Islam versus Sunni and Shi’a
Sermon#5-“… turn away from the path of dissension..”
Here Imam Ali has identified the dangerous path, should the Muslims get engaged in this dispute; leadership succession, and he called it to be the path of dissension. As an Imam of Muslims who is aware of his position and responsibility, he recognized such path of dispute would have dangerous consequences on the future of Islam and Muslim unity, so he asked the Muslims to turn away from this path.
Such path would lead its followers to various paths, none of which represent the path towards Allah’s pleasure because such paths are not within the shadow of the mercy of Allah.
These kinds of paths are susceptible to man made ideas and thoughts which are not sanctioned by the Lord of this universe, for they are governed and influenced by human vices and desires which seeks its knowledge from the lower realm of existence; the world of vanishing matter; amusement and game.
It is worth mentioning here that in the original Arabic passage of Imam Ali’s sermon#5, the word “dissension” which is rendered here, was “Munafara” which, according to “Lisan Al-‘Arabs” literally means; “repulsion; intellectual contest to score points or desire to claim intellectual victory against the other side”
The choice of such term by Imam Ali is so concise and very much foretells the current situation of Sunni and Shi’as, and it represent the never ending intellectual dispute among them. Clearly engaging in these paths will lead to repulsion and disunity; and sure it did.
As Imam Ali had described it to be “Munafara” we find each side has a great desire to refute each other’s ideas and their continuous attempts to expose each other’s dirty laundry. Imam Ali has warned Muslims from the consequences of this dispute right from the beginning of these events. Such desire of dispute will feed on the various elements of the human lower realm of existence; seeking power, prestige which ultimately will encourage such people to resort to more lethal methods in achieving their proclaimed rights. Consequently it will cause sectarian violence of which we are already in the midst.
So Imam Ali is commanding Muslims to turn away from such path of arguments and scoring points against the other. But unfortunately, we see Imam Ali’s followers are doing just the opposite.
To be continued