Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the US policy is to stoke wars among Muslims, urging unity in his message to Hajj pilgrims who began marking the climax of the annual event Monday.
“Look at the behavior of the arrogant and criminal US today. Its main policy against Islam and Muslims is to stoke wars. Its desire and vicious effort is that Muslims massacre each other,” the Leader said.
The US policy, Ayatollah Khamenei said, is “to pit some oppressors against the oppressed, support the oppressors and have them ruthlessly crush the oppressed and always stir up the flames of this atrocious sedition.”
“Muslims should be aware and nullify this satanic policy. Hajj prepares the ground for this awareness, and this represents the philosophy of disavowal of pagans and arrogant powers during Hajj."
On Monday, more than two million people from around the world began ascending Mount Arafat for the pinnacle of the annual Hajj.
The ritual marks a sea of worshipers scaling the rocky hill southeast of the holy city of Mecca for a day of prayers and reflection where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon Him) delivered his final sermon.
"Hajj, in this specific place and time frame - as always and throughout years - calls Muslims with an eloquent language and cogent logic to solidarity and unity," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"And this is the opposite of what the enemies of Islam want, those who have all the time incited, and especially are now inciting, Muslims to square up against each other," the Leader added.
Hajj is one of the main branches of faith in Islam which every Muslim is required to complete at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so.
Ayatollah Khamenei said an "important point that makes any thoughtful individual curious and sensitive is the designation of a permanent place for meeting for all people and generations throughout all years during a specific period of time."
"This unity of time and place is one of the main secrets of Hajj," the Leader said.
"This is the mystery of Islamic unity and the symbol of Islam’s nation-building which must be under the protection of God’s House. God’s House belongs to all - 'equal are the resident therein and one from outside'," he said, citing a part of Surah al-Hajj of the Holy Qur'an.
During Hajj, pilgrims retrace the steps of Prophet Muhammad's last pilgrimage before his passing in 632 CE.
They wear the same - two towels wrapped at the waist and shoulders for men, and a simple garment not covering the face for women. The clothes symbolize equality among all Muslims as they come to face God on the holiest pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage includes various rites, every single part of which "represents a link of the chain of spirituality and soul elevation for a pilgrim who knows the value of this opportunity and takes advantage of it for purifying themselves and stocking up for the rest of their lives," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"Remembrance of God represents the spirit of Hajj," the Leader said, calling on pilgrims to revive and gratify their hearts with "this rain of blessings" and deepen their trust in Allah "who is the source of power, glory, justice, and beauties."
"We will overcome the enemy’s ploy in this manner," he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei also called on the pilgrims not to forget praying "for the Islamic Ummah, the oppressed people in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Pakistan, Kashmir and Myanmar and other parts of the world and ask Allah to cut the hands of the US and other arrogant powers, and their supporters."
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