Maulana Abdulhamid:

The authorities say that we don’t negotiate with armed individuals and warmongers. Have you negotiated with political prisoners and those who protest through civil means?

The authorities say that we don’t negotiate with armed individuals and warmongers. Have you negotiated with political prisoners and those who protest through civil means?

Sheikh ul-Islam Maulana Abdulhamid, today (April 12, 2024), during the Friday prayer ceremony in Zahedan, in his response to some protests against his recent statements regarding “dialogue and negotiation with opponents” said: You say you don’t negotiate with armed individuals and warmongers, but the question arises: Have you negotiated with “political prisoners” and people who do not have “weapons” and express their demands through “civil means”?!

Officials should consider the people
According to Zahedan Sunni Imam Juma’s office website report, Maulana Abdulhamid said in part of his speech at this ceremony: It is April now, and the Iranian people went to the ballot boxes in this month (in 1979) and voted for the “Islamic Republic.” The people, knowing that Islam is a religion of justice, equality, foresight, tolerance, and morality, in which there is extraordinary freedom of expression and thought, voted for the “Islamic Republic.”
He continued: People thought that they were voting for a system whose foundations are based on justice, freedom, democracy, tolerance, foresight, and moral virtues. “Republicanism,” which is part of the system, means “democracy”; meaning that the people are the masters of the country and the ruler is only and only the representative of the people. Just as in the Islamic system, the “Caliph of Muslims” and the “Commander of the Faithful” represent the people. The Caliph of Muslims and the Commander of the Faithful are elected by the people, not by God, and this is a right that God has given to the people to decide their own fate, and God has no intervention in this regard. The Four Caliphs were chosen by the people. Imam Ali, may God be pleased with him, argued in a letter he wrote to Muawiya, and this letter is also available in Nahj ul-Balagha, and said that the same council that elected the previous caliphs has also elected me; so you must obey me.
The Friday prayer leader of Zahedan clarified: Officials should consider the people. The Iranian people, who have had protests in the past two or three years and have raised their demands and grievances. The officials should have stood alongside the people, listened to the people’s words, and accepted the people’s demands.

We are not associated with “violence”, but we accept “civil efforts”
Maulana Abdulhamid continued in his remarks: One of dear officials had said that they do not engage in dialogue with armed individuals and warmongers. This is good, but the question arises: How much dialogue have you had with those who came to the streets in Iran -and raised issues and demands- and also with us when we raised issues? You do not negotiate with armed individuals, but have you negotiated with someone who has no weapons but has problems, grievances, and peaceful protests, and has raised them? Has anyone negotiated with political prisoners about their demands?
He stated: We are opposed to any kind of violence from anyone and any party. We do not accept or endorse violence from the government or the system or from the people, and we are not associated with any violence. We encourage dialogue with anyone dissatisfied. We accept and approve civil activities and the activities of Iranian people are also civil.
The Friday prayer leader of Zahedan emphasized: We believe that violence begets violence. This is something I have been saying not only now but for more than ten years. Even now, my opinion is that if you want to implement a ruling of the religion in the society, do not use violence, but encourage and persuade the people, because violence does not work.
He reminded: We believe in dialogue. Of course, we also reject the dialogue that is empty of action and we believe that the dialogue should be in such a way that it would be accepted if each of the parties was right. We believe in constructive dialogue and that dialogue whose result is the acceptance of the truth, rather than someone saying that only my words are acceptable and the words of others are rejected. Everyone must accept the right, fair, and correct word.

“Democratic government” is the one that seeks “justice” and “people’s satisfaction”
Maulana Abdulhamid continued: A government that does not listen to the people’s words is not a “democratic government,” but a democratic government is one that seeks justice and seeks people’s satisfaction and listens to the people’s words, not the one which “sticks to their guns” and insistently rejects any kind of dialogue. I once spoke to one of the senior government officials and raised criticisms. Some individuals came to me saying that Mr. Minister was upset about your remarks. I said I don’t insist on my opinion; if he convinces me that my criticism is wrong, I will retract my statement, but they did not convince me.
The Friday prayer leader of Zahedan said: There is no human being who is “absolute right” and “immune from error”; every human being is prone to error. Sunnis believe that except for prophets and the noble Prophet Muhammad, May peace and blessings be upon him, all other humans, even the companions, are not infallible, and our Shia brothers believe in the infallibility of some of the Imams of the Ahl ul-Bayt. Therefore, the correct way to solve problems is for all of us to be subject to dialogue, justice, and fairness. We all must be both “God-centered” and “people-centered,” and in all matters, we must consider God and the people. God also does not accept us ignoring the people.

Everyone is familiar with the moderate approach of Maulana Abdulaziz, may God have mercy on him, and the people of the province
It would be better if “reason” and “integrity” were considered when assigning responsibilities
In the final part of his speech, Maulana Abdulhamid referred to the insults that had recently been committed by some officials and one of the Friday imams in the province and said: We never respond to insults and indecencies; even if the highest person insults us, of course, if someone accuses, we believe they should be answered.
He added: Everyone is familiar with the moderate path of Maulana Abdulaziz, may God have mercy on him, and the people of Makki and the people of Sistan and Baluchistan province. The people of the province are reasonable people and are not emotional. It is always these emotions that ruin things.
The Friday prayer leader of Zahedan mentioned: It would be better if when someone is given a responsibility, their “reason” is considered before their knowledge. If they choose a minister, governor, or Friday prayer leader, they should first examine his reason, then his knowledge and expertise, because “reason” and “knowledge” are two separate things. Many people have “knowledge” but do not have the necessary “intelligence.” A person must be endowed with “reason” to control “knowledge” and control everything with reason.
He continued: Another important point is that a person should have “nobility” and “decency” in addition to “intelligence” and “knowledge”. One of the issues that we unfortunately did not reach an agreement on, in the Islamic Republic, is paying attention to “decency” in assigning positions and responsibilities. Once I told some officials that when assigning responsibilities, also consider the “nobility” and “decency” of the individual because if you give a high position to someone who lacks these, he will get above himself and cause trouble, but they disagreed with this view and opinion.


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