On April 5 a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a Mosque in Chakwal, about 100 miles south of the capital of Pakistan, where Muslims of the Shia sect were worshiping. Once again, Shia and Sunni leaders vowed in public to fight the scourge of sectarianism and once again many of them in private spoke against each other.
The way Muslims have been killing each other in some parts of the world in the name of Allah for preserving the identity of their sect is unfortunate and unacceptable. Even though it is carried out in the name of Allah, it has nothing to do with either Allah or the teachings of Allah. Those who indulge in these kinds of acts are criminal scoundrels and murderers, regardless of the title they carry with them or the status they enjoy. Those who provoke the killing and those who carry out the killing argue that they are serving Allah and earning a place in paradise without looking at the hell they create in the life of their community and the country. How un-Islamic and cruel is the thought that Allah can be pleased only when part of His creation is killed and the places where people relate with him are destroyed. How barbaric is the idea that Allah will even be more pleased if the blood is shed in a mosque, a place reserved for remembering Allah. Those who use any justification to provoke violence in the name of Allah must be brought to justice.
Most of these people carrying out acts of violence are not born with hate; they are being indoctrinated by people who claim to be religious leaders. These leaders often manipulate illiterate and economically marginalized followers to commit acts of violence.
We need to recognize that there are many Shia and Sunni leaders who give the impression that they respect the other, but in private they denounce the other.
At times the rhetoric that goes on in many houses of worship created to serve Allah and His creation is poisonous. Both sides support their bias based on a literature that has nothing to do with the Quran, the eternal message of guidance as believed by Muslims.
This literature was produced by the so called sunni and shia scholars on the basis of oral narrations and transmission of events compiled some 200 to 300 years after their occurrence. The literature depicts the other as an incomplete Muslim. It is this literature that is quoted extensively by many contemporary Shia-Sunni scholars to provoke hatred and violence. Each of them makes subtle or openly derogatory references to the other. A careful analysis of the words and works of some contemporary prominent scholars would reveal the level of negativity that is justified on the basis of the Quranic text and the sayings of the Prophet. Some of the books often quote the Prophet against either of the two knowing fully well, that the division of Muslims into Shia and Sunni groups emerged long after his departure from this world. Surly the Prophet was neither a Shia nor a Sunni.
Not many are interested in removing the hateful contents from their vocabulary or books in the light of what is said by the Quran. This divine scripture, as believed by Muslims, is the only criterion to determine the validity of ideas and even events. On the contrary, some of these Shia and Sunni scholars and leaders negate the Quranic teachings and give much more credence to incidents that are referred to in history books written centuries after their occurrence.
Many books about the history of early Muslims often talk about the conflict between the companions of Prophet Muhammad in the context of Shias and Sunnis when they never claimed to be Shia or Sunni. They refer to them as power hungry Muslims. All these books were compiled on the basis of oral narrations that tend to exaggerate differing points of view. Many of the stories used to promote shia or sunni views, contradict the Quranic verses about the character of Prophet's companions. The Quran describes the Prophet's companions as those who were kind and compassionate to each other. It projects them as those whom Allah accepted as genuine believers without any exception and who accepted Allah as their Lord. Yet many books of early history of Islam project them as power hungry and blood thirsty on the basis of oral references.
Shia, Sunni and other sectarian differences that Muslims have created are against the creed of faith and the spirit of the divine message.
The Quran, which all sects believe to be of Divine origin does not promote any particular sect. In fact, it describes such man made views no less sinful than an act of polytheism.
Muslim religious leaders are making little progress in overcoming sectarian differences. They often issue ceremonial statements to create the impression that they are above these sectarian differences.
However, they know it fully well that their popularity thrives on preserving these differences. They have become prisoners of their own history fearful of going against their predecessors, even though many may realize that they were wrong.
Ongoing sectarian differences have weakened the community and deprived it of playing an effective role in the world they live. If this situation is allowed to continue it has the potential of making every conscious Muslim disillusioned with his/her faith.
In addition to ceremonial Shia-Sunni meetings, serious deliberations are needed between the religious leaders of the two communities to develop a better understanding of each other so that the existing literature can be purged of all hateful and negative writings and offensive and derogatory speech may be stopped. This is the need of the hour and its postponement would only result in more bloodshed.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is editor of the Detroit based English weekly, Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, Las Vegas and the recently elected General Secretary of the World Council of Muslims for Interfaith Relation. He is also the vice President of the Muslim Council of America, MCA.
Hizbollah has the same ideology. They have limited their warfare to the battle ground in south Lebanon and do not kill themselves in Israeli buses or Lebanese markets. You ought to be proud of Hizbollah for their courage in standing up to Zionist aggression. I hope other Arab leaders had such guts.
Give credit where credit is due.
As for mentioning some Shiite scholar who has noted such ideas about Quran. The same could be said for Sunnis but the crux of the matter is that majority of Muslims homes only contain the same Quran and there is no sign of such books in the average house. I have never read such books and have no intention in doing so. Sorry to say, what you have as evidence holds no strength and is not even known by the millions of Shiites. What I want as proof is another set of Quran which is produced by Shiites and held in homes as an alternative to what the Sunnis read.
Bottom line my Quran is the same as yours and no Shiite will accept any other view. We do not look upon the ayatullahs as Sunni revere the five books of Sunna. Personally I have no time for such opinions, for they are just that, opinions. Quran is what I read. It is a direct dialogue between man and his creator.
It is a matter of belief. It is my belief and I have need for the middle man.
extent of my reading, I have not come across an
authentic statement by recognized shia scholars
that the Quran is either incomplete or changed
from the original. If someone makes that
assertion, he is in fact challenging the internal
evidence of the Quran that reminds the believer
that this divine scripute would remain unchanged
And then when its shown to you that Shia in their
books believe the Quran has been manipulated you
then say the opposite:In fact, ahadith reported
in Six authentic books suggest that some verses
of the Quran were not included in the final
version. I think you have to decide what you
believe. The Quran has not been changed or
manipulated or corrupted, because Allah has
always protected the Quran from manipulation or
In fact, ahadith reported in Six authentic books suggest that some verses of the Quran were not included in the final version.
The whole issue of the history of compilation of the Quran need to be looked in the context of the Quran afresh.
Suicide bombers are not Shia or Sunni/Wahabi.
They are Kafir because they don't believe in
Justice of Allah. They kill innocent people only
for taking revenge and worldly material not for
70 virgins. This 70 virgin stuff is a false
propaganda of Israel media against Islam. All
believers including people of books will get 70
virgins in heaven then why I kill myself with
innocent people for that stuff which Allah has
promised? Believe me they kill only for $$$,
revenge and hate.
Interpretation) book, Al-Qummi (which is the
source and base for all Shia Tafseer books)
clearly states the belief of the Shi'ites
regarding the authenticity of the Book of Allah
"Therefore, part of the Qur'an is an Abrogator
and Abrogated, part is clear (Muhkam) and part is
ambiguous (Mutashabih), part is in the general
context, and part is particularized, part of it
was placed forward and part is placed in the
rear, part of it is severed and part of is
connected, part of it is a letter in a place of
another, and part of it is contrary to the manner
revealed by Allah." (Tafseer al-Qummi,
Introduction, vol.1, p.17
Then lets look at Al Kafi the most respected Shia
book of Hadith. What does it say about the
Quran?- A comparison between the present Quran
and the original Quran (which was compiled by
Imam Ali (r.a) and will be brought by Shia's Imam
Mahdi when he appears before the Day of Judgment.
(Usool Kaafi, Vol. 2, p. 123)
- No one possesses complete knowledge of the
Quran except the Imams. (Usool Kaafi, Vol. 1, p.
The Shia in fact believe in their books that the
Quran has been changed/manipulated.
It is not factually righ to say that people claiming to be shias are not part of suicide bombers. Hizbullah of Lebanon has trained many suicide bomber. Iranian religious leaders have threatened to use suicide bomber if attacked by the US.
In the ongoing discussion, I see the same old trend. Shias are defending their acts and sunnis theirs. They have to realize that both have been unfair to each other and the religious leadership of both the communities is not honest towards the other, by and large.
If we have an open media, we can easily report what is said by many shia or sunni leaders in private about each other.
It is time that we rise above all these labels and identify ourselves with the true message that our Prophet introduced and that is found in the Quran.
Let us not point fingers at others. Rather let us look at ourselves critically to ponder where did we go wrong.
"Many blasts occurred in Shia's Imam Bargahs but they never took revenge with Sunni."
Thank you for pointing this out. Shiites don't do suicide bombing, from Iran to Iraq to Yemen, you will not see this sort of misguided action from Shiites and if there is the odd idiot, then that is a total exception than the norm.
Almost all the suicide bombings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq is the work of Wahabi Sunnis. It stems from the belief that they will go to Heaven and the stuff about 70 virgins. Where is the logic that by killing other Muslims and innocent people you go to Heaven? and if Heaven is filled with such misguided idiots, I would rather go to Hell, thank you.
It will take a radical shift by those immams and mullahs to guide the masses who for known reasons choose to stay ignorant and let some misguided fool make up their minds for them.
Otherwise what is wrong with Islamic belief that we are all brothers unto each other; and "if someone is not our brother in faith then they are our brother in humanity", which is in fact a hadith from Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him, just for saying this one thing so that we may take note.
that sunni or shia people burnt houses and shops
of each other like some Hindus and Muslims done
in India. Many blasts occurred in Shia's Imam
Bargahs but they never took revenge with Sunni.
Problem is present in few extremists in both
sides but in general here are no hate between
common people. Third materialistic party and some
agencies want fight between them.
"The author does not even consider a stark fact that most of the Shias consider the Qur'aan as an incomplete version and believe that some vital section are missing or rather have been deliberately removed from the original."
I challenge you or anyone else here to bring proof that Shiite have such a belief about Quran. If you fail to do so, then you must never repeat such a false statement. it is ignorance like this that divides the ummah.
I was born inot a known Shiite family in Bahrain and throughout my travels, I have never come acroos anything that you have said and you will not find such a thing in any books of Shiite written by anyone wroth his nettle.
But I have heard from people like you, who base their their allegation on hearsay from ignorant Sunni preachers.
Hatred blind a person. Please bring proof of what you say before you amke such a serious allegation.
The Quran that I have read and many other copies I have seen in Shiite homes is exactly the same one the Saudi Government give away during Haj and I have such a copy in my house given to me in Mecca, for free. We have never had any other Quran that you allege. It is a figment of your imagination.
To the extent of my reading, I have not come across an authentic statement by recognized shia scholars that the Quran is either incomplete or changed from the original. If someone makes that assertion, he is in fact challenging the internal evidence of the Quran that reminds the believer that this divine scripute would remain unchanged.
In fact, the notion that the Quran is incomplete can be found in one of the narrations that is found in some of the books of Ahadith, whichs says that the verse pertaining to Rajam were once part of the Quran. This statement is attributed to Omar bin Khattab, (RTA.
Quran is the foundation for every Muslim. Without the acceptance of the Quran as an authentic and complete source of the divince guidance, the whole edice of Islam comes down, as the faith becomes a historical phenomenon rather than the eternal divine guidance.
If every muslim believes the sme way where the question of sect arises Please read Surah 30
ayaath 31,32 with deep ponderance
When a Muslim deliberately kills another Muslim, I think the Prophet of Allah (SAWS) decrees that the person will end up in hell fire. Imagine how many of these hate preachers will suffer on the day of judgement.
I advise all Muslims to forget and down play the issue of being a Sunni or Shiite and "hold on fast to the rope of Allah" as commanded by our Creator in the Glorious Qur'an.
Brother Aslam, thank you and God bless.
But before used to be: Religion: Sunni
Why not simply make it Religion: Islam
Others: Specify-------- ?
Indeed many so called muslims today are bounch illetrates. Any Sheiks who give that fatwa should thrown into Pacific Ocean.
May Allah bless the muslims, may Allah guide us, protect us, have mercy on us and grant us victory over hypocrites and kuffars
Together they have managed to keep the umma ignorant of the idea that one can think for oneself and one can equally read the Quran and speak to God directly. There is no need for the middle man. That is the gift of Islam.
Time has come to dispense with all the faulty thinking, that if we do away with certain fanatical rituals then we go to Hell.
I never believed such teachings when I was a kid. Now I am sixty years old and a firm believer that if a man desires, he can speak to God directly and he will be answered. That heaven and hell perishes when one is bonded to The Creator.
It requires a man of courage to stand up against useless tradition and truly Islam came to remove tribal fanaticism but Muslims still follow their old ways and have yet to remove the shackles of ignorance (jahilliah). Otherwise why would the masses in most Muslim countries have to follow their leaders who can not bring them any closer to the meaning of life and why God has given us this brain if someone else has to do the thinking for us.
It pains me and makes me somewhat angry to see Muslims preach how wonderful our religion is and how peaceful we are but then carry so much hatred in their hearts in ostracizing others for their ways, as if the we are not only printing but also dispensing the tickets to The Gates of Heaven
We go to the extreme of killing one another and thinking by doing so, we go to Heaven and buy immense favour with God, as if God really needs our favours!
Then we recite Quran telling us about Mohammad pbuh, "And we have not sent you to humanity but as a mercy."
The question then arises: Where is the mercy when we not only slander each other but also kill each other. My God is better than your god.
Anyone who feels slightly defensive about what I say, should take a close look at themselves. I suggest forty minutes of meditation after morning prayers and long before sunrise. Things will become clearer. But if it does not, then repeat until the penny drops!
I say all this for the love that I have for ummat Mohammad pbuh, the messenger of peace and of mercy.
"Hold steadfast to the rope of Allah, and do not be divided."
Anyone who does not follow this injunction is not following their own belief.
Look in US - in local masjid (=predominantly Sunni), the Shias (mostly Iranian) had their gathering. When it came time for salah they didn't pray with us and their imam was there - the reverse would have happened also. On average, one cannot make claim for poverty and economic marginalization for Muslims in US.
In Saudi and in Gulf countries, there is a lot of tension with Shia-Sunni. Alhumdulillah, our Gulf brothers are not in lack of food and definitely not money.
Poverty and economic marginalization exacerbate this problem but are not the cause. The cause is our stupidity that we cannot resovle this issue.
I like reading about Mughal empire - it is laughable (almost) that the Shia-Sunni problems we have today are the same ones they had in 1500's !! (at the peak of Mugha; empire)