the Name of God
LEADER AND YOUTH
LEADER OF THE REVOLUTIONS VISIT WITH A GROUP OF YOUTH ON THE OCCASION
OF YOUTH DAY
* How do you feel when
you meet the youth?
* What is the first thing
do you have to say to them?
When I am accompanied by youth and when I am exposed to a youth
environment, I feel the like one who is breathing in the fresh morning
air. I feel a freshness and vitality. The first thing that normally
flashes into my mind that I have thought about a number of times, is
that do they (youth) know that a star is shining on their foreheads
I see this star, but do they see it too? The star of youth is very
bright and full of good fortune. I think if the youth discover this
valuable and unique asset in their lives, they will make use of it in
the best way, God willing.
* How did you spend the
period of your youth?
Indeed, the situation those times was different from that of today
and it was very bad. The youth environment was not a desirable one, not
only for me as a student of theology but for all the youth as well (I
would like remark that I was student of theology simultaneous with my
primary- school period). Attention was not paid to them. A lot of
potential was destroyed and we witnessed this phenomenon with our own
eyes. I even saw it in the of school theology as well as in the
universities (because I had had contact with university students and I
was very close to them for many years).
There were lots of shining potential, and there were also lots of
people who probably did not possess enough ability for the courses in
which they were studying but it is possible that they could have been
masters in other fields but nobody were aware of them and nobody
As Mr. Mir Baqheri pointed out, which he expressed correctly
that before the revolution I had spent the entire period of my youth
with them. When the revolution achieved victory I was about 39 years
old, by then, I had spent most of my life from 17 or 18 to 39 with the
youth, whether with students of theology and religion or with outside
the field of theology. I felt that Muhammad Rida Pahlavys regime had
done something that youths deviate toward decadence, toward moral
decadence as well as decadence in their identity and in their very
personality. Of course I can not claim that regime had deliberately
planned to encourage our countrys youth toward lives of decadence, it
may or may not be so, but what I can say with certainty is that they had
planned and were running the country in such a way that it necessitated
that one be totally distant from matters of politics and of life.
Would you believe me if I say that people like me, in their 20s
were not aware of who were the people in the ruling government? And
nowadays, do you know anybody in this country who does not know who the
education minister is? Or who is the minister of economy and finance? Or
is there anybody who does not know the president (Muhammad Khatami)?
Even people in the farthest reaches of the country are aware. In that
era all layers of society especially the youth were unconscious of
political affairs. Youth were mostly occupied with daily affairs, and
some of them had to work very hard just to get a piece of bread to eat;
of course a part of their earning was not only spent on eating they were
spending it on other things as well.
If you study the books at that period on Latin America and Africa-
frantz Fanon and others who were writing books at that time which
have remained in vogue up till today because of their own validity -you
will find out that our situation was exactly the same. No one dared to
write about Iran, but one could easily write, for instance on Africa, or
Mexico or Chile. Reading these books, I found out that our situation
actually is the same as those countries.
I mean, that young worker who after working very hard just to earn
some pennies, would spend half of his pay on sensuality, pleasure
seeking and things such as these. These were the same things that we
read about in those books and we saw that in reality the same conditions
prevailed in our society. It was truly very bad. Youth environment was
not a good environment. Of course within their hearts it was different;
because fundamentally the young is full of joy, hope, excitement and so
I myself, personally had a very exciting youth, both before the
outbreak of the revolution my literary and artistic activities gave some
excitement in my life. And also after the outbreak of the struggle in
1341 -at that time I was 23 years old- naturally we found ourselves at
heart of the basic excitement of the country, I was imprisoned twice in
1342,- detention, investigation you know how all this can excite a
person. Afterwards, being released, a person would feed even more
excited on seeing huge masses of people interested in such things, and
being a witness to a leader like Imam Khomeini guiding them and
correcting their actions and thoughts, the excitement increased even
more. This is how life was for people like me who were living and
thinking in this category it was extremely exciting, but it was not so
Of course, youth naturally gather together because it gladdens their
hearts.- I mean there is a kind of happiness in their nature. They enjoy
eating and speaking, looking in the mirror, and they enjoy holidays. You
(youths) will not believe that, when a person had passed his youth he
will not enjoy, for example, delicious food as much as you do. At that
time, sometimes our elders -who were at the same age as I am now- said
some things that made us astonished, we asked ourselves, why did they
think like that? Now I understands that those poor people were not too
wrong. Of course I have not separated myself totally from youth and even
now I feel something of the youth within myself which I will not let
But those who were subject to old age, as a matter of course did not
feel the enjoyment that a youth feels in all aspects of his \ her life.
It was like this at that time. I do not claim that an atmosphere of
grief dominated, but there was an atmosphere of negligence and of
unawareness and of a lack of identity.
That is why we, who were thinking seriously and deeply in affairs of
struggle, put our efforts (extricate the) youth as far as possible out
of the circle of the cultural influence of the regime. For instance, I
myself used to go to the mosque to teach tafsir, preach to the people
after prayers and at times I would go to other cities and give lectures.
The main point of my attention was to take youths out of cultural noose
of the regime. I considered it an invisible noose. I said there
is an invisible noose which is taking all of the people in a particular
direction and I would have to tear this lasso away and release the
youth as far as possible.
Whoever got rid of that mental noose which first of all required
piety and secondly conversion toward Imam Khomeinis thoughts- would
become sort of immune. It was like this in those days. This very
generation got the basic fundamentals of the revolution. Now, when I
look at our society I can identify many of those individuals, whether
they were related to me or not.
At any rate you are in a better period now, the atmosphere is better.
Of course I do not say that our youth are provided with everything and
that everything is running as it should, but in comparison to that time,
todays situation is better. In my opinion a youth can afford a good
life today and find his or her human identity and personality if he or
* What is your definition
of a Muslim youth and what are his or her characteristics?
* How can a youth reach
his goals in the course of life?
Of course it cannot be easily traversed. The condition that you put
makes it very difficult for me to answer you.
Actually nor every important and serious work could be done easily.
If a man wants to realize valuable goals, he has to undergo lots of
trouble and effort - this is inevitable Basically, amongst the important
characteristics of youth, I consider three as the most evident, and if
these are identified and directed in a right direction it will be
feasible to answer yquestion. These three characteristics are as follows:
Energy, hope and innovation. These are the three most salient
characteristics of the youth. If the media be it a religious
lecturer, a lecturer in cultural and intellectual affairs, T.V and Radio
or schools- as cultural assistance can direct these three main
characteristics, I think, it will be very easy for a young person to
find the Islamic path because that which is required by Islam is for us
to put our potentials into effect.
