Ayatollah Khamenei

My mother was one of the most inspiring people in my life: Imam Khamenei

My mother had an important influence on me. One of the most inspiring people in my life has been my mother; she was a very influential person.

Ayatollah Khamenei, April 27, 1998

My parents were great parents. My mother was a wise, knowledgeable woman, keen on reading books. She had poetic and artistic talents; and she was well familiar with the poet Hafiz--not in an academic sense, but she used to read his book of poems often. She was also extremely familiar with the Quran and had a beautiful voice. 
When we were small children, we used to gather around her and my mother would recite the Quran for us. She recited the Quran in a sweet and beautiful voice. We, children, used to gather and she would, according to the occasion, relate to verses about the lives of the prophets. The first time I heard life stories of the prophets Moses, Abraham, and other prophets was from my mother during these occasions. When she recited the Quran and then reached a verse with the name of a prophet, she began to tell his story. 

Some of the poems, that I still remember at the age of nearly 60, are the poems I heard from my mother during those times, including these two couplets: 
In the morning when, he's standing on the mountainous lands, the Khasrau of the east, the rising sun pitched,
With the hand of mercy, the door of hopeful ones, my beloved beats 
At the gates of the tavern I saw the angels knock
Kneaded this clay we call human and made it talk.

In sum, she was a very kind and wise woman. She, like all mothers, loved her children and was considerate towards them. My father was a great, well-known religious scholar. In contrast to my mother, who was very attractive, talkative, and friendly, my father seemed a calm, silent man. This was the effect of the long years he spent as a seminary student, alone in his chamber. Well, my father’s mother tongue was Turkish; we are originally from Tabriz; my father comes from Khamene in Tabriz, and my mother’s native language was Farsi. So, since childhood, we came to know both Turkish and Farsi; and our home had a good ambience in it.

Imam Khamenei, February 3, 1998


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