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A Single Ummah

   

Knowledge-filled words from the scholars, past and present, regarding Muslim unity.

bismallah

  

  Splitting up is not from the Religion, since the Religion commands us with unity and that we should be a single Jamāʿah and a single Ummah upon the ʿaqīdah (belief) of Tawḥīd (i.e. to single out Allāh alone for worship) and upon following the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam).

 

[1]: THE OBLIGATION TO UNIFY THE RANKS:

Shaykh Muḥammad Ibn Ṣāliḥ al-’Uthaymīn - hafiẓahullāh - said:

“From the sincere advice which I hold to be necessary in the Religion to give to the youths, a word which I hope that Allāh - the Most Perfect, the Most High - will cause to be of benefit, and it is: That they should all be in conformity and harmony, so that they may become strong, and become an obstacle blocking the way of those who plot against Islām and its people. This is what Allāh - the Mighty and Majestic - has enjoined upon us. He - the Most High - said:

"And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allāh and do not be divided.And remember the favour of Allāh upon you, in that you were once enemies to one another, but He joined your hearts together, so that by His Grace you became brothers.” [Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:103]

And Allāh the Blessed, the Most High - said:

Let there arise from amongst you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. It is they who are the successful ones. And do not be like those who differed amongst themselves after the clear proofs had come to them; for them is a painful punishment.” [Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:104-105]

So Allāh ordered that they should all cling together to His rope and He forbade splitting, and in other āyāt He forbade differing, and informed us that it is the cause of failure and the cause of decline of strength, and He ordered us to persevere patiently. So Allāh - the Most High - said:

And do not differ, lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Indeed Allāh is with those who are patient.” [Sūrah al-Anfāl, 8:46]

And as is known, the people of good who help the youths of the revival in their work - with what they are able from wealth, and so on - if they see them splitting in this way, then they will not be so eager to help and assist them. So I call all of our brothers to unite together, and to fear Allāh with regards to themselves and with regards to the Ummah (nation) of Islām, and that they should not cover up this light which has appeared on the horizon; the call to Allāh - the Mighty and Majestic...” [1]

Ibn Taymīyyah (d.728H) - raḥimahullāh - said:

“Holding fast to the rope of Allāh altogether and not becoming divided is one of the greatest uṣūl (fundamentals) of Islām.” [2]

[2]:THE PROHIBITION OF SPLITTING:

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān - hafiẓahullāh - said: "Splitting up is not from the Religion, since the Religion commands us with unity and that we should be a single Jamāʿah and a single Ummah upon the ʿaqīdah (belief) of Tawḥīd (i.e. to single out Allāh alone for worship) and upon following the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam). Allāh - the Most High - said:

Indeed, this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah and I am your Lord, so worship Me alone.” [Sūrah al-Anbiyāʾ‘ 21:92]

And Allāh – the Most High – said:

And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allāh and do not become divided.” [Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:103]

And Allāh - the Most Perfect - said:  “Indeed those who split-up their Religion and become sects, you have no part with them in the least. Their affair is with Allāh who will tell them what they used to do.” [Sūrah al-Anʿām, 6:159]

So this contains a severe warning against splitting and differing. Allāh - the Most High - said:  “And do not be like there who split-up and differed after the clear evidence came to them. For them is a tremendous punishment.” [Sūrah Āl-ʿImrān, 3:105]

So our Religion is the Religion of al-Jamāʿah, and the Religion of agreement and unity. Splitting is not from the Religion, since the Religion orders that we are a single Jamāʿah and the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “The Believer to the Believer is like a building, one part supporting the other.” [3] And he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) also said: “The example of the Believers with respect to their mutual love, mercy and affection is like the example of a single body.” [4] And it is known that a building and a body are a single cohesive thing, not disunited and fragmented - since if a building splits then it will collapse; and likewise a body, if it splits, then life will be lost. Thus, there must be a unity and we must be a single Jamāʿah whose foundation is Tawḥīd and whose methodology is the daʿwah (call) of the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam); and which proceeds upon the Religion of Islām. Allāh - the Most High - said:  “And this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and do not follow other paths that will separate you from His Path.” [Sūrah al -Anʿām, 6:153]

So these groups, and this splitting which is present today, is not approved of by Islām. Rather, Islām forbids it severely and commands uniting upon the ʿaqīdah (belief) of Tawḥīd and upon the methodology of Islām, a single Jamāʿah and a single Ummah, just as our Lord - the Most Perfect, the Most High - ordered. And splitting and there being many (differing) groups and parties is from the plots of the devils - from the jinn and mankind against this Ummah. So the kuffār (disbelievers) and the munāfiqs (hypocrites) have never ceased, since olden times, introducing their poison in order to split the Ummah. The Jews said previously: “And a party of the People of the Book say: Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the Muslims, but reject it at the end of the day, so they turn back.” [Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān, 3:72]

Meaning: that the Muslims will leave their religion when they see you leaving it. And the Hypocrites said:  “Do not spend on those who are with Allāh’s Messenger until they desert him.” [Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn, 63:7]

And as for those who erect a mosque by way of disbelief and seeking to harm and disunite the Believers...” [Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:107].” [5]

