‘Causes of Divisions & Disunity’
FORGETTING THE GOAL OF LIFE
Allaah has not created man to eat, drink and multiply, in which case he would be like the animals. Allaah has honoured man and favoured him far above many of those whom He has created, but many people insist on disbelief, so they are ignorant of or deny the true wisdom behind their creation, and all they care about is enjoying the pleasures of this world. The life of such people is like that of animals, and indeed they are even more astray. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “while those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as cattle eat; and the Fire will be their abode” [Muhammad 47:12]
Although the Ayah is talking about the disbelievers can we Muslims all say we are not living this life? Focusing on what we earn, what we own, where we live, what we eat, SubhaanAllah!
One of the greatest reasons for which Allaah has created mankind – which is one of the greatest tests – is the command to affirm His Oneness (Tawheed) and to worship Him alone with no partner or associate. Allaah has stated this reason for the creation of mankind, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]
Imagine the whole Ummah focused on one goal, to worship Allah, to obey Him & to please Him. It will automatically bring us all together on one road. We will not be hurting each other because Allah has forbidden it. We will be helping each other because it pleases Allah.
On the contrary, what happens when majority of the Ummah runs after worldly possessions is evident now. Jealousy, animosity, oppression is prevalent. The Prophet ﷺ has warned us against competing each other for the worldly matters and be destroyed as the previous generations were.
He ﷺ said: “Be happy and be hopeful of that which gives you delight. By Allah, it is not the poverty about which I fear in regard to you but I am afraid in your case that (the worldly) riches may be given to you as were given to those who had gone before you and you begin to vie [compete] with one another for them as they vied [competed] for them, and these may destroy you as these destroyed them.” (Sahih Muslim)
NOT MENTIONING THE NAME OF ALLAH IN OUR GATHERINGS
A sign of forgetting our goal of life is that seldom do we see a gathering that is planned for the Sake of Allah, where time is spent in talking about Islam, is filled with reminders and Nasihas (advises) which is accepted by the other brothers.
But it is not just these gatherings that we are supposed to remember Allah in, as Muslims we are expected to remember and mention Allah & His Messenger in each and every one of our regular gatherings, for whatever reason it may be.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
Again a very clear warning; the Hadeeth mentions one important aspect which is that not mentioning Allah & His Messenger in a gathering would cause grief. As Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest! (13:28)
The same applies for gatherings where the almighty is remembered, the hearts finds peace and happiness and that’s why we see so many conflicts arising between families after gatherings, they hold on to grudges and end up gossiping after going back home. Yes Of course all this is from Shaytaan, but we allowed him to take charge because we did not do what is expected out of us, which is to simply remember Allah and His Messenger at least once in the gathering but the irony is people are ashamed of doing so, they are okay with talking about anything whether good or bad, whether lawful or unlawful, they are even okay to discuss unlawful things whilst their children are amongst the gathering but they feel ashamed of remembering Allah & His Messenger ﷺ. May Allah save us from being one of those and make us be proud of being Muslims.
ABANDONING THE SUNNAH
The second most important thing that causes divisions is people abandoning the Sunnah. The conditions of worship to be accepted are that it should be done only for the Sake of Allah and on the way of the Prophet ﷺ.
A glaring example is that the Arabs of Makkah before accepting Islam, worshipped Allah but not in a spirit of His Oneness. They ascribed about 360 idols as His partners or intermediaries that they worshiped to gain the pleasure of Allah. So yes we need to worship Allah but also should do so in the way of the Prophet ﷺ, sticking to what he ﷺ did/said and the way how his companions implemented it without adding or removing anything from it.
The Prophet ﷺ also described them in the following terms: “My ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of whom will be in Hell except one group.” They said: Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: “(Those who follow) that which I and my companions follow.” (Tirmidhi)
If we start adding or removing things as per our whims & desires we would never be able to come to common terms. Quran & Sunnah are the only divine guidance that the mankind are left with and there cannot be any guidance better than the word of our Lord, the Quran or the words/actions for the Prophet ﷺ, the Sunnah. As an Ummah if we deviate from this we are bound to have disagreements and disunity. The Prophet ﷺ warned us against deviating to other paths.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ drew a line in the sand with his hand and he said, “This is the straight path of Allah.” Then, the Prophet ﷺ drew lines to the right and left, and he ﷺ said, “These are other paths, and there is no path among them but that a devil is upon it calling to its way.” (Ahmad)
So deviating to any other path then the Sunnah will only cause divisions and disunity. (We will discuss “Dealing with differences” in tomorrow’s class)
NOT LOVING THE PROPHET ﷺ AS WE ARE REQUIRED TO
Also deviating and not implementing the Sunnah is a sign of our lack of love for the Prophet.
He ﷺ said, “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”(Bukhari)
Now we all say that we love the Prophet ﷺ but we often abandon Sunnahs to please our parents, children, society and worse of all is we leave Sunnah to fit in with or please the Non-Muslims. If we actually love him the way we are supposed to, it will automatically lead us to follow and pattern him.
May Allah give us all the Hidaayah to love & follow our Prophet ﷺ
FOLLOWING INNOVATIONS (BIDAH)
People abandons Sunnah when they fall into Bidah, they busy themselves doing it considering the act they are involved it to be a form of Ibaadah.
Ibn Taimiyyah said: “There is not a people that invent an innovation except that they abandon a Sunnah to go along with it.”
So without getting into a detailed discussion as to what Bidah is and what its not, let us all just make an intention that first we will follow all the Proven Sunnahs. SubhaanAllah there are so many Sunnahs that we wouldn’t have time or energy to even talk about anything extra, let alone do them.
The Prophet ﷺ urged us to adhere to it and not neglect it. He said: “You must adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who come after me. Adhere to it and cling to it strongly, and beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going astray.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi)
May Allah keep us on the Sunnah!
Nationalism, a common disease in the Ummah now, Arabs look down on non-Arabs, Pakistani and Indian Muslims look down on each other and together look down on other poorer countries and so on.
Remember the Prophet ﷺ also said: “Indeed there is no excellence for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab, nor a white person over a black one, nor a black person over a white one, except through taqwaa (piety and obedience to Allaah).” (Ahmad)
So our love and hate is to be based on Islam and not race or nationality. How can we unite if we cling on to things that are not part of Islam. The Prophet ﷺ was angry when the Muhajiroon & Ansaar started arguing and stood up against each other based on their race. The Muhaajirs (those Companions who migrated from Makkah to al-Madeenah) and the Ansaars (those Companions who aided and supported those who migrated) argued, such that one of the Muhaajirs said: “O Muhaajirs! (implying; rally to my aid).” And then one of the Ansaar said: “O Ansaar!” Upon hearing this, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Is it with the calls of jaahiliyyah that you call, and I am still amongst you!” And he became very angry at that.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet ﷺ said: “….Whoever fights under the banner of the blind, becoming angry for ’asabiyyah (partisanship and party spirit), or calling to ’asabiyyah, or assisting ’asabiyyah, then dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah.” (Sahih Muslim)
And there is no doubt that the call to nationalism is a call to ’asabiyyah (partisanship and party spirit) and it is a call to becoming angry for the sake of ’asabiyyah and fighting for ’asabiyyah. And there is no doubt also, that the call to nationalism is a call to transgression, pride and arrogance, since nationalism is not a divinely revealed way of life which prevents its people from oppression and proud boasting.
Does nationalism call to these noble manners of mercy and kindness to the Muslims the Arabs and the non-Arabs and of having mutual sympathy and concern for them, and feeling pain at their pain? No, by Allaah! Rather it calls to having allegiance with those who have evil character and it calls you to cultivating enmity and hatred for those who deny this false creed of nationalism.
Stay away from associating yourself to nationalism and consider yourself as part of the Ummah. Do not look down on your brothers from other countries, help each other and stand united.
NOT STANDING TOE TO TOE IN PRAYER
This is probably one of the most simple yet a very important reason how we ourselves cause divisions.
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
We not just fail to do what the Prophet ﷺ has recommended us to do (Stand Toe to Toe), some have the audacity to actually resist following this Sunnah, so much so that people get irritated when someone tries to guide them to straighten the line. Similarly we see that when one touches the toe of another there are people who get offended by this and aggressively move their feet away with a frown on their faces. The Prophet advised us to not resist the hand of the Brother who tries to straighten the line.
May Allah give us the Hidayah to stand straight and close in prayer and stand united outside of it!
FALLING TO SUSPICIONS
Suspicion, one of the biggest weapon of Shaitaan to divide the Ummah. Shaitaan works on a common human weakness related to making one quickly assume something negative about the other. He thus infuses suspicion and doubt in the hearts of Muslims making them think badly about one another, and provoking them against one another. For example, Shaitaan considers sowing the seeds of discord between a husband and wife as one of his greatest achievements. (as mentioned in a hadeeth in Sahih Muslim)
On the other hand, Islam advices Muslims to think positively about each other and not seek each other’s faults which keeps us away from animosity and divisions. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech. Do not seek out one another’s faults; do not spy on one another; do not compete with one another; do not envy one another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another. Be, O slaves of Allah, brothers.” (Al-Bukhaari & Muslim). Also in another Hadeeth narrated by Muslim the Prophet ﷺ has warned us saying, “It is enough evil for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt.”
We Muslims are brothers, and we should love each other for the Sake of Allah. Hence we are to think positively and look for positives in our brothers and not look for negatives as everyone has their shortcomings, so we should try and look for positives and always keep them in mind which helps us overlook the negatives or short comings that might come forth.
Also the Prophet ﷺ said:
This rule of not seeking fault should especially be remembered in cases, when we are upset with a person, because when we are upset with a person we scrutinise every action of theirs and tend to find faults, this situation is used by the shaitaan who wants to create resentment in our hearts for our brothers/sisters.
May Allah make us look for the good in each other and help us let go of the habit of seeking faults in others and stay united.
Instead of seeking faults we Muslims are actually supposed to hide the faults that we see in our fellow Muslims and with it comes a promise from Allah.
The Prophet ﷺ said,
Mentioning the (related) Fault when needed
So the general principal is that the faults of our fellow Muslims are to be hidden and not spread. But this doesn’t mean that we hide the faults in an absolute sense, rather it is sometimes our duty to report the faults like when someone has asked about the person before marriage or before getting into a business transaction in that situation one should let the person enquiring know about the fault but this again doesn’t mean that we put forth all the faults rather we should only let them know of the things that might concern them. Similarly we are to stand up and let others know of someone when it is effecting and harming others. This is considered as Naseehah which the Prophet ﷺ has enjoined upon us.
The next step after not seeking faults is to seek excuses for our brother/sister and not jump to conclusions and judge, thinking that there must be a reason behind it
Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Munazil (R.A.): “The believer seeks excuses for their brethren, while the hypocrite seeks out the faults of their brethren.” [Adab al-Suhba]
Again just as hiding fault in general sense doesn’t mean we hide them all in all situations, making excuses does not mean that we still keep making excuses when one is apparent and proved. So if a fault is proven we take measures to protect oneself and others from harm.
Shaikh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What is prescribed for the believer is to respect his brother if he offers an excuse to him, to accept his apology if possible, and to think positively of him as much as possible, striving to keep hearts free of resentment and aiming to bring about unity and co-operation in doing good. It was narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: “Do not think badly of any word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it”. (Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 26/365)
May Allah make our hearts kind enough to think positively of our brothers & sisters and to stand united!