Introducing the Name of Imam Khomeini for the First Time

Compiled by: Islamic Revolution Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


A few days after the martyrdom of Haj Mustafa [Khomeini],[1]‌ scholars and clerics held a final assembly in the Bazaar Grand Mosque, where a large crowd had gathered. I also participated in that assembly. The speaker of that meeting, who was the late Sheikh Hassan Taheri from Isfahan, named Imam Khomeini after years when it had been forbidden, and the assembly ended with a great enthusiasm.

The next day, Ayatollah Motahhari telephoned and said: “We are going to hold two large assemblies for Haj Mostafa [Khomeini], one in the Arg Mosque in Tehran and the in the Azam Mosque of Qom, and you will give a speech in one of these two assemblies.” I said to him: “I am forbidden to make a speech.” Mr. Motahari said: "it is good because even if you are not banned from speech and pulpit, you will be banned from the pulpit because of this speech, or you may even be arrested." I accepted his opinion and announced my readiness for the speech. Mr. Motahari asked: "are you ready for Tehran or Qom?" I said: "It does not matter, it depends on what your opinion is." He said: "My opinion is Tehran because the Tehran meeting is more important." He was also scheduled to inform about the time of the meeting when it was determined. In the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Motahhari telephoned again and said: "The time of the meeting is Sunday, the 8th of Aban(30th October). He added: "A proclamation has also been prepared which will be published in newspapers."The proclamation was signed by the combative clergy of Tehran and some revolutionary bazaars and universities, but I do not remember whether it was published in the newspapers or prevented from being published.

Since I was likely to be arrested after the making speech, I borrowed money from one of my friends and gave it to my family and said: "I will not return after [making speech on] the pulpit and if you have any problems, inform Mr. Akrami or Mr. Nategh Nouri." I then handed over my will, which was sealed in an envelope, to my family to act on if something happened. To go to the Arg Mosque, Mr. Akrami came to our house to go to the mosque together. Because the parliament was held from 3 to 5 pm, we moved earlier, because we thought that SAVAK might have understood that I was the speaker of the parliament and wanted to arrest me outside the mosque. So we decided to enter the mosque sooner. When we reached Arg Square, we came across a large number of military and police officers who were stationed around the mosque and were closely monitoring the ceremony. Seeing the military and the army trucks, I realized that escaping from the pulpit would not be easy.

Anyway, we entered the courtyard of the mosque where some friends, including Mr. Mousavi Khoeiniha, Mr. Motahhari, Mr. Khalkhali, Dariush Forouhar, Engineer Bazargan, etc. were in front of the door of the mosque. Mr. Khoeiniha gave me a note to read at the end of the pulpit. The note related to the proclamation of another parliament on this occasion was in Hemmat Tajrish Mosque.

When we entered the mosque, not many people had gathered yet, but gradually the mosque and the courtyard were filled with people, and there were other figures among the crowd, other familiar such as Nategh Nouri, Falsafi, ‌ Khazali, Mousavi Ardabili, and a large number of scholars of Qomۥs seminary. The students and scholars of the seminary of Qom had reached this parliament by several buses to participate in this ceremony. Before the speech, the nave and courtyard of the mosque were full of people, and at the same time, several police officers entered the mosque and settled in the small nave in front of the main nave of the mosque. The assembly was magnificent, and my lecture began at about 4 pm. Usually, the lecturers used to think in advance, at least for important meetings and sensitive speeches, about what to say and what the order of the discussion should be. What I had planned for this parliament was to compare the political life of the Imam with Abraham Khalil (PBUH) after the introduction about the clergy and their role in social and political issues, and to compare the late Haj Mustafa [Khomeini] to Ismail, [Abrahamۥs son].

The point that I have thought about it a lot was that I wanted to suggest the title of "Imam" to the leader of the revolution; on the way home from the mosque, I was thinking about it. At first, I was very doubtful. I thought that people might not be ready to accept this offer because the word "Imam" in our society was a sacred word that people only use about the Imams. My hesitation and doubtfulness were that people would say that we want to name Grand Ayatollah Khomeini as the twelve Infallibles  (PBUH) and make him the thirteenth Imam. This issue was constantly on my mind. On the other hand, the word "Imam" could be only a worthy title for the leadership of the revolution", which had a religious, political, and revolutionary significance. Finally, I decided to make this suggestion and refer to the Supreme Leader as the "Imam"; Because my purpose was about reconciling the life of Imam Khomeini with Abraham Khalil (PBUH) and God has also said about that him [in Quran]: That is, when God tested Abraham Khalil (PBUH) and he came out of all the [divine] trials successfully, God made him the Imamate and the Imam of the people. Abraham underwent many trials and went through various stages and endured many hardships. He was thrown into the fire of Nimrod.[2] He left his wife Hagar and his son Ishmael in the desert without water and grass, and finally took his beloved son to the altar to carry out the command of God, and successfully passed the summary of the most difficult trials. In my speech, I assimilated all these stages to the life of the Imam and compared the fire of Nimrod to the fire that the regime had kindled for Imam Khomeini, and explained how God made these fire a paradise for the Imam and then dealt with the story of breaking the idols by Imam. I explained how the Imam started breaking the wall alone and finally I raised the matter of the martyrdom of Haj Mustafa and praised him and said [metaphorically]: "‌Imam took his Ishmael to the altar and dedicated him to God. When God tested Abraham Khalil (PBUH) and he came out of all the [divine] tests successfully, God made him the Imamate and the Imam of the people, so I also suggest the title of "Imam" to the dear leader of the revolution and say "Imam Khomeini". As soon as I uttered this sentence, the people, with a world of passion and emotion, uttered together such praise and greeting to god Mohammad and his descendants that ‌the mosque was shaken. Therefore, the people easily accepted the title of Imam, as if everyone was waiting for such an offer. The word "Imam" was the turning point and the most important part of my speech. At the end of the speech, I talked a bit about the Imam's personality and mixed it with emotional issues, and said that all these telegrams were sent to the Imam from different parts of the country, but due to repression, the telecommunication centers did not receive the people's telegrams and did not allow the people's sympathy, feelings, and devotion to reach the Imam. Then, with a short prayer, I finished the speech, and after I came down from the pulpit.

Friends, after [the speech on] the pulpit, cheered me. Some, like Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili, told me that your words were very harsh. I thought I would be arrested. Especially when I was on the pulpit, the officer, who seemed to be the head of the local police station, kept pointing me down from the pulpit from the covered space in front of the mosque nave. I did not pay attention and continued my speech as if I did not notice his gestures at all. While I was thinking about it, Mr. Nategh Nouri came and took my hand and said: "Why are you standing? They are arresting you now. Come with me fast." Mr. Nategh was an athlete and strong, so he would open a path in the crowd with force and almost take me with him. Near the door of the mosque, he picked up my turban and then hurried me through the crowd in front of the officers and took me to the street behind the mosque where he parked his car, and we immediately left there by his car. He then asked me: "Where should we go? Choose a third place rather than your and my house." As I had gone to Mr. Rastegari's house to escape from Qom, It occurred to my mind to go to his house. We consulted together; Mr. Nategh also considered Mr. Rastegari's house suitable, so we went there.[3]


[1] He was the son of Imam Khomeini

[2] He  was one of the  king in the land of Egypt

[3] Source: Rouhani, ‌ H. (2008). Memoirs of Hojjatoleslam Dr. Hassan. Tehran, Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Center, pp. 414-418.


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