- 1 The Genesis of the Islamic Revolution
- 2 The Pillars and Aspirations of the Islamic Revolution
- 3 Chronicle of the Islamic Revolution in Iran
- 4 The Ten-Day Dawn
- 5 Factors Behind the Victory of the Islamic Revolution
- 6 Faith and Spirituality in the Islamic Revolution
- 7 The Populist Nature of the Islamic Revolution
- 8 Leadership of Imam Khomeini
- 9 Achievements of the Islamic Revolution
- 10 The Islamic Revolution Through the Eyes of Imam and His Companions
- 11 The Islamic Revolution Through the Lens of Western Sociologists
- 12 Pathology of the Islamic Revolution
- 13 The Islamic Revolution and the Third Generation
- 14 The Second Phase Statement of the Islamic Revolution
- 15 Art and Literature of the Islamic Revolution
As we approach the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, a period known as the 10 days of Dawn (Dah-e Fajr), we find ourselves in a time of reflection, celebration, and recommitment to the values and ideals that propelled the Islamic Revolution to its historic victory in 1979. This special edition is dedicated to exploring the multifaceted dimensions of the Islamic Revolution, its profound impacts on Iran and the world, and the ongoing journey towards realizing its aspirations.
The Genesis of the Islamic Revolution
In the heart of Iran, a transformative epoch dawned on February 11, 1979, with the Islamic Revolution ascending to triumph. This pivotal moment, unanchored by allegiances to either the Eastern bloc or the Western powers, sent shockwaves through the corridors of global hegemony, upending the status quo. A fledgling revolution swiftly captured the global imagination, its repercussions echoing across the world. For the first time in a quarter-century, Iran became a beacon of intrigue and speculation, challenging the preconceived notions of even the most astute observers. This monumental event marked the beginning of an era filled with profound ramifications, rendering the revolutionary fervor of those initial days as mere preludes to the transformative years that followed. Through its brief yet eventful existence, the Islamic Revolution navigated a tumultuous path, charting a course through history’s uncharted waters.
The Pillars and Aspirations of the Islamic Revolution
A cursory glance at the annals of history reveals the Islamic Revolution’s foundational aim: to rekindle the essence of Islam and infuse society with its sacred values, free from the influences of secular ideologies. This vision sought to liberate a society long ensnared by the dominion of the affluent and powerful. Yet, this lofty ideal was not singular in its focus. Alongside it stood the pursuit of social justice, the quest for freedom, and the aspiration for comprehensive independence—political, economic, cultural, and intellectual. These ambitions, ensconced within the embrace of Islam, found their fullest expression through the revolution, crafting a new societal paradigm.
Chronicle of the Islamic Revolution in Iran
The Historical Course of the Islamic Revolution in Iran
October 8, 1961: Adoption of the Provincial and District Councils Law.
November 29, 1962: Repeal of the Provincial and District Councils Law.
January 9, 1963: Announcement of the White Revolution.
January 22, 1963: Public demonstrations in Tehran.
March 21, 1963: Declaration of national mourning on Nowruz.
March 22, 1963: Attack by the Pahlavi regime on a mourning ceremony at the Fayzieh School.
June 3, 1963: Arrest of Imam Khomeini.
The Ten-Day Dawn
February 1, 1979: Triumphant return of Imam Khomeini to the homeland after years of exile.
February 2, 1979: Meetings of various groups of people with Imam Khomeini; continuation of severe clashes in cities across the country.
February 3, 1979: Resignation of the Mayor of Tehran and his reappointment by Imam to the same position.
February 4, 1979: Strike by the Prime Minister’s office staff; arrest of many ministers and high-ranking government officials for financial corruption and misuse of public funds by the Bakhtiar government. February 5, 1979 : Appointment of Engineer Mehdi Bazargan as the Prime Minister of the provisional government by Imam Khomeini.
February 6, 1979: Nationwide demonstrations in support of Bazargan; removal of the loyalty oath to the Shah from the military oath-taking ceremony; departure of General Huyser from Iran.
February 7, 1979: Gathering of Bakhtiar supporters in Amjadieh Stadium (Shahid Shiroudi); start of “Revolution Television Channel”.
February 8, 1979: Parade by a large number of air force personnel and staff in front of Imam Khomeini. February 9, 1979: Announcement of policies and duties of the provisional government by Engineer Mehdi Bazargan; severe clashes between air force cadets and students with members of the Immortal Guard.
February 10, 1979:The public’s access to the air force’s arsenal and the intensification of armed clashes between the people and the military; publication of Imam’s fatwa declaring the military’s oath of loyalty to the Shah null and void; curfew announced by the Shah’s army from 4:30 pm; Imam’s decree for people to stay on the streets; joining of the navy and air force with the people.
February 11, 1979: Declaration of the army’s neutrality; the fall of the 2500-year-old monarchy and the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran
Factors Behind the Victory of the Islamic Revolution
The first astonishment of the Islamic Revolution was its ideology and the paradigm shift it introduced in the generation of revolutions. The question of why the Islamic Revolution was able to triumph over a formidable regime in a relatively short period largely returns to the nature of its ideology and the essence of the Islamic Revolution itself. This ideology, deeply resonant with the history, culture, and religious teachings of the Iranian people, swiftly filled the streets with masses, engulfing the entire country and stripping the Pahlavi regime and its foreign backers of any ability to resist. The ideology, essence, and leadership of any revolution have a clear impact on the conditions and events following the revolution. The rapid drafting of the country’s constitution and the establishment of the new system based on the role of the people, which brought about the necessary stability and balance, were undoubtedly the results of the Islamic ideology of the revolution and the leadership of Imam Khomeini.
Faith and Spirituality in the Islamic Revolution
World-renowned thinkers and theorists have written numerous articles and books on the “effective factors in the victory of the Islamic Revolution” and have admitted that the occurrence of the revolution in Iran in 1979 forced them to revise their theories on how revolutions form, are led, and succeed. Imam Khomeini, the most informed person about the political, cultural, and social conditions of Iranian society at the peak of the movement and before, considered the most important factor of victory and the secret of success to be a “divine transformation” that had taken place in the people’s spirit. The people were transformed by the words of Imam Khomeini, and with their reliance on God, they set aside their fear of the regime and stood bravely against the heavy weaponry of the oppressive rulers. They rose for God, considering martyrdom in this path as supreme victory. This collection of factors created a spirituality in the country that resulted in divine assistance, unity among all social strata, and ultimately a miraculous victory.
The Populist Nature of the Islamic Revolution
Unlike other revolutions and contemporary movements in Iran, the Islamic Revolution was inclusive and comprehensive, notable both for its goals and ideals and for the participation of the masses around a lofty and holistic objective. Just as the Islamic Revolution resulted from the cooperation of various causes and factors, its goal and ideal were also broad and encompassing, including political, economic, cultural, and human objectives, as well as Islamic and religious ones. Hence, the struggle of the Iranian nation was not only a revolt against political domination, economic colonialism, internal despotism, lack of development, the separation of religion from politics, the class system, and Western ideologies and cultures but also a revolution against all these for the establishment of an independent, Islamic, populist, and national system. In their slogans, the people defined all their goals and ideals, stamping them with their culture and identity. The Islamic Revolution sought justice, freedom, independence, self-identity affirmation, the establishment of doctrinal values and standards, and the establishment of an Islamic governance system.
Leadership of Imam Khomeini
Understanding the nature of this revolution is inseparable from analyzing its leadership, a matter that relates to its nation’s self-discovery. The question arises: how did Imam Khomeini become the undisputed leader, to the extent that even those ideologically opposed to him had no choice but to acknowledge his leadership? Why did the Imam’s words create such a wave? Why were his declarations spread so rapidly across the country despite the lack of means, under repression, torture, and the threat of death? Undoubtedly, his self-sacrifice, tireless struggle against injustice, staunch defense of the oppressed, honesty, clarity, courage, and uncompromising stance played a role in his ascension to leadership. However, the fundamental reason was that Imam Khomeini’s call originated from the heart of culture, from the depths of history, and from the soul of this nation. People who had heard the epics of Muhammad, Ali, Fatimah, Hussein, Zainab, Salman, Abu Dharr, and hundreds of thousands of other men and women over fourteen centuries found in his voice a familiar call. They saw Ali and Hussein in his face and recognized him as the complete reflection of their own culture, which had been humiliated.
Achievements of the Islamic Revolution
The domestic achievements of the revolution can be examined across four main pillars: political, cultural, economic, and military:
A. Political Achievements:
1. The overthrow of the monarchy.
2. The establishment of the Islamic Republic.
3. Increased political awareness and insight among the people.
4. Independence and transformation of foreign policy principles.
B. Cultural Achievements: The Pahlavi regime had based its ideal program for Iran’s future on the establishment of a Western-style regime. The Islamic Revolution, primarily a cultural revolution, fostered cultural self-belief and expanded religious symbols, laying the groundwork for strengthening the people’s faith, reducing crime and social errors, and nurturing self-reliant generations.
C. Military Achievements: The Islamic Revolution succeeded with the mobilization of the people and, with their support, emerged victorious from the imposed war and separatist movements. Consequently, the Islamic Republic achieved national stability and security, as well as international credibility.
