Resolution of the Eleventh Annual Conference of the Shia Muslim Scholars of North America

Resolution of the Eleventh Annual Conference of



البيان الختامي للمؤتمر السنوي الحادي عشر لمجلس علماء المسلمين الشيعة في أميركا الشمالية

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

All thanks and praise is to Allah and may His blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad(saw) and his infallible progeny (as).

The eleventh annual conference of the Council of Shi'a Muslim Scholars of North America was held in Dearborn, Michigan on the 18-19 of Shawwal, 1432 (September 17-18, 2011) with guidance from the words of Allah in verse 33 of the Chapter of Fusselat: "And who speaks better than he who calls to Allah while he himself does good, and says: I am surely of those who submit?” The conference was entitled "The Shi'a and Contemporary Challenges" in an effort to study and discuss the challenges that face Muslims, generally, and the Shi'a, specifically, on the level of the sect, the religion itself and the nations in which it exists. The goal was to support the increase in general awareness, to provide unity on the appropriate stance and rhetoric, and to place the vision and methods that will provide a positive return for Islam and Muslims. The conference was honored by the presence of over 60 scholars, imams of Friday prayers and congregational prayers, lecturers, individuals concerned with religious affairs and preaching from different cities of the United States and Canada. Over a period of two days a number of important issues were discussed. Such as loyalty to religion, loyalty to one's country, introversion versus integration, the overall development of Shi'a Muslims, educational curricula, the podium and Islamic lectures. In addition, issues surrounding the council, its development and advancement were also discussed. The conference participants were able to discuss the intellectual, economic, ethical, social, and other challenges facing Shi'a Muslims in North America and the different solutions to resolve or curb such challenges. The conference participants reached the following resolutions:
  1. The importance of being attentive to the Marja'eyah as an important facet of our belief system because of its role in representing the Imam of our time (atf). In addition, bringing attention to the importance of holding steadfastly to the Marja'eyah such that those who seek to weaken such a bond and lead the faithful astray are rendered hopeless in their attempts. For it, the Marja'eyah, is undoubtedly the guarantee that has protected Islam and the faithful over the period of the great occultation.
  2. The importance of spreading awareness of the all-encompassing nature of the religion and its concepts such that it is inclusive of the love of one's nation, land, humanity and life, without conflict. For man is from Allah first and foremost and is bound to the rest based upon the general rule of "abide by the covenants" and "the faithful are held to the conditions of their contracts (or agreements)" as well as other honorable texts and sources upon which our great jurists base their verdicts.
  3. The verdicts, advice and the guidance of our great jurists emphasize the importance of the Shi'a integrating within their countries and opening themselves to others. This will allow them to effectively perform their roles as citizens, who have rights and responsibilities, and to reflect a positive image of Islam and Muslims with emphasis on maintaining the religious identity and noble culture.
  4. To elevate quality of the Islamic rhetoric, especially of the lecturers and the Friday sermon to the level of ambition and to a level which caters to the needs of society and its diversity. As well as the importance of being mindful of the importance of paying attention to the safeguarding of its thought and guidance from those seeking to deviate, oppress and take advantage of it.
  5. The encouragement and the support of all events, organizations and groups that aim to defend the rights of Muslims, especially those who follow the school of Ahlul Bayt in nations in which they face genocide, discrimination, humiliation, and harassment. Using ideal and peaceful means that are within the confines of religion and the law.
  6. Condemning oppression, dictatorship, and the use of violence without reason against the unarmed and especially against the followers of Ahlul Bayt. As well as emphasizing the right of the people to exercise their rights and to determine their own destiny.
  7. To increase the efforts to produce more means of education: audio, video and written, especially that which targets non-Muslims. Such that it will help to provide the correct understanding of Islam and the school of Ahlul Bayt (as).
  8. The participants reviewed the Shi'a roadmap for the advancement of Shi'a Muslims in North America with all of its details. The discussion revolved around the fields of focus within the document, which itself is the culmination of the contributions of about 100 Shi'a experts in their respective fields who left their fingerprints on its preparation, editing and analysis. The document was received favorably and supported by all.
  9. Giving more care and attention to the role of women and its development, and the role of the upcoming youth in the development of Shi'a Muslims in all fields, especially the students of Islamic studies due to the hopes that ride on their success.
  10. The implementation of the decision to open an office for the council and adopting the budget to cover its expenses such that it may begin the implementation of the projects and programs of the council.
  11. The council presents it thanks to those members of the crescent moon sighting committee who performed their role in a consistent and responsible manner over the months of the past Hijri calendar year. For the upcoming Hijri year, the following respected scholars have been appointed as members of the committee: Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sheikh. Fadhel Al-Sahlani, Shiekh Abdul Mun'em Chararah, Sayyid Mahboob Mahdi Abidi, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ali al-Halabi, Sheikh Murtaza Bachoo, Sheikh Ahmed Bagher Zadeh Al-Mu'ayyad.
  12. Dr. Sayyid Khalil al-Tabatabaei and Sheikh Abbas Al-Heeraly have agreed to fill the two empty seats for Canada, on the board of executives, until the upcoming elections.
Finally, the attendees point out that the advice and decisions herein are part of the solution in facing the challenges, and we cannot achieve our goals without the cooperation and unification of all of the faithful, without exception, headed by all of the leaders who have taken it upon themselves to lead their communities with a clear conscience and seek to please the Imam of our time (atf). The council thanks all those who attended and made meaningful contributions, and all those who were unable to attend due to a valid excuse but were still able to participate from afar. We would also like to thank all those who gave great efforts in preparing and bringing this conference to fruition. We ask Allah Almighty success and support for He is all we need. The Board of Trustees The Council of Shi'a Muslim Scholars of North America