Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- In these times of crises and afflictions facing the Muslim World here and there, every Muslim should look for the real reasons behind that and to start reforming himself or herself and helping others be good, righteous Muslims.
2- Each Muslim is required to be more active and positive.
3- Muslims should display more loyalty toward one another and to gather around the basic values and pillars of Islam.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas, states:
There is no doubt that disunity is the most important factor for the weakness of Muslims today. It is not possible to present a solution to such disease in this limited forum. But I would like to emphasize that we are in need of a new way of regulating our differences and living with them, cooperating on common grounds, and excusing one another on contentious issues.
This requires an intellectual revolution that distinguishes between religious principles and historical terms and accentuates the basic values among Muslims such as loyalty to all Muslims regardless of their affiliations. Loyalty to a Muslim is not to be revoked except if he or she rejects Islam in total.
Therefore, you should not be loyal to committed Muslims only, or to a particular group or a school of thought that consider themselves adherent to the Sunnah. Loyalty, however, is the basic right for every Muslim that practices the minimum requirements of Islam, even if he or she is sinful or innovative, as long as you help him or her reform his or her practice of Islam and give up his or her misdeeds and innovations.
This is what we understand from the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), “Whoever prays as we pray and turns to our qiblah and eats what we (ritually) slaughter is a Muslim and is under Allah’s and His Prophet’s protection (dhimmah).”
Unity requires liberation from historical terms that served certain goals in the past, yet they have become a burden upon the Muslim mind today, such as “Salafism,” “Sufism,” and “Shiism”. Returning to Qur’anic terminologies will help wipe out these clouds.
Almighty Allah has named us “Muslims” as He says in the Qur’an, “It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation)” (Al-Hajj 22:78)
I believe this name is more religious and useful than other historical ones.
Allah Almighty knows best.