Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hameed, the chairman of the Coordination Council of Sunni Seminaries in Sistan-Baluchistan, urged the rectors of Sunni religious schools to be independent in a meeting with Islamic scholars and the rectors of prominent seminaries of the province on Wednesday, 5th Sep. 2012.
Highlighting the importance of self-sufficiency in the first part of his speech, he said, “It is very vital and important for religious scholars to be independent financially. Their honor in the both worlds depends on their reliance only on Allah; they should decrease their dependence on people’s donations. It was one of the features of our righteous predecessors to not depend on people.”
Talking to dozens of eminent scholars in his office, the rector of Darululoom Zahedan further said that there were two types of religious scholars; strong and faithful as well as weak and remiss scholars. The second sort of Ulama depends on power-full and rich men while the righteous ones rely only upon Allah. Good scholars even work hard to earn by own hands but never look at power and money of others.
Pointing out towards another pivotal issue, Shaikh Ismaeelzahi underlined, “Our independence in the religious affairs is another important matter. The Iranian Sunni community wants to protect its religious independence. The Constitution has given us this right. Holy Qur’an and Sunnah urge on our independence and freedom in beliefs and views as well.”
Khateeb of Ahl-us-Sunnah denounced dishonesty of some scholars and tribal elders saying, “Unfortunately the market of auction for the faith is so active now-a-days; some people sell their faith and loyalty for very few money. Abjuration, perjury and betraying to get some money or please someone else are the examples of auction of the faith.”
He put betrayal of any religious scholar “very dangerous” and “shocking” saying that the worst auction of the faith can be seen from a cleric.
The chairman of the Coordination Council of Sunni Seminaries of Sistan-Baluchistan asked the audience to be cautious about the independence of mosques and seminaries.
He said in this regard, “By the blessing and help of Allah Almighty, Sunnis have been running their seminaries and mosques independently till now in the province. Because, they have established these seminaries and mosques without the support of any government or state-run department. The constitution urges on their self-sufficiency as well. There is no any pressure from the regime to join the state-run council for seminaries which challenges the independence of Sunni mosques and seminaries seriously. The representative of the government has clarified it. Besides this, if someone tries to force us, it will be contrary to the law.”
He added more, “You can enhance the qualification of your students by different ways like adding some subjects in your curriculum. There are many students of our religious schools studying in universities inside and outside of the country.”
Ulama must not be limited to seminaries
In another part of his speech before dozens of Sunni scholars in his office, Shaikh-ul-Islam indicated towards the sensitive responsibly of the Muslim scholars saying, “We are called Ulama; if we were businessmen or formers we would have less responsibilities. But scholars must be very vigilant and responsible. All of who have knowledge would be questioned; their responsibility is more important. The Exalted Allah says in Holy Qur’an: “لو لا ینهاهم الربانیون و الاحبار”. It proves clerics and religious scholars must forbid people from misdeeds.”
The member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars underlined that some problems of the society were due to limitation of scholars in the boundaries of their seminaries; they have no relations with common people. Religious scholars should have contacts with people and enter the society; when they go out, they will feel and see the problems of people that would increase the sense of responsibility. Besides teaching and edification of students, Ulama should extend the scope of their activities to outside of mosques and seminaries. They should play their role to resolve people’s problems.
“Take care of your people; the hunters of our time disguise themselves to misguide people. When we talk to people directly listening their matters, it would make them happy. This was the habit of our predecessors and holy men,” Mawlana Abdol-Hameed added more.
The outstanding Sunni leader further said that Islamic awakening has spread across the Muslim world; men and women are returning towards Islam. Muslims in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya have shown their vigilance. Islamic scholars, intellectuals and thinkers are the leaders of people in these uprisings; they are in direct contact with their masses.
Sunnis face difficulties in congregational prayers in metropolises
The eminent Sunni scholar counted some problems of the Sunni community in Iran and called on scholars to do their best to find any solution.
He said more, “As you know well, Sunnis have been suffering from some serious problems inside the country. Sunni conscripts can not establish their own congregations for the daily five-time prayers in barracks. In Tehran, Sunni Muslims could not hold Eid prayers. They have problems in establishing Friday prayers. Sunni communities in Esfahan, Yazd and Kerman have been facing the same problem. Many of Sunni conscripts were detained because they denied to offer prayers behind Shia imams!”
Shaikh Ismaeelzahi pointed that no one can merge the two sects. Followers of the both sects are free in their religious affairs. Sunnis and Shias must have fraternity and solidarity; but not to be merged. “Due to some issues we can not offer prayers behind Shia imams. As well as we do not expect any Shia to offer prayers behind any Sunni imam,” he made clear.
Shaikh Abdol-Hameed concluded his points by saying that it was essential for scholars to discover problems and meditate on them. Ulama must play their vital role in contemplation how to solve the problems of people.