I congratulate you on the coming of the month of Sha’ban and the auspicious Eids (Celebrations) during this month. The month of Sha’ban is one of the most valuable opportunities we have. These three months – the months of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan – are very valuable times. And, we should make use of the divine blessings in these three months. As those in the military say, “We should complete the foundation of our spirituality.”
If a person’s spiritual reserve is less than a necessary amount, he/she may make grave mistakes and go astray. Spirituality in human beings helps them to have a goal in life; it makes life meaningful and gives direction to it. In the same way, spiritual and ethical ideals give direction to the life of a society, a country, and a nation. It gives meaning to their struggles, and it builds a person’s identity. When a nation and a country are deprived of moral and spiritual ideals, they lose their true identity. As a result, they are easily influenced by others. At times, they may be inclined to one trend and at other times to another trend. At times they may be controlled by one group and at other times by another group. This auspicious month, and the two months before and after it, are opportunities for us to build up and complete spiritual resources within ourselves.
We are constantly suffering from wear and tear. Our hearts and souls are constantly eroding in the face of the events of everyday life. These erosions must be taken into account and be compensated for with the right means; otherwise, one will perish. A person may make advances in terms of appearance and wealth, but if he/she does not think about compensating for this wear and tear, he/she will be spiritually destroyed. The Qur’an states, “Indeed those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah!’ and then remain steadfast, the angels descend upon them.” [Qur’an, 41:30] “Our Lord is Allah”(Rabbana Allah) means confessing to being a servant of God and submitting to Him. This is a great thing, but not enough. When we say “Our Lord is Allah,” it is very good for the moment when we say it. But, what if we forget to say “Our Lord is Allah.” Saying “Our Lord is Allah” today will do nothing for our tomorrow. Therefore, the verse continues on to say, “…and then remain steadfast.” Stability and steadfastness are necessary and people must stay on this path. This will lead to angels descending on a person. Otherwise, if we are just good for a short time, God’s angels will not be sent down on one, the light of guidance and the hand of divine assistance will not be extended to a person, and a person won’t reach to the rank of being the righteous servant of God. One should continue and stay on the right path, “…and then remain steadfast.” If you want to create this steadfastness, you have to be constantly careful that the level of your spirituality does not fall below the required level. These months are an opportunity to evaluate ourselves.
Imam Khamenei, October 9, 2002