MUSLIMS should strive their best to achieve unity in all aspects. It is against the spirit of Islam to see Muslims divided. It is high time for Muslims to be united and forget about their differences. Unity is a unique feature of Islam.

Allah says: “O you who believe! Be conscious of Allah as you aught to be conscious of Him, and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves…” (Qur’an 3:102-105).

At another place the Qur’an says: “As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.” (6:159)

Disunity among Muslims is our greatest problem today. We are at present a very fragmented and divided people. We have disunity at every level: within our communities, at the local level, national and international level. We talk about unity and discuss the problem of disunity in our meetings and conferences, but we fail to be united. We fail to work together, although everything in our religion and in our condition demands that we come together and work together.

Unity is our religious obligation. In Islam unity and faith are interrelated. People of faith are united. The more faith they will have, the more united they will be. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed the Believers are brothers to each other … ” (49:10)

Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “You shall not enter Paradise until you have faith, and you shall not attain faith until you love each other. Should I tell you something that if you do, you shall love each other? Spread salam among you.” (Reported by Muslim)

When we talk of unity, let us remember that unity does not mean uniformity. It does not mean that we should look alike, eat alike, dress alike. It does not mean that we should not have any differences in opinions. This is diversity, not disunity. Unity does not mean negation of diversity. Diversity is good; disunity is bad. Diversity is a mercy; disunity is a curse. Unity can be achieved with diversity.

Unity means the unity of purpose and goal. United people are diverse people, but their purpose and goal is one and the same. They must remain conscious of their purpose and goal, and all their efforts must be directed to that purpose.

When people of diverse backgrounds and cultures become united for one purpose, they achieve progress and success. However, when the people of one and the same culture and race lose consciousness of their purpose, they become divided and eventually fail.

Our purpose as Muslims is moral and spiritual. Our purpose is to please Allah and to work for the advancement of His religion in this world. Our goal is to achieve ultimate success and salvation in the Hereafter. There is no better reason to be united than this. If we keep in our mind our purpose and goal, we can easily overcome our differences. We would not bicker on minor issues or take petty quarrels. We would not be jealous or hateful to each other. We would not worry who takes the credit because our aim would be to please our Lord, not to please our ego or to promote our own interests.

We would see whether the religion of Allah is promoted or not, whether the ultimate objective would be achieved or not. This would make us more open-minded, more accommodating, more merciful and kind to each other.

Unity is not a slogan; it is a mission. Wherever we are we should try to see how we can achieve unity among ourselves. Each one of us should ask himself: Do I want to be united with my fellow Muslims? What am I doing to work with others to promote my purpose and achieve my goal? If I have a problem, how am I going to solve the problem? Unity does not come down as rain from the sky. Unity is not a miracle that will happen among those who do not believe in unity.

Unity will only come if we strive for it and work hard to achieve it. It is a reward of faith, sincere efforts, lot of patience, good will, tolerance, and sincere commitment to the objectives and aims. Unity requires continuous efforts.

Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqas narrated: One day the Prophet (peace be upon him) was coming from Aliyah (a location in Madinah) until he passed by the mosque of Banu Mu’awiyah. He entered the mosque and prayed two rak`ahs and we prayed with him. He prayed to his Lord for a long time, then he turned to us and he said, “I asked my Lord for three things. He granted me two but He declined one. I asked my Lord not to let my Ummah be destroyed by famine. He granted me that. I asked Him not to let my Ummah be destroyed by flood. He granted me that. I asked Him not to let my people fight each other. He declined this request.” (Reported by Muslim)

The commentators of this Hadith say that this means that Allah will protect the Ummah on the whole from natural disasters and He will not punish them as He punished previous generations, but as far as internal strife is concerned, they have to guard themselves against it.

Let us all work together to achieve unity among us and let us pray to Allah to bless us in this effort.