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A remarkable spiritual figure

By Editorial Board - Feb 21, 2012 - Category Articles - Print Print - Version française

Jeyhounabad

Ostad Elahi often emphasised the crucial role played by his father Hadj Nemat (1871-1920) in his spiritual formation. Hadj Nemat was 29 years old when a life-changing spiritual experience led him to relinquish his administrative functions with the governor of his region in order to dedicate himself entirely to mysticism and spirituality. Revered as a saint during his lifetime, he was also famous for his poetry. Among his many writings is the Book of the Kings of Truth. Ahead of the 92nd anniversary of his death, the following anecdotes presented on hadjnemat.com will shed some light on his extraordinary spiritual personality.

By Ostad Elahi, Hadj Nemat’s son

My father was quite stringent about respecting others, and also worked very hard to ensure my moral education and upbringing. I was a child when my father reprimanded me one day and said: “Get out of here.” An elderly woman who was present asked: “My dear, what did you do for your father to …” but I snubbed her before she could finish. She didn’t say anything. Later, one of the dervishes relayed the following message from my father: “Even if I were to forgive your first transgression, I will not forgive your second, which is breaking that old woman’s heart, until you acquire her forgiveness.”

We had once gone to Darband in the region of Sahneh. The local governor, along with a few leaders of the Ahl-e Haqq, also came along and some friends had arranged an umbrella for them to provide shade from the hot sun. The others sat in the open. My father arrived, and as soon as he noticed the umbrella he said: “Why are they sitting in the shade and the rest under the sun? What difference is there? Quickly remove the umbrella!” They reacted so hastily that the umbrella collapsed on top of them. Nonetheless, my father did not apologize and said: “How were you willing to sit under the shade while the others were out under the sun? What difference is there between you? Are you not both of flesh and blood?”

By Seyyed Tahmasb, a renowned leader of the Ahl-e Haqq

I had heard that an individual by the name of Hadj Nemat had appeared in Jeyhounabad and performed a great many wonders and miracles. I went to Jeyhounabad to see for myself. People were sitting in a large room waiting to meet him, and there was only one empty spot by the door where I sat down. A dirty old man in rags was seated next to me. I kept thinking that someone of my stature shouldn’t be sitting here among these people, as though they were my peers! After 10 or 20 minutes, Hadj Nemat arrived. It was customary for him to go around the room and kiss the hands of the participants. He kissed my hand and glanced at me without saying anything. When he came upon the old man next to me, he warmly kissed him and said: “My dear, it is you and those like you that I love, it is your faith that I love; let those turbaned bigheads go about their own business….” After he finished greeting those who were present, he sat down, turned to me and said: “I do not know this gentleman, who might he be?” I replied: “Sir, I am precisely one of those turbaned bigheads!” He then counseled me and said: “Here is the realm of Truth, and all are equal before God. See this old man in rags, what a special state he enjoys before the divine!”


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8 comments

  1. Susan Feb 21, 2012 12:13 pm 1

    What a beautiful and refreshing reminder of what we should be prioritising in this world.

  2. Mat Feb 22, 2012 6:55 am 2

    The photo gallery of Hadj Nemat’s birth place, the farms, the grasses, the color of the sky is so lively that one can feel the freshness and breath the fragrance in the air. Thank you for not only sharing these but also the treasure of his writings.

  3. maxfarsh Feb 22, 2012 2:31 pm 3

    “Those that can turn clay to gold with their presence-O God, may they glance at us with the corner of their eyes.”
    God bless him..The prayers of Hadj Nemat in his “Book of Kings of Truth” are moving, very personal (as is one feels connected with the author) and uplifting. I dare to say that his supplications are my favorite as they feel so personal. Among many characteristics, they induce feelings of joy and humbleness to the heart. The details of his spiritual journey and awakening in that book is also woven together with numerous spiritual anectodes. The language is poetic but yet very conversational and personal.

  4. A. Feb 24, 2012 11:36 pm 4

    Attention to other people’s rights irrespective of their social origins is so important. For instance, I travel a lot and take a few taxis every day. For several years I would just get in a taxi, say hello, explain where I needed to go and then start working. With time I realized that most people behave like I did and that that drivers feel isolated or (worse) they feel they are being despised.

    Now I have changed my behaviour and talk to them, ask questions (avoid talking about myself) and try to make their trip pleasant. Sometimes I really have to force myself to do this because I am under pressure due to work and would rather send an E-mail, call a customer etc.. But, other than in exceptional situations, work can always wait 10-30 minutes, the time of a taxi ride, whereas when you have not taken some time to chat with the driver, you have really missed the opportunity to do a good deed because these people really feel lonely. And since I am always travelling, chats with taxi drivers make up a lot of good deeds by the end of a week!!

    Being mindful and kind to people irrespective of their social origins should be a preoccupation of atheists and believers alike. In fact, even if one does not believe in an afterlife, one should avoid hurting people’s feelings. I have observed many times over that every time we do this, our material life becomes a little bit more difficult/complicated, for instance:

    • once I had given a gipsy beggar who had asked me for money, a very small amount of money, in fact so low (because I had several preconceived ideas about gypsies stealing etc..) that the person felt insulted and reacted negatively. Now, you may think this is just a coincidence, but before the day had ended, I had lost my personal diary in the train.

    • Another time, I was talking to a lady working for an airline’s frequent flyers service and since we were (politely) disagreeing about a few things, I (politely) told her that she was wrong, that I was right (since I was the customer) and to stop discussing. I realized that she felt frustrated and unhappy, but just moved on with more requests. Later that day I realized that she was entirely right and that realization dawned on me just as I missed my flight

    So, in my opinion, it would seem that respecting other people’s rights is very beneficial both in the other world (for those who believe in an afterlife) as well as in this one (for atheists and believers alike).

  5. Pb Feb 28, 2012 12:19 pm 5

    Thank you Hadj Nemat for the revival of guidance.

  6. Juneone Mar 02, 2012 8:06 pm 6

    I love these examples. They remind me that in even my smallest, “insignificant” actions, I am making choices that can help or hurt my development. I am always looking for grand gestures, that others can compliment me for and ignoring these small things.

  7. Shideh Mar 06, 2012 8:59 pm 7

    I have read these about Hadj Nemat more than 20 times and each time still is new and interesting enough to go through it all .
    Everytime is a reminder of looking at my own actions and behavior and evaluating them all over again.
    Thank you for your guidance.

  8. Holly Feb 15, 2014 4:16 am 8

    Thank you – a short yet meaningful article.
    It made me feel embarrassed about my lack of humbleness – I just tried to visualise the scene where Hadj Nemat arrived in the room and the way he greeted everyone.
    It just made me feel so ashamed about how cold I am sometimes when I greet those that I am not so fond off!

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