Regarding the leanings of Khomeini in Shi’ism, he is inclined toward the fanatical dogma of the Ghulah (extremist). The evidence for this is that he draws evidence from the statements of these extremists in establishing the virtue of the Imams over the Ambiya’ of Allah and His Messengers. He thus says:
إن من ضرورات مذهبنا أن لأئمتنا مقاما لا يبلغه ملك ومقرب ولا نبي مرسل… وقد ورد عنهم (ع) أن لنا مع الله حالات لا يسعها ملك مقرب ولا نبي مرسل
From the undisputable beliefs of our dogma is the belief that our Imams enjoy such a high rank that cannot be reached by any close angel or sent prophet…It has been reported from them ‘alayh al Salam, “We experience such conditions with Allah which are not behoving for any close angel or any sent prophet.”
As you have noticed, Khomeini attributes this position to all the contemporaries and asserts that it is an undisputable fact according to them. Based upon this, the contemporaries are from the extremist Shia according to the scholars of Islam.
Not only according to the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah, but the beliefs of Khomeini are the beliefs of the extremists even according to the leading scholars of the Shia belonging to the fourth century. The evidence for this is that he considers his Imams free from forgetfulness and inattentiveness. This belief according to their scholar Ibn Babawayh, who is accorded the title ‘Ra’is al Muhaddithin’ (the chief of the hadith scholars), is the belief of the extremists and the Mufawwidah regarding the Imams; Ibn Babawayh considers them to be worthy of being cursed, for he says:
إن الغلاة والمفوضة-لعنهم الله- ينكرون سهو النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم
The extremists and the Mufawwidah, may Allah curse them, deny the forgetting of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Ibn Babawayh likewise narrates from his teacher Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn al Walid that he considered the denial of forgetfulness of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to be an extremist view. And in his book al I’tiqad he gives the following verdict regarding the extremists and the Mufawwidah:
اعتقادنا في الغلاة والمفوضة أنهم كفار بالله جل اسمه، وأنهم شر من اليهود والنصارى والمجوس
Our belief regarding the extremists and the Mufawwidah is that they disbelieve in Allah whose name is great, and that they are worse than the Jews, Christians and the Fire-worshippers.
In all his other beliefs, his views are not any different from the views of the Twelvers which we have discussed in the previous pages.
He excommunicates the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in specific  and the Ahlus Sunnah in general; so much so that he describes them as ‘Nawasib’ (the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt) with the exception of those who they term the Mustad’afun (weak). Instead he is inclined to the extreme most position in this regard, i.e. he averred that the Ahlus Sunnah should be treated like the non-Muslim enemy. He says:
والأقوى إلحاق الناصب بأهل الحرب في إباحة ما اعتنم منهم وتعلق الخمس به، بل الظاهر جواز أخذ ماله أينما وجد، وبأي نحو كان ووجوب أخراجه خمسه
And the more preferred view is that a Nasibi be treated like the non-Muslim foe in terms of that which is taken as booty from them being permissible and Khums being extracted therefrom. Rather what is obvious is that it is permissible to take his wealth wherever he is found and in whichever way possible, together with extracting its Khums being compulsory.
The people intended by the term ‘Nasibi’ is the Ahlus Sunnah and those Shia who are like them, i.e. the Zaidiyyah (besides the Jarudiyyah, as has passed), not the Khawarij only who are the Nawasib according to the Ahlus Sunnah due to them unanimously excommunicating Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is clear from the fact that he mentions the Khawarij as a different category alongside the Nawasib, like in the following statement:
وأما النواصب والخوارج لعنهم الله تعالى فهما نجسان
As for the Nawasib and the Khawarij, may Allah curse them, they are impure…
Furthermore, regarding their belief of the interpolation of the Qur’an, Khomeini suggests that he accepts the fable that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had a Qur’an which he presented to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum which they rejected, and that it contained additions which are not in the present Qur’an. He says:
ولعل القرآن الذي جمعه (يعني عليا) وأراد تبليغه على الناس بعد رسول الله هو القرآن الكريم مع جميع الخصوصيات الدخيلة في فهفه المضبوطة عنده بتعليم رسول الله.
Probably the Qur’an which he (‘Ali) compiled and intended to convey to the people after Rasul Allah is the actual Qur’an entailing all its internal specialities exclusive to his understanding and preserved by him due to the teaching of Rasul Allah.
He likewise supplicates for the mercy of Allah to descend upon the heretic and fire worshipper, the author of Fasl al Khitab. He quotes from his book Mustadrak al Wasa’il and uses its content in substantiation of his arguments. He likewise draws from their classical works which contain the heresy of interpolation, like the al Kafi of al Kulayni and the al Ihtijaj of al Tabarsi, among others.
In addition to that, al Nadwi has mentioned, in his translation of some of the texts of Kashf al Asrar that which entails that al Khomeini openly proclaimed this disbelief. In the translated text of Kashf al Asrar which I present ahead Khomeini replies to the Question: why are the Imams not mentioned in the Qur’an, with the following:
إن الذين لم يكن ارتباطهم بالإسلام والقرآن إلا لأجل الرئاسة والدنيا، وكانوا يجعلون القرآن وسيلة لمقاصدهم الفاسدة، كان من الممكن أن يحرفوا هذا الكتاب السماوي في حالة ذكر اسم الإمام في القرآن وأن يمسحوا هذه الآيات منه وأن يلصقوا وصمة العار هذه على حياة المسلمين.
It is very possible that those who had no link with Islam and the Qur’an but for leadership of this world and for exploiting it for their corrupt purposes would interpolate this Divine Book where it made mention of the name of the Imam and erase those verses from it thereby tainting the reputation of the Muslims.
Here he has not emphatically mentioned that interpolation occurred in the Qur’an but merely hinted to it. But he clearly states that it is possible for someone to interpolate the Qur’an whereas that entails belying the verse:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Qur’an], and indeed, We will be its guardian.
Look at his fanatical and obscure reasoning, he claims that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala did not make mention of the fundamental most aspect of Din, according to them, due to the fear that the Sahabah would interpolate it.
Furthermore, Khomeini also believed in the preposterous beliefs of Ghaybah and Raj’ah. In fact he says:
لقد جاء الأنبياء جميعا من أجل إرساء قواعد العدالة في العالم لكنهم لم ينجحوا حتى النبي محمد خاتم الأنبياء الذي جاء لإصلاح البشرية… لم ينجح في ذلك وإن الشخص الذي سينجح في ذلك هو المهدي المنتظر
All the Ambiya’ ‘alayh al Salam came to ground the foundations of justice in this world but were unsuccessful. To the extent that even Muhammad, the seal of the Ambiya’ who came to reform humanity, did not succeed. The one person who will be successful in this will be the awaited Mahdi.
The Muslims condemned these words of Khomeini. The Rabitah al ‘Alam al Islami published a statement saying that they were in complete contradiction with Islam, what is found in the Qur’an, the Prophetic Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah. Likewise disproval had been sounded from a number of places.
Furthermore, the Magazine of al Jama’ah al Islamiyyah in Pakistan published the speech of Khomeini and commented upon it by saying that it entails the denial of Islam and the history of Islam, and it is a matter which not even the likeminded can tolerate.
In this statement of his he has not parted from the extremist tendencies of his dogma, hence in his view the Imams, amongst who is the Mahdi, are better than the Ambiya’.
He likewise believes that all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum turned renegade after the demise of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam due to pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr rather than ‘Ali, and that the very crux of the prophethood of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the establishment of the Imamah of ‘Ali; He thus says:
يعتبر الرسول لو لا تعيينه الخليفة من بعده غير مبلغ للرسالة
Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be considered not having conveyed the message had he not appointed the Khalifah after him.
And it is based upon this idea that he averred that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not successful, i.e. because ‘Ali did not assume the Khilafah immediately after him.
Nonetheless, subsequent to this, Khomeini published a statement wherein he provided answers for the objections of the objectors. But in his answer there is nothing besides further enforcing this preposterous belief. He says:
ونقول بأن الأنبياء لم يوفقوا في تنفيذ مقاصدهم، وإن الله يسبعث في آخر الزمان سخصا يقوم بتنفيذ مسائل الأنبياء.
We aver that the Ambiya’ were not blessed in fulfilling their objectives, and that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will send at the end of time a person who will take up the duty of fulfilling the tasks of the Ambiya’.
He thereafter condemns the objectors and says that they are striving to create disunity amongst the Muslims.
Moving on, Khomeini asserts that the teaching of the Imams are just like the teachings of the Qur’an. Instead he practices upon the fables of al Riqa’ and accords it the same extent of importance which the Ummah accords to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Likewise all the beliefs espoused by the Twelvers are the beliefs of Khomeini. In some of them at times he takes upon a severer level of extremism which we have no need to delve into; because the only purpose of this discussion is clarifying that Khomeini was not after all as the people with shallow knowledge regarded him.
However, I noticed that some people claim that Khomeini gave up some of his views regarding Taqiyyah and ordered his followers to perform salah with the Ahlus Sunnah, which outwardly suggest that he was upright.
The answer to this is found in his booklet al Ta’adul wa al Tarjih and in his booklet on Taqiyyah. It is sufficient to know that according to him the basis of their religion is opposition of the Ahlus Sunnah and that this principle is the deciding factor in the case of conflicting narrations. Hence he says:
إن أخبارهم الآمرة بالآخذ بخلاف العامة… كقوله: ما خالف العامة ففيه الرشاد… وقوله: دعوا ما وافق القوم فإن الرشد في خلافهم هي من أصول الترجيح. وليس الترجيح بها بمحض التعبد، بل لكون المخالفة لهم طريقا إلى الواقع، والرشد في خالفتهم.
Their narrations which contain the order of opposing the commonality, like the narration: ‘There is guidance in that which goes against the commonality’ and the narration: ‘leave that which is in harmony with the people, for guidance is in opposing them’, are from the principles of giving preference. And giving preference based on them is not merely an act of worship (without any logical reasoning), but because their opposition being a very practical way wherein is guidance.
He then establishes a chapter with the title: ‘narrations which are regarding opposing the commonality’. In this chapter he cites to types of narrations: 1) narrations which contain the order of adopting the views which oppose the commonality when there is conflict between the narrations of the Imams, and 2) narrations which contain the order of unconditional opposition.
He mentions five narrations under the first category:
عن الحسن بن الجهم قال: قلت للعبد الصالح… يروى عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام شيء يروى عنه خلافه فبأيمها نأخذ؟ فقال: خذ بما خالف القوم وما وافق القوم فاجتنبه
Al Hassan ibn al Jahm says, I asked the pious servant, “Something is narrated from Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam and at times the very opposite of it is narrated from him as well. So which one should we practice?” He said, “Practice that which opposes the people and that which is in harmony with them refrain from it.”
The other four narrations are not any different in their purport. However in some of them is contained the order to asses them by comparing them with the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah:
فاعرضوهما على أخبار العامة فما وافق أخبارهم فذروه وما خالف أخبارهم فخذوه
Present them (conflicting narrations) upon the narrations of the commonality. Then leave whatever is in harmony with their narrations and take whatever opposes their narrations.
After presenting these narrations Khomeini makes the following remarks:
ولا يخفى وضوح دلالة هذه الأخبار على أن مخالفة العامة مرجحة في الخبرين المتعارضين مع اعتبار سند بعضها، بل صحة بعضها على الظاهر واشتهار مضمونها بين الأصحاب، بل هذا المرجح هو المتداول العام الشايع في جميع أبواب الفقه وألسنة الفقهاء
The purport of these narrations is clear in that the opposition of the commonality is a preference indicator in two conflicting narrations, alongside (the other indicators like) considering the chain of transmission in some, instead its outward authenticity and its publicity amongst the scholars. In fact this preference indicator is what is most commonly applied in all the chapters of Fiqh and via the tongues of the Jurists.
As you can see, Khomeini emphasises upon the importance of shunning all narrations which agree with the Ahlus Sunnah, as if they are Jews and Christians whose imitation is impermissible. Some of their narrations actually state that the Ahlus Sunnah are more steeped in disbelief than the Jews and the Christians.
As for the second type of narrations, they consists of instructions to unrestrictedly oppose the Ahlus Sunnah, doing so by investigating the doings of the Ahlus Sunnah, their views, and their beliefs only to thereafter oppose them. Under this type he mentions five narrations.
The first narrations orders the Shia to seek a fatwa in order to practice the opposite of it. It states:
ائت فقيه البلد فاستفته من أمرك فإذا أفتاك بشيء فخد بخلافه فإن الحق فيه
Go to the Jurist of the town and seek a fatwa from him regarding your issue. And when he gives you a fatwa then practice upon its opposite, for verily in it is the truth.
This narration and other narrations of its like have posed a problem for the Shia. That is because in the reports of the Ahlus Sunnah, especially in the chapter of jurisprudence, there are many narrations which are in accordance with the narrations of the Shia. Hence if the aforementioned narrations are practiced unrestrictedly it can lead to abandoning both dogmas all together. It is for this reason that Khomeini has tried to resolve this dilemma by commenting upon each of these narrations. He thus makes the following remarks after the aforementioned narration:
موردها صورة الاضطرار وعدم طريق إلى الواقع فأرشده إلى طريق يرجع إليه لدى سد الطرق ولا يستفاد منها جواز رد الخبر من طريقنا إذا كان موافقا لهم
The context wherein it should be practiced is desperation and having no way to the reality. Hence the Imam guided him to a solution when all the ways are barricaded. It is thus not understood from this narration that it is permissible to reject our narration if it is in accordance with them.
Thereafter he says:
فالظاهر منها المخالفة في عقائدهم وفي أمر الإمامة وما يرتبط بها، ولا تدلان على رد الخبر الموافق لهم
Ostensibly, they refer to opposing them in their beliefs and in the matter of Imamah and whatever is linked to it. But they do not suggest that a narration which is in harmony with them be rejected.
As you might have noticed, Khomeini considers opposing the Ahlus Sunnah in their principle beliefs to be a preference factor according to them. So where are those who extend their hands to unite with him? And where are those who claim that he no more practiced Taqiyyah with the Ahlus Sunnah?
Moving on, as for his instruction to some of his followers to read Salah with the Ahlus Sunnah, it is part of his practice of Taqiyyah regarding which he has not made any conclusive remarks in his booklet on Taqiyyah. But many of the Ahlus Sunnah who take things for what they apparently seem without having knowledge of the reality of Shia dogma endorse such steps and enumerate them in the feats of Khomeini and his efforts in uniting the Muslims.
This is in spite of the fact that he has established a chapter in his booklet on Taqiyyah with the title: ‘narrations which suggest the validity of Salah with the commonality’. Therein he mentions:
إنه قد وردت روايات خاصة تدل على صحة الصلاة مع الناس والترغيب في الحضور في مساجدهم والاقتداء بها والاعتداد بها كصحيحة حماد بن عثمان عن أبي عبد الله أنه قال: من صلى معهم في الصف الأول كان كمن صلى خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في الصف الأول
There are special narrations which suggest the validity of Salah performed with the people, and which exhort one to attend their Masjids and follow in the Salah, together with deeming it valid. For example, the authentic narration of Hammad ibn ‘Uthman which he narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah, “He who reads Salah with them in the first row is like a person who reads Salah behind Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the first row.”
Commenting thereupon he says:
ولا ريب أن الصلاة معه- يعني مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم- صحيحة ذات فضيلة جمة فكذلك الصلاة معهم حال التقية
It is without doubt that Salah with him, i.e. with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is valid and holds immense virtue. And so is performing Salah with them whilst practicing Taqiyyah.
He thereafter says:
وموثقة سماعه قال: سألته عن مناكحتهم والصلاة خلفهم؟ فقال: هذا أمر شديد لن تستطيعوا ذلك قد أنكح رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وصلى علي وراءهم
And Muthaqah Sama’ah says, “I asked him regarding marrying them and reading Salah behind them. He said, “This is a complex issue which you will not be able to withstand. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married (his daughters to them) and ‘Ali performed Salah behind them.”
Khomeini then points out that this type of Taqiyyah is not attached to necessity and that it is specifically practiced with the Ahlus Sunnah; because in his view Taqiyyah can at times be due to necessity in the situation of fear, just as it can at times be due to cajolery; which is when Taqiyyah becomes the best of deeds according to them. As for the first situation, the matter is quite clear. But regarding the second situation he says the following:
وأما التقية المداراتية المرغوب فيها- كذا- مما تكون العبادة معها أحب العبادات وأفضلها، فالظاهر اختصاصها بالتقية عن العامة كما هو مصب الروايات على كثرتها
As for the desired Taqiyyah which is practiced due to cajolery in the presence of which an act of worship becomes the most beloved and virtuous of actions, it is apparently specific to practicing Taqiyyah when dealing with the commonality, as is the focus of the narrations despite their abundance.
Hence practicing Taqiyyah with the Ahlus Sunnah is the best of deeds, and it is unrestrictedly permissible.
Similarly, he points to a third type of Taqiyyah which entails concealment as opposed to exposition. He says:
فتكون على حد تعبيره بمعنى التحفظ عن أفشاء المذهب وعن إفشاء سر أهل البيت
It will thus mean, according to his expression, safeguarding against exposing the dogma and the secret of the Ahlul Bayt.
Can it still be claimed that Khomeini gave up Taqiyyah and deceit? Those who claim that they were unaware of the various types of Taqiyyah and that practicing it with the Ahlus Sunnah is the best of deeds and that it is not necessarily associated with need.
