In the global arena, we have witnessed sagacious and distinguished personalities, endowed with inexhaustible determination, dedication and steadfastness, which reformed the cultures of the societies in which they lived and influenced the lives of people all over the world. They were not different from the rest of mankind as regards their physical appearance, but possessed hearts and souls of a caliber much higher than their fellowmen.
These people enlightened the world with their wisdom and piety. They waged war against folly, ignorance, and transgression from the path of righteousness. They executed original social welfare plans and improved the texture of their societies. Thus, they laid down the structures of modern civilization and became immortal in the annals of history.
Muslims, especially the Shī‘ahs, pay great respect to these eminent personalities. However, due to political reasons, they have been intentionally ignored by a large percentage of historians of the Muslim world. It is our sacred duty to introduce and inform all the people of the extraordinary services rendered to Islam by them, by identifying them and studying their lives carefully.
Psychological surveys carried out on a large number of the present generation show that eminent figures of the past are being observed, studied and emulated as role models by this generation, especially the youth.
One of the ways of evolving, intellectually and spiritually, is by studying the lives of the great reformers of history, the Divine Prophets (‘a)1, Allah’s saints, and the torchbearers of knowledge, culture and politics.
It is essential at this stage to guide our youth by providing them with a healthy and beneficial code of ethics based on the principles of Islam which was practiced by these exemplary youths. It is for this reason, that the decision to introduce illustrious role models for the youth was taken so that it might serve to help them develop into morally correct, intelligent and creative individuals.
In this way, no matter how little or insignificant the effort might be, we can still redress and undo the harm that the enemies of Allah have inflicted on Islam and the Islamic Revolution by belittling and humiliating Islamic personalities with the intention of annihilating Islam and spreading their own perverted cultures around the world. By introducing and reviving Islamic ‘role models’, we can nullify the evil intentions of the enemies of Allah.
We all know that the enemies use different methods to pacify the hearts of the Muslims in order to loot their material and spiritual capital. Initially, they try to destroy the self confidence of the Muslims. Having done that, they introduce their own imaginary supermen to serve as role models and symbols of emulation for the Muslims in order to replace Islamic personalities.
For this reason, it is incumbent to have a detailed and accurate knowledge of personalities that were instructed in Islamic values and trained by the Noble Prophet (S)2 and the Shī‘ite Imāms (‘a) because they actually form the pillars of real Islam.
At the end, I find it binding upon myself to thank all those who helped me prepare this work.
The Islamic Seminary of the Holy City of Mashhad,
Muhammad ‘Alī Chanārānī
- 1. The abbreviation, “‘a” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, ‘alayhi’s-salām, ‘alayhim’us-salām, or ‘alayhā’s-salām [may peace be upon him/them/her], which is mentioned after the names of the prophets, angels, Imāms from the Prophet’s progeny, and saints (‘a). [Trans.]
- 2. The abbreviation, “s”, stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa ālihī wa sallam [may God’s blessings and peace be upon him and his progeny], which is mentioned after the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S). [Trans.]