Today, all these hostilities against our Revolution are solely because of the establishment of an Islamic government

24 September 2023



News Summary :
Lecture by Ayatullah Fazl Lankarani to Friday prayer leaders, congregational prayer leaders, scholars, and clerics from Gilan province
آخرین رویداد ها

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his pure family

Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has said in His Noble Book:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], "You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it." But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased.” (The holy Quran, 3:187)

If a person takes a look at the verses of the Quran, he realizes that after the concept of the unity of God, there is no more important issue than obedience to God and His Messenger.

God's purpose in creating humans is that they should obey God, obey His Messenger (peace be upon him and his family), and obey those appointed by God and His Messenger. The world of humanity should be under a single government, which is divine government. The Quran, in numerous verses, has discussed the principle of religious governance, the characteristics of rightful rulers, the characteristics of those who cannot be rulers, and the benefits of religious governance. Throughout the past 44 years, i.e. since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, one of the questions raised has always been whether Islam has a form of governance or not.

Unfortunately, sometimes in seminaries, academic centers, or published works, one may see the expression of this wrong view which stems from ignorance of the Quran. It suggests that Islam and religion do not have anything to do with governance. Even in the past couple of years, some clerics explicitly stated that the past 40 years shows that religion cannot govern and should not govern. Sometimes misleading words are also used, claiming that in a religious government, the sanctity of religion and that of the clergy are at stake. To preserve the sanctity of religion, clerics must avoid interfering in matters of governance.

The most important jurisprudential theory of the Imam, which takes precedence even over his theory of the Guardianship of the Jurist, is that Islam does have governance. Not only does Islam have governance, but Islam itself has no meaning other than governance. He stated this in his book Al-Bay (business and transactions) saying explicitly that, "Islam means governance." Islamic rules and laws follow this foundation and are of secondary importance.

Imam awakened the seminaries and uncovered a truth buried for a thousand years. This is why Imam has a great right upon the religion, the people, the clergy, as well as jurisprudence.

This is a misconception to say that Imam Khomeini derived the concept of "Wilayat al-Faqih" (Guardianship of the Jurist) from the widely accepted hadith narrated by Umar ibn Hanzalah from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) and established the Islamic Republic of Iran on it. The truth is, the Quran itself asserts that religion is intertwined with governance and describes the conditions of the ruler. Unfortunately, during the past 44 years, the seminaries did not follow Imam’s thoughts. First, we are to blame. We did not pay enough attention to Imam Khomeini's ideas and did not organize seminars to discuss them. Secondly, the media are to blame for not touching on these ideas. If today we see that some of the youth have doubts about religious governance, that is because they do not know what religious governance is. If one understands the reality of religious governance, which is in fact divine governance, he would never think of referendum. Who would say that prayer and fasting should be put to a vote?

This is a very long discussion. I have discussed it in about 40 sessions in my lectures on jurisprudence and now I’m giving you a brief account of it.  I think this subject is the most important issue of our time. If this is not solved for a clergyman, whether Shia or Sunni, the following jurisprudential discussions would be based on a wrong foundation. And if this matter is solved, then he would stand firm in all crises. That is why during the imposed war alongside the Basij, the IRGC, and the army, the clergy had an important role. Look at the number of the martyrs of the clergy, which is larger than that of other groups.

The same is true about those who defended the holy shrine of Lady Zainab (as), that is, the clergy were at the forefront. That is because for them safeguarding the Islamic Government is of utmost importance. The late martyr, Qasem Soleimani, knew the importance of religious governance better than us. He realized that religion does have governance and to safeguard it one should be present on all fronts and there is no difference between Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, or Lebanon in this regard.

Among Quranic verses, which constitute the framework for governance in Islam, pay particular attention to the following verses:

"He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion." (The Quran, 42:13)

These verses are clear and do not require interpretation. In this verse, God says that the mission of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and you yourself is, "to establish the religion." All the prophets were sent to establish the religion, whether they were given a divine scripture or not. There is big difference between reciting Quranic verses or conveying God's command to people and establishing religion. Establishing the religion means that the prophet must observe and monitor whether people perform their religious duties and avoid prohibitions or not.

Unfortunately, some individuals, who lack even a basic understanding of even the apparent meaning of Quranic verses, claim that there is no connection between the veil (hijab) and governance. I do not wish to address this issue here; it must be touched on it its own place. However, a religious government must strive to implement divine laws and monitor whether the obligatory acts are performed and prohibitions are avoided. "That they may establish the religion" clearly indicates that it is an obligation upon every prophet to establish the religion, and it is clear that one should be in authority to be able to establish the religion and thus the need for a religious government.

Similarly, the verses that say, "We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah" mean that the command to obey the messenger is other than obeying him in religious matters. That people should obey God there is no doubt about it. God has ordered people to pray and fast. He has also ordered them to obey the Prophet. This indicates that obeying the prophet is an independent command like divine commands regarding praying and fasting. As for obedience to God, our reason tells us that it is necessary. But obedience to the messenger, as commanded by God, should be legalized by God. God says, "Obey the messenger" – that is, if he commands you to fight, you should fight, and if he commands you to pay your dues, you should pay them. The messenger issues commands and prohibitions on behalf of God.

The repetition of "Obey" in the verse "obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority" emphasizes that obedience to the messenger is obligatory similar to God’s commands regarding prayer, fast or performing hajj. Also, since obedience to those in authority is mentioned next to obedience to God and obedience to the messenger, it proves that obeying the ruler is also obligatory. This requires that he who is in authority should be infallible, not someone who makes mistakes or commits sins [because elsewhere the Quran forbids people from obeying tyrants and oppressors].

Chapter 54 verse 24 which says, "What the Messenger gives you, take, and what he forbids you, refrain from it," indicates that the orders that the messenger gives because of his authority should also be followed. This means that the Prophet himself can lay down rules. This subject has a lot of details and cannot touched on here.

In verse 54 of the same chapter, the Quran warns people saying, "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away - then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged." It threatens that if you do not obey the messenger, it will not harm him, as he has fulfilled his duty. The responsibility falls upon you as you have neglected your responsibility.

The connection between these verses and the issue of governance lies in the inherent relationship between obedience and governance. When it is said in a city or province that you must obey such and such person, it means that the administration there is under his control and, in other words, he is the ruler. In these verses, when it is stated unconditionally that "Obey Allah and His Messenger," it means that the Messenger is the ruler over you.

In chapter 4 verse 69 which says, "And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be in the company of those whom Allah has blessed: the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous — what excellent companions these are!" Allah speaks of the consequences of obedience and disobedience. Anyone who obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow, but those who turn away will face a painful punishment.

The abovementioned verses effectively outline an Islamic government, reserving authority over humanity for God, the Messenger (peace be upon him and his family), and those in authority among the believers, i.e. the infallible Imams (peace be upon them). How can one say that religion has nothing to do with governance? Or that religion is limited to prayer, fasting, and certain rituals? How can one say that God does not care about who governs over Muslims and who does not? If such claims were true, what would be the meaning of the verse which says, "Allah will never grant the disbelievers any way to prevail over the believers" (Quran 4:141) Doesn’t it imply that unbelievers should not rule over Muslims? Before the Islamic Revolution, it was very clear that non-believers had control over this country. The Pahlavi regime took orders either from the United States or from the UK and plundered the wealth of Muslims, and no one dared to question them.

Today, America and the enemies of the Islamic Revolution do not object to us for performing rituals like prayer, fast, hajj, almsgiving, and so on. Their objection is that the Islamic Revolution is calling for governance! They burn the Quran not because it has verses about prayer, fast, and hajj but because it contains verses about jihad. Once, I asked a respected scholar who was unsure whether religion advocates governance or not saying, "What about all these verses about jihad in the Quran, which, in my opinion, are far more numerous than the verses about prayer? When should they be carried out? Who should give the command for jihad? Under what conditions, and whom should he order to carry out jihad?”

The fact that Imam Khomeini mobilized the people to confront Saddam Hussein and that people obeyed him and offered so many martyrs, on the basis of what can be understood? Can anyone give any reason why this happened, other than recognizing Imam as the embodiment of religion? Jihad requires planning, and such planning cannot be done without governance. Can we really say that people should engage in jihad without any form of government? The principles of enjoining good and forbidding evil also cannot be effectively carried out without governance. Unfortunately, in the past 44 years, these issues have not been adequately addressed and clarified!

We must clarify this issue for today's generation and tell them, "Do you want God to rule over you or do you want the disbelievers, the murderers of innocent people and the criminals to rule over you?" Islam says that God, His Messenger, and the Immaculate Imams are the rulers over you. In addition to that it says, "O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies." It means that believes should not choose the Jews and Christians as their rulers. It emphasizes the importance of governing by divine laws. If anyone lets the Jews or Christians govern, they will become like them, meaning that they will not die as Muslims!

In the matter of necessity of establishing a religious government, there is no need for any additional Hadiths; these two verses are sufficient. The first verse from Surah Aal-e-Imran states, "And when Allah took the covenant of those who were given the Scripture, [saying], 'You must make it clear to the people.'" Allah has taken a covenant from the prophets and all religious scholars, whether they are Jews, Christians, or Muslims and whether they are Shia or Sunni, that they are obliged to explain the Scripture for people.

Which one of us, during past 44 years, has told people about governance in the Quran? Where and in which gatherings have we analyzed and discussed it? We haven't done this while it is a divine covenant. The Supreme Leader's emphasis on the necessity of explaining jihad [Jihad e Tabyiin] stems from these verses. The Prophets were obliged to explain the Scripture. Allah says, "We have sent down to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them." Allah doesn't say we sent it to you so that you recite it to people; He says we sent it to you so that you explain it and clarify it for people. We say that the Quran, which is the eternal miracle of the Prophet, requires explanation in every era. Even after the Prophet's demise, this requirement remains, and we must go to those who possess the knowledge of the Book i.e. the Imams (peace be upon them).

Now, we, who are followers of the Prophet and the Immaculate Imams (peace be upon them), how much have we fulfilled this duty of elucidation? How much have we contemplated the jurisprudential foundations of the Revolution? My late father, Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani, always used to say, "The duties of the clerics, seminary students, and scholars have changed significantly after the Revolution." This is a great blessing bestowed upon us. Before the Revolution, our duty was limited to explaining some religious rulings, along with some theological beliefs. There was no mention of these foundational topics!

I have been contemplating Imam's initiatives and innovative theories for a long time. At one point, it occurred to me that the issue of legal addresses (or edicts) is Imam's most important innovation. But when I came to the point where Imam says, “Islam is governance,” I realized that until now, religion had been reduced to something like a specialized surgeon who only provided injections. Religion is not just for individual rulings; it is for governance. It claims that if humans want to attain happiness, they must be governed only by Allah's rule and those whom Allah has designated.

Religion claims that if a proper religious government is established, and the books of God, including the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran, become the law, divine blessings from heaven and the earth will surround people. “And if they had upheld the Torah, the Gospel, and what was revealed to them from their Lord, they would surely have consumed provision from above them and from beneath their feet.” (The holy Quran, 5:66) These verses from the Quran explicitly address governance and it could not be clearer than this.

In this Ten Days of the Dawn of the revolution, if we truly want to serve Islam and show appreciation for Imam and the blood of the martyrs, we must understand and believe in Imam's enlightened ideas above all else. Those who do not believe in religious governance say that a ruler should be someone who can manage the country, regardless of whether his commands align with religion or not. These claims have been made, and they are still being made today.

If before the Revolution martyr Modarres said, “Our politics is the same as our religion, and our religion is the same as our politics,” Imam said something that is a thousand times more profound. Imam said, “Islam is governance.” Our religion is governance, and governance is our religion. The esteemed Leader has repeatedly stated that the enemy doesn't have any problem with us regarding nuclear energy or manufacturing missiles. Their problem is that they object, “Why do you say that Islam should rule? Why are you proponents of religious governance?”

Today, all these hostilities, Islamophobia and de-Islamization, both inside and outside Iran, and in cyber space, are aimed at making the young generation disappointed with religion and religious governance. It is our duty to understand and comprehend this vital and reviving thought first and foremost, and then to convey it to the present generation at schools, universities, and on pulpits. Only then will we see its effects.

I thank all of you, especially the esteemed representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Fallahi, who is a knowledgeable scholar. We must strengthen the religious seminaries from an academic perspective. Gilan has always been the birthplace of scholars and jurists. In our time, among the maraji’, the late Ayatullah Behjat was one of the most prominent jurists. Strengthen this chain; strengthen yourselves academically day by day. We believe that the identity of the religious seminaries and a seminarian is summarized in this verse, “He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good.” (The holy Quran, 2:269) Whenever someone asks me what is it to be a seminarian, I say that it is pursuing the wisdom that God has mentioned in the Quran.

According to a tradition pertaining to this verse, one of the Imams (peace be upon them) is asked, “What is wisdom?” He replies, “Knowing the Lord and obeying the Imam.” In this tradition, the issue of obedience to the infallible Imam and the successors of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) is mentioned. We, who are honored to be soldiers of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), must make the best use of our lives. Thanks to the Islamic government, the scope of jurisprudence and religion has expanded significantly, and the universality of religion is becoming evident.

In the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) Jurisprudence Center, where I have the honor to serve, various research groups are active in fields such as jurisprudence of medicine, jurisprudence of politics, jurisprudence of the family, jurisprudence of the child, jurisprudence of the society, Islamic human rights, jurisprudence of security, Quranic jurisprudence, and judicial jurisprudence, among others. In the field of child jurisprudence, we have compiled an eight-volume encyclopedia in which a comparison is made between the Shia school of thought and the four Sunni schools of thought. This encyclopedia includes Islamic directives on what an individual should eat, think, and say, from one year before birth to the age of maturity. Several years ago, a representative from the United Nations on children's rights came to our Center and inquired about children's rights in Islam. We asked Al-Azhar, which is one of the greatest scientific centers in the Islamic world, a book containing Islamic directives regarding children's rights. After several months, they provided us with a 100-page book, much of which consisted of pictures. Seeing this encyclopedia that you have compiled was very surprising!

We must understand that Islam is comprehensive, and the entire value of this religion lies in its comprehensiveness. In the field of medical jurisprudence, we have presented a book titled "Medical Verses in the Quran," which has left physicians astonished asking, "Do we really have verses related to medicine in the Quran?"

Today, in the seminaries, there are some complaints regarding the depth of studies in various subjects. Figures such as Mirza Habibullah Rashti and Mirza Qummi may not be found in our midst. Nevertheless, thanks to Allah, the scope of knowledge in the seminaries has expanded considerably in fields like jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, beliefs, and hadith. However, many aspects of our religious teachings remain unexplored. We should strongly believe in the comprehensiveness of Islam and preserve and strengthen the scientific foundation of our seminaries. It was a grace of Allah that He gave us the opportunity to study the Quran and the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them). It is God’s grace that we are trying to act according to the Prophet's will, who said, "Indeed, I am leaving among you two precious things and if you adhere to both of them, you will never go astray after me. The first of them is greater than the other, the Book of Allah and my household."

We must pay attention to the circumstances in which the Islamic Republic is and the adversities we are facing. Allah will assist us. See how, amidst the tumultuous crises, when one hears the words of the Supreme Leader, he finds tranquility realizing the Supreme Leader’s reliance on God.

I hope that we witness the success of the seminary of Gilan and its scholars in Gilan and Qom. These seminaries should serve the religion, the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them), the Revolution, and the people.

Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you

Tags :

Seminary Imam Khomeini Islamic Revolution Gilan Quran Jihad Islamic Republic Iran