According to the secretariat of the World Congress on Extremism and Takfiri Threats, a congress entitled “Takfīr: the Challenges Ahead, the Duty of Muslim Scholars” was held on August 11th in the city of Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province in Iran.
What follows is the Message of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi to this congress:
In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعالَمِين وَ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَی سَیَّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ الطَّاهِرِين وَلا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ اِلاّ بِاللَّهِ الْعَلِىِّ الْعَظيمِ
First of all I would like to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to all of the dear participants because of taking part in this blessed gathering which is organized in order to address one of the most complicated problems of the Muslim world. I also appreciate all of the respectable Muslim scholars for their attendance in this congress and their concern for solving the problems of the Muslim world.
We are also drawing closer to the birth anniversary of Imam ʿAli ibn Musā al-Riḍā (ʿa). So I also congratulate you all, who respect and venerate the Prophet’s (ṣ) ahl-al-bayt (ʿa), on this blessed occasion.
The truth is that today the Muslim world is beset with a serious problem which is completely without precedent in the history of Islam. The problem is so widespread and serious that one can even claim that it has afflicted the entire human world. Today, a group of people who are poorly uninformed about the teachings of Islam, and who are definitely being supported by the enemies of Islam to create civil wars within the Muslim countries, assume or publicly claim that they are the only genuine Muslims and that all others are disbelievers. Those whom these people call disbelievers include the majority of the Sunni Muslims, the Shia Muslims, and all non-Muslims.
According to the deviant beliefs of these extremists, it is permissible for them to kill anyone that they deem to be a disbeliever and it is also permissible for them to plunder their wealth and take their women as slaves. It should be noted that they have not only stated these claims in words but they have actually put these beliefs of theirs into practice in various regions.
All of you respectable Muslim scholars are perfectly aware of the atrocities committed by these extremist groups in various countries and the serious damage that they have caused to the image of Islam in the world. Through their horrendous actions, these extremists have depicted a harsh and violent image of Islam, while the real and genuine Islam is a religion of peace and love. The true Islam even supports the peaceful coexistence of Muslims with those non-Muslims who do not invade or fight the Muslims. This belief is of course supported by the following verse in the Quran:
لايَنهاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذينَ لَم يُقاتِلوكُم فِي الدّينِ وَلَم يُخرِجوكُم مِن دِيارِكُم أَن تَبَرّوهُم وَتُقسِطوا إِلَيهِم إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ المُقسِطينَ
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just”
Despite such teachings in the Quran, some extremist groups have declared themselves as the only true Muslims and have excommunicated the rest of the Muslim Ummah. Based on these deviant beliefs of theirs, they have then gone so far as to perpetrate the most hideous of crimes and atrocities.
In a situation like this Muslim scholars have a heavy responsibility. Their first responsibility is to protect the good reputation of Islam and to announce to the world that Islam is a religion of mercy and kindness not a religion of harshness, bloodshed, killing, and massacre.
The second duty of all Muslim scholars is that they must do all in their power to protect the lives of all Muslims. We cannot stay silent and do nothing and just watch so many innocent Muslims being massacred. Today that we have all witnessed the atrocities committed by these extremist groups, all of us, without any exceptions, are responsible to put an end to such atrocities.
As it was discussed above, our first duty is to prove to the world that what these extremists are perpetrating has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam. Secondly, we must do our best to protect all Muslim against these groups. Thirdly, we must try to educate and properly inform the Muslim youth in this regard so as to prevent them from being drawn towards and recruited by these extremist groups.
Once the Muslim youth realize that these are all plots created by the enemies against Islam, such extremist groups will no longer have any appeal for them. Moreover, as we prevent more Muslim youth from being drawn to such extremist groups, the enemies will gradually lose their pretext for spreading Islamophobia in the world and also associating the atrocities of the extremists with Islamic teachings.
