Ayatollah Khamenei

The Evil and Cursed Ale Saud Dynasty Does Not Have the Competence to be Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on September 7, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the families of the martyrs of Mina and Masjid ul-Haraam on the anniversary of the tragedy that occurred during last year’s hajj pilgrimage.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad and upon his immaculate household.

First of all, you dear families of our innocent martyrs – who were martyred in Mina and Masjid ul-Haraam last year – are quite welcome. Every year before the hajj season, we had a public meeting like this one with the officials and managers in charge of hajj affairs and with some honorable hajj pilgrims. Those meetings were happy and sweet meetings. Some of our people, our pious believers, youth and the elderly from throughout the country used to go on a hajj pilgrimage and we were proud of this. We felt happy that they would go among Muslims from other countries and perform the hajj obligations. However this year, the meeting that we have is unfortunately not a happy meeting, rather it is a meeting that is imbued with sorrow, grief and remembrance of the painful event that occurred last year in Mina. The issue of our dear ones losing their lives and being martyred in Mina is a very important issue.

When I said that this event should not be forgotten, this was not merely because of the loss of our dear ones, rather the event is very important in itself. That event has various dimensions. It is enlightening in political, social, moral and religious terms.

Well, for us people of Iran and perhaps for the families of martyrs in other countries, that event is a sad event. This sadness is natural and inevitable. Our hearts are overflowing with sorrow and grief. The passage of time has not wiped out from our chests and our hearts the significance of that event and the sorrow that it involves. We are sad about that event. Our dear ones lost their lives in Mina and in Masjid ul-Haraam while they were praying. They left this world while their lips were thirsty. They endured the last hours of their lives under the scorching hot sun. All of these incidents are painful. These are things that cause a pain in our hearts. We cannot forget these events. However, the issue is much wider in scope and it has various dimensions.

One dimension is related to you families and relatives. I will tell you that the loss of your dear ones – including those who lost their fathers and mothers, those who lost their children in that event, those who lost their spouse, those who lost their sisters and brothers – is naturally a heavy and very difficult incident. When I compare, I understand the greatness and heaviness of your sorrow. I understand how heavy that event is for hearts. They have sent hajj pilgrims to Makka with hope, joy and happiness – because of achieving hajj – and they are waiting for them to return. Normally, their return is accompanied by cheers and joy, but they suddenly hear that it is their corpse that will return. This is a very hard thing. It is a very difficult thing. It is very difficult for you. That event is very difficult for all the people – for those who really understand and can feel that event.

But what can calm your hearts is that although these dear ones of yours passed away and although their loss is difficult for you, they are rolling in divine blessings, God willing. They had a good death. The quality of one’s death and departure determines one’s fate. All of us will go and there is no difference between youth and the elderly, men and women in this regard. Everyone will go. However, some departures occur in a way that we become happy and joyous if we take a realistic look. One example is martyrs. All martyrs are like this. Your dear ones left this world while they were worshipping God and engaging in dhikr. They left this world wearing the clothes of ihram. They left this world with hearts oriented towards Allah the Exalted and while they were performing their obligations. All of these are causes and instruments for divine clemency and divine mercy and for the rise of one’s position before God.

Besides, they endured difficulties. Some of them were perhaps alive for several hours [audience wails]. They were under pressure, whether those who were in the sun or those who were in those hot and scorching containers with thirsty lips. All of these are things that attract divine mercy. You are mournful and suffering a loss. You have lost your children, your spouse, your parents and your brothers and sisters. This is difficult, but you should remember in what condition they are in the present time. We are the ones who are in trouble. We are moving forward and taking our path with difficulty amid worldly disasters and in this world which is polluted with all sorts of deviating, destroying and humiliating elements and factors. It is we who have difficulties in this world.

We should shed more tears and be sad for ourselves more than we are for those who are enjoying divine mercy and who are embracing divine blessings and divine grace, God willing. This is a source of calm for you. We will depart as well and I hope that God will show mercy on us with all these problems and difficulties! Allah the Exalted saved them from the world of corruption while they were in the best place and in the best condition – while they were praying. Some people die committing sins, some die living their ordinary lives and some die showing ungratefulness to God. Such deaths are really a cause of disaster and difficulty for their owners. However, some individuals die while they are engaging in divine dhikr. They leave this world while they are showing attention to God. This is a source of calm and comfort for the bereaved and the family of the deceased. This is one dimension of the issue.

Another dimension of the issue is related to the Islamic Ummah. The Islamic Ummah grieved over that incident on a large scale. Well overall, our martyrs – the martyrs of Mina and Masjid ul-Haraam – reached about 470, 480 in number. But what we have understand from statistics is that the number of all martyrs from different countries is about 7,000. This is a very large number!

Why did governments, families and nations in other countries not react to that incident? What is this great disaster that has engulfed the Islamic Ummah? This is a great disaster! Governments suffer from a political consideration. Government officials in different countries are probably prisoners of money, power, political relations and the like. But why are their scholars quiet? Why did their ulama not speak? Why did their political activists not speak? Why did their intellectuals not write essays, complain and speak?

Of course, other countries did not have as many martyrs as we did, but 100, 200 individuals were martyred from countries like Egypt, Mali, Nigeria and other countries. Well, the heads of countries are involved in political equations and equations of power. Naturally, they do not protest and we do not have many expectations of them considering the condition that governments unfortunately have. We cannot have many expectations of them, but why did outstanding personalities not speak? Why did they remain silent? For the world of Islam, this is the main disaster and calamity. Lack of sensitivity in the face of an event of this greatness – which occurred in God’s House and next to the divine sanctuary – is a disaster for the world of Islam. With utmost brazenness and shamelessness, some treated a heavy and vile incident lightly, without even apologizing to the world of Islam!

Saudi rulers did not even offer a verbal apology to the world of Islam! How brazen and shameless they are! Did the negligence, injudiciousness and incompetence that they showed- now some people say that they did this on purpose, but even if they had not done it on purpose, the essence of this injuriousness and incompetence is a crime for a governmental and political system! How could you not handle that? How could you not guarantee the safety of those groups of people who were the guests of God the Beneficent despite the fact that you pocket so much money and raise your standing from that region? Is there any guarantee that similar events will not occur at similar times? This is a big question.

The world of Islam should ask them to answer for this! It should question them about this. Why does it not question them? These are the disasters of the world of Islam. When the Islamic Republic stands alone in the face of all this idiocy, ignorance, materialistic attitude, carelessness and possibly lack of honor that others show and when it announces its Quranic, Islamic and legitimate positions in a public and outspoken manner, this is a standard and criterion that you people of Iran should be – and indeed are – proud of. And it is you people of Iran that have created the power and the courage to speak the truth and to present the facts in the face of a dark and ignorant world.

The truth is that those who showed that kind of incompetence and who forced that insecurity on the pilgrims of the world of Islam – who gather in that place once a year – do not really deserve to manage the Two Holy Mosques. They do not have the competence to serve the Two Holy Mosques! This is the truth of the matter. This should be firmly established in the world of Islam. This thought should be promoted in the world of Islam. This is another dimension of the issue. 

Another dimension of the issue is related to one’s outlook towards those in the world that make extravagant claims about human rights. Well, someone is killed, hanged or imprisoned in a country based on certain accusations and you witness that organizations in charge of human rights make a fuss about it. Of course, this happens in the case of those countries against which there are hostile motivations. They create uproar about it, but here several thousand individuals lose their lives because of a government’s incompetence, injudiciousness and carelessness and these human rights organizations and those governments that claim to support human rights lapse into a deathly silence and say nothing! They do not utter a single word! This is an important point as well.

Those who pin their hopes on international organizations and associations should see this reality. They should understand this reality! They should see how many lies and deceptions exist in the nature of these organizations and apparatuses. They remained silent on this matter and they said nothing. Sometimes, even animal rights become so significant to them that they kick up a fuss about it. However, several thousand individuals roll in blood and dirt in such incidents and they say nothing! Instead, they lapse into utter silence! And this was not an accident or an airplane crash, rather it was an incident in which some people were responsible. They were responsible for managing that event correctly. There, they were hosts and custodians, as they claim. It was their responsibility to ensure their safety.

One of the necessary and urgent tasks that falls on the shoulders of officials of the Islamic Ummah and those who make claims about human rights is to appoint a truth-seeking delegation on this issue. They should go and clarify the truth. Although one year has passed from that incident, certain interviews have been made, some photos have been taken and certain documents and papers exist which can clarify the truth to a great extent. A truth-seeking delegation should go and find the truth. It should become clear if the House of Saud is to blame on this issue or not. They say that they are not at fault. This should become clear. The truth of the matter should become clear so that people know if they are at fault or not.

This malicious and cursed dynasty shuts mouths with money! These servants of money and these servants of the materialistic world do not allow anyone to speak and to make a complaint against them! A truth-seeking delegation is necessary. They should go, see things up close and investigate the issue no matter how long it takes. This is one of the tasks that our honorable officials should take into account, pursue and attach significance to. This is another dimension of the issue.  

Another dimension of the issue is that we should know that in the incident of Mina and in similar incidents, powers supporting the House of Saud have a share as well. The Americans were not present locally on the issue of Mina. Nonetheless, their hands are dirty with the blood of our martyrs in Mina. It is with the American power and cooperation that those wrongdoing rulers can stand against the world of Islam in such a shameless manner and commit this great sin without uttering one word of apology. It is with their support that they can do so [audience chants “Death to America”]. Therefore, they have a share in this as well.

Similarly, if the world of Islam is harmed on the issue of Yemen and on different other issues in the world of Islam – on the issue of Syria and on the issue of Iraq – the Americans are the accomplices. It is their support that causes these brazen and shameless individuals to show such treachery and to stab the heart of the Islamic Ummah in a treacherous manner. It is because of their support that they do such things.

Another important point is that propaganda machines and – in fact – spy apparatuses of the west and the like are trying to portray this as a quarrel between Islamic nations, between Shia and Sunni, and between Arabs and non-Arabs. This is a blatant lie. This is not a quarrel between Shia and Sunni. Most of those individuals who were martyred in the event of Mina were Sunnis. In our own country, there are a large number of Sunni families [whose dear ones were martyred in Mina]. So, the issue is not about Arabs and non-Arabs. These individuals do not show any mercy to Arabs and non-Arabs.

You witness that they commit crimes in Yemen. Well, Yemen is an Arab country. Syria is an Arab country. Iraq is an Arab country. Their agents – those terrorist, murderous and cold-hearted groups who are creating all these disasters in the world of Islam with their money and their weapons – are all Arabs. Therefore, the issue is not about Arabs and non-Arabs. It is the treacherous propaganda of westerners that wants to describe this as a quarrel between Shia and Sunni or a quarrel between Arabs and non-Arabs. This is one of their propaganda tricks, which is of course completely untrue. The issue is that they are an intra-Islamic group which is busy working as the enemy of the Islamic Ummah. Some of them do this knowingly and some do it unknowingly.

The world of Islam should stand up against them. The world of Islam should express their hatred of them and of their masters, namely America, nasty England and faithless and immoral western powers. The world of Islam should know what it is doing.

The people of Iran have raised the flag of independence. They have shown the dignity of Islam. Today, the slogans of you people, the position of you people, the condition that you have brought about and the tasks that are being carried out inside the country – these achievements, these great popular movements, this independence against the wave of fitna and corruption that is common in the western world – are a source of pride and dignity for Islam. It is the people of Iran who have created this dignity and they will continue it, God willing.

I hope that Allah the Exalted makes the people of Iran dearer and more honorable on a daily basis. I hope that He increases the capability, power and strength of the Islamic Ummah. I hope that He eliminates these maladies of the world of Islam, God willing. I hope that the honorable officials of our country – who have had and continue to have certain duties towards this great event – pursue those duties. Both the honorable Foundation of Martyrs and the organizations in charge of hajj affairs –Be’the and the Hajj Organization – should pursue their duties towards this important issue. They should attend to this task in a serious manner, as they have attended to many of these tasks until today.

Both government officials and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others should do so. Each of them has certain responsibilities. This issue is an important issue. It is a great issue which is not related to one group and one nation, but which is related to the Islamic nation, to the people of Iran and – on a larger scale – to the Islamic Ummah. All of us are responsible for this. I hope that God helps us so that all of us can fulfill our duties, God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy


  • "This is not a quarrel between Shia and Sunni." That fact on all issues has not, does not, and cannot prevent igniting internecine warfare among Muslims exactly along that Shia-Sunni divide. As history of Muslim-on-Muslim warfare is evidence, once brought to the Russian-roulette table, the bloodshed cannot be averted. The time for its prevention is before the die of fait accompli is cast – and all provocations are being brought to bear on this very scenario, of igniting the Shia-Sunni world war. Only the most recent salvo of which is: Saudi Arabia's grand mufti says Iranians are 'not Muslims. To avert Shia-Sunni warfare requires cognizance of more than just the rhetoric of the obvious statement of fact by Ayatollah Khamenei quoted above. That, the Shia-Sunni fracture points do indeed exist which are always ripe for blood-harvest. The Iran-Iraq war is evidence of that fact. See http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2016/01/averting-shia-sunni-world-war-by-zahir.html Thank you. ZE.