The reality of sects

Indeed, all praise belongs to Allaah (SWT). We praise Him and we seek His support and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah (SWT) from the evil of ourselves, and from the evil of our actions. Whomsoever Allaah (SWT) guides, none can misguide and whomsoever Allaah (SWT) misguides (and leaves to be misguided), none can guide. We testify that there is no one worthy of worship except Allaah (SWT) and we testify that the Messenger Muhammad (SWT) is His (SWT) Last and Final Messenger.

 

O you who believe! Fear Allaah (swt) as he should be feared and die not except as Muslims. (3:10)

 

To proceed, Allaah (SWT) has said in the Qur’aan:

 

Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have the best example for him who looks to Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much.(33:21)

 

It is narrated on the authority of at-Tirmidhi that ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amru reported that the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said,

 

“My Ummah will face what Bani Israa’eel faced step by step, even if one of them approached his mother publicly (sexually) there will be one of my Ummah who will approach his mother. The People of Israel were divided into seventy-two sects, my Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all of them will be in the Hellfire, and one of them will be in Paradise.” We asked, “Which one is saved (from Hellfire)?” The Prophet (SAW) said, “The one that is with me and my Companions.”

 

The above two evidences should be enough to make the servant of Allaah (SWT) shudder. The aayah in the Qur’aan emphasises that the only way to attain Jannah (Paradise) and eternal happiness is to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the path he (SAW) and his Companions (RA) were upon. This matter is confirmed by the Muslim as part of his testimony of faith in Islaam; “I testify that there is no-one worthy of worship but Allaah and I testify that Muhammad (saw) is his last and final Messenger”; consequently, every Muslim claims to practice this.

 

However, the hadeeth related in at-Tirmidhi narrates a different reality. The Prophet (SAW) explains how the Muslim Ummah will divide into seventy-three different sects (firaq) differing in matters of ‘Aqaa’id (plural for ‘Aqeedah, i.e. belief or creed), and only one will be based upon the Aqeedah (belief) which he (SAW) and his Companions were upon. Since only one of the sects would be correct, it thus follows that the majority (seventy-two) will be upon misguidance. However, it is important to note that these seventy-two deviant sects that will go to Hellfire will not reside therein forever; they will be punished for their deviancy for a period of time known only to Allaah.

 

It becomes incumbent upon the Muslim, if he wishes to truly be sincere to Allaah (SWT), to investigate the Aqeedah of al-Firqat un-Naajiyah (the Saved Sect), their signs and attributes, and subsequently once they adopt this, they will be spared the Hellfire, whose abode is truly for the Khaasireen (failures).

 

It is not enough for the sincere followers of Allaah (SWT) to be led by the sayings of people who claim to be from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, or of al-Firqat un-Naajiyah since many of the deviated ones claim these titles. But it is fitting for them to seek out and study that which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said and brought, and what the Sahaabah narrated and their comments upon these matters.

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