In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
You are very welcome, dear brothers. This meeting is a memorable and historic meeting for me. What was said at this meeting, the poem that was recited and the eulogy that was performed are each a living sign of the greatness of Karbala and the greatness of Hussein ibn Ali (God’s greetings be upon him). I enjoyed it. I hope that in this trip, you dear brothers will have a good time in your own homes and among your own brothers. I have written down a few sentences to discuss with you:
The first point is a word of gratitude. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the great Iranian nation, I would like to thank you mokebdaran [caterers of pilgrims on the way to Karbala] who perfected the meaning of generosity, affection and kindness during the days of Arbaeen. Also, I would like to thank the great Iraqi nation and the Iraqi government officials who ensured the safety of pilgrims and who prepared the ground. In particular, I really deem it necessary to thank the esteemed ulama and the grand marja taqlids of Iraq who prepared the ground for pilgrimage and for brotherhood between masses of the people and between our two nations.
What they narrate to us about the behavior of you dear Iraqi brothers at the mawakeb [places set up to cater Husseini pilgrims] on the way to Karbala and your generous behavior towards Husseini pilgrims are things which are unprecedented. Such things are unprecedented in today’s world. The Arbaeen rally is unprecedented in history: such is your generous behavior, in the true sense of the word! You have shown Islamic and Arabian generosity through your conduct and your actions and all originate from the love of the Master of Martyrs (God’s greetings be upon him), from the love of Hussein ibn Ali.
You do these things because you greatly love Imam Hussein (as). You wash the feet of Husseini pilgrims, you help their bodies when exposed to extreme fatigue. You massage them, feed them and give them places to sleep because they are the pilgrims of Hussein. This love for Hussein ibn Ali is an extraordinary matter. We do not know of similar events anywhere in the world and at any time in the world. I hope that Allah the Exalted will make you and I, have more of this love in our hearts.
Of course, the opportunity that you have in this regard is a blessing that God has bestowed on you. The blessing that you have at your disposal to cater the guests of Imam Hussein (greetings be upon him) is a very valuable phenomenon. This is a divine blessing. This is a divine mercy which should be appreciated and I know that you already appreciate it.
The second point is about the essence of this Arbaeen rally which is truly an unprecedented event, not only in our own times, but also in history. We do not know of any similar gathering in history which is organized more warmly every year. It is unprecedented. This Hussein movement is influential in raising awareness about Imam Hussein (greetings be upon him). With the rally that primarily takes place between Najaf and Karbala every year, Arbaeen has become global. The people all over the world are glued to this movement. Imam Hussein (greetings be upon him) and Husseini knowledge have become global thanks to this great popular movement.
Today, we need to get the world to know Hussein ibn Ali. The world – which is suffering from oppression, corruption, malevolence and vice – needs to know the Husseini liberation spirit and sentiment. Today, the hearts of people throughout the world and the hearts of youth and innocent nations beat for such a truth. If Imam Hussein (greetings be upon him) is introduced to the world, it is actually Islam and the Quran which have been introduced.
Today, they propagandize against Islam and Islamic teachings with hundreds of means. Against this hostile move made by the camp of kufr and arrogance, it is the movement of Husseini understanding which can single-handedly resist, stand firm and introduce the truth of Islam and of the Quran to the world.
The logic of Hussein ibn Ali (greetings be upon him) is the logic of defending the truth and resistance against oppression, transgression, deviation and arrogance. This is the logic of Imam Hussein. Today, the world needs this logic. Today, the world is witness to the rule of kufr, arrogance and corruption. The world is witness to the rule of oppression. The message of Imam Hussein is the salvation of the world. The great movement of Arbaeen conveys this message to the whole world and by Allah’s favor and grace, this movement should be strengthened on a daily basis.
Arbaeen has become global and it will be more so in the future. This is the blood of Hussein ibn Ali which is boiling after the passage of 1,400 years! This blood will become fresher and livelier on a daily basis. This is the message of Ashura which was issued from the throat of Abi Abdullah [Imam Hussein] and of Zaynab al-Kubra (God’s greetings be upon her) at the height of their loneliness! Today, this message has imbued the whole world. Hussein (praise be upon him) belongs to humanity. We Shias are proud of being the followers of Imam Hussein, but Imam Hussein does not only belong to us. Islamic denominations, Shia and Sunni, are all standing under the flag of Imam Hussein. Even those who do not follow Islam participate in this rally and this will continue, God willing.
This is a great sign which is being shown by Allah the Exalted. At a time when the enemies of Islam and the enemies of the Islamic Ummah are working against the Islamic Ummah with all sorts of weapons – with money, politics and guns – all of a sudden, Allah the Exalted gives such greatness and significance to the Arbaeen rally! This is a great sign of God. This is a sign of divine will to help the Islamic Ummah. This shows that the Will of Allah the Exalted, has opted to help the Islamic Ummah.
The third point that I would like to discuss with you dear brothers is that you and we should try to make this ceremony as fruitful and spiritual as we can. We should increase the meaning and content of this ceremony on a daily basis. Intellectuals and cultural personalities and activists should sit and plan about this great movement. Today, the goal of every Muslim should be to establish the new Islamic civilization. Today, this is what we want. Islamic nations have great capacities. Should these capacities be utilized, the Islamic Ummah will reach the peak of dignity- we should think and dream of this. The establishment of the great Islamic civilization is our ultimate goal.
Today, Islamic nations have thankfully awakened. The Iraqi nation is a great, dignified, cultured and determined nation. In the recent events, Iraqi youth have shown that they have the power to protect their nation and their country against global plots. This is very valuable. The youth of Iraq managed to destroy the domestic plot which could have led to a civil war in Iraq. The plot hatched by Daesh and takfiri group was no small plot. They spent massive amounts of money. They formulated plans to turn Iraq – one of the main Arab and Islamic country – into a battlefield and to pit Shias against Sunnis.
With the fatwa issued by the grand marja taqlids of Iraq, Iraqi youth managed to show resistance and to foil this plot. This was not a minor achievement and feat! The great Iraqi nation can help its country reach the peak of dignity. These capacities should be put into practice. If the capacities of Islamic countries – the capacities of Iran, Iraq and other countries in West Asia and North Africa – are gathered together and if they join hands and are tied together, then the Islamic Ummah will show what divine dignity means! It will show the great Islamic civilization to global societies. Our goal should be this and this Arbaeen rally can prove to be an influential means to that end.
People from tens of countries participate in Arbaeen rally and they become the guests of the people of Iraq. We should try to strengthen the already firm bonds between Muslim brothers: the bond between Iraqis and non-Iraqis, the bond between Shia and Sunni and the bond between Arabs, Fars, Turks and Kurds. These bonds are a source of bliss. They are a sign of divine mercy. The enemy is trying to create discord, but he has failed and by Allah’s favor and grace, he will continue to fail.
We – Iran and Iraq – are two nations which are interconnected. Our bodies, our hearts and our souls are connected together. What has created this connection is faith in Allah and love for Ahlul Bayt (greetings be upon them) and for Hussein ibn Ali (praise be upon him). And by Allah’s favor, this will increase on a daily basis. The enemies will hatch plots, but it will be of no avail. From the beginning of the Islamic Revolution until today, it has been 40 years that the US, its cohorts, its agents and its mercenaries have been scheming and doing various activities. They spend money, issue threats and impose sanctions.
However, despite their foolish desires, in the past 40 years, the Islamic Republic has changed from a thin sapling to a strong tree: “Whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach to the heavens.” [The Holy Quran, 24: 14] [Audience chant death to America and death to Israel]. I hope that by Allah’s favor, the slogan that you are chanting against the US and the Zionist regime and against the enemies and the arrogant will be realized in a not-too-distant future. And by Allah’s favor, you will succeed in doing that.
Once more, I would like to express my gratitude and I will tell you that the Iranian nation is grateful to you dear Iraqi brothers with all its heart – in particular, the people of Iran are grateful to you owners of Arbaeeni mawakeb. We are grateful to you from the bottom of our hearts.
I would like to end with this couplet by Mutanabi: “When you treat an honorable person with respect, you will win his heart.”
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings