Vision and moral character of Imam Khomeini in the Eyes of Imam Ali Khamenei
During the past 30 years, our nation has managed to stand up against the most complex plots. The Iranian nation was faced with military, security, propaganda, political and economic plots. On the economic front, the Iranian nation has been faced with different kinds of sanctions during the past 30 years. As far as negative propaganda is concerned, the huge media and propaganda empire has been working hard against the Iranian nation. Thanks to the Imam’s path and his school of thought, the Iranian nation has managed to stand up against these plots.
The Imam’s school of thought is a complete package with different dimensions. It is necessary to consider all these dimensions together. Two of the main dimensions of the Imam’s school of thought were the spiritual and the rational dimensions. As far as the spiritual dimension is concerned, our magnanimous Imam did not just rely on material factors and manifestations to continue his path. His hope in Allah the Exalted was inexhaustible. Regarding the rational dimension, using wisdom and rational calculations are important in the Imam’s school of thought. I will briefly discuss each of these dimensions.
There is also a third dimension – namely, justice – which is the result of Islam, just like the other two dimensions. The Imam’s rationality originated from Islam, and his spirituality were Islamic and Quranic. Similarly the third dimension originated from Islam and the Holy Quran. It is necessary to consider these dimensions together. Stressing one of these dimensions at the cost of ignoring other dimensions would derail our society. These dimensions and this complete package are the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the Imam. Our magnanimous Imam used to pay attention to both the rational dimension and the spiritual dimension. He also used to pay careful attention to the dimension of justice.
I would like to discuss a few manifestations of the Imam’s rationality. The first manifestation was that he chose democracy as the political system of the country. That is to say, he chose to rely on the votes of the people. Choosing democracy was one of the clear manifestations of rationality in the Imam’s inspirational and revitalizing school of thought. Dictatorial governments had ruled our country for many years. Even during the time of the Constitutional movement when the law seemed to have been institutionalized in the country, in practice the autocracy of the Pahlavi era was more severe and more oppressive than the previous dictatorships.
In a country with such a historical background, our magnanimous Imam found the opportunity to turn voting and the presence of the people into an institutionalized reality.Our people had not experienced free elections except in a short period of time during the early years of the Constitutional movement. In such a country and in such an atmosphere, our magnanimous Imam took the first step and institutionalized elections in the country. You have heard several times that 32 or 33 elections have been held in the country during the past 32 years. The people have decided to go to the ballot boxes and vote. They have freely voted to elect MPs, presidents, members of the Assembly of Experts, members of city councils and other such organizations. This is the most outstanding manifestation of the Imam’s rationality.
The Imam’s firmness and lack of flexibility against the aggressive enemy was another manifestation of his rationality and his reliance on wisdom. The Imam did not trust the enemy. After he got to know the enemies of the Iranian nation and the Revolution well, he stood up against them like a mountain. Certain people think that rationality requires backing down against the enemy on occasion, but the Imam had the opposite idea and he moved in the opposite direction.
The rationality and wisdom of this divine man helped him conclude that even the slightest flexibility and compromise against the enemy would result in the enemy’s further transgression. In a battlefield, your enemy does not feel sorry when you retreat. Every small retreat against the enemies means that the enemy will take a step forward and spread his domination. This was one of the manifestations of the Imam’s rationality.
Another manifestation of the Imam’s rationality was that he infused the spirit of self-confidence and self-sufficiency into the Iranian nation. Since the beginning of the domination of westerners over our country – that is to say, since the early 19th century when westerners came to Iran – they used to constantly humiliate the Iranian nation over many years by presenting different analyses with the help of their agents. They used to make the Iranian nation believe that it was incapable of scientific endeavor and scientific progress. They used to convince the Iranian people that they were incapable of standing on their own feet. The heads of the Pahlavi regime and the regimes that preceded it used to constantly humiliate the Iranian nation.
They used to pretend that if there was any possibility of progress and great achievements, westerners had to step in. They used to pretend that the Iranian nation did not have the potential to do these things. Our magnanimous Imam infused the spirit of self-confidence into such a nation, and this became a turning point for the Iranian nation. Today our youth, our industrialists, our scientists, our politicians and our clergy feel that they can do whatever they want. “We can” was the slogan that our magnanimous Imam instilled into the heart of our nation. This was one of the important manifestations of the Imam’s rationality.
Another manifestation of the Imam’s rationality was his emphasis on preparing the Constitution. The Imam ordered Iranian experts to prepare the Constitution. Those who prepared the Constitution had been elected by the people. The Imam did not choose a group of people to draw up the Constitution. It was the Iranian people who chose them. The people relied on their own judgment to elect certain experts, and those experts drew up the Constitution.
Later on the Imam decided to put the Constitution to the vote again. He arranged a referendum so that the people could vote for or against the Constitution. This was one of the manifestations of the Imam’s rationality. This was how the Imam strengthened the foundations of the Islamic system. In terms of legal aspects, in terms of politics, in terms of social activities and in terms of scientific progress, our magnanimous Imam established a firm foundation which could form the basis of a great Islamic civilization.
He used to advise us against considering ourselves superior to the people. He used to advise us against considering ourselves flawless and above criticism. All high-ranking officials of the country had heard the Imam telling them to be ready and to welcome criticism. All high-ranking government officials had heard him advising them to avoid considering themselves flawless and above criticism. The Imam himself used to act like this.
In his writings and his statements, especially at the end of his holy life, His Eminence admitted on several occasions that he had made a mistake in certain cases. He admitted that he was wrong in certain cases. This requires a great character. One needs a great soul to be able to say such things and to admit that one has made a mistake. This was a manifestation of the Imam’s spirituality and ethical principles. This is one of the important dimensions of the lesson that the Imam taught us.
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s Speech on the Occasion of Imam Khomeini’s 22nd Demise Anniversary 04/06/2011