Leader's Friday Prayer Address Ramadhan 1388

The following is the full text of the Friday prayer sermons delivered on September 11, 2009 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 Worlds, Whom we praise, from Whom we seek help, in Whom we believe, to Whom we repent, and Whom we rely on, and peace and greetings be upon His beloved and noble one, the master of His servants, the protector of His secret, the promoter of His message, the harbinger of His mercy, the warner of His chastisement, our Master and Prophet, Ab-al Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, and upon those who guide the guided, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth. And greetings be upon the leaders of Muslims, those who guide the oppressed and those who support the faithful.

I advise the dear brothers and sisters to observe divine piety. This month is the month of piety and today, which is the 21st of the auspicious month of Ramadan, is the manifestation of piety. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was the manifestation of piety. We should learn a lesson from this day and we should make piety a provision for this world and the hereafter.

In the first sermon, I would like to say a few things about the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Today is the day of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). In a night like last night, which was Friday night - the eve of the 21st of Ramadan - humanity lost Ali. Therefore this year, the martyrdom anniversary of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is more similar to the year he was martyred because it was Friday when he was murdered.

The body of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), the voice of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), the warm breath of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and the penetrating eyes of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) were taken from the world of those days. But we can have Ali (a.s.) with us. We can follow him on our path provided that we pay attention to the behavior and conduct of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) as our guidelines. Today, I would like to speak to you dear brothers and sisters about part of his completely glorious life and about his short, but enlightened and bright rule.

What I want to discuss is the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). During this discussion, I will raise certain points about this issue. We should pay attention that the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was not separate from his spiritual and moral behavior. The politics of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) interrelated with his spirituality and morality. In fact, his politics originated from his spirituality and morality.

If one's politics originate from morality and feed from spirituality, then it will be a tool for the people who are faced with it, to achieve perfection and paradise. But if politics become separate from morality and spirituality, then it will be demagoguery. It will be a tool for gaining power at any price, for accumulating wealth and for furthering one's own interests. This kind of politics is like a pest. It is a pest for both the politician himself and for the people who are faced with this kind of politics in their everyday life.

The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) describes his rule, during which three all-out wars were waged and thousands of soldiers were killed, in a way that it shows his contempt. You should take a look at Nahjul Balaghah in order to see what he has said in this regard. Once, when addressing ibn Abbas, he described it as something which is even less worthy than his old and patched up shoelaces. In another part of Nahjul Balaghah, he said, "Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 3].

What value does the sneezing of a goat have? It has no value. He says that this power and this rule is even of less worth and less significance than the sneezing of a goat. In the same sermon, he explains why he accepted government: "If people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument, [I would not have accepted caliphate]". He said that he accepted caliphate because the people insisted and pledged allegiance to him.

He goes on to explain, "If there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of caliphate on its own shoulders". He says that Allah the Exalted has commanded scholars and knowledgeable personalities to avoid enduring the oppression of oppressors and the hunger of the oppressed. These were the things which drew the Commander of the Faithful towards caliphate. He showed resistance, and even fought against those who plotted against him and who went back on their pledge of allegiance. If it had not been for such things, caliphate would have been worthless to him.

One of the characteristics of his politics is that it was free of any deception and trickery. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) has narrated, "If it were not for piety, I would be able to use tricks better than all deceitful Arabs" [al-Kafi, Volume 8, page 22]. When comparing himself with Muawiyah, he says, "I swear to God that Muawiyah is not more clever than me" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 200]. But what should Ali do? When he is committed to piety and morality, then his hands and his tongue are tied. This is the method of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.).

If one is not pious, his hands and his tongue are free and they can do and say whatever they want. If we are not pious, we can say things which are not true, we can engage in slandering, we can tell lies to people, we can break our promises, and we can become attached to the enemies of the straight path. When piety does not exist, this is the way we behave. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said that he chose politics and piety together. This is why there was not any deception and dishonesty in the methods that he adopted.

One of the dangers of the separation of religion from politics is that when politics is separated from religion, it will be separated from morality and spirituality. This separation has always been promoted by some people in the world of Islam. This has been promoted in our country as well. Today too, some people unfortunately chant the slogan of the separation of religion from politics. In secular and non-religious systems, morality is destroyed in almost all areas.

Of course, such systems may sometimes carry out a moral act. This may be an exception. When politics is separated from religion, it becomes immoral and it will be based on materialistic and personal motives. The political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was based on spirituality and it was not separate from his spiritual behavior.

On the issue of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) I should say that he used to tolerate his opponents and even his enemies as much as possible. Although it is true that he experienced three wars during his nearly five-year rule, he fought in these wars after he showed all kinds of tolerance. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was not a person to draw his sword without showing proper tolerance towards his opponents.

