The general custodian of Astan Quds Razavi (AQR) believes that interfaith dialogue among the Abrahamic religions at the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) can be a manifestation of fight against all types of violence and deviation from right path. He said: "Interfaith dialogue is an epistemological move against Takfiri and deviationist moves and also against paganistic violence."
Hoj. Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the First Conference of Imam Reza (AS) and Interfaith Dialogue that was held at the Quds Hall of the AQR Central Library.
The general custodian of AQR is of the opinion that Imam Reza (AS) was the founder of interfaith dialogue. "We hope we would be able to hold the conference, its scientific panels on pre-assigned topics as well as its sideline programs in the best possible way."
He expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the conference as well as to the general participants and the Shia and Sunni scholars of the conference, saying: "This conference will definitely be the source of many blessings and will yield many good results."
Hoj. Raeisi went on to say: "The interfaith dialogue sheds light on the reality and brings reality to light for all people, wipes out wrong and unwise thoughts and contemplations on religions, and also reinforces the foundations of monotheistic and Abrahamic religions."
The general custodian of Astan Quds Razavi pointed to the commonalities between Islam and Christianity and Judaism, but denounced any commonality with Zionists and "all those who claim to be religious but impose heavy damages on the religions." According to him, interfaith dialogue can stand against those who have linked their life to deviation from rationality and justice.
Raeisi, also a member of the Assembly of Experts, pointed to the state of spirituality in the West and said: "In the West, over 300 years after Renaissance, they fought spirituality and the outcome was the outbreak of two wars, World Wars I and II, oppression and suppression of the people of Palestine, proliferation of nuclear warheads, etc. This is the result of alienation from spirituality."
He revealed that upon hoisting the flag of Islamic Iran by the prudence and wise leadership of Imam Khomeini, the flag of human reverence and the link between politics and spirituality and religiousness was hoisted in all fields. This achievement has been made through strong belief in God and living a life associated with ethics, justice, affection and rationality.
According to him, interfaith dialogue is associated with certain preconditions. "The first precondition is unity in origin. Abrahamic religions possess and manifest common values such as belief in God, belief in afterlife (resurrection) and the Prophet of Allah, justice, affection and love of God, altruism in light of the belief in God, …"
Unity in destination, according to him, is the second precondition. "The destination or the target is salvation and spiritual perfection of man. The messengers of God enjoy a superb rank and they invite us to be perfect and enjoy the same higher rank. The modern-day man's excellence and merit lie in unity of destination."
Raeisi is of the opinion that acquisitive excellence lies in the light of teachings offered to man by the Infallible Household of the Prophet (PBUH).
Elsewhere, the general custodian of Astan Quds Razavi said: "The interfaith dialogue can be a good model of interreligious communication in case the two sides observe justice, fairness and ethics. We never accept superior-inferior or the common lord-subject model of interaction and dialogue. All of us have been bestowed with equal rights in the light of the Divine Right."
Seriousness, or serious attempt and initiative, according to him, is another precondition for interfaith dialogue. "These conferences are highly valuable and we must show seriousness in observing the preconditions, which will be materialized in the light of Muhammedan preaching and by the spiritually perfect man."
The general custodian of AQR, pointed to the themes of some supplications on Imam Reza (AS), and said: "In one of these pilgrimage prayers we read: You are the heir to Adam, to Abraham, to Jesus, to Moses, and to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and we know all about your ancestors."
Hoj. Raeisi in the end said: "Imam Reza (AS) is the code of victory for Muslims. It is through following his conduct and in the light of his spirituality that we can use this religious coalition and the code of unity against Takfirism, atheism, and all sorts of suppression and oppression."