Throughout history many attempts were made by both major Muslim groups Sunni and Shi’a towards Muslim Unity. Some success could be seen but overall the prospects of true Muslim unity seem to diminish so long as both sides continues on the same path and the cynical perceptions of each other. To further shed some light on this bitter dispute among these major Muslim sects I came across a “Journal” dedicated to Muslim Unity called “altaqrib” which reflects the Shi’a Muslim approach and perception of the method of achieving Muslim unity. I found many articles worth reading. I will post some articles written by Some respectful Shia scholars in order to have a good look at the shi’a stand point from this dispute. I will not post such articles in its entirety because they are very long rather I will post part of it and if anyone desires the entire article please provide your email and I will attach the entire journal of this topic.
Here is the first article:
Islamic Welfare and Muslim Unity in the Path of Imam Ali (as)
Dr. Shihab aldin alhussaini
Researcher from Iraq
Translated By Adill Hissan
Wisdom dictates that a researcher should not be influenced by his own inherited intellectual mindset which could cause him to prejudge the various events and issues. And he should not analyze issues and events through his own sectarian vision. Therefore I will study the life of Imam Ali (as) through the common religious teachings and interpretations which are agreed upon by the various Muslim sects and schools of thought in order to make it the common pivot for guidance among all parties and to walk along its path.
The peaceful opposition towards the outcome of Saqifa (a)
A group from among the Helpers (al-ansar), and the Migrants, (al-muhajirin), have met in the Saqifa, of bani Sa’ida. After many hours of deliberations and discussions a group from among the Migrants along with some of the Helpers, has rushed to offer their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-sidi’q and then the nomination was announced. However some other members of al-muhajirin did not agree with this nomination of Abu bakr and hence did not offer their allegiance – instead they were in favor of Imam Ali (as) (1).
Consequently, Imam Ali expressed his objection to the nomination of Abu Bakr, and he refused the calls of those who demanded his allegiance to the newly elected leader. It is worth noting here that his opposition was peaceful. In addition he wasted no time to clearly indicate and express his opinion regarding the issue of the succession to Prophet Muhammad and the ascension to the leadership of Muslims. This was in accordance with standards and norms in respect to the concept of opposition, which are within the political and moral guidelines of a leadership race in any society. And to highlight some of Imam Ali’s statements of opposition to the nomination of Abu Bakr, he states:
“I have more rights to this matter than all of you, and I shall not offer my allegiance to you, rather you ought to offer your allegiance to me. Surely you have stripped this matter from the ansar under the pretext of your blood relationship to the messenger of Islam (saawws) and then you stripped us of this matter by force. So I would argue and dispute about this matter with the same evidence (or pretext) which you have presented against al-ansar” (2)
So in the midst of these charged circumstances, Imam Ali has directed the attention of the Migrants to the true criteria and attributes which indicate who is the most worthy to succeed the Prophet of God in accordance with the tenets of religion and intellectual principles. This situation can be seen when Imam Ali addressed the Muhajirin, and said:
“By God O people of Muhajirin, verily we have more rights to this matter than you. Surely you shall find none among us except a reciter of Allah’s book, and a jurist in Allah’s religion, and scholars of the Sunna of Allah’s messenger, and those experienced in the affairs of his subjects and who repels from them evil and distributes among them equally, by God such a person is from among us..”(3)
Certainly Imam Ali’s opposition to the nomination of Abu Bakr is within his natural rights and in accordance with the substantive circumstances and based upon the various justifications which grant him the right to express his opposition, and to call upon others for his nomination. And if we were to tolerate all the points of dispute related to these justifications, which are believed to be sufficient in granting him all the rights to succeed the messenger of God in terms of interpretations (ta’wil), and explanations (tafsir), and if instead we intend to hold on to the major points of agreement among the companions, we shall find that Imam Ali’s opposition to the Shura or to its outcome do not extend beyond the norms of what any dispute may merit in terms of balanced requests and within the reasonable standards of political or social dispute which are known to all. And the most important aspects of these circumstances are the absence of many companions of the prophet and members of bani Hashim, from the meeting of the Saqifa. Therefore, they did not participate in the process of nomination of Shura (b), and Imam Ali has alluded to it when he said:
“If you were nominated by Shura and given authority over Muslims, then why are the main members who are to be consulted in this Shura, absent?” (4)
In all the areas and issues of dispute, we find Imam Ali is dedicated to preserving primary human principles and religious tenets in accordance with the etiquette of methods of opposition and constructive dialogue or discussion. And his stand on the leadership issue did not extend beyond the notion of highlighting his understandable rights to the leadership. This can be seen when he stated to Abu Bakr:
“We were of the belief that we have the right to this matter, so you have committed tyranny against us regarding this matter”; then the Imam continued addressing Abu Bakr and reminded him of his (Ali’s) kinship to the messenger of Islam and the rights of ahlulbait upon all Muslims. The Imam spoke these words until Abu Bakr began to cry.” (5)
************************for the rest of this article and more like this please ask for the entire Journal to be emailed to you as an attachment.