Islam commands unity and warns against disunity. Almighty Allah says, "And hold fast, all together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur'an) and be not divided." (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3:103);
"And be not like those who became divided and who disagreed [among themselves] after clear proofs had come to them; and it is they for whom there shall be a great punishment." (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3:105);
"He had prescribed for you the religion which He enjoined on Noah, and which We have revealed to you, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus, [saying,] 'Remain steadfast and be not divided therein.'" (Surah Ash-Shurah, 42:13)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said in this regard, "Unity is mercy, while disunity is punishment."
It is clear, then, that Islam encourages unity and strongly opposes disunity and dissension.
Types of unity and disunity
Islam calls to unity and forbids disunity with regard to two types of unity and disunity.
a. Unity, not disunity, in religion
People are not allowed to introduce any form of innovation into religion, be they words, practices or rites. Rather they should be united in religion and follow the true religion in its entirety, in its creed, acts of devotion and dealings; they should not exceed the limits set by the Legislator and leave legislation to Almighty Allah alone in all affairs: "Have they [such false] associates [of Allah] as have made lawful for them in religion that which Allah has not allowed? And had it not been for a decisive Word [gone forth already], the matter would have been decided between them." (Surah Ash-Shurah, 42:21)
b. Unity, not disunity, regarding worldly matters, the state and the ruler
Allah the Almighty commands Muslims to observe unity by supporting the Muslim ruler, giving him good counsel and should under no circumstances be betrayed. He also warns against opposing him and becoming disunited.
To stay united and give support to the ruler is tantamount to supporting religion even if there is some neglect on his part or if he commits some mistakes or holds opinions on which others do not agree with him. When ijtihad, or independent reasoning, on any issue is required, people must give support to the ruler in any matter that requires ijtihaad to avoid disunity. Observing unity with regard to the state and ruler will doubtless keep Muslims united; conversely, becoming divided into sects as to the state and the ruler will doubtless lead to disunity and anarchy. Allah the Almighty says,
"If your Lord had so willed, he could have made mankind one people, but they will not cease to differ save those on whom your Lord has had mercy, and for this has he created them." (Surah Hud, 11:118-119)
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human