Imam Khomeini, a different charismatic leader

Actually, there is no doubt that the Late Ayatollah Khomeini, known as Imam Khomeini in Iran and the Muslim world, has been one of the most influential and historical figures of the world’s contemporary history. 

As Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran says, “Without name of Khomeini this [Islamic] Revolution nowhere is known. Indeed, his character was unique and unachievable and his great humane status was a mythical and unthinkable one. 

He was the first who had no second.” It clearly shows that the Late Imam Khomeini was a great and important figure in the entire world. The great character of Imam Khomeini was one of the most exceptional figures the history of humanity has ever seen. 

With his uprising against tyrannies and oppressions, he revived the prophecy of prophets and Imamah of Imams. The fruit of his persistence was a revolution era which later became known as the “Miracle of the Century”.  Among the world’s greatest political leaders, one cannot find a leader as comprehensive as Imam Khomeini. 

He was a mythical and exceptional figure who succeeded to form a united ummah out of scattered and disturbed society and to stage the greatest revolution of the history; and again it was his comprehensivity which convinced millions of people to follow him, to sacrifice their lives and properties for the way he intended to lead them. 

Ayatollah Khamenei truly believes that the Late Imam Khomeini had all exquisite and rare moral characteristics which rarely you would find in a single man through centuries and relying these characteristics he was able to shake thrones of the time Pharaohs and to illuminate hearts of the oppressed people with the light of hope and to movethe Muslim world and helped people to understand that becoming a complete human, living like Imam Ali (AS) and approaching the borders of infallibility are not myths. Imam Khomeini’s character had various dimensions and once in a while his great character usedto reveal a new dimension. 

The greatness of Imam Khomeini’s work was due to his special relationship with the Almighty God and self-purification, something which has been recognized even by Imam Khomeini’s foreign and domestic enemies. 

In the theory of charismatic leadership, in particular in the aftermath interpretations, charismatic leadership and dominancy, hasbeen considered as a irrational dominancy, in conflict with human dignity, a massive-orientedattitude, emotional, anti-democratic and in particular specific of totalitarian and fascist systems ,a type of leadership that instead of relying upon law, rationality and democracy, relies upon singlelordship, dictatorship and the leader’s exceptional and personal values. 

The function of the charismatic leader is to encourage and motivate the irrational or emotional dimensions of the people. The charismatic authority is intensively personal and based on the extraordinary leadership of a leader and the emotional and irrational relations between him and his followers. 

However, Imam Khomeini, as the highest symbol of human dignity and in particular as a perfect man and in the position of an educated, purified and dynamic religious authority in the lap of the high Islamic and Shiite teachings, during his life and leadership period had inexplicable and specific attention to the issue of human dignity and general laws and basically one of the reasons for the immense influence of his leadership was due to these characteristics. 

Opposite to the charismatic leaders of the secular systems, Imam Khomeini considered the source of legitimacy, with the inclusion of stabilizing role of people, as a divine source rather than charismatic one and intensively opposed the discipleship, making followers and also the massive and passive attitudes toward people. Imam Khomeini was an exceptional leader in an exceptional revolution.

 He was not a peaceful leader with a global thought that opposite to the charismatic leaders to be restricted in the ethnic, racist, party and class narrow angles. He was a leader whose scientific comprehensiveness and religious authority position, distinguished him from all charismatic leaders and other ones. 

Imam was in fact the manifestation of dignity and divine perfect human and for this very reason he left a deep influence on the people’s mind. 

An influence which after passing over a quarter of a century from the Islamic Revolution, is still prevailing and has not faced any defect and this influence has still remained among all stratum of Iranian Muslims and perhaps on the awaken hearts of many Islamic countries and the oppressed of the world. 

These characteristics have constantly kept the memory of that divine leader and global thinker in the mind of humans as a symbol, herald and protector of human dignity.

Echo of Islam, Tehran

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