Iran champions unity among Islamic states, denominations

Tehran, IRNA – On the wake of the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the Islamic Republic of Iran is commemorating the Islamic Unity Week, as many figures and scholars from different Islamic schools of thought highlight the idea of unity.

Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born c. 570. His exact birthday is believed by Sunni scholars to be on the 12th of Rabi' al-Awwal and by Shia scholars to be on the 17th of the same Lunar Hijri month.

The idea of commemorating the days between two dates of the birthday of the Prophet was first raised by Iranian religious leaders and formalized by the late Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Both Sunni and Shia communities in Iran and anywhere in the Muslim World celebrate the week as a sign of unity between Islamic nations, known as the Islamic Ummah, calling for putting aside disagreements and highlighting shared beliefs.

The Islamic Republic of Iran holds various national and international programs and events to underscore the importance of unity among Muslims. The International Islamic Unity Conference is the most important event held by Iran each year, with hundreds of Muslim scholars and thinkers from around the globe taking part in the conference.

Mamustan Abdul-Salam Imami, Imam of Friday prayers in Mahabad – a Sunni dominated city in northwest Iran – said in an interview with IRNA that the Islamic Unity Week is an opportunity to united Muslims and foil conspiracies of enemies against the Muslim World.

It is imperative that the Muslim World put aside jurisprudential and historical disagreements and unite around shared beliefs.

Imam of Friday prayers for Sunnis in Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf, Sheikh Abdul-Rahim Khatibi, pointed to the recent events in Afghanistan and the killing of many Shia Muslims in terrorist attacks and noted that such events were plots by the enemies to divide the Muslim World.

Elsewhere, Friday prayers Imam of Sunnis in Kermanshah, Mamusta Abdul-Rahman Moradi said in a ceremony on the Islamic Unity Week that Sunni and Shia Muslims agree on majority of religious issues, so they should move toward unity by constructive conversation on disagreements.

World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, a religious body in Iran supervised by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, commenced the 35th International Islamic Unity Conference today, where President Ebrahim Raisi delivered the opening speech.

Raisi highlighted the issues of Islamic Awakening in the world, calling on the conference to keep the awakening alive and understand the conspiracies against the Islamic Ummah.

He urged Muslim thinkers and scholars to monitor deviations and warn the Ummah against them.

He also urged that scientific, cultural, and media cooperation between Muslim communities should expand and that the idea of proximity of denominations should be at the center of attention and the issue of Palestine should be kept in focus.

The President said that the Islamic Republic of Iran was seeking stability in Muslim countries, recognizing unity as the strategy of the Islamic Ummah, while the enemies’ strategy was to divide the Muslim World.

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