Surely the greatest characteristic of Imām Khomeinī is that he was a God-centered and a Faith-pivoted man a characteristic, which has its roots in his religious ideology. From the positive gnostic point of view 1 Allah, the Great, is the Ruler over the heavens and the earth, and men are to perform their duties, and to bow, in respect, their heads before the Divine Will. They are not to worship other than Him, and not to put foot on any path except on His, as this world is just a transit station, while the permanent abode of the servants is in the neighborhood of Allah, the Glorified.
Man, in this world of matter, is to sow what he wants to harvest in the Hereafter. So, he should deservedly carry out what is incumbent upon him, and not to enter upon a course forbidden to him, so that he may prosper.
The Imām started his course in life with such an outlook, and when he rose, he was prompted only by the idea that it was his duty to rise, and when he issued his orders to wage the defensive war and to be steadfast; he issued them because he believed that to fight and be steadfast were religious duties. On the day when he decreed to the astonishment of everybody that Salmān Rushdie was to be executed, it was only because it is the very judgment of Islam against such an apostate.
Consequently, the thinkers of the world and the well-versed politicians admit that (Imām) Khomeinī was more of a religious leader than a politician, and he was engaged more in carrying out Allah's verdicts than in ruling on the basis of politics.
Only from this angle one may be able to cast a glance at the world-enlightening sun of the Revolution and get acquainted with his personality, and only with such a view in mind one may comprehend the depth of this expression in his will, where he says: “…With a calm soul, a confident heart, a cheerful spirit and a conscience full of hope in Allah's favor, I take leave from my sisters and brothers to travel to the eternal abode…” Peace be upon him the day he was born, the day he dies and the day he shall be raised up alive.
The book which is before you covers a part of Imām Khomeinī's looks into the valley of theoretical Gnosticism. It is dedicated by that godly man to his efficient and gnostic son, the late Hujjatul-Islām wal-Muslimīn Hāj Sayyid Ahmad Khomeinī, who, with a clear heart and a pure soul, spent his life walking along practical gnosticism, and who tried hard to carry out all the moral instructions of the Imām. It is dedicated to his daughter-in-law, too.
Now that the pen has inscribed the names of such great men, I feel ashamed of having my feeble fingers scribble an introduction to such a great book by such a great man. I request the people of knowledge, research and readings to pardon me, and extend their helping hands to me, who am lost on the road, trembling upon myself like the leaves of a willow!
At the end, I regard it necessary to offer my thanks to the respected Director of the International Affairs Department of the Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imām Khomeinī's Works, his colleagues and the honorable translators who have translated this and other books of the Imām. I request all the translators in the country and those familiar with translating the gnostic works to assist this Institute in bettering such translations, since such an important question cannot be handled without their cooperation and heart-felt sympathy.
Sayyid Hasan Khomeinī
- 1. The term “positive gnosticism” as against “negative gnosticism”, means that the Gnostic would not break with the creatures of Allah nor would he take to live in seclusion and isolation, rather he prefers to live among the people and with them. He even believes that it is his duty to guide the people to the straight and true path.
As regards the negative gnostic person, he breaks with the people, lives in seclusion, dislikes attending meetings, and spends his life in an isolated place, engaging himself in worshipping Allah.