Posted Feb 6, 2010      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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“And it is not conceivable that a believer kill another believer…” Quran 4:92

Sectarian violence has once again reached unprecedented levels in various Muslim majority countries during this past week. Bloodletting continues without reproach in places like Karbala, Iraq and Karachi, Pakistan, where Shia pilgrims were commemorating the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. As the referenced Quranic verse is tossed aside, we are sinking into an abyss of sectarian venom, with brother killing brother.

Let’s face the realities of this gruesome set of massacres. Those who recruited these suicide bombers are too cowardly to show their faces to the Muslim world, as over 100 Muslims were killed by fellow Muslim suicide bombers. For the culprits of these atrocities to play the role of God in determining who is, and who is not a believer, their fate will rest with the Almighty. The enemies of Islam are reprieved from working any more, since Muslims are doing their dirty work.

We call on the Iraqi and Pakistani governments to secure their own peoples. As their national security budgets grow, they continue to spend much of the country’s wealth on weapons and defense. We call on Sunni scholars to speak in one voice condemning this cancerous practice of suicide attacks against Shia Muslims. Scholars and Muslim activists, especially in the Gulf, where anti-Shia rhetoric is endemic to the region, must stand up and make clear that the killing of other Muslims guarantees nothing but misery in this life and the hereafter.

Muslim leaders from around the world signed The Amman Initiative to oppose terrorism and sectarian violence. It is now time to move beyond the rhetoric and demand action.

Muslims in America are blessed by the fact that sectarian division and violence has not raised its ugly head in our communities and we must prevent that from ever happening in the future. That must take place by declaring our stand now—our prayers for the deceased and their families, our demand for justice, and our declaration to maintain the unity of Muslims.


SHIA & SUNNI Unity Resources - article collection

SUMMARY of the Amman Statement on 8 schools of law:  Based on the fatwas provided by these great scholars (who included the Shaykh Al-Azhar; Ayatollah Sistani and Sheikh Qaradawi), in July 2005 CE, H.M. King Abdullah II convened an international Islamic conference of 200 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars ‘Ulama) from 50 countries. In Amman, the scholars unanimously issued a ruling on three fundamental issues (which became known as the ‘Three Points of the Amman Message’):  They specifically recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi’a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash’arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of true Salafi thought, and came to a precise definition of who is a Muslim.  Based upon this definition they forbade takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims.  Based upon the Mathahib they set forth the subjective and objective preconditions for the issuing of fatwas, thereby exposing ignorant and illegitimate edicts in the name of Islam.  These Three Points were then unanimously adopted by the Islamic World’s political and temporal leaderships at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005. And over a period of one year from July 2005 to July 2006, the Three Points were also unanimously adopted by six other international Islamic scholarly assemblies, culminating with the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah, in July 2006. In total, over 500 leading Muslim scholars worldwide as can be seen on this website [click here to see the entire list] unanimously endorsed the Amman Message and its Three Points.  This amounts to a historical, universal and unanimous religious and political consensus (ijma’) of the Ummah (nation) of Islam in our day, and a consolidation of traditional, orthodox Islam. The significance of this is: (1) that it is the first time in over a thousand years that the Ummah has formally and specifically come to such a pluralistic mutual inter-recognition; and (2) that such a recognition is religiously legally binding on Muslims since the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: My Ummah will not agree upon an error (Ibn Majah, Sunan, Kitab al-Fitan, Hadith no.4085).  The specific item in this statement regarding Shia is:  The specific item in this statement is as follows:  1) Whosoever is an adherent of one of the four Sunni Schools of Jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali), the Ja’fari (Shi’i) School of Jurisprudence, the Zaydi School of Jurisprudence, the Ibadi School of Jurisprudence, or the Thahiri School of Jurisprudence is a Muslim. Declaring that person an apostate is impossible. Verily his (or her) blood, honour, and property are sacrosanct. Moreover, in accordance with what appeared in the fatwa of the Honourable and Respectable Shaykh al-Azhar, it is not possible to declare whosoever subscribes to the Ash’ari creed or whoever practices true Sufism an apostate. Likewise, it is not possible to declare whosoever subscribes to true Salafi thought an apostate. Equally, it is not possible to declare as apostates any group of Muslims who believes in Allah the Mighty and Sublime and His Messenger (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) and the pillars of faith, and respects the pillars of Islam and does not deny any necessary article of religion.

Al AZHAR FATWA  -  Summary:  1) Islam does not require a Muslim to follow a particular Madh’hab (school of thought). Rather, we say: every Muslim has the right to follow one of the schools of thought which has been correctly narrated and its verdicts have been compiled in its books. And, everyone who is following such Madhahib [schools of thought] can transfer to another school, and there shall be no crime on him for doing so.  2) The Ja’fari school of thought, which is also known as “al-Shia al- Imamiyyah al-Ithna Ashariyyah” (i.e., The Twelver Imami Shi’ites) is a school of thought that is religiously correct to follow in worship as are other Sunni schools of thought.