Islamic Unity Must Be More Than a Slogan

Muslim worshipers praying inside the Kocatepe Mosque (Turkish: Kocatepe Camii) that is the largest mosque in Ankara, Turkey. It was built between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe quarter in Kızılay, and its size and prominent situation have made it a landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in central Ankara (photo: iStock by Getty Images).

Category: Featured, Highlights, Life & Society Topics: Ummah (Community), Unity Views: 602
602

Bismillah Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim. “Islamic Unity”, like other noble goals, is at the same time a very loaded and complex topic to address. There are many ways it can be interpreted, ranging from “every Muslim must believe what I believe/what my school of Islamic thought believes” to “as long as you say you’re a Muslim, then everything else can be overlooked”. Like many things, I believe there is a concrete definition that is between these two extremes that can be found.

So, starting from the basic definition of a Muslim being a person who fully agrees with the statement “la ilaha ilAllah, Muhammad rasul Allah”, the core of Islam is found. There is no god except Allah SWT and Muhammad (saw) is His (final) Messenger.

This is concretely summarized in Surah al-Baqarah;” آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

2:285 The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord and (so do) the faithfuls. Everyone believes in Allâh, His angels, His Books and His Messengers. (And the faithful declare,) ‘We make no distinction (in believing) between any of His Messengers.’ They say, ‘(Lord!) We have heard (Your commandments) and we are obedient. (Grant us) Your protection, Our Lord! For to You is the returning.’”

All Muslims, however, must also seek to pray 5 times a day if they even have the smallest window of time to do so. The prayer can be shortened if necessary, but Salat is critically important. All Muslims must pay zakat if they are even minimally able to do so, and charity based on how much wealth one has is also incredibly important. Making money though interest is explicitly forbidden to us as Muslims, as that is usury. Those who are able to do so must perform Hajj. Fornication, consuming alcohol, and eating pork are forbidden as well. But basically, the Five Pillars and Six Articles of Faith are the principles of Islamic Unity.

Distinctions beyond those I mentioned above are, in my view, extraneous and can be discussed and debated after strategic unity between all those in the Ummah is achieved. This is not to say that these distinctions are unimportant or superfluous, as I myself have my own opinions and views regarding things from the nature of the Caliphs of the Rashidun Caliphate, the use of literal versus metaphorical language in the Quran, the importance of the Sunnah, and so forth.

All I’m saying here is that when so many Muslims are killing other Muslims because of political and interpretational differences, ending that killing is far more important than seeking to have every Muslim agree with each other 100% on everything, which probably will never happen (though Allah knows best).

Proxy conflicts between Sunni and Shia Muslims, especially in Southwest and Central Asia, are avoidable and tend to be more about politically-charged IslamISM than Islam as a religion. In some countries, most people will tend to get their views on what is “real Islam” and what is “apostasy” from the politically-motivated elites of the country and their favored Ulema rather than by studying the Quran in a straightforward manner. For the most part, this means that minor and often political or interpretational differences between Sunni and Shia Islam get magnified by those in power for their own worldly benefits.

Principled and broad unity within the Ummah, regardless of sectarian differences that can be discussed afterwards, is, in my opinion, the most important issue that could revitalize a globalized Islamic civilization and allow the countries of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia in particular to become peaceful, stable, democratic, and fully guided along the Upright Path, in shaa Allah.

This is an opinion piece about "Islamic Unity" written by a revert to Islam.

 


  Category: Featured, Highlights, Life & Society
  Topics: Ummah (Community), Unity
Views: 602

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