Fostering a sense of unity - 1

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Unity requires awareness, devotion, allegiance, and loyalty. Allah prescribes unity for Muslims and reveals that Satan will attempt to create conflict in order to prevent this unity. Muslims are obliged to refrain from hurtful words, anger, disrespectfulness, and all other behavior that could damage this sense of unity when dealing with fellow Muslims. Each Muslim is required to be devoted to others, patient, work for the good of others, and loyal and true. All Muslims must adopt these superior qualities.

A good example of this is the relationship between those Muslims who emigrated to Madinah with our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and those Muslims who were already settled there. The Muslims who pledged their allegiance to our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in Madinah welcomed the Makkan migrants in the cause of Allah in the nicest possible way and took good care of them. These two different communities, which had no mutual tribal bonds, considered loyalty to Islam to be the only important yardstick. The Muslims of Madinah proved their loyalty by opening their homes, sharing their food, and considering the migrants' needs before their own. Our Lord reveals their good conduct in the Qur'an:

Those who were already settled in the abode, and in faith, before they came, love those who have emigrated to them; do not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given; and prefer them to themselves, even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr, 9)



The exemplary and superior character demonstrated in this verse reveals how the relationship between two Muslim communities should be. Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) describes solidarity in the following hadith:

Muslims are like one body. If the eye is sore, the whole body aches; if the head aches, the whole body aches. (Sahih Muslim.)

The love between Muslims and the absence of any ill-will are great gifts of Allah. The Qur'an says the following about this gift, which will be completely fulfilled in Paradise:

We will strip away any rancor in their hearts—brothers, resting on couches face-to-face. (Surat al-Hijr, 47)



Therefore, Muslims must act with the awareness that solidarity, fraternity, and a sense of belonging are gifts that must be protected by means of patience and strong will. The following verse also reveals the importance of this unity:

So heed Allah and put things right between you. Obey Allah and His Messenger if you believe. (Surat al-Anfal, 1)



Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states the importance of unity in the following hadith:

Do not envy one another, do not hate one another, do not turn away from one another, and do not undercut one another. Rather, O servants of Allah, be brothers…(Sahih Muslim)

Muslims are always obliged to be forgiving, but if the other party consists of Muslims, the first party must be even more patient. They must remember that the second party consists of fellow Muslims, and that both parties fear Allah, obey the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and abide by the Qur'an's definitions of right and wrong. All Muslims know that they must have only goodwill toward their fellow Muslims; that they should be considerate; and that they should respond with patience, compassion, and love when disagreements arise. The Qur'an reveals the prayer of Muslims for their fellow Muslims:

Those who have come after them say: "Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not put any rancor in our hearts toward those who believe. Our Lord, You are All-Gentle, Most Merciful." (Surat al-Hashr, 10)



Just as Muslims are obliged to mediate in friendship between their each other, they are obliged to resolve any dispute between two Muslim communities. Allah says:

The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and heed Allah, so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-Hujurat, 10)



Clearly, this mentality creates a very strong sense of belonging and unity, for our Lord states:

Allah loves those who strive in His Way in ranks like well-built walls. (Surat as-Saff, 4)


This ideological struggle against irreligious philosophies and ideologies is a duty of all Muslims. No doubt, it is a historical mistake to develop a closed community struggling with internal affairs instead of shouldering the responsibility of this ideological struggle to bring light to an otherwise dark world. At present, humanity, especially the oppressed Muslims, is looking for a way out of this situation and is awaiting the arrival of a guidance that will bring peace, happiness, and justice to the world and remind all people of the true purpose of their existence. This guidance is the responsibility of the Islamic community, and all Muslims are obliged to act with awareness.

The fact that violence, terror, cruelty, fraud, dishonesty, immorality, conflict, and poverty are common proves that the world is full of "corruption." In the face of this reality, many issues that have become a problem among Muslims lose their importance. All of this cruelty and degeneration feeds off the false systems established by those who deny Allah's existence and unity and do not believe in the Hereafter. Therefore, people of conscience must unite in righteousness.

This unity will be one of the most important phases in the defeat of irreligious ideologies. Our Lord points out the nonbelievers' alliance and reveals the necessity of Muslim friendship and solidarity in order to rid the world of cruelty. The Qur'an says:

Those who do not believe are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way [protect each other], there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption. (Surat al-Anfal, 73)
 
2010-04-15 19:01:23
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