Shaikh Mohammad Tawhidi: Reformist Shia Imam Hated by Islamists
Shaikh Mohammad Tawhidi is an Australian Shi’i Muslim creationist, educator, speaker, preacher, thinker, researcher and author of Iraqi origin who was born in the Holy City of Qum, Iran, into a spiritual family with a history of decades in the Islamic Seminary. His father Imam Abdulmutalib Tawhidi served as the Senior Imam of the Shi’a Muslim Community in Western Australia and was the first to establish a Shi’a Mosque in the entire state. Shaikh Tawhidi’s lineage includes several Grand Ayatollahs, Arabian Legends such as Hatam al Ta’ei and Prophets Hud and Noah. He is also the maternal grandson of Shaikh Yasin al Rumaithi, a prominent eulogist and orator within the Shi’a faith. Shaikh M. Tawhidi completed his initial studies in Perth, Western Australia, and engaged in Islamic studies, Doctrine, Philosophy and Theology in the Islamic Seminary of the holy city of Qum, Iran, as of January 2007. In the year 2012, he attended the advanced lessons of the Grand Ayatollah Sayid Sadiq Shirazi in jurisprudence and principle, and was advised by his eminence to relocate to the Holy City of Karbala in the year 2013. He studied under the authority of prominent teachers in both the Islamic Seminaries of Karbala and Najaf, of them are Ayatollah Shaikh AbdulKareem al Ha’eri, Ayatollah Shaikh Fadhil al Saffaar, the Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammad al Sanad and Allamah Sayid Hussain al Qazwini. Shaikh M. Tawhidi returned to Australia in 2015, after his journey in the Islamic Seminaries of Qum, Najaf and Karbala, and is considered an internationally active personality being fluent in Arabic, English and Farsi; and has delivered speeches at Hussainiyas, Mosques, Islamic centers, Churches and Universities across the Middle East, Europe, America, Australia and Canada. He has delivered university lessons in doctrine and theology examining the theory of evolution, oneness of existence and the big bang theory. Shaikh Tawhidi is also active in the field of media and has appeared on several satellite channels globally, while his activities also include the administrating of Islamic Centres, websites, the publishing of Islamic books and delivers weekly theological, doctrinal and Jurisprudential lectures in universities and centres within South Australia. Shaikh M. Tawhidi is licensed by numerous Grand Ayatollahs and leaders of Islamic Seminaries to lead and represent the Muslim community. He currently holds the position as the Imam of the Islamic Association of South Australia. Works by Imam Tawhidi: Co-Founder and head of research department at Imam Hussein TV 3, 2013-2014 Founder and director of IMAM ALI TV (Indonesian Channel), 2015 Founder and director of The Hawza of Sayida Zainab (a.s) (Zainabiyah) of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2016 Founder and director of The Hawza of The Zainabiyah Hawza of Australia, 2016 Positions Held by Imam Tawhidi: Head of The Department for Iraqi students in Qom, 2010-2013 Head of English Department in Rasool Akram Cultural Institute, Qom, 2010-2013 Advisor of the English Department at MARJAEYAT TV GLOBAL NETWORK, 2015 Head of board of member OASE Indonesia, Jakarta (Organisation of Ahlulbayt (a.s) for Social Support and Education), 2015 – Present Imam of the Islamic Association of South Australia – 01/01/2016 – Present Founder of The Shi’a Muslim Youth Council – 2016 Founder and General Director of the Imams for Peace Organisation – 2016 The Australian Government Imam Tawhidi is known for his cooperation with various government departments within Australia, promoting peace, tolerance, equality and respect amongst the greater Australian society; and enjoys a healthy relationship with government officials and protective services. Political Career Imam Tawhidi considers all those listed in the list of terrorist organizations as terrorists. He also encourages Muslim men and women to join the police force and to stand and speak up against acts of violence committed in the name of Islam. ISIS and Islamic Extremism Imam Tawhidi is Australia’s leading critic of “ISIS”, denouncing it as an extremist body that does not represent Islam. His social networks give voice against ISIS and all forms of extremism in the name of Islam. ASIO and the Federal police are aware of death threats Imam Tawhidi has been subjected to in the previous years due to his public opposition against ISIS. Imam Tawhidi leads annual processions against ISIS throughout Australia, and he calls onto all Muslim Imams to speak out against terrorist organizations; while publicly condemning Imams who remain silent. During April 2016, The Islamic Association of South Australia released a statement condemning the call for Jihad and order to conquer Europe and America that was made by Australian extremist Ismail al Wahwah. The statement was followed by a sharp-toned letter from Imam Tawhidi to Ismail al Wahwah himself, demanding that he withdraws his comments and apologizes, offering him a one-way business class ticket back to Palestine as a gift. The Brussels Blasts 2016 Immediately after the Brussels Blasts, Imam Tawhidi contacted most Australian Imams and demanded that they condemn the blasts. He called for an emergency meeting between himself and the Imams of South Australia and spoke about the roles and duties of an Islamic leader towards such matters. Channel 7 also interviewed Imam Tawhidi regarding this matter. Imam Tawhidi in Indonesia Imam Tawhidi has played a big role in the spreading of the peaceful Shiá Muslim faith in Indonesia, establishing organizations and educational institutes along with media channels for the Shiá Muslim community; which led to the frustration of extremists resulting in numerous death threats. He visited Indonesia twice. In the first visit he met with the Leader of the Communion of Churches Father Phil Erara and visited over five main Churches that were attacked by extremists. He also held interfaith gatherings with Indonesian and Papua New Guinea religious leaders to find solutions to the problems Indonesia is facing. In his second visit, Imam Tawhidi was warmly welcomed by the Governor of Jakarta, The Hon. Ahok Basuki Purnama, and was given the green light to serve humanitarian causes in Indonesia. As a result of this, Imam Tawhidi established an Educational Islamic Seminary, Organization, and a local TV channel in Jakarta. Nice Attack 2016 The day following the Nice attack in France, Imam Tawhidi met with the Ambassador of France to Australia, Mr. Christophe Lecourtier in Adelaide’s town hall. The Imam embraced the ambassador and conveyed his greetings on behalf of the Grand Ayatollah Sayid Sadiq Shirazi and Adelaide’s Muslim Community. Imam Tawhidi delivered a message of assurance and support to the ambassador wherein he stated that Adelaide’s diverse communities collectively stand alongside the victims of the Nice terror attack, and that he wholeheartedly prays for peace, safety and harmony to be re-established in France. Later that evening, the Imam attended the Vigil in Victoria Square to send his condolences to the French Consulate and nation.