The following is the full text of the speech delivered on April 29, 2013 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting at Inauguration of Islamic Awakening and Ulama Conference.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master, Muhammad al-Mustafa, and upon his immaculate household, chosen companions and those who follow them well, until the Day of Judgment.
I welcome you honorable guests and I ask Almighty and Merciful God to bless this collective effort and make it an effective step towards happiness of Muslims. “Surely He listens and responds.”
Today the subject of Islamic Awakening, which you will discuss in this conference, tops the list of the issues of the Islamic world and the Islamic Ummah, an amazing phenomenon that will result in the re-emergence of Islamic civilization – for the Islamic Ummah and then for all of the world – in the not too distant future providing that, with Allah’s permission, it stays healthy and continues.
Today what lies in front of our eyes and cannot be denied by any informed and intelligent individual is that the world of Islam has now emerged out of the sidelines of social and political equations of the world, that it has found a prominent and outstanding position at the center of decisive global events, and that it offers a fresh outlook on life, politics, government and social developments. This is considered an important and significant phenomenon in today’s world, which is suffering from a deep intellectual and theoretical vacuum after the failure of communism and liberalism. This is the first sign of the political and revolutionary events in North Africa and the Arab region on a global scale, which itself is a harbinger of greater truths that will come to pass in the future.
Islamic Awakening, which speakers in the arrogant and reactionary camp do not even dare to mention in words, is a truth whose signs can be witnessed in almost all parts of the world of Islam. The most obvious sign of it is the enthusiasm of public opinion, especially among young people, to revive the glory and greatness of Islam, to become aware of the nature of the international order of domination and to remove the mask from the shameless, oppressive and arrogant face of the governments and centers that have been pressuring the Islamic and non-Islamic East in their clutches for more than two hundred years and have been exposing nations to their brutal and aggressive thirst for power disguised with the mask of civilization and culture.
The dimensions of this auspicious awakening are widespread and mysterious, but what was witnessed of its immediate outcomes in a few North African countries can make hearts confident about the great and amazing outcomes that will be achieved in the future. Miraculous fulfillment of divine promises is always a hope-inspiring sign that promises the fulfillment of greater promises. The Quranic account of the two promises that Allah the Exalted gave to the mother of Prophet Moses is an example of this divine tactic. At that difficult moment, when she was ordered to cast her baby in the river in a basket, Allah the Exalted said, “Surely We will bring him back to you and make him one of the messengers.” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Qasas, Ayah 7] The fulfillment of the first promise, which was the smaller promise and a cause for happiness for the mother, became the sign of the fulfillment of the promise of prophetic mission, which was far greater and of course, it required long-term suffering, struggle and patience: “So We restored him to his mother that her eye might be refreshed, and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true…” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Qasas, Ayah 13] This true promise was the great mission which was fulfilled after many years and it changed the course of history.
Another example is the reminder about the overwhelming power of God to suppress the invaders of the Holy House: in order to encourage His audience through the Holy Prophet to submit to His order, Allah the Exalted makes use of this example “so let them serve the Lord of this House” [The Holy Quran, Sura Quraysh, Ayah 3] and says, “Did He not cause their war to end in confusion?” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Fil, Ayah 2] Similarly, in order to raise the spirits of His beloved Prophet and convince him of the truth of the promise “your Lord has not forsaken you, nor has He become displeased” [The Holy Quran, Sura ad-Dhuha, Ayah 3], Allah the Exalted gives the reminder about the miraculous blessing: “Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? He found you astray and guided you.” [The Holy Quran, Sura ad-Dhuha, Ayah 6-7] And there are many such examples in the Holy Quran.
The day when Islam achieved victory in Iran and managed to capture the fort of America and Zionism in one of the most important countries in this extremely sensitive region, those who were wise and quick to learn realized that if they had patience and insight, other victories will come one after another.
The brilliant truths in the Islamic Republic, which are acknowledged by our enemies, have all been achieved in the shade of trust in divine promises, patience, resistance and asking God for assistance. In the face of temptations by weak people who, during tense times, shout “we are sure to be overtaken,” [The Holy Quran, Sura ash-Shuara, Ayah 61] our people have always shouted “by no means, my Lord is with me and soon will He guide me.” [The Holy Quran, Sura ash-Shuara, Ayah 62]
Today this is a precious experience that is available to the peoples who have stood up against arrogance and tyranny and have managed to overthrow and shake corrupt governments that are subservient to and dependent on America. Resistance, patience, insight and faith in the divine promise “surely Allah will help him who helps His cause” will pave this path of glory for the Islamic Ummah until it reaches the peak of Islamic civilization.
At this important meeting, which has been attended by a group of religious scholars of the Islamic Ummah from different Islamic countries and denominations, I believe it is appropriate to discuss a few necessary points regarding the issue of Islamic Awakening.
The first point is that the earliest waves of awakening in the countries of this region, which started simultaneously with the entry of the pioneers of colonialism, were mainly caused by religion and religious reformers. The names of outstanding leaders and personalities – such as Sayyid Jamal ad-Din, Muhammad Abduh, Mirza-e Shirazi, Akhund-e Khorasani, Mahmoud al-Hassan, Muhammad Ali, Sheikh Fazlollah, Hajj Agha Noorullah, Abul A’la Maududi and tens of famous, great, mujahid and and influential clerics from Iran, Egypt, India and Iraq – have been recorded in history books forever. Similarly, in the contemporary era, the brilliant name of the great Imam Khomeini is shining like a brilliant star at the forefront of the Islamic Revolution. Meanwhile, today and in the past, hundreds of famous religious scholar and thousands of lesser-known religious scholars have played a role in great and small reform movements in different countries. The list of non-cleric religious reformers, such as Hassan al-Banna and Iqbal Lahori, is also long and amazing.
Almost everywhere, clerics and theologians have been the intellectual authority and spiritual support for the people and wherever they have appeared in the role of guides and pioneers at the time of great developments and have moved forward in the first rows of popular movements in the face of dangers, the intellectual bond between them and the people has been strengthened and they have played a significant role in showing the path to the people. This is as beneficial to the wave of Islamic Awakening as it is unpleasant and distressing to the enemies of the Islamic Ummah, those who bear grudges against Islam and those who are opposed to the rule of Islamic values, and they are trying to take away this intellectual authority from religious strongholds and create new centers for it. They have learned through experience that they can easily reach a compromise with these centers over national principles and values, and this is something that will never happen in the case of pious religious scholars and devoted religious personalities.
This makes the responsibility of religious scholars heavier. Through vigilance and caution and by identifying the enemy’s deceptive methods and machinations, they should completely shut the door to infiltration and foil the enemy’s plots. One of the greatest calamities is becoming attracted to the lure of worldly wealth. Exposure to the favors of wealthy and powerful people and being indebted to taghuts of lust and power are the most dangerous cause of separation from the people and loss of their trust and friendliness. Self-centeredness and thirst for power, which lure weak individuals towards developing an inclination to poles of power, prepare the ground for involvement in corruption and deviation. It is necessary to constantly keep this holy Quranic ayah in mind: “(As for) that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard (against evil).” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Qasas, Ayah 83]
Today in the era of hope-inspiring movements of Islamic Awakening, sometimes certain things are witnessed which on the one hand, show the efforts by the agents of America and Zionism to create unreliable intellectual authorities and which on the other hand, show the efforts by debauched Qaruns to drag religious and pious people towards their poisoned and contaminated activities. Religious scholars and pious men should be extremely vigilant and careful.
