As a guest on the IRIB Quran Channel’s “Mesbah” TV program on Saturday evening, September 11, 2021, Hojat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarean, Deputy for International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly and Secretary of the World Prize 114 Festival, presented a report on the festival.
At the beginning of the program, which aired on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hazrat Ruqayyah, the daughter of Imam Hussein (a.s.), the Deputy for International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly said, “On the surface, the Ashura event was a military confrontation between the two oppressive and justice fronts, but in reality, Ashura is a training school in the context of spirituality, resistance, and being oppressed.”
“Imam Hussain (a.s.) was the great teacher of this school and Lady Ruqayyah (a.s.) was one of the prominent figures of this educational path who, despite being oppressed and young, became a manifestation of resistance against oppression,” Zarean emphasized, praising the martyrs of this instructive school.
“In Yazid’s palace, Lady Ruqayyah was the messenger of resistance against his oppression. This young lady showed us, the followers of AhlulBayt (a.s.), that even a three-year-old child can be educated in a way that fights against oppression,” he continued.
“As a community of AhlulBayt (a.s.) followers, while paying attention to the dimensions of mourning for AhlulBayt (a.s.), we must learn the lesson of educating our children in such a way that they are ready to serve their community at any age and with any gender,” added the seminary and university professor.
Then, the Deputy for International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly reported on the World Prize 114 Festival, “Based on its mission, which is to arrange the affairs of the Shiites of the world, the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly has entered into various activity fields. One of the areas that distinguishes Shiites from others is the cultural arena, and the holy Quran is at the forefront of cultural affairs. Therefore, based on its mission and to respond to the accusations against the Shiites in the field of the Quran, the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly must enter this field.”
“Intentionally or unintentionally, there is always the suspicion that the Shiite community does not pay enough attention to the Quran as it should. While in fact, according to the Prophet, Thaqalayn (Quran and AhlulBayt) are two issues that have been taken care of by the infallible Imams (as) simultaneously. Also, the tradition of the scholars has been that they paid attention to the Quran as the greatest weight. Therefore, the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly set its Quranic program in this direction and designed a plan called “World Prize 114”,” he continued.
“One of the main objectives of the festival is to enumerate international Quranic activities carried out in Shiite centers in order to create a network between these activities, and, if necessary, to encourage and direct them,” said Mr. Zarean, expressing the main goals of holding the “World Prize 114” festival.
“After the call for the “World Prize 114”, considering the global audience of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, in less than three months about 500 works from 40 countries, from different continents, were submitted to the Secretariat of the Festival. The variety of works and nationalities participating in the World Prize 114 was interesting for us,” added the Deputy for International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“The World Prize 114 is an initiative by the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in the field of the Quran, of media and art. Most of the works submitted to the festival secretariat were related to the activities of young people and women. Interacting with young people and allowing them to play a role provides amazing opportunities,” he added.
“Activists in different fields must find each other in this field. Although this has been done to some extent, when a popular institution such as the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly initiates, the connection between activists in the Quranic field in the communities following the AhlulBayt (a.s.) boosts,” Zarean stated, considering the current age as the era of communication.
“The works submitted to the Secretariat of the “World Prize 114” were from different participants, both in the men’s and the women’s section. In some of these activities, young people were in charge. All activities of the “World Prize 114” were announced to all audiences, and learning of these activities, they became motivated,” he continued.
“We are currently implementing the “Ahsan Al-Aza World Mourning” project to connect with the communities following the AhlulBayt (a.s.) in the world, and to count their activities in the field of Muharram, Safar and Arbaeen mourning,” mentioned the Deputy for International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly on the future plans of this deputy office.
In the third part of his speech and in response to the question of the host of the Quranic program “Mesbah” on the structure and history of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the Deputy for the International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly said, “This Assembly is a global non-governmental organization that is composed of elders, intellectuals and pioneers of the communities following AhlulBayt (a.s.) around the world.”
“Three decades ago, under the auspices of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly began its activities. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, large conferences were held every four years entitled “The General Assembly of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly” in which the participants devised the affairs of the Shiites of the world,” he continued.
“The objective of this Assembly is to provide a basis for the growth and promotion of the situation of Shiites and Shiite sects in various cultural, social, and economic fields. The AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly seeks to protect Shiite groups. Of course, the Assembly does not seek planning for Shiite communities. Because they have great potential within themselves. Local Shiite communities are active in different parts of the world, and in the month of Muharram, we have witnessed extensive mourning for Imam Hussein (a.s.) by Shiites around the world. We strive to protect and support the capacities of the Shiite communities, and dealing with Quranic activities is one of the original activities in this field,” stated Zarean, referring to the purpose of establishing the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
“The late Ayatollah Taskhiri and the late Ayatollah Asefi were among the secretaries of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, who are known in the world as the pioneers of Quranic activities. They took steps to promote the teachings of Revelation through writings on Quranic and Tafsir issues,” he said in the end, while praising the two deceased Secretaries-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.
At the beginning of the program, Mr. Hossein Mahdavi Manesh, one of the Directors of the Deputy for the International Affairs of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, and one of the organizers of the “World Prize 114” festival, explained for a few minutes about the call and fields of this festival.