Thursday, 9 September 2010
The Sects That Enter Jannah
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is taken from “The Sects That Enter Jannah” by Shaykh ‘Ali Juma’ah.
In the light of the hadits of beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the ummah will be divided into 73 sects and one will go to paradise, how do we confirm that what one is following is among the ones who will go to Paradise?
Anas (r.a.) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, “My ummah will divide into 70 or 70 something groups; all of them will be in Jannah except for the unbelievers.” This is recorded by Imam ad-Daylami (r.a.) in his Musnad al-Firdaws, and by Imam Abu Ya'la (r.a.) and others.
In his book, Ahsan at-Taqasim, Imam Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bishari al-Maqdisi (r.a.) enumerated these groups and mentioned the two different phrasings of the hadits which read as, “72 groups will be in Paradise and one in Hellfire,” and, “72 groups will be in Hellfire and one will be Saved.” Then, he said, "The second wording of the hadits is well-known while the first has the more authentic chain of transmission."
For this reason, Imam Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Wazir (r.a.) contested the hadits in general and the additional statement, “72 will be in Hellfire and one will be Saved,” in particular. This is because not only does the additional phrase result in misguidance among the people of the ummah, but also leads to accusations of kufr.
In his book al-'Awasim, Shaykh ibn al-Wazir (r.a.) spoke about the excellence of this ummah and warned against any involvement in accusing any Muslim of disbelief. He said, “Do not be misled by, ‘all of them will be in Hellfire except for one,’ because it is an invalid and baseless addition and it is not farfetched that it has been introduced by atheists.”
He also quoted Imam ibn Hazm (r.a.) who said, “This addition is fabricated, it is neither classified as mawquf nor as marfu’. All the hadits reported on disparaging the Qadariyyah, Murji'ah and Ash'ariyyah are likewise weak.”
Some past and present scholars have refuted this hadits based on its chain of transmission while others based their refutation on its meaning and text. For example, Imam Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm (r.a.) refuted the allegations of those who accuse others of disbelief due to differences in belief and based his refutation on some evidences which they mentioned in this respect. Imam ibn Hazm (r.a.) mentioned two ahadits used as proof by those who accuse others of disbelief and which they falsely attribute to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.). These are, “The Qadariyyah and Murji’ah are the magus of this ummah;” and, “This ummah will divide into 70 or 70 something groups; all of them will be in Hellfire except one, which will be in Jannah.” In his commentary on the two previously mentioned ahadits, Imam ibn Hazm (r.a.) said, “In the first place, their chains of transmission are unauthentic. Any ahadits with an unauthentic ascription cannot be used as proof according to the opinion of the ahadits scholars who recognise the hadits with khabar al-wahid. So, what then of those who do not recognise it?”
In his book al-'Awasim wa al-Qawasim, Imam al-Wazir (r.a.), reconciled intellectual and textual evidences and enumerated the ahadits narrated by Mu’awiyah (r.a.), including the 8th hadits on the ummah dividing into 70 something groups all of which will be in Hellfire except for one. He commented, “The chain of transmission of this hadits includes a naswibi and thus the hadits is unauthentic."
Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) reported the same hadits through ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aasw (r.a.) and said, “It is a gharib hadits.” Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) mentioned this hadits in the book, Iman through “al-Ifriqi”, whose name is ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ziyad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Yazid. Imam ibn Majah (r.a.) narrated a similar hadits on the authority of ‘Awf ibn Malik (r.a.) and Anas (r.a.). Imam ibn Hazm (r.a.) said that all these narrations do not meet the conditions of the hadits swahih; therefore, Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) and Imam Muslim (r.a.) did not record them. Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) authenticated the hadits narrated by Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) through Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Alqamah (r.a.) which does not include, “All of them will be in Hellfire except for one”. Imam ibn Hazm (r.a.) said, “The author of al-Badr al-Munir mentioned that this additional statement is fabricated.”
Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) commented on the Words of Allah (s.w.t.) in his Tafsir:
… or to cover you with confusion in party strife, giving you a taste of mutual vengeance ― each from the other … (Surah al-An’am:65)
He wrote, “It was reported in a hadits with multiple chains of transmissions that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘This ummah will divide into 73 sects, all of them will be in Hellfire except for one.’” Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) did not add anything to the hadits and he did not classify it either as authentic or fair although he elaborated on the interpretation of the verse by mentioning the hadits and non-prophetic narrations related to it.
Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) mentioned Hafizh ibn Katsir’s (r.a.) opinion on the above hadits and said, “As for the additional phrase, ‘all of them will be in Hell-fire except for one,’ some ahadits scholars have maintained that it is weak. ibn Hazm (r.a.), on the other hand, maintained that it is fabricated.”
Despite the fact that some scholars have declared this hadith fair hasan like Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) or swahih, like Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), due to its multiple chains of transmission, it does not stand as proof on the division of the ummah, both in manner and number, to be considered of permanent application until the day of Judgment. The existence of such sects at any given time, suffices as proof for the authenticity of the hadits. Some of these sects may exist and, when they do, they will be overwhelmed by truth and then perish, never to return. This is exactly what happened to many of such deviant sects, some of which have perished and are no more.
This hadits indicates that all of these sects are attributed to the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) ummah. This is proved by his words, “my ummah will divide” and means that despite their deviation, these sects do not leave the religion of Islam nor are they been omitted from the Muslim community. And the fact that they will be in Hellfire does not mean that they will be among its eternal dwellers like the disbelievers but will be dealt with like the disobedient believers. One of the pious believers, angels or prophets may intercede for them by the leave of Allah (s.w.t.) or they may have made good deeds or suffered calamities which may obliterate their sins and ward off torture. Allah (s.w.t.) may Forgive them by His Grace and Bounty especially if they did their best in arriving at the truth, but failed and deviated from the right path. Allah (s.w.t.) has Forgiven people of this ummah their mistakes, forgetfulness and anything they were forced to do.