All Praise is for Allaah Lord of all the creation and May His peace and Blessings be upon is last Prophet Muhammad and upon the Prophet's family and upon the companions and on all those who follow the path of guidance until the last day.
We see that the Muslim Ummah is in a divided and fragmented state and that this division is prohibited in Islaam. Rather Allaah has enjoined upon us to hold onto the rope of Allaah , which we established is the Qur'aan and the Sunnah as understood by the Companions . But how did we reach this state in the first place, what causes disunity?
Shirk- Associating partners in worship with Allaah
Without doubt one of the major causes for people splitting up the religion and leaving holding on to the rope of Allaah is shirk. This is the grave sin of ascribing partners with Allaah in worship. Today throughout the world there are numerous examples of shirk amongst the Ummah, such as those who call upon the dead in the grave. Allaah says:
"And invoke not besides Allaah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zālimūn (polytheists and wrong-doers)." [Surah Yunus Verse 106]
Verily Allaah has created us to worship Him alone, as He says:
"And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)." [Surah Adh-Dhariyat Verse 56]
So the one who gives worship to other than Allaah has he not committed the most severe sin. Allaah says:
"Verily! Allaah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, has indeed strayed far away." [Surah An-Nisa Verse 116]
It is reported that Ibn Masood asked the Prophet :
"Which is the Greatest sin?" The Prophet said: "That you set up a rival for Allaah, While He is the one who created you." [Bukhaaree]
O noble reader it will not be hidden from you that throughout the world Muslims are stooped in such practices of calling upon the dead saint in the grave, asking him to remove their difficulty whether it be Abdul Qaadir al Jeelanee or al Badawee or other people who's graves have been made places of worship. How can unity be achieved amongst the Muslims when some Muslims can not unify their worship for Allaah alone? O noble reader consider the following, how many Muslims:
Wear Amulets and charms, despite the Prophet saying: "Whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk." [Ahmad]
Read astrology in magazines or go to fortune tellers, despite the Prophet saying:
"Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and asks him something and believes in his words, will have his prayers rejected for forty days." [Muslim]
So while all these non-Islaamic beliefs and practices are present amongst the Muslims how can unity take place? Is not our first obligation to give da'wah to those Muslims who are stooped in these practices? Thereby calling to tawheed as all 124,000 Prophets from Aadam to the Prophet did. They all began their call to the people with Tawheed - worshipping Allaah alone.
Having incorrect beliefs
Another major reason for disunity is the wide range of beliefs prevalent amongst the Muslims. Despite us having the same Qur'aan and the same Prophet , Muslims still have different beliefs. Why is this? If we all are referring back to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah in every matter then why the differences. Allaah says:
"(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger , if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. [Surah An-Nisa Verse 59]
So verily O noble reader imagine if every Muslim acted upon this ayah - would there be any differences then? NO except maybe in the issues of fiqh, such as the prayer. But our beliefs and methodology would be one, so why is this not the case? It is because many Muslims today do not refer every issue back to Allaah and His Messenger , rather they ask their local Imaam or their parents or refer it back to their madhab.
Know O noble reader that the first thing that all the Prophets called to was the rectification of the beliefs, before calling to the Islaamic state or to Jihaad, the first thing was purifying the beliefs of the Muslim. So how can we have unity while there are Muslims who believe:
That Allaah is everywhere, despite Allaah saying:
"They fear their Lord Who is above them, and they do what they are commanded." [Surah An-Nahl Verse 50]
That the Prophet was not human and was made from light, despite Allaah saying:
"Say (O Muhammad ): "I am only a human being like you. It is inspired in me that your Ilāh (God) is One Ilaah (God - Allaah)" [Surah Fussilat Verse 6]
That the saying of an Imaam should be acted upon over the hadeeth, despite Allaah saying:
"And let those who oppose the Messenger's (Muhammad ) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. [Surah An-Nur Verse 63]
That Imaan does not increase or decrease, despite the Prophet saying:
"Imaan has seventy odd or sixty odd branches. The most virtuous of them is the statement, 'There is none worthy of worship except Allaah', and the slightest of them is to remove something harmful from the road. And hayaa is a branch of Imaan." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]
Bid'ah - Innovations in the religion
Another cause for disunity and not holding fast to the rope of Allaah is the occurrence of innovations in this Ummah.
Allaah has informed us in the Qur'aan that He has completed this religion of Islaam for us as He says:
"This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion." [Surah Al-Ma'idah Verse 3]
Since the religion is complete how can it be that we need to add new things and ways of worship to Islaam? Whatever was not part of the religion at the time of the Prophet can not be accepted as a part of the religion now. The Prophet has warned us against adding new things to the religion when he said:
"Whoever Innovates in this affair of ours that which is not from it will have it rejected." [Muslim]
The people who propose unity at all costs have a saying that 'An innovation that unites us is better than a Sunnah which divides'.
SubhanAllaah look at such a statement O noble reader, innovations are grave and serious and a cause for entering the fire as he said:
"... and every innovation is mis-guidance and all mis-guidance is in the Hellfire." [Reported by an-Nasaa'ee (1/224)]
So if someone said to you look there is a fire over there lets all hold hands and unify and then go in to it, you would think they were crazy! So how can we come together upon something as dangerous as innovations, such as the innovations of mystics, who practice all kinds of weird and innovated invocations, which at times involve switching off the lights or chanting one of Allaah's name so that after some time what they are chanting is unrecognizable as a name of Allaah . Or the innovations of those who take their scholars as 'spiritual leaders' giving their allegiance to them and 'selling' themselves to these 'scholars' obeying everything they say. How O noble reader can unity occur amongst all the Muslims as long as these practices, which have nothing to do with Islaam, keep occurring?
Blind following and Partisanship
This is one of the most evil of occurrences today and a major cause for disunity. Muslims are following their madhabs or their scholars over and above the Sunnah of the Prophet despite Allaah saying:
"And whosoever opposes the Messenger (Muhammad ) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!" [Surah an-Nisaa 4:115]
When you tell Muslims that 'you should do this because it says so in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah', they reply 'well that's not what it says in my madhab' or 'that's not what my Shaykh says'. SubhanAllaah, O noble reader why did Allaah send us His final Messenger if it was not to teach us the religion of Islaam.
"But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission." [Surah an-Nisaa Verse 65]
No Muslim will openly say I am disobeying the Prophet , but how many of us ask for the proof on issues of beliefs and practices and look to see what is the truth.
Another problem is the setting up of groups and parties with members, then being loyal only to that party, believing in the beliefs and aims of that party - not questioning it. Allaah has warned against this:
"And be not of Al-Mushrikoon (polytheists). Of those who split their religion, and became sects, each group rejoicing in that which is with it." [Surah Ar-Rum Verse 31 to 32]
Setting up groups is a cause for disunity and spreads hatred amongst the Muslims so that a Muslim from one group will not give salaam to a Muslim from another group just because they belong to different groups. Or a group from one masjid will not like Muslims from another masjid to come and pray in their mosque. All this stems from partisanship and it divides the Ummah. Unity will not occur whilst Muslims are in this state rather unity will occur when an end is put to partisanship (hizbiyyah) and Muslims love each other because they are all have the same aims, beliefs and practices.
The Means for Revival
Having looked at the reason why we are so divided, the question now arises as to what the means for reviving this Ummah are. Allaah has given us the means for the revival of this Ummah, when He says:
"Verily! Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves." [Surah Ra'd Verse 11]
The Prophet also said:
"When you involve yourselves in interest bearing business transactions, and you hold on to the tails of cows, and you are pleased with agriculture (i.e. the land) and you abandon making Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah, Allaah will send humiliation down upon you. He will not remove it from you until you return back to your Religion." [Abu Dawood and al-Bayhaqee]
So this humiliation that Muslims are under will not be removed from us until we return back to the religion of Islaam. So what is the religion of Islaam if not Tawheed, having the correct Aqeedah, worshipping Allaah correctly? So should we not start our revival with these issues.
So just as the condition of the Arabs during the Days of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah) was not rectified except by the coming of their Prophet Muhammad with revelation from the heavens, which aided them in this world and which will save them in the next, then know O noble reader the foundation that the Islaamic revival must be built upon in this time, is nothing else but the return to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, as implemented by the noble companions.
We know from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger that the way towards realizing this revival is only one way, and it is the way which Allaah has mentioned in His saying:
"And verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path." [Surah Al-An'am Verse 153]
The Messenger of Allaah explained this to his Companions . Thus, one day he drew a straight line for them on the ground and then drew short lines on the sides of it. Then, while his noble finger moved up and down the straight line, he recited the aforementioned verse. Then he pointed to the lines that were drawn on the sides of the straight line and said:
"This is the Path of Allaah and these are the (other) paths. At the top of each of these (other) ways, there is a devil calling towards it." [Authentic hadeeth, graded in Dhilaal-ul-Jannah fee Takhreej-is Sunnah(16-17)]
Furthermore, Allaah says:
"And whosoever opposes the Messenger (Muhammad ) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!" [Surah an-Nisaa Verse 115]
In this ayah there is profound and extensive wisdom, for Allaah , has connected the "the believers' way" to what the Messenger came with. The Messenger has (also) indicated this point in the hadeeth about the splitting up of the Ummah into sects. When he was asked concerning the saved sect, he responded: "That which (adheres to what) I and my companions are upon today."
What then is the wisdom behind Allaah's mentioning of "the believers' way" in this ayah? And what is the significance in the Messenger of Allaah's linking of his companions to himself in the previous hadeeth?
The answer is: These noble Companions were the ones who received the two revelations (i.e. the Qur'aan and Sunnah) from the Messenger of Allaah , having that explained to them by him directly, without there being any intermediary. They best knew how to implement the Sunnah, so after knowing this O noble reader can any Islaamic revival take place when the way of the Companions is abandoned and not adhered to, rather No it can not. For us to revive Islaam and bring unity to the Muslims we must adopt the way and example of the Noble Companions .
Imaam Maalik (rahima-hullaah) said:
"The latter part of this Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified its former part." [ash-Shifaa of Qaadee 'Iyyaadh, (2/676)]
So it will be clear to the reader that the only way to revive the Ummah is to return every affair of the Muslim back to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah as understood and implemented by the best generation, the Companions . To believe as they believed, to worship as they worshipped, to look like them, to give da'wah in the way they gave it. Then only will we be united and have a true Islaamic revival.
SO DEAR NOBLE BROTHERS AND SISTERS YOUR LORD
"Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allaah's Reminder (this Qur'aan), and that which has been revealed of the truth." [Surah Al-Hadid Verse 16]