Supreme Leader's Hajj
Written by ebrahimi
Sunday, 07 December 2008
In the Name of God the Beneficent the Merciful
Once again the Land of Revelation has gathered legions of
true-believers for its annual banquet. In the birthplace of Islam and the
Holy Qur'an, eager hearts from throughout the world are now engaged in
such rites which indeed show a sign of the eternal lesson of Islam and the
Holy Qur'an to mankind: symbolic steps for implementing and applying such
The aim of this great lesson is to ensure the eternal salvation and
dignity of mankind by training righteous people and establishing a
righteous society; people who worship the One and Only God in their hearts
and in practice and cleanse themselves from polytheism, moral impurities
and deviant desires, and a society built out of justice, freedom, faith,
vitality and all the other signs of life and progress.
The main elements for such personal and social training are
incorporated in the Hajj. Going into ihram and leaving individual
distinctions behind, abstaining from many carnal joys and desires,
circumambulating around the symbol of monotheism and praying in the Place
of Ibrahim the Idol-breaker and the Self-Sacrificing, the hurrying between
the two hills, finding tranquility in Arafat among the great numbers of
monotheists from every color and ethnic background to passing the night in
prayer and supplication in al-Mash`ar al-Haram with a fondness for God in
one's heart, devoting one's heart and soul to God the Almighty in such a
congested crowd, being present in Mina and stoning the satanic symbols,
the meaningful concretization of sacrificing and feeding the poor and the
wayfarer are all aimed at training, practicing and reminding us of it.
In this perfect ritual, sincerity, purity of heart and disentanglement
from materialistic engagements, endeavor, resilience, intimacy and
seclusion with God, unity, concordance, homogeneity, adorning the soul and
heart, committing the heart to solidarity with the great body of the
Muslim Ummah, humility before the Ultimate Truth, firmness against
falsehood, soaring in the desire for the hereafter and the firm resolution
to adorn the world are all interwoven and constantly practiced:
« وَ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ رَبَّنا آتِنا فِي الدُّنْيا حَسَنَةً وَ فِي
الآْخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَ قِنا عَذابَ النَّارِ ».
"And among them there are those who say, "Our Lord, give us good in
this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of
This way, the Honored Kaaba and the Hajj rituals contribute to the
resilience and the uprising of human societies and are filled with benefit
and enjoyment for all mankind:
«جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرامَ قِياماً لِلنَّاس»
«ليَشْهَدُوا مَنافِعَ لَهُمْ وَ يَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ
Allah has made the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a means of sustenance for
That they may witness the benefits for them, and mention Allah's Name
during the known days.
Today, Muslims from all countries and races should appreciate the value
of this great ritual more than before and benefit from it, for the horizon
is brighter than ever in the eyes of the Muslim Ummah and the hope for
reaching the goals Islam has envisaged for individuals and societies is
greater than ever. If, in the last two centuries the Muslim Ummah got
disintegrated and was defeated in the confrontation with the Western
materialistic civilization and the atheist schools of thought of both the
right and the left, today, in the 15th century of the Lunar Hegira, it is
the economic and political theories of the West that are paralyzed and
fading away. Today, as a result of the Muslims' reawakening and the
retrieval of their identity and with the resurgence of monotheistic ideas
and the logic of justice and divinity, a new dawn of prosperity and glory
has begun for Muslims.
Those who, in the not-so-distant past, were singing the tune of despair
and believed that not only Islam and Muslims but also the foundations of
spirituality and religiosity had been lost in the invasion of the Western
civilization, are now today witnessing the resurgence of Islam and the
revival of the Holy Qur'an as well as the gradual debilitation and
collapse of those invaders, confirming all this with their tongues and
I say with full confidence that this is only the beginning and the
complete fulfillment of the divine promise of the victory of truth over
falsehood, the reconstruction of the Ummah of the Qur'an and the new
Islamic civilization are on the way:
«وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَ عَمِلُوا الصَّالِحاتِ
لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الأَْرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ
قَبْلِهِمْ وَ لَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضى لَهُمْ وَ
لَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْناً يَعْبُدُونَنِي لا
يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئاً وَ مَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذلِكَ فَأُولئِكَ هُمُ
Allah has promised those of you who have faith and do righteous deeds
that He will surely make them successors in the earth, just as He made
those who were before them successors, and He will surely establish for
them their religion which He has approved for them, and that He will
surely change their state to security after their fear, while they worship
Me, not ascribing any partners to Me. And whoever is ungrateful after that
it is they who are the transgressors.
The first and foremost sign of this inescapable promise was the victory
of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the glorious
Islamic system which turned Iran into a strong fortress for the idea of
Islamic rule and civilization. The birth of this miraculous phenomenon
amidst the height of the materialism and Islamophobia of rightist and
leftist politicians and thinkers, and then its resistance against
political, military, economic and propaganda strikes coming from all
directions, gave rise to the creation of new hope and passion in the
hearts of Muslims. With the passage of time and by the grace of God the
Almighty, the strength and capabilities of the Islamic Revolution have
increased and the hope it created is now more deeply rooted than ever.
Over the last thirty years, the Middle East and Muslim countries in Asia
and Africa have been the arenas where this victorious struggle is taking
place: Palestine and the Islamic Intifada and the emergence of a Muslim
Palestinian government; Lebanon and the historic victory of Hizbollah and
the Islamic resistance against the arrogant bloodthirsty Zionist regime;
Iraq and the establishment of a Muslim and populist government on the
ruins of the atheist regime and the dictator Saddam; Afghanistan and the
humiliating defeat of the Communist occupiers and their puppet government;
the defeat and failure of all the plots hatched by arrogant America to
dominate the Middle East; the incurable problems and chaos inside the
usurper Zionist regime; the prevalence of the Islam-seeking masses in all
or most of the neighboring countries and especially among the youth and
intellectuals; the amazing scientific and technological progress in
Islamic Iran achieved under severe economic sanctions and embargoes; the
defeat of warmongers in America in the political and economic arenas and
Muslim minorities' regaining their true identity and dignity in most of
the Western countries. These are all clear indications of the triumph and
advancements of Islam in its struggle against its enemies in this century
that is the 15th century of Lunar Hegira.
Brothers and sisters! These victories are all the fruits of jihad and
sincerity. When the voice of God was heard from the lips of His servants,
and the resoluteness and strength of the fighters of the true path were
deployed and when the Muslims fulfilled their promise to God the Exalted
and the Almighty fulfilled His promise in response, the path of history
« أَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُم» «إِنْ تَنْصُرُوا اللَّهَ
يَنْصُرْكُمْ وَ يُثَبِّتْ أَقْدامَكُمْ » «ً وَ لَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ
يَنْصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيز» «إِنَّا لَنَنْصُرُ رُسُلَنا وَ
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيا وَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الأَْشْهادُ»
Fulfill My covenant that I may fulfill your covenant, and be in awe of
If you help Allah, He will help you and make your feet steady.
Allah will surely help those who help Him. Indeed Allah is all-Strong,
Indeed We shall help Our apostles and those who have faith in the life
of the world and on the day when the witnesses rise up.
But this is still the beginning. Muslim nations still face treacherous
roads ahead. One can never survive them unless one is equipped with the
power of faith, sincerity, hope and jihad as well as insight and patience.
This path cannot be taken with despair and pessimism, apathy and lack of
spirit, impatience, lethargy and disbelief in the fulfillment of the
The wounded enemy is now resorting to anything and will spare no effort
to strike back. We need to be resourceful, wise and to take advantage of
opportunities. This way all the efforts of the enemy will fail. In the
last thirty years, the enemies, mostly the US and Zionism, have been
utilizing all their capacities but have failed miserably. The same thing
will happen in the future, too, inshallah.
The severity and intensity of the enemy's actions usually show just how
weak and imprudent he is. Look at Palestine and especially Gaza. The cruel
and ruthless acts of the enemy, which are unprecedented in the history of
human atrocities, are indicative of his weakness in overcoming the firm
resolve of men, women and children who, with their empty hands, are
standing against the Occupant Regime and its supporter, the superpower
called America; they have spurned its demand which is to reject the Hamas
government. May God the Almighty's blessings be showered upon this
resolute and great nation. The people of Gaza and the Hamas government
have given meaning to the following everlasting verses of the Holy Qur'an
«وَ لَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَ الْجُوعِ وَ نَقْصٍ
مِنَ الأَْمْوالِ وَ الأَْنْفُسِ وَ الثَّمَراتِ وَ بَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ *الَّذِينَ
إِذا أَصابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَ إِنَّا إِلَيْهِ
راجِعُونَ *أُولئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَواتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَ رَحْمَةٌ وَ
أُولئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ» و «لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوالِكُمْ وَ
أَنْفُسِكُمْ وَ لَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتابَ مِنْ
قَبْلِكُمْ وَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا أَذىً كَثِيراً وَ إِنْ تَصْبِرُوا
وَ تَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الأُْمُورِ».
