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Last Years’ of a Vigilant Reformer

Maulana Abdol-Hamid narrates the life of late Maulana Abdol-Azîz, may Allah have mercy on him, after the Iranian revolution until his demise

Note: the name and commemoration of Maulana Abdol-Azîz Mollazadeh, may Allah have mercy on him, have been indelible due to his service, struggles and sincere and sympathetic efforts for the development of the religion and tenets of people of the region [Baluchistan] and their salvation from sloughs of the innovations and superstitions. The late Maulana Abdol-Azîz was a piteous reformer for all Muslims around the world, particularly the oppressed and aggrieved Muslims. The future of the Iranian Sunni community was one of the biggest pines and anxieties of this righteous and chivalrous man of Baluchistan. Shaikh-ul-Islam Maulana Abdol-Hamid says it talking with “Nedây-e-Islam”. He also narrates the difficult and anguishing days of the late Maulana Abdol-Azîz’s life. He points out to the unrelenting pressures on Maulana Abdol-Azîz in the beginning times after the revolution of 1979… to his fears and hopes in the last moments of his blissful and blest life… and to the moments when he said farewell to his mentor and preceptor convoying him to his final house.
Do not miss the fourth part of the series of our interview with Shaikh-ul-Islam Maulana Abdol-Hamid, Friday imam of Sunnis in Zahedan and rector of Darululoom Zahedan:

* As the first question, tell us about the overall situations in the region after the victory of revolution until the demise of Maulana Abdol-Azîz and in which condition he was?
** In the first months after the revolution, there was a specific atmosphere in the country. The revolution was won recently and all was good, but gradually the condition was getting worse. The words which were said in the beginning ended up with transmutation. As a base in the Iranian Sunni community whose fame was approached other countries, Maulana Abdol-Azîz endured many difficulties and pains in that era. The situation put a lot of pressures on him. He was a foresight man and was looking at future. Sometimes he was sighing. I used to say him, do not worry, Allah is propitious to His servants. Leave the future to Allah. I was reciting these verses in his presence: “تَاللَّهِ تَفْتَأُ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّى تَكُونَ حَرَضًا أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَالِكِينَ”, (“By Allah! You will never cease remembering Yusuf (Joseph) until you become weak with old age, or until you be of the dead.); [12: 85] I used to tell him, you are right the situation is tough, but do not be worried and pined. He was saying what would be the future of Ahl-us-Sunnah in Iran? I was responding, let’s entrust the Almighty about the future of Sunnis; in fact I was wanted to comfort him. In his last days, he was anxious. The discriminations had made him worried.
In that time, the condition in Afghanistan was critical, too. He was very anxious for this country. After the revolution in 1979, the late Maulana was a candidate and elected as a member of the Assembly of Experts for Constitution where he stood every influential. The scholars and people of Iran recognized him over there more and there was an attachment for him. The people were influenced by his foresight, open-mindedness and civility.

• You alluded to Afghanistan and its difficult situation in that part of time. Please tell us about the relations of the late Maulana Abdol-Azîz with Afghan Mûjahideen.
** The late Maulana Abdol-Azîz passed away before the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan. During Afghan Jihad, he was in direct contact with Mûjahideen and he was supporting them morally and financially. He was stressing on refuging Afghan refugees. He was recommending all of us to support the refugees.
In that time, some conferences were held in the Grand Makki Masjid in support of Afghan Mûjahideen. Some notable Afghan warriors and political figures, such as Golbadin Hekmatyar and Borhan-ûd-Deen Rabbani visited Zahedan and they presented speeches, too. In fact, this was a compound in support of the Afghan nation. Maulana Abdol-Azîz used to make Du’a and cry for Afghans, always. This process was continued after his demise. Maulana Abdol-Malek, the martyr son of Maulana Abdol-Azîz struggles a lot for the victory of jihad in Afghanistan. Even he was equipping Mûjahideen with machine guns and anti-aircraft weapons. He was gathering weapons from the public donations; people had lots of weapons as after the revolution many of them were looted. There was an active market of selling weapons and Mûjahideen used to buy some of their needs from this market.

• In that duration, Maulana Abdol-Azîz had some trips to the UK and US for treatment. Tell our readers about those trips.
** The late Maulana made two abroad trips for his treatment. In that time, open heart surgery was not available in Iran. First, he traveled to England where he only conducted some tests and received medicine. His second trip was to London, too. In London he was recommended by doctors to visit the US for the surgery. His kidneys were working properly, too. In his trip to the US, he was informed that his kidneys had not worked due to injecting toxic and dangerous materials. It was unclear whether it was an ignorant act or the result of a deliberate step.
It was very amazing! We all decided that he should do the surgery in the US. Even we transferred money. Once at a night in Ramadân, I saw Maulana Abdol-Azîz in dream and he told me: the Beloved Prophet PBUH has told me to not give your heart in their hands. Now I’m preparing to return and get ticket.
At the same night or the next night, I talked with him on phone. He told me the same points which I saw in the dream. I also saw in the dream, when he reached the airport, I fall asleep. When we went to Tehran to receive him at airport, I couldn’t sleep the whole night. In the early morning we went to the airport. When their flight landed, I fall asleep as I had seen in the dream.

• What were the impressions of Maulana Abdol-Azîz from the situation of Muslims in the Europe and America?
** He was highly impressed by the condition of Muslims in London. He was saying Muslims in London had Masjids as they were offering prayers freely. When he traveled to the US, there was a mass gathering for Jamâa’t Tabligh in America. Maulana also took part in the gathering. He was very impressed by young Arab workers. He said they were serving day and night and all the time they were reciting the Noble Qur’an. They were saying we are the Muslims of the US not Egypt and Saudi Arabia, because our Islam was inborn in our motherlands. In the US we recognized the real Islam. Some Muslims in London and also in the US had asked him to stay over there and they told him they were ready to give him his all medical needs. But he denied and told them he would get only the donations of his own people. They insisted a lot, but he had said: I would go to my own people to live with them and die in that place.

• Maulana Abdol-Azîz was shifted to ‘Shaheed Rajâi’ Heart Hospital in the same days when Ayatollah Khomeini was admitted to the hospital…
** It was in the beginning months after the revolution. Due to pressures, Maulana suffered from heart diseases. A special airplane took him to Tehran. They were admitted to the same ward of Shaheed Rajâi Heart Hospital. Ayatollah Khomeini used to send his son, Haj Ahmad, to look after Maulana and control the treatment process.

• It is said Maulana Abdol-Azîz presented the request for a Sunni Masjid in Tehran despite the hard time. Please explain it.
** The case of Sunnis’ Masjid in Tehran was concluded in that place. Maulana Abdol-Azîz had asked Ayatollah Khomeini personally to allot any land for Sunnis. On the request of Maulana Abdol-Azîz, the founder of the revolution allotted 10.000 S. M vast land officially. Even the news was broadcasted in official radio and TV channel. Maulana had told Ayatollah Khomeini the efforts of Sunnis for a Masjid during Shah Regime had no fruit; we hope after the Islamic revolution, the Sunni community would get their religious due rights.
In that time, late Mufti Mahmoud, the ex-chief of JUI in Pakistan, travelled to Iran to participate in the first anniversary of the Islamic revolution. He also visited Maulana Abdol-Azîz whom he had met in Makkah before it. In the Makkah meeting, Mufti Mahmoud recommended Maulana Abdol-Azîz to support the revolutionaries as the Shah regime was with Israel during Arab-Israel war. It is said in the era of Gamal Abdul Nasser, Israel occupied Sinai Peninsula and Israeli jet-fighters fuel. Thus Mufti Mahmoud said Shah was a traitor and you should support Ayatollah Khomeini.

• Please tell us about the last days of late Maulana Abdol-Azîz’s life?
** Our last journey for the treatment of Maulana was to Mashhad. We had some trips to Tehran. We stayed in Tehran for a period of time for dialysis of his kidneys. Finally we went to Mashhad where the late Shaikh passed away. It was the month of Dhûl-Qa’dah. I made an interim journey to Zahedan to lead Eid prayers and then went back to Mashhad. When I reached, his condition was worsened due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Maulana Abdol-Azîz used to pay attention to the advices of doctors. But this time when we told him to be ready for admitting to the hospital, he opposed strongly. He said that he would stay at home and asked us to not allow anyone to admit him to the hospital. He has realized he was surviving his last moments. Finally, Maulana Abdol-Azîz passed away on Wednesday dawn, 16 Dhûl-Hijjah, 1407 / 16th Aug. 1987.

• Please shed light on the expenses of Maulana Abdol-Azîz’s treatment; certainly the charges were heavy, how you had provided them?
** Allah Almighty was supporting the late amazingly. We had told him to collect money from the donations of people, but he never was happy with that. When we wanted to send him out to the US, we had nothing. But once a day, a young man came to visit him. He asked us to send the late to abroad and gave us 7.000 $. He had the credit of 7.000 USD in his passport and told us to use it. Even he said to transfer us more money if it was needed. When Maulana Abdol-Azîz reached to Kuwait, that young man transferred 30.000 DM. Then he travelled to London and left London to the US using the donations of that young man.

• What were the fears and hopes of the late Maulana in his last times?
** In that period, the biggest anxiety of Maulana Abdol-Azîz was meeting with his Only Lord. He used to recite this Hadith: «من احبّ لقاء الله احب الله لقاءه و من كره لقاءالله كره الله لقاءه», (Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah (too) loves to meet him. And whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah (too) hates to meet him.) He was making lots of Du’a. The future of the Sunni community has made his mind busy. The late Maulana passed away when the pilgrims were returning. The big airplanes were carrying back them. Only small planes were flying in the sky of Iran. Despite it, there was an airbus plane and we, ten passengers with a decedent, found enough place to return to Zahedan.
Maulana Abdol-Azîz was receiving the divine supports in life and after death. He was saying that he never faced deadlock in his life, whenever he needed anything, the Almighty provided him. We also experienced it. He was a really pious, righteous, foresighted and watchful man.
Many came to him and asked for permission to collect donations from the rich men. But he denied and Allah the Sublime provided him his all needs.

• How you conveyed the news of his demise to Zahedan, and how was the situation here when the body was shifted?
** It was the will of Maulana Abdol-Azîz to be buried before the feet of his parents. But the condition was unfair and we forgot his will. A group of men went to dig out a grave in his hometown, but it was collapsed. Then they found an empty place near the grave of Maulana Abdullah, the father of Maulana Abdol-Azîz, and they prepared the grave over there. The Almighty prepared the condition as his will was fulfilled.
There was a quake in Zahedan city. All people gathered at the seminary. We washed his body in the seminary. In a caravan we left Zahedan to his hometown. People were waiting us in Khash city where they offered funeral prayers. Then we reached Iranshahr and people did so. Maulana Abdol-Azîz had willed to inform people for his funeral prayers, but there must not be condolence gathering according to Sunnah. He also advised his respectable wife to show patience in order to not make the children worried.
May Allah put mercy on his soul, ameen.

Source: Neday Islam magazine 63-64
Republished by: SunniOnline English