I suppose every believer has asked this question to himself or others many times: why Muslims are torn into pieces? Why are there sects, groups, communities, orders that are not contesting for good but fight and vilify, slander or even excommunicate each other? Why ironically do Muslims have enough of enemies as themselves? Why are they at each other''s neck, being in war and slaughtering each other? Don''t we all claim that Islam is the religion of unity, unification?
Is it possible that any believer could be indifferent to this? If so, then he or she must check their faith, mustn''t they? If a group of people, order, community wants to be different and feels proud for being different and considers itself as the absolute source of the truth, isn''t this problematic? If a group of them wants to seem different through its discourse, rituals (I cannot call it prayers) their dresses, isn''t the only purpose here to be in divergence?
Then what should we do? Nothing? Shall we simply leave everybody with their own truth perception? Should we not bother ourselves with the problem of divergence? Shouldn''t some of us bother, at least?
Divergence means to be different in perception or to be in opposition. Both of the meanings are inherent in the human nature. Every single human being is distinguished slightly in their creation from others, in terms of time, space, ethnicity, color, knowledge, intelligence…. To be different results in a different perception as this cannot be an absolute sense of the objective knowledge. Everyone knows something to the extent of his or her scope. Thus, the disagreement or divergence as such a condition is natural and essential. It''s also a blessing because every single standpoint is an opinion and different opinions yield to different types of knowledge. Different types of knowledge generate different cultures and the human being achieves the opportunity for recognizing the world in all its aspects and benefiting from it at the optimum level. As a result, he reaches to the means of comprehending his own meaning and agent of his creation. He realizes his own deficiency.
In the Surat al-Hujurat 49:13, Allah subhanahu wa ta''ala says ''O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. (…)''. The word used for ''knowing one another'' in Arabic is ta''aarafo which is etymologically related to ma''refah, knowledge. If we define the word as the manifestations of cultures, the achieved information of life styles. Therefore, instead of knowing one another, we may interpret it as having knowledge about one another, that is, inventing new cultures and exchanges of cultures. In that case, we realize the natural divergence is a blessing and goodness. In this sense, if we look at modernism, its fatal impact is its abolishing feature of divergences because homogenization leads to annihilation.
That is to say, the initial two dimensions of the divergence, to be different or the difference in perception is due to the nature and creation. It''d be meaningless if people thought all the same way and interpreted things in the same way. Islam maintains the natural aspect of things because it''s the religion of natural creation.
Hence, the point of criticism is not divergence per se. If the religion criticizes any type of divergence, it must be an unnatural one accordingly. There is a term in Islamic jurisprudence ad daroorah ad deeneeyyah ''necessities of the religion'' in other words there are the must-does of the religion. These are the fundamentals in the religion, which everything is based upon. The term osool ad deen ''the basics of religion'' almost applies the same meaning. It describes how to believe a certain item of faith before acting and in case of a failure in meeting a properly required belief, it tells us how the existence of religion would mean nothing. This is the genuine target of the religious criticism concerning divergence. It is to do with the stable facts as fundamentals of the religion. While the divergence with respect to contemplation or understanding is due to natural creation and it is a blessing, mercy from God.
However if the difference of thoughts or divergence at some level turns into a tadaad antigonism, tafaawot disparity, sheqaaq dismantle, tafreqah dismantle, polarization, hedaad grievance, then it means that the issue has exceeded its original and natural limits and become a problem of ego, a matter of strife and hostility.
Each of the last 5 terms refers to opposition or antagonism in different tones. If there is any divergence at a level of opposition or antagonism, it''s impossible that both sides are fair and righteous. This is the type of divergence which the religion criticizes and requires us to remove its evil.
Due to the natural and creational divergence of thoughts, it''s inconceivable that there would be no schools of thoughts or sects. It is quite understandable that people circle around their inspirational scholar and prefer him to others in affection. That''s how the Islamic jurisprudential sects and sufi sects and orders occurred. However, if proponents of a certain sect claim privilege and absolute truth and call others necessarily erroneous, then it''s their own erroneous deviations from the Book.
The earliest mujtahids, pioneer scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence sects used to say: My opinion is correct and the opposite ones are wrong. However, there is the possibility that their opinion is correct, too.
We will elaborate the topic soon Inshallah.