11 statements by Imam Khamenei about martyrdom

1. Divine satisfaction and paradise are the gifts offered to those who endeavor for the cause of God

"One’s endeavors in the way of God cannot be rewarded and compensated with anything worldly. Allah the Exalted says, “Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their possessions; for theirs (in return) is the Heavens (Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain” [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. What is offered to you in return for jihad in the way of God and what Allah the Exalted grants in return for laying down your life and offering your possessions is paradise and divine satisfaction. What we grant— including our verbal and non-verbal gratitude, and the medals of honor, orders and epaulets that we grant— are things which are noteworthy on the basis of worldly calculations, but on the basis of spiritual and divine calculations, they are not noteworthy.

Mar 11, 2019

2. The martyrs receive the benefits of endeavoring immediately from God

On the issue of martyrdom, what is important is that one becomes ready to sacrifice his life on the path to God. All our self-sacrificing soldiers who were prepared to lay down their lives enjoyed this virtue, but sometimes, Allah the Exalted particularly favors some individuals by rewarding them– with martyrdom – in cash." So, the value of such individuals increases several times because they receive the rewards of such jihad in cash: "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods. For theirs in return is the garden of Paradise. They fight for His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an… [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]." In other words, Allah the Exalted accepted the commodity of martyrs – their lives and their persons – and has rewarded them directly with Paradise in exchange. --This is the best deal and the best profit.


Our life is a resource which will be lost, in any case, whether we want it or not. There is no person who can preserve this life which is their most valuable resource. It exists for a while, and then it will be taken from us. This outcome happens in various ways: a person gets into an accident, for example, in the desert or on the streets, and they die like so. Another person dies of some disease, but another person bargains with God. They trade this perishable life with God. Before the Revolution, I used to frequently add that martyrdom is a merchant-style of death. It is a calculated death. A person who is martyred on the path of God is actually making the best kind of calculation. --This is because our life is not something eternal.


According to a common saying in Farsi, "Spilt oil should be donated to an Imamzadeh [an Imam's child] as an offering." Well, our lives are like spilled oil because they cannot be preserved. If one offers this to an Imamzadeh (as), this is a valuable and clever act. Our martyrs had the intelligence to trade this perishable life with Allah the Exalted. Allah the Exalted speaks to them in this tone: "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons." Dear God, who are we that you want to purchase our lives? This life belongs to you: it is yours, and we have no power over it.


Notice that Allah the Exalted places a very high value on mujahids who struggle on the path of God: "…Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods. For theirs in return is the garden of Paradise. They fight in His cause, and slay and are slain [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]." --This is what sacrifice is. Allah the Exalted has chosen this path for our martyrs: we should attach great value to this.

Feb 5, 2018


3. Paradise is the highest price for dealing life for the cause of God

Martyrdom means making a deal with God: a mutual and anxiety-free deal with Allah the Exalted. And the product and its price are clear. The product is one's life. One's life is the main resource for every individual in this material world. This is the product which you offer to God in your deal with Him. What do you receive in return? In return, you receive eternal bliss and eternal life in a world of the best divine blessings.

Well, the product that you offer in martyrdom is not a permanent product. It is like the lumps of ice that an ice seller presents in summer days. He says, "People, come and buy this product from me. Otherwise, it will be ruined and wasted." One's life is like this. Nowadays, people have ice at home, but in the past, we used to buy it from the market. The ice seller would put it in gunnysacks and the like so that it could be preserved and sold. What would happen if they did not buy it? What would happen if there was no customer for his ice? 

It would melt and it would be wasted[...]The life that you and I have is like ice. It is wasting away bit by bit. Is it not like this? It is running out bit by bit. Every day that passes, we are getting closer and closer to the end.[...]Now, for the product that will run out whether you sell or not sell, there is a customer who is willing to pay the highest price. What is that highest price? Paradise. 

Jun 18, 2017

4. Those who endeavor in the path of God hit many blows to the enemies before they are martyred

Our dear Qaari [Quranic reciter], who has a good voice, recited this ayah in the meeting: "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods for theirs in return is the garden of paradise". They buy this product from you in return for paradise: "They fight in His cause, and slay and are slain" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111].

This means that when you fight in the way of God, it is not the case that you offer your life to the enemy and say, "Kill me." This is not the case. You hurt him as well. Our border guards who are martyred in border areas have delivered many blows to the enemy. They have prevented him from infiltrating, from hatching his plots and from implementing his corrupt measures. Before being martyred, our youth who are martyred in such and such a foreign country trying to stand up against DAESH and protect the Imams' (a.s.) shrines deliver a hundred blows to them. Before being martyred, they prevent them from advancing, they frustrate their goals and they create a disastrous situation for them: They "slay and are slain." They both kill and are killed: "A promise binding on Him in truth" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. This is a divine promise. God promises this to you. When He says that He buys this product in return for paradise, paradise means eternal bliss, one that does not melt every moment like ice. You live continuously there and you keep indulging in pleasure forever.

In return for this, they buy your perishable life. This is God's promise.

Jun 18, 2017

5. Divine promise of paradise is certain for those who endeavor for the cause of God

This is God's promise. This is a true promise that God has given you. This is not particular to your religion. God has given this promise in His former heavenly books as well: "A promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat [Torah] and the Injil [Gospel] and the Quran" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. Martyrdom is this. Later on, He says, "And who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah?" Who is more faithful to his promise than God? This promise will be fulfilled. So, martyrdom is such a concept.

When you look at it, you see that it has a bitter appearance. One's father, mother, spouse, children, brother and sister bereave the loss of their dear ones and they mourn. This is how it looks on the face of it. But what is its reality? In reality, this is selling a perishable, destructible and unsustainable product at an exorbitant price. In the past, whenever I spoke to my friends and whenever I delivered a speech, I said that martyrdom is businessman-like death. There is cleverness in it. Those who are martyred receive the most and the best blessings from Allah the Exalted. Martyrdom is this.  

Jun 18, 2017

6. Martyrs can see the signs of God’s mercy before they leave this world

As I said, the issue of martyrs should be taken very seriously. We should attach the same values towards martyrs that Allah the Exalted did. He said, “They fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran” [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. When those who engage in jihad in the way of God and who risk their lives kill enemies and when they themselves are killed, these are both valuable. Allah the Exalted has given them a divine promise of mercy.

There are narrations which say that those who lose their life on this path witness the signs of divine mercy even before they completely leave this world. These narrations say that as soon as a martyr falls from his horse – at that time, they used to fight on horses – he receives the divine promise before reaching the ground. In other words, their eyes open to the truth even in this world. They tangibly understand and touch the divine mercy and blessing. This is the value of martyrs.

If it had not been for these martyrdoms and self-sacrifices, the Islamic Republic would not have survived and this sapling would have been attacked by hard storms. The reason why this system prevailed, why this sapling was not destroyed and why it thankfully turned into a strong tree was those sacrifices, those altruistic acts, those martyrdom aspirations and entrances into the arena. This should be preserved. The enemy should be identified. His deceptions and tricks should be identified as well.

Dec 5, 2016

7. Promising the best to those who dealt their life with God

Today when disabled war veterans are publicly honored in society, it means we have brought out the genuine examples of self-sacrifice. This is very important. Therefore, we need to honor them. The Islamic Republic needs this. Apart from these things, honoring disabled war veterans is a kind of gratitude to these selfless people and their families. Therefore, arranging this ceremony was a very good idea. By Allah's favor, this will be repeated every year and thinking and talented people will sit down together and think about ways perfecting this ceremony.

Of course we cannot express our gratitude to you who have laid down your lives, health and wellbeing for the sake of the Revolution and Islam. It is really a futile attempt for people like me to thank you. You made a deal with God and we should really tell you, "Rejoice then in the bargain which you have made." [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]

Sep 28, 2011

8. The martyrs and veterans showed the belief in dealing with God in practice

The day when Shahid Heidarian went to Kurdistan with a limited number of other people in order to fight the enemy, the Iranian nation was completely alone. All western camps had deployed their forces against us. All global facilities had been deployed against us. A few youths from Qom and other cities and villages of the country showed their faith in the divine covenant through their actions. "Surely Allah has bought of the believers their lives and their property for this, that they shall have the garden. They fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain. [It is] a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran." [The Holy Quran, 9: 111] The divine promise is one that will undoubtedly be honored. Our martyrs are at the forefront. Our war veterans are at the forefront. The soldiers who were disabled in the war led the way. They were the pioneers of this righteous camp. They went to the battlefields and showed their faith in martyrdom and the divine covenant in the arena of action.

Oct 20, 2010

9. The value of a human’s life is paradise

This province [Semnan] enjoys many outstanding martyrs. The pictures of a number of them have been put up here. Shahid Shahcheraghi, Shahid Sayyid Kazem Musavi - who is one of the martyrs of the 7th of Tir - Shahid Sayyid Kazem Kazemi, Shahid Hassan Shokatpoor, Shahid Mahmud Akhlaghi, Shahid Hemati, the commander of the Peikan Frigate, Shahid Sayyid Ahmad Nabavi, Shahid Hassan Arab Ameri, Shahid Morteza Shadlu and many other martyrs belong to this province. Among the children of these outstanding martyrs, we can refer to Mr. Akhtari's children and Mr. Nasiri's children. They are very valuable and significant people. Your province is a glorious province in this regard. You should appreciate the value of this.

The dear youth should know that these are the things that establish the identity of a nation and a people. It is these things that establish the identity of a nation. If you build these things today, you will have a good future. Those people who made certain achievements and those nations which achieved certain glories achieved them in this way. Of course, the majority the people of those nations were not at all hopeful about their personal destiny in the afterlife. And many of them were not hopeful about the future. But you are hopeful. "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods. For theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise)" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. Allah the Exalted traded them a paradise for their lives. "Do not exchange your lives for anything except paradise" [Nahjul Balaghah, saying 456]. Never exchange your valuable lives for anything other than paradise. Your lives are as valuable as paradise. 

Nov 9, 2006

10. Martyrdom is a divine gift, because it makes the inevitable death into pride

Martyrdom is a divine blessing, a divine gift. This gift is not easy to achieve. Why is martyrdom a gift from God? Because it is a kind of death - and death is inevitable - that brings glory on human beings in this world and in the next. Is this not a gift? Is it possible for anybody to escape death forever? When a person reaches the point of death, does it matter whether he has lived 90 years or 20 years? What is the biggest concern of any human being as far as death is concerned? Is it not the concern that they do not know when it will happen and what will happen afterwards? Try to put all of these things together. A human being faced with inevitable death and this unknown and disturbing future decides to turn his inevitable death into glory, into something that stands out in this world and in the hereafter, into something that will bring honor for him before God and angels, into a source of peace and spiritual serenity. "They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve" [The Holy Quran, 3: 170]. For such people, there is no reason to fear or grieve. Is this not a divine gift? Is it not a divine blessing to lay down one's life for God? After all, death is inevitable and there is no way to escape it. Life will come to an end anyway and one might as well sell one's life to God and exchange it for paradise and eternal happiness. "Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden. They fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. This is a divine promise. God buys your life, which will inevitably come to an end, and He gives you paradise in return. This is not particular to Muslims only: the promise existed in the religions that were revealed before Islam. "A promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran" [The Holy Quran, 9: 111]. Allah the Exalted has promised the same thing in the Torah, the Gospel and the Holy Quran. Therefore, martyrdom is a divine gift.

May 2, 2005


11. Martyrs have sold their lives to God, and have received the paradise and divine satisfaction in exchange

Death is for everyone. If we die for the cause of God, we have not even lost anything in terms of material and mundane aspects. Dying is the inevitable fate of each of us. This is a property that we will eventually give away, but the property of life will be lost in two ways: either to lose it or to sell it. which one is better? Those who are not killed for the cause of Allah have lost their lives and have gained nothing in exchange. And those who give this property for the cause of Allah and consume their lives in His path, are those who have sold it, and they have received something in exchange: "God has purchased the souls and property of the believers in exchange for Paradise." {Quran; 9:111}
The martyr has sold his soul and, in exchange for it, has received paradise and divine satisfaction, which is the highest achievement. View martyrdom for the cause of God from this perspective. The martyrdom is the death of clever and alert people who do not give their life for free, without taking something in exchange. August 16, 1989


  • Islam
  • Martyrdom
  • Paradise


  • 2019-03-16 14:04
    Martyrdom is the best reward a Human can have in this world.