The Quran contains a very basic point and it is not bad that I
express it for you dear youth in that it focuses upon piety. When
individuals want to see themselves in terms of piety, prayer, fasting,
servitude, worship, thikr and dua come to their minds. It may be that
they may all be a part of piety but none of them, themselves mean piety
means being careful of oneself. Piety means that human being should know
what he is actually doing, and that he chooses his every movement in
accordance with his own will, thought and decision; it is like a person
who is riding a tame horse, horse, holding its bridle and knowing where
he will be going; this is piety. A person who does not have piety does
not have control over his movements, decisions and future. According to
words of the Nahjul Balagha he is like one who is placed on a
refractory horse,- without having any control over it. Having the bridle
in his hands, he does not know where he will go and his no choice but to
go wherever horse goes and there is no saving him.
If we take piety with this meaning in mind, in my opinion it will be
easy to travel this path of course, not very easy however. It is
feasible for a youth to find the Islamic way of life; if one is
religious, one has to be careful about ones deeds, about this
venture, this word, this friendly relationship this lesson and work,
this Action and thought, are they correct or incorrect? This very
thinking about the correctness or incorrectness about ones actions is
If one is not religious, but is however in that very state he will be
guided towards religiosity.
The Holy Qur?n says:
it is a guide to those who guard (against evil)"
it does not say: A guide for those who believe: ".
The first expression means that a non- religious person could be
guided by Quran if he has the piety, (it is possible for a
non-religious person to be pious in the meaning we have outlined). But
if a believer does not have piety, probably he is not firm in his faith
and its existence will depend upon his situation: If he is located in a
favorable environment his faith will stay with him.
Therefore if we utilize these three characteristics in the context of
piety and guide them, it will be very easy for them to live in the way
advised by Islam, this will be especially so in our country which is an
Islamic country. It is very important point to note that the government-
the national authority-is under the auspices of Islam. The people who
have authority in this country, believe deeply in Islam, and faith has
deep roots in the souls of the people as well. Therefore the way is
paved to be a Muslim and live like a Muslim I will give a short example
and conclude my answer to your question.
During the imposed war which, unfortunately, were not able to
experience its upliftment -of course the fact that you had not
experienced war is no cause for regret; but what someone will regret are
those unique features associated with it in this regard- youth exactly
like you now, eighteen and twenty years old from the point of view of
spiritual purity were on the same level as agnostic who had spent forty
years travelling on the path to God. We sensed this in their very being
and such individuals were by no means few.
When I come face to face with such youth, I felt a real humility and
it is not that I wanted to pretend to such humility. You have seen that
when man is in the presence of greatness and witnesses its
perfections he comes to understand his own weakness. I observed that
same feeling in Myself when in the presence of a young Bassiji and a
young combatant. Such was the atmosphere that could change a normal
youth in such a manner.
You know how youth are in the world with RAP groups and the
like and with all kinds of mental and moral calamities. Youth in the
world are really suffering from a thousand misfortunes of this kind.
RAP groups and groups similar to them existed in our time too. In
our time the Beatles were famous, I have heard they have become
old men now.
Some time ago I read about them in a foreign magazine talking about
where they were and what they were doing. Those spiritual troubles and
psychological complexes made them end up in these things. Now those
people who imitate them in backward and remote countries do not
understand what an illness had afflicted these poor unfortunates.
What they consider as progress is in fact decay and decline. But
while the world was in such a state, our youth was in another situation
entirely, in Iran the youth was bubbling, enriched honored, in the
depths of their hearts they were happy, they had a sense of
responsibility and they were clear about their objectives, what they
were doing and for whom.
of the Revolution Advises Youths on Pattern Selection
* As female students how
can we pattern ourselves on Hazrat-e- Zahras life?
* Who were your own role
models during the period of your youth?
Thats a good question. First of all I must say that no role model
should be presented to us and then we be told that it is our role model.
This type of stipulated and imposed Pattern role model is commonplace
and uninteresting. We must find the role model ourselves, that is we
must scan the horizon of our thoughts then we would see that among all
of the figures that come to mind, that which comes to our minds more
often, that is our role model. I believe that it is not difficult for a
Muslim youth especially one who is acquainted with the lives of
Infallible Imams, the family of the Prophet and of the early Muslims of
Islam to find a role model, of which there are quite many.
You yourself fortunately mentioned Hazrate-Zahras name in this
context. I would like to say a few words on sacred existence of
Hazrat-e-Zahra. Perhaps, if seen against the background of the
infallible lmams and other great personalities it will provide a lead.
You, madam living in an era of technological, industrial and
scientific progress, in a big world a materialist civilization with a
multitude of new phenomena in life, you settle on a role model, for
example, who lived l400 years ago in what area would that role model be
analogous to your present situation that could be useful for you. For
instance you want to know how went to university? Or how she thought on
world political affairs? These factors would not be found.
Each human being has a number of fundamental characteristics that you
should clarify and search for your role model in them. How do you
suppose, for instance, a human being should act when faced with events
in the environment? Events in the Environment can sometimes be related
to the era of the train, the subway, the jet or the computer and
sometimes it is related to an era where none of these things exist.
Nevertheless it is something which engulfs man.
Man can confront this matter in two different ways: one way is with a
sense of responsibility and other in an apethetic manner.
Having a sense of responsibility is of various types and divisions:
With what mentality and with what kind of perception toward future
should he have? Man has to search for these basic lines in a person who
can be his pattern and follow them.
Once had spoken about this matter in a lecture. Sometimes in our
lectures no attention is paid to noteworthy words and we miss them.
Look, Hazrat-e-zahra, for instance, was about six or seven years old
that event of the Sheb-e-Abitaleb occurred.
The Shuab-e- Abitaleb was a very difficult period in the history
of Islam The public call of the Holy Prophet had begun, he had openly
proclaimed this call and little by little, the people of Mecca,
especially the youth and slgradually gravitated towards the Holy
Prophet. Leaders of the Tagut such as Abu-Lahab, Abu jahl, and
others had no other choice but to exile the prophet and those around him
and so they did. A large number of people consisting of tens of families
among whom were the Holy prophet and his family, Abi-Talib -who himself
was one of the leaders of the Quraishs heads children and others
were exiled from Mecca, but where could they go? Abi Talib had some land
some miles away from Mecca which was located in a mountain fissure
and was known as Sheb-e- Abi Talib (sheb means fissure of mountain
or narrow valley). We from Mashad call it Bazeh, an original
Abi Talib had a Bazeh or Sheb and they were told that
it was better to go there Now think about it, in Mecca it is very hot
in the day and very cold at night quite an intolerable situation, and
they lived there for three years only God knows what hardships and
hunger they suffered.
