One of the factors that can serve as the pivot of Muslim unity is the existence of the Holy Prophet (S). Muslims and Muslim intellectuals should invest their time and efforts on the personality of the Holy Prophet (S), his teachings and Muslims' love for him, with a comprehensive outlook on Islam. Among the factors which can serve as the pivot of this unity and which all Muslims agree about, is following the household of the Holy Prophet (S). All Muslims hold the household of the Holy Prophet (S) in high regard.
Of course, Shia Muslims believe in their imamate and non-Shia people do not consider them as Imams in the same sense as Shia Muslims, yet they consider them among Islamic luminaries and the Holy Prophet’s (S) household. They too believe that our Imams were knowledgeable about Islamic teachings and divine rules. Muslims should be unanimous in implementing the words of the Imams (a.s.) and the Holy Prophet’s (S) household. This is one of the instruments that can be used to achieve unity.
Of course, this is a task that should be carried out by experts. It is an easy and simple task. Experts on hadith and related areas of knowledge know what the requirements are. It is necessary to reach an agreement on the standards of understanding and interpreting hadith, and the standards of verifying the validity of hadith. It is necessary to reach an agreement on hadith narrators. In the past – during the time of the Umayyad Caliphate and particularly during the time of the Abbasid Caliphate – they tried to erase the teachings of the Holy Prophet’s (S) household from the minds of Muslims. For this reason, there are fewer narrations from their time.
A hadith narrator goes about the task of narrating hadith without being favoring a particular person to narrate from. So why would they not narrate from Ja’far ibn Muhammad (a.s.)? It was the governments of Harun, Ma’mun, Mu’tasim, Mutawakkil and other such people that would stand in their way and sometimes they would condemn hadith narrators. Therefore, one of the things that must be done is reaching a common understanding in the areas relating to the requirements of hadith. Religious scholars are responsible in this regard. Muslim intellectuals are also responsible.
It is regrettable that Muslim intellectuals, who should write and make efforts to promote Muslim dignity and to raise the flag of Islam, go after issues that may create discord. It is regrettable that they write and make efforts to foment discord and pitch Muslims against each other. It is regrettable that they level accusations against different people and try to push people out of religion. In this regard, religious scholars have a heavy responsibility to create unity and to fulfill the requirements that are necessary for unity. This responsibility is not limited to religious scholars of one side of the conflict, rather religious scholars of both sides of the conflict are responsible.
Brothers and sisters, sometimes in order to foment discord among both Shia and Sunni people, the enemy uses individuals who bear no grudges. Sometimes in a Shia society a move is made that provokes non-Shia Muslims. The same thing is sometimes done in Sunni societies, which provokes Shia Muslims and fills them with hatred. Who is doing these things? Today all Muslims are faced with the same enemy. However, in an Islamic society we also share the same Book, the same Sunnah, the same Prophet (S), the same Qiblah, the same Ka’bah, the same hajj rituals, the same kinds of worship and the same set of ideological principles.
Of course, there are disagreements among us as well. Scholarly differences of opinion might exist between any two scholars. Moreover, the world of Islam is faced with the same enemy. The issue of Muslim unity is a serious issue. This issue should be treated seriously. Any day that Muslim unity is delayed, the world of Islam has fallen one day behind, and there are certain days that are so important that they affect one’s entire life. You must not let it become too late.
By Allah’s grace, the Islamic Republic has been moving in this direction since the first day. Our magnanimous Imam (may God bestow paradise on him) was the leader on this path and different luminaries, government officials, speakers, writers and organizations throughout the world of Islam also made a lot of efforts. Do not let these efforts go to waste.
I hope Allah the Exalted makes our steps firm, guides our hearts, helps us join hands in unity and brings our hearts closer to each other.1
The day on which the Holy Prophet’s (S) Be’that took place is definitely the greatest day in the history of mankind. It was the day on which the most outstanding and the noblest concepts and values were born. Be’that of the Holy Prophet (S) was a movement that helped humanity achieve individual and spiritual perfection on one hand and social reforms and improvement on the other hand. The issue is that what was bestowed on humanity as a result of the Holy Prophet’s (S) Be’that, was not just a few bare concepts and a path that nobody would follow.
Since the first moment, Be’that materialized in the character of the Holy Prophet (S) and then in the souls and actions of those who believed in the message of Be’that. The message of Be’that harmed and confronted Jahiliyya since the first moment. This is the characteristic of Be’that of all divine prophets and it is not particular to the prophethood of the Seal of Prophets (S). Divine prophets show in their actions what they give to humanity in the form of teachings. They are the first to follow the path they promote.
- 1. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on August 15, 1995 in a meeting with government officials and participants of the Islamic Unity Conference