The following is the full text of the speech delivered on December 13, 2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with youth at the Jashn-e Taklif Celebration which was held in Imam Khomeini (r.a.) Hussainiyah.
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 and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad and upon his immaculate, pure and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
You are quite welcome, dear youth. You are the healthy and intelligent children of the people of Iran in the present time and by Allah’s favor, you will be the men and managers of the country in the future. I congratulate you dear children and dear teenagers upon entering the arena of divine obligation and jashn-e taklif.
The first thing that we should pay attention to is the definition of jashn-e taklif. Jashn-e taklif means that teenagers have reached the stage when they have the capability to be addressed by Allah the Exalted. Taklif means the mission that Allah the Exalted gives you. If you carry out this mission in the best way possible, you will help your individual, familial and social life to get close to happiness and bliss. This is the meaning of taklif. So, taklif means a divine mission.
As long as individuals have not reached the taklif stage, they do not have the capability to speak to Allah the Exalted or to be addressed by God and to be given a mission by Him. When you reach the taklif stage, this means that you have gained the competence, the capability and the character to be addressed by Allah the Great, Who is the Creator of the universe and humans. It means that you have gained the capability to be given a mission and to be respected by Him. In fact, jashn-e taklif is a celebration through which individuals and teenagers enter into divine kindness and attention. You should appreciate the value of this.
Human life contains numerous events. By Allah’s favor, you will live for many decades in this world. You will witness and experience certain events and numerous issues in your life. If you have great spiritual stamina, you will move forward in a courageous, honorable and proud manner when facing those events. You will make both worldly and otherworldly achievements and you will attain divine dignity. This begins from the moment of taklif. Your moment of taklif and your age of spiritual maturity is a very important age.
My dear ones, my children, I advise you to strengthen your relationship with Allah the Exalted from now and from these days and months during which you have entered into taklif. The fatal flaw of the materialistic western world is that it has cut off man’s relationship with God. That is why they suffer from a spiritual decline and make many moral errors. That is why they become desperate and their youth suffer from confusion and bewilderment. That is why western civilization is declining on a daily basis. The reason is that they have cut off their relationship with God. The secret to the progress of a person individually and a society collectively, is preserving one’s relationship with God. You should preserve your relationship with God.
And the best way to establish a relationship with God is primarily through saying daily prayers. You should try to say daily prayers by paying careful attention from now and from the age of taklif. What does paying careful attention mean? It means that while saying daily prayers, you feel that you are speaking to your Great Addressee – to God. You should create this feeling in yourselves.
When individuals speak to Allah the Exalted, they trust and rely on Him and they make requests to Him. This trust and reliance on God gives us courage. You should move forward with courage in your life. You should move forward with self-confidence. And this feeling of courage and self-confidence is gained in one’s relationship with God. You should try to say daily prayers on time and by paying careful attention.
My dear ones, you should establish a close relationship with the Holy Quran. You should establish a close relationship with it. You should read a little – even if it is a few ayahs – every day and you should pay attention to its meaning. The Holy Quran guides humans: “Verily this Quran guides to that which is most right” [The Holy Quran, 17: 9]. It guides individuals towards the straight path.
You should show your influential presence in your school and home environment as enthusiastic, active, diligent, and positive individuals. You should influence the people around you. You should try to influence individuals of your own age and others at school, and in your home and play environment. You can exert influence.
My dear ones, our people and our country have certain enemies today. These are enemies who try to use every tool for infiltrating and dominating our country – including economic, political and cultural domination. One of the methods that they have adopted is infiltrating our youth and our teenagers. You should be aware of this infiltration. You should immunize yourselves. Of course, you should immunize not only yourselves but also the people around you – including your classmates, and your playmates – against the enemies.
You should equip yourselves with knowledge. I advise all you dear youth to take studying seriously. Another word of advice that I would like to offer is that you should take sports and physical health seriously as well. Today, our youth should enjoy physical, spiritual and mental health together and they should preserve it for themselves.
You should achieve physical health with sports and with a good diet. You should achieve spiritual health by paying attention to God, to daily prayers, to praying, to reliance on God and to martyrs. And you should achieve mental health by reading books. You should read and benefit from good, helpful and instructive books that have been written by our good thinkers and writers and that have become available to us. These things help our teenage generation to enjoy physical, spiritual and psychological, and mental and intellectual health. And this will build the future of the country.
My dear ones, today, you have come out of your childhood. Today, you are teenagers. You are in the beginning of your youth. You are blossoming. In the present time, you have great talent for learning and for edifying yourselves. You should benefit from this opportunity to edify yourselves – including physical, spiritual and psychological, and mental edification – in the same way that I explained. After you dear teenagers launch this movement in the correct manner in this great arena and in this fresh spring of teenage, then we can be sure that the future of our country will be better than its present-day conditions.
You are the future men, the future managers, the future activists and the future personalities. The future of our country belongs to you teenagers. It is you who will manage this country, these people, this movement and this history. Therefore, you should prepare yourselves for that day.
My dear ones, you should not ignore supplication and praying. My dear ones, you should not forget about martyrs. Our dear martyrs were individuals who were prepared to lay down their lives while they were in their teenage years and they did so for the interests of the country, for preserving its independence and for eliminating the enemies’ malevolence.
This is a very lofty value. Human’s most valuable asset is their life. Offering this in the way of God requires great determination and courage. I advise you to read the books which have been written about martyrs and those who self-sacrificed in the Sacred Defense Era. These are books that explain the personality of martyrs. They are sweet and attractive books and they familiarize your minds with many issues.
My dear children, dear teenagers, you are a bouquet from the big garden of our country. There are millions of teenagers like you throughout the country. You, who are present in this meeting, are a sample of those teenagers. I hope that Allah the Exalted bestows His eternal kindness and blessings on you and on all dear teenagers throughout our country. I hope that by Allah’s favor, you can build a sweet life for yourselves, for your parents and for the future of your country.
Now that we have mentioned parents, I would also like to say to you teenagers that you should appreciate the value of your parents. You should continue to respect them and reciprocate their kindness. They show you kindness and you should reciprocate it.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings