As a student on the BSc Business & Management sandwich programme at Aston University, I undertook an eleven-month work placement at The World Federation of KSIMC in the role of “Marketing and Communications Executive”.
Posted on Mon, 2015-04-13 15:08
Monday April 13th 2015
On Friday 27th March 2015, a delegation met with His Eminence Grand Ayatullah Syed Ali Huseini Al Sistani (DA) at his residency in Najaf al Ashraf. The delegation included:
- President of Tthe World Federation of KSIMC, Al-haj Dr. Asgher Moledina,
- President of Africa Federation, Al-haj Anver Dharamsi,
- President of Mombasa Jamaat, Al-haj Sajjad Rashid,
- Head of the Education Council Mombasa Jamaat, Al-haj Mohammed Husein Abdullah Jaffer, and
- Social Worker with Charity Activities in Najaf, Alhaj Gulam Bhimani.
His Eminence prayed for the delegation and the leadership and expressed his happiness in the way the community was organised under the Khoja community structures. He appreciated the duas of the community and said that the dua of each mo’min (young and old) is highly valued by him.
Current situation in Iraq
His Eminence mentioned that his current preoccupation was dealing with the sensitivities in Iraq. He said that had it not been for the intervention and fatwa of Jihad [applicable to Iraqis only] by Marjaiyyat in Najaf, ISIL would have overrun the holy sites and threatened the very existence of the Shia seminaries in Iraq.
His Eminence further thanked The World Federation for educating the community on the ruling of His Eminence on this matter. He said he was well aware of the website statements produced by the Secretariat of The World Federation of KSIMC in London. He elaborated that educating the Shia and wider community against the media onslaught and misinformation was critical in raising the awareness of the role of Marjaiyyat during such times.
He particularly stressed on the importance of meeting the needs of all the displaced and that he had instructed all his representatives throughout Iraq to treat all the displaced as equals in mankind and not to ask ‘What was your Deen?’ but to rather ask ‘What was your need?’
Advice for the community leaders
The President of tThe World Federation, Dr Moledina then requested His Eminence to provide advice and guidance since the delegation comprised of community leaders. In reply, Agha revealed that since childhood he always supplicated the following:
Ya man azharal jameel wa satral qabeeh
Oh the one who reveals good deeds and hides shortcomings
The message being that good works done by those in positions of responsibility did not require publicity - Allah takes the onus for that as well as covering our shortfalls. Agha stressed that he was not in favour of publicity and felt that as mortals and ordinary human beings, our contribution was tiny compared to the sacrifices of the Ma’soomeen. He felt that with position comes responsibility and whatever his office did was their duty In particular, he emphasised the duties performed by the Marjaiyyat towards the Hawza and that publicity was never something the institution promoted.
In response to the thanks and gratitude expressed by the President of Africa Federation for his Eminence’s unflinching support, his Eminence mentioned that his main objective was to inspire the love of the Ahlul Bayt to the recipients of Huqooq. He said that the Mara’jeh were mere servants of the Ahlul Bayt - temporary mortals in this transient world - and that the mission of tableegh requires that the love of Ahlul Bayt to be instilled in the hearts of the mo’mineen.
When asked for specific advice, Agha said whilst he was aware of the very broad work done by the Khoja community and has always known the leadership to be very precise and accountable to its community members, he was not aware of specifics, and hence, his advice would be broad and limited. He did however emphasisze the need to be cognisant that the pleasure of Allah should always be the key criterion for whatever project that is embarked on.
Agha then spent time responding to specific queries from Mombasa Jamaat on certain issues pertaining to the Jaffery Project.
Meeting with Syed Mohammed Ridha Sistani
After the meeting with His Eminence, the delegation spent time with Syed Mohammed Ridha Sistani (Son of His Eminence) to discuss a range of issues related to the community and wider ummah.
Meeting of His Eminence with delegation family members
His Eminence also met the family members of the delegation and the following is a summary of the discussions:
His Eminence stated that Shias must be an embodiment for others to emulate and that our characters should be such that we should manifest the beautiful characteristics of the Ahlul Bayt.
He stressed the need to provide help and attention to all human beings regardless of sect or religion. He reminded the audience of the advice of Amirul Mo’mineen (as) to Malik-e-Ashtar when he was sent as governor of Egypt and Imam (as) told him that his duty was towards two kinds of people - ‘Brothers in faith and Equals in Creation’.
Agha then responded to individual questions from family members that included whether the Jihad was wajib on non-Iraqis and if not, what was our duty living abroad vis-à-vis the crises in Iraq. Agha responded by saying that jihad was not required for non-Iraqis but we could assist by educating the community and the public on the role played by Marjaiyyat in this crisis. He reminded the women in particular about the role of the women after the tragedy of kerbala.
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