Muslim world and its leading Ulama should take responsibility for committing a grave crime against God and Humanity. Sectarianism, lets break this down to its pieces. We had lunch yesterday on 6th Avenue with my friends from Yemen. We sat at the newly opened Persian restaurant owned by Mr Hosseini. Besides good food, we Muslims specially like that it serves Halal meat.
We just came out of the small faith room situated right next to the eatery. Its called Ondine, a strange name for a college dormitory, the favorite for foreign students for its room rates. In the faith room, I could recall during lunch, we hardly noticed the different styles of performing the Muslim prayer. Some had their hands to the side, some above the belly, some on the chest and some just below the chest.
Here comes Mr Hosseini with the dish of the town, Persian pulao rice cooked with saffron and pistachio, fragrant, mild, dreamy shades of smoke rising from the neatly placed Basmati. Interestingly, he is the only person in the entire joint. He does everything with such admirable efficiency, cooking, cleaning, serving, washing, and cleaning again.
Going back to the prayer hall. Did it really matter how each of us folded our hands that much when the most important acts of prayer, for all of us, as in bowing and prostrating, was exactly the same. At the restaurant, we have something common between all of us, Mr Hosseini included, we eat Halal food. What does it matter what name we give to the dish, its still halal and that is what really counts, the essential, not the externalities.
Muslim Ulama need to point out the fact that any kind of division, schism, sectarianism, racism, supremacism (and other such things) are not only disliked but they are indeed HARAM. Here is my evidence.
“….Uphold the Faith and Do NOT DIVIDE into factions within it” (Q.42.13)
Dear Reader, sweet reader, please open your heart and see from the inner sight that God has blessed you with. Above Holy Verse from surah no 42 of the Majestic Quran al Kareem is a simple and direct command, not at all complicated. Is it not binding upon the Believers to Not violate the basic commands of God?
Suppose you just got hired at your dream company for which you had prepared yourself for years, going to college, grad school, internship, research, publications, hard hitting interviews, tests, medical exams, criminal check, and then finally you get the job. You are about to sign the contract, the owner looks at you and tells you very clearly, “Do Not make divisions and groups in the company” before you cheerfully signed and handed back the contract. Welcome aboard, partner!
The next moment you start plotting how to create a division in the company so that your group’s interest can be best forwarded to the senior management. You form a group, in violation of the contract you just signed, and quite obviously betraying the man who hired you in the first place, the owner of the company. What should the company management do with you? Should you be corrected or rewarded?
Treacherous actions get rewards only as much as their stab in the back can get them which should not amount to much respect from the self or outside. Enduring admiration has often found a humble, kind, honest, hard working individual who remains thankful for the little and big rewards of life. Indeed, life itself is the single greatest reward for any human being.
I cant imagine why it might be any different in God’s universe. He created everything, you and me, black man, white man, China man, Danish, Nigerian, German what have you. We are all from Him and we all go back to Him. It does make sense that He would want us to bond together under His Guidance, Protection, Mercy and Forgiveness, and that we all should hold on to each other and NOT BE DIVIDED into this faction and that faction, this sect and that sect.
Ask the Syrian girl, 9 years old why her father was killed, why she couldn’t eat for days. Is it because she was Shia or Sunni or Zaidi or Ismaili or Jew or Christian? For her, what does it matter, it doesn’t. Millions of little boys and girls like her loose either a father, or a mother, or a brother or a sister due to our actions. We bring down upon ourselves rain of fire, death and tears, lots and lots of innocent tears as we continue to act arrogantly against the Divine command of God. Our vision shortened by our racist shades and our hearts covered with iron masks of sectarianism and our ears dumbed by the music of deathly winds.
Mesut Ozil might be Sunni just as much as he might be shia. It doesn’t matter. What matters are two things. He was devastated by the racist treatment in his national team. It should have not boiled down to this in a country which leads the EU in promoting integration, and has taken in millions of refugees from the Muslim world. But Mesut’s hurt is of greater importance because it has a special kind of bonding with the hearts of millions of people (at least 31 million fb followers) who looked up to him as the success story of a Muslim boy in Germany from Turkish background.
The second most important matter is that he has fans from all religions. His fame pushed him also to be a role model for the youth. He was a symbol of hope and motivation for millions of young men who may feel the need to be identified with someone as great as Mesut was when he was in the National team. Also, for these millions of youth, it doesn’t matter if Mesut tilted towards shia or sunni beliefs. Not only does it not matter but it is totally irrelevant.