The Daughter of Allamah Tabatabai Khanum Najma Sadat Tabataba'i narrates that one of the phrases he would always use is:
"Know God as being Ever-Present and Ever-Observant" (Khodā rā hāzir wa nāzir bebīnīd).
He would repeat this line so often that when I was a child I used to think that Haj Agha didn't know anything else. Of course 'Allama spoke very little but when he did speak his words were chosen precisely. He emphasized this matter so much that we used to think it was impossible that an act be carried out for other than God.
His words were full of meaning. For example, [he would talk to us] about the conduct of our great ones, and how young girls and boys should behave. With his daughters he was very intimate and friendly and with his sons he behaved seriously.
He ['Allama] placed great importance on respecting one's elders. He even felt joking with them was not appropriate.
In one of his words of advice to my son Shahid Muhammad Hasan R who one time joked with someone older than him, he said, 'I was 7 or 8 years old when a painter was working in our home. When he climbed his animal I tickled his leg. My late father said to me, "My dear son, an individual doesn't play jokes on his elders." From that moment I have always remembered his words and even now that I am an old man I am still reluctant to joke with those who are older than I. This respect must be maintained [for our elders].'
'O God, carry us in the ships of Thy deliverance, give us to enjoy the pleasure of whispered prayer to Thee, make us drink at the pools of Thy love, let us taste the sweetness of Thy affection and nearness, allow us to struggle in Thee, preoccupy us with obeying Thee, and purify our intentions in devoting works to Thee, for we exist through Thee and belong to Thee, and we have no one to mediate with Thee but Thee!' Imam Sajjad ('A); Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya