Often people who do not approach issues with scientific method and language criticize me for not including certain issues which they think have direct bearing on the topic of my speech. But you are well aware that once a speaker or an author chooses a particular topic, his sole responsibility lies in his staying within the scope of his topic, and doing his best to provide an accurate analysis or substantiation of the thesis he has put forward.
To date, the Qur'an is the only document that has been safe from (major or minor) changes or distortions by the enemies of Islam. Although the internal and external enemies, which included the ruthless superpowers, the caliphs, the kings and the evil 'Ulama did everything in their power to counteract or destroy the Qur'an, their attempts failed. Their fear of the Qur'an persisted until they resorted to distorting the interpretation of the Qur'an for the Muslims.
Any idea which can be conceptualized and then expressed through a geometric form, is itself proof of its being both valid and sound. The most exact scientific concepts in the world are mathematical ones. If we are able to express our philosophical or ideological ideas in mathematical or geometrical language, we have both found the best language to express our concepts as well as the best proof of the fact that intellectual ideas are logical as opposed to philosophies and religions which have to engage in discussion, argumentation, sophistry, debates and comparisons to prove their logic.
There has been much written and said and much continues to be written and said about Imam Hosein and the role he played in history. The ancients have explained him one way and the innovating intellectuals in another. But as I realized recently, we cannot know what Imam Hosein has done without understanding what the meaning of martyrdom really is.
The term "martyr," derived from the (Latin) root "mort, "implies" death and dying," "Martyr" is a noun meaning "the one who dies for God and faith." Thus a martyr is, in any case, the one who dies. The only difference between his death and that of others is to be seen in the "cause." He dies for the cause of God, whereas the cause of the death of another may be cancer.
From that day when Muhammad (PBUH) left Mecca after thirteen years of anguish and continuous struggle and went to Medina, he knew that the period of weakness and concealment of Islam had ended and that he must, with the help of his loyal and valiant followers, lay the foundation of a civilisation with the glory of an Islamic organization, and construct the basis of his political regime in the way which God desired.
We neither want to make a Europe, nor another America, but a human society. Europe and America tried to create a human society. They talked and bluffed, but they did just the opposite and ironically they have always killed all the humans they could find. We absolutely do not want to catch up with England, the U.S., and France. Never!
Some words have the right to life for a person (as Andre Gide said) and if they do not have the right to life for a person, they have the right to develop a thought because it often happens that there is a word within us which we are not aware of.
My lecture is about the various approaches one can use to come to know Islam. It is an important scientific concept to review multiple approaches to the understanding of something in order to arrive at a particular methodology, which in our case is to come to understand Islam.
My friend, you have left this world, but we are carrying the loads for the great civilization, clear victories, and heroic works. They came to our homes at the farms and forced us, as beasts, to build their graves. If we could not carry the stones or complete the task, we were also put into the walls with the stones! Others took the pride and credit for the work that we did. No mention had ever been made of our contributions.
Does Islam recognize man as a helpless creature whose ultimate goal and ideal is to stand powerless in front of God? Does Islam recognize humanness as a nobility? Is helplessness in man a pre-requisite of belief in Islam, or on the contrary, is belief in Islam enough to bestow originality upon man and a respect for his virtues?
As a nation and a society possesses economic resources, rich in energy, but worthless when raw, it also possesses vast cultural and spiritual resources that have accumulated throughout history.
Debate on the question of who is civilized and who is modernized are best discussed in light of Islamic doctrine, particularly as a matter concerning individuals of the educated classes of Islamic societies upon whom lie the burden of responsibility and leadership of the Umma.
If one were to reconstruct the form of Islam which has been made to degenerate in the course of history, re-assemble it in such a way that the spirit could return to a total body, transform the present dazed elements into that spirit as if the trumpet of Israfil were to blow in the 20th century over a dead society and awaken its movement, power, spirit, and meaning, it is, then, that exemplary Muslim personalities will be reconstructed and reborn like Muhammad Iqbal.
Islam is a religion which makes its appearance in the history of mankind with the 'no' of Mohammad (PBUH), the heir of Abraham, the manifestation of the religion of the Unity of God and the oneness of mankind, a 'no' which beings with the cry of Unity, a cry which Islam reinitiated when confronted by aristocracy and compromise.
My Lord, inspire me with the piety of rebellion so that I may not stumble in the grandeur of my responsibilities. And save me from the piety of avoidance so that I may not be wasted in the corner of solitude.
There are some sciences which are oppressed in our society. They are oppressed in the sense that they have no particular owner. The reason they have no owner is because they do not have a set of clearly definable rules and limitations. At any rate, my words on art here are not of this kind. I am not speaking here as a specialist on the subject of art, but rather as one who is interested in knowing about art.
On the day of Ashoura, Horr made a huge decision. Right before the battle started, he left his position and the army he was commanding, and joined Imam Hussein, and was the first to be killed in the way of Allah, by the army he used to be a commander of just a few hours earlier. The name "Horr" means free, freeborn, noble, freeman.
A great many people are acquainted with Islamic views of society, social relations, women's rights, children's rights and family rights, but these same people then actually follow non-Islamic, ancient cultural traditions and do not dare to base their lives upon Islamic values. That is, they do not practice what they preach. Thus we always remain at the level of talking.
Truly, even thinking about the Prophet is extremely difficult and awe inspiring. A great personage like Ali said: "Whenever we found the situation to be grave, we used to take refuge in the Prophet of God and sought the shelter of his presence in order to feel safe and protected in his loving company".
As a person who is "knowledgeable about religion" and whose field of study is "the history of religions", I reached the following conclusions as a result of my study and research of the historical evolution of each faith whereby I compared what the faiths were in the past and what they are now as well as a comparison in the differences between the "truth" and the "reality" of the faiths.
The line Shariati draws in the following speeches is between two religions, a "religion of revolution" and a "religion of legitimation." The difference between them is sharply drawn: the first is a religion working to overcome differences in class and economic status, while the second is a religion legitimating and perpetuating such differences. As opposed to some socialists who draw the line between religion, as supporter of class divisions, and non-religion, which overcomes these divisions, he places the dividing-line within religion itself. From his perspective, it is thus not religion itself that needs to be rejected as the "opium of the people," but only one type of religion, the "religion of legitimation," while true religion remains unscathed. The consequences of this impressive analysis are far-reaching. Not for nothing has he been called the ideological leader of Iran's "Islamic Revolution."1
What Is To Be Done: The Enlightened Thinkers and an Islamic Renaissance, is a collection of lectures Dr. Shari'ati delivered in the 1970s, dealing with the definition of an intellectual, his role in the society and hisresponsibility, play the role of social prophets. The volume contains three lectures, one of which has been divided into two parts, together they constitute Shari'ati's response to what he perceives as the crisis facing the Islamic world. According to him, Muslims today are in need of an "Islamic renaissance" brought about by the enlightened Muslim thinkers.1
In all the diverse speeches, lectures and writings of Shari’ati, there is barely a single reference to the political, economic and other miseries of Pahlavi Iran, and yet it is necessary now to designate him as the chief ideologue of the Iranian Islamic revolution. His lectures at the Husayniya-yi Irshad in Tehran and in other forums around the country awakened new interest and confidence in Islam, not merely as a private form of worship, but as a total world-view (jahanbini, one of the favorite terms), fully autonomous, superior to the creeds and ideologies of past and present, and bearing in its heart a revolutionary mission. A large number of the secularly educated intelligentsia who had become alienated from Islam – and thereby from their society and the masses of the Iranian nation-were drawn again to Islam as the pivotal point of both personal existence and national destiny by the eloquence, range and originality of Shari’ati’s thought.1
(A translation of Islam va Islam a lecture given at the Petroleum College of Abadan. The introductory Paragraph has been omitted). THE QUESTION OF MAN is the most important of all questions. The civilization of today is based upon humanism, the nobility of man and the worship of man. It is believed that the religions of the past crushed the personality of man and compelled him to sacrifice himself to the gods. They forced him to regard his own will as totally powerless when confronted by the will of God.1
In preparing the way for the unparalleled surge of Islamic revival in Iran, many factors have been at work. One of the most important is the legacy of Dr. Ali Shari'ati (1933-1977). A teacher, scholar and writer, Shari'ati and a dynamic influence on the young people of Iran with his classes, discussions, free lectures and articles during the 1960's and 1970's. The book does not pretend to offer a complete scheme of Islamic sociology, nor did Shari'ati himself claim to have developed a complete scheme. With his original and courageous mind, he did, however, put forward a number of totally fresh concepts relating to the sociology of Islam, and it is these we have sought to present in English translation as a stimulus to thought among Muslims. The book contains a number of topics that are not, strictly speaking, sociological, but even they are treated in a sociological tone, so that the title of the book, on the Sociology of Islam, appears justified.1
A complete translation of Ravish‑i Shinakht‑i Islam, comprising two lectures given at Husayniya‑yi Irshad in Aban 134710ctober 1968.1
(Translated from Islamshinasi, Vol. pp.46 56.) MY WORLD‑VIEW CONSISTS OF tauhid. Tauhid in the sense of oneness of God is of course accepted by all monotheists. But tauhid as a world‑view in the sense I intend in my theory means regarding the whole universe as a unity, instead of dividing it into this world and the hereafter, the natural and the supernatural, substance and meaning, spirit and body. It means regarding the whole of existence as a single form, a single living and conscious organism, possessing will, intelligence, feeling and purpose.1
(Transtaled from Islamshinsi, Vol. 1, pp. 56 68.) THE STORY OF ADAM and his creation in the Qur'an is the most profound and advanced expression of humanism that exists. In this story, Adam represents the whole human species, the essence of the human race, man in his philosophical sense, not in the biological sense. When the Qur'an speaks of man in the biological sense, it uses the language of the natural sciences, mentioning sperm, drops of clotted blood, fetus, etc.1
(Translated from Islamshinasi, Vol. I, pp. 68 85.) ACCORDING TO THE ISLAMIC school of thought, the philosophy of history is based on a certain kind of historical determinism. History represents an unbroken flow of events that, like man himself, is dominated by a dialectical contradiction, a constant warfare between two hostile and contradictory elements that began with the creation of humanity and has been waged at all places and at all times, and the sum total of which constitutes history.1
(Translated from Islamshinasi, Vol. I, pp. 85 94.) SOCIOLOGY IS ALSO FOUNDED on a dialectic. Society, like history, is composed of two classes‑the class of Abel and the class of Cain‑for history is simply the movement of society along the line traced out by time. Society represents, therefore, a fragment corresponding to a certain time‑sector in history. If we remove the concept of time from the history of a people, we will be left with the society of that people.1
(Translated from Islamshinasi, Vol. 1, pp. 97 98.) THE IDEAL SOCIETY OF ISLAM is called the umma. Taking the place of all the similar concept‑, which in different languages and cultures designate a human agglomeration or society, such as "society," "nation," "race, “people,” “tribe," ”clan," etc., is the single word umma, a word imbued with progressive spirit and implying a dynamic, committed and ideological social vision.1
(Translated from Islamshinasi, Vol 1, pp. 98 104.) THE IDEAL MAN is the theomorphic man in whom the spirit of God has overcome the half of his being that relates to Iblis, to clay and to sediment. He has been freed from hesitation and the contradiction between the "two infinites." "Take on the characteristics of God"‑this is our whole philosophy of education, our sole standard!1