Leader’s Speech to Foreign Seminarians in Qom

The following is the full text of the speech delivered by Ayatollah Khamenei on October 25, 2010 to foreign seminarians in Qom.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings upon 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. Greetings be upon you Fatima Masoumeh, the daughter of Musa ibn Ja'far, and your immaculate, chosen and infallible ancestors.

I am very happy that I found the opportunity to spend a few valuable minutes in the company of the dear foreign seminarians and religious scholars as well as their instructors and managers. You dear foreign seminarians and scholars should know that you are not strangers in Islamic Iran. You are not even our guests - consider Iran your home. You are my dear children. We appreciate the presence of the eager instructors and seminarians who have traveled to our country with the enthusiasm to learn pure Islamic teachings. We consider it our responsibility to help you dear people as much as we can to benefit from pure Islamic teachings and the teachings of Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household.

The first lesson that the Islamic Revolution and the auspicious Islamic Republic taught us was that we should think beyond our borders and turn our attention to the vast arena of the Islamic Ummah. Our magnanimous Imam taught us that our attention should be focused on the great Islamic Ummah. Iran was extremely frustrated under the pressure of tyranny and colonialism during the rule of taghut. It was being crushed by the pressure, and it needed to be saved. However, the essential pressure and historical aggression was focused on the Islamic Ummah. For several centuries, the great Islamic Ummah, which has been in one of the most strategic locations in the world, was suffering from weakness, defeat, backwardness, colonialism and material and scientific poverty due to the interference of superpowers, greed of powerful governments and belligerence of the arrogant powers. The attention of the Islamic Revolution was focused on the world of Islam. Its attention was focused on helping the Islamic Ummah get rid of the arrogant powers' hand of oppression and aggression. Therefore, when the Islamic Revolution achieved victory in Iran, Muslim nations in the west and east of the world felt that a new breeze was blowing over their life and that the atmosphere was changing. They felt that new hopes were emerging. Therefore, in Africa, in Asia and in any part of the world populated by Muslims, they felt that the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic had offered them new possibilities. We learned this from our Imam, and this has been the clear path of the Islamic Republic up until now.

Part of the great work is what you are doing. You have gathered here from nearly one hundred countries in order to become familiar with the pure teachings of Islam. It is not our goal to export the Revolution to this and that country - not in the conventional political sense of the word "export". The Revolution is not something that can be exported through political means or advanced through military and security tools. This is wrong. We closed this path since the very beginning.

The aim of the Islamic Republic is to reproduce lofty Islamic teachings so that Muslims feel they have an Islamic identity, so that they become familiar with Islamic teachings which can save humanity, so that they know what Allah the Exalted means when He says He sent a Messenger to remove "from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them". [The Holy Quran, 7: 157] Due to lack of vigilance, the Islamic Ummah had long forgotten this truth. The Islamic Ummah can be free, advanced, knowledgeable, glorious and powerful. These things are achievable thanks to Islamic teachings. For 200 years, the arrogant powers and colonial organizations tried to make Muslims erase this concept from their memory. They tried to make Muslims lose sight of their identity so that they could oppressively rule and transgress Muslims' politics, economy and indigenous culture. The Revolution helped the Islamic Ummah remember these things.

Today you have this great opportunity to become familiar with these teachings in the Islamic Republic, in the scientific center of Qom, in the auspicious society of "al-Mustafa". "Why should not then a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion , and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious?" [The Holy Quran, 9: 122] You have the opportunity to enlighten the general atmosphere. Today the world of Islam is in need of this.

Of course you are living in a foreign country now. Although you should feel at home here, you are away from your relatives, friends and family. You have to deal with certain hardships and problems. Your wife and your family have to deal with certain problems, but be patient. During the early years of his prophethood, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) was given a few essential guidelines by Allah the Exalted so that he could shoulder that heavy and unique responsibility. Patience was one of these guidelines:
"In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O you who are clothed,
Arise and warn,
And your Lord do magnify,
And your garments do purify,
And uncleanness do shun,
And bestow not favors that you may receive again with increase,
And for the sake of your Lord, be patient." [The Holy Quran, 74: 1-7]

Allah the Exalted provided the Holy Prophet with this guideline. It is necessary to be patient. Patience means being steadfast. It means not becoming tired. It means not being overwhelmed by problems. We all face different problems on our path. The important point is that we should not be overwhelmed. And this was a lesson that our magnanimous Imam taught us through his actions. He was patient. The day when the Imam let out his yell in this city, there was nobody to support him except for a group of seminarians. He was alone. The Imam was alone in his own homeland and hometown, but he resisted with patience. They put that great man under different kinds of pressure - both spiritual and material - but he resisted with patience. "A believer is like a firm mountain that cannot be shaken by windstorms." None of these windstorms could shake his steely and firm determination. He resisted. He exuded patience, and others learned patience from him. Thus, other people started to exercise patience. And the Iranian nation managed to foil all these machinations through patience.

You know how many machinations have been designed and how many poisoned daggers have been secretly used against our nation and our government since the victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran up until today. The eight-year imposed war was one of the machinations that were designed against us. They imposed an eight-year-long war on us. Another machination that they used against the Islamic Republic was 30 years of sanctions. Today they are creating uproar about sanctions. But sanctions are not new. The Islamic Republic has been under economic sanctions for 30 years. The patience and resistance of this nation overcame all those spiteful and hostile actions and all that obstructionism. Today, by Allah's grace, the Islamic Republic is at the peak of its political and security power.

Do not forget patience, steadfastness and resistance. This is an important factor that should be taken into consideration by anybody who has plans to achieve lofty goals. You are great assets for Islam. Study hard and learn well. Live in the atmosphere created by the Revolution and the Islamic Republic, and return to your country at an appropriate time to transfer these realities to your people through the means of knowledge, patience, ethics, humility and love.

Your presence in this country does not have a political purpose. To be perfectly clear and transparent, the purpose is scholarly and educational. There is a demand for knowledge everywhere. There is a demand for benevolent words and clear knowledge everywhere. Imam Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha (a.s.) told one of his companions, "May God bestow His grace on those who revive our command." The man asked, "How can your command be revived?" He answered, "By learning our knowledge and teaching it to people." Then he said, "If people know the virtues of our words, they will obey us."

It is not at all necessary for you to work too hard in order to further the teachings of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household. There is no need to become angry and complain about this and that. It is enough to learn the teachings of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household appropriately and transfer them to other people. These monotheistic teachings, these teachings about the nature of man, these teachings that encompass different issues of human life are by themselves attractive. They attract hearts and make them follow the path of the Imams. There is a great opportunity for you here. You have gathered here from different countries. Here each of you has the opportunity to become familiar with your Muslim brothers and their indigenous culture.

Those from Europe can communicate with people from East Asia. Those from Africa can communicate with people from Middle Eastern countries. There are representatives from different countries. Get to know each other. Try to become familiar with each other's culture, wishes and ideals. You have an opportunity to develop comprehensive knowledge. This is a very great opportunity, which you cannot find somewhere else. An international center has been formed here for Islamic scholarship. When you gather in a place and become familiar with each other, an international society is formed for Islamic scholarship. Make the best of this opportunity.

You are young. The greatest asset that a youth has is his pure and enlightened heart. My dear ones, make the best of this enlightened heart. Strengthen your relationship with Allah the Exalted. If a youth who is prepared can bring his heart closer to Allah the Exalted through humility, dhikr, solemn prayer and reliance on God, the situation will be the best of the best. The light of divine knowledge will shine on your hearts. Avoiding sins, developing a close relationship with God and appreciating daily prayers are among the priorities.

Daily prayers are one of the greatest blessings of God. Daily prayers give us the opportunity to talk to our God several times a day. They give us the opportunity every day to ask Him for help, to say that we need Him and to strengthen our devotion through supplication and expressing our dependence on Him. Religious luminaries have always attached a lot of importance to daily prayers. Everybody can make use of daily prayers. Oftentimes we fail to appreciate the value of daily prayers. The purpose of daily prayers is not just to go through the motions of an obligation. No, daily prayers provide us with a great opportunity, and it is necessary to make use of them. According to a narration, daily prayers are like a spring in your home in which you bathe five times a day. This bathing can have permanent effects on young hearts. It is through purity and piety that we can receive effective and incisive language from Allah the Exalted as a gift.

Our magnanimous Imam's spirituality, his pure nature, his relationship with God and the tears he shed in prayer in the middle of the night were one reason why a single word by our Imam had amazing effects on the general atmosphere of the country in difficult times and in all conditions. When the Imam was alive, his son - the Late Hajj Sayyid Ahmad - told me, "When the Imam gets up [to pray] in the middle of the night, he cries so much that ordinary tissues cannot wipe his tears. He has to wipe his tears with a towel." That man of steel was not shaken by the flood of harms and events that were enough to shake a nation. The power and awe of global powers were hollow to that man. But before the greatness of God, he used to shed tears like that when praying and asking God for help. Daily prayers are extremely valuable. You should appreciate these opportunities.

I would like to reiterate that I am very satisfied to have met you dear people. I deem it necessary to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. A'rafi, the officials in charge of "Jame'at al-Mustafa", the instructors and all those who played a role in this great movement. I hope Allah the Exalted will bestow His grace and blessings on all of them, all of you and all those who made a contribution.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings