Message by Grand Ayatollah Sanei on World Children's Day

In the name of Almighty God

I would like to offer congratulations to everyone, especially UNICEF, on World Children's Day, an auspicious day which reflects love for humanity and respect for the rights of all humans, especially children who cannot stand up for their rights. This year, this auspicious occasion coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, which according to the Muslim faith features the most precious days of the year. Let me pray to Almighty God to sustain services rendered to children. In Islam, a person who fails to show compassion toward children is viewed as a miserable individual who deserves to land in hell and in the fire fuelled by lack of emotion and by atrocity. In other words, such individuals suffer from pangs of conscience in this world and from hellish conditions in the afterlife. We all have a duty to prevent abuse and violence against children as part of efforts to ensure the welfare of humans and respect for the rights of defenseless children. We have to criminalize any act of violence against them. Besides, we are duty-bound to treat them with compassion so that they would never feel humiliated or abused; something which is bound to bring about dire consequences for society if it ever happens. To achieve that objective, in addition to individual efforts, education and promotion of the rich Islamic culture – a lofty human culture which views expression of love for children as a means to climb the ladder of humanity in this world and secure prosperity in the afterlife – all-out cooperation is needed with UNICEF, which is making selfless efforts to advance the cause of children. UNICEF is an agency which is loved by humans and its efforts will be rewarded by Almighty God. We also need to keep alive the spirit of contribution to benefaction – which lies at the center of endeavors by all humanitarian agencies – so that our children and humanity at large will benefit from it.

God’s peace be upon us and those who do good on earth
Yousef Sanei
Qom, Iran
October 7, 2007



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