Ramadan Mubarak!

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A Blessed Ramadan to all! May this fast and the worship you offer this month bring great blessings, enlightenment, and mutual cooperation towards what is good.

There is so much disagreement in the Muslim world, so we should all pray for unity between believers, which begins with focusing on the clear priorities in the Quran, those higher issues on which most Muslims agree, rather than quibbling over lesser issues.

No Muslim should call another Muslim kafir, the word for disbeliever, unless they are a leader or public figure with a clear record of oppression and enmity towards other Muslims. But for either Sunni or Shi’a Muslims to declare the other entire set of believers to be non-Muslim/ disbelievers/ kafireen, is an egregious sin. The principles should be simply faith in Allah as One, faith in the Quran as a Divine message and in Prophet Mohammad as Allah’s messenger, and in the truths and admonitions/ declarations of the Quran. This means all Muslims will not only pray, but face Makkah, the same direction, and fast for Ramadan as well as go on a pilgrimage to Makkah if possible. That we can now calculate the times of these actions astronomically should further bring the overall “body” of Muslims together.

Sadly, human nature, politics, and other factors have conspired to keep Muslims divided. In fact, any differences pale in comparison to the harm done by such quibbling. Some issues, such as the veracity and viability of certain hadeeths ascribed to Prophet Mohammad, or the rejection of the entire body of hadeeths by Quranists, or arguments over whether or not it is permissible to consider an interpretation of the Quran or aspect of faith that does not conform with specific “traditional” interpretations/ tafseer — all these are actually significant issues. Even the timing of Ramadan, which should not be an issue, is also a point of contention. If we could all agree on the basic principles, perhaps the lesser points would lose some of their prominence.

Unity of the Ummah (overall body of Muslims) should be in all of our du’as and efforts this month insha’Allah.

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