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Home / Islamic Hub / UNITY OF MUSLIM UMMAH? – PART 2

UNITY OF MUSLIM UMMAH? – PART 2

DIFFERENCE OF OPINIONS DURING THE BEST OF TIMES

During Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) time whenever Muslims were divided on issues, Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to bring them together. All the Companions (RadiyAllahu Anhuma) used to accept his final decision from their hearts. For example, after the battle of Hunain, the hypocrites among Muslims tried to divide the Muhajir and Ansaar on the issue of distribution of GHANEEMAH. Muslims were very close to fight among themselves. Allah’s Messenger was informed about the situation. He came and talked to them, and brought them together. The division disappeared. Similarly, once two companions of Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) were engaged in a dispute. Both of them belonged to two different tribes of Madinah. The hypocrites saw a perfect opportunity to ignite tribal rivalry. They started singing tribal songs on both sides. Muslims got divided into two groups and were very close to start a fight. The news reached to Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), he came and presented himself to the both groups. Both groups realized that for few minutes they had completely forgotten that Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was among them. As soon as they listened Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), they realized their mistake and repented immediately. The unity of Muslims remained intact.

After the death of Allah’s Messenger, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, Muslims were divided on the issue of who would succeed the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). But as soon as the issue was resolved peacefully, all the Muslims were united behind Hadhrat Abu Bakr Al Siddiq, the first Caliph of Islam (RadiyAllahu Anhu). This unity of Muslims continued till the Martyrdom of third Caliph of Islam, Hadhrat Uthman ibn Affaan (RadiyAllahu Anhu). The first major division of Muslims occurred over a political issue of whether the murderers of Hadhrat Uthman should be captured first OR the law and order situation in Madinah should be handled first. This difference in approaches on purely a political issue divided the Muslims permanently. However, there were no differences among Muslims regarding Islamic Jurisprudence and worshipping (Ibadaat). All the Companions (Sahabah), the Family (Aal-e-Nabi) of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and later TAB-E-EEN (Muslims who followed the companions of the Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to pray together and in only ONE way. If some differences occasionally appeared among them, they never considered it as a difference that could divide Muslims. Although, after the Martyrdom of Hadhrat Uthman, Muslims were divided in to two groups but neither history nor other Islamic literature tells us that they had differences in IBADAAT or Islamic Jurisprudence (FIQAH) OR they declared each other as Kafir, Mushrik, etc. like our Imams and scholars do nowadays.

If we read the Islamic history and the development of Islamic Jurisprudence (The science of Fiqah), we will realize that the four Ahle Sunnat Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence, Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’e and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (May Allah shower His mercy upon them) had very high respect and love for the family of Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). They learnt Islamic Jurisprudence from Imams of Ahle Bait (family of Prophet Muhammad, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Imam Abu Hanifa was not only a student of Imam Ja’ffar us Sadiq but he was also his stepson. It is very difficult to believe that Imam Abu Hanifa would have compiled the Fiqah that is very much different than Imam Ja’ffar us Sadiq’s Fiqah. It is hard to believe that Imam Abu Hanifa would have prayed (Salat) behind Imam Ja’ffar differently like Shi’a and Sunni pray (Salat) differently today. There is a possibility of minor differences but if we look today’s Fiqah Ja’fariyh and Fiqah Hanafiyah, there is a huge difference. Obviously, the people created these differences after these noble Imams. These noble Imams never created these differences.

The major division among Muslims in Jurisprudence occurred when the Science of Fiqah (Islamic Jurisprudence) became a formal subject, the Sunni Muslims were divided into four Madhahib (ways), HANAFI, MALKI, SHAFI’E AND HANBALI. The Shi’a Muslims separated their Fiqah and called it JA’FARIAH (from Imam Ja’ffar us Sadiq, May Allah be pleased with him). However, beside the differences in Fiqah the Sunni Muslim scholars and Imams always respected each other and never ever condemned each other. The discussion on the differences in Fiqah was never made a topic of Friday Sermon (KHUTBAH). One never called the other Imam and his followers as wrong. They never asked the Muslims not to follow the other Imams. Their differences of opinions were purely intellectual and based upon the Hadith of Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) which reached to them at different times. This was the difference of opinion, which Allah’s Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) called “IKHTILAFO UMMATI RAHMAH”, “The intellectual difference of opinion in my Ummah is a blessing”.

The local nationalism was never preferred over the worldwide Islamic brotherhood. Imam Muslim, Imam Bukhari, Imam Trmidhi and many other Imams and scholars of Islam were non Arabs but no one felt that they were from non Arab parts of the world. Every Muslim knew only one criteria of brotherhood, which was the love, and the following of Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). With all the differences Muslims were united and very faithful to their religion. Muslims were the superpower of the world. Muslims were the leaders in setting up the standards for the rest of the world. Muslims were educators, scientists, doctors, engineers, commanders, etc. Intellectually, morally, economically, politically and spiritually Muslims were the leaders and model for other communities and nations. Muslims knew and practiced that:
”AL MUSLIM-O-MAN SAL-I-MAL MUSL-E-MOON-A- MILLI SANIHI WA YADIH “,
{A Muslim is a person from whose hands and tongue the other Muslims are safe}.

… (Continued in Part 3)