[3]: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN UNITY AND REFUTING FALSE BELIEFS AND PRACTICES:

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz - raḥimahullāh - said:  “There is no doubt that it is obligatory upon the Muslims to unify their ranks and to unite their word upon the truth and to co-operate in goodness and piety against the enemies of Islām - as Allāh, the Most Perfect - ordered them with in His saying:  “And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allāh and do not become divided.” [Sūrah Āl-’ʿImrān, 3:102]

And likewise, Allāh has warned the Muslims against splitting up, as occurs in His - the Most Perfect’s - saying:  “And do not be like those who differed and split-up after the clear evidence came to them.” [Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān, 3:105]

However, the order to unify the Muslims and unite their word upon the truth and to hold fast to the rope of Allāh, does not mean that they should not censure wrong beliefs and practices - whether from the Ṣūfīyyah or other than them. Rather, what the order to hold fast to the Rope of Allāh necessitates is: To order the good; forbid the evil; to clarify the truth, with the clear Sharīʿah proofs, to whomsoever is misguided or has a mistaken opinion, until they unite upon the truth and turn away from that which opposes it. All of this is included in His - the Most Perfect’s - saying:  “And help you one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression.” [Sūrah al-Māʾidah, 5:2]

And His - the Most Perfect’s - saying:  “Let there arise from amongst you a group of people calling to all that is good, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, they are the ones who are successful.[Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān, 3:110]

And when the people of truth hold back from clarifying the mistakes of those who have erred or are mistaken, then they will not have achieved that which Allāh ordered them with, as regards calling to goodness, ordering the good and forbidding the evil. So the person in error will remain upon his error, and the one acting in opposition to the truth will remain upon his mistake. And this is contrary to what Allāh - the Most Perfect - prescribed, with regards to sincere advice, co-operation upon goodness, ordering the good and forbidding the evil - and Allāh alone is the One Who grants success.” [6]

Shaykh al-lslām Ibn Taymīyyah - raḥimahullāh - said: “Refuting the People of Innovation is a Jihād, to the extent that Yahyá Ibn Yahyá (d.226H) said: “Defence of the Sunnah is more excellent than Jihād in the Path of Allāh.”[7]”[8]

Imām al-Ḥumaydī (d.218H) - raḥimahullāh - said: “By Allāh, that I fight against those who reject the ḥadīth of Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) is more beloved to me than fighting the unbelievers.” [9]

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H) - raḥimahullāh - said: “Jihād with the clear proofs and the tongue; Comes before Jihād with the sword and the spear.” [10]

Shaykh al-lslām Ibn Taymīyyah - raḥimahullāh - said: “When some people asked Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal (d.241H) that they felt uneasy about (criticising people) by saying that such and such is this, and such and such is that, he replied: “If I were to remain silent, how would the ignorant ones know the authentic (narrations) from the inauthentic?” Similarly, the innovators who introduce heretical writings which oppose the Qurʾān and the Sunnah, and those who innovate in matters of worship, then explaining their true condition and warning the Ummah against them is an obligation by the unanimous agreement of the Muslim Scholars. In fact, when Imām Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal was asked whether a person who fasted, prayed and secluded himself in the mosque for worship was dearer to him than a person who spoke out against Ahl al-Bid’ah (the people of innovators), he replied: “When he fasts and prays and secludes himself, then he does so for the benefit of his own self. However, when he speaks out against the innovators, he does so for the benefit of the Muslims in general, and this is more virtuous.” So it is clear that opposing the Innovators is of general benefit to the Muslims and is considered one of the types of Jihād in the path of Allāh. Since purifying the Religion of Allāh, and its minhaaj (methodology), its Sharīʿah, and defending it from their attacks and that of their enemies is a collective obligation - a fact which is agreed upon by the Scholars. For if Allāh did not raise up some people to repel the harms (caused by) others, then the Religion would become corrupted. Indeed, this type of corruption is even greater than the corruption resulting from the disbelievers conquering the Muslims. This is because when the disbelievers conquer the Muslims, they do not corrupt their hearts nor their Religion, except after some time. Whereas the innovators corrupt the hearts from the very outset.” [11]


Endnotes:

[1] From a series of questions and answers, recorded on the 16th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1416H (corresponding to the 3rd of May 1996CE)

[2] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá (22/359)

[3] Related by al-Bukhārī (no. 481) and Muslim (no. 2585), from Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu)

[4] Related by al-Bukhārī (no. 6011) and Muslim (no. 2586), from al-Nuʿmān Ibn Bashīr (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu)

[5] Marājiʿāt fī Fiqh al-Wāqiʿ (pp. 44-45)

[6] Tanbīhāt fī Radd ʿalá man Taʾawwal al-Ṣifāt (pp. 31-32)

[7] Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubʿalāʾ‘ (10/18)

[8] Naqdul-Mantaq wal-Kʿalám (p. 12)

[9] Related by al-Dhahabī in Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubʿalāʾ‘ (10/619)

[10] Qaṣīdat al-Nūniyyah (1/112)

[11] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá (28/231-232) 

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Tags: Tawḥīd, Sunnah, ʿAqīdah, Unity

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