The Prophet (S.A.W) said: "I leave two great and precious things among you: the Book of God and My Houshold. Verily, these two will never be separated from each other until they encounter me at the pool of Kawthar [in paradise].”- The tradition of Thaqalayn 1
And, I feel it appropriate to remind you briefly of "The two trusts" (thaqalyn). [My approach] is not to talk of their transcendental, spiritual and mystical aspects where pens such as mine would be incapable of daring to venture into a domain whose cognition for all circles of beings, -from this world to the heavens and from there up to His Divine presence including circles which lie beyond the intellectual capacity of you and me- if not impossible, requires great efforts and demands perseverance.
Neither am I dealing with what has befallen upon humanity from its negligence and abandonment of true nature and stature of the greatest trust [the Holy Qur'an] and the greater trust [the Household of the Prophet], the latter being greatest of all entity but the greatest trust which is the absolute greatest (akbar al- motloq). Nor do I recount here what has befallen "the two trusts" from the enemies of God and the tricky oppressors (taqutiyan), who are too many for me to enumerate, given my limited knowledge and lack of time. I found it suitable to mention briefly what has happened to "these two trusts."
Perhaps by the sentence "these two will never be separated from each other until they encounter me at the pool [of Kawthar],"2 it is alluded that after the departure of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) whatever has befallen one of the trusts, has equally be fallen the other and neglect of one means neglect of the other until such time when these two [trusts] encounter the Messenger of God (S.A.W.) in the pool of Kawthar.
Whether "the pool" refers to the stage of submergence of parts (Kethrat) in the whole (Vahdat) or the absorption of drops into the ocean or something else, lies beyond the domain of man's intellect and cognition. One should add that the same injustice of the oppressors towards these two trusts of God's Messenger have been inflicted on the Muslim community (Ummate Eslami)-and upon humanity for that matter- which the pen is incapable of description.
It should be noted that the tradition of Thaqalyn has been reported from the Prophet (S.A.W) successively and by many sides (mutawatir) among all Muslims and in the books of the Sunnis, including the Six Reliable Collections3, using various phraseology and on different occasions. This noble tradition is an unequivocal evident (hojjate qate') for humanity as a whole, particularly Muslims of all schools (madhab) of thought. All Muslims for whom this evident apply are accountable and if there be an excuse for the ignorant people, there will be none for the scholars (ulama).
Now, let us review what has befallen the Book of God, this Divine gift, and the bequest of the Messenger of Islam (S.A.W). The sorrowful events, for which one should cry one's eyes out, began following the martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.). Selfish people and oppressors exploited the Holy Qur'an as a tool at the service of governments who opposed the Holy Qur'an, under various pretexts and with premeditated plots forced the true interpreters of the Qur'an and the learned and discerning people who had learned the entirety of the Qur'an from the Prophet (S.A.W.) and in whose ears the Prophetic saying "I leave two great and precious things among you" reverberated.
In fact, by misusing the Qur'an, which has brought the greatest material and spiritual guidance for humanity until the day it encounters the prophet in the pool, they disposed of the Qur'an. They declared the Divinely Righteous Rule, one of the ideals of the Holy Book, null and introduced deviation from the religion of God and the Divine Book and Tradition so much that it makes it hard to describe without embarrassment.
The more this deviant institutions endured, the greater become the deviations and distortions to the point that the Holy Qur'an-the book which was descended as the complete and the seal of revelations to Prophet Muhammad in order to enhance the people of the world, to become the source of uniting Muslims and even human race, to elevate humanity to the desired status and save this offspring of God (valideye 'elm-ul-asma') from the evils of satans and the oppressors, to establish justice(‘adl) and equity (qest), and to entrust governance to men of God, the infallibles (A.S.) from the first to the last, so that they would entrust it to whomever served the interest of humanity- was removed from the scene to the extent that it seems it never had any role to play in guiding [humanity].
[The distortions] reached the state that the Qur'an was misused by tyrannical governments (hukumathaye ja'er) and by the more wicked preachers (akhund) than the oppressors in order to establish injustice and corruption and for legitimization of [the rule of] oppressors and enemies of the Almighty God. Unfortunately, for the conspiratorial enemies and for the ignorant friends, the Qur'an, this determinant (sarneveshtsaz) book, has no role other than recitation in the graveyards and funeral ceremonies.
The book which was to be the source of Muslim unity and that of humanity and to be a living source in their lives has become the source of disunity and discord or has been eliminated from the scene altogether, to the point that if one initiated to discuss Islamic government or to speak of politics (i.e. of the great and noble Islam, the Prophet's (S.A.W) [career] and [the contents of] the Qur'an and the traditions). It deemed as committing the gravest sin and the phrase "political preacher" (akhunde siyasi) was used for him to mean irreligious person and so is the case [even] today.
And more recently in order to eliminate the Qur'an and to secure the interests of the superpowers, the big satanic power. Through deviant governments of Islamic precepts, who falsely claim commitment to Islam, published the Qur'an with artful calligraphy and has distributed it throughout; it is to withdraw the Qur'an from the scene by this device. We all witnessed how the Qur'an printed by Muhammad Reza Pahlavi deceived some people and even some preachers, ignorant of the essence of Islam, praised him for it.
We also see how, every year, king Fahd allocates large sums from the public wealth in order to publish [this kind of]Qur'an and to propagate anti-Qur'anic religion of Wahhabism -this utterly unfounded and superstitious cult- thereby attracting ignorant people and nations towards the superpowers and take advantage of noble Islam and the Holy Qur'an.
We take pride and our noble and thoroughly committed nation is proud in being the followers of a school of thought which intend to dig out the Qur'anic truths -which commit themselves thoroughly to the unity of Muslims and even humanity- from the graveyards and utilize it as the greatest prescription for the disentanglement of man from all shackles on his limbs and on his mind and souls which are leading him towards destruction, slavery and servitude to the oppressors.
We are proud to be the followers of a faith that has been established by the Messenger of God based on His Decrees, and that the commander of the faithfuls, Ali b. Abu Talib, this emancipated slave from all entanglements, has been commissioned to free man from all shackles of slavery.
We take pride that Nahjul-Balagha, which is the greatest manual of spiritual and material life after the Holy Qur'an, is the greatest book of man's liberation and its spiritual and governmental dictums offer the greatest path to salvation, belongs to our infallible Imam.
We take pride that the infallible Imams from Ali b. Abu Talib till the savior of humanity, his Holyness Mahdi, the Master of Ages (A.S.) who lives by the power of Almighty and oversees our affairs is our Imam (leader).
We take pride that vitalizing supplications, which we call the Ascending (sa'id) Qur'an belongs to our Imams: supplications of the month of Sha'ban, Arafat prayers of Hussain b. Ali (A.S.), Shifa al-Sajjadiyyah -this Psalms of Muhammadans- and Shifa al-Fatemieh -the divine revelations to her Holyness Fatimah Zahra (A.S.)- belong to us.
We take pride that the [fifth] Imam, Baqer ul'ulum (A.S.), is the greatest personality of history and no one but the Almighty God, His Messenger (S.A.W), and the infallible Imams has appreciated his stature.
And we take pride that we belong to Ja'fari school [of jurisprudence, fiqh] and ours, a vast and endless ocean, has been developed by him. We are proud of all infallible lmams (A.S.) and we pay our allegiances to them.
We take pride that the infallible Imams (A.S.) were imprisoned, lived in exile, and finally became martyrs while enhancing Islam, implementing the Holy Qur'an -the establishment of Just and Righteous Rule being one of its dimension and while toppling the tyrannical governments and the oppressors of their time. And we are proud today that we want to execute the precepts of the Qur'an and the traditions and that the various classes and sectors of our nation participate in this great effort zealously, sacrificing their wealth, life and their loved ones in the path of God.
We take pride that our women, regardless of age, prominent or unknown, are taking part, alongside men, in cultural, economic, and military domain, sometimes better than men, in enhancement of Islam and implementation of its objectives. Those who are capable of fighting take military training -which is an important strategy for the defense of Islam and the Islamic land -and ignore [and tolerate] bravely and committedly the deprivations that the conspiratorial enemies and the ignorant friends imposed upon them, upon Islam and Muslims.
[They also] have disentangled themselves of the shackles of superstitions which the enemies have produced for their own benefit by the ignorant people or some uninformed preacher about the interest of Muslims. And those who are not able to fight are busy rendering services behind the front, so profoundly that they are breath taking for our own nation and annoying and angering for the enemies and the ignorant [friends] who are worse than enemies.
We have repeatedly witnessed gracious women who crying out like [her Holyness] Zainab (A.S.) that they are proud to have lost their children in the path of Almighty God and the noble Islam and are ready to sacrifice whatever else they possess. They know that what they have gained is more valuable than the lofty paradise, let alone compared to trivial worldly things. And our nation, and also Islamic and oppressed nations of the world are proud that their enemy -who are the enemies of the glorious God, the Holy Qur'an and the noble Islam are savages who would not hesitate to commit crimes and treacherous acts for their wicked and criminal goals and for obtaining domination and for satisfying their base interests [and in so doing], they recognize no enemy or friend.
Chief among them, America this self-indulging terrorist, is a government which has enflamed the whole world and its ally is international Zionism, which, in order to satiate her desires will commit crimes which pens are embarrassed to enumerate and tongue likewise to describe; the silly notion of greater Israel lead them commit every conceivable crimes. Muslim nations and the oppressed people of the world are proud that their enemies are the Jordanian [king] Hussein, this professional vagrant criminal, and [king] Hassan and Hosni Mubarak [of Egypt], the cohorts of Israel, are criminals and are in the service of America and Israel. [They] do not hesitate to commit any kind of treasons against their own nation.
And we are proud that our enemy is the Ba'athist Saddam whom is recognized by friends and foe as a criminal and a broacher of the principles of international law and human rights. Everyone knows that his treacherous acts against the oppressed people of Iraq and the Shiekhdoms of the Persian Gulf are not less grave than those committed against Iranian nation. We and [other] oppressed nations of the world are proud that international mass media and the propaganda machine accuse us of crimes and treasons that only the criminal superpowers dictate and order.
