“The Year of the Holy Prophet (S)”
By: The Supreme Leader Ayatollah al-Uzma Sayyid Ali Khamenei
There is a reason behind naming this year "The Year of the Holy Prophet (S)". We should try to understand this reason with all our hearts and souls and we should move ahead accordingly. The reason behind choosing such a name is not just to start the year with the name of the Holy Prophet (S). The reason is that our society - both individuals and organizations - should move closer to what the Holy Prophet (S) tried to achieve. It is not possible to summarize the goals of the Holy Prophet (S) in a sentence, but it is possible to highlight a number of his goals which can be used as our guidelines throughout a year, a decade or our entire lifetime.
The Noble goals of the Holy Prophet (S)
1. Completing moral virtues
One of his goals was perfecting moral virtues. "I was appointed as prophet to perfect moral virtues". 1 Without having moral virtues the people in a society cannot reach the noble goals of the Holy Prophet's (S) Be’that. What helps the individual and society achieve transcendence is moral virtues. The term "moral virtues" does not only mean that we should behave properly towards other people.
It means that we should improve moral qualities in our hearts and souls and we should show them in practice. People who are jealous of one another, are greedy and stingy, bear ill will towards one another, try to deceive one another and bear grudges against one another, cannot achieve happiness even if the law is strictly enforced in the society in which these people live. This is not an acceptable human society even if it makes scientific progress and even if the civilization in such a society reaches its highest peak.
There is no happiness in a society in which people do not feel safe and in which an individual feels that other people are jealous of him, are suspicious of him, are greedy towards him and his wealth, bear grudges against him and hatch plots against him. But if in a society people have moral virtues, treat one another kindly, forgive one another, exercise great patience and if they are not greedy for worldly profits, are not stingy about the things that they have, are not jealous of one another, do not create obstacles in the way of people who want to make progress, then these people can have a happy and peaceful life even if they do not make much material progress.
These are moral virtues. We need these. We should improve moral virtues in our hearts and souls on a daily basis. Individual and social rules of Islam are a means for helping humanity achieve happiness. There is no doubt in this regard, but in order to implement these rules properly, we need moral virtues.
In order to strengthen morality in society, we need to do two things. First, we should engage in self-education and second, we should provide all the people at all levels with moral education. This duty should be carried out by our schools and other centers that are responsible for education. These organizations are responsible for carrying out this duty. This is one of the necessary tasks in "The Year of the Holy Prophet (S)".
That is to say, we should be faithful and we should be true Muslims and followers of the Holy Prophet (S) by observing moral virtues. We should make a list of negative and evil qualities and we should try to eliminate these qualities from our hearts and souls if we have any of them. We should also make a list of moral virtues and try to develop them in our hearts and souls. Of course, what makes us progress on this path is love, love for God Almighty, love for the Holy Prophet (S), love for this path, love for the teachers of morality that is to say, the Prophets and infallible Imams (a.s.).
This is love which helps us move forward on this path. We should strengthen this love in ourselves on a daily basis. The Holy Prophet (S) says, "Oh God, make me love You and love those who love You and make me love doing things which bring me closer to You." 2
We should nurture in our hearts and souls love for God and love for His saints. God Almighty approves. This is one of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (S), one that we should pay attention to in "The Year of the Holy Prophet (S)".
2. Resistance and steadfastness
Another lesson that the Holy Prophet (S) taught us is resistance. In Sura Hud, Allah the Exalted says to the Holy Prophet (S), "Therefore stand firm (in the straight path) as you are commanded - you and those who with you turn(unto Allah) - and transgress not.” 3
There is a narration from the Holy Prophet (S) which says, "Sura Hud made me old." 4 It made him old because it is full of heavy concepts. Which part of Sura Hud does he refer to? It has been narrated that what the Holy Prophet (S) had in mind was the Ayah "Therefore stand firm (in the straight path) as you are commanded" when he said this. Why did it make him old? It is because God Almighty says in this Ayah, "Therefore stand firm (in the straight Path) as you are commanded." Standing firm and putting up a resistance is a difficult thing to do. This resistance is the same as the Bridge of Sirat which we have to cross on Judgment Day. In this world, our actions are like the Bridge of Sirat. We are walking on the Bridge of Sirat now.
We should be very careful. If each person remains so careful in everything he does, he will soon grow old. In my opinion, the most important part of this Ayah is this part: "And those who with you turn (unto Allah)". The Holy Prophet (S) is not just responsible for his own resistance. He should make the massive number of believers put up a resistance. He is responsible for people who, on the one hand, are faced with the daily problems of life such as the problems that the enemies, the plotters, the ill-wishers and the dominant powers create for them and who, on the other hand, are subject to their carnal desires for worldly profits which attract people strongly. He is responsible for people who easily deviate from the right path. The desire for gold and silver, the desire for money, the desire for sexual pleasure, the desire for power and other desires, tie a rope around their necks and pull them toward themselves.
Most probably, helping people put up a resistance against these temptations, guiding believers towards the right path and keeping them on this path were the things which made the Holy Prophet (S) old.
Believers may deviate from the right path under the influence of these two strong forces: the enemies and their inner passions and desires.
Do you know what the Holy Prophet (S) did both when he was living in Mecca for thirteen years and when he was forming a government in Medina to help believers tread many difficult paths and reach the peak of humanity? Nobody could do such a thing. He changed people who had no understanding of anything and who did not have any human virtues. The Holy Prophet (S) changed them into such noble people whose great and enlightened hearts made God's angels feel inferior.
This is a perfect example of resistance. Today we need resistance. We can also be tempted by different desires. How many people we saw during the time of the Revolution who could not put up a resistance against laziness, animal desires, the lure of power and position, the threat of the enemy and the flattery of certain people although they had pure hearts and souls and genuine beliefs at first.
They deviated from the right path and turned into the enemies of the divine path. Therefore, resistance [against such desires] is necessary. Resistance against the enemy is also necessary. The enemy makes threats, gives us empty promises, shows off its greatness to the Islamic Ummah, adopts a domineering tone when it speaks to us and sometimes he mixes these things with empty promises so that he can deceive us. Resistance against the schemes and threats of the enemy requires great competence.
If a nation achieves such competence, it can reach the peak of success and it will be in a position where the enemy finds out that making threats is useless and that he has to either get along with or surrender to this nation. 5
The Conditions of the Islamic Ummah are important to the soul of the Holy Prophet (S)
Regarding the Holy Prophet (S) and the Islamic Ummah, the issues that attract attention include the destiny of the Islamic Ummah and the events that happen to this great Ummah.
“Certainly an Apostle has come to you from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your falling intodistress, full of concern for you. To the believers (he is) compassionate.” 6
This is true of all historical eras. What is currently happening to the Islamic Ummah is important to the immaculate soul of the Holy Prophet (S). His insightful eyes are watching the Islamic Ummah with concern.
The Islamic Ummah has gone through difficult eras. It has experienced many ups and downs in its history and today it has reached a decisive juncture. Today if the Islamic Ummah makes determined efforts, it can choose a path that will put an end to the backwardness, problems, hardships and humiliation of the world of Islam. And the pioneers of this movement are outstanding personalities of Islamic communities political personalities as well as scientific and cultural personalities who are active in religious and academic environments. These outstanding personalities can recommend and show this path to the Islamic Ummah.
The other option that is available to the Islamic Ummah is to continue suffering the kind of unawareness that the enemies of Islam want us to suffer from. We can remain in this lack of vigilance and suffer from conflicts, narrow-mindedness, selfishness, materialistic tendencies and irresponsibility of our outstanding personalities. If this happens, the Muslim world will be denied access to the path of salvation and happiness for at least several decades. This is the characteristic of our era. The current era is the era of making important decisions. Moving forward on the path of growth and righteousness will only produce results gradually in the medium or long term.
However, every day the pioneering movement of outstanding personalities and officials and their decisions throughout the world of Islam is delayed, which is harmful to the Islamic Ummah. Everybody should feel responsible. Today is the day of Muslim unity. Notice how much money the enemy spends on destroying the weak form of unity that exists in the world of Islam.
Take a look at the conditions of Iraq. Of course, other Islamic territories are suffering from similar conditions namely, machinations that are designed to foment discord among different Islamic groups, denominations, ethnicities and nations under various pretexts, so that they kill each other, bear grudges against each other and as a result, disregard the main enemies of the Islamic Ummah who are plotting to spread their hegemony over this region.
If the world of Islam were united, today the Palestinians would not be alone and the elected Palestinian government would not be pressured. If the world of Islam were united, today the government that has been elected by the people of Palestine would not be threatened that if they do not give up their principles, they will no longer receive aid. The world of Islam should announce its unanimous support for the Palestinian nation and government officials. The world of Islam should support their insistence on principles.
If this happens, those who have caused sufferings for Palestine and the Palestinian nation will no longer be able to speak as if the world owes them. All these tragedies are imposed on the people of Palestine, yet the European gentlemen who claim to support human rights are completely silent, as if they are deaf and blind. When the elected Palestinian government came to power, they spoke and adopted positions against it. This is due to the discord that exists in the world of Islam. This is due to the selfishness of outstanding personalities and politicians of the world of Islam.
Islamic Awakening: The only way in which the Islamic Ummah can restore Dignity
We need to awaken. We need to understand that the decision we make today will determine the destiny of the world of Islam. Of course, this decision is not just related to ourselves and our current conditions. Today the world of Islam has no choice but to believe in the power of its faith and refuse to surrender to oppression and bullying. We do not call on Islamic nations to take up arms against other countries in the world. We only recommend that they identify their rights, that they appreciate their value and the value of their personal and national dignity, that they identify, appreciate and rely on their valuable historical heritage, that they do not allow the world of Kufr and arrogance which is currently controlled by the Zionists to humiliate them. This is what we are saying. “Grievous to him is what you suffer.” It is difficult for the Holy Prophet (S) to see Muslims, the world of Islam and Muslim nations going through hardships.
“[He is] concerned over you.” 7
He wants you to be guided. He wants you to achieve happiness. He wants you to make use of this straight divine path which has been opened up in front of you in order to help you achieve happiness in this world and in the next and move forward. These are the things that the Holy Prophet (S) wants from us.
• 1. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 68, P. 382
• 2. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 83, P. 182, Chapter 43
• 3. Sura Hud, Ayah 112
• 4. Wasa’il ash-Shia, Vol. 6, P. 172
• 5. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on March 26, 2006 in a meeting with members of Basij
• 6. Sura at-Taubah, Ayah 128
• 7. Sura at-Taubah, Ayah 12