'Ummah facing troubles due to detachment from Islam'

ISLAMABAD - Most of the troubles faced by Muslim Ummah were because of their detachment from Islamic teachings, said Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Head of the Guardian Council of Islamic Republic of Iran. Jannati, who is leading a high-level delegation of the Guardian Council, was delivering a lecture on 'Muslim World and Contemporary Challenges', organised by Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) here on Monday. He said that the difficulties faced by the Muslim Ummah, if described in a single sentence, were because of their ignorance of the true spirit of Islam and the distance they had developed with the teaching of the true religion. He further said that the spiritual strength of Islam had enabled the forgotten tribes of the Arabian deserts to beat greatest powers of their times in a very short time. However, Jannati continued, after establishing strong empires in the heart of the world, Muslims forgot the true spirit of Islam and considered the government and authority as their foremost priority. It was as if they had thrown away their weapons against their enemies, who made full use of their ignorance towards Islam and defeated them at every front of life. He said worst kind of evils prevailed in Muslim society during the Banu-Omayya and Banu-Abbas rule, which once were existing in the non-Muslim societies like moral and financial corruption, obscenity, cruelty and the like. Now too, he went on, Muslim Ummah had closed eyes over the troubles of their fellow Muslims in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq and the non-Muslims were taking the ultimate benefit of the situation. He said Iran was a best example, against the powerful propaganda of the opponents, of the applicability of Islamic laws even after 1,400 years of its revelation. Today Iran was making progress in every field of life, including democracy, science, economy and military strength, which was a most practical example for the Muslim world to follow, he said. He said Iran was been subjected to war for eight years, which devoured up their economy, shed the blood of millions of Iranian youth and hammered the very stability of the country. However, he continued, his country survived because she had the spiritual power of Islam.   In response to a certain question, Jannati said that sustainable peace in the region was in best interest of all of the human beings living in the region and added that he had discussed the issue in his meeting with the President of Pakistan. He narrated a verse from the Holy Quran, according to which, safety of the life, property and honour of a Muslim was obligatory over all the Muslims. Responding to another question, the Head of the Iranian Guardian Council said that Iran was helping the Muslims all over the world including Bosnia, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq and intended to continue the same forever. He said his country was also extending help to Pakistan for strengthening economy of a brother Muslim country. When asked about status of the rights of women and minorities in his country, he said that minorities in Iran enjoyed more rights than the Muslims in certain cases. He said 4,000 Jews living in Tehran, capital city of Iran, were given the right to choose a representative for the legislative council who enjoyed equal powers with the Muslim legislators. On the other hand, he continued, a Muslim member is to secure 800000 votes for the same seat. Similarly, Jannati went on, women in Iran were granted full rights to seek knowledge, do a job and even represent in the legislative council of Iran. He said it is being observed for the past so many years that women had a greater enrolment than the men in almost all universities of his country. Moreover, he added, a number of women had been working as legislators, which was a sign of the fact that Iran was providing all sort of opportunities to the women. Dr Khalid Masood, Chairman CII, in his opening remarks, welcomed the high level Iranian delegation and said it was a historic moment not only for his organisation but also for the whole country. He said visit of the Iranian delegation was part of the Council's efforts to improve level of co-ordination among the ulema and intellectuals of the Ummah and to obtain a higher level of harmony for obtaining peace among various sects of Islam.

Khalid Aziz

The writer is a member of staff and can be reached at khalidaziz100@gmail.com

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