We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of
wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient.
Those who, when an affliction visits them, say, "Indeed we belong to
Allah, and to Him do we indeed return."
It is they who receive the blessings of their Lord and His mercy, and
it is they who are the rightly guided.
You will surely be tested in your possessions and your souls, and you
will surely hear from those who were given the Book before you and from
the polytheists much affront; but if you are patient and God wary, that is
indeed the steadiest of courses.
Truth will emerge triumphant in its battle with falsehood and it is the
oppressed and steadfast nation of Palestine that will ultimately be
victorious over the enemy.
«وَ كانَ اللَّهُ قَوِيًّا عَزِيزاً »
And Allah is all-Strong, all-Mighty.
Even today, the enemy has failed to break the resistance of the
Palestinians. The claims of freedom and democracy and the slogans of human
rights have turned out to be nothing but lies. This has greatly disgraced
the US and most European regimes; disgraces from which they will not be
able to recover soon. The infamous Zionist regime is more notorious than
before and some Arab regimes have lost their honor and reputation which
they did not have in this test.
وَ سَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنْقَلَبٍ يَنْقَلِبُونَ
السلام علی عباد الله الصالحین
Sayyed Ali Husainy Khamenei
4 Dhil-Hijjah 1429/ 3 December 2008
Supreme Leader's Speech to
Participants of the 17th National Prayer Meeting
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 19,
2008 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution to
participants of the 17th National Prayer Meeting.
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the
dear brothers and sisters who are responsible for propagating prayers.
This is a righteous and valuable deed everywhere, especially in
universities. I pray to Allah the Exalted to bestow grace on all of you as
well as on Mr. Gharaati and other people who are in charge of this great
duty-and who started this propagation. Their efforts have become very
successful today. I pray to God to grant them a long life so that they can
continue carrying out this duty.
The importance of propagating prayers is due to the importance of
prayers themselves. Islamic teachings-the Quran and the statements left
from our Prophet (s.w.a.) and infallible Imams-have encouraged Muslims to
pay attention to prayers. When we see the importance that has been
attached to prayers, we realize that prayers have a pivotal role among the
elements that contribute to physical, mental, individual, and social
health of human beings. Performing all religious obligations and avoiding
all unlawful acts come together to form the divine prescription that has
been provided for man. This is to increase our psychological strength and
to improve our status in this world and the hereafter-that is, our
personal and social status. However, there are a number of key elements on
this prescription, and maybe we can refer to prayers as one of those key
elements. "Those who, if We establish them in the land, will keep up
prayer." [The Holy Quran, 22: 41]. Faithful people, those who are engaged
in jihad, and those who are devoted to promoting divine teachings act like
this. When these people are established "in the land" and when they are
given power, there are many things that they are expected to do: establish
justice and many other things. But the first thing they do is to "keep up
prayer". Why is it so important to perform prayers? What is the secret
behind all this?
Performing prayers has been discussed in detail. There are
irrepressible passions in all of us. These passions are like an elephant
that has to be controlled, in which case the same human passions will
bring about improvement. Passions are a set of human instincts which can
help man achieve the peaks of perfection if they are controlled and
utilized in an appropriate way. The only problem is that they are hard to
control. These passions must be controlled. The reason why we have
oppression in the world is that there are some individuals or groups of
people who let their passions loose. That is also true of corruption,
insult, loss of human dignity, and poverty. That is the reason why a great
portion of the world population is deprived of divine blessings. It is the
passions of oppressors that give rise to oppression. It is the arrogant
people who disempower others. It is the greedy and ruthless people who
cause poverty and hunger. All the corruption in the world from the
beginning of time up to the present has been caused by human passions.
Throughout history the more man has tried to utilize his talents, the more
he has been involved in his passions. An oppressor who has an atomic bomb
is different from the oppressor who has only a sword. These passions have
grown more and more dangerous for human beings.
Human beings inherently suffer from these passions, and one day they
have to control them. These passions could be controlled through
remembrance of God, taking refuge in God, feeling dependant on God,
feeling humble before the glory of God, and realizing one's ugliness
compared to the absolute beauty of Allah the Exalted. These are all due to
remembrance of God. A pious man-that is, one who is careful and exercises
self-restraint-would not cause iniquity, oppression, and corruption.
Remembrance of God is a factor that keeps pious people from these things.
"Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil." [The Holy Quran,
29: 45]. This does not mean that saying prayers limits people. Prayers
just help us control our instincts. Some people believe this verse means
performing prayers puts an end to corruption and unlawful acts. That is
not the case. It simply means that your inner voice grows strong when
praying and constantly warns you against corruption and unlawful acts.
These constant warnings are certainly effective, and they make the heart
humble. That is the reason why prayers have to be repeated during the day.
We have been advised to fast once a year and go on hajj pilgrimage once in
a lifetime. But prayers have to be repeated several times a day. That
shows the importance of praying.
If we perform prayers, we will feel psychologically and socially secure.
Prayers make our mind, body, and society secure. That is the inherent
characteristic of prayers. That shows the effect of praying on society.
That is the reason why prayers have been stressed so much. This is the
duty of the organizations in charge of promoting prayers in different
parts of our country, and among people from different social backgrounds -
especially among our elite young students. I mean you are responsible for
leading the country towards collective remembrance of God. Everyone-young
or old, male or female-including government officials and those who are
self-employed, must be careful about moral issues. When people are aware
of God, they will do their job appropriately. Most of our sins are rooted
in lack of vigilance. That is the reason prayers have to be repeated
These issues have been discussed in detail, and I have talked about
them on several occasions. Prayers have a body and a soul. You must pay
attention to this point. Each and every one of us, including myself, must
pay attention to this point. Prayers have a form as well as substance. We
must take care not to separate the soul and body of prayers from one
another. That is not to say that the body of prayers is totally
ineffective. Even the body alone is not totally devoid of positive effects.
However, the type of prayer that has been emphasized by Islam, the Quran,
sharia, the Holy prophet (s.w.a.), and the infallible Imams (a.s.) is one
that has a body as well as a soul. The form of prayers has been tailored
to their soul. Prayers are composed of different parts such as ruku,
sajdah, prostration, and tashahhud. These various parts are there to
fulfill the different needs that prayers are supposed to fulfill, and
there is a secret behind each of the parts. Together, these parts form the
body [form] of prayers. This form is very important, but attention to God
is the soul of prayers. We must be aware of what we are doing. As I told
you, when praying is not accompanied by attention to Allah, it is not as
effective as it should be.
Sometimes people perform their prayers out of the force of habit.
Sometimes we pray for the same reason as we, for instance, brush our teeth
or exercise. But sometimes people pray in order to feel God's presence.
That is a different issue. We are constantly before God, no matter if we
are asleep, awake, unaware, or aware [of God's presence]. There are other
times when we perform wudu and ghusl-becoming spiritually and physically
clean as a result-and pray to God. That is how we must feel during prayers.
As I told you, you must feel God's presence. That is the psychological
status that prayers require. We must feel we are before Allah. Producing
some vocal signals is not the purpose of praying. That is not what we have
been advised to do. We can just say: "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the
worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Master of the day of Requital...." [The
Holy Quran, 1]. Then we have just produced some sound waves. Or we can
perform prayers in a good voice, but inattentively. But we have still done
nothing but produce some sound waves. That is not what we have been
required to do. We have been required to feel that we are before God. We
must talk to and from our hearts. These are all important. These are the
soul of prayers, and we must pay attention to them when we pray, propagate
praying, or teach it to other people.
Of course the soul and the form of prayers are inter-related. It is not
possible to think that one can engage in dhikr instead of saying prayers.
As I previously mentioned, the form and soul of prayers are inter-related.
According to Islamic traditions, different positions have been recommended
to us for different pasts of prayers. Of course, these positions are not
obligatory. Rather, they are recommended acts. For instance, it has been
recommended where we should look when we are standing or are during ruku
and sajdah. In other traditions, it has been recommended that we should
close our eyes when we are during ruku. Still in some others, we have been
recommended to look ahead when during ruku. These positions will all help
us be more attentive during prayers.
Let me refer to the importance of saying prayers, although we may not
be able to truly explain the importance of prayers. Imam Sadiq (a.s.),
while ill in bed and about to die, told his executor before his death: "Those
who debase prayers are not among my followers." This means those who do
not consider prayers as important.
Considering all the positive aspects of saying prayers, how much time
do we usually spend per day saying our prayers? The obligatory prayers
which we say during the day-17 rikaats-will take almost 34 minutes of our
time in a day if we are to say our prayers attentively. Otherwise, the
time we spend everyday on saying our prayers would be even less. Sometimes,
we spend 15 or twenty minutes of our time watching TV advertisements while
we are waiting for our favorite program to start. These advertisements are
not useful for us, but we just watch them and lose twenty minutes of our
time just to watch our favorite program. There are lots of similar cases
in our life in which we waste time in a similar fashion-like when we wait
for a taxi, a bus, a friend, or our professor in a class. In all these
cases, we lose ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes of our time. We can spend
these minutes praying which is a great and important act.
The youth should pay even more attention to praying than the others.
Through praying, the hearts of our youth get enlightened and they gain
more hope. Through praying, the youth gain spiritual vitality. These
feelings are typical of the youth. They will gain a lot of vitality out of
praying. If God Almighty bestows upon us the blessing to say our prayers
attentively, we will realize that one will never get tired of praying if
one prays attentively. When we say our prayers attentively, we can enjoy
praying more than any other thing in the world. These are the results of
attentive praying. Saying prayers inattentively and getting bored during
prayers are among the characteristics of hypocrites. Of course, this does
not mean that those who do not feel well while saying their prayers are
hypocrites. God Almighty mentions the characteristics which are typical of
hypocrites in the Holy Quran. There were some hypocrites during the
Prophet Muhammad's (s.w.a.) time who did not believe in praying but would
only pray for the sake of others. "And when they stand up for prayer, they
stand up sluggishly-they do it only to be seen." [The Holy Quran, 4: 142].
When one prays without remembering God, praying would turn into a boring
act for him. Even the four or five minutes which we spend to say four
rikaats of prayers would seem like a very long time if we pray without
remembering God during the prayers. If we pray for the sake of God and
remember God during the prayers, we will see that time passes very fast
during the prayers and wish we could spend more time praying.
This is something which our youth have to learn. If our youth learn
this, praying properly will not be difficult for them when they reach our
age. For those who are not used to praying properly, learning to do so
will be possible but difficult when they reach our age. Praying properly
means praying attentively and remembering God when praying. This means
speaking to God from the bottom of one's heart while praying. If these
points are observed, praying properly will turn into a habit and will not
be tiring for anyone. In this case, one will continue praying attentively
until the end of one's life.
A point was mentioned by Mr. Gharaati. This is a point which he has
mentioned several times in the past and which I have always emphasized as
well. The point concerns the insufficient number of mosques in
densely-populated areas. This is a point which the administration
officials who are present in this meeting-the honorable ministers present
in this meeting-should pose in the cabinet meetings. In all the great
building projects which are carried out inside the country, building
mosques should be a priority. When building subway stations, train
stations, airports, and satellite towns, building mosques should always be
a priority. In places where more than one mosque is required, they should
be built. Is it possible to develop a plan for a city without any streets?
Is it possible to build a city without any streets? Building mosques is
equally important. Building satellite towns without any mosques is not
acceptable. Building mosques should be one of the prerequisites for
issuing licenses for mass building projects.
Another point that was mentioned concerned the issue of praying during
flights-both domestic as well as international flights. If possible, the
flights should be scheduled in a way that makes it possible for the
passengers to say their prayers on time. For instance, it should not be
the case that a particular flight takes off before the dawn and lands
after the sunrise. The flights should be scheduled to allow the passengers
to say their prayers on time-either before the flight or after the flight
has landed. However, if this is not possible, the required facilities
should be provided for the passengers to say their prayers on the plane.
Of course, locating the Qiblah is easily possible. This is something which
pilots are well capable of. The same is also true of train schedules.
Our current situation is not comparable to that of the pre-Revolution
era. Most of you may not remember the pre-Revolution era. Things were
really strange, both here as well as in other places. I once took a trip
to Iraq to make a pilgrimage to the holy shrines there. The train did not
stop for morning prayers although we insisted a lot. Of course, it was not
possible for the train to stop due to the schedule which had been
previously set. As a last resort, I jumped out of the train while it was
near a station in order to say my prayers. It was not possible for me to
say my prayers inside the train because the train was very dirty. However,
what I intend to say is that these points were not observed before the
Revolution. Of course, the situation is quite different now, but I still
expect more from you. The importance of prayers should be clarified for
I have said many times before to prayer leaders of the different
cities-including Tehran-that enough facilities should be built inside our
mosques. The sound of the call to prayers should be heard everywhere. All
the manifestations of attention to prayers should be visible in an Islamic
city-especially in cities like Tehran and the other large cities in our
country. Both our people and the people who enter these cities should see
these manifestations in our cities. The manifestations of an Islamic city
should be clearly visible in our cities, just as they should in our
architecture. The Zionists use the sign of the unlucky Star of David on
all the buildings they construct in the world. This is one of their
policies. Similarly, the manifestations of Islam should prevail in our
I hope Allah the Exalted will bestow success on you all. Being in
charge of prayer-related affairs is not an insignificant task. Rather, it
is of paramount importance. I hope all those who are involved in these
affairs will be among those who are referred to as "those who keep up
prayers" in the Holy Quran. In the Holy Quran, pure-hearted, faithful
people are referred to as "those who keep up prayers". [The Holy Quran, 4:
162]. I hope you will all be among those who promote prayers, and I hope
God Almighty will bestow upon us the blessing to benefit from prayers.
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 5,
2008 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution to
the officials in charge of Hajj Affairs.
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I wholeheartedly pray to Allah the Exalted to bestow His blessings on
your efforts. I hope that these sincere efforts - which are being made to
get closer to Allah - will lead to the outcomes you intend to achieve,
that is, a genuine Islamic pilgrimage that is to be satisfactory to the
immaculate soul of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) of Islam.
Hajj is an opportunity that Allah the Exalted has bestowed on us. It is
an opportunity for both the individual Muslim and the great Islamic Ummah.
It is also an opportunity for the Islamic Republic that has raised the
flag of Islamic leadership and sharia. We must all make the best of this
For the individual Muslim, hajj is an opportunity to enter the vast
world of spirituality, to get rid of the imperfections of daily life, and
to enter a sincere, spiritual atmosphere. It is an opportunity to get
closer to Allah and to practice voluntary asceticism. From the very
beginning of the hajj rituals, pilgrims avoid the ordinary things that are
permissible in daily life. Ihram is to consider as haraam things that are
ordinarily permissible in everyday life. Some of these things that have
been declared halal prepare the ground for lack of vigilance and some
others bring about decadence.
During the hajj rituals, all the means of material and superficial
pride are taken away from us. First, we lose our ordinary clothes. All
pilgrims lose their ordinary clothes and social status and wear the same
uniform. During ihram, pilgrims are not allowed to look at themselves in a
mirror because this is indicative of a tendency towards narcissism. They
are also not allowed to use perfume because it is a means of attracting
attention. Pilgrims are not allowed to escape from sun and rain. Also they
are not allowed to take shelter under a roof because all these acts
signify a tendency towards laziness and luxury. Pilgrims are advised
against pinching their nostrils when they go through a stinky place. These
acts as well as all the other acts related to ihram take away all the
means of material and superficial pride from us. Ihram is to consider as
haraam the ordinary things that bring about luxury and sensual desires and
give rise to arrogance and discrimination. During ihram, all these acts
Then pilgrims enter Masjid al-Haram and feel its glory with their hands,
eyes, and all their being. The glory of Masjid al-Haram is not because of
its material attractions. Its glory cannot even be described by ordinary
human beings. Afterwards, pilgrims go around the Ka'aba along with many
other people while they are involved in dhikr and dua. Then the pilgrims
go through the other rituals of hajj.
Quoting me, some of the friends mentioned that the pilgrims must have a
comfortable journey, but this comfort is not the same as indulging in
luxury. During the past years, I have always told the officials in charge
of hajj affairs that this comfort is a means of involving oneself in
spirituality and getting closer to God. You must prepare the ground for
this kind of comfort so that the pilgrims can easily perform this
religious duty in the best possible way. That is what I mean by comfort.
Delicious food and ample sleep are not part of this comfort. I do not
approve of this kind of comfort and I think we must not seek this sort of
comfort during hajj.
Hajj is not an opportunity for having fun. It is a spiritual journey.
Hajj is a journey towards Allah while the soul and body are together. This
journey is not a material journey for mystics. It is a spiritual journey.
Hajj is an opportunity to experience a material and spiritual journey. It
is not right to go on this journey and leave our hearts behind. Those who
have had the opportunity to go on this journey several times must guard
against a gradual loss of its spiritual effects. They must beware of
becoming unenthusiastic and failing to engage in a spiritual revolution.
God bless the late Sheik Mohammad Bahari - I think one of these days
there is going to be a commemoration ceremony on the occasion of his
demise anniversary. In one of his works, he has written that dua, dhikr,
and prayers can make the heart ruthless when they are repeated without
paying attention to their meaning. Why is that? That is because our hearts
are inattentive during prayers. Therefore, prayers can be accompanied by
attentiveness, which cause the heart to get tender, pure, and closer to
Allah. On the other hand, prayers can also be performed without any
attention, in which case - according to Sheik Mohammad Bahari - the heart
This is true of hajj as well. The rituals of hajj have to be performed
attentively. As is mentioned in the Holy Quran, hajj is only "a certain
number of days" [The Holy Quran, 2: 184], "on appointed days" [The Holy
Quran, 22: 28]. Hajj provides us with an opportunity to practice leading a
simple life. That is to say, during hajj one realizes that it is possible
to lead a simple life. During hajj, one realizes that it is possible to
ignore ostentation and material pleasures. This is not to say that we
should spend all our lives as if we were in ihram. On the contrary, one
must make use of the material blessings that God has declared permissible.
However, dependence on material pleasures and feeling impatient in their
absence are sometimes considered irremediable. We must dispel this
illusion. We must realize that it is possible to spend part of our life,
day, and midnight without these material blessings, while engaging in
spiritual purification. This is something that pilgrims can practice and
learn on hajj. During hajj, pilgrims realize that it is possible to do
without material blessings. Therefore, hajj is a great opportunity.
As the officials in charge of hajj affairs, you must make sure to help
Iranian and non-Iranian pilgrims to understand this opportunity. You must
encourage them to make the best of this opportunity. This is one of the
most important responsibilities that the officials in charge of hajj
affairs have to take on. Not all pilgrims may realize the fact that hajj
is a golden opportunity. Pilgrims have to realize that there are many
people who wish to have this opportunity for a single day. There are many
people across the world, who wish to go on hajj. Those who have this
opportunity must appreciate it. This is the individual aspect of hajj on
the basis of which the responsibilities of the officials in charge of hajj
are specified. That is what I wanted to say about the first opportunity
that hajj provides for us.
The second opportunity is one that has to be taken by the Islamic Ummah.
That is because the Islamic Ummah is inherently susceptible to a number of
splits due to the large number of races, ethnicities, cultures,
geographical differences, and various tendencies that are embedded in it.
Islam was not to be introduced to a particular race, culture, or
geographical area. Islam was to be introduced to the entire humanity.
Human beings are different in terms of their skin color, language, habits,
tendencies, and historical and geographical differences. Therefore, the
Islamic Ummah is susceptible to potential discord. Such discord must not
be allowed to show up. Hajj is a great opportunity for the Islamic Ummah
to restore its unity in spite of these natural-and sometimes artificial
Hajj is a great opportunity for the Islamic Ummah. Take a ten-year
period and try to estimate the number of male, female, educated, and
undereducated Muslims with different tendencies who take part in hajj from
different parts of the world - such as Africa, Asia, and Europe. If this
great congregation of Muslims come together under the Islamic call to
unity, a great outcome will be achieved. All causes of discord would fade
out. Sunni and Shia Muslims would live together peacefully. Different Shia
and Sunni denominations as well as other Islamic denominations have
various tendencies, which would normally cause splits among them. However,
all these differences can be resolved through hajj. Hajj helps create an
integrated Muslim community.
Let me digress for a moment and point out that it is a pity that some
people take this means of unity and turn it into a means of discord. I
address this point to all pilgrims. I do not mean to address this to the
prejudiced Salafi-Takfiris in Medina who shout insults at what you hold
sacred. Everyone must pay attention to this point. The officials in charge
of hajj - the accompanying clergymen and the executive officials in charge
of hajj - must beware not to turn this means of unity into a means of
discord and fill the hearts of Muslims with pain and spite towards one
another. I am not going to pinpoint all the potential causes of discord. I
will leave it to you to figure out the things that make non-Shia Muslims
spiteful towards their Shia brothers. You must identify the causes of
discord and eradicate them. Hajj is a means for creating unity and
unifying the Muslim nation. You must not allow hajj to turn into a means
for causing discord and spite. You have to be extremely cautious to
identify these causes and their manifestations. This is not a simple
The third opportunity is for the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic
has been oppressed. Let me tell you - I have repeated this for many years
- that the Islamic Republic is a government that embodies all the
principles of spiritual power. The Islamic Republic is powerful, but it
has been oppressed. Being oppressed and powerful are not contradictory.
There are several reasons why the Islamic Republic is considered oppressed.
One of the reasons is that the enemies of the Islamic Republic have
leveled various allegations against it in order to prevent its ideology
from being spread among the great Muslim communities. They have resorted
to different types of allegations - from ideological and intellectual
allegations to allegations against different denominations, politics, and
executive affairs. They criticize us for acting, talking, and thinking the
way we do. They have been repeating these allegations for thirty years.
The officials in charge of hajj, whose hearts are brimful of faith in the
Islamic Republic, shoulder a great responsibility in this regard. This
great duty is to explain the realities to your Muslims brothers who have
been exposed to these types of propaganda. You must clarify the Islamic
teachings as well as the principles of the Islamic Republic for them.
The Islamic Republic is an "Islamic" republic system. The majority of
our people are Shia Muslims, but the Islamic Republic is comprised of both
Shia and Sunni Muslims. The reason is that our Sunni compatriots as well
as a large number of Sunni Muslims living across the world supported us
before and after the Islamic Revolution and during the Sacred Defense Era.
They stood up for us and some of them gave their lives for this cause.
That is the reality behind the Islamic Republic.
In Muslim countries in Africa, Asia, and different parts of the world -
and even at the heart of the United States of America which has been our
most spiteful enemy - there are some non-Shia Muslims whose hearts are
brimful of love for the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini (r.a.), and our
great, determined nation. That is all because the Islamic Republic has
been an Islamic republic. They are trying to stand the reality on its head.
They are trying to label the Islamic Republic as opposed to different
Islamic denominations. You must go and explain the realities. Our Muslim
brothers and sisters living across the world must know that our country
belongs to them. They must know that the event which took place in our
country was one that all Muslims would desire wholeheartedly. There are no
Muslims who do not want the world to live under the rule of the Holy Quran.
Our people live under the rule of the Holy Quran and Sharia in this
Is there anyone in the world of Islam who is not deeply dissatisfied
with the domination and influence of the infidels and foreigners over
Muslim countries? The hearts of Muslims are filled with pain, but they
cannot talk. They are not allowed to talk. The Islamic Republic is the
means through which the stifled shouts of the Muslims nations are being
That is the reason why the arrogant powers are opposed to the Islamic
Republic. That is the reason behind the US enmity towards us. We are
expressing the heartfelt feelings of the Muslim nations. The few corrupt
governments [that are currently ruling some Muslim nations] are not the
whole of what we call Muslim nations. Muslim nations are tired of the
domination, interference, and arrogance of the US. Muslim nations are
tired of American and non-American arrogance, but they cannot do anything
about it. These feelings are being expressed by the officials serving at
different levels of the Islamic Republic system. These are the exquisite
realities that are being expressed by the Islamic Republic. You must
express these realities across the world of Islam and the Muslim nations.
Of course the scope of this duty must not be limited to a number of
particular individuals - such as students who are studying in Muslim
countries and who are directly in touch with the realities. All the people
must have access to these realities. These are some of the opportunities
to express the realities of the Islamic Republic.
Of course I believe we must not improve our outward appearance and
leave our inward nature untouched. I really believe that our first duty is
to improve our inner selves. We must improve our spiritual qualities and
our national living conditions.
We ourselves are responsible for building our country. Our nation is
faithful and determined. Our nation is determined and sincere. However,
there are some individuals and groups - the so-called political elite and
other individuals - that are trying to cause an atmosphere of political
turbulence in the country. They are trying to remove sincerity from
society. They are trying to cause distress and doubt among the people.
It was the Iranian nation that helped this Revolution to achieve
victory. This impressive and strong government was founded by the Iranian
nation. The Iranian nation has protected the Islamic Republic for thirty
years. These are indicative of the faith and determination of our nation.
These achievements have not been accomplished easily. These
achievements would have been impossible to accomplish in the absence of
national determination and sacrifices. We must not question the entire
government just because we are opposed to a certain individual,
administration, or executive official. Unfortunately, certain political
intellectuals are currently doing just that.
The current atmosphere prevailing in the national press and the current
political atmosphere are not satisfactory at all. We must set Islam as the
model for our acts, behavior, and stance. We must know that the Islamic
Republic, divine blessings, and divine grace will continue to benefit us
only as long as we adhere to the principles. Allah will not bless us for
nothing. I have said this many times before and I would like to repeat
that Bani Isra'il has been constantly mentioned in the Quran. "O Children
of Israel, call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made
you excel the nations." [The Holy Quran, 2: 47]. Allah made them excel
other people. However, the same Bani Isra'il was spoiled. They did not
thank God for His blessings. "Be (as) apes, despised and hated." [The Holy
Quran, 2: 65]. "And abasement and humiliation were stamped upon them." [The
Holy Quran, 2: 61]. That is the way the Quran talks about them.
We can benefit from divine blessings only when we are careful about
what we do and say. The unprincipled atmosphere in which different
objections are being made against the administration and individuals is
not something that Allah the Exalted will pass over easily. There are some
people who make mistakes and are punished by Allah. "And guard yourselves
against an affliction which may not smite those of you exclusively who are
unjust." [The Holy Quran, 8: 25]. That is the punishment for some actions.
There are some actions the consequences of which plague the whole
community, and not just the one who perpetrates them. Sometimes people
have to suffer because some individuals have been unfair in their acts,
judgment, or speech. We must be cautious about such things.
All of us - both the pilgrims who go on this religious journey and the
rest of us who pray and wish that the pilgrimage be accepted by Allah -
must consider hajj as a lesson. May God bestow on us the blessing to make
the best of the lessons of hajj.
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on October 29,
2008 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution to
a group of students on the occasion of Students' Day.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Firstly, I welcome the dear youth who are present in this meeting - the
dear students and children of the Iranian nation. I would also like to
express my greetings to all the dear youth of our country.
This meeting has been held to mark Students' Day which is commemorated
on November 4th. This is a very important day. Firstly, it marks Students'
Day. Secondly, it is a day which is reminiscent of the Iranian nation's
resistance against the arrogant powers. Let me make a few points to you
dear students in this regard.
The first point is that you - as the soldiers of Islam and those who
are willing to bring about grandeur to the country - shoulder a heavy
responsibility towards building the future of the country. This is typical
of a true, sincere, and realistic government. In such a government,
everyone shoulders a responsibility towards the future of the country. The
youth, whose talents are blossoming, also shoulder a responsibility in
this regard. Feeling responsible is not limited to elderly and middle-aged
people only. Rather, from a different perspective, one can say that the
youth shoulder even a heavier responsibility towards the country. This is
because they are equipped with the power of youth, and this makes them
even more capable of carrying out their duties. The youth should feel
responsible towards the future of the country and the nation. They should
feel this sense of responsibility in their hearts. It was the same sense
of responsibility that caused our youth to go to the battlefields during
the Sacred Defense Era. They could have stayed home and enjoyed the
comfort of being pampered by their parents. That would have prevented them
from having to tolerate the cold of the snowy mountains of the western
parts of the country and the heat of the deserts of Khuzestan province.
However, it was their sense of responsibility which prevented them from
seeking comfort. They entered the battlefields and the result of their
efforts was miraculous for our nation.
I would like our youth to be informed about what went on in our country
during the 8-year Iraqi imposed war. This is a point which I have
mentioned on several occasions. Other people have also elaborated on this
issue. However, a thorough review of what happened during the 8-year war
will assist our youth greatly in planning for the future. Fortunately,
useful books have been authored in this regard. Although I do not usually
have a lot of time, I read most of the books which have been written about
the Sacred Defense Era. They are very useful to me. I advise you to read
these books and try to get informed about the prominent youth of the time.
Some of these prominent youth were the ones who led that great movement on
November 4, 1978. Later, they entered the battlefields. Many of those
youth are now among the unforgettable prominent figures of our history.
This is the meaning of feeling responsible.
During the Iraqi imposed war, the dominant powers of the time - the
Soviet Union, the US, France, the Eastern Bloc, and the conservative
countries of the region - had joined forces to aid the Iraqi regime. They
provided them with financial and military aid as well as intelligence and
weapons. However, our nation was only equipped with the power of faith and
determination. We were short of weapons and ammunition and were not
well-informed about the enemies' operations. But the power of faith had
made our nation solid as a rock. Two different countries were engaged in
the war on two totally different fronts. But it was our nation which
managed to gain eventual victory over the enemies. This means that the
power of our nation's faith enabled them to overcome the enemy which was
equipped with advanced weapons and received financial and intelligence aid
from its allies. This proves the fact that they felt responsible towards
Prior to the Iraqi imposed war, the determination of our youth and the
sense of responsibility which they felt towards the country resulted in
that great miracle, namely the Islamic Revolution. The faithful people of
our country destroyed the strong fortress which the arrogant powers - and
the Pahlavi regime - had built in our country, and established an Islamic
and democratic government. This is what feeling responsible means.
The future of the country and the nation is dependent on your efforts.
You should feel responsible towards the future of the country. You should
try to prepare yourselves for the future. To do so, you should gain
knowledge and strengthen your faith. You should develop a deep insight
into the past, present, and future. In ten or twelve years' time, you and
the other youth of the country will turn into educated people who have to
shoulder responsibilities in the country. The future presidents, ministers,
managers, and prominent figures of the country - intellectuals and those
who plan for the future of the country - will be selected from among you.
Those who are going to be the future managers and are going to plan for
the future of the country should be knowledgeable, pious, insightful, and
faithful in the true sense of the word. This is a goal which cannot be
achieved unless you prepare yourselves for the future. This was the first
point I intended to make.
You are like my children. One usually wishes the best for one's
children, and I wish you the best. You have to prepare yourselves for the
future. This is the path which the Iranian nation will continue to tread.
It is the path which will lead our nation to glory. It is the path which
we have to take in order to make up for the backwardness which was imposed
on us in the past one or two centuries. As I will explain it is very
important that you prepare yourselves for the future.
The second point is that the Islamic Republic has some disagreements
with the arrogant powers and the US over certain issues. What are these
disagreements rooted in? This is an important point to be considered.
Today, political analysts say that the US always pays special attention to
Iran and the Iranian nation when dealing with the different matters of the
world. What is the reason behind this? We have also realized that most of
the problems of our country and nation have somehow been caused by the
Americans. Why is that? The reasons should be carefully sought.
The disagreements are not limited to political issues only. It is
natural for two countries to have disagreements over certain political
issues. This can be resolved through negotiation. However, the
Iran-America conflict does not fall into this category. This is a
different issue and the disagreements are deep-rooted. The issue is that
the US regime claimed to be the only dominant superpower after the Second
World War. Of course, the Soviet Union was a rival for the US at that
time. However, the issue was more than mere competition between the two
superpowers. The US had targeted all the vital resources of the world.
They had even gained control over some strategic areas in the world
including the Middle East, the northern parts of Africa, and the Persian
Gulf - which has been a great source of oil. Oil is a vital resource in
the modern world. Whether the situation will remain the same in the future
as well is something I cannot be sure of.
However, in today's world, oil is a great resource which provides heat
and light for many countries. It is a vital resource for many countries.
Without it, many factories will be closed down and there will be no
production and business. Oil is as vital as blood for our lives today. The
majority of oil sources are located in the Middle East. Dominating this
region was an important goal which the US had achieved. Iran is located in
the middle of the Middle East. This region was then the main stronghold of
the arrogant powers. The neighbors of our country were controlled by the
US in one way or another at that time. Of course, the Soviet Union also
tried to benefit from the situation, but the Americans were the dominant
force and they had to preserve the status quo. Of course, their greed was
not limited to this region and its oil resources only. The Americans were
trying to gain a stable position in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Asia,
and different parts of the world as well. They extended their domination
in those regions and their rivals retreated more and more each day.
In the middle of this struggle for power, the Islamic Revolution came
into existence, and its main slogan was to defend the rights of other
nations and fight arrogance and oppression. The Islamic Revolution
liberated Iran, which played a crucial part in the region, from the
domination of the US. There was a time when those connected to the US
could be found in different parts of the country - in Tehran as well as in
other crucial parts of the country. Those who were connected to the US
played a key role in the Armed Forces, in the country's financial sector,
in the political organizations of our country, and in our intelligence
services. The Pahlavi Shah who was in charge of all the country's
organizations and who had control over all the country's affairs only took
orders from the English and American ambassadors. If they wished to do
something, he would - willingly or unwillingly - follow their orders. In
some cases, he was reluctant to follow the orders, but he had to and
therefore did follow the orders. The Americans were expelled from such a
strategic country in the region. This was a very important event which
dealt the US a serious blow.
As is usually the case, they started to pursue their goals through
their embassy in Iran. The arrogant powers usually organize harmful
activities, establish relationships different people, and engage in
espionage activities through their embassies. Even now, this policy is
pursued in the world. The arrogant powers usually engage in various forms
of corruption through their embassies. The Americans also started such
activities through their embassy in Tehran. The movement of a group of
students under the name of "Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's path"
foiled their plot. They captured the American embassy and gained access to
their documents. Currently, around one hundred books have been published
in this regard. In fact, the books provide a copy of the documents which
were found in the American embassy at that time. I do not know whether you
have read these books or not. They are very interesting to read. Reading
the books can inform you about the activities which were organized in the
American embassy at that time, and the people whom the Americans were
connected with in our country. You can gain information about the role
which their embassy played during the years prior to the Islamic
The students of our country led this great movement. The Americans
still cannot hide their anger over this movement. Unfortunately, some
capricious people - those who do something based on a whim and then change
their mind to seek more comfort in their lives - from among the youth of
the time, are now regretful and criticize that movement. But, you should
know that this was a great movement. As Imam Khomeini said, this movement
was greater than the Revolution itself. This is because the movement put
an end to the American arrogance in Iran and in the world.
This great event has already taken place. That was not a small blow to
them. What is more, the problems did not stop there. The continuance of
our Islamic and revolutionary government, its progress, and its different
achievements on various fronts - such as military, scientific, social, and
political fronts - greatly influenced other nations. When other nations -
the nations in this region and Muslim nations who were exasperated but did
not have a leader - saw the event happen in Iran, they felt that they had
t do the same thing. As a result, other nations grew fond of the Islamic
Republic, Islamic leadership, Imam Khomeini (r.a.), and Islamic government.
Today the situation is still the same. Today other Muslim nations - living
across the world of Islam - have a very high opinion of the Iranian nation
and its movement. They aspire to do what our nation did. This turned the
knife in the American wound and provided the US with enough motivation to
oppose the Islamic Republic.
America wants the Islamic Republic to give up and say that it is tired
of the US enmity. America wants the Islamic Republic to say that it is
regretful. America wants us to join the line of their mercenaries and
those who follow non-divine governments. These are what the arrogant
powers want. The US wants our nation to lose its self-obtained
independence and go back to the era of dependence. The US wants us to
surrender to its power. That is what America expects our nation to do.
They are mounting pressure to force our nation to do as they wish. They
are pressurizing the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation in order to
make them exasperated. They want our people to fall by the wayside and
accept their defeat. The American government wants to make other
governments retreat so that it can resume the policies it used to pursue
in our country - the same policies that the US government is currently
pursing in certain parts of the world. The US government is seeking to
make us dependant.
That shows the magnitude of the conflict between our nation and
government and the US government. The conflict between the Iranian nation
and the US is not rooted in the current policies of the American
government only. The conflict is rooted in more than 50 years of spiteful
acts on the part of the US government against the nation. They have been
doing these spiteful acts since the year 1953. They started to plot
against our nation many years before the victory of the Revolution -
especially since the movement was started by Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and the
clergy - and continued their plots up to the victory of the Revolution.
They continued to harm us. They continued to betray us. They continued to
mount pressure on us. They resorted to various arrogant methods to harm
our nation. Not a single day has passed since the victory of the Islamic
Revolution - thirty years ago - in which the US government has shown any
good intentions towards the Iranian nation. The US has never apologized
for its past measures. It has never been sincere enough to stop being
greedy and arrogant towards the Iranian nation. The conflict between our
nation and the US is not limited to a couple of differences of opinion
over some international or regional issues. Therefore, the conflict cannot
be resolved through negotiations. It is a matter of life and death. That
is the second point that I want you dear youth to know. We have no
intention to attack other countries. We only want to preserve our identity,
independence, and glory. Relying on its faith and nationalistic feelings,
the Iranian nation is going to cut off the hands of any country that
intends to destroy our glory, humiliate our nation, and spread its
domination over our country.
But how is this conflict going to end? That is the third point that I
want to discuss. That is an important question. All Western, and
especially American, propaganda machines - through art, media, propaganda,
and seemingly political and scholarly centers - pretend that this conflict
is going to lead to a dead end for the Iranian nation. They also claim
that the US is going to be successful in its plans. Nothing could be
further from the truth. They are trying to stand the reality on its head.
This conflict is going to end in a dead end for the arrogant and evil US
government. One obvious reason is that they would have defeated our nation
- if they could - when our country did not have so many young people, had
not gained so much experience, and had not made so much technological
progress as it has today. They would have defeated our nation, if they
could, when we had not emerged victorious out of the Iraqi imposed war and
when we had not proven ourselves on various political fronts. If they were
to defeat the Iranian nation, they would have done so at that time. Now
that the Iranian nation has much more experience, power, technological
capabilities, military capabilities, international influence, and youthful
dynamism, the US government is incapable of defeating our nation. At the
beginning of the Revolution, our young people formed only a small portion
of our population - our population was 40-45 million at that time. Today
our youth form a major part of our population, which is currently more
than 70 million. At that time, the US government enjoyed much more
prestige among other nations. Today the US has lost all its reputation in
the world. Today many Western nations as well as Muslim nations hate the
US. Many American political experts and many American citizens are opposed
to the regime that is currently ruling their country.
Today the basic American slogans regarding issues like human rights and
democracy - which were once used as tool to decapitate nations and
overthrow legitimate governments - have lost their credence.Americans
showed their respect for human rights in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and many
other prisons. They are currently showing off their respect for human
rights in the numerous killings which they carry out in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. They are also flaunting their respect for democracy in Palestine.
Hamas, which is a legitimate popular government, is currently ruling
Palestine. They are spitefully mounting pressure on this government. They
are showing their respect for democracy in Iraq by trying to impose a
security agreement. Their pressure is stifling all nations. Currently the
people and government officials of Iraq are expressing their objection,
but the US is using threats and mounting pressure on them. That is while
the present Iraqi government has been installed through the votes of the
public. This is a parody of democracy. American intellectuals have
admitted in their reports that the Islamic Republic is the most democratic
country in the Middle East. They admit that our country holds elections to
elect the president, the MPs, and the members of the Assembly of Experts
who elect the leader of the country. They admit these facts but this is
the way they treat the Islamic Republic. The American slogans regarding
human rights and democracy have grown threadbare. Even ordinary people do
not believe these slogans, let alone intellectuals.
Today whenever the US president travels to a country in a particular
part of the world, the people of that country hold demonstrations and
shout "go back to your home, Yankee!" What else can be more disgraceful
than this? That is a measure of the US international reputation. If the US
was to stop the Iranian nation and make it face a dead end, it would have
done so when it [US] did not suffer from international disgrace. Today the
US is not able to do so.
Dear youth, I would like to assure you that the future belongs to you.
The future belongs to the Iranian nation. The future is going to bring
about scientific progress, power, prosperity, and glory for the Iranian
nation. This prosperous future is certain because it is a divine promise.
Islam and the Quran have assured us that if nations start a movement and
be faithful, steadfast, patient, and tireless on their path, they will
certainly achieve their goals. We have already experienced the truth of
this promise. We have been steadfast and have managed to achieve our
medium-term goals. Of course there are some problems too, which indicate
that resistance has not been flawless. That is all our fault. I am fully
aware of our problems. When there is a problem in a certain part of the
country - be it injustice or poverty - it shows that we, the public and
government officials, have not displayed enough steadfastness to promote
our goals. If we had been steadfast, we would have had no problems in any
part of the country. That is all our own fault. We should have been more
Our dear youth - both those who are members of student organizations
and those who are not involved in such organizations - must know that the
unity between and among our people and government officials is the secret
behind our victory. You dear youth must know that the enemies want to
destroy this unity. I believe in the slogans that are shouted by our youth,
but you must take care not to allow these slogans to cause discord among
our people. You must take care not to help the enemies to achieve their
goals. You must take care not to fall into the enemies' trap. Everyone
must stay vigilant. Our politicians, journalists, youth, and government
officials must all stay vigilant.
