In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
“(Be not) Of those
who split up their religion
and become parties;
every sect rejoicing
in that which is with it”
Despite this clear injunction of Allah there is a legion of groups. With each group brandishing the Qur’an aloft and professing to be following it. Clearly, they cannot be following Allah’s Qur’-an! Clearly, to foster sectism is to defy Allāh. And we expect to attain Jannah. (???). Prophet Mohammad taught us:
A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. So he should neither oppress him nor hand him over to an oppressor. And whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfil his needs–(Bokhari Vol. 9, #83).
Fourteen hundred years ago Allah the Glorious and the High revealed His Words to Prophet Mohammad who conveyed it to us by his precepts and practice. Words so incisive that within 23 years it transformed an entire nation of barbaric and heathenistic people into the most powerful, brotherly, God-fearing and God-conscious beings. Sadly, however, today the Muslim nation is anything but God-fearing, powerful, or brotherly.
Whatever difference(s) we have in understanding the verses of the Qur'an is no license for division–the judgment thereof is with Allah, He will make clear to us wherein we differed (Qur'an 42:10-13; 39:46; 16:92).(To those who persist in sectism, what part of ‘Do not divide your religion; Allah will show us the truth of the matter wherein we differ’ do you not under-stand?)
And Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that difference of opinion among his followers is a blessing. But Muslims have denigrated this blessing into a curse (by dividing our-selves).
Regardless of how shallow he may be in intelligence, or how wrong in his interpretation of the Qur’an, how can a believer in Allah who advances his argument from the Qur’an be called a kafir/disbeliever?
Our common factors as Muslims are Faith in Allah and the Messengership of Mohammad; Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj.
“The believers are brethren,
so make peace between your brethren”
“Never should a Believer kill a Believer”
“If a man kills a Believer intentionally,
his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever):
and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him,
and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him”
“…and say not to any one who offers you
salutation, thou art not a believer…”
(Qur’an 49:10; 4:92, 93, 94).
Every person who accepts the kalima–There is no God but Allah, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah– is a Muslim. Only his/her renouncing this formula of belief can remove him/her from Islam.
Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam, that as explained by Ibn Kathir in his dictionary of tradition, the Nihaya, that: “Kufr (unbelief) is of two kinds: one is denial of the faith itself, and that is the opposite of faith; and the other is a denial of a far' (branch) of the furu' (branches) of Islam, and on account of it a man does not get out of the faith itself.” (p. 123).
Regardless of the depth of his error, a Muslim who advances his arguments from the Qur’an cannot be a called a kafir (disbeliever).
Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said, “Three things are the basis of faith: to withhold from one who confesses faith in la ilaha ill-Allah, you should not call him kafir for any sin, nor expel him from Islam for any deed…” (Abu Dawud 15:33)”. And ‘Umar is reported to have said, “Whoever calls the people of la ilaha ill-Allah unbeliever (kafir) is himself nearer to unbelief (kufr).”1
Further, Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that, Whoever prays like us and faces our Qibla and eats our slaugh-tered animals is a Muslim and is under Allah’s and His Apostle’s protection. So do not betray Allah by betraying those who are in His protection. And that: If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him Fasiq, i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent. Also, “cursing a be-liever is like murdering him; and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him”–(Bokhari Vol. 1 # 386. Vol. 8 # 71 –See also chapter 73. And #'s 125 (A), 125 (B), 126).
Believers are those who believe in Allah
and His Messenger, and who doubts not
and struggle in the way of Allāh
“Husain Ahmad Madani, This well-known Deobandi theologi-an of this century has written in his autobiography Naqsh-i Hayat: “All great scholars are unanimous in holding that if, out of hundred ingredients of the belief of some Muslim, ninety-nine are those of unbelief, and merely one of true Islamic faith, it is not allowed to call him kafir, .…In fact, Hazrat Gangohi [a founder of Deoband religious school] clearly states in his Anwar al-Qulub that the saying of the jurists about ninety-nine grounds does not set a limit, and that if 999 out of a thousand points in the belief of a Muslim are unbelief (kufr) and only one is true belief, even then he cannot be called kafir.” (Naqsh-i-Hayat, vol. i. p. 126).”2 (Muslims, who are hasty to call other Muslims kafir, must take keen note of this).
Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi, states: “In these hadith, the Holy Prophet has explained the constitutional law of Islam. And that is that when a person professes the unity of God and the apostle-ship of the Holy Prophet, he enters the fold of Islam and becomes a citizen of the Islamic state. As to whether he is a true believer or not, only God can judge that. We are not permitted to judge it because of the [Holy Prophet’s] words: ‘I have not been commanded to cut open people's hearts and search their inner selves.’ Security of life and property is established by the mere confession of unity and apostleship.”(Tafhimat, Pathankot, India, 1942, p. 164).”3
Maudoodi also said, “You become Muslims by reciting a few words called the Kalimah: La ilaha illa 'llah Muhammadu'r-rasulu 'llaah: There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Mes-senger of Allah.” And that “there should be as much caution in calling a Muslim kafir as there is in pronouncing a death sen-tence against someone. …Should there even be an iota of Islamic belief in that man’s heart, the slander of kufr shall reflect back upon the accuser.”4
From the above it is clear that there are varying degrees in being a Muslim; acceptance of the Kalimah is the first degree.
As well there are varying degrees of kufr/disbelief. A person who believes in the 'Kalimah' cannot be properly called a kafir; he remains a Believer/Muslim even though he may be guilty of an act of unbelief.
Since acceptance of the Kalimah makes one a Muslim, only renouncing it can remove one from Islam.
As stated, difference in opinion and in interpretation of the Qur’an does not remove one from Islam, nor does it constitute disbelief. The judgment thereof is with Allah, He will make clear to us wherein we differed–(Qur'an 16:92; 39:46; 42:10).
To restate, our common factors as Muslims are Faith in Allah and the Messengership of Mohammad; Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj.
Muhammad Ali has rightly stated: “It is the duty of every Muslim to maintain the unity of Islam. An attitude of indifference towards fatwas of kufr, directed against their own brethren by ignorant Mullas, has dealt a fatal blow to the union of Muslim brotherhood, and, if the Muslims do not raise their voice against these fatwas, they must never hope to make any progress towards real union.”
And, “The solidarity of Islam is being shattered today by narrow-minded Mullas who, on one pretext or another, issue fatwas of kufr, against this or that party of Muslims”–(Qur’anic comm. #’s 2329, 2332).
The finality of prophethood with Prophet Mohammad does not close the door to Allah communicating with His righteous servants–(Bokhari. Vol. 9, #’s 119, 116, 112, 123).
Prophet Mohammad is the cement that binds us to the “rope of Allah”
Fourteen hundred years ago Prophet Mohammad brought us from darkness into light; he took us from ignorance into know-ledge; he brought us from tribalism into unity–he demolished the barriers from among Muslims.
Today, We have taken the gilded scepter of Islam and forged it around our necks into a yoke of defeat, division and dependency.
The noble Messenger of Allah admonishes us:
‘After my death, do not become disbelievers
by cutting the necks of one another’
(Bokhari Vol. 9, # 7).
A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim.
So he should neither oppress him nor hand
him over to an oppressor. And whoever fulfilled
the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfil his needs.
(Bokhari Vol. 9, #83).
And speaking about Dhul-Hijjah, Makkah and Eid-ul-Adha, the noble Messenger says to the Muslims) “Your blood (lives), your properties are as sacred to one another like the sanctity of this Day of yours in this town of yours, in this month of yours. You shall meet your Lord and He will ask about your deeds. Beware! Don’t go astray after me by striking the necks of one another”-(Bokhari Vol. 9, # 539). But Muslims are lopping off the heads of Muslims en masse.
And on the defensive front, Allāh enjoins: “O you who believe, be steadfast and try to excel in steadfastness and guard (the frontiers, against the enemy). And keep your duty to Allah that you may be successful.” “And make ready for them whatever force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you know not–Allah knows them. ….”-(Qur’an; 3:199; 8:60).
The words and others besides them, whom you know not–Allah knows them, in referenceto the enemies of Islam, seem pro-phetic. Soon after the death of the Prophet, Muslims had to defend themselves against the Byzantine and Persian Empires. Today, because of military inferiority, Muslims are transgressed upon mercilessly. “The disbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless you (Muslims) do this (protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief”-(Qur’an 8:73).
One only has to glance around to realize the magnitude of the truth of this statement by Allāh–the carving up of the Middle east; Palestine; Bosnia; Kashmir; Kosovo; Chechnya; Iraq, Afghanistan.
The Qur'an is our constitution! “Has not the time yet come for the believers that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of Allah and the Truth that is revealed….”-(Qur’an 57:16). There is no occasion in the Qur’an for sectism.
Has not the time yet come for Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Kuwait, Sudan, Turkey, and all other Muslim nations, to abandon their differences and to unite under our commonalities in Islam in all matters –from economic to military? Has not the time yet come for East and West Pakistan to reunite (as did North and South Yemen)?
We can sing our lips off from now till Judgment Day we will get no help from Allah! No help! Not unless and until we return to the Qur’an and Sunnah; not unless and until we milk from our hearts the venom of sectarian hatred; not unless and until we demolish all the barriers that we have erected against the other!
We must end our internecine warfare: “Never should a Believer kill a Believer;” Muslims are of one Brotherhood; so make peace between your brothers; “After my death, do not become disbelievers by cutting the necks of one another”–(Qur’an 4:92; 21:92; 49:10; Bokhari Vol. 9, # 7);
We must take to the text books and lab “and say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20:114). The venerable Caliph, ‘Umar, reminds us: “God gave us honor and greatness through Islam, and if we seek it now in other ways than those enjoined by Islam, God will again bring us into disgrace.”5
We must uproot and incinerate this cancer of sectarian prejudice that is ravaging the Ummah of Mohammad and galvanize our hearts with the flame of Oneness!
We have to cease being hyphenated Muslims: Saudi-Muslim, Iraqi-Muslim, Iranian, Pakistani, Turk, Syrian, Palestinian, Indian, West Indian, black, white, yellow; Sunni-Muslim, Shi’ah -Muslim …….etc.
We are Muslims! First, last, and foremost!
That the Prophet said Islam will have some seventy sects, is no license to divide ourselves when Allah, the Highest, says, (be not) “Of those who split up their religion and become parties; every sect rejoicing in that which is with it” “He (Allah) has made plain to you the religion which He enjoined upon Noah and which We have revealed to thee, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus–to establish religion and not to be divided therein. …”–(Qur’an 30:[30-31] 32; 42:13).
We are not to align ourselves behind such foolish ‘sectist’ leaders! They are to be removed from office!
To begin with every Masajid must be renamed, or have added to its name, the title “Ummah of Mohammad–Islamic Center” and identified by its street address, i.e. “Ummah of Mohammad –Islamic Center” 123 "X" street.
-All the various Muslim publications must merge into one versa-tile and vibrant publishing house, serving the entire Muslim community. Every Muslim publication and correspondence must bear “The Divine Vision” logo (shown at the beginning of this presentation)–extolling the Word of Allah that Islam is the religion from Allah, to prevail over all others, and is all-encom-passing.
-All zakaat must be contributed to/collected in a central unit.
-Every affordable household must contribute (for about one year, or more if affordable) an amount equal to our television cable subscription, which is to be managed to establish businesses, which would in turn issue scholarships to qualified Muslim students. (Based on 30,000 Muslim household times an average of twenty-dollars per month would yield a total of 7.2 million dollars per year).
-All the various charitable organizations must coordinate into one unit. This would reduce administrative/rental costs, and be more effective.
-Every child must be named “Mohammad”/“Mohamed” as his or her first name, identifying him/her with Islam.
-Every child must be taught on a daily basis, at home or in class: that there is no god but Allah–He alone is to be worshipped, He has no son or partner–and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah; that God could not have a son because He has no wife or mate; that God could not have a mother (or father) because He was not born, and because He is the Creator of all.
-that Muslims is the best nation, we enjoin good and forbid evil and we believe in Allah.
-Muslims must govern by policy not by personality–by the Qur’an not by the dictates of leadership. This will make the com-munity less susceptible to foreign influence and manipulation.
Islam is the Uniting force!
Islam is the Liberating force!
Islam is the Triumphant force!
Islam is the Transcendental force!
When we segregate ourselves into camps of hyphenated-Mus-lims we not only lose our unifying factor, but also become easy victims of manipulation and aggression.
It would be our monumental and eternal shame and disgrace, being the best nation with nothing to divide us and everything –the five pillars–to cohere us, that we cannot be united.
Hjrah 1438 (year 2017) can be our reunification date. It is not a stupendous task for us to be united–we already are, under the Holy Kalimah. The tribes of 7th century Arabia had lascivity, poetry and idolatry: they united. We have Allāh, the Prophet and Qur’an–the invincible trio: Power, morality, spirituality. With Allāh, the Prophet and Qur’an we have the world at our feet and eternity in our arms:
“certainly the remembrance of Allāh
is the greatest (force)”
“And trust in Allāh. And Allāh is enough
as having charge (of affairs)”
“Surely Allāh will not fail in (His) promise”
“Allāh is the Friend of the dutiful”
“Allāh has promised to those of you
who believe and do good that
He will surely make them rulers”
(Qur’an 29:45; 33:3; 13:31; 45:19; 24:55).
Muslims are destined to be successful, victorious, and triumph-ant. Let us embark on our destiny!
Over a thousand years ago al-Ma’mun, the Abbasid Caliph, is said to have failed in his efforts to unite Sunni and Shi’ah. Today, it behooves us not to fail.
That which divides us is ephemeral–our fallibility! That which unites us is eternal –it permeates the soul:
La ilaha ill-Allah, Mohammadur-Rasul-Allah!
You decide; what will you have –sectism or Jannah? The choice is ours!
We can go through life divided and with bowed heads muttering meekly, Allaho Akbar. Or we can go through life united and with hands triumphantly thrusted into the air proclaiming vociferously ALLAHO AKBAR!!!
1. Ali, Muhammad, The Religion of Islam, p. 125.
2. Zahid Aziz, M. Sc., Ph.D., The Ahmadiyya Case, p. 85.
3. Ibid. p. 75.
4. Ibid. pp. 315, 85.
5. Kamal-ud-Din, Khwaja, Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London, p. 100.