Imam Khamenei

Imam Khamenei’s advice for those in power in Islamic governments

There are two outlooks and attitudes in coming to power. This is the case about all those who come to power: one outlook is related to materialistic individuals who anticipate gaining power and holding office in order to satisfy their own personal desires. On the basis of this outlook, individuals try to become president because, through the presidency, they will have the opportunity to have a better life. In other words, gaining power is a means to satisfy selfish desires and to achieve wealth, lead a lustful life and gain the things that their selves demand. This is one outlook that has often been adopted by the followers of power. Because they were materialistic and pursued worldly desires, power would bring them those desires only and the results of such power are merely confined to this world. This is one outlook adopted by those who gain power.

Another outlook is that of the prophets. There is a narration about the Holy Prophet which says, “He would sit down in the manner of slaves and eat the foods that slaves would eat” [Mustadrak ul-Wasael, Vol. 16, page 228]. He would sit down in the way that slaves and servants did. Despite the greatness of his status, he did not hold any privilege for himself in the way that he ate or in his friendly relations with others.

The Commander of the Faithful says, “Realize that your Imam has contented himself with two shabby pieces of cloth out of the comforts of the world and two loaves for his meal” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45]. Such was the life of the Commander of the Faithful. This is another example. Of course, this does not mean that you and I should act like the Holy Prophet and the Commander of the Faithful because we are not capable of doing that in any way. Hazrat himself says, “Certainly, you cannot do so.” You cannot act in the same way: “But at least support me in piety and exertion” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45]. You should work hard to behave in this way and you should not follow the path of those who follow materialistic power.

Therefore, one of the things that those who have certain responsibilities in the Islamic Republic should be committed to – as it is one of the requirements for piety – is to avoid pursuing a luxurious and lavish life. They should live an ordinary life and they should not be extravagant and the like. Of course, many things can be said about piety, but this is the main thing that I wanted to discuss. Of course, I myself am addressed by these statements more than everyone else and I need this more than you. We should consider piety as our main goal, our main path and our main instrument and we should pursue it.

May 14, 2019


  • Commander of the Faithful
  • Imam Ali (a.s.)
  • Islamic civilization
  • Islamic government
  • Prophet Muhammad