The following is an extract from the draft translation of the arabic book entitled 'Dawa ilal Islam' (Dawa to Islam) by Sheikh Ahmad Mahmoud, published by Al-Waie Publications in Lebanon. I will be posting the sections of the book related to this subject.
Is it allowed to have more than one movement calling to Islam?
We have tried, in the different sections of this book, to give a complete and integrated vision that can form a program for any movement, party or group. We did not congest it with details; rather we gave the fundamentals that must be adhered to whilst leaving the details to the group and its mujtahideen. Today in this field of work there are many approaches that are not founded on a correct basis. It can be said that many groups have not fullfilled the conditions required by the Shar’a. They are nothing short of gatherings of Muslims that wish to do partial work. They do not even solve the partial problems, and they fail to have a complete Shar’ee vision. Consequently, they do not carry Islam in a manner that would bring Islam into the daily life of the Islamic Ummah. Such groups are numerous to the extent that in a single country there may be hundreds of groups. They have become like shops and fields in which people exhaust their energies, and they make the people lose the correct direction and work. With the existence of so many of these groups (associations) that attract attention, only a few can be described as having a far-reaching vision of the objectives of Islam and the work to achieve them. If we disregard the groups that are like shops and fields from our appraisal, and instead focus on the large groups that are farsighted and undertake comprehesive work, then we must ask; does the Shar’a order the existence of one group, which encompasses all that it needs to do and does what is required? Or does the Shar’a permit more than one group, to work for change within the Shar’ee principles? What is the correct viewpoint regarding partial work, and work that is complete and balanced? What is the correct viewpoint regarding the regional and universal approaches?
The unity, or plurality, of the Islamic work has generated a vast range of opinions, between acceptance and rejection. There are those who oblige the unity of the Islamic work for bringing change, and there are those who permit its plurality. If we refer the peripherals of the discussion to its foundations, then we will be able to distinguish the Shar’ee evidences from the rational justifications, so that we are able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
If we take a look at the opinion that obliges the unity of the Islamic work, then we shall see that for its protagonists the obligation comes with two points.
Firstly, the unity of the Islamic work is a Shar’ee obligation.
Secondly, the unity of the Islamic work is an organisational necessity.
1- As for it being a Shar’ee obligation, this is because of the following evidences:
a) In origin, the Muslims and the Ummah should be united. This is owing to His (swt) saying; “Truly! This, your Ummah is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (alone).” [TMQ 21:92]. His (swt) saying; “And verily! This, your Ummah is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me.” [TMQ 23:52]. And his (saw) saying; “The similitude of the believers in their mutual love, compassion and sympathy is like that of a body. If one part of the body hurts then the entire body responds in sleeplessness and fever.” [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad].
b) In origin, we have been urged to be united, and forbidden from having differences. This is owing to His (swt) saying; “And be not as those who were divided and differed among themselves, after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” [TMQ 3:105]. And His (swt) saying; “Verily, those who divided their religion and break up into sects, you (O Muhammad [saw]) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” [TMQ 6:159].
c) In origin, we have been ordered to stick to the Jama’ah (community) and not to groups. This is owing to his (saw) saying; “There will be flaws and faults, so whosoever wanted to divide the matter of this Ummah while she is gathered, strike him with the sword, whoever he may be.” [Reported by Muslim]. And owing to the noble hadith; “The Rasool of Allah (saw) called us and we gave him our bai’ah, so he said that he would take from us a bai’ah that entails us to hear and obey, willingly or unwillingly, in case of hardship and in evil circumstances; and that we would not dispute with the people in authority, unless we witness a kufr buwah (flagrant act of disbelief) for which we have proof from Allah (swt).” [Reported by Muslim]. And his (saw) saying; “The jama’ah is mercy, and division is torment.” [Reported by Imaam Ahmad]. And his (saw) saying; “The hand of Allah is with the Jama’ah.” [Reported by Tirmizi and Nasa’i].
2- As for the necessity of unity from an organisational and human perspective, the reasons are many:
a) Islamic change is difficult, and dislodging the forces of jahiliyyah from their positions is not an easy matter. Realising the guardianship of Islam in the society - in respect of thought, behaviour and system - obliges us to unite the ranks into a merged entity and not one that is seperated.
b) The collusion between states against Islam and the Islamic movement obliges us, as a consequence, to face and oppose them in a united manner. Since the forces in the world that are hostile to Islam are cooperating and uniting their fronts, will it not be better for the forces of Islam in the Islamic world to call each other towards unity, so that they do not become easy prey, and so it is not easy to eliminate or crush them?
If the unity of the Islamic work were not a Shar’ee obligation in respect of the ideology, it would be so in order to protect the future of Islam and guard the Islamic activity against suspension, torture and extermination.
c) The local forces, and parties hostile to Islam are forming strong fronts alongside the Islamic world. These fronts do not cease studying, monitoring, planning and preparing at all sorts of levels. In view of this reality, is it an advantage for the Islamic forces to remain fragmented and scattered; or is it more appropriate that they rise above all the considerations and reasons that stand against their unity and solidarity?
These and other such justifications inevitably leave no room for doubt, reluctance or hesitancy in establishing one worldwide Islamic movement, which can be opposition on the appropriate level of thinking, organisation, planning and preparation.
These are the evidences and the justifications that oblige the unity of the Islamic work and forbid groups. We must proceed according to the method of Islam in Ijtihaad to understand the extent to which these evidences apply to the reality.
Previously, we have mentioned that the reality that the Muslims live today is one of dar al-kufr, and that it is an obligation to change it to dar al-Islam. We have discussed the fact that there must be a group that works to realise this matter, and that it must proceed in the footsteps of the Messenger (saw).
Before we discuss the Shar’ee evidences that the protagonists of this opinion relied upon, we must explain the reality of the group that wishes to engage in this work. Is it the Muslim community, or is it part of the Muslim community? In other words, is it a group from the Muslims?
To understand this point we say the following. Allah (swt) has enjoined on us obligations, which the Muslims must strive to establish. Some of these obligations are individual, meaning the Muslim can undertake them as an individual, and the sin is not removed from his neck until he undertakes them. The performance of some of the other obligations requires a group. From amongst this latter type of obligation is the fard to work for the establishment of the Islamic State. The establishment of the Shar’a of Allah (swt) is a fard, which is not within the capability of one individual alone; rather the hands must join together and the will of people must be united to establish it.
This is understood from the principle: Maa laa yatimmul waajib fahuwa waajib (‘That which is necessary to fillfil a waajib is itself a waajib.’)
This obligation is from the collective obligations that must be established. Neglecting it will cause the person who does so to be in great sin. However the nature of its establishment does not require all the Muslims; rather in needs those who are sufficient to fulfil the obligation, ie a group from amongst the Muslims. The fact that this group works for this fard removes the sin of negligence from its members, but the sin remains on the one who does not work.
This group from amongst the Muslims will undertake the establishment of the fard to realise the objective for which it was established, and it will be accounted on the correctness or error of the thoughts and adopted rules necessary for the work.
This group is not the whole Muslim community, because there are many individual Muslims who do not work with it. Rather they may be working with other groups (a point that we shall explain when we talk about the permissibility of having more than one group) or they may not even be working with any group.
This group is not the Khaleefah and nor can it take his position. The rules pertaining to the Khaleefah do not apply to it, and it does not have the right to carry out any function that is entrusted to the Khaleefah.
Rather, it is only a group from the Muslims, and the Islamic Ummah in her totality is the Muslim community (jama’atul muslimeen), which includes the groups, individuals and the Khaleefah.
The Muslim community is the Islamic Ummah that has been united and made into brethren by the Islamic ‘Aqeedah, and not by the Shar’ee rules. The Muslims differ in the furu’ (peripheral matters), without letting this difference affect their brotherhood. If the rules were the criterion of brotherhood, then one Muslim would not have been the brother of another Muslim. Any Muslim individual or group that leaves the Islamic ‘Aqeedah is considered as having left the Islamic Ummah, and it will be considered to be deviating into the fire. This is what is meant in the hadith of the Messenger (saw); “The one who leaves his deen and separates from the jama’ah (community).” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim], ie the Muslim community. This is also what is meant in the hadith of the Messenger (saw); “My Ummah will divide into seventy three sects. All of them will be in the fire except one.” They said: “Which sect is this O Rasool of Allah?” He (saw) said: “What I and my Sahabah are upon.” [Reported by Abu Dawud, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hanbal]
The Muslim community is the Islamic Ummah, which is one Ummah to the exclusion of the rest of the people. The blood and the property of the Muslims is one. They stand by each other, and they are one hand against the rest, even though their understanding and Ijtihadaat may differ.
Thus, there is a great difference between the jama’aatul muslimeen (Muslim community) and a group from the Muslims. It is wrong to bring evidences relating to the Muslim community and apply them to a group from the Muslims.
