The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s remarks in meeting with religious eulogizers 

 In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
(Arabic prayer)
Dear brethren and sisters, happy Eid to you. God willing, you would always be at the service of the Household of the Prophet and Velayat (Guardianship of the Prophet and Infallible Imams) and be the loud voice of truth-seeking in [our] time [when] darkness and falsehood prevail, just in the same way that, praise be to God, it has been like this up to the present time. Our faithful youths, our dear ones, [and] this group of eulogizers and admirers of the Prophet’s Household have been truly the loud cry of truth in this world, which is full of oppression and disobedience [of God].
 As for the lofty and indescribable position of the daughter of the Grand Prophet [of Islam], the words used by me and the likes of me cannot do justice; no human can describe spiritual position and spiritual grandeur of great divine and heavenly humans like [Hadhrat] Fatemeh Zahra (Peace Be upon Her). [Her lofty position] must be only heard and learned from the Almighty God Himself and in the words of great servants of God and divine personalities. As far as our understanding reaches and is able, their [spiritual] positions [must] be only guessed. The Venerable Prophet (PBUH) has said about Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) that [she is] “the Mistress of Women of Paradise;” of course, there are other narrations, [which say]: “[Fatemeh Zahra] is the Mistress of Women of the Two Worlds; [and] the Mistress of Women of the World.” These [nicknames] have been all quoted through undoubtable documents via [both] Shia and Sunni [Muslims]; not that they have been simply quoted by Shias. However, in my opinion, the most important of them is “the Mistress of Women of Paradise.” Look! The Almighty God says in a verse of the Quran – in this very verse that the esteemed reciter [of the Quran] recited today – that “And Allah presents an example of those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh.” [The Quran says the wife of Pharaoh] is a role model for all the faithful, not just for women; [it stresses that she is a model] for “those who believe.”
I mean, the Almighty God has presented for all the faithful two women as the role model: “And Allah presents an example of those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh;” one of them is the wife of Pharaoh – Her Excellency Asiyeh – about whom [the Quran] says a few sentences; [and] then adds: “And Mary, the daughter of Imran;” the other one is Mary. Well, these two [women] are role models for entire humanity [and] for all the faithful of the world. These two persons and all prominent women and those females chosen by God are all in Paradise. Then Fatemeh Zahra is “the Mistress of Women of Paradise,” [and] is mistress of all of these [prominent women]. More than this, we cannot understand those [spiritual] positions. Of course, our dear poets, the esteemed and dear singers of today, made remarks and they were very well, but all of these [remarks] fall short of the lofty position of Seddiqeh Tahereh (PBUH). The expression of the Prophet and the words of the Prophet and the words of God are more eloquent than all these.
The time is passing by; I have written down some points here, which I must explain, but well, the noon is approaching, [and, therefore,] I say them briefly. The birth anniversary of Seddiqeh Tahereh (PBUH) is the Women’s Day [in Iran]. In the logic of Islam and Islamic knowledge, women have a model, [and] a framework has been defined for them; this framework is a complete framework. I mean, a Muslim woman is that person who has faith, has chastity, is in charge of the most important part of human upbringing, makes an effect in the society, enjoys scientific and spiritual growth, is the manager of the very important family institution, [and] is a source of comfort for men. All these [are] in addition to special feminine characteristics such as delicacy, such as kindness of heart, [and] such as readiness to receive divine rays [of light]; this is the [ideal] model for a Muslim woman; [and] these [are] specifications, which the Venerable Prophet [of Islam] has explained in his various comments when lauding Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) or Khadijeh Kobra or in a general way [when talking] about women. This is the Islamic model [for women].
On the opposite, there is a deviated model, which has been different in various periods of time. Today, that deviated model is the model of the Western woman. In this time that we live, instead of all prominent and praiseworthy characteristics that we observed in a Muslim woman, the most important characteristic and privilege of the Western women at the present time is that she would be able to attract men and become a tool for their pleasure. This is why you see that the main index of the Western woman at the present time is nakedness. In an official ceremony where men and women are present, men must be totally clothed, [but] women must be as naked as possible; [and that] takes place in official ceremonies! Now, [the situation] in the social environment is quite clear. This state of affairs is related to these recent times in the West – [including] Europe and America. It was not like this in the past. As far as I know and am informed, up to 150or 200 years ago, of course, there was no hijab in its Islamic sense there, but there was no licentiousness, nudity and promiscuity among Western women as it is today.
What policy is this that has dragged the Western society in this direction and what goals it is seeking are questions, which must be answered through long and detailed discussions. However, this is the reality at the present time: the Western woman is the symbol of consumption, makeup, coquetry in front of women and a tool in the service of sexual passion of men and the male gender. The rest of what they say, such as the issue of gender justice and such things, are all claims and pretence, [because] that is the core of this issue. You heard that a few months ago, a large number of Western ladies holding high positions announced one after the other that during their youth [and] in the course of office work in those places where they worked, they had been abused with force and with violence; they gave voice to this and said this. These are not ordinary women, [but] are prominent Western women. By [enforcing] hijab, Islam has closed the door to that path on which the female gender will reach such a deviant point; [and] has not allowed that. Islamic hijab is a means to make women immune; hijab is not a means of confining women.
At the present time, the Iranian women hold the flag of the identity-based and cultural independence of women. At the present time, Iranian ladies are announcing their identity-based independence and cultural independence by maintaining hijab and exporting it to [the rest of] the world; that is, the world is hearing a new word. A woman can be actively present in all social fields, [and] have profound social effectiveness. At the present time, women in our country are making such a profound effect in various sectors. At the same time, hijab and chastity and the differentiation between women and men, the distance [observed] between women and men, not being subject to abuse by men, not degrading oneself to the level of being a tool for the enjoyment of stranger and demanding men and not humiliating oneself are among [major] characteristics of Iranian and Muslim women at the present time. Of course, we have this model, [and] have this framework, [and] among our ladies there are those who are living at a very good, and some of them at the highest level, of this model, [while] there are others who are [living it] at an average level. At any rate, this model exists and this is the basis of the work for an Iranian woman.
Those people who disdain the family institution are traitors; both to the nation and to women [that is,] to the women’s community. Those people who pretend that gender justice means the presense of women in all fields that men are present, they are being traitors to trust of women and to honor and personality and identity of women.  Woman are respected, [and] nobody has ever said that women must not be present in social fields or accept responsibility or learn science; no, today, there are countless women among our best scientists, among our best writers, [and] among our best cultural figures who are present in our society. This is also a feat of the revolution; know this, [because] there was no such thing before the revolution. [Before the revolution,] there were very, very few women who had managed to attain high scientific and cultural and literary ranks and the likes of these; [however,] their number is very high at the present time. This was the feat of the revolution, which took this step. It is for this reason that this is basically the model for the Muslim women; however, at the same time, women are the managers in the families, the pivot of the family institution is a woman, [and] the most important of all professions for a woman is to be a mother, [and] a wife and to create tranquility and 
serenity [within her family]. 
As the Quran says,] “... and [God] created from it [man] its mate that he might dwell in security with her.” [Therefore, women] are the sources of tranquility and serenity. This is the [main] characteristic of women in Islam and one must pay attention to such things on the Women’s Day. Of course, I recommend esteemed Iranian and Muslim ladies who have faith in these Islamic and Quranic concepts to maintain these [characteristics] and bolster them on a daily basis. They must avoid [getting afflicted with] such blights as extravagance, and negative vying – like negative rivalries, like taking the deviated Western women as model – [and] take care of themselves. At the present time, Muslim women hold their heads high in our country. The Iranian women have the privilege that they keep an independent cultural identity and are not affected by others; you must maintain this in yourselves.
Well, this state has [its own] enemy. Let me tell you that a very remarkable part of the enemy’s soft war and psychological war in our country is about this issue. You are proclaimers of truth, [and] must proclaim these issues in your remarks, in your statements, [and] in your poems; of course, this [proclamation] was present today in some of these statements and poems, which were recited and read out here. This is your very important duty, [because] you are a medium. One of the most important media is the medium of religious eulogizers and singers, which praise be to God, has expanded in our country at the present time; this medium is very important.
