Unity week eradicates divisions, fosters unity

Unity week eradicates divisions, fosters unity

 The unity week which was first dubbed by the founder of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is trying to promote unity and end differences between Islamic sects.

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited.”

The need for Muslims to keep united is clearly underscored in this verse. Not only has the Islamic Unity Week ensured that all Muslims come together to celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) over a period of a whole week together, it has also provided a shield against  those who seek to exploit their own interests by dividing and segregating Muslims into different sects. Sunni and Shia Muslims have resisted such efforts by coming together in these celebrations.

Furthermore, globally, Muslims are able to forget their differences as they acknowledge the common Prophet (PBUH) and express their love and affection for him in various manners. This allows many misconceptions to be removed as all Muslims are followers of the same Prophet (PBUH). A thorough analysis of what has been achieved over the years is a testament to the foresight of Imam Khomeini.

Prominent religious figures, ministers and scholars from dozens of countries are participating this year's conference which has been organized by the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, in Tehran.

Since 1990, when the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WFPIST) was established, the Conference has been held by this Forum. 

The aim of the Unity Conference is to lay the ground for unity and solidarity in the Islamic World and unison among scholars in order to achieve proximity among their scientific and cultural viewpoints in terms of fiqh(Islamic jurisprudence), Usul (principles of jurisprudence), Kaläm (Islamic theology), and interpretation.

Another objective of the Conference is to examine the Muslims’ problems, provide appropriate solutions to them, and take a joint stance against them.

The guests of the Conference are selected from among sophisticated dignitaries, ministers of the Islamic countries, Islamic scholars and muftis, professors of universities and other scientific and cultural associations both at the domestic and international levels.

In recent years, hundreds of scholars and reformers from around the world as well as thousands of Shiite and Sunni thinkers from various parts of the world have attended these annual Conferences and delivered articles and speeches.

The academic staff of the Conference are selected from among scholars in universities and seminaries.

In 2015 gathering of the Islamic unity, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that the Islamic world has been currently at a critical juncture, urging all Muslim nations to strengthen unity to counter enemies’ plots. Addressing the 29th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Rouhani had said enemies and big powers were doing their best to portray Islam as a religion of violence, urging Muslims to take necessary steps to thwart all efforts aimed at depicting Islam as the religion of violence.

The Iranian president added that faced with such plots, "Muslims have no option but to join hands [in unity] and ... choose the right path."

Rouhani stated that a great deal of the ongoing violence, acts of terror and massacre are taking place in the Muslim world, North Africa, the Middle East and West Asia, adding that there must be an end to the “intellectual and discourse-based violence.”

The president criticized certain Muslim countries for purchasing great quantities of US arms, and either delivering the weapons to militant groups or using them against other Muslim nations.

Daesh Takfiri terrorists, Rouhani argued, recruit members that are overcome by cultural or economic poverty, adding, “So, let’s eradicate cultural and financial poverty in our societies.”

Elsewhere in his address, the Iranian president emphasized that bombs and military equipment cannot do away with terrorism.

The biggest responsibility we shoulder is to repair the image of Islam in the eyes of the world public, President Rouhani said.

Iran has repeatedly announced that it pursues the goal of achieving a world without violence and that every problem can be settled through negotiations, Rouhani said.

Iran succeeded in solving a problem, which had been aggravated over years, through wisdom and negotiations with major world powers, he noted, adding, “At the negotiating table, we managed to bring the most complicated international political issue to a solution that is beneficial to all the negotiating sides, the region and the world.”

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