Whenever anyone talks about unity of Muslims - people
bring the argument “unity is not possible as hadis attributed to Prophet tells
us that Muslims will be divided into 73 sects; out of which only one sect will
enter paradise and 72 sects will enter hell fire. So you need to know and choose
the saved sect and unite with them only”. Then the struggle to find “saved
sect” starts and filthy game of declaring “others” as deviated begins.
A Salafi will tell that Salafism is the
saved sect and other sects are doomed to enter hell. JamatulMuslameen
is one out of numerous sub sects of Salafism; it also claims that people
adhering to jamatul muslameen are saved and other Salafis are
Similarly a barelvi will tell that only they are
from Ahlul Sunnah and hence saved sect; rest others are bound to enter
hell. The extreme situation is that even Qadianis claim that only they
are saved sect people and rest others are bound to hell.
Sectarian Islam is dominating virtual world / internet
and islamic websites devote a significant portion of material in refuting other
sects. Muslims are probably only religious community whose websites has one
important section – “deviated sects”; wherein they mention who are deviated
sects and why these deviated sects will enter hell. No wonder the very altitude
of sectarian Muslims is negative; to find fault in others; mock others;
humiliate others – which obviously leads to intolerance. A very important point
to be noted is that: these muslims assume that all non-Muslims will enter hell
fire+72 sects out of 73 sects of Muslims will also enter hell. In general;
every muslim present today will go to hellfire as per other sects.
No gathering / lecture / sermon on the topic "unity
among muslims" is complete without quoting this hadis. “Pious” and
“emotional” youngsters devote great amount of time in proving who is
from saved sect and who is not.
All this discord / fitna/ literary-war is done in the
name following narration:
recorded that Abu `Amir `Abdullah bin Luhay said; "We performed Hajj with
Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. When we arrived at Makkah, he stood up after praying
Dhuhr and said; ‘The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said; ‘The
People of the Two Scriptures divided into seventy-two sects. This Ummah will
divide into seventy-three sects, all in the Fire except one, that is, the
Jama`ah. Some of my Ummah will be guided by
desire, like one who is infected by rabies; no vein or joint will be saved from
Mu’awiyah b. Abi Sufiyan stood among us
and said: Beware! The Apostle of ALLA H (SAWS) stood among us and said: Beware!
The people of the Book before were split up into seventy-two sects, and this
community will be split into seventy three: seventy-two of them will go to Hell
and one of them will go to Paradise, and it is the majority group.
Ibn Yahya and ‘Amr added in their
version : “ There will appear among my community people who will be dominated
by desires like rabies which penetrates its patient”, ‘Amr’s version has:
“penetrates its patient. There remains no vein and no joint but it penetrates
it.” [Sunan Abi Dawud 4597; In-book
reference: Book 42, Hadis 2; English translation: Book 41, Hadis 4580]http://www.sunnah.com/abudawud/42/2
3. As per the narration only one FIRQA / SECT will
enter paradise; rest will be thrown to hell.Important point to be noted is that this hadis is used by
each firqa (sect) to prove that only it will enter paradise and others
will enter hell fire.
Some great scholars, such as ash-Shawkani
and al-Kawthari said that this addition - Seventy two in hell
fire and one in the Jannah: that is the 'Jama`ah.- is weak.
A.Ibn Hazm said that this addition - Seventy two in
hell fire and one in the Jannah: that is the 'Jama`ah - was fabricated.
B. Ibn al-Wazeer rejects the hadis on the grounds
of its meaning rather than its isnaad (chain of narration).
most of scholars–Adh-Dhahabi, Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Haakim etc.-don’t find any
problem with this hadis.
Siddeeq Hasan Khan suggested that the extra wording in the hadis, "all of
them are doomed except one" or "seventy two are in the Fire",
was a da'eef (weak) addition. He transmitted this opinion from his Shaykh,
ash-Shawkaani, who narrated it from Ibn al-Wazeer and Ibn Hazm before him. He
approved the opinion of one who said, "This addition is one of the
fabrications of the atheists because it puts people off Islam and scares them
away from embracing it." (Yaqadhaat ul al-I'tibaar, p.206)
According to Mottahedeh- (a 10th-century
geographer), Fakhruddin Razi (d. 1209) reports that some have questioned the
authenticity of this tradition, saying that if by 72 they mean the fundamentals
of religious belief (usul), then they do not reach this number and if they mean
the practices (furu), then the number passes this number by several multiples. http://www.dawn.com/news/1035023/the-mystery-of-73-sects
summarize: There have been scholars who have casted serious doubt about the
authenticity of this narration based on its meaning.
If a claim is made somewhere then we should check whether
the claim is true or not.
1.Far more than 73
sects among Muslims:
If we understand this hadis the way people do - there
will be 73 sects among Muslims - then one will admit that this narration
contradicts with the fact. Why?
You are talking about only 73 sects that will be
formed among muslims; while:
Øhundreds of sects (i.e more than 73) came
into existence in the past. !!
Øhundreds (i.e more than 73) of them disappeared. !!
Øhundreds (i.e more than 73) new sects were formed later
Øand God knows how many new sects will be formed in
Ø So where is
question of 73 sects?
Today we have hundreds of sects and Allah knows before qiyamah
how many more new sects will come into existence. Does not this FACT contradict
with 73 sect narration?
For example - Hazrat
Abdul Qadir Jilani wrote about the contemporary 73 sects in the islam in
his book Ghunyatut Taalibeen. When he wrote this book? More
than 900 years back!! So 900 years back there were 73 sects AT LEAST!!! We know
several of them ceased to exist and many have come
into existence afterwards. Again – where is the question of ONLY 73
sect – if we are right in our understanding of what sect is.
SALAFISM is a sect that initially claimed to be the ONLY
saved sect. Gradually several new sects were formed out of salafism and
each one claiming itself to be on true path. Internet, YouTube is flooded with
materials of salafis refuting each others, declaring other’s scholars
deviated; producing list of other salafi scholars who are not real salafi.
Someone is proving that salafis themselves are divided into 164 sects.
Check this: http://www.cifiaonline.com/salafigroupsinworld.htm
So any honest and logical person will understand the
danger and absurdity of sectarian altitude.
2.Only 72 sects
among ahle kitab?
Also this hadis speaks about 72 sects among ahle kitab.
I am not sure how many sects of Jews and Christians were there at the time of
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), but today there are thousands of sects
within Christianity itself.
a)Wiki says: “This is not a
complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity
among denominations of Christianity. As there are reported to be
approximately 41,000 Christian denominations.”
c)“Currently, there are over
1,200 Christian denominations in North America.”J.
Gordon Melton, Ed, "The Encyclopedia of American Religions,"
6th edition, Gale Group, (2009)
e)According to David Barrett et al,
editors of the "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions
- AD 30 to 2200," there are 34,000 separate Christian groups in the
world.David B. Barrett, et al., "World
Christian Encyclopedia : A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in
the Modern World," Oxford University Press, 2 volume set, (2001)
Jews and Christians were divided into 72 sects precisely
– is debatable.
Does Quran speak anything about making SECT? Answer: YES
What Quran says about making firqa or being part of any firqa?
Answer: Quran condemns in strongest
possible word so much so that it tells Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and
reader of Quran NOT to have anything with these people.
Unfortunately most of English and Urdu translation of Quran dilutes
the meaning of ayah about FIRQA by using very simple words; thus readers are
deprived of the intended meaning. We will use word FIRQA as it is from Arabic
word so that user understand the gravity of issue.
be part of firqa / sect – command of God
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا
دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا
أَمْرُهُمإِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ ْ“As for those who make FIRQA (or are part of any firqa) in their religion
and break up into groups, YOU have 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”-Quran 6:159
God is condemning making FIRQA; but muslims are
justifying existence and validity of their firqa because as per 73 sect narration
one of the FIRQA will go to jannah!! Is not this clear cut
2.Quran strongly condemns sect / firqa
Almighty God has condemned in strongest possible words making of
any firqa / sect. I wonder how any Muslim – who is well aware of evil
nature of firqaparasti / sectarianism – can justify making or being part
of any firqa/sect? Not only this – but people extend this rebellion
against Allah by loudly claiming that only their firqa / sect people
will enter paradise and rest of Muslims will be doomed to hell fire.
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of
Allâh (i.e. this Qur'ân), and don’t make FIRQA (by dividing yourself), and remember
Allâh's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your
hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren, and you were on
the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allâh makes His Ayât
(signs) clear to you, that you may be guided.”-Quran 3:103
So many important guidance from the above ayah:
a)وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِHold strongly
rope of Allah; This rope of Allah is nothing but Quran one whose one end God is
there and on other end readers of Quran. This ayah indicates that if we will
strongly hold Quran then we can avoid firqaparasti or Sectarianism. It
is a FACT that most important reason for firqaparasti or Sectarianism is
due to difference in understanding of Hadis. One will hardly find Quran a
reason for firqaparasti. Today exactly same thing is happening; each
sect stresses on its own set of hadis. If each sect PRACTICALLY believes in
Quran as final authority then these sects will vanish and pure deen will
what will happen if one will not strongly hold Quran? One reason – that is
given through this ayah is that it will lead to division of ummah. Most
of firqa/sects and sectarian debates are based on hadis and not on
Quran. If you write different reasons of fight among Muslims then you will find
that most of it has to do with hadis rather Quran. Upholding Quran as the top
bookPRACTICALLY will never lead to firqaparasti /
b)جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوQuran says BE
UNITED and don’t get into FIRQA / SECT: i.e. don’t get divided. Unity is
opposite of division. So if you expect unity among believers then you HAVE to
break the shackle of sect; you have to speak against sectarian approach.
أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا enmity that existed between
hearts of people (companions of prophets
before they entered islam) were removed when Allah JOINED their hearts through
Islam. When Islam comes into life then hearts of believers will be joined
together. If hearts are divided, one group is calling other group as deviated,
fighting with them, indulging in character assassination, abusing, attacking
them with fatwas of kufr, shirk, deviation …. Then
certainly this does not imply that hearts are joined and they are brothers of
3.Abandoning Quran definitely leads to division
and deviation and ultimately sect
This is why Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) will
complain on the Day of Judgment.
“And be not as those who got into FIRQA (who divided) and
differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they
for whom there is an awful torment.”-Quran 3:105
How can any knowledgeable person glorify any firqa
or be part of any firqa / sect when Allah is promising punishment and azaab
for those who make firqa or are part of firqa even after
receiving clear instructions in the form of Quran? Punishment and wrath of God waits
for sectarian Muslims.
5.Making or being part of firqa / sect is
quality of mushrik
"Turn you back in repentance to Him, and fear Him: establish
regular prayers, and be not you among mushrekeen.
Of those who split up their religion (made firqa or became part of firqa) and
became sects, each sect rejoicing in that which is with it."-Quran 30:
Here Allah says that making firqa or being part
of any firqa is quality of mushrik (those who associate partner
with Allah). Those who are into any sect are displaying bad qualities of mushrik.
Allah has not commanded to become firqa then which god these people are
obeying by indulging in sectarianism / firqaparasti?
6.Guidance from Prophet Aron and Prophet Moses
(Peace be upon them) on firqa:
Prophet Moses was away for some time, when he returns back he finds
his people committing shirk. Prophet Moses ask them why they broke promise of
not committing shirk. Quran 20:86-89.
Prophet Moses asked Prophet Aron why he did not stop his people
from committing shirk; he asked whether Aron has failed to keep up the command
of Moses – of not letting his people do shirk. Quran 20:92-93
Read carefully how Prophet Aaron responds in Ayah 94.
"O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard nor by (the hair of) my
head! Truly I feared lest you should say, You have MADE FIRQA
i.e. caused a division among the children of Israel, and you did not respect my
Did you read carefully this ayah of Quran? Prophet Aaron says that he
feared that his people will get into sects / firqa / be divided in
various groups if he tries to stop them more. So we are seeing here that a
Prophet of his time considered firqaprasti / sectarianism so grave
matter that he did not let it happen even at a greater cost. Of course he knew
well that when Prophet Moses will be back then Moses will ask people to stop
shirk, but temporarily Prophet Aron could not prevent shirk by his people
because he feared that people will fall into sect / firqa (“Why this
would have happened” – we are skipping it here for the sake of brevity of
See the approach of a prophet towards sect / firqa and see
our approach. We proudly claim that we are from FIRQA E NAJIA i.e. SAVED
Lot can be said about firqa in the light of Quran but we
will cut short. If muslims are part of any firqa
/ sect then certainly its blatant rebellion against commands of Allah.
Will you prefer your group of scholars to Allah?
Will you prefer any other book to Quran?
E.Your last doubt – what can be dubbed
as sect / firqa?
Many of you will be having a doubt – but what exactly is a firqa?
Any group can be called firqa?
Of course political or social group that work for welfare of
Muslims do not come under category of firqa. But theological group that:
·Justifies and validates existence of different sects in Islam;
·Claims that only it is on the right path; rest other groups are
bound to enter hell fire.
Certainly this is firqa. Want proof?
a. Sect is formed after rivalry among
Quran projects the true picture;
that FIRQA / division in Islam is done by people AFTER they get knowledge and indulge
How true are words of Allah!!
“And they did not become FIRQA (sect) until after the knowledge
came unto them, through rivalry among themselves;…”-Quran 42:14
We see most important reason for flourishing of firqa as
rivalry among scholars / those who claim they have knowledge. Every group is
presenting his proof against others and proving how others are deviated and
hell bound. Allah has indicated this same reason in Quran 42:14. A quick glance
at the origin of all sects of Islam will attest to the fact mentioned in this
Similarly – Allah says;
“And be not as those got into FIRQA (who divided) and differed
among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for
whom there is an awful torment.”-Quran 3:105
Imagine! If top scholars of all sects today declare that we should
not fight in the name of sect; we should not hate each other; we should not
indulge in blame game; we should not declare others as kafir/deviated AND they all practically do this– then don’t you
think that sects will get slow death and pure Islam will prevail? Is it the ego
of top most scholars that is preventing collapse of sects?
b. Each sect
rejoices in what is with it:
Each sect lives in its own
dreamland. Each sect is rest assured that it is saved sect and others are bound
to enter hell.
Quran is the only uncorrupted book from Allah.
Apart from Quran no other book can be said to be 100% uncorrupted and
Quran gives the broad principle that those who:
- had faith and did good deed will enter paradise;
Refer Quran 4:57; 4:122; 22:23; 22:56; 29:58 and many more.
- became kafir, zalim, fasiq etc will enter hell.
Refer Quran 5:10; 57:19 and many more.
is not unjust. Whole life of a person will be taken into account.
“Then shall anyone who has done an
atom's weight of good, see it! And
anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.” Quran 99:7-8
Hadis – many a times – provide situational
implementation of those principles. If we don’t try to understand hadis within
principles of Quran then it will create havoc and result in so many
contradictory beliefs. There are narrations attributed to prophet where he
#1 “This community of mine is a
community blessed with mercy. It is not punished in the Hereafter.
Instead, it is punished in this world with strife, instability, and bloodshed.”Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Abî Dâwûd, and
#2 “I swear by Him in whose hand is
Muhammad’s soul. Indeed, I hope that you will be half the population of
Paradise.” Sahîh al-Bukhârî Volume 4, Book 55, Hadis 567
#3"On the Day of Resurrection I
will intercede and say, "O my Lord! Admit into Paradise (even) those
who have faith equal to a mustard seed in their hearts." Such people will
enter Paradise, and then I will say, 'O (Allah) admit into Paradise
(even) those who have the least amount of faith in their hearts.”Sahi
Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Hadis 600
#4 anyone who had said La Ilaha Illahllaah will
enter paradise ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION. Sahi Bukhari Volume 9, Book
93, Hadis 601
Concluding from different narrations
· Muslims will not be punished in the hereafter;
No Muslim in hell.
· Half population of paradise will be Ummate
· 72 sects of Muslims will be in hell. Only 1 in
paradise. Most of Muslims in hell.
· Anyone who had faith equal to a mustard seed or even lesser
will not enter hell but will be given paradise. No Muslim in hell.
just said La Ilaha Illahllaah will enter paradise. No Muslim in
If you don’t try to understand above narrations using the
yardstick of Quran then you will have weird beliefs. If just by saying Islamic
creed OR just by having less than mustard size emaan we will be saved from hell
and get paradise then what is the use of following Quran; offering salah,
fasting, hajj, abstaining from sins …..?
who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures),
and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last
Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them
shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Quran 2:62
There is one more dimension to understand this hadis.
Text of hadis is very different from Quran. Separate article is
required for this topic. Hadis are not to be taken literary always; otherwise
islam will look weird. For example look at following hadis:
1. 'Whoever reads the Qur'an and memorizes it,
Allah will admit him to Paradise and allow him to intercede for ten of his
family members who all deserved to enter Hell. Sahih Bukhari; English
reference: Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 216; Arabic reference: Book 1, Hadith 221.
2. One who memorizes 99 names of allah will
enter jannah . Sahih Bukhari Vol 9; Bk. 93: Hadis 489.
3. One whose 3 children die before reaching
puberty- that person will be admitted to paradise. Reference: Sunan
an-Nasa'i 1873; In-book reference : Book 21, Hadith 56; English translation:
Vol. 3, Book 21, Hadith 1874.
4. Ones love for surah ikhlas will admit a
person to paradise. At-Trimdhi; Sunnah.com reference: Book 9, Hadith 23; Arabic/English
book reference: Book 9, Hadith 1013.
5. A slave (of Allah) may utter a word
(carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because
of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire." Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 6478; In-book reference: Book 81, Hadith 67;
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 8, Book 76, Hadith 485.
6. Whoever calls the Adhan for twelve years, he
will be guaranteed Paradise. Reference : Sunan Ibn Majah 728; In-book
reference: Book 3, Hadith 23; English translation: Vol. 1, Book 3, Hadith 728.
7. If anyone guarantees me that he will not beg
from people, I will guarantee him Paradise. Reference: Sunan Abi Dawud 1643;
In-book reference: Book 9, Hadith 88; English translation: Book 9, Hadith 1639.
8. Allah's Apostle said, "Allah has
forbidden the (Hell) fire for those who say, 'None has the right to be
worshipped but Allah' for Allah's sake only." Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1;
Book 8, hadis 417.
9. Narrated Abu `Abs: (who is `Abdur−Rahman bin
Jabir) Allah's Apostle said," Anyone whose both feet get covered with dust
in Allah's Cause will not be touched by the (Hell) fire." Sahih
Bukhari, Vol 4; Book 52, hadis 66.
10. Those who have had faith equal to the
weight of a grain of mustard seed to be taken out from Hell. Sahih Bukhari,
Vol 1, book 2, hadis 21.
11. When two Muslims fight (meet) each other
with their swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the
Hell−fire. Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1; Book. 2, hadis 30.
12. Narrated Anas: The Prophet said,
"Whoever said "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has
in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken
out of Hell. And whoever said: "None has the right to be worshipped but
Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a wheat grain
will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be
worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of
an atom will be taken out of Hell." Sahih Bukhari Vol 1; Book. 2, hadis
Narrated Sa`d: I heard the Prophet saying, "Whoever claims to be the son
of a person other than his father, and he knows that person is not his father,
then Paradise will be forbidden for him." Sahih Bukhari, Vol 8; Book.
80, hadis 758.
If you understand these hadis literally in isolation
without taking into account what principle Quran has given then you have to
agree that we don’t need to offer salah, do fasting, give zakat, have good
ikhlaq, abstain from zina-gheebat etc because as per these ahadis a person
will be admitted to paradise if he just – memorizes 99 names of Allah OR he
just memorizes Quran OR he just say that only Allah is worthy to be worshipped
OR he gives adhaan for 12 years OR he just doesn’t beg…….and so on.
Similarly when promise is made for hell fire for some kind of
people in ahadis then we need to understand those ahadisunder
principles of Quran else we will be making our own mockery.
Will you not desist from firqaparasti / sectarianism?
Will you claim to be follower of Islam OR follower of hanafi-shafi-maliki-hambali
madhab; sunni; shia; Salafi, deobandi, barelwi, Ahle hadees?
Are you a Muslim only OR AhleSunnahWalJamaat Muslim; sunni
Muslim; shia Muslim; deobandi Muslim; barelvi Muslim; salafi Muslim; hanafi
Muslim; madkhali salafi Muslim..?
Will you pray for paradise and seek refuge from hell OR you
will proudly declare that you will enter paradise and others will enter hell
1. One of
the main reasons that prevent unity among Muslims is 73 sect narrations. People
justify validity of their sects based on this narration. Scholars tell
followers that their sect is saved sect.
2. They say that there will be 73 sects in Islam. Fact is hundreds
of sects came into existence in past; hundreds have disappeared; hundreds new
have formed. So 73 sect narration contradicts with fact.
3. 73 sect narration has been criticized by some of scholars. They
have casted doubt whether Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) would have said so.
4. Muslims claim that one of the 73 sects will enter paradise and
rest will enter hell. Quran has time and again condemned making ANY FIRQA. Sect
is opposite to command of Quran.
5. Quran has commanded believers NOT to get into any sect. When
Allah is telling us to be Muslim ALONE then no need for us to add any prefix or
suffix to it. No matter how great a scholar is – his words will not be taken
against word of Allah.
6. One of the reasons of existence of sect is rivalry among
scholars. Beware of scholar if he is driving towards ANY sect; hold strongly
natural religion Islam. There is no sect in Islam.
7. Allah has indicated in Quran that if you hold strongly Quran
then sect can be avoided. And Prophet will complain to Allah on the Day of
Judgment that his people had abandoned Quran.
8. God has named us as muslim (Quran 22:78) – in Arabic language – so
call yourself muslim only without any prefix/suffix. God has chosen islam as
deen (Quran 5:3) so follow islam only.
·If you don’t agree with the
article then instead of giving any fatwa of kufr / shirk / deviation – leave it
to Allah to judge.