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 and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth
You are very welcome. I really enjoyed and benefitted from your good recitations and the programs that were performed. Thankfully, our people, our youth and our reciters grow and move forward year by year and day and day and this should be a source of our eternal gratitude. It was thankfully very good. I thank God for giving us another blessing and opportunity and for letting us live long enough to meet with this group of individuals and to have this meeting. I hope that God will associate all of you with the Quran, God willing.
The Quran is a peerless artistic work. One aspect of the greatness and significance of the Quran is its artistic aesthetics. What is interesting is that the first thing that attracted hearts to Islam like magnetism was its artistic aspect. The Arabs understood both the music and melody that exists in language and literary eloquence. It was like that in the Arab environment, but they suddenly witnessed a phenomenon which they had not seen before. It was neither poetry nor prose, rather it was an extraordinary artistic phenomenon.
The Commander of the Faithful (greetings be upon him) has also touched on this, “Certainly the outside of the Qur’an is wonderful and its inside is deep in meaning” [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 18]. The Arabic word “aniq” means a bewildering beauty, one that astounds people when they face it. The beauty of the Quran is like this. Of course, we Farsi-speakers – non-Arabs – and many Arab-speakers themselves do not have the blessing to understand this beauty, but we can do so if we familiarize ourselves with it. When we get close to the Quran and read and listen to it frequently, we understand how beautiful and eloquent the sentences are as well as its spiritual aspect.
Well, this artistic work should be performed in an artistic manner. Sometimes, we read the Quran at home for ourselves. In this case, it does not matter in whichever way we read it. It does not matter if we read it in a melodic or non-melodic way. Of course, it has been mentioned that you should read the Quran at home in a way that others outside hear you clearly, but the purpose of doing so is to create a Quranic environment in society. That is why they say that others should hear you, but when you read it alone for yourself, it does not matter if you read it quietly, loud or in a melodic way.
However, when there is an audience – for example, when you read it on a certain occasion – you want to create an effect in your audience. Here, art should be employed. Here, art should play its part. It is with art that the audience can be influenced. That is the reason why we listen to these recitations and why we encourage and confirm them. You perform and recite this glorious and unique artistic work in an artistic manner. The result is that the effect will increase by several times, provided that this artistic aspect will be performed in a correct and careful manner.
For example, I have frequently advised the friends to recite the Quran with the goal of conveying the meaning. You should read it in a way that you want to convey the meaning. We witness this in our Farsi poems as well. Panegyrists come here and read poems in a melodious manner. For example, they can read this poem in two ways, “Oh you vigilant heart, pay careful attention and consider the Iwan-e Madaen as an instructive lesson” [from a poem by Khaqani. Leader recites the poem in two distinct ways].
Are the two ways of reading this poem the same? No, they are not. In the second reading, you stress certain words and phrases in the correct way. This is what Sheikh Abdul-Fattah Sha’shayi and Mustafa Ismael do. This is what they do. Not everyone among the old Egyptian reciters is the same. Not everyone knows how to do this and not all of them are as careful, but some of them know what they are doing. When they read the Quran, they stress words whenever necessary. They read in a way that it sounds like you are being addressed by God and this way, your hearts are attracted.
This concept should be witnessed in our recitations and in our different occasions and meetings. In particular, it should be witnessed in the recitations of you who thankfully have a good voice. As we can see, all of you thankfully have a good voice. Your breaths and your voices are good and you are competent in different ways.
Of course, the second aspect too – “And its inside is deep in meaning” – is correlated with the artistic aspect. This way of reading can lead us to that depth of meaning to a large part. However, we should pay attention to the depth of the Quran. By “the depth of Quran”, I do not mean those depths which only the followers of dhikr and the Imams (greetings be upon them) are aware of. That is not our job. We should learn those depths from the narrations and statements of the Imams (greetings be upon them).
What I mean by “the depth of the Quran” is attention to the words. For example, the Quran says, “And the end is for the righteous” [The Holy Quran, 7: 128]. Well, what does “the end” mean? The end belongs to the righteous. Both the end in this world and in the hereafter belongs to the righteous and the pious. If you want to defeat the enemy in revolutionary activities and in the arena of war, you should be righteous. Notice that if you pay attention, you will see that the end belongs to the righteous. We should deliberate on these words and not go past them in a perfunctory manner.
Another example is, “Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits of your toil, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere” [The Holy Quran, 2: 155]. What is that fear? What is that hunger? One should think deeply about these words and these concepts. This is deliberation on the Quran. Deliberation on the Quran involves these aspects.
“And its inside is deep in meaning.” Everyone can get to the depth of this meaning within the scope of their capability, knowledge, studies, understanding and intelligence. Not everyone can understand it in the same way as others. We can do our best though. We should do our best and make an effort to understand Quranic teachings. When it is said that we should learn from the Quran how to live, this does not mean that we can find, for example, driving rules in the Quran as well. This is not the case. The Quran ornaments our minds with lofty teachings. When our mind transcends with lofty teachings, then we can get to all the secrets of the universe because with the Quran, we can learn wisdom: “He who possesses wisdom has the capability to do everything” [from a poem by Nezami].
When you understand what Quranic teachings are and when they are instilled in the minds of the people in society, in the minds of all the people in this country or at least in the minds of our Quranic community, then the different doors of human teachings and knowledge will open to humanity.
In my opinion, one of the most necessary tasks would be to increase the number of Quranic meetings and Quranic sessions. Of course, the attention to the Quran that existed in the past is not comparable to the present time. We cannot say that the attention rate was one percent. It did not even amount to one thousandth. During the time when we are in the middle of the arena and were witness to the affairs, the attention rate was not even one thousandth to that of the present era.
However, there were some good traditions and habits which have been undermined because of Quranic programs broadcast on the TV and radio – which are very good nonetheless. These things should be made up for.
یکی همین دورههای خانگیِ قرآن بود، یکی همین قرآن [خواندن] در مساجد یا در حسینیّهها بود. مساجد را پایگاه قرآن قرار بدهید. دو جور هم میشود جلسهی قرآنی تشکیل داد: یکی همین که دُور هم جمع بشوند و یک استادی بنشیند آنجا، بخوانند، قرآنِ افراد را تصحیح کند، نکات را بگوید، تذکّرات را بگوید؛ این یک جور است. یک جور هم این است که جمع بشوند، یک نفر برود روی منبر، بنا کند قرآن خواندن، و نیم ساعت، یک ساعت قرآن بخواند -مثل منبریای که منبر میرود و شما مینشینید پای منبرش، قرآنخوان، تالی قرآن، تلاوتگر برود روی منبر بنشیند و شروع کند به قرآن خواندن- شما هم بنشینید گوش کنید، [قرآن را] باز کنید، از روی قرآن نگاه کنید که این کار البتّه یواشیواش معمول شده. من وقتی میبینم در تلویزیون این کاری که در ماه رمضانها در مشهد و قم و در خیلی از شهرهای دیگر راه افتاده است که جمع میشوند داخل صحن و یک جزء از قرآن را میخوانند، همه گوش میکنند، واقعاً لذّت میبرم -که از قم هم این کار شروع شد، دیگران هم یاد گرفتند- خیلی کار خوبی است. این بایستی در مساجد مختلف در طول سال -نه فقط در ماه رمضان- تکرار بشود. مساجد گوناگون پایگاههای قرآن باشند؛ اعلان کنند مثلاً فرض کنید که شب پنجشنبه، شب جمعه، شب شنبه -یک شبی در هفته؛ اگر هر شب نمیشود- یک نفر خوانندهی قرآن بیاید آنجا بنشیند، شما هم بروید آنجا بنشینید و قرآن را باز کنید، او بخواند و شما نگاه کنید؛ و به ترجمه هم مراجعه کنید؛ ترجمههای خوب. زمان ما، آن وقتهایی که بنده در مشهد تفسیر میگفتم -دَهها سال پیش- یکی دو ترجمهی قرآن بود، آن هم ناقص؛ الان بحمدالله ترجمههای بسیار خوب، متعدّد وجود دارد در دسترس مردم، این ترجمهها را بگیرند نگاه کنند؛ این یک کار.
One good tradition was Quranic recitation sessions held in the people’s houses. Another was reading the Quran in mosques and Hussainiyahs. You should turn mosques into bases for the Quran. And Quranic meetings can be held in two ways: one is that individuals gather together with a teacher in control of the session so that they sit there and read the Quran. The teacher can correct their mistakes, teach the necessary points and offer recommendations. This is one way. Another way is that individuals gather together and one of them takes the minbar in order to read the Quran for half an hour, one hour. This is like a minbar that a person takes and others listen to him. A reciter should take the minbar and begin to read the Quran with you listening to him. You should open the Quran and follow the ayahs.
Of course, this has gradually become common. When I see what they are doing on TV in the month of Ramadan – people gather together in Mashhad, Qom and many other cities and each one reads one juz of the Quran and everyone listens – I really enjoy it. This was initiated in Qom and then others learned. This is a very good course of action. This should be repeated in different mosques and at different periods of the year – not only in the month of Ramadan.
Mosques should be the bases of the Quran. They should set certain nights – for example, Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights if it is not possible to do so every night – so that a person engages in reading the Quran while you open the Quran and listen to the reciter. And you should also refer to the translation: good translations. In our time, the time when I used to teach tafsir in Mashhad – tens of years ago – there was only one, two Quran translations which were incomplete. In the present time, however, there are thankfully many good translations available to the people. They should look at and read these translations. This is one task.
Another task is to hold tafsir sessions. Tafsir is highly important. Those who have the competence – mainly the honorable clergymen, seminarians and religious scholars – and those who are well-informed about the Quran should conduct a study and do some thinking in order to teach the people lessons on tafsir, thus increasing society’s level of understanding.
There is an ayah which says, “Verily this Quran guides to that which is most right” [The Holy Quran, 7: 9]. This Quran leads you to “That which is most right”. The Arabic word “aqwam” means more upright, better, stronger and more stable. It guides you towards “most right”. “Most right” in what? In your worldly life, in your dignity, in the establishment of your government and in your true and otherworldly life which is the real life: “Verily the home in the hereafter – that is life indeed” [The Holy Quran, 29: 64].
When Quranic teachings become available to everyone, this is what will happen. Of course, we have made great progress in the present time, but it is not enough. It is not enough compared to what should be. Although the progress is considerable compared to the past, it should be much more. Things should be in a way that our society, our men and women and our youth become increasingly familiar with Quranic teachings. Quranic teachings should dominate minds. If this happens, there will be the power to reason and to defend. Faith will be complete and movements will produce results.
As for Quranic sessions, I would like to add a point. It is common for you to say, “Allah, Allah” [when a reciter reads the Quran]. This way you encourage him and some people even go further imitating the Arabic tapes that enter our country in which they utter certain expressions – this is in their nature and it is not the case that it is a Quranic requirement. Our youth learn them and try to copy them in the exact manner. This is not necessary. It is good to encourage the reciter and there is nothing wrong with it. However, I sometimes see that when a foreign reciter comes here and recites the Quran – reciters from Arab countries, some of whom are really good, but not all of them are the same – the participants look as if they had a duty to encourage him in a loud voice after every ayah or half an ayah. Why should this be the case?
A grave problem with this is that he realizes that you do not correctly understand the recitation [Supreme Leader and audience laugh]. This is because he does a poor job and you say, “Allah, Allah.” He understands that you are not aware of the problems. This should not be the case. You should try to encourage him whenever he performs well. Of course, you should encourage our youth as much as you can and there is nothing wrong with this [Supreme Leader and audience laugh]. I am alright with this, but when a foreign reciter comes here and reads the Quran, it should not be the case that the audience deems it its duty to encourage him no matter how he performs.
To cite a specific example, they say “Allah, Allah” using the same tone and melody with which he performs. This is not necessary, but it is a very good point to promote warm Quranic sessions in society. So, what I am saying is that whenever a qari has an audience, they should pay attention to the point in the ayah and stress the necessary words so that understanding Quranic concepts will become easier and better for the audience.
My dear ones, we need the Quran. The Quran is our need today. Not only do we the Iranian nation, but also Islamic society and the global community really need the Quran today. It is the Quran that opposes arrogance. It is the Quran that explicitly opposes oppression. It is the Quran that openly confronts kufr in Allah. It is the Quran that powerfully confronts chaos and the taghut: “Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the way of taghut. So fight against the friends of Satan” [The Holy Quran, 4: 76]. How strong is the tone of the Quran!
These are the problems that humanity has today. Those who yell, as the presidents and kings of such and such countries, at nations, people, peace, tranquility and the stability of governments and countries are the people against whom the Quran lets out a cry. People should understand this. The Quran says to us, “And incline not to those who do wrong, or the fire will seize you” [The Holy Quran, 11, 113]. It says that you should not trust oppressors. This is the problem that peoples throughout the world have today. They trust and as a result, they are ruined.
You witnessed that a good movement was launched and a good fight erupted in certain Arab countries. There was an uprising and awakening, but it was extinguished like a flame that is put out with ash and earth. Why? Because they did not pay attention to “And incline not to those who do wrong.” They compromised with the US and the Zionist regime. They did not know what they must have done. That is why these things happen.
If Allah the Exalted helps a people and those people do not appreciate it, they will be beaten and slapped across the face. Therefore, they should appreciate the value of it. Our nation thankfully appreciated the value of this help from the very first day.
This great movement by our nation, the survival of the Revolution, the resistance and the increasing dignity of this nation and the extraordinary progress of this country have all occurred because our nation acted on these few ayahs of the Quran thanks to the existence of our magnanimous Imam. He taught this to us. His heart was imbued with faith in Allah. He was brimming with faith in God and in Quranic teachings. So, he taught us what to do and how to move.
And thankfully, the nation stood firm. Today, the same path exists. Today too, there is no path for this country other than resisting shaitans, taghut and unbelievers. By Allah’s favor, Allah the Exalted will bestow his blessings and assistance on our nation.
Dear God, make us be among the followers of the Quran
Dear God, make us live and die with the Quran. Associate us with the Quran
Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, associate our magnanimous Imam with Your saints. Associate our valuable martyrs with the martyrs of Karbala
Dear God, guide our youth towards the straight path. Ordain a good end for all of us. Eliminate our maladies
God shows His mercy on those who recite “Al-Fatihah” with salawat