In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I congratulate [you on the occasion of] this day of the auspicious festivity [which marks the birthday of Hadhrat Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH)], and thank those dear brethren, who performed [their] program here and I seriously took advantage of and enjoyed it. This song, which was sung at the end of the program, is a good ending for this program every year, and Mr. Sazegar writes this song every year; this year it was also performed very well; [it contained] good themes, [and] good concepts [which include a useful] lesson, [are] didactic and [contain] notices [to all of us].
During this meeting in which you dear brethren are present – of course, esteemed sisters are also present – I am mostly addressing you brethren, who have been honored with the honor of eulogizing and serving as cantors for Seyyed osh-Shohada [Imam Hossein] (PBUH) and the Household [of Prophet Mohammad (Peach Be Upon Them)]. Thank God, the quantity of eulogizers – especially the young ones – in this field is very optimal and numerous and good, [and] the quality [of their eulogies] is also very good indeed in some places. This issue of eulogy is a phenomenon in our country; [because] the like of this we do not have in any other place. Of course, those characteristics of the Shia society and those particular things that do not exist in other Islamic and non-Islamic societies are aplenty. For example, the mourning ceremony in essence, or reading elegy to describe the suffering of the Household [of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)], which is usually accompanied with sermon and words of advice and [explaining religious] knowledge and issues of the day, and various expressions and anything that is exigent for any time are all among characteristics of Shia [faith] and have continued since the time of [Infallible Shia] Imams (Peace Be Upon Them) up to the present time. [Such things] cannot be found in other places and their void is felt. The void [of such characteristics] is felt in other places and [they] try to fill it one way or another, but they cannot.
However, this phenomenon of eulogizing and writing poems on eulogy and suffering and elegy and dirge and the likes of these is also one of the characteristics [of the Shia society]; this [phenomenon] is also not present in other places and does not exist in this form; [even where it exists] it is not so common and so widespread – both in terms of quantity, and in terms of vastness of meaning and concepts and the likes of these. [Therefore,] this phenomenon deserves [to be studied through] a scientific work; I mean, there is really room for our students, our scholars, [and] our researchers to sit down and think about this phenomenon, [and] work on it; both interpret and analyze [it], and show us and teach us the scientific ways of spreading this [phenomenon]. In fact, we have underestimated this phenomenon; [but] this is a very important phenomenon. Well, thank God, I have had this achievement [and] this opportunity that during these past thirty-odd years, like today, hold this meeting with eulogizer brethren every year. Perhaps, among you people, the number of those whose lifetime years are less than the duration of this meeting, is not few. This meeting has been held for thirty-odd years. Therefore, it is a good opportunity to talk a bit about this phenomenon.
As for Hadhrat Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) – [I say this] not just as one of those regular and usual remarks that one may say – [but] we are really and fairly speaking incapable and less than worthy to want to talk about that grandiose status [that she holds]; [when it comes to talking about] the light-filled truth of that honorable being and the likes of her among the Infallible Imams, our language, our expression, [and] our understanding falls short of being able to talk in this regard. “God has created you as beams of light and positioned you around His [divine] throne.” This is the issue of the lights of Infallibles (Peace Be Upon Them); now, what are we going to say [about this]? However, yes, there is a lot to say about the lifestyle of these honorable figures and their behaviors and their being role models as a human being. Many things have been said [in this regard]; [and] some of you, brethren, pointed out this in your poems today. [However,] there is [still] a lot of room to talk [about this]. Let me say a few words in this regard.
With regard to Hadhrat Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH), we must look at her from this second viewpoint, that is, being a role model and an example [for the entire humanity]. In the Quran, the Almighty God has talked about two women as role models for the faithful and [has mentioned] two women [as] examples for heathens – “and God brought the wife of Pharaoh as an example for those who believe,” and after one verse [it adds]: “and Maryam, the daughter of Imran – [and in this way, God] has brought examples and mentioned two role models for the faithful – not just for the faithful women, [but] for [both] men and women. Through this viewpoint, we can look at these honorable figures as role models and learn lessons from them. Well, Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) is [also known as] Seddiqeh Kobra [the Great Teller of Truth] among truthful men and truthful women; [the use of the word] kobra [which means “the greatest” in Arabic] shows that this honorable lady is the greatest teller of truth.
