Makka, Saudi Arabia  -  January 26, 2004


Ayatollah Al-Qazwini lectures to a gathering of Iraqi Hojjaj


     For more than 30 years, the Shi'a in Iraq were always oppressed by the Ba'athi regime. They were denied their natural rights, oppressed tremendously and robbed of their dignity. They were denied their religious rights, which included commemorating Ashura and other Islamic events. Iraq suffered like no other country at any point in time.

     In addition to all that, most of the Iraqi people were also denied the privilege of performing the Hajj. Not only did the government make it difficult for the Iraqi people to perform the Hajj, but the financial status of most Iraqi people didn't allow them to perform the Hajj. As the corrupt oppressive Ba'athi regime was eradicated and removed, the difficulties eased and more and more Iraqi's could perform the Hajj. This Hajj season witnesses many Iraqi people performing the Hajj, a will held for many Iraqi people for many years.

     The Iraqi people this year came in groups, all together performing the Hajj. Ayatollah Al-Qazwini visited one of the Iraqi groups on January 26 as he met with many Iraqi people. Ayatollah Al-Qazwini then delivered a spiritual and motivational speech addressed to the Iraqi Hojjaj. Ayatollah Al-Qazwini began his speech by praising Allah for the safe arrival of the Hojjaj in Makka, a holy city, from Iraq. He also praised Allah for the fall of the dictator Saddam and for the freedom of the Iraqi people from his oppression.

     Ayatollah Al-Qazwini then spoke about Prophet Ibarahim's arrival to the land of Makka with his family and recited the following verse "O our Lord! surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Thy Sacred House, our Lord! that they may keep up prayer; therefore make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; haply they may be grateful" (14:37), and how Prophet Ibrahim asked Allah [s] to protect the valley before it transforms into a city, "And when Ibrahim said: My Lord, make it a secure town and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the last day". Ayatollah Al-Qazwini also said that it is important to ask Allah to accept our Hajj, and to ask Allah that we embark yet on another Hajj journey in the subsequent years. Ayatollah Al-Qazwini then mentioned a few important supplications and deeds that a Hajj can do, like praying in Masjid Al-Haram and praying in Hijr Isma'il.  Finally he stressed the impotance of the day of Arafat, and mentioned that if a person was not forgiven in the month of Ramadan, he can only be forgiven in Arafat on the day of Arafat. Ayatollah Al-Qazwini ended his speech with a prayer for all the Hojjaj in that they all perform their Hajj safely and return to their homes safely.