“Islamic awakening is spreading and with strong faith in Allah, the Resistance movement is winning,’ said the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday November 25.
Addressing the opening session of 32nd International Unity Conference in Tehran on November 24, President Hassan Rouhani condemned the “Zionist tumor” implanted in the Middle East and offered to defend Saudi Arabia “for free”.
On the side line of the summit of the Forum for the proximity of the Islamic Schools of Thought held in Tehran in autumn 2010, Taqrib News Agency the subsidiary to the Forum got the opportunity to meet with Imam Muhammad al-Asi and ask him for the answer to some questions regarding Shia and Sunni relations, the Muslim Image in the US and the mosque which was supposed to be built two blocks away from the site of 9/11 called Ground Zero. Following is the script of our interview with him.
Having diagnosed the condition of the Islamic world as one suffering from political divisions, economic disparities, cultural parochialism and sectarianism, the author calls for a return to the Islamic concept of ta’aruf—i.e., the mutual familiarity and acceptance of all Muslims within the ummah. Four broad areas to implement ta’aruf are explored including education, travel, the Hajj and language. The article concludes with some political and economic recommendations to pave the way for Islamic solidarity.
There is no doubt that today’s Muslims are more divided than they have ever been. The divisions are so prevalent that in the political and economic sense of the word the Muslims of the world have ceased to be the “ummah” spoken about in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. A closer look at the condition of today’s Muslims and we realize that these divisions are related to disputes and disagreements that have become throughout the ages what appear to be irreconcilable differences.
There are some elements and definitions in this presentation that have to be clarified. For a long time now, words have been used in an absent minded way; and clichés have taken on a life of their own. I would like to be conscious and thoughtful about what I am saying when we are speaking about an “Islamic Ummah”, “strategies” and “unity.”
The unity of the Ummah has been a major theme of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Majma-e Taqrib Bain al-Madhahib al-Islami (Organization for Convergence between Schools of Thought in Islam) convenes an annual Unity Conference to discuss themes of relevance to all Muslims. This year’s conference took place from August 20-22. ZAFAR BANGASH, director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), was there.