Leader's Speech to People of Bushehr

The following is the full text of the speech delivered in Tehran on June 26, 2010 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with ordinary citizens of Bushehr on the occasion of Imam Ali's (a.s.) birthday anniversary.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I would like to congratulate all the dear brothers and sisters [who have traveled here] from Shiraz on this auspicious Eid. You have traveled a long a way to attend this meeting, and you have blessed this Hussayniyyah with your presence.

The record of the people of Bushehr which has been recorded in our history is brilliant and glorious. As the honorable Friday prayer leader said - and thankfully he is a knowledgeable scholar - Bushehr has a brilliant and glorious history. On numerous occasions, the brave and faithful people of that region have managed to defeat the enemies of this country and this nation and force them to withdraw. The famous ulama of Bushehr, whose names were mentioned by the esteemed Friday prayer leader, are indeed among the most prominent religious figures in the history of Shia Islam. The name of the faithful and brave commander, Shahid Rais Ali Delvari, is among the names that have attracted the faithful hearts of those who are familiar with his character and his armed resistance. Many efforts were made before the Revolution to consign his memory to oblivion and force his name into obscurity, but his memory gained prominence after the Revolution. People came to know and praise his character. They realized how oppressed he was and how tragically he had been martyred. And we are thankful to Allah the Exalted for the fact that he became famous after the Revolution. Of course today is very different from those days. At that time, a limited number of people who were led by a brave youth had to fight alone and stand up against the colonial and arrogant power of Britain. But today we do not have a shortage of people like Rais Ali Delvari, and they are not alone any longer. Such youth, such selfless people and such Basijis - who are active in military, cultural and political arenas - can be found throughout the country today. And Bushehr is undoubtedly among the centers that trains such people.

I will never forget the trip that I made to Bushehr several years ago. I was personally witness to the manifestation of the spirit of faith in the people of Bushehr. Today you show the same spirit. Everybody, including you dear youth, should know that times have changed. There was a day when superpowers could freely threaten and humiliate the nations of this region. There was a day when they could deploy their forces in the region and pressurize the region whenever they wanted. But those days are gone. Today the Iranian nation is known as a powerful nation in the world. It is not a matter of money, weapons and means of propaganda because our enemies are far superior to us in terms of these things. It is a matter of faith, strong determination, insight and the nation's awareness about its position and its rights. Today the arrogant powers have revealed their true colors to the nations of the world. The reputation of these powers - especially America - is further tarnished on a daily basis, and they are disgraced more in front other nations in spite of all the propaganda that they broadcast and in spite of all the modern means of propaganda which they falsely think they can use to fully manipulate global public opinion. The value of national resistance and power is becoming clearer on a daily basis. The future belongs to you. The Iranian nation has a right to achieve genuine power, and nobody can dissuade our nation from treading the path it is moving on.

Today is a great Eid - the birthday anniversary of an unparalleled figure in the history of mankind. I do not know a person, except the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.), who was as great as the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). We should learn lessons on such a day.

The character of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was exceptional from birth to martyrdom. He was born inside the Ka'bah - which was unparalleled before his birth and remained unparalleled thereafter. And he was martyred while he was praying in the mosque. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) spent all the time between these two points in jihad, patience for the sake of God, acquiring knowledge and insight, and moving on the path of divine satisfaction. Early in his childhood, the hand of divine acumen gave Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was only six years old when the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) brought him to his own house from the house of Abi Talib. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was educated by the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.).

When the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) received revelations from God, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was the only person who was with him in the Cave of Hera in those sensitive times. Imam Ali (a.s.) says in Nahjul Balaghah that he was always with the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) did not separate from the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and learnt from him all the time. Imam Ali himself says in Nahjul Balaghah, "I heard the sad cry of Satan when revelations were revealed. I asked the Messenger of God what the cry was. He said it was Satan's cry of disappointment with misleading people." Then the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) continued, "You hear what I hear and see what I see." This shows how close the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) since his childhood. He announced his faith in the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) when he was a child. He prayed with the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). He engaged in jihad alongside the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). He made sacrifices for the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). During his lifetime, he tried his utmost to administer justice, promote the religion of God and protect Islam before and after the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) passed away. From the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) perspective, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is the criterion for truth and justice. Shia and Sunni Muslims have quoted the Holy Prophet as saying, "Ali is with truth, and truth is with Ali. Truth revolves around him wherever he is." This was how the lifestyle of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was.

It is necessary to read and learn from Nahjul Balaghah. Recently, many non-Muslim intellectuals have become familiar with Nahjul Balaghah. They have read the words of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). They have learned from the manifestations of wisdom in his words, and they have been astonished by the greatness of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and his words. We should pay much more attention to Nahjul Balaghah. We should learn more from its teachings. We should benefit more from Imam Ali's (a.s.) sea of wisdom. Nahjul Balaghah clarified all aspects, and provides us with all the lessons that we need. Sunni scholars have made surprising comments about Nahjul Balaghah. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) does not just belong to Shia Muslims. All Muslims and all those who love Islam see Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) at the peak of scholarly, spiritual, moral, human and divine greatness.

The life of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is full of lessons for us. Clarifying the issues for those who were confused was the most important characteristic among the characteristics of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) - who was the embodiment of all the good features that a person and a leader should have. Insight is the most important characteristic that we need in the present conditions. In all conditions, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) relied on his great courage and selflessness to raise public awareness, strengthen the faith of the people and help them think more clearly. In the Battle of Siffin, when the enemies realized that they were being defeated, they put copies of the Holy Quran on spears to stop the war. Some people went to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and tried to persuade him to surrender and end the war. They spoke about the Quran. It was a strange and cunning act. Imam Ali (a.s.) told them, "You are wrong. You do not know them. These people who say the Quran should be the judge do not really believe in the Quran. I knew these people since they were young children, and they were the worst both as children and as adults. They do not believe in the Quran. They only speak about the Quran when they are trapped." Of course they did not listen to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). They insisted on their demands, and the world of Islam paid the price.

The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) used to raise public awareness and help them develop insight. Today we are in need of this insight. Today those who are opposed to the world of Islam and unity among Muslims enter the arena using religion and morality as a means. It is necessary to be vigilant. Whenever they want to mislead public opinion of non-Muslim people, they speak about human rights and democracy. And whenever they want to mislead public opinion of the world of Islam, they speak about the Quran and Islam. This is while they do not believe either in Islam or human rights. The Islamic Ummah should know this. The Iranian nation has experienced these things during the past 31 years. And today all of us should be aware of this.

During the time of that deception and fitna, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) told his companions not to abandon the path of righteousness they were treading. He asked them to continue their path in a sincere manner. He told them not to let their beliefs be shaken by the words of those who had created that fitna. He told them they were treading the right path. As I have said on numerous occasions, one characteristic of fitna is that the situation becomes confusing. Prominent figures of society sometimes make mistakes in a fitna. In such a situation, the existence of a standard becomes necessary. The standard is the same truth, sincerity and irrefutable evidence that people have at their disposal. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) used to refer people to that standard. Today we are in need of the same standard.

Islam tells us that an Islamic community should be managed and guided according to the Islamic rules. Islam says that it is necessary to powerfully confront warring enemies. It is necessary to draw clear and unambiguous lines. Islam says that one should not be deceived by the enemies. This is the clear principle of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), and today we are in need of this clear principle.

Of course thanks to this Revolution, the Iranian nation is vigilant. The insight of the people has helped solve many of the problems of this country. One can see that on many occasions ordinary citizens can recognize and understand some realities better than some of the elites. This is because they are not tied to their material possessions. This is one the great divine blessings. Dear brothers and sisters, you should know that the Iranian nation has proven its steadfastness during its movement towards its lofty Islamic ideals, and by Allah's favor, it will continue treading this path with the same determination.

The Iranian people are determined to achieve prosperity, welfare, moral virtues, glory and power under Islam. The people of Iran have been treading this path. They have made progress, and they have accomplished great achievements. It was not easy to accomplish the current achievements - the advances, capabilities, numerous facilities and realization of the main slogans of the Revolution. The Iranian nation has achieved these things relying on its own capabilities and insight. And by Allah's favor, it will continue this path in the future. The future belongs to the Iranian nation. The plots of the enemies and the machinations of the ill-wishers will not dissuade this nation from treading its path. Thankfully, our youth enjoy very high levels of insight today. They are making great achievements in various areas. We should increase these achievements on a daily basis. This steadfastness, this resistance and this national solidarity should be increased on a daily basis. We should increase our adherence to Islamic slogans, to the teachings of the Holy Quran, to the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household and to the recommendations of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.).

By Allah favor, our youth will see the day when the bullying international enemies will feel that they can no longer bully the Iranian nation. May God help our dear people and our hardworking officials to get closer to this goal through their sincere efforts. By Allah's grace, they will achieve this goal in the near future.

I hope Allah the Exalted will protect and support you. I hope God will reward you for the efforts you have made and for the long way you have come. Please give my greetings and respect to the dear people of Bushehr province. May God be satisfied with you. I hope the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) will be pleased with you. I hope Allah the Exalted will associate our honorable martyrs with his saints in the hereafter.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings