In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I very much enjoyed, took advantage of and was benefited by this meeting, which is full of blessing, full of meaning, full of [spiritual] themes, and inspiring. [This meeting is about] expression of facts after mixing them with art, expression of virtues, which transcend the intellectual limits of any wise and sage person, [as well as] using the language of insinuation, allusion and aesthetic allegories, which point to that sublime meaning; this is the [main] characteristic of poetry.
This blessed meeting has been held here – in [this] Hosseiniyeh (religious place of worship) – for many years on this day and the blessings of this meeting are important and remarkable both in terms of its spiritual effects and [the opportunity it provides for] soul-searching and [spiritual] favors it does to the hearts of the faithful and those people who resort [to spiritual figures], and from the viewpoint of social and political impacts [of this meeting]. [Therefore,] I know the value of this meeting, [and] I praise God, because the Almighty God has given me the opportunity and respite to take part in this meeting one more year and one more time, and I thank you and thank [these] brethren, who performed here, as well.
[When it comes to talking about the merits of] the Lady of the Women of the World, [and the lady of] the woman of all worlds and all times [a nickname for Hadhrat Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)], the words of someone like this humble one are not only insufficient and faulty, but my words also fall short of [being able to] even explain part of those [merits]. Apart from spiritual and divine ranks – which save for the Infallible Ones (Peace Be Upon Them) nobody else can understand those ranks let alone describe them – [even] from the standpoint of apparent and rational criteria, the Lady of the Women of the World, Seddiqeh Kobra (PBUH) enjoys aspects and dimensions, which are unfathomable for us. Well, we say that this venerable one defended Velayat [Imam Ali (PBUH)’s rule of the Islamic society], lost her life, spoke with fluency and eloquence and the likes of these; however, these [merits] are [only] said in words [and] we cannot imagine that situation at all.
If the situation in Medina following the passing of the Prophet and conditions, which existed there would become clear for us and [if we could] imagine this issue correctly, then we would know what a great move was made by Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH). Difficult conditions, which were inexplicable even for the disciples of the Prophet, came about [in Medina]. Out of all disciples of the Prophet ([only] ten or twelve stood up at the mosque in order to defend Amir al-Mo'menin (PBUH) and the right of that venerable one. Out of all those disciples, all those dignitaries, all these followers of the Quran, [and] all those people, who had fought [along with the Prophet] in [the battles of] Badr and Hunain, [only a few defended Imam Ali (PBUH) and] this does not mean that all of them were against him; no, but the case was not clear enough even for the disciples of the Prophet to understand it correctly. [Defending Imam Ali (PBUH)] needed a person like Ammar, a person like Abizar, [and] a person like [what] Zubair [was] at that time; these were [few people] who stood up in front of the pulpit [at the mosque of Kufa] and defended the right of Amir al-Mo'menin (PBUH); [they were only] ten or twelve people whose names have been recorded in history. Of course, Zubair was among these [people]; keep this in mind. Conditions are like these; then under these conditions, the daughter of the Prophet goes into the mosque and presents and delivers that eloquent sermon with that amazing [way of] expression, and explains certain facts [to people].
Or that sermon, which she delivered addressed to women of Medina when she was on sickbed, all of which [sermons] have been recorded and [the text of] all of them now exist. These are not spiritual dimensions [of Hadhrat Fatemeh (PBUH)], [and] these are the sole dimensions, which are comprehensible for us. These [issues] can be understood with this very ordinary and rational approach, but [even these dimensions] are so grand that they cannot be measured; I mean, they cannot be compared to any other sacrifice. It is like, for example assume, that they say how many meters are the length and width of galaxies? Yes, it is measurable, [and] can be [even] determined in meters and centimeters; but who can do that? Who understands [that grandeur]? Who is able [to do this]? These are not divine and spiritual and otherworldly and sublime aspects [of her personality]; [these are] earthly aspects, but [even these aspects] are so grand that ordinary human beings cannot [understand them]. We talk about them, read laments about them, feel pity, [and] also cry over them, but we cannot [fathom] what happened [at that time], [and we cannot] correctly imagine how grand is this move, which was made by Hadhrat Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH).
Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) plays the role of a true leader. Just in the same way that our honorable Imam [Khomeini] said, if Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) was a man, she would have been ordained as prophet. This is a very amazing thing to say, is a very big thing to say and you cannot hear this unless from a person like the honorable Imam, who was both a scholar, and [Islamic] jurist, and a mystic. However, he has said this. [Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH)] is like this; I mean, she is a leader in the real sense of the word, like a prophet, [and] like a guide for the entire humanity. Zahra the Purest (PBUH), [this] young girl, appears at this level [of perfection]; [and] this is the [real picture of] woman of Islam.
Well, we keep praising, [and] lauding [them]; yes, one benefit is that mentioning the merits of these honorable ones sheds light on one’s heart, [and] increases one’s belief, one’s love, [and] one’s compassion [for them]; these are good, but there are various other facts beyond these issues. This is how woman is in the logic of Islam. Now, a group of negligent and ignorant people may try to criticize Islam’s view of women and flaunt the faulty and incomplete allegations of Western countries, which are full of problems, at us; [just see] how much deviated and how much erroneous [this effort is].
Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) is an Islamic woman, a woman at the highest level of Islamic woman, that is, at the level of a leader. However, this very woman, who in terms of virtues and merits and existential limit could have been a prophet, this very woman is also a mother, is a wife, [and] keeps house; look, these [points] must be understood. These negligence deceived [people, who criticize Muslim women] – what else one should call them? – [should] not [repeat] empty allegations of westerners, [and should not] humiliate housekeeping [by women] to such an extent. The [real] meaning of housekeeping by a woman is to raise a human being, its meaning is to produce the most sublime and the most precious product and commodity in the existing world, which is a human being. This is what housekeeping is about.
On the day of Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH)’s birth anniversary, it is better for us to correctly discern the limits of the Muslim woman. Today has been designated as the Women’s Day and the Mother Day; this is very, very good; it could be as well called the leader’s day, [and] it would be of no objection; it could be as well called the day of the most sublime human being; however, today, our society needs to know what does motherhood mean? What does it mean to be a housewife? [And] what does it mean to be mistress of one’s house? Despite that status and that [spiritual] rank and that position, and that grandeur, Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) is also a housewife; this does not amount to her humiliation; she, with that grandeur, cannot be humiliated after all; can this grandeur be taken lightly? This grandeur is reserved in its own place, but one of the aspects and one of the occupations of [a woman with] this grandeur is to be a wife or a mother and keeping house. [We must] look at these concepts from this angle.
Under the pretext of defending the women’s rights, a group of people say things, which are not only at odds with showing respect for women, [but also] undermine [the real status] of women; I am talking about people in our own country; otherwise, in the Western and European culture, such measures are most probably and with a possibility close to certainty, [the result of] a plot by Zionists, who basically aim to disrupt the human society and throw it into chaos; they want to make women a commodity at the service of men’s pleasure; this is their conspiracy, [but] we have nothing to do with them, [because] their problem is another problem. However, in our Islamic environment – both inside our country, and in some other Islamic environments – in order to support women, they bring up certain things, certain duties, [and] certain expectations for women, which this amounts to humiliation of women, [and] this is [tantamount to] belittling women. [For example] they say why don’t you let women work outside the house? Firstly, who is not allowing this? What is the problem with that? Secondly, [do you think that] working outside the house, that is, assume, [working as] secretary of that given bureau, is a [high] status for women that we would have to make a fuss over it? Is this the meaning of justice? [No, because] justice means that we must know what the Almighty God has embedded in the nature of any creature, know it, appreciate its value, [and] help it grow; this is [the real meaning of] justice.
The Almighty God has made men and women similar to each other from certain viewpoints. From the viewpoint of going up through spiritual ranks, they are no different, [and] an example [in this regard] is Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH); from the viewpoint of the leadership power they [men and women] are no different, [and] Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) is an example; from the viewpoint of the ability to guide humanity, they are no different, [and] Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) is an example. However, from the viewpoint of [their] duties in managing a life, they are different, [and] Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH) is again an example [in this regard]. These people, who want to defend the rights of women, as the saying goes, do not know which end is up and do not know what to say and which aspect of women to defend. They say why women [are] not [allowed to] be managers? Is being a manager [such] an honor for a human being that they would want to know why management [is special to men]? They call this gender justice; is this justice? Those people in the world, who pursued [to realize] gender equality and went after it, today, they are afflicted with so much wretchedness and corruption due to this issue that they are regretting what they did. Of course, most of them do not own up to it openly, many of them have also grown up with this culture [and] do not understand what is happening. However, their thinkers, yes [they know what is happening], [and] their thinkers say [and] understand [this and] express concern. I hope to God that these people inside the country, who talk about gender justice, their purpose is not what has been brought up as gender equality [in the West]. I hope that, God willing, we would take advantage of all the benefits of this day, [and] be benefitted by the name of Fatemeh Zahra (PBUH).
Let me say something about the issue of eulogy. Today, eulogizers of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household, praise be to God, are many – both in Tehran, and in [other] cities, [as] you saw today that they came from various cities and performed, and how beautiful and how good was [their performance]. This is a phenomenon, [and] is a unique phenomenon. Of course, we had [eulogizers] in old times [as well], [and] they were also there when I was young; [however,] this phenomenon was, firstly, very limited, [and] secondly, in terms of diversity of behaviors and readings and contents and formats, it was not at all comparable to what we see today. At the present time, this phenomenon has thrived and has spread across the country in an amazing way. Well, this phenomenon is a human phenomenon. In addition, it is [also] a faith-based phenomenon [and] moreover, it is an artistic phenomenon. [So, the question is] must we do with it? How [this phenomenon] must be used in favor of Islam and Muslims, [in a way] which would attract God’s content [as well]? I ask you to think about this. The [final] goal of all our moves and our works must be [satisfaction of] God. [When eulogizing], we mentions certain people by name, who never forgot God and ignored their sense of duty and [the necessity of] acting for [the sake of satisfying] God. [Therefore,] what we do must be [done] for God; [because] such work will do us good. After all, this worldly merchandise, this worldly applause and admiration, this advantage that one takes of his life at this juncture and the likes of such things have no value. One must try to satisfy the Almighty God, [because] it is the divine content, which is valuable for a person.
Now, what must we do, so that, [our actions] will lead to God’s satisfaction? We have two things: one is the format, [and] the other one is the content. The format is very good. Eulogizing [the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household] is a special form of artwork. [Therefore,] try not to mix this method of work with other methods of artistic singing. It should not be like that we would sing a poem in tragedy or eulogy [of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household], but the format [used] for [singing] this poem would be the format of a song, which a given person, who is living far from religion and far from spirituality and far from these statements that you make and is immersed in material [issues] and corruption [has sung]. You must be careful about this, [because] this is something important. What the Almighty God has given you – that is, a pleasant voice, a voice that appeals to people, suitable mind, [and] motivation – is a bounty. You must thank [God for] this bounty.
The same is true about the content. Firstly, the issue [that you deal with] is the issue of the merits of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household and bringing [people’s] hearts close to loving and knowing them. Fairly speaking, when it comes to knowledge of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household, we have still a long way to go. The more we can earn this knowledge, it would be a virtue for any human being. Therefore, endeavor toward [achieving] this [goal] and familiarize people with the knowledge [of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household]. This is one of those steps [which must be taken] with regard to the content. Another issue with regard to the content is to make people familiar with their religious obligations. The poems, which some of these brethren read out [here] today, were like this. Looking at the modern world, looking at [one’s] duties, [and] looking at groupings that exist, this [is one of those things, which] you are capable of doing. You can build a discourse. What I expect from the community of eulogizers – that today, praise be to God, are high both in number and in quality [and] are also attentive to [religious] values – is that you must be able to create a discourse in the society, and create a line of thinking. Discourse means that [way of] thinking, [and] that practical idea, which becomes prevalent among people and turns into the dominant current [of a society]; this is [the real meaning of] discourse. At any juncture of time, people need to have a dominant currency available to them; you can do this.
Once upon a time, it was the period of the Sacred Defense [eight-year Iraqi imposed war against Iran], and it was necessary for people to get prepared to defend [their country] or to support [their armed forces]. At that time, our poets and our eulogizers played good roles. Of course, there were some people who stayed aloof and sat at a corner. We had such [poets] as well. However, there was a group, which entered the arena and made an effect. Today, you read [poems] about [the war fronts in] Fakkeh and Shalamcheh [regions], [despite the fact that the memories of] Fakkeh and Shalamcheh belong to [about] 30 years ago, but Fakkeh and Shalamcheh will not be forgotten and will be remembered in the history of this country. Why? Because they played a role [in the country’s history], because if today, you have independence, if you have freedom, if you have dignity, if you have identity, if the enemy has not dominated you, [and] if your families are safe, this is due to the same Fakkeh and Shalamcheh. Poets and eulogizers played a role in this regard. The discourse at that time, was the discourse of taking part in that [form of] defense [of the country]. Any juncture of time has its own intellectual needs. This is different from politicking and different from political work, [because] this is looking at what the country needs. Look and see what does your country [and] what does your nation need at this juncture of your history, [and then] make it the goal of your endeavors.
Fortunately, at the present time, our religious poets, who write lament and eulogy poems – just recently they brought me books about monotheism, [and] about Ashura [which show that] very good steps have been taken in this regard – they are articulate, talented poets who find [good] themes, make [good] themes and [also] use good words and good concepts [in their poems]. Praise be to God, our eulogizers are also good singers and [have] a pleasant and warm and attractive voice. This is a very big opportunity available to our country and our nation; this [opportunity] must be taken advantage of, [and] do not let [this opportunity] be wasted. I have talked about issues related to eulogy and some problems that may befall them in past years, [and] I do not [want to] talk more about them [here], but you, the community of eulogizers of the country, [and] each and every one of you people, who eulogize the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household and have this honor, think [about this], identify its problems and turn it into a complete merchandise. [In this way,] it will progress and thrive day by day and you will also earn God’s content, [and] earn the content of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household as well.
Serving Imam Hossein (PBUH) and the Prophet (PBUH)’s Household in the real sense of the word means that one should be able to propagate their thoughts, their policy, [and] their orientation in the society on a daily basis, and it is this [task] that will make our country and our society and our establishment and our people dignified and lasting and will do away with problems. If we have a good nation with identity, stable, lasting, [properly] managed and endowed with independence and freedom, Islam would be really materialized in our nation and Islam would be publicized [in a way], which would be very, very much better and more [effective] than this publicity that we are currently doing. What you do is one of the pillars of [all efforts made to realize] this [goal].
I ask the Almighty God to make you successful. I thank you all. I also thank the organizers of this meeting, [and] thank all those who played a role [in this meeting] – both those who wrote a poem, and those who benefited us and performed [those poems as religious songs] – and I wish divine assistance and divine mercy and grace for all of you.
Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings