Islamic activists, scholars and intellectuals gathered in Tehran for the annual Islamic Awakening conference.
April 29, 2013, 15:45 EST
Addressing the inaugural session of the Islamic Awakening conference today, the Rahbar (Guardian Jurist), Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei of Iran said the world of Islam had emerged from the shadows in socio-political matters. Islam and the Muslim world were major players in the international arena now and Islam offers solutions to the endemic problems of the world that is in permanent decline.
More than 700 leading ulama, scholars and activists from all schools of thought in Islam and from all parts of the world are in Tehran to attend the two-day conference on the theme, “Islamic Awakening and Ulama Conference.” The Rahbar said proof of the Islamic awakening was evident from the enthusiasm shown by youth that had discovered their Islamic identity and exposed the arrogant powers of the world. He urged the assembled delegates to have trust in Allah’s promise of help. This will surely materialize when Muslims are sincere in their efforts.
The Rahbar, Seyyed Khamenei then identified five points regarding Islamic awakening.
1: He paid rich tribute to the contribution of scholars from both the Sunni and Shia schools of thought whose efforts had enriched the understanding of succeeding generations. Seyyed Jamaluddin Afghani (Asadabadi), Muhammad Abduh, Mirza-e Shirazi, Akhund-e Khorasani, Mahmoud ul-Hassan, Sheikh Fadhlallah, Hajj Agha Noorullah, Abul A’la Maudoodi and many other famous mujtahids and scholars were mentioned as having enriched Islamic understanding and awareness. He also paid tribute to Allama Iqbal (referred to as Iqbal Lahori) and Hassan al-Banna for their contribution in enlightening the Muslim Ummah.
2: The second was the formulation of a clear long-term goal. This should include both short and medium-term goals but whose ultimate objective is the revival of the Islamic civilization.
3: Islamic movements must not depend on the west. He pointed out that countries that depend on the west have failed to make any progress. The Rahbar said that this did not mean that we should be harsh toward others but our complaint is against the oppressors and aggressors. He cited the example of dependent regimes that had failed to prevent the demolition of even Palestinian home by the zionists. Such helplessness was the direct result of dependency on the west.
4: He warned against the most dangerous trend that had emerged in the Muslim world: sectarianism. This, he said was being instigated by western intelligence agencies and the zionists and financed through petrodollars to instigate fitna and corruption. The Rahbar said these nefarious groups took advantage of people’s ignorance of the real issues but he urged the ulama and the scholars that they must develop effective strategies to neutral this dangerous trend.
5: The Leader of the Islamic Revolution then outlined a simple test for all Islamic movements: what is their stance vis-à-vis the continued occupation of Palestine and Masjid al-Aqsa. He said all committed Muslims agree on the liberation of Palestine and al-Quds. He said this is the real test of their commitment and sincerity.
He advised the conference participants about two factors that are crucial in the Muslim’s struggle for dignity and honour: Islamic principles and the presence of people on the scene. Without adhering to Islamic principles, the struggle is meaningless, and without people’s participation, it will not achieve success.
At the conclusion of his address, the Rahbar came down to the conference floor and was surrounded by ulama and scholars that wanted to meet and greet him. He walked through the conference hall greeting enthusiastic participants hugging and shaking hands with as many as possible.
The atmosphere in the conference hall was electrifying. Long after he had left, conference participants continued to mingle and savor the experience they had just had with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.