‘Islam, Against Extremism’

‘Islam, Against Extremism’

Stating that the rules and orders of the religion of Islam were on the path of moderation, the most outstanding Iranian Sunni scholar called on all Muslims to stay away from excesses. He insisted on moderation and justice in both religious and social fields.
In the first part of his Friday speech of Zahedan, Iran on Sep. 02, 2022, after reciting the verse 43 of the chapter Baqarah, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “Allah Almighty has called our Ummah ‘Muslim nation’. Being a Muslim is the greatest honor for us. A Muslim is someone who follows the religion of Islam. Islam has the best teachings for mankind in all matters until the Day of Resurrection. The best life is a life that is in accordance with the instructions of the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”
“Islam is the religion of justice, freedom and courage. I dare to say: the laws of Islam are based on moderation and reality. We can never find injustice and deviation in the laws of Islam. Islam shows us the path of moderation in all aspects of life, including in beliefs, rulings, ethics, manners, transactions, and so on,” said the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan.
President of Darululoom Zahedan continued: “Allah has named the Islamic Ummah the “Middle Ummah”; this means that there is no exaggeration in it, but moderation. Extremists who accept some of the rules of religion and do not accept others have no place in Islam. Islam emphasizes the rights of Allah and the rights of human beings. The rights of all people, including parents, children, relatives, neighbors, the poor and needy, etc., have been preserved in Islam.”
“Comparing Islam with other cultures and civilizations, Islam has paid more attention to human rights. If the freedom that Islam has given to people is implemented, the people of the world will be satisfied,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid believed.
He further said: “The biggest right of Allah over His servants is that people should not associate anyone with Allah in worship. Polytheism is the biggest crime in faith that cannot be forgiven. Even the intercession of the prophets is not accepted for their relatives and friends who have committed polytheism. Belief in the prophecy of prophets, peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them, and belief in the resurrection are so important.”
“Observance of justice and fairness in all fields is very important; our prayers, donations, Zakah and all kinds of worships should be according to the teachings and instructions of the holy prophet, peace be upon him. Even if it is to our own detriment, let us observe justice and fairness,” said the eminent Iranian Sunni scholar.
“In dealing with others, different religions and tendencies should adhere to moderation and tolerate each other,” he said in his last points.

Power-holders shouldn’t violate Sunnis’ freedom
In the second part of his Friday speech, referring to the increase of severe religious pressures and the imposition of restrictions against the Sunnis of Iran, while criticizing such treatments, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader called on the officials and ‘power-holders’ to not violate Iranian Sunnis’ freedom and due rights.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid strongly criticized the new obstacles and barriers against the Sunni community of Iran, saying: “We should treat all equally and tolerate each other. We must avoid extremism. Our country consists of various ethnicities and religious sects; so we must consider these diversities.”
“Our Shiite brothers, especially those who are in charge of people’s affairs and hold power, should behave in a way that respects the rights of all, including the rights of Christians, Jews, Dervishes, etc. Iran belongs to all Iranians,” he urged.
“The Sunnis constitute a large population in Iran; we don’t say that Sunnis are a minority in Iran. They are at least 20 million people. Their rights must be given, their capable people should be employed in high-ranking positions, and the legal and Islamic rights of them should be maintained and ensured,” said the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan in the presence of tens of thousands of worshippers.
“We are afraid if extremism penetrates into the body of the state-run bureaus, because extremism in the administration body affects unity,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid warned the Iranian authorities.
He continued his speech, saying: “We warn the high-ranking officials not to violate our due rights that law has given us. If discrimination causes someone to take away our freedoms, this will be very dangerous.”
The president of Darululoom Zahedan expressed his concerns: “Recently, some treatments have been started in the country that has worried us. Prayer-houses are under the severe pressures in different places; while no one should be worried about the prayers. A person who has a little faith tolerates the prayers. Does offering prayers harm anyone?”
“Sunnis’ prayer-houses in Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran, and other cities are under severe pressure. From this platform, I’d like to tell the officials: stop such harsh treatments,” he added.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid urged: “The Supreme Leader, the president and other officials should not allow some people to cause the displeasure of the Sunnis.”
“We have endured so many problems, but did not raise our voice to protest. We have accompanied the system and government through years. Now, it is not acceptable if someone does not tolerate our prayers. The government and the system of the country must protect our legal freedom. If we face more pressure, we will defend our legal freedoms,” said the Iranian Sunnis’ leader during his Friday speech of Zahedan.

We stand against those who prevent us from the prayers
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid went on to defend the rights of Iranian Sunnis, saying: “Iran is the homeland of all Iranians. All Iranians have equal rights. The only reason that Sunnis have tolerated discriminatory behaviors in the country for 44 years was to maintain the fraternity and unity.”
“As Iranian Sunni citizens, we complain that why the authorities did not engage our capable people in the top positions of the country, in administrative jobs and in the provincial centers. Why Sunnis are not present in the armed forces?” he added more.
Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan said: “We have been raising and following up Sunnis’ legal demands, waiting for positive responses. However, if some people want to interfere in our religious matters that are not tolerable, then we defend our rights. You must tolerate us as Iranian citizens and give us our certain rights.”
“As a well-wisher of the country and the nation, I say: this is the voice of every Iranian Sunni citizen: ‘We want freedom; the power-holders must not take away our freedom.’ We will stand until our last breath against those who want to prevent us from prayers and interfere in our educational affairs,” said the prominent Iranian Sunni leader.
Pointing out to the maximum presence of Sunnis in the country’s political scenes, the Friday Imam of Zahedan said: “When the Supreme Leader came here (in Balochistan), I told him: today we are proud because we have never created disputes in the country.”
“We interact, tolerate, and believe that all Muslims in the world should observe unity. For us, Shia and Sunni and even Muslims and non-Muslims have absolute rights, and there is no difference. We believe in humanity,” said Shaikh Abdol-Hamid.
“Sunnis are pioneers in securing security. We have cooperated in establishing the national security and unity and were present in all political scenes including in elections. Even in the recent controversial elections, when many people boycotted the elections, Sunnis participated despite severe pressures”, the most outstanding leader of Iranian Balochistan said.

They have even filtered our websites
In another part of his Friday speech of Zahedan, Mawlana Abdol-Hamid complained about the indifference of the media to the Sunni community and said: “We complain that the local and national media and our own [state-run] TV do not pay attentions to us. The media have never conveyed our words fully and correctly, and rarely attended in our ceremonies. They even filtered our two websites that we launched from the very beginning.”
“Some foreign media outlets used to quote our content sometimes, but they boycotted us after we supported the recent presidential elections,” Shaikh said more.

Officials should respond to our letters
In the last part of his speech, he said: “When we write letters and convey our demands and problems to the authorities, they should respond and don’t leave us in an undecided situation.”
“When we publish some letters, the officials complain why we publish our demands and complaints; but when we write letters, they do not respond,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid added more.
He said: “We expect the high-ranking officials urge on the middle officers to avoid creating obstacles for the Sunnis. We should be tolerated; we have been advising the Sunnis around the world to tolerate Shias and their religious ceremonies. It is our belief, not just a temporary policy.”

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