Imam Khamenei

Without religious and revolutionary commitment, society moves toward moral corruption

The following is a portion of a speech that was delivered on February 1, 2017, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, during a meeting with professors and outstanding students of the Sharif University of Technology.


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,


Like a window which opens to a lovely garden, your presence, dear ones, in this place gladdened our hearts, offered fresh air to us, and ignited and kindled the hope that, by Allah's favor, has never been extinguished in the heart of this humble person. I thank God for the existence of you, good and dear youth, the moral and righteous children of this country and – by Allah's favor – the powerful men and women of Iran's future.


When I said that we should thank God, this is not particular to me. You, yourselves, should thank God. Allah the Exalted has given you wisdom, the power to think, and talent. He has planted the seed of being outstanding within you. Under certain circumstances, this seed has yielded fruit. You should thank God for the great blessing – talent and mental capacity - that he has bestowed upon you.


One of the issues that I would like to stress is that of scientific endeavor. Scientific endeavor should not end in universities. Thankfully, you are outstanding students, and you have won medals. These medals are a great sign and a symbol. The spiritual value of this medal is much more than its material value. The spiritual value reveals that you enjoy a special kind of capacity and internal talent. It shows that you enjoy a lofty identity: these medals work like this. So, because of acting as a symbol, these medals have a spiritual as well as a material value.


That is why I accept your gifts with complete willingness and honor, but later on, I will give them back to you. I would like you to keep these symbols in your house and workplace – when you have one. In any case, one issue is that you should take the issue of science seriously.


Another important issue… is that what helps this country achieve development and what helps it develop a flow to the region, to the world of Islam, and possibly to the whole world is religious and revolutionary commitment. If this religious and revolutionary commitment does not exist, then scientific progress alone will not make a country, a nation, and a group of people happy and blissful. If someone had said this 80 years ago, many people would not have believed it. --This is because, in those days, the rifts and cracks that now have emerged in the body and structure of Western civilization and western countries did not exist. Today, these rifts, these shortcomings, and the frailties in the foundation of Western civilization – in the lives of youth, in the lives of families, and in being drawn towards various intellectual, practical, and moral deviations – have shown themselves.


What I am saying is not an antagonistic claim on the part of this humble person, against the leaders of the Western civilization. Of course, I am hostile towards them; in other words, they are my enemy, but this statement is not based on this enmity rather it is based on their own words. Today, violence, moral corruption, the destruction of family and the disastrous condition of children and the future generations in the US – I am speaking about the US: these conditions exist in other countries with different ratios – have reached a point where some thinkers and sympathetic personalities in the US insist on changing the condition of movies, promotions, cinema, Hollywood, and other such phenomena: a change from the behavior that they have shown in the past 100 years towards morality and moderation. --This exists in their articles: this is the information which is available to me. I am saying so based on that information. They, themselves, have become concerned.


For example, I read recently that in the space of a few days, a hundred individuals – for example – in the US were killed without any crime and reason. They were not killed by the police. The issue of crimes which are committed by the US police is a different issue. Those individuals were killed at the hands of one another. For example, in the space of one week, a hundred or several hundred individuals killed one another. The exact figures are available, but I do not remember it. Well, this is a grave disaster for a country! The availability of guns and the prevalence of homicides has created many problems for a country like the US.


--And everyone confirms this. Everyone is afraid of this, and they are worried; yet, no one dares to use the clear cure and treatment for this malady. What is the cure? The cure is that guns should become illegal. The leaders of the US do not dare do so. Weapon-building companies in the US are so dominant that U.S. senators and congressmen do not dare pass such a law. The US president does not dare say this as his presidential slogan, and he does not dare stick to it.


Take note that this is an example of corruption. Corruption means the domination of power-seeking and money-hungry mafia groups in a way that the great political and military apparatus of a country, like the US, does not dare implement a measure – preventing the sale of guns – whose efficacy is clear. These are instances of corruption. It is because of a lack of spiritual ideals that Western societies reach this point.


Of course, youth depression, suicide, and filicide attempts, and various moral, sexual, and other such crimes are different issues which require separate discussions. If we want the country, the people, and the human community -- in general -- to achieve happiness and bliss, the way to do so is to give priority to religious and divine ideals over all other ideas. This notion should affect our economy, our scientific work, our management of the country, our selection of managers, and our own intellectual movement.


Fortunately, today, a large group of youth in the country – Basij [Popular mobilized forces], Student Basij, and those who are acting as Islamic and revolutionary thinkers in the country, and who are very large in number – are pursuing this idea. You should preserve this thought. You should know that various events make one undergo some mental and intellectual changes. Sometimes, deviations and digressions are very minute, but when they continue, the distance from the straight and the main path widens in a continuous manner: you should pay attention to this. The great feats that were accomplished by some people in the country – for example, the victory of the Revolution, the issue of the Sacred Defense, and the like – and the achievements that we made in the eight-year Defense Era, during the Revolution, and in the serious confrontations against the Revolution over the course of 40 years resulted from resistance and stability.


I advise you to read the memoirs of the Sacred Defense. These memoirs are very valuable. When I – who am like your grandfather, was present in the war and witnessed those events – read these memoirs, they were new and significant to me. They are new and fresh to me, and they influenced me. Those who change their behavior on a daily basis have been described by the Commander of the Faithful (as) in the following manner: "Your girth is loose, and you have put it on the wrong way." [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 162] The Commander of the Faithful describes this person as a camel whose load is not fastened tightly. As the camel walks, the load shifts towards different directions, and it finally falls. Naturally, the camel cannot walk straight. We should be afraid of this, and we should avoid it.


We read in a prayer, "I ask You to grant me stability in Your religion." Stability and resistance in religion and on the path of the Revolution are very important, and it should receive attention. So, studying one's lessons, revolutionary commitment, and continuous presence in all the scenes which are influential in the future of the country is important.


The students in the meeting referred to the student cause and the student movement. --This student movement can be interpreted in two ways; one is that students speak, chant slogans, and clench their fists against all ideas; and another is that students move at the service of ideas: this is a youthful and jihadi movement [voluntary, selfless endeavor for the sake of God]. We should act in a jihadi manner in the area of science, in acquiring knowledge, and in political activities on the ground. Jihad does not only mean drawing one's sword and striking others from left and right. Jihad means refusal to become tired. It means choosing a path with correct thinking and reasoning, having faith in that path, pursuing and treading it despite all the difficulties and obstacles. --This is the meaning of acting in a jihadi manner.


I hope that Allah will make you successful, God willing.


  • Ethics
  • Gun Violence
  • Morality
  • Police Brutality
  • Technology