Ethics and Its Political Issues
In an article entitled, Politics and the Problem of Dirty Hands, Coady endeavors to prove the bitter reality that politics is incompatible with remaining innocent and pure, and anyone who enters the political arena should accept the veneer of infamy, meanness, defilement, and any kind of pollution. It is because political expediency and the human condition are such, and أ¢â‚¬إ“If they mean dirty hands, then they are the mere offshoot of the human conditionأ¢â‚¬آ and one cannot escape from them.
The Imأ„آپmأ¢â‚¬â„¢s approach to this issue is of a different kind: His stand is that politics can, and should, be ethical, for politics is nothing but implementation of ethics in a broader spectrum of the society as well as realization of religious ideals and goals. As such, he believes in the oneness of ethics and politics and in a bid to prove it, he puts forth certain points which are discussed in the content of the following:
أ¢â‚¬آ¢ Universality of Islam;
أ¢â‚¬آ¢ Meaning of politics and the status of power;
أ¢â‚¬آ¢ Politics as indispensable for the realization of Islam; and
أ¢â‚¬آ¢ Oneness of ethics and politics in Islam.
Universality of Islam
It was mentioned earlier that man has numerous existential realms and he should nurture and let all of them grow. Now, keeping in view this fact, all divine religions, especially Islam, have appeared so as to nourish these dimensions. The One who holds the reins of authority over the universe, with the knowledge of all the needs of humanity, has sent a prophet (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) to every community in every epoch in order to let man attain his perfection: أ¢â‚¬إ“Because the human being is a multidimensional creature, with many needs, the prophets came to answer these needs and teach man how to act in order to attain true happiness.أ¢â‚¬آ
As such, all religions in their respective times have been universal and all the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) have explained all the things needed by the people. أ¢â‚¬إ“The prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) have spoken of those things which concern the spirit, things which concern the different stages of understanding and which relate to the realms of the unseen.أ¢â‚¬آ Thus, every religion has had its own particular time of universality until we reach Islam, which is the culmination and perfection of Abrahamic faiths. In this religion, all the needs of humanity have been anticipated and the ways of meeting them precisely specified.
The traditions and the Holy Qurأ¢â‚¬â„¢an have spoken both of issues which concern individual duties and which play a part in manأ¢â‚¬â„¢s development and maturation, and of political issues as well as economic issues; issues which concern society and have something to do with the regulation and moral teachings of the society.
It is with this perception that we see, أ¢â‚¬إ“We have such a book in which personal affairs, social affairs, political affairs, state administration, and all things are encompassed.أ¢â‚¬آ The least doubt on the universality of Islam, and limiting its scope is tantamount to the negation of its principles.
Those who confine Islam to [merely] eating, sleeping, praying, and fasting while not interfering with the problems of this nation, and of the predicaments of this society are not Muslims,  according to the narration of the Most Noble Messenger (s).
In the opinion of the Imأ„آپm, Islam is not a religion which is only concerned with the spiritual and personal needs; rather, أ¢â‚¬إ“Islam is everything for the human being; that is, it has ideas and views on everything from nature to beyond nature to the celestial world; Islam has a thesis; Islam has a program.أ¢â‚¬آ This program of Islam takes into account all the facets and dimensions of life: أ¢â‚¬إ“Islam has rules and decrees for the entire life of man from the day he is born up to the moment he is delivered to his grave.أ¢â‚¬آ
The meaning of politics and the status of power
Politics is inextricably intertwined with all the dimensions of our life and it is so palpable and conspicuous that its existence and influence cannot be denied. But, what is politics really? Innumerable descriptions of politics have been advanced. But one thing is certain: politics is related to the acquisition of power or the struggle for the acquisition of power. So, at the core of the concept of politics, ruling (over others) and attempts at exerting influence lie latent.
If such is the meaning of politics, then it cannot be evaded and must be accepted. It is because the requisite of social welfare and well-being of the society lies in the existence of power, and attainment of power is tied to politics. أ¢â‚¬إ“What is politics by the way? It is the relations between the ruler and the nation, relations between the ruler and the other governments and, I should say, it is to prevent the corruption and mischief that exist. All of these constitute politics and it is so.أ¢â‚¬آ If politics is such and forbidding corruption is deemed part of it, then Islam also has politics as it pursues the enjoinment of what is good and the preclusion of what is bad. Hence, the Imأ„آپm describes Islam itself, thus: أ¢â‚¬إ“Islam is governance along with its affairs and decrees.أ¢â‚¬آ Similarly, the Infallibles (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) have always been involved in politics in this sense.
On what day was the Most Noble Messenger (s) concerned with political issues? He (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) used to establish a government; he (s) used to resist those who were anti-Islam and oppressed the people; he (s) used to wage war against them.
It was not only the Most Noble Messenger (s) who used to engage in politics in this sense; the aspect of politics was there in all the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa). Because, politics means ensuring the interests of the people, and the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) used to perform this duty in the best manner.
Politics means guiding the society and showing the way; it means considering all the interests of the society, and taking into account all aspects of man and society and guiding them toward the things that are best for them, for the nation and the individuals. This is exclusive to the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa).
Politics in this sense has been the principal axis of movement of all the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) and no religion can be regarded as alien and distant from it.
But, the most essential element of politics is power. However, power is something that is frightening. It misleads man as well as disenchants him, that the nature of power corrupts man. A person who feels powerful rebels, and forgets himself, as well as his being a servant of God, and nourishes an illusion of godhood. The story of Pharaoh is not a mere historical account.
Everybody has a أ¢â‚¬ثœPharaohأ¢â‚¬آ within himself and awaits a favourable opportunity and situation to beat the drum of divinity for himself. Franأƒآ§ois Mitterrand, the former President of France who spent his life in obtaining, preserving and extending power, says about this phenomenon, أ¢â‚¬إ“I think that power is always a dreadful thing; the one who possesses power shouldأ¢â‚¬â€if not fearأ¢â‚¬â€be at least extraordinarily heedful of the nature and extent of his particular role.أ¢â‚¬آ
Power is prone to excesses and does not stop at a certain point. If the instinct of power-seeking is given free rein, its expansion and spread, then, can no longer be prevented. Because of this, many people, the mystics in particular, have greatly feared and evaded power owing to its corruptive quality. The following story about an ascetic with the name of Ki Yuyu shows the depth of this fear and evasion:
One day, an emperor of ancient China said to a certain master of Zen named Ki Yuyu, أ¢â‚¬إ“You are a very great man. I like to transfer the imperial throne to you after my death. Do you accept?أ¢â‚¬آ
Ki Yuyu was extremely annoyed and only said, أ¢â‚¬إ“These words defiled my ears.أ¢â‚¬آ
Then, he left so as to wash his ears in the nearest river. While heading toward the river, he was talking to himself: أ¢â‚¬إ“Today I have heard impure words.أ¢â‚¬آ
His friend, along with a cow, came to the river and asked him, أ¢â‚¬إ“Why are you washing your ears?أ¢â‚¬آ
Ki Yuyu replied, أ¢â‚¬إ“Today, I am very displeased. An emperor wants me to be his successor. He offered the imperial crown to me, and my ears have been polluted by these words. I have to wash them.أ¢â‚¬آ
His friend said, أ¢â‚¬إ“I was supposed to let my cow drink from this limpid water, but now this water has been contaminated.أ¢â‚¬آ
The view of our mystics on power has been usually a negative one. They consider the forestalling of power as the alternative to unbridled power. By reflecting on the spirit of men they have realized that only a few can withstand the enticement of power and not become its captive.
Mawlأ„آپnأ„آپ has a parable which speaks of this matter. A snake-catcher goes to a cold region in search of a snake. He finds an extremely dreadful, yet dead, dragon. He painstakingly drags it to Baghdad, which is a hot place, and tries to excite astonishment.
Due to the scorching heat of the sun in Iraq, the dragon gradually regains consciousness. It frees itself of its bonds, chases the spectators and the snake-catcher, and devours them.
From this tale Mawlأ„آپnأ„آپ concludes that in the lifespan of every man, there exists a seemingly dead dragon. If a bit of the heat of power and wealth reaches it, it will corrupt man:
The dragon is thy sensual soul: How is it dead?
It is (only) frozen by grief and lack of means.
If it obtain the means of Pharaoh, By whose command the water of the river (Nile) would flow, Then it will begin to act like Pharaoh And will waylay a hundred (such as) Moses and Aaron.
That dragon, under stress of poverty, is a little worm, (But) a gnat is made a falcon by power and riches.
Keep the dragon in the snow of separation (from its desires); Beware; do not carry it into the sun of Iraq.
So long as that dragon of thine remains frozen (well and good); Thou art a mouthful for it, when it gains release.
In the words of the Imأ„آپm, the Hitlerian makeup and his mania for power exist in the mind of everyone. أ¢â‚¬إ“Hitler was ready to annihilate the whole of humanity and make himself stay in power in Germany. The superior race and that which was in the mind of Hitler are in the minds of all of you. You have made yourselves unwary.أ¢â‚¬آ Can it be concluded from this matter that power is evil in itself?
In reality, the claim of those people is that since power has unpleasant repercussions such as excesses, injustice and insolence, it follows then that one must eschew it totally. This view has been propagated by many of the Muslim mystics and it has been one factor in the decadence of the Muslim societies. But if gluttony has dire consequences, it cannot be concluded that food must be absolutely discarded.
If abundant wealth is corruptive, one cannot reject it totally and abandon the same. As in the previous discussion on instincts, the way of approaching the insolence of instincts is not to uproot them, but to guide them. On the issue of power too, the same approach must be adopted. Keeping aloof from the detriments of power by giving it up cannot be realized.
The evils should be identified and their emergence prevented. Mitterrand who himself speaks about the dangers of power, regards the solution to lie in controlling and guiding it, and in his words, in acquiring anti-power. أ¢â‚¬إ“If the one who is in powerأ¢â‚¬آ¦ is of sound reasoning, he will search for anti-powers.أ¢â‚¬آ
This anti-power can prevent the excesses of power as well as the corruption of the power-holder. It can be within a person, and is called أ¢â‚¬ثœconscienceأ¢â‚¬â„¢ according to Mitterrand: أ¢â‚¬إ“Some of my powers only rely on my conscience.أ¢â‚¬آ
But one should not content himself with this anti-power; rather, أ¢â‚¬إ“the society, likewise, ought to bring into existence anti-powers within the framework of its institutions.أ¢â‚¬آ
In other words, power should be controlled through the mechanisms of distribution of power, the partnership of the people, and the supervisory bodies. Nevertheless, between these two types of anti-power, it seems that the internal anti-power has primacy. As, sometimes, the power-holder is in such a position of strength that he can neutralize all the social anti-powers. It is here that أ¢â‚¬إ“the only brake that exists for his actions is the one within him.أ¢â‚¬آ
Therefore, according to Weasel, it can be deduced that أ¢â‚¬إ“the true power is that power which man exercises on his self.أ¢â‚¬آ It is this point that can be regarded as among the axiomatic truths of Islamic ethics and mysticism. It is only through internal edification and dominance over the self that power can be properly handled and its perils avoided.
In the opinion of the Imأ„آپm, the essence of power is an attribute of perfection and God also possesses this attribute in its absolute sense. أ¢â‚¬إ“Power is a form of perfection in itself. God, the Sublime and Exalted, is powerful.أ¢â‚¬آ As such, one should not shun power. Instead, he should understand it and benefit from it, in an optimal way, and the proper way of benefiting from something, in the view of the Imأ„آپm, is internal refinement. Thus, he stands on the proposition that in case it is acquired by unrefined individuals, power is dangerous. In case power is obtained by corrupt persons, this same perfection will lead him to corruption.
Yes, all the evils that are found in the world arise from egocentrism. Craving position, desire for power, love of riches, and the likeأ¢â‚¬â€all of them spring from self-love, and this أ¢â‚¬ثœidolأ¢â‚¬â„¢ is the biggest one, breaking which is also far more difficult than everything else.
Therefore, in the intellectual code of the Imأ„آپm, power ought not to be feared or evaded. Rather, it should be properly utilized, nourished and embellished; by means of relentless trimming of the extra branches of power, its possible centralization and absolutism can be parried.
Politics as indispensable for the realization of Islam
Imأ„آپm lived at a time when, owing to the influence of extensive propaganda of the antagonists, and the ineffectual actions of the protagonists, serious doubts on Islam and its functioning has arisen in peopleأ¢â‚¬â„¢s minds. One of these doubts concerned the relationship between Islam and politics, and the duty of the religious scholars vis-أƒآ -vis politics.
The outcome of these doubts was the preponderance of the notion of separation of religion and politics, which the Imأ„آپm used to attack severely, viewing it as an offshoot of the imperialist designs. At various places, he used to speak of the role of Islam in politics and also about the duty of all Muslims to be involved in politics and that the two were inseparable.
On various occasions he would point to the episode of Pأ„آپkravأ„آپn, the Head of the State Organization for Security and Information (SAVAK) of the Shأ„آپhأ¢â‚¬â„¢s regime, and his (Pأ„آپkravأ„آپnأ¢â‚¬â„¢s) views on the nature of politics and on the clergy keeping away from this chicanery [pedar-sأ…آ«khtegأ„آ«h] saying that it was an imperialist design which a number of religious people believed. And أ¢â‚¬ثœpolitically-mindedأ¢â‚¬â„¢ clergyman [أ„آپkhأ…آ«nd-e siyأ„آپsأ„آ«] in our religious culture was more a fault-finding [term], and even a term of vilification. أ¢â‚¬إ“Once they find a fault with a particular cleric [أ„آپkhأ…آ«nd], they say that he is a politically-inclined clergyman.أ¢â‚¬آ
This is while if we do not take the social precepts of Islam into account, nothing will be left of this pure religion except a spiritless skeleton. The principal part of Islam is concerned with its social aspect; giving effect to this depends on having power and being the ruler. As such, Islam cannot be regarded as merely a personal religion and the private matter of an individual. This notion that politics can be separated from religion is either the outcome of the misconception of the principle of religion, or the effect of the propaganda of the ill-wishers. If man is a social and political being, and if we accept that Islam is all-embracing and has a plan for every dimension of man, the logical implication of these premises is that religion is not separate from politics. So, all this talk about religion and politics being separate is suspicious.
This slogan of the separation of religion from politics and the demand that Islamic scholars should not intervene in social and political affairs have been formulated and propagated by the imperialists; it is only the irreligious who repeat them. Were religion and politics separate in the time of the Prophet (s)? Did there exist, on one side, a group of clerics, and opposite it, a group of politicians and leaders?
Were religion and politics separate in the time of the caliphsأ¢â‚¬â€even if they were not legitimateأ¢â‚¬â€or in the time of the Commander of the Faithful (أ¢â‚¬ثœa)? Did two separate authorities exist? These slogans and claims have been advanced by the imperialists and their political agents in order to prevent religion from ordering the affairs of this world and shaping Muslim society.
According to the Imأ„آپm, [Islam] is a school of thought which, contrary to non-monotheist schools of thought, has function and jurisdiction in all aspects of the individual and society, material and spiritual, culture and politics, military and economy. It has not neglected any point including the most trivial one, which has a role in the nourishment of man and the society as well as in the material and spiritual advancement.
With such an approach, basically, one who speaks about the separation of the two categories has indeed not understood the function and nature of neither of the two. أ¢â‚¬إ“The meaning of أ¢â‚¬ثœWhat have we to do with politics?أ¢â‚¬â„¢ is that we should totally put Islam aside; Islam ought to be set aside; Islam must be buried in our chambers; Islam must be buried in our books.أ¢â‚¬آ
In the view of the Imأ„آپm, أ¢â‚¬إ“Basically, the foundation of Islam is in politics.أ¢â‚¬آ أ¢â‚¬إ“The Messenger of God (s) has laid the edifice of politics in piety.أ¢â‚¬آ أ¢â‚¬إ“From the time of the Messenger of God (s) up to the period when there was not yet any deviation, politics and piety were in tandem.أ¢â‚¬آ
These topics have been repeated time and again, and are more understandable and acceptable particularly in light of the definition of politics that he gives. As stated in the previous discussion, in his view, أ¢â‚¬إ“Politics is meant to guide the society and take it forward. It should take into account all the interests of the society; it should consider all the dimensions of man and society and lead them to whatever is to their good, the good of the nation and of the individuals. This is specific to the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa).أ¢â‚¬آ
With this perspective, all the decrees and laws of Islam have a political facet and أ¢â‚¬إ“The religion of Islam is a political religion; it is a religion in which everything is politics, including its acts of devotion and worship.أ¢â‚¬آ In this view too, أ¢â‚¬إ“The moral precepts of Islam are political as well.أ¢â‚¬آ
Oneness of ethics and politics in Islam
The Imأ„آپm believes that if man is left to himself he will fall under the sway of his carnal desires and material needs and any type of educational and political system, even the correct one, will be incapable of nourishing his spiritual dimensions, whereas the foundation of everything is spiritual and by reforming and nourishing this dimension in man, all other problems will be solved.
In his opinion, the enigma of todayأ¢â‚¬â„¢s world is a moral one and if it is not solved, the world will head downhill toward destruction. أ¢â‚¬إ“The things that are threatening the world are not arms, bayonets, missiles, and the likeأ¢â‚¬آ¦ What is leading these people and these countries to perdition and decadence is the degenerations among the heads of countries and in the actions of the governments, which is emerging from the moral decadence.أ¢â‚¬آ
According to the Imأ„آپm, أ¢â‚¬إ“The school of thought of Islam is not a materialist school; it is a material-spiritual schoolأ¢â‚¬آ¦ Islam has come for the edification of man. The mission of Islam and the goal of all the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) is thisأ¢â‚¬â€to nurture man.أ¢â‚¬آ
Therefore, the source of every political approach should be ethics. Attention to spirituality is inevitable because أ¢â‚¬إ“the foundation is spiritualities.أ¢â‚¬آ Basically, without ethics, politics is incapable of guiding the people and securing their true interests and if we assume that there is a person who implements a correct policyأ¢â‚¬آ¦ this policy is just one dimension of the politics which had been for the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa), the saints [awliyأ„آپأ¢â‚¬â„¢], and now for the scholars [أ¢â‚¬ثœulamأ„آپأ¢â‚¬â„¢] of Islam. Man is not one-dimensional.
The society too is not one-dimensional. Man is not a mere animal whose affairs only concern food and eating. If there were both satanic policies and correct policies, they would guide and lead the community in one dimension and that is the animal dimension and material-social dimension. Such is of politics which in Islam is fixed for the prophets (أ¢â‚¬ثœa) and for the saints. They want to guide the nation, the nations, the society, and the individuals, and to pave the way for all the conceivable interests of man and the society.
This point is the kernel of Imam Khomeiniأ¢â‚¬â„¢s moral-political thought. As such, we are not dealing with two independent types of knowledge and realms. Politics is the extension of ethics while ethics is the underpinning of politics. By reflecting on the above-mentioned pivots, this point becomes very clear. Since its goal is the growth of manأ¢â‚¬â„¢s material and spiritual dimensions and as these dimensions are supposed to be nourished concordantly and harmoniously, Islam has enacted laws for mankind.
These laws, although concern the individual, while some others concern the society, and some have educational aspects while some others have political ones, all are in pursuit of a single goal. So, these laws ought to have various features. First of all, they should cover all the dimensions and aspects of manأ¢â‚¬â„¢s existence. The other is that they should be comprehensive in scope. Finally, they should not be defective. Instead, they should complement one another. In reality, such are the laws of Islam.
From the viewpoint of the Imأ„آپm, أ¢â‚¬إ“Islam has rules and regulations covering the entire life of man, from the day he is born up to the moment he enters his grave.أ¢â‚¬آ Similarly, these laws are comprehensive and versatile. أ¢â‚¬إ“Islam is everything for this man; that is, it has facts from nature to beyond nature to the celestial world; Islam has a thesis; Islam has a program.أ¢â‚¬آ And finally, all the laws of Islam have a single framework.
The religion of Islam is not only a devotional religionأ¢â‚¬آ¦ Neither is it a mere political sect and religion. It is both devotional and political. Its politics is identical with its devotion. Its devotion is indistinguishable from its politics. That is, its very devotional aspect has also a political facet.
The Imأ„آپm even goes to the extent of explicitly considering religious ethics and politics as one. Anchored to the notion of unity of the two, he emphatically says:
Islamأ¢â‚¬â„¢s ethical precepts are also political. That precept in the Qurأ¢â‚¬â„¢an that all believers are brothers is an ethical precept, a social precept, and a political precept as well. If the believers of the different schools of thought existing in Islam, and who are faithful to God and the Prophet of Islam (s), be as brothers to one another, just as one has love for his own brother, and that all segments have love for one another, apart from being a great Islamic morality with far-reaching moral effects, it is a great social precept with great social effects.
To sum up, the core of the Imأ„آپmأ¢â‚¬â„¢s view and the quintessence of his thought on ethics and politics is the unity of the two, and its being obvious and needless of argumentation. Now that ethics and politics are interwoven, and that lying, oppression, injustice, mischief, etc., both in the individual and social spheres are bad, the Islamic ruler should try to always abide by the principles of ethics and not overstep its limits. Although this task is difficult, it is possible. The only way of preserving political authority and guaranteeing the real interests of the Islamic system in the long term is to abide by the principles of ethics and keep aloof from any form of deception at all costs. Not a single Muslim statesman can overlook this principle. The last statement of the Imأ„آپm on the preservation of political authority and his emphasis on ethics should always be our motto:
Through Islamic behaviour; preservation of the movement; advancement of the movement; paying heed to the fact that God, the Sublime and Exalted, approves of us; and Islamic conduct and morality, you can preserve this power which has taken you to victory.أ¢â‚¬آ
In conclusion, not only politics could, but should be, ethical. Through these moral standards, politics should be cultivated since the basis and essence of the Islamic teachings is such. History bears witness to the prominence of this tenet. If this tenet has failed elsewhere, it cannot be concluded that it will always fail and that it is an impossible venture.
Nowadays, most of the political thinkers have arrived at the conclusion that it is only through ethical politics that the chance for survival exists. Even Machiavelli, who would stress so strongly on the independence of politics from ethics, believed that this immorality is more dependent on the type of government, not on the principle of politics. He used to say that the possibility of ethical politics is more in the republican form of government than in absolute and dictatorial governments.
Then, in order to substantiate his view he used to narrate an interesting story. While discussing the drawing up of a contract, he poses this question: أ¢â‚¬إ“Which pact of alliance is more reliableأ¢â‚¬â€alliance with a republican government or with an absolute monarchy?أ¢â‚¬آ Then, he stresses the fact that there are various reasons for violation of contracts, one of which is the stateأ¢â‚¬â„¢s expedience.
But even in this case, republican governments remain faithful to their contracts and promises for a longer period of time than the monarchies do. There are abundant instances wherein a very minute gain has induced a monarch to violate a treaty while profuse interests have failed to compel a republican government to infringe an accord.
Themistocles said before the national assembly of Athens, أ¢â‚¬إ“I have a suggestion, which entails a great gain for Athensأ¢â‚¬آ¦ The assembly appointed Aristides to hear his suggestion on the basis of his recommendation and decide. Themistocles said to Aristides, أ¢â‚¬إ“All the warships of Greek cities which have trust in their pacts of alliance with Athens, have all collected in a certain place where they could all be easily destroyed, and by destroying them, the Athenians could gain control over the whole of Greece. After listening to this suggestion made to the assembly, Aristides said, أ¢â‚¬إ“The suggestion of Themistocles is extraordinarily beneficial and extraordinary contrary to dignity. The assembly voted against the suggestion.
Thus, immorality and informality is not a political necessity; it is, rather, a function of the form of rule and government, its goals and officials.
 C.A.J. Coady, أ¢â‚¬إ“Politics and the Problem of Dirty Hands,أ¢â‚¬آ in A Companion to Ethics, ed. Peter Singer (Basil: Blackwell, 1991), p. 382.
Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 4, p. 190.
Ibid., vol. 3, p. 237.
Ibid., vol. 18, p. 423.
Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 14, pp. 527-528.
 It refers to the statement of the Messenger of God (s), أ¢â‚¬إ“One who spends the night without having concern on the affairs of Muslims is not a Muslim.أ¢â‚¬آ
[.أ¯آ»آ¤أ¯آ»آ¦أ¯آ؛آچأ¯آ؛آ¼أ¯آ؛â€کأ¯آ؛آ¢ أ¯آ»آ®أ¯آ»آ أ¯آ»آ¢أ¯آ»آ´أ¯آ»آ¬أ¯آ؛â€”أ¯آ»آ¢أ¯آ؛â€کأ¯آ؛إ½أ¯آ»آ¤أ¯آ»آ®أ¯آ؛آ®أ¯آ؛آچأ¯آ»آ أ¯آ»آ¤أ¯آ؛آ´أ¯آ»آ أ¯آ»آ¤أ¯آ»آ´أ¯آ»آ¦أ¯آ»â€أ¯آ»آ أ¯آ»آ´أ¯آ؛آ²أ¯آ؛â€™أ¯آ»آ¤أ¯آ؛آ´أ¯آ»آ أ¯آ»آ¢].
Ibid., vol. 4, p. 9.
Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.
Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.
Al-Bayأ¢â‚¬ثœ, vol. 2, p. 472.
Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 15, p. 214.
Ibid., vol. 13, p. 432.
Khأ„آپt*irأ„آپt bأ„آپ Dأ…آ« Sidأ„آپ: Kuftigأ…آ«-ye Ely Weasel bأ„آپ Franأƒآ§ois Mitterrand [Memoirs with Two Voices: Dialogue between Ely Weasel and Franأƒآ§ois Mitterrand], trans. أ¢â‚¬ثœAbbأ„آپs أ„â‚¬gأ„آپhأ„آ« (Tehran: Daftar-e Nashr-e Farhang-e Islأ„آپmأ„آ«, 1377 AHS), p. 171.
 Del-أ„â‚¬rأ„آپ Qahremأ„آپn, Sad Hikأ„آپyat-e Zen [Hundred Zen Stories] (Tehran: Nashr-e Mأ„آ«trأ„آپ, 1377 AHS), p. 143. See Reginald Huras Blithe, Dars-hأ„آپyأ„آ« az Ustأ„آپdأ„آپn-e Zen [Lessons from Zen Masters], trans. Nasrأ„آ«n Majأ„آ«dأ„آ« (Tehran: Hأ„آ«rmand, 1379 AHS), p. 140.
 The story is narrated in the Mathnawأ„آ« as follows:
Listen to a tale of the chronicler, in order that you may get an inkling of this veiled mystery. A snake-catcher went to the mountains to catch a snake by his incantations. Whether one be slow or speedy (in movement), he that is a seeker will be a finderأ¢â‚¬آ¦ He was searching round about the mountains for a big snake in the days of snow. He espied there a huge dead dragon, at the aspect whereof his heart was filled with fear. (Whilst) the snake-catcher was looking for snakes in the hard winter, he espied a dead dragonأ¢â‚¬آ¦ The snake-catcher took up that snake and came to Baghdad for the sake of (exciting) astonishment. In quest of a paltry fee he carried along a dragon like the pillar of a house, saying, أ¢â‚¬إ“I have brought a dead dragon: I have suffered agonies in hunting it.أ¢â‚¬آ He thought it was dead, but it was alive, and he did not see it very well. It was frozen by frost and snow: it was alive, but it presented the appearance of the deadأ¢â‚¬آ¦ The snake-catcher, with a hundred pains, was bringing the snake along, till (at last) the would-be showman arrived at Baghdad to set up a public show at the crossroads. The man set up a show on the bank of the Tigris, and a hubbub arose in the city of Baghdadأ¢â‚¬â€أ¢â‚¬إ“A snake-catcher has brought a dragon: he has captured a marvelous rare beast.أ¢â‚¬آ Myriads of simpletons assembled, who had become a prey to him as he (to it) in his folly. They were waiting (to see the dragon), and he too was waiting for the scattered people to assemble. The greater the crowd, the better goes the begging and contributing (of the money). Myriads of idle babblers assembled, forming a ring, soul against soul. Man took no heed of woman: on account of the throng they were mingled together like nobles and common folk at the Resurrection. When he (the snake-catcher) began to move the cloth (which covered the dragon), the people in the crowd strained their throats (necks), and (saw that) the dragon, which had been frozen by intense cold, was underneath a hundred kinds of coarse woolen cloths and coverlets. He had bound it with thick ropes: that careful keeper had taken great precaution for it. During the delay (interval) of expectation and coming together, the sun of Iraq shone upon the snake. The sun of the hot country warmed it; the cold humors went out of its limbs. It had been dead, and it revived: from astonishment (at feeling the sunأ¢â‚¬â„¢s heat) the dragon began to uncoil itself. By the stirring of that dead serpent the peopleأ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazement was multiplied a hundred thousand-fold. With amazement they started shrieking and fled en masse from its motion. It set about bursting the bonds, and at that loud outcry (of the people) the bonds on every side went crack, crack. It burst the bonds and glided out from beneathأ¢â‚¬â€a hideous dragon roaring like a lion. Many people were killed in the rout: hundreds of heaps were made of the fallen slain. The snake-catcher became paralyzed with fear on the spot, crying, أ¢â‚¬إ“What have I brought from the mountains and the desert?أ¢â‚¬آ The blind sheep awakened the wolf: unwittingly it went toward its أ¢â‚¬ثœIzrأ„آپأ¢â‚¬â„¢أ„آ«l (angel of death). The dragon made one mouthful of that dolt: blood-drinking (bloodshed) is easy for Hajjأ„آپj. It would and fastened itself on a pillar and crunched the bones of the devoured man.
Nicholson, Book Three under Story of the snake-catcher who thought the frozen serpent was dead and wound it in ropes and brought it to Baghdad,vol. 3, pp. 109, 111, 115, 117. [Trans.]
Mathnawأ„آ«, Book Three, vol. 3, pp. 53-54.
Nicholson, ibid., p. 117. [Trans.]
Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 14, p. 379.
Khأ„آپt*irأ„آپt bأ„آپ Dأ…آ« Sidأ„آپ [Memoirs with Two Voices], p. 171.
Ibid., p. 177.
Ibid., p. 183.
Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 18, p. 206.
Ibid., vol. 19, p. 250.
 For example, see Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 1, p. 269; vol. 8, p. 185; vol. 9, p. 177; vol. 10, p. 124; vol. 13, p. 431.
Ibid., vol. 5, p. 40.
Ibid., vol. 3, p. 227.
Wilأ„آپyat-e Faqأ„آ«h, p. 16.
Imam Khomeini, Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist, trans. Hamأ„آ«d Algar (Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeiniأ¢â‚¬â„¢s Works, Autumn 2002), p. 16. Electronic version of the whole book is downloadable at the Instituteأ¢â‚¬â„¢s Translation Unit Website,
Sahأ„آ«feh-ye Imأ„آپm, vol. 21, pp. 402-403.
Ibid., vol. 3, p. 338.
Ibid., vol. 18, p. 72.
Ibid., vol. 17, p. 204.
Ibid., vol. 13, p. 432.
Ibid., vol. 10, p. 15.
Ibid., vol. 13, p. 130.
Ibid., vol. 16, p. 161.
Ibid., vol. 5, p. 531.
Ibid., vol. 5, p. 533.
Ibid., vol. 13, pp. 431-432.
Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.
Ibid., vol. 4, p. 9.
Ibid., vol. 4, p. 447.
Ibid., vol. 13, pp. 130-131.
Ibid., vol. 13, p. 142.