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Biography of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamene’i in the Book:
Discourse on Patience (Published 1994)

Biography of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamene’i
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran

He was born in the year 1939 in the holy city of Mashhad in Khorasan province, Northeastern Iran. Both his parents belonged to religious scholarly families and he spent his childhood years in a spiritual atmosphere. He successfully completed his Theological studies at the famous religious learning center of Qum in the year 1964 and subsequently pursued religious studies at the theological Academy at Mashhad till the year 1968.

During the deposed Pahlavi regime Mr. Khamene’i was one of the most beloved and bright pupils of Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace), and was considered to be one of the most prominent and trusted leaders of the Islamic movement, which entered into a new critical phase on the 5th of June 1963 (15th of Khordad 1342 S.H.), after Imam Khomeini's historical stand against the Shah's regime. During this struggle he was repeatedly arrested and spent three years in prison between 1964 and 1978. Later he was exiled for almost a year to a place with one of the worst climatic conditions.

In 1978, upon his return from exile and at the height of the revolutionary struggle of Iranian Muslims, Mr. Khamene’i together with a few of his close associates led the struggle of the people in Khorasan. Later in the same year when Imam Khomeini headed the Islamic revolutionary movement from Neauphle Le Chateau at Paris, he was selected to be a member of the

Revolutionary Council. After the down- fall of the monarchy and formation of the revolutionary government, he was entrusted with the responsibility of representing the Revolutionary Council of the Army. He also served as Deputy for Revolutionary Affairs at the Ministry of Defence, and later on was appointed as the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

He was also chosen to lead the Friday Congregational Prayers in Tehran, by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini, and was elected to the First Islamic Consultative Assembly, as the representative of Tehran in 1980. After the formation of the Supreme Defence Council, Mr. Khamene’i was nominated to be the representative of the Leader of the revolution. Mr. Khamene’i was one of the founding members of the Islamic Republic Party in Iran and was appointed as its first Secretary-General.

He was the victim of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on 27 June 1981. His speech at the Consultative Assembly was instrumental in the dismissal of Bani-Sadr from the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and while addressing the congregation after leading the prayer in a mosque in Tehran, a time bomb exploded nearby, seriously injuring his hand, face and chest. He was immediately rushed to hospital by the devoted people of Tehran and miraculously survived. His right hand, however, is still not functioning properly.

In 1981, following the martyrdom of Mr.

Mohammad Ali Rajaei, the second President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he became a candidate, and was elected to the presidency with 95% of the votes cast in his favor by the Iranian people (the total number of votes was 16,847,717). He was re-elected as president in 1985 for a second four-year term. He also headed the Supreme Defence Council and Supreme Council for the Cultural Revolution.

During the imposed war, President Khamene’i visited various war fronts, and continuously inspected the frontlines in order to boost the morale of the Islamic combatants and to give advise on organizational matters. After the sad demise of Imam Khomeini, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, the Assembly of Experts selected him as the next of the Islamic Revolution, on June 4, 1989.

He h as a good command of the Persian, Arabic and Azeri Turkish languages and is also well acquainted with English. Ayatollah Khamene’i is a prominent scholar and jurisprudent, and could be ranked as one of most fluent orators in the Islamic world at present. In addition to writing, he has a sense of appreciation for literary and poetic works.

He has translated and written numerous books on Islam and history. His translations include Future of the Islamic Lands, An Indictment against the Western Civilization, and Imam Hasan's Peace Treaty. From among his writings, one may mention: The Role of Muslims in the Independence Struggle of India, General Pattern of Islamic Thoughts in the Qur’an, Discourse on Patience, Mysteries of Prayers" Understanding Islam Properly, Imam Sadiq's Life, and a collection of lectures about Vila'yat. He was also a co-writer of the famous pamphlet Our Positions which helped the political, social and philosophical advancement of the Islamic Republic Party. (Other contributors were Martyr Ayatollah Beheshti, Martyr Hojjat-ul-Islam Dr. Bahonar, Hojjat-ul-Islam Hashemi Rafsanjani, the current President).

 

Translated from Persian into English by Sayyid Hussein Alamdar.

 
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