Imam Khomeini’s mysticism sole solution to all hurdles

Imam Khomeini’s mysticism sole solution to all hurdles

What follows is a rough text of an exclusive interview with Dr. Fatima Tabatabai, the head of department of the Imam Khomeini and Islamic Revolution Research Center, and head of Iran’s Scientific Association of Islamic Mysticism.

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai is the daughter in law of Imam Khomeini and researcher on the Islamic Mysticism and expert regarding the Imam’s works on mysticism.

The interview sheds light on the arrangements and purposes of the first upcoming international summit on the Islamic Mysticism, in theory and practice’ in the Iranian capital, Tehran. She has highlighted the role of Islamic mysticism in maintaining peace, resolving conflicts and its effectiveness in preventing the societies from falling into pits of social and moral decline.

Q:   The Association plans to hold the first international summit on Islamic Mysticism in theory on 1st June. Would you explain its procedures for our readers? 

  Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: The association is holding first such a summit of international level. The summit is being organized with close coordination of some Lebanese chancellors of the universities and heads of the cultural institutes. First it was decided that the summit would be held in Lebanon. However due to some changes, complications and unpredicted incidents, it was decided that the summit should be organized in Tehran. The procedures for the summit were started about more than two years ago and necessary follow-ups and arrangements were made in this regard.

The association is pursuing an objective of maintaining coordination among researchers of Ibrahimic religions in this field.  

Q: Whether discussion about wrong interpretations of mysticism and recently emerging unauthentic schools of thought in this regard are on the agenda of the summit?

Dr. Tabatabai: Of course, certain discussion would be held in this regard. However, we maintain that instead of discussing the some unauthentic emerging mystic trends which have nothing to do with mysticism. Therefore, it would be better to introduce the pure Mysticism. It is a universal truth that someone who doesn’t perceive the reality, certain person would be subject to fabricating fantasies.

 I do believe that when the reality is discussed in proper way, then the wrong interpretations or unauthentic schools would automatically lose their significance.

One of the useful tasks is reading, researching and exploring the texts about mysticism and it would enable the young generation. One of the suitable way to promote this would be holding such session and summits. 

We have singed and sealed memorandum of understandings with universities and the academic centers. We can hold summit each year in the country with close coordination of foreign university in the country. The permanent secretariat of  summit has embarked on its dynamic activities and would expand in future.


Q: What are the main themes and articles being presented at the summit?  

Dr. Tabatai: The themes of the summit have been picked and selected by our experts working with academic committee. "the Islamic mysticism in theory and practice", "Mysticism and meaning of life" "Mysticism and environment" and researches are being conducted on these topics of significance and would soon be published.

"The practical mysticism and ethic", the Islamic Mysticism and the medical physiological and "statues of Jesus and stages of Islamic Mysticism", mysticism and social dynamism are the main questions raised at the summit. Another query at the summit expected to be raised would be how the genuine teachings and dynamic thought presented by the mystic can be useful for the present young generation and transform our society.   

Another theme being discussed at the summit would be whether main concern of the mystics has been the individuals or the societies. We have discovered form late Imam Khomeini's conduct that a committed mystic can never ignore the fate of each individual. A mystic doesn't only have concern for the society but also have planned to implement in order to accomplish the salvation and prosperity of the each individual of the society.

Q: For how many days the summit is being held?         

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: At least 20 academic personalities and figures would deliver speeches at one-day summit. In addition to that, several academic articles have been sent to the secretariat of summit and if the accepted writings would be published in form of an article collection.

Q: What are the main events and programs on the sidelines of the summit?

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: A book exhibition would be organized on sidelines of the summit where several works on mysticism would be displayed. 

Q: What are the extra and programs arranged at the summit for foreign guests?

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: A dinner would be held in the honor of the academic and political figure and would be hosted by Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic

-A visit to the national library and a meeting with the head of the library would also be including the events.

 Q: would you mention some of the prominent seminary and university figures expected to be attending the summit?

 Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: Ayatollah Jawadi Amoli will send a televised message. Moreover, Dr.  Sheikh al-Islami, Dr. Dinani, Dr. Kakaei, Dr. Shah Abadi, professor Boto, Dr. Habibi, Dr. Wakili and Mrs. Shaesteh from Iran would deliver the speeches and lectures.

Meanwhile, Professor Kuck, Sheikh Shafiq Jaradah, Dr. Aghiqi, Mrs. Dr. Salouh, Mrs. Dr. Malaeb, Dr. Hasiki, Mr. Zaraghet, Mr. Mousavi, Dr. Rahmati and Dr. Tarabi Tarabi from Lebanon would deliver their speeches at the summit.

The summit will also honor one of great academic figure and exceptional talent,, Ayatolah Ansari Shirazi who has presented great works in fields of jurisprudence and in fields of ethics and mysticism. He has also been a great figure who also played a decisive role in downfall the Shah regime.

Q: Would you please give some information about the research magazine about the mysticism?

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: The scientific Association on Mysticism has managed to publish at least nine issues of the magazine which include several academic article and pieces of writing highlighting the various perspectives of mysticism in theory and practice.

Q:  We have heard that the scientific association of mysticism is going some special programs for the masses and public?

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: A new office for such activities has been established in Mirdamad area of Tehran. This is assigned to organize special classes for various stratums about the mysticism on various level.

Another activity of the association is of cinema nature. It would display several movies regarding mysticism and its mystic and learning points would be explained for the audience in presence of experts and specialists.

For an instance, Imam Khomeini has mentioned several points about someone who is suffering form jealousy in his precious book titled 'Forty Hadith'. Imam maintains somebody who exercises jealousy would first be subject to harming itself instead of harming others.

Another precious point Imam points out is that someone who is suffering from practice of jealousy, then its consequences would lead to denial of justice of the God Almighty. It means such a person believes that God has denied some certain bounty or privileges from him. So such person just believes in God's justice verbally and denies practically. It is required for such a person to first perceive the right concept of justice and then undertake serious efforts to hold on its obligations.    

 This topic can be discussed in form of workshops. If we could root out the jealousy in the society then we would be able to diagnose the essence of several inconveniences and moral declines in the society. It will enable use to diagnose the  merits and demerits which elevate the humanity or plunges him into pits.  

Imam in this regard says the moral declines are stranger which launch attacks on pure divine essence of the human beings and the person needs to combat them. It is the duty of humans to shield them against such strangers and maintains a moderation in its abode. The human should know where to show kindness and at which point show firm stance.

If a person maintains a moderation in its abode, he would be able to expand in the society as well. The divine essence of human being is blessed with great qualities.

 If the relationships are not based on moderation, rationality and logic, then it would be difficult maintain moderation in the society.

Q: From your viewpoint, mystic thought and beliefs can become basis for proximity of the religion and reduce the sectarian tension across the Muslim world.

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: I do believe that paying attention to recommendations left by great Imam can eliminate the sectarian conflicts and instead can replace inclinations towards God the Almighty. Since God the Almighty is a pure light and absolute beauty. Paying attention to divine dignity will definitely eliminate all such strife.

Q:  As Your Excellency has mentioned that the relationship between ethic and mysticism will remain one of major theme of the summit. Would you explain to how much extent the moral issues and human rights have place in Imam’s mysticism. Imam has initiated idea of moderation and psychological health of individuals and society. Can such a notion guarantee to shield the human rights as well?

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai: Imam’s sayings about the human dignity can also include the human rights as well. The human dignity has great importance in Imam’s works. One of important perspectives of will include the guarantee of civil and social rights.

The human rights are a part of dignity frequently presented by Imam. The human dignity will include all refights issue. Islam doesnot permit the dignity of human to be violated.

Therefore, Imam carried message of moderation and peace for the whole world and international community.

Q: How can Imam’s mystic thought can play a role in elevating a society form various moral aspects?

Dr. Fatima Tabatabai:  If Imam’s recommendations are properly implemented, then we will get rid of several hurdles and problem facing the society. Imam’s mystic and dynamic teachings can resolve our management problem. These recommendations can also prevent society from falling into pits of any type of social and moral decline.



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