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Friday, January 1, 2016
Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Unity of the faithful !
By: Sheikh Anjum Husain
It goes without saying that with the advent of the divine light of the Prophet (SAW), the noblest concepts and values were born. The darkness of ignorance shied away when the beam of enlightenment rose from the holy land of Makkah. The day of descent of Allah’s beloved Prophet (SAW) on this earth is definitely the greatest day in the history of mankind.
The Prophet (SAW) initiated a movement that helped humanity to achieve individual and spiritual perfection on one hand and social reforms and moral elevation on the other hand. Isn’t it miraculous to see a person revolutionising the world in a short span of 23 years with no compulsion or coercion but using weapons of “mercy (rahmat), example (uswah), compassion (raham), good strategy (hikmah) and a welcoming address (Mau’izat al Hasanah). Who can parallel the achievements of the Prophet (SAW)? Of course none ever has and none ever will achieve even a percentage of the Prophetic (SAW) accomplishment. Since the first moment, the divine message materialised in the character of the Prophet (SAW) and then in the souls and actions of those who believed in this message. The message of Islam harmed and confronted Jahiliyya (the pagan Arab culture).
Irrespective of the school of thought we may belong to, we feel proud to be a part of the ummah of the Prophet (SAW). His exalted personality and the holy book of guidance are the divine unifying forces for the entire Muslim ummah. The Prophet’s (SAW) pious life has been set as the best example for us. The Quran says: “There is certainly for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”
The Prophet (SAW) is to be emulated by all of us. He is the pivot of our salvation. If we claim to be his followers, we must be united in our thoughts and actions. Our role model is the same Prophet (SAW). When we as Muslims are following the same light of guidance, when our paths are same, when our means are same, when our goals are same, it defies sense to be divided on peripheral issues. Or worse to emphasise on mundane issues while marginalising the core beliefs and principles which are common to the entire Muslim nation. The commonalities (i.e., belief in Oneness on Allah, The Prophethood of His Messenger (SAW), the holy book of guidance, the Qibla, the practices of prayers, Hajj, etc) are certainly much bigger and magnanimous than our differences.
The Quran would help us to better understand the point. The holy book of guidance says: “Muhammad (SAW) is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. ” (48:29)
What is being stated right after the point that “Muhammad (SAW) is the messenger of Allah”, is that his companions, his followers are strong against the disbelievers. It’s the trait of believers that they assume great power and strength against the infidels (the enemies of Islam). How are we to be so powerful, how can we be defensive against the enemies of Islam! Only by being united in our thoughts, beliefs and actions. The enemy is common to all of us. In today’s world filled with imposed wars on Muslims nations, with injustice, with the neo-colonialist agenda of a few apparently powerful countries to shake the supreme edifice of Islam, it becomes incumbent upon all Muslims to ponder upon this beautiful verse of the Quran. Against the above listed common enemies, united we stand and divided we fall. The only way to realise the strength needed to tackle this common enemy is for Muslims to join hands with each other from East to West and from North to South. Why is Islamophobia (a term defining hatred against Islam and Muslims) gaining currency with each passing day? Isn’t it the result of the weakening bonds amongst Muslims?
The birthday of the Prophet (SAW) should not be an occasion of fruitless celebrations. We must use this occasion to adopt a covenant with Allah that we will make efforts to strengthen the Muslim nation. Our victory and progress lies in a united Muslim ummah. The response to our common enemy should be also common. And that common response is unity. We can take numerous lessons from the pious life of the beloved Prophet (SAW) to tackle issues facing Islam and Muslims. When the Prophet (SAW) migrated to Medina from Makkah, how did he unify Muslims? He made Muslims brothers with each other. Why can’t we follow this example in today’s so-called enlightened world? Imagine what would have been the degree of love and brotherhood which the Prophet (SAW) successfully developed amongst Muslims. We need that brotherhood again in today’s world. We so badly need it. Those bonds must once again be revived today.
Going back to the above-mentioned verse, another characteristic spelt out by the Quran for the faithful is that they are compassionate amongst themselves. Let us ponder for a moment and ask ourselves that how far does this characteristic hold good for us today. An honest reflection should make us realise that the compassion, which the Quran talks about is absent in our daily lives. If we are to be the followers of the Prophet (SAW), we have to develop compassion for each other. We have to build the environment of love, harmony, peace and justice to achieve the high station of being with the Prophet (SAW). This is the qualification of being a believer. Having been born to Muslim parents does not make us believers. We have to acquire qualities of a true believer as stated explicitly by the Quran. And then when we become believers in letter and spirit, the Quran would calls us ‘brothers of each other’. “Surely the believers are none but brothers unto one another, so set things right between your brothers, and have fear of Allah that you may be shown mercy.” (49:10)
This brotherhood is the manifestation and symbol of unity. Lets pledge to stand firm and united against the divisive voices bombarding us from all sides in today’s turbulent times. Let us not be deceived by half-baked ideas put forth in Islamic hues by the enemies of Islam. Let us know the beauty of our religion and strive for peace and unity. May Allah the Exalted make our steps firm, guide our hearts, help us join hands in unity and bring our hearts closer to each other.
—The author is a member of Muslim Unity Council, J&K chapter. Feedback:firstname.lastname@example.org