In the US, mainstream – and largely Sunni – Muslim groups have publicly condemned the Egypt attacks. Last month, Muslim leaders signed an Intra-faith Code of Honor at a national Shia convention in Dearborn, Michigan. For the second time in the last decade, religious leaders pledged to prevent sectarianism in the national Muslim community – which is the most diverse Muslim population, in terms of race, ethnicity and sect in the world. In many ways, US Muslims are uniquely positioned to prevent sectarianism and promote intrafaith unity by the very nature of our innate diversity.
We are inspired to work together not only because of our personal friendship, but because of our shared belief in God, His Messenger and His Holy Book.
And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. Qur’an 3:103
Living in a place where unity does not cost us our lives, religious practices, or personal dignity, it seems that we have an imperative to learn from one another, so that the lives that have been lost in sectarian violence are not lost in vain. Rather, we Muslims living in the US can see what is happening as prompting a movement towards genuine Muslim unity. Let us use this holy month of Ramadan to strengthen our relationships with one another.
Here are some of our suggestions on what you can do this Ramadan:
- Learn about Sunni-Shia unity in Muslim history using this resource
- Start a book club in which you read both “Sunni” and “Shia” texts
- Host an intra-faith iftar at your mosque and invite your imams to join you
- Join Taraweeh or visit a different mosque each night, like the 30 Mosques guys
- Hold an intra-faith community service event, benefiting your local community
- Share your activities on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram)
May we all be granted a peaceful and blessed Ramadan, the Month of Mercy and Sanctity. Ameen.
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