Grand Ayatollah Bahjat


We should let the people know that we have amity with the Ahl al- Sunnah. We have no problems with them. They are following their own tariqah (spiritual path), and we are following our own. We have our evidence, but that is beside the point. They also acknowledge the two testimonies of faith (shahadatayn) which we acknowledge. Based upon this we have no difference with Sunnis apart from the superfluous actions that they do.

You say that every year strangers come to Shi‘a neighbourhoods in Baghdad and, in the morning, cry out ‘prayer is better than sleep (al-salat khairun min al-nawm).’ In Sunni neighbourhoods also, someone comes and recites in the in the call to prayer ‘hasten to the best of deeds (hayya ‘ala khayr al- ‘amal )’1. The Sunnis say that these are Shi‘is who have come to undermine the Sunnis, and vice versa. Then they both start to fight until the foreigners make themselves rich as brokers of peace2.

Why couldn’t we have come together and agreed to be united – brothers, in one accord? Unity is a matter so self-evident that even non-religious people and non-believers subscribe to it3.

Shi‘i-Sunni conflict is a matter of colonialism. The most important matter is that the two sects have a love for the Ahl al- Bayt (A)4

Whoever does not desire Muslim unity is not a Muslim. Our Imams prayed along with them in their congregational prayers in the name of Muslim unity5.

  • 1. The former is part of the Sunni call to Morning Prayer, and the latter is part of the Shi‘i call to morning prayer.
  • 2. Centre for the Collation and Publication of the Works of Grand Ayatollah Bahjat:
  • 3. Dar Mahdar-e Bahjat, vol. 1, p. 186.
  • 4. Mohammad Mohammadi Ray Shahri, Zamzam-e ‘Erfan (Yadnameh-ye Faqih-e ‘Aref-e Hadrat Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Bahjat), p. 292.
  • 5. Ibid.