• Counter :
  • 434
  • Date :
  • 1/15/2012

The Greatest Jihad: Combat with the Self

Translator's Introduction (part 6)

Imam Khomeini's emphasis on tolerance was not limited to mysticism and poetry. Imam Khomeini's teacher in Islamic jurisprudence, Shaykh Ha'erl, was succeeded in Qun by Ayatullah BurujerdI, who came to be recognized as the supreme authority on the subject. Ater the death of Ayatullah BurujerdI, in 1961, Imam Khomeini came to be recognized as one of several supreme experts in Islamic jurisprudence, a marja. '-e taqlld. In this role, Imam Khomeini issued a number of decrees which were looked upon with suspicion by more conservative clerics. Many of the religious scholars in both Sunn! and Shi'ite legal schools have ruled that music and chess are forbidden activities. Imam Khomeini ruled that some forms of music are permissible and that playing chess is not contrary to Islamic law. As a result, interest in traditional Iranian music has thrived since the Revolution. Imam Khomeini has also encouraged women to play an expanded role in society, to the chagrin of more conservative interpreters of Islamic law.

To Western observers it may seem paradoxical that the very same man who preached tolerance with respect to the perceived challenges to orthodoxy posed by philosophy, mysticism, poetry, and music, should also have been so intolerant toward the proponents of Westernization, toward the form of Marxism propagated in the name of Islam by the People's Mojahiden Organization (PMOI), and toward those who, like Salman Rushdie, would insult the Prophet of Islam or his family. The apparent contradiction is removed once it is recognized that Imam Khomeini did not value tolerance for its own sake, but for the sake of Islam. Central to Imam Khomeini's understanding of Islam is gnosis, 'irfdn. In SunnI Islam, the exoteric and esoteric dimensions of religion have been kept largely distinct, with the esoteric mostly confined to the Sui orders. In Shi'ite Islam, there has been a long tradition in which many of the practices and teachings of the Suis have been integrated into the religious life and thought of an important segment of the official clergy. Those form of mysticism, or gnosis, draws upon the Sui theory of Ibn al-'Arabl, the philosophical mysticism of Sadr ad-Din ShlrazT5 (d. 1640) and HadI Sabzewarl6 (d. 1878), both of whom were Shi'ite clerics, and the poetic expression of mysticism by Mawlawl Jalal ad-DIn ar-Ruml7 (d. 1273) and Haiz^ (d. 1391). The poetry is oten set to music. Because of political and religious repression, those involved in 'irfdn oten had to keep their teachings underground. Imam Khomeini, in line with sentiments his reports having been expressed by his teacher ShahabadI, sought to initiate a process through which 'irfdn could become public. This process was not to be a sudden revolution. His own works on 'irfdn were not very widely distributed during his lifetime, but a persistent emphasis on the mystical elements of Shi'te thought were interspersed among the more popular political declaration, and may be found in The Greatest Jihad, as well.

Source:”‌ The Greatest Jihad”‌ by imam khomeini

  • Print

    Send to a friend

    Comment (0)