Imam Khomeini, and the Idea of Grand Islamic State and Free and Independent Republics (Part I)                 

Imam Khomeini, and the Idea of Grand Islamic State and Free and Independent Republics (Part I)

 

Introduction
Necessity of the Islamic government in the contemporary conditions:
Realization of the grand Islamic state while preserving the territorial states
Perhaps, it can be said that among the manifest peculiarities of Imam Khomeini’s thinking in the realm of political thought is the realization of Islam while keeping in view the exigencies of time. By preserving the lofty Islamic ideals, he exerted his utmost effort to understand the political conditions of the time with all their complexities and through new methods to find a way for the realization of those ideals.

One of the important discussions on the political thought in the Muslim world is the issue of unity. It seems that Imam Khomeini has paid profound attention to this fundamental question of all the contemporary political thinkers of Islam: With the presence of the present-day territorial states and the so-called nation-states in the Muslim world, whose number is more than a hundred political units, how can the Islamic ideal of unity be realized and the grand Islamic state be formed?

Here, the territorial political units are time-bound realities of the international arena in the contemporary period while unity and the realization of the grand Islamic state is a political-religious reality and not confined to a certain period.

One solution, which is also a classical one, is that without consideration of the present-day states, from the beginning the design for an Islamic state is to be discussed and pursued. Here, national governments, territorial borders, cultures, and local as well as regional traditions would be under the aegis of “unity”; definitely, this design will be resisted. Nonetheless, the new and dynamic solution of Imam Khomeini is this: Notwithstanding reluctance due to his faith in the political-religious teachings, he considers the territorial nation-states as the principal decision-makers in the international arena, while understanding national, political and cultural sensitivities of peoples and nations and the powers ruling over them as well as analyzing the ambitiousness of opportunistic neighbors. Under this condition, he is not in pursuit of forming an empire like the empire of the church beyond the era of the kings. Similarly, under the present circumstances, he is not hopeful that the 600-year early Muslim empire be instantly reinstituted. He is not even optimistic to compensate and redress the flaws, defects and deviations of the first 600 years. He equally considers impossible under the present circumstances the realization of a single leadership for the entire Muslim world. Therefore, based on the lofty ideal of Islamic unity and the establishment of grand Islamic state and keeping in view of the reality of the present-day territorial states, he suggests a scheme, which is precisely taking into consideration the political complexities of the time. His scheme is a blending of a timeless ideal and realities of the time; a blending of unity and political diversity. Yet, the objective is the very acquisition of Islamic authority for the implementation of the religion of God, the Sublime, and the salvation of mankind. It can be said, indeed, that at the beginning of the 15th  century hijri, i.e. last quarter of the 20” century, the Muslim world is treading a path toward a bright future with high optimism and ample hope—a path beset with enormous problems such as the imperialist plots and intrigues of the West, weak and defective performance of the dependent states, and immaturity of the intellectual, scientific and Islamic argument. In spite of the past full of discord and disagreement during last hundreds of years, the Muslims are thinking of looking for new awareness, and in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, for unity, acquiring Islamic identity and rights, and revival of past glory and grandeur. Along this way, many academic centers such as the seminaries and universities have been exposed to changes, and as a result, new subjects have been discussed.



The main theoretical subjects, particularly the issue of government, have been discussed and studied in the two fields of political jurisprudence and political thought. Each of these two fields views the subject through a particular way and for a specific aim. Political jurisprudence deals on the “musts” and the “sacred” accumulated and integrated throughout history so as to put at the disposal of Muslims practical and feasible solutions. As the Holy Qur’an states: “Of every troop of them (the believers), a party only should go forth (in jihad), that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.
Political thought is concerned with the “possible” and lacking the mentioned “sacredness” and executive supports. Without entering the realm of the sacred, in this field the most important investigation can be done although this search would not intend to present guideline.

The present paper embarks on the discussion of government in Islam from the perspective of political thought. A survey of the history of Islam shows that the ideal of Islam on the Muslim society and even the global community is the ideal of unity. As the Holy Qur’an states:
“Verily, this ummah [community] of yours is a single community, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other).”

Concerning government, “integration” is the core Islamic ideal as the ideal government of the City of the Prophet was after that. In opposition to unity, “disintegration”, both in the mental, and practical and executive spheres, has been interdicted, and it has always been condemned in the sayings of the Prophet (s), the Imams (‘a), thinkers, and reformers.

Touching on integration, the main axis of discussion and debate has been the “government,” which itself can be divided into two more secondary subjects: “leadership” and “state”. The foundation of integration in Islam is leadership which, both in the realms of political jurisprudence and political thought, has been facing problem due to the unfavorable objective and subjective circumstances. On one hand, on account of their different opinions on leadership (Imamah vis-à-vis  khilafah), the two great Islamic schools of thought—Sunni and Shi’ah—are in a state of disintegration. In the Shi’ah world, on the other hand, the issue of  leadership is discussed within the rubric of  wilayah al-Faqih [guardianship of the jurist], which except in Iran has roughly remained unrealized, or at least, from the realm of jurisprudence it has not yet entered the realm of political thought. Therefore, it has remained within the arena of jurisprudence and the “sacred”.

A survey of the political thoughts of the contemporary thinkers of the Muslim world, who arc also at the same time the leaders of revolutions, shows that except  Imam Khomeini the other thinkers have refrained from deeply and fundamentally approaching the matter of leadership—an affair which has delayed the integration of the Muslim world as well as served as the axis of not-so value-laden theoretical discussions. Among these thinkers and leaders, only lmam Khomeini has engaged in discussion in both the contexts of “leadership” and “state” for the attainment of unity, showing the practical solution for the attainment of integration of the Muslim world. The theoretical scheme, “free and independent republics” alongside an Islamic state is his proposed model for the integration of the Muslim world in which petty political authorities as well as sectarian and local leaderships are possible within the framework of “free and independent republics”. Of course, it is so provided that they would move toward the realization of the great power of the “Islamic state”. His scheme is a sort of blending between unity and diversity. In other words, it is the blending of petty political units (nation-state) and transcendental political units (Islamic ideological state), and the only way of obtaining this objective is to resort to the Islamic thought because it is capable of describing and realizing the grounds for the establishment of the grand Islamic state. As such, in case the Islamic thought posed as the ultimate way of defining the national interests of the petty political units and large political units, the realization of the grand Islamic state will be possible.

Structural Framework of Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought
We will begin the investigation into Imam Khomeini’s political thought with his famous statement contained in his religious-political testament:
“You have to be heading toward the single Islamic state with free and independent republics.”
Taking into account the innovativeness and novelty of this idea in the Islamic political thought as well as the fact that the selected terminologies and peculiar condition of its substance which is the blending of unity and diversity, it is necessary to study some of the characteristics of his way of thinking so that the reasons for arriving at the mentioned idea will be cleared as much as possible.

The first characteristic of Imam Khomeini’s way of thinking in the realm of socio-political theorizing is its complexity and multidimensionality. In this way of thinking, many elements that arc sometimes (seemingly) contradictory or conflicting, incompatible or with different contexts find concordance, compatibility and unity with one another in the end. Courage and audacity in stating new ideas is another feature of Imam Khomeini’s way of thinking, which can be examined in relation to the first feature.
While being faithful to the traditions, he is one of the trendsetters in the world of ideas. At times, he undertakes the blending of traditionalism and innovativeness with such elegance that makes it seemingly unprecedented.

Realism is another feature of Imam Khomeini’s socio-political mindset, which has been the product of dynamic presence in the arena of theory and practice—a long presence full of struggle. In this context, sometimes, like an empiricist observer, he would monitor the span of social events from the beginning to the end and wait for the appointed happening of phenomena, or through objective and ideological preliminaries and preparations he would take action for their existence or extinction.
Idealism, along with realism, is another structural feature, which gives courage to Imam Khomeini to point out the lofty ideals of Islam in the most unacceptable conditions of presence and realization.
The totality of these structural features in the theorizations on society and politics—particularly in the abovementioned statement, which is the inspiration of the points of this article—has been influential. With a complex and multidimensional mind, he has combined two different, or seemingly contradictory, political units. It is because nation-state (free and independent republics) is a territorial political unit while Islamic state is a religious and ideological one. While acknowledging the nation-states as a reality though a not-so desirable one, he has treated the Islamic state as a lofty, yet achievable, ideal. Instead of eliminating the territorial states, which is today the greatest decision-makers in the international arena, he has led them toward the all-embracing Islamic state. He has stated the form of this movement by coining new terminologies in the science of politics, i.e. “free independent republics”. By choosing the attributes “free” and “independent” for the republics, he has actually identified the task of the territorial states in the Muslim world in order to realize the Islamic state. and at last, in a final arbitration, he has succeeded in reconciling these two political units. Apart from the structure existence, which was mentioned before, this section of Imam Khomeini’s thought can be examined under two categorizations of the foundations of Imam Khomeini’s political thought and suggested model.


These foundations are the following:

• Pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam;

• Unity and establishment of the great ummah;

• Motives behind the establishment of government in Islam; and
• State.

Foundations of Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought
Pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam
Throughout the life of struggle of Imam Khomeini, a kind of view on Islam and political thought by him can be witnessed, which incessantly and consistently continue up to the end of his life, and suddenly, turned into coining particular terminologies at the autumn year of his life to such an extent that the totality of his thought on Islam can be settled in two fundamental categorizations under the terms “pure Muhammadan Islam” and “American Islam”. Pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam are a clear and unambiguous classification, which manifests in the political thought of  Imam Khomeini on Farvardin II, 1367 [March 22, 19881, i.e. one year and three months before the termination of his apparent life. However, during the period of struggle, he indicated the stated classification through his unspecified presence. For, campaign against the foreigners; avoidance of class, economic and social influences in the Islamic views; resistance against internal despots; aversion to the hypocrite and hypocrisy along with repugnance to Westoxication; as well as support for the deprived and the downtrodden along with condemnation of the affluent and the tyrant classes have been among the peculiarities of Imam Khomeini’s way of thinking, which, as what has been mentioned earlier, had finally manifested under the rubric of pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam.
At any rate, he states in the end that throughout the history of Islam, the amalgamation of the two views that are distinct from each other can be differentiated. The first view emanates from the text of revelation while the second view stems from the interests of the oppressors, the arrogant and the tyrants. The first one has been at the service of the downtrodden, the faithful and the mystics while the second has been at the service of the affluent, the wealth-accumulators and the swindlers. The first is the same authentic Islam that originates from the revelation and virtues. The second is a concocted Islam and the Islam of vices, which through link with the arrogant in the international arena, particularly America, took a more ferocious shape and led to the oppress ion of the people of the world. These two views have been always in conflict with each other, which has continued up to the present.

In this part, we will embark on defining these two terms through his own words:
The pure Muhammadan Islam is the Islam of the suffering indigent, the Islam of the barefooted, the Islam of the scourge of the despised ones of the bitter and disgraceful history of deprivation, the annihilator of modern capitalism and bloodthirsty communism, and the destroyer of the Islam of comfort and luxury, the Islam of ... , the Islam of compromise and ignominy, the Islam of the indolent of the affluent, and in one word, the American Islam.

The pure Muhammadan Islam has experienced the taste of indigence, is the defender of the barefooted of the earth, the Islam of the downtrodden, the Islam of the oppressed of history, the Islam of the combatant mystics, and the pure Islam of the naturally God-conscious ones.
“We should make effort to separate the simplicity and purity of the pure Muhammadan Islam from the rusts of the sanctimony and intransigence of the American Islam, and to introduce it to the downtrodden people.”



In contrast to the pure Muhammadan Islam, he describes the American Islam in this manner:
“American Islam is the Islam of the arrogant and the indolent wealthy, the Islam of the hypocrites, and the Islam of the luxury-mongers and opportunists.”



American Islam is the Islam of the court-mullahs, of massacres and aggressions, and of the foolish sanctimonious ones, the Islam of money and gold, the Islam of deception, compromise and servitude, the Islam of the domination of the capitalists over the oppressed and barefooted.

The origins of the pure Muhammadan Islam and the American Islam
The origin of the pure Muhammadan Islam is revelation and the source of its power in facing all worldly powers of both people and classes is Allah. With the establishment of the Islamic government at the hands of the Most Noble Prophet of Islam in Medina, the historical trend of the pure Muhammadan Islam aimed at regaining the dignity of the downtrodden and the deprived strata commenced.
In tracing the root of American Islam, we will arrive at the arrogance of Satan. In other words, in this trend, Satan is the epicenter of definitions and descriptions, and the embodiment of bogus, yet egotistic and worldly, authority with the aim of dominating others. The exact personification of such a mindset in the world today is America and the American mindset: “Today, the Great Satan is America.”
On the basis of this, American Islam has been dictated from America and is implemented by different forces such as the local ruling classes, court- mullahs, capitalists, multinational corporations, and others. Such an Islam is against justice and salvation, and is in opposition to the awakening of man.
Pure Muhammadan Islam—the ideological conflict between two social groups
The pure Muhammadan Islam represents the confrontation between two opposing social groups. On one side are these combatant downtrodden, barefooted, slum-dwellers, truth-seekers, and salvation-seekers. On the other side are those kuffar (unbelievers), arrogant. capitalists, and religion-sellers.
In the parlance of linguistics, the perimeter of the term “pure Muhammadan Islam” rests on a collection of important dependent terms on which it also builds a perfect ideological devise. In such a devise which is expressive of the particular outlook on the salvation in this world and the hereafter, the pure Muhammadan Islam is like the center of a system around which revolve the other terms such as Islam of the downtrodden, Islam of purity and piety, Islam of the barefooted and slum-dwellers, Islam of the oppressed, Islam of the mystics and mystic good ones, Islam of the tortured ones, and war between indigence and affluence.

On the contrary, the perimeter of the term “American Islam,” which is expressive of the retrogressive ideological devise, also gives meaning to a collection of terms such as Islam of the White and Red Houses; Islam of the indolent affluent ones; Islam of the court-mullahs; Islam of the sanctimonious and intransigents; Islam of aggressions; Islam of money; Islam of deceit, compromise and bondage; and Islam of the dominance of the capitalists.

In a general overview of the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini these two currents and two ideological devises are complete. In the pure Muhammadan Islam, the trend of affairs is moving from the exterior to the interior and from this world to the next. For this reason, in such an aggregate different principles, which seem unrelated to one another, acquire meaning when combined together. Justice is situated along mysticism and both of them along with asceticism, sanctity and purity; and freedom and freeness along with power and acquisition of power.

Contrary to the first current, American Islam is a closed Islam whose direction is in reversion from the hereafter to this world. In this direction, the worldly ideology of externalism, comfort-seeking, money-worship, religion- selling, racing for superiority, colonialism, and exploitation is a rule. The Holy Qur’an states: “They know only some appearance of the life  of the world, and are heedless of the Hereafter.

The proponents of the two ways of thinking, the pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam, are the clerics and  ‘ulama’  committed to Islam and the pseudo-clerics, respectively.



The first group is the combatant ulama’ whose hearts have been the target of the poisonous bullets of the world-devourers and the initial bullets of the event have pointed to their hearts. Yet, under the protective shelter of the gold-worshipping materialists, the pseudo-clergy have always been the promoters of falsehood or the eulogists and confirmers of their oppression. So far, I have not seen a court-mullah or a Wahhabi cleric who might have stood against oppression, shirk and kufr, particularly against the aggressor Soviet Union and the world-devouring America. In the same manner. I have not seen a single upright cleric who loves to serve God and His creatures to have peace of mind for just a moment without having extended help to the barefooted on earth and not to have resisted against kufr and shirk even at the cost of his life.

The foundations of this important classification should be pursued not only in the Glorious Qur’an and the conduct [sirah]  of the Messenger of Allah (s), but also in the political thinking, sayings and behavior of ‘All (‘a) and other infallible Imams (‘a). Here and there, such an outlook can be observed such as in the following:
In Hadrat Imam ‘Ali’s (‘a) letter to Uthman ibn Hunayf, an old friend of him and the governor of  Basrah, he addresses him as follows:
Ibn Hunayf! I have received information that a person of Basra invited you to a dinner and you immediately accepted the invitation. I have also heard that very sumptuous meals were served there! Finest varieties of viands were placed before you in large plates and you enjoyed them. I am sorry to hear the news. I never expected that you would accept the invitation of a person who invites big officers and rich people and from whose doors poor persons and hungry paupers are turned away rudely.
Or, in an astonishing classification of  Hadrat Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin’ (‘a), he groups together the deceitful Satan, the transgressing ruler and the exploitative affluent, and seeks refuge in the divine power from their evils: “I seek refuge... from the evil of all deceitful devils, from the evil of all transgressing rulers and from the evil of all exploitative rich.”

From the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, the war between these two ways of thinking anytime and anywhere in the Muslim world acquires meaning and commences only when the demarcation between these two outlooks is drawn. In this regard, he says: “Making clear this truth—which is not possible in a school and belief-system of two contradictory and opposite thoughts—is among the very important political obligations.”

Because of the lucidity of the demarcation line between these two ways of thinking in Iran, the war between the pure Muhammadan islam and the American Islam was going on during his time and as such, he says:

Today, the war between truth and falsehood, the war between poverty and affluence, the war between meekness [istid’af]and arrogance [Istikbar],, and the war between the barefooted and the indolent affluent has begun. I kiss the hands and arms of all the dear people who, all over the world, are shouldering the burden of  jihad for the sake of God and of enhancing the honor of Muslims.

Grand Islamic organization
One of the fundamental concepts of Imam Khomeini’s political thought is the grand Islamic organization which is the means for the realization of the lofty ideals of the pure Muhammadan Islam, and steadfastness in confronting the West and colonialism. This organization must be taken into consideration in two distinct phases with different features. In the beginning and after the establishment of the Islamic government, it will appear in the context of the movement, and after the establishment of the Islamic government as a powerful transnational institution, it will be formed and implemented throughout the political, and not the territorial, geography of the Muslim world.

In the view of Imam Khomeini, initially, the said organization is to be discussed under the name, “Party of the Downtrodden,” which in essence expresses the deprivation of power and authority in the different levels.

I hope that a party named “Party of the Downtrodden” be formed in the entire world; all the downtrodden join in this party altogether; remove all the obstacles along the way of the downtrodden; rise tip against the arrogant and plundering West and East; and not allow again the arrogant to oppress the downtrodden of the world.

In the next phase, he calls it, “grand organization,” which expresses hope for the establishment of a transnational institution with the aim of uprooting the power of the global and domestic arrogant (powers) and observing the Islamic culture.

Today, the world is thirsty of the culture of the pure Muhammadan Islam. in a grand Islamic organization, the Muslims will destroy the prosperity, sustenance and luster of the Red and White Houses, Today, Khomeini has opened his bosom and breast for the bullets of calamity and difficult events and in facing all the cannons and missiles of the enemies, and similarly, all the lovers of martyrdom are counting days for comprehending (attaining) martyrdom.



Unity and formation of the grand Islamic ummah 
One of the basic foundations of Imam Khomeini’s political thought is the unity and formation of the “Islamic ummah” or “grand ummah” to which he pays attention in a historical process. He believes that the prime objective of the Noble Prophet (s) has been the forging of unity within the Muslim ummah.  However, three immense dangers are threatening the unity of the Muslim society: racism, sectarianism and nationalism. According to his view, patriotism and love of one’s own nation are respectable matters so long as they do not pose as an ideology vis-à-vis Islam. It is because historical experience has shown that glorification of one’s nation and homeland is one of the stratagems utilized by colonialism in disrupting unity and disintegrating the Muslim society and expelling Islam as a potent force from the scene of international competition.



Unity of the Islamic world
The mechanism for the realization of unity and formation of the Islamic ummah is only possible through rallying under the banner of Islamic monotheism and clinging to the Qur’an and Islamic brotherhood. This is one of the facets of Islamic thought, which is realizable not on account of environmental pressures such as imposition of rulers, territorial and economic interests, etc. but due to its ideological underpinnings.



Islam has come to unite all nations of the world—Arab, non-Arab, Turk, Persian—and to establish a great ummah named the “Islamic ummah” in the world... The plans of the big powers and their surrogates in the Muslim countries is to separate from one another the Muslim strata, which God, the Blessed and Exalted, has forged brotherhood among themselves, calling on the believers to brotherhood, and under the name of the Turkish nation, Kurdish nation, Arab nation, and Iranian nation, not only to divide them and make them inimical to one another. And this is precisely in contravention to the course of Islam and the Holy Qur’an. All Muslims are all brothers and equal, and none of them is separate from the rest, and all of them should be under the banner of Islam and tinder the banner of monotheism.

Imam Khomeini distinguishes this mindset, which is far from any kind of personal or class interests, from the national interests, applying it to the entire worked.

We are telling you to be united and the Muslims to be united; neither do we have relations with them nor do we have relations with you. We have relations with all and treat you all equally. All Muslims, provided they observe the laws of Islam, are dear for us. The Islamic nation—Turkish, Arab, and non-Arab, from Africa, from America and everywhere—is dear for us.


Obstacles to unity
We have said that there are three main trends opposing and undermining unity: racism, sectarianism and nationalism.

Racism
The lmam believes that the traces of racism in the history of Islamic civilization go back to the Umayyads, who promoted a type of Arabism. In the contemporary period we encounter another type of racism, which has been the common product of Western conspiracies, on one hand, and the assistance of internal factors, on the other hand. Finally, it resulted in the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, which has been the manifestation of Muslim state and civilization.
In his opinion, racism in the Muslim world is nothing but insinuations and plots of the West in confronting Islam because racism, which inspires selfish sense of superiority, is substantially repugnant to the Islamic principles of egalitarianism and equality of human being.



One great deception, which has come from the West, and has influenced, allured or threatened the Muslim states, can be seen by us in their press. We can see in the statements of their propaganda (materials); from the radios can be heard that important thing that has afflicted the Muslim states and — keeps them away from the shelter of the Holy Qur’an—the issue of “racism”.1 “This Turkish race must recite their prayers in Turkish! This Iranian race must adopt its own alphabet! The Aryan race must rule and not Islam! The Turkish race must rule and not Islam!” This racism, which is growing and increasing among the gentlemen, and which they are exacerbating such that we have to see where it will end up, is a childish matter. in my opinion... “Sir, you are an Iranian; Sir, you are a Turk; Sir, you are an Indonesian; Sir, you are so-and-so; Sir, you are from so-and- so—what shall we do without country?”—3s)am rejected this racism; it made no difference between the black and the white, Turkish and non- Turkish, Arab and non-Arab: it treated piety and fear of God as the only criteria... There is no such thing as Turk or Persian, or Arab and non-Arab. Islam is the focal point.

Sectarianism
According to Imam Khomeini, the most serious and effective weapon in creating discord and division among the Muslims is sectarianism. The function of colonialism and the enemies of Islam has always been the division of Muslim nations and the creation of various groups, territories and sects. Along this line, we acted very successfully so much so that nowadays we witness the existence of numerous and various governments, territories and sects.



Some Muslims are Shi’ah while others are Sunni; there are Hanifs, Hanbalis and Akhbaris. The scheme in this sense is not correct at all. n a society where everybody wants to render service to Islam and be with Islam, these issues must not be discussed. All arc brothers. But your ‘ulama’ gave religious edict on certain thing, and you emulated [taqild] your ‘ulama’ and thus, you became Hanafis. One group followed the edict of Shafi’i  while another group upheld that of Hadrat Sadiq (‘a), and the latter became Shi’ah. These will not cause disagreement. The Shiàh and Sunni brothers must shun every disagreement... We must be aware that we are all Muslims and people of the Qur’an and monotheism. We must strive and unite for the sake of the Qur’an and monotheism.

In looking for the solution to this problem, only two ways can be seen; first is unity and then independence from the superpowers.

“All Muslims constitute a single body. Everyone in his own environment with any existing government and any existing sect in his own environment must he independent.”
But how could it be possible to reconcile the existing reality of the divergence of sects and the lofty ideal of Islamic unity? Imam Khomeini believes that the Muslims must move toward unity on the basis of their religious commonalities.

The Muslims present in the holy stations (in Hajj), of whatever nation and sect they belong, should know well that the principal enemies of Islam, the Holy Qur’an and the Most Noble Messenger () are the superpowers especially America and its corrupt offspring, Israel, which keep a covetous eye on the Muslim countries and commit every kind of crime and conspiracy for plundering the enormous ground and under-the-ground resources of these countries, and the key of their success in this satanic plot would be the sowing of discord among Muslims in whatever manner they can. During the Hajj rituals, it is possible for some individuals such as court-mullahs to participate in order to create difference between the Shi’ah and the Sunni, and they are intensifying this phenomenon such that some simple-hearted people would believe and cause dissension and corruption.

Therefore, unity and forming the “grand ummah” is a noble and magnificent ideal, for which sectarianism and nationalism are important and obstructing calamities. Should the Muslims not pay attention to these intrigues and insinuations of the enemies of Islam, they will be distanced from, and deprived of, this sublime aim. The only way is to prefer the Islamic interests over the national interests in the Muslim world, which will lead to the formation of grand ummah. Such art affair is impossible except through reliance on Islamic thought and defining interests on the basis of Islamic thought.
Nationalism and definition of national interests and Islamic interests
In the political thought of imam Khomeini, two types of homeland can be mentioned: ideological homeland and territorial homeland; the former being known also as the Abode of Islam [dar al-islam] or the Islamic homeland.’ In dealing with the two, some pivotal principles in his thought can be identified.

While giving value to the territorial homeland, because of his Islamic belief, he believes in the higher legitimacy for the ideological homeland, treating as the enemy’s conspiracy the dismemberment of the Islamic homeland from the territorial homeland, lie believes that if attachment to the territorial homeland goes to the extent of posing as an ideology vis-à-vis the Islamic ideology, in general the territorial homeland will lose its legitimacy.

In the thought of Imam Khomeini on national and Islamic interests, the following points are taken into account:

In studying the domains of national and Islamic interests, he has appropriated legitimacy to the Islamic interests, aligning national thinking with it. Although in some cases this political behavior seems to belong to first domain of nationalism, in a broader perspective its Islamist image is made clear.

For Imam Khomeini, the essence of this political behavior and thinking goes back to the boundaries of interests. From the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, interests in the various political, economic, and cultural levels as well as territorial preservation, are always meaningful and conceivable vis-à-vis the foreigners, and not the Muslim states. Of course, since he considered himself a religious-political thinker in the international arena and in the vast terrain of decisions and definition of interests of the superpowers, he knew that in many cases the boundary with an assumed Muslim state, on account of the superpowers’ influence therein, also encompasses the superpowers. In similar cases, he would deal with a more complex analysis of the issue, but this complex analysis was done within the framework of two principal variables.

I. Ideological boundary is superior to territorial boundary. Therefore, national interests are definable within the framework of Islamic interests.

2. The superpowers’ account in explaining national interests and defining the domains of their national interests must be taken into account in defining the extend of limits of the national interests of Muslim countries

In other words, ideological homeland has loftier value and status compared to the interests of territorial homeland. He considers nationalism and preservation of national interests against other Muslims as contrary of the explicit dictum of Islam and the Noble Prophet (s).

Patriotism, love of one’s countrymen and preservation of territorial integrity are an issue for which there is no problem. Nationalism against other Muslim nations is another issue, which is against Islam, the Holy Qur’an and order of the Noble Prophet (s).That nationalism which would breed enmity among Muslims and dichotomy in the ranks of the believers is repugnant to Islam and the interest of Muslims, and is among the tricks of foreigners, who suffer from Islam and its spread.
In essence, he used to treat the relationship between national interests and interests of the Muslim world in the form of a relationship of the particular to the general. But he used to allocate special account for the interests of Islam, considering it as the foundation.

The Muslims must be united wherever they are. That which is suffering for one group must also be so for another. The Muslims must not be divided. The fact that we are Iranians and they are Lebanese or another place in Islam is not an issue... islam has no separate account that it might have opened for the Arabs, or for the non-Arabs... Islam wants the entire world to be a single family, a single government for the whole world, and that government is justice... Therefore, we have repeatedly stated the fact that this issue, which is perhaps, discussed everywhere that the Iranian nation, for instance, is separate, that the Iraqi nation is distinct, that each should have its own prejudice, and even to the extent of having no regard for Islam. but to focus on the nation and nationality—this is an affair having no basis in Islam. In fact, it is contrary to Islam. Although Islam gives respect to homeland as one’s birthplace, it does not it (homeland) to go against itself
(Islam). Islam is the basis.

For him, the Islamic homeland has always been discussed as a sublime ideal under attack by the enemies and took the form of today’s territorial state.



On one hand, the despotic and greedy rulers and colonialists have dismembered the Islamic homeland. They divided the Islamic ummah and made it into numerous petty nations. When the Ottoman Empire came into being, the colonialists also disintegrated it. Russia, Britain, Austria and other colonialist states became united and they waged wars against it. Each of them occupied a part or subjected it to its sphere of influence.

At any rate, in the religious account—which has always global mission3—division, dissension, and petty, regional and quasi-cultural interests have been ... for superiority on the part of domineering groups throughout history, which has manifested in any form as nowadays it has assumed the visage of colonialism.

Reasons for the establishment of government in Islam
In the thought of Imam Khomeini, the purpose behind the establishment of government is the implementation of social justice and the training of noble and faithful human beings. As such, he considers the establishment of Islamic government as a religious duty, and the ‘ulama’ of Islam as responsible for training the Islamic ummah for the creation of appropriate conditions for the realization of Islamic laws in the society, while enumerating the reasons for it. Among these reasons are the following:

Islam is a political regime
Belief in such an objective for the establishment of government acquires meaning only in the framework of the notion of fusion of religion and politics. On this basis, as a religious thinker he believes in the grand government in the Muslim world, saying: “Islam is not away from politics. It has brought into being a great government. It has brought into being a vast country. (It is because) Islam is a regime; a political regime.”

For many thinkers, this kind of outlook on the relationship between religion and politics is a rejected, and at times, impossible, affair.2 Only some Muslim revivalists of the l9 century such as Sayyid Jamal Asadabadi  (Muhammad) ‘Abduh, Rashid Rida, and some thinkers of the 20th  century such as Hasan at-Turabi, Rashid al-Ghanushi, ‘Abdur-Rahman,3 and Madani4 are thinking within the framework of fusion of religion and politics. Nevertheless, none of them has the clarity of  Imam  Khomeini’s thought, which leaves no room for discussion. Along this line, they present diverse opinions.

• The history of Islam confirms the establishment of government within the framework of fusion of religion and politics because the Prophet (s) himself took a step in establishing a government.
• The nature and quality of Islamic laws reflect the expediency of establishing a government and have described the evolution of a government.
• The only correct means in implementing the Islamic laws is the formation and establishment of government.
• In a bid to form and protect the grand Islamic ummah, which has been the strategy of all the prophets such as the Noble Prophet (s), establishment of government is a definite and necessary affair.
• One of the sublime goals of Islam is to lead the downtrodden people for the deliverance and salvation of humanity. This affair is not possible except through the acquisition of power and establishment of government.

- With the aim of argumentation on the necessity of establishing a government, Imam Khomeini initially points to the political society of Medina. saying:

If you take a look at the advent of Islam, you will see that from the time of the Prophet Islam has established a government. It has had military and disciplinary forces and has involvement in politics. The Masjid an-Nabi has been the center of Islamic politics and the epicenter of Islamic power.

In his opinion, the claim on the separation of religion and politics and the confinement of Islam to merely the relationship between God and man has a long precedence. Initially, the ‘Umayyads and the ‘Abbasids have been the champions of this kind of mindset and today the colonialists:
Recently, when the way of the West and the East was opened to the Muslim states, this affair experienced its peak that Islam is a personal affair between God and His servant and Islam is separate from politics; that the Muslims must not get involved in politics and the clerics must not join in politics. They must be confined in the mosques and all their works is this that they go to pray, recite a few lines of supplication and return home. This has been a plot having root at the early period of Islam.

Quality of the laws and implementation of the decrees of Islam
In the next stage, Imam Khomeini points to the nature and quality of the Islamic laws for the evolution of state, saying:
The reason for the establishment of government is the nature and quality of the laws of Islam and the religious laws. The nature and quality of these laws are such that they have description for the evolution of a state and for political, economic and cultural administration of the society.
The other reason for the necessity of establishing an Islamic government is the issue of implementing the laws of Islam. Since Islamic laws arc laws for all times and climes, the world will not be in needless of the implementation of laws. On the other hand, because of their complexity and intricacy, implementation of which cannot be done in their entirety except under the auspices of the Islamic government, which itself is among the categories of laws, concordant with them, and in essence, has common spirit with them.

The Noble Prophet (sawa) has also established a government... The laws of Islam are permanent and must be enacted until the end of time. They were not revealed merely for the time of the Prophet, only to be abandoned thereafter. Anyone who claims that the establishment of Islamic government is not necessary has denied the necessity of implementing the laws of Islam as well as the universality of the laws and the eternity of the true religion of Islam.

Acquisition of power for the implementation of justice
In essence, government on one hand is the most effective means for the materialization of unity and establishment of the grand Islamic society, and on the other hand, the most powerful weapon of the Muslims against the foreigners and imperialists.

In order to assure the unity of the Islamic ummah, in order to liberate the Islamic homeland from occupation and penetration by the imperialists and their puppet governments, it is imperative that we establish a government. in order to attain the unity and freedom of the Muslim peoples, we must overthrow the oppressive governments installed by the imperialists and bring into existence an Islamic government of justice that will be in the service of the people. The formation of such a government will serve to preserve the disciplined unity of the Muslims; just as Fatimah az-Zahra (‘a) said in her address: “The Imamate exists for the sake of preserving order among the Muslims and replacing their disunity with unity”.

Acquisition of power and reliance on it has been one of the most essential principles for the realization of the sublime objectives of Islam. In the opinion of Imam Khomeini, acquisition of power in the international arena, on one hand, causes the regaining of the Muslims’ lost glory, and on the other hand, sets off the exit of weapon for the weakening of Muslims from the hands of the rich and the cruel.

I do categorically declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran is investing a lot for the revival of the Islamic identity of Muslims throughout the world and it has no reason why it would refrain from calling on the Muslims of the world to follow the principles of acquiring power in the world and from stopping the greedy holders of power, money and deceit.

In sum, he considers the acquisition of power as a means for the salvation and exaltation of humanity as well as deliverance from the clutches of the arrogant (powers), and its enactment as a form of worship:
“Government is the right in favor of the downtrodden, preventing oppression and implementing social justice... It is one of the gravest obligations and its implementation is the highest forms of worship.”

The State
Three approaches to the state
One of the basic enactments of Imam Khomeini’s political thought, which forms the core power of establishing the grand Islamic state at the global level, is the state. For him, in joining with religious thinking the state has the right and power performing the ways for attaining salvation in this world and the hereafter, and this affair is only possible under a religious atmosphere, observance of social justice and grant of freedom.

Through the three approaches—critical, realistic, and idealist—he examines the legitimacy of state, which he believes has the core power of Islamism, independence and unity. Through this, he identifies three kinds of state in the Muslim world, distinguishing each from one another: “so-called Islamic state,” “Islamic state” and the “grand Islamic state”.

Critical approach deals with the study of the states existing in the Muslim world. It names as “so-called Islamic state” the group of states whose peculiar features arc corrupt ruling clique, dependence on the foreigners, lack of abidance with the laws of Islam, tendency toward discord, and absence of cooperation with the people.

From the viewpoint of realistic approach, some territorial states have a ruling body faithful to Islam, committed to implement the laws of Islam, in good terms with the people, and endeavoring for the attainment of unity. Such states, which usually are the result of a revolution or any other transformative movement, have the capability to unite on the basis of Islamic commonalities. These states are actually the states which Imam Khomeini wants them to unite under the common banner of single religion, Book, and Prophet. Along this course, not only that the Islamic interests would prevail over the national interests but the interests of the Islamic society would also be protected vis-à-vis the foreigners, preventing and shunning differences. In this framework, notwithstanding the existence of divergent governments, both the religious sects and borders will be preserved.

What is meant by the idealistic approach is the lofty ideal of Imam Khomeini concerning government whose model is the Muslim community in Medina during the time of the Prophet (sc) and the First Four Caliphs. Although this model has existed in a simple and limited form in terms of the substance, outlook on ethnics and nations, and diversity of the political geography, owing to its high capacity and richness especially during the periods of Hadrat Muhammad (s) and  Hadrat ‘Ali (‘a), it is a good prototype of the grand Islamic state, which we will deal later.



Critical approach: So-called Islamic state
In the critical approach of Imam Khomeini, that group of states existing in the Muslim world, which is officially, but not actually, “Islamic” is labeled “so-called Islamic state, enumerating some of its characteristics, hence:

1. The mode of forming and establishing these governments;

2. Tendency toward dissension and division;

3. Corrupt ruling clique and denial of Islam;

4. Dependency on the imperialist states;

5. Non-observance of the laws of Islam; and

6. Adopting despotic policy and lack of concordance and sympathy with the people.

Some contemporary thinkers of the Muslim world are pessimistic with regards to the territorial states, treating them as inauspicious. Among these thinkers, Kalim Siddique, Rashid al-Ghanushi, Turabi, and ‘Abdur-Rahman can be mentioned.



Contrary to these thinkers, Imam Khomeini does not consider bad and blameworthy the existence of territorial states. Instead, he takes the manner of forming and establishing governments and their relations with the Muslim world as the criterion of his assessment and judgment, believing that the predicament of the Muslims does not lie with the nations but with the states in which they are in.

“Among the problems of Muslims is the issue of governments—the governments, which have been imposed over them and working for the interests of big states. The problem of Islam is the Muslim governments and not the nations.” He is of the opinion that the existing territorial states in the Muslim world have unnatural borders, which are essentially imperialist plot. For instance, he cites the case of the Ottoman Empire, which disintegrated through the imperialist conspiracy, saying:
“Within the scope often to fifteen countries a span can be found in which every span is under the hands of an agent or a group of agents.”



This group of mercenaries naturally used to work for the whims of the foreign powers and to obliterate the existential independence of itself and its homeland.



What a painful and calamitous (reality) is it that near the Muslims and the so-called Islamic states, Israel would commit aggression with such audacity and easiness against the oppressed people of Lebanon, and the dear sisters and brothers in Beirut, and instead of rising up in defense, which is a divine-human duty, the governments of Muslim countries are showing such leniency.



Among the characteristics of the so-called Islamic states is the tendency to engage in discord and division, which is itself one of the greatest obstacles along the strategic way of the grand Islamic state.

We are suffering from the “Islamic states”, the states that are present in the Muslim countries, and they are exacerbating this difference. You would notice how unfortunately it is that Israel... is busy working on this issue in the presence of these so-called Islamic states.



Corruption in faith, hypocrisy of the ruling clique, and non- implementation of the laws of Islam are among the other indications of the so-called state. In this regard, he says:
I was hoping that the Muslims, particularly the Muslims leaders, refrain from chanting Islamic slogan, which is itself a cover for their non-implementation of the Islamic laws, and think and act upon Islam as it is. At present, the suffering of the Muslims and the oppressed nations of Islam has been the fact that their leaders used to content themselves with Islamic slogans while having other aims behind these slogans.



Introduction
Necessity of the Islamic government in the contemporary conditions:
Realization of the grand Islamic state while preserving the territorial states
Perhaps, it can be said that among the manifest peculiarities of Imam Khomeini’s thinking in the realm of political thought is the realization of Islam while keeping in view the exigencies of time. By preserving the lofty Islamic ideals, he exerted his utmost effort to understand the political conditions of the time with all their complexities and through new methods to find a way for the realization of those ideals.

One of the important discussions on the political thought in the Muslim world is the issue of unity. It seems that Imam Khomeini has paid profound attention to this fundamental question of all the contemporary political thinkers of Islam: With the presence of the present-day territorial states and the so-called nation-states in the Muslim world, whose number is more than a hundred political units, how can the Islamic ideal of unity be realized and the grand Islamic state be formed?

Here, the territorial political units are time-bound realities of the international arena in the contemporary period while unity and the realization of the grand Islamic state is a political-religious reality and not confined to a certain period.
One solution, which is also a classical one, is that without consideration of the present-day states, from the beginning the design for an Islamic state is to be discussed and pursued. Here, national governments, territorial borders, cultures, and local as well as regional traditions would be under the aegis of “unity”; definitely, this design will be resisted. Nonetheless, the new and dynamic solution of Imam Khomeini is this: Notwithstanding reluctance due to his faith in the political-religious teachings, he considers the territorial nation-states as the principal decision-makers in the international arena, while understanding national, political and cultural sensitivities of peoples and nations and the powers ruling over them as well as analyzing the ambitiousness of opportunistic neighbors. Under this condition, he is not in pursuit of forming an empire like the empire of the church beyond the era of the kings. Similarly, under the present circumstances, he is not hopeful that the 600-year early Muslim empire be instantly reinstituted. He is not even optimistic to compensate and redress the flaws, defects and deviations of the first 600 years. He equally considers impossible under the present circumstances the realization of a single leadership for the entire Muslim world. Therefore, based on the lofty ideal of Islamic unity and the establishment of grand Islamic state and keeping in view of the reality of the present-day territorial states, he suggests a scheme, which is precisely taking into consideration the political complexities of the time. His scheme is a blending of a timeless ideal and realities of the time; a blending of unity and political diversity. Yet, the objective is the very acquisition of Islamic authority for the implementation of the religion of God, the Sublime, and the salvation of mankind. It can be said, indeed, that at the beginning of the 15th  century hijri, i.e. last quarter of the 20” century, the Muslim world is treading a path toward a bright future with high optimism and ample hope—a path beset with enormous problems such as the imperialist plots and intrigues of the West, weak and defective performance of the dependent states, and immaturity of the intellectual, scientific and Islamic argument. In spite of the past full of discord and disagreement during last hundreds of years, the Muslims are thinking of looking for new awareness, and in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, for unity, acquiring Islamic identity and rights, and revival of past glory and grandeur. Along this way, many academic centers such as the seminaries and universities have been exposed to changes, and as a result, new subjects have been discussed.
The main theoretical subjects, particularly the issue of government, have been discussed and studied in the two fields of political jurisprudence and political thought. Each of these two fields views the subject through a particular way and for a specific aim. Political jurisprudence deals on the “musts” and the “sacred” accumulated and integrated throughout history so as to put at the disposal of Muslims practical and feasible solutions. As the Holy Qur’an states: “Of every troop of them (the believers), a party only should go forth (in jihad), that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.
Political thought is concerned with the “possible” and lacking the mentioned “sacredness” and executive supports. Without entering the realm of the sacred, in this field the most important investigation can be done although this search would not intend to present guideline.
The present paper embarks on the discussion of government in Islam from the perspective of political thought. A survey of the history of Islam shows that the ideal of Islam on the Muslim society and even the global community is the ideal of unity. As the Holy Qur’an states:
“Verily, this ummah [community] of yours is a single community, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other).”


Concerning government, “integration” is the core Islamic ideal as the ideal government of the City of the Prophet was after that. In opposition to unity, “disintegration”, both in the mental, and practical and executive spheres, has been interdicted, and it has always been condemned in the sayings of the Prophet (s), the Imams (‘a), thinkers, and reformers.

 Touching on integration, the main axis of discussion and debate has been the “government,” which itself can be divided into two more secondary subjects: “leadership” and “state”. The foundation of integration in Islam is leadership which, both in the realms of political jurisprudence and political thought, has been facing problem due to the unfavorable objective and subjective circumstances. On one hand, on account of their different opinions on leadership (Imamah vis-à-vis  khilafah), the two great Islamic schools of thought—Sunni and Shi’ah—are in a state of disintegration. In the Shi’ah world, on the other hand, the issue of  leadership is discussed within the rubric of  wilayah al-Faqih [guardianship of the jurist], which except in Iran has roughly remained unrealized, or at least, from the realm of jurisprudence it has not yet entered the realm of political thought. Therefore, it has remained within the arena of jurisprudence and the “sacred”.
A survey of the political thoughts of the contemporary thinkers of the Muslim world, who arc also at the same time the leaders of revolutions, shows that except  Imam Khomeini the other thinkers have refrained from deeply and fundamentally approaching the matter of leadership—an affair which has delayed the integration of the Muslim world as well as served as the axis of not-so value-laden theoretical discussions. Among these thinkers and leaders, only lmam Khomeini has engaged in discussion in both the contexts of “leadership” and “state” for the attainment of unity, showing the practical solution for the attainment of integration of the Muslim world. The theoretical scheme, “free and independent republics” alongside an Islamic state is his proposed model for the integration of the Muslim world in which petty political authorities as well as sectarian and local leaderships are possible within the framework of “free and independent republics”. Of course, it is so provided that they would move toward the realization of the great power of the “Islamic state”. His scheme is a sort of blending between unity and diversity. In other words, it is the blending of petty political units (nation-state) and transcendental political units (Islamic ideological state), and the only way of obtaining this objective is to resort to the Islamic thought because it is capable of describing and realizing the grounds for the establishment of the grand Islamic state. As such, in case the Islamic thought posed as the ultimate way of defining the national interests of the petty political units and large political units, the realization of the grand Islamic state will be possible.
Structural Framework of Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought
We will begin the investigation into Imam Khomeini’s political thought with his famous statement contained in his religious-political testament:
“You have to be heading toward the single Islamic state with free and independent republics.”
Taking into account the innovativeness and novelty of this idea in the Islamic political thought as well as the fact that the selected terminologies and peculiar condition of its substance which is the blending of unity and diversity, it is necessary to study some of the characteristics of his way of thinking so that the reasons for arriving at the mentioned idea will be cleared as much as possible.

The first characteristic of Imam Khomeini’s way of thinking in the realm of socio-political theorizing is its complexity and multidimensionality. In this way of thinking, many elements that arc sometimes (seemingly) contradictory or conflicting, incompatible or with different contexts find concordance, compatibility and unity with one another in the end. Courage and audacity in stating new ideas is another feature of Imam Khomeini’s way of thinking, which can be examined in relation to the first feature.

While being faithful to the traditions, he is one of the trendsetters in the world of ideas. At times, he undertakes the blending of traditionalism and innovativeness with such elegance that makes it seemingly unprecedented.
Realism is another feature of Imam Khomeini’s socio-political mindset, which has been the product of dynamic presence in the arena of theory

 



 




تعداد بازدید:  2540





 

 

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