Imam Ali KhameneiLeaders of Ummah

The family environment where martyrs were raised should be recorded and recounted

The following is the full text of a speech by Imam Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, delivered on March 15, 2021 in a meeting with the officials of the Congress in Commemoration of the Martyrs of Yazd.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds, and may peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his pure Household, especially the one remaining with God on earth.
Very glad to have you. Whenever martyrs are remembered and their names are mentioned, it is sweet and pleasant for people like us who are deprived of the lofty blessings bestowed on them. I pray that God will grant you success. It was very good of you to organize this commemoration ceremony in this way, with this format and on this basis as has been mentioned by the honorable gentlemen who have organized this meeting. I sincerely thank all the officials in charge of this commemoration ceremony and all those involved in it, in particular because the task that you have begun has a very interesting, ingenuous initiative. You have raised the idea of “forty services” on behalf of the pure souls of the 4,000 martyrs from the Yazd province and developed this idea throughout the province. What you have done is truly beautiful, significant and beneficial. 
Mr. Naseri explained these “forty services” in detail. I too would like to speak a little about this in order to promote this idea throughout the country. These 40 services include all types of services ranging from planting 4,000 saplings, preparing the jahizieh (necessary provisions for setting up house) for newly-weds, organizing “simple marriage ceremonies,” and naming children – this is a very important issue that has been ignored by many people. One of the important cultural matters of the country is the issue of naming children, because there is a bad trend in this regard. But you have stood up to this. And you are providing free treatment, offering packages of foodstuffs to the needy, presenting cultural projects and organizing sessions for the recitation of the Holy Quran – four thousand complete recitations. In other words, these services encompass various issues, including tangible issues related to people’s daily affairs and spiritual issues such as reciting Ziarat Ashura and the Holy Qur’an. This is a very significant initiative.
The people of Yazd are creative. This is one of the most important, beautiful initiatives that you have introduced. The same was true during wartime. During the war too, everyone witnessed the initiatives the people of Yazd introduced. I myself saw some of these initiatives and heard about others from other people. One example we can refer to is the art of digging qanats, or underground water channels, for satisfying the needs of our soldiers. Another example is how they enlisted the help of housewives in Yazd and organized centers for sewing. Widespread sewing centers were established in Yazd. It first began in one single center but expanded later. The late Martyr Sadduqi (may God bestow paradise on him) encouraged this, and the result was that these centers became widespread. In these centers, people sewed uniforms and clothes for our soldiers. I could also mention the Al-Ghadir Brigade Camp, which I once visited. They had built a bath inside the camp. I went inside and it was really very good. It was like the buildings for baths in large cities. It had many showers and the innovations used in it were truly unique, which one cannot really see elsewhere. Apart from these services, their work in the military and their endeavors there are important on their own as well. The people of Yazd are like this.
The same was true before the Revolution. Shortly before the Revolution, we who were in Mashhad borrowed the famous elegy recited in Yazd. I heard that it had been recited in Jahrom and in Yazd. They had included revolutionary subject matter in their elegy and it had a strong influence. It was a great endeavor. The Revolution is hugely indebted to the people of Yazd because of their role in the event that took place on the 10th of Farvardin, as mentioned by the gentlemen in the meeting. The 10th of Farvardin demonstration was organized at a sensitive time because of the massacre in Tabriz and the people’s movement that had been suppressed there. Of course, the Tabriz uprising was an extraordinary event as well. In those circumstances, the people of Yazd held a ceremony for Arbaeen and the late Martyr Sadduqi himself participated in it. Of course, there were other personages as well, such as the late Mr. Falfasi, but he did not make public addresses to the people. Others such as Mr. Rashed made public addresses. Later, those bitter events took place. But in one sense, they were a source of joy since they showed the great movement of the people of Yazd. These are important points.
Of course, Martyr Sadduqi’s role should not be forgotten in this regard. Martyr Sadduqi was not only an active clergyman, he was also a leader. I witnessed this up close in Yazd. I travelled from Jiroft to Yazd in the months of Mehr and Aban when I was returning from exile. I stayed in Mr. Sadduqi’s house for a few days. Therefore, I saw what he was capable of. He led the people in the true sense of the word. He made decisions on the spur of the moment, and I was witness to this in his house. Of course, I had heard this from before. When I was in Iranshahr and Jiroft in exile, some people from Yazd were in contact with us because of Mr. Rashed who was with us there. They would speak about the role of Martyr Sadduqi. But I too had witnessed up close how he led the people in Yazd in the true sense of the word. That was his extraordinary role. He maintained that role during the war as well, and he continued doing so as long as he was alive. He also participated in the frontlines and encouraged everyone. After him, the late Mr. Khatami (may God bestow paradise on him) continued on the same path with his purity and with the truth that existed in him. I was in close contact with him and I knew him from up close. I pray that God willing He will raise the status of these people.
 As for the commemoration of martyrs, my dear ones, these ceremonies are for the sake of hearing the martyrs’ messages. Martyrs have certain messages for us, which are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Because we are engulfed by various necessary and unnecessary diversions in life, and because we are pulled this way and that way by different attractions, we need to hear the martyrs’ messages. Such commemoration ceremonies can convey these messages to us. Martyrs have many messages. One of these messages is stated in the Holy Qur’an by God, the Truthful, “Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” [Holy Qur’an, 3:169] This is one point, that they are alive. Well, many souls are alive in purgatory. If the martyrs being alive was like others being alive, it would not have been necessary to mention it in this verse. This verse shows that their life after their martyrdom is a special life, one which is particular to martyrs. [The Qur’an says,] “Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” They are present before God, the Exalted, and they continuously receive divine sustenance. This is the first point, which is about the martyrs’ glorious position and is in response to the questions raised by the hypocrites, that have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. 
In the preceding verse from Chapter Al Imran, the hypocrites say, “If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been slain.” [3:156] They say that if they had not gone, those youth would be alive now. At the present time too, we sometimes hear people say that if such and such things had not been done, those people would be alive. The Qur’an states that it is not the way you think, “Say: ‘Avert death from your own selves, if you speak the truth.’” [3:168] If you think that staying behind is a means for survival, do something to prevent your own selves from dying. You who are sitting idly, you should repel death if you are able to do so. After this the Qur’an says that they are not dead at all. The concepts of dead and alive change their meaning in this verse. They are not dead, and you only think they are dead. When their bodies are buried beneath the ground, you think of them as dead. But they are not dead; they are alive. This is their life in purgatory.
Another verse about martyrs is, “They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah, thanks to His Generosity.” [3:170] God has bestowed on them His blessings and mercy, more than what anyone deserves. A blessing means a generous thing given in abundance. Well, sometimes you do something for which God has specified a certain reward. The reward is given in return for the good dead done. However, a blessing is something extra that is given in addition to the reward, “They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah, thanks to His Generosity.” There is another message as well, “And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the martyrs glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.” [3:170] They are “joyful.” The joyful are those who are happy because of the good news that they have received. They say that they are happy for those who have not yet joined them but who move in their path, because of the fate that awaits them. What is that fate? “That on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.” They say that you should know that you will not have any worries or fear in the future because you are moving on our path. Notice that this is a very important message – the martyrs’ message to us. 
“They glory in the grace and bounty from Allah.” [3:171] God will bestow His blessings because of your actions. “And in the fact that Allah suffers not the reward of the Faithful to be lost.” [3:171] God will reward you for your actions and He will not allow your actions to be lost. Well, martyrs are telling us these things. They are encouraging us so that we will continue our movement in a firmer, stronger, more persistent manner.
Well, you have done pious actions. You have done forty, four hundred and four thousand important tasks. These are things that gladden the martyrs. They are gladdened by your actions. They are joyful. Well, these are the martyrs’ messages to us so that we will be careful not to drift away from the path and so that we will continue on this same way. The martyrs’ message is the exact opposite of the message conveyed by materialists and those who try to tempt us. They tempt us by saying, “What’s the use of doing that action? Why are you doing that? What are you doing? Why are you going?” This is the exact opposite of the messages given by these dear martyrs.
Well, I took a look at the books you have put on display. Of course, there was not enough time to read them with the little time that we had, but I looked at the titles. I admire your tastefulness in designing the appearance of the books. Very well done. They have printed the martyrs’ photos on the covers. There were numerous books, and I saw very good banners and photos that were put up. These are all good initiatives and good moves. There were other good initiatives too that have been mentioned by the gentlemen in the meeting.
You should definitely pay attention to one point, which is about the martyrs’ motives and goals. Why did martyrs go to a war that led to their martyrdom? This is important. Well, to people like you and me, it is clear. Their motivation was the Revolution, supporting Imam and protecting the great movement launched by the Islamic Republic since the enemy wanted to destroy and extinguish it. However, much distortion has been entered in this regard. They fabricate stories in order to refute this truth, so you should strengthen it. The martyrs’ goal was to support the Revolution, Imam and religion. Notice that in many of their testaments, the martyrs mention the auspicious name of Imam as well as the issues of hijab [Islamic covering] and the Revolution. These are their motives. Their goal was to help the country and society to achieve the goals established by the Islamic Revolution. This was their goal. They left for this. They went to war in order to stand up to the enemy whose goal was to erase the effects of the Revolution and to undermine the Islamic Republic, which revolves around the Revolution. They were able to achieve this goal, and they were martyred. This is one point.
Another point is introducing these glorious personalities to the youth. I saw the names of great, outstanding martyrs, but you should not be satisfied with this. According to the report that I received, there are approximately a thousand martyrs who were students among the martyrs of Yazd. In other words, among these four thousand martyrs, one thousand of them were students. This is a very important point. In the report that they delivered to me, it was mentioned that the average age of the martyrs from Yazd was 23 years old. This means that about half of them were less than 20 years old. The youngest martyr in the Sacred Defense was from Yazd. He was a 12 or 13-year-old boy. These are important points and you should highlight them. There were 1,000 students who became martyrs. Today’s students should know what great accomplishment the previous generation achieved at that age. These are important points that should receive attention.
Notice that the enemy – when I use the term “the enemy” frequently, some people become upset at my insistence on this, but we should insist on this so that people do not forget the enemy is lying in ambush for them – is constantly working to discourage the youth and dissuade them from this path. He wants to cause those who do not believe to be drowned in corruption. And he wants to cause those who believe to drift away from the Revolution. The enemy is constantly planning. Many of the enemy’s plans – if not all – are reported to us and we know what their plans are. In response, you should endeavor to preserve your youth. And you are capable of doing this. You should not allow the enemy’s temptations to influence and discourage the youth resulting in them working for him in the end.
Another point is about the memoirs of the martyrs’ parents. Unfortunately, many of the parents of the martyrs of the Sacred Defense Era have passed away before recording their memoirs. But thankfully, some of them are still living. Of course, the memoirs of the spouses are also important. They should be documented as well. Fortunately, many of them are still alive. However, the memoirs of martyrs’ parents are important because they show us the environment inside the martyr’s family. There are several books about two martyrs or three martyrs from a single family. Let us consider the case of a family who had three children who were martyred. First, one of them is martyred. Then, another two, twins, are martyred in one day. They were born on the same day and they were also martyred on the same day. What did this family do to create such motivation in their children for them to participate in the front lines? How was the family run? These are important questions that deserve attention.
Of course, the memoirs of martyrs are important as well. The family environment and characteristics of a family are among the things that should be recorded. Unfortunately, there are some people today who live with complete security and freedom in the shade of the Islamic Republic and the endeavors of these martyrs, other such martyrs and the disabled war veterans. But these people work and move in a direction that is exactly opposite to theirs. They should clarify for themselves how they want to answer for the wrong things being done that are in opposition to the pure blood of the martyrs. In response, you should increase your efforts on the path of the truth and the Revolution. 
I pray that God, the Exalted, will be satisfied with you. God willing, the holy heart of the Imam of the Time (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) will be satisfied with you and you will benefit from his prayers. God willing, the pure souls of these martyrs will be satisfied with you and pray for you. I pray that God will bless the large, important tasks that are ahead of us and you. Say hello to the dear people of Yazd on my behalf. 
Greetings be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings. 

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