Ask yourself a question: what divides us, so deeply, as Muslims?
A deluge of answers will crash over you instantly. Nationalism. Tribalism. Sectarian differences, power struggles, economic grounds, hypocrisy. His fault, their fault, us versus them. Distance from Islam, lack of organization; a never ending list that fades off into the distance – leaving behind it an aftertaste of quiet desperation.
“And what binds us together?” you might ask yourself.
Islam, a small voice will say. A voice that recognizes its own undeniable fallibility. We have waged bloody wars amongst ourselves; abandoned each other to our mutual enemies; targeted and harassed our own people. Can we really still call ourselves united? Will we ever really be?
“If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [8:63]
What does bind us, after all? It is the seed of Imaan – that Allah alone can plant. Centuries ago, it was planted in the hearts of Aws and Khazraj; transforming them from implacable enemies into the famous Ansar we know them to be. Centuries later, the rules remain unchanged. What binds us together? Our Imaan does.
As young Muslim men and women raised in this day and age – blessed as we are with both, a world class education and an exposure to a global revival, of sorts, of Islam – we have a choice before us. We can choose to extend the mistakes that generations of Muslims have been making before us; and continue to divide the Ummah into smaller and smaller segments. Or we can accept the incredible and beautiful diversity of our Ummah and celebrate it; let it be a source of love and mutual bonding and the mutual striving together for Allah’s pleasure. Just like the glorious tradition of the great Muslims of Madinah.
Join us at SIST ’15 as we collectively envision a global Jamaat of Muslims, standing shoulder to shoulder in perfect rows, linking strength to strength; united in our mutual pursuit of the ultimate success – the pleasure of Allah. United to worship. United, we bow.
“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.” [3:103]