Breaking: In the path of the Imam (93)
As a reminder, we said that Imam Khomeini highly respected the Source of Emulation Grand Ayatollah Hussein Borujerdi and tried to bold him as the main Source of Emulation and decision-maker in seminaries. Thus, even in political issues, Imam Khomeini would advise students and ulema to follow Ayatollah Borujerdi in a bid to prevent divide among seminaries.
In response to a group of friends who had asked him to interfere in political affairs, the Imam said, “My duty in this period is to study and teach and till Ayatollah Borujerdi is alive I have no duty but to accompany him, give him consultation and be in harmony with him.” stay tuned for more.
Imam Khomeini, due to his political acumen, would always be consulted by Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi. In fact, Ayatollah Borujerdi would avoid expressing his view on political issues before consultation with Imam Khomeini. Hojjat-ol-Eslam Mehri, referring to the meetings of Ayatollah Borujerdi with the officials of Pahlavi regime, said, “I was at the presence of late Ayatollah Borujerdi that a representative came from the government and called for his agreement with the issue that he was going to implement. Ayatollah Borujerdi said, ‘I will announce the answer to the government after consultation and exchanging views with some of the ulema.’ I thought with which of the ulema he would consult in such issues. After a short while, I saw that Imam Khomeini came there at the request of late Mr. Borujerdi and went to a room with him and talked for an hour. After an hour, late Mr. Borujerdi sent his view to the government. Sometimes, Mr. Borujerdi, in addition to consultation on important political issues, would invite the Imam to participate at the negotiations that he had with the government officials or, on behalf of him, talk directly with the government’s representative and officials.”
Imam Khomeini’s stance on Navvab Safavi’s sentence to death was very harsh and instructive. The Fadaeian Eslam group, led by martyr Navvab Safavi, believed in military measure against the despotic regime and that’s why he had been sentenced to death. But Ayatollah Borujerdi thought that the regime would not execute him. In view of this, he didn’t make much effort to release Navvab Safavi. Yet, Imam Khomeini was strongly opposed to execution of Navvab and his companions, although he was also opposed to military move against the regime. For this reason, the Imam had a lot of consultations with Ayatollah Borujerdi to prevent their execution. The Imam’s efforts were not successful, but he refused to take any measure to keep the status of the Source of Emulation. Hojjat-ol-Eslam Faker yazdi said in this regard, “Imam Khomeini had gone to Ayatollah Borujerdi’s house so that he might show a reaction against the execution of Navvab Safavi. The Imam was so upset that he threw his turban to the floor saying, ‘Sir, support this Seyyed whom they want to execute.’ Ayatollah Borujerdi failed to prevent the execution of late Navvab and the treacherous Shah martyred that innocent Seyyed. If the Imam had come out instantly and shouted, he would do an illegitimate act. Although he wanted to prevent the execution of Navvab, keeping the respect of Ayatollah Borujerdi, as the just jurisprudent and Source of Emulation in those days, was more important than safeguarding Navvab.”
Imam Khomeini was so sharp and clever in political affairs that Ayatollah Kashani had also predicted his effective role for the future of Islam. The Imam started struggle against the despotic regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as a young scholar at the seminary. He was so outstanding in politics that once Ayatollah Kashani said, “The only person that is hoped to benefit the Iranian nations is Mr. Khomeini.” Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi had also said, “I want to help this youth in a proper time so that he would be effective for Islam and Muslims.” Although Imam Khomeini was a little upset with Ayatollah Borujerdi due to the issue of execution of Navvab Safavi by the regime, he would never allow anyone to speak evil of Ayatollah Borujerdi. Late Ayatollah Eshraqi, the Imam’s son-in-law, said, “I had just become a member of the Imam’s family. It was summer and he had gone to Hamedan. At that time, apparently he was not in good terms with Ayatollah Borujerdi. I went to visit the Imam in Hamedan. I thought that it wouldn’t be bad to criticize Ayatollah Borujerdi. As soon as I started speaking on him, the Imam was cross and put his head down. Then he raised his head and said, ‘Mr. Eshraqi I won’t let anyone to insult the leader of Muslims, no matter who he is or which position he has.’”
Ayatollah Borujerdi highly respected Imam Khomeini although he had differences of opinion with him. In many cases, he would designate the Imam as his plenipotentiary representative for resolving problems. One of Imam Khomeini’s daughters, Farideh Mostafavi, says in this regard, “Before the 15 of Khordad uprising, whenever the traders of Tehran would come to Ayatollah Borujerdi to assign a congregational prayer leader for them, he would say, ‘If Haaj Aqa Rouhollah accepts the leadership of that mosque, he is the best.’”