Here is the English abstract of Mohammad Mahdi Dayyani (Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic Teachings, University of Birjand, Iran)'s presentation at the 6nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in University of Birjand, Iran on December 4, 2023.
Scientific and Practical Biography (al- Sīrah) of Imam Reza in the Field of Interreligious Dialogue
Imam Reza lived in a unique period in the history of the Abbasid dynasty (the reign of Ma'mun). This era coincided with the beginning of the translation movement and the formation of the House of Wisdom (بیتالحکمة), on the one hand, and the emergence of different ideas and beliefs, on the other hand. The emergence and spread of various philosophical and theological schools of thought, and the rise of some deviant beliefs could create many intellectual and political challenges and threats to the pure teachings of Islam in the vast Islamic geography. Imam Reza managed the emerging crises and turned the existing threats into opportunities by taking special measures based on his own scientific and practical life (Sīrah). According to the findings of this research, which is organized in a descriptive-analytical way, it can be understood that Imam Reza was able to protect and preserve the tradition and practice of the Prophet Mohammad and his pure ancestors by participating in scientific debates with the leaders of different religions and sects, and training outstanding students who were capable of countering deviant and eclectic ideas. He also responded to the common theological doubts of that era, which were raised by Ma'mun or some Islamic schools of thought like Wāqifīyyah or Mu'tazilah, by attending scientific sessions and public gatherings, and engaged in the dissemination and promotion of the authentic and pure teachings of Islam.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi