We live in such times where we are witnessing an extraordinary surge in Islamophobia, increasingly difficult government policy towards us, alongside the rise of the far right. These are challenges which mean nothing but trouble for us Muslims living in Britain. Throughout history we know that through our unity were given Allāh’s tawfīq (guidance, success) to be able to confront our challenges and come out successful. Therefore in order to deal with these new challenges, we have to come together and unite sincerely for the sake of Allāh.
“The Believers, men and women are protectors of one another: they enjoin in the good and forbid the evil: they observe their prayers, pay zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy for Allah is Exalted in Power, the All Wise.”
We have one Lord, one Qur’ān, one Prophet; we are one ummah and have only one Islām. Why then can we not unite upon these principles? Differences will always exist but surely we need to come to the realisation that unless we work together and unite, we will always be weak, disunited and at total loss. Unity is of paramount importance to us and we need it more now than ever before.
“By time, indeed, mankind is in loss, except those who believe, do righteous deeds and advise each other to truth and patience.” 
Islām is a comprehensive and complete way of life. Our religion teaches us to be peace loving people and to care about others which we do. We care about this country as this is our home and we want the UK to be a safe and clean place to live. We need to be an asset to ourselves and our communities. We must believe in ourselves, help one another and contribute to the societies in which we live. Essentially we do this first by building trust and good rapport with one another and our neighbours. In addition, we need to exhibit good character and manners as this is paramount in Islām. Our beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had husnul khuluq (soft and gentle character) and he was a mercy for all of mankind due to his sublime and mesmerising character.
Character is a form of da’wah in itself, alongside doing good deeds and actions.
“Whosoever does righteous good deeds, it is for (the benefit of) his own self; and whosoever does evil, it is against his own self. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves”. 
“There is nothing heavier than good character put on the scale of a believer on the day of Resurrection.” 
Living as Muslims in Britain, we are some of the most well-equipped and fortunate from the ummah. Subḥān Allāh we have so many blessings from good financial means, technology, academia and much more. Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has put us here for a reason. We must not be afraid to challenge the status quo and win the hearts and minds of the people. We have been disunited for far too long and surely the time has come for us to wake up and act before it is too late. Alḥamdulilāh certain matters such as the so-called War on Terror, discriminatory legislation and Islamophobia have actually resulted in uniting us but more trials and tests await us and we must be ready for them together.
We are ummatul-wasatah, the ummah of balance [middle path] as mentioned in the Qur’ān.
“We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind. To each [community] we have given a direction which it follows, so compete [all together] in [the performance of] good deeds. Whosesoever you may be, God shall certainly gather you all [for Divine Judgment]. God certainly has power over all things.”
It is a duty upon every Muslim to convey the message of Islām to all people. This can only be achieved if we are strong, cohesive and united. Allāh has commanded all the believers to adhere to His religion and to be united, and not to be divided. He emphasises on this many times.
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh (this Qur’ān), and be not divided among yourselves. 
“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Saabiroon (the patient)”. 
Islām gives us a direction and purpose in life. Our faith teaches us to be good neighbours, to respect others, to lead a righteous, moral life, to work hard and also be focused in life. Moreover our faith encourages us to maintain a balance in life, give everyone their due rights especially our families, to be just and to enjoy our lives, uphold good manners and most importantly worship our Creator.
We all are aware how regularly Islām is negatively portrayed in the media. Our deen is constantly scrutinised, our scholars vilified and ourselves demonised, whether it be regarding ḥalāl meat, the veil, or segregation – the list goes on. In terms of this, we have so many challenges ahead of ourselves and therefore we must use hikmah, our intellect and sound reason when dealing with matters concerning us. More importantly, if we put our minor differences aside, unite and work together for the sake of Allāh, we will not only be stronger but we will also prosper, InshāAllāh. Five fingers are not the same so differences are expected and should be respected. We need to focus on the bigger picture and prioritise unity as Muslims.
“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others.” 
We have the best example from the companions (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhum) who went through so much hardship and difficulty for our faith. It is due to the sacrifices they endured for us that we are Muslims today, and all praise is for Allāh. We must never forget this as there is so much work yet for us to carry out as we go on our journey of Islām.
“Allāh will not change the condition of the people, until they change what is in themselves.” 
Shaykh ʿAbul Ḥasan ʿAli An-Nadwi (raḥimahu Allāhu) gave a speech in 1982 during his visit to the UK which is still very much relevant to us today.
“My dear brothers, you must earn your recognition in this country. You should earn your place and leave an imprint on the host community of your value and significance. You must show your exemplary conduct is far nobler than that of other people. You must impart on them the lessons of humanity. You should demonstrate such commitment and noble virtues that impress on people that there cannot be found more upright humans elsewhere besides you. You need to establish your worth, showing what blessing and mercy you are for the country. Please strengthen your position in this country. Earn your recognition. Do not be like a straw or crop that is uprooted by a mere breeze. You should be so firm that not even a hurricane is able to displace you. Display such noble character that you attract the hearts of the people. See then how these people will stand up to defend you. If there is the slightest hostility towards you, they will be the first ones to argue on your behalf and argue what a blessing you are for them.”
I acknowledge that we cannot always be expected to agree with one another on every point but where there are clear differences we need to agree to disagree and work on our commonalities. The main thing is that we should work to our strengths, complement one another, set our priorities and get everyone to play their part for the ummah. We must come together and work collectively as every Muslim has a role to play, inshāAllāh.
“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that you may receive Mercy.” 
Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) will ask us on the Day of Judgment what we did to save ourselves, our families and our communities from the Hell Fire? It is us who need Islām as Islām does not need us. Our Lord Allāh can easily replace us old matches with new ones if we do not deliver. We must continue to strive, unite and work conscientiously for Islām as only through this way will we find true peace, success and contentment. This is why Islām strongly advocates the importance of unity and working with the Jamāʿah. Working together will only bring dividends to us and make us stronger.
In conclusion, in order to be fully effective we need to support one another and be united. We should endeavour to overlook each other’s shortcomings and we need to work to our strengths. Alḥamdulillāh we have an array of resources available to us as well as an educated ummah which we must utilise. We may not agree with each other on every single angle but together we will be effective, more productive and can achieve our goals, inshāAllāh. We need to be motivated, positive and continue to be people of hope, īmān and action. We should strive to become beacons and role models of our society just as the companions were (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhum).
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) described the ummah as one body; if one member becomes sick then the other members of this one body will take of the sick one. “The Believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion are like one body, if one organ complains, the rest of the body develops a fever.” 
I pray that we can all become people of īmān, taqwa and action. I also hope we can benefit each other and work with one another to attain success in this dunya and the Hereafter.
O Allāh unite us, protect us and guide us all. Āmīn
Notes: Al-Qur’ān, 9:71  Al-Qur’ān, 103  Al-Qur’ān, 41:46  Abū Dawūd  Al-Qur’ān, 2:143-148  Al-Qur’ān, 3:103  Al-Qur’ān, 8:46  Sahih Muslim  Al-Qur’ān 13:11  Al-Qur’ān 49:10  Bukhārī and Muslim
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