In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever-Compassionate
Your Excellency Ayatullah Aʻrāfī,
I have been informed that you are about to travel to the Vatican for a meeting with his Excellency the Pope, so I deemed it necessary to make a few points in this regard:
Firstly, I believe that you are highly qualified for such a trip and meeting and I hope that the Vatican officials, and in particular, his Excellency the Pope, who has always welcomed such meetings and interreligious dialogues, will also give it special attention.
Secondly, it is essential to mention in your meetings that division and discord among religions undermine them all and that they are to everyone’s detriment. Such acts as insulting religious sanctities that hurt the religious feelings of people can incite mutual hatred among human beings who are all servants of God.
Thirdly, while focusing on and highlighting the commonalities, try to promote cooperation among different religions as it adds to their greatness and broadens their sphere of influence. This issue is particularly important though it is not to the liking of Western and Eastern politicians since their interests are best served by discord among religions and not by their unity.
Finally, propose that a committee, consisting of the representatives of major credible religions be established in order to hold annual meetings and draw up sound and operational plans to enhance interreligious cooperation. These meetings need to have practical outcomes in the form of effective and stringent international laws to make respecting the sanctities and commonalities of religions binding upon all and their violation punishable. Such laws must also ban and combat the crimes of violating, subverting, or perverting the basic principles and values shared by all religions, including the constitution of marriage which is of great significance.
I believe that this will be a fruitful trip, and I implore Allah for success and eminence for you and glory for Islam, the Muslim people, and all the believers.
Wassalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
Naser Makarem Shirazi