The society and the seminaries are in need of the foundations of Imam's thoughts
09 December 2023
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In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, and His blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his pure family
I extend my congratulations and felicitations on the auspicious Ten Days of Dawn, marking the victory of the Islamic Revolution under the leadership of Imam Khomeini (may Allah's blessings be upon him and may He unite him with his ancestors). I convey my heartfelt congratulations to those who are present here and to the great Iranian nation.
The subject of my lecture pertains to one of the fundamental and pivotal theories of Imam Khomeini (may Allah's blessings be upon him). Many seminars and conferences should be held and numerous books and articles should be authored to expound on this theory. Thanks be to God, some seminary scholars have touched on this theory in their lectures on Principles of Jurisprudence. Happily, three comprehensive collections have been compiled and published in this regard.
"Legal Addresses" is a highly significant theory that reflects Imam’s genius and extensive knowledge in the fields of jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, and exegesis. This theory is not confined to a limited scope; rather, it is a foundational principle that influences all branches of jurisprudence and even brings about changes in the conventional science of principles of jurisprudence. It seems that with this theory, the interpretation of the Quran also takes on a different form, though the evidence and proofs must be touched on in its own place.
Truly, Imam's foundational innovations far surpass those of his contemporaries and peers. It is a shame that Imam's scholarly achievements have been overlooked and not given the attention they deserve in the seminaries and academic institutions. If we were to count Imam's innovative theories in the field of principles of jurisprudence, they would be more than those of his contemporaries in Qom and Najaf seminaries, even though those scholars themselves possessed high scholarly status and we are indebted to them all. The point is, Imam's foundational innovations are many, and it is a pity that the scholarly achievements of the seminary of Qom have not received the attention they deserve.
The same is true regarding the innovations and contributions of the late Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi and the founder of the seminary of Qom, Grand Ayatollah Haeri. Of course, Imam Khomeini's political thoughts and his unique position as a political leader may have resulted in his scholarly position to be overshadowed. Still, in the end, we must not overlook his other scientific aspects. The authorities of the seminaries, academic institutions, and universities, both in Iran and abroad, should strive to elucidate Imam’s other scientific contributions and innovative theories as well.
Having said that, what I want to emphasize here is Imam's profound theory regarding governance, according to which Islam is introduced as fundamentally intertwined with governance. In my view, this theory surpasses the theory of ‘Legal Addresses’ because legal addresses are part of religious texts and pertain to the details of religion while the theory of 'Islam and Governing Are Intertwined' offers a broader perspective, since it deems Islam and governance as one thing.
Imam aimed to correct the mentality among Muslims and religious people that God’s purpose of sending so many prophets and messengers throughout history was merely to convey a set of trivial rules. He wanted to tell them that aside from and more important than these rules, the objective of sending prophets was governing the society and establishing religion. Islam, which is the most comprehensive of religions, was not sent but to establish a religious government. Imam says that religious regulations are of secondary importance. I still cannot definitively say what Imam meant by this statement. One of the consequences of this is that no rule, be it prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc. can oppose governance. It cannot be said that a rule may oppose governance but governance takes precedence because rules never contradict governance since they are not at the same level and do not have the same importance. In any case, the theory of Islamic government and legal addresses are Imam’s two deeply rooted and profound theories, in addition to other contributions he made in his lectures on jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence.
There are numerous new and innovative ideas in the book of "Al-Bay'" which was written by Imam but unfortunately, these ideas have remained largely unexplored and undiscussed. Researchers should focus more on these ideas.
The second point is that in this gathering, we should also remember the great martyr, the late Ayatollah Hajj Mustafa Khomeini who was a jurist and a remarkable philosopher and exegete. When our father was in exile in Yazd in 1952, a seminarian came to him to visit him. At that time, Imam and many other great scholars of the seminary were still alive. That seminarian asked, “If, God forbid, Imam Khomeini passes away, who is qualified to be the marji’?” Without any hesitation, my father responded, “Hajj Agha Mustafa!”
One of the sources for understanding Imam's teachings deeply are Hajj Agha Mustafa’s books, since his books have presented these issues very precisely and deeply. He had a great role in the establishment of Imam's theories in jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, and philosophy, just as late Hajj Ahmad Agha had a great role in strengthening Imam’s political theories. May God's blessings be upon both of them.
Today, we are fortunate that among Imam's descendants, this scientific path is being pursued vigorously. In my opinion, one of the rewards that God has given to Imam is that today in Imam's household scholarly figures exist. In particular, our esteemed brother, Ayatollah Sayyid Hassan Khomeini (may he be protected by God), stands at the forefront. I was very pleased when I heard he had touched on the subject of 'Legal Addresses’ in his lectures on principles of jurisprudence. Not only that but he has improved the theory by solving many ambiguities surrounding it, and for this reason, we are very pleased and thankful to God.
My request is that Imam’s household, before anything else, give more importance to Imam's scientific views in jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence, especially those jurisprudential views that form the bases of the Islamic Revolution. Our society and seminaries today need those foundations upon which Imam's ideas were based. Imam's students, including my father, who strongly believed in the theory of 'Legal Addresses', used to say that if Imam were to rewrite 'Tahrir Al-Wasilah' this time based on his theory of 'Legal Addresses’, many of his fatwas would change.
We hope that God elevates the souls of Imam, his descendants, and his students to the highest ranks, and that their intellectual and political legacy remains strong, and that this revolution continues to prosper under the guidance of the esteemed Leader of the Revolution, Ayatullah Khamenei (may God prolong his life).
Peace and the mercy of God and His blessings be upon you.