Who are the ‘Saved Sect’?
Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly, division and differences among this ummah is something inevitable, to which history bears witness, as do the texts of the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you lives after I am gone will see a great deal of dissent.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4067); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani inSaheeh Abi Dawood.
Dissent has occurred in the political field, as well as in the fields of thought and ‘aqeedah, which is represented in the appearance of different sects at the end of the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, such as the Murji’is, Shi’ah and Khawaarij.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “My ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of whom will be in Hell except one group.” Sahaba said: “Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: “(Those who follow) that which I and my companions follow.” This is mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr which was recorded and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi (2641). It was also classed as hasan by al-‘Iraaqi in Ahkaam al-Qur’aan (3/432), al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (3/284) and al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
This is the clearest sign that the Muslim can use to determine what the saved group is. What this means is that the saved group is the group (jamaa’ah) which adheres steadfastly to the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them), i.e., believing in and worshipping Allaah alone (Tawheed), obeying His commands and heeding His prohibitions, and adhering steadfastly to that in word, deed and belief. These are the people of truth, the ones who call to right guidance, even though they may be scattered throughout the world, with some in Arabia, some in India, some in America, some in Europe, some in the Africa. They are many groups, but they are known by their ‘aqeedah and their deeds. If they follow the path of Tawheed and belief in Allaah and His Messenger, and they adhere steadfastly to the religion of Allaah which was brought by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), then they are Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah and the saved group, even though they may be scattered in many parts of the world. But at the end of time they will be very few in number.
In conclusion, the guideline concerning this issue is whether or not they adhere to the truth. If there is a person or a group which calls people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and advocates belief in Tawheed and adhering to the Sharee’ah, then they are the Jamaa’ah and the saved group.
But those who call to anything other than the Book of Allaah, or anything other than the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then they are not part of the jamaa’ah; rather they belong to the misguided and doomed groups.
Among the sects that claim to belong to Islam are those who are misguided with regard to the Unity of Allaah (Tawheed) and His Names and Attributes; they say that everything that exists is Allaah and that He is incarnate or present in His creation – glorified be He far above what they say. On the contrary, He is above His heavens, settled on His throne, distinct from His creation.
Others are misguided with regard to eeman (faith) and say that deeds are separate from faith and that faith does not increase or decrease. The correct view is that faith consists of words and deeds; it increases when one does acts of obedience to Allaah and decreases when one commits sin.
Others are misguided by their declaring that the person who commits sin goes beyond the pale of Islam and is doomed to eternity in the Fire. The correct view is that the one who commits a major sin – apart from shirk and al-kufr al-akbar – does not go out of Islam.
Others are misguided with regard to the issue of al-qadaa’ wa’l-qadar (divine decree), and said that man has no choice in what he does. The correct view is that man has freedom of will on the basis of which he will be called to account and will bear the consequences of his deeds.
Others are misguided with regard to the Qur’aan, and say that it is created. The correct view is that it is the words of Allaah, revealed not created.
Others are misguided with regard to the Sahaabah, whom they revile and denounce as kaafirs even though they are the companions of the Prophet among whom the Wahy (Revelation) was revealed, and they are the most knowledgeable and the most devoted in worship among this Ummah, and they strove in jihaad for the sake of Allaah and Allaah supported this religion through them – may Allaah be pleased with them all.
And there are other groups who deviated from the path of Islam and innovated matters in the religion of Allaah; each of them rejoices in what they have, but they have followed the ways of the Shaytaan and gone against the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
[Surah al-An’aam 6:153]
We ask Allaah to make us among the followers of the Sunnah who will be saved from the Fire, and to admit us to Paradise among the righteous. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).