In the Name of Allah, the All Gracious, the Ever Compassionate
First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you, brothers and sisters, for your important feat of organizing such an important workshop. Indeed holding such workshops, with such supreme goals, in the present time and in the place where it is to be held, is considered an invaluable cultural undertaking. Certainly, such undertakings can have a substantial role in the promotion of the School of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa).
The migration of the late Shaykh al-Tūsī [known as Shaykh al-Ṭā’ifah] from Baghdad to Najaf [due to the persecution of those who could not tolerate the dissemination of the Shiʿa school] marked the beginning of a new era for the Shiʿa school. This is because as soon as he arrived in Najaf, he laid the foundation for a Shiʿa Madrasa in the city of Najaf which was house to the holy shrine of Amir al Mu’minīn Ali (ʿa). In so doing, he opened up new horizons to Shiʿa clerics and scholars where they could expand, deepen, and disseminate the knowledge of the Shiʿa School to a much greater degree.
At the same time as this Shiʿa Madrasa was being established in Najaf, another prominent Shiʿa Madrasa was being established and expanded in the holy city of Qom. The city of Qom, which had housed some of the most outstanding Shiʿa traditionalists (muhadithin) since the time of the Infallible Imams (ʿa), was to see the establishment of a Madrasa by these traditionalists and be expanded by them over time.
After these two cities, several other cities in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and many other cities in Iran saw the establishment of several other Shiʿa Madrasas. Today, the Shiʿa School owns the greatest chain of religious Madrasas where several different subjects and majors related to the Islamic sciences are being taught and learned.
We believe that the world of today is fed up with materialism and is now ready to embrace spiritualism which derives from divine schools of thought, and among all such schools, the only one which treasures rationalism and knowledge the most is the school of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa).
Despite all this, these strengths of the Shiʿa School have not been properly covered by the mass media. Thus, we hope that this workshop can pave the way for a better dissemination of the true value of the Shiʿa School.
We also are planning to hold a congress next year on the role of the Shiʿa School in the Advent and Advancement of Islamic Sciences within the Shiʿa Madrasa in Qom. We have invited all Shiʿa scholars and the unbiased Sunni scholars, and even western orientalists, to participate in this congress. We have divided this congress in to different specialized committees each of which is responsible for discussing one of the branches of Islamic sciences. We hope that the result of these scholarly discussions and debates would be tens of volumes of books about the significant role of the Shiʿa School in the advent and advancement of the Islamic Sciences.
We will also benefit from your valuable experiences in this regard and we hope that these experiences, married up with the vast experiences of the Shiʿa Madrasa in Qom can prepare the groups for the future generations to better promote the school of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) which is still unknown to a large number of people in the world.
I am pleased that I was able to send Hujjatoleslam Khoshkhu as my representative to your workshop and I appreciate all your efforts once more. May Allah be with you.
Naser Makarem Shirazi
May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.