Islam means complete submission to the will of Allah. That being said, anyone who calls him/herself a Muslim has no choice but to follow the rules and guidelines. There is no such thing as ‘but’, ‘except’ or the like. In this regard, the holy Quran states: “O’ Who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy” (Surah Al-Baqara, verse 208).
Unity of all Muslims stems from the fact that all Muslims must follow two things- The holy Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). There is no such thing as old Quran, new Quran or revised. There is only one version of the Holy book and that means what I read in Africa and what you read in United States are the same. That is not to say that there hasn’t been falsified versions. However, Allah promised to safeguard the Quran and Alhamdulillah the false books never get anywhere.
Muslims are united in their obedience of Allah. This starts from the believe in one God, One book, The Prophet Muhammad; then the five daily Salat which are at fixed times. All Muslims must face the same direction when praying, no matter where they are. That is the direction of the Qibla. When the moon for Ramadan is sighted, all Muslims on the globe acknowledge it. No one can create their own month because the matter has been clearly stated in the holy Quran. Allah says “They ask you about the crescents, say ‘They are timing devises for the people as well as for Hajj” 2:189
Again, the pilgrimage to Mecca is also performed at a stated time of the year and in this way, Muslims from all parts of the globe, regardless of race, ethnicity or social status converge to fulfil this pillar of faith. Allah (SWT) says in the holy Quran: “And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)” (Al Imraan 3:97)
Another important unifying concept among Muslims is the concept of Ummah, which represents a unifying classification to describe the community of Muslims faithful in the Arabian Peninsula during the life of Muhammad (PBUH). Today, Ummah represents the unification of Muslims all around the globe. Islam preaches that all people are equal regardless of culture, race or gender. Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran: “And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided among themselves” (Al-Quran: Surah Al-e-Imran, Verse 103).
Let us remember the Prophet’s farewell sermon in which he said,”…. Arabs has no superiority over non-Arabs and Non-Arabs have no Superiority over Arabs, You are all equal except by piety and good action…. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray”.
I believe this says it all. Asalamu Alaikum.