I wish to explain a few things about this pledge so that the Believers may be confident in the natural happiness they are feeling at this moment; also we must ensure that there are no misunderstandings, confusion or anything worse.
Firstly – the reality behind such a pledge. For those of us who lead congregations and communities, teach brothers and sisters and those who actively give da’wah in general, this document brings nothing new to the table. When one lives such a life in the real world outside of ones laptop, ghetto, ethnic mosque or Muslim country, the differences in madhab, manhaj and ‘aqidah here in the West play only a small part in our roles and responsibilities in helping the people and providing them daily guidance with the help of Allah jalla wa ‘ala.
For example, although last week was the first in Ramadhan, it was no different to any other week for me with respect to requests for help: one Muslim brother, Ash’ari, with no other family who has been kicked out of his home, needs a Muslim household to stay with until the council can help him; three Maturidi Muslim couples want to have their nikah done, as per the Hanafi school; two sets of Barelwi Muslim boyfriends-girlfriends feel guilty about their relationships and want to get married behind their parents’ backs; one Salafi brother doesn’t believe in the hadith found in Imam al-Bukhari’s collection anymore because some of them “…don’t make sense and go against scientific fact…”; a group of new Muslims want an audio recorded version of Prophetic invocations they can learn in their first Ramadhan; a group of Ikhwani-Salafi Muslims need a few hundred thousand pounds to save their da’wah centre from takeover; one Deobandi wants to know whether to go to Madina first or Makkah first whilst he performs ‘Umrah next week; my father wants my zakat to be given to the Tablighi madressa in his village where the children are all orphans and the teachers haven’t been paid for months; one brother wants a fatwa for either a Mut’ah or a Misyar marriage whilst he is away from his wife for one year; one new-Muslim footballer wants to know whether he can break his fast on Matchday...
The point? Take away all the stereotypically descriptive names and you’ll realise that they don’t have a single iota of influence in ones resultative solutions
; that’s not just me of course, rather that is the case with all of the practising Muslims here in the West who live in the real world and who end up spending their daily lives dealing with the problems of their very diverse Muslim communities.
I lost interest in peoples’ groups, madhabs, names and identities over ten years ago when I decided to settle down in my community to try and get people to focus on their primary objective: to get closer to Allah ‘azza wa jall.
For the mass majority of Muslims in the West, after removing the doubts that have been instilled in them by Islam’s enemies, after learning how to pray properly and after learning to love Allah and His Messenger just that little bit more, the most important things to them are how to get married, how to stop looking at that gorgeous girl from work, how to deal with family disputes and issues, whether Shahid Afridi will open for Pakistan or not and whether Carlos Tevez is best played up front with Rooney or just off him. Sorry to disappoint everyone but scholastic theology, group-think and other delights from the books are not on the agenda for those on the ground; it might be the case for those involved in study and teaching, but then nothing will be changing for such individuals whilst they continue their further studies, and neither should it be. This is not a call for a moratorium on our intellectual legacy and that what we believe to be the Truth, rather it is a reassesing of our priorities, something which seems to occur automatically once the theory clashes with reality in the real world.
Thus, this pledge is nothing new for many of its signatories but rather it was something that we felt was needed now to ensure that the Muslim don’t become weaker in these difficult times, to act as an advice to those who still live their Islam in a ivory tower of ideals, to act as a reminder to all of us in case even we forget the importance of unity, and to ensure that we all continue to give the very best of our efforts to our communities and our Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) and our Lord ‘azza wa jall without being distracted by the whims, desires, impatience, immaturity and fitnah of those who may want otherwise.
Unity is a strange thing. When it’s there, you don’t really realise it because things are as they should be – normal. But when you lose it, the precious time of the Muslim is wasted trying to compensate for the instability caused by its loss, even moreso when you are like the signatories who have much more important things to do. Really.