Thus, the saying of Allah (swt); “Truly! This, your Ummah is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (alone).” [TMQ 21:92]. And His (swt) saying; “And verily! This your Ummah is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to me.” [TMQ 23:52]. And his (saw) saying; “The similitude of the believers in their mutual love, compassion and sympathy is like that of a body. If one part of the body hurts then the entire body responds to it with sleeplessness and fever.” [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad]. What is meant in these ayaat is the whole of the Islamic Ummah and not a group from the Muslims. If any group considers its work to be that of the Muslim community, then this is a clear mistake and strange understanding, that will lead to dangerous consequences; not least of which is considering the one who is not with them as not being part of the brotherhood, and being like the one who has left his deen, separated himself from the community, and deviated into the fire.
As for their view that prohibits the presence of many groups, using the following evidences: “And be not as those who were divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” [TMQ 3:105]. And His (swt) saying; “Verily, those who divided their religion and break up into sects, you (O Muhammad [saw]) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” [TMQ 6:159].
These evidences are also not applicable to the reality for which they have been used.
These two ayaat have nothing to do with the subject of groups. Their subject is the beliefs and not the Shar’ee rules. The tafseer of ‘be not as those who were divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them’ is that it means the clear beliefs and definite proofs. It is the Jews and Christians that are being mentioned here: ‘It is they for whom there is an awful torment.’ Imam al-Baydawi says about this verse: “Be not as those who divided and differed among themselves’ such as the Jews and Christians, who differed in: Tawheed (divine unity), removing any elements of tanzeeh (anthropormorphism) and the conditions of the Last Day, as defined by: ‘after the clear proofs had come to them.’ The signs and proofs that clarify the truth must be agreed upon. It is most apparent that the prohibition is specific to the division over the Usool (beliefs) and not the furu’ (ahkam), became to his (saw) saying: “Whosoever made Ijtihaad and was right, he shall get two rewards and whosoever made a mistake, he will get one reward.” And ‘It is they for whom there is an awful torment.’ is a threat to those who were divided, and a warning to those who emulate them.”
In other words, the group that works to change the reality is distinguished from other groups by Shar’ee rules. It differs from others, and other groups differ with it regarding the Shar’ee rules. It is a Muslim group and its ‘Aqeedah is Islamic. Its disagreement with others is not over ‘Aqeedah, rather it is to do with rules. That is why this ayah takes a person outside of the deen if he goes against the ‘Aqeedah of the Muslims, and not if he disagrees about rules. Definitely, this ayah has nothing to do with the subject of the plurality of Ijtihaad.
If it is said that the ayah is ‘aamm (general), and what is considered is ‘the generality of the wording and not the specificity of the cause’, we respond by saying that; ‘the generality does not go beyond the subject for which it was revealed’. It is general regarding the contradiction in beliefs and nothing else. This is from one perspective. From another perspective, their understanding contradicts the ahadith that permit difference in Ijtihaad. From a third perspective, their understanding means that separation from them is separation from the deen.
As for the second ayah; “Verily, those who divided their religion and break up into sects, you (O Muhammad [saw]) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” [TMQ 6:159] Ibn Katheer said; [Mujahid, Qatadah, ad-Dahhaak and as-Suddi said; ‘This ayah was revealed regarding the Jews and Christians.’ ‘A’ishah (ra) narrated that the Rasool of Allah (saw) told her: “They are the people of Bid’ah (innovation) and they were shi’ah (factions)” ie sects like the people of milal (different religions) and nihal (different creeds), whims and misguidance. Allah (swt) cleared His Messenger (saw) from what they were upon. In the reading of Hamzah and al-Kasa’i, that ‘Ali b. Abi Talib said regarding the ayah: ‘Verily, those who divided their religion’ ie they abandoned their religion with which they were enjoined, and they are the Jews and Christians; ‘You (O Muhammad [saw]) have nothing to do with them in the least.’] Al-Baydawi says: [ie they became divided, so some of them believed and some disbelieved and they split up over this.]
Indeed, disagreement in the beliefs is different from the furu’ (rules). Regarding beliefs, the disagreement in these evidences and many others has been forbidden, so that we do not become like the Jews and Christians, who differed over their Prophets and left their deen to follow bid’ah (innovation) and falsehood, and became sects, ie milal and nihal. This is explained by the saying of Allah (swt): “But they differed - some of them believed and others disbelieved.” [TMQ 2:253]. Thus, the subject is one of Imaan and Kufr. As for disagreement in the furu’ (the rules) there are numerous evidences that permit different understandings within the text and its meaning but not outside it. This matter is known by necessity by the Muslim scholars. It is too simplistic and naive to use the evidences prohibiting disagreement in beliefs as a proof for the prohibition of plurality of groups, as long as these groups are based on the Shar’ee rules.
