The Greatest Jihad
By Imam Khomeini
Translated by Muhammad Legenhausen and Azim Sarvdalir
In this short work, Imam Khomeini invites all to refinement of the soul, asceticism and piety. Addressing students in seminaries, he reminds them to take heed of the fact that the major purpose of the prophets has been spiritual progress and moral improvement, and that they must not content themselves with learning a few terms of Islamic jurisprudence.
Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini (1902-1989) was the charismatic leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran which saw the overthrow of the Shah of Iran through a popular uprising. He was considered a marja’-e taqlid (source of emulation), the highest authority on religious laws in Shi’i-Islamic tradition. Immensely popular in the Muslim world, his return from exile, his proclamation of the Islamic Republic and his death were considered momentous events of the twentieth century, shaping the political landscape of contemporary Muslim world. Before the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini taught at the seminaries of Qum and Najaf, and his views often defied the traditional ‘ulama in Iran. He authored more than two hundred works on the commentary of the Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law, politics, philosophy, ethics, mysticism, gnosticism, poetry and literature. Some of his most influential works include Wilayat al-Faqih (Governance of the Jurist), Forty Hadith, Adab al-Salah (Disciplines of Prayer) and Tahrir al-Wasilah (A Clarification of Questions).