In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
It seems, to be honest, that we are compelled to go for a long walk towards the path of restructuring the collective Shia mentality so that it becomes aware of the true meanings of some of the concepts and the headlines at stake here and there.
There is indeed a degree of confusion that is surrounding, and at times overwhelming, the broad Shia frame of mind. Such confusion is having the upper hand in blocking the projects that may achieve the desired resurgence of Shia Imamis.
Today we find ourselves amid widespread talk of “unity”, or specifically “Islamic Unity”. The “Islamic Unity” slogan is a great and noble ambition, no doubt that we all agree on the need to strive to achieve it. However, we need first of all to ask ourselves about the meaning of this unity, the nature of this Islamic unity and its features, and these, to be precise, are points we have not agreed upon.
Each party has its concept of this unity, and this in itself makes the subject matter of unity among Muslims an issue most Muslims find themselves divided on.
You can find many of those who call for “Unity”, who are far and away from It. Some callers of unity use this title only as a slogan, a catchphrase, and use it when their interests require that, or vice versa. Is it not ironic that some of those voices calling for Islamic unity are at the same time the ones who refuse – as evidenced by their actions and marketing materials – “unity” among the followers of Ahlu Al Bayt (Peace be upon them) themselves?
Is it not ironic that they are willing to throw away many texts against the wall to please the other side by the pretext of unity? Yet, and meanwhile, they put barriers that prevent the construction of any way for the Shia to meet and build unity among themselves.
Just look at them, they are fully prepared to offer concessions after concessions to achieve the alleged “unity” with the other side, even if that makes them issue verdicts like:
- It is permissible to pray behind the ‘Sunnis’ as a group or in a congregation (despite that this certainly is an invalid prayer, because, in it, one is being led in prayer by an Imam who does not meet the criteria of justice)
- Issuing clearance to prostrate on the carpet (despite that prostrating on the carpet or edible and wearable materials makes the prayer invalid)
- Folding the hands by placing the right hand over the left during prayer (despite that the folding of the hands is an innovation of the one who hit and abused our Mistress, Al Zahra)
- Unconsidering the prayer timing (despite that non-care of the timing of prayer means that prayer is not rewarding because the time has not arrived yet)
However, they justify all this by saying:
The need for Islamic unity requires such wavering, overlooking and compromising in the laws and values.
Well then! Let us look at the matter from another perspective: They refuse to fully give permission to pray behind the scholar who is just, pious and Shia so long as he does not accept to endorse their school of jurisprudence and refuses to recognize their political theory which they believe is a mandate imposed on all Muslims; i.e Wilayat al-Faqih!
They refuse fully to give up their mistreatment of someone who disagrees with their views, even if he would be a representative of our Final Imam (peace be upon him), and so they torture him and accuse him of employment by foreign countries.
Don’t they know that this injustice is what creates animosity in the soul and prevents the achievement of unity among the Shia?
They fully refuse to waive any of these political causes of discord in the Shia community that divide it against itself, between those who believe that religion is based on five principles of doctrine – as decided by our Imams (peace be upon them) – and those who believe that religion is based on six principles of doctrine, where which the sixth doctrinal principle is “the Mandate of the Wilayat Al-Faqih “, as decided by their curriculum in their Hawza institutions and stated in the books taught in schools linked to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
How amazing is that? You see them cry over the slogans of “unity” among Muslims on the one hand; while they are turning their backs to those who invite them to achieve the first unity with the brothers who share with them the same doctrine of loyalty to the people of House of the Prophet (peace be upon them)!
This equation of turning their backs to those who do not endorse the Wilayat Al Faqyih, but who share the same loyalty to the House of the Prophet (Peace be upon them), has exposed the truth behind such void calls for unity. The call is worthless, useless, empty and pointless. It is a placebo or an excuse that was intended to achieve political gains in the courtyard of the other party only, albeit at the expense of the rulings of the religion of Allah Almighty and the teachings of his Viceregents (blessings and peace be upon them all).
Those callers for unity are so desperate to appease the so-called ‘Sunnis’ that they have transgressed the doctrines of the true faith. They even direct blame at those who subscribe to the values and teachings and rulings of the true faith and emphasize them, claiming that such observances, ways, and services contribute to the widening of the gap between Shias and the so-called ‘Sunnis’.
For example, those of us committed to the third element in the testimony of faith,
I testify that Ali is the Viceregent of Allah
and who broadcast it through minarets, pulpits or Hussaini platforms, appear in their eyes as “prejudiced, chauvinistic sectarians”.
Additionally, those talking about the grievances of Al Zahra (blessings and peace upon her) appears to them as a violator of Islamic unity! Just see and ask about what happened a few years ago in Qum, when authorities prevented a memorial service to commemorate the martyrdom of Muhassin, son of Ali (blessings of Allah be on them).
They realized that this memorial service will imply a clear condemnation of the leaders of misguidance and the rulers of injustice who caused our Lady’s miscarriage and martyrdom! We would wish that they merely prevented this service, but rather, the organizers got arrested, imprisoned and interrogated! And where? To the vicinity of the nest of the Family of Mohammed (peace be upon them), in the Holy city of Qum!
Indeed, there is no daring statement by them similar to the one by their late symbols, who described the common Shia act of clinging and holding to the shrines of the Holy Family of the Prophet, the resorting to the holy tombs and the reciting of supplications under their domes as “pursuant to Jahiliya!” He recommended:
The brothers, the Iranians and all of the Shias in the world must avoid such ignorant acts that lead to disunity and disharmony among the Muslims, and they have to participate in groups with the ‘Sunnis’ and to avoid doing their congregational prayers at home.
How did self throwing on the graves of Allah’s best creation become according to Jahiliya and contrary to the Divine Law? How did he justify this to himself to say what he said?
All of this for the sake of the “unity” that they never stop chasing? Let this type of unity go to Hell to abide there. A unity that is built upon the image that shows the Shias redressing and adjusting their beliefs, abandoning their loyalty, rituals and rulings of their religion, is a unity we can do without.
Then we wonder, but why wonder, if we can see in another commandment of his numerous commandments when he called to pay attention to the authorships of Ibn Arabi, Mullah Sadra, Sayed Qutub and other advocators of falsehood from among the Imams of deviation who propagated mysticism and Pantheism.
He praised Ibn Arabi, Mulla Sadra and Sayed Qutub in words that were highly refined. His adoration of them only indicates that, in terms of doctrine in Monotheism, they share similar platforms.
It is time for this false mask to be removed, it is time to realize that these calls, slogans and catchphrases did not come, but on two grounds:
- The basis of the politics
- The requirements of politics to be a schemer, trickster and a flirter, but they do not call it as such, but rather they call it pragmatism.
Political interests have imposed a gloomy, if not a miserable, reality that distorted the path of belief and made the doctrine serve the interests of political regimes.
This has opened the door to several changes that can lead to a new or innovated “Islam” as in the case had been on that day when the crackdown on the legitimacy of Allah took place, on the Black day of Saqqeefa when an innovated forged Islam emerged.
Ironically, they used as evidence: the verse:
Hold onto the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves.
We see them use this verse as a justification for abandoning the fundamentals of belief, rituals and conditions. Do they not know that what was meant by the Rope of Allah is the power, command and Authority of the Commander of the Faithful and the Pure Imams (peace be upon them)?
Do not they know that the Rope of Allah was meant to be the Divine Authority of Ali (peace be upon him)?
Did not they listen to the words of Imam al-Baqir (peace be upon him) when he said in his interpretation of that verse:
The Almighty Allah knew that they will be divided after their Prophet and that they would dispute, so he forbade them to disperse and as he forbade the ones before them, thereby, he ordered them to meet on and endorse the Mandate of the Family of Muhammad (peace be upon them) and not be disunited. The Family of Muhammad is the Rope of Allah.
What is our crime or guilt if the so-called ‘Sunnis’ have drifted away from the Rope of Allah and discarded it behind their backs? Are we meant to leave the Rope of the Divine Authority and hold on to the threads woven by the hands of the people of the infamous Saqeefah, the Umayyads and the likes of them to satisfy them and achieve the alleged unity?
We want to be clear that we are not against the idea of unity for the sake of being anti-unity, but rather we see that unity among Muslims is achievable only through the eyes of the Holy Household (peace be upon them).
It should not be based on the demolition of Shia values and beliefs. It should not be based on compromises that suit the taste of the so-called ‘Sunnis’.
We could have a “political unity” that does not compromise religious beliefs and principles, a unity that states that each side has the right to his convictions and all parties could coexist peacefully in a diverse society.
We can build measures that allow for positive cooperation for our respective communities to develop socially, economically, educationally etc.
We can have “unity” on the basis that we have our faith, and others have their faith. We call for the Mandate of the People of the House (peace be upon them), and they can call for their ancestors’ Mandate, the Mandate of Saqeefa, all in the spirit of freedom of expression, civil law and multi-faith coexistence.
We extend a hand of cooperation to achieve the common good and public interest, and we hope they welcome this extended hand. We are obliged to stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone in the face of external threats, and it is upon the other side to approve it.
With such equations, we can achieve true unity, the unity that leads to the development of the Islamic society, without the need for any party to neglect his ideological and intellectual standing points. Additionally, if we want to expand on the concept of unity, we should see it creating an atmosphere of mutual dialogue and freedom of speech so that individuals may become able to make their own religious choices without prejudice.
In other words, people should be able to decide for themselves if the right Mandate was with the Holy Household (peace be upon them) or with others.
That indeed would encourage everyone to return to the Mandate of Allah and the Mandate of his Viceregents (peace be upon them). This is the “Unity” that is demanded from us by Allah, and this is the “Unity” that paves the way towards the emergence of the Master, the Imam of our Time (peace and blessings of Allah upon him).
As for the kind of “Unity” that is being marketed in Shia circles whereby we give up our faith, its foundations, provisions and narrations to achieve political gains, this is a kind of unity that we reject, and we do not want the others from the School of ‘the Companions’ to bear the same conditions as well.
Those who market this kind of “Unity” are people who should know that there will be a day when they will meet the Prophet and the Imams (peace and blessings upon them), and at that moment, I wonder how they will answer when asked:
How did you cast away our rulings and teachings for worldly gains? What made you lick the boots of those who deny our Mandate, and what led you to refrain from supporting the true cause of the Holy Household (peace be upon them)? What made you stop identifying our oppressed rights and introducing it to others? Most crucially, what made you stop declaring dissociation from those who oppressed us and murdered us?
I wonder: Will they have a reply then?
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib