In addition to Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir) and philosophy ‘Allamah Tabataba’i 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 ‘Allamah’s efforts.
Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini
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 ‘Allamah and requested that he write an article in answer to the view of the Materialists. However ‘Allamah 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, Shahid Mutahhari and Shahid Quddusi were the ones who prepared a paper on the topic The communal life of ants and birds.
Imam Musa Sadr and a few others wrote a paper on The Qur’anic perspective on patience and perseverance which was a topic under scrutiny by leftist groups. Sections of these articles were published, and in this manner ‘Allamah also brought about the introduction of Farsi texts into the hawza.
After the death of Ayatullah Al-Uzma Burujerdi, ‘Allamah Tabataba’i canceled a few of his philosophy classes and changed their topics to something new: discussions on an Islamic government. ‘Allamah even wrote a number of articles on this subject and circulated them among a group of jurists (maraj’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 (wilayatul-faqih) and its relation to an Islamic government.
Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli
‘Allamah Tabataba’i spoke of an Islamic government after the period which followed the death of Ayatullah Burujerdi because there was a vacuum and a conflict on this subject.
Throughout his intellectual life, ‘Allamah Tabataba’i paid particular attention to addressing those matters which required attention. When Shahid Mutahhari 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 ‘Allamah Tabataba’i.
Ustad Ridha Ustadi