In Islam, there is a concept known as 'Ummah'. In Arabic it simply means a group of people, or a nation, but in the context of the Quran it takes on a different meaning. A Muslim Ummah is a nation of people connected together by the ties of their religion.
"This Ummah of yours is a single Ummah, and I am your Lord, so worship me." Quran 21: 92
Our Ummah is a fundamental part of Islam. In the early days of Islam, the Ummah was what helped Islam nourish and grow. Muslims need to unite together to protect Islam from those who fought against it and without the first Ummah, Islam may not have existed in this day and age.
So why does it seem, in the modern-day era where Islam is being attacked and criticised from all angles, that us Muslims are more divided now than ever before? How are we ever going to address all the hatred towards Islam if we cannot put up a united front?
Nowadays, Muslims are extremely quick to pass judgement on other Muslims. The word 'kafir', which means disbeliever, is thrown around as if it means nothing. You go online to Muslim forums and you can see people using this word and I've witnessed people writing it on posters for Islamic talks for those of different sects.
The Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "He who says to his brother 'O Disbeliever', then it returns upon one of them." Reported by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Maalik, at-Tirmidhee and Abu Dawood.
We must strive to remember that Allah is Al-'aleem (The All-Knowing) and Al-Hakam (The Judge) and only He knows what is truly in our hearts. We cannot go around branding people as kafirs and dividing our Ummah for we can never really know whether what we believe is right and what our brother believes is wrong.
Like other religions, Islam has its own sects and there are differences in opinion but one must realise that religion is based upon the Quran, the Sunnah and our interpretation. Even if you believe with all your heart that you are right, it doesn't make the other person wrong, even in the slightest.
Unite with your fellow brothers and sisters in an era where Muslims need to stand together to face the criticism that comes our way. If there is a difference of opinion, then discuss in healthy debate but always remember that he is your brother and he is a part of your Ummah.
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: 'Allah has given one Dua to every single prophet and every single messenger, that he has guaranteed that he will respond to. And every single prophet has used up this Dua for himself in this world, except for me. I have saved it and I have not used it and I will not use it in this life. I have kept it for my Ummah and I will use it for them on the day of judgement. And my Dua will be, O Allah, forgive my entire Ummah.'
What is our religion without our Ummah? The Prophet used his one dua to save the Ummah so think twice before you divide yourselves and remember that only Allah knows best.