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Imam Khomeini (R.A.)

Compiled by: Syed Muhammad Bokreta
Algiers, Algeria

Personal details
Born 24 September 1902
Died 3 June 1989 (aged 86)
Tehran, Iran
* Imam Rouhollah Musavi Khomeini (Ñæ͝Çááøå ãØÝæí ãæÓæí Îãíäí, 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989) was a Muslim Iranian Religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, which saw the overthrow of Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, Chah of Iran,,following the revolution,Imam Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader,a position created in the constitutionas the highest ranking political and religious authority of the nation until his death.
* Imam Khomeini was a Marja ãÑÌÚ ("source of emulation", author of more than forty books, but is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last Shah. In his writings and preachings he expanded the tenets of Islam and the Relevant theory of Wilayat Al Fakih, the "guardianship of the jurisconsult (clerical authority)" to include Religious and Political rule by the Islamic jurists,This principle (though not known to the wider public before the Islamic Revolution was installed in the new Islamic constitutionafter being put to a referendum.
* Pardoxically as it may seem, Imam Khomeyni was named "Man of the Year" in 1979 by American newsmagazine TIME for his international influence and has been described as the "virtual face of Islam in Western popular culture, also he was known for his support of the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis, and his famous "Fatwa" calling for the death of the British Indian "novelist" Salman Rushdie, sooth to say that the late Imam was seen by Muslims (Sunni & Shia alike) as a true "Rahbar" or Guide, but also lauded as a "charismatic leader of immense popularity", and a "champion of Islamic Revival by mostly all Muslim scholars, thus putting in pratise the famous Hadith of the Beloved Prophet Mohamed: "There will come in every century a Reformer who shall revive my faith in my Ummmah.
* Imam Khomeyni began to study the Holy Quran and elementary Persian at the age of six,the following year, he began to attend a local school, where he learned religion, "noheh khani" and other traditional subjects and throughout his childhood, he would continue his religious education with the assistance of his relatives, including his mother's cousin, Ja'far and his elder brother, Morteza Pasandideh.
* After World War I arrangements were made for him to study at the Islamic seminary in Ispahan but he was attracted instead to the seminary in Arak,he was placed under the leadership of Ayatollah Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi,and in 1920, Khomeini moved to Arak and commenced his studies.
And the following year, Ayatollah Haeri Yazdi transferred to the Islamic seminary at the holy city of Qom, southwest of Tehran, and invited his students to follow Imam Khomeini accepted the invitation, moved, and took up residence at the Dar al-Shafa school in Qom.
Imam Khomeini's studies included Islamic law Sharia and jurisprudence (fiqh), but by that time, Khomeini had also acquired an interest in poetry and philosophy (irfan). So, upon arriving in Qom, Khomeini sought the guidance of MirzaAli Akbar Yazdi, a scholar of philosophy and mysticism. Yazdi died in 1924, but Khomeini would continue to pursue his interest in philosophy with two other teachers, Javad Aqa Maleki Tabrizi and Rafi'i Qazvini.
* However, perhaps Khomeini's biggest influences were yet another teacher, Mirza Muhammad 'Ali Shahabadi, and a variety of historic Sufimystics, including Mulla Sadraand Ibn Arabi.
Apart from philosophy, Khomeini was also interested in literature and poetry. His poetry collection was released after his death. Beginning in his adolescent years, Khomeini composed mystic, political and social poetry.
Ruhollah Khomeini was a lecturer at Najaf and Qum seminaries for decades before he was known in the political scene. He soon became a leading scholar of Islam,he taught political philosophy, Islamic history and ethics. Several of his students (e.g. Motaharri, later became leading Islamic philosophers and also marja. As a scholar and teacher, Khomeini produced numerous writings on Islamic philosophy, law, and ethics, he has also shown an exceptional interest in subjects like Philosophy and Gnosticism that not only were usually absent from the curriculum of seminaries but were often an object of hostility and suspicion.
* It goes without saying that most Iranians had a deep respect for their Ulema or Scholars and tended to be religious, traditional, and alienated from the process of Westernization pursued by the Shah, in the late 19th century the clergy had shown themselves to be a powerful political force in Iran initiating the "Tobacco Protests" against a concession to a foreign (British) interest.
At the age of 61,Imam Khomeini found the arena of leadership open following the deaths of Ayatollah Sayyed Husayn Borujerdi (1961), the leading, although quiescent, Muslim religious leader; and Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani(1962), an activist cleric. The clerical class had been on the defensive ever since the 1920s when the secular, anti-clerical modernizer Reza ShahPahlavi rose to power. Reza's son Muhammad Reza Shah, instituted a "White Revolution", which was a further challenge to the ulama.
* In January 1963, the Shah announced the "White Revolution", a six-point programme of reform calling for land reform, nationalization of the forests, the sale of state-owned enterprises to private interests, electoral changes to enfranchise women and allow non-Muslims to hold office, profit-sharing in industry, and a literacy campaign in the nation's schools. Some of these initiatives were regarded as dangerous, Westernizing trends by traditionalists, especially by the powerful and privileged Ulama (religious scholars).
* Ayatollah Khomeini summoned a meeting of the other senior marjas of Qom and persuaded them to decree a boycott of the referendum on the White Revolution. On 22 January 1963 Khomeini issued a strongly worded declaration denouncing the Shah and his plans, and two days later the Shah took an armored column to Qom, and delivered a speech harshly attacking the ulama as a class ,Imam Khomeini continued his denunciation of the Shah's programmes, issuing a manifesto that bore the signatures of eight other senior Iranian religious scholars. In it he listed the various ways in which the Shah had allegedly violated the constitution, condemned the spread of moral corruption in the country, and accused the Shah of submission to America and Israel. He also decreed that the Nowruz celebrations for the Iranian year 1342 (which fell on 21 March 1963) be canceled as a sign of protest against government policies.
* In the afternoon of 'Ashura (3 June 1963), Khomeini delivered a speech at the Feyziyeh Madrasah drawing parallels between the infamous tyrant "yazid" and the Shah, denouncing the Shah as a "wretched, miserable man," and warning him that if he did not change his ways the day would come when the people would offer up thanks for his departure from the country, However on the fifth of June 1963, two days after this public denunciation of the Shah, Khomeini was arrested. This sparked three days of major riots throughout Iran and led to the death of some 400 people.
As such that event is now referred to as the 15 khodad Movement,Imam Khomeini was kept under house arrest and released in August.
* On 26 October 1964, the day of the Shah's holiday celebrating '2,500 years of continuous monarchy,' Khomeini denounced both the Shah and the United States. This time it was in response to the "capitulations" or diplomatic immunity granted by the Shah to American military personnel in Iran,the famous "capitulation" law (or "status-of-forces agreement") would allow members of the U.S. armed forces in Iran to be tried in their own military courts. Imam Khomeini was arrested in November 1964 and held for half a year, and upon his release, he was brought before Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansurwho tried to convince Khomeini that he should apologize and drop his opposition to the government. Khomeini refused, and two weeks later, Mansur was assassinated on his way to parliament. Four members of the Fidayin Islam were later executed for the murder.
* Imam Khomeini spent more than 14 years in exile, mostly in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq. Initially he was sent to Turkey on 4 November 1964 where he stayed in the city of Bursa for less than a year. He was hosted by a colonel in Turkish MilitaryIntelligence named Ali Cetiner in his own residence, who could not arrange alternative accommodation for his stay at the time. Later in October 1965 he was allowed to move to Najaf, Iraq, where he stayed until being forced to leave in 1978, after then-Vice President Saddam Hussein told him that it's better to leave (the two countries would fight a bitter imposed eight year war 1980–1988 only a year after the two reached power in 1979) after which he went to Neauphle-le-Château, suburb of Paris, France on a tourist visa, apparently not seeking political asylum, where he stayed for four months. According to Alexandre de Marenches, chief of External Documentation and Counter-Espionnage Service (now known as the DGSE), the shah declined that France expel Khomeini for fear that the cleric should move to Syria or Libya.
Some sources report that president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing sent Michel Poniatowski to Tehran to propose to the Shah the elimination of Khomeini
Arrival of Imam Khomeini on 1 February 1979. When asked about his feelings of returning from exile in the plane, he replied Hich ehsasi nadaram; "I feel nothing".
* Imam Khomeini had refused to return to Iran until the Shah left. On 17 January 1979, the Shah did leave the country (ostensibly "on vacation"), never to return. Two weeks later, on Thursday, 1 February 1979, Khomeini returned in triumph to Iran, welcomed by a joyous crowd of up to five million people, estimated in at least six million by ABC Newsreporter Peter Jennings, who was reporting the event from Tehran, On the Air Franceflight on his way to Iran, Khomeini was asked by Jennings: "What do you feel in returning to Iran?" Khomeini answered: "Hichi" (Nothing), This statement was considered reflective of his mystical beliefs, and his non-attachment to ego.
No wonder , the Imam did not seek permission from the late Shah 's regime to set up a political party as to be able to participate in the "so called elections" and despite enormous odds, the people of Iran under the Great leadership of Imam Khomeini,singlehandedly withstood the combined international onslaught.
* Moreover,the colonial powers also have other weapons at their disposal: assets freezing,economic sanctions up to now,military sabotage,etc...truly Iran had to face all these huge obstacles , but the late Great Imam famously and with a great faith in Almighty Allah has this to say: "Sanctions are a blessing for us"!!!!!
* Paying a Tribute to this Great "Marde e Khuda" (God's Man) is a just modest contribution to a Great "Rahbar"(Leader) I had both the Honour and privilege of seeing him a certain date of the 13th of June 1982, the Great Mujahid and Renovator Imam Khomeini,certainly belongs to the higher class of Allah’s Servants who have attained the Best of both Worlds: “We gave him his reward in this world, and in the world to come he shall be among the Righteous”. Holy-Quran 29-27.

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