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Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini

Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini
Son of Imam Khomeini
Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini (19).jpg
Full Name Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini
Religious Affiliation Twelver Shi'a
Well-known Relatives Imam Khomeini, Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini
Birth 1365/1946
Place of Birth Qom
Places of Residence Qom, Lebanon, Najaf, Paris, Tehran
Death/Martyrdom 1415/1995
Cause of
Respiratory failure and Heart disease
Burial Place The shrine of Imam Khomeini, Tehran
Era 20th century
Known for Son of Imam Khomeini

Sayyid Aḥmad Khomeinī (Persian: سید احمد خمینی) (b. Rabi' II 11, 1365/ March 15, 1946 - d. Shawwal 14. 1415/ March 16, 1995) was the second son of Imam Khomeini.

He started his seminary studies in 1385/1965 in the city of Qom. After that, his father and older brother were exiled to Iraq. In that period of time, he reached a special position in Iran, as he connected the Islamic movement in Iran to its leader. He took the responsibility of being his father's (Imam Khomeini) adviser before and after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. He also participated in the five-member council of high ranked Iranian officials as Ayatollah Khomeini's representative. After the demise of Ayatollah Khomeini, he decided to become the custodian of his father's shrine. He was a member in the Supreme National Security Council, Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, and the Expediency Discernment Council after Ayatollah Khomeini's demise.


Birth and Education

He was born in Rabi' II 11, 1365/March 15, 1946 in Qom. He finished the elementary and secondary school in Qom and later progressed to get his diploma at Physics.

His Role in the Islamic Movement

He was arrested on his arrival to Iran. He was allegedly accused of acting against national security and was later imprisoned for over a month.

After that Ayatollah Khomeini (his father) and Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini (his brother) were arrested and were exiled to Turkey in 1384/1964. He played an important role in connecting the movement to its leader by conveying messages and news of the Islamic Movement to Ayatollah Khomeini. Late in 1385/1966, he secretly went to Najaf. After 3 months and while being advised by Imam Khomeini, he returned to Iran. It was then, that his activities were put under constant watch by the government's intelligent services. He started to go to the Islamic seminary of Qom as Imam Khomeini had advised him to.

In Najaf

Toward the end of the year 1386/1967, Sayyid Ahmad secretly went to Najaf for the second time, where he became a clergyman officially. During his stay in Najaf, he participated in his father and his brother's classes. However he returned to Iran in Rabi' I, 1387/July 1967, because he had the duty of linking Imam to revolutionists in Iran. On his arrival to Iran, he was arrested under the accusation of acting against national security and was imprisoned for over a month. After his freedom, he resumed his political activities. In 1387/1967, when security agents invaded his father's house in Qom, he was arrested again.

Serious Activities for the Islamic Movement

Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini in Lebanon while fighting and at the same time learning military skills in bases which Dr. Mustafa Chamran had established for training fighters and militias.

His political activities were relatively increased. He and his paternal uncle, Ayatollah Murtada Pasandida, held mourning sessions for Ahl al-Bayt in Imam Khomeini's house on the days of Ahl al-Bayt's martyrdom. Also, he was in touch with some followers and supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini such as: Sayyid Muhammad Rida Sa'idi, Muhammad Rida Mahdavi Kani and Fadl Allah Mahallati, who frequently held Islamic sessions. Although these sessions were marked as religious gathering for mourning or so, they were full of political speeches and talks about Ayatollah Khomeini.

During this period, Sayyid Ahmad was ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini to visit the families of political prisoners and exiled activists of the Islamic movement and helped them financially. Moreover, copying and distributing of Ayatollah Khomeini's statements and looking after some affairs of Seminary of Qom were some of his duties during these years.

He got married in 1390/1970.

Pilgrimage and Military Training

In 1393/1973 he went to Iraq for the third time and then to Mecca. After performing Hajj, he travelled to Lebanon, where he met Imam Musa al-Sadr and some Iranians who were fighting against Israel including Dr. Mustafa Chamran. He started learning military skills in the military base there which Chamran had established for training Lebanese fighters. Finally, he came back to Iran in 1394/1974.

His Brother's Demise and the Aftermath

Sayyid Ahmad decided to stay in Najaf while actively pursuing his most important mission there; to communicate messages from Iran to Ayatollah Khomeini.

His forth journey to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon coincided with his brother's sudden and suspicious death. So he changed his plan and stayed in Najaf. In Muharram 25, 1398, January 5, 1978, Imam Khomeini officially chose him as his appointed person instead of Sayyid Mustafa.

At this time, Sayyid Ahmad's most important duties were connecting the movement to Ayatollah Khomeini and keeping the vast network of Ayatollah Khomeini's movement active in Iran and other countries by traveling under cover as a pilgrim. Also, he followed all the political changes and clashes between government agents and people during the demonstrations in Iran.

Imam's Emigration to France

As the people's uprising kicked off in 1357sh/1978, the Iraqi government put more pressure on Ayatollah Khomeini and surrounded his house in Najaf. Thus, Ayatollah Khomeini decided to leave the country. Sayyid Ahmad convinced Imam to go to France.

Return to Iran

The time between Imam's travel to France and his return to Iran in Rabi' I 3, 1399/ February 1, 1979, was filled with Sayyid Ahmad's efforts more that any other time. He played an important role in planning interviews with media and meetings with political activists of Iran. He was also responsible for Imam Khomeini's protection and security.

After Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran, Sayyid Ahmad was engaged in exchanging Ayatollah's messages to the people in Iran and informed Ayatollah Khomeini of the most recent events and news of the revolution. He also was responsible for Ayatollah Khomeini's protection and security.

In Rabi' II 1, 1399, March 1, 1979, he accompanied Imam to Qom and returned to Tehran with him in Rabi' I, 1400/ January 1980. In addition, he tried to protect the revolution against all plots.

After the Revolution

After the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran, in addition to supporting Ayatollah Khomeini's opinions and stances, he sometimes expressed his own opinion in various occasions.

Supporting the Occupation of the U.S. Embassy

In the event of occupying the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by university students (Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line) in Dhu l-Hijja 13, 1399/November 4, 1979, he was one of the first Iranian officials who endorsed their action and insisted on supporting them.

His Positions

For several times, government officials nominated him for various posts but he rejected them on the advice of Imam Khomeini. His only official position was membership in the five-member council of high ranked officials where he was assigned as Imam Khomeini's representative and had the right to express his own opinions, as well.

During the 8-Year War

At the center of the photo, Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini along with a number of soldiers during the 8-year war between Iran and Iraq which lasted untill 1988.

Sayyid Ahmad's role in the war between Iraq and Iran include:

  • collecting detailed daily news and information about the ongoing events in front lines and the position of Iranian armed forces and enemy forces.
  • gathering information about socio-political conditions of the society and the views political personalities and groups expressed about the war and other events.
  • Observing political and military viewpoints and stances of other countries.
  • Delivering all the information to Imam Khomeini.
  • Delivering Imam's secret and/or public messages to the government, military officials, institutions and organizations.
  • Maintaining a constant connection with Supreme Defense Council and military commanders.
  • Participating in the meeting of the council and reporting the results to Imam Khomeini.

Islamic Republic Party and the Institute of Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini's Works

After the event of 7th of Tir, Sha'ban 25, 1401/June 28, 1981, -bomb explosion in the central office of Islamic Republic Party- he participated in the central council of the party as Ayatollah Khomeini's representative. He was also Ayatollah's representative in Expediency Discernment Council and took part in sessions related to rebuilding the war-torn cities which consisted of the heads of executive, legislative and judicial systems of the country. He also was the director of Imam Khomeini's office. After the establishment of the Institute of Compilation and Publication of Ayatollah Khomeini's Works in Muharram 26, 1409/September 8, 1988, he was appointed as the manager and policy maker of the institute by Imam's order.

Custodianship of His Father's Shrine

After the demise of Ayatollah Khomeini in Shawwal 29, 1409/June 4, 1989, the building of the complex of Imam Khomeini's shrine started through his efforts. In this period, by stating his complete support of the leadership of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, he avoided the political and factional competitions and tried his best to coordinate all the political parties together. He rejected the official executive posts again. However, upon Ayatollah Khamenei's recommendation, he accepted the membership in Supreme National Security Council, Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution and Expediency Discernment Council.


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Sayyid Ahmad's son, while paying visit to the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini was hospitalized in Baqiyyat Allah hospital in Tehran in Shawwal 10, 1415/March 12, 1995, due to a respiratory failure and heart disease and eventually passed away in the evening of Shawwal 14th/March 16th of the same year.

He had three sons: Hasan, Yasir and Ali.

See Also


The following photos have been redistributed by Fars News Agency in Iran on the 20th anniversary of Sayyid Ahmad's demise. Courtesy of Fars news, these photos can only serve to unfold parts of Sayyid Ahmad's life from going to Seminary of Qom to taking part in fighting in, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon.