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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-Merciful

All Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may His choicest salutations be upon the Noble Prophet, Muhammad (saws), and his Purified Family (as). 

To the light of my eyes, the young seminary students who are seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt) and his elevated saints, especially the Imam of our Time, Imam Mahdi (as), may Allah (swt) hasten his reappearance and make us of his closet servants, helpers, and associates. And may He grant us success in the academic struggle in his obedience and in refraining from defiance.    

Know that the path you have chosen, is the path of representing the Divine Prophets (as) and the link between the Infallibles (as), especially the one present and hidden from sight, and the people. It may be the shortest and most esteemed path to reaching the greatest felicity and the proximity of Allah’s pleasure, but it places a great burden of responsibility upon the shoulders of you dear students, which can be summarized in the following two points:

Point one: The learning and acquiring of divine knowledge, which is the grand trust that Allah (swt) has placed amongst human society, is your absolute and certain duty in which no effort should be spared in its acquisition. This path of learning the knowledge of the Glorious Quran and the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), is the very same that our esteemed predecessors, the likes of Shaykh Ansari, Akhund Khorasani, Imam Khomeini, Ayatullah Behjat, Allamah Tabatabai. Ayatullah Shahid Sadr and the many other honorable notables of the great Shia seminary, past and present, have traversed. Such a path, which gives certain and experienced results, should never be abandoned for paths that are uncertain and untested, rather, in many instances, proven void and ineffective. In my over fifty years of personal and close experience with many of these alternate paths, I am certain of the path that our predecessors have taken, and that no other possesses benefit and effectiveness. But when the sun rises from behind the clouds and shines its rays upon all that is beneath it, only then will all else have benefit, as it is from this divine source that everything must be learned and will be on the path to God. May Allah (swt) make the days of his reappearance our provision and grant us the ability to serve, assist and obey him, God-willing.      

You should also know that the knowledge of the Glorious Quran and the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) is a priceless treasure unmatched in this material world, as they (as) have said, ‘Neither in the East nor West will true and correct knowledge ever be found, except that which comes from us, the Ahl al-Bayt (as).’  This is a reality that I have realized with my entire existence, in my many years of study in the seminaries of Qum and Najaf and elsewhere, and in the universities within and outside of Iran. Therefore, do not waste your time in studying this and that falsehood, especially those that have entered from the West in the guise of humanities, which contain baseless and precarious presuppositions. Only do so to the extent needed to critique them. All that is needed to cure the present human condition is in the knowledge of the Glorious Quran and teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (as); whoever drinks from this spring, will be in no need of the mirage of others. However, you must be aware of the academic jargon of today and be able to present this knowledge to the academic and cultural communities using that language. In addition, it is also necessary for you to be aware of the questions and issues that are present within contemporary societies, for a correct prescription to be extracted from the Glorious Quran and teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and then presented to all those who are thirsty and desirous for it, wherever they may be.     

Point Two: God-consciousness and the constant remembrance of Allah (swt) are fundamental for a student of divine knowledge, for knowledge without action is more potent than any poison. From the onset of human history, till the present day, the corrupt and irreligious scholars have been and are the ‘pillars’ of corruption. From the very start of your studies, try your utmost to observe the obligations of the divine law and to distant yourself from all that which is forbidden, and also make every effort to practice precaution where necessary. It is this God-consciousness that will increase your foresight and protect you from the dangers upon the path.

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا  وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ

‘Whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make for him a way out [of the adversities of the world and the Hereafter] and provide for him from whence he does not count upon[1]

This provision from whence it is not considered, it not only material but includes spiritual provision as well, which has been termed as a goodly provision in the Glorious Quran,

وَمَن رَّزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّا وَجَهْرًا

 ‘…and another one [a free man] whom We have provided a goodly provision and who spends out of it secretly and openly’ [2]

And in the words of Prophet Shuayb (as), who said to his tribe,

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّي وَرَزَقَنِي مِنْهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًا

He said, ‘O my people! Have you considered, should I stand on a manifest proof from my Lord, who has provided me a good provision from Himself? [3]

This ‘goodly provision’, that is said to come ‘from Him’, is a grand blessing and astonishing gift that can only be acquired through God-consciousness and the continuous and constant remembrance of Allah (swt).

My dear ones! Make good use of your youth and attain the capital for God-consciousness in this period, and have it saved for your older years and the day you will meet your Lord. The most important manner of attaining it has been said to be,  

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

As for those who are [rightly] guided, He enhances their guidance and invests them with their God-consciousness.’ [4]

Therefore, wherever you find the light of guidance, or hear an enlightening speech or teaching, or notice a prominent scene, ensure that you take benefit from it. When you know that something is good, do it. And when you know that something is bad, stay away from it and don’t take it lightly. 

When you hear or see the fates of misguided individuals, ponder upon how their days became so black. I am aware of people today who speak nice things but do not act upon them, who abandon the very virtues they introduce and move towards the very vice that they advise against. As a result, their ends were unsurprising lowly and miserable.    

 It is necessary for you to give great importance to muraqibah and muhasibah. Pay close attention to your daily actions, and take accountability of them. Those that were against the pleasure of Allah (swt), His Prophet (saws), and the Ahl al-Bayt (as) should be identified and forgiveness asked for them. These acts of muraqibah, muhasibah, seeking forgiveness, and repentance must be continuous, and it is this continuity that will lead you to the state of God-consciousness and true divine fear, God-willing.

Finally, these three fundamentals of reform and guidance must be adhered to:

Firstly, the constant and much remembrance of Allah (swt), as He has said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا‏ وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا  هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا

O you who have faith! Remember Allah with frequent remembrance, and glorify Him morning and evening. It is He who blesses you—and so do His angels—that He may bring you out from darkness into light, and He is most merciful to the faithful.’[5]

Therefore, give special attention to the compulsory acts of worship, the recommended litanies, and prayers, and the supplications that have been transmitted from the Ahl al-Bayt (as), and try to recite them in a meaningful manner. In all your efforts, ask assistance from Allah (swt) and put your trust in him. Put the thoughts of gaining position, wealth, and the pleasures of this world far away from you, as it causes the heart to rust and forces man into darkness and inattentiveness.

Secondly, make efforts to recite the Glorious Quran, and strengthen this structured relationship with it through this recitation and contemplation. 

Thirdly, protect and strengthen your connection with the Holy Prophet (saws) and the Ahl al-Bayt (as). Send salutations and seek intercession with them, especially after every compulsory prayer, and any other appropriate time. Following them (as) in what is done and abandoned is very important and necessary. Don’t be inattentive to this.  

And from the most important of their teachings to follow is the keeping of family ties, assisting those in need, and satisfying the requests of the people. These must be acted upon and given great importance.

In addition, I strongly beseech you all to confront the oppressors, tyrants, and their associates, as Allah (swt) says,

وَقَدْ أُمِرُوا أَن يَكْفُرُوا بِهِ

‘…though they were commanded to reject them…’[6]

And in this struggle, never let fear enter your heart, and put all your trust in Allah (swt),

وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ

‘And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him’[7]

And Peace be upon His sincere servants

Mohsin Araki

23 Rajab 1441/18 March 2020


[1] Al-Talaq (65): 3-4

[2] Al-Nahl (16): 75

[3] Hud (11): 88

[4] Muhammad (47): 17

[5] Al-Ahzab (33): 41-43

[6] Al-Nisa (4): 60

[7] Al-Talaq (65): 3