Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation Between Sunni Muslim Scholars, Organizations, and Students of Sacred Knowledge

Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all together, and be not divided. (Qur’an, 3:103)

Surely, those who have made divisions in their religion and turned into factions, you have nothing to do with them. Their case rests with Allah; then He will inform them of what they used to do. (Qur’an, 6:159)

In light of the Divine Word, we recognize that the historical nature of Sunni Islam is a broad one that proceeds from a shared respect for the Qur’an and Sunnah, a shared dependence on the interpretations and derivations of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), and a shared respect for the writings of a vast array of scholars who have been identified by their support for and affiliation with the Sunni Muslims and have been accepted as the luminaries of Sunni Islam – as broadly defined.

Likewise, detailed discussions in matters of theology are the specific domain of trained specialists, and proceed on the basis of well-defined principles and methodologies, which are beyond the knowledge of the generality of Muslims.

Our forebears in faith, with all the dedication, brilliance and sincerity clearly manifested in their works, have debated and discussed abstruse and complex issues of creed and practice, and have failed in most instances to convince their opponents of the veracity and accuracy of their positions.

The average Muslim is only responsible for knowing the basics of creed as they relate to a simple belief in Allah, His Angels, Scriptures, the Prophets and Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree.

Recognizing that the specter of sectarianism threatens to further weaken and debilitate our struggling Muslim community at this critical time in human affairs, and recognizing that Allah, Exalted is He, has given the Muslim community in the West a unique historical opportunity to advance the cause of peace, cooperation, and goodwill amongst the people of the world, we the undersigned respectfully:

- Urge Muslims to categorically cease all attacks on individual Muslims and organizations whose varying positions can be substantiated based on the broad scholarly tradition of the Sunni Muslims. We especially urge the immediate cessation of all implicit or explicit charges of disbelief;

- Urge Muslim scholars and students of sacred knowledge to take the lead in working to end ad hominem attacks on other scholars and students; to cease unproductive, overly polemical writings and oral discourse; and to work to stimulate greater understanding and cooperation between Muslims, at both the level of the leadership and the general community;

- Urge Muslims in the West, especially our youth, to leave off unproductive and divisive discussions of involved theological issues that are the proper domain of trained specialists, and we especially discourage participation in those internet chat rooms, campus discussion groups, and other forums that only serve to create ill-will among many Muslims, while fostering a divisive, sectarian spirit;

- Urge all teachers to instruct their students, especially those attending intensive programs, to respect the diverse nature of our communities and to refrain from aggressive challenges to local scholars, especially those known for their learning and piety;

- Urge our brothers and sisters in faith to concentrate on enriching their lives by deepening their practice of Islam through properly learning the basics of the faith, adopting a consistent regimen of Qur’anic recitation, endeavoring to remember and invoke Allah in the morning and evening, learning the basics of jurisprudence, attempting to engage in voluntary fasting as much as possible, studying the Prophetic biography on a consistent basis, studying the etiquettes that guide our interactions with our fellow Muslims, and the performance of other beneficial religious acts, to the extent practical for their circumstances;

- Finally, we urge the Believers to attempt to undertake individual and collective actions that will help to counter the growing campaign of anti-Islamic misinformation and propaganda that attempts to portray our religion as a violence-prone relic of the past unsuitable for modern society, and by so doing justify indiscriminate wars against Muslim peoples, occupation of Muslim lands, and usurpation of their resources.

Saying this, we do not deny the reality of legitimate differences and approaches, nor the passionate advocacy of specific positions based on those differences. Such issues should be rightfully discussed observing established rules of debate. However, we urge the above measures to help prevent those differences from destroying the historical unity and integrity of the Muslim community, and creating irreparable divisions between our hearts. Further, we do not deny the urgency, especially in light of the situation in Iraq, of efforts to foster greater cooperation between diverse Muslim communities. Hence, this document should not be seen as negating any statements, or declarations designed to foster greater peace and harmony between diverse Muslim communities. However, we feel, as Sunni Muslims, a pressing need to first set our own affairs in order.

In conclusion, having called our brothers and sisters to act on these points, we, the undersigned, pledge to be the first to actively implement them in response to the Divine Word:

Do you enjoin righteousness on the people and refuse to follow it yourselves and all along you are reciting the scripture!? Will you not reflect? (Qur’an (2:44)

We ask Allah for the ability to do that which He loves. And Allah alone is the Grantor of Success.

Signed,

Abdelrahman Helbawi
Abdul Karim Khalil
Abdullah Adhami
Abdurraheem Green
Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
Abu Aaliyah Surkheel Sharif
Abu Eesa Niamatullah
Aisha Faleh AlThani
Asma Mirza
Cheikhna B. Bayyah
Dawood Yasin
Ebadur Rahman
Faraz Rabbani
Fuad Nahdi
Gul Mohammad
Haitham al-Haddad
Hamza Yusuf
Hasan al-Banna
Ibrahim Osi-Efa
Jihad Hashim Brown
M. Abdul Latif Finch
M. Afifi al-Akiti
Mehdi Kader
Mokhtar Maghroui
Muhammad Alshareef
Muhammad Ash-Shaybani
Muhammad ibn Adam
Omar Qureshi
S. Abdal-Hakim Jackson
Shamira Chothia Ahmed
Siddique Abdullah
Suhaib Webb
Tahir Anwar
Talal Al-Azem
Tanveer Hussain
Tawfique Chowdhury
Usama Canon
Usama Hasan
Walead Mosaad
Yahya Rhodus
Yasir Qadhi
Zaid Shakir

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23 thoughts on “Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation Between Sunni Muslim Scholars, Organizations, and Students of Sacred Knowledge

  1. Pingback: I’m In « iMuslim

  2. Pingback: The Sunni Unity Pledge | Mujahideen Ryder's Blog

  3. interesting, i can name atleast one on the signature list that has been known to accuse the salaffiyah of disbelief and various other accounts. if only people put this into practice inshallah.

  4. Pingback: Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation Between Sunni Muslim Scholars, Organizations, and Students of Sacred Knowledge « Knowledge Seeker

  5. Pingback: hold fast to the rope of Allah.. « hema’s sphere

  6. The unity you all talking abount in the context of “hold fast to the rope of Allah” goes beyound the Sunnis. It ropes in entire Muslim Ummah. As a matter of fact in the litime of the Holy Prophet, inaddition to the Shariah, he himself was the “rope” and after him it has to be his representatives, the Kalifah. My position is that it extends far beyound just the unity of Sunnis.

  7. Pingback: We’re In at Ijtema

  8. Salaam all, I am so happy this is exactly what we need …..Allah bless the people who carried out this hard work…..and long may it continue……

  9. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Update! Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation

  10. 1st and formost, how can we have unity with the shia?they curse the shabah and aiesha (ra) come on this is way wrong
    2nd the above people are tied in with shirk and bidha.
    3rd they differ amogst each others aqeedha and minhaj so how can they unite?

    Rember the 1st group to split was the khwarji and they were promised hell, and they didnt even do shirk so my advice is dont be fooled this is not the way our phrophet/shabi never came together with any group or people, they were advised and refuted iff they didnt accept,73 groups and only 1 in the paradise and our prophet was talking about his ummah.

  11. Based on Islam there could only be one sunnah, which is the sunnah of the Prophet (salahllahu a’lihee wasaleem); anything other than that in ibadah is a bidah. Scholars of Ahlu-Sunnah agreed one who is a mubtade’ can not be a sunni. How can one follow other than what Rasoul of Allah and me called on the methodology of the Prophet (salahllahu a’lihee wasaleem).

  12. This is based on the same principle:”come together upon what we agree upon and be quiet in regards to our differences.” How can we do this when the Prophet told us. “religion is sincere advice”, what these people of this pledge are trying to do is demolish the identity and distinguishing characteristics of the methodology of truth, the methodology of Ahl sunnah wa al jamaa’ah. the sect in which the prophet spoke about as being the saved sect, the 1 out of 73. And this saved sect is known by their understanding and adherence to the book of Allah and the sunnah of His messenger with the understanding of the companions. At the time of Ali may Allah be pleased with him, when the khawaarij appeared, did Ali be quiet about them or try to call them to the truth? When the Qadirrayyah appeared were the righteous predecessors quiet about them?

    Of course not.
    One of the most important and distinguishing characteristics of Ahl sunnah is that they advise the people of misguidance and make clear to them the truth, and speak out about innovations and the innovators (the scholars only). we are not quiet and we don’t come together with people of misguidance like the people of soofiyyah and the ones who teach the Ashariyyah creed and this whole contract is built upon this false principle. (come together upon what we agree upon and be quiet about what we differ about) this is the same type of calling of the ikwaan al muslimeen, and hasan al banna.

  13. dear brothers, ass-salamualakum
    i am homelass in the city of seattle (wa) our here police department doing crime aginest with me police do not have any evidence to i am doing stealling crime our here and i all so report to the police department same one assault me but police officer do not assist me and i all so contact to the law firm the do not assist me and i all so contact to the media all around the national no one want to take the responsibility about the crime,
    i am from india i all so contact to the my country media the do not take the responsibility about the crime,
    i beleave behand the crime (us) government
    i need your help, thank you
    note, i am in (u,s,a) since 1994

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