Memoirs of Hojjat al-Eslam Esmaeel Ferdowsi Pour

A friend and companion of Imam Khomeini

Selected by Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan

2023-10-9


On Wednesday tenth of Mehr 1357 (October 2, 1978), the last night, the Imam announced that he would pilgrimage the holy shrine. When the Imam arrived the holy shrine, the people thought that he had been freed and the restriction was lifted. Arab women cheered, kissed the Imam's robes, and the men kissed the Imam's hand and expressed their joy and happiness that, thanks God, the restriction was lifted. But at the time when our dear leader stood in front of the grave of Amir al-Mu'minin (PBUH) and started praying and saying goodbye to him, no one but God knew about his aching hearts, God knows how the dear Imam spent that night …

After returning, he said, "We will say the morning prayer and leave, don't be late".

 

Departure program from the holy Najaf

Imam's insistence and emphasis on the concealment of his emigration was so serious and decisive that even some of the members of the Istefta' or consultation office did not know until returning from the Holy Shrine, and the Imam invited the members of the office at the end of the night and discussed the matter with them.

The Iraqi government was also unaware and did not know what day and time the Imam would leave.

We got permission and in late night, informed the Najaf security department that the Imam was leaving Najaf in the morning, so in the morning two cars, one in front and one behind, accompanied and guarded our convoy.

The brothers of the fighting clerics also got permission to accompany the Imam to the Iraq border. We took four cars and about twenty people from the Imam's companions escorted the dear Imam to the border of Iraq.

The quality of Imam's emigration and movement from the holy Najaf was very organized and systemized. Later, we found out that they had plans on the way, but thanks God, they were surprised and did not get a chance to implement their sinister plans.

It was almost morning when Mr. Fazel came and said, "I saw Dr. Yazdi in the shrine. I was surprised, when did Dr. Yazdi come? What did he come for?" But because he didn't have permission, he didn't tell him what the plan was; I asked him to go quickly and tell Dr. Yazdi that if you want to see the Imam in Najaf, come to the house of the Imam (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It was time for the Imam to leave when Dr. Yazdi arrived and got into one of the cars that had been prepared for the escort.

We asked him when you came?! He said, "I arrived in midnight, I wanted to go to the Imam's house, but the officers did not allow me, so I went to an inn, left my bag and went to the shrine, and then Mr. Fazel came and informed me".

A strange night passed to all those who knew what would happen the next day! And perhaps a historic night passed in Najaf for the Imam and his family, relatives and friends, a night when most of them were still sleeping, unaware of the events that would happen, and the great leader of the revolution, who did not want to say goodbye to any of the scholars and authorities who had not even once asked about his health by phone or message during his siege, and inform them and... It was a long night, the black tent of the night exerted its last pressures on the night-dwellers, and finally the darkness of the night was broken by the true dawn, the muezzins' call to Allah-o Akbar echoed from the minarets, and the horizon became clear. We said the morning prayer and gathered around the house of our hope, our leader and our mentor. From time to time, the eyes of the passers-by followed us asking what was going on?! The officers who were surprised were also amazed and were watching the process with surprise...

 

Departure time

The time for departure arrived, and with a little delay from our side, the Imam (may God bless his soul) boarded and quickly left Najaf with the accompanying cars. A city that had embraced the great leader of the revolution for almost fifteen years woke up without this exuberant offspring in its arms.

The sun rose in Najaf and the dear Imam was not there and no one knew about his emigration. The great leader of the revolution wanted to respond to those who did not even greet him by phone during his siege. The issue is still a big problem for the companions and friends of Imam (may God bless him and grant him peace) that during this time, how did the other religious authorities remain ignorant and didn't ask for the Imam's health and other news by meeting or even calling or sending messengers to him? The Imam only said goodbye to Ali Ibne Abi Talib, Amir al-Mu'minin, (PBUH), and his special companions, and no one else...

 

Source: Ferdowsi Pour, Esmaeel, Along with Sun; From Iran to Iran, Publisher: The Social Cultural Complex of Imam Khomeini (may God bless his soul) Ferdows, Mehr Printing House, Qom, Bahman 1372 (February 1994), p. 385.

 



 
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