Supreme Leader’s Speech to Hajj Officials

Supreme Leader’s Speech to Hajj Officials Print 22/08/2015 The following is the full text of a speech delivered on August 22, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with hajj officials. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Dear brothers and sisters, welcome. You hajj officials are in charge of one of the most beautiful and glorious responsibilities, namely making preparations for our faithful people to attend hajj, which is a unique Islamic obligation. I would also like to express my gratitude to the brothers and sisters in charge of hajj affairs, who – as Mr. Qazi Askar and the esteemed head of the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization pointed out – have made certain arrangements for the betterment of hajj pilgrimage for Iranian believers. And this is exactly what needs to be done. It is necessary to improve on a daily basis and facilitate the achievement of the noble goals of hajj. It is necessary to work hard. Each one of you dear brothers and sisters has a responsibility to fulfill. Each one of you has a role to play. You should try to play your role in the best possible way, with motivation, patience and enthusiasm. The efforts that you make will produce a great outcome: that is to say, the people will be able to perform hajj appropriately. My advice is that hajj does not exclusively belong to Iranians. Hajj belongs to Islam and to the Islamic Ummah and it guarantees the prevailing of Islam. God’s respect for the months in which hajj pilgrimages take place shows how great and significant hajj ceremonies are. It shows that this Islamic obligation enjoys a quality that other Islamic obligations do not enjoy. It is necessary to pay attention to this point. The interesting point is that hajj has two complementary aspects: an individual aspect and a social aspect. It is necessary to pay attention to both aspects. The individual aspect of hajj belongs to individual hajj pilgrims. Each hajj pilgrim should establish a relationship with Allah the Exalted during his pilgrimage and he should repent and take spiritual provisions for himself. In a holy ayah relating to hajj, piety has been advised. “Surely the provision is the guarding of oneself, and be careful (of your duty) to Me, O men of understanding” [The Holy Quran, 2: 197]. Each and every one of the honorable pilgrims who are blessed with this great opportunity should think of how to make the best of this provision. “And you that ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him” [The Holy Quran, 11: 3]. Hajj pilgrims should repent. They should pray. They should ask Allah the Exalted for whatever they need. They should make a covenant with Allah the Exalted to remain committed to their future, their lives and their activities. This is the individual aspect of hajj. As far as this individual aspect of hajj is concerned, every hajj pilgrim should try to move closer to Allah the Exalted on his pilgrimage. He should cleanse his heart. He should take provisions for the rest of his life. Spiritual blessings for individual pilgrims originate from this pilgrimage, from these rituals, from these days. Hajj pilgrims should appreciate the value of this opportunity. There are certain things that an individual can achieve only during hajj pilgrimage. Seeing Ka’bah is worship. Tawaf around Ka’bah is worship. Praying in Masjid ul-Haraam is worship. Visiting the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) is worship. Arafat is an arena for speaking to God. Mash’ar is an arena for attention to God. The same is true of Mina. Pilgrims should make use of each and every one of these elements to cleanse their hearts, to improve their spiritual status and to take provisions for the rest of their lives. This is the individual aspect of hajj. The other aspect of hajj is the social aspect. Hajj is the manifestation of Islamic unity. People with different skin colors, people from different nationalities, people with different identities, people from different Islamic denominations, people with different tendencies – all of them gather in one place as equals. They all perform Tawaf together. They all work together. They all stay in Arafat and Mash’ar. This unity is very important. Islamic solidarity is the true manifestation of harmony and unanimity during hajj, not just for the people of Iran, but also for all Muslims throughout the world, for the Islamic Ummah. God’s curse be upon those who sideline the truth of the Islamic Ummah, those who divert attention away from the importance of the Islamic Ummah, those who divide Muslims into different groups with different goals, those who magnify nationalities against the glory of the Islamic Ummah and those who create division within the Iranian nation. The Islamic Ummah is important. Glory belongs to the Islamic Ummah. Allah the Exalted will bestow His mercy and blessings on the Islamic Ummah. Hajj is a manifestation of the Islamic Ummah: it is the Islamic Ummah in microcosm. “Coming from every remote path” [The Holy Quran, 22: 27]. Muslims come together from different parts of the world and from remote places. And what a great opportunity for communicating with each other, for unity with one another, for listening to each other’s sufferings, for expressing sympathy. Apart from hajj, when do Muslims get such an opportunity? The issue of unity is one of the social dimensions of hajj. Showing the greatness of the Islamic Ummah is another social dimension of hajj. The fact that several million Muslims gather in one place to attend a particular ceremony shows the greatness of the Islamic Ummah. From a country whose population is seventy, eighty million, around fifty, sixty, seventy thousand people come together and form a glorious gathering. This shows the greatness of the Islamic Ummah. Another dimension is the sharing of experiences among hajj pilgrims. Many Islamic countries have certain experiences. For example, the Iranian nation has certain experiences in confronting the enemy, in identifying the enemy, in refusing to trust the enemy, in distinguishing friends from enemies. We have experience in these areas. We did not make a mistake in distinguishing friends from enemies. From the beginning of the Revolution to this day, we have been aware that the real enemy, the aggressive, stubborn and persistent enemy is the world of global arrogance and Zionism. We have been aware of this. Sometimes this archenemy has spoken through other people. We must not make a mistake and think that those who are speaking for the enemy are the real enemy. No, as I stressed earlier, the real enemy is the arrogant powers. Take a look at the slogans that the people of Iran chant on the 22nd of Bahman, on Quds Day and in different other rallies. Their slogans are against the arrogant powers, against America, against the Zionists, against the usurping Zionist regime. They chant slogans against these elements. This is while these enemies sometimes use certain Islamic countries to say and do what they want. But we never chanted slogans against those Islamic countries. Our people have not chanted slogans against those Islamic countries. Why? The reason is that they know who the real enemy is. They know that those Islamic countries have been deceived and used as a tool. This shows insight in identifying the real enemy. This is our experience. Certain Islamic groups that were provided with great opportunities in certain Islamic countries, did not have this experience and they made a mistake as a result. They made peace with the real enemy and worked against their friends. And they paid the price for this. Allah the Exalted had provided them with a blessing and they failed to appreciate its value. Creating unity is another experience of the Iranian nation. There are many differences of opinion in our country. There are many differences and disagreements in political, intellectual and ideological areas, but our people have managed to preserve their unity despite these disagreements. Certain parts of our country are populated by particular ethnic groups, but those ethnic groups take part in the rallies on the 22nd of Bahman and Quds Day as well as in different other demonstrations that are rooted in the Islamic Revolution, just like other people throughout the country. We have Kurdish, Baluchi, Arab and Azeri regions in the country. In certain cases, their actions in support of the Revolution and the Islamic Republic are more outstanding than other regions in the country. We have seen examples of such actions. This is Islamic unity and the Iranian nation has experienced it. For thirty-five, thirty-six years, we have experienced the importance of unity among the people and we have made great achievements thanks to this unity. Certain other countries never realized the importance of this unity and they are still unaware of it. Because of a small disagreement – which is rooted in religious, ethnic or political differences – they turn against each other and attack each other as if they were enemies. As a result, Allah the Exalted takes His blessing away from them. “Have you not seen those who have changed Allah\\\\\\\’s favor for ungratefulness and made their people to alight into the abode of perdition (even into) hell? They shall enter into it and an evil place it is to settle in” [The Holy Quran, 14: 28-29]. When we fail to appreciate the value of a divine blessing, when we show ingratitude, Allah the Exalted changes the way He treats us. “This is because Allah has never changed a favor which He has conferred upon a people until they change their own condition” [The Holy Quran, 8: 53]. As long as we move ahead on the right path, as long as we submit to the will of God to the extent that our limited capacities allow us, Allah the Exalted will continue His blessings, but when we work against ourselves, when we sow discord, when we hatch plots against each other, when we start fighting each other, Allah the Exalted will take away His blessings. God does not discriminate in favor of anybody. “This is because Allah has never changed a favor which He has conferred upon a people until they change their own condition”. Allah the Exalted does not take away a blessing that He has bestowed on you unless you prepare the ground for that. Once you have prepared the ground for yourself to be deprived of a blessing, Allah the Exalted will take away that blessing. The Iranian people have the experience of preserving divine blessings for themselves. These experiences should be shared. Today Islamic countries are faced with conspiracy. Do we understand this or not? Today there is conspiracy against Islam, not against Shia or Sunni Islam or against any other Islamic denomination. The Holy Quran belongs to Islam. Shia Islam is not the center that clearly promotes “Allah will by no means give the unbelievers a way against the believers” [The Holy Quran, 4: 141]. It is the Holy Quran! It is Islam! For this reason, the enemies are opposed to Islam. They are opposed to any center and any voice that awakens peoples. They are opposed to any hand that fights the arrogant powers and that hand is the hand of Islam. That voice is the voice of Islam. Therefore, they are opposed to Islam. There are different methods to confront and oppose Islam. There are different types of methods. They sit down together and think. They try to find ways to infiltrate and to harm. During the early years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, we were informed that the Zionist regime had funded a group of people to come together and think about Islam and the Shia denomination, to study and to investigate. What was the purpose? Their studies and investigations were aimed at finding ways of countering this great element, this awakening and this Islamic vigilance. The purpose of those investigations was to find a way to harm Muslim peoples who had awakened and realized that they had the power to take action. They spent a lot of money on the plan. This was only one of the things that they did. Tens of centers – we know about some them and we can infer the existence of several others – were established in Europe, America, occupied Palestinian lands and certain dependent countries that are controlled by the arrogant powers and the purpose was to find ways of countering Islam. For this reason, they believe it is necessary to foment discord, to give rise to violence, to tarnish the name of Islam, to dismember Islamic countries, to turn Muslim nations against each other and to pit members of a nation against each other. One day the means of doing so is Blackwater from America and another day the means is DAESH from Iraq, Syria and other places. They look for the means to create discord. These are our experiences. These are the things that the people of Iran have experienced and seen up close. When we stress the issue of unity among different Islamic denominations, between Shia and Sunni Islam and between different Muslim nations, we are not just paying lip service to Muslim unity. We have identified the malady. We care about the Islamic Ummah and this is why we pursue Muslim unity. As far as the people of Iran are concerned, the importance of unity has been established, but many other nations have not realized the importance of this unity. Hajj is an opportunity to convey this understanding to other nations and spread the message. Of course, there are certain people who are opposed to this. Those who want these disagreements to prevail do not want these interactions, these relationships, these friendships and this sharing of experiences to take place among Muslims. It is necessary to find the appropriate ways. One of the important things that should be done during hajj is to take care of the individual and social aspects of hajj. When we stress the social aspect of hajj, this should not encourage us to ignore the individual aspect, namely solemn praying, humility before God and dua. Hajj is a good opportunity. There is no place like Masjid ul-Haraam. There is no place like Masjid un-Nabi. This opportunity has been provided for you and for hajj pilgrims. It would be a pity to deprive oneself of this blessing and roam around in the bazaar and visit this and that store. It was announced that there have been efforts to prevent hajj pilgrims from roaming the bazaars. However, I have received reports that unfortunately some of our hajj pilgrims are suffering from this problem. They visit different shops and meet different local businessmen and they buy junk at twice the normal price and fly back to Tehran or other cities. This is wrong, absolutely wrong. Our people should pay attention to the fact that this is wrong. Shopping is something that can be done anywhere. One can roam the marketplace anywhere in the world. One can buy stuff anywhere. One can waste money like that anywhere. After all, what is done is basically throwing away money and one can throw away money anywhere. During hajj, it is necessary to go after the kind of things that cannot be done somewhere else. Those things include looking at Ka’bah, praying in Masjid ul-Haraam and kissing the footprint of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) used to walk around in that city. He used to speak in that city. The atmosphere of that city reverberates with the voice of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). It would be a pity if one failed to immerse oneself in this atmosphere. This is not something that can be found somewhere else in the world. Our hajj pilgrims should appreciate these things, otherwise it is possible to roam the bazaars, go sightseeing and do other such things in any other part of the world as well. One can do the same things in Tehran, in Isfahan, in Tabriz or in Mashhad. It is possible to do these things anywhere in the world. Go after the kind of things that cannot be done in other places, the kind of things that can only be done during hajj. These are my recommendations. I hope Allah the Exalted provides all of you with the opportunity to perform a pilgrimage that is acceptable to Him. And we ask you pray for us. Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings


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