A report on the commemoration ceremony of Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri, the Flag bearer of Islamic unity

In the 4th conference of the series of conferences “Commemorating the Flag Bearers of Peace and Islamic Unity” which was held in cooperation with the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the thoughts and opinions of the late Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Mohammad Ali Taskhiri were discussed and analyzed. At this conference, the speakers described him as an incomparable, honest, and moral figure, as well as a perfect role model for seminarians and academics.

ABWA Official Website – The 4th seminar of “Flag bearers of the Islamic peace and unity” with the theme “Life, opinions, and thoughts of the late Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri” was held on Wednesday morning, May 10, 2023, at the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies.

In this conference which was held in cooperation with the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, the thoughts and opinions of the late Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Mohammad Ali Taskhiri were discussed and analyzed, and Hojat al-Islam Dr. Hamid Shahriari, Hojat al-Islam Sayed Abulhasan Navvab, Maulvi Mohammad Ehaq Madani, and Dr. Mahdi Golshani gave speeches about that Islamic figure.

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Ayatollah Taskhiri unique example of proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought: Navvab

In this seminar, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly stated, “It is difficult for me to speak of the great teacher to whom I am indebted, and from whom I learned much during my fifty years of acquaintance.”

Hojat al-Islam Sayed Abolhasan Navvab continued, “Ayatollah Taskhiri was one of the great pioneers in the approximation between Islamic schools of thought, and his characteristics became clear to me during my frequent trips with him. This great figure is not known yet because we are contemporary with him. Ayatollah Taskhiri caused Salman Rushdie’s books to be banned in more than 50 countries. This was the outstanding work of Ayatollah Taskhiri. Therefore, without a doubt, he was one of the most prominent figures in the field of approximation between Islamic schools of thought in the current century of the world.”

“I was traveling with him on almost 30 trips, eight of which were to Egypt. Morality was the epicenter of Ayatollah Taskhiri’s behavior in the approximation between Islamic schools of thought. Those who consider others as enemies cannot change their inner selves by pretending and starting a dialogue with the other party. A person should be able to talk to the other party wholeheartedly,” he said.

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“Twice I had the privilege of meeting the former Pope and the current Pope in private sessions. If one wants to dialogue with such figures, one must feel that they are also spiritual. It is not correct to consider a person like the Pope as an enemy of Islam and the Quran in my mind and to dialogue with him only according to expediency. Such a dialogue has neither depth nor charm nor efficiency. In that meeting, the Pope confessed to me, “We do not forget that during the Crusades, we Christians used to threaten Muslim children with swords to become Christians or we would behead them”,” stated the president of the University of Religions and Denominations.

“The foremost point that the late Ayatollah Taskhiri observed in approaching Islamic schools of thought was that he was always honest, and he was never a hypocrite or a deceiver. He was polite in conversation, and his words were effective. The deceased mastered the intellectual foundations of the audience with whom he had a dialogue. He wrote more than 100 pages of comments and explanations on the five-volume book “Al-Mawaqif”, which is very valuable. He was a tireless person and had positive and constructive interactions. The deceased, while suffering from illness, never left the scene,” he stated.

“Mr. Taskhiri was very patient. In every conference we attended, Harith Al-Zari, who was one of the fugitive members of the Baath Party after the fall of Saddam, also participated and gave interviews against the Islamic Republic. On the sidelines of one of these conferences, Mr. Taskhiri greeted him, and he answered, and they respectfully passed by each other. I never saw the late Ayatollah Taskhiri deal badly with his worst enemies. He was firmly committed to his goals. The youngest person who could receive Martyr Ayatollah Sadr’s thoughts was Ayatollah Taskhiri. Deep knowledge, understanding, and intelligence made Ayatollah Taskhiri a unique role model in the field of proximity between Islamic schools of thought,” said the Secretary of the Supreme Council of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in the end.

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Ayatollah Taskhiri was an honest, sincere, and mujahid figure

In the 4th seminar “The Flag Bearers of Peace and Islamic Unity”, Ayatollah Sheikh Javad Khalesi, a prominent Iraqi intellectual, and scholar, stated, “In this conference, we fulfill a part of our duty towards the brothers who previously were active in the way of Islam.”

“The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, which was established after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, took up the great and sacred goal of Islamic unity,” he continued, “Of course, we wanted to create Islamic unity before, and some work was done in this regard. But the Forum was a big and practical step, and important figures who could be influential in the way of the approximation and unity of the Islamic Ummah joined it.”

Emphasizing the significant role of Ayatollah Taskhiri in the path of unity, Ayatollah Khalesi mentioned him as a sincere, mujahid, and diligent person who did not give up his efforts even during his illness.

“Ayatollah Taskhiri was a distinguished person in the Islamic Ummah who defended the proximity of the Sunnis to the Shiites, although he faced many criticisms in this way,” the Iraqi scholar stated.

In describing the characteristics of Ayatollah Taskhiri, he added, “He was an honest and sincere person with a strong scientific foundation who mastered all the scientific topics he needed. His accuracy in reciting and acting upon the verses of the Holy Quran made him a distinguished figure.”

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The messages of the Minister of Endowments of Syria and Sheikh Maher Hammoud

In the continuation of the “Flag Bearers of Islamic Peace and Unity” conference, the messages of Sheikh Maher Hammoud, head of the International Union of Ulama of Resistance, and Mohammad Abdul Sattar Sayed, Minister of Endowment of Syria, about Ayatollah Taskhiri was read.

In a part of his message, Abdul Sattar Sayed, Minister of Endowment of Syria, said, “Ayatollah Taskhiri was one of the flag bearers of unity, and those who concern about Palestine and the Resistance. He firmly believed that the mission of Islam is to save humanity and establish justice.”

Also, Sheikh Maher Hammoud, the head of the International Union of Ulama of Resistance, in his message said, “Ayatollah Taskhiri emphasized the unity and setting aside discords as a historical mission. In different parts of the world, he sought to create proximity and unity between the Islamic schools of thought.”

“Ayatollah Taskhiri spoke the Arabic language eloquently, and this was very effective in advancing his goals. He has the rank of a martyr because he was always looking for martyrdom in his life. Ayatollah Taskhiri actually played a complementary role in advancing the goals of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.

“Despite the obstacles created by global arrogance, Ayatollah Taskhiri never gave up trying to advance the goals in line with the approximation of Islamic schools of thought. He continued his way with honesty and perseverance, and I hope his path will be continued,” said the head of the International Union of Ulama of Resistance.

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Ayatollah Taskhiri, prominent, unique figure in Int’l arena: Shahriari

During his speech at this seminar, Dr. Hamid Shahriari, Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, while expressing his gratitude to the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies for holding this seminar, praised and thanked the participants in this important gathering.

“For those who have been active internationally in the last half century, Ayatollah Taskhiri is a well-known figure. He was unique and special in the international arena,” he added.

“At the beginning of my term at the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, I had the success to serve Ayatollah Taskhiri. This short period was so attractive to me that I became interested in him like a father in international activities. His good morals were the main axis for the success of proximity between Islamic schools of thought in the last half-century,” Shahriari added.

“Ayatollah Taskhiri was a member of the Jurisprudence Assembly of Jeddah and established Shiite jurisprudence in Saudi Arabia. His eloquent speech and Arabic language, which were accompanied by poems, verses, and hadiths, made his words very influential in the soul of the audience,” he emphasized.

“Considering the current conditions of the world, and the re-formation of the new world order, it can be said that a new political revolution is taking place in the world. The conflict between China and America, and the decline of the US dollar have caused the world to be changed in the political and cultural spheres,” stated the Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.

“Does the Islamic world have an ideal governance model for the Islamic Ummah or not? Can we offer a new model for the Islamic world? Such questions caused the emergence of ISIS. This terrorist group was a self-proclaimed Islamic state that claimed to restore the caliphate of the early days of Islam, and divided the Islamic world into two parts, inside and outside Islam,” he stated.

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“The self-proclaimed ISIS state faced a heavy defeat with the bravery of the resistance commanders, led by General Qassem Soleimani. We defeated ISIS militarily. But is the idea that ISIS raised for caliphate, accepted by the Sunnis theoretically or not? In this regard, the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought published a book titled “ISIS Caliphate” in which opinions claiming the revival of the caliphate in the Islamic world were presented and criticized,” said the Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought about the decline of the ISIS terrorist group.

“For the establishment of a global government in the Islamic world, we can point to three almost stable models that have been already formed in the Islamic world. The first model is Türkiye; the Second is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and the third and last one is the Wilayat-e Faqih of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is placed at the top of the others. They claim to be the leader of the Islamic world both theoretically and practically. However, the model of Wilayat-e Faqih has proven that it continues proudly on the path in the Islamic world, under the leadership and guidance of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Khamenei,” he continued.

“I hope we all follow the ethics and management style of Ayatollah Taskhiri, and that all those who are with us will help to continue the path of the deceased,” said Hojat al-Islam Shahriari in the end.

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Ayatollah Taskhiri has a significant role in establishing unity: Mohammad Eshaq Madani

In a speech at this seminar, the head of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought stated, “Unity has always had supporters, and from the beginning of Islam until today, some Islamic ulama have always spent all their time promoting unity and advancing its goals. The enemies of Islam have always tried to create division between the Islamic Ummah. Because if the ummah has integrity and unity, no power in the world will be able to confront it.”

Maulvi Mohammed Eshaq Madani added, “At the beginning of Islam, the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) resolved the dispute between the two tribes of Aus and Khazraj in Medina with the blessing of Islam. In Madinah, there was a group of Jews who sought to create division so that the people of Medina were divided into two groups and fought each other, and in these conflicts, the leadership and superiority of the Jews was always evident and proven. The union of these two groups caused the Jews to be marginalized.”

“Ayatollah Taskhiri has a significant role in establishing unity. The late Ayatollah Taskhiri had the knowledge and a scientific position. Inspired by the Quran and hadiths, Ayatollah Taskhiri was very diligent,” he said about the late Ayatollah Taskhiri while noting that the Islamic Republic is a powerful government and has brought the call for unity to the whole world.

“Today, in different countries, they talk about the necessity of unity. The unity among Muslims has become established, and the Islamic Ummah has concluded that the only way to salvation is unity. Our enemies have never been as active as today in dividing the Islamic Ummah, and after the Iranian Islamic Revolution, they have intensified their efforts,” Madani said in the end.

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Ayatollah Taskhiri was a perfect role model for seminarians and academics: Mahdi Golshani

Physicist, theoretician, and permanent member of the Academy of Sciences of Iran stated, “My acquaintance with Ayatollah Taskhiri dates back to the time of my tenure as the deputy in international affairs of the Islamic Development Organization. I have rarely seen a unique figure like him. He was a role model for Islamic unity and the Islamic Revolution.”

About Ayatollah Taskhiri's status and scientific character, Dr. Mahdi Golshani emphasized, “Following the demise of Ayatollah Taskhiri, expressing his condolences, the Supreme Leader of the Revolution said, “The record of this tireless role model in all kinds of outstanding services in the international Islamic conferences is truly brilliant. His determination and high motivation even overcame his physical disabilities in the years before his demise, and continued his effective and blessed presence wherever it was needed and useful.” Ayatollah Taskhiri was very prestigious in the Islamic world so the Egyptian ulama paid attention to his opinions. But unfortunately, he was not given the attention he deserved in Iran.”

“I have rarely seen a figure who is as humble, comprehensive, far-sighted, and aware of the requirements of his time, as the late Ayatollah Taskhiri. He was a perfect role model for both seminarians and academics. The deceased had a high tolerance for criticism and great humbleness. In the 40 years that I was with him, I never saw him angry,” he further said.

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At the end of his speech, the permanent member of the Academy of Sciences of Iran suggested, “If during the lifetime of Ayatollah Taskhiri, his ideas were not sufficiently introduced and known, now it should be compensated by publishing his works. Today, the West is doing its best to divide, create discord and disintegrate Muslims, and the most crucial factor of power for the Islamic world is unity.”

On the sidelines of this conference, an exhibition of photos and works of the late Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Mohammad Ali Taskhiri has been set up.

It is worth mentioning that the 4th seminar of “Flag bearers of the Islamic Peace and Unity" with the theme “Life, opinions, and thoughts of the late Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri” is held in cooperation with the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, Research Institute for Political Studies, International Relations and Law of Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, General Directorate of Religions and Denominations of the Islamic Development Organization, Research Institute of Tabligh and Islamic Studies, and the Research Center for Asian Cultural Documents, and the Miftah Center.

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Ahl Al-Bayt World Assembly

The Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly  is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) that was established by a group of Shiite elites under the supervision of the great Islamic authority of the Shiites in 1990 to identify, organize, educate and support the followers of Ahl al-Bayt.

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