Following a series of conversations with the leading thinkers of the Islamic world, the website of the World Conference of the Followers of the AhlulBayt (a.s.), interviewed Ayatollah “Mohsen Araki”, a member of the Supreme Council of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly, a member of Assembly of Experts and the former chairman of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.
Considering decades of international activity and experience, Ayatollah Araki is one of the people who has a very good knowledge of the concept of unity, and the issues of the Islamic world and the followers of Islamic denominations.
Part of the interview is as follows:
Given the current political and cultural conditions of the Islamic world and the recent developments in the region, how do you predict the future of Islamic unity?
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I believe that in all circumstances, Islamic unity can be achieved on one level. The unity I mean is not that the whole Islamic world from east to west, from north to south, all groups and all tendencies must unite. Of course, such an alliance is a good thing, but unity does not mean that either unity occurs in all dimensions or there is no unity at all.
Unity is relative issue. Unity can be expanded in several ways. For example, unity among the active strata of Islamic society.
There are different strata in society such as religious scholars and scientists of experimental and modern sciences, art and political activists, parties and so on. There are many groups and collections in the Islamic world. Unity can be created between these groups. Not between all of them, at least between some of them. Our goal is to converge in the Islamic society as much as possible. Therefore, we believe that the goal, unity, is achievable. But unity does not necessarily mean universal unity. Rather, as much as possible, any amount of this alliance should be created. By doing so, we strengthened the Islamic Front and we were able to achieve the goals of Islam as well and get closer to our goals. This is the unity we seek, and this unity is quite achievable.
Due to the differences and the intense activity of Takfiri groups, some people are disappointed with the unity of the Islamic Ummah. What message do you have for such people?
Yes, these people expect an all-encompassing unity. No! If comprehensive unity cannot be achieved, it does not mean that no unity can be achieved at all. Certainly, unity can be created in many communities. Unity also has levels. That is, there are several circles of unity: the unity of countries, the unity of nations, the unity of unions, the unity of politicians, scientists, artists and other activists.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, both in the country and abroad, has many alliances with active groups and other Islamic countries that there is the capacity of cooperation with. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been successful in creating unity, but success in creating unity does not mean that there is unity in all matters. Overall, my assessment of creating unity by the Islamic Republic of Iran is positive. I believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been able to take very big steps towards unity and has achieved many successes. But all these successes are definitely relative.