In his meeting with numerous Sunni scholars and researchers in Sistan and Baluchestan province, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi emphasized on how Islam was in the worst possible situation and said:” if you take a look at Islamic countries such as Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain etc. you will know how deep the enemy’s plot is.
He said: “Although Egypt held its elections, but they still don’t have peace and other Islamic countries are distressed in their civil dissentions just like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan”
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi reminded: “Our enemies have caused disunity among us with their plans. We are so hostile to each other that the Zionist regime has never enjoyed so much peace and stability.”
“Should not this unpleasant situation of the Islamic Umah awaken us” his eminence asked and continued: “The only Islamic country where Sunnis and Shias live peacefully next to each other is the Islamic Republic of Iran. In most of the other Islamic countries however, there exists tension even among the Sunnis themselves.
His eminence emphasized that the Qur’an clearly states that division and dissension is a kind of Shirk, and said: “It’s not surprising if anyone cries for what Islam and Muslims are going through these days. The enemies have caused friction amongst the Muslims and watch them fighting each other.
He added: “Don’t Muslim scholars have any duty in such situations? Shouldn’t we warn, remind and advise people for unity and solidarity?”
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi reiterated: “I have said it numerous times that there isn’t much difference amongst the Islamic sects, but only if we sit down and talk with each other instead of standing away and accepting the propaganda and lies our enemies spread.”
His eminence said that the problems of the Islamic Ummah cannot be solved by violence and military solution and added: “The solution to our problems is to preserve our unity and come together and discuss our issues over in a friendly manner.”
He said: “I was exiled to Chabahar and Mahabad in Kurdestan for some time and I had befriended the Sunnis and we are still in contact with each other.”
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi stated: “Muslims should not offend each other’s sacred figures or scholars and we have emphasized that offending is not allowed.”
He said: “But if a few ignorant Shia or Sunni fanatics started offending each other’s Holy beliefs, it shouldn’t be considered as the criterion or standard; it has nothing to do with the scholars of either side. They must be stopped though. The scholars and researchers are the standard. I have authored many books none of which though contains any offence towards Sunni scholars or their holy beliefs.”
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi stated that none of the scholars believe the Qur’an has been altered, and said: “The Qur’an we have now is no different to the Qur’an which was revealed to the holy Prophet, Muahammad al-Mustafa (saww), and we shouldn’t make statements which cause frictions.”
Reiterating his advice to Muslims to unite and preserve their brotherhood regardless of their belief and sect, he urged: “We should not allow the enemy to weaken the Islamic front. I seek help and success from God for those who make an effort on the path of unity”.