By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
Translated by Manal Samhat
“Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition”. Change yourself, probe deep into it, and probe into your concepts. What is your understanding of Islam? What is your understanding of reality and intellect? Think, scrutinize, study thoroughly and do not remain superficial so that the change turns to be methodical. That is the issue. They want to change our concepts. They even tried to talk about Islam, about tolerance in Islam to abort all the meanings of our nation’s strength that oppose and challenge. All of that in the name of being tolerant, not fighting the occupation and accepting its conditions; be tolerant and accept the accomplished fact, do not disturb the arena with the concepts of rejection; be tolerant and protect your head from the storm because there is someone who is blowing the storm to root out all your values.
Dear beloved, in a world where concepts are shaking, we know what is the meaning of having an Islamic education. Hence the issue is not only in other’s distorted reality about Islam, but also their perception of Islam that is perhaps subjected to cultures governed by deposits, and cultural plans that attempt to confiscate the expressions.
But the problem is that we need this balance in understanding Islam within the Muslims. There is chaos; the chaos of concepts in Muslims through the judgments that collide rather than resort to dialogue, and through backwardness that produces preaching outside the balanced road and guidance away from the precision of concepts.
This chaos in Islamic reality is the one that has disturbed all the situations. Are there questions that the challenges would ask us? Does Islam encourage openness or does it move within a circle of isolation? What are the conditions of openness and its guidelines? Does openness mean that you open your Islam to others to enter it so that no authenticity is left inside of you? Or, are there guidelines that consolidate this openness and methodize it? Is Islam with extremism or with moderation? Does extremism represent the line that meets with religious obligations? Or is extremism to move so that you put yourself on the brink of hell without gaining a strong footing there?
Is Islam extremist or moderate? Does moderation represent a submission to the accomplished fact (fait accompli) or does it represent a study of the accomplished fact and an attempt to change it?
We are well addicted to backwardness, and to non-intellect. The Holy Koran has guided us against other opinions, and has given freedom to the intellect to argue loudly. It has condemned those who say: “We found our fathers on a course, and surely we are guided by their footsteps.”
Scholars are not infallible; they make mistakes and also do the right thing. For the Mujtahid (high ranking scholar such as a Marjaa) there is a double reward if he is correct and one reward if he was wrong. The educated people are not infallible; we all make mistakes. How come we allow those in the past to accuse each other of mistakes while we have no right to argue about them? Is it so that if a man from the past justifies us to make him infallible? Does time provide infallibility to man?
The arrogantoffenses that we are confronting on the security and political levels in many Islamic countries are the most dangerous ones. There is a cultural offensive that aims at counterfeiting the Islamic lines so that Islam becomes American at times and British at others, just as the late Imam Khomeini used to express “understand Islam very well so that you can distinguish between the genuine Islam and the American or arrogant Islam”. But if we cannot understand the genuine Islam then how can we distinguish right from wrong.
And we stay in our genuine battle in Palestine. We have to freeze all the marginal differences and all the minor things, because people are plotting against us.
What is needed is much of awareness, unity, solidity, planning, and future outlook in addition to protecting the Mujahideen and taking care of them with all the possible means. We also have to expel all those who represent the “cultural ignorance”, so to speak, and not to allow them to introduce an immature or counterfeited culture. We have to choose those who talk and work because the stage, which we are going through, that they called as international coalition or rather American coalition is aimed at making a new world order. They want to make a world according to their interests, so we have to think how to prevent them from approaching our world. We have to plan for the future the same way they do. And we have to make our world according to our values and interests. We have to build the individual human who moves as a pathfinder, and to build the human who personify the society and the nation.
Shall we make the first step? Shall we freeze all the marginal issues or kill our major causes for the interest of our narrow and minor causes? This is the major challenge. This is path of the Islamic religious teaching that this enduring and blessed association has taken upon itself and whom we want to progress in its Islamic teachings through its curriculum, techniques, and contents.