Sunnis Pledge Mutual Respect and Cooperation

Sheikh Yasir Qadi has a post up at Muslim Matters about a new ‘agreement’ signed between a number of the Sunni scholars, du’at and students of knowledge in the West. In essence, the agreement seeks to address some of the bickering that has taken place between Sunni groups and makes a number of useful points.

The entire document can be viewed here [pdf].

There are a lot of familiar names amongst the signatories representing a broad cross-section of the Muslim community. For example, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, Sheikh Zaid Shakir, and Australia’s own Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury.

Sheikh Yasir summarises the document as follows:

  • The fundamental issues of creed, as embodied in the famous Hadeeth of Jibreel, are simple, and it is not a requirement of Islam that every single Muslim be cognizant of the more abstruse issues of theology.
  • The situation and times we live in warrants an even more concerted effort to achieve unity amongst Muslims, and avoid splintering to the greatest extent possible.
  • Disputations of more complex issues of theology need to be conducted by people who are trained in these sciences, and not by lay-Muslims. Additionally, even when such discussions take place, they should be done in accordance with proper Islamic etiquette.
  • No charges of takfeer should be labeled against other Sunni groups or scholars, and neither should the motives or character of those who profess alternate theologies within Sunni Islam be impugned due to their allegiance to that theology.
  • Individual Muslims should, to the greatest extent possible, respect the local scholars of the community, and not engage in rash actions that might polarize the community or lead to further strife. There are proper ways of handling differences of opinion – even theological ones.
  • Lay-Muslims, especially the youth (i.e., college level) should avoid getting passionately involved in intra-Sunni polemics, whether on campus or online, as this inevitably leads to the splintering of an already fragile local community.
  • At an individual level, all Muslims should strive to come closer to Allah through increased acts of worship, and at a community level they should come together in order to counter any and all negative and false images of Islam.

It’s a good step, I suppose, but to extent to which such an agreement translates into actual action remains to be seen.


#1 Yakoub Islam on 09.24.07 at 2:55 am

My own response:

#2 The Sunni Unity Pledge | Mujahideen Ryder's Blog on 09.24.07 at 8:11 am

[...] the conversation (you should join too): Abs, Abu Easa, Austrolabe, Danya, HAhmed, iMuslim, Jinnzaman, Knowledge Seeker, Munzareen, MuslimMatters, Suhaib Webb, [...]

#3 Amir on 09.24.07 at 11:37 pm

Yakoub, what happened to your blog?

#4 » Update! Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation on 09.25.07 at 3:08 am

[...] Abu Easa, Suhaib Webb, Yahya Birt, iMuslim, Umar, HAhmed, Danya, Abs, Munzareen, UmmZaid, Manas, Austrolabe, Hema, Hamdy, Jinnzaman, Ijtema, Muslimology, Nuralhuda, Yaqub, Margari Aziza, Haitham Hamdan, [...]

#5 Yakoub Islam on 09.29.07 at 7:29 pm

Blog moved (link from here). My response to the pledge is simply I don’t agree. I’m sure I’m not alone, although it’s sad so few seem to want to question it. I think anyone with taqwa and a commitment to truth can pick up the Qur’an and let it guide them. I have never read or heard anything from Hamzu Yusuf or any of those celebrity Muslims that has anything to do with my life. They all seem very self-important to me.

#6 umm kalthum on 01.31.10 at 3:29 pm

subhanallah was told about this pledge but did not want it to be true subhanallah its calling on muslims to unite upon groups with false aqeedah and manhaj and that is not the way forward victory only comes with following the haqq and correct understanding of the companions ra da tabieen and at tabieen who were the 3 best generations. and by uniting with such groups where is ordering the good and forbidding the evil going to do. so your going to happily join with people who do bidah and are innovating against this religion where in surah al imran Allah swt says “on this day i have completed your religion for you and chosen islam as your deen”. further more what is shocking is the number of sheikhs students of knowledge that have signed thing is for sure uniting on falsehood is not the way forward but correcting the ummahs aqqedah and developing the correct understanding of the deen amongst all muslims is the ways forward. may Allah swt guide them and us to the straight path and make us steadfast upon that and unite the muslim ummah upon the true way of the prophet saw and his companions and grant us victory and a place in jannatul firdaus!!

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