Syiah and Sunni are two groups of Muslims, formed because of differences of opinion about the ascension of power after the demise of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Some Muslims have the opinion that the first Caliph should have been Hazrat Ali may Allah be pleased with him as he belongs to the families of the Prophet s.a.w. Other Muslims are of the opinion that the first Caliph should be Hazrat Abu Bakar may Allah be pleased with him since he was the first to become Muslim and the most trusted companions of the Prophet s.a.w with the strongest iman. It was not in the mind of Hazrat Abu Bakar or Hazrat Ali to become the first Caliph of Islam.
Both of them have no desires for power or wealth but their desires were only to obtain the pleasure of Allah. Both of them were the jewels of Islam and the trusted companion of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. It was destined that Hazrat Abu Bakar became the first and Hazrat Ali became the fourth Caliph of Islam. Both of these companions of the Prophet are confirmed to be the dwellers of paradise.
We cannot understand Quran correctly without having iman, even though we may know how to read and understand the meaning of the Quran. The understanding of the Quran goes according to the level of iman that the Muslims have .When the Muslims have strong iman they will have correct understanding of the Quran but when their iman become weak, they will have wrong understanding of the Quran. Different opinions among Muslims on who should become the first Caliph only happen during the times when the Muslims start to have weak iman. When the love to conquer countries and to collect jizyah from non-Muslims in those countries conquered by the Muslims has entered the heart of the Muslims, the Muslims started to leave the work of dakwah. The Muslims who have the love of dunia in their heart were thinking that if they continue to do dakwah to the non-Muslims then many will become Muslims and few will remain as non-Muslims. When there were only few non-Muslims then there will be less income to the country as only few people will have to pay jizyah. When the love of dunia comes in the heart of the Muslims, they leave the work of dakwah and when the Muslims started to leave the work of dakwah their iman become weak. It was during these times that division among Muslims started to occur and one of the groups was Syiah. In the beginning, Syiah represents the group of Muslims that have the opinion that the first Caliph of Islam should be Hazrat Ali and not Hazrat Abu Bakar but later on it emerged to become a religious sect of its own. Syiah religious scholars started to teach their followers to hate Hazrat Abu Bakar and Hazrat Umar because to the Syiah, these two companions of the Prophets were the culprit that prevented Hazrat Ali from becoming the first Caliph of Islam. The Syiah religious scholars started to teach their followers to love Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Hassan, Hazrat Hussein, Hazrat Fatimah and few other companions of the Prophet only, and to hate those companions of the Prophet whom they think were involved in the choice of Hazrat Abu Bakar to become the first Caliph. The Syiah religious scholars teach their followers that only those of ahli bait or those who has the blood relationship with the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w has the only right to becomes the leader or imam of the Muslims. The Syiah religious scholars teach their followers to mourn over the death of Hazrat Hussein in Karbala. The occasion to remember the death of Hazrat Hussein in Karbala is made yearly by the Syiah and it is regarded by the Syiah as an important day to remember.
When we perform solat with congregation, one person has to become imam and the imam has to be the best from among them. Similarly, when Muslims are to choose who should become their leader, they should choose the best from among the Muslims in the world to be their leader. We need an imam in order to perform solat with congregation and we need a leader in order to lead the entire Muslims in the whole world. The one that should become the leader of the whole Muslims in the whole world must be the best from among the Muslim. He should have the strongest of iman, the best of conduct and the most knowledgeable in almost all fields when compared with all other Muslims. The Muslims should not choose their leader only on the basis that they have lineage with the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Allah has not told us to do like this in choosing our leader. There is no inheritance of power in Islam. The leader of the Muslims at a particular time must be the best from among the Muslims in the whole world at that time. Hazrat Abu Bakar may Allah be pleased with him was the best Muslim at the times after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w and so he was the right choice to become the first Caliph of Islam and not Hazrat Ali.
Hazrat Abu Bakar has become the first Caliph of Islam nearly one thousand three hundred years ago. None of us was there when the incident took place. The same political rivalry should not happen in our times. We should not inherit the hatred that they have until today. We should not becomes likes the pagans that inherit hatred from generation to generation. We should become like those who likes to forgive and forget. Although we may have different political views, there should not be any enmity between the Syiah and the Sunni. We should become brothers and sisters although we may have different religious opinion. We should not introduce ourselves as Syiah or Sunni but as only Muslims. The Syiah should stop remembering the sad incident that happens in Karbala whereby the misguided Muslims killed Hazrat Hussein. It is sad but we should forget and forgive. It gives us no benefit at all when we dwell on past sad memory. If any Muslims do harm on us we should remind them about their wrongdoing, brought it to discussion, and solve the problems amicably. We should not solve our problems using weapons, as we are brothers and sisters. We should solve our problems using friendly discussions and meetings. We should love all humankind especially Muslims and we should not hate each other. We have to stop killing any Syiah or Sunni and we have to stop killing any humankind. We are all belong to one family and descended from the same forefather and we are created by one God, name Allah and there is no God except Allah.
Prof Dr Nasoha Saabin
Integrative Holistic Wellness Centre