Now, I want you to listen to a number of hadiths narrated by him. In the beginning of his caliphate, a number of people gathered around the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and they insisted that he deal with some of his opponents. They firmly insisted that he should do this. In response, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) advised them to be patient.

One of the things that he said was, "One group will think as you do, but another will not think as you think, and there will be still another group who will be neither this way nor that way". There are some people who have the same opinion as you do and there are some people who believe something that you do not. There is another group of people who do not take sides at all. These people have a different opinion. "Therefore, you should be patient". He said that they should be patient so that he can carry out his responsibility with acumen. "Be patient until people quieten down and hearts settle in their places so that rights can be achieved for people easily".

He said that they should allow him to establish people's rights in a calm and peaceful way. "But if I do not find another way, the last treatment, of course, will be branding with a hot iron" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 168]. We should do our best to establish and achieve people's rights in a patient and kind way. If we realize that there is no other alternative, then we should "brand with a hot iron". This is a well-known Arabic saying. It means that the last alternative is behaving in a firm way. We should treat the wound with medicines and ointments as much as possible. We should use ointments in order to clean the wound. If it is not possible to do this, then the last treatment will be to heat it with a hot iron because there is no other way.

Before the Battle of Siffin began, a number of people put their foot down and insisted that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) should launch the attack. In response, he said, "By Allah, I did not put off war even for a day except in the hope that some group may join me, find guidance through me and see my light with their weak eyes" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 55]. He said, "I am not after waging wars. I am after guidance. Even if I delay fighting for a single day, it is because I hope that some of them listen to the truth and follow the straight path. When we see that no one among the enemies wants to follow the straight path, then we will draw our swords and begin the war".

During the Battle of Jamal, which was one of the most difficult tests of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), he said, "Certainly, these people are in agreement in disliking my authority". They have become united and they have joined hands so that they can show their anger towards the government which the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) has been entrusted with. "And I will show patience". But, how long will he show patience? "I will carry on until I perceive disunity among you" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 169]. When the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) sees that the enemies are creating a rift and discord among Muslims and that they are pitting brothers against one another, he enters the arena and eliminates the fitna. But he shows patience and offers his advice as long as he can.

One of the characteristics of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was that he used to reason with his enemies and opponents. He even used to reason with Muawiyah in his correspondence with him. Although the enmity between Muawiyah and the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was fierce, Muawiyah used to write letters to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) in which he used to insult him and say things which were not true.

After Talha and Zubair pledged allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), they got out of Madina and went towards Makka with the excuse that they intended to go on a hajj pilgrimage. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was vigilant. From the beginning, he used to say that they do not intend to go on a hajj pilgrimage. They went and hatched certain plots. Of course, it is a long story why they did this.

Hazrat said, "Both of you frown over a small matter and leave aside big ones" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 204]. He said that they used a small matter as a tool to create discord, that they ignored many positive points and that they intended to show enmity and disobey his commands. Despite these things, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) spoke in a humble way to them. He explained that he was not after creating enemies for himself. So, he showed tolerance.

But when tolerance is not sufficient, there is room for Alavi decisiveness. For example, he showed his decisiveness towards the Khawarij in such a firm way that he himself said, "I tore out the eye of fitna" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 92]. And no one else could do this except for Ali, as he himself said in Nahjul Balaghah.

Another characteristic of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was that he did not resort to oppressing people, telling lies and carrying out oppressive measures. In the beginning of the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) caliphate, some people said to him that he should show some consideration for the influential personalities in society and that he should give them a larger share of public funds.

They said, "Do not make them disobey you. Rather, you should attract their hearts". He said, "Do you command me to achieve victory with oppression. By Allah, I won't do so as long as the world goes on and as long as one star leads another in the sky" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 126]. It was not possible for the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) to make friends by showing oppression and by adopting wrong and non-Islamic methods.

Another characteristic of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was that he genuinely - not insincerely - asked the people to avoid flattering and sweet-talking him. He asked them to avoid behaving in an insincere way towards him.

In the middle of one of the sermons of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) - which was one of his very articulate and astonishing sermons - someone stood up and began to praise and compliment him. He gave the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) plenty of praise because of his sermon and the things which he was saying. When this person finished praising, Hazrat turned to him and advised him - almost as much as this person spoke - to avoid speaking to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) in this way. I am saying this on the basis of Nahjul Balaghah and the selected text of Sayyid Radhi.

One of the sentences that he uttered in this sermon was: "Do not speak to me the way you speak to oppressive kings and rulers. Do not evade me as the people of passion are to be evaded". Some people avoid saying certain things to other people so that they do not make them annoyed and displeased. Imam Ali (a.s.) said that they should not show such considerations for him. "Do not meet me with flattery and do not think that I shall take it ill if a true thing is said to me" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 216].

He said that people should not think Ali would be annoyed if they say a true thing to him. It was not the case that he found it hard to accept the truth. This is another characteristic of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.).

Another characteristic of that great Imam (a.s.) was that he did not behave in the same way towards all of his opponents and enemies. He did not use the same method for all of them. He differentiated between different individuals and orientations. Ali (a.s.) stood firm against the faithless Khawarij. Of course, he stood up against their deviation, wrongdoings and reliance on the outward aspects of religion.

He stood against Muawiyah as well. When they put the Holy Quran on their spears, the Commander of the Faithful said, "By Allah, this is a trick and deception. They do not believe in the Holy Quran". And when Khawarij confronted him with their reliance on the outward aspects of religion - they recited the Holy Quran in a plaintive and sad tone in front of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) - Hazrat stood up against them.

That is to say, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) stood up against those people who wanted to move forward on the basis of the outward aspects of religion and it did not matter to him whether he was confronting Muawiyah or Khawarij. Nonetheless, he did not behave towards them in the same way. He showed resistance, but in general, his method was to offer advice.

This was the reason why he said, "Do not fight Khawarij after me because one who seeks right but does not find it, is not like one who seeks wrong and finds it". Those who are after truth, but who make a mistake on this path - such people are after the truth, but they make a mistake because of their ignorance and reliance on superficial things - are not like those who are after evil and who find it. Such people are not the same.

This is the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). When we take a look, we see that the political behavior of that great Imam corresponds exactly with his spiritual behavior. In all areas, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is the same Ali ibn Abi Talib who is peerless throughout the world.

Well, today is the day of mourning for the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). I would like to say a few things about the sufferings of that great Imam. In a night like last night, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) passed away. Over the course of these two days or nights - from the dawn of the 19th of Ramadan, when he was injured by that cursed person, to the eve of the 21st - a number of instructive events took place:

The first event took place at the first moment he was injured. When this enemy of God delivered a blow to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), it has been narrated that Hazrat did not let out any moan and that he did not show his pain. The only thing that he said was, "In the name of God, in the way of God and by the God of Ka'bah, I have succeeded" [The Characteristics of Ali ibn Abi Talib's Household, Volume 2, page 119].

Then, Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) came to him and held Hazrat's head in his arms. It has been narrated that blood was trickling down his blessed head and his blessed beard was imbued with blood. As he was looking at his father, Imam Hassan's eyes were filled with tears. One of the tears fell on the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) head. Hazrat opened his eyes and said, "My Hassan, are you crying? Do not cry. At this moment, I am with a number of people and they are greeting me. There are some people with me".

According to narrations, in this moment, Hazrat said, "The Prophet is here. Fatima al-Zahra is here". After Imam Hassan (a.s.) led the public prayer and after the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said prayers while he was sitting, they carried him. The narrator says that Hazrat sometimes leaned over to the point of falling, but he kept himself. Finally, they took him to his house.

His companions heard a voice saying, "By Allah, the foundations of guidance have been destroyed...Ali al-Murtaza has been murdered" [Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 42, page 280]. All the people of Kufa heard this voice. They poured into the mosque and there was a state of turmoil. The narrator says that, like the day the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) passed away, the people of Kufa started moaning and crying.

The entire great city of Kufa was imbued with sadness, grief and sorrow. When the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was being carried, Imam Hussein (a.s.) came close. This narration says that Imam Hussein (a.s.) cried so much that his eyelids became sore. The Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) eyes fell on Imam Hussein (a.s.) and then he said, "My Hussein, do not cry. Be patient. Such events are nothing and they will pass". He comforted Imam Hussein (a.s.) as well.

When they carried Hazrat into his house, they took him to his musalah where he used to say prayers. He had told them to take him there. They spread a sheet for him and put him there. At this moment, the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) daughters, Zainab and Umm Kulthum, came. They sat behind him and began to cry.

When Imam Hassan (a.s.) cried, Hazrat comforted him. When Imam Hussein (a.s.) cried, he comforted him as well and asked him to be patient. But when his daughters cried, he could not endure it and began to cry loudly. Oh Commander of the Faithful, you could not endure Zainab's tears at that moment. What would you have done if you had seen how she was crying and mourning on the day of Ashura?

Abu Hamza al-Thumali quotes Habib ibn Amru as saying, "During the last hours - during the eve of the 21st of Ramadan - I went to see the Commander of the Faithful. I saw that one of the daughters of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was there. She was crying. I too could not help crying and I started to shed tears. The people were outside. When they heard this girl cry, they too started to cry. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) opened his eyes and said, ‘If you saw what I see, you would not cry'. I said, ‘Oh Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), what do you see?' He said, ‘I see God's angels. I see heavenly angels. I see all the prophets and divine representatives. They have formed a line and they are greeting me and welcoming me. I see the Holy Prophet sitting beside me. He is saying, ‘Come dear Ali. Come sooner'. I started to shed tears. Then, I stood up. When I was about to leave the house, I heard Ali's household shout. Then I realized that Ali had passed away".

God's greetings be upon you oh Commander of the Faithful. God's greetings be upon you oh Commander of the Faithful. God's greetings be upon you oh Commander of the Faithful. I ask You God and call You by Your greatest, most magnificent, most dignified and most respected Name.

Dear God, by the blessedness of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), make us be the real shias of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Dear God, make our worldly and otherworldly behavior be like the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) behavior. Dear God, make us be the followers of that great Imam in the real sense of the word.

Dear God, solve the problems of the world of Islam. Solve the problems of Muslim countries including Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Islamic countries. Dear God, solve the problems of the people of Iran with Your blessings and generosity. Dear God, increase the dignity and power of our people on a daily basis. Dear God, preserve unity - which is the great investment of the people of Iran - for them. Dear God, cut off the hands of those people who create discord. Dear God, make us - whatever position we have - be successful in being committed to the truth. Dear God, protect us from showing oppression and from transgressing the rights of other people.

"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].

Second Sermon

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, especially upon the Commander of the Faithful, Fatima al-Zahra, the Mistress of all Women, Hassan and Hussein- the masters of the youth of paradise - Ali ibn al-Hussein Zayn al-Abidin, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir, Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, Musa ibn Ja'far al-Kadhim, Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad, Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi, Hassan ibn Ali al-Zaki al-Askari and Hujjat al-Qaem al-Mahdi. Greetings be upon them all and upon the Imams of Muslims, supporters of the oppressed, and those who guide the faithful.

I advise the servants of God to fear God

In this sermon, I would like to advise and invite myself and all you dear brothers and sisters to observe divine piety. We should observe piety in our behavior, our words and our actions.

In the second sermon, I first deem it necessary to evoke the memory of the late Ayatollah Taleghani and Shahid Ayatollah Madani (may god bestow paradise on them). These days remind us of both of these great personalities. These two personalities are among those people whose memory is inseparable from the history of public prayer leaders in our country. Both of these two great men really have unforgettable rights and their unforgettable memory will always remain in our minds and our history.

One of the issues that I would like to discuss in this sermon is that we should benefit from the opportunities provided by the auspicious month of Ramadan. In fact, these statements, which are made in the presence of you dear people who say prayers, are addressed to political orientations, political personalities and the previous political officials. I would like to make certain statements with the purpose of stating the truth and offering some pieces of advice. By Allah's favor, these statements will be beneficial to the addressees, to us and particularly to our dear youth and our dear and religious people.

Of course, those people to whom these statements are addressed are people who have been defined inside the Islamic Republic. They are personalities inside the Islamic Republic. They are part of the Islamic Republic. By Allah's favor, all of them will remain inside the Islamic Republic and will work and make efforts for it in the future.

The concept of insider and outsider is not one that is discussed for the sake of propaganda. It is not a hollow slogan and it is not a mere picture. Rather, it has certain criteria and certain ideological and scholarly bases. It has been like this until now and so it shall remain God willing.

One issue is that from the beginning of the Revolution until today, there have been certain branches and certain hostile orientations in the movement of the Revolution and in the original movement of our people. Some of these orientations and branches have been damaging, but some of them have not been like this. The differences of opinion that existed between these orientations and the Revolution were resolved with the vigilance of the people and with the awareness and sense of responsibility of active elements inside these orientations. Therefore, these orientations did not create a burden for the Revolution and the country.

Not all the differences of opinion and the orientations that emerge are the same. Some of these orientations emerge as a result of difference in principles and beliefs and some of them do not emerge because of this reason. Rather, the reason for their emergence is interests. The issue is about interests. And some of these orientations emerge not because of any of these reasons. The reason why they emerge is differences of taste and opinion. They have differences in implementing principles, but such differences are expressed within the framework of principles. They have differences in methods. Therefore, not all these orientations are the same.

Well, in the beginning of the Revolution, there were some differences between the groups which had stood together during the pre-revolutionary era and during revolutionary activities. Imam (may God bestow paradise on him) did not behave in the same way towards all these differences and orientations. Imam's method (may God bestow paradise on him) was like the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) method. That is to say, Imam first showed tolerance and offered advice. But, when it was necessary, he confronted these groups.

One of these groups was the interim government which had created certain problems. Another group was comprised of people who had made a certain move against the qisas bill. Another group had even engaged in terrorism and street fights. Imam behaved in different ways towards each of these groups. At a higher level, there were governments, prime ministers and presidents. Even on the last days of Imam's (may God bestow paradise on him) life, there were individuals who were at a higher level than the presidency. Imam confronted those people whom he felt cannot be tolerated more than that.

All of these individuals had revolutionary and religious backgrounds. Many of them had high-ranking positions. But this happened anyway and these branches emerged. Some of these branches confronted Imam and some did not do this. There were only some differences of opinion, but it did not lead to confrontation, fighting, disunity and discord. But, some of them confronted Imam and they ignored Imam's (r.a.) tolerance.

Imam delivered a message to the munafeqeen grouplet which wanted to meet with Imam. He said to them, "I myself come to you if you act according to the truth. I myself come to you if you stop committing such wrongdoings". Imam spoke to and behaved towards them in such a tolerant way. However, when one feels danger - particularly when the issue is about promoting wrong principles in the Islamic Republic and the Revolution - one will react because this [promoting wrong principles] is like a deadly poison. In such conditions, Imam did not show any consideration, he did not tolerate them anymore and he confronted them. But such confrontation takes place during fundamental differences.

In the present time, those people whose differences [with the Islamic Republic] are based on interests give it a tinge of belief and ideology. Those people who confront the Islamic Republic and the Revolution and who turn their backs on the principles of the Revolution are considered to be enemies. And it does not matter what their difference is. That is to say, it does not matter whether their difference is based on principles and beliefs or on interests.

Of course, if those people who have different beliefs from the Revolution do not act against the Islamic Republic, then the Islamic Republic will not confront them. Some people have promoted the concept of "contrarianism". How does the Islamic Revolution behave towards "contrarian-minded" people? The Islamic Republic does not oppose contrarian-minded people. There are many contrarian-minded people in the country.

Political contrarian-mindedness is not superior to religious contrarian-mindedness. Well, we have certain religious minorities which are contrarian-minded. These minorities have members in the Majlis and they have members who hold different positions. Therefore, the issue is not about contrarian-mindedness. Rather, the issue is about opposition, confrontation and damage. The issue is about drawing swords against the Islamic Republic and the Revolution. It is such people that the Islamic Republic confronts. But if differences are based on tastes and means, then not only are such differences not harmful, but they are also beneficial.

It is alright for the officials and decision-makers of the country to benefit from those critics who show them their weak points. When one enters the arena of competition and challenging critics, one works better. It is not the case that the existence of critics and those who have different beliefs is harmful for the Islamic Republic. However, their differences of opinion should be within the framework of the Islamic Republic. There is nothing wrong with these differences of opinion. Such differences are not harmful at all and the Islamic Republic will not show any confrontation towards them.

Therefore, criticisms should be made within the framework of principles and it is clear what the principles of the Revolution are. The principles of the Revolution are not such arbitrary principles that anyone who turns up from any corner can chant the slogan of principles. If this was the case, we would see that such principles are completely separate from the Revolution. The principles of the Revolution are the principles of Islam. They are based on the Constitution and Imam's (r.a.) guidelines and testament. They are based on the general policies of the Islamic Republic.

In the Constitution, it has been specified that these general policies should be formulated. Within this framework, differences of opinion, behavior and taste are not a flaw. Rather, they are a strong point. Within this framework, not only are they not harmful, but they are also beneficial and valuable. This is one issue.

In the arena of such differences, the Islamic Republic does not confront anyone. The Islamic Republic has no problem with those people who act within the framework of principles and who are not after showing violence, compromising the security of society and shattering peace in it - these are some wrongdoings which are committed by spreading lies and rumors.

There are a number of opponents who have certain opinions and who express them in a peaceful way. Therefore, the Islamic Republic will not confront these opponents. The Islamic Republic is after maximum inclusion and minimum exclusion. Everyone should pay attention that this is the method of the Islamic Republic. Those who have different opinions from the official opinions of the Islamic Republic can compare their opinions within this framework. The Islamic Republic has to stand up against those people who confront the principles of the Islamic republic and who are opposed to the security of the people.

We say that those people who are insulted and slandered have the right to defend themselves. Well, the same right exists for the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic has the right to defend itself as well. It is wrong to think that because the Islamic Republic rules and because it has political power, it should not defend itself and it should remain defenseless. It is wrong to think that it should not react to any opposition, wrongdoing and transgression against itself.

This is not the case anywhere in the world. In those countries which consider themselves to be the pioneers of democracy, none of the parties which have differences of opinion oppose the principles and guidelines of their political system. If they do this, they are rejected by their people. There are certain organizations and courts of law - like our own Guardian Council - which are in charge of observing their constitution. These organizations reject these parties if they question their political system.

It is not the case that they accept the opinions of a person who fights against and confronts the principles of their system. It is not the case that they remain silent against this person. Sometimes, it is witnessed that European governments behave in a violent and harsh way towards such individuals even when the issue is not about principles.

Therefore, confronting, opposing and drawing swords on the system and its principles is followed by a harsh response everywhere in the world. However, as long as someone expresses their differences of opinion without behaving in this way and without slandering, spreading rumors, telling lies and other such things, the Islamic Republic will not confront them at all. This has not been, is not and - God willing - will not be the method of the Islamic Republic in the future. This is one point.

Another point which political activists, officials, owners of power and different responsibilities, and influential personalities should be very vigilant about is the issue of deviation and personal corruption. All of us should be vigilant about this. Individuals are subject to corruption and deviation. Sometimes, small mistakes draw us towards great and greater mistakes and sometimes, they throw us deep down certain precipices. Therefore, we should be very vigilant.

The Holy Quran has warned us about this. There are many warnings in the Holy Quran about this issue. In an ayah, it says, "In the long run evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil for that they rejected the signs of Allah, and held them up to ridicule" [The Holy Quran, 30: 10].

Because of certain acts, one may end up in the worst place ever, which is rejecting the signs of God. In another ayah, it says, "So He has put as a consequence hypocrisy into their hearts, till the day, whereon they shall meet Him because they broke their covenant with Allah" [The Holy Quran, 9: 77].

They broke their covenant with God and this led to the emergence of hypocrisy in their hearts. When one commits a sin, this leads one to the world of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a kind of blasphemy which exists in one's heart. In this ayah of the Holy Quran, unbelievers and hypocrites stand together. In another ayah, it says, "As for those of you who turned back on the day when the two armies met, only the shaitan sought to cause them to make a slip on account of some deeds they had done" [The Holy Quran, 3: 155].

The reason why you see some people become desperate in the face of the enemy and why they cannot show any resistance and steadfastness is that they committed a wrongdoing in the past. They destroyed their souls by committing sins and wrongdoings. Mistakes corrupt us. This corruption leads to deviation in actions and sometimes, it leads to deviation in beliefs.

And this happens gradually. It does not happen all of a sudden. We should not think that someone who sleeps at night while he is a believer may become a hypocrite when he wakes up in the morning. This is not the case. Deviation emerges gradually and little by little.

The cure for this disease is to take care of ourselves. Taking care of oneself means piety. Therefore, the cure for this disease is piety. We should take care of ourselves. Our families should take care of ourselves as well. Wives should take care of their husbands and husbands should take care of their wives. The same is true of friends. "And enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience" [The Holy Quran, 103: 3]. We should take care of ourselves so that we do not become subject to deviation.

The people should advise officials and counsel them to do good. They should write, speak and deliver messages to them lest they commit a great sin. If officials commit great sins, this will cause more dangers for the Islamic Republic, the country and the people. One sometimes feels this when certain statements and moves are made. One can see the signs of this deviation in such statements and moves. We should seek refuge with God and we should only ask Him for help.

Another point is that the same thing - that is to say, corruption and deviation - may happen to a system, as it may happen to individuals. The same disease which may afflict individuals may afflict a political, healthy and Islamic system. The same diease may afflict an Islamic government. It may afflict the Islamic Republic. The name of this system may be the Islamic Republic and if it may have an Islamic appearance and form, but its behavior, actions and plans may be non-Islamic. This is the same issue - the issue of the appearance and behavior of the Revolution - that I discussed with a number of dear students in a meeting last year.

Society and the Islamic Republic may launch two kinds of movements: positive and negative. It may move towards transcendence and peaks and it may move towards downfall and destruction. Moving towards peaks means that society gets close to pursuance of justice, religion and religious behavior. It means that society achieves growth in an environment of freedom. This growth is a practical, scientific and industrial growth.

In such a society, people "enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience". This society feels more powerful on a daily basis in the face of the enemies of God, religion and the independence of the country. It resists in a more powerful way and it increases its resistance in the face of the camp of oppression and international corruption on a daily basis. These things mean growth and they are a sign of the positive movement of a society. These are the characteristics which build a society in this world and in the hereafter. We should be after such a positive movement.

But, there is a downward movement which is the opposite of this positive movement. In this movement, people move towards creating great economic and social rifts instead of moving towards justice and they do it with different excuses.

In this movement, they use freedom on the path of promoting corruption, decadence, sins and wrongdoings instead of using it for achieving scientific, practical and moral growth. They adopt a passive role, feel weak and retreat in the face of arrogant powers, transgressors and international looters instead of showing their resistance and power to them. They smile when they should frown at them. They give up their rights - whether nuclear or non-nuclear rights - when they should assert them.

These are signs of deviation. A society should move towards transcendence and values. Its movement should be upward and positive. Such a downward movement is like a disease which may afflict the Islamic government. This is a danger for the Islamic government. Therefore, people should be vigilant.

The Islamic Republic is the Islamic Republic when it can move forward with the powerful principles of Imam (r.a.). It should move forward with the same principles which were prominent during Imam's (r.a.) auspicious lifetime and with the same slogans which were chanted in a serious way at that time. Whenever we moved forward with these slogans, we managed to make progress and achieve success, dignity and material profits. I am saying this on the basis of facts because I have witnessed the events of these 30 years up close.

But whenever we abandoned and compromised these slogans, whenever we let the enemy enter the arena, whenever we showed weakness and whenever we retreated, we failed to achieve dignity. As a result, the enemy became bolder and advanced more. Moreover, we incurred a loss in material areas. Some people think that the cure for the problems of the country - whether economic, social or political problems - is to put down our weapons in the face of the arrogant enemy. This is wrong and this is what he wants.

The reason why the enemies created and supported certain seditions after the previous elections was that they wanted to damage and take away this popular source of support from the Revolution. As I said, the sign of people's trust in the Islamic Republic was the presence of 40 million people in the elections.

In the present time, foreign networks and unfortunately some networks inside the country repeatedly echo the notion that the people's trust in the Islamic Republic has been lost. This presence of the people is a response to this notion. After the elections, we said the fact that 85 percent of the people voted and that 40 million people went to ballot boxes shows people's trust. The very act of going to ballot boxes is a sign of people's trust in the Islamic Republic. This is the truth of the issue.

In order to make people believe that this is a lie, these networks constantly announced in their propaganda that the people's trust has been lost. They said, "Now, what should we do?" Wearing the clothes of sympathy, some of them said, "What should we do to restore the people's trust?" But the people already trust the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Republic trusts the people as well.

By Allah's favor, you will see that in the next elections - which will be held in two, three years - the people will show a strong and powerful presence despite the theatrical play which was performed by the opponents and enemies and ignorant people inside the country.

The point is that all of us should take care not to let the Islamic Republic - which is an Islamic and religious system and which is proud of moving on the path of religious, Islamic and Quranic obligations - turn into a system which does not believe in religion. As they say, we should not let it turn into a secular system, one that is religious on the face of it, but that is secular deep inside.

We should not let it turn into a system which is attracted, deep inside, towards western culture and the powers that dominate this culture, but which chants religious slogans on the face of it. This should not happen. The Islamic government should be Islamic in the real sense of the word and it should get closer to Islamic principles on a daily basis. This is what unties knots. This is what solves the problems. This is what brings about dignity and power in society. This is what increases the supporters of the Islamic Republic all over the world.

Some people look at enmities and lose their courage. They are intimidated when they see angry mouths slander and speak against the Islamic Republic. Well, all systems and governments throughout the world have certain enemies and friends. Today too, the same situation exists. This has been the case throughout history. You do not find any government towards which all people inside and outside the country behave in a good or bad way. This has not been the case.

Each government has certain supporters and certain opponents. The same was true of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) government. The same was true of the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) government and the same was true of Muawiyah's and Yazid's governments. Each had certain supporters and certain opponents. This holds true for the Islamic Republic as well. Some people support it and some other people oppose it. However, the issue is that we should see who the supporters and the opponents of a government are. This is the standard.

The Islamic Republic is a system which is opposed by all international looters. It is a system which is opposed by all international bullies. All the imperialist governments which have a dark history are opposed to it. All malevolent Zionist investors all opposed to it. Well, these oppositions are a source of pride. These oppositions should not intimidate anyone.

Now, who are its supporters? Its supporters are all religious peoples throughout the world. Muslim and non-Muslim peoples in North African and other African countries, in Asia - ranging from Indonesia and Malaysia, to Arab and non-Arab countries - and in Muslim European countries are its friends and supporters.

In a football match which was played a few years ago, the Iranian national team scored a goal against its opponent. In a coffee house of a northern African country, youth were sitting and watching the game. When the Iranian scorer scored, these youth began to clap. Someone said to them, "This team is not your national team. Why do you care that this Iranian player scored a goal against its opponent which is not your enemy?" These youth said, "Iran's victory is our victory, even in the arena of football". These things are very precious.

During the political uproars, which were provoked after the recent elections, Muslims in different Islamic countries were worried. They used to ask their friends in Iran, "What is happening in Iran?" These friends said to them, "Do not worry. The Islamic Republic is too strong to be defeated by such events".

The Islamic Republic is like this. Those are its enemies and these are its friends. All evils and shimrs throughout the world are its opponents and all the oppressed are its supporters. The people of Palestine and all resisting Arab peoples are its supporters and the government of America and the government of England - which has a two-hundred-year history of doing evil in Iran - are its opponents. The English have a two-hundred-year history of doing evil in Iran. But such oppositions do not intimidate anyone.

The other government is at the opposite end of the scale. Its supporters are thieves, looters, arrogant and bullying powers and its opponents are its own people and religious and oppressed peoples all over the world. This is a source of disgrace for this government.

Until today, the Islamic Republic has had such opponents which include global thieves, looters and arrogant powers. These are the people who are opposed to the Islamic Republic. These are the people who try to confront and oppose the Islamic Republic in international meetings. But the masses of the people throughout the world, independent governments, those politicians which are separate from these powers, and oppressed peoples are the supporters of the Islamic Republic. Because of fear of such oppositions, we should not show the enemy that we want to give in to him. In any case, our young generation should be vigilant.

Dear youth, the country belongs to you. The future belongs to you. This powerful system - power in scientific, political, economic and international areas and in areas related to information and to dynamism in different areas of the world - is a source of dignity and honor for you. Therefore, you should make efforts to complete this system and make it perfect. You should have a sense of responsibility towards this issue. Youth have a responsibility in this regard.

The Islamic Republic - the kind of Islamic Republic which Imam (may God bestow paradise on him) founded and which he offered to our country as a gift - can achieve these characteristics in the real sense of the word. It can achieve international and political power, dignity, worldly welfare and otherworldly happiness.

But you should take care not to let the enemies build a fake Islamic Republic for us. During the past 10 years, certain moves were made to do this, but Allah the Exalted prevented them from reaching their goals. The people were awake and vigilant and they did not let them do this. They wanted to make certain moves. They wanted to send Imam's (r.a.) slogans to the museum. They openly said that these slogans have become obsolete. But this is not the case. The slogans of the Revolution cannot become obsolete. They are always new and they are always attractive to the masses of the people.

Those slogans which are to the advantage of the oppressed, those slogans which further national dignity and those slogans which contain resistance and steadfastness never become obsolete. Such slogans never become obsolete for any people and they will not become obsolete for our people either.

Next Friday is Quds Day. This is one of the most prominent remembrances of our dear Imam (r.a.). This day is the sign of the attachment of the Revolution and our people to the event of Holy Quds and Palestine. Thanks to Quds Day, we have managed every year to keep this name alive all over the world.

Many governments and politicians want to consign the issue of Palestine to oblivion. Since long ago, they have been trying to do this. They have made great efforts and they have spent a lot of money in order to do this. If it had not been for the efforts of the Islamic Republic and if it had not been for the all-out resistance of the Islamic Republic against this malevolent policy, it would not have been unlikely for them to gradually sideline and, even worse, consign the issue of Palestine to oblivion.

In the present time, arrogance and evil Zionists themselves acknowledge and believe that the Islamic Republic has raised the flag of Palestine and that it does not let the issue of Palestine become a peripheral issue with the compromises that they want to make. They are unhappy about this. Quds Day is the day of reviving this memory and this name. By Allah's favor and with divine guidance, this year too, our great people will commemorate Quds Day and hold rallies in Tehran and other cities. In other countries too, many Muslims will follow the people of Iran in commemorating Quds Day.

Quds Day is a day which belongs to the issue of Quds. Besides, it is the manifestation of the unity of the people of Iran. You should take care not to let some people use these rallies for creating discord. We should be afraid of discord. Discord should be confronted and opposed and it should not be created. The people of Iran can raise the flag of Quds in a glorious way only when they are united. They have been trying to shatter this unity over the course of these years. But thankfully, they have failed and by Allah's favor, they will continue to fail in the future.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make our people stronger, more dynamic, vigilant, powerful and enthusiastic on a daily basis.

"In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I swear by the runners breathing pantingly
Then those that produce fire striking,
Then those that make raids at morn,
Then thereby raise dust,
Then rush thereby upon an assembly:
Most surely man is ungrateful to his Lord.
And most surely he is a witness of that.
And most surely he is tenacious in the love of wealth.
Does he not then know when what is in the graves is raised
And what is in the breasts is made apparent?
Most surely their Lord that day shall be fully aware of them" [The Holy Quran, 100].

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings