Referring to some reports of issuing death sentence for protestors in Iran on the allegation of being Moharib (warrior), the most influential Iranian Sunni leader called it against the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and warned of the consequences of issuing such sentences.
Talking to the people of Zahedan before the Friday prayers on Dec 2, 2022, Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said: “Issuing moharabah sentence to protestors is a misunderstanding of the holy Qur’an. Those who demonstrate with stone and raise their voices should not be accused to moharabah. What the Qur’an calls as “Moharabah” is that an armed group is involved in war. I am afraid for many judges for their fate on the Day of Judgment. Daring to issue death sentence is rushing to fire of the hell. The holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: the most daring of you to issue a fatwa (religious verdict) are the most daring on the fire of the hell.) If judges issue death sentence carelessly, they have to respond.”
The Friday Imam of Sunnis in Zahedan continued: “At the beginning of Islam, the Ahl-al-Bayt and the Companions of the holy prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not issue death sentences. See, how many executions had been at the beginning of Islam? Those who assassinate people in the name of jihad and think that they are on the path of Islam, they are wrong. We have to adapt any verse and hadith with the life of the holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the greatest commentator of the holy Qur’an.”
The Iranian top Sunni scholar added: “These are scientific discussions. We should hold free debate and talk on these issues. I am benevolent, not a foe. When Abdul Rahman Ibn Muljim attacked the Caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, with sword and wounded him badly, people wanted to kill the assassin, but the Caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, did not allow them to kill Ibn Muljim and said: I am still alive. It is important to treat your captive well. The Caliph Ali learned this from the teachings of the holy Prophet PBUH.”
“See how the Prophet, peace be upon him, treated the captives of Badr. The Caliph Ali fought against Kharijites, but he did not execute any of them after arresting them. Do not issue verdicts that call any member of militant groups as moharib, warrior,” said Shaikh Abdol-Hamid.
The Iranian most influential Sunni cleric asked the officials to hold free debates regarding the criminal penalties and said: “I am ready to discuss on this issue. Let there be free talks on TV that all can watch. Those who have enacted our criminal laws were human beings like us. There are other opinions on this issue. We have already said that these laws must be amended.”
People tolerated you 43 years; now you tolerate them!
The most outstanding Iranian Sunni scholar decried harsh treatments against demonstrators, saying: “Beating, insulting, cursing, and assaulting a prisoner is against the teachings of the Caliph Ali, the Ahl-al-Bayt, and Islam.”
“The dissidents and critics should be treated in an Islamic manner,” he emphasized.
“As humans, even we should treat the enemies and opponents well; while we are Muslims. Do not charge protestors to ‘warrior’. The nation has tolerated you for 43 years, and now you tolerate them; let them protest. The protestors are our compatriots and they have problems. Perhaps you may not know about their problems, but in fact, they have problems. Opponents and critics should be tolerated, this is very important. Critics have criticized the holy Prophet, peace be upon him, the Rashidin Caliphs, and the elders of the Ahl-al-Bayt, but they have responded to them with the patience,” said the president of Darululoom Zahedan.
He urged on tolerating the critics and said: “We should bear harsh criticisms; this suggestion is not just for the governments and rulers, but the scholars, tribal elders, elites, women, and men should tolerate critics.”
“Do not imprison opponents, but talk to them and if they are wrong, convince them, if they are right respect them. Even if an American or an Israeli said the truth, we must accept. God ordered the holy Prophet PBUH to be humble before the believers,” he said.
“Authorities must be humble before the task and respect the will of people. If the law is contrary to the will of the people, it must change. Officials must be with masses. The religious and political leaders of the world must be with the people, live with them, and hear their voices,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid underlined.
President of Darululoom Zahedan went on to call on the Iranian officials to imitate the Seerah of the Ahl-ul-bayt of the holy prophet PBUH in governing and in dealing with people, saying: “The Caliph Ali and Hassan and Hossein used to live with people. They did not consult only with a specific party or people, but consulted with everyone. Criminal laws must be revised. Severe criminal rulings should be removed.”
The top Baloch political leader referred to the bitter conflicts in Syria and Iraq that Iran has been involved, and said: “We are not the enemy of this country. We always defended this land. In the wars that you were involved in Syria and Iraq, all your enemies united to bring insecurity to Iran from the Balochistan borders, but we did not allow. We stood against the Americans and did not allow insecurity enter the country.”
“The people have tolerated discrimination, inequality and pressures for about 44 years. Now people have demands and are tired of these problems. Be with the people. These are the Iranian people. We were massacred (on the Bloody Friday), but after a few hours we announced that security should be maintained. We were killed, but did not kill anyone. Furthermore, we only said that those who were behind the massacre of people should be punished. The martyrs’ families said that we do not want blood money, but we want our right and dignity,” said the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan.
What Allah gives, only He can take it back
The Iranian Sunnis’ leader said in his Friday speech of Zahedan, reacting to some reports of attempts to ‘defame him’ systematically: “If the reign and power are in your hands, it is Allah’s will. If I have respect and love of people, it is also Allah’s gift. What Allah gives, only He can take it back. He gives honor and takes it away. No one else can take someone’s honor. If people love me, this is Allah’s mercy. Only He takes what He gives. Allah gives dignity and honor. Someone else cannot take dignity from us. Everything others and we have belongs to Allah.”
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid further emphasized: “Do not execute protestors and do not beat them. We want our country to be safe and united. We have already said that we do not have Shiite, Sunni, and ethnicities; we are all Iranians; from Zoroastrians to Dervishes and Baha’is, all are human and Iranians, and their due rights must be respected.”
In his last points, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid inspired the demonstrators to obey the rules while demonstrating and said: “Insulting in slogans is contrary to Islamic ethics. Protestors should avoid from destroying public properties and breaking glasses. Chant meaningful slogans which have a message like justice and freedom.”