In the path of the Imam (54)
Welcome to this episode of the series "In the Path of the Imam".
In our earlier episodes, we pointed out that the Father of the Islamic Revolution, the Late Imam Khomeini (RA), was a self-built figure, who had reached the pinnacle of piety and in accordance with Islamic teachings developed a highly ethical relationship with people from various walks of life. We also spoke of his approach towards the deprived and disadvantaged strata of the society, noting that he acted kindly toward the poor and the needy, both in his personal life, and in the political-social arenas. We then elaborated on the outlook and behaviour of the Late Imam towards martyrs and their families.
For the past few weeks we presented you glimpses of the steadfastness of that Sage of the Age during his 14 years of exile in the holy city of Najaf, in the shadows of the blessed shrine of the Leader of the Pious, the Commander of the Faithful, the Gateway of Knowledge and Wisdom, and the Symbol of Justice, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the first divinely-designated Heir of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger to all mankind with the universal message of Islam, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
In this episode, we speak of the commitment of the Founder of Islamic Republic of Iran to the rules, regulations, and administrative hierarchy, as well as his outlook in this regard.
Given his lofty status as the senior-most jurisprudent and the Marja’ Taqlid or the Source of Emulation who led the Islamic Revolution to victory over domestic despotism and foreign hegemony, Imam Khomeini, if he had so desired he could have ignored the laws, but he didn’t. As a matter of fact, in addition to religious obligations, he fully observed the rules and regulations drawn by the constitution, including adherence to the national administrative hierarchy. In contrast to non-religious thinkers, he did not consider abidance by rules and regulations solely as a norm and worldly matter, but strongly believed all rules of the country, including national affairs governed by the Islamic system, are equal to religious regulations, and therefore compliance with these rules is a must.
According to the late Imam's youngest daughter, Zahra Mostafavi, he strictly abided by regulations and considered compliance with them to be an Islamic duty. He was also highly committed to regulations related to the public sector and protection of the treasury. For instance, he put emphasis on timely payment of water and electricity bills…"
According to one of the associates of late Imam, Hojjat al-Islam Rahimian, he never breached the laws of the Islamic government even in his personal life.
Imam Khomeini’s commitment to rules and regulations was not restricted to the Islamic system of government that he founded. Even before the victory of the Islamic system when Iran was ruled by the despotic Shah who had exiled him to Iraq which was under the dictatorship of the repressive Ba’th minority regime, Imam Khomeini was opposed to the illegal entry and exit of some of his followers. He advised them to travel in a legal manner.
One of his associates, Hojjat al-Islam Ali Akbar Masoudi relates the reaction of the Father of the Islamic Revolution to his illegal journey from Iran to the holy city of Najaf in Iraq. On learning of the numerous hardships he had encountered because of his illegal exit from Iran and illegal entry into Iraq, Imam Khomeini advised Ali Akbar Masoudi from repeating such things in future because of the risks posed by clandestine travels.
During in exile in Iraq, Imam Khomeini never violated the rules of the host country even though the Ba’thist regime was Godless, repressive, and anti-Islamic. He also strove to educate his followers to abide by the laws. He was well aware that one of the main problems during exile is breach of rules and regulations. Therefore he took upon himself the responsibility to strictly abide by the laws, in order to serve as a role model for others.
According to Hojjat al-Islam Hassan Saqafi, when during the initial days after the Revolution’s victory Imam Khomeini would visit the holy city of Qom, on most days of the week a large number of people would go to visit him there. The hotels and guesthouses would overflow with people, the local restaurants would be overcrowded, and there would be long queues at the bakeries. There would be throngs of people in the city of Qom at any time. At the Imam’s residence, there was an old and thin man who served as a domestic and was affectionately called ‘Baba’. One day the Imam told him: “I heard that when you go to buy bread at the bakery the people say that you are the Imam’s domestic and make way for you to bypass the queue and buy as many loaves of bread that you ask for. Don’t do such a thing; it is not right that a person from this household should go to buy bread and gets them without standing in the queue. You too should stand in the queue like others lest it be considered a privilege for you!”
As related by his worthy successor, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei: He used to say we are present before God, the world is being watched by Allah the Exalted, and the world is full of Divine manifestations. The Imam used to advise everybody to keep this point in mind. He himself used to observe moral principles, and he used to advise other people to do the same thing. An important part of spirituality in Islam consists of morality, avoidance of sins, avoidance of slander, avoidance of suspicion, avoidance of backbiting, avoidance of spite and avoidance of separating hearts from one another. Our magnanimous Imam used to observe these things, and he used to advise the people and government officials to do the same thing.