Unity, Unity, Unity is the message of this article. If we dig deeper into the common human enterprise, we see Unity at its foundation.

If you believe Allah (SWT) is the only God we must worship; if you believe Allah is the most gracious and the most merciful, and you believe He is the God of all worlds; then unite among the people and don’t divide among them. In Surah Al-Imran we read: “And hold fast all together by the rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves.” [3:103]

Don’t, in the name of the Unity of Allah, or Tawheed, separate among the people. Tawheed is not words that we express by our tongues, but a cosmic vision through which we see and order our life.

Take the example of Prophet Aaron: When Prophet Moses left his people to receive the tablets from Allah, he assigned Aaron to be the leader of the people in his absence. Soon after Moses left, some of his followers ignored his message and started worshipping the golden calf. Aaron did not wage war on them but put all his efforts to keep the community united without diluting the principles of his beliefs. When asked by Moses to explain his actions, Aaron replied: “Truly I feared lest you should say: you have caused a division among the Children of Israel, and you did not respect my word.” [20:94]

Centuries later, Prophet Mohammad (S) would follow the same strategy with his own tribe, Quraish, his staunchest enemy. Quran reminded him from the early days of his message to keep and defend the unity of Quraysh: “For the unity and safety of Quraysh.” [106:1]

Allah is the highest goal or qibla around which people of different colors, languages, ethnicities or other backgrounds are brought together. The most successful way to unite among the people is to choose for them a common and noble purpose that transcends all of them. Is there something higher than Allah (SWT) to be the common goal or qibla? Are there values better than the high values and virtues derived from the beautiful names of Allah to be the common denominator for humanity?

We can learn a lot from history and previous human experiences. Our approach to history is not different from the way we utilize the rearview mirror while driving a car. If we dwell all the time in the past, it will be as if we are looking all the time in the rearview mirror while driving. The end result is definite crash and potential death. Looking in the rearview mirror every now and then is helpful to adjust our movement forward. Similarly, consulting history is also helpful to adjust our present and plan better for our future. The verse from Surah Al-Imran urges the early believers to look into their own history and compare their situation before and after the message: “And remember with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace you became brethren; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire and He saved you from it.” [3:103]

We acquire additional experiences from history. It teaches us through the morals derived from stories and historical accounts, and it elevates our morale. The moral and the morale are both required for guidance of the future: “Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you that you may be guided.” [3:103]

By Dr. Walid Khayr