Ayatollah Makarem writes letter to Muftis on Mina tragedy

Considering that several weeks have passed since the dreadful disaster of Mina occurred without any serious reaction on the part of most of the Muslim scholars, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi has voiced his readiness to hold scientific and expert conferences to find a solution to this problem.

His Eminence said: “I hope that the Muftis of all Muslim countries as well as great Muslim scholars will join us to take effective actions in this regard so as to fulfill their responsibility before God the Almighty” in a letter to the grand muftis and scholars of the Muslim world in regard to the necessity of pursuing the Hajj tragedy which occurred in Mina.

The revered source of emulation quoted the Holy Quran: “…So give good news to My servants who listen to the word [of God] and follow the best [interpretation] of it. They are the ones whom God has guided, and it is they who possess intellect” [39:17-18].

He said that this disaster (apart from political issues and relationship between various countries) has created a responsibility for all Muslim scholars and religious authorities, wherever they are, hence, it is necessary to try to find a solution to prevent similar catastrophes from happening again in the future. However, weeks have passed since this tragic incident happened while there has been no serious and significant reaction on the part of Muslim scholars, and this is all while the Prophet Muhammad said: “A person who does not attend to the problems and the sufferings of Muslims is not a Muslim.”

In another part of the letter, His Eminence noted: “The life of a single Muslim is extremely valuable and thus must be protected. Anyone who saves the life of one person, has, in effect, saved the lives of all the people of the world, let alone the lives of thousands of Muslims who were engaged in a great act of worship such as the Hajj rituals. Considering the scope of the tragedy that happened, is not it wise to take necessary measures to solve this problem once and for all, and prevent such a great catastrophe and its adverse consequences from occurring again in the future?”

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi noted that in today’s world where, sometimes, so many people voice their condemnation for the killing of one person with a huge coverage of the incident in the media, what will the people of the world say about us if Muslim scholars remain silent regarding an incident that left thousands of Muslims dead (based on the unanimous testimony of numerous eyewitnesses)? “Will they not judge us Muslims as a people who have no regard for the lives of their fellow Muslims?” he said.

Referring to the assertions of some of the Saudi scholars, the revered source of emulation stated: “Blaming this great disaster on ‘the divine will and providence’ to avoid assuming the responsibility for it is, in itself, another great catastrophe, which can undermine the true teachings of Islam regarding the issue of “divine will and providence.”

Is it not true that, if a dangerous disease breaks out among Muslims, we must act to treat it? What sound mind would let a dangerous disease claim the lives of thousands and then associate it with “divine will and providence?!” (while this is not the way that “divine will and providence” have been depicted in the Quran and the Sunnah; that is to say, the true meaning of “divine will and providence” is that God has given us the responsibility, within the limits of our abilities and the actions that we can afford to take, to make decisions and act to solve problems, in which case if we evade our responsibilities we will be held accountable by God (His Eminence also promised to prepare a comprehensive treatise regarding the scope and the meaning of the issue of “divine will and providence” later on).

After explaining the four responsibilities that we all have regarding this disaster, Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi noted: “Based on my religious duties and my responsibility as a human being, I hereby announce that I am prepared to invite the prominent Muslim scholars from everywhere in the Muslim world, if they are willing to do so, to work with each other to solve this problem. In this regard, I propose to hold scientific and legal meetings and conferences (away from all political issues) in Qom or in the capitals of other Muslim countries, to investigate this incident and its adverse consequences.”

“I hope that the Muftis of all Muslim countries as well as great Muslim scholars will join us to take effective actions in this regard so as to fulfill their responsibility before God the Almighty,” he concluded.

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