The high representative of Shi’ah religious high authority in Europe has expressed his congratulations to the Islamic world for the blessed month of Sha'ban and the birth of the bright moons from the progeny of the Prophet’s (sawas) Household (as). He says:
• Is it enough to pretend to be Shi’ah claiming love for the Ahlul Bait (as)!? No, swearing by Almighty Allah (swt), to be a Shi’ah is solely for the one, who fears His God and obeys His orders.
• The supreme authority calls for the smart presentation of belief combined with the right of arguments, proof and evidences. He has promoted peaceful coexistence with others based on friendly association and humane behaviour.
3 Shaban 1439

His speech came in a sermon on Friday in Hull. He has demonstrated the spiritual value of Sha'baan as it is the month of the Prophet (sawas). Sha’abaan is the month of moral virtues, the purification of the souls from sins and crimes, the pursuit to good deeds of prayers, paying alms [zakat], promoting the right and forbidding the evil, and all kinds of self-purification; like being kind to the parents, maintaining good ties with relatives and neighbours, building bridges between disputed parties and paying charity for the poor, especially the poor orphans and widows.

He has referred to the hadith of Imam Ali (as) in praising this month, as he puts with his words: ‘If you had known what Our Almighty Lord (swt) had prepared for the worshippers of his worship on this day, you would have failed to continue what you are doing, and you have started obeying the rulings.’

As for the recommended acts of this month, he has referred to the authentic books related to the recommended rituals and the status of this month and he has referred to narrations from Imam Ali (as), the commander of the believers, in this topic. He has also confirmed the elevated status of the family of the Prophet (as) [Ahlul Bait] (as) their virtues and their great respect in the eyes of God (swt), great sacrifices they’ve made in order to honour the call of Islam and its continuation.

Their great biography compels us that one should follow them while studying the lessons of their lives and reflect on the details in order to have an exemplary model and a life program for this life and the life Hereafter because claiming to be a follower without combining it with acts is useless. A wise and conscientious reading of their biography calls each and every one to present Shi’ah Islam with the right proofs and convincing arguments, because being a Shi’ah is not enough through demonstration of loyalty, superficial love and joy and celebrating birthday anniversary programs, nor in continuous visits to their holy shrines. The powerful affiliation to them is rather manifested through being fully aware and practicing the extensive Qur’anic teaching, its concepts and the Prophet's and Ahlul Baits’ (as) Sunnah.

And to this, has referred Imam al-Baqir (as), while addressing Jaber: ‘“O Jabir! How come that it is sufficient to declare love for us—the Ahl al-Bayt—in order to be a Shi`ite? I swear by Allah that our true Shi`ah (followers) are none but those who fear and obey Allah. Their distinctive features are exclusive modesty, devoutness, fulfilment of trusts, constant reference to Almighty Allah, (much) observance of fasting, (much) offering of prayers, kindness to their parents, caring for the poor, the needy, the indebted, and the orphans from among their neighbours, truthfulness, (repeated) recitation of the Holy Qur'an, and holding their tongues except for uttering good. Moreover, they are always the most trustworthy of the members of their clans for keeping things.

So, (I recommend you to) fear Almighty Allah and work for winning that which He holds. None has kinship with Almighty Allah (due to which he may be favoured); rather, the most favourite to Him among His servants are the most pious and the most abiding in obedience to Him.’

Then he said: ‘O Jabir! I swear by Almighty Allah that we seek nearness to Him through no means other than obedience to Him. We do not have patents of release from Hellfire. Nobody has a pretext against Almighty Allah. He who is obedient to Almighty Allah is our follower while he who is disobedient to Him is our enemy. Admission to our loyalty can only be attained by means of good work and piety.’

Then he said: ‘O Jabir! No one has any kinship, nor is close to God’ means that Almighty God (swt) does not recognise any kinship with any Shi’ah Muslims, so that He would forgive them while they are disobedient. None of them is a relative to Imam Ali (as), so that Almighty God (swt) would accept any excuse from his followers, and would not excuse those followers of the Prophet (sawas). The crucial reason for being spiritually close to Allah (swt) is through being pious and obedient to Almighty Allah (swt), therefore our Imams (as) have become the love of the Wise Creator, i.e. Almighty God (swt).

He has also said: ‘O, Shi'ahs, O, Shi'ah of Muhammad’s family (as)! Be the central and moderation figure: So that you would be the accepted authority for those exaggerating individuals as well as for those honest followers. Then a man of the helpers (Ansar) -who is known with the name, Sa’ad, said to him: May Allah (swt) make my soul ransom to you, who is the exaggerating figure? He replied: "People would come with exaggerating claims about our status that we don’t say about ourselves! They are not from us and we are not their Imams (as)." Sa’ad said: "Who is the honest? The Imam (as) said: The wayfarer who has good intentions, who strives for it, then he achieves it. He had addressed us: We have no guaranties from Almighty God (swt) that one shall be spared from Hell-fire. There is no kinship between us and God (swt), and we are not privileged to have any special rights in front of God (swt). None may achieve nearness to Almighty God, except by being obedient! Whoever is obedient to God, she / he would benefit from our Imamah and divine leadership! And anyone of you, who is a sinner and disobedient to God (swt), then our Divine leadership and mandate will not benefit him / her! Be aware! Don’t be deceived! Don’t be misled!’

And it has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (as), Abi Abdillah that he has said: "We do not consider a man to be a believer, unless she / he would do all of what we have instructed them. One of the crucial signs of our follower is to be pious! So be equipped with god-wariness, may Almighty Allah (swt) have mercy on you, and be precautious so that our enemies don’t struggle against the Divine Godly blessing.

Imam Ali (as) said: ‘One may examine the Shi’ahs at three crucial points: 1) During the time of prayers! One should examine how they keep them. 2) How they reserve the rights of keeping secrets! How they save them from our enemies. 3) With regards to their money! How do they share their welfare with their brothers and sisters in faith!

Imam Baqir (as) said: ‘O you, Abal Miqdam!.. The Shi’ahs of Ali (as) are only those who are full of fear from Divine wrath! They are weak and thin and their lips are waiting to be quenched from dry and thirsty stomachs! Their colours are changed and their faces yellowed! If the night comes, they take the floor to be their beds, but also they would pray on earth, prostrating on their foreheads! Their prostrations are extensive, their tears are voraciously flowing and their prayers are profound! While people are rejoicing, they fear of potentially revoking Divine wrath.

These are some of the qualities and descriptions of the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), which must be advised and recommend for others to be adopted. It has been narrated that Imam Ali bin Mussa Al-Ridha (as) said: May Almighty Allah (swt) bless and shower His Mercy over the one who revives our message! The narrator Al-Haraway asked: How can one revive your message? He said: Through learning our knowledge and teaching it to people! If people knew the virtues and wisdom behind our words, they would follow us.

His Eminence has also stressed the importance of peaceful coexistence with other components of the civil society! Some ignorant believers wrongly claim that the true Shi’ah-Islam is through demonstrating the faith of Ahlul Bait (as), while degrading others, being offensive and disrespecting them!! Those ignorant individuals think that excommunicating others and humiliating other followers of different paths is a crucial point to maintain the Shi’ah identity and protect them from others!! The correct and wise method for the followers of the Imams (as), is to act taking into consideration their (as) life-style and biography. This is what they have advised their Shi’ah followers and brought to their attention. They have asked the Shi’ahs to present their doctrine and truthful faith with perfect arguments and convincing proofs while maintaining peaceful coexistence with others based on socializing with them, participating in their programs and their events. One must keep polite words and refrain from uttering any offensive words, nor uttering any words that may violate the civil peace, or harm the harmony of the classes of society, while facing the enemies, who are only interested in the country’s resources. It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said: ‘You must remain god-warry, honest, trustworthy, keeping good company with whomever one accompanies. One should spread peace and feed the needy with needed food, pray in their mosques and temples, visit return their patients and participate in their funerals. My father has told me that the Shi’ahs of the Ahlul Bait (as), are the best amongst others. If one were looking for a jurisprudent, the Shi’ah would have a good one, and if one was looking for a [mu’ethin] caller for the prayers, the Shi’ah would have one, and if one was looking for an Imam, the Shi’ah should have a just one and if one was looking for a trustworthy person, the Shi’ah would have one to be trusted with their properties. So you should be like that constantly! Try your best to make others be inclined and in love with us, instead of hating us.

Finally, his eminence has explained the status of the holy month of Ramadhan, which is approaching us. He has emphasized that we ought to be prepared for it. ‘It is a month, during which one has been invited to obey the Divine orders. All of us are meant to be obedient towards the Lord. Our breathing is praising God and our sleep is equal to worshiping Him, while our work is accepted. So one must ask Almighty God (swt) with honest tongues and purified hearts to assist him / her with performing the fasting, to recite the holy Qur’an, because only felons and evil individuals won’t be forgiven during this great month.

We ask Almighty God (swt) to grant us success to fast and pray throughout the nights, indeed He is the best helpers.