Iran’s Sunni leader:

Clerics should be Independent; don’t be Silent about People’s Problems

Clerics should be Independent; don’t be Silent about People’s Problems

The most influential Iranian Sunni leader emphasized the need of independence of clerics and scholars, and religious schools, warning of the dangerous consequences of allocating budget and salaries from governments to scholars and religious centers. Shaikh Abdol-Hamid criticized the silence of clerics regarding the current situation and problems in Iran.
He was talking to tens of thousands of people in Zahedan’s biggest Friday gathering on June 2, 2023.

No fund should have been determined for seminaries from the country’s budget
The Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan continued his speech by saying: “Those who ignore the facts, Allah will be angry with them. Throughout history, Allah has been more displeased with clerics who had forgotten the religion and resorted to trickery and deception for the fleeting material benefits of the world.”
“In the holy Qur’an, Allah complains about the Jewish clerics who did not follow the commands and instructions of the Torah; God mentions a dangerous example and harsh simile for them. Certainly, Muslim scholars who do not follow the Qur’an, such dangerous similes include them, too,” he added.
“It is important that the scholars of the Islamic world and the scholars of our country should be independent. Scholars of seminaries and universities should be independent. Clerics should tell the truth and work to reform governments and societies,” the president of Darululoom Zahedan underlined.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid addressed the officials and said: “We have said in the past that scholars should not be dependent; so do not give them salaries. Since the beginning of the revolution, we have said that seminaries, mosques, and scholars should not receive salaries and funds from the government. No budget should be defined for religious schools and seminaries. Determining a fund for seminaries is an injustice and betrayal.”
“We have said that if we cannot have 1000 students, it is enough to accept 100 students, but we must not accept government money. We did not receive even a penny from the governments of the world for this (Grand Makki) mosque and (Darululoom) seminary. Governments have offered us financial help, but we did not accept. Authorities said that they would give salaries to our teachers and students, but Sunni scholars of Sistan and Balochistan province and many other regions of the country have not accepted this,” the Iranian top Sunni cleric further said.
He urged: “The people themselves should manage and supervise the affairs of mosques, seminaries, and religious centers. Scholars must endure hardships, but no fund should be determined for seminaries.”
“It is a big mistake to define a budget for seminaries and scholars, because when the clerics get salaries and official funds, they become dependent and cannot fulfill their duties. Why scholars are silent today? It is the duty of scholars to take effective measures in reforming governments. Governments and systems of the world will not remain forever, but fell down a day. No system and government, whether Islamic or non-Islamic, will remain forever; but if the scholars are dependent, they will be trapped,” said the Iranian eminent Sunni scholar.

The allocation of funds for seminaries has hit the religion
“In the early years of the revolution, some used to say that this revolution is connected to the Mehdi Revolution. We said that if this does not happen and another system emerges and tells that seminaries should be under the supervision of new system, then what will you do? The next systems will occupy the dependent seminaries and universities, but they will not be able to occupy the independent ones,” said the Friday Khateeb of Zahedan in a part of his speech.
He said more: “In our country, seminaries are affiliated to governments. You hit the religion and distanced people from the clerics by allocating these budgets. I wish the Ulama tolerate hardships and hunger, but do not receive money and salaries from the government.”
In his Friday sermons, Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan said: “Some scholars had pretended that they had not received any financial support, but after their death, it was disclosed that there were high amounts of money in their accounts. It does not deserve Ulama. Ulama should be with masses, and should sit with poor and weak people. Allah Almighty orders the holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to sit with poor and weak people.”

Confessions of the former head of Evin Prison on executions of 1988 were very shocking
The most outstanding Iranian Sunni scholar referred to the recent remarks by Hossein Mortazavi Zanjani, a farmer head of Evin Prison when the mass executions of took place in 1988, and said: “Hussein Mortazavi talked about 1988 mass executions. We heard about these executions, but we did not hear that thousands of people were executed so cruelly. These issues shocked us. Mortazavi tells about the rape of girls who were executed. In 1988, a group of people who involved in confronting with the state was arrested, and these executions are related to them. These shocking events have hit our country, our nation, the sovereignty, and the system.”
“Today, unpleasant events also occur in some detention centers. Some prisoners talk with media on shocking issues. Islam does not accept the mistreatment against prisoners. Such conducts hit the religion of Islam. Scholars should not be silent in terms of such issues. Islam should be maintained in a system called Islamic Republic,” said Shaikh Abdol-Hamid.

It wrong that anyone who revolts against the Islamic state should be killed
The president of Darululoom Zahedan refrained killing protestors and said: “Kharijites were a deviating thought and an inner hostility. Kharijites who were among Muslims, stood against the caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. In the battle against Kharijites, the caliph Ali arrested and captured many of them, but he did not even kill one of the Kharijites. In the battles of Jamal and Siffin, the caliph Ali also did not kill the captives.”
“No Islamic states can silent uprisings by killing and hanging people; only killers are killed. If we believe that anyone who stands against the Islamic state should be killed, we are wrong. Do we understand the religion of Islam better than the Prophet and Ali? We should see how our elders behaved. This is an argument,” said Shaikh Abdol-Hamid.

The country is caught up in severe poverty; why scholars are silent?
The most influential Iranian Sunni leader referred to the responsibility of clerics and teachers of universities by saying: “Now the country faces problems and deadlines. Officials are incapable to respond to the people positively. Why the scholars are silent? University professors talk in some cases, but what will the clerics answer God? Most parts of the offices have been involved in corruption. Some authorities collected money, but the nation has been living poor. Different people suffer from economic crisis. Why did Ulama remain silent? We have the task to tell facts. People are caught in poverty. All of us must fear God.”
“Two issues are very important; one, getting the satisfaction of Allah and the other, taking care of the rights of people. Allah is our creator. We have a heavy task. We must take care of the rights of Allah, and guide people to believe in God and obey His orders. People should have a clean and pure faith. All human beings must praise Allah Almighty for His blessings,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid referred to the rights of people and Allah Almighty.
He added: “People’s rights are very important and heavy. The holy Qur’an refers to the observance of the rights of the people. The Qur’an speaks of justice, fairness, and rights of the people. The right of people is more important and heavier than the right of Allah, as He is needless. The rights of people have been lost in our society. This is our Islamic duty to talk in this issue.”
“I do not believe to offend anyone, but I would like to tell the facts as much as I can. We tell the facts, and defend the rights of people. Allah expects scholars to tell the facts and defend the rights of the people. Do not think that people protested for pride; they have problems, hear them, and fulfill their demands. People have problems and are in poverty. That is why we say that people’s voices should be heard,” said the top Iranian Baloch leader during his Friday sermons in Zahedan.

I do not believe in imposition of religion on people; demands of public should be fulfilled
The Iranian top Sunni cleric said: “I do not believe that we should force people to act on religion or accept our commands. If people want something else, you should not force them to follow you; because you have been violating people’s rights in the country. You have to review what you did. All should be free, live together, and take part in building their own country.”
The prominent Sunni scholar of Zahedan emphasized: “We should submit to the will of the majority of the nation. The country’s elders and officials should think about this.”
“The pressure creates a distance between people and the government. Officials must meet the demands of the people; this is the best and most effective way to save the country and resolve the problems. Those who call for the referendum, they want to determine the will of the people,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said in his last points.


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