The representative of the Supreme Shi’ah authority [marji’yah] in Europe addresses the speakers and preachers at the annual meeting in the United Kingdom, saying:
• You have to quench the thirst -of the new generation- to the true teachings of the Islamic faith in order to get them equipped with a strong shield and healthy vaccination against any indoctrination or theological contamination with the corrupt ideas, so that they would be able to advocate their faith against the contemporary orators of hatred, misguidance and sedition.
• He called for the constant use and reference to the speeches of Imam al-Hussain (as), in order to be inspired by his lessons, examples and reminding preaching, which may benefit all Muslims. One may also read what the distinguished figures of the East and the West have written about him (as).
• He has focused to remind everybody getting benefits from the recommendations issued by the higher religious Shi’ah authority in Najaf for the orators and preachers of the Muharram of year 1440 (AH).
29 Thilhujja 1439
His eminence speech has been made at the annual meeting held prior to the month of Muharram, when all the Husseini programs are organized, and the preachers and orators speak in the various centres and institutions around the United Kingdom. He has addressed them saying:
‘Your mission is great, crucial and important in this era, as the evil actors through social media sites and apps, as well as the advocators of sedition, corruption and misguidance are spreading their poisonous ideas that are in direct opposition to Mohammedan Islam and its sacred rituals! Our duty today is to address those spurious doubts and strongly answer them in a scientific and accurate way, relying on the Qur’an and the Sunnah along with the hadiths of the Infallible Imams (as). One should be inspired by the Shi’ah scholars, from whom we do benefit while reading their prestigious books such as [Ihtidjadj] ‘the Arguments’ by al-Tabarsi and others. His eminence has also called on being inspired from the speeches of Imam al-Hussain (as), and in particular his first ceremony delivered in Medina, when he said: “I did not revolt [against the despotic regime], due to being unjust, nor doubtful, nor motivated by mischief or corruption”, amongst other following last sermons on the day of ‘Ashura! These statements reflect the goals and the reforms of the Husseini revolution and his reasons, inspiration and lessons for the generations to come.
He has emphasized that: “One should not forget what the great and renown authors of the media in the East and West have written and told about Imam al-Hussain (as), such as late sayed Hebat ul-Din al-Shahrestani throughout his reforms, as well as al-‘Akkad in his book (Abu al-Shuhada) amongst others, such as what is said by: Antoan Barra, Paulus Salamah, Mahatma Gandhi and others.
Finally, His Eminence has pointed on the importance of following the recommendations of the highest authority of Shi’ah authority for this year. He said that his eminence’s recommendation can be considered as a program for the orators and preachers in their talks throughout the days of Muharram, due to their accurate contents that are remarkably worthy of attention to be benefitted from. He has then read out the statement for the audience:
“In the name of Allah (swt), the Most gracious the Most Merciful! Peace be upon the Prophet, the Mustafa (swt) and the infallibles, who are purified, for then he has said:
We asked His Eminence Sayyid al-Sistani (may Allah (swt) save him) to make a fatherly recommendation to all the preachers of the Council of al-Hussain for the month of Muharram. Therefore, one may find these words full of spiritual light and full of the spiritual inspiration! His words that is full of eagerness on preserving the religion and the sacred rites and respect for the pulpit, therefore he has extended his speech in two points, which are as follows:
Regarding the role of the Hussaini Minbar, especially during the days of the holy month of Muharram, he (long may he live) said the message of the Minbar is summarized by mentioning the events that happened to the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) as well as propagation of religion and its consolidation in the hearts and minds of Muslims - by conveying Quranic knowledge and eliminating doubts with clear and convincing proof. In addition to educating believers on piety, virtues and ideal values. This is exactly the role Allah (s.w.t.) allocated for the messenger (s.a.w.w.), who was the first in Islam to ascend the Minbar. The holy Qur’an has explained his role to us. The Almighty the Exalted says: ((It is He Who has sent amongst the illiterate a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error)) Holy Qur’an 62:2. This verse indicates that the prophetic message – of which the Minbar is an active mean of its propagation – focuses on consolidating the religion by self-purification, cleansing it from the various levels of obscurity and mental and moral illnesses and presenting and instilling Qur’anic knowledge and wisdom in peoples’ hearts with words and action.
The sublime goal of the reformist movement of Sayyid al-Shuhada (a.s.) was, and is, to preserve and consolidate the religion in the face of the Umayyad approach, which was based on the destruction of the pillars of Islam and its values - evident from many historical references. Imam Hussain’s (a.s.) movement countered that dangerous approach, and his mission and sacrifice was for the highest goal; to preserve religion from demise and deviation. I believe that without the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (a.s.) in that magnificent way, at that difficult juncture, there would be no sign of Islam today. The Umayyad’s plan was sophisticated and close to reaching its goals. As the Hussaini Minbar is a continuation Hussain's day, its role and duty is centered around the religion and its consolidation, defence and its education.
The best way to preserve and consolidate the religion today is to confront the doubts raised around it and its authentic knowledge and moral values. However, several things should be considered:
The speaker dealing with dispelling doubts has to be well versed and armed with experience and abundant information on this subject, otherwise, by his response he could do more harm than good. The Minbar is one of the most important means available to dispel doubts about true belief. The Prophet (s.a.w.w.) and the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), in addition to addressing the knowledge and religious teachings, used the Minbar to dispel the doubts from the minds of some Muslims - due to their proximity to the Jahiliyah era - some of whom were influenced by ideas alien to the Islamic community. Thus, the importance of the role of the Hussaini Minbar because it is the extension and continuation of the message of The Mustafa (s.a.w.w.) and The Murtada (a.s.), requiring the speaker of the Minbar to be worthy, competent, eligible and knowledgeable.
Doubts are of two types; some are popular and widespread and some are limited in mention. It is appropriate, rather necessary, to deal directly with the common doubts among people to dispel them. It is unwise to review and explain to the public the doubts that are not widespread. The speaker should compile a sound religious speech which will dispel such doubts from peoples’ minds - without the need to mention and comment on them.
It is obvious there a speech for every occasion. So, the speaker must consider the intellectual and cultural level of the audience, either directly or by an intermediary so as not to present knowledge which is incompatible with the mental levels of the listeners. Attention should focus on shaping the doubts and explaining the answer in a comprehendible manner. It has been narrated from the holy prophet (s.a.w.w.) who said: "We, the prophets, are ordered to speak to people according to their levels of comprehension."
It is essential to make maximum use of the knowledge from the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) via reliable methods and sources. It has been reported from them (a.s.) that "if people knew the advantages of our words they would [surely] follow us." The advantages of their words include an integrated intellectual system as diverse as the holy Qur’an, containing thought provoking masterpieces of wisdom, virtues and ethics – dispelling doubts and enlightening the Muslim individual and making him confident of his faith and religion.
This is due to the fact that they (a.s.) are the second to the Qur’an in authority. This is manifest in the Hadith Al-Thaqlain and other narrations. Therefore, the Hussaini speaker should pay attention to this aspect in his speech, as well as paying attention to conveying the calamities of the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) and what happened to them in the tragedy of Karbala, because this has a great impact on keeping this issue alive in peoples’ souls.
We ask Allah (s.w.t.) to grant the all speakers success to perform their roles in the best way and to support them in consolidating the religion and purify the souls of its followers – He is All Hearing and Answers Prayers.