We as Muslims today are under the microscope due the actions of a minority of so-called Muslims.
It is the time of year again, with young kids accepting bags of candy and we older youth trying to fight with our aunts and uncles refusing gifts of money because we are too old to do so. Most importantly, Eid is a time for self-assessment as human beings and promoting unity amongst Muslims.
We as Muslims today are under the microscope due the actions of a minority of so-called Muslims. A Muslim woman can’t walk in a non-Muslim community without being given a negative look because of what she wears on her head. The actions of the minority have led to Muslims being branded with terms such as “barbaric”, “backward”, and “inhumane”. Furthest from the truth are these comments about Muslims. With certain institutions pushing a negative agenda about Islam, it is now our role to rise and swing the pendulum to the other side.
Swinging the pendulum to the other side is a process that will not happen overnight. This is a process that will take years, but it must start at some point. I feel like I am beating a dead horse when saying this, but one of the ways to start such a movement is through our manners and the way we carry ourselves as individuals. It is incumbent upon us through our morals that we establish the image that Muslims are respectful and decent people. The Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) did not win the hearts of the Arabs overnight; it took over 40 years for him to establish his moral character among them before inviting anyone to Islam. 1400 years later, his moral character is one of the main reason why Islam has more than one billion followers today.
Uniting the Muslims seems to be the biggest challenge we face today. The irony of the situation is that we all follow the same book and worship the same God. Allah has set forth the guidelines for Muslim unity in the Qur’an. The Qur’an states multiple verses about unity, yet we seem to forget them.
“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, so that you may receive Mercy.” (49:10)
Yes, we have our academic differences amongst the various sects in Islam, but the Qur’an also sets forth the guidelines on how to have a clean and open-minded dialogue.
“Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.” (16:125)
We must discuss the differences amongst the various sects of Islam, and it is our right to seek the truth. If we as an Ummah seek the truth via healthy and open-minded dialogue, it will lead to the advancement of a united Muslim Ummah that carries one banner, not 73.
Comments by certain so-called leaders in the Muslim world have done nothing but harm the potential of Muslim unity. Certain personalities that harm the potential of Muslim unity are nothing but mere puppets of the West.
We pray to Allah that the appearance of the Holy Imam is soon. But we must understand that the Imam will not appear unless we are ready for him. So it is about time we all take a good look in the mirror and re-assess ourselves and see what we can do as individuals to make the reappearance of the Holy Imam a reality and not just talk.