The Sects of Names!
The prophet (PBUH), who always preached unity and oneness of not only God but also that of the followers, had four most famous and most loyal companions who headed the Muslim State after him. Known as ‘Khulfa e Rashideen’ (The Rightiest successors of the Prophet), and towers of wisdom and intellect, unfortunately, became symbols of different sects of Islam later in the history.
As the Prophet (PBUH) had always preached, they had good relations with each other. Inter-families marriages are just a single depiction of the good terms they enjoyed. Later in the years, provoked by misunderstandings and the trivial conflicts over governance, two groups emerged out of the One Muslim State, one lead by Hazrat Ali (RA) and the other by Amir Muawiyah (RA). Rest is history.
What could have been termed as an administrative problem, was actually inflamed and promoted as a clash of clans. Situation reached to worst heights when Imam Hussain (Hazrat Ali’s son) was martyred in Karbala during the Yazid’s regime, who was the son of Amir Muawiya. The end of the life of Imam Hussain was actually the beginning of this endless, violent and full of hatred question,”What actually happened?”. Though Imam Hussain are unanimously declared as Innocent Martyrs by all sects, but the role of Amir Muawiya and his son Yazeed is still a hot debating topic among Muslim Scholars.
I do not have any intentions to conclude this centuries’ old debate. Purpose of this writing is to indicate towards a strange trend among the followers of different sects. It was during my Masters when a friend of mine asked me if I was a Shia because my name contained ‘Ali’. Shocked, I told him that it didn’t matter at all to me. Since then, I observed different sects and found out this disturbing and alarming trend that most of them were very selective in naming their kids. For examle, you will ‘very rarely’ find an Umar, Abubakar or Ayesha in a Shia Family. Ali, Hussain, Abbas, Jaffar, Batool, Zahra are considered as symbols to be a Shia. On the other hand, let’s face it, that the names Abu Bakar, Umar and Usman are very popular among Sunni, DeoBandi or Wahabis but Hussain, Jafar and Abbas are very few (though not totally zero).
Other than strengthening and raising the boundry wall between different sects, this trend is helping extremist orgnizations in target killing. Right now, whem writing this piece, I’ve rechecked my ID card and there is no mention of my sect there. Still we have witnessed such events in which killers asked the names, checked ID cards and shot down people having names mostly used by a specific sect. It disturbs me a lot!
Let’s not talk about a foreign hand spreading sectarian hatred. Aren’t we ourselves broadcasting sectarian signals? Though following the same religion, we’ve developed our separate heroes. Heroes who, when they were alive, might had never thought that in upcoming centuries, their followers would cut each others’ throats in the name of their dignity.
Someone asked Hazrat Ali (RA) that why there was peace in the era of your predecessors and why unrest in your regime? The tower of wisdom replied, “Their advisors were people like us. And our advisors are people like you”.
I wonder if our heroes, somewhere up in the heavens, are regretting to have followers like us!
Sacts and the Names
The Sects of Names!