Imam Khomeini was born in the town of Khomein, about 350 kms south of Tehran in the central province, on the 20th of Jamadi-Al-Thani, the year 1320 L.H., (September 24, 1902). Also the birth anniversary of Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). He was named Ruhollah. The sprit of God.
Childhood and Parents
Imam Khomeini was born in the town of Khomein, about 350 kms south of Tehran in
the central province, on the 20th of Jamadi-Al-Thani, the year 1320
L.H., (September 24, 1902). Also the birth anniversary of Fatima Zahra, the
daughter of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). He was named Ruhollah. The
sprit of God.
His father, Ayatollah Seyyed Mostafa Musavi, assumed the religious leadership of
the people of Khomein and the nearby villages after his return from the Islamic
theology center in the city of Najaf, Iraq. But only a few months after Ruhollah
was born, his father was fatally wounded by bandits on the road to Arak, north
of Khomein. He was 47.
Imam Khomeini`s mother, Hajar, was also of a prominent religious family. She was
the daughter of an Ayatollah Mirza Ahmad, a scholar and teacher in Karbala and
Najaf theological centers, in Iraq. She also passed away when the Imam was only
Despite these personal disasters, the Imam remained resistant and began using
his talent and intelligence in learning Islamic sciences –first under his
brother, Ayatollah Seyyed Morteza Pasandideh. Later he went to the theological
school in Arak where he attended the classes of the prominent scholar of his
time, Haj Sheikh Abdulkarim Haeri Yazdi. He also mastered Arabic literature.
After top theologians moved from Arak to the holy city of Qom, the Imam
intensified his studies and completed the highest level of theology by 1927, and
soon later was pronounced a mujtahid, qualified jurist, by his senior tutors. He
specialized in various fields other than Fiqh (jurisprudence), including
Philosophy, Irfan and Ethics.
Political Life before 1963
Known for his strong political views against the regime, the security agents of
Reza Khan, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, were ordered to restrict the
Imam’s activities. But the Imam continued his gradual but firm effort to spread
his enlightening message to masses.
After the death of Ayatollah Borujerdi, the paramount shia leader of the time,
the Imam was chosen his successor by the Ulema and people. With this, his
cultural Jihad against the monarchy gathered momentum in 1961, reaching a climax
On June 3rd of that year the Imam made a historical speech against the
dependence of the Shah’s regime on foreign powers and its support of the Israel.
He also stressed on the role of the Ulema in society.
The Imam was immediately arrested on June 5th. But his powerful speech brought
the people of Qom out into the streets. News reached other cities and for two
days people in several major cities including Tehran, demonstrated against the
Shah and in support of the Imam.
On June 5th, troops supported by tank were deployed crush the growing movement.
Many are massacre and the Shah’s dictatorial regime appeared to have achieved
victory. But the seed of the Islamic Revolution had been planted.
In Exile: 1964 – 1978
Following the Imam’s arrest, the regime came under sever pressure from the Ulema
and the massage. On November 4th, the Imam was sent into exile. He was first
deported to Turkey and then to Iraq where he took up residence in Najaf.
Still determined to act according to his religious responsibility the Imam
escalated his political struggle. This further added to the religious and
political awareness and maturity of the Iranian people that was demonstrated by
their angry and massive response to the murder of Haj Mostafa Khomeini, the
Imam’s eldest son, in the winter o f1977 by the agents of the Shah’s secret
police, the Savak.
The martyrdom of Haj Mostafa, as well as an insulting article printed in the
daily Ettela`at on Savak`s order, prompted mourning a protest gathering in major
cities. Many people were killed in demonstrations and the regime decided that
the only way to calm the situation was to prevent the Imam’s inspirational
message reach the people.
The Shah demanded and received cooperation from the Iraqi regime and the Imam
was expelled on 3 October 1978.
Migration: 1978 – 1979)
Imam Khomeini set out for Kuwait on October 3rd 1978 but was denied entry by the
government. After consulting with his son, Ahamad, the Imam decided to go to
France where he arrived on October 5th and a few days later took up residence in
the small village of Neuphle le Chateau.
In Iran mass protests against the regime and the continued exile of the Imam
grew to such an extent that it become impossible to control and suppress
The Imam made frequent speeches, sent messages to the Iranian nation, gave
numerous interviews to the media, outlining the liberation- seeking values and
ideas of Islam and explained the framework of the Islamic state based on divine
The ruling regime was facing a serious crisis. The West forced the Shah to leave
Iran to allow the newly formed "liberal" Bakhtiar government to gain legitimacy
in the eyes of the people. But the Imam still held the initiative: he was
determined to return to Iran. The nation prepared for the greatest home coming
ceremony in history. The Imam left Paris for Tehran on 1 February 1979.
Return Home: 1979
The streets o Tehran was packed with millions of people, waiting
enthusiastically to great the Imam.
The Plane carrying the Imam landed safely at Tehran’s Merababd Airport. The Imam
set foot on the Islamic homeland for the first time in more than 15 years. His
first move upon arrival was to go to Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery to pay tribute to
the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution.
Confident of victory, people rejected everywhere. The regime unleashed its last
bullets. Love, courage, and martyrdom in the struggle led every step of the
monarchical regime. The Islamic Revolution triumphed and true Mohammadan Islam
spread its wings over Iran.
Everyday thousands of people rushed to see the Imam. An interim government was
formed. The new state was gradually taking shape. The Imam insisted that the
main institutions be set up. The people voted for the Islamic Republic and
approved its constitution. Thus the first Islamic State after 1400 years was
The Islamic Republic of IRAN
After setting up the Islamic Republic of IRAN, Imam was no longer just a leader,
but a caring, sincere, father. He even cared for those who have done wrong and
lost their way. He was loved, even by the poor, the deprived and freedom
fighters of other nations.
The Imam made most of his speeches during he period among 19979 – 1989. He gave
out solutions, set the framework for principles of statemanship. He not only
explain the virtues of religion and ethics, but detailed the aims of the Islamic
Republic and its domestic and foreign policies.
Farewell, and Mourning
After ten years, at 22:22 Saturday night June 3rd, 1989, the Imam passed away.
The news was broadcast the following morning, the sense of loss was unbearable.
Millions poured in from all part of country to participate in the biggest
farewell in the history. The similar ceremonies were held, as well as in many
Islamic countries and communities around the world.