According to the Ahlulbayt News Agency, members of the Academic Committee of the "International Conference on Hazrat Abu Talib, the Supporter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.)" met with Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi.
At this meeting, held on Thursday, December 10, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, while appreciating the Ahlulbayt World Assembly for organizing the conference, said: "I am very happy to meet you and I really appreciate you for doing this job."
Stressing that there had been no significant work in this regard after the Islamic Revolution, he added: "It is actually a flaw for the Islamic Republic not to commemorate or do anything during these forty years for the glorification of Imam Ali's father, who is an oppressed and neglected dignitary."
Ayatollah Makarem emphasized:"We should compensate for this shortcoming by the grace of Almighty God". He further highlighted: "The late Allameh Amini had pointed out the fact that the Umayyad rulers were hostile to anyone who had some sort of relationship with Imam Ali (peace be upon him). For example, their enmity towards Abuzar, the distinguished companion of the Holy Prophet, was due to the fact that he was a friend and follower of Imam Ali (a.s.)." "Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.), too, would not have undergone such accusations if he were not the father of Imam Ali ... Therefore, giving clear information about Abu Talib (peace be upon him) and removing false accusations from this great personality is actually as if you have venerated Imam Ali".
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi said: "There are two kinds of resources on the character of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.). First, those books which have been independently written and published on this subject. Secondly, some authors, while writing books, when they came upon a subject related to Abu Talib, addressed the topic and discussed about him. Therefore, you, as the organizers of this conference, should pay attention to both types when collecting the related works."
Ayatollah continued: "I have thoroughly discussed about this subject in my interpretation of the Holy Quran (Tafsir Nemooneh) where I have elaborated verse 26 of Surah al-An'aam (the Cattle). The verse is: "They dissuade [others] from [following] him, and [themselves] avoid him; yet they destroy no one except themselves, but they are not aware." Unfortunately, some interpreters of the Holy Quran have misinterpreted this verse, but I have elaborated the verse in detail. You must try to introduce this verse as it deserves in the forthcoming event."
"Make sure you do not ignore the question of Abu Talib's faith (Iman) while dealing with other issues. It is absolutely necessary to discuss and provide evidence to prove Abu Talib's firm belief in Islam and the Holy Prophet (s.a.). We have very authentic documentations about the firm belief (Iman) of Abu Talib, and an enlightenment must be made in this regard as well."
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, emphasizing the importance of 'unity' of the Muslim World, stated: "The scholastic research and elaboration of such facts are not at all contrary to the unity of Muslims; it will even help to boost up the unity; but you must be careful to use the correct language."
He added: "I recommend sending invitations to Sunni personalities such as the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, and the Syrian Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, and the Sunni Ulema of Iraq. You may also invite some of them by dispatching a delegation. This will allow the conference message to be broadcast outside the Islamic Seminary of Qom and among the Sunni groups.
Referring to last year's Congress on the Rise and Expansion of Islamic Sciences in Qomattended by the intellectuals and thinkers of Islamic countries,Ayatollah Makarem remarked: "Approximately 20 books have been prepared in this field, and all works have beenabridgedin one volume and published in different languages."
At the end of the meeting, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi suggested: "You may also publish the conclusion of discussions on Hazrat Abu Talibin bothconcise and comprehensive versions. In other words, you should have an authentic extractof collected works as a summary of the outcome of the conference at least in Persian and Arabic languages, and if possible, in English and Urdu.
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, in the end, prayed for the organizers of the conference and promised to financially support this event.
* The Conference on Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) To Be Held in March 2020
At the beginning of the meeting, Secretary-General of the Ahlulbayt World Assembly, Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Hasan Akhtari, while thanking Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, explained the objectives of the International Conference on Hazrat Abu Talib, A Supporter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and said: "HazratAbu Talibplayed an important role in supporting the Prophet of Islam but he is in fact a neglected figure among Muslims."
Ayatollah Akhtari added: "Defending AbuTalib (a.s.) is actually an attemptto defendImam Ali (a.s.)." "We hope to be able to organizea good gathering of Shia and Sunni scholars and achievegood results in removingthe dust and ambiguity from Hazrat Abu Talib's life. In this relation, we need your guidance and assistance."
In response to Ayatollah Makarem's question about the date of the conference, Ayatollah Akhtari replied: "God Willing, it will be held during the month of Rajab next year (March 2020). We have also had negotiations with the authorities of Imam Hussein's Holy Shrine to organize a day of the event in Karbala or Najaf."
* Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.): Not Even Known Among the Lecturers of Islamic Seminary!
Also during the meeting, Hujjatul-Islam Sabahi Kashani, the head of the Abu-Talib Research and Publishing Institute presented a short report on the activities carried out in this regard, and stated: "We expect Grand Shia Ayatollahs to create a movement in this field."
He added: "Unfortunately, Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) is a neglected personality even in Shia seminaries, and the dimensions of his life history are not known to seminary students and lecturers."
"Through this conference, we want influential individuals to become acquainted with Hazrat Abu Talib. Our second target is the entire community to achieve an awareness about this prominent figure through those influential scholars," he continued.
Referring to the academic efforts of past centuries on Abu Talib's Iman and his firm belief in Islam, Mr. Sabahi Kashani highlighted: "We also need to discuss Abu Talib's merits and virtues, including his talents in the field of poetry and literature."
Referring to some of his published works, Sabahi stated: "We have collected and published the views of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) onhis uncle Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) as well as Abu Talib's comments about the Holy Prophet, which is a good means to eliminate doubts about Hazrat Abu Talib."
Sabahi also thanked Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi for commending his academic activities and the achievements of Abu-Talib Research and Publishing Institute.