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Ahle Sunnah, Ahle hadith, barelvi, devbhandi

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:

Assalam-o-Alaikum. Dear Brother Burhan. This time i am here with some

matters which are causing much confusion to me.Please give early reply (as

soon as possible ):

4. Who are Ahl-e-Sunnat ,Ahl-e-Hadith , Brelvi, Daivbundi ?? Why is there so

much difference in their view points when all of them are basically Muslims

and have one Quran,one Prophet,one Qibla ????

Over to you with kind regards. 


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Ahle Sunnah, Ahle hadith, barelvi, devbhandi

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 no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


At the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and during the terms of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs, the muslims were united as One Ummah. There were no Shias, no Sunnis, no Devbhandis, no Barelvis, no Ahle-Sunnah, no Ahle-Hadiths, etc.! These were all sects and names invented by people themselves and have absolutely no bearings in Islam.


To reply to your specific question, the Ahle-Hadith, Barelvi and Devbhandi are no more than off-shoots of the main Ahle-Sunnah.


Ref: Ahle-Sunnah

When Islam was being broken into sects on small differences, a majority of the believers who stayed close to the guidance and teachings of the Messenger of Allah (saws), came to be recognized as the Ahle-Sunnah wal Jamaa. Their main principle was to stay close to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, and stay within the Jamaa or Ummah of Muslims without joining any of the breakaway sects. Thus their name: Ahle-Sunnah wal Jamaa (those who follow the Sunnah and stay with the Jamaa or community).


Ref: Ahle-Hadith

In the early days, as it is with the acquiring of most knowledges or sciences, some people were more proficient in the study of a particular subject, and thus derived their names from the subject. For example, a doctor is a doctor, whether he is a surgeon, or a heart specialist, or an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist, or a child specialist, or a gynecologist, etc. Similarly, some scholars studied the various aspects and implications of Islamic Law or Jurisprudence and came to be recognized as Ahle-Fiqh.


There were some scholars who spent their time, energy and efforts in collecting and recording the various hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saws); and they came to be recognized as the Ahle-Hadith. But as time went by, the people who claimed to be Ahle-Hadith propagated that they need not follow any of the major schools of thought, but it would be best to take direct guidance from the Quran and Sunnah. In reality what happened was, because not everyone was a scholar and well-versed in all the aspects of the deen, they began to follow the views of their own local scholars, each one loyal to his scholar of choice!


Devbhand and Barelvi are names of two districts in India, which housed (and still house) particular Islamic schools or madrasas. Both claim to follow the Hanafi school of thought and both claim to be part of the Ahle-Sunnah.


Ref: Devbhandhi

The students who graduated from the Dar-ul-Uloom madrasa in Devbhandi, came to be recognized as Devbhandis. Although they claim to follow the teachings of the Hanafi school of thought, they propagate many things which are absolutely alien to the teachings of the great scholar of Islam, Imam Abu Hanifa. Today, Devbhandhis are more closer of the mystic or Sufi sect of Islam. Most, not all, of their beliefs today have given rise to various aspects and manifestations of ‘shirk’ and ‘bidah’.


Ref: Barelvi

The person, Ahmad Raza Khan, who started the Barelvi sect was originally a student of the Dar-ul-Uloom Devbhandh, and thus a Devbhandhi himself. Due to some differences of opinion, he moved away from the teachings of Devbhandhis, and formed his own madrasa in the district of Barelvi in India; and thus the students who graduated from the madrasa at Barelvi came to be recognized as Barelvis. They too claim to follow the Hanafi school of thought, but their base has become mysticism or Sufism and they too propagate a significant amount of ‘shirk’ and ‘bidah’ in their teachings.


The Guidance of Allah Subhanah and His Messenger (saws) to the believers is very straight forward and basic: Remain united in the One Ummah of Islam, and do not divide yourselves into sects and creeds! And that should be the stand of every believer, who truly believes in Allah and the Last Day. The believers should be proud to be recognized by the name that Allah Subhanah has chosen for them: that is, muslims! Not Shias, not Sunnis, not Barelvis, not Devbhandhis, not Ahle-Hadiths, not Ahle-Sunnah, etc., but ‘muslims’!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Mu’minoon verse 52-53:And you all belong to one and the same ummah, and I(Allah) am your Lord; so fear Me Alone! Yet afterwards the people divided themselves into different sects, and each sect rejoicing in what it has. Well, leave them deeply involved in their heedlessness up to an appointed time.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78:O you who have believed, do ‘rukooh’ (bow down) and do ‘sajdah’ (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you ‘muslims’ before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.


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 Messenger of Allah (saws) which is that?” Whereupon he (saws) said: “It is one to which I and my companions belong.”


The Messenger of Allah (saws), his noble family, and his noble companions were all muslims, and that is the name Allah Subhanah has Himself chosen for the true believers.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,






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