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A Brief Overview of the Sects
The first sects to appear in Islam, in the first century hijrah were the Sab'iyyah, and they were responsible for the emergence of the Khawarij, the Rafidah, then later in the first century came the Qadariyyah and towards its end the Murji'ah. In the second century came the tribulation of ilm al-kalam which was borrowed from the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans and this was the foundation of the rejection of the attributes and distortion of the texts in the name of ta'wil. The sects to appear were the Jahmiyyah and the Mu'tazilah and a group of the Rafidah, the Hishamiyyah, adopted this. Then in the third century there appeared other kalaam groups, the Kullabiyyah who tried to take a middle path between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Mu'tazilah, and the Hanafi Karraamiyyah were also a kalam group. These kalam groups, between them, fell into ta'teel and tajseem, whilst sharing the same underlying foundations which came from the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans and which was referred to in this ummah as ilm al-kalaam. In addition to this, some of them also carried the major innovations of the first century (such as al-Qadr and al-Irjaa). Then in the fourth century appeared the Ash'ariyyah, who initially, were founded upon the school of the Kullaabiyyah but then drifted towards the doctrines of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah in the attributes. In response to the Ahl al-Kalam, there appeared the Mutafalsifah (al-Farabi, Ibn Sina), those who were upon the views of the Greek Philosophers and were trying to merge their own beliefs with the revealed texts. At the same time (fourth century), the esoteric gnostic movements began to operate secretively, trying to merge the Shariah with Greek philosophy, represented in the Baatiniyyah, they brought grave worship and illuminism (higher truth and knowledge through spiritual exercise) into the Ummah and wore the gown of Shi'ism. The Maturidiyyah are also another kalam group with its origins in the early fourth century hijrah, but who did not really become known as a group until the sixth and seventh centuries. Sufism, whilst starting as an exaggeration in piety and fear amongst some of the Tabi'in in Basrah in the early first century hijrah, eventually morphed into a combination of kalam, philosophy, saint-worship and gnostic illuminism. All of these sects are the route through which Islam itself is ideologically attacked by the external enemy. So it is upon the right-minded Muslim to know of them, and the opposition of their doctrines to the belief of the Companions and the Salaf, so that is firmly-grounded upon the straight path and not diseased by any of these sects and their innovations.
In this section we will cover these groups and their innovated beliefs and doctrines.
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