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I Was Awestruck by the Sultan!

04/03/2008

In the oppression era, I knew a well-known professor whom I observed prostrate himself at the feet of the Shah - Mohammad Rida Pahlavi. Scholars were standing in a line, and when Mohammad Rida was passing by this man, he prostrated himself at the Shah's feet. Such practices were common, but only among army generals. But this time it was a famous knowledgeable scholar and researcher - and a true researcher at that - who did it. A man who had done so much research and written so many books prostrated himself at his feet! His students reproached him, saying "why you, sir? This man is uneducated after all." Scholars do not generally believe in anybody, and they do not care about politics. They just look up to those who are scholars. Basically, nothing is more attractive and valuable to a scholar than knowledge. "Uneducated" is the worst label you could attach to a scholar. No insult is worse than this. This is a fact in all academic domains. But then that scholar prostrated himself at the feet of that ignorant bully! His friends and students reproached him, and he had nothing to say for himself. He just said: "I was awestruck by the sultan!" This turned into a catch phrase among my friends who went to university. They divided scholars into two categories: those who were awestruck by the sultan and those who were awestruck by knowledge! Of course, even at that time we had some scholars who led a poor life just because they did not want to take a glance at them. Not that they refused to drop themselves at their feet, kiss their hands, or bow to them. That was not the case. They even considered it beneath their dignity to think of turning to those ignorant systems operating outside the world of knowledge. They did not consider material life worth involving themselves in.

* Taken from a speech delivered to the deans of medical faculties on October 10, 1990


* Source: http://english.khamenei.ir

615 View | 20-01-2014 | 13:08


 
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