In the Norwegian Capital, Oslo, the General Supervisor of the Al-Ayn Social Welfare Foundation, Shaykh Amjad Riadh talks about some of the leading Marja’iyah’s projects in Europe and Iraq, under the title: (The leading Marja’iyah and the general public)
25 Thi Alqida 1437

All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessing be upon Muhammad and his immaculate household.

Talking about the leading Marja’iyah is talking about the pinnacle of religious and social structures of the followers of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.). The leading Marja’iyah represents the highest entity in the seminaries that are spread around the world. It represents the absolute and highest scientific rank. It is the legitimate authority where answers to questions and advice are sought. It is where the believers turn to for solutions to personal or collective problems and disputes. In addition to this it is the trusted entity where the followers of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) pay their Khums - so it can determine where best to disburse them.

Due to its lofty status the leading Marja’iyah educates a large number of students in several scientific disciplines such as; language, logic, eloquence, principles and fundamentals of jurisprudence, philosophy, history and religion.

There are also several matters that the leading Marja’iyah deals with such as:

1- Supervision of the scientific method(s) adopted in the Hawza schools. This is done by directing the school boards, lecturers and students towards the right approach and rejecting unsound curriculums and safeguarding the knowledge hierarchy of these seminaries.

2- Provision of educational requirements such as building scientific universities and seminaries, refurbishing and rebuilding old ones, destroyed by the actions of the oppressors, in line with environmental conditions and infrastructures so as to achieve an optimum environment for specialized studies.

In recent years, three important schools have been established by the leading Marja’ Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Seestani (long may he live).

a- Allamah Balaghi School which includes more than 40 rooms for in-house students as well as study halls.

b- Najmul-A’immah School which includes more than 100 rooms for in-house students in addition to 20 lecture-halls. This particular school is considered to be one of the important universities in the seminary milieu – characterized by its study pattern based on sound detailed studies and intensive follow-up. Presently there are more than 100 students from various countries in this school which came first in the general Hawza exams in Najaf.

c- The Alawiyah School for Religious Sciences, which is the largest seminary school in the world. It houses 500 in-house students in addition to 86 lecture halls – similar to Najmul-A’immah School.

d- Currently there are a number of other schools under construction:

I. Researcher Shaykh Hussain Al-Hilli school
II. Al-Mudhaffariyah school
III. Al-Murtadha school

3- Provision of public libraries for specialized and general studies in order to advance the level of education and to provide most religious students specialized books, unavailable in other libraries.

4- Caring for students, educationally and scientifically in addition to providing monthly wages and assisting them in their lives so that these Hawza disciplines can continue for generations to come.

5- Creating residential compounds for lecturers and students, one of which was completed in Qum two years ago. The first phase of the Alawi compound, comprising of 300 residential units, in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq has also been completed. This is in addition to contributing towards constructing residential houses for a number of religious science students.

There are other areas where the leading Marja’iyah has been active, namely; the establishment of centers and organizations that provide social, educational and religious services to the community such as:

i- Imam Ali (a.s.) Foundation in London and its branches in the United Kingdom.
ii- Al-Torath Foundation in Berlin
iii- Al-Cauther Foundation in the Hague/The Netherlands
iv- Al-Gheri Center in Antwerp/Belgium
v- Al-Munthadar (a.j.) Foundation and Al-Zahra (s.a.) Center in Sweden
vi- Al-Ghadeer, Al-Huda and Al-Kawthar Centers in Canada
vii- Imam Mahdi (a.f.) Association in the United States
viii- Imam Ali (a.s.) Mosque in New Zealand
ix- Al-Ma’rifa Foundation in Iraq

There are also other centers and foundations in Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Indonesia and other countries.

Separate from the abovementioned services, the leading Marja’iyah also attends to the requirements of the general public when the authorities are unable to do so; like building hospitals and schools in Iraq and Iran. There are also many other services provided by the Marja’iyah such as:

a- Assisting poor families with their day to day needs by providing them with regular wages and financial assistance - directly and otherwise and in different countries. In Iraq assistance to needy families amounts to billions of Dinars.

b- Assisting patients who require medical treatment and/or major surgery whether inside or outside Iraq- costing a great deal of money.

c- Assisting refugees and displaced people due to crises and wars. Since conflict started in Iraq and neighbouring countries years ago, the Marja’iyah has been providing substantial assistance to people in many parts of Iraq. Most recently the aid provided was for those displaced as a result of fighting against Daesh. Large sums of money were spent in the first week of the attack on Mosul, when the Marja’iyah was forced to intervene urgently as a result of the difficult circumstances encountered by the people of Mosul. The aid provided is in kind; like clothes and food and in monthly payments of financial assistance as well as shelter. The leading Marja’iyah in the holy city of Najaf established a compound with means for a decent living for displaced people. The first phase consisting of 300 housing units has been completed and is currently in use.

d- Providing financial assistance and aid in kind for young people who wish to get married. In some areas this means providing the necessities required for marriage such as furniture and bedding. In other areas sufficient financial assistance is given to enable the couple to buy most of the items they require for marriage.

e- Assisting orphans and widows – due to the difficult circumstances in Iraq - the leading Marja’iyah began to assist orphans and widows through Al-Ayn Social Care Foundation established in 2006. Its main objective is to help orphans and widows. Currently there are more than 40 thousand orphans under its care, providing them with sufficient monthly financial assistance and aid, in kind, such as clothes for winter and summer and clothes and stationary for school children. In addition to housing and rehabilitation, educational and psychological support to alleviate some of the pressures from them. Here are some statistics just to give you an idea of the services provided during the month of July:

i- Guaranteeing wages for nearly 40,000 orphans at no less than U$60 each.
ii- Caring for nearly 34,000 displaced families.
iii- Caring for 250 psychosomatic cases and 220 surgical operations plus 7238 medical treatment cases.
iv- Al-Ayn Social care Foundation has 60 offices inside and outside of Iraq with 1127 employees and volunteers.
v- The disbursement of funds since 2006 is approximately 73 million US dollars.
I do not wish to take up your time with details, but the list is endless. The leading Marja’iyah (long may he live), as with his predecessors, cares for different sections of society; be it from the religious educational, scientific or charitable aspect. It provides services for everyone in society regardless of whether they are Christians or Yazidis or others.

Thank God for what we have in this inimitable leadership, characterized by wisdom and fairness and away from personal benefits - from the early centuries until today - despite the difficult circumstances surrounding it throughout the ages.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds and peace and blessings upon Muhammad and his immaculate household.