Apr 12, 2022 09:12 UTC

As a reminder, it was said that Imam Khomeini led a very simple life and his wife, Khadijeh Saqafi, also accompanied him in tough economic conditions. In this episode, we are going to hear the rest of the story from Ms. Saqafi.

Imam Khomeini resided in Yakhchāl Qāzi neighbourhood of Qom in 1943. This was his 8th house and the Imam lived there for nearly 20 years. His wife Ms. Khadijeh Saqafi relates the story as follows, “In 1943 we entered the house in Yakhchāl Qāzi. It was in this house that Mostafa and the three daughters married.” Dear listeners, it was in this house that Imam Khomeini broadened his struggles sersiouslyagainst the despotic Pahlavi regime. In those days, the Imam delivered his fiery and historical speech against capitulation bill which would grant judicial immunity to the US advisors in Iran even if they committed a heinous crime. The Imam’s wife continues, “It was this Yakhchāl Qāzi neighbourhood that we left for Najaf Ashraf in 1965 and never came back again. It was this house that turned into the center of struggles of ulema in Iran. It was here that the Imam’s historical speech against capitulation was delivered and it was here that the first seeds of the Imam’s movement yielded fruit and the June 5 [1963] uprising was created. It was this house that was assaulted by the SAVAC from time to time and all belongings of [Imam Khomeini] were pillaged in one of these assaults. Those who were in contact and commutation with this house were sent to exile to cities and villages one after the other. The stories of this house are the stories of the revolution and this house can be called the center of Imam Khomeini’s movement in the real sense of the word.”

Imam Khomeini and his wife loved books and book reading. Thus, they attached high importance to education and studying. Ms. Khadijeh took advantage of her marital life and used Imam Khomeini as a teacher for religious studies. She says, “I was in the 8th grade when I married. After marriage I started studying Jāme-ol-Moqaddamāt [the book which is taught to fresh students of seminaries as the basic source of higher courses] with him. However, I wouldn’t study as a free student but while doing house chores and looking after children and commutation with friends. Yet, I didn’t give up studying despite all these hardships till the birth of my fourth child who was very unquiet and sick and had made me busy round- the- clock. I had no time for studying. In those days I was studying Lomʻa [the book for middle grades of seminaries] while Mr. [Rouhollah] had 7 courses from morning till evening. Therefore, I gave up studying.”

Book reading was a common habit in Imam Khomeini’s house. Of course, the Imam would study more than others and was the role model in this aspect like other aspects. He was very careful on the number of books at home and would never keep more than 200 books. The Imam had most of the reference books. Ms. Khadijeh, however, was interested in reading the Qur’an, prayer books and novels. Thus, she had studied famous novels like Les Miserables of Victor Hugo and War and Peace of Leo Tolstoy. She had read the books of Iranian novelists and writers like Jalal Al-e Ahmad and Dr. Shariati, too.

Imam Khomeini and his wife, Ms. Khadijeh Saqafi had composed some poems, too. Imam Khomeini had composed 80 pieces of lyrics before marriage but they were lost during changing houses. However, he composed some other lyrics after marriage. Ms. Saqafi relates, “As he says he had composed 80 lyrics before our marriage. When his belongings were brought from Daār al-Shefa school, all books were there except the book of his poems. We couldn’t find it. After marriage, he would travel alone for a while, and as he had a poetic talent, he started composing poems again which were almost 70 lyrics. I had collected them because I loved poems very much. I wouldn’t read poems like others. I would rather touch poems and would shiver and shed tears while reading them.”

This poetic talent and love of poems in Imam Khomeini’s family caused Ms. Khadijeh’s talent to flourish, too. The life hardships would take much of her time but the separation from the Imam caused her to compose a few lines. She says in this regard, “I loved learning but our house had become the place of commutation of relatives and friends. Thus, there was not time for studying. When Mr. [Khomeini] was sent to exile to Turkey, I composed a few lyrics, panegyrics and quatrains. I was not and am not a poetess, but what have said as poem, I will never forget as it is related to the time of separation from the Imam.”

Composition of lofty poems by Imam Khomeini, in which he had dealt with Gnostic issues, had upset some sanctimonious people in seminaries. They even called for expelling the Imam as he had used words like wine and tavern in his poems. For your information dear friends, it should be said that such words have completely different connotations in Farsi poetry. They have nothing to do with intoxication and the common wine and related issues. Therefore, the first personality in the Qom seminary and Source of Emulation, late Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi, had strongly supported Imam Khomeini as he was a renowned clergyman and a great teacher of seminaries.