The 4rth of Farvardin (25th of March) coincides with the anniversary of Tabas event. Now-a-days, video programs are being broadcast on the national television which the friends may have watched. A major part of the films broadcast on TV are reports which the Americans themselves have released following that incident and which we did not have access to at that time. This incident was a clear sign of divine power for the people who lived at that time. Indeed, it was a miracle which God, the Exalted, showed to people, those who were faced with difficulties and lacked all means to confront conspiracies. God, the Almighty, thwarted the American conspiracy and plot by destroying their forces and equipments which they had brought in causing some people to pay further attention to the concepts and values of the revolution. Indeed, Almighty God has shown us many miracles throughout the Islamic revolution. It is very much clear and understandable for those who have witnessed the circumstances before and after the revolution. There is no doubt that he who has luminous inner vision can clearly see God's hand in the ebbs and flows of the history of the Islamic revolution.
The Necessity of Paying Attention to Spirituality
Unfortunately, at present we are faced with a crisis, one which late Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic revolution, had warned us about. Many times did the Imam emphasize on it in the wake of Tabas incident after he termed it as a sign of divine power. He said that you are ensured insofar as you believe in spiritual and heavenly matters. It is important to know that God, the Glorified, runs the whole world and everything belongs to Him. If you distance yourself from these concepts, then you will be at risk. A person distances himself from God, the Glorified, if he neglects the spiritualities and suffices to some outward and ostentatious conducts which earn him credibility and ground in society. Late Ayatollah Baha'uddini (may Allah be pleased with him) said that although one cannot play in front of God but he can play in front of God's creatures. If we pretend to be with truth but there is no truth, then the divine power will not come to our help. That is to say, if our spirituality is real and it is not a game, in that case we can avail ourselves of the divine. We have witnessed many instances of divine power and divine assistance after the revolution but we have to be careful not to become haughty and proud. Late Imam Khomeini used to warn about it. He used to say that when you are gaining a success, in war or in other arenas, you should be careful not to become proud of yourselves. Success comes from God. Late Imam Khomeini (r.a) warned us not to think that we are doing everything by ourselves. Pride hath fall. It should not cause divine blessings to stop reaching us. I hope the anniversary of Tabas provides us with an opportunity to pay further attention to realities rather than the outwardly and ostentatious conducts which unfortunately have become very routine these days.
The Days of Divine Miracles
Before the revolution and when I was a youngster, I used to ask myself as to why I was born in this country and at that time thinking that it was neither a good country nor a good time – because it was the time of the King. I was very much unhappy until the Islamic revolution took place. Although I was 17 at that time, I was, due to family characteristics, occupied with the revolution when I was 9. Following the revolution, the Tabas incident took place. I was then thinking that I had been born at the best place and the best time; a time when I could see with my own eyes the divine miracles. God, the Glorified, was showing us miracles in this revolution which, if I speak of, would sound to some people today as legends. That is unfortunately because of the delusions and fake stories spreading everywhere. We were really witnessing divine miracles; for example, during the imposed Iran-Iraq war, sometimes the bullet would pass through a person's fingers without hurting him. It was amazing.
Actually, during the revolution, God demonstrated His power and mightiness in a special way. I believe a major part of it was due to Imam Khomeini's spirituality. The Imam's spirituality was a source of others' spirituality. That is to say, it was because of the Imam's charismatic spiritual personality that the tendency towards spirituality began to emerge among our people.
Late Ayatollah Baha'uddini who was a great man of spirituality and cognition and in whom Imam Khomeini was particularly interested, said that the Imam had a creational impact on people. That is to say, Imam Khomeini was not only a political leader whom the people loved and supported but he possessed creational guardianship. He really changed people with his words. We did see those miracles in that spiritual atmosphere. Definitely, the punishment of those who, like me, have seen the miracles and unfortunately become neglectful, are much severer than those who did not see the miracles and became neglectful. Miracles are authoritative proofs and when God, the Almighty, shows them, He leaves no excuse for those who see them. If such people who see the miracles go astray, they shall be subjected to much more punishment. For example, the Children of Israel (Banu Israel), who witnessed great divine miracles and in spite of that they were ungrateful, were put to severer punishment as compared to those who did not see the divine miracles.
The Looming Danger of Our Time
I had felt the danger long time ago. Of course, my opinion may not be worthwhile, yet as an ordinary seminary student I have been telling in my talks with different people and different officials that we are distancing ourselves from spirituality which amounts to running into crisis. One day, one of the renowned figures of the Islamic Republic of Iran visited me and asked as to what the causes of the problems were. I said to him that the root cause of our problem is that we are more tilted towards the world rather than the hereafter. God is also not caring abut us. There is no doubt that God is not jealous; He is Generous and Benevolent but since we are not caring about God, we have been deprived of some special bounties. If we do not come to our senses and continue to remain negligent, we will suffer great crises. Great dangers are looming. They are laying in an ambush and waiting for us. The biggest danger is to lose our trench. That trench is not one of a technological type; it is not an economic trench nor is it a military one; it is none of these. When we first started our revolution, we had none of these. The revolution achieved victory with our reliance on God, the Exalted, otherwise we had none of the worldly means which the world powers had. Unfortunately, today our spirituality is being undermined from all directions and in various ways. We are facing crisis. For certain reasons, after the victory of the Islamic revolution, we had to focus our attention to reconstruction and restoration work. Naturally, it was necessary for us to reconstruct the country after the war but reconstruction should not make us oblivious of the Afterworld; it should not take place at the cost of spirituality. If we pay such a price, then it will be disastrous for us. Islam okays worldly prosperity; the religion never aims to degrade or destroy the world. In fact, the religion has come to rebuild the world but the world which should serve as a farmland where we cultivate for the hereafter. If we are building and rebuilding economy, and work towards improving our politics, we should not also be oblivious of spirituality. We should also take care of culture.
Superstitions Posing New Threat
Unfortunately, in recent years there is a new threat emerging about which we talk whisperingly and allusively but there are still few ears to listen. The new danger is the prevalence of superstitions in society posing danger to the religious fundamentals and spirituality of the country. When there are too many superstitions and fake stories, it becomes difficult to distinguish right from wrong; the truth from legends. Today, it is not possible for me to talk about the virtues of a spiritual personality like late Ayatollah Baha'uddini. I cannot even tell about these virtues to the elites and confidants. That is because the legends and myths have become so widespread that they think this is also one of them. Unfortunately, the superstitions spread out very quickly and it is only in a superstitious environment that someone produces a CD by collecting some materials, omitting the preceding and succeeding parts and adding his myth to it. He then distributes his CD and claims that the time of 'reappearance' is very near. Some credulous people believe in such things and wait for the day to come, the day which the CD has foretold. And when that day comes and people see that the Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) did not reappear, then they will say that even the Imam of Time himself is fake.
These superstitions, which they spread among people now and then, were the main cause of the deviation of the youths who were led astray in recent years. For example, they spread the news that Ayatollah Bahjat (may Allah be pleased with him) had said that the Imam of Time (atf) will reappear soon and that old people like him would see his reappearance. This story which is ascribed to Ayatollah Bahjat is not true. It is said that someone had visited Ayatollah Bahjat and had claimed that the time of reappearance was near. Late Ayatollah Bahjat had asked him that "if you are telling that the time of reappearance is near, do you think old people like me would live long enough to see the reappearance of the Imam of Time (atf)?
He had said, "Yes, old people like you would also witness the reappearance."
Look! Ayatollah Bahjat had never claimed that the time of reappearance was near. It was that man who had said that. Late Ayatollah Bahjat (may his soul rest in peace) had said that he had never known that man before. Then we all saw that late Ayatollah Bahjat (may Allah be pleased with him) passed away from this world and he did not see the reappearance. Therefore, do we have to entertain doubt – God forbid – about the personality of Ayatollah Bahjat and also about the Imam of Time (atf)? There are other superstitions continuously spreading among people. Unfortunately, the situation has become so bad that even the objection of religious leaders are not paid attention to. The grand jurists declare their views but no one listens to them. They take it as if nothing has happened in the country.
Dear brothers, there was a time when religious authorities had so much influence that when late Mirza Shirazi (may Allah be pleased with him) issued a verdict saying "Today, using tobacco is like waging war against the Imam of Time", even the concubines living in house of the King of Qajar broke their water pipes and stopped using them. Today, the jurists raise their sincere objections and there is no one to pay heed to them. The atmosphere of the country has been made in such a way that people are no longer sensitive about such matters and that they do not give importance to the scholars' words. Unfortunately, they are violating religious sanctities one after another. One day the Americans were destroyed in Tabas and God repelled the evil in that way but it is not known that God would bestow His grace upon us, if we do not mend ourselves. I am really sad to see that unfortunately I am no longer the religious student that I have to be. When the elders tell a lie so easily where it is of no avail to them, then I do not know what I as a student of religion should do! Who is going to run this country? He who has protected this country so far is God. But, as the supreme leader once said in his Friday prayer sermons, God has signed no brotherhood contract with anyone. There is no doubt that if we are good, God will help us. "If you help God, He will help you." This is God's promise and He never breaks it.
The Necessity of Making All out Efforts to Safeguard the Revolution
Once, the Sudanese Hajj and Awqaf minister visited the Hajj mission office of the Islamic republic of Iran. One of the friends asked him as to how the situation was in Sudan. He asked him if the Sudanese people were afraid of America. The minister said, "I am not afraid of America because God is there and God has more power than America but I am afraid of myself lest I should become neglectful of God to the extent that He denies me of His help."
I told my friends that God is warning us through this man's tongue. Those who have the luminous inner vision get an answer from something which people like me who lack the spiritual vision does not get from even clearer things. It has been said that one day a man who did not understand Arabic met Ayatollah Boroujardi. He did not know the meaning of "Sabbahkomullah bil-khair" or "masakomullah" etc. He had said to Ayatollah Boroujardi "Al-Hamdu Lillah, you are khaserad-dunya wal-akhirah" thinking that it was a polite and respectful sentence. Late Ayatollah Boroujardi was sick for sometimes. He was thinking about the man's sentence fearing lest God should have made the man say that sentence to me to warn me about losing both this world as well as the next. In reality, sometimes a listener who possesses spiritual vision may get a lesson from another person's mistake but one who does not have the vision may even see clearer signs yet he may, unfortunately, not get a lesson from it.
I have seen in my short life the tremendous troubles which people have taken and the blood that they have given to safeguard Islam. I have seen only a part of the sufferings which people have gone through. Look, when a great dam leaks and there is a crack and it is not curtailed at the beginning, the crack will become wider and the dam will eventually break. Then it would not be possible to repair the dam and prevent the disaster. We must stop the crisis before it spreads. It is not only one person's responsibility. For example, we cannot say that the leader is there and he is taking every necessary measure. The leader is in need of people's support. Everyone should help him. It is not the responsibility of one person or one group of people or a faction. No one can repel the crisis independently of others. The clerics must be vigilant. Sometimes, we have predicted something and wished that it would not come true, because I personally do not like something which I predict to come true because others will begin to say that it had been predicted by so and so individual; but unfortunately, the predictions come true in most cases. I am afraid it would come true again. I fear lest we should face dangers and then realize that it is too late. Perhaps, we might not be able to do anything whereas we could do something, if we took action before hand. I pray to Almighty Allah to bestow success up us and upon all authorities and officials, those who really endeavor to render services. I pray to Allah to guide everyone, to give all us vision and to bring our hearts closer to each other. Basically when the hearts get away from each other, then it means that God has denied us His full blessing and attention. During the imposed war and the revolution, we could see how close people were to each other. They were becoming brothers and they were really selfless. There was perfect altruism. An amazing atmosphere was prevailing at that time. It was like the story relating to the early period of Islam in which an injured man on the battlefield, despite being very much thirsty, did not drink water. He passed it to another injured fellow soldier to drink. He did not also drink it, so he passed it to another injured soldier and he to the last person who was found martyred. They walked back and saw that all the previous men were martyred. We have seen similar incidents in our war fronts. Sometimes, I really feel sad. We discuss Islamic rules in these classes and we are supposed to be good adherents but we are lagging in practice; we fail to act upon them. I am afraid lest a day should come when we shall have no opportunity to act upon them. I am afraid lest we should face such crises that would not only undermine the secondary Islamic laws but would also threaten the fundamentals of faith. I pray to Almighty Allah to avert the evils from this country and from this nation for the sake of the sacred spirit of the Imam of Time – may Allah hasten his reappearance – and for the sake of the pure hearts and minds as well as the sincerities that are still existing in this country. (1)
Ayatollah Hadava Tehrani's comments made in the beginning of his postgraduate (kharij) lecture on fiqh and legal theories dated April 25 2011.