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Why Are Muslims Divided Into Sects?

by | Aug 27, 2012

We see many sects among all Muslims. When all the Muslim follows one and the same Qur’an and Allah then why are there so many sects among Muslims? Islam always teaches us to be united with each other and not to make distinct religious groups based on ethnicity.

1. Muslims should be united

It is a fact that Muslims today, are divided among themselves. So, The tragedy is that such divisions are not endorsed by Islam at all. Islam believes in fostering unity among its followers.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves.”
[Al Qur’an 3:103]

Which is the rope of Allah that is referred to in this verse? It is the Glorious Qur’an. The AlQuran is the rope of Allah which all Muslims should hold fast together. There is double emphasis in this verse. Besides saying ‘hold fast all together’ it also says, ‘be not divided’. That clearly shows; division is not allowed among Muslims.

The Qur’an further says:

“Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger.”
[Al Qur’an 4:59]

So, All the Muslims should follow the Qur’an and authentic ahadith and not divided among themselves.

2. It is prohibited to make sects and divisions in Islam

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.”

[Al Qur’an 6:159]

In this verse Allah (subhanuhu wataala) says that one should disassociate oneself from those who divide their religion and break it up into sects.

But when one asks a Muslim, “who are you?”, the common answer is either ‘I am a Sunni, or ‘I am Shia’. Some call themselves Hanafi, or Shafa’ee or Maliki or Hambali. Some say ‘I am a Deobandi’, while some others say ‘I am a Barelvi’.

While we see How Allah addressed in Quran that we are only Muslims.

“It is He (Allah) who has named you Muslims.” [Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 78]

3. Our Prophet was a Muslim

One may ask such Muslims, “what was our beloved prophet (sallalaahu alyehi wasallam)? Was he a Hanafi or a Shafa’ee, or a Hambali or a Maliki?” No! He was a Muslim, like all the other prophets and messengers of Allah before him.

It is in Chapter 3 Verse 52 of Al Qur’an that Jesus (AS) was a Muslim.

Further, in Chapter 3 Verse 67, Al Qur’an says that Ibraheem (AS) was not a Jew or a Christian but was a Muslim.

4. Quran says call yourselves Muslim

a. If anyone poses a Muslim the question who are you, he should say “I am a MUSLIM, not a Hanafi or a Shafa’ee”. Surah Fussilat Chapter 41 Verse 33 says

“Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, ‘I am of those Who bow in Islam (Muslim)?’ ”
[Al Qur’an 41:33]

The Qur’an says

“Say I am of those who bow in Islam”.

In other words, say, “I am a Muslim”.

b. The Prophet Muhammad(sallalaahu alyehi wasallam) dictated letters to non-Muslim kings and rulers inviting them to accept Islam.So, In these letters he mentioned the verse of the Qur’an from Surah Ale-Imran Chapter 3 Verse 64:

Say you:

“Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will).”
[Al Qur’an 3:64]

5. Respect all the great Scholars of Islam

We must respect all the great scholars of Islam, including the four Imaams, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafa’ee, Imam Humbal and Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on all of them). Because They were great scholars and may Allah reward them for their research and hard work. One can have no objection if someone agrees with the views and research of Imam Abu Hanifa or Imam Shafa’ee, etc. But when posed a question, ‘who are you?’, the reply should only be ‘I am a Muslim’.

6. Prediction of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH):

Some may argue by quoting the hadith of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Muhammad(sallalaahu alyehi wasallam) from Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol. 5 Hadith 4596. In this hadith the prophet Muhammad(sallalaahu alyehi wasallam-peace be upon him)  is reported to have said,

“My community will be split up into seventy-three sects.”

This hadith reports that the prophet Muhammad (sallalaahu alyehi wasallam) predicted the emergence of seventy-three sects. He did not say that Muslims should be active in dividing themselves into sects. The Glorious Qur’an commands us not to create sects. So, Those who follow the teachings of the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith. and do not create sects are the people who are on the true path.

According to Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, Hadith 2641, Abdullah ibn Amr that the Messenger of Allah Muhammad(sallalaahu alyehi wasallam) said,

“My Ummah will split into seventy-three sects. All of them are in the Fire except one sect”. He said: “And which is it O! Messenger of Allah?” He said: “What I am upon and my Companions.”

The Glorious Qur’an mentions in several verses,

“Obey Allah and obey His Messenger”.

True Muslim:

A true Muslim should only follow the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith. Because He can agree with the views of any scholar as long as they conform to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith. If such views go against the Word of Allah, or the Sunnah of His Prophet Muhammad (sallalaahu alyehi wasallam) then they carry no weight, regardless of how learned the scholar might be.

So, If only all Muslims read the Qur’an with understanding and adhere to Sahih Hadith. InshAllah most of these differences would be solved and we could be one united Muslim Ummah. And in the light of Quranic sayings it is that there is no sects in Islam rather these are only made by later muslims. And we always should only say that we are Muslims.

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