On January 25, 2022 Imam Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met with the officials of Hazrat Hamza International Conference.
The full text of the Leader’s statements in this meeting is published on February 3, 2022.
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his pure household, and may God curse all their enemies
I thank you very much, honorable gentlemen, for thinking of this endeavor and taking this great step. Of course, this is just a preliminary step. This means that your action and this commemoration of Hamza (greetings be upon him) is groundwork for future endeavors. The main work must be done by art, and the performing arts, linguistic and visual arts must be used in order to achieve the purpose of honoring and commemorating a personality like Hamza. Otherwise, the mere act of organizing commemoration ceremonies will not serve the purpose just because it will be broadcast in the media and just because the name of that personality will be mentioned there for a certain period of time. The task that you want to carry out – creating a culture and presenting role models – cannot be done except with artistic work and it will remain incomplete (if artistic methods are not used). Therefore, what you are doing is very good. As you pointed out, you must rely on precision and improve quality as much as you can. This will help those who are doing artistic work to have the necessary resources and documentations at their disposal. Now, I wish to raise a few points about Hazrat Hamza:
He is really one of the lesser-known companions of the Messenger of God (greetings be upon him and his household) despite the role that he played when he announced his faith. The way that he announced his faith was really astonishing as well: He publicly shouted that he had become a Muslim after having heavily beaten Abu-Jahl, as cited by Ibn Athir. Ibn Athir says this in Usd al-Ghabah (The Lions of the Forest). This was his manner of faith and as for his immigration to Madinah – in that glorious Islamic fortress that the Holy Prophet wanted to build in that small environment – his presence was very effective. According to one narration too, the first Saryah (any small army that the Holy Prophet dispatched without his own presence) that the Holy Prophet dispatched was led by Hazrat Hamza. He gave him a banner and sent him to battle. His role was also outstanding in the Battle of Badr, accompanied by the other two great personalities, and in the Battle of Uhud. Apparently, it was after the Battle of Badr when one of the captives asked, “Who was the person who fought bravely with a sign or insignia?” Whenever Hazrat Hamza fought, he had a sign or insignia on his uniform. They answered, “Hamza ibn Abdul-Mutalib”. The captive replied, “He was the one who ruined us and whatever happened to us was because of him.” He destroyed the army of the unbelievers in the Battle of Badr. He was such a personality.
Despite that, he is an unknown personality. He is not well-known and there are not good biographies about him and his qualities. He has not received due recognition. May God show mercy on Mustafa Aqqad who portrayed that great personality in a magnificent work of art – it was really magnificent, especially the part about Hamza - named “The Message”. Well, the actor playing Hamza was really well-known and important. We should thank him again for making such a film. It is really interesting. He managed to portray the life of that great personality, to some extent of course. Such work should be done more.
It should be done on the other companions of the Holy Prophet as well. It should be done on Ammar and Salman as well. As for Meghdad, who knows him? Who knows what he did? There is a narration about the first-tier companions of the Holy Prophet that says that only Meghdad did not change after the Holy Prophet’s demise. These personalities are very important and they should be revived. The same is true of Ja’far ibn Abi-Talib, in particular because the life of Ja’far has a great potential for artistic and dramatic work. His trip to Habashah, the things that happened there and his return are great materials for artistic work. So, the first thing that can be said about that great personality is that he is not truly recognized.
Besides, the Commander of the Faithful (greetings be upon him) mentioned him as well in a narration in Noor al-Thaghalain which is based on a narration in al-Khisal. Of course, I saw this narration in Noor al-Thaghalain, I did not look it up in Khisal. In my opinion, this is an important narration. Imam Baqir (greetings be upon him) quotes the Commander of the Faithful (greetings be upon him) as saying: “I made a covenant with God Almighty and His Messenger: me, my uncle Hamza, my brother Ja’far, and my cousin Ubaidah.” Of course, it is a long narration and this is only part of it. Umaidah ibn Harith, whom no one knows, was one of the three people who fought in the beginning challenge during the Battle of Badr. Later on, he was martyred too. No one knows him. The Commander of the Faithful mentions him as well: “Me, my uncle Hamza, my brother Ja’far and my cousin Ubaidah.” He says that they made a covenant with God “Upon an order, and we adhere to it for God and His Messenger (greetings be upon him and his household).” They agreed upon an issue and made a deal: the Commander of the Faithful as well as his uncle – who was two years older than the Holy Prophet: according to a narration, the Holy Prophet was two or four years older than the Holy Prophet and he was also the Holy Prophet’s foster brother. The Commander of the Faithful made a covenant with his uncle, his brother and his cousin over a matter that was naturally “Jihad until martyrdom”. It means that they would continue that path until they were martyred. Afterwards, the Commander of the Faithful says, “And we fulfilled it for God and His Messenger (God’s greetings be upon him and his household), but those three overtook me.” Those three comrades preceded me in being martyred: “I was left behind until God Almighty wanted me: Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with God. Of them some have completed their vow, and some still wait: but they have never changed in the least” [ The Commander of the Faithful quotes The Holy Quran, 33: 23]. Hamza, Ja’far and Ubaidah are the three people who embody this part of the ayah: “Of them some have completed their vow.” Well, these personalities are very important. The Commander of the Faithful mentioned them in such glowing terms. Such personalities should be highlighted, commemorated and praised. Such narrations show the significance of Hazrat Hamza.
From the first moment when he was martyred, the Holy Prophet decided to portray him as a role model. The Holy Prophet described him as “The Master of Martyrs”. When he entered Madina after the Battle of Badr, he saw that the women of Madina were crying for the martyred. Four of the martyrs were from among “the immigrants”, and 68 were from among “the Ansar”. The women whose Ansar dear ones had been martyred were crying and moaning. The Holy Prophet listened for a while and said, “There is no one to cry for Hamza.” When this news reached the ears of Madina women, they said that they would cry for Hamza before they would cry for their own dear ones. In other words, the Holy Prophet encouraged the whole Madina to cry for him. This is an act of creating a role model. That did not only concern the people living at that time, rather it concerns the whole history and all Muslims. The work that you too are doing is not only related to Iran either. What you are doing, if you do it well hopefully, will be a service to all Islamic and Arab countries and also countries speaking other languages. All these countries must and will benefit from your work and perhaps, their artists will step forward to carry out big artistic feats.
Now, what we should do is to determine the elements constituting the personality of Hamza. A great task is to clarify the qualities that gave him such greatness. In my opinion, this is one of the tasks. These qualities should turn into a model for us and for others so that we can learn from them. In my opinion, there are two important qualities that constituted his personality: one is his firm determination and another is his insight. We must promote these qualities as much as we can. One is firm determination. Sometimes, we believe in something, but do not act on it because of our weak willpower. Having a firm willpower plays a decisive role. Hazrat Hamza became a Muslim in the eighth year after the Holy Prophet’s be’that. Those days were the hardest days for the Holy Prophet because Islam had just become announced publicly and the Holy Prophet and his companions were being attacked from all sides. The hardships that we have heard of are related to those years. During those very difficult circumstances for Muslims, that personality shouted in Masjid al-Haram, next to Ka’bah, that he had become a Muslim and that he had believed in the Holy Prophet’s religion. Such was his courage, his firm determination and his insight. Gaining a correct understanding of things is very important. We should teach ourselves and our people to think carefully on various matters and to make a correct decision: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we should not now be among the Companions of the Blazing Fire. They will then confess their sins” [The Holy Quran, 67: 10-11]. If we do not listen and think carefully, this is a sin. The Holy Quran says this clearly.
According to the Commander of the Faithful, as quoted by Imam Baqir (peace and greetings be upon him), Hazrat Hamza was a manifestation of “Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with God.” How does being “true to their covenant with God” take place? The full and complete form of it is to become a role model for divine teachings and divine commands and stepping forward for the path that God has specified. That is, such personalities become a manifestation of these qualities. We should learn this, God willing. If special people in society try to produce such personalities, each of them will be able to save society in sensitive times. This is really the case. We should not be satisfied with training certain individuals or preaching them so that they will believe in something in one way or another. No, organizations should focus their efforts on creating such personalities. Thankfully, the Society of Mustafa can be an active center in these areas. In Qom, the centers which have thankfully been created thanks to the efficient management of Islamic seminaries can ensure this. Some promotional organizations are also working well in this regard. We must build personalities who can be a manifestation of divine and Islamic teachings and rules. If such personalities are built, then the formation of the Islamic civilization will be definite. If it is done, there will be no doubts about its formation.
I hope that God will reward you and make you successful so that you can carry out this task and future tasks in the best way possible. I, for one, thank all you gentlemen who are undertaking this responsibility.
Greetings be upon you and God’s mercy