The Shrine of Imam Reza (as)

What does it take to be revolutionary? Ayatollah Khamenei explains

The cure for the problems of the country – whether the problems that we have today, the problems that we will have later on or the problems that every country and nation has- after all, no country is without any problem- and the solution for them lies in the bubbling of willpower and resistance from inside the people.

Willpower, resistance, firm determination and steadfastness should bubble from inside the people. Eyes should be open, spirits should rely on God and our self-confidence should be strong. If we rely on God and if we trust ourselves, our spirits will become strong in scientific, managerial and administrative areas.

What I would like to emphasize is revolutionary spirit. You should preserve this spirit. What does “revolutionary spirit” mean? It means the capability of revolutionary people to have courage, to take action, to be initiative, to show innovation, to break dead ends, to untie knots, to be fearless, to be hopeful about the future and to move towards a bright future by relying on God. Revolutionary outlook means this. Such people are revolutionary and this spirit should be preserved.

Some people act in the opposite manner. Some people say the opposite things. Some people manage affairs in the opposite manner. They make youth lose their trust in the future. They make them lose their trust in the Revolution. They make them drift away from the warm breath of Imam (r.a.). Well, under such circumstances, revolutionary spirit will be ruined. This is while they complain about the present era. They complain about the present era as well! Who builds the present era? As Saeb says, “The crime that the builders of the present era commit is worse than that of the present era” [from a poem by Saeb Tabrizi].

Who builds the present era? It is we who build the present era. We are the builders of the present era. If the present era becomes bad, we should look at ourselves because it is we who build it. When we do not take firm steps, when we ignore Imam’s (r.a.) recommendations – who had sharp eyes and a wise heart full of wisdom, who understood matters clearly, who made correct decisions and who enlightened the path for us: Imam’s (r.a.) testament is in front of us and those who doubt these things should look at his testament - when we make the people drift away from these things, when we make youth drift away from these things, when we drag them towards decadence – this is while by nature, youth tend to observe modesty – and when we draw them towards immodesty and the like, it is clear that the result will be bad and the present era will be ruined.

Of course, they have fortunately not managed to do so and they will not be able to do it in the future either. Our youth are very good. If we inject decadence in the name of freedom and if we instill the idea of compromising with and surrendering to the enemy in the name of reason and a rational outlook, the present era will be ruined. So, this path should be continued in a firm manner.

The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says in Nahjul Balaghah, “The heart will become wavering after being normal and men will be misled after safety” [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 151]. Some hearts used to walk on the straight path one day. They were on the right path and they used to move forward in the correct way, but later on, they were forced to return from that path.

The Arabic word “zigh” means being overturned: “Let not our hearts be overturned” [The Holy Quran, 3: 8]. This exists in the Holy Quran. It means, “Oh God, do not let our hearts turn upside down.” It means, “God, if we understand things correctly, do not make us suffer from lack of understanding.” The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says that some people used to move forward on the correct path, but their hearts were overturned. Why are they overturned? God does not oppress anyone. It is we ourselves who become corrupted with materialistic things, who show inappropriate kindness, who become corrupted with over-ambitiousness, who associate with bad friends and who become involved in partisan games. This is how our hearts are overturned and how we turn away from that correct path and the initial resistance that we had.

“And men will be misled after safety.” One day, their hearts were healthy, but later on, they were led astray. These are vexations which should be destroyed and in the face of which we should seek refuge before God.  Nov 2, 2016

I believe that the criteria for being a revolutionary are piety, courage, insight, outspokenness and fearlessness in the face of “the censure of any censurer” [The Holy Quran, 5: 54]. These are the criteria for being a revolutionary. If we have piety and the necessary courage and outspokenness – of course, outspokenness is good only when it is necessary and in those places where tact is necessary, being outspoken is harmful – and if we can have these characteristics, we are revolutionaries.

We should have a correct understanding of the enemy. The enemy is a front. The enemy is not an individual and a specific government, rather it is a front. We should identity this front and see who is dependent on it and from where and how it moves so that it makes us confuse him with others. We should know the enemy front and enmity methods. We should know how it shows enmity.

Sometimes, the enemy enters the arena to hatch a plot with the purpose of attaining a malicious goal and we do not know exactly what that goal might be. When we take a superficial look, we see that it is a good thing and we welcome it. This is while it is pursuing its own goal. We have witnessed such cases. We have had such cases in the country. Sometimes, they have begun a task with a particular goal. We looked at the surface and we said, “Wow, this is really good. This is alright.” However, if we have insight and if we know the enemy’s goals, we will not be deceived like this. 

We should not suffer a psychological defeat in the face of the enemy either. This is one of the fundamental aspects of the issue. Psychological defeat is harmful. Anyone who is defeated inside themselves will certainly be defeated on the scene as well. The first defeat of every individual is inner defeat, one that makes us feel that we cannot, that trying is of no use, that the other side is much stronger than us, and that we cannot do anything. This is psychological defeat. If we suffer this defeat, we will certainly be defeated on the scene as well. This should not happen. We should take care not to let this happen. May 26, 2016


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