Imam Khomeini

Imam Khomeini , the leader who introduced spirituality in politics 

By Dr. Sayed Mahdi Mousavi

Throughout history, many prominent characters have emerged who have had certain characteristics and genius, and in line with their genius and perseverance, they created prodigious changes in the course of history. Great scientists who have shone in the fields of science and art and  added a leaf to the human record are valuable examples of it.

But in the meantime, there have been a few intellectuals who were at the forefront of their time in several different fields and can push the boundaries of knowledge and practice in various dimensions. Firstly, human tastes and talents are usually in a concentrated in certain field, and secondly, the development of the frontiers of knowledge and science, due to the long history of science, is so difficult and exhausting that it is practically possible for humans to lead in various fields. Even if man experiments in various fields, although he may achieve success, he will not excel in any of them.

What makes the conditions for achieving leadership in various fields more and more difficult and sometimes impossible, is mastery and excellence in diverse fields. If someone is a unique artist and at the same time, for example, is a master in physics, he has done a great job. Michael Angelo, the  famous sculptor of the Renaissance, was merely an elite in the field of art. And figures like Kant and Hegel, are known only in the field of philosophy.

But there have been fewer characters who shown in two or more domains or even opposite to each other. Meanwhile, the character of Imam Khomeini, the late leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, is one of such personalities.

Unfortunately, the aspects of his personality have been neglected and sometimes ignored due to  emergence and focus on political leadership. Imam Khomeini was a spiritual and mystical figure before he became a political figure and the leader of the Iranian revolution. While usually the field of politics is social and does not deal with mysticism and spirituality, Imam Khomeini succeeded in shining in all these fields.

Before he was a political leader, He was a great theologian and Islamologist. He has been learning and teaching for more than 50 years. He has taught jurisprudence and rituals at the highest levels. Hundreds of students of religious sciences have studied in the school of Imam Khomeini. The position of authority (marjaiat) among the Shiites is the highest religious position that very few people attain it the period of time. But Imam Khomeini held this position and millions of Shiites around the world imitated him in their religious affairs. Imam Khomeini, like many politicians, did not first destroyed the existing system and then seek an alternative to it.

Rather, for years, he had theorized for the system of the Islamic Republic based on Velayat-e-Faqih. A theory that after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, was able to protect the Islamic Republic of Iran against the most difficult obstacles.

Imam Khomeini was not only at the peak of jurisprudence and rituals but what had greatly magnified him and made him popular in the hearts of the people, was to reach the peak of mysticism and spirituality. The spiritual status and the high level of mysticism had made him a person who did not care about worldly charms. When he traveled to Tehran from Paris after the victory of the revolution, he was asked on the plane: How are you now that you are going to Iran, he woke up and said: I have no special feelings and then rested. When he came to Iran, he did not go to the palaces of the Pahlavi dynasty and lived in a simple house with very limited facilities and, unlike kings and sultans, began a very ascetic life.

A look at his works such as “Asrar al-Salawah” and his collection of mystical poems shows the depth of his mystical and spiritual approach.

Spiritual rites never deprived him of his social duties and responsibilities, and In addition to performing spiritual rites, it was important for him to pay attention to the problems and pains of the people.

The combination of his scientific, political, mystical, and social personality made Imam Khomeini a charismatic figure not only for the Shiites but also for the world. People who, on the one hand, were tired of drowning in the material world and were looking for a refuge to escape from the worries of modernism in the shadow of spirituality, and on the other hand, looking for a pure political school are interested in Imam Khomeini’s school. Imam Khomeini was able to reconcile politics, mysticism, ethics, and religion, and to present a political school that is concerned with both spirituality and mysticism and the social life of man.

It is worthwhile that now, on the anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Imam Khomeini, this humanizing school be studied again and its unknown dimensions be explained to the crisis-stricken human beings and promoted.


The author  is faculty member of the University of Religions and denominations and cultural advisor of I.R. of Iran embassy.

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