Unity in Diversity in the Muslim World: An Exploratory Study
Department of English Language and Literature,
International Islamic University, Malaysia
This paper looks at the issue of unity in the Muslim Ummah. It uses the premise of unity in diversity to critically examine factors that both favour and militate against the achievement of unity in diversity. Using broad headings such as race, ethnicity, sectarianism, cultism, occultism, social and economic disparities, illiteracy and educational imbalances, it seeks to probe with utmost sensitivity, the contributions of all these factors for or against Muslim unity. In addition, it also assesses the effect of liberal ideas on Muslims in terms of their human relationships and conduct of affairs. The paper also views the use of certain words and expressions that tend to vilify rather than enhance the image of Muslims and regard them as social aberrations. Negative words like “unbeliever”, “sinner”, “nominal”, “Satan” and others are routinely used to describe some Muslims in spite of lack of credible evidence. The paper sees such usages as detrimental to Muslim unity. Finally, the paper discusses global challenges in the field of science and technology and how they affect Muslims in their existence. The paper concludes that there is hope for a sustainable unity in diversity of the Ummah, seeing the exemplary leadership and contributions of Muslims in Islamic history as points of reference and emulation. One of the best solutions is the adoption of political doctrine of moderation and modernisation that has successfully made a country like Malaysia a peaceful, progressive and prosperous nation.