AUCKLAND, New Zealand: The International Shia
Cultural and Human Rights Organization (ISCHRO) is extremely concerned
with the recent decision by Mohammad Mahdi Rai Shahri to exclude the
Narration of the Cloak (Hadith Kitha) from the book Mafatih Al-Jinan.
Mafatih Al-Jinan (The Keys of Paradise) written by Haj Shaikh Abbas
Qommi (d.1941) is a well-known collection of narrations and
supplications that many Shias refer to on a regular basis. The author
of the book is a well-known author and scholar of Islamic sciences and
history, specializing in study of Islamic narrations. Due to his
credibility and prominence, the author was given the title ‘The
Trustworthy among Traditionists’. The collection is referred to by
academics and lay people alike and it is recognized as a rare
scholarly work that is important in the study of Islamic sciences,
beliefs and narrations.
Rai Shahri’s move comes after his claim that the Narration of the
Cloak was either not originally included by Haj Shaikh Qommi in
Mafatih Al-Jinan or was not included in its original form. The
government of Iran has accepted Rai Shahri’s opinion and has asked
that all future publications of the work to exclude this narration.
Steps have also been taken to tear the pages that contain the
Narration of the Cloak from the already published copies of Mafatih
Al-Jinan contained in public libraries.
Rai Shari’s comment is not only in contrast with the opinion of the
prominent scholars and academics of the field of Shia history and
narrative sciences, but also seems to be in direct contrast with the
original manuscript of the book.
The contents of Mafatih Al-Jinan’s are easily verifiable by referring
both to the original manuscript as well as the testimony of a number
of academics who lived during the period of Haj Shaikh Qommi (some of
whom are still alive today).
ISCHRO is disturbed by such alteration of Shia historical and
religious texts. The current action taken by Rai Shahri is a blatant
disregard for historical and scholarly work. The government of Iran
already has a ban on many historical works for political purposes.
However, Rai Shahri’s move indicates a trend to alter the original
text of such books.
ISCHRO invites anyone who is interested in safeguarding historical
texts and protecting the originality of the works of the scholars in
the academic field to protest Rai Shahri’s decision by writing to the
government of Iran.
The news about Mohammad Mahdi Rai Shahri’s decision to alter the above
mentioned historical text can be found on the pro-Iranian government