The Role of the Holy Prophet’s (S) purity in the spread of the Islamic call
“Teach them the Book and the wisdom.” 1
What can be inferred from this Ayah is that the Holy Prophet (S) enjoyed complete knowledge of “the Book and the wisdom”.
“… and purify them.” 2
Again what is understood is that the Holy Prophet (S) had been purified as much as human beings can be purified. Having been equipped with this power, the Holy Prophet (S) could lead the entire world to purification. This is what is foreign to leaders of different schools of thought and those who have introduced different philosophical, social, political and other concepts. Certain ideas come to their minds and they pass on the ideas to other people without taking action. And certain people learn from them.
This is different from what divine prophets would do: from the beginning, they would take action to translate their slogans into action. This was exactly what happened in the life of the Holy Prophet (S). Since the first moment, he took action to teach, to purify and to start a movement to establish justice. For this reason, the battle started from the first moment: from the time when the Holy Prophet (S) started his call to Islam in response to-
“warn your nearest relations”, 3
- to the time when he openly called everybody to Islam and made efforts to establish social justice. Of course, as far as Be’that is concerned, what we observe and describe is the surface of Be’that. That divine and spiritual event which takes place between the Exalted Creator and a chosen human being is beyond the reach of our minds and our understanding. For this reason, the event is truly great and beyond our imagination. We understand the things that we observe only to the extent our understanding and wisdom allow us to, which affects human beings and the world they live in.
There were two clear goals behind Be’that of divine prophets. One goal was to bring about spiritual transformation in order to attract hearts to Allah the Exalted. This is the first point – namely, the issue of religious faith, attention to the Creator or what is referred to as divine remembrance in many Quranic Ayahs. The most important thing that Allah the Exalted bestowed on humanity through Be’that was divine remembrance, helping people become aware of spirituality. This is the first step and as long as this step has not been taken, none of the goals behind the sending of different prophets will be fulfilled.
“You can only warn him who follows the reminder.” 4
Those who pay attention to the divine reminder can be warned, reformed, guided and led towards perfection and struggle for social goals. This is the first step. When human beings disregard spirituality, all the doors to reform and improvement will be slammed in their faces.
Take a look at the conditions of the materialistic world. Today the key to all kinds of reform and happiness is to awaken human beings, warn them and remind them to seek the purpose of creation by going beyond these materialistic manifestations namely, food, sleep, human passions, power, greed for wealth and other such things. Failing to pay attention to the true nature of creation is the root of all corruption. This is the true meaning of human life and the secret behind it: paying attention to the Origin and divine obligations, waiting for divine inspirations, waiting to receive orders from the hidden world. This is the nature of the issue, which has been referred to in the Holy Quran as faith in the unseen.
“Those who believe in the unseen…” 5
Avoidance of being immersed in materialistic manifestations of life and avoidance of seeing life as limited to eating, sleep, human passions and tendencies, power and other such things: these are the primary blessings of sending prophets and the first goal of the Holy Prophet (S). The primary goal of divine prophets was to warn human beings and to develop religious faith in them, faith in the unseen.
The second goal that the Holy Prophet (S) was pursuing from the beginning was to create a healthy and appropriate environment for human beings to live in. His goal was to build a world in which there is no oppression, a world in which the rights of the weak are not trampled upon by powerful people, a world in which the weak do not suffer from complete failure and defeat, a world in which the law of the jungle is not practiced namely, the same thing that has been referred to in the Holy Quran, Islamic narrations and other religious sources as justice and equity, which are the humanity’s greatest wish.
From the beginning of the history of mankind namely, from the time when human beings developed an identity, started thinking and established order in their life up until today, human beings have cherished the wish of establishing justice in the world.
Some people are shouting slogans in support of peace. Of course, peace is a good thing, but it is good as long as it is based on justice. Many people choose to fight in order to achieve justice. They fight for the sake of justice. Therefore, it is obvious that justice is more important than peace. And this is the truth.
The absence of justice would give rise to the same events that happened in the most hideous eras in human history, and today similar events are witnessed in different parts of the world. All the afflictions that you witness in different communities originate from oppression and injustice. This might not be visible if we only consider the surface of things, but if we go beyond the surface, we will see the truth. If you see children starving to death in a corner of the world, on the surface, the problem is that there has been a drought due to low rainfall.
However, the truth is something else. The truth is that there is injustice. If justice had been established in that society and in all human communities, human beings could have built such living conditions that their children would never suffer from such afflictions thanks to administration of justice and life would never become so hideous and painful. It is because of injustice that humanity has been suffering from these maladies and afflictions.
The primary goals of all divine prophets are to administer justice and warn people of divine chastisement. These two goals are the primary goals. Of course, warning people of divine chastisement is more important than the other goal. It is the root and the essence. If there is negligence and lack of vigilance, no achievements will be made and justice will not be established. Therefore, the systems and individuals that were claiming to promote social justice, were unable to present their people with anything like justice.
They gave their people other things though. They gave their people space science. They built intercontinental missiles for them. However, they failed to establish social justice. Social justice will only be established in the shade of reforming mankind and in the shade of attention to Allah the Exalted and divine remembrance. These two goals were what the Holy Prophet (S) was after and he managed to achieve these goals, although the scope of his success was limited.
He built a society which enjoyed awareness and the highest degree of social justice. Of course, it is possible that some people were still exposed to injustice in certain parts of his society, but this does not mean there was no social justice. In a society in which laws and government are based on justice, in a society in which the ruler is a just ruler, in a society in which the intention is to administer justice, there is general progress towards social justice. It may take such a society a long time to reach the end of this path and establish social justice, but it is only a matter of time that justice is established.
The Holy Prophet (S) established social justice. He did not tolerate even the slightest injustice. He put forth a model. Of course, his teachings revealed their effects in Islamic communities even after he had passed away. And during the time of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), pure justice was witnessed in the personality of the holy and great leader of the world of Islam.
These are the two characteristics of Be’that. When we celebrate Be’that, the purpose is to revive these characteristics. The purpose of celebration is to keep alive the memory of personalities, paths and events in order to learn lessons from them. 6
This great birth was the birth of the best divine blessing that has ever been bestowed on humanity. The sending of the Holy Prophet (S) was a blessing that Allah the Exalted bestowed on His servants. His birth was the birth of a blessing. The world of Islam should understand the point that this blessing is permanent and constant, not temporary.
At that time, many people fought this manifestation of light and guidance because of their ignorance or their self-centered prejudices although the Holy Prophet (S) had been sent in order to remove a burden from the shoulders of humanity.
“He will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear.” 7
Human beings were carrying heavy burdens at that time. They were carrying heavy millstones around their necks. And people are still carrying the same burden. It is not extravagant to claim that humanity is carrying heavy burdens today, burdens that are heavier than the burdens that people were carrying in the Arabian Peninsula during the time of Jahiliyya.
The oppression that human beings are currently suffering from, the injustice that exists in human communities, the efforts to make materialistic tendencies dominant over the life of humanity, the different methods that are used to force spirituality out of the lives of human beings these are the burdens that have been placed on the shoulders of humanity.
What humanity feels today in the era of industrial civilization and among the attractions of materialism, is more difficult and in certain cases more bitter than what people were feeling in the darkness of Jahiliyya at the time of the emergence of Islam – the burden is heavier than the burden that humanity was carrying at that time.
If human beings pay attention to this blessing the blessing of Islam and the Holy Prophet’s (S) teachings, which are a source of unity if human beings try to discover this blessing, their greatest problem will be resolved. Although the existing civilizations have undoubtedly benefitted from the teachings of Islam, although there is no doubt that the existing virtues and noble concepts among human beings have been derived from divine religions and revelations and from the teachings of prophets, the majority of which belong to Islam, today humanity is in need of Islamic spirituality, Islamic purity and the correct and pleasant teachings of Islam after all, any just heart would accept and understand Islamic teachings.
It is for this reason that the Islamic call has gained ground in the world and many non-Muslims have accepted the Islamic call. Accepting the call of Islam does not mean official adoption of Islam, but it is one of the stages.
Another stage is when the people of the world accept the message, teachings, truths and proposals of Islam in this regard. Today when nations of the world are presented with the message of Islam, they feel that this message is beneficial for them and that it will fill the gaps that exist in their lives. What Islam says about the value, importance and goals of humanity, what Islam says about family, women, the goal of science and the relations between different communities, what Islam says about the social relationships between weak and powerful people when people from different civilizations look at what Islam says about these things, they feel that the problems in their lives can be resolved if they make use of the proposals of Islam.
For this reason, the message of Islam is very attractive and this is why the arrogant powers of the world and propaganda networks throughout the world which are affiliated with the same centers of coercion, oppression and anti-human activities are extremely hostile towards the message of Islam.
Since the time the Islamic Republic which is the manifestation of establishing the rule of Islam over the life of a nation and the manifestation of implementing the political proposals of Islam was established in Iran, the arrogant and oppressive powers of the world increased their hostilities towards Islam and Islamic values throughout the world.
As long as Islam is limited to mosques and hearts, as long as Islam does not step into the arena of politics, resistance and government, as long as Islam has not entered great international arenas, global centers of oppression and injustice will not feel threatened and they will not be motivated to fight and confront it. Since the day the Islamic Republic was established in Iran and the flag of Islamic government was raised in our country, since the time Muslims from different parts of the world responded to the call of our magnanimous Imam (r.a) and developed a tendency towards it, since the time many groups of people started moving towards the slogan of reviving Islam, the enmities have been increased. 8
A realistic evaluation would show that Be’that of the Holy Prophet (S) was the greatest event in the history of mankind and it affected the lives of all human beings in history. Be’that is an amazing, essential and eventful issue and it is worthy of careful reflection and analysis.
Of course, this is true of Be’that of all divine prophets. All divine prophets went through an important stage when they were being tested for Be’that. Great events have happened when choosing Prophet Musa, Prophet Isa, Prophet Ibrahim and other great prophets. However, Be’that of the Seal of Prophets (S) has certain characteristics that are unique.
As we people of Iran have a great Islamic responsibility towards humanity, I would like to discuss a point regarding Be’that. Hopefully, this discussion will motivate us to start a good movement in this regard and make appropriate efforts.
Be’that of the Holy Prophet (S), which took place on a day like today, opened up an important path. That is to say, the issue of Be’that is not limited to the fact that Allah the Exalted made a truth shine in the heart of a chosen and exceptional human being. It was only the first step. It was the beginning. Of course, it was also the most important step. The shining of this truth in the holy heart of the Prophet of Islam (S) and the responsibility for divine revelations which was accepted by the Holy Prophet (S), is exactly what connects the materialistic world and the existence of mankind to the unseen world. It is the link that connects the two worlds to one another.
Although human beings will continue benefitting from divine blessings of this path and this event, the moment of Be’that is the link that connects the world to the unseen. At that moment, divine truths started flowing from the unseen world into the holy heart and soul of Prophet Muhammad (S). Therefore, Be’that was the first step.
A door was opened to divine truths and the Holy Prophet (S), who was prepared to be tested and to shoulder the burden of this responsibility, started his great movement from that moment. Therefore, the issue of Be’that is different from the issue of learning divine truths. That is to say, there is more to Be’that than learning divine truths. Of course, the divine door to learning divine truths is always open to prophets and saints.
”And He taught Adam all the names.” 9
Allah the Exalted has always taught divine truths to His messengers, but there is more to Be’that than teaching divine truths.
Human beings are inspired to make use of the assets that have been bestowed on them in order to lead humanity towards the final destination. That is to say, human beings are inspired to start a movement. This is the meaning of Be’that. This first step was taken after divine revelations descended into the holy heart of the Prophet (S). Then it was time to implement the essence of Be’that in the world, and this requires struggle. The essence of Be’that is new and signifies building a new world and eliminating unjust, oppressive and hostile systems.
Therefore, the first step after Be’that is to start a movement. No divine prophet managed to follow this path, fulfill his responsibility and announce his message to people without being forced to fight. It was not the case that the people of their societies easily accepted the new world that their Be’that was proposing. For this reason, they would start fighting divine prophets. Among the people with a truthful message, divine prophets have had the largest number of enemies.
Since the first day after his Be’that, the Holy Prophet (S) was faced with different kinds of hostilities. The Holy Prophet (S) started countering these hostilities from the first day and continued doing so until the moment he passed away. He fought this battle for twenty-three years.
Notice that those twenty-three years were very auspicious. Twenty-three years is not a long period of time. You see many people who do not even manage to do something that is presentable in twenty, twenty-three or twenty-five years. Normally, people spend almost all their time on personal matters. If you take a look at the biography of great personalities including scientists, philosophers and politicians you will see the amount of work they did in twenty- three years.
Depending on their capabilities, people may or may not be able to make great achievements in twenty-three years. But notice how many blessings originated from the twenty-three years of the Holy Prophet’s (S) life after Be’that. At the heart of this Jahiliyya and at the heart of Jahiliyya eras throughout the world, the Holy Prophet (S) managed to build such a system and raise such a beacon of guidance which will become more brilliant on a daily basis and will help and guide increasing numbers of people.
The Holy Prophet (S) started following this path in the first thirteen years of his prophethood and he gradually built an Islamic system. Therefore, the next step is to establish a system that is based on this idea and on the foundations of Be’that. These things clearly show that what is claimed by those who try to draw a line between religion particularly Islam and government, is wrong. Of course, all divine religions are similar in this regard, but this claim is particularly unbelievable in the case of Islam.
It is unbelievable that some people try to separate Islam from daily life, from politics, from management of national affairs, from government. It is unbelievable that some people try to push Islam out of these areas. Since the first day when Islam was introduced, there was a fierce battle to move towards establishing an Islamic society and government. And after thirteen years of resistance, the Holy Prophet (S) managed to establish this system, although this did not happen in his birthplace and in the city where Be’that had taken place.
After that long-lasting resistance, this is the second step. It is on the basis of this idea that an Islamic system is built. As long as Islamic and divine ideas are not backed by this system and this source of power, it is not possible to spread divine ideas, rules and concepts into the lives of the people. This is the exact opposite of the distorted view which is held by those who claim that religion becomes corrupt when it achieves power.
On the contrary, if religion achieves political power, it will spread and gain ground. It will be possible for religion to fulfill religious goals and wishes. It will be possible for religion to implement the values that are promoted by religion. These things are impossible in the absence of power. It is through political power that these things can be achieved. For example, do you think it is possible to establish justice in society through advice and begging? In the absence of political power, it is not possible to establish justice, eliminate discrimination and help establish equity in one’s society and in the world.
When a word of justice is uttered in the world, global powers do not hesitate to work against it unless they believe that it is not important enough to take action. This has always been the case. Wherever in the world the voice of Islam and Islamic thought is raised, the arrogant powers, capitalists and company owners quickly become alert, fearing that they might be threatened.
This has always been the case. Wherever a word of justice was uttered by somebody, wherever great men decided to promote truth, suddenly they were faced with the iron walls and fists of the enemies and opponents. The enemies would deploy their forces against them. Of course, they would be defeated. Falsehood is always defeated by truth. There is no doubt in this regard. If truth resists, there is no doubt that falsehood will be defeated.
However, the important point is that in the absence of resistance and struggle and without political power, it is not possible to implement religious ideas and values and to fulfill religious wishes or any other wish for that matter. Of course, there are certain things that can be done through reasoning and offering advice.
Therefore, even divine prophets were after establishing a government. The Holy Prophet of Islam (S) is an obvious example in this regard. From the first day, he started his struggle and he focused his efforts on establishing an Islamic government. Later on, he managed to establish a government in Medina and he defended it. He even extended the scope and this movement continued for many years.
Thus, the next step is to establish a government. However, establishing a government is not the goal and this is the essential point. The purpose of establishing a government is to implement values. If an Islamic government is established but it fails to move towards implementing values, that government is corrupt. This is a general rule. This is the standard. It may take years to implement values.
There may be obstacles and problems, but the Islamic government that has been established should move towards the goals and values that it has promoted, the goals and values that can be found in the Holy Quran and in Islamic teachings. If the orientation is different, that government is definitely corrupt. The goal is to establish social justice and order that is based on the law. The goal is to establish divine laws everywhere.
If divine laws are established in society, if Islamic order is resorted, if social justice is established, only one of the stages has been completed. Only one medium-level goal has been achieved. The next stage is to encourage the people who are living comfortably in justice and peace under this government to develop moral virtues in themselves. This is the point that I would like to stress: after establishing a government, the goal is to encourage the people to develop moral virtues in themselves. This is the goal after a just government has been established, after justice has been administered in society, after a truly Islamic government has been built. This is the next goal.
People should try to develop moral virtues in themselves, which will of course lead to transcendence, spiritual development and a noble understanding. This is one of the stages of human perfection. We cannot even understand this appropriately. Everything said is based on what has been heard from the Islamic luminaries.
Developing moral virtues is the stage of perfection that is in our hands. The Holy Prophet (S) correctly pointed out: “I was appointed as prophet in order to complete moral virtues.” 10 This hadith has been narrated by both Shia and Sunni people. Basically, the Holy Prophet (S) is saying that he was appointed for this reason and that everything else is just a prelude. The purpose is to “complete moral virtues.” The Holy Prophet (S) says that he was appointed in order to help complete moral virtues in human communities and among members of the Islamic Ummah so that moral virtues develop and everybody benefits from them and becomes a good human being.
We should develop and become good human beings. We should develop and complete moral virtues in ourselves. This is the next step, which is very important. If in a society that is built on Islamic pillars, people drift away from divine virtues and go after human passions and self-interest, if everybody tries to receive a bigger share and live a better life, if everybody tries to steal from others and is prepared to appropriate more than he deserves, if there is no forgiveness and self- sacrifice, what kind of government would allow these things? What kind of Islam and Islamic society would allow these things?
This is the basis of the issue. “I was appointed as prophet in order to complete moral virtues.” 51 Dear people, you should know that the world is in need of this. Unfortunately, the materialistic world lacks this characteristic altogether.
Moral virtues have been explained in holy sharia, including the things that are related to human beings such as patience, worship, purity and simple lifestyles, the things that are related to other human beings such as forgiveness, humility, self-sacrifice and respect for others, and the things that are related to the Islamic community. The scope of moral virtues is vast in Islam. These are the same things that the efforts of all divine prophets, saints and religious luminaries and in the case of Islam, the efforts of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S), the infallible Imams and Islamic luminaries were focused on.
Of course, under an oppressive government, these things might appear to be extremely difficult. As I said, in a system whose foundations are falsehood, oppression and materialistic tendencies such as the governments that have been established by Taghuts throughout the world it is clear that these things cannot be achieved easily. However, in an Islamic system, it is easier to achieve these things. And today the world needs this.
As the main complement to our great Islamic Revolution, our society should start a fundamental movement and there are two stages to such a movement. One stage is establishing a system and promoting Islamic virtues among ourselves, namely turning Islamic virtues into values among the people of our own society. These Islamic virtues should be turned into values. Under the Taghuts that were in power in our country, these Islamic virtues had lost their position as values.
An honest person says whatever he has in mind, as opposed to individuals who are narrow-minded, individuals whose outlook is flawed. In a society that is filled with dishonest people, a sophisticated person is one who is not honest, one who distorts reality, one who can trick and deceive. This is an instance of transforming values. This happened under Taghuti governments and under the rule of oppressive, corrupt and anti-ethics kings, and unfortunately ethical institutions in our country were seriously harmed.
Of course, the revolutionary movement helped and revived ethical institutions and the spirit of ethics in our society. However, more efforts are required. This is the first stage.
The second stage is to teach these things to the world. Today the world needs these things. Human beings throughout the world suffer from lack of ethics. Islam and Muslims can present nations of the world with the best ethical gift. They can present the best gift to humanity.
Unfortunately, today the biggest crime of the arrogant powers is that through their behavior, they have been promoting lying, deception, cheating and a tendency towards falsehood in the world. In the arrogant governments of the world which are led by the government of America, there are certain individuals who have carried out the largest number of assassinations around the world. Recently it was announced that one of the American politicians has claimed that the CIA was involved in the killings and kidnappings in Guatemala,
The role of the arrogant powers in causing the pitiable conditions in the contemporary world which had attracted the attention of the entire world. America’s CIA has hunted down, kidnapped and killed each and every one of America’s political opponents in Guatemala and the truth has been discovered after all this time.
In every part of the world, particularly in Latin America and many other parts of the world, these people have carried out assassinations. They have plotted coups d'état. They have done illegal things. We witnessed the same things in our country as well. The same is true of other places. They have supported the most hideous terrorists in the world. They have harbored them. They have had friendly relationships with them. They have praised them. They have offered them financial support. And they are still continuing these actions.
They have helped and supported the Israeli regime, which is a government that is founded on terrorism, occupation and hostility. They have supported and helped this regime more than others. They openly support the Israeli regime. They do not even support their Arab friends as much as they support Israel. Currently, the Americans do not help their traditional friends in the region as much as they help Israel. In fact, their real friend is Israel and they prefer it to all the other governments. This is while Israel is a regime that is founded on terrorism.
From the beginning, this regime was built on the foundations of terror, killing opponents, lies, oppression, murder and massacres. This is the same as supporting terror and assassination. This is while America is carrying the flag of fighting terrorism in the world.
This is a clear case of lying and deception. This is a clear case of depriving humanity of ethics, a clear case of drifting away from ethics. Those who are claiming to support values and moral virtues in the world, are the archenemy of moral virtues and this is more tragic than any other crime that is committed in the world.
The world needs your message and your path. It needs the truth that you have discovered, the truth that is in the Holy Quran and in Be’that of the Holy Prophet (S). However, you will be able to teach these things to the world only when you have internalized them and translated them into action. 11
Regarding the Holy Prophet of Islam (S), first I would say that it is not possible for people like us to achieve the brilliant understanding that he had achieved. That most noble human being, that most honorable being in the entire creation is beyond materialistic dimensions of the world. Human beings use their wisdom and experience and five senses to rank people on the basis of genius, wisdom, knowledge and experience. The Holy Prophet of Islam (S) enjoys the highest rank in all these areas.
Even if there were no narrations, no Quranic Ayahs and no religious evidence, people could discover this truth through reasoning and the proofs that exist in the world. Those who can make use of these things are capable of achieving part of the brilliance that the Holy Prophet (S) enjoyed. Using our five senses and despite the existing restrictions, we can see, recognize and feel the greatness of the Holy Prophet (S).
Even within the limits that restrict the understanding of human beings, the Holy Prophet (S) is not comparable to any other luminary. For example, Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) has always attracted the attention of many luminaries throughout the world and they have described him as a great personality and as a person who is more like a mythical character. However, even that great man is considered small and insignificant compared to the Holy Prophet (S). He himself considered his position far lower than that of the Holy Prophet (S). Compared to the greatness of the Holy Prophet (S), which is like a boundless ocean, the personality of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) fades into insignificance. This shows the greatness of the Holy Prophet (S).
The point which is important in today’s world and which I emphasize repeatedly is that there is one thing that all Islamic denominations have in common and there is no disagreement as far as that one thing is concerned. Today Muslims are suffering from numerous problems and afflictions. They are all grappling with these problems and they should use every instrument that is available to them in order to eliminate these problems and afflictions. Even in the case of monotheism, which all Muslims agree about unanimously, there might be certain people who have their own interpretations and might not accept what others say.
However, as far as love and respect for the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) is concerned, there is no disagreement among Muslims. This is a point of unity and all Muslims should focus their efforts on it. I have previously said that some determined people have made efforts to unite different Islamic denominations on the basis of this point of unity. And today those who are determined should try to attract the attention of all Muslims to this point of unity.
Let us make a point about the issues that are related to the world of Islam. Muslims should try to figure out their current conditions and they should understand what horrible plans the enemies of Islam have for the destiny of Muslims. Knowledge of the existing conditions alone should be enough to awaken conscientious people to the fact that they need a remedy. It is not easy to find a remedy. However, there are two, three essential points in this regard that we should pay attention to.
- 1. Sura al-Baqara, Ayah 129
- 2. Sura al-Baqara, Ayah 129
- 3. Sura ash-Shuara, Ayah 214
- 4. Sura al-Yasin, Ayah 11
- 5. Sura al-Baqara, Ayah 3
- 6. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on December 20, 1995 in a meeting with government officials of the Islamic Republic on the occasion of Mab’ath
- 7. Sura al-Araf, Ayah 157
- 8. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on August 3, 1996 in a meeting with government officials and participants of the Islamic Unity Conference
- 9. Sura al-Baqara, Ayah 31
- 10. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 68, P. 382
- 11. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on December 9, 1996 in a meeting with government officials on the occasion of Mab’ath