Ayatollah al-ʿAmali: “An important declaration to the Shiʿah of Iraq and al-Sham in light of ISIS’ war against Shiʿism”

Translator’s note: The following is a rough but complete English translation from the original Arabic, which can be found here. For the sake of fidelity, I have maintained the original’s paragraph structure.

Issued from the office of Ayatollah al-Muhaqqiq al-Marjaʿ al-Dini al-Mirza al-Shaykh Muhammad Jamil Hammud al-ʿAmali, may Allah prolong his life

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,

Praised be Allah, Lord of the Worlds, Who breaks the tyrants and ends the oppressors. And salutations and peace be upon the Masters of all the created beings, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, and his purified and righteous progeny. And may an eternal curse be upon their enemies, and their revilers, and the rejecters of their virtues, from the first ones to the last ones, until the establishment of Judgment Day.

Peace be upon the believing befrienders [of the household of the Prophet, peace be upon them], and the mercy and blessings of Allah.

As a result of the accelerating disaster, which is the assault on the Shiʿah, the believer wonders about his religious obligation. Is he to remain silent, or is there no choice for him but to take an outspoken stand, a religio-legal position which defines the parameters of of the obligation he must fulfill? It is obligatory upon us to grasp this position, so we say, and swear by Allah Almighty, to whom we turn for assistance:

The most important legal obligation indicated by the verses of the Book of Allah and the noble sunnah after [obligatory] prayer and fasting is jihad in the way of Allah Almighty; and the meaning of “jihad in His way” is fighting the enemies, those who are open in their enmity and hatred of our purified Imams, peace be upon them, and want to destroy their holy shrines and kill their Shiʿah and those who embrace their walayah (absolute loyalty and fidelity), and those who are descended from them [genealogically], and capture their women, and destroy our dignity. And any negligence in championing [the defense of] the holy shrines by the Shiʿah overall is regarded legally and logically as high treason against the Family of the [Prophetic] Household. At that time weeping over their oppression does not benefit them, nor bemoaning having been unable to assist them when they were alive! What honor is there for the Shiʿah if they neglect to support the icons of Shiʿism and the graves of the most noble of Allah Almighty’s creation? You Shiʿah still weep over the Prince of Martyrs (Imam al-Husayn b. ʿAli b. Abi Talib), peace be upon him, and cry out in supplication, “If only I were with you so that we would triumph with a great victory.” So what difference is there between supporting him while he is alive or dead? The murderer of his blessed body is today trying to level his grave upon him again, and wants the chance to drag his sacred body out into the open, in order to deface it, like it was defaced by his forefathers and forebearers in sweltering Karbala’, when the horses trampled his luminous chest, which was the overflowing divine fountainhead, and the trove of divine mysteries, and the height of divine mercy. So this is ISIS. Allah curses whoever supports and assists them, privately and publicly, and sustains them from the wealth of political, national, or religious office, for the sake of worldly goals and authority. They (ISIS) have explicitly declared that they will march on Karbala’ and Najaf, after destroying the graves of the most pure Imams, may Allah’s blessings be upon them, in Samara’ and Baghdad. Is there a bolder pronouncement than this Bakri-ʿUmari declaration?!

Oh you honorable Shiʿah: Do not be today as were the listless Shiʿah of yesteryear, when Muʿawiyah attacked them in Anbar, who did not arise to defend their dignity and blood until the great Imam Amir al-Mu’minin ʿAli b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, rebuked them by his noble sermon to arouse and awaken them to jihad against the nawasib (the opponents of Shiʿism, lit. “haters”), not Rome. In it, he enumerated for them the merits of jihad and the extent of its importance before Allah Almighty, and His purified proofs (the holy household), peace be upon them. Thus, he said:

Surely jihad is one of the doors of Paradise, which Allah has opened for His chief friends. It is the dress of piety and the protective armor of Allah and His trustworthy shield. Whoever abandons it Allah covers him with the dress of disgrace and the clothes of distress. He is kicked with contempt and scorn, and his heart is veiled with screens (of neglect). Truth is taken away from him because of missing jihad. He has to suffer ignominy and justice is denied to him. Beware! I called you (insistently) to fight these people night and day, secretly and openly and exhorted you to attack them before they attacked you, because by Allah, no people have been attacked in the hearts of their houses but they suffered disgrace; but you put it off to others and forsook it till destruction befell you and your cities were occupied. The horsemen of Banu Ghamid have reached al-Anbar and killed Hasan b. Hasan al-Bakri. They have removed your horsemen from the garrison. I have come to know that every one of them entered upon Muslim women, and other women under protection of Islam, and plundered the jewelry from their legs, arms, necks, and ears, and no woman could resist it except by pronouncing the verse, {We are for Allah and to Him we shall return}. Then they returned, laden with wealth, without any wound or loss of life. If any Muslim dies of grief after all of this, then he is not to be blamed; rather before me he is justified in this. How strange! How amazing! By Allah my heart sinks to see the unity of these people in their wrongdoing and your disunity in doing right. May woe and grief befall you! You have become the target at which arrows are shot. You are being killed, but you do not kill [in defense]. You are being attacked, but you do not attack [in return]. Allah is being disobeyed, and you remain agreeable to it. When I ask you to move against them in summer, you say it is hot weather. ‘Spare us till heat subsides from us.’ When I order you to march in winter, you complain of the bitter cold. ‘Give us time till cold clears from us.’ These are just excuses—evading heat and cold—for if heat and cold are enough to make you run away, then by Allah, surely you would run from the sword.
O you semblance of men, [who are in reality] not men, your intelligence is that of children and your wit is that of the occupants of the curtained canopies. I wish I had neither seen nor known you. By Allah, our acquaintance has resulted in nothing but my shame and repentence. May Allah fight you! You have filled my heart with pus and loaded my bosom with rage. You have forced me to drink down one mouthful of grief after another. You shattered my counsel by disobeying and leaving me, to the extent that the Quraysh started saying that the son of Abi Talib is brave, but does not know [the tactics of] war. Allah bless them! Is any one of them fiercer and more experienced in war than me? I rose for it when I was but in my twenties, and here I stand, having surpassed sixty; but the opinion of one who is not obeyed is of no consequence.

His noble words are a reflection of our situation today, for we Shiʿah do not differ from our predecessors. Thus, we do not fervently mobilize for the causes of religion, honor, or [the protection of] innocent blood! This is because the leaders of the Shiʿah today have been sedated by the political world and love of authority. As a result, they do not mobilize except to the extent that they are aroused by their political instincts and greed for power. In reality, they only use the religion and Shiʿism for the protection of their political interests. Yet have their billions availed them, which they use up on the nawasib to advance their political agendas?! Has abandoning the fundamental doctrines of the religion, for the sake of their companions of the “school of Saqifah” [the Sunnis], availed them? For it is these supporters of al-Saqifah (those who installed the first “caliph,” Abu Bakr, in a coup d’etat following the Prophet’s martyrdom) who rule that the pillars of the Saqifah — namely, Abu Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUthman, and Muʿawiyah — are adherents of Islam, and deign that they are among the Muslims and believers in tawhid (the oneness of Allah)! And it is these followers ofthe school of the Saqifah who are slaughtering every Shiʿah simply for the sake of being Shiʿi and a lover of the people of the household of the prophethood and walayah, may Allah’s peace be upon them. Yet in spite of this, one of the contemporary marajaʿ in Iraq has opined that they [Sunnis] are “not merely our brothers, [rather they are] ourselves”! Even stranger and more bizarre than this is what we have heard from one of the lecturers of the Husayni pulpit in Kuwait, via al-Anwar Channel, during the first evenings of the Nights of Destiny, seeking refuge with Allah Almighty from [the notion that] the opposition [Sunnis] are nawasib, insisting rather that they are our brothers in Islam! He even blamed the attacks of ISIS against the Shiʿah of Syria and Iraq on the “sectarian bigotry” of some of our Shiʿi scholars, who oppose the school of al-Saqifah. Every word he said was false, and if we had the space to do so, then we would loosen the rein of our pen in refuting [the points of] “unity,” one after the other, to expose the deficiency in his words from beginning to end. All of the words he poured out from the pulpit, under the heading of [religious] “unity,” pretending that it was all part of the Husayni rituals, from A to Z, without reservation! Is this invitation to doubt and confusion from pulpits [designed for] inviting [others] to the walayah of the people of the house, peace be upon them? In reality, it is stabbing Shiʿism in its gut—a thousand stabs day and night—and strengthening the opposition against the Shiʿah through their glib words and desperate defense of those [the Sunnis] who equate the Shiʿah with apes and pigs?!

What is this abandonment of principles?! What is this prostration upon the face for the pleasures of one who can never possibly love us, even if we poured out for him the golden bounties of the world?! And shall we mention to you, O you who believe — especially some of our brothers from the marajaʿ of the Shiʿah, and some of the lecturers from the Husayni pulpit — the saying of Amir al-Mu’minin, peace be upon him, when he described the enemies, in his noble words?

Were I to strike the forehead of a believer with this sword of mine so that he would hate me, still he would not hate me, and were I to pour out the world and its abundance upon the hypocrite so that he would love me, still he would not love me, and that was surely destined, passed upon the Ummi Prophet’s tongue, peace be upon him and his progeny, that he said: “O ʿAli! No believer hates you and no hypocrite loves you.”

We say to the Shiʿah who believes that the opposition are one and the same as ourselves: It is your ideological laziness that has increased their boldness against Shiʿism, and their seeing themselves as being upon truth, while the Shiʿah are upon falsehood. In this way, they gathered strength against the Shiʿah by the flattery of some some Shiʿi scholars for them. This confirms a saying of our Imam al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, about them: “He said: whoever aids [another] against a believer, by even so much as half of a word, will meet Allah Almighty on Judgment Day, with the words ‘Deprived of my mercy’ emblazoned between his eyes.” And like that is his saying (peace be upon him and his progeny): “Whoever smiles in the face of an innovator has aided in the destruction of Islam.” And verily the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: “Beware of reliance upon the people of desires! For they reject the bounty [of Allah], and bring about innovation [in religion].”

If the one who smiles in the face of the innovator [is] a destroyer of Islam, then how is he viewed by the One who made him and the soul between his two sides? And are the rejecters of the Imamate of the masters of creation [truly] the same as ourselves? Are their jurists, past and present, who rule that the Shiʿah are disbelievers and that it is religiously commendable to spill our blood and take our women, also the same as ourselves? And it is correctly narrated from the Imams of Guidance and Lanterns in the Darkness, peace be upon them, “Whoever doubts in the disbelief of our enemies and oppressors is [himself] a disbeliever.” So how can the opponent [the Sunni] be like ourselves, while our blood and chastity is mustahhab (a highly recommended action) for them, and they do not believe in the walayah of our purified Imams, peace be upon them, and they do not believe in what they [the Imams] have made lawful and unlawful, and in fact consider these to be innovations and misguidance?! And from a correct [report] of al-Hasan b. ʿAli al-Jazaz, he said: “I heard al-Rida (peace be upon him) saying, ‘Verily the one who takes our love, the people of the household, for one who is severe in cursing our Shiʿah is of the Dajjal.’ I said to him: ‘O son of the Messenger of Allah, in what sense?’ He said, peace be upon him: ‘By loyalty to our enemies and antagonism to our friends; surely if he is thus, he mixes truth with falsehood until they are identical, so he did not know a believer from a hypocrite.’”

And in a correct report from the Greatest Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, he said to ʿAmmar b. Yasir, may Allah be pleased with him and please him, that he said, “You will be killed by a group of tyrants, and you are with the truth and the truth is with you. O ʿAmmar, if you saw ʿAli travel in one valley and saw the people travel in another valley, travel with ʿAli, peace be upon him, and leave the people … O ʿAmmar, he who appoints (unsheathes) his sword to support ʿAli, peace be upon him, against his enemy, Allah Almighty appoints for him on Judgment Day a sash of pearls, and whoever appoints (unsheathes) his sword in support of the enemy of ʿAli (peace be upon him), Allah Almighty appoints for him on Judgment Day a sash of fire. …” Thus everyone who thinks well of the enemy of Amir al-Mu’minin and the purified and righteous people of his household, peace be upon them, has unsheathed his sword against their believing Shiʿah, and exposed themselves to the revenge due to the tyrant nawasib. The Shiʿah clings to his religion and his Imam, Amir al-Mu’minin, and the righteous people of his house, and maintains enmity towards his enemies—or else he is in the corner of the enemies, even if he were dressed in the clothes of Shiʿism and walayah, and his turban rose up to the sky!

Where are you [all] who support the Oppressed Imam al-Hujjat al-Qa’im, may Allah Almighty hasten his relief? Where are they, the assistants and helpers?! By Allah, our Imam al-Hujjah, may our souls be his ransom, is suffering from what has befallen the Shiʿah, the bitter and far from his religion! They are not protective of his religion and its fundamentals; instead, they are protective of their personal, political, or governmental interests. Even if they were protective of Shiʿism — as they claim — why were the nawasib so daring in the demolition of the graves of al-Baqiʿ, and the shrine of the two Imams in Samara’, despite the presence of the Shiʿi government in Iraq, and another Shiʿi country — Iran — with its regional influence and power?! If these two governments were remotely sincere in their religious and political slogans, then why has there been such audacity [in attacking] our Shiʿi symbols and pure holy places? So [it was] neither their military strength that repelled evils of the nawasib from our shrines; nor did their [cause of religious] “unity” — for the sake of which they exchanged billions of dollars — defend our holy sites from the outrage of being violated or destroyed! If the guarding of our pure holy sites is not their goal, then what good is there in them? And if safeguarding the existence of the Shiʿah is not part of the primary aims of the politicians then they cannot deceive the All-Merciful in their deeds and wars which they carry out for the sake of expanding their sphere of political influence in their rule. So the one who does not care about the shrines of the purified Imams, peace be upon him, how can the Shiʿah support him and assist him over his opponents?!

So in a correct narration from ʿAli b. Muhammad and others from Sahl, from Yaʿqub b. Yazid, from Ziyad al-Qindi, from ʿAmmar al-Assadi, from ʿAbi Abdillah, peace be upon him: “Regarding the saying of Allah Almighty: { To Him ascends the good word, and He elevates righteous conduct} (35:10), he said, peace be upon him: It means our walayah, the people of the house (and he gestured to his chest); so whoever does not adhere to our walayah, his deeds will not reach Allah.” And adhering to their walayah means the belief that they are the owners of the command of Allah Almighty, and denouncing (al-tabarri) their enemies. This, in turn, necessitates the defense of their shrines since their sanctity in death is the same as their sanctity in life, which is indicated in that they are {uli ‘l-bab} and {those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways, and Allah is indeed with the virtuous.} (26:29).

From here, we are required to be aware of our religious responsibilities. Among the most important is the obligatory protection of the holy tombs of the pure Imams, peace be upon them, and the tombs of their sincere Shiʿah, because they bring dignity to our lives and existence. Any shortcoming in the obligations of their guardianship from the assaults of the enemies is like intentionally throwing them to the adversaries. And their protection is incomplete by joining the “army” of Hizb al-Daʿwah, which is headed by Maliki, or [that of] any other Daʿwati or Walayati leader (references to Hizb al-Daʿwah and walayat al-faqih)! Rather it is necessary that the formation of secure [military] detachments—detachments of the ʿAskariayn Imams, peace be upon them both—by way of superior training in guerrilla warfare, and the military tactics that are widely accepted in the large armies. They must take it upon themselves to defend the pure shrines for the sake of upholding the word of Allah Almighty’s chosen family, specifically in Samara’ and Baghdad. Indeed, the enemies oppressed our purified Imams, peace be upon them, in their lifetimes and even after their deaths, and that is not confined to [suppressing] their knowledge, beliefs, rulings, virtues, and the oppression they suffered. Rather, [it includes] trespassing [against them] to [the point of] disdain for their noble graves. We are amazed by the Shiʿah today, how they neglect defending those sanctified graves, in spite of their being in a Shiʿi country — in Iraq — supported by another neighboring Shiʿi country, especially considering their military, financial, and technical might! So instead of raising funds for the satellite stations which promote their owners and their marjaʿiyyahs, it is obligatory to raise funds to build an ʿAlawi, Fatimi, Mahdawi army to carry on defending the holy shrines. And it is impermissible to seek its dissolution in any way, so long as the Sunni gangs possess weapons in Anbar and their other cities. As long as the Iraqi army is unable to repel the aggression of ISIS and other criminal gangs, it is impermissible for our Iraqi sons and loved ones to rely upon their [national] military for defense of the holy tombs. Similarly, it is impermissible for them to delegate issues of defense of the holy shrines to the marjaʿiyyahs who think well of the opposition (the Sunnis). Furthermore, it is impermissible for the Shiʿah both in and outside of Iraq to wait patiently for a jurist to issue a ruling to raise them to the defense of the sacred tombs, dignity, and property, because such things do not require the verdict of a mujtahid or marjaʿ. Rather their ruling is already available in the Qur’anic verses and multiply-attested, widely-narrated noble [Imamic] traditions. The obligations of defending the sacred tombs and honor is from the most obligatory of obligatory actions, and it is impermissible to depend on a ruling from here or there [in order to legalize] supporting the most pure Imams, peace be upon them. Additionally, it is impermissible to rely upon the view of a jurist who forbids such defensive measures on the pretext that they will stoke “sectarian rivalry,” like what [we mentioned] has been promoted by Husayniyyah preachers and satellite network pulpits—from which, incidentally, one such preacher, backed by the authority of a marjaʿiyyah, [said] that fighting the nawasib required the permission of a qualified jurist. As if the religion of Allah Almighty is bound by their jurist or marjaʿ! What obligatory act is more important than the necessary defense of [Shiʿi] dignity and the holy shrines?! Is there a greater disgrace upon the Shiʿah than the enemies’ destruction of our sacred shrines in Samara’ twice over, in our present day and age?! And I swear by Allah, besides whom there is no god, if the Shiʿah had even an ounce of motivation or protectiveness for the pure and infallible people of the house, peace be upon them, they would burn every land, green or dry, for the sake of the shrine of the ʿAskariayn Imams, peace be upon them. But the belly overstuffed with misgivings and the unlawful is no longer stirred by conscience, honor, chivalry, and fervor for Allah Almighty’s chosen family! What difference is there between the Shiʿah who are listless in their giving their support today, and the one who had abandoned the purified Imams, peace be upon them, during the days of their lives?

