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  The Splitting and Differing in the Ummah is Due to the Innovations and Innovators
Author: Imaam ash-Shatibee
Source: Al-I'tisaam
Article ID : GSC010003  [22165]  
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Imaam ash-Shaatibee (rahimahullaah) said in al-I'tisaam (1/40-45):

…And Ibn Wahb said: "I heard Maalik saying: ‘There is no verse in the Book of Allaah that is harder upon those in disagreement amongst the People of Desires than this verse:

On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black; as for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): "Did you reject Faith after accepting it? Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting Faith." [Aali Imraan 3:106]

Maalik said: "And which words are more clearer than these?’ And I saw him explaining these verses in reference to the People of Desires."

Ibn al-Qaasim reported this and added: "Maalik said to me: ‘This verse is about the people of the qiblah [i.e. Muslims]." And what Imaam Maalik has said about this verse has been narrated from more than one person as has preceded such as al-Hasan.

From Qataadah, that he said regarding the saying of Allaah:

And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them [Aali Imraan 3:105]

"Meaning: The People of Innovation."

And from Ibn ‘Abbaas, that he said regarding the saying of Allaah:

On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black [Aali Imraan 3:106]

"The faces of Ahl us-Sunnah will become white and the faces of Ahl ul-Bid’ah will become black."

And also amongst the verses [that are related to the censure of innovation] is His saying:

"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-Muttaqûn" [Al-An’aam 6:153]

The ‘Siraat ul-Mustaqeem’ (Straight Path) is the path to which Allaah has called and that is the Sunnah. And ‘Subul (other paths) are the paths of the people of disagreement who turn away from the Straight Path, and they are the People of Innovation. And the intent here is not the ‘paths of disobedience’ because no one makes disobedience a path that he continuously treads upon - in imitation of and resemblance to the legislation, but rather this description is specifically for the invented innovations.

And what Ismaa’eel has narrated from Sulaimaan bin Harb gives evidence to this: "Hammaad bin Zaid narrated to us from ‘Aasim bin Bahdalah from Abu Waa’il from Abdullaah [Ibn ‘Abbaas] who said: ‘One Day the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) drew for us a long, straight line’ and then Sulaimaan drew for us a long, straight line, ‘and then he drew lines to its right and to its left and then said: This is the Path of Allaah. Then he drew lines to its right and to its left and said: These are different paths, upon each of these ways is a devil calling to it’, and then he recited the verse:

"And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths…" [Al-An’aam 6:153]

meaning these paths

"…for they will separate you away from His Path" Al-An’aam 6:153]"

Bikr bin ‘Alaa said: "He meant the devils amongst men and these are the innovations and Allaah knows best.

And the hadeeth has been reported in many ways.

And ‘Umar bin Salamah al-Hamdaanee said: "We were sitting in the circle of Ibn Mas’ood in the mosque, which had been plain land after it had been covered with gravel. ‘Ubaidullaah bin Umar ibn al-Khattaab, who had just returned from an expedition, said to him: ‘What is the straight path O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan?’ He replied: ‘By the Lord of the Ka’bah, it is that which your father was firmly established upon until he entered Paradise’ and then he swore firmly upon that three times, Then he drew a line in the ground with his hand and also drew lines to either side of it and said: ‘Your Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) left you upon this end and its other end is in Paradise. So whoever remains steadily upon it will enter Paradise and whoever takes any of these lines will be destroyed."

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