Hold Fast to the Rope of Allah
“Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not be divided” (Holy Quran 3:103)”
Its true that we Muslims may be divided into 70 or more “Firqas” (sects) as is referred to in a Hadith, but the Hadith also mentions the guiding principle that “the best sect is the one that is strictly following teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunna.”
That rope of Allah is said to be by scholars the Holy Quran. We all have to stick close together by following the teachings of the Holy Quran.
Now, that is up to Allah Almighty to decide which sect that one is.
We being humans can’t on our own decide this, as this will naturally & ultimately lead to chaos to the extreme that everyone starts declaring the other as “Kafir” (Disbeliever) which is even more forbidden.
The one who says that each of the other ‘seventy-two sects’ is guilty of kufr that puts one beyond the pale of Islam is going against the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the consensus of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them all), and the consensus of the four imams and others. None of them regarded any of the other sects as kaafirs, rather they regarded one another as Muslims.
No sect can be declared as Kafir unless a written fatwah has been issued by a renowned Aalim the Islamic Ummah has made an Ijma on it. Allah has given everyone cognition and intellect to decide for himself which sect is closest to the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
It is very probable that there may be individual members from every sect that are strictly following the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Collection of such people may be the only correct sect! So that’s why its not right to say that such a sect is right or wrong.
Besides anyone having following basic articles of faith cannot be declared a Non-Muslim:
Basic articles of faith
- Belief in Allah as the one and only God.
- Belief in angels.
- Belief in the holy books.
- Belief in the Prophets… e.g. Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Isa (Jesus). …(AS)
- Belief that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the Final Prophet and that there will be no prophet after him
- Belief in the Day of Judgement… …
- Belief in Predestination…
And he believes in the Five Pillars of Islam:
- Testimony of Faith: That there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad (PBUH) is His messenger
There may be differences in the way these acts of worship may be performed, but these differences do NOT make anyone a Non-Muslim or Kafir.
Whoever are doing this are spreading sectarianism.
Similarly we should also not divide ourselves rigidly into parties and start hating, fighting and killing each other due to differences in political parties.
The late Islamic scholar, Dr. Israr Ahmad, once said: There are four kinds of Muslims:
1. One who thinks of Islam as a complete way of life (social, spiritual, economical, political etc). Some people would think of him as a fundamentalist. They offer the most threat to the western world.
2. The other type is traditionalist, says namaz, observes Purda, quotes Quranic and Hadith on worship, goes to the Masjid but that’s it, he doesn’t go beyond that. He is not that much of a threat to the west.
3. Third type is those who try to amend their lifestyle according to the western world. They think if you support them, you will progress in life otherwise not.
4. The fourth are called secularists, the least bit of threat to the western world.
The surprising thing I observed is that almost every sect and every party has each of these four types of Muslims in their ranks.
It is said, “it is easier to disintegrate an atom or breakdown one’s house than break one’s prejudices. We all are strongly prejudiced because of our “wrong” upbringing that teaches us “you are right no matter how wrong it may seem”.
That is why Allah has strongly guided us to hold on to the rope of Allah, as the Muslim Ummah will be strong if we are all united. We all know the old saying “Unity is strength”.
Addressing someone by attacking someone’s beliefs which may be different from ones own or discussing sectarian differences/issues will not make friends but create enemies. He or she is NOT going to change or mend his/her ways like this. It is against human nature.
One cannot change people by calling them Kafir (disbeliever), Biddati (Innovator), Mushrik (One who associates others with Allah), Gustakh (Blasphemer) etc.
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.”
(Holy Quran 16: 125)
There are much better ways of addressing people/inviting to Islam and that is talk on common grounds first.
One can always call to the truth about principles of Tawheed, Shirk, Bidaah with references from Holy Quran and Sunnah.
But one should NOT dwell into attacking others’ personal beliefs and opinions, thus creating sectarian disharmony. Leave it to Allah.
This is why our enemies are taking advantages of our differences & thus are eating all of us up one by one because as an Ummah we are not united. The enemies are instigating hatred through inter-country and intra-country sectarian rife throughout the Muslim world.
Take the example of Pakistan itself. Coming from one of the most volatile sectarian areas of the country (Jhang), people of the city still remember that the different sects used to live peacefully & in totally harmony until parties lighting the flames of sectarian violence cropped up, supported by anti-Islamic and anti-Pakistan elements both local as well as foreign. This menace slowly spread throughout the country, threatening to breakup a country living peacefully a few decades ago.
Similar situation exists in many other Muslim countries and so now countries are divided into majority “Sunni” or majority “Shia” and as a consequence leaders of each sect try to displace the other leading to civil wars. The worst part of this debacle is that foreign Non-Muslim agencies (CIA, MOSSAD) are fuelling and funding this sectarian rife between Muslims as we can see happening in Syria, Iraq, and many other countries including Pakistan.
No written fatwa has been issued against the shia over the past 14 centuries by any Aalim and which has been ratified by Ijma of the Ummah; and no one has ever prevented the shia from performing the Hajj in the last 14 centuries.
There is rarely such a thing as ‘Shia-Killing’ or ‘Sunni-Killing’ in Pakistan these days. These are all attempts by enemies of Pakistan including CIA/RAW/MOSSAD to create sectarian strife in the country.
Many countries of a certain sect are SUDDENLY helping USA get rid of a leader of another sect (who has been continuingly oppressing his people since last 40 years and they just remembered his oppression now!) in pretense of enforcing democracy.
Ultimately this may lead to large-scale sectarian wars between different Muslim countries that may wipe out a large portion of the Muslim world, a job done well done by ourselves for the disbelievers! We are heading for self-destruction; we will simply wipe each other out!
On top of all this, the other major culprits of sectarian strife, the so called local Imams and leaders of the different sects, openly spread the message of hatred and enmity and constantly enlighten the flames of violence between the sects, and that too in the Mosques!
In most of the sermons they only discuss the most controversial issues related to differences amongst the sects, and then the next day, nay the second, they are given a reply from the other sect. This leads to continuous hurl of verbal abuse among the factions that often becomes physical.
So, I strongly recommend Muslims around the world to collectively hold tightly to the rope of Allah and shun our sectarian difference. We should try to avoid posting statuses on blogs, social websites, newspapers etc that create disharmony and enmity between sects as no one is going to “change” this way. This is leading us nowhere.
What kind of impression are we creating about Muslims especially on social websites like Facebook where people around the world are reading your comments? In a neighborhood, if the people in a house are constantly fighting and abusing one another, what will the neighbor’s think about its inhabitants? We should be spreading the message of unity and label ourselves as Muslims only!
And Allah knows best.