SHAFAQNA| by Leila Yazdani: Inspired by and using Ashura teachings as the great religious-political treasure of Shia Islam, Imam Khomeini (RA) founded his uprising on it and sought to revive Islam. Recognizing the similarities between Pahlavi Regime and Umayyad caliphates, and taking advantage of two stimulating religious elements of “Enjoining good and prohibition of evil acts” and “Divine Assignment”, the late Imam Khomeini (RA) put an end to Iran’s 2500-year-old monarchy, revived Islam.
The first sparks of Islamic Revolution were essentially lit in Muharram and inspired by teachings of Ashura movement. The uprising of 5 June 1963, a milestone in the history of Islamic Revolution, was occurred subsequent to Imam Khomeini’s (RA) speech on the afternoon of Ashura (June 3). Disclosing the oppressions and corruptions of the regime, Imam Khomeini (RA) called on people to rise up against Yazid of the time and at the same time demanded establishment of an Islamic government and rule of Quranic values in the society. During that time he increasingly insisted on adherence to Imam Hussain (A.S.)’s movement and Islamic precepts:
“Present Islam to people and in your presentations model Ashura…”, because “Muharram is the month in which the Master of Martyrs Imam Hussain rose up against Taghout to teach human beings construction and firmness. He did sacrifice and was sacrificed to annihilate the oppressor and the very same motif is the Islamic guideline for our nation forever.” (Sahife Noor, vol. 2, p. 11)
In the period between 1963 and 1979, Muharram ceremonies, tribunes, orations, and dirges took revolutionary and political moods. The slogans chanted by people during this uprising and at the threshold of Islamic Revolution victory all referred to Ashura movement’s motifs. Ashura was not a historical lesion any more, but the axis of mobilization against Pahlavi Regime. In fact, generally in Imam Khomeini’s (RA) eyes, genesis and continuity of Islamic Revolution owes to Ashura and the lesson Imam Hussain (AS) has taught the Iranian nation.
Opposition to arrogance
Perhaps the most important impression of Shia culture and teachings on Iranian Islamic Revolution was opposition to Taghout and arrogance as it was observed in all activities and stances of Imam Khomeini as a central motif of his Islamic movement.
The tragedy of Karbala bestowed unity to Shias and created a spirit of cooperation among them. Before that due to lack of motivation and loyalty in defense of their belief based on religious right of special caliphate of Ahl al-Bayt, they had borne grief. Those perceptions changed and they gathered the strongest practical force with which they rushed out to destroy the Umayyad regime and stood up together to take revenge for Imam Hussain (A.S.). The event of Karbala roused in the hearts of Shias, feelings and sorrows and it brought them to the belief that before everything they must think of the need of unity to restore the rights of the persecuted and oppressed people.
Power of determination and decisiveness
Imam Hussain’s (A.S.) movement was effective in creating social awareness and bringing out the revolutionary spirit in people, because the community had completely changed and after remaining silent and submissive it became armed with faith and power of determination and decisiveness and it became free of all the negative notions that it had been involved in. No other effect of fear or distress remained with them till they destroyed the expressions of Umayyad arrogance and eradicated their persecution and deviation.
Seeking freedom from the bonds of humiliation and slavery
The revolution of Imam Hussain (A.S.) changed the meaning of fear and surrender that was supreme on the community and according to the principles of revolution turned it into confronting and seeking freedom from the bonds of humiliation and slavery; because the Imam gave them a rousing power and bestowed them a revolutionary spirit to stand up and fight injustice and oppression.
Through establishing a just government, Muslims can bring about social justice
According to teachings of Shia Islam, through establishing a just government, Muslims can bring about social justice.
Imam Khomeini (RA) says:
“The politics that I am talking about is a perfect form of politics that the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam and our leaders in Islam practiced. They came to guide people and lead them towards their real interest. Politics is meant to guide people and take into account all interests of the society and man.”
Imam Khomeini (RA) refers to some of the Quranic verses and narration from the infallible Imams (A.S); The Shia’s believe that the Prophet (PBUH) and the Imams (A.S) were appointed according to the Divine Text. Some of the Shia scholars, including Imam Khomeini (RA), are even of the view that the fuqaha are qualified and entitled to form government because of the acknowledgment of the infallible Imams who were appointed by God.
Imam Khomeini’s (RA) way of reasoning in his books, Al-Bay`( book of sale), Kashfal-Asrar, Tahriral-Wasila and his speeches, indicate that the appointment of wali al-Amr (holders of authority) is a divine task. In his book Tahriral-Wasila, he writes:
“Only the infallible Imams (AS) and their appointees are entitled to take the helm of political affairs. In their absence, their representatives, i.e., qualified jurisconsults, are responsible for running the political affairs.”
Respect for people’s right
It must be noted that he used to refer to the view of the people and took into account their votes. In several cases Imam Khomeini (RA) had a full respect for people’s right and maintained that they are the legitimizing source of a government. At the same time he did not overlook the Divine Legitimacy. According to Imam Khomeini (RA), God and the Prophet (PBUH) do not allow the ruler to oppose the people’s ideas.
-General Principles of Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought, Kazem Ghazi Zadeh
-Shia Political Thought, Ahmed Vaezi
– The Life of Imam Hussain (AS) Research and Analysis, Baqir Sharif Al-Qurashi