The True Muslim Unity
No doubt that the unity of Muslims is a very important matter and foundation of Islamic community. However, there are many misconceptions regarding such great matter. In this article we will try to present the right understanding of true Islamic unity.
Allaah Almighty said:
Truly! This, your Ummah [Shariah or religion (Islamic Monotheism)] is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (Alone). [Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr]. (92) - Surah Al-Anbiya.
And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur'an), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allaah's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islâmic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allaah makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided. (103) - Surah Al-E-Imran.
And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment. (105) - Surah Al-E-Imran.
The above verses direct Muslims to be one body and stick to one religion which was sent down to them by Allaah Almighty. Also such verses clearly warn the Muslims against the division among themselves and how bad the result of such evil practice to be.
And obey Allaah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allaah is with those who are As-Sabirûn (the patient). (46) - Surah Al-Anfal.
Since there is no escape from differences among people in their viewpoints and ideas, Allaah directed the believers in the situation of differences to refer their matters to Allaah and His messenger (Peace be upon him):
O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you dier in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him), if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for nal determination. (59) - Surah An-Nisa,
Referring any matter to Allaah and His messenger means to refer to the Qur'an and Sunnah of the prophet (Peace be upon him), that matter will be definitely settled among the believers.
The most fundamental matter caused Muslims to split is Aqeedah (Creed integrity), that can not be compromised by multiple dogmas or Ijtihad (independent rationalization). Therefore, whoever has different Aqeedah is considered a misguided person and has no right to present his viewpoints regarding Aqeedah. In the other hand if someone has independent viewpoints concerning Figh issues that is acceptable from Shariah perspective. To have an acceptable Figh viewpoint, the individual must have a sound Islamic knowledge to validate Ijtihad.
As that said, all religion issues and events such as Eid, Fridays and other religious rites must be based on right Aqeedah and Manhaj. All those who work to educate Muslims must have right Aqeedah and pure Islamic knowledge that are based on the Qur'an and Sunnah. Muslims have a great responsibility to choose the right educators and appoint them to carry out their tasks in expected manner. The only standard to measure the quality of an educators is to see how much they are committed to follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah and the righteous ancestors.
The right education is to provide the Muslim community first with the important and essential knowledge; the Qur'an, Sunnah, Figh, Tafseer, Arabic language and other essential secular education which will benefit the community and next generations.
The idea of having differences and other viewpoints, under the name of multiplicity, other than what were mentioned above will only promote division among the community and result to have an unhealthy community with all types of sicknesses.
All other unities be them social gathering or ethnic or any other forms of unity, if not stemming from the Qur'an and Sunnah would not be considered as Islamic unity and it will only full one's desires and has no value in the scale of Shariah.
On the challenging and contentious issue of reviving a Sunnah of Salat Eid contrary to the practice of the community of Muslim peers, Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani said:
“It is not befitting for a wise person to say:
verily in reviving this Sunnah (performing Eid prayer in wilderness) is a cause to split Muslim community, because people used to pray in different mosques for a period of time and if a new group of people started to pray in wilderness, this is considered stepping out (Khuruj) from the Jammaa'h, and no need for establishing such a new group, rather we need to reduce the number of groups!
No wise Muslim shall say such a statement [as above], as it carries a malicious message that cannot be imagined to be uttered by a believer. Which means: practising the Sunnah, that is agreed upon among all scholars, would be a cause of splitting Muslim community and break their unity, and this very argument in itself is enough to refute their claim.
The fact that bring us close to Allaah is that, the only way to the real unity of Muslim community is to hold steadfast upon the Sunnah of the messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him); the Sunnah that was practised by the messenger (Peace be upon him) during his life is the Sunnah he entrusted to his Ummah.
There is no doubt that to revive the Sunnah of the prophet (Peace be upon him) there must be a necessity to establish a new group and leave those groups which do not practice the Sunnah, and since the aim of the new group is to unite other groups on what was on the life of the prophet (Peace be upon him) and time of the Khulafa Rashideen, then it becomes inevitable for that group to be founded.
It is established in principles of Figh, that if any wajib cannot be fulfilled unless it is based on another thing, then that later thing also becomes wajib. Someone uninformed may argue:
“There will be many people convinced to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) but there will be others who prefer to follow certain Mathzaahab or Maslak! Therefore, we will still have disunity among Muslims!”
I say: indeed this can happen, however, it is clear enough that (disunity of the community) is not the responsibility of those who call people to the Sunnah, it is rather the responsibility of those who denied or rejected to follow the Sunnah. As for the group who established the Sunnah, their Jammaa’h is legitimate from Shariah prescriptive as it [the Jammaa’h] is mentioned in the Sunnah or in the other narration [those who are on my way and way of my companions]”.(1)
Sheikh Al Albani also said that the origin of Eid prayer in wilderness is to:
“...pray the Eid prayer outside the city, outside the boundaries of the city, if that is easy for you. If that is not easy for you, then pray in a field from the spacious fields which accommodates all the praying people whose custom is that they split up for the congregational prayer and Friday prayer in their Masaajid. After the field outside the city is difficult, a field that is inside the city accommodating all of them, is a permissible place to pray.
As for what is related to the Soccer arena/ground, so if there is not in this arena apparent evil, like what we witnessed sometimes displayed in some international arenas/grounds in terms of placing signs and pictures and what resemblances that.
If the pictures are not established and the arena/ground is free from oppositions of the shariah, then it is allowed to take it as a Musallah, otherwise no.”(2)
There can be no real unity among Muslims if they do not stick to the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the prophet and follow the righteous predecessors with their understanding and how they apply that in their time without changing the message of Allaah Almighty to suit their desires.
Muslims in Manitoba are equally in need of the pursuit of knowledge in a humble fashion; there is a need to revive the Sunnah, and hold to it tenaciously to create a true unity. This pursuit of knowledge should be in all aspects of Ibadah, such as Eid prayer, Friday prayer, and community functions.
Innovations which step away from the Sunnah will create an environment that will destroy the unity that is exemplified in the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
(1). From the book of Eid Prayers in the Wilderness - Al-Albani, page 43 - 46
(2). Silsilatul Huda-wa-Nur no. 57 retrieved from:
http://alalbany.net/fatawa_view.php?id=524 | Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan Abu Sulaymaan, trans.