Speech by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein – October 27, 2014
In this most important excerpt devoted to the Islamic State, Sayed Hasan Nasrallah evokes the historical and ideological roots of their (Wahhabi) doctrine. It depicts them for what they are, that is an extremist sect who is explicitly considering itself apart from 95% of Muslims, whom it deems apostates deserving death. Sayed Hasan Nasrallah also describes the way to deal with them and shows the true face of Islam.
Edition : http://www.sayed7asan.blogspot.com
Full original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKcCPd_XDOk
To face [the Islamic State], a solely security or military ‘cure’ is not enough and whoever believes that this is the answer is deluded. This issue is far too profound to be resolved only by security or military measures.
Still others claim that these movements are developing in impoverished environments, and the solution is therefore (economic) development. Such development is necessary anyway, but many of them (the Islamic State) do not come from poorer areas. Many of them come from Europe and have a comfortable financial situation and live well, even in luxury, etc. These diagnostics are simplistic.
Allow me to say the following: anyone seeking political, economic or social explanations (for the existence of the Islamic State) is mistaken. These can only be secondary contributing factors - conditions, pretexts, the environment. But the real and fundamental reason is this dogmatic, ideological and cultural reason, that in the Islamic world emerged people who came to say to thousands of young people, tens of thousands of young people or families: “Your responsibility is to cleanse the Earth of disbelief, to cleanse the Earth of polytheism and all infidels; and you see all the peoples of this region (the Middle East)? Their leaders, their governments, their armies, their communities, all are polytheists, and you have a duty to fight and kill them, and do this, and this, and that, etc.”
They assure these groups that it is their religious obligation. They (members of the Islamic State) believe they are thus closer to Allah and that they fight in His way, they are convinced of it. That is the real tragedy.
Allow me, since I said that our responsibility is to put things frankly, because we all... – but of course I do not want to make it a habit of it my discourse, but I have to spell it out at least this once without wanting to provoke anyone, but just for now - we have the duty to state the truth as it is, that what we talk about, and which we all whisper the name of, which we are talking generally of, calling it the takfiri current...
The background of this reasoning is the Wahhabi reasoning. Wahhabism. These people are not followers (of the Prophet) Muhammad b. Abdullah, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family. These people are the supporters of Sheikh Muhammad b. Abd-al-Wahhab (founder of Wahhabism allied with the House of Saud). This Wahhabi current, which I explained that people have worked to spread, propagate and support all over the world, he is what it is all about.
Today, when you consider Al Qaeda Daech (the Islamic State) or the Al-Nosra, (Front) which books is it that they study? Which books do they teach from? They are the books of Shaykh Muhammad b. Abd-al-Wahhab, his descendants and scholars and sheikhs of his school as well as muftis who came after him [Ibn Taymiyya, etc.]. That's what they teach, this culture, this thought, this path, and this is where the danger lies. Anyone looking for a true, real, and effective cure to what we suffer as Muslims, Christians, and all people of this region who have these challenges, must consider the problem so as to see how to find a solution.
Well, the fight (against the Islamic State) must be primarily and foremost a struggle that is ideological, cultural, and intellectual. What are then our responsibilities in this regard? I will very briefly recall them.
First of all, we must defend Islam. This is of course primarily (but not exclusively) the responsibility of scholars: Shiite scholars, Sunni scholars, all the scholars of Islam because so that I may be clear again, we do not have the right to say that the members of this current (the Islamic State) are Sunni, that would be unfair and inaccurate. They claim to be Sunnis, but they consider that the Sunni world today (perhaps one billion of them) are not Sunnis. They consider them (with contempt) as Sufis, as ach'aris (majority branch of Sunni Islam), etc. Consequently, the responsibility of scholars of Islam, Sunni and Shiites, the responsibility of every educated person, every professor, every teacher, each young man or young woman - because we do not have a body of religious men, no anyone who has an Islamic culture, an understanding of Islam, knowledge of Islam must, whether on TV channels, in newspapers, on websites, with all our capabilities and around the world, we need to do our best for our voice to be the strongest because their voice (that of the Islamic State) is strong. Their voice is very strong, and the media resources available to them are considerable. It is necessary that our voice is strong and carries far (and proclaims):
“O people, O Muslims and non-Muslims, O all people of the world! What you see here, this is not Islam! This has absolutely no connection, no links at all with Islam! This is not what the Quran teaches, it is not what it calls for. This is not the religion (of Prophet) Muhammad b. Abdullah, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family.”
This voice should be raised. [Audience: Salutations on the Prophet and his family.]
