Allah says “Hold tightly to the rope of Allah and let nothing divide you. Remember the favours he has bestowed upon you. How he united your hearts when you were enemies, so that you are now brothers by his grace. And how he saved you from the brink of fire” (Ale Imran: 102).
A remarkable outcome of the application of the Islamic teachings is proactive, lively and independently minded individuals. Islam thus empowers men and women to unleash their God given potential. This independent individual declares himself the Khalifatullah, the vicegerent, the representative of God on earth.
He believes in the beautiful mould in which Allah has created us. He is confident about the honour and dignity, which he has been crowned with. Islam gives him this strength of character to know exactly where he stands, where he is going, what is his destination, so he can loudly and proudly say to others. He has the self-mastery to avoid the temptations of the Shaitan. He has the self-discipline to be able to reject his lowly desires and to control his whims and passions. This is the independence and freedom one gets by saying, ‘Laila ha illallah Muhammad ur rasool Allah’.
This independence is the foundation of unity and interdependence. Unity and interdependence is the choice that only independent people can make. Which is capable of building rich, enduring and productive relationships with other people. This unity then leads to possibilities for geometrically increased productivity for serving, for contributing, for learning, for growing. A remarkable feature of the Islamic teachings is the ability to create proactive, lively, independent individuals.
Islam empowers the individual to exercise his independence and creative ability. For man he is the Khalifatullah (the representative of God). He is the beautiful, the strong and powerful to face the Shaitan and foil his plans and overcome his temptations and avoid his seductions. Strong enough to see through weaknesses of his own whims and passions, so he becomes the master of himself. So he does not succumb to his desires but has self-control. Independent – True Muwahid – free from shirk of every kind this is the independence and freedom that we get by saying ‘Laila ha illallah Muhammad ur rasool Allah’.
Unity must be based on principles. The Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the flag bearer of guidance, it is the distributor of divine mercy. It must stand up against every evil and tyranny. It’s important for Muslims to stand up against all idols, its role is to turn people to the house of Allah. The Ummah must remain alive for this great purpose. This is only possible through unity. This unity must not be superficial. Blown away by storm or gail force winds of materialism and our whims. It must be permanent and real unity. These verses teach us the nature of unity and make it clear that its foundation is the Quran and to live by the Quran we must understand it. Qurtabi says, “Allah has told us to hold fast the rope of the Quran and Sunnah for our beliefs and deeds. This is the only source of our unity, the only means of gaining this gift of unity.” Before the advent of Islam the Arabs were bitterly divided, one tribe against the other, one clan against the other. Passions were so high that rivers of blood would flow; even minor conflicts would flare into major battles.
They are being reminded of their mutual enmity. Once the fire of hate was lit then it would burn for decades. The Aus and the Khazarij fought with one another for over 120 years. Until the dawn of Islam came to Madinah. The coming of the Prophet (peace be upon him) changed all this, the revelation of the Quran transformed all this, the light of Islam put an end to this darkness of ignorance.
- Love instead of hatred
- Kindness instead of cruelty
- Forgiveness instead of revenge
- Sacrifice instead of selfishness
- Humility instead of arrogance
- Gentleness instead of anger
This was Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) revolution, which changed the face of Arabia. It was the blessings of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) morals that changed the desert nomads. Here Allah reminds the Arabs of this Divine gift through which broken hearts were united. He rescued you from disgrace and humiliation and blessed you with honour and saved you from the hell fire. Remember this divine blessing. Hold fast to Allah’s rope and don’t be divided. The first people addressed were the Sahabah (the disciples of the Prophet). Allah joint their hearts, the Sahabah were stood on the brink of the fire and they were saved.
How to get unity?
The next verse talks about the process of building unity:
1. There must be a group who invite to goodness.
2. “Each one has a goal to which one turns. So compete with one another in good works. And wherever you maybe Allah will bring you together” (Al Baqarah: 148).
3. Creative cooperation
4. Attest, confirm and ratify goodness wherever you see it.
Taqwa; holding to Allah’s rope, unity, brotherhood can only be achieved if there is an organised group dedicated to guiding others. Its role is to invite people to goodness and to warn against evil. Obviously those who have knowledge of the Glorious Quran and those who understand the Sunnah can only do this role of guiding others. They also must have the appropriate skills and wisdom of doing this noble work, they know when, how and what to say. Here at Karimia Institute we are striving to become that group.