Leader’s Address to the Officials and Executives of the Islamic Republic

The following is the abridged text of an address made by the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in a meeting with government officials and executives on April 6, 2007. The meeting, which was convened on the auspicious birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his household) and Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadeq (greetings be upon him), was also attended by the ambassadors of Islamic countries posted to Tehran.


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Today is a great day not only in the history of Islam but in the history of humanity as well. It is the birthday of the Exalted Prophet of Islam, His Holiness Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him and his household), and also the birth anniversary of the Truth-Speaking Imam, His Holiness Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Hussein ibn Ali ibn Abitaleb (divine mercy and greetings be upon them).

The blessings of this day, which emanate from its being the birthday of the Exalted Prophet and the magnanimous Imam, are plentiful for Muslims.

We, as Muslims and as human beings, are today in need of the Holy Prophet, since the Holy Prophet was a blessing for the entire humanity, not just for Muslims. The entire mankind is indebted to the Holy Prophet for his favor and blessings. What he bestowed on mankind as a result of his prophetic mission is in the Holy Qur'an, which we can benefit from today.

The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his household) led mankind to salvation and prosperity. He encouraged human beings to move on a path that can lead to a solution for the problems facing mankind and a remedy for the sufferings besetting human beings.

Mankind has long been suffering from chronic pains in the course of its history. Humanity is in need of justice; it is in need of guidance and noble human morality. Human mind requires the help of divine messengers.

The Holy Prophet offered divine guidance to human beings. However, what has caused and will continue to cause mankind not to benefit from the blessings of this divine guidance and assistance is related to human beings themselves. It stems from our ignorance, our sloth and shortcomings and our hedonism and pursuit of sensual pleasures.

If human beings open their eyes and apply their wisdom and move forward with perseverance, a solution to all the problems facing mankind and a remedy for the chronic pains and old wounds of humanity can be found.

Opposed to the invitation of divine prophets is the invitation of Satan, who has always mobilized his armies and friends and followers against divine prophets. Human beings are standing at a junction and are to choose between the two paths.

Today Muslim nations throughout the Islamic world have a new outlook on the divine religion of Islam. After long periods of ignorance and lack of due attention to pure Islamic truth over many centuries, Muslim nations comprising the Islamic ummah have now opened their eyes to the Islamic teachings and precepts, because the man-made philosophies have already displayed their failure and inadequacy in practice.

The Islamic world, by adhering to the divine religion of Islam and Islamic teachings, can be the vanguard of human movement toward prosperity and perfection. The world is ready to welcome an initiative on the part of the Muslim ummah.

The scientific achievements of mankind have mostly pushed morality and spirituality and religious spirit into the sideline. However, human knowledge and man's new outlook on natural realities of the world can help to set the stage for the Muslim ummah's initiative.

Muslim nations should avail themselves of the Islamic knowledge and the teachings and lifestyle and words of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household). Above all, they should benefit from the Holy Qur'an. The Islamic world is able to move forward.

The events that are presently happening in the world, especially those that are taking place in the field of politics, point to some undeniable realities. The first reality is the awakening of the Islamic world.

What Muslim reformists in different countries from the east to the west of the Islamic world called for a hundred years ago without any wide support, i.e., returning to Islam and reviving the Qur'an and creating a unified ummah and restoring the dignity and power of the Islamic world and the Muslim ummah, is today the common slogan of the masses of Muslims. In other words, the goals that seemed very idealistic in those days have now turned into quite feasible objectives that are being pursued by Muslim nations, especially by their youngsters and educated and intellectual strata.

This highlights the fact that Islamic identity has been revived among Muslim nations, and it is clear that the victory of Islam in Iran has played a major role in this revival. The Iranian people, through their perseverance and self-sacrifice and by raising the banner of Islam's dignity, have imbued other Muslim nations with a new spirit and hopefulness. You can see the signs of this hopefulness everywhere in the Islamic world. This is an undeniable reality.

Another indisputable reality is that, today, the enmities of arrogant powers toward Islam have become more extensive and more serious and more organized in cultural and political and economic terms, since the awakening of the Islamic world has posed a serious threat to arrogant powers, i.e., the powers which have dominated a major part of the world through their wealth and military force.

The global Zionist network and the bullying United States and the financial organization supporting this global domineering system are feeling threatened by the awakening of the Islamic world. They are also making remarks to this effect. Therefore, it is clear that the measures that are currently being taken against Islam on various fronts are all part of an organized and calculated campaign.

It is no accident that the remark against Islam that had been made by the U.S. president, who heads the satanic power pyramid of the arrogant U.S., was repeated - but in a different wording - by a senior Christian clergyman. We do not intend to take others to task. We are just trying to analyze this happening. This cannot have happened by accident.

Their affront to the Holy Prophet in their newspapers, their accusing Islam of being a violent religion, their leveling allegations against Muslim nations, their politicians' remarks about a crusade and also their open expression of hostility toward Muslim nations are by no means accidental. The enemies have formed a coalition against the Islamic ummah, and their enmities have escalated following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The third reality which is also very important and worthy of attention is that in the present confrontation the seemingly more powerful side, i.e. the camp of arrogant powers that is equipped with money and military arms and economic weapons, has been vanquished by the Muslim ummah and this great Islamic movement, a reality contrary to its material calculations and media propaganda, and it has not been able to achieve anything.

It is quite noteworthy that with respect to the issue of the Middle East, especially the issue of Palestine, or other regional issues such as the issue of Iraq or the issue of Lebanon, the arrogant government of the United States has suffered defeat in spite of its making use of all its capabilities. This is another reality on the ground.

The arrogant powers have also been defeated in Palestine. Who could believe that a Palestinian resistance organization with the slogan of confronting and standing up to the Zionist regime would be supported by the Palestinian people and take power in Palestine?

Who could believe that the military aggression against Lebanon would be repelled by a faithful and competent group whose members were ready to sacrifice their lives, a group which brought disgrace on the aggressors, as it happened in the 33-day Lebanese war?

Who could believe that the United States, despite all the attempts that it has made in Iraq and in spite of the deployment of so many of its troops in that country, would not be able to impose its intentions on the Iraqi nation and use Iraq as a gateway to its domination of the entire Arab region in the Middle East and its manipulation of the regional nations and governments?

But this all has happened. In all these cases the side that has been defeated is the one which seemed to have the upper hand in terms of military and financial and economic and political power. This is also another reality.

In the confrontation between the Islamic identity and the identity characterizing the arrogant powers, the winning side has been the Islamic identity. These undeniable realities should be taken into consideration, and they should form the basis of analyses and decisions.

If Islamic governments aim to promote the deep-rooted movement of the Muslim ummah and lead it on the path to victory, they are expected to meet certain necessities, the most important one of which is the consolidation of Islamic unity and Muslim solidarity.

One of the known plots of the arrogant powers is to set Muslim brethren against one another. Although 'fishing in troubled waters' is an old policy, unfortunately it is still proving effective in some cases because of the existing negligence, wrong analyses, narrow-mindedness, preferring personal or short-term gains to long-term interests and yielding to temptations.

Today, you can see that the arrogant powers are seeking to set Palestinians against one another, to set Iraqis against one another, to foment war between the Shia and the Sunni and to create conflicts between Arab and non-Arab communities. These are all known policies.

We consider the unity of the Muslim ummah to be a necessity, and we have designated the current year as 'the Year of National Unity and Islamic Solidarity'. Islamic solidarity is essential for the entire Islamic world, and all Islamic governments and Muslim nations are expected to help one another and bolster up their unity and solidarity.

There are certain obstacles to unity, the major ones of which are misconceptions and lack of adequate knowledge. It often happens that Muslims, including the Shia and the Sunni, do not have adequate knowledge about each other's beliefs, and they are usually mistaken about each other's convictions.

The enemies are also making every attempt to fuel these misconceptions. Sometimes a petty motive prompts one to make a certain remark or take a certain position. Such a remark or position is then exploited by the enemies to further their divisive plots and widen the gap between Muslim brethren.

The panacea for the problems presently facing the Islamic world is unity. All Muslims should join hands and get united. Islamic scholars and intellectuals are expected to draw up an Islamic unity charter, so that such-an-such a narrow-minded and bigoted individual or such-an-such an Islamic sect may not be able to freely excommunicate a large number of Muslims and accuse them of renouncing Islam.

The drawing up of this Islamic unity charter is among the measures which history expects Islamic intellectuals and Muslim ulema to take at the present juncture. If you do not take this measure, you will be criticized by the coming generations.

You are currently witnessing the hostile acts of the enemies and their attempts at destroying Islamic identity and creating division and discord among Muslims. You are expected to find a remedy for the present situation by prioritizing fundamentals and basic principles. There may be a lack of consensus among followers of a religion about some minor tenets. It does not matter, since they share many great commonalities which should form the pivot of their unity.

Muslims should be aware of the enemies' plots and stratagems. Muslim ulema and scholars may engage in religious argumentation, but they should not lower their disputation to the level of the general public. They should not create hostile feelings and give rise to enmities, whether between Islamic sects or between Muslim nations or between the Islamic groups belonging to a nation.

The main target of the arrogant powers is Islam. They are seeking to subvert this religion. This is something that everybody should bear in mind. There exists no difference to them between the Shia and the Sunni. They feel threatened by any nation or community or any individual that firmly adheres to Islam. They are justified in feeling threatened, since Islam indeed does pose a threat to the domineering goals and hegemonic objectives of the arrogant powers. However, Islam poses no threat whatsoever to non-Muslim nations.

The arrogant powers are insinuating the opposite in their negative propaganda. By using artistic and political means and through their media they are insinuating that Islam is hostile to other nations and to other religions. This is not true. Islam is not antagonistic toward other religions.

When Islam dominated non-Muslim regions, the followers of other religions were grateful to Muslims for their Islamic mercy. They told Muslim rulers that they treated them more kindly than those who ruled them prior to Muslims. When Muslims conquered Syria, they showed kindness toward the Jewish and Christian residents of the region.

Islam is the religion of kindness. It is the religion of mercy. It is a blessing for the entire humanity. Islam tells Christianity that "come to an equitable agreement between us and you" (The Holy Qur'an, 3: 64). It stresses the commonalities that they share.

Islam is not hostile to other nations or to other religions. Islam is opposed to compulsion, oppression, arrogance and domination. Those seeking predominance over nations and the oppressors and arrogant powers are trying to portray the opposite of this reality to the world by utilizing all their resources, from Hollywood and propaganda means to arms and weapons and military forces.

Islam and the Islamic awakening pose a threat, but only to arrogant powers. Wherever they notice this threat, they make it the target of their attacks. It does not matter to them whether this threat emanates from the Shia or from the Sunni.

The arrogant powers' attitude and behavior toward the Palestinian Hamas is the same as their attitude and behavior toward the Lebanese Hezbollah; the first is Sunni and the second is Shia. The attitude of the global arrogance toward faithful and committed Muslims living in any part of the world is the same, and it does not make any difference to arrogant powers whether those Muslims are Shia or Sunni.

Now is it wise for Muslims to engage in tribal or ethnic or sectarian disputes and waste their energy and forget that their common enemy is seeking to destroy them all?

Today, the Islamic world should work for its dignity and independence and for its scientific progress and spiritual power. Muslim nations should cling to the divine religion of Islam and rely on Almighty Allah and do their utmost to achieve their goals.

Muslims should also feel sure about the divine guidance and assistance. They should bear in mind the divine promise that "...Allah will certainly help those who help His (cause)" (The Holy Qur'an, 22: 40).

Muslims are expected to enter the arena of action and dynamism with complete trust in this promise. Action does not only mean engagement in armed struggle, but it also means engagement in intellectual and scientific and social and political activities, all in the way of Allah and for the sake of promoting unity in the Islamic world. This will be beneficial to both Muslim nations and Islamic governments.

If Islamic governments rely on the vast ocean of the Muslim Ummah, they will become more powerful than when they rely on the U.S. ambassadors posted to their countries or on a certain American politician. The latter will not vest them with any real power.

If Islamic governments consolidate their ties with one another and strengthen their unity, the arrogant powers will never be able to target an Islamic government and isolate it and deal it a blow and then pick out and target another Islamic government. This is an issue which all Muslim nations should pay careful attention to.

Islamic governments should try to boost their unity and solidarity and realize that they are capable of doing so. We have presented the Muslim Ummah with this kind of experience. The Iranian nation has offered the experience of its resistance and trust in Almighty Allah and confidence in its own power to the Islamic world.

The Islamic world has been witness to the fact that over the past 28 years since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, arrogant powers have made every attempt against our nation, and that they have not missed even a single day in doing so. However, not a single day has passed on which we have not made further progress and increased our power.

I pray to Almighty Allah to bestow His mercy and grace and assistance on the entire Muslim ummah. I also express my felicitation to all Muslim nations and to you, the esteemed audience, on the occasion of this auspicious feast.

I express my greetings to the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam Khomeini, who opened up this path in front of us, and I pray to Almighty Allah to raise the status in the hereafter of our honorable martyrs who made great endeavors on this path.

I hope that all Muslim nations will benefit from the sacred prayer of His Holiness Imam of the Age - may our souls be sacrificed for his sake.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings