Which is the right group?. By: Fareeda Amathullah. (English)

Which is the right group?.

To members of Slaves of Allah
By: Fareeda Amathullah.

Each of the “faith groups” mentioned have been labeled by different people as sects or deviant groups in degrees from border line to completely out of Islam.

Before we begin trying to gain an understanding of who is right or wrong on this issue it is quite advantageous to spend a moment in reviewing the meanings of the actual words which will be using in our discussion.

First word – “ISLAM.” We should have been asking all along, “What does the term ISLAM actually mean, anyway?”

ISLAM comes from the root “slm” or “salama”. The word ISLAM in reference to the faith is understood in Arabic as the:

All of which come about only by giving up the Free Will of the nafs (self or ego) in favor of the Will of the Creator and Sustainer of All That Exists (ALLAH).

Now let us consider the next logical question; “What does the term “Muslim” actually mean?”

Again, we must keep in mind that it is an Arabic word and is of course subject to the rules of the Arabic language. Actually, it is derived from the word ISLAM. Whereas, you might think of ISLAM as the verb or action and MUSLIM as the noun, or the one performing the action. In English whenever we have a noun performing a verb, we add the two suffix letters; ER. But in the Arabic language many times you will find that the prefix letters of MU are used for the same purpose.

A few examples may help to better understand. We will compare the verb of each language to the one who is reforming the verb:

MU – prefix for the verb
Preforming the verbs in ENGLISH

Preforming the verbs in ARABIC
Travel = TravelER Safar = MUsafar
Call = CallER Adhan = MUadhan
Pray = PrayER Salah = MUsalah
Submit = Submit ER Islam = MUslim
A “MUSLIM” is one who follows or practices the action of “ISLAM”
Make sense?

Now, we should ask, “How does a person become a MUSLIM?”

Only when a person is willing to submit to the Commandments of the Higher Authority from Above, meaning to obey Allah on His terms as much as possible does he/she become a ” MUSLIM.”

Allah Says in Quran, all of creation is in submission to Him (MUSLIM).
_____________

Let us now look to the actual teachings of these two Holy Sources [i.e.; Quran and Hadeeth] to learn what Islam teaches about the subject of dividing up into various groups or sects. As we have already established, Islam is based on two evidences: 1.) The Quran; and 2.) Sunnah (The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him].

Let us begin first with the Quran. Allah talks about those who divide up Islam into sects or groups in the Quran:


Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.

And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” [Quran 3:100 – 3:105]

“As for those who Divide their Religion and Break up into Sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah. He will in the end tell them the Truth of all that they did.” [Quran 6:159]

Let us examine some important facts. Think for a moment and then ask yourself this question:

“Do the words; ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ appear in the scripture of Islam [Quran]?” Answer: YES!

We as Muslims, have been instructed in the Quran itself to resolve any of our differences according to these two sources or otherwise to be considered as non-believers, by our Lord. As He has mentioned in the Quran:

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith until they make you [Muhammad] as a judge between them in all their disputes, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept with full submission [Islam].” [An Nisaa’ 4:65]

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in plain error.” [Al Ahzab 33:36]

Now let us return to what Allah said in His Holy Book, The Quran, Allah has called those who follow His Straight Path (Al Mustaqeem) of Islam: “Muslims”. He also says that we should not die except as “Muslims” followed by the statement ordering the believers not to divide up into groups:

“Truly the only acceptable Way of worship to Allah is submission, obedience in peace to His Commandments (ISLAM).” [Al Imran 3:19]

“And whoever seeks a way of life and worship to Allah (DEEN) other than being in submission and obedience to His commandments (ISLAM), it will never be accepted of them.” [Al Imran 3:85]

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared. and do not die except as being in submission to the Will of God and obeying His Commandments (MUSLIMS).” [Al Imran 3:102]

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.” [Al Imran 3:103]

“And whoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to the way of submission and obedience to Allah’s Guidance (ISLAM); and whoever Allah wills to misguide, He makes his breast constricted as though he is climbing up in the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not.” [An Aam 6:125]

“Verily, my Salat, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Alamin.” [An Aam 6:162]

“Certainly, the Muslim men and Muslim women, believing men and believing women, obedient men and obedient women, truthful men and truthful women, patient men and patient women, charitable men and charitable women, fasting men and fasting women, chaste men and chaste women, pious men and pious women (remembering Allah with their hearts and tongues), for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” [33:35]
_______________________

Let us now look to the sayings and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who told us:

The prophet, peace be upon him, said:

“Muslims will divide into 73 groups. All will be in Hell, except one. The one me and my companions are on today.”

Notice, he said the “saved sect” would be those who remained on what he and his companions were on, meaning, “Quran and Sunnah.” We see clearly from the above that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has named us as “Muslims” alone.

Additionally, when we consider that the deviant groups always have to have a name of some kind in order to distinguish themselves from the others, we begin to see the pattern. If someone feels that it is necessary to describe himself as a certain kind of “Muslim” then this is his or her problem.

We must understand that Allah Subhannah wa Ta’ala has made it perfectly clear both in the Quran and in the sayings of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, that the religion of Islam was perfected and completed during the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and that no new religion would come until the Last Day and that those who followed Islam were called by Allah, MUSLIMS.

In one hadeeth of the prophet, peace be upon him, drew a straight line in the dirt with a stick. He said, “This is the straight path to Allah [meaning the Way of Islam].” Then he drew angles right and left off of the straight line and said, “These are the deviant groups (or sects of Islam) and each one has a devil calling to it.”

He mentioned that there would always be a main body of Muslims who would be on the straight path until the Last Day.

____________________________

So, now let us consider that same concept and apply it to the various groups, all of them come along claiming to be the “saved sect.” If it was not revealed during the time of the prophet, peace be upon him, and it was not something done by his companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, then why would we want to incorporate it into our deen [way of life in Islam]? While Allah has already made it clear in His Book:

{Inna deenah innda lahi, Islam}
“Certainly, the only way [deen] acceptable to Allah is the submission to Him in Islam.”(3:19)

And again in Chapter Mayadah (5:3), when Allah Subhannah wa Ta’ala says:

{Al yawmal akmal tu lakum deenakum wa atmumtu alaykum ni’mati wa raditu lakum al Islam adeena}
“On this day have I perfected your way of life (sometimes translated as [religion]) for you, completed My Favor upon you and have chosen for you ISLAM as your way of life.”

Taken from islamnewsroom.com, written by Sheikh Yusuf Estes with slight modifications

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