It is the avowed objective of some Muslims to create confusion and misconception among the Shias. This explains the deafening slogans of unity that we keep hearing from certain quarters. They claim that all Muslims regardless of their differences and dispositions must unite. And they must learn give and take – they must give up some of their own beliefs and practices and adopt the beliefs and practices of other Muslims – this is the only way Muslims will stop picking on each other and live in harmony.
While talk of unity and harmony is admirable and even welcome, let us first refer to the Noble Quran in this matter.
In a clear verdict on how unity between opposite entities is just not possible the Holy Quran raises some questions:
“And the blind and the seeing are not alike
Nor the darkness and the light,
Nor the shade and the heat,
Neither are the living and the dead alike…”
(Surah Faatir (35): Verses 19-22)
How can the pure unite with the impure?
In an interesting incident Imam Hasan (a.s.) makes just this point to Muawiyah underscoring how he (a.s.) and his Shias can never unite with Muawiyah and his followers.
In a bid to insult Imam Hasan (a.s.), once Muawiyah invited him (a.s.) in an assembly that also had his foremost supporters like Amr b. Usman b. Affaan, Amr-e-Aas, Utbah b. Abi Sufyan, Waleed b. Aqbah b. Abi Mueet and Mughairah b. Sho’bah.
As instructed by Muawiyah, each of these took turns to address Imam Hasan (a.s.) and insulted him and his father Ameer al-Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.). Imam Hasan (a.s.) gave a fitting response to each of them from the Majestic Quran and Sunnah and confronted Muawiyah for firing at him from the shoulders of his cohorts.
Finally after dusting his clothes (as a mark of disgust – a common practice in Arabs) Imam Hasan (a.s.) rose and recited the Quranic verse:
الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ
Unclean women are for unclean men and unclean men are for unclean women…(Surah Noor (24): 26)
هُمْ وَ اللَّهِ يَا مُعَاوِيَةُ أَنْتَ وَ أَصْحَابُكَ هَؤُلَاءِ وَ شِيعَتُكَ
I swear by Allah – O Muawiyah! (the verse) refers to you and these companions of yours and your followers. And
وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُوْلَئِكَ مُبَرَّؤُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ
and the pure women are for pure men and the pure men are for pure women; these are free from what they say; they shall have forgiveness and an honorable sustenance. (Surah Noor (24): 26)
هُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَ أَصْحَابُهُ وَ شِيعَتُهُ
(This refers) to Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and his companions and his Shias.
Then while leaving the assembly Imam (a.s.) said – Taste the punishment of your crimes and whatever consequences Allah has decreed for you and them (Muawiyah’s companions in the assembly) is humiliation in this world and a painful chastisement in the hereafter.
After hearing Imam’s (a.s.) indisputable response Muawiyah addressed his companions- Relish the taste of your actions.
- Al-Ehtejaaj vol. 1, p. 269 – 280
It is clear from this incident and the Quranic verses referenced by Imam Hasan (a.s.), that it is just not possible for the Shias of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and followers of Muawiyah to unite. The pure can never unite with the unclean.
Hence, when the Shias of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) try to unite with the followers of Muawiyah, the former will lose their distinguished status in front of Allah, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and Ameer al-Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), while the latter will claim victory at having achieved this feat.