Biography of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in the Book:
Discourse on Patience (Published 1994)
Biography of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran
He was born in the year 1939 in the holy city of Mashhad in Khorasan
province, Northeastern Iran. Both his parents belonged to religious scholarly families and
he spent his childhood years in a spiritual atmosphere. He successfully completed his
Theological studies at the famous religious learning center of Qum in the year 1964 and
subsequently pursued religious studies at the theological Academy at Mashhad till the year
During the deposed Pahlavi regime Mr. Khamenei was one of the
most beloved and bright pupils of Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace), and was
considered to be one of the most prominent and trusted leaders of the Islamic
which entered into a new critical phase on the 5th of June 1963 (15th of Khordad 1342
S.H.), after Imam Khomeini's historical stand against the Shah's regime. During this
struggle he was repeatedly arrested and spent three years in prison between 1964 and 1978.
Later he was exiled for almost a year to a place with one of the worst climatic
In 1978, upon his return from exile and at the height of the
revolutionary struggle of Iranian Muslims, Mr. Khamenei together with a few of his
close associates led the struggle of the people in Khorasan. Later in the same year when
Imam Khomeini headed the Islamic revolutionary movement from Neauphle Le Chateau at Paris,
he was selected to be a member of the
Revolutionary Council. After the down- fall of the monarchy and
formation of the revolutionary government, he was entrusted with the responsibility of
representing the Revolutionary Council of the Army. He also served as Deputy for
Revolutionary Affairs at the Ministry of Defence, and later on was appointed as the
Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
He was also chosen to lead the Friday Congregational Prayers in
by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini, and was elected to the First
Islamic Consultative Assembly, as the representative of Tehran in 1980. After the
formation of the Supreme Defence Council, Mr. Khamenei was nominated to be the
representative of the Leader of the revolution. Mr. Khamenei was one of the founding
members of the Islamic Republic Party in Iran and was appointed as its first
He was the victim of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on 27 June
1981. His speech at the Consultative Assembly was instrumental in the dismissal of
Bani-Sadr from the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and while addressing the
congregation after leading the prayer in a mosque in Tehran, a time bomb exploded
seriously injuring his hand, face and chest. He was immediately rushed to hospital by the
devoted people of Tehran and miraculously survived. His right hand, however, is still not
In 1981, following the martyrdom of Mr.
Mohammad Ali Rajaei, the second President of the Islamic Republic of
Iran, he became a candidate, and was elected to the presidency with 95% of the votes cast
in his favor by the Iranian people (the total number of votes was 16,847,717). He was
re-elected as president in 1985 for a second four-year term. He also headed the Supreme
Defence Council and Supreme Council for the Cultural Revolution.
During the imposed war, President Khamenei visited various war
fronts, and continuously inspected the frontlines in order to boost the morale of the
Islamic combatants and to give advise on organizational matters. After the sad demise of
Imam Khomeini, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, the Assembly of Experts selected him
as the next of the Islamic Revolution, on June 4, 1989.
He h as a good command of the Persian, Arabic and Azeri Turkish
languages and is also well acquainted with English. Ayatollah Khamenei is a
prominent scholar and jurisprudent, and could be ranked as one of most fluent orators in
the Islamic world at present. In addition to writing, he has a sense of appreciation for
literary and poetic works.
He has translated and written numerous books on Islam and
translations include Future of the Islamic Lands, An Indictment against the Western
Civilization, and Imam Hasan's Peace Treaty. From among his writings, one may
The Role of Muslims in the Independence Struggle of India, General Pattern of Islamic
Thoughts in the Quran, Discourse on Patience, Mysteries of Prayers"
Understanding Islam Properly, Imam Sadiq's Life, and a collection of lectures about
Vila'yat. He was also a co-writer of the famous pamphlet Our Positions which helped
the political, social and philosophical advancement of the Islamic Republic Party.
contributors were Martyr Ayatollah Beheshti, Martyr Hojjat-ul-Islam Dr. Bahonar,
Hojjat-ul-Islam Hashemi Rafsanjani, the current President).
Translated from Persian into English by Sayyid Hussein