Imam Ali KhameneiIranLeaders of UmmahMartyrs DayMiddle East

Leader Hails Long History of Martyrdom among Muslim Clerics

Leader of the Islamic Ummah and Oppressed Imam Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei highlighted the long history of martyrdom among Muslim clerics, saying both Shiite and Sunni clerics take pride in their martyred personages.

The officials of a congress commemorating the “Martyrs Who Were Clerics” had met with Ayatollah Khamenei on January 13, 2020.

The Leader’s statements in that meeting were released on Wednesday.

The following is the full text of the speech:

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master, Muhammad, and upon his pure Progeny.

The Muslim clerics have always invited people to do good

Commemorating the religious scholars and clerics who entered into the field of jihad and who ultimately achieved the blessing of martyrdom is a very good course of action. This is important because Muslim clerics have always invited people to do good. If those who are inviting to good take a leading role in doing good themselves, it will be more effective, “Invite people to do good with means other than your tongues” (speaking in Arabic). Our martyred religious scholars were individuals who invited people to do good both with their tongues and with their actions. During the Sacred Defense, I saw many young Muslim clerics who were wearing a military uniform and a turban on their heads. They were in the midst of the military troops, explaining religious rules for the young people who were engaged in jihad, and carrying out their duties as clerics, but they were not satisfied with just doing these things. I saw them from up close and knew them. They themselves stood in the frontlines of the war and a large number of them were martyred.

Martyrdom has a long history among Muslim clerics

Well, martyrdom is not a new phenomenon for Muslim clerics. In our books in the seminary, we have two books by two martyrs, “the first martyr” and “the second martyr.” Two or three years after beginning their studies, our students in the seminaries read the book “A Commentary on Lum’ah.” “Lum’ah” was written by the first martyr and the commentary was written by the second martyr. They were two prominent martyrs and two stars in the world of Muslim clerics in terms of their scholarly status. Throughout the thousand year history of Shiite jurisprudence, these personages were outstanding – both the first martyr and the second martyr. We have a third martyr as well, but the term “the third martyr” is actually used for several individuals: Martyr Barghani from Qazvin, Martyr Sheikh Nurullah Shushtari in India and many other martyrs. Later on, there were many other Muslim clerics who were martyred as well, but they were not known as the first, second or third martyrs. For example, Martyr Muddares and Martyr Sheikh Fazlullah Nuri were prominent Muslim clerics. They were martyrs from among the Muslim clerics. There are other such martyrs as well. In other words, the issue of martyrdom is not a new phenomenon among Muslim clerics and we have had great martyrs from among the Muslim clerics.

The same is true from among Sunni clerics. This is not particular to Shiite clerics. There have been Sunni personages both during and after the war who were martyred. Recently, we witnessed the martyrdom of Sheikhul-Islam who was a very influential, effective martyr in Kurdistan. And there are many other martyrs who were either martyred in Kurdistan or in other areas.

Scholarly work and jihad are not in conflict with one another

Well, these are some of the glories from among the Muslim clerics. We must not look at this issue by making a comparison between martyred scholars and people from other backgrounds. This matter is of secondary or tertiary importance. Rather, we should look at this issue by thinking that in inviting people to do good, Muslim clerics who were martyred were people who entered the field and risked their lives. This is very important. Today, we need to promote the idea among our young clerics and scholars that being a great scholar in religion and a high-ranking Religious Authority does not mean isolating oneself from the area of jihad. A scholar of religion, a Religious Authority and a top teacher in the Islamic seminaries, namely our magnanimous Imam, entered the field of jihad and carried out that great endeavor, which was unmatched throughout the history of Shi’ism considering the results that were achieved. He was a scholar, a researcher, a jurisprudent, a scholar in the principles of religion, a sage and a mystic. In other words, he was an outstanding person in terms of religious knowledge, was the top Religious Authority of his time and the best one in comparison with many other periods in history, and he achieved the highest rank in this regard. Therefore, we should not have this image in our mind that if we want to be a scholar, a Religious Authority, a researcher and a prominent teacher in Islamic seminaries, this requires that we withdraw from doing jihad and the area of jihad. This is not the case. Entering the area of jihad is our duty. We must do jihad.

Jihad is a definite duty of Muslim clerics

There are different kinds of jihad. Sometimes, it may happen that jihad in science takes precedence. There are many cases in which jihad in science takes precedence. Sometimes, military jihad takes precedence. Sometimes jihad in politics takes precedence, and there are times when jihad in society takes precedence. In all these cases, our young Muslim clerics and scholars must feel a sense of responsibility and know that they are the first people to be addressed by these statements because the first and foremost responsibility of Muslim clerics is to invite people to do good. This is what the prophets did. This is our first responsibility. And the best means for inviting to do good is through action, action in the area of inviting to do good. Therefore, entrance into the area of jihad is a clear, definite responsibility for religious scholars and Muslim clerics. There are no doubts about this. A person who withdraws from the field of jihad must know that this field is the foundation.

Fortunately, this spirit is present among our honorable clerics. Some individuals have listed these martyrs. The late Amini (may God bestow paradise on him), the author of “Al-Qadir,” wrote a book named “The Martyrs of Virtue” in which he listed the martyred religious scholars throughout history. Of course, he did not list all of them. He was able to find some of them. He listed the martyred religious scholars from the fourth and fifth centuries onwards. He did not list the ones before that. There are also many individuals who were martyred or who fought in the area of jihad but who did not achieve martyrdom. But they did jihad in the way of God. Their names have not been mentioned in such books. Well, this is an honorable culture of the Muslim clerics, and I hope that this spirit and this way will continue, God willing.

The commemoration of martyrs is a means for achieving subsequent goals

I advise the dear friends and brothers who organize these commemoration congresses to not look at these congresses as being an end in themselves. They are a means. In addition to these commemoration congresses many other actions must also be done. Finding the right method for such work requires thinking together. Individuals who are intellectuals and who are interested in culture and art should sit together and find the various ways to do this. As I mentioned before, remembering their names, publishing their photos, biographies and wills, and explaining the circumstances in which they entered into jihad are very important tasks. These must be published, and I hope that everyone will benefit from the spiritual lessons to be learned from those great personages.

I hope that God will bless you, make you successful and help you to do what is necessary in this regard.

May God’s greetings, mercy and blessings be upon you.”

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