"When the sand grains unite they become a vast desert. When the sea drops unite they become a boundless ocean."
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. Assalamualaikum wbt.
1. Allah SWT says in the Quran, "And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers...."
Surah Ali-'Imran (3:103)
2. There are many people out there who dispute and at war with each other because of their differences in opinion, ideologies and even religions. People shed blood in the name of religion and kill each other to allow theirs (religions) to prevail.
3. Islam on the other hand, is absolutely against disunity and injustice. How?
4. Before that, I am a Muslim but let me be frank and admit that there were wars or crime by Muslims themselves. But let me clarify here that any act of terrorism committed by Muslims does not at all represent Islam. We tell every rational person, that it is an injustice if we judge a religion by looking at the followers instead of looking at the real teaching of it, or the scriptures that it has.
5. For that, let me break this down to two. First, those crimes by Muslims are done by the extremist group. Not only that they form a very small percentage of Muslims (as opposed to the disproportionate image cast by the media), the crimes by these so-called Muslims are also small (in number) relative to those by criminals with no relationship to Islam at all. (For longer elaboration and factual proofs you can check my previous article here)
6. Secondly, we should look at what Al-Quran (the primary source of reference in Islam) tells the Muslims to do. When our beloved Prophet SAW was revealed with the Quran, he was told not only to save the Muslims, but he was entitled to bring about rahmat and love to the whole universe. Not only Muslims, not even only mankind, but the whole universe!
7. In the Quran Allah says,"And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds." Surah Al-Anbiya' (21:107)
8. Islam carries the message of peace and dictates no compulsion about accepting it. It is by this attribute that Islam has attracted many non-Muslims to see the beauty of its teaching and therefore submit themselves as Muslims.
"There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion." Surah Al-Baqarah (2:256)
9. Another proof that Islam values every soul in this world very highly is when we can find a passage in the Quran that reads,"...whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption (done) in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely..." Surah Al-Maidah (5:32)
10. Had Islam taught its followers to kill people as they wish, it would have never come up with such a wonderful and merciful statement.
11. Next, Islam is also a practical religion. It is by the shahadatain which is the declaration of faith in Islam that brings its followers together as a united ummah. When Muslims declare that there is no God except Allah SWT and that Muhammad SAW was His servant and final messenger, and then follow the Quran and ahadith, there is no other single thing that can unite them in any better way.
|There is no God but Allah, Muhammad was Messenger of Allah|
12. That's why, Muslims are Muslims. It is not acceptable in Islam to divide according to mazhab (school of thoughts), nations, or even to identify oneself as a Sunni, Shiite or whatever it is except to call ourselves Muslims, hence unite as Muslims.
13. There is a profound reminder given by Prophet SAW during the final Hajj (hujjatul wida') when he SAW clearly stated that the Arabs has no superiority over other nations, the same way it is the other way around. Otherwise, I as a Malay Muslim from Malaysia would always think that I am always inferior to the Arabs, which makes no sense at all, because no one can ask to be born as what i.e nation or race.
14. Instead, as Islam again promotes justice and unity, one is fairly judged through their righteousness and taqwa in Allah instead.
15. Having said that, regardless of whatever cultural or racial background one has, he who is most honored in the sight of Allah will be the one whom are the most righteous.
16. Allah says in the Quran that,"Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you." Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13)
17. Similarly, Allah has also decreed upon Muslims to seek peaceful unity with the people of the Book or the Christian and the Jews by inviting them to agree on a common term that Allah is One and Only and that we should worship no one but Him. This is mentioned in Surah Ali-Imran (3:64)
18. In short, Islam from the smallest to the greatest aspect of its teaching has placed peace and unity as the main objective, whereby this peace is inclusive of a peaceful life in the world now and also a peaceful life in the Hereafter insya Allah.
19. Moreover, Islam as we all know, comes from another derivative in Arabic word which is salam and salam means peace.
20. To end this, let me briefly mention here that an Apartheid hero by the name Malcolm X or Malik Shabaz, was also impressed by the reality of brotherhood in Islam when he was performing Hajj (pilgrimage) in Mecca and saw no discrimination between white and black people among the Muslim community. It is for this reason that made him a better Muslim (from a racist Black) and helped him unite the black people as we all know today. What else is there to prove that Islam is nothing but (for) peace?
21. We pray to Allah for peace of everyone, especially for our brothers and sisters in Islam in Palestine and all other countries with ongoing crisis.
22. And we thank Allah the Most High for all blessings He has granted upon us all this while. I shall close this article by quoting a wonderful saying that says, "Don't be like scissors which cut and divide, but be like needle which join and unite!"
Wallahuaklam. Truly Allah knows best!
1. This article is authored for As-Shifa' Magazine, September edition.
2. Al-Fatihah to Brother Noramfaizul, our hero who was syahid in Somalia. May Allah place him together with those whom He grants Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen..