Monday, March 23, 2009

The Personal Life of Imam Khomeini

The late Khadija Sagafi, wife of Imam Khomeini, who died on Saturday at the age of 93, was laid to rest beside him in his Shrine in Beheshte Zahra. She was the daughter of a wealthy religious family not interested in politics. She had attended elementary school and had a Jewish tutor who taught her French. That would have been in 1925. Imam was a theological student at that time and was introduced a few years later to their family through a relative. She was reluctant to marry him since she thought some clergy were strict, and some did not treat women properly. The suitor had to ask five times before receiving a positive response, to the surprise of the family. Khadija later said in an interview a few years ago that she had experienced a very demanding and challenging life with Imam, but that he had given her all the respect and love that a woman could imagine. He had always spoken to her with respect, he left her free in her personal decisions, what to wear, where to go. She, in return, created an atmosphere of calm and compassion for him during the tumultuous years of struggle for freedom, the years of exile and the fierce years of combat. As the love story went on, Imam always felt indebted to her patience and dedication. Before the Revolution, Imam wrote in a letter to her from Lebanon,:"My most dearest,during these days that I am away from you I have kept the memory of your beautiful face in the mirror of my heart......" .
Although , as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam was instantly recognized throughout the world and renown for his courage and determination in the face of superpowers however, the multiple dimensions of the life and personality of Imam and his family are still not properly known today.
The stigma and stereotyping created by western media against Imam during the Revolution prevented many from observing the light and greatness in his prudent personality. His eloquent poetry and personal writings were published only after he passed away. Many were surprised to learn that he had written beautiful poems. Two decades later, his legacy lives and inspires, not only in Iran, but throughout the world. The sun never remains behind the clouds for long.


mohammed.husain said...

I must agree with your comments at the end with respect to the Imam, inspiring people throughout the world. I personally have been inspired. One of my dear professors who met the Imam, said of him: "He was an man who a living symbol of someone who humbled himself before God, and thereby gained an extraordinary respect among men."

On a different note, I'm curious to know your thoughts about Agha-ye Mohandes Mousavi, and his prospects in the upcoming election.

Anonymous said...

Some Iranian expatriates, people here in Europe have been talking about regime change and downfall of the Republic now for 30 years. The Republic created by Imam stands boldly today as a breakaway from American hegemony. I dont agree with everything happening in Iran, I dont agree with Ahmadinejad for sure , but I think what Imam did 30 years ago is something to reckon with today.

Safiyyah said...

My husband and I recently visited Iran, we are from South Africa. we were struck at the simplicity of the Imams home. It is so touching and enduring to read this bit about his personal life. thank you