Islam Today


month of Rabi al-Awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar is well known in the
entire Muslim world as Shahr al-Mawlid, the month of the birth of the Prophet
Muhammad c . The precise date of his birth is disputed among historians. For
most Sunni Muslims, the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal is recognised as the birth
anniversary of the Prophet On the other hand as per Shia Muslim sources his
auspicious birthday falls on the 17th of Rabi-al-Awwal. In an attempt to ensure
that these differences of opinion do not create divisions among Muslims, Imam
Khomeini” , the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared the week
between 9th and 17th Rabi al-Awwal the Week of Unity. Muslims all over the
world are urged to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad for
the whole week alongside each other. “Sunnis and Shias are two arms of
Islam”, stated Imam Khomeini” . The novel idea has become a regular
fixture in the Islamic calendar. It has played an important role in bringing
the various denominations of Islam on a single platform. In view of this and
other remarkable factors of unity, it is but natural for Muslims following the
different schools of jurisprudence to close ranks in solidarity, especially in
view of the divine commandment in the Holy Qur an: “And hold fast by the
covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited.” 3:103 There is
indeed unity in diversity and the idea of Unity Week is a perfect means of
coming together. Muslims thus ought to follow the Prophet s perfect
path of establishing unity and solidarity, and thereby becoming immune from the
onslaughts of sectarianism. Solidarity can neither be superficial by mere
expressing of words of sympathy nor can it be imposed. This is possible only by
heeding what God Almighty commands in the Holy Qur an and what was practically
demonstrated by the Prophet The late Imam Khomeini s foresight helped bridge
the gap of five days between the two dates and the global Islamic community
began to realize that it is only unity and solidarity that will enable Muslims
to utilize their vast untapped potential. Islamic unity is the need of the
hour, especially after the crusading campaign against Muslims unleashed by western
governments in the name of combating terrorism. Western allies, aware of the
lack of solidarity within Islamic ranks, continue to occupy al-Quds, the first
Qibla of Muslims. The plight of 1.5 million besieged Palestinians in Gaza
should serve as a call to unity among the over 1.5 billion Muslims in the
world. This year the Islamic Unity Week will be marked against the Islamic
awakening sweeping across the Mid-dle East No doubt the era of puppet regimes
has passed; the Muslim masses in the region have arisen from their slumber to
demand the departure of Western powers from their affairs and to renew
resistance against the aggression of the Zionist regime. A new Middle East
should be shaped, not according to western designs, but one based on Islamic
ideals. Unity among Muslims is the best means of countering their common problems.
Unity and solidarity present Muslim governments and I nations with the best and most effective way to counter
poverty, economic problems and to develop a strong independent Islamic
identity. The era of colonialism has had disastrous consequences on Muslim nations.
Their vast wealth and natural resources have been plundered through different
means. In addition western cultural imperialism has brainwashed the minds of
uninformed Muslims by way of distorted media reports and glamorous yet misleading
films and TV programmers. This is in stark contrast to the life-style and
guidance of the Prophet, an example which charts the path of righteousness by
giving a practical demonstration of the revealed word of God for the betterment
of human society and which acts as a beacon of light for mankind. Through unity
of purpose Muslims can attain progress and reach the pinnacle of success in all
fields, including political, technological and
economical. Although foreign policy with focus on building inter-Muslim
solidarity is welcome, it is essential to pursue cultural and intellectual
methods to help bridge the gulf created by the malaise of the past centuries.
This is possible through determined cooperation in different fields with
sincere efforts to study and accept each other s points of view. Only when the
Islamic world realizes its huge potential will we see it once again serving as
a guiding light and a servant of humanity.

editorial team of Islam today magazine would like to take this opportunity to
congratulate all our readers on the auspicious occasion of the birthday of the
beloved Messenger of God, the symbol of human predictions, The Prophet Muhammad

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