The Qur’an associates the division of the ummah with those that dispute the truth (2:176 3:105 5:48 42:14). Dividing the ummah and disputing the truth is a major sin, which is highly questionable and punishable in the akhirah (22:69 39:46 43:65 45:17). We are required to make sure that we are not one of those that dispute the truth and divide the ummah. We can do this by questioning our own beliefs and practices with an open mind.
REPERCUSSIONS OF OUR DIVISIONS
1. It makes each sect, madhab, silsila and khanqah believe that only its teachings and practices are correct and all others are wrong. It doesn’t tolerate criticism of its teachings and practices and is even prepared to kill for it.
2. It forces each division to have its own masjid, uloom, madressah, jamiat of ulama, newsletter, radio station, etc, to protect its beliefs and practices. This is confusing the children and youths.
3. The divisions are getting worse by the day because they are also dividing within each sect, madhab, silsila and khanqah, not only for religious reasons but also for political reasons.
4. Because of this division, the ummah as a whole is suffering. It is not enjoying national and universal leadership and direction, and is not functioning in an organized manner.
5. Furthermore, because of the division, Muslim contribution has become insignificant in current world affairs. It has been marginalized to such an extent, politically, militarily and otherwise, that it is unable to protect Muslim dignity, sovereignty, women, children, etc, from mass destruction by our enemies all over the world.
Scientists, who have studied the different teachings of the different sects state that they contradict one another to such an extent that not all of them can be right but all of them can be wrong. The Prophet (SAW) said only one sect will enter jannah.
SOME REASONS FOR THE DIVERGENCE USING QUR’AN AS CRITERION
1. The majority of them believe that “the ilm of the Hadith is far more superior than the tarjuma of the Qur’an because the Hadith tells them how make wudhu, perform salaah, etc, which they believe is not in the Qur’an”. Hence, they ignore the absolute injunctions of the Qur’an by adding words to the words of God, giving preference to the Hadith.
2. The majority of them believe that the Sunnah of Prophet (SAW) is something he said and did “outside” of what is written in the Qur’an. Hence, they make Sunnah and bid’ah what is not Sunnah and bid’ah and vice versa.
3. Their method of authenticating the Hadith is unscholarly and unscientific. They make many strong teachings and practices of the Qur’an weak enough to be ignored.
4. The majority of them believe that their madhab is religion even if one teaching of one madhab contradicts the other or is insignificant to the Qur’an.
THE OPINION OF QUR’AN IN THE MATTER
1. The Qur’an is the mother of all books” (Al-Qur’an 13:39, 43:4). Everything in it, wudhu, salaah, etc, is explained in detail (Al-Qur’an 6:38, 7:52) and is sufficient for all practical purposes. It does not require the book of Hadith to explain it any more than what is written in the Qur’an.
2. The Prophet (SAW) is instructed by the Qur’an not to say or do anything in the Islamic way of life that was not revealed to him (Al-Qur’an 69:43-46, 10:15). Therefore, the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) is not something he said and did “outside” of what is written in the Qur’an, like brush teeth, blow nose, etc, for wudhu. It is the absolute injunction and knowledge of the Qur’an.
3. We are instructed by the Qur’an to follow the Prophet (SAW) according to knowledge of the Qur’an, not “outside” of it (Al-Qur’an 4:64, 64:8, 72:22). Otherwise, the Sahaba (RA) would not inquire what he was saying was wahy or not.
4. Therefore, the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) is the universal teaching and practice of the Qur’an with time and space, and not limited to the 7th century teachings and practices of the Hadith.
5. All Prophets were instructed by Allah (SWT) not to say and do anything that was not revealed to them to prove to the world that their teachings were similar and their God was ONE. No nation has heeded this Message and that is why they are divided. Muslims are no exception.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE OF QUR’AN AND HADITH:
1. The reason for Islamic religious fundamentalism is not the Qur’an it’s the book of Hadith. For example, the Qur’an does not restrict us from using the microphone in the mosque because the Prophet (SAW) did not use one, but the Hadith does so. Hence, the Hadith promotes Islamic religious fundamentalism by limiting the teachings and practices of Islam to the time of the Prophet (SAW), not the Qur’an. Likewise, the Qur’an does not restrict us from using astronomical calculations to determine the day of Eid, Ramadhaan, etc, but the Hadith does so. Similarly, the Qur’an promotes the sights and sounds of all nationalities created by Allah (SWT) in their pure forms. But the Hadith does not respect this universal message of the Qur’an. It limits our culture and custom to the Arab culture and custom of the time of the Prophet (SAW). For example, it states that it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) to keep a beard, wear the kurtha, etc. This makes Sunnah and bid’ah what is not Sunnah and bid’ah and vice versa and misleads the ummah about the Shariah. In Islam, all God given diversities must be preserved and all manmade ones must be discarded.
2. In the same way, the Qur’an is against religious extremism because the Qur’an is against the dichotomy of the secular and religious. For it to maintain the balance between the secular and religious, it has to restrict all teachings and practices of religion to that of the Qur’an. This means that anyone who teaches and practices religion “outside” of what is written in the Qur’an is a religious extremist. For example, the Qur’an is against priesthood and its methodology of taqlid, aqidah, silsila, khanqah, sainthood, sects, madhabs, etc. It promotes scholarship according to its methodology of ilm-ul-yaqin (certainty of knowledge by inference or reasoning), ayn-ul-yaqin (certainty of knowledge by seeing and observing) and haqq-ul-yaqin (absolute knowledge, like this is a pen, etc). Anyone practicing priesthood with its methodology of taqlid, etc, is a religious extremist. Similarly, the Qur’an does not believe in the mysticisms and myths of religion. For example, the majority of the Muslims believe that the Prophet (SAW) did not have a shadow. The Qur’an states “he was a man like you” (18:110). Hence, the salaah is not a prayer, it’s a pledge and the masjid is not a place of worship, it’s an Assembly of the Ummah. Likewise, the imam is not a religious leader, he is a political leader and the mimbar is not a religious platform, it’s a political platform and so on. If we don’t see Islam in this way, we are religious extremists. Hence, the reality purported by the Qur’an is very different from the reality purported by the Hadith.
The issue of our unity cannot be settled on the battlefield, faction fights and suicide bombings. It has to be settled by an exhaustive knowledge of the Qur’an, without the Hadith and the opinions of any of the present day ulama and saints, in order to reduce the difference of opinion in the interpretation of the Qur’an.
Take for example, the injunction of salaah. In the Islamic way of life, which is not a religion, it is not a prayer. It is a pledge, where rukhu and sujood denote submission to the Will of God by recitation of the Qur’an, not Hadith.
Therefore, the perfect salaah is one where we live our lives outside of the salaah according to the Qur’an, and not according to any of our whims and fancies or the Hadith.
This means that it does not matter to our imaan (faith) how we replicate the salaah into the two, three and four rakaats, or what we call it, fard, sunnat or nafil, it’s all the same. It will still be a pledge, and will not change in meaning, message, purpose, value, etc.
Then why do make the salaah Shafi, Hanifi, etc? Can we then not decide on one formula for all Muslims on how many rakaats and fards, sunnats, etc, discarding the madhabs? The sawaab of the salaah is in fulfilling its pledge, not whether it is fard, sunnat, etc, or Shafi, Hanifi, etc?
Thus, when one rejects the book of Hadith, one is not rejecting the leadership of the Prophet (SAW). Neither is one saying that the Prophet (SAW) was a postman. All one is saying is that he had no authority to say or do anything in religion which was not revealed to him in the Qur’an.
The salaah is a perfect example of this. He was only allowed to explore and expand on what was revealed to him. For example, he could replicate the rukhu and sujood into a number of rakaats. Likewise, he could recite the Qur’an loudly in some and silently in others and so on, but could not change the meaning, message, purpose, etc.
Hence, he had no authority to add words to the word of God. For example, if he said that we should recite the Qur’an in the fard salaah, the Hadith in the sunnat salaah and the fables of our ancestors in the in the nafil salaah then he would be more than just another messenger of God.
This does not mean that his job was similar to that of a postman. It was not. He was sent to show us how to explore and expand the word of God so that it became a solution to problems of our diversity and not a problem of it.
Therefore, the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) is the exact practice of the Qur’an. For example, in wudhu what we normally state are the faraiz of wudhu are the exact practice of the wudhu according to the Qur’an and anything outside of this does not constitute wudhu. If we insist that it does then Sunnah and Shariah will not become a solution to the problem of diversity but will become a problem of the problem of diversity. From this point of view it is important to revisit the definition of Sunnah.
The only neutral and universal way of interpreting the Qur’an is by using the divine teachings of Tawhid (an Arabic word for unity and universality), which are found in the Qur’an. This will further reduce the difference of opinion in interpreting the Qur’an. For it to be acceptable as the Shariah, it has to be approved by shura and ijma of the ummah (not ulama who are sectarian) at the local, national and international levels.
In simple form, the divine teachings of Tawhid include the unity of God, unity in the teachings of all the Books and Prophets of God, unity between the Word of God and the sayings and doings of the Prophets, unity between the Word of God and the Work of God in the signs and science of nature and in the history of religion, unity between the world of God and the world of Caesar and so on.
In a more sophisticated form, it includes a very intricate balance between the seen and the unseen, secular and religious, the individual and community, national and international, this world and the akhirah and so on.
The worldview teachings of Tawhid (unity and universality) do not occur by chance in the Qur’an. They have been deliberately inserted in the Qur’an by Allah (SWT) to explain the correct path of PEACE and SUBMISSION in the Islamic way of life.
For example, there are two paths to SUBMISSION in the world we live in. In religion, it is in the context of one’s deity but in diversity, it is in the context of ONE GOD (of Abraham-peace be upon him, “the father of the nations”). Likewise, there are two paths to PEACE, one by agreeing to agree and the other by agreeing to disagree. The difference being that the former enhances the Truth by teaching Tawhid and the latter compromises the Truth by showing respect to falsehood.
In my book, “THE MATHEMATICS OF TAWHID: DIVINE SOLUTIONS FOR UNITY AND UNIVERSALITY”, I explain all teachings and practices of Islam in great detail according to the worldview teachings and practices of Tawhid, which are found in the Qur’an, which is addressed to all the people of this world . The book was published by AuthorHouse. It is also available at Amazon and Barnesandnoble. The website address is http://tawhidisolutions.com and the attachment below is a press release on the book.
My only ambition now is to appeal to the ummah to unite and organize itself as a nation based on the one true knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah according to divine teachings of Tawhid (unity and universality), which are found in the Qur’an. It is the only way because man is supposed to serve God in exactly the same way as “the sun, moon, stars, hills, trees, animals, etc,” serve Him according to His Word (Al-Qur’an 22:18) and not according to the word of man, which we call Hadith. These are the finer teachings of Tawhid (unity and universality).
Please read the book for more information on the subject.