The representative of High Authority [marj’iayah] in Europe has met the head of the United Kingdom Council of Muslim scholars along with his entourage. He states:
The task of the Muslim scholars and preachers today is to give their utmost efforts in implementing their Islamic knowledge and expertise to save the Muslim youths become their life-savers in protecting them from the heavy bombardments, spurious doubts, and destructive ideas and preserving their pure doctrine and creed, through modern social communication tools amongst others.
23 Thi Alqida 1439
His speech came during his meeting with the Chairman of the United Kingdom Council of Muslim scholars along with his entourage in the Office of Imam Ali (as) Foundation in London. He has addressed them:
Your job today is highly sensitive and your responsibility is heavy, for the Muslims in general, and the British community in particular! We say that, mainly due to cultural vandalism, which is destructive to their religion and faith. It is your urgent duty to discuss these ideas and answer them. It is your duty to enlighten the minds of our youths, adopting an objective scientific way that may lead to convince them, based on the verses of the holy Qur’an, the authentic prophetic hadiths, and to be inspired by the debates and dialogues of the holy Imams (as). These are your current responsibilities and actual tasks due to the words of the Prophet (sawas): ‘If the fabricated doubt appears in my nation, the (Muslim) scholars must clarify those doubts through their profound knowledge’. We refer, by the (Muslim) scholars, in this contex, to all those who have knowledge, insight and are familiar with the Shari’ah matters, through which they can address the intellectual problems and answer the spurious doubts that are widely spread amongst youths. More specifically we mean those doubts, which reach them through the social milieus and/or social media, which have become accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, those milieus are full of misleading ideas and indoctrination in a way that attracts the youths! Our current duty, as (Muslim) scholars, is to save those who are challenged and/or contaminated with those misleading indoctrinating tricks. Hopefully, one would be rewarded, as the Prophet (sawas) said to Imam Ali (as): Oh Ali! If Almighty Allah (swt) guides you to lead one single man [to the right path], it is more rewarding for you than the whole profits that would usually be made during a whole day, from when the sun rises till when the sun sets! Also, it is narrated from the Prophet (sawas) that ‘our Shi’ah scholars will be resurrected with great honour and divine blessings. They will be honoured and rewarded to the extent that their knowledge is profound, and due to the level of them guiding the servants of the Lord (swt). Some of them will be rewarded and honoured with a suit of light! Then the call of Our Lord Almighty (swt) will be heard: O you, honour those who took care of the orphans from the family of Muhammad (sawas), and those whom you have supported, when they had to be separated from their fathers, who are their elders! Then they will be addressed: these are your students, your orphans and those you have supported, so honour them with your blessed suits! They will bless them with their suits of honour! Some of them will be blessed and honoured with one hundred thousand suits. Then, they will return their honour and blessing for them, i.e. each one of those orphans, who were trained and honoured by them with the knowledge, will return their honour for those whom have been trained by. The Lord will ask to return those ‘one hundred thousand’ suits to the supporters as a blessing from the Almighty (swt). Therefore, they will keep those suits of honour and gain more bright of suits of light, including those who have been blessed by them and so forth.’
As such, O, scholars and preachers, we must keep our knowledge up-to-date, and follow, with academic and intellectual eyes, the secular tendencies and monitor their effects on the tenets and sacred beliefs of Muslims. There are many institutions that are constantly working to keep societies far away from adhering to religion through continuously raising persistent suspicions against any form of religiosity. One of the most dangerous tricks is to give ‘religion’ an individualistic dimension, and/or to exclude it from everybody’s life, insinuating that a religion does not contain any programme for the public, but rather solely covers the private aspects of its adherents’ lives! This tendency must be challenged through a wise and quiet dialogue, with a clear presentation and detailed explanation of the arguments and ideas, including the dynamic of its practical rulings. One has to refute the wrong accusation that religious teachings are rigid, and deprived of keeping up with the modern Industrial revolution. Adapting the requirements of this revolution while maintaining the Islamic right course is a delicate task, but also a difficult way-out, through which contemporary Muslim thinkers -whether Egyptians or amongst others nationalities- have failed to espouse. They have espoused the critical standpoint, questioning the whole fundamental principles of Islamic heritage, which in turn has led them to come up with strange interpretative conclusions of the glorious and holy Qur’an, solely for the sake of adapting modern principles and consolidating modern Western theories. In doing so, they fell into the same trap from which they were trying to escape. Due to their ignorance they have overlooked the right path, which the great Prophet of Islam Muhammad (sawas) was ordered to adapt and follow. He combined two fundamental treasures of Islamic heritage, namely the holy Book [Qur’an] and his purified family, as he has clearly ordered to follow them, taking the teachings of Ahl-ul-Bait (as), as the lantern of light to understand the Divine revelation [Qur’an] and clarify its verses.
The essence of our statement is that our task -as Muslim scholars- during this era, is not limited to teaching the religious practical rulings for the laity and ordinary people ‘in the streets’, rather it goes beyond that in defending the origins and divine roots of the religion, and monitoring and supporting the religiosity. This may require joint efforts and continuous meetings in order to exchange views through those regular meetings and academic seminars in order to consult and discuss the best feasible options in refuting the atheists' spurious doubts.
The second: One has to monitor the social ties and relations that exist between the society at large and the Muslim scholars and be aware of their importance, as they shouldn’t be weakened, nor faded away! One has to strengthen them and improve them as much as possible. Muslim scholars have a great role in keeping the religiosity of lay people ongoing. In addition, the Islamic principles are useless, and fruitless, if they were not implemented, and rather remain dead and lifeless as in ancient books. They should be reflected in everyday life and manifested in the practice of religious people. Otherwise, reciting thousands of verses of poetry or delivering many speeches on the importance of courage and generosity will have virtually little to no effect on laymen and ordinary people, compared to living examples of individuals who exercise courageous work and/or demonstrate courteous deeds! The same applies to the religious principles as, if they are not combined with actions, they would remain fruitless and futile. Therefore, one may realize why Allah Almighty (swt) has provided people of laity with living examples or Imams (as), who could be taken as role models. The human being –driven by his innate nature- chooses a leader [an imam] and a role model to be inspired by, and driven towards the right path. Based on that, one must observe his practice and behaviour in the social life and remain watchful and vigilant, so that one would remain an attracting element towards religion, rather than a driving force from it.
The Qur’an states: ‘And there came from the farthest end of the city a man, running. He said, "O my people! Follow the messengers. Follow those who do not ask of you [any] payment, and who are [rightly] guided.’ Holy Qur’an, C. 36: V.20
So the Qur’an has prescribed two main qualities, which have a crucial effect on others, namely: ‘don’t ask for any payment’ and ‘rightly guided’. Being rightly guided means that one is knowledgeable and has the full command of the theology and theodicies, the theory and the practice, as people won’t be driven away from their faith, and wouldn’t say: If what he was saying was right, he should -at least- have followed it.
Imam Ali (as) says: ‘Indeed for every follower there should be (an Imam) a leader, who is being followed and his knowledge is like the lantern of the path. Your Imam is ascetic, as he is satisfied with his limited pieces of (rye) bread and -from this world’s materialistic things- with two worn-out shirts.’
We ask the Almighty Allah (swt) to guide us and assist us to be amongst those who listen to the discourse and follow only what is right!