This was one of the most trying times for the Holy Prophet. In this
period he was not only responsible for managing a society, but he had to
support himself as well as the people who were suffering from severe
When a situation is pleasant, the people who have gathered around a
leader are satisfied they say God bless him that provided us with
such a nice situation, but in hardship and in the face of uncertainty
and they say he guided us to this and we did not wish for such a
situation of course people with strong faith resist, but in the final
analysis all the hardships are placed on the shoulders of the Prophet.
In the midst of such a severe situation Abi-Talib who his supporter and
hope and Khadijah-e- Kubra the greatest source of psychological
support for the Prophet both passed away within a week, this unforseen
calamity left the Holy Prophet completely alone.
I do not know if you have ever been in charge for a work collective
to know what responsibility really means? A situation like this could
make a man feel quite helpless. In such conditions take a look at
Fatimah Zahras role. When man looks at history he finds such
instances pushed aside to the corners and unfortunately no chapter is
opened for them.
Fatemah Zahra was like a mother consultant and nurse to the Holy
Prophet. That is why she is called the mother of her father from the time she was only six or seven years old. In Arabia and other
hot environments girls grow faster physically and mentally and the
equivalent of her age would be like that of a girl of twelve in our
environment, accompanied by a heightened sense of responsibility.
Couldnt this be a pattern for youth that can encourage them to
quickly feel their responsibility toward matters in their environment,
to quickly feel that joy? She expended that excitement, that valuable
asset which permeated her existence in removing the dust of grief and
displeasure from a fathers face who was now about fifty years old and
was almost old man. Could she not be a pattern for youth? This is very
The next example is that of a married life and haring a husband when
someone thinks about wife hood they think about organizing meals in the
kitchen, cleaning rooms, making beds like in the old days, arranging the
cushions and then waiting for the husband to come home from the office
or store. Being a wife, however is not just this.
Just look at the married life of Fatimah Zahra (S.A.).
Fatimah and Imam Ali (a.)
had been married for about nine of the ten years that the Holy Prophet
spent in Medina. Had wars taken place almost sixty in most of which of
Imam Ali had participated.
Now look here, here is a lady who stays at home while her husband is
involved in fighting battles on a regular basis and without whose
presence on the battlefield the struggle would be paralyzed, so much did
success on the battlefield depend upon him.
At the same time they did not have an easy life, exactly as we have
heard. It said: The same things that we have heard Because of love of
God they feed the poor, the slaves, the orphans, saying: truly we feed
you for the sake of God alone.
Truly they lived a life of poverty although she was the daughter of a
leader, the daughter of the Holy Prophet, and with a sense of
responsibility as well.
Do you know what a strong spirit a human being needs in order to
equip such a husband, to free his heart from the distractions of family
problems, to reassure him and to properly educate the children? You may
say that Imam Hassan and Imam Husayn (a.)
were both Imams and had nature of Imamate (leadership), but Zainab (a.)
was not an Imam. Fatimah Zahra had trained her during these nine years.
After the Holy Prophets demise she did not live very long. She was
that kind of housewife, she was that kind of spouse in this way they
managed the home and in this way this axis of family life is permanently
written in history.
Can not this be a pattern for a young girl? A woman who is a
housewife a lady who is honored as a housewife this is very important.
After holy prophets demise she (Hazrat-e-Zahra) comes to the
mosque and gives that startling lecture. Those of us who vocally give
extempore speeches and lectures will understand how extraordinary that
lecture was. A girl of eighteen, twenty or at most twenty four years old
(of course her real age is not certain because date of birth is in
dispute) experiencing those hardships and calamities comes to mosque and
in the presence of a huge crowd of people she gives a lecture whose
every word would remain in the annals of history.
The Arabs are famous for having good memories. A man might come and
compose an elegy of eighty lines, and afterwards, ten people would write
it. The elegies which have survived originated in this way. Poems were
read in social gatherings and were recorded. Lectures and sayings were
recorded in the same way, though memorizing or writing and they have
remained with us until today.
Empty talk does not remain in history neither would any kind of
speech, lots of words have been expressed, lots of poems hare been
composed, but none have survived and nobody pays to them any attention.
That which history keeps in its heart and after 1400 years would fill
anyone with humility when they consider it this demonstrates
magnificence and in my opinion this can be a pattern for a young girl.
You are correct, the fault is with those of us who are in charge of
these affairs. Of course by this I do not mean those in charge of
governmental affairs I mean spiritual and religious affairs, that we
have not offered them to the young generation as we would have liked,
but you yourselves can do work in these areas. There are similar cases
to be seen in the lives of our Imams, as well.
Imam Jawads life is also a model. Imam Jawad (a.)
despite his stature and his magnificence died when he was only twenty
five years old; these are not our words but the words of history, a
history written by non-shiites. This magnanimous man during his infancy
and his youth attained a magnificence before the eyes of Mamoun
and all the people. This is very important and could also be seen as a
model for all of us.
Of course, in our time we have a model as well. Imam Khomeini (May
his spirit be sanctified) is a model, these young volunteer forces are a
model both those who had been martyred and those who are still alive to-
day. Of course mans culture makes it easy to speak about people who
have been martyred or have passed away. Just look and see what models we
can find. We have seen people in the war who had left their towns or
villages as very average people. I had noted previously that the
previous regime could not elevate these potentials or even realize them.
In the previous regime these people were normal human beings, but in
this system they came to the battlefield which was a field of work and
all of a sudden their potentials were realized, they became major
generals and later they were martyred. Such cases are many.
Some years ago I was reading about them in a pamphlet entitled My
commander recounting the memories of young menabout their commanders
on the battlefield. I dont know if this work was continued or not.
They narrated very short stories or brief memories, memories that
manifest the magnificence of such a personality to man. These could be
patterns for us. And of course, in our scientific personalities,
athletic personalities, literary personalities, as well as among our
artistic personalities we may find patterns as well; personalities that
are truly notable.
Of course man chooses his model in accordance with his own criteria.
You may choose any pattern that you wish, but I ask you to consider
piety as a criterion, piety is something that cannot be neglected. It is
necessary for a worldly life as well as a spiritual one.
In response to your question as to what personalities had impressed
me I must say that there were quite a variety.
The person who impressed me very much in my youth was the late
Navab Safavi. I was about fifteen when he came to Mashad. I was
really impressed by him. When he left Mashad he was martyred in a
terrible way only after some months had passed. This deepened his
impression upon us. Ladder Imam Khomeini profoundly impressed me. Before
I left for Qom and before the outbreak of the struggle I had heard Imam
Khomeinis name, I had not yet seen him but I was interested in him;
because all the young men in Qoms theological school took great
interest in his lectures which appealed to them. When I left for Qom I
did not hesitate to go to his classes.
From the start I attended his sessions and I continued to attend his
classes for as long as I stayed in Qom. He impressed me very much. My
father and mother, of course, impressed me as well. My mother especially
so, she impressed me deeply. She was quite an effective lady.
* Considering your
interest in art and literature, who among contemporary poets have you
studied most and in whom are you more interested?
I divide contemporary poets into:
Poets who composed lyric poems, poets who composed of satirical
poems, and poets who composed modern verse. Each of these categories
consists of some individuals in whom I was interested. Among the lyric
poets there is the late Amiry Firouzkouhy who was a friend of mine
and he took a great liking to me we were in contact with each other for
many years after the Revolution. He passed away during my term as
president. Besides Amiry there were, of course one or two other
composers of lyric poems whose work attracted me; one of them is the
late Rahy Moayery I did not hare close contact with him, the other
one is the late Shahriar I was very interested in his poems, and I
was also acquainted with him, after the Revolution but we had no
relation before the Revolution. One of the best among composers of
satirical poems was Malekashoara Bahar whose satirical poems
proved very attracted to me. The late Amiry Firouzkouhy used to
compose a sort of satirical poem in the style of Khaghany a famous
and noted composer of satirical poems, I was very interested in him.
There were two or three people in the area of modern verse, whose
work I found very interesting; one of them is Akhavan. We knew
Akhavan and his poetry was very exceptional. There are two or
three other people that are also notable but I do not wish to mention
their names. During our youth there were individuals who were masters in
the art of modern verse and I believe they composed modern verse even
better than Nima Youshij, although he paved the way but in my
opinion these people were better at composing more experienced and more
noteworthy. Of course no one had the sincerity that Nima Youshij
had neither did Akhavan nor the two or three people that have not
mentioned. Nima Youshij- contrary to gossip was a religious
man. The late Amiy was his close friend and he told me that
Nima Youshij was religious. He was interested in traditional
poems, but he was also interested in this style modern verse as well.
You know, of course that he imitated Europeans in this style.
Basically the style of our (modern verse) is not an original style in
a real sense; it is a style of European poetry; with many of the
characteristics that these poems possess, even patterns of English
sentence structure has entered modern Persian poetry.
Among the poets we have today, we have some very good ones; we have
also good lyrical poems and to be fair, among those whom we say are good
poets; we have those who write modern verse as well. Among the poets of
the Revolution, some are really good and gifted ones. Allow me not to
get into commenting upon the contemporary poets at this time.
* Today literature is
directly mixed up with political viewpoints; consequently bewildering
writers of the young generation. What is your opinion in this case?
I do not understand what you are getting at when you by say that
literature has become mixed with politics. Does it mean that it has
political content? For instance, suppose we say that, there is a poet
who is in opposition to our current reasoning from the political point
of view but he is a notable poet, if his poems found its way into the
universities and attract attention it may be used, therefore it should
not be so employed. Of course I do not know how such poetry is
encountered with in the universities. If we really had a poet who had a
high position from a poetic point of view so that a student in the
university could really make use of his poetry I would not criticize
him. Even if that poet was going against the revolution for coming into
a class and being the subject to attention; but honestly I do not know
any such a poet now.
You speak of the separation of modern poem and prose from the poems
of the previous era. In that time when this so called notable poet
composed this poem, we probably had ten other poets who may have had the
same fame or more famous. Now this particular poets poetry, and I
wish not to mention his name and will not do so, found its way into the
university but Akhavans poetry did not and I do not think that his
poetry was the best manifestation of the poetry of that period.
Akhavan was a friend of mine; during my presidential term we had a
warm relationship with each other After my presidential term.
Subsequent to return from a one year trip to Europe, he wrote me a
letter and composed a poem, and soon after he passed away. Therefore
there is nothing wrong with «Akhavan». In fact why shouldnt we not
gravitate towards such a man who could be so useful to us? In other
words, if we really have great poets right now I see no problem in
students of universities making use of their poetry and subjecting them
to scholarly research, I see no problem in this, at least it is not
prohibited on my part. I am not aware about any such programs but I do
not know such poets.
You should know that there are some people who have famous names, but
really are not that great and their poems, too, are not that important.
When exposed to criticism, and putting aside their status as poets in
considering both good and bad in detail it then becomes clear that some
of them are fakes. Usually I am not uninformed about these contemporary
poets. Some of these so-called poets compose poems and claim that they
are this and they are that, that they are the roots of poetry in this
country, while we know they are nothing of the sort. At the time when it
was best for their work they were second rate, some of them were third
rate while there were many in the country who were much better than
Contemporary poems should be worked on. You will find no one in lyric
poetry who is better than Rahy Moayery during his time. «Rayh» is from
the same generation that is connected to this period, and it is the same
with the late Amiry Firouzkouhy, and these are quite noted poets, or the
late «Gholam Reza Qodsi» or Mr «Qahraman» who is now in Mashad and
is a very good composer of lyric poems; or for instance Mr. Sahebkar in
Mashad who is not a well-known poet but his lyric poems are excellent.
Or for example in Kermanshah there is Mr. Behzad. These are the poets of
note in this period. The young poet of today will really not be able to
find any pobetter than these.
We have exceptional poets that unfortunately the young generation is
not aware of. All of them are also good people. People who are on the
line of the Revolution, the system and Islam; the very line that the
people support in Iran. There is no opposition or separation. They could
be quite useful for us, but our youths are somewhat lazy in the fields
of research, investigation and follow up. If it is not too presumptious
to the youth this must be said. If they search a little and be serious
they can uncover very good sources. Right now in our own university in
Tehran we have very excellent and noteworthy poets to whom people pay
very little attention.
* We have observed that
in social and political affairs, some people take up extremist positions
and also follow up on them. What is your guidance for young people in
One should not be very afraid of variety in tastes. Variety in taste
is not a bad thing. Now, for example, if there are two political
orientations, and one youth believes in one of them and the other youth
believes in the other its no problem, what is harmful is action
without thinking and without study jumping to quick decisions, becoming
agitated and carrying out activities without proper study. I warn dear
youths to beware of this attitude. Being young does not necessarily mean
having speed in making decisions. Of course, youth means intrepidity in
taking action, which means that man should not let himself be rendered
helpless by the complications and complexities of the work that he wants
to accomplish. It does not mean becoming, agitated and acting without
methodology and without deliberation. Youth can act without deliberation
but they can also work with deliberation which is to work completely,
thoughtfully and with reflection. These characteristics that is, the
characteristics of deliberation, of thoughtfulness of study and of
seeking the truth all of them can exist in the youth. If some youth, for
example can be seekers after truth which is, basically, part of their
attributes there will be no objection at all to them having variety in
taste and it will not be the cause of any error, at least it will not
create any serious damage.
As regards to the attitude of denying the other side, such as in
social affairs, a person taking up a position and saying that it is one
hundred percent so and so and nothing else, is not right. It is not a
good attitude to have. Of course, we must be so with regard to some of
the principles of our religious beliefs that is, one must follow it
thoughtfully and take stand on a fixed and well established point, and
decisively say this is it and there is nothing else. In this case it is
not bad to say so, rather, its good but in social matters, in
political matters and in various social encounters it is not right to
say that (This is right and there is nothing else. In my opinion man
should tolerate opinions contrary to his own, and concerning the effect
upon his thoughts and his opinions, he must establish deliberation as
the criterion and the basis of his work. In my opinion there would be no
problem if such was the case.
* So far, during the
course of your activities, to what extent have you given youth
responsibility and what is your experience in this regard? In your
opinion, what is the responsibility of youth for scientific uplifting of
At the beginning of the Revolution, I gave youth responsibilities in
areas of work that were in my control whether in the armed forces,
working in the government or during my term as president. My experience
is, that, if we put our trust in youth, that young person who has what
it takes should be given that responsibility, he has the competency.
This does not mean every youth, every responsibility. Compared to
others young people were better and more responsible in performing their
jobs, they also progressed more rapidly, they would be more innovative
and would deliver earlier; in other words they maintained a progressive
method on the job. On the other hand, it was possible for non-youth to
accomplish their actual tasks quite well, but they stopped short of
progressing in practice, and usually such is the case.
When we were on the Revolutionary Council, some other friends and
ourselves were objected against concerning this matter, there were older
individuals, mainly sixty, seventy, seventy-five years old who also sat
on the council and did not have much belief in the youth. They used to
say why do you turn forwards the youth and put them to perform crucial
tasks without proper warrant? They didnt like to give away too much
ground to the youth. They certainly preferred that the youth obey and
follow them. They used to say they are young and we are old so they
should follow us. They were not quite ready to place their trust in
young people, but we had been placing our trust in them. With the
practical experience they were having, we were giving them the answer,
work was well done and progress was being made. As to the other part of
your question, referring to the scientific advancement of the country.
Bear in mind that the period of youth is the period of capability. How,
for what can this capability be employed? In my opinion, it should be
used mainly in acquiring knowledge, in purifying the soul, in instilling
piety in oneself and in strengthening the body-namely through exercise.
These three areas are fundamental, such that if in one short sentence I
was asked, what do you want from youth? I would tell that person:
acquiring an education, spiritual refinement and exercise. I think that
the youth should go after these three special characteristics. Acquiring
an education includes research as well as intellectual work. Because
this ability resides in youth, they should strive very hard in acquiring
an education. Nowadays, I have heard that youth are not willing to
accept this heavy scientific responsibility. This is not good at all.
How could we advise a young person who is not getting an education, his
high school program left in the lurch and not attending university that
he should go and study but not so advise a university student who is not
studying hard in university at all? Really, what did you go to
university to do? You should be going to University to advance kowledye.
In my opinion young people should apply their energy which is, in
reality, the power of their youth, in the pursuit of acquiring
As to your question whether the gap between the advanced countries
and ourselves is coverable or not, I believe so, I think it can
definitely be covered. Of course it is possible that we cannot cover it
by going the same route as they have gone, however, ilâ mâsha Allah,
short cuts do exist in the world. We do not know very well this natural
world that God has created. There are thousands of ways. One way is the
very path that contemporary industrial civilization has taken, and after
every step they have mapped out the steps to come. Why should we not be
hopeful of opening a new door and making a new discovery. There was a
time when electricity had not been discovered, I mean, it had been in
existence in the world, but people had not been aware of it, suddenly,
they came to know of it and to utilize it. Yes, they had known of steam
power and long before that they did not even know about fire, however,
later on, they came to know about it. So why should we despair of not
coming to know of something hither to unknown once again, just as every
day something otherwise unknown before becomes known? We must work in
this area and reach a road, our road, that will make ready the rapid
advancement of science. Its only remedy is for the youth to work hard
especially those involved in science, education and research.
Once can accomplich whatever task one wants to do during our youth;
especially in those three areas: knowledge, self purification and sport,
which are best accomplished while one is young. Everyone certainly knows
that exercise when one is older is not as effective to the some extent
as compared to when one is younger. Most people, however, do not know
about purifying the soul, imagine that when a human being grows old then
is the time to practice worship and self. Purification exactly when
self-purification is difficult, sometimes even impossible. In old age
self-purification is a most difficult thing. In your time, however, the
time of youth, self purification is very easy. At any rate, young people
should take these three tasks very seriously.
* With respect to fashion
consciousness being regarded as a special characteristic of man, who, in
some manner displays himself in such ways that include make up and
dress. What is your opinion as to how one should confront such a
subject? What has the state machinery done until now? Have they been
In answer to your question, what I can say now, is that the principle
behind the inclination towards the beautiful, beautification and the
love of beauty is something found in the essential nature of man
(fitrah). Of course it may be a bit different from the concept of
fashion consciousness. Fashion consciousness is something more general.
The question of make-up, clothing and the like which you have mentioned
is a particular category, that is, that man, especially the youth, like
beauty and beautification and like to be beautiful themselves as well,
there is no harm in this, it is something natural and normal and is not
forbidden in Islam, what is forbidden is causing a disturbance (fitnah)
Beauty and beautification should not be the cause for brining
corruption and decadence into existence in society. In other words it
should not introduce moral decadence into society. How does it do so?
His ways are clear. If male-female relationships are to be
irresponsible, unconditional and unrestrained, it causes corruption. If
fashion centrism assumes an extreme form you will get corruption. If the
topic of beautification, cultivating external appearances, clothing and
the like become the primary occupation of life this leads to deviation
and decadence. It will be like in the period of tyranny (taghut), when
aristocratic women and those from among the nobility would sit behind
the dressing table. And how long do you think they sat there for? Six
hours! This is true, I have accurate information on the fact that they
would sit there for six hours. A human being spending all this time
because she wants, for example to go to a wedding and she has to do her
hair or her face in some special way! If it comes to this, that is
deviation and decadence. In itself, however, there is no harm in paying
attention to your outward appearance and clothing, as long as it is not
for showing off and for displaying ones charms (tabarruj).
Tabarruj is forbidden in Islam. Tabarruj means women showing
themselves off in front of men in order to attract and encourage
disturbances (fitnah). This is a kind of fitnah that carries a whole lot
of problems along with it. A young man falling into sin with a young
woman is not the only problem, that is only the beginning, I would dare
say it is the smallest problem, it continues right into the family.
Fundamentally, this type of unrestrained, unconditional and unrestricted
relationship is a deadly poison for the foundations of the family,
because a family with love is alive. In principle, love is the basis of
the family. If this love -the love of beauty, the love toward the
opposite sex- is provided for in a hundred different places then that
strong support, necessary for the stability of the family will disappear
and families would become unstable. Unfortunately today, the situation
has indeed come to this in western countries especially in Europe and
America. America is now severely afflicted with this problem, families
are disintegrating and this has become a great calamity. The negative
consequences of this disaster on its most primary level, affects
women themselves. It is, of course very hard for the men as well, but it
affects women more so. Next, it affects the generation to be born. See
what a criminal and delinquent generation we have in the world today and
in America? All of them originate from there. It is the evil
introduction and key... after which wickedness follows in succession.
Islam gives importance to the subject of beauty. We have quite often
heard the saying: God is beautiful and loves beauty:
There are many narratives in our books of traditions (hadith) that
treat especially of looking after our outward appearance. In the book of
Marriage (Nikah) it is discussed in detail that man and woman must pay
attention to their outward appearance. Some people imagine that men, for
example, should shave the hair on their heads; no. In religious law it
is recommended (mustahabb) that young men leave their hair, it is
narrated that: Beautiful hair is among the blessings of God, so treat
it honourably or, for example, it is narrated that whenever the Honorable Prophet
wanted to go among his companions he used to look into a container of
water and properly fixed his appearance. In those days when mirrors as
we know them today did not exist, Medina was poor too, so the Prophet
had a container of water which he would use as a mirror when he wanted
to go out among his friends. What is evident here is that looking after
your outward appearance, putting on nice clothes and inclining towards
beauty was a thing aimed at from the beginning of Islam. But that which
is bad and harmful is that which become the tools for fitnah and
tabarruj. As I had said before, the damage will hit their families and
the generation that comes after them.
Recently I saw mentioned a subject in one of the American magazines
which was also reflected in our newspapers, that two boys of ten or
twelve years old had took up ambush and gunned down a group of teachers
and children with a machine gun! First of all they sounded the alarm so
that the children would assemble, then they gunned them down. How truly
bad and painful it is for a society to be in such a state. It was a
cold-blooded and unimaginable criminal act, because of bad upbringing.
All of this comes after that very unrestrictedness.
* How can a youth
satisfy his need for excitement and make use of it?
That's a good question. However it's also a difficult one, not among
one of the most easy questions. See here, excitement is in a special
area concerning those things in which excitement becomes evident, for
example, sports, especially in some sports like soccer, which is an
exciting event. Soccer is so by nature and it is different to other
sports like volleyball and tennis; from the point of view of the
fundamental nature of the game, it is constructed in such a way that
there is a great deal of competitiveness, excitement, and the like. On
the whole sports is an exciting thing, artistic works, also evoke
But excitement is not only confined to these areas alone. If a young
person was able to find an area (whatever area) that is attractive to
him, he could easily satisfy that excitement in himself. I felt that
excitement when I was younger and donned the garb of a religious student
(talabeh). The dress and also the environment were restrictive,
nevertheless, I was excited and it was also satisfying. How? I liked
poetry. It may be hard for you to believe. There used to be poetry
sittings with four or five friends who all were aficionados of poetry,
where we would sit for two or three hours, just talking about and
reading poetry. This is for a person who is interested in that sort of
thing. It satisfies his excitable mood to the extent that it does for a
soccer player or for fans watching a soccer match. As such it is not a
Another example is related to the very example you gave about a
university engineering student. You said that he studies but is not
excited about it. When the name of study is brought up, someone would
think that it is not an exciting thing. It is true that a classroom may
not be an exciting place, however if you assume that a workplace is set
up alongside the class, whether in the university or outside as is now
in vogue with young people during their engineering program are put
irelationships with factories. Such a young person would feel that this
workshop would contain the possibility for him to initiate and pursue
the innovations he desires or the ideas that come to his mind in that
environment. Do you think he would be less excited? In fact he would be
even more so.
As I was saying to the brothers, do research, research must be done
with love and enthusiasm. Research in which you force someone, telling
him go research will certainly be something dry, unexciting and
useless also; but in the case of a field of study for which you have a
great deal of love and affection, for which you have written your
university entrance examinations, which you are now studying in
university, where you have a good professor, and now, you have a
well-equipped workplace within your reach where you can make the results
of your ideas and your innovations into a reality, thats really
I would like to express it in this way, that we should not consider
the matter of satisfying the sense of excitement of youth in such a way
as to evoke it in the mind as something questionable or as a cause for
concern, no. If the field of life is opened up in various areas, youth
themselves will go into those areas where they have an interest in order
to satisfy their excitement.
As the authorities as well as every person who is interested in this
country- inclusive of governmental, and non governmental organizations
and sections concerning youth in particular - we must open the field for
healthy and proper youth activities. Now, for example, a youth may be
interested in the area of literature, or economics. Normally, economics
does not have laboratories, however, if all of a sudden it may be
announced that such and such an economist, foreign or local, in such and
such a place, is having a class or a seminar and is going to give a
lecture. This is very meaningful for a young person who has such an
interest. To get a ticket, to go there immediately and to put his
questions to the professor, all this is excitement. With divine grace if
the field of work and activity facing the youth is expanded -a trend
that has progressed since the beginning of the Revolution- the youth
will be able to satisfy this sense of excitement which is one of their
blessings. Of course I concur that it has not gone as far forward as it
should have because of the problems that have existed for nineteen years
up till now.
In eight of these nineteen years there was a real war going on. In
the first two or three years those in authority were lacking in
experience, information and know-how, then, little by little we began to
You are an artist, and all praises be to God, you are also well
known, we have seen you on television. You artists are the ones most
capable of serving the people. The people can learn from you. If the
artist really possessed that piety that I was talking about, so that
when you, are performing this role, when you are playing that part that
you keep in mind that a number of youth, a number of children, a number
of women and men will be looking at you and will be learning from you;
if you plan it so that your work be well done and be of the highest
excellence, I would imagine that you would be most capable of service.
Art has an expressiveness of language that no other language
possesses, whether it be the language of science, that of ordinary
speech, or the sermon. None of them has the expressiveness of the
language of art. One of the secrets of the success of the Qur'an is it's
artistry. The Qur'an is very much at the pinnacle of art, it is quite
extraordinary, in fact, it enchanted the people of that time; otherwise,
if the Noble Prophet had sat with the people and without an artistic
language spoke with them in a matter - of - fact kind of language, maybe
he might have found a small group interested in what he had to say, but
that thunderbolt, that thunder and lightning, that storm would never
have been. It is art that does this kind of thing. Art has that kind of
effect. Even now, when someone reads Hafiz's poetry, he could see a
greatness in it. It makes an impression on you. At the same time, the
influence of these performing arts is much more rapidly felt compared to
that of poetry and literature, however I don't know if they are more
lasting or not. It is possible for someone to say that in certain areas
it is or is not more lasting, but at any event its influence is quicker
more decisive and more overwhelming.
You all (artists) can make an impression quite well. I want to ask
those script writers, those who write screenplays, the actors, the
directors, the set decorators, and the costume designers - which, by the
way, is one of the most important aspects in artistic work, but is most
overlooked, because the clothes you wear serve as a model for one group
and is very attractive to them - I would like to ask them to be aware of
what they are doing, that they should think about its end results. At
any rate it is a very good field and, God willing, I hope you will be
Why don't we see a strong policy in sports? And why isn't sports used
as a powerful tool against the cultural invasion?
The subject you have mentioned concerning what is lacking in the
affair of sports is absolutely correct. Not much has been done in
sports. Turning our attention to sports we perceive two big
First, investment should be made in devising a massive program and in
making crucial fundamental decisions as to the choice of sport. There is
the demand, and the potential in Iranian society. Which sport should be
placed under consideration? What should be the state of mind and how
should it be followed up? In this very context, I had spoken in detail
with athletes and national sports authorities one or two years ago. I
believe that if we invest in this area and do some proper thinking and
planning, without a doubt, the same thing would happen in the world
sporting arena that had occurred in the war with our volunteer forces
and military organizations who were all but cut off from the modern
equipment of the world. You have seen what honour they brought. Even
now, in volleyball for the handicapped and disabled war heroes, the same
thing has happened; these brothers have consistently been bringing
honour and glory; or, for example, in wrestling, you yourself
(addressing Rasul Khadim, the Iranian wrestler) your brother and other
brothers have really brought great honour to this country. We can be
like this in every area of sports. There is no reason why we cannot
enter the battlefield among the worlds most distinguished athletes in
soccer, volleyball, equestrian events or in some of our traditional
sports like polo, or in martial arts or swimming.
The reason for the situation being so disorganized at present is
because there has been no programming applied to training or for
advancement or utilization of relevant techniques. This is one problem.
The second problem, which is very much related to the first, is the lack
of a spiritual and cultural atmosphere in sports. It is not that our
athletes are not good people, not at all, there are very good,
believing, pious and abstemious people amongst them, however it must be
more than just this. Our sports environment must be an environment of
modesty. Modesty has a very intriguing and very wide meaning. It is the
wholesomeness of the soul of a man where so ever he may be. The sports
environment must be a modest environment; licentiousness disrepute, or
any form of immodesty should not be seen in it, we must create this
atmosphere in our sports environment and if this is so, it will shine in
the world and our sports will become a star.
Look, right now, our films are entered into international film
festivals, and the point that proves very attractive to the judges and
the audience is the modesty that is now characteristic of Persian films.
Some directors and filmmakers naturally go after this now, for some
others, however modesty is something that is imposed, they have no
choice but to portray women, men and family relations in a manner that
is in conformity with the atmosphere currently accin the Islamic
Republic. This is exactly what makes it stand out in the world.
Contrary to what has been imagined, the world does not like this
unrestraint, and lasciviousness, it is tired of it. Islam has also
recommended the very state of chastity, decency, wholesomeness and
propriety which is so natural to Iranian society. We must make this
dominant in the sports environment and in other areas as well, this will
become the culturo-spiritual atmosphere of sports. It will be exactly as
you are saying. For with regard to going into the battleground of the
cultural invasion, we must hold on to our own culture, this is
Therefore, if in the world of sports, the authorities pay attention
to these two tasks; which are, on the one hand, getting the knowledge
and drawing up a precise program in every respect, such as selection
technique, work, training and exercise; and on the other hand in
attaining a cultural atmosphere in sport, I believe that our sports
environment will go forward which will be very good.
However, I would like to ask the youth that they should not wait for
that day, and they should not say that when sports get like that then we
would go and participate, no youth should exercise without exception.
Now, when we say "youth" it does not mean that those who are
not young should not participate in sports, they should also, however
sports contain a great deal that is attainable for youth, a subject
which I wouldnt repeat since I've already spoken about it men and
family relations in a manner that is in conformity with the atmosphere
currently acceptable in the Islamic Republic. This is exactly what makes
it stand out in the world.
Contrary to what has been imagined, the world does not like this
unrestraint, and lasciviousness it is tired of it. Islam has also
recommended the very state of chastity, decency, wholesomeness and
propriety which is so natural to Iranian society. We must make this
dominant in the sports environment and in other areas as well, this
become the culturo-spiritual atmosphere of sports. It will be exactly as
you are saying, for with regard to going into the battle ground of the
cultural invasion, we must hold on to our own culture, this is
Therefore, if in the world of sports, the authorities pay attention
to these two tasks; which are on the one hand, getting the knowledge and
drawing up a precise program in every respect, such as selection
technique, work, training and exercise; and on the other hand in
attaining a cultural atmosphere in sport, I believe like to ask the
youth that they should not wait for that day, and they should not say
that when sports get like that then we would go and participate, no
youth should exercise without exception. Now, when we say
"youth" it dose not mean that those who are not young should
not participate in sports, they should also, however sports contain a
great deal that is attainable for youth, a subject which I would'nt
repeat since I've already spoken about it frequently. Exercise is also
mandatory for old people, for those who have passed the period of their
youth - for those who are forty or fifty - exercise is mandatory, they
* Why isn't there a
special policy - making center in youth affairs? Why are the different
sections concerning youth affairs - for example, marriage, not
coordinated with each other?
Of course, this has been accomplished to some extent, that is, with
the establishment of the High Council for Youth, the first step has been
taken in this direction, and I hope that this first step will also take
us the rest of the way. Without a doubt some governmental organizations,
for example the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education
or that of Medicine are also related to youth affairs, however, with
respect to the main center that can consider youth affairs in a
comprehensive and exhaustive manner, is the very High Council for Youth.
So far, in my opinion, the brothers have done a good job to the extent
where their responsibilities apply. They should do the work of a
headquarters and the task of executing the directives should be the work
of the governmental organizations. The Youth Charter that some gentlemen
had prepared last year and presented to me was very good, very
comprehensive and useful and it could be a practical logical and
excellent base for organizations to the Islamic Republic of base their
The government or even the High Council for Youth could, of course
make deliberations on the subject of marriage which you had mentioned.
The issue of marriage, however, is a completely individual and personal
matter. Families must think about it and governmental and public
organizations should give general recommendations. My own recommendation
is that you should make marriage easy; do not make the mahr too high,
jahiziehs (trousseaux) should not be heavy, wedding parties should not
be too lavish and extravagant. These things should be put into practice.
If would be very good if this was propagated through culture and art in
order to get the people to adopt it. If this way is adopted, I think
that marriage will be a very easy thing.
Also, the age at which individuals should marry should not be so
that, on the one extreme, you have some people thinking that it must
take place very early in youth. No, I disagree with this. There is no
objection if someone wants to marry at a very early age there is
absolutely no problem with this, but in this regard it is not necessary
that we insist upon the matter.
Neither should it be the opposite extreme, like what westerners do,
marrying at thirty or forty years of age. Of course, in my opinion,
selfishness could be so dominating that a man or thirty, forty of fifty
years would see no problem in marrying a young girl, I mean these upper
years are those of grown men, but still he is after a young woman much
younger than him with a great age difference between them, which is, of
course, found over there (in the west), the very same place where
insecure marriages take place, and so, you have a lot of single people
in Western countries, people who, for their entire lives, have lived
alone, something which, fortunately, is very rare in Iran and in other
Islamic countries. At any rate, marriages should be made easy and should
not be for chasing down prestige so that it would be easier for the
youth to reach the stage of getting married. This must come into
existence within families, among the youth, and within the young men and
women themselves. There should be no barrier to marriage. If the
government could provide the facilities that would be very good. I have
always been pushing for this, always advising the authorities regarding
housing, loans and other living necessities for the youth; we presume
all these things, however I would like to say that the first level of
responsibility in this task is family and personal responsibility.
In your opinion what ways are there to protect the values and carry
over the spiritual atmosphere of the war years to the youth of today?
You are quite right in every word you said. I also believe in the
same point sir. I believe, and I am proud of people like you. It's a
discussion, not about individuals, it is a discussion about states of
mind, it's a discussion on intentions, on the renewed life and these
difficult tests which this revolution has given to our country. In the
circumstances surrounding the Fath (Victory) of "Operation
Bustan" the Imam gave a message in which it was changed to
"Fath al Futuh" (Victory of Victories). Some people imagined
that the Fath al Futuh was the Battle of Bustan itself, however, the
Imam did not say that, he was saying that the Fath al Futuh - the
Victory of Victories- is the victory or the fashioning of these aware
and awakened souls.
Indeed the biggest victory of the Islamic Republic was that it was
able to take these youth to this level of greatness and spiritual
exaltation so that they could believe in themselves, to be able stand up
and defend the country, defend themselves and defend Islam against the
great assault of a united world, which was manifein the Imposed War, and
which has continued up till now. Even now we are facing a worldwide
I have noticed that some of the press, the newspapers, the man new on
the scene who has no idea of what's going on are really uninformed, if
not biased. These people seem to think that it is some kind of art to
draw this country back to the state of banality that existed before the
revolution, and they are, at present, actively trying to do this. How
irresponsible. What a pity. Our young people, at the time of their youth
were able to save themselves from the stupefaction that had prevailed in
the country, they were able to move and deliver Iran. Iran was gone and
we were lost. We were totally wrecked. The flood of western cultural
sewage which marked the introduction of economic, Political and colonial
domination in the real sense, of the word, really destroyed us. In the
midst of all this, the powerful hand of the revolution and Islam, by
means of these very youth, rescued the country. Now a group of people
wants this proud period to be entrusted in the bosom of forgetfulness
and the people to go back to that very state of stupefaction that
existed before. Who wants that situation? The enemies of this country
and this nation want it.
I think I have mentioned this in a speech before. Just recently,
before Eid (Noruz) in an American magazine, a well known American writer
wrote an editorial, which, in brief, said talked about the confrontation
with countries like Iran, which he, by the way, referred to in a very
derogatory manner, as an outlaw state - meaning that we cannot operate
along economic and military lines. He said that those ways (economic and
military) had been tried but had failed. He said we must enter by
cultural means", once again making it clear. You may ask, how can
they enter? In the middle of that very page the picture of a totally
naked woman was drawn, and he said that this was the way. He said that
"we must promote this for us to be able to overcome them. He's
right that's the way.
Unfortunately there are a number of people who have no idea what they
are actually doing to the country, but certainly, with Divine might and
power we will not let them and they will not be able to. We will not let
this treachery take place against this country and against this
Revolution and bring them to an end, however, they continue to indulge
themselves in these whims and want to take the people back to those
In my opinion, our youth today are godly, believing and good of
heart. Take a look and see the university situation, our workers
situation, see what kind of environment prevails in our country. Look at
those days when we hold demonstrations, like the 22nd of
Bahman or the Day of Quds. Who are the majority of the people who flow
into the streets like a flood? They are those very youth. Those very
godly souls, that very zeal, that Divine thunderbolt which is still
found in the country and is still quite active. This spirit once again
will take this country to the shores of salvation.
Right now, there is no doubt that we have difficulties and problems
in the area of economics and such, and they will come to an end one day,
but that which will eliminate all these difficulties is nothing more
than this spiritual attitude and holding on to Islam and the Revolution;
nothing else will. Once again, it will be this young girl and this young
boy that will save this country. I have said time and time again that
the young generation is the one that will resolve periods of great
difficulty and suffering. When they come on the scene- and all Praise be
to Allah they are now on the scene- problems both intricate and
difficult will be solved. Our youth are believers (mumin), religious
they are fond of their country and Islam and oppose American and foreign
domination. This is exactly what will be effective. These people are in
the process of also hatching plots and weaving lies. It will have no
effect, God willing. God - willing, God Himself will help. Hadhrat
Baqyyatullah (our souls be sacrificed for him) would also support this
path, this effort and these youth.
Finally there is one point I would like to bring to mind and that is
that these efforts that the youth are making are not minor. Study
itself, I'm saying, the very same work in research, working in art,
sports, all of these are not small efforts. I implore you, those
involved in these activities, not to think that your work is
insignificant, no, this very work, among the enormous aggregates of the
country, changes into a determining element. Assume, say a certain
artist decides, by himself to do a great work of art, he can't say I
am now doing one individual work, I, myself, am alone, and this is but
an insignificant work not at all; this well - done work you did, even
if one hundred other persons thought like yourself, that tremendous
upliftment that same great work would take place all the same. It is the
same thing in sports, study, in research and in the special efforts of
the youth. This is exactly like that on a day of a demonstration. If we
all say Right now I am one person, what effect could I have? this
great flood of millions on the 22nd of Bahman or at the
Friday prayer would not take place, however everyone still feels that he
is fulfilling his duty at that moment.
I would like to emphasize and repeat that the individual efforts of
these youth -everywhere and in every area that they are working, in the
area of the Qur'an, scholarship, in education, in the theological
school, in the university or in writing - is an important effort. The
very effort that, God willing will elevate the country.