Whether or not an ethnic Persian exists in the world is a topic where one will hear many opinions and arguments. Some (often Iranian nationalists) argue that the Persian-speakers of Iran are not an ethnic group but rather a lingual group (like most Arab speakers in the Arab world who although are culturally and linguistically Arab, yet very few can claim to be of pure Arab origin, although undoubtly many do have Arab ancestry).
The Abdullah ibn Mas’ud Hifdh Al-Qur’an school in Iran, Parsian county (formely known as Gavbandieh) of Hormozgan, south Iran. Wheverer you find Ahlus-Sunnah, you’ll find Ahl Al-Qur’an.
Parsian county is one of the many remaining ethnic Persian Sunni (Shafi’fi) pockets in the south of Iran which also has a minority Iranian Arab (Sunni Shafi’i) population, living in harmony (with intermarriages being very common among southern Persian Sunnis and Arabs).
If there are any Iranian Sunni people more unknown (even to Iranians) than the Persian Sunni-Shafi’is (Lari/Khodmooni) of south Iran, then it is the Persian Sunni-Hanafi people of the Iranian Khorasan province. Perhaps, this is due to the widely-held (erroneous) belief that Iranian Sunnis are from ethnic groups other than the Persian one.
Eid al-Fitr 2017 prayers in Mashad, Iranian Khorasan province. Unknown to many, the city has a Sunni population (Khorasani Persians) of around 15-20%. In fact Mashad is one of the few majority ethnic Persian Shia cities with a sizeable indigenous ethnic Persian Sunni community (most Sunnis in Tehran, although Iranian are not indigenous to the city). Iranian (Khorassani) Persian Sunnis are basically the indigenous people of the city and region who have either survived the Safavid onslaught or managed to avoid forced conversions to Shiism in the 16th century.
Mashadi Persian Sunnis (Hanafis) only differ from the Shias of the city and region in the way they dress; Most Persian Khorassani Shias wear western style clothes wheras Persian Khorassani Sunnis wear Shalwar Qamiz like most Muslims in the Khorassan and central Asia region, hence they are not to be confused with Afghans (majority of Afghans inside. Iran are Shia, particularly in Mashad city).
Sunnis in Mashad are often pushed outside the city to rural areas and many of their “mosques” (around a dozen in Mashad) are actually so called “Namaz Khanehs” (prayer houses like in Tehran). The biggest Sunni Mosque of Madhad, the famous Shaykh Fayz mosque (very close to the Imam Rida “shrine”) was demolished in the 90s by the order of Khamenei himself; hardline Shia clerics have always expressed their hatred for the native Sunni community and in particular for the visible and large Shaykh Fayz mosque that wqs turned into a public park.
The largest Mashadi Sunni institute (in the whole Iranian Khorassan region) is based at the outskirts of Mashad (some towns in the Iranian Khorassan region are still majority Sunni like Tayabad, Khash, Tombat Jam and others).
When the Safavids under Ismail I decided to convert everyone residing in current day Iran from Sunni to Shiite Islam in 1501, they started arranged attacks and massacres against the Sunni Persians who refused to convert. As a result, many Sunni Persians left their hometowns for the Zagros mountains. After the Battle of Chaldiran where the Safavids lost to the Ottoman the Sunni Persians descended from the mountains to begin a new life in the land they named “Bastak”, meaning barrier or backstop signifying barrier from Shiite Safavids’ attacks and influences.
Sunni Persians are therefore present in the neighbour areas of Iran such as the Persian Gulf. In fact, people of Sunni Persians origin make up large numbers of the population of Kuwait, the USE and Bahrain (many Bahraini Sunnis are actually of Persian Sunni origin, although many have been Arabised). In the UAE Sunni Persians have ministers like the minister of Education who is originally from Bastak (Persian Sunni city in south Iran) and two other ministers that come from the town of Evaz (people from Evaz are known as ‘Awadhis in the Gulf, like the famous preacher Nabil al-‘Awadhi). They are generally known as very educated and successful (often tradesmen) people, loyal to their respective countries, and staunchly adhering to their Sunni faith.
Abdulsamad Rahmani, an ethnic Khorasani (Persians from the Iranian Khorasan province which has a large Persian Sunni population) from Birjand city and a student of the largest Sunni institute of Iran in, Daar al-Uloom Makki, in Zahedan, Sistan-Balochestan province was arrested and taken to an unknown place just before he was to continue his studies in Zahedan. Intelligence services refused to tell his family about his whereabouts.
Source: Baloch (human rights) campaign
کانال تلگرام #کمپین_فعالین_بلوچ
In previous posts and articles we have shown that not all Sunni Iranians are of non-Persian (like Baloch, Kurdish etc.) ethnic backround. In fact vast landscapes of Iran are still inhabited by ethnic Persians, including unsuspected areas such as the outskirts of Mashad and and in general many towns in the Khorassan province of Iran (where Khorrassani Persian Sunnis represent a significant minority) and of course the southern provinces of Iran such as the Fars province (most towns south of Shiraz in the Fars province are majority Persian and Sunni) and the Bushehr (Abu Shahr) and Hormozgan province. The people in the southern part of the Fars province speak an ancient Persian dialect called Achomi.
The Jame’ of Bastak. Note the striking similarity to Gulf Mosques, opposed to the common Iranian Shia mosques that are mostly based on Safavid architecture. Here some pictures:
– He Studied Shari’ah in the Madinah University
– He acquired his PhD degree in Sudan
– Compiled many books in the field of Fiqh and Usool Al-Fiqh
– Known as the ‘Shaykh Al-Shafi’iyyah’ (Shaykh of the Shafi’is) in Iran
– He is of course fluent in Arabic (not like the absolute majority of Shia ‘Ayatullats’ who can’t even recite a Fatiha correctly)
– He is known for his orthodox Sunni-Shafi’i Aqidah and was more than once prevented by the Iranian regime to participate at major Sunni gatherings in Iran (what the regime also often does is to confisnicate the passports of Sunni scholars in order to prevent them to do Hajj or ‘Umra and to connect with the wider Sunni world in public)
– He runs many Shafi’i schools inside Iran (all under heavy pressure)
Ethnic Persian (yes, Persians, not Baloch or Kurds or other Iranic people) Sunnis of Iran:
1. Khorassani Persians – The Iranian province of Khorassan in east Iran is home to Khorassani-Persian Sunnis. Even Mashad (which is just next to Neishabur, where Imam Muslim is buried) has a Sunni minority. Some cities in Khorassan of Iran are even majority Sunni (like Birjand and Torbat-e Jam). Khorassani Persians are Hanafi Sunnis and culturally (and of course by language) no different to their fellow Persians in Isfahani, Tehrani, Shirazi etc.
Shaikh Mohammad Saleh Pordel is an ethnic southern Persian from the Hormozgan province. He (like the majority of the NATIVE Persians in the south) is Sunni adhering to the Shafi’i school of thought. He’s the student of the late great Shaikh Mohammad Saleh Ziyaie (one of the first Iranian students of the Madinah University), may Allah have mercy upon him. Shaikh Pordel is well known and very beloved in the Iranian Sunni community, he is even known in Afghanistan and Tajikistan (where he appeared on state TV, yet the national TV of Iran never reported about him, let alone having him have a single appearence or show on national TV).
So far – and Allah praise is due to Allah – he managed to avoid any trouble with the Iranian Shia authorities, one reason might be that he is an extremely influencial and beloved figure in the southern Persian Sunni community, also he is not politically active at all, and he does not travel to Shia areas, so that might be one of the reasons while the Iranian regime haven’t imprisoned him or assassinated (like in the case of his Shaikh Ziayie who was found mutiliated in the deserts!).
May Allah preserve Shaikh Mohammad Saleh Pordel and all the Muslims and Ahl Al-Sunnah in Iran and around the world.
Many important and influencial ‘Arab’ personalties in the Gulf are actually of Persian descent (including high ranking politicans and businessmen in KSA, UAE and Bahrain). Among them is the Islamic preacher Nabil Al-Awadhi (from Kuwait). He is not just beloved in the Arab and Islamic world, but particularly in south Iran where he is actually from. Shaikh Nabil Al-‘Awadhi’s ancestors immigrated from the Persian Sunni-Shafi’i town of Evaz (to this day fully Sunni and ethnic Persian) to Kuwait
Note: The reciter is a native Persian (most southern Iranian Sunnis are ethnic Persians, except a small minority of Arab Sunnis in the south) and . How come Persian Sunnis (just like all non-Arab Sunnis) master the recitation of the Qur’an, yet the majority of Shia scholars, including their most senior Ayatollats can’t even pronounce the Fatiha correctly without adding their ugly accent?!
Location: Bandar Abbas, Suru.
Mosque: Hajj Yussef Masjid
Qari’/reciter: Abdussattar Samak (native southern Persian Sunni)
Tarawih prayer, 7th night of Ramadhan 1435/2014تلاوت آیات 159 الی 165 سوره آل عمران
توسط عبدالستار سماک
نماز تراویح شب هفتم رمضان 1435
مسجد حاج یوسف بندرعباس – سور
Adhan on the 27th night of Ramadhan 1435/2014:
اذان عبدالستار سماک
27 رمضان 1435
مسجد حاج یوسف
29th Ramadhan, verse 1-10 of Surah Baqarah:
Location: The Haj Yussef Mosque, a Sunni Mosque in Suru, Bandar Abbas, southern Iran.قرائت سوره بقره،
از آیه 1 الی 10،
قاری:عبدالستارسماک با صوت سدیس
نماز صبح ، مسجد حاج یوسف ، 29 رمضان 1434
27th of Ramadhan, Du’a after Witr:
قسمتی از دعای شب قرآن 27 رمضان 1435 باصدای برادرتان عبدالستارسماک
البته فیلم ازجمعیت بیرون مسجد گرفته شده — at Bandar Abbas
UPDATE 6/05/2014: Two more Sunni students of the Fars (Persia) province of Iran were arrested!
Three Sunni students from the Evaz (in Larestan, south Iran) have been arrested. NOUR TV (the first Persian Sunni satellite channel run by mostly Larestani Persians) reports that Nour Mohammad Bigdeli, Hassan Dashteh and Mohammad Ranjir, three students of the Imam Shafi’i school of the city of Evaz have been arrested on Monday the 21st of April 2014 by Iranian intelligence forces of the Fars province.
Their faces are known to many Muslims, even in the west (due to translations), yet what many don’t know, some very famous and influental individuals in the arab world (only in the gulf area) are of Persian/Iranian origin. Of course, for us as Muslims, the origin of a fellow Muslim or even a fellow non-Muslim does not matter at all, we merely want to show the significance of the Persian Sunnah community in the Arab world, who only left their country (most are Persians from the “Fars” province of south Iran, who left Iran during, or after the presecution of the Rafidite-Safavids) due to Anti-Sunni policies of the Safawi (Sunnis had to pay more texes etc.)
(Note: The following individuls are NOT Iranian citizens, in fact they ascribe themselves to their new countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuweit, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE etc. for after all they were born there, and in most cases their families emigrated to arab countries over 400 years ago i.e. after the Rafidite-Shi’ite-Safavid invasion of Persia i.e. south Iran, their homeland).