As for the evidences: “There will be flaws and faults, so whosoever wanted to divide the matter of this Ummah while she is gathered, strike him with the sword, whoever he may be.” And “Whosoever divides is not one of us.” And “The Rasool of Allah (saw) called us and we gave him our bai’ah, so he said that he would take from us a bai’ah that entails us to hear and obey, willingly or unwillingly, in case of hardship and in evil circumstances; and that we would not dispute with the people in authority, unless we witness a kufr buwah (flagrant act of disbelief) for which we have proof from Allah (swt).”
These evidences are related to the Khaleefah, his bai’ah, obedience to him and the prohibition of rebelling against him, except in a situation where he manifests open kufr.
If someone comes to fight him, wishing to divide the unity of this Ummah, then let him be struck with the sword, whoever he is. These evidences have no connection, whether close or remote, to the subject of the group from the Muslims. The group does not take the same rules of the Khaleefah nor does it represent him, rather it only works to establish the Khaleefah and account him.
The ahadith “The hand of Allah is with the jama’ah.”, and the hadith, “The jama’ah is mercy, and division is torment.”, have nothing to do with prohibition of plurality of groups. Muslims will feel the mercy, living under the shadow of the Muslim community or a group from the Muslims. As for the separation and division, it enables Shaytan to get closer to the Muslim, upon which the following saying of the Messenger (saw) applies: “Indeed, the wolf only eats the straying sheep.” This implies the punishment. There is nothing in the mantuq (wording) or mafhum (meaning) of these two ahadith that indicates the obligation of uniting the Islamic work to establish the rule of Allah (swt).
These are the Shar’ee evidences that are used to prohibit plurality of groups, and none of them apply to what has been cited.
As for the rational justifications that have been mentioned, and the negative effects of having many groups; none of this prevents, prohibits or obliges anything. Rather what prevents, prohibits or obliges is only the Shar’a. The bad reality is understood as it is and its essence is understood precisely. Then we go to the Shar’a to get the evidences, which oblige or prohibit, for treating this reality. Hence, we cannot take any Shar’ee rules from the reality.
The permissibility for plurality of groups
It has been clarified that the evidences used to oblige unity of the Islamic work cannot be considered as evidence. However, this does not mean that the other opinion, which permits the plurality of groups, has become legitimate. This is because the negation of a matter does not prove its opposite. There must be evidences that demonstrate the correctness of the istidlaal (deduction), and precision of the istinbaat (inference). So what are these evidences?
Indeed, the evidences that permit disagreement in the furu’ (rules) and not the Usul (beliefs) are innumerable. The Sunnah has indicated the permissibility of disagreement in furu’. Hence we find the Sahabah disagreeing amongst themselves, as well as the Tabi’in and the scholars of the Salaf (pious predecessors). As for the prohibition of disagreements, it came regarding the disagreements of the Kuffar, which was about the fundamentals of the deen and not in the furu’. For example the disagreements they had over the Prophets, the Day of Resurrection, life, death and their books, until they became sects, parties, and milal and nihal. They went away from the truth revealed by Allah (swt) to their Prophets, and deviated their Prophets’ followers. He (swt) said; “Then the sects differed, so woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.” [TMQ 19:37] Thus, Allah (swt) warned us about the disagreements like those of the Kuffar.
The Messenger (saw) accepted, at the day of the trench, the different understandings of the Sahabah for his (saw) words; “Whosoever hears and obeys, let him not pray ‘Asr (prayer) except in Bani Qurayza.” [Sirah Ibn Hisham]
The following things are deduced from this hadith:
1- The Mujtahid will make mistakes and get things right. The fact that he is a mujtahid does not mean he does not make mistakes.
2- The rule deduced by the Mujtahid is considered a Shar’ee rule, even if it was a mistake.
3- The Mujtahid who has made a mistake does not know that he has made a mistake. If he had known then he would not be allowed to remain in his error. Rather his understanding is more weighty, in his view, than the understanding of others.
4- The mujtahid is rewarded by Allah (swt), whether he was right or wrong, though the reward is different.
The Imams (the scholars) agreed that the sin is removed from the Mujtahideen regarding the Shar’ee rules that pertain to speculative issues in jurisprudence.
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) says in his tafseer; “The Sahabah still continued to differ regarding the rules of the incidents, though they remained in harmony.” Al-Baghdadi reported the following saying of ‘Umar b. ‘Abdul-’Azeez (ra) in his book ‘Al-Faqeeh wal Mutafaqqih’; “I would have not been pleased if the Ashab (Companions) of Mohammed did not differ, because if they did not differ, there would not have been a permission (for us to differ).”
Many books have been written by great Muslim scholar that clarify the reasons for disagreement.
One of these reasons is that man’s understanding, by his very nature, will differ from one person to another. Their abilities differ and so does their understanding. Hence, different ijtihadaat and istinbaat existed since the age of the Sahabah until our age today, and this will remain until the Day of Judgement. One of these reasons is the fact that the nature of the Shar’a forces the Muslims to differ, and there is a mercy in that.
- The difference in the qira’aat (readings) leads to differences in understanding. Every mujtahid will have an understanding in accordance to his reading. This is like the disagreement regarding the ayah of Wudu (ablution) in regards to whether the feet should be washed or be wiped?
- The ulamaa’ and fuqahaa’ differed on certin ahadith. A hadith may be Sahih (authentic) for one scholar but not for another, depending upon the method employed by the scholar in accepting or rejecting ahadith. For instance let’s take the example of the Mursal hadith. The Muhaddithun (hadith experts), Usuliyyoon (scholars of the foundations of jurisprudence) and Fuqahaa’ (jurists) from the a’immah of this Ummah, have differed on the use of Mursal hadith as proof. Some used it as proof whilst others did not, considering it a Munqati’ hadith (ie an hadith that had a break in the chain of transmission.)
- The conflict of evidences is another reason for difference. For example, some texts prohibited the use of something that is najas (impurity) or something that is haraam for medical purposes, as in the hadith, “Verily, Allah (swt) revealed the disease and the cure, and for every disease he has given a cure. So do not cure with the Haraam.” [Reported by Abu Dawud], whilst other texts permitted the use of the najas (impurity) or haraam substance, as in the hadith: “That the Prophet (saw) permitted ‘Abd ar-Rahman b. ‘Awf and ah-Zubayr to wear silk because they suffered from itching” and like the hadith, “The Muslims used to use the urine of camels as medicine and they did not see anything wrong in that.” [Reported by Bukhari]
- When there is no clear text regarding an issue, then the method of finding the rule of Allah (swt) will be by Ijtihaad, and Ijtihaad is a speculative rule prone to disagreement.
- The expansive nature of the Arabic language in its meanings is also a cause for difference. The presence of Ishtiraak (homonyms), Haqeeqah (literal meaning), Majaz (the metaphorical), Mutlaq (absolute) and Muqayyad (restricted), ‘aamm (general) and Khaas (specific) illustrates this. Thus, the nature of the Arabic language in which the revelation was sent down, is that its expressions and syntax are open to different meanings and diverse indications.
Thus, the saying of Allah (swt) regarding the divorced women; “And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three Quru.” [TMQ 2:228]. The word (quru’) in Arabic can mean either pure or the time of menstruation. But which meaning is intended? This was one of the reasons for the disagreement of the Fuqahaa’ (jurists) regarding this subject.
This is regarding the Sharee’ah in general. But does any of what has been mentioned apply to the subject under discussion? In other words, does the permissibility of disagreement in the Shar’ee rules, which is accepted by the Shar’a, allow the plurality of movements, groups or parties working for change? Or does this subject have its own specific evidences which exclude it from the original rule?
The group or party is established on a Shar’ee understanding of texts that have the propensity to be understood in different ways, just like any other Shar’ee understanding is, except for that concerning the definite rules. The Shar’ee rules adopted by the group are Shar’ee rules that have been deduced, and are liable to be correct or mistaken. It is not allowed for a Muslim who sees many errors in a group to work with it. Rather he should advise it and search for the group that will relieve him of the sin in front of Allah (swt) through him working with it. As we have mentioned, the nature of people, their scholars, the Shar’a and Arabic language all indicate that it is permissible to have multiple understandings. This is what justifies the presence of more than one group. There is no harm in this, as long as it is not more than disagreement in understanding. In that case the work with the group or party that is closest to the truth becomes an obligation.
