At home with his children
‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī was very affectionate with his children, as well as his grandchildren. Sometimes he would spend an hour of his valuable time listening to our chatting, or teaching us how to draw, or giving us exercises for our homework.
‘Allāma valued his children, especially his daughters, a great deal. He considered daughters to be a blessing from God, and valuable precious gifts. He always encouraged his children to acquire the traits of honesty and tranquility, and liked that the sound and melody of the Qur’an should reach their ears. For this reason he used to read the Qur’an out loud. He gave importance to his children being well-mannered, and believed that the behavior of parents affects their children.
He was particularly respectful and loving towards his daughters, such that he would call them by adding the word ‘sadāt’ to their name, and he used to say that the respect of a daughter, especially a descendant of the Prophet (s) (Sayyid), must be preserved. He believed that daughters are a trust from God. However much a person pays them respect, God and the Prophet (s) are pleased [with him].
Our upbringing was not limited to our childhood. Even after I was married I used to always benefit from the guidance of my father. For example, in the early days of our marriage when I would visit my father’s home, he would advise me by saying “don’t let it be the case that your actions result in the displeasure of Khānum (that is my mother-in-law), for God will not let that pass. You must make sure to assist her”.
‘Allāma had a close relationship with his children. In his final years when I was living in Tehran, I would visit him two or three times each week, but it wasn’t determined exactly when I would go. Yet every time I would visit, his wife (his second wife) would say that it’s been three or four hours that he has been pacing waiting for you. When I would ask how he knew I was coming, he wouldn’t give me a clear response, and in the end I never understood how he was aware what time I would be arriving.
After the death of my son ‘Hasan’, he [‘Allāma] came to Tehran. However, I didn’t know how to behave with him so that he wouldn’t become upset, and incidentally, he too, was thinking the same. When he arrived he asked, “Najma, what can I say to you?” I said, “Nothing. All thanks belong to God”. He replied “All thanks belong to God, who, when he gave you a child, he gave you a good child”.