In the path of the Imam (94)
As a reminder, we said that Imam Khomeini highly respected the Source of Emulation Grand Ayatollah Hussein Borujerdi and never allowed anyone to disrespect him as he was the head of the seminaries in the 1950s. Today we are going to dwell upon Imam Khomeini’s stances toward Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsen Hakim who was a great Source of Emulation in Iraq.
Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsen Hakim was one of the great Sources of Emulation some 60 years ago. He was born in family of ulema and his father, Seyyed Mahdi Hakim, was one of the great jurisprudents in Najaf. After the demise of Ayatollah Naeeni, some of his emulators referred to Ayatollah Hakim. Later on, after the demise of Grad Ayatollah Seyyed Abul-Hassan Esfahani, Ayatollah Hakim became famous as one of the leading jurisprudents and a Source of Emulation. Then, after the demise of Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi, Ayatollah Hakim became more famous. In addition to writing several books, he made great efforts to organize seminaries and played a major role in prevention of the infiltration of communism in Iraq. After the coup d’état of Abdul-Karim Qasem in Iraq and his coming to power in 1958, the ground was prepared for propagation of communism and ratification of laws incompatible with Islamic tenets. In such circumstances, Ayatollah Hakim officially protested against the measure and urged ulema and preachers to make people aware of the anti-religious nature of the ratifications. Moreover, he issued two fatwas which religiously prohibited joining the communist party. These fatwas caused other ulema in Najaf to issue similar fatwas forcing Abdul-Karim Qasem to retreat and apologize.
Ayatollah Hakim carried out good political activities to defend the Iraqi and Iranian people, but he had differences with Imam Khomeini in the way of political struggles against the ruling system in the two countries. He protested against jailing and torturing of opponents by the government of Abdul-Salam Aref and the sectarian and discriminatory policies by the Ba’athist regime. He even issued a fatwa during the repression of the Kurds in Iraq by Aref which called it illegitimate to enter war against the Kurds. The fatwa prevented the carnage of the Kurds. Ayatollah Hakim even called on all Muslims to stand against the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime. Furthermore, in the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969, he issued a statement to remind Muslims of their religious and historical responsibility against Zionists. As for some of the developments in Iran, such as the bloodshed at Feyziyeh School and the massacre of thousands of on June 5, 1963 uprising by the Pahlavi regime, Ayatollah Hakim expressed his opposition. Yet, his approach was different from that of Imam Khomeini. He didn’t agree with nationwide uprising against the regimes in Iran and Iraq as he was concerned about repetition of the bloody repression of the Iraqi people in 1920s.
Since his arrival in Najaf, Imam Khomeini tried to inform Ayatollah Hakim of Iran’s political developments especially the oppressive and unjust rule of the regime. One of the current Sources of Emulation, Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani, narrates an account on the issue, saying, “On the advent of Imam Khomeini’s arrival in Najaf, one night he paid a visit to Ayatollah Hakim. Many students accompanied the Imam. The Imam proposed Mr. Hakim to take a trip to Iran to see Iran’s conditions closely and not be content with the reports.”
Imam Khomeini would always urge Ayatollah hakim to be pioneer in struggles against the despotic regimes in Iran and Iraq. Hojjat-ol-Eslam Morteza Sadeqi Tehrani says in this regard, “Although Imam Khomeini was a prominent scholar among ulema and students, used to behave humbly before late Ayatollah Hakim to inform him of the developments in Iran. He would say to Ayatollah Hakim, ‘I am one of your followers and among those who obey your commands. If you order, we will obey. If you command, we will act. How do you think that you have no one to obey you while I am one of them?’”
As it was said earlier, there was a difference between Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Hakim on the carnage of ulema and students at Feiziyeh School in Qom. After the savage assault of the Pahlavi regime’s military to the school, Ayatollah Hakim asked the Iranian ulema to migrate to Iraq, but the revolutionary ulema, especially Imam Khomeini, opposed his proposal. Nevertheless, the Imam never allowed anyone to disrespect Ayatollah Hakim. It is narrated that once an Iranian student in Najaf said something against Ayatollah Hakim. Imam Khomeini immediately protested against the move and reprimanded the student.