You Go and Sit in Qom

Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


When news of Imam's decision to return to Iran was published, many clergies and people came to Tehran from different cities to welcome him. For example, figures such as Martyrs Madani, Dastgheib and Sadoughi came Tehran. May God rest their souls. The late Ayatollah Boroujerdi (peace be upon him) used to read this verse when name and memory of the past Ulama were mentioned: “Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren Who came before us Into the Faith, And leave not, In our hearts, Rancour (or sense of injury) Against those who have believed. Our Lord! Thou art Indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.”

In short, everyone had come at that time. When Imam was prevented from coming, those involved in the movement, such as martyrs Motahhari and Beheshti decided to go to Tehran University’s mosque and sit in there, considering that everyone was present.

I was contacted and informed that there is going to be such a sit-in. It was in the afternoon that another cleric named Mr. Masjed Jamei and I headed towards Tehran University. I told guys of the mosque “we will go tonight and analyze the situation and find a place; you come tomorrow.”

The streets were extremely disturbed and the closer we got to Tehran University, the more dangerous it became. The conflict reached its peak in the streets around the university; the streets were crowded; The youth chanted slogans and laid down on the ground or in street waterways when the military forces shot. It was not possible to pass at all! Now, if we wanted to return to the mosque, we would be like a soldier fleeing from the battlefield. May God have mercy on Mr. Masjed Jamei who suggested that we go to his brother's house. He had a brother named Hajj Mustafa, who was Imam of Al-Mustafa Mosque.

When we went to Mr. Mustafa's house, there was a room prepared for receiving guests. But he took us to one of the family rooms! “It's possible SAVAK forces have seen you and come to you,” he said. We spent the night there and in the morning, we went to the university together with two brothers, and finally we were able to enter the university.

At that time, even the clerics supporting the revolution were in two categories; Some were very traditional and old-fashioned, and some were modern. These two brothers were of the first category. Therefore, one of them said to Martyr Beheshti, “It was good we were going to Qom for the sit-in. In the past, like during the constitutional era, people used to sit in places like Qom and Rey. Martyr Beheshti interestingly answered, “Anyway, we came and stationed here. You go to Qom.” Martyr Beheshti tried to influence them with this answer, so they also would start and do an action. That fellow was with us for a while and returned to his home.

In that sit-in, figures such as Martyr Madani and Martyr Beheshti gave speeches every day. The guys of the mosque came to the university mosque very soon. During the day, they visited us and left. This sit-in forced Bakhtiar to open the airport and let Imam to return to Iran.


Source: A Star in Mihrab: Memories of Ayatollah Hashem Hamidi [in Persian: Setarei dar Mehrab: Khaterat-e Ayatollah Hashem Hamidi], interviewed and edited by Reza Akbari Ahangar, Tehran, Institute for the Iranian Contemporary History Studies, 2021, pp. 78-80.

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