Surely supporting these pure ones, peace be upon them, is emphasized following their sacred martyrdoms, like what has been correctly narrated from Zurarah from our Great Imam Abi Jaʿfar, peace be upon him: “He said, ‘Verily He commanded the people to come to these stones (the Kaʿbah), so they circumambulate them. Then they come to us and inform us about their loyalty and show us their support.”

And in al-Kafi, by al-Kulayni’s chain of narrators, from ʿAli ibn Ibrahim, from Salih b. al-Sindi from Jaʿfar b. Bashir and Muhammad b. Yahya, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. ʿIsa, from Ibn al-Faddal, all from Abu Jamilah, from Khalid b. ʿAmmar, from Sadir, who said: “I heard Aba Jaʿfar, peace be upon him, when he was coming in and I was going out, and he held my hand and then said: Turn to the House [of Allah]. O Sadir, what people are, in fact, commanded to do, is to come to these stones, circumambulate them, then come to us declare their loyalty to us. That is what Allah has said: {I am All-forgiving to the righteously striving believers who repent and follow the right guidance} — then he pointed his hand to his chest –meaning, to our walayah. Then he said: O Sadir, would you like me to show you who create obstacles on the way of Allah? At that moment he looked to Abu Hanifah and Sufyan al-Thuri. They had a circle of people around them. He then said: These are the ones who create obstacles on the way of Allah, without guidance from Allah and a Clear Book. If only these malignant ones stay in their homes! When people search around and would not find anyone to inform them of the guidance of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, and His messenger, they would come to us and we would inform them of the guidance of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, and His Messenger.”

And by his chain of narrators, may Allah have mercy on him, from ʿAli b. Ibrahim, from his father, from Ibn Abi ʿUmayr, from Ibn ʿUdhayna, from Fudayl, who said: “Abu Jaʿfar, peace be upon him, looked at the people circumambulating (walking around the Kaʿbah) and said: This is how they used to circumambulate during the time of Jahiliyyah. What they are required to do is to circumambulate, and then come to us, and declare their support and love for us, and express their help for us. He then recited this verse: {Lord, fill the hearts of the people with love for them}.”

And from him, by his chain of narrators, may Allah have mercy on him, [from] al-Husayn b. Muhammad, from Muʿalla b. Muhammad, from ʿAli b. Asbat, from Dawud b. al-Niʿman, from Abi ʿUbaydah, who said: “I heard Aba Jaʿfar, peace be upon him—when he saw people in Makkah and what they were doing—say: These are activities like those in the days of ignorance. By Allah, they are not commanded to do this as such. What they are commanded to do is to complete their hajj, relieve themselves of the obligations of vows, and visit us to inform us of their loyalty and express their support for us.”

And in the exegeses of Furat b. Ibrahim and al-ʿAyyashi, by their chains of narrators, from al-Husayn b. Saʿid, by his chain of narrators, from al-Imam Abi Jaʿfar, peace be upon him: “Nevertheless, our father Ibrahim, the friend of Allah, who was from among the indicators of His Lord, who said {So make the hearts of the people fond of them}, that he did not mean all the people. You are his awliya’, may Allah have mercy on you and your peers. Verily your likeness to the people is the likeness of the black hair to the white bull, and the example of the white hair to the black bull. It is necessary for the people to love this household and exalt us in order to exalt Allah, and to receive us wherever we are. We are the indicators of Allah Almighty.”

These blessed narrations clearly indicate — absolutely demand — the necessity of our aiding them living and dead, in the same way that they indicate the necessity of exalting the purified Imams in their lives and after their deaths. There is no exaltation except by erecting their sacred shrines and defending them at any price and cost, regardless of whether the results are hard and difficult. And not one of you should pay any mind to the verdict of the jurist who discourages you from coming to their aid under the pretext of preventing “[sectarian] rivalry,” or that “Islamic common good” does not permit such support, and other such heresies and laughable excuses. For these are Satanic narcotics that lull the hearts and minds into a coma. Thus it is legally impermissible to listen to them, as the Almighty says: {and do not pay heed, any one of you, and proceed as you are commanded} (15:65). Verily any negligence in aiding the shrines in keeping away the Sunni paramilitaries from them is tantamount to treason to the people of the house, peace be upon them, and leaving the religion. And surely those who support Allah, He supports them, and makes firm their feet. Here it becomes necessary to set forth the criteria and characteristics which the one elected by the people must demonstrate in resolving their general social, civil, and governmental affairs, because the majority of the people who vote for a political leader or representative know nothing about him. Instead, they nominate him solely because of his promotion by the partisan electoral machine, which wanted the people to nominate and vote for him. These characteristics are the following:

The first characteristic: The knowledge of the candidate must be comprehensive, since it is necessary for individuals to understand the details about the candidate whom he wants to nominate as a representative or minister. Thus, it is necessary to know in detail about his life — his knowledge, his degrees, expertise, sincerity, and devotion to serving the people — because this person is accountable to his voters and for all whatever follows from his election to representative or minister. The one who is elected by the people represents them in their important societal affairs. Consequently, he must meet the desired level intellectually, culturally, and legally. Voting is a great responsibility incumbent upon the individual by Allah Almighty, as per the noble Prophetic narration: “You are all shepherds and you are all responsible for the flock.” If the candidate aspiring to social leadership were unqualified for it, then he should not seek it out or even consider doing so, because leadership reflects nothing but its people. Rather, the people require the elected to endeavor to righteousness instead of being self-seeking in reaching leadership which destroys him, and Allah flings him by his nostrils into hellfire, according to what is narrated in the noble traditions.

The second characteristic: That the candidate be of pure intent and action, not some criminal with innocent blood on his hands, and a full stomach and bank account from the wealth — and at the expense — of the poor, because the criminal and oppressor of both the people and himself is ineligible to represent them in their affairs and self-determination.

The third characteristic: The electoral candidate must be sincere in his promise to serve the people, in the same way that he must be devoted to their sociopolitical affairs.

The fourth characteristic: The candidate should not be a partisan of any party, particularly the Islamic parties which do not serve anyone but their regional intelligentsia and leaders. Today this modern plague chokes our Shiʿi collective Shiʿi communities, until the Shiʿi individual finally begins to curse everything “Islamic” because of their impulsiveness, vulgarity, and coarseness with the people, and their casual indifference in providing their living necessities, should civic service conflict with their personal and party interests. This is not something hidden from general public, who their shrewdness, are keenly aware of it, like how no party candidate is elected from the remnants of the secular parties unless they had prior experience and service to the people, and dedication in social and civil service matters — such as ensuring the provision of water, electricity, and healthcare; ensuring work opportunities for the unemployed; and securing peace, lending a hand to the oppressed, and obtaining redress from the oppressor, in a way that mirrors the current method in developed and developing countries. So what is the obstacle in adopting the systems of the Western world in methods of social cooperation, ensuring employment opportunities, social welfare necessities, responsibility for the elderly, healthcare, etc.? How regretful that today those commonly elected by the public from the Islamist parties in Lebanon and Iraq have failed to advance the most basic means of decent living, like electricity, water, and security, for the people unless — except their lackeys and supporters — and have been more tyrannical than the people of ʿAd, Thamud, Firawn, and Nimrud, or the followers of Muʿawiyah and Yazid. They provide their supporters every means of luxury living and abundant wealth, so long as they applaud the party leader or military commander, even if he was uglier in his oppression than the army of Yazid toward our master the martyr, may Allah’s peace be upon him. Instead, we hear virtually nothing but the whir, whistle, and whine of bullets when that leader commands them, intoxicating them with his speech, whipping them into a fever pitch for fighting and bloodshed, even at the expense of their interests and basic living necessities. All that matters is that his attendants have a table spread for them, decorated with colors and the tastes and the abundance in his pockets of the poor and needy’s wealth. His ultimate aim is the comfort of his followers and supporters. And his greater concern is support of Palestine even if that will lead to the eradication of the Shiʿah en masse. And his greater concern is support of Palestine even if that will lead to the eradication of the Shiʿah en masse, for what matters peace in Palestine and saving its inhabitants, the Palestinians: the ones from whose homes will spring forth the accursed Abi Sufyan (the Sufyani who will slaughter the Shiʿah of Iraq and the land of al-Sham with his appearance). This “leader” cares neither for the affairs of the Shiʿah, nor their living standards, nor their coexistence with the rest of society’s segments!

These party loyalists are not upright in leadership and it is categorically impermissible to vote for them, because they are an opportunists motivated by their partisan instincts. Their military campaigns, conducted in Shiʿi communities, failed. They know nothing but the whizzing of bullets, the sounds of canons and machine guns, to frighten the people into subjugation and domination with the force of fire and metal. The Shiʿah must choose wisely lest they have a terrifying appointment on the day they meet Allah Almighty on a day when no leaders or commanders will avail them.

The fifth characteristic: The candidate must be a specialist in the social and political sciences. Most if not all of those who advance to become a representative or minister are ignorant of political affairs, and are not experts in social and political sciences. Contrariwise, most of them do not know the simplest fundamentals of peace and justice. The one who is ignorant of political affairs and the foundations of societies cannot manage a country or defend the achievements of the people. What we observe today in the lands of Shiʿism from one who seeks political office is total ignorance about the issues of politics and society. It is totally clear that most of them never studied the rein of Malik al-Ashtar, who was appointed by our master, the great Imam Amir al-Mu’minin, peace be upon him, as the leader who was accountable to the people and various representative groups. And it was Amir al-Mu’minin, peace be upon him, who appointed only it Malik alone, among the leaders of the Shiʿah and heads of their polities! But these days, who is held accountable by whom? And who is punished by whom? The “Islamic” ruler today holds the people to account, while no one from the people dares to hold him accountable. He punishes the one who disagrees with him, and nobody punishes him?! Has not a great misfortune engulfed us as a result of the negligence of the reputable in holding to account those people who manipulate their fates?!

Today, politicians are ignorant of even the simplest affairs of policy and laws of justice. All of them are uneducated in academic fields of study. Rather the religious layperson is the actor in today’s social and political situations, though they are unskilled in political speech lack expertise in governmental, managerial, and economic studies. Instead they wanted the opportunist factions to give the people leadership, even if the leader has thousands of flaws and faults. So the leader may be a baker, a grocer, or a wage earner, selected by the authorities of the party to which he belongs, and his eagerness for leadership is greater than his enthusiasm for the affairs of justice and the trampled rights of the mass public. Or rather, his party requires him to be motivated by leadership, piety, and Palestine. As for being motivated for al-Baqiʿ [cemetery], the holy shrines, and the emblems of Shiʿism, these have become things of the old world, the Middle Ages, or of religious or sectarian intolerance! And stranger and more amazing in this time is that the turban-wearers seek authority and governance, despite being ignorant of religious affairs, economics, and other areas of expertise. And even if a few among them possessed expertise, then they would be unable to seek governance, because his job is guidance, preaching, teaching, and commanding good and forbidding evil — not seeking the seat which none can escape except the pure and sincere. And where are they, today, in the worlds of politics, fraud, deception, and oppression? We do not see any one of them today capable of rescuing [us from] the scourges of deception, oppression, and servitude. Their oppression prevailed over every inch of the land of Shiʿism, and their governance failed, and that is what has been narrated about it from the narrations of Allah’s chosen family, peace be upon them. So in a correct narration from Hisham b. Salim in al-Nuʿmani’s book on the Occultation, by his chain of narrators, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Saʿid, who said: ʿAli b. al-Hasan narrated to us, saying: Muhammad b. ʿAbdillah narrated to us, from Muhammad b. Abi ʿUmayr, from Hisham b. Salim, from Abi ʿAbdillah, peace be upon him, that he said: “This affair will not be until there remains none from the people except they have ruled over the people, until none can say: ‘We would have ruled by justice.’ Then al-Qa’im will rise with truth and justice.” Today it is seen that the leaders of the Shiʿi parties are from the sadat (descendants of the Prophet) and the Shiʿi sect suffers from their oppression, stubbornness, tyranny, and much, much more, such that the view of the Shiʿah became the same as the unconscious at the moment of death, as a result of these policies which brought calamities upon Shiʿism, and there is none to hold them accountable or oppose them but that he whispers fearfully of their swords. The religious governments wished to command every banner before the appearance of our great Imam al-Hujjat al-Qa’im, may our souls be his ransom, make their failings apparent to the believers because of their doing so without the proof of Allah Almighty, as narrated by al-Nuʿmani, by his chain of narrators, from Aban b. Taghlib, who said: “I heard Aba ʿAbdillah Jaʿfar b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, saying: When the banner of truth appears, the people from east to west will curse it. Do you know why? I said: No. He said: Because of what befell the people before his appearance at the hands of his household.” The calamities that befall this sect are brought on by the turban-heads who line up behind the black-turbaned marjaʿiyyahs. And if divine wisdom willed that we mention them by their names, then we would not delay until we expose their followers, who are drunk on loving them and exaggerating their status to the extent of reaching the belief that they are the masters of the affair of Allah — as opposed to disobeying Allah in what He commanded them, they suppose that they are working by His command. Another great tragedy today is how the leadership of the satellite stations of the turban-heads — run by the walayatis or other factions — who recite lamentations and the like on their pulpits of ignorance, claim knowledge and wisdom for themselves, and play upon the hearts and minds of the Shiʿah, mixing truth and falsehood so that it will be impossible to distinguish rectitude from error, or health from sickness, or ignorance from knowledge, or pretense from sincerity. It is a fitnah which renders the forbearing baffled. And there is no escape from it except by the rescue of Allah Almighty by prayer, and for the intercession of the Imam of the Age, peace be upon him, by taking the hand of the one who seeks his intercession, and leading him to the straight path. For he does not disappoint the one who clings to his pure foot and takes refuge in his shelter of protection, as he is the guide to reason and rectitude. The one who clings to them, and trusts in taking shelter with them, will not be disappointed. And we remind our Shiʿi brethren of what is narrated in Ziyarat al-Sardab, by his noble saying which teaches the Shiʿah the method of his recourse. Thus he said: “I am pleased with you, O my Master, as Imam, guide, guardian, and leader, I do not wish for other than you, and do not take other than you as a guardian.” Yes, he is the guardian, leader, and guide to the truths and guidance; so call to him, and you will find him present and interceding. And he is disappointed who doubts.

Among the most important characteristics of the politics of the past and present is that the elected one know to serve the people and their related affairs. He must know the affairs which are relevant to the people’s interests, and know which matters affect which others. He must possess knowledge of the intimacies, merits, and various groups of people, as well as orientations and currents, until no class or group oppresses at the expense the others. If the politician did not know all of these affairs correctly, then he would be incapable of acting on them, just as one who does not excel in knowledge about manufacturing, factories, and the machines therein, would be unable to make them work, or to repair what is damaged. It is the same as the one with no understanding of human anatomy. Consequently, he is incapable of knowing either the body’s ailments or cures. The same goes for politics and these related matters: if the politician did not know their details, he would be incapable of intervening in its workings to guide and advance it to the straight path. Instead, he would add fuel to the fire and misfortune to adversity.

For most of the believers, experience has proven that the political parties — whether they are Walayati or Daʿwati, etc. — serve nothing but their own interests. It is of paramount importance that the government and state are servants of the people under their shining banner of liberating the earth from imperialism, and devotion to serving the rule of law, even if they were [from among the supremely ignorant]. But instead, even if they surpass Firʿawn, Nimrud, and the people of ʿAd and Thamud, in their oppression, then that is only proof that they are the government of Allah Almighty, and that whoever opposes them opposes Allah Almighty! [In reality,] the wars, killing, and political strife that have reached Iraq and Lebanon today — all dressed in the garb of religion — are only a result of the ascendancy of ignorance in political affairs and leadership of the people, as well as ignorance of the principles of law, morality, and society. Yet the Shiʿah will not rest until those people are ousted and taught a lesson for their wickedness. And the Shiʿah will not be saved from calamity and weakness, and their fires will not be extinguished, except by returning to the leadership of the great al-Hujjat al-Qa’im, may our souls be his ransom, and taking from his knowledge and verdicts. Thus we must act by his sunnah of spreading justice and destroying injustice, and of siding with the oppressed against the oppressor. The Shiʿah must take a lesson from their injuries return to Allah Almighty with humility, delegation, humbleness, mercy, and poverty, otherwise they are destined for difficulty. Additionally, they must improve their choices for the one they want to speak in their names! And it is reliably reported from Amir al-Mu’minin, peace be upon him, when he discovered this bitter reality. In al-Nuʿmani’s Occultation by his chain of narrators from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Saʿid, from ʿAli b. al-Hasan al-Taymali, from his letter in Rajab of the year 277, that he said: narrated to us from Muhammad b. ʿUmar b. Yazid and Muhammad b. al-Walid b. Khalid al-Khazzaz, from Hamad b. ʿUthman, from ʿAbd Allah b. Sinan, from Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Abi ‘l-Bilad, from his father, from his grandfather, from al-Asbugh b. Nabatah, whosaid: “I heard ʿAli, peace be upon him, say: Before al-Qa’im will be years of deceit. The liar will be considered truthful, the truthful will be considered a liar, and the cheater will be al-mahal.” (And in one variation he said he said: al-ruwaybidah [instead of al-mahal].) “So I said: and what is al-ruwaybidah, and what is al-mahal? He said: Do you not read the Quran? His saying, {He is stern in prowess (mahal)}? It means cunning. I said: And al-mahal? He said: it means the one who is cunning.” And the author of al-Bihar, may Allah have mercy upon him, says in his explanation, “al-Jizri said: ‘Mention was made about the event indicating the Hour, and what the petty one (al-ruwaybidah) says about the people’s affair: And what is al-ruwaybidah, O Messenger of Allah? So he said: The stupid man who talks about the people’s affair. Al-ruwaybidah is the resting of the one who rests (al-rabidah), and he is helpless who rests regarding the Master of the Affairs, and refrains from seeking him.’ And the addition of ‘t’ (in ‘al-tafah’) is for emphasis: ‘the silly’ (al-tafah) is the contemptible and vile.

And we seek refuge with Allah Almighty from their evils, by Muhammad and his righteous family, peace be upon them all. And Allah Almighty is the Conciliator of the righteous, and he suffices us, the best source of reliance. It is He who will know those who oppress, and which overturning will overturn them, and the outcome for the pious. And peace be upon whosoever follows guidance.

He unleashed {their dog stretching its forelegs at the threshold} (18:18),

Muhammad Jamil Hammud al-ʿAmali
Jabal al-ʿAmal, Lebanon
25th of the Blessed Month of Ramadan, 1435 [2014]

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