August 2004: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3


Dividing The Religion Into Sects

Prophet Muhammad preached the religion of Islam (Submission). The source of his guidance was the holy Quran that God (Allah) revealed through him. The Quran is the only book that can guide us to the best path (17:9). When the prophet died, he left behind the complete Quran for us to follow. As time passed by, this great religion has been gradually corrupted and divided and sub-divided through innovations, traditions and the idolization of humans such as the prophet, the caliphs, the saints and the scholars. First, the religion of Islam was reshaped and replaced mainly by two major sects: Sunni and Shia. Subsequently, these two have been divided into various sects and sub-sects as Muslims continued to disregard the teachings of the Quran, and follow religious sources other than the Quran.

Unlike true Islam (Submission), the Sunni and Shia sects and sub-sects are preached by their respective scholars and religious leaders. We learn from the Quran:

“Those who divide themselves into sects do not belong with you. Their judgment rests with God, then He will inform them of everything they had done.” (6:159)

“Such is your congregation- one congregation- and I am your Lord; you shall reverence Me. But, they tore themselves into disputing factions; each party happy with what they have.” (23:52-53)

If you ask the followers of these sects or sub-sects a question regarding their religion, most of the time they will refer you to the opinions of their scholars, imams, etc. No wonder these people will blame their leaders in the hereafter:

The followers will say to their leaders, “It was you who schemed night and day, then commanded us to be unappreciative of God, and to set up partners to rank with Him.” They will be ridden with remorse, when they see the retribution, for we will place shackles around the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they not justly requited for what they did? (34:33)

God tells us that the Quran, which prophet Muhammad followed, is clear to understand (54:17). All people are commanded to ponder and understand its words:

“Why do they not study the Quran carefully? Do they have locks on their hearts?” (47:24)

Yet the majority of Muslims do not make an effort to study the Quran for themselves and insist on merely reciting its words like a parrot that does not understand. They look to their imams or scholars to do the understanding for them:

When they are told, “Follow what God has revealed herein (the Quran),” they say, “We follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if their parents did not understand, and were not guided? The example of those who reject is that of one who repeats what he hears of sounds and calls, without understanding. Deaf, dumb, and blind; they cannot understand. (2:170-171).

Is it not the time now to study the Quran by ourselves? Is it not the time now to verify the authenticity of the religion or sect we have inherited from our parents with the help of the Quranic study? Is it not the most important duty in our lives? Should we not take it seriously?

God be Glorified.