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Lessons to be Heeded on World AIDS Day

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Lessons to be Heeded on

 World AIDS Day(1)

 

 

The international community dedicated this day, the first of December, as an international day for AIDS. Dedicating a day to humanity’s common causes, such as women’s day, mother’s day, environment day, Labor Day, Jerusalem day, repentance day and so forth is without a doubt a positive phenomenon in the lives of nations. Such issues require at the very least this one day which would allow scholars, thinkers, specialists, and figures of authority to stop and think about those issues and look into them, seeking out issues and problems, analyzing their causes, and hopefully figuring out ways to solve them and the mechanisms required to do so, and finally conducting analysis, statistics, and studies concerning all of those stages.

AIDS and some Frightening Statistics:

AIDS is one of the most serious challenges faced by humanity, it caused a great many people misery and death. As of 2004, thirty million people suffer from that disease, 8-10 thousand souls perish each day because of it. This is more than three million lives per year. It is now considered one of the foremost causes of death in the world today, exceeding in that respect war, famine, car and airplane accidents. Developed nations –and much more so the under-developed nations- all stand helpless before this disease, admitting their failure to limit its influence, much less destroy it.

Lessons to be heeded from AIDS:

On this day we want to stop and think about several lessons we may again from humanity’s affliction with this fatal disease:

No Stronger than a Spider’s Web:

1- No matter how developed is the west in its sciences and technologies and medical research (A development which was shrouded by an almost sacred halo attempting to legitimize the west’s demand from the rest of the world to blindly follow its lead), it still stands helpless before a virus so minute than it needs microscopes to be seen. All this advancement did not give the west enough power to destroy, or even limit the spread, of this virus. A minute virus stood as a giant destroying the western hubris, as Allah (Exalted is He) says: “The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider's house;- if they but knew” [Surah of the Spider: 41], and His saying: “O men! Here is a parable set forth! Listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! and if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition!” [Surah of the Pilgrimage; 73], so believers must not be conceited by them, turn them into higher examples, or permit themselves to be dissolved and assimilated into their false civilization.

Allah’s ways with the Prideful:

2- The Divine ways must manifest themselves in those people who believed whose pride drove them to disdain the straight Divine path and disobey Allah’s blessed law. So they must go through what the previous nations had to go through. This can be summarized in the two following stages:

The first, is being treated with adversity and hardships, so that they would perhaps feel their weakness and turn to Allah (Exalted is He). The west doubtlessly went through many such adversities which reached its zenith in World War II when 41 million people perished from the Allied countries only without counting the Axis countries.

If this first stage does not work and drive them to repentance and seeking forgiveness, then the second stage arrives: the stage of allurement through the bestowal of bliss and immersion in pleasure and luxury which all cause heedlessness and harden the heart. Allah (Exalted is He) described that stage when He said: “until they grew and multiplied”, meaning that their situation improved and became prosperous, which is the situation lived by the west over the past few decades. This led them to invent new pleasures and entertainments, inventing games and competitions and riotous celebrations. Whenever they feel bored with one state they invent another. Their pockets are filled with money, their bellies are filled with the goods of the earth. We find today such phenomena as burning fruits and dumping meat in the sea so that the merchants of those goods would preserve its market price, while millions of people starve to death in other countries.

Then finally, the stage of destruction and annihilation arrives. AIDS is only one harbinger of this stage. One crisis arrives after the other([2]) and threaten the very foundations of their civilization.

There are abundant references to those stages in the Holy Quran, one is Allah’s saying: “Whenever We sent a prophet to a town, We took up its people in suffering and adversity, in order that they might learn humility. Then We changed their suffering into prosperity, until they grew and multiplied, and began to say: "Our fathers (too) were touched by suffering and affluence" ... Behold! We called them to account of a sudden, while they realized not (their peril)” [Surah of the Heights 94-95]. Allah’s saying: “We took” refers to the first stage, then His saying: “Then We changed” refers to the second. Then to the third stage unless they mend their situation and return unto Allah (Exalted is He).

The Illusion of Human Rights often repeated by merchants of war:

3- The west often boasts about the protection of human rights and spreading humanitarian organizations in the world. On the other hand, it turns its back to providing the proper support for facing this disease and launching a worldwide campaign to eradicate it. The UN secretary general himself admitted that the United States and other western countries did not honor their commitments to finance this truly humanitarian project to alleviate the pain of the afflicted, although it did spend many times over that amount in their so-called war against terror and such imagined wars. It is worth pointing out here that the total number of casualties of the so-called terrorism is less than one tenth the number of the AIDS casualties. If this indicates anything, it indicates that western countries have little care for truly humanitarian affairs, solving the problems of humanity, and easing its pain. What drives them is material gain and loss, and as solving the issue of AIDS does not lead to any gains, then might as well ignore it.

The Role of Religion in the Preservation of the Believing Society:

4- Countries most afflicted with this disease are the ones in central and south Africa, followed by Latin America, then the United States and Europe. The people least afflicted by this disease are the Muslim populations, until the recent future their countries were virtually free from this disease until a minority went after their lusts and imitated westerners in their lifestyles. The recent news about the death of 588 individuals in the Saudi Arabia by that disease (news broadcasts, November 30th 2004) are an indication of those minorities. However, this does show the important role played by religion in preserving the societies which adhere to it as it conserves individuals with its inherited traditions from sexual deviation and all the dangers associated with it. It also highlights the influence of spiritual values in providing humanity with a happy and content lives which starkly contrasts the conceptions of those who are far from Allah (Exalted is He) who imagine that happiness can only happen through fulfilling lusts.

Why are they Adverse to Islam?

People of power and authority and control over western interests and corporations are adverse to Islam and Muslims because they know the truthfulness of what we said, and realize the strength Muslims have in their adherence to religion. For this reason they will never cease to plot against them and seek to spread sedition, corruption, and doubts about the faith between them, for Allah (Exalted is He) says: “Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah” [Surah of the Cow: 120]. They will stop at nothing to reach their diabolical goals. One of those instances was during the previous perished regime, when a European country sent a shipment of medicine which is given through injection to pregnant women when her blood type is different from her spouse’s, and it turned out that the shipment was contaminated with the AIDS virus.

Such news should sound the alarm for the Muslims, and point out to them the extent of the haughty west’s aggression against them. The west will never stop from weaving plots against them in its plan to completely destroy them and strip them of their faith and morality through means of destruction, corruption, and libertinism which would make enslaving them and taking away their wealth easy.

 

Good Tidings of return to religion carried in human incapability:

5- The west’s helplessness in facing this disease can be related to the blessed appearance of the Awaited Mahdi (Peace upon him) as the Traditions point out that Jesus (Pease upon him) will appear to support the Imam (Peace upon him). As Jesus’ main miracle as healing the sick from incurable diseases and giving life to the dead then when his miracle is manifest in healing those who are afflicted by it if not bringing back its dead to life will be a great cause to believe in him and his blessed message.

This is only a proposition for discussion; otherwise the mercy carried by the Imam (Peace upon him) to all of humanity, his followers and others, does not permit humanity to live in agony. He would surely interfere to save it, but what can he do if humans themselves choose affliction as Allah (Exalted is He) says: “Wouldst thou, then, deliver one (who is) in the Fire?” [Surah of the Throngs: 19].

Islamic Legislations to Preserve Humanity from Its Lusts:

6- This shows the truthfulness of the Traditions narrated from Al Al-Bayt (Peace upon them), revealing how they deserve the Imamate and speech for Allah’s Message. On this occasion, let us analyze Imam Al-Sadiq’s Tradition narrated by Sheikh As-Saduq in Al-Khissal (Characteristics), and in Thawab Al-A’mal (Rewards of Actions) and Al-Mahasin (Good qualities) by Al-Barqi concerning the effects entailed by committing adultery, and we have to bear in mind here that the main cause of AIDS is unlawful sexual behavior. Imam As-Sadiq (Peace upon him) said: “The adulterer has six characteristics, three in this world and three in the Hereafter. The ones in this world are the following: It takes away the light of one’s face, it leads to poverty, and it hastens one’s death. As for the ones in the Hereafter, they are: It causes the Lord’s wrath, it brings about bad reckoning, and it causes one to eternally stay in Hellfire” ([3]). When we apply those qualities to the symptoms and effects of AIDS; it would accurately correspond to them.

On the meaning of adultery taking away the light from one’s face:

Taking away the light from one’s face happens in several ways:

a) The one who is afflicted with AIDS usually has a pale face due to the weakness of his immune system. He becomes vulnerable to all diseases which makes his body sickly and weak.

b) One of the requirements of protection from AIDS is keeping the one afflicted by it socially isolated, this would make him depressed, pale, humiliated and tormented. It is part of human nature to feel intimacy with other human beings, this is why solitary confinement is one of the means of punishment and torment.

c) The expensive costs of medicines would exhaust all the money owned by the person afflicted by it. Furthermore, it would prevent him from doing his usual work of business, humiliating him through having to ask for other people’s help, begging for their sympathy.

d- Those who are distant from obeying Allah (Exalted is He) live a life of spiritual emptiness. As with the body, the spirit needs its own nourishment, and the lack of it would leave it in a state of psychological defeat expressed by Allah’s saying: “But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment” [Surah of Ta-Ha: 124].

e- The person afflicted by this disease remains in a constant state of fear and anxiety due to its danger and the fact that it mostly leads the one who has it to death. This would lead him to a constant state of obsession that would leave him in pale, fearful terror.

The Meaning of Adultery Leading to Poverty:

As for the fact that it leads to poverty, this is from several consideration:

a- This disease mostly strikes people between the ages of  15-45. Needless to say, this segment of society is the most productive, it builds the country and enriches society with its productivity. When the disease becomes widely spread in this segment, many would be incapable of production, they would be poor themselves, and they would hinder the activeness of the nation.

b- The cost of treatment is so expensive it would exhaust one’s financial means. It requires a daily continuation of this expensive treatment. If you multiply this by a great number of people afflicted with the disease over many years, then you would have a disconcertingly huge amount of money.

c- Parties with enough capital to invest would not want to do so in areas greatly afflicted with that disease, they would seek “safer” environments for their investments.

All of these social outcomes would also explain what is mentioned in some of the noble Islamic texts about how the skies withhold its rains and the earth withholds its blessings from disobedient nations, and would verify Allah’s saying: “Allah sets forth a Parable: a city enjoying security and quiet, abundantly supplied with sustenance from every place: Yet was it ungrateful for the favors of Allah. so Allah made it taste of hunger and terror (in extremes) (closing in on it) like a garment (from every side), because of the (evil) which (its people) wrought.”

The Meaning of Adultery Hastening Annihilation:

The hastening of annihilation is due to several considerations:

a- The inevitable fate of the one afflicted with that disease is death in a period which may be as little as a few months and as much as a few years.

b- As we said earlier, the segment most afflicted by that disease is the one which belongs to the ages 15-45. This includes the segment whose age is the natural age of reproduction, and their death means the deprivation of the nation not only of their own abilities, but of their potential offspring as well. This would eventually lead to their extinction as Allah (Exalted is He) says about the people of Lot: “They said: "Yea, we have come to thee to accomplish that of which they doubt.”We have brought to thee that which is inevitably due, and assuredly we tell the truth.   ."Then travel by night with thy household, when a portion of the night (yet remains), and do thou bring up the rear: let no one amongst you look back, but pass on whither ye are ordered."  And We made known this decree to him, that the last remnants of those (sinners) should be cut off by the morning” [Surah of Al-Hijr: 63-66]. This is not a case particular to a certain population, it includes all nations which turn their backs to the Divine Law: “Nor are they ever far from those who do wrong!” [Surah of Hud: 83].

c- AIDS is contagious, so it speeds death quickly.

d- The person afflicted with AIDS lives in a state of emotional resentment and envy to those around him, especially when he senses the nearness of his end. This may drive him to take vengeance from others, trying to cause them death and destruction as well.

 

 

Modern Interpretations Support the Greatness of the Islamic Religion:

Such a social and anthropological study of the texts of the infallible ones (Peace upon them) clarifies their greatness and the veracity of the claim of their selection from the Creator who arranges all the affairs of the universe. It helps those who do not belong to their school to return to them, and this is the argument which would benefit us in the cultural dialogue standing today. It also provides a precise vision and a philosophical solution to humanity’s problems, the effects of those problems, and the ways to solve them. This model of interpretation which we presented here is a call to intellectuals, writers, and scholars to enrich human thought with the knowledge derived from this clear spring.

The conclusion from all of the above is that: if humanity wishes to live in happiness, peace, and safety it has to return to Allah (Exalted is He) and commit itself to the obedience of His law: “If the people of the towns had but believed and feared Allah, We should indeed have opened out to them (All kinds of) blessings from heaven and earth; but they rejected (the truth), and We brought them to book for their misdeeds” [Surah of the Heights: 96]. Hence comes the admonition –nay! The warning- from Allah (Exalted is He) when He says: “Did the people of the towns feel secure against the coming of Our wrath by night while they were asleep?  Or else did they feel secure against its coming in broad daylight while they played about (care-free)?. Did they then feel secure against the plan of Allah.- but no one can feel secure from the Plan of Allah, except those (doomed) to ruin!” [Surah of the Heights; 97-99] in a lone series of Quranic Verses which begins from Verse 93 of the Surah of the Heights which is worthy of reflection and meditation in this contexts, as are all the Verses of the Holy Quran so that the one who reads it would wake up from his heedlessness, so do not miss this opportunity.

I beseech Allah (Exalted is He) to wake us from the slumber of heedlessness, and to guide us to the Straight Path, and to permit us to hold onto His strong lifeline, and Praise is to Allah the Lord of the worlds, and Allah’s prayers are upon Muhammad and the pure members of his household.



([1]) A speech improvised by Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqubi (May his shadow be preserved) for the envoys of Al-Fadillah party visiting him from the Misan province on December 1st, 2004. It was later rewritten and edited and he delivered again as a speech for the same occasion on Al-Na’im channel in 2011.

([2]) At the time of writing these lines in 2011, the last of those World Financial Crisis which caused the whole western world to shake. The populations of the western countries came out in protest , and on October 15th, one thousand cities around the globe protested in refusal for the existing world financial order .

([3]) Al-Khissal 1/331, Chapter on the six, Tradition 3, Al-Mahasin 1/192, Tradition 326.