Now, we want to learn lessons from her; both women [must] learn a lesson, and men [must] learn a lesson; everybody – both the scholar and commoner – [must] learn a lesson. Let us see what words, including words of praise, the Infallible Imams have used about this honorable lady. In the prayer [that is special to time] of [paying] pilgrimage to Imam Reza (PBUH), when it is the turn of Hadhrat Zahra (PBUH) for salutation – in that prayer, which is full of salutations from beginning to the end – [it says:] “O God! Salute Fatemeh, the daughter of your Prophet;” this is one characteristic. Well, this characteristic is very important; of course [this characteristic] cannot be reproduced because nobody else can be Prophet’s daughter; however, being related to the Prophet as his daughter is an indicator of the lofty status [of Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH)]. [Further in the prayer it says:] “and the wife of your Selected One;” this is the second [characteristic of Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH)]. Of course, this [characteristic] cannot be copied either because nobody else can be the wife of God’s Selected One; but it shows the lofty position, the lofty status and grandeur of this honorable lady. [Then it says:] “and the mother of two grandsons [of the Prophet] al-Hassan and al-Hossein, who are Masters of the Youth of the Heaven;” the applied aspect of this [characteristic] is more than the previous two characteristics; [its] applied aspect [is related to] upbringing of two grandsons. [These are] the two grandsons [of the Prophet] who are “Masters of the Youth of the Heaven,” [and] whose mother is this honorable lady; it has been the purified lap of this mother (this purified mother), which has been able to raise them. This is the thing, which can be of importance to us as a model and an example.
Then [the prayer mentions characteristics of Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH) all of which are applicable [to our own life]; it uses three different versions of the word “purification,” which have [delicate] differences of meaning. Of course, all three refer to purification and cleanliness: purification of [human] soul, purification of heart, purification of mind, purification of one’s lap (purification in of the soul), [and] purification of the entire [human] life. Well, this is applicable, [and] this is a lesson for us; we must try to make ourselves clean, [and] we must purify ourselves; without purity within [human soul], you cannot achieve lofty positions; [and] you cannot enter the sanctuary of the guardianship of these honorable ones. The purity of the [human] soul is needed [to do this]. Purity of soul [can only be achieved] through piety, through continence, [and] through observation; constant observation and constant monitoring of oneself creates purity. Well, of course, humans are prone to errors and it is possible that darkness may overcome us, but God has also shown us and taught us the way to erasing those dark spots: penitence [and] asking for forgiveness. Let’s ask for forgiveness; asking for forgiveness means to apologize [to God for our sins]; when we say “I seek God’s forgiveness,” it means “God, I apologize, forgive me.” Let’s apologize to the Almighty God truly and from the bottom of the heart; this would be asking for forgiveness, [and] this erases that darkness and that [dark] spot. Well, [other characteristics enumerated in the prayer for Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH)] include piety, [as well as] purity of soul and heart; these are [prominent] characteristics of [Hadhrat] Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH). We must take these [characteristics] into account as model, as example, and try to get close to them.
Well, now you, as eulogizers, when you want to talk about Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH), you must include these [points] in your remarks, in your poem, [and] in your eulogy. Yes, when spiritual positions of [Shia] Imams (Peace Be Upon Them) and [those of] Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) are talked about, the heart of the audience is illuminated, [because] when you sing [songs] about spiritual positions, the human heart is illuminated, [and] they experience a state of attention [to spiritual values] and experience a state of humbleness, [and] this is very good [and] these [experiences] are reserved and necessary in their own place, but are [by no means] adequate. Now that attention is gained, [and] now that your heart is illuminated, we must learn lessons; these applied phrases contain lesson(s); I mean, effort must be made at every podium – both in (the period of) Fatemiyeh [when martyrdom of Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH) is mourned] and in Ashura [martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hossein (PBUH)], and at other times – that lesson from Imams (Peace Be Upon Them), [including] lesson about becoming a [real] human, lesson about perfection, [and] lesson about getting close to God be included. We must learn lesson, [we] must learn. The mere talk is not enough. Of course, compassion is effective, but it is not enough, [because accepting] the guardianship [of the Infallible Imams] is [also] necessary. [Accepting] the guardianship means to get close to, to follow suit with, and to resort to these [honorable ones]; [it means] that one should tread the same path that they have trodden; this is [totally] necessary.
This is one point, which in my opinion must be taken into account in the profession of eulogy – especially by speakers, that is, poets who write poems [for eulogy] – [because] sometimes one sees virtues are mentioned [for Imams], which has not been mentioned in any tradition and in any sentences attributed to the Infallible [Imams, and in fact] are no virtue [at all]. [For example, one eulogizer] said: “He who compared your face with the Moon out of mistake,” in fact reduced your value; [we must note that] likening [people] to the Moon and to the Sun are not things that would create any value for the one who has been likened to them, let alone the likes of these honorable ones whose spiritual positions, [and] whose divine positions are so lofty that stagger [even] those endowed with a spiritual vision, let alone us, who do not have that vision to understand [their positions]. Sometimes general remarks are made of which nothing [clear] is understood and do not benefit the audience. Therefore, my first sentence [of advice] to you, dear brethren, is that when eulogizing these honorable ones – whether Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH), or [other] Guiding Imams (Peace Be Upon Them) – make sure to take advantage of applied issues that exist in their life.
Another point, which is fortunately common in the community of eulogizers to a large extent today, is attention to current issues, well you heard today [explanations] about [issues] in different fields in relation to [forces] defending the holy shrines [in Syria] and [other] current issues of the day; these are very important issues, [and] these are basic issues; we must not imagine that these [issues] lie outside the realm of our religious faith. Well, you see the Honorable Prophet [of Islam] who is the Master of the People of the World and the Almighty God has created no creature superior to this honorable one, and he is the proclaimer of this very religion and this very Islam, to which we have a claim today, when it came to current political issues of his country – the country that existed at that time and was a small country – how much effort this honorable one made, [and] what troubles he took. The Honorable Prophet did not just teach people the rules of [daily] prayers and fasting and attention [to spiritual values] and worship and nocturnal prayers; no, he gathered people at this very mosque, invited them to [engage in] Jihad, invited them to unity, [and] invited them to be vigilant in the face of the enemy; these very issues that are [still] important to me and you today. Current issues are not issues that could be [easily] ignored.
See, there is a system in this world: the arrogant system, the bullying system, [and] the oppression system; of course, these systems have been there since old times, but they have been modernized today, [and] have been equipped with new equipment. Dominant powers bully nations; [and this] bullying knows no limit and degree. If [other nations] have assets, they take it from them; if they have competent manpower, they rob them (from those nations); if there is a talent among those [nations], which threatens them and is a rival for them, they nip that talent [in the bud]; there are all kinds and sorts of bullying. Today, this bullying exists in the world; the international global system, which they call it the global community, is the same as the bullying system; otherwise, the meaning of the global community is not governments and nations of the world, [because] governments and nations of the world abhor these few dominant world powers, which call themselves the global community. The global community means this: [a group of] people the basis of whose work is bullying all nations and all countries and all these [people]. And we, who live in the Islamic Republic, have seen examples of it one way before the establishment of the Islamic Republic and under the tyrannical regime [of the former Shah], and have [also] seen examples of it another way after establishment of the Islamic Republic. Today, there is a system like this in the world.
This system is facing a lot of disagreement; many nations are discontent [with this system], but nations cannot do anything; nobody hears the voice of nations; [because] they neither possess media in an effective form, nor [their voice] counts for anything; now, suppose, for example, ten thousand people come together through an electronic unit, for example, [through] electronic media and the likes of these, and say something, or come together and pour into the streets; so what? I the case of America’s invasion of Iraq in [less than] fifteen [or] sixteen years ago, demonstrations were held in opposition to America in all of these streets of Paris and some other European countries; what was the effect? Nations cannot do anything on their own, [because] it is governments, which if they have support of their nations, can have a say and the world would heed that say; [and] there is no such government in the world; there are governments, [but] they are afraid; they are discontent [but] are afraid. I think I said this in my new year speech that the high-ranking officials of the [former] tyrannical regime [of Iran] were in many cases dissatisfied with what America did. When one goes through the memoirs of their remnants, he sees that at some places, they were very dissatisfied and criticized them [Americans] in private, but did not dare to oppose [them openly]; as the government, [and] as the political unit and management of the society, they did not dare [to oppose America]. Today, it is like this in the world; many [governments] are dissatisfied [with the status quo], but do not dare to oppose [it].
In this world, amid this [state of] confusion, in this confused intermingled forest, and [under the present state of] oppression and bullying, a [new] system has come into being, which has a number of pillars, and these pillars are just the opposite of what the global system is currently based on; are the opposite of oppression, the opposite of exploitation [of nations], the opposite of warmongering, [and] the opposite of corruption; that system is the establishment of the Islamic Republic. This establishment has been created on the basis of Islam, on the basis of religion, [and] on the basis of pure Islamic ideas and a group [of people] have been atop this system since its onset, whose nature is that they are not afraid of big powers and they are clerics. The Western analysts and sociologists are saying this today; they said this from the outset of the revolution; [and] said that these clerics are not afraid of us. [Of course,] some of them may be, and are, dependent, but the nature of the clerical system in the Shia community is such a nature. Now it happens that these [clerics] are atop of this system. People are also in line with them. The people [of Iran] are firstly, talented people, [and] secondly, there are a lot of young people among them – our population has increased from 35 million at the onset of the revolution to about 80 million now; that is, the population has increased suddenly; although they [the enemies] are working against it [as well] – [but] there is a lot of talent [in this nation]; they are also courageous, [and] are brave. Well, when there is a country where people think like this, the leaders of the government are not afraid of the [apparent] grandeur of the world, this is a major risk for the Arrogance, [and this] is a completely great danger. Therefore, a front is formed against it, just in the same way that now [such] a front has been formed against the Islamic Republic; not just now, [but] since the first day of the revolution a front has been formed; [and] an enemy front has been formed. At that time, [that front] was [made up of] the [former] Soviet Union and America, which were the opposites of each other and [if] they had differences over one hundred issues – more or less – they were unanimous and hand in glove on the issue of the Islamic Republic and in opposition to the Islamic Republic. I mean, this is the nature of the Arrogance, which opposes such a system.
[Therefore,] they formed a front which exists today and is taking advantage of all kinds and sorts of methods as well; just assume that there was no Internet twenty years ago, [but] now it exists; [in the same way, different kinds of] tools are progressing on a daily basis. They are taking advantage of the highest number of tools and the most overarching and most rapid [set] of tools against the Islamic Republic; the Islamic Republic must [also] get ready and take advantage of all tools. [The enemy] takes advantage of diplomacy as a tool. Diplomacy, political dialogue, political negotiation, [and] political give and take are one of these tools; these [enemies] are taking advantage of that tool. I am not against political dialogue; of course, not with everybody – there are exceptions. At the level of global issues, I agree to political dialogue; I have had my [own] view in these fields since the time of [my] presidency and followed up on [them]; [some people must] not try to show that I am totally opposed to dialogue and the likes of that; no, I both agree [to dialogue] more than [the people who claim this], and in some places, I am more skilled with regard to such measures than them; I know how to act [in this regard]. [But] the enemy takes advantage of the political dialogue. [We] must be careful.
Therefore, they take advantage of negotiation, take advantage of economic exchanges, take advantage of economic sanctions, take advantage of threat of war and [use of] weapons; [and] we must have defensive power in the face of all these [threats].
[The fact] that some people come out and say “the future of the world is a future for negotiations, [not] a future for missile,” if this remark is made out of ignorance, well, it is [result of] ignorance, [but] if it has been made with information, it would amount to treason. How [such a thing] could be possible? If the establishment of the Islamic Republic goes after science, goes after technology, goes after political negotiation, [and] goes after various trade and economic activities – all of which are necessary – but does not have defensive power, [and] does not have the ability to defend [itself], any rogue [state] and [any] given insignificant government will threaten it that ‘if you don’t take that given step, we will hit [you by] missile’; well, if you don’t have the possibility to defend [yourself], you would have to withdraw.
The global powers that you see raise their voice when talking, bully [other countries], do wrong things, say bad things, and bully [others], [what they do] is mostly on the strength of the same weapons that they have; then [some people expect that] we should empty our hands in the face of these [powers]? The IRGC [Islamic Republic Guards Corps], which demonstrates its missile advances, [it is] not only a cause of honor and pride for Iranians, [but] when the IRGC’s missiles are tested with this precision and in such a beautiful way, many freedom-seeking nations around us, whose blood boils [due to actions] of America and the Zionist regime, [also] become happy.
[Now, why] when these steps are taken, we must slam these and say, ‘Mr. Today it is not a time for missile(s) anymore!’ [The answer is] no, the time for [using] missile(s) is not past. The enemy is constantly updating itself and preparing itself, [then some expect that] we simplistically retreat [in the face of the enemy] and say no. [This is] like [what happened] in early [years after victory of the Islamic] Revolution, when they wanted to sell these very F-14 [fighter jets] and wanted to give them back and I did not allow it. I was informed that one of the officials of the Interim Government at that time had said that these F-14s, which the tyrannical regime [of Shah] had bought, were of no good to us. [They said:] ‘What are we supposed to do with F-14s! Let’s give them back’. Well, there I stood fast, raised a ruckus, took part in interviews, and countered [that claim], [and as a result,] they did not dare to do that; they wanted to give [those warplanes] back. A while later, the war between Iran and Iraq broke out and [they] attacked [us] and it became clear how much we needed the same equipment that we had; the same F-14s and the same F-4s and the likes of these. Today, some [people] are playing the same tune that ‘what is missile, what we want missile for, [and] the time is not the time for [using] missile!’ [If you are right] then what is the time for?
[Today] it is time for everything. It is time for negotiation as well; [we] must appear strong in negotiation and must negotiate in such a way that we would not be deceived later. When we negotiate, put something on paper, write it down, sign it, [and] then they outwardly do something, but sanctions are not removed and trade is not restarted, it is clear that there is some problem there; we must not allow these problems to emerge and must make ourselves strong there. The same is true about the economy inside the country; I said [we must take] “practical steps and action.” Enough is [already] said; “actions speak louder than words.” When [we] repeat [something] excessively and keep saying the Economy of Resistance, it would lose its luster; I mean, when something becomes repetitive, it becomes boring as well; [so,] let’s take action. In short, the country needs [practical steps].
These [issues] are all just one side of the issue, [and] the work and effort that the enemy puts in changing people’s beliefs the other side of the issue. Now, here [is where] you play a role; play a part; [and it is] an important part. When you support those who defend [sacred] shrines [in Syria] it is also very valuable. These very poems, which were read out [here], [and] these remarks, which were made, these are very valuable, [and] there is no doubt about this – just in the same way that during the Sacred Defense [Iraqi imposed war against Iran] these poems, which were read and these songs which were composed, were very effective; this [issue] has without a doubt the same effect today. However, there is a task besides this, which if the importance of that task is not more, is [certainly] no less [than these poems]; and that task is bolstering the beliefs of young people. The enemy wants to change beliefs; the belief in Islam, belief in efficiency of the Islamic establishment, belief in efficiency, [and] belief in the possibility of the continuation of the Islamic establishment.
The enemy even works and launches propaganda against what is obvious; it sometimes takes action against something that is evident, and as if, they want to prove [their point] through trickery and through deceit and through magic. Since the day it was born up to the present time, the Islamic establishment has been constantly exposed to heavy attacks; heavy military and propaganda attacks and sanctions and the likes of these and, at the same time, the Islamic establishment has grown during these [past] 37 years; I mean, there has been not a single day in which it has stopped [growing]; [on the contrary,] it has grown on all sides, [and] has gained power and become great on all sides. The enemy looks today and sees that slender and slim sapling, which came into being at the outset of the revolution, has turned into a towering tree today, which [as put by the Quran:] “it produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord.” They are seeing this in front of their eyes. Well, this [system] in which there is so much talent for survival, so much talent for expansion, and so much talent for getting strong, will continue to gain more strength after this, [and] will become stronger on a daily basis. Those things that we have taken into account for our future outlook are not imaginary, [but] are realities. Three [or] four years before this, I told young students and scholars that you must do something that fifty years later, if somebody wanted to have access to scientific updates of that time, they would have to learn Persian [language]; this can be done, [and] this is possible; just in the same way that during these [past] ten [or] fifteen years, the scientific movement and scientific progress [of the country] turned out to be the same that I had said. When young people work diligently, when those who have resolve and determination act upon their resolve, all difficult tasks will become easy; [and in that case] we will be able to move ahead. At the same time, the enemy is making an impression on beliefs of our youths: [they say] “Mr. what benefit does it have, it is not possible, it has no benefit.” These are among those arenas, in which the enemy’s psychological war is being waged and you, as eulogizers, can have an effect, [and] can strengthen this young [people] from the viewpoint of intellectual stamina.
[The fact] that I sometimes protest at some eulogies that, for example, assume that during mourning in the [first] ten days of [the lunar month of] Muharram, when you look – sometimes they bring its photos [to me]; [especially,] now [that] these [electronic] devices have become numerous; of course, I don’t have them, but they sometimes bring these photos and the likes of these and show them to me – you see that, for example, in a [mourning] session, everybody is just hopping up and down; well, what is the use of this? What effect does this have? How this can be called mourning? [The fact] that I sometimes protest [at some eulogies], I am not upset with the excitement of the youth; well, a young person is prone to excitement, a young person is the source of energy and constantly wants to discharge his energy; I [protest] in order to [make sure that] this major tasks are not forgotten. When in a gathering, ten thousand youths or five thousand youths come together and give their full attention to you, through a superb, artistic, and meaningful performance you can turn them into efficient persons, who will then go to do the job with determined resolve, [or] you can also turn them into carefree, thoughtless, desperate, and spiritually empty-handed people; this can be also done. You [must] take advantage of this opportunity and choose that first alternative. This is my opinion.
Eulogizing, while being eulogy of the best people of the world – [because] its subject is eulogy of the best people of the world, who are the [Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)’s] Household (Peace Be Upon Them), [and] therefore, enjoys a lofty status; eulogizing is naturally like this – but you look and see, for example, what a poet like De’bal Khaza’i is saying in an ode titled, “Madaris Ayat;” the ode [titled] “Madaris Ayat” [is] that ode, which was lauded by Hadhrat [Imam Reza (PBUH)] and give him [the poet] [a valuable] attire [as reward] and [also] gave him a cash reward. This is an ode, which basically questions the whole Abbasid establishment, [and] raison d'être of the Abbasid [rule] and condemns them; I mean, it is purely political; it is not just simple preaching and elegy; no, elegy is necessary, but the work which has been done in parallel to elegy has received attention from [Shia] Imams (Peace Be Upon Them). The ode of De’bal, the ode of Komeit, [and] various odes, which were written by poets at that time, were read and sang by others; that is, just like you, who read out [poems] with a tune, either the poet himself or others came and read them out to people with a tune; these [poem reading sessions] constituted mass publicity media [at that time]. Today, you can [still] take advantage of these [media]; [therefore, you must] avail yourself of mass publicity media and guide the people; in my opinion this is a very basic thing [to do].
It is famously said that honorability of any [field of] science depends on honorability of its subject; [therefore,] any science whose subject is more honorable, that science will be more honorable as well. Now, if we generalize this from science to occupations, the subject of your occupation and your work and your endeavor is eulogizing the Household [of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)] and increasing [people’s] insight and awakening the audience; [these things that you do] are the most valuable [of jobs], [and what you do] is very valuable; [therefore,] try to make the most of this value. Thank God, there is a high number of eulogizers, now this group, which has come here today, which is a big group [is a sample], but the number of eulogizers singing [eulogies] across the country is higher than this; their number is, thank God, very high in all places; there are people who are interested and do this job; at any rate, this is a very important mission, [and] you must attach importance to this mission. Of course, poets also play an important role; those poets, who write poems, play an important role; but without good performance [by eulogizers] the impact of a poem would be low and when you carry out that superb performance, [and] that good performance, then [the poem] makes its effect.
I hope the Almighty God would make you successful, and makes [all of] us successful and we could recognize what is our duty in the first place and understand [it] and then, God willing, act upon it.
Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings