1) Whoever verbally says the shahadatayn and acknowledges the divinely ordained laws and necessary rules that all Muslims have consensus upon is counted as a Muslim, and violating his life and property is forbidden. It is narrated in an authentic narration from the Messenger of God (S):
...ﻓﺈذا ﻗﺎﻟﻮﻫﺎ ﻋﺼﻤﻮا ﻣﲏ دﻣﺎءﻫﻢ وأﻣﻮاﳍﻢ إﻻ ﲝﻘﻬﺎ وﺣﺴﺎ ﻢ ﻋﻠﻰ ﷲ
…When [people] say [“there is no God but Allah”], their lives and property will be protected from me. Other than that, the reality of the shahadatayn and the account of their deeds are Allah’s business1.
2) The Messenger of God (S) regarded those who made war upon Muslims and struggled against them without clear shari‘ah rulings or without being [justified] in the Book and the Sunnah, as kafir (unbelievers). On the occasion of the Farewell Hajj when he was at the al-Khayf Mosque in Mina, he said:
إ ّن أﻣﻮاﻟﻜﻢ ودﻣﺎءﻛﻢ وأﻋﺮاﺿﻜﻢ ﻋﻠﻴﻜﻢ ﺣﺮام ﻛﺤﺮﻣﺔ ﻳﻮﻣﻜﻢ ﻫﺬا ، ﻓﯽ ﺑﻠﺪﻛﻢ ﻫﺬا ، ﻓﯽ ﺷﻬﺮﻛﻢ ﻫﺬا ...
Indeed your property, your lives and your honour among each other are inviolable (haram) just like the inviolability of today [Eid al-Adha], the inviolability of this month [Dhu al-Hijjah, which is one of the months where fighting and violence was made haram] and the inviolability of this holy land [Mecca].
Then he said:
ﻻﺗﺮﺟﻌﻮا ﺑﻌﺪی ﻛﻔﺎراً ﻳﻀـﺮب ﺑﻌﻀﻜﻢ رﻗﺎب ﺑﻌﺾ
Do not return to unbelief (kufr) after me, some of you smiting the necks of others2.
3) Fanning the flames of extremist-originated discord, hatred and causing schisms among Muslims are not permissible. In the same vein, striving to create discord between the united ranks of Muslims, to cause schisms, separation and alienation from each other is also not permissible. God says:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
And hold fast to the rope of Allah altogether and do not split. (Qur’an, 3:103).
There is no doubt that insulting and disrespecting the revered symbols of Islamic schools of thought is one of the greatest factors that cause schisms which God has forbidden us from doing.
4)Almighty God has commanded us in our interactions with other Muslims, regardless of their sect or their school of thought, with the exception of the Nasibis [those who express hatred for the Prophet’s family (A)], to behave kindly towards them, to be pleasant in our behaviour with them, to be affable and cooperative, to integrate with them, to visit each other’s sick, and to love them. There are indeed many narrations from the Noble Messenger of Islam (S) that talk of these subjects, and a large number of them are judged to be authentic (sahih). Similarly, in the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (A), there are authentic narrations with chains of transmission that are mu‘tabar (worthy of consideration) that talk about this subject which we have cited in the book Fitnah al- Ta’ifiyyah.
5) Whatever we have said above should not be taken to mean that it is a barrier to jurisprudential and theological discussions among the various schools of thought where specialist language is used and when they take place in an intellectual atmosphere of impartiality among Muslim lay and religious scholars. These types of discussions would definitely result in mutual development and growth, and lead to mutual exchanges in culture, jurisprudence, and theology among Muslims. This is what our beloved Islam recommends and encourages us to do.
We ask God Almighty to let us speak with one voice, to give us unity in confronting difficulties and in tackling the issues we have in common, and we ask Him to approve and render successful those who are the forerunners in their advocacy for Muslim unity and convergence between them.
- 1. This narration has been mentioned by Ahmad Hanbal in different sections of his Musnad. Bayhaqi has also mentioned it in his Sunan, Bukhari and Muslim in their own sahih books and a large group of Prophetic hadith memorizers from both the Shi’i and Sunni schools with sahih chains of narrators.
- 2. This narration is one about which there is consensus. Ahmad ibn Hanbal mentions it in different sections of his Musnad. Nisa’i also mentions it in al-Sunan al-Kubra, Ibn Habban in his Sahih, and Bukhari and Muslim in their two Sahihs. Additionally, a large group of memorizers of the Prophetic hadith mention it with sahih chains of narrations according to both Shi‘i and Sunni traditions in their compilations.