Immigration to Qom

Imam Khomeini did not stay long in Arak because Haj Sheikh Abdul Karim Ha'erri Yazdi left Arak for good and went to stay in Qom. Four months after the departure of Abdul Karim, Imam Khomeini also went to Qom and settled down there. He had a small room in Darol Shafa School and continued his studies there. He could not attend Abdul Karim's lessons at the beginning. He had to finish his general studies and education first. Therefore he attended the classes run by Saied Ali Yathrebi, Adib Khorrasani and Hajj Mohammed Taqi Khansari.

Imam Khomeini was finally able to attend Sheikh Ha'erri's classes. Under Sheikh Ha'erri's supervision he specialized in particular areas of Islamic studies. His main courses were taught by Shaikh Ha'erri. Imam Khomeini never missed any lessons given by any scholars. He attended the classes that were run by: Hajj Mirza Javad Maliki, who was the author of Assrarol Salavat, Mirza Abol Hassan Rafiee Qazwini, who was the writer of Do'aya Sahar (He was in Qom from the year 1962 to 1968), and Agha Sheikh Reza Mohammad Reza Masjid Shahi, who was the writer of Wagayi'ol Athaan and who lived in Qom from 1965 to 1967.

Imam Khomeini (on the left) as a young man

Imam Khomeini focused on the lessons of two outstanding lecturers: Ayatollah Hajj Abdol Karim Ha'erri and Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Ali Shah Aabadi. The former was a great scholar, and had a high status among the scholars of theology. He had studied under great men such as Mirza Mohammad Hassan Shirazi, Akhond Khorassani,  Kadhim Yazdi. The latter also met great intellectuals such as Mirza Hassan Ashtiyani, Hassan Khallili and Mirza Hashim Rashti

Imam Khomeini was so fond of the lectures taught by Ayatollah Ha'erri that he composed some verses of poetry describing them:

Spring has arrived and become the envy of paradise/ The flowers have blossomed like the appearance of a loved one.

Due to his coming, the world will be full of science and empty from ignorance/ like Qom which became the best city of the country due to the arrival of Sheikh Ajal

Perfect grand, complete bounty, generous ocean, endless treasure/ Abdul Karim the mine of generosity, the shelter for the Muslims

The bearer of the treasure of knowledge of the salaf, the fountain of the descendant's knowledge/ God generously bestowed him with the leading role of religion

In his shadow has gathered the proclamation of religion of every land/ Students of Islam come to him from all lands

Oh God! Make him live long and increase his dignity / As he revives the religion of the best of the messengers.

He has also recited the following verses in this regard:

Establish Qom's theology school for the world/ In order to lead the Muslims to the right path

Oh God! Give a long life to the generous man named Karim / And bestow Your favour on him like pouring rain.

Bless his followers with everlasting goodness/ Befall his enemies with misfortune and melancholy

He has also written the following verses:

His name keeps the name of Islam alive;

I look around and see every heartbroken man thinking/ Arise O king (i.e. God) and help the faithful especially this gift who is the supporter of Islam

In fact if this sign (i.e. Ha'erri) had not been in this land/ If Islam's boat had not had a captain

If his sword had not been to fight against the enemies

There would not have been any sign of Islam left…..*

He met and was with some scholars who were the real leaders of the country. They were indeed the heads of Shi'a faith. Their ways were the same as the Prophet's (saw) ways. Master Hajj Sheikh Abdul Karim Ha'erri was at his time the leading figure of Shia Muslims around the world. He was a very humble man. He was so modest that he had his meals with his servants. He sat on the floor and was very friendly with his students. During the final years of his life, he became ill and so would put a material round his head and walk in the evenings with his slippers on. Nothing could scar or decrease his dignity and greatness.

Other high-ranked scholars were the same and had a very simple life. They stayed away from Satan, which never leaves some. They acted like ordinary people. They would buy their needs from the market themselves. Furthermore they had a separate job in order to earn money to live. They were not at all arrogant and did not walk or talk with an air of pride. Although they were great men they were so modest that it shocked many. They were popular and people really respected them.

Ayatollah Shah Abadi, had the most effect on Imam Khomeini's personality. Imam Khomeini respected him highly throughout his life. He always mentioned and remembered him. Ayatollah Shah Abadi was not one of those men who sat in a corner in solitude. He was not a person who only thought of rescuing himself. He was a political and social scholar as well and tried to defend Islam. It was these characteristics that made Imam Khomeini fond of him. Imam Khomeini insisted on taking part in his lectures and adopted his manner.

The story of Imam Khomeini's acquaintance with Ayatollah Shah Abadi is interesting. The Imam himself told this story to his son Ahmad, and said:  "I was introduced to him by one of my relatives. I met him in FeiziyehSchool. I asked him a question about one of the affairs of the mystics and he gave a good answer. Therefore I thought him to be the great scholar I was looking for. I found him well informed and followed him and kept insisting that he accept me as one his students. However he refused, and so I asked if I could take only one lesson. By this time, we had reached the Abedin Cross road. He thought I wanted to take philosophy, so he accepted. I explained that I had finished philosophy and so he repeated the same negative words, 'No'. I carried on insisting. He finally gave up and accepted me as one of his students. I studied Fosoos and Miftahol Gheib next to him for around seven years."

Sayyid Ahmad says: "I asked the Imam how many students were there and he said: 'the maximum was three, but most of the time I was alone. He taught me divine mysticism.'" Sayyid Ahmad adds that "I asked did you study any other lessons under the supervision of Ayatollah Shah Abadi? The Imam answered, 'I studied Meftahol Gheib on Thursdays and Fridays and holidays. I also wrote footnotes to Meftahol Gheib while I was studying Meftahol Gheib and Fosoos.' I asked what else did you study and the Imam answered: 'the book named Manazenol Saereen. Sometimes one or two other pupils joined us, but they wouldn't stay for very long. I told Shah Abadi that the matters you are saying are not in any book, where do you learn them from? He replied "it has been said". Which meant that these are my own words.  I owe him so much. He was well informed and was very knowledgeable in both philosophy and. Mysticism.'" Sayyid Ahmad also asked: "How long did you study Mysticism next to Ayatollah Shah Abadi?" The Imam answered: "I cannot really remember I think I studied five or six years. When Ayatollah Shah Abadi came to Qom, I was a bachelor. I continued studying even after I got married."

During these years Imam Khomeini benefited a great deal from Shah Abadi's lectures. His personality had such an effect on Imam Khomeini that any time the Imam spoke of him he added" May I be sacrificed for him".  The Imam kept in touch with him even when Agha Shah Abadi moved to Tehran and attended his congregational prayers eagerly.  This relationship was so strong Imam Khomeini's father-in- law once said "Rouhullah comes to Tehran to meet Agha Shah Abadi and then he asks for his wife." It was perhaps due to these words that the Imam said, "No one knows Ayatollah Shah Abadi as I know him."

He wrote his first book entitled Sharhe Doaye Sahar, which is about mystical and philosophical questions. He wrote this book in Arabic at the age of 27. He was one of the outstanding figures in the Theology School of Qom. Imam Khomeini gained his degree in analytical thought when he was thirty-five years old. The book Aeeneye Daneshvaran Introduces him as follows:

"Imam Khomeini is one of the studious scholars. He has gained a great deal of knowledge from the philosophical and Mystical lectures, which were taught by the scholar Ayatollah Shah Abadi the majority of the time. He spends most of his time studying and teaching the books of Sadrol Motaal'een, which are philosophical mystical and ethical books. He was one of the experts in these areas while these books were published. His lessons were so interesting that I always remember the verses of poetry he recited: 

For my friend's desire, I sacrificed my life                          I left my home and my family for the sake of my friend"

Imam spent most of his time studying the mystical, philosophical, and ethical books and teaching and writing books. In the first and second decades of his stay in Qom, he was busy writing. His main activities were surveying different sources within his field of study. He started teaching philosophical books from 1928 in the Feizieh School.  One of the Imam's students, says the following: "The Imam was chosen as one of the outstanding scholars in the year 1937. At that time, he was only thirty-six years old. He would come to school in the afternoons and sit in front of one of the student's rooms, which was located in the Western corner of the school. There he would have discussions with great scholars such as Sayyid Mohammad Yazdi (aka Damad), Sheikh Hassan Novee ,and Sheikh Fadhil Lankarani……I have heard from some of the students that from the start of the year (1939)  Agha Rouhullah Khomeini will start teaching Molla Hadi Sabzevari's book regarding astronomy…..He had his own method of teaching. It was different from the other scholars. He himself was very educated in these fields."

Writings and compilations

 From 1928 Imam Khomeini started to write many books .These books can  be divided into seven different fields: 1-Philosophy &  Mysticism,  2-Theology,  3- Principles of Jurisprudence,  4-Ethics,  5-Commentary on the Quran, 6-Literature and Poetry,  7-Politics and Leadership.

 The Imam's political views

There are many available documents showing Imam Khomeini has reacted toward political and social affairs. He defined his political position, quite clearly and vividly. His aforementioned presence in trenches where robbers threatened to plunder his city, proves Khomeini's braveness.

In the year 1927, when the scholars of Isfahan protested against compulsory military service and other injustices they went on strike, Imam Khomeini supported them and Ayatollah Passandideh, who was the Imam's elder brother, joined them in this strike.

Another outstanding instance is the Imam's activities during the year 1929.  In this year, the Scholars of Tabriz were exiled to Qom. The Imam met with Agha Mirza Sadiq and Ayatollah Agha Hussein Qomi, who were strong opponents of the regime.

Imam Khomeini has composed some verses regarding this time:

How long do these nobodies want to be our leaders? / How long do these robbers want to guard these nobodies? How long do we have to stand English injustice? They are unique in their cruelty.

In addition, in another poem he addresses Imam Al-Mehdi (as), who is the absent Imam and asks for help:

"O King! These are Islam's affairs, which are disheveled

On such an Eid, when everyone should be singing with happiness

Everywhere I look, I see sad people, O King!  Rise and help the faithful"

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