Divine Unicity

Decent Essays
hapter three of Malise Ruthven’s book, Islam: A Very Short Introduction, is dedicated to the subject of divine unicity and the fact that, although it is a very important belief in Islam, the Muslim world is characterised by disunity. The word tawhid means unicity, and there is an “insistence that it is unicity above all that defines divinity,” which is not directly mentioned in the Quran, but is implied. The idea can be traced back to 657, when Mu‘āwiya’s soldiers placed pages of the Quran on their lances, symbolizing that they are also Muslims like ‘Alī’s supporters, calling upon this sacred unicity to reach arbitration. Throughout the history of Islam, similarly to Christianity, there have been countless breaks and divisions, ultimately leading…show more content…
Unicity exists in all three, but in Islam it is divine unicity; the idea that “there is is no god but God,” which conflicts with the present sectarianism (57). Sunni, Shī‛a, and other Islamic sects all believe in Allah as all Christians and Jews believe in God, however, division comes through interpretation, which varies from person to person and the acceptability of beliefs depended on the influence of their leaders. Each sect has different answers to particular questions, such as what qualifies a person to be Muslim, which groups like the Seceders believed that any serious sinners could no longer be Muslims but the Murjia believe “anyone making the profession of faith was a Muslim.” There is also the question of predestination and free will that coincides with whether or not the Quran was created. The Mu‛tazila believed in the Created Quran while the Ash‛aris believed in the Uncreated Quran, differing on the essence of God and his unicity, with that latter having a philosophy of acceptance without asking questions (66-67).
The Muslim world could be united should each sect accept their difference with respect and understanding that there still is only one God. Divine unicity would be better practiced as a force that brought Muslims together without generating conflict that is concerned with the finer political and theological distinctions.
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