Imam Khamenei

7 ideals of Islamic revolution of Iran as stated by Imam Khamenei

Since the beginning of the Revolution, there was a mistaken belief which was that the Revolution should continue until a government is established. When the government is formed, and when organizations, laws, bureaucracy and the like are established, the Revolution should be pushed to its periphery. "When the government is established, we will no longer need the Revolution." They also defined the Revolution as tense, combative, disturbing, with illegal activities and the like: such an idea was not formulated recently; it dates back to the first day of the Revolution: this ideology is wrong.

The Revolution contains specified phases. What occurred in the year 1357 [1978] -- the beginning of the Revolution -- was the first phase of the Revolution; it signified an explosion against the bias and fraudulent Taghuti regime [Pahlavi] and the establishment of a new system on the basis of new ideals and values, with new terminology and new concepts: this was the first phase of the Revolution. Then, as we entered the second phase, the system job is to implement these ideas. The ideals and values, which I will refer to, should be implemented within our society. If these values are to be implemented, there must be a managerial system which is referred to as the Revolutionary Government. So, the phase after the establishment of the Revolutionary System is the establishment of the Revolutionary Government: this is a government whose bases and pillars embrace the Revolution, with all its existence, and pursues the Revolution in a dedicated manner.

After the establishment of the Revolutionary Government, the ideals and values which have already been introduced -- our great revolutionary dreams and aspirations -- should be attained and realized one by one through suitable regulations: conventional rules and laws and appropriate implementation of them. Then, the result will be the formation of a Revolutionary Society. A Revolutionary Society will come into being, which is the fourth phase: the Revolutionary Movement, the Revolutionary System, the Revolutionary Government and a Revolutionary Society – the fourth phase.

After the formation of the Revolutionary Society, the ground will be prepared for the establishment of the revolutionary and Islamic civilization. I used the word "revolutionary," but you can use the word "Islamic" instead of "revolutionary." In other words, you can speak about an Islamic government, an Islamic society, and an Islamic civilization: these are the phases.

So, the Revolution never comes to an end: the revolution continues, and it will never stop. There is a need for a change and development. The [Arabic] term "Sirurat" means turning something into a constant: constant development. On the path of the Revolution, there is a constant development which will gradually implement those great aspirations and lofty values and ideals. Well, what are these great ideals? I would like to mention six or seven of these great ideals. Of course, these are not the only ones.

1. One ideal is national dignity: this is one of the ideals of the Revolution, and it is very important. National dignity means having a sense of national pride which is based on realities -- the realities in the front and center of society, not matters based on illusion and erroneous notions. At some point in time, there was a sense of pride for the rule of kings, the Achaemenid Empire, and the like: these are distorted notions and illusions which are not a real source of pride. National dignity means having a sense of pride based on reality: this is very important. National dignity is one of the criteria, without which national identity can be ruined. --If this happens, the people of a country achieve nothing.

2. The second ideal is national self-confidence. I have previously spoken at length about national self-confidence. I have spoken about this in great meetings over the previous years. National self-confidence blocks the route to dependence. If national self-confidence exists, the people will not feel that need to be dependent; on the contrary, they will avoid dependency.

3. Political, economic and cultural independence is another ideal: if this is available to a people -- political, economic, and cultural independence, each of which requires detailed discussion -- they will not have to tolerate the aggression and imposition arising from bullies and gluttons around the world; thus, one aspiration is independence.

4. Freedom -- the freedom of thought, speech, and action. Of course, a dear individual raised a point about freedom which was completely valid. Freedom is one of those concepts which definitely requires the law and the existence of some framework: because freedom by nature will transgress without the law and without a framework. It will lead to transgression, decadence, and negative features, examples of which you can be witnessed in the West today. If freedom does not exist, there will not be growth. If there is no freedom of thought, expression, or action in society, then the growth of society will come to a halt. The growth -- spiritual growth -- and progress of society definitely needs these forms of freedom.

5. The administration of justice, the rejection of discrimination and class differences, are among our great aspirations as well. In the Quran, the administration of justice has been specified as the main goal of the prophets: "That man may stand forth in justice," [57: 25]. We, too, wish to follow the path of the prophets (pbut). We are taking the path of Islam and the prophets. Therefore, justice is definitely one of the most important, or perhaps it can be said to be the most important, ideals or values that we must pursue. However, justice is not administered with demagoguery: justice is a difficult thing to administer. The administration of justice is one of the most difficult tasks within the country.

6. Material and civilizational progress in the shade of science and technology is another ideal. The country should be liberated from ignorance.

7 . Another ideal is the growth of social morality. The association of people with one another should be a moral association. Mercy, charity, self-sacrifice, assistance, cooperation, and other such concepts are part of this social morality. These attributes which are related to the socialization of humans in society should continue to develop.

The preparation of the environment for spiritual growth and liberation from the bondage of lust and rage, among talented individuals, is another ideal: this is one of the most important aspirations which does not receive attention much of the time. The environment should be built in a way that talented individuals can move forward: it should develop in a way that the likes of Hajj Mirza Ali Aqa Qazi and Allamah Tabatabai, and other such personalities can be cultivated. These scholars were lofty and elite individuals who managed to liberate themselves from this material environment and went beyond that. The environment should be prepared for this. Of course, not all of us have the talent for such a thing, but there are some among us who have the talent to launch this movement, particularly while they are young.

In a well-known story, Diogenes the Cynic said to Alexander: "You are the slave of my slaves." Alexander was taking a certain path, and he came across Diogenes who did not pay any attention to him. Alexander said, "Go and see who he is." They brought him to Alexander and Alexander asked him, "Why did you not rise in my presence?" Diogenes answered, "Because there is no reason for me to do so. You are the slave of my slaves." Alexander replied, "What does this mean? Me, Alexander, am I your slave?" He answered, "Yes, lust and rage are my slaves. They are at my disposal, and you are a slave to lust and rage: a slave of my slaves." This scenario is about a person who managed to become liberated from the whips of lust and rage. Well, these are some ideals.

It is evident that ideals are not attained in a short period of time. If we want these ideals to be implemented in our society, this requires a long-term movement. What does this mean? This means that the Revolution should stay alive. When we, constantly, say that we should be and we should remain revolutionaries: this is what it means. If the Revolution achieves continuity, the implementation of these ideals will be possible. If this continuity is accompanied by awareness, intelligence, precision, and the like, the implementation of these ideas will be certain. However, if we reach the conclusion, mid-way, that the Revolution is no longer needed, or that bureaucracy and administrative work should replace it, then the ideals will not be attained.

Did we carry out the Revolution so that the other could leave and hand over the government? Did we launch the Revolution in order to seize the government? Those who used to fight, those who used to be whipped, and those who used to be captives, the only thing that they did not think of was that the Revolution would achieve victory, someday, and that they would become ministers, lawyers, leaders, and other such positions would be granted to them: this did not cross their minds. They were working and moving forward for a certain goal. The goal was not to receive positions of others' so we would continue to manage our country just like them, with the perception that we're the good guys unlike them: the bad guys. If we nurture such thoughts, we will be no better. One cannot remain good under such circumstances; so, the Revolution should have continuity.

Take note that I am giving reasons as to why one should be and remain revolutionary, and why one should move forward in a revolutionary manner. Naturally, there are certain requirements for this: there are certain requirements for moving in a revolutionary manner.

Imam Khamenei, May 28, 2018


  • Ideals of Islamic revolution
  • Iran
  • Islamic civilization
  • Islamic Revolution