Mr President First Recollection on the Imam

Allameh would like to call him the greatest of Maraje‘, even before the demise of Ayatollah Boroujerdi

ID: 52580 | Date: 2018/03/13

In my recollections about Imam Khomeini, Allameh Semnani’s narration and admiration for the Imam is very much interesting.

In 1339 AHS, Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi was the leading Marja‘ (the highest level Shia authority) in Iran. When he passed away, other clerics could hardly take his position, so that his fame was still at the height long after his death.

Those years such prominent clerics and Grand Ayatollahs like Golpayegani, Mar‘ashi, Milani, Khansari, Hakim and Kho’ei were not as famous as Ayatollah Boroujerdi to the majority of people especially in provinces.

The Imam like many others was unknown to the most of people even in the holy city of Qom, except for his students and his friends who called him Haj Agha Rouhollah.

Once, Allameh Semnani told us about the journey he had made to Qom and his meeting with the Imam.

He mentioned that “the position of Ayatollah Boroujerdi as the leading Marja‘ in Iran is not due to individual characteristics of his eminence, but based on the Will of God!”

“Although, Haj Agha Hussein— Ayatollah Boroujerdi—is a great Marja‘, he is not a great scholar,” he added.

Allameh went onto say that “I have paid a visit to a great scholar in the city of Qom whose name is Ayatollah Khomoni!”

Then he began to admire the Imam as he called him Khomoni instead of Khomeini. And, we had become curious enough to know about the new Ayatollah!

Later, we understood Allameh was talking about Ayatollah Sayyid Rouhollah Khomeini but he was the first person who told us about the Imam for the first time.

We know that those years a very few number of clerics were interested in philosophy and among them was of course Allameh Semnani. Imam’s philosophical knowledge was very much interesting for the Allameh as he called the Imam a master of philosophy.

Interestingly, he would like to call the Imam the greatest of Maraje‘, even before the demise of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi. Such enthusiasm had become an incentive for us to know more and more about the personality of Imam Khomeini.

Narrated by: Dr Hassan Rouhani

Taken from: Memoirs by Dr Hassan Rouhani, vol. 1