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"And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah, and be not divided among
yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you, for you were
enemies and He united your hearts, so that by His grace you became
BR> When the Muslim Ummah discusses the issue of Islamic unity, it is discussing
one of the important objectives in establishing and spreading the Deen of Allah
(SWT). It is without doubt that an Islamic Ummah cannot live in peace and
harmony without a state of unity, in addition to this there exist obstacles and
many hurdles facing a disunited society in calling non-Muslims to Islam.
In order to justify unity, we do not need to look any further than the realm of
Islam, through the holy Quran and hadith. It is clear from the above ayeh that
Allah (SWT) has made unity an obligation for all Muslims, irrespective of their
This therefore leads to the understanding that those who call for disunity or
who do not recognise the need for unity amongst Muslims are disobeying the clear
orders of the Almighty (SWT) and His messenger (SAWW).
Furthermore, in other verses Allah (SWT) clearly indicates He will severely
punish the instigators of disunity:
"Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations
after receiving clear signs: for them is a dreadful penalty.."(3:105)
The Prophet (SAW) also says in a hadith "Unity is mercy, while disunity is
Another reason for immediate Islamic unity is the present situation of the Ummah.
Islam has and continues to be a target of attack for the enemy in raising up old
disputes and creating new ones amongst Muslims. It is evident that many
catastrophes, crises, turmoil and disturbances are occurring in the Muslim
world. From the massacres in Kosovo to the genocide in Iraq, the Ummah seems to
be in a complete state of uncertainty and grief. Most Islamic intellectuals
agree that all this is a direct consequence of disunity amongst Muslims, and a
punishment from Allah (SWT):
"And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims in
the world) do not do so (become united) there will be fitnah (wars, battles) and
oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption".(8: 73)
In addition, a consequence of disunity is that the Ummah becomes weak, suffers
from low morale and wastes energy addressing minor problems. This of course
leads to personality conflicts and hatred or tension, and whilst all this is
happening the enemies of slam rejoice and continue to implement their 'wicked'
plans against the Ummah.
Having established the importance of Islamic unity, one might ask why is it not
being achieved or is slow in progression. The answer to this question is very
deep and complex, diverging into many different roots but which all meet
somewhere on the same line. This line is that of ignorance.
One of the causes of disunity is that many Muslims are ignorant about their
obligation to strive for unity and to maintain it. This, of course, stems back
to education and learning the important Islamic principles and ideology.
Others cause disputes and distension, practice hypocrisy or show greed and
selfishness. The love of this life, the tendency to dominate over each other and
propagation of racism and nationalisation are other causes of disunity.
It is important to understand that disagreements between Muslims are
unavoidable. We must be able to clearly distinguish between expressing
differences of opinion and creating hatred and distension in the community. This
is evident in the holy Quran, where we understand that a beautiful sign of the
Almighty's infinite creativity is the variation and diversity that we find
everywhere in the universe. As people differ in intelligence levels, aptitudes
and levels of understanding, we can expect differences of opinion.
From this we can safely say that regarding understanding the deep and rich
meanings of the holy Quran and the Sunnah, Muslim scholars will inevitably
differ with each other.
However this process must not lead to disregard and rivalry, rather only be a
point of minor judicial and theological disagreements or understanding of a
particular verse or hadith.
This brings us to the point of the practical approaches to Islamic unity. In
establishment of unity between Muslims, we cannot have the objective of
eliminating the diversity of various Islamic sects, rather we consider the
convergence of Muslim thoughts and discuss topics of interest in which there is
"Say, O, people of the book! Come to a word common between us and you."
Thus irrespective of the divergent view and practices of the Muslims, as long as
all sects agree to worship the Almighty Allah (SWT) and obey Prophet Mohammad
(SAW) we will all remain inside the extensive circle of the Muslim Ummah.
We can all agree that unity can be achieved if we build it on the original
sources of guidance, the holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). This is
the basic requirement. As Muslims we need to start our arguments and dialogues
from the point of harmony.
Many agree that all Muslims have several things in common which consequently can
lead to strong alliance. Apart from the fact that we all worship Allah (SWT) and
believe in the Prophet (SAW), as well as perform many other obligations such as
fasting and Hajj in the same manner, we all have a common world view and are
part of the great Islamic culture and civilisation. These common features are a
great source of power for the struggle against the enemy.
In addition to this, we all must have a strong sense of brotherhood, whereby
Muslims love and understand one another better, as well as leaving any hostility
behind and respecting each other.
However, religious prejudice can result from the long history of differences as
well as psychological, social and historical pressures, and this must be kept in
Hence it is important to familiarise and educate Muslims about holding refined
dialogues, based on the glorious Quran, in order to move forward and build a
strong and cohesive Islamic society.
"Call them to your Lord with wisdom and kind advice and debate with them in the
most appropriate way."
One major obstacle in achieving Islamic unity is the existence of those
so-called 'Muslims' who use every possible means of attacking other Muslim sects
publicly either verbally or by means of force. This is manifested either by
speeches or writings in books and journals, or through instigating series of
killings and violence. These people are not only severely damaging the slow
process of unity, but are greatly aiding the enemies of Islam in achieving their
vicious goals of total Islamic destruction.
Our pure objective in achieving unity in this life is the establishment of the
Deen of Allah (SWT), rather than the domination of one sect by another. Unless
this present dominant mood is removed, and until total adherence to pure Islam
through appropriate methods of Islamic debate is achieved, it will be difficult
to envisage a united and cohesive Ummah.
We should not lose faith or hope if unity is not established today, but must
work and be determined towards the future. Moreover, we must not be drawn into
the trap of the opponents of Islamic unity, who constantly hide the true nature
of Islamic alliance and falsely claim that a unified Islamic Ummah is
impractical and is bound to fail.
We cannot over-emphasise the importance of achieving a complete state of
cohesion and unity in the Muslim Ummah. We must bear this in mind in every
dialogue or argument that we enter, and in every action we perform. Only by
achieving this united Islamic Ummah that we can stop the oppression and the
domination by the enemies of Islam. At that time justice, security and peace
will not be a mere aim but a true reality.
"O Allah, we earnestly desire from You, an honored state, through which You
strengthen Islam and its people, and degrade hypocrisy and its followers. And
make us in it, amongst the inviters towards Your obedience, and leaders to your
path, And give us through it, honour of the world and the hereafter."