Shared by Amin Abdul Razzaq

I received an email today asking me if Shi’a are to be considered Muslim. I must admit, I was a bit taken by the question and the nasty comments attached to the email. I spent the day thinking how I would answer such a question. Then, by the mercy of Allah (swt), the following came to mind.

In the Quran, no matter how hard you look, the words Sunni and Shi’a re not to be found. Why then are we seeking to create differences between groups of Muslims?

See, in our world today, Muslims are looked down upon. We are thought in rather derogatory terms, considered less than human, called backwards by many.

We must stand united with whomever proclaims the Shahada:

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh

There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.

Now is a time for unity, not a time for division. So, in my mind, be one Sunni or Shi’a, you are still a Muslim. Period.

To help illustrate that point, I have provided sayings from Muhammad (pbuh) and Imam Ali (‘a)

MUHAMMAD (pbuh)

Here are some beautiful sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that we can implement in our lives today for he is a mercy to mankind, an exemplar for us all – both Muslims and Non-Muslims.

“The most faithful of you are the best mannered.” [1]

“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” [2]

“Be careful because you are not better than people who are a different color, unless you are better in piety.” [3]

“Forgive him who wrongs you, re-unite with him who cuts you off, do good to him who does you harm and speak the truth although it may be to your disadvantage.” [4]

“Whoever is kind, God will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on earth. He Who is in heaven will then show mercy to you” [5]

“God has revealed to me that you must be humble. No one should boast over another, and no one should oppress another.” [6]

“Understand that victory comes to the one who is patient.” [7]

“How wonderful is the situation of a believer. There is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity comes to him, he expresses gratitude to God and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.”[8]

“The best people are those who are the most useful to others.” [9]

“If you guarantee me six things on your part, I shall guarantee you Paradise: Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your gaze (out of modesty) and prevent your hands and tongue from committing injustice.” [10]

IMAM ALI (‘a)

Conduct

People act like mirrors; friends reflect your good qualities and enemies your faults.

Ten social virtues

Generosity, modesty, truthfulness, integrity, hospitality, decency, courage, tolerance, steadfastness and gratitude

Sincerity

A person is sincere if his words and deeds, exterior and interior are the same; he fulfills his pledges and maintains purity in worship.

A favour is a trust that you must return.

Courtesy

Courtesy conceals genetic flaws.

Intelligence blossoms on courtesy.

Unity

Truth unites, falsehood divides. Stay with the truthful, no matter how few; stay away from the false, no matter how many.

Satan first creates discord in congregations, then divides and destroys.

Speech

Speech is the scale, which reason makes weighty, ignorance makes weightless.

A man reveals himself through his speech.

The knowledge expressed only through speech is the meanest; that which is demonstrated through every act of the body is sublime.

Learning through experience

He who learns a lesson from each experience will save himself from ruin.

In the rise and fall of fortunes are lessons to be learnt.

Folly

A man’s folly is demonstrated through three acts:

Talking about matters that don’t concern him

Offering comments when not asked

Interfering in other people’s affairs without understanding

He, who thinks he is the wisest, is the most foolish.

A foolish man speaks without thinking; a wise man thinks before he speaks.

Ignorance

Ignorance reveals itself in the following:

Being angry without cause,

Speaking without need,

Rewarding the undeserving,

Not distinguishing between friend and foe,

Revealing a secret,

Trusting everyone.

The ignorant never realizes his mistake nor accepts advice.

Lies

No one ever believes a man who lies.

Nobility

Ensuring justice for the weak is a sign of nobility.

Defect

The greatest of defects is to point out a defect in others, which you yourself possess but fail to notice in yourself.

He is the wisest who tries to mend his own defects rather than keep an eye on the defects of others.

Hypocrisy

Hypocrites can be identified by the following characteristics:

They say peace but mean war.

Their nourishment is false allegations.

Their generosity is being dishonest.

They keep their distance due to arrogance.

They do not wish anybody well.

They sleep like a log at night and create furor during the day.

They have no respect for the mosque, and present themselves in it at the end of the prayer or worship.

Revenge

The best revenge is to improve yourself.

It is easier to win your enemy over by sincere measures and good deeds than declare war and dominate him after great bloodshed and destruction.

The best revenge is forgiveness.

Miserliness

A true believer (momin) is never miserly nor ill tempered.

Envy

Three things can only ruin:

Arrogance- it brought damnation to Iblis

Avarice- it made Adam lose paradise

Envy- it made Qabeel commit the first murder, and that too of his own brother, Habeel

Envy is to man what rust is to iron.

Malice

Malice is an incurable disease, which is also infectious.

He who breeds malice breeds unhappiness and lives in it till he dies.

Disobedience

The worst friend is one who glorifies the disobedience of God.

Try to postpone disobeying God, instead of hurrying to disobey.

Death

He who desires the world is sought by death, and he who is prepared for it, the world seeks to deliver his sustenance to him.

He who waits for death hurries to perform good deeds.

Death for the virtuous is a reward for them, death for the vicious is a relief for the people.

[1] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 420 and Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, Tradition 69.

[2] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 327.

[3] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 562.

[4] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 1842 and Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 87.

[5] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 1679 and Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, p. 14.

[6] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 678.

[7] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 363.

[8] Nahj al-Fasahah, Tradition 1932.

[9] Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 131.

[10] Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, p. 226.

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