Dr. Christopher Paul Clohessy, a Catholic priest and representative of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome, stated that in Western studies, topics such as Shia Islam, its history and theology, Imamate and especially the life of the eighth Shia Imam have been neglected.
“There are important lessons in speech, behavior, conversations and debates, wise words and the lifestyle of Imam Reza which can be a model for contemporary society,” he said.
He went on to say that a leader must have a moral and spiritual quality and throughout history, there have been many religious or political leaders who have helped people to keep them happy, while they lacked spirituality and morality. In the lifestyle of Imam Reza (AS), equality, freedom of thought and manifestations of attention to the approximation of religions are observed.
Alab Ili Sadir, the head of the Lebanese Yasoua Al-Fadi Christian community, also stated in the forum that the Infallible Imams (AS) are the successors of the Prophet (pbuh) and his saints.
“His noble father named him after his grandfather, Imam Ali (AS), and his mother had all the characteristics of a Muslim woman, including chastity, purity, etc., and she was one of the great and faithful ladies of Islam,” he noted.
The Christian monk pointed out that Imam Reza (AS) has been nicknamed a galaxy of beautiful titles, each of which refers to one of his noble qualities and personality; The life of this Imam was a beacon for the guided and a guide for those who seek piety and devotion.
“All these characteristics, values and attributes of the Imam need to be pondered and contemplated and we must learn from the all-encompassing love of this eminent figure for other religions and sects, follow the path of the prophets, and unite under the flag of the Lord and the Scriptures,” he commented.
Elsewhere, Dr. Chandre Govit Baharite, an expert on Sanskrit culture and language from the University of Delhi added, “When I visited the city of Mashhad and the shrine of Imam Reza two years ago, I saw pilgrims from different countries of India, Pakistan, Iraq, etc. and I came to the conclusion that the people of this city should be kind and hospitable following the example of their Imam.”
He remarked that the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) is a very sacred place, and therefore the lovers and devotees of many countries far or near come to this blessed establishment and show their devotion.