The second point is the necessity of delineating a long-term goal for Islamic Awakening in Muslim countries, a noble aim that gives orientation to the awakening of nations and helps them reach a certain point. It is through identifying this particular point that one can prepare a roadmap and specify the medium- and short-term goals in it. This final goal cannot be anything less than creating a brilliant Islamic civilization. All parts of the Islamic Ummah – in the form of different nations and countries – should achieve the civilizational position that has been specified in the Holy Quran. The main and the general characteristic of this civilization is that it should allow human beings to utilize all the material and spiritual capacities that Allah the Exalted has bestowed on them and on the world in order to bring about happiness and transcendence for humanity. The surface structure of this civilization can and should be witnessed in popular government, in the laws that have been extracted from the Holy Quran, in identifying and addressing different needs of humanity, in avoidance of rigidity and reactionary attitudes as well as unwarranted innovation and adulteration, in creating public welfare and wealth, in establishing justice, in liberation from an economy that is based on special privileges, usury and taking pride in wealth, in promoting human values, in defending oppressed people in the world, and in hard work and innovation. Adopting an ijtihadi and scholarly outlook on different areas – ranging from humanities to the system of formal education, from economy and banking to technical and technological production, from modern media to art and cinema and to international relations and other areas – are all among the requirements for this civilization-building.
Experience has shown that all of these things are possible and within the capacities of Muslim communities. This outlook must not be treated with haste and pessimism. Being pessimistic about one’s capabilities is ingratitude to God’s blessings, and neglecting help from God and the laws of creation amounts to slipping into the morass of entertaining “evil thoughts about Allah.” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Fath, Ayah 6] We can break the chain of scientific, economic and political monopolies of the domineering powers and help the Islamic Ummah become the pioneer of restoring the rights of the majority of nations in the world, which have been dominated by a minority of arrogant powers.
Through religious faith, knowledge, ethics and constant struggle, Islamic civilization can gift advanced thought and noble codes of behavior to the Islamic Ummah and to the entire humanity, and it can be the point of liberation from materialistic and oppressive outlooks and corrupt codes of behavior that form the pillars of current Western civilization.
The third point is that in the movements of Islamic Awakening it is necessary to pay constant attention to the bitter and horrifying experience of following the West in politics, behavior and lifestyle.
In more than a century of following the culture and politics of the arrogant powers, Muslim countries suffered from deadly calamities such as political dependence and humiliation, economic plights and poverty, decline of moral virtues and ethics and shameful scientific backwardness, and this was while the Islamic Ummah enjoyed a glorious history in all of these areas.
This statement must not be interpreted as hostility towards the West. We are not hostile towards any group of human beings because of geographical differences. We have learnt lessons from Ali (greetings be upon him) who describes human beings in this way: “Those who have the same religion as you, they are brothers to you, and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you.” Our complaint against oppression and arrogance and against bullying and transgression is the moral and practical degeneration that has been imposed on our nations by the colonial and arrogant powers. Currently, we can witness the bullying and interference of America and some of its followers in the region in the countries in which the breeze of awakening has turned into the storm of uprisings and revolutions. Their promises must not affect the decisions and actions of outstanding political personalities and the great movement of the people. In this case as well, we need to learn lessons from our experiences: those who pinned their hopes on the promises of America for years and based their behavior and policies on the inclination towards the oppressor did not manage to resolve any problems of their nations or eliminate an injustice to themselves or to others. By surrendering to America, they did not manage to prevent the demolition of even one single Palestinian home in a territory that belongs to the Palestinians. The politicians and outstanding personalities who are deceived by the bribe or intimidated by the threats of the camp of the arrogant powers and miss the great opportunity of Islamic Awakening should be apprehensive about this divine threat: “Have you not seen those who have changed Allah’s favor for ungratefulness and made their people to alight into the abode of perdition into hell? They shall enter into it and an evil place it is to settle in.” [The Holy Quran, Sura Ibrahim, Ayah 28-29]
The fourth point is that today one of the most dangerous things that threatens the movement of Islamic Awakening is the efforts to foment discord and turn these movements into bloody sectarian, ethnic and national conflicts. Currently, this plot is being seriously pursued by intelligence services of the West and Zionism with the help of petrodollars and bribed politicians from East Asia to North Africa and particularly in the Arab region. And the money that could have been spent to bring about happiness for mankind is being used to make threats, excommunicate, assassinate, bomb, shed Muslim blood and to kindle the fire of long-lasting grudges. Those who consider the unified power of Islam as an obstacle in the way of their evil goals have come to the conclusion that fanning the flames of conflicts inside the Islamic Ummah is the easiest way to achieve their satanic goal and they have used differences of opinion in Islamic jurisprudence, kalaam, history and hadith – which are natural and inevitable – as a pretext to excommunicate, shed blood and cause fitna and corruption.
A vigilant look at the scene of domestic conflicts clearly reveals the enemy’s hands behind these tragedies. These deceptive hands undoubtedly take advantage of the ignorance, prejudice and superficiality that exists in our societies and they add fuel to the fire. The responsibility of religious and political reformers and outstanding personalities is very heavy in this regard.
Currently, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, Syria, Pakistan, and Iraq and Lebanon are in one way or another involved in or exposed to these dangerous flames. It is necessary to be extremely careful and to look for a remedy. It would be naïve to think that all of these things are due to ideological and ethnic factors and motives. Propaganda campaigns of the West and dependent and mercenary media in the region pretend that the destructive war in Syria is a Shia-Sunni conflict and they create a safety margin for the Zionists and the enemies of resistance in Syria and Lebanon. This is while the two sides of the conflict in Syria are not Shia and Sunni, rather they are the supporters and opponents of anti-Zionist resistance. Neither the Syrian government is a Shia government, nor is the secular and anti-Islam opposition a Sunni group. The only achievement of the plotters of this calamitous scenario is that they have managed to make use of religious sentiments of simple-minded people to kindle this deadly fire. A look at the scene and those who are involved in it at different levels can clarify the issue for any just individual.
Also, in the case of Bahrain, this wave of propaganda is spreading lies and deception in another way. In Bahrain, the oppressed majority – who have been deprived of the right to vote as well as other fundamental rights that a nation should enjoy – have risen up to demand their rights. Should this be considered a Shia-Sunni conflict simply because the oppressed majority are Shia and the oppressive secular government pretends to be Sunni? Of course, the European and American colonialists and their friends in the region want to make things appear like this, but what is the truth?
These are the things that call religious scholars and just reformers to careful thinking and sense of responsibility and they make identification of the enemies’ goals behind highlighting sectarian, ethnic and partisan differences an obligation for everybody.
The fifth point is that one of the standards for judging whether Islamic Awakening movements are on the right path is the positions they adopt on the issue of Palestine. Since sixty years ago up until today, the occupation of Palestine has been the biggest tragedy that has been imposed on the Islamic Ummah.
Since the first day up until today, the tragedy of Palestine has been a combination of killings, assassinations, destruction, usurpation and transgression against what is held sacred in Islam. The necessity of putting up a resistance against this warring and usurping enemy and fighting him has been agreed upon by all Islamic denominations and all honest and healthy national currents. Any current in Islamic countries which disregards this religious and national responsibility out of consideration for the domineering demands of America or under the pretext of unreasonable justifications should not expect to be viewed as loyal to Islam and sincere in its nationalistic claims.
This is a test. Anybody who does not accept the slogan of liberating Holy Quds and saving the Palestinian nation and Palestinian territories or anybody who sidelines this slogan and turns his back on the camp of resistance, will be condemned. The Islamic Ummah should keep this clear and fundamental standard in mind everywhere and at all times.
Dear guests, brothers and sisters, never lose sight of the enemy’s plot. Our lack of vigilance creates opportunities for our enemies.
The lesson that Ali (greetings be upon him) teaches us is that “whoever is careless about his cause, his enemy will not sleep over this advantage…” In this regard, our experience in the Islamic Republic is also a source of lessons. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the arrogant Western governments and America – which had long established full control over Iranian taghuts and used to determine the political, economic and cultural destiny of our country and which had underestimated the enormous power of Islamic faith in society and remained unaware of the power of Islam and the Holy Quran to deploy forces and to guide – suddenly realized that they had been unaware and their governmental organizations, intelligence services and control rooms resumed work in order to make up for the overwhelming defeat they had suffered.
We have witnessed various kinds of machinations from them over the past thirty-something years. In essence, there have been two factors that have foiled their plots: insistence on Islamic principles and presence of the people on the scene. These two factors are the key to the problems everywhere. The first factor is guaranteed by sincere religious faith in divine promises and the second factor is guaranteed by sincere efforts and honest clarification. A nation that has faith in the honesty and sincerity of its leaders will bring in enthusiasm with their blessed presence, and wherever a nation stays on the scene with a solid determination, no power will have the capability to defeat it. This is a successful experience for all the nations that gave rise to Islamic Awakening through their presence.
I pray to Allah the Exalted to bestow His guidance, assistance and mercy on you and on all Muslim nations.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy
The year 1391 should be regarded as one of the most fruitful years in terms of elaborating important concepts within the framework of the discourse of the Islamic Revolution. National production, national dignity, economy of resistance, Islamic progress, scientific progress, building a new Islamic civilization, identifying issues and problems relating to lifestyle, defining Islamic lifestyle, the Islamic view of freedom, political stability and tranquility, historic juncture and Islamic Awakening are among the most important concepts discussed by the Supreme Leader in the year 1391.
Since political developments take place very fast and because new social discourses and the massive amount of news and information and the political propaganda of the enemies of the Islamic Revolution may confuse public opinion, a brief discussion of the above-mentioned concepts can clear up some of the confusion. However, in order to fully understand these concepts, one should study them carefully. We will briefly discuss a number of the most important concepts highlighted last year by the Supreme Leader.
From the viewpoint of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, “The material progress of the country is based on two factors. The first factor is knowledge, and production is the second factor.” Five years ago – that is to say, in the beginning of the year 1386 – Ayatollah Khamenei said that the plans of the enemy against the Iranian nation are: “Psychological warfare, economic warfare and efforts to confront the progress and scientific power of Iran.”  He introduced certain slogans to improve the economy of the country. These slogans are “innovation and blossoming”, “reforming the norms of consumption”, “intensified effort and labor” and “economic jihad”. Also,last year was named “The Year of National Production and Supporting Iranian Labor and Capital”. This slogan was used to ensure the continuation of economic jihad.
In order to confront the economic plots of the enemies and make progress, “We should be able to support the work of Iranian laborers and the capital of Iranian investors, and the only way to make this happen is to strengthen national production. The role that the government should play in this regard is to support our domestic industrial and agricultural products and the role of our investors and laborers is to strengthen the cycle of production and bolster production work. And the role of the people – which I believe is the most important role – is to consume our domestic products.”
From the viewpoint of the Leader, “Various measures should be adopted on different fronts: regarding the issue of improving the skills of the workforce, the issue of correct managerial attitudes, the issue of empowering the workforce, the issue of confronting economic disruption in the right way, the issue of sense of security for both laborers and investors, creating competitive advantages, making the cost of production competitive, production-based policies, promoting the culture of consuming domestic products, improving the quality of domestic products, modernization of production equipment, and innovative products, management and production.”  The Supreme Leader has formulated the general policies on national production and supporting Iranian labor and capital.
“According to the Holy Quran, genuine and perfect honor belongs to God and anyone who fights for a divine cause. In the confrontation between truth and falsehood and between the camp of God and the camp of Satan, honor belongs to those who fight for the camp of God. One of the main characteristics of Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) lifestyle was instilling the spirit of national honor into our nation. Our nation rediscovered itself by relying on the sense of honor that it gained from Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and the Revolution. Our nation discovered itself and its capabilities. And this is the reason why we have seen many of the divine promises being fulfilled in front of our eyes over the past few decades.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution defines honor as “social and individual strength of character, which gives individuals and societies the power and strength to clear obstacles and confront challenges. The point that we must pay attention to is that this is not a one-shot effort, rather it involved continuous work. Nations should confront the causes of decline and stagnation.” It is here that the relationship between honor and progress becomes clear.
“Our national stability is the most important factor relating to infrastructure. Different governments have been voted into office and in spite of the disagreements and the varying political tendencies, our country has been stable since the victory of the Revolution and it has been moving towards goals. This is the most important element relating to our country’s basic structure.”
The Leader believes, “With his movement, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) put us on a firm path and we must continue that path. Any stops on this path will result in regression. A nation that has gained honor and is moving forward on the path of progress, if such a nation fails to appreciate these blessing and it becomes ungrateful, then the hardships and gloom of the era of weakness and humiliation will return to it.” Ayatollah Khamenei says that our people believe in national honor and that this is a reality of our society. He states that from an Islamic point of view, progress has certain characteristics. National honor is one of these important characteristics.
Economy of Resistance
More than two years have passed since the Supreme Leader introduced this phrase. In his meeting with entrepreneurs, he said that entrepreneurs should focus their efforts on creating a genuine economy of resistance in the face of the enemy’s economic pressure. Almost a year after that, a number of students of Sharif University of Technology informed the Supreme Leader that they had formed a committee in order to find ways to develop an economy of resistance. This was supported and encouraged by the Supreme Leader.
In fact, economy of resistance is a way to confront the economic plots of the enemy. The goal of such plots is to create obstacles in the way of public welfare and pit the people against the Islamic Republic by exerting pressures.  “Of course, an economy of resistance does not mean building a wall around oneself and merely carrying out defensive measures. Rather it is a kind of economy which allows a nation to achieve growth and blossoming even when it is under pressure.”
From the viewpoint of the Leader, “Putting the people in charge of economy”, “minimizing our dependence on oil”, “the issue of managing consumption” or “moderate consumption and avoidance of extravagance” “using domestically produced products”, “moving forward on the basis of plans”, “supporting knowledge-based companies”, “adopting a scientific outlook on economy”, “achieving stability in economic policies”, “developing plans – such as the targeted subsidy plan – for improving economy of resistance”, “encouraging economic professors to adopt a scientific approach to economy of resistance” and “strengthening national production” are among basic things which should be done to improve economy of resistance. “Erratic decisions and changes in regulations are among the things that harm economy of resistance as well as national resistance. Both the executive branch and the Majlis should pay attention to this point. “
From the viewpoint of the Leader, “Progress – as defined by Islam – is a key concept that to a large extent includes the popular demands in the country.” “Progress is associated with change and movement: it is a path. There is no limit to progress. Progress is a process. It is a path, but there is no end to it: it continues forever. Comprehensive progress can be considered as efforts to build a new Islamic civilization. After all, the Islamic conception of progress has a manifestation in the outside world.” 
Building a New Islamic Civilization
“The goal of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution is to build a new Islamic civilization.” “There are certain standards as far as progress is concerned. One of the standards of progress for a nation is having national dignity and self-confidence. Another standard for progress is justice.” As far as national dignity and self-confidence is concerned, “Our nation has made a lot of progress.” But regarding the standard of justice, “I believe that we have made progress in this regard – of course, not as much as we wanted to. If we compare our current conditions with what Islam has demanded from us, there is a long way to go and we need to make a lot of efforts.”  Ayatollah Khamenei believes that from an Islamic point of view, progress requires certain foundations. These foundations are: political stability, economic infrastructure, legal infrastructure and workforce. 
“Progress in Islamic thought is different from progress in materialistic western civilization. They view progress from one single perceptive, from the materialistic perspective. But in Islamic thought, progress enjoys many other dimensions.” The Leader states that western civilization focuses on the hardware part of civilization: “The goal of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution is to build a new Islamic civilization, which is an accurate evaluation. This new civilization has two important parts. One part is the necessary instruments and the other part is the content and essences. It is necessary to pay attention to both parts. What are the instruments? The instruments are the values that we interpret as signs of our country’s progress: science, inventions, industry, politics, political and military power. But the important part of civilization is what makes us the essence of life- namely lifestyle. This is the important part of civilization. One can think of this latter part as the software of civilization and the former part can be considered the hardware of civilization.”  The fact that the Supreme Leader does not use the word “lifestyle” in its usual sense and the fact that he has tried to illustrate different dimensions of lifestyle based on Islamic culture, show the necessity of developing local theories and avoiding western theories on lifestyle. The Supreme Leader believes that our progress after the Revolution is not satisfactory on the issue of lifestyle. The 20 questions that he posed in his speech to people of Bojnourd can and should be used as valuable guidelines for research in social sciences and humanities.
Political Stability and Tranquility
“Our national stability is the most important factor relating to infrastructure. Different governments have been voted into office and in spite of the disagreements and the varying political tendencies, our country has been stable since the victory of the Revolution and it has been moving towards goals. This is the most important element relating to infrastructure.”  The Leader stressed that stability will enable us to compete with other countries: “A nation that enjoys security and political stability will have the opportunity to compete with other countries and become a pioneer in different arenas. Peace and security are among the most important demands of the people.”  Perhaps the most important reason why the Supreme Leader stressed the issue of stability is upcoming presidential elections. He said, “Before and during the election, all of our government officials should focus their efforts on preserving political peace in the country. They should not let the political atmosphere of the country become turbulent.”
The Leader stressed that the Islamic Republic is not a by-stander in the changes that are taking place in the world. He believes that the Islamic Republic enjoys a special position. From his point of view the factors which give the Islamic Republic such a special position are: “First of all, Islamic Awakening started in our country. Second, the Islamic Republic has been founded on a firm system. Third, a major portion of the wealth that west is trying to plunder is in our country. Fourth, the Islamic Republic is intellectually productive, as opposed to the inability of the west to produce novel ideas. The fifth point and the factor which gives our country a special position is remaining steadfast in the face of the schemes that the west uses to advance its goals.”
Political tranquility of the country is so important that “from today to election day, anybody who plays with the emotions of the people in order to create discord, has definitely committed treason against the country.”  It is so important that questioning the President in the Majlis – which is within the rights of the Majlis – should be cancelled if it shatters national tranquility. This should be done because “one of the basic rights of the people is living in peace and in psychological and moral security.”
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon the great and trustworthy Prophet, and upon his immaculate and chosen household and his blessed companions.
The season of hajj, which is full of mercy and blessings, has arrived and once again the fortunate people, who have been blessed with the opportunity to be present in this brilliant meeting place, are showered with divine grace. Here, time and space call each and every one of you hajj pilgrims to spiritual and material perfection. Here, Muslim men and women with their hearts and tongues accept the call of Allah the Exalted to righteousness and salvation. Here, everybody finds the opportunity to practice brotherhood, sincerity and piety.
This place is a camp for edification and learning. It is the exhibition of unity, greatness and diversity of the Islamic Ummah. It is the battlefield of fighting satan and taghut. Wise and Almighty Allah has made this place a site where believers will witness their interests. Once we open the eyes of wisdom and learning, these divine promises will spread into all parts of our personal and social lives. The characteristic of hajj rituals is that they connect this world to the next, and the individual to society.
Pure and glorious Ka’bah, tawaf of bodies and hearts around a firm and eternal center, constant and regular efforts from a starting point to a destination, collective migration to the otherworldly arenas of Arafat and Mash’ar, and the atmosphere that imbues hearts with sincerity and liveliness in this great otherworldly arena, a collective rush to confront the symbol of satan, and participation of all people from different places and races in this ceremony which is full of secrets, meanings and signs of guidance: these are the unique characteristics of this significant obligation.
It is such a ceremony that joins hearts to divine remembrance, enlightens the solitude of one’s heart with the light of piety and faith, brings individuals out of the walls they build around themselves and absorbs them into the diverse company of members of the Islamic Ummah, provides members of the Islamic Ummah with clothing which protects them against poisonous arrows of sins, and provokes in them the spirit of attacking satans and taghuts. It is in this place that hajj pilgrims witness with their own eyes examples of diversity of the Islamic Ummah, realize the capacity and potential of the Islamic Ummah, become hopeful about the future and feel prepared to play a role in it. They reaffirm their allegiance to the Great Prophet, enter into a firm covenant with dear Islam providing that they benefit from divine blessing and assistance, and develop in themselves a firm determination to reform themselves and the Islamic Ummah and to promote the word of Islam.
Both of these things – namely, reforming oneself and the Islamic Ummah – are two perpetual obligations. Thanks to their reflection on religious responsibilities and their wisdom and insight, it is not difficult for those who think and reflect to find ways of fulfilling these two responsibilities.
Reforming oneself starts from fighting satanic passions and making efforts to avoid sins. And reforming the Islamic Ummah starts from identifying the enemy and his plots, and making efforts to render his blows, deceptions and enmities ineffective. Efforts to reform oneself and the Islamic Ummah are organized by the bond between the hearts, hands and tongues of Muslims and Muslim nations.
At this juncture, one of the most important issues of the world of Islam, which is tied to the destiny of the Islamic Ummah, is the revolutionary events of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, which has so far resulted in the overthrow of several corrupt regimes that took orders from America and were accomplices to the Zionists and which has shaken the foundations of other such regimes. Missing this great opportunity and failing to use it to reform the Islamic Ummah are a great loss for Muslims. Currently, all efforts of the aggressive and interfering arrogant powers have been focused on diverting these great Islamic movements from their original path.
