Parvaiz Ahmad Mir
Unity, be it in ideas or any other aspect, is strength while divisions only lead to more divisions. Looking at the current situation of the Muslim world, one observes a long list of divisions. If we remain divided and keep fighting over our differences, we will ultimately damage ourselves and the result will be a collective failure.
During the time of the Prophet (S.A.W), Muslims were united, and one of the basic reasons behind this unity was that the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) were full of sincerity, compassion and love. Same was the case with the leaders of the different schools of thought, who despite their disagreements remained united and were respectful to each other. One school of thought never asserted its superiority over another, because their main purpose was to work for the promotion of Din (Islam) and not for the promotion of their ideology or school. The knowledge they attained was like a selfless friend for them, but the knowledge we are attaining is like a competition. A young poetess puts it beautifully: “Mauje talatum mein veeran meri subah shaam, Har sitaaray ko samjhta hoon main sitaara apna.” (Intiha Aafreen).
As Muslims, and particularly as students of knowledge, it is an obligation for us to stay united. Differences in understanding should not lead us to break ties or slander one another. Indeed, we loudly call for unity from pulpits but it won’t happen without tolerance and respect for one another. We need to understand that everybody cannot have the same inclination or think in the same way. There is a stronger thing within us than the bond of blood and that is our Kalima. Let’s put aside differences of belonging to a particular school of thought or ideology, or being affiliated or associated with a particular organisation (Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, Hanbali or Barelwi, Tablighi, Salafi, Deobandi, Ahilhadith, etc.). We have forgotten the real message of Quran that if God had wanted, he would have made everybody believe in the same thing. The Quran makes it clear in the Surah of Ali Imran: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers”.
As Muslims, we should resolve our matters in a brotherly way. We need to understand that love, affection and unity is a special favour from God. Whether you have come together for the promotion of his Din (Islam) or you live as a family, you should ask God for love, affection, unity and mercy. To conclude, it is not my way or your way; unity lies in Islam’s highway.
The writer has a PG in Islamic Studies from IUST Awantipora. [email protected].