Politics meant to guide people, taking into account all interests of society: Imam Khomeini

Politics meant to guide people, taking into account all interests of society: Imam Khomeini

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic introduced a politics which is based on religious, spiritual and ethical values in contemporary history. He also stressed that politics is meant to guide people and take into account all interests of the society

The basic tenets of the late founder of the Islamic Republic’s political thought should be ascertained from his approach to the concepts of religion and politics.

Imam Khomeini, the contemporary leader of the Muslim world, has forwarded his ideas on these two concepts on different occasions and meetings from the very beginning of the Islamic movement in Iran.

The world religious leader does not construe politics as a science of power or a kind of technique for exploiting people with a view to make them subordinate to certain rulers. 

Imam Khomeini terms such a politics a satanic politics and believes that it has nothing to do with religion. In one of his speeches after his release from prison , he says:

“A man whom I do not want to reveal his name, once came to me and said: politics is nothing but telling lie and playing tricks, hence, it is better for you to leave it to us. In response, I said that I have never been involved in such a politics.”

On the other hand, in Imam's view, religion is not limited in establishing relations between man and God nor is it confined to celestial happiness of man.

Imam Khomeini disagrees with both these approaches and is of the view that confining religion to mundane affairs, is a materialistic approach and limiting it to spiritual aspects of man is a pseudo-mystical one.

Materialists used to reduce all the teachings of religion into materialistic notions, even miracles and unhidden matters are interpreted by them in terms of material notions . But Imam Khomeini sees the reality of Islam beyond all those matters.

After refuting such approaches towards Islam and politics which naturally leads to the idea of separation of religion from politics, he puts forward his own views by referring to various aspects of man and society. Comparing his ideas with other approaches, Imam Khomeini says:

“The politics that I am talking about is the politics of our country. It is a perfect form of politics that the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam and our leaders in Islam practiced . They came to guide people and lead them towards their real interest . Politics is meant to guide people and take into account all interests of the society and man. This is the politics of the Prophets which others are unable to implement.”

Such politics that aims at leading people towards God and achieving their happiness has been implemented by the Prophets, and their followers.

Imam Khomeini advocates such politics and opposes certain narrow-minded people who reduce Islam into its rituals and moral precepts. In his book Kitab al-Bay` (the Book of Sale) while referring to the issue of wilayat al-faqih (the Guardianship of Jurisconsult), he writes:

“If one looks at various teachings of Islam including its social dimensions , concentrates over its rituals like prayers and hajj pilgrimage which pertains to man's relation with God and takes into account social, economic, political and legal laws of Islam, one would conclude that Islam does not deal only with rituals and moral matters...but it is meant to establish a just government and has certain rules on tax, public finance, legal issues, jihad, and international relations as well.”

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