THE CONCEPT OF UNITY AMONG MUSLIMS
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
Unity of among Muslims is different from Unity of among Muslim sects. As far as Sahih Iman is concerned, there has been no disunity among Muslims. There could have been differences of opinions on issues not related with Iman. All Muslims believe in oneness of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) as has been explained to them by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). They all respect the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and follow his foot steps in every walk of their lives. There could have been some differences of opinions on the execution of certain deeds and these differences of opinions have been tolerated from the beginning. As a matter of fact, these are the source of solidification of Muslim Unity.Unity among Muslim Sects is a different concept altogether. This issue needs to be understood in its proper perspective. This book is written to explain the present state of Umma-tul-Islamiya in the world and how to achieve peace and harmony among people at large. It is a good read for all those who are interested in this subject.
UMMA-TUL-ISLAMIA ( الأمة الإسلامية)We need to understand the concept of Ummah (أمة) in its proper perspective. In Islamic world, the term Umma tul Islamiyah (الأمة الإسلامية) or Millat-e-Islamia (ملتِ اسلاميه) is used to describe the community of Muslims belonging to all sects. From an outsider's point of view, followers of all sects are considered as Muslims because of their outward appearance and oral recitation of Kalima Tayyiba. However, the real thing that makes a person Muslim is his Sahih Iman (Correct Islamic Faith). If you do not have Sahih Iman, you have lost both the worlds. Your outward appearance as Muslim and your oral recitation of Kalima Tayyiba will not help you get salvation in Hereafter. Munafiqeen during the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) were also seen as Muslims by people in view of their outward appearance and oral recitation of Kalima Tayyiba. But look at their reality in the eyes of Allah.It is in Quran - إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا [The hypocrites will be placed in the lowest pit of Hell, and you will find no one to help them. ] ( An-Nisa - 145).What we currently find is widespread deviancy among Muslim sects from the right path of Islam. Some sects are based on Blasphemy of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Khulafa-e-Rashideen. Some believe Allah to have a Physical body like human beings. Some have legalized Prostitution in the name of fake marriages. Remember, Allah's mercy in this world and salvation in Hereafter is only available to the type of Umma-tul-Islamiyah that existed during Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time. Therefore, deviant sects can neither expect to get Allah's mercy in this world nor salvation in Hereafter unless they come back to the right path of Islam.
UNITY AMONG MUSLIM SECTS
It is estimated that there are 1.8 billion Muslims (all sects included) in the world which form about 26% of the total world population of about 7 billion. How do we achieve unity among these people? There are various views in this context, as follows.
(i) Some people say that whoever proclaims Shahadah orally is a Muslim, therefore, we should not differentiate between Muslim sects. There should be unity among all sects and our primary focus should be their welfare in the world.
(ii) Some liberalized people like Muslim politicians, celebrities and affluent businessmen say that Muslims should keep religion separated from their daily lives. They claim that religious Mullahs are the root cause of all troubles because they sow the seed of discord in Muslim community. Therefore, they say that Muslims should look towards them for leadership in the world and follow their guidance.
(iii) Some people say that religion should be a bonding factor, rather than a divisive element in Society. If we focus our attention on sectarian differences, it results in alienation of Muslim Groups and results in weakness in Muslim society. Others take advantage of the situation. Current events in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Palestine and elsewhere are the result of differences in Muslim community in the world.
(iv) Some people say that there are hundreds of Salafi groups in the world and their number is increasing by the day. These groups are involved in Dawa' around the Globe with missionary zeal which is essentially propagation of their self fabricated notions in the name of Islam. How can we achieve peace and unity in Muslim community when all these groups are working tirelessly to promote their conflicting beliefs and interests in the name of Islam. The Islamic society is continuously shreded into bits and pieces by these groups. They talk of Islam and Unity among Muslims, but in the guise of uniting Muslims, they promote their political ideologies which are in sharp contrast with each other.
(v) Some people say that we should try to win hearts by embracing people from every segment of society. Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has shown us the example by allowing all kinds of people to attend his gatherings and sermons and over a period of time they embraced Islam.
(vi) Some people say that the Islamic history is a testimony that whichever sect was in power, they tried to impose their sectarian notions on the entire Ummah. Shias did the same thing; Fatimids did the same thing; Muatazillites did the same thing and Salafis are doing the same thing for the past 100 years. When Salafis came to power, they destroyed the pious graves of Sahabah, builton the house of Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) and erased all traces of Islam from Arabian Peninsula in the name of purification of Islam. They created an Idol Sky God for themselves and are involved in its worships leaving the real teachings of Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). They removed thousands Ahadith from authentic books of Ahadith and changed the meanings of Quran by publishing a Salafi Quran called 'Noble Quran'. They have successfully hijacked Islam away from the straight path shown by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). If we do not tell people what is Sahih Iman and Sahih Islam even at this late stage, real Islam will be lost for ever and future generations of Muslims will become like Jews and Christians who have changed their religions completely.There are many opinions aired by different people. Living peacefully in a multi-religious, multi-sect, multi-ethnic society has its own advantages and challenges. We should try to meet these challenges together and make this world a safe place to live. When we look at our current complex Muslim society, we realize that there are 73 Sects and innumerable subgroups in Muslim community. This division is based on differences in beliefs as it was already prophesied by Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). (Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, etc.). Therefore, there cannot be Unity of Aqeedah between these Sects for the simple reason that everyone claims and is adamant that what he/she believes is the right path of Islam.
It is in Quran - مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا ۖ كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ [Those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction (sect) rejoicing in what it has (every sect is happy for what he believes and considers it to be the right path of Islam)] (Ar-Room - 32).
It is in Hadith - It is narrated on the authority of Abd Allah ibn Amr (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said that the (Muslim) Ummah will divide into seventy-three groups; all of them will enter Hell except one, namely, the one that follows the way of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ), and that of his companions. (Tirmidhi).
It is in Hadith - Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said: “Jews got divided into seventy one groups and Christians got divided into seventy two groups and my nation will get divided into seventy three groups. All the groups will enter the Hell except one. They asked: “Allah’s Messenger ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) which one is it? He replied: “Those who will remain on the path on which I and my companions are today” (Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Ahmad).
It is in Hadith - Reported by Abu Naim (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) in his book titled 'Huliya'. Hazrat Abu Umana Bahili (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrates that Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said ‘Before Qiyamah, they ( the misguided sects and their sub groups) will spread and attack bitterly like the small and large insects and whosoever witnesses this period must seek refuge in Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) (Huliya).
It is in Hadith - Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): Allah's Apostle ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said, "A time will come that the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take on the top of mountains and the places of rainfall (valleys) so as to flee with his religion (Islamic Faith) from afflictions." (Bukhari - Book #2, Hadith #18)
Here comes the great responsibility on the shoulders of Ahle Sunnah. While we preach Sahih Iman to our own people and the followers of Deviant Sects, it is also important that we strive to develop trust among people and ensure cooperation of everyone, be it the followers of deviant sects or non-Muslims, in issues related to worldly welfare. Remember, Islam has taught us to care for our neighbor irrespective of his faith and ethnic background. Your good behavior with others will bring them back to Sahih Iman and Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) will reward you in this world and in Herafter.
Our approach should be simple while propagating Sahih Iman. We need to be humble and soft spoken and avoid calling followers of sects as Kafir on their faces in a hateful way. We should not accuse or abuse anyone in the world. Also we should prevent people from hating each other on the basis of sectarian affiliations and different faiths. We should tell them facts about Sahih Iman in a straight forward manner. If they accept our good counsel, it is fine. If they reject, it is also fine. In any case it should not affect our cooperation with other sects on humanitarian grounds.
Remember, if you spread hatred among people, you are closing all doors of Sahih Iman preaching, cooperation and friendly dialogue with people. We need to be courteous with people and explain Sahih Iman in a friendly way.
Allah has commanded us to invite people to Sahih Iman with wisdom in a kind way, without hurting their feelings of people.
It is in Quran - ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ [ Invite (deviant sects and people of other faiths) to the way of your Lord (Sahih Iman) with wisdom and good counsel and argue with them in a way that is better (and understandable by them). Truly your Lord knows who has gone astray from His path (deviant sects), and He is aware of those who are rightly guided (people of Sahih Iman)] (An-Nahl - 125)It is in Quran - يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ [Allah rewards wisdom to whosoever He likes. And whoever is rewarded with wisdom, has received abundant virtue. And only those who are endowed with wisdom, receive guidance and right direction. (Al-Baqara - 269).