SHAFAQNA – Scholars, experts and intellectuals have spent many long hours debating faith, and religion, arguing over semantics and truths in an attempt to establish which school of thoughts and which Scriptures could claim higher ground … for all their eloquence, and their ink, it is still Imam Ali who best expressed the hidden meaning of true faith.
Addressing his people Imam Ali said, “Know that people are of two types: they are either your brothers in religion or your equals in creation.” (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon #53) In those lines lie Islam’s most inner truth, and injunction: tolerance, brotherhood, compassion and humility before our innate imperfections.
In times such as ours, when the sounds of the canons and hate’s legions have all but engulfed our shores, and our minds, preaching bloodletting and ostracization on account of skin colours, religions, political affiliations or social standing I will ask you this: Where did our humanity.
Rather than admit that we do in fact share common values and beliefs, systems have amplified what makes us sit on different shores … those powers are nefarious. All those who preach differences are by definition sitting outside God’s commands.
Were we not to respect one another and offer smiles instead of hateful gazes.
Were we not shown by the best of man – the Prophet Muhammad that truth requires not smiting, and that in faith there can be no compulsion. Islam came as to liberate and emancipate, it came to offer Men a way towards justice and equity … Faith was never meant as a burden and an oppression.
Today Islam has been broken down into sects, groups, and school of thoughts – Muslims have accused each other of heresy on account they claim to hold to greater truths than their brothers in faith … How can we claim to any truth if we perpetuate schism within what God meant as a unit?
Islam is whole … we, as a community, are what is broken and splintered.
Will we not hear our Imam when he calls for our unity? We will deny his commands when we were called to obey and follow in his blessed footsteps?
From Ayatollah Sistani to Ayatollah Khamenei, have we not been advised that we ought to offer a united front to those powers which wish us harm? Will we not hear our imams?
Division is THE invention, division is THE manipulation, and the plague which has prevented us to see passed our differences to recognize our commonalities.
Islam was always whole … will we be those who divide?
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna