RNA – Ayatollah Ali-Reza Arafi, head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran, met with members of Lebanon’s central council of Muslim Scholars in Qom on Sunday, December 18.
During the meeting, Ayatollah Arafi expressed his happiness for receiving the Lebanese delegation adding that Qom is considered as a home to every religious scholar, “I am updated on the ongoing activities of Muslim Scholars Association in Lebanon and I must note that your current activities in key scholarly areas as well as voicing your support for Islamic Resistance is truly admirable.”
He added, “Iran has gone through wars, numerous political unrest and sanctions during the last decades, regardless of all these ups and downs we have managed to achieve great developments in scientific areas as well as other aspects.”
The member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Seminaries went on, “Despite all the challenges and difficulties, there are presently more than 2,000 academic centers and universities currently active in Iran located in more than 100 cities nationwide. there are also as many as 5 million male and female college students with different religions studying in those centers.”
There are 100,000 seminary students in Iran
Pointing out the amazing developments of the Islamic seminaries in different areas following the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Arafi asserted, “Today, Qom is considered as one of the scientific hubs in the Islamic world.”
“There are almost 100,000 seminary students in Iran who come from many different countries, many of whom are studying and carrying out their research projects in the city of Qom. We have students from as many as 100 different nationalities studying in al-Mustafa International University in Qom,” he said.
Special Features of the Islamic Seminary of Qom:
Concentration on Mental Sciences
Ayatollah Arafi reiterated that the Islamic Seminary of Qom is specially focused on analyzing mental sciences as well as criticizing western philosophy. “I believe no other scientific foundation in the Islamic world is engaged in such activities as much as the Islamic Seminary of Qom is,” he added.
Movement Towards Islamizing the Human Sciences
He also pointed out that a movement has begun in order to Islamize the humanities and social sciences in the Islamic Seminary of Qom. “Following the Islamic Revolution, lots of efforts have been made in this regard,” he said.
Entering New Jurisprudential Domains
The member of the Supreme Council of Iranian Seminaries added that focus on specialized courses centered by jurisprudence is another feature of the Islamic Seminary of Qom and added, “Islamic jurisprudence could play a part in almost any aspect of human life and in order to realize this stage we need to pay more attention to new specialized fields in the domain of jurisprudence.”
Focus on Interfaith Studies
Focus on different religions and sects is another key feature of the Islamic Seminary of Qom. “There are many specialized courses on different religions, sects and comparative studies in Qom as there are currently tens of thousands of Sunni scholars and seminarians in Iran. Students in different branches of al-Mustafa International University in foreign countries study their courses according to their own religions. Our goal is to promote interfaith dialogue among different religions, cultures and civilizations,” Ayatollah Arafi said.
Highlighting Islamic Resistance and Unity
He then stressed on the Islamic Seminary of Qom’s activities towards Islamic Unity and approximations of Islamic sects, “While we strongly condemn Takfirism and ethnic extremism, we also condemn any form of radicalism among Shia communities. we believe it’s forbidden to insult Sunni beliefs and sanctities. Shia sources of emulation have repeatedly condemned such acts. As a matter of fact, we regard the issue of Palestine and world imperialism as the main issues in the Islamic world.”