Chapter

The Portrayal of an Academic Rivalry: Najaf and Qum in the Writings and Speeches of Khomeini, 1964–78

Devin J. Stewart

in The Most Learned of the Shiʿa

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137996
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137996.003.0014
The Portrayal of an Academic Rivalry: Najaf and Qum in the Writings and Speeches of Khomeini, 1964–78

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This chapter discusses the historical rivalry between Najaf and Qom and Khomeini's role in accentuating this rivalry. Khomeini, after being exiled to Iraq, had hoped to achieve the status of marjaʿ taqlid in Najaf after the death of Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim. However, he lost out to the quiescent Khu'i and, thereafter, reviled Najaf for its obscurantism and lack of involvement in political issues. Even before the revolution he was praising Qom for producing scholars who were willing to endure imprisonment and torture rather than acquiesce to the shah's tyranny. The establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran and subsequent turmoil in Iraq have bolstered Qom's claims to being the foremost center of learning in the Shi'i world.

Keywords: Shiʿism; Najaf; Qom; Khomeini; Iran

Chapter.  7956 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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