Highlights of Leader's message to western youth (4)

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Highlights of Leader's message to western youth (4)

Welcome to the 4th episode of this series. As a reminder, we talked about the letter of the leader of Islamic Revolution for the youth in the west especially in Europe and the United States. Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had invited the western youth to think and reason freely on Islam. This episode will focus on this aspect of the leader's letter.

After mounting of Islamophobia in the west and unprecedented desecration against the messenger of mercy, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), the leader of the Islamic revolution wrote a letter for the youth in Europe and America inviting them to think on Islam free of insinuations and propaganda heaped up on their minds through media horns. Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the sense of truth-seeking in the youth and called on them to study the genuine texts of Islam like the holy Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet and not suffice to what is said by the media about Islam and Muslims.

In part of his letter, the leader said, "In reaction to the flood of prejudgments and negative propaganda, try to attain a direct and first-hand cognition of this religion. The common logic requires that you at least know the nature of what you are being feared of and threatened against. I don't insist you to accept my perception or any other take of Islam but I tell you don't let this dynamic and effective reality of the modern day be introduced to you with tainted biases and objectives. Although this preplanned challenge between Islam and you the youth is bitter; it can create new questions in your curious and enquiring mind. Trying to find answer for these questions is an apt opportunity to expose new facts in front of you."

It is obvious that the leader of the Islamic revolution has addressed the truth-seeking nature of human beings and asked the youth to make effort and avoid prejudgment.

The great thinker Martyr Ayatollah Motahhari says, "God has created man truth-seeking. It means that human being wants to know the things as they are. This requires him to look at the things impartially. Once human being has taken something for granted and then he wants to find reality as he wants it to be. This is the source of misguidance. In surah or chapter Najm of Qur'an it is said that one of the reasons of misguidance of individuals are the carnal desires. If human being preserves his impartiality toward facts God will guide him. God has indeed guaranteed to lead the unbiased people as He says in ayah or verse 69 of surah Ankabut: "As for those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways, and Allah is indeed with the virtuous."

What the western youth has in his mind are the bitter bigotries of his predecessors and the struggles of the men of church against wisdom and reason. What he knows of Christianity is the twisted narration of the warped mind of religious leaders who have always deemed as blasphemous and disbelief to think and reflect upon different phenomena and sentences to death those who dare enquire about the reasons of many dogmas. It might be peculiar for a western youth to hear a religious leader inviting him not toward religiosity and professing a certain religion but merely to think and reason freely.

True Muslims and those who are familiar with the pure Mohammedan Islam know it well that the essence of Islam is based on thinking and reasoning. Many ayahs of Qur'an have urged reflection and reasoning. This divine Book has severely rebuked those who do not apply their reason or those who apply it but once they gain truth do not surrender to it.

There are over 300 ayahs in the holy Qur'an invite people to thinking and reasoning. God has not ordered his servants, even in a single ayah, to believe in Him, Qur'an and so on blindly and without understanding. He has even presented wisdom and reason for what he has prescribed and decreed. He says, "Indeed the prayer prevents indecencies and wrongs, and the remembrance of Allah is surely greater."

Elsewhere we read in Qur'an, "Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed the hearing, the eyesight and the heart – all of these are accountable."

No religion has so much insisted on studying, seeing, hearing, and exploring on the earth. That's why thinking is considered as worship and among the greatest worships. The Prophet of Islam said, "Thinking for one hour is superior to worshipping for 70 years."

Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) also says, "Thinking will lead man to righteousness and righteous acts and it is a mirror which reflects the good and evil of his deeds; so awaken your heart through thinking."

But wisdom and the intellect is not immune from mistakes and flaws. Relying on speculation instead of certitude, following inclinations and carnal desires, bashfulness, pursuit of traditions and customs, blind imitation of the majority can lead the intellect to astray. Ayatollah Khamenei has written his letter while observing these elements. He has urged the western youth to think properly as why their politicians frighten them against knowing Islam?

The leader's message to the youth in Europe and the United States has been translated in different languages and has been circulated by the seekers and lovers of truth. Muslim youth have used social network and cyber space to take this to the target audience via artistic ways and even face to face method on streets and university campuses. Caleb Maupin is a young film-maker and activist from Ohio State. He has been active since the onset of Occupy Wall Street Movement and a member of the anti-Imperialism parties in the US. Upon receiving the leader's letter on Twitter page, he said, "The letter of Iran's leader to the western youth showed his trust in these youth. Why don't the teachers and professors in the US speak to their students of the respect deemed in Islam for Prophet Jesus? The media, too, don't make any reference to this reality. I'm sure that there are a lot of things about Islam which will astonish me but I'm not aware of them. Now I am intended to go on learning Islam myself to attain the realities of this religion."

This American analyst and journalist continues, "I am also upset at the fact that our leaders are intent to foment hatred of Muslims. I don't trust in the leaders of my country who have historical record of deceit and crime and have caused the pains of many people throughout the world. I'm intent to do exactly what you have proposed to research on Islam myself. I'm sure that millions of youth in the United States will confirm my word that we want peace and mutual understanding. Islam and the Iranian people are not our enemy."

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