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Shi'ism

Wise Sayings of Imam Khomeini

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o We are proud that our madhhad [school of thought] is the Ja'far madhhad and ourfiqh, which is a boundless ocean is the Ja'farT fujh.

 

o Islam survives by the grace of the ShT'ah school of thought. o Islam has always been associated with the epic of Shi'ism.

 

o Imam means leader and the one who guides and leads a group toward a

      certain direction. The Imam is the one who explains the policy of Shi'ism

      and the Hizballah [Party of Allah] and the leader of this great organization

whose entire duties and functions he deduces from the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam at various times and in different conditions, and advises them accordingly.

 

o Those who claim they are the ShT'ah (followers) of the Commander of the

     Faithful' and follow him should follow him in word, action, writing, and

     all other things.

Better known today as Shi'ism. Ja'farl Faith refers to Islam as elucidated by the sixth pure Imam from the Prophet's Progeny. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq ('a) (83-148 AH). Because of the condition of his time, his role in reviving original Islamic teachings, formations of numerous seminaries, and educating faithful forces, was exceptional to the point of ascribing the faith to him. See Shaykh Mohammed al-Husayn al-Muzaffar. Imam Al-Sadiq, trans. Jasim al-Rashced (Qum: Ansariyan Publications. 1998).

" Commander of the Faithful   [Amir al-Mu'minln]: refers to Imam 'All ('a), the leader of the Muslim world, who was born in 600 CE to his mother by the name of Fatimah and father by the name of Abu Talib (Prophet's uncle), and from the age of six he grew up in the Prophet's house. He was the first man to accept Islam and promised to aid the Prophet {s). In the earlv days of his mission when, at God's command, the Prophet was inviting his kith and kin to Islam, at a gathering, he announced to them: "He among you. who accepts my Faith will succeed me." He repeated this declaration three times and each time, only 'All ('«) declared his faithfulness.

 

o The ShT'ah school has always been the school of sacrifice.

 

o GhadTr1 was initiated to let it be understood that politics is related to all.

 

o We are honored that the book, Nahj al-Balaghah which, after the Qur'an, is the greatest code of material and spiritual life and is the greatest book

On the eve of the hijrah or migration, notwithstanding the plot o\ the Quraysh against the Prophet's life. "All ('a) slept in the Prophet's bed and thus proved his fidelity to him. The

Prophet selected him as his brother and when returning from the last hajj pilgrimage, at a place called GhadTr. introduced 'AIT ('</) as the master and guardian [wall] of the Muslims.

after himself.

'AIT was the companion of the Prophet during his loneliness and his aid in his struggles and in time of dangers. After the Prophet's spiritual ascension, for about 25 years, 'AIT < 'a) kept aloof from government administration and leadership. During this period he was observer and overseer who prevented deviations and defections.

After the murder of the 3r Caliph, 'All's disciples and a group of people swore allegiance to 'All ( V/) and elected him as caliph. The Imam's period of administration lasted for 4 years and 9 months. 'AIT obliterated the changes that had been made after the Prophet (v) and restored things to their earlier conditions. Opposition elements, whose personal interests were threatened, rose pretending to take revenge for the third caliph's death. Bloody civil wars followed that lasted throughout the reign of 'AIT ('a). Finally the unique man of history was martyred in the altar.

There is a great deal to say about 'AIT ('a). It is difficult to give a thorough picture. He did not neglect even a moment, sacrificing for God's religion. In his house of adobe, children such as Imam Hasan {'a) and Imam Husayn I'a) were raised, who left an indelible mark on history by keeping hoisted the kindled torch of humanity in the dark atmosphere of time and became the leaders of truth-seeking men.

For further information on the Imamate of 'All ibn Abl Talib. sec Yuusuf N. Lalljcc, 'All the Magnificent (Qum: Ansariyan Publications. 1987); Muhammad Jawad Chirri. The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad (Imam 'AH). (Qum: Ansariyan Publications); George Jordaq. The Voice of Human Justice, trans. M. Fa/.al Haq (Qum: Ansariyan Publications. 1990). and visit: It refers to the events of GhadTr Khumm where the Prophet appointed Imam 'AIT as his successor based on a divine instruction. For detailed information on sources and narrators, as well as maps of Ghadir Khumm. visit: "GhadTr Khumm in the Qur'an. Hadith and History." hltp:/7wwu.al-islam.ornA.:hadir.

: Nahj al-Balcighah (Peak of Eloquence) is a collection of speeches, sayings and letters of the Commander of the Faithful. Imam 'All ibn Abl Talib ("«) compiled by Sharif ar-RadT Muhammad ibn al-Husayn (d. 406 AH/1016). Contents of the book concern the three essential topics of God, man and the universe, and include comments on scientific, literary, social, ethical, and political issues. Except the words of the Glorious Qur'an and of the Holy Prophet (s), no words of man can equate it in eloquence. So far. more than     101 exegeses have been written on the Nahj al-Balaghah. indicating the importance of this treatise to scholars and for the salvation of mankind and whose spiitual and political commands are the most sublime way for salvation, is from our Infallible Imam (Imam 'AlT('a)).

One of the intrinsic features of Shi'ism from the beginning up to now is resistance and uprising against oppression and dictatorship, which has been clearly evident throughout the history of Shi'ism, although such struggles have climaxed at crosscurrents of time.

Shi'ism, which is a revolutionary school and the continuation of the genuine Islam of the Prophet””like the ShT'ah themselves””has always been under dastardly attacks of the dictators and the imperialists.

During the past century events have occurred each of which have some effects on the current movement of our nation: the Constitutional Revolution1  and the Tobacco Movement2... are highly  important. The learned men of research and investigation. For more information, visit: htip://v\ww.al-islaiiLoi'ii/nahiul.

What has become known as the Constitutionalism or Constitutional Revolution took place due to the chaotic situation in Iran at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the popular protest over the tyranny of the governors and agents of the dictatorial regime and the unruly officials of the government, the weakness and ineptitude o\' the then king Mu/affaruddln Shah, and finally the rising awareness among the people and revolt of the clerics and 'ulamd'. Years of struggle by the people culminated in the victory of the Constitutional Revolution in 1906. Although the Constitutional Movement was derailed

from its proper path, it was able to transform the social organization in Iran, to destroy class privileges, to obliterate the power of the courtiers, and great landowners, and to establish justice and the rule of law. However, with the influence of the Westernized elements, and eliminating the clergies from the political scene and governance, the Constitutional Movement did not achieve its desired objectives and inally with the coup staged by Rida Khan, the father of Iran's ex-Shah, a monarchical rule once again emerged in Iran.

" In    891. NasiruddTn Shah granted yet another in a long line of concessions he had already given to foreigners in return for money to satisfy court consumption and to finance his tours of Europe. This lime, in return for a personal gift of twenty-five thousand pounds, an annual rent of ifteen thousand pounds to the state and a twenty-five percent share of the profits for Iran, one Major Gerald Talbot acquired a ifty-year monopoly over the distribution and exportation of tobacco. Akhtar (Star), a liberal Persian paper published in Istanbul at the time, expressed the general concern of Iranian merchants: "It is clear enough that the concessionaire will commence the work with a small capital and will purchase the tobacco from the cultivators and sell it to the merchants and manufacturers for higher prices, and all the profits will remain in the purse ot the English. As the Persian merchants have no right to export tobacco from Persia, those who were formerly engaged in this trade will be obliged to give up their business and find some other work. The concessionaire does not take into consideration how many establishment of the theological center in the city of Qum1 in the last 50 years, its influence inside and outside of Iran, the struggles of the religious intelligentsia within the university centers and the 1341-422 uprising of the Iranian nation led by the 'ulama" of Islam””which continues to this day”” are all among factors that have made the Shiite Islam an issue in the global level.

merchants who were engaged in this business will be left without employment and will suffer loss in inding other occupations." The clergymen and maraji' of the time immediately opposed the concession and demanded its cancellation. Ayatullah MIrza Hasan ShTrazI. the

maraji' at-taqtid at the time, determined the destiny of this struggle. He issued a religious fatwa stating that the use of tobacco in whatever form was haram [forbidden] and was tantamount to declaring war with Imam az-Zaman (the Twelfth Imam).

 The bazaar in ShTraz, the main tobacco-growing region, shut down and a general strike of the leading bazaars particularly Tehran, Isfahan. Tabriz. Mashhad, Qazvln. Yazd. and Kermanshah ensued which spread into a state-wide consumer's boycott. Ayatullah ShTrazI's representative in Tehran. MIrza Hasan AshtiyanT. led the protest there. Hookahs were smashed and tobacco was set on ire as the consumer's boycott received support from practically all classes of Iranian society, even members of the royal harem. Consequently. NasiruddTn Shah, seeing his position threatened by this rebellion was forced to annul the concession and pay the penalty. See Nikki Keddie. Religion and Rebellion in Iran: The Tobacco Protest of IX9I-92.

Since the third century AH. Qum””the burial place of Fatimah Ma'siimah (peace be upon her), the sister oi' Imam Rida. the eight Imam from the Prophet's Progeny””has been a center of learning and pilgrimage. In the mid-14L century, the great scholar and faqiIt. Ayatullah Ha'irl settled in Qum and reorganized the religious teaching institution. Following Ayatullah Ha'irl. scholars from other cities came to Qum and it was not long before Qum was elevated to the status of the center of religious learning in Iran. At present thousands of students from Islamic and non-Islamic countries are studying in Qum. The students, having completed introductory courses, embark, depending on their interests, on a wide range of Islamic sciences, including jurisprudence and its principles, exegesis, kalatn [scholasticism] philosophy, mysticism, history, and hadith.

' In a bid to control the movement started by Imam Khomeini (r), the Shah's regime, after considerable studies and consultation with his Western supporters, decided to arrest the Imam. At 3:00 am of Khordad 15, 1342 AHS (June 5 1963). his agents raided the house of that noble man, arrested him and took him to Tehran! The news of the arrest spread quickly all over the country. Hearing the news people began to gather in the streets from the early hours of June 5. 1963 and started demonstration. The greatest demonstrations took place in the city of Qum which resulted in police interference and the martyrdom of a large number of innocent people. With the declaration of martial law in Tehran by the Shah's regime, the popular demonstration heightened that day and the next. Martial law agents butchered several thousands of people. The tragedy of the 15th of Khordad 1342 AHS was so great that its news quickly passed beyond the border lines and million of dollars which the Shah spent each year on propaganda could not keep the news secret. After the victory of the revolution in a message marking anniversary of the 15lh of Khordad 1358 AHS (1979), the Imam declared it as the beginning of the Islamic Revolution and its anniversary as a national mourning day.

 

o As a matter of fact, Islam””Shi'ism being nothing but the original Islam””

     not only does not prevent the scientific and intellectual growth of

     mankind; rather, it even prepares more the grounds for this movement and

imparts to it humane and divine direction. The scientific and cultural evolution after the advent of Islam has all but stunned investigators.

 

o The day that. God willing, the General Reformer1 appears, do not think a

     miracle will take place and the world will be reformed overnight; rather,

     the despots and oppressors will be suppressed and isolated by hard efforts

and sacrifices.


Source: 'Wise Sayings of Imam Khomeini" book 


Other Links:

Kolineh and Seyyed Sadeq offensive operation (2) (March 6th, 1981) 

Democracy in an Islamic Community   

The Concept and Principles of Democracy   

Roqabieh offensive operation (March 19th, 1980)     

Chaghalvand offensive operation (March 20th, 1980)   

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