Gulf Conflicts and The Muslims Dilemma – Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafi’i

The diplomatic row that recently engulfed the Gulf region is rapidly taking a worrisome dimension. The escalation that trailed the unfolding scenario is indeed giving keen observers another sleepless night, fearing the consequences of any breakout of hostilities or war in the most peaceful part of the world.

Turkey disapproves of the sanctions on Qatar as the crisis continues to deepen and new countries get on the bandwagon to freeze diplomatic ties with the … This unfortunate development has thus put the Muslims in a fix. Some simply got confused on what to do, finding it exceedingly difficult to determine on which side of the divide to pitch their tent of justice.

I, therefore, offer to submit the following to guide our position and judgment regarding the escalating scenarios. First, the Quran says: “And if two parties among the believers quarrel, make peace between them; but if one of them acts wrongfully towards the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah’s command; then if it returns, make peace between them with justice and act equitably; indeed Allah loves those who act equitably.” (Al-Hujurat, 49/9) When two Muslims fight, the responsibility of other Muslims is to mediate and ensure it is settled.

The reasons for diplomatic row and Saudi cutting ties with Qatar is embarrassing. Many do not know the bone of contention yet, and dragging Ikhwan into the issue is completely misplaced. Using Ikhwan as of the reasons of the blockade is aggravatingly worrisome too.

All the people of conscience know that the Islamic brand of Ikhwan is one that promotes peaceful and Islamic morals through pristine etiquettes, intellectual development and provision of admiring services for humanity at large for societal advancement.

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Saudi goofed again by listing a globally renowned and respected Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi as a terrorist. Similarly, branding him as ‘an enemy of peace’ without advancing any justifiable reason is an open disgrace to the justice Islam stands for.

It is also against the simple Islamic etiquettes to disrespect scholars of the Sunnah who uphold the true message of Islam in our generation. Advocates of truth and justice with no vestige of partisanship know clearly that Saudi is wrong for their coalition with UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, America and of course, the Zionist state of Israel against Qatar.

We are compelled to ask Saudi to tell the world the exact offence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar. The excuses so far advanced are baseless and meaningless to common sense. Brotherhood has been the only surviving Islamic movement that advocates peace, tolerance and services for human positive development in its entirety since the jolting of the Islamic caliphate in 1924.

They have remained resolute on the path of peace despite intense provocation. For instance, they were unjustly massacred in Egypt after the first democratically elected president Dr Muhammad Mursi was toppled in a bloody scene and hundreds of their leaders unjustly hounded into prisons. They have remained resolute on the path of peace despite intense provocation. For instance, they were unjustly massacred in Egypt after the first democratically elected president Dr Muhammad Mursi was toppled in a bloody scene and hundreds of their leaders unjustly hounded into prisons.

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Many more were given ridiculous jail terms for no justifiable cause. Even when they had the means to retaliate by carrying arms, they never took to violence, they ensured peace and courageously put their hope in Allah for the ultimate justice. Our role as Muslims is to engage in fruitful actions that would bring the Unity of the Muslims together.

The rift between Saudi and Qatar is dangerous for the Ummah. And such problem can’t be avoided when one party has consistently sold the rights of other Muslims to the enemies of Islam who only want the ranks of the Muslims to be destroyed with a view to further achieve their clandestine motive and evil plans. A Muslim must see himself as a Muslim. You must respect your brother and protect him, don’t push him to the enemies.

No matter how close you are to Western allies, they can’t take the real position of your Brothers and the pristine identity of true Islamic relationship. As Muslims, Islam asked us to honour our brothers, no matter the differences. The Islam practised by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and as taught to his Sahabah (his companions) is the ultimate thing to attain Allah’s Mercies.

We must, therefore, pray for the unity of the Ummah as the problem of the Muslims is beyond trading blames. We need to pray to Allah and seek His ultimate Mercy and Blessings to save the Ummah from collapse.

By Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafi’I is the Grand Mufti, Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) in Nigeria.

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