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What Is the Sharee Definition of Firqa Wariyat?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Shaykh Ahmed bin Mohamed Umarji


What is the Sharee Definition of Firqa wariyat? Which Ikhtalaf is called firqa? Quran and Hadith have prohibited to be dived in firqas, does this apply to all Umaah or just to Ulama, means Ikhtalaf of Ulama in religion is firqa or any Ikhtalaf which can be divided Ummah is called firqa?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects, and the Christians were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects, and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects.1

The division of the groups or “Firqa wariyat” that The Holy Prophet ﷺ indicated, is based upon the differences in the fundamental articles of faith.2 In other words, the remaining seventy-two sects, will possess such beliefs that will be contrary to the fundamental beliefs of Islam. This Hadith is not referring to the differences in the branches of faith (Jurisprudential issues).3 The companions had some degrees of differences amongst themselves in actions and the branches of faith. However, in the articles of faith, they had no differences whatsoever. For instance, all of the companions unanimously agree that Salah is Fardh (which is an article of faith), but there are different opinions on the method of performing Salah. These dissimilarities were due to the different degrees and levels of understanding, application, deduction and critical analysis. It is also the case with the four Imams that in the articles of faith they were all united. Their differences only existed in the branches of faith.4

The hadith of The Prophet ﷺ tells us that “this community will be split into seventy-three: seventy-two of them will go to Hell and one of them will go to Paradise, and it is the majority group.”5

The majority group is known as Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’at the ones who conform to the sunnah of The Prophet ﷺ and the companions. This has been clearly mentioned in the hadith “my Ummah will split into seventy-three sects. All of them are in the Fire except one sect.” He said: “And which is it O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “What I am upon and my Companions.”6

With regards to whether the commands of The Qur’an and the Hadith are specific to the Ulema or general for The Ummah, it is general for The Ummah.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Shaykh Ahmed bin Mohamed Umarji

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

1 Sunan Abi Dawud 4596

2 Bathlul Majhood fi halli Sunan Abi Dawud https://app.turath.io/book/14601

3 Ibid https://app.turath.io/book/14601

4 Ask A Mufti, Page 188, Vol 1, JKN Publications

5 Sunan Abi Dawud 4597

6 Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2641

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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