Referring to the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, while insisting that the country is still facing so many problems, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid of Zahedan stressed on examining the shortcomings that country has been struggling with for more than forty years.
Addressing thousands of worshippers before the Friday prayer ceremony of Zahedan on February 5, 2021, Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid believed that the biggest problem of the former regime was that it did not listen to the people.
The Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan said: “We are in the forty-second anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran; before the Islamic Revolution, there was tyranny in Iran. At that time there was no freedom, no one could criticize; the Shah objected to be criticized by the people. The critics of the authorities used to be detained by the SAVAK intelligence personnel and tortured in prison”.
The Iranian Sunnis leader continued: “Former regime did not respect the rights of the opponents. Many clerics were imprisoned. The founder of the Islamic Revolution was exiled to Iraq and the current Supreme Leader of Iran was exiled to Iranshahr, Baluchistan. None of them had carried out an armed action; they were just criticizing and protesting”.
President of Darululoom Zahedan added: “The Shah’s regime did not tolerate protests and criticism. So the Iranians could not tolerate such a situation and responded to the call of the founder of the Revolution and stood up against tyranny”.
“The Shah’s biggest mistake was that he did not listen to the academics and scholars of the seminaries and other people; he did not care about their demands. The king’s courtiers gave him false reports, and said to him everything was as he intended, those who protest and criticize are lying and are against the king. Such people around the king did not allow the voice of the people to be heard”, said the prominent Iranian Sunni leader.
“After leaving the country, the Shah realized that he was wrong and regretted why he couldn’t listen to the people. One of the most important factors in the victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran was that the people were not armed in this uprising. People were imprisoned, tortured and killed, but they did not use weapons. The people only raised their voices until they won”, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.
Listen to opponents and critics
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid continued his speech and said: “During the revolution, people chanted and declared that they want an independent state, not a dependent one”.
“Freedom was another demand of the Iranian people, freedom of speech, writing and freedom of criticism. The implementation of justice in religious and ethnic affairs was the other demand of the people. The Iranian people wanted their dignity to be preserved”, the eminent scholar of Sistan-Baluchistan said.
He said: “we should examine our shortcomings and weaknesses and reform them”.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid believed that the anniversary of the victory of Iran was the best opportunity to repair the shortcomings.
He said that a successful person should not be happy with praise of the people, but should consider every success from God.
“Listen to the critics of different classes of society and address the demands of the opposite sides, listen the harsh criticism of opponents and critics, do not just listen to proponents and adherents, because mostly proponents do not say our shortcomings”, he said.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid continued: “As a benevolent, I say that the authorities should tolerate the opponents and critics. Do not stop peaceful protest rallies so that people can express their demands in this way. In Iran, we are members of the same family; Iran does not belong to a particular religion and class, Iran does not belong only to religious and non-religious Shiites, but Iran belongs to everyone from different sects and classes. All should get their rights”.
Allow human rights representatives to visit our prisons
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid emphasized on observance the rights of prisoners and said: “Prisoners are human beings and have the right to speak, they must defend themselves. The rights of prisoners must be respected. Today, human rights organizations are criticizing us”.
“Why don’t we open the gates of our prisons for the human rights?” he questioned.
Friday Imam of Zahedan demanded the release of the opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi saying: “I request the release of Mr. Mousavi and Karroubi. These (two political figures) have served the country and the revolution; everyone makes mistake, it is better to forgive and this is in in accordance with the interests of the country”.
President of Darululoom Zahedan said: “Confession obtained from a suspect or a prisoner by means of torture is against Islamic law. Islam does not allow a judge to issue a sentence according to the forced confessions. As it is not clear under which circumstances some people were sentenced to death and how they were confessed; it is unknown how the trial proceedings carried out”.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid further said: “If I have authority to provide freedoms, I would have competed with human rights organizations. I would not allow my opponents to stay in prison for even one day, but I would order everyone to be released and allow them to criticize me”.
I have not spoken with the Supreme Leader for twenty years
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid emphasized on freedom of speech and said: “Iranians have voted for the Islamic Republic; in the republican, criticism is free and people determine about their destiny. “Islamic” means the laws must be Islamic in the country. It is better for us to examine how successful we have been in this field during forty two years”.
He continued: “I think the Triple Powers (presidency, parliament and judiciary) should have a free debate and a free tribune; I believe that even the Supreme Leader should allow people from different backgrounds to meet him. The Supreme Leader is my friend and he is older than me. Of course, he is the leader of the country; anyway I have not spoken with him for almost twenty years. Although we see the president and the ministers, but the most important authorities are in the hands of the Supreme Leader”.
