The Passing Away of Shaykh Rajab Ali Khayyat
Finally on twenty second of Shahrivar of 1340 Solar Hijra / September 13, 1961, the blessed life of the reverend Shaykh came to an end and the bird of his soul departed this life after a life long spiritual self-building and enriching others. The story of his radiant soul's departure from the world to the sublime abode is interesting and instructive to hear. In this section, the story of the Shaykh's passing away will be related followed by an account of the death of two other friends of God, very similar to that of the Shaykh, given in chapters two and three.
The Shaykh's son describes the day before his passing away as follows: 'The day before his death, my father was well and healthy, my mother was out, and I was alone. In the afternoon, my father returned home, made wuzu (minor ablution) and called me, saying:
"I feel a little ill, if that servant of God (a certain customer) comes to pick up his clothing, the scraps1 are in the pocket, and he has to pay thirty tomans as a wage."
My father had never told me before that if someone came to pick up his clothes how much the wage would be. But that day I did not grasp what would happen.
One of the Shaykh's devotees who had foreseen his heavenly departure the night before his death through a "true dream", told the story as follows:
'The night before the Shaykh left this world, I dreamed they were shutting down the shops on the west side of Masjid-i Qazvin. I asked: What has happened? They said Agha Shaykh Rajab Ali Khayyat has expired. I woke up perplexed and worried. It was three hours past midnight. I regarded my dream as a true one. After morning adhan, I said prayer and left for Agha Radmanish's house right away. He enquired surprisingly of my untimely visit and I told him about my dream.
It was five in the morning, at twilight, that we set out for the Shaykh's house. The Shaykh opened the door, we went in and sat down. The Shaykh sat, too, and said:
"What have you been up to at such an early morning?"
I did not tell him my dream. We talked for a while and then the Shaykh lay down on his side and placed his hand under his head, saying:
"Tell something, recite a poem!"
'There is no time more joyful than the love days.
There is no night to the day of the lovers.
The delightful hours were the time spent with the Friend,
The rest was all fruitlessness and ignorance.'
In less than an hour I noticed that the Shaykh's condition got worse. I asked him whether to call a doctor for him - I was sure that he would pass away that day. The Shaykh replied:
"It's up to you."
The doctor wrote a prescription and I went out to have it filled. When I returned I saw the Shaykh was taken to another room. He was sitting facing the qiblah with a white sheet covering his legs; he was touching the white sheet with his thumb and forefinger.
I was very attentive to see how a man of God departs from the world. All of a sudden there was a change of state in him as if someone was whispering something in his ears. He said:
"Insha Allah (God willing)."
Then he said:
"What day is today? Bring today's supplication!"
I recited that day's supplication. Then he said:
"Have it read by Agha Sayyid Ahmad too." He recited it, too. Then the Shaykh said:
"Raise your hands to the sky and say:
Ya Karim al-'afw, Ya 'Azim al-'afw (O Noble! Forgive me, O Great! Forgive me), may God forgive me."
I looked at my friend and said: 'Let me go to bring Agha Suhayli, as it seems my dream is coming true and he is meeting his end, and I left.'
The Shaykh's son related the rest of this story as follows: 'I saw my father's room was crowded. They said the reverend Shaykh's condition was serious. I entered the room right away and saw my father-who had made ablution few moments before and came into the room-was leaning in his bed facing the qibla; but all of a sudden he sat up and said while smiling:
"Welcome my dear master !"2
He seemed to shake hands with someone, lay down, and passed away while having the same smile on his lips!
Another of his friends said: 'In a dream, I saw the Shaykh on the first night after his burial. I saw that a grand station was bestowed upon him by Mawla Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (a). I approached that station; as soon as he saw me, he took a very tender and fine glance at me like a father who admonishes his son and the son is paying no attention. His glance reminded me that he always would say:
"Do not want other than God."
But we were still encumbered by our vain desires. I got further closer to him. He said two sentences:
The first sentence:
"The joy of life is intimacy with God and the friends of God."3
And the second sentence:
"He (Imam Ali (a)) lived (such a true life) that his wife (Hazrat Fatima (a)) gave away his shirt (in self-sacrifice) on the night of consummation in the way of God."
والسلام عليه يوم ولد ويوم مات ويوم يبعث حياُ.
So peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again).