One of the most brilliant, gifted and worthy sons of Islam of our age -- a great scholar, thinker, philosopher, jurisprudent, writer of great erudition and penetration, the defender of the honour of Islam during the deposed Pahlavi regime, and the best pupil and the outcome of the entire life of Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace) - Ayatollah Shaikh Murtaza Mutahhari (who was martyred on May 1, 1979 by the Terrorist Furqan group in Tehran) had said regarding the need of publishing suitable Islamic literature as follows:
"We are the responsible people; we have not produced sufficient literature in various aspects of Islam in current languages. Had we, therefore, made available the pure and sweet waters in abundance, people would not have contented themselves with polluted waters."1
Keeping the above in mind, I have tried to translate the present book, Discourse on Patience (Guftari dar bab-e-sabr) by Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamene’i from Persian into English, as my insignificant contribution to produce a tiny drop of pure and sweet water.
In order to defend the Islamic Community against the cultural onslaught of the enemies of Islam, and in order to achieve political and cultural unity for them, there is a critical need to design a coat of arms prepared by suitable Islamic literature, so that Muslims can equip themselves and their children with this armour of Islamic culture. As the writer of this book Ayatollah Khamene’i has stated:
"An indifferent, unaware believer could be compared to a soldier in the battlefield, who is fighting naked without wearing armour. Such an ill-equipped soldier is most likely to be killed or disappear from the scene during the very first encounter.
But an aware, conscientious, and knowledgeable Muslim with Islamic ideology could be compared to a soldier, who is fully clad in armour from head to foot and is fully equipped with all the required armaments. Obviously, for the enemy to defeat such a well-equipped soldier is a relatively difficult task."2
The war between total belief and total blasphemy is going on fiercely on all fronts namely; militarily, economically and culturally. The most severe among the three is the cultural onslaught being waged by the enemies. This cultural battle is most crucial, because once people are deprived of their ideology and culture, then the enemy becomes victorious without firing a single bullet and without waging a single military operation.
The Islamic "Andalusia" (modern Spain), was snatched away from the Muslims by using this tactic. We must wake up before history repeats itself. The enemy has already intruded within the privacy of the four walls of our dwellings. Even the so-called cartoon video films for children and the paper wrappings inside chewing gum packages are not immune, and intermingled with their satanic sexual onslaught, without mentioning the other horrible means at their disposal.
We Muslims are quite well aware of the power and richness of our ideology. Even our enemies are fully aware of its revolutionary dynamic force. In a famous sermon in his book Path of Eloquence (Nahj-ul-Balagha), the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) speaks about this ideology as follows:
"Have you fully realised what Islam is? It is a religion founded on truth. It is such a fountainhead of learning that from it flow out several streams of wisdom and knowledge. It is such a lamp that from it several lamps will be lighted. It is a tall beacon lighting the path to Allah. It is a set of principles and beliefs which will satisfy every seeker of truth and reality.
Know you all that Allah has made Islam the most sublime path towards His Supreme Pleasure and the highest standard of His Worship and Obedience. He has favoured it with noble precepts, exalted principles, undoubtable arguments, unchallengeable supremacy and undeniable wisdom.
It is up to you to maintain the eminence and dignity granted to it by the Lord, to follow it sincerely, to do justice to its articles of faith and belief, to implicitly obey its tenets and orders, and to give it the proper place in your lives."3
Well, we have in our possession such a rich ideology, the Holy Qur'an, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (may the peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny), but it is just a matter of its implementation in our daily lives and its execution in Islamic countries. Sometimes it happens that a society possesses theoretical knowledge and ingeniousness, but nevertheless the circumstances are such that its practical application is not possible.
Fortunately, with the victory of the Islamic Revolution on February 11, 1979 (Bahman 22, 1358), under the enlightened leadership of that divine iron-willed man blessed with foresight, whose very name and whose very word inspire the hearts of Muslims, the idol-breaker, the holder of the highest esteem, the dearest of the sons of Islam and a rare, gifted genius, Imam Ayatollah ul-Uzma Ruhullah al-Musavi Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace), the task of the implementation of this ideology was accomplished.
So far the Islamic Flag stating "There is no god but Allah" is flying high over the skies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it awakens the giant one-billion-strong Islamic Community, pumping fresh blood into their veins and arteries. The existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the present situation could be compared to the motor of an automobile, which is currently providing the required energy for the motion of the Islamic World.
In this regard, I would like to share with the readers the reflections of Nouruddin Shireen, a Turkish writer whose interview was published recently in the Turkish newspaper "ALAMDAR", upon his return from a recent trip to the devastated, oppressed and aggressed Islamic country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He writes as follows:
"As far as helping Bosnia by other governments was concerned, there was only one single government and that was the Islamic Republic of Iran. In principle, it should be mentioned that the goal of Imam Khomeini and his holy struggle was to free all Muslims and to accomplish freedom and independence for the entire Islamic Community. He stood for the defence of oppressed Muslims all over the world. Till the Islamic Republic of Iran exists (Insha’Allah), the Muslims of the world will never remain without defence and support.
Praise to Allah, that today one leader -with honour and dignity is following the holy path of Imam Khomeini. May Allah prolong the shadow of this leader upon the heads of Muslims of the world. The existence of Ayatollah Khamene’i is a ray of hope and Messing for all Muslims throughout the world. I witnessed this reality in Bosnia with my own eyes. Every time I encountered the picture of Imam Khomeini at some homes and shops, the intense emotion and love shown by the Bosnian Muslim people for Imam was something comparable to children who have been separated from their father."4
Unfortunately, pains and tragedies have befallen the Islamic Community, which if they had fallen on a bright day, would have turned it into a dark night. There is Palestine, where, day and night we see how Zionist soldiers are hunting bare-handed and helpless children, and how insolently under the very eyes of television cameras are breaking their bones inside the torture chambers in Zionist prisons. On February 25 of this year, we saw the most cold-blooded butchering and wounding of hundreds of innocent, fasting Muslims while in the state of prostration, offering their Friday prayer during the holy month of Ramadhan, inside the Shrine of Prophet Abraham (S) in the city of al-Khalil committed by savage Zionists.
There is Islamic Algeria, where democracy was beheaded in broad daylight while the whole civilised world watched. The land of Jame' al-Azhar or Egypt, where, every day Muslims are being sentenced to death for just being Muslims, and for demanding an Islamic Government.
There is also Bosnia, where the most savage and horrible systematic genocide is being carried out for more than three years in so-called civilised and modern Europe, showing the impotence of International Organisations in this regard. Barbaric acts such as forcing a Muslim Imam of a mosque to drink the blood of his son, the live burial of a young man while his would-be bride watches, the chemical bombing of the besieged city of Gorazde and the killing of thousands of its defenceless Muslim defenders, and the numerous shameful deeds of raping women and young girls, and crimes which were not committed by even the most notorious of the Nazis in Germany.
The modern and civilised world cries for the rights of dogs, cats, fish, bears, and other animals all over the world, but for crimes committed against Muslims, there is no crying, no tears, and no rights are considered to have been violated. Nevertheless, this present state of the world awakens and tests Muslims. The sun of hope is slowly rising on the Islamic World, and there is absolutely no doubt that if we could become united and preserve our steadfastness, the future belongs to Islam. We, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, sincerely aspire for unity and our hearts bleed for all of our brothers and sisters as the Prophet (may peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said:
"Truly the believers in their acts of co-operation and mutual aid are like the head to the body; should it complain, the rest of the body rallies to it in vigilant defence."5
This philosophy had been elegantly described by the late Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmoud Taleqani, in his sermon, on the occasion of first "Qods Day" on August 17, 1979 (Ramadhan 23, 1399) in Tehran, as follows:
"All Muslims, wherever they may be, in their co-operative relationships with each other, their acts of compassion toward each other are like the head to a body when it feels pain and complains. Whenever a member of the human body feels pain, its complaint is brought to the command centres by means of the nerves, afterwards to reach the other members. This afflicted member becomes like the head; all thought and attention, one's eyes and ears, attend it until it is taken care of.
Why? Because if it is not taken care of, all the members will become paralysed. The Muslims of the world must know that they are all members of a single body; they must not suppose that by remaining indifferent to the lot of other Muslims they can preserve themselves from the painful calamities that are besetting them."6
This translation coincides with the tragic news of the chemical bombing of the besieged city of Gorazde in Bosnia-Herzagovina and the heroic defence and resistance offered by its defenders, despite the unmanly withdrawal of the so-called peace-keeping forces of the United Nations.
I dedicate this translation work to the lofty spirits of the Martyrs of this besieged city. As far as the brave and heroic Muslim defenders of Bosnia-Herzegovina and all oppressed Muslims throughout the Islamic world are concerned, 1 give them the glad tidings that victory is near (Insha’Allah), and 1 invite their attention to the following sermon of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.):
"When Allah witnessed their patience in resisting the tortures and hardships, which were inflicted upon them, because of their love for Him and following the path of truth. He opened over them gates of divine assistance in the midst of those difficult bottlenecks of misfortunes. The deprived of yesterday, after that found themselves as rulers and governors. Their glory, fame, prestige, reached to a point, which had never been imagined by them in their best of dreams."7
Further, Allah has clearly reminded us that Islam is the greatest source of power and it can do wonders, that the power of faith is far mightier than that of the superpowers. There is a saying of Imam Khomeini: "It is our duty to struggle in this fashion, and the result is with Allah". In the words of the Holy Qur’an, Allah has promised us the result as follows:
Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion -- the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace.
They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. If any do reject faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked. So establish regular prayer and give regular charity; and obey the apostle; that ye may receive mercy. Never think thou that the unbelievers are going to frustrate (Allah's plan) on earth: their abode is the Fire, -- and it is indeed an evil refuge! ' (The Holy Qur'an , 24: 55-57).
I have tried to be loyal to the Persian text to the best of my ability. The notes added by the translator have been indicated by (Tr.) and those by the editor by (Ed.). I am sincerely indebted to Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini, the learned scholar and jurisprudent from the Religious Learning Centre of Qum for his kind guidance and encouragement. I offer my sincere appreciation to Dr. Ali Naqi Baqershahi, for his encouragement and providing the Biography of Ayatollah Khamene’i, Sayyid Ali Shahbaz for Editing, and Hojjat-ul-Islam Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Hakim and Mrs. Saddigheh (Debra Ann) Bush, for proof reading. I am also indebted to my wife Fatima Razavi and children for being patient with me while completing this work during the New Year vacation. Sincere thanks are also due to Mr. Ansariyan for his encouragement for publishing this book. Also, I wish to thank all of my friends at Iran Water and Power Development Company who have contributed to the realisation of this translation, especially Mr. Reza Hadadian, Mr. Asghar Mesmarian and Mr. Ali Reza Nouri. I apologise to my readers for possible errors, and omissions and welcome their suggestions and comments.
Sayyid Hussein Alamdar
April 13, 1994
1 Ziqadeh 1414