WAMY - Dammam
Jan 15, 2005
Unit is strength.  When the sand grains unite they become a vast desert.  When the sea drops units they become a boundless ocean.  The conglomeration of stars in the firmament of sky soothes our eyes.  The seven colors emerge in the shape of a bewitching rainbow.  The unity of people makes an invincible strong nation.  This is the reason Islam lays great stress on the importance of unity.  The Islamic concept of Tawhid is the other name of the unity of humankind.  The corner stone in Islam is the unity of God.  Allah's unity teaches us the message that we should not divide humans into sections and sects.  Almighty Allah in the Qur'an says that the division of people in the races and clans is only for their introduction.  The best one out of them is the man of piety.  Dr. Mohammad Ali Al-Khuli is his book titled "The Light of Islam" writes.  "Islam is the greatest unifying force in the world.  It is a religion to all humans regardless of color, race and language.  It is a religion that tolerates other religions and orders its followers to respect and protect all humans."
            According to Hadith of the Holy Prophet all persons belong to Adam, and Adam was from soil.  The racial discrimination has been strictly prohibited in Islam.  In the last sermon from the Mount of Arafat the Holy Prophet had clearly announced that no  Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab; or the white over the black.  This is the reason that in Muslim countries we do not find racial discriminations.  Islam gives clear injunctions for the respect, safety, security and prosperity of the non-Muslims as well.  Unity teaches peace, equality and paternity.  The absence of unity breeds disruption, devastation and disputes.  Islam ordains protection of non-Muslims simply to show the respect for the Cannons of divinity and humanity.  God is not only of the Muslims.  God is the God of all human beings.  The unity of all humans is the ultimate aim of the teachings of Islam.  The doctrinal and ideological differences should not lead to war or bloodshed.
            Man is a thinking creature.  Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher introduced Rationalism in Philosophy.  The Quran time and again asserts on the need of cogitation.  "Ijtihad" is an analogical and analytical approach towards the matters of jurisprudence.  Ashab-e-suffa was the people of wisdom. They gave more time to cogitate on social and academic matters along with their saintly and  spiritual practices.  They were praised by the Holy Prophet for their involvement in intellectual pursuit.  Once the Holy Prophet said:  "The juristic scholar who receives two rewards for every correct decision and even one for every incorrect one, for he is endeavoring with all his effort to reach the correct decision."   The difference of opinion must be positive.  It should not lead to prides and prejudices of priests.  It should be decent difference on the bases of logic like the difference on the bases of logic like the differences of Philosophers.  Aristotle was the pupil of Plato.  He differed from his teacher on many points but he never issued the edict of his assassination.  Hegel and Bergson difefred.  Immunel Kant differed with Nietzche.  None cursed or condemned the other.  These differences were on principles; not personal.
            But unfortunately the so called scholars and clerics of different religions brought immense misery to mankind in the name of religion.  The Jews, the Christians, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists and others had mercilessly shed the blood of each other in the name or religion.  Each of these sects then killed the followers of their own religions on minor interpretative issues.  Even to date to bloodshed in the name of faith is rampant.  This is the greatest error and must be rectified.  The Quran discusses the concept of unity of three levels.  Foremost is the unity of humanity.  The Quran in Sunnah Al-Hujurat (The Inner Apartments) says: "O, Mankind!  We have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another.  Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one who has piety."  (49:13).
            The Quran no where addresses the Muslims.  Either it addresses the believers (momineen) or the people (Annas).  The Quran on second level refers to the unity of the people of the Books:  the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims – In Surah Al-e-Imran the Qur'an says:  "O, people of the Book! Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with him, and that none of us will take others as lords besides Allah.  Then if they turn away say; Bear witness that we are Muslims". (3:64).
            The fifth verse of the Surah the clear Evidence and the forty eighth verse of Surah the Table Spread also shed light on the unity of the people of the Book.  Then on third level the Quran asserts on the unity of the Muslims.  In Surah Al-e-Imran the Quran says: "And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves." (3:103).
            The Quran condemns sectarianism and regards it shirk (polytheism).  The Quran again in Surah Al-e-Imran says: "O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam."
            In Mishqat Sharife there is a tradition of the Holy Prophet which says; "The Muslims are like a body; if one limb aches, the whole body aches."  Then the Messenger of Allah says; "whoever does not care about the affairs of the Muslims is not one of them".  From the above Quranic facts we deduce the result that Islam believes in the unity of all humans and preaches peace, justice and equality.  Religion is to serve humankind.  Religion has come to reform and unite humans, not to divide them.  We must condemn extremism and terrorism in the name of religion and unite humankind if we believe in the unity of God.
By Professor Maqsood Jafri
(The writer is an eminent speaker and scholar on Islam.  He can be reached at [EMAIL PROTECTED])
(Courtesy: Youth Magazine)

O Allah! Guide us, make our intentions sincere, accept our deeds, answer our prayers, and make us of those who are patient.

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{Invite (mankind, O Muhammad ) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur'an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.}
(Holy Quran-16:125)

{And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah's (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims."} (Holy Quran-41:33)

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "By Allah, if Allah guides one person by you, it is better for you than the best types of camels." [al-Bukhaaree, Muslim]

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)  also said, "Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward similar to the reward of the one who follows him, without the reward of either of them being lessened at all."
[Muslim, Ahmad, Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa'ee, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah]

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