Biography of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution

Sayyid Ali Khamenei ( سید علی خامنه ای ) was born on the 29th of Farvardin of 1318 S.H./28th of Safar 1358 L.H./19th of April of 1939 C.E..

Sayyid Ali Husseini Khamenei, the son of the late Hujjatolislam wal-Muslemin Hajj Sayyid Jawad Husseini Khamenei, was born in the holy city of Mashhad in the month Farvardin of the year 1318 of the Solar Hijri calendar – equivalent the year 1358 of the Lunar Hijri calendar.

He is the second son of the family. Like many seminarians and teachers of religious teachings, the life of the late Sayyid Jawad Khamenei was very simple: “My father, though a well-known religious figure, was a bit of an ascetic. We had a hard life. I remember that sometimes we had nothing for supper but bread with some raisins, which our mother had somehow improvised”.

The house in which the family of Sayyid Jawad lived was in a poor neighborhood: “Our house, some sixty-five square meters, consisted of a single room and a gloomy basement. When visitors came to see my father as the local cleric to consult about their problems, the family had to move into the basement while the visit went on…. Years later some charitable persons bought the small, empty lot adjacent to our house, so we were able to build two more rooms”.

1- Family of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Father of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

His father was born in Najaf on the 16th of Azar of 1274 S.H./20th of Jumadi at-Thani 1313 L.H. – and he passed away on the 14th of Tir of 1365 S.H.. He was one of the ulama and mujtahids of his time and he migrated to Tabriz with his family.

After finishing the Sath level, he migrated to Mashhad in the year 1336 L.H.. In the area of fiqh and usul, he was under the tutelage of outstanding personalities like Hajj Agha Hussein Qomi, Mirza Mohammad Aghazade Khorasani (known as Kafai), Mirza Mahdi Isfahani and Hajj Fazel Khorasani.

In the area of philosophy, he was taught by Agha Bozorg Hakim Mashhadi and Sheikh Asadollah Yazdi.

Later on, he went to Najaf in the year 1345 L.H. and he benefitted from the lessons of Mirza Mohammad Hussein Naeeni, Sayyid AbulHassan Isfahani and Agha Zia ul-Din Iraqi was given permission to practice ijtihad by these three personalities.

After this, he decided to return to Iran. He went to Mashhad and stayed there for the rest of his life.

As well as teaching, he was entrusted with the task of public prayer leadership in the Mosque of Siddiqis of Mashhad Market (also known as Azarbaijanis’ Mosque).

He was also one of the public prayer leaders of Goharshad Mosque. He was deeply interested in studying.

His scholarly peers included Hajj Mirza Hussein Abai, Hajj Sayyid Ali Akbar Khui, Hajj Mirza Habib Maleki and other such personalities with whom discussions and research continued for many years.

He was a pious man who was indifferent to material affairs and who led an ascetic lifestyle.

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he continued his ascetic lifestyle although his children held high-ranking political and executive positions.

He was always trusted by the people because of his human qualities. He was buried in a portico behind the holy zarih of Imam Ridha (a.s.).

In a message of condolence to Ayatollah Khamenei, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) described Ayatollah Sayyid Jawad Khamenei as a pious and committed scholar.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s great-grandfather, Sayyid Mohammad Husseini Tafreshi was a descendent of the Aftasi Sayyids. He was a descendent of Sultan ul-Ulama Ahmad, known as Sultan Sayyid Ahmad who was one of the grandchildren of Imam Sajjad (a.s.).

His grandfather was Sayyid Hussein Khamenei who was born in Khamenei in the year 1259 L.H. and who passed away on the 20th of Rabi ath-Thani of 1325.

Sayyid Hussein went to Najaf for studies and he became the student of great ulama such as Sayyid Hussein Kuhkamari, Fazel Irawani, Fazel Sharbiani, Mirza Baqir Shaki and Mirza Mohammad Hassan Shirazi and after finishing his studies in Najaf Islamic Seminary, he became one of the faqihs and teachers of that seminary.

He went to Tabriz in the year 1316 L.H. and he taught at Talebiyah Islamic seminary.

He also became the public prayer leader of Jameh Mosque of Tabriz. He had lofty political and social thoughts and he was a supporter of the Constitutional Movement.

He always encouraged people to support and protect this movement.

Some of his works are his annotated edition of books such as “Riyath al-Masael”, “Qawanin al-Usul”, “Makassib” – written by Sheikh Ansari – and “Fawaed al-Usul”.

His annotated edition of “Luma’h” was dedicated to the Hussainiyah Shushtari Library in Najaf. Shaikh Mohammad Khiabani, a seminarian who engaged in political activities in the Constitutional era, was his student and son-in-law.

Sayyid Mohammad Khamenei – born in 1293 in Najaf and died in the year 1353 L.H. in Najaf – was Ayatollah Khamenei’s paternal uncle.

He was known as “prophet” and he was one of the students of Akhund Khorasani, Shariat Isfahani and other great personalities of Najaf. He was well-aware of the developments of the time and he was considered to be one of the supporters of the Constitutional Movement.

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