Regarding school of thought debates among young Muslims in MI by Dawud Walid

December 21, 2010


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With Allah’s Name, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer

The Praise/Thanks belongs to Allah, who there is nothing comparable to Him, and may His prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his purified family, his righteous companions and those who follow them in excellence and what follows.

I was informed this evening that my post titled “Answering those who state that fasting Aashoora disrespects Al-Husayn” provoked discussion among some young adults in Michigan, which led some to violate the manners of disagreement to the point of some exchanging curses and profanity.   As a student of the late Muslim American leader Warith Deen Mohammed (May Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him), I was taught the merits of dialectics and the importance of ikhlas (purity) in following the logic of matters to their logical conclusion.  Hence, my thoughts on the initial subject were an expression of the end product of research and dialectics.

With that beginning said, we Muslims need to remind ourselves that although uniformity will not be seen by us in many matters in this life, seeking unity is mandatory for us.

Allah The Most High says in the Qur’an (3:103):

Hold on tightly all of you to Allah’s rope and do not be divided.

The Prophet Muhammad (Prayers  And Peace Be Upon Him And His Family) said, “The Book of Allah is the Rope of Allah extended from the heaven to the earth.”

Muslims, despite their school of thoughts, agree on the essence of this tradition that we all share One Deity, who sent His last prophet that received the last Divinely revealed book.  There is no disagreement on this fact.

Zayd ibn Ali ibn Al-Husayn ibn Ameer Al-Mu’mineen Ali (May Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Them) further elaborated on the meaning of the Rope of Allah (according to Tafseer Ghareeb Al-Qur’an) that it means two things, “The Qur’an” and “The Collective (Al-Jama’ah).”  Thus as rational Muslims, we should reach the logical conclusion that we should strive towards protecting the collective interests and values that affect the Muslim community as a whole.

When handling hate mail coming to my office, which insults Prophet Muhammad (Prayers And Peace Be Upon Him And His Family), I’ve never seen him referred to as the Shafi’i prophet or the Zaydi prophet.  When I learned yesterday of feces being smeared on a page of the Qur’an, which was mailed to a masjid in Dearborn, the bigot didn’t attach a note saying that he/she was desecrating a Salafi Qur’an or a Naqshabandi Qur’an.  When the sisters were denied jobs at the McDonald’s off of Ford Rd in Dearborn a couple of years ago, the so-called Christian manager didn’t say that they couldn’t work there because they were Sunnis, but if they were Shi’is they could.  And the FBI has cultivated informants in our masajid irrespective of Sufis praying in them or not.

Over the years, I’ve seen brothers get into heated discussions over if misbahah (prayer beads) are a bid’ah or not, whether basmalah should be recited out-loud in the audible prayers or whispered, whether praying sadl (hands to the sides) has merit over praying qabd (hands folded), whether hands should or should not be raised during qunoot, whether one should say “May Allah  Ennoble His Face” after Imam Ali’s name, etc.  At the end of the day, Allah The Most High will clarify all of these issues for us when we meet Him.  We will also be asked about what we did to present a beautiful picture of Al-Islam in our words and deeds, and we will also be asked if we were faithful to the agreed upon tradition that “to revile a believer [in Al-Islam] is corruption and to kill him is disbelief.

We are all brothers and sisters with one qiblah, one Al-Quds and similar challenges living in America.  I highly suggest that we remember the manners of the Prophet Muhammad (Prayers and Peace be Upon Him and His Family) when dealing with each other and people of other religions and that we plan to attend and respectfully discuss school of thought differences at the upcoming ISNA Diversity Forum, which is coming to Metro Detroit if you’re going to be in town.

May Allah bring us success.

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