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Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah on Muslim Unity

December 7, 2009 maqasid

The following question was asked to Shaykh ‘Abdullah Bin Bayyah.


These days the Muslim Ummah is suffering from lack of security as we are asking from non-Muslim states to solve our problems and to stop the oppression we are faced with. If the European countries can join NATO despite having their own military forces, why can’t the Muslim nation resort to developing a single strong military that will protect its people from intruding enemies and at the same time halt any danger coming from within. This will put an end to any need of asking USA or other major outside forces. Is this a valid opinion?

The Shaykh replied:

Praises be to Allah and may Salat and Salam be upon the Messenger of Allah. To proceed:

The topic you have brought in is an important one. We can understand that the reason behind your asking this question and bringing these thoughts is the deep faith in the significance of uniting the components that makes the Islamic nation. But we would like to say to you that the unification of the components of the Muslim Ummah and Muslim nations is affected with defects. These defects can be seen with the naked eyes. The reasons of these defects are various and many. Amongst them are:

Firstly: Muslims staying away from being educated about their religion, specially the education pertaining to the social structure enjoined by the religion of Islam. For an example in the verse of the Quran: “and do not dispute and thus lose courage and then your strength would depart” [Al Anfal: 46], and also in the hadith which describes Muslims as if they are “like a structure each part of which strengthens the other”. [Sahih Bukhari: 481, Sahih Muslim: 2585].

Such a unity is based on a single leadership or headship for the Muslim nation. It was exactly like that in the era of Khilafah before it got divided to make way for division due to inheritance, lineage and geographical dispersion. But the idea was to have the Ummah under one flag and one leadership. That is what the religion of Islam calls for. But when put into practice, the Ummah disbanded from a single tie a long time ago. Hence its enemy increased and its prestige was lost.

Secondly: Lagging behind in industrialisation and in various other ways of material advancement.

Thirdly: Continuous belligerent attacks from the enemies of the Ummah, especially from the western allies. These attacks were launched under many names and labels. Sometimes it was in the name of rescuing Al Aqsa from the Muslim world which came to be known as the crusades. Sometimes it was in the name of colonisation. Yet other times under the banner of disciplining the Ummah and imposing democracy upon it.

These are the facts we all should consider. But having said that it is important that we tell our brother who asked the question: It was perhaps in a rare moment of consciousness and with the effect of seeing Al Aqsa being attacked; OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) was formed in 1969. This OIC is one of the manifestations of the unity that you are calling upon and in fact we all are calling upon. But the world powerhouses always kept it under observation and undermined its effectiveness and enthusiasm towards constructing a strong Islamic unity. Thus this conference is weakened and regional interests got the better of it. But still this conference remains as a hope towards a sort of unity you are calling upon.

Your suggestion is a valid one. That is the Ummah must have a force that will protect it so that it no longer requires a foreign military or any kind of interference from others.

But I feel sorry to tell you that such a strong unity is a distant reality in these situations we are living by. But we do not lose hope from the relief and mercy of Allah as He subhanahu wata’aala said in the Quran: “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” [Yusuf: 87] and “And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?” [Al Hijr: 56]


Therefore, hope resides on the young shoulders of the Ummah each of whom should work according to his level that he finds himself in. He should try to realize this unity even if it is with a fair preaching, even if it is with an economic project that benefits the Ummah or even if it is with an idea that can help the Ummah get free from being occupied. This is all I have to say.


Taken from:


[Translated by Asif Sibgat, Arabic Language student at Qatar University]

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