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Sectarianism is Destroying the Islamic Nation - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Internecine conflicts and sectarian fighting have paralyzed Muslims, broken their ranks, and caused their enemies to gloat over their misfortune. This is because each sect claims that it is the only sect that is right and everyone else is wrong. I know for certain that not all sects are right and that God does not allow all his servants to deviate from what is right. Rather, he guides them toward what is right, manifest in following the Koran and the Sunnah, and understanding them as Arabic speakers would and as they were understood by the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, and his companions.

Someone might say: Each sect claims to be all that. We respond by saying that knowledgeable scholars know what correct beliefs have been conveyed properly as they were adopted by the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, and his companions, and everything else is false. This does not need pondering, nor does it require consulting a friend. In any event, I do not intend to determine who is right and who is wrong. I am only trying to warn against this danger, which has taken us by surprise, and against the looming deluge that is devastating the nation, namely, the danger of sectarianism, which has stormed several Muslim states.

In Afghanistan, and after the mujahidin defeated the Soviet Union, the seven leaders of Afghanistan engaged in internecine fighting. Each leader and his followers believed that they were right; that they were performing jihad for the sake of God; that their dead were martyrs; and that the other leaders, or their brothers, were perverse, aggressors, and followers of the devil. They destroyed one another and Muslims slew their Muslim brothers in cold blood and became a joke for the world. Then the Taliban came, fought them, and took over Afghanistan. The Taliban’s reckless and stupid actions led to their fall and to the destruction of Afghanistan.

As for the Iraqis, with their various sects, they fought one another under the umbrella of fighting the occupation. Iraqis killed their Iraqi brothers and the number of those who died at the hands of fellow Iraqis has exceeded the number of those killed by the Americans. Each sect believes that it is more worthy of God’s support, that it inspires others and shows them the right way, and that every other sect is a dissenter from Islam and deserves to be fought.

In Lebanon, each sect prepared itself to fight the other sect and cause the re-eruption of the ominous civil war that had devastated Lebanon. Hezbollah returned from southern Lebanon and pointed its weapons at the chests of the Lebanese, thus canceling every achievement it had accomplished.

Moreover, Yemen has witnessed the eruption of a sectarian fight between Al-Huthis and the government, as a result of their disagreement over the interpretation of Shariaa texts and the way in which they understand them. The war is still aflame. There are silent and dormant sects, which are waiting for any move to explode like gunpowder on burning coal, and fight for the sake of God — as they claim — and kill all those who disagree with them from other sects.

In describing the [Islamic] nation when the majority of Muslims deviated from the right path of the Koran and the Sunnah, God Almighty said: “or to cover you with confusion in party strife, giving you a taste of mutual vengeance – each from the other [Koranic verse, Al-An’am, 6:65]”. This saying has been realized. The symbols and masters of each sect are inciting their followers against other sects, thus turning the land of Islam into a land of internecine fighting, conflict, bombings, and destruction. If you observe international news, you will find that the land of Islam is the heated region in this world.

One of these sects which claim to be performing jihad for the sake of God has limited its operations to the targeting of Muslims in Riyadh, Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, Rabat, Algiers, and Mauritania. This is while the usurper Israeli Army, which is occupying Muslim land, has escaped the danger of any operation by these conquerors. Moreover, those who have not carried arms in the face of their Muslim brothers are using their pens and tongues to insult and defame them and distort their image in newspapers, on satellite television channels, and on the Internet.

We have become preoccupied with our own selves and we are fighting one another. Production, invention, creativity, and manufacture have been disrupted in our lives. Others have sent their scientists to explore outer space and the wonders of this universe. They are inventing, exploring, analyzing, and reaching conclusions. Some have reached Mercury, Mars, and other planets; some have probed oceans’ depths; and others have examined the deeper soil depths. Their factories are operating and their lives are a constant work in progress. In the meantime, many of us are either planning or working toward inflicting harm on their Muslim brothers, in light of the absence of the knowledgeable and the well advised. As a result, the caravan is being led by inexperienced young men with ill dreams, who would issue the fatwas of destruction and killing as if they were issuing a fatwa on obligatory charity in Ramadan, using a tooth-cleanser, and other minor issues.

Is it not time for the rational from each sect to make things right, stand as one to rectify the nation’s situation, take the initiative, and save the people and the country from the inflaming sedition and the sweeping deluge?

Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni

Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni

Dr. al-Qarni is a Saudi-born Islamic preacher and scholar. His book, Don't Feel Sad (La Tahzan), has sold millions of copies worldwide.

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