In the path of the Imam (95)
As a reminder, we said that Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsen Hakim, as a great Source of Emulation, defended the Iraqi and Iranian nations against the despotic and repressive regimes in the two countries. But his method of struggle differed with that of Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon him). However, Imam Khomeini highly respected him and didn’t allow anyone to disrespect him. Today we are going to continue the discussion.
Imam Khomeini, during his stay in Holy Najaf, would consider Ayatollah Hakim as the head of the Najaf seminary and, for some decisions and stances, he used to urge people to refer to him. Late Ayatollah Abbas Ali Amid Zanjani said on then Iraqi President Abdul-Salam Aref’s effort to meet Imam Khomeini, “When the Imam arrived in Najaf, the Iraqi government decided to meet with the Sources of Emulation. President Aref wanted to raise somebody else to undermine the social status of Ayatollah Hakim. Thus, through the son of one of the Sources of Emulation, the Iraqi government claimed to have made every effort to glorify Imam Khomeini. The Iraqi government even claimed that the Iranian regime had told the Iraqi government to let the Imam be free in the country. Therefore, since the Iraqi government was respecting the Imam, the Imam was expected to pay attention to the conduct and pay back their right. I told the issue to the Imam. He said, ‘I will not meet with them as I am not such a person. As the head of the Najaf seminary is Mr. Hakim, I am a student here and this is up to him to decide.’ Eventually, it happened as the Imam wanted. Abdul-Salam Aref went on pilgrimage to Imam Ali’s shrine, but he failed to meet any of the Sources of Emulation.”
Imam Khomeini paid a visit to Ayatollah Hakim while he was under pressure and a kind of house arrest by the Iraqi regime and nobody dared to meet him. Of course, this visit cost dearly for the Imam as his elder son Haaj Aqa Mostafa was arrested. When Ayatollah Hakim went to Baghdad in protest to the Ba’athist regime, Muslims from all over Iraq came to him in masses. This was a move against the regime. This was while the regime had besieged the area and closed the door of his house and would detain those who came there. Therefore, Ayatollah Hakim left for Kufa in protest and closed his classes. Thus, this great Source of Emulation passed away in loneliness. The ulema of Najaf refused to go to him out of fear from the regime; but Imam Khomeini used to visit him bravely and send Haaj Aqa Mostafa to his house every day. In one of the days, Haaj Aqa Mostafa was arrested and sent to Baghdad. He was in prison in Baghdad for one week and nobody was informed of his whereabouts.
In one of his meetings with Ayatollah Hakim, Imam Khomeini asked him to come out of isolation and let people visit him. Seyed hamid Rouhani says in this regard, “After the blow of Mr. Hakim to the Ba’athist regime, due to his support for the Iranian people in the issues related to the border disputes, the Iraqi people dispersed from him out of fear and left him alone. Mr. Hakim was confined at home and decided to stay home and not appear in public. Imam Khomeini realized that the decision was to the benefit of the regime; so, visited him in Kufa and told him that isolation is not useful as the leader and Source of Emulation should always be among the people. The Imam asked him to stay in Najaf as it was somehow the center of leadership and open his house’s door for people. This proposal was accepted by Ayatollah Hakim to some extent. He would come to Najaf on Fridays for pilgrimage to Imam Ali’s shrine.”
Imam Khomeini was very sad at the demise of Ayatollah Hakim so that he would not express his happiness for one year. Hojjat-ol-Eslam Seyyed Abbas Mohri says, “After the demise of Ayatollah Hakim, I went to his son Seyyed Yusef for extending my condolences. On the night that I was returning, I went to bid farewell to Imam Khomeini as it was the eve of Eid Ghadir. When I entered the Imam’s room, I saw that he was studying with a small lamp over his head. I told him that it was the eve of Eid Ghadir and people expect him to go outdoors to visit him. He said, ‘Do you know whom we have lost? We have lost Mr. Hakim. Shouldn’t we respect him at least for one year? We don’t have happiness and joy. Should we have joy after the departure of Mr. Hakim?’ I felt shy and said, ‘Excuse me; I didn’t know you are so careful.’ The Imam Said, ‘It is obligatory for all to respect this great man.’”
During the sickness of Ayatollah Hakim, Imam Khomeini used to pray for him. These behaviors showed that the Imam highly revered him.