Dr Ali Shariati, who died in London in June 1977, was among the most important figures of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which unfortunately he did not live to see; and yet, 30 years after his death, his contribution and legacy are largely forgotten. During the 1970s, his lectures and writings played a crucial role in preparing young Iranians, brought up during the secularising and “Westoxicated” policies of the Shah’s regime, for the possibility of Islamic rule. In this paper, IQBAL SIDDIQUI analyses major elements of his thought, particularly his belief that Muslims need what Dr Kalim Siddiqui would later call “an intellectual revolution” in their under-standing of Islam.
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.