Imam Khamenei

Books are important like food is

Imam Khamenei continuously emphasizes that all individuals in society should read books. He considers reading to be as necessary for the soul as food is for the body. If this is instilled in society, it can be one of the best means for human beings to reach perfection. is publishing an excerpt of Imam Khamenei's statements that he has made in this regard.

The Almighty God first addressed the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) by saying, “Read!”

A book is a door to the vast world of knowledge and wisdom, and a good book is one of the best means for human edification. All of mankind’s achievements throughout the history of the world have been written and are being written as much as is possible. Included in this remarkable collection are the divine teachings, the prophets’ teachings to mankind and knowledge without which human beings cannot achieve salvation. A person who is disconnected from the beautiful, inspiring world of books is surely deprived of the most important human achievements as well as most of the divine and human teachings. For a nation, it is a great loss if its people are alienated from books. And for an individual, it is a great success to feel close to books and always be using them to learn new things. With this in mind, we can clearly understand the value and deep, hidden significance of the historical fact that the first announcement from the Almighty God to the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) was to say, “Read!” In the first chapter that was revealed to the esteemed Prophet, the word “pen” is mentioned in appreciation, “Read and our Lord is most Honorable, Who taught (to write) with the pen, taught man what he knew not.” [Qur’an 96: 3-4]. [Dec. 25, 1993]


I read through an eight volume set of books on the bus

I recommend for those who go to work on a daily basis--office employees, laborers, shop keepers, and farmers—to spend a portion of their time, even if just for half an hour, on reading when they get home. So many books can be read over a span of time during half-hour intervals! I have read through twenty volume book collections during these ten-minute, twenty-minute, quarter breaks; overall, I've probably read hundreds of books during these short intervals, and I know many people who have done the same. For instance, I read through an eight-volume set of books written by an Arab author. this was many years ago while I frequently travelled to Tehran, spending long hours on the bus. Well, I read almost all of the eight volumes, on those bus rides, which were about the history of literature, sciences, and Islamic teachings. [May 11, 1993]

Encouraging women to read books is a fundamental task

One of the most important things is to promote reading among women. Unfortunately, our women are not very fond of reading. Books provide knowledge, which has been discovered by human beings, and prepare us to understand better, think better, have more ingenuity and help so that one can be placed in a better and more appropriate position. [December 25, 1991]


Should we read easy books or hard books?

Certain people are used to reading books, but books that do not require thinking. Nothing is wrong with this. After all, this is a kind of reading. I would not deny this. But it is better to combine recreational reading - like reading novels, autobiographies and easy historical books - with reading serious books, books that require thinking and careful studying. It is necessary to promote reading such books. We should make our minds used to careful thinking and reflection. Our minds should be actively engaged when reading a book. This requires guidance. [Jul 20, 2011]


Books are food for the soul

Good books should be published. A book is food, food for the soul. It is a drink for the soul; and if it is nutritious, it strengthens the soul. I recommend you drink it, but I do not specify the type of drink. We should be vigilant in preventing toxic, dangerous, spoiled, decayed, detrimental drinks with attractive colors being distributed among people without them knowing it. In the same way that responsible entities and organizations counter those who sell spoiled food to people, if a foul book is sold to people, it should be countered. Meanwhile, I do not believe that we should ban every book that does not match someone’s particular taste and seems detrimental. However, some books and texts are obviously bad for people. That is, they promote corruption, immorality and such things that are detrimental for people. These should be banned. But more importantly, we should try to publish good books. [May 11, 1993]

Make reading books a habit for our children from an early age

Reading is very important. Of course, I strongly believe in works of art and audiovisual creations, television and cinema, and the like. But books have a special role and place. Nothing can replace books, and reading must be promoted.
Some people do not consider books to be essential in life at all. How is it that if you are sitting somewhere and next-door there is an event going on, you can't resist the temptation to go and see what is going on in that room. We are surrounded by new events. There is so much information and so much knowledge in different fields. So why are we not eager to look and see what is going on?! If we want to know what is going on in the world of knowledge, we can read books. If people read books, they will have access to a part of the knowledge that exists in the world and will become informed about the news throughout the world - the news of what has been and even of what will be in various fields. Therefore, we should make reading a habit. Moreover, we should get our children used to reading books from childhood. For example, when they want to go to sleep, they can read a book. Or we can make sure they spend part of their leisure time reading. During school holidays, students should read. That is, they should choose some books, read them and finish them. People who work during the day, such as office workers, laborers, retailers or farmers, should spend part of their time after work, even half an hour, reading books. [May 11, 1993]


It's an honor to have so many Iranian, female authors

The fact that there are so many knowledgeable, educated, broad-minded and outstanding women - in intellectual and practical areas - in our society is really one of the greatest glories of the Islamic Republic. This is a very great blessing and a source of honor.
Building such a large number of lofty, outstanding and broad-minded individuals is one of the greatest glories of the Islamic Republic. Today, when we take a look, we see that the name of our women have been written on many books including scientific, research-based, historical, literature, political and artistic books. The writings of our women - whether articles or books - are among the best writings in the Islamic Republic today. This is really a source of honor and it is unprecedented in our history.[Apr 19, 2014]



  • Books
  • Reading
  • Soul
  • Women


  • 2020-10-26 06:31
    Like it
  • 2020-11-07 12:54
    Bismillah HirRahman Nirrahim. I'm a teacher educator and my specializations are ECED & Primary Education, & Literacy and Language Development. I'm a strong believer and a promoter of putting READING FIRST in all my courses because I understand its importance. Hence, I 100% endorse the recommendations and guidelines of His Excellency Imam Khamenei ra. He is my Hero and my ideal and I follow his advice as much as possible, and the soul reason for joining this group. My sincere wish to Allah swt ba wasilae Ahlaibait e Athaar is to meet his Excellency face to face before I die. May the Almighty bless him with the best of health, peace, happiness and a longer life than Hazrath Khizr a.s. Long live His Excellency, The people of Iran. Iran Zinda o Paindabaad!