The following is the full text of the speech delivered on November 22, 2017 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with Basij forces. The meeting was held on the occasion of Basij Week.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
You are very welcome. Today’s meeting was really a very valuable and instructive meeting. It showed that Basij – which is a peerless phenomenon introduced by the Islamic Revolution and which is one of the innovations of our magnanimous Imam – has a capacity to have an active presence in all the areas that the country needs. Basij can untie difficult knots. In fact, today’s speakers covered most discussions and areas that the country needs. They put forward certain suggestions which were beneficial. Many of these suggestions can be implemented. Of course, by Allah’s favor, we should entrust a group of people with the task of evaluating the different aspects of the viewpoints that the friends put forward. That group should examine these suggestions and bring them close to implementation. I sincerely thank all those brothers and the honorable lady who delivered speeches.
As was discussed in the meeting, the issue of Basij is a very important and deep issue. Basij means gathering resources and employing capacities for achieving a specific goal. This is the meaning of Basij. If the Islamic Revolution had everything that we have today but was deprived of popular and public Basij, it would certainly face an important obstacle when pursuing its affairs. The Basij Resistance Organization – which is thankfully an efficient organization today – is a symbol of public- popular Basij. It is the well-organized division of public-popular Basij.
This organization – the Basij Organization – has taken on important responsibilities. These great, sensitive and important responsibilities extend to all areas. The addressees of this movement and this course of action are not confined to youth and men, rather all youth, teenagers, middle-aged individuals, the elderly, men and women and everyone else are addressed by the systematic nature and sensitive focus of the Basij Resistance Organization.
In every political system and in every country, it is manpower which has the final say. The advanced materialistic countries in the world reached the peaks in the area of worldly achievements with their diligent and active manpower because they put aside laziness and pursued the task although they did so for material pleasures and for money. They managed to do so because of the diligence and capabilities of their human resources. This is a divine promise.
The divine promise says that if a group of people and a society seek material and worldly achievements and if they work hard for it, they will succeed. If they pursue truly spiritual and exalted values and if they work for it, they will succeed as well: “Of the bounties of your Lord We bestow freely on all – these as well as those” [The Holy Quran, 17: 20]. Allah the Exalted helps both materialists, and idealists and those who seek to achieve lofty goals. However, those who only wish to achieve the pleasures of this material world do not get anything more. They will not understand the meaning of true life and they will not get a taste of spirituality. This is the case.
The Islamic Revolution was a new proposal and a new idea for humanity’s life. Before the Revolution, the world was entrapped by the game of power played by superpowers in the world – they dragged people towards moral and various other deviations in order to preserve their own power – and therefore, it was in need of a new idea. The Islamic Revolution produced, created and presented this new idea. This new idea is that humanity can achieve material achievements, scientific breakthroughs and achievements which are suitable for human values as well as gaining God’s satisfaction and preserving divine values.
It saved the world from the hell that had been created by global power-seekers and those politicians who knew nothing about spirituality. It created a heaven for humanity in this world: a heaven of assurance, a heaven of peace, a heaven of sense of responsibility and a heaven of joining Allah the Exalted. This was the message of the Islamic Revolution.
Of course, there were certain do’s and don’ts in delivering this message. If such a world is to be created, there should not be any injustice, there should not be any tyranny, there should not be class inequalities, there should not be any indulgence in lust and there should not be any pragmatic and intellectual corruption. These are the don’ts which are required for forming such a society. There are certain do’s as well: there should be sincerity, there should be a sense of responsibility, there should be diligence, there should be endeavor, there should be hard work and the main goal should be to gain the satisfaction of Allah the Exalted. These are the do’s.
The mold and framework which managed to gather these do’s and don’ts, values, desires and goals was the word “Islamic Republic”. That was why Imam said, “Islamic Republic, not a word less, not a word more.” “Republic” means reliance on the strength, power, determination, faith and innovation of the people. It means reliance on manpower: the thing which is the most important factor in progress. And “Islamic” means working for and in the way of God, and working with the purpose of gaining divine satisfaction within the framework of divine and Islamic values. This is the meaning of “Islamic Republic.”
This was a new idea in the world. There were some people who claimed to support Islam – they are there in the present time as well. They were large in number and worked in different forms. But there is a difference between the kind of Islam which works within the framework of a political system in a country, and the kind of Islam which is merely manifested and repeated in articles, writings, speeches and various discourses inside a jahili [ignorant] and taghuti system. In the latter, the real life is a taghuti life. These two kinds of Islam are radically different.
The Islamic Republic implemented Islam, the kind of Islam which is desired by Muslims, inside a geographical entity – the country “Iran” – and within the framework of a political system. This was achieved, established and formulated with the help and guidance of God, with the vigilance and intelligence of our magnanimous Imam and with the self-sacrifice of the people.
Of course, there were and still are many miles to reach the main goal, but this is fine. We should begin to pursue these miles. The conditions were the same in the beginning of the emergence of Islam. The day when the Holy Prophet established the government in Madina, not all Islamic goals were accessible. The same condition continued until the end of the Holy Prophet’s auspicious life. These goals must be achieved gradually. This depends on whether determined and decisive human resources exist or not. Basij means a phenomenon which eliminates this shortcoming. Basij means that the mass of human resources consider it their responsibility to achieve lofty goals.
All the people who work in different areas including military and non-military organizations, the Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the Police Force and the different divisions of the country – with their various efforts and with their diverse activists in different arenas – are basijis when they have a sense of responsibility and when they follow this movement, this goal and this method. Of course, as I said, the issue of the Basij Organization is a different issue. This is a symbol. This is a specific and active division, but the word and the title “Basij” is an emphasis on all the masses of the people who are active.
As for the Basij Resistance Organization – which is one of the bases of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps – this is a very important, influential and necessary organization. Each of you who are present here is a collection of thoughts, willpower, demands, faith and innovative souls. And the masses of the people are a hundred or perhaps a thousand times more than the number of basijis who are present here. And most of them are young. They have the same characteristics as well. Each of them constitutes a thought, a willpower, an element of faith, a motivation and a power to produce and to move. What is important is that all these forces, all these motivations and willpowers should help one another and add to each other. The Basij Resistance Organization in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has this responsibility: the responsibility of coordinating these powers, forces and willpowers and putting them in active and dynamic networks. This is the responsibility which falls on them.
In the areas of industry, agriculture, art, construction and various other areas, we have both ideas – part of which were put forward by the friends in the meeting – and needs. We need movement, thinking, decision-making and firm determination so that we can help ourselves and our country reach the true and lofty goals of the Islamic Republic. All these require movement and dynamism. This dynamism is achieved with the coordination of the Basij Resistance Force and its comprehensive outlook. As a result of all this, you suddenly see that a great movement of construction, production and progress in different areas – which is accompanied by faith, insight and sincerity – has been launched by several million individuals. This is a very important and blessed phenomenon. The Basij Resistance Force is this and this is a heavy responsibility which should be carried out.
My dear ones, the enmity of the enemies of truth and of God is never-ending. The enmities exist. The enemies of God exert their enmity depending on the capabilities that they see in themselves for showing enmity and hostility. If they witness a weak point in the other side and if they see that they can exert enmity, they will do so without any consideration. Those who become upset when we speak about the existence of an enemy – they say, “Why do you constantly speak about an enemy?” – have ignored this issue. They have ignored the fact that if the enemy finds the opportunity, he will never hesitate in delivering blows. This opportunity should not be given to the enemy. In the face of the enemy, we should not do anything and say anything which encourages him to deliver blows, show enmity and exert hostility. This is a principle. This is a permanent and logical principle.
The holy ayahs which were recited in the beginning of this meeting say, “Our Lord, forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty. Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist faith” [The Holy Quran, 3: 147]. Those who stood firm – the soldiers, warriors and champions of the arena of resistance who stood beside the prophets, who asked Allah the Exalted for help and who moved forward – were rewarded by Allah the Exalted: “And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the hereafter” [The Holy Quran, 3: 148].
It is not the case that if you fight in the way of God, God will only give you paradise. This is not the case. His reward is not confined to the hereafter, rather it includes this world as well. What is the reward that we get in this world? It is dignity, power, progress and honor as a nation and country. This reward is that despite the fact that the Islamic Republic has been facing the enemy’s plots in the past 38 years – since the first day that the Revolution achieved victory until today, we have constantly been facing the different enmities of our enemies: global arrogance, Zionism, reactionary groups and the like – today, our progress, capability and power are a hundred or perhaps a thousand times more than the beginning of the Revolution.
The issues of the country should be analyzed correctly. Some people analyze things in a wrong and deviant way. For example, they look and they find lack of faith and indifference in some people. Then they say that this is a reason why the country and the Islamic Republic have become weak. This is not the case. Since the beginning of the Revolution, there have been some enemies and opponents. today, the enemy has strengthened himself from all sides. Nonetheless, you see that the movement of our pious youth in the country is such an auspicious, articulate and exquisite movement. After 38 years, the youth who have neither visited Imam nor seen the Sacred Defense Era and the Revolution have shown spectacular presence on the scene and they have managed to exert influence in the region. This is really one of the miracles of the Revolution.
In the region, the Islamic Republic – in other words, you youth – have managed to defeat arrogant America and bring it to its knees! All their efforts and plans were for the sake of making this region drift away from revolutionary and Islamic thinking. The purpose of all their endeavors was to destroy and bury the revolutionary and resistance-based thinking which has spread in the region, but the opposite has happened.
The event that occurred in Syria and Iraq – the cancerous tumor that the enemies had created in order to establish an orientation against the Resistance orientation in the region – was foiled and destroyed by you. It was the youth that managed to do so: the same pious youth. In fact, those who entered this arena of jihad with abundant enthusiasm and excitement and who brought the enemy to his knees benefitted from the feeling of being basijis and being a member of the Basij Force.
The same condition exists in all areas. On the issue of science, technology, industry and agriculture, public services, the construction of the country and on the issue of spiritual, cultural and artistic affairs, we have a vast field of work which should be exploited by you basiji brothers and sisters as the pioneers of this field.
And there are millions of individuals in the country who are not members of the Basij Organization, but who are basijis potentially. The capability to be present in these arenas exists in them as well although they are not considered as members of the Basij Organization. This is an extraordinary capacity that exists in the country today. I thank God for bestowing this capacity and this great resource.
You should preserve Basij. You should preserve the qualities which are necessary and credible in Basij and which have thankfully existed until today. Some of these qualities are insight, understanding of the enemy, knowledge about the ways to confront him and understanding his methods. Our pious youth should know that one of the methods of the enemy is to make them indifferent to the practical values of Islam, to the personal issues of life, to familial issues and to various other matters.
One of the methods of the enemy is to disappoint our youth. He wants to instill the idea that we cannot succeed and that we cannot stand up against him. As you see, some people have unfortunately turned into a loudspeaker for echoing the enemy’s words. They instill the idea in society that it is not possible to stand up against them. Why is it not possible? The Islamic Republic has stood up against the enemy’s greed and it has defeated him in all cases. Then, why do you say that it is not possible?
The people of Iran managed to uproot and get rid of the monarchic system which was a vicious and longstanding tree in the country despite the fact that the US, Europe and all reactionaries in the region were behind it. They managed to establish a government on the basis of values in a world which is seething with kufr, lack of belief and decadence. And they managed to preserve this government. They managed to guard, protect, preserve and expand – on a daily basis – the Islamic Republic with all its aspects and dimensions. They managed to create factors and elements of power and strength for the Islamic Republic. One of these elements of power is science. Another is military capability. Another is the capability to influence the ideas and thoughts of other nations. They managed to bring about these things. Then, why do you say that they cannot succeed?
From now on too, it will be the same. From now on too, by Allah’s favor, the Islamic Revolution will be able to achieve all the lofty goals that it has portrayed for itself. It will achieve this with the help of you youth and the pious generation which is thankfully spread out throughout the country today. We can succeed because we have experienced this. Being able to succeed is not merely a belief in divine assistance, rather we have witnessed that we can succeed with our own eyes.
Some people sing a song of despair by saying that we should fear superpowers and have some considerations for them. This is not the case. You witnessed that the continuous plots that the US, Zionism, Arab reactionaries and others had hatched in the region were all destroyed and annihilated with the power of the Islamic Republic. One of those plots was the issue of the takfiri and inhuman group of DAESH which was thankfully destroyed and annihilated with the determination of youth, pious men and all those who believed in the Resistance Force.
Well, this is not a minor task, rather it is a great accomplishment. Even some of our neighbouring countries did not sometimes believe that one can make this achievement and launch this movement, but they were encouraged to do so. They entered the arena, they succeeded and they believed. The message of the Islamic Republic and the message of the Revolution reaches nations and peoples’ ears like this. It reaches them with action.
Insight is essential. It is a necessary prerequisite. Diligence and stability are essential as well. My dear ones, stability and steadfastness on this path is one of the most necessary and important factors in progress. You should try to keep your surrounding environment, the individuals which are in contact with you and most importantly, your hearts and souls loyal and steadfast towards these ideals, towards this path and towards these lofty goals. You will definitely achieve victory. Victory will surely belong to you. And I can see the day when, by Allah’s favour and grace, you dear youth will speak about the completion of the tasks that we are discussing today.
Today, there are many tasks that we should carry out in the area of the economy. There are many tasks that we should carry out in the area of production, employment and the like – areas which are our weak points. There are many tasks that we should carry out in the area of culture. Today, these tasks are at the level of planning, action, initiation, progress and steps, but one day, all these tasks will – by Allah’s favour – be accomplished in the best way possible. By Allah’s favour, this will not be a distant day. On that day, young and pious forces will manage to resolve economic crises in the country and increase the number of scientific breakthroughs. In the area of culture, they will – by Allah’s favour – expand cultural content, outstanding revolutionary concepts and Quranic and Islamic teachings throughout and in all corners of the country. These tasks will be accomplished, God willing.
They will be achieved despite the foolish wishes of the enemies. Of course, the enemies will employ new plots, new tricks and new methods every day. Our creative, pious and prepared forces should be ready before the enemy wants to use a new trick and method. They should respond to and anticipate what the enemy might want to do and then they should foil it.
I hope that Allah will preserve you and show you great victories, God willing. I hope that Allah the Exalted will associate the pure souls of our dear martyrs – whether those who were martyred in the arenas of war in Syria and Iraq- the people of those countries or other countries, the youth who entered this arena in a pious manner- or the ones who endeavored and who were martyred inside the country – with His saints.
I hope that He will increase the dignity, success, honour and glory of the people of Iran on a daily basis. I hope that He will raise the position of our magnanimous Imam – who opened this path to us – on a daily basis and give him the highest status in the hereafter. I hope that He will bestow on us the blessing to get closer to the blissful caravan of martyrs.