What pride would be more sublime and more dignified than to witness that America, despite her claims, military machine, her puppet governments, her having access to the wealth of the oppressed nations, and her control of mass media, failed and lost heart before the upright nation of Iran and the country of his Holyness Baqi-at-Allah [special designation for the Shi'i twelfth Imam], may god sacrifice us upon his coming, to the point that she does not know to whom to turn to. Whomever she turns, she is refused ant this could not have come about but only through the invisible aids from the Almighty, whose Greatness is the Highest, and Who has awakened nations especially the Iranian nation and has elevated it from the darkness of despotic monarchy into Islamic light.
On this occasion, I advice the noble but oppressed nation of Iran not to divert from the straight path of neither the atheist East nor the oppressor West, but rather be firmly committed, loyal and dedicated to the path which is granted to them by God. Never neglect appreciating this blessing and not to allow unclean elements of the superpowers, whether foreign elements or internal ones, who are worst, to shake its pure intentions and to interfere with its iron will.
You should know that the more the international mass media be antagonistic towards you, the more that reflects your divine power, and the Almighty God shall punish them both in this world and in the Hereafter; Truly He is the Lord of all blessings and
I earnestly appeal to Muslim nations to follow whole-heartedly, sacrificingly -both self and loved ones- and with proper manner, their Holyness the Imams, particularly their political culture, social [manners], economic and military [principles], and never to abandon, even an inch, the traditional jurisprudence (figh al- sonati), which is the manifestation of Prophetic and Imamate school and the guarantor of the enhancement of nations, whether the Primary Ordinances (ahkam al- avvaliye) or the Secondary Ordinances (ahkam al- thanaviye), both of which are schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
Never heed the temptations of the misguided enemies and beware that one deviate step would mean the prelude to the corruption of religion, Islamic ordinances and the Divinely Just and Righteous Rule. For example, never neglect the Friday congregational prayers which reflect the political dimension of prayers: This Friday prayer is among the greatest blessing that the Almighty has granted to this nation. Also never neglect the mourning ceremonies on the occasions of the martyrdom anniversaries of the Imams, particularly the master of all martyrs his Holyness Abi-Abdollah Hussein (A.S.) (much may God, His angels, the Prophets and saints bless his great and daring soul).
People should be reminded that the decrees of the Imams (A.S.) for commemorating this great epic4 and whatever curses have been sent to the enemies of the Household of the Prophet are, in fact, the heroic cries of nations against the tyrannical rulers throughout history to the end. You should know that the curses against the injustices of the Umayyads, who have been eliminated from the face of earth and dropped into hell, reflect the cry of [the people] against the oppressors of the world.
It is necessary to preserve these curses, and it is necessary to include elegies in the memory of the Imams (A.S.) and also the condemnation of the oppressors of each epoch. The present era, which is the epoch of the oppression against the Muslim world by America, the Soviets and their lackeys, such as the Saudis, may God's curse go to them, these conspirators against the House of God: they should be condemned firmly. We should all know that what will unite Muslims is this political ceremony [the Friday prayer], which will protect the dignity and preserve the identity of Muslims, particularly the Twelver Shi'is.
What I need to remind everyone here is that my politico religious testament is not written solely for the noble people of Iran, but it is an advice for all Muslim nations as well as the oppressed people of the world, regardless of nationality and creed.
I humbly appeal to the glorious and magnificent God never to neglect us and not to deny the children of Islam and our beloved combatants His divine blessings.
Ruhollah al-Musavi al-Khomeini
- 1. For an account of this important tradition for the Shi'i Muslims see Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai. Shi'ite in Islam. Translated by Sayyid Husayn Nasr. (Albany: The State University of NewYork Press, 1975) and the Sources cited therein.
Based on this tradition, the Shi is consider these" two great and precious things" (thaqalayn) as the two cardinal foundations of their faith. Since the great interpreters of the Shi'i traditions and faith have also called them "the trusts" (amanat) of the prophet, in Imam Khomeini's testament wherever reference is given to it, we will translate it "the two trusts". (T).
- 2. Imam Khomeini simply quotes "the pool" without bothering with the name Kawthar. The latter literally means "abundance" but here it refers to what the Prophet has described as a river in Practise (lbn Hisham, p. 261) and as a pool intended for him personally (al-Tabari. Tafsir. Vol. XXX, p. 180), and also described in the Holy Qur'an (XLVII: 15). (T).
- 3. Reference is to the six collections of traditions compiled in the third century A.H, by the following great Sunni jurists and scholars: 1) al-Bukhari (d. 256/870); 2) Muslim (d. 261/875); 3) Abu Dawud (d. 275/888); 4) al-Tirmidhi (d. 279/892); 5) al Nasa'i (d. 303/915); 6) lbn Madja (d. 273/886). (T).
- 4. Martyrdom of Imam Hussein (A.S.) in the wake of his struggle against Yazid b. Mu'awiya in Karbala on the tenth day of the month of Moharram in the lunar in the year 61 of Islamic calendar. (T).