Imam Khamenei

Scholars and Officials should avoid worldliness and aristocracy

The following is the full text of a speech delivered on March 15, 2018, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, during a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts.


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 Muhammad, and upon his immaculate household, and may God curse all their enemies.



I would like to welcome all the honorable gentlemen and dear brothers to the meeting. I thank Mr. Jannati and Mr. Shahroudi for the reports that they've delivered. I am grateful for all efforts the members–the presiding board, the heads, and members of the commissions–have made.



In particular, I am grateful to you, on the matter of the Ideas Development Committee [The Supreme Leader had previously asked the Assembly of Experts to establish this committee], and the effort that you've made. When, in Allah's favor, this committee begins to work, its benefits will gradually become clear. The problems, difficulties and great tasks that should be carried out within this committee will become clear as well.



I ask God to show His mercy and forgiveness to the late Mr. Shahabadi (may God bestow paradise on him), and I would like to pay him respect. Among the children of the late Grand Ayatollah Shahabadi, he was the one who had a close, friendly, and warm relationship with Imam [Khomeini]. Imam behaved in a fatherly and warm manner towards a number of his children–including him. He was really an outstanding personality in terms of spirit, behavior, and loyalty towards the Revolution. I hope that Allah will raise his position, God willing.



This congress is blessed with the auspicious name of Fatima Zahra (God's greetings be upon her) as this congress has been organized on days attributed to the birth anniversary of that great soul. We consider this as a good sign. Besides, we are close to the month of Rajab; and this is certainly an entrance into one of the auspicious periods of the year. The month of Rajab is the month of praying, supplicating, and getting close to God, asking Him for help to remove any obstacles.



Honorable gentlemen, dear brothers, this assembly is of a very high sensitivity, in terms of politics, because electing the Leadership is the responsibility of this assembly. Under certain circumstances, dismissing the Leadership is one of its responsibilities as well. So, it enjoys an extraordinary political position. Besides, it is a scholarly assembly, as well, because the scholars (ulama) of religion have gathered here. This assembly is a living example of the combination of religion and politics. As mentioned earlier, religious ulama engage in a great political task–as religious scholars--too. This has been specified in the Constitution. If by Allah's favor, that committee is established and pursued, if its responsibilities are defined, and if it achieves growth, then the activities and blessings of this assembly will increase as well. What I would like to mention today is related to this scholarly and religious aspect of the Assembly of Experts. I wish to discuss certain points with the gentlemen, in the meeting, within the scope and framework of this aspect of the assembly.



As an introduction, I want to say that no one has any doubts that the Islamic Republic is engaged in a comprehensive battle: everyone agrees that the Islamic Republic is engaged in a difficult and comprehensive battle. We are fighting not only in political areas but also in cultural, economic, social, and security areas. Of course, there used to be a military war and battle against us, too, but this has stopped at the present time. Nonetheless, security, economic, and cultural wars are more difficult and we are engaged in an ongoing war in these areas. No one can deny this.



Of course, there are some individuals who have complaints about this situation. They say, "Why should we be engaged in a war with the world?" There are some people who are opposed to this. They believe that the Islamic Republic has started this war. That is why they say, "Why are we like this?" or "Why are we in this situation?"--In my opinion, this is negligence.



The Islamic Republic has not started a war, with such a magnitude, against the world; rather, it is the existence of the Islamic Republic itself–the ideals, goals, and slogans of the Islamic Republic, which are encompassed by the government of religion and the authority of a religious society–that leads to the creation and emergence of enemies and wars. 



This is the well-known war between the truth and evil which has existed throughout history: this is not a new phenomenon. Whenever the song of monotheism and justice was played, certain enemies came into being. This is not something that has happened in the present time: "Likewise did We make for every messenger an enemy—evil ones among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourse by way of deception. If Your Lord had so planned, they would not have done it. So leave them and their inventions alone. To such deceit let the hearts of those incline, who have no faith in the hereafter: let them delight in it, and let them earn from it what they may." [The Holy Quran, 6: 112-113]



The forces in the camp of evil cooperate with one another. They cooperate with one another, and they gather some supporters and advocates. Some individuals listen to and follow them: this is the case. We, in the Islamic Republic, have chanted the slogan of monotheism, of the Wilayat [leadership, authority] of Allah, the Wilayat of Allah's saints, social justice, and respect for all humans. These are the slogans that we have and that we pursue. These slogans exist, and there are certain enemies of them. We are opposed to oppression: "Be an enemy of the oppressor and helper of the oppressed" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 47]. We have this school of thought: we are enemies of the oppressor and helper of the oppressed. Naturally, this position creates enemies, enmities, and hostilities.



Well, the important point is that in this battle, victory definitely belongs to the camp of the truth; not just in the present time, but also in the past and in the future. Whenever such a battle begins, the victory belongs to the camp of the truth. Now, there are certain conditions for this victory. If the supporters of truth create, in themselves, the intention to achieve victory: if they show patience and endurance and if they fight, they will, undoubtedly, be victorious. This has been the case everywhere, in all historical eras.



It was the same for the prophets (pbut). Of course, there were certain prophets who were murdered, destroyed, and ridiculed, but according to the Quran and various narrations, there were certain prophets who succeeded and overcame obstacles.--This was because the conditions were different. Whenever the advocates of the truth showed weakness and negligence, they failed; and whenever they showed stability, steadfastness, resistance, a fighting spirit and insight, they achieved victory. This has been the case throughout history: the present time is no different.


In the present era, too, when that movement was launched by our magnanimous Imam, the people followed him and entered the arena. The elderly, youth, men, women, and people from various social backgrounds and from all cities entered the arena. They were not afraid of being killed; they showed resistance; as a result, the movement achieved victory. The same is true of wartime. Whenever we showed determination, victory was definitely achieved. The present time is the same. In the present time, if we behave adequately, victory will be certain.


There are many verses (ayahs) in the Holy Quran which remind us of this definite victory. These ayahs teach and tell us about victory: "If you aid the cause of Allah, He will aid you," [47: 7] "Allah will certainly aid those who aid his cause," [22: 40] and the ayah "And the end is best for the righteous" [7: 128] which has been repeated several times in the Quran. All of these ayahs reveal that victory is certain.



One of the most inspiring ayahs in this regard, part of which I will narrate, is about divine cooperation: "Allah is with us" [9: 40]. God is with us. It is very important for individuals to feel that God is with them, that He is by their side, that He is behind them, and that He looks after them.--This is a very important point because God is the center of power and glory. When God is with a front of individuals, that front will definitely and undoubtedly be victorious. In times of the most difficulty, Allah the Exalted has revealed this assistance to His saints. For example, when Hazrat Musa [Moses] said, "And further, they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they may slay me," Allah said: "By no means! Proceed then, both of you, with Our signs. We are with you and will listen to your call" [The Holy Quran, 26: 14-15].



He says, "I am with you. Who are you afraid of?" This has been mentioned in Sura al-Shuara. There is another ayah in which Musa and Harun say, "Our Lord, we fear lest he hastens with insolence against us, or lest he transgresses all bounds."--They were afraid of the Pharaoh's actions. And God answered: "Fear not for I am with you: I hear and see everything" [20: 45-46]. Notice how great this is: He says that He is with them, that He sees and listens, and that He will take care of them.



God also says in the holy chapter (Sura) Muhammad [God's greetings be upon him and his household]: "Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when you should be uppermost: for Allah is with you, and will never put you at loss for your good deeds" [47: 35]. The assistance that Allah, the Almighty, offers to believers, the prophets, and to supporters and companions of the prophets is something that He, frequently, mentions in the Quran. And the result was that the prophets trusted this genuine divine promise. There is a holy ayah which states: "And when the two bodies saw each other, the people of Moses said: 'We are sure to be overtaken.' Moses said: 'By no means, my Lord is with me. Soon will He guide me!'" [26: 61-62]. As soon as the shadow of the Pharaoh's army loomed large over them, and they felt that he would catch them–in front of them, there was the sea, and behind them, there was the Pharaoh's army–they said, "We are sure to be overtaken." They said that they would be ruined; at this point, Hazrat Musa, trusting that divine promise, says: "By no means, my Lord is with me. Soon will He guide me!"



Another example is about the Holy Prophet when he was in the cave of Thur: "If you help not him, it is no matter: for Allah did indeed help him when the unbelievers drove him out. He had no more than one companion. The two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, 'Have no fear, for Allah is with us'" [9: 40]. Trusting that divine promise, the Holy Prophet says, "Allah is with us." He said to his companion that he should not be unhappy or sad. So, Allah the Exalted gave this definite promise, and His saints–for example, Hazrat Musa and the Holy Prophet–believed in that promise, and they acted on it. This is a reality and a definite tradition throughout history: "No change will you find in the practice of Allah." [The Holy Quran, 33: 62]--This is one of those traditions that, without a doubt, will always exist.



Well, now we want this assistance for ourselves. How do we obtain this--This is the important part. This assistance exists, but there are certain conditions for it. It does not exist for everyone. The Quran mentions a number of conditions for obtaining this assistance. God says at the end of Sura al-Nahl: "Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good" [16: 128]. He is with the pious. Other ayahs include: "Allah is with those who patiently persevere," [2: 153] "Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere," [2: 249] "Allah is with those who restrain themselves," [9: 36] "Verily Allah is with those who believe," [8: 19] and "Verily Allah is with those who do right" [29: 69]: these ayahs have been repeated several times in the Quran.



I want to say, to you, that we understand our duties here. Both the Islamic government–government officials including the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches–and the ulama have a duty in teaching the people to have faith. They should teach the people to be pious, patient, and kind, among themselves and among believers. We should teach the people these things. The most important organizations, in this regards, are government organizations which can carry out this mission with planning. We have a great organization: the educational system. We have a great organization, namely higher education. We have a great organization called, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting [IRIB].--These are different from the exclusive organizations among us [the clergy]. The organizations that I referred to exist among the entire world; there are some organizations which are particular to us; for example, Friday prayer leadership at the minbars (pulpits). These minbars and our contact with the people are very important.



So, one task is formulating educational plans in schools, in universities, in mosques, in Friday prayer Musallahs, at promotional minbars and particularly–as I said earlier–in places whose scope of activity is wider: an example is the IRIB. This is one of the main responsibilities of the IRIB. Another example is people, who have large audiences, including this humble person, himself, the president, and other individuals whom the people listen to–well-known religious, scientific, and political personalities whom the people listen to.


These individuals should focus their most important goals on the education that I've mentioned. If this particular form of educating is practiced, then "Those who do good" and "Those who restrain themselves" will achieve. And, after that, "Allah is with us" will be a reality. In other words, divine assistance will definitely be achieved; then, there will be no cause for fear and worry.



Well, today, we are faced with a great political, financial, economic, military and security front. Almost all propaganda apparatuses of the world are speaking and working against us. The financial apparatuses which are dependent on the Zionists, the US, and the arrogant powers of the world are working against us: all of them. Nonetheless, we have thankfully stood firm. This resistance is under the shade of piety and faith that, thankfully, exists in a very large number of our people–in other words, our youth, our self-sacrificing individuals, the likes of Hojjaji and other such individuals. You should not undermine these individuals because they are extremely important: it is they who have preserved the pillars of this system and have brought us divine assistance to a great extent.


If we wish for this process to be completed, we should broaden this scope of activity. We should work on these matters. This is a promotional task. This is promotional planning. Almost all of you, gentlemen, attract the attention of the people in your cities and in certain centers. You are Friday prayer leaders, religious spokespeople, teachers, and professors–some in universities and some in Islamic seminaries. You have the opportunity to speak, to work, and to teach. You are not individuals who sit idle. You have the opportunity to work. This will be questioned by God. This is an opportunity about whose quality Allah the Exalted will ask: "And help me when you ask me questions tomorrow" [Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah]. This is one of those cases. So, this is one of the tasks.



Another task which is not any less significant, if not more significant, than promoting–I believe it is even more important–is related to our own actions, not necessarily those actions which are taken in front of the people. Our appropriate actions exert an impact. Avoiding sins, abandoning a materialistic and aristocratic lifestyle, and carrying out hard and diligent work are examples of positive actions. When we are with God, Allah the Exalted will allow our words and actions to carry some weight. And when the people look at us and do not witness any contradiction between our words and our actions, their faith will increase, and they will follow this path and movement. In my opinion, one of the reasons behind the miraculous success of our magnanimous Imam [Khomeini] was that he was a man of action, he was pious, he believed in the Day of Judgment, in a real sense of the word, and he adhered to his faith and belief in practice.

Our magnanimous Imam (may Allah the Exalted bestow paradise on him) was truly pure: this had its impact. Of course, some people may know about this purity and some may not, but it exerts an impact in any case. Therefore, our important responsibility–as government officials, as people who have responsibilities in different divisions of the system, and as religious ulama–is that with our words and our actions, we should move the people towards piety, good deeds, patience, purity and the like. If this happens, and if we consider Allah the Exalted to be with us, the result will be that we will move with courage when confronting powerful forces. Of course, in confronting a powerful entity–this is another part of piety–we should move with courage, intelligence, and competence. We should overcome the enemy in the arena of politics like so. This is one of our main and definite responsibilities.

Thankfully, there is a great generation today [in Iran]. When I say this, this is not a mere catchphrase; rather, I am stating this based on available information. A new generation and a new growth have come into being in this country: this is not particular to a specific place; it is not particular to a specific thought and orientation. In cultural, promotional, artistic, scientific and philosophical areas, a great number of young Iranians have come into existence who believe in God and this path. Despite the fact that they did not see Imam and did not experience the era of the war–which was very constructive and efficient–one of the signs that their faith has increased is they pursue the path [of God] in an insistent, powerful and enthusiastic manner.

This generation is a good one: it is a promising generation. In the present time, the enemy has cast his greedy eyes on our aging generation. They sit and make their calculations. They say that we are old, which the Leader is one way, and others are another. They view all of us like this, but they do not know that behind this aging generation, there is, thankfully, a youthful movement in the country. These youth are moving forward, making efforts, and working hard. By Allah's favor, all great and important tasks will produce results with their youthful determination and with their acumen and intelligence.

The more time passes, the more I believe that, by Allah's favor, the future of this country will be much better than its present-day condition and the Revolution will move forward. Of course, we have certain problems. I am aware of the problems that the gentlemen mention in their speeches. They have given me a report of the statements that the gentlemen have made. I agree with what the gentlemen said, and I am aware of what you mentioned about the different cities and provinces which you are in contact with. I am aware of the people's livelihood problems and the complaints that they have. However, I believe that all these problems are soluble and removable. By Allah's favor, I will speak to the people a few days from now, and I may speak more in this regard. We do not have any insoluble problem in the country.



Greetings are upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings



  • aristocracy
  • Falsehood
  • Truth
  • Worldliness