The Office of the Supreme Leader

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  • Lessons From Nahj ul-Balaghah
    • Lesson one
    • Lesson Two
    • Lesson Three
    • Lesson Four
    • Lesson Five
    • Lesson Six
    • Lesson Seven
    • Lesson Eight
      • The Believers' Status Before, After and at the Time of the Prophets' Appearance
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        The Believer' Status Before, After and at the Time of the Prophets' Appearance

        In another sermon of the Nahj-ul-Balagha known as „al-Khutbah al-Qasi'ah" (The Sermon of Disparagement),the Commander of the Faithful lays down and explains some of the matters which were quoted in previous from Sermon No. 1, concerning the status of the people during the Age of Ignorance, conditions of the time of the appearance of the Prophets and the situation of the people after the appointment of the Prophets to prophethood. He portrays, in effect, the conditions and circumstances which had naturally cast shadows over the people's lives in the Age of Ignorance as well as the victorious status the people gained after the appearance of the Prophets under the light of their efforts, struggles and endeavors.
        A study of some of the statements of this Sermon (al qasrah) which adds to our mind concerning what we learned about the background to prophethood, the Prophets' responsibilities, etc., in previous lessons, would bring us to a sound conclusion for this book. In a part of this Sermon we read: «Think about the condition of people from among the believers who passed before you. What distress and trials they underwent:»8
        It means that we should look deep into the circumstances of the believers who lived before us, not treating them in a perfunctory manner because we cannot learn much from the formal appearance of the past events. Only when one traces the causes of these events and contemplates them deeply will one perceive that the believers of the past have been under severe pressure' and that they have been subjected to such hardships as hunger, torture, imprisonment and so forth and greater hardships than those we suffer today, i.e. facing political problems and happenings and recognizing the true character of different groups and fronts and the stance they take.
        The Commander of the Faithful continues with the following statements, „were they the most over-burdened among all the people and in the most straightened circumstances in the whole world?"
        The true believers have always been the most overburdened, the most pain-suffering and the poorest creatures of God before the advent of the Prophets and the realization of Islamic revolutions (all the revolutions led by the Prophets have been Islamic in the sense that they have all been primarily aimed at submission to God). Why?
        First, because the believers have to provide for their own sustainance. In fact, the true believers, those who have touched the spirit of the belief in God, never compromise with oppressive powers. They usually refuse to enter their service and to help them should they not be able to fight them." Thus, under tyrannical governments, the believers are constantly face to face with hardships and inconveniences as far as their economic affairs are concerned. This can be traced in Islamic traditions. On the contrary, disbelievers compromise with the oppressors very easily, enter the service and thus enjoy a comfortable life.
        Second, in addition to providing for their own living, the believers are usually obliged to rhoulder the burden of the oppressors' impositions concerning their luxurious life. As an example, we all know that the overthrown regime (of Pahlavi) faced exorbitant expenses which had to be paid by those who did not compromise with it. Those who compromised with that regime were not subjected to such burdens and impositions. They themselves took advantage of the prevailing situations as well.
        Third, the believers have to tolerate the political impositions of the oppressive ruling powers with whom they fight. Such powers do not let them express their beliefs and have their own free thoughts and opinions. They force the believers to accept their own oppressive thoughts. Thus, the prevailing strangulation in a society is a great burden on the shoulder of the believers who refuse to adhere to the thoughts and opinions imposed by the oppressive ruling powers. They are, in effect, the most combative people, always fighting the oppressors in order to eradicate calamities and corruptions.
        It is narrated that the believer is always in a state of struggling in some way or other. Under unlawful and corruptive governments, he involves himself in organized hidden and underground battles and lives in a precautionary, dissimulative manner, and under lawful, legitimate governments, he deals with political, ideological and military involvements or fights the enemy to safeguard the way of God. Thus, the believer is always in a fighting state which is very troublesome. Fighting does not necessarily mean receiving wounds and bearing distress. It includes, in addition to these, fears and failures, worries and anxieties. The true fighter is thus the one who does not surrender to these and who only fights for the sake of God and duty, not for the sake of victory. Accordingly, fighting is more troublesome and difficult than all the trials of life.
        Finally the Commander of the Faithful says, that are the poorest and the most straightened people because they have to live in a state of strangulation, poverty, force and precautionary silence.
        He continues to explain the believers' status in the following statements: „The Pharaohs took them as slaves. They inflicted the worst punishments and bitter sufferings on them. They continuously remained in this state of (spiritual) ruinous disgrace and severe subjugation. They found no method for escape and no way for protection."
        The first statement implies that the believers were forcefully made to obey Pharaohs (holders of tyrannical power) or deities other than the One God, although they were servants of God by nature. Sometimes, of course, such deities or objects of worship believe in God themselves and, therefore submission to them is submission to God. But when they induce people to the worship of their own selves, submission to them is submission to non-gods. It has been narrated that „he who listens to a speaker, becomes his servant. If the speaker speaks of God, that person will be the servant of God and if he speaks of Satan that person will be the servant of Satan.»
        And Satan is sometimes the very human 'self' and ‘concupiscence' to whose obedience the Pharaohs forced the believers in God, who knew no way of defending their human dignity and getting rid of such servitude.
        Such was the status of the believers in God and followers of the Prophets who dealt with satanic ruling powers before the victory.

      • The Three-Act Play of People's Status
      • Conclusion (Two General Points...... )
  • The Leader & Youth
  • The Charter of Freedom
  • Essence of Tawhid , Denial of Servitude But to God
  • Iqbal , The Poet-Philosopher of Islamic Resurgence
  • Human Rights in Islam
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