Praises be to Allah, there are a few (if not many) who are concerned about the unity among the Muslim communities. Lest we forget, the principle of unity is pronounced in numerous verses in the Qur’an, one of them: “O mankind! Lo! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of in the sight of Allah is the best in conduct”. (Quran 49:13)
The history of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the best example for us to follow. He united the Ansaar and Muhajireen; severing a kinship so wonderful between them that it is heartfelt and tearful to read their stories. They love each other ferociously that they will do anything in the name of Islamic brotherhood (ukhuwwah islamiyyah).
I was raised in Malaysia where the majorities are muslims, Islamic Education is practised and knowledge of Islam is easily accessed. When I studied at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), I started mixing up with muslims from other countries; from Arab countries, Pakistan, Indonesia, Europe, China, Kosovo and Africa.
And then, I came to Australia. Suddenly, I am in the minority group. Being a muslim seems more challenging but significant in my life. Meeting other muslims is a beautiful gift. We shook hands and smile brightly to each other. Although we are not that many in numbers, the same belief that there is no God but Allah links us together deep in the heart.
However, we sometimes (or maybe most of the time) forget to observe our good manners. We tend to be suspicious and judge harshly of each other. We also make assumptions (without making sure if it’s true or false) and share them with other people. We even attack verbally especially on each other’s back. These are becoming alarmingly normal in and among the communities, and we are all suffering because of them.
I have met brothers from various backgrounds, and all of them called themselves muslims (those who submit to God). It is not that we are different; it is that we are special in our own way. Remember... We all have strengths, but we also have faults.
So let us wear the ‘unity cap’ and see each other as muslims (even better as brothers or sisters). Let us visit and get to know each other better. Let us find our common grounds. Let us forgive each other of the past mistakes. And let us all start a new page. Then we could find our strength, cover our faults and create a unity for the future Ummah.
Wan Afrah is currently a Psychology student of Adelaide University and Executive Manager of Hidayah Quranic Centre.