Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), expressed his hope that the important shifts that have taken place in what is called the Arab Spring will be a cause for the unity and solidarity of the Muslims distantly from sectarian polarizations which some forces try to spark and escalate in the hope for tearing our Islamic and Arab unity. In his speech in the Iraq Day Conference, which was held in Mecca, which was delivered on his behalf by Shaikh Hameed Mu`allah al-Saa`idi on October 10, 2012, His Eminence stressed that we emphasize the seriousness of the trend towards any escalation among the Muslims themselves. He pointed out that everyone must realize that participation in this escalation means more losses, in addition to being more distant from the Straight Path of Allah and the great call of Islam which stands on the basis of dialogue, the logic of reason, tolerance and respect for life.
The Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq stressed that “We have a common destiny. We are followers of the great religion of Allah, Islam, and we are followers of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammed, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his Progeny. These great commonalities ought to bring us together on love, humbleness and mercy among ourselves.”
He drew attention to “What truly causes us pain and robs us of sleep is that Muslim blood is being shed by those who claim to be defending Islam. What is regretful is that some Muslim `ulema (scholars) keep silent as the blood of Muslims is being shed, as if they are not concerned. When a nation’s scholars are unanimous about one matter, it ensures that the nation will go in its direction and achieve it.
Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim called on the nation’s scholars in all their sects and doctrines to adopt a global campaign to prevent violence and killing which is going on, targeting innocent Muslims and all people…
Here is the text of his speech:
In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
“And proclaim the pilgrimage among men; they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways” (Qur’an, 22:27).
Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, peace and blessings with the Seal of Prophets and Messengers, Muhammed, his good and pure Progeny and elite companions.
Assalamo Alaikom (peace with you), brothers and sisters, pilgrims of the Venerable House of Allah, the mercy of Allah and His blessings.
It has been customary that we meet in these days and in these sacred areas every year to renew the pledge and the covenant with Allah, Praise and Exaltation belong to Him, in our commitment to adhere to what He bids and forbids, to study our affairs and the circumstances through which we pass, up to reaching a common vision and stance that help us always cross to the other shore successfully.
O gracious pilgrims…! Among the meanings of pilgrimage and deep implications is to sacrifice in the cause of Allah. It is a sacrifice that grants us the elevation of the self, the rising above small matters.
As a pilgrim practices these sacred rituals in all their timings here in Mecca the Venerable or in Mina and the rest of stations, such as running, circling or pronouncing the talbiya, slaughtering, shaving, stoning, praying and supplicating…, all these revolve in the orbit of one axis: Allah, Praise and Exaltations belong to Him, fusing in Him in the hope of attaining His pleasure, the Great that He is.
This fusion, this self-abandonment, implies the uplifting and the elevating of the self. From here, an axiom says, “One who humbles himself to Allah, He raises his status,” that is, he humbles himself and admits his weakness before the greatness of the Creator and the need for His might and support, and there is a meaning in this which cannot be achieved in any other form of worship.
Brothers and Sisters: When we humble ourselves to Allah, Praise and Exaltation are His, we get rid, with assistance from Him, the most High, of many chains that enslave us in our daily life and prevent the launching of the soul in the space of the Divine domain. Also from here, we have to realize the great opportunity which Allah, the Praised and the most Exalted One, provides for us through the pilgrimage to return to Him, repenting, reverting, so He may raise us in the ranks of the righteous believers who do not set a sacred goal in their lives other than pleasing the Great Creator.
We Muslims nowadays, whether in Iraq or anywhere in our world, need this type of understanding for our relationship axis of which is Allah, Praised and Exalted is He. We are Muslims; we are brethren in the faith; we are servants of Allah; we have a common destiny; we are followers of the great religion of Allah: Islam; we are followers of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammed, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his Progeny. These are great commonalities that ought to gather us on love, humbleness and mercy among ourselves.
We nowadays are facing major transformations which we witness on the level of our Arab and Islamic world. They are transformations that concern us all, affect us all, and we have to stand before them and deal with them with a great deal of interest and seriousness so we may perform our role in a way that pleases Allah, the Praised and the Exalted One.
The important shifts that have taken place in the “Arab Spring” countries, as they have been called, are undoubtedly important ones. We hope these shifts will be a cause for the unity and solidarity of the Muslims distantly from the sectarian polarizations which some forces try to fuel and escalate in the hope of more tearing of our Islamic and Arab unity.
We emphasize the danger of any trend towards an escalation among the Muslims themselves. Everyone must realize that participation in this escalation means more losses, actually more distancing from the Straight Path of Allah and from the call of great Islam which stands on the basis of dialogue, the logic of reason, tolerance and respect for life.
What causes us pain and truly robs us of sleep is that the Muslim blood is being shed at the hands of those who claim to be defending Islam. It is regretful when some Muslim scholars remain silent as the blood of the Muslims is being shed, as if the matter does not concern them.
We, brothers and sisters, see through daily monitoring, through knowledge and realization of the function of scholars, that if the scholars of the nation are unanimous about one matter, it ensures pushing the nation towards achieving it.
From here, we call on the scholars of the nation in all its sects and doctrines to adopt a global campaign to prevent violence and killing which now goes on and targets innocent Muslims and all people…
We in Iraq have been tested with the most violent manifestations of mass killing of the innocent through the terrorist Takfir calls, the calls that have found their echo in sick souls, and they have been fed by forces that do not wish the Muslims and the Iraqis any good, so the victim of it have been the innocent lives without a sin or a crime they committed.
Did not the killing which we witnessed in Iraq during the past years mobilize the human conscience in addition to the conscience of every Muslim individual who knows the simplest principles of great Islam?!
We stood with all our force to resist this dangerous trend of taking the Muslims’ blood lightly. We restrained ourselves and were not driven by sentiments. We realized from the beginning that the goal behind all of this killing is to get the Iraqis to reach the status of boycotting each other, of even killing each other, but this, Praise is due to Allah, did not happen, and the Iraqis were able to transcend the ordeal due to the aware stances of Iraq’s scholars in the foremost of whom are the great religious authorities in al-Najaf al-Ashraf and Islam’s scholars, Shi’as and Sunnis.
We now have successfully transcended those dangerous potholes in the life of the Iraqis and set out in the march to work to build the New Iraq which is based on the foundation of tolerance, coexistence and true participation. We exerted diligent efforts to resist the injustice which afflicts any Iraqi individual no matter what his identity or inclination may be.
Before us now are big tasks, dear brothers and virtuous sisters, which we sum up as follows:
1. We all are responsible for disseminating the culture of tolerance and coexistence among all Iraqis, and that they all have equal rights in living in dignity in this great country, the landing place of prophets and great Divine messages. We have to return to the Islamic teachings which prohibit bloodshed and assaults on wealth and dignities, and to be fully alert about calls that are wrapped up with Islam and which hide the killing of the innocent people through any flimsy protest. Islam is the religion of dignity, tolerance, coexistence, life, love and dialogue: “Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel (evil) with what is better: Then will he whom you once hated become, as it were, your friend and intimate!” (Qur’an, 41:34); “Invite (all) to your Lord's way with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and debate with them in ways that are best and most gracious: For your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance” (Qur’an, 16:125).
2. We must fight corruption in all its types in state institutions and join hands in order to escalate public monitoring to fight it. The issue of administrative and financial corruption in state institutions is now one of the matters that rob the citizen of sleep, harming him all the time. It is time to stand strictly in the face of this corruption which victimizes the country’s wealth and the dignity of the Iraqi individual.
3. What goes on in neighboring countries concerns us without any doubt on a grand scale because it continues on an Islamic land and on Muslims, too we call from here for stopping the series of violence and of the killing that goes on everywhere. We also call on all forces, be they Muslim or non-Muslim, that take part in escalating violence from any group whatever to stop the fueling of the fire and to return to understanding the matters as they are, according to the logic of reason and the respect for life. The most serious danger we now face is that nations or some of them turn into tools to carry out goals of forces that are not concerned about anything other than hegemony and more reaping of profits and wealth at the expense of the blood of nations, their dignity and peaceful coexistence with each other. During three decades, we were victims of dictatorship in Iraq, and Allah has facilitated for us to be happy with redemption from that dictatorship. Now we look with sympathy and support for the demands of nations to be liberated from the yoke of dictatorship and the confiscation of liberties. We support the nations in their liberation movement and in gaining their legitimate rights to live in dignity and stability.
4. The stability in Iraq, the calm, the distancing from creating artificial crises in order to achieve success for political goals of this side or that will contribute to speeding up the building of a developed and advanced Iraq
From this onset, we direct our sure call to all political forces, civil society organizations, all effective and active forces to exert diligent efforts to achieve more calm and to solve the crises through the logic of dialogue which is based on respect for the rights of everyone.
Brothers and Sisters:
Solving the problems which we face nowadays, problems that are not big, is possible through positive dialogue when its goal is to reach a solution, but it is not possible when dialogue is for the sake of more complications and more problems.
From here, we call anew all concerned sides to sit at the table of dialogue and to put the problems within priorities in order to reach a swift solution for them and rid our people of the reflection of these negative problems on its economy, security and psychological stability.
We nowadays want to reach solutions that set the foundations for solid and strong principles for stability in Iraq and the region, solutions that safeguard everyone’s rights without confiscation or inequity.
Brothers and Sisters:
I plead to Allah, the most Praised, the Almighty, to accept your good deeds well, and I hope for you an accepted pilgrimage and an appreciated endeavor.
May Allah bless you all and safeguard you from any hated thing. May He help you perform your rituals and take you back home safely in order to cool the eyes of your families upon seeing you.
Peace with you, the mercy of Allah and His blessings.
Sayyid Amar al-Hakim,
Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq
Baghdad on Thul-Hijja 1, 1433 A.H./October 16, 2012 A.D.