In The Name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful

It is narrated that when Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a) was asked about the philosophy of the Prophetic hadith:

“To look at the faces of scholars is a form of worship”, he (a) responded:
“[That is in reference] to a scholar who when you look at them, they remind you of the hereafter…”[1]

By the Grace of Allah, The Almighty, on Sunday 17th October 2021, a high-ranking delegate from the Khoja community – which from The World Federation included WF Secretary-General Arifalibhai Hirji, IE Manager, Shaykh Afzal Merali, WF Treasurer, Zaffarbhai Khakoo, WF Assistant Treasurer, Sajjadbhai Rajan; from the Council of European Jamaats, the President Salimbhai Rehmatullah, CoEJ Vice President Murtazabhai Kanani, CoEJ Secretary-General Sabirabai Lakha and the President of KSIMC of London Alhaj Hamidbhai Pirbhai had the honour of meeting His Eminence Grand Ayatullah Shaykh Ishaaq al-Fayyaadh, who was visiting London for medical treatment.

The meeting lasted for over an hour, which started with the delegation welcoming His Eminence to the UK on behalf of the community and conveying their prayers for Allah SWT to grant him a speedy recovery and a long life full of success and service to Islam and humanity.

Ayatullah al-‘Udhma al-Fayyaadh, in turn, praised the Khoja community for always generously being at the forefront of religious and charity-related activities globally, especially in coming to the aid of those in need at dire times.

The delegation also sought the guidance of the Marjaiyyah on various current issues, including some of the research activities of the Islamic Education Department. When asked how the gap between the Marjaiyyah and the youth can be filled, Ayatullah al-‘Udhma al-Fayaadh emphasized on the importance of our jamaats sending students from our own communities to study in the Hawza, and sponsoring them financially. He assured the community that the Marjaiyyah has been and will always be ready to guide and assist these students, during their Hawza studies. Upon returning to their communities for tableegh and preaching, they would act as a moral and scientific bridge between the Marjaiyyah and the youth. His Eminence also stressed that the Hawza students from our own communities, would know best how to deal with the challenges we face, and present suitable solutions for them.

On the other hand, he highlighted the humane and peaceful nature of the Shiite denomination, which calls for respect of other cultures, religions and abiding by the laws of the land.

While being in high spirits and engaging with the delegation with fatherly compassion and humour throughout the gathering, pain was evident in his eyes due to the situation of Afghanistan and its oppressed people, especially the Shia community, which is being targeted by terrorists, with the explosion in Bibi Fatima (a) Mosque in Kandahar being the latest in this series. His Eminence ended by reminding that it is the responsibility of all capable believers to strive to come to the aid of the needy and oppressed in Afghanistan, where the need is more severe for those who still remain.

It was indeed a great honour for our community to have the opportunity to meet one of the representatives of the Imam of our time (May Allah SWT hasten his reappearance). We pray for Allah SWT to bless Ayatullah al-‘Udhma Sayyed Sistani (d), Ayatullah al-‘Udhma Shaykh Ishaaq al-Fayaadh (h) and all our Maraje with long healthy lives full of prosperity and tawfiq to serve Allah (SWT) and uphold the lofty principles of His Divine message of Islam.

[1] Rayshahri, Muhammad: “Mizanul Hikmah”, narration 13738.