Uniting with respect for differences -2

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Jewish and Christian history is full of conflict because of continuing disunity. Christianity's first 16 centuries also can be described as the history of warring Christian sects. Even small differences in interpretation led to mutual accusations of heresy. The Catholic Church's persecution of religious denominations as the Cathars and the Bogomils from the eleventh century onward, as well as the century-long bloody war between the Protestants and the Catholics, coincide with the darkest era of European history. It is interesting to note that European civilization began to rise after this sectarian warfare ended.

People diverge in their religious practices and understandings because they do not practice morality, as commanded by Allah. This morality recognizes modesty.

Muslims who fear and respect Allah, and who believe that they will have to account for their actions on the Day of Judgment, must be aware of this situation. Those who realize the importance of this matter must warn other Muslims about the dangers of disunity, fragmentation, and segregation, and work for Muslim unity under the Qur'an's values.

Exemplary Muslims approach other people with love, compassion, and mercy, for they view all people as manifesting some of our Lord's names and attributes. They consider all people who share the same belief, and who believe in the Qur'an, obey Allah's commandments, and abide by the Sunnah of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), as their brothers and sisters, and never forget that they are one another's guardians. They must refrain from factionalism rooted in cultural, traditional, or differences of opinion and, instead of making an issue of them at every opportunity, must support unity under the Qur'an's values. Muslims must support one another in this union and be tolerant and understanding when dealing with disputed matters. As we pointed out previously, sincere Muslims who are aware of this issue's importance, as well as the Islamic world's leading thinkers and intellectuals, are especially obligated to work resolutely for Muslim solidarity and unity. A solidarity based upon love, respect, compassion, and tolerance must be established in the Muslim world.
At its core, Islamic morality envisages religious unity and common values, rather than disputes and segregation. Prophet Mohammed (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) showed the way for Muslims with the following hadith:

I have left among you the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Apostle. If you hold fast to them, you shall never go astray. (Sahih Bukhari.)

We just have to abide by this advice. Our Lord commands all believers to follow the true religion and refrain from disunity. Allah says:

 

He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined on Noah: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it." What you call the idolaters to follow is very hard for them. Allah chooses for Himself anyone He wills, and guides to Himself those who turn to Him. (Surat ash-Shura, 13)
 
2010-04-19 22:29:49

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