1. Disunity Among Muslims

It is a fact that Muslims today, are divided amongst themselves. The tragedy is that such divisions are not rooted in the Islamic sources, but are later accretions to the understanding of Islam.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“And hold fast, All together, by the rope

Which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves;”

[Al-Qur’an 3:103]

The rope of Allah that is being referred to in this verse is the Glorious Qur’an, the revelation from God Almighty to all humankind.

Islam in fact, prohibits its followers from engaging in sectarian disputes.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“As for those who divide their religion and break up Into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.”

[Al-Qur’an 6:159]

2. No Disagreement on the pillars of Islam

While it may be true that Muslims are divided into several sects, often at odds with each other, a closer scrutiny reveals that there is no disagreement on the fundamental pillars of Islam, among the vast majority of Muslims.

3. Single Identity

The Glorious Qur’an and Prophet (peace be upon him) refers to the followers of Islam as Muslims.

“Who is better in speech Than one who calls (men) To Allah, works righteousness, And says, ‘I am of those Who bow in Islam (Muslim)?’ “

[Al-Qur’an 41:33]

A Muslim is ‘one who submits’. In that sense, earlier prophets and their true followers were also Muslims.

4. Ethics of Disagreement in Islam

The ethics of disagreement are very much a part of the Islamic tradition. Muslims have traditionally accepted the existence of a plurality of opinions on various aspects of their religion. While one may hold a certain opinion to be more authoritative as compared to others, there is nothing in the Islamic sources that encourages a Muslim to disparage the views of others.

It was this acceptance of diversity that was a distinguishing feature of the great Islamic civilization. Muslims now need to revive the ethics of disagreement which was in the past, a hallmark of Islamic thought.