Iranians, Muslims across world mark passing anniversary of Imam Khomeini
Iranians and Muslims in various countries around the world mark the passing away of the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini.
Thirty-four years after his passing, Imam Khomeini's illustrious life and legacy continue to be a beacon of inspiration for many.
Born on September 24, 1902, in the central Iranian town of Khomein, the young Ruhollah Mousavi experienced the pain of being orphaned at the tender age of five months.
By the time he was 15, the future founder of the Islamic Republic had also lost his mother, making it extremely hard for him.
In the year 1921, he migrated to the holy city of Qom to study at the Theological Assembly, where he completed his “Level” studies with the late Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Taqi Khonsari and the late Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Yathrebi Kashani.
By the time Ayatollah Borujerdi came to Qom, Imam Khomeini was already a recognized teacher with authority in the areas of jurisprudence (feqh), philosophy (hekmat) and mysticism (erfan).
What made him a household name was his brave fight against the Pahlavi dictatorship. Imam Khomeini led the popular movement against the West-backed unpopular regime in Iran and mobilized the masses with his inspiring leadership and powerful oratory.
In one of his immortal speeches at the Feyziyeh School in Qom, which came on the day of Ashura, he denounced Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for his vile attempts at eradicating Islam and the religious scholars (ulema) from Iranian society.
He was subsequently arrested by the Pahlavi regime commandos and taken to Tehran, where he was imprisoned first at Qasr and then at Eshratabad Military Base for almost a year.
On the first anniversary of his arrest, and the subsequent protests, which came to be known as the 15th of Khordad uprising and were brutally suppressed by the Shah regime, the Imam called for a general day of mourning.
Months later, he delivered another powerful speech, this time condemning the Shah’s benefactor, the United States of America, in no uncertain terms.
Once again, the Imam was arrested, but this time, he was flown to Ankara, Turkey on a military aircraft to begin an exile from his homeland, which did not end until his triumphant return 14 years later on 12 Bahman 1357 / February 1, 1979.
During his exile in Najaf, Iraq, the Imam formulated his unique concept of Islamic governance (Hukumat-e Islami) in a series of lectures given at the seminary in 1971.
On January 16, 1979, the Shah fled Iran for what was to be another “temporary stay” elsewhere, like the trip he had made after the initially unsuccessful US-British coup attempt on August 16, 1953, but this time there was no return.
Two weeks before that, the Shah had appointed Shapour Bakhtiar as prime minister, ordering him to form a government, which was doomed from the onset.
Rejecting the legitimacy of this desperate measure on the part of the Shah, the Imam established a revolutionary council on January 12.
Days after his arrival on February 1, the Imam organized a provisional Islamic government, and by 2 pm on February 11, the armed forces declared their neutrality, Bakhtiar fled to Paris, and the victory of the Islamic revolution was at hand.