Imam Khomeini (r.a.) on the significance of the Hajj for the global Muslim Ummah

Developing Just Leadership

Imam Khomeini

Dhu al-Qa'dah 22, 1421 2001-02-16

Islamic Movement

by Imam Khomeini (Islamic Movement, Crescent International Vol. 29, No. 24, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1421)

After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) started a tradition of issuing an annual message to hujjaj as they gathered in the Hijaz for the Hajj. Here we reprint an abridged version of his message to the hujjaj given in Dhu al-Qadah 1403AH (August 1983CE).

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful...

I congratulate the Muslims of the world on the great Islamic festivity, Eid al-Adha. This holiday brings to the minds of people the place of (Prophet) Ibrahim’s sacrifice: a place which offers a lesson of devotion and struggle in the way of Allah to the progeny of (Prophet) Adam, may the blessings of Allah be upon them all.

This leader of monotheism (tawheed), the great iconoclast (Ibrahim as), taught us that offering sacrifices for the sake of Allah, aside from monotheistic and religious considerations, also has political dimensions and social values. He taught us to offer our most cherished possessions for religion and the establishment of divine justice. He fostered understanding in Adam’s progeny that Makkah and Madinah were the places of sacrifice by all devotees of religion, places for the promulgation of monotheism and for the rejection of blasphemy.

He taught man to make jihad for truth and instructed us to convey to the world from these great places the virtues of devotion and self-sacrifice. He told the people of the world to forget their own egotisms for the sake of truth, for the establishment of divine justice and for cutting the hands of the world’s infidels. He taught man to sacrifice everything in the spirit of Ismail ibn Ibrahim (as). This idol-breaker and his beloved son, as well as another idol-breaker, Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, taught man to break idols no matter what they are, and that the Ka’aba should be purged and cleansed from idols for as long as the world exists, no matter what the idols are, be they statues, the sun, the moon, animals or man.

No idols are worse or more dangerous than taghuts which have been present throughout the course of history, from Adam to Ibrahim and to Muhammad, upon whom be peace, to eternity when the last idol-breaker shall issue the monotheistic cry from the Ka’aba. Are not the present superpowers big idols, which have forced the world to obey and worship them? They impose themselves upon the world through force and deceit. The great Ka’aba is the only place for breaking these idols. Ibrahim and Muhammad, upon whom be peace, raised the cry of monotheism from the Ka’aba, and their descendant the Mahdi will also do so in the world’s last days. Allah said to Ibrahim: “And proclaim the pilgrimage among men. They will come to thee on foot and [mounted] on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways” (al-Qur’an, 22:27). They are to be purified from all impurities, above all blasphemy as it is said in the Qur’an: “And an announcement from Allah and his Apostle, to the people (assembled) on the holy day of the great pilgrimage: that Allah and his Apostle dissolve (treaty) obligations with the pagans” (9:3).

We should break idols with our cries, invitations, revelations and assemblies in Makkah. And we should reject all evils, the first of which is the great Satan [the US], lest it be said that there is “noise but few real Hajj pilgrims”.

It is hoped that the Hajj pilgrims in Makkah, irrespective of their sects, will pray for the victory of Islam over global blasphemy, and for the vigilance of Muslims and their governments. May Allah show mercy to Muslims, help them to regain the splendour of their religion and cut the hands of world expansionists from their countries. And may Allah shower upon them forgiveness, for He is the most generous forgiver.

Here are some important reminders to the Hajj pilgrims.

1. An important duty incumbent upon Hajj pilgrims and the ulama of Hajj caravans is the learning and teaching of Hajj rituals. Any failure in this matter will create such problems as the wasting of Hajj ceremonies. The ulama of Hajj caravans should invite the pilgrims of their caravans to classes set up for instructions on Hajj ceremonies. And Hajj pilgrims should learn them without waste of time. They should observe Hajj with complete understanding.

2. All of us know that it is the ignorance of Muslims about socio-political aspects of Islamic matters that has for the past two centuries in particular paved the way for aggression against Muslim nations by foreign governments. This ignorance is being imposed on oppressed Muslims by the neo-colonial imperialists and their lackeys. Most of the ulama used to think that Islam was separate from politics and that a Muslim should not interfere in political issues. Deceitful plunderers attempted, with the assistance of so-called intellectuals, to push Islam into isolation as they did with Christianity. They imprisoned the ulama within the framework of religious issues. They confined prayer-leaders to mosques and wedding ceremonies, and limited people’s activities to rituals.

3. Among the things that keep the world’s Muslims and other oppressed people from struggling to free themselves from the yoke of imperialists is the widespread propaganda of the agents of the west and the east. This is either as a result of their (the agents’) own shortsightedness or of their obedience to the dictates of the superpowers. Such propaganda is aimed at convincing the oppressed that the sciences and development are exclusive possessions of the two wings of imperialism and communism, and that they–especially the westerners and recently the Americans–are the superior race, while the rest are inferior.

4. One of the obstacles barring Muslims from defending their countries is the wide-ranging propaganda aimed at magnifying foreign powers. In the past, through the efforts of the so-called intellectuals, westernized and western-educated people, they made a giant out of Britain. They impressed on the oppressed nations that if a harsh word was uttered to a janitor of the British Embassy, Iran would be destroyed and that if the embassy’s flag was hoisted on the rooftop of any criminal’s house, he would become immune to punishment. Today, the two powers, especially the US, have replaced that giant and have become even bigger. Because of these false notions and rumours, Muslims have lost the courage to defend their rights.

5. What is the solution, and what is the responsibility of the Muslims and oppressed for dispelling these illusions? The primary solution, from which emerges all other solutions for cutting the roots of these problems and eradicating corruption, is the unity of Muslims, rather the unity of all oppressed and enslaved peoples in the world. This unity is gained through widespread tabligh and invitation. And the centre for this invitation and tabligh is the holy city of Makkah during the congregation of Muslims to perform the Hajj. This was started by Ibrahim (as), continued by Muhammad (saw) and will be followed by Hadrat Mahdi. It was enjoined on Ibrahim to call people to Hajj to attend to their needs–that is, the political, social, economic and cultural issues of the society óand so that they could witness how Allah’s Prophet laid upon the altar the fruit of his life, for the sake of Allah.

Everyone should follow the leader of monotheism and recite what was instructed in Sura Tauba to be read at the gathering in Makkah: “an announcement from Allah and his apostle, to the people [assembled] on the day of the great pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle dissolve [treaty] obligations with the pagans” (9:3).

We renounce the infidels during the Hajj rituals. This is a political-religious renunciation that the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, enjoined.

The court alim who considers the slogan of “Down with the US, Israel and the Soviet Union” contrary to Islam should be told that if he considers following Allah and His Prophet’s instructions as contrary to Hajj rituals, then he and other pro-US ulama are the ones who are disobeying Allah’s instructions and the Prophet’s deeds, by separating Hajj rituals from renunciation of blasphemy. It is they who are forgetting Allah’s orders and His Prophet’s instructions for their own interests.

6. Another point that must be noted, as the world’s Muslims and the oppressed rise up against international exploiters and expansionists, is that superpowers are implementing their vicious plots either through creation of terror, or by their propaganda, or their treacherous subservience. But if, through their vigilance and unity, nations stand against these powers, they [the superpowers] will not be successful. The living proofs of that in our own region are Iran and Afghanistan. Iran was one of the US military bases and its [Iran’s] army was in the hands of American advisors. Culture was in the hands of mercenaries while the shah, his government and majlis were but obedient servants. The economy was in its worse state of dependence. The shah was the most powerful policeman in the region, thanks to his affluence and sophisticated military hardware, supported by the US and other lackey States in the region.

However, the Iranian people, empty-handed and relying only on Allah, in a short period of time miraculously broke the idols created by those affected by the west; and they [the Iranian people] put an end to the 2500-year-old tyranny, as well as to the myth created by idolaters. The Afghan people crushed the brute assault of the Soviet Union. They are doing it with the power of faith and by relying on Allah. And it was the committed ulama who expelled France and Britain, which had usurped Algeria and Iraq.

These examples are sufficient to remove unfounded terror created by imperialism and the imperialists, and to awaken Muslims and the governments of Muslim States, so that Muslims and their governments become free.

7. When, insha’Allah, the unity enjoined by Allah is established among Muslims, the governments of Islamic States, governments of Muslim countries with the backing of their people, can form a joint defensive army with 100 million trained reserves and a tens of millions-strong army. They could thus gain the greater power in the world. It would enable us to free ourselves from the disgrace of bowing before the superpowers and to taste the sweetness of independence and freedom.

8. Muslims, and especially the oppressed people of the region, should know that Israel will not abandon the idea of dominating Muslim States from the Nile to the Euphrates, despite the changing of figureheads aimed at deceiving the Palestinian and Lebanese combatants. The US will support an agent such as Israel through which its crimes in the region are being committed. Therefore, their political games should not be ignored and those backing Israel should know that they are stroking the serpent that, given half an opportunity, will poison the region. This venomous serpent must be denied the opportunity to do so.

O Allah, save us from following the devil and worldly desires. Save us from ambition for status and earthly belongings. Save Muslim States from being afraid of the superpowers and inform them of their Islamic and humanitarian responsibilities. Ameen.

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