Interview with Hafez Mohammad Saeed
The Nigerian Shiites are called Khomeiniyoon

Sheikh Zakzaki is a great man, that always appears in his scholastic clothing. He has a picture of Ayatollah Khamenei, the leader of Iran’s revolution, in his office and makes an effort to track Iran’s current incidents, along with his followers.

According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website):

Interview with Hafez Mohammad Saeed, translation by Sudeh Ansari Pour

In our country, people will be attracted to Shiite belief by distributing pictures of Imam Khomeini (RA). Our people didn’t know that Imam Khomeini was a Shiite…

Hafez Mohammad Saeed, a cultural activist and one of Nigerian Shiite scholars, had an interview with Rahyafte Team (related to Edoardo Agnelli Islamic Association) in Tehran’s Quran exhibition regarding how he and his family became a Shiite and about propagation of this belief.

Mr. Hafez Mohammad Saeed please tell us about your past.

I was born in Maleki to a scholarly family. Since age of seventeen, I used to teach jurisprudence (Fiqh), ethics, beliefs, history and sometimes Arabic syntax and grammar. Between years 1989 up to 1991, I researched and had the opportunity to enter Shiite school of Ahlulbayt. Since 1994, I followed my activities openly. By God’s mercy, in order to introduce the Ahlulbayt’s school of thought, I was granted to write thirteen books and translate more than seventeen. These books concern issues of belief, society and jurisprudence. Throughout the years, some have become Shiites by reading my books such as “Laws in Islam”. I have also established four educational departments, like native schools, in four states of Nigeria. In these schools classes are held once per week, where there has been a great response and many native preachers have been trained by these schools.

How do you promote Shiite school of thought in your country?

First of all, I must say that all of my family members are Shiites now, while my father was one of well-known Maleki scholars. At first, we didn’t know how to propagate the Shia belief however, by informing people of Imam Ali’s guardianship, people were willingly accepting of the Shia belief. The Shiite school of thought has had a good influence on people of our country. For example, a few years before on the day of Ashura, we held a black dressed mourning gathering. A seventy year old woman asked about reason of this movement and we told her story of Karbala and how Imam Hossain (AS), his children and followers were martyred. After hearing this story the woman fainted and became unconscious. When she gained consciousness she started crying and was immensely touched by this tragedy.

Due to the abundance of Wahhabi information and activities regarding stoppage of the Shiite propagation and hiding the virtuous things of the Shia belief, this has resulted in the slowing down the growth of the Shia community in our country. The religious leader of Shiites in Nigeria is Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaki.  Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaki has had a massive responsibility since Islamic revolution in Iran. He has  become an admirer of Imam Khomeini (RA) after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Previously when Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaki travelled to Iran, he returned to Nigeria with scholastic clothing and preached the Shiite school of thought in districts of Zaria and Kano. In our country, there’s an immense amount of negative advertising against Shiites from Wahhabis.

In our country, people are attracted to Shiite belief by distributing pictures of Imam Khomeini. Initially, our people didn’t know that Imam Khomeini was a Shiite and after noticing this point, they yearned for Shiite belief. The affection to Islamic revolution of Iran and Imam Khomeini among our people is to such an extent that sometimes Nigerian Shiites are called “Khomeiniyoon”.

Would you please explain more about personality of leader of Nigerian Shiites?

Sheikh Zakzaki is a great man, that always appears in his scholastic clothing. He has a picture of Ayatollah Khamenei, the leader of Iran’s revolution, in his office and makes an effort to track Iran’s current incidents, along with his followers. I remember when there were discussions about military attacks to Iran, Sheikh Zakzaki used to say: “If there would be an attack on Iran, this will not only affected Nigeria but the whole world will be affected”.

Sheikh Zakzaki in his travel to Iran, told us, “You must know that today you are envoys of Hazrat Sahib Az Zaman (a.s) and people of Nigeria and Africa are awaiting you. Any negligence in this way, would be a betrayal to Hazrat Sahib Az Zaman (as)”.

How are conditions of promoting Shiite school of thought in your country? What’s Nigerian government’s policy towards promoting Shiite school of thought?

Currently, promoting all religions and beliefs is free by government’s policy. However, unfortunately Zionist and Wahhabi groups have many activities against the Shia. For example, few years ago, they wanted to murder Sheikh Zakzaki, that fortunately was a failure.

After I became a Shiite, I had no problems however a Wahhabi group named at-Tajdid ul-Islam which had witnessed become Shia openly. They were afraid of me establishing Shiite promotion centers and they came for my life {details remained unsaid for security considerations}.

What makes you don’t give up though hardships?

After entering Shia, I felt a great responsibility on my shoulders and I feared what answer am  I am going to have in God’s presence on the judgment day and for that, I’ve been decisively remained on my way.

I’ve always believed that advertisements against Shiite school helps to improve and develop the Shia School of thought, for these advertisements are not principal and logical.

How many Muslims and Shiites are in Nigeria now?

Currently, Nigeria’s population is 170 million which from 60 up to 65 percent of that, are Muslims and almost 7 million of them are Shiites. Most Shiites believe in the twelve Imams and live in North Nigeria.

What’s your occupation in Iran now?

Currently, I’m finishing my doctorate’s thesis of Islamic philosophy in Iran. In Nigeria, people are on a low rate of Islamic knowledge. Our people go to France to study philosophy but their philosophy doesn’t answer our people’s needs whereas Islamic philosophy is human society’s savior.

Main job of a Shiite, is it promoting Ahlulbayt or Islamic unity?

They are both essential alongside, for the reason that they are necessity for each other in order to reach the main goal.

Please pay attention to this story. One day I was talking to a Christian scholar about Islam and Christianity, he then swore that before talking to me, he didn’t knew that Muslims believed in Jesus (as) and loved him. Upon hearing this he was very touched by Quran’s views concerning Christianity. When we reach a unity with Christianity, even by little common beliefs, we surely are on our path to reaching the unity that is much needed in today’s world. By sharing our many common beliefs that we have with Sunnis we are also able to reach unity with our Sunni brothers and sisters.

Interview with Hafez Mohammad Saeed, translation by Sudeh Ansari Pour

DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from: To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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