How Islamic Revolution won hearts and minds in Indian Subcontinent
By Mehdi Moosvi
The triumphant homecoming of Imam Khomeini, the charismatic leader of the Islamic Revolution, this week 44 years ago, marked the beginning of religious and political awakening not only in Iran but across the world.
Soon after the glorious revolution in 1979, Imam Khomeini declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran would challenge the world’s "arrogant powers” and export the revolution that inspired millions of people worldwide.
The visionary leader's message was loud and clear: to rise against the hegemonic powers and support the oppressed and weak.
The powerful currents of the revolution soon spread far and wide, including in South Asia, home to hundreds of millions of Muslims.
Professor Ali Mohammad Naqvi, a renowned Islamic scholar and head of the Dara Shikoh Center for Interfaith Studies at India's Aligarh Muslim University, vividly recalls those days when the Pahlavis fled and Imam returned.
He was studying in Iran at the time and remembers the tremendous euphoria and excitement among people who poured into the streets across Iran to welcome the great leader of the Islamic Revolution.
“I was present in Iran at the time of the revolution in 1979, after fleeing the Saddam regime in Iraq,” Professor Naqvi told the Press TV website in an interview, recalling his participation in the historic event.
“What I saw was the whole of Iran rising on the call of the great Imam Khomeini. It was like India rising on the call of Mahatma Gandhi for its independence from British or France rising during the French Revolution."
Revolution a 'turning point'
Professor Naqvi, who has authored several seminal books on Islam, said the revolution marked the "turning point" in Iran's history and ushered in the era of truth, justice and equality.
“People who witnessed those events are truly privileged, and I consider myself privileged for being present in Iran when the West-backed Shah was ousted," he noted.
“Imam Khomeini not only spearheaded the great revolution but also revolutionized the role of clergy and religious leaders. He demonstrated that the role of a cleric is not limited to seminary education, but to serve people from all walks of life in the field."
On how the Islamic Revolution gained popularity across the world, drawing people from different cultures, castes and creeds, Professor Naqvi said one of the countries where the impact was phenomenal was India, the land of diverse cultures.
“A very significant impact the Islamic Revolution had in India was the return of educated youth and intellectuals toward their religion and beliefs,” Professor Naqvi said.
“The message of Imam Khomeini reached the important Muslim centers of India, such as Lucknow and Kashmir, and revolutionized the religious thinking of Shias in particular and Muslims in general throughout the globe."
He said the revolution "enabled people to recognize the true essence of Islam because of the mighty stance Imam Khomeini took.”
“Even many Hindus were impressed by the heroic act of Iranians to stand up against tyrants. No doubt, the revolution was the initial step toward a fresh chapter of relations between India and Iran," Dr. Naqvi hastened to add.
Read full article at Press TV