It has always been a natural tendency of humanity to fear that which we do not know. It makes perfect sense. Self-preservation demands that we look to everything with caution, less it threaten our very existence. On the other hand, it has always been those who were willing to step outside of the fear factor who have pushed the bounds of humanity. Those are the people who have progressed forward and brought others with them.
The Muslim world is no different than the rest of humanity. We are divided, perhaps now more so than ever, into our distinct groups. But there is one group of Muslims who are blurring the lines of those distinctions, millennial.
For many Muslim millennial the walls that have separated us for centuries are crumbling in the New World. We interact with each other more than any other generation. Thanks to technology and the natural human instinct to find love, those interactions are helping to unify Muslims.
Everyone has a natural inclination to find love. If you don’t think you do, give it a couple years I’m certain that your family will instil that inclination within you through some tough persuasion.
For thousands of years, most Muslims have met the need to find love by going to those who were around them. They would turn to a trusted relative or friend, who would in turn set them up with someone else. If it worked out great! If not, they move on to the next one. More often then not, the person that they found would be within their own distinct group. For example Sunnis would often pair up with other Sunnis and Shias with other Shias. It may not have been a conscious choice to do it that way but it seemed to happen by design.
Technology, specifically apps like Salaam Swipe, are allowing Muslim millennial to go beyond our immediate networks and find love in places we may not have checked in the past. The app allows Muslims to take their love life into their own hands. It has filters that allow you to choose what you are and what you are looking for. If you’re a conservative Sunni and are looking for a moderate Shia you can do that. If you don’t identify with any labels you can keep all the filters off.
Finally, there are ways to easily move outside of our small networks and expand our horizons. The option to use love to unify our beautiful diverse ummah is now available to everyone.
And there is nothing more unifying than love. Time and time again we have seen love conquer the things that separate us. There is a reason that so many poems, songs and painting are about love. Heck, February has Valentine’s Day. Ancient fables like Layla and Majnoon remind us that when it comes to love, the labels that keep people apart simply melt away. All that is left is two beautiful humans with an inclining to be together. Two beautiful humans moving forward in unison, despite their apparent differences. The deep love between two people that makes them inseparable is exactly what we should be imitating as an Ummah. But don’t take my word for it:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” The Holy Quran 49:13