Meeting with President Khatami- One of the Most Joyful of Moments of my Recent Trip to Iran!
While in Iran to attend an International- Interfaith Conference, I was honored to be able to visit the former Iranian President, his excellency Sayyed Mohammad Khatami.
I arrived in his office Tuesday and saw him talking to a huge group of University students who like majority of Iranians love president Khatami's character, courtesy, compassion, leadership and commitment!
Soon we heard the Adan and made the noon prayer with the president.
Following the prayer, when i shook hands and hugged Sayyed Khatami I felt an explosion of energy, integrity, love and glory of hugging a son of our prophet (pbuh) who represents the moral model of his grandfather.
Then president Khatami took me to his office for an extremely friendly conversation.
We talked about so many subjects, from the time before the revolution and his observations and memories with Imam Khomainie in Paris to his polices during his 8 years of presidency to the controversial issues during 2010 presidential election in Iran!
We talked about some details related to the nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and other parties including the U.S.A and also dialogue among the civilizations initiated by president Khatami in 2001.
President Khatami mentioned that the Founding father of Islamic Revolution's desire was to establish a Republic based on democracy, rationality, justice, morality and spirituality!
I knew that I had promised to do my best to to be at the headquarter of Press TV for their 2:30 pm live show but the gravity of talking with President Khatami had occupied my heart so much that I couldn't leave on time for the TV talk and I missed it facing the heavy traffic on the north of Tehran!
Last time I had met with President Khatami was almost 12 years ago during his lecture at the UN General Assembly in NYC and then the ISNA conference in Chicago!
I wish the president time was flexible and my flight wasn't later that evening so we could have continued longer through many other points of interest in our almost 30 years of friendship and so many social and political developments in Iran and the world during the last three decades.
It really broke my heart to see this great man has gone through so many stages of pains, sufferings, intimidation, jealousy, injustice and ungratefulness.
While victim of so much unfairness, he never lost his patience, love, courtesy, dignity and devotion.
Former President Khatami's beautiful handwriting in the book he gave me as a gift.
I told Sayyed Khatami of his popularity in everyone's heart and I said that I think this verse in the Quran was about him and people like him!
"May God's peace and blessing be upon you for your dignified patience"
While leaving his office, the president gave me two volumes of a book called, "Tazkeratol Awliaa" from Attar Neyshaburi.
In his most beautiful hand writing he showed his generosity to me in an expression that I don't deserve, he wished me greater success in serving humanity with promoting beauty, grace and moral values!
I also wished him a long life with great health so he would continue his shining light in loving hearts all over the world. I invited the President to visit us in Michigan in the time he would have ability and flexibility to travel.
The Voice of Truth Can't be Silenced-
Solidarity with the Suffering!
Shared by Imam Elahi-
Delegations from 80 countries of the world mainly speakers and members of the parliaments and some individuals known for their support for justice in Palestine met in Tehran last week! I am not a parliament speaker but IHW is a humble religious parliament when it comes to social outreaches and defense of the truth and good causes domestically and globally!
The leader of Iran ayatollah Khamanei opened the international assembly followed with tens of the world parliamentary leaders who shared their views on issues related to justice and in particular, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict!
It was a unique opportunity to talk with so many diplomatic delegations! When I met with the speaker of Lebanon, speaker Ostad Nabi Berry he said " please pass my salaams to my Dearborn community, to my أبناء العم" - another word for my uncle's children.
After listening and talking with many delegations who had attended the Interfaith and International conference of solidarity with the cause of Palestine, I came to this conclusion: The story of the Palestinian people and their 70 years of occupation, oppression, pain and suffering won't be forgotten despite of Netanyahu and his party's propaganda.
There must be a resolution for this tragic tension! Israel shouldn't fool itself on this issue just because it has friends in Riyadh and some other Arab capitals! Now that President Trump irresponsibly freed his shoulder from taking an active role in ending the crises, it's up to all parties to sit down and find a resolution!
Listening to all Palestinian groups during the conference, I realized they don't need anything less than to stop the building of settlements and ending the occupation, hatred, racism and violation of the Palestinian human rights!
I saw some rabbis from NYC in the conference with so many Christian activists!
Since America can better help, more than any other country to solve this complicated crises, I hope we as people of interfaith can work together, listening to one another and inspire our political leaders to become part of the solution.
It was very interesting to see Dr. Hadiyeh al-Abbas, Syria's parliament speaker during this conference. It's an honor to see in an Arab-Muslim country, a woman has a chance to be the head of the nation's parliament.
It's shame to see our American government choosing a country like Saudi Arabia where women have no right even to drive a car over a country where women can advance as far as leading their countries parliament. Yes, it's embarrassing to talk against the terrorism but side with so called Jihadists in Syria!!
Inviting the Minister to Visit Our Community
When I met with the Lebanon Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Dr. Adnan Mansour during this recent international and interfaith assembly, l invited his excellency to visit our community in Dearborn. He welcomed the idea and showed interest to do so!
I also expressed to him our gratitude for the services of his ministry's representative in MI Dr. Bilal Kabalan and thanked him for his great services to our community. The minister was very happy of this conversation and sharing information!
Hajj Pilgrimage Must be a Platform for All the People!
When I met with ayatollah Sayyed Ali Qazi Askar, who is my friend from the time we used to study in Seminary almost 45 years ago and currently he is the head of hajj organization at Islamic Republic Of Iran, I expressed my condolences to him for 2015 Mina tragedy in which thousands of pilgrims lost their lives in the most painful way!
While we were meeting, his representatives were in Saudi Arabia to negotiate an agreement to resume the hajj and Omra pilgrimages again!
Let's wish his delegation success in reaching an honorable package so all people of faith can do their religious duties without discrimination, intimidation and harassment!
Mecca and Medina are two holiest sites in Islam and must be safe for all pilgrims regardless of their nationalities or schools of thought.
Meeting with Ayatollah Akhtari, the head of International Ahlol-Bait Institution, Discussing the Destiny of Sheikh, Ibrahim El-Zakazaky!
In a meeting with Ayatollah Akhtari and his deputies- Sheikh Mohammad Salar and Mr. Mostafa Mostafavi, we spoke about the values we learn from the Prophet (pbuh) and his honorable family and our duty to share the light of their teachings with the people of this world, especially in the darkness of this deep ignorance and while the Ahlol-Bait still victims of injustice and intimidation!
One of the main issues in this meeting was the situation of the most sacrificing sheikh in Africa, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky!
Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested by the Nigerian military on December 14, 2015, after at least 350 innocent members of their movement were slaughtered by the Nigerian army according to Amnesty International documents.
On December 2nd 2016 the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that El Zakzaky and Malama Zeenah Ibraheem should be released within 45 days. The court described their detention, as illegal and unconstitutional. The deadline for the court order expired on Monday 16 January 2017, yet the Nigerian government refuses to release these two faithful parents whose sons were also killed by the Nigerian army and the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist groups.
Obviously, the Nigerian government is ignoring not only the order of its own court but also the urgent call of the Amnesty International.
I mentioned to Ayatollah Akhtari that after arriving home, I will ask all peace loving individuals and all human rights organizations to call the Nigerian embassy in Washington DC. at 1-202-986-8400 and put pressure on the Nigerian government to end this illegal detention and free thisoppressed, wounded and innocent servant of God and the poor in Africa!
Please be a voice of justice and call for freedom of Sheikh, Ibrahim El-Zakazaky and his wife Malama Zeenah!
Meeting With Ayatollah Mohsen Gheraati!
While in Tehran, I was invited to attend a wedding ceremony for a son of my dear friend, Hojjatol-Islam Wa-Al-Moslemeen Sayyed Mosawi.
It was my great pleasure to meet with a teacher of mine, Ayatollah Mohsen Gheraati who has been teaching lessons from the Quran nationwide every Thursday night for the last 4 decades!
I had attended some of Ayatollah's classes when he was invited to Esfahan seminary by another teacher of mine, the late Ayatollah Sayyed Hasan Imami (May God Bless his soul). This was almost 47 years ago when I was only 13 years old!!
Mr. Gheraati made a beautiful point during that wedding ceremony. He compared our relationship with God and His Prophet with our families!
He said based on the Quran our relationship with God is based on "Rahmah" or mercy!
Our relationship with God's prophet is based on "Mawadah" or love, but the relationship between husband and wife is the combination of both Rahmah and Mawaddah, mercy and love. So for any marriage to enjoy the basic Quranic standards, it must be based on the foundation of love and mercy!