Leader’s Address to Families of Martyrs

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on May 24, 2009 by Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to families of martyrs.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

In terms of its spiritual qualities, this meeting is truly magnificent. The fact that some fathers and mothers in a country voluntarily send their dear children to the battlefields to serve a divine cause is a genuine source of honor for that country. And when their children get martyred, satisfaction of God makes this tragic loss pleasant for the parents, especially the parents who suffered the loss of two, three, or four children. This is a source of honor for any nation. The loss of two, three, or four children is not a trivial issue, and it is not peculiar to a specific part of our country or nation.

You dear people who enjoy these magnificent qualities are the parents of those martyred youth. And you represent various ethnicities and geographic areas of the country. There are Persians, Arabs, Azeris, Kurds, Turkmen, and Baluchis among you. What nation enjoys such wonderful ethnic diversity? On my trip to Kurdistan, I met a family that had suffered the loss of 6 children during the imposed war. Of course I had previously met this family. On my trip to Kurdistan province, I learnt that the parents of this family had passed away. Just like the memory of our martyrs, the memory of these great, brave men and women - that is, the fathers and mothers of our martyrs - will stay alive forever. These things cannot be erased from the memory and history of a nation.

[Before the Revolution] we used to read some things about the early Islamic era, but we could not really gain a deep understanding of what we read. They all seemed like a story. But today we can see some individuals among our people who are better - in terms of their sacrifices - than the early Muslim men and women whose names were recorded in the history of Islam. These individuals are more steadfast. The early Muslims used to talk to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and see him with their own eyes. They used to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Prophet (s.w.a.). Our people were 1400 years away from that era, but they stood up to the enemies by relying on their strong faith. As we say in the Samaat prayer, "And we believed in him with sincerity and justice and we did not see him". Is that something insignificant? My dear ones, that was how the Iranian nation gained its victory.

The strong faith, steely determination, and great sacrifices of the parents and families of our martyrs strengthened the foundations of the Islamic Revolution's solid structure so much that no turbulence has succeeded, or will succeed, in shaking the Islamic Revolution.

Your steadfastness, faith, and resistance form the foundations of this solid structure of the Islamic Republic. Your steadfastness, faith, and resistance give our youth the revolutionary qualities they currently enjoy, although 30 years have passed since the Revolution. And you can see examples of these faithful and revolutionary youth. These are all the blessings of Islam and the Quran.

You sent your children to the battlefields for the sake of Allah, and you endured their tragic loss for God's satisfaction. If the Islamic Republic strays slightly away from Islam, the path of Islam, and Islamic goals, it will certainly lose this great support. That is why our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) used to stress the importance of Islam in all his statements. It was Islam that safeguarded us. It was Islam that strengthened us. It was Islam that made us hopeful about victory and encouraged us to enter the battlefields. It was Islam that made those youth and our Armed Forces - that lacked sufficient weapons - resist the Iraqi enemies in Operation Jerusalem and liberate Khorramshar, inflicting a humiliating defeat on the enemy. It was Islam that made our Armed Forces push the enemy out of our territories. It was Islam that gave rise to the Islamic Republic, and it will preserve it.

All the officials of the Islamic Republic must pay attention to this reality, and they must feel proud of Islam, Islamic rulings, and Islamic values. The enemies of Islam - that is, the enemies of the Iranian nation - would frown on this. It goes without saying that when you stand up to an enemy while you enjoy strong determination and efficient weapons, the enemy will frown on this. The enemy wants to undermine your determination and power. The enemy wants to take your weapons away from you. The enemies of Iran and the Iranian nation know that the religious faith of the Iranian people is the source of their resistance, power, and determination. They want to strip our people of this faith. They have organized their global propaganda in line with this objective. We must be vigilant. Our government officials must be vigilant. Our presidential candidates must be vigilant. The presidential candidates must not say anything to delight the enemies. God and His saints' satisfaction must be taken into consideration. We must pay attention to the source of the nation's resistance, strength, and strong adherence to Islam as the criteria for judgment.

I am grateful to God who did not let the sacrifices of our martyrs go to waste. Thanks to Islam, their martyrdom was not futile. The grandeur that the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation currently enjoy is the outcome of the sacrifices that our martyrs made. The fact that the people of the world praise the Iranian nation and hold the Islamic Republic in high regard is the result of our martyrs' sacrifices. The security that we enjoy now, the great movement to promote construction of the country, the great achievements that have been made so far, the scientific and technological progress, and the increase in the number of scholars, scientists, students, and researchers are all the outcome of the sacrifices that our martyrs made. The general vigilance that our nation currently enjoys is the result of their martyrdom. The sacrifices of your martyrs transformed our country and our nation, and you and your martyrs are the ones who deserve the credit for all this.

The Iranian nation will always feel indebted to the martyrs and their families. All the Iranian people should keep this in mind. We owe all our grandeur and progress to your dear martyrs and loved ones. It was they who brought glory to Islam, their country, and their nation. All the people and the officials should appreciate these sacrifices. You families of martyrs should, and do, appreciate these sacrifices.

I have seen very few families of martyrs who are not proud of the martyrdom of their children. Maybe, I have not seen any. All the families of martyrs are proud of the martyrdom of their children. In fact, they should be. Not only you, but all of us, including the Iranian nation and the officials should be proud of these brave youth.

And the memory of the Sacred Defense Era should always be kept alive in our country. There were some people who made efforts to gradually wipe out the memory of the Sacred Defense Era and the great bravery of the Iranian nation from the people's minds. If these actions are unintentional, they are indicative of a profound lack of vigilance. And if they are deliberate attempts at wiping out the memory of those days, they constitute treachery.

The memory of the Sacred Defense Era and the martyrs of the Revolution should always be kept alive in our society. There are still many things to be said in this regard. Many of your memories are still to be recorded. And the parts of your memories which have been published are all indicative of immeasurable glory. And the memories which have been published about Operation Jerusalem, Operation Fath-ol-Mobeen, and other operations are full of glory. These operations were carried out by your children.

I pray to Allah the Exalted to raise the position of our dear martyrs in the hereafter. I pray to God to associate our souls with those of our martyrs, and to put you among those who benefit in the hereafter from the intercession of our martyrs. I hope that this great honor will be a source of constant pride and progress for our nation. I pray to Allah to bestow patience and His mercy and blessings on you.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings