The most influential Iranian Sunni leader referred to the long-term unsolved disputes between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the nation, urging on the governing body to surrender before the will of people. He insisted on justice and freedom of expression and press.
Talking to tens of thousands of worshippers in Zahedan’s biggest Friday gathering on Feb 17, 2023, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “Everyone knows that there is a big dispute between the majority of Iranian people and the governing body, and this is obvious. I have some suggestions today. God willing, my suggestions will be wise and reasonable to get rid of the current crisis. In a matter of fact, there have been differences between the nation and the government for several years. In recent months, the differences have increased and extended. The nation has demands and wants sweeping changes. The establishment and officials have other perceptions and opinions.”
The president of Darululoom Zahedan called the Qur’an and Sunnah as the best solution in differences and disputes, saying: “In the past, when the disputes arose, people used to refer to a judge to resolve issues. Even if there is a difference in a family, they should forward the issue before a referee, and if they are honest, the problem will be solved. Arbitration is important. The holy Qur’an and the hadith acknowledge it.”
“This political system has been ruling in Iran in the name of Islam for 44 years. In 1979, when the revolution won, the founder of the revolution used to say that he would implement pure Islam. Everyone was happy and accepted the system,” he added more.
The Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan pointed: “In Islam, perceptions are different. There is no only one conception and viewpoint about Islam. The founder of the Islamic Revolution implemented his opinion and concept of Islam in the country, and still it has been applying. Everyone should know that there are different interpretations of Islam. Both the Shiite and Sunni scholars have different conceptions of Islam.”
People must choose their ruler \ Allah appoints no ruler
The Iranian top Sunni leader continued his Friday speech of Zahedan and said: “People chose all Rashidun Caliphs including the Caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with them. We believe there is a big difference among Muslims in their perceptions. We believe in veracity and honesty; the honesty and trustworthiness that the caliph Ali had.”
“For us, justice and freedoms are important. Freedom of expression, and parties and organizations; all these political and social activities are important, and this is our belief that freedom has been in Islam. In this concept, criticism is free. People were not banned from criticism in the era of the Guided Caliphs, and women and men used to criticize openly. According to this impression, the ruler was mentioned as Khalifah or Amirul-mumeneen, and all of these rulers were the choice of people. The Caliph Ali said that he was chosen and selected by the council that had selected the rest of the caliphs, “the eminent Iranian Sunni scholar said.
He continued: “According to our conception of Islam, no ruler has been appointed by Allah. The holy Prophet, peace be upon him, who was the founder of a government, was sent directly by Almighty Allah, but the caliphs, including Abu Bakr Seddiq, Omar, Osman and Ali, were the choice of people. We believe that people should determine their fate and select their ruler. The ruler of that time was called as Khalifah and today, president or prime minister, and et cetera.”
“In our perception of Islam, there is no hanging and compulsory confession. Generally, we have no executions other than retaliation, and there are other rare cases of executions that are not implemented at all. There may be executions in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, but there is no death penalty in this conception. In this conception, the forced confession has no place and people can easily criticize the ruler and the government. As men have the right to learn and get education, women have also the same right, and the commands of the Qur’an and the hadith are common between men and women,” said Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid in his Friday sermons of Zahedan.
He expressed his opinions: “In this impression, all human beings are equal, and humanity is thought regardless of faith, creed, ethnicity, and orientation; the rights of all are observed. This opinion opposes discrimination and inequality. All strata of people are engaged in official positions based on merit and capability under the umbrella of justice. I wish that part of this perception was implemented somewhere in the world so that everyone could see it.”
If I were in power, I would not keep a single political prisoner for an hour
The Iranian Sunni leader emphasized the need to free all political prisoners and said: “I do not force to implement my perception of Islam. In this impression, there should not be a political prisoner. I have already said that if I had an authority, I would not hold a political prisoner even for an hour. The political prisoner is someone who can speak and criticize. However, this is our impression of the religion of Islam and there are different perceptions.”
Surrender to the will of the majority of the people
The Iranian top Sunni leader called on for a referendum to end to the current crisis, saying: “We believe that the only solution to get rid of the current crisis is the path of the majority of people. We believe that nobody should insist on his or her own perception and path, but it should be considered that the people prefer which kind of political system. Surrender to the will of the majority and resolve the dispute. Respecting the will of the majority is the best way to get out of violence. Imprisonment and suppression are not the way, but the way is to see which system people want.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “We need a system which respects religious freedoms, allows social activities, and gives the opportunity to all. Both the elders of the system and the people should think about the national unity and solidarity. Iran belongs to all Iranians. We are working for the national unity and solidarity of Iranians. It is better to get this unity through peaceful ways.”
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid insisted the need to release all prisoners including Sunni clerics, and noted: “Many scholars are in prison in different provinces, especially in Kurdistan and Balochistan. If scholars have spoken, they are compassionate and well-wishers. Free all spectra of detainees, including women and teenagers and thinkers.”
Do not prevent women from education even for one day\The Taliban should provide grounds for women to educate
The most influential Iranian Sunni leader went on to criticize the Taliban government in Afghanistan and stated: “Let me give a brief advice to the Afghan government. The Taliban know that we criticize them. They should provide grounds for women to get education. The Taliban made Jihad against the foreign occupiers in the most difficult circumstances and we asked Allah Almighty to help them. We believe that no country, whether Islamic or non-Islamic, has the right to occupy another country. Each nation has the right to its own country. Our support for the jihad of Afghanistan was only spiritual.”
“I believe in constructive criticisms not sabotaging and defaming. We are benevolent not foe. I know that the Taliban are working on the issue to reopen high schools and universities for female students. I’d like to tell them do not prevent women from education even for one day. The women should be educated by maintaining Islamic regulations. I urge on freedoms in Afghanistan, the freedom of expression and criticism. The local and tribal customs and cultures should not be dominated on the religion of Islam. Use the capacity of different ethnicities and sects in the shadow of the Qur’an and Sunnah of the holy prophet PBUH,” said the imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan.
Do not kill innocent people in the name of Jihad\ Form political parties
The Iranian top Sunni leader addressed the so-called Islamic militant groups by saying: “I would like to advise those who intend to enforce the Islamic laws through military operations and weapon to choose peaceful political channels. Some militant groups carry out suicide attacks and kill people in Islamic and non-Islamic countries and their intention is to implement the Islamic law. I do not know who has given this fatwa to these groups. I will never suggest this, and we are afraid of the fate of those who are killed from the both sides.”
“No one should kill people in the name of Jihad in Islamic and non-Islamic countries. They can serve Islam by forming political parties. They should present their formula for the implementation of Sharia law; if people like this formula and conception, they will vote for it, and if the people do not want it, no one has the right to rule over the people by force of sword,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid underlined.
Posts should be distributed based on merit, not relationship and kinship
In the first part of his speech, he termed posts as a trust and said: “When posts are not distributed based on merit and expertise, but on relationships, the doomsday will occur. The governments have a duty to protect the national treasury. The wealth and secrets of people are trusts in our hands. Trust has a vast meaning, but one of the most important examples of trust, which the holy Prophet PBUH highlighted, is positions and administrative jobs. Government responsibilities should be given based on merit, not on relationship and kinship. The holy Prophet PBUH said that one of the signs of the Day of Judgment is that the weak people take responsibility of affairs.”
“The resurrection will occur when incompetent people take responsibilities and chaos and anxiety are signs of the Day of Judgment. All over the world, posts and administrative jobs should be given based on regulations, not on relationships; this is trustworthiness,” he added.
Auction of national assets has worried the people
Regarding the new plan approved by the heads of the three boards of the state to sell some national assets to compensate the new budget shortage , the Friday Imam of Sunnis in Zahedan said: “The plan of ‘generating national assets’ has caused concerns among the Iranian people. Some parliament members objected to the plan too. Public assists are national properties and funds, and the government is the trustee of these properties. The plan is making the public properties productive under the supervision of a seven-man team; it gives a free hand to them to decide which assets are to be sold, for what price and to whom.”
“These properties belong to country’s treasury and property. People have a bitter memory of the privatization of the past when some sold many factories and big companies to some particular powerful organizations and personalities at a cheap price. These properties were not sold at the real price and this worried the people. When something is not sold at the original price, people suffer, and these are also national wealth,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid added more.
“What has been going on in people’s minds about privatization of the national assets in the past is worrying. We emphasize that the budget deficit must be financed from other sources. This property belongs to every Iranian. When there is a failure in an individual property, it can be compensated, but when there is deficit in the public assists who can ask forgiveness from the nation,” he said in another part of his Friday speech.
After the Friday prayers, the male and female graduates of Darululoom Zahedan were awarded. 298 male and 85 female students have been graduated from Darululoom Zahedan, this year.