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In the Name of God بسم الله

The Discussion Is Whether Or Not Iran Is The Face

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  • Advanced Member

Salaam Alaikum

I was hoping to get some insight on a debate i was having with some Shia friends of mine at the Imambargah.

The Discussion is whether or not Iran is the face of tashayyu. one friend friend said something along the lines of many people see it as such, since it is a "Shi`i" country, but the vast majority of the `ulamaa' (even in Iran) do not even agree with the concept of Al-wilaayat 'l-mutlaqa. The sort of oppression and abuses the Iranian regime has committed against great scholars is absolutely unacceptable. Politics does weird things to people. And no matter who you are, if you aren't ma`sum, youre going to be doing a lot of harm if you are claiming to be upholding a concept like wilaayat mutlaqa. Iranian nationalism has been a huge problem in the Shi`I world. They have promoted unity in the same way the companions tried to promote unity - by forcing people to adhere to their political doctrines that they justified via religious arguments. Al-wilaayat 'l-mutlaqa has been nothing but a source of disunity.

I answered by saying that Of course it is not perfect. Because as you said they are not masoom. But are they authority in fiqh and jurisprudence? I would assume so. This can be related to the government of mukhtar in a way. I do want to learn more about Iran though.

He replied that the mujtahideen and maraaji` and in Iran who are/were considered a`lam do not affiliate with the government and criticize the regime repeatedly. al-sayyid sadiq ' l-rawhani (ddh) in Qum said he is at war with the iranian regime due to what he views as transgressions against the shari`a of Allah. And he said for that he was placed under house arrest for 25 years. This is the man who was given ijaaza for ijtihaad by al-sayyid 'l-khoe'i (q) when he was 14 years of age, and he is considered to be amomg the most supremely knowledgeable maraaji` of our time. Him and al-shaykh waheed 'l-khorasani (ddh) are considered by the hawza to be the most a`lam in iran. And both of them are extremely critical of the regime. seeing the number of crimes being committed by the Iranian government against some of the Maraaji` such as Al-Sayyid Sadiq 'l-Rawhani (ddh) is pretty worrisome, if we are to accept that Iran is the headquarters of Tashayyu`. Despite what students flocking back from Qum to the states may tell you, there is nothing at all wrong with criticizing and bringing attention to crimes committed by a government. In fact, we should do that.

Look at the statement of Al-Rawhani (ddh) here:


He says he is in a state of WAR with the regime due to what he views as transgressions against the Shari`a. He also says that due to his opposition to the regime he was placed under house arrest for 25 years. Is this acceptable behavior for a government that claims to value political freedom and religious dialogue? Is this how you treat one of the greatest living scholars that we have today? Before him, there were even bigger scholars who criticized the regime. The biggest name that comes to mind is Al-Shaykh 'l-MIrza Jawad 'l-Tabrizi (q), who was considered A`lam in Iran during his time.

In the end, Tashayyu` doesn't have a headquarters, because it is a religion, not a nationality. `Iraq, by the way, is the academic center of Shi`i learning (it has been for the past 1000 years, and it continues to be today). Where else were scholars like Al-Sayyid 'l-Khoe'i (q) (considered to be the greatest scholar in the history of Tashayyu` since the time of the Ghayba of the Imam (a)) and Al-Shaykh Murtadha 'l-Ansaari (q) (the scholar who is considered to be the one who brought ijtihaad to its height during the golden era of Shi`i ijtihaad) taught and where else did they do their research? The vast majority of Shi`i taqleed for the past 1000 years has been to the scholars in the Hawza of Najaf. The Hawza of Qum is a very new establishment. So if we can stretch an argument here about Tashayyu` having a headquarters, wouldn't it be Al-Najaf 'l-Ashraf, especially since the mash'hoor opinion for the past 1000 years has been a very limited scope for Wilaayat 'l-Faqih, which is upheld by all of the `ulamaa' except a few?

My only reply to that was that Today, to Iran's east (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and to it's west (Iraq), the countries are ravaged by "NWO" and by NATO fledgling state sponsored terrorism. Not without it's problems, yet, in between, Iran is a refuge where Shia ( and Sunni, Christian, and Jew) live securely without fear of drone attacks or car bombs more so than anywhere else in the mideast thanks to the blood of the shohada of the 8 year war where they were invaded by Iraq and US chemical weapons. It is a place where both Deen and Scientific/technological achievement thrive in harmony unlike anywhere else. It is a nation through which Lebanon and Palestine were able gain victory over Israel and NATO for the first time in history, when all other nations (aside from Syria) turned their backs on them. For these merits alone, you should give the IR credit, ideological differences aside.

He continued about how Al-Shaykh Waheed 'l-Khorasaani (ddh) or Al-Sayyid Sadiq 'l-Rawhani (ddh), who are considered among the scholars in the hawza to be the most a`lam in Iran today? Considering that a vast majority of the scholars in the Hawza does taqleed to one of those two, I don't think the die hard nationalism does too well there. All of the many many Mujtahideen, for example, who studied/study under Al-Rawhani (ddh) probably do not look at the government with much love or veneration, if they consider what the government has done to their teacher. The issue isnt as clean as people like to make it out to be. There are serious problems of political abuse against `ulamaa' there, and that much is clear.

I asked him for specific examples of what the government did that was against the Sharia so the readers here including myself understand why this Maraja' went into house arrest. And then once you can provide examples, we can look at that under the light of how the certain actions were necessary in order to protect the government that they have sacrificed so many for or maybe certain actions were not necessary it can go either way.

Can you please answer the question whether or not Iran is considered the face of the Shia, also why did Iran Arrest -Sayyid Sadiq 'l-Rawhani (ddh) for 25 years?

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  • Advanced Member

Salam Brother,


I apologise brother, i can only answer one of your question.


In my country, Iran is Shia and Shia is Iran. The growth of Shia population started when Hassan Nasrallah gained victories in early 2000s, then people who're en-lighted starts asking about Shia, when we're looking for initial knowledge somehow it always turned to Iran's Revolution and then we know Ruhollah Khomeini. I'm "converted" to Ahlul-Bayt's way in 2006 and just expanding my knowledge in the last two years. Last year, i found out about Marja, from learning khums. When i asked around, one name popped up, Grand Ayatollah Sistani. I found out that Sistani is Iranian, so it goes back to Iran once again. Why i'm confident that in my country Iran is Shia and Shia is Iran, one time there's a big banner in one of the major city with Khamenei picture in it and it said," Shia is Sesat (misguided)", you see Shia is not very famous here, people lost their home because they are Shia, teacher would lost their student because they're Shia, we got protester when we held ashura, there's a special space for Shia in Ied's prayer (usually they put sajadah for everyone else but not for Shia's, they didnt realise that they're doing us a favor). So, beside looking up to Iran with most populous Shia country, i also look at Iran as "beacon of hope" like," if things goes wrong i'd go to Iran, they might take me in". One time there was a pretty high-rank officer from Iran's Embassy visited my house, my dad invited his majelis (small group not even 20 people), we did a discussion about Shia in Iran, we even observed his namaz. We saw him as someone who grew-up in Shia's culture (not only religion), there's bound to be something that we can learn from him. That's how "thirsty" we are for Shia knowledge. Sorry for the rant.


I never know, until i read your post, that there's actually politics inside Iran's Shia. Thank you for the info and quick summary.


Salam Brother.

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  • 1 month later...

Well what are their views and thoughts that differ with the state's? You cannot just say they differ, we need more information on what they said exactly. Maybe the state had a right to jail them. You cannot just simply call the the greatest ulama of all time just because someone has named them that. Maybe some more information on what exactly are their views were?

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  • Advanced Member

Salam to our brother

 I am from Iran. I don't want to judge about these Ulama or deny whole your topic. Of course sometimes state place people under house arrest. But there are some points that we should consider.

First nobody believes that Wali Faqih is infallible and because of this point we have Assembly of Experts that supervise his activities.

Second point is that plz imagine that we have only one Shia country and specialy Ulama have to strengthen it, but some of them are weakening the government.

Third, the case isn't as you said. For example Ayatollah Vahid believes that maintenance of state is most necessary in Sharih and all should consider it. Sometimes people aren't aware of the situation of a country and are judging while they are in another country.

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