Heydar Aliyev, national and spiritual values and Islamic solidarity

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

10th of May this year is the 94th birth anniversary of late Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev, national leader of Azerbaijan and founder of Azerbaijan’s relations with Pakistan. He was born on May 10, 1923, in Nakhchivan City of Azerbaijan.

As Azerbaijani nation regained its freedom in 1991, it found itself in complicated period of transition; Armenian invasion of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts and 1 million refugees out of total Azerbaijani population of 7 million. The enemies were trying their best to deprive the Republic of Azerbaijan of a free existence. Azerbaijani Nation’s desire to live in sovereign state, and its ideals of freedom were not compatible with the interests of hostile circles that did not accept its independence. They were using different diversions and other disgusting means to stop the nation from this way and destroying its belief in future. While the situation in Azerbaijan was deteriorating day by day, the great politician Heydar Aliyev was invited by the then leadership to come to power and to take very important steps towards state building by implementing necessary reforms in this regard.

Political stability and economic development:

 

After elected as a president, Heydar Aliyev was able to create political and economic stability in the country, eliminating unlawful groupings, disarming illegal armed bands. The authority of Government was consolidated and strengthened.

In the earlier 1990s, production in major fields of economy significantly dropped and this process had chronic character. Heydar Aliyev implemented the policy of privatization, signed "Contract of Century" with 11 oil companies of 7 powerful states of the world, realized megaprojects of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum and etc.  

Consequently, in 1993-2003, Azerbaijani economy was rescued from crisis and decline, entered into the way of economic development and progress.

Approval of Constitution and development of democracy:

President Heydar Aliyev established special committee to project the new Constitution. And on November 12, 1995, Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted by referendum. It was the first constitution of independent Azerbaijan. The Constitution of Azerbaijan declared the principles of governmental construction of Azerbaijan republic as a democratic and constitutional state. First time in its history, Azerbaijan chose priority of human rights and principle of separation of powers as the main direction of the future development.

 

In August, 1998, all kind of censorship over media was abolished by the decree of Heydar Aliyev. Freedom of assembly and thought played big role in development of democratic institutions. As a result of several legislative and executive measures, great progress was achieved in this sphere. Laws on political parties, non-governmental organizations and mass media were adapted to international standards.

Foreign policy of friendship and cooperation:

Foreign policy of Republic of Azerbaijan was elaborated by Heydar Aliyev in the summer of 1993. Just on his initiative and leadership, this policy was prepared according to the conception and thought based on scientific basis and reality. Firstly, peaceful situation and internal stability should have been provided for new foreign policy line. Due to the achievement of ceasefire with Armenia in May, 1994, dissolution of illegal military units and steps taken for provision of stability inside country could be fulfilled.

 

By implementing this updated foreign policy line, most important and necessary duties were realized. One of these duties was to take Azerbaijan out of international isolation, to remove misconceptions created against Azerbaijan, to break information blockade around Azerbaijan. Another duty was to set up balanced foreign policy line in terms of relations with foreign countries, to pay more attention to ties and cooperation with the countries in the region. One of important duties was to establish relations with big powers, in accordance with international law, kind neighborhood and mutual advantage. As a very skillful, experienced politician, Heydar Aliyev managed to cope with these difficult and complicated duties successfully and skillfully. It brought prestige and fame to Azerbaijan in international world, created trust to new foreign policy line and attitude defined by Heydar Aliyev. As a result of this, Azerbaijan emerged in into the center of interests of big states of world, started to play important role in international and regional cooperation, and became one of attractive countries in which investments flowed.

As a result of reforms implemented in all spheres, Azerbaijan was adopted in both the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Council of Europe as full-right member. Now, Azerbaijan expresses its position in all international platforms and defends its rights successfully.

As an architect of Azerbaijan-Pakistan ties, Heydar Aliyev has always prioritized the relations with Pakistan. In the course of his visit to Pakistan on 9-11 April, 1996, while meeting with the leaders of Pakistan, a number of agreements which laid the foundation of bilateral relations and created legal base in various fields were signed. Gladly, these relations are developing day by day.

The development of Islamic values and Islamic Solidarity:

Heydar Aliyev has always emphasized the importance of the revival of Islamic values. He said that the most terrible blow of communist ideology against humanity was to prohibit religion and bad propaganda against it. As a result, people were deprived of moral values emanated from Islam. He assessed that “our religion Islam is progressive and it has for centuries corroborated this fact; this reli-gion is of universal nature."

While addressing the 1st forum of Republic's Youth, he called the youth to adopt universal knowledge, Islamic values, return to our roots, love Motherland to comply with the commandment of Prophet Aleyhissalam, "Love for Motherland means Faith".

He also stated that “"We, Azerbaijanis, are happy to visit holy places we worship. On the invitation of King of Saudi Arabia, I visited in 1994 the two holy cities of the Kingdom. I consider my visiting holy cities of Mecca, Kaaba and Medina as the most important and happiest days in my lifetime. I believe that impressions we have got there would help us to get out of all difficulties and torments we suffer."

 

 He went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1997. Heydar Aliyev often visited Islamic places, met with Islamic communities. His courses on Islam can be summarized as below:       

1.        Islam as religious creed of the Azerbaijani people is an integral part of the national culture.

2.        Religion comes out as a serious factor of national, spiritual and moral integrity of society.

3.        There is need in adequate regulation of relations between the religion and the state under modern circumstances.

4.        One of the major conditions of the new international relations is a mutual understanding between religions and peoples.

Heydar Aliyev did his best to create good conditions for Muslims and populations worshipping other religions. Thousands of mosques and innumerable Islamic schools were built all over the country. This phenomenon of “religious renaissance” took place in parallel with a strong “national birth” or “rebirth”. 

By respective Decrees of Heydar Aliyev, the 1300th anniversary of "Kitabi-Dede Gorgud" epos which is a remarkable work reflecting Islamic wisdom was commemorated in Azerbaijan. High-level celebrations were held for the 500th anniversary of genius Muslim Azerbaijani poet and philosopher Mohammad Fuzuli in France, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Russia.

It was the first time in Azerbaijani history, Old City State History Architectural Complex, including Shirvanshahs’ Palace and Maiden Towel, constructed in the golden Islamic ages, was included UNESCO's "List of cultural legacy of world".

The most attractive feature of Heydar Aliyev’s rich life and political experience is his adherence to his native religion. He was right in stressing the necessity of the Islamic religion and values, indicating Azerbaijani people's belonging to the Islamic civilization. It is a well thought out and comprehensive contribution of the epoch's most experienced political figure to the prosperity of Azerbaijan. It is appropriate for the entire Islamic world to benefit from the school and experience of Heydar Aliyev.

Numerous examples mentioned above are the manifestation of the care and attention by national leader to Azerbaijan’s national and spiritual values. The people of Azerbaijan never forget its national leader, outstanding politician and great patriot Heydar Aliyev. His attitude towards protecting national and spiritual values and Islamic solidarity is being continued by current leadership of Azerbaijan. As an example, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed an Order on declaration of year of 2017 a Year of Islamic Solidarity. Moreover, 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will be held in BakuAzerbaijan from 12 to 22 May 2017, with the involvement of the athletes from all Islamic nations, promoting unity and solidarity between Muslim nations.

 

Azerbaijan is an active member of the Muslim world’s Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). At the same time, the country is a member of the Council of Europe (CoE). It is advantageous geographical location of Azerbaijan that enables it to imbibe achievements and success of the Oriental and Occidental cultures. As is seen, the country disposes of wide opportunities for integration and mutual dialogue between the West and East.