Fortunately, we have witnessed very constructive actions being taken with regard to the issue at hand. One of such steps was taken recently be the Shaykh of al-Azhar University. He has recently announced that all Muslim scholars must convene and unanimously announce that killing Muslims is strictly prohibited.
This means that anyone who has pronounced the statement of faith (i.e. the Shahādatayn) and who performs prayers towards the Qibla is considered to be a Muslim and so he must not be killed. Of course there might be differences in the way various Muslim schools perform various religious rituals. However, these differences do not mean that some can accuse other Muslims as being outside the fold of Islam. Therefore, anyone who has faith in the most fundamental principles and tenets of the religion is considered to be a Muslim. Calling any Muslim individual a disbeliever merely because of small differences between various Islamic schools is in direct contrast with the word of the great Prophet (ṣ).
Another constructive step that was taken in this regard was the announcement which was recently made by the Pope. He said that these extremists have nothing to do with Islam. He further stated that these extremists are a deviant minority, the likes of whom also exist in Christianity. He also said that they are not to be taken as representatives of Islam and that Islam is a religion of mercy and kindness. Apparently, even non-Muslims admit the fact that the Takfiris have nothing to do with Islam.
We, the Shia religious authorities in Qum, have also been busy planning and working towards carrying out our responsibility in this regard. For instance, we have held two international congresses in the past two years on the threats of extremists and Takfiris in order to show the world that such groups have nothing to do with Islam. We invited various Muslim scholars and Muftis from over 80 countries. They all attended the congress and they unanimously announced that the Takfiris have nothing to do with Islam.
We also ask you, respectable scholars, who live in the western part of the country where the enemies might attempt to hatch some plots, to be vigilant and alert. Of course the politicians, security forces, and armed forces have their own responsibilities and we, as Muslim scholars, have those of our own to carry out.
Our duty is to spread the news all over the world concerning the real nature of the Takfiris. We need to make it clear for all, both Muslims and non-Muslims that what the extremist and Takfiri groups perpetrate have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam. I assure you that our actions in this regard will be very effective and if we neglect our responsibility or fail to properly fulfill it, we will be held accountable on the Judgment Day. This is because if, for instance, I am able to prevent the spilling of some innocent blood but I do not do so, then I will be considered as having participated in that crime.
Thank God you are all very influential figures in your own regions. You should use your influence and plainly explain these issues to the people. You should work hand in hand with one another and unanimously repudiate Takfirism. We, the Shia scholars and religious authorities of the Islamic seminary school in Qum, are also by your side.
God willing, through this cooperation we will be able to eradicate this problem first in the western regions of the country, then in the eastern regions, and then in the whole Muslim world and finally in the entire human world. Unfortunately, today the same western countries which fanned the flames of Takfirism in order to create a schism among the Muslims and to throw them into discord with one another are now facing the same problem themselves.
Today even these western countries know that they have made a terrible mistake to support such extremists. We hope that in a not so distant future these extremist ideologies can be eradicated and these fires extinguished.
Once again, I would like to thank all of you respectable scholars for your participation. I also announce once again that we stand by your side until we achieve this sacred goal.
وَاَلسَّلامُ عَلَیكُمْ وَ رَحْمَةُ اللّهِ وَ بَرَكاتُهُ
Māmustā Qāder Suhrābī the Friday Prayer Leader of Mahābād, Iran
In the beginning of the congress, Māmustā Qāder Suhrābī the Friday Prayer Leader of Mahābād welcomed the participants and expressed his hope that the congress could be a step forward towards eradicating the problem of Takfir. He stated that the religious scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that it is their responsibility to clarify the dangers of the Takfiri movements for the people. He further stated that this is considered to be a heavy burden and responsibility for all religious scholars.
The Friday Prayer Leader of Mahābād then noted that extremist groups such as the Daesh terrorists and other Takfiri groups must not have any followers here in Iran. He also said that such conspiracies as Takfirism have been organized in order to create disunity and distrust among Muslims and no one will benefit from it except the imperialists and corrupt superpowers.
Calling the ideologies of the Takfiri movements “corrupt and deviant”, Māmustā Qāder Suhrābī further noted that these Takfiri movements have created a bloodbath in Syria with the financial and logistical support of Saudi Arabia and the West, in the name of defending Syrian people.
He stated in this regard: “we, Muslim scholars and clerics, have a heavy responsibility in this regard. We are duty-bound to treat this illness and we must not keep silent and watch our youth being drawn towards such Takfiri groups. We must fight for the protection of our sanctities, because Takfirism, Wahhabism, and Salafism exist among us and they are the roots of all of the violence that we witness in the Muslim world today”.
The Friday Prayer Leader of Mahābād then noted: “There was a time when Takfirism and Wahhabism were not present in our community, and we used to live in peace. Today, however, the Takfiris and Wahhabis kill our scholars and religious chiefs but no one can bring them to justice and retaliate. These people have deprived all Muslims of security and peace”.
Hujjatuleslam Sayyid Mahdi Qurayshi, the representative of the Supreme Leader in West Azerbaijan province
Expressing his hope that all Muslims would act according to the teachings of the Prophet (ṣ), Hujjatuleslam Sayyid Mahdi Qurayshi stated that based on such Quranic verses as “إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ”, “مُحَمَّدٌ رَسولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدّاءُ عَلَى الكُفّارِ رُحَماءُ بَينَهُم”, all Muslims have been instructed to be united. He further noted: “In the world of Islam, all Muslims are considered to be one another’s brothers and Allah the Almighty has promised those who create disunity in the ranks of the Muslims a severe punishment. Moreover, we have a lot of traditions and numerous instances in the life of the Prophet (ṣ) where the issues of brotherhood and unity of the Muslims have been emphasized”.
The representative of the Supreme Leader in West Azerbaijan province also asserted: “all Muslims must be united against their enemies. According to the Islamic traditions, anyone who insults Muslims will be cursed by Allah and his angels”.
He then stated: “The life and the wealth of the Muslims are protected under the law of Islam and it is strictly prohibited to kill a Muslim or seize their possessions. There are a lot of difficult conditions which need to be met before a person can be excommunicated and ruled as a disbeliever”.
Hujjatuleslam Qurayshi then referred to the words of the Prophet of Islam (ṣ) in this regard and stated: “The Prophet (ṣ) instructed the Muslims as follows: “fight the disbelievers until they agree to recite the statement of faith (i.e. Shahādatayn)”. This tradition indicates that merely reciting the statement of faith suffices for a person to be considered as a Muslim. Contrary to the words of the Prophet (ṣ), however, the Takfiris easily kill Muslims as soon as they commit a minor sin”.
The Friday Prayer leader of West Azerbaijan province then continued his remarks by referring to some historical instances of extremism and the Prophet’s (ṣ) severe reaction to them. He further stated that, according to the Prophet (ṣ) when a person recites the statement of faith he is considered to be a Muslim even if he is suspected to have recited it due to fear.
In the end of his speech, Hujjatuleslam Qurayshi mentioned a number of Islamic traditions, related by both Shia and Sunni narrators, as well as a number of Quranic verses in regards to the issues of faith and unfaith. He then continued by saying that it is the duty of the religious scholars to inform and enlighten the people with regard to the reality of these issues so as to eradicate the great sedition which has plagued the Muslim world.
He also expressed his hope that through such enlightenment, unity will be restored to the Muslim community, after which even non-Muslims will be able to see the reality of Islam as a religion of affection and kindness.
Hujjatoeslam Dr. Hakim Elāhi, the Head of the Secretariat of the World Congress on Extremism and the Takfiri Threats
Hujjatoeslam Dr. Hakim Elāhi, the Head of the Secretariat of the World Congress on Extremism and the Takfiri Threats, referred to the role of the Takfiri movements in the growth of Islamophobia in the world.
