New Age Islam
Tue Sep 28 2021, 01:09 AM

Islam and Sectarianism ( 22 Jul 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Sectarianism Is Severely Condemned by God and Prophet

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

23 July 2021

The Holy Prophet Pbuh Called Ulema Promoting Sectarianism Dwellers of Hell

Main Points:

1. Quran prohibits Islamic teachers from mixing falsity in truth.

2. Hadiths predicts that in later years biased Islamic scholars will present wrong interpretation of Islam.

3. Quran says that those Islamic scholars promoting sectarianism are dwellers of Hell.


Sectarianism is the major problem of the Muslim community of the world today. There are dozens of sects and sub-sects of Muslims. These sects have come into existence as a result of differing interpretations of Quran and Sunnah. These opposite interpretations of the nuances of Deen resulted in different ideologies and different ideologies formed the basis of Sects and sub-sects. The problem does not rest at mere ideological differences. It went beyond that. Believers in one sect started believing that all the other interpretations of Deen were wrong to the extent of becoming kufr and so the sect following that particular interpretation of Islam was Kafir.

Further, since some contextual war verses of the Quran allow Muslims to fight and kill Kafirs of the prophetic era, they apply those contextual war verses to those Muslims of the other sects whom they consider Kafir and declare that the followers of the other sects should be killed. This chain of misinterpretations forms a vicious cycle of hatred and violence among Muslims.

Since the authentic translations of the Quran were not available to the Muslims outside Arab in non-Arab languages for about a thousand years, the common Muslims relied on the religious teachers and scholars of their time for the interpretation of Quran and Hadith. Their stature grew so high that their interpretation and opinions of the Quran and Sunnah were taken as sacred and irrefutable. Since the Quran was not available to the larger section of Muslims, they believed the opinions of the teachers and religious scholars as the true interpretation of the Quran though some times the opinion of a particular teacher or scholar was based on his sectarian beliefs or wrong understanding.

In later years and decades, the differing views and opinions of different Islamic teachers and scholars formed the basis of different sects and sub-sects. Their opinions and interpretations assumed the status of Shariah though some of their opinions could not find support in Quran or hadith.

It is clear that all the sects and sub-sects among Muslims that we find today are the result of extremist or biased views and ideologies of Islamic scholars, not of common Muslims. And when the Quran condemns and curses those who created these sects, the Islamic teachers, thinkers and biased scholars are addressed. Even today, the common Muslims do not like and promote sectarian hatred leave aside violence and bloodshed.

There is a hadith which predicts the birth of Islamic interpreters who will present wrong and misleading interpretation of the Deen and lead people to Hell. The holy prophet pbuh says that in later era, Islamic scholars will mix falsity in truth. They will spread un-Islamic beliefs though they will be Muslims and will speak our language (they will quote Quran and hadith).

Huzaifa bin Yaman said, People would ask the holy prophet pbuh about virtues and positive issues but I would ask him about vices and negative affairs (that would come after him) because of the fear that I might get trapped in them. I asked him, 'O messenger of God! We were immersed in ignorance and evil, you came and through you He blessed us with this gift (of Islam). Will evil or vices again overtake us? He replied, 'yes'. I asked, 'Will truth prevail after that?' He replied, ‘Yes, but it will be shrouded in smoke.'(Truth will be mixed with untruth. It will not be pure truth).I enquired, ‘What do you mean by smoke?.' The holy prophet pbuh replied, ‘Such people will be born who will not follow my path. They will say something right and something wrong or bad'. I asked again, ‘Will evil prevail again?' He pbuh replied, ‘Yes, such people will be born who will be standing at the gate of Hell and invite people towards it. Whoever listened to them was pushed into Hell.’ I asked hams’ messenger of God! 'Please describe their identity'. He pbuh replied, ‘apparently they will be from among us (Muslims), they will speak our language.' I asked, 'What do you ordain for me if I am alive till that day?' He pbuh replied, ‘Hold on to the group of Muslims and their true imam.' I asked, 'But what (should I do) if there is no community (Jama’at) or imam.' He pbuh replied, '(If this happens) then keep yourself away from all the groups (sects) (in the forest) even if you have to feed on the roots of trees. That will be better for you.'(Sahih Bukhari; Kitabul Manaqib; 812)

This hadith is very meaningful and gives a clear picture of what's happening today. Every exegete or Islamic scholar has his own interpretation on matters of Deen and tries to impose it on others. This leads to severe and sometimes violent differences leading to fatwas of Kufr. This hadith also says that in later years, the interpretation of Deen will be shrouded in smoke. Amid different ideologies and interpretations, people will not have a clear picture of what true Deen is and will be confused. The hadith also clearly says that some Islamic teachers and scholars will present a totally wrong interpretation of Deen and will lead Muslims to Hell. They will, out of their sectarian bias, mix falsity in truth and distort the message of Islam. But ironically, almost every Islamic scholar or teacher has the firm belief that he cannot bre wrong since he has a certificate from a madrasa or an Islamic institution.

The Quran distinctly addresses these Islamic scholars in the following verse:

La Talbisul Haqqa Bil Batile Wa Taktumul Haqqa Wa Antum Ta'lamun (Al Baqarah: 42)

"Do not mix falsity in the truth and do not conceal truth deliberately."

In another verse, the Quran even declares such exegetes and scholars of Islam out of the fold of Islam because they created new sects within Islam and divided Muslims.

"Those who derived different paths in Deen and formed groups (sects), you do not have anything to do with them"(They are out of the fold of Islam). (Al An'am:159)

To conclude, the bane or curse of sectarianism that the Muslim community is plagued today with is the result of biased and extremist interpretation of Islam and so an honest initiative from our Islamic scholars can only rid the Muslim community of the horrors of sectarian violence and disunity.


S. Arshad is a columnist with


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