The glorious month of Ramadan
The Islamic world is once again rejoicing at the arrival of the glorious month of Ramadan. Marked by daylong fasting, Ramadan rekindles the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood in the Muslim community and strengthens their spirituality. Despite positive developments in recent months, it is clear the Islamic community is in dire need of brotherhood and Ramadan is a beautiful way of bringing back this lost spirit of fellowship.
As our readers will recall, when Iran's former President Ahmedinejad came to Turkey, he famously prayed in a mosque with a Sunni imam. In a similar display of solidarity, President Erdogan grabbed the headlines with his words, ‘We have no religion called 'Sunni' or 'Shiite’, only Islam’. These statements coming from two top officials of Iran and Turkey were no doubt, extremely important. They clearly showed to the world that differences in the way our religion is practiced cannot be an obstacle to our brotherhood and solidarity. Indeed, we have seen a many great examples of this beautiful rapprochement between Turkey and Iran. When Iran was left facing heavy sanctions from much of the world, the helping hand of Turkey came as a breath of fresh air. It is crucial that the two countries continue to take advantage of similar opportunities and make their friendship even stronger. In a similar fashion, President Rouhani and President Erdogan recently drew attention to the dangers of sectarian divide and emphasized the importance of Muslims’ commitment to Islam based on the commandments in the Qur'an.
The change that comes to Iran with Ramadan is almost palpable and can be felt in the air. Our sister nation Iran is extremely devout and committed to the commands of God. Come the time of the iftar dinner, everywhere fills with joy as Muslims gleefully break their fasts with dates, just like our Prophet Mohammed (saas) used to. The Qur'an is recited after dinner and mosques become even more crowded than usual. In other words, spirituality is noticeable and felt everywhere, just like in Turkey.
The Islamic world’s salvation depends on encouraging brotherhood and alliance in the Islamic world. It is therefore crucial that the Muslims of the world gather around the Qur'an, no longer consider differences in interpretation as a reason for separation, and find common grounds to unite. When this beautiful spirit comes to dominate the Islamic world, the distances between Muslims will be eliminated, and Islamic Union will come one step closer. This is not only a religious duty but also a responsibility for all Muslims so that the difficult days of the world can come to an end soon.
Almighty God says in the 103rd verse of Surah Al I’mran, ‘Hold fast to the rope of God all together, and do not separate’.
According to the Qur'an, Muslims should not be fragmented as they are today. That’s why it is very important that Iran and Turkey reinforce their love and alliance and set a beautiful example to the rest of the Islamic world.
Let’s all pray together in this Ramadan to our Almighty Lord that the Islamic world unites in a strong alliance. Let’s not forget that solution for every difficulty that Muslims face today is Islamic Union. There is unceasing pain and suffering in the Islamic world from Ethiopia to Somalia, Iraq to Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Chad among others: In these difficult times, Muslims should be talking about nothing but Islamic Union and pray together in mosques and in religious gatherings, especially during Ramadan for Islamic Union. It is crucial that everyone starts talking about and encouraging this beautiful blessing.
Let’s work together so that the spirituality and depth that Ramadan lends to our souls extends to the entire Islamic world. Let’s make sure that Iran and Turkey become the closest of allies and friends so that the entire Islamic Ummah can see this as a beautiful example and follow suit.
In order for this to happen, it is crucial that leading figures of both countries point to the desirable qualities of the other country and show their support and love for each other. Frequent mutual visits between top leaders and corresponding cooperation agreements on many areas will also help achieve this important goal. They can also act together to solve social and political problems and provide constructive solutions. This attitude will not only empower both countries, but also prompt other Muslim countries to adopt a similar approach. Let’s see the month of Ramadan as a great means for achieving these beautiful goals.
Certainly, all these efforts are crucial as practical prayers on the part of Muslims. However, the truth is that only Mahdi can bring about the union and solidarity urgently needed in the Islamic world. It is only Mahdi who can disperse the dark clouds hovering over Muslims. In other words, Mahdi, whom God’s Messenger Prophet Mohammed (saas) gave the glad tidings of, of whose name Imam Ali (as) knew about…
Mahdi is a sacred and crucial figure both for Iran and Turkey. This commonality is enough for us to always act in concert and solidarity. Political conjectures, sectarian differences or regional realities cannot overshadow this fact. Our Lord gave the good news of these beautiful days and we will be witnessing them soon. It is crucial that these glad tidings are heard across the Islamic world and inspire hope in people. The sister countries responsible for doing this are, no doubt, Iran and Turkey.