The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei has opened an official Twitter account in Hindi. The new account, which has his bio written in Devanagari, has been putting out tweets in the same script.
The new account at the time of filing this report had 1,381 followers. Khamenei has posted two tweets so far. One of them is as follows.
Khamenei has also created Twitter accounts in other languages including Persian, Arabic, Urdu, French, Spanish, Russian and English. However, so far Khamenei has not followed any Indian leader from his new Hindi account.
Khamenei is a Twelver Shia Marja’ and the second and current supreme leader of Iran.
He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the longest-serving head of state in the Middle East, in office since 1989.
Why Khamenei began with Ghadir
The historical incident Khamenei posted above refers to the event of Ghadir Khumm, a sermon delivered by the Prophet Mohammed at the pond of Khumm, shortly before his death in AD 632. According to Shi’ah traditions, in the sermon, the prophet announced Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor, after which the final verse of the Quran was revealed, they believe, proclaiming the ‘perfection’ of the religion of Islam. The day’s anniversary in the Islamic calendar (18 Dhu al-Hijjah) is celebrated by Shi’ahs as Eid al-Ghadir.
The event of Ghadir Khumm occurred while the Muslims were returning from the farewell pilgrimage. Shi’ahs hold that a verse of the Qur’an was revealed instructing Mohammed to deliver an important message to assembled Muslims.
The speech included the famous statement by Mohammed: “Anyone who has me as his mawla, has Ali as his mawla”. Shi’ahs interpret this phrase to be the designation of Ali as Muhammad’s heir. But Sunnis disagree.
Shi’ahs believe further that the last verse of the Qur’an, the third verse of Al-Ma’idah (the fifth chapter of the book), was then revealed, which states: “This day I have perfected your Religion for you: Completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your Religion.”
While Sunnis hold little significance to Ghadir Khumm, Shi’ahs consider that it marks the completion of Islam as well as the official appointment of Ali as Mohammed’s successor.
Khamenei perhaps opened his Twitter account in Devanagari to claim a larger share of the Islamic pie, as Muslims in India are mostly Sunni, and the dispute above reached the supreme leader of Iran via Indian Muslims living or staying in that country.