These three beliefs revealed themselves in the character, decisions and actions of Imam (r.a.) in the true sense of the word. Imam (r.a.) spoke to the people through his heart and the people accepted his call with their heart and soul. They stepped into the arena and resisted in a brave way. Their movement – which had no sympathizers in the world and received no assistance – gradually moved towards ultimate victory.
I would like to briefly explain the three beliefs of Imam Khomeini (r.a.). The points I will discuss in this regard are important points that can illuminate our path only if they find their way into our hearts.
Regarding faith in God, Imam (r.a.) was the manifestation of this holy ayah: “Those to whom the people said: Surely men have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but this increased their faith, and they said: Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector.” [The Holy Quran, 3: 173] Imam (r.a.) was firmly committed to “Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector” with all his heart and soul. Imam (r.a.) had faith in Allah the Exalted. He had faith in divine promises. He acted, worked and spoke for the sake of God and he knew that “if you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you” [The Holy Quran, 47: 7] is a divine promise and that it is definite and inviolable.
Regarding faith in the people, our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) knew the Iranian nation in the true sense of the word. Imam (r.a.) believed that our nation enjoys deep religious faith and is intelligent and courageous, a nation that has the capacity to shine like the sun in different areas only if it has competent leaders. One time an incompetent person like Shah Sultan Hussein caused the Iranian nation to retreat into a corner, but another time a courageous person like Nader Gholi – without those honorary titles – emerged among the people and became their leader by relying on his courage and as a result, our nation managed to expand the arena of its glory from Delhi to the Black Sea. Imam (r.a.) had noticed this truth about our history and he had witnessed the examples.
He believed in this truth. He knew our nation. He had faith in the Iranian nation. The people’s deep religious faith – which had been concealed by materialistic people – was revived by our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). He provoked the people’s religious pride and the Iranian nation became the role model of resistance and insight. In the eyes of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.), the people were the dearest and enemies of the people were the most hated. The fact that Imam (r.a.) did not stop his battle against the domineering powers even for one single moment, was mainly because the domineering powers were enemies of the people’s happiness, and Imam (r.a.) believed that enemies of the people were his enemies too.
As for self-confidence, Imam (r.a.) taught the people of Iran to be confident. Before instilling a sense of confidence into the people of Iran, Imam (r.a.) first revived this sense of self-confidence in himself. He exhibited his faith in his capabilities in the true sense of the word. On the anniversary of Ashura in the year 1342, while he was alone, Imam (r.a.) threatened the Shah that he would ask the people of Iran to force him out of the country if he continued acting like that. He said this among the people and seminarians of Qom in Feiziyeh School and he threatened Mohammadreza Shah, who was wielding unrestricted power in the country by relying on America and other foreign powers. This threat was made by a cleric in Qom who had no weapons, no equipment, no money and no international support. He managed to resist in this arena by relying on his faith in God and in himself.
The day when Imam (r.a.) returned from exile, he threatened the government of Bakhtiar at Behesht Zahra Cemetery and he announced in a resonating voice that he would punch Bakhtiar’s government in the mouth and that he would establish another government. This was indicative of Imam’s (r.a.) self-confidence. Imam (r.a.) had faith in himself and in his capabilities. It was this self-confidence that was transferred to the people of Iran through his words and actions.
My dear ones, for a hundred years, they had convinced us that we were incapable, incapable of managing the country, incapable of achieving dignity and glory, incapable of developing the country, incapable of moving forward in the arena of knowledge and other such things. And we had started to believe these things.
Instilling a sense of inability – with the purpose of making nations lose faith in their capabilities – is one of the effective ways in which domineering powers spread their domination over different nations. In this way, they managed to keep the Iranian nation backwards in politics, science and economic activities as well as in all other arenas of life. Imam (r.a.) reversed this situation and took this means of hegemony away from the superpowers. He told the Iranian nation, “You can.” He restored our courage. He restored our determination. He restored our self-confidence. We people of Iran felt that we were capable again. We moved forward and we took action. For this reason, the Iranian nation has achieved victory over the past thirty-something in all the areas that I will discuss later on in this meeting.
These three beliefs of Imam (r.a.) – namely faith in God, faith in the people and faith in himself – became the axis of all his decisions, actions and policies. At the beginning of the movement, these three beliefs were a source of energy for Imam (r.a.). The same is true of the time when he was in exile, the time when he left for Paris and the time when he returned to Iran. It was these three beliefs that gave Imam (r.a.) the power to enter Tehran in those conditions. These three beliefs were exhibited in the events that happened during Bahman of 1357, in the fitnas that happened in the country, in the establishment of the Islamic Republic, in his open resistance against the oppressive global order, in the slogan of “neither the East, nor the West”, in the imposed war and in all the events that took place in those eventful ten years of Imam’s life. These three beliefs were the basis of Imam’s decisions, actions and policies.
Even in the last few days of his life, nobody noticed any signs of despair, doubt, exhaustion, weakness or submission in the words and actions of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). Many revolutionaries throughout the world start to have doubts and become conservative as they grow older. Sometimes they even take back their main statements. The statements that were issued by Imam (r.a.) during the last few years of his life were sometimes even more strongly worded and revolutionary than his statements in the year 1342. He was growing old, but he was young at heart and his soul was vibrant. This is the same steadfastness that has been described in the Holy Quran: “And that if they should keep to the (right) way, We would certainly give them to drink of abundant water.” [The Holy Quran, 72: 16] In another ayah, Allah the Exalted says: “(As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised.” [The Holy Quran, 41: 30]
These three beliefs kept Imam (r.a.) young and vibrant. They consolidated Imam’s thought and path for our nation and then these three beliefs gradually spread among our people, our youth and individuals from different social backgrounds. These three beliefs created hope. They created self-confidence. They resulted in reliance on God. These things replaced despair and pessimism. The people of Iran changed their characteristics and Allah the Exalted changed their conditions. “Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition.” [The Holy Quran, 13: 11] The people of Iran reformed their path, their movement and their motives and Allah the Exalted helped and supported them. What was the result? The result was that Iran became an independent country. [Jun 4, 2013]