On Thursday, October 13, 2022, the scientific session “Knowing the Alawites of Syria”, attended by professors and researchers, was held in the conference hall of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in Qom.
Mr. Mohammad Hassan Badiani Neishabouri, the author of the encyclopedia “Alawites are followers of AhlulBayt” and the book “Shia in Syria” was the speaker of this session. At the beginning, on the history of his presence in the Syrian Arab Republic said, “I went to this country in 1989, and in 1993 I was appointed by Ayatollah Taskhiri (r.a.) as the representative of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in Syria.”
“During my cultural activities as the representative of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in Syria, I compiled the two-volume book “Shia in Syria” which contains scientific and geographical information about the Shiites of this country. That book was praised by the late Ayatollah Taskhiri and was published in Lebanon,” he continued.
“Twelver Shiites are in the minority and live scattered in the regions of Homs, Aleppo and Idlib and are generally in the villages,” Mohammad Badiani said regarding the residential areas of the Shiites in Syria.
“The majority of Syrians are Sunnis and Alawites. Eighty percent of Syria’s Alawites live without full knowledge of their religious identity and only consider themselves to be enthusiasts of AhlulBayt (a.s.). The root of this goes back to the Umayyad rule in the Levant when there was a hostile atmosphere against the Shiites and the followers of Ali (a.s.). As a result of these pressures, the promotion of pure Islamic teachings was undermined,” he added.
About giving the name Alawites to this tribe he said, “Because of their prominent scholars, poets and geniuses, the Syrian Shiites were always subjected to the hostility of the Umayyads. In order to humiliate this group, they used nicknames such as Ali Allahi, Alawi and Bateni for the Shiites of Syria in order to create a distance between the Shiites of Iran and Syria in addition to establishing the disbelief of the Shiites.”
Regarding the continuation of these slanders until the present time, this researcher of religions stated, “The effects of this Umayyad hostility continued until modern times. So that in a magazine, some scholars of Al-Azhar University in Egypt discussed the reasons for the disbelief of Syrian Alawites! But with the efforts of Syrian scholars and their face-to-face meeting with Jamal Abdul Nasser, this issue was resolved, and the contents of that magazine were removed.”
“In 1972, seven years before the victory of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, 150 Alawite ulama of Syria announced in a statement, “We follow the principles and subprinciples of to the Twelver Shiite school.” After reading this statement, I started writing the history and beliefs of Alawites, which was completed in 6 volumes in 2005,” stated the author of Encyclopedia of Alawites and Shiites of Syria.
“In addition to the statement of 150 Syrian Alawite ulama, the first person who wrote a book about the history of Imams (a.s.) was the leader of Alawites, Hussain bin Hamdan Khasibi, under the title of the book “Al-Hidaya Al-Kubra” (The Great Guidance” in 346 Hijri,” he added, regarding some evidence and documents of Alawites’ following Shiite school.
“The rest of the main sources of the Alawites, which are approved by all their ulama, are also in line with all the Twelver Shiite beliefs. But in the meantime, there are some distorted sources or personal opinions of some Alawite ulama that have caused Muslims to misunderstand their beliefs,” Badiani added.
“By studying more sources and thinking in the documents about the life of Alawites, I made the “Encyclopedia of Alawites” more complete, which were supported by some prominent Syrian institutions, as well as people, which led to the official publication of the 14-volume book “Alawites are the Followers of AhlulBayt” in 2010,” he said.
Referring to the attention of Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani (r.a.) and Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili (r.a.) to the book “The Encyclopedia of the Alawites”, the author stated, “The introduction of this encyclopedia was written in detail by the former president of the University of Damascus and seven of the great Alawite ulama in Syria, and they introduced the contents of the book as their “lost identity in history”.”
“Some beliefs of Alawites that are discussed and challenged, are about mystical matters and personal understanding of people, which does not change their beliefs, and the foundations of Alawites are completely in line with Shiite principles,” the researcher stated at the end of the meeting.