Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamīd narrates the incidents after the passing of late Allāmah Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz (may Allāh have mercy on him)
Note: The series of exclusive interviews of “Nedāy Islam” with Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamīd has reached to the fifth part. We aim to record the history of a quarter century of religious awakening in the Sarhad region of Balochistan (Iran) and a part of the contemporary history of the Iranian Sunni community. The previous parts of this serial interview have been published with different titles in the issues of 51, 52-53, 55-56 and 63-64.
Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz passed away on August 12, 1987. It was a big regional and national tragedy and loss, and one of the bitterest incidents took place in the contemporary history of Balochistan and Iranian Sunnis. In this part of the interview, the days and years after losing that great personality and spiritual leader and scholar, as well as some issues and incidents took place between 1987-1992 have been discussed and highlighted.
Here are the main points of Shaikh-ūl-Islam Mawlāna Abdol-Hamīd in his talk with us:
• With the demise of Allāmah Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz, may Allāh have mercy on him, we lost a kind and compassionate father, a wise and capable leader, and a national and international figure. Definitely, his separation was very hard for us, but we relied on Allāh Almighty. I believe that Allāh Almighty does not leave people and society alone after the departure of any great man, a leader and mentor; Allāh Almighty is the remedial of all works. This incident shocked and worried our people; they had not estimated that Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz would pass away very soon. They could not believe they would face his departure this way. After this big incident, praise be to Allāh, the unity and solidarity of our people was maintained; on the base founded by late Mawlāna, the buildings were raised and the works progressed with the grace and help of Allāh.
• The movement of Allāmah Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz and the center of gravity of his activities was that to move people towards awareness and awakening, learning science and getting knowledge and putting them on the path of Islam and piety. In this regard, he worked hard in his life and used the available facilities and capacities to communicate with different classes and groups of people and to admonish and guide individuals and masses.
Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz played an effective and inspiring role in the growth and development of religious activities and establishing mosques and Islamic seminaries in this region as well as in many other places in this province and some other provinces. He was in contact with the people of different regions; people from different regions used to meet him. Sitting with him was very effective, and his meeting was the meeting of religion, knowledge, piety and virtuousness. Those who used to attend his gatherings and meetings from different regions benefited and received guidance. His guidance and encouragement motivated many works and activities. He was a special, exceptional, influential and far-sighted human being. With his foresight, he saw and felt things that we could not see and feel. Many events which were not predictable for us, they were understandable and predictable for Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz.
• The development and progress of Dārūlūloom Zāhedan was one of the biggest wishes and heart’s desires of Allāmah Mawlāna Abdol-Azīz, may Allāh have mercy on him. In the last years of his life, he used to go to Hajj every year; the pilgrims and his companions narrate that Mawlāna in his prayers in the Arafat desert had a special prayer and dū’a for the advancement and development of Dārūlūloom Zāhedan.
Al-Hamdūlillāh, as Mawlāna wished wholeheartedly, Dārūlūloom Zāhedan continued its journey of progress; two years after his death, the first group of students of this educational learning center graduated as the final year (Dawrah Hadīth) was started in Dārūlūloom Zāhedan and one of his dreams and ideas was realized. The first gathering and graduation ceremony of Dārūlūloom Zāhedan’s students was held in 1989.
Since then, this ceremony has been prosperous and glorious every year more than the previous year. Since 1992, we invited Ūlamā and prominent personalities from different Sunni regions from all over the country, who came here and the graduation ceremony was more brilliant. In the beginning, this ceremony’s title was the “Convocation of Khatm/Conclusion of Sahīh Būkhari” and then it was changed to the “Graduation Ceremony of Students of Dārūlūloom Zāhedan”. Reputable scholars and outstanding figures of the Sunnis from different provinces took part in this ceremony along with some members of the parliament, political and religious leaders and officials. From 2003 to 2009, every year prominent scholars and personalities from abroad were also the special guests of this ceremony. Great figures such as Mawlāna Fazlūr-Rehmān, chief of the Jamiat Ūlema-e-Islam of Pakistan, Mawlāna Mūfti Mohammad Rafi’ Othmāni, president of Dārūlūloom Karachi and Grand Mūfti of Pakistan, Allāmah Mūfti Mohammad Taqi Othmāni who is deputy chief of Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah, Shaikh Osamah al-Rifā’i, one of the prominent Syrian scholars, and other prominent personalities from Pakistan, India, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Sudan and etc. attended the ceremony and spoke as special guests here.
• The participation and presence of Sunnis in various national and political arenas in the first months and years after the victory of the revolution (1979) was strong and very significant. However, a new political system in the country took power and there were many concerns and expectations, and in this regard, many efforts and follow-ups were made. Numerous meetings and talks of the Sunni Ūlamā and elites with the Supreme Leader and prominent figures of the Revolutionary Council and the Interim Government, foundation and announcement of the existence of Ittihād-ūl-Mūslimeen (the Muslim Unity Party), participation in the referendum of the Islamic Republic, elections of the Assembly of Experts for Constitution, participation of the Sunni representatives and experts in the final review of the Constitution and their clear and critical stance on some articles and clauses related to the constitutional rights and civil liberties and demands of the ethnic and religious communities, the foundation of the Shams Council (Central Council of Sunnis of Iran) were part of these efforts and actions. After that, some incidents took place that reduced the participation and presence of the Sunnis in different fields for years until the first years of the last decade of the 20th century.
• The victory of jihad of the Muslim nation of Afghanistan against the occupation of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of the Soviet army from Afghanistan is one of the great events of the contemporary history at the international level which took place in 1988-89. It was jihad which saved and liberated Afghanistan. Ūlamā issued fatwa of jihad against the invasion and occupation of the Soviet Union. Many Afghan people migrated to Iran, Pakistan and some other countries. There was a very strong jihad and armed struggle in Afghanistan against the Soviet forces. The volunteer forces from many countries and different parts of the Islamic world joined the ranks of the Afghan Mujahideen and fought and resisted for years. The jihad on the path of Allāh shattered power and glory days of the Soviet Union and communism. The costs of the war for the Soviet Union went up and jihad blew up a superpower badly. The Soviet Union failed in its goals and withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. Then it was collapsed and internally disintegrated and many republics were liberated from its domination and got independence.
• After the Soviet Union, the United States occupied Afghanistan. The Americans said that the calculations and estimations of the Soviets and Russians in Afghanistan were wrong and that this had led to their defeat; but we have entered Afghanistan with the right calculations and we will win. The United States and its allies have invaded Afghanistan with all their claims and means. It has been about 20 years that jihad and fight against them is going on in Afghanistan. The US forces caused a lot of damages to Afghanistan and its people, and they themselves suffered a lot of casualties, too. Billions of dollars were spent on the war and occupation in Afghanistan and they suffered from a big economic blow.
Finally, the recent peace agreement signed in Doha, Qatar between the representatives of the Afghan Taliban’s political office and US diplomats is a sign of the failure of the United States and its allies who could not achieve their goals in Afghanistan.
Jihad is in fact a struggle of the truth/haq against the falsehood/bātil, and of course the truth is the winner. This is a great pride for those who resisted and carried out jihad in Afghanistan and did not allow the occupying forces to stay in this country. Afghanistan is the land of Afghans and Afghans themselves should decide and act to determine about the fate of their country and nation.
Translated into English by: Abdol-Hakeem Shahbakhsh
First published by: Neday Islam, V. 21, Issue: 78-79