Firstly for the principle, but then we must also clarify, explain. It is not enough to hold a general discourse. We must show that these Quranic verses which they cite to justify their acts are falsely used, that it is not their true meaning. But of course, they have a method of interpretation and inference of their own. I do not have time to develop this point now, maybe I'll do so on another occasion. These prophetic traditions they cite and attribute to the Messenger of Allah are fabricated and falsified traditions. Muslims do not accept them, the scholars of Islam do not recognize them (as authentic). One can easily demonstrate these things.
Our first duty is therefore to defend Islam.
Our second duty is to explain the reality of Islam in the world. This is not an issue of school against school. By God, this is not due to the fact that there is a Shiite Islam side, a Sunni Islam side or whatever other school, no! This Islam on which we unanimously agree, we who are all members of various Islamic schools, we the overwhelming majority of Muslims, we must present it to the world.
Our third duty, which is of paramount importance, is to have exemplary behavior. They exhibit a kind of Islam that is barbaric, macabre, terrifying, inflammatory, and distorted. Well, the rest of Muslims, whether Shiite, Sunni, etc. (have a duty to respond). Today, it is the responsibility of individual Muslims, wherever they are, in Lebanon, in the Arab world, Europe, Africa, North America or Latin America, wherever they are, it is their responsibility as individuals, families, communities, groups, parties or movements, personalities and common people, whoever they are. Yes, right now, the responsibility to present, through behaviour, through (the application of this prophetic tradition) “Call people to Islam with something other than your language.” (= By the example of your actions). Through (the application of tradition) “Be an ornament for your Prophet Muhammad (by your example), and do not be a stain for your Prophet (by your vices)”, may peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family.
Today, it is a major responsibility. So that people can say, “No, Islam is not that (the Islamic State), it is this (everyday Muslims)”. We need the Muslims, the Muslim masses, the Muslim peoples in their countries and with non-Muslims around the world, to embody the normal pattern of the Muslim man who is sincere, who restores the deposits entrusted to him, who considers lying a sin, theft and plunder as a sin, the killing of any human soul, which God has forbidden, to be a sin, one who does not commit crimes, who does not betray, who does not deceive, one who does not attack others, etc., etc., etc. One who opens to others, because our religion is the religion of dialogue, our Prophet is the Prophet of dialogue, our Qur'an is a Book of dialogue, one who has dialogue with the other, who is ready to take from them and give to them, to seek with them the truth and error, etc. Whoever behaves with others with righteousness, justice and goodness, which is also the content of Quranic verses which call us to this.
Today, presenting a different model (to that of the Islamic State) is a major responsibility, and more important now than ever. On any given day, I behave well (quite simply) because it is my responsibility is to behave well. But today, my responsibility is tenfold: I have to behave well and set a good example in terms of religion, the Quran and the Prophet which I hold to because there is a danger of distortion of that religion, of the Quran and the Prophet. Our responsibility is increased tenfold.
Fourth, yes, we must confront this movement, and this requires cooperation from governments, states, scholars, and organizations of all Muslims to prevent against it, to hinder its spread. And again, we must be honest: today, the country that bears the greatest responsibility in the Islamic world, to stop the spread of this thinking is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has already suffered in the distant and recent past, and which still suffers, regardless of any other political characterization. Yes, she also bore responsibility for that.
It is not enough that we – or rather they, because we were not involved and we do not participate – create an international alliance against the armies of the world come to fight ISIS. Above all, stop – and I am here to address everyone –, close the schools that train the followers of this daechiste thought. Stop and close the doors of takfir (apostasy charge) and judgment declaring people to be infidels for the most trivial of reasons. Launch an appeal to the current Wahhabi scholars so that they reconsider their principles and agree to dialogue with the rest of the Muslim scholars, Sunni and Shia, about those beliefs that they are working to promote and disseminate in the world.
And also in the confrontation of those who took up arms in any Arab and/or Muslim country, we call for not rushing to (war) – except when the battle has already started, which is another question – but as long as the confrontation did not start, it takes effort on the level of thought, dialogue, culture, we must try to hold discussions with these people (the Wahhabis) especially scholars, people with knowledge, insight, enlightenment, as many of them (the Wahhabis) have misconceptions. They have a false understanding (of Islam), a false doctrine. The basis of confrontation with the young members of this movement must be to open their eyes, not to close them definitely (eliminate them). Some immediately say that governments, regimes, armies and states must form alliances to eradicate the followers of this movement... No! We must first think to wake these people, to open their eyes and to lend a helping hand. We must talk to them, and some scholars may have an influence on them.
