Spiritual Power

Translated by: Ghassan Rimlawi

Spiritual strength emerges as a great source of help to people who are struggling with all the physical strength they possess to free themselves from looming difficulties and challenges. In reality, it has a double impact on human beings: it boosts their spirits and conquers all feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety, loss and laxity. It fills them with feelings of confidence, happiness, and resoluteness.

Indeed, we find that undermining spiritual strength and destroying morale is a tactic favored and adopted by the imperialistic states in their conflicts with nations and countries. In order to ensure an eventual victory in the battle, they try to kill any spirit of resistance by constantly shelling the resistance with propaganda and making them feel small through every possible means of communication.

a) Fabricated new reports:

When presenting real facts or creating illusions about the power and influence of imperialistic states, the media has become very adept and highly proficient in using deliberate psychological tactics aimed at deluding the reader or listener or viewer and leading him to believe that any resistance would be futile, any attempt at self-defense is suicidal and that opposition to this power would result in none other than their total annihilation.

b) Studies aimed at making people feel frustrated:

The media is not the only useful device used by colonial states to further their aims. Through research, studies and selective use of statistics, they also focus attention on their own scientific and intellectual superiority. An inferiority complex results in weaker, smaller, or less developed countries that are unable to compete and whose citizens begin to feel increasingly frustrated by the perceived intellectual superiority of the dominant powers. Accordingly, any attempt to develop or evolve successfully through creativity or inventiveness is discouraged and frustrated. In fact, the under0developed countries actually turn to the sophisticated competence and expertise of these advanced colonizers for assistance. they even make sure that their compatriots acquire a good knowledge of the developed countries and cultivate often distorted images of their civilization and of their intellectual and cultural heritage. In doing so, the frustrated people end up losing their own identities and civilization on the basis of which they would normally conflict or interact with other civilizations. Thereafter, the weak become followers who have neither significant nor insignificant role to play and who live off the crumbs of the civilization left for them by the dominant powers.

c) Biased and incomplete representation of cultural heritage:

We may find some examples of such researches and studies tending to destroy all what weak people have of intellectual, spiritual and civilized heritage, either by arousing the negative aspects or neglecting the positive ones through presenting the civilized challenges other people have. These researches intend to cease the historical contributions of the doctrine intellect and civilization through the unconscious suggestion that their history has no power, no vitality and no originality that provide their present with life. They do so to deprive the nation from its intellectual and spiritual roots, in order to act in life with no others as an inevitable result of feeling emptiness against the competence others live.

To illustrate this idea, we can consider the example of the orientalist movement that arose in Europe many centuries ago. That movement studies the scientific, literary, spiritual and ethical heritage with the aim of casting doubt over some of its aspects. Moreover, other orientalists subjected our orientalists subjected our recorded heritage to false speculations and interpretations, taking it out of its true context and relied on dubious sources, which only led to a greater distortion of the truth and a wider gap between that and the people’s perception of their own history. Indeed, this is what is evident when we look at the works of these orientalists who studied pre-Islamic literature, treated it with great skepticism and extended this skepticism to the glorious Quran itself. When studying literary and historical works, these researches, in fact, tried to exaggerate the significance of certain things such as Islamic mysticism, Sufism and its followers and other aspects that were, in reality, of little historical importance or concentrated on some negative aspects that helped to boost their own impressive images.

In stating this, we are not claiming that these historical references upon which this literature or record of events was based were absolutely authentic, but rather, we wish to draw attention to the type of analysis used when discussing these topics, one that obviously served an underlying political and religious purpose.

In truth, when discussing Islam, its spiritual and intellectual concepts legislation, history and scholars, orientalist studies tried hard to present it in a vague and hazy way. They gave a number of misinterpretations to the extent that they came up with assumptions that had no historical or intellectual basis. The main objectives of these studies were to devalue Islam in the minds of its followers, remove the sacred stature of its figures in their eyes, thus clearing their heads of all its beliefs and opening the door to a new world that paves the way to new figures and a new religion. This is the case of any nation that lacks the intellectual, religious and cultural strength and that encounters, in its struggle with other, new ways of thinking, new understandings and a new set of religious beliefs.

We, therefore, believe that preaching and colonization in Islamic nations are two phenomena that go side by side with the orientalist movement in both, the old and the recent European history, because they have one and the same aim which is to dominate Muslims in every possible way after weakening them intellectually, militarily, economically, and spiritually; in other words, after draining them of all their strength.

Edited excerpts from Islam and the logic of force by His Eminence, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)