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The General Pattern; of Islamic Thought in the Qur’an

(Some Chapters from the book)


The new thought and vision which is proposed by God through the Prophet promises a new life. This can be achieved only if that thought can establish its identity in the mind and action of an integrated community.

For such a community, which forms a solid and impenetrable front strongly tries not to efface when confronting the opposite thoughts and actions. This purpose requires the rejection of any dependence-if necessary or possible even breaking off the ties of ordinary relationship-which enfeebles the front of the believers. In the language of the Our'an this intellectual and practical stand, from the point of view of thought and action is called 'walayah'.

Again when this integrated group, which is the cornerstone of Islamic society and the principal basis of Islamic community, changes to a strong nation and establishes an Islamic society, it needs to observe the principle of 'walayah' in order to preserve its unity and integrity and avoid the penetration of its enemies.

The Our'an points out these ideas in several verses as follows:

"0 believers, take not My enemy and your enemy for friends, offering them love, though they have disbelieved in the truth that has come to you, expelling the Messenger and you because you believe in God your Lord. If you go forth to struggle in My way and seek My good pleasure, secretly loving them, yet I know very well what you conceal and what you publish; and whosoever of you does that, has gone astray from the right way. If they come on you, they will he enemies to you, and stretch against you their hands and their tongues, to do you evil, and they wish that you might disbelieve. Neither your bloodkindred nor your children shall profit you upon the Day of Resurrection; He shall distinguish between you. And God sees the things you do. You have had a good example in Abraham, and those with him, when they said to their people, 'We are quit of you and that you worship, apart from God. We disbelieve in you, and between us and you enmity has shown itself, and hatred for ever, until you believe in God alone. '(60:1- 4 )

The Relations of Islamic Community

After the establishment of the great 'community', the integrated group which is the origin of the Islamic Nation, expands to the extent of all the true believers of the world. In such a community the principle of 'walayah' influences its civil and foreign affairs.

In civil affairs, all the units and wings of the nation are obliged to carefully prepare all the forces in one way and for one aim and strongly avoid dispersion and disorder which cause the futility of some parts of these forces '

In foreign affairs, they should abstain from any relationship and friendship which endangers independence and authority of the world of Islam.

It is quite obvious that taking care of the two aspects of , walayah'(integrity and co-ordination in internal affairs, freedom and non-alliance in foreign affairs) requires a central and superior power which is, in fact, the crystallization of all the constructive elements of Islam (Imam"-the Islamic governor). I also requires a deep and strong relationship between all the members of the Islamic community and the Islamic governor (Imam). Here another aspect of walayah' is manifested and that is the Imam's walayah and the leadership of the Islamic world.

In the following verses the Our'an has skillfully mentioned these subtle facts.

"O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. God guides not the people of the evil-doer. Yet thou seest those in whose hearts is sickness vying with one another to come to them, saying, 'We fear lest a turn of fortune should smite us.' But it may be that God will bring the victory, or some commandment from Him, and then they will find themselves, for that they kept secret within them, remorseful, and the believers will say, 'What, are these the ones who swore by God most earnest oaths that they were with you? Their works have failed; now they are losers. '0 believers, whosoever of you turns from his religion, God will assuredly bring a people He loves, and who Love Him, humble towards the believers, disdainful towards the unbelievers, men who struggle in the path of God, not fearing the reproach of any reproacher. That is God's bounty; He bestows His favors upon whomever He wills And God is All-embracing, Allknowing. Only your friend is God, and His Messenger. And the believers who perform the prayer and pay the poor-due (zakat), while bowing down (in prayer). 5:51-55

O believers, fear God as He should be feared, and do not die unless you are Muslims. And you hold fast to God's bond, together, and do not scatter... " (3:102-103)

The Paradise of Walayah

Only that society can enjoy having 'walayah' in which the 'wali' is ascertained, the one who is the authority and the inspirer of all the liveliness and activities of life. And a person can enjoy having 'walayah' if he has a true understanding of the wali and if he is in a constant struggle to connect himself with him, who is the manifestation of God's walayah. So far as the wali is God's successor and the manifestation of the Divine authority and justice on the earth, he uses all the possibilities and talents, which are disposed in men's nature for their evolution and exaltation and for their own benefits. Furthermore, he would not let any of these talents be used against humanity or be lost, for if it happened, it would be a great damage. He firmly fixes justice and security, in the community, which are necessary for man's flourishing as are rich soil, water and good weather necessary for the growth of a plant. He will stop the appearance of cruelty in any form (polytheism, doing injustice to others or oneself). He leads all towards God's servitude. He ripens man's knowledge and vision and leads him to endeavor and initiation. His principal obligations are: keeping up prayer for God's remembrance (salat), just distribution of wealth (zakat)"' , spreading of goodness (al-'amr bil-ma'ruf). and abolishment of wickedness (al-nahy'an al-munkar)". In short, he helps man to approach the ultimate aim of creation.

Thinking about the following verses will show us the vast horizons of walayah's paradise, and will once more emphasize the fact that none of the religious commandments is as important as walayah.

"Cursed were the unbelievers of the Children of Israel by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son; that, for their rebelling and their transgression. They forbade not one another any dishonor that they committed; surely evil were the things they did. Thou seest many of them making unbelievers their friends. Evil is that they have forwarded to their account, that God is angered against them, and in the chastisement they shall dwell forever. Yet had they believed in God and the Prophet and what has been sent down to him, they would not have taken them as friends; but many of them are of evil conduct. (5:78-81)

"0 believers, take not as your friends those of them, who were given the Scripture before you and the unbelievers-who take your religion for a jest and sport-and fear God, if you are believers-and when you call to prayer, they take it for a jest and sport; that is because they are people who have no understanding. Say: 'People of the Scripture, do you blame us for any other cause than that we believe in God, and what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down before, and that most of you are evil-livers?' Say: 'Shall I tell you of a recompense with God, worse than that:' Whomsoever God has cursed, and with whom He is wroth, and made some of them apes and swine, and worshippers of idols-they are worse situated, and have gone further astray from the right way.' (5:57-60)

About Walayah (1)

The principle of walayah, discussed in the Qur'an comprehensively, can be considered from many points of view. Sometimes each of them can be regarded as a principle in itself in understanding Islam. If one thinks attentively about the following verses, some of these points of view can be observed.

1. The wali of the Islamic society, that is the power which leads all the mental and practical activities of the society, is God or whomever God has assigned-either in -name or by signs-for walayah.

"Your guardian wali is only God, and His Messenger, and the believers who perform the prayer and pay the Zakat while bowing down, " (5:-5-5)

"God commands you to deliver trusts back to their owners; and when you judge between the people, that you judge with justice. Good is the admonition God gives you; God is All-hearing, All- seeing. 0 believers, obey God, and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. If you have a dispute on anything, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you believe in God and the Last Day; that is better. and fairer in the issue. (4:58-59)

"Whosoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys God; and whosoever turns his back-We have not sent thee to be a watcher over them. "(4:80)

"Hast thou not regarded those who assert that they believe in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, desiring to take their disputes to idols, yet they have been commanded to disbelieve in them? But Satan desires to lead them astray into far error. "(4:60)

2. God's walayah and its acceptance by the believers has a mental foundation which has been taken into consideration in the Islamic world view and is a natural phenomenon.

"And to Him belongs whatsoever inhabits the night and the day; and He is the Allhearing, the All-knowing, Say: 'Shall 1 take to myself as guardian other than God, the Originator of the heavens and of the earth, He Who feeds and is not fed'?' say: 'l have been commanded to be the first of them that surrender: "Be not thou of the idolaters...... (6:13-14)'

About Walayah (2)

Any walayah except the walayah of God and His viceroys is the walayah of taghut and Satan. The acceptance of Satan's walayah makes Satan dominant over all the constructive and creative forces of man which he will use in the way of his own lusts. As far as taghut does not consider any essentiality for anything except his own benefits and due to his lack of information about man's needs and his possibilities in Nature, his leadership for human community is the origin of damage and loss of man's valuable energies. The very lack of Information in the community under the dominance of t taghut's walayah deprives its people of the brightness of knowledge, humanity and God's life-giving rules, and confines them in the darkness of ignorance, lusts, selfishness and perverseness. The Holy Qur'an says:

"When thou recites the Our'an, seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan; he has no authority over those who believe and trust in their Lord; his authority is over those who take him for their friend and ascribe associates to God. (16:98-100)

....brings them forth from the darkness into the light. And the unbelievers-their patrons are idols, that bring them forth from the light into the darkness; those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein dwelling forever. "(2:257)

About Walayah (3) (Hijrah)

4. Taghut's and Satan's walayah in a community makes the true believer dependent on taghut's power in many different ways and encumbers him with its invisible net; his freedom is taken away and he is unconsciously let to the end which that system is doomed to. Such a system prevents the true believer from spending his power in the way of Islam.

This inevitable reality proposes the phenomenon of "hijrah". Hijrah means escaping from taghut's bondage and getting to the free environs of Islam, where everything guides man to the divine aim, where the natural process of the society is leading towards exaltation, mental and material evolution, where goodness prevails and no signs of malignity can be seen,. that is, the Islamic community.

Therefore, according to the principle of walayah, hijrah, is an essential and urgent obligation for the true believer. He is to transfer from the taghut's environs to the Islamic community and step into the environs of God's walayah.

Thinking about the verses of "hijrah" in the Qur’an reveals many points about this subject.

"They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be.. (ensan89).

"But whoso makes a breach with the Messenger after the guidance has become clear to him and follows a way other than the believers, him We shall turn him over to what he himself has turned to and We shall roast him in Gehenna-an evil homecoming. God forgives not that aught should be with Him associated; less than that He forgives to whomsoever He wills. Whoso associates with God anything, has gone astray into far error. Instead of Him, they pray not except to female beings; they pray not except to a rebel Satan accursed by God. He said, 'Assuredly I will take unto myself a portion appointed of Thy servants, and I will lead them astray, and fill them with fancies, and I will command them and they will cut off the cattle's ears; I will command them and they will alter God's creation. ' Whoso takes Satan to him for a friend, ins tea d of God, has surely suffered a manifest loss. He promises them and falls them with fancies but there is nothing Satan promises them except delusion. "(4:115-120)

"God is the Guardian of the believers; He equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and kill them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves anyone of them as friend or helper (4:89)

"Those who believe, and have emigrated and struggled with their possessions and their selves in the way of God, and those who have given refuge and help-those are friends one of another. And those who believe, but have not emigrated-you have no duty of friendship towards them till they emigrate; yet if they ask you for help, in religion's matter, it is your duty to help them, except against a people between whom and you there is a compact, and God sees the things you do. As for the unbelievers, they are friends one of another. Unless you do this there will be persecution in the land and great corruption. And those who believe, and have emigrated and struggled in the way of God and those who have given refuge and help those in truth are the believers. And theirs shall be forgiveness and generous provision.'(8:72-74)

,'And those the angels take (in death), while still they are wronging themselves the angels will ask, 'In what circumstances were you?' They will say, 'We were oppressed in the earth.' The angels will say, 'But was not God's earth wide, so that you might have emigrated in it?' For such men, their refuge shall be Gehenna-and evil homecoming except the men, women, and children who, being oppressed, can devise nothing and arc not guided to a way; haply them God will yet pardon for God is All-Pardoning, All-forgiving. Whoso emigrates in the way of God will find in the earth many refuges and plenty; whoso goes forth from his house an emigrant to God and His Messenger, and then death overtakes him, his reward is then incumbent on God; surely God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. (4:97-100)

Publisher's Note

Imam Khamene'i, the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, delivered several speeches in (1974.1353 AH). Later on, these speeches were summarized and published. The original title given by Ayatollah Khamene'i to the book is " Tarh Kulli Andisha Islami Dar Qur'an " (The General Pattern; of Islamic Thought in the Qur’an).

All the citations of the Qur’an are from "The Qur'an Translated" bv A.J.Arberrv, London. The Macmillan Company, 1955.

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