This is a brief description of two prominent modern-day Muslim scholars. One is an Egyptian trained at al-Azhar, while the other is Indo-Pak trained at Deoband. The Azhari scholar has a legal approach and legal opinions that categorically contradict those of his Deobandi counterpart. Compare them and witness how they end up speaking about each other. Some of you may find it shocking.
Muslim unity comes not from the triumph of a single view, but from courteous respect for difference. In our extreme times this must mean an insistence on husn al-zann – giving other Muslims the benefit of the doubt. How easy and seductive is the path of deflecting the confusion by pretending that one’s own views alone are right and faithful!
Whilst sitting in Imam Shafi’i’s class one day, his student Yunus ibn Abd al A’ala differed with him. He got so angry that he left the class and went home.
That night, Yunus heard a knock on his door and asked who it was. The one knocking answered, “Muhammad Ibn Idrees!”