Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamid, Friday Imam of Sunnis in Zahedan traveled to Russia and the Republic of Tatarstan at the end of 2019’s summer in order to take part in the international conference of “Duty of Ūlamā in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah in the current society” held in Kazan city of Tatarstan. This trip which was made by the invitation of the “Tatarstan Quran and Sunnah Research Center” also included some other programs prepared by the hosts of Shaikh-ūl-Islam. Visiting the ancient city of Bolgar, delivering lectures for the students of Bolgar Islamic Academy, meeting with the people and academic figures, mosques and scientific centers were among the itinerary of Shaikh Abdol-Hamid before and after taking part in the conference. In the trip, Mawlāna Abdol-Ghani Badri and Hafez Mohammad Ismā’eel Mollazāei, vice-presidents of Dārūlūloom Zahedan in educational and administrative issues were accompanying Mawlāna Abdol-Hamid, the president of Dārūlūloom Zahedan. The following are excerpts from the report of this trip narrated by Hafez Mohammad Ismail Mollazāei:
At 6 AM on Thursday, September 12, 2019, we left our country for the Republic of Tatarstan by direct flight from Tehran to Kazan. Our plane landed at Kazan International Airport after three and a half hours. Mufti Farīd Salmān, director of the Center of Islamic Studies of Kazan and a member of the Council of Muftis of Russia; Dr. Ay-Mohammad, a teacher at the Kazan University along with some other lecturers and students as well as Ūlamā who were graduates of Dārūlūloom Karachi or they used to study in Zahedan had come to the airport to greet and welcome Shaikh-ūl-Islam.
The ancient city of Bolgar was our first stop. We reached Bolgar at 11.30 AM. In the academy of Bolgar three lectures were arranged for Shaikh-ūl-Islam. The first lecture was about the “importance and status of knowledge” which was delivered on the first day of our stay at 5.30pm with the passionate presence of students.
In the next day which was Friday, Shaikh presented his second lecture on the subject of “lessons from the life of the prophet PHUB” at 8.30 AM. After him, Mawlāna Abdol-Ghani Badri presented his Arabic lecture on the subject of “principles and foundations of understanding the Qur’an”.
On the third day of our stay in Bolgar, the third lecture of Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamid was presented at the Bolgar Islamic Academy as scheduled. The subject of this lecture was “purification and reformation” by the request of the students themselves. With this meeting, the scientific programs of Shaikh-ūl-Islam in the city of Bolgar came to an end.
On the fourth day of our trip to the Republic of Tatarstan, we said goodbye to our hosts at the Bolgar Islamic Academy and left for Kazan.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 9:30 AM, the international conference of “Duty of Ūlamā in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah in the current society” was scheduled to begin. The conference was held in the conference hall of the hotel where we stayed, Korston Royal Hotel in Kazan.
The third speaker of the conference and in fact the first guest speaker was Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamid. He, who was actually the special guest of the conference, spoke in Arabic for about 15 minutes. The main subject of his speech, considering title of the conference, was the duty of Muslim scholars in the present age. President of Dārūlūloom Zahedan spoke briefly about self-purification, piety, self-examination and theism. He also talked about the call to Allah with wisdom and good preaching, and he especially emphasized on moderation and avoiding extremes.
Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamid’s speech at the conference was so influential that when the president of the Islamic University of Russia took the microphone, he immediately referred to the words of Shaikh-ūl-Islam and said: “I have the microphone to speak, but I say my words are the same words of Shaikh Abdol-Hamid. The points are the same as what he said. I just confirm and emphasize on what he said.”
On the morning of Thursday, September 19, 2019, it was the time to say goodbye to the good people of Tatars, Tajiks, Cossacks and Uzbeks. About 15 to 20 people came to the airport to escort Shaikh-ūl-Islam. Of course, their love and affection for scholars and Ūlamā was indescribable. At that moment, it was as if they were being separated from their beloved father. Tears flowed from everyone’s eyes and they uttered emotional sentences in a hoarse voice, showing their devotion and regards to the Shaikh.
Translated into English by: Abdol-Hakeem Shahbakhsh
First published by: SunniOnline + Neday Islam, V. 21, Issue: 78-79