The existence of 57 Muslim nations instead of one, and a population of one fifth of the world bring with it many challenges. We find all the excuses in the world to create division amongst ourselves.
We divide ourselves on according to race, sect, our pre-Islamic cultures, political opinions, ancestry and even on the Imams we follow. Muslims in the UK are universally united in their belief in God and the Prophet Muhammad and are bound together by such religious practices as fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, Eid Festivals and Charitable acts of giving / helping people in need.
But they have widely differing views about many other aspects of their faith, including how important religion is to their everyday lives, who counts as a Muslim and what practices are acceptable in Islam. Islamic unity is the mutual respect between the Islamic branches and the pursuit to achieve common goals by all Muslims and solidarity and unity of Islamic diaspora. In the UK, the distinction between Sunni and Shia appears to be of lesser consequence.
Mostly Muslims do not identify with either branch of Islam, saying instead that they are “just a Muslim.” Umbrella organisations such as (MCB) Muslim Council of Britain have over 500 affiliated members such as mosques, charities and schools, and operate an entirely non-sectarian body working for the common good of all Muslims.
Unifying Five Pillars of Islam Islam is defined by “Five Pillars” – basic rituals that are obligatory for all members of the Islamic community who are physically able to perform them. The Five Pillars include: the profession of faith (shahadah); daily prayer (salat); fasting during the holy month of Ramadan (sawm); annual almsgiving to assist the poor or needy (zakat); and participation in the annual pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during one’s lifetime (hajj).
Quran states: And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude God’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren;and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire,and He saved you from it. Thus doth God make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided(The Glorious Quran 3:103) Obey Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappears. And be steadfast. Allah is with the steadfast.(8:46) As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with God: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.(6:159)