Here is the English abstract of Dr. Ahmad Gholamali (Assistant Professor, The University of Quran and Hadith; Vice-chancellor of the Research Center of Hadith Sciences and Teachings) presentation at the 4th pre-con meeting of the conference “Theology of Pilgrimage" which was held by The University and Research Institute of Quran and Hadith on September 27, 2023, at The University of Quran and Hadith, Rey, Iran.
Pilgrimage and Educational Teachings
Education, in the sense of nurturing talents, involves fostering one's abilities/capacities and creating a conducive environment for desirable changes toward a specific goal. In traditional perspectives, education was often carried out through methods of spatial insulation, indoctrination, and alienating the learner from environments incongruent with the values of the instructor. However, these approaches have become less effective for religious education in the contemporary era due to the decline in the efficacy of spatial insulation with the proliferation of various media and the wide availability of diverse information that young people are exposed to. Accordingly, which makes indoctrination has become less tenable. It appears that the narrated prayers for pilgrimage, which have been handed down by Infallible Imams, have a great capacity for religious education in the modern era. For instance, in this research, the texts of comprehensive pilgrimage prayers (Ziyārāt al-Jāmiaʿah) have been chosen. Comprehensive pilgrimage prayers like Ziyārat al-Jāmiaʿah al-Kabīrah are not limited by time and place and are not specifically for one Imam, so one can visit any Imam at any time and place, and recite these prayers for them. The first educational principle in comprehensive pilgrimage prayers is elucidation. In elucidation, the pilgrim becomes acquainted with the changes that are expected to occur in their thoughts and behaviors as a result of the pilgrimage. For example, while reading Ziyārat al-Jāmiaʿah al-Kabīrah, the pilgrim says "Allāhu Akbar" (God is the greatest) a hundred times to remind themselves of the Oneness of God, and then, within the text of these prayers, they request intellectual capacity for themselves, believing that the blessings of the Ahl al-Bayt will bring order to their world. The second educational principle that can be found in Ziyārat al-Jāmiaʿah al-Kabīrah is the discovery of standards and educational rules, including the standards of justice, and the precedence of God over everything and everyone. The third educational principle in pilgrimage prayers is the transformation of the religious perspective, which results in the appreciation of the components of religious beliefs, emotions, and religious experiences, ultimately leading to a profound transformation in the concept of religiosity.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi