There are 73 sects in Muslims today based on minor differences among each other. However, the two major sects are shia and sunni. The literal meaning of shia is a follower, that means your are a shia of the person whom you follow. The literal meaning of sunni is someone who follows the traditions of Holy Prophet, so whoever follows the tradition of Holy Prophet, that person is a sunni. So I don’t agree with the idea of giving these titles to a particular sect because their literal meanings tell different stories, so I will refer them as Sect A (Shia) and Sect B (Sunni).
There is no doubt that we are dealing with sectarianism today, but we ourselves are responsible for that, as we both make mistakes consistently. Someone said that making mistake once is not a mistake, but repeating mistake is a blunder, and we have been committing blunders since 1400 years now. First I will discuss the mistakes which Sect A commits, that is abusing the Companions and Wives of Holy Prophet which triggers anger in Sect B and hurt their emotions. However, the grand Ayatollah, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei, who is well respected among the entire Sect A, he issued a fatwa that it is Haram to abuse and disrespect the companions of Holy Prophet and his wives, so if today any maulvi or anyone belonging to sect A does that, then he is committing a sin and he is doing Haram.
Now lets discuss the mistakes which Sect B commits. First of all the conditions of being a muslim are 1) There is no god; 2) but Allah and; 3) Muhammad (PBUH) is His Prophet, so whoever believes in these three things is a muslim. So any maulvi belonging to sect B declares any muslim kafir is our enemy because this is fitna as the Prophet commanded us that whoever starts a fitna, he should be sentenced to death. Secondly, you need to understand the true companions of Holy Prophet, you cannot include literally everyone in this group of companions of Holy Prophet and you cannot keep a blind eye on the sins which they have committed, so you cannot expect respect for someone who has committed sins.
So whenever you hear any maulvi committing the above discussed blunders, no matter from which sect he belongs, then condemn him, because this is your religious obligation, because this is fitna and Quran commands “Fitna Ashad o Minal Qatal”, which means anyone who tries to instigate a fitna, then he should be killed. Maulvis are insane because they have this mentality that once a Maulvi was taken to a heaven (which is highly unlikely), so when he was entering the heaven he asked an angel that is there anyone here from my sect or are they all infidels?
I have already discussed this incident before in my blog, but I would like to mention this once again as this is the solution in my views. When Holy Prophet (SAW) migrated to Madinah, so it was there that the unity of brotherhood among the Muslims was introduced. There were two major tribes in Madinah: the immigrants (Muhajireen) and the indigenous (Ansar). The Ansar were divided into two groups: Aws and Khazraj – tribes who had been fighting each other over 100 years. Under a common purpose of Islam, the Prophet (SAW) appeased the animosity that existed amongst the two tribes by establishing brotherhood between them. “Now you have become brothers in faith, by pairs”, the Prophet (SAW) said to his followers (ref Seerat ibn Hisham, v.1, p.123). By this method, the Prophet (SAW) insured the ploticial and spiritual nature of his nation.
The Prophet (SAW) made the institution of matrimony easier as well. The gift of marriage (mahr), which the man is to give to his bride was made moderate, AND INTER-MARRIAGES WITH OTHER TRIBES BECAME MORE ACCESSIBLE as socio-economic or ancestral descent was no longer a major factor in marriage. The establishment of marriage became a form of uniting, securing, and promoting Islam within various tribes and nations. Marriage not only symbolized the religious union of a man and a woman, but also, indirectly influenced and affected social and political ties.