Q: Recently I met up with a friend and started having the discussion about Islam. My friend identifies as a Shi’a and myself as a Sunni. During this discussion there has been some questions that have been bothering me. (Note: We weren’t yelling or arguing with each other, we were discussing our viewpoints on certain topics and we were able to talk to each other respectfully.)
1. If Allah states in the Qur’an if you divide the religion of Islam then you have nothing to do with the prophet (6:156), then how are we suppose to decide how to follow our religion? Is it wrong to identify as a sunni or shia? Is it wrong to follow the practices our Imams showed us?
2. The significance of Hz Omar (RA) that lead to the modern day Sunnis. Does his changes in Islamic practice permissible or sinful? (i.e. changing how we pray and tarawih prayer)
3. Whats the importance of tarawih prayer?
4. What is the Sunni perspective of the 12 Imams (the descendants of our Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)?
5. There’s a Hadith/Qur’an verse regarding the ablution and a word that says ‘wipe’ instead of wash our feet. Does that mean washing our feet mean we are performing ablution wrong?
6. Why Shi’a Muslims dislike the other three companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)?
7. Was Hz Ali (RA) literate?
1. Sunnis are called sunnis because of them adhering to the sunnah. And the hadeeth has commanded us to hold onto the sunnah and the Qur’aan also very strongly emphasises the same. Those who have departed from the sunnah have deviated from the straight course. So they cannot be called the Ahlus Sunnah. They cannot be grouped with the people who Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has endorsed and the Qur’aan has strongly commanded.
We do not know which imaams you are talking of. Are they the imaams of fiqh, hadeeth, qiraat, tafseer or your local imaam?
2. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) himself had commanded: “Adhere to my sunnah and the sunnah of the khulafaa-e-raashideen.” Moving away from the khulafaa-e-raashideen is moving away from Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).
3. Is this not enough evidence that it is a practice in the Haramayn from the time of the khulafaa-e-raashideen right to this day.
4. The 12 were not all imaams. We will respect their piety and learning, but to say that they were imaams when they were followers of the khaleefah of the time is a false claim.
5. We need to understand who you are and your level of learning so that we can answer you appropriately. There are two qiraats, one is maksoor and the other is mansoob. The mansoob is applicable to the person who does not have the khuffain and the maksoor is with reference to the one who has the khuffain.
6. It will be a good idea if you can ask them. We cannot assume responsibility for their stupidity.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)