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Imam Ruhollah Khomeini was a great Shi'a Religious Authority. He was able to end years of dictatorship and monarchy in Iran by relying on God and trusting in the power of people's unity. He formed a Revolution, the reflection of which created hope for freedom and justice in all oppressed people throughout the world. The following article examines this noble man’s characteristics in the statements of Imam Khamenei.
Imam (r.a.) is the embodiment of the great movement that the people of Iran began and with which they transformed their history. Imam (r.a.) was the founder of an intellectual, political and social school of thought. The people of Iran accepted this school of thought, path and roadmap and they moved forward on it. The continuation of this path depends on gaining a correct understanding of it. Without knowing Imam (r.a.) - that is to say, knowing his principles - this roadmap will not be known. It is evident that our discussion is about Imam's (r.a.) intellectual principles. Our discussion is not about his temporary decisions which are confined to a specific time and location. Our discussion is about the main structure of our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) thoughts. We want to gain a correct understanding of this.
Imam was a great faqih. He was an outstanding and great faqih, philosopher and expert on theoretical mysticism. He was an outstanding personality on these matters and in scholarly areas, but Imam's (r.a.) outstanding personality is not dependent on either of these things, rather his main characteristic is manifest in this ayah: "And strive in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him" [The Holy Quran, 22: 78]. With his outstanding scholarly capabilities, he entered the arena of jihad in the way of God. He continued this jihad until the end of his life and he created a great movement, not only in his own country but also in our entire region, in the entire world of Islam and - in one sense - in the whole world. The product of this movement was a unique product.
In the history of our country, two great and unprecedented tasks were carried out by Imam (r.a.). One was the destruction of a structure which was based on a cruel and unreasonable hereditary monarchy. This hereditary monarchy had a millennium-long history in our country. This old and derelict structure - on the basis of which some people took over the government with the power of their swords and armies and then passed it to other people in a hereditary way - was a wrong and unreasonable tradition that dominated our country for several thousand years. The first task that Imam (r.a.) carried out was to destroy this wrong structure and to entrust affairs to the people.
The second great task that our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) carried out was to create a government on the basis of Islam. This was unprecedented in the history of our country and the history of Islam after the early Islamic era. The great jihad that our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) did brought about such a valuable product. Therefore, it is really necessary to say that "He strove in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him" [Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 33, p. 18] which also exists in the Holy Quran: "And strive in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him". Like other saints, this great man was a manifestation of "He strove in His cause, such a striving that is due to Him". [Jun 4, 2015]
Velayat-e-Faqih is an obstruction to dictatorship
Because of their black, dark hearts, our enemies are willing to make it look like day is night and night is day, accuse Iran of dictatorship and the like. They said these at the time of Imam Khomeini (r.a.) too. Early after the revolution, they called Iran the “Dictatorship of the Slippers (Nalayn).” Slippers are not dictatorial at all! Slippers are not of a dictatorial nature. It is the nature of boots that they create dictatorship. Imam Khomeini said that Velayat-e-Faqih prevents dictatorship. This is what the Imam said, and it is a very deep, thoughtful statement, which is the truth of the matter. Elections, thanks be to God, exist in the Islamic Republic. We have had so many elections, but our enemies keep saying that it is a dictatorship here. However, the dictators in the region are their own friends. They are their accomplices in plundering nations, so they never accuse these real dictators - like the states you see and know – and instead they accuse the Islamic Republic. If there were no elections, it wouldn’t have been an accusation, it would have been a reality. That is, if the people were truly deprived of this right, the words of the enemy would have been true. By the grace of God, this right has been given to the people. There are elections, and the elections are free, thanks be to God. The existence of elections gives the people inside the country a sense of independence and identity, and they feel that everything belongs to them –which is the truth of the matter. The people own the country, and they decide for themselves. They act on their own.
Imam Khomeini coined the phrase "the great satan"
Imam (r.a.) was in the camp which was against international bullies and arrogant powers and he did this in an outspoken way. He showed no considerations for them. This was why in the confrontation between bullies, arrogant powers and the thugs of the world, and the oppressed, Imam (r.a.) was in the latter camp. He used to announce this in an outspoken way and without any considerations and fear. He was an ardent advocate of the oppressed all over the world. He did not compromise with arrogant powers.
"The Great Satan" was an astonishing term that Imam (r.a.) coined. The ideological and practical implications of the term "The Great Satan" are very vast in scope. When you consider someone and some organization as "Satan", it is clear how you should behave and feel towards them. Until the last day, Imam (r.a.) had the same feeling towards America. He used to use the term "The Great Satan" and he believed in it with all his heart and soul.
On the contrary, from the beginning, there were some people who did not pay attention to the fact that America was the feeder of the taghuti regime which was overthrown by the people of Iran. The people of Iran overthrew the taghuti regime, but there were some people in those days who supported the Americans' presence and activities - even the activities of specific American organizations - inside the country. The major disagreement between the interim government and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) was over this matter. We witnessed this up close. They did not pay attention that America was the feeder of the taghuti regime. This regime is overthrown now, but that feeding system still prevails and it is still active. If it is given an opportunity, it will resume its activities, it will deliver a blow and it will find and take advantage of our weak points.
They did not pay attention to this, but Imam saw it. His position on the issue of the Den of Espionage was based on this outlook. Some people in the world did not pay attention to this point either and as a result, they received a blow. Now, we do not want to blame and criticize anyone, but this was the blow that some people received because although they overthrew reactionary and arrogant regimes, they ignored the backup forces. Imam (r.a.) saw this backup force from the first day and he confronted it. So, until the end of his life, Imam's (r.a.) position was against America and its political and intelligence system. [Jun 4, 2015]
Imam Khomeini recognized the power of people's faith
The Imam's insightful eyes saw these signs of divine power. The problem with us is that we sometimes feel divine assistance but fail to see it appropriately. We fail to realize what great assistance is being bestowed on us. But the Imam saw that sign.
I have told this anecdote many times before. Once the Imam told me, "Since the beginning of the Revolution up until today, I have seen a powerful hand helping us everywhere." It was about 1365 when he said this. He used to see this powerful hand. The Imam's outlook on the Iranian nation was different from those of others. If we had decided to ask many religious and non-religious scientific elites to evaluate the Iranian nation at that time, we would have received weird evaluations. Some people did not consider this nation as faithful. Some others did not think the Iranian nation was sincere. Yet others had doubts about the power and loyalty of the people. I heard these things from many people. But in the year 1341, when there was no sign of massive public demonstrations, the Imam said in the city of Qom that the people would gather all over the plain around Qom and pledge their allegiance to him if he just asked them to. This was what he thought of the people. He knew the people. He discovered the valuable element in the hearts and souls of the people and made use of it. Therefore, the Islamic Revolution achieved victory in spite of the obstacles on its way. No analyst could believe such an event would take place in Iran. He trusted God and took action. He formed a bond with the hearts of the people and encouraged them to step into the arena. Then this great movement took place, and he proposed the idea of establishing the Basij later on. [Oct 24, 2010]
Continual vigilance and control of his will, the foundation of Imam's striving for the cause of God
I should say in parenthesis that this great man's jihad was not merely a political, social and intellectual jihad, rather besides all these forms of jihad, he engaged in inner jihad as well. He engaged in jihad against one's self and he preserved his constant relationship with Allah the Exalted. This is another lesson. It is not the case that we will have the right to ignore this part of jihad if we want to enter the arena of intellectual, scientific, political and military jihad. Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) used to show humility before God, shed tears, read duas and rely on Allah the Exalted.
He used to repeat this part of Dua Sha'baniyya in his Sha'ban speeches: "Oh God, bestow upon me the perfection to separate myself from others and to join You. Enlighten our hearts with the light of seeing You so that our hearts tear the veils of light and join the mine of greatness" [Iqbal al-A'mal, Vol. 2, p. 687]. Such was his behavior, his tears at sunrise, his supplication, his prayers and his constant relationship with God. This condition formed the spiritual source of support for the continuation of that great man's jihad. We should remember this concerning our magnanimous Imam's (r.a.) jihad in the way of God. [Jun 4, 2015]
Resistance is the main axis of Imam Khomeini's school of thought
Imam [Khomeini] had a certain characteristic which I would like to explain more today. That characteristic is resistance: resistance and firmness. What introduced Imam as a man with a school of thought and philosophy in his own time and in history had more to do with this characteristic: the characteristic of steadfastness, resistance and refusal to give in to problems and obstacles. Imam showed his resistance in the face of all forms of taghut: whether the domestic taghut during revolutionary activities or the taghuts that existed after the victory of the Revolution.
During revolutionary activities, many individuals became exhausted and they were on the verge of despair, but Imam stood firm. He stood firm on the path of fighting without the slightest retreat. This was related to pre-revolutionary era. After the victory of the Revolution too, other comprehensive pressures loomed large before him, but he did not lose the essence of resistance and steadfastness. He resisted.
When I look at this characteristic of Imam’s and when I refer to Quranic ayahs, I see that he truly defined many Quranic ayahs with his steadfastness and resistance. For example, the Quran has said, “Now then for that reason, call them to the faith, and stand steadfast as you are commanded, nor follow you their vain desires.” [The Holy Quran, 42: 15] Threats, temptations and deceptions would not influence him. This does not mean that they did not try to threaten, tempt and deceive him. They did so, but it would not influence Imam in any way and it would not undermine his resistance.
The important point is that the efforts and threats of the enemy could not disrupt his calculation system. This is one of the important measures that the enemies adopt: when he faces you and when he knows your intentions and decisions, he tries to do something to change your calculations and to disrupt your calculation system. This is one of the important measures that the enemy adopts in various arenas. However, the enemy could not disrupt the calculation system of our magnanimous Imam which was based on the truths of the enlightening religion of Islam.
What does resistance mean? Resistance means that you choose a path that you deem legitimate and true. It means moving on this path and not allowing obstacles to prevent you from taking that path. This is what resistance means. Imagine that you face an obstacle or a deep hole when you are taking a road or imagine that you face a rock when you want to reach the peak of a mountain. When some people confront this rock, this obstacle or this thief or wolf, they return and they change their minds about continuing the path. However, some people do not do so. They look around and see how they can get around the rock and maneuver the obstacle. They find the way, remove the obstacle or pass through it in an intelligent way. Resistance means this. [Jun 4, 2019]
Read Imam Khomeini's will!
What I consider as today’s need is primarily insistence on the principles of the Revolution. The principles of the Revolution are the same things that exist in Imam’s (r.a.) testament and statements. These are the foundations and pillars of the Revolution. I advise youth to read Imam’s (r.a.) testament. You did not see Imam (r.a.), but he is manifested in that testament. He is manifested in those statements and words. The content of Imam (r.a) – who managed to shake the whole world – is the same things that exist in that testament and in his statements. Imam (r.a.) cannot be distorted. He cannot be defined against what he was. His statements are available. So, insistence on the principles of the Revolution is necessary.
On that day, I said to a group of outstanding youth [Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on October 19, 2016, in a meeting with outstanding youth], who had a meeting with me here, that this is not out of obstinacy, prejudice and jahiliyyah-like bias. This means that if our country wants to dust itself off after centuries of imposition, it should take this path. If we want the problems of our country to be solved, if we want it to have dignity and welfare, if we want it to become a country that is a model in terms of worldly, otherworldly, spiritual, moral and cultural affairs, we should continue the path of the Revolution. The Revolution was and still is the only cure for the problems of our country and it will be the same in the future as well. [Nov 16, 2016]