Regarding Muslim unity, leading religious scholar and academician Mufti Ghulam-ur-Rahman says:
Academic disagreements are inevitable due to objective conditions, mental levels and intellectual diversities, but these variances must remain within the limits of difference of opinions and making these disagreements as the cause of mutual misunderstanding, discord and conflicts is no wisdom. Everyone has the right to express his opinion and if anyone shows divergence he should not be rejected by giving his views an emotional colour. Instead of arousing sentimental feelings, we should show seriousness, taking into consideration rationalism and arguments and resort to dialogue to create mutual understanding so that good prevails instead of evil and benefits are achieved as against suffering losses.
Ulamas are clear on the point that unity among Muslims never means all Muslims give up their standpoints and become one because everyone knows it is impossible to happen so, as is evident from the above mentioned account of Mufti Ghulam Rahman. Stressing the same point, Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani suggests the way of tolerance, harmony and concord. He says:
If unity among different Muslim sects means uniformity in both the thoughts and practices, it is not possible. Adhering to one’s opinion and sets of belief, everyone must not deem it final and not start quarrelling with others on the basis of it and such a kind of approach is the right way.
In order to create unity and proximity among Muslims, a way according to some feeling the pain of the Ummah is to devise the curriculum and create the atmosphere of Madrasas (religious institutions) in a manner that the followers of different sects can get admissions in every Madrasa. Declaring the policy of his Madrasa Darul Uloom Haqqania Akora Khattak, Maulana Anwarul Haq says:
We will certainly admit a student of Barelvi thought in our institution. Several students belonging to families of Barelvi background are studying in our Madrasa. Even the son of Jamaat-e-Islami district amir is getting religious education here as is the son as well as the brother of Maulana Noor-ul-Haq Qadri.
Maulana Anwarul Haq further says:
There is another alim belonging to Barelvi sect who is allied to a very big Masjid (mosque) in Hayatabad and also has a Madrasa of his own. His son is also gaining knowledge here. There are no such restrictions here and anyone being faithful to any sect came come and study here.
At this moment, Maulana Rashidul Haq, who is teaching at Darul Uloom Haqqania and is also the son of Maulana Samiul Haq, goes on to say:
There is definitely no bar from our side even if one belongs to the Shia sect.
For this to happen, it is evident that we have to sit together and talk about the need of having such a curriculum that is shared by all the sects or that takes care of the needs of all the sects. However, the most important point is to create such an ambience in which students from all the denominations find intimacy and a feeling of belonging. In this regard, citing his Madrasa, Maulana Anwarul Haq says:
There is no talk against any sect in our preaching and lessons. I have been imparting religious education for 46 years and have never even thought to speak against the Shia sect.
When his attention was drawn toward the perception that in Madrasas of every sect hatred towards other sects is inculcated in the minds of people studying there, Maulana Rashidul Haq says:
It is a propaganda to say that hatred against each other is drilled into the heads of students studying in religious institutions.
However, on the subject of imparting Jihadi education in Madrasas, Maulana Anwarul Haq says as a further remark on the occasion:
As far as Jihad is concerned, it is part and parcel of Islam and there are Quranic verses in this respect.
Note: This is an extract from the book titled, ‘The religious sects of Pakistan’ (Pakistan ky Deeny Masalik).