Rafed English

Practical Resistance, Popular Uprising, and Armed Resistance (Holy War)

As a rule, all Islamic laws are based on inherent human nature and characteristics, and Islam can truly be called a "human-based," or rather, the most human-based religion in all human civilizations and history of religions. In paying due attention to various spiritual, cognitive, and physical human needs, Islam wonderfully goes so far as to consider the most elemental of human characteristics in its comprehensive laws. For instance, Muslims are forbidden to willfully damage their mental or physical health; or that, even a human being's body parts have sanctity of their own " In Islamic law they must be given a proper burial in case of dismemberment, and thus returned to the earth.

However, high Islamic thought and laws go also heavens' high, and since they all spring from the clear, sparkling, and ever-refreshing spring of Divine inspiration and revelation, they are made to aim also for higher goals and aims for human beings and humanity. Islam begins with and is in many ways based on an eternal human quest for closeness to God and all Godly attributes. The religion of Islam includes, in one of its important characteristics, a clear path and a detailed road-map for humans to achieve all high religious and human values on a life-long road of perpetual spiritual growth.

This path and perpetual spiritual and religious growth and understanding is doubtless a clear one, yet one which is accompanied with many up and downs. There is that never-ending fight between evil and all physical and spiritual manifestations of one side, and the forces of goodness, kindness, and love. Having been born free, a Muslim accorded will and choice is truly free to choose one. A great Divine test, of course, it is.

And closeness to the Almighty, which is the ultimate goal of every "Muslim human being, "is so highly regarded in the divine religion of Islam that the Holy Lawmaker " in spite of the extremely high regard and importance God attaches to human life " in certain situations (and only when clearly approved by an imam) jihad, or a holy war, for God and Godly causes and giving up one's [earthly] life, is deemed necessary in order to reach "proximity and closeness with Him."

And thus, in the early years of Islam, the culture of martyrdom is born from the womb of the rich and deep culture of Islam. And its longings and laws are set by the Almighty God in various verses in the Holy Quran; for instance:

"And fight in God's cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression " for verily, God does not love aggressors." 54

We are also left with some precious words from Imam Ali (PBUH) who reminds us of the necessity of holy war (jihad) as an important factor in the respect and honor Muslims enjoy at any given time:

"Verily, the best of all things " which those who quest closeness to the Almighty God all rely on " are faith in God and his Messenger, and the holy struggle for God and his religion, which come together to give glory, and meaning to your religion and word of Islam; in addition to a solid belief in monotheism, which is most compatible with inherent human nature." 55

Ever since the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and the foundation of the first [modern] theocratic form of a government aiming at high values and enlightenment of the souls " and the inherent contradictions between high religious teachings and ethics and the interests pursued by the forces of global oppression [and neo-imperialism] " we sadly, but not unexpectedly, see almost daily plans, policies, and operations against the Islamic Republic emanating from the kin and camp of world oppressors.

These plans and policies range from economic sanctions to the outright arming and support of terrorist groups with barbaric records, and even manipulating, encouraging, and equipping Saddam Hussein to wage a destructive eight-year war on Iran " a classic example of a US war by proxy.

Therefore, in the foregoing we have ample evidence and instances of ill will " to say the least " which each perhaps would mandate a jihad to right a huge wrong. Yet, our late Imam would not let the increasingly difficult problems of the Iranian society cloud his mind or his judgment, and acting as the leader of the greater Islamic nation, he kept a sharp eye out for problems on Islamic countries, but, at the same time managed to keep a steady gaze at the all-important issue of Palestine.

"It has always been our nature and policy to stand side by side with our Palestinian brothers, and watching them fight for their rights we can not stand aside; they will become our brothers and comrades-in-arms. Beit-ul-Moqaddas shall be returned to the Islamic world ... And as for the governments, they must [also] pay due attention to important Islamic matters of concern, and God Willing, this cancerous tumor will be removed from their lands." 56

Our current Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, also said on many occasions that problems and tragedies facing the entire Islamic world are always on his mind and is trying to chart the best course and find the most effective way out of Muslims' problems, and then remedy the situation by trying to revive Muslim power and glory by returning to perusing our immensely rich Islamic cultural sources. In yet another occasion in approving of the heroic fight the Palestinian resistance has put up, Ayatollah Khamenei addresses them:

"I would like to say to my Palestinian brothers and sisters to never give up and continue with your jihad and your resistance. Rest assured that history records no nation, which regained its honor, identity, and independence, except through standing up and fighting for them. No nation was ever given anything worthwhile with requests and pleadings from its enemy." 57

And the Leader of Islamic Revolution saves these words for the victorious

Hizbullah resistance forces, overcoming the Zionist army and watching it flee the occupied South Lebanon with a speed seldom seen. On that occasion, he elaborated on the religious status and foundation of high values such as jihad, sacrifice, and martyrdom in socio-political Islamic thought, and the special role they played in the growth of Islam. He also said a few words on reviving true Islamic power and glory to those who had just liberated South Lebanon from the Israelis:

"And now, we are all spectators of a truly great event; the total and sudden collapse of all political and material equations and plans " they have all been roundly defeated through the sacrifice of faithful, devoted youth who thought nothing of various ruses and deceptive Zionist army moves " they also disregarded early judgments of that army as 'undefeatable'. They correctly tapped into, and greatly valued the vast reservoir of courage and sacrifice which the teachings of Islam and the verses of the Holy Quran had created in their minds and hearts. And they became sure of God's promises, and thus, offered their pure souls to their common cause.

"With the unprecedented Hizbullah’s victory over the Zionist occupation forces suddenly everyone came to realize that the clear judgment and rationale of those who thought that the best weapon against Israeli barbarism and occupation is the unsurpassable logic of resistance, jihad, and sacrifice is accurate. Without any doubt, this great experience of valorous Palestinian youth and other pure and devoted young Arabs will make them ever more determined in their fight against the usurping and barbarian enemy." 58
54. The Holy Quran, Baqara: 190.

55. Nahj-ul-Balagha, Sermon 10, PP. 106-107.

56. Sahifeh-e Nour, Vol. 3, PP. 104-105.

57. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech, October 21, 2000.

58. Ayatollah Khamenei, message on the occasion of the victory of the Lebanese and withdrawal of Israel from South Lebanon, May 25, 2000.

Adopted from the book: "Palestine Throbbing Heart of the World of Islam"

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