AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): ABWA Official Website - The specialized session “The Insightful Reviver of AhlulBayt (a.s.) Heritage” from the series of scientific conferences “Umana Al-Rosol” (Trustees of the Messengers) to honor and commemorate the eminent jurist of Najaf Seminary, the prominent Islamic researcher and hadith narrator, Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Mahdi Al-Khersan, was held by the Scientific and Cultural Organization of Astan Quds Razavi (the office of the custodian of the Imam Reza (a.s.) Holy Shrine) in Mashhad.
In this international conference, which was held on the Sunday morning, November 27, 2022, with the presence of the custodians of the Holy Shrines of Iraq and the officials of Astan Quds Razavi, while welcoming the guests from Iraq, the head of the Scientific and Cultural Organization of Astan Quds Razavi expressed his satisfaction with this ceremony to commemorate and honor the scientific dignitaries of the Islamic world and appreciated the organizers in his respective organization.
Abdul Hamid Talebi stated, “Mashhad seminary is one of the old and prestigious seminaries, which has established good connections and interactions with other seminaries. We hope that this conference, which is being held in the holy city of Mashhad and near the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (a.s.), will lead to more cooperation and interactions between the holy shrines, experts, and researchers of Islamic sciences.”
The objectives of the Conference “Umana Al-Rosol” (Trustees of the Messengers)
Further in this conference, the head of Al-Zurriah Al-Nabawiah (The Prophet’s Progeny) Research Institute in Qom said, “Umana Al-Rosol conference pursues lofty goals considering the comprehensiveness of Islam, AhlulBayt (a.s.) and the ulama of this school. Some of the goals and objectives of holding this conference are to interact with Shiite seminaries in the Islamic world, to model collective activities at the highest possible level to neutralize the divisive plans of the enemies and their followers, and also to pay attention to the factors that cause harm in the Islamic society.”
The characteristics of Ayatollah Al-Khersan, from simple life to scientific jihad
In the following, mentioning some of the characteristics of Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Mahdi Al-Khersan, Monzer Hakim, the head of Al-Zurriah Al-Nabawiah Research Institute said, “Being Sayed, having knowledge and jurisprudence, piety and dignity, living humble life, scientific jihad and enlightening in a clear and convincing way in defense of the of AhlulBayt (a.s.) school, scrutiny in research, great perseverance and indefatigability, avoiding fame, and scientific movement without attracting the attention of others in a society that is always evolving.”
“Astan Quds Razavi Islamic Research Foundation has taken great steps in research on the progeny of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and genealogy, and Al-Zurriah Al-Nabawiah Research Institute has also benefited from the blessings of these studies. Many are not aware of the necessity of genealogy. But its importance is clear to us. Because genealogy expertise can play a significant role in scientific and social developments,” he further said.
Turning threats into opportunities in Islamic discourse
The head of Astan Quds Razavi Islamic Research Foundation said in his speech, “Islam and the Immaculate Imams (a.s.), with their diligence and sacrifice, and with God’s help, created a discourse for us, which is a civilizational and Shiite discourse. Throughout history, this great Shiite discourse has faced many attacks. But it has been so strong that could defeat other discourses. The victory of Islam is the victory of discourse, not the victory of the sword.”
“This discourse was created in the 2nd century AH, it was strengthened in the 3rd century AH, and since then it has been invaded by enemies. But none of these invasions could stop it from moving forward. The power of the Shiite discourse has been so great that it turned these invasions into opportunities. This discourse came from the past to the contemporary era and now, the Western discourse equipped with science and technology stood against the Shiite discourse,” Ahad Faramarz Qaramaleki said.
Honoring and introducing scholars means protecting Shiite and Islamic culture
“The modern discourse of the West, for political and international reasons, has been attacking the Shiite and Islamic discourse for more than a hundred years in the areas of lifestyle, clothing and way of thinking. There is a very dangerous aspect in this discursive attack and in different dimensions against the Shiite discourse. The western discourse, through its invasion, wants to take the identity of the Shiites and instill lack of identity. The solution to counter this invasion is to introduce a role model that show how a Muslim and Shiite person can be. Honoring the ulama is a way of introducing a role model and introducing a role model actually means defending Shiism and Islam,” Qaramaleki added.
Identifying and introducing a role model requires a systematic answer to the questions, why this particular person? With what criteria should we choose a role model? For example, a certain person has been introduced as a role model because of books, ideas, or because of civilizational influence or other aspects. If we don’t answer how we choose a role model, and only give compliments, we can’t introduce true role models or examples,” he expressed.
Scholars and academics on the path of inter civilizational communication
In this seminar, Gholamreza Jalali, head of the Faculty of History and Tradition of AhlulBayt (a.s.) of the Astan Quds Razavi Islamic Research Foundation, said, “This conference is to create scientific interaction between the seminaries and Islamic centers of Mashhad and Najaf. Seminaries should be connected and consider each other as their complement. Different cultures are built through the spheres and interaction of Abrahamic religions. In fact, in the production of science, nothing is more important than communication.”
“The leadership of the movement towards the new Islamic civilization is in the hands of ulama, clerics, academics and scholars who can communicate with other scientific centers,” he added according to the official website of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“One of the characteristics of Mashhad seminary is its comprehensiveness, because almost all scientific fields, from philosophy, mathematics, art to other fields of study that are suitable for Islamic life, are taught in this seminary,” Gholam Reza Jalali stated.
The land of Tus, establishing and development of civilization
“Khwaja Nasir al-Din Tusi and figures as great as him who have promoted civilization and thought have lived in this area of Islamic civilization. In general, the word “تمدن” (civilization) was used for the first time by Khwaja Nasir al-Din Tusi, and it was due to the existence of the capacities of Tus plain, the exceptional location of the region and the presence of Imam Reza (a.s.), which led to the formation and development of civilization” added the head of the Faculty of History and Tradition of AhlulBayt (a.s.) of the Astan Quds Razavi Islamic Research Foundation.
“Wahhabism has 15,000 scientific bases in Pakistan, and based on its inherent capabilities, it is active in Afghanistan and Central Asia instead of Najaf and Qom,” Jalali said.
“The history of Mashhad goes back to more than 1300 years ago. Also, one of the three prominent seminaries of Najaf and Qom is Khorasan Seminary, centered in Mashhad,” he said.
Further in the conference, Reza Eskandari, the secretary of the Scientific and International Conference Umana Al-Rosol, stated, “The introduction of those educated in seminaries and divine ulama provides the basis for the expansion of knowledge and practice among the right-seekers of the world, and especially the Islamic society. The seminary has decided to start ongoing activities to commemorate the outstanding ulama of the Shiite seminaries, especially the Qom seminary.”
“Therefore, a conference entitled “Scientific and International Conference Umana Al-Rosol (Trustees of the Messengers)” was initiated by the seminaries, so that by the cooperation and interaction between various seminaries and religious institutions and centers of the Shiite world, especially Iran and Iraq, recognize the scientific, spiritual and scientific aspects of the figures of the seminaries and introduce them,” he continued.
In another part of the conference, presenting a report on the organization and structure of Astan Quds Razavi, Hojat al-Islam Sayed Mohammad Zulfaqari, Deputy for International Affairs of the Scientific and Cultural Organization of Astan Quds Razavi, stated, “The Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (a.s.), with an area of more than one million square meters, hosts more than 35 million domestic and foreign pilgrims every year. The Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (a.s.) is the most vivid, progressive, influential, scientific, cultural and dynamic organization in Islamic Iran.”
Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Mahdi Al-Khersan, born in 1347 AH, a prominent Shiite scholar from Najaf, is an author, translator and proofreader of authentic Islamic books. The most famous work of this prominent Islamic scholar is the book of “Encyclopedia of Abdullah bin Abbas”, with the subject of Ibn Abbas, the cousin and companion of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), which was published in 21 volumes, and won the prize in the 34th Book of the Year Conference of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It has been written in the field of Islam and biography.
Ayatollahs Sayed Abu al-Qasim Khoei, and Sayed Mohsen Hakim were among the teachers of Ayatollah Al-Khersan, and Some of ulama, such as Ayatollahs Agha Bozorg Tehrani, Sayed Mohammad Sadeq Bahr Al-Oloom, Sayed Ali Behbahani, Sayed Abdul Ali Sabzevari, and Sayed Morteza Khalkhali, have allowed him to narrate hadiths.
The books of Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Mahdi Al-Khersan are written on the topics of translation, genealogy, theology, hadith and jurisprudence. The book of “Ali, Imam of the Virtuous”, which is a description of an ode by Ayatollah Sayed Abu al-Qasim Khoei about the Imamate of Imam Ali (a.s.), and “Mohsen, the grandson of the Prophet, was Born or Aborted” about Hazrat Mohsen (a.s.), the son of Imam Ali (a.s.) and Lady Fatimah (a.s.), are among his books.
It worth mentioning that the Najaf section of the “1st Conference of the Umana al-Rosol (Trustees of the Messengers): Commemoration of the Grand Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Mahdi Al-Musawi Al-Khersan” with research meetings was held in the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (a.s.). The closing ceremony of this section was also held on the Tuesday evening, October 18, 2022, in the conference hall of Lady Fatimah Zahra (a.s.), and the authors of the selected articles and a number of organizers of the conference were appreciated.
Also, the two holy shrines of Imam Ali (a.s.) and Imam Hussain (a.s.), as well as about 30 scientific and cultural institutions – including the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly – have participated in holding this conference.