Hajj potentialities for boosting Islamic unity
Hajj pilgrims are involved in a personal meeting with thousands of their peers from other countries, Pilgrims who might have grown a fake and negative image of Shia, particularly during the past 5 chaotic years in Syria and other Shia-inhibited countries. Some might even refrain from expanding a positive interaction with pilgrims from a different denomination. Sometimes a fraternal affectionate behavior and following some seemingly unimportant points lead to correction of a misunderstanding.
Islam Maleki Moaff, Iranian professor at Imam Sadeq (AS) University, shared his views with Okhovvat (fraternity) e-magazine calling Hajj as the best opportunity to confront with anti-Shia propaganda spread by Wahhabism seeking no end but misrepresenting Shia community.
The best practical and ideological strategy to boost mutual understanding between pilgrims from different countries is to follow the unifying recommendations of Ahlul Bayt (AS), household of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). A fraternal affectionate behavior with other denominations is an Islamic and humane mission and this mission has to be highlighted particularly during Hajj ceremonies. Here is the arena when someone is excommunicated, a great extent of patience and wisdom have to be summoned in a bid to deal with the misunderstanding. Once a true image of Shia ideologies are provided by pilgrims, then the fake exaggerated image by western and Arab media will fade away.
The cleric was asked on using the capacities of Hajj ceremony to confront with the massive anti-Shia propaganda which blocks the realization of Islamic unity and isolates the Shia community. He said a vain effort to promote Shia is one of the efforts that damages unity more than anything else.
Shia pilgrims have enough attention on Islamic unity but during the recent years we have witnessed a new issue that some Shia pilgrims desecrate Sunni sanctities under the name of defending Shia and that is because of some satellite channels and social network pages draw the younger generation towards extremism. They quote undocumented or even fake hadiths to push the youths to the point that they think even naming Sunni community or even desecrating them is to be gifted. The leaders of these groups dare to make up fake hadiths while their followers, not being well informed, spread these fake hadiths.
There is fear that some Shia youths are attracted by this movement known as “British Shiaism”. They are prone to make moves that might damage Islamic unity or the image of Shia during Hajj rituals. There is still the possibility that some people imagine they can lead other denominations by desecrating their sanctities. Such people are mistaken in their strategy because to disrespect others during Hajj has no use but to widen the gap and creation of prejudice for the other side.
To quote fake hadiths is a move which is only said to populate Ahlul Bayt (AS) while it is in fact an organized increasing move to distance Muslims.
We might have disagreements with some Umayyad Caliphate though we share a lot in the basis of our beliefs like monotheism, prayers and Qibla (praying direction).
If Shia Muslims refrain from these gatherings and isolate themselves in Shia communities, then there will be enough grounds for them to be excommunicated. When Shia attends prayers then the baseless rumors will be foiled.
Extremist moves between Shia and Sunni is not an issue which can be dealt with only by the clerics in Hajj caravans. These issues must be uprooted via academic discussions in universities, seminaries and mass media. If disrespecting the sanctities of other denominations is taken as an honor in some gatherings, then unifying quotes of Ahlul Bayt (AS) will have no effect during Hajj ceremony; therefore, these contrasts have to be resolved within our Shia community and before Hajj ceremony.
Ahlul Bayt (AS) recommend that we maintain the sanctities of Sunni brothers. To disrespect their beliefs is in fact a violation of their rights and they have the right to enjoy a peaceful life next to us.