Hawzah News Agency (Tehran, Iran) – Here are some excerpts from Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks:
Progress--as defined by Islam--is a key concept that, to a large extent, includes the popular demands of the country. Progress in Islamic thought is different from progress in a materialistic western civilization. Western civilizations view progress from one single perspective, from a materialistic perspective: they believe that progress mainly consists of financial, scientific, military and technological dimensions; this is the western notion of progress.
But in Islamic thought, progress enjoys many other dimensions: progress in science; progress in ethics; progress in administration of justice; progress in public welfare; progress in economic matters; progress in achieving international honor and credibility; progress in political independence; finally, progress in serving God and developing a closer relationship with Him. That is to say, progress, from an Islamic viewpoint, includes spiritual and divine aspects among it's many dimensions.
Getting closer to Allah the Exalted exists in the Islamic concept of progress, and it is also the ultimate goal of our Revolution. Within the type of progress that we have in mind, both worldly and otherworldly aspects have been taken into consideration. Islam teaches us: "Those who give up their worldly life for the sake of the hereafter and those who give up their life in the hereafter for the sake of their worldly life, are not one of us."[Man lā yahduruhu al-Faqīh, Vol 3, p.156] It is wrong to give up one's worldly life for the sake of one's life in the hereafter, just as it is wrong to sacrifice one's life in the hereafter for the sake of one's worldly life. There is a narration which says: "As far as your worldly life is concerned, act in a way as if you will live forever." This means, do not limit your plans to your lifespan; and make plans for the next fifty years, for example. Our government officials and those who are in charge of preparing plans for the country should pay attention to this point. We must not fail, in our preparation of plans, for the next fifty years, thinking that we might not live too long. Plan in a way as if you will live forever. Make plans for future generations as carefully and seriously as when you make plans for yourself. "As far as your worldly life is concerned, act in a way as if you will live forever." On the other hand: "As far as your life in the hereafter is concerned, act in a way as if you will die tomorrow." That is to say, do your best in both the worldly life and the hereafter. This is the Islamic and revolutionary concept of progress: progress that is comprehensive.
Oct 10, 2012