In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Towards a Comprehensive Defense
Islam and Islamic Culture
Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Mesbah
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the dwellers of the world. May compliments and peace be upon the master of prophets and apostles, the favorite of the One who is worshiped by all inhabitants of the world, Abi-al-Qāsim Muhammad, and upon his pure, chaste, and infallible progeny.
O Allah! Be a guardian, leader, supporter, guide, and an eye for your favorite, Al-?ujat ibn al-?assan, may your compliments be upon him and his ancestor, at this moment till the end of time, so that you may cordially settle him on your earth, and provision him for a long time.
Greetings to my dear brothers and sisters in Islam all around the world, and to the soul of our master, Imām Khomeini, and the souls of the martyrs, may God’s consent be with them. I pray to Almighty Allah to help us succeed in attaining His blessings, to increase our knowledge and love for His favorites (awlīya’), and to assist us in enacting our duty in this era, which, on the one hand pertains to the divine teachings inherited from the prophet’s progeny (may Allah bless them all) and on the other hand, relates to the dubitation and pseudo-questions suggested by human and jinni devils, may Allah keep us all from their harm.
As we know, one of the most precious blessings of Allah upon His servants is the fact that He selected from amongst people the best of them and appointed them as His messengers to others, so that they directly receive revelation from Almighty God, and communicate it to others in order to be guided, to know the goal of their creation, and to recognize the right path to get in touch with their beatitude in this temporal world and in the hereafter.
In this respect, Allah the Almighty says: “Allah is not going to make you acquainted with the unseen (ghayb), but Allah chooses of His apostles whom He pleases.”1 And He says: “The knower of the unseen, so He does not reveal His secrets to any; except to him whom He chooses as an apostle; for surely he makes a guard to march before him and after him; so that He may know that they have truly delivered the messages of their Lord, and He encompasses what is with them, and He records the number of all things.”2 He also says: “Certainly We sent Our apostles with clear arguments, and sent down with them the Book and the balance that people may conduct themselves with justice; and We sent down the iron, wherein is great might and advantages for people, and that Allah may know who helps Him and His apostles hidenly, Surely Allah is Strong, Mighty.”3
His complete wisdom required ending the chain of apostles and prophets with the Hashemite, Arab, and unlearned prophet, Abi-al-Qāsim Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah (may God’s peace by upon him and his progeny). Therefore, the Almighty says: “Muhammad was not the father of any of your men, but the messenger of God, and the seal of the prophets.”4 And He sent down onto him the paramount and the most perfect book in order to be the light by which people are guided at all times and all over the world.
This is why the Almighty says: “Blessed is He Who sent down the distinguisher (Furqān) upon His servant that he may be a warner to the nations,”5 as He says: “…Indeed, there has come to you Light and a clear Book from Allah; with it Allah guides him who will follow His consent into the ways of safety, and brings them out of darkness into light by his will, and guides them to the right path,”6 and says: “…and most surely it is a Mighty Book; falsehood shall not come to it neither from before it not from behind; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One.”7
Therefore, the Qur’an is the final say, the just ruling, and has the upper hand over the books revealed before it. Allah the Almighty says: “And We sent down to you the Book with the Truth, verifying what is before it from the Book, and a guardian over it.”8 Then He finalized His religion, and finished His bounty by the guardianship of the holders of command (the vilāyat of uli-al amr) from amongst his progeny, so He said: “This day have I perfected for you your religion, and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.”9 The prophet of Allah (May God’s compliments are upon him and his progeny) passed away and left for his ummah two splendid legacies, when he said: “Surely I leave two exalted features, Allah’s book, and my progeny, my household. You will not be misled as far as you adhere to them both.”
How salient is the quality of these two features, and how immense is the benefit of these two heritages: one is Allah’s Revered Book which remains untouched by distortion till the Day of Judgment with a guarantee from the undefeatable God, where He says: “Surely We revealed The Recollection, and surely We will take care of it,”10 and the other is the infallible Imām from whom earth will not remain vacant, whether present and divulged, or absent and disguised, blessing the world as the sun brightens the earth from behind the cloud. So we praise Allah who guided us to this fact, and we would not to have found the way unless He had led us.
Even now that the Ummah, as a consequence of their own misconduct with other Imāms, is deprived of seeing the infallible Imām, and orphaned from being directly headed by him, benefits from the presence of acting sages and qualified jurists, who shoulder the knowledge of the Imāms, follow their footsteps, and lead the Ummah according to their guidance. Therefore, they enjoy some degree of the successorship of Prophet, and some degree of his progeny’s guardianship. This is expressed in a narrative from the Apostle of Allah (may God’s compliments are upon him and his progeny), related from a vastly various chains of narrators, in which he said three times: “May Allah bless my successors!” or “O Allah! Bless my successors!” or “May God’s blessing be upon my successors!” And when he was asked who your successors are, he replied: “Those who come afterward, report my sayings and tradition, and communicate them to people after me.”11 Also the Prophet’s households (peace be upon them) are narrated as saying, “The channels of affairs are in the hands of those knowledgeable of God, the trustees about what He permitted and prohibited.”
Therefore, the pious and trustworthy scholars who distance themselves from the ornaments and despicable commodities of the world, and who devote themselves to the knowledge of the Book of Allah, and the tradition of His apostle and his progeny, they are the authority to whom people should refer in order to be guided toward the sound way and the straight path. Therefore, it is the obligation of religious scholars to do whatever they can to discover the truths of religion, to teach them to the lay believers and to guide them to the clear truth. The duty of people, on the other hand, is to benefit by the light of the sages, to travel under their guidance, to help them in achieving their goals, to cooperate with them in reviving the Book and the Islamic tradition (Sunnah), in eradicating innovations, corruptions and superstitions, and in fighting the enemies of religion, taking jihad with unbelievers, foes, and the assailants of Muslims’ rights. It is also necessary to collaborate with them to disseminate the truths of Islam in all places and for all inhabitants of the earth, because it is a trust in the hands of Muslims, and should be conferred to its beneficiaries: “Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to their owners, and that when you judge between people you judge with justice.”12
Therefore, it is our obligation, as Muslims, first to become cognizant of the truths of Islam and the heritage of the exalted Prophet and the eminent Imāms (may God’s compliments are upon them all); and naturally, religious scholars who act according to Islam have their role in this regard. Secondly, we should take care of that heritage and keep it from falsifications in both word and meaning. Thirdly, Muslims are required to teach Islamic truths to other contemporaries who live in different regions of the world, and to the coming generations as well. And fourthly, we are expected to do our best in actualizing Islamic rulings in our personal as well as social life, and to establish the Just Islamic System all over the world in order to pave the way for the reappearance of Baqīyat-Allah al-a’dham (may our souls be consecrated for him, and may Allah hasten his auspicious return.)
These obligations are understood by reason alone, without recourse to religious authorities, and acting according to them is not bound to a specific time or place. But there is something that gives these duties double emphasis during this era and especially with regard to us who enjoy Islamic awareness and the Divine breeze, thanks to the sacrifice of the pure blood of the martyrs, generous devotion of abundant endeavors, and the endurance of severe conditions that led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and further victories in other countries, and resulted in the flight of the evil forces around the world, and gave rise to prospects of more important victories for the Divine forces and the triumphant party of God (Hizb-Allah) and the escape of the thugs of falsehood and the followers of the damned Satan.
This factor is the coalition of the forces of infidelity and hypocrisy, the servants of dollars and euros/gold and silver, and influential oppressors and traitors to uproot Islam, to fight Muslims, to dominate their countries, wealth, and resources, to deny their glories and excellence, to destroy their relics and teachings, to wipe out their culture, to alter their identity, to put them in miserable conditions, and to force them into wretchedness in this world and God’s punishment in the hereafter. They have become so impudent as to declare a renewal of the crusades against Muslims. Of course there is a difference this time: during the crusades, the enemies of Islam were suffering from weakness, ignorance, and incompetence, while now their nations are converged, their determination is inflexible, and they possess abundant wealth, accumulated forces, and horrible industries.
What is of great import and calls our attention is the fact that this neo-crusade is not confined to military operations; rather it involves all facets of life. On economic fronts, it appears as economic sanctions and international efforts against the progress of Islamic countries. It is crystallized in the political arena as provoking political turmoil within the Islamic frontiers by mercenaries and collaborators. And the most important and the most dangerous of all, is the cultural war which has been fought by the colonialists and the arrogant forces since old times with diverse methods and tricks. Unfortunately, we can see the onset of their victory in our territories and even in our homes. Things have come to the point that the conceited powers have become so brazen that they have ordered some officials of Islamic countries to change religious curricula and to eradicate from school books those ‚yāt of the Qur’ān which are related to jihad!
In the light of these acrimonious realities, it is our pressing obligation to prepare ourselves—men and women—for a wide-range struggle against this all-out attack by the infidels and the arrogant forces. And if some sorts of jihād were restricted to men, the cultural jihād is open to all sexes, races, nations, and communities. And this war needs cultural weaponry, proper maps and plans of action, collective efforts, and incessant attempts, as it requires sincere intention, inflexible determination, vast information, and modern media for communication. Above all, such an endeavor demands serious and influential teachers who enter this struggle by sacrificing their wealth, benefit, comfort, and even their lives and souls for their sacred goals purely for the sake of Allah’s satisfaction.
Therefore, we all ought to do our best to enhance our religious knowledge and to learn various methods of defending our beliefs and values such as advancing our studies and instructions, establishing centers for deliberation and discussion, and employing all possible means of communication and all techniques for education and training.
In the end, we should emphasize that when pure intentions and reliance upon Almighty God reinforces the doing of one’s duties by offering all at one’s disposal—called in religious terms as ©abr—they make up for all our weaknesses and shortcomings. The Muslims have repeatedly observed this fact throughout their history from the first days of Islam till today: “How many small groups vanquished an ample host by Allah’s permission, and Allah is with the patient.”13
May Allah bestow upon us patience and piety, stability in action and purity of intention, and reliance on Allah and submitting all affairs to Him; for sure, He is sufficient for us, and He is the best proxy, the best Lord, and the best supporter.
1. Sūrah ‚l-i ‘Imrān: 179.
2. Sūrah al-Jinn: 26-28.
3. Sūrah al-Ḥadīd: 25.
4. Sūrah al-Aḥzāb: 40.
5.Sūrah al-Furqān: 1.
6. Sūrah al-Mā’idah: 15-16.
7. Sūrah Fuṣṣilat: 41.
8. Sūrah al-Mā’idah: 48.
9. Sūrah al-Mā’idah: 3.
10. Sūrah al-Ḥijr: 9.
11.BiḤār al-Anvār, vol. 2; Ghavālī al-Layālī, vol. 4, Man lā Yaḥuruh al-Faqīh, vol. 4, Wasā’il al-Shi’ah, vol. 27; and Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 17.
12. Sūrah al-Nisā’: 58.
13. Sūrah al-Baqarah: 250.