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Unity of the Nation: the Way to Its Strength

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Hold fast to Allah’s rope all together; do not split into factions.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Prophet (PBUH) came with a message calling for unity and harmony, and forbidding division and discord. In this way, he (PBUH) gathered the scattered Arabs, making them one nation, and united them with the bond of brotherhood. The Almighty Allah says “Surely, believers are brothers.” He, The Almighty, also says, “And brought their hearts together. Even if you had given away everything in the earth you could not have done this, but Allah brought them together: Allah is Mighty and Wise.” The Prophet (PBUH) has ordered Muslims to promote love, compassion and sympathy, as he said, “The example of believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.”

However, this command to be harmonious was not limited to Muslims among each other. Rather, it is a general command for all people, as the Almighty Allah says, “O mankind! We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In the sight of Allah, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him: Allah is all Knowing, all Aware.” This was what the Glorious Qur’an confirmed when it spoke about human fraternity between the Prophets and their adversaries. For example, Allah says, “To the people of ‘Ad We sent their brother, Hud;” and says, “to the people of Thamoud We sent their brother, Saleh.” He, the Almighty, also says, “To the people of Midian, We sent their brother, Shu’aib.” After narrating the stories of those Prophets, the Almighty Allah said, “This community of yours is one- and I am your Lord: be mindful of Me.” And in another verse, the Almighty Allah says, “This community of yours is one- and I am your Lord: Worship Me.” Imam Al-Baghawi said, “The Almighty Allah has sent all Prophets to establish the religion, affection, unity, and to eliminate division and dissent.”

It goes without saying that Islam’s call for unity, and the rejection of division and selfishness are factors for preserving the strength of the country and the safety of society. An individual, no matter how strong he is, will remain weak as long as he lives in a weak society. On the contrary, when a weak individual lives in a strong society, he draws his strength from strength of the society. Therefore, Islam fosters the value of citizenship, and stresses that a homeland belongs to all of its citizens. Unity of the nation requires the negation of any form of distinction between its children on the basis of religion, color, or gender.  No Arab is preferred to non-Arab, and no white man is preferred to a black one or the vise versa except with piety and righteous deeds. Hence, the Constitution of Medina between the Prophet (PBUH) and the Jews of Medina came to approve this meaning. It guaranteed for the Jews all the rights given to Muslims including liberty, security, and peace. It obliged them also to jointly defend Medina along with Muslims, as a sign of a strong assertion that the homeland in Islam gathers all citizens as long as they carry their duties and responsibilities.

Islam also fosters the value of collective work, making unity, cooperative efforts, and the rejection of differences the duty of the Muslim nation in every time and at every place. This is the command of Allah  in the Glorious Qur’an, as He, the Almighty, says, “Hold fast to Allah’s rope all together; do not split into factions” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah is pleased with three things from you, and He is angry with three things from you. He is pleased that you worship Him and do not associate anything with Him, and that you take hold of the rope of Allah altogether, and that you give good counsel to the one to whom Allah gives command over you. He is angry with you for gossip, squandering property, and asking too many questions.” The Prophet (PBUH) set an example for the unity, cohesion and integrity of the nation saying, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” He (PBUH) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands.”

The Glorious Quran gives examples for that kind of unity that maintained the security of countries and the safety of the society. Prophet Joseph (PBUH) is a case in point; he devised a clever plan that decrees that all the inhabitants of Egypt cooperated with each other and united to realize their goals on their ground. They truly cooperated and supported each other, each according to his own capacity; they had the desire to realize their goal. They thus managed to achieve the welfare and prosperity of their country. In addition, they protected it and made it an economic power, to the extent that people from all the corners of the earth came to take from the provisions of Egypt. In this regard, Allah, Most High, says: “He said: You shall sow for seven years continuously, then what you reap leave it in its ear except a little of which you eat. (47) Then there shall come after that seven years of hardship which shall eat away all that you have beforehand laid up in store for them, except a little of what you shall have preserved: (48) Then there will come after that a year in which people shall have rain and in which they shall press (grapes).”

In the same connection, Islam calls for any matter that could help unite the nation. For example, it calls for mercy, leniency and affection. Allah, Most High, says: “Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust.” That is to say that mercy, leniency and affection are reasons for maintaining unity and bringing hearts together. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the afternoons, and during the last hours of the nights” and “I was sent with the tolerant Hanifiyyah.”

Islam also calls for spreading mercy and peace among the members of the society, irrespective of their different creeds. Allah says: “and you shall speak to men good words” and “Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.” Relying on this Qur’anic order, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to kindly deal with non-Muslims, accept their gifts, answer their calls and visit their patients.

The duty of time and the Fiqh of Priorities oblige all the sincere members of the society who are fully aware of the difficulties we are facing to unite, so that their country will reach sufficiency on all levels; doctors should cooperate to meet all the needs of their country, and so are layers, engineers, farmers and teachers, etc. All of them should cooperate to develop their country; each according to his own ability and specialization; all energies and capabilities should be utilized to sever country, since this is one of the main pillars of our religion as Allah, Most High, has addressed us with the plural form that excludes none at all “He it is Who made the earth smooth for you, therefore go about in the spacious sides thereof, and eat of His sustenance, and to Him is the return after death” and “But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.”

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows their guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers,

He who carefully examines history will realize that division and disagreement are of the reasons that lead to defeat and weakness, which is why the Noble Quran teaches us to beware of “And be not like those who became divided and disagreed after clear arguments had come to them, and these it is that shall have a grievous chastisement” and “And obey Allah and His Apostle and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient.” In truth, division and disagreement make the dignity of the Ummah vanish away and weaken it. In this regard, it is enough to know that he who calls for division and dies while doing so, it will be as if he dies in the pre-Islamic period.

For this, Islam combats any behavior that leads to division and disagreement including racism which is one of the results of the disgraced party-spirit of the pre-Islamic period. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust.” He (PBUH) also shows all people are equal in duties and rights, “O mankind! Your Lord is One; your father is one, there is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab or for a non-Arab over an Arab except with Taqwa.”

O Allah! Unite us; bring our hearts together and guide us to what pleases You and makes You content with us; protect Egypt and grant it success!