At the beginning of his speech, Hujjatoeslam Dr. Hakim Elāhi conveyed the regards of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi to the scholars and clerics of West Azerbaijan province and also those of the city of Mahābād. He then thanked the congress organizers for their efforts and stated: “Takfir is the worst sedition in the world of today which can be likened to a cancerous tumor within the genuine Islam.”
He further continued: “It is based on this deviant ideology that various Takfiri groups commit such unspeakable atrocities against innocent people all around the world and they kill Shias and Sunnis, women, children and the elderly, and also non-Muslims”.
Stating that the goals and the targets of all Takfiris in the world are determined by the Us, England, and the Western think tanks, he asserted: “Although during the evolution of the western and Islamic civilizations, the relationship between Islam and the west has been that of peaceful coexistence, the fear of the development of Islam has always existed in the west”.
He also stated: “The Fatwas of Takfir and excommunication are issued in certain think tanks in some western countries, but the loudspeakers through which these Fatwas are announced are some scholars and thinkers who are unaware of these facts”.
Dr. Hakim Elāhi noted: “In the early Islamic centuries, Muslims conquered many different regions and this worried the west that Islam was to develop into a great power. Today, the west is also worried that the Islamic culture might grow so much that it will dominate the western culture. After all there are a lot of differences between the western and Islamic cultures.
Over time, Islam has grown with an ever increasing growth in the west and the Muslim population is increasing in Europe. For instance, there are more than two hundred thousand Muslims living in Denmark. There are also over four million Muslims in France and two million Muslims in England. This ever increasing growth of the Muslim population in various countries has frightened the west”.
The head of the Secretariat then added: “In order to fight this great wave of Islamism in the west, the enemies have adopted two strategies:
First: the strategy of fighting from the outside.
In order to implement this strategy, they have utilized the following methods:
- Weakening the Islamic countries: an example of this method is what occurred in regards to Egypt. Egypt had a very powerful military and so the enemies devised various plans through which they undermined the military power of Egypt. The same scenario is being followed today with regard to Turkey.
- Stealing the wealth of the Islamic countries;
- Establishing puppet regimes in the Islamic countries: for instance, they spent more than 1200 billion dollars in order to establish a puppet regime in Iraq and to instate puppet officials in various posts.
- Tarnishing the Divine image of Islam as well as that of Islamic culture and civilization by the hands of the Muslims themselves and undermining the popularity of Islam by means of the Muslims themselves.
These were but glimpses of the attempts made in order to spread Islamophobia in the west. In spite of all these efforts, the inclination of the people in the west towards Islam has risen from 8 percent in the past to 48 percent in the present time.
Despite all this, the enemies have been able to further implement their strategy of “fighting from the inside”. They have intensified their efforts in spreading negative publicity against Islam by broadcasting horrible footage of the killing of innocent people by the Takfiri terrorists who decapitate or burn their victims. They present shocking statistics showing the great number of innocent people who have been killed by the Takfiri groups. They also broadcast the terrible Fatwas issued by the heads of such Takfiri movements in order to create an atmosphere of fear and terror among the western people”.
Dr. Hakim Elāhi then continued: “The book which has sold the greatest number of copies in the west is a book which has aimed to spread Islamophobia. In this book, it has been claimed that more than 76 percent of the Muslims are aggressive and are inclined toward violence”.
At the end of his speech, Dr. Hakim Elāhi noted that one must not forget the significant role played by the American and British intelligence agencies in this regard. He further stated that the Muslim scholars must carry out their duty in informing the people with regard to this issue and to expose the true nature of these enemies for the Muslim people.
Dr. Rādfar, Political and Security Deputy of the Governor of West Azerbaijan Province
At the beginning of his speech, Dr. Rādfar, the political and security deputy of the governor of west Azerbaijan province conveyed the regards of the governor to the participants. He also paid tribute to the martyrs who had been killed fighting the Takfiri terrorists. He then continued his speech in the congress of “Takfīr: the Challenges Ahead, the Duty of Muslim Scholars” by discussing the status of various Takfiri movements in the region.
He stated in this regard: “The advent of Islam and the inclination of people towards it has always been alarming to the western world. According to the westerners themselves, Islam has undermined their interests in various parts of the world”.
He then continued: “One of the most significant elements which can reduce the interest of people in Islam is Islamophobia. Since it proved to be an effective tool in this regard, the heads of the western states had to find a way to implement their evil plans for spreading Islamophobia in the world”.
The political and security deputy of the governor of west Azerbaijan also added: “In order to spread Islamophobia among the people of the world, these corrupt western officials committed a lot of wicked actions. For instance, they trained certain individuals in various corners of the world in order to start Takfiri movements in the name of Islam in Muslim countries.”
He further noted: “In fact, their main purpose in creating such Takfiri movements was to tarnish the image of Islam in the eyes of the people of the world. Moreover, the reason why they have been successful in creating such groups is that they had close allies within the Muslim community, i.e. some of their puppets in the Muslim countries who call themselves Muslim scholars.”
Dr. Rādfar then stated: “unfortunately, the Muslim scholars have not taken any effective actions, since the emergence of the Takfiri movements, in order to display the true and genuine image of Islam to the world. This is the main reason why these Takfiri groups have been able to conquer many parts of a number of countries in the region”.
He continued: “The Muslim scholars should have informed people that Islam is a religion of mercy and kindness and that it has never authorized such terrible acts as the killing of innocent children and marrying already married women”.
The political and security deputy of the governor of west Azerbaijan further noted: “we must admit that many of the policies and undertakings in many Muslim countries have been the exact opposite of the teachings of Islam”.
He also added: “Due to the atrocities committed by the Takfiri groups in countries where they have emerged, we are now faced with countries where the normal course of the life of their people has undergone a dramatic change. Examples of these countries are Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria. In these countries, people live their everyday lives in fear of terrorist attacks and the atrocities of Takfiri groups like the Daesh”.
Dr. Rādfar then stated: “Currently, however, we see that the Islamic Resistance Front is fighting the Daesh Takfiri group in Syrian and Iraq. It is due to this resistance that the Daesh has been isolated. But we must all know that the Daesh, and more specifically the Takfir ideology, must be fought in a systematic way otherwise they will never be completely eradicated.”
He continued: “Whatever the Daesh terrorists do and all the atrocities they commit are based on scenarios developed by the real enemies of Islam. Moreover, due to their fear that these Takfiri terrorists might decide to come back to their home countries one day, these enemies of Islam have planned to create a new country for them, of course within the Muslim countries”.
The political and security deputy of the governor of west Azerbaijan then emphasized the necessity of all Muslim countries uniting in the fight against the Daesh Takfiri group and said: “The Muslim scholars must work together and come up with some plan and a way to completely eliminate this Takfiri group as well as the Takfiri ideology itself”.
He also emphasized the necessity of eliminating all extremist ideologies from the Muslim world and continued: “Extremist and Takfiri ideologies must be completely eliminated from the Muslim world. The adverse and tragic conditions of many Muslim countries today are the result of extremist ideologies”.
Dr. Rādfar then added: “Today, what is of utmost importance is that all Muslim scholars must be unanimous in rejecting the ideology of Takfir and showing the true image of Islam to the people. This is particularly important when it comes to the Muslim youth especially because they are fans of social media and the enemy has already begun operating in all social media”.
He continued: “Currently, all of the Muslim youth are faced with a single source of information where they find conflicting information concerning Islam. Under these circumstances, therefore, it is an absolute duty upon the Muslim scholars to enlighten the youth and inform them of the true Islamic purposes and ideals”.
The political and security deputy of the governor of west Azerbaijan further stated: “Muslim scholars must be aware that if the youth do not receive proper answers for their questions regarding Islam, they will definitely incline towards Takfiri ideologies. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Muslim scholars to voice their repudiation of the Takfiris loud enough for the whole world to hear”.
Dr. Rādfar then said: “Currently, Islam is in a very difficult situation and the enemies are operating at their full capacity to depict a tarnished image of Islam. Thus, it is necessary for the scholars to come to the aid of Islam”.
Māmūstā Ibrahim Surkhābi, the Friday Prayer Leader of Naqadeh
Māmūstā Ibrahim Surkhābi, the Friday Prayer Leader of Naqadeh also discussed to the duties of the scholars in confronting the Takfiri movements. He said that putting the teachings of the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah into practice is the only way of properly fighting the Takfiri movements. He also stated that the Holy Quran has explicitly mentioned that whoever adheres to the sacred Islamic traditions is considered to be a Muslim and no one is allowed to harass or kill them.
He continued his speech by referring to some historical examples related to the time of the Prophet (ṣ) and also a number of traditions concerning the way the Prophet (ṣ) used to treat the Jews and other non-Muslims.
The Friday Prayer leader of Naqadeh then stated: “Takfir and excommunication have very strict rules and they cannot be taken lightly. Thus, it is not possible to easily accuse just anyone of disbelief and call them disbelievers”. He further said that when a person has recited the statement of faith and abides by the laws of Islam, he is considered to be a Muslim and this is the greatest religious obstacle to Takfir.
Māmūstā Surkhābi further noted: “We are duty-bound to take practical steps to fight such Takfiri movements and we must at least condemn their crimes through releasing statements”.
He also said that Iran’s security in the most troubled region of the world is due to the wisdom of the Supreme Leader and the Iranian government. Māmūstā Surkhābi then thanked Iran’s Supreme Leader for issuing a Fatwa in which he prohibited insulting the sanctities of other Muslim schools. He stated in this regard: “No one must be allowed to insult the sanctities of others, because such acts will instigate sectarian conflicts and this will in turn bring about insecurity”.
He also emphasized the importance of preventing the Takfiri movements to infiltrate the Iranian society, and noted: “Iran is an island of stability in a region ravaged by wars, conflicts, massacre, and insecurity. This stability and security is the result of the wisdom and the effective policies adopted by the Supreme Leader”.
He also emphasized that the western powers hate Islam and they hypocritically take sides in their mass media, sometimes with the Shias and sometimes with the Sunnis. He further noted that no matter whose sides the westerners take, their purpose is always the same: to spark the flames of sectarian wars between Shia and Sunni Muslims in order to destabilize the Muslim counties and achieve their evil goals.
He also referred to the issue of unemployment as one of the problems that causes the youth to be attracted towards Takfiri movements and he called for more effective steps towards the eradication of this problem by the government.
The Friday Prayer leader of Naqadeh then said: “The Sunni scholars must also participate in the religious programs which are broadcast through the national television channels in order to enlighten the people through their speeches. Through such speeches, they must explain the importance of unity to the public”.
At the end of his speech, the Friday Prayer Leader of Nagadeh noted that the corrupt superpowers do not care at all about the Muslims, otherwise they would not have distributed such great supplies of arms to the Muslim countries.
Hujjatoleslam Faʿāl Āzar, the Head of the Office of Supreme Leader’s Representative in West Azerbaijan
In the beginning of his speech, Hujjatoleslam Faʿāl Āzar stated: “The Takfiri movements have distorted Islam. Today, the enemies of Islam use the stupid Muslims as their puppets in order to undermine Islam”.
He then added: “Under such conditions, we must be careful about the distortions that are made in the religion and we must eliminate ignorance and unawareness.”
He continued: “We, Muslim scholars, are duty-bound to take a stand against the evil plots of the enemies otherwise the enemies will only leave a shell of our religion. If such a thing happens, then we will become like the Christians whose religious beliefs are confined to a very limited number of rites and rituals”.
Hujjatoleslam Faʿāl Āzar then referred to Jihād-e-Nikāh as one of the abhorrent deviations created by the Takfiri movements and stated that the Takfiri movements are mere tools in the hands of the enemies of Islam in order to destroy the religion.
Māmustā Mulla Khedr Rahīmī, the Sunni Friday Prayer Leader of Sardasht
In the beginning of his speech, Māmustā Mulla Khedr Rahīmī stated that one of the strategies used by the enemies is fomenting discord among the Muslims. He also stated that another strategy of the enemies is that they employ certain individuals in order to spread Islamophobia in the world.
He further said: “Through fomenting sectarian discord among the Muslims, the enemies can displace a lot of Muslims and destroy their identities. The Takfiri movements are, in fact, the real enemies of Islam which have been created and financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.”
The Friday Prayer leader of Sardasht then noted: “Iran is now the center of resistance against these enemies of Islam and it tries to prevent the enemies from ruining the Islamic awakening. In the meantime, the west is trying to destroy Islam through fabricating new deviant sects and movements within the Muslim world.
The question that must be asked is why are not the weapons of the Takfiris aimed at Israel? Surely means that these Takfiris along with their sponsors intend to normalize relations with Israel. Under these conditions, we must not fall for the plots of the corrupt superpowers and we must appreciate the blessing of security and safety in our country”.
At the end of his speech, he asserted that we will definitely be victorious through relying on the Quran and the Prophetic tradition as well as by adhering to the wise instructions of the Supreme Leader. He also emphasized that all Muslims must stay united against the common enemy and they must all repudiate Takfirism.
Māmustā Khalifeh Zādeh, the Friday Prayer Leader of Būkān
Māmustā Khalifeh Zādeh, the Friday Prayer Leader of Būkān stated the following in the beginning of his speech: “Today, we are faced with two challenges: the first challenge originates from within the Muslim world itself, and the other stems from outside the Muslim world”.
He then added: “The internal challenge is what we are witnessing today within the Muslim Ummah: we are disunited and have forsaken the religion in order to achieve our worldly pleasures”.
Māmustā Khalifeh Zādeh continued: “If a society has no need for any religions, then why has there been a religion in every era and why has Islam been sent down by Allah as the last divinely-sent religion?”
The Friday Prayer leader of Būkān then referred to the plots of the corrupt superpowers as the external challenges that the Muslim world is faced with today and stated: “Today all corrupt powers are conspiring to create division and disunity among the Muslims”.
He also added: “The Takfiris are individuals who have been deceived by non-Muslims and who have been supplied with everything they desire by the corrupt superpowers. These people have been enticed by these powers to fight their own brothers”.
Māmūstā Khalifeh Zādeh said: “We must not restrict all our defensive actions against the enemies to merely chanting “down with America” and “down with Israel” slogans during Friday Prayers. These are but bubbles without proper and effective actions”.
Māmūstā Abdulqādir Bayzāwi, the Sunni Prayer Leader of Urmia
As the last speaker, Māmūstā Abdulqādir Bayzāwi, the Sunni Prayer Leader of Urmia, stated the following: “The concept of establishmentarianism [i.e. the separation of religion and state] is now a danger which threatens Islam”.
He then referred to the motto of “Independence, freedom, the Islamic republic” which was chanted by Iranian people during their 1979 revolution and stated: “During the first years after the 1979 revolution in Iran, there was a great level of unity among all Iranian Muslims. Today, we need to do our best to protect this unity”.
The Sunni Friday Prayer Leader of Urmia further stated: “We made great strides on the path that we had chosen by adhering to the principles summarized in the motto “Independence, freedom, the Islamic republic””.
Māmūstā Bayzāwi also added: “Although various countries are busy invading each other in the world of today, we live in peace and security here in Iran. This is while there are various different ethnic and religious minorities living in our country”.
In the end, the closing statement of the congress was read which is as follows:
The closing statement of the congress
وَ لا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ أَلْقى إِلَیْکُمُ السَّلامَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِناً تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَیاةِ الدُّنْیا
Under the current conditions of the world, Islam is passing one of the bitterest eras since its advent. The extremists and Takfiris have caused widespread destruction, massacre, violence, and sectarian conflicts in the Muslim world with their deviant ideologies, fatwas, and divisive actions. Through their actions, the Takfiris have distracted the Muslims from the more essential issues of the Muslim world, and they have served the interests of the enemies of Islam.
Under the current circumstances, it is necessary for the Muslim scholars to repudiate and denounce these groups and to introduce the genuine and true Islam to the world, hence to fulfill their responsibility in regards to Islam.
Islam is a religion of mercy and kindness and it denounces killing and violence. The role model of all Muslims is Prophet Muhammad (ṣ) who has been described in the Quran by Allah as follows:
“إِنَّک لَعَلی خُلُقٍ عَظِیمٍ”
“And you stand on an exalted standard of character”
All Muslims are instructed by Islam to live peacefully with other religions and denominations and to avoid any action that could undermine their peaceful coexistence with other religions and denominations.
Moreover, based on the life of the Prophet (ṣ) and his undeniable tradition, anyone who recites the statement of faith [i.e. the Shahādatayn] is considered to be a Muslim, and his life, wealth, and honor are protected under the laws of Islam. It should also be noted that if anyone tries to use his own judgment instead of this definitive tradition of the Prophet (ṣ), this would be considered as preferring one’s own judgment to the undeniable instructions of the Prophet (ṣ) himself. Such judgments are, clearly, invalid.
Based on the consensus of the Muslim scholars, only when a person openly rejects the basic tenets and principles of Islam can he be ruled as a disbeliever. This is while none of the issues over which various Islamic schools disagree with one another are among the basic tenets and principles of Islam. Therefore, no individual or person has the right to harass the followers of other schools based on flimsy excuses derived from their own personal judgments.
We, Muslim scholars, condemn the atrocities committed by various Takfiri groups in different Islamic countries. Moreover, we also denounce the small minority who try to spread disunity through their divisive words broadcast through various satellite TV channels. We ask all Muslim scholars to put aside all political and religious considerations and repudiate all the extremists within their schools. We also ask the Muslim scholars to prohibit the Muslims from entering sectarian conflicts through their official Fatwas and statements.
Today, the enemies of Islam use such extremists as their puppets and tools in order to further their imperialistic goals and also to gain dominance over the resources of the Muslim world. They are also operating at their full capacity to spread Islamophobia all around the world and prevent the further spread of Islam in the world.
Therefore, the scholars present in this congress explicitly state that they repudiate all extremist and Takfiri movements, and that such movements have nothing to do with Islam or the Muslim people.
We, the scholars participating in this congress demand all the politicians in the region to refrain from any actions that could further spread violence and Takfirism. We also ask them to avoid taking any practical steps towards fomenting sectarian conflicts. We believe that all issues can be resolved through dialog, that negotiation and dialog are the best way to resolve conflicts, and that peace is the best end of the affairs, as the Quran has also stated it: “الصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ”
The Muslim Ummah can be prosperous once again only if they try to restore the Islamic civilization to its former glory and to work with one another to spread and disseminate the true teachings of Islam all over the world.
To this end, the Muslims must operate at their full capacity in order to spread the Divinely-sent teachings of Islam in the world and to create a new civilization. They must also avoid saying or doing anything which might prevent them from achieving this goal.
We hope that one day all Muslims can come to appreciate the fact that the best example for them is the life and the sacred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ṣ) and that everyone, all scholars and thinkers and ordinary people, adhere closely to the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (ṣ).
وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَیكُمْ وَ رَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَ بَرَكَاتُهُ
 Mumtahanah: 8.