What is the best sect or Islamic Methodology in Islam to follow?

Shi’a ? Sunni ?  Salafi ?  Sufi ?   Deobandi ?   Barelvi ?

Calling to Sunnah and shunning innovations is not splitting the Muslim Community=Ummah that is a very wrong perception. Some ignorant people consider the call to hold on the Robes of The Noble Quran and Authentic Sunnah to be a call for division between Muslims.

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah and do not be divided. Remember Allah’s favour upon you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so you—by His grace—became brothers. And you were at the brink of a fiery pit and He saved you from it. This is how Allah makes His revelations clear to you, so that you may be ˹rightly˺ guided.” Surah Al-Imran – Chapter Family of Imran (3:103)

“Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. And whatever he forbids you from, leave it. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment.” Surah Al-Hashr= Chapter the exile (59:7)

NEVER be tricked by the number of misguided people who are veering off and not following the straight path of Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him and his companions= Sahaba

The noble Quran is warning us to consider the number of people as the only evidence on the authenticity or correctness of deviant non-Islamic ways.

“˹O Prophet! ˺ If you were to obey most of those on earth, they would lead you away from Allah’s Way. They follow nothing but assumptions and do nothing but lie.”  Surah Al-An’am= Chapter the Cattle (6:116)

1        The Book of Faith

 (65)  Chapter: Clarifying that Islam started as something strange, and will revert to being something strange, and it will retreat between the two Masjid= Mosques.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:

Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange. so good tidings for the stranger.

Reference: Sahih Muslim 145      

In-book reference: Book 1, Hadith 279

USC-MSA web (English)

Reference: Book 1, Hadith 270

The word Sunnah=Straight path and authentic tradition of prophet Muhammed and Jamah=Muslim Community are mentioned in Quran too

Yes, Only One sect will be saved (Sunni Islam=Mainstream Islam followers of the Quran and sunnah, upon the Manhaj (methodology) of the “Salaf as-Salih”, the first 3 generations from Hellfire) Hellfire means Jahannam in Arabic and the remaining seventy-two sect will be casted in Jahannam=Hellfire.

Manhaj (Islamic Methodology) is Quran and Sunnah with the understanding of the pious predecessors of our Muslim nation who are the direct students (companions: Sahaba) of Prophet Muhammad

Narrated from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the Jama’ah (Main body of Muslims=Mainstream Muslims= Sunni Muslim).”

In another narration

“They said: Who are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “(Those who follow) that which I and my companions follow.”

REF: classed as Hasan=Good by al- ‘Iraaqi in Ahkam al-Qur’an (3/432), al- ‘Iraaqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (3/284) and al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi

This is the clearest sign that the Muslim can use to determine what is the saved group,

You need to follow the way =Sunnah=Traditions of Prophet Muhammed, which is followed by Vast majority of Muslim scholars, those whom all the trusted Muslim people testify that they are trustworthy and religiously committed.

You must follow Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him and the way of the early three centuries of Prophet Muhammed companions and their followers, and the four Imams and other scholars, and you should be aware of every sect that veers off the straight path of Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him. Make sure to stay away from any form of innovations = Bid’ah in Arabic.

Which basically successors of Muslims start to make up things in the religion that did not exist before, thinking that they will come up with a better understanding that what Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him and his companions have practiced.

Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The sign of the people of bid’ah is that they do not follow the salaf. End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fatāwá (4/155).

He also said (3/346): The sign of these groups – i.e., the seventy-two groups that go against Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah – is that they forsake the Qur’an, Sunnah, and scholarly consensus. The one who follows the Qur’an, Sunnah and scholarly consensus is one of Ahl al-Sunnah Al-Jama’ah. End quote.

It is not permissible for anyone to imagine after this that the Shi’a, for example, are the saved group, or that the deviant Sufis, Khawaarij or Habashis are the saved group.

As for the other groups, they are followers of weird ideas, division, innovation and whims and desires, and none of these groups reached anywhere close to the size of the saved group, let alone being equal to them, rather some of these groups are small.

The sign of these groups is that they go against the Qur’an, Sunnah, and scholarly consensus. The one who follows the Qur’an, Sunnah and scholarly consensus is one of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l- Jama’ah.

REF: Majmoo’ al-Fatāwá (3/346).

Therefore, the saved group is described as Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah=(Main body of Muslims=Mainstream Muslims=

 Sunni Muslim), and they are the greater majority and the vast multitude in the world.

So, the only correct group to follow is the one that follows the path of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and those are called “Sunnis” which is the plural of “Sunni” which means a person who follows “Sunnah” and “Sunnah” means the words, actions, and orders of prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him.

Not all those who testify and pronounce the Islamic declaration of Faith known in Arabic by shahada are classed to be Muslims. There is something called nullifiers of Islam, please google it to understand that there are certain things if a Muslim committed can make him out of the fold of Islam.

Concerning Ahmadiyya, Sufi and Shia etc:

Both associate partners e.g., saints with Almighty Allah, both believe Muhammad is not last prophet. Shia say Ali should have been the prophet. Some of them do not say the same. Though they believe their 12 imams speak directly to God. That is why they do not have authentic tradition of Prophet Muhammad.

Ahmadiyya believe Ahmed Mirza Ghulam is the last prophet and not Muhammad.

Allah sent the guide which is Quran and Sunnah.

Sunnah is the second revelation after the Quran.

The Quran and Sunnah are the guide.

Both Quran and Sunnah mention that prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is the last prophet

Sufi, they too worship saints and believe their imam or sheikh look at God or become god (pantheism /panentheism) etc. or know the unseen.

This is against the teachings of Islam (Quran and Sunnah

Hadith:

“I urge you to adhere to what you know of me.

Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it.”

Sahih Ibn Majah/ Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 43

Hadith

“I have left two matters with you. As long as you hold to them, you will not go the wrong way.

They are the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet.”

Reference Muwatta Imam Malik

: Book 46, Hadith.

Abu Dawud narrated:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led us in prayer one day, then he turned to us and exhorted us strongly . . . (he said),

‘Pay attention to my sunnah (way of the Prophet) and the way of the Rightly-guided Khalifahs=Caliphs after me, adhere to it and hold fast to it.’”

(Sahih Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah

The scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l- Jama’ah have stated in their books that the other sects are among the misguided and doomed innovated groups, and that they deserve to enter Hell because of the bad innovations in religion = Bidah ideas and worse innovations that they have introduced into the religion of Allah. But in most cases, they are not regarded as disbelievers= Kuffar, rather they are regarded as Muslim sects.

Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described the saved group as the Jama’ah, i.e., the consensus of the Muslim scholars. In other reports he also described them as “the vast multitude”, as in the hadeeth of Abu Umamah and others which is recorded follow by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim in al-Sunnah (1/34) and al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (8/321), with an isnaad that is hasan li ghayrihi (Hasan because of corroborating evidence).

Abu Dawud also reported from al-‘Irbad ibn Saariyah, may Allah be pleased with them, that “the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led us in prayer one day, then he turned to us and exhorted us strongly . . . (he said), ‘Pay attention to my sunnah (way) and the way of the Rightly-guided Khalifahs after me, adhere to it and hold fast to it.’” (Sahih Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah

Allah Almighty says:

“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) after the right path has been shown clearly to him and follows other than the believers way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination.”

[an-Nisa’ 4:115].

I repeat the hadith.

I urge you to adhere to what you know of my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it. And you must obey, even if (your leader is) an Abyssinian leader. For the true believer is like a camel with a ring in its nose; wherever it is driven, it complies.”

Sahih Ibn Majah

Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 43

Question:

What is the meaning of the Hadeeth that speaks about the Global Muslim Community = Ummah’s division into 73 sects?

Fatwa=Religious decision:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, Peace be upon him, is His slave and Messenger.

It was reported that the Prophet, Peace be upon him, said that this nation would be divided into 73 sects and all these sects would go to Hell except one. This one sect is that which follows the Prophet, Peace be upon him, and his Companions. [Abu Dawood, At-Tirmith, Ibn Maajah and Al-Haakim, authenticated by Al-Haakim, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Al-Albani]

In another narration Mu‘aawiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, peace be upon him, told them that this saved sect was the Jama’ah (the mainstream). [Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Albani: Authenticated]

Scholars have different opinions regarding the identity of the saved sect. Imam Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, reported five opinions, along with the people who hold them, except for one opinion that was narrated anonymously. These are as follows:

1.The majority. According to this opinion, Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that they include the scholars, Mujtahids (a higher level of scholar) people who study the Sharee‘ah and act accordingly, and all the lay people who are their followers

2. The Mujtahid Imams. They include prominent scholars who follow the Quran and Sunnah. Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that anyone who does not follow them will die a death of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance).

3. The Companions may Allah be pleased with them. Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that this opinion is a reconciliation of the two narrations, as it mentions they are those who follow the Prophet, Peace be upon him, and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

4. The Muslim community: their consensus should be acted upon even by followers of other religions. Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that this opinion relates to the first one. This opinion is very controversial because Muslims themselves are divided into different sects, however the aim is to identify the saved sect.

This is why Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, did not mention the opinion that was said by At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy upon him, but mentioned the other four opinions. In fact, it is better to forget this opinion altogether especially since Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated it anonymously.

5. Muslims who agree on a leader that should be followed by the rest of the nation. Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that this means that the word Jama’ah refers to agreement on an Imam who abides by the Quran and Sunnah.

Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, did not mention the fourth opinion in Fat’h Al-Baari, as it contradicts the meaning of the Hadith. He only quoted the other four opinions.

In conclusion, the meaning of “saved group” may be one of two. The first is that they are the people of ‘Aqeedah (creed) and methodology. This means that Muslims should adhere to all the beliefs that were followed by the Prophet,

Peace be upon him, and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, as this is the foundation. The second is that the word Jama’ah has a specific meaning. It means adhering to a group of Muslims with a leader who conforms to the rulings of the Shari’ah, and not to violate the pledge of allegiance to him or disobey him.

Imam Al-Khattaabi, may Allah have mercy upon him, also said that the word ‘division’ may have two different meanings: differences of opinions and religions or differences among people. He also said that there are two Jamaa‘ahs: scholars and leaders.

The above-mentioned Hadith is one of the signs and proofs of the prophethood of the Prophet, Peace be upon him, because he mentioned something that would take place in the future. This indeed took place after the death of the Prophet; Peace be upon him. In order to identify the different sects, we should define a criterion that will determine them.

This is because not every difference among Muslims is considered to be division. This is evident nowadays because there are variations among Muslims in Da‘wah (propagation), knowledge, and jurisprudence regarding current affairs, but these variations are not that which was meant by the above mentioned Hadith.

Imam Abu Mansoor ‘Abd Al-Qaadir ibn Taahir At-Tameemi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said that real division is one of creed, because such divisions have violated the creed of Ahl As-Sunnah. It does not mean differences in the finer details of religion.

Allah Knows best.

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.

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