بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Some Quranic Arabic words and their meanings to ponder are given below:
Din دین : Judgement
Millat مِلَّةَ : Religion
Islam إِسْلَامُ : Peace
Shia شِيَعًا : Group
Ahlal-Kitab : Those people who have the Al-Kitab. (Not those who were supposed to have different version of the Book earlier (6:156))
When Allah orders that the Judgment (Din) in the nearness of Allah is Al-Islam, it should mean that when confronted with any situation in life, one should always take that decision which leads to peace and security
3: 19 إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ ۗ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
“The Din/judgment in the nearness of Allah is Islam (Peace), nor did the Ahlal-Kitab (People of the Book) differed except to wrong each other, after knowledge had come to them, and if any covers/rejects the ayahs/signs of Allah, Allah is swift in taking account.”
When people gained some knowledge, they started differing among themselves and formed into various groups and sects. Allah’s order was to make their judgment in all situations, of peace and security . Poeple were ordered to hold fast to one Book however they put that Book on their backs and started making other books which Allah has not provided, as source of their religious knowledge and guidance. They wrote the other books with their own hands and claimed that these are from inspiration of Allah. Every group takes great pride in what they have gathered. We see that there is one common kalima (Quran) in all people who believe in Al-Kitab however they differ in practice and beliefs which are detailed in the sectarian books.
Allah does not allow believers to form or join any sect.
6:159 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
“Surely those who differed in their Din/Judgment and become sects/groups, you (messenger) doesn’t have anything to do with them, surely their affair is towards Allah, then He will tell them with what they used to do.”
The groups and sects get their beliefs from the books which Allah has not given them. These very religious books give rise to the difference in sectarian beliefs. Each different sect has different rules and history books and narratives.
34:44 وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُم مِّن كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا ۖ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِن نَّذِيرٍ
“And We have not given them books from which they study, and before you We have not sent towards them from the warner”
All the groups and the sectarian people are very happy with what they study and what they have. Nobody told them to leave their sectarian beliefs and their sectarian religious books.
30:32 مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا ۖ كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
“Those who split up their Din/Judgment, and become groups/sects,- each party rejoicing in what they have!”
The people of the book are advised to come to one kalima which is common among all. Please note there is only one kalima which is common to all present sects in Islam i.e The Quran. You cannot attain any sect if you follow this Kalima except being a muslim/submitter to it. It is by following other sectarian books and teachings that the people get their sectarian beliefs;
3:64 قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
“Say O people of the Book come to a kalima/Word that is equal between us and you that we serve none except Allah, that we associate nothing with Him and that we do not take from among ourselves lords other than Allah. If then they turn back say you bear witness that we are muslims / submitters”
When people form into different groups and sects, then Allah’s punishment comes to them in the form of hatred and fighting which they inflict upon one another.
6:65 قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ أَوْ يَلْبِسَكُمْ شِيَعًا وَيُذِيقَ بَعْضَكُم بَأْسَ بَعْضٍ ۗ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ
“Say He has power to appoint over you a punishment from above you or below your feet or clothe you into sects and makes you to taste the harshness of one another. See how We explain the Ayahs / signs so that they may understand.”
3:103 وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
“And hold fast all together with the rope of Allah and do not be divided among yourselves, and remember the favor of Allah on you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love; you became brethren and you were on the brink of the pit of fire and He saved you from it. Likewise Allah makes His Ayahs/Signs clear to you that you may be guided.”
When the sprit of Allah’s ayahs becomes clear and people accept the order of Allah and leave their sects to be true to the Book of Allah, (the true word of Messenger) and become submitter/muslims to the orders of Allah then all the sectarian hatred vanishes and people turn into brothers.
While Quran forbids believers to adopt to any sect, one incident in history books quoting the messenger (pbuh) saying that except for one sect all sects will be hell bound.
The messenger (pbuh) would never have said this as this is bound to give all sectarians a justification to stick to their sects thinking that their sect is the one going to Janna. Messenger would exactly say what Allah ordered in Quran, i.e not to adopt any sect.