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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Vale of Tempe

Islam And Sects

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I like to draw your attention to the below sources:

 

Surely they who divided their religion into parts and became sects, you have no concern with them; their affair is only with Allah,then He will inform them of what they did. (6:159)

 

This community will be fragmented into seventy-three sects. Seventy two of them will go to Hell and one sect alone will go to Paradise and about them Allah has revealed: ‘We have created a rightly guided and Just nation.’ They are my Shia and me. (Ihqaq-al-Haqq vol. 3, p. 413)

 

What is a sect? Along what dimensions or yardsticks can we use to delineate "ahah! thats a sect by itself"? Can we say there are sects which are "in the fold of Islam" and some sects "fold outside of Islam"?

 

More pertinent I like to resolve is the attitude we should take towards a different sect than our own. Doesn't v6:159 say that other sects are "none of our business"? If that is the case why do Sunni must bother Shia and vice-versa? Regardless of above hadith, we can co-habit, sing n dance together, and respect each other without slitting each other's throat.

 

How do the Imams (as) of the past deal with this issue? Didn't Imam Ali (as) send an emissary to re-educate the Kharijites about their wrong beliefs, and when the Kharijites were adamant about their belief, Imam Ali (as) said to leave them alone?

 

Now, I am not saying that if other people attempt to cause harm to our lives and properties we should not fight them. That is a different topic. I am talking about divergent ideas.

 

This is an important area I like to explore because if my understanding is correct then Islam is quite accommodating to different interpretation and ideas and we can say that there is some sort of "pluralism" in Islam. (I am using the term loosing OK so plse do not get excited).

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