By Yusuf Abdullahi
In the name of Allah Who states “… verily, never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves with their own souls” Q13:11
May His everlasting peace and blessings be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny. This piece is on the fundamentals of the Imam Khomeini-led unique Islamic revolution which shortly clocks four decades despite apparent hatred and persistent conspiracies of its enemies.
The glance is neither a comparative analysis with sister events in France, Russia, China, Cuba and Nicaragua nor expositions on the multidimensional achievements of the Islamic republic especially on economy, security, education, science and technology and general societal reforms, but more on the rudiments of the revolution and basics of a typical Islamic government as stressed by the Imam (QS), its founder and guardian for Muslim world.
It is worth noting that Allah the Most High has elucidated the goal for governance "Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin what is good and forbid evil; and Allah’s is the end of affairs" Q22:41.
Based on this guidance, the Imam instituted the Islamic government on the concept of Wilayatul faqih -governance of the jurist- replacing the Shah’s tyrannical monarchy. He defined government as a small group of people serving the nation. Such rulers (some, with dismay) do not understand that government must serve the people, not rule over them. People’s awareness, their participation, cooperation and supervision of the government chosen by them are by themselves a major guarantee for protection of the society". The Imam proceeded "If they call me a servant, it is better than being called a leader. Leadership is not what matters; what matters is service; Islam has made it necessary for us to serve. I am a brother to the Iranian people and regard myself as their servant and soldier. In Islam, one thing rules and that is the law. Law also ruled during the time of the Prophet (PBUH), the prophet was the implementer".
The Imam based the creation and service of the government on the fundamental goal for which man was created and sent a divine message. That is to be the vicegerent of Allah on earth. Highlighting the rationale of the prophets’ mission, he said "the prophets were assigned by Allah with the aim of purifying the human souls, providing them with suitable training, educating them the real teachings from divine scriptures and decorating the humanity with wisdom and teaching them expertise to tame the nature" In line with that, he added "the objectives of Qur’an and Hadith are purification of intellect and souls which can also be helpful in achieving the real cause of monotheism" where he drew the attention of the Ummah on the ideal way to seek knowledge "the most high value objective which should become the focus of an all out effort is to learn and teach the Islamic spiritual sciences such as ethics and the genuine spiritual teachings and paving the way towards Allah". While establishing the link between knowledge gained over time and morals the Imam stated "all signs of innovation and civilization are legal except those which end up in corruption of ethics or corruption of chastity. Islam has banned all those practices which were in clash with the nation’s interests"
A very significant point he also buttressed was "Islam is not the religion for a particular nation ; it recognizes no difference between Turks, Iranians, Arabs and non-Arabs. Islam belongs to all regardless of race, tribe, language or color which do not count in this religion. All are brothers and equal. Honor is in virtue, chastity, superior character and good conduct" Thus, knowledge acquisition and spirituality are inseparable "the harm of knowledge gained without spiritual motives and purification would be worse even than sole ignorance" He also said "you must undertake serious efforts to gain knowledge and tame the lower desires, enhancement of spiritual practices, decoration of soul with the best ethics, norms and for an all out spiritual development and piety. In some historic words to a son, the Imam said "O my son , you must struggle hard in order to improve your character and ethics and make efforts to abandon your material world’s attachments".
The Imam repeatedly use to remind the Ummah "if someone who engages in purifying soul and decorating itself with ethical virtues, he would automatically abandon the dominion of the devil and Satan. It is the most important obligation that can lead to real divine wisdom. In the peak of eloquence, In a blessed memory and broader perspective, two quotes of Imam Ali (AS) are relevant "hate no one, no matter how much they have wronged you. Live humbly, no matter how wealthy you become. Think positively, no matter how hard life is. Give much, even if you have been given little. Keep in touch with the ones who have forgotten you. Forgive who has wronged you, and pray for the best for those you love" and "awaken your heart to kindness, mercy for the people, love and tenderness for them, because people fall into two categories; they are either your brothers/sisters in faith or your equals in humanity". Even in his farewell message to the Iranian nation and the world in general, the issue was very clear. "…with a heart that is calm and confident; with a joyous soul and a conscience hopeful of Allah’s graces, I take my leave from brothers and sisters, and journey to the eternal abode, and I very much need your good prayers. I ask Allah, the Benevolent to accept my excuses for inadequate services, and I ask the nation to accept my excuses for my shortages and inadequacies and to move forward with force, determination and will".
Two significant institutions were parts of the Imam’s famous legacies. He identified most disturbing problem disturbing the Ummah as disunity promoted by the enemies which allow them to oppress the weak and dominate the world. The Imam would always relate the invasion of Palestine and creation of Israel in its place subjecting its defenseless and rightful citizens especially women and children as consequent to that. He was also known against Takfiri movement, another disheartening but related challenge facing the Ummah where the Wahhabists fight against their Muslim brethren ignoring the atrocities of the enemies across the world! The Takfirists apparently work in the interest of the enemies. With the help of Allah, the Imam has adopted practical approach morally and educationally on which he built the Iranian nation in particular and significantly impacted the world. Undoubtedly, all his measures have yielded great result.
To know the extent of the late Imam Khomeini’s works and result, no doubt, one must study Iran before and after the success of Islamic revolution. In other words, when it was completely subservient to Western powers and as free and absolutely independent in the post-revolution era . We may attempt a comparative analysis in a multifaceted dimension covering the direct and indirect impact of the Islamic revolutionary ideology to global community.
While reiterating most significant aspect of the Islamic revolution, the mission of man on earth, the ideals behind governance and reawakening the Ummah, I reiterate the need for the unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky (H) and his disciples.