12 Principles of Islamic Unity - Action Items

By: Dr. Adel Elsaie

12 Principles of Islamic Unity- Action Items, By Brother David McClung

1. Definitions: Orders and Facts in the Quran

The Quran, the authentic book of God, has many orders and facts. Allah gives orders to believers, such as

(22:78) "So Establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector"

(3:103) �And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves;�

Devout Muslims take orders from Allah very seriously. When they listen to an order from Allah, they say �We hear, we obey� (2:286)

Allah States many facts in the Quran, such as:

(21:92)"Verily, this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah, and I am your Lord and Cherisher, therefore, Serve me (and no other)."

(23:52) "And verily, this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah, and I am your Lord and Cherisher, therefore, Fear me (and no other)."

Devout Muslims appreciate and respect the facts of the Quran, and consider them as guidance in life.

When verses are repeated in the Quran, they carry much importance and emphasis.

The silent majority of Muslims believe in Unity of Muslim Ummah, but the chiefs are adamant about rejecting that for very obvious reasons.

2. Definition of Muslims

The definition of a Muslim can be understood according to the hadeeth of Jibreel AKA, more popularly known as the �Hadeeth Jibreel�, as narrated by Umar Ibn Al Khattab, when Jibreel asked the Messenger of Allah about Islam, he answered " Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it."

All Muslims agree on principal matters in Islam. The Foundation of Islam is Shahadah as a declaration of faith. Muslims have one Quran, one Kaabah, and one last prophet. They accept all messengers in the Quran. They pray 5 times a day, fast Ramadan, pay Zakat, and perform Hajj when they can. There are 8 accepted Mazhab (school of thoughts) in Fiqh (jurisprudence). Every Muslim is free to accept a Mazhab. All Imams of accepted Mazhab never rejected other Mazhab. Allah made the Quran and Islam simple, but some people exert much effort to make them hard and confusing.

3. Unity of the Ummah

Unity of Ummah is a primary and important goal that we must strive for, and there is a serious warning from Allah for those who create division among Muslim.

(6:159) �As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least�

But our reality is we are divided into 57 nations, and most of them are divided further into tribes. Allah says there are no sects in Islam, but we have Sunni and Shiah sects. Against the orders of Allah, some Muslims believe their sect, country, or tribe is more important than Islam.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an international organization grouping 57 countries which attempt to pool their resources together, combine their efforts, and speak with one voice to safeguard the interests and secure the progress and well-being of their peoples and of all Muslims in the world. OIC is a great first step; however representatives of OIC are from Muslim governments who do not necessarily agree on matters of vital importance.

There is also an urgent need for association of Muslim scholars from all Muslim counties that settles dividing religious issues between Muslims. In the absence of Khilafah, this association should strive to bring unity and harmony between Muslims. They should meet frequently because Muslims are facing many problems.

4. Assume first that you are wrong

Assume first that you, not your Muslim Brother, may be wrong, and see how you find the truth impartially. If you really want to

find the truth, you can ask an Islamic scholar, or read accepted books.

5. Manners for Disagreement

You should be as enthusiastic about listening to your brother's evidence and argument as you are giving your evidence and

argument, and be pleasant and smiling whether the result is for you or against you.

In those areas where differences may arise due to ijtihad but will lead to disharmony, it is the right of the Khalifah to adopt an opinion which he believes to be correct and for the believers to obey. Two Fiqh principles exist which state:

Imam�s decree settles disputes. Imam�s decree is obeyed openly and privately.

When the Prophet (SAW) passed away and the companions were busy appointing the first Khalifah, a suggestion was made to have two leaders, one from the Ansar and one from the Muhajireen. Abu Bakr (RA) replied by saying that this will cause divisions and infighting, as well as people making bidah and would cease to refer to the Prophet's example in conducting their affairs. Abu Bakr (RA) had the insight to realize that without the one leader, problems would arise. So the many 'problems' that exist today are merely the symptoms of the MAIN problem, that being the absence of the leader of the Muslim Ummah.

In the absence of Khilafah, there is a vital need for an organization of Islamic scholars from all Muslim countries, to examine Islamic issues important to Muslims.

6. Possibility of Multiple Correct Answers

Evidence for this is an incident in which the Prophet (SAW) witnessed the companions disputing, but did not rebuke them for doing so. The incident relates to the dispute regarding the Asr prayer on their way to Bani Qurayzah. The Prophet instructed the companions to go and fight the Jews. He said, "Do not pray until you get to Bani Qurayzah". On route to Bani Qurayzah the time for Asr was drawing to a close. A dispute ensued. One group understood the prophet's command metaphorically, thinking that the Prophet (SAW) meant hurry up. A party of the believers prayed there whilst the others prayed after Asr time when they arrived at Bani Qurayzah.

When they next met the Prophet (SAW) they asked him who was right and who was wrong. It is important to note the response. Only one of them could have been right, but the Prophet (SAW) did not point out who that was, rather he said, "Whoever performs ijtihad and errs will receive one reward. Whoever performs ijtihad and arrives at the correct answer gets double the reward."

Had it been haram to differ, the Prophet (SAW) would have rebuked those differing from the correct opinion and praised those who were right. This example teaches us to tolerate opposing Islamic opinions which are arrived at by those qualified to do so after performing ijtihad.

The scholars in the past recognized this; "The most learned amongst the people is also one who is most knowledgeable of the difference amongst the people" (Ghazali, Shawkani, Abu Zahrah)

Before performing Ijtihad it is a prerequisite for a scholar to be aware of all the differences on the issue at hand.

7. Group Participation in Agreed Upon Matters

Group Participation in Shahadah, praying, reading Quran, fasting Ramadan, performing Hajj, and paying Zakat should be performed.

We all agree on prohibiting alcohol, adultery, and gambling, we agree that honor and respect are due to Muslims, we agree on

educating Muslims and raising children with the necessary spiritual and physical training. Muslims should also participate as

groups in addressing many of the challenges that we face every day. In many cases, Muslims are working individually against

an influential campaign attacking our beliefs, and the moderate and peaceful nature of Islam. There are few successful Islamic

organizations, but we need much more efforts.

8. Be supportive to converts to Islam

Islam is the fastest growing religion. Converts to Islam have tremendous courage than many born-Muslims do not have. They convert against many odds that many times put a huge pressure on them. In USA, think of the growing Latino and Afro-American brothers and sisters, and include them in your activities, and don�t attempt to confuse them with our traditional confusions.

9. Avoid labeling Muslims

A Muslim is a Muslim. This is the only name that is used in Quran. However, there are Muslim groups who call themselves other names, or attach other identities to the word Muslim. There are the good, the bad, and the ugly. These labels include: Sunni, shiah, salafi, conservative, moderate, liberal, fundamentalist, radical, progressive, secular, pluralist, Qadianis, even gay and lesbian Muslims. These labels are invented from within, and imported from the worst part of western culture. The bad and ugly labels claim to be Muslims who wants to impose their poisonous ideas as a way of reforming the Islamic Ummah to match the worst part of western culture.

10. Have mercy and don�t kill or torture another Human being

The record of Human rights is the worst in Muslim countries among all nations on Earth. Can you believe a Muslim saying In the name of Allah, the most compassionate the most merciful, who kills or tortures another human being? Can you believe the torture that is subjected to political adversaries and Islamic groups in Muslim countries? Can you believe the difference between the super rich and super poor in Muslim countries? Can you believe the number of unemployed Muslims in Muslim courtiers?

May Allah be pleased with Umar, who was concerned about the well being of sheep in the land of Islam.

11. Thinking of the Danger of the Blind Common Adversary

Muslims have many blind common adversaries. These are the people that attack the religion of Islam in the western Media and propagate verses in the Quran taken out of context. These are the people who publish hateful anti-Islam websites. There are even �Muslim Users groups� that are controlled by Christian missionaries and pluralist �Muslims�. These are the people that wrote their own version of Quran, and claim its superiority on our authentic Quran. These are the people that use WMD (Weapons of Missionary Deception) to convert uneducated poor, weak, or sick Muslims to Christianity. They have budget of $ 6.8 billion a year. These common adversaries do not work individually, but within organization with a considerable budget. Muslims should work together to expose their deception following the order of Allah:

(16.125) �Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious�

12. Sympathy for Those Who Do Not See the Light

The average non-Muslims do not see the light of Islam. They don�t attack Islam and Muslims. Muslims should not be angry with them or expose their shortcomings. A Muslim should seek Allah's help in making His message clearer to those who were listening.