Download PDF: Research and Analysis on the Ahadeeth Concerning the Different Sects in Islam

Research and Analysis on the Ahadeeth concerning the different sects in Islam

Allah Almighty has blessed the Islamic Nation with the epithet of “The Best Nation” and “The One Nation”.  Every conspiracy of those who tried to destroy the unity of “The One Nation” turned futile for as long as the holy personalities of those who reaped the blessings directly from the Prophetic lamp and were entitled اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْکُفَّارِ  harsh on the infidels and رُحَمَآءُ بَیۡنَہُمْ  tender among themselves (Al-Fat’h 48; Verse 29) were among us but as the blessed shade of those angelic personalities was lifted and we became distant from the Prophetic era, everyday a new fitnah was born and the blessed nation, the foundation of which was based on the Quranic fundamental of وَاعْتَصِمُوۡا بِحَبْلِ اللہِ جَمِیۡعًا وَّلَا تَفَرَّقُوۡا  And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves. (Aale Imraan 3; Verse 103) slowly started to divide into different sects and groups.

Allah Almighty describes in the Quran “creating division in Ummah” as a sign of polytheism in the following verse:

مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ فَرَّقُوۡا دِیۡنَہُمْ وَکَانُوۡا شِیَعًا

Of those who have split up their religion and have become many groups.

(Al-Room 30; Verse 32)

It’s a pity that the state of Islamic Nation is not different from this. If one were to thoroughly study the history of the nation’s disunity then one will come to know that the clever enemies have caused more damage to it than the inapt friends. The jews, like Ibn Saba were born in every era and attained success in disuniting the Ummah; jews like Ibn Kalas and Ghashtkeen Al-Darzi did their share in dispersing the unity of Ummah in Egypt during Fatimids caliphate. In later centuries, some other powers played their game whose main plan was to “divide and rule”. France conquered Al-Jazaa’ir by giving air to the conflict between Sunni and Abaadhi sects. Russia added fuel to the conflict between Baabiyah and Bahaa’iyah in Iran. Various sects that are seen all over India too are all the result of British government’s conspiracy, and up to this day they are airing the fire of disunity between Shia and Sunni in Iraq, in order to keep their illegal control operational.

These conflicts were the cases of differences in beliefs and fundamentals but the conflicts that rose in the external jurisprudence its history is also very tragic. Imam Ibn Jareer Tabri was prevented from being buried in the Muslim graveyard because he was not a Hanbali, he rather owned his own School of thought. (Al-Kaamil Fi Al-Tareekh, Vol. 2, p. 98) Qazweeni has mentioned those blood-shedding battles between Ahnaaf and Shawaafe’ in which thousands of Muslims were martyred. (Aathaar Al-Bilaad Wa Akhbaar Al-‘Ibaad, p. 212 Published by Daar Al-Qalam, Cairo 1420 A.H.)

There is no need to look very far away in history, for in our era too, major conflicts arise in the name of a research on an issue that has not been discussed clearly in Quran and Sunnah and then it ends with the blame of “laying a new foundation against the pure Islamic jurisprudence” and the opposition issues someone with an Islamic penalty; like, Renewing Of Kalimah, Renewing Of Bai’at and Renewing Of Nikah etc..

This disunity and conflict has put the Ummah in a loss on every intellectual, rational, political and social level. One major loss of this disunity is that every sect is more worried to defend itself against the other and wasted all their intellectual and rational power for this cause rather than thinking about the propagation of Islam and its defense. Today, we are in the very era. It’s a religious obligation to support the true deen and obliterate the false beliefs which is very much needed, so that the truth and falsehood remain defined, but we have been trapped through a systematic conspiracy so that we become least focused on other serious issues. This conspiracy has gained so much success that up till today; we are wasting our power and ability on these issues by means of money, struggle and speech, be it the conspiracy to uproot the Muslims like Andalusia on the national level or the global conspiracy against the Muslim world; we do not have time to pay attention to these threats to our security, honor and existence.

A Hadeeth is mentioned in regards to the conflict of the Ummah in which our beloved Prophet (peace be upon Him) has informed us of the conflict of Ummah into various different sects. In the terminology of Hadeeth-Masters, this Hadeeth is entitled “The Hadeeth of The Conflict of The Ummah”. We shall try to understand and analyze the concept of this Hadeeth in the light of facts and truth:

The Hadeeth

Imam Abu ‘Isa Tirmidhi narrates with His Sanad:

عَنْ اَبِیْ ھُرَیْرَۃَ اَنَّ رَسُوْلَ اللّٰہِ ﷺ قَالَ، “تَفَرَّقَتِ الْیَھُوْدُ عَلٰی اِحْدٰی وَ سَبْعِیْنَ اَوِ اثْنَیْنِ وَ سَبْعِیْنَ فِرْقَۃً وَالنَّصَارٰی مِثْلَ ذٰلِکَ وَ تَفْتَرِقُ اُمَّتِیْ عَلٰی ثَلٰثٍ وَّ سَبْعِیْنَ فِرْقَۃً۔” قَالَ اَبُوْ عِیْسٰی حَدِیْثُ اَبِیْ ھُرَیْرَۃَ حَسَنٌ صَحِیْحٌ

Hazrat Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon Him) stated, “The jews divided into 71 or 72 (this confusion is associated with the narrator) sects and so did the Christians, and my nation (Ummah) will divide into 73 sects.” (Imam) Abu ‘Isa (Tirmidhi) said, “This Hadeeth of (Hazrat) Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) is Hasan Sahih (Authentic).”

(Jaami’ Al-Tirmidhi; Abwaab Al-Imaan, Baab Ma jaa’a fi Iftiraaqi Haadhihil Ummah)

عَنْ عَبْدِاللّٰہِ بْنِ عُمَرٍو، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ ﷺ، “سَیَاْتِیْ عَلٰی اُمَّتِیْ مَا اَتٰی عَلٰی بَنِیْ اِسْرَائِیْلَ مِثْلًا بِمِثْلِ حَذْوَ النَّعْلِ بِالنَّعْلِ، وَاِنَّھُمْ تَفَرَّقُوْا عَلٰی اِثْنَیْنِ وَسَبْعِیْنَ مِلَّۃً، کُلُّھَا فِیْ النَّارِ غَیْرُ وَاحِدَۃٍ۔” فَقِیْلَ، “یَا رَسُوْلَ اللّٰہِ! وَمَا تِلْکَ الْوَاحِدَۃُ؟” قَالَ، “مَا نَحْنُ عَلَیْہِ وَ اَصْحَابِیْ۔”

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah stated, “Soon, the state of my nation will be similar to what had befallen Bani Isra’eel, for they were divided into 72 sects and my Ummah will soon divide into 73 sects; all will be in hell-fire except one.” When asked, “O Allah’s Messenger, which group will that one be?” He said, “One who will be on the path on which I and my companions are today.”

(Tareekh Dimashq of Ibn Asaakir 4/181; Musnad of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 2/332; Majma’ Al-Zawaa’id of Haithami 1/189; Ittihaaf Al-Saadah of Zubaidi 8/140; Tadhkiratul Maudoo’aat 15; Al-Mustadrak of Haakim 4/430; Musnad of Rabee’ Ibn Habeeb 1/13; Kanz Al-‘Ummaal of Muttaqi # 1057, 1/210; Tareekh Al-Baghdaad of Khateeb 13/310; Al-Fawaa’id Al-Majmoo’ah of Shaukaani 502; Al-Asraar Al-Marfoo’ah of Qaari 161; Al-La’aali Al-Masnoo’ah of Suyooti 1/128; Tafseer of Ibn Katheer 4/291; Sharafu As’haab Al-Hadeeth of Khateeb 40)

Besides Imam Tirmidhi, this Hadeeth is also narrated by Imam Ibn Majah, Imam Abu Dawood, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal etc. as well with little changes of words in few narrations but the meaning of all is the same.

The strength of Hadeeth’s chain

Imam Zaila’i has made an effort to collect all the chains of this Hadeeth in his Takhreej Al-Kashshaaf which describes that this Hadeeth is narrated by 18 senior Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them all):

  1. Hazrat Abu Hurairah
  2. Hazrat Anas Ibn Maalik
  3. Hazrat Jaabor
  4. Hazrat Sa’eed Khudri
  5. Hazrat ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas
  6. Hazrat Ibn Abbaas
  7. Hazrat Ibn Mas’ood
  8. Hazrat Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab
  9. Hazrat Ubai Ibn Ka’b
  10. Hazrat Abu Dardaa
  11. Hazrat ‘Uwaimar
  12. Hazrat Abu Umaamah
  13. Hazrat Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqaas
  14. Hazrat Waasilah Ibn Asqa’
  15. Hazrat ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib
  16. Hazrat Mu’aawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyaan
  17. Hazrat ‘Amr Ibn ‘Auf
  18. Hazrat ‘Auf Ibn Maalik (RadhiyAllahu alaijim ajma’een)

(All the Ahadeeth’s Mutoon are mentioned at the end of this book along with their chains of narrators)

Among these narrations, some are very authentic, some are authentic, some are Hasan, some are Ghareeb and some are Da’eef (weak). Looking at the abundance of this Hadeeth’s chains it can be said that all together, this Hadeeth is at the peak of authenticity, and at least, deserves the status of Hadeeth Al-Mash’hoor.

The Ulama of Hadeeth have commented on the latter part of the Hadeeth کُلُّھَا فِیْ النَّارِ اِلَّا وَاحِدَۃ i.e. all will be in hell-fire except one, regarding its authenticity. The point to be noted is that the Hadeeth narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah is quoted by the three compilers of Sunan, Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Abu Dawood and Imam Ibn Majah, does not contain this latter part, and the narrations that do contain this part, they differ in wordings, despite the fact that their objective is the same; as,

کُلُّھَا فِیْ النَّارِ اِلَّا وَاحِدَۃٌ وَھِیَ الْجَمَاعَۃُ

اَلنَّاجِیَۃُ مِنْھَا وَاحِدَۃٌ اَلْبَاقُوْنَ ھَلِکِیٌّ

کُلُّھُمْ فِیْ النَّارِ اِلَّا مِلَّۃٌ وَاحِدَۃٌ

اِثْنَتَانِ وَسَبْعُوْنَ فِیْ النَّارِ وَوَاحِدَۃٌ فِیْ الْجَنَّۃِ

وَاحِدَۃٌ فِیْ الْجَنَّۃِ وَاِثْنَتَانِ وَسَبْعُوْنَ فِیْ النَّارِ

The narration of Imam Tirmidhi has been narrated from Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar, he commented on its Sanad, “This Hadeeth is Mufassar Ghareeb; we do not recognize it except the way we have narrated it.”

The Shaareh of Tirmidhi states that the reason as to why Imam Tirmidhi declared it Ghareeb (weak), “This criticism was on Abdur Rahmaan Ibn Ziyaadah. He is not reliable in narrating Hadeeth although he is the Qaadhi and Shaikh of Africa.”

(Sharah Tirmidhi, Vol. 10, p. 108)

Criticizing Ibn Ziyaad Imam Ahmad mentioned him to be Munkar Al-Hadeeth (i.e. one who is disliked in taking a Hadeeth from). “The one narrator in the chain of Sunan Abu Dawood is ‘Amr Al-Laithi. His narrations will be accepted when followed by any other narration but if he happens to be the only individual in a certain narration; his narration will not be taken.” Imam Haakim Nishapuri has recorded the very narration in Al-Mustadrak and declared it Sahih (Authentic) on the conditions of Imam Muslim. Criticizing on this Imam Dhahbi has said, “Muhammad Ibn ‘Amr is not reliable when alone in a narration but when followed by another narration.”

The Hadeeth which Imam Ibn Majah narrated from ‘Auf Ibn Maalik wherein the latter part is mentioned as follows:

وَاحِدَۃٌ فِیْ الْجَنَّۃِ وَثْنَتَانِ وَسَبْعُوْنَ فِیْ النَّارِ

One narrator in this chain is Ibaad Ibn Yusuf. The author of Zawaa’id commented on this chain, “There is a suspicion in the chain of the Hadeeth of ‘Auf Ibn Maalik. Abu Haatim said about Raashid Ibn Sa’d that he is truthful. No one from amongst the compilers of the six authentic books (Sahih Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Nasaa’i) took any Hadeeth from him except Ibn Majah, and Ibn Majah has only this one Hadeeth narrated by Ibaad Ibn Yusuf. Imam Abu Haatim said about him (Ibaad Ibn Yusuf) that he has narrated various narrations in which he is the only individual. Imam Ibn Hibbaan has mentioned him from amongst the Thiqaat (the reliable narrators). The rest of the narrators in this chain are reliable.”

It is Ibn Majah who has narrated another Hadeeth from Hazrat Anas Ibn Maalik in which the latter part reads as:

کُلُّھَا فِیْ النَّارِ اِلَّا وَاحِدَۃٌ وَھِیَ الْجَمَاعَۃُ

The Sanad of this Hadeeth has been criticized that it contains Waleed Ibn Muslim as a narrator and the Ulama of criticism (The Authorities in Hadeeth who can declare a Hadeeth Sahih, Da’eef etc.) have called him Mudallis. Few Ulama have said that Waleed Ibn Muslim has narrated many a narrations in which he stands individual.

The conclusion is that whichever narration has come with the addition of the latter part, there are some comments made on each and every one of them. It is perhaps for this reason that Ibn Wazeer Al-Yamani has totally rejected the latter part. He says, “Do not get fooled by the addition of کُلُّھَا فِیْ النَّارِ اِلَّا وَاحِدَۃٌ, for this addition is not correct, and it’s not far from expectations that it could be the conspiracy of Malaahidah.”

(Al-‘Awaasim Wal Qawaasim with reference to, Muqaddamah of Al-Farqu Bain Al-Firaq by Allamah Zaahid Al-Kauthari, p.4)

However, there is too much rigidness in this decision of Ibn Wazeer, complying with which this latter part cannot be called fabricated or Mawdoo’, as we observed that its narrators are not blamed to be liars or fabricators or attributed to any harsh judgments. All the criticism is in such theoretical terms which, at large, only proves weakness of it, and according to some criticisms, the weakness too is of a very light grade. If supposedly, this Hadeeth is declared Da’eef, then the following narrations of it are in such a large number that they can strengthen one another; which results that this addition will no more remain Da’eef, but rather transform into the category of Hasan.

Baseless Attempt to Declare The Hadeeth Mawdoo’

As I mentioned that Ibn Wazeer Al-Yamani has rejected its latter part, but few so-called propagators of knowledge have made their full unappreciated attempt in order to declare the entire Hadeeth fabricated. Among them, Dr. Abdur Rahman Al-Badwi is on top of the list. He writes, “There are countless Islamic sects. Whoso from amongst the Ulama of past has written about those sects, especially the Ulama of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, they have tried to disclose the number of Islamic sects by using a fabricated Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah as their basic criteria.”

(Madhaahib Al-Islaamiyyeen, part 1, p.33)

The proofs that he has given in order to declare the Hadeeth as fabricated, if same criteria is applied in finding out the authenticity of Hadeeths then one will have to wash his hands of more than half of the Ahadeeth of Sihah Sittah (Six most authentic books of Hadeeth). He said, “It’s impossible to declare the Hadeeth Sahih due to the following reasons:

  1. This numbering system of 71, 72, 73 is just a fabricated thing whose recognition is impossible, let alone the possibility of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) stating such a thing.”

In fact, it is not a proof, but it’s rather a statement which is in need of a proof. Is there anything against the human intellect which says that its recognition is impossible? He further writes:

  1. “It’s not under the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon Him) control that he could already inform of the division of Muslims in sects (that were to come) in future.”

This is the audacity of Dr. Badwi which can never be forgiven under any circumstances. If this method of examining the Hadeeth were to be employed then one cannot comprehend its treacherous consequences. As a result, the doors of declaring all those Hadeeths fabricated that are mentioned regarding the hour, its signs, and resurrection etc.

  1. “We do not find this Hadeeth in the books compiled in 2nd century and not even 3rd century A.H. books. If it was Sahih then it would have been recorded in early centuries.”

It’s a strange formula to criticize the authenticity of a Hadeeth which is perhaps Dr. Badwi’s own invention. The six most reliable collections of Hadeeth which we know as Sihaah Sittah; none of them were compiled in the second century. According to the time of the authors of Sihaah, Imam Bukhari is the first, who was born in 194 A.H. As a result of this dispute all the Hadeeths of Sihaah Sittah that were not mentioned in the previous books will be doubted, and then his words, “We do not find this Hadeeth in the books compiled in 2nd century and not even 3rd century A.H. books” is very unreal, since I have previously mentioned that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal, Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Abu Dawood and Imam Ibn Majah have narrated this Hadeeth in their books and all those four books were compiled in 3rd century A.H. Imam Tirmidhi’s date of birth is 209 A.H. and D. 279 A.H., Imam Abu Dawood was born in 202 A.H. and D. 275 A.H. and Imam Ibn Majah was born in 209 A.H. and D. 273 A.H.

Another “bright thinker” like Dr. Badwi, D.r ‘Umaarah has also expressed his distrust concerning the authenticity of this Hadeeth and even its conviction. He presented four arguments in support of his viewpoint. In my abortive opinion, if one were to look at all those four arguments from the viewpoint of research and justice, then the reality will come forward that none of those arguments carry weight and the authenticity of such a vital Hadeeth, which is narrated by 18 great Sahaba and mentioned in the topmost and reliable books of Hadeeth with excellent chain, cannot be doubted due to the absurd arguments like these.

Towards Understanding “Ummati”

The word “Ummat” has mentioned in Quran and Sunnah in more than one meaning; sometimes it’s used in the meaning of religion, sometimes nation and at some point in the meaning of a group, and here, we will argue with the meaning of Ummat. Firstly, Ummat is the nation towards which a Messenger (peace be upon Him) is appointed, and then the people of the nation who believe in that Messenger are called the Ummatul Ijaabah of that Messenger and the ones that do not believe in that Messenger are called Ummatud Da’wah. The Messengership of the Seal of Prophethood is beyond the condition of time and space, therefore whoso, from the time of His appointment till Qiyamah, was deprived of believing in Him or became a non-believer after believing is a member of His Ummatud Da’wah and whoso was fortunate to believe in Him or will believe till Qiyamah is a member of His Ummatul Ijaabah. The word Ummat is mentioned in Quran and Sunnah without the attribute of Da’wah or Ijaabah but the distinction is made through the context and agreement as to which meaning is intended where. I provide you with each of both the examples from Quran:

ثُمَّ اَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا تَتْرَا ؕ کُلَّمَا جَآءَ اُمَّۃً رَّسُوۡلُہَا کَذَّبُوۡہُ

Then We sent Our Messengers one after the other. Whenever its Messenger came to any nation, they belied him.

(Al-Mu’minoon 23, Verse 44)

Here, Ummat refers to Ummatud Da’wah, and the agreement is that how could an Ummah be Ummatul Ijaabah when it belies in their Messenger.

وَکَذٰلِکَ جَعَلْنٰکُمْ اُمَّۃً وَّسَطًا لِّتَکُوۡنُوۡا شُہَدَآءَ عَلَی النَّاسِ

And thus We made you exalted among all nations that you may be witnesses to the people.

(Al-Baqarah 2, Verse 143)

Ummatul Ijaabah is meant at this point on which exalted and that you may be witnesses are evident. After the explanation of Ummatud Da’wah and Ummatul Ijaabah, the question now arises as to which Ummah is meant by Ummat in the discussed Hadeeth. According to few Ulama Ummatud Da’wah is meant but a major group of Ulama prefers the objective of Ummatul Ijabah at this point. Mulla Jalaaluddeen Muhaqqiq states:

“سَتَفْتَرِقُ اُمَّتِیْ “Soon my Ummah will be divided” i.e. Ummatul Ijaabah. Few Shaariheen of Hadeeth have referred to it as Ummatud Da’wah as well but as you know how impractical this statement is, for the sects of Ahl Al-Kufr are far greater than this number.”

Muhaqqiq Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Al-Dehlwi has also preferred its objective to be Ummat Al-Ijaabah, as he states:

“The objective of Ummah is Ummat Al-Ijaabah, meaning, the ones who embraced Islam and accepted the Prophet’s (peace be upon Him) Da’wah of Imaan.”

(Sharah Safar Al-Saadah, p. 719, Afdal Al-Mataabe’, Calcutta)

The Number Of Sects

Imam Abu Mansoor Abdul Qaahir Ibn Taahir Al-Baghdadi (D. 429 A.H.) is from amongst the historians who wrote on the history of the sects. He mentioned the number of Islamic sects 73 when counting the Islamic sects in his famous book Al-Farq bain Al-Feraq. Allamah Abdul Kareem Al-Shahrastaani (D. 548 A.H.) penned Al-Melal Wal-Nahal………. One who worked on mentioning the number of the sects is Allamah Ibn Al-Jawzy (D. 579). He divided all the sects into 6 major sects based on the fundamental difference:

  1. Al-Harooriyah
  2. Al-Qadriyah
  3. Al-Jahmiyah
  4. Al-Marjiyah
  5. Al-Raafidhah
  6. Al-Jabariyah

And then he mentioned 12 sects of each and this number came to 72.

(Talbees Iblees, p. 19)

Objection

There is an objection based on another Hadeeth, “Kulluha Fil Jannah Illa Waahidah” i.e. All are in Jannah except one” mentioned in some books, which apparently opposes the former famous Hadeeth.

Answer

This Hadeeth is not as authentic as the former one, in fact, according to many Ulama it’s a fabricated Hadeeth.

Imam Ibn Jawzy states:

The chain of this Hadeeth to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon Him) is not authentic. The Masters of this branch of knowledge state that Al-Abrad (the narrator of this Hadeeth) was a very big fabricator and liar, and then Yaseen narrated from him and turned and twisted his chain, and Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan stole it from him. Ibn Khuzaimah states about Al-Abrad that he is a very big fabricator and liar (Waddaa’ and Kazzaab) and Yahya said about Yaseen that his Hadeeth is not reliable, and Nasaa’i said that his Hadeeth is better to be left untouched (Matrookul Hadeeth).

(Al-Mawdoo’aat, Vol. 1, p. 196)

And then at the end, Imam Ibn Jawzy said, “This Hadeeth stands no ground in these words.”

Even if we suppose and take this Hadeeth into consideration, we will have to interpret the meaning in such a way that it accomodates the objectives of both the Ahadeeth.

Imam Ghazali has given a terrific and inspiring interpretation of both Hadeeths as follows:

“Only one of these sects will be the saved one. There are different narrations in this regard; one says that one of them will be destroyed, but the former Hadeeth is more famous and the meaning of “saved” is that the sect will neither be put in the fire nor will it enter paradise through the intercession. Saved are not, in fact, the ones on whom the peons of hell are appointed. As it has been mentioned in another narration that all will go to Jannah except the infidels, and it’s a sect. It’s possible that both the narrations are authentic. One which is said to be “the destroyed one” is the one that will remain in hell forever and ever, for Haalik is said about someone whose hope of reformation has been cut off. There will be only one saved sect, and it will be the one that will enter Jannah without accountability and intercession, therefore whoever will be held accountable shall definitely taste the punishment which is why it cannot be called the saved sect. In the same manner, the one who will enter Jannah through intercession cannot be called the absolutely saved, so to say, there are two groups (Destroyed and Saved), one of them is the best of creation and the other the worst of creation. The rest of the sects are between them; some are the ones whose punishment will be merely harsh accountability, some are the ones who will be taken near Jahannam and then will be entered into Jannah through intercession, some are the ones who will be put into the fire and will be punished according to their innovations and misconceptions in their beliefs and the amount of their sins and then will be taken out of the hell. As for the destroyed sect (of infidels), it’s the only one that will remain in hell forever.”

(Al-Tafreqah Bain Al-Islam Wal-Zindiqah in Majmoo’ah Rasaail Ghazali, p. 253)

Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah and the other 73 Sects

Allah Almighty states:

وَمَاۤ اٰتٰىکُمُ الرَّسُوۡلُ فَخُذُوۡہُ ۚ وَمَا نَہٰىکُمْ عَنْہُ فَانۡتَہُوۡا

And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from that.

(Verse 7, Al-Hashr 59)

To briefly understand the word Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah in Arabic and similarly in Urdu, AhleSunnat wal Jamaa’at, let us analyze it beginning with the first word, which is Ahl. It means “people” and Sunnah means اَلطَّرِیْقَۃُ الْمَسْلُوْکَۃُ فِیْ الدِّیْنِ i.e. “The chosen path of Deen” and Wal Jamaa’ah or Wal Jamaa’at i.e. “and the people who follow the Jamaa’ah, the Companions and the way of the Sahaba t”. The word Jamaa’ah refers to the group of Sahaba and Taabe’een. The people of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah are the ones who follow the Sahaba and Taabe’een and are on the path in their faith, imaan and their beliefs. Those people are on the Aqeedah as of the Aqeedah of the Holy Prophetr. Those who follow the real Aqeedah of the Sahaba t and the people who are on the Aqeedah of the Taabe’een, the students of the Sahaba t, they are the Ahus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. The Holy Prophet r promised that these people will remain Muslim from now till the end of time, at the Day of Judgment.

Allah Azza wa Jall has made arrangements to preserve this unity among Ahus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah in our five times daily Fard Salahs as well as in every other Salah, even if one performs the Salah individually. Imam Fakhruddeen Raazi t sheds some light on this concept in the following passage of his world renowned Tafseer Al-Kabeer:

(When a Muslim engages himself in worshipping Allah, the Salah somewhat reminds him about the Jamaa’ah) as if the servant says, “O Allah, I have heard Your Messenger r that Jamaa’ah is a blessing and being divided into different sects is a form of punishment, so when I commit myself to praise You I chanted all Your praises “Alhamdulillaah (All praise due to Allah)” and when I commit myself to worship You I also mentioned to You about the worship of all Your other servants and say “Iyyaaka Na’budu (We worship only You)” and when I seek Your help I also included all the other servants and say “Iyyaaka Nasta’een (We seek only Your help)” and when I beg You for guidance I asked for all the other believers too and say “Ihdinas Siraatal Mustaqeem (Guide us on the straight path)” and when I ask for the guidance of the pious I ask for all of their guidance and say “Siraatalladheena an’amta ‘alaihim (The path those whom You have favoured)” and similarly I ask abstinence from all the deprived ones “Ghairil Maghdoobi ‘alaihim waladdaalleen (Nor of those who have earned Your wrath nor of those who have gone astray).

If I did not abandon the Prophets and the pious in this world I hope I will not be deprived of this blessed group on the Day of Judgment also.”

فَاُولٰٓئِکَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَنْعَمَ اللہُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنَ النَّبِیّٖنَ وَالصِّدِّیۡقِیۡنَ وَالشُّہَدَآءِ وَالصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ اُولٰٓئِکَ رَفِیۡقًا ﴿ؕ۶۹﴾

then he will get the company of those who have been blessed by, Allah, viz. the Prophets, and the truthful, and martyrs and the righteous, and what good companions They are!

(Tafseer Kabeer Part 1, p. 257)

Imam Tabraani has recorded the following Hadeeth about Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah:

یَدُ اللّٰہِ عَلَی الْجَمَاعَۃِ، اِتَّبِعُوْا السِّوَادَ الْاَعْظَمَ فَاِنَّہٗ مَنْ شَذَّ شَذَّ فِیْ النَّارِ

Allah’s hand is over the Jamaa’ah, whoso abandons the Siwaad al-Azam (Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah) will proceed to hell.

(Tabraani’s Al-Kabeer Vol. 1, p. 186)

Rasoolullah SallAllaahu alaihi wasallam states:

لَا تَزَالُ طَآئِفَۃٌ مِّنْ اُمَّتِیْ ظَاھِرِیْنَ عَلَی الْحَقِّ لَا یَضُرُّھُمْ مَّنْ خَالَفَھُمْ حَتّٰی یَاْتِیَ اَمْرُ اللّٰہِ وَکَذَالِکَ

“A group of my Ummah will always prevail on Haqq. One who opposes them will not be able to harm them till Allah’s Judgment (the day of Qiyamah) while they will still be like that (on Haqq).”

The Hadeeth is Sahih.

(Bukhari Hadeeth No. 6767, Muslim Hadeeth No. 3544)

The group mentioned in the Hadeeth is Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

(Hashiyah Maraaqil Falaah p. 4)

The consensual declaration took place centuries ago that the followers of Imam Abu Mansoor Matureedi and Imam Abul Hasan Ash’ari are Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah.

Hazrat Ali RadiAllahu Anhu states:

When a believer is steadfast on the beliefs of Sunnah and Jamaa’ah (Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah) Allah Almighty accepts his Du’as and fulfils his needs and forgives all his sins, and endorses for him safety from hell and hypocrisy.

(Takmelah Bahrur Raa’iq Vol. 8, p 333)

Though, as far as the clear citation of this word goes, one will not find it clearly written in Quran but it does not mean that it has no basis. If that were the yardstick for all the Islamic articles of faith then even the word Tauheed is not found in the entire Quran yet it is the bed rock of the Islamic faith. It’s not the word that matters but it’s the concept that matters. Likewise, the concept of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is mentioned in the Quran despite the citation of its actual word-form.

Allah Almighty states in the Quran regarding Ahlus Sunnah:

وَمَاۤ اٰتٰىکُمُ الرَّسُوۡلُ فَخُذُوۡہُ ۚ وَمَا نَہٰىکُمْ عَنْہُ فَانۡتَہُوۡا

And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from that.

(Verse 7, Al-Hashr 59)

It means that whatever Aqeedah He r gave you take it and if He r warned you about anything, which could harm your faith, abstain from it.

Let us now look at the word Wal Jamaa’ah. Allah Ta’ala states in Surah Taubah:

وَالسّٰبِقُوۡنَ الۡاَوَّلُوۡنَ مِنَ الْمُہٰجِرِیۡنَ وَالۡاَنۡصَارِ وَالَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡہُمۡ بِاِحْسٰنٍ ۙ رَّضِیَ اللہُ عَنْہُمْ وَرَضُوۡا عَنْہُ وَ اَعَدَّ لَہُمْ جَنّٰتٍ تَجْرِیۡ تَحْتَہَا الۡاَنْہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ ذٰلِکَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیۡمُ ﴿۱۰۰﴾

And the first and foremost emigrants and helpers and those who followed them with good. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah and for them He has prepared gardens under which rivers flow; This is the great success.

(Verse 100)

Allah Sub’haanahu wa Ta’ala is pleased with the Sahaba t and not only the Sahaba but also with the people who follow them in deed and creed.

Three groups of people are mentioned in the verse:

  1. The Muhaajireen Sahaba who migrated from Makkah Mukarramah to Madinah Munawwarah.
  2. The Ansaar Sahaba of Madinah Shareef
  3. People who follow them (Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah)

The concept of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is taken from the above two verses of the Quran.

The Necessity of identifying Oneself as Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah

The Holy Quran has stressed and emphasized on it that we maintain our identity as Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah or Sunnies. Allah I mentioned in the Quran:

وَ اَنَّ ہٰذَا صِرٰطِیۡ مُسْتَقِیۡمًا فَاتَّبِعُوۡہُ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِکُمْ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖؕ ذٰلِکُمْ وَصّٰکُمۡ بِہٖ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۳﴾

And that, this is My straight path, then follow it and follow not other paths for they will deviate you from His path. This He has ordered you that haply you may be self-restrained.

(Al-An’aam 6, Verse 153)

Mufassireen say in the commentary of this verse on the accord of the following Hadeeth:

Ibn Hibbaan in His Sahih Vol. 1, p. 181, Hadeeth No. 6

Imam Nasaai in his Sunan Kubra Vol. 6, p. 343, Hadeeth No. 11174

Imam Baghwi in his Sharhus Sunnah, Baab al-I’tisaam

Imam Bazzaar in his Musnad, Hadeeth No. 1694

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad Hadeeth No. 4142

Daarimi in his Sunan Vol. 1, p. 78, Hadeeth No. 202

Imam Abu Dawood Tiyalisi in his Musnad Vol. 1, p. 33, Hadeeth No. 244

Marwazi in his Sunnah

Imam Hakim in his Mustadrak ‘Alas Saheehain. He said this is a Sahih chained Hadeeth Vol. 2, p. 349, Hadeeth No. 3241

Imam Dhahbi in its annotations agrees that it is a Sahih Hadeeth

Ibn ‘Aasim in his book Al-Sunnah

Ibn Batta in his book Al-Ibaanatul Kubra and also in his book Al-Sughra

Al-Ajurri in his book al-Shariah

Imam Al-La’lakaai in his book Sharhus Sunnah and even nasiruddeen albaani authenticated this Hadeeth.

The Hadeeth is narrated by the great Sahaabi Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood t:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ ،رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : خَطَّ لَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيه وسَلَّم خَطًّا ، فَقَالَ : هَذَا سَبِيلُ اللهِ ، ثُمَّ خَطَّ خُطُوطًا عَنْ يَمِينِهِ ، وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ ، فَقَالَ : هَذِهِ سُبُلٌ عَلَى كُلِّ سَبِيلٍ مِنْهَا شَيْطَانٌ يَدْعُو إِلَيْهِ ، ثُمَّ تَلاَ وَ اَنَّ ہٰذَا صِرٰطِیۡ مُسْتَقِیۡمًا فَاتَّبِعُوۡہُ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِکُمْ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖؕ ذٰلِکُمْ وَصّٰکُمۡ بِہٖ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۳﴾

Hazrat Abdullah t narrated, “The Messenger of Allah r drew a straight line for us, then He r said, ‘This is Allah’s path.’ and then He r drew some lines towards right and some towards the left then said, ‘These are the paths, on each of them, there is shaitaan inviting towards him, then He r recited:

And that, this is My straight path, then follow it and follow not other paths for they will deviate you from His path. This He has ordered you that haply you may be self-restrained.”

(Al-An’aam 6, Verse 153)

For further commentary on the Hadeeth let us refer to Imam Nasafi who mentioned the finer details of this narration in his famous Tafseer Madaarik al Tanzeel:

روي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم خط خطاً مستوياً ثم قال ” هذا سبيل الرشد وصراط الله فاتبعوه ” ثم خط على كل جانب ستة خطوط ممالة ثم قال ” هذه سبل على كل سبيل منها شيطان يدعو إليه فاجتنبوها ” وتلا هذه الآية. ثم يصير كل واحد من الاثني عشر طريقاً ستة طرق فتكون اثنين وسبعين ، وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما : هذه الآيات محكمات لم ينسخهن شيء من جميع الكتب.

It’s narrated that the Messenger of Allah r drew a straight line then He r said, “This is the path of guidance and the path of Allah, so follow it.” And then He r drew six line on the either sides and said, “These are the paths on which the shaitaan is inviting towards him, so refrain from it, and then He r recited this verse. Six lines were added to each of the 12 line on both sides so they became 72 on both sides, and it is narrated from Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbaas t, “These verses are the clearest of verses, no other part of the entire Quran can cancel it (i.e. No Ayah of the Quran can make it Mansookh).

(Tafseer Al-Nasafi below the Verse No. 153, Surah An’aam 6)

The philosophy of drawing 6 lines on either sides was a clear indication that all the 72 deviant groups of the Ummah will emerge from within these 6 groups. Imam Azam Abu Hanifa t gives us further understanding of that when replying to a question, which is recorded in the book Tamheed of Allamah Abdush Shakoor Saalimi t:

سُئِلَ اَبُوْ حَنِیْفَۃَ رَحِمَہٗ اللّٰہُ عَنِ السُّنَّۃِ وَالْجَمَاعَۃِ فَقَالَ لَا نَصْبٌ وَّلَارِفْضٌ، وَلَا جَبْرٌ وَّلَا قَدْرٌ، وَلَا تَشْبِیْہٌ وَتَعْطِیْلٌ

When Imam Abu Hanifa t was asked about the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah He t replied, “It’s neither 1. Naasibies nor 2. Raafizies, nor 3. Jabriyyah nor 4. Qadriyyah, nor 5. Mushabbihah nor 6. Mu’attilah.

It now becomes important to know the reality of these six groups individually in order to grasp a thorough understanding of the quoted concept given by the Noble Imam.

  1. Naasibies are the Khawaarij who went against Hazrat Ali t and branded him kaafir, yet whoso does that becomes a kaafir himself.
  2. Raafizies are called Raafizies because they went out of the folds of Islam and Allah I called them kaafir, though according to their beliefs, some of them are kaafir and some are bid’atees etc. e.g. some of them believe that Hazrat Ali t was God and descended from heaven, some believe that He t was parallel to the Nabi r in Nubuwwah and some believe that the Nubuwwah was meant for Hazrat Ali t but Hazrat Jibreel made a mistake. These and the likes of these articles are just nonsense.
  3. Jabriyyah believe that the entire creation will be rewarded for their good deeds while there will be no punishment on the one who commits any evil. All the kuffaar and sinners are helpless so they will not be questioned about anything, because all the deeds are created by Allah I and the servants are absolutely helpless.
  4. Qadriyyah believe that the intellectual perception supersedes the divine laws of Shariah even though it has been revealed by Allah and similarly, the intellectual perception is superior than the famous Sunnahs, therefore they rejected to believe in the “fate; the bad thereof” to be from Allah I.
  5. Mushabbihah are the ones who believe that besides four following attributes of Allah Ta’aala:
  • ‘Aalim (All-Knowing),
  • Qaadir (All-powerful)
  • Khaliq (The Creator)
  • Shaa’i (The one who wills)

The rest are created, which is kufr.

  1. Mu’attilah, the first of them is Saufistaaiyah, they are further divided into three groups. Some of them believe that nothing has a reality of its own, for example, the objects that are named fire and water, it is very possible for the water to become fire and vice-versa. This belief of theirs is kufr, for it goes against Allah’s laws, and this belief also will lead to oppose the Shariah laws and Nubuwwah as well as opposing the concept of worshipper and the one who is worshipped, because then it will become for the sender (Mursil, who is Allah) to become the appointed one (Mursal, Rasool), and also that the one who worships (the servants of Allah) may (Allah forbid!!!) take over the opposite side.

(Al-Tamheed p. 190)

Imam Qurtubi states in his Tafseer:

The base of all the sects are six groups, and then each group is divided into 12 sects, and when 6 is multiplied by 12 it equals to 72 sects. Imam Azam actually indicated towards the statement of the Holy Prophet r about the division of Ummah into 73 sects and then, that only one group will be saved while the rest will be in hell. The saved sect is the (Major Group) Siwaaade Azam i.e. Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah which Allah I has described in the Quran as حَبْلُ اللّٰہِ “A rope from Allah”.

(Tafseer Qurtubi part 4, p. 103)

Conclusion: The only central body and the straight line or path (Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah) is the way of salvation and the remainder 72 on either sides are the groups of shaitaan!

All the Sahaba t were Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. There was no other sect at that time among the Muslims, apart from the hypocrites that were even in the time the holy Prophet r. There was no division among the Muslims at the time of the Khilaafah of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq t nor at the time of Hazrat Umar t nor at the time of Hazrat Uthmaan t but the first division among the Ummah emerged at the time of Hazrat Ali t and this was the group of Khawaarij who were the first ones to deviate from the true path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. The main culprit Abdullah Ibn Sabah who was a jew, a hypocrite, took advantage of the controversies Hazrat Ali t had with other Sahaba t which we are not supposed to comment on, because we believe that all the Sahaba are our stars of guidance. He stirred between the two parties of the Sahaba and caused discord among the Ummah. Both the groups of Sahaba were on Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah in creed but the dispute occurred on some legal issues. It was at that time when there deviated the first group from the way of Rasoolullah r and the way of Sahaba t and their Aqeedah. The next group to deviate from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah was the group of Shiites (Rawaafiz). Historically, these were the first two group to move away from the path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah, the Khawaarij followed by Shiites.

Sayyiduna Hazrat Ali t was the first one to engage in debate to refute the Khawaarij and He t instructed Hazrat Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbaas to go to the Khawaarij and debate with them. That is why Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbaas t is known as the first scholar that debated with the deviant group of the Khawaarij who had moved away from the path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. Imam Ghazaali t, when he mentioned the importance of debate with the deviant people to bring them back to the way of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah and also for the people to know and get a declaration to stay away from those people after their falsehood has been revealed if they still haven’t come back to the path.

He writes in his Ihya Uloomiddeen, “The first to initiate the invitation of the innovators back to the folds of truth through debate and refutation is Sayyyiduna Ali t Ibn Abi Taalib who sent Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbaas t to speak to them.”

(Ihya Vol. 1, p. 96)

The oldest Aqeedah and the Aqeedah of the majority of the Muslims from the time of the Holy Prophet r has been the Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah even till today. So we follow the Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah that has been regular from His r time in every century and got to us in its traditional form, as Rasoolullah r has said that they will be Siwaadal Azam i.e. majority of the Muslims in the world. If one were to put all the other groups of the world together the number of Sunnies will still supersede them. Wahabism has spread through the petrol=dollar money, publishing books, buying people and selling faith; this is how the Wahabi sect has spread but their number is still very small, but on the other hand, one will find the people of Ahlus Sunnah in each and every part of the world, be it an isolated African Island of Zanzibar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, India, Pakistan or any other part of world, Ahlus Sunnah are not restricted to any specific part and region, they are everywhere. They recite Qaseedah Burdah and Salaat Alan Nabi r after every Azan, Salam after Azan. They take out marches of Eid Miladun Nabi and celebrate His Mawlid everywhere. The Sunnies of Bareily, the Sunnies of Hyderabad Deccan etc. are the very same Sunnies that one will find in the city of Damascus and Baghdad, for the sign of them is the love and reverence for Allah I and Rasoolullah r. These are the some signs of the Ahus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah.

There are two great Imams of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah creed who defended the Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah and kept the spirit alive. They are Imam Abul Hasan Al-Ash’ari t and Imam Abu Mansoor Maatureedi t, the two Imams of Aqeedah among the earlier Muslims. They were the flag-bearers of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah and championed the way of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah.

There are several major signs of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah according to the time and society we live in:

  1. They believe that Allah I is One. He is devoid of any blemishes. There is no defect associated with Him. He is perfect. He is only given the attributes of perfection and He is not given any attribute of imperfection or any defect. He does not sleep nor does He sit. He does not, and cannot lie.

Imam Ibn Humaam t who belongs to the Maatureedi school and his student Ibn Abi Al-Shareef who belongs to the Ash’ari school, they both write in their books Musaairah and Musaamarah that it is impossible for Allah I to lie”, and Ibn Abi Al-Shareef says, “There is no dispute between Ash’ari and Maatureedi (between Sunnies) and there is complete consensus that what is considered to be a quality of imperfection for a human Allah is devoid of it and it is impossible for Allah to lie, for lying is a defect for a human.

  1. The Prophet r, the light of our heart, is the center of the Imaan. Laa Ilaaha IllAllaah (i.e. the Kamilah) is not complete if one does not say Muhammadur Rasoolullaah r, for it was He r who told us about the Oneness of Allah I. If Laa ilaaha illAllaah is a treasure Muhammadur Rasoolullaah r is the key of it. If Laa ilaaha illAllaah is a flower Muhammadur Rasoolullaah r is its blossom.

Allah I states in the verse 8 of Surah Al-Fath as follows:

اِنَّاۤ اَرْسَلْنٰکَ شٰہِدًا وَّ مُبَشِّرًا وَّ نَذِیۡرًا ۙ﴿۸﴾

Surely, We have sent you as a witness (present and seeing) and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner.
(Surah Fath 48, verse 8)

He is witness, for He is seeing us and He will be giving witnesses on the Day of Judgment. It means that He is watching the entire humanity and he is present everywhere.

The Holy Prophet r stated, “The entire Ummah was shown to me and I recognize the face of every Ummati.”

لِّتُؤْمِنُوۡا بِاللہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ وَ تُعَزِّرُوۡہُ وَ تُوَقِّرُوۡہُ ؕ وَ تُسَبِّحُوۡہُ بُکْرَۃً وَّ اَصِیۡلًا ﴿۹﴾

So that O People you may believe in Allah and His Messenger and pay respect to him and honour him and that you may glorify Him morning and evening.

(Surah Fath 48, verse 9)

Look at how Allah I has attached the name of Rasoolullaah r with His name, meaning, so that people may believe in Allah and in His Rasool and pay honor and respect to Rasoolullaah r and then worship Allah I day and night.

Three qualities of Rasoolullah r are mentioned in the verse 8 and then there are three objectives mentioned under the verse 9.

The three qualities are:

  1. Rasoolullaah I is present and witnessing
  2. He I bearer of glad tidings for the believers
  3. He is a warner for those who are away from his path

The three objectives behind sending the Holy Prophet r are:

  1. So that people believe in Allah I and His Rasool r
  2. Immensely honor Rasoolullaah r and respect him r
  3. Worship Allah I day and night

So if there is someone out there who prays Salah but does not have respect for the Holy Prophet r his Salah has no meaning, for honoring Rasoolullah r comes first and worship of Allah I comes after that. It is for this reason that when we hear a Sunni mentioning the name of the Holy Prophet 10 times in his conversation, writing or speech, he will also recite SallAllaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam along with it 10 times. We nowadays find some people narrating Hadeeth of Rasoolullah r with no respect. If you come across anyone of those, when they tell you that they have a Hadeeth where the Prophet (without saying r after that), tell them to get lost, and that you don’t want to listen to the Hadeeth, for you have no respect for Him r. When Sunnies mentions the name of the Holy Prophet r he says Fidaaka Nafsi (May I be ransomed upon You, O RasoolAllah r) etc. If I was alive in Your time I would have been with You, O Rasoolullah r, I would have given my life for You, O RasoolAllah r; that is how much compassion a Sunni has for the RasoolAllah r.” A Sunni will say, “The beloved Prophet of Allah r”, “The Noble Messenger of Allah r” etc. You will only hear this from a Sunni, for he is central to our Imaan. We would not have found Allah without Rasoolullah r, we would not have prayed Salah if it wasn’t for Rasoolullah r, we would not know what is Zakah and how to give charity. If these sentiments seem too much to grasp, then one should look at the sentiments of the Sahaba in the Hadeeth of Bukhari expressing the similar feelings in front of Rasoolullah with His permission and He r listened to it (without objecting). The name of the Sahabi is Hazrat ‘Aamir Ibn Akwa’.

When the Holy Prophet r was travelling with the army of Sahaba to Khaibar, He r stopped at night He r called Hazrat ‘Aamir Ibn Akwa’ to descend from the mount:

انْزِلْ يَا ابْنَ الأَكْوَعِ

and he recited his poetry to Rasoolullah r. He recited the following poetry:

اَللّٰهُمَّ لَوْلاَ أَنْتَ مَا اهْتَدَيْنَا وَلاَ تَصَدَّقْنَا وَلاَ صَلَّيْنَا
فَاغْفِرْ فِدَاءً لَكَ اَبْکَیْنَا وَأَلْقِيَنْ سَكِينَةً عَلَيْنَا

وَثَبِّتِ الأَقْدَامَ إِنْ لاَقَيْنَا وَ نَحْنُ عَنْ فِضْلِکَ مَا اسْتَغْنَیْنَا

Without You r we would never have been guided

We would have never given Sadaqah neither would we have known how to pray Salah

May I be ransomed on You r, please forgive me, pour tranquility into my heart

When we meet our enemy make our feet firm on truth, for I can never do without Your bounty

(Bukhari, Nasai, Muslim, Mu’jam, Daarimi, Baihaqi etc.)

This was the Aqeedah of centrality of Rasoolullah according to the Sahaba that is why this is also the sign of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. We Sunnies praise Rasoolullah r in the Masjid, on the Mimbar, His r name written on the walls of the Masjids with utmost respect.

There are three questions that will be asked in the grave:

  1. Who is your Lord?
  2. What is your religion?

Let us stop here and see that if it was sufficient to only believe in Allah and follow Islam then what was the need of the third question? The answer? Yes, that’s the final question, for the Rasoolullah r is central to the Imaan!

  1. What was your view about this Man?

It’s the third question that finally defines whether one is going to pass the exam and be successful or fail and deserve hell. A Sunni will only know his Beloved and fall at his feet!

When Imam Bukhari narrates this Hadeeth in his Sahih, he actually omitted the former two questions and he only mentioned the question No. 3, highlighting this very important element of Imaan and faith. This was the love of Imam Bukhari that he considers the Holy Prophet r as the central of Imaan and the medium for salvation.

3rd sign of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is that they do not criticize any of the Ulama of past that were the illustrious source of ‘Ilm and Taqwa, particularly Hazrat Imam Azam Abu Hanifa t, Imam Abul Hasan Al-Ash’ari t, the author of Dalaailul Khairaat Imam Sulaimaan al-Jazooli and the author of Qasidah Burdah Imam Sharafuddeen Al-Booseeri t, for it is from amongst the signs of Qiyaamah, as the Prophet r mentioned in His hadeeth that people will criticize the previous Muslims. Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah do not criticize the previous A’immah and the great Ulama. The salafies nowadays attack Imam Azam Abu Hanifa and say that he did not follow Hadeeth while the reality is not such. I can remember a very famous quotation of Imam Azam which is repeatedly mentioned in a large number of books:

اِذَا صَحَّ الْحَدِیْثُ فَھُوَ مَذْھَبِیْ

When the Hadeeth is Sahih that is my Madhhab.

He also said about weak Hadeeth that he prefers a weak hadeeth over his thought. Laughing in Salah breaks the Salah as well as the Wudu according to Hanafi school of thought, and this law is based on a weak Hadeeth while no other Madhhab has this law emphasized so much which is based on a weak Hadeeth. So how can one say that he did not follow Hadeeth?

Ibn taimiyah, the guru of wahabies said in his book Raf’ul Manaam, “We cannot criticize Imam Abu Hanifa for not following Hadeeth, and how can we criticize him while he prefers weak Hadeeth (over his own view).”

The other sign the people of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is that they do not attack the people of Tasawwuf, for they are from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. If someone says that the great Soofie Sayyiduna Muhiyyuddeen Ibn Al-‘Arabi was not a Muslim, he is out of the folds of Ahlus Sunnah and Islam.

All the Silsilahs of Tasawwuf are from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah; be it the Qadiriyah Silsilah or Naqshbandiyyah, Teejaani, Shaazilee or Chishti Silsilah, they are all from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah.

Anyone who criticizes any of the Sahaba is not a Sunni, especially Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’aawiyah t and Hazrat ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas t. We do not mention any of the Sahaba but with goodness!

From amongst the minor signs of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is:

Saying “Ya RasoolAllah r” in our time. Reciting Salawaat upon the beloved Nabi r and Qaseedah Burdah or Naath in His praise is also from the signs of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. Celebrating the Mawlid of Rasoolullah r and celebrate Urs, and visiting His grave and graves of Awliya. Imam Abu Ja’far Tahaawi mentioned in his book of Aqeedah that sending the reward of your good deeds is from the sings of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. Respecting the relics of the Ambiya and Awliya is also from amongst the signs of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah.

BELOW ARE SOME OF THOSE AHADEETH THAT CONTAIN THE DISCUSSION OF 73 SECTS AND EACH OF THEM ARE NARRATED WITH DIFFERENT CHAINS

7426- عن شيخ من كندة قال : كنا جلوسًا عند علي ، رضي الله عنه ، فأتاه أسقف نجران فأوسع له ، فقال له رجل : توسع لهذا النصراني يا أمير المؤمنين ؟! فقال علي : إنهم كانوا إذا أتوا رسول الله صَلَّى الله عَلَيه وسَلَّم أوسع لهم ، فسأله رجل : كم افترقت النصرانية يا أسقف؟ فقال : افترقت على فرق كثيرة لا أحصيها , قال علي ، رضي الله عنه : أنا أعلم كم افترقت النصرانية من هذا وإن كان نصرانيًّا ، افترقت النصرانية على إحدى وسبعين فرقة ، وافترقت اليهودية على ثنتين وسبعين فرقة ، والذي نفسي بيده لتفترقن الحنيفية على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة ، فتكون ثنتين وسبعين في النار وفرقة في الجنة.

رواه محمد بن يحيى بن أبي عُمَر بسند ضعيف ، وتقدم في الأدب في باب صفة السلام على الكفار.

Hadeeth No. 7426: It is narrated by Shaykh of Kandah, he said, “We were seated by Hazrat Ali t and a bishop from Najraan came to him. When he made space for him then someone told him, “Are you making a space for this Christian O the leader of the believers? Hazrat Ali t replied, “The Messenger of Allah r used to make space for them whenever they visited him.”

Someone asked the Christian, “How many sects have the christians divided into, O bishop?” He replied, “It has been divided into so many sects that I cannot estimate them.” Hazrat Ali t said, “I know how many sects the christians have divided into; the christians have divided into 71 sects, the jews into 72 and I swear by the one in whose hand my life is, the true people of the religion (Muslims) will be divided into 73 sects from which 72 will be in the hell and one group will reside in paradise.”

Hazrat Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Abi Umar narrated it with a weak chain and mentioned it in the chapter, “The manners of paying Salam to the disbelievers.”

7427- وَعَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ ، رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ , أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيه وسَلَّم قَالَ : إِنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ افْتَرَقُوا عَلَى إِحْدَى وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً ، وَلَنْ تَذْهَبَ اللَّيَالِي وَالأَيَّامُ حَتَّى تَفْتَرِقَ أُمَّتِي عَلَى مِثْلِ ، أَوْ قَالَ : عَلَى مِثْلِهَا أَلاَ وَكُلُّ فِرْقَةٍ مِنْهَا فِي النَّارِ إِلاَّ وَاحِدَةً وَهِيَ الْجَمَاعَةُ.

رَوَاهُ أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ ، وَعَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ بِسَنَدٍ فِيهِ رَاوٍ لَمْ يُسَمَّ.

It’s narrated from Hazrat Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqaas t that the Messenger of Allah r said, “Indeed Bani Israel had been divided into 71 sects, and days and nights will not elapse until my nation will be divided, in the similar manner, or He r said, like them. Lo! Every sect of them will dwell in hell save one, and that is the group.”

Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaibah narrated it, and Abd Ibn Humaid narrated it through a chain which contains an anonymous narrator.

7428- وَعَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ ، رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ , قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيه وسَلَّم : إِنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ افْتَرَقَتْ عَلَى إِحْدَى وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً ، وَإِنَّ أُمَّتِي تَفْتَرِقُ عَلَى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ ، كُلُّهَا فِي النَّارِ إِلاَّ السَّوَادَ الأَعْظَمَ.

رَوَاهُ أَبُو يَعْلَى الْمَوْصِلِيُّ ، وَابْنُ مَاجَةَ إِلاَّ أَنَّهُ جَعَلَ بَدَلَ السَّوَادَ الأَعْظَمَ الْجَمَاعَةَ.

Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik t is reported to have said, “The Messenger of Allah r stated, “Indeed the Bani Israel have been divided into 71 sects, and my Ummah will be divided into 72 sects. All of them will be in hell except the majority.”

Abu Ya’la Mausili and Ibn Majah have narrated it, but with slight change of words that he (Imam Ibn Majah) mentioned Jama’ah instead of Siwaad Al-A’zam.

7428/2- وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ ، وَلَفْظُهُ : أَنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ تَفَرَّقَتْ عَلَى إِحَدَى وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً ، فَهَلَكَ سَبْعُونَ فِرْقَةً وَخَلُصَتْ فِرْقَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ ، وَإِنَّ أُمَّتِي سَتَفْتَرِقُ عَلَى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً تَهْلِكُ إِحْدَى وَسَبْعُونَ فِرْقَةً ، وَتَخْلُصُ فِرْقَةٌ قِيلَ : يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ ، مَنْ تِلْكَ الْفِرْقَةُ ؟ قَالَ : الْجَمَاعَةُ ، الْجَمَاعَةُ.

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal t narrated it with these words, “Indeed the Bani Israel have been divided into 71 sects. 70 sects were destroyed and one was saved. My Ummah will divide into 73 sects. 72 sects of them will be destroyed and one will succeed.” When inquired, “O the Messenger of Allah r, which sect will that be? He replied, “The group, the group.”

ورواه أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة والبزار.

Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaibah and Bazzaar narrated it.

الكتاب : إتحاف الخيرة المهرة

بزوائد المسانيد العشرة

المؤلف : أحمد بن أبي بكر بن إسماعيل البوصيري

1069 – حدثنا يوسف بن موسى ، قال : نا أحمد بن عبد الله بن يونس ، قال : نا أبو بكر بن عياش ، عن موسى بن عبيدة ، عن أخيه عبد الله بن عبيدة ، عن عائشة ابنة سعد ، عن أبيها ، قال : قال رسول الله: « افترقت بنو إسرائيل على إحدى وسبعين ملة ، ولن تذهب الليالي والأيام حتى تفترق أمتي على مثلها » وهذا الحديث لا نعلمه يروى عن سعد إلا من هذا الوجه ، ولا نعلم روى عبد الله بن عبيدة ، عن عائشة ، عن أبيها إلا هذا الحديث

مسند البزار

Hazrat Yusuf Ibn Moosa narrated to us the Hadeeth, from Ahmad Ibn Abdillah Ibn Yunus, from Abu Bakr Ibn ‘Aiyaash, from Moosa Ibn ‘Ubaidah, from his brother Abdullah Ibn ‘Ubaidah, from ‘Ayeshah the daughter of Sa’d, from her father, he said, “The Messenger of Allah r stated, “Indeed Bani Israel had been divided into 71 sects, and days and nights will not elapse until my nation will be divided like them.”

We do not know this Hadeeth to be narrated by Sa’d but through this way neither do we know whether Abdullah Ibn ‘Ubaidah narrated from ‘Ayeshah, from her father but only in this Hadeeth.

Musnad Bazzaar

441 – أخبرنا أحمد بن محمد بن سلمة العنزي ثنا عثمان بن سعيد الدارمي ثنا عمرو بن عون و وهب بن بقية الواسطيان قالا : ثنا خالد بن عبد الله عن محمد بن عمرو عن أبي سلمة عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : افترقت اليهود على إحدى أو اثنتين و سبعين فرقة و افترقت النصارى على إحدى أو اثنتين و سبعين فرقة و تفترق أمتي على ثلاث و سبعين فرقة

هذا حديث صحيح على شرط مسلم

و له شواهد فمنها :

تعليق الذهبي قي التلخيص : على شرط مسلم

Allah’s Messenger r said, “The jews were divided into 71 or 72 sects, the Christians into 71 or 72 sects and my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects.

This Hadeeth is Sahih according to the measures of Imam Muslim and its witness is the Ta’leeq (Annotation) of Imam Dhahbi in Al-Talkhees: “According to the measures of Imam Muslim.”

المستدرک علی الصحیحین للحاکم

(Al-Mustadrak Ala-Al-Saheehain Lil-Haakim)

10886- تفترق أمتى على بضع وسبعين فرقة أعظمها فتنة على أمتى قوم يقيسون الأمور برأيهم فيحلون الحرام ويحرمون الحلال (الطبرانى ، والحاكم عن عوف بن مالك)

أخرجه الطبرانى (18/50 ، رقم 90) ، والحاكم (3/631 ، رقم 6325) . وأخرجه أيضًا : البزار (7/186 ، رقم 2755) . قال الهيثمى (1/179) : رجاله رجال الصحيح .

My Ummah will be divided into more than 70 sects. The greatest trial on my Ummah will be a nation that will make the laws based on their whims and they will thus make the haram halaal and vice-versa.

Imam Haakim and Tabraani narrated from Hazrat ‘Auf Ibn Malik.

Tabrani Hadeeth No. 90

Mustadrak of Imam Haakim Hadeeth No. 6325

Bazzaar Hadeeth No. 2755

Imam Haithami said, “The narrators of the Hadeeth are of the standards of Sahih.”

10887- تفترق أمتى على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة كلهن فى النار إلا واحدة ما أنا عليه اليوم وأصحابى (الطبرانى فى الأوسط عن أنس)

أخرجه الطبرانى فى الأوسط (5/137 ، رقم 4886) ، وأخرجه أيضًا : فى الصغير (2/29 ، رقم 724) ، قال الهيثمى (1/189) : فيه عبد الله بن سفيان .قد ذكره ابن حبان فى الثقات . والضياء (7/277 ، رقم 2733) .

My Ummah will be divided into 73 sects, all will be in hell save the one on which path I and my companions are up to this day. Imam Tabrani narrated from Hazrat Anas t in Al-Ausat.

Hadeeth No. 4886

Sagheer Hadeeth No. 724

Ibn Sufyan is in this chain

Imam Ibn Hibban has regarded him as a trustworthy narrator

Al-Diya Hadeeth No. 2733

Jame’ Al-Ahadeeth

جامع الاحادیث

في الحديث افترقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين فرقة كلها في الهاوية إلا واحدة وهي الناجية وافترقت النصارى على ثنتين وسبعين فرقة كلها في الهاوية إلا واحدة وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين كلها في الهاوية إلا واحدة

It is in the Hadeeth: The jews have been divided into 71 sects; all of them are in hell save one, and that is the saved sect. The christians were divided into 72 sects; all of them are in hell save one, and my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects; all of them are in hell save one.

قلت روي من حديث أبي هريرة ومن حديث أنس ومن حديث سعد ابن أبي وقاص ومن حديث معاوية ومن حديث عمرو بن عوف المزني ومن حديث عوف بن مالك ومن حديث أبي أمامة ومن حديث جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنهم

This narration comes from the Hadeeth of

  1. Hazrat Abu Hurairah t
  2. Hazrat Anas t
  3. Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqaas
  4. Hazrat Mu’awiyah t
  5. Hazrat ‘Amr Ibn ‘Auf t
  6. Hazrat ‘Auf Ibn Malik t
  7. Hazrat Abu Umaamah t and
  8. Hazrat Jabir Ibn Abdillah t.

أما حديث أبي هريرة فرواه أبو داود في سننه في كتاب السنة والترمذي وابن ماجة في كتاب الزهد من حديث محمد بن عمرو عن أبي سلمة عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله {صلى الله عليه وسلم} افترقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين فرقة وافترقت النصارى على ثنتين وسبعين فرقة وستفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة انتهى قال الترمذي حديث حسن صحيح زاد أبو داود في رواية منها ثنتان وسبعون في النار وواحدة في الجنة وزاد الترمذي كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة قالوا من هي يا رسول الله قال ما أنا عليه وأصحابي انتهى

Imam Abu Dawood has narrated the Hadeeth of Hazrat Abu Hurairah in his Sunan under “Kitaabus Sunnah” and Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah in “Kitaabuz Zuhd” from the Hadeeth of Hazrat Muhammad Ibn ‘Amr, from Abi Salemah, from Abu Hurairah t:

The Mesenger of Allah r said, “The jews have been divided intp 71 sects, the christians were divided into 72 sects, and my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects.

Imam Tirmidhi said, “This Hadeeth is Sahih Hasan.”

Imam Abu Dawood added to the Hadeeth, “72 of them are in hell and one in paradise.”

Imam Tirmidhi added, “All of them are in hell save one. They asked, ‘Who are they, O the Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘They are the group that are on my and my companions’ path.”

ورواه ابن حبان في صحيحه في النوع السادس من القسم الثالث والحاكم في مستدركه في كتاب العلم وقال صحيح على شرط مسلم

Imam Ibn Hibbaan narrated it in his Sahih collection and Haakim in his Mustadrak and said, “It’s Sahih on the measures taken by Imam Muslim.

وأما حديث أنس فرواه أبو نعيم في الحلية في ترجمة زيد بن أسلم فقال حدثنا حبيب بن الحسن ثنا عمر بن حفص السدوسي ثنا عاصم بن علي ثنا أبو معشر عن يعقوب بن زيد بن طلحة عن زيد بن أسلم عن أنس بن مالك قال قال رسول الله {صلى الله عليه وسلم} افترقت أمة موسى على إحدى وسبعين فرقة منهم في النار سبعون فرقة وواحدة في الجنة وتفرقت أمة عيسى على ثنتين وسبعين فرقة منها في الجنة واحدة وإحدى وسبعون في النار وتعلو أمتي على الفرقتين جميعا بملة واحدة في الجنة وثنتان وسبعون في النار قالوا من هم يا رسول الله قال الجماعات مختصر

Imam Abu Nu’aim narrated the Hadeeth of Hazrat Anas t in Hilyah in the tarjumah of Zaid Ibn Aslam ……. From Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik, Allah’s Messenger r said, “The Ummah of Hazrat Moosa (peace be upon Him) have been divided into 71 sects; all of them are in hell save one, and that is the saved sect. The Ummah of Hazrat ‘Isa (peace be upon Him) were divided into 72 sects; all of them are in hell save one, and my Ummah will advance (divided into 73 sects); one is in paradise and 72 of them are in hell. They asked, ‘Who are they, O the Messenger of Allah?’ ‘They are the majority.’ He replied.”

ورواه ابن مردويه في تفسيره حدثنا عبد الله بن جعفر ثنا أحمد بن يونس الضبي ثنا عاصم بن علي به سواء

Imam Mardwiyah narrated it in his Tafseer.

وأما حديث سعد بن أبي وقاص فرواه ابن أبي شيبة في مسنده ثنا أحمد ابن عبد الله بن يونس عن أبي بكر عن موسى بن عبيدة عن عبد الله بن عبيدة عن ابنه سعد عن أبيها سعد عن النبي {صلى الله عليه وسلم} نحوه وأما حديث عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص فرواه الحاكم في مستدركه في كتاب العلم من حديث عبد الرحمن بن زياد الإفريقي به عنه نحوه وقال لا تقوم به حجة وإنما ذكره شاهدا

ورواه البزار في مسنده وسكت عنه

Imam Ibn Abi Shaibah narrated the Hadeeth of

  1. Hazrat Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqaas t in his Musnad

Imam Haakim narrated the Hadeeth of

  1. Hazrat Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas t in his Mustadrak

ورواه البيهقي في كتاب المدخل من حديث عبد الرحمن بن زياد بن أنعم عن عبد الله بن يزيد عن عبد الله بن عمرو مرفوعا إن بني إسرائيل تفرقوا على ثنتين وسبعين ملة وإن أمتي ستفترق على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة كلها في النار إلا واحدة قيل وما هي يا رسول الله قال ما أنا عليه اليوم وأصحابي مختصر

Imam Baihaqi narrated the Hadeeth of

  1. Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar t in Kitab Al-Madkhal (Marfoo’an)

Indeed Bani Israel were divided into 72 sects and verily my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects; all will go to hell save one. When asked, “Which is that one sect, O the Messenger of Allahr?” “The path on which I and my companions are” He r replied.

وأما حديث معاوية فرواه الحاكم ايضا من حديث عبد الله بن لحي الهوزني عن معاوية بن أبي سفيان عن النبي {صلى الله عليه وسلم} نحوه وقال إسناده تقوم به الحجة

As far as the Hadeeth of Hazrat Mu’awiyah t is concerned, it’s also narrated by Imam Hakim and said, “This chain stands as a proof.”

رواه أحمد والدارمي في مسنديهما ورواه البيهقي في المدخل وقال ورواه أبو داود في سننه

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Daarimi have narrated it in their Musnads and Baihaqi in Al-Madkhal and said, “Abu Dawood narrated it in his Sunan.”

وأما حديث عمرو بن عوف المزني فرواه الحاكم أيضا عن كثير بن عبد الله ابن عمرو بن عوف عن أبيه عن جده عمرو بن عوف عن النبي {صلى الله عليه وسلم} قال إن بني إسرائيل افترقت على سبعين فرقة كلها ضالة إلا واحدة ثم افترقت على عيسى بن مريم إحدى وسبعين فرقة كلها ضالة إلا واحدة وإنكم تفترقون اثنتين وسبعين فرقة كلها ضالة إلا واحدة الإسلام وجماعته

ورواه الطبراني في معجمه قال الحاكم وكثير بن عبد الله لا تقوم به حجة

Imam Hakim narrated the Hadeeth of Hazrat ‘Amr Ibn ‘Auf

He r said, “Indeed Bani Israel were divided into 70 sects; all of them are gone astray except one, then the nation of Hazrat ‘Isa (Alaihis Salam) was divided into 71 sects; all of them were gone astray except one, and indeed you will be divided 72 sects; all of which will go astray except one, Islam and its large group.”

Imam Tabrani narrated it in his Mu’jam. Imam Hakim said, “Katheer Ibn Abdillah does not stand as a source of authenticity.”

وأما حديث عوف بن مالك فرواه الطبراني في معجمه من حديث عباد ابن يوسف عن صفوان بن عمرو عن راشد بن سعد عن عوف بن مالك قال قال رسول الله {صلى الله عليه وسلم} افترقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين فرقة وافترقت النصارى على اثنتين وسبعين فرقة وستفترق أمتى على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة وأمتي تزيد عليهم فرقة كلها في النار إلا السواد الأعظم انتهى قال ولم يروه عن سلم بن رزين إلا أبو علي الحنفي

The Hadeeth of Hazrat ‘Auf Ibn Malik t is narrated by Imam Tabrani in his Mu’jam

He r stated, “The jews were divided into 71 sects, the Christians into 72, and soon my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects superseding them by adding one more; all of which will be in hell save the majority.”

ورواه أبو نعيم في تاريخ أصبهان في ترجمة أبي غالب ثنا أحمد بن جعفر ابن معبد ثنا يحيى بن مطرف ثنا عبد الرحمن بن المبارك ثنا قريش بن حبان ثنا أبو غالب به

Imam Abu Nu’aim narrated it in Tareekh Asbahaan

وأما حديث جابر بن عبد الله فرواه أسلم بن سهل الواسطي المعروف ببحشل في كتابه تاريخ واسط ثنا محمد بن الهيثم ثنا شجاع بن الوليد عن عمرو بن قيس عمن حدثه عن جابر بن عبد الله قال قال رسول الله {صلى الله عليه وسلم} تفرقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين فرقة كلها في النار وتفرقت النصارى على اثنتين وسبعين فرقة كلها في النار وإن أمتي ستفترق على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة كلها في النار إلا واحدة فقال عمر بن الخطاب أخبرنا يا رسول الله من هم قال السواد الأعظم انتهى

The Hadeeth of Hazrat Jabir t is narrated by Imam Aslam Ibn Sahl Waasiti in Tareekh Waasit

He r stated, “The jews were divided into 71 sects; all in hell save one, the Christians into 72; all in hell except one, and my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects; all of which will be in hell save one, then Hazrat Umar t asked, “Inform us about it, O Allah’s Messenger, as to who are they?” He r replied, “The majority.”

الكتاب : تخريج الأحاديث والآثار الواقعة في تفسير الكشاف للزمخشري

Takhreej al-Ahadeeth Wal-Aathaar al-Waaqi’ati Fi Tafseer Al-Kashshaaf Lil-Zemakhshari

تأليف / جمال الدين عبد الله بن يوسف بن محمد الزيلعي

All the Ahadeeth given below have already been translated above and are unanimous in their meaning

4598 – حَدَّثَنَا وَهْبُ بْنُ بَقِيَّةَ عَنْ خَالِدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو عَنْ أَبِى سَلَمَةَ عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « افْتَرَقَتِ الْيَهُودُ عَلَى إِحْدَى أَوْ ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً وَتَفَرَّقَتِ النَّصَارَى عَلَى إِحْدَى أَوْ ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً وَتَفْتَرِقُ أُمَّتِى عَلَى ثَلاَثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً ».

الكتاب : سنن أبي داود

المؤلف : أبو داود سليمان بن الأشعث السجستاني

3991 – حدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي شيية . حدثنا محمد بن بشر . حدثنا محمد بن عمرو عن أبي سلمة عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

: ( تفرقت اليهودعلى إحدى وسبعين فرقة . وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة )

قال الشيخ الألباني : حسن صحيح

Albani said, “Hasan Sahih”.

3992 – حدثنا عمرو بن عثمان بن سعيد بن كثير بن دينار الحمصي . حدثنا عباد بن يوسف . حدثنا صفوان بن عمرو عن راشد بن سعد عن عوف بن مالك قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ( افترقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين فرقة . فواحدة في الجنة . وسبعون في النار وافترقت النصارى على ثنتيين وسبعين فرقة . فإحدى وسبعون في النار وواحدة في الجنة . والذي نفس محمد بيده لتفترقن أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة . واحدة في الجنة وسبعون في النار )

قيل يا رسول الله من هم ؟ قال ( الجماعة )

في الزوائد إسناده حديث عوف بن مالك فيه مقال . وراشد بن سعد قال فيه أبو حاتم صدوق . وعباد ابن يوسف لم يخرج له أحد سوى ابن ماجة . وليس له عنده سوى هذا الحدي . قال ابن عدي روى أحاديث تفرد بها . وذكر ابن حبان في الثقات . وباقي رجال الإسناد ثقات

قال الشيخ الألباني : صحيح

Albani said, “Sahih”.

الكتاب : سنن ابن ماجه

المؤلف : محمد بن يزيد أبو عبدالله القزويني

3993 – حدثنا هشام بن عمار . حدثنا الوليد بن مسلم . حدثنا أبو عمرو حدثنا قتادة عن أنس ابن مالك قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

: ( إن بني إسرائيل افترقت على إحدى وسبعين فرقة . وإن أمتي ستفترق على ثنتين وسبعين فرقة . كلها في النار إلا واحدة . وهي الجماعة )

في الزوائد إسناده صحيح . رجاله ثقات .

قال الشيخ الألباني : صحيح

Albani said, “Sahih”.

الكتاب : سنن ابن ماجه

المؤلف : محمد بن يزيد أبو عبدالله القزويني

4599 – حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْمُغِيرَةِ حَدَّثَنَا صَفْوَانُ ح وَحَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عُثْمَانَ حَدَّثَنَا بَقِيَّةُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِى صَفْوَانُ نَحْوَهُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِى أَزْهَرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَرَازِىُّ عَنْ أَبِى عَامِرٍ الْهَوْزَنِىِّ عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ أَبِى سُفْيَانَ أَنَّهُ قَامَ فِينَا فَقَالَ أَلاَ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَامَ فِينَا فَقَالَ « أَلاَ إِنَّ مَنْ قَبْلَكُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ افْتَرَقُوا عَلَى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً وَإِنَّ هَذِهِ الْمِلَّةَ سَتَفْتَرِقُ عَلَى ثَلاَثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ ثِنْتَانِ وَسَبْعُونَ فِى النَّارِ وَوَاحِدَةٌ فِى الْجَنَّةِ وَهِىَ الْجَمَاعَةُ ». زَادَ ابْنُ يَحْيَى وَعَمْرٌو فِى حَدِيثَيْهِمَا « وَإِنَّهُ سَيَخْرُجُ مِنْ أُمَّتِى أَقْوَامٌ تَجَارَى بِهِمْ تِلْكَ الأَهْوَاءُ كَمَا يَتَجَارَى الْكَلْبُ لِصَاحِبِهِ ».

وَقَالَ عَمْرٌو « الْكَلْبُ بِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ يَبْقَى مِنْهُ عِرْقٌ وَلاَ مَفْصِلٌ إِلاَّ دَخَلَهُ ».

الكتاب : سنن أبي داود

المؤلف : أبو داود سليمان بن الأشعث السجستاني

2640 – حدثنا الحسين بن حريث أبو عمار حدثنا الفضل بن موسى عن محمد بن عمرو عن أبي سلمة عن أبي هريرة : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال تفرقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين أو اثنتين وسبعين فرقة والنصارى مثل ذلك وتفترق أمتي ثلاث وسبعين فرقة وفي الباب عن سعد و عبد الله بن عمرو و عوف بن مالك

قال أبو عيسى حديث أبي هريرة حديث حسن صحيح

قال الشيخ الألباني : حسن صحيح

Imam Abu Isa Tirmidhi said, “The Hadeeth of Hazrat Abu Hirairah t is Hasan Sahih”.

Albani said, “Hasan Sahih”.

2641 – حدثنا محمود بن غيلان حدثنا أبو داود الحفري عن سفيان الثوري عن عبد الرحمن بن زياد الأفريقي عن عبد الله بن يزيد عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليأتين على أمتي ما أتى على بني إسرائيل حذو النعل بالنعل حتى إن كان منهم من أتى أمه علانية لكان في أمتي من يصنع ذلك وإن بني إسرائيل تفرقت على ثنتين وسبعين ملة وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين ملة كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة قالوا ومن هي يا رسول الله قال ما أنا عليه وأصحابي

قال أبو عيسى هذا حديث مفسر غريب لا نعرفه مثل هذا إلا من هذا الوجه

قال الشيخ الألباني : حسن

Imam Abu Isa Tirmidhi said, “This Hadeeth is Ghareeb Mufassar”.

Albani said, “Hasan”.

الكتاب : الجامع الصحيح سنن الترمذي

المؤلف : محمد بن عيسى أبو عيسى الترمذي السلمي

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