Assalamu'Alaykum. Quran and Sunnah is The Basis for Muslim Unity We the Muslims have the perfect example to look towards. That was the Prophet Muhamad The Prophet Muhammad , meaning: Was Allāh's great Prophet and Messenger like Jesus, the Son of Mary. The Prophet's mission, however, is universal. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala, meaning: the Exalted, Most Glorious) tells mankind that Prophet Muhammad is no more than a Messenger (3: 144) The unlettered Prophet who believes in Him and His Words (Qur’an 7: 158). He is the Seal of the Prophets and the true universal Messenger of Allāh to the whole mankind (33: 40). Allah, the All-Mighty, makes this very clear: "We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as a universal (Messenger) to men giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin) but most men understand not." (34: 28) The Messenger possesses an exalted (standard of) character (68:4) and an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Final Day, and who remembers Allah much (33: 21). Allah endowed him with exalted standard of character for us to follow. Every aspect of his life has been fully dealt with, providing complete guidance to the whole mankind. For our guidance, Allah, the All-Mighty commands us to believe and obey His Messenger: "Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allāh then follow me (i.e. accept Islāmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’Ŗn and the Sunnah), Allāh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allāh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Say (O Muhammad): “Obey Allāh and the Messenger (Muhammad).” But if they turn away, then Allāh does not like the disbelievers." (3: 31) "O mankind! Verily, there has come to you the Messenger (Muhammad) with the truth from your Rabb (Sustainer). So believe in him, it is better for you. But if you disbelieve, then certainly to Allāh belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. And Allāh is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise." (4: 170) "O you who believe! Obey Allāh, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad) and render not vain your deeds." (47: 33) It is a must that we obey Prophet Muhammad . Allah tells us that he who obeys His Messenger obeys Him: "He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad) has indeed obeyed Allāh, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (Muhammad) as a watcher over them." (4: 80) When we turn to ahadeeth of the Prophet we find that a small hadith might contain so much benefit that volumes can be written about it. As he himself said "Indeed I have been given comprehensive speech." In other words, a very small statement or a very small phrase will be able to carry a great meaning. This is the case with a particular hadith – the Hadith of ‘Irbad ibn Sa’riya, named after the companion who narrated it. This hadith is so well-known and comprehensive that when this companion’s name is mentioned, this hadith comes to mind. It is an authentic hadith reported in the sunan of Abu Dawud and the ja’mi of Tirmidhi as well as others. 'Irbad ibn Sa'riya narrates: "Verily the Prophet delivered a sermon, which caused our hearts to tremble and our ears and our eyes to cry." Notice the effect that the Prophet’s speech , had on the Sahaba. And the Qur’an describes the Believers as such: …when they hear the verses recited to them they fall down in sajdah and they cry. This is the way of the Believer; he benefits from and loves to hear advice. And this is in contrast to the hypocrite and the weak believer, the Fasiq. Allah 'azza wa jal describes them in the Qur’an: Why is it that they turn away when they are reminded? / Why don't they listen? / It is only the believer that benefits from advice and loves it. The Sahaba were affected because of their sincere faith and dedication to the deen. They were moved and more importantly they paid attention. And this is a sign of eman; when a person finds he loves to attend religious gatherings and when Qur’an and Sunnah are recited, he is affected. And the opposite is also true. When a person does not care about religious lectures, khutbahs, sermons, seeking knowledge, or if he does not pay attention when the Qur’an and Sunnah are recited to him, then this is an evil sign befitting of the hypocrites and the kuffar. And that is why the Sahaba were the best of our generations. Sitting there they were affected by Prophet Muhammad’s , talk. Their hearts trembled and their eyes cried. 'Irbad then goes on and says, “The Sahaba said, after the Prophet , had finished the sermon, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we feel that you are about to leave us. The emotion in which you have delivered this talk was so intense that we feel that you are about to leave us. So give us some concise advice, give us a legacy. Give us, if you like, your last will and testament.’” Masha Allah! Look at the Eeman of the Sahaba; after the Prophet , finished his talk, they wanted more, in fact they demanded more. Unlike the people of today, they didn’t get tired or bored or look at their watches waiting for the Islamic knowledge to finish so they could go on with their lives. No, they wanted more because they realized that this was far more precious to them than anything the world contained. So they said, “Ya RasulAllah give us more; we want to hear more.” And this is why the Sahaba were the best of all generations. As the Quran says: Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah. So the Prophet due to his merciful nature, agreed to their request, and he gave another sermon, rather another small advice. And the reason that this lecture is so important is that the Sahaba had said, "Ya RasulAllah, give us a concise legacy." Basically they were asking the Prophet , to summarize for them what they needed to know, what were the essentials, and his last will and testament to the Ummah. So because they requested such beautiful advice, the Prophet , fulfilled their request. This shows that this hadith is a very important hadith, a hadith of high status, a hadith that every one of us should study. Think about it – this is the legacy that the Prophet , gave to the Sahaba when they asked him. The Prophet , started off saying: "My legacy to you is that I advise you to have the taqwa of Allah ‘azza wa jall. And I command you to listen and to obey," meaning the rulers, "even if an Abyssinian slave becomes your leader." To listen and to obey even if someone you do not like, someone you look down upon, becomes your leader. In the Shari’ah it is considered better to listen to the rulers even if they are not perfect, as long as they are not non-Muslims and committing open kufr. Listening to them is seen as a lesser sin than revolting and causing chaos, pandemonium, blood being shed, honor being dishonored, women being raped, and villages being pillaged. All of these things could be direct results of revolting against a ruler who is Muslim, even though you dislike some things about him. So the Shari'ah says that if there is a ruler and a leader who is a Muslim and is judging, in general, by the Shari'ah, then it is better, it is the correct thing to do, to leave him in power even if there are other problems with him; and you listen to and you obey him. The Prophet mentioned ''Even if your Leader is an Abyssinian Slave'' the reason behind this is, a Slave is brought up carrying out orders and commands, such is the upbringing of a slave. So Even if a Slave became our leader we are to Obey him. As he would not be well rehearsed in giving and carrying out orders. He would be used to taking orders, rather than giving them out. So, such a person could be a bad, unwise or tyranical leader. Whereas a real Leader is well rehearsed and brought up in such an environment of leadership. He went on and said, "He who lives long amongst you will see a lot of differing," meaning amongst the Muslims. When he said, “He who lives long amongst you,” he was talking to the Sahaba, the first generation of Islam. And he said that amongst themselves they will witness a phenomenon that did not exist before. They will see something new that was not there before. And that is, there will be ikhtilaaf, differences of opinion. There will be Muslims disunited. And this is something that never existed during the time of the Prophet . When Prophet Muhammad was amongst their midst this was unheard of because he was their Prophet, their leader, guiding them, advising them, and mediating between them. But he predicted this disease, ikhtilaaf, would appear shortly after his death, and would continue until the Day of Judgement. He predicted it because Allah ‘azza wa jall told him about it. And he did not tell the Sahaba that it would come after a thousand years or after a few hundred years. He said those who lived long amongst them, while Islam would still in its infancy, would be plagued by ikhtilaaf. And it was exactly as he said. Shortly after Prophet Muhammad death, in the middle of the khilaafa of 'Uthman radi Allahu anhu, the Khawaarij, the first splinter group, broke away from the Muslims. And then in the time of 'Ali, the Rafidha broke away. And so on and so forth, it continued, the Muslims kept on breaking away from the Ummah to the point that now we have so many groups, methodologies, and movements, so many ways of understanding Islam, that we cannot even count them. So the Prophet because of his concern for us, because of his knowledge that Allah ‘azza wa jall gave him, warned us of a disease that would afflict all of us; the disease of ikhtilaaf, the disease of disunity. Ikhtilaaf is such a severe disease that there is not a single issue except that we find Muslims differing about it. Forget the trivial matters of how to pray and fast. There are bigger issues such as the status of the Sahaba and the Prophet even the status of Allah ‘azza wa jall Himself and His names and attributes. There is not a single topic that you can think of except that you will find Muslim groups, sects, and deviants, all of them claiming to be Muslim, yet they have different ideas, methodologies, and opinions. It appears to be hopeless to bring any unification since there are so many groups. It is as the Prophet , said. Imagine. He was talking to the Sahaba so what of the situation now. How much ikhtilaaf is there? We have so much ikhtilaaf that there is not a community of Muslims on the face of the earth, except that they differ amongst themselves. Forget Muslim states, we're talking about even local masjids in a community. Two masjids across the street from each other may have different opinions, ideologies, methodologies, agendas, and understandings of the same book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ,. All of us have witnessed it. It is as if Muslims cannot become united. At least that is the way many Muslims feel. The Prophet , informed us of this disease and what will happen. Do you think that our Prophet, whom Allah ‘azza wa jall describes as the one who cares about you, the one who is merciful towards you, pitiful towards you, would tell us of the disease without telling us the cure? Do you think he would warn us of the impending problem without telling us the solution? No! wallahi it is not possible. He warned us of the problem and then immediately went on and he told us the solution. He said: "So I command you (I put it upon you, the obligation is upon you) to turn back to my Sunnah." This is the solution. When you differ, when you have ikhtilaaf, then the obligation is upon you, to take this ikhtilaaf, to take this differing, back to the Sunnah. And obviously taking it back to the Sunnah means automatically you must take it back to the Qur’an as well. The Qur’an and Sunnah go hand in hand. As Allah 'azza wa jal says: If you differ about the smallest thing (if you differ about an issue) take it back to Allah and His Messenger, if you have eman in Allah and the Day of Judgment. Meaning, if you do not have Eeman in Allah and the Day of Judgment, then you will not take it back to Allah and His Messenger. Only if you have Eeman will you then take it back to Allah and His Messenger. But the question arises, how is it possible that there is still ikhtilaaf when the majority of Muslims of our time, those that call themselves Sunni, acknowledge that they go back to the Qur’an and Sunnah? The vast majority of what we call the conglomerate Sunni groups, even though amongst the Sunni groups there are so many splinter groups, claim the same thing: Our basis is the Qur’an and Sunnah. And yet, we still find ikhtilaaf. This is because the Prophet , did not just stop there at “take it back to my Sunnah.” He continued, "…and also, the Sunnah (the practice) of the rightly guided Khalifas after me." Meaning, take it back to the Sunnah of the Sahaba, to the understanding of the first generation of Islam. And this is where the vast majority of Sunni groups fail; they take it back to the Qur’an and Sunnah, but they put a full stop there. Hardly any group, in fact there is only one group, says we must go back to the Qur’an and Sunnah based upon the understanding of the early generations. The Prophet , described that generation (specifically the four major Khalifahs) as Rashideen, meaning they have guided themselves, or Mahdi'een, they guide others. Take it back to their Sunnah. The status of the Sahaabee is not a trivial status. The Prophet , said: "The best of all generations is my generation (those of the Sahaba), and then those that come after them (Tabi'oon), and then those that come after them (the Taba Tabi'oon).” Three generations. Meaning that in the entire history of mankind, from the time of Adam until the Day of Judgment, never will there be an entire group, an entire generation, better than the Sahaba. Never. And that is why Allah refers to the companions as such in Surah 'Imran: You are the best ummah that has ever been sent to mankind. You command what is good, you forbid the evil, and you believe in Allah. What does it mean “the best”? Most Muslims think it means they are the best in their Eeman and taqwa; that they reached the heights of Eeman and taqwa and no one can reach those heights. This is of course true, but had this been the only meaning, then how would we be able to benefit from the Sahaba; what would there be for us to gain? If their eman reached the stars and ours can only reach a small amount, how would we be able to benefit from them? Know with certainty that the Sahaba were of course the best in Eeman and taqwa, but they were also the best in their knowledge and in their understanding and implementation of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Therefore, the fact that they are the best generation means that their understanding is the best understanding. Their opinions are the best opinions. Their implementation of the Qur’an and Sunnah is the best implementation. Without this, they would not be the best. They were the best in everything; the best in Eeman, in taqwa, in knowledge, and in actions. So when we differ about something, the Prophet commanded us to take it back to his Sunnah and the Sunnah of the early Khalifaas after him. And then he said, "Hold on fast to it [the Sunnah], cling onto it, bite onto it with your molar teeth." Emphasis after emphasis, this is what will save you. As they say, a drowning man clutches at every straw. So too the Prophet , is telling us, cling on, bite onto it (the Sunnah) with your molar teeth. This is what will save you from the fitna, from the ikhtilaaf, and from the disunity. So the Prophet , told us the disease, he told us the solution to that disease, and then he went a step further. He went a step further and told us the virus that causes that disease. He pointed out the reason why there will be this disease. He said, “And I caution you (I warn you) against newly invented matters." These were matters of the religion that were not known to the early generations; that were not found in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Again, “I warn you against them, I caution you about them.” He went on: "Be careful because every single one of these innovations is qualified as a bid'a, and every bid'a is a misguidance, and every misguidance leads to the fire of Hell." This