In addition to Qur’ānic exegesis (tafsīr) and philosophy ‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī practically brought about Farsi writing into the hawza system. Before this time most publications were in Arabic and importance was not given in society to writing and publishing books in Farsi. However he emphasized that society was in need of reading material in these subjects, and that it was necessary that individuals take the effort to write and spread such material.
I remember that the fist article I wrote was with his help and guidance. Today many of those in the Hawza system who write and publish articles and books, are indebted both to Divine grace and ‘Allāma’s efforts.
Ayatullah Ibrāhīm Amīnī
In the year 1956 Materialist influence and propaganda were on the rise in Iran. The enemies had invaded the thinking and thought of the public, and no religious article or academic publication exited in Iran in answer to these doubts or that addressed the needs of the youth.
[In response] an organization made of elite members of the Hawza was formed. They approached ‘Allāma and requested that he write an article in answer to the view of the Materialists. However ‘Allāma rather than write the article himself, carried out an action that had a much more lasting effect. He put forward topics and requested members of the organization to prepare the articles. Two members of the organization, Shahīd Mutahharī and Shahīd Quddūsī were the ones who prepared a paper on the topic The communal life of ants and birds.
Imām Mūsā Sadr and a few others wrote a paper on The Qur’ānic perspective on patience and perseverance which was a topic under scrutiny by leftist groups. Sections of these articles were published, and in this manner ‘Allāma also brought about the introduction of Farsi texts into the hawza.
After the death of Ayatullah Al-Uzma Burūjerdī, ‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī canceled a few of his philosophy classes and changed their topics to something new: discussions on an Islamic government. ‘Allāma even wrote a number of articles on this subject and circulated them among a group of jurists (marāj’i) and scholars, in which he emphasized that an Islamic government has great political power. One of the subjects that came up during that time and was also mentioned in his classes was the matter of Governance of the Jurist (wilāyatul-faqīh) and its relation to an Islamic government.
Ayatullah Jawādī Āmulī
‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī spoke of an Islamic government after the period which followed the death of Ayatullah Burūjerdī because there was a vacuum and a conflict on this subject.
Throughout his intellectual life, ‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī paid particular attention to addressing those matters which required attention. When Shahīd Mutahharī said “whatever academic work I carried out was in response to a need society had” – I am sure that this spirit and practice was taken from his teacher ‘Allāma Tabātabā’ī.
Ustād Ridhā Ustādī