Grand Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi

Muslim Unity

I have stated many times that Muslim unity and bringing Islamic schools of thought together are the most important issues at all times but especially under the present conditions. Therefore, all types of insults against the revered figures of the other schools of thought are not permissible. All Muslims, not just Shi‘is and Sunnis, should be careful that we do not fall into the snare of the enemy of Islam and create sectarian strife. Committing suicide attacks and spilling innocent blood are among the worst of mortal sins and clear instances of committing corruption on the earth1, and could warrant everlasting torment in the fires of Hell. It changes the face of Islam from one where mercy and kindness are its standards to one identified with harshness and offensiveness. May God guide all those who have made errors and committed sins.

Insulting the revered figures of the Muslims is haram, and we should show respect to the revered figures of the Sunnis. If someone shows irreverence to the revered figures of the Sunnis, this has nothing to do with Shi‘is. Love for the Ahl al-Bayt (A) is not exclusive to Shi‘is; all Islamic schools of thought love the Ahl al-Bayt (A). Throughout history, the actions of the aggrandizers have been to create schisms in the Islamic world through devilish policies and weaken the economic, cultural and political resources of Islamic countries to gain domination over them. We should therefore confront the enemy with solidarity and unity2.

The common aspects shared by Muslims are much more than their differences. For this very reason, we should concentrate on what we have in common and come closer to forging unity between us. Activities that would result in loss of the trust that Muslims have for each other should not be allowed to take place. Shi‘is should not insult the revered figures of other schools of thought because it will cause internal conflict. There is no problem speaking about Mawla ‘Ali (A), but one should not insult others. I hope and pray that God incapacitates all those that attempt to cause schism and discord among Muslims3.

The issue of Muslim unity is of supreme importance. I announced in my fatwa that we do not give permission for even the slightest insult against the revered figures of another school of thought – regardless of what the dispute may be – that causes fighting and conflict between Muslims. It should be noted that things about which we disagree are not to the extent that they should cause conflict. The theological principles of the various schools of thought are one, and we should focus upon them so that disputes do not arise. The Holy Qur’an states that those who incite schism are outside the pale of monotheism. Let us preserve security through unity4.

  • 1. A reference to Quran, 2:11.
  • 2. Remarks by Grand Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi on a visit by Shi‘i and Sunni ‘ulama
    from Turbat-e Jam, 21/5/1394 (hijri solar calendar).
  • 3. Remarks at the commencement of advanced studies in jurisprudence (dars-e kharij-e fiqh), 25 Dey 1392 (hijri solar calendar).
  • 4. Remarks on the visit of a number of Sunni ‘ulama from Kurdistan Province, 2/9/1394 (hijri solar calendar).