5. Final Words
A cursory glance at the state of the Muslims today shows us that we are desperately in need of unity on all its levels - from the inner or esoteric and transcendental to the outer or exoteric and political - and on all its scales - from a study group of two Muslims to the super-collective that is called the Ummah.
But we will not achieve it by just being aware of the need, nor by harbouring a thousand good intentions. The methodology has been shown to us weak and imperfect beings by the all-Perfect Being and His prophets, saints and friends (‘a).
Glimpses of this all embracing vision cum ideology and methodology have been presented above. What remains now is for us to ponder and think. Given this need, should we not be doubling our efforts? Should we not renew our vigilance? Should we not stop being complacent and happy with the name of “Muslim” or “Mu’min”, but rather try to make the din everything in our lives?
How can we claim to be the followers of tawhid when we practice disunity?!
We talk of Islam but follow sectarianism as our way! How can we change the state of affairs? What must be done?
What we must do is gain and apply the knowledge that has been handed down to us. We must follow the lead of the ’ulama, such as Imam Khumayni, who discounted secondary differences and divisions and remained fixed on the Divinity and His plan for man, in all its dimensions from the mystical to the political - or rather, the political based on the mystical and the exoteric on the esoteric. God tells His beloved Prophet (S):
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَىٰ وَفُرَادَىٰ ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا …
Say, ‘I advise you just with one [thing]: that you rise up for God, in twos, or individually, then reflect…’ (Qur’an 34:46)
We the Muslims have been advised by the best of God’s creation to rise to the occasion. Let us try to obey. Individually or collectively, we must increase our knowledge; then apply the knowledge and hence gain wisdom and understanding. If we are sincere in this, grace and blessings will descend - as this is God’s promise - and we will be able to form the small cells of believers or communities that we have been encouraged to do.
It will be the coming together of such qualitative and enlightened groups of the faithful, by their following the One Light of the heavens and the earth and under the leadership of Its human representative, that will lead to the formation or manifestation of the Single Ummah (theummatan wahidah referred to in the Qur’an).
We previously saw that the Hajj has been called the “sustentation of the people” or the place of “rising”. As such, it not only is a lasting monument to the plain of Alast, where we all stood and acknowledged our Lord, but it is also a foreshadowing of the final Resurrection, where we will be once again impelled to recognize His absolute Dominion and Sovereignty over creation.
The coming together of Muslims of all walks, tongues, and races every year for the Hajj then - as a commemoration of our common Origin, our common End and our absolute abasement in His presence - is a rhythmic tribute to the presence of the One in the many. It is a graphic reminder of our potential - of what we could be in breadth and depth, quantity and quality, dunya and akhirah - if only we witnessed His signs and believed in His word during the rest of our lives as we do in the Hajj.
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا …
Hold fast, all together, to God’s cord, and do not be divided [into sects]. (Qur’an 3:103)