Are the contemporary Islamic groups among the seventy-three sects?
Praise be to Allaah.
When Hudhayfah asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a state of ignorance and evil, then Allaah brought us this good. Will there be any evil after this good?” the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Yes.” Hudahyfah asked, “Will there be any good after that evil?” He said, “Yes, but it would be tainted with dakhan (i.e. a little evil).” I asked, “What will its dakhan be?” He said, “There will be some people who will guide (people) according to something other than my guidance and will lead them according to something other than my Sunnah. You will see their actions and disapprove of them.” Hudhayfah said, “Will there be any evil after that good?” He said, “Yes, there will be some people who will invite others to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it (by them).” Hudhayfah said, “O Messenger of Allaah, describe those people to us.” He said, “They will be from among us and speak our language (i.e., from among the Arabs).” Hudhayfah asked, “What do you command us to do at that point?” He said, “Adhere to the jamaa’ah (group) of the Muslims and their leader.” Hudhayfah asked, “What if there is no jamaa’ah and no leader?” He said, “Keep away from all those different sects, even if you have to bite (i.e. eat) the root of a tree, till you die while you are still in that state.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
This important hadeeth explains to us that the Muslim is obliged to adhere to the jamaa’ah of the Muslims and to co-operate with them wherever they may be, whether it is a jamaa’ah that is found in the Arabian Peninsula, or in Egypt, or in Syria, or in Iraq, or in America, or in Europe, or in any place.
When the Muslim finds a group that is calling people to the truth, he should help them and be one of them, he should aid them and encourage them, help them to remain steadfast in adhering to the truth. If he cannot find a jamaa’ah at all, then he should adhere to the truth and he will be the jamaa’ah even if he is only one, as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to ‘Amr ibn Maymoon: “The jamaa’ah is that which is in accordance with the truth, even if you are on your own.”
The Muslim has to seek the truth. If he finds an Islamic center which promotes the truth, or a group in any place which promotes the truth – i.e., which calls people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and to sound belief – in Europe or Africa or in any place – then he should join them and seek the truth, doing so with patience, and being with the people of truth.
This is what is obligatory upon the Muslim. But if he cannot find anyone who calls people to the truth, whether a state or a group, then he must adhere to the truth on his own and be steadfast in doing so. In that case he will be the jamaa’ah, as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to ‘Amr ibn Maymoon.
In these times – praise be to Allaah – there are many groups which are calling people to the truth, as in the Arabian Peninsula (the Saudi government), the Yemen, the Gulf, Egypt, Syria, Africa, Europe, America, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world. There are many groups and Islamic centers and Islamic societies which are calling people to the truth and proclaiming the message, and warning against that which is opposed to it. So the Muslim who is seeking the truth in any place has to look for these groups, and when he finds a group or a center or a society which is calling people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he should follow it and adhere to it, such as the Ansaar al-Sunnah in Egypt and Sudan, Jama’iyyat Ahl al-Hadeeth in Pakistan and India, and other groups which are calling people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), devoting their worship sincerely to Allaah alone, and not calling upon anyone else such as the occupants of graves or others.