Let me put forth an issue here and take advantage of time; now, God willing, I will make it as succinct as possible. The enemies of the Islamic Revolution are constantly plotting [against us] and this is a cause of honor for us. I mean, for forty years, plots have been hatched ceaselessly against the Islamic establishment [and] against the Islamic Iran; billions [of dollars] of money is being spent; [and Western] thinkers sit together in order to deal a blow to this establishment, [and] in order to uproot this [establishment]; and well, for forty years, this blessed tree, [and] this pure tree has been growing day by day; this is a cause of honor for us. If they had taken no step against us, we would not have felt that we are so favored by God. A lot of work is being done against the Islamic Republic, [and] this amount of conspiracy has not existed against any nation [and] against any country, [and yet] despite [all these plots our enemies] have not been able to do a damn thing and the Islamic Republic of Iran has continued on the path of its growth and perfection; this [conspiracy] is a reality, [and] this does exist today.
 A few months ago, they got together in what they call a think tank – which means special intellectual groups – deliberated , made an effort, made a plan for [countering] the Islamic Republic, [and] even set a timeframe [to achieve their goals in the Iranian] month of Dei, month of Bahman, [and] month of Esfand – that is, these days in which we are now – [and promised] that ‘we will do this in the month of Dei; will do this in the month of Bahman; [and] will do this in the month of Esfand, [and] will terminate the Islamic Republic before the year-end’. Well, [as the proverb says,] the hungry cat dreams of mice! You saw how the Iranian nation answered [them] in the month of Dei; [and] also saw how the Iranian nation answered [them] in the month of Bahman. And in the month of Esfand, in which we are now, the Iranian nation is ready. The Iranian nation will put in its place any aggressor, any invader and anyone trying to take a wrong step.
[However,] these are not what I want to say; I have said these many times, we all know about them, everybody knows about them, [and even] our enemies also know that the Islamic Republic’s strength depends on people, depends on the faith [of its nation], depends on its vibrant and enthusiastic youths, [and] depends on that correct path and way, which has been laid out [for us] by the venerable Imam [Khomeini]. We are [still] moving [on that path and] others can do whatever they want to do, [and] say whatever they want to say, [because] they will not be able to do a damn thing, [and] this is [quite] clear. I want to bring up the issue of hijab. [Our enemies] spend a lot of money, do a lot of activity [and] employ hundreds of media – all sorts and kinds of media – in order to be able to make an effect on this sensitive point, [that is,] the point of independent cultural identity of the Muslim women. Our enemies are really working themselves to death outside the country [in order to achieve this goal]. [They do this] in different ways. Now, they spend a lot of money in order to be able to launch these television [channels] and these radio [channels] and this cyberspace and these websites – [through which] they keep doing propaganda, say [this and] say [that] a hundred times – to what avail? Its final result is that, for example assume, a handful of girls are deceived and remove their hijab on the street. This much spending, this much effort, [and] this much thinking is behind this measure, [because our enemies] are making [serious] effort [in this regard, but] their effort is futile. Its result is that [only] four persons – now four girls here and there – are deceived or are inspired with various motivations. Some of them may have been paid [to do this] – now, I do not know [this for sure], [and] cannot say this with certainty – and remove their headscarf to say, for example, that what an important thing we did! The [final] result of all that much effort is narrowed down to this small [and] insignificant result.
Well, it is not an important matter up to this point. [However,] what makes me sensitive is that you suddenly hear a group of people who are among insiders [of the Islamic establishment] talking about the issue of “mandatory hijab.” It means that a group unwittingly – now I say unwittingly; God willing it is unwittingly – are following the same line that the enemy has not been able to take to fruition in the country despite all [the money] it has spent; they are following the same line. Among them are journalists, among them are quasi-intellectuals, [and] among them are [even] clerics and clerical figures. [They say,] “When the Imam said women must wear hijab, he did not mean all women!” This is nonsense! I was there at that time, [and] I am aware [of the truth]; how it could be like this? The Imam stood up like a mountain against a clear vice, which had been brought about by [the] Pahlavi [regime] and by stooges of Pahlavi in the country, [and] said that there must be hijab [in an Islamic society]. The Imam stood fast against all kinds of vice. There was a discussion about selling liquors at that time. I was a member of the Revolution Council [and] we held joint meetings with the administration [officials]. There were people at that time who believed that the business in liquors would be beneficial for the country, [and asked] how we could pass over this benefit? They were willing for this business to continue [and] import wine [from other countries]. Imam stood fast [against this view]; Imam [always] stood fast against religious prohibitions and did this; this [liquor business] is religiously prohibited. Now, that gentlemen comes out [and says] “Sir! This sin, for example, is not greater than backbiting; why you do not prosecute anybody for backbiting, but prosecute people for doing this and, for example, for removing their headscarf or being without hijab?” Just see how erroneous [is this way of thinking]. [It emanates from] lack of [proper] discernment [of such issues]. What torments one is that there is no [correct] discernment [with regard to this issue]. We never said that if somebody removed her headscarf in front of a stranger at her own home, we would prosecute her; [no,] we will not prosecute her, [because] she is at her home [and] is doing something personal.
Any measure, which is taken in public and on the street, is considered a public measure, a social measure, [and] is a public teaching. This [wrong measure] imposes an obligation on a government, which has come to office in the name of Islam. There is no small and big prohibited act; what has been prohibited by religion must not take place in the country in the open. Now, when a person does a wrong thing in private, [it is an] exception, [because] it is between him and God. However, when something is done in front of people, [and] in the social environment, the Islamic government – like the government of Amir al-Mo'menin (PBUH) [and] the government of the Prophet – is duty-bound to stand against it. This logic, which says “Sir, you should allow people to choose for themselves,” [is wrong, because] well, it could be also applied to selling wine; [according to this logic] we can also allow [sale of] wine in the country, [so that,] whoever wants to drink would drink it [and] whoever does not want it, would not [drink it]! Is this acceptable? This logic can be applied to all major social sins; [but] is this acceptable? The sacred law [of religion] has made it incumbent on the Islamic government to prevent spread of religiously prohibited acts in the society. The Islamic government is duty-bound to stand against prohibited acts, [and] to stand against sins. At the present time, inside the country, we take honor in the hijab of our women. Our women have attained the highest scientific levels, have attained the highest ranks in arts and culture, are among the most prominent [figures], [and] have been influential in social issues while wearing chador – which is an Iranian [form of] hijab; chador is an Iranian hijab – and while wearing Islamic hijab. At the same time, they have kept their houses, raised their children [and] taken care of their husbands. It would be a big mistake for us to keep changing laws in order to somehow provide ground for the wrong [and] deviant Western culture in our country. [However,] some people are making this mistake. 
The issue of reproduction [and the necessity of encouraging] childbirth has been brought up in the society. Well, officials have cooperated [and] have agreed [to this policy]. [However,] I hear that here and there, [some people] are acting against it. This is what the Western [countries] want. The Western [countries] are against increase in the number of Muslims [and] it is evident that they are against increase in the number of a nation whose youth can appear in the arena and take the country to the pinnacle [of its progress]. We must not do something that their goal would be achieved. We must move in a way that would meet the Islamic goals [of the nation, because] this is our duty [and] this is a duty for our officials.
Our culture is a divine one. This culture guarantees and realizes our independence, [and also] realizes our freedom. Those people who encourage promiscuity in the society in the name of freedom, are not free, [because] these [people] are powerless slaves of the Western culture; [and] it is the Western culture, which is guiding these [people]. What kind of freedom is this? [True] freedom exists when you have and follow your own intention, your own faith, your own way of thinking, your own Quran, [and] your own Islamic model. This is [true] freedom, this is [real] grandeur, this is liberty, [and] this must be realized. In the field of education, I have talked about the issue of [UNESCO’s] 2030 [Agenda]. A group [of officials] followed up [on what I said and] well, good steps were taken. Now, I receive reports from here and there that some wrong steps are being taken, [which] must be stopped. Officials of the country are obligated to prevent any violation of that thing, which is the Islamic policy of the country; [both] with regard to education and with respect to issues related to women.
 This issue of gender justice and the likes of this are all empty words; these are remarks made by others, made by the West [and] a group [of people simply] copy what they say and become their mouthpiece. What kind of justice? Is this [really] justice? At the present time, the highest rate of forcible rape takes place in the West, [including] in the United States and in Europe; [and its rate in those countries] is very much higher than other countries while apparently, and as they claim, there is freedom of women there. The highest rate of domestic violence by men against women is also taking place there; [this is] according to available statistics. Then, based on these very figures they give, they say that many women do not dare to file a lawsuit; these figures are about those places where complaints are being filed, which is not all of [those rape cases]. It is there that [people] have a problem, have a problem with their life, have a problem with culture, [and] have a problem with management of the society. What kind of justice [they are talking about]? There is no justice [in Western countries]. They emphasize on gender justice so that they would achieve their goals. In Islam, gender justice applies to the cases when  women are respected [and] not assaulted; [is when] a man would not allow himself, because of his more physical strength and because of his bigger frame, to bully a woman or treat her in a violent manner; this is [the true meaning of gender] justice.
Laws must be passed in the country, [and] of course, [and these issues] must be observed in those laws. I have heard that they are drawing up a bill on these issues that are related to family and violence against women. Both executive and legislative officials must be careful that [those who prepare this bill] would not want to implement the same Western culture according to which, for example, if a father interferes in the marriage of his daughter, this would be [considered as] violence and [and they must be careful that they would not] define violence [in this way]; no [this cannot be allowed]. [Definition of] “what is violence and what is not violence” must not be taken from the West; it must be understood and defined on the basis of our own intellectual logic, [and] our own Islamic thought. At the present time, we are faced with such wicked hostilities [and] we must remain vigilant.
Now, at the conclusion of my remarks, let me tell you the community of [religious] eulogizers that as I said before, what you do is important, [and] you are a very important medium. The duty of the community of eulogizers is heavy. Wherever you go, you are faced with all people [and] have latitude and opportunity to say [what you want to say] and there are ears to listen to your remarks; this [state of affairs] makes your duty heavier. What I have written down here to tell you [is this:] First of all promote the knowledge and faith of your audience. Choose [your] poems and expressions in such a way that it would elevate the knowledge of the audience and their faith; both their knowledge – [including] religious rationality – and their heartfelt faith [must be elevated]. [Your goal must be] elevation of [both] knowledge and faith [of your audience]. Political elucidation [is your second duty]. Various political issues of our time need clear and convincing elucidation; you must make sure to learn [how to do] this [and] transfer [your views] to people.
Promotion of Islamic ethics and conduct [is your third duty]. Learn Islamic ethics and Islamic conduct from books of ethics and scholars of ethics and transfer them to people. [Try to] promote ethics, promote correct Islamic conduct, promote fraternity among people, promote compassion and kindness, [and] promote national unity by taking advantage of art, as what you do is an art; [because] poetry and song are [various forms of] art. Remind your audience of [advantages of] intimacy with the Quran, intimacy with [daily] prayers, attention to God, [and] avoiding sins. These reminders are very valuable; [they] are both valuable to your audience and to yourself; they are valuable to ourselves as well. When we advise somebody, in fact, we have advised ourselves as well; [therefore, our advice] is valuable to ourselves as well. 
At the present time, enemies continue to create doubts in political fields, [including] about why Iran is present in the region. Now, who is making this claim? America [is making this claim], which is present everywhere in a seditious and corrupt way. Wherever there is America, there is corruption; [and] wherever there is America, there is sedition. The seditious and corrupt government of America tells us why you are present in the region? Well, [if] we are present in the region, should we ask for your permission? In order to be present in the region, we must negotiate with and talk to regional governments; why should we want to talk to you? Any time we wanted to be present in America, we would have to talk to you. The same is true about European countries. They say we want to negotiate with Iran about its presence in the region. What does it have to do with you? Why you are in the region? Is this your region or our region? If it is our region, what are you doing here? It is our region and we ourselves negotiate with people in the region and with governments in the region, talk to them, [and] make plans. Praise be to God, we have [already] made plans, praise be to God, we have been successful, [and] praise be to God, we have moved forward [with this issue], [and] God willing, we will move further forward [with this issue] after this. When I talk about political issues, it does not simply mean factional and domestic issues and the likes of these; these [issues] are [also] political ones; [and] people must be aware of them.
I hope that, God willing, the Almighty God would make you successful, [and] help you to be able to fulfill the important duty [that you have] in these days.

Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings