On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, during their visit to Iraq, Ayatollah Reza Ramazani, Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly and his accompanying delegation, met Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Yaqoubi, one of the Iraqi Shiite Sources of Emulations in Najaf.
Islamic Republic of Iran supports Shia/ I follow ABNA News Agency: Ayatollah Yaqoubi
At the beginning of his speech, while praising the appointment of Ayatollah Ramazani as the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly by the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi stated, “Your appointment as the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, was a good choice by the Supreme Leader. You are suitable for this position with your scientific ability and propagation experience.”
Considering the seminaries of Qom and Najaf as two wings of Shia, he stated, “Of course, the seminary of Qom is supported by the Islamic system.”
“Why did Shia develop and enter its golden age? If we examine the era of Sheikh Kulayni, and after him Sheikh Saduq, Sheikh Mofid, Sayed Morteza, and Sheikh Tusi, we find that the political situation at that time was pro-Shia and the Buyid dynasty was in power, and Scholars such as Sheikh Kulayni and Sheikh Saduq emerged in that era. Also, during the Safavid dynasty, the government supported Shia, and scholars such as Mohaqeq Alkaraki, Sheikh Baha'i, and Allameh Majlisi emerged. Now there is another opportunity and the Islamic Republic of Iran supports Shia in different parts of the world and this opportunity should be used to convey the message of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) to the world and support Shiite activities,” continued Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi.
“It is narrated from the AhlulBayt (a.s.) that if people understand the merits of their word, they will follow it. Accordingly, we just need to start working to convey the words of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) to the people of the world. The world is convinced by hearing it. Shia agrees with nature and reason. The message of Shia affects the hearts without the need for anything else. We just need to convey the words of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) to the world, and this is the duty of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly. This Assembly was established to convey the message of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) to the world,” he added.
“In tafsir of the verse “وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَة رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ”, (and as for your Lord’s blessing, proclaim it!) (Quran, 93:11) it is not logical to think that God commands us to proclaim the blessing of wealth or the blessing of place. Rather, this blessing is the Velayat of the AhlulBayt (a.s.). According to hadiths, the meaning of Velayat in the verses “ثُمَّ لَتُسْئَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعيمِ” (Then, on that day, you will surely be questioned concerning the Blessing) (Quran 102:8) and “اَلْیوْمَ أَکمَلْتُ لَکمْ دینَکمْ وَ أَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیکُمْ نِعْمَتی وَ رَضیتُ لَکُمُ الْإِسْلامَ دیناً” (Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam as your religion) (Quran 5:3), is the Velayat of AhlulBayt (a.s.). It is our duty to talk about the Velayat of the AhlulBayt (a.s.), and then, people will accept it. Today, there are various tools to convey the message of the AhlulBayt (a.s.), such as satellites, social networks, and direct propagation,” stated the Iraqi Shiite Source of Emulation, referring to the blessings of the Velayat (of AhlulBayt).
“The African continent has been neglected and there is a need for activity on there. This continent is an intact land for all missionaries. We operate in Africa through our office in Beirut, as well as some of Al-Ahsa and Qatif's scholars, Lebanese people who live in Africa, and African students who graduated from Syria and Lebanon. Now we operate in more than 25 African countries. There is a cooperation between our representations in African countries and some graduates of Al-Mustafa International University. But not enough work has been done in Africa yet. In some African countries, such as South Africa, there were no Shiites, but now we see the presence of Shiites in these countries,” he continued.
“In order for our activities to be more effective, we must start with the Quran. Wahhabis enter other countries in the name of establishing Quranic schools, and some ignorant people enter these schools and are brainwashed with Wahhabi thoughts. In propagating Shia, we must use the Quranic method. Quranic teachings defend the teachings of AhlulBayt (a.s.). These teachings solve not only our problems but also the problems of Christians,” stated Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi, considering it necessary to study the Quran.
“The establishment of an Islamic government is a necessary issue that does not need to be argued. Execution of the social rules of Islam is one of the arguments for establishing an Islamic government. The absence of an Islamic government means the abolition of many social rules of Islam. How can the social rules of Islam be implemented if the government is not Islamic?” he added.
“In my Dars al-Kharej class (the highest level of the Shiite seminary in jurisprudence), I taught the “Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong”. In my studies, I realized that Sheikh Bahrani did not address this issue in his book Al-Hadaiq. Even the Sahib al-Jawahir (Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi), although believed in the non-individuality of (Islamic) jurisprudence and had a social mentality, in his book Al-Jawahir al-Kalam, has briefly (not thoroughly) discussed the “Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong”. The scholars of the past left the jurisprudence of the society (Feqh al-Ejtema), which was a great defect. This is while Imam Ali (AS) believed in enforcing the rules of inheritance, even by force (because of the importance of the issue of inheritance and respect for the rights of the people). In order to implement the rules of Islam, including the rules of inheritance, it is necessary to establish an Islamic government,” said the Iraqi Shiite Source of Emulation, referring to the lack of attention to social rules of Islam in the past.
“But the seminary of Najaf does not think of forming an Islamic government. It is strange that even those who studied in the seminary of Qom and attended the classes of the professors of that seminary for 30 years, after the fall of Saddam’s regime and returning to Iraq, melted again in the seminary of Najaf and returned in the same old way (Lack of importance in forming an Islamic government). However, after coming to Najaf, they had the opportunity to promote these ideas (the idea of establishing an Islamic government that they had learned in the seminary of Qom),” he continued.
“There are many places in the Islamic Republic of Iran that I have to visit. But so far, I have only been to the holy city of Mashhad twice to visit the shrine of Imam Reza (a.s.), and to meet Ayatollah Alamolhoda, the Friday Prayer Leader of Mashhad, and to visit the Khorasan seminary management center,” pointed out Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi.
“Please send me the report on the activities of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly. Because there is a possibility of cooperation between the Assembly and our office. It is good that a weekly or monthly magazine is published to reflect the report on the activities of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly,” He asked the Secretary-General of the Assembly.
This professor of higher levels of Seminary teaching in Najaf seminary emphasized, “Of course, I follow the news of ABNA news agency.”
“Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) has been an oppressed person during history, and the publication of a collection of works about him is a significant activity,” Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi stated, appreciating the holding of the conference of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.).
“One of the tasks of our office in Qom is to follow the latest scientific works of Qom seminary and the innovations of scholars so that we can use them. There is a valuable 40-year experience in the seminary of Qom. Instead of trying to start from scratch, we use those experience resources. I receive valuable books from the seminary of Qom, which are in Arabic. But the language problem (the fact that many other works are in Persian) prevents us from using all the books of the seminary of Qom,” added the Iraqi Shiite Source of Emulation.
Introducing school of AhlulBayt (a.s.) to world by AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly
At the beginning of the meeting, referring to the satisfaction with the meeting with Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi, Ayatollah Ramazani stated, “I am very happy with this valuable meeting. Your works were brought to me by your representative in Qom and I saw them.”
“The purpose of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is to establish relations with the Shiites in the world and with its facilities, to introduce rationality, spirituality, and justice, as it is in the school of the AhlulBayt (a.s.), to the Shiite communities, the Shiites, Muslims, and even non-Muslims,” he continued.
“One of the prominent activities of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is the establishment of a Shiite encyclopedia called “Wiki Shia” in which 25,000 articles have been published in 12 languages. Until this year, in the 31st year since the establishment of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, it has published 2,500 books in 68 languages, part of which have been authored and others have been translation works. Some of these books were written by scholars such as Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and we translated them in the Assembly. But for some other books, the Deputy for Cultural Affairs of the Assembly signs contracts with professors and they write for us. In the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, there is a scientific council in which the topics and texts to be written are examined,” stated the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, regarding the activities of the Assembly.
“Another part of the activities of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is related to the missionaries it has in the world. Four thousand preachers in the world cooperate with the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly. There are a thousand missionaries in Africa and a thousand missionaries in Pakistan and elsewhere. Of course, the number of missionaries is more than this number, but our capability in the assembly is in this range. The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is in constant contact with the missionaries. The assembly has a deputy inside the country called “dispatch of the missionaries”. The Deputy for International Affairs of the Assembly has the duty to communicate with the missionaries. The responsibility of the clerics that Al-Mustafa International University dispatches as missionaries is with the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly,” he added.
“The Thaqalayn TV is in Arabic and has exactly 18 million viewers, and we are planning to establish TVs in Russian and other languages on the Al-Thaqalayn. Each of the activities in the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly has a long explanation. A 42-language portal was established by t the Deputy for Cultural Affairs of the Assembly, in which theological and tafsir topics are organized in order to be gradually available to scholars and missionaries in the world. Of course, we are still at the beginning, but valuable activities have begun,” he stated, referring to Al- Thaqalayn TV as one of the activities of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“We have local assemblies in some continents and countries, such as Iraq, Europe, and Africa. These associations carry out educational activities. This is another activity of the Assembly,” added the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“The good news is that the assembly held a large conference about Abu Talib (a.s.). The dynasties of the Umayyads and the Abbasids were hostile to Abu Talib (a.s.). Although Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was one of the influential figures during the Be’that of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), and he should be introduced properly, no proper work has been done in this field so far. About 600 articles were submitted to the conference of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.). All Islamic denominations somehow participated in this conference. At the conference, one of the Syrian (Sunni) muftis, said about Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.), “Surely Abu Talib was a believer, and anyone who doubts his faith has sinned.” Al-Azhar University in Egypt, Ez-Zitouna University in Tunisia, and Washington University somehow participated in the Abu Talib conference. The conference works are prepared in 30 volumes of books, of which 18 volumes have been published so far,” stated Ayatollah Ramazani, referring to the conference of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.).
“One of the sections of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is ABNA News Agency, which publishes the speeches of great Source of Emulation and scholars in 25 languages. This news agency has had great influences and somehow is directing the intellectual flows in different countries,” he continued.
“You mentioned the social jurisprudence in full. Some of these discussions are in your books. I read your article on this subject in the shrine of Imam Ali (a.s.). A few points come to my mind that I think can be examined. A thorough description of the social jurisprudence in theological seminaries should be offered. We need to make more use of your views. I started teaching Dars al-Kharej (the highest level of the Shiite seminary in jurisprudence) in 2003, and when I was in Europe, I taught Dars al-Kharej two days a week. Even now, despite my busy schedule, I continue to teach. We have now formed a committee to conduct the study (on social jurisprudence). But I do not have as much opportunity to address this issue as you do. Therefore, your entry into these topics is appreciable,” said the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, expressing gratitude to Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi for discussing the social jurisprudence.
“Undoubtedly, there are more social rules than individual rules in Islam, and perhaps all individual rules go back to social spheres. This issue is mentioned in the views of Allameh Tabatabai in Tafsir Al-Mizan. In some volumes of this Tafsir book, he refers in detail to social spheres. In my opinion, the set of Islamic rulings refers to two types or even three types of development that are related to social issues. The jurisprudence of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) is the jurisprudence of the development of social communications,” he added.
“There are five types of communication, including self-communication, communication with God, human-human communication, international communication, and Velayat communication. I think the hadith of Imam Baqir (a.s.) about “Muslims are on five types” refers to these five connections and he described some of these examples. Prayer refers to communication with God, fasting refers to communication with the soul, zakat refers to communication with others, Hajj refers to communication with governments, and Velayat refers to Velayat communication. The classification of all kinds of communication came to my mind in 1990, and in this regard, I wrote a pamphlet that became a book on communications. Although some of my works have been translated into Arabic, Turkish and Malay, this book has not yet been translated into Arabic,” clarified Ayatollah Ramazani, regarding the types of communications.
“I think we should open a path in jurisprudential books to move from the individual jurisprudence sphere to social jurisprudence and social systems, and this is a crucial issue. Mr. Ahmadi Tabar made a point, and I used it, “When you pay attention to social rules, you get to the system of government because without such a system, social rules cannot be implemented.” Perhaps because there was no hope of forming a government among the jurists, they did not turn to the social spheres. When Muqaddas Ardabili discusses jihad in the book Majma al-Faida, he says, “One of the types of jihads is the primary jihad, which requires the permission of the (infallible) Imam, and we do not need to prolong this discussion now (because there is no living and present Infallible Imam now)”,” he continued.
“As mentioned, when the subject of Imamate and leadership is mentioned in the hadiths, it shows that the position of the Imam in presenting religious concepts is special. A hadith from Imam Reza (a.s.) in the book of Kafi says, “Our Imamate (AhlulBayt) protects (people) from division and obedience to us leads to order for nations.” This narration conveys the importance of leadership and Imamate, all matters of which should be in the hands of the Imam,” added the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“It was because of Imam Khomeini’s courage that he came to Najaf and extracted the issue of Velayat-e-Faqih from the book of “sale” (in Arabic “البيع” is a topic in Islamic jurisprudence) and raised it independently in this city. Some wondered what he was trying to raise. Is the issue of Velayat-e-Faqih so important that Imam Khomeini raises it in this way? The miracle of Imam Khomeini was that he changed the way Islamic Scholars interacted with the people, from “quoting Hadiths and Source of Emulation”, to “Imamate” (and leadership) so that this relationship would be the relationship between the Imam and the ummah,” stated Ayatollah Ramazani, referring to the time when Imam Khomeini was in Najaf.
“Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi said in this regard that government is a necessity. Imam Khomeini stated in the book Velayat-e-Faqih, “If we have a correct idea of Velayat-e-Faqih, it will be followed by acknowledgment, and we do not need to argue”,” he continued.
“We met with you to explain the activities of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly and we hope to be able to do a service worthy of the Source of Emulation and followers of the AhlulBayt (a.s.),” added the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“God willing, visit Iran for one or two months and meet the figures and get acquainted with different programs,” stated Ayatollah Ramazani, while inviting Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi to visit Iran.
“From the words of Grand Ayatollah Yaqoubi, I used the point that the teachings of the Quran are according to human nature, intellect and AhlulBayt (a.s.) teachings, and I want to share a memory in this regard: In the city of Potsdam, near Berlin, there is a research institute sponsored by the German government with a budget of five million euros. In a 15-year project, the institute seeks to prove that the Quran is a book that is useless in today’s world, its prophet was an Arab man, its audience was Arabs, its phrases are in Arabic, it has been for a certain time, and now we have to put aside many of its verses and keep only the verses that are sermons and admonitions. In a meeting we had with the head of this institute, we told him: Although the Qur'an is Arabic, its prophet was for everyone and the following verses refer to this issue: “وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِلنَّاسِ” (We did not send you except as a bearer of good news and warner to all mankind) (Quran: 34:28), and “وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ” (We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations) (Quran: 21:107). The management of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) was based on ethics, and the addressee of the Quran is human intellect and nature. This intellect and nature have nothing to do with time and are always addressee of the Quran. The Qur'an today can invite all of humanity to the path of God,” he continued.
In Europe, at the Sorbonne University, we had contacts and conversations with Christian scholars for eleven years so that we could introduce the school and culture of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) there as much as we could. In the session that was recorded and its book with 450 pages is ready to be published, the head of the Faculty of Catholic studies of the Sorbonne University said, “Shiite culture, along with its dynamic ijtihad, can answer questions that we have not been able to answer so far”,” added the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“We are very happy to meet you, and we enjoyed what you said. We would love to talk to you for hours. God willing, we will be at your service whenever you come to Iran,” concluded the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, at the end of his speech.
Participation of 12,000 students in summer courses of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, Iraq branch
During the meeting between the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly and Ayatollah Yaqoubi, Hojat al-Islam Pahlavanzadeh Behbahani, the President of the Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) of Iraq, presented a report on the activities of the Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) Iraqi Branch.
Referring to the active missionaries related to the Assembly, he said, “We have active branches in 15 Iraqi provinces and 668 missionaries of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly are active throughout Iraq, all of whom have mosques and husseiniyahs. We monitor the activities of these missionaries every month.”
“The Assembly has a printing house in Najaf, which has been active since the time of the late Ayatollah Asefi and still operates today. The AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly, Iraq branch, has a clinic called “Amir al-Mumenin (a.s.)” in the city of Najaf. Pediatricians, ophthalmologists, internal medicine specialists, and gynecologists are active in this clinic,” he continued.
“Every year in the summer, we hold courses for students that 12,000 students have participated in so far. Of course, the Holy Shrine of Husseini and other religious centers in Iraq also have summer courses, but the summer courses of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly, Iraq branch, are wider in terms of educational materials and following the results,” added the head of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly of Iraq.
“In the past, the I'tikaaf ceremony in Iraq was limited to a small ceremony at the Kufa Mosque. But last year, 560 i'tikaaf ceremonies were held in Iraq under the auspices of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly and the late Ayatollah Asefi took the first steps in this regard,” stated Pahlavanzadeh Behbahani, referring to the promotion of I'tikaf as one of the activities of the Assembly of AhlulBayt (a.s.) of Iraq.
“The Assembly of AhlulBayt (a.s.) holds ceremonies on the births and martyrdom anniversaries of Infallible Imams (a.s.) as well as political occasions. Holding a meeting for missionaries in Iraq before the holy month of Ramadan and Muharram is one of the activities of the Assembly. In these meetings, the necessary recommendations are provided to the missionaries,” he continued.
“Another activity of the Assembly was holding cultural courses for missionaries. With 250 missionaries in attendance, we held a course in Baghdad. Also, with the cooperation of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly four cultural courses were held for Iraqi missionaries. Holding cultural courses for the missionaries of the provinces of Najaf, Karbala, Babylon, and Diwaniyah in the city of Najaf was another program of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly Iraq branch,” added the head of AhlulBayt (a.s.) Assembly Iraq branch.
“Last week, the assembly held a course named after the victorious commanders of the resistance, martyrs Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes with the presence of 61 women missionaries. In this course, Dr. Elham Hamid, one of the fluent Iranian professors in the field of Arabic media and active in the Arbaeen ceremony, taught and the certificate of participation in the course was awarded to the participants by Ayatollah Ramazani. We also held a lifestyle course for women missionaries to counter (Western) cultural aggression, in which 74 female missionaries participated,” he said.