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  • 7/17/2012

The Narrative Awakening



Shortly after migration of the Grand Ayatollah Hajj Shaikh Abdolkarim Ha'eri Yazdi 4 to Qom, in New Year of 1300 AHS/Rajab 1340 AH, Imam Khomeini also migrated to Qom and took complementary lessons with the scholars of the Theological Assembly of Qom. These lessons included lengthy book of Motavval on eloquence [Maani va Bayan] taken with the late Mirza Mohammad- Ali Adib Tehrani; completion of the “Level” studies with the late Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Taqi Khonsari, but mostly with the late Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Yathrebi Kashani; Jurisprudence and fundamentals with the master of the Qom Assembly, Ayatollah Hajj Shaikh Abdolkarim Ha'eri Yazdi.5 The sensitive and searching spirit of Imam Khomeini could not settle with just Arabic literature and lessons in jurisprudence and principles. He was interested in other sciences as well.

Therefore, along with learning jurisprudence and principles from the jurists of the time, he took lessons in mathematics, astronomy and philosophy from the late Hajj Sayyid Abolhassan Rafii Qazvini and continued taking the same lessons in addition to spiritual sciences and mysticism with the late Mirza Ali-Akbar Hakami Yazdi.

The Imam also took lessons in prosody and rhyme as well as Islamic and Western philosophies with the late Aqa Shaikh Mohammad-Reza Masjed-Shahi Esfahani. The Imam then took lessons in ethics and mysticism with the late Ayatollah Hajj Mirza Javad Maleki-Tabrizi and further studied the highest levels of theoretical and practical mysticism for six years with the late Ayatollah Aqa Mirza Mohammad-Ali Shahabadi. After the demise of Grand Ayatollah Haeri-Yazdi, the efforts of Imam Khomeini and a number of other clergymen of Qom bore fruit and Grand Ayatollah Boroojerdi6 proceeded to Qom Theological Assembly in the capacity of the leader of the assembly. By this time, Imam Khomeini had been recognized as one of the teachers and jurisconsults with authority in jurisprudence, principles, philosophy, mysticism and ethics. His asceticism, chastity, and devotion were proverbial among the elite and the lay as well.

It was these exalted characteristics acquired after religious asceticism, and the principles and concepts of mysticism in the innermost of his personal and social life; also the political strategy of His Holiness, the Imam which stressed the preservation of the mastery of the theological assemblies, the might of the clergy and the sovereignty of the religion as the only refuge for the people in those perilous days, that made Imam Khomeini constantly use his knowledge as well as his efforts, notwithstanding other merits, to serve the strengthening of the newly-found Theological Assembly in Qom and to remain, as a mighty defender, by the side of the Grand Ayatollahs Ha'ri and Boroojerdi. When Ayatollah Boroojerdi died, there was widespread approach to Imam Khomeini, by the studentsclergy, and 'ulama, and by the Muslim community, as a jurisprudential Authority but he was careful not to do anything that might smack of ambition and position seeking.

He also counseled his friends to avoid being ambitious and mind such issues. Even at a time when the well-informed men of the Islamic society had gathered around him as the precursor of the true and genuine Islam and saw their hopes reflected in his virtue, knowledge and awareness, there appeared no change in Imam’s conduct. He would frequently say: "I regard myself a servant and soldier of Islam and the nation." Yes, this is that same great man who answered: “Naught!” when asked how he felt on returning home on the 12th Bahman 1357/1 February 1978, with tens of millions of people gathered to welcome their leader, their Imam. The press correspondent who had asked that question must have figured that, like all political leaders, Imam Khomeini would be highly excited to see such welcome signs and ceremonies.

However, the Imam’s answer proved he was of a different kind. For Imam Khomeini, as he often declared, considered gaining the consent of God and fulfillment of duty as a criterion for all his moves and <p>conducts and his doings were nothing but performance of divine duties. Thus, to him who did things for God’s sake, power or imprisonment, jail and deportation were things of little consideration.

In fact, several decades prior to his triumphant return, while in the stages of practical mysticism -erfan-e amali, he had abandoned the world and all it contains and was striding in the path of annihilation and union with his God. Perhaps a better and worthier answer to that question can be traced in the following verse composed by the Imam himself: "Opting the Tavern; Parted from all People, The Heart has laid its Hopes in destiny; All else is naught."

For many years, His Holiness Imam Khomeini taught jurisprudence and principles, mysticism and Islamic ethics in Qom theological schools including the Feyziyeh, the A’zam Mosque, the Mohammadiyeh Mosque, the Hajj Mullah Sadiq School, the Salmasi Mosque, etc. He also taught jurisprudence and the teachings of the Household of the Prophet—at the highest level, at the Shaikh Ansari Mosque in Najaf Theological Center for 14 years. It was at Najaf that Imam Khomeini included for the first time in his lessons on jurisprudence, the theological foundations of the Islamic government. His students declared his lessons and his classes among the most credible in the Theological Assembly of Najaf. Some of his classes at Qom had as many as 1200 students, which included scores of established jurists who benefited by the Imam’s school of jurisprudence and principles. The blessings of Imam Khomeini’s teaching included training and education of hundreds, better yet— considering the length of his <p>teaching—thousands of learned men and scholars, each of whom is currently illuminating a theological assembly. Today’s jurists and prominent Gnostics have been among Imam Khomeini’s students in Qom or at other centers of learning. Outstanding thinkers such as the great scholars Martyr Motahhari7 and the Martyr Beheshti8 felt honored to have benefited by Imam Khomeini’s teachings. Today, the prominent clergy who guide the Islamic Revolution and system of the Islamic Republic in all civil affairs are all among those educated by the school of jurisprudence and politics of Imam Khomeini. With regard to the dimensions of characteristics of Imam Khomeini’s school of science in various fields, we shall have more to say towards the end of this article and in conclusion of the article we will briefly introduce his works.


"The Narrative Awakening" Book by Hamid Ansari

Other Links:

Aides of the Revolution (Wise Sayings of Imam Khomeini)

The Youth and the Adolescents (Wise Sayings of Imam Khomeini)

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