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Unity of the umma causes of dissension

The act of enjoining right and forbidding wrong (i.e. Amar bil maroof and Nahai anil
munkar) are important aspects of our Deen and commandment of our lord And let there be
[arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and
forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful. And do not be like the ones who
became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a
great punishment. (Al Quran 3: 104). The foremost need is to understand as to what Maroof
and Munkar mean. Maroof means good, known, well-known, generally recognized,
beneficence, approved by Shariah. So Amr Bil Maroof means Enjoining the good, the
approved. Munkar, which is the opposite of Maroof, means bad, evil, detestable,
disagreeable, abominable, and disapproved. Nahi anil Munkar means Forbidding evil, the
disapproved. Maroof i.e. those acts whose being virtue is Maroof i.e. known to all and
undisputed. Everybody knows praying Salat, paying Zakat are virtuous deeds. The other duty
upon us is to prevent others from Munkar. Munkar is that act the sin of which is known and
undisputed, e.g. everybody knows that drinking wine is Haraam.
Controversy: Perhaps it is our misfortune that we have misunderstood the terms Maroof
and MunKar, which I think is one of the main causes of all the disunity among us. Under
its garb we indulge in the matters beyond our domain i.e. jurisprudence and ignore the basics
of Deen. Even we take up fights with those who do conform to our view on a particular
matter. The matters of fiqh are the exclusive domain of the experts in the field i.e. the
Mujthids and every Zaid and Baker should refrain from indulging in these delicate matters or
giving his own opinion. The science of Jurisprudence is a vast field and one cant gain
mastery in it if not studied formally as a regular discipline and by devoting ones life to it. It
is not desirable either that everybody should indulgence in this field of knowledge and gain
gain mastery as we have to look after other matters to; we have to allocate human resources
adequately to every field.
The matters of fiqh holds an important place for performance of various obligations of
Deen but the problems arise when the immature and amateurs indulge in discussions on these
matters and unnecessary confusion is created among the masses. This is the domain of the
Mujtahids and fuqha. Those are joining the discussions who do not even possess the
elementary knowledge of fiqh, defending a particular view simply on the basis of their
attachment to that view or School of thought. The stress on it is so hard that to an external

observer it would appear that Islam lays whole of the emphasis on these matters and to a less
educated Muslim too it appears as if it has been made compulsory to attract people to ones
own school of thought and to discourage others from the other school of thought which they
are following. We have gone so far that we do not pray in each others Masjids, nor behind
the Imams of others and the limit is that we do not refrain even from declaring others as
Kafirs or Mushriks. We tend to construct separate Masjids. The limit is that one of my friend
told me that a friend told me that a scholar of his group told his father that he has to repay
zakat as he had given it to an orphanage run by other group and the scholar who gave this
fatwa was not a simple Moulvi but held a doctorate degree.
This was not the way of Salafs or of great Imams. They respected the opinion of
others, never reviled each other and none never claimed that his opinion was the flawless or
final. Our whole emphasis revolves round these things even though there is scope for
accommodation of differences. We always tend to prove others wrong. This way we are doing
great disservice to Islam by creating confusion in the minds of simple and sincere Muslims.
Because of this over-emphasis on these maslaki matters, we have altogether shunned an
important responsibility, the responsibility of Dawah, calling people to the way of Allah. We
were asked to invite through wisdom and good preaching, Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord
with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most
gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive
guidance. (Al Quran 16:125) we ignore all these important injunctions and engage in futile
discussions, even though we have been discouraged from engaging in such discussions. Thw
Messenger of Allah said: Whoever seeks knowledge in order to argue with the
foolish, or to show off before the scholars, or to attract peoples attention, will be
in Hell. (Sunan Ibn e Majah, Classified as Hasan by Allama Albani)

We often come across such useless discussions in Masjids or on facebook. May be we


may silence our opponents by our arguments, but who knows what kind of picture we are
depicting of ourselves and of our religion. Perhaps we are causing more harm to Islam than
service and for that purpose we would be held responsible on the Day of Judgment. Would
not those interested in Islam get alienated by our behavior? May be our brothers are wrong, is
not there scope for their reformation through love and compassion. Cant we make them
understand our point of view through good preaching and good examples and even if they do
not accept our point. These things are not possible through futile and counterproductive
arguments. Arguments only alienate, develop hatred and wish to excel over others. If
anybody is too stubborn to accept the truth, we are not responsible for that, however, if we

cause dissension among Muslims, we are answerable for that before our lord. Let us have
practical approach. Let us be cool and understand the view point of others. Should not we
start from the basics and then move on to less important?
Allah will not put us to task for the minor differences as professed by different
schools of thought. These are difference of interpretations. Let us leave these differences to
ulema and perform our religious duties with Ikhlas (Sincerity). Allah will accept our efforts.
We have no condemnation for those who are indulged in major sins, but fight with those who
are in Masjids, praying. If we want to do some service to Deen, we have to refrain from these
discussions and use our talent for finding solutions for the problems facing ummah. Now-adays each of us does not have so much of time as to go through the original sources and to
sort out these differences. So why should we fight our these matters, Allah will forgive us
these small matters if we go wrong but are sincere in our dealings, but He would take us to
task for creating disunity among people, for we have been commanded to be united. 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. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved
you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. (Al
Quran-3:103). Unity is our power and it is because of our internal discord that we have been
reduced to the level of non existence in todays world.
An incident: Mufti Muhammad Shafi has quoted an incident of Maulana Anwar Shah (ra) in
his book wahdati ummat ( Unity of the Ummah), which I am quoting as under.
One day at the time of Fajr, I went to see him and found him sitting in the dark, holding his
head.I asked him what the matter was. He replied that he was feeling fine. He only regretted
wasting his life.
I commented, Hadrat, your entire life has been spent in the service of knowledge and in the
propagation of Din. Thousands of your students are Ulama. They are famous and have
benefited from you. They are all serving Din. If your life has been wasted, then whose life
has been profitable?
Moulana Anwar: I am telling you the truth. I have wasted by life.
Mufti Shafi: Hadrat, what is the matter?
Moulana Anwar: The summary of all our endeavours, our life and our lectures was that the
Hanafi school of thought is superior to others. We searched for the proofs of the masail of
Imam Abu Hanifah (RAH) and proved them to be stronger than the other Imams.
Now I am pondering and wondering in what have I wasted my life. Was Imam Abu Hanifah

(RAH) in need of our giving preference to him? Did we have to do him a favour? The people
have acknowledged the position which Allah Tala had granted him. He is not in need of
us..On the day of resurrection we will not be informed of the secret of who was correct and
who was wrong. There can be no decision in masail of ijtihad in the world. After all our
research, the most we can conclude in the world is that this school is correct and that one is
also correct. Or we can say that this school is correct but there is the possibility that it is
incorrect and that one is wrong with the possibility that it is correct. This is what will happen
in the world. As for the grave, even the angels Munkar and Nakir will not ask whether raising
the hands in Salah is correct or not raising them is correct. Ameen uttered softly is correct or
audibly. There will be no question regarding these issues in the or in the grave.
Allah

subhanahu wa taala will neither disgrace Abu Hanifah, nor Shafii, neither

Malik nor Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (RAH). Allah will not disgrace those to whom He has given the
knowledge of His Din and to whom a great portion of His creation has been attached. They
spread the light of guidance everywhere. They spent their lives in spreading the light of the
Sunnah. He will not make them stand on the day of Qiyamah and ask them whether Abu
Hanifah (RAH)was correct or Shafii (RAH)was wrong or vice versa.
We went after something that we did not need to bleach in this world, in the life of
barzakh or the hereafter and thus wasted our lives. We used our energy for it instead of using
it for the correct propagation of Islam which is unanimously accepted by everyone. Today we
are not inviting towards the important aspects of Din which the Ambiya (AS) brought. We
have been commanded to propagate these aspects and make them widespread. We have been
ordered to efface wrong and evil. These essentials of Deen are blurred from the eyes of
people. They are being distorted by us and by others. Those evils which we are supposed to
combat are spreading all over. Misguidance and irreligiousness are spreading all over.
Polytheism and idol-worship are taking root. The differentiation between halal and haram is
disappearing but we are engrossed in these subsidiary issues. I am sitting aggrieved and
feeling as if I have wasted my life.
The incident has a great message. That we should leave aside the Maslaki differences
and live in a united manner. There are many more important matters facing the ummah today
than these small differences of fiqh, there have been discussions on these points since long,
let us leave these for the experts to discuss those matters, and live united.
The priorities: Our discussions have to be relevant and as per the dictates and needs of our
times. We are facing a lot of problems today. Be they Economical, political, social and other
modern problems. We cant close our eyes to these realities and say that everything is going

on well, smoothly. Technologically we are far behind the world. We are economically and
educationally backward. Our resources are being utilized by others and we are unable to
make use of our resources properly. Despite our huge population, we have no say in any
matter on the international level. Our human resources are getting wasted because of lack of
proper education and training. Our youth are getting alienated from religion and are turning
to atheism or other ideologies. A few of the people, who are religious, are fighting with each
other on Maslaki matters. Let us labour to develop ourselves intellectually, technologically
and in economic fields leaving aside our differences. These differences keep them in
limelight. Today our youth are facing the challenges of atheism, Modernism, Communism
and other modern challenges which are driving them away from pure deen.
Our ulema are unaware of the happening round the globe. They are unable to
understand the world politics. The ulema have to understand the current problems facing the
ummah and to provide solutions for them. The common man is unable to understand as to
which is the proper way and path to follow. Every group is claiming that they exclusively are
on the right path. These matters are exploited by world powers to create dissension and
discord among Muslims. Who knows these Maslaki differences are fuelled by some external
powers?
Currently whole of the world Economy is Riba based and none seems to be concerned
and everybody has accepted it as inevitable, when it is not. The common Muslim is facing
dilemma in his financial transactions, he does not know how to invest his capital in Halal
way, what to do with his savings and capital? He does not know how to borrow? Is not it the
responsibility of ulema to provide solutions? Do they think that they get absolved by
delivering a lecture on wearing a cap while performing salat or sporting/growing beard or on
decreasing the length of Shalwar.
We have before us the example of Hazat Yusuf AS. When he was part of
administration, he provided a solution for the upcoming famine. Muslim Scholars have
contributed greatly to Economics, like Ibn Khaldun. Imam Abu Yusuf wrote kitab ul Kharaj,
dealing with taxation and fiscal policy. In our own Kashmir we have the shining example of
Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, who introduced and encouraged various Economic Acitivies like
Handicrafts in Kashmir so that people become self sufficient. Ulema have to be concerned
with these matters, but currently the matters are not so. We have collective problems today
but instead of finding solutions to our problems, we are disputing the collective problems,
ulema need to delve into them, to provide solutions and to point out the wrong notions that
have crept in.

We have many active religious organizations and the adherents of each of these
organizations claims to work for the pleasure of Allah, so why should there be differences.
Why should they make the criticism of others as their main topic and try to degrade others.
Why should not all of them work together even if the mode of work of each group is
different. The differences are on small matters even ignorable, but these are made into big
issues. Our ulema are oblivious of the sufferings of the ummah and the oppression to which
the ummah is subjected to all over the world. They seem to be oblivious of the economic and
political policies meant to subjugate the Muslim ummah. Ulema are being kept busy, through
devilishly devised policies, to keep them engaged in matters of secondary importance lest
they should get aware of the present situation and think of uniting.
What is going to be our future? Are we going to sever relations with our past? What
would then remain of the knowledge? Shall we have to fight over who is right and who is
wrong? We have to rethink our priorities and live accordingly. Differences over the matters of
fiqh have always been there, but it is not the proper subject to fight upon. Sahaba too held
divergent opinions on certain matters but they didnt fight over these matters rather respected
the opinion of each other. Making people fight over these differences is an act which disliked
by Allah. Those who exaggerate these matters are particularly those who are unaware about
the real problems facing the ummah today. These matters have already been discussed
elaborately, what need is there for over indulgence? Why should we over-burden our youth
with these matters when they have to face the other challenges of the world? Let Deen be
presented to them in a simplified manner and let them follow it without getting involved in
controversies so that they can use their time judiciously. Is not it better that our youth
concentrate on more pressing needs of time than to get involved in these controversies?
We have to understand as to what are our priorities. Certainly it is not the Maslak. The
main priority is our Eman and the akaaid in the right perspective. We have to find solutions
for the problems facing the ummah. Nobody, no group claiming to be working for the Deen
of Allah seems to be interested in these matters. In present times it is very hard to hold on to
Deen as is observed by everyone. Our youth are going on wrong paths because of the
onslaught of the atheistic propaganda. They look upon religion suspiciously. They are facing
the problems of unemployment, inflation, rising costs of living, competitions, late marriages
and are struggling hard to carve out a respectable place in the world. The media and the
education system are based on secular ideas and our youth are slowly driven away from
religion. They are being lured by various ideologies which create confusion in their minds. Is
not it the responsibility of our ulema to take steps for keeping these youth on the right track?

Should not intellectual energies be used for countering the atheistic propaganda and
providing satisfactory answers to the questions disturbing the minds of our youth?
The whole trend of the world is anti religious and materialistic. Under the present
conditions a person holding onto the principles of Deen has to face innumerable hardships,
There will come a time when the one holding onto the religion will be like one grasping
onto hot embers. And under such circumstances if somebody sticks to religion, he needs to
be encouraged and not be confused. Let our energies and prowess in writing or in oration be
used against those who are using their pen against Islam, forgetting our own differences.
Email: mubashir_07@rediffmail.com