إختلاف أمتي رحمة
With regards to the above Hadeeth please read on to find the reality and the context in which it is used.
Explaining the commonly quoted false hadeeth, wrongly attributed to the Prophet (PBUH),
“The disagreement among my Ummah is a mercy.”
the Muhaddith Imam al-Albani says in Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth ad-Da`eefah wa’l-Mawdoo`ah (58-62):
Laa Asla Lahu (Baseless). The muhadditheen have tried to find an isnaad (chain of narration) for it but have not found one, to the extent that Suyooti said in his al-Jaami` as-Sagheer,
“Perhaps it was collected in one of the books of the huffaadh which did not reach us!”
This suggestion is very far-fetched, since it would mean that some of the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) have been lost to the ummah forever, something which is not permissible for a Muslim to believe. Manaawi quoted Subki as saying,
“It (i.e. the saying) is not known to the muhadditheen and I cannot find any isnad for it, whether saheeh, da`eef or mawdoo`”, and this was endorsed by Shaykh Zakariyyah al-Ansari in his notes on Tafsir al-Baidawi [92/2].
Further, the meaning of this hadeeth is also incorrect as shown by the verifying scholars, hence Ibn Hazm says in al-Ihkam fi Usool al-Ahkam [5/64] after indicating that it is not a hadeeth,
“This is one of the most incorrect sayings possible, since if ikhtilaf were a mercy, then agreement would be a punishment, something which no Muslim would say, because there can only be agreement or disagreement, and there can only be mercy or punishment.”
Shaykh al-Albani also said in his book The Prophets Prayer Described:
Firstly: This hadeeth is not authentic; in fact, it is false and without foundation. Allamah Subki said,
“I have not come across an authentic or weak or fabricated chain of narration for it”, i.e. no chain of narrators exists for this “hadeeth”!
It has also been related with the wordings: “… the difference of opinion among my Companions is a mercy for you” and “My Companions are like the stars, so whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.” Both of these are not authentic: the former is very feeble; the latter is fabricated.
Secondly: This hadeeth contradicts the Glorious Qur’an, for the ayat forbidding division in the religion and enjoining unity are too well-known to need reminding. However, there is no harm in giving some of them by way of example: Allah Sublime is He says,
“… `And do not quarrel with one another, lest you falter and your strength fade.“ [Surah al-Anfal, 8:46]
“And do not be among the idolaters, [of] those who have divided up their religion, and have become [dissenting] factions, each party rejoicing in what they have!“ [Surah ar-Room, 30:31-32]
“Had your Lord willed, He would have made mankind one community, but they continue to differ,except those on whom your Lord has mercy.“ [Surah Hood, 11:118-9]
Therefore, if those on whom your Lord has mercy do not differ, and the people of falsehood differ, how can it make sense that differing is a mercy?!
Hence, it is established that this hadeeth is not authentic, neither in the chain of narration, nor in meaning; therefore, it is clear and obvious that it cannot be used to justify resistance towards acting on the Book and the Sunnah, which is what our Imams have commanded us anyway.
United We Stand