Leader's Address on the Birth Anniversary of the Holy Prophet

The following is an excerpt from an address made by the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in a meeting with the officials of the Islamic Republic, the ambassadors of Islamic countries posted in Iran and the foreign scholars and thinkers participating in the 18th Conference on Islamic Unity on April 26, 2005. The meeting had been convened on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his infallible household) and the birth anniversary of Imam Ja'far Sadeq (greetings be upon him).
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I would like to express my felicitations over the auspicious birth anniversary of the last messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household), and the propitious birth anniversary of Imam Ja'far Sadeq (greetings be upon him) to you the esteemed audience, the dear guests and ambassadors of Islamic countries, and to the entire Iranian nation and the great Islamic Ummah throughout the world.

The birth anniversary has provided us with an occasion to promote unity among all Muslims. Therefore, the auspicious week spanning Rabi'-ul-Awal 12-17 has been termed the Week of Unity. The main reason for this designation is that unity among Muslim nations is one the most urgent necessities of the Islamic Ummah at all times. Besides, the pivot of Islamic unity is the holy prophet of Islam and his teachings and guidelines.

Much has been said in favor of unity. If only part of these words had been put into practice, the fate of Muslim nations would be much better now. There are naturally certain elements such as ethnic and tribal disputes, religious and political differences that are harmful to unity. Efforts should be made to overcome these differences by heeding and relying on the guidelines and teachings of the holy prophet of Islam.

However, it is more difficult to overcome the divisions and schisms that are injected into the Muslim Ummah by the enemies of Islam who by taking advantage of ethnic and religious differences among Muslims pit them against one another.

We can clearly see that the plots and machinations of the enemies are behind most of these differences and disputes. The scholars and intellectuals of all Islamic sects and schools of thought are expected to prevent this wave of plots and machinations from undermining unity and brotherhood among Muslim nations.

The Holy Qur'an has called on us Muslims to remain united. It has warned us that our honor, identity and power will be at sake if we lose our unity and solidarity. Unfortunately, today in the Islamic world certain problems exist which stem from the lack of due attention to the issue of Islamic unity and brotherhood.

Today, the enemies of Islam are hatching various plots against the Muslim Ummah. The Islamic awakening of Muslim nations has alarmed the enemies, prompting them to increase their divisive machinations and hatch more complicated plots aimed at fomenting rifts and conflicts in the Islamic world. The arrogant powers that are casting a covetous eye on Islamic countries and interfering in the internal affairs of Islamic states are opposed to and worried about the unity of the Muslim Ummah.

Muslims constitute nearly 1.5 billion of the world's population. The abundant natural resources and great cultural heritage of Muslim nations as well as their talented and efficient manpower, the vast market created by their population for Western products and their precious oil and gas have made the expansionist and domineering powers desirous of dominating the Islamic world. But the Islamic unity poses an insurmountable obstacle to the enemies of Islam and their machinations. This is why the enemies are making every effort to remove this obstacle.

The establishment of an Islamic government in Iran and the raising of the banner of monotheism in this country, which is located in an important and sensitive region, infused other Muslim nations with a sense of awakening and self-confidence and made them hopeful of their fate and future. This awakening and self-confidence has prompted the enemies to hatch intricate plots against Muslim nations. Today, we are facing numerous plots and machinations.

The enemies are opposed to the entire Islamic world; they are opposed to the presence of Islam on the global scene. They are opposed to Islamic teachings and principles. The president of the United States has openly talked about a crusade against Muslims. The propaganda machinery of the U.S. and Zionists is constantly disseminating venomous propaganda with the intention of creating divisions among Islamic countries.

The enemies of Islam are intellectually incapable of offering a school of thought that will be able to present attractive and noble ideas, a school of thought that will appeal to Muslim intellectuals and scholars. Thus, in order to cover up this intellectual handicap and to attract ignorant individuals, the enemies of Islam have raised the banner of supporting human rights and countering terrorism.

But the reality on the ground indicates that the United States and Zionists are themselves in the forefront of trampling on human rights, as they have committed the most human rights violations and hurt the feelings of nations across the world.

Which regime has treated a nation as brutally as the Zionist regime has done? Which arrogant power has treated Muslim nations as arrogantly as the United States is doing today?

Presently, the enemies have focused their negative propaganda on the Islamic Republic, since the most valorous defenders of Islam are in this country, and the interests of the arrogant powers are imperiled here more than anywhere else. However, the ultimate goal of the enemies is not the Islamic Republic, as they are seeking to dominate the entire Islamic world.

If Muslim nations do not take the threats posed by the arrogant powers seriously and offer no resistance to their plots, no country in the Islamic world, from Africa to the Middle East and to East Asia, will be immune from their aggression and encroachment. This is a warning to the Islamic world. Today, Muslim scholars, intellectuals, statesmen, writers and orators shoulder a heavy responsibility for exposing and foiling the intricate and malignant plots of the arrogant powers against Islam and Muslims.

The real might and strength of the arrogant powers is less than the power that they pretend to have. Once they made every effort to prevent the establishment of the Islamic Republic. But the Islamic Republic has been thriving for the past 26 years. By the grace of Allah, we have made steady progress over all these years.

The arrogant powers pretend to wield great might and strength in order to terrorize other nations. But they wield no real power, and they mostly exaggerate their might. Today, the United States has bogged down in Iraq and also in Afghanistan.

The Islamic world is potentially powerful. The scholars, intellectuals and statesmen of Islamic countries are entrusted with a heavy duty. They should try to raise the morale of Muslims and make them confident of their power, encourage them to boost their innate power with knowledge, wisdom and prudence and to resist the bullying and intimidation of the arrogant powers.

Almighty Allah has promised in the Holy Qur'an: "And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good." (29: 69)

Almighty Allah will surely extend His guidance and assistance to those who strive in His way. The late magnanimous Imam Khomeini taught this lesson to the Iranian nation in words and in practice. The Iranian people observed the results of this lesson, and the world witnessed the triumph of our nation.

"Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers on the earth, as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion, which He has chosen for them,..." (the Holy Qur'an, 24: 55)

We are sure the divine promise in the above verse is an inviolable promise and will certainly be fulfilled, provided that Muslims show perseverance and firmness, keep on the right path, adhere to their goals, preserve their unity and trust in Almighty Allah.

I pray to the Almighty to guide us and assist us in putting our words into practice.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings