Muslim unity is the primary issue. Followers of all Islamic denominations including Shia and Sunni Islam and the different denominations that have branched off from Shia and Sunni Islam should pay serious attention to the issue of Muslim unity. Today Muslims should take Islamic unity seriously and the meaning of Islamic unity is clear. The purpose is not to melt all Islamic denominations into one single denomination. There are certain people who reject different Islamic denominations in order to achieve Muslim unity. Rejecting Islamic denominations will not solve any of the problems. Trying to prove different Islamic denominations will not solve any of the problems either. Followers of each of the existing denominations should continue doing what they have been doing so far, but they should also try to develop good relationships with followers of other Islamic denominations.
I can clearly see the plotting hands that are making dangerous efforts to foment discord among Muslims and Islamic denominations. They have been especially active in the recent years namely, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. However, their efforts were neutralized by the decisive revolutionary movement and by our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). History shows that the enemies have always been opposed to Muslim unity. However, now that the flag of Islam has been raised in this part of the world in a triumphant and glorious way, they are more terrified of Islamic unity.
My dear ones, the enemies of Islam have been forced to think carefully because of the presence of the Islamic Republic in this vast world, because of the presence of this powerful and independent government, because of the presence of this courageous, proud, active, competent and faithful nation, because of the presence of our great country, because of the presence of our Revolution, which has succeeded in preserving our national unity and has proven its success in many arenas so far during the Revolution, throughout the imposed war when a foreign enemy had invaded our country and during the era of reconstructing the country. They are terrified because they see that our Revolution has great appeal.
Wherever in the world a Muslim raises his head and sees the flag we have raised, he feels excited and Islamic feelings are revived in him. Notice how much Islamic feelings, Islamic excitement and Islamic movements have increased in the world ever since the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Notice how much the success of Muslim groups have increased in Islamic regions, from North Africa and Algeria, to our country and to the east of the world of Islam. This is because of the flag that has been raised. The sense of independence and Islamic identity was revived in Islamic communities and the enemies of Islam and Muslims were terrified. Those who had made efforts for decades to make Muslims weak and hopeless and to take away the identity of Muslims, suddenly realized that all their plans had been foiled.
The movement of this Islamic government gave Muslims a sense of dignity. The enemies decided to use different methods to isolate the Islamic government of Iran among Muslim countries throughout the world. They are still continuing their efforts. One of the methods that they use is highlighting sectarian differences. They try to provoke conflicts between Shia and Sunni. They try to highlight and magnify sectarian differences between Iran and other Muslim countries. They tell other Muslim countries that Iran is a Shia country and that its activities are not related to them.
This is while we have raised the flag of Islamic rule and the Holy Quran and we are supporting Prophet Muhammad (S). And this is something that all Muslims love. Another method that they use is that they level allegations of terrorist activities and other such things against the Islamic Republic in order to undermine the popularity of our great nation and our government, which is based on spirituality, ethics and values.
They level many allegations of terrorist activities, violations of human rights and other such things, and this is because they want to prove their allegations while they themselves know that they are lying. Their purpose is to develop a gap between people of world and the Islamic Republic. Their purpose is to create a split. Their purpose is to prevent this noble base of Islam and the Holy Quran from attracting Muslims throughout the world. Of course, Allah the Exalted will counter their schemes.
“Surely they will scheme.” 1
“And they (the disbelievers) planned and Allah planned (against them), and Allah is the best of planners.” 2
Over these years, Allah the Exalted has foiled all their plots. However, the enemies continue creating problems and obstacles for us. In certain cases, they have even been disgraced, yet they do not stop their efforts. This is where the issue of Islamic unity and harmony becomes significant. Notice how important this issue is. Notice how important this issue is for the future of the world of Islam. It is not something that we can treat lightly.
I am addressing this point to everybody including, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, writers, poets, those who work for the printed press and those who can speak to the people because of the position they enjoy. Everybody should understand this truth and try to identify the enemies. Take care not to let the enemies infiltrate your camp and pass themselves off as your friends. Take care not to attack your friends instead of the enemies. Try to remain up-to-date, distinguish friends from enemies and inspect the battleground. These things are very important.
I am addressing this point to everybody, both Shia and Sunni, both Iranians and non-Iranians. Fortunately, we do not have any problems with our Sunni brothers in Iran. We have always lived together in peace and friendship over the past seventeen, eighteen years, and we are thankful to Allah the Exalted for this. In the regions which are mostly populated by Sunni Muslims, our Sunni brothers helped the Islamic Republic more than others. The issue is one that concerns the world of Islam. The issue is one that concerns the future of Islam.
My dear ones, today different governments, countries and international groups and communities use all their assets their geographical, historical and ethnic advantages to succeed in the battlefield of life. Why do Muslims fail to use this asset that Allah the Exalted has bestowed on them? Today the regions which are populated by Muslims are the most important regions in the world. Muslim countries are among the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of natural resources.
Today the gateway of Asia to Europe, the gateway of Europe to Asia and Africa, and the gateway of Africa to Europe and Asia belong to Muslims. These strategic regions and the fertile lands that belong to Muslims contain oil and gas reserves and other resources which are needed to maintain human civilization.
There are one billion and several hundred million Muslims in the world, more than one fifth of the world population. All these people live in strategic regions and the flag of Islam has been raised at the heart of these Islamic territories, namely in Islamic Iran which is currently the heart of the world of Islam. Why would Muslims not use this advantage? This is an outstanding advantage that belongs to Muslims.
The purpose behind the temptation to separate religion from politics, which has been promoted by the English, the Americans and their puppets, is to make Muslims disregard this opportunity and this advantage. Outstanding personalities of the world of Islam have the heaviest responsibility in this regard. Outstanding personalities include religious scholars, intellectuals, poets, speakers, journalists and those who can influence the way people think. They have the heaviest responsibilities.
It is time for the world of Islam to awaken and to choose Islam as the straight path and the path of salvation and to follow it with firm and determined steps. It is time for the world of Islam to preserve its unity and to stand up against the enemy that has harmed all Islamic groups, namely Zionism and the arrogant powers. It is time for the world of Islam to form a unified front against this enemy, shout the same slogans, promote the same things and follow the same path. God willing, these efforts will receive support from Allah the Exalted and from divine laws and they will continue.
We hope Allah the Exalted awakens Muslim communities. We hope He makes Islamic governments aware of their responsibilities. We hope He makes our steps firm on this straight divine path. We hope He attracts the affection of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) towards Muslim communities and helps all Muslim groups benefit from his prayers. 3
If we think of the sending of divine prophets as the most significant events that have affected the destiny of mankind, Be’that of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) is the most important event among all the great and small events that have happened in the history of mankind.
No other event including great revolutions, the rise and fall of nations and great personalities, and emergence of different schools of thought has been more significant for humanity than the sending of divine prophets. You see today that the most permanent and solid intellectual frameworks are the ones that have been introduced by religions and this will be the case until the end of time. There are many people in the world who have not exposed themselves to the light of the Holy Prophet’s (S) Be’that namely, non-Muslim people. However, even those people have benefitted from the blessings of the Holy Prophet’s (S) Be’that.
Science and civilization, moral virtues, good customs and many other such things might not appear to be directly related to religion, but there is no doubt that they originate from religion and divine teachings, especially Be’that of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S). However, the entire humanity will continue benefitting from these blessings, particularly in the future. Therefore, the greatest and the most significant event in the history of mankind is the Holy Prophet’s (S) Be’that.
It behooves Muslims to reflect more on this event. We cannot deny or disregard the afflictions of the world of Islam. We cannot brush aside the weaknesses that Islamic communities are suffering from.
One day the world went through a special experience, and that experience was the complete rule of Islam over the lives of people. This was the case during the time of the Holy Prophet (S) and a few years after he had passed away. That short period of time enabled the Islamic Ummah to build the greatest nations during particular eras and to promote knowledge, civilization, culture, ethics, progress and unforgettable lessons to an extent that humanity is still benefitting from their light. People benefitted from these things even during the time of Jahiliyya.
Well, this is an experience. The more we drifted away from Islam and the less attention we paid to the message of Be’that, the more difficult life became for us during different eras.
The message of Be’that can be sought in the Holy Quran. I will discuss two parts of this great message in order to illustrate how important it is for us Muslims and how it presents us with a plan and a roadmap.
One part is the message that has been mentioned in certain Ayahs of the Holy Quran, including the following Ayah:
“A scripture that we revealed to you, in order to lead the people out of darkness into the light.” 4
It is the message of putting an end to darkness and bringing people into light. Human beings cannot confuse light with darkness. Islam and the message of Be’that lead human beings out of the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of bad customs, the darkness of bad behaviors, the darkness of Fitnas among people, the darkness of superstitions that dominates the minds of people and leads them astray, the darkness of oppression, the darkness of ingratitude. Islam and the message of Be’that guide humanity into light, which is the opposite of darkness.
This message has been repeated in many Ayahs of the Holy Quran, and the purpose is to introduce a comprehensive change into the life of human beings, one that affects their social life, goals and personalities.
Another outstanding point is the issue of ethics and moral purification, which has been stressed in certain Ayahs of the Holy Quran. It has also been mentioned in a narration from the Holy Prophet (S), one that has been narrated by followers of all Islamic denominations: “I was appointed as prophet in order to complete moral virtues.” 5 In a society in which moral virtues are commonplace, in a society in which ethical principles including forgiveness, brotherhood, benevolence, justice and a tendency towards knowledge and truth are observed, in a society in which there is equity, and in a society in which vices are not dominant, the people are living in a worldly paradise.
Today humanity is suffering from these problems. Today the afflictions of humanity, the problems that originate from political upheavals and the rule of Taghuts, have their roots in ethical issues. And the afflictions of ordinary people are often rooted in their ignorance. Islam has a remedy for all these problems. Muslims should appreciate the value of these Islamic messages. 6
Commemorating the Holy Prophet (S) is not just a ceremonial gesture. Although the existence of such ceremonies among Muslim nations is valuable and even necessary, the essence of the issue is beyond these things.
Today the world of Islam needs to revive the memory of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) more than ever before. The entire humanity also needs the memory and teachings of the Holy Prophet (S).
But before we try to address the need of the entire humanity, we should help the world of Islam to recognize this great spiritual asset. There were nations that suffered from hunger for centuries while they had resources that they were not aware of until people from other countries came and plundered their resources. Similarly, today the world of Islam enjoys vast spiritual resources but at the same time it also has to deal with numerous problems. This is while these great spiritual resources can be utilized to help and save the world of Islam.
Several decades earlier, a luminary had said, “Islam has been founded on monotheism and unity.” These are the two essential pillars of Islam: monotheism and unity, with the latter originating from the former. That is to say, unity should be pivoted on monotheism. Today we need to promote the slogan of returning to monotheism and unity more than ever before.
Whatever afflictions and hardships that Muslims and Muslim nations are suffering from are because of the fact that Muslims have lost their commitment to living in the shade of monotheism. Monotheism is not just an abstract concept. It is a concrete reality, a system and a set of guidelines for life. Monotheism tells us how to treat our friends and enemies and how to behave and live in a social system. Some people wrongly think that faith in monotheism is only related to afterlife. This is while faith in monotheism is the factor that helps human beings build this world and their lives. Today we need monotheism, just as other Muslim nations need it.
The closer we move to monotheism and serving Allah the Exalted, the more successful we will be in eliminating Taghuts and those who consider themselves as equal to God. The faithful people of Iran have saved themselves from the verbal and physical transgressions of America and the other arrogant powers to the extent that they have moved forward on the path of monotheism. The people of Iran have freed themselves from the domineering attitudes of the arrogant powers and this freedom is proportionate to their progress on the path of monotheism. This is the characteristic of monotheism and serving Allah the Exalted. When you become a servant of God, you realize that serving God is not consistent with serving anybody other than God. This is the first pillar.
The second pillar is unity. Muslim nations should unite with each other. Today one of the biggest problems of the Muslim world is that the enemies of Islam have turned the instruments of Muslim unity namely, the existence of a common enemy, the existence of the usurping Zionists into instruments of fomenting discord, and some Muslim governments use unity as an instrument to fight their religious brothers and give rise to discord.
This is while the existence of such an enemy at the heart of Muslim territories should bring Muslims closer to one another and encourage them to join hands and form a unified front. And this problem is rooted in the interference and transgressions of the arrogant powers. If it were not for the support that the arrogant powers, particularly America, offer to the occupiers of Palestine and the international terrorists who have gathered at the heart of Islamic territories namely, current leaders of the fake Israeli government they would not have been able to survive.
They cannot act as intermediaries because they are part of the issue: they are standing against Muslim governments and peoples, and this has been proven in the events that have happened over the past few years. The great tragedy that the Zionists have caused namely, capturing Quds, the original Qiblah of Muslims is because of the support that America offers them, otherwise they would not have dared to do such things. If it were not for the support of America, Muslim governments would have been able to counter this Taghut. Muslim governments are still capable of countering the Zionist regime if they form a unified front. 7
Mab’ath is undoubtedly the greatest day in human history. One reason is that the person who was appointed by God to fulfill this mission namely, the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) is the greatest human being in the entire creation and history. He is a manifestation of Ism ul-A’dham. He has also been referred to as Ism ul-A’dham itself and not a manifestation of it. Another reason is that the Holy Prophet’s (S) mission namely, guiding people towards light, removing heavy burdens from the shoulders of humanity, building a world that is suitable for human beings and endless other purposes that are behind Be’that of divine prophets is a great responsibility. That is to say, both the person who has been sent to fulfill this mission and the responsibility that has been placed on his shoulders are the greatest. Therefore, Mab’ath is the greatest day in history.
Attempting to limit the essence of Be’that to the framework of what we infer with our flawed wisdom, is definitely an injustice to Be’that and the essence of this prophetic mission. It is not possible to infer the essence of the Holy Prophet’s (S) Be’that on the basis of our flawed wisdom, but if we were asked to briefly specify Be’that and its boundless scope, we could say that Be’that belongs to mankind. It is for human beings, who are spiritually boundless, just like Be’that itself. Human beings enjoy various dimensions and are not limited to material aspects and worldly life. Mankind is not limited to spirituality either. They are not limited to a particular historical era. Human beings have always been boundless and unknown. Human beings are still an unknown quantity. Be’that was for human beings, for their destiny, for guiding them.
Of course, in all eras, every individual and every group of people have benefitted from Be’that as much as possible, just as Muslims of the early Islamic era managed to benefit from the essence of Be’that, to spread this brilliant light to different parts of the world and to guide many human beings onto the right path and help them achieve servitude of God. Afterwards, during a particular era, they gave rise to such civilized life and glory in the world and produced such knowledge that human beings are still benefitting from the blessings despite the fact that a long time has passed since that time. Similarly, in all eras, whenever Muslims managed to benefit from Islam in an appropriate way, they achieved happiness. Any human being who has managed to benefit from Islam as much as possible, has been able to achieve happiness.
What happened in Islamic Iran that is to say, after the victory of the great Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic was in fact a manifestation of what Islam has introduced to humanity. The Iranian nation was living in bad conditions. The Iranian nation did not have bright prospects. The people of Iran had drifted away from what they deserved as human beings. Because of having drifted away from Islam, the Iranian nation had been exposed to oppression in the area of science and human values as well as in economic and political areas. Thanks to becoming familiar with Islam and Islamic teachings, the Iranian nation managed to achieve Islam through its great movement. It managed to implement Islam. It managed to prepare the ground for implementing the divine rules of Islam in the country. It managed to benefit from Islam. It managed to explore the depth of Islamic teachings and achieve close familiarity with the Holy Quran. 8
- 1. Sura at-Tariq, Ayah 15
- 2. Sura Aal-e Imran, Ayah 54
- 3. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on July 23, 1997 in a meeting with government officials and participants of the Islamic Unity Conference on the occasion of birthday anniversaries of the Holy Prophet (S) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.)
- 4. Sura Ibrahim, Ayah 1
- 5. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 68, P. 382
- 6. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on November 28, 1997 in a meeting with government officials on the occasion of Mab’ath
- 7. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on July 12, 1998 in a meeting with government officials of the Islamic Republic
- 8. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on November 17, 1998 in a meeting with government officials of the Islamic Republic on the occasion of Mab’ath