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The division of the Muslim ummah is inevitable. There is a clear and authentic hadith on this, the hadith that says the Muslims would divide into 73 sects. But the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم clearly gave us a direction to follow when the trial of the splitting of the ummah appears. He said we should stick to his Sunnah and the Sunnah of his Companions رضي الله عنهم. In another narration, he said we should bite the Sunnah with our molar teeth so that it will be difficult to sway from it. This instruction of the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم is emphatic and must not be disobeyed joked with. But the major problem many Muslims have today center around ignorance of the real Sunnah, arrogance against the truth, following personal desire and placing culture and traditions of diversed localities above the Sunnah. Islaam is Sunnah, Sunnah is Islaam. Anyone who fails to learn Islaam from the appropriate sources will not know the real Sunnah. 

In order to pass the trials surrounding the trial of the division of the Ummah, the first things is for every Muslim to start learning. It is unfortunate that a lot of Muslims in our time follow the path of the forefthers blindly without verification. Instead of trying to find out the real truth by picking books and approaching scholars to learn, they rely on what so and so say without proper investigation. Whereas, many of our forefathers only practised Islaam based on what was clear to them then. Their knowledge was limited. Education during their time was not as we have it today. Many unqualified people are delving into religious affairs and this has caused a lot of Muslims to be misled from the path of Sunnah, except those who Allaah decides to save from this fitnah. 

Many of those who majority of Muslims depend on for religious guidance are upon innovations. Some of them are upon several acts of glorified shirk (magic, extreme sufism and lack or respect for textual evidences). Their activities are not hidden from people who understand toaheed and Sunnah very well. In fact, one of the reasons why our society suffers from bad governance is the activities of these fake scholars. They are the ones close to our leaders. Due to the fact that they are not upon Sunnah, it will be difficult for them to guide our leaders aright. So, ignorance of true Sunnah, and contravention of the Sunnah will always lead to dangerous repercussions in the society. Most of the persecutions we face from our leaders are as a result of neglecting the Sunnah or attacking the Sunnah without being properly guided. Our situation may never be rectified until we return back to the Sunnah as practised by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and as practised by his companions رضي الله عنهم. This is what the scholars of Sunnah are trying to preach in our society.

To know the true Sunnah, we must all pick our arabic books and learn in halaqaat. Let us not rely on radio and television lectures. Let us not rely solely on what we read on the internet. There is more to Islaamic knowledge than all these. It is our duty to go and find out by ourselves from source. By Allaah, no one is above seeking knowledge in the proper sense of it. Our radio and tv stations are filled with many misrepresentations about Islaam and Sunnah, and until we start resorting to learning from source, we will be far away from the sunnah without knowing. 

There are some books that can assist us in this regard. For 'aqeedah, Kitab at Taoheed of Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdilwahhab رحمه الله is good. With clear evidences from the Qur'an and Sunnah, the Sheikh simplifies the concept of taoheed. By that book, one will be able to understand the first pillar of Islaam in the proper manner. By learning Kitab ut Taoheed, we would understand that the concept of taoheed goes beyond mere mentioning "لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله". The book extensively deals with many questions that could be agitating the mind of a Muslim. The book has been written some centuries ago. This book has been a source of inspiration and liberation of many Muslims from the hands of false scholars. Wa Allaahi, before a Muslim goes through 10 chapters from the book, with the permission of Allaah, he will be more enligtened, his eyes will be opened, he will feel as if he is just accepting Islaam afresh and he will begin to understand many of the things scholars of Sunnah have been saying. 

Regarding the Sunnah, one should get a book called Sharh us Sunnnah written by Al-Imaamul Barbahaaree رحمه الله. The book has been written more than 1000 years ago. Many of our forethers are not aware of it because knowledge of the deen has not to our society to this extent. With the aid of modern means of transportation, internet and globalization, many old books are getting to us with clear picture of what Islaam truly is. So, this book will throw light on many issues agitating the mind of a Muslim on what Sunnah really is. One of the best explanation of the book is done by Sheikh Saalih Fawzaan Ibn Abdillah Al-Fawzaan حفظه الله ورعاه. 

These are part of the books many of the so called Alfas in our society are yet to see that put them into dangerous confusions. Some of them see them, but they fail to act upon them because of arrogance, desire and love of worldly benefits. They have been over powered by their desires. There are english versions of these books if you find it difficult to read Arabic. 

Basically, the Sunnah is not just about kneeling to greet or not kneeling to greet. When we talk about the Sunnah, what goes to the mind of some people is: se awon omo ti won kii kunle fun obi hunn? (is it those children who don't kneel to greet their parents?). There are many things we need to learn. The Sunnah is not just about wearing hijab, keeping the beards and wearing short trousers. It is far beyond these. By the time we learn good books on aqeedah and Sunnah, no one will tell us before we begin to understand the rulings on many issues that appear to be controversial. 

There are many clear matters in our religion that the people of bid'ah and desire have painted with confusions. For us to know the truth and be guided, we must be ready to to learn. We must be ready to fortify our intellect with proper understanding of taoheed and Sunnah. Without this, we may never understand why it is wrong to kneel or bow for other than Allaah as a mark of respect. By Allaah, the problem of the ummah is far beyond this. 

Our problems is prevalence of ignorance and evil activities of scholars of misguidance. While sunnah scholars are busy trying to teach the correct Islaam, the misguided scholars go about spreading propaganda just to mislead unsuspecting Muslims. The misguided scholars are a fitnah (trial) upon many ignorant Muslims. So, this is the time for us to shine our eyes, the time to be smart, the time to learn by the foot of real scholars. 

The scholars of Sunnah do not cause disunity. What they do is to call to unity of Muslims upon the Quran and Sunnah. This is the basis of our unity as clearly stated in the Qur'an and Sunnah. We must not unite upon shirk, kufr, bid'ah and several other evils. We should unite upon Sunnah. What causes disunity is bid'ah (innovation) and hizbiyyah (unhealthy partisanship of individuals and organizations).

May Allaah guide us aright and include us among the true practitioners of Sunnah. 

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