Imam Khamenei

Imam Khamenei: our dear martyrs will never be forgotten

The following is the full text of a speech delivered on November 5, 2018, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the officials of the Martyrs of Qazvin Commemoration Congress.

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

I am very grateful to the honorable Friday prayer leader and the esteemed General from Qazvin for the speeches that they made. The speech that the Friday prayer leader gave was imbued with Quranic ayahs [verses]. It is great to make Quranic references from start to finish, even when it comes to performing rowzas [mourning ceremonies]. -- This is a good phenomenon and you should not abandon it. Of course, the holy ayah “Of those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger, even after being wounded,” [The Holy Quran, 3: 172] is not related to martyrs; rather, it is related to disabled war veterans – the people who became wounded after the Battle of Uhud. Later on, they said, “Men said to them: ‘A great army is gathering against you’ and frightened them, but this only increased their faith. They said: ‘For us Allah suffices, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’ And they returned with grace and bounty from Allah: no harm ever touched them.” [The Holy Quran, 3: 173-174] The ayah is related to such people.

Despite the fact that they were injured, when the Holy Prophet called on them, they stood up and responded to the enemy’s actions and returned. In any case, I am very thankful to you for the speeches that you made. I also thank the governor [of Qazvin] for the speech that he made.

As you pointed out, Qazvin has among its honors and glories a good geographical, historical and cultural position, and the great test of the revolutionary era and the Sacred Defense; there is no doubt about this. The great personalities of Qazvin, including scholars such as the Baraghani brothers, Shahid Saless, the late Mullah Saleh -- Mr. Salehi’s [former Foreign Minister and current head of Iranian Atomic Energy Agency present in the meeting] great-grandfather -- and other such personalities, also outstanding martyrs such as Shahid Babai, Shahid Lashgari, Shahid Rajai, the late Abu Torabi (may God bestow paradise upon him) -- both father and son -- and other personalities, are all a source of honor. What you said is true.

Martyrs are a source of improving spiritual life in the country. Spiritual life means morale, a sense of identity, being purposeful, moving towards ideals and refusing to be stagnant. --This is what martyrs do. The Quran teaches us this as well: as long as they are alive, martyrs defend with their bodies, but when they go, they defend with their lives: “And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them in their bliss, the martyrs’ glory is the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they cause to grieve.” [The Holy Quran, 3: 170]

Notice that this promise is related to the time when they go. As long as they are alive, their lives, their bodies, and their worldly movements are at the service of Islam and the Islamic community. And when they go, their spirituality and their voices rise. Martyrs’ tongues open after being martyred. They speak to people: “to those left behind.” They are speaking to us. We should hone our ears so that we can hear their voice. What you are doing, what the honorable families of martyrs do, and what those who hold commemoration congresses in different cities – such as Qazvin, Birjand, and other cities – do is that they help our heavy ears hear this voice. It is important for us to hear this voice.

And Allah the Exalted has made this voice exert influence. He has really made this voice exert influence. When something is said about martyrs – something reasonable and eloquent – it influences hearts. It moves and touches hearts. These days, the young martyrs who are martyred defending the holy shrines of the Imams – including the dear Qazvini martyr of yours – awaken others and make them vigilant with their words, their actions, their moves, their memory and the statements made about them. Our ears are heavy, and we do not receive these messages properly. If they help us hear these messages, then one’s proclivity towards the east, the west, the enemy, kufr, and other such things will disappear. The weaknesses that are witnessed in us are due to the fact that we do not hear these messages. If we receive these messages, our spirits will be strengthened and our movement will become a serious movement.

In any case, what you are doing —commemorating martyrs— is extremely valuable. Thirty years have passed since the Sacred Defense, but even if three hundred years pass, our dear martyrs will not be forgotten; their presence is increasingly felt.  Thankfully, their presence is more strongly felt in our society on a daily basis. Of course, some people used to try to consign martyrs to oblivion. They used to play down the greatness of their work and fuss about them, but they failed and the opposite happened. Today, they are, thankfully, our role models and mentors.

I hope that God will associate our dear martyrs with the Holy Prophet. I hope that He will bless you for considering the commemoration of these dear ones as your duty. I hope that He will reward you so that you can carry out this task as properly as you possibly can.

As I mentioned before – in my statements about the martyrs of Birjand – you should benefit from the memory of these martyrs as much as possible. You should write and hear about them, record and preserve their memory, and create artistic works as much as you can. There is no reason to exaggerate and magnify things. I see that sometimes, some people exaggerate, there is no reason to. The essence of their work is so great that there is no need to ornament and embellish it with exaggeration and the like. Their work is important.

What kinds of people lay down their lives? We, ordinary people, are even prepared to commit a wrongdoing to gain a small advantage; however, they sacrificed the dearest thing that exists for a person – their lives – and they did so for God. At a young age, when one’s desires and dreams are at their peak, they abandoned those desires. They abandoned their material comfort, and they stepped into the path of Allah the Exalted, and they laid down their lives. This movement in itself is so great and glorious that there is no need for exaggeration. By Allah’s favor, you should pursue and carry out this task with the same precision and thoroughness. May God bless you and help your cause.

Greetings upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings



  • Iran
  • Islam
  • Martyrdom
  • sacred defense