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Sheikh Habib Umar Discusses Muslim Unity
By Ebrahim Moosa – Cii Broadcasting (17-04-12)
Striving to achieve Muslim Unity is an obligation upon every Muslim, moreso in the the current era. This was the clarion call from visiting Yemeni Scholar, Sheikh Habib bin Umar al Hafiz, who concluded a whirlwind tour of South Africa earlier this week. In a wide ranging interview conducted at the Cii Studios, the world renowned Aalim, who is also a Descendent of the Prophet Muhammed PBUH, expounded on the prerequisites for Muslim unity and what he saw as the cause for the destruction of nations.
Quoting extensively from the Quraan and Hadith, he outlined how disliked disunity was in Islam. “Allah explicitly warns in His Noble Book against obeying the egos and things which lead to enmity or division – particularly those things which are concealed under a guise of being religious when they are not religiously motivated but in fact driven by whims and desires. As Allah says: ‘Do not be like those who differed and disputed after clear signs came to them. For them is a terrible punishment(3:105)’ “
The Sheikh reserved particular criticism for the much observed trait of sectarianism and fanatical allegiance to particular Muslim groups or organisations. Quoting a Hadeeth of the Prophet PBUH, he echoed the warning “that the person who expressed group fanaticism, partisanship and sectarianism(asabiyyah) or called to it was not of the Muslims.”
“Allah distanced his Prophet and removed from his sphere those who caused divisions in their religion and split into sects,” he added, in reference to a verse from the Quraan.
Diagnosing the causes for such divisions, he attributed most to false illusions and what he described as the “narrowness of the heart” which he pointed to as the reason for poor character. Of particular importance, he said, was the need for every Muslim to strive against their whims and desires and overcome their ego’s particularly in their address of others.
“According to the Quraan, we are commanded to speak to people in a ‘way that is good.’ We are also instructed by the Prophet PBUH, as a condition of our faith, to say what is good or remain silent. Also, if anybody creates disunity between two loved ones, Allah will separate him from what he loves on the Day of Judgement.”
“Believers,” he said, should be “amiable and friendly” as there is no good in one who is not friendly. “Allah only looks at what is in our heart. It thus must be good and healthy towards all Creation in general and the believers in specific.”
Sheikh Habib enumerated the great rewards for those who seek to reconcile between opposing parties whilst highlighting the perils of backbiting and slander. “The Prophet PBUH said: ‘Whomsoever seeks out the faults of his/her brother, Allah will expose them even if they are in midst of their homes.’ ”
“We are witnessing the cause of the destruction of nations. Envy and enmity – this is what strips down the religion.”
In accordance with the Prophetic method, he advocated the exchanging of gifts, shaking of hands and greeting of each other, as practical means for reconciliation. “Every Muslim must strive to bring people together and cause the reconciliation and bonding of hearts. This can only be achieved by being forgiving, entering into compromises and acknowledging the rights of others. By pardoning others, we will gain something altogether more coveted: Pardon and Forgiveness from Allah Almighty Himself.”
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