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[Q] What is the obligation upon the Muslim Scholars with regard to the large number of jamiyyat (societies) and jama'at (groups) in many of the Islamic lands and elsewhere, and with regard to the differences that exist between them, to the point that each group declares the others to be misguided. Do you not hold that it is fitting to enter into explaining the like of this matter, and to clarify the truth concerning their differences, for fear that these differences will increase and lead to evil consequences for the Muslims?

[A]: Our Prophet, peace be upon him, made clear to us a single way which it is obligatory upon the Muslims to follow and traverse, and that is Allah's Straight Path and the methodology of His upright religion. Allah, the Most High, said:-

"And this is My Straight Path, so follow it and do not follow other paths that will separate you from His Path. This has He ordained for you, that you may become pious." [Al-Qur'an 6:153]

Just as the Lord of Might and Majesty warned the Ummah (nation) of Muhammad, peace be upon him, against splitting and disunity, since that is one of the greatest causes of failure and of the enemy taking control, as occurs in the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic:-

"And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allah and do not be divided." [Al-Qur'an 3: 101]

And His, the Most High, saying:-

"He has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Noah, and that which We revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus, saying: that you should establish the religion by doing that which you are ordered with, and make no divisions in it. Intolerable for the pagans is that to which you call them." [Al-Qur'an 42:13]

So this is a Divine call to unity and for hearts to be harmonised. And in any Islamic land, if there are many groups for the purpose of good, aid, cooperating in righteousness and piety between the Muslims without their being differences between the desires of the companions and followers - then this is good, is a blessing, and produces great benefit.

However, if each of them declare the others to be misguided and attack their actions, then this harm is very great and its evil consequences very serious. Then what is obligatory upon the Muslims is to clarify the true state of affairs and to discuss with each group and to sincerely advise all of them that they should proceed upon the way laid down by Allah for His servants, and upon that which our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, called to. Then those who ignore this, or continue in their stubborness, due to personal benefit or goal - known only to Allah - then what is obligatory upon those who know the reality is to make this known about them and to warn against them, so that the people may avoid their path, and that those who do not know the reality of their affair may not fall into it and be led astray, and that they are not turned away from the Straight Path which Allah ordered that we follow, as occurs in His saying:-

"And this is My Straight Path, so follow it and do not follow other paths that will separate you from His Path. This has He ordained for you, that you may become pious." [Al-Qur'an 6:153]

And from that which there is no doubt about is that the multitude of sects and groups in the Islamic society is, firstly something desired by Shaytan, and secondly something desired by the enemies of Islam from amongst mankind. Since agreement and unification of the Muslims, and their being aware of the dangers which threaten them and their 'aqidah (beliefs), will make them active in refuting and rebutting it, and acting in a unified manner for the benefit of the Muslims, thereby repelling the danger from their religion, their lands and their brothers. And this is something which the enemies from amongst mankind and jinn are not pleased with. Therefore they are very eager to split-up the Muslims, destroy their unity and to sow the seeds of enmity and discord between them. We ask Allah that He unites the Muslims upon the truth and that He removes from their society every type of misguidance and every cause of discord. Indeed He is the One Who is able to do that, and He is the One having full power over it.

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Be Mindful O Mankind!

You will never meet Allah with anything better for you than having few sins. Whoever wants to surpass those who exert themselves in worship, let him stop himself from committing numerous sins.
- 'A'ishah (d. 58H), Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her