The enemies are busy making plots against us. You must not play into
their hands because there will be no winners in such a situation. The
enemies are plotting to foment discord among us. They are trying to make
us feel disappointed. They are seeking to pitch our political activists
against one another. They are seeking to make us forget our original path
and Islamic values. These are the plots made by our enemies. They are
plotting to make our youth busy with carnal desires. They want to make our
youth apathetic towards the movement started by the Iranian nation. They
seek to close down our schools and universities. These are the enemies'
plots. We must stay vigilant. We must stand up to any act that helps
promote these plots. We must preserve our unity and hope. We must make
more and more efforts to be more sincere towards one another. We must
carry out our social duties in an enthusiastic manner.There are some
people who have already started talking about the elections which are
going to be held next year. Elections are of paramount importance, but
their importance is due to a massive public turnout during the elections.
Today the presidential elections are important in that they are likely to
cause discord, slandering, and digression from the main issues. You must
I am sure that the Iranian nation will, by Allah's favor, emerge
victorious out of the constant challenges that it has to face. By Allah's
favor, the Iranian nation will reach the peaks of success.
Dear God, make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age tender towards us.
Let us be among the people who benefit from the prayers of the Imam of the
Age. Place the souls of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) and our dear martyrs
among those of Your saints in the hereafter. O God, make us all tread the
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
The following is the full text of the address delivered by Ayatollah
Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution on October 19, 2008
at the graduation and oath-taking ceremony of a group of army cadets from
the Imam Ali Military Academy.
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I would like to congratulate you dear youth on your entrance into the
glorious Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The uniform you are
wearing is the manifestation of glory. That is because your presence,
services, and prominent human characteristics as the soldiers of Islam are
a reassurance to the nation and your sacred homeland.
In all countries the armed forces are one of the most important
elements that contribute to the national power of countries. This glory
and this manifestation of national power will be twice as valuable and
important when they are not manifested through weapons only. Weapons are
important. An armed man is better able to defend himself. However, the
spiritual power of a man is more important than his weapons. Spiritual
power turns national power into a genuine and inexhaustible source of
power. With its armed men, its armed youth, and its valorous soldiers -
whose hearts are enlightened by faith and whose wills are strengthened by
the power of their faith - a nation can gain such power that is rare in
the world and even in human history. This shows the importance of your
Within the framework of the Islamic Republic, the Armed Forces do not
display their grandeur and power only through their weapons. Besides
military power, our Armed Forces enjoy spiritual power that is dependant
on their faith. The Iranian soldiers, Iranian armed forces, and the armed
Iranian youth take on this role and remain vigilant for the sake of God,
humanity, and promotion of monotheism as well as defending our noble
values. In the materialistic modern world and throughout history some
armies have been formed in order to satisfy the greed of the powerful.
Modern armed forces throughout the world have been used by the superpowers
as a tool for bullying. However, the Iranian armed forces are prepared to
lay down their lives for the sake of human virtues. Our armed forces are
being trained in order to promote human virtues and divine values. Our
armed forces resist in the battlefields in order to promote these values.
That is what will bring about the final victory for us. You must preserve
Today, astonishing realities are being revealed to the people of the
world. People of the world were witness to the fact that the Israeli army
- which was armed to its teeth - was forced to admit that it had been
defeated by the faithful and brave youth of Hezbollah. The Israeli army
that had managed to defeat all Arab armies was forced to admit its
ignominious defeat against the faithful youth of Hezbollah. They were
forced to acknowledge that the Israeli army is too weak to stand up to the
power of the faithful youth [of Hezbollah]. That indicates the superiority
of spiritual power over material power. Our dear youth - who enjoy both
military and spiritual power and who are serving at the Army, the Army of
the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, the Basij Resistance Force, the
police force, and the different parts of the Islamic Republic's Armed
Forces - enjoy an exceptional privilege compared with other armed forces
throughout the world. This is due to your faith. You must appreciate this.
As the people who have been entrusted with the duty of defending the
nation, you are being trained to serve your country. You are treading such
a path, and that is the future you have determined for yourselves. Our
people support our Armed Forces. They consider the Armed Forces as being
an integral part of the nation. According to our prominent religious
figures, you are a strong fortress for the nation. You must keep this in
mind throughout the different stages of your training and service. You are
the strong fortress of our nation, a nation that rose up for the sake of
God and pushed back the enemies - who were armed with the most advanced
weapons - by relying on its faith, strength, valor, and devotion. Today
all the enemies who believed that the Islamic Republic could not resist
their opposition admit that the Islamic Republic is the strongest
government. You are the strongest Armed Forces in the world. This power is
the result of your strong faith. You must appreciate this faith and try to
The responsibility of a soldier in the Islamic Republic's Armed Forces
is to learn, be disciplined and vigilant, and exercise sincerity and
spirituality. You must try to have all of these qualities. You must make
the best of your youth and try to achieve these great virtues. You are
going through the best years of your life. You can be one of the best
servants of God and one of the greatest men of your time through achieving
the virtues that are required of devoted and faithful people. The Islamic
Republic's Army has always been in need of men who are prepared to
shoulder heavy and important responsibilities. Thankfully, the Islamic
Republic has so far benefitted from the services of these men. In future,
it is you who have to shoulder this heavy responsibility.
I pray to Allah the Exalted to help you - who represent the best
soldiers of Islam and the best men of your time - achieve spiritual growth
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
The following is the abridged text of the speech delivered on October
1, 2008 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution
after the Eid ul-Fitr prayers.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I congratulate you dear brothers and sisters, the great Iranian nation,
and the Islamic Ummah on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr.
Firstly, we should ask Allah the Exalted to help us observe piety in
what we do, what we say, and what we listen to.
A point I have to mention about Quds Day is that this great movement
has been propagated and spread on a daily basis in the Muslim world. Today,
the world of Islam is witness to demonstrations in the majority of Muslim
countries. There were demonstrations both in the eastern part of the
Muslim world - in Indonesia - as well as in the western part - in African
countries. Whenever allowed to exercise their will, the people of Muslim
countries have displayed great sensitivity towards the issue of Quds on
this day. Even the Muslim people living in Europe and the minority groups
who have been suffering from prejudice on the part of European governments
commemorated Quds Day. This bears testimony to the fact that the issue of
Palestine is gaining more significance in the word of Islam on a daily
basis. This is against the will of the occupying forces and their allies.
They intended to obliterate the memory of Palestine from the minds of
Muslim nations. Their goal was to wipe Palestine off the map of the
Islamic world. They have focused all their efforts during the last 60
years on achieving this goal. However, what has happened today is quite
contrary to what they wished and pursued. Today, the world of Islam is
even more sensitive about the issue of Palestine, and the reason is that
the Muslim nations have become aware of the circumstances. If there was
such vigilance in the year 1948 - when Palestine was occupied by the
Zionist regime - the situation would now be quite different than what it
is today, and this bitter event would have never taken place in the Muslim
world. That was a major blow to the Islamic Ummah. Today, the Muslims of
the world have become conscious and are aware of the realities. By Allah's
favor, they will become even more conscious on a day to day basis.
I have to say that the resistance of the brave Palestinian nation is
the reason for all the global support that is given to them. We appreciate
these efforts on the part of the Palestinian nation. They are the true
manifestation of a vigilant Muslim nation. I hereby have to tell the
Palestinian nation and the legal Palestinian government led by Mr. Haniya
that the Iranian nation will not leave the Palestinian nation alone.
Quite the contrary, the Zionist enemy is growing weaker on a daily
basis both in terms of its spirits and its international status. Today,
even high-ranking Zionist officials admit the fact that the Zionist regime
is about to meet its nemesis. The Muslims of the world will see the day -
I hope the current Palestinian generation will also see the day - when
Palestine is governed by the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people
live freely in their homeland.
The second point I have to mention is that today the world of Islam is
faced with comprehensive political, cultural, and propaganda attacks on
the part of the enemies. All the people - especially elites, intellectuals,
religious scholars, and prominent political figures - should stay vigilant
about this fact. Today, the enemies have launched a large-scale attack
against Islam and what the Muslims hold sacred. This is not because the
enemies have grown stronger. Rather, this is due to the fact that the
enemies feel they are overwhelmed by this great Islamic movement.
Therefore, they resort to psychological warfare and different kinds of
attacks. They provoke Muslim nations and pitch them against one another.
They instill fear of Muslim nations into the hearts of their people. The
solution is that the Muslim countries should maintain their unity. I once
again reiterate on behalf of the Iranian nation that our Muslim brothers
in other countries should maintain their unity and stay vigilant against
the enemies' plans to use them as a tool to foment discord in the Muslim
world. The enemies will try to foment discord under the pretext of
different ethnicities and denominations while in fact they support neither
Shia nor Sunni. They are the enemies of Islam. This is one of the methods
they use to weaken the Muslim countries, namely by arousing enmity among
them. They try to make Islamic countries afraid of one anther. They try to
make other countries afraid of the Islamic Republic through different lies
and methods of deception. We - Muslim countries - are all brothers. The
Iranian nation is treading the path of progress and promoting Islam and is
by Allah's favor making great progress on this path. The Iranian nation
considers its own grandeur and progress to be part of the grandeur and
progress of the Islamic Ummah.
Let me also make a point to our dear brothers inside the country. My
suggestion about maintaining unity which was addressed to the whole
Islamic world is true about our own nation as well. The Iranian nation
should maintain its unity. What we have achieved so far is all due to our
unity. Unity does not signify that all our people should hold the same
views and share the same opinions. Rather, unity means that those with
different points of view should act as a unified front and prefer national
interests to their individual tendencies. This means that personal desires
- Ramadan was the month for suppressing selfish personal desires - should
not affect our behavior at different political and social levels. The
Iranian nation is carrying out great tasks these days. These great tasks
are appreciated by experts and fair people across the world.
Thankfully, the Iranian nation and the Iranian youth - the
revolutionary and enthusiastic youth of today - are present on the scene
with a lot of enthusiasm and with great readiness. They are ready to make
efforts. You can see the results of their efforts in such fields as
science, politics, technology, and different social activities. These
efforts should be appreciated. All the people, especially the political
and social elites as well as the prominent figures of the country, should
remember the fact that maintaining unity is the most important priority on
the social front. You should maintain your unity. There is a Quranic verse
in this regard: "That abode of the Hereafter, We assign it to those who
have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief. And
the good end is for those who keep their duty." [The Holy Quran, 28: 83].
'The good end' is for those who are pious and do not overstep the limits
set by God - those who suppress selfish personal desires and make efforts
on the path of God to promote Islam and to defend their national interests.
O God, help us all succeed in achieving our goals. Dear God, associate
with Your saints the pure souls of our martyrs and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.).
Dear God, bestow success on our nation on a day to day basis.
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Surely We have
given thee abundance of good. So pray to thy Lord and sacrifice. Surely
thy enemy is cut off (from good)." [The Holy Quran, 108]
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on October 1,
2008 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution to
a group of government officials on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I congratulate the great Islamic Ummah, all the Muslims of the world,
the great faithful Iranian nation, and all those present in this meeting
on this great Islamic Eid. I pray to Allah the Exalted to make Eid ul-Fitr
a true Eid [a day on which no sin is committed] for the Islamic Ummah. I
also pray to Allah to help our nation get closer to the glorious future -
promised by God - which awaits it.
Most of our people, the government officials, and the Muslims of the
world took the opportunity provided for them in the holy month of Ramadan
to benefit from God's blessings in the best way. Ramadan was an
opportunity for repentance, asking for God's forgiveness, dhikr, and
supplication. Fasting and suppressing one's worldly desires provide great
opportunities for God's servants to benefit from His blessings in this
holy month. In this holy month, the hearts of Muslims are filled with the
joy of dhikr and praying. In this month, Muslims get closer to their
divine nature, strengthen their determination, and engage in pious deeds.
I have to say that today the Muslim Ummah is in need of faith more than
any other time. There was a time when the Islamic Ummah had no hope about
the future. Those days, Muslim intellectuals lamented the hard times the
Muslims were going through. Take a look at the literary works of such
prominent Muslim figures as sayyid Jamal-al-Din and other intellectuals of
the Muslim world. Some of the elites of the Muslim world who had become
aware of this situation lamented the situation the Muslims were in those
days. There was no trace of hope in the Muslim world. The arrogant powers
had then entered the Islamic countries and taken charge of their affairs.
They took advantage of our negligence as much as possible and painted a
bleak picture of the future for the Muslim Ummah. This was the situation
the Muslims were living in during that era.
Today, the situation has changed. Those dark days have turned into
bright prospects for the Islamic Ummah. In every part of the world where
Muslims live - either as a nation or a minority group among followers of
other religions - there is hope about the future among Muslims. They feel
they can continue their movement. The enemies of the Muslim world - the
arrogant, materialist, and hegemonic powers - entered Muslim countries
with deceptive slogans and brought about the most difficult times for
them. Although these powers have made great progress compared to the past
in terms of technological progress, destructive weapons,
mass-communication facilities, and propaganda tools, they feel they are in
a weak position to stand against the great movement of the Islamic Ummah.
They feel they have been subjugated by the Muslim world. This is a reality
in the Muslim world today. If there are any people who think otherwise,
they should know they are denying the realities.
Today, the Muslim world has a bright future ahead of it. The great
enemies of the Muslim world and the powerful arrogant powers who have
taken control of the whole world feel that they are unable to oppose the
vigilance and great movement of Muslim nations. They have no options to
achieve their goals. This bears testimony to the promises made by God.
"And surely Allah will help him who helps Him. Surely Allah is Strong,
Mighty." [The Holy Quran, 22: 40] God Almighty says: "And We desired to
bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make
them the leaders, and to make them the heirs." [The Holy Quran, 28: 5]
These are God's promises. There is also another Quranic verse: "And Allah
has full control over His affair, but most people know not." [The Holy
Quran, 12: 21] These promises which have been made by God will gradually
turn into realities thanks to the vigilance and great movement of the
Muslim nations must engage in a jihad. This is not necessarily an armed
jihad. This is a form of political, intellectual, scientific, social, and
moral jihad. The great Islamic Ummah has been gaining more and more
familiarity with the different aspects of this jihad. If you take a brief
look at the Middle East, you will instantly see the progress made by the
Today, the Israeli violence against the Palestinian nation has grown
far more severe, but the faces of the Palestinian people are still full of
hope. The Palestinian issue has always been a tragedy for the Muslim world.
Today, even the occupation forces in Palestine have expressed their
disappointment over continuing their plans in Palestine. They admit that
they have reached a deadlock. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the
American government felt that it was the indisputable chief of the global
village. But you can see that they have reached a deadlock in different
parts of the world. They are faced with different serious issues. They
entered this strategic region under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
American plans have proved to be ineffective and hopeless in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Even they themselves acknowledge that they
do not have much hope in their plans. They admit their failure.
Last year I told our faithful nation in Eid ul-Fitr prayers that their
"Fall Conference" would be a failure. The conference had been organized to
help Americans increase their control over the Middle East region. Today
you can see that their plots have failed to affect the situation in
Palestine, Lebanon, and the Middle East. This shows that the American
government - which is there to oppose Islam and the Muslim Ummah and which
intends to increase its control over this strategic region - feels that it
cannot make any progress. Of course, we are not being overly optimistic.
What we say are bitter realities that anyone can see. The point is that
the arrogant powers have not been able to deal with the will of nations,
neither will they be able to do so in the future. They are already stuck
in a quagmire in Afghanistan and Iraq. Still they interfere in the other
countries' affairs - for instance in Pakistani. You have seen and heard
about their interference in the internal affairs of our eastern neighbor.
But their plans will fail in Pakistan as well. That is because the Muslim
nations are well familiar with their Islamic rights. Nations are
determined to resist and, God willing, their determination will increase
on a daily basis.
Paying attention to God, asking Allah the Exalted for help, and gaining
access to divine source of power are what the Islamic Ummah needs most in
the present situation. When we become familiar with divine source of
power, we will not be intimidated or made hopeless when we are faced with
the enemies' threats. This is a well trodden path. The Islamic Republic
has been subject to thirty years of enmity, obstructionism, and
malevolence on the part of superpowers and the network of arrogance. We
endured all these problems. Benefiting from its efforts and determination,
the Iranian nation put up a strong resistance. Thankfully, we managed to
make more and more progress. This progress will, by Allah's favor,
increase on a daily basis. And hopefully the entire world of Islam will
one day enjoy Islamic glory.
We must appreciate divine guidance and favor. We must appreciate Eid
ul-Fitr, on which an impressive number of people face the Qiblah, pray to
God, and connect their souls with Allah. We must preserve our unity and
determination and try to increase our hope in the future.
I hope that the prayers of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be
sacrificed for his sake) will benefit all our faithful people as well as
other Muslims living in different countries. I hope that the future of the
world of Islam will be far better than it is today.
Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings