Muslim Unity: The Beauty of an Initiative

Muslim Unity: The Beauty of an Initiative

A small community initiative by residents of Magam- a small town in Central Kashmir’s Budgam- holds revolutionary potential. The initiative pertains to the resolve 0f the Shia and Sunni communities of the town to pray together at the mosque. The members and religious heads of both the Sunni and Shia factions of Magam decided to hold prayers together in the town’s Jamia Masjid since they want to send the message to the Islamic world to unite, instead of getting trapped in divisions detrimental for Islam and the wider interests of the Muslim ummah. This is indeed a bold and a beautiful initiative whose import and consequence should reverberate and amplify across the Muslim world. The Shia- Sunni faultline is the major fault line that divides the Muslim world. Over the years, and especially in the Middle East, this conflict has assumed a violent hue and ingress. Be it the civil war in Syria or the deep fissures and polarization in post War Iraq or the sovereign clashes for hegemony between Iran and Saudi Arabia, all bear the ingress of the age old Shia Sunni divide and conflict thereof. The reasons for the conflict are manifold; these include doctrinal, political and historical differences. These are held to be so intense that Shia Sunni unity is held to be impossibility. But, as the residents of Magam , have so eloquently demonstrated, amity and unity between the two major schools of thought of Islam need not be hostage to these. If there is will and determination on part of the two communities , Islamic unity falls in the domain of the possible. This unity assumes significance and salience at a time when the Muslim world is in disarray and is plagued by innumerable issues and problems. The first prong of getting the Muslim world’s affairs right would naturally be unity- especially between Shia’s and Sunni’s. United, the Muslim world can then become a power and a salubrious force in its own right and inimical foreign powers would not be able to play one against the other. The bold and beautiful endeavor by the Shia and Sunni community to hold prayers together is one small step towards this end. As they say, small is beautiful. The rest of the Muslim world should take inspiration from this community initiative and begin to think and act along these lines. The world will be better for it!

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