The unique leadership qualities of Ayatollah Khamenei (2)

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Virtuous and successful persons always make planning in their life so that every day they increase their moral and ethical perfection.

Even the vicissitudes of life and the problems they face in their political, social, economic, and cultural activities, do not deter them from striving towards the path of perfection. Undoubtedly, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution is a manifest example of such persons. This is indicative of the fact that for him the exemplary life of the Almighty's Last Messenger to mankind and the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt (peace upon them), is the model of emulation.

For this reason, Ayatollah Khamenei has undauntedly taken up the path of piety, patience, peace, jihad, justice, promotion of religious and moral values in society, and other virtuous characteristics in order to gain the proximity of Almighty Allah.

According to one of his roommates in Madrasa-e Hojjatiyya during his religious studies in the holy city of Qom in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he used to stay awake at night in worship and meditation. Every morning, before the break of dawn, he would recite the Azaan or call for prayer loudly, at the school. Whenever I accompanied him to the Jamkaran Mosque, I found him exceptional because of his profound dedication to the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (may God expedite his reappearance to cleanse the world of all vestiges of oppression and corruption by establishing the global government of peace, prosperity, and justice).

Ayatollah Khamenei considers piety and worship as factor for success in better serving the people. This is the main reason for the aura of spirituality surrounding him. During prayer, the leader is so humble before God and so engrossed in worship that he is never distracted by anything around. Hojjatoleslam Rashed Yazdi, who was also in exile to a remote part of the country during the Pahlavi era, recalls that once during prayers, a stray animal disturbs the gathering and even pulls with its mouth the prayer mat of one of the worshippers that makes others laugh, but only the then Hojjoteslam Khamenei is unperturbed and continues with his prayer without any additional gesture.

The ethics and humbleness of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, before the people especially the deprived classes, is proverbial. He always advises the officials to work for improving the people’s life. During his 8-year presidency, he made ceaseless efforts for resolving people’s problems and one of the reasons behind his re-election in 1985 was his honest effort for resolving the people’s problems. His presidency was concurrent with the 8-year war imposed on Iran by the US through Saddam, and despite his high rank he used to visit the battlefront to boost the moral of the Muslim combatants.

The Leader’s humbleness towards people in his visit to various provinces is also praiseworthy. He makes no discrimination and meets everyone in a warm manner. The blessed life of Ayatollah Khamenei is mixed with love towards the oppressed and revolutionary people. This affection has always been reciprocal and people always express their love and affection to him.

Ayatollah Khamenei takes special interest in issues pertaining to the youths since they are the hope of the future. He often holds meetings with various groups of youth of different classes, including elite students who eagerly listen to his valuable advices. He preaches to them the benefits of piety which is the key to resolving so many problems, including scientific issues. Among his famous statements is that, if a youth strives to be pious he gains the biggest asset for both his study, and his creative activities, for spirituality, quest for justice, campaign against poverty, defence of the homeland, awareness of political issues of Iran and the world, and academic and scientific studies, are all intermixed.

Ayatollah Khamenei is well versed in God's final revelation to mankind, the holy Qur'an and its related sciences. His aim is to spread in the society the ethereal teachings of the holy Qur'an, since this heavenly scripture is the finest and most comprehensive divine code for guidance of mankind. Abdur-Reza Izad-Panah, who before the Islamic Revolution, studied the exegesis of the holy Qur'an in Mashhad under the then Hojjatal-Islam Khamenei, says: His method of explanation was rather unique, and he always used to emphasize on the man-building aspects. He considers the message of the holy Qur'an as key to human prosperity in life and salvation in the Hereafter.

He says: We should face the holy Qur'an as we face a mirror, clean and shining so that it resonates in our hearts and echoes in our minds. If the heart is not pure and not prepared for accepting truth, one cannot make the proper use of the holy Qur'an. Ayatollah Khamenei has a specific skill in the recitation and the correct form of pronunciation of the holy Qur'an.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution keeps himself physically fit, and is especially fond of mountain-climbing. He used to play volleyball in his youth, and if he has spare time, he plays with his children. Ayatollah Khamenei has an excellent command of art and literature, and is a well-read person. He has also written several books on a wide variety of subjects, including one on the role of the Muslims of India in the struggle against British colonial rule.

Film director Majid Majidi says about the Leader's interest in art and cultural issues: “He is an authority in cultural fields. You cannot find any cultural official of the country who has cultural information in films, music, theatre and imaginary arts as much as him. Ayatollah Khamenei enjoys many other unique characteristics, the most important of which is self-confidence and determination against the enemies, especially the US and the illegal Zionist entity called Israel. These qualities have made the Islamic Republic of Iran a power on the world scene.

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