During his trip to Europe to attend some religious and interfaith meetings, Ayatollah Reza Ramazani met with members of the Shiite organizations of France on Saturday, November 13, 2021.
In this meeting, while emphasizing that today as before the enemies of Islam are trying to show the teachings of Islam upside down, the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly said, “Our most important duty as Muslims is to know Islam comprehensively. Based on a correct understanding of Quranic verses and hadiths, Islam is a comprehensive religion that addresses both individual issues and have social perspective.”
“Comprehensive means that Islam covers both worldly and otherworldly views. The Holy Quran states “وَلَا تَنْسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا” (do not neglect your portion of this world) (Quran, Surah: Al-Qasas, Verse: 77). We have a portion of the world that we must pay attention to in order to reach the Hereafter. Some people only pay attention to the mundane world and some only to the hereafter, both of which are wrong. The verse “يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ” (They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless.) (Quran, Surah: Ar-Rum, Verse: 7) completes this statement,” he said, explaining the word “comprehensive”.
Areas of communication in Islam
Then, on areas of communication in Islam Ayatollah Ramazani stated, “Communication with self, God, society, communication in the international arena, and communication with nature are the five types of communication that exist and from the Islamic point of view, specific rules have been stated for each.”
“In liberal Islam thought, only man’s relationship with God and man’s relationship with himself are considered, while this is contrary to Quranic verses and hadiths. Because there are rules and regulations in Islam about society, social issues, and the relationship of human beings with each other,” the Islamic thinker continued.
“The violence attributed to Islam has nothing to do with this religion,” he emphasized, “Those who behead people by saying “La ilaha illa Allah” and “Allahu Akbar” certainly have nothing to do with Islam. They are made by the enemies of Islam. When we look at the Quranic verses, we see that the Quran does not allow killing and being killed in any way.”
No prophet was sent for violence
Emphasizing that in ideological debates, issues should be promoted with thought and reasoning, the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly said in response to some doubts, “There is no Quranic or hadith basis for claiming that “Islam grew with the wealth of Khadijah (a.s.) and the sword of Ali (a.s.)”, or that “Islam is a religion of violence”. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Muslims suffered a lot. Therefore, many of them asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h) for permission to defend themselves. But the Prophet did not issue this permission. The enemies of Islam plotted to kill the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and many Muslims. Therefore, the Prophet was ordered (by God) to emigrate from Mecca to Medina. When the Prophet (p.b.u.h) settled in Medina, the polytheists went to Medina to kill him and defeat Islam. Here the Prophet (p.b.u.h) had to defend himself and the Muslims. Therefore, the claims that “the Prophet of Islam is a prophet of violence” or “Islam is a violent religion” has no scientific, historical or Quranic basis.”
“Quran, which all – but one – of its surahs begin with the phrase “بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ” (In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful), in which words such as “Rahman”, “Rahim”, “Ghafoor” and “Raouf” are used over and over, definitely is not a book for a religion of violence. Not only Islam itself, but we believe that no prophet or religion has come to spread violence,” Ramazani added.
“That “the God of Jesus is the God of Mercy, and the God of Muhammad is the God of Violence” (!) is one of the creations of the enemies of God and humanity. In fact, the development of Islam was due to the morality of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), which is a Quranic morality. God Almighty has praised the morality of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) in several Quranic verses such as “وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ” (and indeed you possess a great character) (Quran, Surah Al-Qalam, Verse: 4), “فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ” (It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them; had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would have surely scattered from around you.) (Quran, Surah Al Imran, Verse: 159). This shows us that through divine mercy, the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) treated people well and this is how people were attracted to him,” he stated.
“Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says in this regard, “إِنَّ اَللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى أَدَّبَ نَبِيَّهُ، فَلَمَّا اِنْتَهَى بِهِ إِلَى مَا أَرَادَ قَالَ لَهُ إِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ” (So, God made His Prophet polite in the most beautiful way, and when the politeness was perfected, He said: “وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ” (and indeed you possess a great character) (Quran, Surah Al-Qalam, Verse: 4),” Ayatollah Ramazani said.
The unity of the Islamic Ummah is essential: Ayatollah Ramazani
Referring to the necessity of the unity of the Islamic Ummah, the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly stated, “What is important and significant for all of us – especially for the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) – is the view of the Islamic Ummah and the unity of the Islamic Ummah. Some explicitly mention the Sunni ummah and the Shiite ummah! While the (separate) Sunni ummah and the Shiite ummah are made and paid for by the enemies of Islam. What we must pursue is the unity of the Islamic Ummah, and this is what the great Shiite leaders believe in.”
“ISIL thought and behavior is not even approved by Sunni Ulama, and they have unanimously rejected it. We fought these extremist and dangerous thoughts in practice. Martyr Hajj Qasem Soleimani was a man who fought against these savages and defeated them,” continued the member of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.
“The United States claims to be fighting terrorism. This is while the country itself cultivates terrorism and sends it to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world. These are just scripts they wrote themselves,” said Ayatollah Ramazani, referring to the hypocrisy and the double standard of the claimants of the fight against terrorism.
Characteristics of Islam
“In introducing the AhlulBayt (a.s.) school, unity and harmony have a tremendous effect,” he stated, “The basis of the characteristics of Islam is, first, “rationality”. Because Islam is the religion of reason, thought and rationality. Even the obligatory issues in Islam, such as prayer and fasting, are with the approval of the intellect.”
“All the Quranic verses, hadiths and AhlulBayt’s (a.s.) sayings point man to the spiritual world and point out that he must have spiritual and intellectual growth. The sensory human being, that is, the human being who came into this world, must become a rational and intuitive human being by training his intellect and heart. At the head of the spirituality we seek, is God, the supreme truth which is the most perfect. The spirituality we pursue makes individuals accountable to one another and to the religion of God. This spirituality is not anti-responsibility or responsibility-evading. Therefore, it is important that spirituality be included in the teachings,” said the professor at university and seminary, introducing spirituality as the second characteristic of Islam.
Human society suffers from injustice, poverty, and misery
Considering justice as the third characteristic of Islam, Ayatollah Ramazani stated about the value of justice in Islam, “Justice is the desire of all the divine prophets, and this is evident in the verse “لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ” (Certainly We sent Our apostles with manifest proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, so that mankind may maintain justice) (Quran, Surah: Al-Hadid, Verse: 25). What human society suffers from is injustice that has led to poverty and misery.”
“Therefore, Islam can be introduced as a religion of mercy, rationality, spirituality, justice, and tolerance. Tolerance means tolerance with humanity. Therefore, the Prophet of Islam says, “وَالَّذی بَعَثَنی بِالحَقِّ لَقَد اَمَرَنی بِمُداراة النَّاس” (The God who sent me rightly commanded me to be patient with people),” added the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
Presence of followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the west is a blessing for those countries: Ayatollah Ramazani
“Emphasizing on recognizing and introducing the AhlulBayt (a.s.) school comprehensively, he added, “The issue that the rulers of the West should pay attention to is that the presence of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the west is a blessing for western countries. Because Shiites oppose extremism, violence, and illegal acts.”
“During Imam Khomeini’s stay in Neauphle-le-Château, France, his companions slaughtered a sheep at home and made broth with it. When some of that food was brought to Imam Khomeini, he asked, “Where did you get the meat for this food, and where did you slaughter the sheep?” The companions replied that the sheep was slaughtered in the same house and wanted to justify their work. Imam Khomeini said, “Under French law, is it legal to slaughter an animal in a home, or is there a specific place to slaughter a sheep?” They replied that the French government might not allow such a thing. Therefore, Imam Khomeini did not eat from the food. These are important points to consider. I myself observed this during my 13-year mission in Europe,” said Ramazani as an example of Shiite law-abiding in Western societies.
Freedom of speech while respecting the sacred
“Based on my experiences, I know that we must correctly know and introduce the school of AhlulBayt (a.s.) then leave the judgment to others. Because they themselves (by hearing the attributes) would be attracted to the AhlulBayt (a.s.). Shiite scholars do not want to force Christians to convert to Islam. Rather, they are trying to introduce the school of AhlulBayt (a.s.) correctly,” stated the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
In the end, while emphasizing the importance of freedom of speech while respecting the sacred things of others, he stated, “In a letter to the Pope, we noted that freedom of speech does not mean blasphemy. Sanctities should not be insulted in the name of freedom of expression. Rather, we should try to prevent insults to all the holy books and all the prophets. Drawing cartoons of holy people and disrespecting the sanctities of others is contrary to human intellect and nature.”