, Al-Noori, Al-Tesooji, Muntadhari…etc.