Oct 27, 2020 09:22 UTC

One of the important issues in social relations is good-temperedness. Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon him) was a highly good-tempered person. He used to behave others very affably. Today we are going to touch upon this characteristic of the Imam according to the narrations of his friends, companions, students and relatives.

Good-temperedness means having kind temperament and being sociable and smiling with people. Just as outward beauty is formed by proportion and coordination of all bodily organs, inward beauty is also attained through coordination among all ethical features. According to the Islamic teachings, good-temperedness is one of the parameters of manliness and chivalry. The noble Qur’an lauds Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) as a person with great merits. The Prophet himself has emphasized on good-temperedness in many hadiths. Once he said, “The most perfect one among you, in terms of faith, is the most good-tempered one.”

It is narrated in history that this very characteristic of the Prophet caused many people to embrace Islam. Good-temperedness is so important that the Prophet of Islam would forgive many of the war captives if they enjoyed this characteristic. Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS), the sixth infallible successor of the Prophet, said, “Sometimes, a servant has shortcoming if worship, but God grants him the degree of a night-worshippers and a fasting.”

According to the Islamic narrations, good-temperedness results in ample sustenance, development of cities and villages and attracts friendship. According to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) good-temperedness gathers the bliss of this world and the Hereafter. Another hadith reads that God does not give any good to anyone in this world or the Hereafter except through good-temperedness and good intention. The Prophet also said, “Good-temperedness annihilates sins like water that melts salt.”

 Based on the Islamic instructions, good-temperedness has signs. One of the main signs of this characteristic is smiling while facing or speaking to people. One of the outstanding features of Imam Khomeini was his smile in relations with people. He used to smile even in very tense and tough conditions. One of the body guards of Imam Khomeini says, “The Imam was very solemn; yet, whenever we went to him he had a smile on his face.” One of the granddaughters of Imam Khomeini says, “I cannot remember to enter the Imam’s room but without seeing his smile.”

Dr. Aref, Imam Khomeini’s physician, says that he would smile even during the hardest and most painful conditions of disease. He says, “The Imam suffered from many physical pains. He himself thought that they were because of his age. When we asked him of his ailments, he would say with a smile, ‘This weakness is because of old age. You want to cure oldness and you cannot.’” Hojjat-ol-Eslam Ansari Kermani says, “When Imam Khomeini was on the hospital bed and suffering from acute pain, he would smile to everyone when meeting them.”

One of the manifestations of good-temperedness is to be humble, sociable, communicative and smiling. Once, Imam Sadeq (AS) was asked about good-temperedness. He answered, “It means to treat people humbly, leniently, pleasantly with nice words and smile.” Imam Khomeini’s companions and near ones all say that he was a man of humours and used to joke with friends and others. He was not a rigid and stern person. Hojjat-ol-Eslam Mehri, referring to Imam Khomeini’s exile in Iraq and Kuwait, says, “At the time of the Imam’s returning from Kuwait, when the Iraqi officials kept him waiting for hours in Senwān, we were just concerned about him and everybody thought of him. But he smiled several times from the moment that he entered the room and made us laugh.”

 Hojjat-ol-Eslam Rahimian says, “Imam Khomeini’s thumb was a little painful. Dr. Aref had come as a specialist. He extended his hands forward and told the Imam to squeeze his hands. The Imam, with a special tone that he used to have when joking, said, ‘I am afraid it will be painful for you.’ Then he smiled sweetly.”

Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) says, “One of the characteristics of cheerful persons is that they are soft and communicative.” It means that human beings should treat people in a way that they like to be treated. Imam Reza (AS) says, “Good-temperedness means to deal with people in the way that you like to be dealt with.” Imam Khomeini used to interact with others quite amicably and affably even if they were different in ideas and behavior. Ayatollah Karimi says, “One night in the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) [in holy Najaf], a group of Muslim students had come to visit the Imam. They were not pleasant among us, both in terms of appearance and clothes and their conduct and talking. But we saw how Imam Khomeini treated them as if they were old friends.”