Simple food – Memories of Allamah Askari

simple food

The narrator: Mr. Salimi (Allamah Askari’s nephew)

Ordering food at the hospital

Allamah Askari was not a person that is interested in different kinds of food.  And a simple meal was enough for him;In addition, he strictly observed food hygiene because Allamah Askari did not eat whatever food.

I remember when Allamah Askari was in the hospital, because he was a well-known and respected figure, if he ordered any food (rice & kebab or chicken or anything else), it was ready for him.

Allamah Askari was asked: “What would you like to eat?”  He said:”What stew do you have?”  They named a variety of stews, including plum stew.  Allamah Askari said: “Bring me a small bowl of that plum stew with some bread” and only that simple food would be enough  for him. He ate bread with stew.

A night in Lavasanat

I remember the days when Allamah Askari stayed in Lavasan some nights, someone had to be with him to accompany him for the work he needed.

Some nights I stayed with him too. I was very hungry one day. Those were the days of my youth.  Allamah Askari was studying in the library as usual.

I came to Allamah Askari and said: ” uncle I’m very hungry!”  Allamah Askari said: “Go and eat what you find in the refrigerator.” So I went to the refrigerator, it was empty, I did not find anything.

I said, “uncle, I did not find anything to eat.”  Allamah Askari gave money to the man who was with us to buy some food and we ate from it. That same night he prepared a plate with a very small pumpkin.

He put the same pumpkin in the glass, closed the lid, put it in a pot full of water, and put the same pot on fire until the water boiled, and the heat softened the pumpkin inside the glass. Then he put the pumpkin in a plate and poured two or three spoons of yogurt with a spoon of olive oil on it and squished this pumpkin with a spoon and mixed it with the yogurt and olive oil and ate it with bread.

This was Allamah  Askari’s dinner. Simple, light and concise food.  Allameh Askari was bound not to consume whatever food.

Allamah Askari’s advice to his sister

Sometimes the late Allamah Askari used to visit his sister (our mother)’s house.  And sometimes he stayed at our house for a day or two.  Our mother used to fast a lot.

Mustahab fasts on special days, Mondays, Thursdays, the beginning of the month, the middle of the month, the end of the month, in short she would fast alot.

And sometimes We wanted our mother to not fast.  We would also ask our late father, “You tell our mother not to fast.”  And the late father would say: “I have nothing to do with her, she can do what she want,”I am satisfied with what she does.”

One of the days that Allamah Askari came to our house, my brother and I decided to discuss this issue with him so that he would tell his sister not to fast or to fast less.

Our mother used to call  Allamah Askari, “Agha dadash” (brother in a formal way) We knew that if the late Allamah Askari talked to her, she would listen to her brother, accept him and obey him.  So we went secretly to Allamah Askari and told him: ” your sister is fasting a lot. “Talk to her. Maybe she will fast less.”

Because our mother doesn’t many things, such as sugar, cheese, and… we told this to Allamah Askari. He replied: “wow! “Call her to come.”

So we went happily and told our mother, your brother is calling you.” So our mother came and Allamah Askari said: “I heard you are fasting a lot?” Our mother looked at us and guessed that we said something.

She said, “Yes, brother.”  I fast. Is there a problem with that?”  He said: “No, there is no problem, you are doing very well!  “Keep going.”  Then hr said: “Is a person’s stomach a trash can to throw everything in it ?!  Your are doing a very good thing.  Eat less.  “well done.”

In short, what were we thinking and what happened! Allamah Askari supported her a lot for fasting.  After this , whenever we protested to our mother, she would say,  my brother, told me to fast.  “It none of your business anymore.”

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