This manuscripts provides important data for US educated public. In this context, we may inquire, what are the actual sources of political enlightenment of the general public.
To begin, this manuscripts provides important data for US educated public, as according to Plato (4th BC) and Nasir Khorsrow (1004-1088), the credibility of a democracy lies in the political wisdom of the electorate to elect public officials to implement their political aspirations. In this context, we may inquire, what are the actual sources of political enlightenment of the general public? Ruled out, is the commercial media, due to economic constraints and the political biases of sponsors, as well as government s censorship. Consequently, the burden–or one may say the sacred responsibility of educating the public lies with scholarly publications and educators. Indeed they are responsible to make available translations of the primary writings of a political global leader especially those which are, prima facie, in disagreement with our government s official positions. GSP respects the intelligence of the American citizens to judge for themselves a reading of world leaders views. To that end, it is publishing this collection of the major texts of The Honorable Ayatollah, accepted by His Office for distribution to the Western audience with very minor editorial changes for the sake of clarity.
The Global Significance of the Universal Message of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, The Honorable Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Let us reflect on the benefits as well as urgency of this publication – selected writing of The Honorable Ayatollah `Ali Khamenei, the present Supreme Leader and the Highest Jurist of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
To begin, this manuscripts provides important data for US educated public, as according to Plato (4th BC) and Nasir Khorsrow (1004-1088), the credibility of a democracy lies in the political wisdom of the electorate to elect public officials to implement their political aspirations. In this context, we may inquire, what are the actual sources of political enlightenment of the general public? Ruled out, is the commercial media, due to economic constraints and the political biases of sponsors, as well as government’s censorship. Consequently, the burden–or one may say the sacred responsibility–of educating the public lies with scholarly publications and educators. Indeed they are responsible to make available translations of the primary writings of a political global leader – especially those which are, prima facie, in disagreement with our government’s official positions. GSP respects the intelligence of the American citizens to judge for themselves a reading of world leaders’ views. To that end, it is publishing this collection of the major texts of The Honorable Ayatollah, accepted by His Office for distribution to the Western audience –with very minor editorial changes for the sake of clarity.
I wish to emphasize the significance of the primary source of a political document. It is impossible to present any purely objective interpretation of primary texts – as each person comprehends experience in light of her/his meta-presupposition. As we say in Sufism, perception is like a shiny stone –partially an account of an external mind-independent reality and partially one’s own reflection of pre-conceived archetypes. Consequently, let each reader judge the primary text directly without filtration by the commercial media. Here are further clarifications concerning this publication.
GSP has an impressive record of publications of the primary writing of diplomats such as The Honorable Pope(s), Kofi Annan, and heads of states of People’s Republic of China, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Syria, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, (previous leaders of) Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), and others. I conjecture three reasons for the salient special significance of IRI, as the center of two transnational forces that necessitate the present publication.
First, is a group of Farsi language speakers, extending from Afghanistan, to Tajikistan, and the cities of Bokhara and Samarqand in Uzbekistan. It is a language with one of the richest literary heritages in the globe –being one of the three poetical languages of the globe- the others being Chinese and Russian. The peculiar power of each of these three languages lies in its rich poetical tradition that extends beyond the written to the oral mode of mysticism, mythology, and belle letters.
The other, is what is in fact the Shi`a culture-civilization; this entity embodies a substantial majority of inhabitants of Azerbaijan, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and minorities of many countries – comprising a sum of over one hundred fifty million followers. In this light, IRI and its affiliates comprise a substantial strategic land and a very active population experienced in centuries of warfare.
It is noteworthy that the Western attempt to curb the nuclear scientific development of Iran is a testimony of the blind following of the dogma of Samuel Huntington’s so-called clash of civilization thesis. He ignorantly designates that [White] Christian Civilization should prevent Muslims and Chinese from Westernization in technology without Democratization. Incidentally, in this agenda democratization means opening of developing markets to Western oligopolies – the major economic force behind failed attempts of sustaining colonialism and economic imperialism. But Huntington’s dogma has failed in many spheres-such as PRC’s economic growth and Russian Federations explicit rejection of Huntington’s thesis by bringing predominately Muslim nations, such as Kazakhstan and later Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, into alliance in President Putin’s vision of Eurasian Union. These phenomena document that the West (USA and EU) are not alone in the global arena; their encounter with IRI needs to be considered in light of other global players such as the Russian Federation and PRC.
The above reasoning warrants that the present IRI cannot be subdued by Western powers nor isolated from the larger political arena- especially in light of the demographical prediction that, prior to the end of 21st century, the 1.5 billion Muslim population will rise to some 4 billion. Thus, a majority of the world inhabitants will be either Muslim or Chinese. The educated Western public needs to know directly the religious foundation of the framework of Ayatollah’s mind in geo-politics
Here is an example of how this collection may be helpful to the reader. In the treatise on Unity, Ayatollah explicitly states that monotheism implies liberation theology, illustrating the dual meaning of Moses encounter with the Pharaoh; first a monotheistic message against idol worshipper and second justice that the Jews, as the chosen people, should not be enslaved. This illustrates the official position of Shi`a clergy –the principle of tolerance for people of the book – that Muslims feel morally responsible for protection of religious Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, so as to facilitate their ability to practice their own version of monotheism. In this light, according to the Ayatollah, one cannot be a Muslim and anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, or anti-Zoroastrian. Accordingly, whatever one may criticize, IRI’s official political position, based on the Quran, cannot be an anti-ethnic agenda as was practiced in the twentieth century in Europe.
In The Prince, politically wise Machiavelli, advises the readers, Men should be embraced or destroyed, a dictum which states genocide, racial and ethnic cleansing, and sanctions can never be sustained. IRI is a reality, and the words of Ayatollah Khamenei express the inner thoughts of the IRI’s government and religious groups. To that end, Western citizens need to increase their in-depth knowledge of the Ayatollah’s thoughts.
I hope that through this collection the reader will become more familiar with Ayatollah’s vision of the globe.
Essays on Philosophical Theology
The Essence of Unity (Tawhid)
Denial of Servitude but To God
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The Prophet of Islam announced a slogan: There is no god but Allah, a pedestal in his profound message towards the emancipation of man. The chieftains and the nobles of the tribes were the prime figures who rose in alarm to confront him. In the beginning, only mocking and censuring served them as primitive tools of animosity. These later turned into so-called effective weapons in line with the progress of the movement of Tawhid (Divine Unity). Others, under their influence, were also goaded into enmity towards the Prophet and his believers. Here, the shameful episodes of history took place, stretching a span of the thirteen years that preceded the migration. This historical reality reveals a fact, which deserves a cogent consideration towards an acquaintance of Islam and specially Tawhid (an essential word of Islam, its first and its final).
One of the most pitiful events of our days is the distorted concept of Tawhid. This should be regarded as a tragedy by all those who have a say in the emancipation of man, because of the bearing of this distortion on the common and most fundamental concept of all the religions. There cannot be found any other concept in the expanse of history that could have been so efficacious in the course of emancipation of man as well as being a harbinger of redemption for the oppressed masses.
In history, as far as we have known, the divine prophecies were movements momentous towards the benefit of mankind, freeing the oppressed from atrocities, discrimination and encroachments.
The moral core of all the great religions, according to Erich Fromm, includes such ideals as knowledge, brotherly love, minimizing human sufferings, independence and responsibility. (Of course, comprehension of ideals that are nobler still, cannot be expected from a materialist observer.) Indeed all these ideals are epitomized in Tawhid. Prophets, while exposing their mission in the slogan focusing on Tawhid, were translating it into reality, following the campaign issued by this slogan. It is, indeed, deplorable for those who believe in Tawhid and its outlook upon the universe and those who are after the above ideals that the concept of Tawhid should remain unknown or an enigma or else be perverted or, if at all conceived, should not go beyond a cursory conception that is merely a mental one at a time when the said ideals are felt more and sought after more than ever.
The earlier confrontations that started with the dawn of Islam reveal an important fact with regards the concepts of Tawhid. That fact is this: the slogan, There is no god but Allah, was in the very first place a blow fatal to those who had bared the teeth of enmity against it when they were the ruling class of the society. The social orientation of a movement or a thought and the effectiveness of such an orientation can well be conceived through the adversary’s reactions to that movement or thought. The very faces of the enemies of a movement will well disclose, upon study, the nature of their affiliations with social strata and thereby the confrontation of that society as a whole in relation to that particular movement or thought. The strength of the enmity is the gauge that determines the strength of the movement. Thus, the study of both the wings, the one of the supporters of the movement and the other of its adversaries, becomes a safe and sane way to gain a true acquaintance with the Divine movements.
When we observe that those classes that are powerful in society have been the first to oppose the call of religions and that they have done the best they could to do this, we clearly realize that a religion or any religious movement, in its nature, is against these classes. It opposes their lavishness, whether in power or in pelf, and basically any classification that distinguishes them from others.
To ponder into the very concept of Tawhid from this angle, the angle of its opposition to majesty over society, we should necessarily know that Tawhid is not a mere philosophic or noetic theory, as is generally but erroneously presumed. In addition to being a social, economical and political doctrine, it is the very foundation whereupon man is edified and the mammoth mansion of the universe is built.
A term can hardly be found in the terminology of religion or even other terms, so fertile as to enfold so many revolutionary and constructive concepts, as well as covering different aspects of man’s social and historical life. It could, therefore, never be just fortuitous that all the Divine solicitations and Divine movements that are so profuse in history did hint and hit at just one point in their proclamations, and that is the Oneness of God: that Divinity is only His and belongs to Him alone. To describe the rays that a prism of Tawhid imparts, we can only epitomize:
- From the Point of View of its General Outlook upon the Universe:
- a) It translates to the effect of a united world and homely uniformity of all its elements.
Since the Creator is one, and everything is originated from one source, since there have not been different gods and creators, creating and then running the world, then all things are elements of one set, and the whole world is one unit with one pursuit. God the Almighty challenges:
Thou seest not in the creation of the All-merciful any disorder (Al-Mulk, 67:3).
Again, says the Almighty:
What, have they not considered within themselves? God created not the heavens and the earth, and what is between them, but on a just system, and with a stated term (ar-Rūm, 30:8).
From this outlook, the world appears a caravan with pieces connected to each other like a chain and heading towards one direction in unison with a common *conquest so well organized that every item is carefully placed in its due position; or else it might have lost its usefulness. Thus, all are in a journey compact, consistent, constant towards consummation; each a necessity to the other while the remainder rests on such a need as a whole thereby avoiding any sluggishness or deviation which, otherwise, would result in an upset of this whole set-up.
- b) Tawhid can also be applied to the objectivity of the creation, and the planning and computed order in the world; to the existence of some sort of dynamism and purpose in all and each part of the world. Since the universe has a wise Creator (wise in its most complete sense that could be a deserving description of the word Hākim, a name among the names of Allah) who has brought it into existence, there is no way but being a wisdom, an ultimate purpose, and a pursuit in the very existence of the world as it is seen and sensed in most of its parts.
We created not the heaven and the earth, and whatsoever is between them, as *playing and with no purpose (al-Anbiyā’, 21:16).
From this outlook, the world seems to be a machine manufactured for gain and not a thing lost in a wilderness of bewilderment. The very fact as to how it is purports a meaning and portrays a purpose, which is *[not] to be sought in the origin. It is like a verse that can only be understood by probing into its content, but its existence can never be considered as a matter of chance.
- c) Tawhid, moreover connotes the obedience of all the things and the elements of the world before God. Neither a thing nor a regulation in this galaxy is on its own. The rules that run the world and everything existing under their guidance are all in constant obeisance to the divinity of God. Therefore, the existence of the rules and laws in this whole world cannot be considered as a reason to deny God’s presence, divinity and His constant control over the world. In this respect the Holy Qur’ān says:
None is there in the heavens and the earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant (Maryam, 19:93).
But to Him is what in the heavens and (in) the earth; all to Him (are) obedient (al-Baqarah, 2:l16).
They measured not God with His true measure. The earth altogether shall be His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens shall be rolled up in His right hand. Glory be to Him! He (be) exalted above what they associate! (az-Zumar, 39:67).
- From the Outlook Consequent upon Studying and Judgment on Man:
- a) It is in the sense of the uniformity and equality of human beings in relation to God. He is the Master of all people. Human nature is such that it even *
rescinds from any particularity in his relation with God. No one has any kinship with Him. Hence, all are the same and at parity before God. Also God is not a particular one of a particular nation, group or tribe; and, therefore, the absence of superior avoids the notion of an inferior in creation. It leaves open the scope for elevation of the human values, which is attainable only through righteousness, a platform whereon to perform good deeds in line with the Divine’s desire. This is the only safe route or promising method for man to ascend to the heights of perfection and prosperity. To quote from the Qur’ān:
And they said, ‘God has taken to Him a son’. Glory be to Him! Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth; all obey His will (al-Baqarah, 2:117).
And whosoever does deeds of righteousness, being a believer, no * shall befall his endeavor; We ourselves write it down for him (al-Anbiyā’, 21:94).
Oh Mankind! We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing of you (al-Hujurāt, 49:13).
- b) It is also in the sense that man is equal in creation and is originated from a single source; this equality also runs in the very vitality of human beings. Different gods do not create those who belong to the various classes in a society. Humanity is a single element that has been equally given to all individuals. So there is no difference in the pulp or in the creation provided to them. As such, there is no boundary between them that cannot be crossed. In other words, the Creator of the higher classes of society is not a God superior to that of the poor ones. All are created by one God, and in creation all are at the same level and equally benefited from the element of humanity. To quote from the Qur’ān:
Oh mankind! Fear your Lord, Who created you of a single soul (an-Nisā’, 4:1).
- c) The equality among human beings carries the same bearing upon the possibility of the elevation and perfection of individuals, too. The obvious reason is that the human essence is the same in all men, taking its root from one wisdom. This being so, no one is by nature unable to walk the path of perfection. Accordingly, the Divine call is common to all, irrespective of nations or classes. To quote from the Qur’ān:
We have sent thee not [to a special group] except to mankind, entire (Sabā’, 34:29).
And We have sent thee for the people a messenger (an-Nisā’, 4:79).
Oh men, a clear guide has now come to you from your Lord; We have sent down to you a manifest light. As for those who believe in God, and hold fast to Him, He will surely admit them to mercy from Him, and bounty, and will guide them to Him on a straight path (an-Nisā’, 4:174,175).
- d) It can also be transferred to the release of all human beings from servitude and yielding to anyone but God. This is another interpretation of the essence of complete yielding to God and worshipping Him. Some people, in some way or another, have yielded to the obscene yoke of submission to something other than God, such as mental, cultural, economical, and political slavery. Considering the wide-ranging sense of worship, we can well say that they are immured in service to others like themselves, and thus have taken a rival or an associate to God. Here, Tawhid totally rejects such a way of life and stands firm and adamant to maintain that man is a servant to God alone and emancipates him from that domination, under whatever pretext it be. Therefore, Tawhid is tantamount to denial of any power concealed under whatever color or cloak, and an absolute submission to the absolute authority of…..
About the Author
Parviz Morewedge is Professor in the History department at SUNY Old Westbury, Westbury, NY.
Title: The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Vision of Islamic Philosophical Theology and Paraxis of Global Peace
Author: Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hussaini Khamenei
compiler: Parviz Morewedge
Publisher: Global Scholarly Publication
Pub. Date: 2015/01/22