by Sayyid Ali Khamenei (Islamic Movement, Crescent International Vol. 37, No. 11, Muharram, 1430)
Once again the Land of Revelation has gathered legions of committed servants for its annual banquet. In the birthplace of Islam and the Holy Qur’an, eager hearts from throughout the world are now engaged in such rites which indeed show a sign of the eternal lesson of Islam and the Holy Qur’an to mankind: symbolic steps for implementing and applying such a lesson.
The aim of this great lesson is to ensure the eternal salvation and dignity of mankind by training righteous people and establishing a righteous society; people who conform to the One and Only God in their hearts and in practice and cleanse themselves from shirk, moral impurities and deviant desires, and a society built out of justice, freedom, faith, vitality and all the other signs of life and progress.
The main elements for such personal and social training are incorporated in the Hajj. Going into ihram and leaving individual distinctions behind, abstaining from many carnal joys and desires, doing tawaf around the symbol of monotheism and praying in the Place of Ibrahim — the idol-breaker and the self-sacrificing — the hurrying between the two hills, finding tranquility in ‘Arafat among the great numbers of monotheists from every color and ethnic background, passing the night in prayer and supplication in al-Mash‘ar al-Haram with a fondness for Allah (swt) in one’s heart, devoting one’s heart and soul to Allah (swt) the Almighty in such a congested crowd, being present in Mina and stoning the satanic symbols, the meaningful concretization of sacrificing, and feeding the poor and the wayfarer are all aimed at training, practicing and reminding us of it.
In this perfect ritual, sincerity, purity of heart and disentanglement from materialistic engagements, endeavor, resilience, intimacy and seclusion with Allah (swt), unity, concordance, homogeneity, adorning the soul and heart, committing the heart to solidarity with the great body of the Muslim Ummah, humility before the Ultimate Truth, firmness against falsehood, soaring in the desire for the hereafter and the firm resolution to adorn the world are all interwoven and constantly practiced, “And among them there are those who say, ‘Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the Fire’ ” (2:201).
This way, the Honored Ka‘bah and the Hajj rituals contribute to the resilience and the rising-up of human societies and are filled with benefit and enjoyment for all mankind, “Allah has laid down that the Ka‘bah, the Inviolable Temple, shall be a symbol for all mankind;”(5:97), “…so that they might experience much that shall be of benefit to them, and that they might conscientize the name of Allah on the days appointed” (22:28).
Today, Muslims from all countries and races should appreciate the value of this great practice more than before and benefit from it, for the horizon is brighter than ever in the eyes of the Muslim Ummah and the hope for reaching the goals Islam has envisaged for individuals and societies is greater than ever. If, in the last two centuries the Muslim Ummah got disintegrated and was defeated in the confrontation with the Western materialistic civilization and the atheist schools of thought of both the right and the left, today, in the 15th century of the lunar Hijrah, it is the economic and political theories of the West that are paralyzed and fading away. Today, as a result of the Muslims’ reawakening and the retrieval of their identity and with the resurgence of monotheistic ideas and the logic of justice and divinity, a new dawn of prosperity and glory has begun for Muslims.
Those who, in the not-so-distant past, were singing the tune of despair and believed that not only Islam and Muslims but also the foundations of spirituality and religiosity had been lost in the invasion of the Western civilization, are now today witnessing the resurgence of Islam and the revival of the Holy Qur’an as well as the gradual debilitation and collapse of those invaders, confirming all this with their tongues and hearts.
I say with full confidence that this is only the beginning and the complete fulfillment of the divine promise of the victory of truth over falsehood, the reconstruction of the Ummah of the Qur’an and the new Islamic civilization are on the way, “Allah has promised those of you who are securely committed [to Him] and do righteous deeds that, of a certainty, He will cause them to accede to power on earth, even as He caused [some of] those who lived before them to accede to it; and that, of a certainty, He will firmly establish for them the deen which He has endorsed for them; and that, of a certainty, He will cause their erstwhile state of fear to be replaced by a sense of security [seeing that] they conform to Me [alone], not ascribing divine powers to any beside Me. But all who, after [having understood] this, choose to deny the truth — it is they, they who are truly iniquitous!” (24:55).
The first and foremost sign of this inescapable promise was the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the glorious Islamic system which turned Iran into a strong fortress for the idea of Islamic rule and civilization. The birth of this miraculous phenomenon amidst the height of the materialism and Islamophobia of rightist and leftist politicians and thinkers, and then its resistance against political, military, economic and propaganda strikes coming from all directions, gave rise to the creation of new hope and passion in the hearts of Muslims. With the passage of time and by the grace of Allah (swt) the Almighty, the strength and capabilities of the Islamic Revolution have increased and the hope it created is now more deeply rooted than ever. Over the last thirty years, the Middle East and Muslim countries in Asia and Africa have been the arenas where this victorious struggle is taking place: Palestine and the Islamic Intifada and the emergence of a Muslim Palestinian government; Lebanon and the historic victory of Hizbullah and the Islamic resistance against the arrogant bloodthirsty Zionist regime; Iraq and the establishment of a Muslim and populist government on the ruins of the atheist regime and the dictator Saddam; Afghanistan and the humiliating defeat of the Communist occupiers and their puppet government; the defeat and failure of all the plots hatched by arrogant America to dominate the Middle East; the incurable problems and chaos inside the usurper Zionist regime; the prevalence of the Islam-seeking masses in all or most of the neighboring countries and especially among the youth and intellectuals; the amazing scientific and technological progress in Islamic Iran achieved under severe economic sanctions and embargoes; the defeat of warmongers in America in the political and economic arenas and Muslim minorities’ regaining their true identity and dignity in most of the Western countries. These are all clear indications of the triumph and advancements of Islam in its struggle against its enemies in this century that is the 15th century of the lunar Hijrah.
Brothers and sisters! These victories are all the fruits of jihad and sincerity. When the voice of Allah (swt) was heard from the lips of His servants, and the resoluteness and strength of the fighters of the true path were deployed and when the Muslims fulfilled their promise to Allah (swt) the Exalted, and the Almighty fulfilled His promise in response, the path of history was changed, “If you help [the cause of] Allah, He will help you, and will make firm your steps;” (47:7), and “and fulfil your promise unto Me, [whereupon] I shall fulfil My promise unto you; and of Me, of Me stand in awe!” (2:40), and “And Allah will most certainly succour him who succours His cause: for, verily, Allah is most powerful, almighty,” (22:40), and “Behold, We shall indeed succour Our apostles and those who are securely committed [to Allah], [both] in this world’s life and on the Day when all the witnesses shall stand up” (40:51).
But this is still the beginning. Muslim nations still face treacherous roads ahead. One can never survive them unless one is equipped with the power of faith, sincerity, hope and jihad as well as insight and patience. This path cannot be taken with despair and pessimism, apathy and lack of spirit, impatience, lethargy and disbelief in the fulfillment of the divine promise.
The wounded enemy is now resorting to anything and will spare no effort to strike back. We need to be resourceful, wise and to take advantage of opportunities. This way all the efforts of the enemy will fail. In the last thirty years, the enemies, mostly the US and Zionism, have been utilizing all their capacities but have failed miserably. The same thing will happen in the future, too, inshallah.
The severity and intensity of the enemy’s actions usually show just how weak and imprudent he is. Look at Palestine and especially Ghazzah. The cruel and ruthless acts of the enemy, which are unprecedented in the history of human atrocities, are indicative of his weakness in overcoming the firm resolve of men, women and children who, with their empty hands, are standing against the occupying regime and its supporter, the superpower called America; they have spurned its demand which is to reject the Hamas government. May Allah (swt) the Almighty’s blessings be showered upon this resolute and great nation. The people of Ghazzah and the Hamas government have given meaning to the following everlasting ayat of the Holy Qur’an, “And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of [labor’s] fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity, who, when calamity befalls them, say, ‘Verily, unto Allah do we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return. It is they upon whom their Sustain-er’s blessings and grace are bestowed, and it is they, they who are on the right path!” (2:155-157), and “You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside Allah. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him — this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon” (3:186).
Truth will emerge triumphant in its battle with falsehood and it is the oppressed and steadfast nation of Palestine that will ultimately be victorious over the enemy. “And Allah is most powerful, almighty;” (33:25).
Even today, the enemy has failed to break the resistance of the Palestinians. The claims of freedom and democracy and the slogans of human rights have turned out to be nothing but lies. This has greatly disgraced the US and most European regimes — disgraces from which they will not be able to recover soon. The infamous Zionist regime is more notorious than before and some Arabian regimes have lost their honor and reputation, which duly expired in this test. “Most of them are of this kind ] save those who have securely committed [to Allah], and do righteous deeds, and remember Allah unceasingly, and defend themselves [only] after having been wronged, and [trust in Allah’s promise that] those who are bent on wrong doing will in time come to know how evil a turn their destinies are bound to take!” (26:227).
Sayyed Ali Husainy Khamenei
4 Dhu al-Hijjah 1429 (3 December 2008)