Leader letter

Ayatollah Khamenei's message to the Annual Congress on Zakat

In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Organizing an annual congress with the aim of spreading Zakat is to be regarded as one the greatest divine blessings and a sign of God's grace and favor toward the Islamic Republic.

The great importance of this major duty, which is frequently mentioned in Quran beside prayers (Salat), is such that it should have been dealt with long before. We, the officials of the Islamic Republic, should seek God's forgiveness and take refuge in his clemency for our low performance in this area.

Now that Zakat is being followed up seriously for some years, by some of our dear people, it is necessary that the officials of all government sectors offer their all-inclusive cooperation. Praising those who endeavor on the right path, Qur'an describes their functions after victory as: maintaining the daily prayers, paying Zakat, bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong; hence, laying out out their first and foremost tasks when forming a governing body. This is the significant status of Zakat.

The Islamic Republic was formed to realize Islamic laws and integrate an Islamic society. Thus, it needs to regard this great religious obligation as a top priority on its agenda. We have to admit that research and epistemic works have not been carried out adequately to meet the needs and requirements of this field. Fiqh discussions (Islamic Jurisprudence) on Zakat can open—before the eyes of debaters and researchers—horizons greater than all that exists in the books of previous scholars. The religious obligation of Zakat was introduced to Islamic law during the first years of Islam after Hegira to Medina. However, the word Zakat has been frequently mentioned in the Meccan verses of Qur'an. There is no shortage of factual points, like the abovementioned example, that call us to profound contemplation over this noble topic.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that the movement to revive and reinforce Zakat will accomplish its deserving functions, at all levels, and that its boundless benedictions will be bestowed upon our people, our country, and the holy system of the Islamic Republic. I express my sincerest gratitude to Mr. Qara'ati and all other organizers.

Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei,