Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini

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Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini
Personal Information
Full NameSayyid Mustafa Khomeini
Well-Known RelativesImam Khomeini, Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini
BirthRajab 21 1349/December 12, 1930
Studied inQom
DeathDhu l-Qa'da 10, 1397/ October 23, 1977
Burial PlaceThe Holy Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a)
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsMuhammad Saduqi, Sayyid Muhammad Rida Sadr, Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Rafi'i Qazwini, 'Allama Tabataba'i etc.

Sayyid Muṣṭafā Khomeinī (Persian: سید مصطفی خمیني) (b. 1349/1930 - d. 1397/1977), a Shi'a faqih ,mujtahid and an activist of Islamic Revolution of Iran, was Imam Khomeini's eldest son. He has authored many works in fiqh, usul and exegesis of the Qur'an. He started his political activities from the beginning of his father's movement along with him. After his father was arrested and exiled he was responsible for connection between the leader of the movement and the people. Then, he was arrested by SAVAK under the accusation of acting against national security, consequently he was exiled to Turkey and then moved to Iraq with his father. His political point of view like supporting PLO[1] and also his controversial attitude towards Islamic studies gave him a notable status in the Seminary of Najaf. He passed away mysteriously when he was 47.

Early Life and Education

He was born in Qom in Rajab 1349/December 1930. He finished elementary school in Qom.

When he was fifteen he entered the Seminary of Qom. In less than six years he finished preliminary and intermediate levels, and in 1951 started the advanced level of studies.

In intermediate course he studied under teachers like: Muhammad Jawad Isfahani, Muhammad Saduqi, Mahdi Ha'iri (in jurisprudence), Sayyid Muhammad Rida Sadr (in philosophy), Muhammad Fakur Yazdi (Sharh Manzuma ), Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Rafi'i Qazwini, and 'Allama Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i (al-'Asfar al-'arba'a ) (after studying this book (al-Asfar ) he started teaching it. He also wrote glosses on it).

In advanced level of jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence he studied under: Sayyid Husayn Burujirdi, Sayyid Muhammad Damad and Imam Khomeini. Eventually, he became a Mujtahid when he was twenty seven.

Start of Political Activities

Sayyid Mustafa with his father

He started his political activities from the beginning of Imam Khomeini's movement in 1963. In 15th of Khurdad/5th June, after Imam Khomeini was arrested, he tried hard for Imam Khomeini's freedom, and continuation of the movement. In this period he prepared and sent Imam Khomeini's instructions and messages to clergymen so that they inform his adherents.

Prison and Banishment

After Imam Khomeini was arrested again in 4th of November 1964 due to his harsh and explicit speech opposing enactment of Capitulation bill, Sayyid Mustafa encouraged shop owners in Qom to close Bazaar of Qom. Subsequently, he was arrested in Ayatullah Mar'ashi Najafi's house and moved to Qizil Qal'a prison in Tehran. Military prosecution sentenced him to temporary detention on a charge of acting against national security. SAVAK canceled this verdict in December 29 under the condition that he moves to Turkey. However, he did not fulfill the condition so he was arrested again some days later and was exiled to Turkey in January 4, 1965.

Efforts for Returning

In Turkey he was moved to the city of Bursa where his father Imam Khomeini was exiled to. In this period he studied a series of lessons under Imam Khomeini. While staying in Turkey he tried to obtain SAVAK's consent for returning to Iran by making commitments such as: not to interfere in political affairs, having no contact with the opposition, and moving from Qom to Khomein; but because SAVAK was afraid of potential consequences, they did not grant him the permission.

Residence in Iraq

Sayyid Mustafa khomeini

In October 5th 1965 Imam Khomeini and he were deported to Iraq. At first they stayed in Baghdad then they moved to Najaf. This period which lasted for 12 years was concurrent with rising opposition against Pahlavi regime in Iran, and PLO's Activities in Palestine. His stance toward PLO was practical support and approval.

His Activities in Iraq

His most important activity in this period was keeping Imam Khomeini's movement active. He sent Imam Khomeini's statements and messages to Iran and other countries and conveyed news of the movement to Imam Khomeini. His house in Najaf was the place of people who were coming from Iran and other countries for visiting Imam Khomeini.

Management of Imam Khomeini's house, coordination between clergymen and revolutionist, and launching and supporting a publication under the title "15th Khurdad" were some of his responsibilities in Iraq. Also, disclosure against Pahlavi regime in the radio station "Siday Ruhaniyyat" (voice of clergies) and frequent trips to Mecca and Medina for pilgrimage, meeting and contacting with revolutionist and opposition of Pahlavi regime are also some of his activities in this period.

His Attitude in Opposition

He believed in armed and people-based opposition against Pahlavi regime. Therefore, he passed military training and believed it is necessary for other opposition groups and parties.

Although he agreed with other political groups and parties on overthrown of Pahlavi regime, he could not cooperate with a lot of them, due to his different and independent motivations. He explicitly disagreed with cooperation with secular currents.

Also, he was one of the people tried for practical realization of thoughts about Islamic government, thus he wrote a treatise under the title "al-Isalm wa al-Hukuma" (Islam and government).

Scholarly Position

Ayatollah Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini

He had a very notable status in Islamic studies. While studying Jurisprudence and Principles of jurisprudence, he studied Philosophy, Theology, Mysticism, Arabic rhetoric, spherical astronomy (Hay'at), history, Tafsir (exegesis), Rijal and Diraya. In Najaf, although he had passed these scholarly levels, he attended classes of Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, Muhammad Baqir Zanjani, Sayyid Mahmud Husayni Shahrudi and Sayyid Abu l-Qasim Khoei and last but not least, Imam Khomeini. Along with studying in Seminary of Najaf or Seminary of Qom, he taught as well.

His another scholarly characteristic was his controversialist attitude in Islamic studies' field. He advised and insisted on discussion development in usuli issues.

Suspicious Demise

Grave of Sayyid Mustafa khomeini in the holy shrine of Imam 'Ali (a)

Sayyid Mustafa was 47 when he suddenly passed away in Dhu l-Qa'da 10, 1397/ October 23, 1977 in Najaf. Ayatullah Khoei prayed Salat al-Mayyit to his body and then his body was buried in the Holy Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a). Doctors diagnosed poisoning as the cause of death and suggested autopsy but Imam Khomeini disagreed. SAVAK and Iraqi government declared heart attack as the cause of death.

However, it is said that SAVAK and Pahlavi regime were involved in his death. Sayyid Mustafa's demise intensified the fights against Pahlavi regime, strengthened the leadership of Imam Khomeini and united the opposition groups and parties against Pahlavi regime.


Many works in Islamic studies have remained from him, most of which has not been published.

Some of his works are:

  • Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim ; 4 vol. published in Tehran in 1362 SH/1983,
  • Tahrirat fi l-Usul; 3 vol. published in Tehran in 1366 SH/1987,
  • Ta'liqat 'ala Al-Hikmat al-muta'aliya; published in Tehran in 1376 SH/ 1997,
  • Al-Wajibat fi l-salat
  • Al-Fawa'id wa l-'awa'id
  • Kitab al-Sawm
  • Kitab al-Tahara
  • Kitab al-Bay'
  • Kitab al-Khiyarat
  • Al-Makasib al-muharrama
  • Al-Khalal fi l-Salat
  • Al-Hashiya 'ala al-'Urwa al-wuthqa
  • Al-Hashiya 'ala Tahrir al-wasila


  1. Palestine Liberation Organization