In this video Dr. Adnan Ibrahim discusses the Hadith that says the Muslim Ummah will divide into 73 sects, all of whom will be destined for Hell except one. In this clip he focuses on verses from Surat Fatir (35):32-33 and Surat al-Layl (92):14-16 as the spearhead of his argument that all the people of this Muslim Ummah are ultimately saved, and so this Hadith contradicts the Qur’an.


There are a number of things that, though true in the context of the discussion concerning this Hadith, are nevertheless not comprehensively true. These points of contention of mine are as follows;

1) Though it is true that the verse 35:32 is a direct, though still implicit, reference to this Muslim Ummah, since “the Book” that is inherited is, or at least includes, the Qur’an, I feel that the verse doesn’t have to be taken exclusively to refer to the Muslims. Why? Because the Christians and Jews have also inherited “the Book”, and they are “People of the Book”. The “Book” in the Qur’an seems to be a reference to all or any “Divine scripture”, in the generic sense.

So for example, the Qur’an takes the Christians and Jews to task for saying that they both don’t have anything important even though they both recite “the Book”. Yet, it is obvious that they have different, though overlapping, scriptures that aren’t interchangeable between the religions, and even between some sects within the two religions. The Jews have the Torah and the Christians the Gospels. So what is “the Book”?The relevant verse is;

al-Baqara (2): 113 – The Jews say, “The Christians are not based on anything;” and the Christians say, “The Jews are not based on anything.” Yet they both recite the Scripture (Book). Similarly, the ignorant said the same thing. God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection regarding that in which they used to differ”.

The last part is telling “Similarly, the ignorant ones say the same thing”. We should be careful not to be of them and say something similar. For just as the Jewish and Christian scriptures differ from each other, but are nevertheless similar enough in either content, form or meanings, that God says they both have “the Book”, so too is the Qur’an both similar and different to their scriptures. Rather the Qur’an itself says it’s a confirmation of the previous scriptures.

With all of that in mind, is it really wrong to expand the meaning of 35:32 to include the Jews, Christians and Muslims? All of whom have “inherited” “the Book”? That’s a contention that seems valid though it needs more thought. If you have any ideas please feel free to comment below.

2) My second contention is that there is a group among the Muslim Ummah that isn’t included in verse 35:32, and those are people who are unjust to others as opposed to just their own souls. Yes, it is indeed true that those who are unjust to others are also being unjust to themselves in many ways that we recognize … but is that truly Qur’anic language? Has Allah ever mentioned, in the Qur’an, that those who are unjust to others are also unjust to their own souls? Right now I can only recall the verses that say “And God was not unjust to them, but it was they who were unjust to their own souls”.

In any case, the fact that this verse doesn’t just say “amongst whom are those who are unjust” in a general sense that could include all forms of injustice, but rather specifies it with “to their own souls”, makes me consider the possibility that those who oppress and commit injustices to others are not included in the promise of the next verse that they will enter paradise with the “out-strippers” and the “moderate … ie. God will forgive the sins or crimes that you have committed only if they don’t hurt, harm, or in any way intentionally cause injustice to others.

3) My third contention is regards to interpreting 92:16 “He who gives the lie (to the truth) and turns away [or turns his back on the truth]”. As I have alluded to in my translation, the Qur’anic terms here (verbs in this case) are generic. They don’t mention a subject, ie. what exactly is it that “the most wretched” is giving the lie to and turning away from? I don’t believe that it necessarily means monotheism, or Islam, or the Qur’an … though those are, of course, prime examples. Rather I believe that the generic terms given in these verses should be followed through when we decide what is being rejected and turned away from. In that case what God is saying here is Hell is for those who reject God-sent truths whilst firmly believing in their inner selves that they are indeed from God, but nevertheless openly reject them and turn their backs on God and those truths.

Also see other points of refutation for the Hadith that I have listed in the pinned comment of this video. Please also see the two previous vdeos that deal with issues of this “73 sects”/”saved sect” Hadith.

wa Salaam.

Qur’anic Islam


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