What were the standpoints of Imam Khomeini on the position of marja‘iyat in general and the status of grand Ayatollah Borujerdi (the greatest of maraje‘) in particular?

Imam was a true supporter of marja‘iyat (the position of being a marja‘ and the highest level given to Shia authority) both before and after becoming himself a marja‘ of his own era. The ulema of time, he believed, are the faithful defender of Islamic values and preserver of the rights of a nation. Imam always claimed his word of reverence for the great ulema of his time specifically grand Ayatollah Borujerdi as the greatest of maraje‘. Even if something from his viewpoint was a matter of dispute or disagreement he would never express it publically and exercised an ethical behavior in his relation with other religious scholars and authorities.

There are frequent recommendations made by the Imam to the youth on the significance of preserving respect to ulema of Islam and maraje‘ whom he believed possess a great spiritual position and play a key role to implement the objectives of Islam in each and every juncture of history. It is worth mentioning that dear Imam during his precious life time made serious efforts to inform many of maraje‘ about the political changes and conspiracies of enemies both inside and outside the country. The following extracts explain Imam’s great attention to the lofty position of marja‘iyat which is in direct relation to the status of guardianship (wilayah):

I feel I must offer a word of advice to the young theological students who have recently joined the clergy and who are full of vigor and vitality. They need to be aware that the least insult aimed by them at any of the maraji‘ of Islam would mean the termination of the wilayah between themselves and God. (Sahifeh-ye Imam, vol. 1, p. 314)

‘Ulama’ of Iran, maraji‘ of Islam, I warn you of danger! Scholars, religious students! Centers of religious learning, Najaf, Qum, Mashhad, Tehran, Shiraz! I warn you of danger! (Sahifeh-ye Imam, vol. 1, p. 423)

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