Imam Khamenei

Why have some faithful nations deviated? Imam Khamenei answers

“Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, it was Satan who caused them to fail, because of some evil they had done” [The Holy Quran, 3: 155]. This is an ayah from the Holy Quran as well. The day when the Battle of Uhud began, some individuals failed to resist. They abandoned the arena and they turned victory into defeat. In the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims had achieved victory, but the ignorance, negligence, materialism and short-sightedness of a few individuals turned that victory into defeat. The Holy Quran says that those who brought about that defeat, “It was Satan who caused them to fail because of some evil they had done.” The things that they had done to themselves had exposed them to that error. My dear ones, sins, indifference towards oneself, and failure to observe piety work like this. If we want to resist and stand up against the arrogant front and if we want to achieve the dignity, honor and power that the Islamic Republic deserves and that the Revolution has promised us, we need to take care of our personal conduct and to observe piety. This is what we need.

In two separate parts, the Holy Quran refers to those peoples who believed in God first and who suffered from negligence and ignorance when their next generations emerged. One is in Sura al-Maryam which says, “But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts. Soon, then, they will face destruction” [The Holy Quran, 19: 59]. This Ayah means that the first generation fought and believed in God, but that after them a bad posterity emerged - in Arabic, “khalf” and “khalaf” have opposite meanings, “khalf” means a bad posterity and “khalaf” means a good posterity: this ayah says that a good people were followed by a bad posterity - who first “missed prayers” and who then “followed after lusts” and as a result, “they will face destruction”. These two factors, missing prayers and following after lusts, undermine the forces that should show resistance – and this is a kind of resistance that will certainly lead to victory - in the arena of jihad and fighting. These two factors make them hollow and empty.

This is the reason why I issued many warnings about the association of the two genders with one another in universities. I have heard again that this, unfortunately, continues to exist. One of the brothers in the meeting raised this point. I too have received certain reports in this regard. Officials in charge of academic affairs should answer for this. Students are a source of hope for the country. It is students who can stand up against problems. They are both young and knowledgeable. It is they who should manage the future of the country. It is they who should be wise and well-informed so that they can reinforce the trench of resistance against the greedy, opportunists and others. They should be firm so that they can fulfil this duty. If they “follow after lusts” then they will not be able to do so.

I am not a puritanical person so much so that people think that I am saying this because of my puritanical approach. This is not the case. The issue is that from the viewpoint of Islam, the association of the two genders with each other is not a good thing. Of course, this is alright in the formal meetings. Men and women can participate in these meetings together and hold discussions. This is like an Islamic consultative majlis. It is like a negotiation and consultation assembly. However, this inflicts harm and damages hearts in those environments where there is not any limit for such associations.

This issue has also been addressed elsewhere in the Holy Quran – in Sura Al-Araf: “After them succeeded an evil generation. They inherited the Book, but they chose for themselves the vanities of this world, saying, ‘Everything will be forgiven us’” [The Holy Quran: 7: 169]. Once more, “A good people were followed by a bad posterity” is repeated in the Holy Quran. This has been mentioned in two parts and this is the second part: “They inherited the Book” but they were attracted to materialistic things: “They chose for themselves the vanities of this world, saying, ‘Everything will be forgiven us.’”

These are the main problems that we should try to eliminate and you youth can do so. I would like to advise our dear youth and our young students to attach significance and attend to matters related to personal piety, righteousness and purity. You should never forget to recite the Holy Quran on a daily basis although it might be a page or half a page. You should read the Holy Quran every day and you should preserve your relationship with it. Prayers contain extraordinary teachings as well. They strengthen your relationship with Allah the Exalted. This is the truth of the matter.

Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) stood firm. Well, he was alone in the beginning. The people joined him later on. It was later on that outstanding personalities and the masses of the people joined him. However, he stood firm from the beginning during which time he was alone. And until the end of his life, he kept repeating, “Even if everyone turns their back on me, I will continue to take this path.” God too says to His prophet that even if he is alone, he should engage in jihad. He says to him that even if he is all alone, he should go and fight. Of course, the Holy Quran says, “Oh Prophet, rouse the believers to the fight” [The Holy Quran, 8: 65]. It says to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) that he should encourage others to fight as well, but that if he is alone, he should go and fight on his own. This is because of faith. When faith is strengthened in someone, they will go and fight even if they are left alone. Under such circumstances, the problems that emerge in some corner – for example, someone makes an ironic comment and opposes your work – will no longer be considered an obstacle on your way.

You should definitely read the Holy Quran and prayers. You should attach great significance to Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah. In Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah, the fifth prayer is very important. Of course, all prayers in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah are good, but if I want to recommend one of them, I will point to the fifth and twentieth – which is known as Dua Makarim al-Akhlaq – prayers.

All of these prayers have been translated. Fortunately, good translations of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah are available today. The same is true of the twenty-first prayer. These prayers are full of teachings which strengthen your hearts and your steps and which enable you to move forward. Well, you thankfully had the blessing to benefit from this month of Ramadan as well.

Jul 2, 2016


  • Battle of Uhud
  • Islam