Theoritecal Viewpoints of Imam Khomeini in the Realm of Foreign Policy (Part II)
Hajj as an important instrument in achieving the foreign policy objectives of Islam
Anchored on the injunction of verse three of Sarah at-Tawbah, which has been conveyed to the Holy Prophet (s) by God, thus: “And a proclamation from Allah and His Messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger,” and similarly addressed to Prophet Abraham, the Friend of Allah [khalilullah], the people are invited to come and observe what is good for them. These interests are interests of the society—political, social and cultural interests. Let them come and see that you (Abraham) as their prophet offered in the way of God the most beloved in your life. All the progeny of Adam should imitate you. Let them see how you broke the idols and abandon everything but God.
It was for years and perhaps centuries that this mammoth political-social- devotional congress, which could have realized all the objectives of the Islamic school, had only been observed in its devotional-individual aspect. Its true mission, which was true belief in God, eschewing every kind of polytheism and association of partners with God, collaboration of efforts, and elimination of the Muslims’ problems has been relegated to the abyss of oblivion until such time that Khomeini, the idol-breaker, entered the vista of the Islamic world’s issues and concerns, and pointed out the mission of the day to the Muslim society through his actions, words and writings.
During the year 1362 All hajj pilgrimage Imam Khomeini revived the Sunnah of the Prophet and utilized this grand Islamic gathering as the most important instrument of foreign policy, or we better say, Islamic foreign policy. During the last few years of his blessed life, the Imam conveyed in his various messages sent to the annual hajj gathering all the aspects that can be discussed in this congress and be utilized, or we better say, he conveyed in those messages the charter of the Islamic government. Here we will mention three important points of the messages that encompass all the problems and concerns of the Islamic world and are approximately all the possible aspects of the hail’s political and devotional rites.
1. Islam possesses a rich human development-oriented culture that draws the nations toward advancement devoid of any inclination to the left and right, and without considering the color, language and region. It guides human beings in religious, moral and practical dimensions, and urges them to seek knowledge from cradle to grave. In the political sphere, Islam guides the countries to aspire for and establish a wholesome government without resorting to lies, ruses and deceitful conspiracies. It tightens friendly relations with other countries that are committed to peaceful living devoid of tyranny and oppression. It produces a sound economy free from dependency, for the benefit of all, for the welfare of all people, and giving importance to the needy and weak. It strives to further improve the agriculture, industry and trade. In the military domain, it gives military training to all those competent to defend the country during emergency cases. During these circumstances it optionally, and at times compulsorily, mobilizes the masses. At normal times, it gives training for the defense of the borders, administering the cities, security of the highways, maintenance of public order, and discipline of the trained faithful forces.
2. While repeating, labbayk [Here I am], say ‘no’ to all idols and cry out ‘no’ to all the taghuts’ and small taghuts. While circumambulating God’s sanctuary, which denotes love to the Truth (God), disengage your hearts from the rest, and purge your soul of fear of other than the Truth, and along with your love for God, express your hatred of the small and big idols, the taghuts and their affiliates, as God, the Exalted, and His friends have expressed hatred of them, and all the freedom-loving people of the world do hate them. While touching the Black Stone [hajar ai –aswad], pledge to God to declare enmity with the enemies of God, His messengers, and the liberated and pious men, and never yield to them, no matter who and where they might be, and take away the fear and sense of inferiority from your hearts, for the enemies of God and above them all, the arch Satan, are themselves wretched, though being superior in their tools of murdering, suppression and perpetration of crimes.
While perambulating [sa ‘11 between Safa and Marwah,4 try, with all sincerity and righteousness, to acquire the (pleasure of the) Beloved, for, by acquiring Him all the worldly woven webs shall be ruptured; the doubts and mistrusts collapsed; carnal whims and desires expired; material bonds untied; liberties flourished; and all the ties and attachments to the Satan and taghut, which subject the servants of God to captivity and obeisance, shall be detached. Proceed to Mash’ar al-HarAm5 and ‘Araft6 in a state of cognition and gnosis, and at each station cultivate your heart-felt confidence in God’s promises and the governance of the downtrodden. Silently and serenely meditate on the divine signs, determine to save the deprived and the downtrodden from the grips of the World Arrogance and pray to Almighty God, at these noble stations, to open up deliverance for all.
Then, you proceed to Minã1 and comprehend the righteous wishes, i.e. sacrificing your most beloved thing for the sake of the Absolute Beloved. Let it be known to you that unless you abandon these beloved things, above which are love of the self and then love of the world, you cannot gain access to the Absolute Beloved. It is at this state that you must repel the Satan and make him retreat. While observing divine decrees, repeat the act of repelling the Satan and his entourage, and make them all retreat.
And the prerequisite of all rituals and stations to achieve the natural [fitri] wishes and human hopes is the gathering of all Muslims at these stages and stations of the unity of expression of all Muslim groups without the distinction of language, color, tribe, sect, country, and region, and the fanaticisms of the Age of Ignorance.
3. Hajj is the center of knowing God in which the gist of the policy of Islam in all angles of life should be sought. Hajj is the harbinger of the creation and establishment of a society free from material and spiritual vices. Hajj is the manifestation and recurrence of love-engendering scenes of a human being and society in the world. The half rites are the rites of life. As the society of the Islamic ummah of whatever race and nation should be Abrahamic so as to be joined and united with the khalil [friend] of the ummah of Muhammad and be a single hand, hajj is the organization, training and formation of this tawhidic [monotheistic] life. Hajj is the arena of demonstrating as well as the mirror of assessing the talents, and material and spiritual potentialities of the Muslims.
Both in theory and practice, the Imam exerted his utmost effort to remove the ambiguities and flaws that are depicted in the realm of foreign policy of the Islamic country and forging of relationship with other countries. The theoretical dimension of the Imam’s thought in the field of foreign policy is examined in this article. The Imam strove hard to revive the political and social precepts of Islam, which had been either relegated to the limbo of oblivion or not been implemented. He tried to illustrate an image of Islam in which Islam was introduced as the most complete religion, most precise code of living, most advanced culture and civilization, and as the means for the salvation and happiness of humankind. The Imam expressed this objective through various means such as writing books and essays, speeches, stances, and decrees in all aspects—cultural, economic, political, social, and legal.
All thrusts of foreign policy in the view of the Imam are cases that pursue the protection of the national interests, honor, and dignity of Iran as well as the interests of Islam. The principles which the Imam emphasized used to guarantee in the long run both the national interests and the interests of Islam.
For the purpose of introducing the correct image of Islam, delivering the people, exporting the Revolution, and the Iranian nation’s acquisition of positive experiences, the Imam was inclined to promote cultural activities in the world. In doing so, awakening and awareness among the people of the world can be fostered. Resorting to violence and force was unacceptable for the Imam. In my opinion, although the blessed life of the Imam was obviously so short, in such a short period he was able to fulfill his mission. Whatsoever is to be conveyed was conveyed; whatever is to be illuminated was illuminated. Hence, in reviving the Islamic values the Imam was able to succeed in allowing the people pay attention to their interests and welfare. Now, it is our turn to preserve these values and endeavors of the Imam, God willing.