In April 2024, Alhaj Safder Jaffer – The WF President, and WF Delegates undertook a series of visits and meetings within Iraq. Their itinerary spanned from Najaf and Karbala to Kadhmayn and Samarrah, reflecting their dedication to strengthening relationships, engaging with communities, and promoting collaboration in line with shared values and goals.

Meeting with His Eminence Sayyid Ali Huseini al-Sistani (d)

On 2nd Shawwal 1445, The President of The World Federation, Alhaj Safder Jaffer, together with the Head of The WF Islamic Education Department, Shaykh Dr. Murtadha Alidina, met with His Eminence Sayyid Ali Huseini al-Sistani (d).

Agha conveyed Salaams to the community and specially asked the President to convey his Salaams to the entire community.

He expressed delight at the recent success of The World Federation at the High Court in UK and said that he prayed for the success of the community.

He also stated that he was very pleased, and it made him happy to see the community united, both through this success as well as the recent letter from a Khoja community scholar who sought forgiveness from Allah (SWT) in matters that are essential to the faith. His Eminence stated it was important to deal with leniency when it came to dealing with people who express remorse for their actions and that which brings about communal harmony.

His Eminence stated the unity of the Khoja community was paramount as the KSIMC plays a major and successful role in the development of the Ummah and whenever he gets positive news such as these developments, it pleases him that the community is moving towards a unified path.

He reiterated his Salaams and duas for the community.

Meeting with Sayyid Mohamed Ridha al-Sistani

The delegation then called upon the head of the office of His Eminence Sayyid Mohamed Ridha al-Sistani and discussed a range of matters. Sayyid Mohamed Ridha reiterated the important role of the Khoja community and clarified that when it comes to charity work and religious activity support, the community should contribute all religious obligations and donations with priority firstly to the community institutions such as jamaats, regions and The World Federation before considering other external institutions. He confirmed that His Eminence’s office sees the charity work carried out by the Khoja community institutions at no less if not more rewarding that any other charitable institutions.

A range of educational, religious and social matters were discussed, and guidance sought by the delegation.

Meeting with Ayatollah Ishaaq al-Fayyaadh

The delegation then met with Ayatullah Ishaaq al-Fayyaadh (a). The discussion on the land gifted by His Eminence to The World Federation was discussed and how this land could be used for the benefit of Hawza students in Najaf. The meeting was also attended by Shaykh Mahmood Fayyaz, as well as, Sayyid Jawad al-Khui and the delegation benefitted from discussions on a range of subjects where Ayatollah Fayyaadh provided perspectives with respect to some of the modern challenges of our times.

Meeting with the Head of Imam Ali (a)’s Shrine

The delegation visited the Head of Imam Ali (a)’s shrine, Sayyid Issa al-Khursan. Sayyid was very pleased to meet with them and commended the Khoja Community for its contribution towards the Kadhimiyya Tile Project. He stated that he was highly impressed by the quality of work in Kadhimiyya. He then briefed the delegation about the expansion plans and development of Imam Ali (a)’s shrine including the zarih.

The President thanked Sayyid al-Khursan for facilitating the visit of the students of the Madinah al-Ilm course in December 2023 and presented him with a token of appreciation.

Presenting a Token of Appreciation to the Head of Imam Ali (a)’s Shrine
L-R: Shaykh Nadir Jaffer – Head of Islamic Education’s External Tableegh, Alhaj Safder Jaffer – WF President, Sayyid Issa al-Khursan – Head of Imam Ali (a)’s Shrine,
Shaykh Dr. Murtadha Alidina – Head of WF Islamic Education

Meeting with Ayatollah al-Radi

The delegation called upon Ayatollah al-Radi and discussed collaboration of The World Federations research institute (International Centre for Advanced Islamic Research – ICAIR) with his office on a range contemporary challenges.

Meeting with the Head of Imam Husayn (a)’s Shrine

On the eve of 1st Shawwal 1445, a delegation comprising of The WF President, Alhaj Safder Jaffer, Head of Islamic Education’s External Tableegh, Shaykh Nadir Jaffer, together with The WF representative in Iraq, Alhaj Abdul Karim Laljee and Murabbi Alireza bhai Lalji, met with the Head of Ataba of Imam Husayn (a)’s shrine – Shaykh Abdul Mahdi Kerbalai.

Sayyid Kerbalai lauded the Khoja community for its philanthropic activities in Karbala and globally. and sought a closer relationship with the Ataba. A range of activities were discussed including exploring potential travel ease to Iraq by the zuwwar from the community as well as the students who come for short courses to Iraq. Sayyid then discussed various religious and cultural activities carried out by the Shrine and how we as a community can be involved in these projects.

L-R: Shaykh Nadir Jaffer – Head of Islamic Education’s External Tableegh, Shaykh Abdul Mahdi Karbalai
Head of Imam Husayn (a)’s Shrine, Alhaj Safder Jaffer – WF President

Meeting with the Head of Hadhrat Abbas (a)’s Shrine

The delegation met with the head of Hadhrat Abbas (a)’s shrine, Sayyid Ahmed Safi, who briefed them on the range of activities provided by the Ataba Abbassiya especially with respect to research on a range of subjects. The Ataba has produced more than 200 books under its research institute “Al Tibyan” and is preparing to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Shaykh Tusi since the establishment of the Hawza in Najaf. He spoke at length on all other educational and religious activities offered by the Ataba.

The President requested the research institute of the Ataba collaborate with ICAIR and Sayyid Ahmed introduced the head of the research institute to the delegation for further deliberation.

The Kadhimiyya Tile Project Inspection

The delegation visited Kadhimiyya and The WF President was taken to see first-hand the work accomplished so far on the tiles project, that has now reached 90% completion. Brother Furat Al Yassin provided details of the work to-date and the remaining work largely around the corners and finishing, including polishing. It is expected that this project will be completed, InshaAllah, by summer.

Meeting with the Head of Kadhimiyya Shrine and Waqf Al Shi’i

The delegation called upon Dr. Hayder Al Shummari and spent considerable time discussing the current project as well as various other expansions at the haram. Dr. Hayder praised the Khoja community worldwide for the excellent support toward the Kadhimiyya Tiles Project and expressed utmost satisfaction of the high quality work that has been carried out.

WF Delegates with the Head of Kadhimiyya Shrine and Waqf Al Shi’i

WF President – Alhaj Safder Jaffer with the Head of Askariyayn Shrine – Dr. Qassim

Meeting with the Head of Askariyayn Shrines

The delegation called upon the Head of Askariyayn Shrine, Dr. Qassim, who provided the delegation a detailed account of all the development phases at the shrine. An impressive three phased project has been signed off that would, InshaAllah, lead the shrines of Imam Ali al-Naqi (a) and Imam Hasan al-Askari (a) with huge capacity and activities similar to the other harams in Iraq.

Dr. Qassim appeared to be very well versed with the history of the Khoja community and invited The World Federation to partake in its developments.