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Chapter 9: The Fatwas of Anger

The Unveiling of Women

The visit of the minister of culture (Mirza 'Ali Asghar Khan Hikmal) to Shiraz in 1313 S.H. (1934 A.D.), and the prominent festival held in Shahpoor School under his supervision, caused an uproar over there. The audiences were surprised on seeing about forty half naked girls on the stage, dancing to the music..!

That was the beginning of the popular upraise. People in that time, thought that Reza Khan (Shah of Iran) does not have any information or prior notice about that festival. But the said minister confirmed that the festival had been formed by his Excellency the King...!

Yet Ayallullah Sayyid Husayn Qommi had expressed the multitude's impression, when he declared (with tears): “Islam needs a sacrifice, and I am ready to be that sacrifice.”

Then he sent a telegram to Reza Khan asking him to revert to the first situation and annul the law of unveiling the women threatening with a strongly resistance…!

Circumstances became more critical, and Ayatullah Al-Ha’iri broke his silence for the national interest, so he enjoined his most faithful student Al-Khonsari to lead the demonstration against Shah, and to assist Ayatullah Qommi. Nevertheless, Al-Khonsari needed no provocation, since he was sure that this decision of the government is absolutely going to be disappointed. Al-Khonsari, as Al-Sherif Al-Razi relates, was indeed the only partner or Ayatullah Qommi's struggle against the corrupt projects of that time government.

Al-Khonsari1 expressed his attitude about unveiling the women and modernization, in a fatwa:

"There is no doubt that unveiling the women as it is seen now a days, is positively Haram (illegal), and such indecent deed is really "Enjoining the good and forbidding to do the evil " which is wajib upon everyone lives in this homeland .2

Muhammad Taqi Al-Khonsari

Skimming Through The Diary

Reza Khan was extremely fond of Ataturk and his doctrines, aiming to have Turkey as his example and model. Now he began to cast his policy in the form of modernization. Thus he started with the hat as a beginning, as an expression for the unity of the nation...! He forced 'Ulama to wear the hat too instead of the turbans.

Sheikh Mujtaba Al-Iraqi relates in his diary:

"In the upper floor of Faydhiyyah school near the library, there were three rooms, one was for Ayatullah Sayyid Mahmood Talqani, one for Ayatullah Al-Gharawi, and the third one was mine. While Sayyid Talqani who was away from Qom, returned, I and Al-Khonsari put an appointment to visit him after the evening prayers.

During our visit, Talqani spoke to Al-Khonsari saying: Reza Khan travelled to the north, and he issued an order that he don’t want to notice any turban worn by anyone when he returns from there to Tehran...! Thus the police are attacking anyone who wears the turban, tearing the 'Ulama's cloak and mocking at them…!

He added angrily: Qom is not far from Tehran, since it may be attacked at any moment. Now what are you going to do?

Al-Khonsari smiled and said: That is only a probability, and nothing may happen in Qom. This order may entirely be annulled...!

Actually that order remained inside the fence of Tehran and nothing Qom. Later on it was completely neglected…!"3

An Auspicious Event

Soon after the defeat of the German in the Second World War, the nations were expecting a new peaceful era after the destruction caused by the war. But Great Britain which was the winner in that war, planted a strange seed inside the Islamic land, in collaboration with the spiteful crusade and the corrupt Zionism- That seed was the state of Israel..!

The conflict then has brought out the most complicated problems in the Middle East in the twentieth century. Quds, the first of two Qiblas...the land of Israa, the Night-journey of our Holy Prophet (S) fell easily in the hand of Islam's enemy, the Jews.

As a matter of fact, the first protest arose from Iran by Ayatullah Kashani, the one who made the British dizzy with his struggle and stable attitude, the man who issued a fatwa to support the Palestinians with arm and money and to fight against the Jews, bravely.

Al-Khonsari, too, expressed his idea by assisting Ayatullah Kashani and issued many fatwas. Thus, a lot of people rushed volunteering in jihad, but the government of that time prevented them to do so. Yet some could escape to Palestine secretly and share the Muslims there in the sacred battle against Zionists.

Al-Kashani

The British couldn't bear the existence of Al-Kashani at all, so he was chased by them immediately after their occupying Iran in 1941 A.D. and was arrested and imprisoned in Falakul Aflak fortress. 4 He was treated cruely and with savage violence, but in spite of that he still repeated his famous sentences: “If remained alive I would struggle to cur the oil, evenone drop, from the British…!

Anyhow, Al-Kashani was released after 28 months.

He then treated with the oil affair politically as he promised that was in a time when people were suspecting any 'Alim that enters the policy world.

Worth mentioning here, that Al-Khonsari supported Al-Kahsani for a great extent.

The Two Friends

There were strong ties of friendship between Ayatullah Al-Khonsari and Ayuatullah Kashani when they both were in Najaf Ashraf studying in its Hawzah, and those ties became stronger during the British occupation of Iraq in the First World War.

Ayatullah Kashani has visited Qom twice, and both times he was Al-Khonsari's guest, while Al-Khonsari was always seeking the help of Kashani to assist various types of people.

Kashani has visited his old friend for many times when the latter was being treated in the hospital. It is clear that Al-Khonsari was sustaining the “Fida-iyyan Islam” organization as a conclusion of this friendly relationship, also the performance of Congregational Prayer in Faydhiyyah school by the leadership of Al-Khonsari, was in fact a trysting-place for the orginization's members, in the same time when the relationship between Boroojerdi and Kashani was without friendliness and cold, since the former regarded Kashani as an extremist.

Yet, Boroojerdi once sought to visit Kashani especially when the latter was found visiting Al-Khonsari's home and Boroojerdi went there, while Kashani repeated his visit to Boroojerdi.

A Crucial Fatwa

The daily newspaper (Bakhtar) in its issue no.452 published Ayatullah Al-Khonsari's fatwa regarding the oil nationalization, under the title:

“Ayatullah Al-Khonsari - the Marji' of all Muslims - issues a fatwa consolidating oil natilonalization”.

Other details say: “press reports say that Ayatullah Al-Khonsari, the supreme Marji' has issued a fatwa to supporting the oil nationalization law responding a question regarding the same subject, in an attempt to stop foreign plundering the national wealth. The full text of the said Marji' words are as below:

“Bismillah Ta’alla
In the Name of the Exalted Allah

You have asked about our being silent regarding the huge loss in the national right in oil issue. Obviously, your question was not to seek the legal issue in relate with this affair, as it was really a comprehensive question that clarifies the good and evil away from any confusion, which must be removed. I indeed admire and appreciate such questioner who aims to grant legality to laws to be convenient with the Islamic laws.

I would like to relate a story that occurred in the Holy Prophet's time:

- A man died and left many servants and slaves. But before he dies, he set all his slaves free. When he has already buried, the Holy Prophet became aware of the man’s will. So he was depressed, and said: If I was there before he was buried, I wouldn’t agree to let him be buried in the Muslims' cemetery..! When the Holy Prophet was asked about the reason, he replied: Because he left His family without provision..! -

Now, if the Holy Prophet is to ask about the national wealth (the black gold - oil) seeing that the incomings are being plundered by the foreigners, in the same time when 14 million citizens are in meagre living and threatened with starvation, he would certainly be angry, since that does not need a high degree cleverness.

It is treachery to be silent on this matter as the Holy Prophet (S) says: Whosoever enters upon morning without showing care towards the Muslims, he is absolutely not Muslim nor a believer.

Is there any criterion which can be regarded as more accurate that this?

Is it legal that we a just and jealous Mujtahid like Ayatullah Kashani struggling to help the multitude to have their own wealth, and we satisfy looking only?

I myself do not legalize any excuse to do so.

Muhammad Taqi Moosawi

The Seventeenth Session of the Parliament

Soon after the victory seized by the National Movement and the confirmation on oil nationalization in 1329 S.H. (1951 A.D.) and the parliamentary nine items bill was drafted, in 1330 S.H. a parliamentary election was held to form a national assembly that represents the popular desire to have the most prosperous future.

This event happened synchronously with the end of the 16th parliament session, when Ayatullah Kashani, who appeared as the leader for the National Movement, did his utmost struggle to have a liberate election.

In the same time, Al-Khonsari was being treated in Tehran for his heart attack, then his meeting with the bazaar merchants, declaring his standing up for the National Movement and the election, since the merchants were relying on Al-Khonsari's supporting the National Movement for his significant personality.

Yet, a letter was sent by the Bazaar merchants To Al-Khonsari inquiring his idea about the election, and was as following:

"His Holiness Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Al-Khonsari, may God bless his existence, the country had for years lived under constitutionalism, whose parliament has the complete choice to issue the laws and rules, and direct the national policy itself.

It goes without saying, that the whole parliamentary laws are representing the very options members of the said parliament. So, if the members are loyal and Islamic, laws will be in the interest of the people, compared with the Islamic laws, and vice-versa.

Therefore, we are asking your Holiness to express your idea frankly about the election, and choosing the appropriate when were distanced by adverse policy, for the benefit of the enemies.

Signature:
A Group of Tehran Merchants'

Ayatullah Al-Khonsari's response was as follows:

"Bismihi Ta'ala

I greatly appreciate your sentiment and epigeous ideas appeared amidst the lines of your letter, which has come in a very sensitive and critical circumstance the country passing by, while the independence and religion of our homeland are being threatened.

It is clear that we all must take our share of the election as a legal duty. In addition to that, voting for wicked and inadequate delegates, or overlooking any error is completely considered as Haram, since it is a direct fatal blow to the religion and the country independence and will be worst calamity in the country's history. So, whosever commit that deed is responsible for that before Allah..

20/Azar/1330

11/12/l951

This fatwa had extremely agitated the public feelings all over the country, and more than 150 thousand voters shared in the election, while the former election showed only 40 thousand of voters. Thus, Al-Khonsari's fatwa was the main factor that influenced all the election participation.

Consequently, the 17th parliamentary session has been formed with the expected aims. About that, Dr. Mosaddiq has declared saying:

“I am now confident that 80% of the elected delegates are real representatives of their nation volition, and their only target is the prosperity of their people”.

Yet, it is miserable to witness later, that the same Dr Mosaddiq becomes the main obstacle in the way of his country progress, opposing the parliament desire in spite of his belief that the parliament desire representative that of the people.

Mosaddiq has proceeded to weaken the parliament attitude and impede and obstruct the progress of the election in the various governorates, but Ayatullah Kashani was not to pass over such gross violations, since he considered the parliament issue as more important that the oil's which will somehow remain as a by-issue and of secondary importance and it doesn't bear comparison with the National Rule and Public Benefit.

But the errant politicians could undermine Kashani's position through made-up and false accusations which have been laid against Ayatullah Kashani, the unique representative for the National Movement and overstated the issue of oil so greatly.

Mosaddiq was planning to expel the religious leadership of the National Movement, and drive a wedge between policy and religion...synchronously with the new imperialism represented by the U.S. policy which aimed to entirely remove Kashani from the political stage, as a price to grant various aids to Iran.

The Last Journey

The four months Al-Khonsari had spent in the hospital for treatments were of no use to him to recover his health, so he left it while he was still suffering his heart. The inhabitants of Hamada and its 'Ulama were heedless of Al-Khonsari's sickness, so they ignorantly invited him to visit their city and to spend the summer among them; he accepted their invitation and travelled to Hamadan accompanied with Ayatullah Araki, Ayatullah Akhond Mullah 'Ali Hamadani, and Ayatullah Khomeini (The Late Imam), along with his elder son Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir.

On 23rd, of Teer, 1331 S.H.(1952 A.D.) Ayatullah Al-Khonsari let Qom towards Hamadan. After a short stop in Rey. He arrived Hamadan on 24th of the same month, where he was warmly welcomed by the inhabitants and many offering were sacrificed rejoicing at his arrival.

Al-Khonsari was visited by a lot of people and he visited them to their homes too, in spite of his poor health and led a Congregational Prayer in the city masjid.

At Thy Service, God!

One day evening while Ayatullah Al-Khonsari put on his white clothes and in his way to Masjid Jami', he had a severe heart attack. So, the doctors hastened to him, and Kashani immediately sent Dr. Mudarresi to try to find out his case. But all attempts were futile...!

The seventh of Dhul Hijjah 1371 A.H. emerged and Al-Khonsari responded to his Lord’s call, and thus his pure spirit ascended towards its Creator. 5

We are heavenly, and to heaven we are returning,

We have come from the sea, and to it going,

We are from there, not from this generation,

From nobility towards destruction,

“Say: Come”, is a verse presenting the right,

To Allah we return, to the height,

So remember your fellows, your provision and the home,

Do u remember that we are leaving as we are to doom 6

A Strange Dream

Meanwhile, Ayatullah Boroojerdi was then in Qom in those blessed nights of Dhul Hujjah and was very tired for his continuous searching and writing. When he went to bed, he dreamed that as if Ash-Sherif Murtadha 'Alamil Huda, the student of Sheikh At-ta-ifa Al-Toosi - May Allah have mercy upon him - is dead and his coffin was brought to Qom. He woke up astonished and inquired himself saying:
“What does that mean? It is too far between Qom and Al-Murtadha…?”

In the morning, the calamitous news reached from Hamadan telling the heavenly departure of Ayatullah Al-Khonsari, then Boroojerdi realised the interpretation of his dream.

Ayatullah Boroojerdi always looked after Al-Khonsari, saying his famous words: "Take good care of Al-Khonsari..Beware not to leave him alone..!"

On The Radio

On Saturday 8th of Shahrivar 1331 S.H. (1952 A.D.) the news was broadcast on the radio telling the demise of Ayatullah Al-Khonsari. The same day was the death anniversary of the fifth Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (a.s.), and the whole country showed sorrow and regret for the Loss of Ayatullah Al-Khonsari. So, the government declared that day as a formal occasion, and holy verses of Qur'an were spreaded by radio instead of the daily programs, besides, a fireworks celebration which was expected to be held on the occasion of Eidul Adha of that year was cancelled.

Hawzah Ilmiyyah was paralysed inside and outside the country for the same occasion7. Many announcements were broadcast by various parties and organizations mourning the late Al-Khonsari.

The Autumn of Grief

It was a sad autumn in Hamadan every eye dropped tears.

Ayatullah Dar'amari poured the water on the sacred corpse, and then enfolded it with white cloth.

It was the month of pilgrimage, where pilgrimage were roving round K'aba with Ihram white garb and Al-Khonsari wore white garb too but is going to pilgrim in the heaven, his direction.

The motionless corpse was carried on an ambulance which left towards Qom. Many buses were filled with Hamdani people who came to escort the great man to his final resting place.

There was a large crowd that had already collected outside their houses, filling the streets.

The pure body was buried inside the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Fatima Ma'soomah the daughter of Imam Moosa ibn Ja'afar and the sister of Imam Reza (a.s.).

Ayatullah Boroojerdi was preparing himself to perform the Meyyit prayer for the beloved deceased to be buried beside his master Ayatullah Al-Hairi.

Mourning for the Dearest

Ayatullah Kashani seemed very sad. It was a critical moment.
It reminded Kashani of the friendly mutual days with his old friend and comrade. Al-Khonsari was like a candle which illuminated others way but now it is off.

Kashani then was in Mecca for 'Umra, and to invite the Muslims ‘Ulama to the Islamic Unity Conference. He cabled from there as follows:

“He present my utmost grief for the departure of Ayatullah Al-Khonsari (Quddisa Sirruh).

He was indeed a great 'Alim, and a struggler in the way of Allah. He vowed his life to serve the Islamic world and its unity. He represented the real piety and devoutness.

I repeat my condolence, especially to the late’s descendants”.

In another telegram, Kashani requested the eldest son of Al-Khonsari to perform the funeral ceremony in the seventh day of his father's departure in the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soomah (a.s.) on behalf of him.

Kashani reached Qom in the ceremony marking the fortieth day of Al-Khonsari's demise to visit his gone comrade.

Mourning the Late

Ayatullah Araki in his diaries relates: “Ayatullah Khomeni was with us in Hamadan. He stayed for a while, then he bade farewell to Ayatullah Al-Khonsari and returned to Qum. But I stayed with Ayatullah Al-Khonsari until he died. In the way between Tehran and Qom I saw Ayatullah Khomeni with alot of people waiting for us. He cried very much. I saw many people crying and Al-Khonsari’s sons too, but Khomeni's crying was yet warmer.”

The Political Fiqh

Ayatullah Al-Khonsari took good care of the political Fiqh, since it is a pillar of the nation’s building, and its real identity.

He mixed hard work with knowledge and transferred his ideas and attitude into practicality.

He struggled against the British with stable soul and deep faith. He has been imprisoned, expelled and tortured.

His opinion about the Congregational Prayer being wajib, sprang from a deep realization and knowledge.

Al-Khonsari always remained awake guarding his nation.

His performing the Prayer of Rain and the coming of the Rain later was a charisma related only to Al-Khonsari.

He supported Fida-iyyah Islam bravely and stood against the injustice of the rulers. Also his assisting Kashani in nationalizating oil. Finally his resistance to annul the law of unveiling the women.

Al-Khonsari died. But he left a fruitful inheritance, in jihad, in lectures, examples, unity and supporting others... Al-Khonsari departed. But he left his loyal student the Late Imam to struggle alone with the savage wolves, until he could blow up the corrupt regime of Shah.

  • 1. Atharul Hujjah, vol.I, p.155.
  • 2. Majmaoo'ee Hikmat Magazine, vol.I, no.12,p.26.
  • 3. Hawzah Magazine, no.36, p.37.
  • 4. In Kermanshah city, west of Iran.
  • 5. Majmoo'eyeh Hikmat Magazine, vol.I, no.12, p.48.
  • 6. From the poems of Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi Roomi .
  • 7. Hawzah Ilmiyyah in Najaf also declared one day mourning for the late Al-Khonsari (Q.S.).