I am stucked in one of the conceptions. The hadith mentioned hereunder tells us about 73 sects.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I am stucked in one
of the conceptions. The hadith mentioned hereunder tells us about 73 sects. We
all follow different fiqh. We believe in difference of opinion among the fuquha
and there are 4 major schools of thought. Then how we can say that the fiqh
which we are following is correct and would lead us to Heaven?
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 171 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr Allah`s Messenger (saws) said: `There will befall my Ummah exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra`il, so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah one who will do that, and if the people of Isra`il were fragmented into seventy-two sects, my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects! All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: `O Allah`s Messenger (saws), which one is that?` Whereupon he (saws) replied: `It is one to which I and my companions belong.`
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Diff between sects and madhab
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Dear and beloved brother in Islam, there is a world of difference between a creation of a sect and a madhab or school of thought!
A sect comes into existence when one forms a separate and distinct core of beliefs and breaks away from the mainstream deen, following its own rites and rituals, and accepting and loving only those who believe as they believe and following as they follow. They assume all those who do not believe as they believe and follow the deen as they do are wrong and misguided, and they alone are on the right path.
The core belief or the aqeedah of the four major schools of thought or madhabs in Islam are absolutely identical; and each amongst them strive to follow what is prescribed in the Quran and the Sunnah. It is only in the extremely small and minute matters of fiqh or Jurisprudence where there might arise a difference of opinion amongst them, each providing their evidence from either the Glorious Quran or the authentic and established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws). Because the opinions of each of the four madhabs are based on the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah alone, the difference in their opinions can never be a matter of right and wrong, but depending upon which madhab one chooses to give more weight to one narration over another, the difference of opinion amongst them is always between good and best.
Your Statement: Then
how we can say that the fiqh which we are following is correct and would lead
us to Heaven?
None has the right to declare that their specific sect or their specific madhab alone is correct and would lead them to Paradise; but one has to strive oneself to attain sufficient knowledge from the Quran and the Sunnah, and if one wills, one may accept the opinion of any of the schools of thought which in ones knowledge is closest to the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, and the deen which was followed by Allahs Messenger (saws) and His noble companions.
Only and only when one sincerely believes, accepts, and follows the guidance of the Glorious Quran and the authentic and established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), one can be assured of guidance. If one accepts, believes, or follows any other guidance which is not endorsed by the Quran and the Sunnah, one can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,