May 19, 2020 09:32 UTC

Welcome to another episode in which we have a brief look at the life and times of the Man of Millennium and the Sage of the Age, Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon him).

Imam Khomeini both as a young student of seminary and as a Source of Emulation was always concerned about guarding and defending the sanctity of the divine religion. During the era, when religious teachings were seriously targeted by ambiguities due to the influence of Western an Eastern ideologies, especially Liberalism and Marxism, he wholeheartedly defended Islam. One of the most outstanding measures that Imam Khomeini took in his youth was authoring the book “Kashf al-Asrar”. It was written in response to a book that was full of insults against Islam and revelation. It is explained in the biography of Imam Khomeini that: “Once the Imam, on his way to the Feizieh School, noticed that a group of students had gathered and made a row on the book »One-Thousand-Year Mysteries«. Therefore, he bought the book and studied it. Then he closed his class and wrote the book Kashf al-Asrar in response to the blasphemous book. But he published his book anonymously to avoid publicity.”

Late Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Araki said that writing this book was the sign of the Imam’s concern and profound attention to the religious issues. He said, “During 50 years that we were familiar with this great figure, we didn’t find and see except Godwariness, devotion, generosity, courage, valour, great soul, great heart, seriousness in rational and narrated sciences and lofty degrees.”

Although Imam Khomeini was very sensitive toward ideological currents in seminaries, he believed that different questions from various religions and schools of thought should be raised in seminaries to strengthen the intellectual bases of Islam. At that time, Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi proposed to invite a few Marxists from then Soviet to Qom to put forward their questions and ambiguities on various Islamic issues. Grand Ayatollah Araki continues, “At the time of Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi, Imam Khomeini was one of the great teachers with a glorious class. He got sick a few days and closed his class. So, we went to visit him with a number of his disciples. There, we spoke about the heretic and Communist ambiguities which had to be answered. He said, ‘I think Mr. Borujerdi needs to invite a few Marxists and Communists to Iran to stay in Qom for a while. We can pay them from the share of Imam of the Age so that we hear their ambiguities against Islam according to the atheism that they maintain. Then, we make ourselves equipped and respond their questions.”

Dear listeners, Imam Khomeini considered himself as a soldier and guard, in the true sense of the word, to defend and safeguard Islam. He would even say it clearly. Ayatollah Tavassoli, a member of the Imam’s office, narrated an interesting memory in this regard, “After the release of Imam from the prison of Shah’s regime, daily Ettela’at published an editorial saying that the ulema had compromised with the regime. Imam Khomeini delivered a long speech and rejected the issue. Colonel Mowlavi, Chief of Savak in Tehran, came to the Imam for apology. He started speaking and apologizing. Then he said something that implied threatening. He said, ‘Sir, do not force us to do our duty as a soldier.’ Suddenly, the Imam said, while tapping his thumb to his chest, ‘I am a soldier of Islam, too. Don’t force us to do our duty as a soldier.”

Imam Khomeini was not scared of anything or anybody and he was ready to sacrifice whatever he had. When he was in exile, he had sent a message in which he had prevented all from mediation for his freedom. But, when he saw that there is much insistence on the issue, he said he would accept if his freedom safeguards the dignity of Islam. He always believed that martyrdom in the way of God is a divine grace. Even when his elder son Haaj Aqa Mustafa was martyred by the agents of Shah, he didn’t change countenance. Martyr Ayatollah Mofatteh says, “After the martyrdom of Haaj Aqa Mustafa, the Imam came to the group where his class used to be and some people condoled him. He said, ‘The death or martyrdom of my son is not an important issue and it is one of God’s graces. Let us speak about Iran and the misery of the Iranian people and their release.”

Hojjatol-Eslam Hashemi also said, “The Imam didn’t say anything except expressing satisfaction at the time of Haaj Aqa Mustafa’s martyrdom. He pointed to Haaj Ahmad Aqa and said, ‘If Ahmad, who is the dearest to me, is also sacrificed, I won’t be upset in my heart.”

Imam Khomeini, both during the struggles before the victory of the Islamic Revolution or after the foundation of the Islamic Republic system, considered guarding Islam as the most important principle. When he was in Najaf, once a rumour spread that the Shah had sent a group of his mercenaries to assassinate the Imam. Many were scared. But the Imam said, “There remain few breaths till my death. I hope I won’t die in bed with sickness. My life didn’t serve Islam. May my death have an effect.”

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, a group of mercenaries by the name of Muslim People party kicked up a row in Qom. They attacked shops, insulted the Imam and tore up his pictures. They even wanted to attack the Imam’s house. But he said calmly, “If anybody insults me, I don’t like anybody to defend me. Let the events go ahead for Islam.”

Although Imam Khomeini was very strict on observing the laws and regulations, he would prevent any action across the country if he felt that it was against Islam. Ayatollah Yazdi said in this regard, “Once we had gone to the Imam. He gave me a message to take it to the parliament. He said, ‘I will not interfere in the affairs of the parliament; but if see that it moves against Islam, I will stand against it as a student. Now it is the parliament and I observe the law and do not interfere. The law must be practiced. But if one day I see that it is against Islam, I will stand against it. I will stand against it entirely so that it is not thought that I want to be indifferent toward opposition to Islam.’”