Recently some famous Islamic seminaries of Iranian Sunnis in the provinces of Khorasan and Western Azerbaijan have faced massive pressures to swap students from particular areas or to close the schools. Talking exclusively to “abdolhamid.net”, Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid urged on the Iranian officials to control the fanatic elements infiltrated in security agencies.
Creating obstacles is against “law” and “unity”
The president of Darululoom Zahedan, the biggest Islamic seminary of the Iranian Sunni community said: “Unfortunately some seminaries in Khorasan had to take out their male and female students from Kurdish regions of Iran. They had been studying for years. Similar pressures have been put on Ulama and seminary rectors in the western Azerbaijan as the seminary of “Imam Nawawi” has been stopped its activities. The rector of Islamic seminary of Salahuddin Ayyubi in Urmia city was detained, too. In Kerman province also some Ulama were summoned by some departments and there are efforts to oust them from their positions.”
“The national constitution ensured freedom of all sects. If some sides cannot tolerate us, they should change the constitution according to their wishes and aims. Otherwise they have to abide by all laws and regulations of the constitution. The culture and customs of the Iranian nation have no familiarity with such behaviors,” he added more.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid also called on the officials to identify the wayward elements in the state-run offices, saying: “The officials should identify and then take action against the wayward sides who want to steal our religious freedoms. There is no any higher official who cannot bear our prayers and education.”
Sunni seminaries are safe from extremism
In another part of his interview, chairman of the Coordination Council of Sunni Seminaries in Sistan-Baluchistan said: “The Islamic seminaries of the Sunni community are opportunities, because they oppose extremism, sectarianism and Takfir. They work on unity unanimously. According to calmness and safeness of opinion, our schools are the best in the country. Our Ulama, students and alumni of seminaries inside and outside of the country never supported extremist and Takfiri groups. Even some of them have been threatened to death by the fanatic extremist groups.”
“Our foreign students take part in all national ceremonies and then they go back to their countries with a thought to seek unity over there. The governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan have admitted that our seminaries are among the calmest independent Islamic seminaries. We work on unifying Muslims and the officials should support us. Our foreign students learn Islamic sciences and they become aware of Iranian culture and civilization, too,” he pointed out.
There is no problem of “Hanafi – Shafi’i”
Alluding to baseless pretexts of some elements who forbid Shafi’i students to get education in Hanafi schools, the member of the supreme council of the MWL said: “We have resolved the issue of Hanafi-Shafi’i for a long time among ourselves. Even we decreased the distance between Sunnis and Shias. The religious fanatics are not aware of the world and its new circumstances. They have not recognized the need of the time.”
Shia students have no restriction in any seminary
The president and rector of Darululoom Zahedan further said: “Shia students from inside and outside of the country can get admission in any seminary in Qom, Mashhad or Esfahan without any obstacle and restriction. We hope to see the same freedom for Sunni seminaries.”
“Many students do not want to join ‘Jamiat-ul-Mostafa’ university in Qom as they are afraid of their tenets and thoughts; this university could not engage intellectuals and Ulama of Ahl-us-Sunnah. The majority of Muslims around Iran follow either Hanafi or Shafi’i schools of thought, students of these countries prefer the Islamic schools of Sunnis in Iran,” he added more.
The most influential Iranian Sunni leader asked the Iranian authorities to allow Sunni seminaries for accepting students from outside of the country.
He said: “Students who join our seminaries from other countries, in fact they will be our free ambassadors without getting any salary.”
“If we reject students from Muslim states, they will go to other countries. Even students may go to societies where extremists have power and then they issue fatwa against us. Is it logic to pull out students and push them to the side of our opponents?” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid underlined.
Take lesson from chaotic situation of Muslim countries
The Friday imam of Sunnis pointed out to the consequences of pressures and creating limitations. He said: “The expertly pathologies suggest cruelty, discrimination and pressures of rulers are the main reasons behind the spread of extremism in the world. We should take lesson from the conditions of other countries; pressures should be stopped. Otherwise some angry people may say we cannot offer prayers and educate children freely.”
Ulama and rectors stand against pressures in any condition
At the end of his talk, Mawlana Abdol-Hamid addressed Ulama and principals of Islamic schools: “Show steadfastness and do not close seminaries. Education and learning should not be stopped. We should not be disappointed and despondent. Take care of students and keep teaching. Defend your legal freedoms and serve the religion.”