Nahjul Balagah and its Lessons for the Mankind
This is a very beautiful and artistic picture (in the form of an ordinary lecture from the pulpit) of the social conditions in the age of ignorance, in which the Commander of the Faithful portrays the adversities, deficiencies and disorders casting shadows over the people's life- the people who were mentally bewildered and perplexen and who did not know the aim and purpose of life.
We can easily and clearly understand the meaning of these words of his, because they provide us with an exact portrait of the situation of our own time, when the Iranian nation was severely oppressed and fell victim to the tyrannies brought upon it by the Pahlavi executioners and American mercenaries. In fact, what in this Sermon and other Sermons has been expressed about the background to the appearance of the Prophets (which the writer used to interpret consciously in connection with the situations of strangulation at the Pahlavi time conforms exactly to the conditions under which we lived during the Pahlavi rule).
In those days, especially in the last three years of the Pahlavi reign, the people were so mentally deceived and misled that they got on the buses and trucks in many cities, applauded, played the flute and shouted, ”Long live the Shah". Meanwhile, the awakened conscience of a group of people was severely wounded; yet, this was not the common conscience of our community, for even those who refrained from participating in such shows, whether they were government employees, clergymen of other classes of people, accepted the ways and procedures of the ruling regime by their indifferent and apathetic behavior towards the prevailing situation. The people were actually bewildered and dead. No one was aware of the aim behind his daily labor.
They worked day and night but they were ignorant of the aim, aspiration and the future for the achievement of which human beings endeavor. The similitude of them was the like similitude of the 'mill donkey' who constantly moves in a circular direction and never reaches an end. They were endowed with the best dwellings and lands, having all the God-given bounties and with the territory of human conscience, faculties and beauties which have been hidden but now have bloomed in our revolutionary boys and girls, fathers and mothers. In fact, such a blessed background existed in people but the 'neighbors were bad' in the words of the Commander of the Faithful, i.e. the rulers and holders of power were incompetent and dishonest.
On the whole, under such conditions which he recounts in the above-quoted statements, and we experienced in our own time, the Prophets were appointed to prophethood. We shall, God-willing, give more details about the background to prophethood, as pointed out in the Commander of the Faithful's words, which are very important so far as the philosophy of history is concerned, and which is misunderstood by some deviated individuals who draw wrong, material conclusions on the basis of their incorrect analysis in this regard.
Questions and Answers
Q. What is the difference between prophethood (nubuwwah) and appointment to prophethood (ba'tha)?
A. Appointment to prophethood is the sudden resurrection and awakening of an individual or a community of people who have plunged into the sleep of negligence, ignorance and bewilderment. Prophethood is the principal factor of the appointment, i.e. after the necessary competence and readiness is found in someone to connect with god and the Divine revelation then he is appointed as a prophet. Thus, the appointment is the consequence of prophethood.
Q. Is Ali's view a universal one, applicable to all communities such as the corrupt western ones? Are these communities subject to destruction without anyone saving them?
A. Yes, it is applicable to all communities at all times. But it should be added that at a time when the chain of prophethood ends in the Last Prophet and no one is appointed to prophethood any longer, it is the religious scholars as heirs of the Prophets who will lead the people and save human communities from destruction.
Q. Are, the signs which Hadrat Ali provides us for the appearance of the Prophets the same as the signs which we have received concerning the appearance of Hadrat Mahdi?
A. Concerning Hadrat Mahdi, mention should be made of the fact that before his reappearance the world will achieve a relative perfection. In fact, the universal government of Mahdi would be a perfectly just government. Half of this justice should be provided by you and the coming generations before his reappearance. Today, due to the establishment of the Islamic government of Iran, which conveys a remarkable percentage of the message of Islam in this strategic region of the world, we have approached nearer to the reappearance of Hadrat Mahdi.
Q. It is true that all these signs are existent in our Revolution and in the whole world. Is the reappearance of Hadrat Mahdi possible in this period?
A. Yes, it is possible. But another thing which is quite possible is the decline of the superpowers of the world and the appearance of new movements and resurrection which we have pointed out repeatedly. This is because the world has entered a new period with the advent of our Revolution, a period in which the deprived of the world and the weak nations will no more remain indifferent to the tyrannies of the great powers, will stand against them and will finally demolish them as a small animal can destroy a huge elephant by mounting its back and biting its ears.
The liars Lose Their Credit
Nahjul Balagah and its Lessons for the Mankind (part 1)