If there is one prophet, why there are different sects in Islam
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
hello, if there is one prophet, why there is difference of law for e.g. : difference of namaz style, diff. of festivals, timing of calender (before & after) between us (dawoodi bohra) & other muslim. Please try to answer it.
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Why are there different Sects in Islam?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
May Allah Subhanah bless you and reward you for asking such a thought-provoking question. Indeed, one must take a serious look at the state of the Muslim Ummah today, and wonder that if all the believers indeed accept, believe, and follow the deen that was brought by Prophet Mohamed (saws); why the differences?
The truth of the matter is brother, that indeed all those who call themselves muslims believe that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Subhanah Alone; and believe that Prophet Mohamed (saws) is the Last and Final Messenger of Allah (saws).
Allah Subhanah has commanded the believers in the Glorious Quran to obey and follow the Messenger of Allah (saws). It is a duty unto every person who calls himself a believer, to obey and follow the Messenger of Allah (saws) in all facets of life.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80:We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allahs witness suffices for this. Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds. Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32:O Prophet, tell the people, If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful. Also say to them, Obey Allah and His Messenger. And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.
If all the believers truly followed the example of the Messenger of Allah (saws); there would be absolutely no difference in their Way of Life for the Way of Life decreed by Allah for the believers is Al-Islam. The only reason there are so many differences between the believers, is because some of the people who claim to be muslims, have moved away from the commands and guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws); and have formed their own sects and creeds, without any authority from Allah!
Some call themselves Sunnis; some Shias, some Itna-Asharis, some Ismailis, some Bohras, etc.! None of these names have been authorized by Allah Subhanah; but are rather the inventions of man himself. The name Allah Subhanah has chosen for the believers is muslims; and every believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, must truly be honored to be recognized by the name that their Lord has chosen for them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78:O you who have believed, do rukooh (bow down) and do sajdah (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you muslims before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.
Allah Subhanah guided the believers in the Quran to One Ummah, and One Brotherhood; and at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the believers were indeed One United Ummah. Many years after his death, some unscrupulous people moved away from the guidance and teachings of Allah and His Messenger (saws), and started inventing and innovating new rites, rituals, and rasms, in the name of Islam, to differentiate themselves from the other believers! They invented their own sects, and creeds, and groups, and slogans, and missions, and beliefs.and over time, these sects moved so far away from Islam, that instead of following the guidance and teachings of Allah and His Messenger (saws); they invented their own books and sets of beliefs to follow; and thus went astray from the Straight Path of Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 45 Surah Al-Jathiyah aayat 17:"Then they differed amongst themselves after the knowledge (of Islam) had come to them, only because they wanted to wrong one another. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning the matters in which they have been differing."
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Muminoon verse 52-54:And you all belong to one and the same Ummah, and I(Allah) am your Lord; so fear Me Alone! Yet afterwards the people divided themselves into different sects, and each sect rejoicing in what it has. Well, leave them deeply involved in their heedlessness up to an appointed time.
The Book of Guidance, Al-Quran is amongst us today in the exact form as it was revealed by Allah Subhanah on the Prophet Mohamed (saws); the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) is appropriately documented and is amongst us today. If the believers truly believe in Allah and follow what is sent down by Him in His Glorious Book, and truly believe, obey and follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws); there will be no difference in the way of life practiced by the believers.
But if one insists on following a book other than the Holy Quran; and if one insists on following the Sunnah of any other person, other than the Messenger of Allah (saws); then their way of life will definitely be different than the believers.
The choice is upto each individual, whether he wants to follow Allah and His Messenger (saws); or he chooses to follow his father, or his religious leader, or his sect, or his creed, or his people, or man-made books, or man-invented beliefs, etc. One Path leads to the Guidance, and the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah Subhanah; and the other path leads to mis-guidance, and the Wrath and Anger of Allah! One Path leads to the Siraat-al-Mustaqeem, and the other path leads one astray! One Path leads to the promised Paradise of Allah Subhanah; and all the other paths lead to nothing but the eternal fire of Hell! The choice is upto each individual to make which path he wants to choose.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 29:Proclaim, This (Quran) is the Truth from your Lord: now whosoever wills may accept it, and whosoever wills may reject it. (As for those who reject it) We have prepared for such workers of iniquity a fire whose flames have encircled them. There, if they ask for water, they will be given a drink like the dregs of oil, which will burn their mouths! What an evil drink, and what an evil abode!
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,