Martyrdom attracts people hearts against enemies interests

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with members of the National Congress of the Martyrs of Sabzevar and Neyshabur in the Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah on May 30, 2023.
The following is the full text of the Leader’s speech republished from his official website:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
All praise is due to God, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Master, Muhammad, and upon his Pure Progeny, particularly the Vestige of God remaining on earth.
First of all, I would like to welcome the dear brothers and sisters who traveled a long way to come here from Neyshabur and Sabzevar. They have illuminated our Hussainiyah here with their warm presence and loving hearts. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the two dear brothers, the IRGC commanders of the two cities of Sabzevar and Neyshabur for their remarks. Both gentlemen spoke very well and included in their statements everything that needs to be considered in these types of gatherings, and it makes one happy to know that, praise God, these matters are in the thoughts and minds of these brothers. I have written down two or three things that I would like to share with you.
First, I would like to thank the organizers of these valuable conferences. This is a very important matter. In my opinion, what you are doing, I mean the way you are organizing these conferences, is in itself a great jihad. Appreciate the work you are doing. This is the same jihad that did not allow the sacred blood that was shed in Karbala to go to waste. This is the same jihad. This is the jihad that has kept alive the thousand-year service of the great figures of Islam, the great figures of religion and the great figures of Shia Islam — until today. If efforts were not made by people like you, there are people in all eras who have the motive to erase these matters from history. Both in the past and today, there are those who are motivated to weaken and destroy these signs of spiritual greatness in nations in order to not allow them to survive. You have heard over and over again about how they tried to erase Karbala, how they did not want Karbala to be, how they did not want any such land to remain, how they did not want the site [where Imam Hussain was martyred] to remain, how they did not want anyone to remember the martyrs. These people still exist today. Even today, there are people whose interests and benefits do not allow any memories to remain of these jihads and the pure blood that has been shed. Today’s Arrogant Powers do not want the names and memories of our martyrs to be seen and displayed on top of the proud, tall banners of this country.
You are working against this evil, malicious movement, so that is jihad. Those who strive for the truth, their first enemies are those who are at the peak of falsehood. They don’t want to allow them to succeed, they don’t want to allow them be remembered. The quality of martyrdom is to attract people’s hearts. The martyrdom of his friend in Sabzevar persuades a young man who does not believe in religion to go see the late Mr. Alavi [religious scholar in Sabzevar during that era]. He becomes a Muslim, he becomes Shia [and] then goes to the battlefield and becomes martyred. This is the power of martyrdom. The martyrdom of a young man, the martyrdom of a friend, the martyrdom of a companion, illuminates one’s surroundings with the light of martyrdom. It attracts people’s hearts. Well, this is against the interests of the Arrogant Powers. It is against the interests of those who believe in the falsehood, thus they fight it. And some people do these things inside the country. You are doing jihad; you are standing up to them.
Keeping the memory of martyrs alive is jihad. Keeping the memory of those who raise martyrs is jihad. Who are the people who raise martyrs? The fathers, mothers, teachers, spouses, good friends — these people raise martyrs and honoring them is jihad! Honoring the memory of those who supported this jihad during the Holy Defense or after it up until today is jihad. Honoring the memory of the woman who sets up ten clay ovens in her home to bake bread for the soldiers in [the village of] Sad Kharv or anywhere else is jihad. Keeping her memory alive is an act of jihad in itself. These things should be preserved.
These memories must be preserved. By what means should they be preserved? Well, some of our friends here suggested that we use books, written texts, art of wall writing, and things like that. All of these things are good, but try to achieve it. Try to use art for this kind of work. These events can serve as topics for paintings, writing novels, poetry, the creation of interesting movies that can be used in cinema, theater, and various forms of art. These are things that need to be accomplished, they are important. You have organized this conference in two large, important cities now. Make sure you continue with it, don’t leave this jihad unfinished. It is a big job. So that was the first point that I wanted to mention — that you should understand the value of the work you are doing and, God willing, you should do everything that you possibly can with strength, good taste, effort, perseverance, and in a unified manner.  
The second point that I have written down to share with you is about the virtues of Neyshabur and Sabzevar. One of our great duties is to introduce the identities of our cities to the youth. This is not taking place as it should. These things rarely happened or did not happen at all before the Revolution. I visited Sabzevar and Neyshabur on numerous occasions. I stayed there, I gave speeches there, I was close with the people there. These things did not exist back then and no importance was given to the great, glorious history of these cities. Neyshabur and Sabzevar are two treasures: they are the treasures of Islamic history, Islamic civilization, and Iranian civilization. They are two treasures that need to be preserved. They must be introduced to people.
In the reports presented by the gentlemen here, they stated that an encyclopedia should be prepared for these cities. Yes, it should be prepared. These cities must be introduced to others. The youth in Neyshabur and Sabzevar should know what realities, beauties, and splendors they are inheriting, spiritually, scientifically, and historically. Our youth should know this in order to realize their identity and in order to feel a sense of individuality. We should not look at these cities as merely two ancient settlements or as two ancient and historical cities. No, both Neyshabur and Sabzevar are two honest and objective narrators of our Islamic civilization. They are narrators of civilization. They are narrators of culture, not just in words, but also in an objective, tangible, and obvious sense.
From the time of Fazl ibn Shazan Neyshaburi until a thousand years later, [that is, the time of] Haj Mulla Hadi Sabzevari, you can see that this thousand-year period is filled with shining stars. When you take a look at this time span, it is filled with memories — memories of civilization and greatness. See how beautiful this balance is between Fazl ibn Shazan Neyshaburi and Haj Mulla Hadi Sabzevari and also between Attar Neyshaburi and Hamid Sabzevari. These two men lived 700 years apart. Both of them worked for Islam, they strived for insightful knowledge, they worked for the future of this nation, they strived to develop the intellectual concepts of the Iranian nation.
I mentioned the names of a couple of people, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of these kinds of individuals in the history of these two cities. These people need to be recognized and introduced to others. [Some countries] have no history, they make up fake histories for themselves. You see even on our own television programs, where they show that a certain country that has no proper or valuable history, makes a series that is 100 or 150 episodes long. They make up history for themselves, they make up philosophies and governments for themselves. We have [a history], but we do not remember it.
The explanation of the book Al-Luma al-Dimashqiyya is the textbook of our seminary students today. In fact, Al-Luma itself was written at the request of the people of Sabzevar. During the reign of the Sarbadars, the people of Sabzevar wrote a letter to Shahid al-Awwal [Sheikh Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Makki] in Syria wherein they said that we have formed a government, come live here. Shahid replied that I can’t come, but I will send you this book. Al-Luma was actually created by the people of Khorasan. Today, after 500-600 years, the explanation of this book is part of our textbooks. Is that not a significant thing? Are these things insignificant? They are the identities of your cities. Our youth must be informed about these identities. So, that is what I wanted to share with you about your cities.  
Of course, I spoke in the context of these two cities, but the rest of the cities across Iran are more or less the same — most of our cities, not all of them. Many of the cities in our country have these kinds of records, they have similar achievements, they have the same valuable history. Now, because I originally come from Khorasan myself, and I am familiar with these two cities, I place emphasis on them, otherwise it is the same everywhere [in our country], and this significance exists. Revive these matters, it is the identity of your city.
The next issue is regarding the great value of the martyrs for which words do not suffice. In reality if someone were to speak about the martyrs, words could not describe their greatness and values. Their words, spiritual journeying, behavior, and wills all have so much to teach us. Their wills are really filled with lessons. In a public speech, Imam [Khomeini] recommended reading the wills of the martyrs, they’re really worth reading.
Here, we have the will of a passionate, self-sacrificing, virtuous young man from Sabzevar, martyr Naser Baghani. He was a young man, about 20 years old. His will is worth reading ten, twenty times! I have read it many times. He was a [grown] man in his youth. We also have martyr Nurali Shushtari, a mature, middle-aged man who spent his life in jihad, working in the path of God and sacrifice. He also has a will, full of wisdom. By reading just a few lines of his will, one can see that it is pure wisdom. Well, I knew marty Shushtari up close, but from normal everyday encounters one could never guess that his personality had so much depth, but it did.
These wills are full of lessons, they set an example. Describing the martyrs is really not possible for someone like me. They are much higher, greater, more delicate, and luminous than we can express or describe with words. But we should follow in their footsteps, they are all role models for us, the martyrs are role models.
Martyr Shushtari in one way, martyr Borunsi in another way, martyr Baghani in another way, martyr Hamidreza Aldaghi — whose martyrdom shook the country’s public opinion — in another way. They are all role models. Each one of them can serve as an example for us to follow in their own unique ways. Of course, I only named a few martyrs. Sabzevar and Neyshabur together have about 4,500 martyrs, who can each be considered as another Borunsi or Baghani. Each have their own different story; each have their own different issues. Even mentioning their names can make one feel ashamed of oneself. 
Praise God, publishing biographies of the martyrs is not a new thing for our country, but it should be improved. It should increase in quantity and quality and they need to be written in a skillful manner. Our youth should read these books, everyone should read these books and, God willing, use them [in their lives].
I hope that Almighty God will unite us with them [the martyrs], place us in their path and bless us with their intercession. May their pure souls be pleased with us and the pure soul of our magnanimous Imam — who began this movement — be united with the Prophet (pbuh). 
Once again, I thank you all for coming here and for holding these conferences. I pray for God to bless you with success in your efforts, and through you, I send my warm and sincere regards to the people of Sabzevar and Neyshabur.
May God’s greetings, mercy, and blessings be upon you.

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