Ruhollah Khomeini was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the end of the Persian monarchy.
89 Facts About Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.
Ruhollah Khomeini was born in Khomeyn, in what is Iran's Markazi province.
Ruhollah Khomeini's father was murdered in 1903 when Khomeini was two years old.
Ruhollah Khomeini began studying the Quran and Arabic from a young age and was assisted in his religious studies by his relatives, including his mother's cousin and older brother.
Ruhollah Khomeini spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last shah.
Ruhollah Khomeini has been criticized for these acts and for human rights violations of Iranians.
Ruhollah Khomeini has been lauded as politically asute, a "charismatic leader of immense popularity", a "champion of Islamic revival" by Shia scholars, and a major innovator in political theory and religious-oriented populist political strategy.
Ruhollah Khomeini came from a lineage of small land owners, clerics, and merchants.
Ruhollah Khomeini's ancestors migrated towards the end of the 18th century from their original home in Nishapur, Khorasan province, in northeastern part of Iran, for a short stay, to the Kingdom of Awadh, a region in the modern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, whose rulers were Twelver Shia Muslims of Persian origin.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's paternal grandfather, Seyyed Ahmad Musavi Hindi, was born in Kintoor.
Ruhollah Khomeini left Lucknow in 1830, on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Ali in Najaf, Ottoman Iraq and never returned.
Ruhollah Khomeini was raised by his mother, Hajieh Agha Khanum, and his aunt, Sahebeth, following the murder of his father, Mustapha Musavi, over two years after his birth in 1903.
Ruhollah Khomeini began to study the Qur'an and elementary Persian at the age of six.
Ruhollah Khomeini was placed under the leadership of Ayatollah Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi.
In 1920, Ruhollah Khomeini moved to Arak and commenced his studies.
Ruhollah Khomeini accepted the invitation, moved, and took up residence at the Dar al-Shafa school in Qom.
Ruhollah Khomeini's studies included Islamic law and jurisprudence, but by that time, Ruhollah Khomeini had acquired an interest in poetry and philosophy.
So, upon arriving in Qom, Ruhollah Khomeini sought the guidance of Mirza Ali Akbar Yazdi, a scholar of philosophy and mysticism.
Yazdi died in 1924, but Ruhollah Khomeini continued to pursue his interest in philosophy with two other teachers, Javad Aqa Maleki Tabrizi and Rafi'i Qazvini.
Ruhollah Khomeini studied ancient Greek philosophy and was influenced by both the philosophy of Aristotle, whom he regarded as the founder of logic, and Plato, whose views "in the field of divinity" he regarded as "grave and solid".
Apart from philosophy, Ruhollah Khomeini was interested in literature and poetry.
Ruhollah Khomeini was a lecturer at Najaf and Qom seminaries for decades before he was known on the political scene.
Ruhollah Khomeini soon became a leading scholar of Shia Islam.
Ruhollah Khomeini showed an exceptional interest in subjects like philosophy and mysticism that not only were usually absent from the curriculum of seminaries but were often an object of hostility and suspicion.
Ruhollah Khomeini's seminary teaching often focused on the importance of religion to practical social and political issues of the day, and he worked against secularism in the 1940s.
Ruhollah Khomeini's first political book, Kashf al-Asrar published in 1942, was a point-by-point refutation of Asrar-e hezar sale, a tract written by a disciple of Iran's leading anti-clerical historian, Ahmad Kasravi, as well as a condemnation of innovations such as international time zones, and the banning of hijab by Reza Shah.
Ruhollah Khomeini became a marja' in 1963, following the death of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Husayn Borujerdi.
Ruhollah Khomeini valued the ideals of Islamists such as Sheikh Fazlollah Noori and Abol-Ghasem Kashani.
Ruhollah Khomeini saw Fazlollah Nuri as a "heroic figure", and his own objections to constitutionalism and a secular government derived from Nuri's objections to the 1907 constitution.
At the age of 61, Ruhollah Khomeini found the arena of leadership open following the deaths of Ayatollah Sayyed Husayn Borujerdi, the leading, although quiescent, Shi'ah religious leader; and Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani, an activist cleric.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini summoned a meeting of the other senior marjas of Qom and persuaded them to decree a boycott of the referendum on the White Revolution.
On 22 January 1963, Ruhollah Khomeini issued a strongly worded declaration denouncing both the Shah and his reform plan.
Ruhollah Khomeini continued his denunciation of the Shah's programmes, issuing a manifesto that bore the signatures of eight other senior Shia religious scholars.
Ruhollah Khomeini's manifesto argued that the Shah had violated the constitution in various ways, he condemned the spread of moral corruption in the country, and accused the Shah of submission to the United States and Israel.
Ruhollah Khomeini decreed that the Nowruz celebrations for the Iranian year 1342 be canceled as a sign of protest against government policies.
On 26 October 1964, Ruhollah Khomeini denounced both the Shah and the United States.
Ruhollah Khomeini was arrested in November 1964 and held for half a year.
When Ruhollah Khomeini refused, Mansur slapped him in the face in a fit of rage.
Four members of the Fadayan-e Islam, a Shia militia sympathetic to Ruhollah Khomeini, were later executed for the murder.
Ruhollah Khomeini spent more than 14 years in exile, mostly in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf.
In early 1970, Ruhollah Khomeini gave a series of lectures in Najaf on Islamic government, later published as a book titled variously Islamic Government or Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist.
Ruhollah Khomeini's movement emphasized populism, talking about fighting for the mustazafin, a Quranic term for the oppressed or deprived, that in this context came to mean "just about everyone in Iran except the shah and the imperial court".
Aware of the importance of broadening his base, Ruhollah Khomeini reached out to Islamic reformist and secular enemies of the Shah, groups that were supressed after he took and consolidated power.
Ruhollah Khomeini modified previous Shii interpretations of Islam in a number of ways that included aggressive approaches to espousing the general interests of the mostazafin, forcefully arguing that the clergy's sacred duty was to take over the state so that it could implement shari'a, and exhorting followers to protest.
Ruhollah Khomeini was not allowed to return to Iran during the Shah's reign.
Two weeks later, on Thursday, 1 February 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini returned in triumph to Iran, welcomed by a joyous crowd estimated to be of up to five million people.
Critics complain that Ruhollah Khomeini had gone back on his word to advise, rather than rule the country.
On 23 February 1980, Ruhollah Khomeini proclaimed Iran's Majlis would decide the fate of the American embassy hostages, and demanded that the United States hand over the Shah for trial in Iran for crimes against the nation.
In Iran, supporters of Ruhollah Khomeini named the embassy a "Den of Espionage", publicizing details regarding armaments, espionage equipment and many volumes of official and classified documents which they found there.
Ruhollah Khomeini believed in Muslim unity and solidarity and the export of his revolution throughout the world.
Shortly after assuming power, Ruhollah Khomeini began calling for Islamic revolutions across the Muslim world, including Iran's Arab neighbor Iraq, the one large state besides Iran with a Shia majority population.
In early 1989, Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the assassination of Salman Rushdie, an India-born British author.
Rushdie's book, The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, was alleged to commit blasphemy against Islam and Ruhollah Khomeini's juristic ruling prescribed Rushdie's assassination by any Muslim.
Ruhollah Khomeini's fatwa was condemned across the Western world by governments on the grounds that it violated the universal human rights of free speech and freedom of religion.
Ruhollah Khomeini promised that "no one should remain homeless in this country," and that Iranians would have free telephone, heating, electricity, bus services and free oil at their doorstep.
Ruhollah Khomeini took on extensive and proactive support of the female populace during the ousting of the Shah and his subsequent homecoming, advocating for mainstreaming of women into all spheres of life and even hypothesizing about a woman head of state.
Ruhollah Khomeini revoked Iran's 1967 divorce law, considering any divorce granted under this law to be invalid.
Nevertheless, Ruhollah Khomeini supported women's right to divorce as allowed by Islamic law.
Shortly after his accession as supreme leader in February 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini imposed capital punishment on homosexuals.
In 1983, Ruhollah Khomeini passed a fatwa allowing gender reassignment operations as a cure for "diagnosed transsexuals", allowing for the basis of this practice becoming legal.
Ruhollah Khomeini is said to have stressed "the spiritual over the material".
In power, Ruhollah Khomeini distinguished between Zionism as a secular political party that employs Jewish symbols and ideals and Judaism as the religion of Moses.
Ruhollah Khomeini claimed they were a political rather than a religious movement, declaring:.
Ruhollah Khomeini responded that such demands were unacceptable since it involved the division of the Iranian nation.
Ruhollah Khomeini was succeeded as Supreme Leader by Ali Khamenei.
Early the following day, Ruhollah Khomeini's corpse was flown in by helicopter for burial at the Behesht-e Zahra.
At one point, Ruhollah Khomeini's body fell to the ground, as the crowd ripped off pieces of the death shroud, trying to keep them as if they were holy relics.
Ruhollah Khomeini's grave is housed within a larger mausoleum complex.
Ruhollah Khomeini himself made statements at different times indicating both support and opposition to democracy.
Ruhollah Khomeini wrote that since Muslims must support a government based on Islamic law, Sharia-based government will always have more popular support in Muslim countries than any government based on elected representatives.
The Islamic Republic of Iran under Ruhollah Khomeini honoured Qutb's "martyrdom" by issuing an iconic postage stamp in 1984, and before the revolution prominent figures in the Ruhollah Khomeini network translated Qutb's works into Persian.
Ruhollah Khomeini strongly opposed close relations with either Eastern or Western Bloc nations, believing the Islamic world should be its own bloc, or rather converge into a single unified power.
Ruhollah Khomeini viewed Western culture as being inherently decadent and a corrupting influence upon the youth.
In 1963, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini wrote a book in which he stated that there is no religious restriction on corrective surgery for transgender individuals.
At the time Ruhollah Khomeini was an anti-Shah revolutionary and his fatwas did not carry any weight with the Imperial government, which did not have any specific policies regarding transsexual individuals.
Ruhollah Khomeini was described as "slim", but athletic and "heavily boned".
Ruhollah Khomeini adhered to traditional beliefs of Islamic hygienical jurisprudence holding that things like urine, excrement, blood, wine, and non-Muslims were some of eleven ritualistically "impure" things that physical contact with which while wet required ritual washing or Ghusl before prayer or salat.
Ruhollah Khomeini is reported to have refused to eat or drink in a restaurant unless he knew for sure the waiter was a Muslim.
Ruhollah Khomeini was no longer a grand ayatollah and deputy of the Imam, one who represents the Hidden Imam, but simply 'The Imam'.
Ruhollah Khomeini was the first and only Iranian cleric to be addressed as "Imam", a title hitherto reserved in Iran for the twelve infallible leaders of the early Shi'a.
Ruhollah Khomeini was associated with the Mahdi or 12th Imam of Shia belief in a number of ways.
Ruhollah Khomeini's enemies were often attacked as taghut and Mofsed-e-filarz, religious terms used for enemies of the Twelfth Imam.
Ruhollah Khomeini's timing was extraordinary, and his insight into the motivation of others, those around him as well as his enemies, could not be explained as ordinary knowledge.
In 1929, Ruhollah Khomeini married Khadijeh Saqafi, the daughter of a cleric in Tehran.
Some sources claim that Ruhollah Khomeini married Saqafi when she was ten years old, while others claim she was fifteen years old.
Ahmad Ruhollah Khomeini, who died in 1995 at the age of 50, was rumoured to be a victim of foul play, but at the hands of the regime.
Ruhollah Khomeini was a writer and speaker who authored commentaries on the Qur'an, on Islamic jurisprudence, the roots of Islamic law, and Islamic traditions.
Ruhollah Khomeini released books about philosophy, gnosticism, poetry, literature, government and politics.