Some Guidelines for Unifying the Ummah
Guidelines for Unifying the Ummah
source: Al-Istiqaamah Issue No.8 – Shawwal 1418H / February 1998
THE 3 INFALLIBLES
The first and most important of these guidelines is: Clinging to the three infallibles; the Qur’aan, the Sunnah, and that which the Pious Predecessors of this Ummah had Ijmaa’ (agreement) upon.It is these infallible that determine the correct method of understanding the Religion. It it these infallibles which make up the great usool (fundamentals) that this precious Ummah should be called to gather and unite upon.Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah – said: “The religion of the Muslims is based upon following the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Prophet ‘alayhis-salaam, and that which the Ummah has agreed upon; these are the three infallible usool.” He also said, “The ijmaa’ which is affirmed is that which the Pious Predecessors were [agreed] upon.”
Another important guideline is to cultivate greater tolerance in the Ummah by knowing the etiquettes of differing; which type of differing is permitted and tolerated in Islaam, and which type is actually prohibited and condemned?The prohibited differing involves opposing any of the great usool. This type of differing is forbidden by the Revelation. So whoever opposes these usool, without a valid excuse, has resembled the heretics and deviants.As regards differing in other issues other than the great usool, or in issues of ijtihaad, then such differences are permitted and should be tolerated. It is forbidden to allow such differences to become a source of inciting hatred between Muslims, or a means to split the ranks of this precious Ummah.
Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah – said: “It is not for anyone to set-up a person for the Ummah; calling to his way, and having walaa (allegiance) or ‘adaa (enmity) based upon that, except for the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Nor is any speech set-up for them, upon which they form allegiance or enmity, except for the Speech of Allaah, and that of His Messenger, and that which the Ummah has agreed upon.”It is essential that walaa and ‘adaa be formed only upon the basis of Islaam and the Sunnah. As regards the disease of hizbiyyah (partisanship) – which is where allegiance or enmity is formed upon the basis of either nationalism, groups or parties, or schools of thought – then this is clearly forbidden. Indeed this disease has destroyed, and continues to destroy, the very fabric of comprehensive Muslim unity.
Another essential guideline to purify the intentions such that actions are done only for Allaah’s sake, and not for the sake of elevating one’s ego, gaining leadership, or venting personal grudges, jealousy or enmity.Shaykh ‘Abdullaah al-Ghunaymaan said: “It is obligatory upon all those who speak about any affair of the Religion that they do so purely for Allaah’s sake and sincerely for the truth. They should overcome their souls and strive hard against following their own whims and desires. They should beware of inclining towards worldly matters; such as love of being praised, seeking fame and status, seeking to gain a following, and other such matters. So the one who seeks to gain any of this will only gain the vanities of this world.”
The Prophet ‘alayhis salaam said in an authentic narration: “Allaah does not take away knowledge by snatching it away from the people, but He takes it away by the death of the Scholars. So when no scholar remains, the people take ignorant ones as their leaders, who give rulings without knowledge; thereby misguiding themselves and misguiding others.”Thus, goodness remaining in the Ummah is dependant upon the existence of the Scholars; those who preserve the for this Ummah the correct understanding of the religion..There is no way to unify this Ummah, except by clinging to its Scholars. Indeed, without them, deviation and ignorance will continue to spread, which only further weakens the unity of this already fragile Ummah.
Allaah said: “Allaah has promised to those amongst you who have faith and do righteous actions that He will grant you the khilaafah (succession of rule) upon the land, as He granted it to those before you…” [Soorah an-Noor 24:55].The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said in an authentic narration: “Give good-tidings to this Ummah about a high position, being established upon the earth, victory, and a lofty position in this world and the Hereafter.”So it is essential to spread hope throughout this Ummah and not to despair about Allaah’s promise of victory; which will only be realised on the condition that the Muslims return to acting in accordance with Allaah’s commands – inwardly and outwardly.