“The visit of Counselor Muhammad Abd al-Salam, who heads the delegation of the Council of Muslim Elders to Iraq in general and Najaf in particular, is an episode in the chain of continuous communication between religious institutions, which have taken upon themselves the responsibility of bringing the people of the same religion closer,” says the professor at Al-Arabiya.net. The seminary in the city of Najaf, Sheikh Thaer Al-Saadi, adding, “This visit is very positive, as the honorable delegation will be able to know the extent of the great passion and love that Iraq, in all its sects, seeks for its brothers and partners in religion and Arabism.”
Mr. Zaid Bahr Al-Uloom receives Counselor Muhammad Abdul Salam at Najaf Airport
On Saturday, January 14, a Dubai Airline plane landed at Najaf airport, coming from the United Arab Emirates. Knowledge”, which included: Thaer Al-Saadi, Zaid Bahr Al-Uloum, and Ahmed Al-Kindi.
Sheikh Thaer Al-Saadi receives Counselor Muhammad Abdul Salam at Najaf Airport
The delegation did not come through the airport of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, because it came following an invitation extended to it by the Secretary-General of the “Al-Khoei Institute” Dr. Jawad Al-Khoei, a professor at the “Hawza Al-Ilmiyyah” and the grandson of the late religious authority, Abu Al-Qasim Al-Khoei, who was in his time the “Supreme Reference” Shiite Muslims, in addition to Jawad al-Khoei being a professor of the “UNESCO Chair” at the University of “Kufa”, which gives the visit scientific and spiritual impetus. The values of pluralism, diversity and respect for the other.
Entering Iraq through the “Najaf” gate does not mean that the “Muslim Wise Men” came to meet one of the many spectrums of society. Rather, the delegation was keen throughout the days of the visit to dialogue and meet with spiritual and academic institutions and personalities from different religions, sects and races. Because it is a visit to Iraq, a country rich in its cultural and ethnic diversity.
Delegation of “Muslim Sages” during his visit to the city of Najaf
It was not an ordinary meeting between the delegation of the “Muslim Wise Men” and Jawad al-Khoei in the “Dar al-Ilm”, which is a scientific institution, which a group of students of religious sciences from the “Hawza al-Ilmi” come to for study.
Dar al-Ilm is located in the heart of Najaf, the Iraqi city that has a special place among Shiite Muslims, as it houses the shrine of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib. It is also the seat of the religious seminary and the religious authority. Therefore, the presence of the delegation of the “Council of Muslim Elders” in addition to being hosted by Al-Khoei, this hospitality was also with the blessing of the “Supreme Religious Authority”, the senior professors of the scientific estate, and the eminent Najaf personalities.
More than 40 scientific, religious and civil figures were welcomed by Counselor Mohamed Abdel Salam and his accompanying delegation. These personalities represented a group of professors from the seminary, universities, writers and researchers, including the former Iraqi Minister of Culture, Dr. Hassan Nazim, the professor of postgraduate studies at the University of “Kufa” Dr. Abdul Amir Al-Zahid, Mr. Muhammad Bahr Al-Ulum, Mr. Hussein Al-Ghuraifi, and others.
From the meeting of the Najaf personalities and professors of the Hawza with the delegation of “Muslim Elders”
Jawad Al-Khoei spoke at the meeting, considering that “our vital experiences that were tested in difficult circumstances in our contemporary history teach us a lesson to always be together, and not let our differences in scientific opinions be an obstacle to our joint work in order to defend our societies, their values and dignity,” praising “The work of the Council of Muslim Elders, and the great pioneering role it plays for the unity of the Islamic ranks in the face of challenges, in order to address common concerns, and in order to spread the values of love and peaceful coexistence.” Al-Azhar’s honorable Imam Ahmad al-Tayyib: Shiites and Sunnis are the wings of the Islamic nation.”
Counselor Muhammad Abd al-Salam and Mr. Jawad al-Khoei
This celebratory and frank language at the same time from Al-Khoei found a listening ear from the Secretary-General of the “Council of Muslim Elders”, Counselor Muhammad Abd al-Salam, who tweeted through his account on the “Twitter” platform, saying, “I was pleased to meet a number of brothers scholars of the Hawza in Najaf in The House of Knowledge of Imam al-Khoei, at the invitation of my brother, His Eminence Sayyid Jawad al-Khoei, we discussed the most important contemporary challenges facing our Islamic nation and our Arabism, ways to bridge the rift, uphold the spirit of religious brotherhood, and achieve cooperation and understanding among the people of the same religion.--
Counselor Muhammad Abd al-Salam during his tour of the library of Dar al-Ilm Foundation-
Najaf and Al-Azhar
Sheikh Thaer Al-Saadi, who was a witness to the details of the meetings, told Al-Arabiya.net, commenting on the joint institutional work, stating that “the prospects for cooperation between the active and sincere institutions have not ceased in the most difficult circumstances and the most dangerous turns, as these institutions, led by The House of Knowledge of Imam al-Khoei, by playing an unimaginable role in communicating with all spectra inside and outside Iraq, in order to crystallize a road map that reflects the historical depth of Sunni-Shia relations, so that this visit and similar ones came as a culmination of the exerted efforts.
Al-Saadi, on the other hand, hoped that “this visit will not stop at its borders, but rather open horizons of cooperation,” considering that the visit in itself sends a clear message working to “silence all the voices of strife,” stressing that “communication between Najaf and Al-Azhar is a march.” Do not stop”.
A delegation of “Muslim Elders” performs prayers in a mosque in Iraq
Far from the “Dar al-Ilm”, the delegation of the “Council of Muslim Elders” visited the headquarters of the “Alawi Shrine”, where they were received by the Secretary-General of the “Shrine” Issa Al-Khursan. .
So, it was a broad Najafi tour, reflecting “the seminary’s desire for true and serious communication with the Arab community in the Gulf and Egypt, and openness to all active forces for peace and dialogue in the region, in order to counter the rhetoric of extremism that threatens everyone,” according to a source I spoke to. With Al-Arabiya.net, he added, “A visit like this should not end with its effects, but there must be constant communication and coordination, because extremism and sectarianism, if we do not confront them all, will work to spread its harmful toxins and terrorism will return again to the region.”
The meeting of the delegation of “the wise men of Muslims” with the representative of the Sistani reference in Karbala, Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbalai
Shortly after the Najaf tour, the delegation went to the city of “Karbala”, which includes the shrine of Imam Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib, and also has an academic seminary in which students from inside and outside Iraq study.
In Karbala, the delegation of the “Council of Muslim Elders” met with Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbalai, representative of the supreme authority Ali al-Sistani, and his authorized agent, in a meeting described by a source with whom Al Arabiya.net spoke, as “a friendly and positive meeting, marked by many constructive discussions, which It is of interest to both parties, especially since there is a great appreciation for the person of the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyib.” He expected that “this communication will be reflected in the future on cooperation between the two respected authorities in promoting the values of moderation.”
Counselor Muhammad Abdul Salam and Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Karbalai
For his part, during his meeting with al-Karbalai, Counselor Muhammad Abd al-Salam stressed that “the sincere call made by His Eminence the Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib, to all Islamic sects to hasten to hold an Islamic-Islamic dialogue, is the essence of the message of the Council of Muslim Elders, and it is the way to unite and reunite the nation.” He expressed, “The Council of Muslim Elders’ appreciation for the efforts of His Eminence, the supreme authority, Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, and his keenness to unite the Iraqi ranks as one people,” according to the sources of the “Muslim Council of Elders.”
Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbalai considered that “this meeting is a step in the way of consolidating Sunni-Shiite relations and opening channels of cross-border dialogue, and that these meetings reflect the respect and appreciation of official religious institutions for each other.” “.
According to observers, it is a “very important visit”, which could establish a broader cooperation, not only limited to the “Dar al-Ilm” institution and the “Council of Muslim Elders”, but could also extend to major actors, such as the “Muslim World League”, which On its initiative, and under the patronage of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, it hosted the “Forum of Iraqi References” in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, 2021, in which constructive and frank discussions took place, between the Secretary-General of the “Association” Dr. Muhammad Al-Issa, and the participating Iraqi spiritual figures, and it had echoes. A broad and positive action”, which is completed through the cooperation of more institutions that are mainly involved in consolidating the values of pluralism, such as the “Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace”, the “King Abdullah International Center for Dialogue between Followers of Cultures and Religions”, and the “Kalima Center for Dialogue and Cooperation”. And the “Imam Al-Hakim Foundation” and other “sober and moderate parties, whose cooperation will have great and fruitful results, if work is done according to a clear and clear vision, seeking peace and cooperation, which is the goal of everyone, in order to build a better future for all the people of the region, and confront the messages of Sectarianism, hatred and isolation,” she said to “Al-Arabiya.net,” the character Kahn Accompanying the delegation in more than one city and meeting.