Compromising in Fiqh issues for the sake of Unity: Sh. Munajjid
Compromising in Fiqh issues for the sake of Unity:
We advise our brothers to reconcile and strive to unite and put an end to discord and disunity, and do away with selfishness. They should adhere to the Deen which is one of the causes of unity and harmony; how can they make it a means of dispute and disunity?
We have an example in ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him), who criticized ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) for offering the prayer in full in Mina, but despite that he also offered the prayer in full. When he was asked about that he said: “Disunity is evil.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (1960).
Another indication of the importance of striving to reconcile people and bring them together is that a number of scholars stated that it is permissible for the imam to omit some of the sunnahs in order to unite the congregation, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If the imam thinks that something is mustahabb, but the people praying behind him do not regard it as mustahabb, and he omits it for the sake of unity and harmony, that is better. An example of that is Witr, concerning which the scholars have three views: (1) that it can only be done with three continuous rak’ahs, like Maghrib, as is the view of the people of Iraq; (2) that it can only be done with one rak’ah separate from those that precede it, as is the view of those among the people of the Hijaaz who held this view; (3) that both are permissible, as is the view of al-Shaafa’i, Ahmad and others, even though they prefer that it should be done with one separate rak’ah. If the imam thinks that it should be done with one separate rak’ah, but the members of the congregation think that Witr should be prayed like Maghrib, and he concurs with them in order to bring about unity, that is better, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to ‘Aa’ishah رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه : “Were it not that your people have only recently left Jaahiliyyah behind, I would have demolished the Ka’bah and levelled it to the ground, and rebuilt it with two doors, one door for the people to enter and another door for them to exit.” So he refrained from doing that which was better in his view, so as not to alienate the people. Similarly, if a man thinks that reciting Bismillaah out loud is correct, but he leads in prayer people who hold a different view, or vice versa, and he concurs with them, that is better. End quote from al-Fataawa al-Kubra (2/118).