On Ideological Eclecticism of the Mojahedin-e Khalq

Review of The Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization by Hossein Ahmadi Rouhani (Part Five)

From the very beginning, the organization had an Islamic ideology. However, as it was influenced during the development and evolution of the organization, this ideology was fundamentally different from that of prominent Islamic jurists.

The organization believed that the essence of Islam had undergone major changes. These deviations, which started right after Prophet Mohammad’s demise, gradually rose, especially during Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates and led to the emergence of various Islamic sects.

They regarded the Shia Muslims, who believe in Imamate of Ali-Ibn-Abi-Talib and his children, as the most revolutionary and closest to the Islamic Ideology. However, they believed that Shi'ism, despite all its advantages over other sects with respect to their fights against the oppressive caliphs especially in the first centuries of Hijri year, had deviated in the course of time.   

They thought that Islam was practically limited to its devotional part, that is, the relationship between man and God. Yet, its social aspects which had to do with the relationship between the individual and society and the responsibility of a society towards God as well as the issue of Islamic government, as the more important aspect of Islam in the Prophet’s view, had been neglected.

The organization also believed that in the contemporary era, especially under the influence of colonialists, what was presented as Islam was devoid of any revolutionary aspects, and instead of being a generative force, Islam had caused surrender and inaction. In addition, condition of the seminaries of Najaf, Qom, Mashhad and other locations was such that no one could pin hope on them.

Although Ayatollah Khomeini’s movement and the June 6 uprising should be considered as a new and progressive wave, they were not able to transform the society, bring about revolution and overcome the atmosphere of the seminaries because such movements could not exceed the frameworks and the culture governing Shiite jurisprudence.

The organization believed that for a serious fight against imperialism and its puppet regimes in Iran and elsewhere, the fight had to be based on an Islamic ideology of the true type of Islam.

The true Islam is not a religion of isolation but is one of community, movement and responsibility and it has the potential to transform human society into one that is free, dynamic and without oppression.

It is entirely due to the absence of genuine Islam in these societies that we are now witnessing imperialism and its mercenaries ruling Islamic countries while receiving no reaction on the part of people for corruption and crimes they commit.

Therefore, first, Islam must be cleansed of all the excesses so that its bright essence manifests itself. Next, it can be easily and clearly presented to people to raise their awareness.

This is what the clergy have failed to do. On the contrary, they have played a major role in the deviation of Islam. The only force capable of performing this significant task is an organization composed of revolutionary Muslims who are fond of Islam and aim to free people from all sorts of oppression and deprivation.

As far as the current situation and the security constraints are concerned, Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization can be the only possible option. Although they are not highly qualified, relying on the members’ faith, they have the potential to acquire this competence and succeed in performing this important task.

The organization believed that genuine and unaffected Islam should be derived from sources such as Quran and to some extent, Nahj al-Balaghah and should not be based on the inferences of the commentators, but on the inferences of the organization itself as they considered themselves insightful enough to reach a correct interpretation of those days’ complex situations. In addition, making use of Hadiths should be avoided since many of them are not likely to be valid.

Regarding the use of Quran, first, one should distinguish between Muḥkam and Mutashābih  verses and consider the content of the Muhkam verses as general instructions and principles based on which Mutashābih verses are interpreted. These interpretations can vary from one context to another.

The organization also believed that there were some intricate issues in Quran that could not be commented on with ease, and that commentators had various interpretations of them. Investigating and discussing such issues, as long as they were not related social problems, did not appear to be necessary. They included topics such as the manner and mechanism of life after death, the purgatory, heaven, hell, jinn, angels, Satan, etc.

The organization accepted the principles of religion, however, did not believe in the infallibility of the Prophet and the Imams. With respect to the absence of the twelfth Imam, even though they remained silent, they did not believe in it at all.

The organization considered the resurrection to be physical. Also, their interpretation of heaven and hell and their blessings and torments had an exemplary aspect believing that Quran had simply used such examples to make these concepts more tangible for people.

The Ahkam for Khums, Zakat, contracts such as farmland rental, sharecropping, inheritance; Islamic legal and criminal issues and more importantly, ownership principle, were not considered definitive meaning that these Ahkam can vary across time, location, culture and level of people’s insight. Reaching a correct interpretation is the responsibility of the most knowledgeable Mujtahid or the Islamic government. The organization also denied private property and aimed to create a classless society.

They accepted Ijtihad and Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist as general rules. However, based on their perception of Ijtihad, only the organization was qualified for Ijtihad in those circumstances, not the clergy.

Therefore, for members of the organization, imitation of the Mujtahids was never the case. For them, the ultimate reference in all devotional and political matters was the organization.

Philosophically, while rejecting the first and in fact, the most important principle of materialism namely the primacy of matter over soul, the organization believed in the existence of God,  al-tawhid al-dhati (unity of the divine essence), al-tawhid al-sifati (unity of the divine attributes),  al-tawhid al-af'ali (unity of actions), al-tawhid al-'ibadi (unity of worship) as well as the principles of prophecy and revelation. They accepted Contradiction in Dialectical Materialism as well as Historical Materialism, which focuses on human societies and their development through history, arguing that history is the result of material conditions rather than ideals. This concept was a clear violation of the divine ideology of Islam.

Hence, it should be said that the organization had neither an Islamic nor a Marxist ideology, but had an eclectic one comprising an odd mixture of Islam and Marxism. This is in fact the organization’s point of weakness and the main source of political deviation.

With respect to human evolution, the organization’s views corresponded exactly to those proposed by Dr. Yadollah Sahabi in Creation of Man and Quran and Evolution. That is, the organization accepted Darwin's principle along with the principle of mutation and Quran verses related to the creation of man were interpreted within this framework.

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