The revolution in Iran with its policy of “Neither East nor West; Islam is the Best”, has made the Islamic Republic of Iran the promoter of Islamic unity much to the dismay of the enemies of Islam. O culmination of the Ten-Day-Dawn celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, we present you a feature titled “Role of Islamic Revolution in Fostering Islamic Unity”.
The Late French Muslim thinker, Roger Garaudy, in one of his articles described the victory of the Iranian people with the words: Truly the Islamic Revolution led by Imam Khomeini (God bless him) is not similar to any of the revolutions that have occurred in history for changing the society or the political systems. Social revolutions have also occurred in some countries because of the indignation of the poor against the rich.
This revolution, however, although possessing these trends, had new meanings which not only overthrew the political, social and colonialist system but also nailed the lie of the secular school of thought against religion and its role in ably administering the society and country. One of the impacts of the Islamic Revolution has been to strengthen Islamic brotherhood and foster unity among Muslims.
The Islamic Revolution in Iran, by drawing inspiration from the holy Qur’an and immaculate practice and behavior of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) established the pattern of unity and solidarity among Muslims.
The Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, from the very outset invited world Muslims to unity and solidarity in the face of the hostility of the enemies of Islam. In one of his statements we read: O Muslims of the world who have faith in the truth of Islam! Rise and gather under the banner of monotheism and cut the hands of the treacherous superpowers from your countries in order to revive the dignity of Islam by overcoming differences, since you have everything.
The Late Imam was not a visionary, but he took practical steps in fostering Islamic unity. For instance, he immediately designated as Islamic Unity Week, the two dates of the month of Rabi al-Awwal believed to be the birth anniversary of the Prophet of Islam by the Sunni and Shi’a Muslims – 12th as per the Sunnis and 17th as per the Shi’as. He next declared the Last Friday of the blessed month of Ramadhan, “Qods International Day” for mobilizing world Muslims against the illegal Zionist entity called Israel.
Another dynamic step was setting up of the World Assembly for Proximity among Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence. Imam Khomeini always paid special attention to the annual Hajj pilgrimage and viewed it as the best opportunity to promote Islamic solidarity by taking advantage of the presence of Muslims of different ethnicities, languages, colours, cultures, dresses, and social classes. He remarked on American plots to sow disunity by saying: Now when Muslim have travelled to the Land of Revelation for the Hajj pilgrimage from all over the world, by faith in Almighty God and the determination to resist the superpowers through unity of word, the Great Satan and its agents are trying to sow discord among Muslims. The strategy for fostering unity among Muslims was an outstanding feature of the politico-religious thought of Imam Khomeini.
In one of his speeches, Imam Khomeini remarked: We are prepared for defending Islam and the Muslim states. Our emphasis is on unity and brotherhood among Muslim states and all schools of Islamic jurisprudence. In line with the views of Imam Khomeini, the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran stresses Islamic unity and defense of world Muslims.
The emphasis on Islamic unity has been continued by the Late Imam’s successor, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. In a speech to the joint gathering of Shiite and Sunni Ulama in Kermanshah, he said: By unity we do not mean that the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence should give up their beliefs and join one particular school, for; this is impossible.
But by unity we mean that every Islamic school should adhere to its beliefs and have no prejudice toward the other schools. Ayatollah Khamenei considers the basic solution for removal of difference to be dialogue among world Muslims. While, we are marking the 37th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution while the enemies of Islam are pursuing the policy of discord in Muslim states by promoting the Takfiri and other terrorist groups which have tarnished the image of Islam. Saudi Arabia with its divisive policies and reliance on the US is the main promoter of Takfirism that is against the spirit of Islam and Islamic unity. There was no such thing during the lifetime of Prophet of Islam.
Islam not only does not encourage sectarian clashes and spread of Takfirism, but it invites Muslims to unite with each other. Followers of Islamic schools have the right to freely propagate the teachings of their schools, without any negative propagation against the other schools. We hope that inspired by the ideals of the Islamic Revolution and by holding to the Rope of Allah by following the conduct of the Prophet of Islam, all Muslim states and schools of jurisprudence, will join hands to promote Islamic unity.