Three Decades after the Demise of Ayatollah Khomeini
The fourth of June marks the 29th anniversary after the demise of the Iranian revolutionary leader, the Father of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini. Unfortunately, I have not got the blessings of his presence in that era, however, I've heard and read a lot about this phenomenal spiritual Leader, the mentor, the philosopher, the politician and the scholar. His historical revolution has resulted in an unprecedented change in the late 20th century, leaving a lasting impression on Iran’s political economic, political, and cultural standards.
Remarkably, Ayatollah Khomeini revoluted against the tyrannical oppressive pro-American and Zionist policies. In 1962, Ayatollah Khomeini was arrested by the former Pahlavi security service for his outspoken opposition to the pro-Western regime of the Shah. His arrest elevated him to the status of a national hero among his followers in Iran. In 1964, he was exiled, living in Turkey, Iraq and then France.
While in exile, Imam Khomeini continued to urge his supporters to overthrow the Pahlavi regime. By the late 1970s, the Shah had become deeply unpopular and there were riots, strikes and mass demonstrations across the country. Iranian hit the streets in late 1978 calling for the Shah’s abdication, which ultimately ignited the government’s collapse. Shah fled the country in January 1979, and Ayatollah Khomeini returned victorious to Iran.
Despite being a popular leader, Ayatollah Khomeini led a very modest and humble life before and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, as he used to live in a quite simple house and he had never shown any interest in power nor wealth. Besides, Ayatollah Khomeini passed away on the 4th of June 1989; however, 29 years after his demise, his followers and admirers across the world are still treasuring his legacy of views and values. He was an influential figure who brought about a profound, notable sea-change; not only to Iranians but also to other nations.
Imam Khomeini believed that the struggle for the Islamic revolution was inspired by the genuine teachings of Islam, and has been closely associated to Imam Hossain’s matchless sacrificial movement, which shook the pillars of the Umayyad tyrant rulers. He says, “The revolution of A’ashura emerged at the hands of Imam Hossain (PBUH), who by sacrificing his own blood and the blood of his dear ones saved Islam and justice, and condemned the rule of the Umayyads and demolished its rules and foundations.”
Additionally, Imam Khomeini used to emphasise that religious minorities including Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians have the right to enjoy social welfare and privileges in Iran. He frequently stressed that these minorities are free to express their beliefs in accordance with Islam, which guarantees and shields the rights of minorities. He further focused on the Sunnite-Shiite unity, innovating the “Unity Week,” as an opportunity to promote solidarity between those two Muslim sects.
Ayatollah Khomeini has undoubtedly purged Iran from the Western corruption and degeneracy and supported all the marginalised and oppressed nations around the world. Profoundly, he established our Lebanese Resistance Hezbollah, in the early 80s, and greatly supported the Palestinian cause, declaring the each last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Al-Quds International Day.
Politically speaking, Ayatollah Khomeini refuted the argument of separating religion and politics. He said, “When anyone studies a little or pays a little attention to the rules of Islamic government, Islamic politics, Islamic society and Islamic economy he will realise that Islam is a very political religion. Anyone who will say that religion is separate from politics is a fool; he does not know Islam or politics.”