In the Name Allah the All-Beneficent the All-Merciful
The 16th Annual Conference of The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America
In the spirit of the Quranic verse “From within every group in their midst, some shall refrain from going forth, and shall devote themselves [instead] to acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Faith. and [thus be able to] teach their home-coming brethren, so that these [too] might guard themselves against evil” the 16th Annual Conference of the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America commenced in Dearborn, Michigan. A group of scholars, preachers and imams of Islamic centers from across the United States and Canada gathered from March 27-29, 2017 to discuss the most pressing issues facing Shia Muslims, and in particular those residing in the West, during a meeting titled “The Religious Authority (Marjaeya): Current State of Affairs, Ongoing Challenges, and Future Concerns”. The focus of the meeting was to address the ongoing challenges, vulnerabilities and hazards impacting Shia Muslims, which strike at the core of our faith and destabilize the bond and connection that exists between our 12th Imam (may God Almighty hasten his appearance) and our community of believers across this continent. Furthermore, the honorable attendees unanimously voiced a sincere and compassionate concern for the Shia Muslim youth. Therefore a significant portion of the discourse centered on their future and the development of a concerted strategy, which until now was lacking in several respects, to provide them with the guidance and support they need to fortify their faith and morals.
The attendees participated in general discussions involving the entire council as well as focused small-group “brain-storming” sessions. The objective of the former, among other things, was to provide each attendee with an opportunity to update those gathered on the current state of their community and describe how they envisioned the council could address and resolve not only the ongoing challenges they face but the ones encountered by others as well. On the other hand, the goal of the latter sessions was to discuss and refine the broad array of topics introduced in the main gathering, pare down to the most important issues, and then devise a concrete and implementable plan of action. As such, the following crucial resolutions were agreed upon:
The honorable attendees concluded the conference by expressing their gratitude to I.M.A.M. and its staff for sponsoring, organizing and managing the conference and providing all the necessary facilities, which they have done since 2004. Finally, they prayed to God Almighty to prolong the lives of our great maraji, especially His Eminence the Supreme Authority Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Sistani, and hasten the reappearance of the Imam of our time, peace be upon him, to fill the world with justice and equity.
Bidding all of you peace, mercy and the blessings of God.
On behalf of the council
Syed Tilmiz al-Hasanain Rizvi