The Cures of Division and Disputes among the Muslims
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, N. C., on March 11, 1988)
The Imam mentioned last Friday about not being united and about the divisions and disputes that our Muslim ummah (nation) is facing nowadays. He pointed out four causes why this is happening as Allah (S.W.T.) mentioned in the Qur’an. Briefly they are:
First by ignoring the righteous and straight path that Allah (S.W.T.) has command us to follow. There will be other paths, but we must not go to these paths, because these will be the paths of Satan and will cause us to do bad things and follow Satan’s way. As mentioned in the Qur’an, in surat Al-An’am, (Verse 153), what can be translated as, "And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and do not follow other paths, for they will separate you away from His path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)."
Second by abandoning or dismantling a part of the Islamic sharia’h message that Allah (S.W.T.) conveyed to us. As mentioned in the Qur’an, in surat Al-Ma’idah, (Verse 14), what can be translated as, "They have abandoned a good part of the message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection."
Third the people becoming envious and rebellious towards each other as mentioned in the Qur’an, in surat Ash-Shura, (Verse 14), what can be translated as, "And they did not divide till the knowledge had come to them, through selfish transgression between themselves."
Fourth missing out on the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) among the people because they are rejecting the truth or righteousness of Allah’s commands and practicing what Allah (S.W.T.) and His Messenger forbade for them. As mentioned in the Qur’an, in surat Huod, (Verse 118), what can be translated as, "But they (people) will not cease to disagree. Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy."
By knowing these facts we will realize what are the real and main causes behind the division and disputes among the people that resulted in disunity among our Muslim ummah.
Some people blame this situation of disunity among our Muslim ummah on Political, Economical, and Sociological reasons. But they are wrong in their speculations. Even though we realize and admit that all these problems and others exist, but they forget and ignored that we are a Muslim ummah. The deen of Islam is the foundation that this ummah has been united on for many centuries, from the far east to the west, even though we are different people, who come from different nations, languages, and races. This reality has been proven by history.
Every Nation that wants to be united should have a common factor to unit them. For us Muslims it is only the deen of Islam. Yes, it is only the deen of Islam.
It is not enough for us to search and trying to find the reasons that cause disunity and division among our Muslim ummah, but we have to realize the responsibilities that are upon us, to achieve our goal, which is to unite our ummah. It is not right to ignore our duties and neglect our responsibilities or to even pass them on to someone else, like the corrupted regimes, governments, and authorities that exist today in the Muslim ummah. Also we should not always blame our enemies and what they do against us. We should carry our share of responsibility because everyone, without exception needs to help solve this problem.
The solution for the first cause of disunity would be to grab a hold of the righteous path and live by it. That path the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) described to us in his hadith, "I left you a white clear path to stay on and to follow. Whoever fails to stay on this path will parish." He (S.A.W.) explained more clearly to us in another hadith, "I left among of you two things, the book of Allah and my sunnah, as long as you go by them you will not be mislead."
We have to be cautions from following Satan’s calls and ways. Every way that is different from the righteous way is Satan’s way, which rises up every time in a new idea, shape, or style. It is enough for us to follow others, the eastern and the western in what they do. We have to stop misleading ourselves by following different methods and having prejudice between each other. Lets erase the differences between each other and be one Muslim ummah and one body. As the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) stated in his hadith, "Muslims in their caring, mercy, and support for each others, is like one body, when a part of it suffers from pain, the rest of it would suffer by a fever and sleeplessness."
And our responsibility to resolve the second cause of disunity is to believe entirely in our deen that Allah (S.W.T.) sent to us. And to implement it completely in our daily life, and beware of those who are misusing Islam by believing only in parts of it and rejecting other parts. As Allah (S.W.T.) mentions in surat Al-Baqarah, (Verse 85), what can be translated as, "Do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in this worldly life, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do."
To resolve the third cause of disunity we should avoid selfish transgression between ourselves. We should protect other people’s rights and fulfill all of our duties towards others like care, love, stand by, and advise each other instead of being envious and rebellious towards each other.
To resolve the fourth cause of disunity we should stay in the situation that deserves the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.), which is righteousness by practicing in ourselves. That Allah (S.W.T) mentioned in surat At-Tawbah, (Verse 71), what can be translated as, "The believers, men and women are "awliay" of one another, they enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil; they offer their prayers perfectly: and give the zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Might, All-Wise."
Finally, I want to make it clear that division and disunity that we have talked about which Islam warned us against is different from what we know of the differences and disagreements among the Muslim scholars. Like Imam Abu-Hanifah, Malik, Shafie, and Ibn-Hanbal, (May Allah Be Pleased With All of Them) in their different opinions in the minor matters related to sharia’h. This kind of disagreement or difference of opinion is natural and is allowed. This happened in many incidents during the life of prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that He (S.A.W.) said on the day of the battle of Al-Ahzab, to his companions, "No one among of you should pray Aser except at Bani-Quradah village." Aser time came while the companions were in their way. Some of them said we should not pray Aser until we reach the village. Others said no, we should pray Aser before its time is over, because the prophet (S.A.W.) wants from us to hurry, but not to delay Aser from its time. One group stopped and prayed Aser on their way. The other group continued until they reached the village after sunset and prayed Aser their. Later when they met the prophet (S.A.W.), they told him about their different understandings. The prophet (S.A.W.) did not blame any of them." This is a very clear evidence of the approval of the prophet for both opinions and understandings.
Today, as followers of those great Imams, we should respect their understandings, because they are qualified scalars. Also we should not use our affiliation to any of them as a reason to divide ourselves. We have a right to follow what we believe is correct, in the same time we should not prevent other Muslims from following what they believe is right.
I pray to Allah (S.W.T.) to join our hearts and unite our community and Muslim ummah on the right path. Ameen