This is indeed the perfect response. It’s sad that it takes a tragedy for us to stand together side by side as brothers. This is the way it should be, every day. This should be the norm, not the exception.

To all my Shia followers...

Let it be known that for the record, to any Shia Muslim who feels their faith is invalid or invaluable, that I (and many others) a SUNNI Muslim, cares about you, who you are, your beliefs and I WILL stand up for you. 

Our faith is BEAUTIFUL and INCLUSIVE and don’t EVER let anyone tell you otherwise. 

And to all my Sunni followers, please reblog this to show your support towards your fellow believers. It’s time to change the stigma. 

As Americans, we are blessed to have numerous hospitals to be admitted to if needed; however, we also know that this luxury is not shared worldwide. As we have all recently heard, the brutal and monstrous attacks by ISIS have increased, and as a result of inadequate health care, so have the death rates of many innocent civilians. The Middle East is suffering as a whole, but in particular, the city of Karbala, Iraq is in most demand of a hospital due to having been deprived “from a number of health centers and hospitals” and because of “the lack of medical services related to the past international blockade under the former regime” (Development and Relief Foundation). If you have ever thought to yourself, “I want to save a life, but do not want to go through the 6+ years of medical school” then listen up! Sam Sheikali and myself are teaming up in hopes to raise money to aid in the construction of a fully equipped hospital in Karbala. We are aiming to raise $5,000 (every penny of which will be donated to the Karbala Hospital Project), but we can’t do it without your help. It is up to YOU to help make this happen, YOU have the power to save the lives of the tens of thousands of Iraqis who are suffering at the hands of brutal terrorists. For more information, click the GoFundMe link below, and don’t forget to share!


Islamic UNITY

Week of Islamic Unity in Iran. Shia and Sunni Scholars praying together on the birthday anniversary of the mercy to mankind, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), in Iran to show the importance of the unity within the Islamic Ummah (society).


Sunni And Shiite British Imams Denounce ISIS Together In New Video

Sunni and Shiite Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom have come together to denounce the Islamic militant group ISIS in a video posted by a group called Imams Online, reports the BBC.

A statement on the Imams Online website says, “Senior British imams have come together to emphasize the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.”

They hope the four-minute film will serve to counter the “digital propaganda” disseminated by ISIS, which has been noted for its heavy use of social media. Specifically, their goal is to strongly urge young Britons from traveling to Iraq and Syria to take part in the conflict. They also denounced Sunni-Shiite sectarianism, as earlier this week ISIS destroyed Shiite mosques and shrines.

“We are Muslims united against ISIS, against terrorism, against atrocity, against pain and suffering,” says Sayed Ali Rizvi, head of the Majlis Ulama-e-Shia group, in the video.

statement from ISIS exhorted Muslims worldwide to join them upon their declaration of an Islamic Caliphate led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “It is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to (him) and support him,” it said.

The Imams Online video quotes the Quran to emphasize the importance of Islamic unity despite the sectarian nature of the conflict in the Middle East. From Surah Al-Imran:

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by his favour, brothers.

“As a Sunni Muslim, I do not accept the Caliphate of ISIS, I consider ISIS as a terrorist organization,” said Maulana Shahid Raza, of Leicester Central Mosque.

Abu Muntasir, chief executive of the charity organiztion JIMAS, said, “Brothers and sisters, if I could tell you in one sentence about ISIS I would tell you that they are evil, they are corrupt, they are self-seeking, self-centered, vicious people. Don’t get mixed up with them.”


Islam Week!

The main Islamic madh'habs (schools of law) of Muslim countries or distributions
Online (2015)


Tree showing the relationships among different branches of Islam
Online (2015)

Over the week, we’ll probably talk about how different sects of Islam interpret things differently. So we might as well get the big divisions out of the way first.

The BBC says:

Muslims are split into two main branches, the Sunnis and Shia. The split originates in a dispute soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad over who should lead the Muslim community.

The great majority of Muslims are Sunnis - estimates suggest the figure is somewhere between 85% and 90%. Members of the two sects have co-existed for centuries and share many fundamental beliefs and practices.

Though they may not interact much outside the public sphere, there are always exceptions. In urban Iraq, for instance, intermarriage between Sunnis and Shia was, until recently, quite common.

The differences lie in the fields of doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organisation.

Their leaders also often seem to be in competition.

From Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Pakistan, many recent conflicts have emphasised the sectarian divide, tearing communities apart.


Sunni Muslims Declare Support for Iran’s New President
Iran (2013)

Who are the Sunnis?

Sunni Muslims regard themselves as the orthodox and traditionalist branch of Islam.

The word Sunni comes from “Ahl al-Sunna”, the people of the tradition. The tradition in this case refers to practices based on precedent or reports of the actions of the Prophet Muhammad and those close to him.

Sunnis venerate all the prophets mentioned in the Koran, but particularly Muhammad as the final prophet. All subsequent Muslim leaders are seen as temporal figures.

In contrast to Shia, Sunni religious teachers and leaders have historically come under state control.

The Sunni tradition also emphasises a codified system of Islamic law and adherence to four schools of law.


Women from Turkey’s Shia minority observe a religious procession in Istanbul

Who are the Shia?

In early Islamic history the Shia were a political faction - literally “Shiat Ali” or the party of Ali.

The Shia claimed the right of Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, and his descendants to lead the Islamic community.

Ali was killed as a result of intrigues, violence and civil wars which marred his caliphate. His sons, Hassan and Hussein, were denied what they thought was their legitimate right of accession to caliphate. Hassan is believed to have been poisoned by Muawiyah, the first caliph (leader of Muslims) of the Umayyad dynasty.

His brother, Hussein, was killed on the battlefield along with members of his family, after being invited by supporters to Kufa (the seat of caliphate of Ali) where they promised to swear allegiance to him.

These events gave rise to the Shia concept of martyrdom and the rituals of grieving.

There is a distinctive messianic element to the faith and Shia have a hierarchy of clerics who practise independent and ongoing interpretation of Islamic texts.

Estimates of the number of Shia range from 120 to 170 million, roughly one-tenth of all Muslims.

Shia Muslims are in the majority in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and, according to some estimates, Yemen. There are large Shia communities in Afghanistan, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


Peter Brookes
Sunni and Shia
UK (2003)

What role has sectarianism played in recent crises?

In countries that have been governed by Sunnis, Shia tend to make up the poorest sections of society. They often see themselves as victims of discrimination and oppression. Some extremist Sunni doctrines have preached hatred of Shia.

The Iranian revolution of 1979 launched a radical Shia Islamist agenda that was perceived as a challenge to conservative Sunni regimes, particularly in the Gulf.

Tehran’s policy of supporting Shia militias and parties beyond its borders was matched by the Gulf states, which strengthened their links to Sunni governments and movements abroad.

During the civil war in Lebanon, Shia gained a strong political voice because of the military activities of Hezbollah.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, hardline Sunni militant groups - such as the Taliban - have often attacked Shia places of worship.

The current conflicts in Iraq and Syria have also acquired strong sectarian overtones. Young Sunni men in both countries have joined rebel groups, many of which echo the hardline ideology of al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, many of their counterparts from the Shia community have been fighting for - or alongside - government forces.

All that being said, there are a lot of joint Sunni-Shia community initiatives that resist sectarianism:


Sunni and Shi'ite worshippers, together with Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, pray at the Grand Mosque of Kuwait, in Kuwait City
Kuwait (2015)

And a lot of places (Singapore included) where the difference really doesn’t matter all that much.