The most influential Iranian Sunni leader described the reading of “moderate Islam” as the best reading that respects the rights of all. He believed that according to this reading, all strata of people can achieve their rights in the shadow of justice.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid was talking in Zahedan’s biggest Friday gathering on April 14, 2023.
“People will be satisfied if moderate Islam and Islamic justice are implemented. There are different readings in Islam, as I discussed previously. This is the best reading. There is no extremism in this reading,” said the president of Darululoom Zahedan.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid continued his Friday speech of Zahedan in the presence of tens of thousands of people, saying: “There have been extremes in all religions, including in Judaism and Christianity. Some Muslims are involved in extremes, but the reading of the moderate Islam is correct. We believe that the holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, brought such a pure religion that is free of extremes. This is the reading of the Qur’an.”
The Iranian top Sunni cleric added: “The extremism has hit Islam and Muslims all over the world. Extremism has hit Judaism and Jews. We advise the Jews, especially those who have come to power, to move towards moderation. No one should think to destroy others, but the entire world should seek peace and tranquility.”
“The reading of moderate Islam leads to peace. The holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, made peace with Mecca’s idolaters, with Arab tribes and Jews who wanted peace. Our religion is the religion of tolerance, peace and equality. Assassination is an act of extremism. Islam is the religion of negotiation and tolerance. Islam respects the rights and dignity of humanity,” he said more.
“We believe that Islam is even one step ahead in respecting human rights. Moderate Islam is close to “democracy”, and has a lot in common with it,” the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan said.
In moderate Islam, people choose their rulers, not Allah
During his Friday sermons of Zahedan, the president of Darululoom Zahedan went on to discuss on the reading of moderate Islam.
He said: “Officials and rulers are determined by the people, and there is no absolute ruler in this reading. According to this conception, all senior officials are chosen by people, not by Almighty Allah. Allah has given the authority to people to appoint and choose their leaders and officials. Only the Almighty sent the Prophets including the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them. Allah had excelled the Prophet’s excellence over others, because he was the Prophet of God. After the Prophet, no one has been selected by God.”
“In Nahj al-Balaghah, authenticated by Shiites, the Caliph Ali wrote in a letter to Mu’awiyah, may Allah be pleased with them: ‘The council that elected and appointed Abu Bakr, Omar and Osman, the same elected me too’. This suggests that Ali believed that the caliph and ruler elected by people, not Allah. There is no absolute ruler with unlimited authority other than Allah,” he said more.
“In reading of the moderate Islam, even the caliph cannot exceed as the size of a hair from the Shari’ah of Islam and the Qur’an,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid believed.
Referring to the anniversary of the martyrdom of Sayyidana Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “The Caliph Ali was a pious man with a comprehensive personality. He was among the best companions of the holy Prophet PBUH. The Prophet trained his companions well. Ali was an example of virtue and freedom. All the Guided Caliphs were moderate and righteous.”
“All people, including Muslims and non-Muslims, spent their lives in the shadow of the umbrella of the Guided Caliphs. All people lived with satisfaction in their rules”, he added.
“Islam thinks of humanity and the rights of all, and this path is a wise and correct path. Extremism is against the rationality”, said Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan.
Justice and freedom are among the main demands of Iranians
Continuing his Friday speech, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “Today, justice is one of the most important demands of the Iranian people. They say we want justice. We must kiss the hands and forehead of those who want justice. The people say we want freedom. Freedom is the right of people.”
“In Islam, freedom of thought and expression and pen are important”, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid urged.
“Everything is free; unless it is harmful to humanity. There is no absolute freedom in any culture and civilization. Even, there is no such freedom in the West and Europe,” said the president of Darululoom Zahedan.
The Iranian top Sunni cleric continued: “In some countries, some blaspheme the holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and the Holy Qur’an with the pretext and justification of freedom of speech. This justification is a mistake and these governments are going to the wrong direction. Insulting the sanctity of others will hit security. We do not accept to blaspheme any prophet or divine book. The holy Qur’an has banned us from insulting idols which are worshiped by others.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid insisted on removing discrimination and said: “The lack of religious and political freedoms is contrary to justice. Removing discrimination is the right of the people. In moderate Islam, there is no discrimination against anyone.”
In the Islamic Republic, no one can prevent people from prayers
Referring to the religious obstacles against Sunnis in Iran, the prominent Iranian Sunni leader said: “Unfortunately, in some cities of Iran Sunnis are banned to establish prayers. Afghan refugee brothers are also banned to hold the prayers in prayer houses; when you accept them as refugees, then you cannot forbid them from offering prayers. This is the Islamic Republic. You cannot stop people from prayers in the Islamic Republic, and a country claims to be Islamic. The law has given all freedom.”
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid questioned: “Why do you treat Sunnis with personal illegal rulings? Who ban Sunnis from prayers? Why do some interfere in educational affairs of the Sunnis?”
“We say that there are clauses in the constitution that paralyzed the country. As long as these clauses are not amended, the country is not rescued. But you have not implemented the current constitution at least. The law has given all freedom. Which law prevents of religious freedoms and the freedoms of thought and speech? You do not have the right to stop the worship of Jews, Christians and people of other faiths”, said the Iranian top Sunni leader.
Offering prayers does not harm anyone
He added: “Prayers do not harm anyone. Such behaviors are shocking. As a benevolent, I would like to say that the biggest problem we have had during the 44 years was narrow-mindedness. The narrow-minded authorities apposed restrictions on Sunnis. Sunnis must be able to establish prayers in parks and streets, not when they offer prayers in homes and behind the closed doors, some say why do you establish prayers? You should admire someone who offers prayers”, he said.
“The nation wants the officials to bring changes in the constitution. Our law has been enacted for nearly half a century ago. The experience has shown that there are problems in this constitution. Everywhere in the world, the rules change after a while, but in our country, there are no changes. We must bring changes in the domestic and foreign policies of the country. The nation has been calling for this change. People have been demanding their rights”, said the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan.
“Discrimination and radicalism are not allowed in Islam”, he believed.
The Iranian top Sunni leader said: “I dare to say that many of those (judges and officials) who issue death penalties will be punished on the Day of Judgment. If you implemented Islamic justice, people would not protest even if you rule for 100 years. Everyone would be satisfied.”
Identification of elements behind poisoning schoolgirls is a national demand
Pointing out to the continuation of serial poisoning incidents of schoolgirls in Iran, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader said: “Unfortunately, the non-stop poisoning attacks on schoolgirls have been intensifying, and this is a great insecurity in our country. You have not yet been able to identify the culprits inside the schools, while you identify with the cameras who don’t wear the scarf. Who believes that you have failed in this regard?”
“How have the strong and big ministries and organizations which are responsible for security been unable to identify the cause of these poisonings?! People do not accept this, and believe the root of the conspiracy is in the system, and is connected to somewhere in the system that we observe several attacks on different schools in one day. The perpetrators of these crimes must be identified and taken into the court. This is a national demand,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said in his last points.