The Works and Declarations of Imam Khomeini
By: Nasir al-Din Ansari
Grand Ayatullah Imam Khomeini is considered among the greatest yet rare contemporary personalities who surpassed everyone in both theory and practice. In addition to establishing the Islamic state in Iran which appeared as an unprecedented and dynamic phenomenon in an era of atheism and irreligiosity and in a world steeped in materialism, he groomed a large number of religious scholars to guide the society. Furthermore, he left behind a valuable and eternal collection of his scholarly works.
Throughout his 70 years of fruitful scholarly life, Imam Khomeini wrote and compiled 60 books in 100 volumes' covering important subjects such as: fiqh, usul, hadith, tafsir, kalam, ethics and Gnosticism, poetry and literature, and government and politics, thus paving the way for generations to come and quench their thirst from the lucid waters of his heavenly-inspired learning. This article intends to acquaint readers with the works of that Man of God, which could be categorized as below:
1. Fiqh (19 works)
2. Usul (7 works)
3. Fiqhi and Rijali Qawa 'id (4 works)
4. Hadith (5 works)
5. Gnosticism and Ethics (7 works)
6. Tafsir (4 works)
7. Kalam and 'Aqa'id (one work)
8. Poetry and Literature (5 works)
9. Islamic Government (6 works)
10. Exclusive speeches (35 topics).
It is sincerely hoped that the year 1378 solar AH (21 March 1999-20 March 2000 CE) which was declared as the 'Year of Imam Khomeini would spread the late Imam's thoughts and practices, especially among the younger generation.
Imam Khomeini's works on the subject of fiqh could be classified as Fatwa'i (legal opinions) and Istidlali (evidentiary).
The Fatwa'i Books are:
1. Hashiyah (glosses) on Ayatullah Sayyid Kazim Yazdi's al- 'Urvah al-Wuthqa.
This book which is spread over 345 pages was written in 1375 AH (early 1956) and has been published many times due to its popularity.
2. Hashiyah on Wasilah al-Najah of Ayatullah Sayyid Abu al-Hasan Isfahani.
This book has also been published several times in 225 pages.
3. Hashiyah on Risalah al-Irth or "Treatise on Inheritance" of Ayatullah Mulla Hashim Khurasani (d. 1352 AH/1932 CE), the author of Muntakhab al-Tawarikh.
The glosses along with the actual text has been published in 120 pages.
4. Najat al- Ibad.
Published in Qum 1378 AH/1958, it consists of two volumes, of which the first volume (202 pages) covers issues ranging from taqlid to the rules of the 'Umrah pilgrimage, while the second volume (155 pages) deals with mundane issues ranging from miscellaneous affairs and transactions to the rules of divorce. The Institute for Compiling and Publishing Imam Khomeini's Works will soon publish its second edition.
5. Mulhaqat Tawdih al-Masa'il.
The work which is a supplement to the Manual of Islamic Rules and Regulations, contains new issues such as insurance, banking, key-money and dissection, as well as matters related to national defense and the practical implementation of amr bi'l-maruf (enjoining of good) and nahy 'an al-munkar (forbidding of evil) in society.
6. Zubdat al-Ahkam.
•This is actually a summarized version of his earlier work Najat al-Ibad and covers issues. It was published in 1381 AH/I 961.
7. Manasik-i Hajj.
The work which deals with the rites of the Hajj pilgrimage has been published several times and has also been translated into Arabic and Urdu. The 6th edition which was published in 450 pages in 1417 AH/I 997 includes an extraction of issues related to Hajj from Imam Khomeini's Tahrir al-Wasilah as well as 550 answers to questions posed.
8. Tawdih al-Masa 'il.
The actual text of this book was written by Grand Ayatullah
Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Burujirdi, after whose death, Imam Khomeini wrote glosses on it, which were printed in 138 pages in 1381 AH (1962). Thereafter, the original text along with the glosses has been published several times in Iran and Iraq under the titles Ahkam-i Din and Jami ' al- Masa'il.
This is a two-volume work on answers posed to questions concerning various issues. Volume one (519 pages) covers issues from Taharah (ritual purification) to Hajj, while the second volume (619 pages) deals with such issues as forbidden trades and occupations (al-Makasib al-Muharramah), usurpation, unclaimed property (Luqatah) and cardinal sins.
This two-volume hook is the most outstanding work of Imam Khomeini on Fatwa'i Fiqh. It is an exposition of Ayatullah Sayyid Abu al-Hasan Isfahani's Wasilah al-Naj'ah which the latter had initially intended as an annotation of Ayatullah Sayyid Kazim Yazdi's Dhakinrat al-Salihin, hut since a vast array of new issues were added and there was little resemblance with the original text, he decided to name it Wasilah al-Naj'ah on completion. The first volume of Tahrir al-Wasilah covers Ibadat or rite of worship including the Hajj rituals and rules of Taqlid or following the authority of the mujtahid. The second volume covers mundane social affairs and transactions including forbidden trades and the laws of inheritance in Islam.
One may quite clearly notice the great care and meticulousity observed in this valuable work, which has been assessed as more comprehensive than Ayatullah Sayyid Kazim Yazdi's al-'Urvah al-Wuthqa since it covers almost all jurisprudential branches and related issues which are commonplace in the modern world. However, unlike Sayyid Kazim Yazdi's work, the Tahrir al- Wasilah has ignored uncommon issues which are the least prevalent or rarely arise in society. Imam Khomeini who had long before written glosses on al-'Urvah al-Wuthqa, found a good opportunity during his exile in Turkey in 1964 to review his annotations and after adding a wide range of new issues named it Tahrir al-Wasilah, Imam Khomeini has focused in this valuable work on the practicability of such important issues as Amr bi'l- Ma'ruf (enjoining of good), Nahy 'an al-Munkar (forbidding of evil), the Friday congregational prayer, defense matters and judicial affairs including the Islamic penal code of hudud, qisaa, diyat and the like as well as various other modern day problems.
The Tahrir which is regarded as a comprehensive two- volume course on Fatwa'i Fiqh, is actually the outcome of the dedicated efforts of the three great Shi'ite jurisprudents —Ayatullah Sayyid Kazim Yazdi, Ayatullah Sayyid Abu al-Hasan Isfahani and Imam Khomeini.
Imam Khomeini's Istidlali or evidentiary works on fiqh which are the result of his more than 30 consecutive years of teaching in the theological schools of Qum and Najaf, have been published under various titles and topics as below:
1. Kitab al-Taharah (Ritual Purification).
It is a 4-volume work which was completed during the years 1375-77 AH/1954-56.
2. Al-Makasib al-Muharramah (Forbidden Trades and Occupations).
This two-volume work, which is a collection of the lectures of Imam Khomeini to students at the Qum Theological School delivered during the years 1377-80 AH/1956-59, was printed in book form shortly afterwards. The second edition was published in 1995.
3. Kitab al-Bay'.
It is a three-volume collection of the discourses of Imam Khomeini at the Najaf Theological School during the years 1385- 92 AH/I 964-71. The second volume contains discussions on the concept of Wilayat-i Faqih or Authority of the Supreme Jurisprudent. Volume two has also been published separately by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
4. Kitab al-Khiyarat.
This two-volume work contains the kharij (post- docotoral) lectures of Imam Khomeini at the Najaf Theological School delivered during the years 1394-96/1973-75.
5. Kitab al-Khilal fi al-Salah.
It was published in 314 pages in Qum.
6. Wilayat-i Faq'ih.
This work contains 13 lectures of Imam Khomeini delivered in Najaf in 1969, and has been translated into Arabic, Urdu, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Turkish and Azeri.
7. Risalah fi Ba'd Furu al-Ilm al-Ijmali.
First published in 1999, this work deals with seven of the issues of Salah or the daily prayer as rasied in al-'Unvah al- Wuthqa
8. Explanation of the Jurisprudential Lessons of Ayatullah Hajj Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri.
It was published in Ma'arif Jafari magazine, no. 4, Dhu al- Qa'dah 1383 AH (1963).
9. Risalah fi Ta'yin al-Fajr fi Layali al-Muqmarah.
This treatise which determines the time of drawn during the nights of full moon, was annotated and published by Ahmad Faqih Yazdi in 200 pages in 1989.
Imam Khomeini is considered as one of the greatest theoreticians of the past half-a-century with respect to Usul or the Science of Principles. The books which he wrote in this field are as follows:
It was compiled in 1949 and was published in 456 pages in
2. Anvar al-Hidayah fi al-Ta'liqah 'ala al-Kifayah.
It is an exposition of some of the rational discourses in Akhund Khurasani's famous work Kifayah al-Usul, ranging from the issue of Qat to Istishab. It was compiled in 1368 AH/1949, and was published in two volumes in 1993.
3. Bidayah al-Durar fi Qa'idah Nafy al-Darar
It was compiled in 1368 AH/I 949 and was published in 176
pages in 1994.
4. Al-Ta'adul -wa al-Tarajih
It was compiled in 1370 AH/I 951 and published in 274
pages in 1996.
5. Al-Jjtihadwa al-Taqlid. It was compiled in 1370 AH/1951 and published in 200
pages in 1998.
6. Risalah fi al-Talab wa al-Iradah
It was compiled in 1371 AH/I 952 and published in 158
pages in 1982.
7. Taqrirat Usuliyyah
This is an explanation of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid 'Abd al- Husayn Burujirdi's lessons of usul. It is in the process of being
published and covers topics from the definition of Usul to the subjects of Qat and Zann.
Fiqhi and Rijali Qawa'id
1. Risalah fi al-Taqiyyah
It deals with the topic of dissimulation and was compiled in
1373 AH/1954. This 120-page treatise was published in 1999.
2. Risalah fi Qa'idah man Malika
This treatise is being published in 100 pages.
3. Risalah fi Hujjiyyah Khabar Ashab al-Usul wa al-Kutub.
This 30-page treatise has been included as an appendix in volume three of Imam Khomeini's Kitab al-Taharah. The subject covers such issues as the principle of Ijma' or consensus.
4. Risalah fi Qa'idah al-Yad
It is an explanation of the lessons taught by Grand Ayatullah Burujirdi, and will be published soon.
1. Arba'in Hadith.
In this book, Imam Khomeini has elaborated upon 40 of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (S) and the Infallible Imams ('a) of his Household. The incentive behind this work was of course, the famous saying of the Prophet as quoted by Shaykh Saduq in his book al-Khisal:
"Whoever from my Ummah memorizes forty hadith, Allah will raise him on Resurrection Day as a jurisprudent and scholar."
Some of the prominent Islamic scholars of the School of Ahl al-Bayt ('a) such as Shahid Awwal Shaykh Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Makki al-'Amili, Shaykh Baha' al-Din Muhammad al-'Amili and Mulla Muhammad Taqi Majlisi, have compiled Arba'in Hadith on various topics. Imam Khomeini, however, focused on akhlaq (ethics) and taught his selection of Forty Hadith as part of his lectures on ethics to students in the holy city of Qom. He compiled the Arba'in hadith in 1358 AH/1939.
At the outset of the book, Imam Khomeini has introduced the three great scholars on whose authority he had permission to relate hadith. These three who he calls his teachers are: Shaykh Muhammad Reza Isfahani, Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi and 'Allamah Sayyid Muhsin Amin al-'Amili. Of his selection, 33 hadith deal with ethics including acts which bring reward or punishment. The other 7 hadith focus on beliefs and concepts. After quoting the Arabic text of each hadith, he gives its Persian translation and discusses in detail its various dimensions. This book has been translated into Urdu and English.
2. Sharh Hadith Junud 'Aql wa Jahl
This work is a commentary on the famous saying of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq ('a) on Reason and Ignorance (al-Kafi, vol. I, p. 15), in which the elements of wisdom and destruction have been identified. In Ramadan 1363 AH/I 944, Imam Khomeini classified 25 of these elements and wrote elaborate comments upon them. This book was published in 500 pages in 1998.
3. Shark Du'a ' al-Sahar.
This work is a beautiful elucidation on the 'Pre-Dawn Supplication' of the blessed month of Ramadan, and was Imam Khomeini's first ever book, which he compiled in 1347 AH/I 929. Imam Khomeini has made references in this book to the view of his teacher Ayatullah Shahabadi and has extensively quoted from the Asrar al-Salah by Mirza Jawad Aqa Maliki, the books of Fayd Kashani as well as from Sharh Asma' al- Husna of Haji Sabziwari, Qabasat of Mir Muhammad Baqir Damad, Asfar of Mulla Sadra Shirazi, al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah of Muhy al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi, Sharh Fusus al-Hikam of Qaysari and al-Hay'at -wa al-islam of Sayyid Hibat al-Din Shahristani.
4. al-Ta'liqah 'ala al-Fawa'id al-Razaviyyah.
Imam Khomeini annotated the book Fawa'id al-Razaviyyah which is a commentary written by Hakim Kuchak Qadi Sa'id Qummi on the famous debate of Imam 'Ali ibn Musa al-Reza ('a) with a Jew named Ra's al-Jalut. (Imam Reza's ('a) debate can be found in the Tawhid of Shaykh Saduq, the Ihtijaj of Shaykh Tabrisi and the Bihar al-Anvar of Mulla Muhammad Baqir Majlisi). This work which was compiled by the late Imam in 1348 AH/1930 was published in 1997 in 192 pages.
5. Sharh Hadith Ra's al-Jalut
In addition to his annotation of Qadi Sa'id Qummi's Fawa'id al- Razaviyyah, Imam Khomeini wrote a separate commentary on Imam Reza's debate with the Jew in the year 1348 AH/1929.
Gnosticism and Ethics
Misbah al-Hidayah ila al-Khilafah wa al-Wilayah
Written in 1349 AH/1930, this is considered one of the greatest books ever written in Arabic on Irfan. It begins with the famous hadith:
"Ma 'Arafnaka Haqqa Ma'rifatik, wa Ma 'Abadnaka Haqqa Ibadatik" (None has recognized Your proper recognition, and none has worshipped You as You should be worshiped).
Imam Khomeini has quoted extensively from Qadi Sa'id Qummi's works al-Bawariq al-Malakutiyyah and Sharh Tawhid al- Saduq, as well as from the Miftah al-Ghayb of Sadr al-Din Qunawi, Sharh Fusus al-Hikam of Qaysari and Sharh Qasidah Ibn Farid of Mulla 'Abd al-Razzaq Kashani. He has also quoted his own teacher Ayatullah Shahabadi.
2. Sirr al-Salah/Mi 'raj al-Salikin wa Salah al-Arifin
This book which was compiled in the year 1358 AH/1938, deals with the spiritual secrets of the daily prayer.
3. Adab al-Salah.
In this book which was completed in 1361 AH/I 941, Imam Khomeini has used his own works such as Sharh Arba'in, Ta'liqah 'ala Sharh Fusus al-Hikam and Misbah al-Hidayah as its basis. He has also presented a detailed exegesis of the Surah Hamd, Tawhid and Qadr. The book was published in 422 pages in 1988, and has been translated into Arabic, Urdu, English and French.
4. Ta'liqah 'ala Sharh Fusus al-Hikam
This is an annotation of Shaykh Dawud bin Mahmud Qaysari Rumi's (d. 751 AH/1331) Sharh Fusus al-Hikam which is a commentary on the famous Spanish Muslim Gnostic, Muhy al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi (d. 634 AH/1214) Fusus al-Hikam or Bezels of Wisdom. Imam Khomeini wrote this work unfinished work during the 7 years he attended the lectures of Ayatullah Shahabadi. It was first published in 1406 AH/1986.
5. Ta'liqah 'ala al-Misbah al-Uns
The book Misbah al-Uns Bayn al-Ma'qul va al-Mashhud was compiled by Muhammad bin Hamzah Fannari Rumi Hanafi (d. 834 AH/1414) as a commentary on the Miftah Ghayb al-Jam' wa al-Wujud of Sadr al-Din Muhammad bin Ishaq Qunawi (d. 671 AH/1251). It is considered as one of the most important works in Gnosticism. Imam Khomeini annotated this work in 1355 AH/1935. It was published in 1406 AH/1986.
6. Jihad Akbar
This is a collection of ethical lectures of Imam Khomeini delivered in the holy city of Najaf. These lectures on the great inner struggle which every upright Muslim individual should wage with his own soul in order to achieve self-purification, clearly show that Imam Khomeini's movement was more of a holy and divine struggle than merely a political opposition for toppling the corrupt regime of the Shah. It was a movement which was in line with the holy Prophet's call for moral uprightness of the individual and society. This work has been translated into Urdu, Turkish and Azeri.
7. Rah-i Ishq
This is a relatively long letter written by Imam Khomeini to his daughter-in-law Fatimah Tabataba'i the wife of his younger son Hujjat al-Islam Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini.
Although Imam Khomeini wrote commentaries on only four Surahs of the Holy Qur'an, his keen sense of interpretation and his vast knowledge as an exegete of the Divine Book is evident from his works.
1. Exegesis of Surah al-Hamd
It is regarded as an outstanding interpretation of the opening Surah of the Holy Qur'an and is rich in gnostical meaning.
2. Exegesis of Surah al-Tawhid
It was published as part of the books Sirr al-Salah and Adab al-Salah.
3. Exegesis of Surah al-Qadr
It was published as part of the book Adab al-Salah.
4. Exegesis of Surah al-'Alaq
It was published as part of the book Surah al-Hamd.
Kalam and Aqa'id
In 1943, following the publication of a 38-page booklet which made wild accusations against Shi'ite beliefs, Imam Khomeini quit his classes and lectures for 2 months in order to compile a sound and decisive response. He named his book Kashf al-Asrar or the 'Uncovering of Secrets', and shed light on the conspiracies of colonial agents, such as Reza Khan Pahlavi and Ahmad Kasravi, to tarnish the image of Islam. In this work, Imam Khomeini also presented the facts of history including the falsity of Wahhabi beliefs. Kashf al-Asrar was first published in 428 pages in 1944, and has been reprinted several times.
Poetry and Literature
Imam Khomeini was an outstanding poet and literary figure of Persian language. His prose was elegant and his poetry delicate. He was popular in this respect from the very beginning of his student days in Qum and was known for the soundness of his speech and writings. His literary heritage, is as follows:
It is a collection of his mystical lyrics, quatrains, odes and
couplets. The 10th edition was published in 444 pages in 1997.
2. Badeh-yi 'Ishq.
In this 88-page book, Imam Khomeini has suggested ways of acquiring knowledge, cultivating sincerity and edifying the soul.
3. Sabu-yi 'Ishq.
This brief 22-page work was the first anthology of poems by Imam Khomeini.
4. Mahram-i Raz.
This 96-page collection of poems, in addition to some mystical lyrics and quatrains, includes a letter written by Imam Khomeini to his surviving son, Hujjat al-Islam Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini.
5. Nuqtah-yi 'Atf
This work contains several mystical quatrains and an ethical letter which Imam Khomeini wrote to his son Sayyid Ahmad. It was published in 97 pages in 1977.
Government and Politics
Imam Khomeini's various works in this regard are as below:
1. Ava-yi Tawhid.
The famous epistle which the Father of the Islamic Revolution wrote to President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, was later published in book form with the annotations of Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli who had carried it to Moscow and was titled Ava-yi Tawhid or the Voice of Monotheism. It has been translated into Arabic, Urdu, English, French, German, Azeri, Turkish, Spanish, Bengali, Pashtu, Russian, Hausa and Swahili languages.
2. Wa'dah-yi Didar
It is a collection of 84 letters which Imam Khomeini had written to his son Sayyid Ahmad. Published in book form in 266 pages in 1997, it has been translated into Arabic, Urdu and English.
This 3-volume work is a collection of Imam Khomeini's speeches from 1961 to 1979. It has been translated into Urdu, Arabic and English.
4. Manshur-i Rawhaniyyat
This historical message of Imam Khomeini to theology schools in 1988, was published recently in 60 pages.
5. Political & Divine Will
Imam Khomeini wrote his last will as a guideline for Islamic societies, especially for Iran. In this highly important epistle, he has pointed out the problems and pitfalls facing the society and shown solutions and remedies to them. It starts with a brief introduction of the righteousness of the path of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt ('a) and the genuine teachings of Islam, and goes on to enumerate the causes of glories of the Shi'ite School, It has been published several times and translated into almost all major world languages.
6. Sahifah-yi Nur
This book is the collection of Imam Khomeini's speeches, statements and manifestos from 1962 to 1989. So far 22 volumes of this work have been published, along with an index-reference to guide the reader through its contents.
7. Collection of Speeches (Tibyan). It is a topic-wise collection of Imam Khumayn's speeches, and so far 22 volumes have been published.