Home > Ahlehadees/Salafi., Enjoy Your Life, Knowledge (iLm), Muhammad bin Saalih Al 'Uthaymeen (Rahimahullah), Refutations, Scholars, What You Should Do In The Following Situations? > Unity as opposed to division is must and a Useful point on how to deal with innovators- Shaikh ibn Uthaymeen

Unity as opposed to division is must and a Useful point on how to deal with innovators- Shaikh ibn Uthaymeen


To establish the religion means to apply it in an upright manner, according to what Allah has legislated. And Allah has forbidden us from division because division poses a great threat to the Muslim nation.


Division represents  painful and saddening situation:

“And do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart.” [Quran 8:46]


When the people are divided and when they dispute with one another, they lose courage, they fail, their strength departs, and they have no weight or importance.


Division among Muslims pleases the enemies of Islam, including those who ascribe themselves to Islam openly but inwardly harbour hatred towards Islam and those who are outwardly as well as inwardly enemies of Islam. These are the ones that ignites the flames of  division, the one who sow dissensions among those who call to the way of Allah. It is incumbent upon us to make a stand, resisting the plots of those who show enmity to Allah, to His Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam], and to His religion. We must be as one hand – brothers united upon Allah’s book and the Prophet’s Sunnah, as were our pious predecessors in their methodology and in their Dawah to Allah.



Division among Muslims is the greater joy of devils from mankind and the jinn, because devils do not want the people of truth to unite upon anything. They want Muslims to divide because they know that division the strength that is realized through a unified stance –  one of the obedience to Allah. Allah says:

“And do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart.” [Quran 8:46]


And Allah says:

“And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment.” [Quran 3:105]


And Allah says:

“He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein.” [Quran 42:13]



Allah forbade us from becoming divided and clarified the detrimental  consequences of division. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to truly be one nation, upon one word, even if our views differ in certain issues or regarding certain means of making Dawah. Division is an evil that brings about weakness.



The companions differed among themselves in certain issues, but they were not divided, nor did they harbour enmity or hatred towards one another. Difference of opinion occurred among them even during the life time of Prophet [Sallallahu alaihi wasallam]. For example, the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] said to his companions:

“Let no one from you pray Asr , except in Bani Quraydhah [i.e., until you reach bani Quraydhah]” [Al- bukhari 946]


The companions were leaving Al-Madina and heading to Bani Quraydhah. When the time for the Asr was drawing  to an end, the companions differed among themselves. Some among them said, “We will only pray Asr in Bani Quraydhah, even if the Sun sets, for the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] said: “”Let no one from you pray Asr , except in Bani Quraydhah [i.e., until you reach bani Quraydhah].” So we say, ‘We heard and obeyed.’


 Others among them said, “Verily, the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] intended by that [statement] that we should hasten and travel quickly. Nonetheless, if the time for prayer draws near, we will pray it on time.” News of what happened reached Prophet Muhammed [sallallahu alaihi wasallam], and he did not censure any of them, nor did he scold anyone from the two groups for their particular interpretation of his command. And they themselves did not become divided due to the different way in which each group understood the Prophet’s hadeeth. Similarly, it is compulsory upon us to not become divided; instead, we should be one nation. 



The solution to the problem of disunity lies in us following the way of the companions. We should realize that differences that are brought about because of Ijtihad (deriving a ruling from revealed texts when revealed texts do not clearly establish a given ruling), in issues wherein Ijtihad is permissible, should affect our unity in a negative way. In such issues, each one of us takes what he feels is supported by the strongest proofs, so none of us should feel any rancor for his brother; instead, we should praise our brother for following what he feels to be the strongest proofs.



If one of us were to force another to take our opinion, then I, for instance, would not be more worthy of forcing my brother to accept my opinion than he is of forcing me to accept his opinion. Therefore, we should agree to disagree in issues wherein the disagreement is based on Ijtihad, so that we become united and so that good results.



If our intentions are pure and good, then the remedy for problems pertaining to disunity is easily applied. But if our intentions are not good and pure, with each person becoming self-absorbed in his opinions, while not caring about others, then success will become far off indeed.


Allah ordered His slave to unite:

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” [Quran 3:102,103]

Unity in Islam


A Useful Point


One might say,

“If the one who disagrees with us is an innovator (i.e., one who innovates in Religion), then how should we deal with him?


My answer: Innovations are classified into two categories:

1) An Innovation that makes its perpetrator a disbeliever

2) An Innovation that does not makes its perpetrator a disbeliever


Regardless of whether one – one from those who ascribe themselves to Islam – is upon the first or second kind of Innovation, we must invite him to the truth, by means of clarifying the truth, and not by means of attacking the way he is following, which we only resort to after we come to know that he is too proud to accept the truth. Allah said to the Prophet:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge.” [Quran 6:108]



First we call an innovator to the truth by clarifying it through the mention of proofs; after all, the truth is acceptable to those who are upon a sound and undistorted nature. If we find that an innovator persists upon falsehood because of his pride, we then move on to clarifying his falsehood.


As for breaking off ties with an innovator; doing so depends on his innovation. If his innovation takes him outside the fold of Islam, then it is obligatory upon us to dissociate ourselves from him. If his innovation is of lesser kind, then we study his situation: if, by breaking off ties with him, there is some benefit to be achieved, then we break off ties with him. But if there is no benefit to be achieved by breaking off ties with him, we do not do so, because the basic principle in Islam is that it is forbidden to break ties with a believer. The Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] said:

It is not permissible for a believing man to break off ties with his brother for more than 3 days.” [Al-Bukhari 6077]


Therefore, it is forbidden to part company with a believer – even though he may be an evildoer –  unless there is some benefit in doing so. If there is some benefit to be derived from breaking of all the ties with him, then that is what we do, because doing so becomes a remedy. But if there is no benefit or if the innovator increases in his falsehood and rebelliousness due to our parting company from him, then the following rules applies: :As for a matter that is bereft of benefit, forsaking it becomes the |deed of| benefit.”


[The Islamic Awakening, page 98-101 by Ibn Uthaymeen]



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