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  • 3/9/2012

The Duties and Responsibilities of the Clergy

(Wise Sayings of Imam Khomeini)


o The responsibility of the clergy and those who are in this sacred garb

     today is more than ever before in history.

o Men of knowledge are charged with more responsibility than others.

o In this confrontation between Islam and kufr the entire nation has

      responsibilities but the clergy are more responsible,

o The 'ulama' of Islam have a duty to inform the Muslim people whenever

      they feel something is threatening the Qur'an and Islam.

o The 'ulama' are obliged to combat monopoly, and the unlawful

     proiteering of the tyrants. They must also prevent conditions leading to

     affluence by a few, and by their side, a great many deprived and hungry.

o By their jihad, and the enjoyment of good and forbiddance of evil, the fuqaha must defame and weaken the tyrant rulers, and awaken the people

     so that the popular movement of the awakened Muslims would overthrow

the tyrant government and establish the Islamic government in its stead.

It refers to the present Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. After Imam KhomeinT*s demise. Ayatullah Sayyid ~A1T Khamene'T was elected by a majority vote of members of the Assembly of Experts as the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Before his selection as Leader. Mr. Khamene'T had been elected twice as President of the Islamic Republic.

o All of us, all the clergymen, all the nations, and all the oppressed people of

     history, must arise and control these evils.

o The theological centers and the clergy should always have the mental

     pulse and the future needs of the society in their hands and always, a few

     steps ahead of events, be ready for proper reaction.

o A mujtahid must have the intelligence, cleverness and sagacity necessary

     for guiding a large Muslim, and even non-Muslim community and in

     addition to being sincere, pious and ascetic befitting the status of a

mujtahid, he should be a real director and administrator.

o   In the theological centers persons with piety and versed in Islamic truths

should educate the seminarians.

o   The professors who are in the religious centers must try to keep these

centers purified.

o   If you want your country's future to be bright, train those who enter the

theological centers.

o   If the theological centers are purified and dedicated, they can save a whole


o   With respect to religious schools and centers I have often said that

knowledge without piety, if not harmful, is not useful.

o   You, gentlemen, who wish to invite the people to the hereafter, invite

them to obtain necessary qualifications. You must take the first step yourselves if your call is to be just.

o   Sometimes, perhaps often, I have a fear, which makes me uneasy, that,

God forbid, people might go to heaven for our sake and we go to the hell.

o    I fpar rbnt we, '!""' rlprov   are nnnhlp to nerform the dutips -issipned to us.

Mujtahid: an authority on divine law who is emitted to give an independent judgment on a

point of theology or law. [Ed.]

o   God forbid! May the clergy never stray away from their status as talabah

[seminarians], for their departure may shake the people's faith!

o   If we deviate from the usual side of talabah and, God forbid, become

inclined to material things while we call ourselves "clergy," it may lead to our defeat.

o   You, the clergy””may Allah always assist you””if you do things that, God

forbid, make the nation turn away from you, in the long run, the day shall come when Fanthoms (aircraft) will not be needed: the nation itself will shove you aside.

o   Let no noise or excitement attend the appearance of the Friday

congregational leader in a street, or a street be cleared of people on that account. Such things diminish their prestige in the society.

o   If, God forbid, people see that the gentlemen (clergy) have altered their

conditions, have erected buildings, and their social intercourse does not suit their status as clergy, they may lose that which in their hearts they had felt and cherished regarding the clergy. If this happens, it will mean ihe end of Islam and the Islamic Republic.

o   No catastrophe and danger is more serious for the clergy here in the world

as well as in the hereafter, than inclination to material things or material relief and welfare: that is, striding in the path of worldly things.

o   Nothing is more offensive than a clergyman turning mundane as it can

corrupt the clergy as readily as materialism.

o   Whenever formalities expand, contents shrink!

o   Simple living is that which has advanced the clergy so far and preserved it.

o   In those days the clergy were oppressed. The face of an oppressed person

is popular. The more you were oppressed in that regime, the more popular you became.

o The clergy should evince a guiding attitude; they should not desire to

     govern or rule.

o If the people see us do wrong and turn away from the clergy due to the

      wrongs of some of us, the accruing responsibility is not personal; it is


o   If a single clergyman takes just one wrong step, the people will say, "That

is how the clergy are!" They won't say, "That clergyman..."

o   Pessimism toward the clergy and their defeat are tantamount to the defeat

of Islam.

o Tell my revolutionary children that for me radicalism does not end well! o I ask the honorable clergy to be kind and fatherly to the young classes.

o The enemies have long been ready to create discord and disputes among

     the clergy; neglecting this will send everything to the winds.

o   The disputes of the 'ulama' are disputes of the nation; not of the


o   I warn the clergy to prohibit un-Islamic actions, if any is, God forbid,

found among you. If such clergyman does not pay heed, cast him out.

o   Qum is a city of knowledge and Islam. If Qum errs, it will reflect all over

the world.

o That which the clergy must never abandon, and should not heed others'

      propaganda in relation to it, is their support of the deprived and the

      barefooted; for, anyone who does that, will have turned back from the

Islamic social justice.

o An important point is the way the clergy live; it must be simple!

o Compare the life of the author of Jawahir al-Kalam with the lives of the

     clergymen today and you'll see the blow we have received by our own


Source: 'Wise Sayings of Imam Khomeini" book 

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