In conclusion, it is sufficient for you to know that he considers the era of the Khulafa’ Rashidun to be the era of Taqiyyah. He says:
إن من بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى زمان خلافة أمير المؤمنين ومن بعده إلى زمن الغيبة كان الأئمة وشيعتهم مبتلين بالتقية أكثر من مائتي سنة
From the era of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the Khilafah of Amir al Mu’minin, and from his time till the era of occultation, the Imams and their Shia were compelled to practice Taqiyyah for more than two hundred years.
It is clear that Khomeini was from the extremist Shia. In some cases he actually adopted views which were more reprehensible than the prevalent views. He would deliberately oppose the Ahlus Sunnah, and at times when otherwise was seen it was due to Taqiyyah.
 Due to his obsession with the name ‘Rafidah’ he has named one of his books Durus fi al Jihad wa al Rafd (lessons regarding Jihad and Rafd).
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 52.
 Usul al Din p. 298.
 Al Shifa’ 2/290.
 Minhaj al Sunnah 1/177.
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 91.
 Man la Yahduruhu al Faqih 1/234.
 Al I’tiqadat p. 109.
 To the extent that in his book Tahrir al Wasilah he establishes the legitimacy of disassociating with the enemies of Islam (and the enemies of Islam according to the Shia are the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with the exception of three or seven). See Tahrir al Wasilah 1/169. Likewise in his book Kashf al Asrar he emphatically excommunicates Sheikhayn radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. See: Kashf al Asrar p. 112, onwards; also see: al Nadwi: Suratan Mutadaddatan p. 57-58; Muhammad Manzur Nu’mani: al Thawrah al Iraniyah fi Mizan al Islam p. 48, onwards.
 Tahrir al Wasilah 1/352; Wa Ja’ Dawr al Majus p. 186.
 Tahrir al Wasilah 1/118.
 Risalah fi al Ta’adul wa al Tarjih p. 26 (included in the second vol. of the letters and booklets of Khomeini).
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 77.
 Ibid. p. 62, 63, 94.
 Ibid. p. 77.
 Suratan Mutadaddatan p. 58.
 Kashf al Asrar p. 114.
 Surah al Hijr: 9.
 This was extracted from a talk Khomeini gave at the occasion of celebrating the birth of the Mahdi, according to their belief, on the fifteenth of Sha’ban 1400 A.H this talk was broadcasted by the radio of Tehran. (Al Ra’y al ‘Am al Kuwaitiyyah, Kuwaiti newspaper published on the seventeenth of Sha’ban 1400 A.H.; Majallah al Mujtama’ al Kuwaitiyyah: edition no. 488, published on 8/7/1980; Ahmed al Afghani: Sarab fi Iran p. 41-42; Nahj al Khumaini p. 45-47).
 See the condemnation thereof in Jaridah al Madinah (of Saudi), fourth of Ramadan 1400 A.H.; Jaridah Akhbar al ‘Alam al Islami, ninth of Ramadan 1400 A.H.
 The scholars of Morocco published a statement in this regard which was published in Majallah Da’wah al Haqq, fourth edition, published in Sha’ban-Ramadan; see Nahj al Khumaini p. 49.
 In the edition which was published on the twenty ninth of Dhi al Hijjah1404 A.H. See Nahj Khumaini fi Mizan al Fikr al Islami p. 52.
 Khomeini: Mas’alah al Mahdi al Muntazar (with another booklet) p. 22.
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 113.
 He actually uses those narrations to prove the legitimacy of his theory Wilayah al Faqih (see: al Hukumah al Islamiyyah 76-77).
 See: Ahmed Jali: Dirasah ‘an al Firaq p. 154-155.
 Al Ta’adul wa al Tarjih p. 71.
 Ibid. p. 80.
 (I.e. the Imam.
 Ibid. 80-81.
 Ibid. p. 80-81.
 Al Ta’adul wa al Tarjih p. 82.
 Al Ta’adul wa al Tarjih p. 82.
 Al Ta’adul wa al Tarjih p. 83.
 See what al Sheikh Muhammad al Majdub has written in the newspaper al Madinah al Munawwarah: edition no. 4808, published on 1 Rabi’ al Awwal 1400 A.H.
 Risalah al Taqiyyah p. 108 (incorporated in the second volumes of his letters and booklets).
 Risalah al Taqiyyah p. 198.
 Ibid. p. 200.
 Ibid. 184.
 Ibid. 296.Back to top