Just the last month when I was preparing for my sociology exam, I was studying about religions, there were brief introductions to each religion and several characteristic of each was mentioned. As I reached upon Islam I was curious enough to find out what the author (a non-muslim) has written about my religion. I was delighted to highlight with a colour pen the words ‘brotherhood’ and ;unity of all mankind’ as the main characteristics of the religion. And indeed it was a characteristic which attracted a prominent Afro-American personality, Malcolm X to Islam. He was amused to see the people of different colours and physical features gathered together, worshipping one God together without any discrimination. Though I was delighted to read that, I suppressed a thought in my mind. What was it? The actual condition of the Ummah
When I look around I find the most suffering community of the world is none but my own community – The Ummah of the beloved prophet Mohammed SAW. The one who dedicated each breath of his chest to this Ummah. Who smiled for this Ummah who cried for the Ummah. Look around what condition is it in? the community is lagging behind in the terms of economics, politics and socio-culture aspects. Why? the community which ones used to conquer country after country. The Ummah whose rule was as strong as a mountain. The Ummah whose magnificence was a talk of the world. What happened to it?
Raise your head look towards Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and each country, point out the Muslims and look closely what do you see? Sufferings, sufferings and sufferings. And without any hesitation, let me give the whole credit to the disunity, disintegration among the Muslims themselves. The need of the hour is nothing but Unity. The Muslims have to come together to give the aid to each other, to hold each other’s hand and give a slap on the face of oppression.
Prophet Mohammad (saw) once said,
“The parable of the believers in the affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”[al-Bukhari]
Whenever a Muslim throat screams with grief from any part of the world, the Muslims feel pain, they condemn the oppressors, they support their brother. But the point is this Ummah is still not practically united.
Let us view the Muslim Unity from different aspects:
The Holy Quran
The Quran commands the believers:
“And hold fast by the rope of Allah and be not divided.” (3:103)
The ‘rope of Allah; is the Quran which the Prophet (SAW) himself, according to a hadith reported in Tirmidhi through Hazrat Ali (AS), described as habl-ul-Lah al-mateen (Allah’s firm rope). Holding fast by this rope is the only way of escape from dissension and division.
What is there to fight upon? What is there to differentiate when indeed
“We are from Allah, and to him we have to return.” (2:156)
The motto is: one target, one direction. The target is the pleasure of Allah (SWT) and salvation in the life hereafter. To believe in Allah is the most basic principle of the Muslims. Each Muslim has to believe in the God and his oneness to enter the sphere of believers (of Islam). Each individual regardless of his sect believe in Allah. Why don’t we unite for our aim which is indeed common and one.
Some people of the community who are not well aware, often points out any other sect of the ummah as kafir (non-believer). So, is it in the hands of the common individuals to decide who is a believer and who’s not? Turning to the Prophet, we find him saying,
“Whoever prays like us, faces our Qibla and eats slaughtered animals is a Muslim and under the Allah’s and His Apostle’s protection. So do not betray Allah by betraying those who are in His protection.”(Sahih Bukhari, Book 8, Number 386)
The criteria has been given by the prophet then who are we to label a group as believers and non-believers? How can we say someone is a kafir while he prostrates in front of the God same as ours?
Summing up in the words of a poet,
“Mujhe kafir kahoge to tumhara kya bhala hoga? Mera bhi wahi khuda nikla to phir tumhara kya hoga?”
Another Hadith, I would like to quote from Hazrat Ali AS. In his book Nahjul Balagha, in the sermon 25, while addressing his army he says,
“Inspite of being on the false side, they are united while you, who are on the right path are the victims of disputes and differences.”
View ourselves from the lens of what he said. Look at the pitiable conditions of the Ummah, which is on the right path, the right religion. The ummah which belongs to one God, one Prophet, one book and one Qibla, how many fragments it is divided into? Sadly, 73.
Disintegration, a prohibited act
In the holy Quran, verse 6:159, Allah is addressing his Messenger SAW,
“Indeed, those who have divided their religion and became sects, You (O Prophet) are not (associated) with them in anything, The affair is only left to Allah, He will inform them about what they used to do.”
What I have perceived from this Ayah is that the act of creating divisions and forming sects among the religion is not only a bad deed but it also disassociates you from the prophet, and indeed from his Ummah.
As rightly said by Ayatullah Khamenei,
“The voice of promoting hatred among the Muslim community is the voice of none but Satan, and the voice of unity is a divine voice.”
Sunni Scholars and Muslim Unity
Mufti Salman Azhari with reference to the Indian Muslims said,
“If you want to erase the divisions and disharmony among yourselves, come on the religion which was brought by Ghareeb Nawaz.”
Ghareeb Nawaz, also known as Moinuddin Chishti is held honorable among all Muslims. Salman says that once all of us unite in his name, indeed there will be no divisions and disintegration left.
Another sunni Muslim cleric,
Molavi Abdul-Rahman Motahhari said in an interview with IRNA that the foes and the Global Arrogance wanted to fulfill their goals by dividing Muslims and that strengthening of Muslim unity would foil their conspiracies.
If Muslims maintain their unity and live in symbiosis, the enemies would find out that they couldn’t hurt Islam and Muslims, the Molavi added.
The Sunni cleric described Muslim unity as a religious, social, and political requirement for the Muslim World, calling on all Muslims to gather around the shared beliefs and avoid division.
Shia Scholars and Muslim Unity
Among the Shia Muslims, Iran has played a dominant role towards the Islamic Unity. Scholars like Ayatullah Khamenei and Ayatullah Khomeini have emphasized on this aspect repeatedly.
Would like to state quote Imam Khomeini (leader of the Islamic Revolution 1979),
“You are fighting over whether hands should be joined or not during the prayers, and the enemy is busy in cutting your hands.”
It conveys a very powerful message. We are not fighting the one who’s killing we. We are fighting with our own organs (as stated earlier).
Ayatullah Khamenei stated,
“Muslim Unity is not a political tactic. It’s a definite duty and a Quranic order.”
He pointed out towards a worth noticing fact,
“You see that the issue of being a sunni or shia has entered the America’s political discourse for several years while they are against the quintessence of Islam.”
He said that US is campaigning to promote sedition among the Muslim countries with the help of its proxies. Promoting the Islamic Unity, another prominent shia scholar said,
“Do not call sunnis your brothers, call them your souls.”
Muslim unity: The need of the hour
What will we gain from the unity? Let us look at the holy Quran,
“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another lest you should lose courage and your power depart. Be steadfast, surely Allah is with those who remain steadfast.” (8:46)
The Quran is clearly indicating that the disadvantage of being divided is that the power and courage becomes divided, and the people become weak. There’s no doubt that Unity is Strength.
I have quoted Imam Khamenei, that the terms Shia and Sunni has entered the America’s political discourse. The enemies, the imperialist powers have always played the divide and rule policy to divide the Ummah. The loss of Muslim Khilafah is because of the internal disputes of the Muslim community penetrated by the external forces. We have to understand that enemies are working very hard to gain their filthy materialistic gains. Disintegration gives the way to the external forces to intervene. They have made the organs of a body enemies of each other.
Take a closer look at the Indian Muslims. The issue of Babri Masjid, Triple Talaq, Tableeghi jamat, CAA-NRC, lynchings, murders and now the issue of hijab. How easily these hate mongers are stabbing the Muslim community one after another, each day. What’s the reason? The reason is same. The Muslim community has never given a collective, conclusive and strong response to the enemies.
And for a broader view look at the Middle East. Look at the land which was once ruled by the Muslims. What the foreign powers have done? The disintegration motivated them to advance further and look how they’ve stabilized the region with their dirty politics. I don’t want to hesitate in saying that We all are equally responsible for each drop of the blood of this Ummah, each tear of this Ummah. And the only way is unity.
To freshen the faith in unity among the Muslim community and to encourage the same I want to end it with the best quote I feel, Hassan Nasrullah leader of Hezbollah says,
The biggest threat which Ummah faces from America is the divisions among the Shia’s and Sunni’s and the biggest threat which America faces is from the unity of Shia’s and Sunni’s.”Hassan Nasrullah