Islamic Scholars and Unity

Sayyid Jamal al-Din Asadabadi: Two important factors, unity and I’tila’ are counted as two great pillars of the Islamic faith. Rather, they are definite duties for a person who has accepted Islam.

Shaykh Muhammad Abduh: Differences and weakening the religion is an evil plan of the foreigners. The foreigners try to weaken the various Islamic sects by causing disputes. They want the people’s hearts of those sects to hate one another and to keep them away from clear Islamic commandments.

Ayatollah Burujerdi: One of the huge marja’s of the Shia world, who is highly respected as well, was Ayatollah Burujerdi. He worked very hard to create unity amongst Muslims and even cooperated with Dar al-Taqrib in Egypt. His opinion in unifying the Muslims was referring to the unanimously accepted tradition of thaqalayn and for the non-Shias of the world to look at the amazing amounts of knowledge that the Shia Imams have – which was given to them by the Prophet (s). He wanted them to come closer to Shiaism and to create the groundworks for Islamic unity.

Imam Khomeini: The society in which divine prophets and the Quran worked to establish was a unified society. This is a concept which surpasses tribes, nations, and governments. We must return to our roots and the Islamic culture without adding anything to it. We must put forth effort to protect and strengthen unity – starting from within ourselves. Disunity is from Satan and unity is from the Merciful. Is it possible for one to have a monotheistic ideology, believe that there is only one God, believe that divine will encompasses all things, but have disunity in his practice and in his relationship with other creations?

Ayatollah Khamenei: Islamic unity is an important issue which will be achieved by creating relationships between Islamic spiritual leaders. I open my arms up to people who follow an Islamic organization with the purpose of serving Islam and protecting the benefits of Muslims.

Shaykh Mahmoud Shaltut: Islam has not forced any of its followers to follow are particular sect. Rather, each Muslim can correctly choose any sect and observe the laws that are derived from it. Therefore, a person who follows one of the four sects can easily change to follow another one. The Ja’fari sect, famously known as the Twelver sect, is permissible to follow just as it is permissible to follow any one of the other four sects. Therefore, it is suitable for Muslims to recognize this and to leave all forms of fanaticism directed at a particular sect.

Sayyid Abd al-Hussayn Sharaf al-Din: Division is political and unity is political. Politics divided Sunnis and Shias from the beginning and now, politics must unite them.

Shahid Murtada Mutahhari: It is self-evident that what the scholars mean by unity is not making all Muslims follow one particular sect or accepting what is similar in all sects and rejecting what is different. This would be impossible. Rather, what they mean is putting all Muslims in one line together standing up to their enemies.

Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Hussayn Tabatabai: The Shia of the first century never left the lines of the majority. They aided the general Islamic society in progression. Now, it is also necessary for Muslims to be united and to refer to the principles of Islam. They must leave their disunity and face all of the problems that were caused by the foreigners during the past few decades.

Ayatollah Shahid Muhammad Baqir Sadr: I have spent my whole life in trying to bring about unity and brotherhood between Shias and Sunnis. I have made many pro-unity statements. I am the brother and the son of the Sunnis just as I am the brother and the son of Shias.

Imam Musa Sadr: Solidifying the lines of Muslims is not something that was ordained only by the Prophet (s). Rather, the necessities of life and the intellect also advise us to do the same thing. This is an issue which our existence depends on. I do not mean, by mentioning unity, that we should just blindly mention it over and over again. Rather, I mean that unity, in its complete meaning, is what we are striving for.

Islam Times

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