In the Spirit of Unity – Shaykh M.H. Kabbani
Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem Allahumma salli `ala habibikal Mustafa khayru khalqik wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma`ee
In the Spirit of Unity
By Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakatuhu, Brothers and Sisters in Islam,
First of all, I would like to congratulate the whole Muslim community in America for this year’s celebration of Eid Milad an-Nabi and send my greetings to everyone during this auspicious month full of blessings. Whereas in the past commemorating the birth of the Master of mankind, peace be upon him, had become a forgotten issue here, now alhamdulillah, after many years of struggle, it has become a nationally-commemorated event for the entire Muslim community.
Today, we find Milad is celebrated from one home to its neighbor, from one meeting hall to the next, and best of all from one mosque to another. In the streets of New York, the streets of Montreal and the streets of southern California, there are rallies and processions in celebration of this blessed season. Nothing could give we Muslims a greater feeling of pride than to see this renewed commitment to publicly expressing our love for the Most Honored of Humankind, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his esteemed family, whose support we seek for entering Paradise by means of their intercession. Recently, Dr. Aslam Abdullah wrote a letter regarding his reasons for his withdrawal from the Mawlid celebration, which took place at the Momin Lodge, in Torrance, California, the night of June 15, 2000. In the spirit of unity, I attended this event to illustrate that as Muslims, we may have our differences, however, it does not mean we do not respect one another and love one another for the sake of our esteemed religion. Most importantly, on such a significant occasion of honoring our beloved Prophet (saws), it would have been an ideal time to reconcile our broken community as a sign of our love, honor and respect to his community, for whom he sacrificed his life. It is unfortunate that this excellent opportunity for a reconciliation was lost.
Many leaders of Muslim organizations have approached me to heal the current breach within the community or discuss matters of disparity that may still exist. Some now understand the reality of my words, and understand the role semantics may have played in distorting the issue. Others may not have understood, but in the spirit of unity and brotherhood accepted the explanation from my perspective.
To Dr. Aslam Abdullah and Dr. Maher Hathout, who left this honorable event, I say it had afforded an excellent chance for an exchange of views between us. Each of us could have presented his viewpoint and debated the other in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood and unity. That is what I sought, and will continue to seek.
Since you, my respected brothers, chose to leave, this did not occur. My sincere wish is that such a discussion eventually takes place at some point in the near future, insha’allah. I pray that this division, which has fractured our community in America for too long now, will be repaired, and that all hearts, whose love we hold dear, be healed by Allah’s tremendous Grace.
I leave this issue to Allah and the Beloved Prophet (s), whose intercession we seek, and to the Muslim community, in the hope that every individual will make the necessary effort to seek out the truth, examine the facts and consult their good conscience instead of coming to pre-fabricated conclusions.
I myself feel that many of the leaders, and many community members realize the original condemnation may have been made based on misconceptions of what I said. I will continue to extend my hand to work with every Muslim for the cause of Islam.
I want it to be known, that I Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, am the weakest servant before Allah, but I would lay my neck on the line when it comes to Islam and Muslims. I ask Allah’s forgiveness for Dr. Hathout, Dr. Abdullah, and for myself, the poorest before Allah, and ask Him to grant that we, His weak servants are able to overcome our egos and meet in the spirit of reconciliation and brotherhood.
I hope that regardless of what took place at the Momin Lodge Eid al-Milad, progress will continue towards reconciliation among all Muslims, thereby enabling greater skill, strength and unity as we work towards the common goal of establishing a base for Muslim success in America.
Wa min Allah tawfiq.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America