[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

http://www.dinonline.com/detail/News/3671

 

25/3/1393 [15 June 2014]

 

A conversation with Ayatollah Sayyid Hosein Sadr about human integrity, religion and government, and the rights of minorities etc.

 

Ayatollah Sayyid Hosein Sadr is one of the prominent religious scholars in a seminary in Iraq, who holds modern and reformist views in the fields of religion, society and politics and the connections therein.  With focus on human compassion and national discourse, Ayatollah Sadr shuns narrow-minded ideologies and eschews hostile behaviour and attitudes of exclusion; thus, he succeeds in attracting various groups with different ideologies and beliefs, from Muslim to secular.

 

This conversation focuses on Sayyid Hosein Sadr’s humanitarian views of religion, society, and politics in today’s tumultuous landscape, in Islamic societies in general, and Iraqi society in particular.

 

The following is an interview conducted by Ali Mamouri with him [Sadr] on 30 April [2014] (10 Ordibehesht) at his [Sadr] office in Kazemayn.  It should be noted that both Arabic and Persian texts of this interview were given to Din online with his approval.

 

……

 

*A few months ago you issued an unprecedented fatwa[1] concerning cordial dealing with the Baha’is.  This is while, according to common religious interpretation, Baha’is are considered infidels and fundamentally considered ‘not people of the Book’.  From a religious perspective, how did you come to hold [your particular] view?

 

Dealing cordially with others is not peculiar to any one religion, because we are all part of humanity.  The Quran addresses us all as “children of Adam” and according to Imam Ali, peace be upon Him, people are of two kinds—either your religious brother, or your equal in creation.

 

I might not agree with followers of a certain religion, but that does not mean that I have the right to deprive them of their natural human rights or deny them their rights as citizens of a nation.  Religion has bidden us to treat others with equity and justice, even our enemies.  God says, “Collective animosity should not make you cease being just!  You must observe fairness and justice, and that is closer to piety.”

 

What can be understood from religious scripture on the subject of ‘the infidel’ pertains, in fact, to ‘disobedience’ to law, especially concerning acts of murder and pillage, which was a common practice among nomads during the ‘period of ignorance’.  That is why we see that every type of incident referenced during the time of the Prophet involved such issues, and not necessarily a change of religion.  As is clearly stated in the Quran, “There is no compulsion in religion.” This verse was revealed for Muslims who converted to Christianity, and the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon Him, in revealing this verse, forbade his followers to put pressure on such individuals to return to Islam.

 

 

 

[1] [Fatwa:  Religious injunction, judgment, judicial decree or sentence]