During a meeting with a group of preachers and clerics from deprived regions of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi stated that more so than other regions, deprived regions need to learn the religious sciences.
The renowned source of emulation referred to the upcoming solemn Islamic lunar month of Muharram and the day of Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, his family and companions, and stated that the missionaries should use the opportunities they have during the upcoming few weeks to explain important Islamic beliefs, law and morals to the people.
“Ashura is an important asset that contains many capacities to promote Islam and the seminarians should use the opportunities they have during Muharram to explain these issues. The culture of Ashura can solve many social problems,” he said.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi added: “It should be noted that the enemies’ propaganda against Islam, and especially against the Shi’ite school of thought, is greater now than any other time.”
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi explained that today, there are several thousand Persian-language satellite networks spreading propaganda against Islam. This propaganda has caused many social problems as well as doctrinal and moral corruption in Iranian society in recent years. He encouraged preachers to increase their efforts to thwart the enemies’ attacks through these means.
He said despite all the attacks, the Shi’ite school of thought and Shi’ites are expanding. In response to the false propaganda against Shi’ism, there must be parallel attempts to increase our positive propagation in an enthusiastic and passionate manner. “Preachers must observe unity among Muslims, but this unity does not mean that they should not explain the acts and issues related to the Ahlul-Bayt,” he added.
The revered source of emulation explained that all the positive issues must be expressed without offending others, adding that he took this approach in his Quranic exegesis “Tafsir-e Namouneh” [The Ideal Commentary]. “For example in the face of verse of wilayah [5:55], we did not explain any virtues which show disrespect the to the [lofty] status of Imam Ali,” he said.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi stressed that words spoken by the preachers “must not sting,” but rather they should use words which maintain the honour and interests of Islam should be maintained.
“It must be stressed that the enemies want to destroy all Muslims and Islam as well. Today, the enemies and Takfiri groups have killed a large number of Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. This issue does not just affect Shi’ites alone,” he explained.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi emphasized that Shi’ites and Sunnis must rely on the many similarities between them and added that these similarities become obvious during the time of Hajj. There are many similarities among the two sects but there are also many differences and we must stand against the enemies’ attempts to create dissension among us.
“The Zionists are engaged in attacking Muslims over these differences and those who are killed are not only Shi’ites, but Sunnis as well,” he said.