Ayatullah Bahjat According to Others

View of Imam Khomeini

The imam [Khomeini] used to pay Ayatullah his personal attention, and citing some incidents in this field may provide the best evidence.

Ayatullah al-Mas`udi says, "During the four or five years when I was serving the imam, I remember that the imam said to me two or three times, 'We will go tomorrow to the house of Sheikh Bahjat, so be prepared for it.' On the next day, we would go to the house of the sheikh (the same house where he now resides) and sit in the first room which was then carpeted with the same bedding which has always been there. The imam would signal to me to get out. I would exit the house as the imam stays talking with the sheikh for about half an hour, then he would come out of the house and we would return together. As regarding the subject of their discussion, I have no knowledge of it; only Allah knows it.

"Sheikh Bahjat used to sometimes say to me during the days of struggle (the years 1963 and 1964), 'Tell Sayyid Khomeini to slaughter two heads of sheep tomorrow morning at such an hour seeking nearness to Allah Almighty.' I would go to the imam and tell him so, and the imam used then to say to me, 'Tell the butcher (Farji who is still alive) to slaughter two heads of sheep on our account, and I shall pay him their price later.' The sheikh also said to me once, 'Tell the imam to slaughter three heads of sheep'. The imam would then order three heads of sheep to be slaughtered. All these matters used to go on between the imam and Sheikh Bahjat, and we were witnessing them outwardly, and we had no knowledge of what they implied.

"Also, when the imam was residing in Chamran, Sheikh Bahjat once said to me, 'I have a small letter which I wish you get it to reach the imam.' I would take the letter from him, put it in an envelope then deliver it to the imam. Anyhow, the relationship between the mentor and the imam was very strong. I remember that the imam once went in the company of Sheikh Hasan San`i to the house of the sheikh several times. We (I and Sheikh San`i) were at the service of the imam when he was residing in the holy city of Qum, and Sheikh Bahjat used in turn pay his special attention to the imam."

One of the imam's students says, "After the release of the imam and his arrival at holy Qum in 1963, people held massive celebrations in all the quarters of this city. The house of the imam was then over-crowded with people, and Ayatullah Bahjat was one of those who used to go to the imam's house every day. He would stand for few minutes at the door of one of the house rooms. When it is suggested to him to sit inside the room, he would say, 'I commit myself to coming here and to standing at this place for few minutes to pay homage to this great personality.'"

Sheikh Misbah Yazdi says the following in this regard somewhere else, "The late Sayyid Mustafa (may Allah be pleased with him) cites his late father the imam (may Allah elevate his station), "When the imam saw the simplicity of the life of the sheikh, he took a sum of money from Sayyid Burujardi (with whom he had a strong tie) in order to give it to Sheikh Bahjat, but the sheikh refused to accept this sum. On the other hand, the imam did not see there was any benefit in returning this sum to Sayyid Burujardi; therefore, he had to think of a way to tackle this issue. He, therefore, said to the sheikh, 'I give you a grant from my own money, and forgive me for not returning this sum.' Thus did the sheikh accept the sum as a grant from the imam's own money."

Sheikh Misbah says the following in reference to the special attention which the imam used to pay to Sheikh Bahjat: "Once, the command experts were honored to visit the late imam. They asked him for instructions in ethical issues, so the imam referred them to Grant Ayatullah Sheikh Bahjat. They said to him, 'But the sheikh does not accept anyone.' The imam said, 'Keep insisting till he agrees.'"

Sheikh Bahjat from the Viewpoint of Other Scholars

1. `Allama Tabatabai: "Sheikh Bahjat is a true righteous servant of Allah."

2. Ayatullah Bahaa al-Deeni: "Sheikh Bahjat is regarded as the richest man in the world (spiritually)."

3. Ayatullah Fakkour: Ayatullah Muhammad Hasan al-Ahmadi says, "Ayatullah Fakkour used to pay Sheikh Bahjat a special attention and used to say, 'Sheikh Bahjat is one of the exceptional individuals especially in the spiritual sphere.'"

4. Ayatullah Hajj Sayyid Abdul-Kareem Kashmiri: Sayyid Kashmiri was asked once about the person whom he knew as a perfect mentor. He said, "He is Sheikh Bahjat, Sheikh Bahjat."

5. Sayyid Fahri, too, was asked this question: "Who is the person whom you know as a perfect mentor?" He said, "He is Sheikh Bahjat, Sheikh Bahjat."

6. Ayatullah Sheikh Abbas Qawchani: Sheikh Misbah Yazdi says this: "Among the individuals who believed that Sheikh Bahjat enjoyed lofty spiritual perfections is Sheikh Abbas Qawchani, the wasi of the late Sayyid Ali al-Qadi who was living in the city of al-Najaf al-Ashraf (and his son is now occupying the post of representative of the wali al-faqih in the headquarters of the joint command), for he used to say, 'When Sheikh Bahjat was young, and before becoming twenty years old (the expression Sheikh Qawchani used was "before a beard could be seen on his face"), he had already attained lofty stations with which I became familiar through our friendship and strong tie. The Sheikh took from me a Shar`i pledge not to narrate any of it to anyone." I think (Sheikh Misbah continued to say) he meant the "death by choice". The Sheikh had attained these stations in such a young age, and you can imagine his station in nearness to the Almighty after having become eighty years old, after a long age of traditions, conduct and straightforwardness in adoration and in acting upon the obligations. This is the reason which makes any good believer feel attracted to him upon seeing him especially when he sees how he worships. Let people participate in his prayer service if Allah enables them to do so, for there are many blessings in it.

7. Ayatullah Mashkini: Ayatullah Bahjat occupies a very lofty station among the Shiite scholars from the scholarly standpoint in fiqh and Usul. Likewise, his mentors occupy a very lofty station, so much so that we must look upon them as we look at the stars in the sky; therefore, writing books about the personality of the Sheikh and its dimensions is a must.

8. Ayatullah `Allama Muhammad Taqi al-Jaafari: "Traditions state that if one does not visit a scholar for forty days, his heart dies. Another text is this: 'Visiting scholars is more loved by Allah Almighty than circling the Ka`ba seventy times.' Ayatullah Bahjat is a true evidence for the scholars in these traditions. Looking at him and visiting him is equivalent to achieving a perfect admonishment. Whenever I met him, the effect of such a meeting lingers in my soul for several days. In fact, he is a warner to us."

9. Ayatullah Badla: "The stations of Sheikh Bahjat were clear since we used to attend the class of Ayatullah Burujardi, and it was then obvious that the Sheikh was fit for these stations."

10. Hujjatul-Islam Misbah Yazdi: "Ayatullah Bahjat incorporated in him the precisions of the late Mirza Muhammad taqi Shirazi through his prominent students such as Sheikh Muhammad Kadhim. He also sums up the excellences of the late Naeeni and the late Sheikh Muhammad Husayn Isfahani, as well as the moral culturing by the late Qadi. These professors brought up an inclusive personality which is regarded as one of the greatest blessings in our time. It is suitable to benefit from the moments of his lifespan as much as possible. Allah Almighty bestowed upon the mentor special distinctions and self gifts which he did not acquire from anyone, but he, despite all of this, has been concealing his spiritual stations, not permitting anyone who knows anything about them to talk about them.” Sheikh Misbah also says, “Ayatullah Bahjat also took care of scholarly matters, dealing with them with precision. He used to think that a class is an obligation, something serious, and he used to vest upon matters of fiqh special attention. He also used to be interested in worship and moral issues, believing they are the second wing for man’s ascension and perfection.”

11. Ayatullah Taheri Shams: “Ayatullah Bahjat reached a lofty level and a sublime horizon (in fiqh), so much so that if he looked at rulings and Islamic legislations, he would be able to derive a fatwa that pleases Allah Almighty, and there is no dispute in this.”

12. Ayatullah Sheikh Jawad al-Karbalaai: “During my stay in Tehran and Qum during these years, I heard from some people pursuits which indicated that the mentor, Ayatullah Bahjat, enjoyed special divine niceties; so, congratulations to him, then congratulations again to him.”

13. Ayatullah Adheri Qummi: “Grand Ayatullah Sheikh Bahjat is regarded as one of the students of Grand Ayatullahs Naeeni and the Isfahani critic, and he has valuable first findings in achievement and teaching. Virtuous men of the theological seminary in Qum received classes at his hands for more than fifteen years, become skillful mujtahids. The sheikh was famous for his piety and godliness in the holy city of Qum in addition to his academic fame which invaded the horizons. As some brethren say, it cannot be said that the mentor was just pious; rather, he is piety itself. Piety and equity are the best qualities with which the authorities for taqlid are characterized. The sheikh was characterized by these two qualities, personifying them in his own self.”

14. Ayatullah Mas`udi Khomeini: “Very few are the likes of Sheikh Bahjat in all ages; therefore, we must benefit from him in the best way, especially since he had achieved a lofty degree from the moral and ethical standpoint. Let everyone, especially the youths and those looking for morals, go to him to learn their lessons from him because the existence of the sheikh personifies spirituality and manners. Even looking at his face has innumerable ethical and moral benefits.”

15. Hujjatul-Islam wal Muslimin Fiqhi: “If the humanity tree had produced another good fruit other than the Infallible Ones (as), one such fruits is the holy presence of Grand Ayatullah Sheikh Bahjat.”

16. One of the Men of Virtue of Najaf City: “Sheikh Bahjat was a scholar, a Muslim mujtahid, since the days of his youth, and he was held as trustworthy by some elite persons since then, so much so that the scholars used to agree on emulating him when they travel to holy Karbala at that time.”

17. Author of the Book Khazinat al-`Ulemaa: “Ayatullah al-hajj Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Bahjat Gharwi Fomani is regarded as one of the great Ayatullahs, senior teachers, well known scholars of the theological seminary and one of those of whom knowledge in the Gailan governorate and Foman county is proud. He is a distinguished scholar, a cultured, righteous, ascetic and God-fearing man who turned his face away from the world and its appearances and took to a great deal of contemplation and remembrance of the Almighty. Virtuous teachers and scholars of Qum’s theological seminary looked after him and paid him their special attention.”

18. Ayatullah Muhammad Husayn Ahmedi, the faqih from Yazd: “We are certain Ayatullah Bahjat will be one of the pilgrims of Allah on the Judgment Day. If we cannot benefit from his lectures properly, it will be judged against us, and we will have no answer when our Lord asks us.”

19. Hujjatul-Islam wal Muslimmen Amjad: “The mentor is regarded as one of the prides of scholars of our time. Anyone who knows him, in one way or another, knows that he acquired a lofty station on account of his knowledge and spirituality… I think there is no peer for him in knowledge and spirituality. In other words, he is an angel living on earth. We, therefore, have to benefit from the blessings of his presence.”

20. Professor Khosroe Shahi: “Grand Ayatullah Bahjat cannot be known, nor can his spiritual perfections, except if one cultivates his soul and expands his existence. This is so because anyone can realize the things according to the capacity of his existence. If we, therefore, want to know the perfections of the mentor, we have to cultivate our souls and expand the cycle of our existence so we may be able to benefit from his perfections and spirituality.”

21. Professor Hadawi: “Ayatullah Bahjat is the personification of the meaning of conduct and ijtihad on the path of Allah and the truth. More briefly, he is a statute of a lifetime of jihad.”