Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:55AM
A majestic view of the green dome and minarets of Masjid an Nabawi
A majestic view of the green dome and minarets of Masjid an Nabawi

Unity Week, designated by Imam Khomeini, is commemorated among Muslims every year as a time of unity between the world’s Shias and Sunnis.

Sunni and Shia Muslims have lived peacefully together for centuries and the minor differences between them have never been a cause of conflict. Shias believe in Imam Ali (PBUH) as their first Imam after Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and his 11 descendant, and Sunnis believe in the four main caliphs after the prophet.

Western politicians and media, however, have exploited the minor differences in the religious beliefs of the two sects and fan the flames of conflicts among Muslims. At such times, the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, set precedence for the commemoration of Unity Week in a bid to solidify unity among Muslims.

According to the Sunni narrative, the birth date of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) falls on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal while the Shias consider 17 Rabi-ul-Awwal as the exact birth date. The week in between is commemorated among Muslims as the “Unity Week.”

During this week, the followers of the two main branches of Islam, Shias and Sunnis, gather to honor Islam’s message of peace and humanity and express their love and affection for their Prophet (PBUH).