Press Shia – In a meeting with officials from Iraq’s Askariayn Shrine, Ayatollah Shobeyri-Zanjani expressed hope that Iraq’s Sunnis and Shi’ah Muslims would work together to establish security in all parts of the war-torn country.

Press Shia – Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mousa Shobeyri-Zanjani has met with a group of officials from the Askariayn Shrine in the predominantly Sunni Iraqi city of Samarra and stated, “Throughout history, Shi’ah scholars have engaged in creating unity and solidarity and have avoided engaging in discord and division between Shi’ah and Sunni Muslims.”

The teacher in the Islamic Seminary of Qom added, “Great and influential Shi’ah scholars throughout history have always tried to maintain respect for Sunnis.”

He referred to some of these efforts and referred to the efforts of the late Ayatollah Mohammad-Hasan Mirza-Shirazi and noted that he was among the scholars who endeavoured to protect Islamic unity and maintained a respect for the followers of other Islamic schools of thought.

Ayatollah Shobeyri-Zanjani referred to one incident where Ayatollah Mirza-Shirazi accepted the testimony of a Sunni layman who said that he sighted the moon when no Shi’ah had seen it. Later, when questioned about the incident, he stated that he had seen the new moon himself but had accepted the Sunni layman’s testimony in order to appease him and to keep his respect.

His Eminence said that in one meeting with the people of Samarra during the later years of his life, where he had established the city’s first Shi’ah seminary, Ayatollah Mirza-Shirazi, who had achieved a great and lofty position due to his scholarship, gave great attention to a single person, which was unusual for him, such that the people thought that this person was his personal friend.

He further explained that Ayatollah Shobeyri-Zanjani was asked about this incident and explained that this man came to visit the revered source of emulation and he asked him “where are you from?” and the man replied that he was from Karbala. Ayatollah Mirza-Shirazi asked him “have you come to Samarra to visit or to study?” The man replied that he had come to study.

“Ayatollah Mirza-Shirazi told him to go Karbala and that he would he would give him the same tuition that the seminary students of Samarra were given and he told one of his assistants to provide this student the funds to return to Karbala,” he narrated.

Ayatollah Shobeyri-Zanjani said that said Ayatollah Mirza-Shirazi constantly and persistently asked his assistant about this student and whether he had gone to Karbala and the assistant asked “what is this issue about?” and Ayatollah Mirza-Shirazi said that he realized from this person’s expressions and attitude that he would create difficulties and would damage all the efforts that he had made to create a relaxed and hassle-free atmosphere and damage our efforts toward unity and solidarity with the Sunnis of Samarra and thus, we desired to prevent him from living in the city.