In addition there is the ayah: “And let there arise out of you a group inviting to all that is khayr (Islam), enjoining the ma’roof (good) and forbidding the munkar (evil). And it is they who are successful.” [TMQ 3:104]
The order in this ayah is focussed on the obligation of establishing at least one group whose work will be the following; calling to the Khayr (Islam), enjoinng the ma’roof (good) and forbidding the munkar (evil). The ayah does not mean the presence of one group. Otherwise He (swt) would have said: ‘Ummah waahidah (one Ummah).’ Rather what has been ordered is the type of group whose work will be da’wah, enjoining the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar. This fard is a fard of sufficiency and its obligation is realised by the presence of one group. As for when more than one group exists, because of the different understandings of the work to be done, there is nothing wrong with that. This type of expression has been repeated in hundreds of ayaat and ahadith. For example the hadith;
“Whosover amongst you sees a munkar, let him change it with his hand...” It does not mean one munkar, but the type of munkar.
Abu al-A’la al-Mawdudi (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned the following in his book ‘Islamic concepts regarding religion and state’ under the chapter on: The obligation of enjoning the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar; “What is apparant from the partative in the ayah; ‘And let there arise out of you a group inviting to all that is khair (Islam).’ It does not mean that the Muslims are ordered to have a group that will undertake the obligation of da’wah to Islam, enjoining the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar, whilst it is not an obligation on the rest of the Muslims to undertake this task in origin. Rather its meaning is the obligation that the Ummah should not be at any time without -at least- one group that will guard the light coming from the lamp of truth and goodness, and struggle against the darkness of evil and dangers of falsehood. When no such group exists amongst the Muslims, then it is impossible for the Ummah to be saved from the curse and severe punishment of Allah (swt), let alone be the best Ummah brought forth for mankind.”
Based on what we have mentioned previously:
- We must know very well that whatever the Shar’a approves is a mercy. If it turned into an affliction then that is because of the misunderstanding of the Muslims and nothing else. Look at the exalted Fiqh of two great Imaams of this Ummah; it has been mentioned in ‘Shuzuur az-Zahab’ (Fragments of gold) that the students of Shafi’i came to him one day complaining how he visits Imaam Ahmad b. Hanbal, while they dispute with his students because of their differences in opinions. Shafi’i said;
“They say; ‘Ahmad visits you and you visit him’,
I say; ‘The virtues do not separate from his home.
If he visits me, then thanks to him, and if I visit him, this is because of his grace.
In both situations the grace is for him.’”
A similar thing happened with the students of Imaam Ahmad and him. So Imaam Ahmad told them;
“If we differ in lineage, then a knowledge which we have put in the position of a father unites us; If the water of the seas differ, we are all fresh (water) that streams out from one vessel.”
- Whosoever wishes to unite all the Muslims on one action, besides his negligence of the reality of Shar’a and the reality of people, we say to him what Imaam Malik said to Harun ar-Rasheed when Harun ar-Rasheed wanted to adopt Malik’s understanding and mazhab (school of thought) and make it binding on the people and forbid them from (following) the understanding of others; “Do not make narrow for the Muslims that which Allah (swt) has made wide for them.”
- When the Kaafir states and the regimes under their control see a group or groups working seriously to establish the rule of Allah (swt), in addition to using harsh measures against them and spreading rumours, they try to derail these groups or cause them to fail by establishing groups which are under their control. If we assume that having more than one group is not allowed, this means the group must unite with all the other groups, and thus include the good and the bad. But what is required is the opposite, where we have to throw away the bad, and keep the good that benefits the people.
- Since this suggestion, (the obligation of uniting the Islamic work and prohibiting the plurality of groups) contradicts the reality of the Shar’a, human beings and the language in which the revelation was sent down. Then this is an impossible suggestion to realise. Discussing it will remain a distraction from what is more important, which is the work to establish the Khilafah. The statement that Allah (swt) does not help the Muslims, unless they unite, is an baseless judgement that is unacceptable. Rather, Allah (swt) does not help the Muslims unless they adhere to the Shar’a and hold fast to the rope of Allah (swt) and fulfill His command. Allah (swt) will help them even if they are few. For the one person committed to the truth counts as many, while the many people who are on the falsehood are like the scum (of the sea).
It remains to mention a word on this subject, that the presence of the Khaleefah and the Islamic State is the most important aspect that unites the Muslims; there is no unification without it. The understandings will remain different, but we are ordered to obey the Khaleefah. The Imaam adopts, and by his adoption he settles the dispute, but he does not prevent the dispute or remove it. His order must be obeyed openly and secretly by the Muslims. As for the Ameer of a party, his order is obeyed within the party and he settles the dispute between the members of the party and not the Muslims at large.