is the virus that causes the disease of ikhtilaaf. Think about it. The Sahaba were one, they were united. They did not differ amongst themselves in the slightest bit with regards to this religion of Islam, the names and attributes of Allah, the concept of Qadr (destiny), and any of the aspects of Aqeedah. They did not differ. Yet we find in our time so many different groups. What must have happened? Historically speaking, the first group came along, the Khawaarij, and they invented something which the Sahaba did not agree on. So the next generation found two opinions – that of the Sahaba and that of the Khawaarij. And then another group came, the Rafidha, and they invented a third opinion. And then the Qadariyyah, and then the Jahmiyyah, and then the Muht'azila and then the Asha'ira, until in our times we are surrounded by a myriad of groups and we do not know where to turn to. So the cause of this problem was that people kept on inventing, adding, and appending to the religion of Islam, to the understanding of the Sahaba, to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Bid'as (innovations), is how this disunity started and this is why it is still here. As the Prophet , said: "My Ummah will split into seventy-three groups. Every single one of them is destined for the fire of Hell except one." In an authentic hadith of Tirmidhi, the companions asked: "Who are they, ya RasulAllah?" The Prophet , said, "The group that follows what I am upon today and my companions." Once again, the emphasis here is put on “I and my companions.” This infers that it is essential to look at how the Prophet lived and how the Sahaabee understood and implemented Islam from him. This statement is of paramount importance. We should understand that if we do not heed it, we will be left as the majority of groups have been left; with no standards, criterion, and judge of what is right and what is wrong. In this legacy he left us, the Prophet , shined a light on one of the most difficult problems the Muslim Ummah faces – the problem of ikhtilaaf, of disunity. He warned us of the divisions to come within the Ummah, but also gave us a solution – turn back to the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is the Hadith of 'Irbad ibn Sa'riya, the legacy that the Prophet , left us upon. He said, "I have left you upon the shining path, its night is like its day. No one will deviate from it except that he wishes to be destroyed." “…Its night is like its day…” meaning anyone who wants to be guided will be guided; anyone who wants to search for the truth will find it. The path is clear. There is no darkness. Any Muslim who sincerely wishes to be guided, nay, any kafir, any non-Muslim who sincerely wants to be guided, it is not possible that he will be misguided. The path is too clear; it is a promise of Allah 'azza wa jal. The only one who will deviate from this is the one who follows his own desires, the one who does not want to be guided. This is the one who like the Prophet , said will go astray because he wishes to go astray, he wishes to destroy himself. The religion of Islam is a perfect religion. We all say this to the point that it has now become a cliché and we don’t even understand what it really means. Going back to the Qur’an, Allah says: Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed my favors upon you and I have been pleased with Islam as your way of life. What do we understand of Islam’s perfection from this verse? It means that the Islam of the Prophet the Islam that was practiced by the companions, that is the perfect Islam; there cannot be an Islam better than that. Time or place is irrelevant; there is no such thing as reversions or evolutions of Islam. We do not make distinctions and say there is a Pakistani Islam, an Arab Islam, a Lebanese Islam, or a Philistini Islam etc... Nor is there such a thing as an 18th century Islam and a 20th century Islam. Islam does not evolve. Our beliefs don’t evolve. Our fiqh, the fundamentals of our fiqh do not change. We are not talking about the minor differences that the Shari'ah has allowed us to undertake from time to time and place to place. We are talking about the broad general laws of Islam; they do not change from time to time and place to place. Therefore, when we find this differing, the solution is to take it back to that perfection as it existed, in the time of the Sahaba when there was no ikhtilaaf. We find many aayaat and ahadeeth where the importance of unity is stressed. Some of these include: …hold on fast all of you to the rope of Allah and do not be disunited. The believers are brothers so reconcile between them (Do not let them fight with one another). And the Prophet , said: “All of you together be brothers in worship of Allah." We all know the importance of unity, yet we also know that the Prophet , predicted that the Muslim Ummah will be disunited. In fact, the Qur’an itself predicted it as Allah says: Those that have split up the religions and become into parties and groups, you have nothing to do with them. The Prophet , also warned us against innovation. As he said in one hadith: "Whoever innovates in it or supports an innovator, then the curse of Allah and the curse of the angels and the curse of all of mankind will be upon him (Allah will not except from him any good deed).” In another hadith the Prophet , said: "On the Day of Judgment I will see a group of Muslims and I will recognize them by the signs of wudu. I will recognize them as Muslims and I will say come to me. But the angels will come in between and they will beat them away from me. So I will tell the angels, ‘These are my Ummah, these are the people of my Ummah,’ and the angel will respond, ‘You do not know what they have changed after you.’” In other words you do not know what they have innovated into the religion after you. So the Prophet , will say, "Go away (be away, go off). I have nothing to do with you if you change anything after me." What is the basis of Muslim unity? We know we have to be unified and that the Prophet , has cursed innovations and rejected them. So what is the basis? How do we unify when within the Muslim Ummah, two extremes are present. The first extreme is that a person considers any and every difference to be a big deal. If you differ with them about anything, then you become a'oodhubillah, a kafir or a devient. Even the smallest difference such as whether you say ameen out loud or silently, and immediately the conclusion is made that this person is a deviant, and a kafir. We should explain in a nice manner and present evidences for any innovation we see and correct it in a good manner. This is the one extreme. The other extreme is the exact opposite, which is to ignore every single difference of opinion. Such people just want the masses to come together. They prefer quantity over quality so they ignore every single ikhtilaaf. It does not matter what they say about Allah, the Sahaba, the Prophet etc. As long as someone claims to be a Muslim, they are okay. This is the other extreme. As usual, the true correct group of Islam and the Muslims is always in the middle, between the two extremes. Not every single ikhtilaaf should lead to ikhtilaaf of the hearts. Not every single difference of opinion should lead to boycotting, leaving, or considering someone to be a deviant or a non-Muslim. What is the criterion then? How do we know which ikhtilaaf is important and which one can be ignored? In reality, this is something the scholars are qualified to do. They are the ones who in general know what is important and what is not. But there is a simple rule of thumb that most of us can apply. We should rely upon the scholars who follow the way of the Qur’an and Sunnah and the early companions. Turn to them. If they make a big deal about an issue, then make a big deal about it. And if they trivialize it and say no big deal, do not make a big deal about it. Let us always see if the companions disagreed about an issue or if they were unanimous in their opinion. The Sahaba did differ about many things but their differences never led to a problem of the heart. They may have had a difference regarding a certain opinion, but they were still brothers in Islam because these differences were trivial. If we find that the companions were unanimous about an issue, then we too should follow the unanimous opinion. For example, if the companions were unanimous against a certain act, yet someone claims it to be from the Shair’ah, then the general rule of thumb applies and we should rule with the unanimous opinion that the act is not correct. Take it back to the early generations of Islam; this is a simple rule of thumb. Ask youself, “Is this understanding, this belief, this aqeedah, this practice, shared by the Sahaba? Is this methodology I’m being asked to follow, something that was implemented by the companions, by the Tabi'oon, by the Taba Tabi'oon?” They were the ones with the correct understanding so if they implemented it, then alhamdullilah. If not, then it must be a newly invented matter. WHAT IS ISLAM THEN. IS ISLAM NOW.. A point of caution is that we must realize that unity and brotherhood is based upon a person's Eeman. The stronger a person’s Eeman is, the stronger your brotherhood and love must be for him. And the weaker it is, then the weaker your brotherhood and love will be. So your brotherhood for a Muslim who does not pray five times a day, or who does not fast the month of Ramadan, or who is involved in a major sin, or who is involved in a major innovation is not like the brotherhood and unity you feel towards a Muslim who is pious, prays five times a day, fasts the month of Ramadan, and avoids the major sins. But it is not black and white, and this is the mistake most Muslims make; there are shades of gray in between. You look at every single person and you see the good in him as well as the evil, and accordingly you love him for the good and you hate him for the evil. So the unity will be based upon his eman. Unity is not a slogan that we unite with every Muslim who says, “I am Muslim.” No. Unity is based on adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah. The closer a person adheres to the Qur’an and Sunnah, the closer our unity is with him. And if someone disagrees with the Qur’an and Sunnah, and the understanding of the early generations, then he is the one causing disunity by refusing to go back to the Qur’an and Sunnah and by refusing to go back to the understanding of the early generations, not us. This is the person who is breaking away from us and we are not breaking away from him. What is so important about the salaf and the scholars of the past and the Sahaba and the Tabi'oon that we have to follow them? I will quote a few proofs to illustrate the importance of taking this ikhtilaaf back to them. The first set of proofs is the Qur’anic proofs, the aayaat of the Qur’an which prove the high status of the Sahaba. And there are literally dozens of verses in the Qur’an discussing the status of the Sahaba. Of them: Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah. Allah has testified that he is pleased with the Sahaba. Therefore, should we not go back to them when we differ? You are the best Ummah that has been sent to mankind. The second set of evidences is the ahadith of the Prophet some of which have been quoted earlier already: "The best of nations is my nation, and then those that come after them, and then those that come after them." The hadith of 'Irbad ibn Sa'riya: "I command you to follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khalifas after me." The hadith of seventy-three groups, and when he was asked who the one safe group was he said, “That which follows what I am following and my companions." The third set of evidences is the statements of the companions themselves. When innovations spread and the Khawaarij came and then the Shi'a and the Rafidha and so on and so forth, the companions advised those after them to stick with the Sahaba of the Prophet . Realize that in the time of the Sahaba, three deviant groups came and yet, not a single Sahabi ever went to those groups. As Ibn Masoud said, "Follow us and don't innovate after us because it is sufficient for you what we are upon (What we are doing is sufficient for you, don't do more than that).” The fourth set of proofs is the proofs from history, Islamic History. From Islamic History we see that the Sahaba were united in their beliefs and in their Methodology. These deviant groups that came after them, not a single companion was amongst them. The Khawaarij, they numbered in the thousands, and they fought the Sahaba in many wars. Never did any companion leave the ranks of the companions and join the Khawaarij. Ali radi Allahu anhu himself was alive when the Rafidha shia were there and he had some of them executed. Likewise, the Qadareeya, they too appeared when the Sahaba were alive. None of the companions joined them. And the same follows for the other three generations as well. The group of the Sunnah, Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jam’a, or the Sunni Muslims, they were distinct and clear. There was only one Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jam’a for over two hundred and fifty years. Any other group had other names. Be it the Jahmeeya, the Mu'atazila, the Asha'riya, the Qulabeeya, the Qadareeya, and others. But the Ahlul Sunnah were always one. So for the first two hundred and fifty years, it was clear who was following the Sunnah and who was a deviant. The fifth set of proofs is a logical proof. Obviously, the best generation that we should go back to for a criterion, for a reference, is the Sahaba. So from a common sense point of view, we need to have a standard, and that standard is the Sahaba. And the last set of proofs is a realistic proof. This proof becomes apparent if we examine many of the groups today. All of the groups today claim they follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. They claim to be Sunni groups, following the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and at the same time claim each other to be kafir. So realistically speaking there must be something more and we believe that the Prophet , must have told us about it. He could not have told us the problem without telling us the solution, and he did. Realistically speaking, the solution is not just the Qur’an and Sunnah, which of course is the fundamental, but the Qur’an and Sunnah based upon the understanding of the early generations. There is a famous slogan that we hear amongst many Muslim groups. "Whatever we disagree about we will ignore, and whatever we agree about we will cooperate in." This slogan is not a precise slogan, rather it should be: "Whatever we agree about we will cooperate in, whatever we disagree about we will take it back to the Qu’ran and the Sunnah and the understanding of the early generations." With this slogan, we will be united. Unity does not come from quantity; it comes through quality. It comes through a person's Eeman, taqwa, and adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah based upon the understanding of the first three generations of islam. If a person does not wish to be upon that understanding, then he is the one causing problems, he is the one breaking away, he is the one becoming disunited and fractionalized. Therefore, in conclusion I advise you just as the Prophet , advised the companions, to have the taqwa of Allah 'azza wa jal, and to listen and obey – to listen and obey even if your rulers are people whom you do not like because you will see, you have seen, and all of us have seen, a lot of ikhtilaaf. So when we see it, let us revisit the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khalifas after him. Hold onto this, stick with this; this is the way we will be united, this is the way that we will be saved. And I caution you, just as Prophet , I warn you against innovations, against bid'as. Because every single innovation into this religion is a bid'a, and every bid'a is a misguidance, and every misguidance leads to the fire of Hell. I pray that Allah 'azza wa jal guides us to the correct understanding of Islam. That He makes us united as Muslims, submitting ourselves to Him. And that He resurrects us upon eman. Ameen.