On the occasion of the anniversary of the first Friday Prayer organized after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Imam Khamenei met with Friday Prayer leaders from across the country in the Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah on July 27, 2022. The following are some of the main points he stated during this meeting.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution met with Friday Prayer leaders on July 27, 2022. In addition to describing the social and religious benefits and aspects of the Friday congregational Prayer in this meeting, Imam Khamenei referred to the great accomplishments Iranian women have achieved while wearing hijab. He emphasized that the assault on hijab is based on a part of the colonizer’s logic and that this must be exposed.
Highlighting issues related to women and hijab, Imam Khamenei stated, “Such issues have continuously been brought up since the beginning of the Revolution. Recently too, the same futile attempts are being made using the excuse of hijab.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution added, “It is many years now that the West has been saying that as long as women are not freed from moral and religious boundaries and coverings, they cannot make progress and reach higher scientific, political and social positions. But over the course of more than four decades, Iranian women have been able to be present in scientific, social, athletic, political, managerial, economic and cultural fields. They have achieved great accomplishments, all while wearing the Islamic hijab and the chador.”
While speaking about remembering the Household of the Prophet (pbuh) during the special times that are related to them, Imam Khamenei highlighted the importance of the Friday Prayers. He referred to its unique status among the religious duties and said, “The bond between paying attention to God and the people coming and their gathering together, everyone remembering God as a group and the showering of blessings on the people, the continuation of Friday Prayers every week without a break, functioning as an important base for bringing up various social matters including intellectual issues, social services, public cooperation, and military preparedness and deployment, and combining religion with politics are some of the most important characteristics of the Friday Prayers. These factors have turned it into a great, extraordinary opportunity.”
He also added, “Friday Prayers, with such characteristics, are an important link in the long chain of the soft power of the Islamic Republic.”
The Leader of the Islamic Republic then discussed whether the Islamic Republic has been able to give Friday Prayers their due status. The Leader stated, “It seems that we have shown some negligence in this regard, and we should work hard so that these shortcomings will be eliminated. Some of this work is the responsibility of the Friday Prayers leaders themselves, and some of it should be carried out through macro-management.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution discussed two points about the Friday Prayer leaders: 1. The behavior and lifestyle of Friday Prayer leaders and 2. The content of their sermons.
As for the first point, Imam Khamenei stated, “In the same way that the Friday Prayer leaders invite everyone to piety during the Friday Prayers, they should do their best to be pious and act on this advice themselves. Otherwise, the opposite results will be seen.”
He considered a fatherly behavior toward everyone as being another requirement for the Friday Prayer leaders, and added, “People from different levels of society and with different tastes participate in the Friday Prayers. Therefore, the leaders of the Friday Prayers should behave with everyone the way they behave with their own children, and they should bring everyone to sit at the banquet table of spirituality and religion.”
The Leader also referred to the millions of people who participated in the celebration of Eid al-Ghadir in Tehran and the attendance of people with varying appearances and from different social backgrounds. He said that this was an astonishing phenomenon and added. “In that celebration, individuals from all walks of life participated and everyone is in favor of religion despite their various appearances.”
In his next recommendation, Imam Khamenei advised Friday Prayer leaders to adopt a popular approach. He recommended that they be among the people and talk with them. He said, “The mere act of being among the people is an important task. Therefore, do not stay away from the people and do not confine your communications to a particular group of people. Of course, over the years the network of Friday Prayer leaders has been one of the revolutionary organizations that has involved the general public the most.”
Being in contact with the youth was another recommendation made by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Pointing to the presence of a great number of young, volunteering, self-effacing, unpretentious groups throughout the country, the Leader stated that it is the duty of Friday Prayer leaders to be in contact with these groups and to support them. He also emphasized, “Participating in social services such as helping the people during natural disasters and the Coronavirus along with collecting voluntary monetary help for the needy are other duties of the Friday Prayer leaders. Some Friday Prayer leaders have shone brightly in these areas.”
Imam Khamenei stressed, “We advocate justice and have raised its flag, but the realization of justice without helping the underprivileged classes of people does not have any real meaning.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also recommended, “Economic activities, even in the form of covering the expenses of the Friday Prayers, should be avoided, because the negative consequences of the involvement of some honorable gentlemen in these activities continues to harm the Islamic Republic.”