Discipline in daily program

The daily program of the Imam was very well-organized meaning that if we multiply his daily schedule with 365 days, his yearly program becomes known. The meetings and appointments begin from seven in the morning when he leaves his room and goes to his office. However, sometimes the physician gives him a check-up or at times individuals such as Mr. Rasuli or Mr. Tawassuli are on hand when Mr. Ansari presents to him his daily work schedule. I am not present in the men's section to know what his programs are for the day but obviously it includes tying the wedding knot of couples and personal visits followed by meetings with officials from across the country or with ladies or any person who has work. When they have state duties with the Imam and the officials have taken appointments to discuss these tasks with him. After these tasks, at around 9 a.m. he returns from his office to the outer yard and takes a stroll. He walks for around half an hour until 9.30 A.M. and then goes to his room to do some reading of the bulletins and news reports that is sent from all over the country to him that are all confidential and are sealed and stamped. He believes in opening all of them himself and reads all of them. The reading continues until around quarter to ten in the morning. At quarter to ten they bring various kinds of seasonal fruits for him that he ate such as oranges, berries or lettuce. Then at 10:10 a.m. He would go to take a nap that would last until 11.30 a.m. (However God alone knows whether he is asleep or awake). At 11.30 a.m. he would wake up to prepare for the mandatory noon prayers meaning he would perform ablutions, recite the Qur'an followed by the optional and the mandatory noon prayers. At 13.05 noon, he comes for lunch while the ten minute interval after the prayers he utilizes to speak either to his offspring if they are around or we see him keep himself busy with reading following the morning studies. At 13.05 in the afternoon sharp he comes to his spouse for lunch. On all days his lunch is a traditional Iranian meal consisting of meat boiled with pulses and dried lime. If there is a change in menu, he does not like it too much because he relishes boiled meat with pulses and dried lime the most. However, he also eats rice with stew if cooked. Anyhow, he would eat something whereas for the rest of the household there is no boiled meat with pulses because this meal is reserved solely for him. Of course from the point of view of painstaking care he took for eating his meals, he would tie a towel around his neck that extends down to his lap and a tough nylon material is wrapped over it. Everything must be orderly; everything must be perfect. There is no deficiency from the disciplinary point of view of his lunch program meaning that if the plate beneath the bowl of stew is changed, he would ask the reason for it although it has no relevance to the food. He would keep only one plate beneath the bowl of stew and that plate would be permanently placed there. The bowl of food and the spoons are all exclusively for his use. After taking lunch, he would speak for a few minutes especially if we or the daughters and grandchildren would be around. Of course throughout this time the radio set is with him and he listens to it. He listens to the proceedings of the parliament and makes it a point to listen to the speeches broadcast between one in the afternoon and 2pm. Before the 2pm news he would go into his own room and listen to the news. In the afternoon after analyzing the news reports, he would take rest and precisely at four o'clock in the afternoon, he would awaken and take tea. He would follow this with half an hour of walking during which he would utter invocations of course provided that there was no important news over the radio. However, if there was some important political state development, he would make it a point to listen to the radio. He had radio that had a lengthy band that he would wrap around his wrist and at times he would read the newspaper simultaneously. Sometimes he would utter invocations using the prayer bead he carried with him. Of course at this point his grandchildren gather around him, pull his hand and divert him but he says nothing. However, this is at such moments when he is not listening to the radio whereas if it is a special news situation he does not entertain them and nor does he allow us to talk to him and will continue to listen to the radio. At half past four in the afternoon, his strolling ends and he sips a cup of tea. However, if it is summer this schedule changes a little meaning that he does not always awaken at four and depends on the length of the day and night. If the days are long and after taking a walk he reads the various morning and evening newspapers. Among the topics that draw his attention is an editorial or speech that he believes he must read them alone. At times when he is tired or when we are around and have nothing much to do, he asks us to read them for him and we read some of the topics that he definitely wants us to read for him. Before sunset he again recites the Qur'an and then performs ablutions and again recites the Qur'an followed by preparations for the mandatory dusk prayer that is naturally accompanied with the optional dusk prayers. Most of the time he goes into the front yard to recite the prayers under open skies unless if the weather is cold and he feels he might catch cold and returns inside and continues with his reading. Of the books that he insists on reading are new-edition books that he gazes at intently, along with newspapers and magazines. When the television programs begin in the evening, he would put aside the radio and watch both the television channels. After reciting prayers and doing some reading, I do not recall exactly what he would do for another fifteen or twenty minutes. Perhaps he would tune in to the foreign networks until it was seven o'clock in the evening. He would listen to the news at 7 p.m. with such attention that he would only reply to our greeting and at most make eye contact meaning that we must keep quiet and if we are in the room we must keep quiet and not talk even with each other because it would annoy him although he would not speak a word. Of course we would be considerate. After the news reports and broadcasts if at all there was any particular interview and speech, he would definitely listen to them. Naturally, the Imam also had some favorite programs while for example he disliked certain programs on family-related topics. Once when I was present and the program related to family issues was being broadcast, he would not watch it and switched off the television set. I asked him the reason and he replied that, "It is not all a good program." I asked why and he replied that it was very artificial and was not good at all. After listening to the news, he would exercise for around fifteen minutes by lying flat on the ground with a pillow under his head. As advised by the physician, he would raise his leg and bend them against his knees and again straighten them and would keep a count of the number of each movement. He would order dinner precisely at 9 p.m. however, since it took some time until dinner was ready and he was served, he would continue to watch the television. After dinner, he attended to himself and this would last until 10 p.m. at 10.10 p.m. he would go to his own room and awaken at 2.30 a.m. past midnight in order to recite the optional midnight prayers (once again in this case because of seasonal fluctuations, consequently, there would be some adjustments made in his night sleep and awakening timings). He would awaken at around 2.30 a.m. past midnight for reciting the optional night prayers until it was time to recite the dawn prayer. In the interval between the optional night prayers and the dawn prayer, and after having recited the optional night prayers, he would use the interval until the break of dawn to attend to a box in which religious verdicts that the office had replied was placed in them. Some of them that he needed to attend personally were put into a cardboard box by the office and presented to the Imam. The Imam would use this interval to take a look at them and read them after the dawn prayer. After the dawn prayer, he would rest until six in the morning and would then awaken, take a walk for half an hour followed by a recitation of the glorious Qur'an. Breakfast would be served precisely at 6.30 a.m. and he would finish his breakfast before 7 a.m. At 7 a.m. sharp, he would again go to his office.[1]

[1]Discipline in program of a single day: Mrs. Zahra Mustafawi

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