AhlulBayt News Agency: The Seventh Summit of the General Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly will be held from September 1 to 3, 2022, with the presence of Iranian and non-Iranian guests in the Iran International Conference Center in Tehran.
On the eve of the Seventh Summit of the General Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, ABNA reporter interviewed Ayatollah Reza Ramazani, Secretary-General of the Assembly.
In this interview, Ayatollah Ramazani explained about the philosophy and objectives of establishing the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the role and activities of the General Assembly in the structure of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the purpose, importance and necessity of holding the Seventh Summit of the General Assembly, the reason for the reason for the delay in holding the Seventh Summit, and differences between the Seventh Summit and the previous Summits.
The interview with the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is as follows:
ABNA reporter: What was the philosophy and objectives of establishing the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly?
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the friends in ABNA News Agency, and I hope that the Agency will use all the opportunities and capacities to cover the Seventh Summit of the General Assembly in the best way. In this regard it is necessary to make a lot of efforts in the media and cyberspace sections.
The philosophy and objectives of establishing the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly have been stated in the articles of association, and I mention a few points.
One of the objectives of establishing the Assembly is to publish the teachings of AhlulBayt (a.s.) and pure Islam, a version of Islam that is not distorted. Pure Islam means a version of Islam that is comprehensive, accurate and deep; a version that pays attention to all aspects of human life and his personal and social spheres which in the social sphere, educates humanity to realize justice in society - Everyone should be together and strive for the realization of justice, which is the most important hope and desire of divine prophets - a version of Islam that invites man to the monotheist and justice-seeking system. Today, considering the conditions that have arisen in the world, the Eastern and Western Blocs could not comprehensively address the spheres of human existence, and provide a plan for human felicity. The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is a non-governmental organization that is made up of thinkers, ulama, scholars, experts and those who have a social image and seek to spread the teachings of AhlulBayt (a.s.) and pure Islam in their local Assemblies and regions.
The second objective is to protect and defend the sacredness of the Quran, the tradition of the Prophet Muhamad (p.b.u.h) and his AhlulBayt (a.s.). That is, the same will that the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) made at the end of his blessed life and it is mentioned in Sunni and Shia sources: “إِنِّی تَارِک فِیکمُ الثَّقَلَینِ ... کتَابَ اللَّهِ وَ عِتْرَتِی أَهْلَ بَیتِی” (I left among you two treasures … The book of God [Quran], … and my progeny, my AhlulBayt). Accordingly, responding the doubts and attacks on the AhlulBayt (a.s.) school and defending the positions of Shiites are among the objectives of the Assembly.
Another objective for the establishment of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is to create and strengthen unity among the AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers. Certainly, the enemies of Islam consider unity and cohesion among the followers of a denomination or between the followers of different denominations. Therefore, one of the tactics and conspiracies of the enemy is to create division among the Islamic society. We believe that the AhlulBayt (a.s.) are the axis of unity in the Islamic world and obeying them will bring unity to all nations. According to Lady Fatimah Zahra (a.s.): “جَعَلَ اللهُ طاعَتَنا نظاماً لِلملَّةِ و اِمامَتَنا اَماناً لِلْفُرَقَةِ” (God made our obedience the cause for the order of the nation, and our Imamate as an obstacle to division). Imamate creates security and removes division and discord. Therefore, we must develop and strengthen unity among the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) under the guidance and leadership of Shia sources of emulation, and in order to strengthen the unity of the Islamic Ummah, we must try to fight against various conspiracies and organized terrorism. The important thing is to use the set of capacities.
Another objective is to defend the rights of Muslims. The rights of Muslims and AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers must be fulfilled in the world. We have seen the violation of Muslim rights in some countries where the AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers and Muslims live. We need to follow the legal ways of protecting and defending Muslims and the AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers in a detailed and thorough manner.
Also, another objective that has been considered for the Assembly is to contribute the growth, promotion and improvement of the cultural, propagational, political, economic and social status of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) worldwide, and if this is implemented, it will lead to intellectual and spiritual authority and can create an outstanding capacity in the world. Considering the opportunity that has been provided in the world today to enlighten about the AhlulBayt (a.s.) teachings, we should use this opportunity by benefiting from all hardware and software means.
ABNA reporter: Please explain about the role and activities of the General Assembly in the structure of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
Ayatollah Ramazani: The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly has four pillars. The first pillar is the supreme Marjaiat of Shia, the second pillar is the General Assembly of the Assembly, the third pillar is the Supreme Council, and finally the fourth pillar is the Secretary-General, and in the articles of association of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the duties of each is mentioned in full.
According to the sixth article of the Articles of Association, the members of the General Assembly are appointed by the supreme council for six years. The general assembly is composed of scholars, thinkers, prominent university professors and social figures who are followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) and influential in their regions. The representatives of the communities and organizations of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) and have particular components and characteristics, are discussed in the Supreme Council and new members are approved and added accordingly.
The General Assembly has duties and thorites that I will mention a few of them.
The general policies of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly are determined by the General Assembly. In a non-governmental organization, its general assembly is one of the main and important pillars. Therefore, many issues are approved and determined in the General Assembly, and even the missions, duties and tasks of the organization institution are addressed in the General Assembly.
Another authority of the General Assembly is to provide grounds for reform, growth and improvement of the general status of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers. The followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) should, in the true sense of the word, move towards rationality, spirituality, justice and the realization of dignity. Because the Holy Quran has raised dignity as the basis and principle of other issues.
The members of the General Assembly are obliged to declare their position regarding the sufferings and issues that occur in different countries of the Islamic world. Muslims have been oppressed in Myanmar and many other countries. Some have started wars and bloodshed in the name of Islam, or they start killing Muslims, or they incite differences among Muslims. The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly has assigned an important task to the General Assembly, which is to declare a position and protest about disputes as well as the oppression against Muslims.
Another task of the General Assembly is to review and comment on the performance of the Assembly; whether the Assembly has been successful in achieving its objectives, strategies, and solutions or not. What factors have caused success or failure? The General Assembly addresses the necessities, priorities and challenges. What are the necessities that the Assembly should pay attention to? What are the priorities of the Assembly in entering the international arena? What are the challenges and what are the obstacles on the way to achieving the goals? The obstacles must be identified so that we can reach the goals.
Therefore, in order to achieve the general goals, we must go through the partial and intermediate goals. What is important is to declare the world: Rationality and spirituality are dominant literature, logic and spirit of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) teachings; and humanity should not look for war and bloodshed and should fight against the tyrants. Therefore, we neither accept being submissive to oppression nor being oppressor, and by avoiding excesses, we must perform our most important duties.
Another duty of the General Assembly is paying attention to the financial needs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly. All the members should care about their organization and help. The activities, supporting some websites, having a virtual circle of scholars for the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, and many other activities, require the use of the economic capability of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.). In some countries, Shiites want to build mosques or hosseiniyehs, and in some other countries, mosques, hosseiniyehs and Islamic centers need to be repaired, and educational and research sectors need support. Creating public education in the world and improving the knowledge of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the world requires the support of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.). This is one of the rules of organizations and general assemblies. It is hoped that this auspicious event will happen in a proper manner in the Assembly.
ABNA reporter: Please explain the purpose, importance and necessity of holding the Seventh Summit of the General Assembly.
Ayatollah Ramazani: According to the Articles of Association of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the Summit of the General Assembly must at least be held once every four years. That is, according to the requirements, the Summit of the General Assembly can be held earlier.
The session of the Supreme Council of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly is held every 8 years. Of course, because it is not possible to gather all members of the Supreme Council from Iran and abroad, we established the “Selected Committee”. According to our proposal, in 2019, the formation of a select committee of the Supreme Council was approved, and all authorities, except for one or two, have been delegated to this committee. In the beginning, once every two weeks, and now once a month we have a meeting with the Selected Committee.
According to the Articles of Association, the Summit for the General Assembly is held once every four years. Of course, we can hold regional summits of Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe and America. Regional summits can be very useful because consolidating the capacities is crucial. Accordingly, we have held six regional summits so far.
The Seventh Summit of the General Assembly is important because the issues and events of the Islamic world and the regional countries will be reviewed and analyzed in it. The collection of experiences in the countries where the followers of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) and Shiites live will be reviewed, and according to the results of the summit discussions, we will summarize our duties for the next four years so that we can continue the future activities of the assembly in a more effective and up-to-date manner. Today, we live in a world that is constantly changing. we should therefore revise our plans according to the variables and events that are happening in the world. As foreseen in the Articles of Association, one of the tasks of the General Assembly is to revise and redefine the duties and missions, and this work should be properly.
ABNA reporter: Why was the Seventh Summit of the General Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly postponed?
Ayatollah Ramazani: 2019 was the year in which the Secretary-General and administration of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly should be changed. Considering that the Sixth Summit was held in 2015, the Seventh Summit should have been held in 2019. After the change of administration, in February 2020, we faced the outbreak of Covid-19. At that time, we considered holding the Seventh Summit for September 2020. We determined the date for holding the Summit. But the result of the experts’ investigation was that it is not possible to hold gatherings and according to the health protocols of the Islamic Republic of Iran, gatherings were prohibited due to the spread of Covid-19. After the subsidence of the evil virus, which of course is still killing people, gatherings have been allowed all over the world, including Iran. Therefore, our conclusion was that the Seventh Summit will be held in September 2022, and we are holding it three years late. The importance of holding the Seventh Summit is clear because it has not been held for seven years and there are many things to say. We should benefit from the opinions of the scholars of the Islamic world and the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) and revise and redefine the duties.
ABNA reporter: Will the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly have communication with the guests after the end of the Summit and the return of the guests to their countries?
Ayatollah Ramazani: There should be close communication between the Secretariat of the Summit and the members. That is, the departments of the Assembly must communicate with the members, inform each other of their demands and help each other. A group with the title of headquarters should provide its services in different departments and the members should fulfill their duties according to their duties. For this to happen in all regions, it is necessary that the members are connected. In the new phase, we intend to develop and strengthen communication. In order to achieve the long-term objectives, which is to raise the scientific level of the followers of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the world, a wide and profound intellectual connection must be established between the members and the pillars of the Assembly. If this happens, we will be more successful in achieving the Assembly’s objectives. Therefore, in one of the commissions, we will carefully examine the importance of communication in terms of content, and we will examine how we can develop and strengthen communication. The matter will be also followed up after the Summit.
ABNA reporter: According to your change approach, what are the differences between the Seventh Summit and previous Summits?
Ayatollah Ramazani: This is an important question. Considering that last year was the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, I prepared some work to present at the Summit. In this meeting, the change approach of the Assembly and the solutions for its realization will be discussed with the members, and we will benefit from the huge expert capacity that has been prepared.
Organizations usually revise their performance and goals every ten years. The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly was formed in 1990. In the last thirty years, the Secretaries General of the Assembly have contributed many services. We honor the memory of the late Ayatollah Taskhiri and the late Ayatollah Asefi, and I express my gratitude and appreciation to the Secretaries General who strived for the Assembly. A program from this year’s Summit is dedicated to appreciation of the those who cooperated with the Assembly. Some, like Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Hakim and Sheikh Abdullah Dohdaweh in Belgium, were martyred, and some others passed away of natural causes and their services will be commemorated.
The biographies of 128 late members of the Supreme Council, including Ayatollah Mo’men, Ayatollah Shahroudi, Ayatollah Mojtahed Shabestari, Ayatollah Taskhiri, Ayatollah Asefi, Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Fazlullah, Ayatollah Mohseni, have been collected in a magnificent collection and will be unveiled at the Summit.
The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly of has conducted many researches, many of which have been published. So far, two thousand volumes with different titles have been published by the publishing house of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly. Also, some books are not yet completed and are being worked on. The collection of works of the Assembly in the field of research and translation is summarized in one collection. This is also a magnificent collection that will be unveiled at the summit. Also, using the database we had, we studied the latest general situation of Shiites in different continents and countries, which resulted in a very magnificent collection.
Also, using the database we had, we studied the latest general situation of Shiites in different continents and countries, which resulted in a very magnificent collection. On the other hand, in the field of the analytical situation of Shiites of the world, a collection has been prepared which will be unveiled.
In February 2021, the International Conference of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) was held by the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, and the result of the conference is a collection of twenty-one volumes and will be unveiled at the Summit. Also, a Pakistani Sunni figure who wrote 12,000 pages in praise of Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) has been invited to give a speech at the Summit.
In terms of content, the demands of the Supreme Marjaiat and the members of the Supreme Council of the new administration have been change, and since the beginning of the new phase our discourse has been change. In this regard, we changed the structure, which was approved by the Supreme Council. Due to the need to operate in cyberspace, we established the General Directorate of cyberspace. Using the capacity of cyberspace is one of the priorities of the Assembly for change. Also, we added the General Directorate of Education, the General Directorate of Inspection and Supervision and the Office of Thought to the new structure.
These measures should be demonstrated in the Seventh Summit. Therefore, we named one of the commissions “Commission for Media and Cyberspace”. Today, the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly of has the ability to do valuable work in the field of cyberspace in terms of software and production, in order to raise the scientific level of the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) to create a movement in the world.
Another point worth mentioning is that a lot of effort has been made to regulate the content of the commissions. Maybe there were many commissions in the previous summits. However, for the Seventh Summit, it is concluded that the number of commissions should be reduced and instead their quality should be improved. Therefore, four commissions have been planned, and hundreds of man-hours have been worked on the contents and intellectual discussions.
Therefore, in the Commissions of Local Assemblies and Missionaries, Communications, Cyberspace, and Economic, all Shia views, capacities and abilities will be used. Benefactors and people who are able to work in the economic field, as well as other economic capacities should be used, and Shia entities should allocate a part of every profit they have from economic activities for the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.), institutions, mosques and educational and preaching works. Therefore, we must achieve self-sufficiency for this auspicious event to occur.
In terms of content, the content booklet of the commissions has been prepared and will be given to the members of the commissions so that they can comment on the completion of the content.
We will also hold two sessions, one of which is about academics, in which the ways of using the network of Shiite university professors in the world will be examined. We should use the capacity of Shiite university professors in the world for the scientific advancement and knowledge enhancement of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers.
The second session is about women. Considering the social presence of women in different fields, in this session the ways of using the capacity of women in different fields will be examined.
The fact that the Summit is international, is clearly evident. At the opening ceremony, eight non-Iranian intellectuals will give speeches. The composition of the commissions has also been adjusted in such a way that more international figures are used. That is, the Summit does not have an Iranian theme, but all figures and elders have been used in terms of the different geographical regions. God willing, the output, results and product of the Summit will be useful and auspicious.
On the sidelines of the Summit, an exhibition will be held in which the scientific achievements of the Islamic Republic will be displayed. Considering that this year has been named “The year of production, knowledge-based, job-creating” by the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, several universities have been invited to introduce their scientific knowledge-based activities. Also, the Institute for Organizing and Publishing the Works of the Two Imams of the Revolution (Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei) has been invited to participate in this exhibition to introduce their past and latest works. Those institutions that can play a role in the development of the activities of the Assembly have been also invited to the exhibition.
Another important and valuable work is that for the first time the collection of thirty-one years activities of the Assembly will be presented in twenty-two or twenty-three infographics for the Supreme Leader. Also, the members of the General Assembly will be informed about activities of the Assembly during three decades since its inception.
In the opening ceremony of the Summit, the President will give a speech, and in the closing ceremony, the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly will give a speech. Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has invited the members of the General Assembly to discuss the latest developments in the region.
In the Seventh Summit of the General Assembly, the opportunity for dialogue and interaction between scholars, thinkers and ulama of the Islamic world will be created, and this opportunity can play an important role for cooperation and communication.
ABNA reporter: What is your vision for the future of the assembly? That is, how do you see the future of the assembly?
Ayatollah Ramazani: The important and noteworthy issue that we should strive for is the “change”. There must be change in objectives, methods, staff and members. The set of these changes can cause a big change. We are looking for the Assembly to reach a scientific and spiritual authority with the efforts of all dignitaries and using the experiences of scholars and thinkers. This scientific and cultural authority is of great importance. Culturally, the encyclopedia (WikiShia) needs to be developed. At this year’s Summit, the activities of WikiShia in 5 new languages will be unveiled. We are looking to expand the activities of this encyclopedia to forty languages. We should introduce the teachings, knowledge and virtues of AhlulBayt (a.s.) to the world with the living languages of the world. In the horizon of the Assembly, I see public education. All the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the world should have at least basic education and their view of the school of AhlulBayt (a.s.) should be expanded in terms of quality. We should promote the AhlulBayt (a.s.) teachings in the world in a proper way, avoiding excesses and with a rational and spiritual perspective, so that we can benefit from the dua of the AhlulBayt (a.s.), as they said, “رحم الله عبداً احیا امرنا” (May God have mercy on a servant who revive our command). The requirement for this is proper teaching and learning. So that all the people of the world who see the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.) will know that they have a strong school, and they are figures who have educated themselves intellectually and spiritually. By increasing knowledge, we should educate the young generation of the world in a religious, responsible, spiritual and rational manner.
ABNA reporter: Will you hold a press conference before the summit?
Ayatollah Ramazani: It was concluded that news coverage be done during the summit. Domestic media will cover the opening ceremony, closing ceremony and meeting with the Supreme Leader of the Revolution. International News Agencies will also be present to cover the news. In the Summit the Secretary-General, as the spokesman of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, will explain the general views in the interviews.
ABNA reporter: Thank you for your time.