NIGERIA/ ABUJA - In the name of Allah Who states “… verily, never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves with their own souls” Q13:11 May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His chosen servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny
Let me start with congratulations to Muslim world on the completion of Ramadan fast and Sallah celebrations respectively. I pray to Allah, the Most High to accept our ibadat and give us the capacity to practice the everlasting lessons of the great month.
The piece for this week is on the 30th commemoration of Imam Khomeini's demise, 3rd June, 1989. There is no doubt, he was a great man of Allah who demonstrated his love and obedience to Him. He exceptionally succeeded in the struggle against the enemies of Islam and their local and international stooges at the era of advancement in science and technology. But for his Islamic revolution, no one could tell the destiny of Islam and Muslims not only in the Middle-east but world at large. In remembrance like this, it is not easy to decide on which of the various aspects of his successful life to talk.
Imam Ruhollah, al-Moosawi al-Khomeini was the leader of Islamic revolution and founder of the Islamic republic. He was born on 20th Jimada-thani, 1420 H, equivalent to 20th September, 1902 to a renowned family of scholarship and sacrifice, from Khomein, the central province of Iran. Ayatollah Sayyid Mustapha was his father and Banoo Hajar, the daughter of Ayatollah Khonsari, a famous family of letters was his mother. The Imam married Sayyidah Khadija Khanom, from a renowned family and was blessed with several children. Grand Ayatollah Hajj. Abdul Kareem Haeri Yazdi was his famous teacher in religious disciplines. In addition to that, he had an in-depth studies in Western philosophy.
To know the extent of his works, one must study Iran before and after the success of Islamic revolution. In other words, when it was subservient to Israel, America and Western powers. The marvelous success of Islamic revolution is a pride to Iranian nation and indeed Muslim-Ummah, with the persistent conspiracies and rhetoric of the arrogant powers and their stooges. Its multidimensional achievements owe lots to sincere, faithful, audacious, and insightful leadership which tremendously benefit the Islamic republic and the Ummah at large. Some of its apparent achievements include:
1. The revolution, based on the mission of man as vicegerent of Allah on earth, established Islamic government on Islamic ideals and values apparently impacting Muslims and international community. Despite similarities with French, Russian, Chinese, Cuban and Nicaraguan, the Islamic revolution stands erect as faith-based. It is an undisputed fact that Europe’s RENAISSANCE after DARK AGES was achieved in the light of Islamic civilization.
2. Well established institutions with direct touch on the Ummah like the international Quds day, unity week, international Qur'anic exhibition and periodic educational conferences among others. Obviously, these are of significant relevance to the republic in particular and Muslim world at large.
3. Unrelenting multidimensional support to the world oppressed irrespective of race, religion and geography especially Muslims. This is evident in Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar among others. An apparent aspect is provision of educational scholarships to children of martyrs, and hitherto empowerment.
4. Active participation in all matters having to do with culture and education of Muslim world such as Musabaqat, multilateral trade and co-operation for the benefit of stakeholders in particular and humanity in general. The Imam had many scholarly works. He authored numerous books in different fields of enormous importance. The institute for the compilation and publication of his works -international affairs division-, translates his teachings in nearly 30 different languages.
5. Promoting the original message of Islam intelligently on the principle of unity and justice to Muslims and non-Muslims leading to tangible result. The impact of such move was very obvious on famous individuals such as Sheikh Mahmud Shaltut and Professor Dasuqi of Muslim Arab world affecting Umma in turn. It has equally influenced non-Muslims like late Mandela, Hugo Chavez and presently, Putin, Nicolas Maduro and many others. The Imam's historic delegation to former leader of the defunct USSR -Mikhail Gorbachev- is still in the light "the basic problem of your country is not the issue of ownership, economics or liberty. Your problem is lack of true faith in God; the same problem that has driven or will drive the West to worthlessness and dead end". This could also remind the world of his audacious response on the passage of bill allowing Israeli spies into the Iranian soil "the Muslim nation and Ulama of Islam are alive and lasting. They shall sever any hand that betrays the foundation of Islam and trespasses on the chastity and virtues of the Muslims". In the end, the Shah was defeated and the approval annulled.
6. Despite unabated sanctions of four decades, the Islamic republic had wonderful results in security, healthcare delivery, agriculture, economy, defense, education, science, technology, aviation, oil and solid minerals, communication, transport, diplomacy, space technology, social welfare and private sector among others. A very unique achievement is its prominent role in regional security.
7. Exporting the Islamic revolutionary ideas through the country's cultural offices and other possible avenues to help the Muslim world actualize Islamic ideals, self-reliance and socio-economic stability. This also affect international community.
To elaborate few points, some statistics are relevant. According to World Bank, Iran was 7th in 2016 in the area of patent as against 38th in 1970. With great strides in science and technology, it is considered the fastest growing in the field. The education sector has witnessed significant improvement raising from 16 universities before the revolution to 267 now. The student’s enrolment also rose from 154,315 to 4.5 million respectively. The literacy index has greatly rose to 93%. The country was ranked 5th in citable scientific articles' publication in the West Asian region in 1996.
On health care delivery, life expectancy has generally rose to 75 years as against 50 before the Islamic revolution, with child mortality rate from 185 in 1000 to 14.9 respectively. It has also rose from 5890 medical specialists before the revolution to 36000 with female as very significant part. The World Bank reports in 2009 ranked Iran, 21st in terms of quality and number of hospitals just as UNICEF recognized it as the second country world over in the control of contagious diseases. Other fields with tremendous achievements are agriculture, Nano-technology, aerospace and nuclear technology. However, an insignificant portion of Iranians does not appreciate the monumental development. And this is not unconnected with lack of pre-revolution experience and comparative knowledge of socio-economic indices of most countries. To bridge the gap, government has intensify efforts in public enlightenment campaign. Today's Iran on concept of Willayatul faqih -governance of the jurist- is a symbol of peace, security, social justice, moral values and scientific and technological advancement, as they no doubt, owe their roots to original teachings of Islam.
While praying for Allah's mercy to the late Imam (QS) - the founder of the Islamic republic, we implore His absolute guidance and protection to the indefatigable leader of Islamic revolution, Sayyid Khamne'i. At this juncture, I emphasize the urgent need for the unconditional release of the oppressed leader of Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky (H) and his disciples.