Ayatullah Fayyad: Our Scholars Accept Martyrdom, but Do Not Accept Supports from the State

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Hawza, Najaf al-Ashraf, Ayatullah Ishaq Fayyad, scholars

SHAFAQNA – The great and eminent Ayatullah Ishaq Fayyad, a scholar of religious sciences at the Hawzah of Nadjaf al-Ashraf , and a great reference in juridical issues (Marja’i Taqlid), received us with an incredible cordiality and sincerity in his simple, plain office, and agreed to give an interview for Shafaqna.


Below, you can read some of his observations:

The Great Hawza of Najaf was founded more than a thousand years ago. Our scholars have endured all the misfortunes coming from the governments of their time and yet have been able to preserve their independence. The Hawza of Najaf does not depend on the state or any political party, not even religious parties. In actual fact, it does not depend on any party. The Hawza, in its general policies, its educational system and its economy is totally independent. Our scholars have endured extreme poverty, and although the state is ready to help the Hawza, the Scholars have in no way accepted supports coming from the state because if they accept financial aid from the state, it will mean that the Hawza will be attached to it; therefore, it is essential to maintain one’s independence.

http://fa.shafaqna.com/media/2018/01/ayatollahfayyaz.jpgIn the Hawza of Najaf, there is no party, and it is independent in its political, economic and educational system, and has no relation with the state. No doubt, our scholars accept martyrdom, but in no case will they accept the help from the state.

The Hawza of Najaf is a moderate institution: there is no room for intemperance or extremism or for misguided thoughts, because the courses taught in these schools are exclusively around the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, and no one will transgress them, even if the courses evolve over time, and this is indeed the case, but they will not exceed the limits of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah. It is for this reason that the Shiite scholar will never be able to issue a fatwa against the Holy Book and the the Prophet’s tradition. All the fatwas of our scholars are conformed to the Holy Book and to the Sunnah and therefore our scholars are unanimous with regard to Islam. Islam is represented by two words: Monotheism and the Message; in other words: he who has faith in God and the message of the Holy Prophet.


The Hawza of Najaf is a moderate institution, and is far from atypical, rare or deviant ideas. Excommunication (Takfir) does not exist in the Hawza of Najaf, because it follows the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, and these two are free from these thoughts and problems.

Marjariat, the highest juridical authority of reference, is a simple apparatus whose mission is to preserve the Hawza and the religion, and the moderation and health of the beliefs; therefore the solemn engagements as well as the fatwas of the scholars must be according to the holy book and the Sunnah. The great concern of the religious authorities has always been this issue and the way to manage the pedagogy of Talabas, or students in religious sciences. And so the Hawza has no connection with the state, politics or political parties.

Shiism is the continuation of the religion of the immaculate Imams, and the religion of the Imams is the fulfillment of the religion of the Holy Prophet. The polytheists who were the worst enemies of the Holy Prophet wanted to kill him, but the Prophet behaved with great morality, moderation, and openness and preached the good word, to the point where God – the very High – described it this way: “And you are certainly of a sublime morality” (وَ اِنَّکَ لَعَلَی‌ٰ خُلُقٍ عَظیم). And there is no exaggeration in this phrase. They are for us the givers of lessons, we are the followers of the prophet (p.b.u.h.) and we must follow these teachings. The school of the Imams is only the continuation of the religion of the Prophet.


They burned the door of Imam Ali’s house (a.s.), and the Dame Fatima (a.s.) was not a person like the others, she was the daughter of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), they had her abort her fetus, and yet, despite all these, Imam Ali (a.s.) behaved with wisdom and moderation vis-à-vis these enemies and preached the good word. They are for us models to follow, all our Imams were the same, and therefore all Shiites must behave with others in this way.

We consider the people of the book as clean (Tahir), and with regard to people of religions other than the book, we advocate precaution. Man has the right to be respected, and in our comportment and exchanges with them, we must behave appropriately.

Translation: SHAFAQNA English

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