Reconciliation, in lexical meaning, refers to “restore friendly relations between”, and “the process of making tow opposing beliefs, ideas or situations agree”. Reconciliation means to accommodate between two groups who were in disagreement with each other on some issues. Thus, reconciliation, precisely and in simple words, is a reuniting of two hostile people or groups by calling them to come together in order to resolve mutual differences. Or, put differently, reconciliation is a repair of a worsening relationship between two or more people or groups. It consolidates peace and breaks the cycle of hostility. It is clear from the definitions that reconciliation is a significant move to bring varying factions together.
Reconciliation has great significance in contemporary era, particularly among the Muslims because they are divided into different sects. The noble Quran lays great emphasis on reconciliation in many verses. For example, Surah Al-Hujurat (49: 09) states: “If two parties among the believers fall into quarrel, make ye peace between them”(see also, Surah An-Nisa, 4: 114, 128 and Surah Al-Anfal, 8: 01). There are also good numbers of Ahadith related to the importance of reconciliation. For instance, Sahl bin Sad (RA) narrated that once the people of Quba fought with each other till they threw stones on each other. When Allah’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was informed about it, He said: “Let us go to bring about reconciliation between them” (Sahih Bukhari).
Reconciling people is a branch of faith and an Islamic moral system through which grudges are diminished, hearts are purified and fire of fitnah (chaos, disorder) is extinguished. It is through reconciliation that the Ummah becomes a consistent unit where one part seeks to amend the other part. Thus, it becomes like a single body: if one organ of it complains, the rest of the body suffers wakefulness and fever. Therefore, Islam pushes for reconciling people because it is a reason for holding firm to the rope of Allah and shuns disunity between Muslims.
Muslims, around the world, must know the value and importance of uniting the ummah, as the Holy Quran states: “Hold on to the Rope of Allah all together and do not divide”(Surah Al-Imran, 3:103). In this verse the whole Ummah is addressed instead of an individual and of course it is the responsibility of every Muslim to do so. During the period of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), His Companions and Taba’een, it is observed that Muslims were united. The major division among Muslims in Jurisprudence occurred when the Fiqh became an official subject. There are also various views of great Scholars which shows, how much they emphasized upon to be united. Our conflicts on minute issues have broken unity among Muslims. In Surah Anfaal (8:46)Almighty Allah has condemned disunity and clash and declares a worst punishment for it: “And do not be disputed with each other that weakened you and destroy your awesome”. Moreover, in Surah Al-An’aam (6:159): “Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern in them in the least”.
Keeping in view the significance of the above mentioned Quranic verses and Ahadith, and looking at our present situation, the need of the hour is to maintain unity. It is the responsibility of every Muslim, whether living in the East or West, to uphold brotherhood because, at present, Muslims are divided particularly on minute issues and on the other side the enemies of the Muslims are united with each other and they are fully aware that their strength lies in the differences of Muslims. They are engaged in making conspiracies to divide Muslims. Whereas the Holy Quran warns us to be unite with each other. The unity of Muslim Ummah is possible when they adopt reconciliation methodology, so that they bring the past glory back. At the same time, it remains the core responsibility of the Muslim scholars (‘Ulama) to play their role in order to build Muslim Ummah as a united body. To maintain unity, Muslims need to follow some steps necessary for reconciliation:
Muslim must preach and spread Islam on pre-established Shariah guidelines but not on sectarian beliefs;
Muslims must love, respect, and follow Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as role model as Sahaba(Prophet’s Companions) did during their time;
Muslims must focus on the major issues having socio-religious and politico-economic significance;
Muslims must focus on education, science and technology, moral and spiritual values;
Muslims should not follow those scholars who are very eager to issue Fatwas (religious decrees) against each other and so on;
Muslims should not follow those ‘Ulama and scholars who create dissent among Muslims rather than uniting them.
The author holds a PG in Islamic studies from IUST, Awantipora. He can be reached at:email@example.com