Leader’s Speech to Members of Construction Basij

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on September 22, 2010 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to members of the Construction Basij.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

First of all, I would like to welcome you dear youth, my dear children and the valuable, active and committed brothers and sisters whose presence, energy, youthful dynamism, faith and optimistic enthusiasm infuse this country, this society and this era with activity and make our history glorious.

I wish to speak briefly about the high position that you dear youth currently enjoy - both the dear youth who have attended this friendly meeting and the tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of youth who moved on this path and are not present in today's meeting. This is what I want to say: Dear youth, everybody is jealous of your youth and this stage of your life. The way you spend your precious youth makes everybody whose youthful days have gone by feel jealous.

Today how do the youth of your age living in different parts of the world spend their precious time? What passions, what illusions and what activities do they spend their time on? Even in the most advanced countries, the dust of despair, depression and futility has settled on the lives of the youth. The goal that most of the youth pursue is to realize their insignificant material dreams. They neither feel the pleasure of helping other people, nor do they spend their immense and fleeting youthful energy the way they should. Not only do many of them lack a lofty goal, but they do not have any goals whatsoever. And they spend their life immersed in material pleasures and transient and depressing carnal desires. They do not know anything about the brilliant soul that a faithful youth enjoys - a youth who loves helping other people and is aware of the source of love, beauty and truth. Even such individuals would be jealous of your youth - of course if they have insight.

You should appreciate the value of this stage of life, this orientation and this spirit. You should appreciate the opportunity and capability for rendering services, which has been bestowed on you by Allah the Exalted. Be thankful to God. Ask Him to increase this spiritual capital. You should know that every society and every country that enjoy such great and precious capital will undoubtedly be able to reach the highest peaks of dignity and glory. And definitely this is the destiny of your society and your nation, and the driving force behind this destiny is the spirit that you enjoy.

Now I would like to make a couple of points about the great movement of the Construction Basij which was officially started ten years ago. Of course I would admit that this movement was originally started by our youth. It was our young students who started this movement in different areas. I received a report of this beautiful and splendid movement in the year 1379, which encouraged me to issue a message to the youth of the country and demand the establishment of the Construction Basij. That is to say, this was actually a self-initiated public movement - just like the establishment of Construction Jihad at the beginning of the Revolution. The same was true of Construction Jihad. It was our youth who first started it. It was our youth who went to different villages and started rendering services in those difficult and complicated conditions. This movement encouraged our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) to order the establishment of Construction Jihad. What the people do is a source of inspiration for our managers and government officials.

What is the cause of this? Love, faith, insight and determined efforts - these are the main columns. A person who does not have faith cannot imagine an axis for his movement. A person who does not enjoy deep and heartfelt love cannot continue this movement in a steadfast manner. A person who cannot make determined efforts will be satisfied with small achievements without keeping an eye on the peaks. A person who lacks insight moves on in the wrong direction. Even if there is some love and faith in such a person, he will waste them on the wrong things and will move on in the wrong direction. Love, faith, determined efforts and insight - these are what the Revolution offered to our people. Therefore, the Revolution became what is called "an immaculate tree" in the Holy Quran: "Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word (being) like an immaculate tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven, yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord?" [The Holy Quran, 14: 24-25] This immaculate tree makes its fruit available to society on the basis of the needs of the people. The Revolution is one such example. An example of the "good word" is the revolutionary path that was opened up in front of us by our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) - who was a true follower of the path of the infallible Imams, immaculate and sincere people, saints and martyrs.

One day our country was in need of a movement for defense. Another day there was a need to defend the borders of the country. One day there is a need to achieve knowledge. Another day there is a need to strengthen the faith and beliefs of the people. Yet another day there is a need for rendering services. In all these conditions, the people get the kind of fruit that they need. This is the movement that was started by the Revolution.

Some people wrongly thought that the Revolution had become old or that it was possible for the Revolution to become old. They declared that the Revolution had reached its end. It was they themselves who had reached their end. It was they themselves who were running out of provisions and were unable to continue their path. They thought that the same things were happening to the world, to our society and to the Revolution. They made a mistake. "And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget their own souls." [The Holy Quran, 59: 19] When a person breaks off his relationship with God, he cannot even develop appropriate knowledge of himself, let alone his society and his ideals. Why do people break off their relationship with God? They stop moving forward, when their passions, material tendencies and self-centeredness take control of their soul and when the lure of these things overwhelm their faith and determination the way a spider web overwhelms a weak insect. There were some such people in our country in the past, and we will have such people in the future as well. These people fall into the category of the people who give up. Those who fail to continue treading the path of the Revolution are not necessarily the ones who have stood up against the Revolution since the beginning. When a person is overwhelmed by material motives, he falls by the wayside. When insignificant personal goals - namely, wealth, luxury, social position and power - become the focus of one's efforts, one forgets the main goal.

On a path towards a certain destination, we must not stop at a meadow, a spring or a café and consider them as our final destination. If we feel satisfied with a transient moment of happiness on our path, we will forget our final goal - we will fall by the wayside. This was what happened to some people, and they compared other people to themselves and said that the Revolution had reached its end. They said Imam Khomeini (r.a.) had been consigned to oblivion. They were wrong. The Revolution is a divine truth. It is built on the faith, emotions and insight of the people. Is it possible for the Revolution to reach its end? Therefore, as I have repeatedly said before, our present youth who are the third generation of the Revolution are definitely as much faithful, enthusiastic and insightful - if not more - as the first generation of the Revolution.

At that time, many people entered the arena, but they were not persistent enough to stay. In spite of all these temptations and all these tools of promoting materialism, carnal desires and egocentricity, today's youth enter the arena like this and lay down their lives when it comes to fulfilling their responsibilities. This is truly valuable.

You should appreciate the Construction Basij. Being the main axes of this great movement, you dear youth should appreciate the Construction Basij. Be thankful to Allah the Exalted. Government officials, managers and those who are in charge of the affairs of the country should also appreciate this great movement. Study hard during your courses with a focus on research. Try to motivate yourselves to reach the peaks of science. Try to make your free time more fruitful through this exquisite and glorious movement of rendering services to the people.

Rendering services to the people is one of the benefits of this great movement. Millions of people are directly benefiting from your services. Your services address their material and spiritual needs, benefit their daily life affairs and provide them with guidance. Even if you do not teach the Holy Quran in the villages you travel to, the mere presence of a faithful and pious youth among the youth and people of those villages is a true manifestation of Quranic verses. You help them to develop a tendency towards religion, the Revolution and spirituality. Through your actions, you call the people to faith and Islam. This is a kind of service - material and spiritual service. The benefit that you receive from your activities in the Construction Basij is even more important than this. You utilize your innate talents. You realize your potentialities. You gain experience. You become familiar with the way the people live. You break down the borders between social classes. You directly experience the realities of life. You feel the enthusiasm and joy of rendering services within yourselves, and you revive this feeling within yourselves. Those who experience the pleasure of rendering services do not become tired of work. As was reported by the dear brothers, a youth who discovers this joy within himself does not become tired of rendering services. This is the second benefit of rendering services, which is an extremely great benefit.

The third benefit of your activities in the Construction Basij is that you become ambassadors of labor and effort. When you work among underprivileged people in a desert or mountainous area or in remote places, the youth who live in those places are inspired by you, and you become the ambassadors of effort, labor, rendering services, jihad and selfless efforts. "And whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men." [The Holy Quran, 5: 32] You keep their hearts alive. This is a great benefit. The Construction Basij has many benefits. Preserve this great movement.

My dear ones, your country and your nation are going through a dangerous historical stage. We have been going through this stage for the past 30 years. We reached dangerous points, and we managed to move past them safely. However, the dangers are not over yet. This sensitive historical stage is not particular to the history of Iran - it concerns the history of the entire Islamic Ummah. For centuries, the Islamic Ummah has been suffering from recession. It has been suffering from humiliation. Its civilization has been suffering from backwardness. It has been suffering under the rule of many corrupt and despotic rulers. Today it is time for the Islamic Ummah to liberate itself from the burden of all these difficulties, problems and corruption. The Iranian nation has already taken the first stride. It is a world of confrontation, a world of war. It is a world in which material powers wrestle with one another. These powers do not want independent nations to hold up their heads and feel that they have an identity and a significant role, so they will not remain silent. They will not stand aside and let the world go by, especially because they know that the Islamic Ummah enjoys an innate capacity that is rooted in Islamic teachings. Therefore, they deploy their forces against the Islamic Ummah, and as you saw, this was what they did. The confrontation between the great and courageous Iranian nation and the camp of international tyrants and greedy individuals started at the beginning of the Revolution. They pretend that their target is Iran. But their target is Islam. Their target is the Islamic Ummah. They know that the driving force behind this great movement is spirituality, the Holy Quran and Islam. Therefore, they oppose Islam and the Holy Quran. Of course it is the Iranian nation that is at the forefront of this confrontation. Therefore, they focus their blows on the Iranian nation. But this great vanguard was not discouraged. Its determination was not undermined. It did not retreat. On the contrary, it increased its speed.

I have said on many occasions that today our determination, insight and capabilities are far more than 30 years ago. And this is not a slogan - it is a fact. We are not losing our revolutionary orientation and spirit. They were hoping that we would, but the revolutionary spirit of our youth shows that we have not lost that orientation. You dear youth are the best evidence of this fact - you dynamic, thriving, insightful, determined and vigilant young generation who are present in various arenas.

It is our youth who are speaking about complicated technologies. It is our youth who are trying to produce nuclear energy. Our youth are also active in the area of stem cell research. Wherever we go, we find out that it is our youth who are working on biotechnology, nanotechnology and various types of technologies - the youth who neither saw the war, nor met Imam Khomeini (r.a.), nor have any memory of the early years of the Revolution. Therefore, this is a thriving and dynamic movement. When we take a look at the arena of rendering services, action and efforts, we see the great movement by the Construction Basij. When we take a look at the arena of politics and public presence on the scene, we see movements like the 9th of Dey and the 22nd of Bahman as well as massive voter turnout in the elections. What does this mean? It means that today our youth - who make up a major portion of our population - and our people are moving forward in the same direction as the movement that gave rise to the Islamic Revolution. Therefore, we have moved forward.

The enemies' situation is the other way around. They used to be stronger at that time. They are weaker today. They were more hopeful at that time. They said that they would annihilate the Revolution and the Islamic Republic in 3 days. Then they said they would wipe us out in one week. And later on they said they would do so in 2 months. Today nobody hears them make such extravagant claims. They lost their hope. They retreated. Therefore, our movement is progressive. At this great historical stage, we are moving forward cautiously, wisely, vigilantly and energetically, and there are certain essential factors that contribute to this movement. You dear youth are one of these factors. You are pushing the country forward. The presence of the youth is a strong driving force behind this movement. Everybody should appreciate the presence of the youth. By Allah's favor, this spirit will spread among our male and female youth on a daily basis - in academic environments, at high schools and in various other social environments. And this will happen. Comments that are made out of despair and frustration will not get us anywhere.

These days coincide with the anniversary of the early days the imposed war. For eight years, all military powers of the world joined forces to fight against Iran. Although America and the U.S.S.R did not send any soldiers to the battlefields, they provided Saddam with military weapons, war plans and aerial photographs of the position of the soldiers. They provided him with money and political prestige. They did not send soldiers because there was no need to do so - instead, they deployed the poor Iraqi people who were in their clutches. They did their best to spread lies, rumor and false propaganda against the Islamic Republic. They did all these things, but what was the result? Where is Saddam now? Saddam Hussein - who was emboldened by them to oppose the honorable Iranian nation, the Islamic Revolution and our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) - was deeply humiliated, and then he died disgracefully. But Imam Khomeini (r.a.) is alive. The Revolution is alive. The Imam's children and people are alive. For us, this is an experience to learn from.

All those who act as the vanguard of the camp of global arrogance and deploy their forces against Islamic Iran will suffer the same fate. This has already been experienced, and the same thing will happen in the future as well. Our Imam will stay alive. The Revolution will stay alive. You will stay alive. Your enemies will suffer from misery and will be removed from your path. This movement must achieve the peaks of the revolutionary goals, and by Allah's grace and favor, it will.

Appreciate your own value and the value of this path. Strengthen the bond between your pure hearts and God on a daily basis. Ask Allah the Exalted for assistance. Try to increase this sense of responsibility on a daily basis. Try to be an agent of change wherever you are just like a source of light that lights up its surroundings. Try to influence the people around you wherever you are - in the family environment, in your workplace, in your school or university and in your society. You will benefit more from God's grace on a daily basis, and Allah the Exalted will not take His blessings away from you dear people. I hope all of you will benefit from the prayers of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). I hope God will protect you all.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings