#Article (Archive)

The Significance of Unity and Brotherhood in Islam

Sep 25, 2009, 7:02 AM | Article By: Alhaji Ousman M. Jah

If today, Muslims do not join hands in unity and brotherhood and do not help defend one another, then the impact of the enemies of unity and peace will forever remain and the scourge of disease of hatred and disunity will continue to plague the Islamic Ummah.

In order to defend their integrity and honor, Muslims are in a dire need of Islamic unity and brotherhood as it was established and exemplified by the holy Prophet (pbuh)

Indeed, if Muslims all over the world are to become masters of their own affairs, the objectives of Islam must be fully recognized and Muslims have no other option but to unite based on related injunctions and principles.

Taking into consideration the situational circumstances of Muslims in our contemporary age, whereas the Islamic Ummah has been fragmented due to sectarian dispute, controversy and disunity born out of certain theological disparagement mainly because of worldly political pursuits, it is timely that strategies are seriously put in place to prevent further deterioration.

It is in this vein that I (Alh. Ousman M. Jah) the founder of the Islamic Centre for Harmonization of School of Thought in The Gambia has manifested his vision in establishing the above center which, I hope, can contribute in designing a roadmap to Islamic unity in the world at large and in The Gambia particularly.

Without my doubt the world of Islam has been polarized and is currently passing through difficulties and moments of trials as a result of the erosion of the once consolidated and unified Ummah of the holy Prophet (phub), a situation that has produced a lot hatred and malice among Muslims all over the world.

This trend of malice hatred and grudges among Muslims is spilling over from one corner of the earth to another. The Gambia known for its religious tolerance and, a country which over the years has established a conducive environment for religious co-existence and inter-faith dialogue, is part of the global village and as a result not totally immune from this ongoing trend.

It has, therefore, became central in my vision to design strategic approaches through the Islamic center whose objectives are mainly to foster Islamic unity and tolerance among Muslims of different ideological backgrounds in order to set aside all superficial theological, mystical and jurisprudential differences and confrontational views in order to adhere to the fundamental principles and values of Islam as established by the Prophet (pbuh).


Beside the general objectives of the Center as will be seen later, the Center specifically aims at realizing the following objectives for the Gambia:

1.         To reform the Islamic address in fulfillment of the requirements of the Islamic Daw'ah (propagation)

2.         To harmonize the Islamic address amongst the Gambian intelligentsia in order to lessen contradictory views expressed in both the electronic and print media.

3.         To sensitize Muslims and non-Muslims alike to further uphold the treasure of peace which The Gambia is known for in the sub-region and beyond.


History reminds us that during his lifetime and after his migration from Mecca to Medina, the Prophet (phub) concluded a constitution that joined peoples of various beliefs and taught them the art of peaceful co-existence and tolerance on the basis of the Qur'anic injunction: "there is no compulsion in religion". Q. 2/256. If the holy Prophet set this example, coped and co-existed with other peoples, beliefs and religions, how is it then difficult for Muslims to cope with and tolerate each other especially when they share the same fundamental principles and values of Islam?


It is against this background that the vision to establish the center came into being with the following general objectives:


1.         To promote unity, peace, understanding and oneness among Muslims from different cultural and ideological background.

2.         To foster cooperation and understanding among different Islamic schools of thought in order to reduce misunderstandings and eradicate extremism and conflict with the Ummah.

3.         To promote and implement programs and activities discouraging religious intolerance, extremism and fanatism

4.         To encourage dialogue, cultural exchange and understanding of Islam between different schools of thought.


To make it more explicit, my vision in establishing the Centre is enshrined in the Center's mission statement, which provides:


"The Islamic Centre for Harmonization of Schools of Thought determines to foster proximity among Muslims of different seats and schools of thought with an objective of harmonizing them in a spirit of Islamic brotherhood in order to attain and establish unity in accordance with Islamic principles and ideals. The unity of Muslims by no means entails a wider scope of understanding , tolerance and cooperation among the adherents of the different schools of thought whereby putting in place collective efforts and strategies in order to achieve the lofty goals of Islam for the progress and prosperity of the Muslim Ummah and to stand united in confronting the enemies of unity, peace and brotherhood. Allah the Almighty says: "And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited..." (Qur'an 3:103). And again the Almighty Allah warned Muslims not to be disunited and says:" "... and dispute not one with another lest ye faiter and your strength departs from you.." (Qur'an 8:46)".

In conclusion, it would be proper at this juncture to give a short insight into the nature of the Centre and the aim of its founder.

The Centre is an independent non-profitable institution that wishes to go on its way through the moral and financial supports of Islamic scholars, researchers Imams, and all peoples of faith, knowledge and good will in order to bring about a systematic change in the Islamic Ummah and the world at large. All Muslims are witnesses that today that Muslim Ummah is passing through a critical period of human history and the Prophet (phub) is looking forward to believers to rise up and struggle against infidelity, extremism, domination, exploitation and arrogance that has plagued and hooked the Muslim Ummah for decades. The ICFH is therefore, calling all Muslims to consider the words of Allah the Almighty when he warns Muslims against disunity in Quran 3:103"

The members and management of the Center wish to inform the general public that questions relating to the Islamic unity and brotherhood are most welcome and responses to such questions will be made available in the Point Newspaper weekly. Please send your questions and comments through the center's e-mail as follows: icfh2006@yahoo.com or you can visit the center at 54,

Kairaba Avenue
, Serekunda (KSMD), or through the Centre's Website at www.islamic-harmonisation.org

May Allah the Almighty bless you!