by Sayyid Ali Khamenei (Islamic Movement, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 9, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1433)
Every year the Rahbar, as leader of the Islamic Revolution, delivers his message to the hujjaj in Makkah. This year, his message has particular resonance because of the Islamic awakenings sweeping the Muslim East and attempts by Islam’s enemies to subvert these noble efforts by entangling them in petty squabbles. He describes Hajj as a process of self-reform and an opportunity to reform the Ummah.
The Rahbar, Sayyld Ali Khamenei, gave his Hajj message for 1433ah on Dhu al-Hijjah 5, 1433 (10-21-2012).
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Mercy-Giving
All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May Allah’s (swt) blessings and salutations be upon the supreme and trustworthy Prophet (pbuh), and the pure and chosen ones of his family and his worthy companions.
The Hajj season, charged with divine mercy and blessings, has arrived once again to offer the gift of divine grace to the felicitous who have the honor to be present at this radiant pilgrimage. Here, both place and time invite you, Hajj pilgrims, to spiritual edification and material upliftment. Here, Muslim men and women, spiritually and verbally, respond positively to the divine call to rectitude and salvation. Here everyone finds the opportunity to put to the test the lessons of brotherhood, equality and piety.
Here is the great workshop for education and training. It showcases the unity, diversity and splendor of the Islamic Ummah and is a battlefront for the struggle against Satan and false deities. The wise and omnipotent Lord has made this a place where the faithful shall witness their own interests. Should we see with the eyes of wisdom and summon the will to learn from experience, this heavenly promise will embrace our entire individual and collective lives in its expanse.
The Hajj rites signify the embrace between worldly existence and the afterlife and the union of individual and society. The plain and majestic Ka‘bah; the bodies and hearts circling an immovable and eternal center; the unceasing and orderly effort (sa‘y) and quest undertaken between an origin and end; the en masse migration to the resurrectional grounds of ‘Arafat and the Mash‘ar; the passion and presence occasioned by this great gathering, which burnish and refresh the hearts; the collective surge to attack the symbols of Satan; and then a harmonious stream of people, from all places, of all colors and hues, throughout these symbolic rites rich with meaning and hints of guidance — these are the unique characteristics of this sacred rite imbued with meaning and content.
Such are the rites that infuse hearts with Allah’s (swt) remembrance and brighten the lonely human heart with the lights of taqwa and iman, liberating the individual from the confines of egoism and submerging him in the diverse collectivity of the Islamic Ummah. They cover him with the armor of taqwa, which protects his soul from the poisonous arrows of sin and imbues him with a combative spirit against devils and false deities. It is here that the Hajj pilgrim sees with his own eyes the manifestation of the wider range of the Islamic Ummah, perceives its capacities and energies, and also finds hope in the future. He feels within himself the readiness to assume an active role and, should divine assistance empower him, to renew his allegiance to the great Prophet (pbuh), reaffirming his covenant with dear and mighty Islam, he forms within himself a firm decision to work for self-reform and the reform of the Ummah and exaltation of Islamic ideals.
These two, that is, self-reform and reform of the Ummah, are two unceasing duties, whose means are not difficult to find for those who make a deep study of religious obligations and employ wisdom and insight.
The reform of one’s own self starts with the struggle against satanic desires and the effort to refrain from sin. The reform of the Ummah begins with identifying the enemy, understanding his schemes, and struggling to render his blows, ploys and malice ineffective. Thereupon it is realized with the uniting together of the hearts, hands and tongues of individual Muslims and Islamic nations.
At this juncture, one of the most crucial issues of the Islamic world and especially related to the destiny of the Islamic Ummah is the revolutionary events taking place in North Africa and the Muslim East region. These events have resulted in the fall of several corrupt regimes subservient to America and hand in glove with Zionism, and have shaken other similar regimes. If Muslims let go of this great opportunity without using it to reform the Islamic Ummah, they would incur great losses. The aggressive and interventionist arrogant powers are making every effort to divert the course of these significant Islamic movements.
In the course of these great uprisings, Muslim men and women rose up against the despotism of the rulers and American dominance, which had together insulted and humiliated these nations and resulted in alliances with the criminal Zionist regime. In this life and death struggle, they found a savior in Islam and its liberating teachings and ideals, and they declared it in a loud voice. Defending the oppressed Palestinian nation and the struggle against the usurper regime was their top demand. They also extended a friendly hand toward other Muslim countries and supported the solidarity of the Islamic Ummah.
These are the basic foundations of the popular uprisings in countries that raised the banner of freedom and reform in the past two years and the people, with their body and soul, flooded the squares of the revolution. These are the things that reinforce the foundations of reform within the Islamic Ummah. Standing firm by these basic principles is the necessary condition for the ultimate victory of the popular uprisings in these countries. The enemy wants to rock these foundations. By exploiting inattention and shallow-mindedness in some, corrupt American, NATO and Zionist agents are trying to divert the deluge-like movement of the Muslim youth and bring them into confrontation with one another in the name of Islam. Thereby, they are converting an anti-colonial and anti-Zionist struggle into blind terrorism waged in the streets of the Muslim world, so that the blood of Muslims is spilled at their own hands and the enemies of Islam are rescued from their dead-end while Islam and its warriors are maligned in public opinion.
After despairing of eliminating Islam and Islamic slogans altogether, they have now turned to inciting discord among Muslim sects and frustrating the unity of the Islamic Ummah through the gimmicks of Shiaphobia and Sunniphobia. They have created a crisis in Syria with the assistance of their agents in the region, in order to divert the attention of nations away from important problems in their own countries and the dangers that lie in ambush for them, and toward a gory scenario deliberately staged by them. The civil war in Syria and the bloodshed of its Muslim youth at their own hands is a crime committed by the United States, Zionism and their obedient governments who continue to fan the flames. Who will believe that supporters of dark dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have now turned into champions of the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people?
The Syrian issue is one of taking revenge from a government that has stood up to the Zionist usurpers for three decades single-handedly and defended resistance groups in Palestine and Lebanon. We support the Syrian people and are opposed to every kind of incitement and intervention in that country. Any kind of reform in that country should be undertaken by the people themselves and through totally domestic methods. It is a serious danger for powers seeking global domination to create a crisis in a country with the assistance of docile regional states and then commit any kind of crime there with impunity. If the regional states do not deal with this danger, they will in turn have to face the same imperialist plot.
Brothers and sisters! The Hajj season is an opportunity to reflect and contemplate over the issues of the Islamic world. The destiny of the revolutions in the region and efforts of the powers unseated by these revolutions to divert their course is one of these issues. Their treacherous plots are meant to create discord among Muslims and to create cynicism between the revolutionary countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran; to banish from memory the problem of Palestine and the efforts aimed to isolate its resistance fighters and silence the Palestinian cause; to continue unchanllenged the anti-Islam propaganda of their governments and their support for those who profane the sanctity of the great Prophet (pbuh), preparing the ground for civil wars and disintegration in certain Muslim countries; and to unrelentingly scar revolutionary governments and nations for putting up any opposition to the Western domineering powers and promoting the delusion that their future lies in submission to those aggressors. These and other similar, vital and crucial issues are among the problems that need reflection and study during the opportunity provided by the Hajj pilgrimage in the light of common empathy and convergent views shared by you, the Hajj pilgrims.
Without doubt, divine guidance and assistance will show the paths of peace and safety to the faithful seekers,
“As for those who strive for Our cause, We shall surely guide them in Our ways” (29:69).
May peace and Allah’s (swt) mercy and blessings be upon you all.