One day, I was heading to a Muslim Conference with some of the students from the UCLA MSA. I was excited because this was the first time I would be attending a conference like this. The conference was about eight hours away, and I went with my siblings and about four other people in a van.
We all introduced each other and made small talk. One of the brothers asked us, “So…. What do you guys think about Shia Muslims?” The question threw my siblings and me off, and we did not make a comment. I was not sure where he was heading with the question, and I felt uncomfortable. My siblings did as well because we grew up making no major distinctions between Sunni and Shia Muslims. We all said no comment.
The reason why I wanted to bring up this instance was because although it was years ago, I still remember it. I always think to myself, “Since the brother was a Sunni Muslim, did he hope that I would say something negative so that he could agree? What was his purpose for asking?” These days, our community is so divided, and a lot of Muslims start arguments within our own community where it is unnecessary. Instead of focusing on differences, why don’t we focus on similarities? Why don’t we learn to pray together in the same mosques? What is the purpose of trying to prove that one group is better than the other? In the Quran, it states, “Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, O Muhammad, are not associated with them in anything. Their affair is only left to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do [Quran 6:159].” May we learn to all get along and spread peace. Ameen.
What is your opinion regarding the distinction between Sunnis and Shias? Do you believe there should be separate mosques for the two? Comment down below…