The leading Sunni leader and chairman of the Coordination Council of Sunni Seminaries of Sistan-Baluchistan, Shaikh-ul-Islam Abdol-Hameed, visited head cities and towns of central and southern Baluchistan from Saturday 16 Feb. to Thursday 21 Feb. 2013.
Khateeb of Ahl-us-Sunnah met scholars and people of those areas directly, calling on them to bring Islamic commands into action and imitate the noble Qur’an and Sunnah constantly. The summary of his journey is as following:
Mawlana in Damen town
In the first stay, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed Isma’eelzahi went to ‘Damen’ town of Iranshahr district where he talked to the residents of the town.
Damen is 20km of Iranshahr city. Many Islamic scholars and teachers actively work hard in the area of education and edification. “Khadijat-ul-Kobra” seminary for women has 250 students; there is a seminary for boys with 50 students. Apart from them, there are some branches of the seminaries in different villages. Culturally, Damen is rich in schools and teachers where almost 500 school teachers involved in teaching. Thus, there are lots of students from this town in universities.
Scholars including Mawlana Nazar Muhammad, a leading Sunni scholar of the province, and residents of the town gathered in the grand mosque of ‘Zahlnufan’ in Damen to listen to the sermon of their leader, Shaikh-ul-Islam Abdol-Hameed.
The meeting was kicked off after Dhuhr prayers. First, a cultural activist presented a brief report on academic and schooling activities in the town.
Molawi Abdullahi, a seminary teacher in Damen talked to the audience as well. He put ‘illiteracy’, ‘poverty in spirituality and economy’ main reason of drug addiction in the society. He said burying living daughters before Islam was the most horrible act of some Arab tribes; now some parents neglect edification and education of their children; this is a modern sort of murdering children.
The next lecturer was Shaikh Muhammad Othman, Khateeb and Friday Imam of Khash city and the rector of a famous seminary in Khash. He said the noble Qur’an was the most influential item for heart; Muslims must read it every time to benefit from it.
Shaikh Abdol-Hameed, the chief guest of the gathering, talked to the attendees expressing his thanks to Mawlana Nazar Muhammad and his son, Molawi Dhafar Muhammad, over organizing the gathering of scholars and people. He thanked residents of the town for their mass presence in the meeting.
In short words, he presented some points regarding the Qur’anic verse: «و من أحسن قولا ممن دعا إلی الله» emphasizing that Allah Almighty has bestowed His best blessing to us; Islam is the best thing that can be given to any one. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, ousted ‘super powers’ of their time by the force of adopting Islam. They really knew the value of Allah, prophet and Islam; they did not remain limited to some slogans and talks. Unfortunately, Muslims have left their religion behind; they prefer to follow others’ traditions and cultures. They have lost their strong faith that forbids people from misdeeds. So the only way to get rid of troubles is ‘returning to Islam honestly’.
Among the scholars and people of Iranshahr
After the meeting in Damen, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed and his comrades moved toward the main city of the district, Iranshahr, where a huge number of scholars, social and tribal elders and young citizens were waiting outside the city to welcome Shaikh-ul-Islam.
The outstanding Sunni scholar visited the new campus of a seminary built inside city before going to the Grand Noor Masjid of Iranshahr.
After sunset and Maghrib prayers, the meeting of Shaikh Abdol-Hameed Isma’eelzahi with people and scholars was started. First, Molawi Tayyib Mollazahi, the rector of Shams-ul-Uloom Seminary and Khateeb of the Grand Noor Masjid of Iranshahr, welcomed Shaikh-ul-Islam and declared his presence the cause of happiness and proud for all scholars and people in the city.
Then, Mawlana Othman of Khash talked to the audience about the hagiography of Holy Prophet, peace & blessings be upon him, and his ethics. He said according to a narration, the ethics and Akhlaq of Holy prophet was absolutely in accordance with the Qur’an. This noble book tells us about the life of Holy Prophet.
In the first part of his speech, Shaikh Isma’eelzahi mentioned some good memories of the ex-rector of Shams-ul-Uloom Seminary. He prayed for full forgiveness of Shaikh Qamar-ud-Deen and appreciated sincere efforts of Iranshahr’s scholars like Molawi Tayyib, Molawi Abd-us-Samad Damani, Molawi Abdol-Hameed Bozorgzadeh and others in the field of people’s spiritual and religious advancement.
Khateeb of Sunnis underlined despite various astonishing achievements in technology and modern sciences, people suffer from deep anxiety. The main reason is that people have neglected the aim of their life. Allah Almighty has created humankind to worship Him.
He said people think they have been come here to drink, eat and enjoy! It is not the goal of life. The brilliant teachings of all prophets suggest that humankind’s creation was for believing in Allah and worshiping only Him. Apart from some of mankind and jinni, all creatures and beings accept Allah’s superiority. They accept their disability before Him. We must worship Allah by heart and deeds; hearts’ worship is acceptance of Tawhid, while the most important worship of body is offering prayers.
Criticizing ‘sectarian conflicts’, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed put such clashes the worst in another part of his speech to people of Iranshahr. He underlined killing on the basis of religious differences is the worst kind of conflict. We have been witnessing such clashes in Syria and Mali and some other countries. It shows how much people have forgotten their duties. If Muslims did not involve themselves in sins and misdeeds, they would not have faced these crises. Scholars and social activists must play their role to root up social misdeeds and clean up the society from drug addiction in particular.
Wave of seeking Islam not limited to Middle East
The eminent Muslim intellectual alluded to the wave of seeking Islam in another part of his discourse and said, “People in the Middle East are eager for Islam. It was out of expectation to witness people have Islamic zeal and spirit. This nice wave is not restricted to some parts of the Middle East; we have seen in some regions of the Europe people chant the slogan of ‘Allah-u-Akbar’. There was a time when ‘Ataturk’ combated Islam and Islamic symbols. Now, Turkish Muslims have turned toward Islam, faith and good deeds.”
Iran’s Sunnis tolerant & unity-seekers
In a part of his speech to hundreds of people in Iranshahr, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed indicated to some current issues describing the Iranian Sunnis ‘tolerant’ and ‘unity-seekers’.
He pointed, “All praise belongs to Allah, the Iranian Sunni community is a tolerant and unity-seeker society. Iran’s Sunnis never betrayed their country for some interests. Even I heard about some people who were fugitives outside of the country; some enemy states asked them to work in their cause betraying the country, but our people denied strongly informing them they are not treacherous to their country.”
As the Sunni citizens of Iran have been patriot, they want elimination of all sorts of discriminative stances and rules. They must get their tights; it is legal and logical demand of Sunnis in Iran. Shia scholars, particularly the leader of the country, are requested to have more attention towards Sunnis’ rights. They should work hard to remove discrimination between Shias and Sunnis, the outstanding Sunni leader further said.
He went on saying Iran’s Sunnis mostly live in the frontier regions; if any war is imposed, they will defend their country and sacrifice lives for Iran. ‘We are brave and good fighters; we are not weak and timid. We are Iranians and we will resist any assault,’ he added more.
Khateeb of Sunnis underlined that enjoying enough freedom for religious exercises is the right of the Sunni community. Iran’s Sunnis respect others; they have positive feelings for their Shia countrymen. Rights of Shia minorities in other states should be preserved. Discrimination does not bring pleasure of Allah. The authorities and scholars must have unbiased attitude towards the entire nation.
At the end of his speech, Shaikh Isma’eelzahi addressed people of Iranshahr saying, “We ask you to bring Islamic Shari’ah into action. When we accept Islam, we accept its all rules and regulations. Never forget this point that none of nations was demolished due to poverty, but ruination was the end of all nations which run away of divine commands and the true religion of Allah.”
Meeting scholars & religious activists in Haqqania Seminary
Next day, on Sunday 17 Feb. 2013, Shaikh-ul-Islam attended a meeting with scholars and religious activists of the city in Haqqania Seminary of Iranshahr.
Shaikh Hafez Ahmad Guharkuhi was the first speaker in the meeting. He said that meeting had been held to discuss and analyze society’s problems and find out solutions.
The rector of the famous seminary of “Guharkuh” town urged Islam can remain in its real shape by knowledge and Islamic sciences. The noble Qur’an protects mankind from darkness of aberration. Scholars are supposed to love the noble Qur’an and prefer brilliant teachings of it plus the directions of Holy prophet, peace & blessings be upon him; then they will be able to bring any revolution in the lives of people.
After Shaikh Ahmad, Mawlana Abd-us-Samad Damani, the rector of Haqqania Seminary, went to the stage. In brief words, he welcomed Shaikh-ul-Islam and other scholars who attended the meeting.
In the meeting of scholars and Ulama, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed started his sermon by reading the Qur’anic verse: «شَهِدَ اللّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَالْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ الْعِلْمِ قَآئِمَا بِالْقِسْطِ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ» [آل عمران: 18], (Allah bears witness that there is no god but He __ and (so do) the angels and the men of knowledge __ being the One who maintains equity. There is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise.)
He said it is a great honor for scholars and knowledgeable people that Allah bears witness on His Tawhid and include knowledgeable men in that. In response to this great respect, it is expected from scholars to carry out their duties in a better way. In this case they will be rewarded more; otherwise, if they neglect to do so, more punishment would be their end.
The professor of the Qur’an and Hadith in Darululoom Zahedan added more, “Teaching and preaching Islamic sciences and knowledge are the most important responsibilities of Ulama; they should not be limited to their seminaries and class rooms, rather they should make efforts to teach and preach people in mosques and other places as well. There is need of planning for school students and people of other classes to be taught in mosques. Prophets used to take care of their nations to save them from aberrance and traps of Satan; scholars are prophets’ successors.”
Religious freedom; revives Sunni Muslims
In another part of his speech, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed Isma’eelzahi urged on religious liberties of Ahl-us-Sunnah in Iran saying Sunnis can retain their identity by religious freedom and liberty of holding seminaries and mosques. We are ready to forgo our all interests just to get freedom of religion and religious activities. Imams of mosques should be chosen by the ones who offer prayers behind them not any authority. Mosques of each sect must be in control of followers of that pertinent sect.
He underlined as the constitution affirms and Islamic Shari’ah emphasizes, there must not be any obstacle for Sunnis’ rights and liberties. They should retain their independence in education and religious affairs. The law which authenticated officials to rule has given us freedom; it is a very important and vital issue for us. Our freedom is not harmful for the regime, neither for Shias nor Sunnis.
We do not allow any one to interfere in our religious affairs. Religious matters of any sect are concerned to that community. “Tablighi Jama’at” is a peaceful reformative organization; there must not be any crackdown against its workers. Sunnis’ demands are legal; we can follow up our problems under legal framework, member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars added more.
Shaikh-ul-Islam and his comrades arrived in ‘Azmenabad’, 25km of Iranshahr city, on Sunday afternoon. Many of appetent residents of the town received their scholars warmly outside of Azmenabad.
Talking to people in the Grand Abubakr As-Seddiq Masjid of Azmenabad, Shaikh Abdol-Hameed stated the fervent presence of residents of the village including young men proves people enjoy good connection with their religion.
He said, “Allah Exalted has granted humankind lots of blessings and graces, but none of them can be equal with the blessing of faith and Islam. We have come here to convey the message of Allah to you and other Muslims; do not lose Allah’s chosen religion, learn the Qur’an, recite it and establish prayers constantly. This is the way to have a prosperous life in the both worlds.”
Meeting with scholars and people of ‘Mohammadan’ city
After sunset, Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hameed reached to Mohammadan city, 20km of Iranshahr on Chabahar road. There is a famous Islamic seminary, “Mesbah-ul-Uloom” and four Qur’anic schools for women.
People from different aspects of life gathered in the grand mosque where they listened to their religious leaders until a big part of the night. Representing scholars and people of the city, Molawi Muhammad Ayyub Gohramzahi welcomed Shaikh-ul-Islam and his company.
Expressing some issues on the Qur’an, the rector of Darululoom Zahedan underlined the noble Qur’an has been revealed to uproot ignorance from the world in any time. Therefore, all Muslims, men, women, old and young must learn the Qur’an and its teachings. This is the book that can revive Muslims.
Shaikh Abdol-Hameed emphasized Islam ensures the rights of all; Muslims and non-Muslims. If non-Muslims face any difficulty in any Muslim-populated country, it is the fault of Muslims not Islam. We hope rulers of Muslim states where revolution have taken place would show the real shape of Islam to the world.
To be continued…