Saturday, June 18, 2011

Unity in Islam

Unity is strength. In the words of Professor Maqsood Jafri, when grains of sand come together they form a vast desert and when drops of water come together, they become a boundless ocean. Alhamdulillah in a world of over 6.8 billion people, Islam is comprised of over 1.8 billion followers and is growing rapidly every day. Islam has believers all over the world, in every country, from every background, race and culture; but unfortunately the biggest problem that we see today within the Muslim community is unity.

The biggest goal of Islam is Unity – our teachings all surround unity – and if we are truly believers of Allah, we are supposed to be united. In the words of Prophet Muhammad (saw) The Muslim Ummah is like one whole body, if the eye is in pain the whole body is in pain, if the head is in pain the whole body is in pain, if the limbs are in pain, again, the whole body is in pain. Then why do we not feel pain for the flooding in Pakistan, for the bombings in Palestine, for the devastating reality of Afghanistan, for the massacres in Bosnia, or the more recent violent uprisings in Libya and around the Middle East. The Muslim Ummah is becoming full of disease and is slowly detaching from one another. We need to set aside our small differences and disputes and work together as one.

Allah made the believers as brothers so that they have mercy upon one another; so that they love one another; so that they help one another and support one another. This is how Muslims should be. In Surat Al Imran Ayah 103: Allah (swt) says: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (which is Islam) and be not divided among yourselves.” But there is division in Islam, whether it is in a more common form, like Sunnis and Shiites, sects like Sufi’s and Wahabi’s, or cultures from different countries.

In the last khutba of the Prophet Muhammad (saw); he reminded us of exactly this: All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.

We need to remember that the outside world is attacking all Muslims. When they display an act of hatred, they don’t do it to just Sunnis, or just Shiites. They do it to all Muslims. So there they are, attacking us from the outside, while we are busy attacking each other from the inside. And to make things worse, we are clearly letting them know about it. Just look at the twitter, YouTube or face book pages of some Muslims, and you will see the kind of hatred I’m talking about -whether it’s between Sunni’s and Shiites, or Muslims of two different cultures. We need to stop fighting between ourselves and focus on more important things like fighting Islamophobia in the west.

The Unity of Muslim Ummah is not in celebrating Eid on same day throughout the World but rather it is in following the Quran and Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw). If each and every Muslim starts following the Commands of Allah (swt) and the prophet, from Quran and Hadith, then unity among Muslims will prevail by itself.

We want unity, but only if it is on our own terms. But, we have to think realistically – the world can’t work on a give and take basis all the time. As Muslims, we need to give freely without expecting anything in return. If you still can’t digest this notion then think of it in this sense: what you give will be returned to you, if not by the person you helped, surely Allah will return its double to you in this life or the next. And He guarantees this in Surat al Baqara ayat 261 when He says: “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah's way is as the likeness of a grain of corn which grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah gives increase manifold to whom He will. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs”.

No matter how much you tell someone about Islam, they will not believe you if they don’t see you acting on your words. You say Islam is peaceful? Then act like a peaceful Muslim. It’s not that the text is not true, however, more people learn by seeing, than by reading. So when they see you acting like a good Muslim, they will love you and your religion. When they see you acting in a bad way, they not only will turn away from you, they will turn away from your religion. As much as we don’t like to admit it, this is true. And it is exactly what we don’t need if we want to fight negative stereotypes and bring out the truth about the beauty of Islam. So Inshallah it’s about time we start shaping up and fixing our problems from within to create a stable, healthy and united Ummah. We need to start today, with everyone, because the adults of today need to be an example for the children of tomorrow. In Surat al taubah, ayah 71 Allah says: “the believing men and women are awliyah (loyal) to one another”. So be the better person and make up with your friend if you are fighting, stop gossip as soon as it starts, kindle love in the hearts of others for Islam and be a good Muslim. As the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself."


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