Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist
- :Imam Khomeini
Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist
by : Imam Khomeini
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
All praise be to God; there is neither might nor strength but from God, the Exalted, the Sublime. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of God, Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and his purified progeny.
The present book, Governance of the Jurist, including relevant footnotes and explanations, is the compendium of thirteen speeches of His Eminence Ima-m Khomeini delivered during his stay in Najaf from January 21 to February 8, 1970. Now, this book is presented to the knowledgeable researchers and those ardent of the works of Ima-m Khomeini.
These speeches had been reproduced and disseminated then in various forms as lessons and instruction materials. Later, in autumn of 1970 the texts of the speeches were edited and prepared for printing. Following the approval of Ima-m Khomeini, it was printed in Beirut (Lebanon) by Ima-m Khomeini’s friends, then secretly sent to Iran, while copies of which were simultaneously sent to the revolutionary Muslims in Europe, United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
In 1977, before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the book was published in Iran entitled, A Letter from Ima-m Mu-sa-wi Ka-shif al-Ghita- and Jiha-d-i Akbar as its supplement. Like the other works of Ima-m Khomeini, the book Governance of the Jurist had been considered on top of the list of prohibited books for publication during the Sha-h’s regime. So many people were imprisoned and tortured on the charge of publishing, possessing, or reading the book.
However, despite all pressures exerted by the SAVAK (the Sha-h’s notorious secret police) and restraints imposed by the Sha-h’s regime, the notion to support the establishment of an Islamic government whose legislative principles are expounded here by Ima-m Khomeini, gained a widespread adherence among the revolutionary Muslim forces at the religious seminaries, universities and other notable centers; and with the 15th of Khurda-d uprising and Ima-m Khomeini’s movement, the idea of establishing an Islamic government based on governance of the jurist was crystallized as a fundamental idea.
The Islamic jurists (fuqaha-) have generally been involved in the issue of governance of the jurist in different subject matters in fiqh, some briefly and some in details. However, no comprehensive and orderly discourse is found in the fiqh books of predecessors; the reason being the unfavorable political and social conditions prevailing over Islamic countries in the past and the dominance of tyrannical ruling cliques that had made it impossible to touch upon such discussions.
But regardless of the difference among fuqaha- on the extent of authorities and the case applicability of governance of the jurist during the period of Occultation,1 there is unanimity among them in general as to the affirmation of a certain kind of guardianship authority for the fully competent faqi-h. Opinions of fuqaha- on the kind of guardianship and the extent of authorities of the Islamic jurists during the period of Occultation have been recently compiled and published in some books.
According to available sources, the late A-yatulla-h Mulla- Ahmad Nara-qi2 (one of the Qa-ja-r dynasty contemporary scholars) has dealt with this subject matter in his book ‘Awa-’id al-Ayya-m more detailed than the others. He first tried to seek evidence from numerous narrations proving that the faqi-h is entrusted with guardianship rights during the Occultation period in the following areas:
In all instances, where the Prophet and the infallible Ima-ms (‘a) had been authorized and assigned as guardians except in cases, where this had been excluded due to religiously legal requirement.
In all instances related to religious and living duties of people that must be carried out.
By relying on Qur’anic verses, Prophetic traditions, and jurisprudential arguments, he continues the discourse by giving ten examples of applicable cases within the sphere of governance of the jurist such as ifta-; administering punishment; protecting the properties of the orphans, insane, and the absent individuals; and taking possession of properties of the infallible Ima-ms.
Although it can be understood from the late Nara-qi’s discussions that he has included governance within the same sphere, he has not openly stressed on it.
After the late Nara-qi, Ima-m Khomeini was the only faqi-h to deal tacitly with the governance of the jurist for the first time and proved the point. As indicated earlier, Ima-m Khomeini had once discussed the question of governance of the jurist in Najaf in thirteen instructional sessions of which the present book is the transcription and edited form of the same course instructions. He further discussed governance of the jurist in the second volume of his five-volume book entitled, Kita-b al-Bay‘ in the same profound style.
In the present book, Governance of the Jurist, Ima-m Khomeini has laid great emphasis on guardianship (wila-yat) as a principle, serving as the base and foundation for all duties. He especially examines guardianship from governmental and political points of view. Here, in addition to expounding the political and social factors causing the neglect of the most important Islamic issue, he has methodologically examined the question, and based on the same sturdy approach exercised in fiqh, proceeded with introductory practicable programs for realization of governance of the jurist in the government.
He begins by disclosing the plots and conspiracies made by the enemies to annihilate Islam. Then he continues logically to discuss insinuated misgivings, such as “Islam is not a competent religion to govern the society at the age of industrial civilization” or “legal provisions of Islam are inadequate to resolve the social problems, and to provide us with appropriate answers”.
In this regard Ima-m Khomeini points out that the misgivings suggested by the enemies to pave the way for the faulty notion of separation of religion from politics, have unfortunately been so much effective; even in the seminaries, one dares not to speak freely about the Islamic government. He further indicated the domestic shortcomings and infatuations for the new civilization, all of which are the souvenir of the devilish propaganda of imperialism. He warned the seminaries, the young clergy students, and the Muslim thinkers to endeavor enormously to carry out their political and social duties and be careful not to be deceived. Islam is not opposed to technological and industrial progress; but social problems require ethical and religious solution, and Islam is that all-embracing religion that can solve all problems, provided the thinkers and scholars of the Islamic world would face the challenge.
By expounding the indisputable historical fact that the Most Noble Messenger (s) had appointed a successor, Ima-m Khomeini posed the question of “whether the successor had been designed just to expound the religious precepts.” Of course not! Expounding religious precepts does not require to be done by the Prophet’s successor. Therefore the appointment had been for rulership, and for enforcement of laws and regulations. It is most important now to believe in the necessity to establish an Islamic government; thus, we can determine the position and role of the successor.
In this book Ima-m Khomeini has given some instances proving the necessity for establishing an Islamic government, as follows:
Action taken by the Holy Prophet (s) to establish a government;
The fact that divine precepts are to be enforced perpetually; they are enacted not only for the time of the Holy Prophet (s); they are meant for all time.
The nature and characteristic of Islamic laws and regulations like fiscal, national defense, and legal and penal precepts are such that they are not executable without a government.
After giving quite well-reasoned explanation on the necessity of Islamic government, Ima-m Khomeini refers to the historical background of deviation from this principle during the Umayyad period and its continuation during the Abbasids who had adopted un-Islamic rule, imitating the Iranian monarchical, Roman imperial and the Egyptian pharaonic systems. And the same way continued afterwards. He stresses on the logical demand for alteration of such systems, and that it is therefore necessary to stir up a political revolution. Accordingly, it is necessary to revolt against tyrannical governments to pave the way for the establishment of Islamic government and the enforcement of Islamic precepts, unification of Islamic ummah that have now fallen into the trap of disunity caused by various domestic elements as well as foreigners, and finally, to save the oppressed and the deprived people as a religious duty of all Muslims, especially the scholars. Ima-m Khomeini further continues emphasizing on the necessity of establishing an Islamic government, by relating the subject to a narration quoted by Fadl ibn Sha-da-n on the philosophy of ordaining governments as provided for in the narration and traditions.
An important part of the book deals with the difference between an Islamic government and other types of governments, pointing out that the Islamic government is a special kind of constitutional government that is anchored on the Islamic laws. Ima-m Khomeini believes, therefore, that Islamic legislative power or law-making assemblies are bound to devise all governmental plans and programs within the framework of Islamic precepts; not according to regular procedures followed by other states.
Ima-m Khomeini further deals with the prerequisite qualities of the ruler, as derived directly from the nature of Islamic government. In addition to the regular requirement such as intelligence and prudence, there are two principal prerequisites for the ruler: his knowledge about the law and his justness.
Governance of the faqi-h during the Occultation is the next to be dealt with. Following the previous discussion, Ima-m Khomeini says, “Now we live at the Occultation period. On the one hand, Islamic precepts are to be enforced, (and no one is designated by God Almighty to fulfill this task), and on the other hand, what should we do then?” He examines this subject matter and comes to the conclusion that “God Almighty has given the quality which is required for rulership to a great number of religious scholars from the very outset of Islam to the advent of the Ima-m of the Age (‘a). This quality is the knowledge about law and justice. A great number of our contemporary scholars (fuqaha-) possess this quality and they should join hands. They will be able to establish a just government in the world.” He then points out that governance of the jurist is an extrinsic and rational issue, and the fully competent faqi-h is entrusted with all the authorities; that the Prophet and the infallible Ima-ms (‘a) were entitled too, for governance; and that this guardianship cannot be realized except through entitlement and that it implies in itself no dignity and status, but only a means of carrying out one’s duty and enforcing religious precepts.
The exalted aims of government, and characteristics required for the ruler are then referred to. Relying on traditions, Ima-m Khomeini deduces that governance of the jurist implies entitlement to government as well as argumentation that constitutes the greater part of the book. The concluding part of the book deals with the necessity for a long-range planning to achieve this divine objective. Here, Ima-m Khomeini points out the importance of propagation and instructions, while saying, “Meetings must be directed to serve these two important tasks. Struggles must be stirred as ‘A-shu-ra- to create waves of crowds insisting on the establishment of Islamic government, and prepared for a long-term struggle while not bearing in mind an immediate achievement”.
The necessity for proper attention to instructions and propagations, moral and cultural reformation of seminaries, annihilation of the moral and cultural effects of imperialism, correction of the pseudo-saints, purging the seminaries of the court ‘ulama-, and finally, taking effective measures to overthrow the oppressive and tyrannical governments, are among the concluding discussions of the book.
Esteemed readers’ attentions are drawn to the fact that after his divine uprising, which, thanks to the divine grace, consciousness and unity of the Muslim people, gained victory over monarchical system in Iran on Bahman 22, 1358 Sh./February 11,1979, Ima-m Khomeini undertook the leadership of the Islamic Revolution and the guardianship function of the nation. It should, therefore, be taken into consideration that comprehending precisely Ima-m Khomeini’s viewpoints on governance of the jurist, which is explained in this book, can only be realized when full consideration is given to his personal manners and conducts in the course of his rule and his ideas about the extent of authorities and the station of guardianship as expressed through his speeches, messages and letters.3
“O God, foreshorten the arms of the oppressors that are stretched out against the lands of the Muslims and root out all traitors to Islam and the Islamic countries. Awaken the heads of the Muslims states from their deep sleep so that they may exert themselves on behalf of their people’s interests and renounce divisiveness and the quest for personal gain. Grant that the younger generation studying in the religious colleges and the universities may struggle to reach the sacred aims of Islam and strive together, with ranks united, first, to deliver the Islamic countries from the clutches of imperialism and its vile agents, and then to defend them. Grant that the fuqaha- and the scholars may strive to guide and enlighten the minds of the people, to convey the sacred aims of Islam to all Muslims, particularly the younger generation, and to struggle for the establishment of an Islamic government. From You is success, and there is neither recourse nor strength except in God, the Exalted, the Sublime.”4
The Institute for Compilation and Publication
of Ima-m Khomeini’s Works
Ima-m Khomeini - a Short Biography5
Ima-m Ru-hulla-h al-Musawi al-Khomeini was born on September 24, 1902 into a family of strong religious traditions in Khumayn, a small town some hundred kilometers to the southwest of Tehran.6 Both his grandfather and father were religious scholars. The former, Sayyid Ahmad, was known as al-Hindi because of a period he had spent in India, where a distant branch of the family is said still to exist. The latter, A-yatulla-h Mustafa-, was murdered by bandits only five months after the birth of Ru-hulla-h, so that his mother and an aunt were responsible for his early upbringing. At the age of sixteen, he lost both mother and aunt in the course of a single year, and the task of supervising his education then fell to an elder brother, Sayyid Murtada- (better known, in later years, as A-yatulla-h Pasandi-deh). A-yatulla-h Pasandi-deh recalls that, even in his youth, Ima-m Khomeini showed great piety, seriousness, and determination. It was the general consensus in Khumayn that a significant if turbulent career awaited him.7
At the age of nineteen, the young Khomeini was sent to study religious sciences in the nearby town of Ara-k under the guidance of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Kari-m Ha-‘iri8 who had been a pupil of great scholars at the Shi-‘i teaching centers in Iraq, most notably Mi-rza- Hasan Shira-zi.9 His studies under Ha-’iri made Khomeini an heir to the traditions established by the great figures of the nineteenth century— traditions that included political activism as well as learning.
The following year, Ha-’iri accepted an invitation from the people and scholars of Qum to settle there. Qum had always been a center of learning as well as pilgrimage, but Ha-’iri’s arrival there, followed by his reorganization of the religious teaching institution, was the first in a series of development that elevated Qum to the status of spiritual capital of Islamic Iran. The final and decisive development would be the movement of nationwide opposition to the Pahlavi monarchy that Ima-m Khomeini was to initiate in Qum in 1962.
Indications of Ima-m Khomeini’s future role were already present in those early years. He attained prominence among the numerous students of Ha-’iri, excelling in a wide variety of subjects, but especially ethics and the variety of spiritual philosophy known in Iran as ‘irfa-n. At the early age of twenty-seven, he wrote a treatise in Arabic on these subjects, Misba-h al-Hida-yah, which was well received by his teachers.10 Many of Ima-m Khomeini’s important associates who came to be well known during the Revolution years—e.g. A-yatulla-h Muntaziri11—recall that they were first attracted to him by his proficiency in ethics and philosophy and that the classes he taught on them twice a week in Qum were frequently attended by hundreds of people.12
Given the current fame of Ima-m Khomeini as a revolutionary leader who has achieved a rare degree of success in the purely political sphere, it may appear surprising that he first gained fame as a writer and teacher concerned with devotional and even mystical matters. For Ima-m Khomeini, however, spirituality and mysticism have never implied social withdrawal or political quietism, but rather the building up of a fund of energy that finds its natural expression on the sociopolitical plane.
The life of Ima-m Khomeini is a clear indication that the Revolution wrought by Islam necessarily begins in the moral and spiritual realm.13 The classes he taught at Qum in the 1930s bore witness to this; topics of an ethical and spiritual nature were constantly interwoven with evocations of the problems of the day and exhortations to his listeners to devote themselves to solving them as part of their religious duty.
The early years of Ima-m Khomeini’s activity in Qum coincided with the establishment of the Pahlavi state by Riza- Kha-n. Riza- Kha-n transformed the Iranian monarchy into a dictatorship of the modern, totalitarian kind and made its chief internal aim the elimination of Islam as a political, social, and cultural religion.
Efforts directed towards this aim were directly witnessed by Ima-m Khomeini in Qum, and reports reached him regularly from other cities such as Mashhad, Isfahan and Tabriz. What he saw and heard in those years left a deep impression on him; the repressive measures directed against the religious institution in later years by the second and last of the Pahlavi sha-hs, Muhammad Riza-, were for him a natural and direct continuation of what he had experienced in the period of Riza- Sha-h; the father and the son were of a piece.
Ima-m Khomeini’s first public statement of a political nature came in a book published in 1941, Kashf al-Asra-r.14 The book is essentially a detailed, systematic critique of an anti-religious tract, but it also contains numerous passages that are overtly political and critics of the Pahlavi rule.
In 1937, Ha-’iri died, and the religious institution was temporarily headed by a triumvirate of his closest senior associates: A-yatulla-hs Sadr, Hujjat, and Khwansa-ri. Soon, however, a single leader succeeded to the role of Ha-’iri, A-yatulla-h Buru-jirdi. Ima-m Khomeini was active in promoting the candidacy of Buru-jirdi, whom he expected to utilize the potentialities of the position of supreme religious authority in order to combat the Pahlavi rule. He remained close to Buru-jirdi until his death in 1962, but other influences prevailed on Buru-jirdi; history regards him as a religious leader of great piety and administrative ability, but almost totally inactive in political matters.15
After the death of Buru-jirdi, no single successor to his position emerged. Khomeini was reluctant to allow his own name to be canvassed, but he ultimately yielded to the urgings of close associates that a collection of his rulings on matters of religious practice be published, thus implicitly declaring his availability as leader and authority. It was not, however, primarily through technical procedures such as this that the prominence of Ima-m Khomeini spread first within Qum, and then throughout the country. Of greater importance was his willingness to confront the Sha-h’s regime at a time when few dared to do so. For example, he was alone among the major religious scholars of Qum in extending support publicly to the students at the religious institution who were campaigning against the opening of liquor stores in the city.
Soon his attention was drawn to matters of greater significance. The first step came in October 1962, when the Sha-h promulgated a law abolishing the requirement that candidates for election to local assemblies be Muslim and male. Ima-m Khomeini, joined by religious leaders elsewhere in the country, protested vigorously against the measure; it was ultimately repealed.16 The measure itself was not intrinsically important, because elections to local assemblies were invariably corrupt and their functions were purely formal. But the campaign against it provided a point of departure for more comprehensive agitation against the regime as well as an opportunity to build a coalition of religious scholars that might be mobilized for more fundamental aims in the future.
The next step was taken in 1963, when the Sha-h began to promulgate a series of measures for reshaping the political, social and economic life of Iran that were collectively designated the “White Revolution”. The appearance of popular approval was obtained by a fraudulent referendum held on January 26, 1963. However, the measures in question were correctly perceived by a large segment of Iranian society as being imposed on the country by the United States and designed to bring about augmentation of the Sha-h’s power and wealth, as well as intensification of the United States dominance, which had been instituted with the CIA coup d’état against Prime Minister Muhammad Musaddiq in August 1953. Ima-m Khomeini moved immediately to denounce the fraudulent “revolution” and to expose the motives that underlay it, preaching a series of sermons from Fayziyyah Madrasah17 in Qum that had a nationwide impact.
The Sha-h’s regime responded by sending paratroopers to attack Fayziyyah Madrasah on March 22, 1963. A number of students were killed and the madrasah was ransacked. Far from intimidating Ima-m Khomeini, this event marked the beginning of a new period of determined struggle that was directed not only against the errors and excesses of the regime, but against its very existence. The attack on the madrasah had an almost symbolic value, exemplifying as it did both the hostility of the regime to Islam and Islamic institutions and the ruthless, barbaric manner in which it expressed that hostility.
Throughout the spring of 1963, Ima-m Khomeini continued to denounce the Sha-h’s regime. He concentrated his attacks on its tyrannical nature, its subordination to the United States, and its expanding collaboration with Israel. The confrontation reached a new peak in June with the onset of Muharram, the month in the Muslim calendar when the martyrdom of Ima-m Husayn (‘a), the grandson of the Prophet (s), is commemorated and aspirations to emulate his example, by struggling against contemporary manifestation of tyranny, are awakened. On the tenth day of the month, Ima-m Khomeini delivered a historic speech in Qum, repeating his denunciations of the Sha-h’s regime and warning the Sha-h not to behave in such a way that the people would rejoice when he should ultimately be forced to leave the country.18 Two days later, he was arrested at his residence and taken to confinement in Tehran.
The arrest of Ima-m Khomeini brought popular disgust with the Sha-h’s regime to a climax, and a major uprising shook the throne. In Qum, Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kashan, and other cities, unarmed demonstrators confronted the Sha-h’s US-trained and -equipped army, which, upon the command to shoot to kill, slaughtered not less than 15,000 people in the space of a few days. The date on which this uprising began, Khurda-d 15 according to the solar calendar used in Iran, marked a turning point in the modern history of Iran. It established Ima-m Khomeini as national leader and spokesperson for popular aspirations, provided the struggle against the Sha-h and his foreign patrons with a coherent ideological basis in Islam, and introduced a period of mass political activity under the guidance of the religious leadership instead of the secular parties that had been discredited, with the overthrow of Musaddiq. In all of these ways, uprising of Khurda-d 15 foreshadowed the Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979.
The uprising was suppressed, but the general public and the religious scholars refused to tolerate the imprisonment of Ima-m Khomeini. Agitation persisted throughout the country, and numerous religious leaders converged on Tehran to press for Ima-m Khomeini’s release. It finally came on April 6,1964, accompanied by a statement in the government-controlled press that Ima-m Khomeini had agreed to refrain from political activity as a condition for his release. This was immediately refuted by the Ima-m,19 who resumed his denunciation of the regime with undiminished vigor.
If further proof were needed of the Sha-h’s tutelage to the US, it came in October 1964, when legal immunity was granted to American personnel for all offenses committed in Iranian territory. After learning that the Iranian rubber–stamp Majlis (Parliament) had agreed to this measure, Ima-m Khomeini spent a sleepless night, and the next day, October 27, he furiously denounced this open violation of Iranian sovereignty and independence.20 It had by now become apparent to the Sha-h and his foreign overlords that Ima-m Khomeini could not be intimidated into silence, and it was decided to exile him, in the vain hope of destroying his influence. Accordingly, on November 4,1964 Ima-m Khomeini was arrested again and sent into exile in Turkey, accompanied by agents of the Sha-h’s secret police.
After a brief stay in Ankara, Ima-m Khomeini was obliged to take up residence in Bursa, a city in the west of Turkey. Continual pressure was brought on the Sha-h’s regime to permit Ima-m Khomeini to leave Turkey for a more favorable place of exile, Najaf, one of the Shi-‘i shrine cities of Iraq. In October 1965, consent was given, and Ima-m Khomeini proceeded to Najaf, which was to be his home for thirteen years.
In agreeing to this move, the Sha-h’s regime had been motivated not only by the desire to free itself from popular pressure, but also by the assumption that Ima-m Khomeini would be overshadowed in Najaf by the religious authorities resident there. This assumption proved false. Ima-m Khomeini established himself as a major religious presence in Najaf. More importantly, he maintained his influence and popularity in Iran. He issued periodic proclamations concerning developments in Iran that were smuggled into the country and clandestinely circulated at great risk. In addition, his messages addressed to the Muslim world at large were distributed several times in Mecca during pilgrimage season of the year. In Najaf itself, he received visits during the long years of his exile from a number of important Iranian and other Muslim personalities.
The name and person of Ima-m Khomeini and the cause that he embodied were never forgotten in Iran. His example inspired a number of religious scholars and groups, which continued to build on the foundations laid in 1963 and 1964, and unnoticed by most foreign observers, an Islamic movement of unparalleled breadth and profundity came into being.
It was then entirely natural that Ima-m Khomeini should swiftly emerge as the leader of the Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979. Notwithstanding his physical absence from the country, he was present in the hearts of his countrymen and infinitely more in tune with their aspirations than politicians who had suffered neither exile nor imprisonment.
On November 23, 1977, the elder son of Ima-m Khomeini, Hajj Mustafa-, died suddenly in Najaf, assassinated by the Sha-h’s US-instituted security police, SAVAK. Ima-m Khomeini bore this blow stoically, but the tragedy inflamed the public in Iran. Massive social corruption and economic dislocation as well as continuing political repression had already aroused universal discontent in Iran, and when the regime aimed its next blow against Ima-m Khomeini, discontent overflowed into rebellion, and rebellion, in turn, matured into revolution.
On January 8,1978, one week after President Carter had been in Tehran lauding the Sha-h as a wise statesman beloved of his people,21 the government-controlled press printed an article supplied by the Ministry of Court attacking Ima-m Khomeini as an agent of foreign powers. The public reaction was immediate outrage. The following day in Qum, demonstrations broke out that were suppressed with heavy loss of life. This was the first of a series of demonstrations that progressively unfurled across the country, until in the end barely a single region remained untouched by revolutionary fervor. Throughout the spring and summer of 1978, Ima-m Khomeini issued a series of proclamations and directives, congratulating the people on their steadfastness and encouraging them to persist until the attainment of the final objective—overthrow of the monarchy and institution of an Islamic republic.
The centrality of the Ima-m in the revolutionary movement was obvious from the beginning. His name was constantly repeated in the slogans that were devised and chanted in the demonstrations; his portrait served as a revolutionary banner; and his return from exile to supervise the installation of an Islamic government was insistently demanded. Acting under another of its erroneous assumptions, the Sha-h’s regime requested the Ba’athist government in Iraq, in September 1978, to expel Ima-m Khomeini from its territory, in the hope of depriving him of his base of operations and robbing the Revolution of its leadership. Ima-m Khomeini had never enjoyed cordial relations with the various governments that had ruled Iraq since his arrival there in 1965, and he now informed the Ba’athists that he would be happy to leave Iraq for a country that was not subject to the Sha-h’s dictates. Syria and Algeria were considered as possible destinations, but in the end, as Ima-m Khomeini testifies himself, no Muslim country offered him refuge with the assurance of his being able to continue his activity freely.22 So, he went to France, taking up residence at the hamlet of Neauphle-le-Château near Paris in early October 1978.
The move to France proved beneficial. Paradoxically, communication with Iran was easier from France than it had been from Iraq. The declarations and directives that were now being issued with increasing frequency were telephoned directly to Tehran, for further dissemination to a number of centers in the provinces. A never-ending stream of Iranians, from Europe and the United States as well as Iran itself, came to visit and pay homage to the Ima-m, and to consult with him. The world’s media also descended on the modest residence of the Ima-m at Neauphle-le-Château, and his words began to reach a global audience.
The month of Muharram that coincided with December 1978 witnessed vast and repeated demonstrations in Tehran and other Iranian cities, demanding the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of an Islamic republic under the leadership of Ima-m Khomeini. Despite all the savagery the Sha-h had employed, including the slaughter of thousands of unarmed demonstrators, the torture and abuse of detainees, and massacres of the wounded on their hospital beds, and despite the unstinting support he had received from the United States and other foreign powers, the corrupt and murderous rule of the Sha-h was approaching its end. His masters decided it was politic for him to leave, and when preparation had been made for the installation of a surrogate administration under Sha-hpu-r Bakhtia-r, the Sha-h left Iran for the last time on January 16, 1979. The outburst of joy that followed his departure was a fulfillment of the prophecy Ima-m Khomeini had made sixteen years earlier.
Once the Sha-h left Iran, Ima-m Khomeini prepared to return to his homeland. When he did, on February 1, he was met with a tumultuous welcome. With his renewed presence in Iran, the fate of the Bakhtia-r’s government was sealed. After a final outburst of savagery on February 10 and 11, the old regime collapsed in disgrace, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was born.
In the two eventful years that have elapsed since the triumph of the Revolution, Ima-m Khomeini has continued to play an indispensable role in consolidating its gains and guiding the destiny of the nation. In a formal sense, his role has been defined by Articles, 107 to 112 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran,23 which incorporate the key political principle of the “governance of the faqi-h (vila-yat-i faqi-h).24 In a more general sense, however, he has continued to provide the Revolution with its very substance, acting as its highest instance of authority and legitimacy. Countless addresses to different groups of citizens that come to visit him, as well as public speeches to wider audiences on particular significant occasions, have confirmed Ima-m Khomeini as the teacher and guide of the Islamic Revolution.25
Throughout this long and remarkable career, Ima-m Khomeini has manifested a unique set of characteristics: spirituality and erudition, asceticism and self-discipline, sobriety and determination, political genius and leadership, compassion for the poor and deprived, and a relentless hatred of oppression and imperialism. Summarizing his assessment of Ima-m Khomeini, the late A-yatulla-h Mutahhari26 compared him with ‘Ali ibn Abi Ta-lib (‘a), that high exemplar of Islamic courage, wisdom, and spirituality. All who had the privilege to come into the presence of the Ima-m will concur in his judgment.
1. See n. 27 of the present volume.
2. See n. 107 of the present volume.
3. A collection of the viewpoints and stances on this argumentation is being compiled by this Institute.
4. The written supplication at the end of the present volume.
5. The translator’s introduction in the English translation as part of an anthology titled Islam and Revolution, originally published by Al-Mizan Press, Berkeley, USA in 1981. Notes with “(Pub.)” at the end are that of, or modified by, the publisher. (Pub.)
6. Some information about the early life of Ima-m Khomeini is to be found in the opening sections of two books that concern themselves chiefly with the events of 1962-1964: S.H.R. Barrasi- va Tahli-li- az Nihzat-i Ima-m Khomeini (Najaf? n.d); and anon., Biyugra-fi-yi Pishva-, n.p, n.d. This Institute has recently published the first volume of The Life of Ima-m Khomeini, which elaborately deals on his early life up to matrimony. (Pub.)
7. Interview of the translator with A-yatulla-h Pasandi-deh, Qum, December 19, 1979.
8. For detailed accounts of the life and achievements of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Kari-m Ha-’iri, see Muhammad Sharif Ra-zi, A-tha-r al-Hujjah (Qum 1332 A.H.S./1953), I, pp. 22-90; Ganjina--yi Da-nishmanda-n (Tehran, 1352 Sh./1973), I, pp. 283-304. His relations with Riza- Kha-n are discussed briefly in ‘Abd al-Kari-m Ha-’iri, Shi’ism and Constitutionalism in Iran (Leiden, 1977), pp. 135-139.
9. Concerning Mi-rza- Hasan Shira-zi, see p. 124 and 162, note 155.
10. For lists of Ima-m Khomeini’s writings, published and unpublished, see S.H.R., Barrasi- va Tahli-li- az Nihzat-i Ima-m Khomeini, pp. 55-61, and anon., Biyugra-fi--yi Pi-shva-, I, 52-53. Copies as well as lists of Ima-m Khomeini’s literary works can be obtained from the publisher, The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Ima-m Khomeini’s Works, http://www.imam-khomeini.org , email: firstname.lastname@example.org . (Pub.)
11. A-yatulla-h Muntaziri, born to a family of peasant stock in Najafa-ba-d in 1301 A.H./1884, had for many years been closely associated with Ima-m Khomeini, who had described him as “the product of my life.” Not only a master of both law and philosophy, but also a militant leader, A-yatulla-h Muntaziri played an important role in sustaining the struggle against the Sha-h during Ima-m Khomeini’s years in exile.
12. Ra-zi, A-tha-r al-Hujjah, II, 45.
13. See Ima-m Khomeini’s own remarks on the connection between spirituality and sociopolitical activity in lectures on Su-rah al-Fa-tiha published in the anthology of Ima-m Khomeini’s writings and declarations titled Islam and Revolution, Al-Mizan Press, Berkeley, USA, 1981, pp. 399-400. See Ima-m Khomeini, A-da-b as-Sala-t: The Disciplines of the Prayer (Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Ima-m Khomeini’s Works, 1996), pp. 357-418, available online at: http://www.al-islam.org/adab . (Pub.)
14. For an extract from this book, see ibid., pp.169-173.
15. For a brief account of the achievements of A-yatulla-h Buru-jirdi, see Murtada- Mutahhari, “Maza-ya- va Khadama-t-i Marhu-m A-yatulla-h Buru-jirdi,” Bahsi dar ba-reh-ye Marja‘iyyat va Ru-ha-niyyat (Tehran, n.d.), pp. 233-249.
16. See p. 118 and p. 161, n. 151.
17. Fayziyyah Madrasah, founded in Safavid times, has acquired particular fame among the teaching institutions in Qum because of the role it has played in the Islamic movement. Closed down in 1975 by the Sha-h’s regime, it was ceremonially reopened after the triumph of the Revolution.
18. For the text of this speech, see Islam and Revolution, pp. 177-180.
19. See p. 127.
20. For the text of this speech, see Islam and Revolution, pp. 181-188.
21. Carter told the Sha-h in Tehran on January 1, 1978: “Iran is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world. This is a great tribute to you, Your Majesty, and to your leadership and to the respect, admiration and love which your people give to you.” New York Times, January 2, 1978.
22. See Islam and Revolution, p. 238.
23. See Hamid Algar, trans., The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Berkeley, 1980), pp. 66-69.
24. This principle forms the central topic of the first session of this book. See especially pp. 62-125.
25. It is important to understand that despite this centrality of Ima-m Khomeini to the Revolution, the Islamic Republic is not an authoritarian regime over which he presides. The notion of a “Khomeini regime,” as promoted by the Western media, is entirely fictitious. Repeated consultations of the popular will after February 1979 have resulted in the emergence of a new set of political institutions that function with demonstrable freedom.
26. A-yatulla-h Murtada- Mutahhari was a scholar of unusually wide learning, a writer and lecturer of great effectiveness, and a cherished pupil of Ima-m Khomeini. He was a leading member of the Revolutionary Council until his assassination on May 1, 1979 by the terrorist Furqa-n group.
Probably the best known of Ima-m Khomeini’s works, the book Islamic Government originated in a series of lectures given at Najaf between January 21 and February 8, 1970. The lectures were recorded and transcribed by a student, and then published in book form.
“Islamic Government” is an exact translation of the original Persian title, Huku-mat-i Isla-mi. However, the reader should bear in mind that the book does not purport either a complete scheme of Islamic political philosophy or a detailed plan for the establishment and functioning of an Islamic state. Its purpose is narrower and more specific and geared to the audience to whom the lectures were delivered: students of the religious sciences, who might be expected later to assume positions of influence in Muslim society.
Three major points emerge from the lectures. The first is the necessity for the establishment and maintenance of Islamic political power for Islamic goals, precepts, and criteria. The second is the duty of the religious scholars (the fuqaha-) to bring about an Islamic state, and to assume legislative, executive, and judicial positions within it—in short, the doctrine of “the governance of the faqi-h” (vila-yat-i faqi-h). The various texts that support this second point are subjected to lengthy review and examination. Finally, Ima-m Khomeini sets out a program of action for the establishment of an Islamic state, including various measures for self-reform by the religious establishment. All three themes are expounded against a backdrop of particular concern with Iran; hence the occurrence of numerous references to Iran in the course of the general and theoretical discussion.
Accurate translations of Huku-mat-i Isla-mi exist in French, Arabic, Turkish, and Urdu. In the fall of 1978, the Joint Publications and Research Service, the translation branch of the US Central Intelligence Service, commissioned an English translation, not of the original Persian text, but of the translation in Arabic. The resulting version, crude and unreliable, was subsequently published in a vulgar and sensational format by Manor Books, a commercial publisher in New York. What follows is an integral and faithful translation of the third edition of the Persian text, published at Najaf in 1391 A.H./1971.
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds
And may His blessings be upon the best of His creation,
Muhammad and His Descendants.
The subject of the governance of the jurist (vila-yat-i faqi-h1) provides us with the opportunity to discuss certain related matters and questions. The governance of the faqi-h is a subject that in itself elicits immediate assent and has little need of demonstration, for anyone who has some general awareness of the beliefs and ordinances of Islam will unhesitatingly give his assent to the principle of the governance of the faqi-h as soon as he encounters it; he will recognize it as necessary and self-evident. If little attention is paid to this principle today, so that it has come to require demonstration, it is because of the social circumstances prevailing among the Muslims in general, and the teaching institution in particular. These circumstances, in turn, have certain historical roots to which I will now briefly refer.
From the very beginning, the historical movement of Islam has had to contend with the Jews, for it was they who first established anti-Islamic propaganda and engaged in various stratagems, and as you can see, this activity continues down to the present. Later they were joined by other groups, who were in certain respects, more satanic than they. These new groups began their imperialist penetration of the Muslim countries about three hundred years ago,2 and they regarded it as necessary to work for the extirpation of Islam in order to attain their ultimate goals. It was not their aim to alienate the people from Islam in order to promote Christianity among them, for the imperialists really have no religious belief, Christian or Islamic. Rather, throughout this long historical period, and going back to the Crusades,3 they felt that the major obstacle in the path of their materialistic ambitions and the chief threat to their political power was nothing but Islam and its ordinances, and the belief of the people in Islam. They therefore plotted and campaigned against Islam by various means.
The preachers they planted in the religious teaching institution, the agents they employed in the universities, government educational institutions, and publishing houses, and the orientalists who work in the service of the imperialistic states—all these people have pooled their energies in an effort to distort the principles of Islam. As a result, many persons, particularly the educated, have formed misguided and incorrect notions of Islam.
Islam is the religion of militant individuals who are committed to truth and justice. It is the religion of those who desire freedom and independence. It is the school of those who struggle against imperialism. But the servants of imperialism have presented Islam in a totally different light. They have created in men’s minds a false notion of Islam. The defective version of Islam, which they have presented in the religious teaching institution, is intended to deprive Islam of its vital, revolutionary aspect and to prevent Muslims from arousing themselves in order to gain their freedom, fulfill the ordinances of Islam, and create a government that will assure their happiness and allow them to live, lives worthy of human beings.
For example, the servants of imperialism declared that Islam is not a comprehensive religion providing for every aspect of human life and has no laws or ordinances pertaining to society. It has no particular form of government. Islam concerns itself only with rules of ritual purity after menstruation and parturition. It may have a few ethical principles, but it certainly has nothing to say about human life in general and the ordering of society.
This kind of evil propaganda has unfortunately had an effect. Quite apart from the masses, the educated class—university students and also many students at the religious teaching institutions—have failed to understand Islam correctly and have erroneous notions. Just as people may, in general, be unacquainted with a stranger, so too they are unacquainted with Islam. Islam lives among the people of this world as if it were a stranger.4 If somebody were to present Islam as it truly is, he would find it difficult to make people believe him. In fact, the agents of imperialism in the religious teaching institutions would raise a hue and cry against him. In order to demonstrate to some extent, the difference between Islam and what is presented as Islam, I would like to draw your attention to the difference between the Holy Qur’an and the books of hadi-th,5 on the one hand, and the practical treatises of jurisprudence, on the other. The Holy Qur’an and the books of hadi-th, which represent the sources for the commands and ordinances of Islam, are completely different from the treatises written by the mujtahi-ds6 of the present age both in breadth of scope and in the effects they are capable of exerting on the life of society. The ratio of Qur’anic verses concerned with the affairs of society to those concerned with ritual worship is greater than a hundred to one. Of the approximately fifty sections7 of the corpus of hadi-th containing all the ordinances of Islam, not more than three or four sections relate to matters of ritual worship and the duties of man toward his Creator and Sustainer. A few more are concerned with questions of ethics, and all the rest are concerned with social, economic, legal, and political questions—in short, the gestation of society.
You who represent the younger generation and who, God willing, will be of service to Islam in the future must strive diligently all your lives to pursue the aims I will now set forth and to impart the laws and ordinances of Islam. In whatever way you deem most beneficial, in writing or in speech, instruct the people about the problems Islam has had to contend with since its inception and about the enemies and afflictions that now threaten it. Do not allow the true nature of Islam to remain hidden, or people will imagine that Islam is like Christianity (nominal, not true Christianity), a collection of injunctions pertaining to man’s relation to God, and the mosques will be equated with the church.
At a time when the West was a realm of darkness and obscurity—with its inhabitants living in a state of barbarism, and America still peopled by half-savaged redskins—and the two vast empires of Iran and Byzantium were under the rule of tyranny, class privilege, and discrimination, and the powerful dominated all without any trace of law or popular government, God, Exalted and Almighty, by means of the Most Noble Messenger (s), sent laws that astound people with their magnitude. He instituted laws and practices for all human affairs and laid injunctions for man extending from even before the embryo is formed until after he is placed in the tomb. In just the same way that there are laws setting forth the duties of worship for man, so too there are laws, practices, and norms for the affairs of society and government. Islamic law is a progressive, evolving, and comprehensive system. All the voluminous books that have been compiled from the earliest times on different areas of law, such as judicial procedure, social transactions, penal law,8 retribution,9 international relations, regulations pertaining to peace and war, private and public law—taken together, these contain a mere sample of the laws and injunctions of Islam. There is not a single topic in human life for which Islam has not provided instructions and established a norm.
In order to make the Muslims, especially the intellectuals, and the younger generation, deviate from the path of Islam, foreign agents have constantly insinuated that Islam has nothing to offer, that Islam consists of a few ordinances concerning menstruation and parturition, and that this is the proper field of study for the a-khu-nds.10
There is something of truth here, for it is fitting that those a-khu-nds who have no intention of expounding the theories, injunctions and worldview of Islam and who spend most of their time on precisely such matters, forgetting all the other topics of Islamic law, be attacked and accused in this manner. They too are at fault; foreigners are not the only ones to be blamed. For several centuries, as might be expected, the foreigners laid certain plans to realize their political and economic ambitions, and the neglect that has overtaken the religious teaching institution has made it possible for them to succeed. There have been individuals among us, the ‘ulama-,11 who have unwittingly contributed to the fulfillment of those aims, with the result that you now see.
It is sometimes insinuated that the injunctions of Islam are defective, and said that the laws of judicial procedure, for example, are not all that they should be. In keeping with this insinuation and propaganda, agents of Britain were instructed by their masters to take advantage of the idea of constitutionalism in order to deceive the people and conceal the true nature of their political crimes (the pertinent proofs and documents are now available). At the beginning of the constitutional movement, when people wanted to write laws and draw up a constitution, a copy of the Belgian legal code was borrowed from the Belgian embassy and a handful of individuals (whose names I do not wish to mention here) used it as the basis for the constitution they then wrote, supplementing its deficiencies with borrowings from the French and British legal codes.12 True, they added some of the ordinances of Islam in order to deceive the people, but the basis of the laws that were now thrust upon the people was alien and borrowed.
What connections do all the various articles of the Constitution as well as the body of Supplementary Law13 concerning the monarchy, the succession, and so forth, have with Islam? They are all opposed to Islam; they violate the system of government and the laws of Islam.
Islam proclaims monarchy and hereditary succession wrong and invalid. When Islam first appeared in Iran, the Byzantine Empire, Egypt, and the Yemen, the entire institution of monarchy was abolished. In the blessed letters that the Most Noble Messenger (s) wrote to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius and the Sha-hansha-h of Iran,14 he called upon them to abandon the monarchical and imperial form of government, to cease compelling the servants of God to worship them with absolute obedience, and to permit men to worship God, Who has no partner and is the True Monarch. Monarchy and hereditary succession represent the same sinister, evil system of government that prompted the Doyen of the Martyrs15 (‘a) to rise up in revolt and seek martyrdom in an effort to prevent its establishment. He revolted in repudiation of the hereditary succession of Yazi-d,16 to refuse it his recognition.
Islam, then, does not recognize monarchy and hereditary succession; they have no place in Islam. If that is what is meant by the so-called deficiency of Islam, then Islam is indeed deficient. Islam has laid down no laws for the practice of usury, for banking on the basis of usury, for the consumption of alcohol, or for the cultivation of sexual vice, having radically prohibited all of these. The ruling cliques, therefore, who are the puppets of imperialism and wish to promote these vices in the Islamic world, will naturally regard Islam as defective. They must import the appropriate laws from Britain, France, Belgium, and most recently, America. The fact that Islam makes no provision for the orderly pursuit of these illicit activities, far from being a deficiency, is a sign of perfection and a source of pride.
The conspiracy worked out by the imperialist government of Britain at the beginning of the constitutional movement had two purposes. The first, which was already known at that time, was to eliminate the influence of Tsarist Russia in Iran, and the second was to take the laws of Islam out of force and operation by introducing Western laws.17
The imposition of foreign laws on our Islamic society has been the source of numerous problems and difficulties. Knowledgeable people working in our judicial system have many complaints concerning the existing laws and their mode of operation. If a person becomes caught up in the judicial system of Iran or that of analogous countries, he may have to spend a whole lifetime trying to prove his case. In my youth I once encountered a learned lawyer who said, “I can spend my whole life following a litigation back and forth through the judicial machinery, and then bequeath it to my son for him to do the same thing!” That is the situation that now prevails, except, of course, when one of the parties has influence, in which case the matter is examined and settled swiftly, albeit unjustly.
Our present judicial laws have brought our people nothing but trouble, causing them to neglect their daily task and providing the occasion for all kinds of misuse. Very few people are able to obtain their legitimate rights. In the adjudication of cases, it is necessary not only that everyone should obtain his rights, but also that correct procedure be followed. People’s time must be considered, as well as the way of life and profession of both parties, so that matters are resolved as swiftly and simply as possible.
A case that a shari-‘ah18 judge in earlier times settled in one or two days cannot be settled now in twenty years. The needy, young, and old alike, must spend the entire day at the Ministry of Justice, from morning to evening, wasting their time in corridors or standing in front of some official’s desk, and in the end they will still not know what has transpired. Anyone who is more cunning, and more willing and able to give bribes, has his case settled expeditiously, but at the cost of justice. Otherwise, they must wait in frustration and perplexity until their entire lives are gone.
The agents of imperialism sometimes write in their books and their newspapers that the legal provisions of Islam are too harsh. One person was even so impudent as to write that the laws of Islam are harsh because they have originated with the Arabs, so that the “harshness” of the Arabs is reflected in the harshness of Islamic law! I am amazed at the way these people think. They kill people for possessing ten grams of heroin and say, “That is the law” (I have been informed that ten people were put to death some time ago, and another person more recently, for possession of ten grams of heroin).19 Inhuman laws like this are concocted in the name of a campaign against corruption, and they are not to be regarded as harsh. (I am not saying it is permissible to sell heroin, but this is not the appropriate punishment. The sale of heroin must indeed be prohibited but the punishment must be in proportion to the crime.)20 When Islam, however, stipulates that the drinker of alcohol should receive eighty lashes, they consider it “too harsh.” They can execute someone for possessing ten grams of heroin and the question of harshness does not even arise!
Many forms of corruption that have appeared in society derive from alcohol. The collisions that take place on our roads, and the murders and suicides are very often caused by the consumption of alcohol. Indeed, even the use of heroin is said to derive from addiction to alcohol. But still, some say, it is quiet unobjectionable for someone to drink alcohol (after all, they do it in the West); so let alcohol be bought and sold freely.
But when Islam wishes to prevent the consumption of alcohol—one of the major evils—stipulating that the drinker should receive eighty lashes, or sexual vice, decreeing that the fornicator be given one hundred lashes (and the married man or woman be stoned21), then they start wailing and lamenting: “What a harsh law that is, reflecting the harshness of the Arabs!” They are not aware that these penal provisions of Islam are intended to keep great nations from being destroyed by corruption. Sexual vice has now reached such proportions that it is destroying entire generations, corrupting our youth, and causing them to neglect all forms of work. They are all rushing to enjoy the various forms of vice that have become so freely available and so enthusiastically promoted. Why should it be regarded as harsh if Islam stipulates that an offender must be publicly flogged22 in order to protect the younger generation from corruption?
At the same time, we see the masters of this ruling class of ours enacting slaughters in Vietnam over fifteen years,23 devoting enormous budgets to this business of bloodshed, and no one has the right to object! But if Islam commands its followers to engage in warfare or defense in order to make men submit to laws that are beneficial for them, and kill a few corrupt people or instigators of corruption, then they ask: “What’s the purpose for that war?”
All of the foregoing represent plans drawn up several centuries ago that are now being implemented and bearing fruit.
First, they opened a school in a certain place24 and we overlooked the matter and said nothing. Our colleagues also were negligent in the matter and failed to prevent it from being established so that now, as you can observe, these schools have multiplied, and their missionaries have gone out into the provinces and villages, turning our children into Christians or unbelievers.
Their plan is to keep us backward, to keep us in our present miserable state so they can exploit our riches, our underground wealth, our lands, and our human resources. They want us to remain afflicted and wretched, and our poor to be trapped in their misery. Instead of surrendering to the injunctions of Islam, which provide a solution for the problem of poverty, they and their agents wish to go on living in huge places and enjoy lives of abominable luxury.
These plans of theirs are so broad in scope that they have even touched the institutions of religious learning. If someone wishes to speak about an Islamic government and the establishment of Islamic government, he must observe the principle of taqiyyah25 and count upon the opposition of those who have sold themselves to imperialism. When this book was first printed, the agents of the embassy undertook certain desperate measures to prevent its dissemination,26 which succeeded only in disgracing themselves more than before.
Matters have now come to the point where some people consider the apparel of a soldier incompatible with true manliness and justice, even though the leaders of our religion were all soldiers, commanders, and warriors. They put on military dress and went into battle in the wars that are described for us in our history; they killed and they were killed. The Commander of the Faithful27 (‘a) himself would place a helmet on his blessed head, don his coat of chain mail, and gird on a sword. Ima-m Hasan28 and the Doyen of the Martyrs (‘a), acted likewise. The later Ima-ms did not have the opportunity to go into battle, even though Ima-m Ba-qir29 (‘a) was also a warrior by nature. But now the wearing of military apparel is thought to detract from a man’s quality of justice,30 and it is said that one should not wear military dress. If we want to form an Islamic government, then we must do it in our cloaks and turbans; otherwise, we commit an offense against decency and justice!
This is all the result of the wave of propaganda that has now reached the religious institution and imposed on us the duty of proving that Islam also possesses rules of government.
That is our situation then—created for us by the foreigners through their propaganda and their agents. They have removed from operation all the judicial processes and political laws of Islam and replaced them with European importations, thus diminishing the scope of Islam and ousting it from Islamic society. For the sake of exploitation they have installed their agents in power.
So far, we have sketched the subversive and corrupting plan of imperialism. We must now take into consideration as well certain internal factors notably the dazzling effect that the material progress of the imperialist countries has had on some members of our society. As the imperialist countries attained a high degree of wealth and affluence—the result both of scientific and technical progress and of their plunder of the nations of Asia and Africa—these individuals lost all their self-confidence and imagined that the only way to achieve technical progress was to abandon their own laws and beliefs. When the moon landings took place, for instance, they concluded that Muslims should jettison their laws! But what is the connection between going to the moon and the laws of Islam? Do they not see that countries having opposing laws and social systems compete with each other in technical and scientific progress and the conquest of space? Let them go all the way to Mars or beyond the Milky Way; they will still be deprived of true happiness, moral virtues and spiritual advancement and be unable to solve their own social problems. For the solution of social problems and the relief of human misery require foundations in faith and moral; merely acquiring material power and wealth, conquering nature and space, have no effect in this regard. They must be supplemented by, and balanced with, the faith, the conviction, and the morality of Islam in order truly to serve humanity instead of endangering it. This conviction, this morality, and these laws that are needed, we already possess. So, as soon as someone goes somewhere or invents something, we should not hurry to abandon our religion and its laws, which regulate the life of man and provide for his well being in this world and hereafter.
The same applies to the propaganda of the imperialists. Unfortunately some members of our society have been influenced by their hostile propaganda, although they should not have been. The imperialists have propagated among us the view that Islam does not have a specific form of government or governmental institutions. They say further that even if Islam does have certain laws, it h
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