The Cultural Attaché of the Islamic Republic Iran hosts 20th anniversary commemoration of the death of Imam Ruhollah al- Musawi al- Khomeini at UNISA on Sunday, June 14 2009. Media Review Network was invited to attend this programme. Bibi Ayesha Laher, media liaison officer at the Network represented the organization at the commemoration.

Khomeini: Man with a mission
 
He stood for the principle of justice based on the teachings of Islam and brought about a revolution that materialized in the shape of Islamic Republic of Iran.

On September 24, 1902, a child was born in a family of strong religious traditions in Khomein, a small town in the central province of Iran, some 349 kilometers to the south-west of Tehran. He was born to a devout family educated in the theology and devoted to migration and Jihad and the progeny of Fatima al-Zahra.

The child was named Ruhollah al-Musawi al-Khomeini, who later on altered the destiny of Iran and the world of Islam. He guided a revolution against which the dominant powers of the time and all enemies of freedom and independence of nations stood up and rushed to suppress it. But, thank Allah, they only met with failure in their efforts. The revolutionary thought and the philosophy promoted by Khomeini won the battle for Iran.
That day no one knew that the boy born in a remote area would be the one whom future shall recognise as Imam Khomeini; he who would oppose agents of the world powers to defend the independence of his country and the dignity of the Islamic Ummah; he who would become the reviver of the Allah’s religion.

 

A clear and complete picture can be had of the Imam's revolutionary fundamentals and objectives by a study of his written and spoken words and by attending to his actual conduct.Imam Khomeini ruled out any move that would divide Muslims and lead to the domination by colonialists. By issuance of unique decrees and his support of the unity in the Muslim world and by his repeated messages, he showed the possible ways for unity between the Sunni and Shiite denominations. During his leadership he opposed any move that would end in division and dispute between these two major schools of Islam.

Imam Khomeini believes that faith in the oneness of Allah, and in the mission of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and faith in the Holy Quran as the eternal charter for guidance. He also underlined the importance of practices like prayers, fasting, giving alms, performing Hajj and crusade as pillars of faith for all the followers of various Islamic schools of thought. He did all this to make the Ummah come together in unity and stand up against the enemies of the times.

The rise of the Imam and his message are not meant for Iranian society only. He believed that man's intuition is based on monotheism, charity, search for truth and justice and if general awareness increases and the evil of ego (Nafs-e-Ammara) and the outside Satan be controlled, then every human society will take to Allah’s path- seeking justice and peace. For this reason, in all his public messages, the Imam urged third world nations and the oppressed peoples to rise against the arrogant powers.Imam Khomeini's mysticism (Erfan) is based on Quranic verses, narrations of the authorities of the religion and the knowledge of the saints, within the frame work of the Islam. He was opposed to negative mysticism which summarizes the faith and religion in some recitals, living in isolation, and avoiding socio-political responsibilities.

Imam Khomeini was an outstanding jurist with full knowledge of Fiqh and principles which he taught for thirty years on highest level. Imam Khomeini once said: "In the view of a true jurist-consult Government is the practical philosophy of the entire Fiqh that concerns the entire span of man's life. Government represents the practical aspects of jurisprudence in confronting the whole gamut of social, political, military and cultural difficulties. Fiqh is the real and thorough theory of management of man from cradle to grave". On the basis of such view point, Imam expounded the theory of "Formation of the Islamic Government on the basis of the guardianship of the Faqih". Thus Imam Khomeini is the first person in centuries that succeeded in establishing Religious Government on the basis of leadership by a fully qualified Mujtahid or Jurisconsult. With regard to his motives and objectives of Imam Khomeini often emphasized that: "Our aim is Islam." The Imam regarded the Islamic Revolution as a radiation of the eternal rise of Imam Hussein on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram, Martyrdom day of Imam Hussein).

Imam Khomeini saw martyrdom in Allah's path as eternal honour, the pride of the saints, the key to the happiness and the secret of victory. He was seeking martyrdom as the result of love for Allah. With such logic, the Imam said; "I tell you, faithful brothers, if we get wiped off from the face of the earth by the hands of America and the Soviet Union, and with our red blood, meet our Allah in honour, it is far better than living lavishly under the red flag of the Red Army of the East or the black army of the West" The Imam used to say: "Islamic government is the rule of the divine law over the people"

After the victory of the Revolution, Imam Khomeini called the last Friday in the Ramadan, as "Quds Day" and asked all Muslims of the world to hold annual demonstrations on this day as long as the Quds remains in the hands of the enemies of Islam, and there by show their support for the Palestinian fighters.

In Imam Khomeini's opinion, the only way to liberate Quds is to believe in Allah and approach the school of martyrdom and armed crusade until the complete defeat of Israel.Islam demands of Muslims that they struggle for divine sovereignty and for the establishment of divine law in all spheres of life, individual or collective. That is to say, they should strive not only for personal purification but for social perfection as well. They are obliged to work towards an Islamic political order which is the way of justice for all sections of people. This obligation to persevere Islamic polity and social justice as well as self purification has been acknowledged by Muslims all along. It is only in the modern times that they have started rejecting this sacred responsibility.

The reason for this not far to seek; today the western concept of religion has infiltrated into their minds. Muslims have allowed secular values to influence them. Otherwise how could they deny the social and political dimensions of Islam? How could they divorce politics from Islam? Islam certainly does not leave public life outside its pale or confine itself to private life. It enjoins the divine order in all areas; civil and criminal, commercial and ritual, agricultural and military, constitutional and moral, spiritual and national and international. The Islamic order which would be willingly established only by an Islamic government, is the only instrument of asserting the right and defeating the wrong. It is the only guarantee for social justice. For social justice has been one of the main objectives of Divine Revelation and the Prophetic mission.

So, Muslims cannot ignore this solemn duty to uphold Islam. If in any country where Muslims are in majority Islam lacks power, it is a bad reflection on the Muslims themselves. And where the Muslims are in minority, their first and major duty is to hold fast to their faith, to mould themselves according to the moral and ethical principles of Islam, to be conscious against reducing Islam from its complete, progressive form to a mere set of rites or a thing of the past.

Imam Khomeini was a divine philosopher and mystic, a jurisconsult, a reference authority (Marjae) and at the same time the leader of Islamic Revolution and the founder of the Islamic Republic in Iran. He is undeniably one of the most important figures of the age, not only for his role as principle strategist of a successful revolutionary movement and supervisor of the Islamic order but also for his unhesitating promotion of what he saw as a global Islamic mission, the union of all Muslim people.

*Bibliography: Waseem Yousuf Khan, Rising Kashmir News Online

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.