Ayatollah Arafi said by rejecting the authority of the sources of emulation and Wilayat al-Faqih, Takfiri shiites promote conflicts in the Muslim world, but contrary to this phenomenon, the Shi’a school of thought is based on the logic of unity among different religions, schools of thought and the Islamic system of government.
Speaking at a conference with congregational prayer leaders from Qom, Ayatollah Ali-Reza Arafi, the principal of al-Mustafa International University, discussed the moral, social and political life of the eighth Shi’ite imam, Ali ibn al-Ridha, saying that a deviant intellectual atmosphere and cultural turmoil existed during Imam al-Ridha’s lifetime and the Imam, due to his complete knowledge, was able to defeat this deviant phenomenon through debates and discussion with the intellectuals and scholars of his time.
Relating this phenomenon to the current era, His Eminence said that in our era, preachers and prayer leaders are standing on the frontline of the discourse of the Islamic Revolution against the enemies’ conspiracies, both internal and external, and therefore, they must promote Islamic religious teachings against a variety of deviant cultural and political phenomena.
The renowned Iranian scholar added that clerics and prayer leaders must identify deviant religious, political and cultural movements in cyberspace, inside and outside the country and respond to the questions of young people with the necessary skills.
In another part of his speech, Ayatollah Arafi pointed to the various religions and sects throughout the world and explained that there are different movements of materialism and sensualism and denial of the afterlife. From the Renaissance and after, civilizations have negated religion in Europe and created materialist philosophies and promoted these schools of thought throughout the world.
He stressed Islamic knowledge and the Shi’a school of thought should be introduced to the world from the Islamic Seminary of Qom.
“Clerics and missionaries must not be negligent of polytheistic religions and atheism and it is necessary that the followers of other religions and schools of thought are made familiar with the teachings of the Ahlul-Bayt,” he explained.
Ayatollah Arafi stressed the efforts of Christian missionaries, saying that of all the religions in the world, Christianity has the most missionaries to call people toward their faith, adding that there are approximately four million Roman Catholic missionaries alone, plus millions of magazines, newspapers and publications, programs and websites to propagate their faith to the world. “This should be the main aim of the Islamic world,” he stressed.
His Eminence added that Islam and Shi’ism is growing in Africa and added that al-Mustafa International University has established more than 300 seminaries with 4,000 students throughout the continent. Also, 1,000 African students are studying Islamic sciences in Iran.
Ayatollah Arafi expressed concern over the propagation of “London Shi’ism,” saying that by rejecting the authority of the sources of emulation and Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurisprudent), they promote conflicts in the Muslim world, but contrary to this phenomenon, the Shi’a school of thought is based on the logic of unity among different religions, schools of thought and the Islamic system of government.