From the time of Shaykh Tusi until the time of Sayyid Sharaf al-Din, our ‘ulama had relationships and friendly social relations with the Ahl al-Sunnah. In the narrations of the Ahl al-Bayt (A), it has been recommended that we participate with the Ahl al-Sunnah in congregational prayers, attend their funerals, and so on. The Shi‘is should have “respectful and cordial relations” with them, should not relate with the [followers of different Islamic schools of thought] with acrimony, and should not vilify their revered figures1.
We should institute Shi‘i-Sunni unity based on the common facts [that we share], and we should not emphasise instances where there are differences. This is because if the ‘ulama on both sides reject each other because of non-essential issues and lean towards takfir, the very edifice of Islam will be destroyed, and Muslims will not be able to live together. It is for this reason that the Ahl al-Bayt (A) recommended that the Shi‘is should pray in the mosques of the Ahl al-Sunnah, visit their sick, participate in their funerals, and even put up with their unkindness. This is a subject that has been stressed2.
- 1. Remarks of Ayatollah Misbah-Yazdi on the visit of the Friday Prayer Leader of Imamshahr City, 25 Dey 1391 (hijri solar calendar).
- 2. Remarks of Ayatollah Misbah Yazdi during the visit of a number of non-Iranian students, 10/2/1394 (hijri solar calendar). See Ayatollah Misbah Yazdi Media Centre: