Archive for the ‘Islamic Scholars’ Category

Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Bahlool

Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Bahlool was born in 1908 in Khorasan, Iran. His father was a mujtahid and ensured that he received the best education possible. Thus, Ayatullah Bahlool had memorized the whole Quran when he was only eight years old.

He began his hauza studies in Qom under scholars such as Ayatullah Aakhund, Mulla Ali Masumi and Ayatullah Mar’ashi Najafi. He later moved to Najaf and was a student of Ayatullah Abdul Hassan Isfahani.

Ayatullah Bahlool credits Ayatullah Isfahani for inspiring him to work against the oppressive regime of the time in Iran. After completing his studies, he became a vocal critic of the oppressive policies of the Shah’s government.

The government, as a result of his increasing popularity, imprisoned him for 13 long years during the Gawharshad riots in the mid 1950s. After his release from prison, he travelled to Egypt and Syria to learn more about the political situation in the Islamic world.

He is quoted to have said that his release from prison was a result of the intervention of Bibi Fatimah (s.a.) He said that one night he saw his mother in his dream who said, “My dear son! I have met Bibi Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) and she has guaranteed to me your release.” He said that when he woke up he began reciting poetry in praise of the Holy Lady. Ayatullah Bahlool saw this dream on Thursday night and was released that Saturday.

Although he had reached the stage of Ijtihad, he continued giving lectures to the general public in Qom. He used to address audiences of hundreds of people and his speeches were well received because of his eloquence and use of Hafez’s poems, many of which he had memorized. Agha also used to compose poetry himself.

Ayatullah Bahlool also had the honor of meeting the Master of our Time. He narrates, “Once I had gone to Mashad and was the guest of a Sayyid friend of mine.  As it happened, his wife just had twins.  One rainy night, my friend was away for some work and I noticed that his wife was unwell.  I said to her, “You go to rest and I will look after the children.”

Being tired, she went to sleep.  In the middle of the night both the children began to cry.  I noticed that they had soiled themselves.  I went out to the courtyard to bring out the old diapers from the clothesline, but the rain had made them completely wet.  I came back inside the house, tore my abaa (cloak) into 4 pieces and used these to clean up and change the babies.  I carried them around, resting them on my shoulders, until they were settled.

When the adhan for Fajr came, I went towards the Haram of Imam Ridha (a.s.) to pray and pay my respect to my Imam.  However, on the way to Haram, I was horrified to see 4 dogs, which appeared in front of me, blocking my path.  I was shocked and was wondering as what to do next, when I saw a Sayyid suddenly appeared from nowhere. He rescued me and drove off the dogs.  Then, before I could say anything, he turned towards me and said, “Shaykh, should we not help, assist and drive away 4 dogs from that person who has spent the whole night tending to and looking after our children?”  When I looked again, he had disappeared.

Ayatullah Bahlool repeatedly said that all Muslims needed to understand the value of Namaaz-e-Shab. He often used to say, “in the night prayers there lies a benefit of this world and the hereafter. When I urge you all to never miss a recital, I have a personal proof of its benefit.”

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Ayatullah Muqaddas Ardabili

Ahmad bin Muhammad Ardabili is popularly known as Muqaddas Ardabili. He lived in Najaf during the Safavid rule in Iran. Shah Abbas Safavid, then the ruler of Iran, is said to have repeatedly tried to convince Muqaddas Ardabili to move to Iran but Agha refused to do so. In hindsight, his refusal proved to be a blessing to the Najaf hauza. He played a significant role in the rise and strengthening of the hauza in the holy city.

One of his students narrates that he once was strolling in the courtyard of the holy shrine of Imam Ali. He says that as he was strolling, he saw a man approach the tomb of Imam. Thinking that the man was a thief, he followed him. He saw that the padlock and door opened as the man approached. They both continued to move towards the grave and all the locked doors opened just like the first one.

The student says that the man stood before the grave of the Imam and gave his salutations. He received a reply and commenced the conversation. When the talk ended he emerged from the mausoleum and proceeded towards Masjide Kufa. The student says he followed the man and saw him enter the mihrab of the mosque. He witnessed the man having a whispered conversation with another person. After the dialogue ended the man left and proceeded towards Najaf.

The student says that as they neared the gate of the city he felt the urge to sneeze. The man, upon hearing the sound, turned around. The student says that as the man turned he saw no one but the great scholar himself Ayatullah Muqaddas Ardabili.

The student asked the Ayatullah to explain to him the events of the night, as he could not understand them. Agha first put him under an oath to not disclose the secret for as long as he was alive. After that he said that whenever he was faced with a difficult problem he went to Imam Ali to discuss it and request a solution. Agha said that when he went to Imam that night Imam told him to go to Imam Mahdi. That was why he had gone to Masjide Kufa.

Shah Abbas Safavi is said to have been a great devotee of Ayatullah Muqaddas Ardabili. It is said that a fugitive escaped from Iran and came to Najaf where he repented. After some time he wished to return home but feared for his safety. He came to Ayatullah Ardabili and asked for help. Agha wrote a letter to Shah Safavi that read, “The holder of temporary rule, Abbas, is advised that although this man was initially a transgressor, he now seems to be oppressed. If you pardon him, Allah may forgive some of your lapses. From the slave of Master of Wilayat. Ahmad Ardabili.”

Shah Abbas is said to have replied, “I bring to your esteemed notice that Abbas has rendered the service ordered by you feeling profoundly obliged. I hope you will not forget this devotee of yours in your prayers.”

Ayatullah Ali Qadhi Tabatabai

Ayatullah Ali Qadhi Tabatabai 

Ayatullah Ali Qadhi Tabatabai

Ayatullah Ali Qadhi Tabatabai was born in Tabriz, Iran in the year 1869. He moved to Najaf at the age of 28 and was the teacher of several ulema such as Ayatullah Khui, Ayatullah Behjat, Ayatullah Zanjani, Ayatullah Marashi, Ayatullah Milani, Allamah Tabatabai and Ayatullah Dastaghaib.

It is narrated by Ustad Fatimi Niya, a student of Ayatullah Khui, that when Ayatullah Qadhi was in Najaf, Ayatullah Khui went to him and asked for instructions in some matters. It is said that he wanted instructions in spiritual exercises. Ayatullah Qadhi gave him some instructions.

Ustad Fatimi Niya continues that one night Ayatullah Khui went to Ayatullah Qadhi who showed him a vision of his future. Ayatullah Khui saw in front of him a man resembling him who slowly began to age. He saw the man give classes in Masjid-e-Hindi in the holy city of Najaf. Ayatullah Khui saw the old man resembling him issue fatawa and saw that his risala amaliya was published. After some time, he heard the a from the loudspeakers of Masjid-e-Kufa someone announce the news of his own death.

When the vision was over, Ayatullah Qadhi turned towards Ayatullah Khui and told him, “This was your life, from now until your death. You have a good future. Now you may go.”

Allamah Tabatabai, the author of Tafsir al-Mizan, narrates that his brother Allamah Ilahi sent a question to Ayatullah Qadhi through on of his students. He asked about the carpet of Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) on which the Prophet and his entire court sat and travelled from the east to the west. Allamah Ilahi asked whether the carpet was a physical object that was manufactured or a miracle of Allah without physical dimensions.

When the student posed this question to Ayatullah Qadhi, he replied, “I do not know the answer to this question. However, one of the creatures that was alive at that time and participated in this journey is still alive. I will go and ask him.”

Ayatullah Qadhi and the student proceeded towards a distant mountainous region. When they reached a certain mountain, a creature resembling a human being came forward and engaged in conversation with Ayatullah Qadhi. The student could not comprehend anything of their conversation. When Ayatullah Qadhi returned he told the student, “The creature from the mountain says that it was from the miracles of Allah through the winds that Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) was allowed to control and not a physical object.”

Ayatullah Qadhi did not only know of the existence and location of this creature from thousands of years ago, he also spoke the language and was able to have a conversation with him.

Ayatullah Sayyid Hussain Burujerdi

Ayatullah Sayyid Hussain Burujerdi

 

Ayatullah Sayyid Hussain Burujerdi

Ayatullah Sayyid Hussain Burujerdi was born in Burujerd in the Lorestan province of Iran in 1875. He revived the Qom hauza, which had waned after the death of its founder Ayatullah Haeri in 1937.

Ayatullah Burujerdi was amongst the first maraje to send representatives to countries outside the Shia-dominated Middle Eastern countries. He sent representatives to as far as Germany, Pakistan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

He also established relations with Shaykh Mahmud Shaltut, the grand sheikh of al-Azhar. The two were founders of the House For Brining Muslim Sects Nearer, which is based in Cairo. Shaltut was also responsible for issuing the famous fatwa that recognized the Shia faith as part of Islam.

It has been narrated that Ayatullah Burujerdi had made a vow that were he ever to utter inappropriate words out of anger, he would fast for a whole year. One day he was giving his classes and a student raised an objection to one of his statements. He answered the student’s query and wished to move on, but the student raised another objection that Agha also answered. However, the student raised an objection for the third time, at which point Agha said in an annoyed tone, “be quiet, young man.”

It is said that after finishing the class Agha, having realized what he had done, called the student forward and in front of the whole class kissed his hand and said, “forgive the mistake of Burujerdi! I do not understand how the reins of my soul slipped from my hands and why I asked you to be quiet in front of everyone.” From the very next day, Ayatullah Burujerdi began fasting and proceeded to do so for the next year, for something that was neither inappropriate nor uncalled for. Indeed he had a lofty status.

Allamah Nawahandi, who used to lead the congregational prayers in the Holy Shrine in Mashad, narrates that when Ayatullah Burujerdi went to visit the holy city, Ayatullah Nawahandi asked him to lead the prayers and prayed behind him out of respect.

Allamah Nawahandi later visited the holy city of Najaf in the same year. He says that when he went there, Ayatullah Isfahani – who used to lead congregational prayers at the Holy Shrine – asked him to lead the prayers and prayed behind him. Allamah Nawahandi narrates that he was surprised that a man of Ayatullah Isfahani’s status, someone who had received letters from the Imam of our time, was giving him so much respect.

Allamah narrates that as he prepared to start the prayers, he heard a voice from the tomb of Imam Ali saying, “you showed respect to my son Burujerdi, so we have also honored and respected you, by making Sayyid Abulhasan Isfahani pray behind you.”

Stories From The Life Of Allama Tabatabai (Part 3)

Part 1 link here

Part 2 link here

At home with his children

Allama Tabatabai

Allama Tabatabai

Story 1

‘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’s daughter

Story 2

‘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].

‘Allāma’s daughter

Story 3

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’s daughter

Story 4

‘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.

‘Allāma’s daughter

Story 5

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”.

‘Allāma’s daughter

Stories From The Life Of Allama Tabatabai (Part 2)

At Home With His Wife:

Story 1

‘Allāma’s family life was extremely warm and pleasant. When his wife passed away he shed so many tears and was so saddened and moved that one day we asked him, “we should be learning patience and endurance from you – why are you affected such?”

He replied:

Death is inevitable. Everyone must die. I am not crying for the death of my wife. My tears are for the kindness, housekeeping abilities, and the love my wife had. I have had a life full of ups and downs. In the holy city of Najaf when we were faced with many difficulties, I was not even aware of the needs and the administration of our life [because she took care of them so well]. Managing our life was in the hands of my wife, and throughout our life not once did my wife do something that I said I wish she hadn’t done that, even just to myself. Nor did she ever not do something that I said I wish she had carried that out!

Throughout our life together never once did she say to me why did you carry out that particular act, or why didn’t you do something! For example, you know that I work at home and am continually occupied with writing and studying. As a result I get tired and occasionally I need to rest and to renew my energy. My wife was aware of this. She would always have the kettle on and tea ready. Although she was busy with housework, she would pour me one cup of tea every hour. She would place it in my study and would return to her work until the following hour…how can I ever forget such love and kindness?!

Ayatullah Ibrāhīm Amīnī

 

Story 2

His [‘Allāma’s] behavior with my mother was incredibly respectful and friendly. Through his actions it seemed as if he was always eager to see my mother. We never saw them order each other to do or not do anything, nor did we see any discord between the two of them. They were loving, loyal and forgiving to each other to such an extent that we thought they never disagreed. The two of them were truly like two friends with each other.

Prior to her death, my mother was ill and confined to bed for 27 days. During this period my father did not leave her bedside for a single moment. He left all his work to take care of her.

At the same time my mother was an exceptional woman. She was patient when faced with difficulties and a meager lifestyle. She managed all our household affairs. She took care of our academic and social life and handled all our concerns. She worked with such efficiency and wisdom that my father was able to pursue his academic work with complete ease of mind.

 Allāma’s daughter

 

Story 3

“It was this woman who allowed me to reach this position. She has been my partner and whatever books I have written, half [of the credit] belongs to her.” 

This one sentence from ‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī is sufficient as an indication of his enlightened view of women. At another time he said:

If a woman did not have importance, God would not have placed the lineage of the 12 Imāms in the progeny of Hazrat Zahra (a). Truly if a woman is noble and good she can make the entire world a rose-garden, and if she is bad she can make the world a hell…Women and men are partners, and after looking after the raising of her children, a woman must become aware and familiar with the affairs of her society.

‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī

His Manners Of Character At Home

Story 1

His manner and behavior at home was truly like that of Prophet Muhammad (s) (Muhammadī). He never became angry, and we never heard him raise his voice while speaking. While he was gentle, he was also decisive and firm. He gave importance to praying on time, staying up during the nights of the month of Ramadhān, reading the Qur’ān out loud, and maintaining organization in all things. As a result of his strong, kind sentiment and extremely kind heart, he would never refuse anyone.  One day he said to me, “from morning until now I have answered the door 24 times in order to reply people’s queries”.

‘Allāma’s daughter

Story 2

Although he had very little time, ‘Allāma managed his schedule in such a manner that he would spend one hour every afternoon with his family. During this time he was so kind and affectionate that one could not believe that this was an individual occupied with so much work.

‘Allāma’s daughter

Story 3

At home ‘Allāma was strongly opposed to anyone else carrying out his personal tasks for him. There was always a competition in turning down the bed [at home]. My father would try to carry out this task before anyone else, and my mother would try to anticipate him. Even in the end when he was sick and I used to go to his home, he would get up from his place to pour his own tea despite his state of illness. And if I objected and said, “why didn’t you ask me to bring me some tea,” he would reply,“no, you are a guest, and you are also a descendant of the Prophet (s) (Sayyid), and I cannot give you any orders”.

‘Allāma’s daughter

Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi Behjat

 Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi Behjat

Contributed By: Abbas Alidina, Written By: Sheikh Abbas Jaffer.
Cited From: http://www.islam-laws.com/marja/AytTaqi%20Behjat.htm

 

Grand Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Behjat Fumani was born into a religious and pious family in the year 1334AH (1915CE) in Fuman in North Iran. & returned back to his lord on 17 May 09 in Qom

He lost his mother before he was 2 years old.  About his father, Mahmood Behjat, family members relate an interesting event.

When his father was around 16-17 years of age, he fell seriously ill and they thought he would not survive.  When the relatives gathered around this young man, one of the family members heard a voice saying, “Do not worry, he will be fine, because he is going to be the father of Muhammad Taqi.”   After this event, the youth soon recovered from his illness, got married a few years later and had several sons.  He named his third son Muhammad Taqi in memory of the event of his childhood.  However, in infancy, this child fell into a pond and was drowned. He had one more son after him, and he also named him Muhammad Taqi.  This last son grew up to be the great scholar and ‘arif, Ayatullah Behjat.

His father was a reciter of marsiyas and he would often take the young Agha Behjat with him to his recitals, thus inculcating in him a deep and abiding love for Sayyid al-Shuhada (A.S.).

From a young age he showed signs of genius and a great thirst for acquiring knowledge.  After his primary studies, he went straight into religious studies, and at the age of 14, he moved to Kerbala.  Four years later he came to the famous seminary of Najaf, where he had an opportunity to study under some of the best teachers and scholars in the Muslim world.  He studied Usul under Grand Ayatullahs Abu’l Hasan Isfahani, Mirza Na’ini and Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Gharawi Isfahani (known as Kumpani), and Fiqh under Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi. He studied the philosophical texts of Ibn Sina and Mulla  Sadra under Ayt. S. Hasan Badkubeyi.

At the same time as attending the intermediate and higher levels of religious studies, he was very meticulous in his pursuit of spiritual and mystical instruction.  In this regard, his teachers were Ayatullah Muhammad Hasan Isfahani and Ayatullah Sayyid Abdu’l Ghaffar, and finally, the Godly scholar, the matchless instructor, the giant amongst spiritual masters, Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Qadhi Tabataba’i.  He remained with his last teacher for many years, learning from him the secrets of the higher paths of Akhlaq and ‘Irfan.

15 years later, he returned to Iran and settled in Qum.  Here, in the company of Ayatullah Khomeini, Ayatullah Gulpaygani and other great future figures, he continued his studies under Grand Ayatullah Burujerdi.

His Character And Qualities:

 

1. Piety and Self-Building

From his youth, Agha Behjat was constantly engaged in self-purification and self-building.  In his ethical instructions, he always insists that one should work hard at this task and forego and abandon many luxuries in order to make headway against the endless demands of the soul.

He is of the opinion that in order to succeed in this jihad al-akbar, ethical purity (akhlaq) and knowledge (‘ilm) go hand in hand.  In fact he considers knowledge without self-purification, to be the more damaging than anything else.   His famous advice to youths is ‘to read and practise one hadith daily from the Chapter of Jihad al-nafs in Wasail al-Shi’a of Shaykh Hurr al-Amili.[1]

By his deeds and words, this great scholar has always directed himself to God alone.  A great mujtahid has said about Agha Behjat, “It cannot be just said about him that he is a man of piety; in fact he is the true essence and manifestation of taqwa.”

Ayatullah Shaykh Javad Kerbalayi says about him, “One of his close students (in Najaf) reports that every night, or in fact at most times, Agha Behjat sits alone, deep in thought and contemplation.  He never wastes a moment of his time, and does not participate in vain gatherings. When the time comes for his class, or his ziyarat of Amirul Mu’mineen (A), he gets up abruptly, puts on his cloak and leaves the house without interfering in the activities of others. He is extremely reserved and does not like to reveal anything about himself, especially about the special favours and extraordinary spiritual powers that God has granted him.”

 

2. His Asceticism (Zuhd) and Simple Lifestyle

The close servants of God always look at the reality of this world, contrary to other human beings whose eyes are fixed on its pleasures and luxuries. By foregoing material comforts, they attain spiritual strength, and while the rest of the people stumble in this dark world, these awliya soar in the illuminated heights in proximity to God.

Agha Behjat is one of the most glowing examples of these awliya in our times.  He is a mystic and scholar who has always lived a simple life, without the remotest material attachments.  He has understood more completely than others the reality of this world and the worthlessness of its pleasures.

He lives in a simple, small and old house and has resisted the many offers from relatives and well-wishers to move to more comfortable accommodation. Ayatullah Misbah says, “For many years, he has lived in a rented house with two rooms. One of the rooms has a curtain, which he would draw when we would visit him. On the other side of the curtain his family would carry on with their household chores. We would sit on one side of this curtain and benefit greatly from his wisdom. Although simple, the atmosphere was always full of a special nur and spirituality…”

Ayatullah Mas’udi says, “Many times people would sincerely offer to purchase a better house for him, but he would not agree.  I myself told him, “Agha! This house is damaged, I doubt if even thesharia allows for a man to live in this sort of accommodation!”, but he would not pay any attention.”.

 

3. His Worship

Agha Behjat’s students report that he has a special closeness to God, that is immediately evident in his manner of worship.  Those who have prayed behind him have described it ‘as a spiritually uplifting and unique experience’. In fact, the Fatimiyyah mosque at the end of the Guzarkhan market, where he has led prayers three times a day for the last 40 years, is always full at prayer time.  High ranking scholars make a special effort to come and pray behind him.  Allamah Tabataba’i would come here to pray.  Almost as soon as Agha Behjat begins his prayer, tears flow from his eyes – frequently he has to pause because his voice is choked with emotion – such is his awe in God’s presence.

One of the scholars remarks, “In the early days, Agha Behjat would go to the undeveloped part of Qum, past some farms, and recite his evening prayers with some companions in that remote location.  One day, after themaghribain prayers, he commented, “If only the kings of this world realised how much pleasure a servant experiences in worship, they would never even glance at the worldly delights…”

Ayatullah Shaykh Javad Kerbalayi says, “Agha Behjat never misses his late night prayers (namaze-shab) and spends a long time weeping in the middle of the night, especially on the night preceding Friday.”

A scholar reports, “I came upon him one Thurday night in Madressay-e-Sayyid in Najaf. I saw him weeping and crying in prostration. He was repeating in a broken voice over and over, “Ilahi! Man li ghayruk, asaluhu kashfa dhurri, wan-nazara fi amri?! (My Lord! Who have I got besides You, Who I can ask for relief and support?)”.

 

4. His Ziyarat and Tawassul (Saluting the Ahlul Bayt (A.S.)

Despite his advanced years, the daily routine of Agha Behjat has remained unchanged.  Early every morning (exactly at 7.00am), he presents himself at the shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A.S.) to pay his respects and send salutations.  With the greatest of humility, he stands near her Zarih, and recites the Ziyarate Ashura of Imam Husain (A.S.).

Sayyid Muhammad Husein Tehrani, in his book, Anwar al-Malakut, quotes Ayatullah Shaykh Abbas Quchani, the great scholar and spiritual successor of the famous Mirza Ali Qadhi Tabataba’i, as narrating: “While he was in Najaf, Agha Behjat would often go to Masjid-e Sahlah and spend whole nights alone there in worship and contemplation.  On one very dark night, when the lights in the mosque were not lit either, he needed to go out to refresh his wudhu.

He went out of the mosque towards the wudhu area to the east of the mosque.  Suddenly he experienced some anxiety and fear, perhaps due to the total darkness.  Immediately, a light appeared next to him, by which he could clearly see his way.  This light accompanied him while he went out, made wudhu and returned to his place in the mosque. Then it disappeared.”.

 

5. His humbleness

One of his noticeable traits is his humbleness and simplicity, despite his fame and status as a leading contemporary scholar and jurist.  For many years he had refused to print his religious edicts (tawdhih al-masail) and he only agreed after much pressure. When he is scheduled to lecture he requests that his name not be mentioned as the lecturer.

A scholar reports, “Once I went with my guest, Shaykh Nasrullah Lahuthi, to visit Agha Behjat. Agha Lahuthi said to his teacher, “Agha! I was in Mashhad and someone was criticising you, and I became very annoyed.” Agha Behjat responded, “We have reports in the ahadith, that if a scholar pays too much attention to worldly matters, then he will be criticized by others.”  I remember thinking, “If the way Agha Behjat lives is called “paying too much attention to worldly matters”, then what about us!”

6. His Mystical Wayfaring (sayr wa suluk) and his Spiritual Station

Ayatullah Behjat has many decades of experience in mystical wayfaring, the special journey through established stations that the soul undertakes to attain proximity to God.  He is one of the outstanding pupils of the great master, Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Qadhi Tabataba’i and had received special instructions from his teacher.  Even as a youth, he had passed many stations of the spiritual path.

His elevated rank in these matters is well known by others who travel this path; immediately after the revolution, one of the first scholars that Ayatullah Khomeini visited was Ayatullah Behjat in Qum. Similarly, when Ayatullah Khamene’i assumed the position of Rahbar, he first came to Agha Behjat in Qum for spiritual instructions.

 

7. His Awareness of the Unseen (Ghayb) and his Wondrous Acts (Karamat)

Unlike the majority of men, who have no idea of the existence or happenings of the unseen world, Ayatullah Behjat has reached a station, by the grace of God, where he frequently witnesses the events that occur in that world.

In fact, a reminder of this ability is his constant repetition of the Divine name “al-Sattaar” – the Concealer. This dhikr and tasbih is constantly on Agha Behjat’s lips, whether he is walking or sitting.  Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi says in this regard, “It seems that he is at the level where he witnesses many things from ghayb. Often he is aware of the real nature and inner secrets of those who sit around him, and he invokes God, who is the Concealer of defects – al-Sattaar al-‘Uyub, so that the secrets of the people around him may be concealed from him.”

[1] This is now translated into English as Combat with the Self, available from ICAS Press

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