The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 11, 2014 by Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the director and researchers of Dar ul-Hadith Research Institute. The meeting was held in the Imam Khomeini (r.a.) Hussainiyah, after the Supreme Leader paid a visit to an exhibition of Dar ul-Hadith publications.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
I would like to congratulate you on the auspicious and blessed birthday anniversary of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) and on the blessedness of the auspicious month of Shaban - which owes its blessedness to this great and auspicious birthday. I thank Mr. Reyshahri and his dear and honorable colleagues for the precious gift that they presented to the Islamic and scientific community of the country on the occasion of this Eid.
This precious gift is the encyclopedia of Mahdaviat with the characteristics that they mentioned which are important characteristics. I think it was yesterday or the day before yesterday that I found the opportunity to take a brief look at it. I found it to be an outstanding and interesting book. By Allahs favor, I will make time to read it from the beginning to the end. This work is a very important and great work.
The main thing is that ones mind becomes aware of a need and a gap and then one makes an effort to fill this gap and meet this need. These things have been done. Naturally, there is no piece of work done by us humans that is not without any flaw. It is not important whether this book is complete and comprehensive or flawed. What is important is that this book exists. The need for preparing it was felt and the effort for producing it was made. Thankfully, it was produced and it came into being. I sincerely thank him and his honorable colleagues.
I would like to say a few things about these auspicious days and the great and dear existence of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). Then, I will say a few things about your research institute, Dar ul-Hadith.
On the issue of the Imam of the Age (Gods greetings be upon him), you worked very well, you made good efforts and you have mastery over all the aspects of the issue. What is important is that belief in the Imam of the Age (a.s.) is part of the world view of religions. That is to say, as divine religions express their viewpoints, through their general world view, about the world, human beings, the origin of creation and the end of humanitys life - in other words, about the origin of human beings and resurrection - one of the parts of this world view is the end of humanitys caravan in this world. A world view is a great system which lays the foundation for all the thoughts, obligations and rules of religions.
The issue of the afterlife and the other world is a different issue. This issue is about ones fate in the afterlife. One issue is where humanity is going. If we liken the human community throughout history to a caravan which is taking a specific path, then we are faced with this question: Where is this caravan going? What is the destination of this caravan? What is the end of this path? This is a serious question and every world view should answer it.
Religions have answered this question. The answers that intellectual and non-religious schools of thought provide are not similar to one another, but the answers that religions provide are very similar. Their answers are clear. As far as we know divine religions and the religions which are a copy of divine religions - although they are not divine, it is clear that they have derived their rules and principles from divine religions - all of them believe that this caravan will reach a favorable, sweet and pleasant destination in the end.
The main characteristic of this destination is justice. Justice has been humanitys general request from the first day until today and it will remain its main request until the end. Those people who try to believe in variety, diversity and change in their principles and main philosophies cannot deny the fact that humanity has had certain requests from the first day until today, the most important of which is justice. Humanity is after justice. It has never changed its mind about this request and in the end, this request will be met.
This has been reflected in our works: "Through him, Allah will fill the earth with fairness and justice as if it had been filled with oppression and cruelty" [Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, page 156]. In most of the texts, it is "as if it had been filled" and in some texts, it is "after it has been filled". This is the answer that all religions provide. In fact, any member of humanity knows where this public path will lead to.
If we want to provide a comparison, we should say that this is like a traveler or a caravan that is passing through difficult bends and turns, difficult passages, mountains, valleys, swamps and scrublands in order to reach a specific point. Where is this point? This point is a freeway, an important road and an open and smooth path. All the things that we witness throughout the history of humanity are a movement on the same difficult paths, in the same bends and turns, in the same scrublands and swamps and the like. Humanity is constantly taking this path in order to reach a freeway. This freeway is the era of Mahdaviat. It is the era of the re-appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (Gods greetings be upon him).
It is not the case that when we reach there, a sudden movement is launched and then it comes to an end. This is not the case. That point is a path. In fact, it should be said that humanitys main and ideal life begins from that point and humanity just begins to take a path which is the straight path and which helps it reach the destination. It helps humanity in general, not a specific group of people. It helps all groups, not just certain individuals.
Of course, this does not mean that mans nature begins to change in such conditions. This is not the case. Mans nature is an internal struggle and confrontation between good and evil. Both mans mind and nature are at play during the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age (a.s.). Mans instincts have certain obligations and drives. Therefore, natural tendencies and instincts do what they are supposed to do. The same is true of mind.
This struggle will exist during the time of the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) as well. It is not the case that all people will turn into angels at that time. The same struggle will exist then as well. The same is true of good and evil. However, the road is one that is appropriate for doing good, moving in the right direction and moving towards the real goal.
This is the characteristic of that path and this is the true and real meaning of justice. And it is certain to happen. The achievements that humanity has made in the middle of the way are a sign to those who have a suspicious mind that what has been promised will happen. The ayahs that were recited in this meeting are interesting and important to me. There is a point in these ayahs which are about Hazrat Moses birth when his mother casts him into water: "So, We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: ‘Suckle your child, but when you have fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve for We shall restore him to you, and We shall make him one of Our messengers" [The Holy Quran, 28: 7].
There are two promises in this ayah: one is the promise of returning Moses to his mother and another is the promise of "We shall make him one of Our messengers". This was the general promise that had been given to Bani Israel, as a result of which they were waiting for a savior to emerge. And this savior would be sent by God and he would save Bani Israel from the Pharaoh. In this revelation, Allah the Exalted gave this second promise to Moses mother as well: "We shall make him one of Our messengers". It means that God will send him as a messenger who is going to fulfill that great promise and that great desire.
Allah the Exalted gave these two promises. One promise was imminent which was, "We shall restore him to you". In the following ayahs - unfortunately, Mr. Sabz-e Ali did not recite them - Allah the Exalted says, "Thus did We restore him to his mother, that her eyes might be comforted, that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true" [The Holy Quran, 28, 13].
Obviously, when God restored the child to the mother, this comforted her eye and made her stop grieving. This cheered and comforted her heart and it enlightened her eyes. But another effect of this restoring was that "She might know that the promise of Allah is true". The purpose of this restoring was to let her know that the promise that God gave - sending a messenger whose duty is to save the Bani Israel from oppression - is a true promise.
Another purpose was to comfort her heart. This means that a small promise by God is fulfilled so that every wise individual becomes sure that the great promise will be fulfilled as well. The achievements that humanity has made throughout history with the help of religion are the same small promises. One of these achievements is the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic is one of these promises.
Allah the Exalted had promised that if we fight, show patience and rely on Him, He would give us power when we do not expect it and when we have no hope of gaining it. The same thing happened. The people of Iran engaged in fighting, they showed patience, they stood firm, they made sacrifices, they laid down their lives and as a result, something happened that no one would have thought.
Who would have thought that in this very sensitive region, in this very important country and in the face of that regime which was strongly supported by global powers, a government would emerge and a revolution would achieve victory that was based on religion, fiqh and sharia? Who would have thought that such a thing would happen? The answer is no one. If someone says that I knew that such a thing would happen, this is impossible unless they have spiritual and supernatural powers. All evidence was against this. But it happened. Therefore, we should know that the main promise will be fulfilled as well. This was one example of the event that will happen.
We should wait. The outlook of religions towards the destination of humanitys caravan is a very promising outlook. The spirit of waiting and establishing a close relationship with the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) and anticipating the day when he re-appears is really one of the greatest gates of salvation [faraj] for the Islamic community. We are waiting for salvation. This anticipation itself is salvation. This anticipating is the gate to salvation. It is promising and revitalizing. It prevents us from feeling desperate, ruined, hopeless and confused about the future. It gives us hope and it provides guidance. This is the issue of the Imam of the Age (Gods greetings be upon him). I hope that Allah the Exalted will make us be among those who wait for his re-appearance in the real sense of the word and I hope that He will enlighten our eyes about the fulfillment of this promise.
As for the tasks that you dear brothers and sisters carried out under the management of Mr. Reyshahri in recent years, I deem it necessary to express my sincere gratitude. Very good and innovative tasks have been carried out. The important t thing is to activate minds in order to identify the gaps. And this is a great and important art. It is an important art to take a look and find the gaps. Your institute has fortunately passed its test in this regard. It has found the gaps and it has focused its efforts on filling them.
The issue of the Holy Quran and hadith is a very important issue. On the issue of Mahdaviat and the issues related to the Imam of the Age (a.s.) - including the issue of waiting, the issue of his lifespan, the issue of his government, the issue of the responsibilities that anticipators have and different other issues - the best source is hadith and what has been narrated by the Imams (a.s.) themselves because these sources leave no room for doubt and this is the most important point.
As Mr. Reyshahri pointed out - I have the same opinion as well - aqli and etebari evidence can be used to illustrate the issue, but what is determining and definite is hadith and Quranic sources. We should rely on such sources and benefit from them. Of course, certain things should be corrected and we should not trust unreliable statements. We do not have a shortage of reliable statements and sources. Thankfully, there are many well-established, well-founded and reliable statements and intellectual schools of thought in this regard. Therefore, we can rely on and benefit from them.
I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow success on you. I would like to thank you again for presenting this precious gift to the Islamic community on this auspicious Eid. By Allahs favor, the intellectual society of the country will make maximum use of the gift that you offered.
Greetings be upon you and Allahs mercy and blessings