[The Prophet called Syria the purest of Allah’s lands, the place where Religion, belief and safety are found in the time of dissension, and the home of the saints for whose sake Allah sends sustenance to the people and victory to Muslims over their enemies:

1. Ibn `Asakir in Tahdhib tarikh Dimashq al-kabir relates from Ibn Mas`ud that the Prophet compared the world to a little rain water on a mountain plateau of which the safwhad already been drunk and from which only the kadar or dregs remained. al-Huwjiri and al-Qushayri mention it in their chapters on tasawwuf, respectively in Kashf al-mahjub and al-Risala al-qushayriyya. Ibn al-Athir defines safw and safwa in his dictionary al-Nihaya as “the best of any matter, its quintessence, and purest part.” 

The quintessence spoken of by the Prophet is Syria, because he called Syria “the quintessence of Allah’s lands” (safwat Allah min biladih). Tabarani related it from `Irbad ibn Sariya and Haythami authenticated the chain of transmission in his book Majma` al-zawa’id, chapter entitled Bab fada’il al-sham.

2. Abu al-Darda’ narrated that the Prophet said:

As I was sleeping I saw the Column of the Book being carried away from under my head. I feared lest it would be taken away, so I followed it with my eyes and saw that it was being planted in Syria. Verily, belief in the time of dissensions will be in Syria.

al-Haythami said that Ahmad narrated it with a chain whose narrators are all the men of the sahih — sound narrations — and that al-Bazzar narrated it with a chain whose narrators are the men of sound hadith except for Muhammad ibn `Amir al-Antaki, and he is thiqa — trustworthy.

In the version Tabarani narrated from Ibn `Amr in al-Mu`jam al kabirand al-Mu`jam al-awsat the Prophet repeats three times: “When the dissensions take place, belief will be in Syria.” One manuscript bears: “Safety will be in Syria.” al-Haythami said the men in its chain are those of sound hadith except for Ibn Lahi`a, and he is fair (hasan).

3. al-Tabarani relates from `Abd Allah ibn Hawala that the Prophet said:

“I saw on the night that I was enraptured a white column resembling a pearl, which the angels were carrying. I said to them: What are you carrying? They replied: The Column of the Book. We have been ordered to place it in Syria. Later, in my sleep, I saw that the Column of the Book was snatched away from under my headrest (wisadati). I began to fear lest Allah the Almighty had abandoned the people of the earth. My eyes followed where it went. It was a brilliant light in front of me. Then I saw it was placed in Syria.” `Abd Allah ibn Hawala said: “O Messenger of Allah, choose for me (where I should go).” The Prophet said: alayka bi al-sham — “You must go to Syria.”

al-Hafiz al-Haythami said in Majma` al-zawa’id: “The narrators in its chain of transmission are all those of sound hadith, except Salih ibn Rustum, and he is thiqa — trustworthy.”

4. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal relates in his Musnad (1:112):

The people of Syria were mentioned in front of `Ali ibn Abi Talib while he was in Iraq, and they said to him: Curse them, O Commander of the Believers. He replied: No, I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “The Substitutes(al-abdal) are in Syria and they are forty men, every time one of them dies, Allah substitutes another in his place. By means of them Allah brings down the rain, gives (Muslims) victory over their enemies, and averts punishment from the people of Syria.”

al-Haythami said in Majma` al-zawa’id: “The men in its chains are all those of sound hadith except for Sharih ibn `Ubayd, and he is trustworthy (thiqa).” 

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Why Secularism Is Compatible with the Quran and Sunnah — And an ‘Islamic State’ Is Not

By Akbar Ganji



Extremist Islamic groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front in Syria, have transformed the holy Quran into a manifesto for war, terrorism and bloodshed. These groups use the most modern weaponry and technology, and their crimes have created worldwide concerns. Their goal is to return the Islamic world to the medieval age.

At the same time, the corrupt dictatorial Arab regimes in the Middle East, particularly the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf, have transformed the democratic Arab Spring into a sectarian war between the Shiites and Sunnis, in order to prevent democracy from taking roots in their own nations.

Simultaneous with such developments, a Western-made “industry” called Islamophobia not only presents the Holy Quran as the manifesto of fundamentalist warmongers (that claim to represent Islam) and their rigid interpretation of its teachings, it also reduces Islam to its skewed “interpretations.” This reductionist approach has been popular among the Orientalists. The approach also claims that formation of an Islamic government is a necessary condition for a society to be Islamic.

As I will argue in this essay, these claims are false.

Islam and secularism are completely compatible. What I call “secular Islam” is thus the best antidote for Islamic terrorism. “Secular Islam” means that the collection of beliefs, moral values and teachings which comprise Islam do not confer on Muslims a mission to form a government or state. 

The idea of establishing an Islamic state based on the Quran and the Sunnah is incorrect, as neither presents a model for such a state.

Definitions: The State, Secularism And Islam

In his book, Philosophical Investigations, the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgensteinstates that words have no meaning other than their “applications.” Thus, to prevent any confusion, we must first define what we mean by the key concepts that are employed here.

The state is an organized structure that is impersonal, has well-defined boundaries, rules a specific population and has the exclusive right to use legitimate violence. Paul Dragos Aligica, a senior research fellow at George Mason University, puts it this way:

The state is an organization monopolizing the legitimate use of force or claiming a monopoly on the use of coercion in a given geographic area and over a political entity, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. Recognition of the state by other states, and thus its ability to enter into international agreements, is often considered a crucial element of its nature.

The term secularism has been defined in three distinct ways. One is atheism. Karl Marx, French sociologist Emile Durkheim and German sociologist and philosopher Max Weber believed that, through functional differentiation, scientific knowledge and de-mystification, the world moves toward atheism and disbelieving in God. Their view has, of course, turned out to be false.

Secularism has also been believed to mean limiting religion to the private domain. This is impossible, because religion is not like special clothes that we can set aside as soon as we leave home. Such eminent sociologists as Robert BellahCharles TaylorJürgen Habermas and José Casanovabelieve that the presence of religion in the public domain is useful and desirable. But explaining and justifying any claim in the public domain must be done by resorting to reasoning, not religious texts and holy people.

The third meaning of secularism, and the one that we use in this article, is separation of church and state, or religion from government — not atheism or elimination of religion from the public discourse.

By Islam we mean its text (the Holy Quran) and the Sunnah (the speeches and conduct of Prophet Muhammad, although some Shiites such as the Twelvers also consider the Sunnah of their 12 Imams as well). Although Islam has firm positions regarding justice and oppression, it does not have any model for an “Islamic State.” It is left to Muslims to run their societies based on their collective wisdom and consultation.

secular Muslim is thus someone who not only believes in the separation of religion from the state, but also believes that such a separation is compatible with Islam.

“A secular Muslim is thus someone who not only believes in the separation of religion from the state, but also believes that such a separation is compatible with Islam.”

Based on the Quran, the Sunnah, and religious texts, my argument is that a union between Islam and secularism is possible and justifiable. Fundamentalist interpretations of the Quranic teachings and the Sunnahin order to justify their “Islamic State” are not credible if one actually examines these texts.

Medieval Times Vs. The Modern Era

(Muhammad (top, veiled) and the first four Caliphs. From the Subhat al-Akhbar.)

One important fact is often overlooked. In medieval times, especially in the 7th century in the Arabian Peninsula, state/government, as we recognize them today, did not exist. Societies of those eras were tribal, sparsely populated and simple. There was tribal authority, but it was due to patronage and family relations, not the existence of a government which, as we understand it today, did not exist. The processes of social division of labor, work and its bureaucratization, and consolidation of power give rise to an organized, non-personal entity called government that possesses specific boundaries, population, etc. In his book, Coercion, Capital and European States, A.D .990-1990, Charles Tilly states that up until the 10th century “nothing like a centralized national state existed anywhere in Europe.” Similarly, Bernard Lewis in his What Went Wrong argues that in the medieval times governments did not have borders but civilian centers. The British political theorist David Heldand many sociologists have supported such assertions about formation of government. Perry Anderson, the British historian also believes that the phenomenon of modern governments or states began in the 16th century.

“In medieval times, especially in the 7th century in the Arabian Peninsula, state/government, as we recognize them today, did not exist. Societies of those eras were tribal, sparsely populated and simple.”

In his book Theories of the State, Andrew Vincent argues that government is a relatively recent phenomenon that goes back only to the 16th century. If Europe did not have governments up until the 16th century, how can one expect Medina — the town in the Arabian Peninsula with a small population in which Prophet Muhammad lived — to have had a government? The Arabian Peninsula did not have a government for the same reason that it did not have representative democracy, and respect for human rights and feminism — because the people had not yet founded them.

The Quran And Islamic State

Another important, but overlooked point is that in the Prophet Muhammad era (the 7th century) there was no such thing as a “society.” What existed was ummah, a community of Muslim masses. As German sociologist and philosopherFerdinand Tönnies put it, the medieval “societies” must be considered as “Gemeinschaft“ (German word for community), to be distinguished from modern societies that are called “Gesellschaft“ (German word for society).The audience of the Prophet and the Quran were the believers that made up the ummah. The jurisprudence or Sharia were also for the ummah and not for the modern societies or era. Society is the invention of the modern era.

Prophet Muhammad led the people in a simple tribal framework. The era was a tribal one with a small population, not the type of modern societies we have now. Hence, there is no teaching in the Quran on how to form an Islamic government after the death of the Prophet. Even if there are verses in the Quran, they would all be subject to various interpretations. The Quran is explicit in not specifying any successor to the Prophet.

In his book, al-Osmanieh, Muslim scholar Haroon Abdolsalaam Mohammad Jahiz says that “We have scrutinized the Quran, from beginning to end, and there is no verse or incontrovertibly explicit passage, and not even a verse to be found which may be construed upon reflection as proving the view on the Imamat” [succession of the Prophet’s progeny as Shiites believe].

The Quran orders the Prophet to address the collective problems of the people through consultation with them: 

“Consult them in the affairs” (al-e-Imran 159). 

Interpreting this verse of Quran in his book, Tafsir KashafAbolghasem Mahmoud-ibn Khwarizmi Zamakhshari, also known as Jar Allah Zamakhashri Mo’tazeli, the medieval Iranian Muslim scholar, states that the consulting that the Quran ordered includes everything except those affairs that are related to God’s revelations to the Prophet. In Tafsir-e Mafaatih ol-Ghayb (also known as Tafsir al-Kabir, or the Great Commentary), Iranian Muslim scholar and philosopher Imam Fakhruddin Razi (1149-1210) proposes that although the Prophet was wiser than all the people, the world always has many problems, and it is quite possible that in many cases the people know better. 

He then quoted the Prophet himself: 

“You know your life’s affairs and I know your religious affairs.” 

Zamakhshari also quotes the Prophet saying, 

“Those who consult with and seek advice from others find the best path.” 

And, the Quran says, 

“They [the believers] employ consultations among themselves” (ash-Shura 38).

What Does The Sunnah Say?

After the Prophet passed away, his followers chose, through the elite, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq as their ruler, which is why the Sunnis believe that electing the ruler must be done by the elite . Muslim scholar Qazi Abduljabbar Mo’tazeli (who lived about a thousand years ago), said, 

“The elite, as the people who signed on the Imamat, consult other Muslims” (al-Moqni) and, “Make sure that everyone has been consented upon.”

The Twelver Shiites believe that, through the Prophet, God chose Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, to succeed him. He is the Shiites’ first Imam, and they believe that his children Hassan and Hussein and their descendants were the next eleven Imams who were all sinless and had divine power. Throughout history such claims have been rejected by a majority of Muslims.

The Quran states explicitly that God sent the prophets so that the people would not have any arguments against Him [regarding lack of knowledge]. 

In other words, the people need only the prophets and their own wisdom. The Quran states, “Messengers [Prophets] were as bearers of glad tidings [for the believers] as well as warners [for the disbelievers] in order that mankind should not have argument against Allah after sending the messengers” (Surat An-Nisa’).

If after sending the prophets the people had still needed other arguments, the Quran would have emphasized that God sent both the prophets and the Shiites’ Imams, so as the people could not have had any argument against Him [for lack of knowledge], but the Quran has mentioned only the prophets (Surahs Taha (verse 134) and al-Israa (15)).

What Does ‘Authentic’ Shi’ism Say?

The current Shiite-Sunni confrontation has nothing to do with what the close companions and supporters of the Prophet did. The rift was born much later. Ali, the Shiites’ first Imam and the Sunnis’ fourth Caliph after the Prophet, praised the three Caliphs before him, who are revered by the Sunnis. He also attributed his own rule and those of the other three Caliphs to the people’s selection and consent, not God or the Prophet. 

Thus, the issue of electing a ruler is addressed by the people, not by God or the Prophet.

To prove their claim regarding Ali, Shiites invoke what the Prophet said, “Whoever considers me as the master, should do the same with Ali,” during the Ghadeer Khumm. The Sunni claim that the Prophet did not mean “master,” but meant, “Whoever likes and respects me, should do the same with Ali,” where the Prophet supposedly announced to the people that his son-in-law would be his successor, and all those who believed in him should also believe in Imam Ali. But, one cannot find any credible historical document or evidence that Imam Ali himself invoked Ghadeer Khumm in order to justify his rule. 

In Nahj al-Balagha,the most famous collection of sermons, letters, and narrations attributed to him, Imam Ali attributes the legitimacy of the rules of the three Caliphs before him, namely, Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Khattab, and Uthman ibn Affan, to allegiance of the people with them. In other words, he confirms what the Sunnis claim about the successors to the Prophet. He states in (Nahj al-Balagha, letter 6):

Verily, those who pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman have also pledged allegiance to me on the same basis that they swore allegiance to them. He who was present cannot choose another Caliph, and he who was absent has no right to reject; consultation is confined to the Muhajirun [immigrants from Mecca to Medina] and the Ansar [close supporters and companions of the Prophet]. If they agree on an individual and take him to be their Imam, it will be deemed to please Allah.

A person who was supposedly appointed by God could not have spoken in that manner because, otherwise, he would have disobeyed God. Ali also states (ibid. sermon 205, p. 239):

By Allah, I had no desire for the Caliphate, nor any need to rule, but you made me to accept it and burdened me with its consequent duties.

If God had appointed Ali as the caliph, he would have been neither reluctant nor would he have made any reference to people electing him to be his ruler. Did Prophet Muhammad ever tell the people that they had selected him? No, he did not. If God and Prophet Muhammad had chosen Imam Ali, there would have been no room for his reluctance. Ali talks about people’s huge wave of support for him and his reluctance to accept it (ibid. sermons 135 and 137):

You [the people] ran towards me shouting, ‘Allegiance, allegiance, allegiance,’ like female camels advancing their calves. I held back my hand, you pulled it towards yourselves. I drew back my hand but you dragged it.

How was it possible that God and the Prophet had chosen Ali, but even after people had turned to him, he tried to turn them down, saying (ibid. sermon 93, p. 85):

Leave me and seek someone else… If you leave me, I am one like you, and will listen to and obey whomsoever you put in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counselor than as your chief.

Imam Ali accepted Umar as his son-in-law, allowing him to marry his daughter, Umm Kulthum. He named his children after the caliphs before him and called them “Abu Bakr ibn Ali,” “Umar ibn Ali,” and “Uthman ibn Ali.” If they had violated his God-given rights and rules, Ali would not have behaved that way. He said, “Abu Bakr assumed leadership with goodwill and reigned with justice,” and, “Umar undertook the charge of leadership, was well-behaved and auspicious and pious.” He considered the rules of Abu Bakr and Umar as “good and just” and said, “Their deeds were laudable and they ruled over the Ummahjustly.”

Ali believed that election of Abu Bakr and Umar were “worthy choices” (History of Al-Tabari, volume 3, p. 550):

After the Prophet manifested whatever he was commanded to and conveyed the messages of His Lord, Allah the Glorified, took his soul, may Allah’s greetings and blessings be upon him.Then, Muslims elected two eminent successors to him and the two ruled in compliance with the Quran and Sunnah, adopted his model and did not deviate from it. Allah, then, took their souls, May Allah be satisfied with them.

Regarding Umar, Ali said (Nahj al-Balagha, sermon 228, p. 262):

May Allah reward Umar who straightened the deviated, cured the disease, abandoned mischief and established the Sunnah. He departed [from this world] with untarnished clothes and little shortcomings. He achieved good of this world and remained safe from its evils. He offered obeyed Allah and feared Him as He deserved.

If Imam Ali had been chosen by God and the Prophet as the successor, and Abu Bakr and Umar had violated God’s and the Prophet’s will and had usurped his rights, would he had spoken about them like the above?

The historic Ghadeer Khumm event took place a few months before the Prophet passed away. How was it possible that the Prophet’s best and closest supporters, whom the Quran has repeatedly praised, violated his explicit and clear order regarding Ali as his successor? And, if they had, would Ali have judged them so positively?

When the dissidents staged an uprising against Uthman and surrendered his home, they asked Imam Ali to speak to him as their envoy. He went to Uthman and told him (ibid., sermon 164, pp. 167 and 168):

The people are behind me and they have made me an arbiter between you and themselves; but by Allah, I do not know what to say to you. I know nothing [about this matter] that you do not know, nor can I lead you to any matter of which you are not aware. You certainly know what we know; we have not come to know anything before you that we could tell you; nor did we learn anything in secret that we should convey to you. You have seen as we have seen and you have heard as we have. You sat in the company of the Prophet of Allah as we did. Abu Bakr and Umar were no more responsible for acting righteously than you, since you were closer than both of them to the Prophet of Allah through kinship, and you also hold relationship to him by marriage, which they did not hold.

Thus, Imam Ali considered Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as legitimate, not usurpers. Uthman was being toppled, and was not in a position of power that would compel the Imam to praise him and, most importantly, appoint his beloved sons, Hassan and Hussein, as Uthman’s protectors. In Nahj al-Balagha he presents himself as someone who liked Uthman. He wrote that A’isha[the Prophet’s wife], Talha and Zubair [two prominent companions of the Prophet] were the main provocateurs against Uthman, adding that people were satisfied with his election [as Uthman’s successor] (ibid., letter 1, p. 271):

I am appraising you of what befell Uthman so [correctly] that its hearing may be like its seeing: People criticized him, and I was the only man from amongst the Muhajirun who asked him to seek satisfying the Muslims most and to offend them the least. As for Talha and as Zubair, their lightest step about him was hard and their softest voice was strong. A’isha too was in a rage with him [Uthman]. Consequently, a group overpowered him and killed him. Then, people pledged allegiance to me, not by force or compulsion, but obediently and out of free will.

Ali’s rationale is that of one who had been elected by the people (expressed through the pledge of allegiance by the tribal leaders), not someone chosen by God. He states (ibid., letter 7, p. 275):

Caliphate is allegiance only once. It is not open to reconsideration, nor is there any scope for fresh proceedings of elections. He who remains out of it is fussy [seeking faults], and he who is ambivalent upon it is a hypocrite.

In letter 28 of Nahj al-Balagha (pp. 292 and 293) to Muawiyah, the second Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty, Ali explains to him why he is qualified to rule the Muslims. He mentions his obedience to God and the fact that he is a relative of the Prophet, saying, “No one was closer to the Prophet than me.” But, he never claims that he had been appointed by the Prophet as his successor. Clearly, if that had had happened, Imam Ali would not have forgotten it. In the same letter he emphasized that when the uprising against Uthman began, he did everything he could to help Uthman. In sermon 67 (ibid., p. 52), Ali supports the arguments of Muhajirun against the Ansar, but still emphasizes that he was the closest person to the Prophet. In his letter to Talha and Zubair, Ali’s entire argument is that he was elected by the people, not by God and the Prophet (ibid., letter 54, pp. 341 and 342):

I did not pursue the people till they approached me, and I did not ask them to pledge their allegiance to me till they themselves did so; and both of you were among those who approached me and swore allegiance to me. Certainly, the people did not swear allegiance to me due to any force exerted on them or for any reward given to them. If you two pledged your allegiance to me obediently, come back and offer repentance to Allah soon, but if you swore allegiance to me reluctantly, you have certainly given me a reason for action by pretending obedience and concealing your disobedience. By my life, you were not more entitled than other Muhajirun to conceal and hide the matter. Your refusing allegiance before entering into it would have been easier than getting out of it after having accepted it.

We see that, (a) Ali makes no mentions of having been appointed by the Prophet as his successor; (b) he speaks about declaring allegiance by free will; (c) he does not condemn non-allegiance to him, by swearing to it and then breaking it, and (d) if he had been chosen by God to rule, there would have been no need for any argument.

Note: Ali was elected by the people, but the Shiites generally believe that he was chosen by God, and that is the part that this article is critiquing.

The Umayyad And Abbasid Dynasties

(A leaf from a Quran written in Kufic script, Abbasid dynasty /9th century, Iraq.)

So far, we resorted to religious texts, such as the Quran and Nahj al-Balagha, and we critiqued and rejected the notion of a divine and Islamic government. But, one can also critique the notion of an “Islamic government” from a historical perspective. Some have referred to the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties as the “Islamic empires,” but what does that mean? Ibn Khaldun, renowned Muslim historian, has described the process of transformation of the caliphate to monarchy. At the end of chapter 25 of his book, the Muqaddamih: an Introduction to History, he considers religion as the steward of “people’s other worldly affairs…Whereas political laws govern the expediencies of this world.” Such a definition and distinction is necessarily a kind of secularism, particularly because Ibn Khaldun speaks about “religious politics” as opposed to “secular politics.” In chapter 26 of his book he reasons that running the collective lives of the human being is possible without religion and prophets, and has also been experienced. In chapter 30 of his book, Ibn Khaldun critiques the Shiites’ claim that the imamat is one of the principal pillars of Islam and states that governance is “a public expediency that has been left to the views of the people.” Chapter 28 of his book is entirely about the transformation of caliphate to monarchy. Ibn Khaldun writes that while the four original caliphs considered religion in their rules, the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties transformed the caliphate to “absolute monarchy” and were after enriching themselves, conquering the world, concentrating more powers in their hands and lasciviousness. Ibn Khaldun did not mean that the two dynasties formed Islamic governments, rather he was comparing them with the kings of his own era.

“Ibn Khaldun considered religion as the steward of ‘people’s otherworldly affairs, whereas political laws govern the expediencies of this world.’”

The Shiites,  Khawarij and Mu’tazila  viewed the Umayyad as corrupt, usurpatory, and apostate. As Duncan Black McDonald states in his book, Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory, even the “Murjites — a group of early Muslims that believed that only God has the authority to judge who is a true Muslim and who is not — did not deny the corrupt nature of the Umayyad kings, but they also believed that because the people had pledged their allegiance to the Umayyad, obeying them was a religious duty; only apostasy would necessitate uprising against them.

In his book, al-Milal wa al-Nihal, the influential Iranian historian of Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdul Karim Shahrestani writes that, 

“The Suleimanieh branch of Zeidieh, the Mu’tazila, [both Shiite groups] and the followers of hadith and Sunnah believe that it is not necessary for the Imam [ruler] to be a religious scholar, “because emaamat is not a religious affair that we need in order to understand God and His unitary nature. It would suffice for him to have access to religious scholars that can address his religious issues. What is necessary for him is having strong thoughts and correct insight into analyzing what is happening.”

As already mentioned, Ibn Khaldun analyzed the process of transformation of the caliphate to absolute monarchy. In his book, Arab Political ReasonMohammed Abed al-Jabri, the Moroccan critic and professor of philosophy and Islamic thoughts (1936-2010) explains clearly that the basis for selecting the four caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali was tribal interests, not beliefs, whereas Islam’s message is having faith in God and rejection of tribalism. Thus, Abed al-Jabi also did not consider the rules of the caliphs as Islamic government. He also showed that right after the death of the Prophet the tribal wars, which had stopped during the Prophet, began again. The tribes were used as a criterion for choosing the ruler, as well as tribal discriminating against others. That is who Ali was isolated.

God Is Not A Head Of State

The concept of electing a ruler by the elite has been expanded in the modern era. Just as everyone can cast a vote in Western societies, Muslims in Islamic countries (although the people of the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf do not yet have such a right) have gradually gained the right to vote. Thus, what does it mean to run a nation by an Islamic government? Running a nation requires four ingredients:

The first is management, which consists of knowledge and skills. Knowledge is the result of natural and experimental sciences. Skills come about as a result of practice. None of these has anything to do with religion and Islam.

The second is planning, which is done by knowledge and science. No religion, including Islam, has anything to offer to its adherents about planning.

The third is societal and moral values. Although all religions, including Islam, support moral precepts, they are in fact independent of religion and do not rely on it. Muslim scholars refer to values as the “rational autonomies.” Good and bad, just and unjust, and other values provide an independent base for assessing all the actions and reactions by the people. Justice is not religious; it is religion that must be just. Peace is not a religious affair; it is religion that must defend peace. Freedom (of thought, expression and behavior) is not religious; religion must recognize freedom. Development is not a religious affair; it is religion that must defend development. Being a good human being is not a religious teaching; although religions also recognize the dignity of the people. If a religion does not respect the people, it will not receive respect from them.

The fourth is the Fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] or Sharia. The only aspect of any religion, including Islam, which has anything to do with managing a society, is its jurisprudence, which in modern society is referred to as the laws. But, they are not necessarily religious or Islamic for the following reasons: (a) they include laws concerning worship and provisions that have nothing to do with religion and have nothing to do with running a society; (b) 99 percent of non-worshiping laws are of ratifying type, i.e. they are the product of the culture and lore of the people of the Arabian Peninsula before the Prophet. The mission of the Prophet was not to destroy the infrastructure of the society, including its culture. He modified many of the existing laws and then ratified them. They had evolved among the Arab people before and during the Prophet’s era, not by God or Muhammad. Just as the Prophet ratified the traditions and common laws of his time, Muslims of the modern era also ratify the current traditions and common laws for running a nation, namely, democracy, respect for human rights, and pluralism. Neither the Prophet ratifying the common laws of his time, nor modern Muslims doing the same about the current common laws and traditions make them Islamic. (c) Religious jurisprudence is not the law; claiming otherwise is unjustified.

“The Prophet modified many of the existing laws and then ratified them. They had evolved among the Arab people before and during the Prophet’s era, not by God or Muhammad.”

Based on all these arguments above, I am confident to state that “Islamic government” is not an acceptable idea, because Islam lacks the aforementioned four main resources and ingredients for an Islamic government. Thus, for example, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and ISIS cannot be considered as Islamic governments. This is not because, for example, they are not democratic states, but because Islam itself does not have any prescription for a government. Thus, secularism is completely compatible with Islam and Muslims. In other words, “Islam is secular,” as it has never presented any model for governance, and has left it to the Muslims to run their societies based on their collective wisdom and consultation.

Muslims are, of course, free to espouse what they believe in the society, but to make their beliefs the laws of the land, there is no way other than collective consent of the people. Making abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, etc., legal or illegal is a function of the collective discussion and wisdom and cannot be ruled in or out by invoking the Quran or the Sunnah, even if there is an explicit law in Islam for such issues. Thus, if, for example, Muslims are opposed to abortion, they must explain their rational and moral reasons and convince the public.

Conclusion: The Strategy To Confront The Islamic Extremists

Given these facts, what is the best strategy to confront Islamic radicals, such as the Islamic State? In my opinion, the eight pillars of an effective strategy are as follows.

First, the corrupt dictatorial regimes in Islamic countries that are supported by the West give rise to Islamic groups as an alternative. Ending discrimination, setting up the democratic process and respecting the fundamental human rights of the citizens must be the focus of the opposition to such regimes. Ethnic, gender and religious discrimination represent the most important social background for the growth of the fundamentalist terrorists.

Second, confronting the Islamic extremist groups that supposedly want to establish an “Islamic Caliphate” cannot be done by military means only, because defeating them militarily does not put an end to the claim that it is the Muslims’ duty to set up an Islamic government. This is evident everyday as more recruits join ISIS despite the protracted military campaign against them. Islamist groups are even more radical today than when the U.S. first invaded Afghanistan after 9/11.

“One must demonstrate to 1.5 billion moderate Muslims that the interpretations of the Quranic teachings and the Prophet’s Sunnah by the Islamic extremists are pathetically wrong.”

At the same time, one must demonstrate to 1.5 billion moderate Muslims that the interpretations of the Qur’anic teachings and the Prophet’s Sunnah (tradition) by the Islamic extremists are pathetically wrong, so that one can prevent, for example, the European, American, Canadian and Australian Muslims from joining the terrorist groups. It has been estimated that over 12,000 of such Muslims are fighting alongside the terrorist groups.

Third, it must be emphasized that the claim that there is such a thing as Islamic government is baseless. The Quran and Sunnah have not obliged Muslims to establish such a chimera as the Islamic government, but have taught them to use wisdom, justice, consultation, and innate human dignity to organize their collective lives and their society. Similar to all other religions, Islam does not have provisions for forming a state, particularly modern states as we understand them now. Religious government is an absurd notion, and if a government is formed under Islamic banner, it will only serve the interests of a special group of the people, not an entire Islamic society. Thus, if Muslims form a government, it will be a secular, not a religious one.

Fourth, the reductionist approach to Islam can be deadly, as it will only increase the power of the conservative and reactionary clerics. It also transforms the kind and forgiving God to a warmongering king that constantly issues orders for more bloodshed. As the Iranian Muslim theologian and jurist Muhammad al-Ghazali put it, scientific religious laws are for materialistic issues; they do not represent true religion.

Fifth, we must keep in mind that we have many versions of liberalism, Marxism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Islamic fundamentalism is only one version of Islam. There are other versions of Islam that are based on enlightened and moral interpretation of the Islamic teachings and the Prophet’s traditions, adjusting itself to be compatible with democracy, human rights, freedom, and pluralism. and views everyone, regardless of religion, ethnicity and gender, as free and equal citizens.

The defenders of this version of Islam view al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, the al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and similar groups as the most important threat to Muslims and true Islam.

Sixth, it must be emphasized that true secularism is not opposed to religion, and a secular democratic state will not only eliminate ethnic and religious discrimination, such as pitting Shiites against Sunnis, but will also create the conditions for the religious people to practice their beliefs free of the government. The regimes that claim to be based on religion have, in fact, transformed religion to something akin to governmental orders and intervene in the moral relation between the pious people and their God. At the same time though, “fundamentalist secularism” also intervenes in people’s religion because it is anti-religion. A true secular democracy only separates religion from governance.

Seventh, the West must not approach the Islamic world in a way that is threatening to Muslims, giving them feeling of humiliation, discrimination, and threat of military attacks. This has often been done by the support that the West has provided to the corrupt dictatorial regimes in the Islamic world. Such support has always been a prime factor in the attraction of some Muslims to radical groups.

Eighth, it is morally unjustifiable if a religious, ethnic or gender-based minority is systematically discriminated against while their beliefs are mocked by those invoking “freedom of expression.” As an example, consider the plight of Muslims in France that representabout 10 percent of the population.

As the French Premier Manuel Valls acknowledged, there is a sort of “apartheid” in France with respect to its Muslim community.

Liberal Jewish American philosopher Jason Stanley distinguishes mocking the Prophet of the majority — the Christ — and that of the minority — Prophet Muhammad and correctly rejects the latter. The only “fruit” of such mocking and insults is a deepening rift between Muslims and the West and the growth of Islamic terrorist groups.

Instead of widening the fissures, we must move toward healing, mutual understanding and respect. Within the Islamic world, that starts with embracing secularism.

This article was translated by Ali N. Babaei.

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authenticity of hadith about 73 sects

hadith of 73 sects – 


NawazuddinWell-Known Member

Below is a work in progress about 73-Sects Hadith and by no means the final analysis and the conclusions are provisional. It was a reply to a dear brother via pm on fb. I thought, I may as well share it with you all though the complete version will be published on my blog when it is ready.
The 73 sects hadith appears in numerous hadith books and save a couple of reports, all have a problem of authenticity. As an example, Let us study how it is reported in al-Tirmadhi-one of the six sahih books. It has two reports on the matter, one from Abu Hurayra (r) and the other from abdullah ibn amr(r).

1.[Abu Hurayra: Jews were divided into 71 0r 72 sects and similarly Christians were also divided into a similar number and my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects]

At the end Imam Tirmazi comments that this hadith is sahih hasan. He grades it as authentic. There is no mention of one will go to jannah and others will go to hell in this authentic version of the hadith.

2.[ Abdallah ibn Amr: The same will happen to my ummah as it happened to jews and Christians, Bani Israel were divided into 72 sects and my ummah will be divided into 73 sects. All will go to hell except one. The sahaba asked: who are they? He(S) replied: they will be upon which I am and my sahaba.]

Imam Trimazi then comments: this hadith is Gharib (strange in terms of narrators) meaning there is only one route of it, etc. We do not know any other route of reporters except this unique one!

Now, the first one, from abu hurayra is authentic but mentions NO HELLFIRE for all 72 sects except one and the one that mentions hellfire for 72 is considered Gharib even according to imam al-tirmadhi. 

Whats more is that the reason it is a strange one is because it has a reporter abd al-rahman al-ifriqi in it who is considered to be a weak one according to many. In rijal literature, he is a rejected reporter. For example Imam ibn Hanbal says that he is munkar al-hadith meaning a rejected reporter, and Imam Yahya ibn maeen, the great rijal imam, says that he is a weak reporter. There is more but this makes the point sufficiently.

So now, in Jami` al-Tirmadhi, we have only two reports in this matter and only the first one is authentic and the second one which has Hell-fire for 72 is weak and problematic.

Also consider that the Qur`an Paak says that You are the best Ummat and the sahih version of this hadith in trimazi says that my ummah will be divided into 73 sects so 73 sects also belong to the best ummat!

However, let me just give you two references from the great hadith masters who have dismissed this addition in various reports which say 72 for hell-fire and one for paradise.

1. Imam Ibn Wazir al-Yamani in his al-awasim wal-qawasim says: Beware! Do not be deceived by this addition ‘all in hell fire except one’ because it is a baseless fabrication.

إياك أن تغتر بزيادة كلها في النار إلا واحدة فإنها زيادة فاسدة ، ولا يبعد أن تكون من دسيس الملاحدة

2. Imam al-shawkani in his fath al-qadeer says: 

that this addition of 72 in hell-fire except one has been weakened by a large number of hadith scholars and so much so that Ibn Hazm has declared it as a fabrication!

ما زيادة كلها في النار إلا واحدة ، فقد ضعفها جماعة من المحدثين ، بل قال ابن حزم إنها موضوعة

So here you have it. Many prominent hadith scholars considered the ‘addition’ at most a fabrication and at least a weak hadith. This in turn makes a sufficient case for the rejection of the addition whilst accepting that the sahih report is the one that mentions My Ummah will be divided into 73 sects. Full stop. And there is no judgment on them in the authentic hadith, In Quran kareem, the Ummah is called as the Best Ummah and all 73 sects are the ummah as the sahih hadith says. No doubt the sectarian judges are desperate to save jannat for themselves and throw everyone else into fire!


Last edited: Sep 24, 2014

Sep 24, 2014

AbdalQadir  time to move along! will check pm’s.

so you’re saying that Ahlus Sunnah is equal in guidance to the rafidis (such as yourself), ismailis, khawarij, wahabis, etc.

so who are all these “sectarian judges” who are desperate to save jannat for themselves and throw everyone else in the fire? can you name some names please?


Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2014

Sep 24, 2014

abu Hasan    Administrator

do share the link of your finished work.


Last edited: Sep 24, 2014

Sep 24, 2014


I wondering when this was going to be next on the list after the door to this fitna was opened by Shaykh Ninowy. Btw he considers the ENTIRE narration to be FORGED not just weak. I personally heard this from him in Cape Town. As usual he tried to give some elaborate explanation that as usual led to nothingness then caught himself out. I firmly believe that he and his gang here, led by Fakhrudin Owaisi and a certain Jahil called Mehmood Khatib are the new fitna of South Africa.


Sep 24, 2014

abu Hasan          Administrator

@AQ: you lose your temper needlessly. you should perhaps be reminded of the saying that, do not open a door that cannot be closed.


Sep 24, 2014

Aqdas likes this.

AbdalQadirtime to move along! will check pm’s.

huh? I didn’t lose my temper, was quite calm in fact. I just hope nawazuddin’s list of names of “sectarian judges” doesn’t include any modern bloggers or forum members (or admins) but rather someone from the first few centuries.

I would also appreciate some condemnation of such ill-fated sectarian judges from the words of celebrated greats of the ummah like Imam e A’zdham or Ghawth e A’zdham or Imam Ahmad or Malik or other such people.


Sep 24, 2014

abu HasanAdministrator



Sep 24, 2014

AbdalQadirtime to move along! will check pm’s.

sorry man. It’s been ‘one of those days’ all month long!


Sep 24, 2014

Noori             Senior Moderator

So here you have it. Many prominent hadith scholars considered the ‘addition’ at most a fabrication and at least a weak hadith. This in turn makes a sufficient case for the rejection of the addition whilst accepting that the sahih report is the one that mentions My Ummah will be divided into 73 sects. Full stop. And there is no judgment on them in the authentic hadith, In Quran kareem, the Ummah is called as the Best Ummah and all 73 sects are the ummah as the sahih hadith says. No doubt the sectarian judges are desperate to save jannat for themselves and throw everyone else into fire!

Click to expand…

research paper has already concluded, thus.


Sep 24, 2014

Unbeknown likes this.

abu HasanAdministrator

ibn al-wazir (with his anti-madh’hab ranting and zaydi slant) and shawkani (the mujtahid muTlaq) are his proofs. you must be foolish to doubt the quality of the paper.

btw, ibn al-wazir (in his awaSim, thus cited) mentions the hadith in the praise of SaHabah: “when you see someone insulting my companions, say: may Allah’s damnation be upon your evil” [1/181]. he says so many things, which may not be palatable to nawaz anyway; and one can get carried away that he must be a sunni.

but he also acknowledges his own taqiyyah [1/225]:


nawaz’s citation below is on 1/186:


and ibn wazir’s reliance is on ibn Hazm [ibid.] that it is fabricated.


perhaps nawaz refers to these “prominent” hadith scholars:

Many prominent hadith scholars considered the ‘addition’ at most a fabrication


note that ibn wazir is quoted by salih al-maqbili and ali al-shawkani. coincidentally all three are accused of being zaydis. and perhaps tafDilis…


Sep 24, 2014

AbdalQadir and Aqdas like this.

abu Hasan         Administrator

a bit on shawkani’s, ibn al-wazir’s and maqbili’s objection (there is actually a compiled work of these including ibn al-amir san’ani on hadith iftiraq al-ummah). perhaps nawaz can make use of that book in his paper. i am sure there is some scope for all this in the academic definition, unless of course, the paper is not meant to be an academic one.


the major argument about iftiraq, and all being in fire save one is no better than the logic of present day bloggers and tweeters. apparently,

In Quran kareem, the Ummah is called as the Best Ummah and all 73 sects are the ummah as the sahih hadith says. No doubt the sectarian judges are desperate to save jannat for themselves and throw everyone else into fire!

all of them have the same logic(al fallacy) – the qur’an says, “khayra ummah” and therefore splitting in 73 and all in fire save one does not behoove a “khayra ummah”. what kind of a khayr ummah is it?

now this fallacy is based on the premise that:

being 71, 72 is less worse than being 73. what they did not perhaps think about is, the reason why this is “khayr ummah” is because, even if they split MORE than that of yahud, naSara, there will STILL be a jama’ah always on Haqq. which is also corroborated from various hadith such as “the ummah will not unite on heresy, waywardness, corruption (baTil)”. whereas, in the other two cases yahud,naSara – they split such that eventually NONE remained on Haqq.

maqbili dutifully quotes ibn al-wazir – who cites ibn Hazm – for this part of hadith to be fabricated. apart from anti-madh’hab ranting and the lamenting of loss-of-love between different firaq – the classic sulH kulli. no wonder, ninnowy pipes this, (and karam college principal enjoys his company and asim is beside himself with glee). perhaps yaqubi sahib also read the books of these people and therefore sings that tune.

someone was asking about sulH kulli, and we have new definition: they are similar to zaydi anti-madh’habi maqbili sana’anis.

now ibn al-amir san’ani has a few objections [see p.99]: [summarised for brevity]

first objection is that “it would mean that majority of the ummah will perish and will be in fire, which contradicts the hadith that this is a ummah upon which there is mercy and this will be the most in jannah (compared to other umam/nations).”

he states the ta’wil of some ulama and says, fine, but it has problems. and states many counter objections to the ta’wil. until he reaches [p.103]: “the hadith that talk of the expanse of mercy and the most who enter jannah will be from this ummah; which means, those who perish are fewer.”

he implies, therefore the 73 = 72+1 do not add up. [there is a lot of awful reasoning, but they are anyway literalists so blaming them for logic is like accusing the rawafid of loving the saHabah too much].

moreover, lateral thinking was not invented at that time, so we will just highlight that if there are 1000 people in the ONE najiyah firqah and 10 people each in each 72 firaq, it still means that 720 < 1000.

to be fair, he does mention other ta’wil and even approves of them. but eventually, falls back to the ibn al-wazir quote citing from ibn Hazm.

perhaps someone could send the bbc article AQ linked on literalism to modern maqbili/shawkani/ibn wazir admirers.

now, nawaz in his diligent analysis of hadith mentioned the hadith of tirmidhi. but we must pause to get an insight into the mujtahid’s mind. (i don’t mean nawaz btw.)

shawkani is hailed as the mujtahid muTlaq, the mujaddid, etc. etc. in his analysis of the hadith (btw, he was erudite; but learning cannot be equated with discerning or wisdom):

someone asks him about the hadith of mu`awiyah (btw, it is a conspiracy theory, but i suppose most of these people get into knots because it is narrated from sayyiduna mu`awiyah raDiyallahu `anhu. whom we respect as a SaHabi just as mawla ali raDiyallahu `anhu, though in superiority there is no question of who is who.)

and qaDi shawkani says [summarised]: “the hadith of mu`awiyah is extracted by abu dawud in his sunan and with the following chain: 

narrated to us aHmad ibn Hanbal & muHammad ibn yaHya ibn faris, both said: narrated to us abu mughayrah: narrated to us Safwan; (second route) and narrated to us `amr ibn uthman, narrated to us baqiyah narrated to me Safwan: narrated to me az’har ibn abdAllah al-Harazi from abu `aamir al-hawzani from mu`awiyah ibn abi sufyan that he stood giving a sermon….[the hadith]


shawkani’s take is that baqiyyah and az’har ibn abdAllah (or sayid) al-Harazi are not thiqat and therefore this narration is weak (because al-Harazi is weak). he goes on to evaluate the narrators and says that in such an important matter, the hadith of such a weak narrator shouldn’t be admitted.


however in the same analysis he pays glowing tributes to imam aHmad ibn Hanbal:


shawkani: “aHmad ibn Hanbali is an imam and a prominent hafiz (of hadith); friend and foe are agreed upon his being trustworthy; bukhari, muslim and others have narrated from him. his rank is so high and prominent that he is beyond evaluation (of his being trustworthy as a narrator) and far above any criticism – rather, he is the imam of hadith criticism (approving, evaluating narrators and deeming them trustworthy or otherwise – jar’H wa’t ta’dil) and the imam in memorising and accuracy (of reporting).”

what i don’t understand is, ibn al-wazir (d.840 AH) reporting from ibn Hazm is far more reliable than imam aHmad ibn Hanbal. shawkani, maqbili, san’ani all of them parrot ibn al-wazir that this is a “fabrication”.

in other words, imam aHmad narrates fabricated hadith, and which is found in sunan abu dawud.

secondly, i don’t know about you – but, if imam aHmad deems it narratable, i could gladly dump a thousand ibn wazir, ten thousand shawkani-maqbilis and a million ninnowys. my ears are deaf to hadith critics of our age who squeak otherwise:

No doubt the sectarian judges are desperate to save jannat for themselves and throw everyone else into fire!

Allah ta’ala knows best.



Last edited: Sep 25, 2014

Sep 25, 2014

Nawazuddin  Well-Known Member

Whilst we are at it here is another version of the hadith cited by Imam al-Ghazali in his faysal al-tafriqa which states: My Ummah will be divided into seventy odd sects and all will go to paradise except one!


Sep 25, 2014

NawazuddinWell-Known Member

abul hasnayn, the copy-paste source of your reply below also admits to the fact that, at most, the version of hadith with addition ” all in hell except one” , given the weakness in its chains, can be classified as hasan. A hasan hadith is that which falls between Sahih and Daeef. So even then it is not strong enough to sentence 72 sects of the Ummah to hell. To send Muslims en masse to hell, on evidential basis, you will have to do better than that!


Sep 25, 2014

Unbeknown        Senior Moderator

So even then it is not strong enough to sentence 72 sects of the Ummah to hell. To send Muslims en masse to hell, on evidential basis, you will have to do better than that!

there really should be a ban on straw-men arguments.


Sep 25, 2014

AbdalQadirtime to move along! will check pm’s.

So even then it is not strong enough to sentence 72 sects of the Ummah to hell. To send Muslims en masse to hell, on evidential basis, you will have to do better than that!

basic ‘aqidah lessons are due your way.

even someone from the Ahlus Sunnah can go to hell for sins like robbery, drinking, adultery etc.

Ahlus Sunnah scholars have made it very clear that those whose bid’ah reaches kufr and they become murtads, they will be in hell for ever

those whose bid’ahs are waywardness but not reaching the extent of kufr, they are not kafirs and they will be in hell temporarily, just like the rest of the Muslim fussaq. fisq in ‘aqidah is worse than fisq in deeds. 

a mubtadi’ deviating from the Ahlus Sunnah can be a mere fasiq due to his erroneous beliefs, or he can be a kafir. not every mubtadi’ is the same


Sep 25, 2014

Haqbahu           Veteran

AbdalQadir said: 

basic ‘aqidah lessons are due your way.

even someone from the Ahlus Sunnah can go to hell for sins like robbery, drinking, adultery etc.

Ahlus Sunnah scholars have made it very clear that those whose bid’ah reaches kufr and they become murtads, they will be in hell for ever

those whose bid’ahs are waywardness but not reaching the extent of kufr, they are not kafirs and they will be in hell temporarily, just like the rest of the Muslim fussaq. fisq in ‘aqidah is worse than fisq in deeds.

a mubtadi’ deviating from the Ahlus Sunnah can be a mere fasiq due to his erroneous beliefs, or he can be a kafir. not every mubtadi’ is the same

Click to expand…

Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-Saaani alayhir-rahma has also given an explanation for this hadith. 
What AQ has written is similar to that.


Sep 25, 2014

AbdalQadirtime to move along! will check pm’s.

No doubt the sectarian judges are desperate to save jannat for themselves and throw everyone else into fire!

i would really like to know who these “sectarian judges” are.

i hope nawazuddin pinpoints them by name and doesn’t keep us in the dark and helps us on the path of knowledge.

it is his duty towards towards the ummah to warn against people who spread misguidance.

Sep 25, 2014


Abul Hasnayn

The Necessity for 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 Azzawajal 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 RadiAllahu anh:

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 RadiAllahu anh narrated, “The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam drew a straight line for us, the He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam said, ‘This is Allah’s path.’ and then He r drew some lines towards his right and some towards his 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 Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam drew a straight line then He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam 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 Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam 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 RadiAllahuAnh, “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 Rahmatullah Alayh gives us further understanding of that when replying to a question, which is recorded in the book Tamheed of Allamah Abdush Shakoor Saalimi Rahmatullah Alayh:

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

When Imam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullah Alayh 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 KarramAllahu wajhul Kareem 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 KaramAllahu wajhul kareem was God and descended from heaven, some believe that He KaramAllahu wajhul kareem was parallel to the Nabi Sallallahu Alyhiwasalam in Nubuwwah and some believe that the Nubuwwah was meant for Hazrat Ali KaramAllahu wajhul kareem 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 all other besides four attributes of Allah Azzawajal

1) ‘Aalim (All-Knowing),

2) Qaadir (All-powerful)

3) Khaliq (The Creator)

4) Shaa’i (The one who wills)

are created, which is kufr.

6. 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 the Allah’s laws, and this beliefs 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 the 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 Prophet Sallallahu alyhiwasalam about the division of Ummah into 73 sects and then only one group will be saved while the rest 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 RadiAllahuAnhum 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 Sallallhu Alayhiwasalam. There was no division among the Muslims at the time of the Khilaafah of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq RadiAllahuAnh nor at the time of Hazrat Umar RadiAllahuAnh nor at the time of Hazrat Uthmaan RadiAllahuAnh 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 RadiAllahuAnh had with other Sahaba Sahaba RadiAllahuAnhum 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 the 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 Sallallahu alyhiwasalam and the way of Sahaba RadiAllahuAnhum 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 Karamallahuwajhul kareem was the first one to engage in debate to refute the Khawaarij and He Karamallahuwajhul kareem instructed Hazrat Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbaas RadiAllahu Anh to go to the Khawaarij and debate with them. That is why Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbaas RadiAllahu Anh is known as the first scholar that debated with the deviant group of the Khawaarij who moved away from the path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. Imam Ghazaali AlayhiRahma when he mentioned the importance to 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 and 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 Ibn Abi Taalib Karramallahu wajhul kareem who sent Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbaas RadiAllahu anh to speak to them.”

(Ihya Vol. 1, p. 96)

Please note: that this too is work in progress and is not copy and pasted from any website any person who alludes otherwise to please present their proof with a valid working URL .


Sep 27, 2014

Ghulam Ali likes this.

Nawazuddin      Well-Known Member

Brother abu l-hasanayn, with reference to 6:153, I think, you have suppressed a crucial transition or extension to your argument from the ayah mubarakah. 

Let me explain. The straight path mentioned in the verse is Islam and other paths are other religions. As we know all prophets preached the same message, i.e., Islam, etc. The first hadith you present with various references also imports that idea. Even al-nasafi in his tafsir, whom you mention, also says that الطرق المختلفة في الدين من اليهودية والنصرانية والمجوسية وسائر البدع والضلالات the various paths are Judaism, christianity, majusis and all innovations and dalalaat… so there was a straight line and from that line many other lines separated. Here is the first hadith in explanation of the verse that you present:

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam drew a straight line for us, the He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam said, ‘This is Allah’s path.’ and then He r drew some lines towards his right and some towards his 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.

I do not have a problem with what has been said above so far by you. 

However, then you also present another hadith which in my opinion is doubtful. Here is that hadith:

These are the paths on which the shaitaan is inviting towards him, so refrain from it, and then He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam recited this verse. Six lines were added to each of the 12 line on both sides so they became 72 on both sides

From what I understand is that the path drawn was one then 72 paths were separated from it. This means that 72 misguided muslim sects and the one straight line is firqa najiya. However, what happened to jews and christians, etc. as al-nasafi says and furthermore, there is only room for 72?
Anyway, perhaps you could reconcile that in order to make your research clearer. However, the main point with which I have a problem as a student is with the hadith mentioned by al-nasafi: رُوي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم 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

The simple point here is that al-nasafi begins the report with sighah al-tamrid ‘ruwiya’ (it has been reported) which clearly means according to usul al-hadith that when a report is reported with tamrid then it is a weak report. al-Nasafi also indicates that it a weak hadith. It is this part alone that has a bearing on our discussion and it is this extension to your argument that matters and unfortunately  it is inadmissible for our discussion.


Last edited: Sep 27, 2014


JazakAllah for bringing it to my attention that passage and insha Allah I will include the entire Tafseer.
Below are the Tafseer texts copied from Tafseer Al-Nasafi:
{ وَأَنَّ هَـاذَا صِرَاطِي } [الأنعام : 153] ولأن هذا صراطي فهو علة الاتباع بتقدير اللام ، { وَأَنْ } بالتخفيف شامي ، وأصله وأنه على أن الهاء ضمير الشأن والحديث.
{ وَأَنْ } على الابتداء : حمزة وعلي { مُّسْتَقِيمًا } حال { فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ } [الأنعام : 153] الطرق المختلفة في الدين من اليهودية والنصرانية والمجوسية وسائر البدع والضلالات { فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ } [الأنعام : 153] فتفرقكم أيادي سبأ عن صراط الله المستقيم وهو دين الإسلام.
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.

So yes, all the other false religions as well as all the other false (Ahl Al-Bid’ah Wal-Dalaalah) sects are the objective of the Tafseer. فلا خلاف so there is no dispute, alhamdulillah.

Imam Hakim says in His Mustadrak Ala Al-Saheehain هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد This a Sahih chained Hadeeth, also Imam Ibn Hibbaan has included it in the collection of his Sahih Ahadeeth. 

Below is the Hadeeth with the chain of narrators that Imam Hakim Nishapuri has mentioned:

حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ثنا أحمد بن عبد الجبار ثنا أبو بكر بن عياش ثنا عاصم بن أبي النجود 
و أخبرني الشيخ أبو بكر بن إسحاق أنبأ إسماعيل بن إسحاق القاضي ثنا سليمان بن حرب ثنا حماد بن زيد ثنا عاصم عن أبي وائل عن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال : خط لنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم خطا ثم خط عن يمينه وعن شماله خطوطا ثم قال : هذا سبيل الله و هذه السبل على كل سبيل منها شيطان يدعو إليه { وأن هذا صراطي مستقيما فاتبعوه ولا تتبعوا السبل فتفرق بكم عن سبيله }

Please do not confuse this with Fiqh when the Fuqaha say قیل “It is said” it always means a weak view, but many times when an author does not want to mentioned the full chain of the Hadeeth and would like to get to the point straight, he uses the approach of روی “It is narrated” instead. 

Therefore the “passive case” does not necessarily point out the weakness of the narration. 

Allah knows best.

JazakAllah again for your humble contribution of this valuable suggestion.
Was Salam

  1. Sep 27, 2014

  2. Nawazuddin

    NawazuddinWell-Known Member

    Brother, there are two things here in what you present. There are two strands of the hadith that you are conflating into one. There is the authentic version (perhaps!) that only mentions line drawing and then there is the version that states the number of lines, i.e., 72.

    The one without the precise number of lines is understood to be other religions so no problems here but the one with precise number of 72 lines, i.e., number of hell bound sects excludes the inclusion of other religions otherwise the numbers do not add up or how would you add or restrict them?

    However, it is the 72 lines hadith that is relevant to our discussion as the topic is about 73 sects! It is this hadith that is daeef/weak and al-Nasafi has pointed that out by referring to it by ruwiya in passive. This is not only true for fiqh as you seem to think but also true of hadith scholars.  Here is what ibn salah says about the matter in his muqaddimah: 

  3. إذا أردت رواية الحديث الضعيف بغير إسناد فلا تقل فيه : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كذا وكذا وما أشبه هذا من الألفاظ الجازمة بأنه صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ذلك، وإنما تقول فيه : رُوي عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كذا وكذا ، أو بلغنا عنه كذا وكذا، أو ورد عنه، أو جاء عنه، أو روى بعضهم وما أشبه ذلك . وهكذا الحكم فيما تشك في صحته وضعفه، وإنما تقول: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما ظهر لك صحته بطريقه الذي أوضحناه أولا

  4. so here you have it. If it was a sahih hadith and the author did not have the time, then she would say ‘qala’ instead of ‘ruwiya’. The convention is that passive is an indication of doubtful and weak hadith.


The Hadeeth below is mentioned in Sahih Muslim of Imam Muslim Rahimahullah:
Hadeeth No. 237
– حَدَّثَنَا عَلِىُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ السَّعْدِىُّ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ – يَعْنِى ابْنَ عُلَيَّةَ – عَنْ مَنْصُورِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَنِ الشَّعْبِىِّ عَنْ جَرِيرٍ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَهُ يَقُولُ « أَيُّمَا عَبْدٍ أَبَقَ مِنْ مَوَالِيهِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَيْهِمْ ». قَالَ مَنْصُورٌ قَدْ وَاللَّهِ رُوِىَ عَنِ النَّبِىِّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- وَلَكِنِّى أَكْرَهُ أَنْ يُرْوَى عَنِّى هَا هُنَا بِالْبَصْرَةِ.
Had Ruwiya been specifically for pointing out the weakness of a Hadeeth, it would not be used with قَدْ وَاللَّهِ “indeed, by Allah!”.
Well, that’s not a major concern here. The mainthing I was focusing on is that if the Hadeeth of the similar meaning has been reported by Imam Hakim and Imam Ibn Hibban in their Sahih, then it does strengthen the Hadeeth of Imam Nasafi despite the fact that Imam Nasafi started the Hadeeth with “Ruwiya” (thus, it becoming a weak Hadeeth in your view). If you look at the meaning of both the narrations of Imam Hakim and Imam Ibn Hibbaan, which are Sahih, then there is no Ishkaal. Because then the Hadeeth of Imam Nasafi will also gain strength and become Sahih bil Ma’na (In its meaning) and it will therefore gain the status of becoming Hadeeth Sahih Li Ghairhi (A Hadeeth that is not Sahih by itself in its current form but due to a similar Sahih narration which is of the same essence) according to the Hadeeth science.
WAllahu A’lam


Sep 29, 201


Syed Ahmed UwaisiActive Member

Mr. Nawazuddin.

I dont know you, except from one previous encounter. But perhaps you can ‘enlighten’ me on the reason why a new work is needed by you or one of your friends, on this new revelation you have received directly from Allah that the hadith of 73 sects is fabricated, and why scholars of posterity, who also were Sunni, and perhaps wiser than yourself did not necessitate disproving it, despite knowing it existed and reading its meaning?

Also, after posting it on your blog, what convinces you that people care?

Dont you know Everyone here is a sectarian judge, only we are going to heaven, didnt you get the special ‘Heaven Only Group’ Eid cards yet?

Believing ourselves to be a saved sect and that everyone else is on the highway to hell is such a key aspect of my self esteem, why do you insist on taking it away?

Come on bro, save us just this one please? Dont go and publish your amazing research, what will we do for fun?


Sep 30, 201


Syed Ahmed UwaisiActive Member

For me personally, the hadith, regardless of whether it meets your definition of ‘authentic’, can be taken in two ways:

1. iN a very literal sense, the 73 listed by both Shahrastani in milal and Baghdadi in Farq are groups with aberrant philosophy that does not lead to salvation, and will go to hell, or existed in a ‘hellish state’ in their lifetimes on Earth, which may not have been the primary intention behind the hadith’s message, or…
2. The number is not so important, nor the destination (E.g. Hell) is so important, but the idea of not being contentious and muta’assibabout who possesses the correct religious methodology, and simply what is important is, in the words of the speaker, ma ana alayhi wa ashabi alayhi, “That which I and my companions are upon”, i.e. spiritual living, since the hadith is taking into account the corrupt habits of previous prophetic communities, e.g. Jews, and Christians, and is designed so that Muslims do not take on the spiritual illnesses of those communities, i.e. being based on pure ideological superiority, as the Quran states, “the Jews are upon nothing, and the Christians say the Jews are not upon anything” (paraphrased) i.e. “our theology is more complex” rather than real moral values, which in Sunnism, shouldnt really happen, because of Sufism and mujahada being in place.

At the end of the day, what is it particularly about the 72 sects that you find particularly attractive, maybe we can arrange some solution for yourself and your ‘friend’? Im sure that whatever the particular detail of it is, there must be some superior alternative in Sunni thought somewhere, whether it is Imam Rabbani’s letters, classical law books, maybe some al Farabi type philosophy, or even Rumi’s poetry.

( p.s. I hope your friend is not romantically involved with you, because you know that will serious impair your ability to give partial and balanced judgement in this situation, at least, not up to Nietzche’s standards )

At the end of the day, we do not request research on sanad for proof to justify why you wish to leave the boundaries of Sunnism, you dont need permission, you can just up and leave. 

Disproving the authenticity of the 73 groups hadith might help you to adjust your particular understanding of ‘Faith and Community’, but seriously, you dont really need to go through all that effort just for some people on a forum, its not like were al Juwayni and Ghazzali sitting up on here. 

Appreciate the thought though, sure, we will definitely make use of the study as a case study in the future, when I study usul hadith as a type of meditative activity, but for now, really I dont care, and the proof will literally just whizz over the top of my mind.

Like I said in a previous thread, im not as academic as you really, I just like plain old Islam really.

Sept.30, 2014

 Sep 30, 20

NawazuddinWell-Known Member

brother abu l-hasanayn, of the usage of passive-you may consult usul al-hadith literature such as ibn salah, al-nawawi, al-asqalani, al-suyuti, etc. who identically say as I have cited a reference below. However, some among the mutaqaddimun did use passive on occasions but as things developed later, it became a convention to use tamrid and jazm to indicate weak and authentic ahadith, respectively. 

In the example that you provide, there is a complete sanad for it above the statement and mansur ibn abd al-rahman made that statement in a certain context which you can study further by reading al-nawawi’s comments on it. But the mutaqaddimun/muta’akhirun difference can be applied to mansur ibn abd al-rahman’s statement as he lived in the second century AH whereas the muta’akhirun had developed an even better sophisticated system and considered passive to be an indication of a weak hadith. al-Nasafi died in 710 AH and was clearly towards the end of classical muta’akhirun era hence he used that system. 

Secondly, since he lived in the 8th century so he had an earlier source which must have had a chain of transmission. This is what you need to provide to substantiate your argument. 

Thirdly, even if you can provide a sanad, how would you reconcile the content of the two reports: one says lines were drawn and the other says exactly 72 lines were drawn. 

In the first case as al-Nasafi had himself considered jews, christians, etc. to be signifying the deviating lines drawn but in the exact-72-line version, there is no possibility of other religions being in the scheme as you would restrict it to the Muslim Ummah only. It becomes a disjunction. Either/or interpretation. You will have to let go of one of them and then sahih bi l-ma`na is mis-directed. This is an additional question that you must address after you have substantiated its authenticity; for which you will have to provide a sanad and it is this last request that I will await, inshAllah!


Last edited: Sep 30, 2014

Sep 30, 2014


Do we all agree that anyone who denies anything from the daruriyat-ud-Deen is a kafir and anyone who denies anything from the daruriyat Ahlus-Sunnah is misguided?
If yes, is this discussion then still relevant?


Sep 30, 2014Ghulam Ali likes it


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 : إنهمكانوا 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

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.”

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 into71 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

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.

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 . قال العقيلى : لا يتابع على حديثه هذا وقد 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.


Oct 10, 201

Ammar ibn YasirNew Member

Assalamu’Alaykum dear respected brothers, is this hadith authentic or not? yes or no please

 Oct 10,2014, 2014


Ammar ibn Yasir said: 

Assalamu’Alaykum dear respected brothers, is this hadith authentic or not? yes or no please

Yes – it is AUTHENTIC – MASHHOOR SAHIH the second highest grade of authenticity.
As this is work in progress.
All the references and excerpts will be presented in the days to come In Sha Allah Azzawajal.


NawazuddinWell-Known Member

No brother, it is not. The version with ‘all in hell except one’ is not authentic but the one without this addition is authentic. Take for example, the list below provided by abul hasnayn. all that he has quoted is daeef except the one which does not have the addition.

In the first two it is explicitly stated in the comments that so and so reporter is unreliable or unknown. 

In the third, reported from hazrat anas ibn malik(r) there it at least a rejected/matruk reporter: mubarak ibn sahim . Also in the third from imam ahmed, there is at least a mukar al-hadith/rejected ziyad ibn abdullah al-namiri and so on…

abul hasanyn…any thing on al-nasafi quote?


Oct 11, 2014

 Abul Hasnayn

abul hasanyn

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

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

Imam Haakim narrated the Hadeeth of

10. 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

11. 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

تأليف / جمال الدين عبد الله بن يوسف بن محمد الزيلعي


Oct 14, 201

NawazuddinWell-Known Member

abu l-hasanyn, I have come to the conclusion that there is no point as you are unable to justify a single thing and are merely pasting. No matter how many times you repeat the same reports, the fact remains the same unless you attempt at justification.


Oct 14, 201 

  1. Oct 15, 2014

  2. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadirtime to move along! will check pm’s.

    nawazuddin, can you please advice who the “sectarian judges” are? can you please name a few famous names of “sectarian judges”


    Oct 14, 201

  3. snaqshiActive Member

    بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

    The Messenger (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) said;

    إفترقت اليهود على احدى وسبعين فرقة،
    وافترقت النصارة على إثنتين وسبعين فرقة،
    وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة 

    “The Jews were divided among themselves into seventy one or seventy two sects, and the Christians were divided among themselves into seventy one or seventy two sects. And My Ummah will be divided among itself into seventy three sects.” Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, al-Hakim and Ahmad among several others, reported this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said; “Hadeethun Hassanun Sahih”.

    If they have said that this hadeeth is sound then that’s good enough for me I do not need any modernist opinion saying any otherwise!!!


    Oct 15, 2014

Abul Hasnayn


“This is an additional question that you must address after you have substantiated its authenticity; for which you will have to provide a sanad and it is this last request that I will await, inshAllah! “

Nawaz Saheb have you forgotten your request for isnad? Or have I misunderstood what Sanad you seek? This discussion is about the 73 sect Hadith or is it necessary to raise your new request for isnad on a new thread?

Please note these excerpts are not solely for your attention but it can also serve as easy reference or compilation for those who wish to investigate this matter further.

Nawaz Saheb, Since this is a matter concerning hadith could you please quote any earlier muhadith/scholar (excluding the modernists /contemporary scholars and excluding GHUMARI/NINOWY fraternity) who share your views on this matter ?

Nawaz Saheb I decided not to answer your allegations earlier about pasting despite having found his exact post here: as this would not ” bring knowledge to the table” and could end up in bickering. 
Could you please explain this exact coincidence of the exact same post on both forums by different members?

I will try my utmost to “bring knowledge to the table” so please Nawaz Saheb let us put this bickering aside and add value to this forum. 

To those members who need any of the Arabic passages which I posted earlier translated please paste the passage here I will attempt to get it done.

 Oct 15, 2014

Oct 15, 2014

Ghulam Ali and Unbeknown like th


time to move along! will check pm’s.


are these “people” equally as guided as the Sunnis according to you? –

plus what do you think about their opinion that the Sunnis are “misguided”?

Abul Hasnayn…cluding-the-fatwa-issued-against-him/#more-42



Oct 3, 2015

Oct 10, 2014    14

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SURAH 3: Al ‘Imran 01


Al ‘Imran                                             (House of ‘Imran)

IT IS EASY TO IDENTIFY immediately the subject matter of this surah. It revolves around two major issues: the debate with the People of the Book, the Jews and the Christians, of whom the Jews were Madinah natives incited to oppose Islam; and a review and assessment of the humiliating and tragic defeat suffered by the Muslims at the battle of Uhud  in 625 AC. 

The two issues are treated separately to begin with, but half way through the surah they are brought together and from then on are discussed as almost one sub-ject. The outcome of the whole discussion seems  to focus on the fact that perseverance and steadfastness are required to face both issues: 

1.the scheming of the Jewish establishment inside Madinah and
2. the attacks by the infidels front outside it.

Islam is a religion addressed to all human societies without coer-cion or discrimination. Whoever responds positively is taken into the fold, while those who turn away are left in peace. 

However—as mentioned earlier—those who commit aggression against Islam and the Muslims are boldly confronted. This is clear from the verse: 

If they argue with you, say:

“I have surrendered myself to God and so have those who followed me.”

As for those who had received the scriptures and the illiterates [ pagan Arabs with no revealed scrip-tures ], ask them: 

“Have you surrendered yourselves to God?” If they have they shall be rightly guided; but if they turnaway, then your only duty is to deliver the message to them. God is watching His servants.(20)


                 surah 3  •Al ‘Imran

The surah begins by stressing that Islam is a universal guidance, and the Qur’an a confirmation of all previous revelation. God’s rev-elation is one, in the sense that it sets the truth apart from falsehood in a sharp and unequivocal manner. The surah highlights the fact that Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have trodden the same path, and that the scope of Islam encompasses all other revealed religions regardless of their time and place. The Torah and the Gospel are both referred to here as “God’s revelation [or messages].”

This phrase occurs ten times in the surah, as in verse 4 which says:
“Those who deny God’s revelations [messages], grievous suffering awaits them; for God is Mighty and capable of retribution,” 

and verse 199, towards the end of the surah:

“There are among the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] those who believe in God and what has been revealed to you and to them.They humble themselves before God and do not exchange God’s revelations [messages] for a trifling price.”

There could be no contradiction nor differences in the basic tenets and principles of divine faith, nor in what was revealed to Muhammad and his earlier brothers in the line of prophets, Moses and Jesus. 

Contradictions can exist only between God’s revelation and the false notions and philosophies that people put forward. Belief, as presented in the Qur’an, applies to what has been revealed to the Muslims and to those before them. Those who deviate from it ought to repent and return to the straight path. The “People of the Book” is a term that refers to Jews and Christians. 

Unlike the debate with the Jews, that with the Christians in Madinah was calm and unhurried. The Jews had their own settlements inside Madinah itself and in other parts of northern Hijaz. Their elders resisted Islam, gainsaid God’s revelations and berated His Messenger. Moreover, they collaborated with the pagan Arabs in their insidious efforts and fights against Islam and the Muslims.They were encouraged by


A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an

their wealth and economic power and the strong foothold they had secured in Madinah.This was repeatedly condemned in the surah (10, 21,116,196,197), for excessive wealth and affluence would lead individuals as well as nations to ignore God and overreach themselves in pursuit of power and influence. 
Although the Jewish settlements in Hijaz were much more developed and economically prosperous than other cities and towns in Arabia, they had never used any of their wealth or expertise for the development and welfare of the region as a whole. With its well-established traditions of self-dignity, honesty, and hospitality, the pagan Arab society could, in fact, be said to have been more liberal and charitable than other communities in their midst. When Prophet Muhammad began to spread his teachings, he proved to be more persuasive and endearing, and less condescending, than the Jewish spokesmen who had been exposed as arrogant and self-centered. Their attitudes and conduct had in the end led to their defeat and the end of their influence and existence in the area. 

The Jews had enjoyed the honor and privilege of custodianship of God’s revelation for several successive generations. They had been entrusted with it for so long that they had come to nurture the false belief that God’s revelation belonged to them and to them alone—a nation that would have the eternal indisputable right to hold and interpret God’s revelations and reap their benefit forever. They were hopelessly mistaken. Honor, privilege, status, and leadership in the world have to be earned through devotion and hard work. 

By the time Prophet Muhammad had emerged, the Jews’ capacity to carry God’s revelation forward had reached its nadir. Their rabbis’ hearts had turned hard, morals had deteriorated, and selfishness had gained the upper hand; greed for material and world-ly possessions and privileges had become their sole preoccupation. Worse than that, they had also displayed signs of insolence and insubordination towards and rejection of God and the mission with


              surah 3  •Al ‘Imran

which He had entrusted their race. And so it was necessary to trans-fer the responsibility and the trust to another human group,which was better qualified and which would give it the effort and devotion it deserved. The surah expresses this in the following verse:

Say, “Lord, Sovereign of all creation, You bestow sovereignty on whom You will and take away from whom You will. You raise whomever You will and abase whomever You will. All Goodness lies in Your hands.You have power over all things.”(26)

This fundamental assertion is preceded by elaborate reasons and considerations such as:

“Have you not taken note of those who received portions of the Book [revelation]? When they are called upon to accept the judg-ment of God’s Book, some of them turn away and take no heed. It is because they said, 
“We shall suffer the fire for a few days only.” (23-24)

They were so overcome by that false sense of security that they turned to open rebellion, squandering the divine injunctions and reneging on their commitment to them. 

God’s response to that was to confirm divine justice towards all people and to dispel the erroneous idea that God was biased towards any particular ethnic or racial group, saying: 
“What will they do when We gather them all together upon a day that is sure to come, when every soul will be given what it earned with no injustice what so ever?” (25). 

In God’s eyes, people are all equal; each shall reap his or her just rewards according to their behavior and conduct. When humankind is brought before God for judgment, each human being shall face the Creator alone.The one thing that would redeem any of them shall be their piety, and the depth and sincerity of their belief in God.


A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an   

It is important to keep in mind that although those words are addressed to Jews in Arabia, they also serve as a subtle reminder to other human groups. God was not going to chastise the Jews for their deviation, and overlook them is demeanor of the Arabs if they were to follow their example. Similar actions and activities would earn similar reactions and responses.The pitfall in which errant Jews were caught was their misconception that the Torah had been graced by them rather than the other way around, and this had led to their fateful fall from God’s grace and favor. Today, there are Arabs who refuse to be associated with Islam and try to separate it from Arab culture and history. Their fate could not be any different from that of the misguided Jews of Madinah before them.God does not make any undue or unmerited preferences among humans.

The debate with the People of the Book is covered over a large part of this surah, and apart from afleeting allusion in verse 6 to the birth of Jesus, was mainly directed at the Jews of Arabia whose ani-mosity towards the early Muslims was much more pronounced. In saying:

“It is He who creates you as He pleases inside the mothers’ wombs; there is no god but Him, the Mighty, the Wise,” 

the surah outlines God’s stupendous power to create human beings and shape their form, soul, and body, and in the same breath alludes to the fact that Jesus’ miraculous birth was but one of a multitude of feats and incredible acts of God.He has shown humankind veritable signs of superiority and ingenuity in His creation, endowing some people with higher qualities and aptitudes than others. Jesus’ fatherless conception and birth were but two of these extraordinary and exceptional acts.This is a subject which we shall come to discuss later. 

As to the hostility exhibited towards the Muslims by the Jewish establishment in Madinah, its main underlying reason was the


                 surah 3  •Al ‘Imran

transfer of prophethood from their patriarchs to Muhammad.That prophethood had given them such a special and unique status overall the rest of humankind, and seeing it being taken away from the manden trusted to the Arabs enraged them and fired up their fury and hatred towards them.Their reaction was severely and immediately condemned in the Qur’an:

“People of the Book! Why do you deny God’s revelations when you are witnesses to their veracity? Why do you confound the true with the false and hide the truth knowingly?”   (70-71).

It is clear from the tone of this reprimand that the Jewish priests and elders were aware that Muhammad was genuine in his claim of relaying God’s words and being His spokesman. It is also implicit in the address that they were guilty of transgression against God, that they rejected are conciliation with Him, that they persist-ed with their refusal to acknowledge Muhammad’s prophethood, and went on to oppose and resist it with arms, seditious scheming, and active collaboration with his other enemies, the pagan Arabs. The reproach is repeated several times in the surah:
“How would God guide people who rejected the faith after believing in it and having borne witness that the Messenger is true and after receiving veritable signs!” (86). 

Elsewhere God’s Messenger is directed to ask them, saying:

“People of the Book, why do you deny God’s revelations, when God is witness to what you do?”

Say, “People of the Book, why do you drive believers away from God’s path, seeking to mislead and confuse, when you yourselves are witnesses? God is not unaware of what you do.” (98—99)

To countermand this criticism, some Jews came up with the bril-liant stratagem of feigning their acceptance of Islam in order to conceal their antagonism and prove their tolerance and fair-mind-edness towards the new religion.Thelogic of their argument would lead them to say that their rejection of, and opposition to Islam had


A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an

come as a result of direct first hand experience of it. The surah says:

“Some of the People of the Book said [ to one another ], ‘Believe in that which is revealed to the faithful in the morning and abandon it in the evening, so that they may themselves go back on their faith’”  (72). 

The surah also exposes this group’s determined rejection of the new revelation and their dogged resentment of the transfer of divine trust away from the Hebrews, by reporting their statement:

“Believe in none except those who follow your own religion”(73).
The inference here is that they firmly believed in the superiority of their religion over all others.

So it was clear that the rabbis were not happy with God’s decision to give preference to the Arabs and choose them this time round to be the custodians of His revelation. If they only could, they would force God to go back on that choice and change the course of history by restoring the leadership of humankind to them. God’s response was clear and decisive:

“Grace is in the hand of God; He bestows it on whom He will. God is Munificent and All-Knowing. He favors with His mercy whom He will. His grace is immense” (73-74). 

However, the group had acquired several vices, not least their self-importance, hard-headedness, and conceit, that could at times of weakness turn into deep-seated hatred and, at times of pros-perity and triumph, into open hostility and belligerence.These characteristics seem to have colored much rabbinical writing, driv-ing  the Jewish people into isolation and making them tragically vulnerable to persecution by other societies and groups.The surah offers the explanation that “they [ the Jewish elders ] say,

‘We are not bound to keep faith with the unlettered [ the Gentiles ].’ 
They know-ingly tell lies about God”(75).

The Arabic term ummiyin used in this verse literally means “unlettered,”  but could also mean “non-Jews” or Gentiles (Hebrew: Goyim).  In the one case it would be a reference to the Arabs, while in the other it would be a reference to non-Jewish communities in general. Jewish religious script-ures, especially the Torah and the Talmud, as well as parts of their


               surah 3  •Al ‘Imran

literature, do advocate the idea of the superiority ofthe Jewish nation over other nations, and propound the concept of Jews as the ‘chosen people of God.’ The Qur’an explains very clearly that the relationship between God and humans cannot be based on false claims,but rather on sound ethical grounds, and on faith and trust. In it we read: 

“Indeed, for those who keep their covenant and fear God, God loves the righteous”(76). 

At this point in the surah we may inquire why the subject of the pilgrimage is suddenly brought up for discussion halfway through it, having covered the debates with the People of the Book and their behavior. Indeed, we may even ask why the subject of permitted and forbidden foods is raised here also. After a great deal of reflec-tion, and with reference to Shaykh Muhammad Rashid Rida’s commentary in al-Manar, I was able to find the answer. 

As Islam was being introduced to the Jews, they questioned the idea of adopting a religion which allowed them to eat certain foods that their own reli-gion had forbidden them.The answer they were given was that the embargo imposed on them regarding the consumption of certain foods had been temporary, and had come about as punishment for earlier intransigence and insubordination to God’s commands. This is covered morefully in surah al-An’am where it is stated:

“Such is the penalty We imposed on them for their misdeeds.What We declare is true. If they do not believe you say,

“Your Lord’s mercy is vast, but His punishment cannot be averted by the trans-gressors.”(al-An’am:146—47)
Jesus, as we know, sought to relieve the Jews of some of the burdens placed upon them.This is given in verse 50 of this surah, which quotes Jesus as saying to the Jews:
“‘I come to confirm the Torah already revealed and to make lawful to you some of what was for-bidden you.’”
The Qur’an restored the divine law to its original form, forbidding only certain types of carrion meat, swine flesh, spilt 


A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an   

blood, and the meat of animals slaughtered without invoking God’s name—all other types of food would be permissible. Verse 93 of the surah says:

“All food was lawful to the Israelites except what Israel [Jacob] forbade himself before the Torah was revealed.”

The same argument applies in the case of the qiblah, or the direc-tion faced by Muslims during salah. As verse 96 affirms, the Ka’bah at Makkah was the first and only qiblah for all humankind. And although Jerusalem, for certain temporary reasons, had been chosen as the qibla for worshipers of God, those reasons no longer applied and the Ka’bah was reinstated as the legitimate qiblah for all believers. 

Putting differences between various religions and human ideolo-gies aside, the fact remains that sound moral and ethical discipline and education have proved to be the basis for human progress at all phases of human history. We find reference to this very early in the surah where God says: 

“Men are tempted by the allure of women and offspring, of hoarded treasures of gold and silver, of splendid horses, cattle and vast planta-tions. These are the comforts of this life, but to God is the best return.” (14)

True, for human life to continue, the satisfaction and pursuance of these desires is necessary. Without the sexual relationship between men and women, human existence would have ceased long ago.The same can be said of all other human desires. The crucial point here is that they should be pursued in moderation, with discipline, and with in a frame work of reason and common sense.Islam has per-mitted all that is good and useful to people, and forbidden what is harmful. Islamic laws and teachings are built on the foundation of faith in God and positive action, and they have provided for a great deal that would nurture people’s relationship with God and main-tain their awareness of the hereafter. 
We are used nowadays to hearing national leaders warning their 


              surah 3  •Al ‘Imran  

citizens against the AIDS virus and advising them to take certain precautions during illicit sexual acts. They no longer call for proper lawful sexual relationships between people because they no longer believe that these are possible.This is only true in a society that has lost its faith and trust in God. Followers of formal religion shall con-tinue to suffer from their uncontrollable desires, unless they heed the words of God,  especially when He says:

Say, “Shall I tell of better things than these? For the righteous their Lord has gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they shall dwell forever, spouses of high purity and  God’s grace. ”

God is aware of His servants, those who say: 

“Our Lord, we believed in You, so for-give us our sins and save us the torment of the hellfire,”

those who are steadfast, sincere, devout, charitable and who pray for forgive-ness during the small hours of the night,” (15-17)

So we find the surah opening with a statement addressed to the People of the Book that salvation could come only with a faith based on the belief in “God, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Ever-Existing one”(2),
and in away of life that acknowledges human nature within a discipline of decency and virtue that discou-rages all forms of excessive deprivation or over indulgence; a dis-cipline that renders enlightened life in this world a natural and meaningful prelude to the life that is to come.


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 “Be gentle and calm, O ‘Aisha, as Allah likes gentleness in all affairs.”

He also said: “Show gentleness! For if gentleness is found in something, it beautifies it, and when it is taken out from anything, it makes it deficient.”

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To be credible, We must be truthful.

Syed Hussein Al-Bukhari

Shah Alam, Malaysia

A professional, analytic and sound response backed by undisputed authority. Syabas!

Traverse them, if you will, professionallly. 

Exclude opinions, conjectures, believes et cetera. Proffer arguments which are cogent with unrebuttable evidence.

“To be believed, We must be persuasive;
To be persuasive, We must be credible;
To be credible, We must be truthful.”

… Edmond Murrow

*** To truthful, We must tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God … [Allah SWT, Lord … ]

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Similarities between Hinduism and Islam

April 11, 2016

Retain Zakir Naik’s Event Or Lose: I-Peguam

THE call (or decision, as the case may be) to ban Zakir Naik’s forum entitled ‘Similarities between Hinduism and Islam’ is regrettable and questionable. One would ask, why would such banning be necessary or what causes would possibly deem such decision as necessary and appropriate?

The infamous call against the coming of Zakir Naik by DAP, MIC and Hindraf representatives do not really give us too much of a trick to figure out why. The call should not even arise at the first place. Unfortunately, all these noises caused PDRM to issue the latest statement that the aforementioned forum is to be banned in the name of public interest.

First of all, basing their proposition that Zakir Naik is not welcomed in two out of hundreds of countries throughout the globe seems to provide a binding stand on Malaysia, or so they thought.

Though the substances and topics discussed may be in some instances sensitive and provocative, a professional and knowledgeable preacher in comparative religions like Zakir Naik is much aware of it more than we do, and the way he excellently delivers his answers in response to those provocative questions are skills and experience which we should be dying to learn from in order to strive for what Islam actually asks us to achieve, among others harmony and professional intellectual discourse.

Even Obama is openly welcomed in Malaysia by the liberalists and secularists when in fact he is the real father of terrorism and degrading human values. They even had a close-up meeting with his agents about the progress of human rights activism and liberalization in this so called Islamic country which appears to be an insult to our Constitution.

Secondly, let us refer to the forum which is directed to be banned by PDRM. As the title says, the word therein is ‘similarities’. All these while the liberalists, secularists or interfaith organizations have been working very hard despite being hypocrites to promote the notion of interfaith dialogues, mutual understanding and seeking for common interests. They claim that it is a must thing to have in this diversified nation and this is unsurprisingly supported by some Muslim groups in the name of ‘rahmatan lil ‘alamin’.

However, I regretfully do not see any words in the title purporting to promote the opposite of that ideal which they strive for, as if the word ‘similarities’ is not overwhelmingly enough for the public to perceive the inevitable understanding of harmony between races and religions. Isn’t that what we collectively aim for in this diversified nation? How is it going to be focusing on differences, adverse thoughts or even causing rifts among different races and religions?

This is somehow similar to that which happened with the organizing of a forum entitled ‘Ancaman Gerakan Kristianisasi’ in one of the local institutions. The title clearly stated ‘ancaman gerakan’ not ‘ancaman’ from our ordinary Christian neighbour or colleague. Over emphasis on the title rather than the substantive value of the forum is getting absurd these days and recent event especially on Zakir Naik’s forum on similarities is incomprehensible and much more astounding.

Thirdly, if liberalists or secularists appear to be in favour, or silently agree to the statement by PDRM, then we know that they do not in essence strive for harmony, similarity and mutual co-existence other than for themselves and their own ideologies.

It seems that a platform for understanding and engagement is only a right for the liberals which if denied, would be deemed as a grave infringement of a right provided under the Constitution, as they claim it.

Recent events have proven to us that even the public authorities bow to the demands of liberalists and secularists and they have blatantly obstructed justice which the religious authority aim to achieve when what is considered as a public event in a public domain involving transgenders was raided last week.

Therefore, I urge the authorities to reconsider the decision. Even though it may appear as being in the public interest or well being which ironically consists of a majority Muslims, the decision to ban such forums would be a triumph for the liberalists and secularists. Retain Zakir Naik’s events or lose.

Danial Ariff bin Shaari

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