world struggled to accommodate the influx of news that was coming
from Iran; the Imam has returned. Some quoted thousands had gone
to meet him and others, hundreds of thousands, but the truth is
that millions thronged to receive the Imam when he landed on home
Imam Khomeini returned to Iran, from exile and brought with him the
'Dawn of the Islamic Revolution,' but now the light of the full sun
shines from the faces of those who have followed his guidance and
accepted the tenets of Islam.
The Islamic Republic of Iran like a beacon, shines out across the
globe and embraces the oppressed.
On Saturday evening, June 3, 1989 (the 13th of Khurdad, 1368
corresponding to the 28 of Shawwal of the lunar year 1409) Imam
Ruhullah Khomeini (S.A.), the great leader of the Islamic revolution
and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, passed away and joined
the high heaven. In Imam Khomeini's demise the world lost a great
history making revolutionary and a matchless leader who awakened
the Muslims, revived Islam and restored to it its pristine grandeur by
his honorable life.
Mohammad Fazel Lankarani
Mohammad Fazel Lankarani was born
in 1930 in Qum. His father was one of
the great sages at Qum's religious
school (Hozeh Ilmieh Qum). At the
age of 13 he started his education in
Islamic sciences in Qum's religious
school. He rapidly progressed through
the various levels and by the age of
19 was able to attend the "Kharij"
level, which at that time was taught
by Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi. His
studentship at this level lasted for 11
years (this level being among the
longest and most difficult collection of
courses taught at the religious school
of Qum). Also, he attended Imam
Ruhollah Khomeini's courses for a
period of nine years. He learned "interpretation" and "philosophy" in
the classes of Ayatollah Tabataba'ie. At the age of 25, Mohammad
Fazel Lankarani was formally designated Grand Ayatollah by his
teacher Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi.
For the past 25 years, Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani has been
teaching, inter alia, the "Kharij" level at Qum's religious school. His
classes are usually attended by over 700 religious experts and
students. Part of the lectures are broadcast on the radio for Iranian
and non-Iranian audiences.
Subsequent to the demise of Imam Khomeini [p], and Grand
Ayatollah Araki [p], Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani was conferred
the status of the "first source of emulation" of the Islamic ummah by
the Society of Instructors at Qum's religious school.
Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamene'i
Born: Mashad, 15 July, 1939
Sayyed Ali Khamene'i was born in
Mashad, the holiest city, in the
north-eastern province of Khorasan, in
1939. Both his parents belonged to
clergy's families and spent the year
1964, he achieved the highest degrees
in his theological studies at the
Theological Academy of Qum but
continued his studies at the Theological
Academy at Mashad up to the age of
Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamene'i proved a
worthy student of Iman Khomeini: Joined
his Islamic movement in 1962 and was
imprisoned and exiled several times between 1963 and 1978 for his
active role in organising the masses aganist the Pahlavi regime.
A list of some of his active posts, since the sucess of the
Revolution, shows the confidence Imam Khomeini had in him:
March 1979 - Member of the Revolutionary Council
August 1979 - Commander of the Revolutionary Guards
January 1980 - Friday Prayer Leader, Tehran
March 1980 - Member of Majlis from Tehran
September 1981 - Secretary General, Hizb Jamhouri Islami
On June 27, 1981, he was seriously injured by a bomb planted by
MKO terrorist, and his right arm was disabled. He was elected
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in October of 1981 and got
re-elected in August 1985.
Upon the death of Imam Khomeini, he was elected the leader of IR
of Iran. He takes keen interest in the development of educational
system at Qum; and has established the Computerised Research
Centre of the Islamic Knowledge there with various important
Ayatullah Sayyid Muhsin Al-Hakeem
Ayatullah Seyyid Muhsin AlHakim was
born in 1306 AH. in a family renowned
for its scholarship. He studied under the
tutelage of great FUQAHA, like
Ayatullah Seyyid Muhammad Kadhim
Yazdi, Ayatullah Mirza Husain Naeeni,
Ayatullah Zia Iraqi and others.
He was always in the fore-front to
defend Islam and Muslims. After World
War I, when the British wanted to
colonize Iraq, the Shi'a ulama, under
Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, took
arms to defend the Muslim land.
Ayatullah Hububi too raised a militia and
made Sayyid Muhsin Al-Hakeem, aged
26, his right hand man.
The communists dominated Abdul-Karim Qasim's government, and
began a reign of terror against Islam. Sayyid Muhsin Al-Hakeem's
historic fatewa, branding communism as kufr and atheism, proved
the beginning of the end for communists. He stood firm against the
Ba'thists onslaught against Islam and Muslims.
The regime continuously harassed him in one way or the other; his
son Mahdi, was sentenced to death in absentia, and was eventually
killed in Khartoum in 1988. His family is still paying the price for their
adherence to justice and truth.
He became a sole Marja after the death of Ayatullah Seyyid Husain
Burujardi, with whom his family tree shared a common lineage finally
reaching Ameerul Mumineen Imam Ali b. Abu Talib (AS). The Hawza
of Najaf grew immensely under his Marjaiyya, boasting nearly an
unprecedented figure of 8000 students. He also instituted several
changes in the curriculum of the Hawzas, which have had far
reaching effects. His famous work in FIQH is 'MUSTAMSAK' which is
acknowledged as the most exhaustive and enlightening commentary
on the first part of alUrwatul Wuthqa. The style and skill of his
reasoning established him among the FUQAHA of the first rank. He is
also well known for his clear fatwa against Communism, declaring it
an ideology of KUFR and ATHEISM.
He died on 27the RabiulAwwal 1390 AH. in Najaf and was buried in
the great and modern library he had established.
Ayatullah Sayyid Mohammad Raza Gulpaygani
Ayatullah Seyed Muhammad Reza
Gulpaygani departed for his heavenly
abode on Thursday night, 9th of
December at the age of 96. He suffered
from acute respiratory deficiency and
lung infection for which he was confined
The Ayatullah who was the supreme
religious authority of the Shi'a world,
became terminally ill immediately after
midnight Tuesday and was rushed to
the Cardiac Care Unit of the hospital but
his condition continued to deteriorate
despite the extra care and attention of
Ayatullah Gulpaygani went into a coma in the wee hours of
Wednesday morning and eventually left the mortal world minutes
before evening prayers Thursday.
He saw the light of day in the village of Koukeh near the city of
Gulpaygan (135 kms north-east of Isfahan) in the closing years of
the 19th century and at the age of 20 went to Arak which was the
Centre of the Theological studies. There, he received his education
under Ayatullah Abdul Karim Haeri. Later in 1921 he went to the city
of Qum to complete his studies.
In the early 1960s following the death of Grand Ayatullah Boroujerdi
and during the banishment Ayatullah Imam Khumayni from Iran, he
became superintendent of the Qum Theological Seminary. He took
over the administration of the school at a crucial time when both
the theological school and Islamic scholars were in at stake due to
repressive measures directed by Shah. At that time he had about
800 students who attended his classes and received advanced
training in religious studies.
Ayatullah Gulpaygani is the author of a number of scholarly works
and treatises as well as commentaries on various other works of
scholastically abstruse character. Among them is an annotation on
the Al-Urwat-ul-Wuthqa, 'Tawzih-al-Masa'il' the Manasik-e-Hajj' and
He rendered valuable services during his superintendence of the
Theological Seminary in Qum, and also helped establish almost 30
theological schools in various towns and cities throughout Iran, as
well as health clinics for students and other types of public utility
centers in many parts of the country and abroad as well.
Ayatullah Gulpaygani was a great scholar and a 'Marj'a' and he had
many followers throughout the world. He subscribed to the concept
of 'Willayat-e-Faqhih put forwarded by Imam Khumayni.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatullah Seyed Ali Khamenei
expressed deep condolence over the sad demise of the Grand
Ayatullah Muhammad Reza Gulpaygani.
He was one of the pillars of the Islamic Revolution and The Islamic
Republic, said the leader in a statement.
During the oppressive rule of the former regime and in confronting
the bitter incidents which occurred in the years after the
banishment from Iran of Imam Khumayni (1963), there was some
occasions when the voice of this great personality was the only
threatening voice against the former regime, which raised from the
Qum theological seminary and gave enthusiasm to the Islamic
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he had an active
contribution in managing the general affairs of the revolution, said
the statement adding that he unequivocally supported the Islamic
Republic system and its exalted leadership. He was respected and
honoured by the late Imam Khumayni.
The departure of this divine scholar was a grave and irreparable
loss, the statement added.
The statement also said that the grand Ayatullah was
Marja'-e-Taqlid for 32 years, and a teacher at the Qum theological
seminary for about 72 years while keeping on learning and teaching
Fiqh (Jurisprudence) for about 85 years.
He was the first person to establish modern theological seminary and
the first great institute for Quranic studies in Qum. He was the first
person to prepare a table of contents of Fiqh and Hadith (Tradition)
by using modern technology and knowledge.
He founded hundreds of schools, mosques and Islamic propagation
centres in Iran and other countries and brought up thousands of
Ayatullah Sayyid Husain Burojirdi
Ayatullah Seyyid Husain Burujardi, was
born in Burujard in 1292 AH. He was a
student of masters like Akhund
Khurasani and Aqa Zia Iraqi. FIQH was
his special interest, and in order to
master it fully, he studied FIQH of all
the Islamic schools of thought. While
citing the Traditions of Masoomeen (AS)
to support any of his deductions, Seyyid
Husain Burujardi is known to have
brought so many new aspects to light.
He also had a keen insight in the
science of RIJAL. Shaheed Mutahhari
and Ayatullah Shaikh Husain Muntadhar
are among his numerous worthy
He revived the hawzah of Qum in 1364/1945, after the death in
1935 of its founder, Shaykh Abdul Karim Ha'iri. When Sayyid Abul
Hassan Isfahani died in 1365/1946, majority of Shi'as accepted
Ayatullah Sayyid Husain Burojirdi as Marja'-e-Taqlid.
He was the first Marja' to look beyond Iraq and Iran. He sent Sayyid
Muhaqqiqi to Hamburg, Germany, Aqa-e-Shari'at to Karachi,
Pakistan, Al-Faqihi to Madinah and Sayyid Musa Sadr to Lebenon. A
firm believer in Islamic unity, he established cordial relations with
Shaykh Mahmud Shaltut, the grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar.
Shaykh Mahmud Shaltut and Ayatullah Sayyid Husain Burojirdi
established "The house for bringing Muslim sects nearer" in Cairo.
Shaykh Mahmud Shaltut issued his famous fatwa accepting the
Shi'a faith as one of the recognised sects of Islam; and Ayatullah
Sayyid Husain Burojirdi vehemently opposed those who attacked the
Khulafa' in their speeches and writings.
Ayatullah Sayyid Husain Burojirdi passively opposed the Pahlawi
regime's so called agrarian reforms, which he named agrarian
destruction, which it turned out to be.
He died in Qum on 13th Shawaal 1381 AH. at the ripe age of 90.
Usman ibn Sayeed
Usman ibn Sayeed (260 A.D. - 304 A.H.) . He was the holder of the
office in the time of Imam Ali an-Naqi and Imam Hasan al-Askari and
both these Imams considered him as their private secretary and
treasurer, and they both considered him thoroughly reliable. What
he said on their behalf was the same as if they had said it. At times
Imam Hasan al-askari addressed him in public as the "agent for the
property of Allah". For which property he was to give a receipt
when he accepted it on behalf of the Imam. Upon the death of
Imam Hasan al-Askari, he acted as the chief deputy of Imam Mahdi
(a.t.f.s.) This office he served till his death in Baghdad in 304 A.H.
His grave is a the Shari-al-Maydan, in the mosque near the city
gate. In 408 A.H. there was an entrance to the tomb room from a
small door in the prayer niche of the mosque, but thirty-two years
later this wall was destroyed and the tomb was left in the open
court where it could be visited by anyone.
Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Usman
Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Usman (304 A.H.- 305 A.H.) He was
designated by the written will of his father to succeed him as the
representative of Imam Mahdi. He had a vast collection of books on
Law which he had inherited from his father, and which his father had
received from Imams.
During the period that he served as the chief deputy, he took an
oath that the Master of the Age was present among the pilgrims of
Mecca every year and he sees them although they fail to see him.
As a sign of Abu Ja'far's supernatural intuition it is related that one
of his friends found him inscribing a verse of the Quran on a slab of
a stone, and in the margins he was cutting the names of the
Imams. His friends asked him what he was doing. "It is for my
grave", he said, and then he told this man when he expected to
die. To others he expressed the same opinion, and the traditions
that his prediction proved to be true. After he had served the
Imams for about fifty years, he died in the year 305 A.H. He was
buried bodies the grave of his mother, on the roadside at the Kufa
Gate, at the place where his house stood.
Abul Qasim Husain ibn Ruh
Abul Qasim Husain ibn Ruh (305 A.H. - 326 A.H.). Abu Ja'far's
daughter, Umme Kulsum, has related as follows "Husain ibn Ruh was
my father's agent for many years. He looked after the property and
conveyed his secret messages to those concerned. He was most
zealous in the service of my father, who trusted him implicitly."
Although her father had another friend and loyal patron, Abu Ja'far
ibn Ahmad, he saw fit to choose Abul Qasim Husain ibn Ruh to be his
successor, and his appointment was very welcome. He was
esteemed by everyone and was acknowledged as a most learned
man. He died in the year 326 A.H., and his grave is near the house
of Ali ibn Ahmad Nubakhti, at a point beyond the Shawk bridge and
towards the city gate at Baghdad.
Abul Hasan ali-ibn Muhammad Samarri
Abul Hasan ali-ibn Muhammad Samarri (326 A.H. - 329 A.H.) He was
the last legate and succeeded Abul Qasim Husain ibn Ruh. When he
was asked about his successor, he said, "God now wills otherwise
and the duration of such a period is known only to Him."
A few days before he died, he had received a letter from the Imam
al-Mahdi. He died in 329 A.H. and his grave is one the Sharia
Khalbakhi near the canal Nagrabi.