The Quran is very clear and succinct about making sure that humanity remains united together by following its divine message. It says:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
(3:103) – And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah's Favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided. [Hilali & Khan]
Therefore, the Quran can remove all human differences and conflicts if humans were to follow its divine laws. Muslims have created so many differences and they fight amongst themselves and waste their energy at every front – social, political, economic, religious, cultural, etc. Many governments try to remove some of these differences but nothing happens. All their efforts and capital goes to waste. The Quran says that if you want to remove differences then listen to Allah and follow what Allah says:
وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبِّي عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ
(42:10) – AND ON WHATEVER you may differ, [O believers,] the verdict thereon rests with God. [Say, therefore:] “Such is God, my Sustainer: in Him have I placed my trust, and unto Him do I always turn!” [Asad]
It is possible that you may disagree with one another due to various reasons, attitudes or differences in personalities. The proper way to settle differences is to decide all matters in accordance with Allah's Law which is the final authority for everyone (4:59). This is from Allah, the Almighty Sustainer.
The barrier to remove differences is our self-interest
The Question is: why don’t we remove our differences according to what Allah says here? Why don’t we come to the Quran? We don’t do it because it affects our self-interests; because it shuts all our professions and occupations that we have created out of these differences. Allah guarantees that the Quran will remove all our differences. Religionists will never come to the Quran because they do not want to leave their sectarianism. Political differences are ephemeral. Political parties are secular; they come and go. But religious sects, once they come into existence, become entrenched among the people; and perpetuate themselves by using the name of Allah and the Prophet (PBUH).
The Quran has declared differences to be divine chastisement. It has declared them to be Shirk and the followers of religious sects as Mushriks (30:31-32) and the Prophet (PBUH) has nothing to do with them (6:159).
The religious sects, therefore, will do everything but will never really come to the Quran. All religious sects claim to follow the Quran, but the differences remain. That means they prove by their practice that Quran’s claim, May God forgive, is false! But the Quran’s claim is true that if you come to the Quran then it will erase all your differences. So, the only conclusion is that these sectarian religionists really don’t want to come to the Quran. They fool people that they are with the Quran by their rhetoric, and they keep using Allah’s name and the Prophet’s (PBUH) name for whatever they do to maintain their sectarianism.
Difference between Momin and Kafir
As far as conquering the forces of nature is concerned, there is no difference between Momin and Kafir. After conquering the forces of nature, comes the difference between Momin and Kafir according to how they spend the accrued benefits. Momin spends them according to the guidelines what Allah has established in the Quran. Kafir spends for his own goals based on his selfish interest which causes chaos and turmoil in the world as we see now. The world superpowers are competing against each other politically, economically and militarily. They want to gain superiority in the world by developing advanced technology and sophisticated weaponry. This has caused havoc and suffering in the world. And the world powers are suspicious of each other. The Quran says:
شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ ۚ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۚ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ
(42:13) – In matters of faith, He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave thee [O Muhammad] insight through revelation as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the [true] faith, and do not break up your unity therein. [And even though] that [unity of faith] to which thou callest them appears oppressive to those who are wont to ascribe to other beings or forces a share in His divinity, God draws unto Himself everyone who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him. [Asad]
Quranic meaning of Sharia
Sharia comes from the word شَرَعَ which means a way that goes towards flowing water. This word cannot be used for a way that goes towards standing water. The Quran’s principles and values are permanent. But practically implementing these principles and values in life is called Sharia. The difference between Deen and Sharia is that Deen is permanent and fixed but Sharia keeps changing according to the needs of time like a water that keeps moving but remains within the boundary lines of the Deen. So our thousand old year static laws cannot be called Sharia according to even the Arabic language.
The Quran says that establish the Deen and do not create differences in it (42:13):
أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ
From the beginning Allah has been sending the Deen to His Messengers with the instruction that establish this Deen and don’t let differences happen in it. The biggest crime in the eyes of Allah is to create differences in human beings because it violates the Quranic principle of equal dignity to all human beings (17:70).
Opposition from religious sects
All of the messengers were told to establish the system proposed by Allah; and to not create sects in it because the main objective of the Divine System is that humanity should become one universal entity by the removal all differences (3:32; 3:105; 6:159; 45:17-18).
The Quran says (42:13):
كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ
You call for the removal of sectarian differences for the sake of the unity; but it is not acceptable to those who consider other powers as their helpers; and not acceptable to those who intermix man-made rules with Divine Laws.
Even today if one asks Muslims to remove their sectarian differences then one faces strong opposition from the sectarian leaders. They are happy maintaining their individual sects among Muslims. They have also divided sects into sub-sects; and sub-sects into sub-sub-sects. They get after anyone and chase him up to the hilt who talks about removing these sects. But the Quran clearly declares them in the above verse that they are مُشْرِكِينَ (Mushrikeen). But all the sectarian religious scholars never mention this in their sermons from the pulpit.
The mindset created by sectarianism
The Quran says that these people are very happy within their own sects because it benefits them. That is why they oppose anyone who talks of demolishing sectarianism.
The Quran says (30:31):
وَلَا تَكُونُوا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Do not become among the Mushrikeen.
مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا ۖ كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
Accordingly, after becoming the upholders of the principle of Tauheed, you should remain extremely careful not to indulge in ‘shirk’.
You should not be amongst those who break the unity of their Deen and who instead of remaining one entity, get split into various sects. After people split into sects, every group thinks it is on the path of truth and is therefore content with its own way. Getting split into sects or factions amounts to shirk. Quran says that never fall prey to it (3:105; 6:159; 23:53; 42:13).
If one investigates how a sect comes into existence; then one has to go back in time. Then one will find that it stops at a person. So, the root of sectarianism is personality worship. When the Quran said that to remove differences come to the Book of Allah, then it means that sectarians never come to the Quran.
They stop at a person and never come to the Quran, which the Quran calls (2:165):
مِن دُونِ اللّهِ
And every sect thinks that it is on the right path and the rest of the sects are on the wrong path. And for this purpose they have attributed a hadith – which definitely is not from the Prophet (PBUH) – that there will be seventy-three sects in my Ummah; and one will go to heaven and the rest will go to hell. So, all the seventy-three sects think they will go to heaven. When one tells any sect that creating sects in Islam is wrong then it refers to this false hadith and says that we will go to Jannah and other sects will go to hell. So, there you have it. Every sect claims this deception as truth.
That is the reason Allah declares (30:32):
كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
All sects are euphoric and contented within their own sect. So, there is no need to find out the extraneous reasons as to why our condition is so despicable in the world. It is despicable because we are Mushriks.
No Islam without Ummah’s unity
Islam and Ummah’s unity are inseparable. There must not be any sect in Islam. If there are any sects within Islam, then Islam does not remain. It is never the case that one sect is right and others are wrong. All sects are wrong and they must be demolished; and Ummah should be united as one. Then only there will be Islam according to the Quran. Otherwise not. It is the Quran which will create the unity of Ummah. Muslims have to come to the Quran only and discard all other extraneous things. The Quran is pure light. So, it does not require another source of light. But contrary to what the Quran is saying, followers of sectarian Sharia (e.g., Hanafi, Maliki, Shaf’ei, Hanbali, Ahl-e Hadith, etc.) openly feel proud of and are boastful about their sects.
Quran’s teaching against all sectarianism
The Quran says (2:143):
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً
For the divine program, We made you an Ummah of universal brotherhood. Creating divisions in the Ummah is therefore Shirk. As a consequence, Deen disappears; Islam disappears.
The Quran tells (42:13):
كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ
You call for the removal of sectarian differences for the sake of the unity; but it is not acceptable to those who consider other powers as their helpers; and to those who intermix man-made rules with Divine Laws. They feel very bad when one calls for the removal sectarian differences. Muslim religionists say that this verse refers to Jews and Christians, not us. The Quran says that all messengers brought the same Deen from Allah. If two messengers came at the same time in the same place, then it is not the case that they have two separate Deen. They work together on the same Deen like Musa (PBUH) and Harun (PBUH) worked together against Pharaoh.
Allah selects these messenger according to His Will (42:13):
للَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاءُ
He does not do according to your standards. You are supposed to follow the revelation conveyed to you by the messenger (42:13):
وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ
Your task is to seek guidance from the Revelation revealed to the Prophet (PBUH). The guidance is available to anyone who seeks it willingly. It cannot benefit those who do not seek guidance. This is the way an Ummah is created. The Revelation determines the right way and its destination. The Ummah’s caravan travels on this way towards its destination. Now the question arises that if Deen was the same since the very beginning, then why did different religions come into existence; and why have so many differences arise amongst people? It is not that the Almighty Allah had given different religions to different people; nor was the Revelation revealed by Him such that it created these differences.
This was not the case (42:14):
وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوا إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ
In fact, when a Messenger departed after removing differences in the light of Revelation, his followers again divided themselves into various factions due to personal pride, stubbornness, mutual rivalries and jealousies. This is how followers of one Deen split-up into various factions.
Allama Iqbal says about our Sahaba (R):
“Wo mu’azziz they zamane mein Musalman hokar
Aur tum khwar huey tarike Quran hokar”
“They had dignity and power in the world because of Islam. And you are suffering humiliation and defeat because you have left the Qur’an.”
And our Prophet (PBUH) will complain to Allah on the Day of Judgment (25:30):
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
And the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Quran.”
Let us conclude with the following message of Allama Iqbal:
“Manf-e-at ek hai is qaum ki nuqsaan bhi ek
Ek hi sab ka nabi deen bhi iman bhi ek
Harame paak bhi Allah bhi Quran bhi ek
Kuchh bari baat thi hote jo Musalman bhi ek”
“There is one common gain and one common loss for all Muslims. (Remember the Prophet’s hadith that all Muslims are like a body.) One Prophet (PBUH) for all and one Iman for all. One Ka’aba, one Allah and one Qur’an for all. How great it would be if Muslims were one too!”
Let us pray to Allah to unite our hearts in the path of Islam. It is Allah’s promise that if we do that, then we will regain our dignity, power, and glory (24:55). And Allah does not break His promise (2:80).