According to the Department of Information and Public Relations of the Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, the National Conference on the Philosophy of Spirituality with the emphasis on the otlooks of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli, was held in the holy city of Qom, with the presence of a large number of people interested in philosophical topics and Allameh’ s students and fans.
Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rashad, the president and founder of the Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, emphasized the outlooks of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli and stated: Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli was a perfect inheritor of original Shiite knowledge and sciences, but was not known in his time correctly and his great position will be known in the future. Allameh was in the highest rank in all areas of wisdom and knowledge; A figure whose greatness and comprehensiveness was ideal and was considered as one of the top-level Scholars of Shiite history. I had some familiarity with him. I have a special interest in his poetry. At some period, I had planned to research and correct the poetic works of the poets who were scholars of Islamic philosophy and jurisprudence, and publish a collection. At that time, I began to work at the Diwan (book of poems) of Sheikh Hadi Sabzevari. I supervised a group to compile and edit the Diwan of Imam Khomeini and it was compiled. Among other works, I worked on Diwan of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli, including the poem “Daftare del” (the heart notebook) with 1400 verses, which is a whole lesson of Islamic mysticism. We corrected with the aid of Allameh himself and send it to the University of Tehran for publication, but unfortunately the work was lost and out of reach.
He added: One way to understand the concerns of a figure or school of thought is to search for key words in its works. The same activity on Qur’an will show the issues that this heavenly book is concerned with. The professor of the higher levels of the Hawza then said: “night” and “sheidaei”(keenness) are seen frequently in the works of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli. Most of his poems indicate that he has a close connection with the night (i.e. midnight). Many of his poems are about describing the night. “sheidaei” is another most frequent word in the Diwan of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli. One-third or one-fourth of his sonnets frequently use the word “sheidaei” and its derivatives.
Professor Rashad considered “heart” as the other most frequent word in Ayatollah Hassanzadeh Amoli’s poems and stated: “There are a few of Allameh’s sonnets and other poems that did not use the word “heart” one to three times. He said: Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli’s Diwan can be a teaching source of Islamic mysticism. Such works as lesson, are even more suitable and efficient than common teaching resources. I believe “Daftar-e Del” is on a top level, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and is worthy to teach and study. The professor of the Hawza also said: Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli can be called a great “heart expert” because the heart is the center for gravity of knowledge and spirituality. In one research conducted, 1728 head topics about the heart were found in our Hadith sources. In this collection, there are 607 descriptions and states about the heart.
Ayatollah Hasan Ramezani, another speaker of the conference, stated that: “Ma’naviyat” (spirituality) is a gerund that is a derivative of the root “Ma’navi” (spiritual) and that means everything of or about “Meaning”. Meaning sometimes comes from verbal words, and sometimes is written, and sometimes “meaning” is about the form, and sometimes about the essence. All of these have one thing in common, and that is the first and main purpose of the person who is using them.
He continued: If the words, expressions, forms and essence are of interest, is the attention primarily and essentially to these things or all of these are secondary purposes and the primary purpose is beyond these? This professor of the Hawza said: Spirituality means considering the main aim and passing external affairs that are antecedents. So, a spiritual person is one who has passed all these and reached the main aim. He stated: Spirituality means to reach the core of creation, which is knowledge and mysticism, and the philosophy of spirituality is nothing but this. The false spiritualities that are injected into the hearts and minds of youth from the east and west of the world are spiritualties in appearance; they are spirituality, but they do not exceed beyond the appearance.
Hojjat-ul-Islam wal-Muslimeen Ramezani stated: Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli had gone beyond the appearance of words and expressions and achieved the main aim.
Professor of Islamic Studies said: In the view of Ayatollah Hassanzadeh Amoli, if one determines to attain God and find the main aim, the way is belief and rightful deed. Some people rely on the famous hadith of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who said: ” Knowledge is not achieved by too much teaching and learning, but it is the light that God shines on the heart of whoever He wills”, and ignore learning, teacher, research. But such interpretation of the hadith is wrong. Imam (a.s.) wants to say that if you want knowledge to shine in your heart, you should use preliminary causes and steps.
Hojjat al-Islam wal-Muslimin Ramadani noted: One should always follow the rules; the “rule” is to try and study hard, and divine knowledge is an exception. Let such an exception be used in exceptional cases. He said: Ayatollah Hassanzadeh Amoli had a great respect for books, in such a way that he did not allow anyone even to put a glass of water or tea on the books.
Ayatollah Reza Ramezani Gilani, a member of the Assembly of Leadership Experts and Secretary General of the World Assembly of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), said: Considering the conditions we face today, it is necessary to pay attention to the philosophy of spirituality. One aspect of the issue is that we face pseudo-spiritualities. A few years ago, when I traveled to America and Europe, more than 4000 types of such spiritualties were identified. In Iran, these spiritualities even are found in some scientific centers. He added: One of the successes of these fake spiritualities is that they are presented in attractive and interesting formats.
Ayatollah Ramezani Gilani then stated that: The field of spirituality plays a very fundamental role in Islamic civilization. According to the Qur’anic verses and also hadiths, the top level that should be manifested in a faithful believer is spiritualism. Professor Ramezani stated: schools of Hawza should be pioneers in promoting correct spirituality. In the current era, it seems that we are encountered with some shortcomings in this field, and of course, this must be a concern for all members of the society, not only among the elite.
He added that: “Philosophy” is introduced via modern literature in the West, but we haven’t been able to introduce our influential spiritual figures with our literature. The world is less familiar with our spiritual and religious figures, yet some external factors are also hindering the process.
The professor of the Hawza said: Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli was mujtahid (Islamic studies expert) in all Islamic studies. He was a mujtahid in the major jurisprudence, mysticism and philosophies, and in minor jurisprudence (Fiqh). Ayatollah Hassanzadeh Amoli believed that a society without spirituality is like a dead body. He added: Allameh considers self-knowledge and self-actualization as the first step of spirituality and believes that self-knowledge can shape a basis for human knowledge. He emphasizes that one who wants to reach Allah must go forth step by step and ready himself to use divine graces and stations gradually.
Professor Ramezani added: Seeking and asking for attaining God is at the top of spirituality, which means introducing oneself to the monotheistic system and reaching monotheism. The essence of religious and Islamic spirituality, from Allameh’s point of view, is the constant remembrance of God.
The Secretary General of the World Assembly of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) then said: Another aspect in Islamic spirituality is servitude-oriented spirituality, which means that man should be able to control his own soul in order to become an absolute servant. He said: In spirituality, Allameh emphasizes politeness towards Allah. To achieve this politeness, a person must start with politeness towards himself. When such a politeness is implemented in its true meaning, human becomes worthy to manage others and then reaches politeness towards others. The Holy Qur’an can bring this politeness to people in a comprehensive manner. Man should use these manners in order to benefit from divine blessings.
The professor of the Hawza introduced “patience in spirituality” as another prominent element in Allameh’s view and continued: Some seminary students want to reach the mystical stations with a few verbal prayers (Azkar), but this is not the correct way; to reach divine spirituality one requires “patience”. Ayatollah Hassanzadeh emphasized on rational and contemplative spirituality and noted that there can be no gap between spirituality, thought and rationality.
Professor Ramezani stated: The result of the “spirituality” in Hasanzadeh Amoli’s words, is spirituality with responsibility. Today, the spiritualities that are introduced all over the world evade responsibility and even some are against it! They inspire human beings to tolerate the existing atmosphere without criticizing it, but Islamic civilization, using the Quran and Sunnah, educates people to be responsible.
The last speaker in this conference was Professor Reza Mokhtari, who spoke about Allameh Hassanzadeh’s bibliography. He stated: One of Allameh Hassanzadeh’s works is the completion of the commentary on the Ayatollah Khoei’s Nahj ul-Balaghah, named “Minhaj al-Balaghah”. 5 volumes of the work were written by Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli and Allameh Shahrani commented on one of these volumes. One volume was published when Ayatollah Hassanzadeh was 36 years old. The Hawza professor also said: One aspect of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli’s expertise was his mastery of manuscripts and bibliography. All the books that he used in correcting philosophical works were of his own library. He had authentic and corrected copies of all these philosophical books, however it was more important that Allameh Knew which script was older. He even corrected some words that were written incorrectly.
Hojjat-ul-Islam Mokhtari then mentioned extraordinary, scientific and practical humility of Allameh and added: There was not any scientific and practical arrogance and boasting in him. He was highly engaged in studies and books while saying that all of those are virtual science.
Hojjat-ul-Islam Mokhtari named “encouragement of scholars” as another characteristic of Allameh Hassanzadeh and added: Allameh named whoever assisted him in compiling books even in the least. He said: “Allameh has many documents and letters, so we request his children to publish these works so that students and Scholars can benefit.”
One part of the conference was the report on the scientific and executive process by Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Javad Rudgar. He said: Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli is famous, but a famous figure who is not known. He is prominent, but a a kind that is hidden to us and the unseen aspects of this character are still unknown to Hawza and university. We hope to understand the areas of his personality over time.
He added: Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought planned this conference on the occasion of “Philosophy Day” to honor the philosophical position of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli and at the same time about the topic needed in nowadays Islamic society, i.e. the philosophy of spirituality.
The professor of the Hawza continued: The purpose of the conference is to honor Allameh’s philosophical stance, to explain and promote philosophical disciplines, to explain and deepen the philosophy of spirituality, to introduce the character of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli as an ideal model of spirituality, and to examine his opinions in the field of divine spirituality.
Hojjat al-Islam Rudgar also said: In this conference, we had discussions with some Hawza and university professors who were students of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli. We met 10 professors within 14 meetings. Among the received articles, we had selected 12 articles, 5 of which are scientific-research articles and the Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute evaluated these articles and will publish them in its quarterly, named “anwar al marifa ”.
The scientific secretary of the conference stated: These articles were presented in some other educational and research centers, and will be published in two issues of Naqd(critique) quarterly.