By Shaykh Muhammad Andalib Hamedani1
The history of superstition creation and removal goes back to the past of human culture and civilization. There have always been people whose lives are not centered around reason and knowledge, but rather, their existence is spent in the prison of ignorance and in the captivity of futile and false fabrications. Superstition has rendered their existence fruitless. In contrast, there are those whose lives, like a wholesome tree, are rooted in noble human thoughts. History shows that one of the major concerns of divine leaders, reformers, and thinkers has been to eliminate any weak and baseless content, customs and practices, and all superstitious and irrational traditions and ignorant beliefs. They are at odds with irrational thoughts, speeches, conduct, and with any innovation that is false and purposeless.
A group of superstition creators are professional liars, forgers, and deceivers whose existence depends on the ignorance of people. They present the rotten garbage of superstition in an attractive and deceptive form to the public, so that the original cannot be distinguished from the fake, enabling them to implement their deceit and trickery. Another group of superstition creators naively, and perhaps with good intentions, engage in the creation of superstitions. For example, out of love for a personality, they create false miracles and baseless stories in the belief that they are promoting and publicizing their beloved. Leaving aside these two groups who engage in the creation of superstitions, we come to a third category who, by spreading these falsehoods in speeches and writings, contribute to the promotion of false beliefs, superstitious traditions, and empty thoughts. Sadly, this group uses the esteemed position of religious pulpits for this purpose.
Superstition acceptors are those who, out of ignorance or sometimes stubbornness, facilitate the spread of superstitions. They are the ones who, instead of turning to the rational foundations of religion and being nourished by the pure ethics and customs of the divine creed, pay attention to and are influenced by false miracle-making and speeches full of superstitions. When Husayni gatherings are not centered around knowledgeable and well-learned scholars, when religious gatherings are in the hands of some extremist and ignorant eulogists, when some pseudo-preachers devoid of religious knowledge and ethics dominate religious gatherings, what else can be expected but the promotion of superstition and falsehood?
By superstition assumers, I mean those who consider all or most matters related to the unseen world, which they themselves do not believe in, as superstitions. This group, instead of engaging in discussion and argumentation, resorts to sarcasm and ridicule. They cannot tolerate the true spiritual statuses of the infallibles (a). Pseudo-intellectual superstition assumers on the one hand, and lying eulogists and pseudo-clerical superstition creators on the other, are like two blades of a scissor that, whether intentionally or unintentionally, share a common goal: to distance people from the pure truths of religion.
Sayyid Ali studied in the seminary of Qom from 2012 to 2021, while also concurrently obtaining a M.A in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London in 2018. In the seminary he engaged in the study of legal theory, jurisprudence and philosophy, eventually attending the advanced kharij of Usul and Fiqh in 2018. He is currently completing his Masters of Education at the University of Toronto and is the head of a private faith-based school in Toronto, as well as an instructor at the Mizan Institute and Mufid Seminary.
- He is a senior scholar and teacher in Bahth al-Kharij in the seminary of Qom, and also a previous member of the Jami’ah Mudarrisin (Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom), who resigned when Shaykh Muhammad Yazdi wrote a letter addressing and condemning Ayatullah Sayyid Shubayri Zanjani in 2018, after the latter coincidently met reformist politician and former president Mohammad Khatami in Tehran. Shaykh Muhammad Yazdi wrote: “Your high position and status relies on having respect for the Islamic system, its leader, and the dignity of the position of being a religious authority” and that he must “respect the position and the requirements of a mujtahid and take relevant measures to avoid such incident.” Shaykh Muhammad Andalib wrote the following in his resignation letter:
Your letter to the noble presence of the grand Marja’ and authority, his eminence grand Ayatollah Shubayri Zanjani, may his blessings continue, has dispelled any doubts I had until now about continuing my membership in this respected Jami’ah. Indeed, I have conclusively realized that my interpretation of the independence of the seminary and the esteemed position of Marja’iyyat is not in any way aligned with your views and those of your colleagues in the respected Jami’ah Mudarrisin. Practically, cooperation is not possible, and therefore, I am excused from continuing my membership in that Jami’ah.