By the end of his visit to Madagascar, the top representative of the Supreme Shi’ah Authority in Europe lays the foundation stone for al-Baqi’a cemetery in Madagascar
19 Shawwal 1440
One is referring to an area of 25,000 square meters, which will be added to the already existing tombs and graveyards of Shi’ah Global Jama’ah of al-Khu’ja in the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo! It was named “al-Baqi’a”, for the blessing to be received on the occasion of the anniversary of Imam Ja’afar bin Muhammad, al-Sadiq’s (as) martyrdom, who was buried in al-Madina- in a famous graveyard known to all Muslims by Al-Baqi’a- side by side three other imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as), i.e. Imam Hassan and Imam As-Sajjad and Imam al-Baqir (as). This soil and/or bigger space was donated by some benefactors to be added to the already existing cemetery. This main cemetery is no longer large enough for those destined to occupy it in the future. The same benefactor had donated 20,000 meters, which was under the management of the representative of Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani (may God preserve him), who had acted on behalf of the Grand Ayatollah, based on his directives, having left it as an endowment, to be used by the poor of that country. It was named “The charitable complex of Imam Sadiq (as)”. It will comprise of houses for the poor, and a school, a library and a centre for entertainment venues for families in the capital.
His eminence suggested -during the sermon of Friday prayers- community members and benefactors to contribute for the construction of this edifice, from the thirds included in their testimonies, charities and the donations from their private money, in order to have an ongoing blessing and everlasting charity.
It is worth emphasizing that the same donor has donated a similar plot of land for the Marj’ayyah of Grand Ayatollah Sistani (may God save him) ten years ago. This land was put in an endowment to be used for the poor, and it has been built -with the support of some believers- in a large residential building and named as follows: “The city of Sayed Al-Sistani (may God save him). This large residential building is currently inhabited by poor families. His eminence has visited them, while taking care and asking about their conditions, in order to be aware of their needs. He has conveyed greetings and prayers to them from the Grand Ayatollah Sistani (may God save him). They thanked him for this kind gesture and asked him to repeat it and visit them continuously.
He has also visited the weekly school in the “Al-Imam al-Hussain (as) complex” in the capital city. This complex is now comprised of houses, the main mosque in the country, a Hussaynieh and a large Events Hall, which was built on an area of approximately 50,000 square meters, and the believers are participating and gathering there for their religious events.
He has also visited the ‘Women's Hawzah’, which is located in the outskirts of the city. He has talked to them about the virtue of seeking knowledge and what Almighty God (swt) has prepared for them of heavenly rewards. He has based his speech on the Qur’anic verse;
(فلولا نفر من كل فرقة منهم طائفة ليتفقهوا في الدين ولينذروا قومهم اذا رجعوا اليهم لعلهم يحذرون)
‘And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious.’ Qur’an, C. 9: V.: 122
And the hadiths of the sixth Imam of Shi’ah Muslims, Imam Ja’afar As-Sadiq (as): ‘I wished that my friends would be fulgurated with lashes until they learn about what is halal and haram’ also in another narration one reads about the elevated status of those who seek knowledge: ‘And that the Angels would lay down their wings for the one who seeks knowledge in order for him to walk on them’ amongst other narrations, which are recorded in this topic from Ahlul Bait (as).