Intra-Faith Code of Honor

April 2, 2007

The tragic deterioration of the situation in Iraq has resulted in a ruthless power struggle. This is expressed as “Shia-Sunni” confrontation. Defining the conflict in such sectarian terms is likely to lead to further polarization and division, and entrench parties into deep historical grievances. It exacerbates the limited theological differences, while ignoring the vast areas of sameness and the extensive common ground on which all Muslims stand. This situation, if not treated, will render the problem unsolvable.

As Muslim Americans who live and struggle together in harmony and cohesion, and who agree that the challenges of the future should supersede the problems of the past, we are eager to offer any help and join hands with all those who wish well for our Ummah toward stopping this vicious cycle of violence in the Middle-East which is abhorrent to all Islamic values and principles.

Additionally and primarily, we have to prevent this tragedy from spilling over to our Muslim society in the United States. As a first step in that endeavor, we suggest a Community Code of Honor for all Muslims to live by in order to respect one another, not only in matters in which we are in agreement, but more importantly on issues and times of disagreement.

Download the Intra-faith Code of Honor and read the text below.

The Intra-Faith Code of Honor

  1. No group or individual shall use, propagate or tolerate the rhetoric of takfir (charge of unbelief) for anyone who believes in the oneness and supremacy of Allah, in Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the seal of the prophets and the last receiver of a divine scripture, and in the viability and authenticity of the Glorious Quran, and who faces the qibla (direction of the Ka’bah) in prayers.
  2. All forms of hate and condescending speech and literature shall not be allowed in our midst.
  3. We shall respect each other and the personalities, places and events that any group among us holds in esteem, even if our respective reading of history leads us to agree or disagree on the importance or role thereof, all of which can be expressed in language which is neither inflammatory nor insulting.
  4. With respect to the minor differences in performing Ibadat (acts of worship), it is only prudent that the interpretation and style of the majority in any given Mosque or institution should be respect. As such, if a person visits a majority Shia Mosque, he or she shall not impose their manner of worship on the current local Imam of such Mosque in the observance of Jama'ah (congregational) prayers, and vice versa.
  5. We shall use all reasonable measures to prevent the dissemination to the public of local or imported literature that is divisive, inflammatory and irrelevant to the future of Islam in America.
  6. Specialized and objective academic halaqas (study group) should be formed for the qualified scholars that need to study in depth issues of Muslim history, creed and jurisprudence for the sake of knowledge, academic research and reconciliation, and not as a tools of propaganda and division. If a problem were to arise than a joint body of prominent Muslim scholars, representing both schools of Islam (Shia and Sunni) should be consulted to evaluate the issue and render a balanced and constructive solution.
  7. Above all, we shall emphasize areas of commonality, the virtue of compassion and empathy and the awareness that Allah is closer to us than our heart and veins and He Almighty is recording our thoughts and intentions, as well as our words and deeds.


Adopted by leaders of the following institutions:

Salam Al-Marayati & Dr. Maher Hathout
Muslim Public Affairs Council

Tariq Ramadan
Oxford University 

Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini
Islamic Educational Center of Orange County

Hussam Ayloush
Council on American-Islamic Relations - Greater Los Angeles

Abdel Karim Hasan
Masjid Bilal Islamic Center

Dafer Dakhil
Masjid Omar ibn Al Khattab Foundation

Sayyid Syeed & Mohamed Elsanousi
Islamic Society of North America

Jihad Turk
Islamic Center of Southern California

Dr. Sadegh Namazikah
Iranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN)

Dr. Ridha Hajjar
Ahlul-Bayt Mosque

Shakeel Syed
Islamic Shura Council of Southern California

Dr. Sherman Abd al-Hakim Jackson
University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini
Islamic Center of America

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi
House of Wisdom

Imam Muhammad Musa
Muslim Unity Center

Imam Husham Al-husainy
Karbala Islamic Educational Center

Hajj Ghalib V. Begg
Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan

Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin
Muslim Center of Detroit

Imam Abdul Latif Berry
Islamic Institute of Knowledge

Dawud Walid
Council on American Islamic Relations - Michigan

 Sheikh Abdul Jalil
Idara e Jaferia

Nicole Correri
Ensaniyaat - Achieving Potential, LLC 

Sayyid Ammar Nakshawani
Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge 

Dr. Pervez Shah

Sheikh Ahmad Saleh

Dawood Zwink

Sheikh Hanif Muhammad
The Council of Shi’a Muslim Scholars of North America 

Victor Ghalib Begg
Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan

Naqi Haider
Souls March

Ali Hossein Khan
Tehrani UMAA

Dr. Hassan Abbas
National Defense University

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