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Ahlul Kitab are ritually pure: Permanent Marriage with them

Question 081: Salaams dear Sheikh. Does any of the Maraji’ allow permanent marriage with a person from the People of the Book, what is their ruling on the purity/impurity of such persons?

Answer 081: Our maraja have different opinions regarding permanent marriage with People of the Book as follows:

Imam Khomeini: As an obligatory precaution, it is impermissible to get married to People of the Book. Of course, Imam Khumayni (rah) has said in this issue (the issue of permanent marriage with non-Muslim women who are of the People of the Book) that it is an obligatory precaution, which means those who follow him can refer to the verdict of another jurist who says such a marriage is permissible and follow him instead. Read More

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A Shia Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man

Question 342: A/S. Is it permissible for a shia divorced woman to marry a non-Muslim. If she married a Catholic and she will not be deterred to practice her shia faith, is it allowed? You think a Shia Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man?

Answer 342: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “… And do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe And certainly a believing servant is better than an idolater, even though he should please you These (idolaters) invite to the Fire And Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will And makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful”.[1]

According to all maraja’ (ha), as for a Muslim woman, she is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man at all. In this regards, there is no difference in permanent or temporary marriage, weather the man allows her practicing Shia faith or not.

If a Muslim woman has realized that her husband is non-Muslim their marriage contract is void and she must separate from him.[2]

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

Index: A Muslim Woman Cannot Marry a Non-Muslim Man, answer 576.

[1] . Surah Baqara, verse 221.

[2] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 2, Pg. 254;  Minhaju ‘s-Saliheen, vol. 2, Pgs. 263- 265; Ibid, Vol. 3, Pg. 67, Q 205; Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 479, Q 2357; Ibid, 1381, Pg. 476, Q 2393; Istiftaat of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 3, Pg. 128, Q 131 & 132; In this regards, a question has been sent to the office of Grand maraja Ayatollahs Khameni, Sistani and Makarem Shirazi (ha).

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Reasoning for believing Imamat of the Infallible Imams

Question 619: Aselam akeyikum werahmetullah. Is believing in Imamiya part of an Aqida for Shi’ism? Meaning, any Muslim who doesn’t believe in Imamiya knowngly a Kaffir, otherwise a Fasiq?

Thanks a lot!

Answer 619: Imamate plays a crucial role in Islam. From the Holy Quran’s point of view, imamate is the final stage of human evolution, to which only Messengers of God have reached. The Holy Quran says about Prophet Abraham (a): ”Remember when Abraham’s God examined him with different means, and he successfully passed all those tests, so that God told him that he was appointed as the people’s Imam and leader, and Abraham (a) asked God to appoint his descendents as Imams as well, but God replied that imamate could not be handed over to tyrants, and only those of his offspring who were pure and sinless would deserve such a grace.”.[1]

This verse shows that imamate has a very high status and rank, since Prophet Abraham (a) was appointed as an Imam while he was already a Prophet. This happened only after he passed many difficult tests and trials.

The position of Imamate is sometimes combined with Prophethood, so that an eminent Prophet such as Abraham (a) becomes an Imam. Another evident reason is the combination of Prophethood and Imamate in the Prophet of Islam (s).

It also occurs that Imamate is separated from a Prophetic mission, such as what occurred in the case of the Shia Imams (a) who were only Imams, without being subject to direct divine revelation.

Reasoning for the Imamate of the Infallible Imams

Since the Imams are appointed by God, there is a need of rational reasoning to recognize the individuals who are actually imam. For instance, human logic can distinguish between an Imam and other people by witnessing characteristics such as knowledge, justice, courage, sinlessness and so forth in the Imam, and a lack of such characteristics in others. In addition, Quranic verses and authentic traditions also prove the imamate of an individual.

The following are some verses and their interpretations which are about the issue of imamate:

  • [2]«انما انت منذر و لکل قوم هاد», which means, “Your duty is to advise people, and there is a leader for every group.”

Shia interpreters and some Sunni ones, including Imam Fakhr Razi, says, “Here the term advisor refers to the Holy Prophet (s) and the leader to Imam Ali (a), since Ibn Abbas said that the Holy Prophet (s) put his hands on his chest and said that he was the advisor, and then pointed to Ali (a) and added «و انت الهادی یا علی…» that means Ali (a) was the leader and shall continue to lead people after the Prophet (s).”[3]

In Al-Durrul-Manthur, one of the famous Sunni commentaries, several interpretations of the above verse are introduced, in which it is written that upon the revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet (s) put his hand on his chest and said that he was the advisor, and then pointed to Ali (a) and added that Ali was the leader.[4]

Other similar traditions from other theologians can be found in various other sources such as from Hakem Neyshabouri in “Mostadrak”, Dhahabi in “Talkhis”, Fakhr Razi and Ibn Kathir in their commentaries and Ibn Sabagh Maleki in “Alfusulul-Muhimmah” and Ganji Shafei in “Kifayatul-Taleb”, and Tabari in his commentary, and Ibn Hayan Andolosi in “Al-Bahrul-Muhit” and Neyshabouri in his commentary and Hamvini in “Faraed Olsamtin” and as well as many others. To become familiar with the sources of such traditions and their evidences, see the book Ihghagh Olhagh, Vol. 3, pp 88-92.

  • «با ایها الذین آمنوا اتقوا الله و کونوا مع الصادقین[5] Which reads, “O, believers, avoid antagonism (toward God’s commands) and be with the loyal people.”

Imam Fakhr Razi interpreted the phrase ‘loyal people’ as meaning infallibles. He also added, “By infallible the verse refers to the whole nation in its entirety.”[6] This is while no Arab speaker, at the date of revelation of this verse, was using this phrase to refer to the nation; therefore, such an interpretation does not seem to be valid.

We should accept that in every era, there are loyal people who do not make any mistakes in their deeds and speeches, whom we should follow.

Moreover, many Sunni interpreters have quoted Ibn Abbas as saying that the above-mentioned verse is referring to Imam Ali (a). Allamah Tha’alabi in his book of commentary, Ganji in “Kifayatul-Taleb”, Allamah Sibt Jowzi in “Tadhkirah”, all interpret this verse as referring to Imam Ali (a) and his household. Ibn Abbas added, “Ali (a) is the most loyal man.”[7]

Many other traditions quoted from the members of the prophetic household confirm this same interpretation.[8]

  • «اطیعواالله و اطیعوا الرسول و اولی الامر منکم»,[9] Says: “Obey God and obey the Messenger of God and the Holders of Authority.”

Shia interpreters unanimously believe that by the ‘Holders of Authority’, the verse is referring to the Infallible Imams (a).

In addition, the Hanafi Sheikh Soleiman Qanduzi in his book “Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah” quoted the book “Mujahid” as saying that the verse refers to Ali (a) when the Holy Prophet (s) appointed him as his substitute in Madinah when he himself was involved in the Tabuk war.

It is also quoted from Imam Ali (a) as referring to this verse in a debate with the Mohajerin and Ansar, so that they admitted to the legitimacy of his rule.[10]

In “Shawahidul-Tanzil” of Hakem Haskani, a Sunni scholar, the interpretation of the same verse includes a quotation from Imam Ali (a) as saying that he once asked the Holy Prophet (s) about the meaning of “ruler”, to which the Holy Prophet (s) replied, “You are the first of them.”

Islamic beliefs are like a connected chain, such that if one part is missing, then the whole chain will be useless and have no benefit.  In other words, believing in Allah has its entailments; belief in these entailments is what makes the difference and brings about Allah’s satisfaction.  If you examine the story of Satan being expelled from heaven, you will find that he asked Allah for the chance to live until the Day of Judgment to deviate man.[11]  Therefore, it is understood that Satan believed in Allah and the Day of Judgment but Allah still names him a Kāfir.[12]  So just believing in Allah is not enough for one’s belief to be accepted, but one must also stay firm in regard to the results and implications of this belief.  One of the results of one’s belief in Allah is belief in His messengers meaning the prophets, in such a way that denying them would be like denying Allah.  Also, believing in the Imams, meaning the prophets’ successors, is the inevitable result and reflection of one’s belief in the prophet, because the Imams are the prophet’s successors that were appointed by himself and denying them is like denying the prophet himself.  Therefore, one cannot believe in the prophet and not believe in the imams.  It is the same between each one of the imams, meaning that denying one of them is like denying all of them, for the reason that proves the Imamate of each one of them is the same and applies to all of them; all of them are the successors of the prophet and each Imam has been approved of by the previous one and has introduced the next Imam.  Therefore, denying one of them leads to the denial of the previous one and because all of them were appointed by the prophet, denying them is denial of the prophet.

Finally, we will mention a few ahadith in this regard: Imam Sadiq narrates from his great ancestors, meaning the previous Imams, that they narrated from the prophet that he said: “My successors are twelve individuals, the first is Ali bin Abi Talib and the last is the ‘Ghā’im’, they are my successors, vicegerents, the leaders after me and my Hujjats (reasons) over my Ummah, whoever bears witness to their imamate is a Mu’min (Believer), and whoever denies their Imamate is a kāfir (disbeliever).”[13]

It is narrated in another hadith by Imam Sadiq that: “One who does not follow our words has rejected Allah’s words, and one who rejects Allah’s words is a polytheist”.[14]

Also, it is mentioned in another hadith by Imam Kadhim that: “One who has hate for us resents the prophet of Allah and he actually has hate for Allah, and one who has hate for Allah deserves the hellfire and will not receive help from anyone.”[15]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: The Wilayah of Imam Ali (as) / Political Authority in Ghadir Khumm, answer 470.

Index: “Ashhadu anna aliyyan waliyyullah” in Adhan and Iqamah, answer 276.

Index: Shia Ithna Ashari is Jafari school of thought, answer 111.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Shia answers: The Term Shia in Quran, answer 129.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!

[1] Surah Baqarah, Verse 124

7 Surah Ra’ad, Verse 7

[3] Tafsir Kabir, Fakhr Razi, Volume 19, Page 14

[4] Al-Durrul-Manthur, Jalaladdin Suyuti, Volume. 4 Page 45

[5] Surah Bara’at, Verse 119

[6] Commentary of Fakhre Razi, volume 16, Page 221

[7] Ihqaqul-Haqq Volume. 3 Page 297

[8] Commentary of Noor Al Thaqalain Volume 2 Page 280,

[9] Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, Page 114 – 115 – 116

[10] Shawahidul-Tanzil, Volume 1, Page 148

[11] “قالَ رَبِّ فَاَنظِرنِي ِالَي َيوِم يُبعَثُون …” Hijr:36; Sād:79.

[12] Baqarah:34; Sād:74.

[13] “عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ آبَائِهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ص قَالَ الْأَئِمَّةُ بَعْدِي اثْنَا عَشَرَ أَوَّلُهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَ آخِرُهُمُ الْقَائِمُ فَهُم خُلَفَائِي و أَوصِيَائِي و أَولِيَائِي وَ حُجَجُ اللَّه عَلَي اُمّتِي بَعدِي الْمُقِرُّ بِهِمْ مُؤْمِنٌ وَ الْمُنْكِرُ لَهُمْ كَافِرٌ”، Sheikh Saduq, Man lā Yahduruhū al-Faqīh, vol. 4, book of wasiyyah (i.e., making a will), the chapter on the will of Adam (as), pg. 180,…hadith 5406, Jame’eye Mudarresin Publications, Qom, 1413 AH. Of course, the term ‘kufr here is to be taken in its literal sense, which is to hide and conceal the truth, and not in its common usage.

[14] “الرَّادُّ عَلَينَا الرَّادّ عَلَى الله وَ هُوَ عَلَى حَدِّ الشَّركِ بِاللهِ…” Kuleini, vol. 1, chapter of difference in hadith, pg. 68, Dār al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah Publication, Tehran, 1365 (solar calendar).

[15] “ألا يا عبد الرحمن من أبغضنا فقد أبغض محمدا و من أبغض محمدا فقد أبغض الله جل و علا، و من أبغض الله جل و علا كان حقا على الله أن يصليه النار و ماله من نصير” Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 97, pg. 122, Al-Wafā’ Institute, Lebanon, 1404 AH.

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Glossary 506: The difference between Mumin and Muslim

Glossary 506: The difference between Mumin and Muslim

Related Code: 506

Glossary 506: Muslim.[1] Tawhid.[2] Shirk.[3] Wilayat.[4] Imaan.[5] Takwini.[6] Tashri’i.[7] Mu’min.[8] Haqqul-nas.[9] Zakat.[10] Ahlul-Bait.[11]

Tableegh.[12] Wali.[13] Tafsir.[14] Imam Baqir.[15] Ali ibn Abi Talib (as).[16] Read More

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Islam answers: How to get Rid of Prejudice

Question 125: How do I find a way to get rid myself of prejudice?

Answer 125: 1. Since some people influenced by the belief that other are inferior because they belong to a particular race, color and tribe, Racism and Racial discrimination had existed among them before the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and even during the time of the Prophet.

When Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) sent on a mission as a Prophet, all racisms and prejudices has been condemned by Allah the Almighty. “Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is The Informed Owner of Knowledge.” Allah the Almighty said.

Therefore, nowadays if someone presented himself as a Muslim and a follower of the Islamic religion he/she must stop discriminating against others and avoid racisms and prejudices and then obey Allah’s orders without any delay. In addition, the one must knows that the criterion of the superiority over others is only based on the faith in Allah and fear of Him. Otherwise, they disobey Allah’s orders and thus the Islamic religion doesn’t approve their actions and manners. As a result they will punish in The Hereafter.

  1. It should be noted that Hazrat Adam and the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) had tawny skins. Also, Luqman Hakeem from Ethiopia was a black man with thick lip and Imam Jawad (a.s) had a dark-colored skin. Therefore, color skin cannot be the criterion of the superiority over others and give us the privilege in our life including our marriage to make it a distinction between us and people.

The first important thing we should take into consideration and concern about in our life especially marriage is the piety, faith and moral. Which means our joint life can be desirable and beautiful if we try our best to be concerned about our faith, piety and moral in every aspect of our life. However, there are many people with white faces who couldn’t bring happiness and prosperity for their wives, but make their life full of angry instead.

In other hand, there are many black men with their faith and good moral who made their wives’ life so pleasant and provided the opportunity in which they can reach their wish, happiness and prosperity as well.[1]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Prophet Noah cursed Blacks (as) / The Story of Noah’s Sons, answer 198.

Index: Whoever knows himself knows his Lord / Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu, answer 274.

[1] . «إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقاكُمْ», Surah Hujorat, verse 13.

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Wearing Gold and Silk is forbidden for a Male Muslim

Question 485: Assalamu alaikum! Could you please advise if wearing gold-plated (only surface of the watch is covered by gold dust) watch is halal or haram.

May Allah bless you!

Answer 485: According to maraja’, it is not permissible for men to adorn themselves with whatever is called gold irrespective of whether the gold is yellow or red or white.[1]

There is no objection in making the frame of gold for a watch, and keep it with oneself (while offering prayers).[2]

But, if it is a gilt watch, maraja have different opinion about it as follows:

Khamenei (ha), if it is considered as gold it would be impermissible for men to wear it.

Sistani (ha), there is no objection in it.

Safi Golpayegani (ha), if it really contains gold it is impermissible.

Note: If there is a little gold used in it that it is not considered to be gold in the common view (Urf), there would be no problem in wearing it.[3]

If it is not hanging, though it may be in pocket, there is no objection in it! [4]

Regarding other metal, if it is known through checking a metal with an expert that it is white gold, it is haram (forbidden) for men to wear it. As for wearing silver, there is no problem in wearing it.

If a metal is called white gold, it is in fact the yellow gold which becomes white when a white metal is blended with it; therefore it is haram. In case, however, there is so little gold in it that it is not considered to be gold in the common view, there is no problem in wearing it. As for wearing platinum, there is also no objection in wearing it.[5]

Silk: The garment of men, while offering prayers, should not be made of pure silk, rather it is not lawful for men even when they are not offering prayers, although, according to the more cautious opinion, it is something which alone is not sufficient for offering prayer, as a waistband or a cap or the like. Pure silk also includes what is made of raw silk, such as a waistband or a cap or the like. Pure silk also includes what is made of raw silk, though it is permitted for women, even when offering prayers, and for men in the event of necessity or war.

What is for bidden for men is wearing garments made of silk, but there is no objection in making silken carpets or bed sheets and lie on them or blankets etc. and cover themselves with them when sleeping. So also there is no objection in stitching buttons of garments with silk, or decorate the garments with braids and laces made of silk, in the same way as it there is no objection in making the covers for wounds, abscesses and preventives for those suffering from incontinence of urine.

Rather, there is no objection even in patching garments with silk or making the borders of the garments with silk, provided that they are not to the extent that they may be called silken, and in case of borders for garments, it is more cautious that they should not exceed four fingers when joined together in width. Rather it is more cautious to observe this measurement even in case of the patches of silk on the garments.[6]

If a person doubts whether a garment or ring is made of gold or anything else, it shall be permissible to wear them, and offer prayers wearing them.[7]

Related Link: Facebook

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini) Vol. 2, Pg. 927, Issue 443.

[2] . Tahrir al-Wasila of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Pg. 168 (English version), issue 14;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini) Vol. 1, Pg. 462.

[3] . Ajwabat al-Istiftaat (in Farsi language), Pg. 90;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’, Vol. 1, Pg. 140, Q 255.

[4] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 169; Tawzih al-Masael of maraja, Issue 833, Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra), Q 846.

[5] . Ajwebat al-Istiftaat (Farsi Answers to Religious Queries), pg.90, Tawzih al-Masail (with annotations by Imam Khomeini), vol.2, pg. 927, issue No.443.

[6] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 169.

[7] . Ibid, Pg. 170.

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Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim

Question 527: Do I have to cut my hair to become Muslim? What are the conditions for one to become a Muslim?

Brief Answer 527:  The first degree, which is referred to as “Islam”, can be reached when one says the shahadatain (the two statements of “There is no God but Allah” and “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah), admitting to its meaning, resulting in that person officially becoming Muslim.  His/her body will be pure (no longer najis) and so will the bodies of his children, marriage with other Muslims will become permissible for him and he/she can have transactions with other Muslims, his/her wealth, life and honor will all be respected etc.  Of course, saying the shahadatain and admitting to its meaning necessitates acting and practicing Islam (e.g. performing the wajib acts such as prayer, fasting, Hajj, Khums and Zakat, and believing in the angels, the hereafter, paradise and Hell and accepting all of the divine prophets as messengers of Allah (swt)), which is the next level of faith which is higher than just plain “Islam” and being Muslim.

Therefore, there is no need to cut your hair in order to become a Muslim.

Answer 527: “Islam” literally means submission and obedience.  This term refers to the religion brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Allah (swt) as the final divine religion to come, which is a universal and eternal one (meaning that no other religion will come after it that abrogates it until the day of judgment). Read More

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Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj 2017 message

Question 601: We would appreciate you sending us the new message of Supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha) issued on the occasion of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage season? I.e. Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj 2017 message.

Answer 601: The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha) issues a message on the occasion of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage season as follows. Read More

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Offering prayer for the dead over one’s body who committed suicide

Question 597: Salaamun Alaykum, Is offering prayer for the dead over one’s body who committed suicide permissible? What about reciting Surah Al Fatiha or Namaz e Wahshat for a those who committed suicide?

Answer 597: It is obligatory to offer prayer for every Muslim (dead person), even if he belongs to the opposite (non-Shiah) sect. However, if he is an infidel of any category whatsoever, even if he is an apostate, or one who is declared a non-Muslim even if he unduly assumes the title of Islam like Nawasib (openly hostile to Ahl-i Bayt) or Khawãrij (.i.e, those who oppose Imam Ali), it is not permissible to offer prayers on their dead[1]. Read More

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The Second Message of Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei

Question 571: What is the Second Message of Iran Supreme Leader ‘Ayatollah Khamenei’ in which He Urges Western Youth to Facilitate Correct Interaction with Muslims?

Answer 571: Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a letter addressed to the youth in the Western countries, has described the bitter terrorist events in France as a ground for deliberation.

Referring to painful examples of the “effects of terrorism, which is backed by certain big powers, on the Muslim world, [powerful countries’] support for Israel’s state terrorism, and harmful military campaigns [launched] against the Muslim world in recent years,” Ayatollah Khamenei said: “I ask you, young people, to lay the foundation for an appropriate and honorable interaction with the Muslim world based on correct knowledge and with deep insight and by taking advantage of tragic experiences [of the past].”

The full text of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution’s letter is as follows:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

To all the youth in Western countries

The bitter incidents triggered by blind terrorism in France motivated me once more to talk to you, young people. In my view, it is regrettable that such events provide the ground for dialogue, but the reality is that if [such] painful issues do not provide the ground for finding a solution and a venue for consultation, the ensuing damage will double.

The suffering of every human being in any spot in the world is per se sorrowful for his fellow humans. The scene of a child dying before the eyes of his beloved ones, a mother whose family’s happiness turns into mourning, a husband carrying the lifeless body of his wife to somewhere hastily, or a spectator who is not aware that he is going to see the last sequence of his life in moments, are not scenes which would not stir human sentiments and feelings.

Anybody endowed with affection and humanity is affected and touched by these scenes, whether they occur in France, in Palestine, in Iraq, in Lebanon or in Syria. Definitely, one and a half billion Muslims share this feeling and abhor and loathe the perpetrators of these tragedies. But the important question is that if today’s sufferings do not end in building a better and safer future, they will be reduced to mere bitter and fruitless memories. I believe that this is only you, the youth , who by learning lessons from today’s hardships, will be able to find new solutions for building the future, and block off-roads which have led the West to this current position.

It is true that today, terrorism is the pain we and you share, but it is necessary for you to know that the insecurity and anxiety that you felt in the recent incidents differ on two major grounds with the pain that people in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan have endured throughout successive years. First of all, the Muslim world has been victim to terrorism and violence more extensively, on a much larger scale, and for a much longer period of time, and the second difference is that unfortunately, these acts of violence have always been supported by big powers in different ways and an effective manner.

Today, barely is someone unaware of the United States of America’s role in the creation or strengthening and arming of al-Qaeda, Taliban and their ominous followers. Alongside this direct support, the palpable and known supporters of Takfiri terrorism, despite having the most primitive political establishments, have always been among the allies of the West, and that is while the most progressive and the clearest thoughts born out of dynamic democracies in the region have been ruthlessly suppressed. The West’s double-standards vis-à-vis the movement of awakening in the Muslim world is a telling example of contradiction in the Western policies.

Another aspect of this contradiction is seen in the [West’s] support for Israel’s state terrorism. The oppressed people of Palestine have been experiencing the worst kind of terrorism for more than 60 years. If the people in Europe have been taking refuge in their homes and been avoiding gatherings and crowded centers [only] for a number of days, it has been for tens of years that a Palestinian family has not been safe from the Zionist regime’s carnage and destruction machine even at its own home. What kind of violence could be compared today with the Zionist regime’s settlement construction in terms of its intense brutality?

Without having ever been seriously and effectively blamed by its influential allies, or at least the self-declared independent international institutions, this regime has been demolishing the homes of Palestinians and destroying their orchards and farmlands on a daily basis without even giving them time to move their living properties or collect their crops, and all this is often taking place before the terrified and tearful eyes of women and children, who witness the beating and injury of their family members and, in some cases, their transfer to notorious torture chambers. Do you know any other act of brutality on the same scale and dimension and at this rate of persistence in today’s world? If shooting at a woman in the middle of the street only for having protested at a soldier armed to the teeth is not terrorism, so what is it? Should this barbarism not be labeled as extremism just because it is being committed by the military forces of an occupying government? Or maybe these images should no longer stir our conscience only because they have been constantly seen on TV screens for 60 years?

Military campaigns targeting the Muslim world over recent years, which have taken countless lives, are another example of the West’s contradictory logic. Besides human losses, the invaded countries have lost their economic and industrial infrastructure, their drive towards growth and development has been halted or slowed down, and in some cases, turned back tens of years. Nonetheless, they are rudely asked not to consider themselves as oppressed. How can a country be reduced to ruins and its city and village be reduced to ashes and then [its people] be told not to consider themselves as oppressed! Instead of inviting [people] not to understand or forget about tragedies, isn’t honest apology better? The pain endured during these years by the Muslim world due to the hypocrisy and insincerity of the aggressors is no less than material damage.

Dear youth! I expect you to change this hypocrisy-infested mentality at present or in the future; a mentality whose art is covering up far-fetched goals and embellishing sly intentions. In my view, the first step to establish security and calm is to reform this violence-breeding mentality. As long as double standards dominate the Western policy, and as long as terrorism is divided in the eyes of its powerful supporters into good and bad categories, and as long as interests of governments are given precedence over human and moral values, the roots of terrorism should not be sought anywhere else.

Unfortunately, these roots have also penetrated deeply the cultural policies of the West through consecutive years, and have led to a soft and silent onslaught. Many countries in the world take pride in their indigenous and national culture; cultures that have fed human communities for hundreds of years at the same time that they have been flourishing and reproducing. The Muslim world has been no exception to this rule. But in the contemporary period, the Western world, benefitting from advanced tools, has been insisting on cultural simulation and unification in the world.

I consider the imposition of the Western culture on other nations and belittling independent cultures as a silent and very harmful act of violence. Humiliating rich cultures and insulting their most respected parts are happening while the alternative culture is by no means qualified to supplant them. For instance, the two elements of “aggressiveness” and “moral promiscuity,” which have unfortunately turned into the main components of the Western culture, have downgraded its acceptability and standing even in its own birthplace. The question now is if we would be committing a sin if we rejected a belligerent, obscene and culture that shuns spirituality? If we block the flood of destruction, which is streaming towards our youth in the form of different quasi-artistic products, will we be guilty? I do not deny the significance and vale of cultural bonds. These bonds have led to growth and prosperity and richness every time they have been made under natural conditions and through respect for the accepting society. On the contrary, incongruous and imposed bonds have proven to be unsuccessful and damaging.

I regret to say that vile groups like Daesh are born out of such unsuccessful bonding with imported cultures. If the problem was really ideological, such phenomena must have been seen in the Muslim world before the era of colonialism as well. However, history proves the contrary. Historical evidence makes it clear how the colonialism’s concurrence with an extremist and ostracized mentality in the heart of a primitive tribe, planted the seed of radicalism in this region. Otherwise, how is it possible that a refuse like Daesh could have been born out of one of the most ethical and the most human religious ideologies in the world that, in its essential fabric, draws a parallel between killing a human being and killing of the entire humanity?

On the other hand, one must ask why some people, who have been born in Europe and grown up intellectually and spiritually in the same environment, are being attracted to this kind of groups? Can one believe that these people suddenly turn so extremist as to shoot and kill their own countrymen only after one or two trips to war zones? Definitely, one should not ignore the impact of a lifetime unhealthy cultural feeding in a contaminated and violence-breeding environment. A comprehensive analysis must be carried out in this regard, an analysis to explore the overt and covert sources of contamination of a society. Maybe, the deep-seated hatred that has been sown in the heart of some [social] classes in the Western societies throughout years of industrial and economic prosperity due to inequalities and, at times, [as a result of] legal and structural discriminations, has given rise to complexes that emerge from time to time in such a sickening manner.

At any rate, it is you who should break through the outer layers of your society, find knots and grudges and do away with them. Instead of being widened, the rifts must be narrowed. The big mistake in fighting terrorism is hasty reactions that increase existing chasms. Any emotional and hasty move that would isolate or scare away and unsettle the Muslim community living in Europe and America, which comprises millions of active and responsible human beings, and deprive them of their basic rights more than before, and ostracize them socially, will not only fail to solve any problems, but also increase distances and deepen grudges. Superficial and reactionary measures, particularly when legalized, will have no other outcome but to clear the way for future crises by increasing existing polarizations. According to reports received, in some European countries certain regulations have been adopted to obligate citizens to spy on Muslims. These behaviors are unjust and we all know that injustice is willy-nilly produces reciprocal response.

Furthermore, Muslims do not deserve such ingratitude. The Western world has known Muslims for centuries. Both the day that the Western people settled in the territory of Islam as guests and cast a covetous look on the wealth of their host, and the day that they were the host and benefited from the Muslims’ work and thought, they mainly saw nothing [from Muslims] but kindness and patience. Therefore, I ask you, the youth, to lay the foundation for a proper and honorable interaction with the Muslim world based on correct knowledge and deep insight and by [learning lessons from past] tragic experiences. In this case, in a not distant future, you will see that the edifice you have erected on such a foundation will spread the shadow of confidence and trust over the heads of its architects, grant them the warmth of security and clam, and radiate the rays of hope in a bright future on the world. [1]

Seyyed Ali Khamenei,

Azar 8, 1394; November 29, 2015

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Related Links:

The first message by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution addressed to the Western youth had been published in February.

The Second Message of Imam Khamenei to the Western Youth in 62 Languages.

[1] . Adopted from: The Office of the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei.