Are Differences of the Ummah a Mercy?

By Moulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abbassommar
Posted: 19 Sha'ban 1423, 26 October 2002


Q.) Is this true that the disagreement [Ikhtilaaf] of the Ummat-e-Muhammadiya is a mercy (rehmat). Please explain your reply in the light of Qur'an, and Sunnah. [Yaser]

A.) Imaam Suyyuti (RA) has mentioned the following Hadith in his 'al-Jaami-us-saghir': Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'The Ikhtilaaf (disagreement) of my Ummat is a mercy.'

Imam Suyyuti (RA) then mentions: This Hadith has been quoted by Imaam Nasir al-Maqdisi and Imaam Bayhaqi without any mention of its chain of narrators. And it has also been quoted by al-Haleemi, Imaamul haramayn and others. So, possibly it's chain of narrators has been mentioned in some of those works which has not reached us. (al-Jaami-us-Saghir Hadith 288)

However, Hafiz al-Iraaqi (RA) has mentioned that it has been narrated through a weak chain of narrators by Imaam Adam ibn Abi Iyaas. (Maqaasidul Hasanah and Takhrij Ihyaa)

Furthermore, it has been reported from Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz (RA) that he said, 'It pleases me that the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhu, disagreed in some matters because if not, then there would have only been one view and this would be difficult on the people.' Similar statements have been recorded from Imaam Qaasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (RA) and Imaam Aun ibn Abdullah ibn Utbah ibn Mas'ood (RA). (See Jaamiu Bayaanil ilm wa fadhlihi of Imaam ibn Abdul-Barr vol.2 pg.80 and Sunan al-Darimi vol.1 pg.151) In fact, this has also been echoed by Haafiz ibn Taymiyyah in his Majmoo'ul Fataawa and other great Ulama.

Also refer to Jazeelul Mawaahib fee ikhtilaafil Madhaahih of Imaam Suyyuti (RA), (the translation of this book is 'Abundant Favours and disagreement of the different schools of thought) and Adaabul Ikhtilaaf of Shaykh Muhammad Awwaamah (pgs-25-33).

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.

Further Reading:

Differences of the Imams