In these great uprisings, Muslim men and women rose up against the tyranny of their rulers and the hegemony of America, which had resulted in humiliation of peoples and alliance with the criminal Zionist regime. They themselves believe that their savior in this life-and-death battle was Islam and its redeeming teachings and slogans, and they announced this in a clear voice. Defending the oppressed Palestinian nation and fighting the usurping regime were at the top of their list of demands. They extended a hand of friendship towards Muslim nations and demanded unity of the Islamic Ummah.
These are the essential pillars of popular uprisings in the countries that have raised the flag of freedom and reform over the past two years and have been present in the revolutionary arenas with their hearts and souls. And these are the things that can strengthen the essential pillars of reforming the great Islamic Ummah. Insistence on these fundamental principles is the necessary requirement for ultimate victory of the popular uprisings in these countries.
The enemy’s goal is to shake these fundamental pillars. Corrupt agents of America, NATO and Zionism – through using certain people’s lack of vigilance and superficial outlook – are trying to divert the flood-like movement of Muslim youth and turn them against each other in the name of Islam. They are trying to turn the anti-colonialism and anti-Zionism jihad into blind terrorism in the streets of the world of Islam so that Muslims shed each other’s blood and give the enemies of Islam an opportunity to save themselves from this dead end and tarnish the name and image of Islam and its soldiers.
After despairing of eliminating Islam and Islamic slogans, they have now turned to creating fitna among Islamic denominations and they are creating obstacles in the way of the unity of the Islamic Ummah through their plots to promote Shia- and Sunni-phobia.
With the help of their agents in the region, they create crises in Syria in order to divert the attention of peoples away from important issues of their countries and the dangers that threaten them, trying to focus peoples’ attention on the bloody event that they have caused on purpose. The civil war in Syria and the killing of Muslim youth at the hands of other Muslim youth are crimes that have been started by America, Zionism and governments that take orders from them and they fan the flames of this civil war. Who would believe that governments that support wicked dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, have now become supporters of the Syrian nation’s call for democracy? The issue of Syria is about taking revenge on a government that has single-handedly stood up against the Zionist regime for three decades and has defended resistance groups in Palestine and Lebanon.
We support the Syrian nation and we are opposed to any kind of foreign activity and interference in Syria. Any kind of reform in that country should be carried out by the Syrian people and through completely domestic methods. That international hegemons with the help of the obedient regional governments create crises in a country under certain pretexts and then use the existence of crises as an excuse to justify any crime they commit in that country, is a serious danger and if the regional governments fail to deal with it, they should expect that it will be their turn to suffer from this plot by the arrogant powers.
Brothers and sisters, the season of hajj is an opportunity to reflect on important issues of the world of Islam. The destiny of regional revolutions and the efforts that are made by powers which have been harmed by these revolutions in order to divert them, are among these issues. Treacherous plots to foment discord among Muslims and create suspicion between the risen countries and the Islamic Republic, the issue of Palestine and the efforts to isolate Palestinian combatants and extinguish Palestinian jihad, anti-Islam propaganda of western governments and their support for those who insult the Great Prophet (Allah’s greetings be upon him and his household), preparing the ground for civil wars and dissolution of certain Muslim countries, making the revolutionary peoples and governments fear opposing the domineering western powers, promoting the illusion that their future depends on surrendering to those aggressors and other such important and vital issues are among the important matters that should be reflected upon during the opportunity that has been provided thanks to hajj and the solidarity and unity of you hajj pilgrims.
Undoubtedly, divine guidance and assistance will show the safe paths to hardworking believers: “And those who struggle in Our way, We will certainly guide them to our paths.” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Ankabut (29), Ayah 69]
Was-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
Sayyid Ali Khamenei
Dhul Hijjah 5, 1433
Mehr 30, 1391
With the collapse of the western financial system, Muslim economists have an excellent opportunity to present the model of Islamic Iqtisad to provide social and economic justice to all. They will also find a ready audience among non-Muslims.
The ongoing economic meltdown of the US and the EU offers a good opportunity for Muslims in Europe to become the vanguard of economic change on the European continent. The degradation of the Western imperialist economic system has revealed the unsustainability of the dogma of free market and the ideology of unlimited and unregulated consumption.
Today the core principles of capitalism such as the invisible hand of the market, “free” trade (that in reality has never been free) and most importantly riba (interest/usury) are openly questioned and challenged by the non-Muslim mainstream in the EU and beyond. The current situation gives experts and institutions in Islamic iqtisad a great advantage; they no longer have to constantly defend their perspective, and instead they can actively promote Islamic concepts of iqtisad as solutions to the contemporary problems.
Five or ten years ago when Muslim economists talked about the natural necessity for eliminating riba, it was easy to attack their idea as religious dogmatism or as irrelevant to the contemporary world. This is no longer the case. Today non-Muslim economists openly question the immorality and economic irrationality of riba. In April 2012 a case study on Canada by Ellen Brown, an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, published in Asia Times showed that eliminating interest would greatly reduce federal debt, increase economic productivity and eliminate the draconian austerity measures that produce unemployment. According to research by a well-known economics professor Margrit Kennedy, “on average we all pay about 40% interest for all goods and services we use, because the producers of those goods and services include their interest costs into their prices. Contemporary economics obliges people to pay interest even if they never borrowed money from the bank.”
Unlike earlier times, Islamic economic concepts now have a large audience that is willing to distance itself from capitalist dogma. Islam does not negate human disposition to seek Allah’s (swt) bounties and material benefits while keeping the hereafter in mind. The reality is that humans want to see tangible results of progress and prosperity because we are all materialistic to a certain degree. Therefore, by building an alliance with economic organizations that question capitalist dogma, Muslim economists can emerge as the leading force of the new emerging economic global order.
People in Europe have been raised in a materialistic environment where divine sovereignty was made irrelevant. For Muslims to attract them toward Islam’s ideas they have to speak with them in their language and that is economic prosperity. Once non-Muslims in Europe see that Islamic economic concepts are actively contributing to solving their problems, they will destroy the imperialist and racist narrative against their fellow Muslim counterparts, which is fostered by those in power in many Western countries. This would be one of the best vehicles to eliminating Islamophobia in Europe.
In the midst of the financial crisis in 2008–2009, Islamic economists and financial institutions have missed an opportunity to present the progressive essence of Islam’s economic philosophy. Even though most contemporary Islamic financial institutions have been co-opted or infiltrated by non-Islamic economic practices, the IMF study published in 2010 was forced to admit that Islamic financial institutions performed better during the global financial crisis in 2009. This is a clear indication that even partial adherence to Islamic economic principles leads to better economic performance. This phenomenon is an excellent marketing tool that Muslims have failed to utilize. If the Muslim world were hit by financial crisis and conventional financial institutions were to perform better than the Islamic ones, Western intuitions comprising various media outlets, think-tanks and research institutes would be constantly harping on the “inferiority” of Islamic economic philosophy for decades.
Against magnificent odds, Islamic movements worldwide have managed to create strong socio-political institutions and established strong cooperation with non-Muslims worldwide committed to social justice. Establishing Islamic economic institutions with a practical action plan is an urgent necessity today. Muslim entrepreneurs and economists must establish an independent financial center or network through which they can actively pursue micro and macro economic projects founded on Islamic principles.
As Europeans were able to develop better-organized public administration institutions, mainly due to the absence of interference in their domestic affairs that Muslim societies under colonialism in the past or neo-colonialism today did not have the luxury to experience, the EU provides a good organizational environment to project the power of Islamic economics. Also if one pays close attention to the economic philosophy and policies in Europe it is evident that they are less cut throat-capitalist and aimed at fostering economic welfare in society. There is thus an organizational and philosophical potential for Muslims in Europe to establish Islamic financial institutions.
Muslims in Europe have managed to create strong anti-imperialist and anti-war networks in cooperation with their non-Muslim friends. One of the manifestations of this work can be seen in the regular Free Gaza convoys led by George Galloway. Similar success can be repeated in the realm of economics where the people in host societies will see its benefits directly. Such a project must be undertaken immediately.
This is an account of the Imam who was in charge (al-qai’im) after Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Ali, peace be on them, (including) who his mother was, the date of his birth, evidence for his Imamate, his age, the period of his succession (to the Imamate), the time of his death, the place of his grave, the number of his children, and a brief outline of the reports about him.
Imam Jafar Sadiq was the eldest son, testamentary trustee (wasi) and successor to the Imamate, of Imam Muhammad Baqer. He was born in Medina on Monday, 17 Rabi ul-Awwal 83AH/702AD. His name, Jafar, means “stream”, and some traditions have stated that it actually means “stream in Paradise”. His agnomen is Abu Abdallah and he is the holder of a number of titles which came to be associated with his revered personality. These include Fadhil (The Excellent) and Tahir (The Pure). The most famous title, however, is Sadiq ( The Truthful).
His mother was called Fatimah, whose title was Umm Farwah. She was the daughter of Qasim and the grand-daughter of Muhammad, the great Mujahid (warrior), who was the son of the Calipha Abu Bakr and a devoted follower of the Ahl-ul-Bayt. After the death of Abu Bakr, Asma, the wife of the first caliph and mother of Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, became the wife of Imam Ali and, thus, Muhammad bin Abu Bakr was brought up under the direct care of Amir ul-Momineen Ali and embodied the true tenets and spirit of the original and unadulterated Islamic faith.
Imam Jafar Sadiq stood out among his peers for his great merits. He was the most celebrated personality of his time, the greatest in rank and the most illustrious in the eyes of both the non-Shia and the Shia Muslims. Upon his authority the religious sciences were transmitted and great travellers carried these with them to many nations, and his wisdom and piety were known and respected in other lands. The learned scholars have transmitted more traditions on the authority of Imam Jafar Sadiq than any other member of the Ahl-ul-Bayt.
During the period of his Imamate, a more favourable climate existed for the propagation of this religious teaching. This was a result of revolts within the Islamic realm, in particular the uprising which was aimed at overthrowing the Ummayyad Caliphs, and the bloody wars which finally led to the fall and extinction of the Ummayad dynasty. The greater opportunities for the teaching of the Shia Muslim faith were also a result of the favourable groundwork that the fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqer, had prepared during the twenty years of his Imamate, through the propagation of the true teachings of Islam and the Ahl-ul-Bayt.
The end of the Imamate of Imam Jafar Sadiq was coupled with the end of the Ummayyad dynasty and the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate. The Imam instructed many scholars in different fields of intellectual and transmitted sciences (Maqul and Manqul), such as Zurarah and Jabir bin Hayyam the alchemist. Indeed, the first personage to give attention to chemistry was Imam Jafar Sadiq and it can be stated, without fear of contradiction, that he is the forerunner of chemistry. The greek texts on this area of science had not yet been translated into Arabic and the Muslims possessed no knowledge of this subject. It is the result of Imam Jafar Sadiq’s deep thinking that the developed the science of chemistry. The aforementioned Jabir would visit the Imam daily, only missing to see him on one occasion when Jabir was ill. The latter beseeched the Imam to pray for him via a written communication, and Jabir was subsequently cured. Jabir, in his own works which included the books, “Ktitabul Ri’an” and “Kitabul Hijr”, cites Imam Jafar Sadiq as “my master”.
Even important Sunni scholars, such as Sufyan al-Thawri, the famous legal theologian, were among his students. Abu Hanafi, the founder of the Hanafi school of thought, was an avid pupil of the Imam for two years, and exclaimed that he had not seen anyone possessed of more knowledge than Imam Jafar Sadiq. Similarly, Malik bin Anas, the founder of the Maliki creed of Sunni jurisprudence, was also a student of Imam Jafar Sadiq and is reported to have said, when quoting the Imam’s traditions, The Thiqa’ (Truthful), Jafar bin Muhammed, himself told me that …”. It is generally said that Imam Jafar Sadiq’s classes and sessions of instruction produced four thousand scholars of hadith and other sciences.
The Imam spent his whole life in propagating the teaching of the Holy Prophet and never strove for power. His acclaim attracted the envy of the Abbasid ruler, Mansur Ad-Dawaniqi who, fearing the popularity of the Imam, decided to do away with him. Mansur ordered the torture and arrest of the descendents of the Holy Prophet, many of whom were brutally murdered.
Hisham, the Ummayyad Caliph, had orderd the arrest of Imam Jafar Sadiq and had him brought to Damascus. The Abbasid Caliph, Abdul-Abbas al-Saffah, had him brought to Iraq, as did the later caliph, Mansur who kept him under close supervision and reluctantly allowed him to go back to Medina where the Imam spent the rest of his life in hiding.
Still not satisfied, Mansur ordered the governor of Medina, Muhammad bin Suleima, to poison him. Thus, on the 15th, or 25th of Shawwal, or perhaps on the 15th of Rajab, 148AH/765AD, at the age of sixty-five, he died of poisoning. With his relative around him, he uttered these last words: “he who is not diligent and is unmindful in his daily prayers shall not obtain our support on the day of Judgement.” He was buried in the famous cemetery of al-Baqi, alongside his father and other nobe ancestors, Imam Hasan and Imam Zayn-ul-Abidin.
Following his death, Mansur ordered the governor of Medina to find out who was designated to be the succeeding Imam and to assassinate him at once. The will of Imam Jafar Sadiq had purposely cited several possible successor, including the despicable Mansur himself as well as the actual successor, Imam Musa Kazim, had already been designated. As was intended, Mansur’s plot failed and Imam Musa Kazim was shielded from harm. Imam Jafar Sadiq had ten children, including Ismail, Abdullah and Umm Farwah from his wife, Fatima, and the seventh Imam Musa Kazim, Ishaq and Muhammed from Hamidah. The other children were Abbas, Ali and Fatima.
“ The practice of qiyas (syllogism) in deriving laws would lead to the obliteration of the Deen (religion)”.
Ali ibn Ibrahim, with his chain of narrators, reports from Imam Jafar Sadiq that the Imam stated, “For every good deed that s slave of God performs, the reward for it is specified in the Quran, except for the midnight prayer which commands an unusually high reward on account of its great worth. (Allah says in the Quran), “Their sides shun their beds as they call on their lord in fear and hope; and they expend of what We have provided them. No soul knows what delight is laid up for them secretly, as a recompense for that they were doing(32:16,17).
In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful
The conference follows the first International Islamic Awakening Conference held in Tehran on September 17-18, 2011. The latest event took place on January 29-30, 2012 and was attended by more than 1,000 young activists coming from all over the Muslim World.
During the two-day event, the participants held talks with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khamenei. They also discussed six specialized topics at the conference:
1. Principles; Progress and spread of the Islamic Awakening
2. Islamic rule, structures, achievements and the youth
3. The US and Israeli arrogance in the face of the Islamic Awakening movement
4. The youth, resistance, Palestine and Islamic Awakening
5. Study of challenges faced by the Islamic Awakening movement
6. Future outlook and horizons ahead of the Islamic Awakening
The participants expressed their feeling of content at the achievements of the Islamic Awakening movement. They agreed upon the following points:
1. Islamic Awakening, is one of God’s real and truthful pledges and the widespread presence of people, the youth in particular as the motivating element in practice and struggle and Jihad, is deemed as of the most important aspects of the Islamic Awakening uprising.
2. This century is the century of Islam and spirituality; humanity has passed through all materialistic schools and ideologies and now is experiencing a new era that features concentration on God, religion and getting strength from eternal divine source; trust and confidence in God and maintaining unity guarantees the continuation of the Islamic movement.
3. Islamic Revolution led by Imam Khomeini, the great reviver of Islam in the contemporary history, has influenced Islamic movements and contributed to the deepening of the Islamic ideology.
4. Seeking independence, freedom, justice, and maintaining dignity for human being, resisting tyranny and colonialism, rejecting ethnic, racial, and religious discrimination, are among the main properties of the Islamic Awakening movement.
5. Pioneering of the youth in the popular movement and the necessity of maintaining and continuing Islamic Awakening movement requires that the youth take an effective and adequate role in the process of economic, scientific and technological breakthroughs as well as the management of the Islamic societies.
6. Islamic Awakening movement has arisen from Islamic teachings and shows them the significance of this movement in solidarity and unity of the Muslim world and promises a bright future.
7. The role of the world powers in the crack-down on the popular uprisings and their attempts to contain the Islamic movement and deviate the Islamic Awakening to serve its illegitimate interests, has already been revealed, so wakefulness against their schemes and monitoring their moves and recognizing the deceits and ploys of the global arrogance and the international Zionism are considered as the priorities and requirements of the Islamic Awaking movement.
8. The failure of the US-led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the victory of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine against the Zionist regime uncovered the power of faith and resistance of the people in the region and revived Islamic Awakening movement against dictatorship and foreign interference.
9. The anger and fury of the enemies of Islam over the Islamic Awakening indicate the power of Islam and its effective position in the World.
10. The western media propaganda seeks to spread Islamophobia and a distorted image of religious values and exaggerate the power of the international Zionism to intimidate Muslims, especially the youth. These plots should be countered through prudence and vigilance.
11. The issue of Palestine and the glorious Palestinian resistance against the Zionist regime is the main problem facing the Muslim world. The issue is a pillar of the Islamic Awakening movement and has played a key role evolving the movement. The issue of Palestine itself has been impressed by the achievements of this far-reaching movement in the Muslim world.
12. Any difference among revolutionaries and ethno-sectarian strife would undermine the Islamic Ummah and will give Islam’s enemies an opportunity to carry out their conspiracies against Muslims. It is necessary for all Muslims, most particularly young people, to recognize differences and avoid falling into such strife. As the holy Quran says, “…and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart”.
13. Moderaton and rationality are two key factors in the recent victories won by Islamic groups in regional countries and will guarantee the continuation of such achievements. Obviously, extremism has tarnished the image of Islam and paved the way for interference by foreign powers.
14. Respecting and protecting human rights as well as the rule of Islamic democracy are a legitimate demand of the Islamic Ummah including young Muslims. Respecting human rights is at odds with the moral decadence that is rampant in the Western countries and it is necessary that young Muslims keep away from its devastating repercussions.
15. Now that the Islamic Awakening movement has achieved triumph in some regional countries, pious and revolutionary forces should be employed for the purpose of running the state and those who have links to foreign powers and the former regimes should not be allowed to occupy key posts.
16. These young Muslims promise their martyred brothers and sisters across the Muslim world that they will make all efforts in helping the Islamic world make progress and gain scientific, cultural, political, economic and artistic independence.
17. Participants in the International Conference on Islamic Awakening and Youths call for the Global Assembly of the Islamic Awakening to investigate and take appropriate decisions as to the following:
– continue to hold the more conferences on the Islamic Awakening and youths with women have a wider participation in the future
-To create a virtual social network in order that young Muslims can deepen their relations, enrich their views and share experience.
-To launch an internet website named Islamic Awakening for young Muslims
-To establish a strategic studies and research center for Islamic Awakening
-To establish a coordination council for young Muslims by the Global Assembly of Islamic Awakening
-To launch an independent satellite channel or to use existing channels for the purpose of cover latest developments concerning the Islamic Awakening movement and giving sound analyses thereof.
The participants in the International Conference on Islamic Awakening and Youths express gratitude to the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei over for his rational stance and his initiatives to defend Islam and Muslims in all fields and also thank the Islamic Republic for hosting the conference and for its sincere and warm hospitality.
The victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the establishment of the Islamic government is the strongest proof for the disinherited masses, particularly the Muslims, to have faith in the capabilities of Islam and ability of the Muslim leaders to bring about profound social changes and guide the society towards felicity and perfection in the light of the Islamic ideology and culture. Also the establishment of the Islamic government in an Islamic country could raise hopes in many disinherited masses, encouraging them to realize that they can utilize religious government to put forth the idea of their supervision on international level.
Commenting on the impact of the Islamic uprising of the Iranian nation on the revival of the Islamic culture and Islamic awakening, Imam Khomeini states:
“They were destroying Islam; they were trampling upon the Quran under their boots. The uprising of the Iranian youth, the uprising of the Iranian nation, which was a divine uprising, revived the Quran; revived Islam and resuscitated Islam.”
Also alluding to the capabilities of Islam in bringing about changes in the social, governmental structures and establishment of a popular revolution and government, the Imam says:
“The great change that has emerged in the nation was a change that did not aim only to eliminate the regime…the nation wanted an Islamic government. It was the fundamental issue, that is, they wanted the Quran to rule supreme. They removed the hurdles in this country to establish an Islamic government.”
The victory of the Islamic Revolution, which occurred after protracted struggles against all symbols of oppression, inequity, infidelity, paganism, and arrogance, was achieved by paying high human and material costs. However in a short period it could introduce fundamental changes in the thought and culture of the Iranian people. As a result the idea of return to the indigenous-religious culture and revival of the Islamic values as the only source for responding to the needs and questions and the only certain path of guidance became evidently clear.
Such a fundamental change, which became possible under the sagacious leadership and guidance of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was so amazing that astonished all thinkers and scholars of the world.
Micheal Foucault (1926-1984), a renowned Western thinker, visited Iran after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Upon his return from Iran, he wrote:
One of the significant aspects of this revolutionary event is the reality that it demonstrates the absolute collective will – a very few people have had such an opportunity in the history. Elaborating on the concept of collective will, he writes: the collective will is not a political myth with the help of which the lawyers and philosophers try to analyze or justify the institutions; the collective will is a theoretical instrument; no one has ever seen the collective will… Perhaps we in Tehran and entire Iran came across the collective will of a nation. Well, we should respect it, for this does not happen frequently.
Obviously, this great event in the contemporary world enjoys diverse communication possibilities and has had a widespread repercussion in the entire world particularly among the Muslims and the deprived, oppressed peoples of the world. Its profound impact on the culture and political thought and language of the liberation struggles, particularly those of the Muslims, is quite palpable.
The Palestinian crisis, both with regard to its nature (the transgression of the Zionists against the Islamic homeland and its occupation and application of suppressive policies, torture and trampling upon the rights of the Muslims) and in terms of its historical power, has become the main concern of the Islamic world. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, calls it “the first Islamic international problem.” Hence the Zionist regime can be considered an embodiment of “invasion, occupation and usurper of other’s land”. On the other hand, the struggle of the Palestinian people can be considered the practical example of resistance by reliance on such religious values as Islamism, martyrdom, self-sacrifice, etc.
The religious struggles of the Iranian nation against all symbols of oppression and inequity in principle and in practice from the very beginning supported the struggles of the Palestinian nation. Imam Khomeini considered support of the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people as a fundamental principle of his struggles. In fact from the very beginning of his political struggles against domination, Imam Khomeini also launched his struggles against the Zionist regime and extended his support to the struggles of the Palestinian nation.
In the early stages of his struggles, he openly warned against the threat posed by Israel against Iran and the Islamic world: “On the basis of my religious duties, I would like to warn the Iranian Muslim nation [that] the holy Quran and Islam are in danger, the independence and economy of the country are in danger of being seized by the Zionists… The Muslim nation will not keep silent until the danger is removed and if someone keeps silent, he will be responsible toward the Almighty God and is doomed to fall in this world.”
Therefore the all-out support the Iranian Leader and Muslim nation of Iran extended to the liberation struggles of the Palestinian Muslim nation was one of the reasons of the transformation in the culture of struggle of the Palestinian nation and fighters.
The leader of the Islamic Revolution on a number of occasions has expressed the all-out support of the Islamic system and the Iranian nation of the struggles and fighting of the oppressed Palestinian nation:
“The Iranian nation cannot neglect the rights of the Palestinian nation. They say, you neglect the Palestinian nation and sign the compromise pacts imposed on this nation; it is obvious that the Iranian nation rejects it and anybody who follows this path is a traitor.”
The victory of the Islamic Revolution and the collapse of the dictatorial monarchy and establishment of the Islamic government in Iran as well as the glorious resistance against all plots of the global arrogance are the best practical example for the Muslim fighters of the occupied territories to practically demonstrate the unlimited power of Islam in giving incentive to them and boosting their fighting power.
Therefore, the main impact of the Islamic Revolution on the struggles of the Palestinian nation was transformation of the culture of struggle and change in the objectives of the struggles.
In the light of these changes in the struggle culture, the language and method of struggle underwent a change and such concepts as pan-Arabism, which is based on extremist nationalism and has its roots in the Western materialistic culture, was replaced by Islamism and holy war in the way of revival of the splendor and glory of the Islamic world. Also instead of transient materialistic incentives for struggle in the way of motherland, the sublime idea of holy struggle in the way of Allah was institutionalized which is based on the clear spring of divine knowledge. Hence such concepts as martyrdom, self-sacrifice and holy struggle were resuscitated.
Changes in the method of struggle in the light of changes in the culture of struggle are quite palpable. In the light of the rich Islamic culture, the Palestinian fighters, in order to continue their struggles, while welcoming material and spiritual support of other countries, particularly the Islamic countries, never depend on any nation or any power. On the basis of their religious teachings, they have realized that the only key to victory is trust in God and faith in the divine promises as well as preservation of Islamic unity. They also know well that faith and unity are the most effective weapons for their righteous struggles.
A glimpse at the testament of a martyred Palestinian fighter – Mahmoud Abu Hanud – demonstrates the deep impact of Islamic culture on the formation and incentives of the struggles of the oppressed Palestinian people:
“Dear Muslims, bear in mind that what has befallen our nation and ummah is because of keeping distance from the right path and the Sunnah of the Prophet as well as total dependence on the East and West that has brought us nothing except indignity, slavery and disunity. But, ye the children of the Islamic movement; ye by whose hands the Almighty God has decided to hoist the banner of monotheism and materialize the promise of destruction of Israel, pick up the flag of holy struggle and defend the prestige of religion and motherland and do not give up this endeavor…”
Thus the liberation struggles of the Palestinian people found an Islamic nature and the Indifada was formed within the framework of a spontaneous popular movement based on the religious principles and values and relied on the weapon of faith as an effective strategy for solving this great problem.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei, emphasizes on the crucial role of Islam in properly directing the struggles of the Palestinian people and the specific status of Islamic culture in giving incentive to the Muslims, particularly the Palestinians until achieving complete victory (destruction of Israel):
“The oppressed Palestinian nation should expel the Zionists from the occupied territories by relying on the Islamic faith.”
Elsewhere the leaders says:
“The rise of the Islamic sun from the horizon of struggles of Palestine has resuscitated the oppressed Palestinian nation… In the beginning, the Palestinians were in hibernation and hence the enemy dominated them, but today the Palestinians have awakened… [They have realized that] struggle without relying on faith in God and Islam will bear no fruit other than alliance with the reactionary forces and cooperation with Israel.”
In order to become more acquainted with the intellectual nature of the Intifada and the place of Islamic thought and culture in this movement, a part of the statement of the Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas issued on the 14th year of its formation is reproduced here:
“Fourteen years have passed since the formation of the Intifada and holy war and struggle in the way of victory and martyrdom… It is now fourteen years that we have been carrying out our Intifada and will continue it… During this period we have proved that revolution and resistance is not merely being armed, but in the first place it is faith and belief in Islam and the Almighty God… The Hamas is a movement that belongs to the entire Islamic ummah… It is now fourteen years that the program of resistance has been accompanied with the devotions of the nation and struggles and support of the Islamic Ummah which first started with small weapons until it turned into martyrdom-seeking operations.”
A Brief History of the Intifada
The emergence of Intifada has its roots in various measures taken by Israel after the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. These measures were not compatible with the peaceful claims of this entity, that is, the unprecedented expansion and occupation of the Palestinian territories, creation of new Jewish settlements, and expansion of the existing ones in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as the demolition of Palestinian houses and their collective punishment.
During these years Intifada began as a spontaneous movement in the occupied territories. The fighters of Intifada were the Palestinian youth who were disappointed at the hollow promises of international organizations and those of the Western governments.
The second round of the Intifada, better know as the “Intifada of Quds”, apparently began after a visit by Ariel Sharon the leader of the Likud Party and six other party leaders of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1998. “The protests of the Muslims against this visit led to the assassination of seven and injury of 255 people on the same day. The attack was the most vigorous one after the massacre of 1996 when the Palestinians confronted the Israeli forces in protest to the construction of a tunnel under the Al-Aqsa Mosque in which 60 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.”
“The next day, violent demonstrations sparked off in most of the cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip… The Israeli soldiers fired at the demonstrators… The killing of the 12-year old Palestinian child, Muhammad Al-Dowri… and the broadcast of the shooting scene by international TV networks left a global impact on the developments and caused worldwide condemnation of Israel. The ensuing days witnessed the augmentation of demonstrations in various cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as in the territories occupied since 1938.”
By S. Musawi