“Indeed this community of yours is one community, and I am your Lord, so be wary of Me.”
God also clarifies in ayah 103 of Surah Aal-e Imran that for maintaining unity among people, one should distance from discord and differences.
“Hold fast, all together, to Allah’s cord, and do not be divided [into sects]”
In Islam, unity is grounded in both the fundamental and secondary principles of religion. It means that Muslims, whatever the schools of jurisprudence they follow, have no basic differences. All Muslims worship the One and Only God and believe that Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) is the Last and Greatest Messenger of God. Unlike the sects of other religions, Muslims adhere to the One and Only text of the Holy Qur’an as God’s Final Scripture to mankind. Moreover, all Muslims face the Holy Ka’ba in Mecca as the Qibla or direction of the daily prayers. Muslims, irrespective of their denominations, fast in the same month of Ramadhan, observe the religious feasts on the same days, and perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, in the same month of Zilhijja. All these are proof of solidarity amongst Muslims, who have the potential to form a powerful single nation, where all ethnicities and speakers of various languages are welcome, since Islam is the religion decreed by God for the entire mankind. This is what the enemies of humanity are afraid of. In view of the unifying nature of Islam, these enemies have always tried to sow seeds of discord amongst Muslims.
Therefore, in order to further cement Muslim ranks, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may God bless his soul), took the dynamic step of designating Islamic Unity Week that bridges the 5-day gap between the two dates of the month of Rabi al-Awwal regarded by Sunnis and Shi’ites to be the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). The Sunnis, on the basis of the narrations of the Prophet’s companions regard Rabi al-Awwal 12 as the blessed date, while the Shi’ites, saying family accounts are more reliable, believe that 17th Rabi al-Awwal was the day of his blessed birth. This is not a matter of dispute, but as noted by the Late Imam Khomeini, an opportunity to come together on a single platform by celebrating the Prophet’s birthday on a grand scale with emphasis on Islamic solidarity. As part of these celebrations, every year the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the International Islamic Unity Conference by inviting prominent figures and religious scholars of all Muslim schools to discuss various aspects of Islamic solidarity. This has indeed frustrated the enemies of Islam and explains for their creation of seditious terrorist outfits in a vain bid to disrupt the unity of Muslims through hatred, violence, murder and massacre. This year, Tehran hosted the 28th International Islamic Unity Conference from January 7 to 9 under the theme: "United Islamic Ummah: Challenges and Solutions”. Over six hundred foreign and domestic thinkers from 69 world countries assembled in the Iranian capital to exchange views for bringing their scholastic, scientific, political, and cultural viewpoints closer to each other.
Iran’s President, Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Hassan Rouhani, in his inaugural speech at the 28th International Islamic Unity Conference, felicitated the gathering and the Ummah worldwide, on the auspicious birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), as well as the birthday of the Prophet’s 6th Infallible Heir, Imam Ja’far Sadeq (PuH) – who was born on the same day, 136 years later in 83 AH. He said: Today more than ever we are in need of practical adherence to the precedents set by the Prophet, who on the basis of Divine Revelation united people of different ethnicities, languages, colour of skin, geographical areas, and social status, into the monolithic Islamic Ummah. This warrants us to continue the path blazed out by the Prophet. Dr. Rouhani stated that unity does not mean giving up one’s views, but it means “patience”, “tolerance” and “courage” to respect each other’s viewpoints for the purpose of promoting Islamic unity. He said unity means that the various jurisprudential schools of Islam, proceed in harmony towards a united goal on the basis of the holy Qur’an, yielding to none other than God and diligently following the Prophet’s Sunnah and Seerah, that is, beheaviour and practice.
Unity of the Islamic Ummah is essential for the progress and development of the Islamic World which today has become the target of enemy plots in the form of the Takfiri terrorist outfits that have been created by the enemies of Islam and planted in the midst of Muslims in order to split their ranks, so as to enable the Zionist entity and the West to grow stronger and dominate the world. These murderously coward groups pretend to the Muslims, and are hailed by the Western and Zionist media as ‘puritans’, but their sole intention is to tarnish the image of Islam, so as to repel any attraction towards it in the West and other cultures. At a time when people in the West had begun to realize the fallacy of liberal democracy and the need for revival of spiritual values, which only Islam can provide, these western-created terrorist outfits, started masquerading as Muslims and indulging in the worst form of violence and bestiality, in order to distort the visage of Islam and drive away people from God’s religion. Fortunately, the brazen acts of terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and North Africa by the Takfiris, have jolted the conscience of Muslims and made them receptive to the concept of closing ranks by reaching out to each other, as was seen last week in Tehran where religious scholars of the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence assembled on a single platform to urge Islamic solidarity.
Secretary-General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence, Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, in a meeting with the participants of the International Islamic Unity Conference, said: The future belongs to Islam and sooner or later Islamic justice will prevail all over the world. He also said that the youths should pave the ground for emergence of the great civilization of Islam. Ayatollah Araki noted that the Takfiri and terrorist groups are trying to create differences amongst Muslims but their futile efforts are useless. The Chief of Iraq’s Badr Organization, Hadi Ameri, who is a member of Iraq’s elected national parliament, told the gathering: Today the real danger which Islam faces is blind terrorism and the bid by the Zionist-created outfits to sow seeds of discord amongst Muslim in order to shatter Islamic unity. He pointed out that the Zionists are the main supporters of the Takfiri terrorist outfits, and the biggest danger threatening Islamic society is that, instead of mobilizing Muslim resources for the cherished goal of liberating Bayt al-Moqaddas and Palestine, a section of the youth are being deceived to join and die for the Takfiris. He said today the Takfiris are working round-the-clock for promoting the plans of the Zionists.
Prominent scholars from various parts of the Muslim World, as well as from the West and the East, delivered speeches denouncing the Takfiris and their terrorism, and calling on Muslims worldwide to close ranks in the face of the devilish propaganda of the Zionists and their agents in the Muslim world.
Participants of the 28th International Islamic Unity Conference were granted an audience by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The Leader in his speech felicitated the gathering and the whole world on the auspicious birth anniversaries of the Prophet and his 6th Infallible Heir, and said these blessed birthdays could rightly be called the birth of science, intellect, ethics, affection, brotherhood, mercy and unity for the benefit of all mankind. He said, the officials, ulema and elites of Muslims states shoulder the grave responsibility of materializing these dynamic concepts of Islam. Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out that western intelligence agencies are behind the plot to sow seeds of discord amongst the Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. He made it clear that neither those Shi’ites serving the interests of Britain’s MI6 could be called true Shias, nor those Sunnis acting as foot soldiers for the US spying agency CIA, could be called true Sunnis. Both these elements are actually anti-Islamic agents, he added.
At the closing ceremony of the 28th International Islamic Unity Conference, the participants issued a communiqué underscoring this very point that it is incumbent upon Muslims, whatever their jurisprudential affiliation, to refrain from any measure that leads to hatred, dispersion and division among Muslims. The statement said that inciting tribal, ethnic, and sectarian seditions only serves the enemies of Islam and strengthens the hold of the enemies on the occupied Islamic lands, for whose liberation all sources ought to be mobilized.