And of course, here, the responsibility of the scholars of our Sunni brothers is much greater than that of Shiite scholars. Because regarding the Shiite scholars, regardless of whoever comes their way, his fate is certain (because they consider him an apostate deserving death). But maybe they will accept to listen to Sunni scholars. A great responsibility rests on the Sunni scholars, that of having dialogue with them.
And let no one say that it is useless, that there is no chance, no hope, no result to wait for. Why would that be? We can find a similar experience in History.Today, if someone wants to make a connection, they can compare this problem (the takfiri movement and what is happening) with the historical precedent of the Kharijites, at the time of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him. All Muslims consider him the rightful caliph: Sunnis consider him the fourth rightly guided caliph, and Shiites consider him the (first) Imam of Muslims in their way. But there is no debate about the fact that he is the rightful Caliph, despite differences regarding the principles of legitimate caliphate. Well, people took up arms against him, and he was called the Kharijites (= those who came out of allegiance) and the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, went out to them to fight , along with the rest of the Companions of the Muhajirin (emigrants from Makkah) and the Ansar (Medina) and their children. The Kharijites were 12,000, and some of them had committed crimes. And from the first day, the Commander of the Faithful asked to surrender the criminals, but they refused. Despite all this, he had not decided that these 12,000 people must be eradicated. He said to his companion: “Come, O Abdullah b. Abbas. You have recognized status, a great science, etc. (And you can maybe convince them).” Adballah b.Abbas approached, he made a speech (to the Kharijites), he spoke, argued the evidence, had a diolouge with them, discussed, debated... Thanks to the efforts of Abdullah b. Abbas, 4000 men returned, they were withdrawn from the Kharijite army that originally had 12,000 men (there were only then 8000 remaining). Well, after that, no one moved. Imam 'Ali himself, peace be upon him, then approached, he discoursed, urged, spoke, advanced evidence, recalled, debated, etc., and the result was that 4000 men withdrew (from the ranks of the Kharijites). From 8000, so 4000 were left, but that's it, they no longer had any disposition to listen or to talk with anyone. “We do not want to know anything.” They closed the door (on discussions). It was then that the war took place. So it was the battle of Nahrawan, which was very violent for them.
Therefore, it is not right, in the confrontation of this movement, that what comes to first in the thoughts of our leaders in the Arab and Islamic world is security, military, disposal, combat, etc. No! There is a responsibility, a real legal, religious, moral and humanitarian responsibility to ensure that there are sincere efforts - of ideology, culture, doctrine, faith, media, dialogue, etc., to open the eyes of these people. Such is our religion. Our religion does not seek death but deliverance. It seeks to open the eyes of people here and to open their eyes in the afterlife.
And even, on the contrary, many of these people are to be pitied. They lost their lives here on earth, and they will have the unpleasant surprise to discover that they also lost the afterlife. “Those whose efforts in this life were being made in vain, and yet believed they were acting well.” (Qur'an, XVIII, 104). And that's why these people are complaining, they are miserable orphans, more so than the orphans. And the great responsibility is to open their eyes.
Therefore, facing this dangerous and major challenge if we want to defend our Islam and our community, and to remove this danger, our effort should be primarily in the order of knowledge, thought, culture.
First, we must protect all other Muslims - we must act on two levels: the first duty is to protect the rest of the Muslims from this destructive thought, immune them against it, and that's where scholars, intellectuals, politicians, parties, men, women, fathers, mothers, media, etc come in.
And the second duty is to act in order to open the eyes of all who can be awakened among the followers of this takfirie Kharijite lethal thought in which there is the loss of this world and the loss of the afterlife and after that, we must act according to circumstances.
Today, yes, our religion and our community face this challenge, and our duty is to take this clear Husseinite position (of Imam Hussein b. Ali, a martyr). Wherever the situation requires that we speak the truth, we will stand in the middle of the battlefield, and proclaim the truth, calling things by their name. And when the situation demands of us that we may sacrifice our blood and release our loved ones and our dearest beings, in defence of our Islam, our community and our people, as did the Imam Hussein in Karbala, we will do the same, we have done and continue to do God willing.
Peace be upon you O my Master and Commander, O Aba 'Abdillah al Hussein, O son (descendant) of the Prophet, as well as the souls that fell at your side. Receive from me perpetual salvation and peace, as long as I live, as long as day and night last. God does not make this visit (the distant greetings) the last I'll make for you. Peace be on Hussein on Ali's son Hussein, the (other) children Hussein and the companions of Hussein. May God reward you all (for godliness in these sacred days). May the Peace of God be upon you and His mercy and His blessings. [Audience: At Thy service, O Nasrallah!]
See the two first sections of this speech: