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Excerpts from addresses by Ayatollah Khamene'i to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, broadcast by Iranian radio

on 15th August;

15.08.1995, Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, in Persian

Dear listeners, as you were informed in the news, on the auspicious birthday anniversary of the Light of Truth - the gracious prophet of Islam, the holy Muhammad Bin Abd Allah - God's peace and benedictions be upon him and his scion - and the birth of the source of

Knowledge and wisdom, the holy Imam Ja'far Sadiq [sixth Shi'i Imam] – peace be upon him - this morning, the heads of the three branches of government, senior political and military officials, servants of the Islamic System and foreign guests participating in the Islamic Unity Conference were received at the Imam Khomeyni prayer centre [at Jamaran in Tehran], by His Eminence Ayatollah [Ali Akbar] Khamene'i, eminent leader of the Islamic revolution.

First, Hojjat-ol-Eslam val Moslemin [Akbar], Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the president, congratulated the esteemed leader on the occasion of this joyous feast, in the course of brief remarks. We draw your attentionto the broadcast of the meeting. Good day and God bless you... Than Ay. Khamene'i stresses need for unity among world's Muslims:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

I, too, would like to express my greetings and felicitations on this auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of his holiness the prophet, peace be upon him and his scion, and of Imam Ja'far Sadiq, peace be upon him, to all the Muslims of the world, to the great Iranian nation, to you dear guests, to you honourable participants, to the country's officials and, especially, to [former] combatants and their families...

I want to say to you dear brothers and dear and honourable sisters: Today, unity is a definite necessity for Muslims. Today, the enemy of Muslims and Islam has two particular features which it did not have in the past. First, it - the enemy of Islam - is extremely well equipped with material resources, policies, Propaganda, with a variety of instruments for making an impact, having influence and inflicting blows. Who is the enemy of Islam? The front of arrogance, be it Zionism, the United States, oil companies, mercenary pens and intellectuals who work for them throughout the world. They are well equipped. At no other time has the front opposed to Islam been so equipped with such a variety of instruments. That is one particular feature. The other particular feature is that this well-equipped front is extremely, sensitive today to the threat posed to it by Islam and the Islamic awakening. This sensitivity arises from the fact that it can see that >Islam can go beyond a [mere] ethical injunction and can present itself as an idea which brings a System [of government] into existence. They can see that. They saw that Islam was able to bring about a revolution. They saw that Islam was able to bring about a lasting and strong System. They saw that Islam was able to bring about self-awareness in a nation, to raise it from a spiritual abyss to steadfastness, self-reliance and reliance on religion...

The strength of Islam reveals itself. They [the enemies] saw that, in the world of Islam, any group which seeks to reform its environment, its society and its country turns to Islam. In the past, before the victory of Islam in Iran, groups which wanted to claim reform as Their slogan in various countries would turn to Marxism or to radical types of nationalism. Today, when you look at Islamic countries, if any intellectuals, youth, clergymen, academics and various groups wish to claim that they favour reform, they turn to Islam. This shows the great capacity of Islam. It shows the power of Islam. The enemy sees this and has become sensitive as a result. Well, the world of Islam is faced now with the enemy of Islam and Muslims which has these two particular features: more equipped than ever and greater sensitivity to Islam than ever. What will this enemy do? The best means at the disposal of this enemy is to create

Divisions among Muslims, especially among those sections which can serve as an inspiration for other Muslims and other people.

Look at how much money is spent today in various Islamic countries - Petrodollars and so on - in order to write books to attribute strange and bizarre ideas to Shi'is. I was collecting such books at one time; only some of them, of course. I saw that many books were written [on this subject]. The most cunning Propaganda agents are spending – their efforts on preparing such books in order to create divisions, in order, to divide that part of Islam which has raised the banner of Islam - at the height of which is Islamic Iran - the Islamic Community...

A major part of the [world's] great material resources, Underground reserves, God-given mineral resources are at the disposal of Islamic countries. If they work together or, at least, do not work against each other, you will see what will happen in the world. The enemy is trying to bring about a Situation in which, in the world of Islam, all these material and human resources are set against each other. They provoked the Iraqi regime. They created a ruinous war in this region that lasted eight years. Then they helped it so, that if it could, it should completely uproot this young tree [the Iranian revolution]. Of course, it was unable to do so... Now, too, they [the enemies] are trying their utmost in political ways [to uproot the Iranian regime]. Nevertheless, my conclusion – as an individual who sees and senses the enemy's plot – my recommendation, my understanding, my interpretation of the Situation is that

solidarity, unity between Muslims is a vital necessity for Muslims. It is not >a joke. It is not a Slogan. Islamic communities must, in earnest, achieve unity of expression, act together. "Unity is a complicated task"

Of course, unity is a complicated task. Establishing unity is a complicated task. Unity between Islamic nations can survive alongside differences between sects; can survive alongside different ways and traditions of life; can survive alongside different kinds of religious jurisprudence. Unity between Islamic nations means that they should move in step with each other on issues relating to the world of Islam- they should help each other; and they should not use their resources against one another within their own nations...

Religious scholars have a great duty in paving the way for unity. This does not mean scholars from one school only, but it means scholars from both schools should try. My brothers and sisters: Sometimes the enemy, in its attempt to create discord, will employ even individuals who have no bias and no ill intentions. These may be recruited both from the schools of the Shi' is or the Sunnis.

In the Shi'i Community a move may take place which might provoke and upset non-Shi'i Muslim brothers. The very same thing may happen in the Sunni Community and arouse the sensitivity of the Shi’is. Who is responsible for such moves? Today, a common enemy Stands before us. In addition to the fact that we all share the same book, tradition divine messenger, kiblah [direction to which Muslims turn in prayer], Ka'bah, hajj, prayers and pillars of faith - despite some technical differences which naturally exist between any two scholars -, we also have a common enemy. This makes the issue of Islamic unity even more serious.

Even one single day's delay in the attainment of this unity means one more day of damage to the world of Islam. These are crucial days, >and each single one of these can affect a whole lifetime. We should not allow further delays.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, praise be to God, pursued this aim from the very first day. Our eminent Imam [Khomeyni] , may he be admitted to God's paradise, pioneered the way. Other officials, organs, authors, thinkers and orators from the Islamic world have also made great efforts. Do not allow these efforts to be wasted. [Crowd chants: God is Greater; Khamene’i is the leader] ...

God's blessings and benedictions be upon you all.

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