Divine assistance and accompaniment will be with those who observe piety
I want to give an example for you from the Holy Quran and from Quranic history: Allah the Exalted ordered Musa [Moses] (a.s.) and Harun [Aaron] (a.s.) to go to Pharaoh. Well, it was a big task for two individuals to go and confront – on their own – a great power that existed at that time: Pharaonic power was a great power in terms of politics and social affairs and even in terms of his influence on the people and his bureaucratic resources. There are many things to be said about the Pharaonic power. Pharaoh was an shocking phenomenon. He was a tyrannical power who did whatever he liked with abundant resources at his disposal.
Allah the Exalted entrusted two individuals with the task of confronting and fighting against that person. Hazrat Musa (a.s.) said, “If we go, they might kill us and thus our task will remain half-finished.” They were not afraid of being killed. They said that their task would remain half-finished. “He said, ‘Fear not for I am with you. I hear and see everything” [The Holy Quran, 20: 46]. God said that He was with them. Notice that this is divine assistance: “For I am with you. I hear and see everything.” When God says, “God is with those who observe piety” – as I said, if we have piety, God is with us – this divine assistance and accompaniment means that one can send two individuals empty-handed so that they fight against a Pharaoh.
Elsewhere in the Holy Quran – of course, this has been repeated in the Holy Quran many times and I am narrating another part of it – when it came to public confrontation and challenge and when Hazrat Musa (a.s.) gathered Bani Israel so that they would get out of the city at dawn, very early in the morning or at midnight, and get rid of Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s spies said to him in the morning – when the sun had risen a little - that Bani Israel have evacuated the city and that all of them have gone. Pharaoh became agitated as he thought that they would go somewhere else and would create a nucleus. He ordered his army to gather. They gathered the army and chased Bani Israel.
I do not know the interval between Bani Israel’s departure and the gathering of the Pharaoh’s army. Perhaps, it took that army one, two days – more or less – to advance. Well, Bani Israel were walking on foot without enough resources. They were a bunch of ordinary people comprised of women, men and children, but the Pharaoh’s army had military equipment, large troops, horses and everything. They would naturally reach them soon and they did so.
When Musa’s followers saw them from a distance and when they saw that the Pharaoh’s army was approaching, they became nervous. In the Holy Quran – Sura al-Shuara – God says, “And when the two bodies saw each other” [The Holy Quran, 26: 62]. When the two groups – Hazrat Musa’s (a.s.) group, which was ahead, and the Pharaoh’s group which was chasing them – saw each other from afar and when they got so close that they could see one another, “The people of Musa said, ‘We are sure to be overtaken’” [The Holy Quran, 26: 62]. Bani Israel, who were with Musa (a.s.), became terrified. They said, “Oh Musa, they will catch us soon.” The Arabic word “mudrakun” means overtaking, reaching. They said that the Pharaoh’s army would capture and massacre them shortly.
What was Musa’s (a.s.) answer? Hazrat Musa (a.s.) said in response, “He said, ‘By no means.’”. He said that such a thing would never happen. Why? It is because “My Lord is with me.” This is divine assistance. He said that God is with him: “My Lord is with me. Soon will He guide me” [The Holy Quran, 26: 63]. Notice that divine assistance has such significance. When they say, “For God is with those who observe piety, and those who do good” the value of this assistance should be appreciated. If we can preserve this divine assistance, you should know that even if some people in the world have a kind of power which is 10 times more than that of America – let alone the power of America itself - the divine power which accompanies us will overcome them.
Ayatollah Khamenei, November 23, 2016