The Islamic Revolution Through the Eyes of Imam and His Companions
Imam Khomeini stated: “Our revolution is grand and relies on no power, neither the East nor the West. Revolutions around the world depend on one of these two superpowers, but our people’s revolution relies on the people themselves; therefore, the people should not complain about the consequences of their revolution”. Elsewhere, he said: “Muslims should now carefully examine the issues and compare non-Islamic revolutions to the Islamic Revolution of Iran, which inherited a country that was 100% dependent, ruined, and regressed in all aspects…Our enemies should know that no revolution in the world has been accompanied by such minor calamities and a tremendous outcome as our Islamic Revolution, and this is nothing but the blessing of Islam.”
The Islamic Revolution Through the Lens of Western Sociologists
Classical sociologists have examined social phenomena, including revolutions, from unique perspectives, generally categorized into five theoretical outlooks: the theory of class struggle by Karl Marx, social solidarity by Émile Durkheim, charisma and social movements by Max Weber, political realism by Vilfredo Pareto, and the individualistic psychological theory by Alexis de Tocqueville. However, contemporary sociologists, drawing inspiration from these classics and blending their theories while being influenced by modern-world developments, have explored topics related to revolutions under themes such as transformations and changes, with a focus on globalization, modernism, and post-modernism. They overlook traditional delineations and consider Western values, along with certain reforms, worthy of expansion.
Pathology of the Islamic Revolution
Understanding the vulnerabilities and threats to the Islamic Revolution is the first and most critical step in preventing the emergence and growth of these issues, strengthening the evolutionary progress of the Islamic Revolution. The enemy endeavors to exploit all its resources to create defects, deviations, and ambiguities in discerning truth from falsehood and in the unwavering path toward the religion and the Islamic Revolution. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) has stated that maintaining action and its continuity is more critical and challenging than the action itself. Imam Khomeini, the leader and founder of the Islamic Revolution, who navigated the revolution through numerous challenges and turbulent waves of fragile conspiracies safely, states, “Know that preserving a victory is harder than achieving it; conquering a country is easier than preserving it. We are now in the difficulty of preserving the Islamic Republic system, meaning the initial phase of victory has passed, and thanks to God, you have succeeded; however, maintaining this victory and the achievements you have acquired is more challenging than the victory itself.”
The Islamic Revolution and the Third Generation
From its inception, the Islamic Revolution has encountered four generations:
- The first generation were youths in 1963, who spent part of their lives fighting against the despised tyranny of the previous regime, alongside Imam Khomeini (r.a.), leading to the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
- The second generation, nurtured by the first, were the engines of the Islamic Revolution’s movement and managed the imposed war, achieving victory over Saddam’s mercenary army and leaving behind eternal epics, thus named the generation of revolution and war.
- The third generation, the children of the second, have no experience of the pre-revolution, the revolution itself, or the war. The future of the country rests with these young people of the third generation. Therefore, a correct understanding of this generation and its characteristics is of special importance, emphasizing the need for attention in the country’s policy-making and implementation sectors.
The Second Phase Statement of the Islamic Revolution
As the Islamic Revolution of Iran commemorates its fortieth anniversary and steps into its fifth decade, despite the vain beliefs of its arrogant enemies, its friends worldwide have seen it with hope, successfully navigating challenges and achieving dazzling progress.
At such a pivotal moment, the wise leader of the Islamic Revolution, through the issuance of the “Second Phase Statement of the Islamic Revolution,” for the continuation of this enlightened path, has articulated the remarkable achievements of the past four decades and provided fundamental recommendations for “the great jihad to build a grand Islamic Iran.”
The “Second Phase of the Revolution” statement serves as a charter for the “second phase of self-building, society-making, and civilization-building,” marking a “new chapter in the life of the Islamic Republic” and bringing the revolution “closer to its grand ideal of creating a new Islamic civilization and preparing for the rise of the great guardianship.”
Art and Literature of the Islamic Revolution
In the old system, art was oppressed because it was separated from human values and ideals… Those who relied on force and wealth sought tools to maintain their throne and power. Art was condemned to serve the objectives of tyrants and plutocrats, justify their actions whenever necessary, and act as a weapon against authentic values, always being misleading and narcotizing. Only when faith and audacity met in an artist did art serve genuine values, a rarity and fleeting occurrence. The Islamic Revolution has freed art from the chains of oppression but releasing those accustomed and attached to the degraded and seductive Western culture is not easily achieved. Artists raised under the corrupt system of the Shah’s tyranny are among these, and thus, even today, art that sprouts from the filth of tyrannical values must be viewed as a danger.