- Posted December 23, 2013 by
Political and Sectarian divides among Muslims and how to remedy this malady?
We are working on political and sectarian divides among Muslims and their historicity we will intermittently write on Face-book parts of our research on the Subject and the efforts made by reformers to create cohesive existence among the Ummah. We will welcome positive criticism on our views and expect the knowledgeable to guide us in our exercise.
Disintegration of Civilization, states and empires is not something rare in history. Even societies were formed and later on disintegrated. Although disintegration does not necessarily mean that civilizations may not be resurrected yet resurrection is not so common as disintegration is. If one is interested to seek information in a shorter time, one is well advised to have a glance at Professor Tony Bee’s A Study of history. Among the civilizations suffering disintegration and gaining revival, the most conspicuous is Jewish Civilization. This civilization is mainly based on religion. It remained under suppression and victimization for many centuries, from 628 AC to 1948 AC. It reasserted mainly because of their commitment to the basic tenant to their religion and also maintenance of cohesive factors among the community which had numerous sectarian differences and remained scattered on globe and had no mother land of their own once they lost their sovereign authority on part of globe. Throughout about 13 centuries of their having been made out costs and their compulsory dispersion in the world, they did not lose their religion identity and their rational prejudice. Today, they dominate the policies of Christian community the world over the Muslims from Saudi Arabia to elsewhere in-spite of Christians and Muslims against them and their hated against the latter. Hence, disintegration of Muslims is nothing strange however; revival of Islam of the Holy Prophet requires unity among Muslims and their sincerity with their belief.
The historians with objectivity have described this pathetic situation as summed up by Syed Ameer Ali in his marvellous work, The Spirit of Islam. This work for more than a century has been acknowledged as authentic thesis. He says “The Church of Muhammad like the Church of Christ has been rent by internecine divisions and strives. Difference of opinion on abstract subjects, about which there cannot be any certitude in a finite existence, has always given rise to greater bitterness and a fiercest hostility than ordinary differences on matters within the range of Human cognition. The disputes respecting the nature of Christ deluged the earth with the blood of millions; the question of Freewill in man caused if not the same amount of bloodshed, equal trouble in Islam. The claim to infallibility on the part of the Pontiffs of Rome convulsed Christendom to its core; the infallibility of the people and of the Fathers became in Islam the instrument for the destruction of precious lives.”
The figure of millions of lives quoted by the author has been increased by many millions more, let alone the pre Iran-Iraq crisis since last quarter of the twentieth century. In these forty years more than a million lost their lives at the hands of co-believers, in Iran-Iraq war and aggression of Saddam on Kuwait followed by Afghan crisis and sectarian killings in Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere.
Is there any solution to this centuries old gory problem and if there is a solution how to implement it. What are the factors which prompt killings of Muslims by Muslims and which are the factors hindering reformative efforts. A dispassionate and God fearing analysis alone can give answer to the root cause of the divides and divisions. The people who benefit from this problem and they and their collaborators have been creating and continue to create all possible obstacles for reforming the situation or at least finding out ways and means for bringing about cohesive existence among Muslims amidst their differences of sects and denominations.
When one reads Jewish Bible one is shocked to know the differences between Jews and Christians about the status of the Holy Christ and the pious Marry but for more than a century the Christians and Jews abreast with their creeds have adopted a cohesive existence and have been ruling the world as one formations though not one Nation.
There is a saying attributed to the Holy Prophet which does not reach the status of authentic one, however it is said by a great number of Muslim scholars that the Holy Prophet had said there will be seventy two sects among Muslims and only one of them will go to paradise and the rest will not. It may be noted that number 72 is a number for exaggeration, which means that the sects may be more than many. The division of Muslims is even mentioned in the Holy Quran where Allah says ‘O you who believe
The phenomenon of division is in every religious community and not only among Muslims. Among the religions of the descendants of Hazrat Ibrahim the smallest is that of Jews yet there divisions are greater in number than those of the Muslims. The Christians are also divided into numerous denominations and sub-denominations. Likewise among the believers of Aryan religions like Hinduism, Zoroastrians etc., this phenomenon is predominantly present.
Why do believers in religions suffer divisions? In this respect some reasons maybe common for all the religions and in case of each religion there may also be specific reasons which are peculiar to them. So far as specific reasons for division among Muslims are concerned they will be separately dealt with. Some of the common reasons for emergence of divisions among religions may be enumerated as under; -
1. Although the new entrants in the fresh religion are sincere zealous to the call yet, they can hardly get rid of jealousies afflicting their earlier life.
2. When a religion challenges the existing system it attracts only the neglected class of society but after its gains ground the upper class people join its fold and this factor creates hot burning among the earlier converts and the new comers.
3. After entering its fold in new religion in haste or out of anxiety to taste the charm of the new religion they find that their expectations are not likely to be fulfilled. They either resile from the conversion or start conspiring against their new faith.
4. The upper class of society who have joined the faith make conspiracies. Such people are called hypocrites while in politics they are called the fifth columnist.
5. The clergies of the religion whether Pandats or Priests practice religion not as a mission but as a profession and when it has become the only source of sustenance for them. This practice of the clerics divides the societies in a fashion as political rival do in politics. They make their religious institution as shops and sell their version of religion as merchandise. This lost factor is the main instrument of divisions among the believers which gradually creates blood feud among co-believers.
Further factors and reasons for division among Muslims are as follow ;-
a) Soon after the Holy Prophet, Muslims in Madina confronted the issue that who might succeed him. In this respect there were three opinions:-
i) The Ansar claimed that as they had supported the Holy Prophet who had to escape persecution of himself and his followers at Makah. In Madina the Prophet was welcomed along with his companions called Muhajirin and the residents of Madina helped the migrants to settle there, sharing their belongings with the settlers including settling their households by going so far as to part with one of their wives for the sake of a migrant needing one. The Ansar put up Saad Bin Abada as their candidate but they were better advised to abide by the command of the Holy Prophet 'Imams must be from Quresh'