He added: “Our request is that the different classes should meet with him and have their say”.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid further addressed the officials by saying: “Listen to those who tell the facts and the truth, even if those facts are bitter, don’t listen only to those who just tell you the good news. I believe that the officials in Darululoom Zahedan should listen to the criticism. I give everyone the right to criticize me; even I listen to unfair criticism. We all need to have a high capacity”.
He further said: “Leave the tribune free and allow Shiite and Sunni scholars, academics and different classes of the society to speak and criticize, of course, criticism should be fair, not insult.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid criticized the reformist parties, saying that the reformists wanted to bring reforms to the country. I believe they failed. The reformists must allow to be criticized so that they can address their weaknesses.
The ban on Sunni candidacy for the presidency is a clear discrimination
Criticizing the clause of the constitution that Sunnis cannot be president of Iran, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “The slogan ‘Iran is for all Iranians’ is the best slogan, but unfortunately it has not been realized. The constitution states that Sunnis cannot be president while this is the first discriminatory step. Although our constitution is one of the best constitutions in the world, but experiences have shown that many of its clauses need to be amended.”
The most influential Sunni leader of Iran added: “I hope we will have at least one Sunni candidate in the upcoming presidential election. Sunnis voted for a Shiite candidate in the past 4 decades, now Shiites and Sunnis should vote a Sunni together in the upcoming elections. What’s wrong with a genuine Iranian Sunni to be elected as president of Iran?”
He said: “We (Sunnis) have been at your service for forty-two years, now let the president be of us for a period of four years and see the result; just allow a full-authorized Sunni president”.
The Iranian Baloch leader further referred to democracy of Western countries and praised the freedom of the United States that a black man with African roots could become president and an Indian woman could become the vice president of the US.
He pointed out: “Do not Shiites and Sunnis have equal rights? Why a Sunni in Iran can’t become president? This is a question that I am sure no one can answer!”
President of Darululoom Zahedan continued: “I do not accept Shiite and Sunni scholars who have religious bias. Religious bigotries are contrary to the capacity of Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad PBUH”.
The death penalties must be amended
Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan criticized the death sentences laws in Iran and said: “Many of the country’s criminal laws, including death penalty laws need to be amended.”
In another part of his speech, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid referred to the recent arrests in Kurdistan and said: “Recently, some people were arrested in Kurdistan whose charges are not clear and we are worried about their condition, we hope that the authorities determine their situation as soon as possible.”
He continued: “In Zahedan, many prisoners have been waiting to be executed which is very worrying.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid believed that a person who did not commit murder, judges should not issue a death sentence for him, as the prophet said: ‘Whoever commits murder, we kill him.’
He clarified that those who were members of the armed groups and did not commit murder and were arrested and repented of their crimes, they should be prisoned and then reformed, as the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and the caliphs, including Sayyidana Ali did not kill their opponents.
President of Darululoom Zahedan referred to his friendship with the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Raisi, and described him as a person with experience and dignity, addressing him that many drug sentences should be reconsidered and Shia and Sunni scholars can address the issue objectively.
Afghans should not afraid of Islamic laws
At the end of his speech, Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid expressed his views about the current peace talks in Afghanistan and said: “We are happy that Afghanistan is in the process of peace talks and foreign and occupying forces are leaving the country.”
The Iranian outstanding Sunni scholar also expressed his happiness with the talks between the Afghan government and Taliban movement believing that the two sides would resolve their problems through negotiations.
He advised the people of Afghanistan not to be afraid of the implementation of Islamic laws and believed that a law that is in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and the Righteous Caliphs will bring peace, security and tranquility.
“I wish the laws of Islam would be implemented in one part of the world so that the world could see how much Islam respects human rights,” Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “The people of Afghanistan should not pay attention to Islamophobic propaganda nowadays and welcome Islamic laws.”
He believed that if true Islam was implemented in the method of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, all problems would be solved.
“In true Islam, the Prophet Mohammad did not eat his fill for two successive days till he passed away”, president of Darululoom Zahedan said.
“We kiss the hands and feet of such a ruler that die poor and his people are blessed”, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.
“In Islamic justice, a judge was appointed by Sayyidana Ali, ruled in one case against him in favor of a Jew. The caliph Omar addressed the Muslims and said: What will you do if I deviate from the character of the Prophet? A nomad stood up and said: I will straighten you with this sword.”
‘Can the world show such freedom and justice?’ he questioned.
The Iranian Sunnis’ leader concluded his points: “If Afghans can bring such freedom and justice to Afghanistan, we will kiss their hands”.