“If you hope, at this juncture, to cut the economic Gordian knots of socialism and communism by appealing to the center of Western capitalism, you will, far from remedying any ill of your society, commit a mistake which those to come will have to erase.”
A survey of the events of Imam Khomeini’s life will reveal the undeniable fact that the Imam had a prophet-like character surpassing that of any celebrated figure in contemporary history. His character, however, can only be known through a thorough study of the Islamic Revolution which he founded, and led to victory.
Among his prophetic acts was the letter the Imam wrote toward the end of his blessed life to President Mikhail Gorbachev, the then and the last Chairman of the Presidium of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The letter was written at a time when the eight-year war imposed on Iran had just ended and the Western media and political analysts interpreted Iran’s acceptance of the UN Resolution 598 as a consequence of a shake in Iran’s convictions. The enemies of Islam cherished the hope that the Islamic Revolution would be restricted to Iran and cease to have an impact beyond the borders of the country.
Under these circumstances the news of a message sent by Imam Khomeini to the leader of the Soviet Union aroused the attention of all nations, particularly political leaders and analysts. The delegation, led by a high-ranking clergyman, Ayatullah Jawad Amuli, one of the Imam’s disciples, accompanied by the Deputy Foreign Minister and a lady representative of the parliament, arrived in Moscow on January 7th, 1989 and met with Mr. Gorbachev in the Kremlin Palace at 11 a.m. the following day. The meeting lasted for about 2 hours.
The composition of the delegation and the nature of the message once more attracted the attention of the world toward the Islamic Revolution and its great leader. The Soviet authorities and Mr. Gorbachev had expected the message to be anything but a call to divine unity and pure Muhammadan Islam. Following the tradition of the great prophets, the Imam started his invitation at a center of power with the conviction that his call would extend throughout the world. The Soviet authorities’ response to the call was political but the message, having been widely broadcast by the mass media and interpreted by news agencies, produced the desired effect.
Inside the Soviet Union, the letter was kept hidden from the people, and even banned in Muslim republics. Although, it was met with a hearty welcome by the Soviet youth and gave a boost to the already burning zest of Soviet Muslims for Islam. The letter was copied in thousands and distributed secretly throughout the country.
Today, a few years after this divine message was issued, the Imam’s prophecy of the collapse of communism and the inevitable changes inside the Soviet Union has been fulfilled. The path which the Imam showed to Mr. Gorbachev involved a solution of problems resulting from Marxist ideology as well as an integration of political power and the preservation of the dignity of the Soviet people. The Imam warned the Soviet authorities not to be lured by the illusory haven of the Western world and not to fall into the trap set by the Arch-Satan. Are we not witnessing today the materialization of these two warnings?
The Imam’s historic letter was an attempt at exporting the Islamic Revolution, not an attempt to interfere in the affairs of other nations. Rather, merely to provide an answer to the question of the souls’ thirst for divine teachings—souls forced to live for seventy years under teachings incompatible with their nature. Let us hope for a day when the propaganda spell of the Western world will shatter and the Westerners, too, will find a chance to grasp the spirit of the Imam’s divine message.
International Affairs Department
The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works
First Printing, Winter 1993