Unity of aim is necessary, but opposing views of this kind can never find a point of convergence anywhere on earth. Since they do not differ for the sake of the truth, they multiply ad infinitum, and give rise to divergences that can never be reconciled.
I n S h o r t : If one does not make of the exalted rules, “Love for the sake of God,1 * Dislike for the sake of God, judgement for the sake of God”2 the guiding principles of one’s conduct, dispute and discord will result. If one does not say, “dislike for the sake of God, judgement for the sake of God” and take due account of those principles, one’s attempts to do justice will result in injustice.
An event with an important lesson: Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him) once threw an unbeliever to the ground. As he drew his sword to kill him, the unbeliever spat in his face. He released him without killing him. The unbeliever said: “Why did you not kill me?” He replied: “I was going to kill you for the sake of God. But when you spat at me, I became angered and the purity of my intention was clouded by the inclinations of my soul. It is for this reason that I did not kill you.” The unbeliever replied: “If your religion is so pure and disinterested, it must be the truth.”3
An occurrence worthy of note: When once a judge showed signs of anger while cutting off the hand of a thief, the just ruler who chanced to observe him dismissed him from his post. For if he had cut the hand in the name of the Shari‘a, his soul would have felt pity for the victim; he should have cut it off in a manner devoid of both anger and mercy. Since the inclinations of his soul had had some share in his deed, he did not perform the act with justice.
A regrettable social condition and an awesome disease affecting the life of society, fit to be wept over by the heart of Islam: To forget and abandon internal enmities when foreign enemies appear and attack is a demand of social welfare recognized and enacted even by the most primitive peoples. What then ails those who claim to be serving the Islamic community that at a time when numberless enemies are taking up positions to attack, one after the other, they fail to forget their petty enmities, and instead prepare the ground for the enemies’ attacks? It is disgraceful savagery, and treason committed against the social life of Islam.
A story to be pondered over: There were two groups of the Hasanan, a tribe of nomads, hostile to each other. Although more than maybe fifty
Qur’an, 40:12; 28:70; 6:57.
Bukhari, Iman. 1; Abu Da’ud, Sunna, 2; Musnad, v, 146.
Shemseddin Sivasi, Manaqib-i Chahar Yar-i Guzin, 294.