Leader’s Friday Prayer Address

The following is the full text of the Friday prayer address delivered on June 4, 2010 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

First Sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, Whom we praise, from Whom we seek help, Whom we trust, from Whom we seek grace, and to Whom we repent and peace and greetings be upon His beloved and noble one, His best among creation, guardian of the Secrets, disseminator of His message, harbinger of His mercy, and admonisher of divine wrath, our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and infallible household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth. And greetings be upon the Imams of Muslims, supporters of the oppressed, and those who call people to God.
I urge the servants of God and myself to fear God.

I advise all the dear brothers and sisters to fear God. Allah the Exalted says: "O you who believe, be careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word. He will put your deeds into a right state for you, and forgive you your faults. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he indeed achieves a mighty success." [The Holy Quran, 33: 70-71] We should observe piety in our behavior, speech, and thought. That is to say, we have to take care not to do anything to dissatisfy Allah the Exalted through our thought, action, and speech. By Allah's grace, I hope to deliver today's sermons by adhering to this essential Quranic principle - that is, speaking on the basis of piety.

Yesterday was the birthday anniversary of Fatima Zahra (s.a.), the lady of the Two Worlds. We should seek assistance from the holy soul of that sincere servant of God. Today is the 21st demise anniversary of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), and by Allah's favor, we will hold today's prayers as a sign of respect to the spiritual position of that great man. We will move forward while preserving the holy and lasting memory of our magnanimous Imam - which has been preserved throughout the past 21 years in the hearts and lives of our people in the best possible way.

In the first sermon, I would like to speak about our magnanimous Imam -viewing Imam Khomeini (r.a.) as a standard. This view is important in that the main challenge in all social transformations - including revolutions - is to safeguard the original orientations. This is the most important challenge that lies ahead of all purposeful social transformations. All social transformations and revolutions should preserve their orientation towards their original goals. If this orientation is not safeguarded in a revolution, that revolution will turn into its own enemy and will act against the original goals. This is why in the holy sura Hud Allah the Exalted tells His Messenger, "Continue then in the right way as you are commanded, as also he who has turned (to Allah) with you, and do not transgress. Surely He sees what you do." [The Holy Quran, 11: 112] Allah the Exalted calls on the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) to be steadfast. Being steadfast means one should not stray away from the right path. In contrast, there is also a mention of transgression in this ayah: "And do not transgress." Transgression means straying away from the right path. God tells the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) as well as his companions to tread the path in an appropriate manner and not stray away from it. "Surely He sees what you do."

In his commentary on this ayah in Tafsir al-Mizan, the late Allamah Tabatabai said, "The tone of this ayah is harsh. There is no sign of mercy in this ayah. It is addressed to the Prophet himself." The ayah is mainly addressed to the Prophet (s.w.a). This ayah is so important that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) said, "The sura Hud made me old." That was because of this ayah. According to some narrations, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) was referring to this part of the sura and the harshness of its tone. This is while in another part of the Holy Quran we read, "To this then go on inviting, and be steadfast as you were commanded." [The Holy Quran, 42: 15] But the ayah "continue then in the right way as you were commanded, as also he who has turned (to Allah) with you, and do not transgress" is addressed to the Prophet himself, and this fills the Prophet's (s.w.a.) heart with concern. This is because straying away from the original path and changing the original orientation - which actually defines all revolutions - may change the path entirely and lead to the failure of the original goals. The importance of this issue lies in the fact that orientations change in a gradual and imperceptible manner. Orientations do not change abruptly. Deviations are very small in the beginning, and they get more serious over time.

Moreover, the people who are after changing the nature of a revolution usually avoid carrying a certain flag and adopting a particular position. They do not openly oppose the revolution. Sometimes they even do or say certain things in an apparent effort to support the revolution, but they only create further deviations. As a result, the revolution drifts away from its original goals and orientations.

In order to prevent this wrong orientation and this deviation, we need to adhere to a certain standard. There should be some standard to keep us on our path. If these standards are clear and visible to the public, there will be no deviations. And if someone makes efforts to create deviations, the general public will realize this. But in the absence of standards, we will face serious threats.

What is the standard in our Revolution? This is a very important question. It is thirty years now that we have been moving on the path of this Revolution. Our people have been insightful and courageous. They have shown that they are truly competent. You have been safeguarding this Revolution for thirty years. But there is a danger. The enemies of the Revolution and Imam Khomeini (r.a.) will not stand by and watch. They will try to bring this Revolution to its knees. How? By making the Revolution stray away from its path. Therefore, it is necessary for us to have a standard.

I would say Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and his path are the best standard. Imam Khomeini (r.a.) is the best standard for us. Although there is a lot of difference between the Imam and the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), it would not be inappropriate if we likened Imam Khomeini to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Holy Quran says, "Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much." [The Holy Quran, 33: 21] The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) is exemplary - his behavior and actions. Similarly, in another holy ayah we read, "Indeed, there is for you a good example in Ibrahim and those with him." [The Holy Quran, 60: 4] In this ayah the companions of Prophet Ibrahim have been mentioned so that no one can say, "The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and Prophet Ibrahim were infallible, so we cannot be like them." No, the Holy Quran says, "Indeed, there is for you a good example in Ibrahim and those with him when they said to their people: Surely we are clear of you and of what you serve besides Allah. We declare ourselves to be clear of you, and enmity and hatred have appeared between us and you forever until you believe in Allah alone - but not in what Ibrahim said to his father: I would certainly ask forgiveness for you, and I do not control for you anything from Allah - Our Lord, on You do we rely, and to You do we turn, and to You is the eventual coming." [The Holy Quran, 60: 4]

This is true of our magnanimous Imam who was a follower of the path of the divine prophets. The Imam himself is one of the most prominent standards - his behavior and his words. Fortunately, we have access to his speeches. They have been complied already. Imam Khomeini's testament has clearly delineated everything that he had in mind about the future of the Revolution. We must not allow these standards to be distorted, concealed, or forgotten. Distorting these standards is like losing or breaking a compass that we need on our journey. Imagine that you have lost your way in a sea or desert. You would be totally confused if your compass broke down. Presenting the views of the Imam in an inappropriate manner would be like losing your compass - we would lose our way. Everybody is interpreting the Imam's words the way they wish, and the ill-wishers are taking advantage of the situation - they present things in a way to mislead the people.

The positions adopted by the Imam should be presented in a clear manner - just the way he expressed them. This is the criterion for the path of the Imam and the Revolution. Someone may explicitly say he does not believe in the Imam - this is a different matter. The followers and supporters of the Imam clearly know how to deal with the people who openly say they do not believe in the Imam. But if this Revolution is supposed to move forward on the path of the Imam, everything should be clear and the positions of the Imam should be clarified appropriately.

It is not right to hide or deny some of the positions adopted by the Imam just to please certain people. Some people wrongly think that we should play down some of the positions adopted by the Imam or try to hide them in order to increase the number of the Imam's followers and attract those who are against him. No, the identity and personality of the Imam depend on the positions that he used to express in the most eloquent and transparent way. It was his positions that shook the world. It was his explicit positions that attracted a huge number of people to the Iranian nation. This great global movement that you see in different parts of the world of Islam was started in this way.

We should openly hold up the views of the Imam. We should explicitly support the positions he adopted against the arrogant powers, reactionary attitudes, western liberal democracy, and munafeqeen. Those who were in close contact with that great man accepted his positions. We cannot afford to hide the Imam's positions or try to play down what we consider to be radical just to please certain individuals. When I was young, some people used to play down or ignore some of the Islamic teachings just to attract more people to Islam. They used to deny or hide such things as jihad, qisas, and hijab. They used to claim that qisas and jihad were not part of Islam just to attract a certain orientalist or a particular individual who was opposed to the principles of Islam. This is a mistake. Islam must be presented in its entirety.

The Imam minus the Imam's path is not the person under whose leadership the Iranian people lay down their lives, sent their children to fight to death, sacrificed their lives and wealth, and gave rise to the greatest movement of the contemporary world. The Imam minus the Imam's path would be an Imam without an identity. Taking the identity of the Imam away from him is not a service to him. The principles that the Imam supported were expressed explicitly. These principles were reflected in the words, speeches, letters, and the final testament of the Imam - which was the summary of all his positions. These intellectual principles are the same things that gave rise to that great and splendid movement against western plundering and America's unchallenged hegemony in the world. Whenever US presidents travel to Asian, Middle Eastern, and some European countries, the people hold demonstrations and shout slogans against them. Do you think those people were always like this? They were not. It was the Imam's movement, his uncovering of truths, and his positions that disgraced the arrogant powers and Zionism and revived the spirit of resistance among the people of the world, especially in Islamic communities.

It is a mistake to deny the positions adopted by the Imam. Sometimes this mistake is unfortunately committed by the people who were once among the followers of the Imam or among the people who used to promote the Imam's thoughts. Some people stray away from their path for various reasons, lose sight of their goals, and turn their back on their ideals. After promoting the goals of the Imam for many years, some people stood up against those goals and principles and said those things.

The path of the Imam has its own characteristics. I will discuss the most important things that can be said about the path of the Imam. I would especially like to advise our youth to read the Imam's testament. The personality of the Imam - the man who shook the world - has been reflected in his testament and his words.

The first and the most important point about the Imam's principles and views is the issue of genuine Islam - that is, the kind of Islam that is against oppression, seeks justice, supports jihad and the underprivileged, and defends the rights of the poor and the oppressed. The Imam introduced the term "American Islam" into our political discourse as opposed to "pure Muhammadi Islam". American Islam means an Islam that is ceremonial - the kind of Islam that is indifferent to oppression, greed, and violation of the rights of the oppressed, the kind of Islam that helps bullies and the powerful, the kind of Islam that can put up with all this injustice. The Imam named this Islam "American Islam".

Pure Islam was our magnanimous Imam's constant concern. It was not just limited to the era of the Islamic Republic. However, practicing pure Islam was impossible except under an Islamic government. If the political system of a country is not based on the foundations of Islamic thought and sharia, it is impossible for Islam to genuinely fight local and global oppressors and bullies. Therefore, the Imam believed that among all Islamic duties, safeguarding the Islamic Republic was the most important obligation. According to the Imam, safeguarding the Islamic Republic is not just one of the most important Islamic obligations - it is the most important obligation. Safeguarding the Islamic Republic is the most important Islamic obligation because protecting Islam - in the true sense of the word - depends on safeguarding the political system of the Islamic Republic. In the absence of an Islamic political system, it is impossible to protect Islam.

The Imam believed that the Islamic Republic was the manifestation of Islamic rule. As a result, he stood firm and made all those strenuous efforts to establish the Islamic Republic. Obviously, the Imam was not after power. He was only fighting for Islam. Therefore, he supported the Islamic Republic until the end. The Islamic Republic was a novel idea that the Imam introduced to the world.

The most important issue in the Islamic Republic is to fight various forms of government that are based on bullying and domination. Domination and dictatorship is not just limited to the rule of kings. The rule of kings is only one form of dictatorship. There used to be one-party leftist dictatorships in certain countries. They used to treat the people the way they wanted, and no one answered to the people. In fact the people were being controlled by a small minority. This was another kind of dictatorship. There is yet another type of dictatorship in which capitalists act as the dictator. This type of dictatorship is practiced in political systems that are seemingly democratic - in liberal democracy. This is another form of dictatorship, but it is practiced in a very clever and indirect manner. In fact it is the kind of dictatorship that is practiced by capitalists and extremely wealthy people.

The Imam established the Islamic Republic to oppose these forms of human taghuts [government that is not sanctioned by God]. He made Islam the main standard, and relying on the votes of the people is a core principle of an Islamic system. Therefore, the Islamic Republic is both republican and Islamic in that it relies on the votes of the people as well as divine sharia. This is a novel system. This is one of the main standards of the path of Imam Khomeini (r.a.). Any other conception of the rule of the Islamic Republic would be against the Imam's thoughts. Someone who has a different conception should not claim to be a follower of the path of the Imam. This is one of the clearest principles of the Imam's intellectual path.

Another standard in the path of the Imam was the Imam's power to attract and repel. Everybody both attracts and repels people, but great men attract and repel a great number of people. Your behavior can attract certain people and repel certain others, and this defines your personal charisma. But great men can attract and repel a huge number of people. The Imam's power to attract and repel was wonderful.

Islam was the factor behind the Imam's power to attract and repel people - just as Imam Sajjad (a.s.) prays to God in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya. I have repeatedly stressed that Imam Sajjad's duas are indeed among the most precious Islamic teachings. There are some Islamic teachings in his duas that cannot be obtained from Islamic narrations, but the teachings have been explicitly expressed in his duas. In dua 44 of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya - the prayer that is said on the eve of the month of Ramadan - Imam Sajjad (a.s.) prays to Allah the Exalted for certain things in the month of Ramadan. One of the things that Imam Sajjad prays for is peace with his enemies. But then he says, "Except for the enemies that I have made for the sake of You because they are the enemies with whom we will never make peace."

That was the way the Imam behaved. He had no personal grudges against anyone. Even when there was personal resentment, he would ignore it. But enmity that was rooted in religious principles was very important to the Imam. At the beginning of the revolutionary movement in the year 1341, the Imam used to accept different people with various intellectual tendencies and from various ethnic and religious backgrounds, but he drove certain people away after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. He explicitly rejected the communists. At that time what he did was strange for many of us who had been involved in revolutionary activities since the beginning of the Revolution. During the early days of the Revolution the Imam adopted an explicit position against the communists and drove them away. He adopted a determined stance against the liberal-types and those who were bedazzled by western systems and culture. He distanced himself from those people. He never stood on ceremony with them. He drove the reactionary people away - the people who were not prepared to accept divine realities and the Quranic spirit of Islamic teachings, the people who were not prepared to accept that great transformation. He repeatedly rejected the reactionary people in strongly-worded statements. He did not hesitate to reject the people who were not within the same intellectual and Islamic framework as he was. But at the same time he did not hold any personal grudges against them.

Just take a look at the Imam's testament. In his testament he refers to the communists who had committed crimes inside the country and had fled abroad. Pay attention to his tone. He tells them to return to the country and accept punishment for their actions according to law and justice. That is to say, he tells them to return and to accept capital punishment, imprisonment, and other punishments in order to save themselves from divine punishment. He addresses them in a kind manner. He says, "If you do not have enough courage to return and accept punishment for your actions, at least change your path where you are. Repent of your sins and do not oppose the Iranian nation, the Islamic Republic, and the Islamic movement. Do not act as the pawns of powerful and bullying people."

The Imam had no personal grudges against anyone. But whenever it came to religious matters, he used to stand firm and use his power to attract and repel. On the political front, "Tawalli and Tabarri" [allegiance and enmity] should also be based on logic and Islamic principles. One should refer to logic and Islamic principles in political matters too and see what Allah the Exalted wants.

Considering the path that the Imam was treading - and his path was reflected in his words and actions - it is not possible to consider oneself as a follower of the path of the Imam and at the same time fight for the camp that has openly raised the flag of opposing the Imam and Islam. The fact that America, England, the CIA, the Mossad, royalists, and hypocrites unanimously agreed to support a movement makes it impossible to accept the claims of that movement about treading the path of the Imam. This is not possible. This is not acceptable.

One should not form alliances indiscriminately. We should see what position the enemies of the Imam adopt. If we see that our positions are such that the arrogant American government, the usurping Zionist regime, mercenaries of superpowers, and the enemies of Islam, the Imam, and the Revolution praise and respect us, we should doubt our positions. We should know that we are not treading the right path. This is a standard. The Imam used to stress this point repeatedly. The Imam used to stress - in this works and speeches - that if they praise us, we should know that we are traitors. This is a very important point.

Some people decided to choose a path that is diametrically opposed to the path of the Imam, adopted those positions against the issue of Quds on Quds Day, and gave rise to those sources of disgrace on the day of Ashura. They openly supported and praised the people who were opposed to the basic principles and movement of the Imam, or they simply kept silent. But then they claimed they were followers of the Imam! This is impossible. This is unacceptable. The Iranian people realized this fact clearly. The nation knows and understands this fact.

Another crucial standard of the path of the Imam is the issue of divine and spiritual calculations. The Imam used to give priority to spiritual calculations in his decisions and actions. What does this mean? It means that people should give priority to satisfying God in everything they do. The priority should not be gaining a victory, seizing power, and acquiring prestige in front certain individuals. First, satisfaction of God should be the most important goal. Second, one should have faith in divine promises. Despair, lack of vigilance, and arrogance will become meaningless if your goal is to please God and if you have faith in divine promises.

When the Imam was alone, he was not filled with fear and did not lose hope. Similarly, he did not become arrogant when the Iranian people unanimously shouted his name and when other nations started to express their love for him. When Khorramshahr was occupied by the Iraqi forces, the Imam did not lose his hope. And when Khorramshahr was liberated by our selfless and valorous soldiers, he did not become arrogant. He said, "Khorramshahr was liberated by God." He meant we did not play a determining role. That great man remained like this in all the events that happened during his life. When he was alone, he felt no fear. And when he was in power, he did not become arrogant. He did not lose his vigilance either. This shows his trust in God. When one strives for the satisfaction of God, the result is always like this.

One should have faith in divine promises. Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Quran, "And (that) He may punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women, and the polytheistic men and the polytheistic women, the entertainers of evil thoughts about Allah." [The Holy Quran, 48: 6] One of the characteristics of hypocrites and polytheists is that they doubt God and that they have no faith in divine promises. God says, "And surely Allah will help him who helps His cause." [The Holy Quran, 22: 40] Faithful people firmly believe in this promise, but hypocrites do not. Allah the Exalted says, "On them is the evil turn, and Allah is wroth with them and has cursed them and prepared hell for them, and evil is the resort." [The Holy Quran, 48: 6] Those who doubt God will always be like this.

The Imam was confident about the truth of divine promises. If we make selfless efforts for the sake of God, tread His path, and try our utmost, Allah the Exalted will bestow success on us just as He has promised. We may work hard just because we have a religious responsibility to make efforts, but Allah the Exalted will help us achieve the best result through this religious sense of responsibility. This is one of the characteristics of the path of the Imam, and his path is the straight path that the Revolution should tread.

The Imam's piety in all matters was amazing. It is one thing to be pious in personal matters, but it is quite another thing to be pious in social, political, and public matters. The latter is much more difficult, much more important, and much more significant. What we say about our friends and enemies will be affected by the degree of our piety. We may be opposed to a certain individual, but how do we judge them? If your judgment about your enemy goes against the truth, this would be an impious act. Now I would like to repeat the holy ayah I recited at the beginning of my speech. "O you who believe, be careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word." [The Holy Quran, 33: 70-71] That is how we should judge. I advise our faithful and revolutionary youth who love the Imam to observe this principle in their words and actions. Being opposed to someone should not make us trample on his or her rights. This should not happen. It is wrong to trample on a person's rights.

Let me share one of my memories of the Imam. One night I was with the Imam. I asked his opinion about a certain person. He was one of the most famous figures of the world Islam in the contemporary world. Everybody has heard his name, but I do not want to say his name. Imam Khomeini (r.a.) hesitated for a moment and said, "I do not know him." Then he said something negative about that person. That was all. One or two days later I had to see the Imam, so I went to him in the morning. As soon as I walked into his room and sat down and before I had a chance to tell him what I wanted, he said, "The person you asked about - I do not know him. That is all." That is to say, he took back the negative thing he had said about that person. This is a very important point. That negative comment was neither an insult nor a slander. Fortunately, I do not remember what he said about that person. It was either because of the Imam's spiritual position or my forgetfulness. I do not remember much - I just remember that a criticism was made. He took the criticism back a couple of days later. He said, "I do not know him. That is all." This is a lesson for us. "Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar." [The Holy Quran, 33: 21]

There are two ways you can speak about a person you are opposed to. One way is to speak on the basis of the truth and nothing else. Another way is to make a comment that is mixed up with injustice. The latter way is something bad, and it should be avoided. Just say whatever is right - only what you can explain in front of Allah the Exalted on Judgment Day. This is one of the main characteristics of the Imam's path and movement, and we should keep it in mind.

Another important characteristic of the path of the Imam is the role of the general public both in elections - the Imam started a great democratic movement in this regard - and other social matters. Revolutions were prevalent in the first half of the 20th century, and various kinds of revolutions were started in the east and the west. But holding a referendum to determine the form of government only two months after the victory of a revolution has been unprecedented in the history of all revolutions. This happened in Iran due to the efforts made by the Imam. Less than a year had passed since the victory of the Revolution when the Constitution was formulated and ratified. I remember that during the early months when the Constitution had not yet been formulated, the Imam asked us to visit him in Qom. At that time he was living in Qom. He was irritated and told us to formulate the Constitution as soon as possible. An election was held and members of the Constitutional Assembly were elected to formulate the Constitution. Presidential and parliamentary elections were held next. Our elections were never cancelled even during the most difficult days of the war when Tehran was being bombed by the enemy. Not even a singe election has been postponed until this day. Which democracy has been like this? No democracies, let alone revolutions, have held elections as punctually and carefully as we have. This is the path of the Imam.

In various other issues that were not related to elections the Imam used to pay attention to the role of the people. He used to explicitly emphasize the role of the people. Once he said, "If government officials fail to do what they are supposed to do, the people will step in voluntarily."

Another clear characteristic of the Imam's path is that his movement is global. He considered the movement to be global, and he used to say that the Revolution belongs to all Muslim nations as well as non-Muslim countries. He was not afraid of saying this. This has nothing to do with interfering in the internal affairs of other countries which is something that we will not do. This is different from exporting the Revolution the way yesterday's colonialists would, and we are not the kind of people to do such things. This means that the sweet aroma of this divine phenomenon should be spread all over the world. Nations across the world should know what their responsibility is. Muslim nations should know what their identity is and where it lies.

One example of this global view of things is the Imam's position on the issue of Palestine. He explicitly said, "Israel is a cancerous tumor." What do they do with a cancerous tumor? Other than removing it, what else can be done to treat a cancerous tumor? The Imam did not take anyone's interests into consideration. That was the logic behind the Imam's actions. This is not just a slogan. It is logical. Palestine is an ancient country. Throughout history there has been a country called Palestine. Some people who were being supported by oppressive powers of the world forced its people out of the country using the most violent methods. They killed its people, exiled them, tortured them, insulted them, and forced them out. Today millions of Palestinians have been displaced in the neighboring countries. They are mostly living in refugee camps. In fact they just came and wiped Palestine off the map of the world. They wiped out the country and established a fake geographical unit in its place, and they named it Israel. What would be the logical stance in this regard? What we are saying about Palestine is not just a slogan. It is totally logical.

Some powerful people are saying that Palestine and its people should be wiped out so that a fake country called Israel can be established in its place. These powers were initially led by England, and later on America and other western countries joined in. This is one position on the issue of Palestine. Another position is one that was adopted by the Imam. He rejected the first position and said that it is the fake and imposed geographical unit that should be wiped out. He argued that the fake and newly-established country should be removed and the original country and geographical unit should be re-established in its place. Which one of these two arguments is logical? The argument that is based on bayonets and suppression? The argument according to which an ancient political system and geographical unit - which dates back to thousands of years ago - should be wiped out? Or the argument that says the original geographical unit should be re-established and the fake and newly-imposed unit should be wiped out? Which one of these arguments is logical? This is what the Imam was saying. This is the most logical comment that can be made regarding the usurping Zionist regime and the issue of Palestine. That was what the Imam said, and he expressed his position explicitly. But now even if someone says the same thing indirectly, some people who claim to be treading the path of the Imam say, "Why did you say that?" But this is what the Imam said. This is the Imam's position, and it is the right position. All Muslim nations, all liberated people across the world, and all impartial nations should accept this position, which is the right position. It is the Imam's position.

I would like to add another point. You dear brothers and sisters have been listening to me in this heat. May God reward you for this. The Imam himself emphasized on several occasions that our judgment about people should be based on their present behavior. This is another essential point about the path of the Imam. Our judgments should not be based on people's past. The past is good when the present is not known. It is not right to refer to the past behavior of people and argue, "Well, they used to be like that, so they must be the same now." If the present behavior of people was diametrically opposed to their past behavior, then their past would be out of the question. This was how the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) judged Talha and Zubair. You should know that Talha and Zubair were not ordinary men. Zubair had a brilliant record, and very few of Imam Ali's (a.s.) companions could be compared to him. During the first days of his caliphate, when Abu Bakr was addressing the people from a minbar [Muslim pulpit], some of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) companions stood up and protested that Imam Ali (a.s.) was the rightful caliph. The names of those people have been recorded in history. These are not just Shia narrations. They have been narrated in all history books. Zubair was one of the people who protested during Abu Bakr's sermon and expressed their support for the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Zubair had a brilliant record until then, but only twenty five years later he drew his sword at the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Our Sunni brothers may present excuses for Talha and Zubair and say that it was their judgment that led them to fight Imam Ali (a.s.). We are not in a position to say how Allah the Exalted will judge them, but how did the Commander of the Faithful deal with them? He fought them. The Commander of the faithful (a.s.) deployed an army in Medina and moved to Kufa and Basra in order to fight Talha and Zubair. That is to say, their brilliant record disappeared. Imam Khomeini (r.a.) followed the same criterion.

Some people accompanied the Imam on his flight from Paris to Iran, but they were executed for treachery under the leadership of the Imam. Some people were in contact with the Imam during the time he was in Najaf and Paris, and the Imam paid special attention to them during the early days of the Revolution. But later on their behavior and positions caused the Imam to drive them away. For example, the criterion for evaluating me should be based on my current behavior. If, God forbid, Satan made me stray away from my path, the evaluation would be different. This is the basic principle of an Islamic system, and the Imam used to act on the basis of this principle.

It is possible to point out other characteristics of the Imam's path. What I mentioned today were among the most important and significant characteristics. It behooves our dear brothers, youth, intellectuals, researchers, seminarians, and students to reflect on these characteristics. It would be good if they could work on them. Our knowledge of the Imam's path should not be confined to the text of his works and speeches - the texts should be explained and clarified in an appropriate manner.

Everybody, especially our dear youth, should know this. What has happened since the demise of the Imam - including the hostilities, obstructionism, and everything else they did - has not in any way affected the foundations of our system. On the contrary, every attack by the enemy has resulted in further strength of the Islamic Republic. The eight-year Sacred Defense Era is a case in point. For eight years all political, military, and financial powers of the world supported the Ba'ath Party of Iraq and fought the Islamic Republic. They did whatever they could in order to defeat or weaken the Islamic Republic. What was the result? When the eight-year war ended, the world was amazed to watch the Islamic Republic pick up itself off the ground and become a much stronger military power. After the war, the power of the Islamic Republic became so much that it bedazzled the people of the world. And it is the same today. Due to the resistance of the Iranian nation, whatever the enemies plan - while receiving assistance from naïve, inexperienced, and unaware people in the process - will result in increasing the power of the Islamic Republic.

You saw that efforts were made and a fitna was created. America, England, western powers, munafeqeen, and royalists expressed their support for the rioters. What was the result? In the face of all these inauspicious events and this evil unity, our dear people and our great nation bedazzled the world with the greatness it demonstrated on the 9th of Dey and the 22nd of Bahman. Today's Iran and its youth and educated people are so vigilant that they thankfully foil whatever plots the enemies hatch against the Islamic Republic. But you should know that we need to be pious and fear God. Fearing God is what makes us powerful. Fearing God is what makes us indestructible. Fearing God is what makes us optimistic about continuing this path and achieving our lofty goals.

Dear God, make all our people fear You. O God, make our hearts get closer to each other. Dear God, make the path of the Imam and the genuine identity of this Revolution more prominent to our people on a daily basis. Dear God, make the holy heart of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) satisfied with us. Make the holy souls of our martyrs pleased with us. Make the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam satisfied with us.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I swear by time. Most surely man is in loss except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience. [The Holy Quran, 103: 1-3]

Second sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all sentient beings, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and infallible household, especially upon the Commander of the Faithful, Seddiqat al-Tahera, Hassan, Hussein (the Master of the Youth of Paradise), Ali ibn al-Hussein Zain al-Abedin, Muhammad ibn Ali, Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, Musa ibn Ja'far al-Kazem, Ali ibn Musa al-Reza, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad, Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi, Hassan ibn Ali al-Askari, and Hujjat al-Qaem al-Mahdi. Greetings of God be upon all of them. And greetings be upon the Imams of Muslims, supporters of the oppressed, and those who guide the faithful.

I urge the servants of God and myself to fear God.

Once again I would like to urge all the dear brothers and sisters to fear God. Today the world of Islam as well as the entire world is witness to great transformations which are indicative of a change in global equations. From this point of view it is important for the Iranian nation to pay attention to these transformations.

One of the issues is the issue of Palestine and Gaza and, more importantly, the recent attack by the oppressive and stone-hearted Zionists on the convoy that was trying to get through the blockade and help the people of Gaza. During the recent years, especially during the recent months, the issue of promoting Judaism in Palestine is one of the things that has received special attention. The policy of the Zionist regime is to gradually purge the signs of Islam from Palestinian lands and the West Bank -even they themselves admit that this area has been occupied. The world admits this fact, and there are many UN resolutions in this regard. They are trying to promote Judaism in the West Bank. Oppressive construction of illegal satellite towns, destruction of Palestinian homes, and their interference in al-Khalil and Quds with the aim of promoting Judaism are all an effort to uproot Islam from Palestine. Palestine is a very strategic location, and the world of Islam must stand up for Palestine with all its power and put an end to these great crimes.

Another issue is the oppressive blockade on Gaza which has lasted for three years now. It was an extremely cruel and savage move, and surprisingly it was approved and supported by America, England, and the western powers that constantly claim to support human rights. It is three years now that they have imposed a blockade on 1.5 million people. They do not allow food and medicine to be provided for all those people. They disrupt the provision of drinking water and electricity. They disrupt the provision of cement and building materials that are needed to repair the damage caused by war. Cement was the major part of the flotilla's cargo, which the people needed to repair their houses. In addition, they frequently open fire on the people, killing innocent children as well as men and women. This is how the Zionist regime acts.

The organizations that claim to support human rights are just watching. Western powers are not just watching - they are supporting the attack too. Unfortunately, many of the countries that should support the people of Gaza - namely, Arab countries and some Muslim governments - are totally silent, if not secretly engaging in betrayal. This is a very strange situation.

There are two important points about Zionists' recent attack on the ships - which were carrying aid to Gaza in order to break the blockade by way of international waters.

The first point is that the savage nature of the Zionists was revealed to the world. The world should understand. The Zionists claim that they boarded the ships in order to inspect the cargo or to warn them not to go towards Gaza. Of course they are barefaced liars. They boarded the ships in order to attack them. They had a plan, and their goal is clear. Even if they boarded the ships to issue a warning, what they did was against all the international regulations. The ships were just sailing in international waters. The worst you could do was to prevent them from approaching your ports. Why did you go all the way into the sea and attack them? Why did you kill them? Why did you kill all those people and why did you injure and arrest many more? Why? This was because of their savage nature. This is what the Islamic Republic has been shouting for thirty years, the same thing that the hypocritical and dishonest westerners have been ignoring all this time. The entire world saw how savage their nature is.

The second point - which should put this issue at the center of attention - is that the Zionists made a mistake in their calculations. They made a big mistake. They have been making this mistake repeatedly during the past few years. They attacked Lebanon, which was a mistake. They attacked Gaza, which was another mistake. They attacked the flotilla, which was yet another mistake. These mistakes which are being made one after the other show that the usurping Zionist regime is gradually heading towards the end of its existence - that is to say, total collapse and annihilation.

Another important point is the outcome of the long NPT Review Conference in New York. It behooves our people to pay attention to this. It was a very significant event. Basically the conference had been organized to enable the bullying powers to impose further restrictions on the nations that have not yet achieved nuclear energy. It had been organized to put further obstacles in their way. Of course they had plans to use this conference as an opportunity to show their grudges against the Islamic Republic in particular. What happened was exactly the opposite of what they were hoping for. This conference lasted for about a month. They could not advance their goals and restrict the activities of such countries as the Islamic Republic. Instead, the outcome of this long conference was that 189 countries demanded that the nuclear powers destroy their nuclear weapons and prevent the production of such weapons. They recognized the right to peaceful nuclear technology. And the Zionist regime - whose guardians made every effort to support it - was challenged to sign the NPT. This was exactly the opposite of what they wanted. This is not an insignificant event. It shows that the bullying and arrogant American government and other bullying powers and their followers have lost their influence in the world. Today America is no longer in a position to significantly affect international policies. Through its thirty-year resistance the Islamic Republic has managed to influence global public opinion in a way that not only peoples but also governments - that is, 189 governments - have stood up against America, and their votes and decisions are now against America's will. These are divine signs for the great Iranian nation.

There are other issues that I wanted to discuss today, but there is not enough time. I hope Allah the Exalted will pay special attention to all you faithful brothers and sisters as well as all the honorable people of Iran. I hope He will bestow further victories on our nation.

Dear God, through Your grace, make the hearts of Muslim peoples get closer to each other. Make the Islamic Ummah unified and powerful. Bestow grandeur on the Iranian nation. Alleviate the problems of our people.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Surely We have given you Abundance. Therefore, pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice. Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity. [The Holy Quran, 108: 1-3]

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings