“If Shias and Sunnis can say their prayer behind one Imam in Saudia, why can’t they do so in Gilgit”: Agha Rahat

PT Report

Gilgit, December 22: The prominent Shia leader, Imam Juma-al-Jamat of the Central Shia Mosque in Gilgit city, has said that he is ready to say prayers behind a Sunni Imam. He proposed that on one Friday the Shias should pray behind a Sunni Imam and on another Friday the Sunnis should pray behind a Shia Imam.

“If Shias and Sunnis can say their prayer behind one Imam in Saudia, why can’t they do so in Gilgit”, the top Shia cleric of Gilgit – Baltistan said, while addressing a religious gathering in the Napura locality of Gilgit city.

Agha also praised the district administration and the political leadership for maintaining peace during the Ashura processions.

He further said that the Shias and Sunnis are not each other’s enemies. “The agents of imperialism are pitting us against each other”, he alleged.

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  1. Respected Rahat,

    You proved the essence of Islam-by qoatig the KHANA KAABA. You have recognised the strenth of diversity and pluralisum. We require such ULAHMA and thinkers who have the capability of joining two hearts and thoughts-we never need those whom are cause of division and creaters of craks.
    We all educated people do appriciate ur idea and thought. This thought has been evoked from GB and I do hope the implimentation and the thought process ud impact on all the noble country Pakistan.

  2. I have all the respect for the scholar and and thoughts he has expressed. Of course, it is need of hour for all religious sections to bury their differences and to look forward to a coexistence based of mutual recognition and respect. At the same time it must be understood that mutual recognition and respect does not mean one should think of praying behind one Imam. Mutual recognition and respect can best be based on accepting the existence and identity of each other and making bridges of relation and understanding but not thinking of crossing those bridges. This mutual recognition and respect should allow room for differences but at the same time there must be patience and acceptance that all are not alike, all do not think in the similar way, all can not be convinced to a single interpretation and therefore, all must realize the right of existence of each other instead of narrowing land for each other.
    With due respect, I can not find myself in favor of the argument that if all can pray behind a single Imam at Saudia why can not they do at home. While quoting examples, sometimes our scholars forget about the elapse of time and context. While giving examples of the happenings in remote past they forget that in centuries after those happenings the world has changed much and in some cases entirely, so the literal meaning and message of those happenings may not fit the world today. In the current example of praying behind one Imam in Saudia, attention has not been paid to the difference of contexts. If we look into the context, we see that Saudia is a predominantly Sunni state and the people, who go there, are obliged to pray behind one Imam as they have no choice. Had there been a choice, I am sure, all the sects would prefer to pray behind their own Imams. What it means is that praying behind one Imam is not the solution of the problem, solution lies in mutual recognition and respect. If one thinks that praying behind one Imam is the solution then the question will arise which Imam? This will again lead to disagreements and confrontations. Looking into commonalities is good but accepting differences and having patience for them is the greatest. Instead of building on a far-fetched example of irrelevance it is better to build on the ground realities, which will be more durable practical.

  3. @Immaculate Dream you have rightly commented on this thorny issue, here I would like to share the extract from speech of His Highness Aga Khan delivered during the Aga Khan Architecture award ceremony in Doha, Qatar
    “Diversity, in fact, is part of the essence of Islam. The unity of the Ummah does not imply sameness. Working in an Islamic context need not confine us to constraining models. Nor does respecting the past mean copying the past. Indeed, if we hold too fast to what is past, we run the risk of crushing that inheritance. The best way to honour the past is to seize the future.”

  4. i wish the entire communities of interpretation of Islam understand and realize this single Message of Allah that “We have created you by a man and woman and divided you in communities, sects and culture to recognize each other.” there will be concept of sectarianism and regionalism in Muslam World & Ummah in general and in Gilgit Baltistan particular. i hope the ULAHMA will propagate this wonderful idea.

  5. SALAM Ahga, GOD Bless you.
    We are Proud of You, I like This Idea.
    I all Ready Have Been Praying Jummat ul Mubarak Behind A Sunni Imam, for last 2 Years here in Abu Dhabi, UAE
    And Now also we are ready to pray…

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