The Necessity for identifying oneself as Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah The Holy Quran has stressed and emphasized on it that we maintain our identity as Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah or Sunnies. Allah Azzawajal mentioned in the Quran: وَ اَنَّ ہٰذَا صِرٰطِیۡ مُسْتَقِیۡمًا فَاتَّبِعُوۡہُ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِکُمْ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖؕ ذٰلِکُمْ وَصّٰکُمۡ بِہٖ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۳﴾ And that, this is My straight path, then follow it and follow not other paths for they will deviate you from His path. This He has ordered you that haply you may be self-restrained. (Al-An’aam 6, Verse 153) Mufassireen say in the commentary of this verse on the accord of the following Hadeeth: Ibn Hibbaan in His Sahih Vol. 1, p. 181, Hadeeth No. 6 Imam Nasaai in his Sunan Kubra Vol. 6, p. 343, Hadeeth No. 11174 Imam Baghwi in his Sharhus Sunnah, Baab al-I’tisaam Imam Bazzaar in his Musnad, Hadeeth No. 1694 Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad Hadeeth No. 4142 Daarimi in his Sunan Vol. 1, p. 78, Hadeeth No. 202 Imam Abu Dawood Tiyalisi in his Musnad Vol. 1, p. 33, Hadeeth No. 244 Marwazi in his Sunnah Imam Hakim in his Mustadrak ‘Alas Saheehain. He said this is a Sahih chained Hadeeth Vol. 2, p. 349, Hadeeth No. 3241 Imam Dhahbi in its annotations agrees that it is a Sahih Hadeeth Ibn ‘Aasim in his book Al-Sunnah Ibn Batta in his book Al-Ibaanatul Kubra and also in his book Al-Sughra Al-Ajurri in his book al-Shariah Imam Al-La’lakaai in his book Sharhus Sunnah and even nasiruddeen albaani authenticated this Hadeeth. The Hadeeth is narrated by the great Sahaabi Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood RadiAllahu anh: عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ ،رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : خَطَّ لَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيه وسَلَّم خَطًّا ، فَقَالَ : هَذَا سَبِيلُ اللهِ ، ثُمَّ خَطَّ خُطُوطًا عَنْ يَمِينِهِ ، وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ ، فَقَالَ : هَذِهِ سُبُلٌ عَلَى كُلِّ سَبِيلٍ مِنْهَا شَيْطَانٌ يَدْعُو إِلَيْهِ ، ثُمَّ تَلاَ وَ اَنَّ ہٰذَا صِرٰطِیۡ مُسْتَقِیۡمًا فَاتَّبِعُوۡہُ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِکُمْ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖؕ ذٰلِکُمْ وَصّٰکُمۡ بِہٖ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۳﴾ Hazrat Abdullah RadiAllahu anh narrated, “The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam drew a straight line for us, the He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam said, ‘This is Allah’s path.’ and then He r drew some lines towards his right and some towards his left then said, ‘These are the paths on each of them there is shaitaan inviting towards him, then He r recited: And that, this is My straight path, then follow it and follow not other paths for they will deviate you from His path. This He has ordered you that haply you may be self-restrained.” (Al-An’aam 6, Verse 153) For further commentary on the Hadeeth let us refer to Imam Nasafi who mentioned the finer details of this narration in his famous Tafseer Madaarik al Tanzeel: روي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم خط خطاً مستوياً ثم قال " هذا سبيل الرشد وصراط الله فاتبعوه " ثم خط على كل جانب ستة خطوط ممالة ثم قال " هذه سبل على كل سبيل منها شيطان يدعو إليه فاجتنبوها " وتلا هذه الآية. ثم يصير كل واحد من الاثني عشر طريقاً ستة طرق فتكون اثنين وسبعين ، وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما : هذه الآيات محكمات لم ينسخهن شيء من جميع الكتب. It’s narrated that the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam drew a straight line then He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam said, “This is the path of guidance and the path of Allah, so follow it.” And then He r drew six line on the either sides and said, “These are the paths on which the shaitaan is inviting towards him, so refrain from it, and then He Sallallahu Alayhiwasalam recited this verse. Six lines were added to each of the 12 line on both sides so they became 72 on both sides, and it is narrated from Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbaas RadiAllahuAnh, “These verses are the clearest of verses, no other part of the entire Quran can cancel it (i.e. No Ayah of the Quran can make it Mansookh). (Tafseer Al-Nasafi below the Verse No. 153, Surah An’aam 6) The philosophy of drawing 6 lines on either sides was a clear indication that all the 72 deviant groups of the Ummah will emerge from within these 6 groups. Imam Azam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullah Alayh gives us further understanding of that when replying to a question, which is recorded in the book Tamheed of Allamah Abdush Shakoor Saalimi Rahmatullah Alayh: سُئِلَ اَبُوْ حَنِیْفَۃَ رَحِمَہٗ اللّٰہُ عَنِ السُّنَّۃِ وَالْجَمَاعَۃِ فَقَالَ لَا نَصْبٌ وَّلَارِفْضٌ، وَلَا جَبْرٌ وَّلَا قَدْرٌ، وَلَا تَشْبِیْہٌ وَتَعْطِیْلٌ When Imam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullah Alayh was asked about the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah He t replied, “It’s neither 1. Naasibies nor 2. Raafizies, nor 3. Jabriyyah nor 4. Qadriyyah, nor 5. Mushabbihah nor 6. Mu’attilah. It now becomes important to know the reality of these six groups individually in order to grasp a thorough understanding of the quoted concept given by the Noble Imam. 1. Naasibies are the Khawaarij who went against Hazrat Ali KarramAllahu wajhul Kareem and branded him kaafir, yet whoso does that becomes a kaafir himself. 2. Raafizies are called Raafizies because they went out of the folds of Islam and Allah I called them kaafir, though according to their beliefs, some of them are kaafir and some are bid’atees etc. e.g. some of them believe that Hazrat Ali KaramAllahu wajhul kareem was God and descended from heaven, some believe that He KaramAllahu wajhul kareem was parallel to the Nabi Sallallahu Alyhiwasalam in Nubuwwah and some believe that the Nubuwwah was meant for Hazrat Ali KaramAllahu wajhul kareem but Hazrat Jibreel made a mistake. These and the likes of these articles are just nonsense. 3. Jabriyyah believe that the entire creation will be rewarded for their good deeds while there will be no punishment on the one who commits any evil. All the kuffaar and sinners are helpless so they will not be questioned about anything, because all the deeds are created by Allah I and the servants are absolutely helpless. 4. Qadriyyah believe that the intellectual perception supersedes the divine laws of Shariah even though it has been revealed by Allah and similarly, the intellectual perception is superior than the famous Sunnahs, therefore they rejected to believe in the “fate the bad thereof” to be from Allah I. 5. Mushabbihah are the ones who believe that all other besides four attributes of Allah Azzawajal 1) ‘Aalim (All-Knowing), 2) Qaadir (All-powerful) 3) Khaliq (The Creator) 4) Shaa’i (The one who wills) are created, which is kufr. 6. Mu’attilah, the first of them is Saufistaaiyah, they are further divided into three groups. Some of them believe that nothing has a reality of its own, for example, the objects that are named fire and water, it is very possible for the water to become fire and vice-versa. This belief of theirs is kufr, for it goes against the Allah’s laws, and this beliefs also will lead to oppose the Shariah laws and Nubuwwah as well as opposing the concept of worshipper and the one who is worshipped, because then it will become for the sender (Mursil, who is Allah) to become the appointed one (Mursal, Rasool), and also that the one who worships (the servants of Allah) may (Allah forbid!!!) take over the opposite side. (Al-Tamheed p. 190) Imam Qurtubi states in his Tafseer: The base of all the sects are the six groups, and then each group is divided into 12 sects, and when 6 is multiplied by 12 it equals to 72 sects. Imam Azam actually indicated towards the statement of the Prophet Sallallahu alyhiwasalam about the division of Ummah into 73 sects and then only one group will be saved while the rest in hell. The saved sect is the (Major Group) Siwaaade Azam i.e. Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah which Allah I has described in the Quran as حَبْلُ اللّٰہِ “A rope from Allah”. (Tafseer Qurtubi part 4, p. 103) Conclusion: The only central body and the straight line or path (Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah) is the way of salvation and the remainder 72 on either sides are the groups of shaitaan! All the Sahaba RadiAllahuAnhum were Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. There was no other sect at that time among the Muslims, apart from the hypocrites that were even in the time the holy Prophet Sallallhu Alayhiwasalam. There was no division among the Muslims at the time of the Khilaafah of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq RadiAllahuAnh nor at the time of Hazrat Umar RadiAllahuAnh nor at the time of Hazrat Uthmaan RadiAllahuAnh but the first division among the Ummah emerged at the time of Hazrat Ali t and this was the group of Khawaarij who were the first ones to deviate from the true path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. The main culprit Abdullah Ibn Sabah who was a jew, a hypocrite, took advantage of the controversies Hazrat Ali RadiAllahuAnh had with other Sahaba Sahaba RadiAllahuAnhum which we are not supposed to comment on, because we believe that all the Sahaba are our stars of guidance. He stirred between the two parties of the Sahaba and caused discord among the Ummah. Both the groups of the Sahaba were on Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah in creed but the dispute occurred on some legal issues. It was at that time when there deviated the first group from the way of Rasoolullah Sallallahu alyhiwasalam and the way of Sahaba RadiAllahuAnhum and their Aqeedah. The next group to deviate from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah was the group of Shiites (Rawaafiz). Historically, these were the first two group to move away from the path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah, the Khawaarij followed by Shiites. Sayyiduna Hazrat Ali Karamallahuwajhul kareem was the first one to engage in debate to refute the Khawaarij and He Karamallahuwajhul kareem instructed Hazrat Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbaas RadiAllahu Anh to go to the Khawaarij and debate with them. That is why Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbaas RadiAllahu Anh is known as the first scholar that debated with the deviant group of the Khawaarij who moved away from the path of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah. Imam Ghazaali AlayhiRahma when he mentioned the importance to debate with the deviant people to bring them back to the way of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah and also for the people to know and get a declaration to stay away from those people after their falsehood has been revealed and if they still haven’t come back to the path. He writes in his Ihya Uloomiddeen, “The first to initiate the invitation of the innovators back to the folds of truth through debate and refutation is Sayyyiduna Ali Ibn Abi Taalib Karramallahu wajhul kareem who sent Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbaas RadiAllahu anh to speak to them.” (Ihya Vol. 1, p. 96) Please note: that this too is work in progress and is not copy and pasted from any website any person who alludes otherwise to please present their proof with a valid working URL .