In the calmness of love, dedicate as a breeze, free like waves, more blooming than spring, more shining than the sun, firmer than mountain, bluer than the sky, greener than the jungle, whiter than white and clearer than water, a man calmly passed by us, a man who was history itself. The waves which were caused by his hands crossed the frontiers of the earth and joined the orbits. After him, the earth, too, got the smell of the heaven. Much has been said about him, still being said and will be said, but:
Whatever I may say in explaining love,
I get ashamed of it when I come to love itself.
The greatness and the reality of men like the late Imam (Khomeini) can never be described as they really are. His personality is the likeness of the sun when it hides its face for a while behind the curtain of alienation.
This which is in your hands is a discourse about the life and the memories of the Imam originally intended to present a new suggestion in this respect. The writer tries to get nearer to the depth of the Imam's personality, to explore, in a parallel movement, this holy life, and to study it exactly where it had been developed, ie. Within its chronical sequence, although his and our silent tongues repeat this verse of Mawlana:
Though the water of the sea is not drinkable, Yet it must be tasted to quinch thirst!
Bruce Mazlish, a contemporary Western writer and thinker, in this book khumeini the Hidden, writes: "Two things have made Imam Khomeini what he is: one, his love of the Family of Revelation, and the other, his particular spirit of gnosticism.
The prismatic personality of the Imam and his prophetic appearance were gland tidings of security and faith, in the middle of an age which was about to get used to 'ungodliness'. The Imam's appearance and presence caused the nations to enthusiasm and to try to resurge before the Resurrection. Hence, immediately after the start of the Imam's prophetic movement, there rose successive great movements, not only in the Islamic countries, but also in the countries where there still was a remembrance and a name of God. The original objective of these tempests was to smash the idols of disbelief and polytheism all over the world. It was a movement in the name of God along time.
Years before, the informed and the priests of the temple of human thought had predicated this appearance and presence. The late Jalal Al-eAhmad, in his book under the litle Service and Betrayal of the Enlightened, quoted the speech of the informed sunny old man of Qum, who, in the dark night of the ignorance of the Time of Ignorance, rose his voice calling the world t light. Now, a prompter has raised his head out of the fetters, free like a whirlwind, inviting the world to wakeness, and entrusting the fire of gnosticism, love and spirituality to the long-nighted ones of the earth.
The late martyr Murtada Mutahhari, by way of depicting 'Ruhullah' [the spirit of God], says that he was the extract and digest of faith. It was this very faith which, bravely and intuitively, spoke of the decline of Communism, and of the need of the contemporary critical world for a Gnostic spirituality, the spirituality which he himself was its actual personification and crystallization. The Imam's message to Gorbachev was not a small one. It was the message of a man, who, after centuries, like a spiritual leader and an internal guide for his era, called out to the new Caesars and Casras to submit to the truth, the wonder of innateness and the conduct of love and faith. The world has heard, and it will also hear, his voice. Egypt, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, France, South Africa, America, England and tens of other small and large countries in the world testify how great the holy voice of that old spiritual man in its effect was, and how blessing! If only man knew that bread-tables are in need of the blessing of faith!
The important subject about this godly personality is his Shi'ite bringing-up. Shi'ism was like an arena for the manifestation of the truth of Islam in the whole of his historical presence, brandishing the standard of justice, and asking for a hatchet to let his Ibrahimian appearance and existence smash the idols of power, gold and dissimulation. It is a chain which, along history, uninterrupted, like successive waves continually struck at the cold and rocky shores of injustice, until they were broken and driven away, though through this conflict it, too, received slaps. The special movement of the Imam in his religious understanding and holy presence was based on prophetic and 'Alawi invitation to the truth of revelation, the law of justice and the path of love. All of these are the spiritual heritage of Shi 'ism which the Imam presented to the contemporary humanity. We would than man could understand the secret of the greatness which is deposited in this great heritage the secret which the Imam, in his final advices, expressed in the form of his belief in the Thaqalayn.
The other subject which has no less importance is the Imam's gnosticism which was manifested in his high and heavenly soul, and disclosed existence in a holy witnessing. A refined soul which, with the grace of his pleasant breaths, filled the surface of the earth with the scent of his godly presence, and left signs of deliverance on whatever place he passed by. Ascetic at night, lion at daytime, had the old man received no light and no luminousness from the Truth of existence, he could not have lighted a torch along the path of the night-stricken humanity:
"Whoever kindles fire in himself is the light of the meeting!"
In the book Service and Betray of the Enlightened a chapter is devoted to the Imam's speech in the year 1342. Jalal stresses in this discussion that at a time when, in certain words, "the sky-beating firsts of power are disclosed and throughout disgraced" and have taken to flattery and begging at the doors of gold owners, the powerful and the master of dissimulation, the Shi 'ite authority is still wakeful, and remains raising the banner of fighting fascism and imperialism. Later on, Shams, quoting Jalal, said that during the Imam's visit to Qum, he saw in his hand the book There is Nothing in the West, and quite astonished, he said: "The authority who reads the newest books of the westerners is a man of insight and one must endeavour to entrust one's heart to him and follow him".
The Imam is th announcer of monotheism in the contemporary era. A great thinker, in the middle of the new century, said: "At a time when men of religion are empty-handed, what can the poets do?"
This talk comes true in respect of everybody who, in a time of difficulty, tries to undertake a great job. Undoubtedly, the Imam enjoyed the flow of the holy spirit of the Christ's breath, and thus he could breathe into the dead body of the new century the spirit of faith and love, and to historically carry out the desire of all the prophets. He used his strongest power against history in order to deny the empty-handedness of the spirit of the present era. It is these particularities which distinguish Imam Khomeini's revolution from other contemporary revolutions. Teda Scotchpel, the prominent contemporary sociologist, in his book dedicated to sociologically studying Iran's Revolution states all the theories of revolution about the Islamic Revolution of Iran and discusses them, and then concludes that none of those theories can sufficiently analyse this Revolution. The Islamic Revolution is a separately spun texture which must be separately studied.
The age of united disbelief is over, and now it is time for monotheism and a new era is staring. Imam Khomeini gave everything the colour and smell of holiness. The earth got a heavenly appearance, and the soil to the colour of the orbits. Literature had also a share of his presence and existence. Language, which formerly belonged to the multiplicity and used for tumult, got a divine colour, turned towards unity and was used for innate disposition.
Literature has a great power. This deep and astonishing power effectively participated in the bringing about of some contemporary schools of thought. In fact, if a school does not make use of literature for transmitting its ideas and teachings, it has actually done a great injustice to itself. Imperialism and Communism-the two sides of the coin of the western culture-tried to make use of the naked visage of literature to their own interests by reflecting it on the mirrors of minds. Now it seems that from that coin only one side is surviving, and that is the ugly visage of profit and capitalism, which kindles the fires of envy and greed in the souls of the people, and turns the people's lives and existence into dust and ashes. The Imam breathed a new spirit into literature. He regarded the language of poetry to be the loftiest and the most agreeable of languages. This was not just a complement. I t was a contradiction to the contemporary definition of literature. On the other hand, it was the climax and the rise to which literature, in its true sense, can reach. The literature of the innate nature, the literature of the truth and the literature of humanity and justice were becoming strange to themselves. The Imam very well was aware of the fact that if a school of thought could not correctly and eyecatchingly make use of literature, it would face difficulty in carrying out its objectives. Is it not that the miracle of Sealing Prophet was a verbal literary one? The Qur'an's inimitable literary structure showed that man, in his mental and moral maturity, attains to eloquency, and before this astounding geometrical constructions of words and meanings, he has but to how in homage. Nahjul Balaghah, too, shows the way to the wonderful literary maturity and eloquent speech.
The new age, which has brought a hundred lights, Has opened its eyes in his lap.
When the late 'Allamah Iqbal of Lahore was reciting this verse, probably it did not occur to him that after half a century a man would rise and he himself would give to the new age hundreds of moral and divine luminous lights. With his special literature, which was his eminent, inimitable simple style, the Imam established a new ultra-way other than that of ordinary literature and men of letter Literature, thenceforth, was no more a mere art, but a need. The Imam's attachment to the great men like Sa'di, Mawlana, Hafiz and other great Gnostic poets, caused him to pay special attention to the Persians literature and the literary men of the land of illumination. His part in spreading literature was kneaded with the part of literature in spreading his objectives, and hundreds of thousands, nay, millions, of pages of matters, writings, poems and articles, were penned about him in literary form.
About the Imam plenty has been written and said. But those which are more important out of them, and historically survive longer, are the speeches and writings which have a deeper literary colour.
As it was already said, any school of thought which disregards the part of literature in spreading its ideals and teachings, will remain behind in the speedy literary contest, and will lose its addresses to the enchanting and attractive words of its opponents. The saying that the world of today is like a village, refers to this concept. Under the hegemony of technology and of the media, and by imposture and rorgery of propaganda and the magic of words, the ideas are deformed and bewitched, and they find no way to a seclusion except through tricks and Babylian confusion.
Nowadays literature and men of letters are to be thought of once again and literature is to be taken seriously, because the enemies are taking it seriously, too. The importance of any piece written about the Imam, his ideals and his aims, increases when it takes a literary tint. This text, at your disposal, has such an importance. This written piece tries to draw a literary, biographical holy picture, and, by suing the approved aspect of language, it is to show a beautiful readable text. Neglecting the historical share and the beauty of language is a neglect for which no generation and no age would forgive us.
Our sage men believed that one must be at the service of those words which kindle fire, not of those which pour cold water on the sparks of thoughts.
Basically, language is informative. This characteristic, due to its direction, is capable of being constructive or destructive. The Imam gave a constructive visage to literature, and tried to let it find, through making peace with innate disposition, a direction of humanity and unity. Now, if we are to move along with the Imam's desires and the values which he introduced to the contemporary history, we must regard important that which he stressed and confirmed, and follow up the same direction.
We have to try new borders in language, and to step into new valleys and practise new experiments which will increase our scientific and technical ability, and grant us success in the beauty contest.
In the work, the Imam's life is reviewed, from beginning to end, with a new attention and method. This review is twin with love and devotion. It is the pen of longing that, one the rug of separation, illustrates the historical fate of a loving people together with the object of their love. It is not a dry narration of history before you. It is the narrative of the consternation and love of a people who lovingly presented their full attachment, with complete sincerity, to the holy threshold of a spiritual old man, and manly and uprightly, they stayed constant in respect of this sacred allegiance. The sunny name of the Imam was brightly written on the forehead of the fate of this land. Now this book, thought small, is a mirror in front of the sun in order to have a suitable share of that everlasting radiance for the coming generations.
The writer tries, in a parallel movement, to relate how the stature of the young tree of Ruhullah became proudly fruitful in the body of the contemporary history, without any decrease and deduction. Truly, he has been accompanied by success in this work.
It we talk according to the new criterions, this work can be taken as a kind of historical novel: The plan and the prose are those of a novel, and the truth and the authority are those of history.
The writing, by returning to the time of beginning, takes care of the biography of the Imam's ancestors, with an insight in the picture and conduct of the existent men and women who, like pearls, opened to breed in themselves the pure jem of that divine being with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and to be a new and different starting point in history.
After a long introduction we come to the first chapter of the work. It starts with a detailed description of the historical situation of the town of Khomein, and how the Imam's ancestors settled there. Unlike a mere novel, here, all the narratives and episodes are documented, and only few signs and tidings have worn the apparel of mere written pieces lacking documents.
If the family of that great man, ny the felicity of their truthful hearts, could prevent distortion and reduction in the Shari 'ah, and presented a luminous picture of the holy truth in the clear mirror of their works, the Imam, on the same way, not only could, with his pen, guard that eternal epic, rather he started an event which, like a star, would remain evershining, and never decline from the sky of man's fate The great act which God never bestowed the grace of performing its like upon any wise and learned man in all the history.
It is quite natural that there may be deficiencies in the text, which are not denied, but, as the Khajeh of Shiraz, Shamsuddin Muhammad, Hafiz the Gnostic man who was greatly respected by the Imam had said:
"Consider truthfulness and affection not the defects of sin,
As whoever is artless only looks at defects.
The key to the treasure of happiness is accepted by men of heart, Let nobody get any doubt about this point."
It is hoped that those who are eager for the truth, and the is sighted people, may look with the eye of care and kindness at these drafts, and generously remind us of any deficiency they see, so that once again this book may appear freer from defects, better revised and with clearer arrangement, and stand upright in an apparel of better printing.
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