What is the reason of the differences between sects? Can you explain?

God has bestowed upon us incessant ease and mercy with differences between sects. Prophet Muhammad pointed out this fact with his hadith, The difference of my community is a vast mercy. This hadith includes the differences between sects, as well as covers all the positive differences.

Some statements and words in some verses and hadiths include different judgments. There may be more than one pearl in a mother-of-pearl. Just like that, mujtahids -the performers of ijtihad, which is the act of deducing secondary judgments from the Quran and Hadiths-, expressed different views about the pearls in the verses and hadiths. And this led to the opening of different doors. This difference is a big source of ease to the community of Mohammad.

God shows how easy the Sharia-set of rules of a religion- of Muhammad is:

God wills ease for you, not hardship.

He did not burden you with any hardships in religion.

And He casts away the burden upon them and the chains on their backs (i.e. does not order hard decrees like retaliation in manslaughter and cutting off the sinning organs of the body and the dirty clothes)

For example, the view of Imam Shafii: The ritual ablution must be refreshed when one touches a woman, causes hardships in the performance of the Hajj-pilgrimage in Islam to Mecca and Medina- under todays circumstances, because the Hajj must be performed having taken the ablution. In this crowd of millions of people, as it is difficult to apply this judgment, the followers of this sect perform the Hajj adapting to other sects.

The caliph of Abbasid Harun Rashid proposes to Imam Malik: Lets publish and deliver your books all over the Muslim world, and drive them to these. Imam Malik gives this answer: O caliph of the Muslims, it is a blessing upon this community from God that the learned have different views. Each one of them sticks to what they see as the truth. All of them are on the right path and ask the acceptance of God.

Positive differences took place at the time of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) let each Muslim to adhere to whomever he wished among the mujtahids, and so gave his consent to this kind of difference. He did not criticize his companions for this kind of disagreement, and saw the judgments of both sides as the truth.

Two companions who went on journey performed their prayers having ritually cleansed themselves using sand/earth (done only when water is not available), as they could not find water. And while the period of the prayer did not still pass, they found water. One of them re-performs the prayer; the other does not, as he thinks his first prayer is enough. When they are back, they ask Prophet Muhammad of their situation. Prophet Muhammad says to the one who did not pray again: You acted according to the sunnah-the style of Prophet Muhammad, and to the other: You deserve reward twice.

The hadith: My companions are like stars, if you obey them you will succeed. Also proves this point. Based on this fact, it is clear that anyone can choose whichever one of the right sects he wishes.

When a believer prays in a place where he does not know the direction of Mecca, it is accepted of him if he decides to turn to a direction he chooses or turns to different directions for each part of the prayer.

By this way, the Muslims prefer permission to perfection. And this is a great blessing for them. In cases of hardships, Muslims can act according to the permission of another right sect in issues that have no solution in their sects, and by this way, they avoid hardships.

Surely, the Sharia of Muhammad conformable to the nature of the humanity revealed by God.

Although the difference between mujtahids is a blessing to the community, it led to the destruction of the former communities. Prophet Muhammad says in one of his hadiths: Although differences were suffering to the former communities, they are a blessing to my community.

The judgments were clear for the communities of the former prophets. The verses were not open to debate. It was clear that in the definite and open issues there would be no disagreement. People had difficulty obeying these clear judgments, disagreed and this disagreement led them to destruction. However, our conditions have done away with the constriction that was put on the former communities. For example, in the Sharia of Prophet Moses, the only punishment for a murderer was retaliation in the same way.

In that of Jesus, only the blood money was required, retaliation was forbidden. In the Sharia of Muhammad, though, the family of the murdered has the choices of retaliation, blood money, and pardon. Another example; while in their Sharia it is obligatory to cut off the part of the clothes that is dirty; in ours, cleansing with clean water is enough. There are lots of examples of this kind.

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