Leader’s Address on Imam Ali’s Birth Anniversary

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I congratulate you on the auspicious birth anniversary of Imam Ali (a.s.). This is a day that is commemorated by all the world's freedom seekers. Even those who are not closely familiar with Imam Ali (a.s.) feel delighted on the occasion of Imam Ali's birth anniversary. We Muslims, particularly Shia Muslims, shoulder some responsibilities towards this great Imam.

The high position which Imam Ali holds before God is because of his selfless efforts and devotion. God Almighty is aware of the result of putting such great people to the test before creating them. The reward for these people is the pure nature and the unique characteristics that Imam Ali (a.s.) and other infallible Imams have been given by God. It was due to these characteristics that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) gained such a high position in the eye of the Holy Prophet.

There are some points in the traditions cited by Sunni Muslims about the affection of the Holy Prophet for Imam Ali (a.s.). These points are worthy of contemplation for all Muslims. In Sunan al-Tirmidhi, which is one of the six major hadith collections of Sunni Muslims, Aisha - who is referred to as "Mother of the Faithful - is quoted as saying: "Among all humans, no one was dearer to the Commander of the Faithful than the Holy Prophet."In another tradition, Ahmad ibn Hanbal - who was the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh - quotes Asma bint Umays as saying: "The Holy Prophet once prayed to God and said: "just as Moses asked You to appoint a vizier to help him with his duties, I also ask You to appoint Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) as my vizier and the one who helps me with my duties."

These are facts which exist in the world of Islam. The high spiritual position of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s), his close spiritual connection with God, and the spiritual powers which have been given to these holy Imams by God Almighty are beyond our understanding. But these are realities which we can observe. Everyone can see and understand these realities. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is a prominent example of Islamic teaching. He has both served as a soldier carrying out jihad and has been an Islamic ruler. Each of these periods is full of lessons for the Islamic Ummah. If we follow these lessons, we will move towards the path of righteousness and perfection. We have to gain these benefits from such occasions. We have to learn these lessons.

In a hymn to Imam Ali (a.s.), it is written that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) paid great attention to certain issues during his eventful life. Justice and unity were among the things he always paid great attention to. These are great lessons for us. Unity of the Islamic Ummah was of paramount importance to Imam Ali (a.s.). Administration of justice in the Islamic society was also important to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). The fact that he always pursued justice is evident in all cases. He went through the toughest tests of his life - the difficulties and wars which were imposed on him - as a result of administering justice. He tolerated great hardships, such as the three wars he fought during his brief rule. This is because he always sought to administer justice. He always pursued justice decisively. He also gave up his own rights for the sake of God, Islam, and unity of Muslims and never engaged in any confrontation. He always held Islam, Muslims, the Islamic Ummah, and Islamic unity in high regard.

In Nahjul Balaghah, Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "So I did not get involved until I saw a group of apostates who had turned their back on Islam and were inviting people to annihilate the religion of Muhammad." 

This means when Imam Ali (a.s.) realized that the issue of Islam and interests of the Islamic Ummah were at stake, he believed that staying silent was not right and entered the scene to create unity among Muslims. This goes back to the period after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) when the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) suffered great hardships. He even pursued justice in those times. Creating unity was the type of justice he pursued in this case. These are lessons for us.

The Islamic Ummah has suffered from injustice at all times. It has also suffered from disunity, discord, and conflicts. The world of Islam has always suffered from these bitter realities. The more you refer to the history of Islam - particularly the history of Islam in the recent centuries - the more clearly you perceive these realities. The world of Islam is in need of unity.The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) should be the focal point of unity in the world of Islam. The enemies of Islam are trying to foment discord among different Muslim groups by means of Imam Ali (a.s.) who is himself the source of unity among Muslims. These are facts that the Muslim world should be aware of.

Today, you should be vigilant against those who slander the Shia in order to foment discord among Shia and Sunni. The opposite is also true. There are also some people who provoke and hurt the emotions of their Muslim brothers. Muslims should be united. This is what the Muslim world needs today. Today, the Islamic community is in need of unity and togetherness. The Muslim world should not let its enemies take advantage of its weaknesses. These enemies are not strong by themselves. What is Israel? The Zionist enemy is nothing compared to the one and a half billion Muslims of the world. Discord in the Muslim world - the weakness which currently exists in the Muslim world - provides the weak enemy with the opportunity to find solutions for its problems and find allies from among Muslims.This is a fact which the Iranian nation should also pay attention to. We are a united nation. Islam created unity among us. Islam set our Revolution in motion and instilled in our hearts deep love for each other. It made us motivated and inspired us. This helped us turn into a strong force against the enemies of Islam, the Islamic Republic, and Muslims. The enemies are seeking to undermine this unity and cause discord among the people. They intend to pitch Muslim brothers against one another. The Iranian nation should be vigilant.

The recent election was a great movement by the Iranian nation. The 40 million voter turnout, which means 85% voter turnout, is unprecedented in the world. This was a great honor for the nation and the Revolution. It made our nation stronger. It proved that the Revolution can still bring such a large number of the people to the scene after the passage of 30 years. Therefore, the enemies started to cause discord among the people and succeeded to some extent in this regard. But our nation should foil the enemies' plots.

The policies of the Islamic Republic are well-defined. The competition between presidential candidates is a competition within the framework of the Islamic Republic. Sometimes this competition leads to an argument. Two brothers may argue with one another within a family. This has nothing to do with the enemies and outsiders. The foreigners who entered the scene in this issue at the political level and broadcasted propaganda in this regard aimed to foment discord inside the country. Some of the heads of western countries including their presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and different officials, clearly interfered in our internal affairs.

This does not concern you. Why do you interfere in something that only concerns the Iranian nation? They interfere [in our affairs] and then they say they are not interfering. What is the meaning of interference then? Is encouraging vandalism not interference? Is describing the Iranian people as rioters not interference? Is it not an insult? There were two groups each of which voted for a particular candidate. There is a majority and a minority. There are laws. The people whose candidate did not win enough number of votes would naturally feel depressed and angry. But that does not mean vandalism. These people are not rioters. Rioters are a limited number of people. Rioters are the people who are using the budget allocated by some western governments to encouraging vandalism in Iran. The American and European media - which are mainly dominated by the Zionists and are the sworn enemies of the Iranian nation, Islam, and the Islamic Republic - are pretending that part of the Iranian people are rioters.

We are warning them. The Iranian nation is warning the heads of some countries who use an internal issue of our country against our nation: Be careful because the Iranian nation will respond.

First of all, all people, the heads of arrogant governments, and the interferers who meddle in the Islamic Republic's affairs must know that although the Iranian people may have some disagreements, they will be unified when it comes to dealing with you enemies. They will unite into a strong fist against you.

You should not think that when you support a particular political movement, it will be attracted towards you. That is a dream. We have thirty years of experience. Our nation has been recording your enmity in its memory for thirty years. The Iranian nation understands what you are doing. They mention the names of some individuals to suggest that they support them. They are lying. They do not support anyone. Their goal is to foment discord. Their goal is to create suspicion among the Iranian people and elites. They are lying.

Deep in their spiteful hearts, they wish this glorious and independent government, which has stood up to their bullying, would be annihilated. That is their wish. They do not support anyone against anyone else. From their point of view, all those who are committed to this government, the Constitution, and the ideals of the Iranian nation are enemies. They do not want the Islamic Republic. They want to re-establish a submissive puppet government in this country, like they did in the past. That is what they are seeking. That is just wishful thinking.

The Islamic Republic's thirty-year resistance has not awakened them to the reality. The blows that their bullying and belligerent leaders have received from the Iranian nation have not awakened them. They have not come to their senses. They have again fixed their covetous eyes on our country and our nation. They are making a mistake, and they will definitely suffer from the consequences of this mistake.

We will assess the hostile statements and behaviors of these governments. We will register them in their record. They must know this. Undoubtedly, these behaviors will have a negative impact on the future relations and interaction between the Islamic Republic and these interventionist governments. They must understand this. The Iranian nation will not tolerate bullying. The Iranian nation is a powerful nation. The Islamic Republic is a firmly established government. Even if one hundred officials of the Islamic Republic are at odds, they will all be unanimous and unified when it comes to opposing the enemy and preserving the independence of this country. The enemies must know this. They should not think that they can create a rift in the Iranian nation.

Unfortunately, these destructive propaganda machines, which are hostile to the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation, have followers inside our country. Of course this is nothing new: It dates back to the Sacred Defense Era. These people only care about themselves and their interests. They use people only to further their interests. That was how they used Mohammad Reza Shah and Saddam. When they no longer need the people they use, they simply crumble them up like a dirty tissue and throw them away. Along the same lines, they did not support Mohammad Reza Shah at the time of adversity. They did not support Saddam when he was disgraced and miserable. Nobody must pin their hopes on them.

Our people and elites are vigilant. Unfortunately, there are some people who pin their hopes on these people and are deceived by them. After they are deceived, they send back false signals to the people who deceived them. As a result, they themselves are deceived by these false signals. Our nation is vigilant, and it must stay vigilant.

Today we need vigilance more than anything else. We need to distinguish between our friends and enemies. You must beware of confusing friends with enemies. You must beware of treating enemies and friends in the same way. All political parties must pay attention to this. That is my advice for the Iranian nation.
The Islamic Republic will naturally crack down on those who undermine public security. That is the duty of the government. The Islamic Republic will not let some people be the object of the enemies' deception and plots, ruin the public's life, undermine public peace, and threaten the youth. The children of this nation are honorable. They are all honorable. The Islamic Republic will not let them do these things.

Furthermore, all people must take care not to confuse enemies with friends. We must not mistake a friend for an enemy. Similarly, we must not mistake a mortal, sworn enemy for a friend and listen to that enemy.

The seditious upheaval [fitna] of the enemy had been designed in the hope that it would enable them to fish in troubled waters. Thankfully, this fitna is over now. Any seditious upheaval will be annihilated when it is faced with a vigilant nation. And the dust will settle. That is the way of the world.

The incidental problems which were created by a group of the enemies or unaware people will disappear. But the essence of the matter will remain. The essence of the matter was the participation of about 40 million Iranians in an impressive election. That is the main point. Through their presence in the election, 40 million people showed their trust in the Islamic Republic and expressed their hope for the future after the passage of 30 years since the Revolution. That will go down in history. The essence of the matter is that a president was elected with more than 24 million votes. The incidental happenings, the adornments, and the actions and statements that delight the enemies will be over. But the essence of the matter will remain. "Thus does Allah compare truth and falsehood. Then as for the scum, it passes away as a worthless thing; and as for that which does good to men, it tarries in the earth." [The Holy Quran, 13: 17]

Of course our government officials and the president-elect must appreciate this public presence. Government officials should express their gratitude for this public acceptance by serving the people in a comprehensive manner to solve their problems. They should express their gratitude by making efforts to push the country forward and preserve the national unity of the great Iranian nation. These are the realities. You Iranian people have accomplished a great achievement at this point in time. You started a great movement. Allah the Exalted will bless this movement, and it will continue.

The government officials' services are the token of their gratitude. Preserving unity, vigilance, brotherhood, and compassion are the token of the public's gratitude. The enemy does not want this, and you must try to do what enrages the enemy and satisfies the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) - namely, unity, kindness, cooperation, dynamism, and the Iranian nation's revolutionary movement.

I hope you will all benefit from the prayers of the Imam of the Age. God willing, the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam and martyrs will be pleased with all of us.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings