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Imam Khomeni(Q.S): A revolutionary icon and rekindler of hope

By Shuaibu Isa Ahmad
Imam Khomeini(Q.S) was born in the town of Khomein, about 160-200 killometers South-West of Qum Al-Mukaddasah , and 350 killometers South of Tehran on the 20th of Jimada-Thani, the year 1320 Hijriyyah (September 24, 1902). The day 20th Jimada- Thani was also the birthday anniversary of Sayyidah Fatima  Az-Zahra(s.a), the daughter of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S) .

 Imam Khomeini was named Ruhullah (the pious servant and spirit of Allah). His father was Sayyid Mustafa Musawi and his mother was Sayyidah Hajar.

Sayyid Mustafa, assumed the religious leadership of the entire people of Khomein and the nearby villages after his return from the Islamic theology center in the city of Najaf, Iraq Sayyid Mustafa became an authority in Islamic Jurispudence.Imam Khomeini’s mother, Hajar, was also of a prominent religious family. She was the daughter of an Ayatullah Mirza Ahmad, a scholar and teacher in Karbala and Najaf theological centers, in Iraq. Imam Ruhullah Khomeni(Q.S) belong to the family with a historical religious  scholsrship. His ancestors were the descendants of the Seventh Imam of Ahlul-Bait, Imam Musa Al-Kazim(a.s), the grandson of Imam Muhammad Bkiral- ‘Uluum the grandson of Imam Husain bn Ali bn Abi Talib(a.s) grandson of Prophet Muhammd(S).Imam Khomeini’s immediate grandfather Sayyid Ahmad Al-Khindi had two children : a daughter by name Sahiba (Imam
Khomeini’s aunt) and Mustafa (Imam Khomeini’s father).

 When Imam Khomeni was five months old, his father was fatally wounded by bandits on the road to Arak, north of Khomein due to his struggle against injustice, inhumanity and occupation as a result, he gave the ghost. He was 47 years of age. At the age of 15 in 1918, Imam khomeni lost both his mother Sayyidah Hajar and his aunt
Sayyidah Sahiba , who had played a great role in early upbringing. Before she departed from this world, Sahibah make sure that the killers of her brother (Imam’s father) were brought to justice. After this, responsibilities of the Family devolved on Imam’s eldest brother Sayyid Murtadha who later became Ayyatullah Murtadha Pasendideh.

Despite all the hardship of life, Imam Ruhullah Khomeini remained resistant and began using his talent and intelligence in learning Islamic sciences, but before that Imam Khomeini memorized the Holy Qur’an at 7. He studied first, under his brother, Ayatullah Sayyid Murtadha Pasandideh and then later, he went to the theological school in Arak where he attended the classes of the prominent scholar of his time, Haj Shaikh Abdulkarim Haeri  Al-Yazdi. Imam Khomeini also mastered Arabic literature.

After the great theologians moved from Arak to the holy city of Qum Al-Mukaddash, Ruhullah Khomeni(Q.S) intensified his studies and completed the highest level of theology by the year 1927, and soon later was pronounced well qualified jurist, by his senior tutors i.e a Mujtahid. He specialized in various fields other than
jurisprudence or Fiqh. He specialized in Philosophy, Irfan, Ethics, Mathematics, Tafsir, Hadith and many more.

Imam Khomeni (Q.S) lived at a time when people were not expecting change or return of Islamic values, despite the fact that the Ummah, irrespective of creed, accept the concept of the Awaited Savior, Al- Mahdi (a.f). Follower of the Ahlul Bait school of thought believed that perfect reform can only be achieved with emergence of the Twelfth Imam, Mahdi (a.f), and as such they only confined themselves to learning, teachings and rituals without corresponding actions for change, before the rise of the Imam Khomeni (Q.S). Imam Khomeini was known for his magnificent political views against the Shah Monarch system. The security agents of Reza Khan, the founder of
the Pahlavi dynasty, were ordered to restrict the Imam’s activities.

Imam continued his gradual but constructive effort to spread his message to all works of people. After the death of Ayatullah Borujerdi in 1961, the paramount shia leader of the time,the activist cleric Ayatullah Abul-Ghasem Khashani led the arena of leadership open to Imam Khomeini(Q.S). With this, his cultural Jihad against the
monarchy gathered momentum in 1961, reaching a climax in 1963. On June 3rd of that year Imam made a historical speech against the dependence of the Shah’s regime on foreign powers and its support for the
illegitimate Israeli state. Imam was immediately arrested on June 5th.

Imam’s powerful speech brought the people of Qum out into the streets. News reached other cities and for more than 48 hours thousands of people in major cities including Tehran, demonstrated in support of the Imam Ruhullah Khomeini. On June 5th, troops were deployed in armored vehicles to crack and crushed the growing movement of Imam. Many were massacred and the Shah’s dictatorial regime appeared to have achieved victory. But the seed of the Islamic Revolution had been planted and Imam Khomeini was arrested and taken to prison. An  intelligent Officer who went to arrest Imam spoke to Imam politely telling him that  Governance was not for people like Imam, but for the corrupt politicians. Imam replied him that “ if governance and politics is a trust given to  leaders with regard to people’s lives, properties and their pride, then religious people are
more deserving to lead people; people’s  trust should be in hands of people of Allah not corrupt individuals”.


Politics and governance were left in the hands of corrupt people who sold their souls to Satan, Imam preached against injustice and corruption to the world starting with Iran, he preached against the rots in Iranian governance and alerting people on how their resources were controlled by foreign countries- especially America to the extent that an American could not be arrested for any offence he committed. There was high level of poverty among the Iranian citizens. No electricity except in major cities. There were over 50,000 prostitutes in Tehran alone covered by the Shah’s regime.

Following the arrest of Imam Khomeini, the regime came under severe pressure from Ulama. On November 4th, Imam was sent into exile. He was first deported to Turkey on 4th November 1964 where he stayed in Bursa and then to Iraq where he took up residence in Najaf. While Imam was in Najaf , his eldest son Sayyid Mustafa Khomeni was murdered by the SAVAK secret intelligence with the help of Saddam Husain in 1977. Due to the murder of Sayyid Mustafa Khumaini, as well as an insulting article printed in the daily Ettela`at on Savak`s order,
hundreds of thousand came out in mass to mourn the Martyrdom of Shahid Mustafa Khomeini and to protest against the tyrannical Shah’s regime across major cities in the country. Many people were killed in demonstrations and the regime decided that the only way to calm the situation was to prevent the inspirational message of Imam to reach the people of Iran.

 Shah Muhammad Ridha Pahlawi joined hand with Saddam Husain of Iraq and Imam Khomeini was forced to leave Iraq on October 3, 1978. Imam Khomeini set out for Kuwait but was denied entry by the government. After consulting with his son, Ahamad, Imam decided to go to France where he arrived on October 5th and a few days Imam took up residence in Neauphele-le-Chateau in France.In Iran, mass protests against the regime and the continued exile of Imam grew to such an extent that it become impossible to control and suppress completely. Imam made frequent speeches, sent messages to the Iranian nation, gave numerous interviews to the media, outlining the liberation- seeking values and ideas of Islam and explained the framework of the Islamic
state based on divine justice.

The ruling regime was facing a serious crisis. The West forced the Shah to leave Iran to allow the newly formed "liberal" Bakhtiar government to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the people. But the Imam still held the initiative: he was determined to return to Iran. The nation prepared for the greatest home coming ceremony in history. The Imam left Paris for Tehran on the 1st of February, 1979.

The streets of Tehran was filled up with millions of people, waiting enthusiastically to a revolutionary icon  Ruhullah Al- Musawi Al- Khomeini (Q.S) .The Plane carrying Imam landed safely at Tehran’sMerababd Airport. Imam Khomeini set foot on the Islamic homeland for the first time in 15 years. His first move upon arrival was to go straight to Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery to pay tribute to the martyrs of
the Islamic Revolution.

Thousands of people rushed to see Imam on daily bases. An interim government was formed and the Islamic state was gradually taking shape. Ruhullah Khomeini (Q.S) insisted that main institutions should be set up. On the 30th and 31st March, 1979, a nationwide referendum resulted in a massive vote in favor of the Islamic

Ayatullah Rhullah Khomeini (Q.S) on the 1st of April ,1979 declared the newly formed state as “ First day of Allah’s Government” Thus the first Islamic State after 1400 years was born. After setting up the Islamic Republic of IRAN, Imam was far beyond a leader, but a sincere and caring Father who cared for all, he was loved, even by the poor, the deprived and freedom fighters of other nations. He gave out solutions, set the framework for principles of statement ship.

Imam explained in length virtues of religion and ethics as well as the aims of the Islamic Republic and its domestic and foreign policies. After ten years, at 22:22 Saturday night June 3rd, 1989, Imam passed away. The news was broadcast the following morning, the sense of loss was unbearable. Millions poured in from all part of
country to participate in the biggest farewell in the history. The similar ceremonies were held, as well as in many Islamic countries and communities around the world.

Imam Khomeini’s death shook the world. The Imam engineered the revolution to its success and lived 10 years at which he guided the country.  He passed on and left behind a Will containing guideline on how to run the affairs of the state, which is still being referred and adhered to.
It is quite obvious that Imam Khomenini (Q.S) has transformed the thinking of both Muslims and non-Muslims because in the pre-revolution period, the word was divided into Western Capitalist system and Communist system which are two opposing systems from the same root running the world. Imam Khomeini makes it possible for people to realized that Islamic religion is a complete system capable of leading the word in all aspects of human life as opposed by both Capitalist System and Communism.

Imam’s world view has now crossed the minds people of from all looks and crannies of the world; his method of revolution has become a model for all. Surely Imam Khomeini (Q.S) is a Revolutionary icon, and rekindler of hope in the hearts of the oppressed.

Governance of Jurist /Islamic Government, by Imam Khomeni(Q.S)
Documentary on the life of Imam Khomeini, by MANAR TV
Master and Mastership, by Allamah Mutahhari
The Awaited Saviour, by Allamah Mutahhari
Quotes from Ayatullah Ruhullah Khomeini(Q.S):

"In the world there is no democracy better than our democracy. Such a
thing has never before been seen." -Ayatollah Khomeini (in a statement
to the Minister of Finance, Qom, June 23, 1979)

"Our nation has become a model for all countries." -Ayatollah Khomeini
(in a meeting with the families of Iranian Air Force martyrs, Qom,
December 29, 1980)

"In history, revolutions similar to Iran’s revolution are achieved
only with the help of messengers of God." -Ayatollah Khomeini (in a
meeting with the Rajai and Bahonar families, Jamaran, Tehran,
September 2, 1981)