Saturday, 24 August 2013

Unity in Diversity

For the past many year, minority Muslims in the same country such as Australia have a different view in establishing the true dates for Ramadan and Eid and indeed the beginning of Hijrah months. Thus, the different opinions create a divided and confusion amongst Muslims to celebrate 1st of Syawal not only in a single country but also of the same city and sadly, often of the same neighborhood as different mosque praying Eid on different day.

I really feel that it is not that complex an issue if we don't make it out to be one. I am amazed how conclusive and absolute solutions to the problem exist and yet, in the Australia in particular, we are still so divided and so badly misled. Before I go any further, let me make it clear that I have no allegiance to any religious group or organization. This writing is not a lecture to offend anyone; it is written in the spirit of unity of Islam.

Back home in Malaysia, I have been reading the recent controversies surrounding aspects of Islam and the interpretation of its laws. Most recently, what has been in the forefront is the debate of are allowed to play in Muslim society, as well as whether a surau can be used for activities other than Muslim prayer.

A google search on “can non-Muslims pray in a masjid?” generates 3.950 million results. There is no shortage of opinion on the Internet. Yet, I feel that although these debates on the Internet have been loud and deafening, there is a lot of shouting and not much listening.

Fatwa are only advisory opinions to guide a Muslim to lead a life according to Islam. The scope and impact of the evolutionary debate seems a far cry from what we observe in debates today about how Islam should be applied in the daily life of Muslims. For anybody to accept or reject everything wholesale smacks of hubris. And when it comes to religion, I find it incredible that people forget how easy and common it is for humans to make mistakes, to misunderstand and misconstrue, as we have done in affairs far more mundane in our history.

Beside, there are much more important issues confronted by Islam today, which demand our energies and collective efforts. The intention here is the unity amongst Muslim communities of a particular region, country or city.I would like to make it clear that the purpose of my campaign is not to belittle those with different point of view.

In Islam we are all brothers, we all need to get together and give in to each other’s reasoning. My aim is not to just blame some and praise some; my dream is to see Muslims united in their individual communities. Brother in faith, it is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is all about our continuous and sustained quest for truth and our burning desire to unite Islam without compromising its very foundations and its true spirit.

Whether we like it or not, we often become prejudiced to our opinions. The way forward is to shed our pride and self-complacency and to be humble in our subjugation to one God and his prophet and his teachings. 

Note:- My prayer goes to all Muslims in Egypt...Amin

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