When all the
Muslim follow one and the same Qur’an then
why are there so many sects and different
schools of thoughts among Muslims?
WHY ARE MUSLIMS
DIVIDED INTO SECTS (DIFFERENT SCHOOLS
1. Muslims should be united
It is a fact that Muslims today, are divided amongst
themselves. The tragedy is that such divisions are not endorsed by Islam
at all. Islam believes in fostering unity amongst 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;"
Which is the rope of Allah that is being referred to in
this verse? It is the Glorious Qur’an. The Glorious Qur’an 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’.
Qur’an further says,
"Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger"
All the Muslim should follow the Qur’an and authentic
Ahadith and be 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."
In this verse Allah (swt) 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 a Shia’. Some call themselves
Hanafi, or Shafi or Maliki or Humbali. Some say ‘I am a Deobandi’, while
some others say ‘I am a Barelvi’.
Prophet was a Muslim
One may ask such Muslims, "Who was our beloved prophet (pbuh)?
Was he a Hanafi or a Shafi, or a Humbali or a Maliki?" No! He was a
Muslim, like all the other prophets and messengers of Allah before him.
It is mentioned in chapter 3 verse 52 of Al-Qur’an that
Jesus (pbuh) was a Muslim.
Further, in chapter 3 verse 67, Al-Qur’an says that Ibrahim
(pbuh) was not a Jew or a Christian but was a Muslim.
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 Shafi". Surah Fussilat chapter 41 verse 33 says:
"Who is better in
Than one who calls
To Allah, works
And says, ‘I am of
Who bow in Islam
The Qur’an says "Say I
am of those who bow in Islam". In other words, say, "I am a Muslim".
b. The Prophet (pbuh)
dictated letters to non-Muslim kings and rulers inviting them to accept
Islam. In these letters he mentioned the verse of the Qur’an from Surah
Ali Imran chapter 3 verse 64:
Say ye: "Bear witness
That we (at least)
Are Muslims (bowing
To Allah’s Will)."
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 Shafi, Imam Humbal and Imam Malik
(may Allah be pleased with them all). They were great scholars and may
Allah reward them for their research and hardwork. One can have no
objection if someone agrees with the views and research of Imam Abu Hanifa
or Imam Shafi, etc. But when posed a question, ‘who are you?’, the reply
should only be ‘I am a Muslim’.
Some may argue by quoting the hadith of our beloved Prophet
from Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith No. 4579. In this hadith the prophet (pbuh)
is reported to have said, "My community will be split up into
This hadith reports that the prophet 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. 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
According to Tirmidhi Hadith No. 171, the prophet (pbuh) is
reported to have said, "My Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three
sects, and all of them will be in Hell fire except one sect." The
companions asked Allah’s messenger which group that would be. Where upon
he replied, "It is the one to which I and my companions belong."
The Glorious Qur’an mentions in several verses, "Obey Allah
and obey His Messenger". A true Muslim should only follow the Glorious
Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith. 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,
then they carry no weight, regardless of how learned the scholar might be.
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.