“Believers Are Nothing But Brothers (And Sisters)”: Ashura Should Bring Us Together

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

Thinking and praying for you during this sad time. Imam Hussein was and still is beloved to all of us. May Allah bless us with the character and beauty of Ahl-ul-Bayt. Amen.

This is the text I sent to my Shi’i Muslim brother (and neighbor) on Ashura. Thanks be to God, I mustered enough courage to fast the day, which is typically very difficult for me outside of the month of Ramadan. I pray that God accepted my fast.

But, even though it was quite likely that my Shi’i brother and I were commemorating Ashura differently (as I am Sunni), I wanted to make sure I reached out to him, because I know this is a sad day for he and his family.

Too many times, all over the world, we hear and see of attacks by Muslim savages against their own Muslim brothers who are Shi’i. These savages do not even spare mosques, and there have been numerous attacks on Shi’i mosques. This is completely unacceptable, and it is a direct violation of the clear commandments of the Qur’an:

And do not take any human being’s life – [the life] which has God has willed to be sacred – otherwise than in [the pursuit] of justice. (17:33)

All believers are brothers (and sisters). Hence, [whenever they are at odds] make peace between your brothers and remain conscious of God, so that you might be graced with His mercy (49:10).

These directives can’t be more clear, and the fact that there are people who can so blatantly attack innocent people, not sparing their houses of worship, continues to baffle me, whatever the faith of the perpetrator and victim.

Such horrors should never, ever come to our shores here in America. Such division should never, ever rear its ugly head here. Yes, our theologies may be different; yes, we may disagree on various rulings of Islamic law; yes, our political theories may also be radically different. Those differences, however, should never, ever lead to division, rancor, or even violence. Never.

No matter how Sunni and Shi’i differ, we share one thing: “There is nothing worthy of worship except God, and Muhammad (pbuh) is His Messenger.” This phrase, this statement is worth more than all that this earth has to offer.

The Prophet (pbuh) said repeatedly one day, “To where will you go from La Ilaha Illa Allah on the Day of Resurrection?” That should always remain in the forefront of our minds: the Shi’i are our brothers in faith, and – as the Qur’an says – we must make peace with them at all times.

Indeed, these principles have been abandoned in so many parts of the Muslim world. But, we cannot abandon them here. We cannot let the stupid conflicts over there come and defile our communities over here. We must be better than that, in gratitude to God for the tremendous gift of being American Muslims with the freedom to worship God as He should be worshiped.

It did not take long for my Shi’i brother to respond to my Ashura text:

Ameen. Thank you for sharing your sentiments, means a great deal.

And the warmth in heart soared when I learned that such a small gesture meant so much to him, and I am grateful to God that He inspired me to reach out on Ashura.

I pray that our Ummah is spared from the ugliness of sectarian rancor and violence. I pray that our Ummah can see lasting peace and prosperity in our lifetimes. And I pray that, whatever we did on Ashura, God showered us with His infinite and everlasting Love, Care, and Grace. Amen.


3 thoughts on ““Believers Are Nothing But Brothers (And Sisters)”: Ashura Should Bring Us Together

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