Allah (SWT) orders you to hold fast to the Rope of Allah (i.e. Quran) and do not create division among yourselves (Quran 3:102).

Allah (SWT) says I created you from a father and mother, and scattered you all over the world so you can get to know each other (have discussions), but not to despise (fight) each other.

Therefore, brotherly discussion between various schools of thought is useful and encouraged, but intolerance, violence and fighting among Ummah is Haram (forbidden).

Last weekend, (November 27, 1998), we had two National Islamic Symposiums in the Southern California area.

Sirah Conference was organized by a Pakistani Muslim Community in the Orange County area. The conference was very well attended and was very successful. Every speaker discussed our Beloved Prophet Sirah and his moral leadership. All sects were present except the representative of the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt and his descendants (Shiayan and Seyedan). They talked about unity according to their definition, but did not invite any speaker from the Shia or Sufi groups. Juma prayer and Khotbah were given by our African-American Muslim brother, Imam Siraj Wahha of New York. His topic was about social justice and moral leadership, which was well developed and delivered in an excellent manner. I wish we had more Muslim speakers like him. We wish them a lot of luck and more open mindedness for next year’s Sirrah Conference.

The second symposium was organized by Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA). This group still takes pride in being Arab youths in America and brings out old Arab-Ajam controversies and racism. Allah (SWT) said, "Dearest person to Allah is a pious person, not an Arab, Ajam, or any specific race or nationality. In the MAYA Conference, our African-American brothers and sisters were not represented; the Sufi Group and Shia groups were not welcomed. In the bazaar area, one of the Sufi groups who purchased a booth, were distributing booklets about the love of our Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt, and how we should promote Islam in America by love and not by hate. They were playing an audio tape of Salawat and salutation to our Prophet (PBUH). The conference managers attacked the booth manager, closed the booth, beat up a handicapped lady who was behind the booth. Police was called; a few people were arrested. The conference was disrupted and cancelled. The conference directors were sued for assault and battery, and closing a booth without reason after they collected the fee. MAYA will probably lose their chance to sponsor any conference in California in the future.

Is this what we want; to have Muslim brothers fighting over different Aghidas (opinions, understanding)? 1400 years of fighting in our home countries was not enough? Islam will grow very fast in America because it promotes social justice and moral leadership. We need unity according to Allah (SWT) and our Beloved Prophet (PBUH). Our Prophet (PBUH) was able to keep Abosofyan, Moavieh, Abobaker (RA), Omar (RA), Ali Ibn Abitalib (RA), Salman Farci, and Abozar Ghafari, all in one line and on the same table. Our Prophet (PBUH) said, " Salman Farci is a member of my Ahlul Bayt and Omar (RA) honored that recommendation during his Khalifat period. The Prophet (PBUH) said that 1400 years ago, so today in America, you will not bring out Arab and Ajam racism. This is a model of unity that we should follow.

Please, let’s discuss it more and come up with a solution. Either we will hang together or we will be hung separately.