بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله و على آله و سلم
One of the most amazing aspects of Islamic history are the stages that the Muslim community passed through. It seems that in every generation a new issue arose that needed to be dealt with, and through Allah’s Lutf (subtle care) different personages and figures came to help stabilize the Ummah.
Such stages of Fitnah include:
- The shock and instability after the death of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم;
- The four false prophets who arose in Arabia and subsequent wars with Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه;
- The crusaders versus the numerous Muslims generals;
- The Tatar invasion of Ghengis Khan when ‘Izz al-Din ibn ‘Abd al-Salam unified the Muslims;
- You see this pattern repeated…
But what about the fitnah of Sectarianism?
If you read ahadith about the 73-sects, you might get this impression that you need to ask yourself which of the 73-sects you are upon? Which is true? Which am I? How do I know which is correct? Lets have a debate and find out! But then ask yourself, is sectarianism really the main problem in our times?
Sectarianism is a fitnah that the Muslim world primarily experienced 100-300 years after the departure of the noble Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. During this period is when the Muslims divided into literally hundreds of small theological, political and social groups, each claiming to be the “True Islam”. Compounding the problem, many of those new ideologies held extremely compelling arguments in their favor – don’t think they were flimsy!
It was during that time that the masses were engaged in debate over the technicalities and subtleties of the Deen. Confusion was wide-spread, father and son, student and teacher, governor and subject, even two highly ranked scholars all would vehemently argue. Many were influenced by outside ideologies without even realizing it. Others embraced invented ideas wholeheartedly. Some new groups gained prominence, one even took control of the Khilafah!
But as Allah says in the Qur’an, “Travel through the land; then observe how was the end of the deniers.” If we reflect on this ayah, Allah is not calling on us to see how a splinter-sect thrived during its glory days, but how it ended. The vast majority of those sects and groups are no longer in existence today. Some burned out, most fell into obscurity with only a few thousand scattered followers nowadays. Alhumdu lillah, our generation was largely saved from that Fitnah.
At this moment, the vast majority of the Muslims follow “regular Islam”, version 1.0, and are at little risk of joining the remnants of a break-away group. What does this tell us? This is not the era of sectarianism or schisms. ‘Aqidah problems are rarely the immediate issue with contemporary Muslims. The debates are over, that fitnah has come and gone. And just as we do not need to excessively concern ourselves with past issues, we do not need to re-engage ourselves in questions of dogmatic belief that have already been answered. Islam does not need to be re-invented. Newly created arguments are exactly how break-away sects are formed in the first place! Instead we stand on the shoulders of giants to face the current issues that that plague our modern community.
But the Ahmadiyya religion seeks to re-open questions that, not only were answered centuries ago, are not subjects of contemporary debate and have no relevance to our modern times. They went as far as to publish this ludicrous lists of the “72 sects”, many of whom have not even existed in hundreds of years, but somehow allegedly came back into existence, managed to unify, all condemn Ahmadiyya, and then went back into non-existence. Convenient.
You tell me:
- What is telling a woman who was raped by Qadaffi’s forces that, “by the way, the Mahdi came about 100 years ago, looks like everyone missed him”, going to do for her shattered self-esteem and self-respect?
- What is a Somali man who watched all of his children die from starvation in the droughts going to do if you tell him, “Jesus is dead”.
- What is a Chechen mother whose son “disappeared” going to do with your attempts to convince her that half of the Qur’an is a bunch of confusing metaphors whose correct understanding no one understood for 1300 years?
Clearly ‘Aqidah is not the primary issue of our times. But the “problems” Ahmadiyya attempts to solve are not on the minds of Muslims, nor are they even our concerns. No one is looking at a calendar thinking, “Man, so when is ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام going to return?” My friends, you are dwelling on non-issues to a people who have more immediate concerns on their minds.
Just like every other break-away group that preceded it, Ahmadiyya has come, will run its course, and will eventually fade away.I am glad that our pious predecessors protected the religion from corruption during the era of sectarianism, and I pray for the forgiveness of those who were sincere but slipped into misguidance. May Allah guide us all to the Truth and keep us firm upon it.
و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم