The following is the full text of a speech delivered on July 3, 2019, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with Hajj officials.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
We thank Allah the Exalted from the bottom of our hearts for bestowing on us another blessing and grace, like previous years, to send a number of the dear people of Iran to hajj in order to fulfil the hajj obligation and to participate in that great gathering of the Islamic Ummah.
You hajj officials – and as the gentlemen in the meeting correctly put it – servants of God’s guests should appreciate the value of what you are doing because it is a very important obligation. Hajj is an exceptional obligation. A wide array of Islamic values accumulate in the hajj and there is no other obligation in which so many Islamic approved characteristics and qualities have been gathered together. In fact, hajj is a small model of an exemplary Islamic community and it is actually a sample of what we want in Islamic civilization.
Islamic civilization should offer this to humanity. In the new Islamic civilization, spirituality exists alongside material welfare, and moral and spiritual transcendence, humility and supplication exist alongside material prosperity. Hajj is the manifestation of such a civilization.
As you can clearly see, there is a display of obedience and humility to God in hajj – from start to finish, hajj obligations involve humility and supplication. As well as this completely spiritual element, there is a social element which is unity, fraternity and unanimity. The poor and the rich and various ethnicities, nations and races carry out the same obligation alongside each other and with the same motive and goal. Where else can we find such a phenomenon? Such a phenomenon does not exist in other Islamic obligations and in other religions.
In hajj, there is the element of movement and worship, one that is accompanied by dynamism, tawaf, endeavor and coming and going. At the same time, hajj is a display of gathering together. The astonishing gatherings that exist in Arafat, Mash’ar al-Haraam or during the days of Mina, are another manifestation of the social life of Islam. All these exist in hajj.
Hajj is a display of morality: “Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in hajj.” [The Holy Quran, 2: 197] Hajj is a place for brotherhood, morality and forgiveness. It is not a place for wrangling and arguing with others. As you see, all these astonishing, constructive and instructive elements exist in hajj. The hajj obligation is such an obligation.
One of the grave mistakes, which we used to hear all the time – in the present time, some negligent tongues continue to whisper such things about Islamic truths – is that we should avoid politicizing hajj. What does this mean? The political affairs that we need in hajj are in accordance with Islamic teachings. Establishing unity is a political affair. This is an Islamic command and it is an act of worship: “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah stretches out for you and be not divided among yourselves.” [The Holy Quran, 3: 103] In hajj, if we defend and support the Palestinian nation and the oppressed in the world of Islam, such as the oppressed in Yemen and others, this is of course a political affair, but it is one that originates from Islamic teachings. Defending the oppressed is an obligation in itself. It is a wajib and therefore, it will be fulfilled.
Another obligation is expressing our “bera’at” of polytheists. If we stress and emphasize the issue of bera’at and if we carry it out – by Allah’s favor, it should be carried out every year in the best way possible – this is because it is an Islamic obligation: “Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the polytheists.” [The Holy Quran, 9: 3] Believers too should stay away from polytheists: “’We are clear of you and of whatever you worship besides Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever unless you believe in Allah and Him alone.’” [The Holy Quran, 60: 4]
All these come from religion. Yes, there is politics. Political affairs exist in the hajj obligation, but they are in accordance with religious obligations and acts of worship. Notice that these are important points. If they prevent people from such political moves, that is a political affair too, but one that is non-religious and anti-religious. If they say that you are not allowed to frown at the Americans in hajj, this is a political move as well, but it is a satanic and non-Islamic one. However, if you express your hatred of every polytheist and anti-Islamic element, that is a political move, but one that exactly follows religion. These are points that we should know about hajj.
One of the issues which is very important in hajj is the issue of amiability and fraternity. In various narrations issued by the Imams (greetings be upon them), it has been stressed that you should perform daily prayers in Masjid al-Haraam and Masjid al-Nabi with non-Shias, and that you should participate in their daily prayers and perform it together. These are our narrations. This means amiability among Muslim brothers. I have heard that some people insist that people perform public prayers in caravans, in hotels and in other places. This is a not a correct policy and method. They should join other people and they should perform public prayers with other Muslims in Masjid al-Harram and in the orderly lines of Masjid al-Nabi. The formation of the Islamic Ummah through the great gatherings of Muslims is one of the obligations that exists in hajj.
One of the important points that Iranian hajj pilgrims should pay attention to is that they should enhance the status of Iranian nationality, Iranian identity and the Islamic Republic: “Do something to enhance our status.” [Amaali al-Soduq, page 400] Iranian hajj pilgrims should behave in a way that the social attributes and qualities of the Iranian nation will stand out, including the way they behave towards their friends and in the course of their natural life – they should behave in a dignified, wise and intelligent way – and the way they behave towards other ethnicities and nations – they should exhibit affection, logic, reason and respectful behavior. This is really an important point.
Again, there are narrations by our Imams (greetings be upon them) stressing that Shias should behave, speak and act – in their encounters with other Muslims – in a way that it will be a source of reputation and dignity.
Those people who are in charge of hajj regions – Makkah, Madinah and other such cities: the Saudi government – have heavy duties. One of their duties is to ensure the safety of hajj pilgrims. They should preserve their dignity because the dignity of pilgrims is important. They are the guests of God. They are the guests of Allah the Exalted. Therefore, they should be respected. Those actions which damage their dignity and which are interpreted as insults to pilgrims should definitely be eliminated. Of course, they should not heighten security. Ensuring the safety of pilgrims is a must, but they should not create an environment of heightened security. There should be a peaceful and good environment. During the time when hajj pilgrims stay in Makkah, Madinah and other cities – one month, more or less – they should behave in an appropriate way.
And you should attach great significance to duas, daily prayers and supplication. The opportunity to be present in Masjid al-Harram and Masjid al-Nabi is really a valuable opportunity which is not easily accessible to ordinary people. Now, you and a number of honorable Iranian pilgrims have found the opportunity to reach this stage. Reading duas and performing daily prayers in the Two Holy Mosques, doing tawaf in Masjid al-Haraam and engaging in supplication are acts that one should not miss out on. Going to the market and wandering here and there is against the status of believers who appreciate Ibrahimi hajj.
The main point of my statements is that hajj is an exceptional and unique obligation. The ayahs and narrations concerning hajj all show that this obligation should teach various individual and social lessons to those who have succeeded in fulfilling it. If we wish to obey and observe this great affair and obligation in the true sense of the word, we should pay attention to these points and act on them.
Expressing one’s hatred of polytheists is an important and necessary task, as well as performing public prayers and reciting duas in the Two Holy Mosques – which I mentioned earlier. Iranian pilgrims usually organize good sessions of Dua Nudbah and Dua Kumayl. This is a very good course of action. There should be an effort to continue doing so because this is a collective supplication in the best place and because it shows one’s attention to Allah the Exalted. You should ask Allah the Exalted to resolve the problems and maladies of the Islamic Ummah and to help the world of Islam get rid of the enemies’ malevolence.
Today, these Islamic teachings and Islamic truths are subject to the fierce enmity of the enemies of Islam. The true enmity of these arrogant powers – the US which is savagely attacking the Islamic environment and Muslim people in cultural, economic, political, security and other areas – is directed at these Islamic truths. If Muslims put these Islamic truths aside, if they follow their fashion and live like them, these enmities will be eliminated. They show hostility towards these truths because they are against their oppressive conduct.
When you say daily prayers with humility, you say, “You do we worship, and Your aid we seek.” [The Holy Quran, 1: 5] You show humility before God and this means that you are not subservient to non-divine powers and that you do not surrender to them. This is the source of their enmity and also the source of the salvation, progress, bliss and liberation of the Islamic Ummah. Commitment to Islamic principles and to Islamic sharia is what will save the Islamic Ummah.
What can be tangibly felt in our own society is that until today, the more we showed our commitment to Islamic principles and Islamic rules, the more assistance we received from Allah the Exalted. With this commitment, we managed to overcome problems. Whenever we showed negligence, we received a blow.
What I feel and witness regarding the future of our country and even regarding the future of the Islamic Ummah is that the savage, insatiable and oppressive enemies of the world of Islam, of the Iranian nation and of the Islamic Ummah will finally be forced to kneel before Islam. By Allah’s favor, what will happen in the future is the dignity and progress of Islam and Muslims. This future is definite, but it requires effort. No goal and purpose will be attained without effort, endeavor, sacrifice and cooperation.
I hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow upon us, upon all the people of Iran and upon the entire Islamic Ummah the blessing to enter into this path will all our hearts and souls and to obtain divine blessings, God willing.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings