Thoughts on The Splitting of The Ummah


Answered by Muhammad Hassan al-Dido al-Shanqiti | Translated by Suhaib Webb

The Question:

Can you comment on the hadith that talks about the splitting of the Muslim nation into 73 sects?

The Answer:

Pertaining to the statement of the Prophet (pbuh) that, “the Jews split into seventy one sects, and the Christians split in to seventy two sects. And my nation will split into seventy three sects”, then this portion [of the hadith] is from an authentic hadith related by al-Hakim and others. As for the end of the [of the hadith] which states, “Every one of them will be in the fire except one” or “Every one of them will be in Paradise save one” or “Whoever was upon what I and my companions were upon” then all of these additions are not authentic. Therefore, the hadith is sound, which affirms the splitting [of the Prophet’s nation] and is a proof of his prophecy, but concerning the statements referring to the “Fire”, ‘Paradise” or “What I and my companions were upon”, then none of these is authentically reported on behalf the Prophet (pbuh).

Regarding the different sects in the Ummah, then from it are those who will be innovators and astray in religion. However, the one who engages in such acts is not a disbeliever. This is because whoever dies and bears witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah will not stay in the fire eternally even if he was astray or an innovator no matter how much he disobeyed Allah. His case is up to Allah to either forgive him or punish him according to the degree of that person’s sin, then, He [the most high], after [purifying this person of his sins] will take this person from the Fire.

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9 Comments

  1. omare says:

    Sallamu Alakum,

    interesting hadith, but when the respected al Dido al-Shanqiti says:

    “However, the one who engages in such acts is not a disbeliever. This is because whoever dies and bears witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah will not stay in the fire eternally…”

    it makes me a little concerned, because I thought Islam was different from Christianity, and other religions, in that it stresses PRACTICE. I thought in Islam, it is practice that will land you in heaven, and keep you away from the fire. I mean I understand the importance of Tawhid, but when it is said that no matter what you do, if you believe in God, you will one day be in heaven, does that not take away from the importance of one of the most important elements in Islam- practice?

  2. Adu Malik Mekkel says:

    As salaam wa leykum
    This is to OMARE's question about PRACTICE, You should want to Learn and do not do sins because sins are the thing's that put you into the hell fire, and it is Allah's Mercy that will take you out!!!… Take you out of the fire because the BELIEVER'S said that he/She, Bears witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and you said:
    “I mean I understand the importance of Tawhid, but when it is said that no matter what you do, if you believe in God, you will one day be in heaven, does that not take away from the importance of one of the most important elements in Islam- practice?” ……
    Now You have to believe in Allah and his Last Messenger, so you should practice to be a Muslim(Believer) and Practice what Prophet Muhammad [May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him] DID,with sencerity of your heart and know it's the truth because The Prophet(saw) never lied and that's what your going to be judged on, Inshallah may you understand and may this be helpful to you….

  3. ans says:

    I guess that although you eventually be in the heaven, those practices determines how long you would be in the hellfire. I dont think anyone want to be in the hellfire even for a split second. Remember that the period of a second in the hereafter is not the same as in this world's. Also, according to other narration, the fire in the hell is 69 times hotter than the fire in this world.

    Adding to that, I believe that practice is the outward manifestation of what resides in your heart. Thus, if you truly believe in Allah and his messenger, you will practice accordingly. wallahua'lam

  4. OK says:

    Assalamu Alaikum
    I think you are misunderstanding the statement. It is well established amongst the scholars that anyone who is a Muslim will enter heaven eventually. However, a Muslim will be punished according to his deeds until he is purified and then allowed to enter heaven. So practice separates whether a person will go directly to heaven or spend a trillion years (or a similar large number – wAllahu a3lam) in the hellfire for which a person who lived a life of luxury and extravagance is just dipped into it will say that he has never seen anything good in his life.

    So yes, a Muslim who sins will enter heaven, but may be punished for a very, very long time before that. Other religions such as Christianity state that their followers will go directly to heaven since their sins are forgiven, which is not justice. It is not justice that one who transgresses and who obeys end up with the same results.

    WAllahu a3lam.

  5. Ali says:

    Assalamu Alaykum

    When the Prophet (S) told the people that Allah (SWT) has written all the destinies, they asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Should we give up striving and leave it all to destiny?” He said, “No, keep striving, because whatever a person is created for will be made easy for him. If he is one of the people of happiness (Paradise), it will be easy for him to the deeds of happiness, and if he is one of the people of misery (Hell), it will be easy for him to do the deeds of misery.”

    It is as ans has said. We have already been destined heaven or hell. It is a matter of how fast you want to enter it. Allah (SWT) has laid out for people destined for paradise opportunities to seek his (SWT)'s pleasure and get closer to paradise. It is the same for the people of jahanam. He has laid out opportunities for people destined for misery as the Prophet (S) said it, opportunities to incur Allah (SWT)'s wrath or to go astray from him and into the hell fire. However, the choice is up to you. You decide what you want to do. Where you want to go. What you want your destiny to be.

    If you truly want Jannah, you will show it with your actions. You will pray salah, read Qu'ran, and do whatever it takes to please Allah (SWT). If you don't want Jannah, then you will do everything opposite to stay away from jannah. However, if you don't do anything at all, then Allah (SWT) may think that you don't care where you go, in which case, it will be entirely up to Allah (SWT) to dictate where you go. Now, we may not care about it. But on the Day of Judgement, when the sun is literally in front of our face, and we are being drowned by our own sweat, we WILL wish to go back and change ourselves.

    It's like getting into college. If you want to get into college, you have to work for it. Similarly, if you want jannah, you have to sell your soul to Allah (SWT). You have to work for it. It is not going to come spontaneously. In fact, it may not come at all. If you truly want to see Allah (SWT) on the DOJ, if you want to be in his shade and in his paradise without entering the hell fire, then you got to prove to Allah (SWT) why you deserve it, just like you would do in a college interview, or a job interview. And the only way to prove to Allah (SWT) why you deserve it, the only thing you can do, is work. Work till you can't work no more. That is what it comes down to. Your deeds. What you do.

    Assalamu Alaykum
    Ali

  6. omare says:

    Ali, jazak Allah…great response…

    This was a wonderful hadith you shared:

    “When the Prophet (S) told the people that Allah (SWT) has written all the destinies, they asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Should we give up striving and leave it all to destiny?” He said, “No, keep striving, because whatever a person is created for will be made easy for him. If he is one of the people of happiness (Paradise), it will be easy for him to the deeds of happiness, and if he is one of the people of misery (Hell), it will be easy for him to do the deeds of misery.”

  7. J says:

    As-Salam Alaykum,

    I agree with the first paragraph, but I disagree with the second paragraph. There are certain nullifiers of faith. So if a person says the Shahadah–but does something that nullifes his faith–then he is a kaafir. There are certain bidah's which can enter the realm of shirk and make a person kaafir. So yes, lesser bidah's would make a person a Muslim but Ahl al-Bidah…but greater bidah's can constitute shirk and expel a person from the faith.

    Fi aman Allah,
    J

  8. DestinySeeker says:

    Jazakallahu khairan.

    Can you please help me understand this topic more?

    From what I understand, the final outcome is written (Jannah/Jahannam). Allah alone has that knowledge. To get there, we choose which one– and Allah has knowledge of that too. But Allah doesn't force us to choose–He just knows what we're going to choose. So in this respect, we, human beings, have a real, uninfluenced choice–entirely of our making–of which action to take.

    Do I have it correct so far?

    If so, then how do we reconcile the above with the idea that Allah, in addition to knowing everything, also is the Creator of everything, including our actions? If He creates our actions, does that not mean that maybe we don't have this uninfluenced choice? That it is chosen for us?

  9. Elfatih says:

    Ok then what about the interpretation of this hadith, ((whoever introduces a new thing in this matter of ours “i.e. religion or Islam” he is out of it))

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