By Javeed Ali
A video which had recently gone viral shows a group of people pelting stones on a mosque of Khanqah Syed Musa Baghdadi (R.A.) in Batmurran area of Wampora in Shopian district. The incident has reportedly occurred on 28th July during the Friday prayers. This incident has dismayed all and has been widely condemned.
Our difference of opinion should not become the cause of destruction of basic principles of Islam. Whatever happened at Shopian should not have happened. It has brought a lot of embarrassment to us and it’s a time that we should get our act together and work strongly to strengthen the unity among our ranks. The difference of ideologies or opinions among the various sects of Muslim Ummah should not result in our split. It will only harm us and will serve the interests of enemies of Islam.
We should not stand against each other and create sectarian differences, such actions only damage our cause. We need to stand united with each other as we are facing difficult times from every side, whether these be religious or political. If we will fight with each other for having difference of opinions then there is no scope of larger growth in any field.
Muslim nations today are facing threat both within and from outside, thus it is duty of each of us to stay united. Unity among different sects of Muslim Ummah is of paramount importance particularly among the bigger sects like Shias and Sunnis.
The Holy Quran, the final revelation to mankind, has quite emphatically and unambiguously stressed the importance of unity and peaceful co-existence. “And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not divided” (Surah Aali Imran). When the Holy Quran lays such strong emphasis on unity, how can those creating discord and spreading venom claim to be the true followers of Islam?
Today, the enemies of Islam and humanity are hell-bent on dividing Muslims on sectarian lines. They use social media to spread hate and vitriol against both Shias and Sunnis, which eventually becomes the cause of conflict and estrangement between the two communities. America, Israel, Britain and their allies have made a staggering investment in the sectarianism/takfirism project to divide people and to malign the image of Islam, which is the fastest growing religion in the West. To foil their nefarious designs, it is of utmost importance to forge unity and stand in solidarity with each other.
Imam Khomeini (R.A.), the leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, was a strong advocate of Islamic unity and brotherhood. “We Muslims are busy bickering over whether to fold our hands in prayer or not, while the enemy is devising plans to chop them off,” he once said. He always urged Shias and Sunnis to unite against the enemies of Islam. The week of unity (Hafta-e-Wahdat), which is observed in the month of Rabiul Awwal to mark the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was an idea originally proposed by him to bring Muslims closer. Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, has quite admirably followed on the footsteps of his mentor. “Those who provoke Sunni Muslims against the Shias and Shia Muslims against the Sunnis support neither Shia nor the Sunni. They are opposed to Islam and work for the enemies of Islam.” he reiterated a number of times. Ayatollah Sistani has also been a strong votary of Muslim brotherhood. Sunnis, he has repeatedly said, are “not our brothers, but our souls”.
Before Christopher Columbus discovered America and Europeans embraced civilization, Muslims had already made huge advances in various fields. The decline started when Muslims became prey to the vicious plots of enemies and got divided into sects and groups. So far Zionist forces were able to produce many militia groups that committed despicable crimes against both Shias and Sunnis.
All these issues make heavier the burden of Muslim scholars and researchers to forge unity and condemn the acts of divisive forces who seek to create fissures between Muslims. Imam Hussain (A.S.) and his companions gave blood on the desert plains of Karbala to resurrect the Muslim Ummah and uplift the true values of Islam. Both Shias and Sunnis commemorate the martyrdom of Hussain (A.S.) because he is a symbol of unity. A true believer who loves Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his progeny will never create split between Shias and Sunnis. The division in our community is only helping the cause of oppressors and that is precisely why Muslims are suffering everywhere today. The only panacea for our predicaments is unity and brotherhood.
Let’s make us a firm resolution that the unfortunate incident which happened at Shopian will not be repeated again. Let’s forge a strong unity and organize unity programmes starting from the same village and spread it all over the Kashmir. The world affairs should not impact our unity efforts. Charity begins at home. So let’s start it from our home , that is, Kashmir. Let’s make our Kashmir the epitome of bond and brotherhood again.
—The author can be reached at: email@example.com